by Samuel Orona
Final version of story I started in 2006.
|Chapter 3: Mike and Moxie Go Hollywood!
Amnesio stood there waiting for his niece, June, to obey him. He had gray shoulder-length hair, a slight gray beard, and a black domino mask. Mike stood on June’s palm as she raised him higher into the air, toward her mouth.
“Why are you doing this?” Mike asked.
“Why?” Amnesio replied. “In the century I came from, I developed mind control technology that was capable of overcoming countermeasures that protect people from mind control in my own era. My invention was part of my dissertation, but an unscrupulous professor stole credit for my discoveries, and claimed it as his own. Nobody in my century will ever know that I am responsible for the mind control tech that I developed. I decided to travel back to your century and exploit this era with my advanced super science!”
“That’s horrible,” Mike replied. “I’ve heard of things like that happening in my time, as well.”
“The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interrèd with their bones.” said Amnesio.
“Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 2,” Mike replied. “I was an English professor at a junior college for quite some time before going back to school to study computer programming. I know a lot about Shakespeare.”
“I’m aware of that,” said Amnesio. “In my century you are a well known historical figure. I minored in English while majoring in electrical engineering. Shakespeare was a guilty pleasure of mine.”
Amnesio turned his attention to June, who was interrupted before she was about to swallow Mike. “You may proceed to swallow Micromage, June!”
June hesitated, Amnesio aimed his mind control pistol at June. “When Amnesio gives a command, it is obeyed!"
“I’ll gladly swallow him, Unc! There’s no need to threaten me!” June tossed Mike into her mouth, and a moment later, swallowed him!
June and Amnesio high-fived each other once Mike was inside of June’s belly.
Meanwhile, Mike slid down her esophagus to the stench of June’s stomach.
"I need to design a gas mask for this costume!" Mike said to himself.
Meanwhile, in the living room of the mansion, Amnesio's nieces were gathering the valuables from the wealthy party-goers and putting them in pillow cases. The three girls were not all identical: the one known as June had medium length light brown hair, the second girl, May, was blonde, and the third girl, April, had long black hair. One thing they had in common were skinny yet athletic figures.
Moxie quickly forgot about Mike and noticed Amnesio’s nieces each wore black shirts, with a white skull and crossbones on each shirt. Why Amnesio had brought them with him to the crime scene was a mystery.
There was a personal computer in the room, One of the kids had been using it to access a chatroom. Amnesio's nieces quickly exited that website and brought up a sight more to Amnesio's liking.
"You will notice a computer over here," Amnesio instructed, "I want each and every one of you to use your credit cards to contribute one million dollars into my bank account! Failure to do so will make Amnesio very angry!"
The producers and directors stepped up one by one, and whipped out their credit cards. Moxie counted them, and figured that Amnesio would be a multi-millionaire, judging by how many celebrities were stepping up to the plate.
The teenage actress Dakota Ryan looked at Moxie with a puzzled look on her face. She took Moxie aside and whispered to her: “If this guy is using mind control, why isn’t it working on us?”
“Maybe it doesn’t work on teenagers and kids,” Moxie replied, “so his nieces will be unaffected!”
While Amnesio's attention was diverted to the computer screen, Moxie tried to exit the mansion.
"Where do you think you're going, young lady?" said April. She stood there with a futuristic weapon in her hand.
“What is that, some kind of ray-gun?” Moxie asked.
“It can re-arrange your chromosomes!” April replied. “With this device, I can make you allergic to peanut butter, or give you Alopecia and all your hair would fall out! Now get back inside!”
“Okay,” Moxie replied, and turned back around and went upstairs and locked herself in a bathroom. She used her communicator built into her arm band to contact Mike.
“Mike, can you hear me?” Moxie asked.
“Yes!” Mike replied. “How do I activate that neural stimulator so June will vomit me up?”
“It’s built into your gauntlet,” Moxie replied. “There should be a button next to the miniaturization console!”
“Found it!” said Mike.
In the living room, June ran for a bathroom and vomited into the sink. Mike, who stood an inch tall, was treading the surface of the vomit. June was unaware that Mike had been expelled from her body.
“Moxie, I’m in the sink of the downstairs bathroom! I’ll stay shrunk so Amnesio doesn’t see me, come and get me!”
“I’m on my way!” Moxie replied, and she tried to hurry down the stairs without looking like she was hurrying, so as not to alert Amnesio and his nieces.
In less than a minute, Moxie was inside the downstairs bathroom, fishing Mike out of the sink. She rinsed him off.
"Mike," Moxie said, "The mind control device doesn't work on teenagers! Me and the other kids are unaffected! But Amnesio has all the adults mesmerized, and he's getting them each to deposit a million dollars in his bank account!"
"It couldn't hurt some of these rich punks to cough up a million bucks!" Mike said.
"Mike, what Amnesio's doing is wrong! We have to stop him!"
"Moxie, this is a job for the police! We don't even know what we're up against! He's using mind control technology that is a quantum leap above and beyond what even our government is capable of!”
"But Mike," Moxie pleaded, "we're heroes! We have to stop Amnesio!"
"I'm in this gig for the money!" Mike replied. "Nobody's paying me to risk my neck chasing down thugs from the future!”
"When you were a kid, didn't you ever read comic books? Didn't you believe in heroes, Mike?" Moxie asked.
"Yes, but then I grew up!"
"Those time travelers trusted us to stop Amnesio!” said Moxie. “We’re the only ones who can stop him! All I ask is that you help me defeat Amnesio! I need your help for my plan to work!"
"What's your plan?" Mike asked.
Once the plan was explained, Moxie put Mike in the empty pack on her belt, which served as a prop for her character. Because it was now empty, it was the best hiding place for Micromage.
Moxie exited the bathroom and entered the main living room, where she was met by June. "What were you doing in there?" she asked Moxie.
"I was using the bathroom!" Moxie replied. June was satisfied with this explanation, and went back to whatever she had been doing.
Moxie walked up to the kids. "Do they still think you're affected by the mind control device?" Moxie whispered. The kids nodded their heads in assent. "I have a plan!" Moxie told them. Moxie then walked up to the lady who owned the mansion.
"Is this the only computer in the house?" Moxie asked.
"No, there's another one upstairs!" the woman replied.
"Does it have Internet access, like this one does?" Moxie asked.
"Yes!" the woman replied, eager to deposit one million dollars in Amnesio's bank account.
Moxie headed up the stairs, when she was sure Amnesio's assistants weren't watching her. She checked each bedroom, one after the other.
"There sure are a lot of bedrooms in this place!" Moxie said to herself, "I guess that's why it's called a mansion!"
Finally, she found what she was looking for: a bedroom with a computer. She pulled Mike out, and did as he instructed.
"Are you going to have me program in Fortran?" Moxie asked. "I might be bright, but I can't create a computer virus in like, five minutes!"
"Yeah?" Mike asked. "Well, don't worry, just go to the website I tell you to, and there's a virus I already programmed that you can download, to infect Amnesio's bank computer with a virus that will wipe out his entire bank account! I majored in computer programming in college, remember?"
Once Moxie found the website, she pulled out a flash drive from her utility belt and downloaded the virus. When the program was ready, Moxie copied the virus to the flash drive and carried it downstairs, with Mike in her pouch that was attached to her belt.
When she got downstairs, Amnesio was instructing his assistants. Moxie went to a window, opened it slightly, and tossed Mike into some bushes. As he climbed down and made his way back to the Micromobile, Moxie approached the computer.
"I have millions of dollars too, Amnesio!" Moxie said. "But I need to use this flash drive to access my bank code. Is that cool?"
"Yes, but hurry!" Amnesio replied.
Meanwhile, Mike was at the Micromobile. He pulled out the cable from his costume and attached the grapnel hook, and threw it until the hook caught on the passenger side leather seat. Mike began climbing up. When he was inside, he found Moxie’s cell phone and flipped it open (it took all his strength), and dialed 911. When the operator came on, he told her of the situation, but was careful not to mention the mind control technology. He didn't want the lady to think this was a prank call!
Back in the mansion, Moxie successfully uploaded the program from the flash drive. Soon, Amnesio's bank account computer was hit with a virus that wiped out all memory of Amnesio's account, but didn't harm the other accounts of innocent people who had money at that same bank.
"Uncle Amnesio!” June said. "Vector-Girl did something to your bank account! I think she uploaded a virus from that flash drive!”
"No!" Amnesio shouted.
"Amnesio," May said, "we've got to leave now! They’ve probably alerted the authorities! They might be on their way over here right now!"
Amnesio turned to Moxie on his way out the front door. "You may have defeated me this time little girl, but we'll meet again! And when we do, I'll have the last laugh!"
A moment later, Amnesio and his three nieces were gone. Moxie looked around at the adults. The other kids started waving their hands in front of the faces of the previously mesmerized adults. They began to snap out of it. Mike returned to normal size, and less than a minute later, the police arrived. When the police finally left a half hour later, the party got rolling again as if nothing had happened.
A producer walked up to Mike and Moxie. “Hi, I'm a producer and I'm interested in producing a movie about the two of you! I plan on calling it: Micromage & Vector-Girl! What do you think?"
"That's a pretty unique title!" Moxie said sarcastically.
"I want the two of you to portray yourselves in the film! I'll give you each one million dollars up front, and a percentage of the movie's gross!"
"Yeah, I'll do it, but it has to be soon! Me and Moxie will be on vacation for a couple of months, so we need to film it right away!"
"No problem!" the producer replied. "I'll hire the fastest writer in Hollywood to knock out a script in less than a week! I want to feature Amnesio as the villain! Of course, we're going to have to get an actor who looks like him, because the real Amnesio is still at large!"
The producer handed Mike a business card. "Here's how you can contact me if there's any questions. I want you and Moxie in my office tomorrow, to sign the contracts."
"I'd like to speak with the writer, as soon as the script is ready!" Mike said.
"No problem!" the producer replied. "I'll call you when he has it ready. It shouldn't be more than a few days, because like I said, he's fast."
After Mike and Moxie went back to their hotel, they decided to get accustomed to southern California, since they would be filming a movie in a couple of weeks. Mike and Moxie went to Gold's gym in Santa Monica, or to World gym, depending on Mike's preference that day. They lived like royalty on the hotel room service, and enjoyed their vacation from touring the country.
Mike got a call from the producer, and wrote down the address of the hotshot writer who was working on the script. Mike and Moxie drove over there. It was a modest house for the upscale neighborhood it was located in, but any real estate agent worth their mettle could've fetched $700,000 for it easily.
They walked to the front door and knocked. The door was answered by a guy who looked wired. He had a cup of coffee in his hand.
"I'm Mike Roman, and this is Moxie Miller. The producer said you'd talk about the screenplay with us?"
"Oh, yeah!" the man said, opening the door wider. "I'm Wally Williams. They say I'm the best!"
"If you typed a screenplay in three days, then you are the best!" Mike replied.
Wally sat Mike and Moxie down in his computer room, and brought them each a bottle of water. He pulled out a copy of the screenplay, and read some of it to Mike. At some points, he would describe the story in his own words; at other points, he would quote the screenplay word for word.
"At the end of act two, you get frozen by Amnesio in a cryogenic experiment!" Wally explained. "Now I know this guy is into mind control, but that's not dramatic enough! We had to get him involved with other kinds of technology to provide conflict!"
"I don't have a problem with that!" Mike said. "But what I'd like to know is, how do you do it? How did you write this screenplay in three days?"
"I get amped up!" Wally said.
"On what?” Mike asked.
"Coffee!" Wally said. "I'm a caffeine-freak! I drank about sixteen pots of coffee over the past three days, and I've been up for over seventy-two hours!"
"You should look into getting into a twelve-step program!" Mike replied sarcastically.
"Oh, by the way," Wally added, "you and Moxie are supposed to report to the studio at 5:30 Monday morning for the first day of shooting."
"5:30 in the morning?" Mike asked.
"Yeah," said Wally, "things get started early in Hollywood!"
Monday morning, Moxie and Mike showed up at the gates of the studio just before 5:30 a.m. They were let in, and they were met by the producer, who took them to their trailer.
A gaffer walked up and handed a hot cup of coffee to Moxie, and she took it eagerly. When he walked around to hand a second cup of coffee to Mike, he tripped over a power cord that was connected to one of the cameras, and spilled the hot coffee all over the front of Mike's costume.
"Oww!" Mike shouted.
The producer saw this and walked up to the gaffer. "You there, what's your name?"
"Toby!" the gaffer replied.
"Well, Toby! You're fired!" the producer said.
"No, that's not necessary!" Mike said. "It was an accident! I have another costume in the trunk of the Micromobile!"
The producer looked at the gaffer and said: "Okay, you're un-fired! But you should be grateful Mike Roman is such a nice guy!"
The producer and the director approached Mike and Moxie. The producer introduced the director to Mike. "I hired this guy straight out of USC! They're cheaper that way, they’re not well known enough to be prima donnas yet, and they do just as good of a job as a more well known director!"
"That's very cost-effective," said Mike as he shook hands with the director.
"We're going to film act three first," said the director.
"Why are we filming the ending first?" Moxie asked.
"It's for insurance reasons. It's in case something happened to either of you before we finished filming."
Filming got underway, and twelve hours later, the day was over. Mike and Moxie got up early on Tuesday, and repeated the process. Wednesday and Thursday were no different. When it came time to film a scene with Amnesio, Mike marveled at how realistic the actor who portrayed him looked just like the real Amnesio. It was hard to believe that latex and make-up could achieve such realistic results.
As the weeks passed, the ending of act two was finally being filmed. There was a set on a soundstage with a cryogenic lab, and Mike was supposed to be lowered into a freezing chamber as Moxie watched from a wall where she was handcuffed, helpless to enlist her aid.
As the actor who was portraying Amnesio finished his lunch, he got up to walk to the bathroom. A hand reached from behind and covered his face with a rag soaked in chloroform, rendering him unconscious. The man who carried his sleeping body to another area of the set was none other than the real Amnesio!
Amnesio and his three nieces had gotten onto the grounds, in an effort to seek revenge against Micromage & Vector-Girl for foiling his evil plans at that party in Bel-Air. His nieces wheeled away the cryogenic chamber, and replaced it with a sleeker, deadlier looking version. The new version didn't look like a just a prop. It looked functional, like it could really work!
When the time came to shoot the scene, Moxie was handcuffed against the wall, according to the script, and Mike was chained to a gurney suspended upside-down as he was slowly lowered into the cryogenic freezing chamber.
"What do you hope to accomplish by doing this, Amnesio?" Mike said, following the script line for line.
"I got a copy of this script, and I was amazed at the resemblance!” Amnesio replied.
What? Mike thought to himself. This isn't in the script!
Amnesio went on: “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”
“The Merchant of Venice Act 3, Scene 1,” Mike replied.
“You should have known I would come back for revenge, with my super science there is no safe harbor from my wrath! You cost me a lot of money, Micromage!”
Amnesio continued: "This technology looks rather conventional, don’t you think?” Amnesio ripped a piece of equipment from a prop that was meant to represent future technology, and threw it to the floor. “I know the screenplay calls for you being frozen in a cryogenics experiment, but since I’m from twenty thousand years in the future, I have a way to slow down subjective time so you will be immobilized for two months, Micromage! It’s much more advanced than simple cryogenics.”
"Cut!" the director shouted, but Amnesio's three female assistants pointed machine guns at him, preventing him from approaching Amnesio.
"But don't worry!" Amnesio continued, "The effects of the temporal stasis experiment will wear off in exactly sixty days. Good Night, Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow."
Amnesio's laugh filled the soundstage as Mike was lowered into the vat that would freeze him, at least according to the screenplay. Moxie could only look on helplessly as Mike was lowered into the chamber.
When he was inside, Amnesio keyed the control console and sealed him in, initiating the temporal stasis process!
“Romeo & Juliet Act two-“ Mike began, but he was cut off by the temporal stasis device kicking in.
And as soon as it began, it was all over. By the time security arrived, Amnesio and his nieces were long gone, and Mike Roman was completely immobile. Moxie was released from her handcuffs, and walked over and viewed what remained of Mike.
"Is he dead?" Moxie asked the director.
"We can only assume that Amnesio was telling the truth, that there is a way to resuscitate him!"
To Be Continued!