Start with the Czar d'Oz Announcement
Synopsis: In the year 2112, the characters retreated to a basement shelter to weather a monster tornado. Making an early trip to the local seat of government, they uncovered information pertaining to an experimental time machine located in Seattle. Making good their escape in the experimental TOTO vehicle, they have made it to the territory of the Southwest Czar. They've survived an encounter with two surreal characters en route Las Vegas. In Vegas they form an alliance with Jefe, the Southwest Czar, to take a short cut to the Emerald City. The trip lands them in Vancouver, Washington, slightly South of the destination.
"Spend more time…"
[On the pier in Vancouver, reversing the previous scene. The crane lifts TOTO off the ship. Frothy addresses Martin and Zeda, who prop up Julius and Peter between them.]
Martin: So, what's the deal with this line shaft bearing casualty? There is interesting conversation down the pier. The people here to hook up the water, sewage, electricity are being waved off. I heard the crew being told not to double the mooring lines. You're leaving as soon as you unload us, aren't you?
Frothy: The walls have ears, the ears have noses, and the noses have eyes. I will let you know that your team was never more than a cover story, and there was no intention of ever going to Seattle. The drama with the USS Ayers was unscripted, but the rest is playing out as intended.
Martin: Fair enough. Maybe, someday, a beer and a full story. Until then, I'll take this much.
Frothy: Spoken like a man who knows how it goes. Now, as your plans have been rather rudely upended, I suggest you relax at a hotel nearby for a day, and then press on to Seattle. Here is a suggestion. [Hands a piece of paper to Zeda.]
[Zeda, Martin, Peter, and Julius are in a cutaway TOTO, facing the audience. The screen behind shows Vancouver rolling by.]
Peter: So, what do we do now? Just drive up I-5 to Seattle? We've got to figure out how to link up with Captain Kleindrubble.
Martin: We first stay cool.
Julius: Easy for you to say. We've got families and friends we'd like to let know we're alive.
Martin: We died when that first air car blew up on Leisurely Drive.
Zeda: [Facing the two in the rear-view mirror.] That's right. You bureaucrats and academics are all about avoiding commitment. "Flexibility is the key to indecision," and you guys are Gumby and Pokey, if you've ever heard of them.
We're in this to the end. We're going to find this time machine and escape this third-world version of the US. Maybe even warn the people of this country that giving up their liberty to the House of Obama and the Czars was not what they thought it would be.
[A hotel restaurant. Zeda, Martin, Peter, and Julius sit at a table left of stage center, chatting. Three soldiers in fatigues enter and sit at another table right of stage center. A waiter takes their drink order. Some cable news channel plays on the screen at stage rear.]
Martin: How're you kids doing? Name's Martin. What's shaking?
Ralph: Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Morris, Washington National Guard. Major Frank Jones and Captain Henry Tate, respectively. It looks like you've seen some action.
Martin: Here and there. I wasn't aware of any National Guard armory around here. Is something up?
Ralph: Oh, nothing too exciting. Heading down to Oregon for routine maneuvers with their Guard. It's been in the hopper for a while. Kind of hope that this influx of people from California
[nods head toward the screen] keeps things nice and boring.
Justin: Really? What are the media drones on about now?
Ralph: Just some wacky group of revolutionaries have been shaken loose from Flyover Country by all that bad weather, and they're cruising around the country stirring up hate and discontent. There is an FBI warrant and a bulletin from the Domestic Tranquility Czar calling for information on a gang led by "Red Zeda," a supposedly statuesque redhead. She's purportedly got a gang of violent ruffians who will stop at nothing to overthrow the government. They were last seen in California, and moving North.
Peter: And so you guys are notionally on maneuvers, but actually part of a dragnet set out to stop these madmen and woman before their evil spreads.
Ralph: Well, I never said that to you. No, old Barry Cuda has us jumping through hoops with our hair on fire, trying to curry favor with the Czar, like always.
Peter: It can't be any fun to be ripped away from the Emerald City, the Land of Endless Lattes, the Seat of Czar d'Oz, for this bit of silliness. Who is this Barry?
Ralph: The commander of the Northwest Czar's ground troops. He's probably taking good care of our wives back home, as we speak. [The other officers glare.]
[The TOTO cutaway is at center stage, facing stage right. Forest goes by on the screen at stage rear.]
Peter: We're to head down to a bar called the Mohican at Pioneer Square, and meet Barry Cuda? Czar Jefe really has a spy who commands Czar d'Oz's ground troops, and he's going to meet us in a bar?
Julius: Oh for heaven's sake, Peter, of course not. We inquire after him there, and there will be a breadcrumb to get us to the next step. Some patience and savvy required.
Zeda: Let's see, we're just East of SeaTac on I-5, still South of Seattle. We're actually ahead of schedule. Do we need to stop and review anything for anyone?
Martin: No, mobility is our friend. We can get in there early. Spend more time sizing up the situation. OK, we should see Southcenter Mall to our right ahead. Yes, that looks like your standard shopping mall. Fine. We jus--
[Boom! The car shakes...]
Next Episode: Seattle
[Boom! The car shakes...]
Next Episode: Seattle
Copyright 2009, Christopher L. Smith