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 3 - Fast and Faster

By Jordan D. White

Dr. Fast
Voodoo Lady

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: Dr. Fast and The Stallion in "Fast and Faster."

(Dr. Fast is in the Guard Tower with special guest, Dr. Fast from the past.)

DF1: I must say, it is a pleasure to have you here. I know it must have been disconcerting, seeing the rest of the Guard returned to their own time and being left behind. It’s no trouble, though- we can return you home whenever you’d like.

DF2: It’s a pleasure to be here. It’s nice to have someone to talk to on my own intellectual level.

DF1: Yes, I remember that.

DF2: Ah, I see! It isn’t that way for you this time, because you can remember the entire conversation!

DF1: Precisely. While, for you, this is the thrill of finally being understood by someone who can comprehend the magnitude of your ideas-

DF2: For you, it is merely playing out the function that I remember you serving. Fascinating.

DF1: For you, yes. Oh, and don’t mind the Stallion- he’s busy talking with Warren Grant, our new Government "handler".

DF2: The Stallion?

(the Stallion enters. He is on the phone.)

Stallion: …telling you, the boy was never in any danger whatsoever! … Because it happened before! We remembered what was going to happen, so we knew nothing was going to happen to- No, no, I understand that normally being tossed through the air like that would be considered dangerous, but since we’d seen it before, there was no chance that- No, it wasn’t a different time, I’m telling you, it was the same time, we were here from the past! Hold on just a second, can you? (to the DFs) Hello, Doctors, sorry I’m late. There’s some business I need to take care of with Mr. Grant. Are you two all right without me?

DF1: Of course.

Stallion: Thanks. (back to phone) All right, look, War, this is ridiculous, there was never and chance the boy would… (Stallion heads out of the room)

DF2: So… you know everything that’s going to happen from now until we get me back to the past?

DF1: Of course. You and I wait for the Stallion to finish his discussion with Grant as we prep the Timetable to send you back, then we get notice that Goblin Girl has created some sort of lava demon in Hawaii. Then you head back in time and go to your lab to work on a new invention.

DF2: Pity.

DF1: What’s that?

DF2: Just that while talking to you can offer me a fulfilling dialogue, full of surprises and a new outlook on my situation back in my home time, it holds nothing for you but an automated retread of past experience. Although- you just asked me-

DF1: Merely being polite. How awkward would it be for you to just sit here, knowing I knew what you were thinking, without actually discussing it?

DF2: Understood. Good point. Isn’t there a way we could… break the cycle? For example, you know what you’re going to say to me next- couldn’t you just… say something different?

DF1: Of course I could, but why would I? You’re neglecting to consider two factors: first off, I’m not saying this merely because I remember it being said to me. It’s also what I want to say, and what I would say, even if I hadn’t heard myself say it. If it wasn’t, I would never have said it to myself in the first place in order for me to remember it. It’s not as though I feel bound by what happened before- I am merely acting naturally, and it happens to correspond. Secondly, any changes I make in my behavior to deliberately alter the past could jeopardize all of reality as I know it. A simple misplaced word could, conceivably, cause the destruction of the planet.

DF2: That’s a bit of an exaggeration, isn’t it?

DF1: Actually, no. After I went home as you, I continuously calculated the possible results of me having just said "misplaced modifier" instead of "misplaced word", and by the time the Jovian Gas Lords return, the cumulative changes would have resulted in the planet being torn in half.

DF2: But I, on the other hand, am not burdened with the knowledge of future events, and therefore have no stake in doing everything in my power to preserve it. I could just refuse to conduct the experiment you just described.

DF1: Of course you could. You’re considering doing just that this very moment. You will, however, decide that it is not worth the risk. You trust me just as you trust yourself and therefore, knowing as you now do that the possibility for changing things so drastically exists, the possibility of destroying the planet, you will feel obligated to do as I say I did. You’ll understand when you’re older.

DF2: I suppose you’re right.

DF1: If course I am. One moment, I just need to pull a copy of our most recent contracts for Chuck.

(the Stallion re-enters)

Stallion: … what I’m telling you, we’re not liable. … The parents can sue whoever they want to, but if you let me find our contracts-

DF1: Here you go. (he gives them to Chuck)

Stallion: Thanks. It’s… yes, it’s right here. "The Earth Guard will not be held liable for any damages incurred during the normal course of their duties." That includes emotional damages, especially since this kid was in NO DANGER! How many ways can I tell you? The kid is going to be in more danger crossing the street tomorrow than he was at that moment! We SAW it BEFORE! Are you not getting this? We… (he exits again)

DF2: If you knew all this was going to happen, why not warn Chuck about the legal issue of using the kid to take them down like that?

DF1: Again, to what ends? Since I remember him having that conversation, changing things could, again, have negative effects on my past.

DF2: Ah, but you could have spoken to him about it, made things turn out better, and then had him fake that conversation for my benefit.

DF1: And what makes you think I haven’t?

DF2: I suppose that’s true. You just seem to have… "accepted" things.

DF1: And what could be wrong with accepting the inevitable? This conversation will happen to you, and you will be me, and you will say the things I am saying now. There is no way around it.

DF2: Perhaps… But what if-

DF1: Won’t work. Don’t forget- any tricky ideas you’re trying to come up with to beat the situation occurred to me when I was you, and therefore, I already know them. There’s no way you can ‘outsmart’ me. I’m you, but with more information, including the outcome of the situation. Accept that, then we can move on to other, more productive conversations.

DF2: Actually, I think it’s about time I get going. Perhaps you’d be so kind as to retrieve the Time Table.

DF1: Of course. (runs off, and back) And, for the record, I knew you were going to say that. Again, I was just being polite.

DF2: Nothing personal, of course. I just had an idea for an invention that I’d like to head back and get started on.

DF1: Ah, the anti-grav belt. I remember that inspiration.

DF2: Anti… yes, of course.

DF1: I’d offer you advice on it, but clearly, nothing I say is going to change the way we designed the damned thing.

DF2: Having trouble with it, are you?

DF1: Yes, it’s just- well, you know the override circuit you’ve just envisioned a moment ago? Well, it seems it isn’t capable of handling the job. It overloads at the drop of a hat, sends people rocketing into the atmosphere.

DF2: Now that is intriguing… and useful. You see, I didn’t just come up with an idea for an anti-grav belt.

DF1: What?

DF2: No, I’ve just had an idea for a device capable of altering someone’s recent memories.

DF1: You what?

DF2: Yes, I thought I might find a way to go back home and alter my memories of this situation, thereby giving me, the one of us without his memory altered, the upper hand. Clearly, it’s going to work.

DF1: This isn’t… this isn’t possible.

DF2: Of course it is, old man! I beat you at your own game. You think you know everything, and that’s you’re biggest weakness.

DF1: But I don’t remember-

DF2: Of course you don’t, old man! Are you dense? As soon as I get home, I’ll build this memory alteration device and take all this out of my memory. I wasn’t sure what to replace it with, but a malfunctioning anti-grav belt sounds just about right to me. I’ve beaten you!

DF1: But… I’m you!

DF2: No, you’re a condescending, self-assured egomaniac. I, on the other hand, am a scientist, and if the price of defeating you is that I, too, will someday be defeated by me, then so be it! If I become you, I’ll deserve to be beaten. Step away from the time table, please. I’ll be spinning home, now.

DF1: But you can’t leave yet- what about Goblin Girl?

DF2: Well, if she hasn’t put in her appearance yet then that’s just another thing I’ll add into your false memories just because you said it to me, simple as that.

DF1: No, you can’t do this to me! Not my mind! You can’t take my mind!

DF2: Just watch me, old man. (he activates the time table)

DF1: Stop! Wait!

DF2: I shall see you again, old man… and although I would not wish it so, I know that some day I shall even be you. For my sake, I hope this defeat does not crush you too much.

DF1: Wait! You don’t have to do this! You don’t- (the time table disappears, and then, calm) Well, that’s done with.

(the Stallion reenters)

Stallion: Is he gone?

DF1: Clearly.

Stallion: And it worked? He bought it?

DF1: Of course he did. I told you, I remember-

Stallion: All right, I get it.

DF1: And things with Grant?

Stallion: Oh, things are fine. Thanks to you, we worked everything out with the Woyzeks beforehand.

DF1: Excellent. That seems to take care of every- (incoming signal)

VL: Fast, Stalion, you there?

Stallion: Voodoo Lady, what’s going on?

VL: It’s Goblin Girl. She’s in Hawaii, and she’s risen some sort of… giant lava beast. I don’t think I can take this thing on my own. Lend a hand?

DF1: Goblin Girl? Lava beast?

Stallion: We’ll be right there.

DF1: This isn’t… it can’t…

Stallion: Snap out of it, Fast!

DF1: I think I’m going to have to reevaluate my understanding of the space-time continuum.

Stallion: No time for that now- We’re on the job!

DF1: Of course. See there. (woosh)

Go to Episode 4