Saturday, December 31, 2011

Flash Ahhhh!: Episode Fifty-Two – Yep, Chris Always Gets the Last Word

by the According To Whim .com crew

(This Episode by Chris McGinty)

[INT – CHRIS’S HOUSE – DAY]

(Chris and Miguel are in the living room with Garrett who is tied up to a chair. Chris’s decoy Duran Duran collection is being put back in its rightful place by Chris and Miguel, as they tell Garrett the story of what happened since the cave. Garrett, in his tied up state, has no choice but to sit and listen to the tale.)

GARRETT: So you guys all fell asleep in Nathan’s bed that night, and he slipped into a coma. Then Larry came and put him into a neat and tidy dream where all the loose ends were conveniently tied up, and he will spend the rest of his days joyriding in a life sized lightcycle, while his coma ridden body withers away in a bed at Dainty Pines Assisted Living Center. That’s kind of sad really.

MIGUEL: Why is that sad? Chris was “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” the seventh album?

CHRIS: No, the third.

MIGUEL: So then it goes after “Big Thing?”

CHRIS: No. Let me do that. Just put the posters on the wall in alphabetical order of the artist that designed them.

GARRETT: That’s sad because Nathan is in a coma.

MIGUEL: How do I know who the artist was?

CHRIS: Are you really that incapable, Miguel?

MIGUEL: I don’t know shit about Duran Duran.

CHRIS: You know enough to get by I’m sure.

MIGUEL: I know that they were next door neighbours with Information Society. Sure, Garrett, Nathan is in a coma, but he’s happy. We’re happy that he’s happy. So why is that sad?

CHRIS: I have to at least give you credit for saying “neighbours” in proper British.

MIGUEL: Well, thank you. Speaking of “Thank You,” does that go with official albums or not.

CHRIS: Yeah, technically.

GARRETT: Well, ok. So Nathan’s happy, but you two will never see your friend again. Doesn’t that make you sad?

MIGUEL: Ok, so does it go after “Big Thing?”

CHRIS: Yes.

MIGUEL: About how far after “Big Thing?” See, Garrett, this is the problem with our society. We place a higher value on how the self experiences life than we do on the happiness of others.

GARRETT: Well, I can’t help it. I have to worry about Angelina, and I’m just trying to find out what I have to look forward to if Nathan’s experience was just a dream…

(It’s at this point that there is a deep rumbling noise approaching the house. They all look out the window in time to see a life sized red Lightcycle go zooming by, a familiar voice filling the air.)

NATHAN: Yeeeeeeeehawwwwww!

GARRETT: Why do you guys want to fuck with me?

CHRIS: Cos we’re bored.

GARRETT: So then all the stuff that Larry did really happened, and wasn’t Nathan’s coma dream?

MIGUEL: Yes.

CHRIS: Probably.

MIGUEL: Probably.

GARRETT: So then where is Larry?

CHRIS: Who?

GARRETT: Miguel?

MIGUEL: What? I’m happy that you’re the one having to deal with his difficult side rather than me. It’s refreshing.

CHRIS: Are you sure that you want to do this, Garrett?

GARRETT: Well, I guess I really have no choice. I have to go into hiding for a while so that Angelina doesn’t find me and castrate me. And at the moment your offer to organize your real Duran Duran collection is the only means I have of hiding from her.

CHRIS: Ok, Miguel, I’ll lift at his feet. You lift the other side.

(Chris lifts Garrett, who is still tied to the chair, by the feet, as Miguel lifts Garrett by his face.)

GARRETT: Mphs suggle fhlilm.

MIGUEL: English please, Garrett.

(They carry him to Chris’s Daytona, and throw him into the backseat.)

GARRETT: I said that you can untie me.

MIGUEL: Hmm. Wish we’d thought of that.

(They get into the car, Chris driving, and they take off down the road. Garrett grumbles in the backseat.)

GARRETT: You could at least have thrown me back here face up. Why does the backseat taste like decade old soda?

CHRIS: That’s probably decade old soda.

MIGUEL: Um, I think I might vomit.

CHRIS: Decade old soda isn’t that gross.

MIGUEL: No, that’s not it. It’s the speed you’re going.

CHRIS: Well, we’re racing Nathan’s Lightcycle. That thing can fly.

(Miguel rolls down the passenger side window and flips off Nathan, who has the mirrored windows drawn back so that Miguel can see him. He holds up some sort of iDevice.)

NATHAN: I got it today!

CHRIS: Oh great! Like you need more debt.

NATHAN: No, I bought it for cash after selling rides in the Lightcycle to a bunch of thirty something guys at the local comic book shop. It’s the iDevice that Larry had in the cave, but I got all 52 optional upgrades, so mine’s better.

CHRIS: And by better…

NATHAN: I mean that I can’t figure out how half of the features work. But I figured out the most important one.

(The bullhorn comes on, and Nathan’s voice comes over as the voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

NATHAN: Hasta la vista, baby!

(The Lightcycle flies away so fast that within ten seconds they can no longer see it.)

CHRIS: If he thinks he’s going to charge me to ride in that, he’s a fool.

MIGUEL: I’m thinking I’d rather stick with less nauseating activities… like sticking my fingers all the way down my throat after drinking curdled milk.

(In nearly no time, Chris pulls into a self storage park. He goes all the way to the back, where he parks by a pink leopard skin painted storage shed. They get out, and Chris opens the storage shed. They drag Garrett in, and once they’ve gone through all seven of the security clearance checkpoints, they are on an elevator that is traveling a mile and a half below the surface; it’s at this point that they untie Garrett.)

GARRETT: The two of you are so kind. I’ll be sure to thank you after my skin grows back from the ropes rubbing it off.

(When they get to the bottom of the shaft, and Miguel has been properly medicated against the panic attacks he almost experienced from claustrophobia in the elevator, they step into an immense cavern. There are warehouse sized shelves filled with Duran Duran recordings and memorabilia that seem to go on for miles.)

MIGUEL: I really had no idea your Duran Duran collection could be this big. I mean, I was expecting big, but this is insane. I’m imagining that if I look long enough, I’ll find a crate that’s marked “Ark of the Covenant shoved in here somewhere.”

GARRETT: I’m not sure that I’ll be able to organize all of this in five years.

(Andy Taylor steps out from between shelves.)

ANDY: Don’t worry. You’ll have help.

MIGUEL: You have an actual member of Duran Duran in your collection!

CHRIS: Twice ex-member… but yes. It was the only way that I could get the master recordings of “Reportage.” I had to agree to let him watch over them to avoid them being leaked to the public… fucker.

GARRETT: Remember. We agreed. If Angelina dies by some tragic accident, or is showing any signs that she’s either forgotten or forgiven me, you come get me immediately.

CHRIS: Yes. Yes. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to see how things are going, but for now, I need to get Miguel back to the surface before the meds wear off.

MIGUEL: I love you, Chris.

CHRIS: Thank you.

(Once Chris and Miguel are back in Chris’s car; Chris makes a phone call and puts it on speakerphone. He hands the phone to Miguel to hold up and drives off as it rings. Angelina answers.)

ANGELINA: Hello?

CHRIS: Hey. Garrett is taken care of. He won’t see the light of day for another five years, although, he’ll have the greatest music ever recorded to keep him busy. But at least you won’t have to inflict bodily harm.

ANGELINA: That’s good. I’m not really a violent person by nature, just by trade.

MIGUEL: Wait, that sounds like you’re saying that people are born a certain way, and that bad actions are the result of choice.

ANGELINA: Why do you hang out with that liberal, Chris?

CHRIS: I’m not sure. He’s certainly more interesting now that he plans to become a licensed bounty hunter and travel the world looking for people to rough up.

MIGUEL: I was only considering that, thinking out loud if you will.

CHRIS: So I guess you and Paul are vacationing in foreign lands now?

ANGELINA: Well, we will be after Paul figures out how to land this damn balloon. I’ve had to hang my ass out of the basket twice now to pee.

MIGUEL: I don’t know why, but that makes me a little hard.

ANGELINA: Why do you hang out with that pervert, Chris?

CHRIS: I’m not sure. Listen, I hate to tell you Angelina, but Dentre probably overrode the balloon remotely so that it won’t land by normal means. I would suggest that you figure out a way to deflate it before you drift into hostile territory.

ANGELINA: That Dentre. I think he’s probably the coolest guy who I never slept with. I can understand why he’s resentful of Paul taking the money, the girl, and the balloon, though not necessarily in that order of importance. Well, I gotta go. I have to figure out how to create makeshift parachutes that will work.

(They hang up.)

MIGUEL: I mean, some guy thought it was raining, but little did he know, he was getting a golden shower from a golden goddess.

CHRIS: Miguel… you’re making me queasy now. Stop.

[INT- DAINTY PINES ASSISTED LIVING CENTER – DAY]

(Chris and Miguel walk in. They find Agent 1, Agent 2, and Agent 3 dressed as orderlies pushing the professor in his wheelchair.)

CHRIS: How’s the patient?

AGENT 1: He’s doing well today. He’s coherent, holding conversations, and the false aging reversed a little.

AGENT 3: We think he’ll be alright with Agent 2’s healing power.

AGENT 2: Ah, but my work isn’t as good as Larry’s work. Larry has helped the professor move beyond his need for extreme competitiveness.

PROFESSOR: Yep. I’m ok with the fact that you guys defeated my plot to control the world. In fact, I’m happy to just let the world turn without my interference.

MIGUEL: Sounds for sure like there won’t be a sequel.

CHRIS: Hey, watch this.

(Chris punches Agent 2 in the face very hard, caving in his nose. Agent 2 uses his healing power to put it back in place.)

CHRIS: That’s so much more fun now that I know he can heal. Miguel, quit drooling.

(They walk out to the patio where they find Nathan and Stan.)

CHRIS: Where’s Oliver?

NATHAN: He’s taking the Lightcycle for a Test Spin. Then he’ll bring the Program into his hand at the end of turn. Did you see that Jane Wiedlin link I sent you?

CHRIS: Yeah, when she speaks Japanese, she looks just like an Anime character.

NATHAN: The Professor of Dirt is coming by later to visit his brother, and play a few games with us. And your psychologist friend, the one played by Kelsey Grammar wants us to start going to a weekly session. I told him that I doubt you could free up the time from following around Danny Daewoo.

CHRIS: Good call. And way to wrap up a bunch of minor characters in one line.

NATHAN: And by the way, while I might not like Mr. Daewoo’s music, he is leading a fight against Tidy Cabs to create legislation forcing them to clean up their cabs. The first thing they did was to apologize to me for P.R. sake, and so now that I really don’t need it, I’m allowed to ride in cabs again.

CHRIS: Anything else amazing happen while I was dealing with Garrett?

PROFESSOR: Eric called and reminded me of our plot to overthrow the world through crochet. I told him that I wasn’t interested, but he also told me that the government used COBALT Driver’s vehicle repair ability to catch up the six month backlog at the motor pool.

NATHAN: Great! Another resource that we no longer need that is now available to us.

CHRIS: Everything is tied up so neatly.

(Larry appears surrounded by a glow that accompanies his transcendence from the physical world.)

LARRY: Ok, I have now made sure that Dorothy is no longer running around in the dream state that she got caught in when my secondary power was manifesting itself. She’s back in Kansas, and is happy. And her little dog too. Her aunt bought her tickets to see Rick Springfield perform “Living in Oz” from start to finish.

CHRIS: Ooh! Ooh! Nathan! Take me!

NATHAN: No!

CHRIS: We can go in your Lightcycle!

NATHAN: Ok. Just this once. But first, we have game day.

(Speaking of Lightcycle and game day, Oliver comes whipping around in the Lightcycle and skids to a halt.)

OLIVER: Nort bad. Nort bad ert all. Let’s play Axe-iz ‘n’ Alleys.

(An hour later, the “Axis and Allies” game is set up.)

MIGUEL: This is so cool!

NATHAN: I didn’t think you would like this game.

MIGUEL: It’s just like “Return of the Jedi!”

NATHAN: Well, it’s more like World War… oh, you’re talking about something else.

(Nathan turns to see three ghostlike figures standing there. It’s vaguely reminiscent of Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Yoda at the end of the original trilogy… if Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Yoda were a board member, a unicorn, and Larry.)

BOARD MEMBER REGINALD: Well, I was unable to transcend until I cleared up all continuity glitches in this story, but I finally realized that I was holding on to my comfort zone, thinking that there was a way to explain everything in rational, realistic way. But once I let go, and realized that every single bit of it could be explained away as bad dream states, and Angelina’s mercenary nature, I transcended into the next level of existence, along with Larry and Skippy, here.

(He points that the unicorn who recently was referred to erroneously as Fluffy in the cave.)

NATHAN: Wait. Wait. You mean that Chris caused a continuity glitch that I covered for by calling a questionable reality into play?

CHRIS: It happens.

SKIPPY: It’s ok. My Little Pony really caused a problem in the eighties of perpetuating the belief that all horses, and all magical horse-like creatures, look alike. It’s an honest mistake for a human, Nathan.

CHRIS: I’m Chris.

NATHAN: Speaking of misspoken names. Is anyone going to tell me how Larry relates to all of this?

SKIPPY: What? You don’t care how I transcended?

NATHAN: Well, of course I do.

SKIPPY: But you’re not going to ask?

NATHAN: Great. I’m married to a unicorn. Why yes, I was just wondering how you transcended, Skippy.

SKIPPY: On a basketball scholarship through TCC.

NATHAN: Um… I want a divorce, Skippy. Ok. What’s up with Larry!?

LARRY (in his best Yoda voice): Patience, you must have. Told, my story will be.

MIGUEL: Oh, this is so cool!

CHRIS: This oughtta be good.

LARRY: Have we ever established if this is 2006 or 2011?

(Everyone looks at each other and shrugs.)

LARRY: Well, then I’ll be vague as to the timeline. A little over ten years ago, I was born. Mein Pa, my real father, worked for the government. He was working in an experimental section on a program to create super soldiers, because for some reason the government does everything only to advance the cause of war in these types of stories. They created a serum that would grow super powers in people. The problem is that there were people like the professor here…

PROFESSOR: I’m feeling much better now.

NATHAN: Can I just interject that it would have been nice if we could have known all of this months ago?

CHRIS: It’s amazing what a deadline, and writing the last episode, will force you to come up with.

LARRY: There were people like the professor here who became too interested in the ways that these super humans could be used to bring down the government. Mein Pa insisted that the experiments stop before the professor could do anything harmful. The government responded with special forces, like COBALT, as a means of protecting against anyone getting hold of the super humans. But bureaucracy being what it is; the professor found a way to get people with powers close to him. He paid congress to pass legislation that super powers must be registered. Then he started working for a government funded school teaching a course on super powers.

NATHAN: But what took so long for him to get his plan in motion?

MIGUEL: This is so cool! And Larry’s dad should probably be added as a ghost in Special Edition releases the same way they need to add Qui-Gon.

(Nathan elbows Miguel.)

LARRY: Mein Pa foresaw a terrible future where government inefficiency let too many powerful humans slip through the cracks, so my father hid the formula from the government.

NATHAN: How do you hide anything from the government?

CHRIS: Heh, heh, heh.

NATHAN: Why are you so amused?

CHRIS: Wait for it.

LARRY: The best way to take anything out of the hands of the government is to hand it off to the private sector. Mein Pa sold the formula to various junk food companies to use as a secret preservative. He explained that in low enough quantities, people wouldn’t develop the super powers. His mistake was underestimating how much people will overdo snack foods.

NATHAN: You mean?

LARRY: Yes. Mr. Peepers soda and Twankies snack cakes are among the many junk foods with the preservative.

NATHAN: So in spite of your father’s best efforts, there would still be people with crazy powers for the professor to try to use. He just had to wait patiently for someone like Chris with super speed or you with your ability to retain information that evolved into the odd dream state power to come along, and then to find a way to manipulate it.

MIGUEL: But wait. My wife and I don’t overdo junk food. Why do we have powers?

LARRY: As it turns out, HBO Original Programming, such as “The Sopranos,” emits a frequency that is the opposite of the dampening field. It can also cause super powers to manifest.

MIGUEL: Oh. Yeah… we definitely overdo HBO shows.

NATHAN: So what happened to your father, Larry?

LARRY: The original leader of COBALT was a crazed guy who felt that he was doing his country a service by torturing my father until he told what happened to the formula. Mein Pa was killed during one of these interrogations, and that’s when this crazed guy was kicked out of the service, and Eric stepped up as leader.

CHRIS: And…

LARRY: And what?

CHRIS: Why didn’t the professor know who you were?

LARRY: Because Eric helped my mom by hiding us from the government with new identities. When he looked me up in the county records he found hardly anything.

CHRIS: Because…

LARRY: Well, I guess now that I’ve transcended from this plane of existence, it won’t hurt to say that my mom and I took on new identities.

CHRIS: Your original name being…

LARRY: Reece! Are you happy? My name was once Reece. Larry was my alias

NATHAN: Really? But how did you know this, Chris?

CHRIS: It’s like all that stuff I tipped Garrett for. I just say random stuff, and sometimes it sticks.

NATHAN: So do we call you Larry or Reece then?

CHRIS: That’s like when the asked Prince if they should still call him The Artist.

LARRY: Well, since you put it that way, I guess I know how Prince felt when he was finally able to drop that odd symbol. I’ve been emancipated from the bonds that bound me. Yes. It feels right. You may now call me Reece.

CHRIS: Whatever, Larry.

(End of “Flash Ahhhh!”)

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