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 4 - Winding Up

By Jordan D. White

Ocean Man
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: Ocean Man and Mr. Fahrenheit in "Winding Up."

(Mr. Fahrenheit is shuffling playing cards.)

MF: We can play whatever you want. You play Texas Hold 'Em?

OM: Poker? No, I'm afraid I don't have any of your surface currency.

MF: I'd offer to play for whatever you've got, but I'd probably end up winning your whole city, and I don't even really like to swim. Cribbage? No, forget it, no board.

OM: Whist?

MF: Wassit?

OM: No, I suppose we'd need four for that. Unless we played German style... ?

MF: I have no idea what you're talking about. How about Gin?

OM: I prefer Rummy.

MF: Rummy 500 it is. (he deals) So where've you been lately? We've been fighting the Mollusk recently, could have used a little water-power.

OM: My duties as the King of the Ocean World have kept me quite busy, I'm afraid. The son of the Orcan King, Prince Calivar... well, he calls himself King Calivar now, of course. Anyway, he had vowed revenge for my decapitating his father. He sent a number of assassins into the city to seek my life. Of course, since we've annexed the Orcan territory, Atlantis has had quite a few of their type roaming around the city, getting policy in order, bringing their taxes to our treasury, things like that. So we never suspected these particular Orcans of any wrong doing.

MF: Uh-huh. So they tried to kill you?

OM: Yes. If not for General Mantrace rushing in with intelligence on them at the last minute they might have caught me off guard. I'm... I'm out.

MF: What? You're out? Jesus! That puts me at... God Damn it, negative sixty!

OM: I'm at eighty-five.

MF: (exasperated sigh) Your deal.

OM: As it was, my head minister, Ohglon Carumpha, was killed by the scum. He jumped on one as it lunged for me. Took a bodkin right in the gut protecting me.

MF: I'll take that Queen, thank you very much.

OM: As I'm sure you can guess, that was quite a big deal, politically speaking. Taking out a high ranking Government official cannot be tolerated. We spent the rest of the day scouring the city for the remaining assassins. Once we found them, we had them killed on the spot. No trial, no judge, just slit throats and shark meat.

MF: The aces! You total bastard!

OM: Huh? Oh. Sorry. Yeah, that was all three days ago when Mollusk popped up in New York. The next day we held a state funeral for Minister Carumpha. It was a large affair; all the heads of state were there, from all branches of the Atlantean government. The entire cabinet, paying respects to old Ohglon. He'd been my head minister for years... I don't know how I'm going to rule without him, to be honest with you.

MF: Yes! Exactly the seven I was looking for! Take a look at this run- five, six, seven, eight, nine. Ha! Uh, so, did you appoint a new... head... guy?

OM: I've been deliberating on the possible appointments. To be honest with you, I'm a little torn between appointing General Mantrace or going with Prefect Calivar. On the one hand, I would trust Mantrace beyond all others, but on the other hand, I'd hate to lose him as chief General of the Atlantean Fleet. Calivar has proven himself to be good to his people and truly care about their needs, which is definitely a quality I would want in my head minister, but-

MF: Calivar? Calivar, isn't he the guy you said was killing you? I mean, trying to kill you? The whale guy?

OM: Oh... uh, no, no... did I say Calivar? Well, Yes, Calivar is... Calivar is a name that... The Prince, the Orcan, is... Cal- Calivar Mosselika, whereas the Prefect is Housend Calivar. Ha ha, yes, I can see where your confusion would arise. But no, I'm not going to appoint the leader of an upstart rebellious faction as my head minister! That would be foolish.

MF: You jerk! The Queen? The Queen of spades? I've been waiting for that since the first freaking round! Jesus!

OM: So, no. The choice is between Mantrace and Prefect Calivar, quite different from the supposed "King" Calivar. Both have got their plusses and minuses, so I have yet to decide. Any thoughts?

MF: Hold on, I'm trying to- freaking three cards left, you're probably going to... all right. Let's see if you can do anything with the eight of hearts.

OM: Yes, please. I'm out.

MF: Gah! (sigh) Fine, at least I'm positive this hand. I've got... twenty, twenty-five... Thirty. Thirty lousy points.

OM: One-twenty.

MF: Give me the cards. This time I'm going to shuffle them for real.

OM: I shuffled them.

MF: Yeah, but if you shuffle them a certain number of times, you can get them back the way they started in the first place.

OM: Then wouldn't the second hand have been the same as the first?

MF: Forget it. It's fine, they're shuffled now, ok? Let's play. Yes, of course, he's going to take the King on top. My turn? I'll draw, thanks, keep your four.

OM: Anyway, yesterday when Stallion was leading that search for the Mollusk, I was out leading a search of my own down below, trying to find Calivar, uh, Calivar Mollesika, that is. Trying to pull out that Orcan rebellion by the roots this time. Don't just chop off the head, burn the body afterwards.

MF: How do you burn something under water?

OM: It was a metaphor. I mean we're going to take out all of Calivar's followers as well. Wipe out any chance of reprisal. We're not interested in starting an ongoing feud with the "ORA" here, we want to finish this, once and for all. At any rate, yes, that's where I've been. To be honest, I tried to get out of Guard Duty today, but everyone else seems to be busy with one thing or another. I left the search in General Mantrace's capable hands, but still... I look forward to getting back to my people, Mollusk or no.

MF: I can't say I blame you there. The Mollusk has always creeped me out. All right! Take a look at these- four Jacks! Bam! And you can take my... four, if you want it.

OM: No thanks. The Mollusk scares you?

MF: Well, no, I mean... he doesn't scare me. I just think he's creepy. I mean, he never speaks except in that weird... shrieking sound. What does he want? Why does he keep attacking us? At least with most of our villains, we know what they want, you know? The Creationist wants to prove the existence of God scientifically. The SysOps want to control the world by controlling all technology. Lady Luna wants to be recognized as Queen of the Moon. Then there are the normal ones, like Attractor or Goblin Girl or Gasmask who just do it for the money. I can understand what they're about. They- Oh, sure, fine, you get the King of Hearts. Why do I even bother?

OM: Sorry.

MF: Anyway, yeah. I know where they're at, you know? They do their thing for their reasons, and I stop them whenever I can. But the Mollusk? He pops up whenever, with no real pattern we can see, attacks us in some new weird way... and why? No idea. We don't even know if he's human! He doesn't really look human.

OM: Not really.

MF: To be honest with you, why don't you know something about the guy? I mean, you're the king of the ocean world, and he comes from the ocean. Shouldn't you have some sort of... dossier on the jerk?

OM: Come on, now- there's twice as much Ocean as there is land on this planet. You can't expect me to have tabs on every single thing that goes on under the water. Clearly, the Mollusk is smart enough to steer clear of Atlantean patrols.

MF: Nice job there, your highness.

OM: How many boats have you sailed around the world? And yet you have no pictures of Mermaids, even though they must keep close to the surface in order to take occasional breaths of air.

MF: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Mermaids? Mermaids are real?

OM: Well... yes, of course. They are valuable members of my kingdom.

MF: Ok, that's it. You've got to introduce me.

OM: I am sworn to keep Atlantic free of surface influence, I cannot bring you-

MF: Atlantic, Schmatlantis, I don't care about the stupid city, I want the Mermaids! You just said they stick close to the surface. Let me ask you, do they really swim around topless, or do they have the stupid little shell-bras? Because I've got to tell you, shell-bras sort of sound like BS to me. Either way, though, are they even compatible with human men? You know, sexually, I mean. On the one hand, their bottom halves are fish, right, but I figure -

OM: Mister Fahrenheit! I am NOT introducing you to any mermaids! I have a sworn duty and obligation to protect all the peoples of the undersea world from contamination by the surface world! The people there depend on me; I am their only insulation from the oppressive world above! If I could be done with your world entirely, I'd leap into the sea and never return, unfortunately, the only way I can ensure we can continue our lives unmolested is by serving on your Earth Guard! Now, it's nothing personal against you, you seem like a... fine man, but I wouldn't bring the most noble among you into my world for any reason at all!


OM: Besides mermaids kill the surface men they seduce, everyone knows that.

MF: It'd be worth it. It's your turn.

(they continue to play cards.)

MF: You don't have to lecture me, you know. A simple "No" would have been fine. Jeeze, you sound like my wife.

OM: You're married?

MF: A mermaid is worth it, ok?


MF: Oooh, you're going to pick up that many cards? I only have three left you know...

OM: Fours, Fives, Queens, Jack, Ten, Nine of clubs. I'm out.

MF: Why do I even play these stupid games? This is ridiculous!

OM: I got one forty. How about you?

MF: Ten! Ten, ok? I got ten.

OM: Holding onto those aces like that-

MF: Yeah, yeah, I know. Thanks. How do you know how to play cards anyway, Mr. No-Contamination?

OM: I... read about them... in... a book. One time.

MF: Just shuffle. Actually, wait: let me ask you something- I've been thinking about this for a while now. Ok... if there was a tidal wave, right? And I was to freeze it, but slowly, so it doesn't-

(Brainframe alarm)

Newscaster: ... Where it seems Boulder is on a rampage through South Dakota and appears to be headed straight for Mount Rushmore. He's apparently been rolling through buildings since he was awakened by a fisherman sitting on his back, mistaking him for a rock formation...

MF: OK, we're going to get to this one fast- I'm heading for the horse. Alert the others!

OM: No problem! Attention Earth Guard! Boulder is about to crash into Mount Rushmore; we need all available units out to South Dakota to stop him! Mister Fahrenheit and I are on our way, but we could use some back up. Ocean Man Out!

Newscaster: ...and we'll keep reporting on this story as it happens. The Earth Guard is expected to respond at any minute, and we'll let you know the minute they do. For now we'll break for these messages. Don't forget, tomorrow, we'll be having an exclusive first look into the next day's issue of the Password in our interview with Ron Reilly. The new Password will have a shocking telepathic interview with the Mollusk, and Reilly promises to reveal quite a bit in this interview. That's tomorrow here on NewsNet. We'll be back in a moment.

OM: Oh, sh-

Go to Episode 5