False Dawn #15: Out of the Pan
Part One of Five: Dreams
Comic Book Script - Plot for 20 Pages
Devin Leigh Michaels
I recently spoke with J.T. Krul, the writer of Teen Titans and the upcoming Deadman and the Flying Graysons. I asked him what the hardest part of writing comics was. His answer? Pacing. (Thanks, Mr. Krul!)
Usually I write in the twenty-two page format because, well, I was trained to write in it. However, for this arc, all comic scripts will be twenty pages to coincide with DC’s format and to showcase pacing.
FD#15: The False Dawn/Destiny's Fate Cross-over starts here! After his defeat the hands of the Skadoian Lord, Ral wakes up in a world not like the one he remembers (and no, he doesn’t wake up in the world of Flashpoint).
1—Close-up on Ral’s face. He’s surprised, shocked.
NARR: I expected to wake up in darkness, perhaps with a little flames, but this is not what I had in mind.
2—Now we see where he is—it’s a room with rock walls, a crackling red fire of the hearth, a table with miscellaneous weapons upon it, a map, and a rickety bed. It’s dark (We’re still in Skadoia). On the bed there are two people. From far away, we can’t tell much other than the woman is on top of the man.
3—The woman whirls, and we see from her upper chest upward (nothing graphic, just enough to insinuate)
NARR: I’ve seen enough Lethal Weapons movies to know what those carnal noises mean.
NARR: Lasantra’s ice eyes whirl to greet me, but I’m not looking at THOSE.
4—From around Lasantra’s hip, we see Connor, who shouts shamefully.
CONNOR (yelling): RAL!
5—Now Ral kneels on the floor of a darkened room.
OFF: Well, well, well.
OFF (linked): You’ve survived after all.
1—Now we’re behind Ral looking up at the thrones of the Skadoian Lord and Addy. Addy’s sitting there, not really looking at anyone or anything with blue flames for eyes. The Skadoian Lord sits next to her, holding her hand.
RAL (worried): …Mom?
SL: Your mother can’t hear you now, Child. She’s locked in her own prison, fighting the shadows that wish to consume her light.
2—Close-up on Ral. He’s pissed.
RAL: Why are you doing this? She’s done nothing to you.
3—SL strokes Addy’s hand like she’s a woman on a pedestal to him.
SL: Adeline is a means to an end. So are YOU. Skadoia has suffered enough for the CRIMES of Zenith’s Rise and Knightsdale. It is time for retribution.
4—SL waves a hand, and blue fire swirls about Ral’s body.
SL: The Day of Reckoning is coming, Dawson. If you wish to spare your mother, bring me Durant of First Light.
5—Focus on Ral’s, who’s fighting not to go back to his knees; he cringes in pain.
SL (off): You, however, lost the moment you were conceived. A child of THREE WORLDS cannot live to see the end of the war. The victor will not allow it.
6—A shadow trident soars toward the camera.
1— Ral shoots up in bed, grabbing his mid-section. He’s in a hospital-like bed with an IV attached to his hand. Bandages wrap his torso and shoulder and thigh (though we can’t see the latter).
2—Extreme close-up on Ral’s eyes, half-lidded from pain and exhaustion, as they look at the camera from a 3/4th angle.
OFF: Oh, good. You’re awake. I was beginning to think you were avoiding me.
3—Agent Holly Skylar sits next to Ral’s bed, a welcoming smile upon her face.
HOLLY: Hello, Raleigh. I am Agent Holly Skylar. We’ve never met, but I’m a huge fan.
HOLLY: My partner and I have been searching for you for a while.
4—Holly stands and drapes a black hoodie over Ral’s shoulders. On the hoodie’s right breast is a golden eagle and purple lightning bolt insignia.
HOLLY: There we go. After all the time and energy it took to save you, we wouldn’t want anything to happen to you, would we?
RAL (confused): Save me?
5—Ral looks about the room desperately.
RAL: Where’re Lance and Casia?
HOLLY: Lance? You mean, Sterling?
6—Ral’s frantic, and his heart monitor jumps behind his head.
RAL: WHERE ARE THEY?
SFX: BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
1—Two ordeals race into the room, but Holly puts up a hand.
HOLLY: Mr. Sterling and Ms. LaCroax are not of your concern right now. What you need to do is rest. Gain your strength back.
NARR: By the tone in her voice, I know she’s practiced this speech, has given it to others before me.
NARR: I guess a lot of people don’t come here willingly.
2—Now we focus on Ral, who’s looking at her angrily as she stands.
RAL: Why am I here? What do you want from me?
3—Holly injects a blue liquid into the IV.
HOLLY: You are here to learn how to control your powers. What we want, in return, is your loyalty, but for now, all we need is for you to sleep.
4—From Ral’s POV, we see Holly standing over me, still smiling. On the edge of the cells, it’s black, like Ral’s squinting.
NARR: And I do—and I hate her for it.
5—Completely black cell
1—Still from Ral’s POV as he opens his eyes, we see a dark-skinned guy, about sixteen with dreadlocks, Orlando Bloom’s smile, purple eyes, wearing jeans and red hoodie. On the red hoodie is the insignia of a golden eagle and purple lightning bolt.
NARR: I’ve got to stop waking up like this.
JAYDEN: Hey, I know you can hear me, man. Don’t be rude like this. It’s totally not cool, all-ite?
2—Ral sits up slowly, cringing as he does so.
RAL: What? Who—?
Small cells going back and forth on the page.
3—Jayden takes a sip of coffee as he explains.
JAYDEN: Look, man, listen to me. The eggs are okay, but stay away from the bacon.
4—Ral’s still shocked.
5—Back to Jayden.
JAYDEN: Blue’s good; black’s unknown.
6—Ral’s now more confused, suspicious.
RAL: ‘cuse me?
7—Back to Jayden.
JAYDEN: Red’s not dangerous, but that’s just ‘cuz they don’t know.
8—Now Ral is more pissed.
RAL: Are you ill?
9—Back to Jayden, who is not even fazed.
JAYDEN: Green’s against and will eventually perish, so we take care of them first.
10—Ral’s now given up hope and raises his eyes toward the ceiling, arms shrugging.
RAL: Translation? Anybody?
1—Jayden grabs Ral’s hand, hard. He leans close to Ral, desperate and pleading.
JAYDEN (whispering, close): Orange will kill you, so don’t go near. What they don’t know, they can’t use. The corners kill. Silence is your friend. And if you believe, believe in nothing but the Founding Fathers.
2—Now we’re looking down at Ral, who is lying in bed. His eyes just snapped open, and he’s looking up at the camera with a mixture of uncertainty and shock.
OFF: Ooh, looks like the tardy bloke decides to show up for his own party.
NARR: What—What just happened? Dreadlocks and colors and…T.J. and John Adams? What do they have to do with anything…
3—On the right side of the cell, Ral fights into a sitting position, this time easier than when he was with Holly. On the left, we see Sierra from FD#7. She’s now wearing a blue hoodie with a black undershirt and jeans. The hoodie has the same insignia has all the others—eagle and purple lightning bolt. Her shimmering silver body blinds in the light, and a ponytail of golden hair sweeps about her neck to rest on her shoulder. Her golden eyes shine like a warm smile.
NARR: …or HER?
SIERRA: Hello, Raleigh Dawson. Do you remember me?
5— Sierra chucks a T-shirt at Ral and places a pair of Adias sandals at his bed.
SIERRA: Very good.
SIERRA: Now get up. Time for orientation.
NARR: She sounds like that guy from the Outback commercials.
1—With his blanket thrown off, Ral has on the T-shirt (which has the aforementioned insignia), snap-up sweatpants, and works on his black hoodie.
NARR: Black’s unknown.
2—Ral tries I press down on my left leg and cringe as the pain shoots back with vengeance.
3— Sierra grabs crutches.
SIERRA (linked): Had some nasty tendon damage there, I’m afraid. Your shoulder healed up quite nicely, and well, your insides are doing their best.
4—Ral follows her through the door.
NARR: My shoulder…healed already?
RAL: How’s that possible? It’s only been—
SIERRA: Three months.
All patients must be wearing hoodies in some form—save the burning guy, of course, save the burning guy.
1—Sierra walks in front of Ral as Ral looks into the patient’s room. A doctor uses a fire extinguisher on a burning patient.
RAL: W—What! Lady, I did not get my passport stamped for Slumberland.
2—Another room’s filled like a fish tank with a mermaid—or merman—swimming about.
SIERRA: No, most of that was induced, so you would heal faster.
3—In the hallway, a girl flies by Ral. He’s stunned.
4—Ral’s eyes follow the flying girl down the hall.
RAL: What—What’s going on here? Who—or What—are you people, and just where the hell am I?
1—FULL PAGE—We’re looking down at Ral and Sierra from the top of the Atrium.
The atrium’s circular and about ten stories high, each floor open to the middle with golden railings and scooping green fire garland. It’s actually burning. Carved into the marble floor under Ral and Sierra is the eagle and lightning bolt insignia like the one on the hoodies. Teenagers, tweens, children are everywhere—flying, electricity zapping between their fingers, fire about their shoulders or with fur in places it doesn’t belong or with golden skin or gills or wings. Each one of them has either a green, red, orange, or black hoodie on.
SIERRA: Welcome to Project Avatar.
1—Sierra touches Ral’s shoulder and thumbs down a corridor.
SIERRA: Come. You must want a little breakie.
2—They walk down a corridor, the craziness of the students abound.
RAL: So where does Holly fit into all this?
3—They enter the mess hall, and it’s pretty normal—white floors, ceilings, with bland chairs and tables.
SIERRA: Sorry, mate. No Holly here
4—They come to stand before a table where Jayden sits in his red hoodie, playing with the bacon on his otherwise empty plate. He’s all alone.
SIERRA: Jayden, I have someone I want you to meet.
5—Jayden looks up.
6—Jayden looks down.
7—Sierra continues as if he’s smiling and putting out a hand.
SIERRA: Raleigh, I’d like to you meet Jayden Jackson. You two are going to be roommates.
1—Ral struggles to put out a hand.
RAL: Hey, man. Should I stay away from the bacon or what?
2—Jayden ignores him, and Ral looks down at his hand.
NARR: Then it hits me.
NARR: “Silence is my friend.”
3—Ral sits across from Jayden.
RAL: Hey, Sierra? My leg kinda hurts. Would you mind getting me some eggs, no bacon?
SIERRA: Sure, kiddo. No problem.
4—Once she’s gone, Ral turns to Jayden.
RAL: Founding Fathers? What’s that about?
5—A hard hand clamps down upon Ral’s bicep.
1—A Latino kid younger than Ral by a half-decade or so glares his chocolate orbs through Ral’s. A glimmer of white shines in his dark eyes, which are framed by the raven bangs clawing at his tan cheeks.
KID: Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak.
2—Ral blinks once he leaves.
NARR: Yeah, this place is weird.
3—Picture of a library with Sierra motioning for Ral—nothing really out of the ordinary.
SIERRA: So this is the library.
LOCATION CAPS: LATER
NARR: Sierra takes me on the grand tour.
4—The two stand in a conventional classroom, minus windows.
SIERRA: And this is the educational wing.
NARR: With my hurt leg and the prison décor, it’s pretty much a miserable experience.
5—Sierra motions up a grand stair case.
SIERRA: This stairwell leads to dorms. Jayden may be a proper toff, but you two will make it work.
NARR: A proper…what?
RAL: The guy who doesn’t talk? Yeah, right.
6—Sierra ruffles Ral’s hair.
SIERRA: He talks, mate. Maybe just not in the traditional sense.
1—Walking down a narrow corridor with granite-like walls, Ral stops by a silver door pretty much like the rest with a glowing eagle on it. He bangs his crutch against the door.
RAL: Hey, Sierra. What’s beyond this?
2—Sierra wraps an arm about Ral’s shoulders and tries to lead him away.
SIERRA: That’s the Director’s office. Only the most prestigious students are invited for a repast.
SIERRA: Now come. Allow me to show you the gym.
3—Ral stops; Sierra blinks.
RAL: I’m not a student here. I’m not enrolled, and I don’t want to be. I want to go home.
4—Sierra looks at him sympathetically and tries to grab his arm.
SIERRA: Raleigh, your mother and uncle have disappeared. Two suspects held you captive for a year.
5—Ral jerks away.
RAL: I’m not their captive! They’re my family.
1—Sierra persists until she grabs Ral’s forearm.
SIERRA: I know they seemed like that, but they weren’t, Sweetie.
RAL: Yes, they are!
SIERRA: No, they weren’t. They were two people who have extorted you for their own wants.
2—Ral’s face melts of fight. Sierra shakes her head.
RAL: Like you?
SIERRA: No. Project Avatar is a sanctioned division of the U.S. government, where we help those with ‘gifts’ develop in a safe and nurturing environment.
NARR: Why does that sound rehearsed, too?
RAL: Powers? What powers do I have?
SIERRA: Your parents. They’re immortal—wherever they are.
5—Ral tries to hide his relief.
NARR: She doesn’t know. THEY don’t know I’m an Ashling.
NARR: ‘What they don’t know, they can’t use.’
RAL: But I’m not immortal. You can’t keep me here. I know my rights.
7— Sierra’s hold upon Ral tightens.
NARR: Actually, both your legal guardians are missing. Casia LaCroax and Joshua Sterling are both suspects in their disappearance, so you are now a ward of the state, Raleigh. And the state has given custody to Project Avatar.
1—Ral’s laying in bed, eyes closed.
SIERRA (no pointer): You ARE home.
JAYDEN (off): ‘ey, man. Come on. Time for the real tour.
2—Ral’s eyes shoot open.
JAYDEN (off): You took my advice.
3—From behind Ral, who is getting up, we see Jayden sitting on his own bed, one leg hitched up. He still has his hoodie on.
JAYDEN: There may be hope for you yet.
RAL (groggy): …Jayden? What—
4—Jayden cuts him off, hands up in a surrender position.
JAYDEN: No real names. Call me T.J. You’re Benji for now.
RAL: The Founding Fathers.
JAYDEN (linked): Not my choice, but while we’re connected, we can’t have anyone overhearing us.
5—Ral whirls his hand about the bed spread. Jayden laughs from his bed.
NARR: It’s…weird. Almost real but when I look at the clock, the numbers are backwards. The bed—I see it. Can touch it, but I can’t FEEL it.
JAYDEN: Haven’t you guessed it yet?
JAYDEN (linked): My power is mental. I can DREAMWALK—enter people’s dreams and see what they see, communicate with them. I can even travel in this state.
1—Ral furls an eyebrow.
RAL: So I’m in your dream? Or in mine?
2—Jayden taps his temple.
JAYDEN: A little of both. I merged ours, and since your shadow powers come with a little scrying power, it allows us a smidge more leeway.
3— Jayden hops off his bed and grabs Ral’s crutches.
JAYDEN: But enough about me! We’ll have to avoid a few of the more power ‘teachers,’ but this should be okay.
4—Jayden opens the door to allow Ral to leave.
RAL: Okay? Where’re we going?
JAYDEN: Where else? Where we’re forbidden!
5—In the hallway, a security guards stand with his back to them. He’s wearing an all-black uniform with a gun strapped to his right thigh. Jayden puts out a hand.
JAYDEN: No worries, Kid. One man with courage is a majority, and one security guard with telekinesis is oblivious to two teens with telepathy.
1— The security guard dropped to the floor, unconscious.
2—Ral crutches after Jayden. Jayden smirks.
RAL: That was awesome!
JAYDEN: Thanks, but if you think that was cool, wait ‘til you see my behind-the-back moves.
3—The two stand in a shadow to avoid another security guard, and from Ral’s hands, he weaves more shadows.
JAYDEN: Shadows and heightened healing. You’re just a smorgasbord of powers, aren’t you?
JAYDEN: Yeah, Will Rogers told me something about you being able to heal quicker than others. No worries about the leg, though. We’ll get John to look at it. He’ll help.
4—They come to the forbidden office from before, Jayden hitting the keypad next to the handle-less door.
RAL: Will Who—
5—The door slides open. Jayden smiles at Ral.
JAYDEN: Why do they call it ‘Open Sesame?’ What if I want ‘Open Poppy Seed?’
1—Ral and Jayden enter the empty room. Jayden clicks on the overhead lights.
RAL: But—But isn’t this the Director’s office? Sierra said—
2—Jayden walks past Ral to the back.
JAYDEN: Sierra’s a traitor to her kind and an enforcer to the project. This isn’t the Director’s office.
3—He touches a panel on the back wall, and a hidden door slides open.
JAYDEN: That’s BELOW us.
4—Jayden and Ral walk on a metal catwalk above a mad scientist’s lab.
NARR: This is mad.
5—From the camera behind Ral and Jayden, we see the lab is set up with semi-circle computer consoles surrounding a subject in the very middle of the platform, who is relatively human with blue hair. He’s being held in an X-formation with his arms and legs restricted by metal gauntlets over his arms and hands. Lights blink upon the consoles. Darkness sits upon the edges of the area with a single-lit doorway just beyond the lab. The subject is seemingly alone.
NARR: Just where the hell am I?
1—Jayden and Ral climb down the stairs to the lab.
JAYDEN: I can’t get down here. My powers—they only allow me to travel in dreams, and if I step one foot in that empty room in reality, the guards will know.
JAYDEN: So you can. You and your shadow powers can.
2—They come stand before the subject (KAINOA), and Ral looks at him suspiciously. Closer to the subject now, we see the metal plates attach his hands and wrists, feet and ankles, to a metal holder behind the subject in an X-formation. FYI: He is of Japanese descendant. Shimmering blue bangs cup the tanned cheeks, and a blue hoodie warms the tight muscles of a wide-receiver. Jeans run down his legs, and he looks normal, an upperclassman in high school. A metal plate covers his mouth and nose like Scandal Savage. His eyes are closed.
RAL: Can what?
3—Kainoa’s otherworldly blue eyes snap.
4—Focus on Ral’s eyes, that are held captive by Kainoa’s.
Colorists, please make the foreshadowing/flashback panels in black and white
5—Connor kissing Lasantra.
6—The Skadoian Lord fighting a man all in white with a golden sword (Durant).
7—Ral’s college graduation—he accepting a diploma
8—The sky above a slightly older teenage Ral is filled with were-phoenixes.
9—Kadias smirks as he holds an eight-year-old Ral with blonde hair. With his tentacles, Kadias caresses the boy’s cheek.
KADIAS: Welcome home.
10—Now we’re back to color, Jayden’s hand on Ral’s shoulder.
JAYDEN: You can save Destiny.
1—Full page—Extreme close-up on Kainoa’s dejected face.
JAYDEN (off): You can save all our Destinies.”
To Be Continued…