Symka: Part 26

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2005

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"You think he's using us... that he's going to betray us in the end"

Page 1

Splash.

Shot of the Winnipeg skyline with the top of Blue Moon/Pitawa's penthouse apartment as the centerpiece. Flares of energy light up the streets below, several blocks from the building (where Pitawa is fighting one squad of the CST off-panel). A large steep stairway made up of dirt scales up to a large picture window on the 40th floor, shattered wide open.

Caption: Moments ago, the incredibly powerful levels of Pitawa's power, generally kept hidden by the deity, sent ripples to more sensitive individuals.

Caption: Giganto of the Canadian government task force called the "Canadian Super Team" by the media; a Mutate armed with a danger sense among other powers perceived the flare up of Pitawa's power. The Canadian Super Team was dispatched in two groups.

Caption: Giganto, Jack, REM, and Host, the veterans of the team sought out Pitawa.

Caption: The rookies of the team, Sara Diamond, Slade, and Turtle were diverted by the body of Ares falling from a 40th story penthouse window. Ares lies broken on the concrete sidewalk, as the rookie members of the CST seek out the individuals that sent Ares to his apparent death:

Caption: Silver, Dale Turcott, and El Tigre.

Title: THE EXTENT OF A MAN'S COURAGE

Page 2

Panel 1.

Large panel. Pan out from the last page to a rooftop of a building two blocks away from Pitawa's building. El Tigre has both Stick and Dale Turcott under his arms and running across the rooftop towards the front of the panel. Silver in her eagle form flies next to El Tigre, just up and over his shoulder. They are panicked and looking over their shoulders at Pitawa's penthouse.

Caption: After Gideon abandoned them, Stick, Silver and El Tigre were left to fight Pitawa's minions Ares, Link, and Hypnos alone.

Caption: In the battle, Link, a high-ranking telepath attacked Stick with a mental bolt that shut down his brain, killing him.

Caption: Dale Turcott, assisted by the former minion of Pitawa Casino, was able to turn the tides of battle to their favour and gain victory upon Pitawa's myrmidons.

Panel 2.

El Tigre leaps in a massive arc from the rooftop to another rooftop two buildings away. Silver lags behind a little but is still following.

Caption: The remains of what was Ares are sent plummeting out of a 40th story window.

Panel 3.

El Tigre sets Dale down. Silver is using her wings to create a backdraft to slow herself down.

Silver: Dale? Where is that ally of yours? The one who helped us win that fight?

Dale: I don't know. He vanished just after we sent that creep out the window.

Panel 4.

Silver lands on a brick chimney a few feet away. El Tigre is laying Stick down on the ground.

Silver: His name was Ares.

Dale: Whatever... I'm glad he's out of our hair.

Silver: He's dead, Dale. That fall would have killed him.

Page 3

Panel 1.

Dale looks at Silver, seeing her struggle with someone dying and justification that it was one of Stick's murderers. El Tigre is looking down at Stick, sorrow all over his face. He is pulling his mask off.

Dale: Dead? I didn't mean...

Silver: He and that little runt Link killed Stick! It's... it's no less than he deserves.

Panel 2.

El Tigre is crouched over Stick's body looking up at the other two. Silver is in her eagle form on the edge of the rooftop.

El Tigre: Are you sure he's dead, Silver? Could you... couldn't you try to kickstart his mind?

Panel 3.

Close-up shot of El Tigre. As stoic as he is, he is betraying himself with the pain in his eyes.

Panel 4.

Close-up of Silver. She knows El Tigre just won't quit and is not willing to accept Stick is dead, even though she has already tried to revive him.

Panel 5.

She shapechanges into her human form right into El Tigre's arms.

Panel 6.

They hug and weep with Dale watching on, ever the outsider.

Page 4

Panel 1.

Front full shot. Large panel. Gideon emerges through the front shattered window of a floral shop. His "costume" is torn and he is covered in numerous small cuts from the glass. But he is resolute and standing strong. He is ready to fight.

Caption: Meanwhile, Gideon faces his own inner turmoil.

Caption: Facets of his father's personality are with him, implanted in his very essence when he murdered his own father Manus Katharta.

Caption: It was Manus' personality that forced Gideon to run from his friends and leave them at the mercy of Pitawa's minions.

Panel 2.

Far shot. Larger panel. Giganto taking large strides towards Pitawa. REM and Host are firing off blasts at the 30 foot tall Pitawa, who is retreating backwards from the attacks. Jack is hanging onto Pitawa's ankle. Gideon is walking resolutely towards the fight. He is coming into the panel in a 3/4 shot.

Caption: And now, his friend Host with his group the Canadian Super Team are fighting for their life against Pitawa. Host, who has done nothing but help Gideon all along.

Gideon: NO!

Page 5

Panel 1.

One-quarter shot of Pitawa. He turns his head towards Gideon (off-panel). He is trying to hold back a smile.

Pitawa: Manus?

Panel 2.

Full shot. Gideon double-armed blasts Pitawa (at his upper body - so as not to hurt any of the others). The energy is not emerald green any longer, but a deep forest green, tainted with Manus Katharta's crimson magic. Pitawa actually reels from the impact. The CST are standing back, surprised at the power level displayed by Gideon

Fx: ZZZZOTTT!

Panel 3.

Small Panel. Full shot. Jack smashes Pitawa's foot in.

Panel 4.

The impact of Jack and Gideon on Pitawa forces him back, crashing sideways into the building behind him, his large frame crushing a large section of it under his weight.

Page 6

Panel 1.

Host is moving towards Gideon, a look of shock on his face. Gideon's hair color has darkened. Energy glows from his hands. Host is fully aware of the tainted magic radiating from Gideon. Gideon is in the moment.

Host: Gideon? Gideon! Are you okay?

Gideon: No! Never again. Back off, Host.

Panel 2.

Host stands between Gideon and his target, holding a hand out to stop Gideon.

Host: Stop! Gideon... you're wielding magical energies you shouldn't be... that you shouldn't have...

Panel 3.

Small panel. Gideon looks down at his hands, the tainted green energy bleeding from his hands. There's a moment of surprise for Gideon.

Panel 4.

He screams to the skies, concentrating on the energy coming from him... He has his hands out to the sides.

Gideon: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

Fx: SHHHHHHHHHHHWOOOOOOO ---

Panel 5.

The energy is a crisp emerald green again and instead of bleeding out of him, it's flowing out of him, much more natural. Gideon's features have also returned to normal, including his hair, which is back to blonde.

Fx: OOOOOOOSH!

Page 7

Panel 1.

Sara Diamond, Slade and Turtle are searching the penthouse apartment of Blue Moon. It is in a shambles from the fight there last issue. Sara stands strongly at the center of the panel looking down to her left. She's spotted something. Stick's staff is on the floor before her. Turtle and Slade are walking around.

Turtle: Where'd they go? They were just here.

Slade: Great! Just great. REM* is gonna be pissed at us for losing them.

Sara: Shut up. I found something.

Caption: *Editor's Note: REM is one of the senior members of the CST.

Panel 2.

Sara crouches over Stick's staff to pick it up.

Panel 3.

Small panel, close-up of Sara's hand. She reaches out to it.

Panel 4.

One-quarter shot. She picks it up, waves of energy float up her arm.

Panel 5.

The staff is shocking her, as if with an electrical jolt. Full shot. She is shaking and just letting go of the staff. Slade is reaching for her, worried. Turtle is just starting to move.

Sara: AAAAAH!

Slade: Sara! Let go of it.

Panel 6.

Slade puts an arm around her immense body to support her and doing it poorly. The staff is on the ground at their feet. Turtle is watching with a scientific cold look.

Caption: Sara Diamond lets go of the staff and the waves of energy cease. She is shaken up.

Slade: You okay, Sara?

Turtle: What happened?

Page 8

Panel 1.

Three-quarter shot of Sara remembering the pain of it with Slade watching concerned (obviously there is some sort of relationship there) and Turtle watching quizzically and a little further away in the panel.

Sara: It felt like it touched my very soul and started ripping it apart...

Sara: Whatever it was, it was unearthly.

Panel 2.

Turtle is back to work looking around. This scene isn't as important as to finding out what happened here.

Turtle: Well whatever it was, they obviously left it behind to stall us. And it worked. We got skunked. Maybe we can find a clue as to where they went.

Panel 3.

Rooftop of a building. El Tigre is seated, leaning against a brick chimney, his mask off. He has been crying. Silver is in her bird form, trying to reach Stick mentally. Dale is pacing nervously. In the background, not really noticeable is Snapshot, in the shadows listening intently.

Caption: Meanwhile...

Dale: We can't just stay here. Gideon's betrayed you. We need to get back to Host's and secure the tablets.

Panel 4.

El Tigre, enraged, looks up and shouts at Dale:

El Tigre: AND DO WHAT WITH THEM, DALE?

Panel 5.

El Tigre is getting to his feet, pointing an accusatory finger at Dale. Dale is standing his ground. In the background, behind a chimney and barely visible, the head of Snapshot peers out from behind it.

El Tigre: You've been riding Gideon since day one, questioning his loyalty. You think he's using us... that he's going to betray us in the end.

Dale: Look at the facts! He left you behind to die? And for what? Where is he even?

Dale: You shouldn't trust him!

Caption (this is at the bottom of the panel, underneath Panel 6): Little do they know, Snapshot is watching...

Panel 6.

Small panel inserted into Panel 5. Tight close-up. Shocked look on Dale's face.

El Tigre (off-panel): Maybe you're the one that shouldn't be trusted!

Panel 7.

This panel looks like a photograph falling, with bent edges, almost falling out of panel 5. Behind a chimney, Snapshot is spying the scene.

Snapshot (thinking): That's the ticket.

Page 9

Panel 1.

The rest of the CST are still in battle. Pitawa is raising himself up from the building with one hand, using the building as leverage as Giganto pounds on his torso with a right hook (which is as high as he can reach). Jack takes a swing at Pitawa's foot again. REM is skating around Pitawa on his rocket rollerblades, blasting away at Pitawa. In the front of the shot, Gideon stands watching, deciding on his plan of attack. Host is at his side reassuring him.

Host: Gideon? Are you all right?

Gideon: I appreciate your concern... but now's not the time. I need to deal with Pitawa.

Panel 2.

Gideon fires two shots below and behind himself, propelling himself him skyward.

Host: Wait a minute... I?

Panel 3.

Angled aerial shot. Gideon lands on the rooftop of a building, directly across the street from Pitawa and the CST.

Gideon: PITAWA!

Panel 4.

Pitawa jams an elbow into Giganto's face. Pitawa is focusing his attention on Gideon.

Pitawa: My dear Manus. You know you stand no chance against me.

Pitawa: And neither does your son's friends. They aid you blindly and falsely when you are the true threat.

Page 10

Panel 1.

Gideon on the rooftop blasts with both arms, flaring emerald green energy that catches Pitawa in the face.

Fx: ZZOT!

Gideon: SHUT UP!

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot of Gideon, energy smoking from his hands and eyes.

Gideon: If Manus was in control of me, dear great-grandfather, would I be wielding the emerald magic so purely.

Panel 3.

Pitawa starts to shrink, reduced in size by about 10 feet. The CST are waiting to see how this plays out. Pitawa is surprised.

Gideon: The CST are not fools, Pitawa. You won't fool them with petty manipulations!

Panel 4.

Full shot of Host. He points to Pitawa who is far back in the panel, looking up at Gideon (off-panel).

Host: NOW! NOW! NOW!

Page 11

Panel 1.

All of them attack Pitawa, as Pitawa's uncertainty matches his decrease in size. He is now a mere 10 feet in height. Gideon is on the roof across the street, blasting away. Giganto slams a hard fist across Pitawa's head. REM and Host are blasting away with their laser and bowshots.

Caption: The attack is relentless. Pitawa doesn't even raise a hand to protect himself.

Panel 2.

Gideon motions with his hands over the edge of the roof. His hands glow green.

Caption: With Pitawa's size exponentially shrinking with the barrage he is suffering through,...

Panel 3.

Far shot. Gideon jumps over the edge of the roof, landing on an emerald platform disc (that's what he created last panel). There are three others diagonally from this one, leading all the way down to the street.

Caption: ... Gideon decides to take it to the streets.

Panel 4.

Street level, far shot. Pitawa is down to one knee and at regular height. He is surrounded. Giganto, REM and Jack are wailing on him with their fists pounding into Pitawa like sledgehammers

Caption: And the onslaught continues.

Page 12

Panel 1.

Wide panel. Low 1/4 shot of Gideon's feet. He is moving towards the scrap.

Caption: But this is Gideon's fight.

Panel 2.

Wide panel. Gideon is running towards the fight now in a far shot (panned out from the last shot). In the forefront of the panel, Pitawa ducks an arrow shot from Host, which strikes REM (and seems to daze him). Pitawa also grabs REM by the leg. The fight is too close for Gigango to get in a shot in this panel. Jack reels back a fist.

Fx: ZZOT!

Panel 3.

Wide panel. Panning out to an overhead shot. Gideon is getting closer, building emerald energy in his hands. Pitawa flings REM at Giganto. With his other hand, he catches Jack's fist that's being thrown at him.

Fx: SMASH!

Page 13

Panel 1.

Giganto is reeling from the impact as REM falls to the ground. Pitawa is still holding Jack's fist in his hand while backhanding his face, staggering him. Host lets loose another arrow. The arrow travels through the panel.

Caption: And Pitawa will keep on wrecking the world...

Fx: POW!

Fx: ZZOT!

Panel 2.

Knees bent, a sinister fighting face worn, Pitawa braces for Gideon's attack as he flings Jack away towards Host. Host ducks, narrowly avoids the careening Jack.

Panel 3.

Gideon has large globes of solid energy around his hands. He is running towards Pitawa. Pitawa stands there poised for Gideon's attack.

Caption: ...unless Gideon

Page 14

Splash. Gideon launches a solid uppercut on Pitawa, which breaks the globe around Gideon's fist. The punch lifts Pitawa up from the ground.

Caption: ...stops him.

Fx: SMASH!

Page 15

Panel 1.

Powerful worm's eye shot of Gideon standing over Pitawa. Pitawa is propping himself up on one elbow. Gideon looks all powerful in this shot, and Pitawa looks small. Gideon has a half shattered globe in one fist and a fully formed globe in the other.

Pitawa: So it is true, isn't it Marimus?

Gideon: What did you say?

Panel 2.

Bird's eye view of Pitawa. Although he looks small and defeated in this panel, his eyes are dark, evil and scheming. Gideon's shadow is upon him.

Pitawa: Her plan to destroy me is coming to fruition. In you, Gideon.

Pitawa: In you.

Panel 3.

Close-up shot of Gideon trying to decipher the meaning in Pitawa's words.

Pitawa (off-panel): It is exactly as I planned.

Page 16

Panel 1.

Tight one-quarter shot of Pitawa and his hand, looking down on him, his position in relation to Gideon much more apparent. He is snapping his fingers.

Pitawa: Give her my love will you?

Panel 2.

Full shot. Pitawa has disappeared and Gideon is in shock, looking around for him.

Gideon: No...

Panel 3.

Host stumbles up behind Gideon. Gideon is frantic.

Host: Where'd he go?

Gideon: We have to find him. We have to find him.

Panel 4.

Host and Gideon. Host is trying to reassure Gideon. In the background the members of CST are regaining themselves.

Host: We'll try, Gideon. Don't worry. The CST are good people... they always get the job done.

Gideon: You don't understand, Host...

Panel 5.

Tight one-quarter shot of both men. Side shot of Host looking at Gideon, front angled shot of a worried Gideon.

Gideon: He mentioned my...

Gideon: ...mother.

Gideon: My mother.

Page 17

Panel 1.

El Tigre and Dale Turcott are facing off against one another.

Dale: Maybe I shouldn't be trusted?

Dale: Me?

Dale: The one who got cost his job for clearing your name?

El Tigre: You're accusing Gideon of being directly responsible for Stick's death aren't you?

Panel 2.

Pointing at El Tigre.

Dale: If he had been there, maybe it would have been enough to turn the tide. Maybe he would have been enough to save Stick's life. Maybe he could have taken out that little puke that snuffed out your dear friend.

Dale: Thank god I showed when I did. Who knows who else wouldn't have made it?

Panel 3.

Large panel. El Tigre punches Dale across the face.

El Tigre: SHUT UP!

Fx: SOCK!

Panel 4.

Dale drops straight down.

Panel 5.

El Tigre looks down at Dale.

El Tigre: If it hadn't been for you? It was your story that helped put us where we were. Why Gideon kept you along is beyond me.

Page 18

Panel 1.

El Tigre looking down at Dale.

Panel 2.

El Tigre looks over at Silver, who is with Stick still trying to revive him.

Panel 3.

El Tigre holds his face in his hands.

Panel 4.

Far shot, moments later, El Tigre is leaping off with Stick and Dale under each arm. Silver flies along.

Page 19

Panel 1.

Same shot as last, except that El Tigre and company are further away in a far, far shot. Snapshot runs out from behind the chimney, following along.

Panel 2.

Far shot of Giganto and REM talking to the police. Jack and Host are talking with Gideon in a three-quarter shot. The area around is surrounded in police tape and barricades.

Caption: Meanwhile, at the scene of the battle with Pitawa, members of CST are giving their statement to the police.

Jack: We'll get him, Gideon. It's what we do.

Host: No, Jack. I don't think so. This was Pitawa, the grand-daddy of all evil.

Gideon: We had him. He was on the ropes. It was so close.

Panel 3.

Host, with a hand on Gideon's shoulder. Jack watches them.

Host: Why did he leave the way he did? It was like he could have left at any time. Why did he choose to leave when he did?

Gideon: Because...

Panel 4.

Close-up shot of Gideon, the wheels in his head turning.

Gideon: ... we surprised him. He planned for me to follow him. He planned that I would find him and confront him.

Panel 5.

Side shot of Gideon, looking back at the others as he explains himself.

Gideon: He was toying with me. He's known of my existence all along.

Gideon: The arrival of the CST threw a wrench in his plans.

Page 20

Panel 1.

Jack looking on Gideon suspiciously.

Jack: Toying with you? What do you mean, Gideon?

Voice (off-panel): Jack? Host?

Panel 2.

Slade, Sara Diamond, and Turtle are walking down the street towards Host, Gideon and Jack. Turtle is carrying something wrapped in a piece of Slade's costume. Sara Diamond is carrying Ares in her arms.

Jack: Where were the three of you?

Turtle: Thought we'd stumbled across a jumper. We found this guy splattered against the sidewalk.

Turtle: But he was riddled with bullet holes. Not sure what killed him though. The bullets or the fall...

Panel 3.

Jack looking Ares over. Host is also checking him out. He looks familiar.

Jack: Who is he?

Slade: I don't know. We found the ones that had killed him up in a penthouse building some 40 stories off the street. They got away.

Panel 4.

Host looking at Jack.

Host: Do we know this guy? Something about him... is familiar.

Jack: I know what you're saying...

Gideon (off-panel): He worked for Pitawa.

Panel 5.

Slade is putting Ares down on the ground. Everyone is looking at Gideon.

Gideon: He had two others with him.

Slade: Who is this guy? And what's Pitawa?

Host: Gideon is... friend of mine, Slade. Pitawa is... altogether another story. Needless to say, he's the one Giganto sensed.

Page 21

Panel 1.

Shot of Gideon talking to Host. Turtle is in the background holding the bundle. The bundle contains Stick's staff. The head of the staff is sticking out of the bundle.

Gideon: Host, not that I don't mind you helping me out here, but I can't involve the CST in my fight. It's too dangerous...

Panel 2.

Close-up of the bundle in Turtle's hands.

Gideon (off-panel): What is that?

Panel 3.

Gideon looking menacingly at Turtle. He is pointing at the bundle. Turtle is not sure what to think of Gideon.

Gideon: What is that?

Turtle: This? Jack?

Jack: Tell him. It's okay.

Panel 4.

One-quarter shot of Turtle opening the bundle somewhat to show Stick's staff inside of it.

Turtle: We found it in that penthouse, obviously left behind from the people that killed the jumper. Skin to skin contact is agonizing... like it sucks part of your soul out. Sara Diamond touched it and is still recovering.

Panel 5.

A shared glance between Host and Gideon. They both know whose staff it is.

Host/Gideon (thinking): Stick.

Page 22

Panel 1.

Gideon explaining to Host while motioning for the staff. Turtle is looking at them both and not sure about what they are saying.

Gideon: Host, that staff is mystical and dangerous. We need to keep this away from the others for their own safety.

Turtle: Wait a minute...

Host: I'll take that, Turtle. It's a good thing you found it. In the wrong hands...

Panel 2.

Host takes the staff (rewrapping it and making sure he doesn't make skin contact). Turtle, Slade and Sara Diamond are looking at them questioningly, but being rookies, too afraid to say anything to Host or Jack.

Host: I'll take it back to the mansion. It will be safe there.

Host: Come on, Gideon.

Panel 3.

Far, far shot of Slade, Sara Diamond, and Turtle (who are watching Gideon and Host leave). In the foreground, a portal opens up in the air and a tall golden armoured booted leg steps out, near the body of Ares.

Jack (off-panel): Very strange. Host and Gideon's friendship. He's kept their association secret. He keeps many things secret in his little mansion.

Slade (off-panel): I know we're not senior members, Jack but...

Sara Diamond (off-panel): But something fishy is going on here.

Panel 4.

Out steps a fully armoured (in gold and silver) woman, with an ornately carved helmet. She has a 5 foot tall shield strapped to her back and a long sword with a massive hilt in a sheath, attached to her belt. She is Athena, a member of Strength, and team-mate to Ares. She is beautiful to behold.

Jack (off-panel): Gideon also mentioned something about two others with your jumper.

Sara Diamond (off-panel): There was no one else there, Jack.

Panel 5.

Next shot, Athena exits back through the same portal in the air. Ares is gone (she has taken him).

Slade (off-panel): At least we still have this guy. If we can identify him, maybe we can probe this mystery further. We should talk to REM.

Jack (off-panel): I think Giganto and I need to have a chat with Host. There's something... a lot of things he's not telling us.

Panel 6.

Caption: Gideon learns of Stick's death. Snapshot makes a move. With the team virtually crumbling under itself, do they have a chance to stop Pitawa and whatever plans he has for Gideon's mother? You can't miss next issue.