Dr. Nektori Stellof
Narr: The Flashpack found themselves struck dumb, standing aghast on a blast-crater
pockmarked White House lawn in Washington DC, distraught over their first
ever casualty. Team leader Max Thornfield gave a horrified yell as his knees
weakened beneath him. Brilliant inventor Molly Singh’s scream caught
in her throat as tears seeded in her eyes. All the color raced out of Time
Turner Jill Slotter’s face. Youngster Jimmy Kovacs peered in terror
between his fingers, his hands over his eyes. Powerhouse Drallus Thornfield
and Logician Sara Keane, having just teleported onto the scene, barely had
time to realize they were witnessing the death of one of their close friends
as my ashes drifted softly on the breeze. All present could scarcely believe
that I, Julie Crenshaw, founding member of the Flashpack, had just died… at
the Flashpack’s own hands.
Molly: J-…. Julie?
Max: No, we don’t have time! Drallus, Keane, move out of the way! Molly,
charge up the blast again, before Stragon gets-
Stragon: A Chronal Alacrity Beam? Did you honestly think that could defeat
Stragon the Annihilator? How typical- just another example of your bourgeois
Earther attempts to keep down working-class blue-collar planet-annihilators
Max: Run! Quick- to the Edison Monument!
Narr: The ‘pack broke into a run as Stragon turned his deci-cannon
in their direction. Slotter just managed to wrench her time turning watch
free from the device and leap clear as the plasma-ball destroyed the weapon
Molly and I had hobbled together.
Stragon: Run! Run, you elitist Earther snobs! Flee before the roused ire
of the galactic underclass! You cannot escape the fate your own greed has
created for you!
Drallus: (running) What’s going on here, Max?
Keane: (running) Was that Julie? Did you just shoot Julie?
Molly: (running, upset) I didn’t mean to! She leapt in front of the
beam! She wasn’t supposed to-
Slotter: (running) We were trying to stop Stragon, blast him into dust (like
he deserves) when Julie detected you two ‘porting right into the path
of the beam. Julie… leapt in front of the gun.
Jimmy: (running) She gave her life saving you!
Keane: (running) Julie? Julie died saving me? No!
Max: (running) She saved both of you, but if we don’t move it, it’s
going to all have been for nothing! Quick- get inside the Memorial!
Drallus: You go in- I’ll stay out here and hold him off long enough
for you to bang something together.
Max: All right, but be careful!
Drallus: ‘Careful’ is my blogaxy vid-post screenname.
Narr: As the others ran inside, Drallus reached down and tore loose one of
the enormous specially treated hunks of marble that made up the stairway into
the monument. She shuoldered the Edi-slab as the Planet-Annihilating Stragon
flew into view.
Stragon: What do we have here? They left their little bully girl to beat
me up with a large rock, did they? As though I’d let some pampered little
daughter of the upper-class touch me! Thankfully, I can strike you with my
deci-cannon from here without ever having to soil my hands with you, filth.
Drallus: Batter up!
Narr: As the plasma-ball flew towards her, Drallus swung the massive Edi-slab
and smacked the plasmatic projectile directly back at its originator. Sadly,
Stragon merely widened the energy matrix around him to cushion the blow, and
re-absorbed the burning ammunition into his arsenal.
Stragon: Oh, very good! Nicely done, for a spoiled dilettante! And you think
you can keep that up, do you?
Drallus: My batting average is about 850, last time I checked.
Stragon: Ah, baseball- yet another tool for the elite to brainwash the masses
Drallus: Your mother was a Floogle!
Stragon: My mother was a saint! You die now!
Narr: While the barrage continued outside, the Flashpack were trying to get
a grip on themselves within, surrounded by the works of the most brilliant
and prolific mad science inventor/president in the history of the world. The
inventor’s likeness looked down on them in the form of a lifelike holo-statue.
It was a little creepy.
Max: All right, gang- I know we’re all thrown by the death of Julie,
but we’ve got to pull it together! Thomas Edison invented everything
from Time travel to space-snorkeling, there’s got to be something in
here we can use to take Stragon down! Flash-
Molly: Wait, Max- what about Julie? We’ve got to… got to-
Jimmy: Um, I hate to break it to you Molly… but I don’t think
there’s anything we can do for Julie anymore!
Keane: No! There’s got to be something! Julie can’t die for me!
She just can’t!
Molly: What about the resurrection machine?
Slotter: She said that was taken from her by a Flashpack of the future in
their time of most dire need! I want Julie back as much as anybody- but this
is Stragon the Annihilator. One time, I beat him with a rabbit’s foot
and a pickle. It’s hardly our most dire.
Keane: But he was less powerful then! Whatever amped him up might be-
Max: (forceful) No. I know Julie- you all know her. If she gave her life
for Drallus and Keane, she did it knowingly. She wouldn’t want us to
use our only chance at beating death to bring her back unless we know it’s
absolutely necessary. Now it’s time to get searching through these inventions-
we’ve got an annihilator to stop! Flashpack.
Others (except Keane): Flashpack.
Keane: (panicking) I can’t do it, Max, I can’t do it! Julie was
better, so much better at all this! How can I-
Max: Keane! Get a grip on yourself! If you can’t be of any help, just… stay
out of our way! We can talk about it later!
Jimmy: Hey, what about this?
Max: What have you got, Jimmy?
Jimmy: It’s a looking portal. Edison invented it in 2245. This one
appears to be set to show the deaths of the world’s most famous scientists.
It’s showing Edison facing the Balrog now, but look, here’s when
Sir Ector Huntingdon spilled deadly chemicals all over himself.
Slotter: Oh, great idea! We can show him boring history lessons until he
Jimmy: No, Jill- but look, that’s Huntingdon’s lab. Like I said,
it’s a looking portal. This guy’s about to accidentally kill himself.
We can just reach through the rim like this and grab anything we-
Molly: Be careful with that!
Molly: Looking portals actually open windows in time! Crossing over opens
them! Once you cross the rim of the portal he can see and hear through it
as well! We could accidentally rewrite history!
Max: I thought you said he spilled chemicals on himself. He’s just
looking around all confused, like he’s-
Slotter: Don’t look now, guys, but Drallus appears to have… well,
let’s say she’s having trouble covering things out there!
Max: Leaping leptons, she’s naked!
Molly: The splatter from walloping those plasma-balls must have burned off
Slotter: All except that locket she always wears. Is that a birthmark on
Jimmy: What? Let me see!
Max: No, Jimmy- Drallus is our friend, show her some respect! It’s
bad enough all those passing ships can… DUCK!
Narr: And with that, a Saladonian Catship came smashing through the wall
of the Edison Memorial. Max’s warning had saved the ‘pack from
any serious injuries; instead they merely found themselves covered in dust
and debris. The emergency hatch of the catship popped open, and a human with
a clipboard climbed out, followed by a little gray Saladonian Catman.
Test Giver: That’s it! Bad enough you fly us into a supervillain attack,
but you crash into a national landmark?!? You absolutely 100% FAIL your flying
Furtrace: Come on! That’s not fair! I was distracted by that hot naked
lady! What was I supposed to do- NOT look? She was… Oh, my Gods… you’re
the Flashpack! Are you people ok?
Molly: Oh we’re fine, except for the SPACE SHIP you CRASHED INTO US!
Furtrace: Well, forgiiiiive me!
Max: Damn it, we’ll never find any working equipment in here now, the
place is a shambles!
Jimmy: All I’ve got is the stupid looking portal!
Keane: (really nervous, breathing hard… like a panic attack) Wait… portal…
Max: (annoyed) What? What is it Keane?
Keane: (same) Dr… Josef… Celinski…
Max: What? What are you-
Molly: She’s right! Jimmy- does it have the death of Dr. Josef Celinski?
Jimmy: Um, let me- Yes! Here it is?
Molly: Dr. Celinski was the last living person in the 40th dimension!
Slotter: So what? Does he have something in there we can use to-
Molly: No, there’s nothing we can take out- but we can put something
Max: Like Stragon! Good thinking, Keane! But how are we going to get the
looking portal up there to him? Maybe Drallus could toss it…?
Furtrace: I can fly it up at him!
Slotter: Uh, thanks kid, but we’ve seen your piloting ability.
Furtrace: I’m not a pilot- I’m a magic user. Furtrace Fuzzbotham,
at your service! I can fly it up there all by myself!
Furtrace: Take a look! (catsounds) See?
Max: Jimmy- give it to him. Here’s what you do…
Narr: Outside, the unclothed Drallus was beginning to tire, much to Stragon’s
Stragon: Give it up, capitalist! You can’t hold out much longer- but
with my new power levels, I can go on all-
Max: Game over, Stragon! Drallus is through playing it your way.
Stragon: Ah! The other Thornfield shows his cheese-eating bourgeois pig-face!
Any last words before our relationship is at its ultimate end?
Max: No- I just wanted to give you this.
Stragon: What… what is that? Is that a… a diamond? I can’t
make it out from up here.
Max: You’ll have to come closer. (cat sounds, far away, growing closer.)
Stragon: Ha! I’ll never fall for that! But, seriously, what have you
go there? Is that a- AHHHHH!
Narr: And with that, the little Magic Cat descended from above at hundreds
of miles per hour and enveloped the annihilator in the empty fortieth dimension,
where he could annihilate as much as he liked. Soon, as the ‘pack somberly
helped clean up the wreckage of the fight, one pair of eyes in the crown of
onlookers looked-on in dismay and not reverence.
Magic Hat: Curse you, Flashpack! You may have defeated Stragon, but he’s
not the only member of your rogues gallery you’ll be facing anew… and
soon my ultimate plans will come to glorious fruition! Then, Rita, you will
see how powerful I truly am!
Narr: Eventually, when it was clear the danger was over, President Smitty
himself was forced to come out of hiding and thank the Flashpack for saving
Smitty: I really have no idea why Stragon would think I had anything to do
with the Siriusians who enslaved his people, but I thank you for saving me,
Jimmy: With all due respect, Mr. President… you’re as dirty as
a Plutonian Mudskipper. If the American people hadn’t elected you fair
Smitty: But they did, kid, and don’t you forget it. Now if you don’t
Drallus: Suck an omlet case, old man!
Marsh: I’m sorry about him, kids. I’m Randal Marsh, senator from-
Jimmy: Massachusettes! Democrat, I know. Nice to meet you!
Marsh: The pleasure is all mine, I’m sure. I’ve been put in charge
of the effort to rebuild the capital after Stragon’s attack.
Max: You can count on our help, any way we can, sir.
Slotter: So long as we don’t have to see Smitty much, that is.
Marsh: Thank you for that. I look forward to working with you.
Jimmy: It’s our pleasure, sir! We’ll see you soon!
Slotter: What was that all about?
Jimmy: Are you kidding me? That was Senator Randal Marsh! Totally wrong about
the role of federal system in governance, but still, a great guy! Heading
the rebuilding will definitely boost him to frontrunner as the democratic
candidate next year!
Max: That’s great, Jimmy, but I think we’d better be heading
back to Flashpoint- Molly and Keane aren’t looking so good.
Narr: Indeed, the pair both looked terrible. Molly’s eyes were red
and puffy from crying, while Keane was twitching spastically, on the borderline
between sadness and shock.
Max: Let’s go home, gang.
Narr: But even as the Flashpack whisked their way back home, far away, more
trouble was beginning.
Trooper: Sir? We’ve found her.
Dex: Excellent, 8215. And you’re certain it’s her?
Trooper: Confirmed. She’s on… “Earth.”
Dex: “Earth”? Where in the galaxy is that?
Trooper: Outer spiral. Quite a ways from here.
Dex: Fine. Plot a new course. It’s time to expand the empire again.
Narr: Back at Flashpoint, the ‘pack had finally arrived at home,
exhausted and ready to pick up the shattered pieces of their team. They
didn’t know how they would carry on without me, but they knew they
had to try.
Slotter: So… now what?
Molly: Julie… >sniff< Julie wouldn’t have wanted the team
Drallus: No. We have to earn her sacrifice. Both of us, Keane.
Keane: (still freaked) Ex… excuse me.
Max: It’s not just you two, Drallus- it’s up to all of us. Julie
cared about this team, that’s why she did what she did, and we have
to show her, wherever she is, that she was right. That the Flashpack really
is something worth putting faith in. We have to carry on the legacy of doing
what’s right against all odds. It’s what Julie would have done.
It’s what she did do.
Steloff: Ah… hello, Flashpack. I am… so sorry for your loss.
Miss Crenshaw was… a wonderful person. I will miss her greatly.
Molly: Thank you, Stellof.
Jimmy: Did you hear about it on the news? It must be all over the blogaxy.
Stellof: News? Oh, no. I haven’t been watching the news. Your friend
Slotter: Our… friend?
Stellof: Yes, the-
Drallus: Eww! What got all over my shoes?
Furtrace: Furtrace Fuzzbotham, at your service, Miss Drallus!
Drallus: You… YOU FILTHY CAT!
Furtrace: Cat man! Wheeee!
Max: Can nothing ever be sane around here?
Narr: Sara Keane was wondering the same thing, in the seclusion of her quarters,
but for different reasons. She could not fathom why I would sacrifice myself
to save her.
Keane: (freaking out, verge of tears) It just doesn’t make any sense!
Julie… Julie was so good, so wonderful! I’m nothing! I’m
Narr: Suddenly, something caught Keane’s eye: the emotional disrupter
they had confiscated from the Desensitizer on Specifon 7. She’d taken
it for study, interested in it for academic reasons. Now… it seemed
like her only way out. Will Keane recover from the guilt over my death? What
empire was expanding towards Earth? Will the ‘Pack rid themselves of
Furtrace Fuzzbotham? Who is responsible for bringing back their most infamous
foes? Learn more all the time as Epic Echoes continues with "Driven to