Symka: Part 29

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2005

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"You are nothing but the shell of the man you used to be."

Page 1.

Splash Page

Inside a charter plane (6 passenger seater) with Silver, El Tigre, Dale, Gideon, and Snapshot. Snapshot is flying the plane; Dale is in the seat next to him. The rest are sitting in the passenger seats just behind the two. There is a sense of discomfort there between Dale/Snapshot and the others. The shot is expansive to show the roominess of the plane. There is lots of leg room. Everyone is in costume. El Tigre is upset; Silver is trying to calm him. Gideon is interjecting himself between them with a hand out.

Silver: Shh! He'll hear you.

El Tigre: I don't care if he hears me. I want him to know what I think about dragging some stranger into this.

Title: AN ISLAND ONTO HIMSELF

Page 2

Panel 1.

Outside shot of the plane. Clear flying with only a few clouds. It is over the Pacific Ocean.

Gideon (in plane but off-panel): It's okay.

Panel 2.

Inside the plane. Snapshot is looking back at Gideon, gauging Gideon.

Gideon: If he double-crosses us, I will take care of him.

Panel 3.

Close-up of Gideon's eyes. As black as pitch. He looks so evil. He is staring at Snapshot (off-panel).

Panel 4.

Pan out from last shot. Gideon is still looking at Snapshot who has turned around to look out the front of the plane.

Panel 5.

One-quarter shot of Snapshot. He is adjusting some of the controls on the plane. He shudders despite himself.

Snapshot (thinking): I don't know who you are, cowboy, but you ain't messin' with Texas here. I'm not afraid of any of you...

Snapshot (thinking): ...no matter how evil those eyes look.

Page 3

Panel 1.

Full shot. Dale turns around to address Gideon, El Tigre, and Silver.

Dale: Look. This is a lucky break for us. Snapshot has a mutually beneficial goal with us. For once... for once luck shines on us.

Dale: With Snapshot, we get the extra ace in our hand.

Panel 2.

Three-quarter shot of Dale, explaining himself to them.

Dale: We're going against this bad-ass, Lurch... mean mother. Snapshot knows this guy. With his knowledge and our numbers... we've increased our chances getting the tablet.

Dale: And on top of that, Snapshot's plane takes care of our worry on how to get out to the middle of the Pacific."

Panel 3.

El Tigre is pointing a finger at Dale, accusatorially.

El Tigre: You know this is bullshit, Dale. I will tell you now I don't like this guy. I don't know him and I don't trust him.

Panel 4.

El Tigre to Gideon, hands out to his sides. Silver is jumping in.

El Tigre: Am I the only one who feels this way?

Silver: Dale proved his point, El Tigre. Not only can Snapshot can get us there, he can help us get the tablet.

Panel 5.

Angry, El Tigre makes his stance on Snapshot known.

El Tigre: This doesn't feel right. I'm not utterly convinced he doesn't want the tablets for himself.

Page 4

Panel 1.

Having had enough, Snapshot spins around in his seat.

Snapshot: Listen sunshine! I don't care about your freaking tablets, okay? I'm not Indiana Jones here. I couldn't give two hoots about these freaking tablets you keep bringing up.

Panel 2.

Snapshot gives off an Oscar worthy performance, proving he is the ultimate deceiver.

Snapshot: In fact I am sick and tired hearing about them.

Snapshot: I have a mission to do. I have an evil man to stop. For someone with my abilities, you were very easy to find. If any of my clients wanted your tablets I could have leaked out your location to any of them and they could have picked you off at their leisure. But I'm not interested in that.

Panel 3.

Leaning back in his chair, Snapshot brings his point home.

Snapshot: Lurch is my enemy.

Snapshot: Now if we're not on the same page here I can turn this plane around now and dump you off somewhere.

Snapshot: I'll go take Lurch on on my own and probably die in the process because a bunch of sissies didn't want to do what's right.

Panel 4.

Shot of the three of them watching Snapshot. Gideon is inspecting the man's sincerity. Silver is secretly probing his mind. El Tigre is rolling his eyes.

Gideon: You're a hired man, Snapshot. It isn't about doing what's right; it's about the payday... which you've kept us out of.

Gideon: Nonetheless, what I said before El Tigre, still stands. For now... we're a team.

Gideon: Snapshot stays.

Page 5

Panel 1.

El Tigre crosses his arms and looks away from Gideon, sulking.

El Tigre: Fine.

Panel 2.

Pan out. El Tigre is still looking away, Gideon is focused on Snapshot who is now putting his attention back to flying the plane.

Gideon (thinking): Silver? You get that?

Silver: Yes. And no.

Panel 3.

Tight wide shot of the three of them, in telepathic contact. Silver looks strained.

Silver (telepathic): His intentions... what he's stated to us, that he is trying to stop Lurch... is what I'm reading. These are his surface thoughts. What I found underneath that was the image of... of..."

Gideon (thinking): What, Silver?

Panel 3.

A look of disgust on Silver's face. Gideon is still as serious as day. The black color of his eyes lightening. El Tigre is embarrassed.

Silver (telepathic): Women wrestling in a giant bowl of pasta.

Gideon (thinking): Some form of psychic block. He's obviously been trained to block mind-readers.

El Tigre (thinking): Or he's a very lonely man.

Panel 4.

Keeping her head straight but focusing her eyes on El Tigre is Silver. El Tigre looks uncomfortable. Gideon's eyes have returned to their natural color.

Silver (telepathic): Thanks, Joaquin. Your show against this guy was priceless.

El Tigre (thinking): I had to act like a real asshole there to make the guy vulnerable to a mental scan from you.

El Tigre (thinking): And it didn't get you anything.

Panel 5.

Close-up shot of Snapshot's eyes, focused on the job at hand. Far shot over his shoulders of Gideon, Silver, and El Tigre.

Gideon (thinking): It's okay, old friend. It was worth a try and we didn't want to take the chance of Snapshot noticing Silver was invading her mind. Thanks for playing my role this time.

Gideon (thinking): So, from your earlier visions... are we headed in the right direction?

Panel 6.

One-quarter shot of El Tigre.

El Tigre (thinking): When I struck the tablet with my blade, I saw all four tablets and their locations. Snapshot is flying us in the right direction so far.

El Tigre (thinking): Let's just hope he's not bringing us for Lurch.

Page 6

Panel 1.

Outside a three-storey police department. Far shot. A sign on the front lawn reads Winnipeg Police Department -- New Downtown.

Caption: Meanwhile in Winnipeg...

Panel 2.

Inside the main entranceway of the police department. Many people are talking, working and drinking coffee.

Caption: ...locked down in the bowels on the Winnipeg Police Department containment unit...

Panel 3.

Angled shot of the subbasement level 3. Just outside the room of one of their prisoners.

Panel 4.

Close-up of the window on the door. It is tempered glass. In the room a being appears to sit.

Caption: ...a certain... being is held prisoner.

Page 7

Splash

Shot of Morpheus floating on the ground of this barren cell. There is smoke gathering around his lower body. His head is down. He looks emotionally worn, as if the weight of the worlds were on his shoulders. The place is sterile and antiseptic.

Caption: Forgotten after his battle against Gideon, El Tigre, Silver, and Stick is the mangled creature known as Morpheus.*

Caption: During the battle, El Tigre stole Morpheus' Staff of Woe, a weapon Morpheus came across while imprisoned in Hell under the demon Mordo. It was the Staff of Woe that allowed Morpheus to escape Hell.

Caption: Somehow, interacting with something in El Tigre's genetic makeup, the Staff of Woe activated the portal to Hell and brought forth Mordo to Earth.

Caption: With but a touch, Mordo defeated Morpheus.

*Note: Morpheus trials and tribulations with our heroes ran through Issue 5-6.

Page 8

Panel 1.

Side shot of the creature. He is depressed.

Caption: The all-powerful Morpheus was taken into custody by the Winnipeg Police Department and placed in the superhuman wing of their prison. Unsure of what to do with this creature, Morpheus has remained in this cell.

Panel 2.

Pan out to show a man watching Morpheus through a scrying pool in some temple.

Man: My poor friend, Morpheus.

Panel 3.

Large Panel. The man is Lurch, ruler of Mordo Island and eternal enemy of the demon Mordo.

Caption: On Mordo Island, Lurch, the owner of the last of the Asemka, a group of tablets individually called the Symka, watches his fallen comrade.

Lurch: You have given up. You are nothing but the shell of the man you used to be. Your suffering at Mordo's hands in Hell was enough to break any man. But your recent defeat at his hands was enough to bring all that memory back to you.

Lurch: Would that I could leave this island, I would take you from there and bring you back here.

Page 9.

Panel 1.

Lurch walks away from the scrying pool, waving his hand at it as the image fades. He is completely self-absorbed with self-pity.

Lurch: Mordo has taken your pride as he has taken mine. You could easily escape from this mortal prison if you chose to. But you have lost your heart . It is better to rot, lost in your self-loathing and fear of Mordo.

Lurch: You are as imprisoned as I am here on this island... only by fear.

Panel 2.

Lurch seats himself at a grand table, laid out with fruits.

Lurch: And here I remain alone again. The only being that understands my plight... gone.

Panel 3.

Lurch picks at the plate, looking over the food to find something to eat.

Lurch: But it was meant to be this way. Mordo shall return to this earthly plane and kill me. This borrowed time I am on will end. And Mordo's plan will continue along."

Panel 4.

Back at the prison, close-up of the door handle clicking as it turns.

Fx: CLICK!

Page 10

Panel 1.

Full shot of the doorway... opened. Light comes in through the opening, framing the silhouette of a woman... Snapshot's employer. In a tight 1/4 shot in the panel is Morpheus looking morose, not even acknowledging the woman.

Woman: Morpheus...

Panel 2.

Side angled one-quarter shot of Morpheus. No reaction from him.

Panel 3.

He looks over to the woman (off-panel). He seems to remember her but can't quite place her.

Morpheus: I know you...

Panel 4.

Side far shot of the two of them.

Woman: It is well to be remembered. It was quite a long time ago.

Page 11

Panel 1.

Morpheus now recognizes the woman.

Morpheus: Yes, it is you. It was you that...

Panel 2.

In shadows, the woman descends upon Morpheus in a 1/4 shot.

Woman: Quiet! As much as you might think otherwise, you are nothing but a pawn of Lurch's. And as such you are beneath me.

Morpheus (out of panel): Believe what you will.

Panel 3.

Glaring at the woman, Morpheus is debating how to kill her. He will not accept this effrontery.

Woman (off-panel): Look at you, nothing but a former shell of yourself. You are a disgrace Morpheus.

Woman (off-panel): For that you had remained in Hell.

Panel 4.

Far shot, the gas spreads out from Morpheus, moving to encircle the woman.

Woman: I would not do that if I were you.

Morpheus: I dare much, wench!

Woman: Not if you wish to regain the Staff of Woe.

Page 12

Panel 1.

Tight close-up of Morpheus.

Morpheus: Eh?

Panel 2.

Tight one-quarter shot of Morpheus' hand.

Morpheus: Very well. I would not normally deal with the devil...

Panel 3.

The smoke drops to the ground (except for what's around Morpheus).

Panel 4.

The woman has her hands on her hips.

Woman: I know where the staff is. I know who has it. And...

Woman: I can get it for you. But I require something in return.

Panel 5.

Cut to the plane. It is approaching a lone island in the Pacific.

Dale (in plane): There it is!

Page 13

Panel 1.

Inside the plane. Snapshot is looking back over his shoulder at the crew. El Tigre rolls his eyes.

Snapshot: We're here, people... island retreat of the famed recluse Lurch. Please keep your trays in the upright position and your seatbelts on. Thank you for flying Snapshot airlines.

El Tigre: Don't quit your day job...

Panel 2.

Far, far shot. The plane lands on a barren strip of land within the deep jungle.

Panel 3.

The group exits the plane. El Tigre has a backpack on his shoulder, with Stick's staff sticking out the top. It is wrapped in cloth. Gideon is wiping the sweat from his brow. Silver is taking off her jacket, revealing a tank top underneath, something that does not escape Snapshot's attention. He is ogling her.

Gideon: It's hot here.

Silver: You think this is bad? It only gets more uncomfortable once we enter the jungle.

Panel 4.

Three-quarter shot of the group. Snapshot addressing them.

Snapshot: Do I need to go over the island's defenses again?

Silver: Island Natives with spears. Got it.

Gideon: El Tigre, let's hope we don't run into your namesake out here.

El Tigre: Let's hope.

Page 14-15. (Double Page Spread)

Panel 1.

Wide panel with a far, far shot of the group hidden in the bushes. A group of native islanders are chopping up some trees with massive machetes.

Caption: After an hour's march through the thick jungle, the group stumbles across a small of island natives.

Snapshot (whispering): The path to where we want to go is through here.

Panel 2.

Close-up of Snapshot. Silver is next to him, giving him a look of annoyance.

Snapshot: Don't worry, I'll take care of this group.
Silver (whispering): No.

Panel 3.

Silver steps forward from the group, studying the natives. Snapshot is looking disappointed but approvingly of Silver. He will do what she asks. El Tigre is giving Snapshot a dirty look.

Silver: You need to remain hidden.

Silver: Remember? It was part of your plan?

Snapshot: Just itching for some action, sweetheart.

Silver: You'll get it, Snapshot, if what you told us is true.

Snapshot: A man can only hope.

Silver: I will take care of this.

Panel 4.

Far shot. A lioness is running alongside the edge of the treeline which catches the natives' attention. They are grasping their spears. The natives are shouting something in their language.

Panel 5.

The natives chase after the lioness, spears in hand.

Gideon (whispering): There's our opening. Let's go!

Panel 6.

The group minus Silver are marching into the edge of the jungle where the natives just were. Silver in her sparrow form is flying in behind them.

Caption: Seconds later, Silver returns after leading the natives on a chase into the far side of the jungle.

Silver: I ditched them and did a quick reconnaissance. I saw the temple up ahead. It's clear sailing from here on in.

Panel 7.

This panel is the whole two pages, with the other panels on these pages overlapped on top of it. Far, far shot of the group, they come out of the edge of the jungle in front of a massive Aztec style temple. It is a three-layer pyramid with each layer some 40 feet in height. The temple is some 400 feet in width and retreats deep into the jungle. Each layer of pyramid comes in 5 feet. Massive 25-foot stone doors make up the entrance. A large stairway leads up to the doors, which are 40 feet up on the second level. Silver is once again clothed. Two large stone statues are on each side of the stairs. One statue is of a demon with horns, the other is a large bulky stone creature.

Caption: After a little march

Silver: We're here.

El Tigre: Now what? Do we knock?

Page 16

Panel 1.

Snapshot motions to the doorway.

Snapshot: The place is sealed tight magically. Only way in... only way out... is the front entrance.

Panel 2.

Full shot of the doors. They are opening slowly.

Fx: RUMBLE!

Panel 3.

El Tigre to the others who are all focused on the entranceway (off-panel):

El Tigre: Looks like our way in has been taken care of.

Panel 4.

Back in Winnipeg, inside Host's mansion. Host, Sulan and Ricky are sitting at the dinner table. They all have steaming plates of food in front of them. Host is out of costume wearing a black turtleneck and beige slacks.

Caption: Meanwhile, its dinner time in Winnipeg and Ricky has just served up food for Host and Sulan.

Ricky: Master, I hope you like it. It's something I picked up from the TV.

Host: Thank you, Ricky.

Panel 5.

Full shot of one of the windows in the dining room. A figure moves by the window.

Host (off-panel): This is great, Ricky.

Panel 17.

Panel 1.

Three-quarter shot of the three of them at the table, starting to eat.

Ricky: Hopefully now you will not be so harsh on my next levitation lesson.

Sulan: Ricky! The master judges our training and as such...

Host: Sulan... its okay.

Host: Ricky is just trying to add some humor to the situation. I think he thinks I've been too... dour lately.

Panel 2.

Ricky looking concerned for his master.

Ricky: It is true, master. Your thoughts are weighing you down.

Panel 3.

Host in thought. The other two are watching him, eating their meals.

Host: Thanks for your concern. I am just getting this sense of foreboding. Gideon is going through a rough time, which has only been worsened with Stick's death.

Host: His spirits were better when they left.

Host: There is this change in him, like he is going out full bore with no intent on coming back. This trip to Mordo Island to take a Symka tablet from Lurch feels like a suicide mission.

Panel 4.

Continued conversation.

Host: We know nothing of Lurch or his power. That uncertainty is making me ill... like there's some secret there at the tip of my tongue. There's almost some familiarity there I can't put my finger on.

Host: All I know of Lurch are rumors. I have no idea of his intentions.

Panel 5.

Outside, an old man in a suit and hat watches the mansion from across the street. Smoke billows around his feet.

Host (off-panel): I'm just getting this strange sense of foreboding I can't displace. Something just does not sit right. And I'm not even sure if Gideon is the center of that feeling.

Morpheus/old man: Finally.

Page 18

Panel 1.

Far shot. Host leaves the mansion, carrying a backpack. Sulan and Ricky follow just behind him.

Caption: "Until things blow over, it's safer to have the tablets stored somewhere else. I want you to escort me to take them someplace else."

Panel 2.

Down the street, the man follows them, the smoke around his legs carried off by the wind.

Panel 2.

The three stop, aware of the man.

Panel 3.

The man walks between Sulan and Ricky. They look at him oddly. Host holds out a hand to them in panic.

Host: NO! Sulan... Ricky... erect a barrier!

Panel 4.

Sulan and Ricky drop. The old man is unafraid and confident.

The man: It is just you and I, Manice Konsil. My powers of sleep have rendered your underlings unconscious. I have put them into a deep sleep with an invisible gas.

Page 19

Panel 1.

Three-quarter shot of both men. Host is pointing a finger at the old man.

Host: Who... who are you? What do you want? I'm only going to ask you once.

Old man: What you have stashed in your backpack: three Tibetan tablets called the Symka. You can spare yourself the pain and hand it over to me or I can take it from your dead body.

Panel 2.

With a confidant stance Host shows bravado.

Host: From you? Some old man? I've faced my fair share of demons, demagogues and corrupt businessmen...

Host: ...and trust me you don't get more evil than businessmen...

Host: ...I'm not going to lie down for you. You pulled some fancy trick with my students but I don't drop that easy.

Host: And besides, I wouldn't blindly give something to anyone without a valid reason. At least give me something to work with, fella'.

Panel 4.

Through a cloud of smoke the old man morphs into Morpheus.

Morpheus: Very well. I will ask you more convincingly...

Panel 5.

He strikes down at Host (who barely steps out of the way), striking the ground in front of Host. The sidewalk cracks under the impact.

Fx: SMASH!

Page 20

Panel 1.

Host is running away around a corner. (Angled shot, with the ground at a 30 degree angle -- Host is at an opposite angle, leaning into running around the corner).

Host (thinking): Whoa! That was Morpheus! Gideon filled me in on that... thing. Is he still after the tablets?

Host (thinking): Regardless he isn't getting them. Not if I have anything to do with it. I'll lure him away from Ricky and Sulan.

Panel 2.

One-quarter shot. Host stops in his tracks and spins around.

Voice (off-panel): SHRIEEEK!

Host: Oh no!

Panel 3.

Large panel showcasing Morpheus' size. He is holding up Sulan by one arm and one leg and pulling on her. Host is rounding the corner and is worried. He is strategizing in his head and also cursing himself for leaving them behind.

Host: Oh crap!

Page 21.

Splash.

A double arm blast from Host strikes Morpheus, bathing him in green energy. He still has his hold on Sulan.

Fx: ZZOT!

Fx: ZZOT!

Page 22

Panel 1.

Back at Mordo island. The group is watching the front doorway of Lurch's Temple. Snapshot is in the background of the group, closer to the treeline, partially out of the line of sight of the doorway. A woman wearing robes with long hair tied into a thin tail that runs down her back stands at the entranceway with the calmest look on her face. The robes have no hood to it, instead a wide collar that hangs loosely at the shoulders. Silver steps forward, eager to talk. She is surprised of the invitation and also eager to maintain the peaceful status quo. Snapshot on the other hand at the rear of the party pulls out two twin guns. No one is aware he's done this.

Caption: Meanwhile back at Mordo Island, someone has emerged from Lurch's temple.

Woman: I have been sent to greet you.

El Tigre: Greet us?

Silver: Peaceful negotiations. We're off to a good start.

Gideon: Be careful. I don't like this.

Panel 2.

Snapshot fires away with his pistols, pushing through the crowd. As he does, a field of energy surrounds his arms and upper body, tailoring down to his lower body. The field is open where his arms are, but otherwise protecting his whole body. The others are in complete shock over this.

Snapshot: Screw this! This is the perfect opportunity to get inside!

Fx: BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

Panel 3.

Three-quarter shot of the woman, erecting a shield with an open palm. The shield glows red. The bullets fall dead against the shield.

Woman: You dare?

Panel 4.

The woman stands on the stairs, shield glued to her palm in one hand. She had her other arm raised straight up in the air. Crimson energies crackle around her up stretched hand. The others watch as the two statues come to life at her command under a crackle of energy.

Woman: Then you shall face my wrath and die on MORDO ISLAND!

Caption: Who is this woman! And if she can conjure up these behemoths what sort of power does Lurch himself have? Join us next issue as our heroes battle this sorceress and Host goes toe to toe with Morpheus.