Symka Issue 12

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2004

Edited by Suzanne Campbell for The Guild Companion

"What the hell are you, some sort of storm trooper?"

Page One

Splash page. Slight far shot of Katharta smashing through the window of his office, full body. Glass shards fill the panel with Katharta in the center of the glass. He is on a red flat disc of eldritch energy. He has Stick's staff in his left hand, held up to protect his face from the glass, and the Symka tablet in his right hand. The window is to the left of a desk and chair.

Page Two

Panel 1.

Full shot. Katharta is in his office. He is stepping off the disc to the floor. Glass litters the floor and the office. He is wobbly, unsteady on his feet, and his face is pale. He is weak.

Katharta: That fool El Tigre...

Panel 2.

In his weakened state, Katharta is unable to hold onto the tablet. The weight of it rolls the Symka tablet out of his hands towards the floor. He doesn't even notice this as he is struggling just to remain on his feet. He has stepped off the disc at this point and it is starting to dissipate.

Katharta: He slashed the tablet with that blade of his... What manner of weapon was it...? The tablet resisted... the psychic backlash battered me...

Panel 3.

Full shot of the Symka tablet spinning onto the floor under a lounge chair against the wall and Katharta collapsing forward to the ground.

Katharta: ...battered us all.

Panel 4.

Close-up shot of Katharta's face. He is on the ground, losing consciousness.

Katharta: He shall be made to pay for what he did... He shall pay.

Page Three

Panel 1.

Far shot of Stick flying upward towards the roof of the tallest building in Winnipeg, the Richardson building. He is clasping hands with Gideon and holding onto El Tigre's arm. Silver is just behind them in her bird form, barely keeping up in Stick's jetstream. Stick's left leg is hanging loosely; having been shattered last issue.

Caption: Meanwhile, Stick is flying Gideon and the unconscious El Tigre to the top of the Richardson building, the tallest building in Winnipeg. Silver, in sparrow form, follows behind, trying to keep up.

Panel 2.

Tighter rear far shot. Stick is just over the lip of the rooftop, and lets go of Gideon and El Tigre, who go sliding on the rooftop. Their landing isn't excessively hard, but their momentum makes them slide a couple of feet. Stick, on the other hand, crumples, reaching for his leg.

Caption: They battled bravely against Katharta and his people, but failed in capturing another of the Symka tablets. Stick took the brunt of that failure, seriously fracturing his leg when he tried to go toe to toe with Katharta.

Caption: Gideon's spell to absorb other's damage and pain allowed Stick to remain conscious and to fly them away...

Caption: ... but now the pain has returned...

Stick: Can't hold on anymore...

Panel 3.

Full shot. Stick lands hard and rolls shoulder over shoulder onto the rooftop. He face is contorted in pain. His leg is distorted in an unnatural angle.

Panel 4.

Full shot of Stick and Silver. Stick is on the ground, writhing in pain from the leg break. Silver has landed next to him, wings spread out.

Stick: I can't fly us all the way back to the apartment. Uhh... this is as far as I can go...

Panel 5.

Silver morphs into her cat form from the sparrow. She approaches Stick's leg, which looks horrible.

Silver: Your leg!

Stick: It's broken. I broke it after Katharta sent me falling. Aaargh, it hurts!

Silver: It needs to be set. Right away! You've probably made the break worse.

Panel 6.

Full shot of Stick, Silver, Gideon, and El Tigre. Gideon is getting to his feet. Stick is gritting his teeth, trying to fight past the pain.

Gideon: Worse than this?

Gideon: We had to get out of there. If Stick hadn't played the hero trying to take Katharta head on he would be fine.

Stick: Shove off, Gideon! It was your stupid plan that got us into this in the first place!

Gideon: My plan was to go in alone.

Panel 7.

Tight three-quarter side shot between Stick and Gideon. They are glaring at one another.

Page Four

Panel 1.

Side shot. Gideon is pointing towards Stick accusingly. Stick is gritting his teeth but his anger is dulling some of the pain. Silver is walking between them in her cat form.

Gideon: I suppose you had a better plan, Stick. You weren't against a full frontal attack on that rooftop in New York when you blasted Bryan with your staff.*

Stick: Hey, I may not be the best guy for strategy but...

Silver: Would you two please shut up!

*Note: Stick struck Bryan Richardson after becoming frustrated in their negotiation with him in Issue 10.

Panel 2.

Full shot of Silver with Stick and Gideon on opposite sides of her.

Silver: What's done is done. We failed. And we got hurt. We're lucky to have gotten out of there alive as it was.

Silver: If it wasn't for El Tigre jamming his blade into the tablet, we might not have made it out at all. But we're alive. All of us. We will all heal. We will all get better. And we will get that tablet.

Panel 3.

Full shot. Gideon walks away towards El Tigre (who is still unconscious). Silver is shifting into human form.

Gideon: What about Joaquin? He's been unconscious since he struck my father's Symka tablet. It's like he's in some kind of coma.

Silver: Gideon, I need you to try and heal this.

Gideon: I can't. I don't know if I can even heal a broken bone, never mind a shattered one. Joaquin's welfare is more important right now.

Panel 4.

One-quarter shot of El Tigre's face. He is unconscious.

Gideon: Look at him; we didn't get out okay. And Stick's less-than-graceful landing on the rooftop probably didn't help things at all for Joaquin.

Panel 5.

Tight one-quarter shot of Gideon kneeling next to El Tigre, placing his hands on his head.

Gideon (thinking): What did you do, Joaquin? What were you trying to prove? Trying to show that my plan wasn't all that bad? I know you'd defend me to them. Was this more of that?

Gideon (thinking): You didn't need to do what you did. The tablet wasn't that important. I'll never forgive myself if you don't get out of this.

Gideon (thinking): Maybe I can use my absorption spell to try and heal your mind.

Panel 6.

Same shot as last except that Gideon's eyes are closed and he is concentrating. Green energy flows from his hands around El Tigre's head.

Panel 7.

Three-quarter shot. Silver is crouched next to Stick. She has unclasped Stick's cape and is wrapping it around herself. She is leaning close to Stick.

Silver: You'll be okay, Stick. I'll set your leg and then we can get back home to my place. There you can rest and heal.

Stick: Will it, Silver? Will it really? Katharta brushed me aside like trash, like I was nothing to him. I'm... I'm scared of him. I don't want to face him again.

Panel 8.

Tight One-quarter shot, Silver looking into Stick's eyes, holding his head in her hands, pulling off his mask.

Stick: Gideon is right... I was cocky. I should have listened to him, believed what he said about his father... about how powerful he was. He could have killed me if he wanted to. I failed.

Page Five

Panel 1.

Same shot as last, reverse angle. Stick smiles, putting one of his hands over hers.

Silver: Stick... Dexter... You saw an opportunity; an opening and you took it. Next time... if we come up against him, it will be as a team. He won't stand a chance.

Caption: He smiles, touched by her affection, the affection she's always shown him, the affection he's always been too afraid to show to her.

Panel 2.

The edges of the panel are rounded to indicate a flashback. A younger Stick, in a slightly different costume, stands on the edge of a rooftop in a worm's eye view. (The costume has a grey short sleeved shirt, grey tights, white belt and wristbands. He wears a half-mask.) He looks awkward standing there, like he's almost afraid to fall even though he can fly. He is looking down into the alley below him. He has his old staff in hand, the one he had before Mordo changed it.

Voice (off-panel): EEEEK!

Panel 3.

Same shot, but with Stick leaping down, his cape billowing up and out. The leap is not graceful, merely functional.

Panel 4.

Landing behind a man and woman. The man has a hand held out towards the woman, who is afraid, cringing and pulling away from the man. The man is starting to turn towards Stick. The man is between the woman and Stick.

Stick: Stand down, fiend!

Panel 5.

Side angled one-quarter shot. The man is checking Stick over with a sarcastic look on his face.

The man: What the hell are you, some sort of storm trooper? Butt out! This ain't any of your business.

Stick: Miss, you should leave.

The man: She ain't going anywhere...

Panel 6.

Same shot except the man is staring at the woman. He gently touches her face with the back of his hand. She flinches, turning away from him.

The man: ...are you sweetie?

Panel 7.

Full shot. Stick is stepping forward towards the man, one hand out towards him. The man is giving Stick half his back. The hand he stroked the woman's face with is pulling out a gun from his jacket. The woman is turning her back towards them both, but her eyes are still on them.

Stick: What did you do to her, chump? She's shaking like a leaf.

Page Six

Panel 1.

Large panel. The man whips out a gun towards Stick in an arc, which Stick knocks away with a swing of the staff, breaking the man's hand.

Stick: Put that away!

The man: Aaargh!

Fx: SMACK!

Panel 2.

Full shot, large panel. Stick backhands the man in an upward swing with his staff, which lifts the man up off his feet and into the wall of the alley.

Fx: SWOK!

Panel 3.

Full shot. Stick points his staff at the man now slumped on the ground, as a defensive measure should he get up. He half faces the woman.

Stick: Ma'am? Are you okay? Did he hurt you?

Stick: Ma'am?

Panel 4.

Tight one-quarter shot. The woman's face turns red in anger.

Panel 5.

Full shot. The woman lunges at Stick, fingers flexed, baring her nails. She claws at Stick's face, drawing a little blood from a scratch on his cheek. Stick is not defending himself at all, but he is really in no danger.

Stick: Hey!

Panel 6.

Full shot. She pushes Stick away from her, which he doesn't resist. Stick is dumbfounded.

Caption (woman): AAAAAAARGH!

Stick: What are you doing?

Panel 7.

Full shot, slight bird's eye view. The woman helps the man get to his feet.

The woman: Get up, get up, get up...

Panel 8.

Three-quarter frontal shot of the man and the woman. He takes her in a chokehold from behind using his forearm and points towards Stick. Shot from over Stick's shoulder, slight back angle.

Stick (thinking): What's going on here? Is she insane? She's terrified of this guy and runs back to him?

Stick (thinking): Whether she likes it or not, this stops here. I just need to take the guy out without hitting her.

Page Seven

Panel 1.

Back to the present. Three-quarter shot of Silver and Stick. She has him leaned up against the lip of the rooftop. He has just awakened. He is pale and sweaty.

Silver: Dexter? You passed out. It's okay. You're back now.

Stick: I can't feel my leg...

Silver: Your endorphins have kicked in. It's natural. It's okay. Your body's filtering out the pain.

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot. Gideon is standing, a little wobbly, next to El Tigre who is still unconscious.

Gideon: Dammit Joaquin, what were you thinking?!?

Gideon (thinking): I can't bring him back! I can't shake him out of this coma! What are we going to do?

Panel 3.

Gideon is in the forefront of the panel, facing front. He is shaking his head, his eyes a little glassy. In the background of the panel, in a side far shot is Silver, crouched over Stick, wearing his cape over herself, and looking at Gideon out of the corner of her eye.

Silver (thinking): Gideon's torn up over this. And he's taking it out on Stick and I. He's really concerned for El Tigre.

Silver (thinking): Stick?

Panel 4.

Close-up shot of Stick's face. His eyes are closed.

Silver (thinking and off-panel): He's unconscious again.

Panel 5.

Three-quarter shot. Silver is getting to her feet. Gideon is in the background in a full shot with his back to her. He is turning his head to look at her.

Silver: Do you want me to give it a try?

Silver: I can use my telepathy to try and navigate his mind, find where he has retreated to; find where his mind has hidden.

Gideon: Have you done this before? Can I... can Joaquin really trust you?

Silver: What do you think, Gideon?

Panel 6.

Side angled one-quarter shot. Silver and Gideon facing each other, some 6 feet apart. He is studying her, looking for betrayal in her eyes.

Gideon: No.

Gideon: His mind was assaulted by magical forces. I don't want to chance any more damage. He'll come out of it on his own, when he is ready.

Panel 7.

Overhead shot of a small plane coming in for a landing at the Winnipeg airport.

Caption: Winnipeg International Airport: a private plane on a direct flight from Los Angeles is making its landing.

Panel 8.

The plane lands on the runway...

Caption: The movie scene in Winnipeg has started to attract the attention of the larger studios in Hollywood. Currently, seven studios are eyeing Winnipeg as locations for upcoming movies.

Page Eight

Panel 1.

The plane taxi's over near the airport, where a crowd of people (about 600 hundred) wait behind a police barricade. The crowd holds up signs that say: We Love You; Welcome To Winnipeg; and Please Date Me!

Caption: Star-spotting has reached a fever pitch. Despite the celebrities the town already hosts, such as the members of the Canadian Super Team, the Prime Minister of Canada, and other great actors that call Winnipeg their home, Winnipeggers are always on the lookout for the next big celebrity to hit the city.

Panel 2.

Far side shot. A limo pulls up the plane.

Caption: Top fiction writer Elizabeth Steel has managed a deal with movie studio MHM to turn her books into big budget studio movies. She personally requested the studio to look at Winnipeg as the location of filming.

Panel 3.

Slight worm's eye view. The door to the plane opens.

Caption: Actors up for filming in the city often arrive weeks and months in advance to live in the city and get a feel of it.

Panel 4.

Full frontal shot of the crowd, excited.

Caption: The Husband, the first movie in Elizabeth Steel's movie contract with MHM begins filming here in Winnipeg in 4 months. Studio execs and head honchos have paid several visits to the city, scouting the city for the shots they will require.

Panel 5.

Far, far side shot. A woman exits the plane, down the plane steps, waving to the crowd. The limo driver is making his way to the plane.

Caption: All the tabloids and entertainment magazines have been following the pre-production of the movie. Word leaked out early of Winnipeg's involvement to the film. The fans have been waiting in anticipation of any news on the film.

Panel 6.

Far overhead shot. The woman is at the police line signing autographs to people in the crowd.

Caption: As a result of the leak about the movie, sales of Elizabeth's book The Husband have increased, returning the book back to the number one spot on the New York Times Bestseller List after a three-year absence on the list.

Panel 7.

Back far shot. The woman is being escorted towards the limo by the driver.

Caption: With a renewed second run on the book, and the excitement following the production of the movie, Winnipeg has become a hotbed in the movie world.

Panel 8.

Back three-quarter shot of the driver. He is holding the door of the limo open, blocking the view of the woman getting into the limo.

Caption: Casting rumours have already begun running rampant with critics and fans alike, with top ranking actors included in the speculation as often as fresh talents.

Panel 9.

Side angled shot of the woman, as she looks out the opposite window, and the driver through the divider between the front seat and back seat of the limo.

Caption: Some guesses have been better than others, especially with those fans who have found out...

Page Nine

Panel 1.

Front three-quarter shot of the woman through the divider window opening. First full reveal of her face.

Caption: ...that Jane Murphy, up-and-coming starlet, has planned a trip to Winnipeg, having just nabbed the lead role in the film.

Jane: Thanks for waiting for me while I signed a few autographs.

Panel 2.

Side shot of the driver and Jane.

Driver: Is this your first time here, Ms Murphy?

Panel 3.

Front shot from the inside front portion of the limo. The driver, a nice looking, well-mannered man, is looking back at her. Jane looks very happy.

Jane: Yes, it is. I've heard a lot of good things about this city.

Driver: Yes, Winnipeg is definitely booming. You in town for a movie?

Panel 4.

Reverse of last shot.

Jane: Well, the producers are scouting locations. Really, I'm here vacationing. I need to clear my head and get ready for a role.

Driver: Well, you'll find lots to do here; this is a happening city.

Panel 5.

Rounded edges to the panel to indicate a flashback. We are back at that point when the man is holding the woman, with Stick facing them.

Stick: Let her go. NOW! I won't ask twice.

The man: Bugger off!

Panel 6.

Full side-angled shot. The man pushes the woman forward at Stick. She loses her footing in the push, but Stick catches her by the shoulders, keeping her upright.

Page Ten

Panel 1.

Stick is in the background of the shot, steadying the woman. The man is in the forefront, crouching over almost clumsily for the gun on the ground.

Panel 2.

Back angled shot of the woman in Stick's arms. The man, in the background, is semi-crouched, firing a shot wildly which hits the woman in the arm.

Fx: BLAM!

Panel 3.

Reverse angle of the last panel. The man fires a second shot striking Stick in the left shoulder, in a small splatter of blood. Stick has managed to get the woman out of harms way somewhat.

Stick: Aaargh!

Fx: BLAM!

Page Eleven

Panel 1.

Similar to the last panel. Stick leaps at the man, arms outstretched to each side, staff in his right hand. The man fires another shot at Stick, which misses him under the left arm.

Fx: BLAM!

Panel 2.

Full shot, large panel. Stick strikes down with the staff onto the man's skull full force, sending him face flat onto the concrete.

Fx: SMASH!

Panel 3.

Full shot, large panel. Stick, enraged, kicks the man in the shoulder, sending him flying and into the wall of the alley. Again, this blow is at full force.

Stick: You put that woman in danger, you freak!

Stick: You tried to kill her!

Page Twelve

Panel 1.

Slight worm's eye view from the man's position on the ground, half-slumped against the wall. Stick is looking down at the man. Blood drips from the head of the staff. Stick is shocked.

Stick: He's... he's not moving.

Panel 2.

Full shot. Stick is hunched over the man, checking for a pulse. Stick's face is shadowed. His staff is on the ground.

Stick: I... I have to check him. He's alright... he has to be...

Panel 3.

Three-quarter shot of the woman. She is pulling herself up to her feet, using the wall of the alley for support. She is looking off to Stick (off-panel). She looks worried, on the verge of panic.

The woman: What are you doing?

Stick (off-panel): Eh?

Panel 4.

Full shot, slight worm's eye view. Stick is standing, looking down at the woman. She is hunched over the man, shaking him.

The woman: What did you do? What did you do?

Stick: He's... he's dead.

Panel 5.

Tight one-quarter shot. The woman turns her head weakly towards Stick. She is pale and sweating. She looks like she's on the verge of passing out.

The woman: I want you to die! You killed my husband! You killed the father of my child!

Stick: Your husband?

Page Thirteen

Panel 1.

Far shot. Stick standing over the man and woman. She collapses over his body.

Stick: Your husband?

Panel 2.

Stick walks away from them, towards the exit of the alley. He is holding his hand to his face and is stupefied by the whole thing.

Panel 4.

Slight bird's eye view. A lone bird lands on the nearby rooftop, watching Stick who is at a payphone down on the street outside the alley.

Stick: I need an ambulance. There has been a ...accident.

Panel 5.

Back to the present with the panel edges returned to normal. Gideon is sitting, meditating on the rooftop. Silver walks over to him.

Silver: Gideon? We need to talk.

Panel 6.

He looks up at her, slight worm's eye view, unimpressed.

Silver: I need some medical supplies and a splint. He'll more or less be okay, but I don't want him to move until I set the leg.

Silver: Can you stay here while I go get supplies?

Panel 7.

Three-quarter shot. Silver walking forward into the frame, away from Gideon.

Gideon: Go then. I'll stay here.

Page Fourteen

Panel 1.

Three-quarter shot. Dale Turcott in his apartment. He has just arrived and seems distracted. He is changing his facing towards the door, which is open.

Caption: Dale Turcott is feeling left out. He was to meet Stick, Silver, El Tigre and Gideon at Silver's apartment. But they weren't home. He checked his cell phone and home phone and there were no messages. Have they abandoned him?

Panel 2.

Similar to last panel. The door is completely open; two Hi Tech Henchmen walk into the apartment, brandishing magic blasters.

Caption: Dale is a little angry, a little put-off.

Henchman 1: Dale Turcott... we had an agreement...

Henchman1: ...an agreement we feel you've violated.

Panel 3.

Side three-quarter shot. Dale is stepping back towards a sofa in the living room with his video camera bag. The back of the sofa faces Dale, with a coffee table in front of it. The Hi Tech Henchmen move forward on him, guns pointed forward.

Dale: Violated? You think I've violated the agreement?

HTH1: Our spies have confirmed that you've been in the company of the parahumans responsible for the death of Jeff Anderson*.

HTH2: You agreed to bring the parahumans to us, Turcott. Where are they?

Dale: Well the thing is... they got away. I'm, ah, trying to find them again.

Dale (thinking): Oh, man that was bad. They're not going to believe me.

*Editor's Note: Jeff Anderson, the night watchman for the Museum of Antiquities was murdered by one of the Hi Tech Henchmen, which prompted a battle with our heroes. Unfortunately, our heroes were believed by the public to have been responsible for Anderson's death due to misleading statements made to the press by Hi Tech Henchmen.

Panel 4.

Tighter one-quarter shot.

HTH2: Got away, Mr Turcott? That is not acceptable. You were given a time limit on this and a specific task.

Telephone (fx): RINNNGGG!

Panel 5.

Same shot as last, except the Henchmen are staring at the phone. Turcott flings the camera bag at them.

Panel 6.

Front angled full shot. Dale leaps over the sofa.

Panel 7.

Same as Panel 5. The Henchmen are firing at the sofa (Dale's behind it). The blasts are blasting the stuffing out of the sofa.

Fx: ZZOT!

Fx: ZZOT!

Fx: ZZOT!

Panel 8.

One-quarter front shot of Dale. He is leaned up against the back of the sofa, pulling a pistol out of a shoulder holster under his jacket.

Dale (thinking): You think I'd be unprepared?

Panel 9.

Pan out from the last panel. Over the top of the sofa and back towards the door are the Henchmen. They've stopped firing but have their weapons trained on the sofa.

Dale: Get out of here now! You're in my apartment and defending myself is legal.

HTH1: You've signed your death warrant, Turcott. We will not let down our master. If you can't bring us the parahumans, then you've proven you are too disobedient to be allowed to live.

Panel 10.

One-quarter shot. Turcott grabs a small paperweight from the coffee table. The paperweight is an award for journalistic merit.

Page Fifteen

Panel 1.

Back angled full shot of the henchmen. The paperweight travels from behind the couch against the side of the archway to the kitchen. The henchmen shift their weapons towards that spot...

Panel 2.

... and fire, blasting the wall.

Fx: ZZOT!

Fx: ZZOT!

Panel 3.

Large panel. Side angled full shot from Dale's side of the room. Dale raises himself to one knee, pistol held in both hands, firing two shots in rapid succession, blur marks to show Dale moving the gun from one target to the other. One shot hits HTH1 in the shoulder, dropping him to one knee from the impact as well as causing him to drop his blaster. The second shot, this time more precise, shoots through the other thug's gun hand, making HTH2 drop his blaster as well.

Panel 4.

Side angled shot from the Hi Tech Henchmen side of the room. Using one hand to leap over the sofa in front of them, Dale keeps the gun trained on them both.

Dale: Get out of here before I do any more damage to you! This is a warning! Come back and by rights I'll kill you.

Panel 5.

Side three-quarter shot. Dale moves in on the henchmen. He has the gun trained on them with a steady confidant arm. The henchmen raise their hands and are wincing from the pain.

Dale: I've seen too many crazy terrorists in my life to be taken out by some two-bit thugs.

HTH1: You are making a bad decision, Turcott. You've made things far worse for yourself.

Panel 6.

Tight one-quarter shot of the pistol pressed up against and under HTH1's right eye. There is a slight look of surprise on his face.

Dale (off-panel): Don't threaten me! Your people killed that poor Anderson kid in cold blood! I should put you down like a dog, just by association with your filthy organisation. I will break Katharta, if it's the last thing I do... for Jeff Anderson.

Page Sixteen

Panel 1.

One-quarter shot of Dale and the two Hi Tech Henchmen. Dale's pistol is still trained on HTH1's face. Both henchmen are cocky, unafraid of Dale's stand.

HTH1: We don't know who you are talking about. We know no Katharta.

Dale: Sure you don't. You've all been trained to say all the right things, haven't you?

Dale: Get...

Dale: ...out.

Panel 2.

Back angled shot of Dale. He has the pistol pointed at the two men, as they walk out of the apartment. They are leaving.

HTH2: Very well, Turcott.

Panel 3.

Dale has the phone to his ear in a one-quarter shot.

Caption: After a few minutes, Dale checks his messages.

Dale: I might as well check the message that distracted them.

Phone (in an electronic word balloon): Dale?

Dale (thinking): Silver?

Phone (in an electronic word balloon): I need your help! Stick and El Tigre have been injured! Meet me as soon as you can at Josie's. I'll be waiting.

Panel 4.

A man dressed in an entirely black uniform is leaning back lazily on a lounge chair. His uniform consists of: boots laced up to his calf; a large belt, military issue, with holsters on each side of his waist that are strapped to each leg; leggings; tight T-shirt; laced-up leather gloves that extend up the elbow; and a hood that covers his entire face. He is comfortable. He has heavy shadow over him, almost making him invisible. An oak coffee table is in front of him. He is Snapshot.

Caption: A darkened boardroom somewhere in New York City...

Voice (off-panel): I have a threat I need neutralized. The last obstacle you might say.

Panel 5.

Same shot as last.

Voice (off-panel): This obstacle is in possession of something of mine. I need it back. But I don't want to tip my hand.

Voice (off-panel): I need you to find this person, take back what is mine and bring it back to me.

Panel 6.

Same shot as last, except the man leans forward, a little more into the light.

Snapshot: I never divulge my source, so you won't need to worry about tipping your hand.

Snapshot: You've come to the right guy.

Page Seventeen

Panel 1.

Same shot as last.

Voice (off-panel): I hope that is true. It is imperative that I maintain my secrecy. I cannot be discovered.

Snapshot: You have nothing to worry about, lady. You've hired the best.

Snapshot: Now... what is it you want done?

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot of the table and a folder landing on the table.

Voice (off-panel): This is all the information I was able to get for you.

Snapshot (off-panel): You want him rubbed out? Is that it?

Voice (off-panel): No. He has something I want. A tablet with ancient script carved into it. Tibetan. His existence makes no difference to me, just the tablet.

Panel 3.

Same shot as Panel 1. Snapshot is holding open the folder.

Snapshot: There's... there's nothing here; just a picture.

Voice (off-panel): That is all that I have. This person has what I want.

Snapshot: Wait a minute, lady! I ain't no detective. I'm a mercenary...

Voice (off-panel): If you can't handle this, Snapshot, I can find someone else.

Panel 4.

Snapshot shakes his hand, palm forward, holding the folder with his other hand.

Snapshot: Hang on. I didn't say I couldn't do this, just that you weren't supplying me with all the details, is all. I have connections. I can find this person for you.

Voice (off-panel): Good. Once you have found him, you must report his location to me. In case I need to find your corpse.

Panel 5.

Snapshot stands, a little angry. He points a finger.

Snapshot: Corpse? Lady, you're not dealing with the riff-raff. You're dealing with Snapshot...

Voice (off-panel): I know whom I'm dealing with. Your exuberance and confidence is noted. Now please sit down.

Snapshot: It's my ass on the line here. I'm not going to risk my life for something I know nothing about.

Panel 6.

Snapshot is still standing, looking down towards the other person.

Voice (off-panel): Find out who the man is, Snapshot. That is what I ask. Once you've done that, we can discuss the second part of the contract, acquiring the item in question. You've no obligation to complete the second part of the contract. I will pay you half for learning who this person is, and the second half for stealing his property.

Panel 7.

He relaxes somewhat.

Snapshot: I can't guarantee anything. I'll see what I can find.

Page Eighteen

Panel 1.

Panoramic panel. Dale, wearing a cap pulled low to help hide his face, walks over towards Silver's table. Silver sits wrapped in Stick's cape, with a glass of water in front of her.

Caption: Josie's...

Caption: Silver waits for Dale Turcott...

Dale: Silver?

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot. Dale sits down. He is upset.

Dale: Where were you? Where is everyone else? I thought you all abandoned me. We were supposed to meet...

Silver: Dale, things went a little crazy...

Panel 3.

Dale is getting more upset. Silver is holding up her hand to him.

Dale: A little crazy? Two Hi Tech Henchmen just tried to kill me in my apartment! I was able to scare them off...

Silver: Dale, calm down. What happened?

Dale: They know I'm associated with you now. They meant to kill me but I was able to fend them off and send them running.

Panel 4.

Side shot, facing off from one another. They are both leaning in towards one another.

Silver: Really? How?

Dale: I'm a reporter... it comes with the job. I've learned to take care of myself. I'm mixed up with you all now.

Silver: Dale, I need your help. I need it now. We're not leaving you anywhere. You're in this as deep as we are...

Silver: ...I know.

Panel 5.

One-quarter shot of both of them. Silver's face is downcast. She is upset, worried.

Silver: But I need you to pick up some medical supplies. I don't have enough strength in any of my bird forms to bring anything to them, and my bear form is too conspicuous to be carrying anything.

Dale: What happened?

Silver: Stick has a really bad fracture on one of his legs and El Tigre is in a coma. I need a splint, some painkillers, some bandages...

Panel 6.

Same as last. Dale calms here, sympathetic.

Dale: What did you try to do, Silver? What happened?

Silver: Gideon... he was dead set on going after Katharta's tablet. He left without the rest of us so we charged after him. Everything went wrong. Katharta showed his face.

Panel 7.

She starts to break down a little.

Silver: We were surrounded; Gideon and Stick had already been injured... There was no way we could get out of there with the tablet.

Silver: El Tigre, the fool... he struck the Symka tablet... if we couldn't leave with it he wanted no one to get it.

Panel 8.

Silver is still breaking down, for the first time she doesn't try to be strong as she has always tried to be in front of the rest of them. Dale gets up.

Silver: But the tablet couldn't be broken and it backlashed against him.

Silver: He hasn't woken since.

Dale: I...I don't know what to say. Are you okay?

Silver: No... yes... I don't know.

Panel 9.

Dale is next to Silver, a hand on her shoulder, comforting her.

Dale: We'll get some supplies right away, and something for you to wear.

Dale: Come on. Let's go.

Page Nineteen

Panel 1.

Far shot of Gideon walking towards Stick, who is still unconscious.

Gideon (thinking): Some fine mess I've gotten us in, huh?

Panel 2.

Side full shot. Gideon looks down on Stick.

Gideon (thinking): I thought attacking the Diamond Emporium quickly would surprise them and allow us to steal the tablet from Katharta's people. I thought they wouldn't have had the time to prepare themselves. I made a lot of stupid assumptions.

Gideon (thinking): I never expected Katharta himself to show up.

Panel 3.

Close-up shot of Stick. His eyes are twitching somewhat from REM. Stick is dreaming.

Gideon (thinking): What were you thinking when you attacked him, Stick? He's far too powerful for us to take on, never mind doing it single-handedly. You never stood a chance against him. If he had pressed his attack you'd be dead now.

Panel 4.

Gideon goes down on one knee. Stick continues to dream.

Gideon (thinking): I could try to heal you further Stick. My magical regeneration has healed all of my own injuries including some of the wounds I absorbed from you... the ones that Katharta inflicted on you...

Gideon (thinking): ... except the shattering of your leg... I didn't know if I had the power to absorb that sort of injury, or if I could absorb enough of it without passing out. I've never really had the chance to deeply test my ability to heal others.

Panel 5.

One-quarter shot. Gideon and Stick.

Gideon (thinking): I'm sorry, Stick, that you followed me there. Sorry you got hurt.

Gideon (thinking): If I could have changed things...

Gideon (thinking): But you're alive; that's all that matters. When we get somewhere safe, I can try my best to help you heal. It's the least I can do. But until then I need to watch over both of you until we can get you to safety.

Panel 6.

Three-quarter shot. Gideon is still kneeling, looking over to El Tigre, who is lying prone on the ground.

Gideon: Joaquin... I don't know if your mind is just buried within itself or if you're brain dead. Silver thinks otherwise. She thinks you're in there, unhurt, unchanged, that your mind shut down to protect itself. I hope she is right.

Panel 7.

Flashback panel with the rounded edges. Stick is on his knees, defeated emotionally, confused over the ordeal at the end of the alleyway. The man is lying back and flat on the ground. The woman is crumpled over the man. He doesn't have the presence of mind to look after her. Sirens are going off in the distance. The bird flits down towards Stick. The bird, of course, is Silver.

Caption: Having killed someone in cold blood, Stick shuts down, surrendering to his grief over the crime. What was the woman doing, he thinks? She ran to that man when he had tried to kill her.

Silver: Hey!

Fx: WEEEEOOOOOO!

Panel 8.

One-quarter shot of Stick in the foreground, Silver in the background. He is looking at the bird. He is a little surprised to see a talking bird.

Caption: A bird lands next to Stick, having witnessed the final act.

Silver: I saw what happened.

Page Twenty

Panel 1.

Front three-quarter shot. Stick is looking at Silver and screaming.

Caption: Stick is not sure about the bird. She might be some sort of hallucination that his mind has created. He is so delusional that he doesn't think anything of it.

Silver: You tried to help that woman. You did what you thought you could, given the circumstances. The situation was blurred though...

Stick: I failed! I failed her! I didn't do the right thing, and...!

Panel 2.

One-quarter shot of the both of them.

Stick: My God, what was the right thing to do?

Silver: You made a choice. But it didn't have the most promising ending. There was no right thing to do.

Stick: I have to get out of here... I'm a murderer. They'll throw me in jail... I can't...

Panel 3.

Stick staggers to his feet as if he has an incredibly heavy load on his shoulders.

Stick: I have to go.

Stick: I tried to revive him. I really tried...

Panel 4.

Far bird's eye view of Stick. He stumbles out of the alley down the street. The bird flies along with him. Lots of shadows here, playing down on Stick.

Silver: Where are you going?

Stick: I don't know... I don't know. I just need to get away.

Panel 5.

Worm's eye view. Silver flies off, leaving Stick alone.

Caption: The bird flies off leaving Stick alone.

Panel 6.

Back Three-quarter shot of Stick walking down the sidewalk. An old Caprice Classic is parked on the left-hand side of the street. Silver, in her human form, is coming out of the driver's side of the car. The car's windows are tinted. Silver is wearing sweats and a sweat top. Stick is staring at Silver.

Silver: It's me.

Silver: Let me drive you home. We can have a coffee... talk about it.

Panel 7.

She opens the passenger door to the vehicle. He just looks at her.

Silver: There's such pain in your eyes. Do you really want to be alone?

Panel 8.

Three-quarter shot. He gets in the car.

Stick: You're that bird? I must be crazy...

Silver: You're not crazy.

Panel 9.

Inside the car, frontal three-quarter shot. Silver in the driver's seat.

Silver: You're not insane. Your reaction is very sane. It's the situation that wasn't.

Silver: You've never seen anyone die before?

Stick: Die? No, of course not. I never have...

Stick: I killed him...

Page Twenty-One

Panel 1.

Same shot. Headlights in the background to show they have gone into traffic.

Silver: You saved the woman. You saved her when she didn't even want saving. He was going to kill her any way you look at it. He didn't because you were there.

Stick: But maybe I could have found a better way. He didn't need to die. I lost my temper. I don't even know if he was going to kill her.

Panel 2.

Outside the car, bird's eye view. The car is pulling into a coffee shop.

Silver: You had no way of knowing that. He might have.

Stick: She was so afraid of him and then... She was worried about him? I don't understand...

Panel 3.

Full shot. Katharta in his office, getting to his feet, still clutching the staff. There is shattered glass strewn on the floor of his office. He looks around, a little disoriented.

Caption: After an hour, Katharta regains consciousness. He is disoriented, a little groggy...

Panel 4.

Full shot. He looks around the room, panicked.

Katharta: The tablet!

Panel 5.

Same shot. He has calmed down.

Panel 6.

Far shot. Katharta extends a hand out in a motion of telekinesis. He moves the chair that the tablet was under, smashing it against the far wall.

Fx: SMASH!

Page Twenty-Two

Panel 1.

Full shot, slight worm's eye view. The tablet is there, on the floor, with Katharta standing over it. He is laughing. He tosses the staff away.

Katharta: Ha ha! You almost foiled my plan, Gideon. You and your troop have some potential and I shall kill each and every one of you!

Katharta: You have become far too dangerous, my son.

Panel 2.

Side angled shot. Katharta is walking across the office towards the telephone. He is taking off his shirt.

Katharta: It's time to start the rituals. I need to be prepared for your Second Coming.

Panel 3.

He is on the phone in a three-quarter shot.

Katharta: Prepare my room. It is time to start the blooding. Bring all those present that failed me at the Diamond Emporium building. If you delay, you can add yourself to my feast.

Panel 4.

Large panel. Full shot. Katharta stands in a battle stance, ready. He is refreshed, red energy glowing from my eyes.

Katharta: When next you face me, I will not try to sway you to me. I will not hold back. I will prepare for the day when I crush you and your teammates!

Katharta: And "El Tigre"? You shall pay for trying to desecrate the Symka. I shall kill you first!

Caption: Next issue? Oh yeah! We will conclude Stick and Silver's first meeting. What exactly happened to El Tigre when he struck the Symka tablet? And Silver's plan to reacquire Katharta's tablet... All of this and Katharta gets ready to murder our heroes.

Editor's Note:

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