False Dawn #4: “Consequence of Love”
Part Three of Three: Let There Be
Comic Book Script-Plot for 22 Pages
Devin Leigh Michaels
Lance may be at the end of his fifteenth lifetime as Lasantra holds him captive for the Skadoian Lord, and Ral has an important decision to make when he learns the truth about Immortals.
Note to Letter: All narrations are Ral’s thoughts unless otherwise noted.
1—It’s dusk. Laying in an old graveyard next to Catherine’s tombstone, Lance writhes in the hold of Lasantra’s dark tentacles, snarling loudly. Tall grass cushions his body.
LOCATION CAPS (in upper hand corner of the cell) STILL LATER
LANCE: Maldita sea. Tabarnak. Brengsek. Blei. Fan.
2—Camera peeks out from behind a gravestone where two legs with knee-high black leather boots are crossed and using something as a hassock. The camera doesn’t show us what it is other than the black leather cover. (For reference, it’s Tony’s dead body from FD #3.)
LANCE (struggling/off): Hey, I’d like a little service here.
3—Lasantra appears bored as she sits upon Catherine’s stone, her legs crossed regally. She’s filing her long, blue nails with a file made of shadows and smoke.
LASANTRA: Petulant child.
4—Lance fights to sit on his knees as Lasantra lifts her nails to see how they look.
LANCE: Oh, flattery? What’s the occasion?
LASANTRA: Be quiet, or I’ll simply kill you.
LANCE (linked): Why don’t you? I’m just so adorable?
LASANTRA (linked): My lord wants you alive.
5— Lasantra swept her hand, and a tentacle slaps over Lance’s mouth.
LANCE: Wanted: Alive? Do I complete his Bingo Board of Immort—hmph!
LASANTRA: You are the board.
1—Full tier view of rural I-81 with trees lining the roadway. It’s getting dark.
LOCATION CAPS (top right hand corner of cell): EARLIER
NARR (Ral): Most kids are scared of the dark because they don’t know the secrets it hides.
2—Behind the wheel of the Blazer, Casia hits two wires—one green, one red—together, gaining a spark under the wheel. Casia by now has dropped the act of appearing “normal” and has multicolored skin with an emphasis on gold and silver.
NARR: Casia’s scared because she knows what’s hidden in it.
NARR: That’s the reason she decreed a dusk curfew for the group, and Lance accepted it.
3—Shot from outside of Blazer with the lights on.
NARR: It’s the reason why Casia’s freaking out that it’s almost dusk.
4—Bird’s eye view of the Blazer as it pulls off the road and heads into the woods.
NARR: We park the car off I-81 where no cops could see us.
5—Ral gets out of the car next to a small brook and comes to sit on the bank. Casia paces back and forth, continuously looking at her cell phone.
RAL: You still haven’t answered my question.
1—With a scowl, Casia brushes her crimson hair out of her otherworldly eyes.
CASIA: Don’t fight with me, too, okay?
CASIA (linked): I can only take one of you at a time.
RAL: Casia, you said he was worried.
RAL (linked): What would Lance have to worry about? He’s lived fifteen—
2—Casia stops dead and glares with fire in her eyes.
CASIA: And you think that’s a good thing?
NARR: A part of me fears she will simply burn me alive.
3—Casia falls next to Ral in a cross-legged position, her cell phone in her palm.
CASIA: Ral, you went on this mission to save your mom and uncle, right?
4—Ral rolls his eyes. He knows where this is going and doesn’t like it.
NARR: Oh, she’s going to make me eat my words. I just know it.
5—Focus on Casia, who is just staring at that cell phone, praying Lance will call her.
CASIA: Imagine having families and friends gone who you will never see again.
CASIA (linked): It’s the reason Addy has had only one child and why she probably’ll never have another. You think you understand, but you never will.
CASIA (linked): And that’s a good thing, but don’t expect Lance not to do everything in his power to prevent the inexorable loss.
6—Ral really doesn’t hear her. He’s just angry, his face twisted in a snarl.
RAL: So that gives us the right to take the lives of others?
1—Casia ruffles her hair, her head bent to hide her eyes, while Ral is averting his eyes away from her.
CASIA: When they’re trying to take the ones we love from us, especially when our time with them is so short to begin with—yeah.
CASIA (linked): It does.
RAL: So you’re so elite that rules such as Commandments and federal law don’t matter?
CASIA: When all you see and endure is death and loss, it’s all you know.
RAL (linked): That doesn’t make it RIGHT.
2—Casia relaxes her shoulders; she’s tired and really can’t deal with this right now.
CASIA: Right and wrong aren’t as cut and dry as black and white.
3—Ral pushes to stand. He can’t sit next to her anymore.
RAL: They should be.
4—Casia stands, too, turning her back to Ral.
CASIA (muttering): Say that after you’ve lived a few millennia.
RAL: Sorry. Didn’t realize I was speaking to a higher life form.
5—Casia whirls toward him, her finger pointed toward his chest and burning with small flames.
CASIA (shouting): LOOK!
1—Casia waves her finger to lose the burst of fire, but she’s still angry.
CASIA (still mad): We do things our ways because they work, because they’ve kept us ALIVE for hundreds of years as they kept you alive for the last six months.
CASIA (linked): You don’t like them? FINE.
CASIA: We didn’t need to bring you on this search, but Lance and I did because Addy and Connor are your family, which makes you part of our family.
2—Casia turns away from Ral, disgusted and looking up at the sky, which is rapidly darkening.
CASIA: We want to protect you from the SKADIOAN WARRIORS and the REINCARINATED, and the ones who have a vendetta your mom and uncle.
CASIA (linked): But we don’t HAVE to.
3—Casia presses buttons on her cell phone. Over her shoulder we can see Ral, who’s still torn and can’t look at her.
CASIA: We, even more than you, know how precious life is and how easily it can be taken away. That’s the reason we make the ultimate sacrifice.
CASIA (linked): We’re not afraid to, not if it will SAVE your life. And we will always because you are precious to us.
CASIA (linked): And that, Ral, will always be RIGHT.
4—Casia waves a dismissive hand and puts the cell phone to her ear.
CASIA: Now go to sleep. I have to shoot myself in the—Hey, Donnellie…
1—Full tier view of the Mall in Washington, D.C.
LOCATION CAPS (upper right hand corner of the cell): WASHINGTON, D.C.
OFF: You sure about this?
2— The small cramped office has only a few file cabinets and chairs. Papers rule the area—on the desk, bursting from the files, and even on the floor. A filing cabinet must be next to his desk, while a coffee cup is on the desk.
TOWNE (off): Fingerprints of both STERLING and LACROUX match those found at the crime scene in Hackensack.
TOWNE (linked): The boy’s appearance matches that of Dawson’s son, RALEIGH.
3—The Director is an older man with a bald head and grandfatherly eyes. He watches the video on his computer of a nineteen-year-old juvenile delinquent kill a man more than twice his age.
BOSS: You think the boy’s along for the ride?
4—Now we see Agent Holly Skylar sitting on the corner of her boss’s desk while Agent Darnell Towne stands behind her, his arms crossed. Skylar pops a pink gum bubble. The Director reaches down into his desk’s drawer.
SKYLAR: He saved LaCroux’s life, and their computer files seem to indicate he’s working with them.
SKYLAR (linked): Not to mention numerous others—a Havard undergraduate; a Georgetown professor; a Pigeon Forge palm reader; emails to people in Chicago, Montreal, San Diego, Vegas—
5—As Towne pushes up his glasses, the boss spikes his coffee with a flask.
TOWNE: Their topics range, but they revolve around the disappearance of the Dawsons and a group of people called SOJOURNERS.
6—The Director takes a sip, while Skylar pops another bubble.
BOSS: Clean it up. QUIETLY.
BOSS (linked) A manhunt will bring too much attention to the project.
SKYLAR: A new recruit, Director?
7—Grim close-up on the Director.
BOSS (linked): And perhaps a returning few.
1— A poorly kept graveyard surrounded by a cornfield in at dusk; the same one Lance is in; Ral kneels next to a gravestone.
LOCATION CAPS: NOW
NARR: I’m starting to hate dreaming—or scrying—or whatever the hell this is.
2—Lasantra sits upon a stone with her legs crossed and her feet propped up on something we can’t see, looking thoroughly bored as she holds out her nails. She has a shadow-like file in her right hand.
LASANTRA: Once the last remaining shards of light disappear from the horizon, my lord will come, and he will deal with you.
3—Lance is laying upon his side, struggling with the black tentacles restraining him.
LANCE (muffled): Hmmph!
OFF: Stop complaining, Evans.
4—From behind a gravestone, we see younger hands clutching the stone. Beyond the stone, Lasantra files her nails again, bored and not even granting Lance her full attention.
LASANTRA: I do so HATE babysitting.
5—The camera now shifts down to see Tony’s body being used as a hassock. His mouth is open and bloodied, while his back is blown inward.
1—Lance’s stormy eyes focused at the camera, wide and pleading.
NARR: Lance’s mumbles stop, and he sees me.
NARR: I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
2—Ral sneaks from stone to stone, though the tall grass swishes as Ral makes his way through.
NARR: Maybe she’ll take me for a chupacabra.
3—We see Ral from behind Lance as he reaches out to Lance except his fingers slip through Lance’s shoulder like he’s a ghost. Behind Ral, tentacles are perched to attack.
NARR: What the—
4—The tentacles aren’t like Ral’s hand, though, and they wrap around his body like rope, while Lance starts struggling again with a renewed fervor. Lasantra stands just beyond him.
LASANTRA: A two-for-one deal.
5—Rising from the ground, two wings of fire enclose upon Ral.
1—Sweaty and heaving, Ral pushes into a sitting position in his bedroom, aka the back seat of the Blazer. His T-shirt and boxers are stuck to his trembling body. Hard hands squeeze his biceps.
OFF (shouting): Ral!
OFF: Ral, it’s okay! It’s okay!
2—Casia’s sea-blue eyes are soft as she’s looking at Ral as if he’s a child. She, too, is in the backseat of the Blazer. Blankets are all over. Now it’s almost completely dark.
CASIA: Ral, please. Tell me what you saw.
3—Casia wraps an arm around Ral to hold him close and runs a hand through Ral’s bangs to see his eyes.
NARR: Once my trembling stops enough for my tongue to form the words, I mumble through the rapidly darkening sky to tell her the shadows that might linger around us.
1— Casia climbes into the front seat, jumpstarting the Blazer once more.
NARR: I never finish.
CASIA: Catherine. God, I should have known.
CASIA (linked): You’d think after two hundred and thirty years, I’d get a clue.
2—The Blazer zooms out of the small cove where it was parked and screeches along the road. Smoke rises on the road from the burning tires.
RAL: What are you talking about?
3—As Casia drives, Ral climbs to the passenger seat, jeans in his hands.
CASIA: Lance fell in love with a girl during the Civil War—Cat Johnson.
CASIA (linked): She died during the Battle of Shiloh after taking a bullet meant for him.
4—Now sitting, Ral sticks one leg into the jeans. Casia never looks over.
CASIA: When I spoke about the Curse, he must have thought of her and went to see her grave.
RAL: What Curse?
1—Straight-on Casia, so we can see the intensity of this discussion.
CASIA: Now’s the time you make your decision, Ral.
CASIA (linked): How far are you willing to follow this through?
RAL: I’m going to find my mom and Connor, Casia.
2—Casia jerks the wheel as they zoom down a different road; Ral crashes against the passenger door, his pants still unbuttoned.
CASIA: No, not them. US. Lance and me. What you experienced at Paper Clips was just the beginning.
CASIA (linked): No doubt you will see worse, and it will be the end of your innocence.
CASIA (linked): Or WORSE.
3—Casia looks saddened; Ral finally zips up his pants.
CASIA: Those around Lance tend to have a SHORT lifespan.
CASIA (linked): And if you meet Lasantra’s lord, there will be no end to your misery.
RAL: And Lance? Mom and Connor? The warriors have—
4—Casia blows up her bangs.
CASIA: Addy and Connor will be safe.
CASIA (linked): The Skadoian Warrior told you that, and he had no reason to lie.
RAL: And Lance?
CASIA: He’s already dead.
5—Ral looks shaken, not even putting on his sneaker.
RAL: And you?
1—Casia touches Ral’s cheek with her hand as a soft, sad smile envelopes her face.
CASIA: I made my decision long ago, but that does not have to be YOUR decision.
2—The Blazer’s tires squeal when they’d become unbalanced on a turn. Ral stares out the windshield at the forest like its darkness is closing in upon him.
NARR: It’s funny.
NARR: As much as Casia tells me I have a choice—
NARR: —as darkness falls—
3—He looks toward Casia, whose face of gold and silver and her bright a fiery red, is lit in the intense darkness of night.
NARR: —she’s the only LIGHT I see.
1—The sun sinks below the horizon, causing the darkness to overtake the land.
2—With a smile of triumph upon her dark face, Lasantra crouches next to Lance, his chin in her hand. He’s still gagged by the tentacle.
LASANTRA: Your futile fight has ended, boy.
LASANTRA (linked): Tell me. After all these years for it to end so tragically, was your resistance truly worth it?
OFF (icy): Yes.
3—As Lasantra stands, a fury of flames launch toward her. She crosses her wrists, forming a shield of shadows in front of her.
4—Casia’s fires die upon the resistance, and the flames burn off to her jeans. She stands with her specter, ready to battle to the death.
LASANTRA: Surrender, hatchling.
LASANTRA (linked): You know you cannot win.
CASIA: Burn ALIVE, Lasantra.
CASIA (linked): We do NOT surrender.
LASANTRA (linked): Then you will DIE.
5—Ral’s flaming sword tears through Lasantra’s side from behind, the front sticking out of her stomach, black blood smears across the blade.
RAL: You first.
1—Ral tugs out the sword, the shadows already slithering to Lasantra’s aid.
LASANTRA (weakly): Petulant children.
2—The tentacles uncoiled from Lance’s body and gathered about Lasantra’s wound, which weeps black ooze. Lance accepts Ral’s hand and is pulled to his feet. Casia stares off to the right, unsure of herself.
LANCE: I still take that as a compliment.
CASIA: Uh…guys? Look…
3—Lance’s frightened eyes follow Casia’s over Ral’s shoulder.
NARR: Do not turn around.
NARR: Do not turn around.
4—Ral turns around, and his eyes become as wide as Lance’s.
NARR: Do not—aw, damn.
1—At the opening of the graveyard forms a mass of shadows, and it gathers from the stones, the trees, anywhere darkness looms, even Lasantra.
RAL: I didn’t know they could do that.
2— In a wisp of smoke, Lasantra dissipates while the shadows begin to take a human form. Lance grabs Ral’s shoulders as the younger boy just stares in horror.
LANCE (shouting): CASIA!
LANCE (linked): LET THERE BE LIGHT!
3—Casia’s face becomes determined, and flame wings spurt from her back.
4—She takes flight and only stops once she reaches the tops of the trees. Her fire consumes her body, and she looks like a phoenix-shaped flames—complete with wings, beak, feathers—just all in fire. She’s no longer flesh and blood but all flames. From the ground, Ral is stunned.
1—Lance clamps a hand over Ral’s eyes, even as the light brightens their faces.
RAL (shouting): HEY!
LANCE: You can’t look.
LANCE (linked): It’ll blind you.
2 —Lance forces Ral to the ground, his arms wrapped around the boy, Ral’s face pushed into Lance’s shoulder.
RAL: But what about the Warrior?
LANCE: That’s not a warrior.
3—Even though the light is bright, Lance fights to get a peek of the shadow figure.
NARR: Even through my closed eyelids, the light burns my eyes.
4—Just as the fire reaches the warrior, its face begins to form. It’s a man in his mid-thirties with short brown hair and intense brown eyes. His face is anything but kind.
5—Lance is in shock, his mouth agape, his eyes wide. His face is a bright white from Casia’s flames.
LANCE (whispers): Bergener?
6—Lance reluctantly shuns away, but realization saddens his face.
1—The light dies down, and Lance loosens his hold upon Ral. He smiles, kind and true and a little sad, as he pats Ral’s shoulder.
LANCE: Thanks, Page.
RAL: I should at least be a SQUIRE by now.
2—Casia lands next to Ral and Lance, and she slaps Lance across the back of his head.
CASIA: You are SUCH a dumb ASS.
3—The three look down upon Tony’s dead body.
NARR: All that’s left is that dead body, which none of us want to deal with.
LANCE: Leave ‘im. The Feds will handle Tony.
LANCE (linked): I’ll explain later.
RAL: Yeah, you have a lot of that to do.
4—It’s dawn now, and we’re looking up as if we’re Tony, seeing Agents Skylar and Towne glaring down with their sunglasses on. They are not happy.
LOCATION CAPS (top right hand corner): LATER
SKYLAR: Looks like the clean-up’s already started.
5—Towne follows the trail of blood to a certain gravestone.
TOWNE: Catherine Johnson. Pretty name. Died pretty young, too.
6—Kneeling before the stone, Skylar places her hands on the stone like she’s holding someone’s shoulders and closes her eyes.
SKYLAR: Let’s see what Miss Johnson has to say.
1—A shot of a small lake, peaceful and calm, its blue water tinged yellow in the sun’s light.
NARR: The morning is usually my favorite time of the day.
2—The Blazer’s parked a few feet away from the lake. Between the lake and the Blazer is a small patch of grass.
NARR: The night is filled with fears and nightmares and monsters, and all of them are real.
3—Close-up on Ral, who’s sitting the grass, cutting a half-eaten peach with his Swiss Army knife.
NARR: They feed from the power of shadows and the uncertainty of the unknown.
OFF: There are THREE types of Immortals.
4—Focus on Lance’s hands as he sits on the SUV’s step, scratching his palms together in a nervous gesture.
NARR: The sun burns away those fears and shows us the truth.
LANCE: The SOJOURNERS are what most people think of. They’re TRUE immortals.
LANCE (linked): Doesn’t matter if their shot, beheaded, drowned—They survive.
LANCE (linked): That’s what Addy and Connor are.
5—Close-up on Ral as he stuffs a peach slice into his mouth. He’s all serious, listening intently.
OFF: Then there are the REINCARNATED.
OFF (linked): Some believe they have a mission and have yet to finish it.
OFF (linked): Others just think they’ve been enchanted or whatnot, but they’re the ones who live out a life, die, and come back again.
6—Shot of Casia, none-too-far away, her long crimson hair undone and waving in the breeze. She’s saddened and simply staring at the lake with her arms crossed.
OFF: Then there are the CURSED.
OFF: Those people have been hexed or spelled or enchanted for a certain reason, usually as punishment.
OFF: They can be the Sojourners and just be here forever, living out their Curse, or they can be like the Reincarnated and live and die and live again.
1—Lance doesn’t look at the camera, but instead stares down at his hands as he leans his elbows against his thighs. This is hard for him to say.
LANCE: I’m the latter.
NARR: And sometimes, we don’t want to know.
2—Sideways glance at Casia and Ral. Ral’s chucking another piece of fruit in his mouth, awaiting the next part of the confession. Casia hasn’t moved from her previous stance.
3—Lance eventually continues, his hands shaking; his head still hanging.
LANCE: In my first life, I made mistakes. Let luck and chance guide me.
LANCE (linked): People were hurt. KILLED. Those who survived believed it would be best if I knew the pain they had suffered.
LANCE: They had a mage put a Curse on me to lose those I love the most in each lifetime I live.
LANCE (linked): Cat was one of the victims of the Curse.
1—Ral swallows hard.
RAL: And you believe I could be one of them?
2—Lance looks away.
LANCE: With your mom and Connor, I didn’t need to worry.
LANCE (linked): Nothing can kill them, even this Curse. While Casia isn’t immortal, she’s damn near close.
RAL (off panel): But I’m not.
3—Lance’s face darkens with turmoil.
LANCE (whispers): But you’re not.
4—As Ral tosses the peach pit into the grass, he stands. Maiden’s Glory forms in his left hand.
5—Lance looks up to see a hand offered to him. A piece of Maiden’s Glory’s hilt can be seen in the cell.
6—Ral smiles down at him, the sun behind the boy, a soft smile upon his face.
RAL: Well, then, I guess we have training to do.
1—Lance clasps Ral’s wrist, and he’s pulled to his feet.
RAL: So, that was the Skadoian King?
2—In the grassy area, their swords cling.
RAL: And you know him?
LANCE: Pray you never do.
RAL (linked): Then how are we going to save Mom and Connor then?
LANCE (linked): By avoiding him and praying he doesn’t find us.
3—The gray stones sit quietly among the serenity of the morning before the blocks begin to shimmer gold.
LOCATION CAPS (upper right hand corner of cell): STONEHENGE. DAWN
PANELS 4-HOWEVER MANY ARE NEEDED—Each stone takes turns glowing
1—The radiance is so bright it seems unnatural, and then—in a flash of a silver—a man appears in the very center of the rock structure.
2— Wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and a light over jacket, he looks like a tourist, and even his sun-kissed complexion gives him the impression of back-packing through Europe. This is the same man from FD #3 who Griff searched for. He straightens his jacket and turns his back on the sun, instead opting for the night sky.