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BOTP Episode Rewrite: Decoys of Doom by Chris White
BOTP Episode Rewrite: Decoys of Doom by Chris White
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Story Notes:

I don't own these characters or their world. I just like to play in it. 

Much thanks to my lovely betas, k2p2 and jublke!

This was a Gatchamania 2012 Summer Gift Exchange story for DaniellaT, who requested any BOTP episode rewrite. 

INT(ERIOR). CENTER NEPTUNE CONTROL ROOM - DAY

An egg-like rip-off of R2D2 stands in a room full of blinking lights, monitors, and windows with fish swimming past. A floating severed hand floats by as well, towed by a small gang of minnows.

ZARK

Deep under the sea, I toil away until my rivets rust here at Center Neptune. Despite my appeals for the occasional five-second oil break, and a circuitry retrofit every 10,000 operating hours, I remain at my post twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, monitoring everything from natural disasters to space traffic and threats from whatever demented humanoids want to invade the Earth now. 

Zark wipes some dust from his monitors, then goes back to randomly pressing blinking buttons. It's not necessary, he can access the systems through his wireless connection, but something about the motions makes the base humans feel better, so he does it to keep them from tapping on him to make sure he's still functioning.

ZARK

The only thing that keeps me sane is getting to work with those brave young people in G-Force. I feel a kinship with them thanks to their cerebonic implants, and the fact that the poor things get run ragged fighting Zoltar and defending the whole Federation. 

Zark sighs.

ZARK

At least they get to see the universe while I'm stuck in this underwater hell.

Zark painstakingly shuffles across the control room, wondering yet again what moron designed his laughably inefficient legs. When he finds out, he's thinking of spending a few microseconds to adjust a few files here and there, just enough for the jerk to end up with life in prison for espionage charges.

ZARK

Lucky G-Force, today, they get to stand aside and watch robotic versions of themselves. Now if someone would just give me a robotic version of me.

Zark titters and sighs before going back to work.

ZARK

So much humor and no one here to appreciate it.

 

INT. TRAINING OBSERVATION ROOM - DAY

Mark, Jason, Princess, Keyop, Tiny, and Chief Anderson all stand in the observation room, watching the team's robotic duplicates flawlessly weather an advanced training routine. Actually, in watching them, Anderson considers that the robots might be a lot less trouble to manage than four surly teenagers and one hyperactive pre-teen.

ANDERSON

G-Force, meet the new G-Force. You're hereby going into retirement.

The chorus of confused noises coming from the team serves as amusement for about a minute, then the Condor starts fingering the hidden pocket in his jeans where he keeps his gun. It's never good to let Jason simmer for too long, so Anderson relents.

ANDERSON

Actually, these duplicates are part of an offensive to outwit Spectra. While our agents have discovered there's a new Spectran base on Earth, we can't seem to find it, even with all of our advanced spy satellite technology that can count the amount of acne per square millimeter on the average teen. 

Princess and Tiny shuffle awkwardly. Acne's a sore subject for both of them, and being trapped for hours on end in birdstyle doesn't help. Though it's Tiny who shoots an annoyed look at Mark and Jason. No, they don't get acne. Somewhere their contract must grant them special exempt status from one of the most painful parts of teenage-hood. Spotlight-stealing bastards.

MARK

I don't see how we need duplicates. How can they do our jobs better than us?

Anderson considers listing off the benefits. No bathroom breaks. No "other" bathroom breaks — really, what had he been thinking, putting three teenage boys with a girl who wears a tiny miniskirt and constantly flashes her panties? No complaints about only stocking MREs and water on the Phoenix. No demands for something better to sleep on than their bulky bridge seats or the hard cushion in the medical bay. 

His favorite, though, would be no more drunken prank calls at 3am asking him if his refrigerator was running. Really, they should have outgrown that one by now. Not to mention the greased doorknobs throughout the base, the chicken feathers that mysteriously filled the chief engineer's office after a suggested redesign for the Phoenix, any number of public spectacles that had to be expensively hushed up, and … well, if he kept thinking along these lines, he might very well toss the whole lot of them out and keep the duplicates permanently.

PRINCESS

This is creepy, I don't enjoy looking at myself like that.

Anderson watches three teenaged boys eye one another, silently daring one another to comment. Keyop stands obliviously below their eye-line, staring down at their doubles with a grin that tells Anderson to add five more layers of security to where they're storing the doubles.

Finally, one of the boys breaks.

MARK

Well, I've always enjoyed looking at you, Princess.

Princess flushes prettily. Anderson notes Jason glaring bloody murder at Mark behind her back. Is there nothing those boys won't compete over? 

Anderson nearly hits himself on the forehead. Who is he kidding? These are the same two idiots who still argue over who won the Pudding Wars back when they were five. Though, frankly, he thought Tiny had that one hands down.

MARK

Okay, when do we start working with our doubles?

ANDERSON

You won't. You're two separate units. They're expendable, and will draw the Spectrans from their base. Tomorrow when you're honored at the Colosseum, Spectra won't be able to resist attacking while you're exposed and defenseless in front of thousands of people.

Exposed and defenseless. Jason can't help feeling like he had that dream about three times a week. He shudders. If he had one more dream where he showed up to rescue someone and then realized he was naked …

ANDERSON

That will tempt the Spectrans to come after you. They'll end up attacking the decoys.

MARK

The Spectrans don't fool easily. 

Everyone does a double-take, staring at Mark.

MARK

Well, okay, they do, but those lines down the decoys' chins so their mouths can move ... They're huge giveaways, aren't they?

ANDERSON

Given that the Spectrans are too cowardly to get close enough to see them, we'll take that chance. Rest up tonight, team. Tomorrow you're on the hunt.

G-FORCE

(saluting in sync)

G-FORCE!

 

EXT(ERIOR). SOMEWHERE IN THE CITY - DAY

Crowds stand around as a television mounted on a pole broadcasts the news.

TV ANNOUNCER CLIVE EXPOSITION

As you all know, the Intergalactic Federation has declared next Monday a holiday in honor of the defense team famed throughout the galaxy, G-Force. Representatives from every Federation planet will be on hand, so keep your hand wipes accessible to prevent yet another interstellar pandemic of the intergalactic bird flu. 

Flashy pictures of the team appear on the monitor. Everyone ooohs and aaahs. As girls swoon and guys drool, an army of street cleaners with mops arrive to deal with the puddles. Paramedics follow with them, bearing smelling salts for those who can't handle the excitement.

 

INT. LUMINOUS ONE'S CHAMBER - DAY

The blue chicken flame pulses ominously on the screen, silently cursing the show's low budget, which could only afford two dimensions.

LUMINOUS ONE

Caution, Zoltar. G-Force may be a group of foolish children, but even they are not this foolish.

ZOLTAR

Earth is serving them to us on a silver platter!

The Luminous One wonders if Zoltar even heard a word it said. It repeats itself slowly, as though speaking to a slow-witted child.

LUMINOUS ONE

It may be a trap. You must never underestimate G-Force. 

ZOLTAR

After today, Spectra will rule the Earth!

As Zoltar continues to posture, the Luminous One once again rues the day that it decided the Spectran royal line should be physically beautiful. Breeding in some lovely but vacuous nobles had succeeded on that front, but the unforseen consequence meant that the average IQ of the Spectran nobility had lowered to that of a walnut ... if the walnut was having a bad day.

The Walnut Defamation League immediately detects the slanderous thoughts on the aether and starts the intergalactic protest paperwork in quintuplicate.

 

EXT. OUTER SPACE SPACE - "DAY"

Spiral galaxies, planets, and stars whiz by to cheesy electronic music. Those who look closely might notice an artist has drawn some tiny nudists doing the backstroke in Saturn's rings.

ZARK

(voiceover)

The Cosmic Patrol has just warned that an alien craft has entered our galaxy, and is rapidly approaching Earth! It would be nice if they'd done something about it before it could arrive, but that's asking too much, isn't it?

We continue to zoom through the solar system, Earth becoming visible. Zark sighs.

ZARK

Funny how we expected the attack to come from an Earth base, yet the attacker is coming from outer space. If I find out Susan has been distracted by that new vibrating function again ... Oh well, either way, I need to alert all defenses. 

 

EXT. CENTER CITY TICKER TAPE PARADE - DAY

Bits of colorful paper fly everywhere. Marching band music plays. A group of girls in skimpy uniforms and thigh-high boots leads a procession of cars, because apparently the budget couldn't cover both sexy babes and a nice float for our honorees. 

The G-Force duplicates sit woodenly in the back of a red convertible, allowing some extra to drive. They don't even bother to wave at the crowd, apparently programmed to convince the universe that G-Force is either terrified of public appearances, or is a pack of self-important snobs who can't be bothered to greet their adoring public. 

 

INT./EXT. HIGHRISE VANTAGE POINT - DAY

G-Force, dressed in their civilian gear, watches the procession through the windows of a tall building. 

KEYOP

Yay us!

Princess sighs wistfully.

PRINCESS

Hey, team, don't we look important?

JASON

Not to me. My double's acting like a big hero. I've gotta talk to him.

KEYOP

Yeah, you always … act like … big something …

Mark whips a hand out, blocking Jason from attacking the kid. 

TINY

I kinda like my double, he's got my strong, macho character. 

JASON

Your big round gut, too!

MARK

Enough! Don't make me get the hose.

As Mark and Jason face off, Jason suddenly grins, seeing a perfect opportunity to get rid of his main rival. He gestures for Mark to follow him to the back of the room. After a moment's hesitation, Mark does. 

MARK

No, I won't give you a five minute head start on pounding Keyop.

Jason smirks. 

JASON

So, I was thinking …

Mark rolls his eyes.

MARK

That's new, but please, don't strain yourself on my account ...

Jason's eye twitches but he makes himself focus.

JASON

Are you really gonna trust those robots to do our jobs?

Mark shrugs. 

MARK

You heard the Chief. Let them get shot at, punched, lacerated, tortured, and blown up for once. 

JASON

At least one of us should go with them. You know, just in case.

Mark eyes Jason, trying to figure out what he's up to.

MARK

If you're asking for permission, no, you're staying here.

Jason rolls his eyes, then growls, realizing Mark just did that. Damnit, he's always coming in second.

JASON

Like I'd ask for permission. Fine, if you don't want me to go, then you go. 

Now Mark's really suspicious. Whenever Jason immediately backs down and suggests that he do something instead, Mark usually ends up in a couple of casts plus weeks of physical therapy for good measure. Meanwhile, the Federation's Security Board gets flooded with complaints and lawsuits about excessive property damage, thanks to the Condor's unique take on tactics — which boils down to if it's Spectran, blow it up. 

MARK

Neither of us is going.

Frustrated, Jason clenches his hands, and then the solution hits him almost as hard as one of Mark's punches. He flashes a huge grin.

JASON

I dare you.

Mark's eyes widen to true anime proportions, complete with dark rays of abject horror streaking out from his head. Jason dodges one before it can stab him.

MARK

You wouldn't!

JASON

I double dog dare you!

Mark grits his teeth. The blow to his heroic honor in refusing a double dog dare would be too horrific to contemplate.

MARK

You bastard. Fine. Have it your way. 

It's all Jason can do to keep from chortling in glee as Mark heads for the door. Then his nemesis pauses with a disturbing grin.

MARK

But if I don't make it, those pictures of you and Mr. Fuzzybutt, both naked on that rug in front of the fireplace, will go viral across both the Federation's and Spectran territory's social networks.

Jason squeaks in outrage. In a weak and drunken moment, he'd found the storage box where his beloved teddy bear was hidden. How dare Mark take advantage of such sweet nostalgia!

Unfortunately, Jason fails to think of an appropriately devastating comeback before Mark slips away. Even more unfortunately, he's so far failed to crack the Eagle's photo sharing account, which means that it's suddenly up to him to make sure Mark makes it back in one piece. Or, well, at least intact enough to stop the photos from going out.

The mental image of Mark having to type with his nose cheers Jason immensely. Then he returns to the others, wondering how long it will take for them to notice the switch. He had to stifle a snicker at the thought that Mark had that bit of rusty rebar shoved so far in, it would be hard to tell the difference between him and his double. 

This was gonna be sweet.

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