Symka: Part 31

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2005

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"It is a weakness of mine to help others grow."

Page 1.

Splash page of the main foyer of the place. Lurch is leading the group through the temple, but looking back at them. He is an elegant guest, with perfect manners. Everyone is nervous and unsure of how to take Lurch's hospitality. This is a very awkward situation for them. The furnishings in the temple are lush and expensive, with tapestries everywhere, marble tables with ancient vases and other hand carved or blown knick-knacks. The temple is spacious, with 25 foot vaulted ceilings.

Caption: In the middle of the Pacific Ocean on an island called Mordo Island, Lurch, the island's apparent ruler has invited Gideon, El Tigre, Silver, and Dale Turcott inside his temple.

Caption: After a pitched battle between Lurch's factions, a truce happened when Silver psionically made contact with Lurch through one of his disciples.

Caption: And now... they are getting the tour of the place...

Lurch: You are the first visitors to the temple I have allowed in a very long time. You should feel honored. Some of the treasures in this temple have never been looked on by outside eyes.


Page 2

Panel 1

Lurch leads the group down the hall. There are paintings every 4-5 feet along the wall. The paintings are neo-classical, common people doing common things (at a sewing machine, cutting potatoes in a rustic log cabin, etc...).

Lurch: I want to thank you for taking my invitation seriously. I would apologize about my over-exuberance with Snapshot... but I would be lying if I did. I suspect he had come here to end my life and steal one of my treasures.

Panel 2

Lurch takes a look at El Tigre with a knowing smile.

Panel 3

1/4 shot of the group, with Lurch at its head, down the hallway.

Lurch: I have lived here for... many years. It wasn't of my choosing, but I have made the most of it.

Lurch: Come in here and let me show what I've been working on.

Panel 4

Large panel. Wide open room, sunken from the previous floor. They come in through a door at the top of a set of stairs leading down against the wall. On the main floor here is a large wine barrel, with disciples stomping grapes in it into wine. There are also open barrels of wheat, rice, and various other natural foods. There are several people working here, taking small containers (made of banded reeds) of product. There are trays of eggs and other assortments of grains, milk, and other foods. This is not a production line, but merely a large attachment to a kitchen, where all the food is kept.

Lurch: When I came here, nothing much grew here. It was a desolate island, with no real vegetation... no self-sustaining eco-system of any kind. Nothing could live here.

Lurch: The soil, the water, everything on the island was contaminated or devoid of life. I nurtured what was here, harnessing my own powers to help create life here. It took some time.

Lurch: At first I was only able to sustain very minimal food sources. But after much time, and using my own powers to "clean" the land, nature took care of itself and became self-sustaining.

Page 3

Panel 1

Lurch walks them past a "classroom" with disciples in meditation sitting in the lotus position on the ground. The room is sparse, with only rugs under each of them and a small number of candles along the edges of the room. Gideon is paying particular attention here to the students.

Lurch: Here, we teach the magical arts. But only after many months of attuning. The group of students is learning how to drive out all negativity, all distractions, and all worries.

Panel 2

1/4 shot of Lurch, El Tigre, Gideon, Silver, and Dale.

Lurch: Only through the emptying of the soul can one achieve proper harmony with magic. This discipline will help steer the student to not abuse the magic and use it for... unnatural ends.

Panel 3

Close-up shot of Lurch, with a tint of evil on his face.

Lurch: I do not condone the misuse of magic.

Panel 4

Lurch is leading them down a spiral staircase.

Gideon: How powerful do these students become? Isn't their existence a threat to you?

Panel 5

El Tigre and Silver looking on in shock at Gideon, afraid he might have angered Lurch.

Panel 6

3/4 shot of Gideon and Lurch. Lurch has a sinister smile.

Lurch: Yes, I suppose you are right. It is a weakness of mine to help others grow.

Page 4

Panel 1

Lurch is leading them down the hall at the bottom of the stairs. He is using his magic, in the form of a small flare, to light the torchiers in the hall in one long flame catching each torch. El Tigre is watching this suspiciously. Silver is worried about being in the basement to this place. Gideon is unfazed and exuding confidence bordering on arrogance.

Lurch: But it was that that brought the followers to the temple.

Panel 2

Tight 3/4 shot, with Lurch leading the way, and over his shoulder the remaining following him.

Lurch: After I was able to correct the ecosystem here, the island started acquiring some residents. I...don't fully remember how the first residents arrived, but word of this paradise spread. Soon there were many on the island.

Panel 3

Continuing down the long hallway, past several hallways and rooms with closed doors. Here there are fewer paintings, every 10 feet or so. They have traveled some 100 feet down this hallway. There are small alcoves along the walls, with small sculptures of various animals.

Lurch: I did not mingle with the natives. I had repaired the island, and they lived off it. And as long as they would treat the island with respect and not pillage the fruits of my labor, they held no interest to me.

Lurch: And they had a certain fear of the temple I had constructed. Back then, it wasn't more than a small place... a hole in the ground. But superstitions in those days were much stronger.

Panel 4

Side shot of the group. Lurch is trying to act modestly about the worship he receives.

Lurch: But soon, some found the courage to question the temple and go inside. These first few... worshipped me... as if I was some god. I helped them help themselves. In my honor they built onto the temple, creating the magnificent structure you see before you now.

Panel 5

Overhead shot of the group moving towards a large door.

Lurch: I became their shaman, their holy man... their mystic. Soon I couldn't help but enjoy their company. And some of them I taught. They called themselves my disciples. But they were friends I was trying to enlighten.

Lurch: I admit, they... enlightened me.

Page 5

Panel 1

3/4 shot. Looking back at the party, Lurch looks human, and a nice guy. Some of the mysteriousness is being peeled away. They are at a large ornately caved door, with a massive knocker on the door. It looks like middle European design.

Lurch: I healed their sick, kept them fed, and made sure the ecosystem I had worked so hard to create was left intact. The island was theirs to use, so long as they were responsible.

Panel 2

He opens the door to a banquet room. There are a couple of his disciples there bringing in trays of food. The food rests on a large oaken table, ornately carved on the edges. The meal is opulent with large fruits and vegetables and amazing cuts of meat.

Lurch: We have arrived. Here is where I dine. Come in and make yourselves comfortable. You surely must be hungry after that long trip and that battle.*

*Editor's Note: Happened last issue when Lurch attacked them with golems through one of his disciples.

Panel 3

Large panel to give off the full size of the spread. The group are seating themselves in a slight bird's eye view of the table, keeping their eyes on Lurch who is already sitting down. Lurch is giving El Tigre a sidelong glance, as if he was sizing him up. Joaquin is nervous the whole time, a feeling of unease. He can't quite place what it is.

Silver: Lurch... you have quite the paradise here.

Lurch: Paradise? No, I don't so, but I thank you for your kind words.

Panel 4

Lurch is seated and looking at Silver.

Lurch: This place is a prison. I have not left the temple in... many years. I have simply taken what I have and made the best of it.

Page 6

Panel 1

Back angled full shot of Snapshot, peering through the bushes. His costume is in tatters from the last battle.

Caption: Meanwhile outside, Snapshot has recovered from his foiled attack against Lurch.

Snapshot (thinking): That went well. Lurch was even more powerful than I had suspected. I'm sure that's another detail my esteemed boss left out. I should have done more research on this yahoo.

Panel 2

Snapshot moves through the brush in a front full shot. He is angry and frustrated, and thinking the situation through. He is bringing up his force field. Again, it is around his upper body like bulky armor, but this time, it surrounds his hands.

Snapshot (thinking): Well, now that they are all gone, it gives me the time to search something out.

Panel 3

He reached down at Stick's staff, on the ground amidst some burnt grass and brush.

Snapshot (thinking): This little piece of weaponry might be worth something to the boss.

Panel 4

Snapshot has the staff in hand. A shock comes out of the staff, channeling right through Snapshot's force field. He is literally getting fried.


Panel 5

Snapshot lies on the ground, unconscious. The force field is down. Snapshot is literally smoking. There is a flash of brimstone behind him, almost out of panel.

Panel 6

Tight shot of the heroes sitting around the table in Lurch's basement. The heroes are all watching Lurch as he sticks a fork into a potato, eager for him to take the first bite to prove the food is not poisoned.

Caption: Meanwhile...

Gideon: Your exile? How did that come about, Lurch?

Lurch: A long time ago, a demon named Mordo... staked a claim on my life.

Panel 7

Very tight shot of the heroes' eyes, wide in surprise.

El Tigre: Mordo!

Page 7

Panel 1

Wide shot of the group at the table. Silver is staring at the table recalling the hit she took from Mordo.

Lurch: I am aware of your... history with the demon. He is a vile creature, much more powerful that you likely realize.

Silver: Mordo...

Lurch (off-panel): I dismissed the danger he posed to me, thinking I was powerful enough... and intelligent enough.

Panel 2

Close shot of Lurch

Lurch: I was very wrong. Mordo broke down my spirit and instilled something in me I wasn't familiar with... fear.

Panel 3

Snapshot is awakening among the flora. The staff is next to him. A shadow stands over his body.

Snapshot (thinking): The staff, it jolted me with a burst of something... overrode my nervous system. I didn't even touch the bloody thing... it fed right through my force field.

(Off-panel) Mordo: It is as I crafted it.

Panel 4

Snapshot looks behind to find out who belongs to the voice.

Snapshot: Eh?

Panel 5

Tight close-up of Snapshot's face, in total surprise.

Page 8

Splash Page.

Mordo stands before Snapshot. The angle of the shot highlights Mordo's height, a staggering 13 feet tall. Snapshot can't help but shudder at this creature's appearance.

Mordo: Do not be afraid of me... yet.

Mordo: I am Mordo...

Mordo:...and I have need of your services.

Page 9

Panel 1

Snapshot is fighting fear, trying to stand proud up against this demon. His inquisitiveness is getting the better of him.

Snapshot: How did you...?

Mordo: I have been following the progress of this little band through the staff at your feet. I was summoned weeks ago by Joaquin Ramirez, whom you call El Tigre.

Mordo: Joaquin is... of interest to me.

Panel 2

Mordo, standing casually, intrigued by hearing his own words uttered. He is not so much explaining things to Snapshot as he is hearing himself talk.

Mordo: I wanted to keep tabs on Joaquin, but I did not want to get too close so he would know I was watching. Surprise is such an exquisite thing.

Mordo: I knew his partner Stick had no latent mystical powers, nothing that could detect anything for that matter. I took Stick's weapon and merged it with Morpheus' Staff of Woe.

Snapshot: Morpheus...

Panel 3

Mordo picks up the staff. It has no effect on him. Snapshot watches, unsure of what Mordo wants, but curious enough to stick around.

Mordo: Never mind about Morpheus. I enchanted the staff so that only Stick could wield it. This would keep Joaquin or any of the others for that matter from handling it and perhaps sensing my presence. The enchantment also has allowed me to keep track of them.

Panel 4

Snapshot stands a little more proudly, seeing the business side of things being presented here.

Snapshot: Why are you telling me this?

Mordo: Because we are partners. So that you can understand: Joaquin is very important to me. And so is Lurch's destruction.

Mordo: Let me tell you of my intentions here today. Now pay attention...

Page 10

Panel 1

Large panel. Mordo imbues energy into the staff mystically (one wooden staff, gnarled and old appears within Stick's staff). The light is blinding, but Mordo has no reaction to it. Snapshot is shielding his eyes.

Panel 2

Mordo holds the new staff out to Snapshot in a tight 1/4 shot.

Mordo: Here... you will need this. Snapshot: What?

Panel 3

Snapshot is staring at Mordo. He is pointing a finger at Mordo who is really oblivious to Snapshot's attitude.

Snapshot: Hang on one second here! I haven't agreed to anything. You may look scary as sin, but I don't kowtow to anybody, hombre. And you aren't going to bribe me with some stupid staff.

Panel 4

Snapshot goes face to face with Mordo.

Snapshot: You got that?

Panel 5

On the shores of the island a mist is rolling in... a familiar mist. Behind the mist is Morpheus' shadow cast over the beach.

Caption: Mordo: "Snapshot... you misinterpret me. I have every intention of paying you for your services. But instead of trading riches, which you are usually so fond of... I am going to offer you something better."

Page 11

Panel 1

Far shot of the two with some garbled conversation (because of the distance). A fog is rising in the forefront of the panel. Morpheus' arm can be seen from behind.

Mordo: asdarh haheah ahehahea.

Panel 2

Under-arm shot from Mordo. Front shot of Snapshot. He is looking at Mordo incredulously.

Snapshot: did you just offer me... you got to be kidding me...

Mordo: If you knew me at all, you would know I don't 'kid'. But make your choice now.

Panel 3

Snapshot eyes Mordo cautiously.

Snapshot: Okay, I'm in. What do you want from me?

Panel 4

Snapshot takes the staff from Mordo finally.

Mordo: First, take this. You will need it.

Snapshot: This? Okay, okay. But I don't need no stinking...

Panel 5

Snapshot looking over his shoulder in a tight 1/4 shot. A shadow is cast over him.

Morpheus (off-panel): I have come for you.

Page 12


Morpheus stands behind Snapshot who is twisting around to view him. Mordo stands there unafraid. Snapshot is dwarfed by both... men.

Mordo: Morpheus? What a pleasure to see you again. And you've acquired some courage since last we met.

Page 13

Panel 1

Morpheus floats there, his lower half tucked in some fog-like gas. He appears to drawing on every last vestige of courage he has and barely hanging on.

Morpheus: I know why you are here, Mordo. You've come to kill Lurch. I cannot let that happen. This time I will beat you.

Mordo: You are not worth the effort, Morpheus.

Panel 2

Tight frame with Snapshot standing sideways and looking at Morpheus (out of panel). He has the staff in hand and his force field grows over him. Mordo stands behind him filling up the panel. Snapshot is ready to fight.

Mordo: That's why my guardian here will do the job for me.

Snapshot: You want me to do this? Take out this sorry-looking freak?

Panel 3

Snapshot leaps up in the air, swinging the staff like a club at Morpheus, striking him over the head in a wide swing.


Page 14

Panel 1

Morpheus grabs Snapshot's arm with one of his large hands, crushing Snapshot's force field under his strength. Snapshot winces in pain.

Morpheus: Perhaps you have lost your courage, Mordo.

Panel 2

Morpheus flings Snapshot away like he was tossing a rock. Although Snapshot resists, he was no opposition to Morpheus.

Morpheus: For you to hide behind a gnat like this speaks volumes.

Panel 3

Tight full shot (partially coming out of the panel) with his upper body in the forefront of the panel and lower body tapering off in a far shot. The staff glows as Snapshot flies through the air.

Snapshot: What?

Panel 4

Far, far shot. Snapshot is flying in a wide arc. He is actually flying by the assistance of the staff.

Snapshot (thinking): Okay... this is cool!

Page 15

Panel 1

Full shot, slight worm's eye view. Snapshot leaps onto Morpheus' back. Snapshot has a hand on each side of the staff, pulling against Morpheus' neck, trying to choke him. Mordo stands watching the battle in the background, not the least bit unnerved. He is confident in his champion.

Snapshot: Alright, ugly. Let's see you get out of this.

Panel 2

Morpheus shifts his eyes up at Snapshot, the choke having no effect in a tight 1/4 shot of both men.

Morpheus: You fool... I do not breathe.

Panel 3

Far shot. The staff glows. Morpheus starts grasping for his throat. He is choking. Mordo is watching, completely impressed.

Mordo: You have the hang of it, Snapshot.

Panel 4

Morpheus is grasping at the staff, trying to get free from it. Snapshot is hanging on for dear life. Far shot. Mordo, in the forefront of the panel in a 1/4 shot of his torso, is in the middle of a speech.

Mordo: You see, poor Morpheus... the staff doesn't bend to the common rules you adhere to. It partially shapes reality to the user's whims. He attempted to choke you...

Page 16

Panel 1

Morpheus falls, with Snapshot standing on him, wresting the staff free.

Mordo (off-panel): ... and so you choked. It doesn't matter that you don't breathe... the staff made you need to.

Panel 2

Snapshot is looking up at Mordo, sort of pleased with himself. He has just pulled the staff from Morpheus and is still crouched upon the creature's back.

Snapshot: I stopped him. And my debt is paid...

Mordo: Not yet. You now have the key to getting into the temple.

Snapshot: What are you talking about?

Panel 3

Mordo moving slowly and menacingly towards Snapshot.

Mordo: I said we were partners. But I never asked you what it was I wanted from you. Defeating Morpheus was a test of your skills, and a chance for you to try your new weapon.

Panel 4

Tight shot of Mordo's twisted face.

Mordo: But as I said, Morpheus was the key... the key to entering the temple. You see the temple is protected against me. And I need to get in the temple.

Panel 5.

Inside the temple. Lurch is enjoying his meal, while the others (Silver, Dale, and El Tigre) start to eat. Gideon is using his magical energies on the food on his plate, but doing so sneakily. He is watching to make sure Lurch doesn't see him.

Lurch: Mordo threatened I would die. Over and over he threatened me with that. I thought I could simply evade him. I could change my dress, modify my appearance... He would never find unless I willed it.

Lurch: Or so I thought.

Panel 6

Tight 1/4 shot of Gideon. He is imbuing green magical energies to his broccoli.

Lurch (off-panel): He found me anywhere that I hid, so I retreated back to this island. And I protected myself.

Page 17

Panel 1

Same shot of Gideon. The broccoli has converted into peas, as the magical energy dissipates like smoke. Silver is watching him.

Dale (off-panel): Protected yourself?

Silver (telepathically): What are you doing?

Gideon (telepathically): A little spell Host taught me before I left. I've been practicing it since we left. I was concerned my magic wouldn't work inside the temple, so I thought trying my smallest spell would let me know I still had it. And he hasn't noticed.

Panel 2

Dale is ready for another bite but pausing to ask the question. The two of them seem to be the only ones interested in the conversation.

Dale: Protected yourself with stone walls? Is that enough against someone like Mordo?

Lurch: These walls are more than stone. Each wall has been enchanted against his evil power. Each year, I spent a week in meditation, channeling all my power into adding another layer of mystical protection to these walls. This has gone on for... well, for a long period of years. He cannot...

Lurch: I pray the walls are fortified enough against his evil form penetrating this temple. Strengthening these walls has become my mission.

Panel 3

Gideon is eating the peas.

Silver (telepathically): So you can transmute broccoli into peas?

Gideon (telepathically): Any matter into anything else. I'm limited to nothing more than a something the size of my fist. I'm still learning. And I can't make the spell last more than 5 minutes.

Panel 4

Large panel. Full shot of everyone at the table. Lurch is unaware of the psionic conversation, continuing on with Dale.

Lurch: I thought by explaining myself to you, and giving you my situation, you might understand my interest in the Asemka. Perhaps after we lunch, I can show you the tablet.

Silver (telepathically): So those peas will revert back to broccoli after you've eaten them.

Gideon (telepathically): A useful spell... since I really don't like broccoli.

Page 18-19

(Page 18 are the panels on the top part of both pages, while Page 19 will be the panels running along the bottom of both pages to show the simultaneous actions of both scenes).

Page 18

Panel 1

Snapshot standing at the entrance of the temple in a far back shot, dwarfed by the doors. They are parting for him, but he still looks on apprehensively at them, as if it were some kind of trap.

Snapshot (thinking): Well, let's see...

Snapshot (thinking): ...if this works.

Panel 2

Full frontal shot of Snapshot running down the halls.

Snapshot (thinking): Why am I doing this? I'm here to get the tablets for the boss, not to help out that nutjob, Mordo. But I couldn't help myself... as much as I was trying to resist him, I couldn't.

Panel 3

Stealthily he zips past a room where several men and women are working together on knitting and sewing. He moves quickly enough so as not to be seen as he passes by.

Snapshot (thinking): But at least he's been telling me the truth so far. Something about Morpheus, the fact he works for big bad Lurch I guess, means that the doors to this place will open up to him.

Snapshot (thinking): So Mordo broke off one of Morpheus' fingers for me to hang onto to get through the doors.

Panel 4

Inserted into Panel 3., a tight shot of Snapshot's hand holding a long finger in a clenched fist

Snapshot (thinking): That's freaking gross...

Panel 5

Snapshot is moving down the staircase (same one the heroes went down a few pages ago), taking them two at a time. Despite his speed, he still moves stealthily.

Snapshot (thinking): And somehow I have a general layout of the place by hanging onto Morpheus' finger.

Panel 6

Snapshot's gone down a short hallway with a door at the end of it (off the main hallway the others had gone down previously). The door is regular sized and ornately carved with many symbols upon it. It looks like it's likely the door to a very important room.

Snapshot (thinking): And here I am. Thanks for getting me in, Morpheus.

Snapshot (thinking): This is the room Mordo told me I needed to reach. In there is the way to get Mordo inside the temple.

Snapshot (thinking): And hopefully this works to my advantage too. I intended to use these milksops to provide the distraction I needed to steal the tablet. Now I'll have big Mordo to do that for me.

Page 19

Panel 1

Lurch is showcasing the tablet to the group. The tablet rests on a large podium like stand, tilted to catch just right in the light of the room. El Tigre looks very uncomfortable and out of place. Dale is watching and starting to worry about the guy. Gideon is studying the room, his eyes darkening. Silver is the only one completely alert. She is studying Lurch's every move. She is trusting the man more than the others.

Caption: After the group has finished their meal, Lurch leads them into an apparently sacred room. And there...

Lurch: The Symka tablet.

Gideon: So, that's it. There it is, the last of the four.

Panel 2

Full group shot, the heroes watching Lurch, waiting for something to happen, and unsure of what that might be.

Lurch: It has been in my possession for a great many years. This is the tablet that has long been considered lost. Hidden behind these walls, not even the strongest magical tracker could find it.

Panel 3

Inserted into Panel 2. Close-up shot of the tablet.

Panel 4

El Tigre is glaring at Lurch. Gideon is focused on the tablet, almost in a trance. Silver and Dale simply keep their eyes on Lurch.

Lurch: Yet you were still able to determine its location. And that is something I have not figured out yet.

El Tigre: We are not without our own resources, Lurch.

Gideon: Exactly. So, we've been nice enough to you up to now.

Panel 5

Gideon has an evil dark glint in his eyes. Silver stands next to Gideon, giving him a look to shut up.

Gideon: I don't trust you. I don't trust any of this.

Silver: Gideon...

Gideon: ...What do you want, Lurch? You can't leave the island, that much I know, but there is no way you'd give up the tablet to us either.

Lurch: You do not begin to understand, Gideon. I have my reasons to have chosen to trust you. It has always been my intention.

Panel 6

Tight shot of Lurch.

Lurch: I am not stranded on this island; I have simply lost the courage... or the need to leave its confines.

Lurch: When I was... braver I acquired one of the pieces of the Asemka. I know of Manapatapoo and the good in him. I know these tablets will bring him back.

Lurch: Perhaps he would hear me, and hear of the evil demon I have been at odds with for innumerable years. Perhaps he would take my petition to take on this demon. If not for my purely selfish reasons but to rid the world of his evil.

Page 20

Panel 1

3/4 shot of Lurch. He is almost pleading to the group.

Lurch: And this is the stipulation I give you. I will give this tablet to you freely... if you promise to beseech him to save my life from Mordo, to help me in my final conflict with that demon.

Panel 2

Group shot. Silver is totally won over with this story. Dale's confusion about everything is at an all-time high. Gideon is being completely selfish here, measuring his needs versus the group's. El Tigre has this fugue over him. He does not trust Lurch and appears to be fighting something.

Panel 3

Outside the room, down another hallway, Snapshot is attempting to open the door, but with no luck.

Snapshot (thinking): How come I can't get into this room. Nothing else blocked my path... unless...

Snapshot (thinking): This room even Morpheus was not allowed in. It makes sense with how important Mordo said it was. Mordo... what do I do?

Panel 4

Back to the Symka tablet room. Gideon speaks up to Lurch, taking him (and everyone else) by surprise. Gideon's are black as night and pure evil.

Gideon: Lurch. Why haven't you simply killed yourself? How can you live with yourself all this time, running in fear of someone that will kill you? Why not just kill yourself and get it all over with?

Lurch: Yes... I am afraid... of dying. I am not proud of my... cowardice.

Lurch: But believe me in saying that my motives are not that simple.

Panel 5

Gideon appearing unsatisfied with the answer. The others simply watch. Lurch is looking pathetic, like the shell of a man, but trying to show himself to the others and show he is a man.

Lurch: My death has been predetermined by Mordo. I know I will not die at his hands... at least not directly.

Lurch: I carry Mordo's taint in my blood, as did my father before me. My death will bring change in another, adding my power to theirs... my tainted power.

Page 21

Panel 1

Snapshot standing at the door, his mind racing with what to do.

Snapshot (thinking): The door won't budge. Now what?

Mordo's voice (as a telepathic floating voice): You must think. You have the expertise to accomplish this goal, Snapshot. What you need to do is in that room. Once you accomplish your mission, you will have honored your part of our agreement.

Mordo's voice: And you can expect your payment when you return to Canada.

Panel 2

1/4 shot of Snapshot.

Snapshot (thinking): I have just the idea. Get ready. You're in this game in this quarter. Hang onto your horns.

Panel 3

Snapshot moves down the hall, with an arrogant stride.

Mordo's voice: What are you doing? The room is the other way!

Snapshot (thinking): Trust me. I have it all covered. What?

Panel 4

3/4 shot of Snapshot scanning the hallway.

Snapshot (thinking): I could have sworn something just brushed by me. But with Morpheus's finger on me, anything of this castle should have been visible. Maybe it's my imagination. Got to be.

Page 22

Panel 1

Front shot of Lurch over everyone's shoulders, in a wide 1/4 shot.

Lurch: You see, my bloodline was tainted by Mordo, to create a warrior for him, someone to bring evil to this world, to slaughter innocents. All of this within a few generations. He wants a general in his army, to do his evil for him.

Lurch: By remaining alive, that means that his power, his soldier, the bloodline... stops in me. And that bloodline will not be used by Mordo. Mordo will not have a champion if it stops in me.

Panel 2

Tight shot of Lurch. He is weighing his words, almost afraid to tell them the truth, but knowing he has to.

Lurch: That is why I entrust the tablets to you and with this task. Because I trust no one more than my son...

Panel 3

1/4 shot of Joaquin. He is in shock, but everything seems to make sense all at once. The others around him are completely floored by the news, unsure of what to make of it.

Lurch (off-panel in a larger balloon to show the importance of this one word): ... JOAQUIN

Caption: You thought you knew Joaquin's past? The shocking story behind that nugget of info is revealed next issue. And... Snapshot's gambit and deal with Mordo is finalized. Things start getting really strange next issue. See you in 30 days.