Symka: Part 27

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2005

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"My father had to die. It was pre-ordained."

Page 1

Panel 1

Far, far bird's eye view shot from behind a man (Manus Katharta) pushing his way through the streets of Hong Kong. His hair is long and he wears a Fu Manchu moustache. He is dressed in the local garb, with loose flowing clothes. The streets are a mass of bodies commuting.

Caption: 1952.

Panel 2

Far shot of the man trying to make his way to the side of the crowded street

Panel 3

3/4 shot of the man, finally making it near the doorway to a bar on the side of the street. A rooster hangs from a board off a hook over the door.

Panel 4

1/4 shot just over the man's shoulder. He is pushing the door open.

Page 2

Splash Page. Katharta enters the bar in a slight three-quarter worm's eye view shot.

Title: FAMILY TIES

Page 3

Panel 1

Three-quarter shot. Katharta steps up to the bar of this place. The place is a shambles, looking like a small breeze would be enough to topple it. There are cracks in the walls everywhere. He shouts out something to the barkeep (who has his back to him behind the bar).

Katharta: Mandarin

Panel 2

The man turns around, acknowledging him. There is a slight fear in his eyes.

Panel 3

He points to a table (off-panel).

Panel 4

A man in his 50's (with a balding head and a thin pointy beard) is nursing a drink.

Panel 5

Katharta approaches him.

Page 4

Panel 1

Katharta sits at the table with the man.

Old Man: I have the information you require.*

Katharta (In translated text): But do you have what I asked of you.*

Panel 2

Katharta hands the man a small bag of something.

Katharta: You are lucky I like you, old man.

Panel 3

The old man pours the contents of the bag onto the table, which elicits panic from Katharta.

Katharta: What are you doing?

Old man: Checking the payment, Manus.

Katharta: Do you know what I did for this? If someone finds out...

Page 5

Panel 1

The old man points a finger in Katharta's face.

Old man: You are Katharta! Everyone fears you. Anyone in their right mind would forget anything they saw.

Panel 2

The old man gives a look to the bartender...

Panel 3

... who turns his attention back away.

Panel 4

The old man pours the contents back in the bag.

Old man: These are suitable.

Katharta: I missed you, my old friend.

Old man: Old?

Page 6

Panel 1

The old man is completely unafraid of Katharta. In fact, Katharta is more ill at ease than the old man.

Old man: Yes I am old...

Old man: ...unlike you.

Panel 2

Katharta looks around nervously.

Old man: You haven't aged a day in 20 years.

Katharta: It's been far longer than 20 years...

Old man: But you're still the young one who shakes in fear at discovery. You let that ancestor of yours rule you in fear.

Panel 3

Katharta is refocusing on the old man.

Katharta: That fear is ingrained in me. I think I'm genetically predisposed...

Old man: Pshaw! You are a coward pure and simple.

Panel 4

They both laugh.

Panel 5

The old man pulls out a scroll from his robe, as he shakes off the laughter.

Old man: I thank you for not killing me, Manus. Unlike the others around you that you mercilessly torture... you still give this old man some respect.

Katharta: It's that lack of fear I admire in you. So what do you have?

Page 7

Panel 1

The scroll is laid out flat on the table. It's a papyrus marking of one of the tablets. An etching was made on the papyrus with charcoal.

Old man: Someone copied this from a stone tablet onto the papyrus.

Panel 2

Katharta is looking up from the scroll at the old man, incredulous.

Katharta: A stone tablet?

Old man: This tablet is one of the Symka tablets.

Panel 3

1/4 shot of Katharta.

Katharta: The Symka... are you certain.

Panel 4

1/4 shot of the old man, a pleased look on his face.

Old man: Yes. They do exist. You have your proof, my friend.

Panel 5

Close-up of Katharta's. He is scheming.

Page 8

Splash of Katharta slitting a man's neck with a kukri blade. The man does not resist the attack. Katharta is shirtless, wearing a sash around his waist and baggy pants and no footwear. A woman is watching the killing, with her eyes full of hysterical tears.

Caption: 1903.

Page 9

Panel 1

Three-quarter shot. Katharta is holding the woman's face in one hand, wiping a tear from her face with his thumb. She is trying to pull her face away from him, refusing to look at him.

Katharta: You will come to understand, my Marimus.

Panel 2

Close-up of Marimus, eyes closed.

Katharta (off-panel except for his hand on her face): My father had to die. It was pre-ordained. Do not hate me... hate him.

Panel 3

Close-up of Marimus's face, similar shot as the last, but obviously in another time.

Caption: 1900.

Pitawa (off-panel): Manus... you have dragged this on for far too long.

Panel 4

Marimus is in the background, watching over her shoulder Pitawa and Katharta arguing. Pitawa has hair just past his ears and a clean-shaven face. He is quite dashing wearing a tight vest over a poet's shirt and riding pants and boots. Katharta still wears the same garb.

Pitawa: You must face your father... snuff the life from him and continue the chain.

Katharta: Pitawa, why must I...

Panel 5

Pitawa chokes Katharta, pushing him down towards the ground, while Marimus watches on in panic.

Pitawa: Do not question me!

Page 10

Panel 1 and 2

Pitawa gives a lustful glance over at Marimus in Panel 1, while Marimus watches back in disgust in Panel 2, both in one-quarter shots.

Panel 3

Katharta sitting in a lotus position on a stone floor. Tight full body shot.

Caption: 1960.

Panel 4

Far shot of the last panel, with half a dozen bodies heaped around him. He is sitting within a pentagram. The room is large with stone columns interspersed every thirty feet. The room is drab with no decoration.

Panel 5

Same shot, slightly different place. The room is similar to the last one, but he is on a blue marble floor. The marble is cracked in several places as if the place had suffered some sort of explosion at some time. This time, he has ancient writing on his skin in blood. Twelve bodies surround him. Two priests in robes stand on each side of him, hands tucked in their sleeves. He is starting to get to his feet.

Caption: 1965.

Panel 6

Similar to the last two panels. He is fully standing moving towards one of the priests. This time Katharta is in a dank wine cellar, with racks of wine adorning a carved earthen wall.

Caption: 1967.

Page 11

Splash Page. Katharta slashes the priest's neck with a kukri blade.

Page 12

Panel 1

Marimus is sleeping in a bed, comfortably in a one-quarter shot. There is a shadow over her bed. The room itself is well lit.

Caption: In Sweden. 1968.

Voice (off-panel): Marimus...

Panel 2

Pitawa (dressed in a suit with wide lapels and a thin tie), pulls Marimus out of the bed roughly by her arm in a full shot. The room is an attic bedroom in some rustic cottage.

Pitawa: It is time!

Panel 3

She spits in his face in a tight one-quarter shot of both of them.

Panel 4

With his free hand he calmly wipes the spit off.

Page 13

Panel 1

Pitawa tosses her across the room into the wall (opposite the window where the light shines in). She hits hard.

Pitawa: Cow.

Panel 2

Pitawa stands overtop of Marimus. She is recovering from the throw. The light from the window shines brightly behind him, which creates shadows over his ominous face.

Panel 3

Close-up shot of Pitawa.

Pitawa: Marimus... dear Marimus. Have you not forgiven me? Will you ever?

Panel 4

She looks up, with anger against Pitawa much older than her husband Katharta.

Page 14

Panel 1

Hong Kong. Pitawa with Marimus at his side walks into a hovel of a room. She looks beaten down (figuratively) and obedient to Pitawa. Katharta owns the room, which is adorned with nothing more than a broken sofa. There are no windows. Katharta stands shocked at Pitawa's arrival.

Pitawa: The line grows strong in you, my ancestor, and it must continue in your own son.

Panel 2

Side shot of Katharta and Marimus.

Pitawa: But you do not have a son. I learned that much from Marimus.

Panel 3

Pitawa cups Marimus's face in his hand in a one-quarter shot.

Pitawa: She is not yet barren. There are no excuses, Manus. None!

Panel 4

Katharta stares at Pitawa, the wheels in his head turning.

Panel 5

Katharta is walking up stone stairs, leaving behind 12 bodies. Words are painted in blood on his body.

Caption: Later.

Katharta: Marimus?

Katharta: It is time.

Page 15

Panel 1

Close-up of Marimus. Her head is tilted sideways and she is crying. There is a shadow over her.

Panel 2

A pregnant Marimus stands next to Katharta. Pitawa looks regal and evil, wearing a tight black turtleneck and chinos. He is looking at the baby in Marimus.

Caption: 1972.

Pitawa: Finally. Why you both despise the act so much...

Panel 3

Katharta, head down, gritting his teeth.

Pitawa (off-panel): You have regained my trust, Manus. You have an heir to power now.

Panel 4

Marimus with a blanket overtop of her pregnant body, her legs raised. She is giving birth. It is excruciating.

Caption: "An heir that must kill you on his 16th birthday."

Panel 5

A baby, wrapped in blankets. It is Gideon.

Voice (off-panel): You...

Page 16

Panel 1

Large panel. Katharta is standing over the baby.

Katharta: You will not be my undoing,...

Panel 2

Close-up of the baby. The baby is crying.

Katharta (off-panel): ...Gideon.

Page 17

Panel 1

Marimus is standing protectively over a 5 year old Gideon. They are in a one-room shack, with a wood-burning stove, and a single feather bed.

Caption: 1977.

Manus: Gideon...

Panel 2

She crouches down to Gideon's level, so that they are face to face in a 3/4 shot.

Marimus: ... your father is...

Marimus: ...different.

Marimus: And you must be prepared. But not for his purposes.

Panel 3

Full shot. 5 year old Gideon stands in a wide stance. He is concentrating with his eyes closed. Behind him is Marimus, holding his arms up. Sparkles of green energy are coming out of his hands.

Panel 4

Katharta, on a dock in Shanghai. His hair is long and he is clean-shaven. He is being handed one of the Symka tablets, swaddled in a blanket. The man handing him the tablet is a young Chinese Man wearing sunglasses and an Armani suit.

Panel 5

Katharta is walking away from the man, who is lying dead on the docks. Katharta is carrying the tablet.

Page 18

Panel 1

Outside shot of Marimus's shack. Katharta is outside of it, walking towards the door.

Caption: 1985.

Panel 2

Katharta opens the door in a worm's eye view, coming into panel.

Katharta: I have returned. But I will be leaving again soon.

Panel 3

Reverse shot, bird's eye view of Marimus and Gideon looking up at Katharta (out of panel).

Katharta (off-panel): Gideon... pray he doesn't find us here... for your sake.

Panel 4

Marimus is rushing Gideon away from the shack.

Caption: 1988.

Marimus: Go, go go, Gideon. Before he returns.

Panel 5

1/4 shot of Gideon running through the woods, tears streaming down his face.

Page 19

Panel 1

Gideon standing on the edge of a boat, the wind blowing through his hair.

Panel 2

Reverse shot from the last panel of Marimus, tearless, looking out the window.

Panel 3

Katharta stands in the room of the shack facing Marimus, who has her back to him.

Katharta: Marimus?

Panel 4

Full shot, she faces him, fear in her stance.

Katharta: Where is Gideon?

Panel 5

She breaks down, crying.

Marimus: He ran away, Manus. He was frantic. He saw what you do in the crypt... the sacrifices...

Panel 6

Shot of Katharta and Marimus crying in front of him. She is trying to drive home the story.

Katharta: He ran away? Are you lying to me, Marimus?

Manus: Why would I send my son away? Why would I send the only thing I care about away?

Page 20

Panel 1

Katharta hugs her. Her face is buried in his arms, she smiles, having gotten away with the lie.

Panel 2

1/4 shot of Katharta.

Katharta: Surely, Pitawa cannot blame us for this. What can he do to me if Gideon has gotten away? Perhaps it is better this way.

Page 21

Panel 1

Gideon and Host are walking through the front door of the mansion. El Tigre, Silver and Dale Turcott are there. Dale is still unconscious, slumped on a sofa in the foyer. Silver and El Tigre have an arm wrapped around each other, comforting each other. Gideon and Host have surprised looks on their faces. Gideon has Stick's staff (wrapped) in his hands. Gideon: Silver? Joaquin?

Panel 2

Host steps forward.

Host: What's going on? Did something happen?

Panel 3

Silver reaches out almost subconsciously with her telepathy to Host and Gideon.

Panel 4

Shocked look on Gideon's face.

Page 22

Panel 1

Close-up of Gideon's hand letting go of the staff.

Panel 2

The staff hits the ground.

Panel 3

One-quarter shot, wide panel. Joaquin and Silver are worn out from crying but the impact is hitting both Gideon and Host.

Panel 4

Gideon lowers his face into a hand, overwhelmed with grief.

Panel 5

He goes over and hugs Silver.

Caption: The End? Don't bet on it. Things are steaming up now. The search for the final tablet begins!