Part Two of Four: Tolls
Comic Book Script—Plot for 20 Pages
Devin Leigh Michaels
|Donnellie Jackson by Wolfram003|
Note to Letterer: All narrations in this issue are Lance’s except where noted.
1—Establishing shot—the outside of a rundown hotel at night. The parking lot is rather deserted save two car—a Camaro and beat-up pick-up.
NARR: I pretend this is a dream.
LOCATION CAPS: REVERE, MASSACHESETTES, SIX DAYS PRIOR
2—Surrounded by a flash of blue light, black-cladded figures appear in the middle of the parking lot, dressed in cargo pants with over-shirts tucked into their belts. They hold futuristic guns. They are the DEFENDERS OF THE FOURTH DIMENSION.
NARR: I pretend the burnt aroma of smores isn’t the best thing I’ve ever smelled.
3—Close-up on a door to a particular room. On the door, we see the Defenders’ shadows, but we don’t actually see them.
NARR: I pretend the soft Twizzlers against my five o’clock shadow don’t tickle my chin.
4—Inside the hotel room, there isn’t much—a bed, a chair, a table, and a door to the bathroom. It’s old, dingy, and messy. Casia and Ral’s clothes from FD#20 are thrown all over the floor and table. There are a few scorch marks about the room, like Casia threw flares. There is a lump on the bed, like someone is sleeping in it, but at the moment, we can’t see who.
NARR: I pretend the warm body against me can’t burst into flames at any moment and kill me—for the fifteenth time.
5—Close up on Lance’s face. It’s engulfed by full and loose strands of flame hair.
NARR: Instead, I pretend that the woman I ensconce is the love of my life, and no matter what, I’m going to smell smores and feel Twizzlers for the rest of my poor, pathetic existence.
NARR: I pretend that if I asked, she’d take me.
1—Half a page—We pull out just enough to see Lance spooning Casia, a soft grin upon his face. They’re covered by the hotel blanket but insinuated to be naked underneath. Lance has his arms wrapped about Casia’s shoulders, holding her closely, and this is the best night of his life.
NARR: Because believing anything else at this moment will make me eat a bullet.
2—Close-up on Lance’s face, his eyes now open, staring at the back of Casia’s head. His face is tense, like he’s just realized what a mistake this was.
NARR: I know HAPPILY EVER AFTERS aren’t for me. I know it’s not fair to love her. I know she deserves so much more, and yet…
3—He plays with the runaway strands of Casia’s hair.
NARR: I want to smell smores for the rest of my life.
KAINOA (off): FATE is CRUEL, Ral. I’m not a FAN.
1—Ral stands just before the bed, his back to it, glancing over his shoulder. In front of Ral stands Kainoa with his blue eyes and hair.
NARR: Ral, my RESPONSIBILITY, fights everyone and everything. I’m so PROUD of him.
RAL: THIS, coming from DESTINY?
KAINOA: It’s… complicated. Every event is connected to another and another, and the past is just as important as the present or future. I won’t DAMN today for yesterday, Ral.
2—Casia groans and pushes back against Lance, her hand upon his chin.
KAINOA (off): Will you?
NARR: I wish this moment could last forever.
3—Lance’s hands reaches under the pillow.
RAL (off): What can I do?
KAINOA: Get me free. Then I will end this. WE will end this.
RAL (linked, off): Yeah? Really? If you’re sooo powerful, then how did they get you the first time?
4—Lance straddles Casia on the bed, sitting up with a Defenders’ blaster pointed at Kainoa. He has on boxers.
LANCE: Maybe because he couldn’t shut up.
5—Lance still holds the blaster.
LANCE: How’d you find us? Where’d you get the kid?
RAL: What’re you—
6—Lance shakes the weapon.
LANCE: It doesn’t matter. I WON’T go back, and I won’t let you take the kid again. Ral, get behind me.
1—Ral steps in front of Kainoa. Kainoa’s eyes are narrowed dangerously. He’s ready to kill Lance if need be.
RAL: Lance, what’re you on? Kainoa didn’t take me. It was—
2—The door’s door kicked open.
3—Lights shine upon Ral and the crew from the doorway. Camera positioned like we’re standing in the door looking in.
INTRUDERS (off): YOU THERE! HALT!
4—Casia unhitches Lance and throws a flare toward the door.
CASIA: RAL! DUCK!
1—Ral’s gone, and the dark intruders—we can’t see anything but their silhouettes retreating into the night. Lance grabs Casia’s wrist.
CASIA: Flame on!
2—Casia glares at him.
CASIA: You did NOT just say that.
3—Lance shrugs as fire engulfs them.
LANCE: Well, you did start the fire, Billy Joel.
4—A fourteen-year-old Lance emerges from the ocean on a sunny day, walking toward the camera. He’s dressed in a swim suit and carrying a board. He’s grinning like he just rode a gnarly wave.
NARR: I lived in the ocean. Our family owned this great little beach house, and I loved every moment of living there—
LOCATION CAPS: CAPE COD, MASSACHUSETTS, FIVE YEARS AGO
5—small cell—A feminine dark-skinned hand grabs Lance’s wrist. She has on a silver bracelet with a crane lavaliere.
NARR: —until that day.
1—Donnellie stands before Lance with an enticing pink bikini and cherry lips.
NARR: Donnellie was definitely WAAAY too old for me at the time, though it didn’t stop me from ADMIRING the VIEW.
LANCE: You like what you see, babe?
2—Donnellie flips down her sunglasses, so her purple eyes glitter at Lance’s hand now on her arm.
LANCE: Time for a REAL man in your life?
3—Donnellie flips Lance over her shoulder; he loses his grip on his board.
4—As if we’re Lance on the ground, we look up at Donnellie, who smirks.
LANCE: No man is ever good enough for me, Lance.
1—Lance gets up, wincing and rubbing his lower back. Donnellie’s looking at him sadly.
LANCE: Lance? You have the wrong person. Name’s JOSHUA. Joshua Sterling.
2—Donnellie kisses Lance on the cheek.
DONNELLIE: Oh, I wish that were true. You have no idea how much.
3—Donnellie heads off to blend into other beach-goers.
DONNELLIE: And in four years, two days, seven hours, and eighteen minutes, you’ll NEED me, and I’ll be there.
DONNELLIE (linked): Damnit, I’ll always be there.
4—Lance has a troubled look upon his face.
NARR: Yeah…that wasn’t weird.
5—Lance now comes out of his cape cod house onto the patio where his father is currently barbequing. He’s pulling down his long-sleeved T-shirt over a pair of swimming trunks. Brandon is older now with graying hair and aging lines, and he, too, is wearing swimming trunks but over an open-collared dress shirt.
LANCE: Whoo. Waves are kicking my ass today, Pop. Whatcha got?
BRANDON: Hot dogs and don’t swear.
1—Brandon wraps an arm about Lance’s shoulders and ruffles his spiky hair.
BRANDON: A long shirt in ninety-degree heat? What’re you hiding, kiddo? A hickey?
2—Lance frees himself, laughing.
LANCE: Yeah, cuz hickeys’re usually on arms. Mustard and sauerkraut, por favor.
3—As Lance plops down in a beach chair, Brandon retreats to the smoking grill.
BRANDON: Learning Spanish in school now, are we?
LANCE: Not really. I’m in French. Guess I just picked it up somewhere.
4—Brandon turns toward Lance.
BRANDON: As long as you’re not picking up girls and piercings yet, I guess I should be—JOSHUA!
1—Lance jerks in his seat, holding a water bottle. He’s indignant.
2—Brandon comes forward and snatches Lance’s wrist.
3—He pulls up the sleeve to reveal a tattoo of a serpent’s tongue licking the veins of Lance’s wrist.
4—Lance smiles sheepishly.
LANCE: Would you believe it isn’t mine?
5—Extreme close-up on the Defender’s ear as Lance flicks it.
LANCE (off): Hey, there, Lackey. Ready for our first date?
LOCATION CAPS: NOW
1—The Defender looks up and past the camera, fear in his eyes. His arms and legs are tied to the chair’s. There’s nothing else in the room but darkness surrounding a chair and a single overhead light illuminating the scene.
LANCE (off): I know our meet cute didn’t go as well as either of us would have liked, but like any romantic comedy, that doesn’t mean this relationship can’t work.
2—Lance looks down at the camera as he pull on his cetsus, a dagger in one hand. He looks damn scary and deadly.
LANCE: Tell me what I want to know, and I won’t hand you a bouquet of your fingers.
3—Lance thrusts the knife into the arm of the chair, missing the man’s arm fingers but a millimeter.
4—Lance follows the knife, placing both his hands onto the chair’s arms, his face inches from the Defender’s.
LANCE: What? Or why? Come on, man. Don’t stutter. It’s not attractive.
LANCE: I’m sure you’ve heard of Lysander Starbuck, haven’t you?
5—Extreme close-up on the Defender’s eyes. They quiver just a little more.
NARR: Huh. He’s more afraid of Lysander than me? Let’s change that.
1—Lance backhands the guy across the cheek with his cestus.
NARR: Imagine a brick wall hitting you. Now add a Mack truck, and you’ve got the force of my punch with the cetsus.
2—Blood dribbles down the man’s chin.
LANCE: Let’s try this again, shall we? I’m looking for Lysander’s grandson. Kid goes by Nile. Mind telling me where I can find him?
3—The Defender mumbles; Lance has his dagger until the man’s chin.
LANCE: What did I say about stuttering?
4—Lance hangs in the middle of a dark room, his hands above his head, a single light casting shadows down upon him. He’s about sixteen, and his arms are showing due to his short sleeves. He has miscellaneous tattoos on his arms—the snake’s head on his wrist; paw prints on his forearms.
NARR: I don’t remember how I got there.
LOCATION CAPS: IN THE THROES OF TIME, THREE YEARS AGO
1—Close-up on Lance’s forearm, where a new tattoo of a dragon’s tail is.
NARR: One moment I was scratching my forearm in the locker room, wondering how I was going to cover up yet another tattoo—this one a dragon’s tail—when cable cord cut into my wrists.
2—From over Lance’s shoulder, we see the room where he is being held, though it is mostly covered in shadows. Long curtains are tied to the frames of the doors, which open to the outside gardens. For reference, he’s in medieval Japan, circa 1400s. It’s pretty empty save the wooden pillars holding up the room, some wooden furniture, and tapestries hanging on the wall.
NARR: Ah, the Kamakura Dynasty in Japan. Trust me. I know. I’ve been here before.
LYSANDER (off): You are an ANACHRONISM yourself, aren’t you, Mr. Sterling?
3—From the right of Lance emerges a man in his mid-fifties with his long gray hair tied back in a loose ponytail wearing a white komo and an evil smile. He’s built like a WWC wrestler.
LYSANDER: Or do you prefer MR. EVANS?
1—Lance perks a smirk of bravado.
LANCE: Hello, Lysander. Heard you went INSANE. How’s that treating you?
2— Lysander saunters forward, leading with a glittering cestus in the low light.
NARR: Hey, that’s MY cestus.
LYSANDER: Tell me, Mr. Evans. How is it that you can DEFY the rules of the Fourth Dimension?
3—Lance shrugs as best he can.
NARR: Yeah, sanity fled him awhile ago.
LANCE: What can I tell you? Rules are made to be DEFIED.
OFF: What about LAWS?
1—Splash Page—Off to the left of the cell is Lance, and we see little of him from the back as we peer toward Kainoa. He’s a sadistic bastard at this time in his life with glowing blue eyes and hair. He’s wearing a black jumpsuit with calf-high books and elbow-high gloves. Here are no markings or insignias on his suit, and he’s armed to the teeth with a blaster holster on his left leg, a knife holster on his right shoulder. He’s walking toward Lance. Lysander is in the middle, gesturing between the two.
NARR: Okay…who’s the Asian kid with the blue hair and eyes? He’s freakier than that girl from NCIS.
LYSANDER: Ah, Nile, this is Lance Evans. Mr. Evans, allow me to present my grandson, Nile. He likes to get more HANDS ON, if you will, when it comes to uncovering ANOMALIES.
1—Lance looks toward the ceiling, hopeless/helpless.
NARR: Of course he does.
2—Blood splatters across the panel.
3—Lance is stopped at a New Jersey Turnpike toll booth. Perhaps a sign can be hanging from the booth. Lance is freaking out at the toll booth operator.
LANCE: It costs HOW MUCH now?!
LOCATION CAPS: PRESENT
4—Lance sits on the stairs of this home wearing a hoodie and jeans with spiky black hair with blonde highlights. He has a worn expression upon his face, tired and sad. He’s listening to his parents fight.
BRANDON (off): Another tattoo, Mary. ANOTHER ONE! I swear that boy is rebelling, doesn’t want to go to William Paterson.
MARY (off): Well, can you blame him?
LOCATION CAPS: TWO YEARS AGO
1—Lance rolls his eyes.
BRANDON (off): Mary—
MARY (off): I—I don’t know, Brandon. I just don’t know. We bathed him, clothed him, fed him, gave him anything he wants except the movie Showgirls and no curfew.
2—Lance drops his chin to his hand, which is propped up on his knee.
BRANDON (off): We need to PUNISH him when he does this, not PACIFY—MARY (off): I’ll call Sawyer, see if he can—
BRANDON (linked, off): Can WHAT, Mary? TALK to him? Give him ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY?!
3—Casia leans on Lance’s shoulders as he drives pass the Meadowlands Stadium.
CASIA: What exit were you?
LANCE: Ten. I used to go up Route 287.
LOCATION CAPS: PRESENT
4—Donnellie leans out the window to see the stadium closer. Lance grumbles from the driver’s seat.
DONNELLIE: Who plays there? The Cyclops and the Planes?
LANCE: Jets and Giants. Saw the Giants beat the Bills once. My parents took me…
1—Lance pulls his hood over his head.
NARR: The Sterlings…they wanted to send me to college.
NARR: They wanted me to become a doctor.
NARR: They simply wanted their little boy, but I was never theirs. Not really. I belonged to someone else, some THING else, and as much as I tried, I never belonged there.
BRANDON (off): What’s next, Mary? Drugs? Guns?
LOCATION CAPS: TWO YEARS AGO
2—The windshield frames a sign for Route 17: Ringwood.
LOCATION CAPS: PRESENT
3—Lance now passes his bed, grabbing an already-packed duffle.
BRANDON (off): What will it take for you to see the TRUTH?
NARR: Four years, two days, seven hours, and eighteen minutes later—
LOCATION CAPS: TWO YEAR EARLIER
1—Lance jumps down from his open window toward a Mercedes sport car parked underneath.
BRANDON (off): That’s not our LITTLE BOY up there, Mary! It’s our GROWN-UP THUG!
2—Donnellie looks up at Lance with purple tears glimmering from her eyes.
NARR: —she’s here for me.
3—Lance’s Camero is parked around the corner from a blue Cape Cod house on a suburban street.
NARR: The house looks so unassuming, so pedestrian, I don’t know how it can be so wicked.
LOCATION CAPS: PRESENT
1—Lance gets out of the car, a blaster in his hand.
2—Casia smirks as her scepter’s blue lightning zaps in the crystal ball on top.
CASIA: You have to ask?
3—Donnellie looks worried and raises her blaster.
DONNELLIE: This…This is not going to go as planned.
1—Lance, Casia, and Donnellie stride toward the reader, weapons ready to go.
LANCE: Not much does with us, but we don’t let it stop us.
To Be Continued…
Cover Artist this month: Wolfram003! Check out her stuff! http://wolfram003.deviantart.com/
Picture of the Turnpike sign: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey_Turnpike
Meadowlands Stadium: http://www.metlifestadium.com/
Pictures of medieval Japan: http://www.vhinkle.com/japan/pictures.html , http://medievalcastles.stormthecastle.com/medieval-castles-of-japan.htm