Too Many Long Boxes!
   
   

End of Summer
 

Being Jon Peters

By Matt "Star" Morrison

INT. SECRET LABRATORY IN KORD INTEPRISES - DAY

A large laboratory, underneath the Kord Interprises building. Various bits of creative, non-violent fighting equipment lie about the room; the most notable of which is a large blue bug-shaped flying ship. We see two men enter. One is Ted Kord, aka The Blue Beetle. He is dressed in a blue business suit and looks extremely annoyed. This is due to the presence of the second man; Booster Gold- former crime-fighting and business partner of Ted's.

      TED

For the last time Booster, no! We are DONE working together!

      BOOSTER

Ah c'mon Ted… it was an honest mistake!

      TED

Honest mistake? Is that what you call hijacking the Justice League teleportation system for the new business you ASSURED me would be completely on the up-and-up?

      BOOSTER

It was your idea in the first place!

      TED

Yeah, I'll cop to that. I'll admit that I was the one who had the idea for creating a parcel delivery service that utilized teleportation technology for fast, precise parcel delivery. I'll also admit to having put up the money for it… but as for developing the technology and overseeing the company.. that was all YOU, Booster! All the screw-ups were YOUR fault. It was YOU who lied to me about having designed a safe teleportation device that could work on a world-wide scale. It was YOU who hacked the computers on the Justice League teleport system to run the business. And it was YOU who wound up making a deal with an intergalactic slave trader…

      BOOSTER

I didn't know that was THE "The Supplier"….

      TED

… who nearly killed Plastic Man because of you. And with Green Lantern and him testifying against us, it was US who got a censure from the Justice League!

      BOOSTER

(beat) Well, it is partly your fault….

      TED

How!?! How is any of this my fault?!?!

      BOOSTER

If you hadn't been given me the money and the idea, none of this would have happened in the first place.

      TED glares at BOOSTER

      TED

(beat)

Get out of here.

      BOOSTER

Aren't you even going to ask why I flew all this way?

      TED

I don't care. Get out!

      BOOSTER

But this is important!

      TED

Not THAT important.

      BOOSTER

It is! It is! A possible danger to the world and…. (Hesitatingly) I need your help.

      TED

      (pauses)

Go on…

      BOOSTER

Well… something happened with the teleporter… I think.

      TED

WHAT happened?

      BOOSTER

Well… I think you should see this for yourself….

INT. BLUE AND GOLD EXPRESS OFFICES - DAY

It is several hours later in the lobby of the now defunct Blue And Gold Express. The room smells dusty and Infant cobwebs can be seen in the corners. We focus on The door as it is pushed open. Booster enters first.

      BOOSTER

Here we are!

      TED

So what is this matter of world safety you want me to look at?

BOOSTER leads TED to a door. It is labeled "Custodial Supplies"

  TED

THIS is it? A janitor's closet.

      BOOSTER

This is no ORDINARY broom closet!

BOOSTER swings open the door to the closet. The room is suddenly bathed in blue light, which emanates from the closet.

      TED

In the name of all that is… this looks like a portal!

      BOOSTER

Exactly!

      TED

Okay… aside from blame-shifting, why do you need me here exactly?

      BOOSTER

As a witness. I dove into it once and I want to see if it works again.

      TED

What works?

      BOOSTER

I'm not sure yet… but if it works like I think it does, I'll be back in half an hour.

BOOSTER dives into the portal, disappearing with a giant SLURPING noise, not unlike a person with no teeth eating soup.

INT. BLUE AND GOLD EXPRESS OFFICES - DAY

TED sits on the ground, bored. Suddenly the door outside sweeps open as BOOSTER strides in heroically.

      BOOSTER

I came, I saw, I bought the T-shirt!

      TED

Okay… so what exactly is this?

      BOOSTER

Like you said. It's a portal, Beetle. It takes you inside the head of Jon Peters. You see the world through John Peters' eyes for about fifteen minutes…

      TED

Sounds delightful. One question… who is Jon Peters?

      BOOSTER

He's a movie producer. One who helped make some of the best movies of the 20th century.

      TED

Okay… like what?

      BOOSTER

Lots of things. He's very well respected. He made that movie, With Honors?
Rainman? Gorillas in the Mist?

      TED

Yeah… I've seen them. Why is this portal going into his head? And where did it take you after fifteen minutes?

      BOOSTER

It boots you out into a Porta-Pottie on the Warner Brothers studio lot.

      TED

That's odd in more ways then one. Okay, so what good is this… I mean, aside from the pure intellectual curiosity of it?

      BOOSTER

Well, here's the kicker, Ted. I sort of…. lied about only going through this once before now.

      TED

What? How many times DID you go through it?

      BOOSTER

Ummm… couple of dozen… but there's a good reason… it took me a while to figure out who the guy was… I had to wait for him to open his wallet and peak at his driver's license. And then there was the bit I overheard… the bit about a new movie…

      TED

Still waiting for a point, Boosty.

      BOOSTER

I'm getting to that, Ted! Anyway, one time I went in… and he was talking about a movie based on Superman's dying. The whole thing with Doomsday… he's making a
movie about that!

      TED

And we're in it?

      BOOSTER

I don't know Ted… I just found this out a few days ago… but here is the weird thing. He was talking about this idea with some other people, and he said that he's Superman is one of his favorite fictional characters….

      TED

Fictional?

      BOOSTER

Yes Ted… near as I can figure, this portal goes not just into a man's head, but to the head of a man on a world where all us superheroes aren't real…

      TED

(beat) Okay, but again     aside from curiosity, why should this matter? I mean, the theory of alternate worlds has been around forever. And it already got proven true a month ago when we nearly collided with that alternate Earth, remember? What is the point?

      BOOSTER

The point? The point is that this is a very weird thing. It raises all sorts of philosophical questions about the nature of self…Questions about the existence of the soul. Am I me? Is Peters Peters? Was the Buddha right when he said that the idea of self is an illusion?

      TED

(stunned) Boosty… that's so deep. You're right! I mean, think of all the wisdom this could bring the world…. Think of what we could learn by finding out how other people view us when they think we aren't real….

      BOOSTER

(grins) Think of how much money we can make off this.

      TED

(beat) Oh no!

      BOOSTER

Oh yes.

      TED

Booster!

      BOOSTER


We'll sell tickets, Ted! 300 dollars for 15 minutes!

      TED

But there's something profound here, Booster! We can't exploit that just to try and make a buck!

      BOOSTER

(shrugs) Okay. Fine. I'll do it myself. I was going to offer a partnership to you, but this way it's more money for me.

      TED

You wanted to be partner up with me on this?

      BOOSTER

Yeah. It'll be fun! Just like old times… and, we'll be doing it to share this miracle with others… to allow others to contemplate this cosmic enigma….

      TED

(grins, dollar signs spinning in his eyes) But mostly we're doing it for the money.

INT/EXT MONTAUGE

We get treated to a variety of images, showing Beetle and Booster cleaning the office, changing the sign out front to read "J.P. Inc." and handing out flyers and pamphlets with the following written on it (we see this in close-up)

      FLYER

"Ever want to be someone else?
Now you can be.
This is not a Joke!
Only three hundred dollars for fifteen minutes.
Visit J.P. Inc., Corner of 317th and Broadway"

EXT. BLUE AND GOLD EXPRESS OFFICES/ WARNER BROS LOT – DAY

We see another montage, with people lining up around the block outside the building. We see Booster happily taking up money and escorting a man to the portal. We then see a row of Porti-Potties in a row, the familiar Warner Brothers' Watertower in the background. The man emerges from the portable toilet, looking rather amazed. He is taken by the hand by Ted (in his Blue Beetle costume), escorted to "The Bug"where a small lounge is set up. Several previous customers sit here drinking coffee, talking or just reading… passing the time before they are presumably flown back to New York.

INT. J.P. INC OFFICES- LATE AFTERNOON

It is later afternoon, about a week after opening. Booster sits behind a desk, counting the day's takings as Ted enters.

  TED

Booster. We have to talk.

      BOOSTER

Relax, Ted. Your half is all set.

      TED

It's not that, Booster… didn't you notice anything odd about the passengers today?

BOOSTER shakes his head no.

      TED

They seemed… well, I don't know… less enthralled than the earlier groups and more… shocked… like they had seen something horrible and confusing. Frightening even.

      BOOSTER

Relax, Ted. They were probably overwhelmed by the sheer spirituality of the experience.

BOOSTER grins maniacally as he shuffles a wad of hundred dollar bills in his hand. TED looks at the bills, transfixed.

      TED

You're probably right. After all, we're used to seeing this kind of thing on a regular basis. Most people aren't.

      BOOSTER

Absolutely. Now c'mon. It's Ladies Night down at 'Warriors' and I'm sure there are a few women there who would love to meet a couple of heroes like us. And if the costumes don't impress them there's always our good friends; Mr. Grant and Mr. Franklin.

EXT MONTAGE

We see Beetle observing more and more people leaving the porti-potty. The days appear at the bottom of the panel/screen as time progresses. By the end of the week, the very last man is literally stunned into incoherent mumbling…

INT. J.P. INC OFFICES- EARLY EVENING

The offices again, this time two weeks after opening. Again, Booster is counting up the totals for that day as Beetle pushes the doors open.

      BOOSTER

Beetle! We've done even better than last week… and without TV commercials, no less.

      TED

Booster, we have a problem.

      BOOSTER

Yes, we do my friend. We're going to need to find a second bank…

      TED

Could you please stop thinking about money for a minute?

      BOOSTER

Probably, but I'd really hate that minute.

      TED

No! We need to talk. The last bunch of customers today? They were in a bad state, Boosty. One woman was crying… the Big Marine guy? He was sobbing like a baby… the very last person… that elderly man? He was pale as a sheet… he looked like he was one step away from a heart attack… I think there is something wrong with the portal.

      VOICE

Indeed, Ted. I felt the shock dealt to those people's minds from Hong Kong.

TED spins around to see J'ONN J'ONZZ, The Martian Manhunter. He is muscular, with green skin and a stoic demeanor.

      TED

J'onn! Thank God.

      J'ONN

It is far too soon to give thanks, Ted. I'm afraid that what we have here is a good deal more dangerous than you think.

      BOOSTER

I didn't think ONE little wormhole to a parallel dimension could be that dangerous…

      J'ONN

It is not the portal itself, Booster. Such anomalies frequently open and close… much more frequently than one would care to contemplate at times. But this one is very dangerous because of it's destination, not it's nature.

      BOOSTER

What's so dangerous about the thoughts of one film producer ?

      J'ONN

Perhaps you can tell us…

J'ONN begins to approach BOOSTER, his hands moving upward to grab the power-suit clad superhero.

      J'ONN

Ted, if you would get the door for me…

      BOOSTER

(nervously) Now wait J'onn… why don't you go in? I've already seen it but you haven't gone….

      J'ONN

I should be able to read your thoughts and see it, Booster. Besides, the very fact that you have seen it should allow you to know what is amiss.

BOOSTER starts to say something as J'ONN grabs him. Despite BOOSTER'S struggling, the Martian easily carries the hero to the portal door and throws him through.

INT. JOHN PETER'S OFFICE- DAY

We see a rather nice office. A poster for the movie "A Star Is Born" is seen hanging on the wall. We see this office from the perspective of the person sitting behind the desk. A large man in his late-twenties sits in front of this desk holding a note pad. This is KEVIN SMITH. We hear Booster in Voice Over. (V.O)

      BOOSTER (V.O)

Wow! Here I am again….

We then hear a new voice. This is JON PETERS. It is obvious we see the scene through his eyes, and as such, we hear only his voice.

      JON

First of all, Kevin, I would just like to say how happy we are to have you on board this project… and that I'm glad you were able to fly down here from Jersey to discuss the script with me.

      KEVIN

Oh, it's no problem. I know how important it is to get the script worked out perfect and I thought you might have a few questions….

      JON

Questions… yes. Actually, this script raises several questions in my mind, Kevin. Like…. Who is Kal-El?

      KEVIN

See, I tried not to go overboard on it, but you're right… that is a major theme of the script. Who is Kal-El? Is it just the phenomenal level of power that makes Superman sup…

      JON

No, no, no…Kevin. I mean who is this Kal-El person? Is he an alien?

      KEVIN

(grinning uneasily) Kal-El is Superman. It is his Kryptonian name….

      JON

Uh-huh. Kevin, didn't we already discuss going too heavy on the technical terms?

      KEVIN

That's not technical. That's a part of his character. They mentioned it in the Christopher Reeve Superman movie…

      JON

Right… I never did like that much… the flying effects look so cheap.

      KEVIN

Well, that WAS before Industrial Light and Magic was founded…

      JON

Whatever. Speaking of which, I was wondering if you'd be willing to redo these scenes where Superman is flying all around?

      KEVIN

(beat) Why?

      JON

I just don't like the idea of Superman flying… it just reminds me of those horrible, horrible effects… 

      KEVIN

Well they have improved them since then…

      JON

GOOD Point, Kevin… perhaps we can have him fly. After all, that one movie had men in black coats flying around and it looked good. Oh, that reminds me. I have a not here from the costume designers… I thought I'd get your opinion on it.

A hand holds up a colored sketch. The sketch is of a man in a black leather uniform with a black trenchcoat. A letter "S" is printed in metal studs on the man's leather shirt, almost as an after thought.

      JON

Well, that do you think?

      KEVIN appears to be thinking "Help Me, I work for an idiot"

      KEVIN


It's… not the old costume.

      JON

Well, we didn't like the old costume.

      KEVIN

We?

      JON

Oh, me, a couple of other producers… our own little informal focus group. They all agreed with me that Superman's costume is way too… how should I put this delicately… pink.

      KEVIN

Pink?

      JON

Yes, FAR too foppish and prissy for a MAN of Steel. Especially that cape… the whole thing just screams "Pink". Not like this studded black leather uniform.

      KEVIN seems on the verge of comment, but just closes his eyes.

      JON

But getting back to the script… now, I'm glad to see that you wrote in the Polar Bears I wanted, guarding the Fortress of Solitude…

      KEVIN seems to shudder involuntarily.

      JON

But I can't seem to find the giant spider,

      KEVIN

That's the Thangarian Snare Beast.

      JON

The what now?

      KEVIN

Thangarian… as in Thangar… it's this planet where Hawkman comes from?

      JON just gives him a blank stare.

      KEVIN


(sighs) But I guess Brainiac could just have a regular giant spider in his menagerie.

      JON

Speaking of whom, what do you think of Tim Allen?

KEVIN stares blankly.

      JON

As Brainiac?

      KEVIN

(dumbfounded) Is he the only choice?

      JON

We'll, we wanted to get Jim Carrey but that's going to be near impossible with his asking price now. We nearly broke the budget getting him for "Batman Forever". And with Sean Penn having an Oscar nomination now, he'll be wanting more money to play Superman.

      KEVIN

Wait… Sean Penn is being considered for Superman?

      JON

Yes, I asked him myself in fact. He's really quite eager to do the part… and he does do that "violent killer" thing so well… had that caged animal mystique to him…

      KEVIN

And you want this guy playing Superman?

      JON

Him or Nicholas Cage. Nic would be a good Superman… he's good at doing that whole "exploring the dark sides" thing. He could get down to what makes Superman feel so isolated from the world… what makes him angry…

      KEVIN just sighs deeply.

      JON

Is something wrong?

      KEVIN

Well, yes. In the comics, the cartoons… everyplace, in fact… Superman does not kill. Ever. Under any circumstance… nor does he really have a dark side.

      JON

Well as I keep reminding you Kevin, this is show business… not the comics business. Oh, and that reminds me… I want to cut this scene where Superman and Lois Lane talk for five minutes about how they feel about each other.

      KEVIN

(exasperation bursting forth) What? That's the most touching scene in the whole movie! The two of them expressing to each other how they feel for one another for what may well be the last time they see each other again… that's some of the best dialogue I've ever written…

      JON

Kevin, it's not about how good the dialogue is. It's about how many action figures and T-shirts we can sell. Now the kids are going to be bored senseless by this five minute stretch…we could have so much action go in there… have Superman change into a special suit… perhaps piloting a special Supermobile….

      KEVIN

(suddenly) Look! This is not that hard to grasp. Superman flies! He doesn't kill people! He is not a caged animal or a savage anything. He wouldn't use something as deadly as a carnivorous BEAR to guard the Fortress of Solitude… he has a lot of high technology in that base that would act as a better security system than a damn polar bear. And most importantly, he does not wear black leather; he wears the same blue and red uniform, WITH a cape!

      JON

Okay, Kevin… I know this is your first real script and that you're bound to be a little defensive…

      KEVIN

Defensive nothing! Did it ever occur to you that maybe the reason your last bunch of movies bombed was because instead of focusing on making a movie with real characters, and an interesting plot you just treated the whole movie as one big marketing scam? You spend millions on eye candy for a bunch of kids who don't know better so they'll beg mommy and daddy to buy them all the action figures and playsets and t-shirts and other cheap crap that you make while making the parents fall asleep in the middle of the show?

      BOOSTER (V.O)

      Oh Lord… this is horrible….

       We see a flash of light as we fade to…


EXT. WARNER BROS LOT – NIGHT

We see a stunned BOOSTER stumble forth from the stall. He is caught by J'ONN. TED stands next to them, looking as pained as BOOSTER. The usually stoic J'ONN also seems oddly pained.

      J'ONN

That ranks just behind the Joker's Mind as the one of the sickest psyches I have ever had the misfortune to read.

      BOOSTER

(sobs) I don't want to remember…. I don't want to remember….

      J'ONN

You could have it much worse, Booster.

      TED

(openly weeping) Worse? How could it be worse?

      J'ONN

You only saw the illogical arguments of his conversation, Ted. Through Booster, I was able to examine his entire mind… let us just say he has several ideas for Batman that are best not contemplated… for now, I think it wise that I telepathically erase all memory of this incident of from you too… after we do two things.

      BOOSTER

What two things?

      J'ONN

First, we are going to get a large explosive and destroy that building…. Your are then going to use your funds from this enterprise to buy us several hundred boxes of Oreos.

      TED

Why?

      J'ONN

Because I am going to need a good deal of comfort food as soon as lose this strange urge to vomit…

 
Return to the Top of the Page

Now that you've read this piece,
discuss it in the Fanzing Forum!

     
 
All characters are ™ DC Comics
This story is © 2000 by Matt Morrison.

Fanzing is not associated with DC Comics.
All DC Comics characters, trademarks and images (where used) are ™ DC Comics, Inc.
DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.

LinkExchange
 
Fanzing site version 7.4
Updated 7/27/2010