Too Many Long Boxes!
   
     

“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)

Act III


Fade in on Tina's office. The Flash lies collapsed but conscious against the wall where he fell when Cory/Grodd struck him. Grodd, in full gorilla appearance, is slowly walking toward him. But before he can get close to The Flash, he stops and looks toward the open door to Tina's office.A couple of seconds later, one of the STAR Labs employees appears in the doorway and walks in, bearing a sheaf of graph paper.)

EMPLOYEE: Dr. McGee? You busy?

TINA: Jim!! Get out of here and call the police, quickly!!

JIM: Oh, good! Here's that gas chromatography readout you wanted. Sorry it took so long.
(He walks in, right past Grodd, and puts the papers down on Tina's desk.)

TINA: Jim? Don’t you - see - what's going on here?

JIM: Anytime. As I said, it was no problem. (He exits.)

THE FLASH: He - he didn’t even notice I was here, let alone this — this —

(Grodd resumes walking toward The Flash. )

GRODD: The word you’re searching for is “gorilla.” And no, he didn’t. Oh, by the way, I know you’re exaggerating the extent of your injuries, and are in fact fully recovered and planning to attack me again in one point three seven seconds. This time you plan on running around to just behind me, and striking me in the left kidney, hoping to catch me by surprise. I assure you, that's quite impossible. I can easily read such surface thoughts, and while you are far faster than I am, I can act on your plans as you think of them. But I mean neither you nor Tina any harm. You attacked me, remember? All I did was defend myself. If I wanted you dead, I wouldn’t even have to lay a hand on you to do it.
(By this time he has reached The Flash,
and holds out his hand)
Here, let me help you up.

THE FLASH: (Looks at hand suspiciously, then takes it and pulls himself to a standing position.)
Uh, thanks. I guess. So, Tina’s really safe from you?

GRODD: Of course! She raised me, after all. She and her husband quite literally made me what I am today! She’s my step-mother in all but law. As far as I’m concerned, she’s Mom. I’d never harm her, or you! Heck, I’ve been wanting to meet you ever since I first heard of you!

THE FLASH: What!? Tina, is this true?

TINA: As far as him being my foster son, yes, it’s true. Here—
(she gets a file folder out and opens it, with the photograph we saw in the Prologue, and hands the folder to The Flash, who reads the entire contents in a few seconds thanks to super-speed.)

THE FLASH: (closing folder) This is - incredible! Tina, why didn’t you tell me about any of this?

TINA: Well, it was - personal, and an emotional wound which never really healed, I guess. I always meant to tell you, especially when Carl Tanner experimented with David’s process on those poor homeless people-

THE FLASH: -and then turned himself into a hulking monster. I remember that. That same process is responsible for, um, Cory here?

GRODD: Please, call me "Grodd," the name my step-parents gave me. "Cory Adams" is just a pseudonym I came up with. "Cory" is a pun on the first two syllables of "gorilla," and "Adams" is because, if my plans are successful, I will in effect be the Adam of a whole new species.

TINA: But I don’t understand how you - survived - what happened to you.

GRODD: I was never actually ill. I’m sorry I had to deceive you and Dad, but at the time it seemed like the best thing to do. It’s kind of a long story. Remember what you got me for my fourth birthday?

TINA: Um, let me think — oh, yeah! That little computer!

GRODD: A Commodore VIC-20, with tape drive and 300 baud modem. (He looks down at his huge hands.) That was when my fingers were still small enough to type directly on a human-sized keyboard. I got better use out of that than you ever knew. Sure, I liked the games and the educational programs you got me, but the modem was my favorite. I spent hours calling local BBSes.

TINA: I remember that. We finally had to get you a second phone line. But what does this have to do with-

GRODD: I did more than call BBSes. I figured out how to access the ARPAnet through a local linkup. It was quite an eye-opener! I learned much about the world, society, science, technology, etc. Less than six months after I got the computer, I had established a presence on the ARPAnet - others there thought me to be a particularly intelligent and perceptive student of Central City University. No-one suspected that I wasn’t quite six years old yet, let alone that I wasn’t even a human being! I used the handle “SIMEON” there - a pun on "simian" - give me a break! I was just a kid then!

THE FLASH: "simeon@ccu.edu"? I studied papers by him in Chemistry class - that was you? And you were, what, five!? Those papers were brilliant!!

GRODD: Thanks, but the chemistry papers were insights from Mom and Dad’s own work, with some minor improvements of my own. Anyway, as I said, I learned much of all subjects, including social studies. I learned of the dire situation in the world - increasing ecological devastation, a burgeoning nuclear arms race, etc. - and I realized that I might not have a chance to grow up unless something was done. I couldn't do enough as an ape kid with a modem. I had to get more influence, and to do that, I needed to get out into the world, despite my young age. But how could I hope to do that, without letting my parents know, who I knew even then would never understand? Mom, remember the time you grounded me from the computer for a week, when I was six?

TINA: Um, yes. You handled it very well, as I recall.

GRODD: Not really. You walked in on me the next day when I was sneaking some time on the modem, but I was wishing I had a book to read and that the computer was off, so that you'd think I’d been reading instead. You then said, “Oh, good, Grodd. I’m glad you’re not breaking your grounding. Good book?” That’s when I discovered my talent for what I call “sensory override.” At that time it was basically limited to sight, and to close range, and only one person at a time. But I realized the implications, and practiced hard - unfortunately, you and Dad were the only people I had to practice it on, so I'm afraid I deceived you about quite a few things with it.

THE FLASH: That’s why Jim didn’t see you, and why we all saw you as a human teenaged boy but with different appearances.

GRODD: Right. As for the different appearances, the more detail I provide in an override, the more strain is involved, so I usually specify just the generalities and let the minds of the people I’m affecting fill in the details from their own imaginations and experiences. I hadn’t planned on Julio seeing me as Black, or him commenting about it to you! This is also how you can "hear" me talking when I’m not. Gorillas don’t have the physical facial musculature needed for intelligible speech, and I'm no exception. My “voice” is auditory sensory override. In effect, I'm projecting what I want you to hear into the auditory areas of your brain.

TINA: Which is why the tape didn’t record your voice during our interview.

GRODD: Exactly. There was no “voice” for it to record. Anyway, shortly after I turned six, I had made my plans. My talent had grown stronger. Using it and general acting, I faked a fast decline in intelligence. I caused you and Dad to see test results as showing my brain was degenerating. I spent weeks pretending to be an ordinary gorilla and weeks more as being far less intelligent than an ordinary gorilla, finally a week as a complete vegetable. I then used another talent - actually a variant on sensory override - to project the impression of a thought into your minds, that you took as your own, prodding you to euthanatize me. I had earlier moved the vial of cyanide Dad had prepared against this necessity, and used sensory override to make him think it was where he left it. He only thought he injected me with it, and I used my override to fake death-signs. I was then free to leave, though I missed you and Dad greatly and regretted what I had to do. (Throughout this conversation, Grodd has been rubbing his forehead on occasion, and this has gotten more frequent.)

THE FLASH: Incredible! But why did you do all of this?

TINA: Grodd, you must have known that David and I would have supported you in whatever you planned to do to help make the world a better place. It's what we were trying to do with our experiments, after all!

GRODD: Would you have? Would you really? We’ll see. But I also didn’t want you endangered if worst came to worst and I was discovered. Furthermore, I wasn’t quite ready for you to begin your process on humans, or creating any more like me just yet, and I knew my “death” would cause you to avoid further testing, at least on primates, for awhile. I (rubs forehead again) - I’m sorry, but it’s hard to concentrate on projecting multiple detailed overrides at once. I’m having to do one set to allow you two to hear me talking, and another to maintain an illusion of your door being closed and no sounds coming from this office to the other people in this building, as well as a general suppressing any intentions of anyone to come into this room again. Can we continue this conversation elsewhere, where we’re alone and I don’t have to do all this? This is really a strain!

THE FLASH: Sure, how about my place?

GRODD: Sounds good to me. Let’s go.

TINA: I’ll drive. Barry, I think you’d better change back into civvies so Grodd doesn’t have to override your appearance.

(Quick fade to black. End of Scene 1.)

(SCENE 2: Fade in to Barry Allen’s front hallway, facing his front door. It opens and Barry [in civvies], Tina, and Grodd [in gorilla form] walk in.)

GRODD: Hey, nice place!

BARRY: Now I can read your mind. You mentally followed that with, “for a bachelor pad,” didn’t you?

GRODD: Guilty as charged.

BARRY: Here, have a seat. I’ll fix up some dip. (A “whoosh” and he returns a second later, having set up a TV dinner table with a bag of chips and a bowl of freshly-made dip.)

TINA: Thanks! It still amazes me to see you do stuff like that.

GRODD: I find it very amazing. Not just what you can do, but the fantastic coincidence of it all.

TINA: Coincidence?

GRODD: Sure! Before I can explain that, though, I need to backtrack a bit: you see, by age 12, I’d become an advisor to several heads of state of major world powers, hoping to influence them in ways to help defuse the world’s problems. But I soon realized that I would need help if I was going to accomplish what I needed to accomplish. There was an obstacle to overcome which I hadn’t anticipated, one which was too much even for me. Oh, don't get me wrong. I did quite a lot - for instance, the end of Communism in Eastern Europe is largely my doing.

BARRY: You brought down Communism!?

GRODD: I had to, when I saw the incredible environmental devastation its mismanagement was wreaking - far worse than anything the unbridled capitalism of the West could do, though I’m no big fan of capitalism either. It’s simple when you can appear to be anyone, and can implant suggestions into the mind of anyone that they think are their own thoughts.

TINA: You’ve been manipulating world events? Why!?

GRODD: Mom, this is going to sound belittling to humanity, but - imagine yourself on an island, alone except for a pack of wild dogs who seem insistent on destroying the island’s ability to support themselves and you. If you do nothing, they will die, and so will you. Would you sit idle in such a situation?

TINA: Is that what you think of humanity? Wild dogs?

GRODD: No. It was just an analogy. Individually, humanity is capable of much greatness, and much depravity. Collectively, the depravity has the upper hand, and it’s getting worse despite my best efforts, largely due to the, um, obstacle I mentioned earlier. Anyway, back to the coincidence of Barry here. One day, a few weeks ago, I happened to find this:

(Grodd gestures [to direct their attention, not that gesturing has anything to do with his power], and a Weekly World News-like tabloid magazine appears on the table. The cover mentions the usual: psychic predictions, Elvis and UFO sightings [together no less!], Rosanne Barr's and Michael Jackson's secret love child, and the new medical discovery that a combination of garlic and chocolate can increase longevity, enhance psychic powers, and increase sexual potency. Plus a headline about a mysterious Scarlet Speed Demon in Central City.)

GRODD: The name “Central City” caught my eye, and I read the article inside. (The illusory tabloid opens itself to that page.) It described a "demon" in my home town that was trying to redeem its soul from Hell by capturing criminals. Of course, I knew that most stories in these tabloids are 100% genuine whole cloth, but some do have a basis in fact. I could not ignore the fact that it was in Central City, the place where, to the best of my knowledge, the only superhuman (well, super-simian) being on Earth came to exist. If there was another superhuman being, in Central City, it would almost certainly have to be the result of Dad’s work, like I am. Such a being, be it human or ape or even rat or any other species, would have more in common with me than any other creature. For the first time in my life, I would have a peer, perhaps even a friend, and while I left you partly to avoid such a thing, I now realized I needed one I also figured you had enough time to get over my “death” and resume active experimentation, presumably with an altered version of the formula.

BARRY: But my powers have nothing to do with Dr. McGee’s formula.

GRODD: I didn’t know that then, and you have to admit that, given the Central City connection, it was a pretty logical conclusion. So I admit to being a bit disappointed when I read Mom’s computer files on you and found out that your powers came from a freak accident. The sheer coincidence is staggering! Not only does a bolt of lightning of precisely the amount needed but not enough to kill you smash into your lab just as you’re standing in precisely the right place, and not only does it smash just the chemicals needed, electrically exciting their atoms to precisely the right levels, and you just happening to be doused with just the right potencies, but it happened in Central City, where the only living human who could help you comprehend your condition lives, the only person in the world with experience in the phenomenon of enhanced natural abilities. If it had not been for Mom, you would have died soon from the effects of your out-of-control metabolism, you know. And she’s the same woman who raised me! It's like we were meant to meet, and team up.

TINA: I never told you this, Barry, but the chemicals which hit you had been altered by the lightning into a mixture that was frighteningly similar to my husband's formula. Grodd’s right - this is almost too much of a coincidence to be believed as such. In fact, I wonder—

GRODD: No, I had nothing to do with it. As I said, I’d never even heard of Barry Allen or The Flash until reading this article. But even though he’s not directly a product of your research, he can still be the peer I hoped for. Barry, you may not have realized this, but your own powers provide you the means to be almost my intellectual equal, perhaps even superior.

BARRY: How!? I’m reasonably intelligent (have to be to be a scientist), but nowhere near on Tina’s level, let alone yours!

GRODD: Make no mistake: I am by far the most intelligent creature on this planet. My I.Q. was over 350 at the time I left the McGees. But I spent some time improving Dad’s formula, and taking it while I still could(this version only works on prepubescents), and it boosted my intelligence and powers further. Using my new enhanced intelligence, I improved the formula again, and so on, three times. My I.Q. is now in the low four digits. My sensory override can affect all senses in a radius of over 200 miles, and it's still growing. I can now sense surface thoughts, but can't yet read minds deeper than that. I even have minor telekinesis, a power I developed deliberately in the last batch of formula, as my fingers were growing too large to effectively use most human-sized tools. It's enough so that I can press the keys on a human-sized keyboard. I can't yet do much more than that. But still, your own powers, Barry, can and do enhance an aspect of your intellect to at least my own level.

TINA: Of course! Speed of thought and comprehension is part of the very definition of intelligence! That’s why most I.Q. tests are timed. And your thought processes are highly accellerated when you use your speed. They have to be, or you could never perceive and comprehend the nature of an obstacle in your path in time to avoid it! Your brain couldn't even command your legs to move in synch fast enough to run at such speeds. In my office, you read the complete file folder on Grodd, and comprehended it, in less than three seconds. Your intelligence is enhanced!

BARRY: I never thought of it that way, but I guess you’re right.

GRODD: That’s why I need you, Barry. We’d make a powerful team. We’re both the most intelligent beings on the planet, and you have additional life experience that I lack. Plus your speed is a formidable ability in its own right. Combined with my own mental powers, we could accomplish anything! We can save mankind from itself, Barry!

BARRY: How? What do you have in mind?

GRODD: Simple. We take over and rule the world, you and I.

(Looks of shock on Tina and Barry's faces as they realize Grodd is quite serious. Fade to black, and to a commercial break. End of Scene 2, and of Act III.)

 
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