Too Many Long Boxes!
   
   

End of Summer
 

“The Flash” TV series
proposed episode
“I am Grodd”

by Joel Ellis Rea
(aka COMALite J aka joelrea@shreve.net)

Act IV


(SCENE 1: Fade in from black to Barry’s living room. Barry, Tina, and Grodd are present. Both Tina and Barry are looking at Grodd in shock, and with good reason.)

TINA: You can’t be serious, Grodd. Rule the world?

BARRY: I can understand helping to shape world events, maybe, as you have been doing, but — rule the world? Overtly?

GRODD: Yes. It really is the only way, for several reasons. Firstly, the world just can’t go on as it’s been going, divided into separate nations. The very concept of nations is outdated, and it’s rapidly becoming a truly dangerous anachronism. There must be a one-world government, or mankind is doomed. Secondly, it’s not enough for the one world government to be ruled by normal humans — that’s just the blind leading the blind. In truth, this is something many people have realized for centuries. It’s a major aspect of many of the world’s religions, in fact: most Christians, for instance, are awaiting the Second Coming when Christ will rule the world for a thousand years. Many believers in UFOs are hoping that a superior race will intervene and solve all our problems for us. We would basically be fulfilling that role.

BARRY: I always have believed that a truly benevolent, wise dictatorship is the best possible political system, except for one thing: what happens when the wise, benevolent dictator dies? We could wind up with a Nero or a Caligula or a Hitler or worse! Sure, you and I may be up to the task, but we won’t live forever. What then?

GRODD: Our rulership of the world would hopefully be temporary. Thomas Jefferson said, “If men were angels, no government would be needed.” That is my goal — to raise all species on this planet with the capacity for intelligence — humans, simians, perhaps the cetaceans as well — to our level, and perhaps beyond, by truly perfecting Dad’s process. But we need time to do that, and the temporary rulership of the world would buy us that time by preventing mankind from destroying itself before we can truly save it. Unfortunately, the enemy we face does appear to be immortal. We will have to find out who or what it is, and defeat it, first.

BARRY: Enemy?

GRODD: The great enemy I alluded to earlier. Quite frankly, I can’t think of a better name than the likes of Ahriman, Set, Satan, etc. I have become convinced, from my experiences and studies, that mankind’s slide towards self-extinction is not accidental, or entirely mankind’s own doing. If so, I would have been able to do enough behind-the-scenes to make rulership unnecessary. Believe me, rulership is dull. I don’t want it. I would do anything to avoid it if there were any other way. But the enemy makes this impossible. This enemy has managed to foil many of my efforts, and I have only been able to barely keep pace with thwarting his (let’s assume it is a being, and a male one). I fear he knows of me now, and I know next to nothing about him except that he definitely exists. Oh, it could be an ancient conspiracy organization, like the Illuminati. Or a truly evil human who is somehow immortal, and who uses his vast experience to corrupt mankind from behind the scenes, even as I use my power and intellect to try to save it. Or even a true supernatural demonic entity of some sort. I can’t discount any possibility at this stage. Know this: I have determined from historical trends that are as distinctive as fingerprints that this enemy is largely behind the evils of Hitler, Bismark, Napoleon, Torquemada, Caligula, and more even further back in history. He was also the stimulus behind Hussein’s recent attempt to annex Kuwait. Even discounting all other reasons, for this reason alone, we must take over, and you must help me. I can’t defeat him alone. Just keeping him in check has been taking up so much of my time that I haven’t been able to spend any more time perfecting Dad’s process further.

TINA: Grodd, frankly, I think you lost us there. We’re supposed to believe that the Devil is trying to destroy mankind, and that you and Barry ruling the world together is the only force that can stop him?

GRODD: I feared you would doubt. It is the truth, however. You know that a superintelligent ape exists — and that he’s your son. You know that a man exists who can outrun the sound of his own voice. Both are in this very room. And yet you find the concept of a great enemy so hard to accept? Is it so unbelievable? Believe me, I know for a fact that this enemy exists. I fear he will soon try to eliminate me directly. I need Barry’s help!

BARRY: Is rulership truly the only way?

GRODD: Yes. This enemy works behind the scenes, as I have been doing. We must have the freedom to work openly, and that can be accomplished only if we team up. I believe I can work on a version of the chemical mix that gave you your powers, coupled with aspects of Dad’s process, that would enhance your speed far beyond its current levels. You would be able to run at speeds approaching light itself, due to a stronger version of your current time-distortion aura. This would enhance your intellect even more and also provide a way we could respond virtually instantly to anything the enemy might do, anywhere in the world.

(At this, Barry’s face takes on a look as if an idea has occurred to him, but he quickly suppresses it.)

BARRY: This is — much to think about. Give me time to think it over. Shall we meet here tomorrow night? Or better yet, somewhere more secluded? Say, the alley on Gardner between the intersections of Fox and Bates? That’s a nearly abandoned part of town. I’ll give you my answer then. At, say, seven o’clock.

GRODD: Very well, I’ll leave the two of you alone for now. Good night, partner. Good night, Mom.

(Grodd phases back to illusory human form, and walks out the door. End of Scene 1.)

(SCENE 2: Grodd has left, leaving Barry and Tina alone to discuss the merits of his proposal.)

TINA: Surely you aren’t seriously considering going along with this?

BARRY: I am considering it. I know enough about the state of the world to know that something really does need to be done, and I don’t see the powers-that-be doing so until way too late.

TINA: But to take over the world? That’s just not right. That’s what Hitler wanted to do. He honestly thought he was doing the right thing, too, you know. What would make you any different?

BARRY: Well, Hitler was insane, for one thing. I’m not. Neither is Grodd.

TINA: How do you know? How do you know that my husband’s process didn’t warp the enhanced intellect it gave him? How do you know he’s sane?

BARRY: I — I don’t. But what he says makes so much sense.

TINA: He already admitted that one of his powers is to induce suggestions. How do you know he hasn’t been using that on you, making you think his proposal is so reasonable?

BARRY: I don’t for sure, but it stands to reason that he needs me to join him of my own free will, without his influence. Otherwise, he’d have to maintain my loyalty with his powers constantly, which would interfere with his other plans. Besides, wouldn’t he have also done the same thing to you?

TINA: That’s another thing. Notice he kept talking about the two of you. He never once mentioned my part in all this. What if you accept and I decide not to? Can the two of you allow me to live, knowing what I know?

BARRY: Tina, you know I’d never hurt you, no matter what! As for Grodd, you’re his mother-figure!

TINA: Don’t take this the wrong way, Barry, but I’ve known Grodd longer than you. You’re counting on his honesty, but remember: he has admitted to deceiving both my husband and me on several occasions, up to and including hiding his abilities and faking his own death. And as you said, we were his parental figures in life, and this was when he was still a child and thus such figures were more important to him. If he would be dishonest to me, how do you know he’s being completely honest with you?

BARRY: Well…

TINA: Remember, he’s not a human being! At all! Why this concern for humanity?

BARRY: He was raised as a human, by humans, and besides, if we destroy the world in our incompetence, he dies, too.

TINA: Perhaps. But I just don’t trust him, as much as I still love him. This whole scheme just sounds — evil — to me. He’s playing on your ego, Barry. You’re a good man, and smart, and with great power of your own, but do you honestly think that qualifies you to rule the world? Is anyone so qualified?

BARRY: (pause of several seconds) — No. TINA: And what of freedom? Would there be any room for that in this New World Order?

BARRY: (another pause) — You’re right. Too many people have died for the freedoms we have. It’s too important to give up, for any reason. I’ve made my decision. I’m not going to support Grodd in ruling the world. At best, I may help him hunt down this Enemy he refers to.

TINA: I think that was just part of his attempt to convince you. Do you really think there’s a devil out there pulling the strings?

BARRY: If there is, it’s too important to ignore. But I won’t go along with Grodd’s plans for the world.

TINA: I don’t think that’s going to be enough. He needs to be stopped, Barry. If he manages to increase his powers further, no telling what he might be able to do, even without you. He could convince the world that he’s, say, cosmically telekinetic, and demand that the governments of the world turn control over to him or he’ll nova the Sun or something. If he extended his illusion abilities from the current 200 miles or whatever he said they were at to enough to cover the whole world, he could convince the world that he had the power to, say, turn the Moon around, or collapse Jupiter into a star like in that 2010 movie, or whatever. A being who could do such things for real could easily destroy the planet with a thought. He could commit the ultimate blackmail, and no one would know the difference.

BARRY: We would know. We could reveal the truth about his powers.

TINA: Not if we’re dead. Do you think he’ll let us live, knowing about him? Besides, he could simply use his illusion to keep anyone from hearing what we have to say, though that would be more of a strain. Killing us outright would be easier. If you don’t choose to support him, I think he will do just that, unless you stop him somehow.

BARRY: I think I may know of a way. I’ve been keeping something I shouldn’t have kept — something that could land me in prison if anyone ever found out. I won’t say any more, so he won’t be able to learn of it from your mind. But it may be the only chance we have against him. I hoped I’d never have to use it. Be right back! (Barry zooms off at super-speed toward his attic. End of Scene 2.)

(SCENE 3: Barry in his attic, moving objects out of the way at super-speed. Buried under a pile of odds and ends way in a corner is a strongbox with a combination lock on it. Barry opens the lock, again at super-speed, and even so it takes a few seconds, and a great many dial movements, making it quite apparent that this lock has at least hundreds of stops in its combination, which would mean an ordinary person would need hours to open it even if s/he knew the combination! Within the box is a small round blue object with a nozzle that appears to be some sort of spray device. Barry picks it up, and looks at it with a very serious, reflective look on his face. His hand trembles slightly at the memory this object evokes. He hides the sprayer under his costume, closes the strongbox but does not lock it, and leaves the attic. End of Scene 3.)

(SCENE 4: Deserted alleyway, 11:00 PM the next day, as arranged. Grodd is waiting in human guise when Barry [in Flash costume] and Tina arrive.)

GRODD: Right on time, to the hundredth of a second. Somehow, I’m not in the least surprised. So, have you decided to join me?

The FLASH: I’m sorry, Grodd, but no. We won’t interfere with your plans, but we just can’t go along with them. It goes against everything I believe in.

TINA: That’s right, son.

GRODD: You talked him out of it, didn’t you? Mother, how could you do this to me!?

The FLASH: She did try to persuade me, but she only clarified my own objections for me. I’m sorry, but I can’t betray my civilization. You’ll have to do it without me.

GRODD: Do you think me a fool? If you can’t bring yourself to participate directly, how do you expect me to believe you can bring yourself to not interfere with me? If you just let me take over, you might as well have helped me, and you know it.

The FLASH: Well, …

GRODD: You think I don’t know what you intend? You’ll let me go, and then expose me publically, making my efforts much harder to accomplish, if not impossible. Even if you don’t plan to do so now, you will, eventually. You won’t be able to live with yourself otherwise. You said you were sorry? Well, I’m sorry, too. But I just can’t allow anyone to live who knows of my existence, unless they join me.

The FLASH: Uh, when you put it that way—

GRODD: Sorry, no dice. I wanted your honest cooperation, so I could trust you. Cooperation under duress or the influence of my power is no good, because I’d have to spend too much time watching my back for your eventual betrayal. You really should have accepted. I have nothing against you personally, and I do love my Mom, but I really can’t permit either of you to live, knowing that I ex— OOOF!!

(Grodd flies backwards, and we see that  The Flash has rushed him at full speed.  The Flash then grabs Tina and they flee the alleyway.  The Flash puts Tina on the sidewalk across the street.)

 The FLASH: I had to buy enough time to get out in the open, where I can use my speed to full advantage. He’s too dangerous. I must face him out here. (He runs back across Gardner St., just as Grodd, in gorilla form, steps out of the alleyway.)

GRODD: Very good trick, reciting the periodic table of elements in your head so I wouldn’t know exactly how or when you were going to strike. That cleverness was another reason I wanted you on my side. Too bad it has to be this way. By the way, did you know that illusion can kill?

(The Flash gasps in pain suddenly, and clutches the left side of his chest.)

GRODD: Of course, you’re not really having a massive coronary. You even know that, intellectually. But your body is convinced it’s real. I’ve had to kill a few people this way already. Your organs will start shutting down in a few seconds.

(The Flash mutters to himself, “It’s not real! It’s not real! Come on, you know it’s not real! He slowly straightens up, and though still quite obviously in great pain, runs toward Grodd again. He passes right through Grodd’s apparent position. Grodd vanishes, and re-appears a few paces to the right.)

GRODD: Amazing! It takes great strength of will to overcome the body’s conviction of imminent death and the resulting shock reflex! But did you think I would be really standing where you see me? You have to lay hands on me to harm me, and if you don’t know where I really am, you can’t do that, can you? Oh, by the way.

(The Flash suddenly flies backwards several feet, and collapses to the ground, clutching his right ribcage.)

GRODD: That wasn’t an illusion. That was just a reminder of how much stronger I am physically than you. I was standing right beside you just then. I believe two of your ribs are broken. Don’t you see? You have no chance at all against me. Checkmate in one move.

The FLASH: Shut up!!

(He runs again, this time in an expanding spiral that covers the entire block of Gardner Street in less than a second. Encountering nothing, he sees that Grodd must be this time in the last place he would normally have guessed — where Grodd appears to be. He runs straight at Grodd’s image, and passes through it again. Since this time, Grodd’s image was right against the wall on the side of the street where the alley is, The Flash collides with the wall, hard. Bricks fall from it, and The Flash falls, barely conscious.)

GRODD: Oooh, good guess, figuring I might be where I really appeared that time! Unfortunately, I’m at the last place you expected me. And the most useful place for me to really be.

(Grodd’s image vanishes, and he appears right beside Tina. He grabs her head, and begins to twist. Tina struggles, for all the good it does her against Grodd’s much greater strength.)

GRODD: Checkmate. Don’t worry, Mother. You won’t feel a thing. I’m sorry it has to be this way.

(The Flash staggers to his feet, and realizes that in his current condition there is nothing he could do in time. Unless — he reaches under his costume, and pulls out the sprayer, which has somehow remained unbroken during the fight. He sprays it and it releases a visible, almost glowing blue vapor. He breathes in the vapor, and suddenly his mind is overwhelmed, and his body starts to vibrate at high speed. Grodd has just about twisted Tina’s neck to the breaking point. The Flash runs towards Grodd, despite the agony. His hand is vibrating into a blur as he reaches for Grodd’s head. The Flash’s hand phases inside Grodd’s skull, and Grodd lets out a brief simian yell of agony, surprise, rage, and fear — The Flash realizes that that’s the first and last sound he ever heard or will ever hear from Grodd’s own throat. Grodd then collapses, eyes open but glazed, still in his natural form. His hand is still around Tina’s head, but The Flash pries it off just after his body resumes normal speed.)

TINA: (rubbing her neck) How — what did you do!?

The FLASH: Remember the insane drug dealer I fought, who’d created the designer drug Blue Paradise? He sprayed me in the face with it during our battle, and in addition to messing with my head, it temporarily boosted my speed so much my molecules were able to pass through a wall. I came back and confiscated a sprayer of it, in case I ever again needed that ability. I knew I risked addiction or death if I used the stuff, so I haven’t used it until now. I reached inside Grodd’s skull just now and, well, vibrated his brain into puree. It’s over. He’s dead.

TINA: Oh my God, Barry. I know we did the right thing, but — can we be sure it was right? Besides, he was my son, Barry. My only child!

(She collapses into The Flash’s arms, in tears. End of Scene 4 and Act IV. Fade to commercial break.)


“The Flash” TV series
proposed episode
“I am Grodd”

by Joel Ellis Rea
(aka COMALite J aka j.rea1@genie.com aka joelrea@shreve.net)

Epilogue


 

(Tina is still crying a minute or so later when a police van drives up and stops and several policemen come out. One walks up to The Flash , as the others look over Grodd’s body.)

COP: I — I never believed you actually existed, Flash!

 The FLASH: Well, in my opinion, you guys are the real heroes.

COP: Thanks. Coming from you, that means a lot. What’s the story behind the ape?

The FLASH: Uh, an innocent victim, really. Some crooks had watched the movie “The Doberman Gang” and decided to try it in real life with trained gorillas. I, uh, tried to capture the gorilla, but accidentally killed him in defense of this woman. She doesn’t seem too badly hurt, but just in case, I need to rush her to the emergency room. Keep up the good work, fellahs.

(He runs off, with Tina, just as the rest of the policemen are struggling to lift Grodd’s corpse into the van.)

(But as soon as The Flash is completely out of sight, the van, the cops, and the corpse of Grodd all fade away, as if they were never there. From out of the alleyway where the fight began steps — Gorilla Grodd! He looks off in the direction The Flash was heading.)

GRODD: As I said, I cannot allow anyone to live who knows I exist. Well, now that you two think I’m dead, you don’t know that I exist. I couldn’t really have brought myself to kill you, Mom. But now I can continue to do what I have to do, without fear of exposure. I wish you had joined me, Mr. Allen. It would have been wonderful. Goodbye, Mom and Barry.

(Shifting to a new human form, completely different from any that we’ve seen before [say, an overweight older man], he walks off.)

(Fade to black. End of Epilogue, and end of episode.)

 
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