SYMKA Issue 5
Copyright Sean McGinity ©2003
Edited by Suzanne Campbell for The Guild Companion
Full shot of the back of Manus Katharta. He is standing in the same room from last issue. Jeffrey Jones sits on a chair in front of him, but blocked mostly from this angle. A green transparent fog surrounds Katharta.
Katharta (thinking): Nice try, my son.
Same shot as the last, but the view is from beside Katharta and Jeffrey Jones. We can see that Jones is headless, with a thick red fog still floating around his head. Katharta's eyes glow a deep strong red. His hands are moving through the green fog, dispersing it.
Katharta (thinking): Your attack against me did nothing but educate me to the level of your power. But alas, you were too far away from me for your energy to have any potency.
Katharta (thinking): But it was a spectacular display, nonetheless. You have acquired some power, my son, more than I realized you had. But still as an insect's compared to mine.
Katharta's hands burn red with energy, burning up the green fog that is around him.
Katharta (thinking): I now know where you are and your intentions.
Katharta (thinking): Claim the tablets, Gideon. Claim them all. For in the end, you will have gone through all the effort of acquiring the other tablets, while I sit back and watch.
Side 3/4 shot of Katharta dispersing the last of the green fog.
Katharta (thinking): Then I will have all the pieces of the puzzle. Do my bidding, my son! Steal the tablets from the others for me.
Tall vertical panels, partially covered by Panel 1, which is in the top left corner of the page. There should be larger than normal spaces between panels here. Text should overlap into the spaces between the panels. This style should be flowing between page 2 and 3, like one continuous page.
Close-up of Katharta's face. He seems amused.
Katharta (thinking): Then I will take them from your withered soul!
Full shot of Dale walking down the street, with his hands in his pockets, and an eye over his shoulder. The streets are busy, with lots of people walking around on the sidewalks. It is midday and the sun is shining bright overhead.
Caption: Dale wanders the city deep in thought...
Dale (thinking): I can't get what Willis said out of my head.
Dale (thinking): "And you will be next."
Dale (thinking): Are Tech Henchmen going to try to kill me?
Dale is still walking down the street. In the background, two men in suits follow him. Same standard HHH uniforms.
Dale (thinking): I've been tailed by at least three groups of individuals since I left my meeting with Willis. Did any of them see me with Willis, or did they just pick up my trail after that?
Dale (thinking): What do you want, you idiots!
Far shot of Dale rounding a street corner. The HHH men are behind him, quickening to narrow the distance.
Dale (thinking): How far will the Henchmen go to protect themselves? How many loose ends will they tie up?
Far shot. Dale has rounded the street corner. He is some ways down that street. The two hounds are rounding the corner as well.
Dale (thinking): They're still following! Like they are afraid to let me out of their sight.
Far shot. Dale darts down an alleyway. The hounds start to run after him.
Dale (thinking): I've had enough of this! I want answers! Come after me, you bloody hounds! Come on!
Same style panel continues... The alley winds, taking a couple of different turns. The shot is from Dale's front. He is running to the forefront of the panel and veering to the left, where the alley turns. The hounds are at the entrance of the alleyway, running at full steam towards Dale. There is a little bit of distance between them.
Same style as last panels. Overhead shot, slightly further away than a full shot. Both hounds round the corner.
Same style... 1/4 shot of Dale. He holds a pistol towards the hounds, who are off panel.
Dale: Good afternoon, boys! Do I blow you off straight away, or do I give you the chance to explain yourselves? Speak quickly!
Long horizontal panels, one panel more to the left, one panel more to the right, alternating back and forth. There should be lots of room between panels, and the word balloons should not entirely be contained within the panels.
1/4 shot. Dale is in the far left of the panel, the hounds on the far right. Dale's gun hand stretches over the middle of the panel. The hounds are very calm.
Hound 1: We have a... proposition for you, Mr. Turcott.
Dale: Talk. I'm listening.
Hound 1: The story you reported was quite good. You told the truth beautifully with the video you captured.
Same shot as last. Dale is angry.
Dale: You know that wasn't the real story. You know that isn't the story that was supposed to be reported! You leaned on Independent News, on Bill Bannerman specifically, to get him to tell the story you wanted to see!
Hound 1: Mr. Bannerman has the same interests we do. He told the truth, as you must.
Same shot as last.
Dale: I don't scare that easy. And I report the truth!
Hound 1: You were going to make a move to publicly discredit Hi Tech Henchmen but you haven't made that move yet. Don't push it. We will forget about the life you took, the agent you mercilessly killed*...
Hound 1: ...if you walk away from this story now. Your last report helped our cause. As a result, we are now opening an office in this city.
Caption: *It didn't quite happen that way in Issue #3.
Same as last.
Hound 1: Work for us, Mr. Turcott. You might as well pair yourself with a progressive company. We can get you your job back at Independent News, reporting for us.
Hound 1: We ask this of you: we want those parahumans. You seem to have some connection to them. Bring them to us and we shall make it worth your while.
Same as last. Dale is deep in thought.
Dale (thinking): I won't work for them but what I know is what keeps me alive.
Hound 1: You have some time to decide. We will be watching your back to make sure you don't slip into a... bad habit. Are we finished here, Mr. Turcott?
Same layout as the last page.
Dale lowers the gun. Hound 1 has a smile.
Dale (thinking): Let's play a game here, Dale.
Dale: For now. But I don't want your protection, "hound". I've been taking care of myself my whole life. Back off. Give me time to think. I can give you what you want, but only if you give me room to work. If you're watching me, you'll blow my cover and I won't be able to get you anything.
Hound 1: Then what assurances would we have that you wouldn't run?
3/4 shot. Dale puts the gun away. Hound 2 opens his jacket with one hand with the other held out to caution Dale to not fire.
Dale: Where could I run that you couldn't find me? You have the upper hand here. Give me the room I need.
Hound 1: You have one week to report something back to us, something to convince us you are on the level.
3/4 shot. Hound 2 tosses a cell phone to Dale.
Hound 1: Speed dial 1 on the phone will connect you directly to us.
Hound 1: One week, Mr. Turcott, or there is no deal. All bets are off if you leave the city without warning or fail the deadline.
Dale is holding the cell phone, staring at them.
Dale (thinking): One week? I have one week to come up with a plan to save myself, and to expose these clowns for what they really are? Not enough time.
Dale: Two weeks! I need two weeks!
Hound 1: Don't push your luck, Turcott. You have one week or this is over. We could very well open a case of murder against you. Keep that in mind.
3/4 shot of the hounds walking away.
Hound 1: One week is all you have. Please keep in touch.
Dale (thinking): Damn! What do I do next?
Full shot. Gideon sits in a chair. He is slightly leaning back in the chair, with both arms laying on the armrests. His eyes glow a slight green. Joaquin, Stick, and Silver are seated around him.
Caption: At Stick's apartment...
Gideon: I need your help. That is why I have to trust you. That is why I will tell my story...
The panel forms around Gideon's head, which takes up 1/3 of the panel, the right side of his face fading off into green mist. The rest of the panel has a mist-like edge to it. A ramshackle shack, covered in shadows by the branches of several trees.
Caption: "I was born and raised in Europe, moving with my parents more times than I can remember. I never knew how my father made his money, but I suspected many things. He didn't dress like anyone else when he was at home. He'd hold late night meetings with others that dressed strangely like him, and they spoke in some strange language amongst one another.
Caption: "I often received strange looks from these people who visited my father, as if there was something wrong with me.
The next panels on this page will have a green mist edge to them.
Same shack as the last but we are approaching the doorway.
Caption: "I learned that my father was some sort of warlock, a sorcerer. His visitors, the ones who stared at me, were his followers. I knew I had some role to play in all this. My mother... she wouldn't tell me what was going on. It was "to protect me", she said. I did learn the truth, however,...
A slightly younger Gideon, 15 years old, is huddled in a bed, wrapped in blankets made of patchwork pieces of material. He is frightened. He does not wear his trademark goatee, and his hair is a little darker and shorter. The room is cool and his breath can be seen. The door to the shack is opening. He is acknowledging someone coming through the door. A woman's hand (Gideon's mother) can be seen opening the door. The inside of the one room shack is not modernized. The walls are made with scrap remnants of wood and paneling and other materials and the floor is earthen. It is obvious Katharta has not used any of his wealth to buy a nice place for his family. There is no electricity or any other modern things to the place.
Gideon's mother: You must leave soon.
Gideon: But mother, why must I go?
The mother can be seen now, moving over to Gideon, who is still huddled in blankets. She is dressed with a few layers of clothes, all nightgowns, to keep her warm. Her breath can be seen. She is putting a hand out to Gideon, in a comforting manner.
Gideon's mother: I never meant to be hard on you, Gideon. I only wanted to strengthen you. You must leave. You remember what your father said.
The panel should have rounded edges to indicate a past event from Gideon's memory. Gideon is creeping down a spiral stone stairway set against a stone wall, looking behind himself to make sure he is not being followed.
Caption: "Just a few days earlier I had followed my father to find out where he spent all of his time away from us. He would go down a stairway that was hidden inside a huge oak tree. A secret switch opened the doors to this stairway. He would spend hours away from us, and I desperately wanted to know where he went. I wanted to know what he was keeping so secret."
Same green mist panels as the last page.
Gideon is far off in this panel, peeking around from behind a stone pillar, wider than his body. Another stone pillar is off to the left. Between these pillars are several candelabra. In the forefront of the panel, Gideon's father, Manus Katharta, looking no younger or older than before, sits in a lotus position inside of a pentagram, with candles at each point. The shot should be cut at Katharta's waist. He is shirtless, and several markings are on his body.
Caption: "He sat in this pentagram on the floor, chanting in some language I didn't know. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. My curiosity had taken hold of me. He had these strange markings on his body, some language."
Full shot of Katharta. He is getting to a standing position. He is within the pentagram. A body is now visible at Katharta's feet, a pool of blood accumulating under him. The body has markings similar to Katharta's on him. The markings on both of their bodies are in visible as crimson red.
Caption: "A dead body lay at his feet! I realized at that point that the markings on both their bodies were written in that dead man's own blood. I was frightened. I wanted to run. But I kept watching."
A man and woman in robes that conceal their faces are lifting the body. Katharta is watching them.
Katharta: Keep the sacrifices coming, priests. There are only a few weeks left before my son becomes a man. I need to keep amassing power, spirits... so I will be ready for that time. The ritual will need to be performed on his sixteenth birthday, as decreed by my master.
Katharta: I am to pass on my power to my son... and die.
Katharta: And that is what Pitawa would have of me. I have other plans, however.
The two priests are holding the body between them, listening to Katharta. Katharta is wiping the markings off of his body with a towel.
Katharta: The sacrifices have fed me with a power fit to bursting, more power than any previous generation has possessed, more power than my son can handle at such a young age.
Katharta: When I transfer my power to him, his mind will be unable to cope with the immensity of the power, or the souls I have corrupted to achieve this power. His mind will shut down, and I will take over.
Katharta: I will join his fledgling power to my own and deceive Pitawa.
The panel should still have the green mist edge to them. Katharta is still wiping the markings off of his body. 3/4 shot.
Katharta: Once I have accomplished this, I shall acquire the Asemcka, and add a further sharpness to my edge. These tablets shall further my power base, and allow me to overthrow Pitawa.
Far shot. Bryce is walking into an airport from one of the gates. He has a smug look on his face. He is looking around the terminal. He is holding the briefcase containing one of the tablets in one hand. The airport is crowded.
Caption: New York City...
Bryce (thinking): I'm here. This will give me some time away from the hot spot. I feel safer here in New York.
1/4 shot of Bryce.
Bryce (thinking): I think I am going to enjoy my little vacation. And you, little tablet of the Symka, are going to make me a very rich man.
Dale is in his apartment in the city. He is seated in a recliner, with the TV blasting in front of him. He has a beer in hand. He doesn't look comfortable.
Caption: In Dale Turcott's apartment in the city, Dale is brooding over what to do next.
Dale (thinking): I need to get in touch with Willis, and his hacker buddy, Stik. How safe will that be? Even though Hi Tech Henchmen have told me they will be giving me some freedom over the next week, surely that will not be the case.
Dale (thinking): They will not be fools enough to let me go running around the city. They will be following me, but will not be so obvious. There is too much at stake, namely my own neck.
Closer shot of Dale in the recliner.
Dale (thinking): I have a week to save everyone. It's time to make a decision.
The panel should still have the green mist edge to them. Back in the shack, Gideon's mother is sitting on the bed holding Gideon's hands in her own.
Caption: "I had confronted my mother with what I had found out. She had cried. That was when she began talking about hiding me away, of escaping. I always thought she had meant the both of us."
Gideon's mother: You have seen your father performing these awful rituals, and heard the words he spoke. He means to possess your body, and transfer his own soul into your body. Your mind will die. Surely you understand you must leave?
Gideon: I thought we could leave together, mother.
Gideon's mother: That... is not possible.
The panels should still have the green mist edge to them for this page.
Gideon's mother is sitting on the bed holding Gideon's hands in her own.
Gideon's mother: If I go with you he will surely find the both of us. I am attuned to him, as part of our marriage. He and I are one, soul to soul. Our blood has mingled. He can feel my thoughts.
Gideon's mother: We are lucky that he has been so preoccupied and hasn't figured out our recent conversations. We have very little time.
Gideon: Will he kill you?
Same shot as last.
Gideon's mother: No, I don't suspect so. And I am not without resources of my own. Fear not for me. Fear only for yourself.
Gideon: If he can read your thoughts, then I cannot leave. Surely he can read my thoughts.
Gideon's mother: You have learned to channel emerald energies, the energies diametrically opposed to the crimson energies your father and his followers wield.
Gideon's mother is looking at her son with the look of a teacher to a student.
Gideon's mother: I have taught you to harness this energy, my son, as it is not detectable by a wielder of opposite energies. This will also make his... assimilation... of you harder on him.
Gideon's mother: My son... Gideon... I have spent your entire lifetime readying you for this day. I do not want your father to kill you.
Close-up of Gideon's mother. She has a look of disappointment.
Gideon's mother: I fear... I fear I have not done enough. You are not ready. I have not pushed you far enough. Perhaps you could never be ready. He has pushed so hard to empower himself since you were born, perhaps you never had a chance.
Gideon's mother: You will die if you stay, but you may live if you flee. He may forget about you in time, but I never shall.
Back to regular panels.
Back in Stick's apartment. Gideon is sitting in the chair (as before) and surrounded by Stick, Silver, and Joaquin. Gideon looks ready to cry.
Gideon: I did not want to leave her behind, but somehow I did. Could my mother stand up against Katharta, my father? Would he try to kill her? I think so. But that is done. It is far too late.
1/4 shot of Gideon. His eyes have welled, but he still does not cry.
Gideon: I fled to North America, and have managed to stay hidden for the past five years. I don't know if he searched for me.
Gideon: By fate or happenstance, a tablet has fallen into my lap, the same one, which
my father wants to use to "sharpen his edge". Maybe deep down I knew these were the objects my father sought. Maybe I knew I would have to face him.
Gideon: I am tired of running. I am tired of being on the defensive. I want to dull that "edge". I don't want my father to get what he wants, whether the tablets or myself. I want to topple his power base.
An alleyway. Full shot of a sudden presence of fog. The shadow of a man can barely be seen within it.
Caption: An alleyway, not far from Stick's apartment...
Fog (fx): FLASH!
The same shot, except the fog is quickly dispersing. An old kindly man, dapper and with a fine walking stick, is at the center of the cloud.
Caption: A "man" with a mission has arrived.
3/4 shot of the man. He is looking this way and that, as if catching a scent.
Caption: He feels what he is looking for. He has picked his location well. The time has come.
Full shot. The man is walking out of the alleyway, using his walking stick in a gentlemanly stroll.
Caption: He is on the trail.
TV style panel. A female news anchor sits at a desk, reading from her headlines.
News anchor: American business Hi Tech Henchmen is in the news today, opening a local branch of their organization here in the city. They are on a recruiting drive, as their business seems to be climbing. They have long wanted to have a fully manned office in the city. The president of the company...
Stick's apartment. Gideon is no longer slumped in his chair, and has a look of courage on his face.
Caption: Stick's apartment...
Gideon: My father believes I will make a direct strike against him, because he murdered Jeffrey Jones*. He made it known he had done it. He more or less challenged me. That is why we wait.
Silver: Wait? But he'll kill again!
Caption: *As seen last issue.
Gideon is leaning forward in the chair. A plan is coming together in his head. He is gaining confidence. Silver and Stick seem worried. Joaquin is ambivalent.
Gideon: We need to throw him off, to surprise him. He is very powerful, more powerful than you can imagine. We need to beat him at his own game. We need to get the other tablets before he does.
Stick: But then what?
Close-up of Gideon's face. He seems nervous, unsure of this plan of action.
Gideon: It will give us an advantage. By then the odds may fall in our favor. But it's the best we can do for now. He cannot get the tablets!
Joaquin is at the gym, toweling the sweat from his brow. He has just worked out. His slightly jacked-up musculature should be shown. He is near bodybuilding level.
Caption: The next day Stick, Silver, and Joaquin return to their jobs, awaiting the right time to make their move. Joaquin is at the gym as a personal trainer for Herman Dukes.
Joaquin (thinking): This strategizing is driving me insane. I'm glad I came to work today. I managed to get a workout in and burn some of this anxiety off.
Joaquin (thinking): I also got to work out with Herman again. That's good; he's making great progress under my program. I think he'll keep losing the weight. He'll be a he-man in no time.
Stick is sitting at a computer console in a little cubicle, typing away.
Caption: Stick is programming for a local computer company, trying to find bugs in their client's system.
Stick (thinking): Does Gideon know what he's doing? This all seems risky to me. We gather the tablets and then what? Who's to stop Hi Tech Henchmen from just taking them from us when we have them all if Gideon's dad is that powerful?
Silver at work at the hospital. She is sitting in an office (small and cluttered, she is not at the top of the pay scale) talking to a very thin teenager. Her eyes are focused on the young lady, in concentration. There should be some sort of psionic "anchor" between the two. The young girl seems "entranced".
Caption: Silver is tending to a young anorexic girl at the hospital, trying to convince her to eat more. She uses a latent telepathic power she has been using in her job as a psychiatrist.
Silver (thinking): Eating is a good thing. You want to eat. You want to eat.
Same as last panel.
Young girl: I... I think I am too thin, Dr. I want to eat.
Silver: Wonderful. You should want to eat. I'm going to give you some supplements to give you a bit of energy and a vitamin boost. You are doing well, Sara.
Joaquin is walking down the street, a knapsack over his shoulder. The old man with the cane is in the background watching him, following. Joaquin is lost in thought, oblivious to being followed.
Caption: Joaquin has finished his workday and is on his way back to Stick's apartment. Unknown to him, he is being sought out.
Old man (thinking): I have found him.
3/4 shot. The old man clutches at Joaquin's shoulder, trying to get his attention.
Old man: Excuse me! Joaquin Ramirez?
Old man: I would like to speak to you about something.
Joaquin is turning to face the old man. He is looking at the man suspiciously.
Joaquin: Who the heck are you? What do you want?
Old man: I would just like to speak with you. That is all. I have some... information I would like to share. I have a proposition for you.
Joaquin: Listen, old man, if you're some pervert...
Old man: It involves something you have in your possession. Something old. Is that enough to get your attention?
Close-up of Joaquin. He is looking at the man (off-panel) wondering.
Joaquin (thinking): Who is this old guy?
Joaquin: You have my attention. I know a good place we can talk. Follow me.
Far shot. Joaquin and the old man are in a lounge. It is noisy and crowded. They are sitting at a table far off in a corner. The place is packed. No one pays them any attention.
Caption: A few minutes later, Joaquin and the old man are in a lounge, the music drowning out any snatches of conversation anyone may be able to pickup.
Joaquin: Who are you, first of all? Should I know you?
Old man: Perhaps you may have heard of me, but that is unimportant now. I am a simple messenger here to make you an offer.
Joaquin: Yeah, you said that. Go on.
3/4 shot. Both men at the table. The old man leans in closely, while Joaquin leans back, unwilling to get too close to the man.
Old man: You and I share a similar interest in artifacts. I would like to help you get rid of what you have.
Joaquin: And who says I have what you are interested in.
Old man: I know you have it. I know many things. Your face betrays your words. I know you have what I want.
1/4 shot of the two men at the table.
Joaquin: What is it you think I have and why do you think I have it?
Old man: What you have is something a certain organization is after. That organization is run by a relative to one of your party. You are all on the run from that relative because of the object you hide. You have hidden this object somewhere in the city.
Joaquin: If you know so much, why don't you simply take it. If someone has hidden it, you must know where?
Same shot as last. The old man shows no emotion.
Old man: That is not known to me. Besides that is not my objective. I am not here to steal it from anyone. I am here to purchase it. Someone else has a great need for it.
Joaquin: You're some kind of broker then? You buy this "thing" and resell it at a higher price. Why would I want to deal with you, assuming I have what you are after?
Old man: Because it is in your best interest. I will make you wealthy. There is no negotiation.
Same shot. Joaquin has a look of stupefaction on his face.
Joaquin: Listen, don't try to intimidate me. You wouldn't want me to lay my hands on you.
Old man: I am not trying to intimidate you. I am simply offering you a better way out of the mess you have put yourself in. I am here to save you and your companions a lot of pain from all the other interested parties. You can walk away from all this here and now, and no longer have to worry about anyone.
Close-up of the old man's cane. A gas is escaping through the end of it.
Old man: You will be free again, free to do whatever you wish. Nothing will happen with the object other than righting wrongs.
Joaquin: I don't have any reason to entrust anything to you. I don't know you, and frankly you're creeping me out right now. Thank you for the offer but no thanks.
Full shot of both men at the table. The gas is not very apparent except at the end of the cane. Joaquin is holding his head in his hands.
Joaquin (thinking): I'm suddenly feeling really dizzy. What the...? The old man's cane. Some sort of drug... making me dizzy... weakening me.
Old man: I am prepared to offer you any price you wish.
Joaquin stands up, and flips the table over onto the old man.
Joaquin: No dice! I don't know what you are up to, but there's no deal!
Joaquin is running out of the lounge, his back to the panel. The old man is under the table.
The table is sent flying as Morpheus shows himself. Morpheus was disguised as the old man. He has no legs, as a mist covers the lower stump of his body. His walking stick has become a gnarled length of wood, which he holds in one of his hands
(Morpheus's word balloons and text will always have an amorphous type of text indicating telepathic communication.)
Morpheus: Fool! I did things as my friend asked! Now it is time to take what I seek by force!
Joaquin is standing on a rooftop across the street from the lounge. He is looking down at the lounge. He is taking off his shirt to reveal a tiger print top. His knapsack is on the ground next to him, open, with the rest of his costume inside. His helmet is at the top.
Joaquin (thinking): I guess now's the time. We had talked about hiding our identities in case Dale Turcott, or anyone else caught sight of us. I bought this outfit to hide my identity. Let's see how "dynamic" it looks in action.
The front of the lounge blasts open. The people in the front of the lounge give way to Morpheus who has swung his gnarled stick at the wall, cracking the building. He looks impressive.
Morpheus: Come out and play! I have been patient with you! Now give me what I want!
Joaquin (thinking and off-panel): Who's this? The old man? My God, he has no legs, I think! He has no mouth! What is this thing?
Far shot. Joaquin is taking small leaps across the rooftop. He is in uniform. He wears a gray bulletproof vest, and black shoulder pads, boots, gloves, and shorts. The shirt and leggings are orange with slashes of black. A black, white and orange mask covers all of his face except for his mouth.
Joaquin (thinking): I think I can take him but I shouldn't take any chances. I have to get away, or at the very least find Gideon and everyone to help me out here.
3/4 back shot of Morpheus. He is looking up at the buildings on his left, where Joaquin is (Joaquin is out of view). A crowd emerges from the lounge staring at the creature.
Morpheus: You shall not escape. I can follow you anywhere.
Far, side shot of Morpheus and Joaquin. Joaquin is two buildings ahead of Morpheus, leaping from the second building's rooftop to the third. Morpheus is floating upwards and forward.
1/4 bird's eye view of Joaquin. Joaquin is looking over his shoulder where Morpheus can be seen floating upwards towards Joaquin. Joaquin is surprised. The streets are crowded.
Joaquin (thinking): What?!? I am going to have to try harder to get away from this guy.
Far shot from behind both men. Joaquin leaps off the side of the building to the street below, to a running landing.
Joaquin (thinking): Let's try this. He may be fast but he can't be as maneuverable as me.
Tall narrow panel. Using his leaping ability, Joaquin leaps above and around the pedestrians on the street. The pedestrians are not taking kindly to this man leaping among them. Some have raised fists. There should be some "ghost" forms of Joaquin at different stages of leaping. His final "true" form is leaping around the street corner.
Caption: Joaquin uses his heightened agility and incredible leaping ability to dodge and weave through the bustle of people crowding these streets, hoping to lose Morpheus in the confusion.
Far shot of Morpheus, over the rooftops of the buildings moving along at a good speed.
Caption: But Morpheus follows along like some sort of bloodhound on his trail. He can't throw him.
Far shot of Joaquin leaping upward towards Stick's apartment building, in an almost frantic pose.
Joaquin (thinking): I hope someone's home! Anyone! I need some help here!
Silver is swerving down an alley in her new vehicle. This is rush hour. Far shot and she had been gridlocked along with everyone else. This alley was the only was she could go.
Caption: Luckily, Silver who was stuck in rush-hour traffic spotted her teammate. She is quick to react.
Silver (thinking): That was Joaquin I saw jumping around in costume! He was being followed by something... He may need my help.
Same shot as last. Silver flies out in sparrow form at top speed, almost nothing but a blur.
Caption: She quickly uses her power to transform herself into a bird, and rushes to his aid.
Silver (thinking): I'm coming, Joaquin!
Stick (out of costume) is on the street near Morpheus, who is descending from the rooftops, just above the crowded streets. Stick's eyes are wide in surprise. They are both one building before Stick's apartment building.
Caption: Stick has just turned the corner to find a mass of people watching Morpheus hover over them.
Stick: What the...?
Stick (thinking): Who is this bruiser? Is it any coincidence that he's here, almost on my doorstep? What is he doing?
In Stick's apartment, Gideon is sitting on the floor in the living room, in meditation. He has one eye open towards the window. He is wearing gray jeans and a red "hoodie" (the hood off his head).
Caption: Meanwhile, in Stick's apartment, Gideon's meditations are interrupted by screams outside the apartment.
Morpheus (off panel in shouted text): I have tired of this chase! Show yourself and face me! Face Morpheus!
Other voice: Aaaaah!
Gideon: What!?! What's going on out there? Maybe it' s time to lend a hand.
Far shot. Joaquin is standing on the corner of Stick's apartment building rooftop, pointing a finger down at Morpheus (who is off-panel).
Joaquin: I'm here, whoever you are! I am done running!
Joaquin (thinking): Because you're on my turf now.
Far shot of Joaquin. Morpheus is in the foreground. He has both arms flexed to the side, and he is moving up towards Joaquin.
Morpheus: I am Morpheus! Remember that name, because it will be the last name you ever hear!
Far shot. Morpheus has charged the corner of the building where Joaquin was standing. Joaquin has somersaulted over him. The corner of the rooftop shatters in dynamic impact!
Building (fx): WHAM!!!!
Morpheus (in shout text): Beg for mercy!
Far shot. Joaquin is landing at the center of a 4-way stoplight intersection. Traffic is stopped all around him. The crowds continue to grow as curiosity takes them over.
Joaquin: Everybody clear out! Get out of here! This man is crazy! Clear the streets!
Joaquin (thinking): Where are you Gideon... Stick... Silver? That hit rocked the building, the whole block! This could very well be more power than I can handle. I need the rest of our team.
Morpheus lands behind Joaquin in a spray of mist. Joaquin is coughing and starting to drop, almost down to one knee. The mist is everywhere.
Coming out of an alleyway is Stick, in costume, his staff in hand. He is dressed in white, with a gray bulletproof vest adorning his chest, a gray tunic down to his knees, gray gloves and boots, a flowing white cape, and he is pulling a white hood over his face.
Caption: Stick is ready...
Stick (thinking): Joaquin is going down! I have to move!
Full shot. Stick plants his staff, propelling himself horizontally in one motion.
Stick (thinking): I have to bridge the distance between me and this big goofball as quick as possible!
Full shot. Stick connects with Morpheus, in a perfect dropkick, toes pointed out (he is still holding onto the staff). Morpheus's thick body rocks with the impact. A little of Morpheus' mist clears around the impact.
Kick (fx): SMASH!!
Stick is slightly crouched on the ground, landing from the dropkick. Morpheus stands next to him barely affected, both arms hanging low to the ground. The mist is still heavy.
Morpheus: Mortal! You have made a mistake!
Morpheus backhands Stick sending him spinning shoulder over shoulder into the air. Joaquin is struggling to his feet, fighting the effects of the mist. Silver is flying overhead in sparrow form.
Backhand (fx): SWAK!!!!!!
3/4 shot. Gideon is pushing his way through the crowd. He is in full costume (adding a black ratty trenchcoat to what he was wearing a few panels previous). His eyes glow green through the shadow cast by his hood.
Caption: Gideon pushes his way through the crowd...
Gideon (thinking): I have to get through! I don't know how tough this guy is, but I can't leave Joaquin to face him alone...
Full shot. Morpheus floats above Joaquin who is on all fours coughing away. Stick is a few dozen away, slowly getting to his feet from lying position. Gideon has broken through the crowd to face Morpheus. Silver, in bird form is alighting on Gideon's shoulder.
Gideon (thinking): ...and Stick is here and almost down. Great, Silver, you made it here!
Gideon: Kneel before me, foul creature from beyond! Acknowledge your master!
Morpheus: I know not who you are, strange one. Stand back or you shall suffer their fate.
3/4 shot. Silver is on Gideon's shoulder. Her head is facing him. His eyes still glow green.
Gideon (whispering): Silver. Follow my lead.
Gideon (in regular text): I wield great power, creature! Return whence you came or I shall destroy you! I give you a taste of my power! I send this bird as a token of the power I wield!
Silver flits down towards the ground off Gideon's shoulder in Morpheus's direction. Morpheus's great chest heaves in laughter.
Morpheus: You send a bird to best Morpheus? Ha! Ha! Ha!
Panel 2 and 3. These run together with a simple line break between panels.
Silver changes from sparrow to bear. She is running at full steam towards Morpheus whose eyes are wide in surprise. The sparrow is in panel 2, the bear in panel 3. Morpheus takes up both panels.
Silver, as the bear, strikes the bottom half of Morpheus, where his waist would be (which is occluded in mist), knocking his lower half backwards slightly, and his upper body forward. He is very surprised at the attack and it hurts him greatly.
Full shot. Gideon is pulling Joaquin towards him by the arm. Joaquin is still coughing. Stick has gotten to his feet. He's supporting himself with his staff.
Gideon: Everyone! To me! We have startled him! Catch your breath quickly before he can regroup!
Silver is standing on her hind legs and slashing at Morpheus who is holding his arms up to protect himself. Morpheus is using his gnarled staff to try and hold her back.
Silver: Go back to where you belong, Hellspawn!
Morpheus: Back, beast! Back!
Gideon and Stick stand side by side. Stick is twirling his staff in his right hand. Gideon has pulled up an emerald circular shield in front of himself with his left-outstretched hand. Joaquin is running away from both of them towards the right of the panel.
Stick: Plan of attack, Gideon? I barely hurt the guy.
Gideon: I'm not sure. Silver's attack seems really effective. What is it about her bear form that's inflicting so much damage against him?
Far overhead shot. Joaquin is running in a half circle towards Morpheus's back. Stick is moving in towards Morpheus. Silver is still slashing away at Morpheus with her claws. Gideon holds the shield up in his left hand, while he holds his right hand at his side, a green energy glowing around his fist.
Gideon: Leave now, Morpheus, and I shall call off my creature! Yield to me!
Morpheus: Back away!
Joaquin leaps up from behind Morpheus, snatching his gnarled staff away from him.
Joaquin flips over Morpheus's shoulders and bounces skyward to a rooftop.
Joaquin: Enough of this, Morpheus! We're going to play the game on our terms!
Full shot. Gideon stands battle-ready, a glowing right hand, and a shield on his left hand. Stick is slightly crouched, his staff away from himself. Silver has retreated back towards Gideon and Stick, still on her hind legs, but starting to come down to all fours. All three of them are in the background. Morpheus stands at the forefront of the panel.
Gideon: Get away with his staff! It may be the key to his power!
Stick: Stand down, Morpheus! You don't stand a chance against our power!
Gideon: You've met your match. It's over.
Morpheus: What? Over? Oh, it has only just begun!
Morpheus fills out the majority of the panel. His size should be apparent, with Gideon, Stick, and Silver, dwarfed in the forefront of the panel. He has a few scratches on his body, none of which bleed.
Morpheus: The staff does nothing more than channel my power. All you have done is anger me! Angered me more than I have been angered in a century.
Morpheus: No one lays their hands on the staff from the Tree of Woe. The Staff of Woe is only meant to be held in my own hands!
Morpheus: By taking this, your leaping friend has doomed himself, for any that lay hands on my Staff of Woe, I shall DESTROY!
Caption: Who is Morpheus, and what is his connection to Lurch (from Issue 4), his only friend? Revealed next issue. The fight heats up as Morpheus hunts down Joaquin. Gideon, Stick, and Silver do all they can to stop him, but will it be enough?
SYMKA and the World of Genetics are the intellectual property of Sean McGinity - all rights reserved.