Symka: Part 17

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2004

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"It needed to be done and I was the only one to do it"

Page One

Panel 1.

Large panel is shaped like a television screen. Within the television screen is a female reporter (short black hair, cold face, strong piercing grey eyes). Above her head on the right side is the standard news television graphic, with a picture of Dale Turcott.

Reporter (Trish Tilby): Chaos on the streets of Winnipeg yesterday when a robed man flying through... yes that's right... flying through the air collided with the vehicle of reporter Dale Turcott.

Trish: Apparently, Turcott was being pursued by the robed figure on a case of mistaken identity. Turcott plowed into the back of another car trying to get away from the robed figure. The robed figure apparently appeared from the front of the Hi Tech Henchmen building intent on attacking Turcott, according to witnesses.

Trish: Turcott, formerly of Independent News, a local news station here in the city, had this to say in a statement made to the police.

Panel 2.

Television screen panel. In the panel is Dale Turcott being interviewed by another reporter, a man with GQ looks and model hair.

Dale: I was driving by the Hi Tech Henchmen building when this robed figure on a floating disk flew out of the building and followed after me.

Dale: I think he wanted to kill me.

Dale: As I was trying to get away from him, I rammed into the back of another vehicle. Immediately after, he plowed into the back of mine. As I exited the vehicle, another guy wearing an open shirt and with symbols painted all over his body tried to choke the life out of me. I figure they were working together.

Panel 3.

Television screen panel. Trish again with the Dale graphic over her head on the right.

Trish: Eye witnesses confirm Turcott's statement. We asked Hi Tech Henchmen about the incident and they confirm that there was some attack on their building at the time of the incident. They did not confirm or deny any involvement with the attack on Turcott. Only one of the two attackers are in custody.

Panel 4.

Cut back to someone watching that same TV. The someone is slightly shadowed and the panel actually hides his face.

Bryce (thinking): Dale Turcott and Hi Tech Henchmen. Doesn't this smell funny?

Page Two

Splash Page

Back shot of Bryce Falkingham, leaning back in a cheap office chair. He's at his restaurant, Octavian's which is under construction. Instead of the typical foppish look to him that he used to have, he now looks serious and threatening. He is leaning back in a chair, with an arm on the table. He is drinking a coffee.

Bryce (thinking): I find it a little curious that the tablets started emanating at exactly the same time this all transpired.*

*Editor's Note: When anyone has contact with the Symka tablets, emanations are emitted from the user and the tablet in particular for a number of days. These emanations can be felt by anyone who has touched any of the four Symka tablets at any time, of which Bryce is one.

Page Three

Panel 1.

Side angled three-quarter shot. Bryce is leaning forward in his chair, staring at the TV. He is almost studying the screen.

Bryce (thinking): Who are Hi Tech Henchmen and what is this all about? What would they want with a former reporter?

Panel 2.

Bryce gets up to his feet in a far shot, taking a sip of his coffee. In this shot we can see half a dozen construction people about the restaurant. They are at work sawing, dry-walling and hammering. There are plastic coverings draped over the furniture (for the dust).

Bryce (thinking): Are you after a story, reporter? I want to know what it is.

Panel 3.

Small tight panel. Bryce's hand, depositing the coffee cup on the table.

Panel 4.

Another small tight panel. Bryce grabs his coat that was draped over a chair.

Panel 5.

Full shot of Bryce, with the coat draped over his shoulder. He is pointing at the workers with authority.

Bryce: Step to it! I want this place up and running in a week, you hear me? Time is money, people!

Page Four

Panel 1.

Large panel. Silver is leaning forward in her chair (polar opposite of Bryce in his opening shot), reading a stack of notes on her desk. She is deep in thought. She is seated in a small room. The room is very well organized, with a bookshelf full of university books. Her desk is small, with her computer monitor taking up half of it. There is an empty chair in front of her.

Caption: Silver has returned to work as a psychologist in her identity of Valerianna "Val" Ramerez. It's not a great job... she is still working her way up the ladder at the hospital... but it does pay the bills. And she does get a degree of satisfaction from helping people.

Caption: She used a sick day for Monday. She was too drained over the events of the weekend* to come in.

Title: SILVER

Silver (thinking): After everything that's happened the past few days maybe what I really need is to do some work. To help some people...

Fx: KNOCK! KNOCK!

Silver: Come in.

*Editor's Note: Seen over the last few issues.

Panel 2.

Silver is looking up from her papers at the doorway. A young girl walks in. She is fragile looking, definitely anorexic. She looks incredibly depressed.

Silver: Sara!

Sara: Hello, Miz Ramirez.

Silver: Please have a seat, Sara. I'd like to talk about the last few days. Can we do that?

Panel 3.

Three-quarter shot of Sara staring straight into the wall. She is dazed.

Silver (out of panel): Sara?

Panel 4.

Same shot as last, except Sara has turned her head to face Silver (out of panel). Her eyes are welling up.

Silver (out of panel): Sara!

Panel 5.

Same shot as last. A tear falls down Sara's face.

Sara: I... I want to die.

Page Five

Panel 1.

Front shot of Sara, side angled shot of Silver, three-quarter shot of both. Silver is incredibly concerned and Sara is losing control, sobs escaping her.

Silver: Sara...

Sara: I do. Life hurts too much. I want to waste away into nothing and die.

Silver: Sara... it's okay. I... I need you to tell me why you feel this way.

Silver: Because... all the girls laugh at me. I can't make friends as hard as I try.

Panel 2.

Tight close-up shot of Sara's face. Her tears are flowing and she is sobbing heavily.

Silver (out of panel): Is that why you stop eating, Sara... to fit in?

Sara: Yes... no... they hate me.

Panel 3.

Angled front shot from the right side. Sara is crumpled forward, sobbing almost violently. Silver is getting up from her desk.

Silver: Sara... how do you know they do?

Silver (thinking): Sara is losing it. I need to calm her down.

Panel 4-5.

She links telepathically to Sara and Sara starts to calm down. The telepathic link starts in one panel, connecting to Sara in the second panel.

Silver (in a telepathic balloon): Sara, you're not upset... in fact you are very calm.

Page Six

Panel 1.

Sara sits straight back in her chair and looks at Silver. Her sobbing has stopped, but her eyes are still moist.

Silver (Telepathically): Let's see what's really in there, Sara... what it is that's driving this need to be thin.

Panel 2.

Silver sits back in horror, almost as if she had been electrocuted. Sara breaks free, unaware of Silver's intrusion into her mind.

Silver: Sara... it's so lonely, you're so... alone. I truly understand now.

Sara: Miz Ramirez? Are you okay? "I... yes, let's talk about you, though Sara. I need you to feel better about yourself... and to know how special you are."

Panel 3.

Larger panel. Side shot of Gideon crouched in front of the open fridge in Host's kitchen. He is looking for something to eat. Gideon is wearing a black T-shirt and jeans. Despite the older style of the rest of the house, the kitchen is very modern with silver appliances (side by side fridge, a kitchen island with a stovetop, an oven, a dishwasher, tiled floor... he's spent some money updating the kitchen).

Caption: Host's home...

Title: GIDEON

Gideon: All of this food... what to eat?

Page Seven

Panel 1.

Gideon is looking up to the top of the fridge door at Sulan, one of Host's students, peering down curiously at Gideon. Gideon is pulling out a Tupperware container out of the fridge.

Sulan: There's leftover stir-fry in the Tupperware container.

Gideon: Huh?

Gideon: Oh hey... thanks.

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot. Sulan and Gideon are facing one another in front of the fridge with the open door. Gideon seems really happy that someone is willing to talk to him since the last while, since he killed his father, everyone has either yelled at him or not spoken to him.

Gideon: Hey, thanks...

Sulan: Sulan. And you must be Gideon.

Gideon: Yes I am.

Sulan: The master spoke of you.

Gideon: And what did he say?

Panel 3.

Full shot of Host. He is standing in the entranceway to the kitchen with his arms crossed. His face is slightly downcast and his bitterness towards Gideon is perfectly evident. Host is wearing a black turtleneck and white pants.

Host: I called you a murderer.

Panel 4.

Full shot. Gideon and Sulan in front of the fridge, Host approaching them. Gideon is closing the fridge door guiltily and his head is down. Even though Gideon feels right in having killed his father, that doesn't mean he doesn't feel guilty about it. He feels horrible it had to come to that. And he greatly respects Host's power and wants his approval. Host is the only one Gideon wants to get in the good books with. Sulan is watching the whole scene as if she were watching a movie: completely studying the interplay between the two. Host is storming over, a little put off that Gideon dares speak to one of his students.

Gideon: I'm sorry that I... had to kill him.

Host: Sorry? Sorry you ended someone's life... that you killed someone?

Panel 5.

Tight one-quarter shot. Gideon's head straightens up. He's had enough with justifying his actions, even if it means getting angry with Host. He jams a finger into Host's chest. Sulan is watching from the sidelines.

Gideon: No! I'm sorry I had to do it.

Gideon: But I'm not sorry I did it. He needed to die.

Page Eight

Panel 1.

Tall narrow panel. Three-quarter shot of both men. Heated conversation between Gideon and Host, each not backing down.

Host: Did he, Gideon? You made that decision yourself...

Gideon: I don't care if I'm damned for it. It needed to be done and I was the only one to do it. And it's not about how many people my father would have killed...

Host: Then what is it, Gideon? It doesn't justify the means. Is it because you were afraid of him?

Host: Did he abuse you as a child? Is that what he did? Is that what drove you, Gideon?

Panel 2.

Close-up of Gideon's face. It is twisted and fearful and is downcast so some shading enhances the emotion he is feeling. He is injured by the statement as if there was some hint of truth.

Host (out of panel): Is that it?

Panel 3.

Full shot. Gideon is storming out of the kitchen, leaving behind Host and Sulan watching him leave. Sulan is still studying the whole thing. Host seems frustrated with himself.

Panel 4.

Same shot as last, except Gideon is no longer in shot and Sulan is looking at Host.

Sulan: That went well, master.

Panel 5.

Outside far shot of the Independent News station. A bus is stopping in front of the station.

Caption: Independent News...

Page Nine

Panel 1.

Same shot, smaller scale, the bus is pulling away, leaving behind a man. Back angled shot of him. He's looking at the building. The man is wearing a brown leather jacket with the collar up, blue jeans and a baseball cap with no logo. He has his hands jammed into the pockets of his jacket.

The Man: Here I am.

Panel 2.

Front shot of the man, who is Dale Turcott, walking forward into the panel towards the Independent News building out of panel. Tall narrow panel.

Title: DALE TURCOTT

Caption: A few weeks ago, Dale Turcott's life changed drastically. He witnessed the murder of a night watchman for the Winnipeg Civic Museum by a group of toughs working for Hi Tech Henchmen.

Caption: His instincts kicked in and his camera started rolling.

Caption: That's when a group of parahumans showed up.

Caption: The parahumans battled the Hi Tech Henchmen in response and soundly defeated them.

Caption: Dale brought this footage to Independent News, his employer, a local independent news station in Winnipeg. The station had remained independent despite offers of buyouts throughout the years. Independent News had a reputation for offering a local look at the news and didn't want to lose that by being swallowed up by some corporate news station.

Panel 3.

Front three-quarter shot. Dale is walking through the front doors of the Independent News building, keeping his head low to let the beak of his cap shadow his features.

Caption: That's why Dale joined Independent News.

Caption: And the story ran of a break-in at the museum by a group of parahumans. The parahumans murdered the night watchman and managed to evade the Hi Tech Henchmen security.

Caption: This skewed version of the story went against the truth. Dale confronted the Independent News manager Bill Bannerman on the issue.

Panel 4.

Back one-quarter shot of Dale. In the background of the panel is a cubicle farm. The farm is split into two equal sides, with the center being a path to the back of the office where the manager's office is. There are two Hi Tech Henchmen agents: one is walking towards the back office; the other is talking to someone in one of the cubicles at the midway point of the cubicle farm. On Dale's left is the receptionist's desk. An East Indian woman in her 30's with a very short pixie haircut mans the desk. She has an telephone earpiece on her head.

Caption: Dale learned that the owner of Hi Tech Henchmen, a man known only as Katharta, purchased the news station to skew news reporting in the city in their favor.

Caption: Bill Bannerman laid Dale off. Hi Tech Henchmen threatened his life. They attempted to kill Willis Tanchuk, a computer hacker that was helping Dale learn Katharta's identity. Willis is still in hiding.

Page Ten

Panel 1.

Side shot. Dale is leaning over the receptionist's desk. She's looking up at him in slight surprise.

Caption: Dale tracked down the parahumans to clear their names. Katharta himself was killed in an altercation with Gideon. With no one running Hi Tech Henchmen, Dale decided to check out his old place of work. In the background of the shot, the second Hi Tech Henchmen is looking directly at Dale.

Receptionist: Dale?

Dale: And that doesn't bode well.

Panel 2.

Dale is leaning over the reception desk in a full front shot. The Hi Tech Henchmen is standing behind Dale, looking down at the receptionist in a scolding gaze. Dale smiles nervously, pleadingly at her.

Panel 3.

Reverse shot of the last panel.

Receptionist: I'm sorry, Mr Johnson, we aren't hiring now. You can try back in three months or leave your resume with us.

Panel 4.

The Hi Tech Henchmen walks away in a far shot.

Panel 5.

Tight one-quarter side shot of Dale and the receptionist. In the far background, the Hi Tech Henchmen can be seen walking between the rows of cubicles.

Receptionist: Dale, what are you doing here?

Dale: What are these yahoos still doing here, Tessa?

Receptionist (Tessa): What do you mean, Dale? The owner of Hi Tech Henchmen bought the station. You were here when...

Tessa: Where were you, Dale?

Dale: They want me dead. Their owner... never mind.

Page Eleven

Panel 1.

Three-quarter shot side shot. Dale is leaning to keep his eyes on the Hi Tech Henchmen, who is visible at the end of the row of cubicles leaning in to talk to someone.

Dale: Is Bannerman here?

Tessa: No, he's not. Didn't you hear? He was let go.

Dale: Well, that's good. I expected something worse.

Panel 2.

Back angled shot. Snapshot is watching the Independent News station from the rooftop of a building across the street, two stories up.

Caption: Outside of the Independent News building stands Snapshot...

Snapshot (thinking): Returning to work are we? What were you doing that lost you your job, Turcott? So curious...

Panel 3.

Large panel. Full shot. Back at the mansion, Host is running mystical energy over El Tigre, who stands in a circle drawn into the wood floor. He is basically washing Joaquin with the energy. Joaquin is shirtless. Sulan and Ricky stand by. Sulan holds Joaquin's shirt.

Title: JOAQUIN

Host: This ritual is a cleansing one. It removes traces of magic on a person... sort of like a magical lint brush.

Ricky: I see. So he'll be okay once he leaves this house? He will be purged of any lingering mystical traces of the Symka tablets?

Host: That's right, Ricky.

Ricky: Have you performed this ritual before? I don't remember reading up on this spell.

Panel 4.

Tighter shot of Host and Ricky talking in foreground in a 1/4 shot. Sulan is watching Joaquin in the background. The energy around Joaquin is starting to dissipate.

Host (thinking): How perceptive, Ricky.

Host: I thought I would save this one for later.

Joaquin: I don't care if it works or not at this point, Host.

Page Twelve

Panel 1.

Three-quarter shot of the four of them with Joaquin and Host in the foreground. Sulan is handing Joaquin his shirt.

Joaquin: I just need to get out of her, get back to my job, and get back to normal.

Host: You'll be fine, Joaquin...

Panel 2.

Tight three-quarter shot of Joaquin and Host. Joaquin is pulling his shirt on.

Host: ...except for the burden on your soul.

Joaquin: It's my burden to bear... for letting Gideon do what he did. It was my choice...

Panel 3.

Full shot of both men standing opposite of one another. Joaquin looks sorry.

Panel 4.

Three-quarter shot of both men. Joaquin looks sad and grateful.

Joaquin: Thank you, Host. You've been a great help... really. I'm sorry we pulled you into all this.

Panel 5.

Far shot. Joaquin leaves the room. Ricky and Sulan stand behind Host. Ricky is in the forefront the most. Host looks sad and depressed and regretful. He has failed everyone by letting Gideon kill Katharta. What's worse is that he feels really guilty... because deep down he knows Gideon made the right choice, a choice Host himself would never have made.

Panel 6.

Ricky walks up to Host. Sulan is also close-by but letting Ricky speak.

Ricky: Do you really think they should have just let Katharta go instead of killing him?

Host: Ricky... with all the power we had on hand, Gideon could have stopped and held back... and we could have contained Katharta.

Page Thirteen

Panel 1.

Tighter shot of the three. Host looks incredibly doubtful.

Ricky: And how would you have contained him?

Host: I... well, I could have created a... a binding spell...

Sulan: Master, the binding spell works against creatures. Do you have a spell to bind people?

Host: Well... not really.

Ricky: I see. Does Gideon know some sort of spell to bind magic users? Did he have the capability to hold Katharta?

Panel 2.

Close-up shot of Host's face. In his face is failure.

Host: No.

Panel 3.

Full side angled shot. Gideon is standing in front of an old rustic table. On the table is the tablet on top of the cape.

Caption: Elsewhere in Host's home...

Gideon: All of this trouble for you. And what you can do, no one knows... except for us. Joaquin said he became intimate with the tablets... I'm not sure what that means. I need to talk to him. But no one really wants me around.

Panel 4.

Far shot of Stick, out of costume walking into the room. He's wearing a T-shirt of some music band and white pants. Gideon is in the shot in a three-quarter. He is turning to acknowledge Stick. Gideon looks emotionally spent still. Stick looks confused, having trouble processing the fact his teammate killed someone, yet feeling a sense of familiarity with it.

Stick: Gideon? We need to talk.

Gideon: Hey, Stick. We do, don't we?

Stick: How are you coping?

Panel 5.

Three-quarter shot. Stick has moved into the room and is looking at Gideon, a little nervous. Gideon is buried within his own mind, clouded with the events.

Gideon: Coping? I'm unnerved. Yes, we have the tablet, but I feel the danger is high still.

Stick: That's... not what I mean. Your father is dead, Gideon. And you killed him. That must be hard.

Panel 6.

Close-up of Gideon's face. He is defeated emotionally and can't talk about that.

Gideon: I... don't want to talk about that.

Page Fourteen

Panel 1.

Side three-quarter shot. Stick is trying hard to explain what he has to say, using his hands to emote. Gideon is really surprised by all this and angry that Stick would dare.

Stick: Are you sure? I know where you're coming from, Gideon. I understand the guilt you feel...

Gideon: You know nothing of my father! He was a vile man! You don't know what he was capable of and what he would have done had he succeeded in acquiring all of the tablets.

Stick: Yes I do. Joaquin and I spoke. You don't know what he found about the Symka tablets.

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot of Gideon, his anger diffusing somewhat, but replaced with confusion.

Gideon: What are you saying?

Panel 3.

Three-quarter shot of both men. Look of shock on Gideon's face.

Stick: The tablets weren't going to grant Katharta any power. In fact, they would resurrect Manapatapoo.

Panel 4.

Overhead shot of the street. Dale is walking down the street, hands crammed into his pockets. Overhead is Snapshot, following Dale from the rooftops.

Snapshot (thinking): Where are you going, Turcott? Are you going to give me some clue as to what you're up to?

Panel 5.

Reverse of the last shot, slight worm's eye view.

Dale (thinking): Bannerman got out. I was worried about him.

Dale (thinking): I'm worried about everyone at Independent News. How long will it take for Katharta's people to react to all this. Will they sell the news station? Are Katharta's people going to keep ahead with their orders of running the place?

Dale (thinking): Do they even know he died? I mean, there was no body.

Panel 6.

Three-quarter shot of Snapshot. He is leaping from one rooftop to the next, in an non-powered athletic long jump.

Page Fifteen

Panel 1.

Outside shot of Lesnar's gym. The front is a row of windows showing the inside of the gym.

Caption: Lesnar's Gym...

Joaquin (out of panel, inside the gym): How are things with you, Joaquin?

Panel 2.

Far shot, inside the gym. Joaquin is with the owner of Lesnar's Gym, Chuck Lesnar, a beefy guy, about 5'10" with jet black hair and a great tan. There are lots of workout machines in the shot, and there about 3 people working out. Joaquin is wearing an orange tank top and running shorts.

Joaquin: Okay, Chuck... you?

Chuck: Business has been all right. Not one of our better years but all right. I'm hoping things pick up this month.

Joaquin: I'm sure they will, Chuck, have faith. Did you break your bench limit yet?

Panel 3.

Full shot of the two speaking. In the distance, a larger balding man is exiting the change rooms. Chuck is pointing him out to Joaquin. The man is holding up a hand to Joaquin to let him know he's ready.

Chuck: Nah. It's like I've hit a plateau, you know. I can't break that 400 hundred pound mark.

Chuck: Hey, there's Dukes. Keep up the good work with him, eh? He's looking great.

Joaquin: Will do.

Panel 4.

Full shot. Joaquin walks towards the man (Herman Dukes).

Joaquin (thinking): You know, this is probably what I need. Chuck runs a classy place. He's a good guy and he gave me a job when I really needed one. And Herman Dukes... Chuck's right. I can see a definite improvement in him.

Panel 5.

Three-quarter side shot of both men, shaking hands. Herman seems quite happy.

Joaquin: Herman! Looking good.

Herman: You think so, Joaquin? You've been pushing me hard. I really appreciate it.

Joaquin: Nonsense, Herman. You've been putting in the sweat here in the gym. I'm just a guide.

Herman: Not to dilly-dally, but I'm pumped to get started. What are we doing today?

Panel 6.

Dukes sits in the bench for the exercise, with Joaquin standing behind him, spotting him.

Joaquin: Let's start with some light shoulder press, to get you shoulders warmed up. We don't want to re-aggravate your old injury.

Panel 7.

Side angled one-quarter shot of Joaquin. He is spotting Herman. Herman has started doing some reps.

Joaquin (thinking): Dukes really appreciates my helping him out here. I know it's my job as his personal trainer, but still... this is worth it for me. After my helping Gideon kill his father... I need something worthwhile, if only to get my mind off it.

Panel 8.

Side angled shot. Herman has the bar over his head and is struggling with it. Joaquin is snapping out of daydreaming.

Joaquin (thinking): Did I do the right thing? Maybe we could have just stopped him. My god... I helped kill a man.

Herman: Joaquin?

Herman: Joaquin!

Joaquin: Sorry, Herman.

Page Sixteen

Panel 1.

Full shot. Joaquin is resting the bar on the rack of the machine, letting it down gently. It's obvious the weight of the bar is nothing to Joaquin. Herman is standing up from the bench.

Herman: Something bothering you? You want to talk about it?

Joaquin: Herman, although I appreciate the offer...

Herman: Hey, I think we've got a bond here.

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot. Joaquin is taking off the plates off the bar. Herman looks excited a little to be able to offer something back.

Herman: I feel I can trust you with just about anything with how you're helping me out... Why don't you share a little bit back? Trust me, you'll feel better if you get it off your chest.

Herman: What's the matter, fall in love with some gal or something?

Panel 3.

Three-quarter shot, Herman and Joaquin talking. They are moving over to a rack of dumbbells.

Joaquin: My friend's dad... died. I'm having a hard time with it. I hated the guy.

Herman: And your friend? He get along with his dad?

Joaquin: Not at all.

Panel 4.

Herman is grabbing two small dumbbells from the rack.

Herman: It's okay to feel guilty. It's natural. Trust me, when my sister's mother-in-law passed away, my sister was happy as a clam. She hated her, too. But she felt guilty about feeling that way. It's what makes us human.

Panel 5.

Far shot of Silver sitting at a table inside Josie's bar, a local pub/restaurant. She's nursing a ginger ale. She is deep in thought.

Silver (thinking): I think I got through to her. She has this self-loathing that was so ingrained in her. But her thoughts were so dark...

Panel 6.

Far shot of Dale outside of Josie's across the street waiting for traffic to clear so he can cross the street. Across the street from him on the same side as Josie's, on a rooftop of a three story building is Snapshot, still following along.

Caption: "But using my telepathy I was able to find her hidden within herself and pull it out. I know there are still all the physical aspects of her anorexia, but the hospital can deal with that. I think her mind was the main problem. She was spiraling out of control."

Panel 7.

Dale is opening the door to Josie's, entering. Snapshot is also in the panel, leaping across to the top of Josie's building.

Caption: "Now what I did today, did that violate her in any way? After that rant I suffered from Dale*, he really got me thinking about how I use my powers. Without them I wouldn't be making a living as a psychologist."

*Editor's Note: Dale got angry with Silver for her using her Telepathy to mind control a Hi Tech Henchmen.

Panel 8.

Dale is walking down a row of table booths towards Silver, sitting at her table. She sees him and brightens up.

Silver (thinking): Is that a crutch? No, I don't think so. What I did today was potentially save this girl's life with a little nudge of my telepathy. Is that so wrong?

Silver (thinking): Dale!

Dale: Hi... Val? Is that right?

Silver: Yes. Val works for me. It is my name... well sort of my real name. I just want to forget Silver for now. He sits.

Page Seventeen

Panel 1.

Full shot. Dale sits down. Silver offers him an uncomfortable smile.

Dale: So? This is your dime.

Val: Dale... I wanted to talk about what you said to me, about my taking over that Hi Tech Henchmen's mind.

Dale: I'm listening.

Val: I think you made some valid points. I think maybe I'm a little... confused about my power. I've had this telepathy all my life... or at least as far back as I can remember. I think I unconsciously scan people's minds, like someone might read body language. I...

Panel 2.

Side three-quarter shot, sitting across from each other.

Dale: And are you reading my mind, Val? Right now?

Val: No. I've been thinking about it, about whether I do it or not. I think I do. I am violating people's privacy. I have no invitation to their mind. I think it's natural to do it. Or at least that's the way my mind works. The last few days... I've been trying to suppress it. When I speak with someone, I forcefully close my mind to prevent picking up stray mental signals from anyone.

Val: It was exhausting.

Panel 3.

Same shot.

Dale: But we're talking someone's privacy, Val!

Dale: And that was nothing compared to you actually taking someone's mind over! You could have caused damage to them. In fact, you put that person's life in physical danger by bringing him into the Hi Tech Henchmen headquarters. You know what Katharta does to people who fail him?

Dale: You were handing this poor soul into their hands.

Val: Dale, I think this really skirts the lines. I UNDERSTAND THAT!

Panel 4.

Val leans forward, whispering.

Val: Gideon killed his father in cold blood. I have a lot of questions about myself after all of this. I'm confused about everything.

Dale: And no one's called the police... or turned themselves in for this. Not only is Gideon a murderer, but you are all accomplices.

Val: Yes... I know you're right. And I think maybe I've been involved with the Symka tablets for far too long.

Panel 5.

One-quarter shot of Val's face.

Val: There is one tablet left, Dale. If we turn ourselves in, what's to become of them all? What's to stop someone from capturing them all and being far worse than Katharta? I'm sorry, Dale, there are things higher than the law.

Panel 6.

Three-quarter shot of Dale, leaning back in his seat, evaluating Val.

Dale: I see.

Panel 7.

Outside Lesnar's Gym, Joaquin is leaving. It is evening. Joaquin is waving to Herman who is already walking away down the street (and is waving back).

Joaquin: I want to see you back in here 2 days, Dukes!

Herman: You better be ready for it, Joaquin!

Joaquin: Uh... thanks for the talk, Herman.

Panel 8.

Front full shot. It is cold out now and Joaquin has his hands jammed into his pockets to keep them warm. There is a darkened shape behind him, a little taller than him. It appears to be a larger man but because of the shadows, none of the details can be made out. The shape extends a hand out towards Joaquin. Joaquin is completely unaware of him.

Joaquin (thinking): That was nice of Herman. He really tried to give back to me for helping him get into shape. I had to gloss over the details a little, but even so, it still felt good to offload some of this off my chest.

Page Eighteen

Panel 1.

The hand rests on his shoulder.

The man: Hang on, one second there.

Panel 2.

Joaquin whirls around. With no thought, he bats the hand away and throws a punch at the person, snapping a fist into his face. The man is Watchman, but only part of his features can be made out in this panel.

Fx: SMASH!

Panel 3.

Full shot of Watchman standing there, rubbing his face. He is more or less unhurt. Joaquin is in battle stance in front of him, realizing who this is and regretting striking him.

Watchman: That's some punch, El Tigre.

Joaquin: WATCHMAN!

Panel 4.

Side angled three-quarter shot. Joaquin looks worried. Watchman is a little impressed.

Watchman: It's okay. I deserved that for sneaking up on you. You were deep in thought there. Does it have anything to do with what happened with Gideon?

Joaquin: You heard?

Watchman: I called Host. He said you took off. A little detective work led me to Lesnar's.

Watchman: I figured you had to be working out somewhere to maintain your physique. Didn't take long to find the right gym. Also didn't hurt that Chuck is an old friend of mine.

Watchman: I used to work out here back in the day. Come on. Let's walk.

Panel 5.

Side three-quarter shot of the two of them walking. The cold doesn't seem to bother Watchman at all, but Joaquin is struggling a little with it.

Watchman: And yes, Host filled me in with what happened. I also noticed nothing was listed with the police. What happened to Katharta's body.

Joaquin: Are you taking me in?

Watchman: We're just talking, El Tigre. That's all.

Panel 6.

Side one-quarter shot. Joaquin looks shocked.

Joaquin: His body disappeared. All that was left were the clothes on his back.

Watchman: He's probably still alive.

Joaquin: What?

Watchman: I said he's probably still alive.

Joaquin: I heard you...

Panel 7.

Far shot. Watchman is pointing to a club up ahead called Dance. It's a three floor multiplex club. It is expensive and huge. There's a massive line filled with people not dressed for the weather

Watchman: Look, Dance is up ahead. Let me...

Watchman: Can I get you to buy me a drink?

Page Nineteen

Panel 1.

Inside Dance, it is packed with wall to wall people. This is a dance club, with a lighted dance floor, cages with stairs leading up to them with women dancing in them. Amid all this is Watchman and Joaquin standing at the edge of the room in a far, far shot. Both of them have drinks.

Caption: A few minutes later, Watchman gets them both in past the line when the bouncer recognizes Watchman.

Watchman: Man, I missed the city. I didn't get to hang out too much when I was working for Bryan and Bryce.

Joaquin: Where were you?

Watchman: Los Angeles. A few years ago I went out there on the trail of some kiddie porn ring.

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot of the two of them.

Joaquin: Really? I thought you were some high profile...

Watchman: No. I gave that up. That part is over. I'm fighting real crimes now.

Joaquin: Some people said you ran away.

Panel 3.

Side shot of the two of them. Watchman looks dead serious. He is staring straight ahead.

Watchman: I know. That's what people thought. I didn't give a damn. Who cares what people thought?

Joaquin: Not everybody thought that. Some thought you died. I held out hope for you. I knew there was no way you stopped.

Watchman: I can't stop. I tried. It's just never worked.

Panel 4.

Side one-quarter shot. Watchman is looking at Joaquin.

Watchman: Enough about me, though.

Joaquin: I was asking you a question before... you think Katharta's alive?

Watchman: Listen, kid... those types never go away. And with all that magic hocus pocus, you never know. I know all of you... even Host... has got all their panties in a knot over Gideon killing him.

Watchman: He was scum and there was no way to stop him this time. If he did survive, you can figure a better way next time. Sometimes... sometimes you need to break the rules... or make your own.

Panel 5.

Side shot, opposite side from last panel.

Joaquin: Silver and Stick are pissed at Gideon, and at me. They feel like we played them both in this.

Watchman: Deep down, though, they know this had to be done.

Page Twenty

Panel 1.

Full shot. Across the bar from Joaquin and Watchman is the actress Jane Murphy. She is wearing a very mini-skirt, a wrap around her breasts. She's teased her hair so it's a little bigger than before. She is surrounded by a throng of fans, many of them men who are sexually attracted to her. Jane is sipping a Pina Colada.

Caption: Meanwhile on the other side of Dance, Jane Murphy, Hollywood actress in Winnipeg getting ready for the shooting of the upcoming movie The Husband is getting bored...

Jane: You know I can't give you any details about the movie. You will all have to wait until it comes out. I don't want to spoil it for you. Trust me: you'll love it!

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot. Jane is pushing her way through the crowd, looking around. One man is holding her hand, asking her for another dance. The man is wearing low riding gangster pants with his boxers showing and white tank top, and a bandana on his head. He is very attractive with a lean muscular build.

Man: One more dance, Jane! One more! I have this move to show you... it'll get you real hot!

Jane: Sorry, I need to rest my feet, but thanks for the dance.

Jane (thinking): You're one year behind the fashion scene. I get hit on by hundreds of men who look and dress just like you.

Panel 3.

Back three-quarter shot, over Jane's shoulder of the dance floor. It is full with dancing people. Jane is pulling her hand free from the Man and breaking for the dance floor. Jane is looking back at the man and basically trying to get away. She isn't afraid, just annoyed at the whole thing.

Man: But Jane... I love you! I've seen all your movies.

Panel 4.

Far shot. Watchman is leaning against the wall. Joaquin is walking forward, depositing his glass at a table.

Joaquin: Hold that thought. Let me get us some drinks.

Watchman: I'll be here holding the wall up.

Panel 5.

Full shot. Jane, not looking where she is going, bumps into Joaquin, dumping his drink on him.

Joaquin: HEY!

Page Twenty-One

Panel 1.

Three-quarter side angled shot. Jane is trying to wipe the drink off of Joaquin with her hands, very sorry. She is also noticing Joaquin at the same time, sort of checking him out in this panel. Joaquin is not in the least checking her out. He is oblivious to her beauty.

Jane: I'm so sorry. I didn't look where I was going. I was trying to get away from someone.

Joaquin: It's... uh... it's okay. Don't worry about it.

Panel 2.

Three-quarter side angled shot. Jane is really noticing Joaquin in this panel. She finds him very attractive physically and also because he is playing hard to get (she thinks). He is still oblivious and really just wants to move on. He is fact trying to move past her without being rude about it.

Jane: I feel bad about it... Let me buy you a drink.

Joaquin: A drink?

Joaquin (thinking): I am pretty low on cash...

Joaquin: I don't know... no, that's not necessary...

Jane: Yes it is. Do you want to leave me feeling guilty the rest of the night? Do you?

Panel 3.

One-quarter shot side shot, the two of them facing each other. Joaquin is starting to look a little annoyed, but not uncomfortable.

Joaquin: I honestly don't care. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to buy my own drink.

Panel 4.

Joaquin brushes past her towards the bar, leaving her watching him walk away. She is checking him out.

Jane: Fine then.

Jane (thinking): Playing hard to get? You aren't like these other guys here, are you? I think you've got something special.

Page Twenty-Two

Panel 1.

Far, far slight bird's eye view shot. A group of people are moving up to surround Jane. The group is about 10 people, 7 of which are female. She is still watching Joaquin, who is at the bar. Joaquin is at the bar ordering.

From the group: Jane! Jane! Would you dance with me?

From the group: Jane! I'm your biggest fan! Can I get your autograph?

From the group: I have a tattoo of you! Let me show you!

Jane (thinking): I want to know where you got those beautiful buns of steel, mystery man.

Panel 2.

Tight one-quarter shot of Jane, surrounded by the group. She is peering over the shoulders and heads on one side to see Joaquin crossing the floor past them.

Jane: Everybody, everybody. Take it easy. I'll sign your autographs.

Jane: But I won't dance with any of you. I already have my eyes on someone and I don't want to make him jealous.

Panel 3.

Large panel. Far, far shot. Joaquin has met back up with Watchman and is handing him a drink.

Joaquin: Here you go.

Watchman: You know her?

Joaquin: Know who?

Watchman: Jane Murphy?

Joaquin: Jane who?

Watchman: Ever been to a movie, Joaquin? That's Jane Murphy! The actress! You friends with her?

Joaquin: Never met her before...

Watchman: Well, she had google eyes for you. Why don't you go over there right now...

Joaquin: No.

Panel 4.

Tighter three-quarter shot of both men.

Joaquin: We were talking. Who cares about her. With everything going on, some hussy is the least of my concerns. I need to figure some things out.

Watchman: Understood. Look, I understand how you feel about the whole thing. I thought bringing you here would be a good way to shake some of it off. Have a couple of drinks...

Joaquin: I won't be stopping at a couple of drinks...

Watchman: ...and stop thinking about what happened. Look, Stick and Silver are from a different school obviously. They don't really understand the full scope of all this. None of you do. It took me a long time to learn, Joaquin... to understand.

Panel 5.

One-quarter shot of both men.

Watchman: This is all about making hard decisions. And it isn't always going to be easy.

Watchman: But it doesn't mean giving up either.

Joaquin: I'm not giving up anything.

Watchman: No... but you're afraid that Stick and Silver may just turn Gideon in... and maybe even you.

Joaquin: These tablets...

Jane (off-panel): Excuse me...

Panel 6.

Three-quarter shot of Jane, holding up two drinks. She has a sexy smile on her face.

Jane: Somebody order a drink?

Caption: Next issue... more Jane Murphy? Oh yeah there is! You won't believe what she has in store for Joaquin. Plus guest stars Watchman and Host. We'll reveal a little more about Snapshot. And Bryce makes a decision. Will the team survive Gideon's evil act? See us in 30.

Editor's Note:

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