False Dawn #2: “Consequence of Love”
Part One of Three: Hunters and Gathers
Comic Book Script - Plot for 22 Pages
Devin Leigh Michaels
An Immortal is an Immortal is an Immortal, right? WRONG! As Lances trains Ral both physically and mentally to survive the war, Casia employs the help of an oracle to find Ral’s parents. Oh, and oracles know everything there is to know…right?
Then don’t look behind you.
Noters to Letter: All “NARR” are Ral’s thoughts unless otherwise noted.
1—Full page—Ral crouches in a corner, his head bent. It’s dark as if no lights existed, and he’s looking right at the camera.
NARR (Ral): I’ve never been scared of the dark.
LOCATION CAPS (upper left hand corner of the page): Skadoia
1—Pitch black panel except for the narration. This is what Ral sees.
CHAINED PERSON (no pointer/scream): AGH!
NARR: Of course, there’s always the first time for everything.
2—Starting to see a little outline of a person hanging, their arms constricted above their head by a chain, and a second person standing before him with a whip.
CHAINED PERSON (weak): Loser…
3—More into focus, though the picture might still be feathered about the edges. The small cell is cramped, though now there are distinctive cobblestones on the ground and stones for walls. This is from Ral’s POV, so the camera is down, closer to the floor since he’s crouching and looking up at the people. The chained person’s body jerks with the whip’s motion. His hair is dirt brown, his eyes green. He’s well-built like a baseball pitcher or a quarterback, but he’s famished and exhausted. His shirt is off, and blood trickles through the crevasses of his chest from the attacks by the whips. His jeans are worn, torn, and dirtied. His feet are bare. The man before him is a Skadoian Warrior with jet black hair and a hard face.
NARR: Where the hell am I?
CHAINED PERSON: I can keep this up longer than you.
4—Now a look from Ral, his eyes wide, his face panicked and bright at the same time.
NARR: I know that voice.
RAL (screaming): CONNOR!
5—Connor’s head perks up, as does the Skadoian Warrior, who starts toward Ral.
CONNOR (weak): Ral…?
1—Connor pulls on the chains over his head to kick out, hitting the warrior in the butt.
CONNOR (stronger, screaming): No! Run, Ral!
2—Ral’s sword forms in his hand as he stands to fight. He’s angry, too, not a smidge of fright in his eyes. His sword blade glows a bright white.
NARR: Yeah, right.
3—The glow grows to white out the entire cell.
4—From Ral’s POV as he’s laying down in the back seat of the Blazer, looking up at the person over him—all he can really see is the sword blade under his chin and the silhouette of the person straddling his waist. If applicable, the sun is rising behind Ral’s attacker, signaling a new day.
RAL (weak): W—W—What?
PAGES FOUR AND FIVE
LOCATION CAPS: SMOKEY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
1—FULL SPREAD—Ral is laying down in the back of the Blazer with boxers and a T-shirt on. His hair is bedraggled from sleeping, but he’s wide awake. Blankets twist about his body. His back is somewhat hitched on the left hand door. On top of Ral and straddling his waist is Lance, the older teen in his Southpole hat, jeans and long-sleeved T-shirt. His right hand clenches Ral’s throat, while his left wields his sword, which is ready to slice off Ral’s head. (Lance’s sword hilt is gold feathers.)
LANCE: And now you’re dead.
NARR: Lance? Where’d he come from?
1—Ral tries to push Lance off him.
RAL: What the f—?
2—Lance flicks Ral in the forehead, stopping Ral’s resistance.
LANCE: No swearing, You’re not old enough, PAGE.
NARR: I hate that nickname.
3—Ral looks about the Blazer, trying to get his bearings in order. Lance looks bewildered by Ral’s bewilderment.
RAL: W—What happened? Connor! Where did he—
4—Lance slowly backs off Ral, his sword still out.
LANCE: We’re going to get Connor back, Ral. Connor AND Addy.
NARR: Addy, my mom.
5—Lance takes a seat on one side of the car, while Ral opens the door and slips his bare feet into the grass. Ral’s T-shirt is stuck to his sweaty chest; Ral’s blanket is now in the front seat.
NARR: I tell Lance about my dream.
NARR: For the longest time, he says nothing.
1—Lance comes around the side of the car and slaps Ral on the knee.
LANCE: Come on. You totally should have heard the door open or at the very least felt my approach.
RAL: What? You’re concerned about training?
RAL (linked): We have to find Connor and stop that warrior from—
2—Lance tugs Ral off the seat and trusts his elbow into my shoulder, pinning Ral to the side of the Blazer.
LANCE: Connor’s immortal, Ral. IMMORTAL.
LANCE (linked): That means if I shove my sword through his heart, he’ll live. If I do the same to you, you won’t.
3—Lance starts toward the grassy meadow out from the trees; Ral follows, pulling up a pair of sweatpants as he goes.
LANCE: Connor has and will survive worse, but I can’t say the same for you.
LANCE (linked): So, we have to do what we can, and after the display you just showed today…
4—The two set up for the fight, lifting up his own sword.
LANCE: I’ve got my work cut out for me, Page.
NARR: Did I ever tell you I hate that nickname?
5—Lance lunges at Ral with his sword drawn to swipe.
6—Ral deflects Lance’s sword with his crossguard.
RAL: What’s exactly an Immortal, y’know? What makes Mom and Connor and you...y’know, not dead?
1—Lance whirls to clash again.
LANCE: Depends upon your own definition of immortality.
2—Lance jumps over Ral’s swipe and kicks him in the shoulders.
LANCE: In Shinto, kami can mean ancestors and can be worshipped, thus achieving immortality.
3—Ral lunges Lance’s torso, but their blades meet.
LANCE: According to Muslims, the immortal soul lives on after death, but it may end up in Jahannam or Hell or Jannah or Paradise.
4—Lance’s foot hits Ral’s waist, slamming Ral hard to the ground.
LANCE: Jews originally believed in a mortal soul, where the word nephesh, meaning breath in Hebrew, translated to soul.
LANCE (linked): However, they, too, with influence from Greek and Persian philosophers, agree in the immortal soul.
5—Mud dirties Ral’s arm as he rolls over his head and comes to his feet.
LANCE (off panel): Hindus believe in a cycle of life, death, and rebirth, but you might want to stay away from the Aghoris.
LANCE (linked): They believe eating flesh helps to achieve immortality.
RAL: Does it?
6—Lance blocks a backhand with his bicep.
LANCE: I’ve never done it, so I can’t confirm or deny nor do I wish the ability to do so.
NARR: Yeah, I’ll go with that.
1—Lance clings his sword against Ral’s and pries the weapon from the boy.
LANCE: Christians believe they lost physical immortality with Adam and Eve…
LANCE (linked): But those who believe in God will be resurrected after Purgatory.
2—Lance smiles evilly as his sword once more licks Ral’s chin.
LANCE: In Daoism, achieving immortality means being an enlightened person, who is known as Xian.
RAL: What do you believe?
3—Lance’s sword hovers; he stares perplexed.
4—Ral’s foot connects with Lance’s hand, freeing the sword.
5—Ral flips over his head and catch the hilt. When Lance whirls, his own blade’s hungry tip threatens to satiate its need with his blood.
RAL: What do YOU believe?
6—Lance cocks his head to the side, still shocked.
RAL: No…No one has ever asked me that.
1—Lance gathers his bearings before retrieving to Ral’s sword and tosses it effortlessly.
LANCE: I guess…I believe I have a longer purgatory than most.
2—Ral catches his own and throws Lance’s to him.
RAL: You mean fifteen lifetimes.
3—Lance smiles, like the sun grants its light to his face, and he pounces faster than Ral can defend.
4—Lance’s bare feet cup Ral’s waist, and Ral grumbles, pinned and angry at having lost the fight.
LANCE: It’s fourteen, thank you very much.
LANCE (linked): The first was actually normal—kind of.
5—Black boots stamp the grass flat next to Ral’s cheek.
CASIA: All right, boys. Enough rough housing.
1—Lance helps Ral to his feet.
LANCE: I’m just training him, Casia.
LANCE (linked): He went SCRYING last night.
2—Casia reaches out to push back Ral’s bangs, but her attention is directed toward Lance.
CASIA: Scrying? But that’s not possible…
CASIA (linked): …is it?
3—Ral stands in the middle between Casia and Lance, looking at Casia.
RAL: What’s scrying?
4—Same as panel three, Ral now looking at Lance.
LANCE: We’re way past the impossible.
RAL: Guys, what’s scrying?
CASIA: But then that would mean…?
5—Lance’s eyes grow dark and serious as does his face.
LANCE: Yeah, it would.
6—Ral spreads his hands between his hands between them, grabbing Lance’s sweaty chest and Casia’s jacket.
RAL (screaming): GUYS!
Ral (linked): Will ONE of you tell me what scrying is and what it means?
1—Lance and Casia exchange looks over Ral’s head.
2—Casia finally wraps a comforting arm about Ral’s shoulders.
CASIA: Scrying is what happens when you are able to look upon someone you have a close connection to.
CASIA (linked): Your emotions allow you to find them.
RAL: Do all mortals have this power?
LANCE: Perishables suck. They have no powers or anything like that.
LANCE (linked): CAN’T.
4—Casia and Ral cross their arms.
5—Lance averts his eyes.
LANCE: Well…for the most part.
6—Casia clasps Ral’s shoulder.
CASIA: I think what Lance is trying to say is—
CASIA (linked): Mortals can’t have these powers, but you’re not a normal mortal, Ral.
CASIA: Your mother’s immortal, and maybe that grants you something here and there. I don’t know.
CASIA (linked): But we’ll find out, okay?
7—Ral looks toward the rising sun.
NARR: When Casia’s like this, she just makes me miss Mom even more.
CASIA: Good. Now, go get cleaned up. I think I have a lead on the trafficker.
Note: All narrations in this scene are omniscient, not Ral’s thoughts.
1—Camera looking down at a completely black void with small buildings along the edge of the abyss, lit only by blue torches.
NARR (omniscient): Sunlight never reaches the depths of the caverns.
2—Camera focuses upon a castle built of diamonds—black and otherwise—with blue torches lighting the windows. It sits on the very edge of the abyss with no rock underneath it as the blackness itself is holding it up by itself.
NARR (omniscient): In fact, light in the traditional sense is a myth told to children born in the shadow’s clutches, like the boogie monster or Bigfoot.
NARR (omniscient): Light, itself, only exists as cold, blue fire which burns with the intensity of frozen nitrogen.
3—Focus on the abyss, though you can see the bottom of the castle in the top of the cell. Dark eyes are staring up at the camera, blue fire as their irises.
NARR (omniscient): For the people, the caverns are home, where cities are built about abysses, which suck any form of naturally occurring light before it destroys the shadows and its people.
NARR (omniscient): The cities, built by carved stone and diamonds, huddle in the silhouette of the manors, castles, and fortresses of the warriors, who protect them from the Light.
1—Through the window of a castle, the throne room glows the brightest with wax dripping from the metallic candles made of silver. Shrouded by darkness and flanked by two guards blending into the night, the throne allows Lasantra only to see the legs and gloves of her ruler, who does not even grant her the decency of good posture, so she may see him. Lasantra bows before the throne.
NARR (omniscient): Rumor prevails that the candles were formed from the blood of unicorns.
LASANTRA: My lord, the defiler maintains that the king will not come.
2—Black fog permeates from his fingers, and he disperses it with his hand.
SKADOIAN LORD: He lies. The king will follow the woman.
SKADOIAN LORD (linked): Such is the consequence of love.
3—Lasantra peeks upward.
LASANTRA: The warrior who questioned Dawson this morning said a person scried into the cell.
LASANTRA (linked): It was one who I encountered in Virginia. He and two others are searching for the defilers as well.
4—The Skadoian Lord sits up in his throne (though he’s just a shadow).
SKADOIAN LORD: Why is this the first I have heard of the incident?
LASANTRA: He presented himself as Ral Dawson, the son of Adeline.
LASANTRA (linked): The two others I recognized from prior confrontations—Lance Evans and Casia LaCroux.
1—The Skadoian Lord rubs his chin thoughtfully.
SKADOIAN LORD: The CURSED and the WERE-PHONIEX.
SKADOIAN LORD: Yes…we have had intercourse with both.
2—He swipes his hand.
SKADOIAN LORD: Another Were-Phoenix I have no need for. Same with the mortal boy.
SKADOIAN LORD (linked): Kill them, but take the Cursed. He can be of some use.
OFF: Is there anything else?
4—Lasantra stands with regal poise.
LASANTRA: No, my lord.
SKADOIAN LORD (from the throne): Good.
5—Completely black panel.
LOCATION CAPS (in bottom right hand corner of cell): SKADOIA
Note: Narrations are Ral’s thoughts again.
1—Camera positioned outside a strip mall anchor store reading “Paper Clips.”
RAL (no pointer): You ever wonder why the Secret Service is called Secret?
LOCATION CAPS (top right hand corner of cell): NEAR NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
2—Inside, camera positioned over Ral’s computer, looking at him. He’s sitting at a counter, but all we can see of Casia and Lance are their torsos as they stand behind Ral like Secret Service agents. For future reference—Casia has changed her appearance to look “normal,” so in this scene, Casia is Caucasian. The rest of her is the same—red hair, sea-green eyes. Her skin is just not multi-colored.
CASIA (off-panel): Ral, please. Just get the email off.
RAL: Seriously, think about it. They’re in plain sight. There is no freakin’ secret.
3—Same camera angle—Tussling Ral’s hair, Lance bends down.
LANCE: The Secret Service was the original domestic and counterintelligence agency for the country.
LANCE (linked): They were the spies, hence the SECRET title.
4—Same angle—Ral looks up at Lance.
RAL: Sometimes, you're just freaky.
LANCE: Yeah and you Perishables are just prizes.
5—Wider shot of where they are—a Paper Clips’ Print and Photocopy Place. Three self-serve copies line the glass-wall to the left while a counter separates the workers from the customers. Ral drums his fingers along the counter, looking bored. Casia reaches into her purse. Lance plays with his car keychain, his hand running up and down the ivy patterned BMW logo.
RAL: We’re connected.
6—Shot of computer screen, which shows a Yahoo! account for Werebird@yahoo.com. If Ral is in shot, he’s typing away.
RAL: Okay, what am I looking—never mind.
7—Shot of screen where in the inbox is an email with the subject, “OPEN NOW, BIRDBRAIN!”
1—Casia bends down to read over Ral’s shoulder. The email subject reads “September 17, 2009—11:54 A.M., Ral on the computer.—Donnellie
RAL: How—How does she know my name?
2—Lance crosses his arms.
LANCE: Oh, I’m sure she knows a lot more than that.
LANCE (linked): ORACLES are like that.
3—An Instant Message pops up on the screen.
INSTANT MESSAGE: Psychic reading?
4—Casia looks disgusted and angry but resigned to what she must.
CASIA: Hit it.
5—Webcam connects to show a girl hardly older than Casia. She has black and red dreadlocks, but her tight vest and black pants lent of the image of a private school student. Her dark skin shines with the glimmer of moonlight, and her silver lavaliere switches shapes between a crane and a swan. She inherited her smile from a used car salesman no doubt. She has purple eyes. She’s sitting before a bookcase many mathematical and science books. One has to be for astrophysics.
NARR: And I think Lance is freaky.
DONNELLIE (electronic): Well, well, well, if it isn’t the BIRDBRAIN and DANTE.
1—Casia and Lance look less than thrilled.
CASIA: Good to see you, too, DONNELLIE.
LANCE: Always a pleasure.
2—Focus on Ral, who is just bewildered by all this.
DONNELLIE (off panel/electronic): You keep my number handy, so you must be masochistic.
DONNELLIE (off panel/electronic/linked): And this must be your little knave, huh?
DONNELLIE (off panel/electronic): Charmed, Mr. Dawson.
RAL: Thanks, uh…you, too.
NARR: Nails on chalkboard, definitely.
3—Casia shoves Ral’s face out of the screen.
CASIA: Donnellie, look. Did you get the info? We’re burning DAYLIGHT.
4—Donnellie’s face darkens. Now, she’s all serious and pulls an astrophysics book from the shelf behind her.
DONNELLIE (electronic): There isn’t much I could perceive from here.
DONNELLIE (electronic/linked): But I can tell you the warehouse held Adeline and Connor for only a short period of time.
CASIA: That we could guess. Give us something more concrete.
6—Donnellie flips to a certain page and holds it up to the screen. She pointed to a circled equation on the page.
DONNELLIE (electronic): Okay, the river’s water evaporated about here.
1—In the foreground, Casia’s typing away in her sidekick. Behind her, Lance has crossed arms.
LANCE: That’s all you know.
2—Donnellie puts down the book.
DONNELLIE (electronic): That’s all I can know for certain.
DONNELLIE (electronic/linked): Anything else I can say would be conjecture at best.
3—Ral finally gets his bearings, and he’s angry that Donnellie doesn’t know more.
RAL (yells): But you’re an ORACLE! Shouldn’t you know everything for certain?
4—Donnellie’s pissed and points a finger at the little, ignorant, mortal boy.
DONNELLIE (electronic): I’m partially clairvoyant and can, at times, predict particular events that might or might not occur by reading patterns, INFANT.
DONNELLIE (electronic/linked): If you want specifics, I’d get a closer clairvoyant to check out the site for you.
5—Casia looks down from her Sidekick.
CASIA: Can you give us a reference?
1—Donnellie rolls her eyes.
DONNELLIE (electronic): He sucks big time and watch out for the accent, but you can call Tony Hiller out of Pigeon Forge.
DONNELLIE (electronic/linked): Owns a little palm reading business. Now, put yours up to screen, knave.
2—Stunned from the verbal slap, Ral raises his palm.
3—Casia and Lance both lunge from his hand to cover it.
CASIA and LANCE (shout): NO!
4—An object whizzes past Ral’s ear, between his and Casia’s arm.
5—An arrow buries itself in Ral’s monitor, right where Donnellie’s face was.
6—Close-up on the arrow and the timer on the shaft that clicks down from two.
1—Lance throws an arm around Ral’s neck and torso, tugging him from the chair.
2—Lance tackles Ral to the ground, his body on top of Ral’s. Camera shaky from the blast.
3—Close-up on Ral’s face as the Small bits of electronic equipment fall to the floor like rain drops.
NARR: Remember the Skadoian Warrior?
4—Boots appear before Ral’s face, but this time they’re commando boots, not Casia’s stylish ones.
NARR: Yeah, you seriously never want to meet them, but you know you must be special when they make their appearance in the daytime.
1—Full page—The same man who sucked Ral into his body in FD #1 now stands over Ral and Lance in flesh, blood, and whatever us warriors are made of with an arrow pointed directly at the camera.
NARR: And in person.
WARRIOR: I want a rematch.
TO BE CONTINUED…