Buck & Jane
A Death in the Family
Decker & Hayes
Epic Echoes
The Great Muppet Debate
Guard Duty
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Stage Blood



Epic Echoes
Episode 5 - Gains and Losses

By Daniel Schwartz

Max Thornfield

Narrator: Months passed with no word from Drallus. Max and the gang hung around Flashpoint, their secret headquarters, waiting for news. No such luck – the alien fleet floated over Earth like a big… (struggling for a simile) menacing… blimp of some sort. Molly kept mostly to herself, pensively pacing the halls, slowly coming to grips with some inner struggle. The others, meanwhile, tried to come up with a way to confront the no-doubt hostile invaders.

Crisp: I’ve known Dex to try many techniques to force his enemies into submission, but this Drallus thing is totally alien to me experience. The resemblance between them is uncanny and, if she is brainwashed, then it is more thorough than anything I have before encountered. I am inclined to think she may have truly defected of her own will.

Max: No way. I’ve known Drallus for years. There’s no way she could betray us!

Slotter: Except in the way she did. Be realistic, Max. We need to at least entertain the possibility that she’s really turned.

Max: Slotter, we grew up with Drallus. Dex must be using some kind of device to control her mind.

Crisp: That is a possibility, Max. But the odds for it are slim, at best. I know you care for Drallus, but she has joined Dex in his maniacal crusade. Now if you will excuse me, I have an appointment in the rock garden with Molly. (walking away)

Max: Well, we need some kind of spaceship. Otherwise we’ll never be able to get to their secret base in the Himalayas.

Slotter: It’s in a mountain range? On Earth? What’s the big deal, then?

Keane: Yeah. Can’t we take the jet?

Max: No dice. If their defenses are half what they claim, the jet won’t be nearly fast enough. We’ll need some serious mad science to get into their base.

Keane: But Molly seems a little…you know. She may not be up to it.

Slotter: You kidding? Molly bodged together a plasma cannon out of some rubber bands and the sun that one time. She can handle a stupid spaceship.

Max: I don’t want to put too much on her plate right now, though. Let’s at least get somebody in to install the hyperdrive she and Julie built into a chassis.

Slotter: Oh no, you don’t mean…

Max: Oh yes, but I do.

Narrator: And so, a week later at the garage of Gunther Stellof, DMS…

Molly: You put it in a WHAT?!

Stellof: (timid) Well, Ms. Singh, you must remember that aerodynamics are irrelevant when traveling at superluminal speeds…

Molly: It’s a freaking TROLLEY, you ridiculous shudra (pronounced shoo-druh)! It doesn’t have airlocks or astrogation computers or anything you’d need to travel through space! Did you get your doctorate off of the INTERNET?!

Stellof: That’s not very nice, Ms. Singh. And since you asked, all of the display screens are popup. Observe. (*SCIENCE NOISES!*)

Molly: (obviously deflated slightly) Well…okay, that’s kind of cool. But it’s still ridiculous. (angry again) And this control panel doesn’t make any sense to me. Did you remember to use LANGUAGE when making labels for these? Do these symbols correspond to words or ideas?

Stellof: Oh, yes, that. Well, it’s not so difficult. When we fly to base, I will show you.

Molly: You’re coming with us? Why? Is there something there you need to strap to something wildly inappropriate?

Stellof: The controls are tough to manage without being shown how to use them. However, time is of the essence, and so I cannot be just showing you how it is done. You will see as we do, ja?

Molly: We’re going to die. That’s it. Dead. Like it’s our job.

Narrator: But Molly’s protests were to no avail, and so it wasn’t long before the Flashpack and their ersatz spaceship were hurtling toward the location of the alien secret base.

Max: Wheeeeee!

Slotter: I think I’m going to be sick…

Keane: How is there even air here?

Stellof: Trolley uses force fields to create small oxygen-rich bubble for passengers. Is safer than a baby on a roller coaster.

Slotter: Babies on roller coasters are by nature highly unsafe.

Stellof: Precisely!

Keane: We’re going to die up here.

Max: This is GREAT, Dr. Stellof! We should have tried this years ago!

Molly: So do we have any idea what we’re getting ourselves into at this secret base?

Keane: It seems like the alien warlord Dex is there to oversee the last stage of his doomsday weapon’s construction.

Slotter: A doomsday weapon again? Sheesh, are there NO new ideas?

Keane: This one’s a doozy. He’s going to use a force field to crush the Earth.

Slotter: Oh, hey, that’s kind of creative. Props to Dex for new way to destroy the world.

Crisp: I remember Dex’s tactics in placing troops. We’ll be looking at guards at these points. If we each take one of these major nodes, we should be through in a matter of minutes.

Molly: So we rush the base, guns blazing, and make Dex stop the beam and give us Drallus back?

Max: That’s the plan. It’s gonna take all of our ingenuity to save the planet this time. But as long as we stand together, nothing can stop us. Flashpack!

Slotter, Crisp, Keane: Flashpack!

Molly: (more faintly) Flashpack.

Stellof: Flash…oh, hey, that’s a missile.


Narrator: The explosion hurled Dr. Stellof from his precarious position at the helm of the trolley, flinging him into the atmosphere.

Max: Creeping Comets! It must be miles to the ground!

Keane: More missiles coming!

Molly: I’ll try to dodge them!

(flying noises, veering, explosions)

Max: That was a close one! Quickly, we may be able to land over there!

Molly: Hold on!

Keane: We’re not going to make it!

Slotter: (not hysterical at all) Did I leave the light on in the bathroom?

(hard landing noises, beat)

Max: Everyone all right?

Keane: I’m fine.

Crisp: I am right in all ways.

Slotter: Right, I switched it off before I got my blaster. Okay!

Molly: I’m here.

Max: Okay then. Let’s do this crazy thing!

Narrator: the Flashpack rushed into the base, blasters blazing. At every turn more alien troops tried to stop them, and soon the four were separated. Slotter soon found herself cornered, staring down the business ends of four death rays.

Slotter: Okay, Jill, don’t panic. Think. What would Sean Connery do? (beat) Hey, look over there, a distraction!

Troops: Where? Where?

(sounds of running off)

Narrator: Soon the Flashpack rendezvoused in front of the main door to the control room.

Max: All right, gang. Let’s get this show on the road.

Crisp: We’re putting on a show?

Molly: Only in the sense that all the world is a stage.

Crisp: Is that Zen?

Max: (not paying attention) Right! This is it, people. Flashpack!

Molly, Keane, Slotter, Crisp: Flashpack!

Narrator: Max and the gang burst in, expecting to meet a flurry of blaster fire. Instead, they found only their foe, the alien warlord Dex, standing resplendent in his golden armor, his finger poised over a control pad.

Dex: Well, well, well. If it isn’t the intrepid Max Thornfield and his motley collection of misfits.

Slotter: We’re not actually motley. We’re all wearing solid colors.

Dex: (not paying attention) …and you’ve seduced one of my own to your futile cause. How ironic. We never expected much of you, 8215.

Crisp: That’s not a very nice thing to say.

Max: Where’s Drallus, you otherworldly oppressor?

Dex: (chuckles) You are as blind as she said you would be, Thornfield. Haven’t you learned from our previous encounters? My sister has truly embraced her destiny as the true and unquestioned ruler of this puny world. She has become worthy of serving at my side, dominating you hoo-mans with an iron fist. Under my tutelage she shall crush you and all that you stand for.

Slotter: You’re lying! You made her into a monster! Drallus was our friend!

Dex: Only because you raised her here, on this pitiful rock crawling with idealists and simpletons. Had she seen her true destiny, she would have killed you long ago. Really, Ms. Slotter, do you imagine that her incredible intellect and voluptuous body were simply the result of –

Slotter: Voluptuous body? Dude, she’s your sister!

Dex: Do not try to judge me by your Earth-standards, hoo-man. Her body and her mind are mine by right, and I will turn both into my vision of the perfect empress.

Molly: Oh, gross.

Dex: You presume to judge me, Earth-woman? You, whose primitive technologies would be scoffed at by my people as the idiot machinations of a child? You, whose dedication to a religion of compassion has consistently conflicted with your duty to kill in defense of your world? You, whose attraction to Thornfield persists even in the face of his total ignorance?

Max: Wait, what?

Molly: Shut up, Dex! Shut down the force field generators or we’ll blow you apart where you stand!

Dex: You mean like this?

Narrator: Dex pressed a button on the console in front of him and smiled as every screen in the room flickered and went blank.

Slotter: No way it was that easy.

Dex: Of course not. This was merely a listening post, monitoring astronomical positions in preparation for activating the field. Now that it’s fulfilled its function, I’ve destroyed any information you might use to stop the doomsday device.

Molly: No…it can’t be!

Dex: Yes it can, female. Nothing can stop the field now. Not Earth’s armies, not its leaders, and especially not your insolent cabal of science-heroes. Especially not when one of you is –

(two blaster shots, slump to floor)

Max: Sweet Saturn, Keane! You killed him!

Keane: He was going for his blaster.

Slotter: Nice grouping.

Keane: Thanks.

Drallus: Aha! Thornfield! At last!

Narrator: The Flashpack jumped at the sound of their old friend’s voice. They looked up to see Drallus on the screen, metallic bikini still replacing the Rolling Stones T-shirt and jeans she’d so recently abandoned.

Max: Drallus! You don’t have to do this! You can still come back to us! We can break the mind control Dex put on you…

Drallus: Dex? That simpleton? He merely opened up the door. How many times must I tell you, Thornfield? I’ve given up your ragtag little band for my true destiny. I’ve learned to see past my crude and embarrassing origin on this backwater world and become the warlord I was born to be! Even now I am activating the force field that will crush Earth in a mere six hours!

Molly: Hell of Dark Metal…you’ve been masterminding this whole thing?!

Drallus: Dex talks a big game, but he’s a sucker for a pretty face. Once I realized his weakness it was simple to take the reins of this invasion from him. I’ve been pulling his strings for months now.

Crisp: Dex wasn’t controlling you…it was the other way around!

Drallus: That's right, traitor. Already the field has begun to close in on your planet. Pressure explosions will begin to occur all over the planet shortly, and at around six o'clock PM, Eastern Standard Time, the field will come into contact with the highest peak of the surface of your world, after which it will proceed to crush the entire world and everyone on it into the compressed heart of a singularity!

Narrator: Meanwhile, in the underwater nightmare city of R’lyeh (pronounced ruh-lay)

Cthulhu: The stars are right at last! Ready the Gates of Horror, my minions! The time has come for the Flashpack to reap the vengeance whose seeds they sowed the day they chose to meddle in the affairs of the Dread Monster of the World Beneath! The time has come, Flashpack, for you to feel the wrath of Cthulhu!

Narrator: As if the Flashpack’s plate wasn’t full enough already, they’re about to get a hearty helping of an all-but-forgotten nemesis – one whose horror is renowned beyond time itself! Can the Flashpack defeat both their old friend and their old enemy? Find out in the next maddening episode of Epic Echoes: Call Off Cthulhu!

Go to Episode 6