False Dawn #14: “Crossing Over”
Part Four of Four: Lessons Forgotten
Comic Book Script—Plot for 22 Pages
Devin Leigh Michaels
SHOWDOWN! “Crossing Over” reaches its thrilling conclusion as Ral takes on the the Skadoian Lord, but how he manages such a rebellion will shock you!
Note to Letterer: Narrations start as Ral’s before switching over to Casia’s. The change is noted in the script.
LOCATION CAPS: SKADOIA
1—Casia’s thrashing on the floor of a dungeon, blue fire eating her red sparks.
NARR: Casia knows this is the end.
NARR: She won’t end up like Reger. She won’t give into the warriors.
NARR: She’d rather die, and that’s fine with them.
2—The door to the dungeon bursts open by the mighty paw of Torch. Ral’s on her back.
NARR: She doesn’t expect me to save her, but I try to exceed people’s expectations.
3—Blue flames of Torch dowse the warriors, keeping them back as Ral runs to Casia.
4—Ral wraps Casia’s arm about her neck, helping her up.
CASIA (confused/weak): …Ral? What—?
1—Small cell of Casia’s widened eyes.
2—We’re positioned behind Ral and Casia, and the dragon’s looking down at them. Worm’s eye view. Ral’s positioned to the side, so we can see him beaming at Casia.
RAL: Can I keep it? PLEASE.
NARR: She doesn’t say no.
3—Lance sits on a couch, his arms behind his back, his feet up on a coffee table, glaring up at us.
NARR: Lance has long since been afraid of deadly situations.
NARR: For a guy on his fifteenth lifetime, you get used to dying.
LANCE: So…are any of you guys afraid of the dark?
1—The warriors look down at the reader, not saying a word.
NARR: Doesn’t mean you like it, but you get used it.
LANCE (off): Oh, come on. There has to a support group for that or SOMETHING.
2—Lance continues, and we see Torch through a side window, her mouth open with fire burning from her snout.
LANCE: Tell you what? You all can close your eyes and raise your hands, so the others don’t have to know. I won’t tell. Scouts honor.
LANCE (linked): Well, I was never a boy scout, but you get the—
3—Torch’s fire crashes through the window.
NARR: I finally help the warriors—for once—by putting them out of their misery.
4, 5, 6—Quick cells with Ral kicking a warrior, back flipping over another, and slashing his sword to knock out the warriors.
1—Ral stands over the warriors, breathing hard.
NARR: Wow. I took down Skadoian Warriors.
2—Small cell, extreme close-up on Ral’s smirk.
LANCE: Great job, PAGE. Now who’s going to get me out of these things?
4—Ral leans over Lance’s shoulder, hand over Lance’s bonds.
NARR: You’ll probably want to ask about this.
5—The bonds disappear into the palm of his hand.
RAL (off): Oh, they just disappeared!
6—Lance looks down at his bonds, bewildered as Ral heads back to Torch and Casia.
RAL: Come on. Let’s go!
1—Lasantra trails a finger down Connor’s throat. Connor’s attempting to get away, but with his arms chained above his head, he really can’t.
LASANTRA: You’re lying to me.
CONNOR: Uh, really not.
LASANTRA: I wonder…
2— Lasantra levels a dagger close to Connor’s crotch.
LASANTRA: If we cut off certain parts, do they grow back, even if you can live without them?
3—Torch’s tail knocks out a wall, and through its opening, Casia throws a fireball, hitting Lansantra.
4—Lasantra’s at Connor’s feet, groaning and smoking.
CONNOR: Now that’s what I call a rescue.
OFF (no pointer): Having second thoughts?
1—Adeline shakes her head.
ADELINE: No, my lord.
2—Skadoian Lord (from now on, let’s refer to him as SL) touches her cheek like a loving husband.
BERGENER: ‘My lord?’ You ARE learning. In time, you might even appreciate my presence.
ADELINE: Don’t push your luck.
3—SL puts out his hand; Adeline’s hesitant to take it.
BERGENER: I won’t, but unlike Durant, I will not forsake you or your brother, Adeline. You have my word.
4—Adeline places her hand in SL’s. His thumb massages her knuckles.
ADELINE: I know.
5—A kind, almost humane smile perks up SL’s cheeks, and he turns to the man draped in a blue, black, and white robes.
MINISTER: The time has come for the two kingdoms, Zenith’s Rise and Skadoia, to finally merge under the banner of holy matron—
6—The doors burst open, Torch leading the group through.
RAL: I object!
1—Lance whirls his sword about his hand; Casia forms a fireball. Ral’s just pissed.
LANCE: We’re not to that part yet.
RAL: Do I have to wait? Because I have better things to do with my life.
CASIA: Don’t we all?
2— Connor, bleeding again and exhausted, steals a baton from a warrior, and blue lightning crackles on its end.
CONNOR: Bergener, in case you didn’t know, my sister is already taken.
3—Ral whirls to Connor.
4—Connor smiles sheepishly.
CONNOR: Right. Right. I’ve got to remember you don’t know these things.
5—Adeline throws her hands and stands before the SL like a human shield.
ADELINE: I—I want this. Please. Don’t interfere, Ral.
RAL (off): Mom, what are you talking about? How can you possibly—?
ADELINE: I’ve been foolish, Ral. In Zenith’s Rise…
6—Close-up on Adeline as she looks away, her eyes remorseful.
NARR: Her eyes mourn her life forgotten, and I try not to believe that this all true—that she’d lived so many lifetimes. It seems so surreal, even as she wears the circlet.
ADELINE: I had a duty to fulfill, and I abandoned that DUTY for my FAMILY, but I can’t ignore who I am anymore and what this means to Zenith’s Rise.
1—Ral’s at a loss of what to do.
ADELINE: If our two kingdoms merge, perhaps war doesn’t have to be inevitable. Perhaps our worlds can live in harmony. Perhaps I can prevent all those deaths.
NARR: I hear her unspoken, ‘Perhaps I can stop yours.’
3—Adeline looks back at the minister.
4—Over Ral’s shoulder, we see Casia and Lance look at Connor.
NARR: Even as the ministers starts again, even as I see Lance and Casia look to Connor for a sign to strike, I know that this has never been their fight.
NARR: As much as they tell me I’m along for the ride on THEIR journey, I know the truth.
5—Focus on Ral, his eyes dark now, pitch black with shadows moving within them.
NARR: They’re along on MINE.
1—Extreme close-up on Ral’s hands as black mists wraps about his fingers like he’s playing Cat’s Cradle.
NARR: I lied.
2—The mist darkens and a tiny spark of blue fire burns in the middle.
NARR: I lied to Lance and Casia.
NARR: I lied to my mom and Connor.
NARR: I lied to MYSELF.
3—Ral throws a blue fireball at the SL’s head.
NARR: I knew the truth before we stepped into Skadoia, but I didn’t—don’t—want to admit it.
NARR: As if believing that I was part of this place would make it real, and I wanted nothing more than for it be a night terror, lived for days on end, long buried where no one could find it.
RAL (screaming): Get away from my mother!
1—SL swipes with a tentacle, dispersing the fireball, but his eyes widen in disbelief.
NARR (muttering): It isn’t possible…
2—Note to artist: I don’t know if you want to do this in a few panels or can merge it into one. Either way works! Ral tears his necklace off, and Maiden’s Glory forms in his hand. He brings the sword down on SL as SL holds up a staff. Blue lightning crackles over both.
SL: You’ve been trained.
3—An ice blue tint streaks Ral’s hair as he flips into a crouch, sword in front of his face.
RAL: I’ve been tortured. There’s a difference.
1—The warrior pounce to protect their leader, but Lance, Casia, and Connor attack.
2—Behind them, Torch sets the throne room ablaze, her flames crashing upon us like waves hitting the shore.
3—SL slashes Ral’s sword out of his hand. In the middle of the room, Bergener and Ral stand at odds.
SL: How…How do you do it?
4—SL’s staff comes down on Ral, who constructs a shadow shield.
5—The shield cracks, and the force throws Ral within reach of his sword.
6—Small cell—Ral bites his lower lip to keep from screaming.
1—Ral’s hand is inches from his sword hilt, but a shadow-formed blade in his shoulder pins him to the floor.
SL (offish/screaming): WHO WAS IT?!
2—SL steps on Ral’s good hand, which is inches from his sword. He’s leaning over, screaming Ral’s face.
SL: Who taught you?
SL (linked): Was it Torence? Nax? Ender?
SL (screaming): ANSWER ME!
3—Ral knees him in the crotch.
NARR: I do, just not the way he wants.
4—Ral’s good hand now freed, he shoots a shadow lance at SL. SL ducked, so the lance slashes his side. Blue blood seeps through his suit.
RAL (yelling): BITE ME!
1—SL puts a hand on the shadow tentacle and pulls Ral to him.
2—His hand clamps about Ral’s neck.
NARR: His breath rankles of fish and nicotine, but it’s gone a moment later when he cuts off my air supply.
SL: I WILL find the traitor, and when I do, he will pay for making you an ANNOYANCE.
RAL (rasping): Can…I watch?
3—Extreme close up on Ral’s shocked, pained face. We’re looking at the reaction SL stabbing him in the stomach.
4—SL tosses Ral back onto the ground.
Small cells across the bottom row:
5—Casia’s burning, gaping.
6—Lance’s holding a blue-dripping sword.
LANCE (shocked): No…
7—Connor simply growls.
1—Ral presses down on his stomach wound, but blood squeezes through his clenched fingers. He’s trying to get away, kicking his feet along the ground, but a shadow casts over him.
SL (off): Oh, don’t leave yet. We’re not done with the experiments.
NARR: Somehow, that seems worse than option A, and like Casia, I choose option A.
2—Ral throws up a shadow shield, but one of SL’s tentacles cracks it in half.
NARR: I will never be their PAWN.
3—Small cell—The tentacle stabs Ral in the thigh.
SL: Oh, come on, now. You can do better than that.
4—Small cell—Ral throws out a weak tentacle, which SL catches.
5—SL tugs Ral toward him.
6—SL holds Ral by the neck, a foot or so above the ground. Perhaps focus on Ral’s feet off the ground or SL’s hand clutching Ral’s neck.
SL: You will learn to RESPECT me, Dawson.
Note to artist—make this as bloodless or bloody as you want. SL is essentially disemboweling Ral.
1—SL slashes Ral across his stomach.
SL: Your mother is mine.
2—SL slashes Ral across his stomach again.
SL: Your friends will surrender.
SL: Even your world will be consumed by darkness.
1—SL dumps Ral to the floor unkindly.
SL: I offered you a place within MINE.
2—Through half-lidded eyes, Ral looks up at SL.
RAL: As…as a guinea pig.
3—SL bends down to Ral and runs a hand through his matted hair.
SL: If you would have cooperated, you could have been more.
SL (linked): Much more.
SL (linked): You still can be.
4—Ral spits in his face.
5—SL slaps Ral hard, knocking him out. White fire glows in the bottom corner of the frame.
ADELINE (off): I already am, my lord.
Note to Letterer: Narrations are now Casia’s.
1—Full page—Addy pulls the Skadoia Lord into a passionate kiss, and white fire flows from her back. Blue fire flows from SL’s back, engulfing them like a tornado.
1—The blue flames overpower the white ones, and the waves of blue fire crash down upon Adeline.
2—The red flames burn off of Casia as she drops next to a stunned Lance and Connor.
3—Lance and Connor take Ral, wrapping an arm about each of his necks.
LANCE: Dame, burn us a path.
4—Casia slices through the warrior forces with a line of fire.
NARR: Under normal circumstances, I would have told him to go to Hell, but I listen this time.
5—Torch uses his fire to blow the warriors away from the group, who make a mad dash toward the door.
NARR: What I don’t stop, Torch—Ral’s dragon which he will certainly NOT be keeping—takes out.
1—Casia looks back at the opening of the throne room.
2—Addy stands before SL with ice blue fire for eyes.
3—Casia flies away.
4—Torch flies toward a cliff overlooking the city. Connor, Ral, and Lance are on Torch’s back. Casia is flying next to them.
1—We can see they’re now on the cliff, the city behind Connor as he peels back what’s left of Ral’s shirt when he stops. Lance is taking off his shirt.
CONNOR:…Wait. I’ve seen this before…
2—He glares at Casia and Lance, who are kneeling next to him.
CONNOR: White glitter about the wounds. He’s drunken from the FOUTAIN OF YOUTH.
3—Lance takes the shirt off the wound he was holding. Casia slaps her forehead.
LANCE (linked): That’s…That’s not…
CASIA: That day…we let him go back for his necklace. He must’ve stopped by the fountain.
4—Connor cups Lance and Casia’s cheeks, one in each hand.
CONNOR: It probably saved his life. The wounds probably would have killed him. This at least gives you some time to get him medical attention.
5—Then he squeezes like a sumo wrestler.
CONNOR: It takes more than one drink to become immortal, so you will not let him near it again—RIGHT?
LANCE (muttering): Right.
6—Connor stands by the cliff, a hand upon Torch’s snout. Lance comes up behind him.
CONNOR (linked): I…I can’t leave Addy like that, but I know Ral will be safe with you.
LANCE: I’ll stay. It’s not safe for me to be by Ral anyway.
CONNOR: I trust you, and besides, if you stay, Bergener will use you if he doesn’t just kill you. And Casia, they’ll torture you again until you succumb.
7—Casia looks up at Connor as he glances back.
CASIA: I will never—
CONNOR: I know. That’s why you have to go.
8—Casia hardens her glare.
CASIA: We’ll be back.
9—Connor’s smile is gentle and loving.
CONNOR: Don’t be.
1—A bust of Edgar Allen Poe—it’s raining, so it looks like it’s crying.
2—Same picture with blue fire now burning in its eyes.
3—In a rush of red fire, Casia and Lance appear, holding Ral between them.
LOCATION CAPS: KNIGHTSDALE, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
4—Lance looks to Casia.
LANCE: We…We have to take him to the hospital.
CASIA: Are you crazy?!
CASIA (linked): You know what will happen if we do that.
5—Lance’s head is tipped down; his eyes covered by the shadows. Raindrops course his cheeks like tears.
1—In Ral’s hospital room, Lance reads a not-so-scrupulous magazine, while Casia watches TV with her feet up on Ral’s bed. Ral’s in bed, looking bandaged and clean with brusies and a tube stuck in his mouth.
NARR: Ten hours, two surgeries, and one tube stuck in Ral’s mouth later, the inevitable occurs.
OFF: Casia LaCroux.
OFF (linked): Joshua Sterling.
2—Agents Holly Skylar and Darnell Towne stand in the doorway with sunglasses and black suits on.
SKYLAR: I’m Agent Holly Skylar. This is Agent Darnell Towne. We’re here for the boy.