Senator Jason Grace (R, Penn)
Senator Randall Marsh
President Quigman J. Smitty
(As people speak, Grace rambles on)
Slotter: How long has it been now?
Keane: Twenty-seven hours with no signs of stopping.
Narrator: It had been three weeks since the Flashpack had first proposed
amending the Consitution to allow Jimmy to run for President. Three weeks
of benefit dinners in fancy restaurants...
Max: So many forks...which is for salad?
Keane: You start on the end and work your way inward.
Max: What about this one over here?
Keane: That's the savory fork. You use it for savories.
Max: Okay. When are those?
Keane: In the place of dessert.
Max: There's no dessert?! Suffering Schroedinger!
Narr: Lobbying on the blog-axy...
Slotter: In the first place, you mispelled "mandate". In the second,
Narr: And scrupulously following the debates in Congressional committee.
Molly: How many more complimentary boxes of donuts do we have?
Furtrace: Only three.
Molly: Crap! Who'd have thought legislation took so many baked goods?
Narr: In that time, they'd heard very little from the mysterious saboteur
who'd been stalking them ever since they'd returned to the present. Finally,
the 56th Amendment was before the Senate, where a positive vote would almost
guarantee its passing. Unfortunately, they'd hit a stumbling block.
Max: Violet shores of Vivaria! Is there anything else on television?
Keane: The news is covering it, too. Look.
Newscaster: While still a long way from Presitron's eighty-hour performance,
Senator Grace's filibuster is the current record for a human speaking on the
floor of the Senate. The Senator is currently reading from the Lotus Sutra,
a work he states is of great personal significance.
Molly: Oh, whatever! I hate when fundamentalists use holy texts to further
their own agendas.
Drallus: Why doesn't anybody tell him to sit down?
Jimmy: They can't. According to Senate procedures a Senator can keep the
floor as long as he can physically stand on it. Doesn't matter what he does
there, so long as he stays upright. Strom Thurmond did it for more than a
day to protest the Civil Rights Act.
Slotter: Sheesh, sounds like something only jerks do.
Jimmy: I wouldn't put it that way...well, it's more of a coincidence.
Keane: Historically it's been used repeatedly to block legislation that would
radically expand personal liberties. The 56th Amendment certainly fits the
Molly: Then why do we let people do it?
Jimmy: Because it's a way for the minority to make their voice heard. It
often forces compromise, which is important for a democracy.
Drallus: Sounds stupid. If we let one or two naysayers block major change
we'd never get anything done.
Jimmy: We'd also be disenfranchising anyone who didn't hold the same opinion
as the majority.
Drallus: Like bigots and fanatics? Sounds reasonable to me.
Jimmy: Easy for you to say; we can't all solve our problems by beating people
Drallus: Oh, so my physical superiority invalidates my opinion? Nicely done,
Molly: Guys! Chill. We need to keep a cool head, here. Fighting won't get
Keane: It's strange, though.
Slotter: What do you mean?
Keane: Grace's position on voter empowerment has always been positive. He's
against almost everything else, but voter empowerment is a real hot-button
Slotter: Now that you mention it...let's check his site on the extra-net.
Narr: Slotter called up the Senator's extra-net site, which was garishly
decorated in red, white and blue, with liberal doses of saffron. Several prerecorded
messages were available for first-time visitors.
Grace: Hello friends! Welcome to my site. In this environment you can explore
my career, read up on my voting history in the Senate, and listen to some
key speeches. Don't forget to leave some comments!
Slotter: This is unreal! He's voted against child care, social services,
education, health coverage, art endowments, even public transportation!
Molly: Does he like ANYTHING?
Jimmy: Luna. He voted in favor of Lunar statehood and the electronic voting
initiative. Listen to this:
Grace: Everyone deserves a chance to express themselves in the democratic
forum. Consistently throughout my career I've fought hard to make sure that
every American has access to the ballot box come election day. The more people
we involve in the process, the more diverse and full the political discussion
Jimmy: Keane's right. This is out of character for him.
Molly: Wonder what it means. What do you think, Max? (beat) Max?
Narrator: Max Thornfield, intrepid leader of the Flashpack, was staring intently
at the television screen. He'd caught a brief sheen that passed over Senator
Grace's face as he came to the end of the Lotus Sutra. Most people might pass
it off as a trick of the light, but Max had a great deal of experience with
glamours, and this felt just a little too familiar to pass off so easily.
Max: Huh? What?
Drallus: Grace's acting weird. What do you think?
Max: What do I think? I think we've just found our mysterious nemesis!
Max: Furtrace! Can you get me into the Senate chamber?
Furtrace: Uhhh...sure, why?
Max: Let's just say that there's something I want to show him.
Slotter: You want us to come, Max?
Max: We'd better travel light. Drallus, you're with me.
Drallus: Got it.
Drallus: It's easy, Molly. Just wait here.
Max: Okay, guys. We should have Jimmy in the running and our mystery terrorist
captured in no time. Flashpack!
Narr: In a string of incantations -
Furtrace: (cat noises)
Narr: - Max, Furtrace and Drallus were inside the Senate chamber. (old
men gasping) Senator Randall Marsh, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, approached
Marsh: You're the Flashpack, yes?
Max: Yup! Max Thornfield, Mr. Senator!
Marsh: Mr. Thornfield, this is most irregular! You've stumbled out of nowhere
onto the Senate floor! To what end did you attempt this wild stunt?
Max: Don't worry, sir. We've got everything in hand.
Marsh: I should hope so!
Max: Drallus, throw Furtrace past the Senator.
Drallus: My pleasure.
Grace: As the Buddha - oooh, kitty! (dog-like panting, storms after him)
Narr: Senator Grace took off after Furtrace, his tongue lolling out. As he
caugh the unwitting cat-man in his mouth, his face shimmered and waved, his
body growing longer and furry, and his ears flopping out to the sides.
Slimer: Got the kitty! Got the kitty! I did good!
Max: On the contrary, my feline-fetching friend, your fiendish facade has
been flawlessly foiled!
Furtrace: It means we know you're a dog, you big jerk! now let me go!
Slimer: Curses! Caught! Time to bolt!
Drallus: Not so fast, loser. I've got an ass-kicking with your name on it.
Slimer: That's nice, little girl. I'm the big man around here, see?
Narr: The dog-creature extended an arm, which swelled to exponential size
before swinging around to hit Drallus clear across the chamber. (crash) But
no sooner had Drallus made impact than she leapt back across the floor. The
creature's legs twisted and snapped into a faster shape, and he bolted for
Drallus: Oh no you don't, you son of a - (thud!)
Narr: Drallus clothes-lined the dog-being as he tried to leave the chamber.
Security guards descended on him, cuffing him before he could recover.
Drallus: Some kind of shapeshifter! Who is he?
Furtrace: Holy hairballs! That's Slimer Canetti, a thug for the Siriusian
Max: And we only know ONE person with connections to the Siriusian Mafia...
Slimer: You’ll never take me alive, Flashpack!
Drallus: If you insist.
Slimer: Yah! >Kak! Choke!<
Max: I don’t think you really needed to kill him, Drallus…
Drallus: How else could we make an example of him? Now, to deal with you-know-who.
Furtrace: What a woman!
Narr: One reputation-destroying exposee later...
Newscaster: And in a rare moment of honesty from the White House, President
Smitty has admitted to attempted sabotage to prevent Jimmy Kovacs from winning
his party's nomination.
Smitty: Mistakes were made, but I have no doubt that in my place Jimmy would
have done the same thing.
Jimmy: Psht. As if, loser.
Molly: I can't believe Smitty would do something that underhanded.
Slotter: What ever happened to the real Senator Grace?
Keane: The Siriusians were holding him hostage with the Mysterians. He was
shaken, but not really hurt.
Drallus: That must've been really hard for him. Aren't two of them lesbians?
Molly: Couldn't've happened to a nicer person.
Jimmy: Hey, don't knock it. People like the Senator are Americans too. They're
part of the country I want to help lead.
Max: Jimmy's right. America's more than just a country. It's all the people
in it working together.
Jimmy: Hey, you're right! I'd never even thought of it that way!
Narr: The Amendment quickly passed once Smitty's deception was revealed.
The press was quick to descend on Flashpoint, and a few days later found Jimmy
on a popular news show.
Newscaster: You've had quite a success, Mr. Kovacs; the 56th Amendment was
approved by an overwhelming margin.
Jimmy: Thanks, Frank; I hope it's indicative of a bigger victory in the election.
Newscaster: You're confident in your victory?
Jimmy: It's not going to be easy. Senator Marsh is a D.C. veteran with a
lot of experience under his belt. I respect and admire him, but I won't let
that stop me from trying my best on the campaign trail.
Newscaster: And have you given any thought to your running mate?
Jimmy: I'm glad you asked. Think you're up to the job?
Newscaster: I beg your pardon?
Jimmy: You. The camera man. All the people watching. I want to make the American
people my Vice President. America's not just a country; it's millions of different
people working together to make a difference. I want to tap into that. I'm
not just running FOR America. I'm running WITH America. Kovacs/America in
Narr: And so, with an entire country as his running mate, can Jimmy win the
White House? What new adventures await Jimmy on the campaign trail? Have we
seen the last of the mysterious Slimer Canetti? Tune in next week for Epic
Echoes: Who's To Blame?