Part Three of Five: Time Constraints
Comic Book Script - Plot for 20 Pages
Devin Leigh Michaels
If you know the power to stop a loved one's pain exists, would you use it? Ral's tempted. Of course, it lands him in Project: Avatar's detention, which isn't like clapping erasers or brooming the classroom floor.
PAGE ONE1—Establishing shot of the Savannah cityscape in 1860s.
NARR (no pointer): I’ve been to Savannah.
LOCATION CAPS: YOU KNOW WHERE, 1864
2—From the porch, Ral’s looking out at the Union Army gathered just before the river.
NARR: I’ve puked right over there!
RAL: So, if you’re Destiny, is there a Fate, too? How ‘bout Old Man Time?
3—Kainoa’s sitting back in his chair with one leg hitched up, sipping his ice tea.
KAINOA: My grandfather’s pretty old. He might qualify.
4—Ral shakes his head.
RAL: Dude, come on. There is no way you can get me to believe we’re in 1860s Georgia. I mean, seriously. Look around—how is any of this—
OFF (yelling): You! GIRL!
5—A soldier upon a horse points down at a girl with flame red hair.
SOLDIER: Your worth has reached its end.
1—Now we’re in the Union Army mob, who is surrounding this girl. We see her clearly—It’s Casia. (I know, right? What are the chances?) She looks slightly younger than she does normally (perhaps fifteen) with long fiery hair pulled back in a braid and a homemaker’s dress. Her chin is raised to defy.
CASIA: Do what you must, General Sherman, but please, spare my brother.
2—Small panel. Ral’s shocked face.
3—Now we see the man on the ground. He’s in chains and older than Casia by a handful of years. By the looks of it, he’s been beaten from Atlanta to Savannah. His farmer’s shirt appears to have been washed in blood and his face attacked by fists and clubs. He still manages to speak, snatching her hand.
NARR: No…we are in this…together.
4—On the porch, Ral’s shocked, standing behind the railing with his hands on it.
JAYDEN: You know them?
RIO: Of course he does. He’s immortal.
5—Kainoa hasn’t moved from his previous position.
KAINOA: No. He’s not.
1—Ral glares over his shoulder.
RAL: I’ve drunken from the Universal Pancreas.
2—Kainoa waves his tea.
KAINOA: The Fountain of Youth, the Elixir of Life—yeah, I know its names, but you’re not immortal. Trust me. I’d know.
RAL (off): But—
3—Close-up on Kainoa’s face; his eyes glow.
KAINOA: Trust me.
KAINOA (linked): I’d know.
4—Beyond the porch, German Sherman waves his ceremonious sword.
SHERMAN: Do not fret, boy. You’ll be together—in death. KILL THEM BOTH.
5—Ral goes to jump over the railing.
RAL (shouting): NO!
1—In a flash of blue, Kainoa’s between Ral and the railing, his face desperate.
KAINOA: You can’t interfere! You can’t change what has already happened.
2—From over Kainoa’s shoulder, we see Ral desperate as well.
RAL: They’re my family! I just can’t—
KAINOA: I know how difficult this is, but you can’t.
3—Ral knees Kainoa in the groin.
4—Ral launches over the railing.
5—Ral’s tackled from behind. (Kainoa’s dragging him down like a football player.)
KAINOA (off): JAYDEN!
6—Kainoa turns Ral over, even as Ral struggles to get away.
NARR: I can’t let Jayden touch me. I can’t let him take me away from Lance and Casia.
7—Ral jerks his head back to see the a salt and pepper-haired man shoot. Casia and Lance jerk. Off in the corner, we see Jayden’s fingers.
8—Now we’re Ral, looking up at Jayden as he pushes his fingers toward Ral’s head.
JAYDEN: I’m sorry.
1—Stereotypical teacher with a bun and long dress stands before the black board.
Ms. MARTIN: And who knows how to solve for x? …Ah, Ms. Johnson, show us on the board.
NARR: My mom and uncle have been kidnapped by shadow demons.
NARR: I’m half aforementioned shadow demon.
LOCATION CAPS: LATER, PROJECT: AVATAR
2—Ral sits at his desk, chin on raised fist, glaring at his textbook but at the same time, glaring at nothing.
NARR: For the last six months I’ve been traveling the East Coast with a were-phoenix and a reincarnated squire, and now after almost being killed by my new stepdad, I’m a prisoner in a government-sanctioned facility. Its sole purpose is to turn me and others “like me” into their slaves.
NARR: Oh, and I’m in a school.
3—A paper football lands on his book.
NARR: Can this get any suckier?
4—We read the note with Ral. On the upper hand corner of the panel, we see Ral’s notebook cover reads, “Ral *hearts* Jenny.”
TEACHER (off): Ah, Ken. Why don’t you show us how to do number three on page one-eighty.
NARR: Ms. Martin’s smile even reminds me of Ms. Heller’s from Anthony Wayne Middle School. She was—and probably still is—the personification of evil.
NOTE (in broken cursive): It’s not what you think. Being in the past—you see things that have already happened. The execution was over a hundred years ago.
5—Ral writes away, his arm about his paper to hide his note.
NARR: So I should let them go through it again?
6—Another note flies over Ral’s shoulder.
NARR: Maybe I’d like to pay attent—okay, that sounds funny even in my head
1—Focus on note. Same handwriting.
NOTE: Nothing you could have done would have changed what happened. NOTHING.
NARR: Okay, this is getting extreme.
3—Ral’s shocked, looking out the note. He’s visibly disturbed.
NOTE: I was sold into slavery before I can even remember.
5—Ral turns in his seat, sickened and shocked.
6—Rio smiles up at Ral from his seat, sadly but confident. In his hands, the note begins to burn with white fire.
RIO: It’s true.
TEACHER (off): Mr. Dawson!
1—Close-up on Rio’s hands and flames. The flames have just a tinge of blue to them—ice blue.
NARR: Wait…are they blue?
2—Ms. Martin stands just before Ral’s desk.
TEACHER: Mr. Dawson, eyes up front, and perhaps you’ll like to show us how you found the answer to problem four?
NARR: I haven’t even started problem one.
3—Ral puts up his hand; Rio’s behind him, hands crossed on his desk.
RAL: Can I go to the bathroom?
TEACHER (off): May you, and after you show us problem four’s procedure.
RIO: Uh, Ms. Martin?
4—Close-up on Rio.
RIO: Ral was showing me how to do problem three. May I try problem four on the board?
5—Ms. Martin stares down at Ral. She doesn’t believe it.
TEACHER: Sure, Mr. Santiago. Mr. Dawson, you make take your leave.
6— As Rio limps past, another note drops in Ral’s lap.
NARR: Kid’s still healing from my wounds.
1—Ral exits the classroom and enters a sterile-looking hallway.
NARR: God…does everyone have a story to tell?
2—Ral finds a water fountain but instead of drinking, just stares at it.
NARR: Is anyone normal?
HOLLY (off): Looks like you’ve seen a ghost.
3—Over Ral’s shoulder leans a woman in a black suit minus the tie. She’s wearing sunglasses. She’s in her mid-twenties with her dirt hair pulled back in a ponytail.
RAL: You’re Agent Skylar.
1—Her smile remains.
HOLLY: Call me ‘Holly.’ So…tell me. How’s your first week at Project: Avatar?
2—Ral shoves his hands in his jean pockets and leans his back against the wall.
RAL: You mean Camp Stepford?
3—A soft, sympathetic smile perks her cheeks, and her hand grabs Ral’s shoulder warmly. His face is scrunched. He’s not happy.
HOLLY: It will get better. I promise. Being the newbie is always hard.
RAL: Why did you bring me here? And don’t tell me it’s for the bacon. I’ve tasted it. It sucks.
HOLLY: Nah. For the grits. Seriously. Paula Deen can’t make them better.
4—Holly continues to smile.
SKLYAR: None of us are normal, Raleigh, but here, you can be yourself—and learn how to make great Southern cooking.
5—Now, he’s getting pissed.
RAL: I was myself where I was from. My family—
6—Holly now touches Ral’s cheek.
HOLLY: Maybe you were lucky, Ral. Your parents were immortal, but where are they now?
7—Ral looks away.
1—Holly follows his gaze.
HOLLY: They abandoned you—
RAL: They DIDN’T abandon me!
HOLLY: Well, they are no longer here. Now, those of the project are your family. Here you will find what you’ve lost. You’ve already begun to. A blue hoodie is such an honor. You will wear it well.
2—Ral glowers at her.
RAL: You drink the Mountain Dew, don’t you?
HOLLY: I’m more of a Cherry Coke type of girl, but this place—it fosters you, guides you, teaches you to control the gift that has been given to you.
RAL: And just what gift do you have?
SIERRA (off): DAWSON!
4—Sierra storms down the hallway, sparkles about her hands. She’s mad.
SIERRA: What are you doing out of class?
5—Ral smiles sheepishly and thumbs off-panel.
RAL: Uh…bathroom? And I was talking to Holly.
6—Sierra looks to the side of Ral, where there is no one.
7—Same panel. Holly now stands there.
HOLLY: She cannot see me. Not many can.
RAL: And I—
HOLLY: You are not many.
8— Sierra snags Ral’s hood like a mother cat and drags him down the hall.
SIERRA: I will see you in detention, Mr. Dawson.
SIERRA (linked): Here—it’s more than just clapping erasers and putting up the chairs.
1—Focus on Ral, who is surrounded by blue hoodies. For future reference, Sierra stands directly behind Ral.
LOCATION CAPS: LATER, BLENDER
NARR: She’s not kidding.
2—Next to Ral stand a handful of students who wear a variety of hoodie colors and clothing. One in particular must be a nerdy-looking boy with block, black glasses and sticking-up hair. He whines next to Ral.
CLARENCE: Please…Please…I didn’t mean it. I’ll be better.
3—Towne comes to stand in front of the group.
TOWNE: You promised that last time, Clarence. You know what happens to repeat offenders.
4—Sierra’s sparkling hand grips upon Clarence’s shoulder. On the bottom of the panel, begin to white out a little.
5—Ral ducks as white explodes from Sierra’s hand.
CLARENCE (no pointer): NO!
1—Ral looks at Clarence, frightened.
2—Clarence has lost his glasses and now is dazed. His eyes are completely white
NARR: …they’re gone.
CLARENCE: Wa—Where is everyone? Hello! HELLO!
NARR: They took his sight.
3—Sierra’s hands grab him before he touches a camp counselor. He’s frantic, tears streaming his cheeks.
CLARENCE: I—I can’t see! It can’t—
SIERRA: Come along, Clarence. You were looking to escape, and now you can’t look for anything. I believe that is a fair trade.
4—As Sierra leads the boy out of the Blender, Towne stands before the teens.
TOWNE: Let that be a lesson to you all. Follow directions. Accept your Fate. You belong here…with us.
TOWNE (linked): All of you may leave…
5—The group begins to go. Ral’s facing the camera, cringing while looking up to the sky. Towne’s behind him.
TOWNE: …except you, Mr. Dawson.
1—Ral turns toward Towne, while Towne has a hand on his shoulder.
NARR: They took Jayden’s voice, Clarence’s sight.
NARR: Oh, I’d so like to feel the heat of Casia’s flames or hear Lance call me “Page.”
NARR: Okay, I actually hate both those things, but…
TOWNE: No need to look so scared, Mr. Dawson.
2—Towne tucks Ral under his arm. Ral’s visibly uncomfortable.
TOWNE: I want to speak with you personally since I helped bring you to Avatar.
RAL: With your partner, Holly.
TOWNE: I prefer to work alone.
3—Towne walks Ral toward the Blender.
TOWNE: I asked you to stay after to…EXPLAIN certain things to you, about how we run here things at the project. I’ve heard that already you have seen as a potential TROUBLEMAKER. We don’t particularly like troublemakers, Mr. Dawson.
4—Ral squirms and glances over his shoulder.
RAL: So I’ve seen.
NARR: Please don’t kill me.
5—Towne pats Ral’s shoulder.
TOWNE: However, you are very important to us, so I figure we’ll teach you a lesson today, instead of letting you learn on your own like Clarence and Jayden.
6—Over Ral’s shoulder (behind him) blue fire begins to form in mid-air like sparklers.
NARR: A coldness sweeps through the Blender, like a ghost’s whisper upon my neck, and I’ve felt that before.
1—The flames stretch and rise vertically like fingers entwined. Ral’s looking back at them.
NARR: In Skadoia.
2—Then the flames part like wings. They fling back to reveal an older teen, perhaps Kainoa’s age, with a devious smile and sadistic eyes. He’s sporting a blue hoodie. It’s Reger.
3—Close-up on Reger, whose eyes now burn like Kainoa’s.
REGER: Hello, Raleigh Dawson. Or do you prefer ‘Prince of Darkness’?”
4—Focus on Ral’s. He’s struggling to breathe.
RAL (whispers): …Reger.
5—Reger slaps his hands together.
REGER: Oh, good. You remember me.
6—As Reger pulls his hands apart, a specter just like Casia’s emerges from the fire on the left hand side.
REGER: Remember what I did to Casia? Let’s see how well that works on a mortal.
1—Reger flies forward, ready to slice Ral in half.
NARR: “What they don’t know, they can’t use.”
2—Small cell—Ral’s hand reaches toward a shadow by an exercise bike.
3—Ral weaves the dark ribbons in his hands.
4—Ral makes a shadow barrier to separate him and Reger.
NARR: Yeah…screw that.
5—Reger slams threw it with his scepter, shattering the shield and tossing Ral back.
REGER: Trick-or-treat, kid!
6—Ral shakes his head and realizes—he’s in a corner of the gym.
NARR: I hear corners kill.
7—Blue fire erupts in each of Ral’s hands.
NARR: I cannot get a break today.
REGER (off): That was the trick.
1—Blue fire erupts about Ral’s feet
REGER (still off): Now he’s the TREAT!
2—Ral struggles as the blue fire travels up his body, now at his thighs.
NARR: Skadoian Lord tried to scare me.
3—It’s up to his waist.
NARR: Kalias burned me.
4—The flames crystalize from the ground up, making Ral a statue.
NARR: And these flames—they’re ice cold.
5—Focus on Ral’s crystalize hands where little spark of white begins to form.
1—Now white fire explodes the crystals from Ral’s body, and he’s gasping like he just took his first breath.
2—Kneeling on the ground, one hand is burning blue fire. The other hand burns white fire.
REGER (off): Huh. Well, that’s new.
3—Ral looks up from his flopped bangs, a dangerous smirk upon his lips.
4—Ral hurls a flare of white fire at Reger.
5—Reger waves it off with a single swipe of his scepter, while his opposite hand raises upward, burning blue.
REGER: And you’re still a rookie.
1—Blue overwhelms Ral.
2—On the floor, surrounding Ral, blue hoodies attack.
REGER (off): You see, Darnell, you can’t be nice with this one.
NARR: Get off!
3—Ral punches one in the cheek as a metal snake wraps about Ral’s torso.
REGER (off): His father is Skadoian—of the darkness. His mother was the queen of Zenith’s Rise—of the light.
4—Another grab his legs while a third holds his torso from behind, arms curled about Ral’s head to keep the teen’s hands apart.
REGER: He is and always will be a threat.
5—Even held against the floor, Ral screams upward.
RAL: HELL YEAH!
6—Sierra kneels down before Ral and slips her hand against his cheek.
SIERRA: We do not tolerate troublemakers, Ral.
7—Sparkles fill the panel
1—Completely black panel.
NARR: I can’t see or hear anything.
NARR: Not a first.
2—A general outline of the lab where Kainoa is being held with doctors about the computer consoles and two blue hoodies near to Ral, holding his hands up. We’re from Ral’s POV, so all we see are the guy’s hands on our arms.
NARR: Feeling still works, though, as hands paw my arms.
3—We’re still Ral, looking at a hand comes forward with a metal plate to secure our face and cheeks.
RAL: Hey, whadda—mphm!
4—Now we focus on Kainoa, who’s head is faced toward the camera, but over his right shoulder, we can see Ral’s back or hair.
NARR: I can’t see Kainoa, but I remember his eyes and the mixture of resignation and sympathy.
NARR: He knew this was going to happen.
NARR: He knew…
1—Full Page—Picture of Kainoa and Ral in the lab, both being restrained by the metal X’s, back-to-back, unable to escape.
NARR: …there’s no escape.
TO BE CONTINUED…