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 3 - Asking & Telling

By Jordan D. White

Ocean Man

Dr. Fast

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: Ocean Man and Peaseblossom in… "Asking and Telling."

PB: Myself, I think her costume looks absurd. I’ve never seen a horse that wears a skirt before, nor anything at all, aside from saddle, blanket, or a bridle, no?

OM: Her costume isn’t the point. I mean, it’s really just a feminized version of his- that’s traditional.

PB: Then why, I ask you, did all eyes grow wide to find her waiting here on your return? Forgive me for the rudeness that’s implied, but am not I more comely yet than her?

OM: No, no, that’s not it at all-

PB: Alas! I must be hideous indeed for you to say-

OM: No, that’s not- Peaseblossom. I’m not referring to your appearance. We were all staring at Foal because she was supposed to be dead. She’d been dead for five years.

PB: Oh?

OM: Yes. It was, therefore, a shock to see her standing next to you, and hence, any effect your rather provocative new costume might have had on us was somewhat mitigated.

PB: Ah.

OM: So you can understand our position.

PB: Perhaps… except…

OM: Except?

PB: Are you quite certain that she had been dead? I hadn’t noticed.

OM: You… hadn’t noticed?

PB: Admittedly, it may be my mistake. The fae, even one banish'd, as myself, are so long lived perchance it only seems that she has been here all along. Although… did not young Foal just help me fight the Troll yesterday morn? I could have sworn ‘twas so.

OM: The Troll? No, no… you fought him along with the Jack.

PB: But no- The Jack was helping you to fend off Dragon Drop. The Foal assisted me.

OM: No… I fought Dragon Drop alone. Believe me, I know that quite well- he nearly dropped the entire building on me. The Jack was with you. He was pelting the Troll with his seemingly endless supply of rubber balls and you poured your sleeping elixir in his ear.

PB: ‘Tis true, I did pour my elixir in his ear, but Foal didst draw the Troll’s attention by pitching her shoes at his fat head. The Jack, I’m sure, was off assisting you.

OM: No, it was... Wait, wait, hang on- I know what’s happening here. I should have noticed immediately, Dr. Fast warned us about this. You didn’t go with us on the mission last night.

PB: I told the Stallion, I was being photographed to be upon the cover of the newest issue of Vanity Fair. As soon as that was done, I didst come to the Guard Tower to help howe’er I could.

OM: Yes, of course- that's not the point. When we left to fight the Time Marines, Foal was dead. Somehow, something that happened differently during the signing of the Declaration of Independence altered history so that the Foal didn't die. Since we were displaced out of the time stream when it happened, the changes didn't have an effect on us, while you, being back here, were altered along with everything else.

PB: I see...

OM: Yes.


OM: (Yawn) I'm hungry. I should have brought a snack. I haven't eaten in about eight hours.

PB: (laughs)

OM: What?

PB: Forgive my laughter if it did seem rude, but mortal words aren't meant for Changeling ears. I think I have you beat in craving food; I haven't eaten in nine or ten years.

OM: Years? How is that possible?

PB: Your mortal food doth turn to dust anon the moment it doth grace a fairy's tongue. Being immortal yet, I do live on, no matter how hungered I do become.

OM: So you can't eat anything?

PB: No.

OM: Even non-processed food?

PB: None.

OM: Not even seafood?

PB: Nay.

OM: So you've never even tasted lobster?

PB: What part of no dost thou not understand? Must I repeat myself with shorter words?

OM: No, no, I just... It's sort of surprising, that's all. The idea of going years without food... I imagine it must drive a person crazy.

PB: I'm not susceptible to the same ills to which the human mind may sometimes fall. It's simply one more thing that makes me long for home, my fairy kingdom, far away. This world cannot compare. Each day that I remain with it's grasp, I feel a bit of beauty leave my soul. A tiny speck of joy and color draining from my view. I cannot help but feel this wretched world is tainting me, corrupting all my being, sapping my beauty, radiance, and grace. The longer I am here, the more I fear I may someday become... as one of you.

OM: Mortal?

PB: What? Mortal? No! That isn't possible. A changeling can never a mortal be. I fear I will become unbeautiful.

OM: Right. Hence the costume change.

PB: You humans once would look on me with awe. 'Twas natural, given my exquisite looks had never been equal'd by one of you. But now, they see me as something normal, which I could not allow. You understand. It could mean that I'm less than I once was... which cannot be. It just can not. No. No.

OM: Pease... you're more than your looks to us. You're a hero. The things you've done... no matter what you looked like, the people would love you.

PB: The people here? Of course! As well they should! Remember, I do not stay here by choice- her Majesty Queen Titania decreed me banished so long as she pleases. Someday my Queen may call me home. That hope alone keeps me alive. To see once more the silv'ry trees of my fair land and dance among the scarlet groves of Kaerna-til. That's why I must not let your world destroy the spark in me that lives in all fair folk. My home calls out for me to break my bond, return again to land, country, and kin. But I cannot. I gave the Queen my word. I miss my homeland more every second, which for one with immortal blood, can mean lifetimes of misery before release. But wait, you too must know this misery- So oft dwell you among the surface land that you must miss Altantis just as much. How go things with your countrymen back home?

OM: Atlantis? Oh, things have been well. It's been months since Depthura has returned to resume her insurrection. The people have faith in their king once more.

PM: And what of the Orcan invasion fleet? You spoke of them but once. Did things go well?

OM: They were defeated soundly; I doubt they will trouble us again. General Mantrace lead the troops admirably, and we were able to fend them off with very little loss of our men. Their mistake was in thinking we'd leave the eastern trench relatively unmanned. The blood filled the water for miles, drew hundreds of sharks, but we managed to keep the drift from the city's main walls. After all was said and done, an Orcan ambassador came to cede the stolen lands to me, as well as large portion of kelp fields in return for not retaliating against their ruler.

PM: Did you accept their deal?

OM: Of course not. I lead the fleet into battle myself and saw their King's head severed before the day was out. My head minister hates for me to go into battle myself, but I must. He can't abide me working with the Earth Guard. It puts me at risk, he says, which puts my entire kingdom at risk. "But," I told him, "Who could defend the Earth better than 'the King of the Ocean World'?"

PM: But does it not keep you from your duties as sovereign of the land beneath the waves?

OM: I appoint only the most trusted and noble citizens as my advisors, and they carry out my will very well when I am gone. I'm not needed for every decision we make. It's quite enough for me to approve the efforts of, say, the civil restoration committee without actually examining every brick they touch.

PB: Alas- I hope they do their duty well! The alabaster towers Atlantis sports have long remained an image in my mind, t'would be a shame for them to waste away. When last I saw them, tow'ring o'er the land their beauty nearly rivaled Easinglen.


OM: What?

PB: Not quite, mind you, but take no shame in that. No mortal land could-

OM: Atlantis is- I mean, you've been to Atlantis?

PB: 'Twas long before the waves had sealed its fate. Before exile, I ventured now and then to see your world. In sport, or sometimes jest.

OM: You actually went to the actual Atlantis?

PB: Dost thou think me false?

OM: You've got to be kidding me... but you've never been to it... post sinking, right? Underwater, I mean.

PB: Nay, but I am confused...

OM: This is... this is really blowing my mind. Listen, Peaseblossom... I need you to keep a secret for me.

PB: Of course, my friend!

OM: I'm not the King of Atlantis! I didn't even think the damned thing ever existed! I was born in Detroit.

PB: Then why-

OM: When I started in the business, I called my self "Ocean Man: The King of the Ocean World!" But I just meant it to be, like, the way that jerk Attractor calls himself the "King of Magnetism", you know. I can control the water. I do water stuff. Didn't matter, before I know it- BAM, everyone's asking me about Atlantis, about my kingdom, about my people... I didn't know what to do.

PB: So you dissembled?

OM: I had a hard enough time making people understand that I couldn't talk to fish! Man, the number of times the Stallion asked me to try that... No, I just went along with it. I said I was sworn to keep Atlantis safe from surface influence, and therefore could never bring any of my friends back to it. But really, I just turn into water and make my way home to my apartment.

PB: I see...

OM: You have no idea how it feels to get this off my chest... it's been so weird never telling anyone. Thanks for listening. I really appreciate it. If I can ever return the favor, just ask.

PB: I'm actually gay.


OM: Oh...


PM: Alas, it seems I have destroyed the mood.


PB: So how, pray tell, did Foal meet her demise?

OM: Oh, um, she... she died fighting Mudman and the Ribs.

PM: Ah yes! Was it when Voodoo Lady died? If only Broadband had-

OM: Voodoo Lady is dead?

(Dr. Fast runs into the room)

Fast: Quickly summon the Guard! Scimitar has returned!

OM: Dr. Fast- we just-

Fast: There's no time!

(He leaves. Pause.)

OM: OK, ok... Peaseblossom, about before-

PB: I won't tell if you won't.

OM: Deal.

Go to Episode 4