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SYMKA Issue 1

Copyright Sean McGinity ©2003

Edited by Suzanne Campbell for The Guild Companion

Let me start off with saying that I am first and foremost a comicbook fan. Role-playing games were the natural progression for me, specifically super-hero RPGs. The SYMKA comicbook is set in the world I created for a super-hero RPG campaign, a world I called Genetics. This very comicbook you are about to read is loosely based on the adventure I put my group through.

 

PAGE ONE

Panel 1.

Tight shot of a standard old-style telephone, but with touch-tone.

Phone(fx): Ring!

Panel 2.

Same shot as above, a hand grasping the receiver tightly, the receiver slightly off the hook.

Panel 3.

Full width panel, 1/3 of the page. Our protagonist, Dale Turcott, runs through the frame. He is dressed in casual/business, with the top buttons of his shirt open. A desk sits squarely in the background with a woman sitting at it, looking up at Dale, her eyeglasses slightly drooping off her nose. Her hair is tied up sloppily.

Panel 4.

Full width panel, same size as panel 3. A Range Rover, with Dale inside is speeding down the street; a couple of pedestrians eyeing the speeding vehicle with looks of annoyance. The vehicle is barely on all four wheels, and dust brushes the bottom of the vehicle from the spinning tires.

PAGE TWO

Panel 1.

Small panel in the leftmost corner of the page. The Rover is centered in the panel with the passenger side headlight in the forefront. Dale Turcott is exiting his Rover, the door not entirely open and his head and part of his upper torso visible through the open door.

Panel 2.

Panel 2 takes the majority of the page, almost a splash page. The shot is aerial. Dale is just outside the Rover. The upper half of the panel centers on an apartment building on the left, reaching into the sky out of panel, and a smaller two-story mansion on the right. A chain-link fence connects the two buildings. The fence has a large hole through it. Four men lie on the street, in various scattered poses. Three police officers check three of the bodies. One other officer, a Sargent Stadanko, stands towards the left side of the street. He has his hands on his hips surveying the scene. A yellow police line cordons off the area, just between Dale and his Rover, and Sgt. Stadanko.

PAGE THREE

Panel 1.

Dale Turcott, wielding his camera, passes under the police line.

Panel 2.

Dale, with the camera on Sgt. Stadanko, who is on the right side of the panel with his back turned, addresses the man. Dale's hand is extended.

Dale: Excuse me! Could I have a word with you, sir? Dale Turcott, Independent News.

Sgt. Stadanko: Wha?

Panel 3.

Sgt. Stadanko faces Dale, looking a bit the worse for wear. The man obviously drinks a lot of coffee, and eats a lot of donuts. His stomach is solid, and his pants are wrinkled from being seated for too much of his day. His eyes are tired, but strong.

Sgt. Stadanko: Sargent Stadanko! Whadda ya' wanna' know?

Dale: Just want to know what happened here, sir. Will you go on record?

Sgt. Stadanko: Yeah, yeah, sure.

Panel 4.

Closeup of Sgt. Stadanko. You can see more of the details in his face from the last panel.

Sgt. Stadanko: There were some artifacts stolen from the museum. The thieves made a stand here against the museum's security force. There was some kinda scuffle.

Panel 5.

Pan out from previous frame to a three-quarters shot of Stadanko. In the background, out of clear focus, a Labrador dog stands, its head pointed at Stadanko.

Sgt. Stadanko: Shots were fired. A third party intervened and took the artifacts. Now take off, kid. I got some work ta do.

Panel 6.

Stadanko is in the forefront of the panel, to the left, very close. The dog is in focus, its eyes intelligent, its ears perked up, listening.

Dale (out of panel): Thank you for your time, Sargent.

PAGE FOUR

Panel 1.

Dale takes the camera off his shoulder. The dog is in the background, still looking on.

Dale(thinking): I'll have to check out the museum. See what I can find out there.

Panel 2.

Dale looks over his shoulder to see the dog peering at him. The dog is still in the frame, in the same position.

Dale(thinking): That dog? What's it doing here? They let a dog through the police lines? Oh well

Panel 3.

The dog turns and trots slowly away.

Caption: But little does Dale Turcott know that this dog is more than it seems

Panel 4.

A man stands in front of an alleyway, with a knapsack over his shoulder. It is Stick in his civvies. His face is young, probably early 20's. His stature is tall and lean. His tight muscular chest can be seen through his open jacket and a tight T-shirt. He stands with one hand holding the knapsack in place, the other hanging to his side. He looks down. The dog walks past him to his side into the alley.

Caption: This dog was there for a reason. It was observing.

Panel 5.

Stick turns around, stepping into the alley. The dog is already in the alley, off-panel.

Caption: It was there to learn what had happened, why this fight broke out in the streets.

Panel 6.

Same as the last panel, but just a shot of the alley. Both Stick and the dog are in the alley, out of panel.

Caption: Having learned that a third party appropriated the ancient artifacts, it is interested in learning what was taken.

Panel 7.

Stick steps out of the alley with a woman at his side. She is buttoning her shirt. She is Puerto Rican, with hair down past her shoulders. She is stunning, and has an exotic, animal quality to her looks. .

Panel 8.

shot of the Puerto Rican woman (Silver) and Stick.

Silver: I found out what happened here. I overheard a police officer talking to a reporter. We need to go to the museum.

Stick: Let's go then.

PAGE FIVE

Panel 1.

Close-up of a knapsack spread wide open on a floor.. A stone tablet sticks out of the backpack. Ancient Tibetan text is carved into the stone.

(off panel): So what do you think it is?

Panel 2.

Pan out to show two men facing one another, seated on the floor, the tablet and backpack between them. This should be a larger panel to introduce the two people that have started this whole mess. They have their hands on their laps, staring down at the object. The man on the left is of Spanish descent, with full lips, a wider nose, and thick eyebrows. His skin is tanned. He looks very young, probably 17 or 18 years old. His physique is that of a very muscular athlete. He wears a loose black T-shirt, and raggedy jeans, and a pair of no-name sneakers. His name is Joaquin.

To the right is Gideon. He has shaggy blonde hair that gets in his eyes, and a shaggy goatee. He is a handsome guy beneath the hair. He wears a ratty hooded sweatshirt, with a few holes in it, a pair of worn gray corduroy pants, and beat-up sneakers.

The apartment they are in looks beat-up, like their clothes. It is a tenement with old furniture, old everything.

Joaquin: Can you read this stuff, Gideon?

Gideon: Just because I've been to Europe doesn't mean I can read anything you can't.

Joaquin: Come on, man. Maybe you can recognize it or something. I can't make heads or tails of it.

Gideon: All right, all right!

Panel 3.

Close-up of Gideon's hands grasping the tablet, pulling it out of the backpack. A faint shimmer/glow surrounds the tablet.

Gideon: Well it looks like it's Tibetan text.

Panel 4.

Close-up of Gideon's face, looking down. His pupils are dilated, and his mouth is wide. He seems to be in a trance. The faint glow from the tablet is reflected on his face.

Joaquin(out of panel): Okay. You know Tibetan?

PAGE SIX

Panel 1.

Close-up of the tablet in Gideon's hands. The text is visible but definitely in another language.

Joaquin(out of panel): Gideon?

Panel 2.

Same close-up of the tablet, this time the text is in English.

Gideon (reads in a different voice, as if he were possessed): They were born before recorded history, two bothers: Manapatapoo and Katharta. Manapatapoo embodied all the good the world had to offer; Katharta, all the evil of the world. Each spent their lives in pursuit of their own goals, diametrically opposed to one another, their rivalry more than that of brothers but of gods. Neither ever able to gain an advantage over the other.

Panel 3.

Front shot of Gideon, seated, holding the tablet in his hands (he is not resting his hands on his knees as before). His face is blank, trance-like.

Gideon(still in trance-text): Man evolved, unaware of the struggle of the Brothers. The world became neither a good place, nor an evil place. Throughout time, the Brothers realized that they would never gain an advantage over the other; their battles laid waste to nothing but their own egos. Katharta decided that his brother Manapatapoo needed to die. Manapatapoo, a humble man, accepted his destiny to keep his brother in check, to protect the world, to let the world run its own course.

Panel 4.

Joaquin starting to get to his feet. He is to the left of the panel, in the foreground. Gideon is to the right, further away in the panel than Joaquin, unmoving, still holding the tablet.

Gideon(trance-text): Katharta wanted to change his role, and to rule the world, to spread his evil. Only by killing his brother could he accomplish this. This proved an impossible feat, as Manapatapoo was immune to his brother's evil, just as Katharta was immune to Manapatapoo's good. They would forever be in check to let humanity run its own course. Much time passed, Katharta testing his brother's immunity at every chance. Katharta could not by his own hand murder Manapatapoo.

Panel 5.

Close-up of Gideon.

Gideon(trance-text): But Katharta would not be daunted.

Joaquin(whisper): Gideon?

Panel 6.

Same close-up as panel 5, but Gideon is shaking his head, to clear the cobwebs.

Gideon(back in regular text): Wha?

PAGE SEVEN

Panel 1.

Joaquin is standing over Gideon who is still sitting on the floor, holding his head in his hands. The tablet is lying beside him on the floor.

Joaquin: What happened there? You just bugged out. Like you were possessed or something.

Gideon: I don't know.

Panel 2.

Gideon is getting to his feet. Joaquin helps him up, clasping one of Gideon's hands.

Gideon: Just when I looked at the tablet, the words blurred, and I could see. But it was like it wasn't with my own eyes. It felt like I was watching myself read the tablet from out of my body.

Panel 3.

Close-up of both their faces. Slightly bigger panel. Gideon's face is worried and strained. Joaquin is quizzical.

Gideon: I suddenly don't feel safe, Joaquin. I think we need to get out of here.

Panel 4.

Larger panel. Show the reader the museum. Stick and a black dog enter the front door of the museum in mid-panel, far shot. Stick wears sunglasses, and holds a seeing-eye-dog harness attached to the dog. He is wearing the same clothes as before. Around them, are various Egyptian displays along one side of the panel: statues, sarcophaguses, and jewellry. The floor should be very well polished, enough to catch the reflection of Stick and the dog. There are a couple of people observing the displays.

Caption: At the Civic Museum

 

PAGE EIGHT

Panel 1.

3/4 shot getting the dog's head and Stick upper body. Stick is talking out of the side of his mouth, in the direction of the dog. The dog is looking up slightly towards Stick. The dog's ears are alert.

Stick(in whisper text): Are you getting any scents, Silver?

Silver(the dog, in whisper text): There are a lot of scents heretoo many. Give me a little time Come on. This way!

Panel 2.

Full shot of Silver and Stick looking towards a police line surrounding a glass case on the far side of the panel. Silver is pulling the harness taut. The case was cracked open (only slightly visible in this panel).

Silver(in whisper text): Look, what do we have here? This way!

Stick: Okay, okay. Let's go. You pull like a real dog.

Panel 3.

3/4 shot. Silver and Stick are near the display case, just outside the police line. Silver is aggressively sniffing the area. One of the patrons in the background watches them, staring. Stick is looking away, not quite making a convincing blind man. The glass display case can be seen much clearer in this panel. The left-hand side of the case has a gaping hole in it. Two plate holders are empty on the left side of the case. The right hand side of the case, which is still intact, has three tablets held up by plate holders.

Dog's nose(fx): Sniff! Sniff!

Panel 4.

Full shot. Long horizontal panel. Silver is pulling Stick away from the display case, towards the left side of the panel. The glass display is in the center of the panel. A man walks towards the glass display, on the right side of the panel. The two patrons are looking rudely at the pair.

Silver(in whispered text): I have it! I have the scent!

Stick(in whispered text): Keep it down, Silver! Someone will hear you talking!

Panel 5.

Long horizontal panel (same as last one). Full shot of Stick and Silver exiting through the doors, passing Dale Turcott. The harness is taut. Dale and the two patrons are looking at the pair. The man walking towards the glass display in the last panel now stands at the display case (which is now in the right-hand side of the panel). His arms are folded and he looks quizzically at the pair.

Caption: Stick and Silver leave the scene as Dale Turcott, from Independent News makes his entrance.

 

PAGE NINE

Panel 1.

Wider panel. 3/4 shot of Dale Turcott looking towards the door.

Dale(thinking): Is that the same dog I saw earlier?

Panel 2.

3/4 shot of Gideon and Joaquin. Gideon is pacing around the backpack on the floor, upset. The tablet is on the floor next to the backpack. Joaquin is trying to calm him down. He has his hands up, in a calming fashion.

Gideon: We have to move! When I touched the tablet it left a a signal, an emanation. It was like everyone that's ever been linked to the tablet knew I touched it.

Joaquin: Calm down, Gideon.

Panel 3.

Close up of Gideon's face. His face is serious, and intense. It is not fear, but a feeling of his losing a little bit of control.

Gideon: And don't touch it! We don't want to send off another signal to whoever's after this tablet!

Panel 4.

3/4 shot. Joaquin is in the forefront of the panel, Gideon in the background. Joaquin is picking up a sweater from a ratty old sofa.

Joaquin: Gideon, it's okay. I'll put it back in the bag

Joaquin: with this sweater. I won't make any skin contact with it.

 

PAGE TEN

Panel 1.

Close-up of Joaquin stuffing the tablet in the backpack with the sweater.

Joaquin: I hope you didn't plan on wearing this sweater again.

Gideon: Whoever's linked to this tablet will know where we are now, Joaquin. We are not safe. After all these years of hiding

Panel 2.

3/4 shot. Gideon has his hands on his hips, and his head is cocked back. His chest sticks out a bit. Joaquin is in the background cinching up the backpack.

Gideon: I just wanted to live a quiet life. To get away.

Joaquin: What do we do, Gideon? Do you think they can track us if we keep the tablet with us? I don't exactly want to let just anyone to get their hands on it.

Gideon: We're keeping this!

Panel 3.

Close up of Gideon's face. His eyes are not fully alert, as if he were thinking of something else. He is thinking about more than their situation.

Gideon: This tablet is the key to power. There have always been people after this, trying to harness its power. Everyone that's ever had contact with it has been reminded of it, reminded of its existence. We've opened a can of worms. We we have a responsibility to take care of this, to make sure no one gets their hands on this.

Panel 4.

Close-up of Joaquin's face. He looks strong, heroic.

Joaquin: You know I'm with you, Gideon. I can't turn my back on you. I owe you too much. But what are we supposed to do? We can't hang on to this tablet forever.

Panel 5.

Gideon in the left-hand side of the frame looking over his left shoulder at Joaquin.

Gideon: I don't suspect we will have to, my friend. But for now, we need to move. I don't think it will be safe to come back to our apartment anytime soon. We'll have to stay on the move for a little while. I, too can feel the tablet now, in my head. And the vibrations from it are starting to dull, the pulse of it less frequent.

Panel 6.

Full shot of the two standing stoically. Joaquin holds the backpack in his left hand by the straps.

Gideon: Both the tablet and myself are targets until this pulse dies down. We need to find a place to hide ourselves. Already there could be people scoping out our place.

 

PAGE ELEVEN

Panel 1.

3/4 shot of Dale Turcott shaking a man's hand; it is the man who was standing near the glass case in the museum. The man, James Wilson, looks troubled/stressed, but shakes the hand enthusiastically. Dale does not have his camera.

Caption: Meanwhile, at the museum

Dale: Thank you for speaking with me, Mr. Wilson.

James Wilson: Well, sorry for the condition here. I'm sure you've heard what happened.

Dale: As a reporter, I'm here to find out, sir. But if I may, I'd like to talk about the museum first.

Panel 2.

Close-up of Dale's face.

Dale: I want to run a story about what the museum has done for the city. A positive piece. I do need to cover what's happened, but I want to run a positive spin on the story. You know, to keep people interested in the museum.

Panel 3.

Dale and Wilson facing each other off center from one another.

James Wilson: I'll tell you what I know about the theft. Any publicity that helps get back my pieces is good publicity. But if you want to talk art, you're looking at the wrong man.

James Wilson: I do fund the museum, but miss Edith Harker definitely runs the place.

Panel 4.

shot of James Wilson, with the back of Dale's head just on the edge of the panel.

James Wilson: I am a businessman, Mr. Turcott, uninterested in the pieces that Miss Harker brings in. I do know that these particular pieces that were stolen are of great value to her. And she wants them back.

Panel 5.

Reverse of the previous frame, with the focus on Dale.

Dale: You can be assured that Independent News will do what it can to help nab whoever was responsible for this. We will help the police in their investigation as much as we can.

Panel 6.

3/4 shot of both men, James Wilson facing the reader, Dale facing away.

James Wilson: This is what I can tell you. A number of individuals came in, brandishing guns. They broke the display case that housed 6 tablets. They took the two tablets with the Tibetan etchings on them, and left behind four tablets with Latin etchings. They were quick about it. They knew what they wanted. We had protection as well from Hi Tech Henchmen.

Dale: That's the security organization, right?

James Wilson: The same one. They weren't able to stop them, unfortunately, but they are working with the police on this.

 

PAGE TWELVE

Panel 1.

Close-up of James Wilson, face downcast, eyes semi-open.

James Wilson: Ms Harker is so upset. She worked so hard to get these pieces

Panel 2.

3/4 shot of both men shaking their hands. Dale also grabs Wilson's' arm with his other hand, in a form of assurance.

Dale: Don't worry, Mr. Wilson. Something will turn up. The police will find the thieves. Thank you for your time. Could I meet with Ms Harker now?

Panel 3.

Stick, with his knapsack over his shoulder (same one as before, to hold Silver's clothes), and Silver (in dog form again, this time off the leash) walk down the street. Long narrow vertical panel. They should look rushed, Stick almost in a jog.

Caption: Meanwhile

Panel 4.

Same narrow vertical panel. This time Joaquin and Gideon rushing down the street, in the opposite direction. They too, are in mid-jog.

Panel 5.

Same narrow vertical panel, but with an high overhead shot to show both groups rushing down the same street, towards one another.

Panel 6.

Same narrow vertical panel. Close-up of Silver's dog-face, the nose sniffing away, and a look of "I found them" on her face. Dog Nose (fx): Sniff! Sniff!

 

PAGE THIRTEEN

Panel 1.

Wider vertical panel. Full body shot. Gideon is slumping, holding his head with one hand. Joaquin is stopping his momentum, which appears quite great, with a foot still in the air. He extends one hand to steady Gideon. In the far, far background, a man in an expensive suit is moving quickly towards them. The reader should almost not even notice this man.

Gideon: Aah!

Joaquin: Gideon! What's wrong? Come on, we're almost there! Snap out of it!

Panel 2.

Wider vertical panel as panel 1. The shot should be coming up from the sidewalk, to get Silver's face and the upper torso and face of Stick in a fairly tight shot. Stick and Silver are looking ahead, alarmed. They see something ahead.

Stick: There!

Silver: They have it, and they're about to get it!

Panel 3.

Full shot of Gideon and Joaquin. Joaquin has helped Gideon straighten out. He has both hands on him, steadying him. Gideon's face is pained, his pupils dilated. The suited-man from the previous panel is still in the background but much closer now. He is leaping gracefully in the air, having propelled himself off the sidewalk.

Gideon: They're here. It's too late. Too late

Joaquin: Here? Where?

Panel 4.

Same size as panel as the last, but a tighter shot, and a little tilted to get a better shot of the suited man. He is crouched down from having landed and coiled to spring again. Gideon is turning around, but not there yet. Joaquin is looking behind Gideon, seeing the leaping man for the first time. There is a look of surprise on his face.

Gideon: Right on us!

Panel 5.

Very tight shot of Silver and Stick, frantic, rushing to reach Joaquin and Gideon.

Silver: Hurry!

 

PAGE FOURTEEN

Panel 1.

Large panel showing the leaping man drop-kicking the now totally turned around Gideon. The man's legs are fully extended, dead center in Gideon's chest. The impact is very hard. Joaquin is slightly in the background, readying himself. His hand is in his jacket, reaching for

Feet(fx): Smash!!!

Panel 2.

Large panel. Gideon falls backward, on his behind. The leaper is past Gideon, hand-springing to his feet. Joaquin has pulled out a blaster out of his jacket. It is big and alien looking.

Panel 3.

Narrow horizontal panel. Stick is pulling a telescoping staff out of his jacket, that extends in this panel. Silver is next to him, lips curled and teeth bared.

Staff(fx): Swish!

Panel 4.

Large horizontal panel. Both hands on his pistol, Joaquin fires a spectacularly colorful red blast from the pistol, straight into the leaper's back. The blast forces the man's arms and legs backward, and the man forward

PAGE FIFTEEN

Panel 1.

Smaller than the previous panels. Should be working into the next panel. Stick is in position with his staff ready, a little like a baseball player with a bat. Silver is next to Stick, teeth still bared, in pounce position. The leaper stumbles into the right side of the panel, his back smoking a little from the pistol blast. He is slightly hunched over, very groggy.

Panel 2.

Should be worked in from the previous panel, much larger! Very spectacular full extension on Stick, a large swing with the staff smacking the leaper. The leaper is knocked off his feet from the impact, his left foot higher than the right, arms listlessly at his side.

Staff(fx): Wham!

Panel 3.

Stick, Silver, Gideon, and Joaquin in the same panel finally. Should be a large panel, half the size of the page to highlight the importance of this meeting. Joaquin is staring at Stick and Silver, his pistol arm, cocked and ready. He is on the far-left side of the panel. Gideon is just getting to his feet. He still has one hand on the ground, and is crouched just to the left of Joaquin. Stick has both hands on his staff, almost pointed at Gideon. Silver is still in the pounce position, immediately at Stick's side. They are both on the right side of the panel. The leaper is slumped on the ground, a few movement lines to show he is falling unconscious.

 

PAGE SIXTEEN

Panel 1.

3/4 shot of Gideon, getting to his feet. He is looking back towards Stick and Silver. His face is calm.

Gideon: This isn't your fight. Get out of here.

Panel 2.

3/4 shot. Stick is looking down at Silver.

Panel 3.

shot. Gideon is fully standing, still looking behind him. Joaquin is looking past Gideon, not willing to give any ground to Stick or Silver.

Gideon: What's it going to be? You gonna sick your puppy on us?

Panel 4.

3/4 shot of Stick and Silver, ready to fight.

Panel 5.

Same shot as Panel 4, but they both release their attack stances. Stick holds his staff in one hand, shrinking it back to regular size. Silver is sniffing.

Silver: There's more coming. I can smell them a mile away. If you come with us you have a chance.

Panel 6.

3/4 shot of Joaquin and Gideon staring at the dog, with a "Holy crap! A talking dog?" look on their face.

 

 

PAGE SEVENTEEN

Panel 1.

Close-up of Silver

Silver: We don't have much time. They are not even minutes away.

Panel 2.

Gideon with his back to the panel (he doesn't even trust the reader), looks at Joaquin, who looks at him. They both have questioning looks on their faces.

Silver (off-panel): What's it going to be?

Panel 3.

3/4 of both parties staring each down.

Panel 4.

Same shot as Panel 3.

Joaquin: Okay. For now.

Panel 5.

Wider panel. All four are running away, their backs to the reader, down the street.

 

PAGE EIGHTEEN

Panel 1.

Full shot. A man behind a desk in shadow. His hands are in front of him, clasped together. Two people stand in front of the desk, facing the shadowed man. They wear red robes.

Caption: At an undisclosed location ...

Shadowed man: He is moving with the tablet. He knows we can sense him now. He will keep moving, trying to hide.

Panel 2.

Close-up. The shadowed man is still in shadow.

Shadowed man: Keep the hounds criss-crossing the city. The tablet's scent even now begins to fade, to die out. If they are quick, they should still be able to sense him. This one is intelligent. Waste no time. If we lose the scent, you will be held responsible!

Panel 3.

Tall narrow vertical panel. The man stands. He is still in shadow, except for his arms and hands. He has sharpened ends to his nails.

Shadowed man: We cannot lose the tablets when we are this close! Understood? Now go!

Panel 4.

Horizontal panel. We see the man from behind. He has stepped a little further into the light. The robed figures leave the room through the open doorway.

Shadowed man(thinking): It has been some time since I last saw him. Is it mere coincidence that he should cross my path now? Over the tablets? Or perhaps he has taken them specifically to keep them away from me.

Panel 5.

Horizontal panel. The man sits back down into his chair.

Shadowed man(thinking): I am almost giddy with anticipation. The moment shall come when we shall face one another again, for the last time.

 

PAGE NINETEEN

Panel 1.

shot of Dale Turcott facing the reader. A slender hand touches his shoulder. The nails are short and chewed. This panel should work itself into the next panel.

Caption: At the museum ...

Woman: Mr. Dale Turcott.

Dale: Eh?

Panel 2.

This panel should work out of Panel 1. A larger tall vertical panel to show us a full shot of Edith Harker with Dale Turcott just off on the left side of the panel, with panel 1 cutting him off. Edith is a woman in her mid-thirties. She wears her hair in a bun. She wears large, old out-dated glasses. Her clothes are androgynous: khaki slacks and white blouse. She is, however, very beautiful.

Edith: James says you want to speak with me.

Dale: Edith Harker?

Panel 3.

shot of both Harker and Dale. Dale is a little put off by her beauty. He obviously expected some older lady.

Edith: Yes, I am she. You spoke to James about doing a story on the museum.

Dale: Yes, yes! I'm with Independent News. The station sent me here to do a story --- Well a story on the theft, of course, but I

Panel 4.

shot of Harker and Dale. She is looking away, uninterested.

Dale: I have to run a story on the theft. It's my obligation as a journalist.

Panel 5.

3/4 shot. Edith is walking away from Dale. He is running after her.

Dale: But I want to run a complete story on the museum. I want to showcase the importance of the museum to the city, and the incredible antiquities you've been showcasing here.

 

PAGE TWENTY

Panel 1.

Square panel. shot. Dale is still trailing behind Edith. Except in this panel, she doesn't look as indifferent. She is actually starting to listen to him.

Dale: I have a soft spot for the museum. My father used to take me to the museum as a kid all the time. I've never stopped marveling at the stories of the ancients, all through what they have left behind for us to learn from.

Panel 2.

Taller vertical panel. She is facing the left side of the panel. She has stopped walking. She has her arms crossed. Dale stands behind her.

Dale: Just coming here reminds me of him, you know. The seriousness on his face when he told me how Tutankhamen was mummified, or how the Sphinx was built.

Panel 3.

Square panel, same as panel 1. She has turned around to face him.

Edith: A love for the museum? My father was an archeologist. He taught me to love the ancient peoples.

Dale: The pieces you've shown in your museum They are fantastic!

Edith: Well, thank you, Mr. Turcott.

Dale: Please call me Dale.

Panel 4.

shot of Dale in the foreground, Edith in the background.

Dale: Look, I do need to report the theft of the tablets, but I want to have a whole segment on the museum. A stand-alone piece. The importance of the museum needs to override this one act. I want the community to remember the museum for what it stands for - wonder.

Panel 5.

Full shot of Silver, in human form walking in through a door to the panel, straightening out her sweatshirt which she has just put on. She is farther away in the panel. She looks towards Gideon. In the forefront of the panel, Stick sits on a sofa in the left-hand side of the panel. He has one foot on the sofa, with his arm resting on that knee, looking very comfortable. His staff lies on his lap. On the right side of the panel, further away from the foreground than Stick, at an angle from Stick's sofa, are Gideon and Joaquin. Joaquin stands, arms crossed, legs spread wide in a solid stance, looking at Stick. He has the Backpack slung from his shoulder. Gideon sits on a recliner, uncomfortable, looking at Silver. Next to Silver on her left, by the door she comes through is a computer on a rickety table. Very much in the background.

Silver: You have one of the tablets, don't you? I could smell it on you. It definitely has a strong scent. My question is: Why do you want it?

 

PAGE TWENTY-ONE

Panel 1.

Close-up of Gideon. He looks very serious, and maybe a little deadly. You don't want him mad.

Gideon: Why did you help us and why should we stay here?

Panel 2.

3/4 shot. Silver and Stick are looking at Joaquin and Gideon.

Panel 3.

Shot of Stick on the couch, still in the same position. Silver is standing next to him.

Stick: Someone's after the tablets. Silver seems to think you didn't steal the tablets. But why do you have them now?

Silver: What happened at the museum? I didn't place your scents there.

Panel 4.

Reverse shot of Panel 3, but with Joaquin and Gideon.

Joaquin: We have a tablet. There's more than one?

Gideon: Yes. There's four of them.

Panel 5.

All four in the shot. Silver is pointing at Joaquin's backpack.

Silver: The museum had two. Two are now missing. One one you have, but where's number two? What happened?

Joaquin: Who are you? We don't even know you!

Panel 6.

3/4 shot. Gideon is frustrated, tired, and not wanting to be here. Directly across from him is Stick, on the couch sitting up now.

Gideon: Look, your boyfriend here helped take out that goon on the street. Thank you. I don't need to say anything else to you two.

Stick: Look! We said that something was fishy here! You somehow ended up with a tablet, but you weren't at the scene of the crime. Something happened for you to come across one of the tablets. I think you suspect something, too! The other tablet was taken. But by whom? I think we need to question Edith Harker from the museum. Maybe she knows something she isn't telling the police. Maybe she still has one of the tablets.

 

PAGE TWENTY-TWO

Panel 1.

3/4 shot of Silver looking at Joaquin and Gideon. Her look is heroic, even in her sweats. This is a cause for her.

Silver: Don't tell me you don't have questions, too? Let's work together on this, and come to the bottom of it. You don't have to trust us. But at least work with us. We're not turning you in. I don't believe you're guilty.

Panel 2.

shot of Joaquin facing Silver. This time, we'll have Joaquin on the left side, and Silver on the right, to show that Joaquin is thinking of changing sides. She is pointing at the backpack.

Joaquin: Just who are you supposed to be lady? Wonder Woman? Why help us? What's in it for you?

Silver: Sometimes it's not about what's in it for someone. Sometimes, it's about setting something right. You're keeping that tablet for a reason. It's to keep it away from someone. It's not for yourselves. I can read it all over your face.

Panel 3.

shot of Dale Turcott. He is in his Rover. He has one hand on the wheel, on the stick shift. He is deep in thought.

Caption: Meanwhile, in a Rover heading towards the Independent News Studios

Dale(thinking): I hated to play Edith Harker that way. But I didn't think she would give me the info I needed. And now I have more questions. She hinted at knowing more than she let on.

Panel 4.

3/4 shot of Dale walking into the news studio. He waves at a few people gathered around a desk far off in the panel.

Dale(thinking): I would almost think that that second tablet is not missing at all, that she is hiding it herself. But for what reason? And where have the tablets gone? A third party was involved in the skirmish between the guards and the supposed thieves. What stake did they have in this?

Panel 5.

shot. Dale is knocking on a door with a reversed fist.

Dale(thinking): And what about the guards, these Hi Tech Henchmen? Who are they exactly? I need to find out some answers. And I know who can get them for me.

Dale: Hello? Willis?

Fist(fx): Knock! Knock!

Voice(off-panel): Come in already!

Panel 6.

The door is opened. A young man sits in a office chair, leaning back, back arched. He is dressed sloppily, in a wrinkled T-shirt, button shirt, unbuttoned, and baggy jeans. He is tapping away on a keyboard, the dull glow of a laptop, computer screen on his face.

Dale: Willis Tanchuk.

Willis: What do you want, old man? And it's Scanner to you. Don't call me by the lame name my parents stuck me with, okay?

Dale: Sure, sure, whatever. Look Willis Scanner, I need some help getting some information on something. Are you game?

Willis: I'm busy, cant'cha see?

 

PAGE TWENTY-THREE

Panel 1.

3/4 shot. Dale is standing over Willis, almost like a parent. He has his hands on his hips.

Dale: Surfing the Net on company time? I could report you, you know.

Willis: You wouldn't dare.

Dale: No, I wouldn't. I need to find out some information. I will pay you.

Willis: Oh yeah? How much?

Panel 2.

Close-up. Dale is face to face with Willis.

Dale: Enough. Now I need to find out whatever I can on a company called Hi Tech Henchmen, and some ancient artifacts called the Symka tablets. Will you do it?

Willis: All right. No need to try and scare me, you know. Why are you so interested in that company anyhow?

Panel 3.

3/4 shot. Dale is standing upright and Willis is already typing away.

Dale: You know of them?

Willis: Ain't you the reporter? Of course I do. They look for souped-up people, them parahumans they call them, to be muscle for companies. They have open try-outs all the time. I don't know why they wouldn't go into wrestling.

Dale: Oh?

Panel 4.

Pan out from the last Panel.

Willis: People say they aren't just doing the legal beagle kind of protection either. The mob hires them out, too. Man, you don't know anything.

Caption (in bottom of panel): Who is after the Symka tablets and who is in possession of the other 3 tablets? Answers and more questions next issue!

Editor's Note:

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

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