@hyde - thanks for owning up to that
@Chris2.0 - Don't be annoying.
Seriously tho, the projects are due before midnight tomorrow, East Coast time.
With less than a day remaining - what time is the exact deadline for this? 23:59:59 on Sunday the 15th of April?
And is that Eastern, Central, Pacific or Hawaii timezone...!
@hyde - thanks for owning up to that
@Chris2.0 - Don't be annoying.
Seriously tho, the projects are due before midnight tomorrow, East Coast time.
Due to Zepster's internet connection problems, I'll be posting our co-lab...
First off - big kudos to Zepster!
So here goes...
A noble price?
Idea, Story and Script by Zepster and Chris2.0
Elevator pitch: After the end of the world, a new super-powered elite has risen up to restore order and to rule… They stay high in their towers, while the rest of the survivors are far down below… One of the ruling class sometimes ventures down to ground level… There we meet our main character – being mugged… He is saved, but also wants the power of being an Aristocrat Elite. And if he can’t buy it, or be born into it, then he is going to STEAL it! Of course there is a price to pay for lusting after power…
Quick overview of the page for the artist.
This is near future New York, but democracy is dead. We’ve a highly
stratified society going on here with Elite nobility and lots of peasant
scum. This split is fundamental to the story, so if we can use the
page/panel structure to lead from the upper reaches of the city/society
down to the streets/slums/peasants it would really help emphasise this.
That said, whatever works from an artistic perspective is entirely the
Cityscape as the sun is setting. The many buildings of the city rendered
into silhouette by the setting sun almost resembles the crenelated
battlements of a castle wall. We have a small silhouette of an air born man
against the sky.
CAPTION: 3 MAY 2098. NEW YORK.
22ND YEAR OF THE REIGN OF EMPEROR NICHOLAS FLAVIUS, FIRST OF HIS NAME.
57TH YEAR OF THE ASCENDANT EMPIRE OF THE AMERICAS.
Our POV maybe above our air born man. He is descending towards a large
balcony/paved external area near the top of one of the highest buildings.
He is dressed in very formal evening wear.
There is a social function just kicking off below him. The women are
impossibly slender/beautiful and all wearing tasteful and very expensive
looking evening gowns and jewellery.
The men, generally wearing very formal looking suits or formal military
uniforms ( think late 19th century British/Austrian/German aristocracy, so
a few handlebar moustaches wouldn’t be out of place ).
We have candles and braziers giving light – a real baroque feel to
Our flying man is carrying what looks to be a bottle of expensive red wine.
Perhaps we have one or two of the ladies looking upwards in delight as he
arrives. Important: Any guests seen drinking, are drinking red wine.
CAPTION(handwritten): IN 2016 THE WORLD ENDED. A MASSIVE ASTEROID
STRUCK THE PACIFIC AND PLUNGED US INTO A NUCLEAR WINTER THAT REIGNED FOR
OVER A DECADE. BILLIONS DIED BEFORE THE SUN SHONE AGAIN.
Our flying man has now joined the party and is being joyfully greeted by a
few of the ladies. Our focus though should be over the balcony and into the
poorly lit depths below. We can maybe see a few other balcony’s ( the
nobility can all fly, so rarely bother with the scummy streets below. Hence
the advent of this particular architectural style ) , landing areas on
other skyscrapers/buildings. None are too close to the ground though!
CAPTION(Handwritten): OUT OF THE ICE RIDDEN DARKNESS ROSE RICHARD FLAVIUS
AND HIS ARMY OF GENETICALLY ENHANCED SOLDIERS TO CARVE OUT HIS ASCENDANT
Our POV is far below the balcony’s now. It is a poorly lit street with
dishevelled buildings and many badly dressed people scurrying about. One in
particular should stand out, it is Johnny. A young man that is moving
furtively into an alley. Johnny has an unruly shock of black hair, slightly
unshaven and skinny.
CAPTION(handwritten): RICHARD DECLARED HIMSELF AS EMPEROR AND HIS MEN
BECAME THE NOBILITY. ALL GIFTED BY A PROCESS KNOWN ONLY AS EMBRACE. TO BE
EMBRACED IS TO BE ACCEPTED INTO THE NOBILITY. TO BE EMBRACED IS TO BECOME
ONE OF THE ELITE.
We’re in the alley with Johnny. He is being struck from behind by a large
mugger. We mightn’t be able to see it here but the mugger is wearing very
distinctive steel toed boots – which will be important later. Otherwise he
is a rough-hewn street scum.
As Johnny is falling, he is dropping a high tech looking object, about the
size of a cell phone – that is quite at odds with his ragamuffin fashion.
Despite being struck he is more concerned with this object as it falls.
CAPTION(handwritten): I AM NOT ONE OF THE ELITE.
Close in on Johnny, practically face down in the filth of the alley. His
hand to the back of his head, his expression of pain.
MUGGER(OOS): WELL WELL WELL
Johnny face next to the steel capped boots, the mugger is picking up the
device. We need a good view of the boots here.
MUGGER(OOS): WELL NOW THIS WILL FETCH A PRETTY NICKEL.
Johnny is half on his feet struggling against the mugger. The mugger is
hardly troubled and easily fending Johnny off while holding the device
aloft in triumph.
In the shadows of the alley above them we can just about see the watching
form of Shadow Bane. A costumed vigilante of the Elite. Shadow Bane is
dressed armoured Ninja style but armed with dual swords and wears a cloak.
MUGGER: EASY NOW SUNSHINE. THIS NEVER BELONGED TO THE LIKES OF YOU ANYWAY.
Shadow Bane striking the mugger from above, he won’t be getting up easily
Johnny reacting in shock.
SHADOW BANE: NOR DOES IT BELONG TO YOU.
CAPTION(Handwritten): SHADOW BANE! SO CALLED HERO OF THE SLUMS.
Johnny stands hesitantly/deferentially as Shadow Bane, stooped over the
slumped form of the mugger throws the device towards him disdainfully.
SHADOW BANE: STUPID BOY. WALKING THESE ALLEYS AT NIGHT. I SHOULD HAVE LEFT
YOU TO HIM.
JOHNNY: YES SIR. THANK YOU SIR.
SHADOW BANE(Link): BE ON YOUR WAY.
CAPTION(Handwritten): A SNOT NOSED ARISTO KEEPING THE NOISE LEVELS DOWN SO
PEASANT SCUM LIKE ME DON’T DISTURB THE PARTIES ABOVE.
Johnny running down the alley huddling the device close as he looks back
over his shoulder.
If you can fit it, Shadow Bane is manhandling the mugger in the background.
Just ahead of Johnny a large silhouetted hand is about to grab him.
CAPTION(Handwritten): DAM ARISTOS NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING. WELL
IF YOU AREN’T BORN TO IT AND YOU CAN’T BUY IT THEN THERE IS ONLY ONE THING
LEFT THAT YOU CAN DO.
CAPTION(Handwritten): STEAL IT!
Johnny is being grabbed by a shadowy figure into a doorway.
A rough hand over Johnny’s mouth smothering his cries. Johnny is terrified,
his attacker in the shadow of the doorway.
Johnny’s attacker now revealed to be his friend Morry. Morry is a very big
bloke about the same age as Johnny and enjoying Johnny’s shock. He is just
as poorly dressed as Johnny is, but also has a computer jack embedded in
the side of his head. He is carrying a rough looking sack and has another
implant in his arm ( about the size of an iPod dock )
Johnny is not reacting well and is angry. In the background Johnny’s
girlfriend Mia is keeping watch. A waif like girl with big eyes but almost
skeletally thin, she looks nervous but determined.
JOHNNY(Whisper): MORRY! WTF MAN!
MORRIE(Whisper): DID YOU GET IT?
JOHNNY(Whisper): OF COURSE I GOT IT.
MIA: WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THE BROMANCE GUYS. LET’S MOVE.
All three huddle at the end of the alley looking out across at, The
facility. It is a grim heavily guarded building with spotlights, CCTV and
patrols in evidence.
MIA: THERE IT IS.
MORRY: AFTER TONIGHT THERE’LL BE NO MORE WORRYING ABOUT ARISTOS.
CAPTION(Handwritten): THE FACILITY. IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY OR THE
CONNECTIONS OR JUST DAMMED LUCK THIS IS WHERE THEY SEND YOU.
Johnny and the other two are staring hungrily out of the alley towards
where we imagine the facility to be and practically straight at us. Johnny
in particular looks very determined.
JOHNNY: AFTER TONIGHT WE’LL BE ARISTOS.
CAPTION(Handwritten): THIS IS WHERE THEY SEND YOU TO BE EMBRACED.
The three of them running across towards the facility.
MIA (Whisper): TEN SECONDS OF BLIND SPOT LEFT. MOVE!!!!
All three huddled flat against the wall. Desperate/determined. Above them
is a CCTV camera. Mia is checking her PDA. Morry is pulling computer
cables from his bag and hooking them to the device in his head. If possible, show some hi-tech bolt cutters in there – laser-edged?
MIA: PATROL IN 16 SECONDS.
Morry is standing outside an armoured door. He has wires going from his
implant to the keycode device on the door. He has his hand outstretched to
Johnny expectantly. Johnny handing over the device.
MORRY: CODE PACK.
MIA: 8 SECONDS.
All of them looking very very worried. Morry has inserted the device into
the slot in his arm.If we can see the keycode device it is displaying a red
MIA: 4 SECONDS!!!!
MORRY: IT’S NOT WORKING. ARE YOU SURE THESE ARE THE RIGHT CODES?
JOHNNY: YES BUT… OH SHIT. MAYBE IT GOT DAMAGED WHEN I DROPPED IT.
Morry and Mia are looking in stunned shock at an abashed Johnny.
The LED on the keycode device however has now turned green.
Same doorway, the LED is back to red. We have an armed patrol just walking
past the door. I’m thinking full blown body armour, futuristic looking
rifle and face completely covered by helmet for the guard.
Our three protagonists now deep within the facility sneaking down a darkened
corridor. Mia as ever is leading the way, using a PDA. The facility is very
nicely appointed and decorated. Completely at odds with its grim exterior.
MORRY: I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DROPPED IT MAN.
JOHNNY: I WAS BEING MUGGED DUDE.
MORRY: YEAH AND THEN SAVED BY A FECKING ARISTO.
Mia is pointing to another keycode protected door. Morry is moving in with
the cables attached to his head already.
We’re looking at a glass door to a refrigerated unit. Several vials of a
dark liquid lie within, stored in a rack.
In the reflection of the door we can see the three entering the room. All
staring hungrily at the vials. Mia looks excited for once but the other two
MIA: THERE IT IS! THERE IT IS!!!
They are being attacked from behind. An imperious looking guy in a lab coat
has just backhanded the three of them through the door. Johnny is smashing
into the fridge door and we can see some of the vials being smashed as a
result. Morry is smashing through a wooden table, lots of splinters please.
LAB TECH: YOU MAY HAVE EVADED THE CAMERAS BUT YOUR PEASANT STENCH IS NOT
SO EASILY HIDDEN.
Johnny lies bleeding in broken glass, an unbroken vial lies beside him. He
is reaching for it.
Behind him the lab tech is holding Mia aloft by the neck, but distracted by
Behind the lab tech a shaken Morry is hefting a broken table leg as a make
shift weapon, it has a wicked point.
CAPTION(Handwritten): AN ARISTO. WE’RE DEAD. UNLESS….
LAB TECH(Burst): NO YOU FOOL. THAT’S AN UNDILUTED SAMPLE!
A battered/bloodied Morry is impaling the Lab tech from behind using the
broken table leg. The Lab tech has dropped Mia and is screaming in pain.
MORRY: NICE DECOY JOHNNY.
Johnny, crashed out in the middle of the broken fridge and glass. The empty
vial is dropping from his hand. The dark liquid drained from his mouth
looking like blood. Johnny looks spaced.
If we can fit them. Morry looking on in shock, Mia crawling to her feet,
hand to her neck, also looking in shock.
The trio is sneaking down a corridor, Jonny in the middle, Mia and Morry on either side, dragging/carrying him along – he’s really looking out of it – whatever was in that serum is affecting his body pretty badly… Mia is holding Jonny tighter as his cramps nearly get them caught as he squeals in pain. Morry distracted as he has just noticed an approaching patrol…
MIA (whisper): SHHH!
They are forced to dodge into a room to evade them – show them going into a door – and show that there’s no keypad to unlock it – so they don’t have to use Morry’s electronics to go in…
MORRY: IN HERE!
Mia closes the door behind them, as Morry still holds on to Jonny! It’s a mortuary! Show some tables between them and the wall. About 3 will be OK – and one has a body on it… In the next panel we’ll see it’s the mugger from Page 2 – so please keep the character / clothing the same… The back wall has rows and rows of doors on it – all stainless steel – perhaps show one opened, and a body on it… There’s also a door labelled “Loading Bay” semi-hidden at the far end of the panel…
MIA: THIS IS SOME KIND OF MORTUARY?
Panel 4 (big panel)
Jonny managed to stand semi on his own – one hand still on Morry’s shoulder, looking at something… There to Johnny’s surprise is his mugger from earlier laid out on a table. Focus on the steel tipped boots as much as possible, but the rest of the body is also visible. He is looking gaunt, drained even – and it’s not just rigor mortis setting in…
JONNY: MAN… WHAT WAS IN THAT STUFF…
JONNY: THAT'S THE GUY! THAT TRIED TO MUG ME!
But time is of the essence and Morry / Mia drag him to the “Loading Bay” door
MORRY: NO TIME, WE HAVE TO GO!
Outside, it’s still dark. They are sneaking out of the Loading Bay – hiding behind a truck parked there…
MIA (SOFT): DAMMM, I LOST MY PDA! WITHOUT THE PATROL SCHEDULES WE’RE BLIND!
This panel from Jonny’s POV – here we have our first signs of Johnny getting his powers… As he sees in the dark! Show Mia and Morry in his line of vision as they hide behind the truck… He sees a guard approaching!
JONNY: BUT I’M NOT…
In this panel we see the truck from the front, occupying almost half the panel. And then the guard is on the left, looking from behind the truck. And they are hiding in front of the truck, hunched down on the right of the panel. It’s mostly just their upper bodies/neck and heads visible. Jonny silences them with a finger held to his lips?
Then Jonny leads them away from the truck – towards the fence in the distance… They are staying low, hiding in front of a container with the label Contaminated medical waste on it...
JONNY: FOLLOW ME! WE’RE ALMOST THERE!
But before they get to the fence, they walk into a patrol of 2/3 guards! The fence is on the left, then the guards, then on the right is our trio…
JONNY (Right): DAMMM…
MORRY (far right): GET BEHIND ME!
PAGE 8-9 (Double paged spread)
Panels 1-3 on the top, Panels 4-6 below that & a bit bigger than Panels 1-3 to show all the action!)
Morry is shot by something like a microwave gun that fries his brain/electronics! As the guards have a strict no-blood policy – no projectile weapons that can cause blood loss… So there’s a (silhouette of a) guard on the left of the panel, holding his weapon – the rifle he’s wielding that is emitting this radiation that’s frying friend Morry on the right of the panel! Show his electronics all over his body/head shorting out!
Guard (left): FRY THEM!
MORRY (Right): AARGH!
Johnny grabs Morry as he falls!
The guards are aiming at them now! But this time, show Jonny (holding Morry) on the left side of the panel, and the guards on the right…
JONNY: YOU’RE GOING TO PAY FOR THAT…
Panel 4 (Panels 4-6 are side by side on one tier, and they are linked together, to show how fast Jonny is moving!)
So here Jonny and Morry are still on the left, and the 3 guards spread over Panels 4-6. But you have outlines of Jonny’s body as he moves from left to right! First he kicks the 1st guard!
SFX – KRACK!
Then he punches the 2nd guard… This blow is captured in midair – as the guard goes flying back and his shattered helmet pieces are also moving back alongside him!
SFX – WHACK!
Then he kicks the 3rd guard… Also captured in midair – as the guard goes out of the panel! See if you can make the guard break through the right side of the panel - halfway out of it!
SFX – THWACK!
Panel 7 (Another big panel, this time covering 2/3rds of the bottom tier of the page…)
Here he’s holding one of the guards by his neck – choking him! The breast-plate of the guard’s armoured uniform and helmet shattered… Also, if possible – show in the background another guard - the rifle used to shoot Morry, is now inserted into the guard’s chest and the wall behind him… And his feet are half a meter above the ground! The other guard? He’s lying in 2 pieces on the other side of the panel…
JONNY: MY TURN…
SFX (AROUND GUARD’S NECK AS IT BREAKS): KRRACK!
Mia drags Jonny away.
MIA (CONNECTED): MORRY IS DEAD! WE HAVE TO GO!
Show Jonny is hanging onto Mia again – he’s over-exerted himself and can hardly stand…
MIA: HOLD ON TO ME!
MIA (CONNECTED): TOGETHER WE CAN GET OUT OF HERE!
Show that they got out of the Facility – it is visible FAR behind them… They’re in the same alleyway as in Page 3 Panel 4. Mia is holding Jonny where he fell... She's weeping over Morry...
MIA: HE’S DEAD… HE’S DEAD… AND IT’S ALL OUR FAULT…
Zooming in a bit – show that they are in an embrace and he kisses her neck. She tries half-heartedly to stop him…
Zooming in even further, show her eyes open wide/intent as he kisses her neck.
MIA (SMALL): Ohhhh….
Pulling back a bit, we see Johnny is holding Mia’s body – show her head hanging back – she is definitely dead… He is semi-squatting in the alley, holding Mia… The twin puncture wounds in her neck visible… Show ShadowBane’s shadow on his back – he’s been found…
JONNY: WHAT? WHAT HAVE I DONE?
SHADOW BANE (OFF-PANEL): FEELS WONDERFUL, DOESN’T IT?
It’s Shadow Bane, standing in the alley behind him!
Johnny is more than alarmed – he’s been found! But he’s still holding onto Mia – he does not want to let her go! But his lips are red with her blood…
JONNY: WHAT! NO!
JONNY (CONNECTED): YES?
JONNY (CONNECTED): NO!?
This is a close-up on Shadow Bane - smiling with his vampire incisors fully revealed…
SHADOW BANE: THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED KID…
SHADOW BANE: WELCOME TO THE ARISTOCRACY…
Last edited by Chris2.0; 04-14-2012 at 11:31 PM.
Sara Goes To Hell
Page 1 (5 Panels)
PN1 A child’s bedroom. Looking into the room angled down we see two beds and a room decorated for the appetites of young girls; it looks like a furniture store display: immaculate and completely un-lived in. A hard beam of light hits the floor coming from the open door, but most of the light is obscured by a long lanky shadow that squiggles through the whole room. Something (a TEDDY Bear) is being held in the hands of the shadow.
PN2 A small child of 8 years old warily stands outside the room. The TEDDY bear is drawn close to her chest so it is hard to make out the details but note that its face has been crudely stitched together. The girl, SARA, has sandy brown hair that goes to her shoulder blades, and a perfectly round face. She is in her Sunday best, hair tucked under a headband with a nice, big bow. Her face should be expressionless.
PN3 & 4 Same panels side by side. The top of SARA’s head should be split between both of them. We’re looking down on the newly carpeted floor near the edge of her bed. This is in the present.
4th panel - The other half, we see into the past [photo negative]: she is on the hardwood floor, bleeding from a head wound and more damage to the room is apparent [e.g., gouges in the floor], the ripped up TEDDY bear scattered on the floor, its severed arm in her hand.
PN5 A close up of the TEDDY Bear sewn back together with Frankenstein stitching and missing its left eye. Definitely looks worse for wear.
MOM (Off Panel): SARA? We’re leaving now.SARA: Okay, mom…
Page 2 (7 Panels)
PN1 An open casket is on the edge of the panel, next to a portrait of MARY, SARA’s little sister. A line of people visit the casket, holding flowers. SARA and her parents are next in line, with the grandparents after them. She has dried tear-tracks on her face.
PN2 Angled down, we see SARA’s hand is behind the head of the TEDDY Bear as she sets its down on the pillow. The rest of the casket is filled with flowers.
PN3 At the gravesite, a wide shot of the procession and SARA distance dumping dirt in the grave.
PN4 On the left side of the page filling up the bottom quarter is a panel that contains the wake. Fill it with as many people as you can without being too cluttered. Very few people look like they are emotionally distraught over the recent event except for the immediate family. MOM [middle-aged, pear-shaped, hair pulled into a tight bun] and DAD [shaved head, stocky but not fat] are standing by the staircase.
MOM: Hon, do you know where SARA is?DAD: She’s up in the bathroom.
PN5 SARA is curled up on the bed her sister used to sleep on and is whimpering.
PN6 SARA abruptly looks up from the bed, terrified.
SARA: …Who’s there?
PN7 The classic under the bed angle. The top of the panel is the bottom of the bed and the object in question is in the foreground, hard to see in the dark. SARA has her face to the floor and her hand under the bed reaching out towards us, towards the object. [She’s upside-down, since she’s hanging over the edge of the bed and looking under.] She is very curious.
Page 3 (6 Panels)
PN1 Over the shoulder view: SARA sits on the floor, closely holding the missing eye of the TEDDY Bear.
SARA: Can you take me to her?SARA: When?
PN2 In the background SARA’s MOM has entered the room slightly. SARA is holding eye out so the reader can still see it and she is looking to her mother.
MOM: SARA. This is not the bathroom.
PN3 Close on the mother, eyes on the button, with a very hurt look on her face.
SARA: (off panel) Look, I found it! It’s what-MOM: Sugar. We need you to join us… in the real world.
PN4 A small inlay panel of SARA in between panel 3 and 5 of SARA looking slightly sheepish and emotional. She feels guilty but-
SARA: But this is actually important! If-
PN5 Back to the close up of SARA’s MOM, pointing at the doorway but this time instead of hurt she should look pissed.
MOM: Down. Stairs.
PN6 Back to SARA rising from the floor, pocketing the button. She is hunched and indignant.
Page 4 (6 Panels)
PN1 It is late now as we can see in the window in the background that the sky is dark and DAD is sitting alone in the kitchen, smoking; MOM is standing in the doorway. Displace them in the mid ground and foreground. [I pictured this panel stretching across the top of the page and have the dialogue dispersed slightly above and on top of the three panels that will be below them from left to right.]
MOM: This isn’t helping.MOM: I need you to man up, and su-DAD: Can you feel, anymore?
PN2 Close up of SARA tying up her boots.
SARA: This is as fast as I can go
PN3 Close up DAD’s hands on the kitchen table, ashtray to the left, and between his hands there’s a baby book opened to the page with MARY’s footprints.
DAD: Because I can’t. Not a thing.
PN4 SARA grabs a shovel from the garage.
MOM: [You can’t - I can’t allow myself to. I couldn’t handle-] [Caption]
PN5 Third person view from above and behind of SARA biking in the dark to the cemetery. In the background we can see the bike outside the gate [there’s enough space between the gate and the ground that SARA could crawl under.]
MOM: [I need to handle it, so I can help her through this.] [Caption]
PN6 SARA is digging at her sister’s grave.
MOM: [I can’t do that without you.] [Caption]
Page 5 (2 Panels + 1 Inlayed image)
PN1 Looking up at SARA we can see that she has opened the casket and should have a shocked look on her face.
TEDDY: Hurry [Caption]
PN2 From above and looking down we see a staircase that leads down into the coffin and down into darkness.SARA: How do I get down?TEDDY: Stay close to the wall [Caption]
PN3 Taking up the whole page we see SARA descending a twisting staircase on the top left and below her is jet black darkness.
SARA: I’m not sure about this, TEDDY.TEDDY: It’s not too late to go back if you don’t want to see her. [Caption]
Page 6 (4 panels)
PN1 SARA descends the impossibly steep spiral stairs. She clings to the wall, in apparent darkness
PN2 She emerges from a grave: it and the surrounding graveyard are identical to the one where her sister is buried, but there are piles of flowers strewn about. Some are fresh, but most are rotting.
PN3 She begins walking, cautiously. Her knees are already badly scuffed.
PN4 SARA [lower right] spots MARY [upper left] hunched over in a mausoleum. The mausoleum itself has an overhanging roof, supported by Hellenic columns. A row of tombstones separates them.
Page 7 (4 panels + 1 inlaid image)
PN1 A young, trim businessman falls onto a cross-shaped tombstone in front of her. He lands on the small of his back, and is bent in half.
TEDDY: we need to move
PN2 [inlaid] SARA’s eyes tilt up to the sky
PN3 Clouds of ash churn, stripped with the colors of sunset. Bodies and boxes rain down. A box is midway through its descent.
PN4 A few yards in front of SARA, the coffin explodes into splinters upon impact: it sounds like thunder. The female body has been tossed out and is still a couple feet in the air, her long hair streaming out behind her.
PN5 A low angle view: SARA’s off, running towards the mausoleum. A handful of people in different orientations and various stages of descent are in the panel.
Page 8: (5 panels)
PN1 SARA slides into the mausoleum, next to MARY. TEDDY is standing next to MARY, stroking her hair.
PN2 TEDDY looks up at SARA expectantly.
PN3 She hands him his eye.
PN4 TEDDY walks out from under the awning. SARA, with a slight smile, is trying to get MARY to stand, lifting her by the shoulders.
SARA: Hey, Mariposa -
PN5 Foreground: TEDDY has undergone a major growth spurt: he’s about the size of a Kodiak, and his standing on his hind legs; he’s in the middle of swatting away a falling corpse. Background: MARY has risen to a kneeling position, with SARA still bent over, helping her up.
SARA: It’s time to go home.
Page 9: (4 panels)
PN1 The sisters are walking under TEDDY’s left arm. His head is tilted up toward the sky. MARY is next to TEDDY, she’s holding SARA’s hand and using it to wipe her eye; her other hand is locked to TEDDY’s leg. SARA’s other hand has a firm grip on TEDDY’s arm.
PN2 TEDDY and SARA lift MARY over one of the bodies littering the ground. One of MARY’s stocking-clad feet clears the obstacle, but the other one kicks the person’s jaw.
PN3 Overhead shot: the downpour continues, with a heavyset man’s body in the upper-left corner. MARY’s grave, the way home, is in sight in the lower left corner. The trio is negotiating their way between a narrow gap of tombstones and bodies.
PN4 The aforementioned body strikes TEDDY from behind: he, Mary and SARA are pushed forward.
PN5 SARA’s POV: falling into the grave, she sees TEDDY and Mary pined above her. MARY’s hand is reaching out; SARA can see her own hand reaching back.
Page 10: (6 Panels)
PN1 View of a row of suburban houses from the opposite street. A squad car is parked in front of one of them.
PN2 MOM on the couch, looking lifeless. Her head is slightly cocked towards the door. She’s still in her bathrobe, and is holding a mug of coffee.
SFX: Knock Knock Knock
PN3 MOM standing in the doorway, furious, glaring downward at the person before her on the front porch,.
PN4 SARA looking back up at her, bruised, cut and filthy. Tears are streaming down her face.
PN5 SARA embraces her mother from the porch.
SARA: She’s gone.
PN6 They embrace on the porch, their shadows lengthened by the sunrise. A third shadow, MARY’s, is next to them, outside of the embrace.
MOM: Let it out, sug. Mumma’s here.
By the very talented, BenHatt and myself. A tale of what might have been or still might be...
War Plan Red
Page One (Five panels)
Panel One: An establishing shot of the tops of trees. It is night and the full moon and stars shine brightly in clear night sky. It is almost a beautiful serene moment as we can barely detect a slight wind in the leaves of the treetops. I say almost because smack in the middle of the panel is large plume of smoke rising into the sky. The glow of an immense fire permeates the bottom of the panel, the oranges and reds in direct contrast with the black/blue night sky.
SGT. DUNNE CAPTION: WAR PLAN RED. HEH. SUPPOSED TO BE ONE OF THOSE THEORIES, ONE OF THOSE PLANS COOKED UP BY WASHINGTON EGGHEADS IN CASE CANDA EVER GOT TOO BIG FOR ITS BRITCHES. NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE USED. FUNNY.
Panel Two: Extreme high angle on a crashed plane. It is, or at least was, a Douglas DC-2 passenger plane. Now it is several pieces of a Douglas DC-2 plane scattered over the landscape. The wreckage should look particularly bad – the body of the plane split in two, one wing sheared in half and the other missing completely. A tree has broken in half and fallen on the cockpit obviously crushing the pilot and co-pilot. Around the plane numerous fires are burning, bathing the scene in deep reds and oranges and pockets of deep black shadows.
SGT. DUNNE CAPTION: GOT GOOD AT KILLING BEHIND ENEMY LINES BACK IN THE BIG WAR – SOMME, AMIENS. NOW I CAN ADD VANCOUVER, TORONTO, BUFFALO TO THAT LIST.
Panel Three: We’ve gotten closer to the wreckage, tight on a door. It is battered and bent.
SFX: BANG! BANG!
SGT. DUNNE CAPTION: HELL, ME AND MY SQUAD EARNED OURSELVES A MEDAL PULLING P.O.W.S OUT OF MANHATTAN. RIGHT UNDER THE MAPLE MONARCH’S LEAF LOVING NOSE.
FREEMAN (Off-Panel): Open, damn you!
Panel Four: The door has given way, smoke billowing out of a new opening. We see two silhouettes wading out of the plume.
SGT. DUNNE CAPTION: JUST CALL DUNNE’S DOGS, WE’LL GET THE JOB DONE. IT’S WHY WE WERE CHOSEN FOR THIS MISSION. AND IT’S A DOOZY.
Panel Five: Eye-level/Full panel. We are looking directly at RICHARD FREEMAN as he half-walks, half drags SGT. DUNNE away from the wreckage. Dunne is the stereotypical vet you have seen before - late 30s/early 40s, arms like Popeye and a stubble covered chin like the Man With No Name. Freeman is the opposite - early 20s, maybe even late teens. He has a clean shaven face and a pair of glasses on (one lens is cracked). Dunne’s arm is over Freeman’s shoulders, his chin touching his chest as his head lolls to one side. His free arm is pressed to his abdomen, the shirt underneath soaked in blood. Without being too gory a piece of metal from the plane has pierced his stomach and other abdominal organs. We cannot see the damage right now but that should give you an idea about the amount of blood and fluids and stuff.
SGT. DUNNE CAPTION: ONLY GOT TWO PROBLEMS 1) A DC-2 WITH A BAD ENGINE AND 2) I’M THE ONE BEING DRAGGED OUT OF THE PLANE.
Page Two (Five panels)
Panel One: Dunne is leaning against a tree; Freeman is kneeling over him. There are still some reds and oranges from the fire cast on the duo, but mostly it is dark.
SGT. DUNNE CAPTION: KID LEANING OVER ME IS PRIVATE RICHARD FREEMAN – OUR ROOKIE. NOT SEEN MUCH ACTION, PICKED HIM BECAUSE HE SPOKE FRENCH.
FREEMAN: I’ll get you patched up, Arge. Then we’ll, we’ll--
SGT. DUNNE: Shut up, kid.
Panel Two: Low-angle on Freeman’s face, almost Dunne’s POV.
SGT. DUNNE: I’m done f -cough- done for. You could follow my guts back to the plane. It’s all you now. Finish the mission..
Panel Three: Close on Sgt. Dunne’s bloody hand as he puts a file with a picture clipped to it into Freeman’s.
SGT. DUNNE: Name’s Manchester, Dr. Llewellyn Manchester. Aggg! Was a top egghead but he flew the coop. Brass wants him back.
Panel Four: Mirror set up of Panel one, except Dunne’s head is drifting off as he dies.
SGT. DUNNE: He-he-he’s a big deal. Hid out in Halifax, abandoned church, all in the file. He could end the war. Remember you’re training. For America-a-aaa--*
Panel Five: Freeman stands over Dunne’s dead body.
FREEMAN CAPTION: OHMYGOD-OHMYGOD-EVERYONE’S-DEAD REMEMBER YOUR TRAINING DEAD-FOR-AMERICA.
Page Three (Five panels)
Panel One: This is a simple eye-level panel. Freeman is grabbing a flannel shirt off of a clothesline with one hand; in the other is his service pistol. A rifle is strapped across his back. Tossed over his shoulder is a pair of pants, some leggings, etc. His face should show paranoia – the eyes wide, the jaw set. In the background is a log cabin, maybe an axe buried in a stump, farming stuff.
CAPTION: FOR-AMERICA-I-DON’T-KNOW-WHAT-I’M-DOING-HERE- REMEMBER YOUR TRAINING. 1. FIND LOCAL GARB. IT IS IMPORTANT TO BLEND IN. MUST-KEEP-GOING-FIND-MANCHESTER-AM-I-GOING-TO-GET-HOME?
Panel Two: We are close on Freeman, maybe chest or higher. He is dressed in the clothes that we saw him steal in panel one. He is close in the foreground, his back against a tree, looking over his shoulder. Again he holds his rifle in his hands. He is encompassed, completely framed, trapped by leaves and branches. He is in the middle of a panicked breath. In the background, on the other side of the panel, is a trio of Mounties: the usual overly formal Red Serge has been replaced by a more paramilitary, camouflage uniform of dark reds and browns. They stand in the middle of a road smoking cigarettes, guns at their sides.
CAPTION: FOR-AMERICA-HALIFAX-MANCHESTER-GOING-TO-DIE 2. AVOID CONTACT WITH LOCAL POPULATION. OUR-FATHER-WHO-ART-IN-HEAVEN-STAY-FOCUSED-AIM-BREATHE-FOR-AMERICA
Panel Three: Long shot of Freeman is trudging up a hill, everything about his body language should yell fatigue: his slumped shoulders, his bent knees, the way his arms hang out his sides, etc. He is almost at the top, the sun is just blindingly cresting the top of the hill
CAPTION: FOR AMERICA. FOR AMERICA. SO TIRED. 3. SLEEP IN SHORT BURSTS AND ONLY WHEN YOU ARE CERTAIN IT IS SAFE. NOWHERE SAFE. HALIFAX. MANCHESTER. CAN’T LET THE SARGE DOWN. HALIFAX. MANCHESTER.
Panel Four: Insert panel. We are close on Freeman’s face. His eyes have dark circles and he is dirty. Yet, there is still enough life in him to register intense shock and awe at what he sees before him.
CAPTION: HALI – DEAR GOD.
Panel Five: Freeman stands on the top of the hill overlooking a devastated Halifax. It is a city that has been subject to a gas attack by the Americans, occupation by an enemy force, a huge earthquake and resulting tsunamis. There should be maybe one or two tall buildings; the rest should just be rubble. Amidst the toppled houses and factories, the sunken docks and broken streets are thousands of tents and lean-tos. The colors should be gray and brown and white stained yellow. Nothing is clean.
Page Four (6 Panels)
Panel One: Freeman staggers through the decimated streets of Halifax. Twisted rebar protrudes from toppled brick & pulverized concrete. Dark ash clouds float like wraiths. Freeman, small in scope, takes in the devastation.
Panel Two: Freeman pauses in front of the skeletal remains of a church – through the debris the worshippers can still be seen, burnt to black bone and forever to remain in their pews.
FREEMAN: We did this?
Panel Three: Freeman is in the foreground - his eyes have slid to his right at the sound of a gun at his back.
In the background, over Freeman’s shoulder, DR. LLEWWLLYN MANCHESTER (60s). Manchester is a frail man, having spent all his years behind desks and most of the past year in the wilds of Halifax. His wrinkles tell his age but his youthful blue eyes shine with the bold curiosity that could save or destroy humanity. Manchester trains a bolt-action rifle at Freeman’s head.
MANCHESTER: Not WE, I. You’ve come a long way to die, but it’s fitting... If hell has a heart it’s in Halifax.
Panel Four: Freeman spins around to face Manchester. He instantly recognizes him from Dunne’s photo - the target. But of greater interest to Freeman is the distance between them, six feet at most. A light snow begins to drift between them.
FREEMAN: I know you… Doctor Manchester.
FREEMAN (linked): You can’t shoot me in cold blood. You’re a doctor.
MANCHESTER: It brings me no pleasure but I know who sent you and I can’t have you running back to your puppet masters in Washington.
Panel Five: The same framing, only Freeman has taken a step closer to Manchester. Manchester holds the gun higher, like a threat as Freeman’s arms are outstretched, like a truce.
FREEMAN: But didn’t you take an oath not to hurt people?
MANCHESTER: Are you daft? PhD not MD. And even if I did take a oath, I have long since broke it. Now, not a step further!
FREEMAN: You’re just going to have to shoot me in the face then, doctor.
Panel Six: Freeman lunges forward and grabs the gun from Manchester’s hand. The doctor stumbles back.
FREEMAN: I’ll take that!
PAGE FIVE (7 PANELS)
Panel One: We are still in the rumbled-filled streets of Halifax. Manchester’s hands have been tied together and rest on around his waist. Freeman marches a few paces behind him, his service rifle trained on Manchester’s back. Freeman wears Manchester’s bolt-action over his shoulder.
MANCHESTER: How did you know I wouldn’t shoot?
FREEMAN: I didn’t really. I just hoped you might have a grandson that looks like me.
MANCHESTER: I never got around to having children. I thought I was doing something more important.
Panel Two: We are high and wide, peering down at the men past the battered remains of a battered steeple. Again, the figures look small in context of the ruined city.
FREEMAN: Why are you living in this God forsaken place?
MANCHESTER: God didn’t forsake it, boy. We did. I came here for solitude.
MANCHESTER (linked): In truth I came to die. Call it an altruistic suicide.
Panel Three: Profile view of Manchester and Freeman, they are moving out of the destruction zone now. There still might be some debris and rubble but not so extensive as before. Freeman has lowered his gun, his guard.
FREEMAN: I don’t see how you can be hiding up here, talking about dying when there is a war on. America needs our help.
MANCHESTER: War doesn’t need help. Look around, boy – this is the face of it.
Panel Four: Tight shot, Freeman’s face full in frame. He wears a heavy frown caked in grime at odds with his youthful freckles and rosy cheeks.
FREEMAN: You’re wrong – war is won by heroes. I had the privilege of serving with six of them, before they died in the plane crash.
MANCHESTER: Well I’m glad for that!
Panel Five: Back to a full body shot. Freeman takes his rifle with both hands and uses it to shove Manchester in the back – sending the old man airborne.
FREEMAN: You’re a coward! Those men sacrificed their lives to bring you home!
Panel Six: Tight shot of Manchester’s face looking up at Freeman. The fall has opened a bloody gash above his left eye. Blood graces his lips which stretch in a devious smile.
MANCHESTER: You weep for well-paid murderers. You would weep for sure if they came for you.
MANCHESTER (linked): Did your puppet masters even tell you why they wanted me?
Panel Seven: Freeman stands over Manchester, asserting his physical dominance. But the young soldier looks off – at the sound of some distant noise.
FREEMAN: I don’t care. Unlike you I respect the authority of –
SFX (from the horizon): CREEEEECH
FREEMAN (linked): What the heck is that?!
PAGE SIX (6 PANELS)
Panel One: There is a desolate valley where all living things have been burnt to cinder - now just charred tree stumps and cinder ash piles. A light snow falls.
A Mark-VIII Canadian is stuck in the mud. A dozen Mounties attempt, unsuccessful, to push it free. (tank ref: http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor...berty-tank.jpg)
In the foreground the backs of Freeman and Manchester’s heads.
FREEMAN: The Maple Monarch! They must’ve found the wreckage!
MANCHESTER: More likely they came looking for me.
Panel Two: Freeman backs away from the hill slope, which looks down on the valley with the tank. He is safely out of view. Freeman is pulling a map from his pack. Manchester is crouched down, the blood on his face beginning to harden.
FREEMAN: Shoot! This is the quickest path to the pick up spot. We’ll have to wait for them to pass.
MANCHESTER: Judging by this mud and the weight of that tank it might take hours. You could miss your window.
Panel Three: Manchester sits on his butt in the mud and with his tied hands he motions to the pack on his back.
MANCHESTER: I have some simple products that can be utilized in an incendiary device.
FREEMAN: Are you insane?! I can’t take on an entire Maple Brigade by myself!
Panel Four: A high angle on Freeman as he takes another peek over the ledge to the valley.
MANCHESTER: But you’re not by yourself, free my hands and I can cover you from here.
MANCHESTER (linked): In my day I was a crack shot.
Panel Five: Freeman pulls Manchester up by the lapel with both hands.
FREEMAN: You don’t understand… I’m not a hero.
MANCHESTER: That’s what all heroes say.
Panel Six: Tight shot on a knife slicing through Manchester’s rope cuffs.
FREEMAN (No tail): If you cross me, old man, mission or no I’ll put a bullet in your genius brain.
PAGE SEVEN (5 PANELS)
Panel One: Freeman is running out of the tree line towards the Mounties, waving his arms wildly. In one hand he has Manchester’s pack. He should have his rifle across his back. The Mounties, in the background, should seem surprised with about half of them turning to look at Freeman.
FREEMAN(yelling): Aide! Aide! Américains! J'ai vu des Américains! Aidez svp!
MOUNTIE ONE (yelling): Que voulez-vous dire des Américains?
Panel Two: Low angle on Freeman as he tosses the pack. He should be in mid-throw, perfect pitcher form as the pack has just left his hand.
FREEMAN (yelling): What do I mean American? I mean stars and stripes loving, calls them fries not frites, gosh darn American!
Panel Three: A big fiery explosion as the pack strikes the side of the tank. Three of the Mounties are instantaneously engulfed in the conflagration. We see more getting blown this way and that as the flames strike them.
Panel Four: Four bullet trails stream out of the dense smoke heading straight at us.
Panel Five: Slightly high angle on Freeman as he comes running towards us, back towards the treeline. He is unslinging his rifle from his back as he runs. Clumps of dirt burst around him as bullets kick at his heels. In the background we can see four Mounties starting after him, firing their weapons.
PAGE EIGHT (5 PANELS)
Panel One: Freeman is crouched behind a tree as bullets impact around him. Though we can see most of his body, it should feel tightly framed and claustrophobic as bullets whiz by or send splinters of wood everywhere.
FREEMAN (Screaming): MANCHESTER!!
Panel Two: Wide shot. We are behind the Mounties now as they approach the treeline. Freeman’s bullets fan out at them. One Mountie has been hit in the head, the force of the impact carrying him off of his feet and back towards us. Another has slumped over as bullet catches him in the stomach.
Panel Three: We are back to Freeman behind the tree. We are at the point of impact as a bullet catches him in the shoulder, knocking him backwards. His arms are in the air, the rifle sailing from his fingers, his back is curved forward as he tries to keep balance, but his feet are tangled.
Panel Four: Close on Freeman’s face, as the pain sets in. His eyes are tight, his teeth gritted.
FREEMAN: Damn you, Manchester!
Slight high angle as we look over the shoulders and heads of the two remaining Mounties at the prone body of Freeman.
PAGE NINE (6 PANELS)
Panel One: We are at a low-angle, sort of over Freeman’s shoulders as he has pushed himself up to shoot his service pistol. He hits one of the Mounties in the chest/neck with three bullets.
SFX:Bang! Bang! Bang!
Panel Two: The second Mountie has raised his rifle. We are staring right down the barrel as he pulls the trigger.
Panel Three: Big full shot, perhaps tilted as dirt and blood covered Freeman tackles the Mountie taking him off his feet.
Panel Four: Close shot of the two men. We see heads and hands not much more. Freeman has landed on top of the Mountie and is trying to get his pistol aimed at his opponent’s head. The Mountie is pushing back with all of his might. All the humanity is gone from both faces as they almost snarl at each other.
Panel Five: Close on the Mountie’s face. We are looking straight down it. The barrel of the gun is touching the bridge of his nose. The snarl is gone, instead it has been replaced by wide-eyed fear.
Panel Six: Silhouette and profile of Freeman kneeling on the Mountie. Above their heads in big block letters should be the sound effect.
PAGE TEN (6 PANELS)
Panel One: High angle and waist up on Freeman as he looks at the blood on his hands. His eyes are wide, his mouth slightly ajar as his mind and body start to register shock.
MANCHESTER (Off-Panel): There it is; war at its finest. Beyond heroes and villains and patriotism, it is who simply can be the most vicious, the most savage, barbarous.
Panel Two: Two shot, eye-level as Freeman struggles to his feet while Manchester looks on.
FREEMAN: You were going to let me die.
MANCHESTER: I could not shoot you, what makes you think I could shoot them?
FREEMAN: I’m going to kill you.
Panel Three: Freeman has grabbed Manchester’s shirt and pulled him close. The pistol is aimed at the scientist’s forehead, almost touching it. They are both screaming at each other.
FREEMAN (SCREAMING): YOU WANT TO DIE, COWARD?
MANCHESTER: (SCREAMING): YES!!
MANCHESTER (SCREAMING): BECAUSE I DESERVE IT. BECAUSE I CAUSED THE DEVASTATION OF HALIFAX!
Panel Four: We are close on Manchester’s face as he screams. Spit and phlegm cascade out of his mouth as he rants.
MANCHESTER (Screaming): I MADE A MACHINE, AN OSCILLATOR CAPABLE OF STIMULATING OF MOVEMENT OF THE EARTH’S CRUST. MY INVENTION CAUSED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS TO DIE!
MANCHESTER (linked): IF YOU TAKE ME BACK, THEY WILL HAVE ME BUILD ANOTHER AND ANOTHER UNTIL MILLIONS HAVE PERISHED.
Panel Five: We have reversed to look at Freeman. His face is still stern and worn, but maybe in his eyes there is a bit of hesitation.
MANCHESTER (Screaming, off-panel): CAN YOU ACCEPT THAT? I CAN’T. SO TAKE ME BACK BE A HERO AND LEAD TO UNKNOWABLE SLAUGHTER. OR KILL OR LET ME GO, GO BACK IN SHAME BUT WITH A LITTLE HUMANITY LEFT. IT’S YOUR CHOICE.
Panel Six: We have zoomed out to see just the tops of trees again. It should look similar to page one, panel one except we’re not quite as high up.
MANCHESTER (Off-panel, screaming): CHOOSE!!