Eclipse Star: Genesis Chapter Fifty-Three

June 11, 2009 at 8:14 am (Eclipse Star: Genesis) (, , )

Eclipse Star: Chapter 53

“A Very Special Report”

 

Recap:  Last time, after the events of the Hex-Duos’ destruction, the group decided the best course of action would be to hide away at Derek’s father’s house, though upon arriving something seems odd due to his father’s absence.  Regardless, the group has holed themselves up and prepares to lay low for the time being.

 

-Jack relaxes in a hot bath in the master bathroom.

 

Jack:  Phew…nice to find some time to myself once in a while.  Surprising, too.  (Looks around).  And no one’s tried to bother me, either.  I almost don’t like that…makes me suspect something’s wrong.  Damn, even when I’m trying to relax in peace I can’t do it without some commotion.

 

-Jack loosens up and slips deeper into the water.

 

Jack:  Whatever, not my problem right now.  If anything happens, Chris should be about to handle it.  (Shakes his head).  Strange guy.  I’d feel bad about the way people’ve been treating him if he wasn’t so damned unrealistically advanced.  Bah, who cares.  Let the guy stew for a bit.  It’ll be good for him.

 

-Jack closes his eyes and tries to rest.

 

-Chris knocks at the bathroom door.

 

Chris:  Hey Jack?

 

Jack:  (His eyes slowly open again, a completely annoyed look on his face).  Well at least I got my wish…(sigh).  Yeah?  What’s up?

 

Chris:  You doing alright in there?

 

Jack:  Yes Chris, I’m doing just fine.

 

Chris:  Sure you don’t need anything?  I could have sworn I heard my name.

 

Jack:  (His eyes are closed again as he’s relaxing).  You’re just hearing things again.

 

Chris:  Sure?

 

Jack:  Thank you, you can go now.

 

Chris:  Alright then.

 

-Chris turns away from the room and walks back through the master bedroom.

 

Chris:  I know I heard my name…(Shoots an angry look in Jack’s direction).  Lousy backstabber…(Shakes his head).  Nah, that’s not fair, I can’t blame Jack for anything.  I mean the guy’s basically a cripple now anyway.

 

-He notices the path of clothing leading to the bathroom.

 

Chris:  Still impressive that he got himself changed and to the tub all by himself.

 

-Chris sees Jack’s watch lying on the floor.

 

Chris:  Oh, that’s his weird power-reader watch, isn’t it?  Hmh, never actually tried it for myself…

 

-He bends down and picks it up.

 

Chris:  Now let’s see how it works…

 

-Chris presses the button on the side.  It instantly starts a slow, rhythmic beeping.

 

Chris:  There we are.  I assume this dot here’s me…and these dots must be…can’t see them properly…

 

-He adjusts some of the knobs on the side.

 

Chris:  Aha, so you can zoom in and out on people, eh?  That’s kinda nifty.  So let’s see…no big activity or huge readings coming from anywhere, so that’s good.  (Taps the face of the watch).  Yep, Derek’s still the next biggest dot on here, so he should be happy.  Hmm, wonder what the rest of these buttons do…?

 

-He starts to turn the watch over in his hands, flipping it over to reveal the message on the back.

 

-Chris stops and squints at it.

 

Chris:  What’s…?

 

The message reads “For your endless devotion.  –Octavious.”.

 

Chris:  Whaaaat…?

 

-Chris whips around to check the bathroom door, his face in disbelief.

 

Chris:  It…I’ve gotta show this to someone…

 

-He rushes out of the room.  The rest of the house is dark.  Chris looks around for any lights that are still on.

 

Chris:  Someone’s gotta be awake.  (Looks at the message on the watch again).  Only one guy who’d listen right now anyway.

 

-Chris knocks on the next door he gets to.

 

Chris:  Derek?  You awake in there?

 

Derek:  (An angry grumbling comes through the door).  No, this had better be important.

 

-Chris steps through the door as he opens it, quickly shutting it behind him.

 

Chris:  Derek, read this.

 

Derek:  (Sitting up, extremely groggy).  What?

 

Chris hands Derek the watch.

 

Derek:  So?

 

Chris flips it over and points at the inscription.

 

-Derek tries to look at it, blinks a few times, then rubs his eyes before finally focusing on it and reading it semi-aloud.

 

Derek:  “Endless devotion…Octavious?”  (Shakes his head, reading it again).  Where’d you get this?

 

Chris:  It’s Jack’s watch.  He left it on the floor when he got undressed.

 

Derek:  (Coughs to clear his throat).  You pulling my leg?

 

Chris:  No.  I just found it, so I had to show someone.

 

Derek:  (Really awake now).  I knew it.

 

-Derek clenches the watch in his hand, standing up.

 

Derek:  I knew it!  I knew the bastard was acting funny.  He was working for the enemy the whole time.  It completely makes sense.

 

-Derek starts to walk towards the room.

 

Chris:  Hey, where’re you going?

 

Derek:  I’m gonna go drown Jack; does that sound fair enough?

 

Chris:  (Quick to react).  Derek!  Don’t do something stupid.  I showed you the watch first because I figured you’d be the only one to believe that I didn’t just write the inscription myself or something, so please, don’t do something stupid.

 

Derek:  (Staring in disbelief).  Why would you have written the inscription?

 

Chris:  I don’t know; everyone else is just predisposed not to trust me right now.  You’re the only one unafraid of me.

 

Derek:  (Rubs his eyes).  God…I’m too tired for that.

 

-Derek whistles, rattling the whole house.

 

Derek:  HEY!  Everyone awake!  Dining room, NOW!

 

-He and Chris walk downstairs.

 

Chris:  Derek?!  What are you doing?

 

Derek:  This is probably the least-stupid thing I can do at the moment.  At least this should get an accurate telling of everyone’s feelings about Jack, and it won’t be an opportunity for me to kill him either, now will it?

 

Chris:  You do have a point…

 

-Lindsey rushes into the dining room as everyone else stumbles in, all effected by various stages of sleep.

 

Lindsey:  What’s going on?  Is everyone okay?

 

Chris:  We’re not sure.  We’ve got a problem.

 

Derek:  Is everyone here?

 

Glitch:  I’ll go get Jack.

 

Chris:  (Throws up his hands).  No!  Jack can’t be present for this.

 

Lindsey:  Okay Chris, I’m getting really scared now; what’s happened?

 

-Chris dangles the watch between his fingers, swinging it back and forth.

 

Derek:  This is Jack’s energy-gauging watch.

 

Kyle:  (Points an important finger in the air).  “Power-reader.”

 

Danny:  I always thought it was called a “Lifeforce-scouter.”

 

Scott:  Nah, it’s just an expensive watch that beeps.  Jack just makes shit up whenever it does.

 

Derek:  Shut up.  Point is, it’s not about what the watch does.

 

Leena:  What does it do?

 

Danny:  Scouts lifeforces of course.  Duh.

 

Chris:  Guys, there’s an inscription on the back.  Here, hand it to me.

 

Derek gives Chris the watch.

 

Chris:  (Reads).  “For your endless devotion.”

 

Leena:  So?

 

Chris:  “Signed, Octavious.”

 

Everyone is a bit under-whelmed by the revelation.

 

Chris:  Octavious…(Nothing)…the leader of Balobyn and the Demon Regime…?  Anything?

 

Lindsey:  Let me see that.

 

Chris hands her the watch and inspects it for herself.

 

Lindsey:  Chris, I don’t know about this…

 

Leena:  How do we know you didn’t just write it because you’re jealous or something?

 

Chris:  What?  (Smacks Derek).  See, I told you.  (Shakes his head).  What would I have to be jealous of anyway?

 

Leena:  Oh I don’t know, plenty of things…

 

Kyle:  Come ON already; give the guy some slack, alright?

 

Leena:  (Annoyed).  Don’t start with me, Kyle.  I’m in no mood for it.

 

Austin:  Chris, you swear to me you didn’t write that?

 

Chris:  Yes, I swear it.

 

-Austin walks to the middle of the group.

 

Austin:  Okay, so Chris didn’t write it.  There’s got to be an explanation though.

 

Derek:  There’s a perfectly good one: Jack’s been playing for the wrong team.

 

Clinton:  No, I don’t believe that.  Why would they want him dead just as much as us?  He’s upstairs nearly paralyzed as a result; why would they do that to their own side?

 

Scott:  Well, could be possible that he’s an outcast trying to gain his reputation back?  (Shrugs).  Sounds about as reasonable as any other suggestion.

 

Lindsey:  No, Jack’s not like that.  I’ve talked to him, he’s done nothing but look out for us this whole time.  I trust him.

 

Derek:  You trust anyone who looks into your eyes and tells you to trust them.

 

Lindsey:  That’s not true!  (Frustrated).  We’ve had a lot of deep conversations with him; he’s not like that at all.

 

Kevin:  What’s his middle name?

 

-Lindsey’s caught off guard by both this question and the fact that Kevin’s the one asking it.

 

Lindsey:  Wh-what?

 

Kevin:  Please, you said you’ve had deep conversations with him, can you tell us where he was born?  Who his parents are?  Simply his middle name?

 

Lindsey:  It’s…

 

Jack:  His middle name is Diana.

 

Everyone whips around to see Jack sitting at the bottom of the stairs, watching them all.

 

Jack:  He grew up in a suburb of Jamestown, on the coast to the East of Trillium City.  He lived with his parents, both of which were respectable members of their community, until he finally got accepted into the Legion at age 13.  His parents gave him a simple name like Jack and decided that for some flair they’d give him a female middle name to keep him wondering.  And he’s incredibly stupid for leaving his things lying around where snoopy individuals are looking, but not stupid enough to turn his ear-receiver off.

 

Derek:  How much have you been listening to?

 

Jack:  All of it.  I told you, I’m not that stupid.  Would you really expect any less from me?

 

Lindsey:  Oh Jack, I’m so sorry, I didn’t-

 

Jack:  Shush.  I didn’t get a chance to tell anyone much about me, and for that I apologize.  That isn’t my watch; it belonged to a close friend of mine named Nathan, and he worked for the Regime.  I’ve been talking to him for the past few years, though you’d all only really care about the conversations I’ve had with him over the time you’ve known me.

 

Clinton:  So you’ve…?

 

Jack:  Yes, I’ve discussed all of you with Nate.  Particularly him.  (Points at Chris).

 

Kevin:  Chris?  Why Chris?

 

Jack:  Because frankly he just scares me, and whatever’s happened recently hasn’t done much to help that.

 

Chris:  Me?  But I’m not…I didn’t…

 

Jack:  Nate and I discussed anything we’d heard between our respective organizations, but we had a very strict policy meant to keep each other and anyone connected to us alive and as safe as possible.  He told me a few important details about the Regime’s base in the ridge and gave me a fairly large supply of the prototype PEZ we’ve been using, which we’ve basically expended by the way.

 

Willy:  Why didn’t we ever hear about Nate then?  Sounds like he’s a close friend, so why haven’t you said anything about him until now?

 

Danny:  Yeah, Willy’s right.  We would have heard something about him sooner…right?

 

Jack:  I honestly couldn’t trust any of you by talking about something as dangerous as that.  I’m sure you’d have all freaked out and figured I was just telling the Regime exactly where we’d be and how to kill us, which turns out to be an accurate guess on my part.  I’ve only talked to one person about all of this, and it’s Lindsey.

 

Lindsey:  Jack, I didn’t tell!  I promised I wouldn’t!

 

Jack:  I know.  (Smiles and gives her a thumbs-up).  I never doubted you for a second, either.

 

Derek:  (Raising an inquisitive eyebrow).  Where is Nate right now?

 

Jack:  He’s sitting in his apartment, dead and most likely decaying right now.

 

-Lindsey gasps, along with a number of other members of the group.

 

Lindsey:  I’m so sorry Jack…

 

Jack:  I was there when it happened.  He betrayed me to the Regime.  He betrayed all of us to the Regime.  And when Syrus showed up, he killed Nate.  I was right there when it happened.  I felt him die inches away from me.  And then Syrus left.

 

Kevin:  My God…I’m so sorry for your loss, Jack.

 

Jack:  I brought it upon Nate.  If I didn’t run to his apartment after being attacked by the Hex-Duo robots, then he might still be alive.  But while I was there I stole his watch, which you’re holding right now, Lindsey.

 

Derek:  You know, grave-robbing isn’t that favorable of an act either, Jack…

 

Scott:  But it was grave-robbing from a traitor.  I can get behind that.

 

Willy:  Stealing from the dead is still stealing from the dead though.  What about Nate’s family?

 

Jack:  He doesn’t have any that still talk to him, save for me.  We were somewhat half-brothers, if you can consider us that.  If he died, the watch would technically belong to me.  So, any more questions?

 

Glitch:  I’ve just got one.

 

Jack:  Yeah?

 

Glitch:  You were at Nate’s apartment for a while, right?

 

Jack:  Yes.  For about a day.

 

Glitch:  And then you found us at the mall.  But you couldn’t have gotten this information from Nate since you said he was killed.

 

Jack:  And?

 

Glitch:  Well…(Rolls his eyes and shrugs).

 

Clinton:  (Catches on).  Then how did you know where to find us…?

 

Everyone has highly judgmental looks on their faces pointed at Jack.

 

Jack:  Hah, I’ve got a few places bugged.

 

Chris:  That still doesn’t answer the question.

 

This gets a few nods as response.

 

Jack:  Hmm…if you really must know, I tapped into Nate’s all-points bulletin signal.

 

Danny:  His…what?

 

Jack:  His radio from the Regime.  They figured out where you guys were headed and I intercepted the alert.

 

Lindsey:  How did they find us?  We were careful not to do anything that’d give ourselves away.  I was really good not to react to anything anymore.

 

Scott:  By which you mean you were numb to everything for a solid two days.

 

Lindsey:  Same thing.

 

Glitch:  And I was blocking any signals either coming from us or seeking our location.  So how’d they know where to find us?  It doesn’t make sense.

 

Jack:  Someone tried calling their dad.

 

-Jack shoots Derek a nasty look.

 

-Everyone starts curiously looking at Derek.

 

Derek:  (Hardly blinks at this).  Yeah, I care about my father.  I’m surprised you have the audacity to look at me that way.

 

Kyle:  You know he has a point.  Of all the heartless, despicable, terrible things we could think Derek would do…this isn’t one of them.

 

Jack:  Regardless, he gave away your position, which was the exact reason I told people not to be calling their families.

 

Lindsey:  Jack, don’t be too harsh.  (Rubs her face).  Derek, you just wanted to check on your dad, right?

 

Derek:  I love my father.  A hell of a lot more than any of you.  I wasn’t worried about myself or us; I was just concerned about him.  (Crosses his arms and leans back on the counter).  And from the look of things he may still need my help.

 

Chris:  Derek, I’m sorry that your father isn’t here.

 

Derek:  (Responds sharply).  That doesn’t mean he’s gone, alright?!

 

Chris:  I didn’t mean it like that at all.

 

-Derek pushes Chris aside as he leaves.

 

Derek:  I’m not awake enough to deal with this.  No more interruptions, understood?

 

-Derek trudges out of the room and upstairs.

 

-Everyone watches him go while saying nothing, wincing as a group once the door slams.

 

Jack:  Any other business for tonight?

 

Chris:  No I think we’re covered Jack.

 

Leena:  (Raises her hand).  I’ve got some business.  (Eyes all turn to her).  I don’t want him, (points at Chris), sleeping in the same house as us.

 

Kyle:  I said leave the guy alone…

 

Leena:  No!  He’s dangerous!  Chris, do you even know how you did…whatever the heck you did the other day?

 

Chris:  I’m not going to lose it, if that’s what you’re getting at.

 

Leena:  Oh yeah?  How can I trust that?!

 

Chris:  Any one of you can do what I did!  You just haven’t gotten to the point yet where you know how!

 

Leena:  Oh, so using that logic, WE CAN’T DO IT!

 

Lindsey:  Leena, please…

 

Leena:  No Lindz, no.  This guy disappears for a few days and comes back as an immortal, and I don’t trust immortals!

 

Scott:  I don’t mean to start shit and whatnot, but I agree that the nuke should go elsewhere for the time being.

 

Austin:  No!  Chris shouldn’t have to leave.  That’s ridiculous.

 

Glitch:  Right now he’s also our best protection.  Without him, we’re likely to be overtaken by whatever the Regime plans on using next.

 

Leena:  No, we’ll be fine, because apparently we’re capable of doing exactly what he did.  Isn’t that right Romeo?

 

Chris:  Hey shut up.  I didn’t have to do anything for you.  In fact, I wish you’d have already been killed by the time I got there.  At least then I wouldn’t have to listen to your constant bitching about everything!

 

-Lindsey smacks Chris.

 

Lindsey:  Take that back!  You don’t mean it!

 

Chris:  Nah, I do!  (Pointing at Leena).  I don’t know why you decided to come along.  I take responsibility for everyone else here, but I never asked or even wanted you to come!

 

Kyle:  Dude, chill out, you’re just a bit miffed right now.

 

Chris:  Shut up!  I hardly know you either!

 

Scott:  Yeah, you’re making a great case for why you should stay…

 

Kevin:  Chris, I understand you’re angry, but you need to calm down.  Please, take a deep breath.

 

Chris:  Fine.  (Breathes in deeply and then exhales).  I’m sorry.  Leena, I didn’t mean that.

 

Leena:  I don’t care.  I’m just here because Lindsey’s here, and I bet you’re just here for the same reason, aren’t you?

 

Chris:  That…(Clams up and turns red).

 

Jack:  No that’s not true.  I’ve talked to Chris about the subject.  He’s here because he wanted to make a difference and to look after everyone.  Isn’t that right, Chris?

 

Chris:  (Very quiet).  Yeah.

 

Austin:  We gotta remember to actually try looking out for each other again guys.  Come on, we’re hardly alive and we’re fighting again.  A few nights of rest?  Sound good?

 

-Pause.

 

Leena:  (Suddenly blurts out).  He’s just here because he’s in love with Lindsey!  There, it’s been said!

 

Chris:  I said SHUT UP!

 

The house shakes and the floor cracks a little as Chris yells this, causing everyone to become intensely fearful again.

 

-Chris stops after yelling this, instantly uncomfortable and ashamed.

 

Chris:  I’m…I didn’t…

 

-He turns and rushes out of the room.

 

-Austin shoves Leena.

 

Austin:  Why’d you go a say something stupid like that?

 

Leena:  Oh come on, it isn’t a secret.  The guy’s crazy about her.  You figured that out by now Lindz, right?

 

Lindsey:  (Quietly).  You didn’t have to be so rude about it.  (Sigh).  I’ll go talk to him.

 

Austin:  Lindsey, give it a few minutes.  He needs to calm down.

 

Lindsey:  Fine, you come talk with me, privately, please?

 

Austin:  Sure.

 

-Austin and Lindsey walk out from the room.

 

Jack:  Glitch, carry me to the couch.  Please.  I’d like to see the news.

 

Glitch:  Sure.

 

-Glitch walks over and slings Jack over his shoulder, carrying him to the couch.

 

Glitch:  How’d you get down here by yourself?

 

Jack:  I crawled.  I played a lot of Metal Gear as a kid.

 

Glitch:  Oh.

 

Scott:  Now where’s the remote…?

 

-Scott peruses the living room, searching for the remote.

 

Scott:  Can’t find a remote.

 

-Willy turns on the TV.

 

Willy:  I don’t think there’s any cable hooked up from the looks of things.  Pretty basic setup.  (Some static comes up).  Hold on, I’ll fix this.

 

-Willy starts fiddling with the TV.

 

-Lindsey and Austin walk outside into the backyard.  She looks very solemn about everything.

 

Lindsey:  I don’t want to hurt him anymore.

 

Austin:  I know you don’t.

 

-They stop walking.

 

Lindsey:  It’s just so hard.  I don’t know what to say to him.  He’s a good friend; I get that.  And he would never do anything to harm me or put me in danger.

 

Austin:  He does love you.

 

Lindsey:  He only thinks he loves me.  How can he know?  We’re only 16.  (Shakes her head).  I have nothing against him, I really don’t.

 

Austin:  Then give it a try.

 

Lindsey:  I can’t.

 

Austin:  Yes you can.  You just don’t want to.

 

Lindsey:  The timing’s all wrong.  Me and Jack, we’re…

 

Austin:  Together?

 

Lindsey quietly nods.

 

Austin:  For how long?

 

Lindsey:  It’s not official or anything.  I’m not even sure he feels the same way really.  (Looks up at Austin).  But that’s not the point.  I can’t commit to Chris right now.

 

Austin:  What if this had never happened?  What if we were still living at home, safe and sound?  Then?

 

Lindsey:  Under different circumstances…I don’t know.

 

Austin:  You’re afraid of him too, aren’t you?

 

Lindsey:  A little, yes.  You’re not?

 

Austin:  I’m terrified.  But that doesn’t stop me from looking him in the eye and telling him exactly how I feel.  He’s still the same person, Lindz.  He’s still the same shy guy who took you to Homecoming Freshmen year.

 

Lindsey:  We went as friends though…

 

Austin:  But you had a great time, right?

 

Lindsey:  Yes.

 

Austin:  Still the same guy.  Still can’t dance though.

 

Lindsey:  Or look me in the eye…but now he can destroy entire city blocks without even trying.

 

-Austin grabs her and looks her directly in the face.

 

Austin:  But he wouldn’t.  You can do the same thing.  Me, too.  Or Derek, or Kevin, or even Jack.  In another year, we’ll all be shocked that we thought Chris was doing anything too radical.

 

A tear rolls down Lindsey’s cheek.

 

Austin:  What’s wrong?

 

Lindsey:  I just…you think we’ll still be running around, hiding and fighting…for another year?  Two years?  How much longer?

 

Austin:  I don’t know.

 

Lindsey:  I don’t think I can keep this up for that long.

 

Austin:  Maybe you can, maybe you can’t.  The only way to know for sure is to take a risk and keep going.

 

-Lindsey turns away and starts walking.

 

Lindsey:  I need to talk to Chris.

 

Austin:  Please…(Closes his eyes and cups his hands together), be kind to him.

 

Lindsey turns and nods sadly.

 

-Back inside…

 

Willy:  Got it!

 

-Willy stands up from behind the TV.

 

Willy:  Is it working?

 

Kyle:  Yep.  (Feels around for the remote one last time).  And I guess we’re watching this.

 

Jack:  (Checks his watch).  I think we made it just in time for the news.

 

-The channel comes into clear view, the news just starting.

 

News Anchor:  Good evening, I’m Diana Miranda, and the disheveled man sitting next to me is Dave Trenton.

 

Other News Anchor:  Yeah I’m Dave Trenton.  Who wants to know?

 

Scott:  (Smiles).  Oh these guys are great.

 

Diana:  (Quietly talking to her co-anchor).  Dave, you said you weren’t going to drink tonight…

 

Dave:  Hey, the city’s been under attack from who knows what, world’s at war, I could die at any moment.  I’m gonna have a drink.

 

-Dave pulls a bottle of whiskey from under the table and takes a swig.

 

Dave:  You want some?  (Offers the bottle to Diana).

 

Diana:  No thank you Dave.  I’m sorry, folks, it seems my co-anchor is a bit under the weather today.

 

Dave:  (Holds the bottle up high).  And this is tonight’s news!

 

Camera shift to Diana.

 

Diana:  It’s been a week now since The Legion was destroyed here in Trillium City.  Witnesses still aren’t sure what they saw, and local police are extremely baffled.

 

Dave:  I told you, there were robots involved.

 

Diana:  Dave, how would you know?

 

Dave:  Because I saw them Diana.  Big shiny metal men, floating around the city, looking all over for, who KNOWS what.

 

Diana:  Right…well unfortunately rescue crews haven’t managed to find any survivors from the wreckage.  However, those that escaped from the base found themselves stationed at the Legion’s new temporary headquarters at an undisclosed location.

 

Dave:  Brooksboro.

 

Diana:  Huh?

 

Dave:  Brooksboro.  They’re stationed in Brooksboro.  There’s another Legion base located there.

 

Diana:  Dave, it’s an undisclosed location, there’s no way you could have seen it.

 

Dave:  Hey, I’m not stupid, alright?  The government’s been trying to keep things all hush-hush right now, I’m just saying that there’s another Legion base in Brooksboro, a gang of robots patrolling the city, and some kids who know how to blow up my apartment.  (Points at the camera).  Yeah I’m talking to you, you little punks!  Didn’t think I’d know who destroyed my apartment, huh?  Thought you could get away with it?  No one screws with Dave Trenton!

 

Kevin:  How did he know it was us?

 

Scott:  The guy may be drunk, but you don’t forget a little thing like your house being torn apart.

 

Diana:  Dave, don’t bring your personal life into this.  Haha, you know that the fire department has no idea what caused your apartment building to collapse.

 

Dave:  (Pissed).  It was kids.  Kids that could shoot beams from their hands(Looks like he’s about to strangle his co-anchor).  Their hands.  BLAM!  Hand beams!

 

Diana:  (Laughs awkwardly).  Oh Dave…you’re such a kidder.

 

Danny:  (Scratching his head).  I don’t remember if we destroyed any buildings or not.  Did we?

 

Jack:  When Chris and Derek fought a few buildings came down.

 

Leena:  All the more reason why he freaks me out.

 

Willy:  Derek did more damage than Chris that time.

 

Danny:  Yeah.  I was there!  Where were you?

 

Leena:  Oh forget it.  (Crosses her arms in a huff).

 

Dave:  Point is Diana, I’m gonna find those kids, and I’m going to shoot them in the face, WITH MY OWN HAND BEAMS!!!

 

Diana:  (Her eyes are darting around worriedly).  Uh…and now it’s time to check in with Johnny Jenson for the weather.  Johnny, how’s it looking outside?

 

-Camera shifts to an eccentric guy with glasses standing in front of a blank whiteboard.

 

Johnny:  Hey Diana I’ll tell you how it’s looking outside.

 

-He spins his whiteboard over, revealing a lot of scribbles of fire, the world being eaten by a demon, and a baby flying through space.

 

Johnny:  It’s looking FREAKING CRAZY!  That’s how it’s looking!

 

Diana:  But Johnny…the weather…?

 

Johnny:  Folks, we’re gonna be experiencing some pretty heavy rain…of FIRE.

 

-Johnny circles the fire on the whiteboard.

 

Johnny:  Yes that’s right, it will be raining fire for the next few years, because the lord of darkness himself, that’s right, Michael Jackson, is coming back from the grave to eat every last one of us.  The only way to counteract this?  We must start a colony of space-babies.  Perhaps our generation will perish, but surely our children shall thrive.  I highly recommend carrying a flame-retardant umbrella with you and start consummating like bunnies until we have flying children.  Oh, (turns back to his whiteboard and scribbles a few more things), uh, high of 83, low of 60, partly cloudy.  Back to you Diana.

 

Diana:  Thank you…Johnny.  (Turns back to Dave).  Well Dave, pretty silly to think of flying children, huh?

 

Dave:  Oh is it?  (Looks back at the camera).  You little flying bastards are out there, and I’m gonna rip your faces off, you hear me?!

 

Diana:  Dave, please stop threatening our viewers.

 

Dave:  Shut up you stupid (bleeped for television).  How would you know anything about kids?  No guy would find you attractive, not now, not ever, and unless you try really hard, I doubt you’ll find a man in time to make much use of those ovaries before they shrivel up in oh, (looks at his watch), another year or so.

 

Diana:  (Unsure of what to say).  Uh…Dave…you and your jokes…

 

Dave:  I want you to die soooo badly right now.

 

-Away from the TV group, Lindsey finds herself walking down the basement stairs.  A faint sob can be heard.

 

Lindsey:  Chris?  You down here?

 

Chris:  (In total darkness).  No…I’m not…

 

-Lindsey turns the light on, revealing Chris huddled in the corner, his eyes red and swollen.

 

Lindsey:  Chris, please, talk to me.

 

Chris:  (Rubs his eyes dry).  What is it?

 

Lindsey:  I’m sorry for how people have been treating you lately.  It’s not fair, I don’t-

 

Chris:  Then stop joining in.  You keep looking at me like I’m going to hurt you for some reason.

 

Lindsey:  (Gently touches his arm).  No, that’s not true at all.  You’d never hurt me; I know that.

 

Chris:  Then why are you so afraid of me?

 

Lindsey:  Because I’m only 16.  All I do is worry about things.  I don’t know any better and neither does anyone else our age.  That’s one of the things about us, we’re just ignorant about things we don’t understand, like power and war and love…

 

Chris:  (He looks up at that last part).  Love isn’t something people understand.  It’s just there.

 

Lindsey:  Chris, about what Leena said…tell me honestly, is it true?

 

Chris:  Which thing?

 

Lindsey:  (Very strict).  You know which thing.  Now tell me, (pulls his head up so that he’s looking directly into her eyes), is it true?

 

Chris:  (He can’t speak for a second, his eyes watering up again).  I…(He blinks and tears roll down his cheeks).  Yes.  (Nods).  Yes it’s true.

 

Lindsey:  (Shakes her head).  Chris, you’re only 16.  You don’t-

 

Chris:  I’m not stupid!  I know how I feel!

 

Lindsey:  Don’t get angry with me.

 

Chris:  I’m not angry, I’m lonely!  You think it’s easy being me right now?  Huh?  Have everyone look at me like I’m a monster?  Like I’d kill them for bumping into me?  All I want is someone to hold me and tell me I’m okay just the way I am.  To tell me they’re not afraid of me.  That they love me, too…

 

Lindsey:  (Gets up).  I’m sorry…  (Closes her eyes and shakes her head, fighting back tears).  I’m so, so sorry.  I can’t do it.

 

-Lindsey starts to walk away.

 

-Chris reaches out for her.

 

Chris:  Please…I need you…

 

-Lindsey turns around, she’s holding herself and crying now.

 

Lindsey:  I need some sleep.

 

-She starts walking to the stairs, turning as she reaches them.

 

Lindsey:  Jack and I are together.

 

Chris:  How long?

 

Lindsey:  Since he kissed me last week.

 

-She turns her back to Chris.

 

Lindsey:  Please don’t hate him because of me.

 

-She leaves.

 

-Chris remains alone.  He huddles up and begins clenching his fists, tears streaming down his face.

 

-Back upstairs on TV…

 

Diana:  Um, it seems our very own Sam the Go-To Guy has a live report from the site of the Trillium City Center Mall.  Sam, can you hear us?

 

-A very panic-stricken man in a heavy coat is standing around the wreckage of the mall.

 

Sam:  Hi Dave, hi Diana, it’s me, Sam, and I’m standing on ground zero for the recent attack on the Trillium City Center Mall…or whatever it’s called, I forget.

 

Some wreckage topples over a few feet from him.

 

Sam:  AH!

 

-Sam grabs his chest.

 

Sam:  Oh my…that was a close one.

 

Kyle:  Heh, I love this guy.

 

Diana:  Sam, can you tell us a little bit about how the mall’s looking?

 

Sam:  Well Diana, it’s looking pretty torn up.  There’s been a pretty big crew of workers digging around the area, trying to clear the space of all the debris.  In fact, I’m probably not supposed to be here right now.  My life’s in mortal peril.

 

Wrecking ball swings by overhead.

 

Sam:  HA!  You see?!  Nearly took my head off…

 

Dave:  Hey Sam, it’s Dave.

 

Sam:  Oh, hi Dave.  How’re things?

 

Dave:  Things are terrible.  No Sam, I’ve got a question.

 

Sam:  Yeah Dave?

 

Dave:  Was anyone killed during the attack?

 

Sam:  Um…I think there’s some good news to report there.  I’ve been told that there were no casualties and that everyone in the mall managed to get out safely.

 

The group watching at home cheers.

 

Dave:  Everyone’s alright?

 

Sam:  Yeah Dave.  It was a miracle.  There were a few that suffered from mild injuries, but overall the damage was mostly just in the confusion they all felt.

 

A spot caves in right next to Sam’s feet.

 

Sam:  Oh jeez!  Can I go home?!

 

Cameraman:  (From behind the camera).  No keep going.  This is priceless.  Hehehehe…

 

Dave:  So nothing was found like say…any kids in the wreckage…?

 

Sam:  Um…no…nothing like that.  I’ll dig around a bit…

 

-Sam gets down and starts moving some chunks of debris around.

 

Dave:  Damnit, that means those kids are still out there…

 

Sam:  Oh!  I did find one thing!

 

-Sam stands up holding a robotic arm.

 

Sam:  Seems I found what looks like…I don’t know what it looks like.

 

Dave:  Robots!  (Points in Diana’s face).  I told you!  Dumb (bleeped for television), teach you to doubt me!

 

Sam:  Well, I think that’s all for-

 

-The arm whips around and starts choking Sam.

 

Sam:  AH!  Tell my wife and kids I love them!  Gah!  Back to you in the studio!

 

Diana:  Thank you Sam.

 

Danny:  Whoa.  You think he’ll be alright?

 

Kyle:  He’ll be fine.  I swear the guy nearly dies once a week.

 

-Diana is handed a piece of paper.

 

Diana:  It seems we have some breaking news.  We now go live to City Hall where the president of Balobyn has a statement to make regarding the recent attacks on Trillium City.

 

Jack:  What?  Turn it up, quick.

 

Willy tweaks with the TV, turning the volume up.

 

Octavious:  Greetings citizens of Trillium City and Zanretha in general.  It has been a tragic few weeks for your fair city, and the nation of Balobyn wants nothing more than to help in any way it can.

 

Jack:  Help DESTROY it.

 

Octavious:  The war abroad against the Demon Regime has been a terrible one, and I sincerely hope our two nations can stop their advances.

 

Jack:  You can stop their advances by not telling them to advance.

 

Leena:  Shush.  TV’s talking.

 

Octavious:  Though the loss of the Legion’s Trillium City base is great, I am certain that it shall come back stronger than ever under the leadership of its new commander.

 

Another man walks onto the stage to cheers.

 

Jack:  (Jack freaks out).  That’s who was in second in command?!

 

Octavious:  It gives me great pleasure to introduce my son, Maximilian.

 

-Octavious begins clapping as he steps back for Max to take the podium.

 

Everyone watching on TV:  His son?!

 

Jack:  How did he get his son in the Legion without me knowing?

 

Scott:  I’d say it’s a bit more impressive that he got his son all the way to a Commandership without you knowing.

 

Maximilian:  Thank you father.  Zanretha, I hereby take command of The Legion with the promise that I will rid this great nation of all who choose to oppose it.

 

General applause.

 

Maximilian:  Furthermore, with the help of my father, we will have access to far greater weapons and far vaster numbers, making our search for the ones who caused all this trouble that much simpler.

 

-Octavious steps back up to the mic.

 

Octavious:  I’m sure many of you have been asking about sighting robots around the city.  I’m here to tell you, they were indeed sent by Balobyn, but not to destroy!

 

Glitch:  What?

 

Octavious:  No, these robots were sent to help stop a group of traitors within the Legion.  You may know some of these individuals from school or work or anywhere.

 

Pictures of the group along with their names begin flashing up on the screen.

 

Octavious:  These were the ones who destroyed the Legion’s headquarters, as well as the Trillium Mall. 

 

Group:  WHAT?!

 

Octavious:  Balobyn dispatched a group of highly designed robotic soldiers to bring them to justice, yet they were defeated.

 

Maximilian:  If you see any of these teenagers, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Legion at once.  In fact, their relatives will be called in for questioning as soon as possible.

 

Jack:  Shit…

 

Octavious:  Furthermore, it goes without saying that if you are found harboring these terrorists you will also be subject to the full extent of the consequences that follow.

 

Leena:  How can they-?!  I don’t get how-?!  Jack?!

 

Jack:  They’re getting desperate.

 

Glitch:  It makes sense I suppose.  They have to spin this to put themselves in a good light, otherwise they could be blamed.

 

Clinton:  And as a result we’re now the most wanted criminals in town.  Unbelievable.

 

Scott:  I don’t know, sounds kind of cool.

 

Jack:  So now we’ve got to deal with the Legion in addition to the Regime?  Fantastic.

 

Octavious:  I’m opening the floor to questions.  Any questions at this time?

 

Reporter 1:  Yes, Octavious, will Syrus be joining the hunt for these terrorists?

 

Octavious:  Syrus will not be.  He’s busy with a very important assignment that requires his full attention at the moment.  Yes you, in the back.  (Points at another reporter).

 

Reporter 2:  Some eye witnesses claim to have seen the group of robots attacking civilians.  What have you to say to these claims?

 

Octavious:  One of our original ten robots was captured and reprogrammed to follow the orders of the terrorists.

 

Glitch:  That’s not true!

 

Kyle:  Dude, none of it’s been true.

 

Octavious:  It’s unfortunate to think that our good intentions were twisted to fit their horrible plans, but at times these events are unavoidable.  We’re taking precautions to fix the matter.  Next question?

 

Reporter 3:  Yes, I have a question for Maximilian.  What sort of plans do you have for dealing with these terrorists now that you’re the commander of the Legion?

 

Maximilian:  As I’ve said before, my father and I will be working very closely to bring these criminals to justice as soon as possible.

 

Octavious:  That’s right.  And that is why it gives me great pleasure for this one last announcement.  Boys?

 

-Octavious looks up.  The camera pans above his head to reveal five costumed characters standing on the archway above his head.

Octavious:  Assemble!

 

The five all leap down at once, landing gracefully on the stage.

 

Octavious:  These are an elite group I personally trained with the sole purpose of eradicating the terrorists and protecting the city.  Think of them as my gift to Zanretha.  (Smirks).  Give them a demonstration, boys.

 

The five all wave their arms in the air in sync before firing a massive collective blast upwards, then all slamming their fists into the ground, causing a mild earthquake.

 

-They then all stand and salute to Octavious and Maximilian.

 

Kyle:  (Everyone’s shocked).  Who the hell are those guys?

 

Octavious:  Trillium City, I present to you the Octa-Rangers.

 

Huge cheers.

 

Maximilian:  We’re offering a challenge to the terrorists.  We’ll be at the Trillium City Center Grand Arena every day at noon waiting for you.  If you have any honor left, prove it.  Otherwise you’ve been warned.  That is all.  This press event is over.  No further questions.

 

Screen shifts back to Diana.

 

Diana:  Well there you have it folks.  Looks like the city’s saved.

 

Dave:  Things are just gonna get worse before they get better.

 

Diana:  That’s all for us at Channel 70 News.  I’m-

 

TV off.

 

Jack:  (Holding the remote).  I think we have a serious problem.

 

Kyle:  Where’d he find the remote…?

 

To Be Continued…

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