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The Golden Age

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                                                                              Scene 1

 

[Our scene opens in a large theater. The theater itself is moderately well-kept, though the odd sticky seat or tossed popcorn container remains. There are about 50 or so people watching the film at hand; the men are all dressed in fine suits, and many wear ties and fedoras, with slicked back hair. The women wear anything from long dresses to mini-skirts, and their hair is either long and styled, moderate and somewhat puffy, moderate and, again, styled, or short and sleek. Makeup among the women is also common, though not a necessity. On average, there are a tad more women in the theater then men; an average that will increase in the oncoming months.

Sitting right up close to the screen is a woman and a man; the woman, dressed in a brown mini-skirt and with moderate, styled hair, is laid back in her chair with two closed fingers pressed against a cheek; she seems rather bored. Her male partner, on the contrary, seems the opposite. He's dressed in a red suit, and a matching fedora&tie, and his eyes are practically boring into the movie screen; he is utterly entranced with whatever he is seeing.]

 

Reporter On Movie Screen: No, I don't think so; no. Mr. Kane was a man who got everything he wanted and then lost it. Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn't get, or something he lost. Anyway, it wouldn't have explained anything... I don't think any word can explain a man's life. No, I guess Rosebud is just a... piece in a jigsaw puzzle... a missing piece.

 

Mr.Kane: Roooosseebuuuuuuuddd...

 

[The credits roll, and while everyone is leaving and either talking about how they are confused at the film, how they hated the film, or – a select few – how the film was an under-appreciated breakthrough for cinema, the man in red is simply blown away in his chair speechless as the woman beside him gives him a sideway glance.]

 

Woman in Brown: That good?

 

[The man in red is still stuck in his seat for a moment, before the voice of the woman beside him finally fully registers. His head strangely jilts foward; almost as if he were still starting at the screen one moment, and then instantly looking at the woman the next.]

 

Man in Red: You kidding?! I finally get to slow down enough to see this flick – the one everyone's either calling the film of the century, or the flop of the millenia – and now, I see that the first crowd's absolutely right! It... it was... hell, even if everyone else calls this movie a turd, you can bet that I'll be the first to correct 'em!

 

Woman in Brown: Eh.

 

Man in Red: [Feigns shock and dismay.] 'Eh?'

 

Woman in Brown: Eh.

 

Man in Red: [Being playful] Oh, come on, Joan; we finally get to see a movie together, and this is what I get? 'Eh?'

 

Joan: Oh, Jay, that's just honestly what I thought! I mean, it's... different, I'll give you that. Still, maybe if it had Clark Gable in it...

 

Man in Red [Feigns anger] Oh? And what has Mr.Gable got that Mr.Wells ain't got? Or that I ain't got, for that matter?

 

Joan: [Giggles] Oh, Jay! You can be such a child sometimes!

 

Jay: Hey, I resemble that remark!

 

Joan: I know you do.

 

[Both laugh for a moment. However, their faces soon slowly turn to expressions of insecurity, anxiousness, and even a tinge of fear.]

 

Joan: ...You know... it was really nice to be able to do this... before--

 

Jay: [Reassuringly] I know, honey, I know. But... ever since last December... ever since that day – hell, even before then--

 

Joan: I know. The whole country's been in a scare. Even before that attack... before Pearl Harbor--

 

Jay: Look, baby, let's not try to talk about this now, okay?

 

Joan: Jay. We need to talk about this at some point, and we might as well talk about it now.

 

Jay: [Scratching his head in a look of annoyance.] ...Fine, fine. Jeez. But let's do this somewhere a bit less... conspicuous, m'kay?

 

[A mere second and an incomprehensible blur later, and the pair are at what appears to be a college dorm. It's fairly neat and orderly, aside from a few scattered papers and other objects about. Almost as if the resident  wants to be as neat as possible, but doesn't always have the time for that to be so.

 

Joan: ...Remind me again how I'm not dizzy and puking my guts up after that?

 

Jay: [Tips up his hat.] Don't really know. Far as I can tell, there's some sort of force that helps protect both me and others while I'm doing this, but I still don't really know it works.

 

Joan: [Visibly annoyed.] Gotcha. Okay, so; we were saying?

 

Jay: [REALLY doesn't want to talk about this, but is starting to do so anyway.] Okay, look. Yes, due to my... 'talents', I'm likely going to be called in some time soon--

 

Joan: But Jay--!

 

Jay: Hey, even if I was some average joe, I'd just get drafted! I'm only 25; prime age for it, I'm sure.

 

Joan: ...Yes, I suppose...

 

Jay: They know about me, you know. Not about who I really am, no, but about me. It's gotten all over the country, maybe even the whole world by now; that there's some nut in a pair of jeans, a metallic bowler hat, and a red sweater with a giant lighting bolt strapped to the front cruising around the Twin Cities and knocking down any Tom, Dick&Harry that's up to no good. Bank robberies, muggings, etc.al. But...

 

Joan: But what?

 

Jay: [Confused]: But I don't even know if that's really good enough anymore. My father served in WWI, you know. Went up against Kaiser Wilhelm and the holy hell of Germany and everyone else way back then. He taught me something about protecting what's yours. About protecting... [He stares at Joan momentarily; she briefly appears puzzled.]] About protecting what you care for. And after the harbor got blasted to smithereens, well... I don't really know if staying here, staying put in the good ol' Twin Cities – if that's going to be enough anymore. Even if I had a choice in the matter, I think... I think I'd just go and sign myself up.

 

Joan: [Arms crossed:] Would you, now?

 

Jay: Look, I know it means leaving you here alone, but you won't really be alone; with me and my speed, why, I can probably visit you every other weekend! [His smile now is so wide it's practically beaming.]

 

Joan: ...I guess. ...But, what if you meet someone--

 

Jay: Someone else? Please! There's only one gal out there for me, gorgeous, and I'm lookin' right at'er!

 

Joan: Now that's what I'm talking about! [Her expression then gets more serious once again.] ...Guess you really don't have a choice. ...Do you know what they're going to do with you?

 

Jay: [His expression gets more serious as well, but still with a slight grin upon his face.] Far as I can tell, the rumors are true; there's other people out me like there – people with their own gifts, their own talents, helping out and doing what they can. Some aren't quite as... 'talented' as myself, but hey; we all gotta' do our part! [Jay lets out a big toothy grin.]

 

Joan: [Arms crossed.] Jay.

 

Jay: Hey, alright, alright! ...Anyway, there's other people like me out there, and the government's been rounding them all up and trying to get their support. There's a few nuts, like the Laughing Mask or the Witness--

 

Joan: You mean the mask-wearing gun-holding psycho and the nut who only takes down crooks after the perp is killed? I know about them, definitely; they're on the NYPD's most wanted.

 

Jay: Yeah, them, I'm not working with. But there are other guys out there who really just want to make a difference for one reason or another, and have the power and skills to do so, if not both. Some are just... a bit more aggressive about it then others.

 

Joan. I'm sure. ...Look, I know-- I know this is something you gotta do. Just... just visit me when you can. Please?

Jay: Doll- [He instantly wraps his hands around her; she lets out a 'Oh!' in surprise and delight.] -you bet I will. In a Flash.

 

Joan: [Lowers her eyes seductively.] But.. you don't know exactly  who you'll be working with, correct?

 

Jay: [His eyes start to lower as well.] They're still working on that. Far as I can tell, they're going to break us up into different units, if we agree to join. If we don't, they'd probably just draft us anyway. But I think I'm gonna' be in the big one.

 

Joan: Well... how about a real big one before you take off, Mr.Flash?

 

Jay: [A tad befuddled.] I... don't really foll-

 

Joan: [Gives Jay a quick peck on the lips, before smiling coyly.]

 

Jay: [Now getting the hint] Oh, now I follow!

 

[Cue the two kissing each other deeply and intimately, as the scene fades to black...

 

Scene 2

 

Man in Gaudy Costume: Colonel, sir, with all due respect... you can't be serious.

 

[Our scene opens in a long room in the Pentagon; two men are seated at a very long table, with chairs neatly sitting all across it's length. Sitting in the middle across from each other are two men. One is an old, tough, craggy officer, clad in a green off-field army suit. His hair is white and somewhat short, yet combed impeccably. He also has a long mustache which he continues to twirl almost indefinitely, and in great annoyance as he casts a long glare at the man across from him. The other man is much younger by comparison, in his late 20's or so, and is dressed in an outfit that one could swear was made in the dark; green tights, red boots, an equally red and much more baggy shirt decorated with a large yellow circle with a green lantern in the center, a long purple cape with a high collar, and a small black mask across the eyes, and a small green ring upon the middle finger of his right hand. His short blond hair does not exactly compliment his already garish attire. He's holding in his left hand what appears to be some sort of document, and with his other, he's pressing quite hard across his temple with just a touch of anger.]

 

Colonel: I'm always serious. ...Except when I'm not, of course.

 

Man in Gaudy Costume: And which is it this time, I wonder?

 

Colonel: [Just a hint of a grin appears upon his face.] Mr... Scott, was it? Let me be perfectly clear. You are not here because I ordered it. If I had ordered it, I'd be, quite frankly, sauced to the gills, and almost certifiably insane. No; your being here is due to someone with a higher authority then mine, of that, you can be damn well certain.

 

Mr.Scott: Alan Scott. And I appreciate your... enthusiasm sir, but to be honest, I'd say I have as much right now as you do.

 

Colonel: And what makes you say that, son?

 

Alan: Well, it's just that I've really only been at this for... I don't know, a year? Maybe two?

 

Colonel: That's mighty assuring.

 

Alan: [Ignores Colonel's remark.] And I'm still working this out. This... 'lantern', where it really came from, what it can do – what I can do.

 

Colonel: Everyone's still tryin' to figure that out son, 'specially in these Godforsaken days. But, despite my... misgivings, you were still brought here for a purpose, and it's my job, much as I hate to say it, to see that you do it, and to help you anyway I can.

 

Alan: That's reassuring. Still, Sir, I'm not even sure what it is I'm supposed to do.

 

???: And that's where I come in.

 

[Strolling in o the room is a tall ,broad-armed man dressed in blue spandex from his head to his ankles. He's wearing a matching pair of red boots&red gloves, and there's a giant white star practically slapped onto his chest, with a series of red&white stripes circling around his stomach like a jail-cell, reaching down to just above the waist. A white 'A' can be seen on his forehead, with a little wing on each side of his noggin. His arms in between his hands&shoulders are white. The only parts of his body that aren't covered in spandex are his eyes, mouth, and jaw, and in his right hand, he's carrying a large, round shield; a giant white star can be seen in the middle, laying upon a blue circle; a red circular line, a white line of the same, and another red line can be seen circling around the blue circle&white star.

The man, bearing a calm&relaxed smile and warm, welcoming eyes, takes a seat at the table next to the Colonel, and rests his shield beside himself.]

 

Alan: ...Captain America, I take it?

 

Cap: [Still smiling.] So you've heard of me.

 

Alan: Who hasn't?  You've been practically all over the news; heck, all you have to do is walk into some convenience store, and whole rows of Captain America comics can be seen piling on the racks.

 

Cap: [Scratching the back of his head] I... guess I'm pretty popular these days.

 

Alan: Yeah, no kidding.

 

Cap: Hey, you're not too shabby yourself. Didn't you catch a plane straight out of the sky after it's engines burned out? Now that's news-worthy stuff, let me tell ya!

 

Alan: [Now scratching the back of his own head] Well, I don't like to brag, but...

 

Colonel: A-hem! May I remind you 'gentlemen' that the reason the both of you are allowed to so much as step foot inside this establishment, and converse among myself and yourselves dressed up like you're at a Halloween party is because we're here to discuss something that the higher-ups feel is rather important. So important in fact, that they'd let you two in here. You,-- [He swivels his neck straight towards Alan] because you're both the most well-known hero outside of blue-boy on the left, and, from what I understand, you pack quite a wallop, despite still 'working this out', according to you. And you,-- [His neck swivels again, now turning towards Cap] you are well on your way to becoming an American institution. So you two have the privilege of being able to give your input on just how all this is going to work.

 

Alan: How what is going to work, Colonel?

 

Colonel: [Reaches under the table, pulls out what appears to be some sort of document and slaps it onto the table's surface.] 'What' would be this.

 

Alan: ...And what exactly is 'this', sir?

 

Cap: That, Mr.Green Lantern sir, if it's what I think it is, is probably the first step of something that will hopefully do some real good in this war.

 

Alan: So that's it. Sir, with all due respect, I'm just as much ready and willing to serve my country as anyone, but in this case, why didn't you just send me a draft notice?

 

Colonel: Oh, you're getting drafted alright, young man; just not quite in the way you'd expect. Frankly, there's been a lot of folks like you – 'Mystery Men', as you tend to be called – popping up around this country, and in even a few places besides. And, with things getting as dire in this war as they seem to be, you've all become quite the commodity; a very valuable resource, or so I'm told. To that end, you, you, and all the rest of you, are going to be divided into... into Squadrons, you could say, to help tackle this war in the best ways you can. We've already got a small Sqaudron set up here on the homefront; the Liberty Legion, they call it. But the bulk of our forces is gonna' be sent straight into the front, and you boys – you boys are gonna' be the head-honcho's, at least to start, of the first, the biggest, and, hopefully, the all-star best of our overseas Squadrons.

 

Alan: [Two fingers are put to his cheek out of sheer skepticism.] And what would that be, Sir?

 

Colonel: Now, keep in mind, this is gonna' sound corny as all hell, but our good ol' USA is in such a fervor lately, the masses are gonna' eat this up like if Abraham Lincoln himself rose out of the grave.

 

Cap: And would would that be, Sir?

 

Colonel: To put it simply, good Captain; The Invaders For Justice.