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, Series Two
Episode 3 - Tender Situation

By Jordan D. White

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: Broadband and Peaseblossom in "Tender Situation."

(awkward pause)

BB: Uh... (pause) So...

PB: Yes.

BB: Yes.


PB: I wish you wouldn't stare at me that way... I feel your eyes boring into my skin, it makes me feel so very self conscious!

BB: Ah... the unit doesn't have eyes, per se, so it really isn't staring at you.

PB: Perhaps you would then be so kind as to avert its gaze away from my person.

BB: Oh, yes, sure. Although, really it doesn't matter what direction the unit is facing. I can see all around it, 360 degrees. I just point it at people out of habit- they're usually more comfortable with it facing them when they talk.

PB: Well I, for one, am not. As you well know, I cannot stand to even be around your awful metal form! I would just go would not that that would let the Earth Guard down!

BB: I'm sorry, Peaseblossom, I know how uncomfortable you get around the unit, but I've tried to tell you, it hasn't been made out of iron since I was Dial-Up.

PB: It matters not! Synthetic beings are corruptions of the natural way of life!

BB: Normally, we do everything we can to keep you comfortable, but the Jack's sister has pneumonia, he needed someone to cover for him, and I was the only one available.

PB: I'm sure Binary Girl would have joined me... That is, I rather think she would have helped. She can be in two places at one time, even if she had other things to do.

BB: Binary girl was on the last shift, we wanted to give her some time off. Besides, if she split herself in two and only half of her was on duty here, what good would that do? I mean, that's her only power. If the other half of her was tied up elsewhere, she would have no powers, she'd just be-

PB: A human? Yes, I do suppose that's true.

BB: Well, I didn't mean it like that. But without her power, she's just an ordinary girl.

PB: Are not the Jack and Stallion merely men, with no abilities beyond their skills?

BB: Well, yes, but it's not the same thing. Jack and Chuck have both spent years honing those skills, whereas Binary Girl has always had her powers to fall back on. If I could split myself in two, I probably would never have developed the technology to become Broadband.

PB: No matter how long I remain on Earth, it never ceases to surprise me how a man can make himself believe that he is so enlightened yet remain so blind.

BB: What are you talking about?

PB: You're always leaning towards protecting girls, ever since Foal was killed because of you.

BB: That wasn't my fault! I did what I had to do! The Serpent virus was-

PB: It matters not, Broadband, that's not the point! For ever since, you've treated ladies like they were more delicate somehow than men. And why, I ask, should they be treated so? Wouldst thou treat Ocean Man differently due to the complexion of his skin? Or wouldst thou judge me as less fit to fight merely because, unlike you, I am a fairy?

BB: Peaseblossom, no- I don't, I don't listen to these rumors, I don't give them any credence at all! (pause) I'll be honest with you... I wasn't even going to bring it up, I was just going to let it alone, not dignify it with our time. But in a way, I'm glad that you broached the subject, so I can say that I stand behind you, 100%. The Password hasn't been kind to either Broadband or Robert Stanton in the past, they've printed some awful allegations about me under the same guise of reporting the claims of "anonymous sources". They can print anything they want, and if they word it right, you can't touch them, legally speaking. And anyway, even if it were true, I wouldn't judge you, I wouldn't think of you any differently. You're one of the most powerful members of the Earth Guard, and no lifestyle choices you make are ever going to change that fact. If I were going up against Suspiria, there is still no one I'd rather have at my back than you. I really don't see what... I really... you... you weren't talking about the Password article were you?


BB: Ah. Well. That's embarrassing.


BB: (clears throat) Ah... perhaps we should just... ah, Brainframe?

Brainframe: Yes, Broadband?

BB: How about we bring up the sound on, ah... monitor four please?

Brainframe: Yes, Broadband.

Newscaster: ... crabs had overrun downtown Baltimore by the thousands, some as large as twenty feet tall. It is unclear how the Mollusk managed to grow the creatures to such a large size, but it is certain that he was in control of the beasts during the attack. Thousands of people were trapped in the buildings downtown, but fortunately, injuries were kept to a minimum by the prompt response of the Earth Guard. Dana Dezago reports.

Dana: A damp layer of seawater still coats most of the surfaces here in downtown Baltimore left behind by a plague of crabs that overran the city yesterday, some as tall as buildings. Residents here were shocked yesterday afternoon as waves of the creatures scuttled through the streets.

Witness: We were just walking down West Pratt by the convention center, and all of a sudden, this... sheet of brown is covering everything down the road- cars, signs, the road, the sidewalk, everything. Before I could even tell what it was, they were all over me, pushing me down onto the ground. If Captain Fantasy hadn't dreamed up a little "cloud-car" to sail me away, I don't think I could have gotten out.

Dana: Many witnesses have confirmed the official Earth Guard statement saying that the Mollusk was behind the attack on the city. Mollusk, you'll remember, was behind a series of invasion attempts last year, leading sea creatures against the surface world. He was missing and presumed dead since last August until he attacked New York Harbor earlier this week with a fleet of giant squid. Representatives inside the Mayor's office have confirmed that despite the Earth Guard stopping the attack, the Mollusk was not apprehended. Are these two attacks merely the precursor for a new wave of invasion attempts? No one can know at this time, but the Department of Superhuman Affairs has raised the treat level to yellow until more is known. Frank.

Newscaster: Thank you, Dana. Although no lives were lost, there was some structural damage done to the buildings in the downtown Baltimore area. One affected building was the headquarters of the tabloid magazine, the Password, who have delayed this weeks publication as an apparent result. Publisher Ron Reilly made this statement earlier today-

BB: Ah, er, Brainframe! Cut sound!

Brainframe: Yes, Broadband.

BB: I, ah... I'm sorry about that, I didn't know they'd be bringing on that jackass, Reilly.

PB: You see? You're doing it again, and yet you cannot recognize your own actions. I'm not a child, Broadband, I can handle hearing the voice of one who's done me wrong. Did you think I would just break down and cry? I can assure you, I am made of sterner stuff than that. Titania's bodice, man! I've lived ten lifetimes, now you think I'll faint when lowly mortal papers call me names? I may be woman, yet I'm tougher still than mortal minds like yours can ever know.


BB: I'm sorry, Pease, I didn't-

(BB puts his "hand" on her shoulder and she smacks the machine away.)

PB: Touch not my person, wretched metal-man!

(Pause. The Jack enters.)

Jack: Hey there, ladies and gentlemen, fear not! The Jack has arrived!

BB: Jack! I thought your sister-

Jack: Yeah, I took her in to the doctor, got her all the anti-B's she'll need, and now she's sleeping like a baby. So, how are my favorite billionaire and my favorite fairy?

BB: Jack, you really shouldn't call- ... me... a billionaire... it's only my net worth... I don't have that sort of money in liquid assets. Anyway, shouldn't you stay with her even if she is asleep?

Jack: My brother Terry is home from work, he's taking care of her. I didn't want to make you lose any more time over at Stanton Industries than you had to. Of course, you still are at Stanton even when you're on Guard Duty, aren't you? So, I suppose I could have-

BB: No, you're absolutely right, Jack, I should be heading back, so I can devote all my attention to my work. Besides, as you know, Peaseblossom here isn't a fan of my unit. My... my Broadband unit.

PB: Fandom has naught to do with it, I-

BB: No, no, not to worry, I'll be taking the unit back to the Stanton building now, not to worry.

PB: I worry not, I am a-

BB: Any time you need me, Jack, just let me know. I'll do whatever I can.

Jack: Uh... thanks? I owe you one.

BB: Don't mention it.

(Broadband leaves)

Jack: So.... what crawled up his underoos?

PB: He is uncomfortable with the way he protects and coddles women on the team.

Jack: Does he? I never noticed. Besides, do you even count as a woman? I mean, you're not exactly human. Although, duh, other creatures have sexes too. I mean, if you weren't a woman, how could you be gay? So- who's the lucky mystery girl?

PB: What?!?

Jack: You... you are gay, right? I mean, I always figured you... and then this article...

PB: I hardly see how my sex life could ever be any of your business, young man!

Jack: Heh heh... oh... heh... well... yeah, you, uh.... got me there.


Jack: Want to play Scrabble?

Go to Episode 4