Eclipse Star: Chapter 75
Recap: Last time, Syrus flew to Trillium City with the group of teenagers hot on his tail. Though in possession of the Eclipse Star, he couldn’t stand up to all of them attacking at once with Lindsey finally leading in a simultaneous energy beam to finish him off once and for all. However, Chris doesn’t seem to feel the battle is won. As he stares at the crater where Syrus once stood, a sudden urge of dread overtakes him and the others. Genesis ends today, on Eclipse Star!
-A few blocks away, as civilians still flee in a mass panic, Glitch leans against a crumbling building, holding it up as it threatens to collapse.
Glitch: Everyone needs to evacuate the area! This is not a drill!
-He looks over and notices a terrified reporter limply holding a microphone as his cameraman just keeps filming.
Sam the Go-To Guy: I can’t believe it. The robots are back again…
Frank the Cameraman: Yeah but our ratings should skyrocket.
Glitch: (Almost in disbelief). You need to flee. What are you doing?
Sam: I’m, uh, I’m reporting.
Frank: (Shifts to face Sam). Into the camera, genius.
Sam: Oh, right. (Slowly pulls his microphone to his mouth). Hey Dave, hey Diana, it’s me, Sam. I’m out here near Franklin Parkway where it seems a lot of bad things are currently happening-
Glitch: HEY! You want to help?! Then go rescue some people! I’ve got civilians trapped in this building who need help!
Sam: I, uh…
Frank: (Bolting into the building). Let’s do this then.
Sam: Hey wait up! (Jogs after him).
-Back at ground zero.
Austin: Chris, your cheery optimism is always welcoming, but savor this victory.
-Chris’ eyes remain fixated on the crater.
Chris: We need to get out of here. We need to go, now.
Austin: I don’t-
-The ground starts rumbling all of a sudden. Everyone grows quiet and turns to the crater, watching in horror as debris begins levitating around the center.
-A hand bursts up from the rubble, tightly clutching the Eclipse Star.
Lindsey: No way!
-Syrus rips himself from the ground, dusty but unharmed, save for his tattered clothing.
Syrus: (His eyes are glossed over with rage as he practically froths at the mouth). You think that’s it? You think you children have won? You’ve accomplished nothing!
Jack: We need to hit him again!
Leena: With what? We’ve got nothing left!
-Syrus begins grasping the Eclipse Star so tightly that it pierces his skin, causing his hand to bleed.
Syrus: I will show you just how pointless this all is.
-His face contorts as he closes his hand completely around the Eclipse Star, embedding it in the deep flesh of his palm. He holds his hand in front of his face, shaking, as the area is hit with a violent quake.
-Syrus begins screaming as his hand shakes more and more. Everyone else is forced to shield their face as debris is getting hurled in all directions.
-The blood from Syrus’ hand stops dripping and suddenly sucks itself back up. Blackness starts creeping from his palm, coating his arm as dark tendrils engulf him. From his arm it spreads to his chest, then down to his legs and his other arm, finally snaking its way up his neck.
-Syrus lets out one final scream as a shockwave pushes everyone back.
-When they’re finally able to look up again they see Syrus looking himself over carefully. He is covered in a sleek black armor that comes to a point upwards from the knees and elbows. He’s seemed to calm himself a little bit, mostly due to curiosity at this new transformation, and steps out of the crater toward the group.
Derek: So that’s it, huh? Some black armor? That was the Eclipse Star’s true potential?
Jack: (Checking his Pulse watch). I’m not reading anything. My watch can’t even get a signal.
Derek: So it screws with technology. My dick screws with technology. Big deal.
Kevin: I think Chris may just be right about this…
Derek: You, too? Oh please. (Flicks out his sai). We beat him down once already; He can’t have anything left.
Chris: Derek, stay back…
Derek: HRAH! Fuck this noise!
-Derek rushes forward with his sai out, pulled back and ready to strike.
-Syrus continues looking himself over, paying no attention to Derek.
Derek: I’m putting you back in the ground!
-In an instantaneous flash, a long, thick blade appears from the back of Syrus’ hand as he imbeds it in Derek’s stomach. It goes through the other side as Derek gasps slightly, dropping his sai weakly on the ground next to him.
-No one makes a move forward as Derek stands rigid with shock.
-Syrus retracts his blade and grabs Derek, tossing him into the air.
-He starts firing energy blasts at Derek midair, blasting him relentlessly as the others watch, motionless.
-He brings his hand in close and points two fingers upward as he charges a peculiar new energy blast. It appears as if it’s a white-hot glowing atom. He points his arm straight at Derek and firsts this little blast.
-The sky explodes an unholy bright white, so intense that no one can keep their eyes open. The resulting boom presses them all to huddled positions, trying to keep themselves from being blowing away.
-As they look up to see what’s happened, they witness a spherical shape carved perfectly out of the buildings surrounding the explosion.
-Derek, however, is gone.
Syrus: I suppose he was always the eager one, wasn’t he? (No one says a word). So then, who to pick next…?
-Syrus scans the group. As he does so they all unconsciously take a step backward. He takes his time slowly antagonizing them with a simple look, pausing on some with a chuckle.
Syrus: (Looking at Danny). Maybe you’d like to try? (Danny stops breathing as Syrus turns to Scott). Or do you have the stones to throw the first punch?
-This continues as he walks increasingly slowly without any direction.
Syrus: Come to think of it, I certainly wouldn’t want another inspirational moment, would I?
-He quickly turns to Lindsey and fires an energy ball.
-Chris sprints and hurls himself in front of the ball.
-It hits him hard, throwing him back into the concrete of a nearby building. He slides down to a slump, alive but heavily winded.
Lindsey: (She turns around to see him). Chris!
Syrus: Now what did that accomplish?
-Lindsey stops suddenly as a thin energy beam shoots through her chest.
-Chris leaps up as her legs give way, rushing over to her to catch her before she hits the ground.
Chris: Oh God, Lindz!
-She begins to sputter a bit, unsure where she is.
Lindsey: Did I just…? What just happened…?
-She starts to fade in and out of consciousness.
-Austin powers up anything he has left.
-Everyone takes this as a signal to fight desperately against whatever fate Syrus has in store for the group.
-Austin has ignited himself in a ball of flames as he rushes at Syrus.
-Syrus stomps his foot down, showering the area with chunks of cement. These hunks of pavement pepper Austin until he’s fully disoriented, allowing Syrus to easily swat him away with a backhand.
-Kevin tackles Syrus but can’t push him back. Syrus holds his ground, casually reaches down to grab Kevin, and pulls him into a swift headbutt.
-Kevin goes loose for a moment as Syrus grabs him by the face and hurls him to the side.
-Jack sends a volley of punches at Syrus, each getting slapped away like they’re coming from an amateur.
-Jack fires off an electrical charge at Syrus but watches sadly as it’s shrugged off before Syrus’ heel swings around and clocks Jack in the side.
-Things begin moving too quickly to differentiate between teenagers attacking as Syrus is moving in a fluid motion, rotating in circles as he punches one attacker into another or swings his momentum into the closest body he finds.
-Austin lets out a yell as he grabs the ground and tears up a chunk twice his size, flipping it at Syrus.
-Syrus turns at the slab touches down in front of him.
-Austin throws all his energy into a solid punch that breaks through the concrete, shattering it on Syrus’ face before landing his own punch with the follow-through.
-Syrus remains unflinching as Austin’s whole arm quivers.
Syrus: Well that wasn’t awful.
-Syrus clubs Austin in the neckbone.
-Then hammers him in the side of the head with a flat hook.
-And a snap shin strike.
-Then a downward headbutt that knocks Austin to a slump.
-That concludes with a heavy boot to the body that carries Austin into the air.
-Syrus instantly steps back and swings his arms out, punches colliding Willy and Scott.
-Syrus turns to punch Kevin in the gut, then to his side to bop Clinton in the nose, and kicks backward to catch Jack under the chin.
-As the three react in slow motion to their damage, Syrus moves at normal speed, standing upright before sending them skidding away with a pulse of energy.
-The group of teens huddles together, beaten badly and hurting.
Austin: Okay, we need a strategy here.
-Austin hardly has time to look up as Syrus plows into the group huddle, delivering a straight jab to his face.
-Syrus continues firing right-handed jabs at Austin’s face, pummeling him relentlessly while smirking.
Syrus: Ah-ah, no cheating now! Speak up so everyone can hear what you’re planning!
-As Syrus pulls his left hand back for a haymaker, Kevin dives on him, holding the punch back. The rest of the group dive onto Syrus as well, doing their best to hold him.
-Syrus chuckles deeply to himself before flying straight up into the air.
Syrus: Tenacious, aren’t you?
-He rockets back to earth, the majority of the group still clinging to him.
-As he slams down, everyone is thrown from his body, skidding along the street until they come to a stop at a building or some wreckage.
-Instead of relenting, Syrus speeds off to distribute fly-by poundings.
-Chris remains out of the fray, looking on with horror-struck eyes. Lindsey is coughing weakly and shivering in his arms.
Chris: C’mon Lindz, you can hold on. Just hold on a little while before we can get you some help.
-Chris catches sight of Jack looking over, staring intently at Chris, rather than Lindsey.
Chris: Why aren’t you helping?!
-Jack coldly turns away.
-Nearby, Syrus has managed to beat he spirit out of just about everyone. He walks up to Kyle, facedown on the pavement, and kicks him in the side.
Kyle: HAH! (Holds his side and scrambles to his feet).
Chris: (Looks on with his eyes wide, filled with dread). I’ve seen this all before…
Syrus: Why is it that suddenly none of you are worth my time?
-Scott rushes up behind Syrus and swings a metal pole as hard as he can.
-Syrus whips around and grabs the pole with one hand, yanking it from Scott’s grip as he kicks Scott into a concrete slab jutting out of the ground.
-Syrus impales Scott through the stomach with the metal pole. Scott coughs a bit and slumps down, struggling to keep his head up as he pulls feebly at the pole.
-Clinton rushes forward to help his friend, charging something in his hands as he goes.
-Syrus knees up into Clinton’s stomach at the same time that he elbows down into his back, the spikes from his armor piercing him on both sides.
-Syrus grabs Clinton and tosses him to the side as he lies bleeding from two large holes in his body.
-Leena pulls out a throwing disc from her pocket and hurls it at Syrus while his back is turned.
-Jack sees this, curses under his breath, and bolts to Leena.
-As the whirling disc about hits Syrus in the back of his head, Syrus spins around and grabs the disc. He then spins around again and pitches the disc right back in one fluid movement. The disc screeches as it flies toward Leena.
-Jack throws himself in front of Leena and swishes his arm upward, knocking the disc away, but not before it slices to the bone.
-Jack holds his arm as blood flows out from behind his hand.
Chris: I failed. I wasn’t supposed to let this happen…
Lindsey: I can’t see anything…
Chris: (Looks down to see her rapidly fading). What?
Lindsey: I…I can’t breathe…
Chris: No! Don’t do this!
-She starts violently choking as she weakly reaches up a hand.
-It falls as her body goes limp.
-He touches her face and feels no warmth. He leans his head down to listen for breathing, but hears nothing.
Chris: She’s dead…
-Syrus stops at this, as does everyone else.
Jack: C’mon, that should do it already…
Austin: (Angrily puzzled). What?
-Chris just looks down and quietly sobs.
Jack: Why isn’t it working?
Syrus: (Casually walking up to Chris). Hnh. So she’s gone then?
Chris: Why did you have to kill her? Why did you have to do any of this?
Syrus: I said I’d bring Hell with me.
Chris: No. This isn’t how it ends.
Syrus: I’m sorry, but it is.
Chris: (Looks up, his eyes piercingly white). THIS ISN’T HOW IT ENDS!
-Light explodes forth from Chris as he screams, pushing Syrus and everyone back out of shock.
-Chris shuts his eyes tightly as the ground quakes around him, sending cracks rippling through the streets.
Syrus: (Shielding his eyes to the both the intense light and the dust whirling around Chris). What is this?
Jack: (Also shielding his face). About time.
Austin: What’s happening?
Jack: (Smiling). You’ll see.
-Chris’ cries carry out into the city, growing more and more strained and painful the longer he holds them.
-His hair suddenly flickers gold as his muscles tense.
Scott: (Barely keeping his head up). Khh…atta boy.
-A pillar of blue light bursts upward into the sky as Chris’ howling becomes its most severe.
-Chris falls silent as the light spirals upward and dissipates. His hair, however, is glowing bright gold.
-He quickly looks down at Lindsey and places a hand over the hole in her chest. The aura that surrounds him flows down from his hair and into his hands as he hums quietly. The light continues on and flows into Lindsey, causing her hair to shimmer faintly.
-Lindsey gasps suddenly and jerks upward as her eyes shoot open and then closed again. She passes out but heaves a long and healthy sigh.
Kyle: Holy shit.
-Chris stands up, still holding the now sleeping Lindsey in his arms. His hair has returned to its previous dull brown, but his hands still have a spark of gold surrounding them.
-He walks over to Scott and places Lindsey on the ground near him. Firmly grasping the metal pole, he pulls it from Scott’s stomach, holding a glowing hand at the spot of the wound.
-As Scott finally drops to his knees, released from his hanging position, he takes a deep breath and looks down to see his stomach completely intact.
Scott: Not a bad trick.
Chris: Also, you’re welcome.
-Chris picks up Lindsey and walks over to Clinton. He sets Lindsey down once again and reaches his hands out to Clinton, covering the open holes where Syrus punctured him. He closes his eyes as another healing takes place.
-Clinton sits up, weak but clearly out of the danger zone.
-Jack watches this as he holds his arm, wincing from the sharp pains. Chris gently cradles Lindsey and walks over to meet Jack, setting her down at his feet.
-He grabs a hold of Jack’s arm at the wound, causing Jack to flinch at this, but ultimately it’s apparent that the gash is healing.
Jack: Your hair looked a bit like mine there for a second, didn’t it?
-Jack’s injury healed, the light in Chris’ hands has completely faded.
Chris: Lindsey just died you know.
Jack: But you saved her. I knew you’d save her. (Bends down and picks her up). You always save her.
Austin: (Pats Chris on the shoulder). How do you always do this?
Chris: I want you all to get out of here.
Leena: But you, you’re…
Chris: I’ll be fine. I’m pretty resilient when I have to be.
-The group huddles closely as Syrus looks on, dumbfounded. Willy is carrying Clinton over a shoulder and Kyle is doing the same with Scott.
Austin: I’m not leaving you. Not this time. You need me.
Kevin: And me. (Places a hand on Chris’ shoulder). I trust you, and I trust that you shouldn’t have to be alone.
Chris: (Nods at Kevin and Austin, then instantly looks around). The rest of you, get as far away from here as fast as you can.
Leena: Are you su-
Chris: (Barks). NOW!
-Everyone except for Austin and Kevin takes off at a sprint away from Chris.
-Syrus finally snaps out of his stupor and blinks.
Syrus: You think they can just leave? What makes you think they can just leave?
Chris: Your fight is with ME! (He crouches down and powers up to max). This is what you wanted, isn’t it?!
-Austin and Kevin also power up what little they have left.
Syrus: (Turns his head inquisitively, searching for some sort of deception). And now you’re willing to fight, just like that?
Chris: Let’s go!
-Chris launches himself at Syrus as Austin and Kevin follow a few paces behind him.
-Syrus growls a wicked smile as he readies himself for the battle.
-As Chris strikes Syrus, they both disappear with a sonic boom.
-Austin and Kevin skid to a halt, stunned at their sudden disappearance.
BRAM! BRAM! BRAM!
-They look up to see Chris and Syrus exchanging blows in rapid succession in the air, disappearing and reappearing with every hit.
-Chris flies toward Syrus, throwing a punch out. Syrus grabs his arm and socks him in the ribs.
-Chris kicks out at Syrus, catching him in the head, then slams him with a double-handed smash.
-Syrus reappears with a punch to Chris’ gut.
-Chris vanishes and reconnects with an elbow to Syrus’ back.
-Syrus turns the tables with a heel kick.
-Chris returns with a solid knee to Syrus’ body.
-They both disappear and reappear with a straight cross, each connecting with the other’s fist.
-Syrus fires a quick energy blast at Chris, sending him away.
-Chris struggles against the blast but maintains control, tossing it away.
-Syrus comes straight down onto Chris’ head with a stomping double boot.
-Chris careens out of the air and lands with a crack to the pavement.
-He looks up as Syrus slams his fist down, just barely dodging out of the way.
-The two zip off after one another down the street.
-Syrus blasts a hard jab into Chris’ face, getting stopped by a full cross defense. The jab still pushes Chris back as the force carries the two further down the street.
-Syrus opens his mouth and starts charging a blast.
-Chris grabs the ball of energy forming in Syrus’ mouth, pushing back as it reaches completion.
-The two struggle against one another, Syrus trying to fire his blast and Chris trying to prevent it.
-Austin and Kevin come down hard on Syrus’ head with a foot each, causing him to clasp his jaw shut and harmlessly swallow the blast.
-Chris instantly pulls back and fires a strong Pulse explosion at Syrus’ stunned face, pitching him away from the trio.
-Syrus flips end over end before slapping the ground to right himself. He digs his feet in, skidding to a stop before launching forward again.
-He flicks out the blades from behind his hands and swings them above his head for a strike.
-Chris pushes Austin and Kevin away as he flips backward to avoid the strike.
-Syrus continues slashing at him, missing by mere hairs as Chris dodges and ducks, moving away as fast as possible.
-Syrus boots Chris in the chest, tossing him to the pavement.
-As Syrus comes down with a blade, Chris instinctively grabs at the item lying next to him, a sai, and deflects the blade into the ground where it imbeds itself.
-Chris grabs the other sai and stabs it at Syrus’ face.
-Syrus stops it with his other blade, pushing Chris back to give them some room.
-They both leap at each other, the metallic sounds of their weapons clashing against one another as they frantically try to make a damaging strike.
-Syrus finally gets the upper hand and rakes Chris on the shoulder.
-Chris winces and clangs the sai together.
-The sonic boom blows Syrus away and puts some distance between the two fighters.
-Chris grabs his shoulder to inspect for any significant damage.
-Syrus comes barreling back, his blades sheathed again, kicking upward into Chris’ body.
-Chris stumbles backward, dropping the sai as Syrus pulls his arm back, firing a devastating haymaker.
-The punch collides with Chris’ face. He takes a few steps back where he falls down, stunned.
Syrus: (Stands upright and takes a moment to exhale deeply). So, this is fun, isn’t it?
Chris: (Rubbing his cheek, still in some slight pain). You could have killed me there if you had your swords out. Why prolong this?
Syrus: Oh, you know, it’s just so rare that I’ll have a chance for a match like this again. I figured I’d savor it just a while longer.
Chris: That’s a pretty bold mistake.
Syrus: Hmm, you think? Do I look damaged to you in the slightest? And I’ve been holding back on you, too. There’s no other way for this to end and you know it.
Chris: (Massaging his shoulder now). Yet you’ve been so patient waiting for this fight.
Syrus: Oh yes. (Sighs). Pity though, if you’d used the Shimmer Form to fight me, you might have had the advantage for a few fleeting seconds before it faded.
Chris: (A sly grin crosses his face as he gets to his feet). Who says I can’t do that again?
Syrus: (Shakes his head as he walks casually toward Chris). Hah, you must be delirious from that last punch to the head.
Chris: (The ground around his shakes slightly as he smiles, giving a quick laugh through his nose). Hngh.
Syrus: (Raises an eyebrow). Eh?
Chris: You wanted to see Hell? I’ll show you Hell!
-Chris powers up again, instantly causing a shockwave to boom out from him.
-Syrus pauses, surprised at this.
-Austin and Kevin look on, also surprised at Chris’ spike in Pulse energy.
-As Chris screams, his power raises near his maximum level, cracking the area slightly. Chris grunts quietly with his head down as his body tenses.
Syrus: (Sighs and shakes his head again). Foolish boy, you have no idea how this works. You can’t reach the Shimmer Form by simply powering up. (Chuckles and takes a few steps, until he sees Chris’ hair and freezes).
-Chris’ hair flashes gold for a second before fading again.
Syrus: That’s not possible.
-Chris looks at Syrus as his eyes clear up again, tensing his body even further as he resumes screaming.
-A vicious earthquake resonates from Chris’ spot, shaking the area so badly that Austin and Kevin instinctively fall to their hands and knees for balance.
-A ways away, Jack and rest of the group continue running as fast as they can.
Lindsey: (Slowly opens her eyes). Jack? (Intensely confused). What’s going on?
Jack: (Not looking down). Chris is fighting with Syrus.
-A shockwave reaches the group, pushing them forward to the point of nearly tripping.
Danny: What was that?
-They look back as the ground starts shaking. A light is glowing in the distance.
Jack: I need to be there. (Tosses Lindsey to Danny). Stay here!
Lindsey: Jack! What are you doing? Jack!
-Jack sprints back toward the battlefield. Meanwhile, at the center of it all, Chris is screaming louder and louder.
-A bright aura sparks off Chris’ body in places as his muscles tense, shooting cracks of electricity here and there.
-Fissures snake from his feet all around in a crater as his voice cries louder.
Syrus: (Looking all around, shocked). This isn’t how it works! You don’t understand!
-Chris clenches his fists, shaking them from holding them so tightly. His hair continues to fade in and out between gold and brown as chunks of the pavement nearby start coming up from the ground.
-A few blocks away, Glitch, Frank, and Sam continue leading civilians away, stopping to look up at the glowing light.
Sam: What’s that? (Frank swivels around and points his camera at the glowing sky).
Glitch: I don’t know. (Turns away from the glow). There’s no time to worry about it right now. There are more people that need help.
-Back with the source, Chris is pulling himself in tightly, his hair glowing freely now.
-Jack runs up and joins Austin and Kevin.
Jack: He’s doing it again, isn’t he?
Jack: I knew it!
Austin: Has he done this before?
Jack: Twice. Once at the Regime’s base and once against Derek.
-Jack checks his Pulse watch, hoping to gage just how strong Chris is getting. His watch has stopped entirely.
-The three look up as Chris, still tense, is pushing himself harder than they could imagine, tears streaming from his eyes.
-The camera zooms inside Chris’ head, showing flashes of Lindsey fighting at various times, sustaining injury and damage against multiple foes such as the Hex-Duo, the Octa-Rangers, and Syrus. These quick moments alternate faster and faster between them, flashing so rapidly that it’s impossible to make out a clear image over the sound of Lindsey crying out.
-Something snaps as Chris opens his eyes, energy detonating from him as he screams at the top of his lungs.
-The pillar of blue light streaks into the air as the shockwave pulsates forth, shattering the glass from every window and streetlight in the area.
-Everyone shields their eyes as dust and glass spray them.
-When Syrus moves his arm to watch as the dust clears, his mouth instantly hangs open in a gasp.
-Chris is hovering a foot above his little crater, eyes closed and at peace, his hair shimmering bright gold.
-He gently lands, takes a deep breath, and snaps his head upward in Syrus’ direction as he opens his eyes. They’re clouded over for a few moments before they fade into glowing pupils.
Syrus: (A fearful smile pulls at the side of his face). You can’t be serious. This is nonsense.
Chris: This is what you’d wanted, isn’t it? A real challenge?
Syrus: (Regains his composure). Please, it’d be in your wisest interest to attack me while you can still maintain the transformation.
-Syrus sprints forward and throws a punch.
-Chris hardly steps to the side, dodging it easily.
Syrus: So, you have a bit of speed, do you?
-Syrus sends a volley of punches in Chris’ direction. None of them can hit their target.
-Syrus begins throwing in kicks as well, furiously acting at a lightning-fast pace. Still, he can’t land a single hit.
-As Syrus punches, he carries through so hard that the force from each continues past Chris and rips up the ground. And yet, Chris remains untouched.
Syrus: You think this is funny?
-Syrus’ speed increases as the punches become blurs, sounding as if a propeller were buzzing about Chris. Every so often Chris blocks a punch instead of just letting it whiz harmlessly by.
Syrus: Fight back already!
-Chris thrusts forward with an elbow, catching Syrus in the face. The attack rawks him so fully that he screeches down the block.
Syrus: (In disbelief as he flies). How did he do that? No one’s that fast!
-A wisp of dust trails next to Syrus, suddenly…
-Chris reappears behind Syrus, kicking him into the air.
-Syrus spirals into the sky, high above the buildings. He can hardly keep his eyes open as his teeth are clenched to the point of nearly shattering from anger.
-Chris vwings above Syrus, clasping his hands together and bringing them over his head in a strong arc before clubbing Syrus with his full strength in a double-handed smash.
-Syrus zooms to the ground, smashing into it without even being able to right himself.
-He lays for a moment or two, looking up to see Austin, Kevin, and Jack worriedly looking at him.
Syrus: You little-
-Chris spikes into Syrus’ back with his knee, slamming down so hard and with such follow-through that the area craters around them and explodes.
-The three onlookers take a step back and cover their faces to block the debris.
-Syrus leaps from the cracked earth, only to get decked in the face from a fist coming out of nowhere.
-A series of hits like this go back and forth, pinballing Syrus throughout the street.
-Syrus lands and dodges a punch by a few inches, Chris’ fist gracing his cheek.
-The force of the punch tears a swath in the street as Syrus leaps back, shocked at what he’s witnessing.
-He looks back at Chris, but he’s gone.
Chris: You scared yet?
-Syrus jumps from the voice behind him. He turns to see Chris hovering lightly above the ground, completely calm.
Austin: This is just unreal.
Jack: It’s exactly how I predicted it.
Kevin: I don’t like the idea of using Chris as a tool, though.
Austin: Me either.
Jack: Right now it doesn’t even matter. Syrus can’t land a decent hit, so all that’s important is the end result.
Chris: (Walking toward Syrus). Boy I wonder what’s going through that head of yours right now.
Syrus: (Smiles and calms down a bit). So a few strong blows and already you assume the fight’s over?
Chris: Yeah, it’s been over for some time now.
Syrus: How long do you think that form will hold out? Another minute? Maybe a few more seconds?
Chris: I can do this all day if I have to.
Syrus: Hah! I think you’re bluffing. (Grabs the metal pole from earlier and swishes it around). Mind if I test your theory?
Chris: Please do.
-Syrus steps up to Chris and swings the pole horizontally, to which Chris ducks out of the way.
-Syrus repeats this, swishing it around, missing Chris every time.
Syrus: Hmm, not bad, but you could do better.
-Syrus heaves the pole at Chris, striking with a metal CLANG! as Chris blocks the attack.
-Gritting his teeth, Syrus spins the pole around, flips it above his head, and brings it down on top of Chris’ head.
-Chris blocks it yet again with a loud and echoing CLANG!
-Breaking down to frantic swings, CLANG ringing out each time, Syrus is unable to inflict any damage to Chris.
-Chris grabs the pole from Syrus, plucking it from his grasp with one simple tug before disappearing.
Chris: Let me show you how it’s done.
-Chris shows up behind Syrus, battering him with the weapon.
-Syrus recoils, partly from the surprise, and spins around as Chris swings the pole again into him.
-Syrus manages to block with the usual CLANG, but Chris keeps advancing, pushing Syrus back as he flips the pole around in a stylish manner.
-Chris leaps forward and slams Syrus in the head with the pole.
-Syrus grabs his head as Chris flips behind him, hitting him again with a wide swing.
-Chris pummels Syrus unrelentingly, TANG permeating the air in a rhythmic fashion.
-Finally, Chris appears in front of Syrus and swings the pole like a bat, holding it at the very end, and clubs Syrus in the face so hard that the metal bends clean in half.
-Syrus spins onto his back as Chris disappears.
-Suddenly a kick strikes Syrus into the air. He rights himself and tries to block but takes a damaging gut punch.
Chris: This is where I’d say, “you’ll pay for hurting my friends.”
-Chris thrashes Syrus left and right with harrowing blows, hammering him as he speaks.
Chris: I’d probably say, “that this one’s for Scott!” BOOM! “And this one’s for Kyle!” BOOM! “And for Danny” BOOM! “and Willy” BOOM! “and Derek!” BABABOOM! “Maybe one for me!” KABOOM!
-Syrus is tossed high into the air as Chris cups his hands and pulls them back, instantly charging a huge blast.
Chris: AND THIS ONE’S FOR HER!
-Chris fires his signature blast directly at Syrus.
-Syrus manages to defend himself, pulling himself in tight to withstand the blast as best he can.
-Right before it hits, Chris lurches his hands upward, causing the blast to shoot straight up and away from Syrus.
-It carries into the sky and dissipates harmlessly.
Chris: Yeah, something like that.
Syrus: Why…why did you do that?
Chris: (Crossing his arms). Oh come on, like I’m ending the fight while spewing some garbage like that.
Syrus: And so you feel you’re just toying with me, right?
Chris: (Thumbs at his hair). Notice your theory didn’t pan out.
Syrus: Have you forgotten that I possess the Eclipse Star?
Chris: Just about, yeah. It’s not like it’s doing you any good.
-Syrus lets out a howl as he charges his energy, a dark light emanating from the armor.
-He pounds Chris in the face with a strong hit, sending Chris flying through the air.
-Chris zips back and punches at Syrus, getting his fist caught and held.
-Syrus pulls Chris to the side and smacks him under the chin with a palm strike.
-Chris twists to the side and kicks at Syrus, getting blocked.
-Syrus grabs Chris’ feet and zooms to the ground, slamming him into the pavement with a sharp crack.
-Chris juts a punch up, missing Syrus slightly. Syrus punches back, also missing slightly.
-They both keep punching, missing every time.
-Finally, their fists collide and Chris winces, pulling his fist back.
-Syrus blasts Chris in the face multiple times with punches, slapping him around.
Syrus: Hahaha! You feel it yet?!
-As Syrus continues his punching, Chris suddenly stops reacting to the damage, standing perfectly unmoved despite Syrus’ continued assault.
-Chris chops at Syrus’ chest, hitting him hard.
-Syrus stops punching and takes a step back.
-He leaps straight at Chris, blasting a huge stream of Pulse energy right at Chris, engulfing him.
-Syrus stops, as there is only a cloud of smoke where Chris is standing. He lets out a thankful sigh.
-A kick rips out from the smoke and sends Syrus high into the air.
-He spins around and shudders energy around him, stopping instantly.
-Chris vwings to Syrus’ location, his arms crossed.
Syrus: (Breathing heavily, in a contained rage). You’re just a child. How are you doing this? How are you sustaining that transformation?
Chris: I initially did it because I had to, but now, I just sort of want to.
Austin: (Yelling up). Any time you want to finish this would be great!
Chris: (Waves Austin off). I’m busy right now, thanks.
Austin: Chris, we’re all, very proud of you, yes, but there’s no reason to prolong this!
Chris: (Faces the three on the ground, turning his back to Syrus completely). Don’t tell me how to do this!
Kevin: Austin’s right! Don’t make a mistake that could hurt us in the long run!
-Syrus realizes he has a slim opening and watches carefully.
Chris: NO! He’s caused every bad thing in our life for the past year and now that I’m finally not afraid of him I’m returning the favor!
Austin: Well we’re pretty well still terrified of him, so if you could do us a solid and twist his head off right now I’d really appreciate it!
Chris: Are you the one in control here? No, you’re not! (Noticeably on edge, clenching his fists and pointing at himself). I’m in control! I’m the one with the power! I’m the one who makes the decisions! And until you reach this level, you don’t have a say in it!
-Syrus sees his chance and strikes.
-Syrus unsheathes his blade and slashes right at Chris’ neck, following clean through.
-Everything freezes for a moment as silence overtakes the mood.
-Finally, the tinkling sound of metal falling to the pavement breaks the pause.
-Syrus’ blade has shattered on Chris’ neck.
Chris: (Giving an arrogant smile). Ah-ah-ah, can’t you see I’m talking with my associates? (Turns around and faces Syrus, not a scratch on him). I’d have thought you of all people would appreciate the few moments before they talk me into killing you.
-Syrus stares in disbelief at what he just witnessed. Slowly he floats higher and higher in the air, furrowing his brow with a serious anger.
-Chris watches him fly upward, smiling.
-As Syrus climbs to a point far beyond the buildings, up in the clouds, Chris allows himself to drift to the ground next to the others.
-His arm shoots up above his head as Syrus begins charging a black energy ball. The others look on with curiosity.
-Without saying a word, Syrus gradually increases the size of the ball larger and larger, causing it to pulsate with each expansion, sucking in a dark power from all around him as tendrils lash from his armor.
-Three of the teenagers on the ground feel their eyes go wide and their jaws lull open at this sight.
Austin: That does not look good.
Jack: (Astonished). Something that size is going to destroy everything from here to the Northern Lodge. If he throws that he’ll kill himself, too.
-Chris just smiles and watches with his arms crossed. Syrus builds the attack’s power to the bursting point, so large that it eclipses the sky almost entirely.
Syrus: Try this one!
-Syrus tosses it toward the group on the ground. It slowly comes crashing down, humming loudly as it falls.
-Austin, Jack, and Kevin all dig in their feet and start frantically charging energy blasts.
Jack: Ready, on my signal!
-Chris casually strolls past them as they charge up. Upon seeing him they lose their concentration and stop charging, letting their guard down, entirely baffled by Chris’ reaction.
-He walks past them and looks up at the incoming death ball. He shuts his hand and quickly charges an energy ball in it, clasping his hand shut around it as light sprays from between his fingers.
-Chris pitches his little energy ball directly at Syrus’ massive black sphere, rocketing up at a ridiculous speed. He turns around and walks back between his friends, not even looking up to see if his counter will do anything.
-The smaller ball collides with the larger ball, instantly plunging itself in a few inches as it stops the death ball’s progress completely.
-Syrus’ finishing attack goes in complete reverse from the force of Chris’ baseball-sized blast, picking up speed the higher it gets.
-It finally moves past Syrus as he stares on, wordless in his moment of stunned silence.
-The ball clears the clouds and breaks out of the atmosphere, heading up, up up…
Chris: (Whips around and clenches his fist). And boom goes the dynamite!
-The two balls detonate somewhere in space, piercing the sky with strobbing lights before fading as if nothing had happened.
-Syrus’ rage wells up to uncontrollable levels as he pants louder and louder, his veins bulging anywhere his skin is visible.
-He lets out a guttural scream as sections of the sky tear away and glow black.
-He fires himself directly at Chris.
-Chris turns around right as Syrus catches up with him, completely taken off guard as Syrus grabs him by the face and slides him across the ground.
-Chris breaks the hold and decks Syrus in the face. They continue skidding across the ground, throwing damaging blows to each other, pounding without caring to defend.
-Syrus grabs Chris by both shoulders and forces him into a strong headbutt that Chris jerks back from.
-Chris strikes back, resulting in the two clenching up and struggling against each other.
Chris: (Completely serious). So, this is what you were talking about, huh?
Syrus: I will not be beaten by a child!
-Syrus shoots an energy beam from his mouth, nailing Chris in the face.
-As Chris flips back, Syrus lays in with a combination of attacks, each meeting their mark as Chris genuinely attempts to dodge them.
-Syrus finds a grip on Chris’ ankles and fiercely swings him around, making a buzzing noise. He changes the angle of the swing and starts chipping into the ground, slamming Chris over and over before hurling him into a building.
-As the structure crumbles, Chris bolts out, only to get shot away with an energy blast.
-Every time Chris tries to move away, Syrus pops him in the face with a powerful hit.
-Syrus finally grabs Chris by the shirt and hangs him above the ground, charging an energy beam in the other hand.
Syrus: Where did all your confidence go?
-Chris reacts quickly to this, embedding his fist in Syrus’ stomach up to the wrist.
-Syrus coughs out loud, trying to breathe.
-Chris continues landing these unforgiving hits in the exact same spot.
-Syrus reaches out a hand to grab Chris, but Chris grabs it back, clenching his fist around it and breaking the hand.
-This causes Syrus to reef back and distance himself from Chris, his breaths raged and strained.
Chris: (No longer arrogant and cocky). Austin’s right; I’m ending this.
Syrus: (Through gritted teeth, blood oozing from his lips). You won’t take this from me…
Chris: (Holds out a hand and charges energy in his open palm). I gave you fair warning.
-Syrus pulls his remaining working hand up near his face and forms the same white-hot energy attack that was fired at Derek.
-Chris stops charging for a moment, surprised as Syrus instead points his hand and his attack at himself, as if holding a pistol to his head.
Syrus: I’ll see you in Hell.
-Chris tries to quickly fire his attack before Syrus’, but he is too late.
-Chris is hurled from the explosion point as the area is once more enveloped in an unholy white light, shredding the city block as the blast implodes upon itself, leaving nothing behind.
-Syrus is gone.
-A few moments pass as nothing stirs, a slight breeze blowing through to swirl the dust.
-Chris pushes out of a pile of rubble and coughs. His hair is back to normal and he finally looks like he took a serious beating.
-Jack, Austin, and Kevin also emerge from piles of fallen concrete, busty but relatively unharmed.
-The four get to their feet and brush themselves off.
-Chris looks down and sees Derek’s sai. He picks them up and looks them over.
Kevin: Is Syrus gone?
Chris: I think so.
Lindsey: Thank God! You’re okay!
-Lindsey and the others come rushing into the eerie clearing.
-Chris looks up and sees Lindsey sprinting toward him, crying from joy. He smiles as he sees her.
Lindsey: Jack! You’re okay! (She brushes past Chris, bumping him as she dives into Jack’s confused arms, kissing him). Don’t do that! Don’t do that! You could have been killed!
Jack: (Awkwardly going along with it, embracing her back). Y-yeah, I’m fine.
-Chris watches this, all happiness fading from him, leaving only a powerful feeling of isolation.
-He closes his eyes and screams out in rage, powering up.
-The others turn to see him explode away from the scene, flying off towards the now-rising sun in the distance.
-No one speaks as Glitch and a large number of Legion soldiers march into the open, quickly checking for anyone in need of their help.
-Glitch sees that no one is speaking.
Glitch: What’s happened?
-No one says a word.
End of Eclipse Star: Genesis!
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Eclipse Star: Chapter 65
Recap: Last time, Joshua pitted the group against each other in a game of Hide n’ Sense, with Kyle technically coming out the victor (though Lindsey did in fact truly win). Directly after, Joshua had Chris power up to his max after everyone else did the same, showing them that the gap between their power and Chris’ has nearly closed. Derek, however, demonstrated that his own strength is far beyond Chris both previously and currently. As everyone wraps up the day, Chris decides not to inform them of Charles’ warning of an attack on the city.
-Chris, Derek, Austin, Danny, Willy, Kyle, and Kevin trek out to the woods with backpacks slung over their shoulders, intending to spend one Guy Night camping in the snow.
Kevin: Did you find out if your grandma was safe?
Chris: Yeah, I was told she got out of the house before Syrus even showed up, so as far as I know she’s safe but still somewhere where I don’t know where she is…or something like that.
Derek: Who told you that?
Chris: Just a neighbor near where her house was.
Derek: From what you say, it sounds like Jack just told you she was fine to calm you down.
Chris: I wouldn’t exactly say I’m calm, but I’m in no rush to bum around the city asking for questions.
Austin: I’m sure she’s fine. If she needs to stay hidden, then so be it. We’re all in the same boat here with Jack sending our parents off to who knows where. We’ll find them when this is all said and done, but if we go looking right now we’ll just put them at risk.
Chris: Right, exactly.
Derek: I still don’t like sitting on my hands like this.
Danny: We’re not sitting on our hands, Derek. We’re going camping!
Chris: Couldn’t convince the others to come with us?
Austin: Nah, they’re tired or girls or Jack, so we’ll just let them chill while we get a night away from it all.
Kyle: Could I point out that being this far north, we can’t be much more away from it all?
Kevin: How far do we want to go before setting camp?
Derek: Further. I’ll decide when it feels right.
Chris: Hey, no complaints here, as long as we’re not just going up and over the peak or something.
Austin: What, you’re not up for a little rock climbing?
Chris: No heights.
Willy: Uh, you can fly, right?
Willy: So what’s up with the whole heights thing?
Chris: I’ve just never particularly been a fan.
Derek: I’ll remember that next time I have to fight you. “Chris does not like heights.” Should come in handy.
Chris: You try rawking me through another building like that crap you pulled a while ago and I’ll punch your dick off.
Chris: That’s right. Not just punch, punch it off. With an uppercut that tears it off.
Derek: Gonna have to be a big uppercut.
Austin: Oh whatever, I’ve seen you in the locker room; you’re no bigger than everyone else.
Derek: You can’t judge off a shower-look. That doesn’t count.
Kyle: I gotta side with Derek here. The shower causes shrinkage.
Danny: Yeah, besides, you gotta let it…you know…
Chris: Danny, stop right there, because we don’t need to go any further. New topic.
Derek: So you and Lindsey.
Chris: Newer topic.
Austin: So Kyle and Leena.
Kyle: Hey whoa now, who said anything about Kyle and Leena? She’s totally a b-, uh, well, she’s, well you know.
Derek: Go ahead and say it Kyle. Say she’s a bitch. Go ahead, I dare you.
Kyle: Nah, that’s okay. Besides, that’s not important. Mostly, she doesn’t like me.
Kevin: Actually, I’ve heard her talking with Lindsey about you.
Kyle: Whoa really, seriously? Good stuff?
Kevin: Well not really anything specifically, just bringing your name up.
Austin: Oh ho, that’s good stuff. Girls don’t just name-drop without meaning to.
Willy: Yeah, I’ve got to agree. Every girl I’ve dated mentioned my name to Danny multiple times before I actually asked her out.
Danny: It was a good system while it lasted. I just, you know, wish they would have talked about me more…
Austin: That’s because the girls that liked you were talking to me.
Danny: They were? Why didn’t you tell me?
Austin: Because I didn’t think you’d like them. They were cheerleader types, real shallow and boring.
Danny: But hot?
Danny: Oh. Uh, thank you?
Willy: Soon as we get home Danny we’ll go find you someone to your liking.
Danny: Exceptionally hot?
Kevin: You know, there’s a lot more to women than just looks.
Derek: Yeah, you’ve got to be careful that they don’t have a personality or something. Ruined so many relationships when I learned she had a personality and mind of her own.
Kevin: No that’s, that’s not what I meant.
Chris: Oh come on, you’re telling me you guys don’t like girls with some personality?
Danny: We’re talking about boobs, right?
Kyle: Ooh, I agree, big personalities are a must.
Chris: Whatever, I’m with Kevin here.
Austin: Chris, dude, it’s just us guys up here.
Chris: Oh yeah. (Looks around). You seen how much Lindz nips up here? Holy jeez.
Kevin: (Facepalm). I don’t know how I fit in with you children.
Austin: So we’re back on the topic of Lindz, huh?
Chris: Nope, slight oversight, newerest topic. Anybody figured out how toowAAAH~!
-The ground under Chris’ feet suddenly gives out as he falls into a cavern.
Austin: Whoa, Chris!
-The others rush over to the hole and crowd around.
Austin: (Yelling in). Chris! Are you okay down there?!
Chris: (Yelling back up from a distance). Yeah, I’m okay!
Kevin: Chris! What can you see around you?!
Chris: Um, there’s some dude dressed like a candy cane down here.
Kyle: Whoa seriously?
Austin: Alright, Chris, we’ll get something to pull you out of the hole, alright?! (Looks around). Guys, help me find something.
-The others nod and begin looking as Derek rolls his eyes and floats down the hole after Chris.
Austin: Oh right, we have flight now.
-Everyone jumps down the hole and lands next to Chris. They take a look around before responding.
-The group finds themselves looking at a massive ice cavern completely lit up from light bouncing around all the ice crystals. The cavern seems to be endless in scope.
Kyle: It’s like some stronghold of isolation or something down here.
Austin: No kidding.
Chris: How far back does this go?
Austin: Beats me. (Shrugs). Well, let’s go check it out.
Chris: What? I thought we were camping.
Austin: We are. Spelunking is totally a part of camping. Now are you guys coming or what?
-Austin is already walking off by himself. Everyone else utters agreements and runs to catch up with him.
* * * * *
-Morning has hit as the group at the Lodge finally wakes up.
Lindsey: (Groggily coming down the stairs with Leena). Oy, I could use a lot more sleep right about now.
Leena: We totally should. I mean, it’s not like we have anything to do today.
Lindsey: Yeah, but then I’ll feel like we just wasted a whole morning.
Scott: (Walking in between them). Ladies, I’m glad I found you both in such good moods this morning because I have a proposition for you. You both seem to be great friends and that’s important for what I’m about to say.
Lindsey: Showers. That’s what we forgot.
Leena: Right. Long showers.
Scott: Hey, I’m down for whatever.
Jack: (Coming down the stairs). Scott, leave my girlfriend and my girlfriend’s friend alone, please.
Scott: Fine. Hey anyone seen that Grid chick lately? (Walks away).
* * * * *
-Back at the ice cavern, the group looks tired and their clothes have been torn in places.
Kyle: (Yawning). Dude, how long have we been searching?
Chris: Um, at this point? I lost track.
Kevin: I’d say by now it’s morning.
Austin: But man, wasn’t last night SWEET?!
Kyle: Yeah, that’s one adventure I’m not gonna forgot for a while.
Derek: For a while there even I thought we weren’t making it out alive.
Danny: Oh man, no one’s gonna believe us though!
Willy: That’s the shame of it. I guess they’ll never know what happened.
-Everyone looks at the camera and winks.
-They suddenly step into a room full of weaponry of all sorts. Swords, axes, blades, knives, and all forms of weapons shimmer the entire room, stuck into the walls.
Derek: What the hell is this stuff doing down here?
Austin: I have no clue, but AWESOME!
-Austin runs up to the wall and starts look it up and down.
Kevin: (Inspecting some swords). They had to be down here for years, but they don’t look rusty.
Chris: Maybe the ice preserved them?
Danny: Well I wanna take something back.
-Danny reaches for a halberd and gets a jolt that throws him across the room.
Danny: Oh ow.
Derek: What just happened?
Danny: I don’t know but I don’t want anything anymore.
Derek: Or maybe you’re just a pussy.
-Derek walks over to a really large battle-axe and gets the same sort of jolt that hit Danny, sending Derek across the room as well.
Willy: Maybe we shouldn’t touch these?
Chris: Yeah maybe…(Starts looking around the room, his eyes darting wildly).
Derek: What’s the point of a room full of weapons if you can’t use ‘em?! (Angrily smacks something else and gets thrown across the room once more).
Austin: Bummer. I guess it’ll just be one of those great mysteries.
Chris: Wait a minute. (Walks up to the wall and looks up a ways). That one.
Derek: What one?
Chris: That one’s different from the rest. (Points). Everything else is stuck into the walls point-first, that sword’s the only thing with the handle jammed into the wall.
Kyle: So go grab it if you’re so smart.
Derek: It’s pointed outward; he’ll slice his hand if he does that.
-Chris grabs an ice chunk and hits the sword, losing his balance in the process.
-He lands on his back with a thud. The sword comes loose and thunks right above his head.
-All the other weapons randomly fall off the wall and clatter around everyone.
Kyle: Wow, well that seemed to work.
-Chris picks up his new sword and looks it over a bit. It has a blue tint to it with a handle that’s hilt curves out on both sides.
-As he’s looking over his sword and everyone else is going about checking out weapons, four new people walk into the hall.
Iess: The hell are you guys doing here?
-Everyone stops for a second, curious as to what to do next.
Kyle: Were these…where these your private stash of weapons or something?
Job: No, they aren’t ours. I assume they’re for whoever wants them.
Grid: That’s a nice sword there, Chris.
Chris: Thanks, I guess.
Austin: You’ve got to give it a name.
Grid: Yeah he’s right, swords need a name. Make it a girl’s name.
Chris: Okay. I’ll call it…Rachel.
Derek: What is it with you and the fascination behind that name?
Kyle: Hey, least it’s not Lindsey? Eh?
Kyle: Now am I right or am I right?
Fox: I don’t mean to be a bother but I don’t advise staying here for long.
Derek: Why? What have you guys been doing?
Iess: Not your business, but he’s right, we should leave.
Austin: Alright guys, you heard the man. Grab some gear and let’s split.
-Chris looks over some weapons and picks up a pair of elbow blades that look similar to his new sword.
Derek: What’re those things?
Chris: Elbow blades.
Derek: I thought you had your sword.
Chris: I do. It’s just, well, Lindz would have really loved this, so I figured I’d grab her something nice.
Derek: What good can elbow blades do?
Chris: She’s Lindz; she’ll figure something cool.
Grid: Weapons as a girl gift? Really?
Chris: Lindz isn’t a girl; She’s Lindz.
Grid: Well, I bet she’ll like ‘em then.
Kyle: Girls like weapons? Oh man. (He looks around the floor for something cool and throws it into his backpack).
Iess: Let’s move.
* * * * *
-Back at the Lodge, the other group sits around the TV watching whatever’s on. Glitch is in charge of the remote.
Clinton: Turn back, that looked good.
Leena: There’s nothing good on.
Lindsey: Hold up, go back there. What was that?
-Glitch switches the channel back to see the news.
Jack: Channel 70 News?
Lindsey: I kind of like them.
Jack: Well, you’re special.
Lindsey: (Smiles). Don’t be a jerk.
-The news report starts with the two anchors looking disheveled and tired.
Diana: Good evening, I’m (cough), excuse me, I’m Diana Miranda.
Dave: And I’m Dave Trenton. This is tonight’s news.
Diana: Afternoon news.
Diana: Afternoon news. It’s not evening yet.
Dave: Holy crap, we do an afternoon newscast now?
Diana: I do every day, but you’re usually too drunk to get here on time.
Dave: Yeah, well, after that crazy shit we went through yesterday, I’m surprised you’re not drunk right now, too.
Diana: Dave! We’re going live! No cursing!
Dave: Hell damn fart, this is the news. (Shuffles papers). Trillium’s Central Mall is back open for regular business now, or at least the west half is. The east half is still under construction, so that means it’s not really worth wasting time shopping just yet.
Diana: Dave, Trillium Central Mall is one of our very, very few sponsors.
Dave: Oh, alright, go buy some expensive shit from the mall then.
Dave: In other news, Zanretha’s president suffered some controversy when we all learned he was messing around behind his wife’s back.
Dave: Right, allegedly. (Shakes his head and mouths “nope”).
Diana: President Giftavelli’s official statement was that the woman people saw him with in public is actually his assistant and not an adulteress. We would have the footage from the full interview, but our cameras were unfortunately, um, they’ve suffered some recent technical difficulties.
Dave: Too bad, the real news stays quiet today. Johnny, how’s the weather out there?
Johnny: Well Dave, using the data I’ve collected from my weather balloons and a very reliable fortune cookie, I’d say there is a very good chance of precipitation. Also, “He who plans too far ahead plans his own funeral.” Now that’s a forecast if I ever heard one. Partly cloudy. Back to you guys.
Diana: Thank you, Johnny.
Johnny: Oh, and Sam has breaking news by the way.
Diana: He does?
Johnny: I just know these things.
Diana: Alright then, thank you again, Johnny.
Sam: Dave, Diana, are you there?
Diana: (Holding her earpiece). Oh, Sam, yes, we’re here.
Sam: I have some breaking news to report! Also, Frank fixed our camera.
Dave: Hey that’s good news.
Diana: Alright, we go live to Sam the Go-To Guy. Sam, where are you?
–Scene cuts to Sam standing in the middle of the city.
Sam: Hey everyone, it’s me, Sam, and I’m here on this random street in Trillium City.
Dave: Why Sam?
Sam: Because I have a really good feeling that some sort of news is about to happen.
Diana: (Defeated). Oh, I thought you had breaking news.
Sam: I do. I mean, I will, in just a few minutes. Uh, how are you guys doing?
Diana: Sam, we’re okay, but we’ll get back to you when something happens okay?
Sam: No wait, I’m totally serious here. Frank, tell them how serious I am.
Frank: (From behind the camera). No way dude, this is your thing. I just hold the camera.
Sam: Oh, well alright Dave, Diana, I’ll cut back to you guys in the studio I g-
-Things start rumbling and Sam drops his mic.
Sam: Oh no, no! Where’d it go?
Frank: Whoa, you see that guys?
-Dave and Diana in the studio squint at the small monitor they have, trying to get a good look at what Frank’s shooting.
-The group in the Lodge does the same thing.
Dave: The hell is that?
Sam: (Finding his mic and standing back up). Alright, I’m sorry for that. I’m not sure what could have-
Frank: Turn around dude.
-Sam turns around and sees an army of Hex-Duo robots marching down the street.
-The group at the Lodge freak out.
Lindsey: Jack! How?!
Jack: I don’t know.
Sam: Ladies and gentlemen it appears that there is an…army I suppose, of what may or may not be r-, Frank, do those look like robots?
Frank: Shit dude, this ain’t worth it.
-Frank drops the camera and bolts, letting the camera drop to a position where only Sam’s feet are shown.
-Sam bends down to get in the camera’s view.
Sam: Hey Dave, I think we’ve got another problem down here…
-The robots begin firing on the buildings.
Sam: AH! Dave! I might have to send it back to you guys in a minute here!
Dave: Sam, no, you’re staying out there, alright? Remain calm and don’t let them smash the-
-The robots advance and throw Sam out of the way, stomping the camera as they go.
Diana: It seems we’re experiencing some more technical difficulties, eh, hah. (Awkwardly laughing to herself).
Dave: (Getting up). Stall or something. Johnny, let’s go.
Johnny: (Excited). Scabbity-doobity!
-They take off as Diana looks nervously at the camera.
Diana: Uh, in other news…
-The station goes down.
Leena: Glitch, change to another station!
Glitch: I’m trying! It’s not on anywhere else! All the news stations are down!
-Glitch continues trying to click through but nothing’s coming up.
Jack: Damnit, they’re attacking the city but they don’t want to give any warning!
Clinton: Glitch, can you patch into hardware?
Glitch: Yeah, I did it a few months ago when the Octa Rangers challenged us.
Clinton: Can you patch in from here?
Leena: What good would that do?
Scott: Street cams, I see what you’re thinking. They’ve got them placed everywhere. Patch into the city’s DMV computers and you should have full vision of the city.
Jack: That’s a good idea.
Glitch: Yeah, I should be able to do that.
Lindsey: We need the others. Why aren’t they back?
Jack: Someone go get Josh.
Leena: I’m on it.
-She gets up and runs out of the room.
-Lindsey, too, jumps up and runs out the door.
Jack: Lindz! Where’re you going?!
-Lindsey runs out into the snow a ways and plants herself, cranking her Pulse energy as high as possible.
-The group out in the woods suddenly stops in their tracks.
Chris: Whoa, guys, something’s up.
Danny: That’s Lindsey!
Austin: Then let’s go!
-They take off at full speed and rush back to the Lodge.
Lindsey: C’mon guys…
Austin: Lindz! What’s up?!
-She stops charging her energy as the rest of the team shows up, the four irregulars included.
Derek: The hell are you so worried about?
Lindsey: Quick, come inside.
-She turns and runs into the Lodge. Everyone else follows.
-When they get to the TV room, Joshua is sitting next to everyone while Glitch continues messing with the TV inputs.
Glitch: We getting anything yet?
Scott: Nope. Still static.
Joshua: Willy, go help him, please.
Willy: Sure. What’re we trying to do?
Derek: And what’s happening.
Iess: They’re attacking, aren’t they?
Lindsey: How’d you know about the Hex-Duo coming back?
Kyle: They’re back?!
Austin: That’s impossible; Chris totaled ‘em.
Clinton: Apparently they built more.
Willy: Try it now.
Glitch: (His eyes go fuzzy for a second). Got it!
-The TV comes up now that Glitch is patched into the traffic cams. After switching between a couple, they see an army of Hex-Duo robots marching the streets, shooting at buildings as they go.
Grid: I don’t understand; this wasn’t supposed to happen so soon.
Fox: Apparently it is.
Derek: How do you guys know about this?
Fox: We’ve been monitoring Charles Robotics for some time now.
Lindsey: That where you’ve been?
Grid: More or less.
Kevin: What do we do?
-All eyes turn to Chris.
Derek: Excuse me?
Chris: We don’t do anything.
Lindsey: Chris, you can’t be serious.
Chris: Why? We’ve got a pretty good life up here free from all of this, so why should we give it up?
Austin: If they take Trillium, they take Zanretha.
Chris: So let them! What does it matter who sits in power? We’re still outlaws by all accounts.
Jack: That’s not true. The Legion was being controlled by Octavious but those ties have been severed.
Scott: How do you know that?
Fox: I can assure you, we’ve made sure The Legion is run from the inside once again.
Kyle: Well good for you, but does that mean they’re fighting robots in our place like they should be?
Kevin: We should be out there. They’re trying to draw us out. Isn’t it obvious? Octavious is angry and he wants us to fight again.
Chris: I’m not playing this game anymore. I’m done.
Austin: And what do we do? Just sit here?
Chris: I don’t rule you guys.
Iess: Yes, you do.
Chris: No, I don’t.
Lindsey: (Piecing things together). You knew this would happen, didn’t you?
Chris: Why do you say that?
Lindsey: When you came back, who did you say you talked to?
Chris: A neighbor.
Lindsey: Glitch, switch the patch to Chris’ street.
-The camera takes a few moments and shifts to show the Charles Robotics building, Hex-Duo robots pouring out into the streets.
Austin: (Almost in disbelief). You lied to us?
Chris: No! I didn’t lie to anyone!
Derek: You told us you didn’t find anything.
Chris: Charles gave me his word that my grandma was okay; that was all he said!
Derek: Wait a minute; you spoke with the head guy?
Chris: Very briefly.
Kevin: Chris, what happened? Please, we need to know.
Chris: He…I was attacked by a group of Hex-Duo robots before Charles offered us a way out. All we’d have to do was sit this week out and it’d all be over.
-Everyone seems astonished. Joshua stands up without saying a word, shaking his head, and leaves the room.
Lindsey: So what’s the point of everything we’ve done? Hmm? Has the last year been a total waste?
Chris: To me? Yeah, it has. I thought you wanted out just as badly as I did.
Lindsey: Not like this. Not this. (She motions to the traffic cams as Glitch cycles through them, showing attacks on every screen change).
Chris: I didn’t know it’d be this bad…
Iess: Well, it is.
Chris: I’m sorry…I just, I’m not the decision maker. Jack, if you say they go, then they’ll go.
Jack: I’m in no position to issue demands anymore. Not until my legs are healed.
Derek: Chris might still have a point.
Leena: Oh great, now he’s ready to give up?
Derek: Hey, I’m not giving up, but that’s an entire army of Hex-Duo out there. I say we let this run its course and strike when they aren’t expecting it. We head out right now and we’re doing exactly what they want.
Leena: Since when are you not impulsive?
Derek: Since they sent a whole army of robots when half a dozen nearly killed us.
Austin: That was months ago. We’re stronger now.
Clinton: Plus, we don’t even know if these are the same model. If they could have built an army to begin with, why didn’t they?
Willy: Maybe they didn’t have the plans worked out?
Glitch: No, it was the cost. The power cells in each Hex-Duo model set Octavious back millions, so they could only fund ten of us.
Austin: See? These aren’t the same robots.
Lindsey: Oh God. Stop the camera.
-Glitch stops cycling the camera, focusing on a lone figure slowly approaching the group marching down the street.
-The robots stop momentarily.
Chris: (He finally looks at the screen). Grandma…?
Jack: Can you give us audio?
-Everyone in the room remains silent.
-Barbara continues walking slowly up to the Hex-Duo robots.
-One of them steps forward.
Barbara: (Sorrowful). Charles, tell me you’re not behind this.
Hex-Duo Robot: (Speaking in Charles’ voice). Barb, you’re not supposed to be here!
Barbara: Stop this. Stop this! It’s not worth it! I’m not worth this!
Hex-Duo Robot: I only have override command for another thirty seconds, Barb, please, get out of here!
-The Hex-Duo robot steps forward and grabs Barbara by the shoulders, pleading with her.
Hex-Duo Robot: (Equally sorrowful). I can’t stop Octavious. This is his final push and I can’t stop it.
Barbara: You have to try.
Hex-Duo Robot: I can’t. I’m so sorry…
-The robot seems to power down, dropping to its knees.
-It stands back up, speaking in a normal robotic voice again.
Hex-Duo Robot: Primary functions reinstated.
-The army of Hex-Duo immediately begins advancing on Barbara, gun-arms drawn.
-They begin firing energy blasts at Barbara, enveloping her in a continuous explosion.
-Chris’ legs start to give out as Austin and Kyle catch him.
Austin: Come on man, stay with us.
-The smoke clears as Barbara remains standing. She looks around while the robots seem confused, unsure why she isn’t dead.
-The camera goes instantly goes dead as Barbara does…something.
Lindsey: Chris, what do we do?
-Once more, all eyes are on Chris.
Chris: We go to war.
To Be Continued…
Eclipse Star: Chapter 58
“Little Did They Know…”
Recap: Last time, the Octa-Rangers were taken out one by one via Chris and Lindsey’s teamwork. Glitch and Scott managed to patch into the Arena’s TV screens and deliver the incriminating evidence against Octavious that completely simultaneously cleared the group as terrorists. Having left in shame with his son Max and the Octa-Rangers, Octavious is too far gone to chase after. Instead, the group plans to check on Chris’ grandma since she was the only family member besides Derek’s father not to be present at the church. Strange things are brewing today, on Eclipse Star!
-The intro for Channel 70 begins, then fades in to Diana and Dave at the desk.
Diana: Good evening. I’m Diana Miranda.
Dave: And I’m Dave Trenton. (Takes a swig of whisky from a bottle).
Diana: Dave…put the alcohol away, please…
Dave: You know what your problem is? You don’t get laid. That’s your problem. That’s my problem, too. That’s everyone’s problem. That and kids with damned laser hands! I’ll get you kids!
Diana: In news relating to things other than Dave’s alcoholism, today was the day Octavious had hoped the supposed terrorists would show up at Trillium City’s Grand Central Arena to do battle with his team of fighters known as the Octa-Rangers.
Dave: Boy that was sure a good idea, wasn’t it?
Diana: Dave, please.
Dave: Octavious meant for the challenge to take place at noon and since it’s a little past 1 as of the broadcast, there’s a good chance all of that is over by now. So instead of prattling on about idiotic things like that, Johnny, what does the weather look like outside?
-Shift to Johnny Jenson at the weather station.
Johnny: Well Dave, it looks like we’re experiencing heavy showers of green light originating from the center of the city here. Let’s go the map, shall we? (He points at the screen, showing a map of Trillium City with the middle being scribbled green). See here? This is what I like to call the “Uh-Oh Effect.” Now, it’s hard to tell, but usually this is caused by aliens intent on harvesting our organs. Hear me out here on this one, ‘cause it’s about to get complex. First, they plant their species in our stomachs. Then, at some undetermined time, they beam down green fertilizer rays from their spaceship which is actually located underground. Eventually, (Pulls out a marker and draws a dollar sign on the map), profit. How? I am still unclear of that, but expect these mutated super aliens to appear shortly. Also, highs of mid-70’s, partly cloudy. Back to you guys.
Diana: (Sigh). Johnny, there are no such things as aliens. Thank you though for the weather.
Dave: Diana, you shouldn’t shrug off the possibility so nonchalantly. You have no idea if aliens really exist or not.
Diana: Oh right, but you know for sure that kids can fire “hand cannons” or something.
Dave: No, no, “hand beams.” And yes, they can. Johnny, give us the sports report.
Johnny: (Back to Johnny). Thanks Dave. Today’s been wild all around with the Octa-Rangers duking it out with what appears to be those mutant aliens I mentioned earlier. Now may be the perfect time to panic and watch some clips from today’s event. (Clips begin to play as Johnny watches). Ooh. Yeah. That was cool. Oh wait, check this out. Ka-BOOM! Haha! All in all, I’d say a pretty exciting day.
Diana: Johnny, who won?
Johnny: Diana, sports aren’t all about winning and losing. That’s why today’s event ended with a score of fun-to-fun. Also, I got a hotdog and it was pretty darn good. Back to you guys.
Diana: Thank you once again, Johnny.
Dave: I’m sure news happened elsewhere today, and guess what? It did. In nearby Hillsboro-
Diana: Dave, you read that wrong. It’s Brooksboro.
Dave: Whatever. In Brooksboro, reported arsons ripped through neighborhoods and damaged thousands of dollars worth of property. At the risk of editorializing, AHAHAHAHA!
Diana: Also attacked was a local church. The Church of Faith on Zealot and 12th street suffered fire damage, though more surprising were firsthand reports of massive floodwaters. Johnny, did the weather station predict any record rainfall?
Johnny: Weather what-now?
Dave: Johnny, she wants to know what’s the deal with the flood.
Johnny: Oh! Yes, the flood! You see Diana, when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much-
Diana: Johnny, I don’t need to hear this.
Dave: Yes you do. Johnny, continue.
Johnny: Well, long story short, the seeds were planted and fertilized with the green light, so all that was left was to water it using ancient arrogation secrets.
Johnny: Yes. Did I mention that the aliens are also an ancient race?
Johnny: Oh, well that’s pretty important actually.
Diana: (Sigh). Anyway, eyewitnesses report the water originating from the church itself. Most experts are baffled-
Johnny: I just told you; Aliens!
Diana: Most experts are baffled as to the cause, but more people are wondering what happened to the people inside the church. As of now there are no leads to explain their disappearance.
Dave: (A piece of paper is handed to him). Ah, so Sam the Go-To Guy is on the scene at the Grand Central Arena, or whatever the hell it’s called. Sam, you coming in Sam?
Sam: (Standing on the arena floor with the group in the background recovering from the fight). Hi Dave, hi Diana. It’s me, Sam, and I’m at Trillium City’s… Grand… Fighting… Plaza… Central… Uh, the Arena. Things have just wrapped up with the Octa-Rangers and the “terrorists,” who were kids that proved they weren’t actually terrorists. It was quite a sight to see, assuming you could see it. There were a lot of explosions and some crazy lights and everyone was moving really fast. A stray blast hit my in the face at one point and burned my eyebrows off. I just now regained consciousness after a piece of the ceiling fell onto my head. My leg was trapped under a steel girder until a nice robot came and lifted it off me, though he accidentally crushed my foot when he walked away.
Diana: Sam, are those the kids in the background there?
Sam: Over there? Yes, those are them. Well, them and some other kids that I don’t know about. They just flew in through the open roof.
Dave: Flew? Sam, did you just say those kids flew here?
Sam: That’s right Dave. Actually, all of them have been flying around. Frank, did you see what happened out there?
Frank the Cameraman: (From behind the camera, muffled). It was awesome. While you were out, that one kid jumped up and fired a crazy beam from his hands.
Dave: Hand beams?!
Sam: I’ll go over and see if I can get an interview with them. Excuse me!
-Sam walks over to the group as the camera follows him.
Sam: Excuse me fellas. My name is Sam Spitz. I’m with Channel 70 News.
Kyle: (Heard from the back). I love those guys.
Sam: Can you tell us what happened out there just now?
Chris: Uh, well, the Octa-Rangers were better trained as a group force than individually and then Max showed up and nearly killed everyone.
Sam: Were you afraid out there?
Chris: I w-
Lindsey: (Jumping into the frame, grabbing the mic). Afraid? Are you kidding me?! That bunch of losers didn’t stand a chance against us! We had this fight from the very beginning. Which fight were you watching? It was almost too boring beating the snot out of Octavious’ goons. I would have done it myself if I didn’t think Chris needed the exercise.
Chris: That’s not entirely-
Sam: So your names have been cleared, is that correct?
Jack: We’ve given our case, but I’d hardly say this clears us completely. Within the week there will be all sort of military hearings and police action taken to figure out the truth, but for now, yes, we’re cleared.
Sam: Do you now where Octavious went?
Chris: Uh, no, I’m not-
Dave: Sam! You see that kid there? The one that’s talking? Him! That’s the kid! And the one behind him!
Sam: Who? Him? (Points to Derek).
Derek: What’d I do?
Dave: Those are the bastards that destroyed my apartment! Can you hear me kids?! Huh?!
Diana: Dave, they can’t hear you.
Dave: Sam! Give your earpiece to the jerk in the front!
Sam: (He and Chris are whispering to each other). It appears that they need to get going. They have family that may still be in trouble.
Dave: No! No no! Don’t let them leave.
–The group walks off and flies away, a few of them waving. Sam waves back.
Sam: Bye now. (Turns back to the camera). That’s all from me. Back to you guys in the studio.
-Cuts back to Dave and Diana.
Diana: Dave, please, calm down. Have a drink or something.
Dave: (Defeated). That was them. They were right there. So close… (Fired up again). I’m practicing for you kids! When I find you I’ll shoot you with my own hand beams! HAND BEAMS! GAH!
Diana: For Channel 70 News, I’m Diana Miranda.
Diana: Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.
* * * * *
-The group flies at a steady pace back towards Brooksboro and Chris’ grandmother. Chris is riding on Austin’s back, Derek is on Clinton’s, Scott is on Glitch, and Jack is on Kyle.
Chris: So the soldiers at the church nearly killed you guys?
Jack: Yes and no. The situation never left our control. However, there were some moments that pushed the boundaries of manageable.
Kyle: Jack, if I remember correctly, you broke down for a while and couldn’t keep yourself together.
Jack: Kyle, you do not remember correctly. What you saw was merely a front towards a greater goal. I’ve noticed that you all respond better when there is a clear need to act, and so I placed myself in a position where you would feel the need to respond accordingly. It was a gamble, but it paid off.
Kyle: Gamble, right…
Lindsey: Chris, I really do hope your grandma is okay. She’s such a nice woman.
Chris: When I spoke to her on the phone yesterday she seemed out of sorts. I don’t think she’s happy with me leaving the way I did.
Austin: I think very few of our parents were really happy with us leaving.
Derek: My dad gave me nothing but support.
Austin: Yeah, but then again you were raised to be a fighter, weren’t you?
Derek: I was raised never to accept weakness. There’s a slight difference, but the distinction is probably lost on someone like you.
Chris: Look, all I know is that I’m glad everyone else’s families are safe. No, having to say good-bye is not ideal, but at least we know they can’t be used like this again.
Lindsey: Even saying good-bye is a little too much to ask, isn’t it…?
-She shoots Jack a dirty look.
Jack: (Unphased). I don’t apologize for my decision. I stand by everything I’ve done up until this point and I intend on standing by my choices in the future, too.
Leena: We almost there? I want this to be done so that we can get some rest again.
Scott: Um, so I hate to bring up what we’re all thinking, but Jack, we don’t get to rest after this, do we?
Jack: …No, we probably don’t.
Danny: Why not, Jack? We beat the bad guys, so why can’t we take a break?
Jack: It’s not that simple. We need to find the Legion again and regroup. I know the person who’d be next in line behind Max and I can trust him.
Kyle: It’s not you, is it?
Jack: No. I haven’t checked where I rank in the hierarchy for a while, but I’d say at least another dozen people would have to die or be discredited before I get promoted.
Derek: Please tell me you aren’t orchestrating something involving twelve soldiers getting blown away.
Jack: No. I don’t even know where specifically they are at the moment.
Clinton: You mentioned that the Legion has another base in Brooksboro. Wouldn’t headquarters be set up there, at least temporarily?
Jack: Yes. We should go there as soon as we’re done with our business at Chris’ house. I’d like to get this all done with as quickly as possible.
Chris: Sorry to be such an inconvenience, Jack. We’re almost there anyway. Go ahead and land over there.
-The group sets down a few houses away from Chris’ grandmother’s house.
Chris: Well, it doesn’t look like anyone’s been here. Except for the front door. Why isn’t there a front door?
-Chris takes off at a run towards the front door.
Chris: Grandma! Are you alright?!
-He reaches the front door.
-Chris is hurled off of his feet after being struck in the head. He flies into the house across the street, exploding it completely.
-The group gets into battle formation, unsure exactly what they’re about to see.
Jack: Damnit. Lindsey, go check on Chris.
-She runs over to Chris’ current location in the rubble.
Jack: It might be Octavious but be ready for anything…
-Chris gets up, wobbling and shaking.
Lindsey: Chris, are you okay? What the heck just hit you?
-Chris grabs his head, blood running down his arm from a head wound. He looks up and continues shaking, terrified.
Chris: GET AWAY FROM THE DOOR!
-The group reacts slightly too slow as the entire front of the house explodes, spraying splinters and wreckage onto everyone.
-While everyone tries to get up from the street, Chris starts to walk forward ready to fight.
-Finally, a figure steps forth from the dust and out of the house. It is a man with pitch-black armor dented and scratched all over. His right arm hangs loosely to his side, clearly broken. Blood is pulsating from various gashes he has all over his body as he stumbles out. He’s breathing erratically and looking as if he’ll fall over at any second.
-The man does indeed look somewhat like Syrus, though not exactly. His attitude is completely different from anything Syrus has thus displayed, as are his mannerisms.
“Syrus”: Why can’t you just die already…?
-Jack sits himself up, looking around at the area and what they’re up against.
Jack: Evasive action! Don’t make a move unless I say so!
“Syrus”: (Clearly only focusing on Chris). Come. God DAMN you! Come!
Lindsey: That’s not really Syrus, is it?
Chris: I don’t know. He looks like he just took a massive beating and doesn’t feel anything like Syrus. Something isn’t right about him, but I know he’s way out of my league.
Lindsey: If I can hold him off until you recover? Then can you take him?
Chris: No, and Lindsey, I really mean it when I tell you this time to grab the others and get out of here.
Lindsey: Chris, I’m not leaving, no matter what. You know that.
-Chris looks over, his eyes welling up.
Chris: I can’t save you from this one. Please, go!
“Syrus”: Enough of your sentimental whining! I’m taking you to Hell with me!
-Chris prepares himself for a monumental beat down as Lindsey also readies herself.
“Syrus”: Now die already!
-The Syrus-looking figure is slammed over the head with a double-handed smash from someone new.
-The new figure lands in front of Chris and Lindsey. He is wearing a mostly black outfit with a red bandana mask pulled over his eyes and then wrapped over most his face.
Red Mask: (He speaks with a very raspy voice). You two okay?
Lindsey: Who are you?
Red Mask: I’ll explain later. Just stay low and go find cover.
Lindsey: (Whispering to Chris). Should we trust this guy?
Chris: Something doesn’t feel right with him, either.
Red Mask: (Clearly talking to the Syrus-imposter). You think I’m gonna just let you come here and kill them like this?
“Syrus”: (Slowly getting up, far too battered at this point). Why am I not surprised to see you here, too?
Red Mask: Doesn’t matter where you go. I’ll hunt you, and I will kill you.
“Syrus”: I’m not done yet.
Red Mask: You couldn’t beat me at full strength. You think you can beat me like you are now? Someone did a real number on you, and I regret that they didn’t just finish you when they had the chance.
Jack: (Trying to decide what to do here). Okay, we need to get out of here before something even worse happens.
-Three more individuals show up from different spots. One wears full Legion gear, another chooses to dress mostly in robes and a turban, and the final is a shorthaired blonde woman dressed in a jacket with black gloves. All of them have their faces covered.
Masked Woman: You all okay?
Jack: Who are you?
Masked Woman: I didn’t ask that. I asked if you’re okay, which you seem to be. Good, we got here in time.
Kyle: Your friend up there looks like he’s about to go nuclear.
Masked Woman: He does that from time to time. The others should take care of it.
-The man dressed in the robe rushes up to the man in the red mask.
Robed Man: Okay, that’s enough. He’s down. He can’t do anything more.
Red Mask: He can always do something more.
Legion Gear: Kill him! We can end it here!
Red Mask: Heh, finally he agrees with me.
-Red Mask starts charging a blast in his hands far larger than anything the others can comprehend. The entire area rumbles dangerously more than expected.
Red Mask: This time, DON’T COME BACK!
-The Syrus Imposter throws a blast at Red Mask, hitting him in the face.
-Red Mask launches his blast into the air. It travels up and up, leaving the atmosphere altogether.
-Everyone sees it explode with a flash that blinds everyone.
“Syrus”: I’ll always come back.
-No one can clearly see what happens as they’re still blind from the other explosion. However, a new one rips apart the city block.
-The dust settles again. The first up are the four strangers.
-The woman runs over to Red Mask and smacks him.
Masked Woman: You crazy?
Red Mask: I should have expected him to do that.
Masked Woman: Well duh.
Legion Gear: Is everyone alright?
Jack: (Cough). Yeah, I think we’re fine. Figuratively speaking of course.
Chris: Who are you guys? And who was the guy who looked like Syrus?
Red Mask: He was nobody. You don’t worry about him.
Lindsey: (Tugging on the Masked Woman’s jacket). Seriously, who are you guys?
Masked Woman: Heh. Don’t worry about that for a while. We need to get you all away from here.
Chris: What about my grandma? Is she okay?
Masked Woman: Trust me; she’s fine. She’s nowhere near here. Don’t worry about her right now.
Jack: You, in the Legion uniform. Are you a ranking officer?
Legion Gear: At the current time, no.
Jack: What’s your name?
Legion Gear: You can refer to me as Commander Fox if you have to.
Danny: Can we just call you Fox?
Fox: For simplicity, yes.
Jack: I’ve never heard of you. Why is that?
Fox: I stay hidden. There are levels of the Legion even you don’t know about, Jack Voss.
Red Mask: We’ve messed around enough here. We’ve got to go.
Lindsey: Come on, what’s your name?
Red Mask: Call me Iess.
Masked Woman: And I’m Grid. The guy in the robe is…Job!
Job: Job? Oh yes! Sorry, I didn’t quite hear you over there! My ears are still ringing from the explosion!
Iess: Alright, so you know our names. Now let’s get out of here.
Chris: Where are we going?
Iess: There’s a lodge way up north into the mountains. It’s large enough to house all of us and the owner won’t mind.
Lindsey: You sure about that?
Grid: Trust us on this. The guy loves guests.
Fox: There’ll be time to talk later. We need to move.
-The group takes to the skies and starts to fly north.
Kyle: Why do I get the feeling everything is about to get a whole lot weirder?
Leena: Because it probably is.
To Be Continued…
*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 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.
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.
–The message reads “For your endless devotion. –Octavious.”.
-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.
–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.”
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 and Lindsey walk out from the room.
Jack: Glitch, carry me to the couch. Please. I’d like to see the news.
-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.
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…
–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?
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.
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. 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.
-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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
–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.
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-
Jack: (Holding the remote). I think we have a serious problem.
Kyle: Where’d he find the remote…?
To Be Continued…