Ok, let's try this from a different approach. I have laid out my symbols across the timeline and lead each of them with a timeline label. What I need is for is on the frame before each label to have a set of code that would have an if/then statement (coming at this from a Flash perspective so I apologize for any incorrect syntax/wording but I hope I get the intent across) looking for a button click, if there has been no button click select a random label (1-5) and jump to and play. If there was a button click read the code in the button and jump to and play the label the button points to. Likewise I need an if/then statement on the button that says on release wait until the playhead reaches the previous code I mentioned before jumping to and playing the label it points to.
You can do most of this by maintaining state manually. I have a blog post that talks about how to do that (search for "state management"). As for the randomization, you can use the Math.random() function and do some fancy coding to get you a random number between 0 and 4. It's actually more or less the same as what you would do in ActionScript, so it should look fairly familiar:
// gives you a random number between 0 and 4
var randomNumber = Math.floor(Math.random() * 10) % 5;
Hope that helps!
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction for this. I'm out of the office now for the weekend but I'll be sure to try and figure my way through this when I get back in and I'll let you know where I get stuck next.