Symka: Part 34

Copyright Sean McGinity © 2006

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"Dale has run out of ammo, having fired all the rounds in the weapons. The guns are clicking."

Dedicated to the memory of Rob's little one, Max

Page One

Splash Page

Text is placed on each side of the picture in white text on a black background. The panel is tall and narrow. A crowded shot from a slight worm's eye view shows Gideon leading El Tigre and Silver down a hall. They are anxious, afraid and unsure.

Text: Gideon and Joaquin.

Silver and Stick.

These four individuals were thrust together when they discovered one of the ancient Symka tablets. Quickly they learned the importance of this tablet and the three others that would make up the Asemka.

They were assailed first by a company called Hi Tech Henchmen, a corrupt protection agency. Hi Tech Henchmen did everything in their power to squash the group, including a public smearing through the media. Dale Turcott, reporter for the local Winnipeg news station Independent News was set up to get credit for the story that branded the group as murderers. Dale wanted no part of this and found himself on the bad end of Hi Tech Henchmen.

As the group decided what to do, Dale tried to discover who Hi Tech Henchmen really were.

The group soon learned who had the remaining tablets, when Gideon linked with his father and one of the tablets, somehow harnessing all that power to locate them all. Gideon's father, the enigmatic man known only as Katharta was a powerful man. He owned Hi Tech Henchmen and used them as a company to achieve his ends. Katharta himself had one of the tablets located at one of his cover companies in Winnipeg, under heavy guard.

Katharta's own plan with the tablets was to use their power to save himself from the wrath of the being known as Pitawa. Katharta was part of a long chain tracing its ancestry all the way back to Pitawa. This chain of being was designed to empower each new generation with the power of each previous generation. Each son would kill their father and inherit this power. Gideon was destined to murder Katharta and continue this evil chain.

Katharta had loftier plans than dying at the hands of his son Gideon and had planned for years to circumvent that. Katharta was building up his own power through sacrifices. With all of this power, Katharta hoped to have the presence of mind to overtake his son's body, and therefore keep all the power to himself.

With the aid of his mother, Gideon had fled their household for Canada, to get as far away from Katharta as he could.

And now, through the Symka tablets, Gideon was no longer hidden from his father.

The group encountered Morpheus, a twisted and tortured soul and fought him on the streets of Winnipeg. Morpheus worked for Lurch, a mage who remained hidden on Mordo Island in the Pacific Ocean, living in fear of the demon Mordo. Lurch himself had one of the Symka and had sent Morpheus to acquire the tablet from the group.

Unbeknownst to the group and particularly Joaquin, Lurch was also Joaquin's father.

Morpheus fell in battle and Joaquin inadvertently summoned the demon Mordo. Mordo sacrificed many lives on the streets despite the group's best efforts. Silver was severely injured and barely remained alive. Her own burgeoning telepathy kept her alive while on the operating table. Dale Turcott himself joined the group at this point, promising to vindicate the group by telling the true story to the media.

The group encountered Watchman and Host while on the hunt for another Symka tablet in the possession of Bryan Richardson and Bryce Falkingham. After a grand battle on a New York rooftop, the group acquired their second Symka tablet.

The group acquired their third tablet from Katharta himself, after a couple of attempts. This tablet proved the hardest to acquire as Joaquin was knocked into a coma and Stick's leg was broken. And Gideon took his father Katharta's life, using one of the Symka tablets as a bludgeon.

As successful as they were in acquiring the tablets, the group suffered their greatest setback against the minions of Pitawa. Stick lost his life in battle, leaving behind a saddened Silver, who realized she had feelings for her teammate. The group was fractured but nonetheless kept on their mission. During these encounters, they realized the real truth behind the Symka tablets:

The tablets contained the fractured essence of Manapatapoo, the embodiment of "good". Manapatapoo was the brother of the evil Pitawa, the being meant to keep Pitawa's evil in check. Manapatapoo's soul was shattered ages ago and the evil of Pitawa had corrupted the world, speaking in the ears of the greatest dictators and would-be conquerors to bring death and war to the world. Pitawa himself had been working on the sidelines keeping the tablets separated under the alias of Blue Moon. Bringing the tablets together would return Manapatapoo to this plane and right the order that Pitawa had unbalanced.

With the aid of Snapshot, the group flew to Mordo Island to take the last tablet from Lurch, where Joaquin learned this man was his father. In addition, Joaquin's true origins were revealed: He was to kill his father for Mordo and inherit his power, much like the chain of being that Gideon was part of.

Just moments ago, Gideon's long-lost mother appeared within Lurch's temple demanding Lurch's Symka tablet. Lurch apparently has a history with Marimus that was not an amicable one. Marimus believed that her now dead husband Katharta had possessed her son Gideon and had fooled El Tigre, Dale Turcott and Silver. Gideon has since convinced his mother of his identity.

Title: FAMILY VALUES

Page Two

A large scrying pool, projected onto the wall of a room. In the pool is Pitawa surveying the island. Silver, Gideon and El Tigre are on each side of the pool watching him.

Caption: All this and Pitawa has set foot on Mordo Island.

El Tigre: Holy crap. He's huge.

Silver: That's him?

Gideon: He's here. Pitawa is here.

Page Three

Panel 1.

Lurch is walking towards the door but stops at Marimus's call.

Caption: Moments ago...

Marimus: Lurch!

Marimus: One moment...

Panel 2.

Lurch turns to face her, but does not seem interested in what she has to say.

Lurch: Marimus... I do not have the time. Pitawa has landed and I must aid my son...

Marimus: And you've sent them to confirm his arrival in your scrying pool. Just as I have planned.

Panel 3.

Lurch closes in on her, unafraid and downright bitter towards her.

Lurch: What have you planned, Marimus? Is this all some other game you're playing yet again? Are you faking the love for your own son? Is this another scheme? Personally, I do not care.

Panel 4.

Outside the room stands Dale Turcott, lingering behind and eavesdropping on them.

Dale (thinking): I should have known neither one of these two could be trusted. Here they are scheming already. I'd better stick around and see what they are planning.

Panel 5.

Side 3/4 shot of Lurch and Marimus. They are facing off, a look of challenge on their faces.

Marimus: Lurch... my dear Lurch... I have changed much since you last saw me. I have experienced a lot of... pain. And it has changed me. I now know I need to do whatever...

Marimus: WHATEVER...

Marimus: ... it takes to accomplish my goals. The fate of the world depends on it. And tying up Pitawa is only the first step.

Page Four

Splash.

Full side shot. Suddenly, Marimus's forcefield has extended, spearing right through Lurch's heart. Lurch is in shock at this; surprised he would be injured by such an attack. Marimus smiles, this cold calculating smile, being one step closer to her goals and still on schedule.

Fx: SHUCK!

Page Five

Panel 1.

Marimus, still with her forcefield spear still in Lurch, moves him back towards the wall. He is grasping for his last breath.

Marimus: In your dying breaths I will tell you why you are dying.

Marimus: Gideon belongs to me. I thought he was turned to Katharta... my vile husband, but that is not the case. He proved he was powerful enough to take him on and win. He is my own flesh and blood after all.

Panel 2.

Lurch is gasping. Tight 1/4 side angled shot of the pair.

Marimus: the Empire my late husband built, Katharta, Inc. now falls into my son's hands. Together we can use it to achieve my ends.

Marimus: With you in the picture and your son, you might have won them over to aid you. You might even have convinced my own son to turn on me. The problem is, Lurch. You know me too well.

Panel 3.

Tighter shot, 1/4. They are face to face.

Marimus: I must always remain in secret.

Panel 4.

Full shot. Marimus steps back, retracting the forcefield spear from Lurch. Lurch drops to the ground.

Marimus: It was convenient that Mordo appeared, weakening you for a potential battle with your own son. Little did Mordo know that I planned for this, using my own pawn Snapshot. I asked Snapshot to get that staff away from them, as I knew it would lure the demon here. And I knew Mordo would see what I saw in Snapshot and decide to use him himself.

Panel 5.

Lurch, still hanging on, reaches out with one hand across the floor towards something. Marimus stands over him (worm's eye view) gloating. Behind them, in the doorway, Dale is peaking around the corner.

Marimus: All this to have Mordo confront you in the hopes of weakening you. You see... immortals are so hard to kill. Mordo's attack on you left you vulnerable, to give your son a chance to kill you. Since he didn't... I did.

Panel 6.

Lurch looking up in a close-up, his hand still reaching out.

Lurch: ...run...

Page Six

Panel 1.

Marimus spins around to see Dale. Dale is realizing in this moment he has no hope of getting away from her. If she was powerful enough to kill Lurch, even in his weakened state, he doesn't stand a chance. However...

Marimus: You... the nosy reporter.

Dale: You lying witch.

Panel 2.

Dale fires off his guns at Marimus. The bullets ricochet off her forcefield, but the sheer surprise of it, sends her reeling backward. Although virtually invulnerable, that natural human reaction to being fired upon still kicks in.

Fx: BUDDA! BUDDA! BUDDA! BUDDA!

Panel 3.

In the scrying room, Gideon, El Tigre, and Silver hear the machine gun fire.

El Tigre: Those are Dale's guns! What the hell...?

Panel 4.

1/4 shot of Marimus. She looks back, having shielded her face with an arm. She is realizing the bullets are having no effect. She is angry and not thinking clear. This reporter has angered her beyond reason.

Panel 5.

She walks forward on Dale. Dale has run out of ammo, having fired all the rounds in the weapons. The guns are clicking. His head is half turned, shouting down the hallway towards Gideon, Silver and El Tigre he hopes are coming to rescue him.

Dale: Your mother is crazy, Gideon. She just killed Lurch so he wouldn't warn you about what her plans are.

Page Seven

Panel 1.

Dale is about to continue to speak when suddenly nothing works.

Dale: ---

Panel 2.

Large panel. Gideon, El Tigre and Silver walk into the room, looking at Dale, as tendrils of electricity fire out from Marimus's force field, arcing onto Dale. His body is burning.

Fx (overlapping over the following two panels): ZZZZZZZZAPPPPPPP!

Panel 3.

Tight 1/4 shot of Gideon, El Tigre, and Silver. They are panicking.

Silver: Dale...

Panel 4.

Close-up shot of Marimus, her face filled with rage.

Page Eight

Panel 1.

Close-up shot of Dale's grenades on his body, sizzling.

Fx (overlapping over the next two panels): ZZZZZZZAAAAAPPPPPPP!

Panel 2.

Close-up shot of El Tigre's nose and ear. He is sniffing and hearing the grenades, ready to go off.

Panel 3.

El Tigre grabs Gideon and Silver, a hand on each and pulls them back behind the doorway. In the forefront of the panel, Marimus is still frying Dale. Dale is dead by this point, but the current running through him is keeping him on his feet.

Page Nine

Splash Page

Every single armament, every single grenade, every single shell goes off all at once on Dale. The electrical sparks have heated them all up and set them all of in one gigantic explosion. A flash of light, heat and hails of bullets simultaneously going off, cracking into the walls of this room, and shattering the forcefield surrounding Marimus. This onslaught is enough to crack her field.

Fx: BWOOM!

Page Ten

This page is a series of panel that are the width of the page.

Panel 1.

Overall shot of the room. It is smoking. Dale's body, which has nothing much left to it but the lower torso lies on the ground. Marimus also is on the ground. The room is a mess. No one moves. Lurch is in the corner, where she had speared. He too is charred. The Symka tablet that was in this room on the dais still sits there. It is unhurt, although the dais is blackened.

Panel 2.

Same shot as last. El Tigre, Gideon and Silver move into the room.

Silver: Oh my God... Dale...

Gideon: What happened...?

El Tigre: It was Dale's stuff... his weapons... your mother's electrical blast set them all off at once. It was like a small bomb going off.

Panel 3.

Silver is kneeling down next to Dale. Her hands are out, afraid to touch him, trying to grasp that he is dead... very dead. Gideon is bending over his mother. El Tigre is standing over Lurch, unsure of whether to cry. This has all been too much.

Panel 4.

Same shot. Silver has her hand on her mouth, holding back her shock. Gideon is now crouched next to his mother, he too afraid to touch her body. El Tigre is looking back at Marimus.

Marimus: Groan.

Page Eleven

This page has a series of panels the height of the page.

Panel 1.

Gideon is cupping a hand under his mother's head. She is speaking. El Tigre is looking on suspiciously at them.

Marimus: This reporter friend of yours is crazy!

Gideon: Mother! You're alive.

Panel 2.

Marimus is deaf and continues to speak, unaware Gideon is trying to talk to her. She is working on her story, trying to salvage what she can from this situation. Using her injuries here to further her plan and gain Gideon's sympathy.

Marimus: Lurch was talking about how he deceived you and how he would use you all against me.

Gideon: Mother, can't you hear me? Silver?

Panel 3.

Silver has moved into the panel, looking over Gideon.

Gideon: She can't hear or see me. The explosion seems to have blinded and deafened her.

Silver: I got it. I'll connect you to her telepathically.

Panel 4.

Silver, Gideon and Marimus joined together with a psionic tether.

Gideon (telepathically): Mother... it's me.

Marimus (telepathically): I can't hear anything Gideon... or see anything.

Gideon (telepathically): I know. Silver has connected you to me telepathically. What happened here?

Marimus (telepathically): Lurch attacked me. I did not hesitate to take advantage of his obvious weakness and kill him. He was making some sort of deal with your reporter friend. I threatened to expose him so he started firing on me.

Panel 5.

Shot of Marimus.

Marimus (telepathically): Lurch was going to use you, Gideon, just like everyone that has tried to use us. I couldn't put you through that again... not after I've found you again.

Page Twelve

Panel 1.

Marimus reaches out with a hand to touch Gideon's face. A tear streams down her face.

Marimus (telepathically): I never... I never thought I would ever see your face again, my dear Gideon... and now I never shall.

Marimus (telepathically): But at least the forcefield was broken and I can touch my son again.

Panel 2.

El Tigre is standing over his father, Lurch. He is weeping.

El Tigre (thinking): All of this happened so quickly. I never had the time to make any sort of decision about you. I never had the chance to... the chance to...

El Tigre (thinking): And now you're gone.

Panel 3.

He looks over his shoulder at Marimus and Gideon. He is angry and questioning.

El Tigre (thinking): And she took you away. Why did you need to kill him?

Panel 4.

Alternate angle on the shot.

El Tigre (thinking): And what spell have you cast over Gideon... that he is forgetting his own instincts?

El Tigre (thinking): I do not trust you, Marimus. I do not trust you at all.

Page Thirteen

Panel 1.

Panel with each of them in it. All of them look up at the telepathic summons of Pitawa.

Panel 2.

Pitawa with hands extended, telepathically shouts out to them.

Pitawa (telepathically and bridging onto the previous panel): Gideon! Marimus! The time has come.

Panel 3.

Pitawa walking towards the temple of Lurch's. He is several paces away still but striding slowly. Despite his tone, he is not rushing into this. The temple is in the distance.

Pitawa (telepathically): Even though you are shielded within this temple, I know you are within. You cannot escape your fates. You are linked to me. Let us end this folly and be done with this. I tire.

Page Fourteen

Panel 1.

Gideon, still in telepathic contact with Gideon and Silver. He is still holding her head and trying to help her sit up. She is weak but healing.

Pitawa (telepathically): Show yourselves to me.

Gideon (telepathically): Mother, did you hear...?

Marimus (telepathically): Yes I did hear. His telepathic shout was enough almost to deafen me psychically. That damned foul creature has found me. But it is not too late.

Panel 2.

Taking Gideon's face with both hands, Marimus is recovering, showing strength in her hands and her conviction.

Marimus (telepathically): Gideon, I have the remaining tablets. They are here, in a hidden alcove outside this room.

Panel 3.

Silver and Gideon walking down a hall.

Caption: "Take thirty paces, just after the veer in the hallway. There is an outcropping. Push the outcropping upward and a hidden alcove will reveal itself. The tablets are there."

Panel 4.

Gideon presses down on the outcropping.

Caption (in a green colored caption box to indicate Gideon speaking): "But how..."

Caption (in a red colored caption box to indicate Marimus): "Don't question me, Gideon."

Panel 5.

The alcove opens revealing a lead-lined briefcase.

Caption (in a red colored caption box): "I did what I had to do to stop Pitawa. I knew he would follow me here. And I knew if I came without the tablets I would be defenseless. Now go and gather them!"

Panel 6.

Silver follows Gideon into the room. Gideon is carrying the case. He is resolute, firm on what needs to be done. There is a sense of contentment in Gideon. He has his mother and this whole thing is almost over. El Tigre is standing next to the podium with the tablet on it.

Gideon: We can now assemble the Symka.

Page Fifteen

Panel 1.

Gideon is in the forefront of the panel. Unfearing he is handling the tablets with his hands. He is pulling them out of the case. El Tigre and Silver remain in the background. Silver is tethering herself psychically to El Tigre.

El Tigre (telepathically): What happened here, Silver? How did Marimus get the tablets? Host had them? How did she get them from him?

Silver (telepathically): I don't know, Joaquin. Something about Marimus doesn't make sense. I don't trust her.

Panel 2.

Back shot of Silver and El Tigre. They are still watching Gideon.

Silver (telepathically): She murdered Lurch... in cold blood. And Gideon didn't even bat an eyelash at that. There's something about her that... that... I can't say.

Silver (telepathically): Whatever she may be, her goals coincide with our own right now. We'll deal with what she did to Lurch after we get past this crisis.

Panel 3.

Topside, Pitawa is still a few strides away from the temple. He stops in his tracks, realizing what is happening.

Pitawa (thinking): The tablets... all four of them...

Panel 4.

All of the four tablets are laid side by side. Energy crackles around them. Green energy.

Caption: "Finally it has come... finally I will see my brother again..."

Panel 5.

Gideon is laying on tablet on one of the others.

Caption: "After all this time... me running free and raising hell on this world... finally you are coming."

Panel 6.

Close-up of the tablets. Another tablet is placed.

Caption: "All these atrocities I committed... I did in your name, Manapatapoo.

Page Sixteen

Panel 1.

The last tablet is placed...

Caption: "Even now that name burns on my lips... like venom to me."

Panel 2.

Pitawa stops in his tracks. The edge of his mouth curls, as if he were about to smile.

Pitawa: The vengeance that was denied me will be mine with your rebirth.

Panel 3.

A slight curl on his lips. He is actually smiling.

Pitawa: It is time.

Page Seventeen

Panel 1.

Large panel. The light gathers into a single combined humanoid figure over the tablets. The being is pure energy. The tablets themselves have combined into one large tablet... the Asemka. Gideon, El Tigre, and Silver watch on, in awe.

Panel 2.

The energy being looks at the dead body of Dale.

Panel 3.

And extends a hand in a 1/4 shot.

Page Eighteen

Panel 1.

Dale's dead body rises, floating towards the energy being.

Panel 2.

And merges with it.

Panel 3.

Large panel. They become a whole in a blinding flash of energy.

Page Nineteen

Splash Page.

Manapatapoo stands there, clothed as Dale Turcott was, his clothes in tatters. The body though is of a man in the perfect condition of health with long perfect hair. His appearance is pale as if he had been kept in a tomb for centuries. Although this is Manapatapoo, he does possess some of Dale's features.

Manapatapoo: I have returned.

Manapatapoo: After all this time, Manapatapoo has returned to life.

Page Twenty

Panel 1.

Pitawa has a slight sense of unease. He is thinking this over again, unsure of his decision to let this happen.

Pitawa: Manapatapoo...

Panel 2.

He looks off to the side, contemplating how he will receive him.

Panel 3.

He holds up a hand and stares at it. This is the hand that killed thousands...

Panel 4.

Pitawa shouts out at the top of his lungs. He is ready for the fight to begin again.

Pitawa: Manapatapoo!

Page Twenty-One

Panel 1.

Manapatapoo looks up hearing the shout. The others are looking at him, unsure of what to do in the presence of this being they had all heard so much about.

Manapatapoo: And he calls.

Panel 2.

He looks at Silver, El Tigre and Gideon.

Manapatapoo: I owe you my gratitude for returning me to this plane. I will use this body well. It is so full of questions... so inquisitive... Dale Turcott shall serve me well.

Panel 3.

He looks down at Marimus and feeling of sadness crosses over him.

Manapatapoo: And Marimus... poor Marimus... I hope you have learned your lesson in all this. I only meant the best for you.

Panel 4.

He starts to walk away and Gideon stops him, grabbing his arm.

Gideon: Wait a minute. Manapatapoo. It's me...

Gideon: ...Gideon.

Panel 4.

Manapatapoo looks at him, giving him the once over.

Manapatapoo: Yes. I know you. And it was through you that I was brought back. I tried to guide you through the tablets, my ancestor. I tried to point you on the right path. Tried to help you in your quest to bring me back. And you have done well... but not without a cost to your own soul. And for that I am sad.

Page Twenty-Two

Splash page.

Manapatapoo looks off into space. The others stand around him, still in awe. This is Manapatapoo! This is the culmination. They all feel a little pride in themselves.

Manapatapoo: But now I go to my destiny, locked in eternal combat with my evil brother. I go to face Pitawa.

Caption: Big, bad Pitawa has no idea what he has opened himself up to. Manny is back in the land of the living and ready to kick some butt. The heroes get a front row seat to the main event.