Symka: Part 30

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2005

Edited by Paolo Angelini for The Guild Companion

"What's in it for me, hair-trigger? You're likely to shoot me in the back the moment these things go down."

Page 1.

Splash page.

The disciple of Lurch stands at the entrance of his Temple, framed on the page on each side by a 50 foot tall earth creature and fire demon. The heroes stand at the forefront of the panel in shock/awe of these creatures that have just come to life. Snapshot's guns are smoking and a transparent force field covers him up to his wrists down to his pelvis, almost like a turtle's shell.

Caption: Gideon, El Tigre, and Silver, flown in a plane by their new "ally" Snapshot, have arrived at Mordo Island upon a temple in the center of the island.

Caption: The temple is the suspected home of the ruler of the island, a powerful magic user by the name of Lurch who has been hiding here from the demon Mordo for decades.

Caption: Upon arriving at the temple, they are greeted by a woman. Snapshot in his eagerness, fires at the woman, unleashing her fury upon them.

Caption: She brings to life to gargantuan statues...

El Tigre: Great going, Snapshot!


Page 2.

Panel 1.

Snapshot rears up his guns again, starting to move forward and aiming. El Tigre, Gideon, Silver and Dale are also in the shot, looking on at this gung ho assassin, not sure what to make of him.

Snapshot: Take her out! She's controlling these things. They should die with her!

Panel 2.

Far, far shot. The earth creature stomps with one large foot at Snapshot who has barely run out of the way in time. Clumps of dirt shake off the creature's leg with the impact and small cloud of dust shapes around its foot.


Panel 3.

Gideon, Silver and Dale in a far shot. Dale is pulling out MAC10 machine guns (small-ish automatic rifles) out of a holster on each hip, running away from Gideon and Silver and looking for appropriate cover. There is a psionic tether between Gideon and Silver. Fire is raining down from the fiery demon, which Gideon is protecting them from with a shield. The impact from the fire actually forces Gideon back a foot which he is bracing himself as best he can against it.

Gideon (thinking): Silver, what Snapshot said is true.

Page 3.

Panel 1.

Tight one-quarter shot of Gideon and Silver. He has his arm up with the shield, almost like an umbrella over them.

Gideon (thinking): She is the one controlling these two creatures.

Silver (thinking): I got you, but this will require some concentration. I can't do it if I'm dodging golems.

Panel 2.

Close-up of the two of them, looking at each other. Gideon is completely serious showing a genuine concern for Silver. He means what he is saying.

Gideon (thinking): I will take care of you. Just do the job. You have to trust me to keep you protected.

Panel 3.

Side one-quarter shot of both of them. Silver is searching Gideon's face, looking for sincerity in his eyes, worried in the back of her mind of this recent dark side of Gideon's.

Panel 4.

Same shot.

Silver (thinking): Okay.

Panel 5.

Far, far shot. El Tigre is leaping up the earth creature's body, almost like a bunny rabbit, using the nooks and crags of the creature to gain height. In the background, Snapshot is being cleverly kept behind both creatures. He is firing upon the fire creature, running through the earth creature's legs.

El Tigre: What are these things? If these aren't the main threat on this island, I'm really worried about going head to head with Lurch.

Snapshot: El Tigre! Get back here! We need to work together to take this thing down!

Page 4.

Panel 1.

Angled Bird's eye view shot to capture El Tigre looking down at Snapshot. El Tigre is leaping down from the top of the creature's shoulder towards the fiery demon, looking back towards Snapshot who has made his way through the creature's legs.

El Tigre: What's in it for me, hair-trigger? You're likely to shoot me in the back the moment these things go down.

Snapshot: Are you crazy?

Panel 2.

The fire creature takes a swipe at El Tigre, missing the leaping hero by several feet. El Tigre is confident in his agility, and unconcerned about the fiery creature. Flame flares around the creature's hand, brushing against El Tigre's backpack.

El Tigre: The day I trust some assassin...

Panel 3.

El Tigre's backpack erupts in flames as he nears the end of his leap, some 10 feet above the ground.

El Tigre: What the?

Panel 4.

El Tigre lands, panicking, flailing his arms.

El Tigre: Aargh!

El Tigre: I'M LIT!

Page 5-6.

Panel 1.

El Tigre has dropped to his knees in the panel, fumbling for the shoulderstraps of the backpack. In a full shot, Snapshot races towards El Tigre, firing away at the fire demon that stands nearby.

Snapshot: Drop El Tigre! Drop!

Snapshot (thinking): Here I am... right place at the right time again... story of my life...

Panel 2.

Snapshot drops the guns, extending the force fields over his hands in a three-quarter shot.

Snapshot (thinking): Look at that backpack smolder... and the creature didn't even touch him.

Panel 3.

Close-up of the lit backpack, with Stick's staff extending up through the top. The wrapping put over the staff partially burnt away, revealing the staff.

Panel 4.

Snapshot tears the backpack off of El Tigre's back with his shielded hands. El Tigre is frozen. Snapshot is gritting his teeth in determination.


Panel 5.

Snapshot throws the backpack into the bush.

Panel 6.

One-quarter shot slight angled shot of Snapshot watching the bush with some smoke rising up from behind it (where the smoldering backpack is located). He is committing its location to memory.

Panel 7.

The fire creature reaches down at them with massive fiery hands, the flames growing large. Snapshot looks up, slightly crouched over El Tigre.

Snapshot: Stay down, this might hurt.

Panel 8.

The creature reaches down with a massive hand overtop of the area that El Tigre and Snapshot were, engulfing the area in flame.


Page 7.

Panel 1.

Dale spies what's happened in a shocked close-up.

Dale: Oh my God!

Panel 2.

Host is facing off against Morpheus who is holding Sulan up over his head, ready to tear her apart with a massive hand clasped around her lower leg and another around her lower arm. Large panel, showcasing Morpheus' immense size over Host.

Caption: We hate to leave El Tigre and company right now, but we have other pressing matter to attend to in downtown Winnipeg...

Host: Let her go, Morpheus!

Morpheus: I know you won't hand over the Symka tablets peacefully... since you have already blasted me once with those infernal eldritch bolts.

Host (thinking): Which I hoped would have been enough to jar her loose from your grip.

Panel 3.

Host holds up a hand in a three-quarter shot. He looks panicked, barely keeping himself in control.

Host: You can't blame a guy for trying. Now put her down and maybe we can discuss this a little.

Panel 4.

Stunned look on Morpheus' face in a close-up in a three-quarter shot. He is distracted by something.

Morpheus: I think the time for discussion is past. An example needs to be made...

Page 8.

Panel 1.

That easily distracted, Morpheus throws Sulan away (in Host's direction). Morpheus seems to be listening/feeling something far off.

Morpheus: What the...?

Panel 2.

Host does his best to couch Sulan's fall, using his entire body.

Panel 3.

Gideon is on the ground trying to get back to his feet, to be ready for Morpheus' next attack in a full shot. Morpheus is looking up somewhat, still sensing something and almost oblivious to Host.

Morpheus: The Staff of Woe!

Panel 4.

Intimidating angle of Morpheus over Host and Sulan. Host is still trying to get Sulan off of him and get to his feet as Morpheus releases a black cloud at them (through the fog around his lower half.

Morpheus: But as I still have a mission to accomplish...

Page 9.

Panel 1.

Morpheus floats off.

Caption: And with that Morpheus leaves Host behind...

Panel 2.

Full shot of Host and Sulan unconscious sprawled on the ground.

Caption: ...unconscious.

Panel 3.

Same shot as last, except with a silhouette over them.

Caption: And not alone...

Voice (off-panel): Morpheus left quickly. But as promised... he left me the tablets... and an unconscious Host.

Panel 4.

It is the Snapshot's employer, the mysterious collector of the Symka tablets. She is crouched over Host and Sulan, pulling the backpack off of Host.

Woman: It is well you cannot see me, Manice. You would know my face and know my intention. And you would try to warn your new friends about me.

Page 10.

Panel 1.

Pan to a far shot of the scene, completely immersed in an illusion. They are invisible. None of the sparse amount of pedestrians take notice.

Woman (off-panel): And the spell of invisibility has kept this entire scene away from any potential innocents.

Panel 2.

Tight shot of the backpack open with 3 Symka tablets inside. The woman's hands are visible keeping it open to view the contents.

Woman: Good, good. All are here but the last one.

Panel 3.

Back shot of the woman. She is putting on the backpack. Her face is not visible.

Woman: And it seems that the proper distraction I asked for from Snapshot has come through.

Panel 4.

Mordo Island, with Gideon and Silver in shock in a full shot. In the background of the panel, the earth creature is advancing on them.

Caption: A moment ago, El Tigre and Snapshot were blasted with a stream of fire from the fire creature. The group fears the worst.

Silver: Joaquin?

Page 11.

Panel 1.

Same shot, but Gideon's eyes turn black.

Panel 2.

Gideon runs off from Silver, forgetting about her safety, and charges the earth creature.

Gideon: I am going to destroy you.

Panel 3.

Far shot of Dale fires off a magazine at the earth creature as Gideon gets closer. Bits and fragments are coming off of the creature from the bullets. The creature stops in its tracks for a moment, appearing confused.

Caption: Despite the tragedy of their teammate, the group still realizes the danger they are in. Gideon and Dale come into action, keeping the earth creature distracted...

Panel 4.

Far shot of the woman motioning with her arms and hands, some arcane ritual animating these two creatures. A psionic representation of Silver shoots out from her body towards the woman.

Caption: ... while Silver sizes up her opponent.

Page 12.

Panel 1.

Silver psionic form slams into the woman's body in a full shot, jumping into her body. The woman physically steps back a step as if assailed from a physical force. This panel merges into the next...

Caption: She slams into the disciple,...

Panel 2.

Silver's psionic form is in the disciple's mind, represented as a stone room with a massive oaken door. Silver has swung the door open in a swift movement. The woman stands rigid, almost lifeless at Silver's frenzy. Behind the woman a shadowy shape is barely visible.

Caption: ...jumping into the woman's psyche, into her mind.

Silver: Enough of this! Stop these creatures now!

Panel 3.

Two large shadowy hands reach out from behind the woman, gripping Silver's arms. Silver is surprised at the attack.

Shadowy creature: No. You shall stop... for a moment.

Panel 4.

Angled frontal shot of Silver, seeing the face of the owner of those arms.

Silver: You? Are you...?

Voice: Of course.

Page 13.

Panel 1.

Large panel. Lurch, the owner of the shadowy arms, floats over Silver. These arms are not his arms, just an extension from his cape. The disciple simply stands there, like a zombie. Lurch is impressive.

Lurch: Not knowing your intentions, I possessed one of my servants, and through her went to greet you. Your intentions were made quite clear to me... you were here to steal my Symka tablet.

Lurch: But I think there is more to the story.

Lurch: I may not possess the range of telepathy you have, but in my servant's mind...

Panel 2.

Silver is trying to resist Lurch as he reaches out a finger at her, towards her head in a 3/4 shot. The shadowy arms are still holding her in place.

Lurch: ... I am the law.

Panel 3.

The finger penetrates Silver's head and she screams in a tight one-quarter shot.

Silver: AAAAAAAA...

Panel 4.

Back on the physical realm, Silver is screaming as she topples over.


Page 14.

Panel 1.

Far shot of the entire group. Everyone has stopped in their tracks, including the golems (as Lurch is busy). They all are spreading their focus on Silver, whose scream has caused concern. The disciple holds her head, as if waking from a deep dream. Dale is rushing to Silver's side.

Dale: Silver!

Panel 2.

Double arm eldritch blast from Gideon in a tight 3/4 shot.

Gideon (thinking): Silver's made that woman pause.


Panel 3.

Full shot of the earth creature being struck, shattering into a million pieces.

Gideon (thinking): With her focus off of this thing...



Panel 4.

Gideon is moving quickly over the rubble towards Silver, worried.

Page 15.

Panel 1.

Gideon, moving past the other demon who is converting back to a stone statue, the flames around it dissipating.

Panel 2.

Dale looks worried, holding Silver in his arms. Gideon is trying to look stoic, his eyes reverting back to their true color. However is deeply concerned for her.

Gideon: Dale, she should be fine. She took her on telepathically and obviously won the battle. Give her a second to come to.

Panel 3.

El Tigre leaps out of nowhere towards the top step of the stairs. The disciple is stepping behind the door. Far shot.

Dale and Gideon (off-panel): Joaquin?

Panel 4.

The doors close on him as he lands.

El Tigre: NO!

Page 16.

Panel 1.

Full shot. Gideon is taking a couple of steps towards El Tigre. El Tigre has taken a couple of steps down the stairs. Silver is regaining consciousness in Dale's arms.

Gideon: Joaquin? You okay?

El Tigre: I'm fine.

Panel 2.

Tight one-quarter shot of El Tigre pointing over to the spot where he was "fried". Full shot of a burnt out shallow hole in the ground. Just getting to his feet is Snapshot, his shield on his back and smoking in the hole.

El Tigre: Snapshot saved me.

Panel 3.

Gideon looks over at Snapshot, in surprise. Gideon in the forefront of the panel in a one-quarter shot, Snapshot in a far shot in the background of the shot.

Gideon: Snapshot?

Panel 4.

Snapshot is struggling out of the hole in a three-quarter shot, looking a little worse for wear.

Snapshot: Thank your lucky little stars I was around, Tigger.

Panel 5.

Tighter one-quarter shot of Snapshot. His costume is in tatters. He is in pain. His face is sun burnt.

Snapshot: If it wasn't for my force field, we'd be taking you home in a body bag. As it was I still got a nasty sunburn to blame you for.

Panel 6.

Full shot. All the characters are gathering into the panel. Silver looks groggy, more so than normal after making a psychic connection to someone. She is relying on Dale for support (just because he is there) and rubbing her temples. She is confused.

Snapshot: Now we got to figure out another way into the temple.

Page 17.

Panel 1.

Silver is pushing Dale away from her (I can stand on my own thank you). El Tigre has fully moved into panel here, listening intently to Silver. Gideon and Snapshot are also in shot. Gideon appears impatient. Dale is looking away, just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Snapshot is coming into frame, still smoking and slightly hunched over.

Silver: Wait.

Silver: Wait a second...

Silver: That woman... that wasn't her.

Panel 2.

Snapshot is getting annoyed with Silver now. Silver is trying to bring her point home, trying to focus her thoughts.

Snapshot: What? You're not making any sense.

Silver: When I entered her mind, it was defended. She was already being possessed... by Lurch. Through her, he animated these stone statues.

Gideon: Big deal, Silver. You still did the deed and scared him off.

Panel 3.

Silver, head bowed, dead serious.

Silver: No. I didn't. Look.

Panel 4.

The doors of the temple are opening with Lurch standing behind them in a grand large shot. His arms are crossed and it looks like he means business.

Page 18.

Panel 1.

Gideon has energy crackling around his fists, but Silver is holding him back with a hand on his forearm. She is being forceful here. El Tigre waits on Silver's words alone. Dale is changing clips on his guns. In pain, Snapshot slowly turns away from the group towards the doors.

Silver: Wait. He comes in peace.

Gideon: Peace?

Panel 2.

Two psionic prongs extend from her mind to El Tigre's and Gideon's heads.

Silver: This is taking too long... let me show you.

Panel 3.

El Tigre and Gideon are suspended from two tree-like limbs extending from Silver's head, like ornaments on a Christmas tree. They are in the foreground watching in a far shot what happened moments before when Lurch popped his psychic finger into Silver's head. They have a look of panic watching this.

Silver: Here is what happened in the woman's mind...

Panel 4.

The flashback of Silver and Lurch explodes so that they are now within his mind (in Silver's memory). Lurch standing next to a pedestal with a Symka tablet upon it.

Lurch: I see into your mind as you see into mine. I have one of the Symka tablets, these objects of... supposed power. We both know this. We also both know what the true nature of these tablets are... the soul of Manapatapoo.

Page 19.

Panel 1.

The panel is the shape of the Asemka being shattered into four separate tablets. Within the panel is a flashback to Manapatapoo dying, almost being torn apart.

Lurch: One single tablet called the Asemka was created in the event of Manapatapoo's death. It would be the anchor to his soul should his vile brother Pitawa ever find a way to kill his immortal brother.

Lurch: However, it also linked his soul to the tablet. An... agent of Pitawa learned of this truth and had the tablet shattered into the four Symka tablets. The Asemka became the tool of Manapatapoo's own destruction. His soul was shattered as were the tablets, and his body died.

Panel 2.

Lurch, with a hand extended. He no longer has a finger into her head. He also appears friendly here, almost pleading with her. The menace he had earlier is less apparent.

Lurch: The truth you have learned is that Manapatapoo's soul lives on in each of the four Symka. And reuniting them will reunify his soul and bring Manapatapoo back to life... and bring back the balance his evil brother Pitawa has unbalanced. For only Manapatapoo has ever been able to keep his brother in check.

Lurch: Together we can bring him back to life for the betterment of the world. Join me.

Panel 3.

Back into the real world. Although it seemed like minutes had gone by in the psychic link, it has been mere seconds. Snapshot and Dale, kept out of the link are not even aware the psychic interchange had happened. Everything is exactly as it was before the psionic exchange.

Lurch (off-panel): I have come.

Page 20.

Panel 1.

Snapshot spins around to Lurch (off-panel), guns ready. Silver is trying to stop Snapshot, by strongly grabbing his arm.

Snapshot: You should have stayed in bed!

Silver: Wait! Snapshot, hold on!

Panel 2.

El Tigre stands in front of Snapshot, making himself as imposing as possible, with fists resting on his hips.

El Tigre: Hold down, Snapshot! We're going to hear the man out!

Panel 3.

Snapshot gets into El Tigre's face, the frustration of the flight, the battle and everything else boiling in his veins.

Snapshot: What? Are you crazy? This is the reason we came here. Are you guys double dealing me?

Panel 4.

Far shot. He startles El Tigre with a savage and fast blow from the butt of the gun to El Tigre's face. El Tigre steps back from the impact. The other gun is pointed and firing upon Lurch. Lurch is watching this from the steps of the temple.

Snapshot: Well, screw you then! I still have a mission here!


Panel 5.

Lurch flies up into the air, one slug catching him on the leg... and bouncing off. The other 2 bullets fly just under him. Lurch builds up plasma in his hands.


Page 21.

Panel 1.

Far shot. Lurch fires the plasma towards Snapshot. The plasma is still in motion and not yet at Snapshot. Snapshot has run forward from the last panel, ahead of the rest of the group who have not had the chance to react to Snapshot.


Panel 2.

Snapshot brings up his force field which takes the impact, but the plasma eats away at the force field.


Panel 3.

Snapshot throws off the force field (which plasma intact) from him. He is wincing in pain. The shield starts to dissipate at the furthest point.

Snapshot: Aargh! It burns.

Panel 4.

Far back shot. Snapshot runs/staggers towards the treeline. Lurch as alighting near the others, who watch unsure of whether to make a move on him.

Panel 5.

Full shot. Dale, Gideon, El Tigre, and Silver are looking Lurch over worried they may be next, but not wanting to prompt an attack if need be. Lurch looks them over. He looks them over.

Gideon (thinking): Don't anyone make a stupid move here. This guy's tough. And I think he still wants to talk.

Silver (thinking): Does he still want to talk... can we trust him.

Page 22.

Panel 1.

Lurch attempts to break the tension. He speaks out, the others watching him apprehensively.

Lurch: He shares a... symbiotic relationship with his force field. Anything that can overcome the force field goes straight into his own system. Although his body did not burn, he felt the searing pain associated with the trauma his force field sustained.

Lurch: From my psychic contact with the lovely Silver, it was apparent he was here to kill me anyway.

Panel 2.

Lurch holds up a hand to dismiss what just happened.

Lurch: Let's not worry about the rabble and go inside and have a meal. We have things to discuss. Snapshot is not our concern.

Panel 3.

Lurch turns away from them, towards the steps. They pause.

Panel 4.

But they eventually follow in a back far shot.

Next Issue: Dinner!

In the meantime: visit the Symka blog