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 Three
Episode 2 - Do It All Again

By Jordan D. White

Binary Girl

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: Binary Girl and Broadband in "Do It All Again."

(The two Binary Girls are alone in the tower. She is attempting to talk separately. She is having very limited success. She is trying to have a "conversation" with herself, but ends up with each alternating between speaking clearly and slurring.)

BG: (1)How- how are you today? (2)I am well, how are you? (1) Very well, thank you for asking. (both) God, I sound like a retard! Ok, ok… keep you mouth closed, come on… (She keeps her mouth shut on one, mumbling, while the other says: ) What would you like for lunch? (2) How about some pizza? (both) Gaaargh!

(Broadband enters. He is somewhat sullen.)

BB: Oh, hello, Barbara. Sorry I’m late. I was held up.

BG: (both) No problem- I kept myself company. (re-merge) What was up?

BB: I've been trying to make myself useful, analyzing the equipment we seized from Disastress. Got a bit caught up in it. She actually converted half the Golden Gate bridge into an epic-sized disaster blaster. If she’d managed to power the thing up, she could have sunk a continent.

BG: Damn… how the hell does she make those things?

BB: I have no idea. They’re completely… counterintuitive. She manages to bang the things together out of… whatever happens to be around. I’d say she was some kind of genius except it seems this is the only thing she can build.

BG: I’d say the ability to make a destructive weapon out of anything is probably enough to put you on a high IQ list.

BB: No, that's what I mean. It’s not that she’s smart enough to make these things, she just… can. I think it's something super-human. She was somehow given the ability to make this one thing, not matter what.

BG: Oh, I get you. Where do you think she got a power like that?

BB: Where do any of these powers come from? Radiation, experiments, ancient Indian rituals. You name it.

BG: Where did yours come from?

BB: My… what?

BG: Your powers?

BB: Er… I don’t have any powers.

BG: Oh, I… oh. I thought you were like… super-smart or something.

BB: No, no… I’m just a regular person. So to speak.

BG: .... Wow. Now I feel all inferior.

BB: Why?

BG: Because, you make all these incredible robots without any sort of powers whatsoever while I’m just some Japanese girl who needed to inherit abilities from her ancestors in order to amount to anything.

BB: It makes no difference. You’re just as much a hero as I am. Probably more. I'm certainly no one to admire, that's for sure.

BG: Oh please! You made yourself a hero. God, you must have studied for years to be able to do that stuff. I didn’t even go to college. I don’t even know, and I really hate to admit this, but I don’t even know the first thing about computers. Me, Binary Girl. Do you know where my powers come from?

BB: I remember you’ve said it was a family trait…

BG: That’s right, it is. All the women of my line have had it, and, until me, they’ve all kept it completely secret. Why, you might ask? What did they use it for? Why would they need such an ability? They wanted to become better wives. They split themselves in two so they could take care of all the washing and prepare meals. Get all the housework done themselves, and go to the market. And hey, they never had to worry about making each body talk separately- they weren’t expected to say anything.

BB: Well, then, I’d say the fact that you decided to use those abilities for the greater good says a lot for who you are as a person.

BG: Tell that to my mother. She practically disowned me. I’m a total disgrace, letting my ancestors down. Between not using my abilities as intended, not going to college, moving to America, taking ‘Barbara’ as my first name, not to mention that she thinks I’m a l- …a lazy American, now... I’m lucky she even speaks to me.

BB: I’m sure she loves you and is proud of what you do. Parents are parents. My mother wanted me to be a doctor so badly, she began pressuring me when I was four. "You’re going to be a doctor one day, or you're no son of mine."

BG: So what did she say when it didn’t happen?

BB: Oh, well… it did. I mean, I am a doctor. I haven’t really used the medical degree since I entered the engineering field, but-

BG: Uhng! See? You: complete genius working all his life for the good of mankind, with the immense brainpower to invent world-changing technology. Me: little Asian girl with powers designed to be able to serve tea while scrubbing floors.

BB: The question isn’t what you can do, it’s what you do do. Each one of us, given our abilities, had a choice. We could use them for ourselves, or we could use them for the good of mankind. In a way, you’re a far better person than I.

BG: In what way?

BB: How old are you, twenty something? And already, you’re committed to doing what’s right. At your age, I was only interested in myself. As much as I’d love to say I built a multi-billion dollar company with the intention of bettering mankind…

BG: But now, that is what you use it for. You have, personally, changed the lives of millions of people for the better through your technology and charities. I’ve helped… maybe a thousand people, tops. And that’s pushing it.

BB: Talk to me when you’re fifty-eight and we’ll compare then. You’ll have had something like a twenty-year head start on me.

BG: It’ll take me that long to equal the first million dollars in aid.

BB: (growing more impassioned as he goes) Money? Money is nothing to me. I’ve got plenty of money, I don’t even notice when I give that. You don’t give money, you give what you have, which is yourself. You put yourself on the line every time. That’s more than I’ve ever done.

BG: Sure, if you want to speak metaphorically, but in practice-

BB: It not a metaphor, it’s true. Look at Ocean Man.

BG: Ocean Man?

BB: He had almost nothing to his name, and not only did he give his time to the Earth Guard, he gave his life for all of us. What’s the dollar price on that? I don’t think I’d match it if I gave away all my money. That’s… that’s something I can never equal.

(Awkward pause.)

BG: So, uh… why did you vote him off the team?

BB: I… I regret that decision… every single day.

BG: So you didn’t think he deserved it?

BB: I would never condone what he did. He lied to everyone, not just the public, but his closest allies. It was wrong. And it wasn't the type of thing you just... bounce back from! The press was going to destroy him- he would’ve been hounded by his lies for the rest of his career! Not to mention that half the Guard would have been second guessing everything he said-

BG: He was a hero. You know it.

BB: I did. I do. I did.

BG: So why?

BB: (sigh...) Politics.

BG: What?

BB: (grim laugh) I said you were a better hero than I am. The Stallion- Chuck started this Earth Guard. Soon after, I began funding the team. Money… perhaps it was a lesson left over from my pre-heroic days, but I find money and power do tend to go hand in hand. Sometimes Chuck and I clash over… executive issues.

BG: What does that have to do with Ocean Man?

BB: Chuck was so determined to throw him out, and as I said, I thought he would be ruined already… I thought this would be a concession I could make, a way to gain some leeway with Chuck on other issues…

BG: Oh. Oh. Wow…

BB: When I fought by his side that day… even before he stopped the Atlanteans, I knew. I knew I had made a mistake. Here he was, publicly humiliated, but he was there when he was needed. And because of me, he died an outcast.

BG: You don’t know. You can’t be sure, I mean, if he’d still been on the Guard, he could have been trapped up here with us.

BB: That doesn’t matter. It’s not about that, the details. I went against my principles. I swore, years ago, I would never do that again. That kind of compromise is what lead to me becoming Broadband in the first place.

BG: You can't blame yourself for his death-

BB: No, it's not that. It's not that he died, it's... This isn't like when Foal died. She died… well, she died partly because of me. But I still stand by the decision I made that day. Even if the serpent virus didn’t stop the Creationist for good, it was a chance I had to take. I didn’t take Foal for granted, I respected her, and I know she would have willingly given her life for the cause. Here, I used Ocean Man. He was just a chip in a political game of blackjack. He didn’t deserve that, and I’m ashamed to have done it, and I would be even if he'd lived. Only, if he'd lived, I could have made amends.

BG: I think you're being too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are made to be forgiven. It's mine and Peaseblossom's fault that the villains took over the tower, but people forgave that.

BB: We recaptured the villains, and no one was seriously hurt. This is something I can never make up.

BG: So, coincidentally, you made a mistake at the worst possible time for it. It happens. You had no way of knowing. I'm sure Ocean Man would forgive you.

BB: Heh, I doubt it.

BG: He was a pretty nice guy. Regardless, now it's time to forgive yourself. You're a good man, a noble man, and a man to be looked up to. Do you think the Stallion regrets kicking him off the team? I doubt it. The fact that you feel so strongly about it shows your true colors.

BB: You really think so?

BG: Yeah I do.

BB: Thank you, Barbara.

BG: (pause) What... what are you- (split, both) What are you doing?

BB: I was... I was going to hug you.

BG: (both) Oh, well... it's a little creepy.

BB: Sorry... I thought it was sort of...

BG: (both) No, it's ok, it's just... robot.

BB: I'm sorry.

BG: (both) No, seriously- (tv comes on) Whoops, looks like we've got something.

Newsman: -where the Time Marines have just appeared, holding the entire Earth Guard hostage. Early reports say that both the recently deceased Ocean Man as well as Foal, also thought to be dead, are among the captured Guard, which seems to indicate that they have captured the Guard back in time and brought them here. They have threatened to execute the Guard if local four-year-old Tommy Woyzek is not turned over to them immediately, or, alternately, executed publicly by the Government.

BG: (both) They want us to kill a four-year-old?

BB: Don't worry, I remember this fight from the first time it happened. We win pretty quickly. I'm sending out the signal.

BG: All right, let's go!

To Be Continued...