Part One Of Two: The Universal Pancreas
Comic Book Script—Plot for 22 Pages
Devin Leigh Michaels
As if being hunted by Skadoian Warriors wasn’t bad enough, Ral and Co. are now being chased by a Green Beret platoon looking for the Universal Pancreas. Say what?
Note to Letterer: All narrations are Ral's unless otherwise noted.
1—Overhead shot of a parking lot a rest area off of an interstate highway (It’s I-85 just out of Atlanta, so if you want to throw in a peach tree, go for it!) In the parking lot’s first row of cars, please make one a red Blazer facing the bathrooms.
LANCE (no pointer): I dunno. All Tony’s words seemed like gibberish to me.
LOCATION CAPS: PEACHTREE CORNERS, GEORGIA
2—Close-up on car, camera positioned beyond hood looking in on the driver and shotgun seats. Lance is in his normal garb—T-shirt, jeans, and Southpole hat in the driver’s seat, his hand slamming on the horning. Casia’s in the passenger seat, her eyes focused on a celebrity gossip magazine. She’s fingering through it periodically.
CASIA: The Black Prince? Crossing-over? Seeing the Light?
CASIA (linked): He certainly couldn’t have meant you.
3—Focus on Lance, who’s now sitting back in his seat, an elbow up on his door and holding up his head.
LANCE: I know, right? Can’t die. Can’t be judged. Can’t—
4—Casia motions toward the car floor where KFC, McDonald’s, and Burger King paraphernalia sits. Cup holders are filled.
CASIA:—clean the car once and a while?
LANCE (off panel): Hey, I don’t see you picking up a trash bag and tossing some shit out.
5—Casia’s no longer reading her magazine; she’s slightly perturbed.
CASIA: When are we? The Middle Ages?
6—Lance snorts and looks out toward the bathroom; shot possibly from over Lance’s shoulder. His hands are up like he’s surrendering, only he’s not. From the bathroom, Ral’s swaying down the walkway toward the Blazer.
LANCE: You know, it was great for the first—oh, four thousand years and then BOOM! In one decade, your gender gets it into their heads that they’re equal, and it’s all downhill.
1— Casia walks her fingers up his arm like legs. Upon her nails dance tiny flames.
CASIA: Oh, please. My gender has been working yours since time immortal.
2—Lance’s mouth opens; Casia’s wearing a saucy smirk.
LANCE: We’ll, uh, we’ll make Ral do it.
CASIA: Fair enough.
3—The back door opens, and Ral flops himself down into the backseat. Lance is looking at him in the rearview mirror with an “I-told-you-so” look.
LANCE: Wow. I knew that sixth chilidog would return for a sequel.
4—Close-up on Ral, whose eyes are closed, his hands upon his stomach. His face is pale and clammy.
RAL (weary): Not—*gulp*—now, you jack—
5—Casia looks back at him from the front seat. Lance is now half-turned in his seat.
CASIA: Sixth? Really? I thought he downed seven.
NARR: Oh, please, no…
LANCE: Maybe it was actually that triple mocha shake he had at Sonic—
6—Ral slaps his hands over his mouth and zips out of the car.
7—From behind Lance and Casia, like we’re sitting in the back seat, we see Ral dash down the pathway, passing two men and one woman. One man has a blonde crewcut and is a dark shirt and jeans; the other is a middle-aged African American dressed similarly. The woman is shorter with light skin and brown dreadlocks.
LANCE: It’s like shooting Perishables.
8—A shot looking inside the car—Casia once more reads her magazine; Lance is smirking.
CASIA: The phrase is ‘shooting fish in a barrel.’
LANCE: I don’t need them in a barrel, dame. They’re just so easy.
1—The camera focuses from one end of the bathroom as we see someone leaving, and the three black cladded people enter, one holding a knife.
NARR(Ral): So this is it, huh?
2—Close-up on the deadbolt of the restroom as one of the black-cladded people fit the top of the knife into the grove on the lock and twist to open it.
NARR: I survive Skadioan Warriors, Starweavers, mercenaries, and deranged kidnappers for what?
3—Now we’re in Ral’s stall as if we’re standing behind him. He’s hunched over, and all we see is his jeaned butt.
NARR: To die because of a bad chilidog.
NARR: Or seven.
4—Shot of Ral’s clammy face. He’s exhausted. His eyes are closed, and we feel just as bad as he does. He’s wiping his mouth with his sleeve.
NARR: I’m going to kill Lance and Casia…or at least I would if it were possible.
5—Now his eyes shoot open, and his head is whirling.
NARR: What the—
6—Ral’s looking out of the stall, and all we see is the crewcut black-clad man, holding a semi-automatic gun at Ral. If you want, this shot can have the man in silhouette, so the gun is what’s most important. The next shot can be of the man behind it.
RAL: Dude, occupied—
NARR: Gun. Shit.
1—Here we are, introducing the Preds. (This will probably take up most of the page.) The camera’s positioned like we’re Ral looking out of the stall. Now we see the man holding the gun. GAVIN built, overly so. He’s like a baseball player on steroids, and his black T-shirt shows every one of his muscles. His eyes are dark, and his face is scrunched in a nasty manner. Behind him, we get a glimpse of his posse. The two others are dressed in black as well—like battle suits (cargo pants, black boots, tight shirts, bulging where guns are kept. CHEVIS is an African American with dark eyes sparkling with hope. He’s older than the other two, in his mid-thirties/forties. ARI is the woman, Caucasian, with brown dreadlocks, a pierced eyebrow, and a dark scowl. She’s in her mid-twenties and with a tanktop that accents her biceps.
NARR: Not to mention, dude’s built like a Mack truck, the kind that would hide Optimus Prime.
GAVIN: Okay, kid. Move or lose it.
2—Ral puts up one finger and whirls toward the toilet.
NARR: Lose it.
3—Now we see all the black-clad people as Chevis and Ari are just outside the stall, all with contorted expressions of disgust.
NARR: This isn’t good, but the only thing that’s helping me to keep it together—or as together I can—is Skadoian Warriors don’t use guns.
4—Ral once more stands but leans heavily upon the stall, his cheek plastered against the metal.
RAL (weak): Do I…*gulp* know you?
1—Focus on Ari.
ARI: No, but we know of yer uncle and yer ma, and we want ta know where th’ stuff be at.
2—Ral’s, of course, confused.
RAL:…S—Stuff? What stuff?
3—Back to Gavin, who’s losing his patience.
GAVIN: The Elixir of Life, the Philosopher’s Stone, the Universal Pancreas. Don’t deny it.
GAVIN (linked): You know where it is.
4—Now Ral’s laughing, though his face is still tired and sweaty. We’re looking over Gavin’s shoulder, which now has a dark hand on it.
RAL: The Universal Pancreas? What? Already have the *gulp* Universal Stomach?
5—Chevis pushes past Gavin.
CHEVIS: We know Adeline and Connor used one of the aforementioned objects.
CHEVIS (linked): That means they had to know where the source was, and by extension, so must YOU.
6—Ral gulps, like he’s nervous but trying to keep it together. If you think he has the strength for it, have him rub the back of his neck.
RAL: Look, I don’t know what you’re talking about. My mom and uncle went missing six months ago. You want to ask them, be my guest.
7—Gavin lunges forward, and he throws Ral against the wall.
8—Gavin forces the gun against Ral’s cheek.
GAVIN: Spill the words or we spill your blood. Your choice.
1—Scene shifts outside. Lance narrows her eyes as he looks out the windshield.
LOCATION CAPS: OUTSIDE
LANCE: Wow. Did a bus unload?
2—Casia looks up from her magazine to see a line outside the men’s bathroom. One person in particular has to be jumping up and down like he has to release himself now. A child might be more acceptable.
CASIA: No, not that I saw. Maybe they’re all just waiting for Ral to finish.
3—Lance furls an inquisitive eyebrow and points toward the man in the middle of the line.
LANCE: You really think the Jumping Bean in the middle of all that wants to wait?
4—Casia shrugs; Lance looks out his side window.
5—Together, they both throw open their doors and head out.
1—Ral’s still pushed against the wall, but his hands are now up in a surrender position.
NARR: I sound like a broken record, I know, but seriously—I’m going to die.
RAL: Man, I don’t know what you’re—
2—Gavin pistol-whips Ral.
3—Ral cradles his cheek. Chevis puts a hand on Gavin’s shoulder again.
NARR: Still puke free for a whole five minutes. I’ll take all the small victories I can get.
CHEVIS: Gavin, there is no need for brutality. The boy will tell us in good time.
4—Ral still holds his face.
NARR: In good time? Oh, I so do not like where this is going.
RAL: I can’t tell you what I don’t know!
5—Gavin thrusts Ral toward the back door of the restroom; we can still see Chevis with his arms crossed in the frame.
CHEVIS: Then you will tell us what you do.
1—Ral heads toward the back door, and he steps outside first. A sword swipes just behind his back, slicing through Gavin’s gun.
2—Flames roar across the doorway just behind Ral.
3—Ral turns to see Lance wiping his hands on his jeans and Casia’s rising from a kneeling position. A wall of fire entraps the commandos inside the bathroom.
LANCE: Like shooting Perishables.
4—Lance lunges at Ral, throwing him on the ground. A shot buries in the grass next to Ral’s head.
NARR: FYI: Grass does not taste good.
5—From Ral and Lance’s POV, we see an Asian American woman with dark sunglasses and a tight skirt with knee-high boots upon a Hummer with a rifle upon the roof.
6—Small panel. She smirks at them.
1—Casia and drops to the ground, igniting the dry blades again. Lance and Ral are just over her shoulder, Lance covering Ral with his body.
CASIA (shouting): MOVE IT!
2—Lance leaps to his feet, dragging Ral along with him. Shots blast past them.
SFX: BANG! BANG!
3—Ral and Lance run toward the camera, bullets that are pinging the grass next to their feet. Casia is slowly rising from her kneeling position while fire rages toward the Hummer in a single line.
4—Ral dives into the back seat of the Blazer. Through the car window, Gavin, Chevis, and Ari come out of the bathroom from the front door, allowing the desperate men to enter.
5—Casia slams shut her door as Lance zooms out of the parking space.
1—Ral lies down across the back seat. He has grass in his hair and grass stains on his shirt. His eyes are closed. He’s smiling, exhausted still.
RAL: We must be freak magnets.
2—Lance glances back from the front seat.
3—Ral laughs again.
RAL: Yeah, I guess ME. After all, who else hangs out with a Cursed Immortal and a Were-Phoenix?
4—Casia turns halfway in her seat.
CASIA: What’d those people want with you?
5—Ral narrows his eyes toward her.
NARR: Why does she sound like she’s blaming me for this?
RAL: They said Mom and Uncle Connor hid something. The Universal Stomach or Liver or—
6—Lance stares straight out the windshield. His face is twisted in a grimace.
1—Ral sits up and nods into the rearview mirror. Casia settles facing front.
RAL: Yeah. What’s that?
CASIA: I heard Connor and Addy speak of it once or twice.
2—Lance jerks the wheel to the side hard. Ral falls back to the seat.
LANCE: Me, too, and with other Sojourners, but they always stopped talking when I came into the room.
3—Ral props up on his elbow on backseat.
RAL Maybe whatever that pancreas is, that’s why the Skadoian Warriors took my parents.
4—Casia shrugs; Lance looks away, grumbling.
CASIA: Sounds plausible, but we’ll have to talk to a Sojourner.
LANCE (grumbling): Shit.
5—Overhead shot of the SUV as it jumbles across the grassy median of the Interstate.
CASIA (no pointer): Where’re we going?
1—Shot of interior with Casia glaring at Lance; Lance looking anywhere but at her; and Ral slowly pulling himself into a sitting position between them. Casia crosses her arms.
LANCE: I only know where one Sojourner is—Urban.
2—Ral looks at Casia.
3—Ral looks at Lance.
Ral: Who’s Urban?
4—Ral jerks the wheel to the side, forcing Ral to expel all he’s holding behind Casia’s seat.
RAL: Shit, Lan—ARRGGH!
5—Lance smirks at Casia.
LANCE: Like shooting Perishables.
6—Long shot. Outside shot of a white, suburban condo with a red door and falling Christmas lights on the front stoop. Snow mounds on the front lawn.
LOCATION CAPS: BOSTON, MASSAACHUSETTS
TERRI (no pointer): Boo, you want pizza or Chinese?
1—Terri is young, in her early twenties, with a charmer’s smile and golden hair. She’s wearing usual girl’s outfit—tight T-shirt and jeans with white socks. She waits by the bottom of the stairs.
DONNELLIE (pointer heading upstairs): How about a little bit of both?
2—Terri opens the front door. We see her face looking out, wary.
TERRI: —good. May I help you?
3—Now Agents Skylar and Towne are in the doorway, dressed in suits with dark sunglasses. Skylar flashes her badge.
SKYLAR: Terri James?
SKYLAR (linked): Special Agent Skylar and Special Agent Towne. We’re hear to see Donnellie Jack—
4—Skylar forces her way through.
SKYLAR: —son. Move aside!
5—Terri’s calling after her, but as Skylar climbs the stairs, Towne thrusts Terri into a wall.
TERRI: Hey! Hey, don’t you need a warrant or—ack!
1—Towne races up the stairs.
2—Towne comes to the room to find Skylar standing alone in a messy bedroom. The curtains wave with the breeze flowing in from the open window, but Skylar focuses on the open physics book across the paper-ridden desk.
3—The agent picks up the book, and a paper avalanche buries her shoes.
SKYLAR: Do you see what I see?
4—Towne looks down at the pages. Scribbles occupy the margins in several languages.
5—Towne looks up to meet Skylar’s bright smile.
1—Close up on Ral, whose head is in a garbage can.
LOCATION CAPS: SAVANNAH, GEORGIA
CASIA (off panel): He hasn’t stopped.
LANCE (off panel): We gave him Emetrol.
CASIA (linked, off panel): He threw it up.
2—Ral lifts his head out of the can, but the camera is positioned behind him, so we see Casia and Lance upon the sidewalk. They’re fighting, Lance with his arms out, Casia with her arms crossed. On the road, trolleys pass by. There are along the main drag in Savannah with the Victorian houses and a soft, river breeze. For pictures of the area, go to http://savannahvisit.com/media/hi-res . There are great ones to get an idea of what it looks and feels like!
LANCE: What do you want, Birdbrain? To take him to a clinic? What do you think the nurses are going to say when we don’t have insurance? Or they notice him from those milk cartons?
3—Casia purposefully looks away from Lance as Ral approaches them.
CASIA: He wasn’t on milk cartons.
LANCE: No, but he’s been on Wal-Mart walls..
RAL: I’m fin—ugh!
4—Casia helps to lower Ral to a bench, the boy holding his stomach. A trolley squeals to a stop behind them.
CASIA: Look, we have to get him hydrated somehow before he—
5—Lance pats Ral on the back.
LANCE: The bus is here. Sit tight, Page.
1—A man in his mid-forties with graying temples and a snarky laugh leads people off the bus in a polo shirt as Casia and Lance approach.
URBAN: Thank you very much for taking the Paula Deen Tour of Savannah. You know what they say—Great country cooking comes from Crackle Barrel.
URBAN: Thanks a lot and don’t forget our Ghouls of Savannah Tour.
LANCE (from behind): Which just has to feature you, right…Urban?
2—Urban glances over his shoulder, staring at the camera.
URBAN: Sorry, kid, I think you have me mistaken for someone else. Now, your girlfriend, she can ALWAYS mistake me for someone else.
3—Casia’s nose wrinkles.
CASIA: I think I just got Ral’s sickness.
4—Urban pushes past them to greet the line of passengers waiting. Lance follows.
LANCE: We’re not here for us. We’re here concerning Adeline and Connor Dawson.
URBAN: Like I care.
5—As Urban rounds the trolley, Lance pounces and slams Urban against the side, his hand curled in Urban’s collar.
LANCE: I’d MAKE you care.
1—Ral can see the shadows just around the corner of the trolley and struggles to stand.
2—Urban scrutinizes Lance’s face with a dark scowl.
URBAN: Oh, how the hell are you still being reborn, SPEAR?
LANCE: It’s LANCE, and it’s been more than a hundred years.
URBAN: I know. I was hoping to never see you again.
3—Casia stands off the side, her head cocked.
CASIA: Trust me. The feeling was mutual.
4—Urban rolls his eyes.
URBAN: Oh, honey, and here I thought you might be Jailbait, but you have got to be—what? Two-TWENTY? Two-THIR—
5—Casia’s specter clangs against the trolley by Urban’s head.
1—Casia now leans close to Urban, while Lance still holds the Immortal.
CASIA (shouts): All right!
CASIA (linked):Look, Addy and Connor are missing, and we think it has to do with their immortality.
URBAN: So? Good riddance.
2—Ral walking down the trolley toward the group. He even cringes when he hears Urban’s body slam into the trolley.
3—Back to Lance’s face. He’s passed pissed. He’s ready to kill Urban if it were possible. Urban raises his hands in a surrender formation.
LANCE: Listen, you sorry-excuse-for-a-Sojourner, Addy and Connor have done a lot for you, so you better help us—
URBAN: Kid, you can throw a temper tantrum all you want, but it’s not my fault they stayed too long at the fair.
URBAN (linked): Why they would ever wait for Perishables to tar and feather them is beyond—
4—Ral turns the corner of the trolley, and Urban’s eyes widen. He loses all fight.
1—Urban blanches considerably, and his hard, unsympathetic eyes soften just a tad.
URBAN (whispers): Adeline’s or Connor’s?
2—Ral shrugs helplessly. Lance’s hands uncoil from Urban’s collar.
3—Urban suddenly looks his age, old and decrepit, and he staggers toward Ral.
URBAN: How old are you?
URBAN: I can see that. How old are you REALLY?
4—Casia approaches tentatively and puts a hand on Urban’s shoulder.
CASIA: Urban…He’s a Perishable.
5—Now, Urban looks terribly sad, his eyes averting from Ral’s.
URBAN: It’s a mistake. It’s just a horrible mistake.
RAL: I’m not a—
6—Urban touches Ral’s cheek like a father.
URBAN: Yes, you are.
URBAN (linked): You all are.
1—Urban heaves a loud sigh and leans against the trolley.
URBAN: Sojourners are Immortal, but we don’t keep our dashing good looks alone. We’re true Immortals, which means old age can’t even kill us.
URBAN (linked): We need the Eternal Essence to stay young and blend in with the Perishables.
2—Lance comes to Urban’s side.
LANCE: WAIT. You’re helping us?
3—Urban looks forlornly at Ral.
URBAN: …Because I made a mistake once, too.
4—Shot of the group. Not one of them talks. They all look uncomfortable, deep within their own thoughts.
5—Close-up on Urban
URBAN: The Essence follows from one plane to this one before flowing straight into Skadoia.
1—A fountain shoots up from a small lake
URBAN (no pointer): The legend reads that it is the salvia of the god-like being Zenith and simply drinking the water can grant someone a limitless lifetime…
2—Shot of the wreathes hanging in the center of the archways.
URBAN (no pointer): In Zenith’s Rise, it’s known as the River of Life.
3—Lance stares at a rock wall reading.
The rock wall reads: The heroism of our troops…was matched by that of the armed forces of the nations that fought by our side. They absorbed the blows, and they shared in the full ultimate destruction of our enemy.”
URBAN (no pointer): In Skadoia, it is called the Obsidian Run.
4—Show Casia covering her open mouth with her hands as the water glistens off the stone.
URBAN (no pointer): In this plane, it is known as the Elixir of Life, the Universal Pancreas—
RAL (off panel): …Guys?
1—Ral stands before the small lake. Casia is on his left and a step behind. Lance is on his right, looking about the memorial with a pale, unsure face. Even though the focus is on Ral, behind him we can see the circling archways, so we know where we are.
RAL: …this is the Fountain of Youth.
LOCATION CAPS (on the very bottom, right hand corner):WASHINGTON, D.C.
WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL
To get an idea of what the memorial looks like, http://www.wwiimemorial.com/ gives a general idea. I would google images of the place. There are better pictures there.
TO BE CONTINUED…