Symka: Part 25

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2005

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"And with Pitawa, no mistakes can be made"

Page 1

Splash Page

Recap page with the art in the centre of the page, as wide screen, with the text on the top and the bottom of the page.

Side angled one-quarter shot of the inside of the Range Rover. Dale is driving with Willis in the backseat. Dale is deep in thought.

Caption: 10 minutes ago.

Dale (thinking): Silver just jetted off, half-cocked. She is going to get herself killed.

Dale (thinking): Silver can get so emotional sometimes. And she loses all sense of reason. And with Pitawa, no mistakes can be made. He's the granddaddy of evil... the worst there is.

Title: THE RECKONING

Page 2

Panel 1.

Dream-like panel of Silver (in human form) being slapped by the otherdimensional Mordo, a towering 13-foot tall "devil".

Caption: "Silver almost lost her life when she recklessly attacked some otherworld demon in downtown Winnipeg. It was all the doctors could do to save her life. I have no idea how she pulled through."

Panel 2.

Front one-quarter shot of Dale.

Dale (thinking): She should have at least stayed behind. We could have formulated a plan together. Maybe come up with something...

Dale (thinking): But I know where her allegiance lies... where all their allegiances lie.

Panel 3.

Side shot of Dale and Willis. Willis is leaning forward, uncomfortable with the silence and unsure as to what is happening with Dale right now... and where they are going.

Dale (thinking): I'm not like them. I'm just another human. Weak and defenseless. It's better for me not to be involved. I could die.

Dale: We're here.

Panel 4.

Full shot. Dale opens the back door of the Rover to let Willis out.

Scanner: Where's here?

Dale: I'm about to do something heroic. And I'm not leaving you defenseless...

Dale: ...again.

Dale: Follow me.

Page 3

Panel 1.

Far shot, slight worm's eye view of the entrance. Dale and Willis are at the door. Dale turns on the light in this sparse room. There is nothing but dust and cobwebs. The floor is wood paneled.

Scanner: Am I going to be hiding out here?

Dale: No. Not quite.

Panel 2.

Kneeling, Dale cracks open a 5'x5' section wood panel from the floor revealing a similar sized hidden compartment under the floorboards. Willis watches, afraid of Dale's tone of voice.

Dale: You didn't do that much research on my background, Scanner. There are some things you never learned.

Panel 3.

Dale opens up the lid to the compartment. The lid opens towards the reader, hiding the contents.

Dale: The training I had under El Diablo, a famous gun-runner who did the Mexico/New Mexico line. The years spent in Afghanistan, covering the insurgencies there, training under Paktab Bunthu.

Panel 4.

Overhead shot of the inside of the compartment. We see a slew of automatic rifles, grenades, weapon belts, and other assorted military ordinance.

Dale: With the reputation I built reporting, I made a lot of enemies. So I made sure I had some backup.

Panel 5.

One-quarter shot of Willis.

Scanner: Where did--- did you get all this?

Panel 6.

Shot of both men. Dale is scary looking. Willis is scared.

Dale: Don't ask.

Page 4

Panel 1.

Back in the vehicle, Willis is speechless in the backseat. His questioning and threatening of Dale is over.

Caption: Later...

Dale (thinking): The scare tactic needed to be done. Willis is skittish. I need him to follow my orders without question... for his own safety. I don't need him getting in the way.

Panel 2.

Close-up serious shot of Dale.

Dale: It's time to pull my weight. I'm coming for you, Silver.

Panel 3.

Casino watches Blue Moon/Pitawa's penthouse from a ledge on a nearby office building. He is crouched, looking like some creature of the night. He is watching Pitawa's penthouse.

Caption: A few minutes ago...

Casino (thinking): Blue Moon.

Panel 4.

Close-up.

Casino (thinking): You have gone to trusting others over your own loyal servants. And now these youths... you choose to have them destroyed?

Panel 5.

Dale's vehicle pulls up to the building in a far shot.

Casino (thinking): I recognize that motorcar.

Panel 6.

Dale gets out of the car, armed to the teeth with two submachine guns and a weapons belt across his chest loaded with ammo.

Casino (thinking): Dale Turcott? Armed as a soldier.

Page 5

Panel 1.

Gideon follows Pitawa in a one-quarter shot of Gideon and a far shot of Pitawa. There are invisible energy emanations coming from Pitawa. This release of energy from Pitawa is overwhelming Gideon's senses, pounding in Gideon's head. Gideon holds his head.

Gideon (thinking): He must rarely use his power. This sudden use... it's like a vacuum to the natural magical energies in the area. My own magic is throbbing, resisting his evil. My head is pounding.

Panel 2.

Full shot of Pitawa, Gideon in the far background.

Gideon (thinking): What is he doing?

Panel 3.

Across town, at the headquarters of the regulatory government task force CST, Giganto is feeling the same pounding headache as Gideon. His teammate Jack looks at him concerned. Russell is a man in his early 40's, with a debonair look to him. He wears a sleek suit. Jack has a boyish look to him, appearing to be in his early 20's. Jack is wearing jeans and a T-Shirt.

Caption: Across town, in the facility housing the government parahuman task force affectionately known in the media as the "Canadian Super Team", Russell James, otherwise knownas team leader "Giganto", and Jack become immediately aware of the threat to the city...

Jack: Russell? You okay?

Russell: My awareness to high levels of energy... has gone off. There's some sort of presence, unlike anything we've ever encountered before... in the vicinity.

Panel 4.

Russell stands, picking up a helmet that was resting on the nearby end table of the sofa. He looks resolute in taking action. Jack looks on, ready for action.

Russell: We can't ignore this. Assemble the team... quickly. This is the sort of threat the government formed our team to fight.

Jack: This is the big enchilada? I get it, Russell.

Panel 5.

Large panel. Silver is standing naked (although tastefully shaded by the shadows in the room), but growling like some sort of animal. Link and Ares are each on a side of her. Hypnos is lying unconscious on the ground. Psychic flares float around Link's head, darting out towards Silver but being repulsed by her.

Ares: It has been some time, hasn't it? You don't seem to remember me.

Page 6

Panel 1.

Link is trying to sink his mental prongs into Silver still and failing. Ares is tentatively walking towards her, a little excited at the prospect of fighting. Silver is transforming into her bear form.

Link: I'm trying to possess her but I can't seem to penetrate her mental defenses, Ares. Almost as if she's entered into some feral state devoid of thought. She's completely on autopilot with no mind to speak of to take control of.

Link: Whatever knowledge of her is irrelevant unless it helps me take her over.

Panel 2.

He reaches out a hand.

Ares: Watch your tongue and remember your place, Link! I am your master, do not forget that.

Ares: Now... let me deal with this the way our people do...

Panel 3.

She chomps down on his forearm, surprising Ares. There is some blood. Link is watching, panic-stricken, his telepathic tentacles floating around Silver's head and bouncing off of her.

Link: Ares?

Fx: CHOMP!

Panel 4.

Tight shot of Silver with Ares' arm in her maw. Ares is still surprised. In his mind, he is three steps ahead planning his next move.

Ares: She has a preternatural grip. I would expect no less from her.

Panel 5.

In one fast move, Ares uses his strength to heft, single handed to the wall, smashing her frame with resounding impact, hoping the impact will shake her loose.

Fx: SMASH!

Page 7

Panel 1.

Silver raises herself up from the floor, apparently unaffected by the impact. The wall behind has given under the impact and has a massive indent into it. She is growling, spittle dribbling from her maw.

Fx: RAAWWR!

Panel 2.

Dale stands outside the penthouse apartment of Pitawa's, removing the safety off of his submachine guns.

Caption: Just outside the penthouse apartment, Dale Turcott has just arrived.

Dale (thinking): I left Willis in the vehicle with one of my pistols. He should be safe there while I take care of business here.

Voice (off-panel): A moment.

Panel 3.

Dale spins around, weapons ready to fire. Casino stands calmly before him.

Dale: You? What are you doing here... now?

Panel 4.

One-quarter shot of Casino.

Casino: Let me propose a deal with you.

Panel 5.

Dale kicks the door open in a far shot. He has both weapons aimed straight forward. Casino stands behind him. Silver doesn't even acknowledge his presence. Ares and Link both look towards Dale and Casino. Ares is bleeding profusely from his arm that Silver had chewed on.

Caption: Seconds later...

Dale: Hands in the air and no one gets hurt!

Panel 6.

One-quarter side shot of Dale and Casino. Dale is concerned for Silver, recognizing she has lost her humanity. Casino is studying Dale.

Dale: Silver?

Page 8

Panel 1.

Casino moves with blinding speed. He is in front of Ares with a charging punch to the face.

Caption: With supernatural speed, Casino charges Ares. Barely perceptible is the concern he has for Dale's worry over Silver's feral state.

Fx: SMASH!

Panel 2.

Casino continues his attack on Ares, with another couple of blows. Ares is moving in slow motion next to Casino. Link darts out with another telepathic prod at Casino, but this time too it bounces off. Casino's mind is too slippery. Focus on Link in this panel.

Link (thinking): What the hell? His mind is like quicksilver. I can't get a hold of his mind either. I'm feeling freaking useless!

Panel 3.

Focus on Link. His mental tendril sways around towards Dale. Dale is looking for another target now that Ares is tied up with Casino and Silver. He spies Link. Ares is getting hit now from both sides: Silver swipes him with a claw to the side, Casino another blow to the head.

Panel 4.

Focus on Dale. Link's tendril has locked onto Dale. Dale is possessed. There's a blank look on Dale's face.

Panel 5.

Focus on Ares. Ares spins, shoving Casino into Silver and lunges towards Dale (off-panel).

Caption: Unaware that Link has taken control of Dale Turcott, Ares extricates himself from Silver and Casino, focusing on the new threat in the room...

Panel 6.

Ares is in the air, coming down upon Dale. Ares' attack surprises Link (in Dale's body). Ares' shadow is upon Dale/Link.

Page 9

Panel 1.

Large panel. Dale/Link opens fire on Ares with both sub machine guns. The shots stop Ares' movement, sending him reeling back... but still on his feet.

Fx: BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA!

Panel 2.

Unaware of Dale being possessed, but aware that Dale can cope with Ares, Casino darts across to Link with a clothesline, taking Link out cold. Silver charges Ares, claws out and scratches at Ares, forcing him back. He is on the defensive now. Dale is recovering himself, from Link losing contact.

Fx (on Link): WHUMP!

Fx (on Ares): SLASH!

Panel 3.

Dale straightens himself out and takes a bead on Ares (off-panel)

Dale (thinking): What happened? I lost control there for a minute... but looks like I hurt the big guy. But he's still not down!

Panel 4.

One-quarter shot on Ares. Dale (off-panel) connects with a three bullet head shot.

Fx: BUDDA!

Panel 5.

Ares stumbles back from the hit, out through the open window.

Page 10

Panel 1.

Outside, Gideon is bracing himself against Pitawa's power emanations. He is holding himself up against a wall for support. His hand is against his head. From Gideon's perspective Pitawa can be seen, energy flares around him, something the passers-by are unaware of.

Caption: Meanwhile a block away, Pitawa's energies flare out invisibly from his body, the surrounding bystanders completely unaware of his power or threat. Only Gideon can see the danger Pitawa poses...

Gideon (thinking): The longer he uses his power, the more I'm acclimatizing to it. It's not splitting my head as much anymore.

Gideon (thinking): Although I'm not likely going to get rid of this splitting headache anytime soon.

Panel 2.

Close-up of Gideon. A sinister look upon his face.

Gideon (thinking): I should strike now... kill him for the pain he put my family through... then I can go forward with my plans...

Panel 3.

He stops for a second, shaking his head and the evil look from his face.

Panel 4.

He is questioning himself, completely surprised by his own thoughts.

Gideon (thinking): What? What plans? Destroy him...

Panel 5.

Front close-up of Pitawa, looking back over his shoulder. In a far shot, Gideon moves forward, groggy and confused.

Gideon (thinking): Where did that thought come from?

Panel 6.

Close-up shot of Gideon. Black tentacles reach out towards him.

Gideon (thinking): I can't worry about that now. I have to follow Pitawa, and learn of his plans.

Page 11-12

Double page spread. Gideon is being grappled by a dozen tentacles, sprouted as Pitawa's hair.

Pitawa: You thought I wasn't aware of you following me, Manus!!!

Page 13

Panel 1.

Gideon is helpless, locked up by the tendril-like hair of Pitawa. Pitawa moves in studying Gideon. He is annoyed. Gideon is showing his fear. The passers-by completely oblivious of what is going on.

Pitawa: I am not a fool. But it appears you are.

Panel 2.

Gideon is totally trapped and at Pitawa's mercy. Pitawa pulls him in closer so he can study Gideon.

Pitawa: I have been aware of your insolence for a long time. But more pressing concerns have kept me busy elsewhere. Only recently have I decided to get involved with your son and his partners.

Panel 3.

Far shot. They both are invisible to those around them.

Pitawa: As easily as I disguise ourselves from those around us...

Panel 4.

Full side shot of both men. Innocent people walk by unawares.

Pitawa: ...I was able to learn you'd convinced your son's partners that you were dead when in fact you had possessed your very own son, supplanting his own essence with your own.

Panel 5.

Over the shoulder shot (Gideon) of Pitawa.

Pitawa: You thought I wouldn't notice? You thought I wouldn't know you'd violated the Chain of Being?

Pitawa: Your existence is a travesty, Manus. And now I must undo all I have wrought.

Gideon (thinking): What is he talking about? He thinks I'm my father? Manus Katharta?

Page 14

Panel 1.

Energy travels through the tendrils into Gideon's body, jolting him.

Gideon: AAAAAAARGH!

Fx: ZAAAAAAAAAAP!

Panel 2.

Pitawa looks back over his shoulder at the voice shouting at him.

Giganto (off-panel): Enough!

Panel 3.

Large panel. The CST (Giganto, Jack, REM, and Host) has arrived. Giganto: 16 feet tall with a navy bowl type helmet that covers from the bridge of the nose up, dark blue T-Shirt with green metal bracelets that go up to mid-forearm, dark blue stripped pants with green knee-high boots; Jack: Blue jeans, T-shirt broken into emerald green and olive by a V, and clunky combat boots; REM: Bulky armor, with enhanced blocky musculature for the pectorals, shoulders, and thighs. Bulky boots housing rockets at the heel and wheeled under the sole, underslung shotgun built into the back of the left arm and a laser mounted onto the top of the right wrist. Host is as described earlier in the series in the gaudy golden and purple outfit with oversized cape. REM is rolling in on his rollerblades, Jack is being carried by the oversized Giganto, and Host is running along with his mystic bow in hand. Pitawa is looking on in surprise.

Giganto: Unhand him, fiend! You may be fooling the surrounding people with whatever illusion power you have but I can see right through you.

Host: Guys? That's Gideon, the mage I was telling you about...

Host: What's he doing here?

Page 15

Panel 1.

Ares falls from the 40th story of the penthouse apartment of Pitawa.

Caption: Meanwhile, a block away and 40 stories above the ground...

Panel 2.

Silver changes back into her human form, still on all fours. Casino is holding Link by the lapels in his hands. Link is unconscious. Dale is watching transfixed.

Caption: Ares falls to his apparent death...

Silver: It's done. Over.

Dale: He fell out the window...

Silver: Well deserved.

Panel 3.

Shot of both El Tigre and Stick slumped on the floor.

Dale (off-panel): Silver? Are Stick and El Tigre...?

Panel 4.

She reaches out with her mind towards El Tigre. She reaches out with a hand, figuratively pointing to her power on El Tigre.

Silver: No. El Tigre is still alive.

Panel 5.

Dale walks over to Stick, a tentative look on his face. Casino walks over behind Dale, uncomfortable with this moment.

Dale: So, Stick...

Panel 6.

Silver is bawling.

Silver: *Sob*

Panel 7.

Shot from the waist down of Casino and Dale. Stick's motionless body at their feet.

Dale: Stick...

Page 16

Panel 1.

Casino and Dale in a one-quarter shot in the forefront of the panel, Silver sitting on the floor in a far shot, over Dale's shoulder. They all are looking out the smashed open window (that Ares fell out of).

From the street: COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS WHERE WE CAN SEE THEM!

Dale: Wha? What now?

Panel 2.

Worm's eye view of the upper floor. In the forefront of the panel are three other members of the "Canadian Super Team": Sara Diamond, a 6'5" tall diamond-skinned female powerhouse; Turtle, almost a literal translation of the name with a hard skinned body armor surrounding his body; and Slade, the geo-force controlling second in command. They all stand over the broken body of Ares, a mess on the sidewalk.

Caption: On the streets below, over the broken body of Ares stand the remaining members of the "CST" who had decided to check the building where passersby identified the conflict had started.

Slade: WE SAW YOU SHOOT THIS GUY OUT OF THE WINDOW. YOU'VE MURDERED HIM AND WE'RE TAKING YOU IN!

Turtle: Good thing you thought of splitting off from the rest of our group and checking the blasted out window on this side of the building, Slade.

Sara Diamond: Enough talk. Let's take them in. I'm spoiling for a fight.

Panel 3.

Slight worm's eye view. Dale is stepping to the edge at the window, looking down. He has both submachine guns held at his sides. He is looking down.

Dale: We've murdered...? Stick is dead at their hands...

Panel 4.

Silver is looking up from Stick to Dale. Tears stream down her face.

Panel 5.

Dale looks back to Casino... who is suddenly gone.

Dale: He's gone... I don't even know his name. Where did you go, friend?

Silver: *Sob*

Page 17

Panel 1.

Back on the street, Slade and Turtle are conversing with one another, a crowd of bystanders milling around the celebrity heroes. Sara Diamond has had enough waiting and is walking away from them.

Turtle: We need to get up there, mate. Before they escape.

Panel 2.

Far shot of Sara Diamond. She is using her massive strength to create handholds in the building and is climbing up. Slade and Turtle are watching on.

Turtle: And before Sara Diamond hogs all the action as per usual.

Slade: I'm on it, Turtle.

Panel 3.

Hands outstretched, earth cracks through the foundation of sidewalk building up into a mass.

Slade: I'm on it.

Panel 4.

Same shot as last, except the earth has formed into a steep stairwell leading up to the 40th floor and Pitawa's penthouse.

Panel 5.

Inside, Dale is panicking at Silver, trying to get her verbally to shake off her sadness for a moment to focus on the problem at hand.

Dale: Silver! We've got to go. They'll be here any second!

Dale: Silver, can't you use your powers to wake up Joaquin? Please. I can't carry both Stick and El Tigre out of here.

Bird's eye view. Dale is looking out the window at Sara Diamond climbing the side of the building, and Slade and Turtle scaling the earth stairway.

Dale: We are so screwed. That's the CST out there. They'll be here any second!

Dale: Oh hell...

Panel 6.

Dale fires off some warning shots at the CST.

Fx: BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA!

Page 18

Panel 1.

Back shot behind Turtle, bullets striking the earthen stair steps ahead of them, easily missing them. Turtle is using his body to protect Slade from any stray shots.

Slade: Who is this whack job? He's a psychopath. He's just some guy with a gun. He can't hope to take on the CST!

Voice (behind Dale and off-panel): Dale!

Panel 2.

Dale whirls around in a slight panic. El Tigre is standing groggily in front of Dale.

El Tigre: What's going on, Dale?

Dale: Tigre? You're up... and okay.

Panel 3.

Dale pushes El Tigre away from the window.

Dale: We have to get out of here, Tigre. The CST are here.

El Tigre: The CST? That's Host's group...

Dale: He's not with them and they intend to punch our clock after what we did to that muscle bound idiot of Blue Moon's.

Panel 4.

El Tigre is concerned with Dale and shooting a loaded weapon into the streets.

El Tigre: Ares? Where is he? And why are you opening fire on the CST... Host's team? Are you crazy?

Panel 5.

Silver is standing in her human form behind El Tigre. She has a calming hand on his shoulder. She has stopped crying, but her face is still stained with her tears.

Stick: Stick is dead, Joaquin. Ares and his flunky killed him. Because of Dale, the rest of us are still alive.

El Tigre: Stick? Dead? That can't be...

Panel 6.

El Tigre is facing Silver, looking into her eyes, and realizing the truth.

El Tigre: Madre de dios...

Page 19

Panel 1.

Giganto throws Jack at Pitawa with a resounding impact. Gideon is still in the clutches of Pitawa's hair. Host is pulling back on his mystical bow.

Caption: Meanwhile, a block away, the rest of the "CST" launches their attack against Pitawa. Giganto hefts Jack at Pitawa with all his strength as Jack increases his density to 100 tons...

Fx: BWOOOOM!

Panel 2.

Host launches two rapid bowshots, striking at the tentacles from Pitawa's head.

Fx: ZOT! ZOT!

Panel 3.

Pitawa stands there, growing to 20 feet. He is holding a hand up to his head, shaking the cobwebs. He is annoyed and unhurt. Jack is getting back on his feet, a little surprised he had no effect on Pitawa.

Pitawa: Who are these fools that would attack me?

Panel 4.

Pitawa's tentacles fling Gideon aside. Jack runs back, ready for the next attack...

Pitawa: This is not a fight I planned, but it seems fate had other plans here. You've angered and annoyed me. Worse yet, you've delayed my plans.

Panel 5.

Three-quarter shot of REM. He throws a grenade.

REM: I hate monologues. Let's cut this one short.

Panel 6.

Inside shot of the explosion with Pitawa at the centre of it, illuminated by the light of the explosion.

Fx: BOOM!

Page 20

Panel 1.

Barely unfazed, Pitawa grows an additional 10 feet to a height of some 30 feet, dwarfing Giganto's own 16 feet, as he absorbs the power of the explosion.

Pitawa: You will not retreat will you? Your attacks are nothing against me. I merely absorb your attacks.

Panel 2.

Shot of surprise from the CST (only REM, Giganto and Host).

REM: Oops. I think I just made things worse.

Panel 3.

Shadow overtop of them.

Panel 4.

Pitawa steps attempting to crush them. REM doesn't move, but Giganto and Host barely manage to scatter out of the way.

Fx: STOMP!

Panel 5.

Jack charges Pitawa's ankle with a resounding impact.

Jack: NO! Get off REM!

Page 21

Panel 1.

An explosion from under Pitawa's foot as Pitawa sends Jack flying backwards with an underhand swat.

Fx: SLAP!

Fx: Bwoom!

Panel 2.

Pitawa raises his foot to reveal REM, unhurt and blasting away with his laser and variable pistol at the underside of Pitawa's foot.

Panel 3.

Far shot. REM continues the barrage, forcing Pitawa back (more in surprise than anything). Giganto points to Pitawa.

Giganto: Press our advantage! If we can keep him off balance we have our opening!

Panel 4.

Inside a shop, Gideon is pulling himself up amid shattered glass. He is hurt, with a few scratches but nothing serious.

Caption: In a floral shop, just across from the battle, Gideon gets to his feet after Pitawa launched him through the shop's front window.

Gideon (thinking): He could have killed me but he held back. Why?

Panel 5.

Close-up of Pitawa.

Gideon (thinking and off-panel):

Gideon (thinking): The CST don't stand a chance. This isn't their fight.

Panel 6.

Close-up of Gideon, pressing his fingers into his temples to clear his ringing head.

Gideon (thinking): And this isn't my father's fight.

Gideon (thinking): Somehow he's exacting some sort of control over me... making me reckless... abrasive... endangering Joaquin and Stick to fight Pitawa's minions when I should have been at their side.

Page 22

Splash. Gideon stands, resolute in what he needs to do.

Gideon (thinking): This is my fight! And I will choose how it goes down. Not my father and not Pitawa.

Gideon (thinking): Pitawa thinks he can use me.

Gideon (thinking): My dead father thinks he can use me.

Gideon: No longer! I'm coming for you, Pitawa!

Caption: Next Issue: Gideon faces Pitawa and the repercussions of Stick's death on the team and their mission to assemble the Symka tablets.