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: Broadband
and Foal in "Turning the Table."
(door opens, Broadband enters... pauses)
BB: Oh... hello there.
Foal: Don't. Please, don't. Not you.
Foal: Don't... be awkward. Tiptoe around me. Not you. I can't stand it.
BB: I'm sorry... was I? Tiptoeing?
Foal: You were about to. Everyone does. Or at least, they have for the last
week. Since the Declaration of Independence. With the Time Marines?
BB: Yes, I know. Then I'll... do my best not to. I'll just... step normally,
thank you very much.
Foal: I've been a part of the Earth Guard for years, an equal, and believe
me, I worked hard to gain the team's respect. Suddenly, everyone comes back
from a mission thinking I'm the new kid on the block. They treat me with kid
gloves, like I'm going to break. Either that, or reality is.
BB: You have to understand our position-
Foal: I'd love to. I've been trying to get Chuck to tell me what happened
since he got back. He says it's behind us, what's past is past. Usually, I
would agree with him, I mean, you can't change what's already happened, right?
Just go forward from where you are. But I don't know where I am. No one will
tell me what happened.
BB: It's a delicate topic.
Foal: (sarcastic laugh) There's that tiptoeing again. Was Earth Guard a ballet
company in this other reality?
BB: I'm sorry... but understand, to us, you were dead. It's hard to-
Foal: It's not hard. It's not a delicate topic. It's just death. It's a hazard
of our calling. I remember the day Voodoo Lady died very well. We were in
the Creationist's cloudship above Washington, DC. He'd kidnapped Hillary Clinton
and was going to turn her into a pillar of salt. He had her strapped to a
pair of electrode devices. Stallion and Peaseblossom charged in to take the
Creationist head on. Captain Fantasy was outside, holding back the rain of
fire. Binary Girl went to try to free Hillary. Voodoo Lady, you, and I were
supposed to keep Mudman and the Ribs occupied until the first lady was clear.
That was before you were Broadband - you were still called Dial-Up back then.
Anyway, you broke off and went for the Creationist's computer system. The
Serpent virus. If Doctor Fast had been there... well, regardless. The Creationist
saw what you were doing and threw the Stallion off long enough to blast you.
I broke off from the fight to finish installing the virus. Unfortunately,
that left Voodoo Lady alone with Mudman and the Ribs. I could have helped
her, but the Virus was our best chance to shut the Creationist down for good.
By the time Binary got Hillary off of the cloud, Claire... was already dead.
BB: Tanya... I'm sorry.
Foal: Don't be. I've lived with the guilt for five years.
BB: No, it wasn't your fault. It was mine. If I hadn't disobeyed orders-
Foal: (sarcastic laugh) How many times are we going to go through this? We
had this argument five years ago, and I won. Then, when we had it again four
years ago... yeah, I still won. And then-
BB: You always were stubborn. Probably taking after Chuck. Either way, it
doesn't matter whose fault it was-
Foal: Because it was the right thing to do. I know that, that's what I've
always told you. We did what was best for the people, the ones we're here
to protect. But that's not the point.
BB: So what is?
Foal: I told you- I want to know what happened. I told you what I remember.
Now, you tell me what really happened.
BB: Ah. Well...
Foal: And none of this delicate crap. Tell it like it is. You're not going
to hurt my feelings, I was dead. I understand that.
BB: Fine. You deserve the truth.
Foal: Thank you.
BB: It was essentially the same situation as you said, but... it seems the
major difference was that Captain Fantasy wasn't with us. Voodoo Lady stayed
on the ground at the Capitol building, protecting DC from the rain of fire.
It was... it was just you and I taking on Mudman and the Ribs. But then I...
Foal: You still went to input the virus.
BB: Yes... Leaving you alone. To face Mudman. And his six Ribs.
Foal: Captain Fantasy wasn't there? That was it?
BB: As far as I can tell. I've checked the records in the Brainframe's historical
documents, and from what I can see... everything else was the same.
Foal: Up until that point, anyway. Did he say why he couldn't make it?
BB: Not that I recall. But you know Captain Fantasy. He lives in the world
of dreams more often than not.
Foal: Of course. He comes and goes as he pleases, I should have thought of
that. Nothing else was different? Nothing at all?
BB: Since then, there appears to be a significant difference in-
Foal: No, I mean before the incident.
BB: Oh, no... Oddly enough, that seems to be it.
Foal: Perfect. Brainframe?
Brainframe: Yes, Foal?
Foal: Initiate Foal-Omega, authorization 616.
(A hum begins, and Broadband's body clanks into a "locked" position)
BB: What's going on? The- the unit can't move.
Foal: Magnetic field. I'm sorry, Bob.
BB: Brainframe, deactivate magnetic field!
Brainframe: Access denied.
BB: I designed you, you damned computer!
Brainframe: My apologies.
BB: Tanya, what's going on? What are you going to do?
Foal: I'm going to put things right. I'm going to go back and fix it.
BB: NO- listen you- you can't do that.
Foal: I have to, Bob. Things were better off with me dead.
BB: Who are you to decide? To swap one person for another? You're going to
Foal: It's not like that, Bob, and you know it. It's not just one life for
one. It's everything since then. You know, you've read it, you said so. Look
BB: That's no reason to throw away your life!
Foal: No? Bob... my death gave him meaning. He felt responsible. Without
it, he became... complacent. He needs me to die. Besides... I'm not... supposed
to be alive. You have no idea what this has been doing to me. I keep thinking
that if only I had made it to San Francisco in time, if I had gone back and
fought the Time Marines along with you all, things would have been different.
Of course, that's impossible... I didn't even exist at the time.
BB: Foal... Tanya, I'm sure the good you did-
Foal: Couldn't possibly make up for what Voodoo Lady could have done. I couldn't
have held my own against Lady Luna, like she did many times. Let me ask you...
in the world you remember, was the moon still round?
Foal: That's what I thought. You can't stop me.
BB: So what exactly do you intend to do?
Foal: It seems obvious. All I have to do is go back to that night, five years
ago, and make sure Captain Fantasy sits the mission out.
BB: How do you expect to get back in time?
Foal: Recognize this?
BB: The Time Table? But it won't work without Dr. Fast to spin it...
Foal: It will if I use this.
BB: An anti-grav belt? But what can-
Foal: If I attach the belt here, and set it to overload... I understand there's
been some trouble with the belts recently. They tent to rocket people into
the sky faster than they can handle. It'll spin just fine.
BB: Tanya, just wait a minute, you-
Foal: I'm sorry. I know you're just trying to delay me while backup arrives.
I'm going now. I'll... I'll always remember what we two shared.
Foal: (sarcastic laugh) Even if you've already forgotten.
BB: No, Tanya, no, wait (etc).
(She activates the Time Table, and there is a sound, which all of a sudden
cuts off, revealing the sound of Broadband and Voodoo Lady laughing together.
They are having a blast, making fun of Lady Luna.)
VL: (laughing) She's always like that! "We of the moon-"
BB: "The Moon wanes for no man!"
VL: "We of the Moon will not tolerate your Earthen ways any longer!" Like
she could just fly the moon off into space and leave Earth behind!
BB: (Cracking up again) Wait, Voodoo- Voodoo Lady, wait! Let me... Oh! Let
me catch my breath!
VL: If you ask me, we should fix her up with the Creationist.
BB: Oh God!
VL: Let him try to figure out if God made the Moon People as well!
BB: Didn't she say the Moon People evolved from alien spores?
VL: Uh- oh! You said the L-word! I mean... I mean, the E word!
(the both explode with laughter again)
BB: "L" for El-volution?
VL: Oh, God, remember that time Creationist tried to turn Chelsea Clinton
BB: No, no, no- it was Hillary. That was when Foal was-
VL: Who? Oh, wait, Foal was the- the horse girl. Stallion's girl. But, remember
afterwards the news kept saying "Assault on Washington", but they
were totally playing it straight, like they didn't even get it!
BB: Oh, God, I forgot about that!
VL: No, but my favorite, my all-time favorite, was when Attractor went on
that rampage across Arkansas, and the headline was "Attractor Plows Through
(They both explode in laughter).