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 4
Episode 6 - Cry Havok

By Daniel Schwartz

Max, F-Max
Mr. Banal

Narrator: Having vanquished the insidious Sultan of Ice, the daring Max Thornfield and his equally daring Flashpack came home from Antarctica to their palatial spatial home, the Flashpoint. With them came Furtrace Fuzzbotham, a cat-man wizard of great skill, cunning and ability…to irritate. In his brief time following the Flashpack he’d been to Flashpoint a few times, but entering the home of his heroes still filled him with excitement. Unfortunately for the Flashpack, they were playing host to another unwelcome guest.

Molly: (fury unbridled) STELLOF!

Slotter: Oh no! Quick! Take cover!

Stellof: (Terrified, trying to save his sorry ass) Ms. Singh, you must understand, there are many variables to consider in developing a comprehensive translating protocol –

Molly: You left a HAMBURGER on my transducer! I don’t care what you were TRYING to do! Strontium-79 is irreparably corrupted by the presence of lettuce! Three months of work down the drain because you needed to do some snacking in MY- not yours, Stellof, but MY – workshop! I’ll beat you so hard you’d think the Beatotron had come back!

Max: (As Molly rants bloody murder in the background) At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.

Jimmy: With so many of our old rogues gallery making a comeback, it’d almost make sense.

Drallus: Ah, Beatotron’s a pansy anyway. I could’ve taken him by myself.

Furtrace: Yeah, you totally could!

Keane: (nice, sweet) I don’t know, Drallus. You said that about the Sultan, but, well, if Puck hadn’t been there…

Drallus: That doesn’t count! It was slippery!

(Dangerometer goes off, Molly stops ranting)

Max: Oh, for the love of petrochemicals. What’s going on now?

Jimmy: Looks like a massive spike in ambient peril in southern New Zealand!

Furtrace: Maybe another one of your old villains?

Slotter: Well, The Sultan of Ice was the last one, and we destroyed him and his Frost Palace, so –

Molly: Oh no!

Drallus: (super-enthusiastic) Oh YES! Let’s do this crazy thing!

Narrator: And so the dauntless Flashpack soon found themselves in New Zealand, flying hover-bikes over rolling hills fraught with stampeding sheep.

Furtrace: What could have scared them all so much?

Slotter: Probably that.

Narrator: Slotter was pointing at an enormous spiked wheel that was tearing up the countryside with vicious abandon and a deafening roar as it sped northward toward more populous areas of the island nation.

Max: Sounds like a reasonable conclusion, Jill.

Keane: That monster! Those poor animals must be terrified out of their minds!

Molly: We’ll have a lot more than sheep to worry about if that War-Wheel reaches any cities.

Jimmy: Molly’s right. We need to stop him!

Drallus: Molly can stop the wheel; leave the rest to me.

Furtrace: You’re so confident, Drallus!

Slotter: Also so suicidal. The Sultan of Ice was much more powerful than he was the last time we fought him; Kriegmeister might be the same way.

Max: Slotter’s right. We’ll take this as a team. Flashpack!

All but Furtrace: Flashpack!

Narrator: The Flashpack swooped down towards the War-Wheel, only to be met mid-air by a powerfully-built older man with a pointed helmet, a jetpack and a pair of power-gauntlets.

Kriegmeister: Ah, Flashpack, my old nemeses. Come once again to be vanquished by the unstoppable Master of War, I see.

Slotter: Unstoppable? Are you kidding?

Drallus: Yeah! More like… like… VERY stoppable!

K: (contemptuous laugh) Very nice, Ms. Thornfield. One would almost think you had a brain to go with your exquisitely violent physique!

Drallus: Oh, it is ON, jackass!

K: Indeed it is, my voluptuous Valkyrie! Let us see who the master of hand-to-hand is as your worthless friends battle my war-dogs!

(hollow, mechanical barking)

Furtrace: Oh crap, flying robot dogs!

Molly: Really? I hadn’t noticed.

Max: Molly, you take the War-Wheel. Drallus, Keane and I will take care of Kriegmeister. The rest of you, deal with the war-dogs.

Slotter: No sweat! Jimmy, you take right, I’ll take left. Furtrace, get their attention.

Furtrace: WHAT?!

Narrator: As Jimmy and Slotter tried to flank the war-dogs, using Furtrace as delicious, spell-slinging bait, Max, Drallus and Keane circled the horrific Hun and his gargantuan gloves.

K: Bah! Your girlish leader and your spineless scientist will help you not at all in this struggle, mighty Drallus! You shall see that your victories in the past have been mere flukes and that I alone, Der Kriegmeister, am the greatest fist-fighter in all the multiverse!

Max: Girlish?

Keane: Spineless?

Drallus: FLUKES?! Eat fist, pointy-hat!

Narrator: Punches flew between the two scrappers, Drallus’ natural superhuman strength matched by the nefarious Kriegmeister’s powerful strength-enhancing gauntlets. The fierce combatants traded blows like Sudokemon (soo-doh-kay-mon) cards at a comic book convention, while Max and Keane nervously circled, looking for some advantage to exploit against their opponent.

Max: Sweet Sassy Saturn! They’re really wailing on each other.

Keane: No kidding! We need to help Drallus!

Max: That’s easier said than done. We’ll need to strike just as the moment is right.

Keane: When will that be?

Max: Probably when he thinks he’s winning; he’ll get cocky, then we swoop in and attack him from both sides. Not even Kriegmeister can resist a two-sided attack.

Keane: (nervous) O…okay. I’ll wait for your signal.

Max: All right. Take a position over there.

Narrator: The two heroes hovered opposite each other on either side of Kriegmeister, watching him trade punches with their adopted sister and best friend, respectively. For minutes neither seemed to be gaining advantage, until a single blow from the marshal of misery sent Drallus hurtling miles into the distance.

Max: Now, Sara!

Narrator: Max dove toward Kriegmeister, but Keane flinched, filled with terror at the sight of Drallus flying away. As such, the villain only had one target to track, and an overhead rabbit-punch knocked Max to the ground, shattering his hover-bike and numerous bones.

Keane: Max! No!

K: Bah again! Your cowardice has cost him his life! I shall smash him to smithereens!

Narrator: Kriegmeister descended to where Max lay, broken and barely conscious, and raised a gauntleted fist.

K: Now you die, Thornfield!

Mr. Banal: That’s my line.

Keane: What?

Max: (groggy) What?

K: (incredulous) What?

(single pistol-shot)

Narrator: Bone and brain matter rained down from the hole blown in Kriegmeister’s skull. With a last, stupefied gasp, the German vermin twitched, fell and died.

Mr. Banal: Unbelievable. A self-proclaimed Master of War who doesn’t carry or use a gun. How was he EVER a threat?

Max: (still groggy) Banal…but how…?

Mr. Banal: With common sense, Thornfield. The same way I do everything. Now don’t move unless you want an infusion of cold iron (pistol cocked) right where it would do us the most good.

Narrator: His pistol at the ready, the Flashpack’s greatest nemesis stood over their leader as the other members and Furtrace gathered in the air around them.

Molly: What are you doing here?

Mr. Banal: I keep a safe house here. It’s quiet, out of the way. I come here to be left alone. It seems you can’t even do me that courtesy.

Slotter: Kriegmeister was going to destroy this entire archipelago!

Mr. Banal: And we all see how effective YOUR methods were at stopping him, as opposed to how MY methods failed cataclysmically.

Jimmy: Okay, Mr. B., you win. You’re holding all the cards. What do you want?

Mr. Banal: Finally, a voice of reason! What I WANT, Kovacs, is for you and your little band to vacate the premises. I personally plan to go back to my safe house and destroy it; now I’ll need to find a new one.

Keane: Wait, you don’t want to fight us?

Mr. Banal: Here? Now? It’s 9 AM local time, for fuck’s sake! I haven’t even had my first cup of tea for the day! Why would I want to fight you?

Slotter: It’s just, well, we’ve had a lot of old villains coming back to haunt us lately, so we figured…well, you know.

Mr. Banal: Old villains? Really? Maybe somebody’s got it in for you.

Furtrace: Oh, like you don’t?

Mr. Banal: Trust me, you obsequious little felinoid, when I come to destroy you, I won’t wait for everyone else to jump on the bandwagon. Now get the hell off my property.

Narrator: Back at Flashpoint, Max lay in the infirmary recovering while the other members of the Flashpack nursed various wounds occurred in battle. Besides Max’s, the most grievous of these was felt in an uncluttered room on the fourth floor whose walls were littered with degrees and awards for Sara Keane, Doctor of Brilliantology. She sat on her bed, her head in her hands, weeping.

Keane: (sobbing, sniffing, the works) Too scared…he could have died…I let him down…I let them all down! I wasn’t strong enough, just like… (sniffs) just like with Julie…

Narrator: Without thinking, Keane found her hands reaching toward a small metallic circlet on the headboard of her bed. When she realized what she was doing, she jerked them away.

Keane: No! Not again! I can’t run from these feelings! (beat, with minimal sniffling. Then, resigned) Still…I can’t help anyone like this. I need to give more. I can’t let them down again.

Narrator: Keane took up the circlet, adjusted some dials, and set it on her head. There was a glow and a low buzzing as the device seared away portions of her nervous system, releasing inhibitors for her emotional centers and turning the world from a tearful haze into a sharp and rational clarity.

Keane: (now the cold monster we all know and love) Much better. Now, the data…

Narrator: Hours later, Jimmy convened the rested and refreshed Flashpack in a classic Kovacs Jam Session to try and figure out what could be causing this recent spate of activity on the villain front.

Max: These attacks seem to be following very close one after the other. What does that mean?

Keane: A controlled stream.

Slotter: Look, I told you, I think my aim is improving –

Keane: (barreling on) The villains arrive at a pace guaranteed to push us to our limits and weaken our reserves. The entire effort is very well timed. All evidence points to a single insidious mastermind.

Molly: Are you okay, Sara?

Keane: I am functional. Now, as masterminds go, our list is very extensive, but this particular mastermind seems to know the schedules of our lives, interrupting us at seemingly the worst moments.

Slotter: Who knows us that well?

Keane: Mr. Banal, though I calculate an eighty-three percent chance he wasn’t involved. More likely, the facts of the matter point to Dr. Von Wicked.

Max: One of our oldest and most prolific villains. Good job, Keane.

Keane: My study is exhaustive.


Max: (awkwardly, confused) I figured…I mean…

Narrator: Max’s apology was cut short by a flash of light and the appearance of a group of older people dressed in leather, a crabby-looking teenager, and a clown.

Jimmy: What the –

F-Max: Don’t worry, guys. It’s us. I mean you. I mean… Let me explain…

Narrator: Are these newcomers the Flashpack of the future? Will the Flashpack of the Present stop Dr. Von Wicked in time? Sit in rapt attention next week as Epic Echoes continues with “Old and Wise”.

Go to Episode 7