Disclaimer: I do not own WordGirl or Doctor Who, both properties of PBS and BBC respectively.
WordGirl (and Doctor Who) in...
A QUESTION FOR THE AGES, PART 2!
Narrator: Our second round of featured words is: 'Discourage,' and 'Philosopher.'
When we last saw WordGirl and Captain Huggyface, they had called upon their time-traveling friend, the Doctor, to help track down the villainous Ms. Question, who had just recently stolen her own time machine! The Doctor helped WordGirl follow Ms. Question to Ancient Greece, where apparently he has figured out Ms. Question's plan!
"Ms. Question wants to change history! That's why she traveled back in time to Ancient Greece!"
WordGirl gasped...and then, asked: "But...why?"
"Why else? So you will never become WordGirl! So WordGirl will never have existed!"
WordGirl and Captain Huggyface both became slightly confused, so the Doctor continued: "She's gone to meet Socrates, correct? Well, Socrates is considered to be the greatest philosopher of all time! The things he's said are so famous, that people have looked to his words for guidance all throughout time! Now, what if you got him to say something like...'People with superpowers shouldn't become superheroes'! What then?"
It didn't take long for WordGirl to figure it out: "Oh my... then, when I discovered my powers as a kid, I'd have thought, 'It would be nice to be a superhero, but Socrates discourages it, so I probably shouldn't!"
"Exactly! The sayings of a philosopher like Socrates guide the way humans think! And if he discourages people from becoming superheroes, so will everybody who follows! Nobody will ever want to become a superhero! And with no superheroes..."
"...Supervillains like Ms. Question will be able to do whatever they want!" WordGirl finished.
"We've got to stop her!" And with that, the Doctor jumped back up to a standing position, and asked the nearby Greek man who told them where Ms. Question was, "Where's Socrates? I need to find him before he says the wrong thing and changes the universe as we know it!"
The Greek man just stood there...and laughed! "HA! Sir, he's already done that!"
"Oh, that's right..." the Doctor moaned, "Socrates wasn't looked on well by his fellow Greeks, who thought he was bringing about unwelcome changes to the way ordinary Greeks thought..."
"You mean 'isn't' looked on well, you strange-speaking man. Are you an admirer of Socrates?" asked another robed bystander.
"Erm...Well, he does raise some interesting questions...Like, for example, "How much do we really know?" or "What is the good life?" among other things."
This caused the people who were observing this conversation to laugh even more. "Interesting questions? We call them the mindless chatter of a fool who doesn't know his head from his feet!"
"Yeah," WordGirl cuts in, "But Ms. Question agrees with...Dad; She must think they're interesting questions or else she wouldn't have gone looking for him!"
"Yes, my child," said the Doctor, "However, Ms. Question cannot be allowed to meet Socrates...so once again, I ask you, where can I find Socrates?"
"...If you really need to find him that badly, go find him yourself!" said one of the Greeks dismissively. And with that, the crowd around them began to disperse.
"...Sorry if that wasn't as helpful as I thought, Doctor, Captain Huggyface..." sighed WordGirl.
Captain Huggyface, still on the Doctor's shoulder, screeched a message to WordGirl, and the Doctor followed it up: "He's right, WordGirl; you tried. Far be it from me to discourage you from trying!"
After seeing that WordGirl's mood had improved slightly, the Doctor continued: "Besides, we still have my timey-wimey detector! Lacking the ability to find Socrates, we can still search for Ms. Question herself!"
And then, with WordGirl clinging to his jacket again, the Doctor took the strange device out from under his coat, pulled the phone-like attachment to his ear, and flipped the switch. Soon, the tape-recorder wheel began to rotate...
The time-traveling trio turned suddenly, to see a crowd beginning to gather around a man who was selling eggs in the market...which he had suddenly discovered to be hard-boiled. "I swear, these weren't like this when I brought them to the market!" the man exclaimed.
WordGirl, Captain Huggyface, and the Doctor looked at the strange scene, then at the timey-wimey detector...and the Doctor said: "Something tells me I should stay away from chickens when using this...anyway, let's go! I think we're picking up something!"
*(one scene transition later)*
WordGirl and company rushed through the streets of Athens, following the Doctor's beeping machine every which-way. Eventually, they found themselves traversing an alleyway behind a set of stone houses. Soon, they turned a corner, and...
"Oh no!" exclaimed WordGirl as she saw what they found: Ms. Question's glass time machine, but the villain nowhere to be found!
The Doctor thought for a second...and then said: "Go on without me."
"If we should find Ms. Question in time, she might run...and start this chase all over again if she travels through time again, and finds another famous philosopher, like Aristotle, or Descartes! I need to stay here and disable this time machine before that could happen!"
"I see what you mean, Doctor, but-"
"It's going to take some time to disable this thing, even with my sonic screwdriver!" the Doctor interrupted, pulling out a small metallic tube-like device as did: "Time which we cannot afford to waste! So, you and Captain Huggyface go on without me and see if you can find Ms. Question and Socrates!"
As the Doctor ran towards the time machine, his so-called 'sonic screwdriver' at the ready, WordGirl shouted after him: "But I thought girls couldn't wander the streets alone in Ancient Greece!"
"That's a chance we'll have to take, WordGirl! Besides, we're not just in Ancient Greece; we're in Ancient Athens! The Athenians were known for admiring intelligent people, maybe you could use that! Now get going while history is still unchanged!"
With an exclamation of: "I hope you know what you're doing, Doctor!" WordGirl and Captain Huggyface ran off into the streets...
...while the Doctor said, "Indeed. I hope so too." before leaning next to the time machine's base, and pointing his sonic screwdriver at it; a buzzing sound came out of the tip of the metal device, and a panel quickly detached from the golden base, revealing a confusing assortment of multicolored wires...
*(one scene transition later)*
WordGirl and Captain Huggyface, in their Greek disguises, traversed the streets of Athens as sneakily as could be, trying to avoid undue attention. All the while, she kept her super-hearing on the lookout for any news about Socrates, or mention of Ms. Question...
...when suddenly, it happened: "What are you doing out here, little girl?" asked a robe-wearing bystander who suddenly noticed her.
Startled, WordGirl jumped back a little.
The man quickly apologized for scaring her...but then repeated his question: "What are you doing out here? You know little girls are supposed to remain at the home with their mothers!"
WordGirl thought about this question carefully...and then answered: "Well, you see...my...Dad, sent me and my...dog (Huggy glared at WordGirl for calling him a dog, even for a cover story)...off to..."
"Your father? What an irresponsible fool he must be, to send a little girl off into the streets on her own, where one would find danger all around!"
"...Yeah, I kinda asked him why...I said that you guys normally discourage girls being on their own-"
"Wait a second," interrupted the man, "...you know 'discourage?'"
"Sure!" answered WordGirl, "it means, to tell someone that they shouldn't do something, or otherwise prevent them from doing it. For example, here in Athens, people tell girls that they should not go outside their houses, and often stand in their way if they insist!"
The man was shocked: "Where did you come by such intelligence that you can define the word 'discourage?'"
WordGirl thought about a response... and this was the response she came up with: "From the tutors my Dad hires. He insists on teaching all of his children equally..."
"...Because he believes smart women have smart children, I'll bet!" the man finished with a slight laugh.
WordGirl simply responded: "Hey, it works...anyway, he heard that the philosopher Socrates was in town, and said I should go meet him...and just in case there's any confusion, a philosopher is a student, teacher, or someone devoted to philosophy, to studying the problems of right and wrong, the nature of the universe, and the nature of knowledge, and a whole bunch of other problems and questions. Socrates is known for doing that kind of stuff, so he's a philosopher!"
After he was done being impressed at her intelligence once again, the man continued: "And your father sent you off to find him, without bothering to take you himself...how ironic, that such an intelligent young lady would come from such a foolish father...tell you what, I'll take you to Socrates myself, that way you won't run into questioning people like now."
"Thank you!...but do you know where he actually is? I'd hate to get lost..."
"Don't worry! I heard that he'd be in the courtyard of the local noble's birthday party, having his typical discussions with the guests. Come, the way is just down this lane!"
And with that, the man led them down a path through the streets, a considerably happier WordGirl and Captain Huggyface following him.
Talk about a lucky break! Following the kind man, they find themselves standing right outside a fancy Ancient Greek household...
"And here it is!" said the man, halting in front of a large brick-and-white plaster house. "The courtyard where they're holding the party should be just in the middle of the..."
He didn't get the chance to say 'house' before WordGirl and Captain Huggyface both rushed in, calling "Thank you so much!" behind her as she dashed into the house.
Soon after, WordGirl and her sidekick had passed through the massive house (with a barely-visible use of super-speed) and found the door outside, into the central courtyard.
There, she found a large expanse of paved stone filled with finely-dressed (given the time period) men and women. Some were sitting at the benches around the edges of the clearing, while others walked around and admired the herb garden in the far corner. Still others were sitting at one of the two long wooden tables in the middle, enjoying a vast amount of foods: Fresh fruits and vegetables, breads and cheeses, and all varieties of drinks surrounded fancy-looking central meat platters, spiced with various dressings and herbs. The noble who was hosting the party was quite obvious to see, adorned with beautiful blue and purple robes, with his wife right next to him wearing sparkling jewelry.
However, WordGirl passed over all these details in her quest for one particular man...and she soon saw him: On a bench in a far-off corner sat an old, bald man with a long and disorganized beard, talking to someone just out of sight. Remembering all those books on Ancient Greece she read as a kindergartner, (written for those at the high-school reading level) with all those pictures of Greek statues and busts, she recognized him instantly as Socrates. And right next to him sat his faithful follower Plato, writing down what Socrates says onto scrolls that would eventually become the famous Dialogues. Excited, she dodged her way through the crowd towards him...
...when her super-hearing picked up a familiar voice saying: "So, Socrates, you will agree that people who try to follow in the examples of superheroes often get themselves hurt?"
Instantly, her heart sank as she recognized the voice as that of Ms. Question, and realized that she's standing next to, and speaking to, Socrates. She was too late.
"Well, yes," she heard Socrates say, "We can't all be Hercules or Theseus after all, can we?"
"And you would agree that the fights a superhero gets into can be dangerous for those around him or her?" Ms. Question asked again, to which Socrates agreed again.
"And would you also agree that those who spend all their days thanking superheroes will never have time to find out what really matters in life?"
Once again, Socrates agreed.
"Then, given all that, Mr. Socrates... If somebody walked up to you, and said they were becoming a superhero, would you...discourage them from doing so?" Ms. Question finally asked, adding a barely-audible snicker under her breath.
Socrates pressed his hand to his chin...and began to say something...
...when WordGirl suddenly rushed in, and shouted: "Don't listen to her, Socrates! She's evil, and wants you to get rid of her enemies!" Thus, she caught their attention (whispering to her sidekick 'This could go either way, Huggy; It's now or never' as she did).
"Now who does she think she is, barging into an adult's conversation like that?" said Ms. Question indignantly (WordGirl couldn't tell if Ms. Question saw through her Greek disguise or not), "Shouldn't a little girl like her be at home?"
"...But...my father sent me! He-"
"Shall I take her away before we resume our conversation, Socrates?" And with that, unknown to the rest of the guests, Ms. Question's eyes started to glow...
...until Socrates said: "Actually, not yet; I want to hear just why she's here. If her father sent her here all by herself, he obviously would have to have a very good reason."
WordGirl breathed a sigh of relief...and then her brain went to work, figuring out an excuse...and eventually, she started, acting like a much more feeble little child as she did:
"Well...It's a good reason from my father's point of view, anyway...he's kind of an oddball...but anyway, he tells me I need to wander around the city and learn all there is to learn. It's gotten me into trouble before, because he keeps telling me to do things everybody else discourages, but he keeps on insisting."
"Today, he said I needed to go out and talk to a famous philosopher, like you, Socrates...So, I went out and found you..."
"And I think I can guess the rest from here." Socrates said, "You were shocked when you heard Ms. Question here talk about why it's bad to be a hero."
"...Yeah...It sounded like she wanted you to use your wise words, the words of a philosopher, to get rid of superheroes, so the evil people of the world would have no one to stop them!"
WordGirl took this time to try out a secret weapon: "And another thing: I think she's evil, because it looked like she was trying to tell you how to think! Who should decide what you think but you? You're the great philosopher Socrates, one of the wisest men there is! You can decide for yourself what you think, and know it to be true...because you know what truth is!"
Socrates didn't seem impressed at first, causing WordGirl's heart to beat faster as she awaited his word, knowing that her very existence depended on what he said next...
"You know, little girl?" Socrates finally said, "While I will say that you really need to talk to your father about forcing you out of the house for these excursions, I will say I'm glad I had the chance to hear an intelligent voice from one so young. Don't worry about me and Ms. Question, I was just letting her present her case."
"Besides, you make a good point as well! Who else would want the good people of the earth gone, more than the evil ones? The thousands of those who seek power, fortune, fame, at the cost of others, would greatly benefit from the loss of heroes!"
"Now, the way I see it...heroes are a gift, sent to make our lives safer to live. That gift can be misused...but so can any other gift! True, those who spend every hour of their day thanking heroes are distracted from finding the truth...but that's their fault, not the hero's! When Theseus rescued Athens from an age of sadness, by defeating the monstrous Minotaur all those centuries ago, he was thinking about the safety of his people, not the fame he would gain!"
Then, Socrates finished off(and making WordGirl's heart leap with joy in the process) by saying: "I say, that if someone truly believes they can help their fellow men, then by all means, be a hero! Or a superhero! I will not discourage anyone from doing what they are meant to do!"
Ms Question growled in frustration, while WordGirl said: "...Wow! You truly are as wise as I was told!"
"And you, little girl, hold a skilled conversation with ease, with full knowledge of the subjects! It seems we are all treated to wonders today... You know, I would like to meet this father of yours, and ask him why he does the things he does!"
WordGirl thought about it, whether or not to introduce the Doctor to him... but then, Ms Question interrupted her thoughts: "Actually, Socrates, why not stay for a little while longer?"
Both Socrates and WordGirl asked why, and she answered: "I kind of need you to say 'I discourage becoming a superhero', and I'm not going to let you go until you do, y'see?"
Starting to feel threatened, Socrates began to back away.
"And since you're not going to say it the normal way, I guess I'll have to do it my way, wouldn't you think?"
Instantly, WordGirl's danger sense kicked in; "Duck!" she shouted...but while she and Captain Huggyface did, Socrates scanned the sky for incoming ducks, while Ms. Question activated her powers.
Is this the end of WordGirl? Will Ms. Question make Socrates discourage superheroism, thus forever preventing WordGirl from existing? AND WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY JOB IF WORDGIRL NEVER EXISTED?
WordGirl watched in horror as beams of yellow question marks burst out from Ms. Question's chest symbol, and zipped towards Socrates. "NOOOOO!" she shouted...
...as the question marks struck the Doctor, who had just jumped in front of Socrates! To the shock of everyone around!
"Do...Father! What are...are you OK?" asked WordGirl as she rushed to the Doctor's side. The Doctor responded by groggily saying: "Ungh...Is Socrates safe? Am I safe? When is humanity ever really 'safe'? And since when did I start talking like a philosopher?"
"Ugh!" said Ms. Question, frustrated; "Who are...oh, you know what, who really cares? I can always try again another time, can't I?" And with that, she created a question-mark hoverboard, and flew off into the sky.
The rest of the party, however, was dumbfounded, and started staring into the sky (and giving WordGirl and Captain Huggyface the opportunity to escape and get into costume)...
...all except Socrates, who was busy looking at the man lying down on the ground in front of him:
"...Doctor? Is that you?"
"Is it really? Good, I was worried for a second, Socrates." the Doctor laughed.
*(one scene transition later)*
Ms. Question zoomed through the air, desperate to return to her time machine before that oddly-dressed man, who obviously knew what she came here for, recovered from her powers. She had to be in the next century by the time he woke up...
...her level of panic only increased when found the time machine, and realized that it had been neatly taken apart! The entire machine was lying on its side, all the clocks removed and lying next to it, along with some obviously vital wires that were apparently removed from the base! She stared at the scene in shock...
"Going somewhere, Ms. Question?" the villainess heard a familiar voice say behind her! She turned around, and found herself face to face with the last person (and monkey) she expected to encounter in Ancient Greece.
"WordGirl?" she stammered, "...But...How did you...?"
"Get here, 2,500 years into the past? And why is your time machine all trashed, discouraging you from leaving? Well, you can thank the Doctor for both of those things."
"...Doctor who?" asked Ms. Question, confused.
WordGirl, however, was caught off guard; the Doctor never really told her his secret identity...but then Captain Huggyface reminded her about the task at hand. "Oh!" she exclaimed, before turning back to the villainess: "Well...actually, I think you can ask him yourself! While, of course, we're taking you back to the present, and to prison!"
This sent Ms. Question's villain mind back into action: "Hmmm...when you put it that way, perhaps I don't need to know after all, y'know?"
And with that, the chase began.
All through the skies above Athens, WordGirl pursued Ms. Question. No matter how she zipped and dodged, she could not escape WordGirl's speed nor Captain Huggyface's keen eyes.
She tried flying through the arms of a massive statue of a muscular man...but WordGrl muscled through that obstacle with ease. In fact, the only one inconvenienced in the slightest was the statue, due to the loss of its arms.
She tried to lose her by flying through an arena where athletes were training for the Olympic Games; WordGirl was slowed down a little, but then Captain Huggyface grabbed and threw a discus in front of her path, allowing WordGirl to close the distance between them.
She flew through a crowded street, her path startling a man who had several clay pots stacked on his head. He panicked as they started to wobble...but as WordGirl flew by, she took them off his head and set them down on the ground in front of him, not losing sight of Ms. Question at all.
Desperate to shake her, Ms. Question finally resorted to flying backwards, throwing question-mark shaped projectiles at WordGirl...
...thus preventing her from seeing that she was flying through the Agora, straight towards the Doctor's TARDIS. She smashed into it, and then collapsed to the ground in a daze. She got back up soon after...but then WordGirl and Captain Huggyface tied her up.
"Wha...but...where'd you get the rope?" Ms. Question asked (as soon as she could), "You don't have any greek money...do you?"
"Lots of ships come into Athens, Ms. Question. Lots of people use rope that often wears out, and then toss the useless stuff out...right where I can use it!"
At that point, the fact that she had just been defeated caught up with her mind. Ms. Question slumped against the blue box, asking "Why does this always happen to me?"
*(one scene transition later)*
Soon, Socrates and the Doctor came walking down the lane, talking about the Terrible Zodin...when the Doctor saw, sitting right next to the TARDIS: Ms. Question, the pieces of her time machine, and WordGirl and Captain Huggyface in their Greek disguises (which Ms. Question couldn't see any resemblance to Becky Botsford through). "I see you've been busy while I was away!" he remarked.
"Thanks! I've got everything ready to pack into the-" WordGirl began, but then she noticed Socrates, and decided to discontinue the time-travel part of the conversation...
...when Socrates remarked: "Did you mean to say 'into the TARDIS?'"
WordGirl gasped, as the Doctor laughed; "Don't worry, WordGirl. Me and Socrates have met before; I mean, I've shaken hands with all the great philosophers and historical figures!"
"Indeed!" said Socrates, "And to be perfectly frank... when you referred to the Doctor as your father, I knew; you're a visitor from another time, here to stop a great evil. And I'm proud that you have succeeded."
After smiles were exchanged, the Doctor and WordGirl proceeded to pack the time machine and criminal into the TARDIS.
Just before they left, however, the Doctor paused once more, and asked Socrates: "When do you think we shall meet again?"
"Who knows?" answered Socrates; "I certainly don't! I am an ignorant fool!"
the two of them laughed at Socrates' familiar catchphrase...so long that WordGirl had to drag him into the TARDIS by herself, and then set the course for the present.
Soon, Socrates returned to the party at the noble's house, as the TARDIS vanished behind him.
And so, WordGirl, the Doctor, and the famous philosopher Socrates defeated Ms. Question, and saved all of time and space.
Now please don't be discouraged from catching the next exciting adventure of WORDGIRL!
Sorry it took so long, but I hope this will make up for it!
Next time, I'm including a Doctor Who-themed segment of MAY I HAVE A WORD, as a way to look back on what's come so far! (And to appease avid "May I Have A Word" fan IsmaelAndLuigi21) Stay tuned!