15-16 years ago, friends of mine participated in this online collaborative thing called ORI Epic, which was basically fanfic for a bunch of bands with mythos like Servotron, Man or Astroman, and Operation Reinformation. Hot on the heels of this, I came up with an idea with a friend of mine David Orr about these time traveling firefighters who solve historical fires. Alas real life took over, and the idea was forgotten but not before this first act was emailed to Mr. Rick Vodicka, who in kind sent it to me this week.
I present to you:
CHRONOFLAME: Blazing Through History (working title)
- Bruno, a firefighter
- Rex, Bruno’s “partner”
- Moses, a cranky prophet
- Aaron Hitler, a European aristocrat
- Jonathan Brushneck, the Fire Chief who makes his own rules, but hates when you play by yours.
- Joaquim Slinko, a time travel specialist
- Dildoledes, a greek scholar in Pompeii and regular bathhouse attendee
- Al Capone, a mobster and setter of the Great Chicago fire
- Oscar Swellbelly, the firefighters’ archnemesis
- Pawny Mittens, Rex and Bruno’s “girlfriend”
- Borromel the Swarthy, holder of the sacred Encyclopedia Panmillenia
Downtown Dresden, 1945 6:00 PM. Fires ravage the city in the wake of Allied firebombing. Millions of lives are threatened. We see a dark alley in the heart of the city, slowly being covered in soot. All of the sudden, a powerful time machine rolls onto the screen. The pod bay door opens and out step Rex and Bruno.
Rex: Looks like a heavy one, Bru.
Bruno: Yeah, but nothing we can’t handle… together. (Lingering glance)
Rex: HOSE IT!
Foam covers the screen. Title sequence begins.
Exterior of a expensive German estate, home of Aaron Hitler, patron to the arts.
Hitler: That was a close one… it almost got to the orphanage.
Rex: And what’s more, we just barely saved the German poetry archive.
Bruno: That was at the orphanage?
Hitler: (Distractedly) Yes, yes of course.
Bruno: Well, thanks for the hospitality, Mr. AARON Hitler….
Rex: You’re a kindly patron to the arts.
Hitler: (A brief intake of air, and then an exhalation of satisfaction) I love children and I treat the oppressed with a gentle bearing.
Rex: Indeed, you’re a man’s man.
(A short pause to reflect in Herr Hitler’s exuberant benevolence)
Hitler: Before you go, you need to see the animals.
Bruno: I see two right now!
Camera pans to Hitler and Rex, then follows their gaze to look at mounted deer heads.
Wipe to time travel sequence…
(Exterior old office park, tattered sign reads Slinko’s lab.)
Slinko: (As our heroes enter) This is the best fruit chew ever!
Slinko: Welcome back, fellas! The chief wants to see you! Where have you been? I expected you back ten microns ago!
(Rex and Bruno stare blankly.)
Slinko: Chronos’ Beard! Just a little temporal humor! Get outta my lab!
(Cut to chief’s office.)
Chief Brushneck: Sit down and close the door. Okay, you two schlemiels. How many times have we been over Timecode Regulation 643A-18?
(They smile blandly)
Chief Brushneck: (Holds up four fingers) Four times, guys. Four times.
Rex: (Bored, distracted, staring at nails) We can explain.
Brushneck: I don’t need anymore of your little yuppie-assed explanations. You fools still have no grasp on the dire consequences (dramatic muzik) of your actions while in the Chronozone. We are talking Irreversible damage to the fabric of time… and neither of you have a sewing machine big enough for that job.
Bruno: (Standing, Spotlight) My grandmother was 6’2.” Her arms were the limbs of a redwood. She could split an apple in her fist. Once, she gave my entire seventh grade class a whupping we wouldn’t soon forget! I’ll tell you one thing– I’ll never play tether-ball in the orchard again.
Brushneck: (Engrossed in the digression, but irritated) Could she sew?
Bruno: Oh, yes sir! She could sew circles ‘round ‘most any woman in the county! Even ol’ Hattie McCane was little more than a funhouse reflection in Granny’s chaw-spit when it came to sewing. Fabric of space? P’shaw, I reckon she could sew a half-inch seam in it faster than you can whistle “It’s Raining Men!”
Brushneck: Wow… (Thoughtful pause). You know what… HOW ABOUT YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP? You screw up like this one more time and you are off the squad, for good! And to make sure you don’t drop the ball again, I’m assigning you two another partner.
(Bruno figures it out first, and groans with growing agitation)
Brushneck: Borromel? Get your fuzzy ass in here.
Rex: The pooch?!?!
Brushneck: That’s right. Ladies, allow me to introduce Borromel the Swarthy, holder of the Encyclopedia Panmillenia. If you guys fudge up with this …thing… on your side, I’ll personally tear your Chronolicenses a new pie chute.
(Borromel enters with an dramatic flourish)
Borromel: Sir, I must protest. I am currently in the throes of a scientific fit! Research for the next edition of the Encyclopedia is only up to the P’s… this is of paramount importance.
Brushneck: Go tell it on the mountain, poochie. You, Rex, and Bruno are a team. And in the next 24 microhours, you’re leaving for Pompeii, Greece. Now get your bony china-white asses out of this office and into the Chronoprep Bay, ASAPMOFO.
Borromel, Rex, Bruno: But…
Brushneck: (insistently) GO!
To Be Continued… (No it won’t)