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, Series 3
Episode 10 - Hitting the Books

By Daniel Schwartz

Dr. Stellof
Sir William
Vampiros 1-2
Mr. Banal

Narrator: Max Thornfield and his amazing Flashpack had been on one adventure after another in the past six months, and were finally enjoying a rare chance to relax. The 'pack's newest member, Furtrace Fuzzbotham, was lounging about his quarters engaging in recreational use of catnip, and toying with the cyber-mouse they'd picked up a few weeks before.

Furtrace: Wheee-heheheheheeeeee!

Narr: The newly re-effeminated Jill Slotter was working on her rubberband collection, finally having the time to properly add the bands she'd been accumulating to the giant ball she was making.

Slotter: Just a little more... come on... and........ perfect!

Narr: Jimmy Kovacs was reviewing the virtual recordings of the last 3 weeks of C-HoloSpan, taking a moment to consider how serious his political aspirations actually were.

Jimmy: Senator Gersburdler, you fool! The Io agreement should be at the core of any America-Europa trade-agreement! Are you blind?

Narr: Sara Keane was making good on her bet with Drallus: she'd sworn she could make a meal out of the Salaggotha they'd slain, and now, with the help of Centauri Soy and some garlic and sesame, she was making it happen.

Keane: (deep nose breath) Mmmmm... just wait until she tastes this bastard.

Narr: Drallus Thornfield was in the gym, boxing with her shadow, taking advantage of the final hours of the spell that had made it into a separate entity from her.

Drallus: Give it up! You'll never be as good as the origi-OOF! All right, that was a lucky shot! Just try it again!

Narr: The 'pack's perpetual houseguest, Dr. Nectori Stellof, was in his guest quarters, feasting on the banana's that were his sole sustenance and dictating a new article on the potential for human photosynthesis.

Stellof: (chewing) accepting that the chlorophyll would change the glamour and makeup industry in a substantial way... (chomp)

Narr: Meanwhile, the team's leader, Max Thornfield, and his best friend and advisor, Molly Singh, were finally able to do the mourning they'd been putting off for so long. The stood in full space suits in front of the engraving they'd affixed to the wall of the Flashpoint's vaccum garden.

Max: It looks just like her.

Molly: Yes... (verge of tears) Oh, Max! Julie's gone! She's really gone!

Max: I know, Molly. I know.

Molly: We'll never see her smile again! Never hear her crazy "one God" ideas! Never get beat by her at trivial pursuit and get ticked off when she does that little victory dance she always did!

Max: You know what hurts the most? I... I never got up the nerve to tell her how I felt about her. I always thought she knew, but I could never be sure. Just knowing... knowing that I'll never get the chance to tell the person I... I... it hurts. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Molly: Max... I... I should tell you- (dangerometer goes off)

Max: Holy Spokes! That sounds like a big one! What's going on?

Molly: I don't know! We'd better get back inside!

Narr: The two adventurers rushed into the airlock and met up with the full team gathered in their operations center moments later.

Max: Keane! What's the word?

Furtrace: A well-a well-a well-a bird, bird, bird, said the bird is the word, a well-a everybody's heard that the bird is the word-

Jimmy: Somebody put the cat out.

Drallus: Got it.

Furtrace: Rrrow!

Drallus: Come back when you're sober, niphead!

Keane: There's massive amounts of chronal energy flowing through the time stream!

Slotter: Chronal? That means time travel! My specialty. What do you need me to do, Keane?

Keane: It's not that simple, Jill. From the quantity of energy here, it looks like we're talking about time alteration on a scale we've never encountered before!

Max: Where's it coming from?

Molly: Based on these readings, it flows from somewhere around the year 4000.

Stellof: 4000? Oh no... oh no, no, no.

Drallus: What is it?

Stellof: That's right in the heart of the Vampirosian Empire!

Jimmy: The Vampirosian... What's that?

Stellof: The Vampirosian Empire? The Vampiros? It's only the most powerful Earth Empire of all time! The Vampiros are an off-shoot of humanity created by Sir Ector Huntingdon in 1678, and who eventually take over... well, everything!

Molly: Huntingdon? The guy who invented gravity?

Max: So what does all this mean? They're going back and changing history?

Keane: It sure looks that way. Must have decided to start their reign a few thousand years early.

Slotter: Max- we've got to stop them, and fast! If they change things before we leave, we won't even remember that things are different! Heck, they could change us out of existence!

Max: Great Heisenberg! We'd better get a move on! But where do we even begin?

Drallus: Look, everybody! We're getting a signal from the past!

Narr: Onto the vidscreen came the image of a man in the fancy dress of a 17th century English nobleman, resplendant and becaped, with a large feathered hat. Behind him was a scene of smoke and destruction.

William: Flashpack! Flashpack, are you there!

Keane: Flashpack here! Come in!

William: Sara! Thank the heavens I've found you, again! I'm afraid once more I must request your immediate assistance. The Vampiros are changing time! You've got to come at once!

Max: Again? There must be some mistake, Mister... we don't even know you.

William: So, I've contacted you before you've even left your present? Perfect! I am Sir William Alfred Whickersham, 14th Lord Duke of Blackmoor, formerly known as the Greater North Sea continent of Britain, 17th century time-traveller extraordinaire. Would that we had time for lengthier introductions, but I am in immediate need! Suffice it to say, we shall become allies in fighting the most horrible scourge of all time: The Vampiros! I'll feed you my coordinates, but you need to get here at once!

Max: We've got a time turner on our team, Sir. We're never late. Let's go, Gang! Flashpack!

The Pack: Flashpack!

Max: No, Stellof! You stay here, watch the Flashpoint- there's no telling what could happen out there. Besides, considering our track record lately... an evil empire of the future should set us back... what? A minute or two?

Stellof: You can count on me. I shall anxiously await your return.

Narr: The 'pack hurried grabbed their gear and the bleary-eyed, coffee drinking Furtrace, hopped into their Catship, the Marvin III, and took off into the time-space continuum. Slotter flashed the whole lot of them to the coordinates the nobleman had given, and moments later, the 'pack was in the sky of Germany, 1446. A beautiful sunset peeked over the mountaintops, coloring the sky the yellow-to-red of a ripe peach. It would have been a beautiful moment, if not for the hordes of spacecraft buzzing around the horizon, destroying everything in sight. The 'pack didn't even have time to gasp before the Marvin took some serious damage.

Molly: We're going down!

Max: Brace yourselves!

Narr: The catship sped towards the ground at an alarming rate, but Molly, ever the skilled pilot, managed to pull up the nose at the last second, landing them roughly on the belly of the craft. The impact threw the pack about in their safety harnesses and wrenched the walls of the vehicle apart in huge gaping cracks. As the dust began to settle, the pack could see troops of Vampiros outside those cracks, heading their way.

Max: We've got to move! We've got move, now!

Drallus: This way! The forest! Run! (they are all running)

Furtrace: What the mint is going on?!?

Jimmy: We'll explain later, cat! Right now we've got lives to keep from losing! Ours!

Slotter: Where's this Willy guy? Why did he call us here? He's not even around!

Keane: I don't know, but these are definately the coordinates he gave me!

Max: Maybe we should just go back to Flashpoint and regroup!

Molly: We can't, Max! If we try to go back before we've stopped them from changing the past... who knows what we'll be going back to? We can't return to Flashpoint until we've finished this!

Jimmy: But who knows how long that could take!

Drallus: Quick! Into this cave! And keep quiet! (they all start being quiet)

Furtrace: What are we even doing here?!

Keane: We don't know! Some dashing British gentryman called and asked us to come! But he never said what we should do here!

Furtrace: So, why don't we call him back and ask him?

Max: Er... yeah, why don't we?

Keane: I'm on it. Sir William!

William: What? Who the blazes is this? How did you get this number?

Keane: I'm Sara Keane, of the Flashpack! You called us!

William: I'm afraid you're mistaken, miss, however lovely you are. I'd remember if I'd seen that face before.

Keane: You didn't summon us to 1446?

William: Heavens, no! Why would I do that? I'm in Draculograd in 3939 dealing with the threat of the Vampiros!

Max: Mind if we join you?

William: Fellow time travelers? Please, be my guest, sir! I could use all the help I can get!

Jimmy: But Max, how will we get there? We've crashed our only ship.

Max: We'll have to have Keane teleport us as Slotter time-steps.

Keane: But, my teleporter-

Max: I know, Keane, but what choice do we have now? We're going to have to do our best.

Slotter: Everybody join hands.

Narr: The Flashpack did as Slotter said, and moments later, they were speeding through both time and space again, this time, with their flesh exposed to the timestream. It tingled a bit. When the remerged with the normal time flow, they were on the roof of the Drang building in Draculograd, 3939, just in front of the Dandy-do-right who'd summoned them forth. He doffed his cap to the ladies.

William: Smashing! You made it. ! I am Sir William Alfred Whickersham, 14th Lord Duke of Blackmoor, formerly known as the Greater North Sea continent of Britain, 17th century time-traveller extraordinaire.

Max: Oddly enough, we've met before, briefly. I am Max Thornfield. This it the Flashpack: Molly Si-

William: Actually, I know of them, as well. There's a huge display about you in the Vampiropolis Museum of Natural and Unnatural History in a few years. They even have the preserved corpses of those of you they killed. You were apparently great enemies of the Empire. I'm impressed.

Furtrace: They kill us?

William: Not in this year, so you'll all be safe for now. Especially you, Miss Keane- I'll see to it.

Narr: With a flourish of his cape, Sir William gestured towards Sara. With his other hand, he slipped an earbud into her palm. She blushed and looked to see if the rest of the pack had noticed, and found that they thankfully had not; all save Molly, who frowned as Keane slipped the bud into her ear and hit play, beginning his recording.

William: (whispering, on a recording) Your beauty astounds me. I must see you again, in private, once we're out of this mess. Shall we say, Venice, 1784?

Narr: Keane blushed again as she noticed Sir William Alfred Whickersham, 14th Lord Duke of Blackmoor, formerly known as the Greater North Sea continent of Britain, looking her way expectantly. She nodded to him, and tried to hide her glee.

Molly: The way I see it, we need to figure out what the Vampiros are changing, how, and when, and put a stop to it. I mean, if they're trying to get their empire started early-

William: Early? Did you say early?

Slotter: Yeah... why?

William: The Vampiros never had an Empire! This, all this around you, is a result of their already having manipulated time! You must have left your era after the changes had already begun.

Jimmy: So where, and when, does it all start?

William: I'm afraid I don't know that either. By the time I'd left the time stream, they'd already assembled the Time Guard to go back for their larger changes. I have no idea who began it all, but from what I can gather, the Vampiros were meant to have died out a decade or two after they were created.

Max: Great... so what are we supposed to do?

Molly: Well, we could go to the furthest back the chronal energy stretches, and see what we can find there. I'm reading... 800 BCE, somewhere around Mount Everest.

Narr: Suddenly, a flash of purple light burst across the sky, and more of the so-called Vampirosian Time Guard had the 'pakc and company surrounded. The Guard looked quite a sight, their nicely pressed uniforms at odds with the horrific fangs that grew out of their jaws as they opened and closed their mouths in anticipation of the meals they were about the enjoy.

Vampiros 1: Give up now, Flashpack, and we guarantee you will die painfully as we rend you limb from limb. Fight back, and things might get ugly.

William: Leave me here. You go set things right.

Keane: But William-

William: Don't worry, Sara- history books say I'll be saved by the cavalry at the last minute. Go!

Vampiros 2: No! Stop them!

Slotter: Hands!

Narr: The Flashpack disappeared into the past, leaving Sir William Alfred Whickersham, 14th Lord Duke of Blackmoor, formerly known as the Greater North Sea continent of Britain, surrounded.

Vampiros 2: You let them escape!

William: (defiant) Let them? I helped them!

Vampiros 1: Sir William... before we begin the charade of attempting to blast you to atoms... there's something I think you should know. About your lineage.

Narr: Meanwhile, in 800BCE, the Flashpack were able to get the jump on the unwary pack of time guards burying a stash of 43rd century weaponry for their ancestors. The bulk of the 'pack was dumping the weapons into a volcano, while Max stayed on site, hunting down any stray Vampiros. He was almost certain he'd gotten them all, when suddenly- (gunshot) he spun around to find himself face to face, weapon to weapon, with the Flashpack's mortal enemy... Mr. Banal.

Max: Banal! I should have known! You'll never get away with this!

Banal: Easy Thornfield! Don't get too twitchy on your God Damned trigger there, all right? That was just to get your attention. This time, I'm on your side.

Narr: Could Mr. Banal be telling the truth, or is this wild rewrite of all history really his doing? Will Sir William survive the battle with the Vampiros to keep his date with Keane? Will the Vampiros really manage to kill members of the Flashpack? When will the 'pack be able to go home? Find out in this season of Epic Echoes, starting next week, with... "Hitting the Books".

Go to Season 4