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
Earth Guard in “Follow the Leader."
(A full meeting of the Earth Guard is occurring: Stallion, Broadband,
Dr. Fast, Bumblebee, The Argus, and “Voodoo Lady” are present.
General milling about.)
S: All right, everyone, all right. Thank you all for coming. I called this
meeting to discuss the current situation with the Guard. As you all know,
we’ve lost three members in the last week, which… well, to say
it’s a team record would be an understatement. After resigning from
the guard, Peaseblossom vanished- there’s no sign of her anywhere on
the planet. Binary Girl has taken an extended leave while she deals with the
loss of Peaseblossom. It is likely she’ll be back at some point, but
she can’t say when, and has asked that we don’t wait for her.
And now, most recently… last night, Mr. Fahrenheit quit the Guard upon
his removal as our press secretary.
VL: So… we’re here to throw a party?
S: I’m afraid not… it seems Mr. Fahrenheit has agreed to sell
his story to Ron Reilly and the Password.
(general uproar. “What?” “How could he do that?” etc.)
S: All right everyone, please! I’ve spoken with Todd Larsen, and he’s
got lawyers working on things even as we speak. Mr. Fahrenheit signed a non-disclosure
agreement when he joined the Guard… but it’s possible he may claim
whistleblower status, which might tie things up, legally speaking, until after
the story sees print. We need to be ready for the worst.
Bee: What kinds of things is he going to tell?
S: I can’t say for sure… but there’s no guarantee that
any of us is safe. Any… liasons between team members, any in-team fighting-
BB: He’s at least as guilty of those things as any of us have been!
S: But given his record, I doubt he sees it that way. Just as a guess, likely
topics for him to address would be our “strike” last year… the
try-outs… Peaseblossom and Binary Girl’s relationship… Bumblebee,
he’ll likely discuss your… liasons…
Bee: I’ve got nothing to hide.
S: Argus, I’m sad to say I wouldn’t put it past him to ‘out’ you
and Captain Fantasy…
A: He wouldn’t!
S: I’m sure Reilly will ask about the death of Ocean Man, and us kicking
him off the team… the murder of the Golden Eel-
Bee: Oh! Speaking of Eel! You want to tell them?
DF: Oh, please, go right ahead.
Bee: Well, we were working on the case earlier-
A: What? I thought you’d solved it.
VL: Yeah, Suspiria admitted she did it in the fight before she died.
Bee: Oh, sure! We know it was Suspiria, but we were still working on some
of the loose ends. See, I was thinking about it, and I realized- why would
Suspiria kill the Golden Eel now? I mean… sure, she’s a villain
and all, but… she’d never even fought the Golden Eel, and all
of a sudden she shows up in her base and kills her?
BB: Well, she had just joined the Earth Guard.
DF: Exactly what I said.
Bee: Yeah- but how does Suspiria know where Golden Eel lives? How does she
know enough about her that she can sneak into her cave to kill her, even if
she is invisible? I don’t think it was a coincidence that she’d
just joined the Guard… what if we had some sort of leak? I mean, like
some kind of breach in our security that was allowing Suspiria access to the
Guard Tower? That would explain how she’d-
VL: Ok, I hate to interrupt this whole Encyclopedia Brown moment, but… who
cares? A dead villain got information about a dead hero. They’re both
A: But Voodoo Lady, this could be important. If the Guard has a leak-
VL: The Guard does have a leak, and he’s about to spill our personal
information all over the front page of the password! Frankly, I’m more
concerned with Mr. Fahrenheit that I am with some theoretical security breach
that only affects a pair of corpses.
Bee: Nice attitude.
S: I hate to say it, but I have to agree with Voodoo Lady. We have more pressing
matters to deal with than some details in a closed murder case. What to do
about our former press secretary needs to be dealt with now.
BB: Frankly, Chuck, I don’t know what you were thinking putting him
in that position in the first place.
S: This isn’t the time for second-guessing and blame.
VL: Of course you’d say that. You’re to blame.
S: Claire, please-
A: No… I’d like to hear what she has to say.
VL: You’re the reason we lost all three of them, Stallion. You’re
the one who fired Mr. Fahrenheit from the job, and you’re the one who
stupidly put him there in the first place- without consulting a single other
member of the Guard, I might add.
S: I told him at the time-
VL: You were the one who was on Guard Duty when Binary Girl stormed off the
team. The girl was in a fragile state of mind. Just what type of consolation
did you offer her that she quit the team on the spot, huh?
S: That’s not fair, Birthday Boy took me over-
VL: Oh, that’s right- Birthday Boy. The sexist pig you voted to have
join the Guard.
Bee: You were going to vote him on the team?
S: That was supposed to be a private session!
VL: Because you’re ashamed of your vote, which is understandable.
S: Now, hang on-
VL: And while none of us knows exactly why Peaseblossom left the Guard… Argus
tells me that just before she quit, you had her working on all that budget
filing nonsense for hours on end.
A: Well, yes, but I don’t think that was what made her leave the team…
VL: But it couldn’t have helped. You said she was in a lousy mood from
A: That’s true…
VL: It certainly didn’t make me love the Guard.
BB: Hang on… you had them working on the budget papers? I thought that
was your job?
S: It is, I was just… I was delegating. The budget was due, and-
BB: Damn it, Chuck, you’re the leader of the Earth Guard! Getting this
kind of paperwork done on time is your responsibility!
S: Yes, but that doesn’t mean I have to fill out every line myself!
I’m responsible for making sure it gets done, and it did. I’m
the leader of the Earth Guard, Bob, not its personal secretary. I can tap
members of the team to help with clerical work, if necessary.
DF: Stallion’s right. There’s no reason why those of us with
little or no responsibilities can’t help out those with important jobs
to do. Look at Bumblebee- she’s been far more useful helping me in the
lab than she had been going around giving massages.
BB: Now, hang on a minute-
Bee: Oh, I’ll be back, silly.
VL: (to DF) But I suppose you’re too important to help with team finances?
DF: Of course I am. I’m far too busy with my experiments to help with
any… paperwork. I’m sure Stallion realizes this. But if we’re
talking about non-essential personnel who aren’t currently on Guard
Duty, I see no problem with it.
A: Well, we… were on Guard Duty at the time. And I don’t think
he was making allowances for important people… But, again, I don’t
want to start any trouble!
BB: Now, wait just one minute! You had them doing your paperwork for you… during
their shifts on Guard? Chuck, you know as well as I do, that goes against
the whole idea of Guard Duty we set in the first place!
Bee: I think-
S: There’s no reason that, with two people on Guard Duty at a time,
we can’t get a little work done once in a while as well! These things
Bee: But, maybe-
BB: I know they’re important, that’s why we have someone whose
job it is to make sure these things get done! That person is you, Chuck!
S: Oh, come on, Bob! So, you want a team leader who is so bogged down in
paperwork he doesn’t actually have time to fight crime? Remember fighting
crime? It’s what the Guard is here for- not filing papers on time!
Bee: Um… Irving…?
BB: But papers need to be filed in order to-
DF: (Shouting loudly) Gentlemen, please! (more
normal, but unhappy) A lady
is trying to speak- a lady who, if you get to know her well, you’ll
find to be quite insightful and intelligent!
S: Claire can fend for herself.
DF: I was referring to Bumblebee. Ass.
S: I’m… I’m sorry, Bumblebee, I got flustered, we’re
trying to work this out and-
Bee: And you don’t have time for a brainless sex-object.
S: No! That’s not what I was-
VL: I think it’s pretty clear that it was.
Bee: I can contribute to the team, you know.
S: I know that, I just-
VL: Do you? Because it seems to me you’ve been dismissing Bumblebee
the entire time she’s been on the team.
S: You’re the one who didn’t understand why we were voting for
VL: Oh, and here I thought that was a private meeting! But as it turns out,
maybe I did understand why you voted her on- you’re a sexist jerk. Bumblebee
doesn’t need to put up with this, and neither do I.
VL: I’m leaving the team!
Bee: Wait… what?
VL: I’m not going to be a part of a team that tolerates this kind of
A: Voodoo Lady, wait-
VL: No! I’ve been silent about it for too long! Bumblebee, get out
while you still can- it’s only going to get worse from here on in. Goodbye,
Earth Guard- good riddance! (She leaves)
S: No, Claire! Wait! (too late) Bumblebee… Susie, I-
Bee: (tearing up) I’ve dreamt of being a member of the Earth Guard
for my entire life…
S: You have to understand, I… I’m sorry. I’ve been under
pressure… I’ll never disrespect you again.
Bee: No… no, you won’t. I won’t allow it.
Bee: I’m leaving. I’m… leaving. Irving?
DF: Oh. Ah, yes. Sorry, Stallion. If she goes… I’m sure we’ll
see each other again.
(they both leave)
A: I’ve… got to go speak with Howard. (he leaves)
BB: Good meeting.
S: Shut up, Bob.