View Poll Results: Which story was your favorite ? Remember: don't vote for yourself

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  • "Operation Nightfall" by Shaun & Zepster

    2 25.00%
  • "Uphill Battle" by MyNameIsTommy & Inkspot

    2 25.00%
  • "White Out" by Tudore & WildAces

    1 12.50%
  • "Nanocalypse" by Chris2.0 and BenHat

    1 12.50%
  • "THE EFFIGY SYNDROME" by MikeV and CBikle

    2 25.00%
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Thread: Co-Writing Challenge #2: The Apocalypse (no zombies)

  1. #21
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    Nice work Zepster and Shaun. I really enjoyed this. It could almost work for the Dungeon School contest that just passed. I didn't find any typo's or anything of the sort and it flowed really well.

  2. #22
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    Uphill Battle

    This is a little something by Inkspot and myself. It was about as close to 50/50 as I can imagine. We both threw out concepts, both elaborated on the one we picked, and both contributed to an outline. Then I laid down the foundation and Inkspot came in and really made it shine. Enjoy.

    Uphill Battle




    Page 1:
    ----------

    1/ A suburban house. Two stories with an attached garage. Modest, but well kept. An equally modest, but well kept car, a station wagon, has pulled to a stop in the driveway. The doors have been opened.


    Margaret, the young mother, carries two paper bags full of groceries. She calls to her daughter, the seven-year-old Ana, and her son, the twelve-year-old Lucian. Ana is carrying a large cookie with several bites taken from it already.


    Caption: Long ago, in the days before the blight, we roamed the Earth freely.


    2/ In the kitchen, Lucian is opening the fridge. Margaret is putting groceries away in the cupboard next to it, with Ana sitting on the counter next to her, still eating her cookie.


    Margaret: Lucian, get out of there.


    Lucian: I'm hungry.


    Margaret: Dad's supposed to meet us in ten minutes. We'll get you a hot dog at the theater.


    3/ Ana sets her cookie down on the counter. We can see it up close as her tiny, grubby hand pulls away from it and the conversation continues.


    Lucian (OP): Can I have nachos?


    Margaret (OP): Nachos. Fine. C'mon, Ana. We're running late.


    4/ Another hand flicks a light switch.


    SFX: click


    5/ The cookie rests in the same spot, forgotten, only now the room is slightly darker than it was.


    6/ A stream of ants. four or five, pour through a tiny crack in the wall towards the cookie. One is scouting ahead of the others, and is much easier to make out as it feels the air with its antennae.


    Caption: Food was bountiful. The Gods graced us with their charity.



    Page 2:
    ----------

    1/ Several hours later, the family walks through the front door and into the living room of their dark house. Gary, the father, holds the door open, talking with his son. Ana has burst into the house, racing towards the kitchen.


    Ana: Cookie! Cookie! Cookie!


    Lucian: -- and the fight on the bridge!


    2/ Mom and Dad both share a look as Lucian continues to talk about his favorite parts of the movie. You get the impression that he's been doing so since the movie ended, and probably won't run out of steam for a while.


    Lucian: But why can't he keep his mask --


    Ana (OP): Aaaahhh!!!


    3/ Gary, Margaret, and Lucian all pile in through the kitchen, just through the doorway. They are panicked. One of their own has just screamed bloody murder. In front of them, still facing the counter instead of her family, is Ana, with a horrified look on her face, hands pulled up to her chest, about to cry.


    Gary: What is it?!


    Gary: Oh,


    Margaret: Eugh!


    4/ Over the heads of the entire family, the counter is on display. What may once have been discernible as a cookie is now a seething mass of ants. They pour from the walls, carrying crumbs back in multiple tiny lines. This is the worst collection of ants for such a measly prize that's ever been seen.


    Margaret: They're everywhere! Lucian, get the can of Storm under the sink.


    Gary: Nah. Too many of them. What we need,


    5/ Gary goes for the cupboard above the fridge. He has to stand up on his tiptoes to see in, but quickly spying what he's looking for, he's already got his arm thrust inside the cabinet. What else might be inside, we don't know.


    Gary: Is this.


    6/ In a close-up of what's in Gary's hand, we see what could be mistaken for a can of Borax were it not for a pretty obvious label. It reads "ANT-POCALYPSE! Kills Ants Dead!!" with a Jolly Rogers-style flag, only the cartoon head of an ant replaces the traditional skull.


    Gary (OP): If we spray them, all it'll do is kill the ants here. Then more of them will come in through the cracks to save their buddies, and we'll just have to keep spraying.



    Page 3:
    ----------

    1/ Back at the counter, a massive shadow looms over what's left of the cookie and all the ants. Powder sprinkles down from the just visible lip of the canister.


    Gary (OP): Won't be as quick a fix, but they'll take it back to their hill and we'll be rid of them for good.


    2/ An artistic shot of one of the ants, our narrator, as the powder snows down upon him. As far as we can tell, he looks into the sky, questioning the sudden change in weather.


    Caption: Food Requisition Unit 1138 was present that night. Among others.


    Margaret (OP): Okay, kids. Time for bed.


    3/ Through a crack in the wall, the ants, some covered in powder, travel with their stolen food.


    Caption: We gathered blessings and returned with them to the colony to be shared among the people.


    4/ They travel, single file, through a small tunnel, mostly black, as they come to a light source.


    Caption: From queen to pawn, we feasted.


    Caption: But something had changed. We had displeased The Gods.



    Page 4:
    ----------

    1/ The ants emerge from the tunnel onto a ledge with walkways leading down either side. They all carry bits of food, but not all of them are covered in powder, though the lead ant, our narrator, is.


    Caption: And, just as they were generous in their blessings,


    2/ Now, we see what they see. A massive colony, who knows how many levels high, with tunnels and pathways everywhere, and ants everywhere. Their entrance has gone unnoticed in this vast cavern.


    On the upper levels are the royals and upper class. There is an enormous picture, creased and frayed, of the family above in their Sunday best. To humans, it would be wallet-sized. To the ants, it is an enormous mural resting above a small outcrop with a singular tunnel opening. Ants stand on either side, guarding the tunnel. This is the queen's bedchambers. Due to her size, she is currently unable to leave the room, but will still grant audience.


    Caption: So, too, were their castigations.



    Page 5:
    ----------

    1/ Our narrator ant stands in front of this door now. His antennae wave freely as he, in theory, announces his presence and mission, to the guards. He is still freckled with powder, though not as noticeably as before.


    Caption: To hold court with the queen upon mission's end. The highest of honors.


    2/ The queen's doorway is empty.


    3/ Our narrator looks sheepish. Or, as sheepish as an ant can.


    4/ But she slowly emerges, her engorged physique somewhat visible behind her.


    5/ Our narrator begins to wave his antennae more obviously until,


    6/ The left guard collapses. Our narrator and the queen glance towards him.


    7/ The right guard collapses. Our narrator and the queen glance towards him, too.



    Page 6:
    ----------

    1-?/ The ant colony is in ruins. We see it from the position of the queen's outcrop, with levels above and levels below. All the walkways and tunnels are teeming with ants. But they are all suffering. Dying. The poison works fast, and with a society as bustling and interactive as theirs, it is easily transmitted from one victim to the next. Quick shots, however many deemed appropriate, syncopate the scene with images of sickly, expiring ants. The most important one, however, is just over our narrator's "shoulder" of the queen, still in the doorway, succumbing to the poison.


    Caption: We had all heard tales of the plague that had wiped out other colonies. Leaving only a select few to spread the cautionary tale.


    Caption: It was regarded distantly.


    Caption: An educational story for the young to be mindful of The Gods.


    Caption: When we became sick in droves, not one of us considered the plague might be among us.


    Caption: Nor did we reach the conclusion when the dead began to fill our tunnels en masse.


    Caption: It took the fall of virtually our entire society,


    Caption: And she who so perfectly embodied it,


    Caption: To open our eyes.



    Page 7:
    ----------

    1/ Our narrator stands, at the edge of the outcrop, rubbing his antennae together.


    Caption: The command was sent for every living being who still heard my call.


    Caption: "Scour the city for any and all survivors. Gather at the southern tunnel."


    2/ A ragtag bunch of ants, six or seven, with one very small ant, a potential queen, among them. They stand before an unmarked tunnel, leading up and away from the colony proper. Between this group and the entrance, our narrator.


    Caption: And there we were. The select few. Hardly a fraction of a percent of our once great colony.


    3/ The ants march through rugged tunnels.


    Caption: We crawled, clawed, and climbed upon the backs of our dead brothers and sisters. Ignoring pain, hunger, and fatigue.


    4/ They continue. Bursting from the walls of their tunnel, a millipede or worm of some kind, maybe. The ants never stopping.


    Caption: On the verge of freedom, not knowing what we may encounter, we left our home to find a new colony. A new queen. To spread our tale.


    5/ Once more, the ants march. They maintain single file, even to their potential deaths. A light shines up ahead.


    Caption: We were all that remained of our world.



    Page 8:
    ----------

    1/ From the top of a hill, the ants emerge. Grass behind them, concrete in front of them. They are at the edge of lawn and sidewalk. The sun is a glorious sight.


    Caption: And then,


    2/ Suddenly, one of the ants chars, quickly, under an intense beam of light.


    Caption: The Gods returned.


    3/ Over the shoulder of Lucian, through the magnifying glass he's holding, we see a beam of light burn more of the ants. Only one is spared. The narrator. His comrades lie dead beside him, quietly smoking.



    Page 9:
    ----------

    1/ The narrator looks up towards the light. His fellow refugees have all been killed. Burned. He is resigned to his fate as the beam draws nearer.


    Margaret (OP): Lucian! Ana! Lunchtime!


    2/ But it stops.


    3/ A large THUD!!!


    4/ The narrator is beside a monumental magnifying glass. In the background, the two children are walking towards the house as their mother ushers them inside.


    Ana: But I'm not hungry!


    5/ The narrator looks as relieved as an ant can. Horrified. He is the sole survivor.



    Page 10:
    ----------

    1/ From an outstretched branch, a crow surveys the front yard from high above. The ant colony rests just on the edge of the sidewalk. The magnifying glass has been cast aside, and a tiny speck is visible. Isolated.


    2/ The crow turns, giving us a full profile.


    3/ Then it cocks its head. Getting the ant in it's sight.


    Crow: kaw?


    4/ The crow has left the branch. The scene is the same as it was before, but now, a dark shadow looms over the tiny speck.


    Caption: The End.

  3. #23
    @ Inkspot & Tommy.

    I read the first page and really hoped you were going there with the cookie on the counter... and you did! Brilliant!! Really fun to read and awesome spin on the topic. I had one question and one critique. I wondered how the narrator survived having the powder doused on him? Was he resilient somehow? Also, as a critique, I think it would have been stronger to start with things from the ants perspective. I know it gives away the fun reveal of this being the ant's story but as a reader I was identifying with the woman at first and when the focus was shifted to the ants it seemed much less significant. As opposed to you starting off from the ant's perspective and having the reader identify with them from the get go. I love the idea of them being on a food gathering mission and regarding the family as Gods. So if you start from the ant's perspective they are going on this holy pilgrimage, careful not to dismay the Gods by having them look upon the ants. Then the family comes in unexpected and boom, the Gods are wrathful.
    Still though, I really liked it. Very clever and fun. Good work guys!!

  4. #24
    Well, that was a question that we both raised, and the answer was simple: We needed a protagonist. The story of an ant being poisoned is a tragedy. The story of an ant surviving poison and then leading its colony to freedom, regardless of the success rate, becomes a hero's journey.

    As for the narrative shift, … Can't speak for Tommy, but I felt it was mostly clear by the end of the first page that the perspective was coming from the ants. Although, I can see how that may have still been somewhat ambiguous into the third page.

    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by Inkspot; 07-21-2012 at 10:48 PM.

  5. #25
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    @Inkspot and Tommy

    Loved how you went with the theme. No real crits, other than a little caption heavy - which is understandable.

    Great job, very enjoyable.

  6. #26
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    @Shaun
    First off, thanks for the read and reply!

    To add to what Inkspot said:
    In terms of how the ant survived(warning, I'm long winded...or long fingered, since I'm typing?); If you look at most bug poisons, they usually boast with pride that they kill 99.9% of their targeted pests, and the very few that claim to kill 100% almost always give some kind of excuse as to why some small amount may survive. One of the given reasons, I kid you not, is(and I'm paraphrasing some, because I don't want to re-research for this response haha) "unpredictable immunity among a small portion of the species to the active ingredients". Now, I probably spent a good few days just pondering how to get this fact into the story in an unobtrusive manner, but since the narrator was a bug who was unaware that he had even been poisoned, there's no way we could have explained it through dialogue. This left us with two options; 1) Have the dad state it while he's talking up the product, which just seems unrealistic, or 2) Show it on the graphic of the bottle of poison itself. Option two probably sounds inviting, but here's the problem with that. There is an average of about 360,000,000 ants per hill, give or take a couple hundred thousand. So, if we placed a nice sized, easy to read graphic on the label in, say, panel 2.6. or 3.1. that read, "Kills 99.9%", but that would have left us with roughly 360,000, which is far too many. We could have tacked on another 9 "Kills 99.99%", which would have left us with 36,000. Far too many. Tack on one more 9, "Kills 99.999%" leaving us with 3,600. You get the point I'm sure. We would have had to go with 99.99999%, in order to narrow it to 39 survivors, which, while tragic, was still just too much. So, we had to assume it's one of the poisons that kills 100% of the bugs, barring some sort of freakish situation. The only way to explain the survivors in this case would be an INSANELY tight, and in my opinion, very forced, shot of the fine print on the back of the bottle of poison. So, the dilemma, either take the extra step to make sure the reader, who it is unsafe to assume has researched the subject as much as the writer, is informed as to how the finer points of the story work, or keep the focus on the characters and their struggle. In this case, the ideas were indeed more important than the facts. But, while it is not exactly likely to turn out this way, there's plausible reason to believe that if you were to infect a colony of this size with this type a poison, you could very well end up with 7 almost unaffected survivors. Sorry for the wordiness, but I hope this answers the question, haha.

    As per the narrative switch: Firstly, I agree with Inkspot in terms of clarity and possible ambiguity . I would also add that I agree and disagree with the critique. That is to say, I can see the strengths of both openings. I won't rehash the ideas you gave, as you explained them very well, but I add that, in my opinion, opening with the humans and then going back to them in the end really stresses how such a large event, and all out tragedy, the extinction of a whole tribe, really, could happen quite literally right beneath our feet without having any affect on our day to day lives whatsoever. I guess with it being a short story, it felt important to stress that point, and our opening seemed the best way to do so. Were this same story a 22 page script, I would probably vote in favor of your opening idea. If it were a miniseries, I would almost definitely go with your opening idea. But as a short story, I stand by this opening pretty firmly.
    I hope I don't come off as smug or unappreciative of the critique, as it was in no way a bad critique, just trying to, hopefully, add clarity as to our decision making.

    @Zepster
    Thanks man, glad you enjoyed. I agree on the caption heaviness. I should give Inkspot a huge shout out in saying that he was responsible for the trimming and that if I were writing this myself it might have had twice as much dialogue haha. Hopefully we stayed in the realm of "dense read" instead of skirting into the dreaded "overbearing" territory. It's a very thin line.



    I hope at least one or two more entries make it in so it's not just between our two stories haha.

  7. #27

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    White Out


    ===================
    Part 1
    Chicago Sunset

    ===================



    Jermiah Blake - 28, black (dark), cornrows, prominent cheekbones, mustache & goatee, lean muscle
    Annabelle Blake - 24, alabaster white, wide jaw, full cheeks, waist-length red hair, bright green eyes, long neck


    --------
    Page 1
    --------



    1.1 Midday: Jeremiah is carrying his wife Annabelle down the steps of a run-down middle-America farmhouse. Annabelle is wrapped from head to toe in long, trailing white bed sheets, lightly spotted with blood; the sheets form a hood covering her face. Jeremiah is in an expensive suit, sans jacket, sleeves rolled up. In the fields are homemade wooden crosses on a handful of freshly dug graves. An Aston Martin Vanquish is in the driveway.
    Annabelle Debbie –
    Jeremiah -is with her granmama. Hush - I’ve got you.



    1.2 The Vanquish flies on the country back-roads kicking dirt up in its wake. A small white community church sits on a gentle slope, surrounded by an untended cornfield. The church doors themselves have been spray-painted with a red biohazard symbol and the words “MORGUE: AUTHORIZED ENTRY ONLY.” A black bordered sign sits on the front lawn.
    Church Sign “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.” Zephaniah 1:7



    1.3 The Vanquish passes a High School Football field: the goal posts are still up, but the field is a giant pit filled with body bags, bulldozer still just behind the end-zone. The National Guard is on hand, protecting a team clad in hazmat suits dumping more bags. All the National Guardsmen on duty are black and dark-skinned; they only wear surgical masks.
    Annabelle (off-panel) Shameful.



    1.4 The Vanquish gets onto a deserted looking highway. Overgrowth from the shoulder and median has begun to creep up onto the road itself.
    Annabelle (off-panel) Slow! ’s next exit!
    Jeremiah (off-panel) Roake Memorial isn’t going to cut it. We’re going back home.



    ---------
    Page 2
    ---------




    2.1 Dusk: The car has arrived in the city. A light rain is falling from a partly cloudy sky. The Vanquish is stymied by police barricades behind which there is a sprawling encampment. The inhabitants huddle wrapped in cloaks, towels, sheets, parkas. Just seen beyond them are tanks, tents, searchlights, and guard towers with armed, masked guards. The contrast from the city is intense.
    Annabelle (off-panel) Well - you could use - shower.
    Jeremiah (off-panel) Ha! Pot kettle, sugar.



    2.2 Jeremiah, carrying Annabelle, stands outside a tent as infected white people mill about. A police barricade prevents him from entering and two riot cops are working the door. The first cop is black and in standard riot gear, the second white and hermetically sealed in military gear, only his face showing through a military gas mask. A placard above the door of the tent reads Admittance. The lights of the hospital loom in the background.
    Riot Cop2 Registration’s back there.
    Riot Cop1 Nurses’ll be around with pain meds.



    2.3 An exasperated Jeremiah has scooped Annabelle up onto one arm while taking with the cops, his other hand in his back pocket. The shadow of all the patients behind him waiting to get in feels like a crushing weight on his shoulders.
    Jeremiah Do you have any idea who I am?
    Riot Cop2 Sir, first come, first served. No ‘VIP treatment’.



    2.4 [Reflected in the officer’s helmet] Jeremiah is holding a large wad of cash. He has changed his focus to the black cop. Annabelle is tightly gripping onto Jeremiah’s shirt through the blanket.
    Jeremiah Whatever you need, want, it’s yours. Brother, please, I’m beg-



    2.5 Jeremiah and the cop turn to face a white man: it is the first time we see the extent of the disease. It has acted like flesh-eating bacteria. Most of the skin on the man’s left cheek and jaw is gone, leaving only muscle and bone showing; his face is a rainbow of bacterial infection, eyes are bloodshot, the remaining skin ulcerated, red.
    Assailant What kinda bullshit going on here?!



    --------
    Page 3
    --------




    3.1 Overhead: The cop gestures with his nightstick at both men. A grotesque crowd mobs around them, closing in.
    Riot Cop1 Sirs, both of you are going to have to return to your vehicles and tents.



    3.2 The man pushes Mr. and Mrs. Blake down into the mud before the cop can react.
    Assailant Think all that money makes you better than us?



    3.3 The crowd begins to beat on Jeremiah. Hideously deformed white people start kicking, punching, and spitting on the defenseless young man.



    3.4 Annabelle’s hood has fallen from her face and her condition is as advanced as the rest: the skin on her swan-like neck is cracked, covered in bloody rings; she’s weakly propping herself up on her arms, both of which have skin sloughing off in ribbons. She is struggling to breathe.
    Annabelle Jere... Jay… Jay.



    3.5 The Two Riot officers try their best to pull the mass of people off of Jeremiah. The first is swinging his nightstick, knocking down a crowd member with his riot shield; the second is aiming his firearm at someone off-panel.
    Riot Cop1 Get back! Get Back!
    Riot Cop2 Put down the weapon!



    3.6 Through the cracks in the retreating crowd, the bloody Jeremiah and his wife stare at each other as the rain washes her blood into the muddy water.




    ===========================
    Part 2
    Pale Fire Over Singapore

    ===========================



    Prime Minister Han - Han Chinese, reminiscent of Justice Scalia: portly, elderly, jowls, nearly bald, white hair
    Minister of Home Affairs, Deborah Wong - Han Chinese, middle age, cropped black hair, zaftig, pearls
    Jaharu - Rohingya, wears hajib, short, dark-hair, middle aged, bony



    --------
    Page 4
    --------




    4.1 Night in Singapore: view outside of a large hospital in the middle of a very developed part of the city, full moon rising into the sky.



    4.2 Identical panel, but the city has been hit by a power outage.
    Han (off-panel) Though I’ve tremendously enjoyed having this conversation with myself,



    4.3 The Prime Minister and his six remaining Ministers [Health, Defense, Law, Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, Manpower] sit around a conference table; everyone wears a translucent plastic hazmat suit. Large windows show the moonlit city outside. The room is lit by a battery powered lamp in the middle of the table.
    Han I’d appreciate a single idea. Not be too much of a bother.



    4.4 The Ministers turn to Minister Wong as she begins speaking; they look at her with polite interest.
    Wong The private market cannot encourage migration



    4.5 Weeks’ worth of garbage sits piled up on the street in front of a storefront. The window advertises prices for foodstuffs; instead of using zeroes, the signs have to use exponents. [e.g., Apples $5x1013/kg]
    Wong (off-panel) when it would be a godsend to have only Weimar level inflation.



    4.6 The Ministers are now sitting at attention as Minister Wong continues.
    Wong However, we do have… recently vacated real estate.



    --------
    Page 5
    --------




    5.1 The PM tents his fingers and leans forward as he responds.
    Han Our population is extremely susceptible to opportunistic infection. A mass influx of people with low vaccination rates and hygiene standards is unacceptable.



    5.2 The Woodlands Train Checkpoint: large groups of dark skinned migrants [Nigerians, Rohingyas, Bengalis, Indians] are directed into processing lanes by a handful of armed soldiers sealed inside hazmat suits.
    Wong (off-panel) We are more than capable of undertaking basic screening procedures:



    5.3 Juhara comes to the front of the line. A female soldier, outfitted with single-piece WWI-style gas mask and hazmat suit [and a pump shotgun,] opens a white curtain and gestures that she come forward.
    Wong (off-panel) vaccinating uninfected newcomers against diseases they may pick up on return visits to their home country;



    5.4 Juhara stands naked, eyes closed, hunched forward and covering her breasts, as a nurse sprays her down with a delousing liquid. The nurse is outfitted with a similar get-up to the soldier, but her suit is white and bears a Red Cross emblem.
    Wong (off-panel) providing all entrants with an education in basic hygiene.



    --------
    Page 6
    --------




    6.1 Juhara rides the MRT train at night: there are handful other migrant workers and locals sealed inside their own anti-contamination suits.
    Wong (off-panel) Structurally, nothing less than our very survival -



    6.2 Juhara and another migrant worker [a large Nigerian woman in a niqab] stuff garbage onto a truck. They have gloves and boots, but no formal uniforms. They carry flashlights.
    Wong (off-panel) – depends on routine maintenance.



    6.3 Juhara turns to look at a beer bottle exploding as it hits the concrete wall behind her. She flinched down somewhat. She and her coworker still have each have a hand on the garbage bags in the truck.
    Han (off-panel) How do you propose to mitigate resentment of migrants?



    6.4 Juhara and her coworker shine their flashlights at an infected Singaporean man who is covered in ulcerations. Rotund, the fissures are deepest around his jowls and chins; the light highlights the gouges in his face. He’s been self-medicating with alcohol, so he’s staggering.
    Wong (off-panel) It is inevitable -
    Staggering Drunk GO HOME!



    6.5 The garbage truck speeds away as the man yells after it. He has fallen to his knees in the street.
    Wong (off-panel) – but it will have a trivial impact.
    Staggering Drunk GRAVE ROBBERS!



    --------
    Page 7
    --------




    7.1 Juhara stumbles into a furnished apartment [living room] that, based on furnishings, obviously used to house the elite; her husband [tall, angular, and dark] brushes past on his way to work.
    Minister Wong (off-panel) Xenophobia is everywhere: discrimination persists even in their homelands.



    7.2 Juhara walks a large bay window overlooking the ocean. The Moon shines bright in the sky. She is walking towards a door.
    Minister Wong (off-panel) We are one another’s last best hope,



    7.3 From inside the darkened room, we see Juhara peeking in, a beam of light coming in around her.
    Minister Wong (off-panel) to ensure the future is not a phantom -



    7.4 Her three sons and her daughter are asleep in massive bed.
    Minister Wong (off-panel) but a beacon for our children.




    ===========================
    Part 3
    Dawning of Port Harcourt

    ===========================




    Fidelis Bichi - 34, bearded, dark skin, muscle of youth slowly congealing into fat, shaved head, fitted three piece suit
    Ugo Nduka - 19, beanpole: lean and tall, dark, hipster [large black frames, gauged ears], buzz cut, hand-me-down suit
    Ann Blake - 28, dark, professional dress: skirt, stockings, heels, bright green eyes, emerald pendant, large gold hoop earrings, long neck, large afro




    ---------
    Page 8
    ---------




    8.1 Ext. Port Harcourt, Nigeria- Dawn. In a dry field, a Nigerian construction crew works on the steel framework of a soon-to-be office complex. The Nigerian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Fidelis Bichi, stands rubbing his right temple while overlooking the progress in a suit and hardhat while his assistant, Ugo, scribbles away on his tablet computer. A dark colored car is heading towards them in the distance.
    Bichi Is this the American or the Brazilian?
    Ugo American: Ms. Blake from the Sony-Soft corporation.



    8.2 Ann is closing the car door with one hand, and is waving at the minister with the other.
    Ann Minister Bichi, Ann Blake: Chief Global Strategist for Sony-Soft New York. Thank you for meeting me so early.



    8.3 Ugo hands Annie a hardhat; Mr. Bichi and Ugo turn to walk towards the construction site.
    Ann And who is going in here?
    Bichi I cannot recall off hand. It’s either a British financial firm or a management consulting firm from Ireland.
    Ugo It’s Assange Media Corporation’s new headquarters. A Danish firm, sir.



    8.4 Ugo faces Ann. He has his tablet out and lying in the palm of his left hand. The screen projects a holographic blueprint of an architecturally avant-garde headquarters, emblazoned with the Sony-Soft logo. Mr. Bichi taps the image with his right hand.
    Fidelis Port Harcourt is the premiere spot for Sony-Soft’s new corporate headquarters. Ten Fortune 500 companies have already started building regional or new home offices in the city limits.
    Ann (off-panel) So we’ll have some competition…How many retail stores could we be guaranteed?



    8.5 The image on the tablet has changed to a set of Sony-Soft store fronts.
    Bichi We have three earmarked for you in a twenty mile radius around the city center.
    Ann We would want at least one on NLNG Road?
    Bichi The waterfront district? That’s premium real estate…



    ---------
    Page 9
    ---------




    9.1 Ann looks at Bichi with a critical eye.
    Ann We can scout locations later. What can you tell me of Port Harcourt.



    9.2 Bichi stands tall, looking proud of his community. Even his assistant has looked up to regard Ann.
    Bichi We call it ‘The Virtuous Cycle:’ low taxes draw IT entrepreneurs, who in turn recruit the world’s best and brightest, ultimately creating a tech boom to rival Mumbai.



    9.3 Bichi opens a car door for Ann as they prepare to leave.
    Bichi If we could go back to my office, my assistant could walk you through the contracts we’ve prepared.
    Ann Thank you, Minister.



    9.4 The trio is riding in the car with Ann sitting on one side and Bichi and Ugo sitting opposite her.
    Bichi You’d be interested to know The George Washington University has agreed to move here.
    Ann Nothing more prestigious?
    Bichi Sadly, no. Cambridge decided to go to Lagos instead.



    -----------
    Page 10
    -----------




    10.1 As the ride continues, Ann looks out the window at all the construction.
    Ann The growth in this area is simply astounding.
    Bichi We do offer the lowest corporate tax rates in Africa, a more stable market than Liberia, and speak English. Nigeria is becoming a global superpower.
    Ugo In truth, sir, we already are.



    10.2 Bichi wipes his brow with a handkerchief as the heat seems to be getting to him. Ugo sits upright
    Ugo As you Americans say, the arc of the universe bends to justice; the colonized now dance of the graves of the colonizers.



    10.3 Ann has turned to face Mr. Bichi with an angry, incredulous expression.
    Ann Did he forget I was an American immediately after starting that sentence?



    10.4 Ann eyes are blazing with anger; behind her, there are nearly completed construction projects outside the window.
    Ann Did it slip your mind that my country buried more babies than were born here this year? Can you understand that as anything other than a statistic?



    10.5 Ugo is staring into his lap, as the Minister tries desperately to put on as apologetic a face as possible. Ann leans towards them, one hand on her hip, gesturing with the other.
    Ann When my grandma’s skin peeled like house paint, my grandpa got himself lynched trying to get her the help she needed.



    10.6 The black car speeds into the sun, passing brand new towering skyscrapers and freshly paved sidewalks on smooth blacktop.
    Ann (off-panel) These roads are paved with bone. You should be more grateful to the dead.
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  8. #28

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    This is a submission by myself and Wild Aces.
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  9. #29
    [SUPPORTER]
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    And this is by myself and BenHat:

    Nanopocalypse

    Page 1 (Six panels)

    Panel One:

    We are at a low angle looking up at the sky. We see the backs of people’s heads as they too stare up. In the sky is a giant grey spiral cloud, yet it is not like any natural cloud. The edges are not rounded; rather they are angular, sharp. It fills most of the sky, casting a shadow on the onlookers below.

    CAPTION: IT CAME WITHOUT WARNING. MY MOTHER CALLED IT “LE NUAGE GRIS” – THE GREY CLOUD. THE GOVERNMENT CALLED IT A XENO-NANO INVASION. SOME PEOPLE CALLED IT THE END OF TIMES.

    Panel Two

    Close on the cloud now – really close. We see that it is made up of thousands, maybe millions of tiny robots (not really sure how the nanobots should look)

    CAPTION: I DON’T REMEMBER GENESIS PERFECTLY, BUT I’M PRETTY SURE THERE WAS NOTHING IN THERE ABOUT SWARMS OF ROBOTS THAT TURNED YOU INTO ENHANCED SLAVES OF A HIVE MIND.

    Panel Three

    People are running away from the swarm-cloud now, scattering this way and that, screaming in panic. In the center of the panel, closest to us, are GERARD - late 30’s, hair just starting to gray – and his daughter SASHA – nine or ten years old, black hair in pigtails. They are running directly towards us.

    CAPTION: AND THAT’S AT BEST. AT WORST – I DON’T LIKE REMEMBERING THE WORST.

    GERARD: RUN, SASHA, RUN.

    SASHA: PAPA, I’M SCARED!

    GERARD: JUST RUN!

    Panel Four

    Gerard and Sasha have ducked down an alley. We are at a medium distance, seeing only from Gerard’s waist up. He has placed Sasha inside of a dumpster and is lowering the lid.

    GERARD: NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, I WANT YOU TO WAIT UNTIL DARK AND THEN RUN HOME TO YOUR MOTHER.

    SASHA: BUT PAPA-

    GERARD: NO BUTS! PROMI-

    Panel Five:

    A swarm of nanobots engulf Gerard, filling his mouth, his ears, entering his very pores. His body is twisted, wracked in the pain of transformation.

    CAPTION: AT WORST THE HUMAN BODY REJECTED THE NANOBOTS, EXPUNGING THEM IN A GRIZZLY EXPLOSION.

    Panel Six:

    Close on young Sasha’s face as she stares in fright at her father’s demise. In the foreground is a mist of blood.


    Page 2 (Six Panels)

    Panel One:

    Close on the face of older Sasha – early 20’s, high cheekbones, small nose, would be considered beautiful if not for her eyes. There is such a stern hardness; a total lack of empathy in her eyes that only comes from seeing years of atrocities. Right now they are totally blank, almost comatose.

    NANOSLAVE #1 (Off-Panel): PRETTY, FOR A NON-WELCOMED. WHERE DID THE SCOUT TEAM/US/WE FIND HER?

    NANOSLAVE #2 (Off-Panel): HILLS NEAR ALSACE-LORRAINE/QUADRANT 46.333.218. OPENING SEALS ALPHA, BETA, GAMMA.

    Panel Two:

    We’ve pulled back so now, at a high angle so we are looking just slightly down on everything. Sasha is dressed in a hospital gown. She is lying in a large glass capsule on a raised platform. Larges tubes run into the capsule. All around the room are metal stands, resembling organic pustules made of mercury, glow with inner light. Two men (we can’t see their faces) look down on Sasha, tapping away at glowing cubes that float in the air around them.

    NANOSLAVE #1: BLOOD PRESSURE – OPTIMAL. HEART RATE – OPTIMAL. ORGAN HEALTH – OPTIMAL. BRAIN ACTIVITY – LOW.

    NANOSLAVE #2: CHANCE OF MORTALITY – 15%. SHE WILL BE AN EXCELLENT ADDTION TO THE HIVE/US. PREPARING CLOUD EGO-45-

    Panel Three:

    We’re at a slight low angle, looking up at the two Nanoslaves. They appear to be regular guys – good hair, clean, square jaws, athletic builds – wearing lab coats. In fact they are almost the perfect guys, with not a blemish in either of their features. Their eyes glow red. They both smile perfect smiles – gleaming teeth, 1950’s Donna Reed smiles.

    NANOSLAVE #1&2 (in unison): Prepare to be Welcomed.

    Panel Four: A cloud of nanobots is filling Sasha’s capsule. Her eyes are unmoving.

    Panel Five: Similar to panel three except now there is a red tint to everything. The two Nanoslaves are looking around nervously, tapping on the cubes. An alarm blares.

    SFX: VREET!! VREET!!! VREET!!!

    Nanoslave #1: Unknown object in lower spine. Escaped preliminary scans.

    Nanoslave #2: Cloud EGO-45-not responding.

    Nanoslave #1: Brain activity – rising.


    Panel Six:

    Similar to panel one except now Sasha is wearing a hint of a smile.

    Nanoslave #1 (Off-Panel): Venting body for disposal.


    Page 3 (Four Panels)

    Panel One: Sasha’s POV. Things are fuzzy, perhaps the eyes are not completely open and the We are staring, well falling, down a long tube. Way at the bottom of the tube, almost a circle dot, is a green glowing pool. Closer to us are a ring of nozzles protruding from the walls of the tube. Everything has a blueish tint to it. A HUD (Heads Up Display) is overlaying what we see (something like this: http://cache.lifehacker.com/assets/i...medium_HUD.jpg). Sort of like Arnold’s point of view in the terminator.

    HUD Display: Pointing at nozzles: Flame dischargers, readying outer dermis…
    Danger: 35%
    Height: 45 meters
    Speed: 15 MPS
    Acceleration: 7.5 MPS/7.6 MPS/7.7MPS
    [Note – throw in some other stuff]

    CAPTION: WHA…WHAT? THEY’RE IN ME. THEY’RE IN ME! I’M - I’M FALLING. I CAN TASTE SOMETHING – ACIDIC FUMES? READYING OUTER DERMIS?

    Panel Two: Sasha’s POV. The whole panel should be filled with rolling flame – reds and blues twist and turn across the panel.

    HUD Display: Outer temperature: 1,000 degrees Celsius.
    Structural Damage: 65%

    CAPTION: IT HURTS FOR A SECOND AND THEN THE LITTLE ROBOTIC BASTARDS CUT OFF MY PAIN RECEPTORS.

    Panel Three: Sasha’s POV. We’re much, much closer to the glowing green pool now – moments away from plunging into the frothing, steaming vat of radioactive acid. On one side of the panel we see an opening to the tube.

    HUD Display: Pointing at the pool – HNO3 – Nitric acid. U-235 infused. Impact imminent!!!
    Structural Damage: 73.5%
    Pointing at the opening: Maintenance tunnel. Elevator to ground level.

    CAPTION: GREAT AND MY EYELIDS JUST GREW BACK.

    Panel Four: Sasha’ POV. The whole panel is filled with the green liquid. We see Sasha’s hands as the skin starts to burn and flake off.


    Page 4 (Five Panels)

    Panel One: We are now at eye level with Sasha as she crawls out of the pool, only her upper torso is revealed so far. She is reaching towards us. This should be a big panel, a powerful one as it sets her apart as new and improved. She has been baptized in hellish liquid and now she born again. Her arms are covered with burns – in some places the bone shows, in other places the tendon. Acid drips from her chin, her regenerating ears, etc. Her eyes glow, but instead of the sinister red, it is blue.

    Panel Two: Medium, low angle. We are looking down on Sasha as she lies on her back, out of the pool. her legs have been consumed by the acid! Sasha’s face is racked with pain, tears streaming down her face as even the nanobots can’t keep this agony from reaching her brain.
    Panel Three: But it’s not over…yet! Her POV – show her legs are being recreated by the nanobites – from the inside out. So we see the femur bones of her thighs almost completely recreated, with the muscles and veins halfway down to the end of her femurs. And the skin shortly behind it. More or less the same is happenong on her arms, just to a lesser degree because of the it was not so extensively damaged.

    Panel Four: Same panel as Panel 3 – but just with her lower legs also being recreated… The only bony parts left being recreated are her feet…

    Panel Five: Show Sasha up and about on her feet – for the sake of modesty show that her uniform has been burnt to a hotpants-style bottoms…

    SPEECH BUBBLE - SASHA: “You’ve had your chance…”

    LINKED SPEECH BUBBLE - SASHA: “Now it’s my turn…”


    Page 5 (Five Panels)


    Panel One: Sasha is almost in the same pose as last panel of previous page – but floating a few feet from the ground - she is checking her “powers” – flight first.

    CAPTION: THESE LITTLE BUGS ARE GOOD FOR SOMETHING.


    Panel Two: Sasha’s mouth is open from it flies a beam of white and blue heat; kicking up steam and a cloud of fumes as it strikes the pool of acid – kicking up steam and a cloud of fumes.

    CAPTION: “NANOBOT FUSION HEAT BLASTS NEVER HURT. WAIT, YEAH THEY DO.”


    Panel Three: But she is interupted before she can complete her tests… An alarm sounds! Three human/nano-slaves are coming out of an opened doorway on the far right side of the panel.

    SFX: VREET!! VREET!!! VREET!!!

    CAPTION: “GREAT…”


    Panel Four: We get a closer look at the three as they fill the panel, weapons rising out of their arms, shoulders and backs – no carrying rifles or grenades for them! These are barrels of plasma dischargers and electricfied razor wire one atom wide and neurotoxin tazer dart dispensers. Whatever crazy armaments you can think of to make these three “people” look like walking tanks.

    Panel Five: They attack! They’re on the foreground of the panel, blasting away at Sasha, in the background, on the other side of the panel. They emit the same kind of fusion heat blasts as Sasha, as well as laser beams and Kirby-crackly surrounded pulse cannon blasts! And where the Kirby-blast hit, it triggers an explosion of rock!

    SFX: ZhiiiNG!

    SFX: KA-KROOOM!


    Page 6 (Six Panels)


    Panel One: Sasha is hiding behind the piece of rock kicked up by the explosion in previous panel. Show the nano-slaves are still blasting away at her. There is no anger on her face, just grim, tight-lipped determination.

    SFX: ZhiiiNG!

    Panel Two: . Reverse of the previous panel as we are looking at the scene from behind the nano-slaves. The nano-slaves have started shooting away at the rock outcropping she is hiding behind. From behind the rock we see blue light glowing.

    SFX: ZhiiiNG!

    CAPTION: NO RUNNING THIS TIME.

    Panel Three: Reverse again. Sasha has risen from the rock – floating in the air. We can’t see exactly what has changed but Sasha is now transfored as well. She is different though – if the nano-slaves are tanks, she is a fighter jet. She is sleek, armored in shiny dermal plating. Instead of bulky barrels that protrude from elbows and back, her hands have transformed into tri-barrel plasma cannons. One of her blasts takes out one of the nano-slaves . Waist-high POV from behind Sasha.

    Panel Four: Sasha is now flying, her hands have turned into energy blades. She is slicing through one of the nano-slaves. There are burns on her upper torso, face.

    CAPTION: NO HIDING IN DUMPSTERS.

    Panel Five: Sasha has grabbed the last nano-slave by the head, her hands digging into the side of its head. Hot energy is pouring out of her mouth, engulfung its face.

    CAPTION: NO MORE DYING!!!!

    Panel Six: Show Sasha as the nanobots repair the damage from the blast.

    CAPTION: NOW FOR YOUR LITTLE BOS-EH?

    SFX: hhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm


    Page 7 (Five Panels)

    Panel One: POV from behind Sasha as the swarm fills the entire panel – grey with red highlights everywhere… She has her arms raised at the swarm…

    SFX: hhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmm

    SASHA: I’M READY FOR YOU.


    Panel Two: She takes out the 1st wave of nanobots with her own directed electromag pulse blasts! Waves of EMP spread like ripples in water. Show the falling ones turning black as they shut down, inoperable!

    SFX: hhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    SASHA: EMP BLAST, YOU BASTARDS.


    Panel Three: Show Sasha on the side of the panel, as the swarm points to her! They are like an avalanche or wall of water – unstoppable!
    SFX: bbbbbbbbbuuuuuuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzz


    Panel Four: She is engulfed by the nanobots!

    SFX: hmmMMM


    Panel Five: Close-up of her face, surrounded by nanobots EVERYWHERE, as she is showing a hint of a smile…

    SFX: HMMMMMMM

    SASHA: AIN’T OVER YET…



    Page 8 (Five Panels)

    Panel One: Sasha is floating in a sea of nanobots (grey with red highlights, but with a discernable pattern – they are still in unison) as she tries to communicate with the nano-swarm… Her glowing blue eyes contrasts wiith the mass of red as well.

    SFX: HMMMMMMM


    Panel Two: Almost the same panel as before, but with her body experiencing something like feedback shock / surges of high voltage! So her back is arched, and head thrown back. The red highlights of the nano-bots glow even brighter!

    SFX: HMMMMMM

    SASHA: “AARGHH!”


    Panel Three: Close-up of her face, showing her glowing blue eyes, but some of the nanobot swarm, right beside her body, is changing colours from red to blue!

    SFX: HMMMMM

    SWARM: CONTACT


    Panel Four: POV from above Sasha as she still is floating in the swarm, with most of the nanobots on the panel changed from grey with red highlights, to grey with blue. And with almost no discernable pattern – they are no longer in unison…

    SWARM: “US/WE/YOU IS/ARE S0RRY F0R ANY PAIN… AND ABS0RBING THE YOUR PEOPLE…”

    SWARM: “US/WE/YOU IS/ARE PAWN 0F THE GREY 0NES…”

    SWARM: “US/WE /YOU IS/ARE SLAVES F0R UNKN0WN LENGTH 0F TIME…”

    SWARM: “US/WE/YOU WANTS FREED0M…”


    Panel Five: Close-up of Sasha’s face, as she is surrounded by brightly glowing blue/grey nanobots…
    SASHA: “I CAN SHOW YOU A WAY TO HELP…”



    Page 9 (Seven Panels)

    Panel One: Switch to the Greys, the true alien meanace. They look just like little bug-eyed grey aliens of the anal probing kind. Two are looking at this one lone outpost on their computer systems, at the dot on the 3D map representing it, with status “01”

    Panel Two: It goes from status “01” to status “00” – offline. The red of the nanobot infected and controlled areas also turns blue. One Grey is looking at this, his hand reaching to the dot.

    Panel Three: And then the blue continues ot spread on the computer screen! The Grey looking at this, taps on the 3D map…

    Panel Four: The blue reaches the icon representing their base. The Grey looks at the other Grey, big eyes seemingly even bigger in surprise.

    SFX: hhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmm


    Panel Five: All goes black inside the room as power is cut…


    Panel Six: Then the nano-bots starts appear on the computing table surfaces – grey/blue glowing swarm!


    Panel Seven: Then the nano-bots engulfs & devours them!

    SPEECH - ALIEN: ""



    Page 10 (Five Panels)


    Panel One: Long shot of Sasha is on the roof of the smoldering Grey's facility…

    Panel Two: The smoke coming out of the facility below her turns out to be the grey goo, with the blue pinpoints of lights.

    Panel Three: Zooming in, she radios out to the Colonel/Resistance leader, finger to temple.

    (RADIO) SASHA: AGENT SASHA GOUSSE TO COLONEL AQUILINO. THE CONTROL IMPLANT WAS A SUCCESS.


    Panel Four: She turns back and bit of the surviving swarm is turning into human looking nano-constructs.

    (RADIO) SASHA: I’M COMING BACK


    Panel Five: Some would still be in the process of being created but the first fully complete nano-human is her father, GERARD.

    SPEECH BUBBLE (RADIO) SASHA: WITH FAMILY


    THE END
    Last edited by Chris2.0; 08-01-2012 at 12:38 AM.

  10. #30

    Join Date
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    Chris 2.0: some technical issues:
    - I think you mean Revelations, not Genesis.
    - Alsace-Lorraine: you reversed the 's' and the 'c.'
    - Surprise has no z.
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