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 4 - Cross Words

By Jordan D. White

The Jack
Mr. Fahrenheit

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: Mr. Fahrenheit and the Jack in "Cross Words."

(Jack and Fahrenheit are playing Scrabble.)

Jack: There we go - "Excited." That's 100 points.

MF: What? How is that 100 points?

Jack: The X is on a double letter score, so that's 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, double word is fifty, plus fifty for using seven letters.

MF: One Hundred points on your first word?

Jack: Eh. It's luck.

MF: Huh! I could use that kind of luck. Jesus.

Jack: You're up.

MF: I know, I know. I'm thinking.

Jack: So what's your take on this whole Foal / Voodoo Lady imbroglio?

MF: Oh, that whole thing? I don't know. I mean, who are we to interfere in things, you know?

Jack: Well, we did interfere - that's the problem. Foal was dead, now she's not.

MF: No, I mean... it's not my place to say who lives and who dies. I'm just a guy who can control temperatures. You want something frozen? No problem. Heated up? No sweat. You want to decide whose life takes precedent in a complicated paradox-skirting time travel mess? No thanks. I'll sit it out. Let me know if something needs to be melted. (about the game) Here we go- 'Mole'. 3... 5.... 7 points.

Jack: C, U, L, A, R. Molecular. That's 6, 12, 16, 32 points. But we're super-heroes! We make life or death decisions every day!

MF: Eh, it's not the same thing. I mean, choosing to save someone's life... that's no decision at all. Sure, I'll do it. If a fire is burning up some building, yeah, I can cool it down, lose the flames. Or if a tidal wave is heading for the city, sure, I can freeze it in it's place, or evaporate it, or something. Whatever. But this, this sacrificing one person to save another... that's too big for me.

Jack: Well, sure, it's a tough call, but somebody has to make it, and I think the Stallion might be a little too close to things to be the one.

MF: Yeah, well, I'm going to stay out of it. I don't want it on my conscience.


Jack: It's your turn.

MF: I know! I'm thinking.

(Pause. The Jack starts singing, repetitively.)

MF: Jesus, can you cut that out?! I'm trying to think here!

Jack: Sorry! Sorry. Hey... but... if you freeze a tidal wave, won't that really hurt the ecosystem? I mean, all the rest of the water would become extra salty, right? Not to mention, hello Iceberg!

MF: Then I would evaporate it. Here- 'Timer'. That's 2, 5, 7, and a double word for me (finally) makes 14.

Jack: Excellent! And I shall play... 'trundles' for 80 points.

MF: What?!? What the hell is 'trundles'?

Jack: Trundles... you know, like push carts, dollies... or trundle beds. Or the act one does when one pushes such objects.

MF: I call BS on that.

Jack: Brainframe, is 'trundles' a word?

Brainframe: Yes, the Jack.

Jack: Thank you.

MF: And how is that 80?

Jack: These are 8, the 'S' is on double letter, the whole thing is a triple word, and another fifty for using all of my letters again.

MF: Fine.

Jack: I'm just getting the letters, that's all.


Jack: But no, if you were to evaporate a tsunami... all that moisture would just go into the air. It would still leave the local water extra-salted, plus it would all just come back as rain and flood everywhere where it fell.

MF: Look, it doesn't matter- there is no Tsunami to worry about right now, ok? Nobody is making a tsunami at me. I don't anticipate any tsunamis any time soon, ok, so let's forget it!


Jack: Disastress could make a tidal wave. Attractor could probably. Lady Luna probably could, if she wanted to. Ocean Man could. If he turned evil. Or had an evil twin.

MF: So, what are you going to do- shoot balls into it? Jump over the damned thing? You'd be dead if the wave hit, you'd be lucky to be there and see the damned salty water left after I stopped the thing! You have to thank your lucky- 'Quest' Q, U, S, T. Bam. Not sticking me with the 'Q'.

Jack: Very nice. That's 14. And I have an 's', so I'll make that into 'quests' and... 'seventh', which is 15 for 'quests' and seventh is 13... 26 for double word, which is 41, plus-

MF: Plus fifty for using all your damned letters again, just score the damned points, so we can get on with this.

Jack: Which puts me at... 303, and you at-

MF: Nevermind that.

Jack: Yes, sir!

(pause. Jack starts singing again, then cuts off.)

Jack: Sorry...

MF: A ha! Ok, here we go, here we go, I've got it. I'll freeze the tidal wave, right? But I won't flash freeze it, so the tower of ice comes tumbling towards the shore, I would do it at a moderate pace, eroding the momentum slowly over the course of the freezing process! Then, once the whole thing is completely solid, I would immediately thaw it out, but again, at a sort of medium pace, so the whole thing would be entirely water again over the course of, say, ten minutes! The water would all be pulled up into the wave, so as it melts, it would just flow back down the sides of the iceberg back into it's natural place! And before you even ask, I would make sure to return the whole thing to its normal temperature by the time I'm done, so as to minimize the damage to the local ocean life!


MF: Are you going to go, or what?

Jack: It's... your turn.

MF: Shut up! I knew that! Fine! I'll... wait, here we go... 'Faking'. A's on a double letter, 6, 11, 12, 13, 15, and on a double word, so that's 30, thank you very much.

Jack: Perfect! That allows me to play 'Jazzy'-


Jack: If it makes you feel any better, the second Z is a blank... so it's only... 69 points, which brings me to-


(Mr. Fahrenheit smashes the game aside, scattering the letter tiles all over.)

Jack: Fahrry, Fahrry, it's nothing to get so-

MF: DON'T call me "Fahrry". If you're absolutely DETERMINED not to use enough of you BRAIN to call me Mr. Fahrenheit, you can call me Mr. Ferris, or is you must, Elijah, but there is only ONE "Fairy" on this team, and it is-

Jack: Peaseblossom?

(The Brainframe alarm goes off.)

MF: You are so lucky that thing went off...

Newsman: ... where Disastress, the self-proclaimed 'mistress of disaster', is threatening to destroy the city. Sources within the police department say she has been threatening to create a gigantic tidal wave, or tsunami that would...

MF: What?

Jack: This is it! Your big chance!

MF: I'll... I'll head to the horse, you alert the others. We can do this. This is going to be-

Jack: Wait! Look, look, look!

Newsman: ... yes, in fact, it does appear that Dr. Fast has captured Disastress. This exclusive CNC footage shows Dr. Fast racing along the wave almost faster than the camera can see him, creating a sort of... wall of air, beating the water back and saving the city. Disastress, I am told, has been found in a holding cell, stripped of her so-called 'disaster-blaster' and ready for processing by the local police.


(Mr. Fahrenheit can be heard heaving his breath, trying to calm down.)

Brainframe: Crisis averted.

Jack: Um... heh heh... thank you, Brainframe.

(Pause, MF's breath still heaving.)

Jack: So... want to play again?

(silence... then; )


Go to Episode Five