Symka: Part 18

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2004

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"Will you stop him if he tries to steal the power of the tablets?"

Page One

Splash Page

Bird's eye view of a desk littered with papers and photos. Each of the photos includes Bryan Richardson and/or Bryce Falkingham. The prominent photo of the bunch, the one on the top of the stack is one of Bryce and Bryan shaking hands with the members of some group of soldiers. Two figures are standing on the sides of the table looking at the picture, both with their heads down, so their faces are not visible. Their clothing is also not apparent as it is in shadows.

Figure One: Who are they?

Figure Two: Two restaurateurs. They're into collecting antiquities.

Title: ARGUMENT

Page Two

Panel 1.

Another picture is dropped on the table. This shot is at an angled bird's eye view. The photo is of the front of Octavian's Restaurant, Bryan and Bryce's restaurant, after the battle there (which occurred in Issue 9). Only Figure Two is in the shot, dropping the photo on the table. His features are still not visible.

Figure Two: The parahumans that stole the tablets from us were tracked going to this restaurant owned by those restaurateurs.

Figure Two: Seems the master's Minions tracked a spike of magical energy in the restaurant. The Minions found the parahumans at the restaurant.

Figure Two: Now what were the parahumans doing there?"

Panel 2.

Similar shot but angled slightly different than the last panel. Another picture, this time of a rooftop in New York where the parahumans fought the Raiders. The photo is shot from the ground looking up. There is a flash of green energy coming from over the top.

Figure Two: Bryan flew to New York and had some trouble at the airport. Seems he was trying to bring a lead case onto the plane. After arriving in New York, he was attacked at the penthouse apartment he was renting.

Figure Two: Bryan returned to Winnipeg on a stretcher and is still in a coma.

Figure Two: Bryce mysteriously showed up in New York as he was logged showing on a flight from New York to Winnipeg.

Figure Two: No lead case returned to Winnipeg with either of them.

Panel 3.

Figure One's hands are picking up the photos and papers on the table up.

Figure One: I think we need to pay a visit to Bryce.

Page Three

Panel 1.

Larger panel. Jane Murphy is centered in the shot holding up two drinks, one of which she is keeping close to her body, the other is extended towards Joaquin. She has her eyes on Joaquin. She is obviously attracted to him. Watchman is in a side shot on the left of the panel, looking at her and looking a little excited at the prospect of meeting her. Joaquin looks a little surprised to see her there, despite her having spilled a drink on him last issue. (He still has a stain on his shirt).

Caption: Last Issue, Jane Murphy, the famous Hollywood actress who is currently in Winnipeg getting ready for her next role, spilled a drink on Joaquin. She tried to chat him up but Joaquin walked away from her. She is trying again. It's this persistence that has helped her get the roles she wants. She always gets what she wants.

Jane: Somebody order a drink?

Panel 2.

Joaquin is watching nonchalantly at her, a little unimpressed. Watchman is extending his hand to her. She is depositing the drinks on a table next to them.

Watchman: Jane Murphy, the actress! It's a pleasure to meet you. I've seen some of your work.

Panel 3.

Jane is shaking Watchman's hand, looking at him, trying to figure out if she knows him. Watchman is a little excited but holding back mostly. Watchman is motioning to Joaquin with his free hand. Joaquin is looking at Watchman, wondering what the hell he is doing.

Watchman: You don't know me?

Jane: Should I?

Watchman: Well, maybe not... it doesn't matter. My name is Sean and this is Joaquin.

Jane: Yes, I've met Joaquin.

Panel 4.

Three-quarter shot of all three. Jane is acting the shy schoolgirl, with her shoulders shrugged somewhat. Joaquin takes the drink she left for him at the table.

Jane: I dumped a drink on him.

Joaquin: That you did. But it's forgotten. My friend and I are discussing...

Joaquin: ...business.

Joaquin: I do appreciate the gesture.

Page Four

Panel 1.

One-Quarter shot of Joaquin. He is raising the drink to his lips.

Joaquin: I don't usually drink so much.

Panel 2.

He downs the drink.

Panel 3.

Joaquin deposits the glass back on the table. With his other hand he is sort of waving Jane off. Watchman is reaching for the other drink, a little suspiciously since it wasn't offered to him.

Joaquin: Okay, we're even, lady. Thank you for the drink.

Jane: Well, now you're playing much nicer. What if I said I wanted to talk to you?

Joaquin: We are talking.

Panel 4.

Watchman rolls his eyes. He puts his free hand on Joaquin's shoulder firmly (the other is holding the drink).

Panel 5.

Close-up shot of Watchman whispering into Joaquin's ear. Joaquin doesn't want to hear it and Watchman is insistent.

Watchman: Be nice to her, Joaquin. She's cute. And she's a movie star.

Joaquin: Since when are you starstruck? You wanted to get out of the spotlight, yet you worship actresses?

Watchman: It's not like that. Be nice.

Panel 6.

Three-quarter shot. Watchman is backing away, holding the drink up to Jane in a "thank you". Jane is strictly focused on Joaquin. Joaquin looks like he's just been abandoned to fight alone against an army... not some little actress.

Watchman: I need to take a walk. Jane, thanks for the drink.

Jane: So, Joaquin, tell me about you.

Joaquin: About me?

Page Five

Panel 1.

Joaquin is holding his hands up in general confusion. He is at a loss for words. Jane is smiling suggestively.

Joaquin: Well, uh, I don't really know what to say.

Jane: It would be nice to know what you do for a living. What's your job, handsome?

Joaquin: I'm a... ah, a personal trainer.

Jane: Really? Hm, maybe I can get you to give me a lesson or two? Could always use you on set.

Panel 2.

Tighter intimate one-quarter shot of Joaquin and Jane. Joaquin is starting to give way a little to her advances.

Joaquin: Are you coming on to me or offering me a job?

Jane: I don't know. You pick. Play your cards right and it could be both?

Panel 3.

Same as last shot but Joaquin is starting to pull away.

Jane: I know you're just playing a game with me... pretending you don't know who I am. I'm willing to play the game... pretend we're two strangers.

Joaquin: Look, Jane... I don't want to be rude...

Panel 4.

A far three-quarter shot over Jane's shoulder of Watchman watching them. He has his arms crossed and a serious look on his face, suggesting Joaquin needs to follow through with this.

Panel 5.

Three-quarter side shot. Joaquin is looking at Jane with a half-smile.

Joaquin: Well, okay, maybe we can have another drink.

Jane: You have a place around here, Joaquin?

Joaquin: Uh, yeah I do, but, uh...

Joaquin (thinking): I can't take her back home, not with the chance that Hi Tech Henchmen have scouted out the place. Even with Katharta dead, there's no telling that HTH aren't still looking for us.

Joaquin: It's under renovations. I'm crashing at a friend's place.

Panel 6.

Side shot. Jane has a pointed finger running down Joaquin's chest.

Jane: How can I get a hold of you, handsome? That's all I want to know. Maybe you could be my friend in the city while I'm here, maybe show me the sights.

Page Six

Panel 1.

Joaquin's face is twisted in discomfort.

Joaquin: A phone number?

Panel 2.

Large panel. She kisses him, a light kiss on the lips.

Panel 3.

Jane pulls away from the kiss, letting her hands linger on him for a moment.

Jane: Got your attention, Joaquin? Your phone number?

Panel 4.

Jane is walking away from Joaquin. Watchman is watching them both in the distance and moving in. There is also a crowd watching this, fans of Jane's.

Caption: Joaquin gives her Host's number letting her know he is staying there for the next little while.

Jane: I will call you. I have an early meeting tomorrow morning. I have to go.

Page Seven

Panel 1.

Three-quarter shot. Watchman is walking up to Joaquin. The crowd is talking. Watchman looks impressed with Joaquin.

Watchman: So, sport?

Joaquin: What? She wants someone to show her around.

Crowd: She kissed him? Did you see that?

Crowd: Jane Murphy's got a new flame!

Crowd: I thought Jane Murphy was dating Jack!

Panel 2.

Watchman is standing next to Joaquin with a broad smile across his face. Joaquin is defensive.

Watchman: Show her around where? With that kiss she planted on you? She's not looking for a tour guide.

Joaquin: I'm not naïve. I know what she wants, but I'm in the middle of something...

Watchman: Yes, trying to get your life together... getting a little R&R. You need a break, Joaquin or you're going to snap.

Joaquin: I can't abandon Gideon and the others.

Panel 2.

Joaquin lets up the defensive stance and gives in to Watchman.

Watchman: And you're not. Get a cell phone. It's called modern technology, Joaquin. Get a phone and they can keep in touch with you. This isn't like it was when I was out there.

Page Eight

Panel 1.

Full shot of Bryce getting out of a swanky restaurant, walking towards his car, a brand new Lexus. There is a light dusting of snow.

Bryce (thinking): Damned place ruined the shrimp! Have they no decency in their kitchen?

Panel 2.

Close-up shot of Bryce, fumbling through his key chain.

Panel 3.

Close-up shot, Bryce finding the right key. Someone else's hand presses on the door.

The Man: Thought we might find you here.

Bryce: What?

Panel 4.

Full shot. Two Hi Tech Henchmen are standing one each side of Bryce, all three of them next to Bryce's car. These are the same two men from Page 1 and 2. Bryce looks annoyed but also a little bit frightened. Henchmen two is pulling something from his coat.

Henchmen 1: You checking out the competition, huh? Probably criticizing their cuisine or something.

Bryce: Or something. Who are you and what do you want?

Panel 5.

Henchmen Two pulls out one of the magical blasters and points directly at Bryce's chest. Bryce's annoyance has turned into full fear.

Henchmen 2: Come on, that's not very friendly. We just want to talk. Can we talk?

Bryce: S-sure...

Henchmen 1: Come on, let's take a drive.

Page Nine

Panel 1.

Front shot into the car. Henchmen 1 is driving Bryce's car in a one-quarter shot. In the backseat in a three-quarter shot are Bryce on the left and Henchmen 2 on the right, with the blaster still pointed at Bryce. Bryce has partially overcome his fear at this point. He thinks he can talk his way out of it, but he is no longer afraid of dying.

Henchmen 1: This doesn't have to be unpleasant Bryce. We're all friends here.

Bryce: Look, can you cut through all this and tell me what you want?

Henchmen 2: Okay then. It's straight to business.

Henchmen 1: You know about the Symka tablets.

Bryce: No, I don't.

Panel 2.

Henchmen 2 swings up with the blaster, cracking it over Bryce's nose.

Fx: CRACK!

Panel 3.

Same shot. Bryce is holding his nose (which is broken). Henchmen 2 is impatient and has the blaster pointed at Bryce's head this time. Henchmen 1 is enjoying all this.

Bryce: Okay, okay. I do, but so do a lot of people lately? What's the big deal? It's worth a lot of money, that's about it.

Henchmen 2: It's worth more than money. Don't play dumb with us, Bryce or there's more where that came from.

Panel 4.

Same shot

Panel 5.

Same shot. Bryce has a venomous look on his face.

Henchmen 2: You stole two Symka tablets from the museum. A museum under Hi Tech Henchmen's guard, Bryce.

Bryce: Yeah, and I understand you failed.

Panel 5.

Henchmen 2 cracks the blaster over Bryce's head.

Fx: CRACK!

Panel 6.

Bryce is leaning up against the window, a little blood running down his head. Henchmen 1 is no longer amused. Henchmen 2 is completely frustrated.

Henchmen 1: Somehow, through shear luck, you managed to not only steal the tablets from us, but you managed to implicate those parahumans on the theft.

Page Ten

Panel 1.

Leaning against the door window, Bryce is holding a strong defense, giving them both a spiteful look.

Bryce: If you're going to implicate me in things, at least get your facts straight!

Bryce: Those parahumans stole both the tablets from me! They implicated themselves in this!

Bryce: In fact, those sons of bitches beat up my business partner and me!

Henchmen 2: Beat up?

Bryce: My partner is in a coma and may never recover!

Panel 2.

Bryce is pleading, but the Henchmen are as set as they were at the beginning of this.

Bryce: I've told you what I know and I really need to go.

Henchmen 2: No. We need to know where these parahumans are. We are going to take these tablets away from them. And you are going to help us find them.

Panel 3.

Bryce is getting frustrated and shows some rage at the Henchmen. They are not at all affected by the outburst. In fact they are still cold.

Bryce: Absolutely not! Screw you! Look, if you plan on killing me get it over with. Otherwise let me go!

Henchmen 1: You've had contact with the Symka tablets. You could still in fact have one in your custody. If you won't help us, there's nothing to prove to us you don't still have one of the tablets.

Henchmen 2: Because if you still have one of the tablets, we are willing to kill you for it.

Panel 4.

Bryce points a finger out at them. Henchmen 1 is putting the car in park.

Bryce: You bastards! I've had enough of this. Everyone thinks they can bully us around and get us to do whatever they want.

Bryce: Well screw you both! The tablets are mine and I will get them all back!"

Page Eleven

Panel 1.

Henchmen 1 in the front seat reaches for his pistol. Henchmen 2 is readying to take a shot.

Henchmen 1: Hold him down. I'll make him talk.

Panel 2.

Close-up shot. The long muzzle of .357 Magnum presses up against the temple of Henchmen 1, the driver.

Voice (behind the Magnum): You'd better put that away, Slick. Otherwise I'm going to have to make a mess in Bryce's ride.

Panel 3.

Bryce jams his elbow into Henchmen 2's jaw, startling him.

Bryce: Thank God you showed.

Panel 4.

Full shot outside the car, the back door opens. It's Marrow, one of the bodyguards Bryan has hired to protect him in New York. His large frame casts a shadow over the car. He pulls Bryce out of the car. Raze is standing on the other side of the car. That door is open and Raze is laying a hard hit on Henchmen 2. They all have ear-sets on. Bryce is holding his elbow that he socked Henchmen 2 with. At the front of the car, Blaster is pulling out Henchmen 1 to the curb.

Marrow: Come on, Bryce, before you get yourself killed.

Bryce: He broke my elbow!

Page Twelve

Panel 1.

Three-quarter shot of Raze, Bryce (nursing his elbow), Marrow, and the semi-conscious Henchmen 2 (in Raze's arms). They are all looking to something off-panel in complete surprise and shock.

Fx: BLAM!

Panel 2.

Blaster is walking into the shot with his .357 Magnum smoking (it was just fired). Behind him and partially obscured by Blaster is Henchmen 1, slumped and dead on the curb. Marrow is looking at Blaster in anger. Bryce is energized.

Blaster: No witnesses, boss. We play this the way Bryce says.

Bryce: Well? Kill the other one too. He broke my elbow.

Panel 3.

Marrow is excited and verbally leaning on Blaster. He totally disapproves of killing. Blaster could not give a hoot about killing.

Marrow: Wait one second, we never promised to kill anyone.

Blaster: Maybe you shoulda' been paying attention. Bryce here made it clear enough to me.

Headsets (with electronic word balloon): Stand down! We need to leave one of them behind. Otherwise they'll know nothing of how dangerous Bryce is.

Panel 4.

Raze flings the other Henchmen into the wall, knocking him completely unconscious.

Fx: THUMP!

Panel 5.

Blaster is looking around, looking a little nervous. Marrow, Raze, and Bryce are all in the shot.

Blaster: Let's get out of here, all right? I'll drive.

Marrow: Blinshriek is right. We leave a witness behind to show we mean business. But in the future, Blaster, you don't kill anyone unless I command it! Got that!"

Headsets (with electronic word balloon): Settle your differences back at base before you compromise yourselves. In the car and back to base.

Page Thirteen

Panel 1.

Inside Host's mansion, in the room housing the Symka tablet. Stick is standing in front of Gideon in a three-quarter shot. Stick is out of costume, wearing a black turtleneck (he obviously got from Host) and jeans. Gideon is still wearing his ratty old hoodie.

Gideon: What the hell are you talking about Stick?

Stick: The Symka tablets are the tools to bring Manapatapoo back to this plane of existence.

Gideon: I heard you.

Panel 2.

One-quarter shot. Stick facing Gideon.

Gideon: But are you saying that I should have just let my father collect all the tablets?

Stick: Yes.

Stick: No.

Stick: I don't know.

Panel 3.

Stick is looking at the tablet. Gideon is watching him a slight distrust in his eyes concerning the tablet.

Stick: I'm still not sure bringing this Manny guy back is a good or a bad thing.

Gideon: Trust me, it's a good thing.

Stick: What I'm saying I'd rather we play these cards then your father.

Panel 4.

Gideon is looking at Stick suspiciously. Stick is serious.

Gideon: You're not mad at me, Stick? For once you're in my corner.

Stick: Look, Gideon, I know we have our differences... of opinion. But whether I like it or not, we are a team. All of us are. I have to learn to work with you. And we all need to learn how to get along.

Panel 5.

One-quarter shot of Gideon. He's warming up to Stick. Feeling comfortable around him. Maybe he can trust him.

Gideon: I needed to hear that...

Page Fourteen

Panel 1.

Calmly, Stick points out while Gideon gets a little defensive.

Stick: But don't think I condone you killing your father. That was a cowardly move. I don't understand exactly why you did it, but it's done.

Gideon: I'm not going to explain myself to you, Stick.

Stick: Listen! All that I'm saying is we are doing things for the greater good. I just don't consider it a clean victory.

Panel 2.

Continue.

Stick: None of us are getting out of this without bumps and bruises.

Gideon: Point taken.

Gideon: Look, Stick, we can really use Host here. We still have another tablet to secure, and we need the place to unite them... Host's mansion is the best place. We need him to stick it out with us. I think we need to bring all the tablets here.

Stick: From the subway locker we have the others stuffed in? Are you afraid he's going to kick us all out on our asses?

Panel 3.

One-quarter shot of both men.

Gideon: Wouldn't you?

Panel 4.

Inside Josie's restaurant. Silver and Dale are in the middle of an argument (began last issue). Silver is standing up at the table they are at.

Caption: Meanwhile, at Josie's pub...

Silver: I'm going home, Dale. I can't see this association working any longer.

Dale: We're just talking, Val, that's all. Am I not allowed to have an opinion?

Panel 5.

She sits down.

Silver: I used to think you were all right, Dale. Now I just don't know.

Dale: Don't turn this around. Your little group is spending your time with flagrant disregard for people's safety.

Page Fifteen

Panel 1.

Silver is trying to get a word in on Dale who is very adamant about his position.

Silver: Come on, Dale...

Dale: What I'm trying to say is that yes you are trying to gain this victory, by keeping the tablets away from the enemy, but are you any different than they are?

Panel 2.

Dale has his hands extended out, trying to convince Silver of what he is saying. Silver is getting frustrated with this.

Dale: What does Gideon want with the tablets anyway?

Dale: Me... I'm worried. I mean, before I just figured if Gideon wasn't on the level, that at least the rest of you were there in case. But lately... you've all had some disturbing behavior.

Silver: Enough!

Panel 3.

The fight has picked up again and they are both going at it with each other.

Silver: Are you telling me that you've mistrusted Gideon from day one? Is that your plan, Dale, to reveal the villain among us?

Dale: He killed his father! How are the rest of you going to keep this psycho in line when he assembles all of the tablets and steals its power? You couldn't stop him from killing his father. Will you stop him if he tries to steal the power of the tablets?

Panel 4.

Silver is taken aback.

Silver: I don't... I don't think I feel so comfortable having you around anymore, Dale. I thought you were trying to clear our names in exchange for your own safety?

Dale: Is that the only reason you're protecting me, Val, because I'm the only one who can clear your names?

Page Sixteen

Panel 1.

Dale is blank-faced. Silver has placed the image of the anorexic girl she is helping at the hospital. The vision floats over his head, ethereal.

Silver: You see her, Dale? Do you? I've planted an image of this girl in your mind so you know what I'm doing.

Silver: She's dying, Dale? Dying from a disease in her head that's causing her to slowly starve herself to death! With my power I am curing her.

Panel 2.

Silver is on the attack and Dale is just leaning back unsure of what to say yet.

Silver: I don't care what you think, to be honest. I am using my power to save her life. Just like I am using my power to keep the tablets away from anyone else who intends to use them to hurt others. Katharta has killed people for who knows how long and Gideon took the step none of us...

Panel 3.

Small panel. Close-up of Silver.

Silver: ...None of us, Dale... dared take.

Silver: He put that burden on himself. I don't know if it was the right thing to do or not, but what I do know is that he will be living with that decision for the rest of his life.

Page Seventeen

Panel 1.

Slight bird's eye view of the rooftop of the building across the street from Josie's. Snapshot is on a rooftop watching the restaurant in a far shot. He is near the edge, where a fire escape is. He is pulling on a trenchcoat.

Caption: On a rooftop near the restaurant Dale has met Silver at...

Snapshot (thinking): This is taking far too long. You're either a slow eater or you're meeting with someone and I want to know who it is.

Panel 2.

Full shot. Snapshot leaps sideways onto the top level of the fire escape (ghost image), makes a cartwheel over the edge of the fire escape, angled towards the opposite building, bounces from the opposite building to a lower point on the fire escape, and finally a forward flip to the alley below. Ghost images should be used to show the transition of moves. In the last move, he is also removing his mask (but his face is obscured in shadow).

Snapshot (thinking): Let's see who you're talking to.

Panel 3.

Snapshot walks into Josie's. Rear shot of Snapshot, with the face not in view. In a far, far shot is Dale and Silver fighting. Silver is standing, exactly as in Page 14, Panel 4.

Snapshot (thinking): Hello, what do we have here? Who is this pretty face? As frail as she looks she shouldn't be facing Turcott. I know the man is dangerous.

Panel 4.

Back one-quarter shot of Snapshot sitting down at a table in direct view of Silver and Dale.

Snapshot (thinking): Who are you, little lady? And what are you doing with Turcott? You're a brave one to go toe to toe with Turcott, I'll give you that.

Panel 5.

Tight close-up shot of Snapshot's ear. Snapshot is tapping on a device in his ear.

Snapshot (thinking): Let's hear what you're saying.

Page Eighteen

Panel 1.

Far shot of Silver and Dale, obviously from Snapshot's view. Silver is starting to calm down. Dale has lost the fight in him.

Silver: The rest of his life. And that is something the rest of us will never know.

Silver: As far, as taking possession of that man's mind, I made that choice, and damn me if I jeopardized his life. But hopefully he'll have a chance with Katharta gone.

Dale: So you made your point, okay. You made me realize the consequences of my actions and I will live with that every day.

Panel 2.

Full shot of Dale and Silver. She is wagging a finger in his face, but she is drained. This argument has exhausted her.

Silver: But, don't ever judge me again, Dale.

Panel 3.

Far, far shot of Silver and Dale, with Snapshot in another back one-quarter shot, watching the action.

Snapshot (thinking): Oh, now you've gotten me really interested. I think the parahumans have a telepath on their roster.

Snapshot (thinking): Sorry, Turcott, you suddenly have become boring. I'm following the filly.

Panel 4.

Far shot. A dark, dirty street, with trash strewn about. This is obviously not a good part of Winnipeg. Bryce and Blaster are talking and walking. Blaster is laid-back cool as usual, and Bryce is excited.

Caption: In the North End of Winnipeg, Bryce and Bryan have gone for a walk. They snuck out after Marrow, Raze, and Blinshriek shut it down for the evening.

Blaster: You know the others wouldn't agree with this.

Bryce: Well, screw them! Hi Tech Henchmen has every intention of killing me. And they are nothing but another obstacle in acquiring all the Symka tablets.

Panel 5.

Three-quarter shot of both men. Bryce is agitated. The wounds on his head are evident. He is angry, ready for revenge.

Bryce: Besides... no one needs to know.

Blaster: I like you, Bryce... not in that way... but you know what I mean. Sometimes Marrow gets his panties in a knot. We're mercenaries! This is what we do.

Bryce: So, are you sure this will work?

Panel 6.

Continue.

Blaster: This is simple chemistry, my friend. So simple. When do you want it done?

Bryce: I want it done now! They are going to report what happened, and despite what Blinshriek said, we don't want them to know of our involvement.

Blaster: I think I can scrape up the supplies... from my inventory if need be. Consider it done.

Page Nineteen

Panel 1.

Stick is putting on his jacket in the foyer of Host's mansion in a full shot.

Stick (thinking): I need to get out, get some air. Maybe I'll stop by Josie's and see if Silver is still there.

Stick (thinking): She's been acting different. I need to talk to her and find out what's bugging her. Have I done something to make her angry? Is there more than just Gideon's actions on her mind?

Panel 2.

He is walking outside of the mansion on the streets, adjusting his jacket.

Stick (thinking): Josie's is just a couple of blocks from here. I'll walk there.

Stick (thinking): I really need to sit down and talk with her. I should let her know how I feel...

Stick (thinking): ...no.

Panel 3.

Front three-quarter shot. He is walking down the street, deep in thought.

Stick (thinking): I can't tell her how I feel until I redeem myself.

Stick (thinking): After killing that man*, I worked hard to better myself. To become viable and less of a risk. And I thought I had succeeded.

Stick: But I struck down Bryan Richardson with enough force to kill him. It was a miracle he survived.

Panel 4.

Side angled one-quarter shot.

Stick (thinking): I'm so relieved he survived. I couldn't have another death on my conscience. Not another one. I checked the hospital listings in both New York and Winnipeg and found him there in New York.

Stick (thinking): There is still a chance he may not pull through. When I checked on him today, he was still listed as being in a coma.

Panel 5.

Full shot. Stick is bracing himself with a wide stance. Everything is shaking around him for one solid impact. He is a block away from Josie's Pub.

Caption: Without warning...

Fx: BTHOOM!

Stick: What the...?

Stick (thinking): it sounded like some sort of bomb went off!

Panel 6.

Joaquin is jumping up to the rooftop of a 3 story building by bounding to the top of a 1 story to a 2 story to a 3 story. Far shot.

Caption: Joaquin also hears the blast...

Joaquin (thinking): What was that? I need a better look.

Page Twenty

Panel 1.

One last bounce gets Joaquin to the edge of the rooftop with an okay view of the next few blocks. There's a far, far shot of smoke rising in the distance.

Joaquin: Some sort of explosion. What happened? I got to check this out.

Panel 2.

Host's mansion. Full shot of Gideon and Host. Gideon is running down the stairs towards the foyer. Host is motioning to stop Gideon.

Caption: Host's mansion...

Gideon: That didn't sound good.

Host: What was that? Gideon, don't even think about it... you can't leave the mansion. You reek of the Symka tablets. Anyone within a 100 yards would know you touched it.

Panel 3.

Inside Josie's. Both Dale and Silver stand up. Even Snapshot is surprised (and of course his face still not visible).

Caption: Inside Josie's...

Dale: Sounded like some sort of explosion.

Snapshot (thinking): Someone set off something... something big...

Panel 4.

Far shot. Dale and Silver have run outside of Josie's. They spot Stick running out of a nearby alley (out of costume).

Stick: Silver! Dale! Something bad has just happened! Some bomb just went off several blocks over. I got an aerial view of the situation.

Dale: I see. Then why are you here. Why wouldn't you be there checking to see if anyone's hurt?

Panel 5.

Far shot of Dale running off, leaving behind Silver and Stick. Snapshot, shot from behind in a three-quarter shot (face hidden) watches them all.

Stick: Come on. Let me fly you there. Maybe we can help!

Snapshot (thinking): Hmm...

Panel 6.

Stick is flying Silver up into the forefront of the panel in a bird's eye view of the street below where Snapshot is watching them. No one sees them fly as everyone is moving quickly down the street, curious as to what happened. A couple do notice and point up but no one actually saw them take off.

Silver: We have to help the authorities, Stick. Look at the smoke rising. This was big, very big.

Stick. I have my costume on underneath. I'll drop you off and change into it. I think Valerianna the healer will be more effective than Silver the shape-shifter. I can use my strength to help look for survivors.

Silver: Good, good. But, let's go quickly!

Snapshot (thinking): And Silver has a flying companion. This just keeps getting better. Well, I know where they are heading... where that explosion occurred.

Page Twenty-One

Panel 1.

Three-quarter shot of Gideon is running out the front door of the mansion. Host, in a far shot, is behind him.

Host: No, Gideon, stop! You're in danger if you leave the mansion! The tablet's scent is on you!

Gideon: No, you heard the news report! Something big just blew. I'm close by. I need to try and help!

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot of Host on the front step. Gideon in a far, far shot is running down the street. Ricky and Sulan are walking up behind Host.

Ricky: Master?

Host: He's left. He's off to see if he can help. But he has left himself wide open to attack. This explosion could have been a set-up to find Gideon and his friends.

Panel 3.

Three-quarter shot of the Sulan, Ricky and Host.

Sulan: Perhaps you should go and help him. They could likely use you.

Host: No... I... if this was a set-up to lure Gideon out into the public, I need to watch the tablets.

Panel 4.

Ricky and Sulan start making their way in a run down the street.

Ricky: Summon us if you need to, we are helping them.

Host: Sulan? Ricky?

Host (thinking): Perhaps I should help them. But I can't leave the tablets now. This would be the perfect time for someone to try and take them.

Page Twenty-Two

Splash page

It's a far, far bird's eye view of the rear of the Diamond Emporium building. A large gaping hole is in the building, stretching up to the 8th (out of the 10 floors) and three-quarters of the way across the building. There is rubble everywhere, as well as bodies. There is a cloud of dust from the rubble. In the front of the shot are Silver and Stick (who is just landing now, Stick is now in costume). El Tigre is leaping into panel (in costume as well). Gideon is running in from the edge of the shot. There are emergency crews arriving on the scene, riding through the park directly across the street (which has rubble strewn about on it). Dale is already talking with a group of policemen.

Silver: This is far worse than I thought.

Stick: Oh my God! This is a disaster!

Gideon (thinking): An attack on the Diamond Emporium building? Isn't that a little convenient? Looks like my father made some serious enemies. But the employees in the building... who thought they were running a legitimate business...

Editor's Note:

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