*Author’s Note: Originally, I wrote out the concept for Game Studs with the intnet of following instances that happened to me while I worked at Game Crazy, with characters being identical, names included. However, the concept evolved when I developed it for TV on Duck U, thus why the episodes following this original differs so greatly.
By Topher Pranger
Based off his experiences at Game Crazy
Premise and Setting: The series follows the exploits of the newer employee at a video game store called Crazy Stop. The entire series takes place within the store or the parking lot in front of it. Every episode deals with one or two problems that video game store employees must deal with on a daily basis.
Topher: Optimistic about life. Worked hard to get his job, but realizes that it was a mixed blessing at best. Still holds out hope for customers and the job. Loves Nintendo to death and thinks that it’s awesome no matter what they do. Basically still labeled as the new guy.
Ben: Pessimistic and aggravated about everything. Hates customers, hates his job, hates everything. Lots of rage but has tons of experience. Neurotic at times.
Amy: She is the token female of the store but has the most experience than everyone there, their boss included. She’s pretty indifferent about everything in general and knows the store and the customers like the back of her hand.
Steve: The boss of the store. He used to work in a much larger store and expects the current store to be capable of making more money despite the lack of customers. He’s very into rap and thinks that he is capable of rapping himself. Hypocritical and a douche in general.
Episode 1: Welcome to Crazy Stop: Introduction to the characters. Typical weekend afternoon shift with an unhappy customer, the boss complaining relentlessly, and the new guy still learning the ropes.
Episode 2: Children Who Have No Lives: Ben and Topher begin discussing games in general and keep getting interrupted by customers who think they know what they’re talking about, despite the fact that they don’t.
Episode 3: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Stupid Woman: After being told by his boss to up the store’s number of memberships, Topher ends up selling a kid a membership, only to encounter his angry mother after he is unable to give her a refund.
Episode 4: The Morning Shift: Follows Topher on a typical morning shift where the store is absolutely dead. After finishing his daily tasks he finds himself hallucinating that the video game characters are coming to life and harassing him.
Episode 5: Upgrades for Them; Headaches for Us: Topher finally gets the hang of the computer system, only to have corporate send down a memo announcing a complete change to the computer system. It’s a benefit to Corporate, but makes the job increasingly difficult for the store.
Episode 6: Good Luck Clocking Out: After an already stressful morning shift, Topher keeps finding himself getting pulled back to work for hours and hours, finally resulting in him staying the entire day at work without overtime benefits.
Episode 7: Pleasing the Company Reps: The representative from Nintendo makes an appearance one day during Topher’s shift, making him become ecstatic. Unfortunately, luck would have it that both the Sony and Microsoft reps show up at the same time. Now the staff must keep the reps from killing each other and find ways to compromise to their liking about how the store is set up.
Episode 8: The New Release That Released Hell: A popular game is finally coming out after being delayed for months and now the customers are ready to get it. The only problem is the employees weren’t aware of it being released as it randomly shows up one day, much to their horror.
Episode 9: This is Why You’re the New Guy: Topher does his best to prove that he is no longer the new guy but as a result, nearly gets himself fired by making numerous large mistakes all within a single day.
Episode 1: Welcome to Crazy Stop
Setting: Inside a video game store. Behind the counter are four employees, Ben, Amy, Steve, (the boss), and Topher, (the new guy). The store has about four or five customers in it wandering aimlessly, playing the game demos, or looking at random things. Steve is currently talking to Topher off to the side, Amy is talking to a customer, and Ben is staring blankly into space with boredom.
Steve: (To Topher). And that is basically how to receive a package into the system.
Topher: (Looking at a small notepad that he’s holding, very confused). Um…what, what was the step after sorting the games into alphabetical order?
Steve: Just watch Ben or Amy do it once or twice; that should teach you well enough how to git ‘er done.
Topher: (Scribbles in his notepad). “Git ‘er done”…check.
Steve: Any more questions?
Topher: Nope, I think I’m good for the day.
Steve: Okay. Listen up everyone. I’m taking off for the day. If you need to get a hold of me call the cell. Remember guys, I wanna see those numbers boosted. I’m out. (Puts on his shades and walks out).
Topher: (Looking quite sad as he holds his pathetic notepad). Um…what was his cell number?
Customer 1: (Walks up to Topher). ‘Scuse me; do you have that new samurai game for PS2?
Topher: (Hurriedly puts his notepad away). Which one?
Customer 1: You know, that one with the samurai who’s trying to fight for his honor back, the one with all the hacking and slashing?
Topher: Um…(Looks over to Ben). Hey Ben, do we have that new samurai game?
Ben: (Staring blankly while he scans his forehead with the item scanner). Don’t know. Look it up in the computer.
Topher: How do I do that again?
Ben: You’re kidding me. Come here. (Topher walks over to the computer). Okay, let’s see if you can do this.
Topher: Let’s see…Steve told me to use control F5 and…(Types something into the computer), crap, what did I just do?
Ben: You crashed the computer.
Ben: You overloaded its memory.
Topher: But that’s how Steve trained me to do it.
Ben: And that would be why you failed. Here, this is what you’re supposed to do. (Types something). There, now search.
Topher: Okay, so “samurai”, and search. (Looks at the screen). Okay, there are 98 new release titles for PS2 that have the keyword “samurai” in their title. Can you remember the exact title?
Customer 1: What? No man! What kind of game store is this where you don’t even know the names of your own games?
Ben: To be fair he is the new guy.
Topher: I’ve been here for almost a week now, alright.
Ben: Have you even worked a shift by yourself yet?
Ben: Then you have got a ways to go new guy.
Topher: Amy, do you know what game this guy is talking about?
Amy: (Walks over to the group assembling at the computer). Which one?
Topher: Tell her what game you’re looking for.
Customer 1: That new samurai game for PS2. The one with-
Amy: With trying to gain redemption for honor?
Customer 1: Yeah, that one!
Amy: You just described half of the titles on Playstation.
Customer 1: Oh.
Amy: I think I know the one you want. Follow me. (Leads the customer away as she helps him find the game).
Topher: How does she always know what they’re talking about?
Ben: She’s been here for over 2 years. She’s good at what she does.
Topher: So why didn’t you know what game he was talking about? You’ve been here for at least half that long.
Ben: Hey, I knew what that guy was talking about. Hah, of course I knew exactly what he wanted, but he didn’t know what he wanted. Who the hell wants a samurai game for PS2? Idiots Topher, that’s who. I was saving himself from himself by forcing him to rethink what he wanted and you destroyed my plan. My God Topher, what have you done?
Topher: I had no idea that it was that complex. I thought you were just lazy.
Ben: That, too.
Amy: (Walks over holding a game). This is the one he was talking about.
Topher: (Amy hands him the game and he looks at it). This is the game he was talking about? Does he know this game sucks?
Ben: (Turns to the customer). Do you know this game sucks?
Customer 1: I heard good things about it.
Ben: Well you heard wrong.
Customer 1: Oh well, I’m here now, I might as well buy it.
Amy: Go ahead Topher; this is a good chance to practice making a transaction on the computer.
Topher: Sure. (Nervously looks down at the computer). Control…F2…? No, no…
Customer 1: C’mon man, I’ve got places to go.
Ben: He’s new, alright?
Topher: (Begins very, very slowly typing commands into the computer, mumbling to himself as he goes along. Finally he picks up the game and scans it). Okay, and scan the game and…crap, what’d I do?
Amy: (Looks at the screen). You crashed the system.
Topher: Ah man, how do I keep doing that?
Ben: Steve trained you.
Amy: Yeah, Steve doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s alright, just restart the computer and try again.
Customer 1: Jeez, this is taking too long.
Ben: Hey man, just be patient. New guy.
Topher: (Slowly types things in and scans the game again). Okay, and your total is…fifty bucks.
Customer 1: What? Fifty bucks, for this piece of crap game? That is a rip off dude.
Topher: I’m sorry, I don’t set the prices.
Customer 1: Man, I’ll find it cheaper somewhere else.
Ben: Good luck with that. (Customer 1 walks out in a huff).
Amy: Meh, don’t worry about that guy. (Steve walks back in the door).
Steve: Was that a customer leaving empty-handed just now?
Ben: Didn’t you go home?
Steve: I forgot my cell. Why’d he leave? That’s a sale walking out the door. That’s profit lost.
Topher: Well, I tried to sell him a game and the computer crashed and-
Amy: Topher handled his first transaction well.
Steve: (Gets a big grin on his face). Oh? Did you use the tips I gave you?
Topher: I used a few, yes.
Steve: Well then I guess there was nothing we could do for that guy then. Keep up the good work. We should give you a nick name.
Topher: I’m fine with “new guy” for now.
Steve: Nah, you’re a hard worker with something to prove. I’ll call you “Top Gun”. Besides, you kinda look like Tom Cruise.
Topher: (Smiles, kinda). Well I don’t really know about that.
Amy: I like it. It’s a good nick name.
Topher: (Becomes very serious). I fly through the danger zone baby.
Steve: Haha, then Top Gun it is. I’m out again! Remember guys, git ‘er done. (Leaves).
Topher: Does he know that he forgot his cell again?
Ben: It’s Steve. He doesn’t know anything.
Amy: (Pats Topher on the shoulder). A good rule of thumb: if Steve told you something, it’s wrong.
Topher: Crap. Then this past week has been wasted.
Amy: You still got paid though.
Ben: Stick with us. We’ll teach you how it’s done right.
Topher: No worries then.
Ben: (Mumbles off to himself). Top Gun is a stupid name…
End of Episode 1
Episode 2: Children Who Have No Lives
Setting: The Crazy Stop game store. Only Topher and Ben are working today and the store is rather slow with only two kids walking around, basically doing nothing but wasting time. Ben is twirling his nametag around while Topher is pricing games and putting them back up on the wall.
Topher: So, best game ever?
Ben: Has to be Final Fantasy 7.
Topher: Typical. That game is overrated.
Ben: Oh yeah? What game were you thinking?
Topher: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Hands down best game ever.
Ben: Oh, and that’s not a little bit over-loved?
Topher: It is the best game ever.
Ben: I’ll give you that, but it’s too bad Nintendo hasn’t come out with anything good since that.
Topher: (Puts down his price gun). Surely you jest?
Ben: Nah, Nintendo sucks now.
Topher: I won’t hear of it! They still release great games, all the time!
Ben: Oh right, name one.
Topher: Metroid Prime.
Ben: Not a fan. (One of the kids walks over and starts listening to the conversation).
Topher: Regardless, one of the best games ever.
Ben: They’re nothing but kiddy games now.
Kid 1: Yeah, kiddy games.
Ben: (Looks down at the kid and then back to the conversation). Anyway, they’ve gotten themselves stuck with childish games and a kiddy label.
Topher: Oh brother. There are dozens of excellent mature-type games for the Cube.
Ben: Such as?
Topher: Resident Evil 4, for one. Possibly the new best game ever.
Ben: Came out on PS2, not a good enough argument.
Kid 1: Yeah, not good enough.
Ben: (Looks down at the kid this time). Is there something I can help you with?
Kid 1: Nah. I’m fine.
Ben: (Turns back to Topher). Even if I will agree with you that RE4 was awesome, it’s too late to save the system’s image.
Topher: No way! The Cube got a bad reputation for being family oriented, every game comes out and people just think that it’s all about kiddy games. Let me tell you, a bunch of the games that are kiddy games that sell well come out on all systems. Nintendo just has really good exclusive games that everyone can enjoy regardless of age. Can you even name any kid oriented exclusive games for other systems?
Topher: Of course not, because they all suck. Xbox and PS2 get tons of games for kids all the time, all of which suck.
Kid 1: Yeah, suck.
Ben: I thought you were on my side of this.
Kid 1: He had a good argument.
Ben: Hey, either buy something or get out of my store.
Kid 1: I’m just waiting for my mom to get here with my money.
Ben: If she has to give it to you then it’s not really your money, or else you’d already have it.
Kid 1: That’s a stupid argument.
Ben: Get, get, go on. (The kid walks over to the corner and looks at random things). There, dealt with him.
Kid 2: (Walks up). What a dork, huh?
Topher: Nah, just young and impressionable.
Ben: So yes, a dork.
Topher: Can I help you find anything?
Kid 2: Nope, I’m good.
Ben: So, on the subject, worst games ever?
Ben: And I mean large titles that some people think are great, not some obscure game that no one played.
Topher: I’d have to say-
Kid 2: Halo was a terrible game.
Topher: Actually I have to agree.
Ben: Well of course you would.
Topher: The game just-
Kid 2: The game, although groundbreaking to the first-person shooter genre of gaming, was a decent game at best. It gets waaaay too much credit for what it was: a game with poor graphics and a weak plotline.
Topher: Okay, I think I can argue for myself, thanks.
Kid 2: Furthermore, the sequel was worse than the original in that-
Ben: Okay, heard enough. Out of my store.
Kid 2: This isn’t your store.
Ben: I’ve been here the longest of the two people working here; it’s my store. Out with you.
Kid 2: Jerk… (Walks off to the other side of the store).
Ben: Hey, hey. I heard that. (Turns back to Topher). Little punk kids. Always wanting Yu-Gi-Oh cards. (Begins impersonating high-voiced kids). “Excuse me, oh, do you have any Yu-Gi-Oh cards? I was looking for Yu-Gi-Oh cards. My, my blue eyes, dragon knight and um-“
Guy: (Middle-aged guy, has to be in his late-thirties, walks up to Ben). Excuse me, it’s called a “Blue-eyes White Dragon.”
Ben: Oh, my bad.
Guy: Yu-Gi-Oh is a pretty complicated show. Did you know that they decided to release a new series that takes place after the first series?
Ben: (Already extremely bored with the guy, just indifferently humoring him). No, I had no idea.
Guy: I also heard that Yu-Gi isn’t in this one.
Guy: Do you think that they’ll be able to pull off a new series of Yu-Gi-Oh without Yu-Gi?
Ben: I don’t know.
Topher: Actually, the word Yu-Gi-Oh means “King of Games” and…I shouldn’t know that…
Guy: I was even more excited about the movie…
Guy: And I thought I had lost the match! Good thing I had the Blue-eyes on the top of my deck, or I’d have been a goner!
Ben: (Now with his face smashed against the glass counter. Topher has gone back to pricing things, having escaped from the conversation). You don’t say…
Guy: Well I’d better get going. It was good talking with you guys. (Walks out, finally).
Topher: (Begins laughing). Oh my God! That guy had to be almost forty!
Ben: He, he wouldn’t stop talking. (Imitating the guy). Oh, Yu-Gi-Oh this, Yu-Gi-Oh that, do you think Yu-Gi-Oh would, my God! I want to kill that man. No, I must kill that man, and everyone that heard him talk, including you and me.
Topher: That’s harsh but fair.
Ben: I can’t speak with another stupid kid today. Not a one.
Kid 3: (Walks up). Excuse me but do you guys sell Yu-Gi-Oh cards here?
Ben: (Turns around and stares at the kid completely deadpan). Get out of my store.
End of Episode 2
Episode 3: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Stupid Woman
Setting: Crazy Stop. Topher and Steve are working together this time. Only one kid is in the store and he’s looking intently at the used games. Steve is coaching Topher while Topher goes about putting price stickers on games that have just been traded in. Side note: all cursing will be replaced with video game-related noises.
Steve: My boss has been calling with complaints about the store.
Topher: I’m sorry to hear that. Anything I can do?
Steve: Yeah, you need to be selling more memberships.
Topher: I just don’t like pushing the membership on other people, though.
Steve: You don’t have to push it, just offer it. You know, the store I used to work at in Washington was the busiest store in the company. I’d have to sell at least 15 memberships every day and my boss wasn’t anywhere near as understanding as I am.
Topher: But we can’t sell memberships to people who don’t exist.
Steve: I know that, just try harder.
Topher: Okay. (Kid walks up to the counter). You all set to go?
Topher: Alright, let me help you down here at the register. (Walks over to the register, the kid hands him a game). Ooh, good choice in games.
Steve: Don’t forget what we talked about…
Topher: Oh, right. (Rolls his eyes, takes a deep breath and turns to the kid). Do you know about our membership? Saves you ten percent on used game purchases. Costs twenty bucks and lasts for a year, plus you get a free magazine subscription.
Kid: That sounds cool. Sure, I’ll take it!
Topher: (Baffled). Wha? You actually want to buy a membership card?
Topher: (Steve smiles at Topher as Topher begins smiling himself). Well okay then. (Reaches under the counter and grabs a card and a magazine). So this will be twenty dollars in addition to the purchase of the game.
Topher: And the card is non-refundable, so once I finish the transaction there is no way to return it.
Topher: Okay, so I need to do two transactions, the first for the card. That’ll be twenty bucks. (Kid hands him a twenty). And you’re sure you want this?
Topher: Alright then. (Presses the finish transaction button). The deed is done. Okay, here’s your card and magazine. And now I’ll need another fourteen dollars for the game.
Topher: The..the game. The game that you want costs fourteen dollars. I know the price tag says more but you just saved ten percent, so it’s only fourteen dollars.
Kid: But I only had twenty.
Topher: Oh. Well…sorry?
Kid: I’ll just have to return this then. (Hands him back the card and magazine).
Topher: I can’t return that. I told you that it’s non-refundable.
Kid: Oh, that’s okay. I just need my money back.
Topher: But…I can’t do that, I just told you that. The system doesn’t allow returns of memberships. There is no option in the computer.
Steve: (Comes over and stares down at the kid). Sorry bud, you agreed to the membership, he asked you more than once and you agreed. Nothing we can do.
Kid: Oh. Okay, I’ll be back with my mom. (Walks out).
Topher: Oh crap.
(Amy walks in, ready for her shift).
Steve: Alright, Amy’s here. You’re an hour late.
Amy: I told you before Steve, you can’t schedule me for 1 because my flight lessons end at 1. There is no possible way for me to get here instantly after they end.
Steve: Well just get here earlier. I however am going to clock off now that you’re here. You guys need anything, call the cell. Peace. (Gives the peace sign and walks out the door).
Amy: So, anything fun and exciting happen today?
Topher: Nope. Got a motivational speech from Steve about his Washington store, then I sold a kid a membership and he tried to return it. That’s about it.
Amy: Sounds like a hoot.
(The kid comes back in with his mother. She looks pissed).
Amy: Hello. What can I do for you?
Mother: Yeah, my kid just came in and bought this and he needs his money back.
Amy: Oh, this must have been the customer you were talking about Topher.
Topher: (Genuinely apologetic). Yeah, I’m sorry but we already explained to your son that the memberships can’t be returned. The system won’t allow it. There’s nothing we can do about it.
Mother: What? That’s bull(sound of Mario jumping). My kid bought this here and he can get a refund here!
Amy: Ma’am, I’m sorry but we have already explained to him that he can’t return it.
Mother: Who sold him this?
Topher: (Raises his hand). That would be me, ma’am.
Mother: Who the (sound of Mario collecting a coin) do you think you are?! You’re a (sound of Mario spitting a fireball) con artist! Taking advantage of a ten year old boy!
Topher: (Worriedly unsure of how to respond to this). I, I didn’t take advantage of him, I just offered him the membership and he accepted.
Mother: You tricked him! He obviously didn’t want it and you pushed it on him!
Topher: (Still remaining very calm). No, I asked him multiple times and explained that it couldn’t be returned and he still wanted it.
Mother: You’re just a smooth talker! You (sound of Link swinging his sword) conned my son, that’s what you did!
Topher: (Becoming really offended). Hey, I didn’t con anyone here. You’re taking my personal character into question and I don’t appreciate that.
Mother: Well I’m sorry but you’ve got a (Sound of Koopa shell being stepped on) terrible character if you’d take advantage a ten year old boy. I’m (sound of Mario gaining a power-up) pissed.
Amy: Ma’am, could you please not use language like that?
Mother: I will say whatever the (sound of Mario breaking a brick) I want! Young man, how old are you?
Topher: (Now pissed). I’m 18.
Mother: You need to grow up and grow some (sound of Link getting a heart) balls and just reach in that register and give me my kid’s money back!
Topher: What?! No, you’re not making any sense at all. If I was to grow up and get some balls then I wouldn’t give in and give you the money back. Do you realize how stupid you sound? You’re angrily attacking me, the new guy, the guy who can barely finish a transaction on the computer without it crashing, to somehow magically refund a non-refundable item in our system. Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?
Mother: Well I want the (sound of Mario riding a flagpole) money back!
Amy: Ma’am, I’m sorry, we can’t refund it.
Kid: Don’t talk to my mother that way!
Mother: (Turns to the kid). You watch your mouth! (Turns back to Topher and Amy). I want my money back and I’m not leaving here until I get it!
Topher: Let me call my manager. (Picks up the phone and dials). Hey Steve. Yeah, this is Topher. Hey, you remember the kid who wanted a refund? His mother is here and is demanding the refund.
Steve: (From the phone). Tell her we can’t give the refund.
Topher: I told her. You tell her.
Steve: I’d just be telling her we can’t do it.
Topher: She doesn’t want to hear it from me, how soon can you get down here?
Steve: (Sigh). I’ll be down there in half an hour. (Click).
Topher: Okay, my manager will be here in half and hour to help you out personally.
Mother: Fine, I’ll go wait outside the front of your store and wait for him then and I’ll tell everyone that comes by not to shop here until he shows up! (Storms out with her kid).
Topher: Why is she so pissed? She acts like I should have been able to pull Steve out of my pocket or like the “like I give a damn” fairy could magically return her money is she yelled loud enough.
Amy: (Laughs). Yeah, I was about ready to kick her in the face if she talked back about you any more. You handled that well. Good job.
Topher: I know, I just feel guilty regardless. I’m gonna go sit down in the back for a bit. (Walks off to the back of the store and sits down).
(Time passes and Steve’s voice can be heard coming through the door with the woman’s trailing beside him).
Steve: I’m sorry this all had to happen like this.
Mother: That’s okay.
(Topher looks out from the back).
Steve: (Reaches into the register, grabs a twenty and gives it to the woman). Here ya go. Hope this doesn’t effect your business with our store. We really don’t want to lose you as a customer.
Topher: (To himself). What?!
Mother: Oh that’s alright, I don’t think we’ll be back at this store though. (Walks out).
Steve: There. Gave her a refund and erased her account. I’m out. (Leaves again).
Topher: (Walks out from the back looking extremely pissed). He gave her money back?
Amy: You okay?
Topher: HE GAVE THE MONEY BACK! (Flips out). THAT (sound of Mario dying and getting a game over as Topher rants about Steve)!
End of Episode 3
Episode 4: The Morning Shift
Setting: The Crazy Stop game store. It is the morning and the store is completely dead. The only person there is Topher, and he is pacing back and forth with his notepad.
Topher: (Checking things off as he goes). Okay, this is my first shift alone, gotta make sure it’s going well. Deposited money at bank? Check. Counted the till? Check. Filled holes in game wall? (Looks up at it). Check. Trade-ins, done. New releases, out. Used game wall alphabetized. I’m already done with all my jobs for the day. (Puts his notepad away). What time is it? (Looks at the clock). It’s only 10:30? I got everything done and we’ve only been open for half an hour?! Well now what do I do? (Sits and watches a person walk by the front door). Is this a…? (The person continues on). Nah. Guess not. (Another person walks by). How ‘bout this one…? (They also pass by). Ah, darn it. I need something to do. (Looks around). Nothing to do. I guess I could play some game demos? (Walks over to the Cube demo). Hmm…the new Madden, eh? (Picks up the controller). But…I hate sports games. Dang it. (Drops the controller). Could play the PS2 demo…? (Walks over to it). Aha! Need For Speed…(starts playing it), sucks apparently. Xbox? (Walks over to it). Don’t fail me now…(Looks at the screen). What?! Path of Neo?! Forget you Microsoft, you have failed to redeem yourself in mine eyes! (Walks back to the counter, crosses his arms, and leans back with a huff). Well shoot, there is nothing to do. (The phone rings). Holy crap I’ll get it! (Dives over the counter and picks up the phone). Hello, thank you for calling the Crazy Stop game store, this is Topher speaking!
Steve: (From the phone). Hey, it’s Steve.
Topher: (Thoroughly disappointed). Oh. Hey Steve, what’s up?
Steve: Just checkin’ on ya. How’s the store going?
Topher: Going just fine. It’s pretty slow, though.
Steve: You remember to go to the bank?
Steve: Count the till?
Steve: Did you-
Topher: Did the trade-ins, put out the new releases, alphabetized the used games, everything’s done.
Steve: Did you…take out the garbage?
Topher: (Looks down at the trash can. It is mildly filled. He gets excited). Oh my God no! I forgot! Gotta go Steve.
Steve: Remember, sell, sell, se- (Topher hangs up).
Topher: I completely forgot to dump the trash. (Picks it up). Doesn’t really need to be dumped, but… (Skips out the door. Comes back in within seconds with an empty trash can). Well, that was briefly entertaining. And now I am bored again. When’s Ben come in? (Checks the schedule). Ah, 1, I figured as much. And what time is it now?! (Looks at the clock). 10:32?! Ah dang it all to heck! (Kicks the trash can). I…am…BORED! (Begins staring blankly at a Mario game cover off in the distance. Camera cuts back to Topher, then to the game cover. The Mario comes to life and begins speaking to Topher).
Mario: At least you’re not always having to save a princess who’s always getting herself caught.
Topher: This is true.
Mario: I don’t even get any thanks for it. “Oh, a kiss? On the cheek? Why thank you! It’s not like I risked my life for you or anything.” If I’m really lucky, maybe I get a cake. (Crosses his arms). Damn woman.
Topher: I’m sorry to hear that. You always looked like you were having so much fun.
Mario: You call fighting turtles and fire-breathing dinosaurs fun? The only saving grace is that I’m constantly tripping on shrooms.
Topher: What about all the racing and partying and sports playing you do?
Mario: Duh. All to impress chicks. (Sarcastically). “Oh, you like tennis? Oh it just so happens that I play tennis. You like baseball players? I’m great at that game. You like fast cars? I’ve totally got one.” (Throws his hands up). Bah. Women.
Topher: Too true.
Link: (From another game cover). Hey, at least you get a kiss now and then. I’ve saved countless worlds, had tons of girls want me, none of them I can actually date. All because I’m the “hero of time” or the “hero of the winds” or some BS like that. I’m the “tough guy” but yet I’m too tough I guess to date. Screw them.
Topher: Well…maybe they’re turned off by your constant silence?
Link: What?! Oh forget that! Women want me to talk, then maybe they should shut up first! I’d talk, sure I’d talk, if I could get a word in edgewise! I’m a great listener, but do I get any credit for that? No! (Turns to Mario). On a side note, fighting skeletons and wart hogs is so much harder than having to fight off turtles and mushrooms. Although I can relate with the giant fire-breathing lizards.
Mario: Oh whatever!
Link: And you don’t have to carry around a bunch of crap with you wherever you go! I’m constantly weighted down by swords, shields, dungeon maps, keys, bows, giant hammers, glass bottles, pointless instruments…who the hell has ever heard of an ocarina?! (Imitates Mario’s voice). “Look at me, it’s sooo hard to carry around stars and sunshine and rainbows wherever I go.” You dainty sissy-man.
Mario: Hey! I already explained that I do all that to impress women! They happen to like all that dainty flowery crap!
Topher: To be fair, only some do, not all.
Mario: Quiet you!
Master Chief: Hey, could I say a few words here?
(It goes silent. Topher gets up, walks over to the Halo case, and flips it around, then walks back).
Master Chief: Ahhh….
Topher: Now where were we?
Link: I was in the middle of explaining why this candy apple here was a joke.
Mario: How dare you! I made this industry what it is!
Link: Your time is over gramps!
Mario: At least I didn’t look like some cartoon penis in my last game!
Link: Oh my God, one time, that was one time!
Mario: You nearly destroyed your entire franchise in one foul swoop!
Link: That’s it! I demand a Smash match for my honor!
Mario: I accept! (The two game boxes dance and wiggle trying to fight each other).
Topher: Guys! Settle down! I’ll go put Smash Bros in the Cube.
(Cuts to a match of Super Smash Bros Melee between Mario and Link).
Mario: Ha! Take this!
Link: No! You take this!
(Third character, Roy, comes into the screen with the name Toph).
Topher: I have you both! (Smashes them out of the screen).
Link and Mario: NOOOOO~
(Camera zooms back out and Topher is holding a GameCube controller and laughing. Ben walks in).
Ben: What’s got you so happy?
Topher: I have gone crazy with boredom.
Ben: Yeah that happens here frequently during the morning shift.
End of Episode 4
*Author’s note: For the final episode, I had planned to pull out all the stops, though technical difficulties ravaged us like no other. Literally, we turned in the episode at the last possible second, though we weren’t able to include the sound effects for Sam’s scene, an aspect I regretted both then and now as it nearly ruined the episode completely. However, the heartfelt end was where we left it, and on I went to write Game Studs.
Channel 70 News Episode 6
Written by Chris Pranger
(New intro of the Channel 70 News Team logo scribbled on a piece of notebook paper or something of that nature with someone “doot-doot-dooing” behind it. Camera pulls back and Johnny is holding the piece of paper. As soon as the camera catches him he runs off frightened).
Diana: Good evening everyone. I’m Diana Miranda. (Turns to Dave, basically defeated). And who are you tonight?
Dave: Oh please, I’m great. You know that.
Diana: And these are some…news stories for the evening.
Dave: What’s the point?
Diana: Dave, just because we’re the last place news team doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t still try.
Dave: Actually it kinda does.
Diana: Well I don’t care what you think anymore.
Dave: Yeah ya do.
Diana: Here’s tonight’s news. (Looks at her notes briefly). Today, there was a small disturbance on the Washington turnpike when 30 tons of C-4 fell off a truck and onto a local elementary school south of exit 3. We now go live to Johnny Jenson in the Channel 70 News copter. Johnny, how is traffic looking down there?
Johnny: (Still image of Johnny smiling and giving a thumbs-up with Johnny’s voice-over). Hey guys, Johnny here, and I’m in a helicopter!
Diana: That’s great Johnny, but can you tell us what the traffic’s looking like?
Johnny: Certainly! I’m seeing some heavy congestion right around where the initial explosion took place, mostly because everyone wants to see what a flaming elementary school looks like.
Dave: What does it look like?
Johnny: What do you think it looks like? It looks like Dwight Eisenhower driving a snowmobile backwards through the Bermuda Triangle, by which I mean ABSOLUTELY FREAKING CRAZY.
Diana: Were any of the kids injured?
Johnny: Luckily no. I know I know, I’m surprised too; usually I’d think that 30 tons of C-4 would have hurt someone but these kids are troopers.
Diana: Thank you Johnny.
Johnny: Oh no, it seems that the Batmobile has shown up and it’s out of control! Ahhh!
Dave: (Batmobile flies past Dave’s face). Oh Jesus…
Johnny: (Camera zooms out and shows that Johnny is sitting next to Diana with a headset on, playing with toy cars). What? (Sees the camera and panics). Oh no! (Runs out of the shot, then quickly back in with a piece of paper, then back out again).
Diana: (Reads the piece of paper). Oh, it seems we have some breaking news. Our very own Sam the Go-To guy has found himself stationed…in Iraq.
Dave: How the hell did we send him to Iraq?
Diana: I don’t know; Sam, can you hear us?
Sam: (Standing in front of the green screen, by which I mean an Iraqi battlefield. All manner of war noises are going on. Seriously Brad, go nuts with them). Hi Dave, hi Diana. It’s hard to hear all of you, a bomb went off a few feet from my ear and some shrapnel has lodged itself in the back of my neck. I’m a little worried.
Dave: Sam, how’s the war look?
Sam: What? How the hell do you think it looks Dave?! It’s a war! A WAR! Bombs! Boom! Guns! Rat-tat-tat-tat! Tanks! WADOOM! I could literally die at any second!
Dave: So we’re winning?
Sam: Um…(Turns around to look at the battlefield and shrugs). It’s hard to tell really. I asked an Iraqi civilian and he shot me in the knee, so then I asked an American solider and he shot me in the other knee, and then I asked Geraldo Rivera and he laughed and shot me in the back of both my knees. I tell you Dave, if I hadn’t already had both my legs amputated during a previous live report at the Nixon Thunderdome, then this trip would have been miserable. (Hears a radio communication from off-screen). What? Really? Dave, Diana, it seems that they’re ordering an air strike on my exact location, and I do mean EXACT LOCATION, so I’m gonna have to send it back to you guys in the studio.
Diana: (Back in the studio). Thank you Sam.
Sam: (Back in Iraq. A horrible whistling noise is heard from overheard. Sam looks up in response). Oh dear.
Dave: (Back in the studio again). Meh, he’ll be fine. (Sound effect of a nuke or something. After the sound effect ends, Johnny runs up and hands Dave another piece of paper very enthusiastically. Dave reads it). What? Johnny, is this real? (Johnny nods fiercely). Ladies and gentlemen, it seems that there was a news conference going on in the elementary school that was wiped out earlier today, and every other news team in the area has been obliterated, which by a freak coincidence makes us…the area’s number one news team!
Diana: Oh my God!
Dave: Let’s kick this pony! Channel 70 News Team unite! (Johnny runs into the scene as Dave and Diana stand up from their chairs, the three high-five to a freeze frame).
Frank: (All of his narration will be done to still images. Also, he’ll be talking with a country-drawl). Yep, so that’s the story of the Channel 70 News Team. (Still image of Diana). Diana Miranda went on to become a pop sensation in Japan following her leaving the program. She’s happily married and has three sons, all of which are named Dave. (Still image of Dave). David Trenton ran for president down the line, winning in a landslide against George W. Bush Jr. the 3rd. Sadly, he did nothing but abuse his power and was soon shot in the face by himself after claiming he was God. He’s okay though, and still berates Diana to this day. (Image of Johnny). Jonathon Jenson went on to replace Kelly Rippa on Regis and Kelly, and then soon replaced Regis as well, becoming the first TV personality to host a show where he talked to himself for an hour straight. He has won thirteen Emmys and a Grammy. (Image of Sam). Samuel Spitz did not die in Iraq, but lived a long life as a result of months of reconstructive surgery using bio-mechanics. He now patrols the Northwest as a vigilante known only as “Los Spitz”. (Camera finally pulls back and shows Frank, sitting in a rocking chair with either a banjo or an acoustic guitar). And me? Well I’m just a humble camera man who was content to enjoy my music and roll with what the world gave me, which turned out to be one hell of an inheritance. And now you know the whole story. It was good while it lasted, and its legend shall live on forever. Y’all take care now. (Begins playing his instrument as the credits roll and the camera pulls back further).
End of Channel 70 News
*Author’s Note: For this epsiode there is a joke about Dave suggesting a news story that involves him giving a cigarette to a child that’s he’s doing ollies over on a skateboard. This is a direct reference to something else that happened that week in another segment. Someone else’s segment had been cut due to showing footage of a skateboarder doing ollies over a child. Everyone was massively confused by the choice, but as it turns out, showing children in danger was something we weren’t allowed to do. How odd.
Channel 70 News Episode 5
Written by Chris Pranger
Opening: We’ll be using the “Behind Channel 70” intro again.
Diana: (In the interview position). The creative process involved with doing the nightly news can be pretty strenuous at times, but I think that it’s all worth it in the end.
Setting: The EMU meeting room, wherever that actually is. Basically a boardroom. The cast is all sitting around the table with notepads and writing utensils.
Dave: Alright everyone, we’re all tired and hung-over at this point, so let’s just get through this brainstorming meeting and go pass out again, okay? So first order of business-
Diana: Um, Dave, shouldn’t we take role to make sure everyone’s here?
Dave: No, moving on-
Diana: Well I’m here Dave, just in case you were wondering. (Laughs).
Dave: No one cares. So first order of business, we need a decent news story to start out with. I’m thinking that we just show footage of me drinking while doing ollies over a child, whom I’ve given a cigarette to, all while cursing and giving sound advice on how to kill yourself.
Diana: Uh…Dave, I don’t think that’s anywhere near appropriate content…
Dave: Don’t care. (Turns to Johnny). Johnny, what’ve you got?
Johnny: (Fiercely coloring with crayons). Huh? (Stops coloring and holds up his drawing). I’ve got a duck! (Looks at his drawing, he states very matter-of-factly). It is green.
Dave: So you’ve got nothing then.
Johnny: No, I’ve got a duck.
Dave: Sam, what about you?
Sam: Well Dave, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I’m wondering if I can maybe just stay in the studio this week and give a commentary piece?
Dave: Nope. I’m assigning you the gun show.
Sam: Gun show?
Diana: Oh right, isn’t that the good-will gun show for reformed convicts?
Sam: (Begins to get worried). Eeeee…
Dave: Perfect, that counts as us caring for the day.
Sam: WAIT! (Trying to think of a way out of this). I can’t do the story! Because…because I’m morally opposed to guns!
Dave: And I’m morally opposed to dumb-asses but I see them every day. So you’re covering the gun show.
Diana: Dave, I’ve got a good story idea.
Dave: It doesn’t involve your hair does it?
Diana: No, it involves some real hard hitting news coverage.
Dave: Not interested, don’t care.
Diana: Dave, please just hear me out.
Dave: (Checks his watch). Speak fast.
Diana: (Gets excited). Okay, so I was thinking of doing a news package about the restoration of the Lincoln Playhouse in the theatre district and how it’s a landmark to both this city and culture in general. What do you think?
Dave: It sucks.
Diana: But I-
Dave: Nope, sucks. (Practically sings to himself). Sucks sucks sucks. It sucks. (Looks to Johnny). Johnny?
Johnny: Hahaha, suck!
Dave: (Looks to Sam). Sam?
Sam: (Worried). Um…
Dave: (Glares). Say it…
Sam: Ahh! It sucks!
Dave: See Diana? The consensus is: it sucks. (Turns to Johnny again). Johnny, any idea what weather’s going to be like this week?
Johnny: (Hardly looking up from his coloring). Probably fire in there somewhere…maybe with a Phoenix…
Diana: Now Johnny, you’ve been doing an awful lot of weather reports that relate to fire. Why don’t you just report on the real weather for a change?
Dave: (Patronizing her even further). Well now, Diana, that’s not really a fair question. I mean, Johnny has every right to ask you why you don’t just stop being a whore for a while, but he’s been kind enough to draw his duck instead of being a whiny bitch.
Diana: (Snaps). That’s it! I’m tired of you berating me every single day Dave! I don’t deserve to be treated this way, especially not from a narcissistic bastard who has no friends and no future and who wouldn’t be missed if he turned up dead the next morning! I’m sick of it Dave and I’m not putting up with it! You can burn in Hell for all I care!
Dave: (Taken aback). Diana…you’ve never spoken to me like that before. (Seems sincere). I’ve never been more attracted to you.
Diana: (Also taken aback). R…really? (So hopeful).
Dave: (Instantly back to his old self, yelling in her face). NOPE! (Turns back to the others). Alright, so if we’ve got no further business this meeting is adjourned. (The others get up and start to leave).
Diana: (Still in shock). But…but…
Dave: (Leaving). Down the road, not across the street.
Diana: (Back in the interview position). Yep…it can be strenuous at times… (Looks directly at the camera and accentuates her words). Every single night…
End of Episode
*Author’s Note: When filming the actual fight sequence from the episode, we didn’t think twice about the desk we were so readily hurling ourselves over. In actuality, the desk had gone through tons of costly repairs and as such, our monkey business would not be tolerated. We were able to get away with airing most of the sequence, save for the completely improvised ending when JT runs into the scene andthrows himself onto teh desk, tipping it over. We thought this was probably as good as the show would ever get, but we were forced to cut the end with JT flying over the desk when we aired it for braodcast. However, the Youtube version is still in tact with the original footage, desk flipping and everything.
Channel 70 News Episode 4
Voice Over: And now it’s time for the Northwest’s…um…news team. It’s Channel 70 News. With Diana Miranda and Dave Trenton.
Diana: Good evening everyone. I’m Diana Miranda and the one passed out to my left is Dave Trenton.
Dave: (Facedown on the news desk. He holds up a bottle). And this is tonight’s news~!
Diana: Tonight, frequent power outages have been ravaging the city due to an unknown power serge, possibly caused by global warming.
Dave: That’s a lie…
Diana: Boy Dave, it sure is dark out there. Will you be a gentleman and walk me home tonight?
Dave: Will you still love me in the morning?
Diana: Ah…in other news-
Trent: (Voice from off camera). I’ll be taking it from here.
Dave: (His head comes slowly up from his desk). No…
Trent: (Walks into the shot). Long time, no see Dave.
Dave: Trent Davison. We used to be rivals all the way back at Chester A. Arthur Public School. What do you want?
Trent: You’re old news Dave. I’m replacing you as the new head anchor.
Dave: You sure you wanna try that? (Stands up from his anchor desk, ready for a fight).
Diana: Um…Johnny, how’s the weather looking?
Johnny: Diana, I’ve figured out the source of all the blackouts. It’s coming from time portals opening up all over the place! That’s right, rips in space and time have begun forming and there’s nothing we can do to stop them. So because of this, we’ll be re-experiencing the weather of 1964. Partly cloudy. Back to you guys.
Trent: (Back in the studio, Trent has taken the seat to the right of Diana). Thank you Johnny.
Dave: Don’t you thank him! He’s my weatherman, not your weatherman! Now get outta here!
Trent: No I don’t think I’ll be doing that, Dave.
Diana: (Is handed a piece of paper). Oh my, Dave, uh, Trent, uh…we have some breaking news! Our very own Sam the Go-To Guy has somehow fallen into one of these time holes that have opened up around the city. Sam, can you hear us?
Sam: (Sam looks very terrified as he’s standing near some woods). Hi Dave, hi Diana. I don’t know quite how this happened…but I’ve fallen into one of these time holes and now…well now I’ve been transported back through time.
Trent: Sam, can you tell us the time period that you’ve landed in? (Dave glares at him).
Sam: Um…it seems like I’m in the prehistoric ages here, what with the dinosaurs everywhere and scary birds and OH GOD, (ducks), that was a close one. (Looks back and sees a caveman that looks identical to Johnny, who comes into view from the distance and runs up to Sam)…uh…it looks like one of the natives has taken an interest in me…
Dave: (Squints off camera). Hey that looks kinda like…that guy looks like Johnny.
Diana: Yeah, he kinda does.
Johnny: (From off camera). OH MY GOD! (Runs into the camera shot). SAM! Can you hear me?!
Sam: Johnny? Is that you?
Johnny: Sam! You must be very, very careful not to touch anything while you’re there, or else you could destroy the future!
Sam: Touch nothing? (The caveman is looking Sam up and down, coming rather close to touching him).
Johnny: Especially not him!
Sam: (Sam randomly sneezes on the caveman’s face, to which it responds by freaking out and beating him with his club). Ah! I’m sorry! Back to you guys in the studio!
Trent: Thank you Sam.
Diana: (Johnny’s red tie is now blue). Hey Johnny…weren’t you just wearing a red tie?
Johnny: (Looks down). OH MY GOD! History has changed itself! We’re all gonna die! (Flips out and runs away).
Trent: You know Diana, I’d be more than willing to take you home after this.
Dave: (This is too much). You son of a bitch! (Punches Trent. Trent punches back. They both roll out onto the studio floor where the camera pans to them on the ground wrestling around).
Trent: (The camera has shifted to an angle that shows only Dave and Trent. At this point, Trent has successfully pinned Dave to the ground and is proceeding to choke him to death). At last! I shall succeed in destroying my arch nemesis! David Trenton, you are no more! (Gunshot noise, Trent gets hit from behind and slumps over, dead).
Diana: (Camera back to the anchor desk. Diana is holding a handgun. She quickly puts the gun away and smiles again for the camera). Well that’s all the news for today. I’m Diana Miranda.
Dave: (From off-screen). And I’m eternally grateful!
Diana: Goodnight and have a wonderful evening. (Fade out).
End of Episode 4
*Author’s Note: For the PSA at the end of this episode, (seen on Youtube), the joke may very well be lost on the audience. At the time, (and for a lot longer than I’d care to remember), I was pursuing my co-star, unsuccessfully. My means of coping had me making light of the situation, so the joke somewhat works on multiple levels, depending on how deep and depressing you’d prefer to look at it.
Channel 70 News Episode 3
(Intro replaced by a Duck U Stories-like intro saying “Behind Channel 70 News”. Typical clips of everyone acting happy, probably just going to rip scenes straight from the Office intro, just to give you an idea. All lines for this episode will be one-on-one interview shots with each actor).
Diana: I’m Diana Miranda.
Dave: Pff, I’m Dave Trenton.
Sam: Well, I suppose I’m Sam, heh, the “Go-To Guy” as they call me.
Johnny: I’m Johnny Jenson. (Looks around sporadically). What? Are you calling me a liar?!
Diana: Where was I before here? Um…
Dave: I was happily married and living a successful life. Boy did that fall through.
Diana: It’s hard to explain…
Johnny: I was experiencing the wildest game of them all on the plains of the Serengeti being raised by a pack of huntress lions. (Stock image of Johnny devouring a gazelle carcass amongst a pack of lions).
Diana: I was in an off-Broadway show…well off-off-Broadway. It was a show called “Catz”. (Stock image of Diana dressed as a cat in front of a background of many, many cats with the title “Catz” big in the background). It didn’t actually have anything to do with the Broadway musical of the same name. This was a one-woman show where I played a lonely old woman who only had her cats to keep her company…it was a touchingly sad play really. I can perform a piece from it if you’d like and…(About to get up and perform but obviously told “no thank you”)…oh, alright then. Well after we got sued by the actual play “C.A.T.S.” I got into the news business and jumped around from station to station until I ended up here.
Sam: I was just finishing my training at the community college to be one of those guys who draws caricatures of people down at the boardwalks, (shot of Sam on a sidewalk drawing horrible pictures of people), but when I realized that we didn’t have any boardwalks nearby I had to put my dream on hold for a while.
Diana: I think Dave and I have a very special bond. (Shot of Diana sitting at the anchor desk as Dave walks by. She waves and smiles. He flips her off as he walks by). He’s really sweet sometimes and I can tell that, although he rarely shows it, he really cares about me.
Dave: Oh I hate her. I walked in the door the first day and I knew I’d hate her. I could tell by the way she was acting that she came from a rich school, daddy probably bought her everything. Yeah, I wish my daddy could have bought me everything, too. (Looks back at the camera). No I’m not spiteful. And no I don’t have feelings for my co-anchor!
Sam: Me? Oh, I enjoy my job pretty well. It can be stressful at times but I think that my camera man really looks out for me.
(Shot of Sam near the freeway, Frank holding a camera filming him).
Sam: Well Dave, Diana, I’m down here on Washington Turnpike to investigate the increase in pedestrian deaths lately and…
Frank: (Pushing him towards the freeway). Get out there!
Sam: Eee! I don’t wanna!
Frank: Go go go!
Sam: Ooookay…(Slowly climbing the railing into oncoming traffic). …AH!
(Back in the studio).
Frank: (Smiling and nodding).
Diana: (Shot of Diana waking up to her dressing room and finding a piece of paper taped to her door). I can tell that Dave really likes me. Just the other day I found this on my dressing room door. (Cuts back to her in the studio. She holds up a poem). He wrote me a poem and taped it to my dressing room. See? Isn’t that sweet?
Johnny: Yeah, I write poetry in my spare time and I like the way Diana reacts to it every time she reads it, so I know I must be good at poetry. I write under the pen name “Dave Trenton”. Huh? No reason, why? (Looks around). Who?
Diana: I stay around mostly for the pay, but Dave’s a sweetheart, so I can’t just leave him behind.
Johnny: I’ve stayed on this long to avoid detection, why stop now?
Sam: I honestly don’t know why I haven’t tried to pursue my other dream of becoming the guy who paints the house numbers on the sidewalks.
Dave: Why do I stay around? (As he’s giving his last line an entire scene is being played out where we see Dave holding a single rose, pacing in front of Diana’s dressing room, mumbling to himself. The camera sneaks around a corner to see this. As soon as Dave notices the camera he curses, throws the rose down, and runs. Johnny walks into the frame and picks the rose up off the ground. As he does, Diana opens her door and looks out hopefully. Johnny looks confused for a second, then smiles big and offers her the rose. Diana pouts and closes the door again. Johnny just stands there and takes a bite of the flower, still happy). Oh what you think I’m gonna say it’s because of her, right? That’s what she said, isn’t it? Look, I’m here for one simple reason, and that reason is that I have nothing better to do, and until I find something better to waste my time on, I’ll be here, week after week, month after grueling month, reading the news for the last-place news station. (Back in the studio). It could be worse. I mean, at least I’m not the Go-To Guy. Heh…(Dave smiles as the camera fades).
End of Episode 3
*Author’s note: For our second episode, we ran into yet another problem that needed a PSA. Jason Tomlinson, the actor playing Johnny Jenson, was also the actual sports anchor for the Sports segment of Duck U. Rebecca Force, or advisor, complained that it was a poor choice to have JT play a character to different from something favorable, requesting that he be removed from teh show. As a producer, I knew that JT was the central humor of the show, so my solution was yet another PSA, as seen in the Youtube posting.
In addition to this, I felt that I’d probably need to have an alternate portion written for Sam’s character since I wasn’t sure if we could pull off greenscreen for the fire effect. In the end, we could not, but the final product turned out just fine regardless.
Channel 70 News Episode 2
Voice Over: And now, it’s time for the Northwest’s okayest news team, Channel 70 News. With Diana Miranda, (Campy footage of Diana turning to the camera), and Dave Trenton, (Same thing, but with Dave).
Diana: Good evening everyone. I’m Diana Miranda.
Dave: And thank God I’m not. (Diana laughs fakely). And this is tonight’s “top” news stories. (Looks over his papers, then throws them). To save some time, I’m just gonna wing it for you all. (Closes his eyes and puts his finger to his head). Using my powers of deduction…Hummmmm…there were three homicides, two accounts of drunken driving, nineteen bomb threats, six convenience store robberies, a serial killer on the loose, and Bush’s approval rating dropped another few points. (Opens his eyes). How’d I do Diana?
Diana: (Looking over her script in amazement). Actually…pretty darn close. (Ultra cheesy). Except you forgot the story about the skateboarding kitten. (Smiles and laughs).
Dave: Just because you said that, I’m hoping that story crosses over with the drunk driving story.
Diana: (Worriedly laughs). Ha…ha? (Looks over her script again). Oh! Tonight marks the children’s hospital’s annual fundraiser in downtown’s Jefferson Square. If you’d like to support the needy children, come on down and show your support. I know I’ll certainly be there. (Smiles again). Do you want to be my date Dave? (Turns to him).
Dave: (Closes his eyes and puts his finger to his forehead again). I’m gonna use my powers of deduction once more. Diana, can you guess what I’m gonna say?
Diana: (Sadly hopeful). Maybe?
Dave: Johnny, while I break it to this poor woman in a not-so-gentle way, why don’t you tell us what tomorrow’s weather’s gonna look like?
Johnny: Certainly Dave. (Points to his drawings again). Dave, we’re all familiar with “el Niño”, correct? Well, I’m predicting that we’re about to experience a new type of storm, that I’ve taken the liberty of naming “el Diablo.” (His sketch is of a very crudely-drawn Satan riding a storm cloud). As you can see, this storm will most likely kill off the population of the Southern Hemisphere, and maybe a good portion of the Northern Hemisphere as well. As we all begin to seek shelter near the glaciers in the North Pole, the planet will likely be torn in twain, with the oceans being replaced by lava. Partly cloudy.
Diana: (Getting handed a piece of paper). Oh, oh! Dave, we’ve got breaking news coverage to report on.
Dave: I can hardly contain myself.
Diana: The old Spanish mission has erupted in flames and our very own Sam the Go-To guy is on the scene. Sam, can you hear us?
Sam: (Standing inside a burning building). Diana, I can hardly hear anything over the roaring fire no more than three feet away from…my feet.
Diana: Sam, can you tell us what happened?
Sam: Well, as far as I can deduce, someone set the Old Spanish Mission on fire, probably with some matches.
Diana: Wonderful Sam. Can you tell us anything more about this fire?
Sam: Well, the fire began at the base of the building and then made its way up to the roof, where at that point the roof began caving in. From there, it spread to nearby buildings and soon after, slowly up the back of my shirt and pants. (Coughs). It’s becoming increasingly difficult to breathe, so I’ll keep you guys posted if there are any new developments. Until then, back to you in the studio! (Flames engulf Sam).
Diana: Thank you Sam. (We can hear Sam scream from of camera). And now it’s time for sports. Johnny, what’s happening in the world of sports?
Johnny: Diana, the world of sports is a bit surprised today, seeing as how the unthinkable has happened. Michael Jordan has once more come out of retirement. However, this re-entrance to the great sport of basketball was not to play but rather to eat the souls of rookie players in order to increase his lifespan and live forever. I’d like to remind everyone that I predicted this three months ago, as you can see from this sketch I drew back then. (Holds up a horrific picture of Michael Jordan as a monster, eating small basketball players).
Diana: (Unsure how to react). Ah…isn’t that…cute?
Dave: In some way, yes, yes it is. (Looks at his watch). And thankfully we’re out of time. (Smiles). So I guess that’s everything you need to know.
Diana: Actually, we have an important story about flesh-eating bacteria.
Dave: Nope, we’ll save it for next time. I’m Dave Trenton.
Diana: But, uh…
Dave: And you might want to stay away from dairy for a while. Have a good night.
End of Episode
Alternate Sam Segment:
Diana: (Is handed a piece of paper). Oh, oh! Dave, we’ve got breaking news coverage to report on.
Dave: I can hardly contain myself.
Diana: In a strange twist of events, our very own Sam the Go-To Guy has stumbled upon the whereabouts of the unknown serial killer. We go live to Sam. Sam, can you tell us where you are?
Sam: (Tired to a chair and talking in a hushed tone). Diana…help meeeee…
Dave: Sam, how did you get in there?
Sam: Well, as far as I can remember, I was talking to a nice man down at the Gap, and then he offered me a drink and I took it and now…eeeeeeeeeee…And my camera man isn’t helping me! Frank help me! (The camera shakes “no” in response. We can hear a door slam and then footsteps). Eep! He’s back! I may never see my wife again! (Begins crying).
Dave: (Doesn’t care). What a shame.
Sam: Eeeeeeeeee, back to you in the studio!
Diana: Thank you Sam.
Sam: (We hear this from off screen). Hey, what’re you gonna do with that sprinkler head?
Diana: And now it’s time for sports.
Sam: (Still off camera). Ah, my torso! Why the torso?!
Diana: Johnny, what’s happening in the world of sports?
*Author’s Note: The dedscription here is what I wrote when the show was pitched for Duck U, so a few things are inaccurate or meant for further development that never happened. For instnace, the Producer character never showed up, but in the original show pitch I hadn’t even planned on using Frank the Cameraman, who became a semi-regular character from there on out.
Also, interestingly enough for those of you watching the episodes on Youtube, you will see some large differences between the script and the actual performance, due to both improv and time contraints with editing. However, one thing we couldn’t predict was that this episode almost didn’t air at all due to content that we didn’t know was against Duck U’s rules. Namely, we couldn’t tell people to go rail a bottle of pills. Why? Oddly enough, we were allowed to tell have one character tell the other to kill themselves, but we weren’t allowed to give ideas on how to do it. My last minute solution was to shoot a PSA before the episode went to air, thus wiping the problem from the episode. However, this wouldn’t be our last PSA.
Channel 70 News
Written by Chris Pranger
Premise: Channel 70 is the news channel that is dead last in their bracket and they know it. Their program could be cancelled at absolutely any second and it shows. Budget cuts have ravaged the show and they have very, very little that’s going well for them. So every night they give the news, and every night they’re closer to being cancelled.
Diana Miranda: She is the straight man of the news, the typical news anchor that takes the news much too seriously. Even though she knows that their show could be cancelled and it doesn’t matter what she says, she sticks to how she’s been trained. She’s constantly making awkwardly bad jokes and comments and has a big fake smile on all the time. As time progresses it becomes obvious that she’s getting closer to snapping.
Dave Trenton: Dave is the complete opposite of Diana. He hates his life and doesn’t care that people know it. He’s never clean-shaven, wears his tie loose, and dresses sloppily. He looks likes he’s always drunk and is always pissed. His life is miserable and it seems that the only joy he gets from his pathetic existence is openly mocking Diana whenever he feels like it. He basically has no tact at all.
Johnny Jenson: Johnny pulls double duty as both the weather man and the sports anchor. He’s crazy and is reminiscent of Harry Carry. He could be on drugs, he could be homeless, he could be mentally handicapped, we’re not sure what’s up but something just isn’t right with him. He hardly knows where he is and most of his lines should be improvised anyway.
Sam the Go-To Guy: Sam’s last name will never be said, ever. He’s the guy that they’ve hired to do special live reporting for them all the time and usually he’ll find himself in a situation where he’ll probably die. Sam is frightened and paranoid because of this. He’s also not well trained and his eyes wander when trying to do his live report.
Producer/Director: The big man in charge of the show. He never speaks, nor is his name ever spoken, but when he shows up it means that something very bad has happened. He’s basically representative of death and wears a long flowing black cloak. The others never want to see him ever.
Voice Over: (As the voice over plays, there is a short opening of random images, much like you’d see in regular news). And now, it’s the Northwest’s best news team, channel 70 News. With Diana Miranda, (Image of Diana turning to the camera and smiling), and Dave Trenton, (Same thing but with Dave this time).
Diana: (We actually see the two anchors sitting next to each other now. Diana has a worriedly fake smile on her face and Dave is mad at the world. Diana is holding her script. Dave has his laid out in front of him). Good evening. I’m Diana Miranda.
Dave: And I suppose that makes me Dave Trenton.
Diana: And this is tonight’s news. (Camera shift to just Diana). Today, Roosevelt Zoo found itself in a tough situation when a bear escaped from its pen. Zoo officials are unsure how this happened, but as far as they can tell, it was the work of some local hooligans. It seemed that the three teens responsible wanted to have a picnic with these teddy bears. (Very fake laugh). Hahaha, ah. Three teenagers dead.
Dave: (Looks at his script). What could possibly have gone wrong in the world today…? So, Japan was hit hard today when a tsunami wiped out most of the Eastern coast of Kyoto. Thousands were probably killed. (Throws his script). Do you care? No, you don’t care, because you’re all a bunch of selfish bastards sitting at home in your nice cozy recliners, drinking your coffee and laughing with your happy spouse who loves you and didn’t leave you for my marriage councilor. Your lives must all be just great! (Turns to Diana, who’s looking very uncomfortable).
Diana: Um…in other news, Microsoft has released an announcement that they’ll be creating a new version of Windows for the new year. Boy Dave, I sure hope this version doesn’t freeze up when I try and type out the evening’s scripts. (Turns to Dave with a smile).
Dave: (Dave is not amused). How do you live with yourself?
Diana: (Laughs awkwardly). Hahaha, oh Dave, you’re such a kidder.
Dave: No I mean it. What makes you feel compelled to wake up every morning? Why don’t you just rail a bottle of Tylenol and end it all before someone does the job for you? Huh?
Diana: Uh…(Turns towards the camera). Ahaha…
Dave: Well now, let’s see what Johnny Jenson has for us. How’s the weather looking out there Johnny?
Johnny: The weather? I’m gonna go ahead and say it Dave. The world is gonna end within the end of the week. (Turns to a chart that he’s drawn). You see here Dave? (Points at the chart). We’re gonna be experiencing some heavy rains of fire, followed by absolute darkness. As the world weeps, the lord of darkness himself will show up and then it’s anyone’s guess how it’ll all go down. Partly cloudy.
Dave: (Carema shifts back to Dave and Diana. She looks terrified. Dave doesn’t care). That sounds about right. (Is handed a random page of paper). So, it seems that we have some breaking news here. Turns out you all got your wish and someone’s getting shot at down on 13th. Let’s go live to Sam the Go-To Guy. Sam, how’s it looking down there?
Sam: (Poor Sam will be in the middle of what sounds like a fire-fight on location). Well Dave, I’m here on 13th and all I can think to do is pray that I see my loved ones again.
Dave: Aren’t you special?
Sam: As far as I can tell, one guy said some things at another guy and then that guy became angry and shot him. Then someone else showed up and shot at the second guy, and by that time all hell had broken loose. At some point the legions of gun-men joined up and barricaded themselves in a local convenience store to fight against the cops.
Diana: Sounds more like an inconvenience store.
Dave: With every fiber of my being I hate you.
Sam: Ag! (Grabs his side). It seems that I’ve been hit by a stray bullet. I’m starting to black out. Well, with my last breath, I’m sending this back to you guys in the studio.
Dave: Seems like as good a time as any to check the sports. Johnny, since we can’t afford a separate sports anchor, how’s our sports team?
Johnny: We didn’t win. We never win. It looked like a group of kindergarteners battling against a team of radioactive super giants. The score was in numbers that I can’t even fathom Dave. Numbers that I’ll have to make up in order to explain. (Pulls up another chart with random scribbles on it). The final score was eleventeen to panda space shuttle, but at least our team had heart.
Dave: Right. Well thank God, we’re out of time. (Pulls a bottle from under the desk and begins drinking from it).
Diana: That’s the news for tonight. I’m Diana Miranda.
Dave: And I’m partially drunk.
Diana: Good night and have a wonderful evening. (Camera pulls back with Diana worriedly looking over at Dave, who’s thrown his bottle and just begins yelling at Diana, although their audio is muted).
End of Episode 1
Eclipse Star: Chapter 55
“Go, Go Octa-Rangers!”
Recap: Last time, our heroes received some very startling information from a news report showing Octavious’ son Maximilian taking command of the Legion and issuing a challenge to the terrorists, by which he means the kids. It becomes apparent that the Regime intends to kidnap the group’s parents in addition to the typical challenge against Octavious’ personally trained team, the Octa-Rangers. All the parents have been instructed to huddle at Kevin’s family’s church in Brooksboro while Chris, Derek, Lindsey, Scott, and Glitch head to the Trillium City Grand Arena to accept Octavious’ challenge. It’s going to be a heated chapter, on Eclipse Star!
-The two sides, (Octa-Rangers and the group of Derek, Chris, Lindsey, Scott, and Glitch), rush head-on at each other as the entire stadium erupts with cheers.
Derek: Guys, hit hard and hit harder!
-All the members square off with someone else.
-Derek connects with Stigma, the red ranger.
-Chris hits Sho, the black ranger.
-Scott leaps against Sampi, the blue ranger.
-Lindsey attacks San, the yellow ranger.
-And Glitch goes after Qoppa, the pink ranger.
-On a side note, the 5 ranger names are obsolete letters of the Greek alphabet.
-Ranger Stigma and Derek clench up and travel high into the air in the center of the arena as the other eight fighters clash around.
Stigma: Give up terrorist before we’re forced to subdue you!
Derek: (Smiling and laughing). Exactly how much have you been told about us?
Stigma: Enough to know you’re the enemy!
Derek: Yeah, well apparently not enough to know you’re way outclassed.
-Derek throws Stigma’s hands wide and slams him with both fists downward at the shoulder/neck.
-Stigma careens back down to the floor.
Derek: So that’s one down already?
-Stigma rights himself before hitting, vwinging from sight.
-Derek looks annoyed and surprised.
-Stigma clobbers Derek from behind, grabbing him in a bear hug afterwards.
Stigma: Surrender! This is your final warning!
Derek: I just don’t believe these guys!
-Derek powers up, hurling Stigma from him.
-Stigma flips backwards out of control in the air before stopping himself, skidding backwards slightly in the air.
Stigma: (Mostly to himself). I don’t get it. Exactly how strong are they going to be?
-Chris and Sho connect blows while hovering near the crowd. They’re matching each other exactly depending on which attack is thrown, so they look as if they’re symmetrical in motion.
Sho: You think you’re playing with me?
Chris: (Oblivious to any offense). No, I thought we were fighting.
Sho: Then why are you holding back!
-Ranger Sho slams Chris in the face.
-Chris tilts his head back and quickly snaps it back, shaking his head.
Sho: What is this?!
Chris: I really don’t want to hurt you. I’d rather just let you tire yourself out if that’s at all possible.
Sho: Who do you think you’re supposed to be?!
Chris: I’m just Chris. I’m the primary target I guess.
Sho: (Freaks). What?! (Yells at Stigma). Red! This guy’s yours!
-Stigma and Derek are clenched again.
Stigma: Busy Sho.
Sho: No seriously!
-Sho tries vwinging away from Chris.
-Chris grabs Sho’s foot and keeps him from leaving.
Chris: You’re just not…trying, are you?
-Sho turns around and throws both hands out, blasting Chris point blank with an energy blast.
-Chris takes the hit in the upper torso and lets go as Sho floats in the air, taking deep breaths, trying to calm himself.
Sho: Hah, hah, that look like I’m trying?
-Smoke clears and Chris shakes his head again, perfectly fine.
Chris: No, not really.
Sho: (Freaks). GAWAWAWAWA! RED! (Blasts off towards Stigma).
Stigma: (Sighs). Fine.
-Stigma does a very unexpected maneuver and leaps up, wrapping his leg around Derek’s face, following it by thumping Derek on the top of the head with his elbow.
-Stigma then grabs Derek’s arm and swings him around, throwing him at Chris.
-Chris easily catches Derek, righting him in the air.
Chris: Hey, Derek, you fairing alright?
Derek: (Angry). What?! Alright?! Stop playing around already!
-Stigma and Sho rush Chris and Derek.
Stigma: Shadow Blood attack!
Chris: “Shadow Blood”?
-Stigma and Sho fight in unison against Chris and Derek, using the exact same attacks.
-Chris and Derek are both confused enough to take a few hits every so often.
-Stigma and Sho both increase strength at the same time, disappearing and hitting Chris and Derek in the backs, then the fronts, before grabbing them and throwing them into each other, finishing with heavy stomps onto Chris and Derek’s heads.
-Chris and Derek hit the ground. Chris hits and instantly gets to his feet. Derek lands and stumbles over.
Chris: They’re not that powerful just yet, but they know how to fight in unison.
Derek: (Furious). It’s all just a bunch of fluff.
Chris: You okay?
Derek: I’m fine!
-Derek takes off back at the two.
-Chris takes off following Derek, though Derek turns around and throws a warning blast at Chris.
Derek: Don’t get in my way!
Chris: (Stops and looks around). This is ridiculous…
-Lindsey and San, the yellow ranger, fight on throughout the stadium, matched up fairly evenly. Lindsey keeps goading San to follow her rather than lead, so Lindsey leaps into the crowd as San attacks her every so often, getting blocked each time. The crowd members just seem entertained more than anything.
Lindsey: You don’t seem half bad, you know?
San: You…you really think so?
Lindsey: Oh yeah. I mean, I’m pretty strong alright, but you’re holding up pretty darn well.
San: (Stops for a second, getting embarrassed). Well…we have been trained reeeeally well, so…
-Lindsey connects with a strong haymaker to San’s helmet.
-San skims over the crowd, hitting the ground level hard.
-Still he gets up rather quickly.
San: Now that’s just not fair.
-San vwings back in front of Lindsey.
San: What’s all that about, huh? Being all nice and then hitting me like that?
Lindsey: (Pretty surprised). Wow, maybe you aren’t half bad. Seriously, level with me, exactly how strong are you guys gonna be?
San: Well let’s see, if Stigma’s the strongest and he’s…
-As San gets lost in thought, Lindsey hits him with a haymaker to the helmet again.
-San repeats the entire process, though when he vwings back to Lindsey she doesn’t waste any more time before kicking San in the side of the head, knocking him into the stands next to more idiots too busy hooting and hollering to understand they could be injured.
Lindsey: (Standing with her hands at her hips). I’m still curious if you’d like to answer my previous question.
-San just sits up this time, shaking his head before turning to Lindsey and blasting at her.
-San continues to take pot-shots at Lindsey as she disappears and reappears while dodging them.
-Chris is cruising around the arena, checking to see if anyone needs his help. He sees that Lindsey basically has things under control.
-Derek is struggling to continue blocking all the attacks from the two rangers fighting him, though he is managing to do it.
-Glitch and his foe are nowhere to be found.
Chris: Where’d Glitch go? I can’t even track him in the normal ways since he’s a robot… (Looks over). There’s Scott…he’s doing fine I think? Now…Glitch… (Looks up into the rafters). He’s got to be up there!
-Qoppa, the pink ranger, is charging up energy blasts and firing them at Glitch, who keeps narrowly avoiding them.
Glitch: I’m not actually going to harm you. Please, just back down.
-Qoppa fires another blast.
Qoppa: But I don’t want to! The boss said you were a terrorist and a traitorous terrorist and a robot and a whole lot of other bad things that I’d rather you not be, so I have to make you not exist if that’s okay?
-Fires another blast.
Glitch: Well, no, I’m sorry, I kind of need to stay alive.
Qoppa: But I don’t want you to!
-Qoppa shoots a larger blast that actually hits Glitch, pounding him hard and sending him falling from the rafters.
-Chris leaps up to the rafters just as he sees this.
-Qoppa turns around, startled.
Qoppa: Why’d you call me Glitch?
-Chris zooms up to Qoppa and hits him in the stomach.
Chris: Not you, the robot!
-Chris pushes Qoppa’s face forward and punches him with his other hand.
-Qoppa is hurled off the rafters, definitely rattled.
-Chris looks off and leaps down, chasing Glitch.
-Glitch is still smoking from the previous blast but okay as he puts his arms down from the block.
Glitch: Whoa, didn’t expect these guys to be capable of something like that.
-Chris meets up with Glitch.
Chris: You okay?
Glitch: Yeah, but I don’t want to…you know…fight.
Chris: Then why’d you come?
Glitch: I don’t…uh…(Looks off at Lindsey).
Chris: (Almost offended). You can’t be-
-Qoppa comes from behind Chris and slams into him with both fists outstretched, plowing him into the stands.
Qoppa: Qoppa’s back! Hahahaha!
-Qoppa pins Chris down and begins wailing on him as best he can.
-Chris reaches up and grabs both of Qoppa’s fists, pushing back with some effort.
Chris: Get…off…me…you…silly… frat boy…nutbar!
-San is thrown into both Qoppa and Chris, the three becoming a tangled mess.
Lindsey: (Looking down). Sorry Chris! Got a bit carried away!
-San leaps up.
San: I’ll carry you away!
-He rushes Lindsey again.
Chris: “I’ll carry you away?” (To Qoppa). Seriously, where’d Octavious find you guys?
-Qoppa leaps up, extremely proud and thumbs at his chest.
Qoppa: He didn’t pick us, we volunteered! (Posses).
Chris: Yeah, you’d definitely have to be a nutbar to volunteer to fly around in pink spandex.
Qoppa: This isn’t pink! I was told it was Salmon!
Chris: Sorry, that’s pink.
-Chris delivers an uppercut to Qoppa. The fighting continues.
-Scott and Sampi, the blue ranger, trade huge hits to the heads. Scott’s in a classic boxing stance. Sampi is hopping back and forth.
Scott: You guys got this all wrong.
-Sampi quickly jabs at Scott, who leans away.
Sampi: What do you mean?
Scott: Well, first…
-Scott punches at Sampi, who also leans away.
Scott: We’re not terrorists or bad guys. We’re just teenagers.
Sampi: No one is inherently innocent.
Scott: I didn’t say we were innocent, we’re just not bad guys.
Sampi: My people are being killed every day in this pointless war. If I can end it a day sooner, I’ll do everything I can.
-Sampi swings at Scott, catching him in the head, knocking him to the wall.
-Sampi comes at him again with a series of strikes to his torso and head.
-As Sampi moves to strike with another carefully planned attack, Scott reaches out and grabs Sampi’s helmet from the top.
Scott: All this karate bullshit’s for dumbasses.
-Scott reefs on Sampi’s helmet, smashing his face into the wall, crunching the concrete and cracking the helmet.
Scott: You think us kids know the first thing about technique? Dude, wake up, we’re just dickin’ around.
-Sampi gets up, wobbly, holding his helmet, steadying himself.
Sampi: No, you’re wrong. You’re wrong about everything.
Scott: Okay fine, like I give a rat’s ass if I’m right or not.
Sampi: Don’t you care that hundreds are dying?
Scott: Sure, but we ain’t the one’s who’re killing ‘em!
-Sampi leaps onto Scott, throwing him backwards into the wall as well.
Sampi: Tempest Strike!
Scott: What the hell?
-Sampi rips into Scott, hitting him over and over, grabbing Scott’s wrist and twisting down, then pulling Scott closer to him, shattering Scott’s wrists.
-Sampi grabs Scott around the torso and throws him upwards behind him, appearing above him suddenly in the air.
Sampi: San! Tempest Thunder Annihilator!
-San chases Lindsey around the arena again, stopping briefly before zipping to Sampi’s location above Scott.
-The two charge blasts above their heads before firing them straight down onto Scott, hitting him and pounding him into the ground before exploding.
-Lindsey covers her face with an arm, surprised that San isn’t still right behind her.
-Chris looks up at Sampi and San.
Chris: Ah no!
-The smoke clears. Scott’s on the ground looking pretty beat up but still breathing.
-Lindsey lands next to him, bending down to look him over.
Lindsey: Scott! Are you okay?!
Scott: (Close to passed out). Nah, I’m done. Give ‘em hell babe. (Out).
-Sampi and San are still hovering briefly in the air as the crowd goes wild at Scott’s defeat.
Sampi: Filthy bastard…
Chris: You think there’s any honor in this?!
-Chris zooms into Sampi’s face, headbutting him hard.
-Sampi is thrown through the stands, hitting and skidding into the far back wall. None of the crowd are injured.
-San looks over just as Chris flips forward, hitting San in the top of the head with an ax kick that knocks him to the ground next to Lindsey.
Chris: Lindsey! Stomp his throat!
Lindsey: (Looks up at Chris, stunned). What?!
Chris: Take him out!
-Lindsey looks down at San. San is slowly pushing himself to his feet, knocked stupid.
-She looks back up at Chris.
Lindsey: No! I can’t do it!
-San stands up at a slouch.
San: You’re too soft for a war, aren’t you?
-San dives at Lindsey, hitting her hard with an energy blast at point blank.
-Lindsey is hurled from the detonation.
Chris: Lindsey! God damnit!
-Sampi reappears in a flash as he nearly breaks Chris’ jaw with a hook.
-As Chris spins around in the air, Sampi begins charging a large energy blast.
Sampi: I want you to burn in HELL!
-Sampi thrusts his hand forward to discharge as Derek appears, grabbing Sampi’s hand and throwing it upwards, causing him to fire and hit Stigma and Sho as they chase after Derek.
Derek: Ah ah. That wouldn’t be nice.
-Qoppa slams Derek in the back of the head before throwing him to the ground far below.
Qoppa: Hooray for Qoppa!
-Stigma and Sho recover from the misfire after quickly blocking.
Stigma: Team tactic Omega!
All Octa-Rangers: Hooah!
-All five Octa-Rangers land near each other on one side of the arena in a V formation.
-Chris hits the ground next to Derek, landing on his hands and knees. Lindsey stumbles up, holding her arm.
Lindsey: We’re not making much headway guys.
Scott: (On his back, fading in and out). I cracked the blue f*cker’s helmet. They’re not indestructible like a robot or anything.
-Glitch lands with the group.
Glitch: Are you alright?
Derek: Where have you been?
Glitch: I…I don’t want to hurt anyone.
Derek: The whole point of being here is to fight to the death!
Lindsey: No! We’re not killing anyone! We’re better than that!
Derek: Didn’t stop us from killing robots last week!
Lindsey: Those aren’t real people!
-Glitch winces at this as Lindsey instantly realizes what she just said.
Lindsey: Oh my God, Glitch, I didn’t mean-
Chris: We don’t have time for this! Look alive!
-Chris points off at the Octa-Rangers.
-The five are all glowing and causing the stadium to rumble, swaying their arms and hips in rhythm.
Stigma: Octa-Rangers…OMEGA BUSTER!!!!!
-The Octa-Rangers thrust their hands all together, connecting at a middle focal point, firing a massive, multi-colored energy cannon.
Chris: Retaliate NOW!!!!!
-Chris and his group all fire hurriedly charged energy blasts to combat the good blast heading their way.
-The two beams connect and tear up a line between the two factions.
-After a few moments time, the beams explode from the center, blowing everyone backwards and creating a crater in the center of the arena.
-The crowd stands up and cheers louder.
Stigma: (Down on one knee). How did they counter that?!
Chris: We all okay?!
-He looks around. Lindsey is fine, Scott is on his back again breathing heavily, Derek is standing but shaking, and Glitch is in a full block.
Scott: I blew out my hands with that last one.
Lindsey: I nearly did, too.
Scott: No, look.
-Scott lifts his hands up. He’s literally ripped the skin off his hands with large gashes around his wrists that look as if his skin bubbled and popped.
Lindsey: (Gasps and covers her mouth). Oh God…
Glitch: I’m sorry…I couldn’t bring myself to fire back…
Scott: Glitch, I’d give you the finger right now but it might fall off.
Chris: Derek, can you still fight?
Derek: (Tensing himself back up, one eye keeps closing). I could fight all five all day if I had to.
Scott: (Laughing out his response). Bullshit…
Chris: Derek, why’re you…?
Derek: I told you I’m fine.
Chris: (Leans in to Derek). You’ve been fighting at your max this whole time, haven’t you?
Derek: If you can do it, so can I.
Chris: Please, rest, I’ll take care of them.
Derek: I don’t need your help! I’m fine!
Glitch: I can still help!
Derek: You? How’s the peaceful war machine going to help us?
Glitch: I need enough time to get to the room with the video feed to all the monitors.
Lindsey: What’re you planning Glitch?
Glitch: There’s an audience of impressionable sheep all just listening to whoever has the strongest case. I have hours of video and audio from the attack at the Legion base, the fight at the mall, and conversations between Octavious and the Hex-Duo.
Chris: You got enough to incriminate Octavious in a stadium of his fans?
Glitch: At least a month’s worth of footage.
Chris: Well I hope you’ve got one hell of an editing program in your head, because we’re only going to get one shot at this.
Lindsey: How much time do you need?
Chris: We can give that.
-Chris turns back towards the Octa-Rangers.
Glitch: I hope so.
Lindsey: No sweat.
Sampi: (Yells off at the group). How did you like our formation attack?!
Derek: I’ve shit bigger beams than that!
-Octavious appears on the large monitors.
Octavious: Terrorists, are you willing to admit defeat?
Lindsey: We’ll never admit defeat!
Chris: We’ve lied about defeat a few times, but we’ll never admit it.
Octavious: Alright then. Rangers, you are now authorized to use, (Screen zooms in on his face), Lethal. Force.
-The Octa-Rangers salute to Octavious.
Octavious: Show them Hell!
-Derek finally calms himself down and takes a deep breath, getting back into a fighting stance.
Derek: Well then, you all ready to see Hell?
Lindsey: (Fighter stance). Definitely.
Chris: (Fighter stance). Already there.
To Be Continued…
Eclipse Star: Chapter 54 and a Half
“Journal Entries Vol. 3”
“I’m starting to feel that none of this was worth it. It’s been six months or so since we started and I’m getting to the point where I don’t think there’s a reason to go on. This last week was enough to prove that.
A lot happened. I met my father for the first time, which in of itself is odd enough since he’s supposed to be dead. And as far as I’m convinced, he still is. I really don’t know how to take that sort of information being thrown at me. Here’s a guy who for all respectable reasons should make me content just to know that I do have a father and he’s not a scumbag. But that’s not the case. I still don’t feel like I have a father. This guy, James, is in my life a total of 3 days. I’m 17 at this point, so what the hell am I supposed to make of 3 days? That’s hardly enough time to introduce myself, and add in that he’s supposed to be training me to fly and fight like him doesn’t make things easier.
Can I just point out here my stance on a few things? Humans should not fly. PERIOD. I’m serious here; I didn’t want to learn to fly. I’ve never been the type to look up at birds and wish it could be me up there. I’m fine taking the bus if I’ve gotta go some place. Besides, flying implies heights, and we kinda already know my stance on heights…
Also, I shouldn’t be able to do any of the ridiculous stuff that I’ve been doing recently. Flying aside, firing energy blasts is just plain wrong and it sounds so very dorky. Who the heck takes you seriously when you tell them you can fire beams from your hands? No one. Unless they can do it, too, but then they’re more interested in whether they can do it better than you and I’m just sick of having to prove myself.
This was the week the Hex-Duo robots attacked the Legion’s base. I didn’t expect that the next enemy we’d encounter would be robots. That sounds like stuff you’d only hear in anime or something. But in real life? Who knew. Still, that’s what happened. We got attacked and I couldn’t do a single thing to stop them. I failed. Everyone got away, but I failed to end it right there and then. After my 3 days with James I got a second chance to destroy them and that time it didn’t end with me lying dead in a hole in the ground. This time I destroyed them. I killed them. Every last one that I could get my hands on, (save for Glitch of course). And everyone looked at me like I was a monster. I failed. I just wanted to save them and I failed. Now they think I’m just like the things I tore apart.
But I’m not. At least…I don’t think I am, am I?
I’m not sleeping much anymore. My body hurts too much from the strain. I’ve been trying to keep it as unnoticeable as possible, but I still think my body’s being eaten apart from the inside out by who knows what. There’s no physical pain, just mentally I feel like I’m not supposed to be walking about. I look at Jack and feel terrible that he can’t walk anymore, but if he only knew how painful it was being me he’d gladly remain in his position. Sometimes I wonder how things would have gone if I had shown up just a few minutes later. Would everyone have gotten away? Would Jack have thrown himself in the way of some blast so they could? Maybe his injuries would have caused him to pass away if I didn’t show up. I don’t know, I just wonder sometimes. I think that keeps me up more than anything else at the moment. The thought of Jack not being here just sounds so appealing right now that it hurts. I wish he never would have shown up in the first place. If I could go back to that day at the museum, I’d gladly go through fighting Syrus again, as long as at the end of it I could just look at Jack and tell him to go screw himself instead of giving him the time of day.
I just don’t want to be against everyone anymore. It’s enough to be fighting with the Regime on a daily basis; I don’t need to be fighting my friends as well. That’s just too much for one guy to handle, even if he has been trained to fight all the time. I just want some peace again. I just want her to kiss me…just once…”
-Chris, April 16th year 992 N.C.
“This is utterly pointless. Pointless and infuriating. My father is out there somewhere and I’m not allowed to go looking for him. Why? Because I’m no longer the dominant male, that’s why. Chris is ruining everything just by existing, and he doesn’t even realize it. In that stupid little brain of his he probably hasn’t even considered the ramifications that his selfish actions have caused. By continuing to live he’s pushed me from the undisputed top of the leader board to a distant second, making it very difficult to force everyone else to listen to me and go on the offensive.
Sure, he got the better of me three months ago. I’ll give him that fight on account of his complete dumb luck and my foolishness in bringing up Lindsey. Still, I learned a very valuable lesson regarding Chris that I’m not intending to make again. Next time I fight him I’ll remember to leave our personal and professional lives separate. It only seems to drive him harder to prove something he was never asked to prove. Except there shouldn’t have been a next time. Not for a while anyway. It is perfectly fine that he’s alive, but he didn’t have to come back as Jesus F*cking Christ and rescue his damned Apostles from harm’s way. At least not before Judas went and hung himself.
Poor, poor Jack. Jack the fallen. Jack the cripple. Serves him right for all that he’s done. Lying to us, hiding things from us; important stuff. And now he’s stolen Lindsey from our group. She was ours before she was his. I could care less if Chris ever hooked up with her, as long as it wasn’t Jack. You hook her with Jack and Jack gains control of Chris. He’s holding the leash to a dog that wants nothing more than to tear his throat out and I doubt he even realizes it.
If Jack was dead, Chris would just start agreeing with me and we’d have found my father by now. As stupid as he may be he still knows enough to listen to me when I talk to him. If Chris was dead, I’d have no problem acting as the Chris and forcing people to listen to me, lest they be eliminated like those damned robots. Granted, I wouldn’t have liked Chris being dead all too much since there’s so much more I’d like to do with him. I’m not going to get all clichéd and say we have unsettled business; it’s far deeper than that. It’s been like this for long enough that I need him to stay alive long enough for me to have a reason to gain the final undisputable victory. It’s as simple as that. Without him I don’t have a reason to keep pushing myself. I’ve got nothing against everyone else and Jack isn’t worth the effort needed to kill him. Chris is the only one who’d understand anyway. He wants it just as much as I do. He’s just not going to be the one to get it.”
-Derek, April 16th year 992 N.C.
“Dear diary. The transforming action figure I saw at the mall last week was super cool. I really wish I didn’t have to break it over the ball robot’s head. That fight was a lot of fun. I hope we get a chance to have as much fun as that again. Willy says hi. Well, gotta go. I’ll talk to you later. Tell Santa I want that robot toy for Christmas”
-Danny, April 1-6, um…year 99…3?
“I finally told Chris how I felt. He needed to hear it I think. He’s been acting weird around me for years, but I really wish it didn’t have to come out like it did last night. Leena had no place forcing it. I know that given enough time Chris would have said something eventually and on his terms. I didn’t want to hurt him, but what else could I do? I’m with Jack, and there’s just no way to have both. That’s not fair to anyone involved, especially not me. If Chris wanted me to be there for him like that he should have said something sooner. I don’t know if that would have changed anything, but still, it would have been nice to know he had enough courage to say something…
I’m just so happy he’s okay. I don’t know what I’d have done if he was really dead. I love him, I really do…I just don’t know if it’s in the same way. I need him to get through the day, just not the same way he needs me it seems. It’s too complex for a teenager. No matter what he says, we’re only 16 and no one our age can really say for sure if they’re in love or not. I know I’m not in love with Jack, but then again I didn’t say I was, either. Jack makes me happy in a completely different way. I can’t explain it, and frankly I don’t feel I should have to, least of all not to Chris. He wouldn’t really listen anyway. How could he? I wouldn’t if I were him. I suppose in some way he’s justified in how he’s been acting, but then so are all of us. We’re only teenagers; we shouldn’t have to act like anything else.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what Austin said. I am deathly afraid that we’ll be running and hiding and fighting for the rest of our lives. I don’t want that. I want to be a teenager again. I want to go to parties and shop for clothes and kiss boys and study for boring tests and learn to drive and dream about growing up into a successful woman. I don’t want to have to fight anymore!
But I have to. And worse, no one’s letting me. I’m a girl, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less capable of doing exactly what they’re all doing. Chris said it himself when he told us we’re all capable of what he did against those robots. I believe him. I know he’s right. I don’t need to be protected every step of the way. How am I going to get any stronger if people keep telling me I need to stay where it’s safe? If I’m going to be fighting for the rest of my life people need to let me do it!
I get it. I get that they’re just worried I’ll get hurt or even worse. And I entirely expect that I will at some point. I may even die. I’m prepared for that if it comes down to it. I can’t escape what’s destined to happen, no matter how hard I struggle against it. But while everyone worries about me they fail to ask me what I feel in this whole situation. And you know what I feel? I don’t know. I don’t know and I like it that way, because no one should ever know what is going to happen to them. You just have to let it happen. People keep trying to make my mind up for me. If I wanted to hide then I’ll hide. If I want to fight, then I’ll fight like my life depends on it. If people keep jumping in front of bullets for me then they’re just going to keep getting shot, and I don’t want to see any more people get shot because of me.”
-Lindsey, April 16th year 992 N.C.
“I may have to kill him if it comes down to it. He’s just too dangerous to keep alive anymore. I’m finally starting to understand what the Commander was talking about. His usefulness compared to the risk of keeping him around has reached equilibrium. Anything could set him off and I’m hoping not to be caught in the middle when that happens, though I’m guessing I’ll be the cause just because Lindsey picked me and not him.
It’s somewhat sad. I had kind of hoped she’d have come to her senses and gone to him sooner, but it turns out I was the more desirable man in the end. It makes sense especially now that he’s nothing more than a last-ditch weapon, hardly needed save for the resolution at the end of any plot we find ourselves stuck in. I wouldn’t want to be in that situation either. Who’d want to be a tool? Unfortunately that’s all he is at this point. He doesn’t contribute much to actual strategy; he just knows how to swing a sledge hammer when he’s required to do so and never before.
I am surprised my plan worked as well as it has. A bit too well now that I look back on it. I needed Chris alive and strong enough to keep us out of harm’s way, but not strong enough to have an opinion. Opinions are dangerous. Derek is proof enough of this fact. Chris is just one step away from becoming Derek, except none of us have the kind of power needed to bring him down if that occurs, which I’m guessing will be the case within a year’s time at the current rate of progression.
Nate’s death was definitely not in my plans. Not until later. I had guessed it would have happened a few more years down the road and in a much more peaceful manner befitting a friend as old and as loathsome as he. Poison, maybe. Not until I could have proved he betrayed us of course, but poison would have been the kindest way to go about it. I suspected as much, but it wasn’t confirmed until just the other day. I’m rather angry that Syrus took the right away from me and killed Nate himself.
Seeing someone die right in front of me didn’t bother me as much as I’d have liked to believe. Add to this that it was a friend and by all accounts I should be mortified and traumatized. But I’m not losing any sleep over it. Should I be concerned about this? I’ll have to think more on the subject later.
The Commander’s death did affect me. That could be why Nate’s death didn’t bother me. I had seen a much more brutal end only a day previous, so it only makes sense that another wouldn’t push me any further. You can only get so wet before you’re just soaked. Fatigue helped me to sleep easy after seeing the Commander die, and now I’m perfectly fine again. I’m starting to get really worried that I’m not concerned about any of these crucial events. I would have liked to ask the Commander so many questions. There was a lot he refused to tell me, or more accurately, there was a lot I had yet to discover. Finding out he was Octavious’ cousin was enough to prove to me that there was a whole separate life I had yet to uncover. How he came to be in charge of the force rebelling against his cousin is all that it takes to keep me from getting adequate sleep.
That, and severe spinal damage. I’m not going to walk again. I accepted that nearly right after it happened. Doesn’t mean I’m dead. My mind is more active than ever, and that’s in my favor. I still know exactly how to keep control of everyone under my command. And once we return leadership of the Legion to Zanretha, there’ll be no problem placing myself as the head. Derek thought he could do it with shear power. Silly little idiot, the leader of an organization doesn’t do the fighting. He has soldiers to do that for him. As soon as I can manage it, I’ll get Chris to finally eliminate Derek like he was supposed to do months ago. It shouldn’t take much persuasion. As long as I can shift his fury off of me and onto Derek there wouldn’t be any more problems in my future. All that’s left is to figure out how exactly I get rid of Chris. How do you kill the mongoose once it’s killed the snake?”
-Jack Voss, 16th of April, year 992 New Calendar
“To clear the air for a second, no, I don’t hate Chris. The guy is not horrible as a person. But he’s not a person anymore, so he shouldn’t get all offended when I tell him he’s going to be the death of us all. Seriously, how can he be so stupid? He’s going to go off and I don’t want to be next to him when that happens. Yeah, he loves Lindsey. Yeah, she’s with Jack. Yeah, Jack’s sleazy enough to keep using Lindsey as a reason to call the shots. Everyone knows this; it’s hardly a secret. Then again, everyone else here is a raging idiot. And none of them are hot.
Why did I decide to come along with Lindsey in the first place? Okay, so I’m her best friend in the whole world, but I could have made other friends. I’m not cut out to be a fighter. It does not look good on a résumé and it does not make for sexy date conversation. “Ooh, I know how to throw a flaming energy ball. Wanna make out?” No, that’s stupid. Only idiots would be turned on by that. I bet Kyle would be turned on by that kind of stupid garbage. He’s totally into me. It’s obvious. He’s got to realize it. He’s not that stupid. I just hope he doesn’t think I’m into him. I could do sooooo much better. I could, assuming I wasn’t running from ROBOTS and EXPLODING IDIOTS and CORRUPT GOVERNMENTS. ARG! I want a shower and I want it now. And some shopping therapy. Why can’t I have that? I’ve been a good girl, haven’t I? Where’s my reward?
So my guess for how everything turns out is this: we all die. Boom. Dead. And Jack’s gonna cause it. Oh sure, it’ll be Chris who actually does the killing, but we know it’ll be Jack’s fault. Just leave Lindsey alone already and let her hook up with the exploding nerd. Not Kyle, I mean Chris. They should just be together already. He’s not that bad of a guy.”
-Magdalene, April 16th, year 992 N.C.
“Dear Lord, my Father in Heaven, I need your strength. We all do in this important time of our lives. As young as we are, we’ve endured more than our lifetime’s worth of hardships. I do not blame you for this. I understand that you wouldn’t ask more of us than we are capable of performing. I have done my best to stay solid in my faith and honor your wishes. I’ve not done anything I should be ashamed of and I have no intention of changing that. I will not kill anyone, whether they be human or beast or something in between. You were quite clear in commanding that. I’ve yet to feel that anyone we’ve encountered has been a hopeless cause. Even Syrus shows signs of good. I hope I am granted the chance to return mercy someday when he needs it most.
Lord, please help Chris the most. He knows not what he’s doing anymore. He has become lost and I’m having a hard time focusing him back towards your goals. Forgive me, for I’ve been weak. I’ve been afraid and I’ve forgotten that I should fear nothing while you are at my side. Chris does not scare me; only the possibility of what he might become if he doesn’t change his actions. He’s acting as if he’s being forced to do all of this. This is only making him bitter, and that will lead him down a path that he’ll wish he hadn’t traveled. The subject is difficult to approach with him seeing as how he’s under so much strain between saving us, longing for Lindsey, and meeting his father this week. It is a lot to put on one man’s shoulders, but you wouldn’t put all that on him without a reason.
Lord, please guide Chris’ father back to you now that he’s done his part to help us. Deliver my thanks to him when next he sees you. We owe him a lot, though no one else seems to have come to this conclusion. Not even Chris. A miracle occurred this week. Many miracles occurred this week. We should be dead and we are not. Chris was dead and is now stronger than we could have hoped. We are all alive and we are more in number than before.
Lord, please help guide Glitch as well. I know he is but a robot, but I feel that there is a chance he has a soul somewhere in there. He certainly has love. Is anything more really needed for a soul to exist? I beg of you to give him this small pardon. He has chosen to help others and harm no one. He is leading through the example that you yourself have given. Does he not deserve the same chance that all Christians are given?
Lord, please be kind to the souls lost this week. Forgive the sins of the soldiers lost in the wreckage of the Trillium base. Forgive the sins of the Commander. Forgive the sins of Jack’s friend, Nathan. Look for the good that they’ve all done, and please judge accordingly. Show them the mercy and the love that you have shown this week when we most needed shelter and rest.
Lord, I ask you once more to continue looking after us. Give us strength so that we may continue doing your work. I shall do my best to continue leading through example. I know my parents will be proud to see just how much I’ve grown when they see me today. Thank you, and Amen.”
-Kevin, April 16th year 992 N.A.D.
“I need a lot of things right now, and none of them are gonna come from writing something in a stupid journal. But whatever, I’ve got nothing better to do with my time since there’s not enough privacy in this house to even jerk off. Too many people for my liking. It wouldn’t bother me to see a few of them killed off. Sure, call that cold, but we’re in a war now, and that’s just how it goes sometimes. Also, I’ve got money riding on the deaths of more than a few people I’m staying with. Chris cost me 60 bucks by staying alive. Misery loves company and money, what can I say?
I’m pretty impressed he’s alive though. I don’t give him nearly enough credit for that shit. That’s some tough skin he’s got. Miserable week for him. First he’s dead, then he’s not, now he’s hated. Sucks to be him. I’d have slapped a few people across the mouth for talking back to me if I’d returned with enough power to get away with it. Hell, I might just do that when I get the chance, just because that sounds damn funny. I’d slap Leena first. Then Lindsey. They’re both cock-teases, it’s obvious. Then Jack. He’s sorta a cock-tease as well. Dude’s probably gay. 130 bucks riding on that.
Kevin…nah I wouldn’t bother him. I can’t bring myself to hate him, especially since he’s the least likely to act like a pussy around these douchebags. I don’t think I’ve seen him pull his beliefs back once. Yeah, I respect that sorta shit. Sure no one likes hearing all that God crap all the time, but at least he hasn’t changed his story since he got here. Kinda hope he doesn’t die. Actually, no, I really hope he doesn’t die. I’ve got a heart, too, though just don’t tell anyone.
Jack though, he’s got no heart. Takes a guy’s girl right out from under him? That’s cold. Unforgivable. Chris has got every right to murder him without feeling guilty. Love’s tricky. Jack doesn’t love her for a second. That’s a big “duh.” Still can’t tell who Lindsey’s in love with though. She doesn’t make any damn sense, but then again she’s a woman. Can’t really expect much from them I suppose. I’m on board with Derek most of the time actually. But seriously, he’s gotta be f*ckin’ stupid. That dude’s dad is dead. 200 riding on that.
I should probably say something about the greater war and such. Well, to be honest there’s not much that seems to stick out to me. I’m even enjoying myself a good deal part of the time. Sucks to have to wonder around with idiots all the time, but I’m making a healthy profit, too. The Regime pays heavily for any sort of crap I can dish out, even if it’s total shit. I’d say that’s the case roughly 80% of the time. Chris being the one to watch out for, that was legit. I got ripped off with that info. They should have paid twice as much.”
-Your Mom, Saturday
“Currently we’re holed up at the Tolken residence en route to the Church of Faith in Brooksboro, (they said it’s a Four Square church but I looked into it and it’s not. Used to be, but it changed long time ago, before Kevin’s family took it over. Must be an old habit to call it a Four Square church, similar to how some people call Millennial High School “Brooksboro High” every so often). Tomorrow we’ll be making what sounds like a final stand at the church. Our parents are supposed to be abducted around noon and we’re intending to prevent this while five other members of our party are distracting both the Regime and the Legion, (one and the same now), by taking on five new enemies calling themselves “The Octa-Rangers.” I don’t think our plan will work, strategically speaking.
Look at it this way: Why would a powerful organization start making a bunch of mistakes all of a sudden, enough so that they’d give us, a handful of children, a chance at gaining the upper hand? Someone’s working from inside their ranks. We’ve got an ally in there somewhere. I can’t tell exactly who just yet, but I believe it has something to do with The Commander being cousins with Octavious. Family ties run deep; that’ll come up again at some point. Whether or not Maximilian is that connection is yet to be seen. I’ll have to stay alert though.
Jack thinks he’s a great tactician. He’s not. Neither is Derek. Chris is at least humble enough to know that he’s unfit to tell us what to do short of getting us to shut up and listen when actual planning needs to be done. Why is Jack a fool? First off, he’s dating Lindsey right now. For what reason? No clue. There should be a definite idea for why they’re together, but it looks more like Jack’s just enjoying being the mysterious stranger to our group too much. He’s grown too comfortable in his position as the leader that now that it’s being tested on a daily basis he’s no idea what to do anymore. He’s grasping at any semblance of a reason for why we should be following him over anyone else. He’s banking off the belief that he knows more than us. Nah-uh, we’ve all been keeping notes of various points of interest. I’ve got a data log that started months ago. I know exactly what he knows now. He doesn’t even realize that Scott’s been delivering info to the Regime. I’d be worried about that, but Scott’s been giving extremely mixed info, and that’s smart. It makes it difficult to know exactly what is and isn’t actually true. The Regime is basically clueless to the truth.
I mentioned Jack dating Lindsey a while ago. There’s more for why that’s unwise. Chris has become unstable in the mental sense and we don’t need to give him any reason to unleash on the nearest friendly who’s turned traitorous. I’m sure most everyone has speculated that Chris is just a ticking time bomb, (if I may be so trite to use the phrase), and that he’ll be the death of us all. I’m unhappy to say that I partly agree with this notion, but not necessarily because Chris will be the one to attack us. Sure, I think he’ll attack us at some point, either intentional or otherwise, but I don’t believe that’ll be the main problem with him. Just being associated puts us as the prime target for elimination. Power seeks power, and since Chris is the most powerful individual we are aware of other than Syrus, that’s just asking for trouble. Someone is going to show up who we’re unprepared for, purely because he wants to fight with Chris. It’s just simple logic.
If I were the one making the decisions in this group I’d be doing things a bit differently. First of all, we wouldn’t be making any direct aggressions currently against either the Regime or the Legion. We stand a far better chance at running and hiding. We need to drop off the radar, literally, for a year or two. At least enough time for someone else to pop up as the primary focus. Then, and only then, could we hope to reappear and strike with our full force, (presumably more since we’d have been training in secret).
Also, I’d cut our numbers down to a manageable few, say 6 or 7, and tell the others to fend for themselves. Personally, I’d place Chris, Derek, Jack, Lindsey, Leena, and Kyle in a group by themselves. I’d gladly let Austin take charge of my group. Scott is useful for how backwards he acts. Danny and Willy are totally harmless, yet they listen well and know how to fight when they have to. Kevin is the same way. He’s strong, both in the body and the mind. Glitch doesn’t count. I’d get rid of him immediately, both because he’s unstable to a certain extent and also because he’s defective. That’s the whole point of him helping us in the first place, but I don’t trust that it’ll stay that way for long. Everyone in the other group is too bogged down in personal affairs to have any good use anymore. They need to clear their heads a bit and stop leading us into trouble. The first chance I get to abandon the group will be a happy one.”
-Clinton, April 16th, 992 N.C.
“No one even seems to realize that I’m still around. It’s hard sometimes, being the one that everyone forgets about, just because I hardly ever talk. I don’t talk much, but I listen. That’s all I’ve found a use for is listening. And I keep hearing things that no one else seems to hear. I keep finding details that no one else bothers to realize. Pretty simple things that anyone would be able to see if they opened their eyes. Danny’s the same way, only he doesn’t realize what he’s hearing. He’s too kind-hearted for it to register in his head.
Chris doesn’t realize to what extent he actually loves Lindsey. And adversely, she doesn’t realize what he’s going through because of it. He’d die for her. He knows it, she’s hinted at the fact that she knows it, but neither of them has stated it. Just this one simple concept, this motivation above all other motivations, is more significant than anything else going on around us. And neither of them acknowledges it. These feelings have nowhere to go, and all they’re doing is fueling Chris’ inner turmoil and helping push him towards an undesired end filled with revenge and hate.
Jack has yet to come to terms with anything that’s happened recently. He’s hiding the shock from everyone, including himself. He has witnessed more than anyone his age should and yet he’s pretending like he’s seen it all before a hundred times. This is not healthy. His mind has crippled him. His inability to act like a human and show weakness to the very people who wish to help him has left him paralyzed. Until he breaks down in the emotional sense he will not walk again, instead only functioning as a greater hindrance than before.
Derek is struggling to come to terms with both his father’s mortality and his own. He just can’t seem to grasp the idea that someone he holds close, (himself included), could be dead. Oddly enough, this delusion is only strengthened by the fact that Chris survived death. Derek and Chris have an unspoken connection that they refuse to embrace. Even more odd is that it’s only one-way. Derek must have Chris around in order to prove his superiority. Chris, however, never seemed to care if he was stronger or faster or better in general. Instead, Chris is content functioning as a stand-alone character in this elaborate plot. If one rival is eliminated, another can easily take their place. The same is not true for Derek. It must be Chris. No other rival would do.
It’s become somewhat clear that Derek’s father is gone. To what extent I’m not sure, but he’s gone. The house has been deserted for some time. No one’s lived here for what looks like a year, despite Derek having lived here no more than half a year ago. A thin layer of dust has begun to coat most objects, including furniture that’d be used more frequently. When I fixed the TV it wasn’t just a faulty connection; there simply wasn’t a connection at all. I’ve learned a few things about electronics and mechanical devices while everyone else was training. It seemed like a better usage of my time.
My problem goes further than my usefulness. I’d be lying if I said I felt important in some way. I know better. I’ve sat around, nearly silent, watching as everyone else has moments of importance thrust upon them, and not the clearly identified ones, either. Smaller moments of importance. Kyle’s outburst upon seeing Leena injured reminded me a great deal of how Chris responds when seeing Lindsey hurt, but neither Kyle nor Leena have spoken of it at all. In fact, Kyle never speaks about Leena outside her range of hearing, though that’s not hard to do since he hardly ever leaves her range of hearing. They’re not acknowledging any of this. They just think the other is toying around out of boredom, a notion that may not be too far from the truth.
Danny, too, has experienced his importance, and naturally he doesn’t realize it. He kept his ability hidden from me for the past three months, insisting that it’d be a greater surprise when I finally saw it. And he was right. I was shocked when I discovered he sensed Chris’ emergence from the church half a city away. And no one has pointed out this significance. We should be begging with Danny, pleading with him so tell us how he did it. It’d be such an advantage to be able to clearly identify where everyone was and how they were feeling, but we’re brushing this off as a simple trick. Not even Jack’s brought it up again. Only Chris seemed to think it’d be useful, though Danny’s too scared to give Chris anything more. No one wants to give Chris anything more. The feeling is that he’s strong enough as it is; why do we want to put him above us any further? But we have to. It’s where he’s supposed to be. That’s his place. He’s supposed to be up there all alone. And no one is going to join him there until they stop fearing him, a moment of importance that seems to be a long way off.
I’ve already decided that if the chance arrives for me to leave I will. I just want out before something terrible happens to all of us. We escaped disaster once. We’re not going to escape forever. Eventually things will catch up to us, and when that time comes I’d rather not be here to witness it, sitting in my silence as we lose everything because of an even greater silence.”
-William, April 16th, 992 N.C.
“Alright y’all, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten a chance to speak up ‘round here, and I’ve got a lot to say about the sort of garbage we’ve been dealing with recently. As you all may have heard, we were attacked by a group of homicidal robots intent on our demise. I HATE it when that sort of thing happens, don’t you? Turns out we did not die, though you’d think we should have, right? Okay, I’m jumping ahead here. Let me piece this together for everyone:
First, our army base was attacked, as I previously just commented on. TEN, that’s right, TEN robots show up, something in of itself you don’t see too often. Could I just say, ten seemed a bit overkill, no pun intended, (okay intended). If they had just put all that hardware into one super-robo or something we’d still have been toast. Nah, they sent ten after us. Only one of the ten didn’t agree that murder was the answer. Hooray! A good guy! Oh, he doesn’t like to fight, period. Boo! Dead weight! I’m being a little harsh. The dude did end up saving our bacon here and there by sheer happenstance, (bet you didn’t think I knew that word, huh?), but still, it would have been far better if he’d have jumped in and blasted the robots for us.
So anyway, we run. Run like sheep on fire. For ‘bout three days. Yeah, how New Testament. Eventually someone screws up, (Derek), and we get found out, which is bad enough since we’d already lost Chris in the initial attack and then Jack went all noble on us and ran back to the base to check for survivors, (none by the way). Nope, Derek gets us found out and before long the evil robots show up and try to kill us again. At this point I’m admittedly getting pretty pissed. Why did they need us dead? If they’d leave us alone long enough we’d have probably killed each other. Seriously, Leena is just getting on my nerves. Weird, too, because I’m pretty sure she’s into me. I mean, c’mon, she’s totally into me. It’s obvious. She’s got to realize it. She’s not that stupid. Then again…no, she’s just annoying. Kinda hot, but annoying. In a hot way.
There we were, getting owned by a bunch of robots at a mall of all places, (not my idea to go to the mall. I wanted to go fishing. Robots hate water, right?), when who should come back but Jack. ‘Good,’ I think. ‘Now we’ll own the robots back.’ Wrong. Jack sucks and he gets his spine broke like a rookie. Okay, so this all happens after I get my assed knocked the hell out, but still, at least my back is still in a single piece. And by the way, it didn’t stop Jack from being a smug prick. Now he’s just a smug paraplegic. And a douchebag. General consensus.
Roughly by then we’d destroyed one of the robots. All of our hard work and only one robot gone. Then Derek wipes out another, but that was total happenstance. Crap, I already used that word. Whatever, it was a fluke that only managed to get the leader of these robots extremely mad to the point that he was entirely ready to kill us. But of course he didn’t, because Chris came back. I don’t even want to try and understand how that happened other than plot device. Still cool, but I digress.
Chris came back and resolved everything for us. And I mean completely. Without our help. Very nice. It was Beyond Awesome. But then everyone surprised me and pulled one of the biggest chaunce moves I’ve ever seen and start treating Chris like he’s a freak. Now that’s just uncalled for. He just died and came back from the dead. Give him some credit because that is NOT an easy thing to do. I tried it once or twice, didn’t end well. Kudos to him, jeers to everyone acting like dicks. I was the only one to welcome him back and shake his hand. I felt good about that. When Chris finally does snap and kill everyone I’m pretty sure he’s gonna spare me. At the very least if he does kill me it’ll be on accident, and I’m okay with that. It’s understandable when you’re working at his level.
Other than that, seems that the Legion is now controlled by the Regime, we’re being challenged to a duel, and my parents are in danger of getting kidnapped. Just what I’d like to happen after three days of hell. Things will get better though; that’s my hope. We’re bound to have some good luck eventually. It may not be for a while, but at some point something reeeeeeally good is gonna happen.”
-Dr. Awkward, A.K.A. Kyle, April 16th 992 N.C.
“My best friend isn’t dead! I’m so happy about this that I could cry! I did cry a little actually. I thought I’d lost him but it’s a miracle! Still, I feel as though I’ve been failing him. It hurts to see the look in his eyes. I know that he’s been crying a lot more than I have. It’s a weird thing since as a guy you’re not supposed to do that, but it happens. It needs to happen. Otherwise you’re just not being true to yourself. Right now Chris needs to be true to himself and can’t be because we’re not letting him.
I take responsibility for this. I’m no better than anyone else and I’m ashamed of that. I’m supposed to be better than that and I joined in with the crowd taking the easy way out. But we can’t be completely blamed for this. We’re only human. We saw a lot of shit recently and we just need some time to mature enough to handle it. Saw buildings crumble. Saw guys die. Saw pure hatred without justification and cause. Trying to rationalize the thought of someone wishing you dead just because you’re alive really screws with your head. So right now we all need to take a while and get our heads straight again.
That doesn’t mean we have the right to make Chris feel miserable. Lindsey finally found out that he loves her, and unfortunately she turned him away and rejected his feelings. It’s one thing to reject someone and it’s totally another to reject the very feelings they’re having. She refused to let him care about her as deeply as he does. It’s sad to the point of unbearable. If Lindsey wasn’t my friend, too, I’d slap her across the mouth for that sort of behavior. Right now what we need most is each other just wanting to love each other and take care of one another, not saying ‘Thanks, but not right now.’ That’s just counterproductive. I need to go tell Chris that I still love him. He needs to be hearing that from everyone, not just Lindsey.
I’m a little worried about Derek as well. He’s not acting like himself. Something shook him to the core. I think part of it has to do with Chris doing what he couldn’t. That’s never happened to Derek before. We’d all sort of just understood that the natural order was with Derek above us to some extent, but now Chris is up there and none of us are close. Except the funny thing is Chris says we all can be. Well, if he says so, then we can, (can’t wait to get there!). Derek though…he wants to be there entirely too much, but he doesn’t want Chris to be the one to help him. Tricky situation to be in. The only one that knows how to reach Chris’ level is Chris, but the only person Derek can’t ask for help is also Chris. He’s kinda stuck I guess.
Jack has it worse than us all. For one, he can’t walk right now. Something will happen to change this, but for now he can’t walk. That’s not really helping his attitude, which is in need of a severe change if we’re going to get anything more done. Secondly, Jack’s put himself squarely on Chris’ bad side, which is also my bad side, or at least it would be if I had a bad side. Going out with Lindsey right in front of Chris’ face? That’s just asking for trouble. Hiding it over the past few months? That’s pleading for death. Chris won’t do anything to hurt him though. Chris is still my best friend, and I know that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt any of us. If he did, then I…I don’t really know what I’d do. I don’t want to think of that as a possibility. I won’t. It’s the only thing I refuse to do. Everything will work out somehow, and I’m kind of excited to find out how!”
-Austin, April 16th, year 992 N.C.
“Data log- 1000110111010101001101011101010110101…
No just kidding! Haha, a little robot humor. I hope you don’t think it’s odd for a robot to have a sense of humor, however weak it may be. My official name is Hex-Duo Model Number Seven, but I’ve been renamed ‘Glitch’ by Chris, ironically one of the very humans I was programmed to kill.
I’ve just never liked the thought of killing someone, especially someone I’ve never met before. That thought is blurred a little bit by the data files we were programmed with. I know just about everything there is to know about Chris, so it’s hard to say that I’ve never met him, per say. I have to some extent, just never in person. He’s had a lot of troubled thoughts in the last few years. He seems to love one of the other humans, Lindsey, but she tells him she doesn’t feel the same way. That’s another tricky thing, because I have data files on her, too, so I know exactly how she feels about him. The official statement is that she hasn’t made up her mind. I know that’s false.
I’ve only really known everyone here for a few days now. None of them seem to like me much, except Lindsey’s been so kind to me. Chris has, too, which surprises me even more since he’s so strong. The original readout we got on him was grossly inaccurate. I know exactly what he’s capable of, actually. He doesn’t though. That’s what’s even funnier. I’ve seen memories of his that date back to his childhood and there are moments that I’ve witnessed some of his fullest potential. It’s terrifying, even from a robot’s point of view. How I’m aware of these memories dating back years before the rest of the data files is even more curious to me.
It’s difficult to make much sense of myself though. I am a robot; there’s just no changing that. Nor should any of that really be changed. Robots were never meant to be human, otherwise I’d be a human. But…to what extent do I deserve the same rights as a human? Should I act like I have an opinion on anything? Is it possible for me to even do that? Isn’t it just a bunch of misfiring readouts in my databanks? How do I know an opinion of mine isn’t just an opinion that someone else used to hold years ago? Are all my thoughts and emotions just outdated personality traits?
A human soul. It’s a funny thing to think about one, especially when you’re not human. I can’t stop the thoughts about them. What happens to a robot when they die? Do we simply cease to be? Or are we granted the reward of eternal life should we be decent individuals during our lifetimes? My robot brothers were all destroyed this week. Killed. These are robots that I have been surrounded by since my inception on a computer screen. I don’t disagree with Chris and the others that they needed to be stopped, but I worry that destroying them wasn’t the correct answer. Will I ever see them again? Their essences I mean? Does the very fact that I worry about the sake of these lifeless beings mean that I, too, have a soul? Or is this thought also just a random opinion from Austin or Kevin or Chris? I don’t know. No one really does. It just means more coming from a robot sometimes.
I’m still having a hard time grasping some of the things the humans can do. They’ve already shown a number of talents and abilities not mentioned in any readouts thus far. We all saw Austin throw a fireball without touching a spiritual stone at the moment. One of the theories is that once you touch the stones you don’t have to touch them again to retain that power, but that seems almost too simple to something so mystic. Danny was able to sense where Chris was coming from, a skill that only one of us robots or Jack’s watch could do. Yes, the ability to track Pulse isn’t difficult in theory since it’s all about honing in on an object’s electromagnetic field. But that only applies to mechanics. Humans don’t typically have that sort of a talent. In fact…not ever. Possibly Syrus, but his readouts were incredibly vague at best. Even more puzzling was that Danny knew it was Chris he felt, not just some random person or object. That isn’t possible. Not from a robot’s perspective anyway.
Oh well, there are after all a lot of things for me to try and understand. I have to come to terms with who or what I am at the moment, just as everyone else has something they’re striving to come to terms with. I feel for Chris when Lindsey rejected his feelings of love, though even more strange is that part of me was somewhat glad she did. I’m not sure exactly what that means. She has been rather kind to me though. She shows a lot of potential that she’s yet to bring out, or even been allowed to it seems. I should keep an eye on her. We haven’t seen all there is to see from her.”
-Hex-Duo Product Number Seven, A.K.A. “Glitch”, April 16th, 992 N.C.
“To whomever this may concern,
My name is Syrus. My first name should suffice; a last name does me no good. For the past three decades I’ve fought alongside the Demon Regime, a somewhat secretive army funded through the nation of Balobyn. As far as the world knows me I’m a hero in battle and to my credit I’ve had my share of elaborate saves, last-ditch finales, and heroic eleventh hours. All in the name of our highest leader: Lucifer. Obviously, this is a piece of information that all but maybe a dozen people in the world are unaware of.
Why I chose to align myself with Lucifer’s interests is not of your concern since it won’t help you any to know, only manage to confuse you. That’s alright, it’s my life to lead, not yours. I’m the only one who needs to know the details of my life. Suffice it to say that I have good reasoning for what I’ve chosen in my life and that it wasn’t a decision I made lightly. The importance to figure from this is the extent it means for a person to devote themselves to arguably the most hideous villain in all of history and have a clear and rational reason for doing so.
Recently, a group of children have appeared that break all the preconceived notions I had regarding this war. I’ve fought with man twice my age and skill, with demons not fit for this world or the next, and even with Lucifer’s bastard son Donovan at her request, but never have I encountered a group of individuals quite like these. Not just for the fact that they’re children. Though that’s impressive, that’s not the entire case. Rather, they are rapidly excelling as warriors at a rate that does not and should not exist. Usually for the amount of power they possess you’d expect them to have been training for years, but they have hardly half a year under their belts. Even worse is that with each new challenge to them they rise above their level again and again to a new peak. They’re making jumps in skill in the span of a week that should take a lifetime. And they’re not even 18.
It’s not in my nature to fear any other fighters, least of all children, but I am very cautious what this could mean. There is a chaos theory that states that in the endless cycle of chaos there is a stage of peace, followed by a stage of unease, followed by a stage of breakdown, and finally a rebuilding period before cycling back around to a stage of peace once more. Except the theory also states that the cycle repeats itself faster and faster each time so that the periods of unrest are more unstable and the stages of peace are shorter-lived each time. Seeing these children continuously cycle through these stages in a matter of months worries me that at some point the cycle will break down entirely and something catastrophic will occur, even considering the standards of chaos we’ve routinely witnessed. I implore whoever reads this to heed my warning and beware the current time in which we live, for there is a good chance it may finally be the End Times we’ve heard about. The real End Times. This one will not be a practice.”
-Syrus, April 5th, 3004 A.D.
Eclipse Star: Chapter 54
-Octavious walks off stage once the cameras at his press conference go off. His son Maximilian follows him.
Octavious: I doubt we’ll have to wait very long until we get a response from all that.
Maximilian: Yes, very doubtful. But father, that still leaves another variable uncertain.
Octavious: And what variable is that?
Maximilian: How likely are your soldiers to succeed?
Octavious: The Octa-Rangers are flawless. I’ve trained them myself.
Maximilian: That contradicts itself. If you trained them yourself they cannot be without flaws.
Octavious: (Restrained anger). Hold your tongue, boy.
Maximilian: That is not to say that you are a poor instructor; rather that no one can be trained in under a month and be expected to compete with the current opposition.
Octavious: Don’t underestimate my skills.
Maximilian: I’m more worried about you underestimating the skills of those kids.
Octavious: I’m not. Anyone who trains under me should be adequately prepared to fight at their peak. I’m the best there is.
Maximilian: Then maybe you should be the one fighting.
Octavious: Or maybe it should be you, huh? You’ve been telling me for years how amazing you are in battle, but I’ve yet to see that.
Maximilian: I haven’t had the chance-
Octavious: No, and you will not be getting that chance any time soon. Nor will I. Those in a position of power do not do the fighting. That’s how you know they’re strong; they have someone else do the fighting for them.
Maximilian: I could kill these kids if I fought them.
Octavious: (Getting right up in Maximilian’s face). Do you even realize how difficult it was to get you to where you are now? Do you? Just think for a second about what an accomplishment it is for the son of the enemy’s forces to suddenly become leader of those forces.
Maximilian: I realize it was difficult.
Octavious: You don’t know the half of it, boy. I’ve been waiting for years for the timing to work just right for this. Every day there was the chance that you would be found out; that everything we’ve been working for becomes compromised. Allowing you to rise in ranks unnoticed, and then have the current Commander, my cousin, killed without traceable blame being put on us, is a miracle enough as it is without mentioning all the hardships that are far too complicated to explain. And now you’d like to just throw that hard work away?
Maximilian: No. But I do not intend to be the type of leader who sits around and does nothing when I’m entirely capable of getting something important done myself.
Octavious: Then you’re indeed going to be a foolish leader.
Maximilian: At least I’m not a coward.
-Maximilian walks away.
-Syrus stands off to the side, arms crossed.
Syrus: Kids today. What can you do with them?
Octavious: Don’t push me Syrus…
Syrus: The current generation is so ungrateful. You raise them, pamper them, make them heads of enemy forces, and still they want more.
Octavious: (Smiling). Ha ha, gloat all you’d like Syrus, because pretty soon it’ll be you who’s got to deal with these kids firsthand. And failure won’t be tolerated again.
Syrus: (Becoming serious again). I have a problem with our current strategy.
Octavious: You think the Octa-Rangers aren’t strong enough? Is that it?
Syrus: Beyond just that, I’m far more concerned about what you’ve instructed a handful of soldiers to do.
Octavious: War is Hell, Syrus.
Syrus: But there is no honor in kidnapping innocent family members.
Octavious: Don’t worry; I’m not asking you to be a part of the raids.
Syrus: Please, don’t do them. No good will come from these actions.
Octavious: Hmph, you sound like one of my Soothsayers… We’ve finally gotten the information needed about these kids’ personal lives and you don’t want to use it?
Syrus: If you push them they will push back and far harder than you’ll like. Don’t do it.
Octavious: It’s already been set in motion. While the group meets us tomorrow at noon here at the Arena, their parents will be in the process of getting kidnapped. If for some reason the Octa-Rangers fail to kill them, we’ll force them to surrender with our newly gained leverage.
Syrus: Such a thing is cowardly.
Octavious: Well isn’t that a popular word…
Syrus: A person’s loved ones are not bargaining chips. They’re not objects to be used against an enemy. I’ve seen it happen before, and it doesn’t work. I’ve witnessed exactly how devastating a mistake it can be.
Octavious: We’re within inches of succeeding here Syrus. Years of planning are falling into place, and by the end of the month Balobyn will be in charge of Zanretha. The war will be over and a new age, our age, will have begun.
Syrus: We need to find the Eclipse Star before we can do any of that.
Octavious: Hah, I don’t need some stupid rock to help me rise to power, let alone kill a couple of children.
Syrus: Don’t forget our primary goal, Octavious.
-Syrus starts to walk away.
Syrus: We were given a task with specific orders; don’t disobey.
Octavious: Hmh, Lucifer isn’t in charge yet.
* * * * *
-Jack sits up straighter after seeing the recent newscast.
Jack: Alright everyone, it should be obvious that we have a whole new set of problems.
Kevin: Should I go get the others?
Jack: Yeah, this seems like it’d warrant the sort of thing requiring everyone here to discuss.
–Kevin nods and rushes up the stairs.
Jack: Shame, too. One night of rest would have been nice.
-Austin walks into the living room.
Austin: Hey guys, I heard some commotion. Anything the matter?
Jack: I’ll explain when everyone’s present.
Austin: Oh no. I hate it when everyone has to be present for something. Never good.
-Derek walks down the stairs behind Kevin, rubbing his eyes and looking like hell.
Derek: This had better be good. Or really bad. I don’t know which, but it better be something.
-Lindsey comes in from outside, looking somewhat huffy.
Jack: Oh good, Lindsey you’re here.
-Lindsey walks right up to Jack and kisses him, grabbing his face and pulling him closer.
-Everyone else in the room stops everything they’re doing to watch this.
-After a few seconds Lindsey lets go of Jack.
Jack: Well that’s…that’s definitely how we should always start these meetings.
-Jack looks up and notices someone out of the corner of his eye standing at the back door.
Jack: Chris…good, you’re here too.
Chris: (Surprisingly together, though very cold). Something the matter Jack?
Jack: No, nothing. (Shakes his head). No wait! Yeah, there’s something! (Looks around). Everyone accounted for?
Glitch: Everyone’s present, yes.
Jack: Okay. Everyone, I’ll make this short and sweet. First, the Legion is now run by Octavious’ son. Secondly, they’ve made it sound like we’re responsible for all the bad things happening recently and managed to convince the city we’re terrorists. Third, they’ve issued a challenge where they’d like to pit us against a few of their fighters. Finally, they’re about to kidnap our parents. I think that about covers everything.
Derek: (Very bothered and worried looking). What? Do you know any more specifics?
Jack: Not much more than that. Octavious has the challenge stated that they’ll be waiting at noon every day at the Grand Arena, but nothing more than that.
Derek: What about our parents? Anything about them?
Jack: No. They they’re about to bring our parents in for questioning, so that could mean just about anything.
Chris: Alright, so let’s go kill them.
-Everyone seems bothered by this idea.
Lindsey: What? What do you mean by that?
Chris: Exactly what it sounds like. We go kill Octavious and his fighters or anyone else who feels like threatening us or our families.
Derek: Finally some decent ideas start coming from your head.
Austin: No, that’s a horrible idea. Come on Chris, we’re better than that.
Chris: Are we? Maybe we shouldn’t be anymore. Why should we play by some stupid set of rules if no one else is?
Kevin: But that just means all the more that we should be honorable in this.
Scott: Forget that crap. We’ve nearly been killed half a dozen times now and all we have as a result is one serious bounty on our heads.
Danny: But…things are gonna be okay somehow. I don’t know how, but…somehow. (Turns to Austin). Right?
Austin: Yeah, everything always works out. We’ve nearly been killed half a dozen times, but we’re still NOT dead. That means something. And we’ve been following the rules, which has to mean something more. If we did anything differently, who knows? Maybe we’d be dead.
Chris: (Sighs and takes a deep breath, talking quietly). You’re right… (Shaking his head). I’m sorry, you’re absolutely right.
Kevin: Yes. An eye for an eye is not the way to go about this.
Derek: But they intend to hurt our families. I’m not going to sit around and let that happen!
Jack: We have to meet them as soon as possible, so that’d be noon tomorrow. If we’d like to look like the honorable ones, we’re going to have to show our faces at the first opportunity. But we also can’t just leave our parents out there by themselves.
Lindsey: So we’ll split into two groups!
Derek: That’d never work.
Lindsey: Yes it would! They’re expecting all of us to show up, right? Well, they’ve only got 5 guys waiting for us, so why should we all go? That wouldn’t look very honorable, now would it?
Clinton: (Sighs). She does have a point.
Lindsey: Yeah I do. So we only need to send 5 of us to fight them. In fact, we don’t really even have to send 5, we could-
Kyle: Chris could just go. (Eyes on Kyle). I mean, think about it, the guy’s gotta be unstoppable now, so what’s 5 more guys for him to fight?
Chris: No, I’m not able to fight at that level again. I did it once, I don’t want to do it anymore.
Austin: Five of us go. No more, no less. We play exactly by their rules.
Jack: In the meantime, the rest of us will go check in on our families.
Derek: (Annoyed). There’s a problem with that, Jack. Our families don’t all live in the exact same house.
Lindsey: Most of our parents live in the same neighborhood though. Mine, Austin’s, Danny’s and Willy’s and Clinton’s. Leena’s too. They all live in the same main area of town. What about you, Kevin?
Kevin: My parents live nearby the Foursquare Church on Main. Are you familiar with the area?
Jack: Yeah, that’s also in Brooksboro, right?
Kevin: Yes. My father’s the pastor of the church there.
Scott: No surprise there. (Shrugs). Well I’ve got good news at least: I don’t know who my father is, so we don’t have to worry about him at all, and if the Regime finds and kills him, it’s just doing me a favor.
Leena: What about your mom?
Scott: She’s been locked up. Unless they’d like to break her out of jail, I don’t think they’ll be wasting their time with her. She doesn’t even know who I am anymore anyway. She’s lost her mind.
Lindsey: That’s so sad.
Scott: Do I look all that sad?
Jack: And my parents have been hidden for the past four months after I advised them to, so they’re fine or at least unattainable.
Glitch: Do you even know where they are?
Jack: No, and it’s better that way. It keeps them as safe as can be.
Leena: Well that still leaves Chris’ parents.
Chris: My grandma lives in Brooksboro, too, though a bit out of the way.
Leena: I didn’t ask about your grandma, I’m talking about your parents.
Derek: His parents are dead, you insensitive bitch.
Leena: Well jeez, so-rry. He never talks about his family. What about your mom, Derek? We know your dad’s gone, so what about your mom?
Derek: Don’t know, don’t care.
Lindsey: Derek, that’s unrealistically cruel. She’s your mother.
Derek: I’m not going to waste my time worrying about her. I don’t talk to her anymore, nor do I care what happens to her. And if the Regime just got a bunch of info on me, then they’ll know that using her to get to me is an absolute waste of time.
Glitch: It’s true. The data files I sifted through don’t have his mother listed as a possible emergency use.
Leena: Well that’s good, I guess.
Kyle: Which five of us are going to the big show then?
Jack: I can’t fight, so I’m out. Chris, you’ll go. I don’t care what you think about that, you’re going. Derek, you too. Scott, you’ll go as well since you don’t have anyone to worry about. Glitch, since you’ve got all the information about the Regime, you’re going. Besides, if they try to talk their way around anything you’ll be able to prove them wrong. And that just leaves one more spot.
Lindsey: I’m going.
Jack: No, you’re not.
Lindsey: Yes, I am. I’m strong and I’m angry and we need our strongest and angriest to fight right now.
-Jack pulls Lindsey closer to him so that he can talk only to her.
Jack: Lindz, I don’t think that’s such a good idea considering…
Lindsey: (Whispering back). No, it’s a great idea. The four guys you’d like to go are the most unstable wrecks in the group, and half of them listen to anything I tell them. I can keep anyone from doing anything stupid.
Jack: Good point. (Back to everyone else). Fine, Lindsey’ll go.
Chris: Lindz, it’s too dangerous.
Lindsey: (Angry). You’re not going to tell me what to do, understand?
Chris: But I don’t…
-Austin rests an arm on his shoulder.
Austin: She’ll be fine. You’ll be there to look after her.
Lindsey: I don’t need looking after, but yeah, in the worst-case scenario you can be there to help me, Chris.
Jack: The rest of us will go to Brooksboro to find out anything more about our families. Kevin, Foursquare Church on Main? Where is that?
Kevin: Let’s see…(Doing some calculations in his head). Lindsey’s family lives on 23nd Street, with everyone else living within 10 blocks of that…the church is about 3 miles away from everyone else.
Danny: Did anyone remember that tomorrow’ll be Sunday?
Kevin: (Snaps his fingers). I totally forgot! They’ll be at Sunday Mass by noon.
Jack: The rest of your families the praying type?
Lindsey: Yeah, especially since I left on this whole crazy journey.
Austin: Most of our parents will be at church, so this could work out perfectly.
Chris: My grandma doesn’t go to the Foursquare Church anymore.
Jack: We’ll have to hope for the best then with her. We just can’t afford to spread ourselves that thin. If your family isn’t at the Foursquare Church tomorrow at noon, then we can’t defend them. Agreed?
Clinton: That’s tough but fair.
Danny: That’s easy for you to say; your family’ll be there. What about…(Points at Chris).
Lindsey: Everyone call and tell your loved ones to go to church tomorrow. (Shrugs). I don’t think it really matters if we give ourselves away anymore since we’re going public anyways.
Jack: Okay, so tomorrow before we split up make sure to call your families. Everyone understand?
–Nods and agreements all around.
Jack: Good. Now get some sleep. Tomorrow’s probably gonna suck.
* * * * *
-Octavious paces around backstage at the Arena, looking tired.
Octavious: What time is it? (Checks a wall clock). It’s nearly noon…and they haven’t shown up yet.
-The five Octa-Rangers are standing backstage as well, stretching themselves out. They’re all dressed in different colors, with the main ranger in red. The rest of the rangers are dressed in variations of blue, yellow, black, and pink, all with helmets on.
Red Octa-Ranger: Octavious, sir. (Salutes). As the leader of the Octa-Rangers, I feel the need to speak.
Octavious: Shut up Ranger Stigma, you’re the leader by name only.
Stigma: Regardless, I have a few concerns about what you’ve asked us to do.
Octavious: Fine, you’ve got a few minutes before you all perform; what is it?
Stigma: The other rangers and I aren’t sure that making a spectacle of things is the proper way to go about this whole…secretive war thing.
Octavious: Well then it’s a damned good thing you aren’t the one who’s in charge of a nation and a half.
Stigma: But I’m-
Octavious: Quiet. I want all five of you ready in ten minutes. You go live, whether the kids show or not.
Stigma: What if they bring more than five?
Octavious: They won’t. They’re stupid and noble and they’ll come with no more than five. But rest assured, they are the enemy and they must be eliminated, no matter the cost. Now tighten your helmet and get out there. The public is waiting.
* * * * *
Chris: (On the phone with his grandmother). Yes, Grandma, I realize that I haven’t talked to you in months. You do understand what I mean when I use the word “war,” right?
Chris: No I’m not patronizing you; I’m telling you something very important. Get to Kevin’s family’s church for Sunday Mass, alright?
Chris: I don’t care if you haven’t been there in years.
Chris: I don’t care if it’ll make you look like a hypocrite.
Chris: Either do this for me or risk being killed, is that simple enough to understand?!
Chris: No! I’m not patronizing- Gah! I love you! Be safe!
-Chris slams the phone down.
Lindsey: (On the phone elsewhere). Yeah mom, Foursquare Church.
Lindsey: No, I can’t be there. Not for a while anyways. Why? Because mom, I’ll be at the Trillium Grand Arena.
Lindsey: I know! I heard that I was on TV last night! Isn’t it exciting?
Lindsey: Hah, no mom, I’m not a terrorist. But I do have to go fight again today.
Lindsey: You saw the last tournament? Don’t worry, I’m a lot stronger now. I’m not gonna get hurt as easily as last time. (Burst of excitement). Oh mom! You could watch me on TV again I bet! They’ll definitely televise it, I’m sure of it!
Lindsey: Yeah yeah, Foursquare Church on Main. Tell them to flip around till they find us. Okay, love you. Tell dad the same. Bye!
-She hangs up.
Derek: (Writing a note). “Dear father…” Hmm…(Tapping the pen on his chin). “I was here at the house and must have just missed you. Gone to go prove that your son’s the greatest. Hope you get a chance to see. Love, Derek.” Yeah, that should be good enough.
-Derek puts the note on the table and leaves.
-Everyone’s gathered in the living room again, packed and ready to go.
Jack: Okay gang, this is it. This is the moment we’ve been training for all…this morning. Let’s go out there and not screw up. Okay?
Chris: Yah yah!
–Chris, Derek, Lindsey, Scott, and Glitch all power-up and take off towards the Arena via the air.
Chris: See ya Jack! Don’t do anything stupid!
Jack: Same to you!
-The group of five flies with Derek at point.
Derek: Alright team, listen up here.
Chris: You’re the leader now?
Derek: Shush. I have no idea how powerful these rangers are, but I can only assume that we’re far mightier than them.
Glitch: Should we morph our powers into one and then just have a single representative attack?
Derek: No. I think we’d all like a crack at these guys.
–Everyone just kinda looks at Chris like he’s an idiot.
Chris: What? I’m trying to get us hyped. You got a better idea?
Scott: Anyone want a pre-game smoke?
Lindsey: No thanks. I’m not really the smoking type.
Scott: Smokin’ hot.
-Scott winks at Lindsey.
iChris smacks Scott, causing him to drop his cigarette.
Scott: Ah no! It’s an omen of things to come!
Glitch: Omen? What sort of omen?
Scott: An omen that I’m gonna kick Chris in the balls.
-Scott punches Chris in the groin.
Chris: Gah! What the hell?! That wasn’t even a kick!
Scott: So I improvised mid-attack. It’s called the element of surprise.
Lindsey: I’m gonna hit ‘em hard and leave ‘em out cold! Who’s with me!
Others: (Unenthusiastic). Woo.
Lindsey: Oh come on! This’ll be FUN!
Scott: You’ll be fun.
Glitch: That makes no sense.
Scott: You make no sense.
Derek: Shut up. Kick it into high gear troops. (Gets a smug grin on his face). We wouldn’t want the festivities starting without us now would we?
–They all increase speed towards the Arena.
* * * * *
-Octavious walks out onto the main platform overlooking the Arena floor. The stadium is packed full of people anticipating a show of some kind.
Octavious: Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome, to an historic event like no other! Today marks the first official joining of the nation of Balobyn and the nation of Zanretha working together against a common threat for the greater good! Today, we shall liberate your city and rid it of the evil shadow of terrorism caused by the Legion’s traitors! Tomorrow will be the dawning of a new age of relief!
Octavious: Hmh…say anything and they’ll eat right outta your hand…I present to you all your saviors!
Octavious: Octa-Rangers! Assemble!
–Huge cheers once again as the Arena’s lights turn off and rave lighting kicks in along with heavy techno music.
Octavious: Ranger Stigma!
–Red Ranger jumps into the center.
Octavious: Ranger San!
–Yellow Ranger leaps out and high-fives the Red Ranger.
Octavious: Ranger Sampi!
–Blue Ranger leaps out, flexing and boxing the air.
Octavious: Ranger Sho!
–Black Ranger rushes in, flipping back and forth and kicking about.
Octavious: And finally, Ranger Qoppa!
–Pink Ranger rushes out, pumping his arms in the air.
Qoppa: Hooray for me!
Octavious: Trillium City, these are your saviors!
-The crowd gives a standing ovation as the Octa-Rangers clap and stretch to their welcome, trying to get the crowd even more riled up.
-Octavious also claps for the group, smiling a very fake smile as he does so.
Octavious: Aren’t they great folks? For their first demonstration, they have a choreographed piece to show! Witness their dancing prowess!
–Spotlights go off, with one left lighting the Octa-Rangers as they all stand together in first positions for a dance routine.
Octavious: Hit it boys.
-The spotlight explodes as an energy ball collides with it, showering the Octa-Rangers with glass and sparks.
-They all cover their heads, breaking their stance.
Octavious: What was that?! (Yelling at the stagehands nearby). Fix it! Now!
–Lights finally come back on.
Derek: And now presenting, the REAL saviors!
–Derek, Chris, Lindsey, Scott, and Glitch are all standing on the Arena floor in front of the Octa-Rangers, who jump back with a start upon seeing the group.
Chris: Tyrannosaurus! (Poses).
Derek: (Breaking character and turning to Chris). Dude, I told you NO.
Octavious: What?! They showed up?! (Clears his throat). Ahem, of course they showed up. Ladies and gentlemen-!
Lindsey: (Totally getting into the act, yelling at the top of her lungs to the whole stadium). ARE YOU READY?!!!
–The Arena cheers regardless of the fact that these are supposed to be terrorists.
Derek: The reigning champion of Trillium City has returned! (Points at Octavious). Prepare to be defeated! (Thumbs down).
Octavious: Octa-Rangers! ATTACK!!!
Octa-Rangers: GO TIME!!!
–They leap at the group, ready for battle.
-The two groups collide with a flash.
To Be Continued…