Symka: Part 22

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2004

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"You don't want to know who I am"

Page 1

Splash Page

Pitawa. He stands in his penthouse apartment in the living room. The penthouse is subdued with a few pieces of ancient artifacts in the apartment. A dais stands against a wall, an ancient Roman helmet on the oak coffee table, a spear is hung against the wall. The floors are hardwood and the walls are deep beige in color. The room is bright, light coming in from the glass balcony doors.

Pitawa has his hair tied up in a ponytail. He has a nice deep tan, and highlights in his hair. He is a very handsome man. He doesn't look like the evil man he is painted to be. He is wearing stylish but subdued clothes, nothing like the over-dressed High-Tech Henchmen.

Caption: He is Pitawa. He has lived for centuries and seen the world evolve and devolve. Some would say he's been nothing more than a spectator, but those do not appreciate the subtlety of his position.

Caption: And those do not know the eternal boredom he is subject to.


Page 2

Panel 1.

Large panel. Flashback-style panel of Manapatapoo and Pitawa squaring off. They are garbed in old style armor, shields and swords. Pitawa's face frames the left side of the panel, showing he is thinking back on this time.

Caption: Pitawa thinks back to several hundred years ago...

Caption: "I hated my brother, Manapatapoo. He was a cancer to me."

Panel 2.

Pitawa ducks under an overhead swing of sword from Manapatapoo, and begins to pierce through Manapatapoo's breastplate with his own sword.


Panel 3.

Tight panel. Manapatapoo drops his sword arm from the attack while Pitawa pushes the sword into Manapatapoo all the way to the hilt. Pitawa has this crazed and excited look on his face.

Page 3

Panel 1.

Tight panel of the brother's face to face. Pitawa's look is transforming from madness to shock. Manapatapoo's is of sheer confidence.

Caption: "He was always trying to undo everything I strived for."

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot of Manapatapoo stepping back from the sword in his gut. Pitawa holds the sword as it begins to withdraw from Manapatapoo. There is no blood on the blade.

Caption: "So I tried to kill him."

Panel 3.

Manapatapoo steps back, clear of the blade that Pitawa holds in his hand, devoid of any blood. Pitawa stares at the blood, completely deflated.

Caption: There was a curse on both brothers: Neither could injure the other.

Panel 4.

Large wide panel of three scenes blending one into the other. Each background shows a different location: stone building, desert, and a cave. Manapatapoo and Pitawa are in each scene: Pitawa watching a burning and unhurt Manapatapoo; Manapatapoo with his head on a chopping block, the axe partially embedded in his neck, Pitawa watching exasperated; and Pitawa standing on the ledge of a castle having poured boiling oil over an unhurt Manapatapoo down below.

Caption: "Many times I thought I had killed him... and each time I failed."

Page 4

Panel 1.

Large panel, split into two with a diagonal line from corner to corner. Shot of Manapatapoo sitting at a table eating. His servant, also seated at the table has keeled over into his plate, the result of some poison. The second part of the panel has Manapatapoo walking through a hail of arrows, using his sword to cleave one of the archers.

Caption: "Even my minions I assembled could not complete the job."

Caption: Where Pitawa couldn't injure his brother, his minions did not have the power to.

Panel 2.

Shot of Manny standing over old men carving writing into a tableau, incense burning and spells being cast.

Caption: But Pitawa would not quit. Pitawa learned much later after his brother had mysteriously disappeared that Manapatapoo had linked his being to a stone tableau.

Panel 3.

The tableau being set on a dais in an underground vault by one of the old men.

Panel 4.

A shadowed figure (neither male nor female) sneaking into the vault.

Caption: If he had known, Pitawa would have used this knowledge to his advantage. But somehow....

Panel 5.

The tableau in four pieces at the figure's feet.

Caption: ...someone had killed Manapatapoo by shattering the tableau into 4 pieces.

Page 5

Panel 1.

Troops led by Pitawa to a small mountain range with a cave entrance.

Caption: "I was hopeful but did not truly believe someone had managed to kill my brother, Manapatapoo."

Panel 2.

Pitawa standing over Manny's body lying peaceful on a stone slab.

Caption: He found Manapatapoo's lifeless body.

Panel 3.

Pitawa slashing away with his sword over a shadowed Manny.

Caption: In pure ecstatic glee, Pitawa desecrated his brother's body.

Panel 4.

Pitawa standing over his brother's body (still in shadow), blood dripping from the edges of the table. Pitawa has spent all his anger in the desecration.

Caption: It was sheer bitter irony that it was one of Manapatapoo's own that shattered the tablet and not his most hated enemy, his own brother.

Page 6

Panel 1.

Large panel. Pitawa is leading a charge of Hungarian horsemen across a plain.

Caption: "With the proof of my brother's death, I gathered large armies of men and killed any others who would not swear fealty to me."

Panel 2.

Pitawa, standing in armor, helmet in hand, with a sword pointed down at the neck of a king who is kneeling at his feet. They are surrounded by an army of Pitawa's men.

Caption: "I went on a rampage. I was the scourge of Europe. I murdered kings."

Panel 3.

Back three-quarter shot of Pitawa walking into a harem of women. There is one woman, dressed in queenly garb, being held in chains to the floor.

Caption: "I bedded women."

Panel 4.

Large panel. Full shot of Pitawa sitting in court, resting his chin on a fist on his throne in complete boredom.

Caption: But he quickly tired of the ease of it all.

Caption: There was no one he could not beat. There was no nation that could stop him.

Caption: He thought he wanted to rule the world. But he had tasted it and found the taste bland. What he wanted was the challenge of crushing someone. The challenge only his brother gave him.

Page 7

Panel 1.

Back shot of Pitawa, in current time, standing in his apartment, hands clasped behind his back.

Caption: The last 100 years had been easy. He contemplated finding the 4 pieces of the tableau, reuniting them and seeing his brother magically restored.

Panel 2.

Shot of Pitawa's feet walking across the plush carpets, soft on his feet.

Caption: But that was an easy way out. Perhaps that was what Manapatapoo intended. Or maybe Pitawa just wasn't satisfied with the way his brother was killed. He hadn't delivered the killing blow.

Panel 3.

Shot of Pitawa walking across the floor towards the far wall where the dais stands.

Caption: He needed to steer himself up.

Caption: "I knew deep down my brother would return."

Panel 4.

Pitawa staring at the Asemka dais in his penthouse.

Caption: He needed to be ready for that time. He needed to make the world ready for his brother's return. To ruin the world.

Page 8

Panel 1.

Shot of Pitawa, whispering in the ear of Nero.

Caption: To make things challenging, he made himself the ultimate deceiver.

Panel 2.

Sitting on horseback next to Genghis Kahn.

Caption: He spoke in the ears of some of the most influential people, guiding them to wage war and for mankind to destroy itself.

Panel 3.

Posing as Rasputin next Nicholas II, Grand Duke of Russia.

Caption: Pretending to be viziers, sorcerers, and philosophers.

Panel 4.

A hand on the dais.

Caption: One of his little games would be to spread lies about four little tablets he would call the Symka, to be the benefactor named Blue Moon, to help certain people to trust his aid, and to pull the carpet out from under them at the final moment.

Voice (off-panel): I have information.

Page 9

Panel 1.

Casino and Black are standing in the room with Pitawa. He has just noticed them he was so wrapped up in his thoughts.

Black: They have returned to Winnipeg and made an impressive display of themselves.

Panel 2.

Black points to the TV in a close-up of his hand.

Panel 3.

Full shot of the television. On the television is Gideon, Stick, El Tigre, and Silver (in bird form perched on Stick's shoulder), standing in front of a mess of microphones for an impromptu press conference.

Panel 4.

Same shot as what was on the television.

Gideon: Bryce Falkingham and Bryan Richardson, two spoiled rich kids stole two tablets from the Winnipeg Museum of Antiquities.

Gideon: Some completely unprofessional reporting pinned the theft on us as well as the murder of a night watchman for the museum.

Page 10

Panel 1.

One-quarter shot of Gideon.

Gideon: With the help of some mercenaries under their employ, Bryan and Bryce bombed the Diamond Emporium Building.

Gideon: Today, they bombed Freitag's Tavern.

Gideon: Today we put a stop to them.

Panel 2.

Angled front shot of the four of them, faced against a mass of reporters.

Gideon: We've handed them over to the authorities and halted this threat to the city. The allegations against us in the media are ludicrous and lack any sort of journalistic integrity.

Panel 3.

Front angled shot of the gaggle of reporters. One of the reporters, a redhead with 80's rock-star hair and retro 80's shoulder-padded jacket is leaning forward to get her question in.

Reporter: Jaime Jindrak from Independent News. Your allegations of unfair reporting aside, you are still fugitives of the law. The original broadcast of the story by news reporter Dale Turcott told the story. Why do you not think you should be arrested on the spot?

Panel 4.

Opposite side angled shot from the heroes' side. Stick is putting himself forward.

Stick: Listen, JJ, we have busted our butts for this city, and it has nearly cost all of our lives. If the authorities want to take us in for questioning, that is their choice.

El Tigre: Dale Turcott? Is that the same reporter who has been in hiding since the new owners of your establishment made an attempt on his life?

Panel 5.

Shot of the crowd, front shot, tight and cramped.

Crowd: GASP!

Page 11

Panel 1.

Front three-quarter shot of the heroes... from within the television set in Pitawa's apartment.

Gideon: You may not like us, but the fact of the matter is that many of you would not be alive if we hadn't intervened on your behalf. I don't want your gratitude, but I also don't want your accusations. He who would cast the first stone and all that...

Panel 2.

Side shot of Black and Casino on one side and Pitawa on the other. They are all watching the television set.

Casino: So? What would you have us do?

Panel 3.

One-quarter shot of Pitawa in a front shot with a slight angle.

Pitawa: Casino... their arrogance is showing and it makes me... uneasy. I am not certain we can trust them. Let us test their loyalty. Set up a meeting. I think it's time I meet them in person.

Panel 4.

Casino leads Black out of the room. His steps are smooth.

Casino: Certainly. Black and I shall take care of them. We shall return.

Panel 5.

Back angled three-quarter shot of Pitawa.

Pitawa (thinking): Without thought... they follow my orders. So like sheep. I need never do anything... my control over people is absolute.

Page 12

Panel 1.

Inside the lobby of NBC Studios in Winnipeg, Dale Turcott is impatiently waiting for the receptionist. On the left wall of the studio is a bank of television sets. Each set is playing a different newscast. The receptionist is on the phone, lost in conversation unaware of Dale.

Caption: "This group intrigues me."

Caption: At the NBC Canadian headquarters in Winnipeg, Dale Turcott has made a decision...

Dale (thinking): What am I doing? Trish offered to pull some strings for me. But working here... for one of the biggest news stations in the world? What am I thinking? I decided to leave all that behind to work for Independent News.

Dale (thinking): I wanted to be the independent maverick, reporting stories, un-throttled by the corporate owned media...

Panel 2.

Close-up of Dale's face. Something has caught his attention.

Dale: Eh?

Panel 3.

Back full shot of Dale standing in front of the bank of televisions. Every single television is showing the same reporter.

Television sets: And that is the scene where one of our own reporters Trish Tilby died trying to capture what is proving to be the biggest news story right now. The new and upcoming parahumans who had been dubbed the Tablet Murderers by the press clashed with the supposed bombers of the Diamond Emporium Building.

Dale: No... no.

Dale: Trish...

Panel 4.

Three-quarter shot of Dale, stumbling towards the entrance of the building. He is in shock.

Television sets (off-panel): The skirmish was not without another casualty: one of the bombers' own died in the battle. Reporter Trevor Sigurdson who was along with Trish Tilby for the story suffered serious injuries and is currently in critical condition at the Grace Hospital.

Dale: Trish... oh my God.

Page 13

Panel 1.

Far shot of a rooftop. Black stands on the roof. Casino is scrambling just over the edge, his fingers like claws to climb the building.

Caption: Along the rooftops of Winnipeg, Casino and Black are skulking like two beasts of the night...

Casino: What do you expect him to do, Black? He seemed displeased with their behavior on the television. What is Blue Moon's plan with the parahumans?

Black: I don't know, Casino.

Panel 2.

One-quarter shot of Black walking forward with Casino following behind him. Casino has straightened himself out and flicking off some dust from his shoulder. Black appears emotionless.

Black: But it is none of our concern. Our goals are his, and we should follow without hesitation.

Casino: Yes, I suppose you are right. It is not our place to question the master.

Panel 3.

Close-up shot of Casino.

Casino (thinking): I am not completely unaware of the "master's" power over you, my friend. I feel his sway like a tingling over my cold flesh. But because I am not exactly a living man, I am immune to his persuasion.

Panel 4.

Far shot. Black pounces onto the top of a ventilation unit and uses his momentum to carry him over to the next rooftop. Casino is lagging behind.

Casino (thinking): And I question what his plans are. I have a strange sense of foreboding.

Panel 5.

Far shot. Casino clears the distance to the next rooftop with a small skip in his step, placing him just behind Black.

Casino (thinking): Yet I am tied for the promise that Blue Moon made to me.

Page 14

Panel 1.

Far shot, slight bird's eye view. Gideon, Stick, El Tigre, and Silver (in human form wearing her sweats) on another rooftop.

Caption: Minutes later, the team has fled the gaggle of reporters.

Gideon: Finally, it's over.

Panel 2.

Stick and Silver in a three-quarter shot. Stick is sad.

Stick: But he took out that reporter. Another casualty...

Panel 3.

Silver puts a hand on Stick's arm affectionately.

Silver: This life isn't meant to be easy, Stick.

Panel 4.

Gideon and El Tigre in a three-quarter shot.

Gideon: We saved lives today...

El Tigre: Just not all of them. It's never all of them.

Gideon: But at least it looks like we may have given ourselves a berth with the authorities. We answered Sgt Stadanko's questions and he seemed satisfied with our answers.

Page 15

Panel 1.

Group shot.

Silver: We did good today, but it delayed us.

Silver: We're hurt and we need time to rest. But it's time we don't have.

Silver: We have one more tablet and we need to find it. Joaquin's contact with the tablet gave us the final location. We don't know if that location is going to remain constant. Whoever has the tablet may move it and we will have lost its trail.

Panel 2.

Gideon turns to Silver, almost like a light was switched in his head. His eyes are shadowed and near sinister looking.

Gideon: Just the dedicated little superhero, aren't you?

Silver: Gideon?

Panel 3.

Large panel of Gideon pointing a finger at Silver. Silver is not giving any ground but she has lost her tongue temporarily. Stick and El Tigre are watching the two.

Gideon: When you first approached Joaquin and myself, you spewed all this superhero nonsense... about the greater good. Getting the tablets was the right thing to do, to keep them out of evil's hands.

Gideon: We took a little detour to stop Bryce and his people. They blew up the Diamond Emporium building and killed too many... too many people.

Gideon: Are you suggesting we should have just left it be? To not worry whether he would do it again?

Page 16

Panel 1.

Similar to the last panel, but this time, Silver is on the attack. Gideon is not giving any ground. Stick and El Tigre are both raising an eyebrow to this.

Silver: You are putting words in my mouth, Gideon! I never said any such thing!

Gideon: Maybe you did and maybe you didn't, but you've judged me every step of the way. You've questioned every decision I made, every choice... Somehow I seem to be the leader of our little group... who knows why... and you've questioned every decision.

Panel 2.

Stick tilting his head with a look of "Excuse me".

Gideon (off-panel): You forced yourself on us, dragging Stick along like a puppy. I never asked for your help, Silver! I never did.

Panel 3.

Fairly evil look on Gideon's face. He is tired and spent and tired. This is pent-up anger at Silver.

Gideon: You came in like gangbusters and clung to us like a leech, like we may lead you to some great adventure. What is it you want, Silver? Tell me that? Is this the adventure you've been looking for? Are the deaths of innocents enough of an adventure for you?

Panel 4.

Stick and El Tigre give each other a look.

Panel 5.

Stick and El Tigre nod to each other.

Page 17

Panel 1.

Far shot of Silver and Gideon. Stick flies off and El Tigre bounds away together in one-quarter shots.

Stick: We'll be back.

El Tigre: After you two have talked this out.

Panel 2.

Silver looks towards the departing two, with a slightly sorrowful look in her eyes at seeing Stick go.

Silver: Stick?

Panel 3.

Gideon, too, is a little surprised that Joaquin left.

Panel 4.

Silver looks to Gideon, some of the wind taken out of her sails. Gideon is temporarily at a loss.

Silver: It looks like your little soldier isn't so much your little soldier.

Panel 5.

Side shot Stick and El Tigre. Stick is flying low over the rooftops, El Tigre is leaping along beside him, currently in an arc right next to Stick.

Stick: That stung a little.

El Tigre: Tell me about it. Is it because it's the truth?

Page 18

Panel 1.

Far, far shot. El Tigre leaps to the cornice of a tall building. Stick is gliding along near him.

Stick: Maybe a little. I have some things in my past that Silver... Val... helped me deal with. I was a wreck, Joaquin. She saved me.

Panel 2.

One-quarter shot of both men. Stick is listening intently to El Tigre.

El Tigre: It's funny, so did Gideon.

El Tigre: Literally.

El Tigre: I owe him my life. And I think he's taken advantage of that.

Panel 3.

Another one-quarter shot. Quizzical look from El Tigre.

Stick: Gideon's afraid of being alone.

Stick: It's pretty obvious. Underneath that hard exterior, he's just a hurt little boy, without a father.

El Tigre: I didn't expect psychology out of you, Stick.

Stick: What you get for hanging with a shrink.

Panel 4.

Far, far shot. In one spring, El Tigre makes the roof of the building. Stick is zipping just behind him.

Stick: Call me Dexter by the way, it's my real name.

Panel 5.

On the rooftop in a three-quarter shot (slight angle). El Tigre grabs Stick's hand and shakes it. El Tigre winces a little. His shoulder hurts.

El Tigre: Dexter? As in dexterous?

Stick: Funny.

El Tigre: Well, it's a pleasure to finally meet Dexter.

Panel 6.

El Tigre releasing the handshake and rubbing his shoulder with his other hand.

Stick: Shoulder bugging you?

El Tigre: Yeah. Still stings from getting smashed through the floor. And it never fully healed from during the rescue effort.

Panel 7.

El Tigre is pointing away from the rooftop with his thumb.

Stick: I think we let those two cool off and will buy us both some time to heal.

El Tigre: Hey, I know this great place. Let's go for a drink.

Casino (off-panel): A drink?

Page 19

Panel 1.

Large panel. Silver and Gideon squared off against one another.

Silver: When Stick and I first came across you and Joaquin, I thought you wanted the tablets, Gideon. I didn't want to believe it. I wanted to believe you were a good person.

Panel 2.

Gideon is walking away from Silver, but looking back at her. He's had enough and he wants her to stop talking, to leave him alone.

Gideon: A good person? Not even close. You don't want to know who I am.

Panel 3.

Silver is trying to get through to Gideon and doesn't even see the anger rising in him. Gideon has stopped trying to get away from Silver. He's had enough!

Silver: I know who you are, Gideon. You proved it to me. You're a hero.

Gideon: A hero?

Page 20

Panel 1.

Large panel. Gideon fires a double blast of eldritch energy at Silver. Silver transforms into a bird, making a small arc around the blast. Her clothing gets shot through the panel.

Gideon: I'm no hero!



Panel 2.

Gideon is looking around for her. His eyes are glowing red with a crazed look. His hair has gotten darker.

Gideon: People died, Silver. What sort of hero lets people die?

Panel 3.

Silver charges into the back of Gideon's head.

Silver: Calm down!


Panel 4.

She flits around Gideon, waiting for him to do something else. She wants this almost as much as he.

Page 21

Panel 1.

Gideon is massaging the back of his head. Silver is high up, some 30 feet above Gideon.

Gideon: Silver?

Silver: Gideon, what are you doing? Did you just try to kill me?

Panel 2.

Gideon is looking at his hands, the green not so green, with a red highlight to it.

Panel 3.

Gideon makes a fist and pulls the energy inside of him. He is trying to convince himself of his own words. Silver is transforming into her human (and naked -- tasteful shading here) form.

Gideon: It... wasn't a fatal blast. It wouldn't have killed you.

Panel 4.

Silver has a comforting hand on Gideon's back.

Silver: What's wrong, Gideon?

Gideon: I... I am my father's son. And that scares me.

Panel 5.

Shadowed look on Gideon's face, showing traces of his father's features.

Gideon: I'm sorry I attacked you. All of the stress of the past few weeks has gotten to me. I killed my father, Silver. Don't forget that. No one is safe around me.

Page 22

Panel 1.

Gideon and Silver looking up at a slight angle in a one-quarter shot. Small panel.

Black (off-panel): And they crack under the pressure. Perhaps they aren't as strong as they first appeared.

Panel 2.

Double-panel showing Casino and Black both revealing themselves. Black is in the left half, standing on the edge of the roof, with Silver and Gideon in a one-quarter shot looking up at him. In the right half is Casino leaning casually up against the roof exit, with Stick and El Tigre watching him.

Silver: Who?

Black/Casino: You might remember me. I work for Blue Moon.

Black/Casino: It's time to meet Blue Moon.

Caption: Next Issue: Gideon, Stick, Silver, and El Tigre face to face with the grand-daddy of all evil: Blue Moon aka Pitawa.