[[MUSIC: pipe organ melodrama]]
ANNOUNCER: From ars PARADOXICA and Whisperforge Radio Stories On the Air but it’s The Internet Now, its Timeswimmers!
Dateline: September 11th… 2003… AD… Eastern time. We find our hero and story protagonist, Dagmar Pumpernickel, locked in the basement of the Pentagon. That dastardly dunce George W Bush has her tied to a water board! For nefarious waterboarding purposes, no doubt. What villainy awaits young Pumpernickel? Let’s find out today, on Timeswimmers!
SCENE 01: INT. PENTAGON – DAY
[[MUSIC: dark, foreboding]]
[[SFX: a damp basement, as one might find beneath the Pentagon for torture purposes]]
GEORGE W. BUSH: Hehehehe… Not so time-swimmy now, are you, suspected terrorist and story protagonist Dagmar Pumpernickel?
DAGMAR: I told you, I don’t know nothing about no Timeswimmers!
GEORGE W. BUSH: Save your rich character tapestry as the daughter of an Italian mob boss who just can’t seem to separate herself from the family business while secretly harboring a desire to be a concert violinist for some other sucker! Or else my name ain’t George W. Bush, president. And it’s September 11, 2003, and we’re in the Pentagon. Is this… are we all on the same page here?
[[SFX: Dubya waterboards Dagmar]]
DAGMAR: [gurgles] Ugh! Yes!
GEORGE W. BUSH: Hehe, good! Hehehehe. So you’ll start talking?
GEORGE W. BUSH: Bah! You know what they say: Waterboard you once, shame on… shame on me. Waterboard you… you’re going to get waterboarded again!
[[SFX: more waterboarding, then a huge splash]]
XANDER TIME: Hey, George W. Bush, why don’t you pick on someone your own size?
[[MUSIC: fast-paced, action-y]]
GEORGE W. BUSH: I tried, but that bastard keeps popping up at that weird window in my bathroom and copying my every move! I… hey wait a minute! Who said that?
XANDER TIME: Haha! Xander Time, of the Timeswimmers. At your service. Now unhand her!
GEORGE W. BUSH: Huh? I wasn’t gonna cut off her hands for another couple of hours.
XANDER: Christ. Forget it!
[[SFX: a fight!]]
DAGMAR: Eyyyy! Watch it, yous! He’s cornering us!
GEORGE W. BUSH: Hehehehe!
XANDER: Don’t worry, look! The water in that basin is settling. It’s smooth as glass. Or–
DAGMAR: Gasp! A mirror!
GEORGE W. BUSH: What the… You again! How’d you get out of my bathroom?
GEORGE W. BUSH: Ah, I see you are trained in the ancient art of ka-ra-té. But only one can be the master!
[[SFX: Dubya fights his own reflection]]
XANDER: Let’s go!
[[SFX: splashing into a time warp]]
SCENE 02: INT. TIME-WARP - BETWEEN TIME
[[MUSIC: adventuring, heroic]]
DAGMAR: Ayy, just who do yous thinks yous are? And just what the heck is this place? Some kinda va-fangool time warp or somethin’?
XANDER: My name is Xander Time of the Timeswimmers. And yes, this is a time warp. Look, there’s no time to explain. Get on the back of Peanut, the Time Dolphin!
PEANUT: (That one dolphin sound, you know the one)
DAGMAR: Oh, I’m allergic to nuts. And fish.
PEANUT: Actually, I’m a mammal. And a legume.
DAGMAR: Then giddy-up, sea beast!
[[SFX: the rest of that one dolphin noise as they gallop off through time]]
SCENE 03: INT. TIMESWIMMERS HEADQUARTERS - DAY
[[MUSIC: bright, futuristic]]
XANDER: Welcome to scenic Costa Peruba in beautiful the year 9,999 BC! This is the headquarters of the swashbuckling time-defenders: the Timeswimmers! and I am Xander Time, their fearless leader. Is this… are we all on the same page here?
DAGMAR: Ugh... yes.
PEANUT: (Dolphin Sounds)
DAGMAR: This place is incredible!
XANDER: Thanks! The design of the Pyramids of Giza were based on our headquarters. Except ours are way cooler.
DAGMAR: They look pretty much the same!
XANDER: Yeah, but ours has Ethan, who likes to hang out and skateboard in the abandoned swimming pool!
[[SFX: skateboard sounds, Ethan does a rad flip or something]]
XANDER: Ethan just got sponsored by Red Bull. And he's only 13! He’s so cool.
ETHAN: Well, I’m 160 in time-years. But thanks for the compliment, Mr. T!
XANDER: God, Ethan’s so down-to-earth, even though he's so so cool. I sure hope he doesn’t die tragically in the coming time-wars. Anyway, let’s meet the rest of the Timeswimmers!
[[SFX: they enter the Timeswimmers HQ]]
XANDER: Hey, Timeswimmers! Stop playing ping-pong, practicing telekinesis, studying a high-tech virtual battle map, and other activities that both establish your role in the group and the culture of our organization during a quick horizontal panning shot. There's someone I'd like you to meet!
[[SFX: Timeswimmers stop what they're doing and join Xander]]
XANDER: Everyone, this is Dagmar Pumpernickel, story protagonist (and sacrificial messiah) of the Timeswimmers!
DAGMAR: Wait, what–
XANDER: Dagmar, this is Harriet Tubman, time badass.
HARRIET TUBMAN: ...Sup.
XANDER: This is Marie Curie, time scientist.
MARIE CURIE: I’m riddled with cancer!
XANDER: This is Anorak, the one from the future with the time-swimming hyperwheelchair.
DAGMAR: You’s from the future? And you need a wheelchair?
ANORAK: Yes, I caught a nasty case of polio when President Trump outlawed all vaccines.
XANDER: Hahaha! And Ethan of course, who is super-duper cool but still so chill. And we hope against hope he isn’t murdered in cold blood by the Time Sharks before being replaced by an identical archetype in subsequent adventures!
ETHAN: Fingers crossed!
[[SFX: record scratch; explosion, Wilhelm scream]]
XANDER: Ethan nooooo! I’m going to dwell on your death for the next fifteen seconds then briefly mention how our victory is bittersweet at the very end of all this!
TIME SHARK TOMMY: Clean up… on Aisle Time Shark!
[[MUSIC: tense, twangy]]
XANDER: Blast! The Time Sharks! How’d you find the secret hideout of the Timeswimmers?
TIME SHARK TOMMY: It’s a giant, interdimensional pyramid at the beginning of existence...
MARIE CURIE: Subtlety is not our strong suit!
ANORAK: Well said, tumor-stricken Marie Curie!
MARIE CURIE: Thanks, futuristic disabled boy!
DAGMAR: Wait, who are the Time Sharks?
HARRIET TUBMAN: They’re the dead-eyed rapscallions making trouble in their neighborhood. The neighborhood of time.
[[SFX: The word “time” echoes into the ether when she says it]]
TIME SHARK TOMMY: We meet again… Xander Tim.
XANDER: It’s Xander Time.
TIME SHARK TOMMY: You sure it’s not Xander Tim?
XANDER: No, it’s Xander Time and the Timeswimmers!
TIME SHARK TOMMY: I could have sworn it was Xander Tim and and the Tim-xanders.
XANDER: That makes no sense!
TIME SHARK TOMMY: You make no sense!
XANDER: Your mom makes no sense!
TIME SHARK TOMMY: Yeah, because she has advanced Alzheimer’s and doesn’t recognize me anymore!
XANDER: That’s really sad!
TIME SHARK TOMMY: I know!
XANDER: I feel kind of bad now!
TIME SHARK TOMMY: Don’t beat yourself up! We all say things we don’t mean!
XANDER: I hope your family has lots of photos and home videos from better times!
TIME SHARK TOMMY: We do! When I show them to mom her eyes sometimes light up and I think for a moment she remembers!
XANDER: That’s heart-warming!
TIME SHARK TOMMY: THANK YOU!
DAGMAR: HEY! I’m sorry to interrupt but I really need to get back to my waterboarding.
TIME SHARK TOMMY: And I need to go back to my Time-borting! Which is to say… Aborting time! Observe on your Time Screen: The Mona Lisa! Notice anything... different about her?
XANDER: Well… she still has no eyebrows. Just like Marie Curie.
MARIE CURIE: I have radiation poisoning!
HARRIET TUBMAN: Wait! The Mona Lisa’s bland homely face! It’s… it’s… been replaced with a shark!
[[MUSIC: dun dun DUNNNN]]
TIME SHARK TOMMY: A million dollar answer from twenty-dollar Tubman! Take a look, Timeswimmers: all of history is becoming fish-story! The Dark Ages are now the Shark Ages! Tiger Woods? is now Tiger Shark! Ancient Carthage is now Ancient Cartilage... cuz… we don’t... have... bones.
XANDER: In that case, the Timeswimmers have a cartilage to pick with you!
[[MUSIC: strange violin strings]]
TIME SHARK TOMMY: Whoops, looks like we’re getting our summons! If you want your precious time back, come get it. Time Sharks, roll out!
[[SFX: the Time Sharks splash into time]]
XANDER: All right, set your watches to “Pursuit”. It’s time for a synchronized time-swim!
DAGMAR: A what?!
HARRIET TUBMAN: The only way to travel through the trans-dimensional time stream is with an intricately choreographed routine.
DAGMAR: Ohhh like the Netflix series The OA?
HARRIET TUBMAN: Just like that, but with more water and less horseshit.
XANDER: Ready Timeswimmers?
HARRIET TUBMAN: Ready!
MARIE CURIE: Sickly!
XANDER: Timeswimmers, assemble!
[[MUSIC: "Waltz of the Flowers" for an intricately-choreographed routine]]
[[SFX: synchronized splashing]]
SCENE 04: INT. TIME-WARP - BETWEEN TIME
[[MUSIC: adventuring, heroic]]
DAGMAR: Look! The Time Sharks are up ahead!
MARIE CURIE: We can’t outswim sharks! How will we catch up?
PEANUT: (Dolphin sounds)
ANORAK: Haha! Looks like we’ve got backup!
XANDER: It’s Peanut, and her pod of time dolphins: Butter, Jelly, and Ryan Lochte! Climb on everyone!
[[SFX: yabba-dabba-doo, now it's a real chase]]
[[MUSIC: fast-paced, action-y]]
HARRIET TUBMAN: We’re closing in! Break out your time guns!
DAGMAR: I don’t agree with the use of guns!
ANORAK: Don’t worry! They’re actually trans-dimensional plasma tools that teleport their target into a near immediate future.
HARRIET TUBMAN: A near immediate future where they’re ripped apart by bullet holes.
[[SFX: time-guns time-shooting]]
[[MUSIC: different but still very action-y]]
TOMMY TIME SHARK: Nice try, Timeswimmers! Two can play at shooting haphazardly at moving targets!
RYAN LOCHTE: (Dolphin sounds, but like the idiot Ryan Lochte would make)
HARRIET TUBMAN: Oh no! Time Dolphin Ryan Lochte! He’s never seen someone pointing a gun at him that wasn’t a lie he made up! I’m losing control!
MARIE CURIE: The Time Sharks are escaping through that time rift! Try to make it just little bit longer!
XANDER: Hold on to your time-speedo’s everyone, we’re going through the riiiiiiift!
[[SFX: going through the riiiiiiift]]
SCENE 05: EXT. MYSTERY LOCATION - DAY
ANORAK: We made it!
HARRIET TUBMAN: Not all of us.
RYAN LOCHTE: (dying dolphin sounds)
DAGMAR: Oh no… Ryan Lochte.
XANDER: It’s no use, Dagmar. Leave him be. If there’s anything Ryan Lochte would have wanted, it’s a slow, painful death.
RYAN LOCHTE: (dying slowly and painfully)
XANDER: Right, let’s go!
[[SFX: The Timeswimmers walk away as Ryan Lochte begs them not to]]
DAGMAR: So where are we?
MARIE CURIE: The real question is, “Why didn’t I take more safety measures during my experiments?”
XANDER: ...And also, “when are we?”
ANORAK: Guys… Check your time-watches.
[[SFX: time watches beep]]
HARRIET TUBMAN: Zero o’clock. That means...
XANDER: That means we’re in the holiest place in all of time!
DAGMAR: What’s that?
[[MUSIC: dream-like, fantastical]]
XANDER: Greenwich, England.
[[MUSIC: decidedly British]]
[[SFX: Big Ben strikes the hour]]
TOMMY TIME SHARK: Well done Timeswimmers! Welcome to Greenwich. You’re in for a mean time!
[[MUSIC: evil twangy]]
HARRIET TUBMAN: Dang, now that was a solid one liner.
TOMMY TIME SHARK: Time Sharks, attack!
[[MUSIC: battle music]]
XANDER: Dagmar, take cover!
DAGMAR: But I’m the protagon–
XANDER: Timeswimmers, unleash your time abilities!
DAGMAR: Watch out, Harriet Tubman! They’re surrounding you.
HARRIET TUBMAN: Not for long.
TOMMY TIME SHARK: What’s happening to the ground?
[[SFX: rocks breaking, train horn]]
HARRIET TUBMAN: You just got hit by... an underground railroad.
DAGMAR: Whoah! Every Shark within a fifteen-foot radius is dropping dead!
MARIE CURIE: Everyone who gets close to me dies. Just ask my family!
ANORAK: And now time for my special ability!
[[SFX: sword drawn]]
DAGMAR: Cool, is that a sweet future sword?
DAGMAR: Oh, like, it’s magic or something!
ANORAK: Just a regular sword.
DAGMAR: He can travel through time, he’s got a hyperwheelchair, can’t spring for a cool sword?
[[SFX: an epic battle with weapons from across history]]
TIME SHARK TOMMY: Retreat! Retreat!
XANDER: Good job team! We’ve got them on the time-ropes!
[[SFX: time ropes]]
TIME SHARK TOMMY: Oh damn, there’s actual ropes!
[[MUSIC: strange violin]]
HARRIET TUBMAN: Those aren’t time-ropes! Those are time-strings!
DAGMAR: And somebody’s pulling them!
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Not pulling... playing.
XANDER: My Timescanner’s showing a mysterious woman!
MARIE CURIE: My jealousy scanners indicate all her organs are working...
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Greetings Timeswimmers. Welcome to Greenwich. Are you fans of music?
HARRIET TUBMAN: The only music I’m a fan of is the sweet music of freedom. Which for me is someone saying “Welcome to Canada, eh!”
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: To me, nothing is more freeing than the music of the violin. And no violin is as freeing as mine.
XANDER: Wait.. those giant strings are just part of a giant machine!
DAGMAR: She’s turned all of Greenwich into an enormous violin!
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Behold… my Straddle-Various! By manipulating its strings, I can straddle various realities, picking and choosing my favorite parts and making them my own. Think of it as a giant time gun, only the futures don’t have to be bullet-related. My most recent sharking of history? That was just the beginning.
MARIE CURIE: This woman’s plans are just like our constant self-referential jokes: they have to be stopped!
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: I can’t be stopped. I’ve already won!
XANDER: Not if the Timeswimmers have anything to say about it.
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Oh right. I really should do something about that. Hmmmm how about…
[[MUSIC: creepy high pitched violin]]
DAGMAR: The Timeswimmers’ mouths! They’ve disappeared!
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Indeed, I spliced into a reality where people don’t have mouths. Plus side, everyone listens more. Downside, no 69-ing.
DAGMAR: But why am I fine?
[[MUSIC: climactic, classical]]
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Don’t you see, Dagmar? A random protagonist chosen for seemingly no reason…
DAGMAR: I mean, I was getting water-boarded by George W. Bush…
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: ...who does nothing but hamper the plot...
DAGMAR: Hey now, I didn’t make a big deal of it but I ruthlessly murdered numerous Time Sharks...
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: ...thrust into a situation she has no reason to be in?
DAGMAR: What’s your point, lady?
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Yes, what is my point? Why am I saying this? Interesting questions. Just like “Why were you being waterboarded in the first place, or why was it that it was mentioned you were an aspiring violinist at the very beginning of journey then never brought up again?
DAGMAR: Because the writers are hacks?
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Oh, most assuredly… but why else?
DAGMAR: Wait…. I am you? And… you are me?
[[MUSIC: dun dun DUNNNN]]
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together copyright Michael Jackson! We’ve done this countless times before, don’t you remember? Discovering that your arch-nemesis is a trans-dimensional version of yourself... sound familiar?
DAGMAR: Ohhhh yeaaaaah just like Bioshock Infinite!
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: No… no, this is nothing like Bioshock Infinite.
DAGMAR: It just sounds a lot like Bioshock Infinite...
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: It’s not like Bioshock Infinite!
DAGMAR: I dunno, we’re in a city floating through space-time arguing about the fate of the multivoise...
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Stop yapping about Bioshock Infinite! And start yapping your final goodbyes.
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Simple! If I am going to be Queen of the Multivoise, that means I must destroy every iteration of myself in every dimension. So listen closely to my straddle-various as I play you your funeral dirge!
[[MUSIC: Moonlight Sonata]]
[[SFX: laser... is that Space Ghost's wrist beam?]]
DAGMAR: Oh cripes! This sad music is so emotionally crippling I can’t manage to move! And that trans-dimensional beam is headed right for me in a steady yet predictable pace!
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Say goodbye, other me! Bahahahaha!
RYAN LOCHTE: Nooooooo!
[[SFX: the beam hits Ryan Lochte]]
DAGMAR: Ryan Lochte! You jumped in front of that death ray! But how are you still alive?
RYAN LOCHTE: My death wasn’t quite drawn out enough… and plus, I realized that if someone was going to be completely wiped out of existence, I would want it to be me, Ryan Lochte.
DAGMAR: That’s... that’s beautiful.
RYAN LOCHTE: Dagmar, quickly! Only you can save you… from yourself.
DAGMAR: That’s surprisingly deep, Ryan Lochte.
RYAN LOCHTE: They can’t all be losers. Quickly! The death ray destroyed most of my body, but if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s lying to the Brazilian police. Well... actually I’m pretty bad at that. They figured out my bullshit almost immediately. God, I’m really hungry. Have you ever had a breakfast chalupa? They’re so good. What were we talking about? Oh yeah. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s dying slowly. Quick! Grab my spine, Dagmar!
DAGMAR: Eugh, what?!
RYAN LOCHTE: It still has some ligaments on it. Use it as a bow! Be the violinist you mentioned wanting to be only once and pretty off-handedly at the beginning of your journey.
DAGMAR: Alright. I’ll do it for you, Ryan Lochte.
RYAN LOCHTE: No… don't do that. Do it for yourself...
[[SFX: gross icky spine noises]]
RYAN LOCHTE: Oh Jesus. Fuck. Jesus fuuuuuck this is agony!
DAGMAR: I’m sorry! You told me to.
RYAN LOCHTE: Nope! You’re right, I’m good. It's cool.
[[MUSIC: battle theme]]
DAGMAR: Alright me, prepare to meet your doom!
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: No! You can’t!
DAGMAR: Sorry lady…
DAGMAR: Better Lochte next time.
RYAN LOCHTE: ...Nice!
[[MUSIC: really bad violin. Like, just really fuckin terrible. Almost nails on a chalkboard, but you think maybe there was a melody, once, somewhere?]]
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: ...This is awful.
RYAN LOCHTE: Yeah this sucks.
DAGMAR: Yeah, just because I’m an aspiring violinist doesn’t mean I’m any good!
[[SFX: world crumbling]]
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: No, it can’t be...
DAGMAR: It can! All your worlds are crashing down on you!… and Ryan Lochte.
MYSTERIOUS WOMAN: Nooooooo!!!!
RYAN LOCHTE: I am okay with thissss!
[[SFX: timelines collapse back to normal]]
XANDER: Dagmar! You’ve done it! Although this is a little bittersweet, with Ethan dying…
[[MUSIC: the sad music cue from Scrubs]]
[[SFX: record scratch]]
XANDER: Enough of that! This is a celebration! Everything’s returned to normal!
[[MUSIC: Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time"]]
MARIE CURIE: Even my radiation poisoning…
DAGMAR: It was my pleasure, Timeswimmers. Now if you don’t mind, I have a waterboarding to get back to!
[[SFX: everyone laughs]]
(to the tune of Cyndi Lauper’s "Time After Time")
If you’re trapped in the Pentagon with George Bush
Time after time
If your role as protagonist needs a push
Time after time
If your ham-fisted dream is the violin
Time after time
If you meet the Time Sharks and cut off their fins
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Timeswimmers featured –
Kristen DiMercurio (Dagmar Pumpernickel/The Mysterious Woman)
Lee Satterwhite (George W. Bush/Ethan)
Reyn Beeler (Xander Time)
Zach Ehrlich (Peanut/Ryan Lochte)
Alex Marshall-Brown (Harriet Tubman)
Katie Speed (Marie Curie)
L. Jeffrey Moore (Anorak)
Dan Anderson (Time Shark Tommy)
Timeswimmers is brought to you by The Internet: Hahahaha, yeah!