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                                 The Tick

                                 "Pilot"

                   Original Air Date: 08 November 2001

                   

                   

                                   CAST
                       The Tick - Patrick Warburton
                           Arthur - David Burke
                       Captain Liberty - Liz Vassey
                       Batmanuel - Nestor Carbonell

                               Guest Stars
                        The Cape - William Newman
                       Red Scare - Carrick O'Quinn
                       Jimmy Carter - Brad Maynard
                           Bartender - Lisa Lu
                        Bus Driver - Jeff Doucette
                     Station Manager - E. J. Callahan
                          Mr. Ferret - Ray Xifo
                         Salesman - Adam Drescher
                        Octogenarian - Billy Beck
                     Teenage Employee - Ahmad Stoner
                         Comrade #1 - Doug Motel
                         Comrade #2 - Derek Mears
                         Comrade #3 - Brian Turk
                                   and
                    Mr. Fishladder - Christopher Lloyd
                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

         NOTE: This is not an official script, nor was it derived
     from one.  This is a transcript of a publicly broadcast episode.

                                  TEASER

    FADE IN:
    EXT. BUS STOP -- NIGHT

    Angle on the starry night sky, slowly tilting downwards throughout
    THE TICK's V.O.

                             THE TICK (V.O.)
                  The life of a superhero is a lonely one,
                  filled with hardship and danger.  The few
                  who answer the call must leave comfort,
                  safety and often sanity behind.  But
                  someone's gotta stand the heat and stay in
                  the kitchen!  Someone's gotta don the oven
                  mitts of all that's right and strangle the
                  throat of all that's wrong!  This is that
                  someone's story.

    A bus comes into view as the camera's tilt continues.  Sign
    letters reading "BUS", seen from behind, are in foreground. 
    Brakes squeal faintly as the bus pulls to a stop.

                             THE TICK (V.O.)
                  Hey!  A bus!  

    Angle on the front of the bus as the BUS DRIVER exits, and walks
    over to a rueful-looking BUS STATION MANAGER.

                                BUS DRIVER
                  He still here?  

                           BUS STATION MANAGER
                        (nodding)
                  Yup.  

    The two men look up, and the camera tilts to follow their gaze,
    revealing a beefy blue-clad superhero standing on the roof, poised
    for action and scanning the horizon as he continues his narrative.
    He is, of course, THE TICK.

                                 THE TICK
                  He stands in silence: stoic, godlike: the
                  mysterious blue avenger who has become
                  legend to the simple folk of this bus
                  station.  But glory will not distract him
                  from his vigil.

                                MAN (O.S.)
                  Come on!  

    The Tick directs his gaze downwards; below him, a MAN strikes a
    coffee vending machine.

                                   MAN
                  Come on, come on!  

                                 THE TICK
                        (sotto voce)
                  Metal fiend!  

    He jumps down between the man and the coffee machine.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Stand back, citizen!  So, vending menace:
                  we meet again.

    He presses several buttons, with no result.  Trying the
    coin-release lever, he turns to the man.

                                 THE TICK
                  You jiggle the thingy?  

    The man nods.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Armless bandit!  

    He picks up the vending machine and begins shaking it.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Empty your bladder of that bitter black
                  urine men call coffee!  It has a price,
                  and that price has been paid!

    Suddenly, a cup drops into the slot and the machine begins pouring
    coffee into it.  With a grunt, The Tick drops the machine again.

                             THE TICK (V.O.)
                  Java devil, you are now my bitch.  

    The coffee overflows, and The Tick takes out the cup and hands it
    to the man.

                                 THE TICK
                  Well, here you are, weary traveler, one
                  steamin' hot cuppa justice!  No need to
                  thank me; it's my sworn duty to defend
                  this bus station against the ravages of
                  evil.

    The man nods numbly and moves away.  The bus station manager moves
    into frame; he pulls a bus ticket out from his shirt pocket and
    drops it to the ground, then taps The Tick on the shoulder.

                           BUS STATION MANAGER
                  Uh, you dropped this.  

                                 THE TICK
                        (picking it up)
                  Hey! A bus ticket -- apparently, I intended
                  to go on a trip to The City.  Why?

                           BUS STATION MANAGER
                  Well, looks to me like you finally freed
                  us from the tyranny of the coffee machine.

                                 THE TICK
                  So perhaps my work here is done!  Perhaps
                  it's time that I moved on to a place where
                  there's...

                           BUS STATION MANAGER
                  Stuff to do?  

                                 THE TICK
                  Stuff to do!  Stuff to do.  

    He holds out his hand.  Eventually, the bus station manager shakes
    it.

                                 THE TICK
                  Well, goodbye, grateful Bus Station Man! 
                  You don't know what you'll do without me,
                  but shed no tears.

    The Tick walks away, picks up a hubcap out of a trash can and puts
    his arm around a teenager who's sweeping the floor.

                                 THE TICK
                  Goodbye, plucky, pimply teen.  Think
                  you're ready now to hear the truth.  This
                  wasn't really a magic hubcap.

    He hands the hubcap to the teen.  

                                 THE TICK
                  The magic was inside you all along.  

    The bus horn sounds.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Ah!  Well, Destiny honks the horn of
                  "Gotta Go".  To The City!

    He moves off towards the bus.  The station manager steps up beside
    the teen.

                           BUS STATION MANAGER
                  Who was that blue stranger?  

    The Tick leans out of the open bus door.  

                                 THE TICK
                  He was... The Tick.  

                                                      CUT TO:

    OPENING TITLES.


                              END OF TEASER

                                 ACT ONE

    INT. WORLDWIDE FISHLADDER AND SONS

    A set of double doors bursts open and MR. FISHLADDER strides
    angrily through, followed closely by MR. FERRET.

                                  FERRET
                  Sir, I am sure that Human Resources can
                  handle this.  No need for you --

                                FISHLADDER
                  A man's life is at stake, Mr. Ferret; I'm
                  taking this bull by the horns personally.

    Fishladder stops abruptly and looks down in shock.  

                                FISHLADDER
                  Good lord!  I'm too late.  

    Fishladder's POV: ARTHUR sits at his desk, working an adding
    machine while clad in a white costume, complete with goggles and
    wavy antennae.  Fishladder grabs the chair away from the desk in
    front of Arthur's, unceremoniously dumping out the woman who was
    sitting in it.  He sits, waits for Arthur to notice him, then
    clears his throat after a few seconds.

                                  ARTHUR
                  M-Mister -- Mister Fishladder!  

                                FISHLADDER
                  Arthur?  It is still Arthur, isn't it?  

    Arthur nods.  

                                FISHLADDER
                  Arthur, my time is worth seventeen dollars
                  a second.  I want an explanation, and I
                  want it to cost less than fifteen hundred
                  dollars!  Go!

                                  ARTHUR
                  Oh... uh... Well, it's hard to explain.  

                                FISHLADDER
                  Fifty-one dollars.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Mr. Fishladder, I have been living a lie. 
                  I am more than just a mild-mannered
                  accountant -- now, I do good work for this
                  firm, and I value my job -- it's just... my
                  entire life has become nothing but numbers
                  and deductions and IRAs...

                                FISHLADDER
                  Four hundred and fifty-five.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  And granted, I've been doing my parents'
                  tax returns since I was six -- but even
                  then, I knew I had a higher calling.  I
                  can't hide from it any longer.  I --

                                FISHLADDER
                        (pointing angrily)
                  Don't say it!  

                                  ARTHUR
                        (standing)
                  I am going to become a superhero!  You
                  know, p-part time at first.

                                FISHLADDER
                        (standing)
                  Christ in Heaven!  

    Arthur sits again.  

                                FISHLADDER
                  Look at yourself; you're built like a
                  sensible shoe, you shouldn't be jumping
                  around town in a body sock fighting crime!

                                  ARTHUR
                  Well, I haven't actually fought any crime
                  yet --

                                FISHLADDER
                  Good!  Keep it that way!  Crime fights
                  back!  Remember the lesson of Metcalfe.

                                  ARTHUR
                  M-Metcalfe?  

                                FISHLADDER
                  Metcalfe!  Head of Shipping and Receiving,
                  third floor.  Metcalfe!  He lost all his
                  game pieces, just like you.  Cashed in his
                  401K and bought a jet pack!  Now the poor
                  bastard needs a machine.  To poop!

                                  ARTHUR
                  Mr. Fishladder, I know that sort of thing
                  can happen, but --

                                FISHLADDER
                  But you're gonna ride this thing out to
                  the bloody, gruesome end, aren't you?

                                  ARTHUR
                  Well, maybe not all the way to the end,
                  but... you know... for a while.  Mr. 
                  Fishladder --
                        (he stands)
                   -- I have to try.  

                                FISHLADDER
                  Time's up!  

    Arthur sits again, abruptly.  

                                FISHLADDER
                  Here's the way I see it: you're either a
                  man with a job, or an idiot in a bunny
                  suit, you can't be both.  Not at Worldwide
                  Fishladder and Sons.  So what's it gonna
                  be?  Huh?

                             THE TICK (V.O.)
                  It's gonna be a tough row to hoe...  

                                                      CUT TO:

    EXT. THE CITY -- DAY

    Looking up to the roof of a three-story building atop which The
    Tick stands, arms akimbo.

                             THE TICK (V.O.)
                  ... but he's just the Joe to hoe it.  For
                  Destiny has called on him, and even now he
                  feels her warm, moist hand at the small of
                  his back...

    Reverse angle of The Tick's back, as he looks over The City. 

                             THE TICK (V.O.)
                  ... pushing.  Pushing.  

    He jumps forward and falls out of frame.  There is a crashing
    noise as he lands on something.

                                                      CUT TO:

    EXT. LONELY PANDA -- NIGHT

    Establishing shot: a Chinese restaurant; a green neon sign in the
    window reads "The Lonely Panda", under which a hand-lettered
    cardboard sign advertises, "SUPERHEROES WELCOME".  Beneath that,
    another sign reads "24 HR. FREE DELIVERY".

                                                      CUT TO:

    INT. LONELY PANDA

    "WE ARE FAMILY" is playing in the background.  An aged, nervous
    hero, THE CAPE, is sitting at the bar, building a pyramid of
    overturned shot glasses.  He has stacked twenty of them into five
    rows, and is preparing to put the final glass on top.

                              ARTHUR (O.S.)
                  Losing that job was the best thing that
                  could've happened to me!  That paycheck
                  was a noose around my neck.  Now I can be
                  a superhero!

    At that, The Cape flinches, causing his pyramid to collapse.  

                                 THE CAPE
                  Aw, crap.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  The noblest profession.  Risking it all
                  for the common good, that's our job; they
                  may call us an accountant, but we can't
                  deny our true natures, even if all of our
                  friends and relatives tell us we're good
                  at math.

    He drains his shot glass and puts it down, then slaps the bar with
    his hand.

                                  ARTHUR
                  The hero's life!  Our destiny!  

    Reverse angle on the BARTENDER.  Behind her is a printed sign
    reading "NOTICE - WE SERVE SUPERHEROES".

                                BARTENDER
                  Suit doesn't do a lot for you.  Make you
                  look like a... Easter Bunny.

                                  ARTHUR
                  It's a flying suit.  

                                BARTENDER
                  Easter Bunny can't fly.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Well, I can.  

    He presses a control on the harness of his backpack, and four
    moth-like wings unfurl.  Arthur gives a small nervous laugh.  The
    Cape, rebuilding his pyramid, shoots him a sideways glance.

                                  ARTHUR
                  I haven't yet.  But all I have to do is go
                  to the top of a building and jump off.

                                BARTENDER
                  Go ahead.  Who cares?  

                                  ARTHUR
                  I'm gonna do it tonight.  

    He slaps the bar again and leaves.  

                                BARTENDER
                        (to The Cape)
                  I think he's gonna fall down a lot and
                  die.

    The Cape flinches again, bringing his new pyramid down.  He makes
    a gesture of frustration.

                                 THE CAPE
                  Aw, crap.  

                                                      CUT TO:

    EXT. THE CITY -- ROOFTOP -- NIGHT

    The Tick leaps down into frame, bounding from point to point,
    chunks of debris cracking off as he lands.

                                 THE TICK
                  City!  City!  I am The Tick!  

    His feet crash through the roof, showering plaster on a pair of
    men watching television in the room below.  He recovers and leaps
    from rooftop to rooftop, leaving structural damage in his wake.

                                 THE TICK
                  And you have melted my heart!  From this
                  day forth, I will spread my buttery
                  justice over your every nook and cranny! 
                  Hear me, O City!  My City!  Your toast
                  will never go bare again!

                                                      CUT TO:

    EXT. LONELY PANDA -- NIGHT

    The door opens and Arthur walks out, wings still deployed.  At
    first, he moves with determination, but then he falters and turns
    around, swallowing hard and then stifling a burp.

                                  ARTHUR
                  Who am I kidding?  

    Pressing the control on his harness, he retracts his wings.  

                                                      CUT TO:

    EXT. THE CITY -- ALLEYWAY -- NIGHT

    Five Russian COMRADES stand next to a truck, which bears red
    stenciled letters obscured by the men.  They are wearing grey
    jumpsuits, and most of them wear black berets.  One of them pours
    vodka into the glasses of the others.  During Comrade #1's speech,
    another man is revealed keeping lookout near the mouth of the
    alley, which is across from the Lonely Panda.

                                COMRADE #1
                  Comrades, The Red Scare!  The finest
                  secret Soviet supervillain nineteen
                  seventy-nine had to offer.

    He holds up a control device covered with protrusions; on top is a
    large red button.

                                COMRADE #1
                  One touch of this button, and ve'll have
                  an unstoppable engine of death at our
                  command.

                                COMRADE #2
                  Nineteen seventy-nine?  Does it still
                  work?

                                COMRADE #1
                        (mocking)
                  Does it still vork?  It's a Plotski!  

    Angle through the mouth of the alley towards the Lonely Panda,
    where we see Arthur staggering across the street towards us.

                            COMRADE #1 (O.S.)
                  Ivan Plotski, the best scientist ever!  

    Arthur bumps into a streetlight and belches.  

                                COMRADE #1
                  To the Russian-American Coalition for the
                  Annihilation of the U.S. Postal System!

                                 COMRADES
                        (Clinking glasses)
                  Na zdorovye!  

    Arthur's stomach finally gets the better of him as he reaches the
    alley, and he vomits... onto the shoes of the lookout, who looks
    none too happy.

                                  ARTHUR
                  Sorry.  

    The lookout pulls Arthur into the alley and throws him roughly
    against a brick wall, where he is quickly surrounded by the other
    Comrades.

                            COMRADE #1 (O.S.)
                  Rabbit person wants to make problems?  

                                  ARTHUR
                  It's really more of a moth thing.  

                            COMRADE #2 (O.S.)
                  He vants to be a superhero.  

                            COMRADE #1 (O.S.)
                  Let's teach him the lesson... of Metcalfe.

                                  ARTHUR
                  Metcalfe?  

                                 COMRADES
                  Metcalfe!  

                                  ARTHUR
                        (high-pitched scream)
                  Noooooooo!  

                                                      CUT TO:

    EXT. THE CITY -- ROOFTOP ABOVE ALLEY -- NIGHT

    Start with pure blackness, pull back to reveal The Tick standing
    on a rooftop, his antennae stiffening to attention as he hears
    Arthur's scream.

                                 THE TICK
                  My first damsel in distress!  

    He jumps down off the building.  

                                                      CUT TO:

    EXT. THE CITY -- ALLEYWAY -- NIGHT

    The Tick lands on the Comrades' van, which is now revealed to read
    "VLAD'S ARMY SURPLUS - I am the Czar".  The tires burst from the
    shock of his landing.  The Comrades spin around to see him
    standing atop their van, arms akimbo.

                                 THE TICK
                  Unhand that woman!  

    The cluster of Comrades parts to reveal Arthur.  

                                 COMRADE
                  Uh?  

                                 THE TICK
                        (disappointed)
                  Oh.
                        (His antennae droop.)
                  Awkward moment.  Sorry there, Moth Man. 
                  Didn't mean to interrupt.  Although I sure
                  would like a slice of your righteous
                  combat pie.  Whaddaya say?

                                  ARTHUR
                  Help?  

                                 THE TICK
                  Well, hey, great!  Thanks!  

    He jumps down to the ground.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Wicked men, you face The Tick.  

    With a roar, the Comrades all rush The Tick.  He flings them off,
    and Arthur flinches to avoid being hit by the flying bodies.

                             THE TICK (O.S.)
                  Incoming!  

    More bodies fly.  The Tick walks by, with a Comrade behind him
    hitting him over the head with a pipe.

                                 THE TICK
                  Single file!
                        (he notices the pipe)
                  Knock it off!  

    Arthur ducks a bottle which shatters next to him, and more flying
    bodies.

                             THE TICK (O.S.)
                  Heads up!  Ha ha ha!  Don't do drugs!  Ah,
                  there's more where that came from!

    Arthur slides down the wall, and the fight is over; the Comrades
    are piled up into a heap, and the control device tumbles down onto
    the ground.  Tilt up to reveal The Tick standing on the pile of
    bodies.

                                 THE TICK
                  He breathes in deep the sweet air of his
                  first victory.  And with the newly-won
                  friendship of his fellow warrior, he
                  stands tall against the inevitable horrors
                  to come.

    Arthur is sitting, clasping his knees as he stares blankly at The
    Tick.

                                 THE TICK
                  Come on, Moth Man!  To the rooftops!  

    Arthur doesn't move; as The Tick walks away, he steps on the
    control device; the red button lights up.  Arthur reacts as the
    back door of the van opens up, and THE RED MENACE emerges with a
    beeping noise.  It straightens up and crosses its arms: in its
    left hand it holds a sickle, and in the right it holds a hammer,
    positioned to mimic the Soviet emblem on its abdomen.  It walks
    past a dazed-looking Arthur and stalks off into the night.

                                                      CUT TO:

    EXT. THE CITY -- ROOFTOPS -- NIGHT

    Pull back to reveal The Tick looking over the edge of the
    building.

                                 THE TICK
                  It all happens here on the rooftops. 
                  Brightly clad stallions running the most
                  dangerous steeplechase of them all...

    Arthur comes into view, panting as he climbs up the ladder on the
    side of the building.

                                 THE TICK
                  ... flanks sweaty, nostrils flaring.  We
                  heroes are our own jockeys, chum; we ride
                  ourselves, and hard!

    With one hand, The Tick lifts Arthur up over the wall and puts him
    down on the roof.

                                  ARTHUR
                        (out of breath)
                  Robot!  I saw a robot!  

                                 THE TICK
                  You saw a robot.  You lucky duck.  

    With a whistling noise, BATMANUEL flies onto the rooftop behind
    The Tick and Arthur, who turn to look at him.  He is clad in
    brown, with an orange cape, and the outline of a facemask joined
    to two large bat ears.

                                 THE TICK
                  Wow!  

                                BATMANUEL
                  Heh!  Haven't seen you around before!  I
                  am...

    With a flourish, he throws open his cape.  Disco music plays.  

                                BATMANUEL
                  ... Batmanuel!  

    He lets the cape fall, and the music stops.  

                                BATMANUEL
                  You may have heard of me.  I, ah, get a
                  lot of press.

    He hands business cards to The Tick and Arthur.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  You were the one who saved that trolley
                  full of supermodels!

                                BATMANUEL
                  Yes.  In fact, I saved them three times in
                  one night, if you get my meaning.

                                 THE TICK
                  Nope.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Batmanuel, thank God you're here!  Listen,
                  there's this big red --

    A tinny, electronic tune begins playing; Batmanuel holds up a hand
    and cuts him off, then answers his cellphone.

                                BATMANUEL
                  Batmanuel.
                        (beat)
                  On a roof, of course.  Hah?  Yes, the
                  doors open at midnight.  Ah-hah.  And
                  invite Diego.  I like his sister.  She's
                  Catholic.

                                 THE TICK
                        (to Arthur)
                  Cool walkie-talkie.  

    Suddenly, the noise of a helicopter is heard, accompanied by
    Sousa's "WASHINGTON POST MARCH".  CAPTAIN LIBERTY swings down on a
    rope ladder; she's clad in a skimpy red satin outfit, with gold
    thigh-high boots and long gloves, and a Statue of Liberty crown. 
    She holds a stylized torch.

                             CAPTAIN LIBERTY
                  Gentlemen!  I'm Captain Liberty.  Once
                  again, the nation is in peril.

                                BATMANUEL
                        (on phone)
                  I'm telling you, Falco died.  Sí!  Amadeus
                  Amadeus, he is a dead person!

                                  ARTHUR
                  Captain Liberty, thank God you're here! 
                  Listen, there's a big red --

    She holds up her hand and cuts him off.  

                             CAPTAIN LIBERTY
                  There's no time to chat, I'm afraid; this
                  is top priority.  The CIA has tracked a
                  secret Soviet superweapon to The City. 
                  Codenamed The Red Scare, one hundred
                  percent lethal.

                                  ARTHUR
                  Exactly!  Exactly!  

                                 THE TICK
                        (re: helicopter)
                  That is the biggest darn whirlybird I have
                  ever seen!

    There is the sound of an explosion.  Arthur and Captain Liberty
    start towards it, but Batmanuel moves into her path.

                                BATMANUEL
                  So, Janet!  Back in bed with the CIA, ah? 
                  You certainly do your best work
                  undercover.

                             CAPTAIN LIBERTY
                  Stow it, you infant, I don't have time for
                  your nonsense.

                                BATMANUEL
                  Oh?  You had a little time for it last
                  month, on top of that water tower.
                        (to The Tick)
                  I saved her too, once, if you know what
                  I'm saying...

                                 THE TICK
                  Nope.  

                                  ARTHUR
                        (leaning over the edge of the
                         building)
                  Everybody!  The robot!  It's right down
                  there!

                             CAPTAIN LIBERTY
                        (to The Tick)
                  I'm working on having him deported.  

                                BATMANUEL
                  Ah, she fears the demons I have awoken in
                  her... womanly places.

                                  ARTHUR
                  He just flipped over a car!  

                             CAPTAIN LIBERTY
                        (into her torch)
                  Ground One to Airship, target the
                  Eurotrash and fire on my command.

                                BATMANUEL
                  Lesbian!  

                             CAPTAIN LIBERTY
                  We should have taken your country when we
                  had the chance.

                                BATMANUEL
                  I still have your panties.  

    He holds them up.  She grabs for them, but he keeps them out of
    her reach.

                                  ARTHUR
                  He's got rockets!  

                             CAPTAIN LIBERTY
                  Give me those, you weasel!  

                                BATMANUEL
                  Don't fight like a girl, Janet, fight like
                  a woman!

    They gaze at each other, clearly aroused, then lock into a
    passionate embrace.  They kiss and begin moaning.  The Tick looks
    at them, bewildered.

                                  ARTHUR
                  Hey, he's getting away!  

    Arthur turns back to face them and stops, stunned at the tableau
    before him.  The Tick finally breaks his stare away from Captain
    Liberty and Batmanuel, and looks down.

                                 THE TICK
                  Awww, I stepped in gum!  Oh...  

    Arthur puts his goggles on top of his head, staring in disbelief. 

                                  ARTHUR
                  What's wrong with you people?  You're
                  superheroes; you're supposed to be... you
                  know... heroic!

                                 THE TICK
                        (to the gum)
                  Awww... Sticky pink devil!  

                             CAPTAIN LIBERTY
                        (to Batmanuel)
                  Greasy twerp!  

                                BATMANUEL
                        (to Captain Liberty)
                  Right-wing ice queen!  

    They resume kissing.  Arthur starts walking dejectedly, towards
    the stairwell.

                                 THE TICK
                  Who puts gum on a roof?!  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Well, it's been a shattering
                  disillusionment.  Good night.

    He opens the stairwell door and exits.  

                                 THE TICK
                        (looking around)
                  What was that about a robot?  

    Arthur closes the door.  Batmanuel and Captain Liberty fall to the
    rooftop.

                                 THE TICK
                  Little guy?  

                                BATMANUEL
                        (muffled)
                  Oh, stroke my ears.  

    Captain Liberty giggles.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Little chum?  

                                                      FADE OUT.

                              END OF ACT ONE

                                 ACT TWO

    INT. ARTHUR'S APARTMENT

    Close-up on the door as ARTHUR enters, carrying a sack of
    groceries and a newspaper.  He closes the door, puts the groceries
    on the counter and throws the paper onto his kitchen table, then
    shuffles into the bathroom and looks into the mirror.  Angle on
    the hallway, as seen through the peephole in Arthur's door, as THE
    TICK comes into view.  He rattles the doorknob, then tries to peer
    through the hole.  Return to Arthur regarding himself in the
    mirror.

                                  ARTHUR
                  You're an idiot in a bunny suit.  

    He pulls the cap off his head, sighs, and then reacts to a
    pounding on his front door.

                             THE TICK (O.S.)
                  Arthur!  

    Angle on the hallway, looking through the peephole again.  The
    Tick is pounding on the door.

                                 THE TICK
                  Arthur!  

    Angle on the bathroom door as Arthur walks out.  There is a
    crashing noise.  Angle on the front door as The Tick rests the
    broken door against the wall.

                                 THE TICK
                  Hello again!  Your door is broken; the
                  knob came off

    He hands the knob to Arthur.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  What are you doing here?  

                                 THE TICK
                        (looking around)
                  Moth Man, this is incredible!  It looks
                  just like an apartment!

                                  ARTHUR
                  What?  

                                 THE TICK
                  All right.  Show me your trigger.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  My what?  

                                 THE TICK
                  Your secret headquarters trigger, the
                  switch that pops up all your secret
                  crime-bustin' equipment!  Is this it?  Eh?

    He goes over to a light fixture and rips it out of the wall.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Awww...  

                                 THE TICK
                  Say!  What does your sofa turn into?  

    He flips it onto its back.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  It turns into... a bed.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Well, that's a start.  What else you got? 

                                  ARTHUR
                  Nothing!  I've got nothing; this is just
                  an apartment!

    The Tick's antennae droop, but otherwise he is expressionless.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  What are you doing here?  

                                 THE TICK
                        (antennae perking up again)
                  I followed you home!  I got something I
                  wanna show you.

                                  ARTHUR
                  Look!  This whole thing was a mistake. 
                  Apparently, superheroes are just a bunch
                  of egotistical, self-centered, sexually
                  frustrated kindergarteners!  No offense
                  intended.

                                 THE TICK
                  None comprehended!  

                                  ARTHUR
                  It's just... I thought they were supposed
                  to risk it all for the common good!  You
                  know, help the downtrodden?  The sad part
                  is, I'm downtrodden.  I'm not "Moth Man",
                  I'm not a superhero... I'm not even an
                  accountant any more!  I'm just Arthur.

    The Tick rushes forward and grabs Arthur's head.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Arthur!  Listen to me carefully!  I
                  believe in you!  I always have!  That's
                  why I'm here!  Destiny dressed you this
                  morning, my friend, and now fear is trying
                  to pull off your pants!  If you give up --
                  if you give in -- then you're gonna end up
                  naked with fear just standing there
                  laughing at your dangling unmentionables!
                        (beat)
                  Oh, wait!  I almost forgot the best part. 

    He goes back out into the hall.  

                                 THE TICK
                  I got to thinking you might be on to
                  something about this whole Red Scare
                  thing.

    He then drags COMRADE #1 into view, with the pole of a street sign
    ("ONE WAY") coiled around him.

                                 THE TICK
                  Figured maybe we should interrogate
                  somebody.

                                COMRADE #1
                  Please help me!  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Help you?  You were gonna Metcalfe me!  

                                 THE TICK
                  Easy there, Bad Cop!  Think you cracked
                  this nut.
                        (To Comrade #1)
                  All right, you heard the man.  Give him
                  the skinny.

                                COMRADE #1
                  The Red Scare is a relentless robotic
                  assassin, built in the late seventies and
                  -- and, and, and programmed to kill Jimmy
                  Carter.  We were going to use it to kill
                  the Postmaster General, but you thwarted
                  us before we had the chance.

                                 THE TICK
                  You see, Arthur?  You thwart!  

                                  ARTHUR
                  What -- then it must still be
                  programmed...

    Angle on the newspaper ("The City Times"), with a giant headline
    reading "JIMMY CARTER IS IN TOWN".  Next to Carter's picture, it
    reads "Ex-Prez To Pick Up U.N. Prize, Put Up Housing Project".

                                  ARTHUR
                  Oh my God.  Jimmy Carter is in town!  

                                 THE TICK
                  Jimmy Carter is in town!  Heavens to
                  Betsy, what're the odds?  Quickly, chum,
                  Jimmy needs us now more than ever!

    He rushes out; the Comrade topples over.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Us?  

    The Tick's hand reaches into frame and pulls Arthur out.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Us!  

                                                      CUT TO:

    EXT. THE CITY HOTEL -- NIGHT

    Angle down on the awning and parking lot.  A Checker cab pulls up,
    and The Tick bolts out and runs into the hotel.  Arthur begins to
    follow suit, leaving his door open.

                             THE TICK (O.S.)
                  I have no money!  

    Arthur runs back and pays the cabdriver.  

                                  ARTHUR
                        (sotto voce)
                  Five dollars... add fifteen percent...
                        (louder)
                  Ah, just keep the change.  

    He runs into the hotel.  

                             THE TICK (O.S.)
                  Clear the building!  

                                CABDRIVER
                  Hey!  Idiot!  

    Arthur runs back and shuts the door.  

                                  ARTHUR
                        (to cabdriver)
                  Sorry.  

    He runs back inside.  

                             THE TICK (O.S.)
                  The Russians are coming!  The Russians are
                  coming!  To the penthouse!

                                                      CUT TO:

    INT. THE CITY HOTEL -- ELEVATOR

    Arthur and The Tick stand in the elevator as it goes up.  Arthur
    begins fidgeting and, eventually, whimpering.

                                  ARTHUR
                  Tick, this is insane; I can't fight the
                  Red Scare!

                                 THE TICK
                  Yes, you can.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  I'm just an accountant!  

                                 THE TICK
                  People change.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  People die!  

                                 THE TICK
                  No, they don't.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Yes, they do!  

                                 THE TICK
                  Not on my watch, they don't!  

                                                      CUT TO:

    INT. THE CITY HOTEL -- PENTHOUSE

    We see only the elevator doors, and the backs of the heads of
    Jimmy Carter and a Secret Service agent.

                               JIMMY CARTER
                  Looks like we're gonna be late.  

    The elevator doors open, to reveal The Tick grabbing Arthur by the
    arms.

                                  ARTHUR
                  But I don't wanna poop with a machine!  

                                 THE TICK
                  No one's asking you to!  

    Jimmy Carter clears his throat.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Jimmy Carter!  

    The Tick lunges forward and pulls Jimmy Carter into the elevator. 

                                 THE TICK
                  Jimmy!  In the elevator!
                        (to Secret Service agent)
                  We'll take it from here.  

    The elevator doors close.  

                                                      CUT TO:

    INT. THE CITY HOTEL -- ELEVATOR

    From Jimmy Carter's POV.  The Tick and Arthur loom close.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Mr. President...  

                                 THE TICK
                  Jimmy, you got robot problems -- and bad! 

                           JIMMY CARTER (O.S.)
                  I -- I left my money in my room!  I'm
                  sorry!

                                 THE TICK
                  Your very life hangs in the balance.  

    Reverse angle.  Jimmy Carter is now facing the wall, and remains
    so for all subsequent shots.

                               JIMMY CARTER
                  Help! Helllllp!  

    The Tick grabs Jimmy Carter's head.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Mr. President, I believe in you!  I always
                  have!  That's why --

                                  ARTHUR
                  Tick!  Tick!  Don't squeeze his head!  

    The Tick lets go, and Jimmy Carter bolts to the other side of the
    elevator car.

                                 THE TICK
                  But -- 

                                  ARTHUR
                  That doesn't work on anybody.  

                                 THE TICK
                        (re: Jimmy Carter)
                  Remarkably spry.  

                               JIMMY CARTER
                  Men in wrestling outfits!  Help!  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Mr. President, please!  

                               JIMMY CARTER
                        (into elevator phone)
                  Help!  Circus freaks!  Help!  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Please, Mr. President?  I know we look...
                  strange, but we're here to help you.

                                 THE TICK
                  There's a Soviet killing machine out there
                  with your name on it, and it could strike
                  at any moment.

                               JIMMY CARTER
                  I don't believe you.  

    Suddenly, the Red Menace bursts through the ceiling and drops onto
    the floor.

                                 THE TICK
                  Great Molly Hatchet!  

                                RED MENACE
                        (deep, menacing electronic
                         voice)
                  Jimmy Carter, you have been sentenced to
                  death.

                                 THE TICK
                  Not so fast!  

                                RED MENACE
                  Destroy Jimmy Carter.  

                                 THE TICK
                  You and what army, pinko?  

    The Red Menace head-butts The Tick.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Uhh!  

    The Red Menace head-butts him again.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Uhh!  Knock it off!  

    The Tick butts The Red Menace.  The Red Menace returns the blow. 
    They continue to trade head-butts.

                                  ARTHUR
                  Don't worry, Mr. President, everything's
                  gonna be okay.  I think.

    The Red Menace gives another head butt.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Uhhh.  Good helmet.  

                                RED MENACE
                  Destroy Jimmy Carter.  

    He holds up his sickle, then strikes upwards, severing the
    elevator cable.  The car begins to plummet.  The Red Menace grabs
    The Tick's antennae

                                 THE TICK
                  Whoa!  That's dirty pool!  

    He staggers back and his head breaks through the wall of the
    elevator car.  The Red Menace follows and puts its hands around
    his throat.  Sparks fly upwards as The Tick's head scrapes against
    the wall of the elevator shaft.

                                 THE TICK
                  Must... use... head... to... slow...
                  elevator's... fall!

                               JIMMY CARTER
                  Oh, merciful Lord, we're gonna die!  

    Arthur slowly lifts up his head, realizing something.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  No, we're not, Mr. Ex-President.  

    He resolutely puts his goggles on and takes a deep breath.  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Grab onto me and hold tight!  

    He hits the control on his backpack harness; his wings unfurl. 
    Jimmy Carter rushes over and grabs onto Arthur.  Arthur jumps up,
    and the two of them fly upwards, out of the elevator car.

                                  ARTHUR
                  Yaaaa-haha!  

    The Red Menace lets go of The Tick and looks up, making a noise of
    frustration.

                                 THE TICK
                  Oh, yes... it's too late we learn that
                  communism does not pay.
                        (beat)
                  So!  Don't have a snappy Soviet comeback
                  for that one, do we?

    The elevator continues its fall, and crashes.  

                                                      SHOCK CUT TO BLACK.

    INT. THE CITY HOTEL -- BASEMENT

    A pile of rubble from the elevator.  Amidst the twisted girders
    and cables, we see bits of blue and red.  Two of the blue bits
    begin vibrating; they are The Tick's antennae.  The Tick pushes a
    pile of debris off his torso.

                                 THE TICK
                  Gravity... is a harsh mistress.  

                                                      CUT TO:

    INT. LONELY PANDA RESTAURANT.

    Close-up on ARTHUR, slowly pulling back to reveal THE TICK sitting
    next to him.

                                 THE TICK
                  And that's how we vanquished our first
                  supervillain, and how Arthur learned to
                  fly, and how we gave Jimmy Carter a mild
                  concussion.

    Reverse angle on BATMANUEL and CAPTAIN LIBERTY, sitting across
    from them in the booth.  They laugh politely.  Batmanuel is
    wearing a plaster cast on his right forearm.

                                  ARTHUR
                  We saved a President!  

                                 THE TICK
                  Yet the evening's greatest victory is the
                  friendship forged between this heroic duo.
                  Inseparable!  Bonded together by the Krazy
                  Glue of Justice.  Till death do they part!

                                  ARTHUR
                  We saved a President.  

    Captain Liberty and Batmanuel make polite noises.  

                                BATMANUEL
                  You two are the talk of the town, you
                  know.  I'd be honored if you'd, uh, sign
                  my cast.

                                  ARTHUR
                  Sure!  

                             CAPTAIN LIBERTY
                  Boys, that was excellent work out there. 
                  I'm sorry I was somewhat...
                        (glances at Batmanuel)
                  distracted... earlier, but I assure you I
                  did come to my senses before it was too
                  late.

    Batmanuel puts his arm around Captain Liberty.  

                                BATMANUEL
                  She's a -- a beautiful woman, but, ah...
                        (raising his cast)
                  her third base is, ah, very dangerous, if
                  you get my meaning.

    She elbows him.  

                                BATMANUEL
                  Ow!  

                                 THE TICK
                  Nope.  

    The Bartender brings a small tray to their table.  

                                BARTENDER
                  Here.  Fortune cookies; check.  

                                 THE TICK
                  Check!
                        (beat)
                  Look!  More strange treats from the
                  Orient!

    He puts an entire fortune cookie into his mouth and begins
    chewing.  The others look at him strangely.

                                 THE TICK
                        (chewing)
                  Mmmm!  Mmmm...  

    He stops and pulls the fortune out of his mouth.  

                                 THE TICK
                  A secret message!  From my teeth!
                        (reading)
                  The road to Hell is paved with good
                  intentions.
                        (beat)
                  I don't get it.  

    Suddenly, a fireball ignites outside the window.  

                             CAPTAIN LIBERTY
                  Damn!  It's Apocalypse Cow!  

    She does something to her torch (which flares up briefly), and
    leaves the booth.

                                 THE TICK
                  Arthur!  Evil is afoot, and hoofing it
                  with dark gusto!  Let's go!

    He leaves the booth.  Arthur looks outside for a moment, and
    starts to follow him.

                                BATMANUEL
                  I would not go out there, my little
                  friend.

    Arthur turns back.  

                                BATMANUEL
                  Apocalypse Cow is fifty feet tall; she
                  shoots fire from her teats.

                                 THE TICK
                  Quickly, chum!  There's fire everywhere!  

                                  ARTHUR
                  B-Batmanuel said... udder...  

                                 THE TICK
                  Fight fire with Arthur!  

                                  ARTHUR
                  Uh, I'll just get the check.  

                                 THE TICK
                  It's your destiny.  

                                                      QUICK FADE TO BLACK.

    While the screen is black, we hear Batmanuel's phone ring.  Fade
    back up on the same scene, as Batmanuel reaches for his cellphone.

                                BATMANUEL
                  Batmanuel.  Diego!
                        (laughs)
                  How is your sister?  

                                                      FADE TO BLACK.

                                   END
      

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