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SYMKA Issue 6

Copyright Sean McGinity ©2003

Edited by Suzanne Campbell for The Guild Companion

PAGE ONE

Splash Page.

Far shot. Morpheus stands in the center of the page, a look of complete anger upon his face. His arms are flexed at his sides, his muscles like corded rope, and out of proportion with the rest of his body. The fog around the stump of his lower body is thick, and spreading out some twenty feet around him (an extension of his anger). Bloodless scratches cover his arms. Gideon stands on the right side of the panel, his left hand holding a glowing green shield, and a globe of green energy around his right. Gideon is confidant and ready to fight. Silver is in her bear form on the left side of the panel, slightly on her on hind legs. Next to her is Stick, a bit hunched over and hurt.

They are all at the center of a street intersection in downtown Winnipeg, the traffic boxing them in. Some onlookers are leaning out of their car windows, and some are even getting out of their cars entirely so as not to miss a chance of seeing heroes in action. Pedestrians from the sidewalks are craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the heroes.

Caption: From an uncharted island in the Pacific, a man known only as Lurch dispatched his friend Morpheus, a mangled creature, to retrieve the Symka tablet in the possession of our heroes.

Caption: Morpheus homed in on Joaquin and, disguised as an old man, offered unlimited riches for the tablet. Joaquin refused the offer and a chase ensued through the streets of Winnipeg.

Caption: The chase ended outside Stick's apartment, bringing Silver, Stick and Gideon into the fray.

Caption: Surrounded by a crowd of onlookers, Morpheus got in some good blows and seemed ready to win the battle, when Silver managed to keep him at bay. Joaquin took advantage of the distraction to grab Morpheus' "Staff of Woe", expecting it to be the key of his power, and retreated further into the city.

Caption: Morpheus' anger has become unbridled. He intends to regain the Staff of Woe, his sacred weapon... at any cost.

Morpheus: Never has anyone ever dared to affront me in such a way! You shall all pay for this thievery!

PAGE TWO

Panel 1.

1/4 shot of Gideon. He looks unafraid of Morpheus' bravado.

Gideon: Thievery, Morpheus? Your being here is an affront to everyone that surrounds you! Go back to wherever you came from and we will not destroy you!

Panel 2.

3/4 shot of Silver and Stick. Stick seems to be getting a second wind. He is leaning on his staff to get back to his feet. Silver is in fighting form, ready to charge.

Stick: Morpheus, we have proved ourselves better than you!

Silver: You quailed before my assault, hellspawn! You are beat, and without your staff you are powerless!

Panel 3.

Full shot of Morpheus. He is reaching one hand behind to grab a car by the hood, his fingers punching through the metal as if it were putty. There is a driver behind the wheel of the car, surprise on his face.

Morpheus: You humans are so simple-minded. To think the Staff of Woe is my power source... This body was crafted by years of evil. It is strong enough to withstand anything, even the fires of Hell itself!

Morpheus: The bear's attack did nothing but surprise me.

Panel 4.

Full shot of Gideon and Morpheus. Morpheus flips the car over his head, one-handed, onto Gideon, impacting with the back-end of the vehicle. Gideon is on one knee, holding his glowing green shield over his head to deflect the attack. The shield cracks under the attack, but is still intact. The back-end of the car caves in against the shield.

Car (fx): SMASH!

PAGE THREE

Panel 1.

Full shot of Stick and Silver. They are shocked and horrified. They are rushing forward into the panel, towards Gideon (off-panel).

Stick: Gideon!!!!

Silver: My God! Gideon can handle himself but there was someone in that car! We have to help them!

Panel 2.

Far shot. Morpheus swings a haymaker at Silver, over her body. She is on all fours running past him on his right. Stick is to the left, planting his legs, and cocking his staff back in mid swing.

Silver: Keep away from me, foul heathen! There are lives to save here!

Panel 3.

Far shot. Stick makes a full swing of his staff, across Morpheus' body.

Staff (fx): WHAMMO!

Panel 4.

Far shot. Silver is at the side of the car, which is upside down on the street. The rear end of the vehicle has a large concave dent in it where Gideon was struck. Gideon kneels in that space, propping himself up with one arm, his shield arm still holding the shield up against the car. The shield is still further cracked, and its color is dim. Gideon is hurt. His pants have rips in them. The driver of the vehicle hangs upside down in the driver's side from his seatbelt.

Silver: Gideon? You're alive? Good!

Gideon: Barely. My shield absorbed only part of that attack. His strength is phenomenal! He knocked the wind out of me.

Silver: Get back to your feet then! I will try to save the bystander. You just keep Morpheus away!

PAGE FOUR

Panel 1.

Full shot. Gideon stands and takes off his overcoat, holding it out with his right hand. He is gathering his courage. He still has the cracked shield in his left hand.

Gideon: If you're changing back to human form, you'd better cover up. You don't want to shock the guy to death with your naked body.

Gideon: And don't take too long! We'll need everyone to take this thing out!

Panel 2.

Silver is changing to human form and covering herself with the coat.

Silver: I will take as long as I need Gideon! This man's safety is more important! I will help you and Stick when he is safe!

Panel 3.

Full shot of Gideon. He refocuses the energy in his shield, sealing the cracks and its color re-energized. He is ready for battle. He spares a frustrated look at Silver who is now in complete human form wearing the overcoat.

Gideon: Do what you have to then! The longer you take here the more bodies there'll be!

Panel 4.

Far shot of Joaquin. He is springing one-handed over the edge of a building. He has a glowing staff in his other hand.

Caption: Joaquin is on the run with Morpheus' Staff of Woe.

Joaquin (thinking): What do I do? What do I do?

Joaquin (thinking): I have his stick, which may be the source of his power, but what can I do with it? Can I actually use it against him? Or can I destroy it?

Panel 5.

Full shot of Joaquin landing in a 3-point stance, one arm up holding Morpheus' staff.

Joaquin (thinking): Hopefully Gideon and the others can slow down the big guy until I can figure out what to do.

PAGE FIVE

Panel 1.

Far shot. Gideon fires an impressive blast of green energy against Morpheus. The energy explodes on contact with Morpheus, bathing everything green.

Caption: Meanwhile...

Blast (fx): ZOT!

Panel 2.

Stick, from behind Morpheus, pokes him in the back of the head with his staff. Morpheus' head snaps forward.

Staff (fx): CRACK!

Panel 3.

Morpheus picks up another car by the bumper, angered.

Morpheus: How convenient for you to leave all these weapons for me to throw!

Panel 4.

Morpheus throws the car. Most of the car is off-panel.

PAGE SIX.

Panel 1.

1/4 shot of Silver. She is tending to the man from earlier who is now on the ground in front of her. She is looking up, with a look of fear in her face.

Silver: NO!!!!!!!!!!!

Panel 2.

Far shot. Stick is doing a one-handed cartwheel out of the way of the car, which smashes behind him into a building.

Car (fx): CRASH!

Panel 3.

Silver rushes forward into the panel, to Gideon's side. She is alarmed. Gideon is steady, but a little shell-shocked at the carnage. Gideon is blocking her way with one arm.

Silver: We have to stop him! He is going to kill someone!

Gideon: Yes! He'll kill you if you face him in your human form! Think before you act!

Silver: I don't care about me! He's going to kill someone! We must stop him! Now!

Panel 4.

Stick is on the ground, getting up from his landing.

Stick: Is that the best you got, hotshot? I'm still not down. Are we going to settle this man to... to... thing? Or are you just going to throw things at me all day?

Panel 5.

Far shot of Morpheus. He is reaching towards a crowd of people, some of whom are only now beginning to realize that this fight is not like the battles of old in the golden age of Supers; they are in real danger here and the heroes might not be able to protect them. For the onlookers closest to Morpheus, the look of avid curiosity on their faces is being replaced by alarm.

Morpheus: Fool! I do not goad so easily. And I tire of this game. You will keep me from my staff no longer. I will use your greatest weakness against you so I can track El Tigre*.

Caption: *Morpheus' affectionate little name he gave Joaquin last issue, in case you missed it.

PAGE SEVEN

Panel 1.

Far shot. Morpheus is holding up a woman from the crowd by the throat. He is gloating. The woman is kicking her feet and grabbing at Morpheus' arms to try to break free.

Morpheus: You care too much for these humans! I will snap this mortal's neck as a sign of my displeasure! Or you shall let me pass!

Panel 2.

Dale Turcott's Range Rover is stuck in traffic. Dale is on the top of the vehicle capturing the events on video camera. He is seated on the roof, with his feet on the hood.

Caption: In the middle of the traffic jam the fight has created, Dale Turcott is getting everything on film.

Dale (thinking): This is insane! They can't let that woman die! I need to do something!

Panel 3.

Full shot. Joaquin is holding the Staff of Woe out in front of him. The whole thing is glowing even stronger than before.

Caption: Meanwhile...

Joaquin (thinking): Oh-oh! This doesn't look good. What's it doing? Like it's overheating or something! Got to get rid of it!

Panel 4.

Far shot. Joaquin is leaping over a large water fountain, dropping the staff into it.

Joaquin (thinking): Maybe this will cool it off.

Panel 5.

Full shot of the fountain. The water is bubbling over the edges.

Caption: Little does Joaquin know that whatever he's done with the Staff of Woe cannot be reversed. The staff is activated...

PAGE EIGHT

Panel 1.

Far shot. Host (from the Canadian Super Team title) is sitting in a lotus position, floating just above the ground in a room littered with ancient tomes. He is dressed in a flowing purple cape with yellow trim that hangs to the ground, with a large turned up collar, a purple baggy silk v-neck shirt, blue tights, clunky yellow boots and yellow gloves with the index fingers and pinkies cut off.

Caption: On the other side of the city, in a room cluttered with ancient manuscripts and spellbooks, Manice Konsil, known to the public as The Host, meditates.

Panel 2.

1/4 shot. Host looks up and to his side as if woken from a deep sleep.

Host: What? Some sort of rent in the fabric of our world...

Panel 3.

Far shot of Zander Kan, an Otherdimensional entity with large block-like feet, large three fingered hands, a twisted face with no cheekbones, a large mouth, and scaly skin. He sits on a throne that is rudely carved out of stone, with jutting sharp edges to it. One arm is draped over an armrest. He rests his chin on a loosely formed fist, propped up by the other armrest. He is looking up in surprise, just having noticed something.

Caption: Across the world, others attuned to such things take notice of the Staff of Woe...

Caption: Zander Kan, the Otherdimensional ruler of the Void...

Zander: Some fool has summoned one of them... He has surely endangered his city... Ha ha ha!

Panel 4.

Full shot of Claw, a mutate with a peg leg, a fully masked face, and a deformed hand. He is standing and looking down at his peg, which is glowing, exactly like the Staff of Woe.

Caption: Those with a common kinship to Morpheus also take notice. Claw, his right leg amputated below the knee, walks on a piece of wood mystically grafted to him. His "leg" also begins to glow.

Panel 5.

Far shot. Lurch is pouring salt lines forming a pentagram. He too is taking notice of something.

Caption: On a secret island in the Pacific, Morpheus' friend, Lurch also takes notice.

Lurch: What the... He has come!

PAGE NINE

Panel 1.

Another shot of the fountain from earlier. The water is bubbling over the edges.

Panel 2.

The fountain explodes, blasting water and fountain pieces in the air.

Fountain (fx): BLAM!

Panel 3.

Full shot. Morpheus is squaring off against Gideon and Stick, but he is distracted. Gideon no longer has the shield. Both his hands glow with green energy. Stick is poised with his staff. Silver is on the ground, tending to the woman Morpheus was chocking moments earlier. Only a few of the crowd that surrounds them are still focused on the fight, the others are looking off in the distance having heard the fountain explode. Everything is shaking.

Morpheus: No! The fool! He does not understand what he has wrought! We are all doomed!

Panel 4.

Far shot. Morpheus is center panel. Gideon energy blasts with both arms, straight into Morpheus' chest, while Stick smashes his staff down onto Morpheus' head. Both create tremendous impact.

Caption: Seeing their foe distracted, Stick and Gideon unleash strong attacks simultaneously; the force of their attacks is shaking the street.

Blast (fx): ZOT!

Staff (fx): CRACK!

PAGE TEN

Panel 1.

Far shot. Morpheus is wobbly. Stick moves into position, just next to Morpheus, staff at the ready. Morpheus isn't paying attention to Stick or Gideon.

Caption: Entirely distracted, Morpheus is putting up no defense.

Morpheus (in a dazed font): We are all doomed...

Panel 2.

Stick smashes his staff across Morpheus' stomach, forcing him to double over. Gideon is moving in from the opposite direction.

Caption: Stick moves, unleashing a devastating hit with his staff that would have split anyone else in half.

Staff (fx): SMACK!

Panel 3.

Morpheus is still hunched over, clutching his gut. Gideon slides in under the upper half of Morpheus' body that is hunched over. His hands glow green.

Caption: Gideon slides in under Morpheus' hunched body...

Panel 4.

Gideon fires off a double shot of energy from his hands, directly into Morpheus' underside --- at point blank range. There is a massive display of energy.

Caption: ...and unleashes a furious double blast of magical energy! He hopes this will do it, because he dumped all of his energy in this last blast.

Fx: ZZOT!

PAGE ELEVEN

Panel 1.

Stick dropkicks Morpheus, pushing himself off a planted staff. Morpheus keels to the right of the panel. Gideon looks on from underneath the now teetering Morpheus.

Caption: Morpheus seems to be relenting under Gideon and Stick's impressive teamwork.

Fx: SMASH!

Panel 2.

Stick is helping a truly weakened Gideon to his feet. Gideon is exhausted, perspiration dripping from his forehead. In the near distance, Morpheus is lying on the ground, a small bit of motion in his body.

Stick: Are you okay, Gideon?

Gideon: I'm good to go! Let me at him!

Stick: You're as weak as a baby. Leave him to me! I can finish him off!

Panel 3.

Far shot. Joaquin leaps over the crowd, landing behind Gideon and Stick. Morpheus is in the distance, struggling to get up. Silver is moving towards them (in human form with the overcoat on), walking away from a bandaged bystander.

Joaquin: Hey guys!

Gideon: Joaquin?

Stick: What did you do with Morpheus' staff? It drove the guy batty! He's staggered now, but he's still not out.

Panel 4.

3/4 shot. Gideon is holding Joaquin's arms, for support as well as to get his attention.

Gideon: What did you do with the staff, Joaquin? Did you activate the thing?

Joaquin: I --- I don't know. I set it off somehow, I think. I didn't stick around to see what happened.

Gideon: Morpheus was terrified. You must have done something to frighten him. What did you do?

Joaquin: Gideon! I don't know!

Panel 5.

Far shot of the crowd surrounding the heroes. A large HUMMMMM floats through the panel.

Caption: Almost in answer to Gideon's question, a low hum floats through the air, capturing everyone's attention...

PAGE TWELVE

Panel 1.

Far shot. Dale Turcott is crouched on his vehicle's hood. The HUMMMMM still continues on in this panel.

Caption: ...including Dale Turcott's.

Dale: What the?

Panel 2.

Far shot of the end of the street, beyond the crowds that were milling about the fight. The crowds look towards the end of the street. The HUMMMM still pervades.

Caption: The crowd stands silent and motionless, awaiting what is coming. They had been captivated by the incredible battle that had been before them, but now, something mysterious, something menacing approaches. The danger is palpable.

Panel 3.

Full shot. Silver in her overcoat, Gideon trying to regain his strength by sheer force of will, Joaquin completely surprised, Stick ready to go another round with anyone or anything.

Silver: What is that vibration?

Stick: Like someone's listening to some kind of trance-dance music with some really heavy bass.

Silver: The entire street, the buildings are rumbling. We have to clear these people out of here!

Joaquin: Holy crap!

Panel 4.

Very far shot of the end of the street again. A red foggy mist flows in from one side street to the main street. HUMMMMMM !!

Caption: No one moves. Whether fear grips them, curiosity, or some sort of mass mind-control, no one can tell. The red billowing mist finds its way into the street, heralding something of great power, something familiar, something mythical...

PAGE THIRTEEN (APPROPRIATELY)

Full page splash. A large figure, some 13 feet tall, floats a few feet above the ground (skimming the cars lined up in the street). It has an enormously powerful humanoid looking body with skin a deep red hue. Two massive yellowed horns seem to have been forced painfully through the thing's forehead, the skin around them stretched uncomfortably to accommodate them. The horns are perfectly shaped, identical to one another, and curling towards the heavens. Its mouth is gnarled, looking more like a rip in its flesh, than a real mouth. Its "nose" is two holes that seemed to have been poked into the head with an ice pick, asymmetrically. The creature has no chin: its face flows into its massive neck.

Its shoulders are broad and human looking, seeming totally out of proportion with the rest of the body. Its arms also appear somewhat human, but longer proportionately than the rest of its body. Long fingers with cracked and imperfectly razor sharp nails make up its hands. Morpheus' staff is in one of his hands.

A shadow falls over its torso, hiding its groin. Its impressively muscled legs are bowed in a permanently crouched appearance, but with the muscles in all the wrong parts, as if this creature uses its leg muscles differently than humans.

The buildings should be visible on each side of him, to show his true height and impressiveness.

Caption: ...something demonic.

Creature (hereby known as Mordo): Where is the Son of Sons that has summoned Mordo to this plane of existence? Where is the one that used a remnant of the Tree of Woe to bring me to this sickening place? Where is he?

PAGE FOURTEEN

Panel 1.

1/4 shot. Joaquin, Gideon, Stick and Silver, all with surprise on their faces.

Joaquin: Holy Hell!

Silver: Oh my God!

Gideon: I have to regain my strength quickly.

Stick: Is he looking for Morpheus?

Joaquin: ...or me?

Panel 2.

Far shot. Mordo floats down to the ground within the circle of people, before the heroes, studying the scene. He holds up the staff to show to the crowd, who are quiet and attentive.

Mordo: This. This was stolen from my realm ages ago. It had fallen from the Tree of Woe, and had rested by its trunk for centuries.

Panel 2.

Mordo lays a hand on Morpheus, who is still trying to get up, but completely groggy.

Mordo: Poor Morpheus. He suffered long at my hands, through unending tortures. He found the conviction to escape my realm when he found this. It transported him away to safety. I could have prevented his departure...

Panel 3.

Morpheus slumps down in the background, apparently from Mordo's touch. Mordo faces Joaquin, who seems frightened and unsure of the situation.

Mordo: So, you, the Son of Sons, have summoned me here! How ironic, considering what you are. Only those of the bloodline may summon me as you did, using relics from my realm. This staff was a tool for you to accomplish this. By why did you? Your human subconscious hides so much from you, hiding things from yourself.

Panel 4.

Mordo extends a hand to Joaquin who seems frozen in place. No one moves.

Joaquin: What are you saying?

Mordo: Do not give in to panic. I merely intend to show you the truth, to open your mind to itself.

Panel 5.

3/4 shot of Gideon, Silver and Stick. Stick is poised ready to attack. Gideon is still looking weak. Silver is repulsed, barely able to watch this thing.

Silver: What is it? What does it want?

Gideon: Let it play its hand.

Stick: This is crazy, this thing must be evil!

Silver: It is evil! Look at it!

Gideon: NO! Stop! Let it play out! I don't have the power yet. I'm replenishing my power. I just need a little more time. He isn't doing anything. Trust me. I'd know.

Panel 6.

3/4 shot. Mordo's hand is on Joaquin's head. There is no display of power, nothing to suggest Mordo is really doing anything at all.

Mordo: You have never tried to fulfill your destiny. There is power for you to acquire, if you simply find your father. Once you find him you shall truly understand. See? Your thoughts are becoming unclouded, your subconscious mind is opening, revealing the truth you always kept hidden from yourself.

Mordo: By revealing this truth to yourself, you grant yourself the power the kill the one that cannot be killed.

PAGE FIFTEEN

Panel 1.

Far shot. Back shot of Mordo. He looks away from Joaquin on his left towards Stick and Silver to his right. Gideon is slightly off to their right. Stick is holding his staff at the ready towards Mordo, should he make a sudden attack.

Mordo: And you, the man called Stick. Your namesake, a beautiful crafted design. May I see it?

Panel 2.

Full shot. Stick hands Mordo his staff, looking a little entranced. Silver is to his side, surprised, but unsure whether to make a move.

Mordo: You have nothing to fear from me, Stick.

Silver (thinking): Why is he handing his weapon over to him?

Stick (thinking): I have to give him my staff. I can't stop myself!

Panel 3.

3/4 shot of Mordo. He is merging Stick's staff with the Staff of Woe. Energy crackles between both of them.

Mordo: I merely wish to grant you a gift to show you all I am not here for any sinister purpose. I take the Staff of Woe and merge it with your own staff.

Panel 4.

Mordo hands the staff back to Stick, who still looks mesmerized. Silver seems ready to jump into action, but unable to.

Mordo: And I return it to you, far more powerful than before.

Stick (thinking): It's like I am not in possession of my own body. And the crowd is just standing there, watching quietly as if they are in this same trance. Even Silver is motionless. I have to fight this!

Panel 5.

3/4 shot of Stick. He is holding his newly formed staff, which looks the same as before but with a golden sheen to it. Slight energy flows around it.

Caption: Stick can feel the power coursing through his staff and wonders what it can do now. But also, it seems that whatever force had taken him over, to control his actions, is beginning to dissipate.

PAGE SIXTEEN

Panel 1.

Full shot. Mordo looks over to Gideon who is struggling to stand erect, but is still spent.

Mordo: Gideon Katharta! Still alive I see! What a surprise! You have flowered into quite the powerful being, perhaps even enough to surpass your own father. You obviously have no need of my help. You have done well enough on your own.

Gideon (thinking): I am getting my power back. I may be able to attack him. And I may be the only one. Everyone else is in a trance of some kind, as if he were mind-controlling them.

Panel 2.

1/4 shot of Silver. Her face is full of rage.

Silver (thinking): What is this evil creature? Is he the Devil, here offering us gifts that will forever corrupt us? I will not bow to him!

Panel 3.

Mordo lowers himself to the ground before Silver who is shaking to free herself.

Silver (thinking): I can't sense his thoughts, but he gives off something ugly, that I can't shake. Pure evil...

Mordo: And my fair Silver...

Panel 4.

Full shot of Mordo and Silver. Silver is enraged, shaking further, almost free of whatever Mordo holds her with.

Silver: Back away! You have nothing I want! You corrupt our world! Go back to Hell!

Panel 5.

Tight shot of Mordo standing over Silver. Silver is actually partially transformed into a bear. She is still shaking, trying to break free, Mordo is angry.

Caption: Silver tries to change into her bear form to regain control of her body, and the transformation slowly, ever so slowly begins.

Mordo: Insolent wench! You will not speak so to Mordo!

Silver: Stuff it, hellspawn, and get the hell away from me!

PAGE SEVENTEEN

Panel 1.

Mordo in the left background of the panel backhands Silver. Silver is flying through the air towards the right foreground of the panel. She is in half bear form: she has a snout on her still human face, the bear's arms and claws.

Mordo: No! Away from ME!

Fx: SWACK!

Panel 2.

Silver flies through the air from the impact, smashing into a car with tremendous impact. The door caves in and the windows shatter from the impact.

Fx: CRASH!

Panel 3.

Full shot. Stick is running towards Silver. Gideon holds an arm out to hold Joaquin back. Gideon is apparently not being controlled, and Joaquin is being controlled, but only barely.

Caption: Stick breaks free of Mordo's grip, his emotions running rampant over concern for Silver.

Stick: SILVER!

Joaquin: We have to stop this scum!

Gideon: No! Not now. I'm almost up to full strength. Wait! Just wait!

Joaquin: I'm almost free from his control over me. If you attack him, I may be able to break free. He may lose his concentration over me.

Gideon: Don't make Silver's mistake! That was a fool thing to do! She may have doomed us all! Let me play my hand!

Panel 4.

Mordo is holding his hands over two innocent bystanders who are falling to the ground. Energy flows from the bystanders to his hands. He has stolen their life essences.

Mordo: Fools! I came bearing gifts! What I gave I now take away! Enjoy your gifts, for as payment I shall reap the souls of these mortals!

Panel 5.

Full shot. Stick is crouched over Silver, holding her in his arms. He cries, but is also shaking with anger.

Caption: Stick holds the unconscious Silver, who has fully reverted into her human form. She is hurt badly, but her semi-change into her bear form has saved her from instant death.

Stick (thinking): I wasn't able to resist Mordo's gift, and she did. She threw it in his face. And now...

Stick (thinking): And now...

PAGE EIGHTEEN

Panel 1.

Full shot. Dale Turcott is jumping off the hood of his car, enraged.

Caption: On the sidelines, Dale Turcott has seen enough...

Dale (thinking): What are they doing? Why are they just standing there? Well, if they're not going to do anything I will!

Panel 2.

Far shot. Mordo is draining another victim. Gideon is standing steadfast across from him, while Joaquin manages to make a step forward.

Caption: Joaquin, too has seen enough, and using all of his strength takes one hard step forward.

Mordo: Is that the best you have to offer, El Tigre? Give up your futile attempt.

Joaquin (thinking): I have to do something!

Panel 3.

Full shot. Stick is getting up to one knee, enraged. He has the staff that Mordo made for him in one hand, held tightly.

Caption: Stick lunges from Silver's side to avenge the vicious attack against Silver, anger blazing in his eyes.

Stick (thinking): Silver is stable. But I mustn't waste the chance I have! Joaquin and Gideon are doing nothing. It's up to me to take this flaming psycho down!

Panel 4.

Far shot. Stick is leaping in the air, body fully extended, mustering all his strength into one blow. He has the staff raised in both hands ready to smash down upon Mordo's back.

Stick (thinking): Let's see how you like your little "gift" turned against you!

Panel 5.

Far shot. Stick puts his entire body into the swing. His staff, however, has ricocheted up and off of Mordo's back. Mordo, in the foreground, laughs.

Caption: The new staff never hits its mark, deflected before it can strike as if Mordo were protected from it with some sort of invisible force field.

Stick (thinking): Wha?

Mordo: You think I would make you a weapon that could be used against me? By joining your staff with the Staff of Woe, I am completely immune to your weapon!

Panel 6.

Full shot. Mordo spins around with a backhand that sends Stick flying, into the background of the panel (towards an alleyway).

Fx: THWAK!

PAGE NINETEEN

Panel 1.

1/4 shot of Joaquin and Gideon. Joaquin is slightly closer to the forefront of the panel. Stick flies over their heads from the backhand into an alleyway.

Joaquin: Dammit, Gideon! We're getting slaughtered! Do something!

Gideon: Wait! Trust me!

Panel 2.

Shot from behind Gideon and Joaquin. Mordo is moving towards them.

Mordo: You two still stand. What will we have here? I could consume more souls, but I find that boring, and I think you already understand what defiance brings.

Panel 3.

Closeup of Mordo's face.

Mordo: You, Gideon, have stood your ground, while having every opportunity to defy me. Are you afraid of me? Or simply smart enough to know when you are overmatched?

Panel 4.

1/4 shot of Gideon and Joaquin. Joaquin is looking at Gideon surprised. Gideon is unflinching.

Gideon: You've introduced yourself to us, Mordo. I've seen what you can do. We know what you are capable of. You've tainted two of my people, and done worse to some of the bystanders, yet you've proven nothing. I have yet to raise a hand against you. Do not provoke me further.

Gideon: It is time for you to leave. Go!

Panel 5.

Full shot. Mordo stands over Gideon and Joaquin, menacingly, his shadow darkening them.

Mordo: I came because I was summoned! You should not provoke me! But I have done what needed to be done, and I have initiated something within this El Tigre that pleases me. I am finished here. Be glad I leave you with your life, as only El Tigre matters to me.

Panel 6.

Mordo's form dissolves into a brimstone cloud. Gideon watches him dematerialize.

Caption: Mordo teleports away, his hold on the bystanders fading as he does.

Fx: HUMMMM!

Gideon: Run while you can.

PAGE TWENTY

Panel 1.

Far shot. Dale Turcott leaps off of a mailbox to get over a group of people (who are just beginning to regain control over themselves).

Dale (thinking): Too late to help against that creature, but I can still help in another way!

Panel 2.

The crowd is starting to move, some shaking their heads, some looking around, some trying to tend to the lifeless husks of the drained victims. Gideon and Joaquin stand at the epicenter, surveying everything. Joaquin is now free from Mordo's paralysis.

Joaquin: What just happened here, Gideon, and what game were you playing?

Gideon: It was no game, "El Tigre". Don't forget that. We escaped with our lives. Mordo could have killed Stick and Silver had we provoked him further. He left before causing more damage.

Joaquin: We don't know if Silver or Stick will even pull through! And what about those people he touched? He killed them Gideon!

Panel 3.

1/4 shot of Gideon and Joaquin. Joaquin is standing over Gideon challengingly. Gideon isn't backing down from Joaquin. They look almost ready to go to blows.

Gideon: Yes, he did! But he could have killed more! If Stick and Silver hadn't attacked Mordo, maybe no one, including themselves, would be hurt now! They are responsible for what just happened here!

Gideon: If I had attacked, or you had been able to, he would surely have killed us all! I had no option but to stand down! I saved lives, El Tigre! Things aren't always so black and white!

Panel 4.

Full Shot. Dale Turcott stands between Joaquin and Gideon, arms outstretched to keep them apart. They both look at him in surprise.

Dale: Enough! The crowd is snapping out of it! They'll be clambering all over you, demanding answers! You have to get out of here! You are open targets out here! The media believes you are murderers!

Joaquin: Dale Turcott? Independent News?

Dale: There's no time! Get the shapechanger and the martial artist and move it!

Panel 5.

1/4 shot. Dale is still standing between the two of them. They are looking at him incredulously.

Panel 6.

Same exact shot as last, except Gideon and Joaquin are looking at Dale a little more approvingly.

Gideon: If you have a way out of here that's safe, then we're with you.

Joaquin: I'll get Silver.

PAGE TWENTY-ONE

Panel 1.

Far overhead shot. They are running into the alley Stick was sent into (Joaquin is carrying Silver, Gideon has Stick's staff wrapped in newspaper in hand). The crowd is moving about, and a half-dozen are slowly following them.

Caption: Joaquin picks up Silver, Gideon picks up Stick's staff, and they make their way down the alley Stick flew into. The crowd slowly regains their senses, and as they do, some begin follow them.

Panel 2.

Far shot. Dale Turcott is holding the door open to the back entrance of the apartment building. He is motioning them in. Joaquin is through the door already, with Silver in his arms. Gideon is immediately behind him with Stick over his shoulder.

Caption: Gideon claims Stick, and Dale Turcott ushers them into the backdoor of his apartment building, locking the door behind them.

Panel 3.

Same shot as last with the door closed and some people walking by, looking around.

Caption: In the alleyway, the crowd loses the trail and quickly forgets about them.

Panel 4.

Full shot. Two EMT's are attempting to move Morpheus onto a stretcher, some are checking on the victims, while several others are speaking with the bystanders.

Caption: On the streets, the arriving ambulances bring medical attention to the wounded. Morpheus will also be taken and eventually transferred to a facility able to hold him.

Panel 5.

Far shot of two massive 16-foot tall doors partially open. They are attached to a nondescript stone castle covered in moss. Just inside the doorway stands Lurch, his hands behind his back, an anxious look on his face.

Caption: On an uncharted island in the Pacific...

Lurch: My poor friend, Morpheus. What will happen to you now? Should I chance leaving the safety of my self-made prison to go to you? Or should I remain here as the coward that I am?

Panel 6.

3/4 shot of Lurch, his head in one of his hands. A robed woman approaches behind him.

Lurch: The humans cannot keep you imprisoned, my friend. You can easily leave them any time you wish... but will you? Mordo has returned and taken you out with but a touch. Will you allow the humans to do what they will with you now that Mordo has humbled you?

PAGE TWENTY-TWO

Panel 1.

3/4 shot. The robed woman has a hand on Lurch's shoulder.

Robed woman: Come inside, master. This is no time to brood. Morpheus shall return when he chooses to. The danger to you past these doors is too great.

Panel 2.

Back shot of Lurch. He pushes the doors closed.

Lurch: I am sorry, my friend.

Panel 3.

Katharta is in the manager's office of Independent News, seated in the manager's chair. He has a serious look on his face, but a touch of excitement. He is staring at a TV screen.

Caption: At the Independent News studios...

Katharta: Interesting! My son is far more resourceful than I had anticipated! If he had attacked this Mordo character, then surely he would have doomed his entire party. By staying his hand, he has saved his friends.

Panel 4.

3/4 shot of Katharta.

Katharta: All of this was captured on video by one of my hounds from a nearby rooftop. This paralysis that affected the crowds had no effect on my people.

Panel 5.

1/4 shot of Katharta.

Katharta: What shall I do with this footage? Do I further incriminate you and your friends, or do I take a very different spin?

Katharta: I must certainly find out the connection between this Mordo and El Tigre. If Mordo should prove to be an ally of the group...

Katharta: I must think this through.

Panel 6.

Gideon (out of costume), Joaquin (out of costume), and Dale Turcott sit in a reception area at the hospital, huddled closely together to avoid being heard. Full shot.

Joaquin: It looks like Stick will pull through. He's a tough guy. Silver on the other hand...

Dale: I don't understand why Hi Tech didn't make a move against us today.

Gideon: Maybe they were dazzled by our victory, and afraid to take us on.

Panel 7.

3/4 shot of the three men.

Joaquin: You call that a victory? People died!

Dale: I side with Gideon on this one.

Joaquin: You're opinion doesn't matter, newshound! You screwed us over in the press!

Dale: I told you already: That wasn't me! I never aired that story, my station did. They took my footage and edited it to suit them!

Panel 8.

3/4 shot of the group.

Gideon: Regardless... you're with us now. You have some information we can use. Besides, if what you say is true, your life won't be worth anything soon anyway.

Gideon: You're with us until things change.

Caption: Be here next issue! As Stick and Silver heal up, we'll delve into the past...

 

Editor's Note:

SYMKA and the World of Genetics are the intellectual property of Sean McGinity - all rights reserved.

 

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