Sen. Randal Marsh (D, Mass)
Big Honkin’ Cthulhu (BHC)
Narrator: The Flashpack stood stunned as Senator Marsh’s army of
Deep Ones filled the room, tridents at the ready.
Marsh: I’d hoped to seize control of this nation peacefully, but I
hadn’t counted on our young Mr. Kovacs’ unnatural appeal. But
no matter. If I cannot win America by love I shall have to win them by fear.
Jimmy: You monster!
Marsh: Oh stop, you’re making me blush.
Max: By the knock-kneed gnomes of Neptune! We’re surrounded!
Furtrace: Really? I hadn’t noticed.
Keane: Shut up, hairball. This is serious.
Slotter: Yeah, this looks really bad. What are we going to do?
Max: We can’t take these fiendish fishfolk alone! We’ll need
(as he finishes, *SCIENCE NOISES!!!!*)
Captain Eternity: Then it looks like I got here just in time!
Drallus: Holy Crap!
Molly: It’s Captain Eternity!
Narrator: (slightly breathless herself) Indeed! Resplendent in his futuristic
armor, the man whose exploits had inspired Max to start the Flashpack burst
out of a Time Vortex with a legion of the Infinity Squad behind him. (*sounds
of battle*) Their superior tactics and infinite resolve quickly routed the
Deep One contingent.
Captain Eternity: Thanks, boys! Now, take five! Smoke if you got ‘em!
Max: Cap! What are you doing here?
CE: Saving your bacon, Max. Trust me, even the mightiest Science-Heroes need
help against the raucous regiments of R’lyeh! I was passing this reality
at an oblique and my dangerometer went off like a Christmas tree from Venus.
But if what I hear is true, you’ve got an even bigger problem on your
Max: No kidding. If what Marsh said is true, we’ve got only a few weeks
before Cthulhu emerges from his slumber.
CE: That sounds serious! And it looks like Marsh escaped during the firefight,
so we can’t make him tell us how to stop the monstrosity!
Drallus: Why do we need Marsh?
Molly: Well, he’s the expert on horrors from beyond the stars.
Drallus: But we’ve got our own expert on the supernatural, don’t
Slotter: You don’t mean –
Furtrace: Drallus…you mean you want me to help?
Drallus: Well, it makes sense, doesn’t it? This kind of thing is right
up your alley.
Furtrace: But…but I thought you didn’t…
Drallus: Look, I’m not going to go to the movies with you, but if there’s
a big scary monster out there, you’re the one I want helping me stop
Max: But it’ll take more than just magic to defeat this monster.
Molly: Max is right. We’ll need science…
Drallus: …and strength…
Keane: …and insight…
Jimmy: …and courage…
Slotter: …and maybe just a bit of dumb luck…
Max: …and when we put it all together, there’s not a force in
the world that can stop us.
CE: The Infinity Squad and I will help you however we can.
Jimmy: And I’m sure a President-elect can call in a few favors from
other Science Heroes.
Max: This won’t be easy, guys, but we’re not gonna quit until
the world is safe. Flashpack!
Jimmy, Keane, Slotter, Furtrace, Molly, Drallus: Flashpack!
Narrator: The next few weeks passed by in a blur. Plans were made –
Molly: A what ray?!
Keane: You heard me perfectly.
Molly: That’s ridiculous!
Keane: Assuming optimal circumstances, there’s a sixty-three percent
chance of success.
Molly: And if conditions are sub-optimal?
Keane: Then we won’t live long enough to employ the device anyway.
Molly: I keep forgetting that your plans work that way.
Narrator: Alliances were forged –
Jimmy: Furtrace, Jill, meet the Glassman.
Slotter: It’s an honor, sir.
Glassman: (vague, ethereal voice, possible Texas twang) The pleasure’s
all mine, Ms. Slotter. Now what’s this I hear about a moon?
Narrator: And Max had a chance to sit down with his childhood idol.
Max: Listen, Cap…
CE: What can I do for you, Max?
Max: Well, it’s just that we didn’t get to talk much the last
two times we teamed up…
CE: (laughing) Oh, Max…don’t tell me you’re nervous around
Max: Well…yeah. Shouldn’t I be?
CE: It’s just…well, truth to tell, I’ve always been kind
of nervous around you.
CE: I grew up reading about Max Thornfield and the Flashpack. Hell, my grandpa
had a signed copy of the issue where you defeat Stragon the Annihilator that
his grandpa gave him. And his grandpa, well…but that’s another
story. Your stories are part of what inspired me.
Max: But…but your exploits were what –
CE: It’s a causal plasticity issue, real deep mad science. The point
is, you’re a part of my history. The way you inspire people, the way
you see the greatness inside them and nurture it…that’s what led
me to start the Infinity Squad. And when I lost my hand to the Crawling Chaos,
your example was what led me to replace it with a nanotech prosthetic and
carry on the fight. I know you’ll get through this, Max. When the scat
collides with the turbine, you’ll come out on top.
Narrator: And finally, as the day of Awakening drew near, an announcement
went out across the world…
Jimmy: We know that the Evil and his Agents are out there, and we tell them
that America is stronger than them. That America is more powerful than them.
That America stands as one against the tide of madness. And that the Flashpack,
America’s strongest and most loyal guardians, will meet them on the
field of battle.
Max: Great Old One or not, we’ll settle this like men – in the
inky blackness of space! Meet us on the far side of Pluto tomorrow, and you’ll
see the power of America! Unless, of course, you’re simply too much
of a fraidy-wuss to face us! Because if you are, you can just stay home and
eat ice cream or whatever like the sissified sissy-pants that you –
Jimmy: Max, chill, we get the idea.
Max: Right, sorry.
Narrator: This fierce challenge found the Flashpack and their allies in the
shadow of the farthest planet the next day.
Keane: Our chances grow smaller the longer after 1300 we are forced to wait.
Slotter: Oh yes, because this plan was flawlessly designed and utterly devoid
of problems from the start.
Glassman: Have a little faith, Ms. Slotter. I ‘reckon this’ll
sort itself out one way or t’other.
Furtrace: Not exactly reassuring, guy.
Molly: Cut the chatter, guys. Even with the encryption, they may have ways
of hearing us.
CE: Not to worry, Molly. They couldn’t hear us if they were sitting
next to us.
Molly: Then I guess I’m just paranoid.
Drallus: I can’t blame you, Mol. I’d feel better if I had something
Max: Rest easy, Drallus. You’ll get your wish soon e –
Narrator: Roughly then is when Cthlhu entered the picture. H.P. Lovecraft
uses terms like "eldritch", "cyclopean" and "non-Euclidean" to
describe him, but this is a family serial, so we’ll just say he’s
a big honkin’ monster. If not for the Flashpack’s madness-proof
goggles, they’d have surely been vaporized by his infinite crazy.
BHC: Are these the pathetic humans who believe themselves capable of withstanding
my awesome presence? Were I not far beyond humor I would laugh! The time has
come for mankind to feel the wrath of the great Elder Being Cthulhu!
Slotter: You think he always talks this much?
Keane: He’s been asleep for eons, maybe he’s saved it all up.
CE: It’s about time we gave him what-for, eh, Max?
Max: You said it, Cap! Glassman, you ready?
Glassman: I won’t get much readier, Max.
Max: Then release it. Drallus! Get up in his face.
Drallus: He’s the size of Manhattan. That won’t be too hard.
Narrator: Drallus maneuvered her rocket pack toward the monstrosity’s
face, and with a strength greater than human began pounding him into submission.
(sounds of detonation)
BHC: What are you doing? Your mortal fists are mere annoyances to my ineffable
visage! Cease your ridiculous attempts at resistance!
Jimmy: Doesn’t look so ridiculous to me. Sheesh, I hope Drallus never
gets that mad at me.
Slotter: Just don’t eat her leftovers and you should be fine.
Max: Well, he’s distracted for now. How long until impact?
Glassman: Five…Four…Three…Two…One! (collision of
Narrator: Yes, Charon, Pluto’s tiny and unassuming moon, had been rendered
invisible by the combined efforts of Furtrace and the Glassman. While Cthulhu
was distracted it had plowed unseen into the back of the monstrosity’s
BHC: Ow! Son of a shoggoth!
Max: He’s distracted! Molly, Cap, let’s go!
Molly: You got it, Max!
CE: Activating the Shrinkamajig!
Narrator: The shrinking ray Molly and Captain Eternity had built fired a
beam of bright, science-colored light into the monster, reducing him to a
pitiful two feet tall.
Cthulhu: Indignity! You will not humiliate Cthulhu any further! I shall – (punching
Drallus: Thought he’d never shut up. Have fun in the sun, squidface.
(grunt, as if throwing something heavy)
Max: Mark of the Sentinel! Did we just kill Cthulhu?
CE: Nothing ever really dies, Max. Especially not Elder Gods. But I think
it’ll be a while before he poses a threat to anyone again.
Narrator: A short ride to Earth later…
Keane: Good to see you again, Senator Marsh.
Slotter: Hiding out with the Mysterians? That’s lame even for you.
Marsh: Curse you, Flashpack! You haven’t heard the last of me!
Slotter: I find it far more likely that we have, in fact, heard the last
of you. Take him away, boys.
Max: Great work with the Shrinkamajig, Molly. I’m proud of you.
Molly: Aw, shucks, it was nothing.
Drallus: (jumping in) Did you like how I threw him into the sun, Max?
Max: Oh, yeah, right. Thanks, Drallus.
Drallus: Thanks?! I beat up an Elder God, Max!
Max: Well, all I’m saying is that if Molly hadn’t…
Drallus: Whatever, Max! There are people who actually appreciate me, I’ll
go find them!
Jimmy: Whoa. Harsh.
Molly: Lord-Looking-Down…that was kind of cruel, Max.
Max: I didn’t mean to –
Molly: Of course not. You never do.
Max: Molly, wait!
Jimmy: Let her go, Max. She’ll cool down, you can talk to her then.
Max: What about Drallus?
Jimmy: Hey, you want to confront the girl who punched out Cthulhu, you go
CE: Don’t worry, Max. Things will sort themselves out.
Max: Thanks, Cap.
CE: Anytime. I need to go now, but don’t forget what I said, okay?
Max: I won’t, Cap.
CE: Good. Now, (*SCIENCE NOISES!*) forward, into
the Future! (voice reverbs and he’s gone)
Narrator: Meanwhile, in her room, Drallus spoke into a mystic gem she’d
found months before.
Drallus: …I guess you were right after all. Count me in.
Narrator: The Flashpack’s most powerful enemy has been vanquished,
but not without some discontent in their ranks. What new dangers are next,
and will the ‘Pack make it through together? The adventure continues
in the next episode of Epic Echoes: Press Time.