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 5 - The Password Is...

By Jordan D. White

The Stallion
The Jack
Ron Reilly

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: The Stallion and The Jack in "The Password Is..."

Jack: (semi-singing) Oh boy oh boy! I cannot wait! This is going to be so amazing! What a fun fun time time to be!

(The Stallion Enters)

Jack: (semi-singing) Happy Jack! Flappy Jack! Silly little Sappy Jack! Never give a -

Stallion: What on Earth are you doing?

Jack: GAH! Oh Jeeze, you scared the living dung out of me!

Stallion: Why are you so excited? What's going on?

Jack: Ron Reilly is going to be on the Frank Allen show tonight. Have you not been hearing about this? They've been talking it up all over the place.

Stallion: Ron Reilly? And you're excited? The guy's a total jerk.

Jack: I know! It's going to be great. I can't stand the guy!

Stallion: You're excited to see someone you can't stand?

Jack: Oh, yeah. I've got a subscription to the Password, I read every issue. Have you seen some of this guy's editorials? They're ridiculous! This one time, he wrote an entire piece about my knockout balls contributing to the depletion of the Ozone layer, based on completely made-up eyewitness accounts of people who saw me (are you ready for this?) loading them up with aerosol cans!

Stallion: So, why do you read it if you know it's completely full of crap? I wouldn't touch that rag with a ten-foot cattleprod.

Jack: You know what they say- keep your enemies close, and... then... you know more about them... because they're close. A lot of people read this trash. I like knowing what type of nonsense I'm up against. It's hard work keeping myself so beloved by the public.

Stallion: Didn't they vote you most annoying superhero, three years running?

Jack: I thought you didn't read the Password?

Brainframe: The Jack, the program has begun on monitor three.

Jack: Thank you Brainframe! Bring up the sound, please!

Newscaster: ... news magazine known as 'The Password'. Mr. Reilly began the magazine in 1994, and immediately focussed on the exploits of the Earth Guard, and other superheroes. One of their first stories dealt with the connections between Stanton Enterprises and whether or not Federal Funding was being used on their DialUp and Broadband projects. Since then, the Password has continued to make waves, including their most recent articles detailing the personal exploits of the otherworldly heroine Peaseblossom. Ron Reilly joins us in the studio to discuss his magazine, their stories and ethics, and to disuss the next issue of the Password, due out tomorrow, which he promises will feature all new revelations. Welcome.

Ron: Thank you for having me, Frank.

Newscaster: It's our pleasure, I'm sure. Let's start at the beginning. What inspired you to start the Password?

Ron: Well, you know, Frank, I just felt there was a need for it. The Earth Guard is, as they always remind us, made up of the world's most powerful heroes. Yes, they are constantly discussed in the press, but... no offense, Frank, but I felt someone needed to cast a critical eye on them, instead of blindly praising them. ...

Stallion: That is such a crock! As if social obligation has ever played a part in any decision this jerk ever made! He started the Password because he knew he could make money off it!

Jack: Well, he's a business man, anything he does is to make money. But, there must be something behind his decision to crucify us, I mean he could have made money off of smootching our patoots.

Stallion: But it's easier for a guy like him to tear down the work of others than it is to support it. We do what we do because society needs us to. How does it help society for him to make us look bad to the people we're trying to protect?

Jack: Hey, don't get mad at me! I agree with you! I can't exactly protect little children when they cry at the sight of me, can I?

Stallion: Well, you... wait, yes, you can. Why couldn't you?

Jack: I don't like the sound of crying. It hurts my ears.

Stallion: And you raised your siblings?

Jack: Oh, wait, wait, they're talking about Peaseblossom!

Ron: As you know, I can't reveal our sources, of course, but yes, we have it on good authority that Peaseblossom and at least one other woman were in and out of various hotels in Rome.

Frank: You say 'at least'...

Ron: Some of our sources claimed she was seen with a pair of women. Regardless, we have confirmed that the rooms they rented were all single, king sized bed suites. While she did check in under an assumed name, many witnesses have placed her in Rome at the time, not the least of which is the national news, which saw her defeating "The Holy Roman".

Frank: The implication, of course, being that Peaseblossom is-

Ron: No, we can't be responsible for what our readers infer from our articles. We're presenting the information we uncovered, and our readers can make of that what they will. We don't imply. We state facts.

Jack: Ha! Facts that some random guy pulled out of his butt!

Stallion: You don't think it's true?

Jack: Huh? What?

Stallion: About Peaseblossom. About her being...

Jack: Well, I don't know, I mean, I always thought she might be, but... what do you think I'd just go up and ask her, or something? I mean, please! That would be a stupid idea!

Stallion: I mean, I just always thought... although I guess it would explain some things. Why she never expressed an interest in... any of her teammates. You, or Ocean Man, or whoever.

Jack: I guess. I don't think she's my type.

Stallion: Not your type? She's the most attractive woman on the planet! What does it take?

Jack: I like a girl with a sense of humor. One I don't need and English Lit degree to understand.

Newscaster: But surely, the Earth Guard serves a useful function for us all. For example, if not for them, who would take out the Super Villains that attack us? Who would stop Lady Luna? Who would bring down the Creationist? Heck, who would stop Gasmask?

Stallion: Thank you!

Ron: You know what? I thank them for stopping those people. They do a great community service. But just because they help people doesn't mean they're any better than you or I. I'm just holding them to the same standards I would any other person, and showing that they have their faults, just like you or I.

Stallion: Yeah, and we know your faults all too well, Mr. Reilly. You heard about his solicitation arrests, right?

Jack: You're kidding me!

Stallion: Three arrests. No convictions, of course. The guy has more money than God. Lawyers got him off.

Jack: Well, or he could be innocent.

Stallion: I don't think so. I've read the file. He's guilty. And then he makes a living airing other people's business. Look to your own, first, butthead.

Jack: Start with the man in the mirror.

Newscaster: How did this come about?

Ron: Ah, well, it was during the Mollusk's attack on Baltimore. While the crabs were attacking, he came into our offices with this... this psychic starfish, basically, and just stuck it right onto one of my writers. Through this starfish, he was able to communicate with our writer telepathically. He wanted to tell his side of the story, get his message out to the world.

Newscaster: And so you interviewed him?

Ron: Well, the writer, Todd Call, did, yes.

Newscaster: Some would say that it's inappropriate to do an interview with a man (well, if he is a man) a man who is considered a wanted terrorist.

Ron: What would they have me do- punch him? I'm no superhero, and I assure you, none of our staff is either. A terrorist was insisting we interview him, he had us trapped with his creatures, were we supposed to shoot staples at him? We interviewed him; we did what he told us.

Stallion: That's not the point, you idiot! No one would expect you to fight him yourself! But A, you should have turned over the notes to the Earth Guard immediately, and B, you don't put it out as a magazine to get his side of the story out! He's a terrorist! He kills people! Getting out his story justifies every life he's taken! Who's side are you on here?!

Jack: I wish we could have known his story... which reminds me. I had an idea about something...

Stallion: What's that?

Jack: Well, we don't have an actual psychic on the team, but I was thinking, if we were to have Captain Fantasy check out the villains after we catch them, he could read into them in the World of Dreams, see? Then we can know about things they've been doing that we haven't caught them for, or things they might do next time when they get out. I mean, if they get out. What?

Stallion: Jack, that's a terrible idea! First of all, it violates all sorts of civil rights that-

Jack: No, no! I'm not saying we prosecute them for things! But we can fix anything they've done that we don't know about, and just sort of plan for the possibilities of the other things. You know, to make us more effective in the future. I know we couldn't legally us the information against them-

Stallion: I'm not talking about legal issues! I'm talking about their right to privacy! We can't go invading the minds of any criminal we want to just because we have them at a disadvantage!

Jack: Wouldn't they forfeit any rights they have to privacy when they, oh I don't know, attempt to enslave all of mankind, for example?

Stallion: No! The same laws that protect you and I from jerks like Reilly using a psychic to find out our secret identities stops us from doing the same to criminals, and that's the way it should be.

Jack: Oh fine. I'm just saying, if we had a telepathic starfish, maybe we could have understood the Mollusk enough to be able to predict his behavior-

Stallion: What? Jack- shut up! What did he just say?

Jack: What?

Stallion: Shut up!

Ron: I'm not sure why he's been lying all this time, but according to the Mollusk, he is the leader of the Atlantean undersea forces. That's why he's been striking out at us on the surface world all this time. He assures me that Ocean Man is not, and has never been, "King of the Ocean World" in any sense.

Jack: No WAY!

Stallion: Shhh!

Newscaster: Couldn't this be an attempt by the villain to discredit Ocean Man?

Ron: We considered that, of course, but it just doesn't make any sense. The Mollusk has never been able to communicate with humanity before, and his first attempt is a lie about a hero he's rarely ever even faced? As far as we can tell, the only time Ocean Man has ever gone up against the Mollusk was three years ago, on the Florida Coast, which, according to the Mollusk, was when he attempted to communicate with Ocean Man through the use of a magical Atlantean conch. The Mollusk actually believes that Ocean Man understood him, but that Ocean Man deliberately broke the conch, and has been avoiding the Mollusk ever since. And we can't find a single time he's gone up against him since then. You'll notice Ocean Man was there to help fight Boulder yesterday, but where was he when Mollusk was attacking? Notable in his absence, if you ask me.

Jack: Ho-Lee Moley! Pretty messed up, eh? Uh... Chuck? Are you ok?

Newscaster: The newest issue of the Password, featuring the interview with the Mollusk goes on sale tomorrow...

Stallion: (into the comm) Attention Earth Guard, we have a priority A-1 emergence. All personnel report to the Guard Tower ASAP. No excuses.

Jack: Uh-oh..

Go to Episode 6