Buck & Jane
A Death in the Family
Decker & Hayes
Epic Echoes
The Great Muppet Debate
Guard Duty
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Stage Blood



Guard Duty
Episode 1 - Hopefully Devoted

By Jordan D. White

Dr. Fast
The Jack

Narr: The Earth Guard - the planet's most powerful heroes united in the common goal of protecting the innocent people of planet Earth and defending them from threats of all kinds. From the Guard Tower, their base of operations, they watch over the citizens and spring into action at any sign of danger. To that end, the Guard take shifts monitoring events all over the globe. Sooner or later, they all have to take a shift of… Guard Duty. This week: Dr. Fast and The Jack in… " Hopefully Devoted."

Jack: DabadeedabadeeDA! Oh I have nothing to dooooo, Guard duty is so very very long and slow…. Okokokokokokok! OK. I mean, I know, I understand, we have to take shifts on Guard Duty because, Yes! You know, protecting and all, which is what we're here to do. But still… LAAAAAMElamelamelame. At least we should have, like… a butler or something to make us some snacks or finger sandwiches or whatnot. We can't even order a pizza, which… probably should have been said explicitly because I don't think it was unreasonable for me to assume the Guard Tower security system would recognize what a delivery guy is. Sure, there's a microwave, but come on! It's no substitute for real honest to goodness foooooooooood. (sigh) What time is it? No. No way… it's… It's only MIDNIGHT! I am going to go crazy! Dr. Fast… we've got do something, I'm not going to make it otherwise. We're going to have to play Uno or Spit or something, because if we… Dr. Fast? Dr. Fast, are you… hello? Are you alive? FAAAAST?

Fast: What- what's going on? Is there an emergency?

Jack: Yes!

Fast: What, what is it?

Jack: I'm bored out of my mind and you're spacing out! You weren't even listening to my angst! How can I angst properly without an audience?

Fast: There's no emergency?

Jack: I think you'll find I clearly said there was.

Fast: Jack, you stunning moron, you've just destroyed an experiment that took me minutes to set up!

Jack: What? But you were just-

Fast: For your information, I was running back and forth between here and my lab so quickly that I appeared to be in both places at once. I've been trying to fine-tune the effects of the anti-gravity belt and thanks to you… (he whips off, then back) Yes, thanks to you, it's floated up into the stratosphere.

Jack: OooooOoOOoooo… I'm telling the Stallion! You're supposed to be here on Guard Duty the whole shift!

Fast: Spare me your immature recriminations. For your information, Jack, for each of the milliseconds that I was in the room here, my attention was purely focused on the monitors, scanning for emergencies. I used the travel time between locations to reorient myself between activities.

Jack: You seemed pretty oblivious to me, Irv. You didn't hear a word I said.

Fast: When one takes in as much information as I do, one becomes quite adept at filtering out the unimportant.

Jack: Ha! Well, then, maybe you're not as smart as you think you are!

Fast: Indeed?

Jack: Yes, "Indeed." For your information, we're not here to "focus our attention on the monitors".

Fast: Oh really. Do tell.

Jack: The Brainframe is programmed to recognize emergencies and alert whoever is on guard duty, so we don't even have to watch very closely. And besides, there's two of us. If we were just watching screens, we'd only need one member.

Fast: Then what is our purpose here?

Jack: We're supposed to entertain each other! If it was just one of us here, we'd fall asleep, which defeats the whole purpose! We're supposed to regale each other with tales of our epic battles and secret origins! Talk trash about villains! Play the occasional game of Scrabble!

Fast: Oh, for heaven's sake.

Jack: So, how about it, Dr. Fast- how did you get your powers, sell your soul to a speed demon?

Fast: Oh, that's a good one. I haven't heard that since The Allusionist was arrested.

Jack: But seriously. Is it some sort of genetic thing? I mean, your name is Irving Fast and you move super fast, so it's like… a family thing, right?

Fast: No, I assure you it's a coincidence. No, ever since I was young, I've been obsessed with aging. My… my grandmother descended into senility and decrepitude when I was still a young man. Before that, she was, by far, the smartest woman I've ever met. I told myself I would never let that happen to me. I dedicated my life to finding a way to stop aging. I worked for years, to no avail. My backers didn't have the… patience necessary for scientific research and pulled funding, even though I told them I'd made a break through. So-

Jack: So you tested the serum on yourself, right? Hahahahaha… I mean, man, I always thought that was the stupidest part of movies. No real scientist would ever… ever… you didn't, did you?

Fast: The formula didn't work as I had hoped. I still age at the same rate as everyone else does, but somehow, it granted me the ability to live faster than anyone else. It was a miscalculation in the process, a miscalculation I have not been able to reproduce. Since then, I've been using my new ability to try to learn as much of the world's knowledge as humanly possible, and hopefully, finally cure the disease of age.

Jack: So, wait, why don't you just move at superspeed doing research until you finish the aging research?

Fast: What do you mean?

Jack: Like you were talking about before, zipping back and forth and back and forth at top speed, zoom zoom zoom, so there is two of you.

Fast: I… I am.

Jack: What? But you seem so-

Fast: The only reason I seemed unfocussed before was due to spreading myself between three activities: Guard Duty, the ongoing age experiment, and the anti-grav belt.

Jack: Are you saying that every time I see you-

Fast: I've been working on that experiment non-stop for about… five years now. I told you, I've dedicated my life to it. That's not something I take lightly, although I don't expect you to understand.

Jack: And what exactly does that mean?

Fast: You, your… cavalier attitude.

Jack: Oh, oh, yeah, I see. Yeah, makes sense, I must not have anything in my life I take seriously. Makes sense because, yeah, I'm such a… scatterbrained goofball, right? So, yeah.

Fast: Jack you must admit-

Jack: Hey I did, I admit. Admission granted.

Fast: Jack, I didn't mean-

Jack: Nononono. It's my turn now, secret origin, although I suppose you must know all about me already right? But still, fair is fair. You told yours, now I tell mine.

Fast: Jack-

Jack: Shhhhshshshshhhhhht! So, there I am, sixteen year-old Jack Balleski, young upcoming acrobat from downtown LA, babysitting my brother and sister, Tommy and Cindy, when we got a phone call from the police. My parents, you see, ran a convenience store a few blocks from our home, and they tended to work a lot of hours, trying to save money for my training, a silly thing to do, I know, for someone who clearly must not have cared much about his acrobatics, and I guess they would have been better off not saving, since if they'd had any employees they would have been murdered that night instead of my parents. But, of course, one moves on, and, you know? It's weird, but… I seem to have forgotten what happened next. How could I forget part of my own secret origin? Hey, Brainframe?

Brainframe: Yes, The Jack?

Jack: This is so embarrassing, but I've forgotten part of my own secret origin! Who was it that took custody of my brother and sister after my parents died?

Brainframe: Jack Balleski.

Jack: What? But… that doesn't make any sense. I'm not the kind of person who could do that sort of thing, and besides, I was only sixteen. How is this possible Brainframe?

Brainframe: A lengthy court case preceded the granting of custody, during which time the Balleski children were in separate foster homes.

Jack: I don't know… it's sort of ringing a bell, but…

Fast: Jack I'm-

Jack: Wait! We didn't even get to the part where I become a crime fighter! I finished High School and took over the store for myself, in between goofing off and joking around, of course, and one day, I got held up! Can you believe it? And, as I'm sure you can imagine, I was just going to give them the money. I mean, why risk my life, right? But somehow, the police arrived, and the bad man grabbed a little boy as a hostage, and for some reason, gee, I dunno, I was unhappy about it. And wouldn't you know it? All of a sudden my athletic background was good for something! We had this plastic jug full of rubber bouncy balls on the counter, and before the bad'un knew what was what, me and those balls were bouncing all over the store, and he's out like a light. It turns out there was a reward for the bastard, which was great, because Tommy and Cindy could always use more in their college funds on top of the insurance money. But, gee, I guess that night was such a laugh riot that I decided to keep up the fun and games on a regular basis! It's nice to have such a leisurely life, let me tell you.

Fast: Jack, I… how can you be so… happy?

Jack: What should I do? Become a dark creature of the night? I'm not here to scare people. I'm here to help them. Children.

Fast: I'm sorry.

Jack: Oh my God, it was you who killed my parents?

Fast: What? No!

Jack: Don't try telling me you have an alibi, you've already shown that that's meaningless where you're concerned!

Fast: Jack, what are you talking about, I'd never-

Jack: (laughs) Irv, Irv, Irv! Relax! I was just yanking your chain! Man, you are too-


Jack: The Brainframe!

Newscaster: (fading in) … attack by the SysOps at the Stanton Building in Boston. Broadband is onsite, but seems to be overwhelmed fighting The Troll and Pop-Up while Dragon Drop and Wizzy-wig appear to be tearing the building apart. So far there are no casualties reported…

Fast: I'll alert the others. You prime the Horse.

Jack: Meet you there in five.

Fast: I'll be waiting.

Go to Episode 2