Flash TV series
I am Grodd
by Joel Ellis Rea
SCENE 1: (Opening theme fades to black, followed by commercials, followed by another fade to black. Fade in to the S.T.A.R. Labs laboratory room, specifically Dr. Tina McGee's workstation. There is a variety of analysis equipment and a personal computer here. Seated is Dr. Tina McGee, and standing nearby is her new assistant, a student from Central City University on a work-study program, Cory Adams, first seen in the Prologue. See Prologue for his physical description.)
TINA: (gesturing to various devices) This is the gas chromatography unit. Here is the spectroscope. Over there is one of our hypercentrifuges. This microscale is accurate to ±1 microgram. (etc. etc. etc.)
CORY: Impressive! Our school lab doesnt have anything like this!
TINA: S.T.A.R.has the best-equipped laboratories in the private sector. We're a private research facility, not a government agency, though we often do contract work for the government.
CORY: Is that computer just for real-time data aquisition and analysis, or do you store data in it as well?
TINA: Both. Ill show you as much about it as you need to know for your work here.
CORY:What, is there a lot of top secret Pentagon dirty laundry in there? (grins)
TINA: No, nothing like that. There is some sensitive information, but you wont have any reason to access that.
CORY: Got it encrypted with a password?
TINA: Well, actually, yes, I do.
CORY: Not gonna tell it to me, are you? (Cory is smiling, but is also staring very intently at Tina at this point.)
TINA: Well, actually, no, I'm not. (smiles)
CORY: (Pauses briefly, and nods very slightly. The stare relaxes, and the smile changes to a look of satisfaction, which quickly fades.)Okay. So, does this baby use MS-DOS, or what?
TINA: OS/2, actually. We use a custom application
that uses multithreading to acquire data from the instruments in real
time with one thread, and simultaneously displays analyses in graphical
form with other threads, using windowed graphics.
TINA: Hes a police scientist. We help each other out. Hes quite good at it, and is a really interesting fellow once you get to know him. His name is Barry Allen. His partner is Julio Mendez, also a competent scientist.
CORY: Is their equipment as good as this?
TINA: Nowhere near, which is why I often help them out on cases. But they get good results with what they have.
CORY: No offense, but that sounds rather dull.
TINA: Well, youre going to meet him anyway. You just might enjoy it. Ill call him now. (Walks over to the phone and begins to dial.)
CORY: (Watches her. As soon as shes out of earshot, he looks back at the computer, and mutters, under his breath:) HERMOD. Appropriate, yet obscure enough to be a good choice, Mom.
(End of Act I, Scene 1. Cross-fade out over ½ sec. to next Scene)
SCENE 2: (Cross-fade in to the chemistry lab of the Central City Police Dept. Precinct Building. Both Barry Allen and Julio Mendez are present. Barry is talking on the phone. Julio is seated at the lab table.)
BARRY: (into phone) Hold on. Ill check to see if Julio can come, too. (to Julio) Tina wants to know if you want to come with me to lunch with her and this hotshot new assistant she wants us to meet?
JULIO: I got no other plans, man. Fine with me.
BARRY: (into phone) Okay, Tina. Its a foursome, then. (pause) Well, I think that would be okay, if Garfield approves, and I dont see any reason why he wouldnt. Id love to show Cory? around. We dont have any big cases going on right now. (pause) Okay, see you in a few minutes, then. Bye. (Hangs up)
JULIO: Shes bringing him here?
BARRY: Yeah. Some kid from the U. She says hes very promising, and she thought hed be interested in seeing our setup here.
JULIO: Why, if he has access to S.T.A.R.? Thatd be like settling for a frozen chicken-fried steak when you can have prime filet mignon.
BARRY: Thats what I thought, but who knows? The kid may actually wind up interested in this as a career.
(Cut to foyer of the precinct, as Tina and Cory enter. Lieutenant Garfield is present, as are several other officers.)
GARFIELD: Oh, hi, Dr. McGee! Barry and Julio are waiting in the lab. Hey, you must be Cory Adams.
TINA: Thanks, Lieutenant.
CORY: Yes sir.
GARFIELD: I hope you take a liking to police science. We could use someone like you in a few years.
CORY: Maybe, sir. (looks somewhat bored)
(Tina and Cory exit toward the Lab. Cut to Lab as they enter. Barry and Julio are both still there.)
BARRY: Tina! Youre looking good, as usual!
TINA: You, too. Barry, Julio, Id like you to meet my new lab assistant, Cory Adams. Cory, this is Barry Allen, and this is Julio Mendez.
BARRY: (Shakes Corys hand. Brief close-up on Barrys face) Hello, Cory.
CORY: (Camera flashes to Corys face. He now has blond hair and blue eyes! Picture the kid actor from Whos the Boss [Danny Pintauro, I believe his name is] towards the end of that series. Make him much smarter-looking, and more clean-cut, and you've got it. Ricky Schrder as he was inSilver Spoons would also be a good example. His demeanor is still one of barely-disguised boredom.) Glad to meet you, Mr. Allen.
JULIO: (Again, cut to brief close-up on his face) Hey, mman! Any friend of Tinas is a friend of mine!
CORY: (Again, camera cuts to Corys face. But this time, hes Black! Now picture the actor who plays Siskos son on Deep Space 9 from early in that series, and youve got it.) Sure thing, Mr. Mendez.
(They exchange further small talk, and Barry and Julio point out the various items in the lab to Cory. Whenever someone speaks to Cory, the camera cuts to a shot of that persons face, followed by a shot to Cory for his response and his appearance differs based on who spoke to him! Hes brown haired and brown-eyed for Tina, blond and blue-eyed for Barry, and Black for Julio. Yet no one seems to notice anything strange going on, so it should soon become apparent to the viewer that each person sees Cory differently, but that for each person his appearance remains consistent. Soon, they all leave for lunch, and the camera zooms in to a close-up on a digital clock in the lab, which reads 12:17. End of Act I, Scene 2. 1-second cross-dissolve to next Scene)
SCENE 3: (Previous closeup on clock dissolves to close-up on same clock, now reading 2:23. Camera pulls back to reveal Barry and Julio alone in the Lab, lunch apparently being over and Tina and Cory having apparently returned to S.T.A.R. Labs.)
JULIO: Yknow, its really cool that S.T.A.R. is helping to give minority kids a break with that work-study program. There are some truly brilliant young brothers out there whose whole lives will just go to waste without opportunities like this.
BARRY: Did Tina or Cory mention any minority kids in the program?
JULIO: (Turns to Barry, with a strange look on his face.) Where were your eyes, man? Cory! Didnt you notice?
BARRY: Notice what?
JULIO: That hes Black! I mean, I know youre just about the most racially color-blind man I ever met, but I never knew it was literal!
BARRY: (shocked, but doesnt let it show on his face for more than half a second) Oh, well, I just dont consider skin color that important enough to really notice, I guess. Be right back. I, uh, I need to check with the Lieutenant about something.
(He leaves for the foyer, and the camera cuts to it, showing him entering, and walking over to Lieutenant Garfield.)
BARRY: (to Garfield) Sir, do you have a minute?
GARFIELD: Sure, Allen. What can I do for ya?
BARRY: Uh, just want to, uh, settle a bet with Julio. You met Cory, right?
GARFIELD: Only briefly.
BARRY: Well, he, uh, he seems to have one of those hair colors thats, uhm hard to pin down. Julio and I cant quite agree, and we have a bet going, and we need you to verify which of us is right.
GARFIELD: But you two were with him a lot longer than me.
BARRY: Yes, well, humor me. What color would you call Corys hair?
GARFIELD: Kind of an auburn. Not a flaming red, but enough to tell hes got definite Irish ancestry. I suppose you could call it a strawberry blond, but it looked redder than that to me. And somewhat curly, to boot! Goes quite well with those freckles of his. Kinda reminds me of my son, when he was that age.
BARRY: Uh, thanks! Thanks a lot, sir. (exits, with disturbed expression on his face after hes turned so that Garfield cant see it)
(Camera fades out. End of Act I, Scene 3.)
SCENE 4: (S.T.A.R. Labs exterior, at night. Its obviously quite late at night. Camera zooms in, then dissolves to an interior shot as we see Tina McGee walking towards the entrance to the lab, with a Security Guard sitting at his security station.)
GUARD: Hello, Dr. McGee. Pulling another late nighter?
TINA: Uh, yes. Just need to use the computer for a few minutes. That OK?
GUARD: Of course, maam. (Tips his hat as she walks on in.)
(The camera follows Tinas POV as she walks in. We no longer see her per se but rather see what she sees. She walks to the computer, and sits at it. It is already on, since it often has to process information overnight. She does not type, but the camera pans down to the keyboard. One by one, keys on the keyboard move down and then back up as if being pressed very slowly by invisible fingers. The camera moves its center of view from key to key just before that key is pressed. At times, the camera moves up to the screen, as if to read a prompt, then back down to the keyboard. The dialogue between the keyboard and screen goes something like this:
(Tina [though of course it isnt really her] continues to stare at the screen for some time. She then murmurs [her back is still to us], To think I met him today. Had I thought to scan him, I wouldve known then. Not that it matters, really. An accident! Hes not like me after all. How disappointing. Camera fades to black. End of Act I, Scene 4.)
All characters are DC Comics
This story is © 1999 by Michael Hutchison.
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