The Guild companion: Symka Issue 10

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2003

Edited by Suzanne Campbell for The Guild Companion

"What's the point of being parahuman if you can't eat lobster?"

Page One

Splash.

Bryan is leaning back on a mound of pillows upon a large king-sized bed with rumpled silk sheets. He is wearing boxers and an unbuttoned silk shirt with a tiger print on the left bottom border of it. He has a large grin on his face having just guzzled some Dom Perignon. There's a dish of caviar, half-spilled, on the bed.

Title: In a New York Minute

Page Two

Panel 1.

Far shot. Bryan stumbles out of the bed, bottle in hand. A man stands at the centre of the room; arms crossed like a statue. The man is thick, with bulging muscles going to fat, and he looks uncomfortable in his skin. The man's name is Marrow. The room they both occupy is a large open studio room, with only two enclosed areas to be seen: the bathroom and another room. There are various generic pastel hotel-quality chairs with flowery patterns, and the large bed is up against the far wall. Along the west wall is a square-topped table, with a vase of plastic flowers on top. A plate of lobster (unshelled) rests on the table. The doorways to the other rooms are on the east side, with a table between them holding another plastic plant on it. A pastel sofa sits in the middle of the room, with a cherry finish coffee table in front of it and matching end tables on each side. A large-screen TV sits some 10 feet front in front of the coffee table.

Bryan: Come on, Marrow! Don't you want a drink?

Marrow: Mr. Richardson, I am here to protect you. Having a drink is not really the best thing to do while on duty.

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot. Bryan looks at the man, confused.

Panel 3.

Same shot as last, except Bryan is making a shooing motion with his hand, to discount Marrow. He gets no reaction from Marrow.

Bryan: Oh, screw it. You're no fun.

Panel 4.

Far shot. Bryan walks over to the square table and spears a piece of lobster with a fork. Bryan is focused on the lobster. Marrow stands there, stock still, following Bryan with his eyes.

Bryan: If you're hungry, help yourself. I'm sure you can eat while on duty.

Marrow: I'm allergic to seafood.

Panel 5.

Three-quarter shot. Bryan is looking back at Marrow laughing.

Bryan: You're allergic to seafood?

Bryan: You're this big parahuman guy ...

Bryan: oh yeah, very big ...

Bryan: and you're allergic to seafood? What's the point of being parahuman if you can't eat lobster?

Panel 6.

Bryan has walked up to Marrow. Bryan is shorter than Marrow and is forced to look up at him, but is in no way intimidated. Marrow looks down disapprovingly at Bryan, shaking his head.

Marrow: I did not choose this!

Bryan: Well, why would you choose to be allergic? Of course you didn't choose that.

Panel 7.

Far shot from the north side of the room. From this view we can see the south wall, which has two large French doors that lead out to the rooftop. A man walks through both doors. He has jet-black hair. He is decked out in black with knee-high boots, gloves, large wraparound shades and a turtle neck shirt underneath a sleek bulletproof vest, molded like muscles.. He wears a bandolier across his chest. He wears a gunbelt, with a large handgun in the holster (like a modified .45). He also has some sort of modified assault rifle strapped across his back. He has a dagger strapped to his leg. He wears another holster on his boot, with a small handgun. He has grenades hanging from his left arm. The man is armed to the teeth. He has a big smile on his face. The man is known as Blaster.

Blaster: Everything's okay, Marrow. No sign of anyone on the perimeter.

Bryan: Hello there!

Blaster: Hey, Bryan! Things are looking pretty safe. I almost feel guilty for taking money from you for this job.

Blaster: Well, almost. I'm starving!

Bryan: Help yourself. You're friend here won't have anything.

Blaster: He's allergic to seafood. Sucks!

Bryan: I'll say. Some Dom?

Blaster: I'd love some.

Panel 8.

Three-quarter shot. Marrow is walking towards the couch.

Marrow: I'm going to take a nap.

Blaster: Raze is watching outside and Blinshriek's plugged in. All fronts are covered, boss.

Marrow: Good.

Page Three

Panel 1.

Minutes later. Far shot. The lighting in the room has become darker. Blaster is sitting on the bed with Bryan. They are playing some drinking game with cards. They have the lobster with them that they are nibbling on. They are getting along famously. Marrow is sleeping on the couch (out of panel). Another man enters the studio from one of the small rooms. He is a very well built man, not much massive as a perfect proportion of muscle to dexterity. He is lean and ripped without an ounce of fat on him. He has black hair, which has some curl to it and is stylish messy. He is dressed head to toe in a black unitard, with stylish fishnet cutouts: a half-moon just below his chest, a circle around his left shoulder, a block on one thigh. He wears short boots, slightly higher than ankle high. He has a belt with what looks like a calculator clipped to one side, and a sci-fi looking gun clipped on the other side. He looks like some sort of club-kid. His name is Blinshriek. He is holding his hand up to his head, with his index finger pressed against his temple. His face is slightly downcast as if he were trying to get a better signal (which, in fact, he is trying to do).

Blinshriek: Bryan?

Blinshriek: Your restaurant in Winnipeg suffered some sort of attack. The details are just coming in.

Blinshriek: Your 'parahumans' have been named. Hi Tech Henchmen were also at the scene.

Panel 2.

Far shot. Bryan is just getting off of the bed, looking up at Blinshriek. Blinshriek appears completely devoid of emotion. Blaster is simply listening.

Bryan: They were? Is it because ... they know? But Bryce had protection!

Blinshriek: When dealing with parahumans, Mr. Richardson, you can always expect some collateral damage.

Panel 3.

Far shot. Bryan is really looking panicky here. He is running towards the television. Blinshriek is following him at a slow pace.

Bryan: There must be some coverage somewhere. What about Bryce?

Blinshriek: The only mention made was that he was out of town on business.

Bryan: Out of town on business? But he was there! Is he okay? What damn channel is this on?

Blinshriek: I can only tell you what the media reports. Perhaps you should have kept part of our force in Winnipeg.

Panel 4.

Close-up shot of Bryan's face. His eyes are intense ... focused.

Bryan: No! The tablet's already attracting too much attention! I need all of your protection here!

Panel 5.

Far shot. Blaster is sitting on the bed cross-legged. He has one hand held out questioningly. Bryan is looking at him across the room with a look of scorn.

Blaster: What's the bid deal anyway? It's just some tablet in a lead case.

Bryan (thinking): What's the big deal?

Panel 6.

Close-up look of Bryan. He feels like he's surrounded by idiots.

Bryan (thinking): You just think it's about money, don't you? You may be the best money can buy but you know nothing of the Asemka! Its power will be enough to make Bryce and I all-powerful!

Page Four

Panel 1.

Interior of a small six-seater charter plane, far shot of the team: (first row) Stick, Silver, and Dale; (second row) Gideon and El Tigre.

Caption: Friday afternoon. Stick, El Tigre and Silver have taken the afternoon off today for an extra long weekend. Dale Turcott has chartered a plane using his contacts in the reporter business to take them and Gideon - no questions asked - to New York City. Bryce has been brought along for the ride, and to lead them to his partner. What's in New York City? Bryce's restaurant partner Bryan, in possession of one of the SYMKA tablets, has fled Winnipeg to hide out with the tablet while they plan their own strategy to acquire the remaining three tablets.

Caption: Our team:

Panel 2.

Quarter shot of Gideon. He is contemplative. His elbow rests on the armrest, his hand cradling his chin.

Caption: Gideon: Weeks ago, Gideon Katharta and Joaquin Ramirez came across a stone tablet inscribed in ancient Tibetan text. There are four of these Symka tablets, that when joined together can activate immense power. The exact nature of that power remains a mystery, except that it has attracted many powerful groups.

Panel 3.

Quarter shot of Gideon. He's gripping the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index finger.

Caption: One of these powerful groups is led by a man known as Manus Katharta, Gideon's father. It is because of his father that Gideon has decided to go after these tablets, to keep the Symka away from him. With Stick, Silver, and Joaquin's help, Gideon hopes to succeed in his task.

Panel 4.

Serious shot of Joaquin, quarter shot.

Caption: Joaquin: Joaquin is filled with more questions now than when this all began. He has some connection to the demon Mordo, a being powerful enough to keep several city blocks of Winnipeg citizens enthralled and unable to defend themselves.

Panel 5.

Quarter shot of Joaquin. He's holding up his hand, studying it.

Caption: The demon had apparently instilled some sort of power into Joaquin... power to murder his own father. Joaquin had never known his own father and couldn't possibly imagine wanting to kill him. And if he had been instilled with power, he felt no different.

Panel 6.

Quarter shot of Dexter (Stick). Dexter is looking downcast, keeping his eyes down.

Caption: Stick: Dexter Stewart has failed. Silver almost died before his own eyes and he could do nothing to prevent it. He was ashamed. He didn't know how to tell her he was sorry.

Panel 7.

Quarter shot of Dexter. He is looking up in despair.

Caption: Was this just another failure in his life? Was it better to not even be around? Silver had barely said two words to him since the incident. And now... now his staff has been perverted - merged with some demonic staff by Mordo.

Panel 8.

Quarter shot of Silver. She is looking forward intensely, a sad look on her face.

Caption: Silver: Even now she feels the taint of that blasted Mordo. She feels his influence on them has eroded any confidence they might have had as a team. By verbally attacking Mordo, she feels directly responsible for the demon stripping these innocent people of their souls. She has had thoughts of leading their little team, but how can she now, stripped of her powers when Mordo nearly killed her.

Panel 9.

Quarter shot. Silver is looking slightly off centre, a gasp on her lips.

Caption: She thinks, "I'm even resorting to pointing a gun to a man's head!"

Page Five

Panel 1.

Quarter shot of Dale. He is seated uncomfortably, leaning to one side of his seat. His mind is racing.

Dale (thinking): There were enough witnesses to know I was there helping the parahumans. My "agreement" with Hi Tech Henchmen has been nullified. They are going to be gunning for me now and I only have these parahumans to protect me. I'm not even sure if they want to. I don't trust Gideon. He's liable to try and kill me himself.

Page Six

Panel 1.

Far shot of the interior of a large hotel room. There are two large beds, a TV on a dresser in front of the beds, a night table between the beds, an extending lamp over each bed. The colours are a drab rose on the walls. The bed sheets, chairs and curtains all have co-ordinating flowery patterns. The room is quite spacious. El Tigre is sitting on one bed, his hands behind his head, leaning against the headboard. Stick is standing by the window, looking out. Bryce is sitting on a chair. Gideon is sitting on the end of the other bed. Silver is standing with an eye on Bryce. Dale is standing next to Silver.

Caption: 24 hours later, our team is staying at a nice hotel (that Turcott has paid for), a few blocks away from Bryan's rented penthouse...

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot. Dale is leaning towards Silver, looking around the room, trying to be secretive. Silver is leaning away from him.

Dale: Silver ... we have to talk.

Panel 3.

Tight three-quarter shot of Dale and Silver. Dale is worried; Silver is annoyed.

Dale: Promise me you won't kill him.

Silver: No, we won't. We don't have any intention of killing anyone.

Panel 4.

Same shot as last. El Tigre has worked his way into the panel, eavesdropping on them.

El Tigre: You should know that by now, Dale. We're not murderers.

Dale: After what happened at the restaurant, I'm not so sure.

Panel 5.

Expanded three-quarter shot from last panel. Dale is pleading with them.

Dale: Silver, you put a gun to a man's head back there, with every intent of killing him!

Dale: What do you expect me to believe when the most righteous of you all, Silver, debases herself with an act of violence that would murder...

Panel 6.

Full shot. Stick grabs Dale by the lapels, lifting him. Dale is too far into this to back down. He is unafraid. Gideon is stepping in, a hand outstretched to intervene.

Stick: She had no intent on killing anyone. It was a bluff!

Dale: A bluff? A bluff? What kind of bluff endangers someone's life? Huh, Stick? I wonder if I'm safer being with you at all.

Gideon: Stick, put him down!

Panel 7.

Stick is putting Dale down. Gideon is pointing an authoritative finger at Dale. Silver is standing on the fringes of the panel, watching Gideon.

Gideon: Turcott, no one ever said you'd be safe. We're not some sort of protection agency. This is about the tablets, pure and simple. We find them all and find a way to destroy them. And you get it all on film.

Panel 8.

Same shot. Gideon is focusing his attention on Silver. Silver and Stick are dumbfounded, unable to say anything in retaliation.

Gideon: It'll keep Silver and Stick happy that we're doing good, won't it? Heaven forbid we come off as "bad guys".

Panel 9.

Far shot. Gideon is facing them all, angry. They all watch, unsure of how to respond. Stick has let go of Dale at this point.

Gideon: Don't any of you forget: my father, Manus Katharta is evil. If he gets all the Symka tablets, who knows what sort of havoc he'll raise, how many people will die under his power! We need to accomplish our goal. We need to beat him to the tablets. We need to prevent him from achieving whatever sick goal he has in mind, and if that means hurting some of his crew - his Hi Tech Henchmen - to get to that goal, then don't anyone hold me back! You offered to help me. Then help me.

Page Seven

Panel 1.

Full shot. Gideon walks up to Dale. Gideon's anger has fallen a bit.

Gideon: Dale... you know all too well how far they will go, how many people they will hurt. The longer it takes, the worse it will get.

Gideon: I know my father has taken over your Independent News. He has enslaved your boss Bill Bannerman to him. I know. My father wants me to know what he's done. He wants to break me.

Panel 2.

Quarter shot. Gideon faces Dale. Gideon is calmer again.

Gideon: He's hoping I'll just give up and give in to him... in the hope he'll free everyone in his thrall.

Gideon: But it won't stop anything. My father will stop at nothing. My surrender to him will do nothing but increase his power.

Gideon: The crew at Independent News is in danger. You are with us, Dale... in the hope that we can stop my father and free them... and anyone else in his thrall.

Panel 3.

Far shot. Gideon is walking off from the rest of them towards the door.

Panel 4.

Far shot. Everyone is looking at one another, obviously questioning themselves.

Page Eight

Panel 1.

Far-angled birds eye view. The rooftop apartment of Bryan's place. The apartment actually stands on top of the building as a rooftop bungalow. Raze, so far unseen, stands shadowed on the rooftop of the apartment, while Marrow and Blinshriek stand on the roof of the building itself, side by side.

The apartment bungalow sits towards the back of the building. It has two large French doors and no windows in the front. Arranged in front of the French doors are some pieces of patio furniture: a long rectangular table with a frosted glass top, and eight chairs, four on each side of the table.

Before the apartment and patio furniture are three identical long rectangular boxes spaced two feet apart. Each box is three feet tall with three six-foot tall evergreens lined up in each box. The rooftop itself is straight concrete.

The edge of the rooftop has a short, three-inch tall ledge.

Panel 2.

Same shot as last, except closing in on Blinshriek and Marrow in a far, far shot.

Panel 3.

Far shot of Blinshriek and Marrow.

Panel 4.

Full shot of Blinshriek and Marrow.

Marrow: So what do you think, Blinshriek.

Blinshriek: We have a defensible position, but we are wide-open to several sides of attack.

Marrow: Blin... what do you think of this guy, Bryan, I mean. Are we doing a good thing here?

Panel 5.

Quarter shot of both men. Blinshriek is shaking his head.

Blinshriek: You want the man's answer and not the analytical machine - I understand.

Blinshriek: Sorry, sometimes it's hard to switch gears.

Blinshriek: I don't like him, Marrow. I don't like him at all. But times are tough for us. We're having trouble paying the rent enough as it is. This job will keep us good for a few months.

Panel 6.

Quarter shot of both men. Marrow is holding up one hand.

Marrow: You know, if Blaster hadn't of opened up with his machine gun at the last job...

Marrow: He must be spending most of his cut of the money rearming himself all the time.

Panel 7.

Far shot of Blaster coming out onto the rooftop from the apartment. Blinshriek and Marrow (in a three-quarter shot) are looking back at him.

Blaster: Gents! How's it looking?

Marrow: Fine. No one's come calling, yet.

Panel 7.

Far, far shot of another rooftop. A man (Dale Turcott) is there with a video camera on one shoulder. He is peeking behind a rooftop exit.

Dale (thinking): Who are all these yahoos?

Panel 8.

Full shot of Dale.

Dale (thinking): I see three of them. They're decked out in some crazy pajamas. Makes Stick look dressed down. They got to be parahumans. And one of them...

Page Ten

Panel 1.

Very far shot of Blinshriek, Marrow, and Blaster through the video camera.

Dale (off-panel): Change of plans, guys? I count at least three of them, one of them is done up like a small army. Two of them are probably supers.

Panel 2.

Far shot inside the apartment with Stick, Silver, El Tigre, and Bryce. Gideon has a cell phone in hand and is beeping it with a thumb. Everyone has their eyes on Gideon.

Gideon: Change of plans.

Panel 3.

Far shot inside Bryan's apartment. Marrow is walking through the doors towards the phone. Bryan is sitting on the couch in front of the TV, looking back at Marrow.

Panel 4.

Three-quarter shot. Marrow has the receiver to his ear.

Marrow: Hello?

Phone (electronic word balloon): Hello.

Panel 5.

Three-quarter shot. Marrow is on the phone. Bryan is walking briskly towards him.

Phone (electronic word balloon): You may be expecting us. I know you're expecting us.

Phone (electronic word balloon): We're coming over and want to talk.

Bryan: Who is it?

Panel 6.

Three-quarter shot. Bryan wrestles the phone away from Marrow (who puts up no fight).

Bryan: Give me that? I'll deal with them!

Panel 7.

Quarter shot of Bryan, eager, with the phone to his ear.

Bryan: What do you want? What happened to Bryce?

Phone (electronic word balloon): Who am I speaking to?

Bryan: You know who you're speaking to!

Panel 8.

Quarter shot of Gideon on the phone, completely serious.

Gideon: Let's be civil about it. Let's talk business. We are coming to you.

Panel 9.

Three-quarter shot. Bryan is standing in front of Marrow, looking at him, and thinking.

Page Eleven

Panel 1.

Bryan holds the receiver with both hands. Marrow is waving his hand in front of Bryan.

Bryan: Okay. Okay.

Marrow: What!?! No way, we didn't agree to that...

Bryan: I'm waiting for you.

Panel 2.

Full shot of Gideon, Stick, and Silver (Bryce is out of panel).

Stick: What are we doing?

Gideon: Trust me, Stick, okay. This will work out. They have some firepower. I'd like to size up the opposition before we do anything crazy. There's nothing that says we need to fight this out.

Panel 3.

Far, far shot. Stick is flying through the air, around an apartment building. He is holding onto El Tigre and Gideon, each in one hand (forearm over forearm clasp). Stick's staff is tucked into his belt.

Caption: Stick flies Gideon and El Tigre out of their apartment window, leaving Silver behind to watch over Bryce.

Panel 4.

Far, far back shot. The three are flying over and around to the front of the Bryan's rooftop apartment.

Panel 5.

Inside the small room, small enough to be a closet, we see a cramped full shot of Blinshriek sitting in front of a computer, with an earjack in his ear.

Panel 6.

Far shot. Blaster is straddling a chair. He is holding a futuristic rifle in hand. Bryan is standing in front of his bed, arms crossed, very determined.

Panel 7.

Three-quarter shot of Marrow. He has a strong look to his face. Not a sign of fear or nervousness. On the apartment roof, Raze is crouched at the edge looking down, draped in shadows.

Panel 8.

Far, far side shot. Stick sets Gideon and El Tigre upon the rooftop. Marrow stands across from them, the trees standing between them.

Panel 9.

Full shot. Gideon leads Stick (who is apprehensive) and El Tigre (who is nervous) through the tree boxes towards Marrow. Bryan is walking out the French doors.

Page Twelve

Panel 1.

Side angled shot, to catch everyone seated in a row on both sides of the table. Gideon is flanked by Stick on his right side and El Tigre on his left. Stick is holding his staff, in its retracted form, upon the table. Marrow is sitting to Bryan's right. An open bottle of champagne is in front of Bryan.

Bryan: Are you the ones that trashed my place in Winnipeg?

Gideon: Yes and no. We were there and were attacked. Your restaurant suffered the brunt of the attack.

Bryan: What did you do to Bryce?

Gideon: Nothing. Bryce is fine. In fact, he is nearby.

Bryan: So you planned on coming here to extort me, is that right? For his freedom?

Panel 2.

Same shot as last. Stick is getting excited, standing up from his seat.

Stick: What are you, whacked? We're the good guys here! You're the one that stole two of the tablets in the first place!

Bryan: Am I? Or did I just buy them from someone I believed to be a reputable dealer? Gets you thinking, doesn't it?

Panel 3.

Same shot as last. Gideon has a calming hand on Stick's forearm, to get him to sit.

Bryan: Nevertheless, you've taken all the credit for having two of the tablets.

El Tigre: Which is why we should have yours.

Gideon: It would be interesting to see what would happen if it became public knowledge that you have one of the tablets. Someone as high profile as yourself... Why, I think you'd be hard-pressed to keep yourself protected.

Bryan: Are you saying it would be much better if we pooled our resources?

Panel 4.

Same shot. Stick is shaking his head, gripping his staff tightly in his hand.

Stick: Gideon, this guy is an idiot.

Gideon: Calm down. Everything is negotiable.

Panel 5.

Same shot. Marrow is glaring at Bryan. El Tigre is leaning forward. Stick has sat down.

Gideon: What I'm saying is that we've been guarding what we have, and we've gotten good at it. Would you be as successful if everyone knew you had it? Maybe you should just hand it over and leave it with professionals.

Bryan: ...Or you could hand yours over to me. Or I could take it from you.

Marrow: If I need to remind you, we were paid to protect you and that thing, nothing more. You don't change the contract unless we renegotiate.

El Tigre: Like he said, everything is negotiable... except your hired help. You should have come prepared, Bryan, if you plan on playing the game.

Panel 6.

Front quarter shot of Gideon. He means business.

Gideon: I'll be honest with you. If you give us the tablet now, we will leave peacefully. In fact, we will keep taking the credit for having both tablets, thereby keeping the heat off of you.

Gideon: If you don't comply...

Gideon: ... I will make sure to take the tablets from your bloody, beaten body...

Panel 7.

Three-quarter shot. El Tigre and Stick are looking at Gideon like he's crazy.

Gideon: ... and make certain the public knows you are, in fact, in possession of one of the tablets. The police may not believe you do, but that would sure put Hi Tech Henchmen on your back.

Gideon: And what about that demon Mordo? I would love to spread all the fun we've been having around. Let you live in our shoes.

Panel 8.

Three-quarter shot of Bryan and Marrow. Bryan is unimpressed and a little put off. Marrow is still staring at him.

Bryan: You know, I was going to offer you some champagne and lobster but I think I've changed my mind.

Panel 9.

Same shot as last. Bryan takes a chug from the bottle of champagne.

Page Thirteen

Panel 1.

Same shot as last. Bryan looks at Marrow.

Bryan: And yes, you will get some sort of bonus for this. I do not shirk on what I owe.

Panel 2.

Back to a side shot, catching everyone in the panel.

Bryan: You don't fool me; you are punks with no idea what you are playing with. You might think you're playing with fire... but you're dealing with an inferno. You don't even want to hold onto the tablet you already have. You can't even begin to understand its power.

Panel 3.

Large panel. Full shot. Stick rises from his chair, hitting Bryan with a slight backhand from his staff. The blow looks light, but its impact (based on the magic in the staff) is enough to send Bryan crashing into the apartment's outside wall next to the doors. The impact against the building is tremendous, injuring Bryan and taking him out instantly. Everyone else at the table has not had the time to react to this yet, the strike was so fast.

Fx: WHAP!

Panel 4.

Far shot. From the apartment rooftop, Raze fires a last blast from his forearm that strikes Stick in the chest with tremendous impact, sending him sailing backwards out of his chair and towards the boxed trees. Stick is out. Everyone else left at the table are getting to their feet. Raze is crouched over the lip of the roof, leaning down and forward.

Fx: ZZZAAAP!

Panel 5.

Full shot, a little cluttered and claustrophobic. Marrow is moving back towards Bryan who is slumped unconscious against the apartment. El Tigre steps back, looking up, his chair falling back. Gideon twirls around his chair to get behind it, his hands glowing green. On the roof of the apartment, Raze is standing tall, some of the shadows starting to fall off him.

Panel 6.

Far angled shot from the left. In the background, the doors slam open and Blaster steps out with a machine gun in each hand, braced against his hips. He has a look of geeky confidence on his face. Behind him is Blinshriek running to the left in perfect form. In the forefront, El Tigre has held his ground, while Gideon has stepped back, a shield starting to form around his forearm.

Panel 7.

Same shot as last. Blaster lets loose with the bullets, a grin on his face, his teeth gritted. El Tigre leaps up over the bullets towards the apartment rooftop, to the right of Raze, who has his eyes on him. El Tigre is pulling out his blade. Gideon has the shield up and is crouching to let it cover him. Blinshriek has moved around at great speed in great strides wide and around the bullets.

Fx: BRAPAPAPAPAPAPA!

Page Fourteen

Panel 1.

On the apartment rooftop. Far back shot of El Tigre landing sideways on the apartment rooftop, getting in a slash on Raze who is now in full shot. The cut rips his clothing but nothing more.

Fx: KKKKRK!

Panel 2.

Full shot, slight bird's eye view. Raze charges El Tigre with a double hook.

Panel 3.

Front three-quarter shot of El Tigre. He sidesteps Raze, striking the back of Raze's head with a back elbow.

Fx: CHUK!

Panel 4.

Far shot of El Tigre. He is holding his elbow that is throbbing in pain. He is leaning to one side avoiding a blast coming from Raze in the forefront of the panel.

El Tigre (thinking): His skin... like granite... or diamond! I feel like I broke my arm striking him.

El Tigre (thinking): My blade did nothing and I don't have the strength to hurt him...

El Tigre (thinking): Time to cut my losses until I find something to even the odds.

Panel 5.

Far shot. Gideon dives gracelessly behind one of the boxes of trees. His shield is cracked and broken in several spots from the onslaught. A hail of bullets continues to fly from Blaster's weapons.

Gideon (thinking): I can't maintain my protective shield for a prolonged period of time... it's wearing down. Time to try something unique here.

Fx: BRAPAPAPAPAPAPA!

Panel 6.

Small panel. Tight quarter shot of Gideon, lying behind the box of trees holding his hand up to his face. He has his middle fingers slightly bent, and he mouthing an incantation.

Gideon: Kalla Frictu...

Fx: BRAPAPAPAPAPAPA!

Panel 7.

Full shot of Blaster. A green shield has formed immediately in front of Blaster, ricocheting many of the bullets directly at himself, imbedding into his clothing (armored clothing). The shield floats in the air. This takes him by surprise.

Fx: BRAPAPAPAPAPAPA!

Panel 8.

Three-quarter shot of Blaster, bulletholes galore all over. He has dropped one of his guns, unsheathing a blade in an upward motion, his hand above his head. The shield floats in front of him, a few cracks over it.

Blaster: Oh, that was ingenious, you little mage!

Blaster: Ingenious.

Blaster: That is going to cost me some dinero to repair my body armor... and some time to heal the bruises.

Panel 9.

Same shot as last. Blaster makes a downward swing on the shield, cleaving a clean line through the shield. He has a big grin on his face.

Blaster: Here's a little something to remember me by.

Page Fifteen

Panel 1.

Three-quarter shot. Gideon lying down behind the box of trees. His body is wracked in pain.

Gideon: AAAAAARGH!

Panel 2.

Full shot. Blaster is moving forward, cocky. He has his gun leaning against his shoulder and the Blade held forward, ready for anything.

Blaster: Did I hurt you? Thought I was unprepared for someone like you. I read up on you. I'm entirely prepared.

Panel 3.

Full shot. El Tigre comes crashing down, two feet into the back of Blaster's head, smashing him face first into the roof, a laser blast missing them both from Raze (off-panel) above.

El Tigre: Are you?

Fx: WHUMP!

Panel 4.

Far shot. Raze runs to the edge of the apartment rooftop, taking aim.

Panel 5.

Side full shot. El Tigre has grabbed Blaster by the back of his clothes and whirls him around to catch Raze's laser blast with Blaster's chest.

El Tigre: Did you think your armor would protect you from one of your own? This guy's blasts are enough to take anyone out.

Panel 6.

Tight full shot. El Tigre crouches to pick up the man's blade, sheathing his own.

El Tigre (thinking): Enough to cut Gideon's magical shield and hurt him... should be good enough to cut the man with the diamond skin.

Panel 7.

Far back angled shot. Gideon is getting up to his feet, a little dazed. Blinshriek is stalking his way towards Gideon.

Gideon (thinking): What was that blade made of to hurt me like that? It must be magical with some sort of current-like effect...

Panel 8.

Back shot from over Gideon's shoulder. Blinshriek quickly unsheathes the "gun" he has and fires a blast directly at Gideon.

Fx: WHOOOOOOM!

Page Sixteen

Panel 1.

Side full shot of Gideon facing off from Blinshriek. They are about ten feet apart. Blinshriek is slightly crouched. He is putting his "gun" back in its holster, his other hand forward tentatively. Gideon makes a fist, light green sparkles forming around it.

Gideon (thinking): Okay, buddy. Let's end this now.

Gideon (thinking): What?

Panel 2.

Back angled three-quarter shot from behind Blinshriek. He puts in a solid punch to Gideon's jaw (non-superhuman punch), Snapping Gideon's head back.

Gideon: Aah!

Fx: SMAK!

Panel 3.

Side full shot. Blinshriek gets in another blow to Gideon's face, snapping it sideways.

Gideon (thinking): What happened? I tried to summon some eldritch energy and it fizzled! I can't hear anything since clubkid fired that thing at me. Not even the punch.

Fx: SMAK!

Gideon (thinking): It's affecting my ability to cast my spells.

Panel 4.

Full side shot of Silver and Bryce. Bryce is still tied to his chair. She faces him, sitting on another chair.

Silver: You okay?

Bryce: They aren't going to kill Bryan are they?

Silver: ...

Silver: No, they won't. They don't do that.

Bryce: But aren't you using me as a bargaining tool to get the tablet?

Silver: ...

Silver: I don't... no, no we're not. We brought you along with us for two reasons. One: to make sure we find Bryan. Two: to protect you.

Silver: You're connected to us now. Until we settle all of this between us, the people after the tablets will also come after you.

Panel 5.

Tighter side quarter shot of Silver and Bryce.

Bryce: Gideon is crazy! I shouldn't have told him anything! This has gotten too far out of hand!

Silver: You should have told him sooner. You don't know how important, how desperate he is. Neither you nor Bryan has any clue as to who is really after these tablets.

Bryce: What? You mean the Hi Tech Henchmen? They're just some little company.

Silver: How little you know...

Bryce: Your friends are going to jail tonight. Bryan has the best protecting him. You won't stand a chance. They...

Panel 6.

Same shot as last. Bryce slumps over in the chair.

Silver (thinking): Been working on that trick for some time. He went out like a light.

Panel 7.

¾ side shot. Silver is checking Bryce's pulse from his carotid artery.

Silver (thinking): I may not have the use of my animal shifting powers, but my telepathy seems to have shifted into higher gear since I've gotten out of the hospital. It's very strange. With a thought, I was able to put him to sleep.

Silver (thinking): He's in a deep sleep. I was tired of listening to him, trying to justify what we're doing... but was it more for me than for him? Am I trying to justify our goal to myself? I shouldn't be here, waiting. Bryce may be right: they could be in trouble. I can't be cooling my heels here waiting...

Panel 8.

Side angled full shot. Silver is stepping onto the balcony.

Silver (thinking): Enough of this!

Page Seventeen

Panel 1.

Full shot. Silver is now in eagle form, flying away from the building.

Silver (thinking): I did it! I did it!

Silver (thinking): This was a smaller transformation though. Don't know if I could manage anything bigger. I can feel the strain this little change put on my body.

Silver (thinking): But maybe I don't need to rely on my animal shifting. I put Bryan asleep with no effort... Hmm.

Panel 2.

Side angled full shot. Dale is getting everything on camera.

Dale (thinking): Oh my God. Stick's down and Gideon's almost gone too!

Panel 3.

Front quarter shot of Dale.

Dale (thinking): They don't stand a chance. But what can I do?

Panel 4.

Same shot as last, except someone stands behind Dale, over the left shoulder. That someone is Idolen Casino, an agent of Blue Moon. The man is slightly shorter than Dale. He has black slicked-back hair, with a small widow's peak. The man looks incredibly calm. His eyes are penetrating, with red highlights to them.

Panel 5.

Same shot. Idolen puts a hand on Dale's shoulder.

Panel 6.

Three-quarter shot of Dale and Idolen. Dale spins around, throwing a punch. The movement is so swift and solid the blow would have caught anyone flatfooted. Idolen easily bobs his head out of the way, no visible change in his face.

Idolen: Stop. I mean you no harm. I was sent by Blue Moon.

Panel 7.

Three-quarter back shot of Dale. He rams a hard right kick towards Idolen, who shifts his body sideways to avoid the blow. Dale is still holding the camera, but no longer filming.

Dale: And that's supposed to make me hug you?

Idolen: I was warned about the curious reporter. You are a fighter... I would never have suspected that.

Idolen: You are good.

Panel 8.

Tight close-up of the back of Dale's head, quarter shot of Idolen. Dale throws another punch, towards Idolen's face. Idolen catches the fist in his hand, again, no visible emotion on his face. He's not even breaking a sweat.

Idolen: You need to be getting this on camera, my friend, if you plan on exonerating your companions. This is no time for combat.

Page Eighteen

Panel 1.

Bird's eye view of the rooftop. Silver flies overtop of the combat. Blinshriek is squaring off against Gideon. Gideon is trying to hand-to-hand Blinshriek but is not even in the same class (although he does have some skill).

Gideon (thinking): This guy's good. His movements are so fluid, like it was ballet. There are no wasted movements. El Tigre would love this guy.

Panel 2.

Slight worm's eye full shot. Blinshriek sends a wide blow towards Gideon's head, which he manages to avoid.

Gideon (thinking): But maybe if I'm cautious enough, I can find an opening. Without my spells to count on...

Panel 3.

Same shot. Blinshriek gets a shot in one Gideon's face, snapping his head back.

Gideon: Owwww!

Gideon (thinking): That hurts. I don't how much more can I take of this.

Fx: CRACK!

Panel 4.

Bird's eye view, full shot of Silver in eagle form, far shot of Gideon and Blinshriek. Silver has moved in closer to them.

Silver (thinking): Okay, Gideon. Let's see if I can even out the score!

Panel 5.

Side view, quarter shot. Silver overhead, Blinshriek letting his guard down and Gideon laying a solid punch into Blinshriek's face.

Silver (thinking): His mind... like quicksilver... can't...

Fx: CRACK!

Panel 6.

Full shot of Blinshriek and Gideon. Gideon continues on the offensive, landing a solid kick to Blinshriek's kneecap.

Fx: SNAP!

Panel 7.

Full shot. Gideon sends a downward blow into Blinshriek. Blinshriek starts to crumble.

Page Nineteen

Panel 1.

Loose full shot. Blinshriek holds up an arm in an attempt to block Gideon's next blow. Gideon penetrates his defenses with an over hand strike to Blinshriek's head. Silver is flying overhead.

Silver (thinking): Couldn't put him to sleep, but I was able to delay him somewhat to give Gideon the opening he needed.

Fx: POW!

Panel 2.

Far back shot. On the rooftop, El Tigre jumps up to the roof in a one-handed cartwheel to Raze's side, with Blaster's blade in his other hand.

Panel 3.

Far shot. Raze strikes down in a devastating blow that breaks through the roof of the apartment, missing El Tigre who leaps up and back, legs and arms spread wide.

El Tigre (thinking): This guy's a bruiser! I can't let him lay his hands on me. He took Stick out with one shot, and his fists hit equally as hard. Invulnerable and super tough... this guy must be their clean-up hitter. But let's see...

Fx: BOOM!

Panel 4.

Three-quarter shot of Raze and El Tigre. Raze is twisting at the waist to face El Tigre, who slashes out with the blade in a backhand swipe against Raze's skin. The slash leaves a long gash across his chest, blood forming in the cut.

El Tigre (thinking): ... if I can cut him with his buddy's special blade...

Fx: SLASH!

Panel 5.

Three-quarter shot, slight bird's eye view. Raze has a vice-like grip on El Tigre's wrist, forcing the blade from his hand. El Tigre winces in pain.

El Tigre: AAAAH!

El Tigre (thinking): Have to get him to let go!

Panel 6.

Full shot. El Tigre slides between Raze's legs, to use his weight and momentum to make Raze let go...

El Tigre (thinking): Maybe I can use his weight...

Panel 7.

Side three-quarter shot. Raze is bent over, legs straining. He hasn't let go of El Tigre's wrist. El Tigre's teeth are gritted in pain and determination. El Tigre is on the ground under Raze, pulling his legs up to his chest.

El Tigre (thinking): Let... Go... Of... Me!

Panel 8.

Full shot. El Tigre puts his legs between them, pushing away at Raze who just won't let go.

El Tigre (thinking): Come on! Come on! How strong are you?

Page Twenty

Panel 1.

Far shot of Silver, flying in through the back window of the apartment. She is moving towards a lead-lined case on a table near the bed.

Silver (thinking): We just need to get what we need, move, and disappear.

Panel 2.

Bird's eye far shot of Silver flying out and up over the rooftop. She has the case in her claws.

Panel 3.

Bird's eye view over the rooftop. Far shot. Silver is flying overhead. Raze is still overtop of El Tigre on the apartment rooftop, Gideon is beating down on Blinshriek who is defending himself very poorly now. Silver is reaching out in a telepathic call, so loud that even Raze and Blinshriek hear it. There should be transparent tendrils coming from Silver's head to everyone conscious on the roof, as well as a few stray ones feeding off in a few different directions. Also of note, Marrow is bringing Bryan inside the apartment.

Caption: Unsure of the levels of her telepathy, Silver shouts out to her teammates, the shout so psychically loud that she also reaches everyone on the rooftop, and several nearby residents who happen to be watching from nearby building windows.

Silver (telepathic summons text): Guys! I have the tablet! Let's get out of here!

Panel 4.

Tight worm's eye view, three-quarter shot from just over El Tigre's head. Raze's head goes back, the telepathic tendril attached to his head. The grip on El Tigre's hand has loosened. El Tigre's feet are completely braced between them.

Panel 5.

Small Panel. Close-up of Raze's hand over El Tigre's wrist, letting loose, but not quite letting go.

Panel 6.

Overhead far shot, top of the apartment roof. Raze goes flying up and over the edge of the rooftop, his limbs wriggling from a push of El Tigre's powerful legs.

El Tigre (thinking): No! The fall might...

Panel 7.

Worm's eye view from the street below. Far, far shot of El Tigre at the top of the building looking over the edge. Raze hits the pavement in a tremendous impact, smashing through the street itself into the sewers.

El Tigre (thinking): For some reason I think he may survive that.

Fx: BWOOM!

Panel 7.

Bird's eye view, three-quarter shot of Silver, far shot of El Tigre on the apartment rooftop, looking up at her.

El Tigre (thinking): She's changed into eagle form... Fantastic!

Panel 8.

Front three-quarter shot of Dale videotaping straight ahead. Idolen stands next to him.

Caption: Meanwhile...

Dale: What do you want?

Idolen: I am here merely to see what will transpire. Blue Moon is interested in what happens. Blue Moon's continued support will depend on their success here tonight.

Page Twenty-One

Panel 1.

Same shot as last.

Dale: Why...?

Idolen: You had spoken with another agent in Winnipeg. Did he not explain anything to you all?

Dale: I just have a hard time believing anyone right now.

Idolen: That is understandable. Are you planning on making an extended stay here in New York?

Dale: Why? You asking me out on a date?

Panel 2.

Same shot. He stares at Dale.

Idolen: I don't think I understand.

Panel 3.

Quarter shot of both men.

Dale: Man, you're just plain creepy.

Idolen: Yes. I get that.

Panel 4.

He slips a card in Dale breast pocket.

Panel 5.

Same shot. Dale is focused on the camera.

Idolen: My card. I understand you may be looking for a new job, somewhere to spread your news. If you plan on staying in New York...

Dale: Yeah, well, I have my own contacts.

Panel 6.

Same shot. Idolen is gone. Dale looks to his side to where Idolen was.

Dale: And he's gone, just like that.

Panel 7.

Far shot. Gideon is picking up the "gun" from Blinshriek who is now unconscious. Gideon's face is messed up in a spattering of blood. His knuckles are also covered in blood.

Gideon (thinking): I can think of ten good uses for the sonic blaster of his. If it knocked me for a loop...

Gideon (thinking): I hope this hearing lost is not permanent... What if it is?

Panel 8.

Far back shot. Gideon is walking across the rooftop, through the boxes of trees. He looks down to Stick who is now starting to stir.

Gideon (thinking): Stick is just coming to. Good. Not anxious to stick around here.

Gideon (thinking): When will this ringing in my head stop?

Gideon (thinking): Where's Joaquin?

Page Twenty-Two

Panel 1.

Side angled full shot. El Tigre jumps off the apartment bungalow's rooftop to the building's roof. Gideon jumps a little upon seeing him. El Tigre is scrutinizing the wounds on Gideon's face.

El Tigre: Gideon! What the hell happened to you?

El Tigre: Gideon?

Gideon: I CAN'T HEAR YOU! CLUBKID DEAFENED ME.

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot as they approach each other. El Tigre is holding up a hand up to quiet Gideon.

El Tigre: I hear you, Gideon. I hear you.

El Tigre: We're going to need to get out of here.

Panel 3.

Three-quarter shot. Gideon is pulling Stick to his feet. Stick is shaking his head. El Tigre is talking to Stick.

El Tigre: Stick, we need you to shake it off. Need you to fly us out of here... quickly.

El Tigre: Let's get out of here before the cops show up and the diamond-skinned bastard comes back.

El Tigre: I hope you're hearing comes back, Gideon.

Panel 4.

Large panel. Far shot of the rooftop, the three of them standing there, Stick and Gideon battered. Silver flies overhead, case in claw.

Gideon (thinking): We did it. Silver has the case. We have two of the tablets.

Gideon (thinking): We have two of the tablets!

Gideon (thinking): Father, we're coming for yours. You can't stop us.

Gideon (thinking): Finally the ringing is starting to subside...

Next issue: With two tablets in hand, the Symka group decides to make the big move to steal Katharta's tablet! Will they succeed?

Editor's Note:

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