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 Five
Episode 10 - Fences & Bridges

By Jordan D. White

The Jack
Argus Panoptes

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: Broadband and The Stallion in “Fences and Bridges.”

(Broadband is in the Guard tower alone… he is watching a live feed on the brainframe.)

Jack: (on monitor) Perfect! I can take your “rat” and spell “infiltrate”. That’s thirteen, double word is 26, plus fifty for all my letters is 76.

Brother: (on monitor) You… you totally suck!

Jack: (on monitor) I know! I must be losing my touch! Usually, I’d be over 200 by now. … It’s your play.

Brother: (on monitor) I know! I’m looking, jeeze. Give me a second.

Jack: (on monitor, teasing, proud) Man, that’s almost a minute. How are you going to get by at that fancy college of yours if this is how fast you think?

Brother: (on monitor, good-natured, embarassed) Shut up… no, I just… You know when you see a word in the letters that you can’t use, but then you can’t shake it out of your head to find something else? I keep seeing “Argus” in my letters.

Jack: (on monitor) Funny- he’s probably seeing you, too. Unfortunately, “Argus” is a proper name and therefore verboten.

Brother: (on monitor) I know! I was just- Here we go- “Liar.”

Jack: (on monitor) That’s… four points.

Brother: (on monitor) Shut up!

Jack: (on monitor) Ok, college-boy… and off your “I” I can spell “Imposter”. “M” on a double letter is 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, double word is 30, plus 50 is 80. Pass the letters, please.

Brother: (on monitor) I hate you.

Jack: (on monitor) Oh, MAN! That sucks… I pulled S-U-S-P-I-R-I.

Brother: (on monitor) So?

Jack: (on monitor) So, I could totally spell “Suspiria” on that “A” and it would go right up into to that triple word there.

Brother: (on monitor) “Unfortunately, ‘Suspiria’ is a proper name and therefore Verboten.”

(Stallion re-enters the tower)

Stallion: Well, I have good news and bad news.

Broadband: Brainframe- cut feed, return to default monitor mode.

S: What was that? Was that… was that the Jack?

BB: What? Oh, no, no.

S: It looked like-

BB: No, it was a… Scrabble Tournament. That must have reminded you of… you said something about good news?

S: And bad. The good news is, the injunction was granted. The Password is prohibited from printing the information they got from Mr. Fahrenheit, and if it does somehow get out there, he’ll be held personally responsible, pending the breach of contract suit. Rumor has it Reilly’s going to sue for his money back on the “exclusive”. Looks like this is going to wind up costing Mr. Fahrenheit quite a bit.

BB: Serves the bastard right, I say. Sounds like Todd Larsen really pulled our fat out of the fires on this one.

S: Government ties are good for something. They’ve got a lot of lawyers on tap. Todd doesn’t want another Earth Guard scandal any more than we do.

BB: So, then what’s the bad news?

S: I went by Dr. Fast’s lab, tried to speak to him and Bumblebee face-to-face… but it was a no-go. They wouldn’t see me. For now, at the least, it looks like we’ve lost them… which means the Earth Guard currently consists of me, you, and the Argus. We need to recruit some new members. A new Guard.

BB: I know, Chuck, but where are they going to come from? I think we need to concentrate our efforts on mending fences and-

S: There’s only so much I can do, Bob! Fast and Bumblebee won’t talk to me, Binary Girl wants to be left alone, Peaseblossom is God knows where, and Voodoo Lady’s entire house has been emptied out for Christ’s sake! I’m all for mending fences, but sometimes the fence just wants to stay broken!

BB: We can give it time, and maybe-

S: Yes- Maybe. But these are people who abandoned the Guard in its time of need. We can work on them when the Guard is back on its feet. But right now the Earth needs a Guard, and the three of us can’t get the job done by ourselves. I’ve been looking over the potential candidates, and… it’s not exactly the greatest selections I’ve ever seen, but we’ve got to-

BB: Who are we talking about here?

S: Well, first off, Dr. Rock.

BB: Invulnerable scientist. I’ve seen his work published… he’s a smart man, but if I recall correctly… Didn’t Dr. Fast say if we accepted him-

S: He’d devote his life to destroying the Earth Guard and everything we stand for, yeah. Still, he seems like the best candidate. He’s smart… and can’t be hurt.

BB: Yes, and about as strong as your average theoretical scientist. Plus, if we invite him to join, we lose Dr. Fast forever. Not worth it. Putting off getting someone back is one thing, but to deliberately burn a bridge like that-

S: Fast was being unreasonable in this case, clearly!

BB: Still, he was an invaluable member of the Guard for years! It’s not worth losing him for good just to-

S: Fine! Doctor Rock is out… but you’re not going to like the next candidate any more.

BB: Who?

S: Birthday Boy.

BB: What’s wrong with you, Chuck? The man’s a misogynistic egotistical-

S: I know that, Bob! And he took over my body without my permission, and letting him on means Binary Girl will likely never return. But he’s a powerful hero, he wants to be a member of the Guard, and, frankly… these are the choices we’re left with!

BB: I refuse to believe that ‘Birthday Boy’ is the best we’ve got!

S: Then you’re not paying attention to the world out there, Bob! The Earth Guard has been the biggest super-team in the world for years now… but we’ve suffered more than one embarrassment in the past year. We’re not going to be luring anyone away from another team any time soon, so we’re left with only the free agents. Rock and Birthday Boy were on the top of that list, yes. After those two, every other ‘hero’ we could choose is also currently a wanted criminal, and I don’t think that’s the kind of press we want to be generating right now!

BB: All of them?

S: Yes, almost all. All but one.

BB: Well, who’s that?

S: Kick Man.

BB: Kick Man?!?! But he was the-

S: I know! I know! But I’m telling you, that’s what we’re looking at, here! For the Guard to continue-

BB: He’s a man who kicks muggers in their groins, he’s not a superhero!

S: But if you look at his actual numbers-

BB: Wonderful! So if we’re ever facing the “Cosmic Purse-Snatcher”, and we can supply him with some sort of space-craft shaped like a boot-

S: You have a better idea?

BB: As a matter of fact… there are two others we could try before we abandon our pride completely and sink so low.

S: Who?

BB: First off, we could try speaking to Captain Fantasy.

S: He said he would come to us when he was ready.

BB: I know what he said, but he’s got to understand that the Guard is in dire need right now. Maybe if you and I were to speak with him in person, let him know the situation-

Argus: (entering) Oh, I’ve been keeping Howard apprised of the situation.

S: Argus! The other 1/3 of the team arrives. Welcome.

BB: Well… what does he have to say?

A: Howard? Oh, he thinks it’s very sad.

BB: No, I mean, will he come back to the Guard?

A: What? Oh, no, he couldn’t! He’s not ready. He’s… he’s so fragile. I don’t think he could take being a member of the Guard while trying to live normal life.

BB: Is there even a chance? This is an emergency! He could just serve until we get the team back up and running, then go back to his “normal life” afterward.

A: I don’t think he’d like that idea…

BB: Could you at least talk to him? Try to convince him to-

A: Please, don’t make me choose between Howard and the Guard!

S: No! No, of course not. Captain Fantasy- Howard… is off limits. (sigh, aside) Just like everyone else on our list.

BB: Then there’s only one other choice. We call Jack.

S: Bob… we’ve discussed this! Jack is off limits!

BB: Be reasonable, Chuck!

A: Jack who?

BB: The Jack. The boy is a hero! He saved the life of one of our members! He stopped a terrible villain, and we’re punishing him for it?

S: By deliberately going against the decision we made as a team! He broke the strike! And that’s not even the main point- I was going to let Jack stay on the team, but you know as well as I do that kicking him off was part of the deal we cut with Warren Grant.

BB: Fine! You kicked him off! Now, let’s let him back on!

S: Bob… it’s too soon. Maybe… maybe when the time is right-

BB: Oh really? Like when? You mean when we’re down to two members? Maybe then we’ll let the boy back on the Guard Tower?

A: Surely, things won’t get that bad.

BB: No? Do you have any suggestions for team members?

A: Well… we could probably get Mr. Fahrenheit back on the team since his deal fell through.

S: Sure! So long as I personally apologize and make him ‘official team awesomest for life’. No thanks.

BB: The man betrayed us when he didn’t get his way! We’re not letting him back on the Guard.

A: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-

S: No, Argus, it’s not your fault. Bob just feels it’s his duty to shoot down everyone else’s ideas today.

BB: Because you’ve been putting forth ideas that are completely unsatisfactory!

S: You’re right! It’s a much better idea to not have an Earth Guard at all!

BB: If the other option is a team consisting of you, Birthday Boy, and Kick Man? Then, yes! Maybe it is a good idea to not have a Guard!

S: Well, we’ll certainly find out, won’t we? Because, wake up, Bob! That’s the Guard we’re going to be left with! You may not like it, and I don’t like it either, but this is the hand we’ve been dealt! It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just the way it is! Let’s accept it, and get on with things!

BB: I’m not going to let you do this, Chuck. You can’t-

S: I’ve got news for you, Bob! I can! I’m the leader of the Earth Guard, and I’m not going to see the team die just because we have a little internal trouble! And if that means that I have to put up with sharpening a few rough edged heroes, then so be it! Disagree all you want, but it’s my decision to make, not yours! It’s my team!

BB: That so?

S: Yes! (pause) It is.

BB: Good to know. In that case, I wish you luck. Don’t bother calling me during your pledge drives. I’ll be investing my money elsewhere.

S: (exasperated sigh) Bob… that’s not what I-

BB: You can add me to the list of people to get back to when the Guard is on its feet. Pardon me if I don’t hold my breath.

S: No-

(broadband leaves)



A: So it’s just us on the Guard, then?

S: (exasperated sigh) Yes. Yes, Argus, you and I are the Earth Guard. We two are the planet’s most powerful heroes united. I figure you can just do all the Guard Duty from now on, and call me when there’s trouble, sound good?

A: Excellent! Then I suppose this would be the perfect time-

Suspiria: -To bring about your complete and utter destruction. How does that sound?

Go to Episode 11