Comic Book Script—Plot for 62 Pages
Devin Leigh Michaels
Life isn’t kind. In fact, it can be cruel, terrifying, and condemning. If you blink, it can and will destroy you. But if you’re lucky, you’re blessed with a bunch of people who will die to protect you from its mechanisms.
If you’re lucky.
If you’re lucky.
Note to Illustrator: References at end.
Note to Letterer: All narrations in this story are Adeline’s, Ral’s mother.
Note to Letterer: All narrations in this story are Adeline’s, Ral’s mother.
1—Focus on old, calf-high boots running through a forest. We’re in Zenith’s Rise, so they’re middle age boots.
NARR: Life isn’t kind.
2—Close-up of a tween’s hands (male), holding a sword. We’re in the middle of a battle with Macedonian troops in the time of Alexander the Great.
NARR: In fact, it can be cruel, terrifying, and condemning.
3—A little child huddles in a cage, her forehead pressed against her arms, her feet to her chest, so we can’t see her face. It’s dark since we’re in Skadoia.
NARR: If you blink, it can and will destroy you.
Note: This would be the title page.
1—Now we’re Connor and Addy’s house in Wayne, New Jersey, from Durant’s POV. We’re in the living room which is dusty and perhaps even disheveled from intruders, but Durant is looking at fireplace mantle where pictures of the family are, and there we see a frame one of Addy, Connor, and Ral, and another with Lance and Casia. With Lance and Casia, the two are dressed like it’s the 1970s.
NARR: But if you’re lucky, you’re blessed with a bunch of people who will die to protect you from its mechanisms.
2—Close-up on the picture with Connor, Addy, and Ral. It’s now in Durant’s hand, and he’s wiping away the dust from Addy’s face with his thumb.
NARR: If you’re lucky.
1—We’re back running through the Platinum Forest, a fifteen-year-old CONNOR DAWSON running behind a slightly older boy with blonde hair—DRAKE. They’re both dressed like medieval peasants, holding an unmarked brown paper bag. Both are smiling like they’re getting away with something.
NARR: Connor Dawson was.
NARR: He grew up not in wealth but in comfort.
LOCATION CAPS: ZENITH’S RISE
2—Drake and Connor slide down a small incline toward a river, which flows through the forest.
NARR: I would like to think he enjoyed his first years, even if they weren’t surrounded by his mother and father.
DRAKE: I can’t believe it! I just CAN’T believe it!
3—The boys sit on the river bank, Connor slowly unfolding the brown bag, Drake taking a large sniff.
NARR: They thought they were far enough away.
DRAKE: They don’t make them like this here.
4—Connor dips his hand into the back.
CONNOR: Nor do they—
5—He pulls out a McDonald’s Happy Meal.
CONNOR: —come with a toy!
OFF: YOU THERE!
6—Worm’s eye view up at the small incline, where at least twenty knights stand.
NARR: They thought they could get away with it.
1—The teens forged the river with their Happy Meal.
NARR: After all, what was the harm?
2—A little boy sits next to a cot, polishing golden sandals. He has black hair, tanned features, and a boyish, street kid face. For reference, he’s eleven.
NARR: Lance Evans has been perpetually unlucky, and it seemed to start at birth.
LOCATION CAPS: KNIGHTSDALE, 342 B.C.
3—We pull out to see Lance is in a tent, which is filled with opulent furniture, food, and even scanty-clad servants—both male and female. The man on the cot has a black beard, hair, and is dressed like a Macedonian warrior with his right leg revealed. It’s bloody and a healer is currently cleaning it.
NARR: A bastard child of the highest nobility of Macedonia, he was known in his first lifetime as Pausanias and a member of His Majesty’s guards.
NARR: He fought alongside the king, performed his duties well, and never once questioned his role in life.
LANCE: My apologies for my incompetence, my liege. If it is your will, I will feed myself to the greedy Indus—
4—We’re back focused on Lance, especially his cheek, where the king caresses with a bent knuckle.
NARR: For he was in the king’s favor.
OFF: Hush, child.
1—Philip waves his hand and accepts an orange slice from an attractive, female servant.
PHILIP: The Ardian solider met his end by your hand.
LANCE: But—But if you hadn’t taken that arrow for me—
PHILIP (linked): —which is why this will not happen again.
2—Philip grimaces as the healer tears the arrow from his leg.
PHILIP (growling): In the morning, you will leave for Macedonia. Learn with Alexander, Ptolemy, Hephaistion, and Cassander from Aristotle.
3—Lance bows his head.
LANCE: I wish to stay at your side, my king.
4—Philip pats Lance’s head.
PHILIP: One day, perhaps. Today, child, you will stand by Alexander.
PHILIP (linked): Protect him like you wish to protect me.
PHILIP (linked): Like my lance, you are my right arm, my greatest friend in battle. Learn. Train, and when we march toward Persia, you will be at my side.
1—Close-up on Casia’s sea-blue eyes. She’s scared, frightened, and young, like eight or nine.
NARR: Perhaps the least lucky of us was Casia LaCroax.
LOCATION CAPS: SKADOIA
2—She’s in a cage, her clothes and body drenched, holding her legs to her chest but watches as frost begins to creep up from her foot to her leg. Her clothes are traditional—a tunic from middle ages and black breaches. Her feet are bare. For Reger, please add a vest, but keep his feet bare as well. A few smudges on each of their faces—soot.
NARR: A child raised in captivity, in the depths of an abyss, she knew nothing of her past but pain, frost, and darkness.
WARRIOR (no pointer): Child…
3—Now we still Casia at an angle, where we can see Reger’s in a cage next to her, relatively the same age. He’s freaking out a little, too, what with his arm burning with blue fire. BTW, he’s also drenched.
NARR: Perhaps she only survived in her cage, huddled in a corner, and drenched to her soul, because she was not alone.
4—Blue flames creep up her torso.
WARRIOR (no pointer): Surrender…
5—Reger screams and puts out his hand toward her through the holes of his age.
REGER (shouting): CASIA!
NARR: Another were-phoenix, Reger McAllister, survived Hell with her—
1—Casia and Reger clasp hands, and red flames shoot out from their hands, burning the ice crystals from their bodies.
NARR: —and together, they found strength.
2—Both are out cold from the exertion. Above the cages stands with sapphire blue eyes that glow, pale complexion, and a ponytail tied at the nape of his neck. He’s wearing a black trench coat but has on a mechanic’s jumpsuit with a utility belt to match. The other man is the Skadoian Lord.
WARRIOR: They are still able to fight, my lord.
LORD: Then your work is not yet completed. Only once we squash their flames forever, may we go forth.
1—Establishing shot of the Castle of Light. It’s built with light brown/tan bricks with some vines creeping up the side, set atop of a hill. The sun is shining down into the middle of the keep.
NARR: Perhaps the greatest lesson in life to be learned is we are not in control of our destiny.
LOCATION CAPS: ZENITH’S RISE
2—Now we’re in the Grand Hall of the keep, which doesn’t have a ceiling. It’s open to the sun, and its rays are beating down on Connor and Drake like spotlights as they kneel before the throne and king of Zenith’s Rise.
NARR: Others have their own agendas, and we are but causalities of their will.
DURANT: I warned the kingdom.
3—Close up on the king. We’ve already met him in FD#2. He has a hard face, stormy eyes, and dark blonde hair. He built like a quarterback—muscles but not overly so. His stony face could be jovial, but here, he’s not happy. He’s holding a specter almost identical to Casia’s.
NARR: Said to be wise, said to be just, King Durant ruled Zenith’s Rise with the wisdom of his heritage, a child of the angels.
KING: I warned YOU, Connor Dawson, of the ramifications of your actions. The other realms were NEVER to touch Zenith’s Rise.
4—Connor opens his mouth to retort, but Drake hits him in the cut.
CONNOR: But what—guk!
5—Durant’s eyes narrow.
DURANT: No, child, let your friend speak his ‘wisdom.’
1—Connor’s hesitant but confidant. He knows he’s right, and Durant’s not going to like it.
CONNOR: What can be gained from isolation, Your Majesty? If we ignore these other realms, then what happens when they come at us? Wouldn’t it be better if we were prepared?
2—Connor was right. Durant is not happy.
DURANT: And what happens if their ‘modernization’ touches us? Changes our way of life?
CONNOR: Would that be so bad?
4—King stands and swipes his hand, furious.
KING (shouts): ENOUGH!
KING (linked): You have been warned, and thus, you have proven my worst fears true. If you wish to know the other realms so well, then perhaps you shall embrace them.
KING (linked): By order of the King of Zenith’s Rise, you have been banished to Knightsdale FOREVER.
1—Connor blinks, shocked, mortified.
CONNOR (whispered): Banished?
2—The king strides forward. Connor’s kneeling before him.
DURANT: Yes, child. BANISHED! You are to drink from the River of Life and do the duty in Knightsdale that you refuse here—protect the Crossings, so no influence of the other realms shall ever interfere our way of life.
CONNOR: You cannot be serious.
DURANT: Oh, I am very serious, child, I have had enough of your insolence for one lifetime.
ADDY (off): Have you had enough of mine as well—
3—Walking in under the arched doorway is Adeline with the same hair and eye color as Connor. She’s dressed in a long, blue dress with a circlet upon curled and pinned back hair.
ADDY: —Your Grace?
1—Durant’s face hardens, and he turns his back to her.
DURANT: Do not attempt to change my mind, Adeline. The boy has been foolhardy. He must be punished.
2—Addy comes to stand before her brother. She’s not afraid of Durant. Connor grabs Addy’s hand.
ADDY: Then I will be punished as well.
CONNOR: No, Addy! I won’t let you!
3—Addy smoothes back Connor’s hair.
ADDY: It is not your choice, little brother.
4—She looks back at Durant.
ADDY: You do not have the power of foresight, or you’d see your OWN shortcomings, Durant.
ADDY (linked): My brother speaks the TRUTH, and one day, you’ll regret not listening.
1—Lance, fifteen, is tossed from the Macedonian palace.
NARR: Pausanias could only tolerate so much at the hands of Alexander and his “noble” friends.
LOCATION CAPS: KNIGHTSDALE, 338 B.C.
2—Worm’s eye view, with Lance to the reader’s left and Alexander looking down at him. Ptolemy, and Hephaistion are behind Alexander. All of them are sporting some sort of bruise or an appendage wrapped in gauze.
ALEXANDER: I don’t know why my father ENTERTAINS himself with your loyalty, but know this. I am not my father, and I do not enjoy the company of SLAVES.
3—Lance on a horse riding through the countryside. He’s wearing a white toga and riding boots.
NARR: He made his own way to Philip’s side before the army marched onto Byzantium.
4—Philip holds Lance close, a hand to the boy’s cheek/neck.
NARR: Shocked, Philip offered a warm greeting he gave to the likes of Alexander and Ptolemy.
PHILIP: Welcome home, my lance.
1—Philip sits on his horse, his generals and bodyguards on theirs behind him. He’s making a speech to rally the troops for war, his arm up in a fist. He’s very adamant. Lance’s on Philip’s left side. A new, younger boy, perhaps twelve, is on Philip’s right. He’s dark and handsome.
NARR: But jealousy, for the first time in young Lance’s life, ran deep.
NARR: By his side, Philip had a new right arm, another boy by the name Pausanias, the nephew of one of Philip’s strongest generals, Attalus.
PHILIP: TO BATTLE!
2—Close-up on the younger Pausanias’s face. Philip caresses the boy’s cheek with a bent finger.
NARR: And now HE was in the king’s favor.
3—Nursing a mug of ale, Lance loiters on the outside of the small group of Philip’s confidants and guards, the somatophylakes, about the campfire. The younger Pausanias twirls his sword about his hand, weaving his tale.
PAUSANIAS: And that’s when we ran through those Illyrian guards. They didn’t know what slew them.
LANCE: Is that right?
4—Pausanias halts, his sword short of achieving blood from a fellow soldier.
PAUSANIAS: Come now, PLEBE. Tell us of your daring plights at the malevolent hands of Aristotle and his minions.
5—Pausanias slides about Lance, hissing in the slightly older man’s ears.
PAUSANIAS: Did you clash your sword with his book? Or perhaps you fought his violent words with your dagger?
6—Lance takes out his dagger.
LANCE: At least I know how to use my dagger.
1—Lance swipes once, cutting the belt about Pausanias’s breaches, bring them down to the boy’s ankles.
LANCE: I don’t give it to older soldiers. I at least get it from a queen’s SERVANT…or a TAVERN MAIDEN, for that matter.
2—The surrounding soldiers break out in laughter, and Lance walks past Pausanias. The younger man lifts his breaches, only for Lance to swipe again, this time tearing the cloth from Pausanias’s butt.
LANCE: Oh, don’t be MODEST. It’s not like you have been.
3—Laughing to himself as the guards yell, Lance enters a tent.
SOLDIER ONE: Nice cheeks, Pausanias!
SOLDIER TWO: Those buns for sale!
4—The Illyrian king, dressed in gold, jumps Philip. Lance can be seen in the background, fighting another solider. Pausanias is closer, already diving for the kings.
NARR: But tragedy would always find Lance.
LANCE: MY KING!
5—Pausanias covers the king’s body. The Illyrian king’s sword runs through Pausanias.
NARR: Following the crude remarks, Pausanias wished to prove his bravery and manhood.
1—Inside Pausanias’s grave looking up—looking down at us are Attalus, who has his hand in a fist; Philip, with the sword and the Illyrian’s king helmet in his hands; Lance, who is throwing dirt into the grave; and Cleopatra (Attalus’s wife, not the Egyptian queen), crying.
NARR: He died not too long later.
NARR: Lance attended the funeral and expressed his regret.
2—Now Lance enters the king’s tent, with soldiers on either side of the flap opening the curtain for him. There’s a man with his back toward Lance (Attalus). The tent’s dressed for a king with ornate, golden furniture and a bar with a pitcher upon it to the side (with a goblet).
NARR: He hadn’t meant his cruel words to have such cruel consequences, but he could not be excused from culpability.
ATTALUS: I will not tolerate your presence any longer…
3—The man turns around, and we see it’s Attalus with a hardened expression.
ATTALUS: …Lance, is it now?
4—Lance rolls his eyes.
LANCE: Attalus. It is NOT my fault your nephew did not have the heart of a Macedonian Warrior. Perhaps he would have done better back home with the other WIVES.
LANCE: Now, where is the king?
5—Attalus snatches a pitcher from a table and pours a goblet full of dark, blood red wine.
ATTALUS: He is currently CELEBRATING life with Cleopatra. Perhaps we should do the same.
6—He offers the goblet to Lance.
1—Lance doesn’t blink. He’s not at all worried.
LANCE: No, thank you. I best be off to guard him, then.
2—Lance turns, and the curtain flaps open to show grubby, stable boys enter with their swords and/or bow and arrows ready to fight.
ATTALUS: Not today, child.
3—When Lance turns, Attalus once more holds out the goblet.
ATTALUS: You better drink if you wish to have all your appendages intact, child.
1—Close up on Casia’s closed eyes. She’s about ten, and she’s sleeping.
LOCATION CAPS: SKADOIA
2—Mid-shot. Casia’s huddled in the corner of her cage, her arms wrapped about herself. She’s not damp, perhaps for one of the first times in her life. A hand is shaking her awake.
REGER (offish): Hey, Hottie!
3—Casia’s blue eyes shoot open, and she jerks forward.
4—Reger’s on his hands and knees before her (her cage’s roof is really low), and he’s smiling and giggling at her like a child.
5—He puts out a hand to her.
REGER: Come on. Let’s turn up the heat.
6—She takes his hand, smiling, too.
NARR: His warmth lit her and whatever hesitation she felt dissipated.
PAGE EIGHTEEN and NINETEEN
Two-page spread with Casia and Reger in the middle, soaring through the massive cavern (think Batcave or Fortress of Solitude), spreading their fire wings for perhaps the first time in their lives. They are ecstatic!
On the left, right, and bottom, small panels explaining the story.
1— Reger and Casia shoot out of the cages and out in the cavern.
NARR: Freedom brushed across her blushed face, and she vowed then she would never go back in that cage.
2—They fly toward the thick door, and Reger curves his hands, making a quasi-ball with bent fingers. In the middle, a small spark snaps to life.
REGER: Follow my lead!
3—Reger throws fireballs toward the door.
4—Casia looks down at her hands and forms the quasi-ball. A small spark snaps in her fingers, too.
5—The fire burns even brighter in a large ball, and it lights her face with an orange glow. Casia is smiling widely now. She has power.
6—Focus on the thick door, which explodes outward, knocking Skadoian Warriors down to the ground.
1— Casia and Reger fly through the hole, escaping into the bowels of the shadow castle. Warriors shriek at their flames, firing back with their own blue flares.
WARRIOR ONE: GET THEM!
WARRIOR TWO: DON’T LET THEM ESCAPE!
2—Reger points toward a grand staircase made of black diamonds with blue torches ablaze on the walls. A stained glass window with a blue torch yields their escape. Reger points toward the window.
REGER (yelling): This way!
3—They fly next to each other, smiling.
NARR: They would be safe as long as they were together.
4—Close up on Reger’s hand as he extends it.
5—Casia extends toward his, only for a black tentacle to wrap about Reger’s wrist.
CASIA (off): NO! REGER!
1—Reger struggles as they tug him back, tentacles wrapped out his neck, arms and legs.
REGER (linked): Please! Just go!
2—Casia flies toward him, forming a ball in her hand.
CASIA (yelling): No! I won’t leave you!
3— Reger’s tiny body glows a violent, molten red, and tears sizzle upon his cheeks.
REGER (defeated): I know.
2—Casia, in silhouette, is thrown through the stained-glass window, shattering it.
3—Casia regains her balance and looks through the shattered window.
CASIA (crying): NO!
1—Through what was the window, we see pieces shadow tentacles burning red and orange in a circle, like the rays of the sun, but no Reger. Perhaps a few unconscious warriors here and there.
NARR: There was no sign of Reger.
2—Tears spilling from her, Casia takes off.
3—Completely black panel.
4—A blurry picture of a man’s head—It will be Attalus.
NARR: The headache Lance awoke to would have paralyzed the entire Macedonian army.
LANCE (off): Attalus…what…?
LOCATION CAPS: KNIGHTSDALE, 338 B.C.
1—Attalus leers at Lance and motions toward the woman next to him. She’s an elderly, mocha-skinned woman with a bloody bandage wrapped about her eyes and a night-colored hair draped across her shoulders like sleeves. Her bony hands clasped a cane with blue flames in a glass ball atop.
ATTALUS: Retribution, Lance, is an admirable aspiration.
2—The woman’s hands slap Lance’s flushed cheeks and hold him fast. Lance is wide-eyed.
WOMAN: Take heed, Pausanias-Lance. You have lost a piece of yourself. Forever shall you walk hand-in-hand with death. You will be granted forever life—but with no companion.
3—Close-up on Lance’s face on the bottom of the panel. Yeah, he’s freaked and looking straight at us. Behind his head and at the top of the panel we see two stable boys bringing forth a bucket of purple fire and a branding iron.
WOMAN (off): From this point forth—you shall know only two things: LOVE and LOSS.
4—Lance jerks, the woman’s hands still in the panel but dropping.
LANCE: You have gotta be—
5—He stops fighting when Attalus places a sword to his neck.
1—In silhouette against the stable wall, in a shadow of the woman’s blue fire ball, we see Lance jerk when the branding iron touches his shoulders. The woman is silently crying, tears dripping under her bandaged eyes.
WOMAN: Take heed, Lance.
WOMAN (linked): Take heed.
2—Lance is wincing, tears seeping through his closed eyes, as we see his upper body, the branded mark of the lion on his shoulder.
NARR: Tears laced Lance’s eyelids as he saw the lion branded upon his skin, like the lion that had marked Olympia’s womb.
NARR: A lion, that Philip eventually came to hate.
ATTALUS (off): Yes, Lance.
3—Attalus kicks Lance in the chin, snapping his head back.
ATTALUS: Take heed.
4—The pillars of Stonehenge in the morning light, empty and tranquil. Birds flap above it.
LOCATION CAPS: WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND 1 A.D.
1—Same picture but the columns of Stonehenge glitter silver and gold. The birds scatter.
2—Same picture, now with Addy and Connor in the middle. While Connor is in the same clothes, Addy now wears a simple dress and cloak, brown with no spectacular coloring. Connor’s about fifteen, Addy in her early twenties.
3—Closer now. Connor can’t look at Adeline.
CONNOR: I’m sorry, Addy.
4—Addy ruffles his hair.
ADDY: I am not. Come.
1—Casia dashes through a dark forest (It’s night), torches burning behind her. Shouts of her pursuers torment her.
ADDY (no pointer): It is time to greet the new day.
VILLAGER ONE (screaming): WITCH!
LOCATION CAPS: GLARUS, SWITERZLAND, 1784
2—Branches snatch her “Sunday Best” dress like claws.
NARR: Why’d she have to help those cold villagers? She wanted to save them, and what did they do in return?
NARR: Call her witch and come at her with pitchforks and sickles.
VILLAGER TWO (screaming): WE CANNOT LET THE DEVIL’S MINION GET AWAY!
3—She glances behind her, their torches lighting her scared face.
NARR: No good deed…
4—Close-up on her boot as it snags an unlevelled root
5—She looks back at them with her red hair tumbled over part of her face as the villagers break through the forest.
VILLAGER ONE (screaming): RUN HER THROUGH!
VILLAGER TWO (screaming): BURN HER!
6—Casia smirks as her skin begins to glow red. Her eyes glow a bright blue.
CASIA: You want fire?
Artist, please use digression. If teens are to read this, I really don’t wish to educate them. Please use Jeph Loeb and the late Michael Turner’s Batman/Superman: Supergirl as a reference.
1—Flames burst from her arms, her legs, every part of her body, disintegrating her clothes. She allows the heat to lift her a few feet off the ground as the villagers scatter.
CASIA (shouting): I’ll give you fire!
2— A black tentacle drenched in blue fire snatched her leg and thumped her hard against the ground.
3—Casia flips onto her back as tentacles wrap about her wrists, her ankles, even her waist, and black, cold ooze dribbled down her shoulders, covering certain area of her shivering body. The blue fire about the tentacles steal her red flames.
CASIA (demands): Let me go!
4—This pack of Skadoian Warriors is younger, in their teens. They’re ashlings with blonde hair and baby blue eyes. The blue flames roar higher behind them, cutting her off from the outside world. One of the Ashlings bends down and smiles evilly.
1—Mid-shot of Lance as she’s being tended to by a female servant. His face is bloody and swollen, and he has at least one black eye. He’s looking to the right of the reader at someone.
PHILIP (off): I can do nothing.
LOCATION CAPS: 338 B.C.
2—Lance puts to his feet to stand before Philip’s throne, where the king is seated.
LANCE (linked): My King, Attalus—
PHILIP: —is the general of our upcoming siege upon Persia.
PHILIP (linked): He is brutal and callous, but that is what I need from my leaders.
3—Lance averts his eyes, allowing the shadows to hide them as he falls to his knees.
LANCE: So it doesn’t matter that he drugged me, had his men beat me, and cursed me to live without love.
4—Philip wipes the caked blood from Lance’s cheek with his own thumb.
PHILIP: Oh, my child.
PHILIP: You ARE loved.
1—Lance kneels as Philip dresses him with golden bracelets.
NARR: Philip appointed Lance to his somatophylakes and kept the boy close and as far away from Attalus as possible, but it wasn’t far enough.
2—Philip and Lance in war, fighting back-to-back, Attalus in the upper left hand corner watching them as he kills his own appointment.
NARR: Years passed; victories won and lost, but one thing remained.
3—Exiting a tent, Lance follows Philip. Philip waves a hand at Lance, like he doesn’t want to hear something.
LANCE: My king, I believe this is foolish.
PHILIP: Nonsense. This is a time for celebration, and I want to reassure the people of my reign. My guards will impede that.
LANCE: And any assassins who might want to—
4—Philip bends Lance’s chin to kiss the boy’s forehead.
PHILIP: If only you were legitimate. I believe you would be more fierce a king than Alexander.
5— Lance follows the soldiers in the theatre, then glances over his shoulder.
PHILIP (no pointer): Now go! It is time for parting.
6—With the camera over Lance’s shoulder, we see Attalus arguing with Philip.
LOCATION CAPS: LATER
1—Lance passes a fellow guard on the shoulder and heads toward the two.
LANCE: I’m going to check on the king.
2—Close-up on Attalus’s dagger as he frees it.
3— Attalus plunges the dagger into the king’s chest as Lance lunges.
The fighting scene—small cells.
1—As the king falls, Lance punches Attalus in the face.
LANCE: You bastard!
2—Attalus leers with bloody teeth.
ATTALUS: No, I believe THAT is you.
3—Growling, Lance elbows Attalus in the cheek.
4—Lance knees Attalus in the groin.
5—Lance then steals the dagger, holding it against the huffing general’s neck.
LANCE: He was your king, your leader! How could you—
ATTALUS: Retribution is such an admirable aspiration, one I have now achieved.
6—Lance rips the dagger out his hand.
LANCE: You won’t get away with this. Cleopatra and Alexander will—
7—Attalus is still leering.
ATTALUS: Who will they believe, child? A GENERAL or a SLAVE?
1—Attalus points and screams at the top of his lungs.
ATTALUS: MURDERER! HE MURDERED THE KING!
2—Lance whirls to see the guards exit the theatre. He looks down at the bloody blade in his hand.
SOLDIER: GET HIM!
3—Lance glares at Attalus.
LANCE: You won’t get away with this.
4—As Lance jumps off the stage, Attalus smiles.
ATTALUS: I already have.
5—Javelins stick into the ground by Lance’s feet.
SFX: SWOOT! FOOOT!
1—One cuts off his escape.
2— As he jumps, his boot hooks the rod.
3—Lance looks back. On the edge of the panel, we see the spears ready to kill.
NARR: The warriors tore apart their fallen prey.
1—The Ashlings drag Casia behind them as they reach town.
LOCATION CAPS: GLARUS
2—At the edge of town, two-hooded figures greet them with white fire burning their elbow-high gloves. One is female; one is male.
ADDY (shouting): Release the girl!
3—The Ashlings form a wall, their eyes burning a dark blue. One of the Ashlings speaks.
4—Connor’s lips quirk into a smirk. He’s in his early/mid-twenties now. For reference, Addy’s in her late twenties/early thirties.
CONNOR: Don’t forget. She asked you nicely.
1—White balls of light fling from Addy and Connor’s hands, cutting through the wall and dragging some Ashlings to their knees.
2—One Ashling still holds Casia by a tentacle tether, but she struggles.
NARR: Hope brightens, and Casia thinks of the sun.
3—Red fire burns along the Ashling’s tentacles.
NARR: Its warmth, its heat upon her cheeks—something she never saw until six months ago, and now—now she would never live without its presence.
CONNOR (off): CLOSE YOUR EYES!
4—Casia does, and white light floods the area.
5—Completely black panel.
ADDY (no pointer): It’s going to be okay, Sweetie. I promise.
1— Casia looks at the woman across from her. Casia has a cloak covering her.
CASIA: Who are you?
2—Addy’s kneeling before her, smiling with her hood off.
ADDY: Come. Let’s get you something to eat, a fire to warm you, and a nice dress to keep the vagrants from getting ideas.
3—Once she’s standing, Connor offers her a peach.
CONNOR: Yeah. Not everyone around here has manners. Connor Dawnson, by the way. This is my sister, Addy.
4—A knight is riding horseback, his squire walking next to him. We’re behind them, watching their backs. The knight (BERGENER) is fighting with his right-hand gauntlet. He is on the horse. They are on a wooden path, surrounded by man knights on horseback; no other has a squire. Lance is holding a lance and a helmet.
LANCE: I’m just saying.
BERGENER: And I don’t want to hear it.
LANCE: You NEVER want to hear it.
LOCATION CAPS: CRECY, FRANCE, 1346
5—Bergener winks as he reaches out his lance, his fingers beckoning his weapon.
BERGNER: Then we are in agreement.
6—Lance pets the horse’s mane.
LANCE: This is foolish. You know that. Prince Edward—
BERGENER: Prince Edward has a tenth of our soldiers, little brother. I won’t even need my pavise.
1—Lance fiddles with Bergener’s helmet.
NARR: The entire French army under Philip IV percolated with deadly energy.
NARR: There was no way the French would not win this battle, but still, doubt lingered in Lance’s gut.
LANCE (weak): Bergener?
2—The general shouts for the knights to move, and Bergener looks down at him.
BERGENER: Not nagging AGAIN, little brother.
GENERAL (hidden behind knights): KNIGHTS! ASSEMBLE!
3—Close-up on Lance’s brown eyes.
LANCE: Bergener…please. Don’t do this.
NARR: Lance looked into the chocolate brown eyes that matched his.
4—Close-up on Bergener’s eyes.
NARR: None other had before.
5—Bergener sighs and raises his lance.
BERGENER: My right hand and best friend in battle is my lance. It never lets me down, like someone else I know.
6—Bergener ruffles Lance’s hair and takes the helmet.
BERGENER: So, my Lance, I trust your instincts, but trust ME. The Black Prince needs to be put in his place. I’ll see you on a forth night.
1—Bergener reigned his horse about and kicked the heels, disappearing into the pack. Lance runs after him.
LANCE (screaming): BERGENER, WAIT!
2—Lance runs after the army. It’s daylight.
NARR: His heart thundered out of his chest as he ran.
3—He’s now riding a horse. It’s dark.
NARR: He would never be fast enough to stop the battle.
4—His feet sunk into a mixture of mud and blood.
NARR: He would never be fast enough to stop death.
PAGE FORTY and FORTY-ONE
1—Two-page spread. A battlefield marred by gore and blood. Bodies are aware, bloody and dirty. Some peasants tend to soldiers, while English knights walk about the causalities. There’s a hill to the right side, upon which the English army is still set up. Lance is on the left hand side of the battle field on the bottom left corner of the left page, his back toward us.
NARR: He would never be fast enough to stop the curse.
1—Lance with his hands to his mouth.
LANCE (screaming): BERGENER!
2— Still screaming, he steps over bodies, blood splashing on his boots and his hands shaking in fists.
LANCE (shouting): BERGENER!
BERGENER (off/weak): LA..ak!—NCE..,
3—On the field lays Bergener, blood and dirt scraped upon his dented armor. He huffes shallowly as life force bled torrents from his calf. Cuts and arrow slices drips from his face and arms, but his armor remained intact.
BERGENER: You shouldn’t have come.
4—Lance kneels at Bergener’s his side, taking off his jacket. On his arms are brands and tattoos of a lion, snakes, hippogriff hooves, and even a hellhound or two.
5—Bergener grimaces as Lance wraps the jacket about his leg.
BERGENER: Don’t say it. Just don’t say it.
6—Lance smiles as he drags one of Bergener’s arms about his neck.
LANCE: Come on, Brother. Let’s get you out—
OFF: Release the knight.
1—From behind Lance’s shoulder, we see the group of peasants, each with a longsword or crossbow, save one, who has a narrow but long dagger.
NARR: The peasants were English, no doubt, but this wasn’t a “civilized” battle. One peasant held a misericorde.
2—Close-up on the blade.
3—Still carrying his brother’s weight, Lance scoops up a blade, swinging it about his hand.
4— Lance holds it out in front of Bergener like a knight. His arm does not sag from the weight. Lance smirks.
BERGENER: Where’d…you learn THAT…little brother?
LANCE: You probably don’t want to know.
5—Bergener whispers in Lance’s ear.
BERGENER: …run…Lance…Get out of here…
LANCE (off): Not on your life.
1—Lance fights the peasants, tearing swiping through one in this panel.
NARR: In hindsight, he probably should have.
2—Lance kicks a pleasant, while running through another, all the while holding onto Bergener.
NARR: Perhaps if Lance had left Bergener on that field, the English peasants might have taken pity upon the wounded knight.
3—Lance whirls toward another, this time a man on a horse with dark armor and a black bear insignia.
NARR: Lance had longed given up common sense and reason.
4— A crossbow arrow tears through Lance’s hand, making him drop the sword.
LANCE (off): AHH!
1—The English knights force Lance to the ground, his arms behind his back. Bergener is similar on the other side, Edward, the Dark Prince, between them.
LANCE (growling): You call this chivalry?
2—Edward remains calm, his face schooled in generous concern, as he plays with the longsword in his hand.
EDWARD: Your—brother, is it?—fought and loss. He forfeited his life when he chose to take arms against me.
3— The sword swipes swiftly. In silhouette, Bergener’s head comes free from his body.
1—Tears burn streaks down Lance’s face, and he continues to stare at where his brother was, even as the Black Prince patted him on the shoulder.
EDWARD: You, dear boy, did not, so that is the mercy I grant you. Take this as a lesson, and do not follow in your brother’s footsteps.
2—Lance kicks a knight and frees himself.
3—He steals the knight’s sword and whirls to take Edward’s head when a sword crossed with his.
4—Connor wraps his arms about Lance, even as the boy struggles. The shock causes Lance to lose his weapon.
LANCE: Let me go! He deserves to pay! He deserves his entrails—
5—The prince continues to walk as Adeline whispers.
ADDY: Perhaps, but now is not the time. Death will just come to you.
6—Lance’s still held, though not as tightly as fight drains from him.
LANCE (shouting): It always comes to me!
1— Limping to Bergener, he collapses to his knees and bows his head.
LANCE (whispering): Leave me…
2—Connor pats Lance’s head.
CONNOR: Sorry. We don’t do that type of thing.
3—Connor grimaces as Addy kneels before Lance.
CONNOR: Eww. Addy, it’s not pretty.
ADDY: Connor, shut it!
4—Addy cups Lance’s cheeks.
ADDY: Look away, Sweetie. No need to see this any longer.
5— Lance struggles against her hold.
LANCE: I’ll just get you killed, too.
6—Addy pulls Lance’s face to her shoulder as Connor drapes his cloak over Lance’s shoulders.
CONNOR: Good luck with that, kiddo.
1— In a crowded and loud tavern, Connor, Lance, and Addy huddle around a worn table with mugs of ale. Lance is shocked.
NARR: Together, they forged a bond not by blood but by love.
LANCE: HE SAID WHAT?!
LOCATION CAPS: BARCELONA, 1679
2—Addy soothes down Lance’s hair.
LANCE: Lance, honey, it was thousands of years ago. No one cares.
LANCE: I care! I wasn’t Philip’s lover! I was his illegitimate son! And Attalus only beat me to pulp, not—y’know!
3—Emperor Lance (Napoleon) reigns his white horse back on two legs, waving a French flag. Behind him rush the Imperial French army to greet the Seventh Coalition.
NARR: Through defeat…
LANCE (shouting): CHARGE!
LOCATION CAPS: WATERLOO, 1815
4— Lance as a Union Army soldier watches as his fiancé jumps in front of a bullet for him.
NARR: Through heartbreak…
LANCE (shouting): CAT!
LOCATION CAPS: SHILOH, 1862
1— Close up on Casia’s hands ablaze as General Sherman stands to the right side.
NARR: Through disaster…
GENERAL SHERMAN: Burn, you wretched girl. Burn the city to the ground!
LOCATION CAPS: ATLANTA, 1864
2— The fire reflects upon Casia’s frightened face as a barn behind 173 DeKoven Street burns.
NARR: Through catastrophe…
LOCATION CAPS: CHICAGO, 1871
3—Over a sink, we see two-pink lines on a pregnancy test.
LOCATION CAPS: PHILADELPHIA, 1996
4—Adeline looks into the bathroom mirror, uncertain but horrified.
NARR: Through tragedy…
5—Fourteen-year-old Ral stands behind a wooden bar, wiping a glass dry (jeans, T-shirt that reads “Forever Run,” and a waist-tight apron) as Lance comes up to the bar in a T-shirt and jeans, wearing a Southpole cap. His black hair has dyed blonde tips. He plops his backpack on a bar stool.
NARR: Through misfortune…
LANCE: Hey, kid. Gin and Tonic.
RAL: Hey, dude. License.
LOCATION CAPS: HACKENSACK, 2009
1—Lance rolls his eyes.
LANCE: Really? You’re what—TWELVE and serving alcohol, and you’re asking me for MY license?
LANCE (linked): And who’s gonna know? Homeless Bob over there?
2— At the end of the bar slumps an elderly man with a twelve o’clock shadow and multiple scarves about his Hulk neck.
RAL (off): Try FOURTEEN, and don’t pick on Bob. He’s a paying customer and over twenty-one.
3—Ral flips a glass over his shoulder and catches it behind his back. Lance crosses his arms.
RAL: Get a license.
LANCE: Where’s your boss?
4—Ral never averts his angry eyes.
RAL (shouting): UNCLE CONNOR!
1—Out from the back came a relatively young man, appearing in his late twenties. He was as good-looking as Brad Pitt, as smooth as Johnny Depp, but he has a smile like Matt Damon. He’s wearing a worn leather jacket.
CONNOR: Yeah, Ral?
2—Mid-shot of Lance. He appears nervous as he pulls off his Southpole hat.
CONNOR (off): Lance Evans.
3—Connor squeezes Lance in a bone-crushing embrace.
CONNOR (excited): Thank God.
4—Connor holds Lance at arm’s length.
CONNOR: Where have you been? It’s been…what? Thirty years?
LANCE: Give or take a decade.
5—Connor takes off his leather jacket and hangs it over Lance’s shoulders as he yells back.
CONNOR (yelling): ADDY! ADDY, GET IN HERE!
6—Adeline enters from the back, dressed like a business woman with a tight designer sweater, boots, and jeans, shocked.
ADDY: Connor, what is all the—Lance.
1—Lance smiles sweetly.
LANCE: Hey, Addy.
2—Adeline engulfs him in a hug as well.
NARR: You cannot understand how I felt.
NARR: My elder son had come home, and when I held him in arms again, I could not tell you the joy I felt. NARR: For him to be safe.
NARR: For him to be loved and know he was loved.
NARR: But I also knew there was one person who might have missed him even more than me, though I doubt it.
CASIA (off): Welcome home, Lance.
1—As Addy kisses Lance’s cheek, he smiles at someone behind her.
LANCE: ’ey, Dame.
2—Casia crosses her arms as Lance comes up to her. Ral’s standing between them.
CASIA: Don’t call me that, or I’ll burn you like one of those pigs on a spit.
LANCE: I missed you.
RAL: Oooh-kay, what’s going on here?
3—Focus on Ral’s, who is lost.
NARR: In all the commotion, we forgot Ral.
NARR: Ral…my mortal, young, aging kid who I won’t see again once he’s gone.
RAL: What? Why are you guys all looking at me like that?
4—Now we see the group, all who are looking at him like he has a terminal illness and doesn’t know it.
NARR: He won’t come around like Casia or Lance.
NARR: He won’t live more than a hundred years, and once he finds out the truth…
1—Addy stands behind Ral and puts her hands on his shoulders.
NARR: I pushed that all behind my joyous smile.
ADDY: Ral, I’d like to meet Lance Evans. Lance, I’d like to my Raleigh…my son.
2—Lance’s shocked; Ral crosses his arms.
LANCE (linked): Is…Is that even POSSIBLE?
RAL: Uh, obviously. And who are you? And Mom, how do you know this guy? And—And—
BOB (off): He’s not a SOJOURNER.
3—Bob downs the last of his beard, his eyes pitch black.
NARR: I’d seen those eyes before.
NARR: Almost fifteen years ago.
BOB: Hello, Addy.
4—The door explodes open; black tentacles stretch out toward the group.
NARR: I don’t remember much after that—
5—Addy falls on top of Ral, covering him.
NARR: —other than clutching my son as the door exploded open, and darkness fell.
RAL: Mom! What’s going on?!
1—Addy shoves Ral toward Lance.
ADDY: Take him and go!
RAL: WHAT? Mom—
2— Connor cracks a bottle, flicks open his lighter, and lit the bar on the fire.
CONNOR (urgent): Addy’s right! Lance, take Ral! Casia, make an exit!
3—Casia falls to the ground and creates a wall of fire to cut off the tentacles.
CASIA: No! They’re after me!
4—Addy breaks two bottles of vodka to add to the fire.
ADDY: Not anymore! We’ll meet you at the rendezvous point! GO!
5—Casia blows a hole through the back of the bar as Lance pulls Ral through the hole by the waist.
RAL: No! Mom! MOM!
1—Addy sighs, relieved but sad.
NARR: I only have so many years with him, and already, they were being cut.
2— A tentacle stabs Addy’s shoulder and pins her to the wall.
3—Bob, now a Skadoian Warrior, leans over Addy, grabbing her chin. He’s nothing more than a blob of shadow now but with glowing blue eyes.
BOB: Hello, Adeline. It’s good to see you again.
4—Surrounded by a thick, all-consuming forest, Lance cuts the lights to the Blazer as it approaches wooden gates. On the side of the gates is a sign that reads “High Point State Park.” Lance looks at Casia as she slips out the door, a flame on her finger.
LANCE: Can you melt the lock?
CASIA: I think I can manage.
LOCATION CAPS: FIVE HOURS LATER, MONTAGUE, NEW JERSEY
5—Shot of the Blazer’s inside. Lance looks out the passenger side window. Ral’s in the back seat, his knees to his chest.
6—Ral doesn’t move; neither does Lance.
RAL: Casia…She can make fire?
LANCE: Yeah, WERE-PHOENIXES can do that sort of thing.
RAL: And what can you do?
LANCE: …you don’t want to know.
1—After pulling the SUV through, Lance stops and allows Casia back in.
2—Casia sits to the side in her chair and pats Ral’s leg.
CASIA: I left it unlocked for Addy and Connor. Hopefully, they should be joining us soon, right, Ral?
3—Ral freaks out. It was bound to happen.
RAL: What—What happened? Who were those—THOSE THINGS, and just what did they want with my mom and uncle?
4—He looks directly in the front seat.
RAL: Who ARE you?
1—Lance catches Casia’s knowing gaze.
LANCE: They NEVER told him?
CASIA: I’ve been back a week. Since Connor told me not to do fire around him, I’m guessing no.
LANCE: Well, this going to be fun.
3—On top of High Point hill, Lance sits on a log overlooking Sussex County, playing with his a BMW keychain. Behind him, Casia and Ral sit in the back of the SUV, talking.
NARR: I can only imagine what it was like for Ral to learn the truth about Connor and me.
4—Ral looks away as Casia puts a hand on his shoulder.
NARR: To learn his life was a lie.
1—Ral jerks away and heads to the back seat of the car, almost bending into the shadows of night.
NARR: A PERISHABLE child of immortals, caught between THREE worlds, and to be left in the care of a were-phoenix and a reincarnated immortal…it must have been overwhelming.
2—Casia sits down next to Lance, rubbing the exhaustion from her face.
CASIA: Well, he’s asleep now.
LANCE: How’d he take it?
CASIA: Better than I thought; worse than I’d hoped. I’m not even sure he believes me yet.
LANCE: So…what are we going to do WITH him?
3—Casia shrugs. Lance looks away.
CASIA: What else? Keep him. Care for him until we find Addy and Connor.
LANCE: He’s not a dog, Casia.
CASIA: No, he’s Addy’s son. We owe it to her.
4—Casia punches him in the shoulder.
CASIA: YOU owe it to her.
LANCE: Casia, he’s Perishable.
1—Casia looks at him.
2—Lance still doesn’t meet his eyes.
LANCE: So, MY curse. If I get close to this kid—
CASIA: Then don’t. I’ll take care of him. Why don’t you take charge of kicking the Skadoian Warriors’ asses?
3—They sit in silence.
4—Casia brushes back Lance’s bangs. Lance grins.
CASIA: I like the dyed tips.
LANCE: Did it to annoy Mom and Pop.
5—Casia pulls her hand away from him as if burnt.
CASIA: Mom and Pop?
1—Lance waved his keychain.
LANCE: They brought me a car to go to college. I was going to go to college, Casia.
LANCE (linked): ME.
CASIA: Then why didn’t you?
2—Lance stands and head back to the car. Casia watches him, slightly alarmed.
3—Lance stands by the car, stealing silent vigil from the mortal boy sleeping the back seat. Ral looks cold, huddling against the cushions.
4—Lance walks away, Connor’s leather jacket now laid over Ral.
NARR: Through everything, our family has persevered, and I know even now, they’ll love one another, learn from one another, protect one another.
1—Standing upon the cliff overlooking the Grand Castle of Skadoia, Ral pulled his arms through the jacket sleeves (it’s about three times too big for him), his back upon the person behind him. The darkness behind him talks.
RAL: What am I doing here?
WARRIOR: It’s been years, Dawson. What?
2— The man detaches himself from the shadows with sapphire blue eyes that glow, pale complexion, and a ponytail tied at the nape of his neck. He’s the same scientist from earlier with a black trench coat, mechanic jumpsuit, and utility belt.
WARRIOR: Can’t I see my greatest creation?
NARR: Because that’s what families do.
TO BE CONTINUED in False Dawn #13…
Visual references for this issue:
Castle of Light- http://www.medieval-castle.com/, http://www.3dphoto.net/world/topics/castles/castles.html
Middle Age clothing- http://www.medievalclothing.com/clothing.html, http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/medieval-clothing/medieval-knight-clothing.htm (text), Google images has great pictures from searching “pictures of medieval clothing”
Macedonia clothing- http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/alexanderpictures/ss/042609Alexanderpix_3.htm, http://www.history.com/topics/alexander-the-great
Battle of Crecy- http://www.encyclopedia.com/RankImages.aspx?topicid=91436
Illyrian King- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illyrian_warfare I know; I know. It has a really great picture of its warriors if you scroll down!