Part One of Three: Up in Flames
Comic Book Script—Plot for 22 Pages
Devin Leigh Michaels
The crew tries to avoid apprehension by a different type of police, and they get help from an unsuspected ally. The real problem? Ral really hates Reger McClaren. The worse part—Lance doesn’t.
Note to Letterer: All narrations are Ral's.
1—Camera’s looking down at Ral, who is standing on cracked pavement, staring up at the sky. It’s night, but blue lights reflect upon his unsure face. He’s shocked and at the same time, kind of angry.
NARR: I’m not one to hate.
NARR: Really, I’m not.
2—Now, we see what he’s looking at. From worm’s POV, the reader sees the bottom of a were-phoenix with his back to us. He’s floating in the night sky with blue wings of fire coming out of his back. He’s pretty well built—more like a swimmer than a linebacker, and he has on a simple T-shirt and jeans. His hair’s black and messy in a rugged look. His skin twinkles every color imaginable with an emphasis on gold and silver.
NARR: I have it out for the Skadoian Warriors for obvious reasons.
NARR: I’m not really keen on the former president.
NARR: I don’t even dislike Darth Vader. He was just misunderstood.
3—Largest cell—Reger’s looking down now at Ral, his blue eyes burning the same fire that ignites his wings. He’s a little devious but at the same, calm and collected. He’s got this situation handled.
NARR: But I HATE Reger.
1—Now we focus on focus on Lance and Casia off to Ral’s left. They’re huffing. Their clothes look like they’ve been singed a little, possibly torn, and SWAT teams have them surrounded with spotlights. Casia looks hopefully, on the verge of tears. Lance looks appreciative.
NARR: And Lance doesn’t.
NARR: And that annoys the hell out of me.
2—Overhead shot of a built-up suburb. For reference, see below.
NARR: Maybe I should start from the beginning.
LOCATION CAPS: FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA, DUSK
3—Close-up of the Blazer as the crew pulls into a strip mall. One of the stores has to be a Scrub and Suds Laundromat.
NARR: I guess it begins back in D.C. After we left those commando jerks who wanted the Fountain of Youth, we headed toward Richmond, making an unscheduled stop for necessary reasons.
4—Ral, Lance, and Casia are now inside the Laundromat, with Ral overturning his duffle in one washer. Lance does the same in the washer next to Ral’s.
LANCE: So, Donnellie said the water evaporated in southern Virginia, right?
NOTE: See FD#2—DLM
1—Casia sorts the clothes by whites and colors in the two washers. We can see this by her picking up one of Ral’s socks and dropping it in Lance’s washer. Ral’s pushing up to sit on a different washer.
CASIA: Well, at least we know the water Donnellie spoke about was from the Fountain of Youth.
RAL: Great, so my underwear gets to mesh with his?
2—Lance covers his face with his hand. Casia opens her duffle.
LANCE: It gets worse.
3—Casia drops her bras into Lance’s washer.
NARR: He’s right.
CASIA: So that means Addy and Connor were taken somewhere else after Baltimore, so that means we have to—
4—She closes the lid on the washers and rolls her eyes. Lance is blushing.
CASIA: Lance, girls wear bras and panties. Get over it.
LANCE: Why do I have to get over it?
5—Casia points a finger at Ral.
CASIA: Because he’s fourteen. ONLY fourteen.
CASIA (linked): You’re ancient and should know cooties do not exist.
LANCE: Sure, discriminate against the elderly.
6—Ral has a hand on his stomach.
RAL: Okay, so where do we go from here?
1—Long shot and full tier view—The crew heads into an old-fashioned diner with the glass window that curves over the seating area.
LOCATION CAPS: TEN MINUTES LATER
RAL: I meant that as more of a plan-type scenario, not literally.
2—Ral flips through the booth’s juke box menu. Casia is next to Ral, and they barely fit in the small booth in the corner of the diner. Lance is scrunched in the opposite side, sharing the bench with Ral’s feet. Lance is playing with the straw of his drink, and Casia’s looking at her menu.
LANCE: Well, we’ll have to keep a low profile.
LANCE (linked): With the Feds on our heels, we can’t afford to be seen in public.
RAL: Except in diners.
3—Lance spreads his arms wide.
LANCE: Oh, come on. We’re in the middle of suburban central. Who could possibly find us—
4—Same pose as cell three, the lights are now off.
1— Casia scowls, her sea-blue eyes glowing in the darkness.
CASIA: You just had to say that, didn’t you?
2—The three throw their hands over their heads as the glass above them shatters.
3—Peeking down from the supports above is a man in a robotic suit. The metal’s blue, like a body suit, while a helmet covers his features. His left arm is right now a taser canon. On his back is a jet pack to give him flight capabilities. Let’s call him ROBOT MAN.
ROBOT MAN (electronic): Joshua Sterling and Casia LaCroux, you are under arrest for the murder of Adeline and Connor Dawson and the kidnapping of Raleigh Dawson.
NARR: Joshua Sterling? Who’s—
4—Casia and Lance meet gazes, Lance perhaps winking.
OFF (electonric): Don’t move.
NARR: Yeah, right.
5— Casia raises a hand, shooting up a flare of fire at the man.
1—As Robot Man falls backwards, Lance drags Ral over the spine of the booth.
LANCE: COME ON!
2—They rush out of the diner, Lance in front, Casia in the rear, and Ral in the middle. Patrons flee with them or hide behind their cars or fences, etc.
RAL: How’d they find us?
3—A gust of wind knocks them down two steps away from the Blazer.
4—Focus on Lance as he gets up off the ground.
LANCE: Yeah, like that matters now.
OFF: I believe my mate told you to halt.
5—Camera positioned over Lance’s shoulder to see a silhouette of a female body on top of the diner.
6—Close-up on the woman—SIERRA. Her long golden hair wavers in the wind. Her eyes glow a venomous silver, matching the body armor that encases her torso and legs. Silver sparkles flicker about her hands.
SIERRA: You betta do what he says.
1— Lance forms his sword as he stands. He’s positioned in front of Ral and Casia, who are still getting up.
LANCE: Like hell, sweetheart. We didn’t kill anyone.
2—Lance glares over his shoulder at her.
LANCE: We didn’t kill Addy and Connor. Happy now?
3—SIERRA lifts a fist.
SIERRA: Surrender the boy, and then we’ll discuss what you did and didn’t do.
4—Ral meets Casia’s gaze.
RAL: You know he’s gonna say it.
LANCE (possibly off): Or what?
1—Sierra raises her hands into the air, the sparkles now becomes bright white light about her fingers—like she’s weaving a cat’s cradle with white yarn.
2—The asphalt cracks under the trio’s feet.
3—Casia clenches her teeth as she struggles to her feet.
4—With an action line, she whips her specter from her bag and slams it down on the asphalt.
5—With her eyes glowing yellow, Casia looks down at Ral and Lance.
1—Lance heaves Ral to his feet by an arm, but in the corner of the cell, we can see the leg of the Robot Man.
LANCE: Oh, COME ON!
2—Robot Man stands just before the Blazer, his laser arm out to blast Lance.
ROBOT MAN (electronic): This is one life you won’t survive, Sterling. Give up.
3—Small cell—Lance growls.
4—He pounces and with action lines, swipes multiple times across Robot Man’s suit.
5—Robot Man falls back on the Blazer, wires sparking.
ROBOT MAN (shouting): It’s gonna blow!
1—Lance jumps at the camera.
LANCE (shouting): CASIA!
2—Casia’s head whips around from Sierra.
3—large cell—The Blazer explodes, Casia standing just before it with her specter lifted toward it.
1—Long shot of a Cape Code house with a white picket fence that needs a paint job. Tall, Great Plains grass grows in the front yard. Plants sprout from the gutters while pieces of aluminum sliding crack and sway in the gentle breeze. The windows remain intact, but the house obviously has seen better days.
LOCATION CAPS: WAYNE, NEW JERSEY
2—Standing on the sidewalk, the forty-something man looks upon the house with a mixture of remorse and bitterness and shoves his hands in his jacket pockets. He’s dressed modesty in jeans and a leather jacket. He has a five o’clock shadow. This is the same man from FD#2 who was in the woods in the beginning. For identification, his name is DURANT.
3—Close up on the man, who looks to the right.
OFF: Hey, are you with the police?
4—Behind the fence on the opposite side stands a woman in her mid-forties in her pink robe and her hair in a bun.
WOMAN: Are you the police? Do you know what happened to Addy and Connor?
5—Durant approaches the woman, making a path through the grass.
DURANT: You knew Adeline?
1—Woman leans over the fence, desperate for more rumors, while Durant looks back at the house.
WOMAN: Wonderful woman. Always waved and made the best tea in the book club.
2—The woman becomes sullen as Durant’s head whips about. He’s unnerved by this news.
WOMAN: It’s terrible what happened to her and her brother and Ral.
WOMAN: Yes, Addy’s son.
4—Durant forges through the grass toward the house with a determined look on his face as the woman shouts over the fence.
WOMAN (shouting): Hey! How do you know Addy and Connor?
WOMAN (linked, shouting): HEY!
LANCE (no pointer): Page?
LANCE (no pointer): You alive?
2—We’re looking up at Lance’s blurry and worried face.
RAL (off/weak): …Lance?
3—Lance takes Ral’s arm and lugs Ral lot his feet. Both are a little worse for wear with cuts, bruises and burnt sections of their jackets.
LANCE: Come on, kid. One foot in front of the other and all that…
4—The two meander out of the backside of the diner, flashes of red coloring behind them. (Casia is fighting off Sierra for reference.)
LANCE: We’re going to make it, kid.
5—They come to the back door of a strip mall, and Lance puts Ral down.
LANCE: Okay, so this won’t be exactly legal…
6—Lance takes out of his sword and cuts through the back door.
1—As they enter, Casia flies down next to them, her fire burning out on her left side.
NARR: Breathing hurts.
CASIA: You okay, Raleigh?
NARR: I don’t think it’s supposed to.
2—Lance places Ral down in front of the prescription counter of the drug store.
RAL (weakly): Don’t. Call. Me. That.
LANCE (laughs): He’s okay.
3—Lance then hands Ral a bottle of water, while Casia takes a seat cross-legged on the floor.
LANCE: Drink this. It’ll help you feel better.
4—Casia accepts a cigarette lighter from Lance.
CASIA: They think we killed Addy and Connor. How do they even—
5—Casia flicks the lighter on and absorbs the flames by running her fingers through them. Lance gulps down his own bottled water.
LANCE: We were there the night the Skadoian Warriors attacked. FINGERPRINTS, EYEWITNESSES, and any number of people could have seen us take RALEIGH.
1—Ral punches Lance in the shoulder.
RAL: STOP THAT.
2—Casia ruffles Ral’s hair while he ducks.
CASIA: He really is okay.
LANCE: Hey, you should be happy. We could start calling you ‘Rally.’
Note to artist: Next three panels are similar—each character looking at next character. They are sitting small circle, so these are shots are like we’re in the middle, looking at each character as he/she talks.
3—Casie’s back is toward the window. We can see SWAT teams beginning to form.
CASIA: It’s funny, though. People saw us take him, but no one heard Connor tell us to keep him safe.
4—Focus on Ral, who wipes the sweat from his brow with the front of his shirt.
RAL: Shouldn’t we keep moving?
5—Lance leans back against an endcap, his arm upon his bent knee.
LANCE: That’s what they think we’re going to do. The best thing is to wait until morning. Let them think we’re running and then slip out of town in a stolen car.
Cells six and seven parallel cells one and two.
6—Ral cocks his head to the side, while Lance looks aloof.
RAL: Is there anything legal you know how to do?
LANCE: Hey, how do you think I got the Blazer?
7—A hand slaps over Ral’s mouth.
RAL: Are you serious—hmph!
1—The slapper is revealed to be Lance, who’s now kneeling next to Ral, his sword in his hand, while Casia gets up.
LANCE: …Do you hear that?
2—Casia glares at Lance.
CASIA: Did you have to say that?
3—Explosions burst from the front of the store and in silhouette, we can see Casia attempting to absorb them, while Lance covers Ral from behind her.
1—Spotlights now focus on the Ral and Co. from the outside in, and we’re looking at them as if we’re behind the spotlights. Shadows can be seen to show that there are people looking in at them, and Casia’s blinking, trying to see past the lights. Lance has a hand over his eyes and a pissed look on his face. Ral’s peeking out from behind them, shocked but intact. The store, itself, is a mess—aisles and pharmacy goods on fire or destroyed.
OFF (electrical): STERLING! Drop it!
2—From Ral’s POV, we see the shadows—SWAT teams—as dark soldiers, ready to attack.
RAL: Oh, God.
3—Ral yelps when a hand grips him by his collar and drags him to his feet.
1—Now we’re looking into the store again, Lance holding Ral by the collar, his sword lingering just under Ral’s chin. Ral looks more confused than nervous but still is clueless.
NARR: I hate to admit it, but the cold blade hovering under my chin is really nothing new. Lance holding it—well, yeah, that is.
LANCE: STAY BACK!
LANCE (linked) Stay back or the kid gets it.
NARR: For the most part.
2—Ral glances back at Lance as he uses Ral as a human shield to exit the building. Casia’s a step behind them.
RAL (whispering): Seriously? You can’t come up with anything original?
CASIA (whispering): Have you COMPLETELY lost your—
NARR: Please don’t have Lance have lost it—whatever it is.
3—Surrounded by SWAT teams and spotlights in the parking lot, Lance marches right up to Sierra, who looks tired and disheveled from fighting Casia.
LANCE: HEY, you! I’m not kidding. Kid could die of a paper cut.
1—The woman puts up a single hand to halt the forces who are now a step closer. A spotlight has to be visible in the right hand corner of the cell.
SIERRA: Hurting that boy will accomplish nothing, Sterling.
LANCE: I guess that all depends upon you, doesn’t it…?
2—The light behind Sierra explodes in a burst of blue fire.
3—As it slams to the pavement in a fiery heap, a blue flame zooms across the sky; a second spotlight combusts.
1—Sierra whirls toward the blue flame, a hand to her right ear.
SIERRA: Alpha group—take the perpetrators!
SIERRA (link): Beta group—take out the boogie!
2—The blue flame comes to hover just above Ral, Lance, and Casia. (Artist and colorist—please use a blue line of flames to show a path of flight.) He has blue wings coming out of his back, and he tosses a ball over Ral’s head at a SWAT van.
REGER: Kabobs or BBQ?
1—The being now has his back to the group, his blue wings showing beautifully. He burns a wall of blue fire along the ground to separate the SWAT team and Sierra from Ral and Co.
2—Close-up on Ral, who mystified and slightly angry.
NARR: Who is this guy?
3—Close-up on Lance, who looks calm, almost grateful.
4—Close-up on Casia, who’s hopeful; ecstatic.
1—FULL PAGE—We’re back to page one. Same set-up. We’re getting a good look at Reger now as he turns to look at Ral and Co (and us). (Artist—please make him HOT!)
REGER: To be honest, I like rotisserie myself.
TO BE CONTINUED…
I know. I know Wikipedia isn't a "good" source, but it actually has great pictures of suburbs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suburb