Saturday, February 12, 2011

Flash Ahhhh!: Episode Six - Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

by the According To Whim .com crew

(Part One by Nathan Stout )

[INT – NIGHT – CAVE]

(Nathan and Miguel grab each other and start whimpering like a group of tweens that just discovered that Harry Potter dies in the final book... oops, did I just ruin that?)

NATHAN: Well, this is it.

MIGUEL: I guess so. Look, I’d just like to say that I know we are about to die that I have officially won the “Jedi Conflux – Suck Your Dick Contest.”

NATHAN: Well, since we won’t exist in a few minutes, and we will never know if Lucas ever uses that term, I guess I can concede. You don’t have to suck it.

MIGUEL: In your face!

NATHAN: Well, it was going to be in your face, but whatever.

(The ledge slides in and Miguel and Nathan fall.)

MIGUEL: Flash!

NATHAN: Ahhhhhh!

(Nathan and Miguel jerk awake... no, not what you are thinking. They are both sitting in the Daytona, the heat of the day soaking both of them through... no, not what you are thinking either.)

MIGUEL: What the fuck?!

NATHAN: ...

(Miguel looks around to confirm that he is indeed awake and in the real world).

NATHAN: The bet is still on!

MIGUEL: Oh man! What just happened?

NATHAN: I remember the professor mentioning in class that some people have the power to control the minds of others and induce dreams and such. I think that just happened to us.

MIGUEL: Well, that’s certainly an easy way to negate any sort of storyline started by other writers. It must be infuriating.

NATHAN: Well, perhaps and perhaps not. Let’s go check out the professor just to make sure none of it was real.

MIGUEL: Ok, I’ll buy that. I do have an aftertaste of burrito in my mouth, so I guess anything is possible.

(The two rush back to the classroom.)

INT - DAY - Classroom

(Miguel and Nathan push the doors open, and burst into the classroom, where the professor sits behind a desk at the front of the class.)

PROFESSOR: Well, well, if it isn’t our mind reader and voice-over artist?

MIGUEL: ...

(Miguel is unable to voice over the professor since the professor has just flipped the dampening field switch.)

PROFESSOR: No, no, now. No making me say stupid things I wouldn’t normally say.

MIGUEL: Awww man.

PROFESSOR: Is there something I can help you two with?

MIGUEL: Yeah!

(Nathan puts his arm up across Miguel’s chest.)

NATHAN: Let me handle this. You aren’t exactly Mr. Social.

(Miguel looks hurt.)

NATHAN: My friend and I are a little uncertain, but we just wanted to ask... ummmm.

PROFESSOR: Yes?

NATHAN: Well...

PROFESSOR: I’m listening.

NATHAN: Are you a power hungry maniac in a wheel chair?

(The professor’s expression of indulgence does not change.)

PROFESSOR: I’m not sure about power hungry...

(The professor rolls out from around the desk.)

MIGUEL: Oh shit.

NATHAN: Well, I’m thoroughly confused.

PROFESSOR: Is there something that you two actually wanted?

NATHAN: Someone came and kidnapped our friend, Chris.

PROFESSOR: Don’t you mean: hippie-napped?

MIGUEL: Snap.

NATHAN: Yes, hippie-napped him.

PROFESSOR: And what can I do for you?

NATHAN: Well, we came to see if you were the one who kid...

PROFESSOR: Hippie...

NATHAN: Hippie-napped him.

(The professor turns to the switch and turns the dampening field off. Nathan pauses then turns to Miguel.)

NATHAN: He didn’t do it.

MIGUEL: Wha...

PROFESSOR: Now, I don’t come to your place of work and slap the dick out of your mouth... what’s this all about?

MIGUEL: Wha...

NATHAN: We’re sorry. It’s just that we were put to sleep, and we had this weird dream where you were the evil mastermind behind Chris’s kidnapping.

PROFESSOR: Well, well. It seems that your friend has gotten a lot of attention from someone because of his power. I am betting that all this is due to your registering with the government.

MIGUEL: Wha...

PROFESSOR: It is likely that he was hippie-napped by the government. Earlier when I told you he had a rare power, I wasn’t kidding. Did you get any sort of look at his captors?

NATHAN: Yes. I read their minds a little before they got away. They were thinking about a number: 4900.

PROFESSOR: That’s easy enough. The federal building is at 819 Taylor in downtown.

MIGUEL: Wha...

NATHAN: But I read 4900 in their minds.

PROFESSOR: Ah yes, you did, but that was before the writer decided to actually find the address of the federal building in Fort Worth.

NATHAN: I see. Come on Miguel, let's go!

(Part Two by Chris McGinty)

[INT – NIGHT – VAN]

(Meanwhile, the true hero of the story is still in a van, but this is a different van. It’s not physically a different van because it happened before the dream sequence, but the inhabitants are different, I think.)

[INT – NIGHT – VAN]

(Chris wakes up wondering if Nathan actually meant this was a rape van, or if that had been a joke referring to some obscure scripted porn passed off as real, or if it had been a typo. He sits up and looks at his captors.)

CHRIS: You can’t rape the willing.

HENCHMAN 1: He has a point. What do we do now?

HENCHMAN 2: We should take him to the boss. He’ll know what to do.

CHRIS: Ah, your boss. Here’s what I theorize that Nathan was trying to do here. The professor in our class seemed to have a keen interest in the rarity of my power, and then very soon after he made that statement, I was kidnapped. Miguel and Nathan weren’t.

HENCHMAN 1: Um…

(It is at this point that the henchmen pull off their masks and reveal that they are, in fact, Agent 1, Agent 2, Agent 3, and Driver. Driver, not realizing that he is the same as before because his name hasn’t changed, struggles to pull his face off until it hurts. Realizing that it is his actual face, he remembers that he is driving, and slightly avoids wrecking the van.)

MAN ON THE STREET: Damn government drivers!

CHRIS: You’re the government?

AGENT 1: The US government at least.

CHRIS: So you did kidnap me to rape me?

AGENT 2: No.

CHRIS: Then why?

AGENT 2: You have a very rare…

CHRIS: What the fuck are we listening to?

DRIVER: It’s Neil Diamond.

CHRIS: A turd by any other name still needs to be flushed. I think that was Shakespeare. Turn that crap off.

DRIVER: He was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

CHRIS: Turn it off.

DRIVER: Then we won’t have anything to listen to.

CHRIS: Tell you what. You can listen to “Cherry Cherry” while I find out what the hell is going on, and then it goes off. So you did kidnap me to rape me?

AGENT 2: No.

CHRIS: Then why?

AGENT 2: You have a very rare power that the government wishes to examine to use for its own purp…

(Chris punches Agent 2 in the face. Agent 2 looks at Chris incredulously.)

CHRIS: Please, continue.

AGENT 2: The government wishes to examine your power to use for its own purp…

(Chris kicks Agent 2 in the face. Agent 2 stands up ready to fight.)

AGENT 1: Stop Agent 2. We can’t harm him, or we’ll be in violation of our orders.

AGENT 2: Then he needs to stop assaulting me.

CHRIS: I’ll tell you what. Stop at this CD shop on the right, and I won’t assault you anymore.

AGENT 2: Stop at the CD shop, Driver.

(Chris elbows Agent 2 in the face.)

CHRIS: Hmm, I guess I lied.

[INT – CAB – DAY]

CAB DRIVER: Will you two make up your minds?

MIGUEL: We should go get my Cavalier. If we get downtown and find out that Chris isn’t there, or if they get away with him, we’ll at least have a car to get into and go.

NATHAN: But we’ll have to pay for parking.

CAB DRIVER: Will you two make up your minds?

[INT – CD SHOP – DAY]

AGENT 3: Will you make up your mind?

CHRIS: Listen, we would be done if you said it was ok to just grab whatever I wanted, but since you’re only buying me three CDs, I have to prioritize my decision.

AGENT 3: Will you make up your mind?

CHRIS: You know what I don’t get?

AGENT 3: More than three CDs.

CHRIS: Besides that. Why was it more important that the government kidnap me than an evil professor?

AGENT 1: Does it really make sense to you that an evil professor would waste his time teaching college students when he could try to take over the world.

CHRIS: Well sure, if he was that kind of evil professor. Why couldn’t the professor work for the government? He could have ordered me kidnapped, and then handed me over to the government for a fee, bought another condo, and not worried about taking over the world at all.

(The door opens at that moment, and a US mail carrier walks in. His name tag says Eugene.)

EUGENE: Sorry I’m running late.

(Eugene hands the CD shop owner his mail, just as the electricity in the store goes dead.)

CD SHOP OWNER: This electric bill is from two months ago. Why did it take so long to get here?

EUGENE: There was a problem with the motor pool. The vehicle repairs are six months backlogged.

AGENT 2 (ignoring this exchange to his detriment): Why would a professor work for the government?

CHRIS: It’s a county college. It’s supported by government tax dollars. What better place to put an operative?

AGENT 2: It’s more direct and efficient for the government to kidnap you, than to hire someone in the private sector to kidnap you, and then come pick you up from that person.

(Chris looks at the mail carrier.)

CHRIS: You mean to tell me that the US government was efficient enough to kidnap me twenty minutes after I registered my power without help from the private sector.

AGENT 3: Agent 2! Don’t…

AGENT 2: Yes, that’s what I’m telling you.

(Suddenly, the CD shop starts shaking, rattling, and rolling.)

AGENT 2: Holy shit! Holy fuck!

(Agent 2 grabs Chris by the collar.)

AGENT 2: Chris! What’s happening?

AGENT 3: He opened up a plot hole. This whole place is going to sink into some strange nether world. We’ll be weeks behind deadline by the time we get him downtown… which I guess will prove his point nicely.

[INT – FEDERAL BUILDING DOWNTOWN FORT WORTH – DAY]

(Miguel and Nathan walk through the metal detector and wonder where they might keep Chris and others like him. There seems to be hustle and bustle all around.)

MIGUEL: I’m glad we took the cab. It would have taken too long to go get the Cavalier.

NATHAN: I wonder what’s going on. It’s usually not this hectic here. It’s normally people getting Social Security cards or tax audits.

(Miguel surveys the situation. There are people running everywhere, many of them dressed in black suits and sunglasses, as though they don’t just file forms… all… day… long… the tedium… of it…)

MIGUEL: Maybe Chris got away and they’re trying to find him.

(Nathan stops one of the agents. He flashes his TCC Gold Membership Card.)

NATHAN: What is going on here?

RANDOM AGENT: We had a hippie with special powers on route here for examination in our secret offices, and he opened up a plot hole that swallowed him, three of our agents, one of our drivers, a shop owner, and Eugene from the post office, along with the CD shop. They all sank into a nether world.

MIGUEL (gasping): Not Eugene. I mean, he’s an asshole, but if he’s missing I’ll have to take his route, and his route sucks.

NATHAN: Well, this doesn’t sound like anything we need to concern ourselves with. Well, aside from you having to pick up some extra hours, Miguel.

MIGUEL: Wait, I just remembered something about that route. There’s a CD shop on that route.

RANDOM AGENT: Yes, that’s where the plot hole opened up. How did you know?

MIGUEL: Let me just say that I have a sneaking suspicion I know who was responsible for that plot hole.

NATHAN: Chris!

MIGUEL: No, you. But Chris knew how to exploit it. We have to get to my Cavalier and go to the site of that plot hole!

NATHAN: Then that is what… wait, we didn’t get your Cavalier. Damn it! I’ll call a cab.

MIGUEL: Wait, as a leftist, I insist that we let the government bail us out of our predicament. Since I am employee of the Post Office, and my friend here is a Gold Member of a county college, can we catch a ride with you?

RANDOM AGENT: Sorry sir, there is a problem with the motor pool. The vehicle repairs are six months backlogged. That’s why we’re running around here rather than driving to the plot hole. We have to look busy or they’ll cut our funding.

NATHAN (dialing the cab company): Right, private sector it is.

(End Episode Six)

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