by Rubberman41, CSyphrett and Libbylawrence
An exclusive uptown New York athletic club:
Two men were jogging on an indoor track. One was short and out of shape, with brown hair, and the other was tall, muscular, blond, and good-looking. The shorter man was speaking to the taller one. “So it’s two-point-five million for Booster Gold: The Motion Picture, but five million for each sequel! Whaddaya say, Booster?”
“Don’t make my sides ache,” the blond man retorted. “Conrad, you know this thing’ll be bigger than Gremlins, Goonies, and Gone With the Wind!” He smiled at the shorter man. “Let’s make it five million to start.”
“Lookin’ sharp, Booster!” a young shapely woman said aloud as she passed them.
“Smooth as silk, Tanya,” the blond replied.
“Puff — five million?” Conrad huffed. “Ridiculous! Three-point-five mil, and you can play yourself!” Conrad came back.
“I expected to play myself,” the blond man returned. “Throw in ten percent of merchandising and points.”
“Merchandising? Points?” Conrad asked in disbelief. “We don’t give that much to Stallone!”
“Can Stallone pick up a car and demolish it with one hand?” the blond man asked.
Just then a wealthy businessman with blond hair walked by and waved at the other blond man. “Good to see you, Buster,” he said.
“That’s Booster, J.B.!” the blond man said to the retreating businessman.
The two men finished jogging and, after hitting the showers, they resumed their conversation. “Look, I’ll go as far as four million, two-hundred and fifty thou,” Conrad offered. “That’s it.”
“That’s a shame, Conrad,” Booster replied. “I’ll just have to do as my agent advised me and sign with Universal instead.”
“Gak!” Conrad choked. “Universal?” Conrad thought for a moment. “OK, OK! Five million, plus ten percent merchandising and points! Deal?” Conrad asked.
“Conrad,” Booster said, “you drive a hard bargain.”
Oh, boy. Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the bargaining table, Conrad thought to himself.
“Now, about that sequel we mentioned,” Booster continued. “I think Booster Gold II sounds so ordinary, don’t you?” Booster made a dramatic pose. “How about Booster Gold: The Legend Lives On!”
Booster Gold finished the bargaining with his trademark smile and headed for the showers. He had some a few meetings and public appearances to attend before his day was over.
This is the life, he thought as he changed into his familiar battle-suit. It was hard to believe he was a hero again, except this was much better than being a thirtieth century moopsball hero ever had been.
In a matter of three months (and one hell of a media blitz), Booster Gold had become a household name, winning both endorsement contracts and movie parts. Thanks to the fame he won from saving the President, the public loved him. He had made it as a hero, too, racking up a few cases during that time and making the headlines side-by-side with the heroes he had read about in the history screens. It was quite exhilarating.
As he came out of the trendy health club, Booster smiled. Things were going his way again, and he could hardly believe his luck and popularity. Skeets floated by Booster’s side as they walked to the restaurant where he had an important meeting to attend.
He walked into the place, looking around as he moved. The party he was meeting stood up as he approached and held out his hand. Booster shook it firmly.
“Hi, Booster,” said the other man, who had become a friend despite his original misgivings about Michael Carter.
“Hello, Ted,” the hero from the future said, smiling.
Ted Kord had a wry smile on his face as he greeted his friend. After a pause, he asked him, “How would you like to join the Sentinels of Justice?”
Michael Carter returned the smile. “I was hoping you’d ask.”
Back in the USSR, Comrade Zastrow frowned as he made a mental review of the events over the last three months.
The People’s Heroes still do not accept Redstar’s leadership, he mused. Svarog and the other agents working at Puleski Institute have yet to be tested in a real mission. A masked group of vigilantes calling themselves Soyuz have been reported, but we have yet to confirm their existence. Project X has become the new headquarters of the American Sentinels of Justice and must be considered a lost cause. The being called Pozhar has not been captured, nor has it been detected in enemy territory. I am more determined than ever to employ the Soviet Superpowers Project resources to maximum effect, but something still urges me to try a radical new approach.
He looked up at his empty office, once again seeing the image of the red-haired beauty who had been whispering to him for months. “You are not a mere phantasm or figment of my imagination. I now believe in you,” he said. “Tell me what you want. Perhaps a weapon of supernatural origin would be of use to me.”
She smiled and said, “I will share all I know with you, and we will become rich with power and slaves.”
Zastrow looked at her intently and said, “Tell me everything you know.”