Symka: Part 28

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2005

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"I didn't know who I was. I simply existed and nothing more."

Page 1

Panel 1.

Far bird's eye view of a downtown Winnipeg street. A lone man, with hands jammed into the pockets of his jacket (trying to keep warm in the chill air) walks down the sidewalk.

Panel 2.

Angled back shot of the man (Dale Turcott) walking up the stairs to the entrance of an apartment building. He is angry, tired and frustrated.

Dale (thinking): I have had enough of this!

Panel 3.

Far front slight worm's eye view of Dale walking down the hall towards his apartment.

Dale (thinking): I can't believe Joaquin knocked me out. What was he thinking? I thought Gideon was the crazy one but it's becoming obvious I can't trust any of them.

Panel 4.

Close-up shot of Dale's hand putting the key in the lock on the door.

Panel 5.

Side shot with the edge of the doorway and Dale stepping through it.

Dale (thinking): And to boot I lost my videocamera. He never thought of bringing it along with him after he carried me away unconscious.

Page 2

Panel 1.

Dale is moving through the apartment, tossing his jacket onto a chair. He is moving towards the kitchen.

Dale (thinking): I left Willis behind in my car at the penthouse, to wait for me until I came back. That was hours ago. Not only was my vehicle gone, but Willis with it. The kid is scared because I had left him behind for those freaking parahumans.

Panel 2.

One-quarter shot. Dale presses his hand against a part of wall in the kitchen.

Panel 3.

A panel opens up on the wall. Inside the compartment in the wall is a videocamera.

Panel 4.

Three-quarter shot. Dale takes the camera out of the compartment.

Dale (thinking): At least replacing the camera is easy. I lost some footage but not much. Nothing I can't replace.

Panel 5.

Dale is walking away from the kitchen back into the main area. He is looking down at the camera, oblivious to everything else.

Dale (thinking): I need to find Willis. I don't know if there are still rogue Hi Tech Henchmen groups looking for him. I need to keep him safe.

Panel 6.

Shot over the back of a shadowed figure sitting in the easy chair in the main area of Dale. Dale is quickly moving his focus to the person in the chair and moving towards the light switch on the wall.

Dale (thinking): Knowing Willis, though, he's probably safer without me.

Dale (thinking): Wait a minute! I'm not alone!

Page 3

Splash. Full shot. Snapshot is sitting somewhat slouched in the easy chair, arms resting on the arms of the chair, completely comfortable and unalarmed. Dale is surprised but not in a state of panic. With what's been happening the last few weeks, this is just another surprise... and he is getting used to them.

Snapshot: Dale Turcott... famed reporter for Independent News.


Page 4

Panel 1.

Dale faces Snapshot straight on, ready to attack but holding back because of his journalistic curiosity. Snapshot remains seated, none the worse for wear. He is calm collected and not the least bit afraid of anyone, especially Dale Turcott.

Dale: I don't know how you got in here without...

Snapshot: How I got in here is my secret. It's what I do.

Snapshot: And you have your own secrets, Turcott.

Snapshot: I know.

Snapshot: I know the weakness of your alliance with these parahumans.

Panel 2.

Both don't move, gauging each other's motivations.

Panel 3.

Three-quarter shot of the comfortable Snapshot. He is in his element... controlling a situation.

Snapshot: I know your precarious position. I know you're afraid of losing your precious story... that the parahumans don't trust you.

Panel 4.

Dale stands there, arms relaxing at his sides (camera in one hand). Dale has seen enough danger to recognize he isn't in danger now. That doesn't mean he likes being at the end of being questioned. Snapshot's smile can be seen through his mask.

Dale: Who are you and what do you want?

Snapshot: Someone with a mission. And yet someone who is realistic.

Panel 5.

Snapshot leans forward in his chair in a 1/4 shot. His eyes are piercing.

Snapshot: I have a proposition for you... something that can help you, and help your... friends.

Page 5

Panel 1.

Flashback panel. Snapshot is standing before a shadowed woman (same woman as before whose identity has yet to be revealed). This is the same room with the chair and coffee table.

Caption: Several hours ago, in a secret meeting with his mysterious employer...

Snapshot: I don't have the tablet.

Woman: I didn't ask you for the tablet. I asked you for its location. Snapshot...

Woman: ...were you defying my mission parameters?

Panel 2.

Getting defensive, Snapshot is trying to force his point.

Snapshot: I'm Snapshot...

Woman (cutting off Snapshot): I know full well who you are...

Snapshot (cutting off the woman): ... and the pissy little mission you fed me wasn't going to give me any sort of... of...

Snapshot: ...job satisfaction. I don't spy on people.

Panel 3.

The woman leans forward in the panel. Snapshot is getting annoyed but is somewhat taken aback by the woman's staunch resolution.

Woman: Did you encounter the parahumans? Did you... engage them?

Panel 4.

Snapshot holding up his hands in his defense of the verbal anger from the woman.

Snapshot: No.

Snapshot: All I did was find the tablets.

Page 6

Panel 1.

She leans back. Snapshot is getting angry with the assumption.

Woman: Congratulations. You succeeded where I expected you to fail.

Snapshot: Wait one minute here! I never fail...

Panel 2.

Same as last panel.

Woman: But you told me you did. You set out to acquire the tablets...

Snapshot (cutting off the woman): And I did just that.

Panel 3.

Three-quarter shot. Snapshot pointing at the woman in defiance and anger. He does not like being spoken to and questioned in this manner.

Snapshot: I found out where your precious tablets were located! I never drop a contract. I've never failed.

Snapshot: And my part of the contract is that I am going to acquire them all and hand-deliver them to you to prove my worth.

Snapshot: And in turn, you will pay me a bonus of $25,000.

Panel 4.

She is holding her displeasure in check.

Woman: You will be deducted $25,000 for every tablet you acquire and deliver to me.

Snapshot: Hang on there a second! If that's all you wanted off of me, you could have hired anyone else for the job. But you hired Snapshot! And I demand something worthy of me.

Page 7

Panel 1.

Back to the apartment with Dale and Snapshot. Snapshot is enjoying the set-up.

Snapshot: I found out about your parahuman friends' mission.

Snapshot: Something about some ancient Tibetan tablets they are trying to get their hands on?

Snapshot: Now, I don't give a rat's ass about the tablets, I have no interest in them.

Panel 2.

Reflection on Dale's part.

Snapshot (out of panel): And I know who has the last tablet.

Panel 3.

Full shot of Gideon, standing over the three tablets they have in Host's mansion. They are laid out neatly on a beautiful rug in a room in Host's mansion.

Host (off-panel): Gideon?

Page 8

Panel 1.

Full shot. Host is walking by the room, when he spies Gideon standing there looking down at them. He has stopped and is watching Gideon. Gideon does not seem to hear him.

Host: Gideon?

Panel 2.

Gideon turns his face to Host (off-panel). His eyes are black. 1/4 shot.

Host (off panel): Gideon!

Panel 3.

Gideon closes his eyes for a moment.

Panel 4.

He opens his eyes and they have returned to their blue color.

Gideon: Host? We need to talk.

Panel 5.

Gideon has not moved from his spot on the floor, within reach of the three tablets. He seems fixed to the spot. Host is moving next to Gideon with concern playing out on his face.

Host: Sure, Gideon. What are you doing here?

Gideon: I'm looking at them...

Gideon: last time.

Panel 6.

Gideon is pleading with Host. He seems afraid. Host is confused.

Gideon: Host, I need you to promise me you will hide these tablets.

Host: They are safe here. The mansion is protected. No one is even aware they are here.

Page 9

Panel 1.

Close-up shot of Host, confusion on his face.

Gideon (off-panel): I know they are here.

Panel 2.

Running his hands through his hair, Gideon looks emotionally lost. Host is trying to understand.

Gideon: I... I can't trust myself not to come back and spirit them away. My actions over the last few weeks have not been entirely my own. Once we get the last tablet, I don't know that I'm not going to come back...

Gideon: ...and forcibly take them from you.

Panel 3.

Tilting his head, eyes closed, Gideon is searching... Host is setting himself, readying to reply, mulling over Gideon's words.

Gideon: I think... because I touched them, that they are having some sort of sway over me. I think they may have guided my own actions.

Panel 4.

Gideon is afraid of Host's reaction, but forcing the words out. Host is still taking it all in.

Gideon: They may have forced my hand at taking my own father's life.

Panel 5.

Gideon has a hand to his face.

Gideon: I was raised as a pacifist, and yet I have this strange urge... to take them as my own. The urge was so overwhelming that I endangered my only friend in Joaquin.

Gideon: And Stick.

Gideon: He died because of me.

Page 10

Panel 1.

Host puts a hand on Gideon's shoulder. It is as if Host's words alone are making Gideon change where he is standing, diverting his body away from the tablets.

Host: Gideon, trust me when I say that questioning yourself comes with the territory. Heaven knows I made my fair share of mistakes.

Host: You've finally had the chance to sit and think things through. You haven't really had any time to sit down with your own emotions until know. To feel guilty is natural.

Panel 2.

One-quarter shot of Gideon.

Gideon: It's not guilt. It's something else. Something else entirely different.

Panel 3.

Host guides Gideon out of the room with a hand behind his back. Host is addressing the house itself.

Gideon: House? Seal the door to all but me!

Panel 4.

One-quarter shot of the door handle. The door slams shut.


Panel 5.

One-quarter shot of both men.

Host: They are safe now. Entirely safe.

Panel 6.

Host and Gideon are walking down the hall. At the end of the hall, Sulan is looking around the corner.

Host: Now come on. My master always told me that learning a new spell was always the best way to overcome grief and doubt.

Panel 7.

One-quarter shot of Sulan.

Sulan (thinking): Master... you doubt your own abilities yet when someone is in need you are there for them. Like you have been for Ricky and I.

Sulan (thinking): Like you are for Gideon. Have faith in him, master. He can learn from you.

Page 11

Panel 1.

Joaquin is sitting outside a room in Host's mansion, hands on his knees, fists holding up his head.

Caption: Meanwhile, elsewhere in the mansion...

Panel 2.

Silver walks out of the room. She is dressed nicely, much nicer than we've really seen her all series.

Joaquin: Silver?

Silver: Joaquin?

Panel 3.

Three-quarter shot of both of them. Joaquin is looking up at Silver, she down at him. She is emotional, almost in tears.

Silver: Call me...

Silver: me, Val.

Panel 4.

Silver has her head in her hand, fighting back the grief ready to overwhelm her.

Silver: I'm sorry. I told Stick... Dexter... the same thing just before he died.

Silver: We were partners. We fought the hoodlums and punks on the streets. We were partners and nothing more.

Silver: I never called him by his real name.

Silver: He never called me by mine.

Silver: It was a business relationship, nothing more.

Panel 5.

She starts sobbing, her body shaking with the wave of emotion coming over her. Joaquin is watching, powerless.

Silver: It was such a waste!

Silver: Was this crusade we were on so important that we couldn't even be friends? Or was I too afraid to get close to anyone again.

Silver: I've been alone my whole life.

Page 12

Panel 1.

She looks to the side, angrily fighting tears, her mouth tight with the effort. She is ashamed of herself. Joaquin is standing up reaching out to Silver to hug her.

Silver: I treated Gideon with more personality. But I couldn't even call Stick by his real name?

Panel 2.

Joaquin hugs her, wrapping her in his powerful arms, the only thing he feels he can do is give her his strength. She is crying, burying her head in his shoulder.

Joaquin: It's okay.

Joaquin: It's okay.

Joaquin: I understand how you feel.

Panel 3.

She looks up at him in a one-quarter shot.

Joaquin: I have the same problem... Val. I don't trust anyone. Not since...

Panel 4.

One-quarter shot. He looks away.

Panel 5.

He holds her back at arm distance.

Joaquin: I suppose you could read my mind and know me and that would be so much easier than talking.

Silver: I... I won't do that Joaquin.

Joaquin: The reason I'm alone is because I have destroyed anything I have ever had. I always did so much better on my own. Alone.

Panel 6.

She puts a hand on the side of his shoulder in a 1/4 tender shot.

Silver: Come on. Let's go out.

Page 13

Panel 1.

Outside in a far, far shot, Joaquin is leaping from the rooftop of Host's mansion in a 40 feet arc. Silver clings to his back. (He is not in costume).

Panel 2.

Far shot. Joaquin has bounced from the rooftop of a 2-storey building up to a 6-storey building. There is a taller building a couple of blocks away, the tallest in Winnipeg in the Downtown area. It is some 60 stories high, with a 30 feet spire on the top.

Panel 3.

Far, far shot. Joaquin bounces his way to the spire of the building, with several bounces making his way up to the building's height. Each leap is 30-50 feet in height.

Panel 4.

They land on the edge of the spire, the city in the background. It is a peaceful spot.

Panel 5.

Far back slight bird's eye view shot. She is hugging herself to keep warm. They both stand at the edge, looking over the city.

Joaquin: I used to do this all the time. Come up here by myself, where no one could get to me.

Panel 6.

Side three-quarter shot of the two of them. Silver is looking at Joaquin like she had never before. She did not realize he was so vulnerable. Joaquin is looking at her with tentative eyes.

Joaquin: I'm afraid, Val. Afraid of everything, afraid of everyone. If I'm fighting I feel more at home.

Joaquin: I don't have anyone outside of Gideon. He is my only friend... my only family.

Joaquin: But I... I can't talk to him.

Panel 7.

One-quarter shot, side angled. The wind is blowing through her hair.

Silver: Joaquin, you have me. We can talk... anytime.

Silver: I'd...

Silver: I'd like to talk to you... really talk to you. I never talked with Dexter.

Page 14

Panel 1.

Silver, tilting her head, balancing the thoughts in her head. Joaquin is trying to grasp this emotion from her. He is uncomfortable... but trying to understand it... to open himself up to her.

Silver: Well... we did talk but I was helping him. But I wasn't open with him. I was afraid. Too afraid of my past I think.

Panel 2.

Taking a deep breath...

Silver: I don't know who I am. And I never trusted Dexter with helping me learn who I was.

Panel 3.

Tears welling up.

Silver: I think... I loved him.

Panel 4.

Wiping an eye with a finger...

Silver: We were together for so long and during that time, not once did we talk about me.

Panel 5.

A pause.

Panel 6.

Looking worriedly at Joaquin about what she just said...

Silver: I know that doesn't sound right... he never asked about me...

Panel 7.

Flashback. Stick looking at Silver.

Stick: Dexter. My name is Dexter.

Page 15

Panel 1.

Back to the present. Far, far front shot of Silver and Joaquin.

Silver: It was a doctor patient relationship between us. He had some issues and I helped him through them.

Joaquin: You were his shrink? Is that how you met? I never would have thought...

Silver (cutting Joaquin off): No. Not like that.

Panel 2.

Front one-quarter shot of the two of them standing side by side.

Silver: Dexter styled himself as some sort of crimefighter. He was out there stopping muggers, drug dealers...

Silver: I found him, having just killed a man.

Panel 3.

Joaquin looks at her in shock.

Joaquin: Killed a man?

Panel 4.

She looks at Joaquin, again with a worried look of harming the image of Stick.

Silver: It's not that cut and dry.

Silver: The man was evil. He was abusing his wife. In fact, that's when Stick found the two of them... in some alley.

Silver: The turmoil he went through in that moment... He killed the man, to save her life. Because she was going to go back to him and continue the cycle. It all happened so fast...*

*Note: A rehash of Issue 12-13. Read the whole gruesome story of Stick's lowest moment.

Page 16

Panel 1.

One-quarter angled side shot of Silver.

Silver: Killing the man really sent Stick into a major depression. I helped him, coaxed him out of it... made him regain his sense of purpose again.

Silver: What he didn't know...

Panel 2.

Large panel. Close-up of Silver's eye. In her eye is an image of herself naked with wild, matted long hair (past her knees).

Silver: ... what he didn't know is that he did the same for me.

Silver: Before Stick I was an empty shell... I didn't know who I was. I simply existed and nothing more. I was one of those sad stories out of Genetica with no memory of anything.

Silver: This couple helped me get set-up with the Parahuman Act*... so I could be rehabilitated from my experiences... to try to make a life.

*Note: The Parahuman Act was enacted by the government to help the victims of illegal genetic experimentation find a place to live, re-enter them into the workplace, and finally to help them overcome the psychoses of the experience.

Panel 3.

Joaquin has an arm wrapped around her shoulder. She is letting his strength keep her up, both physically and emotionally.

Silver: It was during the psychotherapy sessions that I realized I could be out there doing the same thing... helping others find their way.

Page 17

Panel 1.

Three-quarter shot. Silver is turning towards Joaquin. He is tentatively hugging her.

Silver: I had something to focus on... I worked on a degree in Psychology.

Silver: I lost myself in the studies. I lived and breathed it. It was all I had.

Silver: But all along, I was blind to who I was. I hid myself behind academia. Even though I was learning exactly how to cope with who I was through my education, I still hid my fear and disassociation I had.

Panel 2.

Tight one-quarter shot, Silver looking up at Joaquin.

Silver: I lived through others' recoveries as if they were my own. I lied to myself in feeling I was healing through them.

Panel 3.

Silver and Joaquin, her head downcast.

Silver: Stick was something completely different. He was so much like me... so much... Through him, I was seeing myself... He too wanted to make a difference to mask his own insecurity.

Panel 4.

She looks up again, biting her lip. She has shared so much just now, but her fear is melting away in this man's embrace.

Silver: He looked to me for guidance. And the guidance I gave him was really the guidance I needed for myself. And while he was getting better, I felt more alive. Through his recovery I was feeling better.

Panel 5.

Burying her head in his shoulder she weeps. Joaquin is uncomfortable, trying to think of what to say, what to do.

Silver: And now with him gone, I don't know what to do. I can't get better without him.

Page 18

Panel 1.

Flashback. Snapshot is with the mysterious woman.

Caption: Several hours ago...

Woman: If your arrogance is meant to make me step back in fear it won't.

Woman: But your perseverance to prove yourself has intrigued me.

Panel 2.

She drops a folder on the table.

Panel 3.

Snapshot picks up the folder.

Woman (off-panel): This man is in possession of the last tablet. I want him kept busy. He is far more powerful than these parahumans, perhaps even as powerful as I. I want his tablet and I don't want him to know I took it.

Woman (off-panel): I need a distraction.

Panel 4.

Snapshot shows her the picture.

Snapshot: I could just take him out. That much is my specialty.

Woman: You can try your best, Snapshot but I guarantee his death will not easily be accomplished.

Panel 5.

Snapshot folding his arms.

Snapshot: Whatever. Okay. You got yourself a deal. I'm in. And I have just the plan.

Page 19

Panel 1.

Back to Dale and Snapshot.

Snapshot: The man who has the tablet... I have an interest in him. He is most commonly known by the name Lurch.

Panel 2.

Same shot.

Snapshot: He is an evil... evil man. He's committed many crimes and he has proven to be... untouchable.

Panel 3.

One-quarter shot of Snapshot.

Snapshot: I need to stop him but I can't do it on my own. I need help. If you can get the parahumans on my side we can take this creep down together.

Panel 4.

Dale is studying the man; the wheels in his head are rolling.

Dale: What do they get out of it?

Panel 5.

Snapshot sitting forward in the chair, pointing upward, exclaiming his point.

Snapshot: They get my help in getting the tablet. I know Lurch, how he works. I know his motivations. With me at their side they have a chance against him.

Snapshot: I also know where to find Lurch and having studied him... I know his defenses. I know his power.

Snapshot: Side by side, we can stop him. The prize... their prize... is the tablet.

Page 20

Panel 1.

Dale crosses his arms, lips pursed.

Dale: And you?

Panel 2.

Head cocked, arms held out at his sides, Snapshot...

Snapshot: I'll be honest...

Snapshot: I need him stopped.

Snapshot: I have some personal history here. I can't allow him to keep on doing the things he's been doing. My reward is Lurch being stopped. Only with help do I stand a chance.

Snapshot: And since our objectives, theirs and mine... why not pool our talents?

Panel 3.

Dale stops for a moment.

Panel 4.

Same shot. He has on a sinister smile.

Dale: What do I get?

Panel 5.

One-quarter shot of Snapshot. He knows he has Dale reeled in.

Snapshot: You get what you've always wanted, Turcott... the story of the year. Front row seat to a bitching battle between your media darlings and the shit-kicking Lurch. Don't tell me that isn't going to win you some sort of Pulitzer?"

Page 21

Panel 1.

On the rooftop, Joaquin is hugging Silver in a far, far shot.

Joaquin: It's okay. Silver, I'm here for you. I know it's hard, but know that I will never abandon you.

Panel 2.

Tight one-quarter shot, looking at each other.

Silver: Can you promise me you'll never die?

Panel 3.

She looks away, feeling foolish.

Joaquin: Silver...

Silver: I know you can't... just never mind.

Panel 4.

Joaquin steps back from her. He doesn't know what this means to both of them. He is still reeling from his own fears and doubts. And now... he feels so awkward.

Joaquin: Look... we should get back.

Silver: Because this is awkward?

Joaquin: No... yes...

Panel 5.

With focus, he says...

Joaquin: Gideon needs us too. I think there are things happening with him.

Joaquin: Let's go.

Panel 6.

Blank look on Silver's face as she looks out at the skyline.

Page 22

Splash. Joaquin leaping down off the roof with Silver in his arms.

Caption: Next issue, the assault on Mordo Island!