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
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
Earth Guard in "First Strike".
(The guard tower is empty. Let this sit there for a second. Then, keystrokes
and the newsfeed suddenly fades in.)
Newsman: …four hours since the Government officially released a statement
revealing that the Earth Guard, the planet’s most powerful heroes, have
gone on strike. The President has officially declared the strike illegal and
unjust, and as the country holds its breath in anticipation of an attack from
one of the Earth Guard’s many opponents, popular opinion is overwhelmingly
against the Guard. Dana Dezago reports.
Dana: Strike. A method for unionized workers to gain leverage against their
management. But when the Earth Guard, America’s only real defense against
superhuman threats, goes on strike, the country is left defenseless. The President
has called the Guard unpatriotic and has called for an immediate end to the
strike. The American People seem to agree.
Interview1: They’re just being selfish. They want, what, free health
care? If I don’t get health care, why should they?
Interview2: I don’t know what they expect us to do. We can’t
stop their villains ourselves. They’re going to get innocent people
Interview3: Who are they trying to hurt? Because it’s us, the regular
people, who are going to suffer because of this, not the bigwigs. Way to go-
get John Q. Public killed because of a beef you’ve got with Uncle Sam.
Dana: Yet, even in the face of danger, some cling to the Guard’s heroic
Interview4: They have rights, too. It’s completely unconstitutional
of this government to declare their strike illegal. The workers have rights,
and that’s what the Earth Guard are in this instance. If they feel they’re
being mistreated, a strike is their right.
Kid: The Guard wouldn’t abandon us. It’s probably some sort of
trick to trap one of the bad guys. Maybe to lure out one of the guys who broke
out of the powerhouse yesterday. They won’t let us down.
Dana: Despite these pockets of support, however, the overall feeling is of
Interview5: How can you be a hero if you put people in the line of fire this
way? It’s like some sort of protection racket.
Interview6: I used to be a fan of the Earth Guard, but if they would just
betray us like this… they’re not acting like heroes. They’re
acting like bullies.
Dana: Mistreated heroes or selfish bullies, one thing is certain- the Earth
Guard’s strike has left the country vulnerable to attack, and it may
only be a matter of time before the attack comes.
Interview3: Of course they’re going to attack. The villains aren’t
stupid. Now that they know the Guard is on strike… they’re going
to hit us hard.
Interview5: It’s completely irresponsible of the Guard the Strike like
this. They’ve pretty much assured we’re going to get hit by bad
guys. They might as well have attacked us themselves.
Dana: This is Dana Dezago for WHRW News. Frank.
Frank: Thank you, Dana. I turn now to Warren Grant, the Earth Guard’s
liaison within this administration, a key player in negotiating the Guard’s
contract. He comes to us via satellite from Washington, DC. Welcome to the
Grant: Thank you for having me.
Frank: Mr. Grant, you were with the Guard when they declared this strike.
It was you who was in negotiations with them, correct?
Grant: Yes, I met with The Stallion and Broadband yesterday in a meeting
they called to discuss our contracts.
Frank: So what happened in these negotiations to spark the strike?
Grant: In actuality, there were no negotiations. I came to that meeting in
good faith, ready to discuss things. The Guard, on the other hand, had already
held a secret meeting and decided on the strike. They came to the table with
an ultimatum. Where I was willing to negotiate, they were stubborn, unbending.
They flat out told me that if I didn’t meet their demands to the letter,
they would put our country at risk by going on strike.
Frank: What exactly were they asking for?
Grant: They made demands for a number of costly expenditures. They demanded
universal health care, they demanded compensation for wages lost in their
secret personal lives. On their word. They won’t tell us who they are,
or what these jobs are, but they want us to take their word and compensate
them for them.
Frank: Some would argue, as the Guard themselves are, I’m sure, that
the service they provide is invaluable, and that these would seem small concessions
Grant: Our country is currently at war, and during wartime, the people need
to make sacrifices for the greater good. But here the Earth Guard has decided
that they few are more important than the safety and security of our nation.
We’re facing record deficits, and they want us to spend more on them?
They aren’t the only government program that’s face cutbacks,
but they are the only one that feels so self-important as to blackmail our
nation. I’m sorry, but I don’t think nine people, no matter how
important, are worth putting America at risk.
Frank: So these are benefits the government used to cover?
Grant: When Davis Moore gave the Guard these provisions, he was banking on
a surplus that, we have since learned, didn’t arrive. In his willingness
to throw tax-payers’ money around, yes, he granted this coverage. But
it is a luxury we cannot afford to continue to lavish them with, heroes or
Frank: So I take it the government is not planning to give in to the Earth
Grant: Under no circumstances. You don’t get your way by breaking the
law. We consider this strike completely illegal. We’re not even going
to consider negotiating with the Guard again until they call the strike off.
Once that is done, we can come back to the table and talk. Otherwise, I’m
afraid the Guard has put-
Frank: I’m sorry, Mr. Grant, I have to cut you off there. Thank you
for coming. This just in, an attack in White Plains, New York. The villain
Attractor, the self-titled Master of Magnetism, appears to have lifted and
entire office building into the air. The villain escaped from the Power House
yesterday after having being held for only one day. He seems to have grabbed
the headquarters of the IT company Information Management Systems and lifted
them into the sky above the downtown city-scape. We are, yes, we are now getting
a feed from the scene of Attractor himself, from the sky outside the building.
Do we have sound on that? We do. Let’s listen…
Brainframe: Routing signal to the Jack.
Attractor: … have too long mocked me, but where are your Earth Guard
now? They’ve abandoned you, and now… now is the time for my revenge!
Jack: Hello? Hellooooo?
Attractor: I demand one hundred million dollars, or this building and everyone
inside it gets smashed into the town hall.
Attractor: You have one hour. And in the mean time… I will amuse myself
Newsman: Ok, Attractor appears to be pulling someone out of the building… a
woman, apprently. Do we have a close-up? Here, it appears to be… an
asian woman… it’s not clear what he intends to-
Attractor: This little lady… is named Barbara. Barbara Nibai. Say hello,
BG: Let me go, you monster!
Attractor: Of course, you all know Barbara. But perhaps you don’t recognize
her. Last time you saw us together, she looked more like this. (SNAP!)
Newsman: Attractor just broke the woman’s arm with, it looks like,
a parking meter.
Attractor: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Binary Girl! Or, half of her,
anyway. But, don’t get too attached… this one’s not going
to live long.
BG: Do you worst, you filth!
Attractor: Oh, I fully intend to. And there’s not going to be anyone
to save you. The police can’t stop me, I’d drop the building,
and we both know your friends aren’t going to be showing up any-
Jack: Don’t be so sure, Attractor!
Newsman: The Jack, of the Earth Guard has arrived on the scene…
Attractor: Jack? What are you doing here, you pathetic child?
Jack: Let her go, and turn yourself in!
Attractor: Is that supposed to be a joke?
Jack: I had to give you a chance to do the right thing.
Attractor: You’ve got to be kidding… What do you think you can
do here? Even if you could stop me, what? You going to catch the building
and the girl yourself?
Jack: I won’t have to. I have faith in the Guard.
Brainframe: Routing signal to the Stallion…
Attractor: Hahahaaaahaaa! You’re an idiot, you always have been.
Stallion: Hello? Hello, is anyone there?
Newsman: Oh God, the… Attractor has grabbed the Jack with his magnetic
powers, wrapped some metal pieces of the building around his hands and feet…
Stallion: Crap! Guard, Priority A-1 emergency! Get to the Jack and Binary
Girl, now! We’re on the job! Move!
Jack: Don’t worry Barbara, I’ll get us out of this…
BG: Yeah, that’s reassuring.
Attractor: Jack, you have got to be the most ridiculous member of the Guard!
Without your little balls or tricks, you’ve got nothing! No powers,
no super strength, nothing. I don’t even know why they let you on the-
Newsman: Holy- Attractor has dropped them all! The Jack flicked some sort
of… little wooden square into Attractor’s eye, and now the building
and the two heroes are- wait! They’re safe! The Earth Guard is on the
DF: You ok, Jack?
Newsman: Dr. Fast has caught the Jack, and Peaseblossom has caught Binary
Girl who she… appears to be… kissing… while the office building
CF: My fleet of butterflies has caught the building! You take Attractor!
MF: You ready to meet and greet with my fists and feet, Attractor?
Attractor: Oh, that’s it! I’m going to kill you with my bare
Stallion: Earth Guard, take this bastard down!
Newsman: The entire Earth Guard has entered the fray against Attractor! He
appears to be… yes, picking up cars off the street with people still
inside and… he’s throwing them at the Guard- Voodoo Lady appears
to be catching them and setting them down, but… (news fades back down)
Foal: I knew you’d do it, Chuck.