Home | Index | Issue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

11: Low Profile

The issue takes place later on the day of the previous issue. Most characters won't have changed clothes. Last issue's rain has stopped but the sky can be dark and foreboding when shown. Outdoor scenes will show people dressed appropriately for September in Northern latitudes.

PAUL begins the scenario in his JEROME SANDERS personality and his captions will be labeled as such. When he changes personality, the caption labels will change accordingly. Note that JEROME's captions use British spelling where appropriate (everybody else should use US spelling).

Most narration will be in the form of CHI-YUN's LETTER, which will be noted as such in the script. This should be lettered with a distinctive "handwriting" style with an occasional misspelled or crossed-out word.

PAGE ONE. Three panels.

Panel 1

An exterior view of an unremarkable SUV moving along a major highway in a stream of traffic.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Hello Grandfather, it's Chi-Yun.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Today is Sunday.

CAPTION:

September 21, 2014

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I can't tell you where we are.

CAPTION:

Vancouver, British Columbia.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

But I am alive and well. We all are. Except for Jerome. He has—

Panel 2

A view inside the SUV. We can see CHI-YUN in the back seat. Note that she's completely different to the way we normally see her: blonde, Caucasian features, and a much "fuller" figure. Hopefully the following dialogue will establish that it's still CHI-YUN. She has a writing pad on her knee and is chewing the end of a pen (she's writing the letter, obviously). Next to CHI-YUN, SARA balances a laptop computer on her knees.

CHI-YUN:

Is "gun shot" one word or two?

SARA:

Two, Chi-Yun. James, I'm booking a suite at the Vancouver Haley, ok?

Panel 3

JAMES is driving. He's probably in costume, but we can't tell because he's wearing his all-concealing long overcoat and has his cowl off. JEROME is next to him, dressed similarly to last issue but has a fresh shirt on (no blood stains). We can probably see (or partially see) SARA and CHI-YUN in the back seat.

JAMES:

I'm going to look for a cheap motel. We're supposed to be keeping a low profile.

SARA:

Low profile means hiding the flashy costume, not staying in dumps! A Haley will be secure. Besides, where would you rather stay—

PAGE TWO. Four panels.

Panel 1

The SUV has stopped outside the entrance of a HALEY HOTEL and the four are standing on the sidewalk. FRED is sitting on his motorcycle behind them. All are looking up at what is obviously a very tall building (which may or may not fit in the panel's perspective). A HALEY is a very high-class hotel. Uniformed doormen, a valet rushing to park their car, possibly a red carpet on the sidewalk, etc.

CAPTION (continuing previous speech):

"—a Bates with roaches or a Haley with a pool?"

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I think James thinks he's the team leader. But Sara has him wrapped around her little finger.

Panel 2

FRED stands next to SARA, his motorcycle helmet in his hands. In the background, JAMES hands car keys to a valet.

FRED:

Was this Captain Boy Scout's idea?

SARA:

No, mine.

FRED:

Nice idea.

Panel 3

In the expansive lobby (remember, the watchword is "opulent"), CHI-YUN and SARA approach the desk.

CHI-YUN:

Howdy y'all I'm Suzi Erp from Texas and—

SARA:

—We have a reservation, it's in my uncle's name, Sanders.

SARA (softly):

For God's sake, Chi-Yun, drop the accent!

Panel 4

SARA and CHI-YUN walk back to the others. JEROME is currently leaning heavily on JAMES and not looking at all well. CHI-YUN looks glum.

CHI-YUN (softly):

Just trying to be undercover. Geez.

SARA:

It's sorted. I told them "Uncle Jerome" was jet-lagged.

JEROME:

If that means I need to lie down, I heartily concur.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I'm blonde now and not Chinese. I changed because we're in hiding, you see. The others aren't being as careful as I am, though. Huh.

PAGE THREE. Six panels.

Panel 1

A luxurious hotel suite. FRED and JAMES are supporting JEROME as they enter the room. CHI-YUN and SARA are already in the room and examining various features.

CHI-YUN:

Cool!

SARA:

Oh yeah, this will do!

Panel 2

Close-up on the three men.

JAMES:

Now we're safe—

FRED:

We hope.

JAMES:

Now we're safe, at least for a while, we can get you to a doctor—

Panel 3

JEROME pulls away from the other two.

JEROME:

No!

JAMES:

Jerome!

JEROME:

I'll have no butcher working on me!

Panel 4

JEROME purposefully makes his way towards an open door (into a bedroom), supporting himself on furniture. SARA confronts him, hands on hips, angry.

SARA:

Butcher? Hello? You're in the 21st century now. And you've got a bullet in you!

JEROME:

I thank you for your concern, Sara, but I will heal without a surgeon. It is a mere scratch.

Panel 5

JEROME leaves the room as SARA turns to appeal to the rest of the group.

SARA:

It's only a scratch? What kind of stupid—

CHI-YUN:

I thought it sounded brave.

JAMES:

You're not helping, Chi-Yun

Panel 6

CHI-YUN turns to JAMES and FRED.

CHI-YUN:

I had my stomach ripped open by a Krai and I'm ok!

FRED:

That's because you're a superhuman mutant with abnormal healing powers. Jerome isn't.

JAMES:

But we can't help Jerome if he doesn't want to be helped.

PAGE FOUR. Five panels.

Panel 1

DON's massive Recreational Vehicle on a moderately crowded highway.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

While we're keeping a low profile, Don is going off alone to deal with the aliens that are following us.

Panel 2

The RV stops (or slows) at the edge of the road. A steep bank slopes down from the road. The passenger door is open.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I don't know how he's doing that but I'm sure he has a good plan.

Panel 3

The body of the captured K-MAN (in human form) tumbles out of the passenger door.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

He's probably integro [scratched out] interogating [sic] the prisoner we captured.

Panel 4

The K-MAN rolls down the slope while the RV accelerates away.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

He's going to contact us when it's safe.

Panel 5

The RV does a U-turn across the lanes of traffic, crossing onto the other side of the highway (and therefore heading back the way it came).

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I have no idea when that will be.

PAGE FIVE. Five panels.

Panel 1

At the bottom of the slope, the K-MAN is getting onto his hands and knees.

No dialogue.

Panel 2

The K-MAN trudges up the slope. He's bloody and dusty but appears more-or-less unhurt.

No dialogue.

Panel 3

The K-MAN trudges along the side of the highway, thumb held out.

No dialogue.

Panel 4

Some kind of roadside diner, truck stop, or similar. The K-MAN is in a phone booth, dialling a number.

No dialogue.

Panel 5

The K-MAN speaks on the phone.

K-MAN:

Authorization K.

K-MAN:

This is Weaver. Yeah, obviously I'm alive. Put me through to the General.

PAGE SIX. Five panels.

Panel 1

The hotel room. Everybody lounges about. SARA is channel-surfing. FRED is using a laptop computer. CHI-YUN continues to write her letter. JAMES reads a newspaper (the LA Globe). JEROME is not present.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Being on the run isn't as exciting as it sounds. We spend all the time driving from town to town. When we get to a town, we sit and wait for something to happen.

Panel 2

Close-up on JAMES and the newspaper. We see the headline of the story he is reading: "SNATCHED BABY STILL MISSING". (The rest of the story can be greeked or left out-of-panel.)

2. CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Without Don to lead us, we're all a bit aimless.

JAMES:

Tomorrow, I want to investigate this baby's disappearance.

Panel 3

FRED, SARA, and CHI-YUN all look at JAMES.

FRED:

What's the point?

CHI-YUN:

Good idea!

SARA ("sing-song"):

Low proooo-fiiiile!

Panel 4

JAMES holds up the newspaper for them to see.

JAMES:

The mother claims she saw aliens—

FRED:

So she's a crank!

Panel 5

JAMES leans over to hand the newspaper to FRED.

JAMES:

Or possibly it's the same aliens who attacked us. Or even if not, possibly we can do something to help. We have abilities—

FRED (softly):

—And no common sense.

PAGE SEVEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

JAMES, SARA, and CHI-YUN are dressed to go outside. JAMES has his costume under his coat and the "art case" that carries his SHIELD. FRED is NOT dressed to go out -- he's barefoot and shirtless and has his feet up on the couch in front of the TV (we don't need to see the screen but, if the panel composition requires it, it's some daytime talk-show). A laptop computer sits on a table near him.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

And so the next morning—

JAMES:

You'll call us if there's any change with Jerome?

FRED:

Yeah, yeah. Go have fun on your alien hunt. Bring me one back.

Panel 2

FRED watches as the door to the suite closes behind them.

No dialogue.

Panel 3

Still with his feet up, FRED pulls the laptop towards himself.

No dialogue.

Panel 4

Close-up on FRED and the computer as he types. The screen shows some kind of search interface. FRED is typing the following into the "search" box:

GEMMA WEBSTER ABDUCTI_

No dialogue.

Panel 5

JAMES, SARA, and CHI-YUN on an inner-city street, having just climbed out of their SUV. They are looking up at tall building. All we can see of the building is a blank concrete wall and possibly a boarded-up window.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

—We went to hunt for aliens.

PAGE EIGHT. Four panels.

Panel 1

JAMES, SARA, and CHI-YUN are walking by a boarded-up opening in the side of the building. A sign on the boards reads "KEEP OUT - UNSAFE STRUCTURE".

JAMES:

The paper said Ms. Webster cut through this opening on the way from work to home.

Panel 2

A close-up on FRED's screen as he reads about the case. He's reading a story in the "L.A. GLOBE online edition" (see ISSUE 8 PAGE 18). There's a photograph of a tall skyscraper with the caption "Sentinel Newspaper Offices Today". The story next to the picture reads:

newspaper building has been abandoned and listed for demolition since the events of 1988. Despite safety warnings, many people still use the underground car park as a short cut between

(This is an extract from the middle of a longer piece, the top and bottom can be cut off by either panel border or the edges of FRED's screen so we don't have to type the whole thing.)

No dialogue.

Panel 3

SARA leans (casually) against one of the large wooden boards.

SARA:

Well there's no opening now.

Panel 4

Another view of FRED's screen, this time showing a different page. Unlike the slick, professional LA Globe site, this one feels more like a "personal" Web site: lurid colours and horrible fonts. The page title is "HAUNTED VANCOUVER" and the part of the article currently on screen reads:

historic Sentinel building, which was the focus of a multiple demon manifestation. Remember the riots of 1988? What they don't want you to know is that those "rioters" were goblin invaders from another universe. Vancouver was only saved from destruction by the actions of Major

No dialogue.

PAGE NINE. Four panels.

Panel 1

SARA suddenly tips backwards into the building as the board she was leaning on comes loose and pivots inwards.

SARA:

Wooooahhhhhh!

Panel 2

FRED has his phone in his hand and is regarding it speculatively. On the phone's display we can see the name "JAMES". His finger hovers over the "call" button.

No dialogue.

Panel 3

FRED tosses the phone aside.

FRED:

Ah, what the hell.

Panel 4

SARA is standing and dusting herself off. She's in a large (as far as we can tell), low-ceilinged, underground space. The only light comes through the missing board. JAMES and CHI YUN are climbing through.

JAMES:

Good work, Sara.

SARA (softly):

Gee, thanks.

CHI-YUN (thought):

Cat.

PAGE TEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

We now see the space from CHI-YUN's POV. She's seeing perfectly in the dark -- though there should be an unnatural cast to the light. (See ISSUE 4 PAGE 19 for reference.) They're in an underground car park, currently unoccupied.

JAMES:

Spread out and look for anything, er—

SARA:

Alien?

Panel 2

Now back to a normal (not CHI-YUN's night vision) POV. JAMES and SARA face each other. JAMES now has a small flashlight in his hand, pointed down (not in her face).

JAMES:

Yes! —No, just— anything!

SARA:

This is really stupid, you know?

JAMES:

I thought you were good at finding things?

Panel 3

Still in normal POV, CHI-YUN crouches in the darkness (not so dark that we can't see her).

SARA (off-panel):

I can only find useful things!

7. JAMES (off-panel):

We're helping somebody! That's useful!

CHI-YUN (thought):

Dog. Bloodhound.

SFX (from CHI-YUN):

sniff sniff

Panel 4

CHI-YUN is now on all fours, crawling across the floor.

SARA (off-panel):

You haven't really got a plan, have you?

JAMES (off-panel):

We need to gather evidence before we can formulate a plan.

Panel 5

CHI-YUN crawls around some more. Her face now looks elongated, more dog than human.

SARA (off-panel):

And what are we going to find that CSI overlooked?

JAMES (off-panel):

Well we won't know until we stop arguing and start looking.

PAGE ELEVEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

Now back in CHI-YUN's "night vision" POV. She's low to the ground and looking at something (the edge of a small, thin rectangle of card) trapped in a long crack (or join) in the concrete floor.

SARA (off-panel):

I am not arguing!

JAMES (off-panel):

You're always arguing when Don's not around!

Panel 2

Wide view of the car park. JAMES and SARA have turned to face CHI-YUN. JAMES shines his flashlight at her. CHI-YUN is still looking part-dog. She's holding up a small object -- it's a book of matches.

CHI-YUN:

Look!

Panel 3

They are now close together and examining the match book.

SARA:

Well, we don't know it's a clue—

CHI-YUN:

It was held by a man who stood over there for a long time about three nights ago. With two other men.

JAMES:

The news report said three aliens!

Panel 4

JAMES is now striding out of the car park. The girls hurry after him.

SARA:

Come on, that's really reaching—

CHI-YUN:

Where are we going now?

PAGE TWELVE. Six panels.

Panel 1

Exterior shot of a typical apartment building. The SUV is parked on the street outside but there is no sign of JAMES, SARA, or CHI-YUN.

CAPTION (voice-over):

"To speak to the baby's mother"

Panel 2

Inside a typical apartment building: JAMES and SARA are in a hallway outside an apartment door. JAMES is now in full costume, cowl up, gloves on, no overcoat, SHIELD on arm. SARA is dressed as previously. Sitting at JAMES's feet is a big, white DOG. (Guess who?) JAMES is knocking at the door.

VOICE (through door):

I'm not speaking to any more reporters!

Panel 3

SARA crouches down next to the DOG, which has its face next to the door.

JAMES:

Ms. Webster, I'm not a reporter. I'm — here to help.

SARA (softly):

Is there a baby in there, Chi-Yun?

SFX (from DOG):

sniff sniff

Panel 4

The DOG looks up at SARA.

DOG:

Rr-oh!

SARA (softly):

But there used to be?

DOG:

Rr-es!

VOICE (through door):

Just go away and leave me alone!

Panel 5

SARA stands and she and JAMES regard each other, perplexed. Behind them, we can see the door to the apartment opposite is opened a crack and an elderly woman's face is looking out. This is MRS. WATSON, the neighbour.

SARA (softly):

We can't help her if she doesn't want to be helped.

JAMES (softly):

I know.

MRS. WATSON:

Major Democracy!

Panel 6

JAMES and SARA turn to look at the woman, who is now beckoning to them.

No dialogue.

PAGE THIRTEEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

JAMES ,SARA, and CHI-YUN (the DOG) follow MRS. WATSON into her apartment. She's a neatly-dressed, grey-haired lady. The apartment is meticulously tidy. Nobody else is here.

MRS. WATSON:

Come in, come in! Major Democracy! I never thought I would see that costume again! My, it must be twenty-five years! You saved my life that day the — well, the less said about that the better, I think!

JAMES:

That wasn't—

Panel 2

MRS. WATSON looks intently up into JAMES's masked face (he's a good bit taller than she is).

MRS. WATSON:

Wasn't you? No, I see you're a young man. But you do have his—

Panel 3

MRS WATSON heads out of a door (into the kitchen). SARA and JAMES look at each other. She's grinning while he remains serious.

MRS. WATSON:

But the important thing is that you're here to help. Poor Eileen, having her baby snatched and the reporters hounding her and then those terrible allegations that she— but believe me she's a good woman and loves little Gemma and would you like tea?

Panel 4

SARA and JAMES sit side-by-side on the tiny couch.

SARA (softly):

Alright, I'll admit the costume is good for something.

JAMES (softly):

Shh!

JAMES:

We don't want to put you to any trouble Mrs—

MRS. WATSON (off-panel):

Watson, and it's no trouble. The police haven't been able to find Gemma, of course, but what can you expect when it's an alien abduction? You know what it's like. It's a weight off my mind, knowing you're on the case, Major.

Panel 5

MRS. WATSON enters carrying a tray of tea things.

SARA:

Have you seen any aliens?

MRS. WATSON:

Oh, dear me no! But Eileen is such a level-headed woman, I feel bound to believe her! And I've seen enough strange things in my life—well you know all about that don't you, Major? Would your dog like some water?

PAGE FOURTEEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

The DOG, sitting by the side of the couch, looks up at MRS. WATSON.

DOG:

Rrr-oh-ka Rr-oh-ra

JAMES:

Er, no she's fine. Mrs. Watson, was Ms. Webster in any kind of trouble?

MRS. WATSON:

Oh my word, no Eileen is a good woman. She worked hard. A steady job at Brad Industries, across town. No husband, I'm afraid. I was with my husband for thirty years, God rest his soul. But you know young people today—oh— you two aren't—

Panel 2

MRS. WATSON fiddles with the tea things while she talks.

SARA:

We most definitely aren't!

MRS. WATSON:

Oh. And such a nice young couple. Still, your whole lives ahead of you.

JAMES:

Mrs. Watson—

Panel 3

Close-up on JAMES's palm. In it lies the match book found by CHI-YUN. We can now plainly see the logo on the cover: "TROLL CLUB", in some kind of blocky display font.

JAMES (off-panel):

—Did Ms. Webster ever visit a place called the Troll Club?

Panel 4

MRS. WATSON hands JAMES a cup of tea.

MRS. WATSON:

Well, you know, she did like to have her fun — all young people do! I would watch Gemma for her some evenings. The Troll Club? Yes, I do recall the name I think. One of those music clubs, I expect. Milk?

Panel 5

The three sit talking and drinking tea. CHI-YUN (still as a dog) lies on the floor.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

So we sat all afternoon and talked to the old lady. We didn't get any more information but she wanted to talk and James was too polite to leave before he had finished his tea. Actually, I think he liked her stories.

PAGE FIFTEEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

JAMES, SARA and the DOG are in the process of leaving.

JAMES:

One last question Mrs. Watson — was there anything unusual about Gemma?

MRS. WATSON:

All children are unique, dear. Unusual how?

Panel 2

By the apartment door. MRS. WATSON is giving SARA a peculiar look.

SARA:

You know — flying, turning into dogs, talking to plants—

MRS. WATSON:

Mercy, no! The very thought!

JAMES:

You've been most helpful Mrs. Watson. Thank you. I promise I will do everything in my power to find little Gemma.

Panel 3

JAMES, and SARA are walking down the hallway, trailed by the DOG.

JAMES:

Well, I think we learned some useful information there.

SARA:

We learned zip!

SARA:

C'mon, Scooby.

Panel 4

CHI-YUN is now back in human form and has caught up with the other two. They are going through the door to the building's stairwell.

CHI-YUN:

Grrrr!

JAMES:

We learned that there's no disgruntled ex-husband, no real motive for blackmail, and that the mother didn't just dump her baby—

Panel 5

They round a corner in the stairwell and are confronted by a man who appears to be standing waiting for them. He's of middle age, slim, clean-shaven, wearing a suit and raincoat. He's SERGEANT DEITEN.

DEITEN:

You don't know that.

PAGE SIXTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

Confrontation on the stairs. They eye each other warily.

JAMES:

Mrs. Watson thought so, and she seemed a good judge of character.

DEITEN:

I thought so, too. But you can't make assumptions without evidence.

Panel 2

SERGEANT DEITEN flashes a badge at JAMES.

DEITEN:

Sergeant Deiten, RCMP. I'm the investigating officer in the Webster case.

JAMES:

Pleased to meet—

DEITEN:

Now suppose you tell me what your interest is?

Panel 3

The focus is on JAMES and DEITEN as they face off against each other.

JAMES:

Somebody needs my help. That's all. I'm—

DEITEN:

I know who you think you are. A lot of people in this city have reason to remember that costume. And that's the only reason I'm not running you in right now.

Panel 4

Wider view of the whole group.

DEITEN:

So, what you got?

CHI-YUN:

A clue! The Troll Club—

PAGE SEVENTEEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

SARA claps her hand over CHI-YUN's mouth.

SARA:

Chi-Yun!

Panel 2

CHI-YUN pulls SARA's hand away.

CHI-YUN:

But he's a police officer!

CHI-YUN (softly):

And call me Suzi—we're under cover!

Panel 3

JAMES and DEITEN continue to face each other.

JAMES:

I don't want to work against the police—

DEITEN:

—But you can't work with us. A man in a mask? Nothing you can turn up will be admissible. Officially, I have to warn you to stay out of this.

Panel 4

DEITEN has moved past them and is walking up the stairs. They watch his back as he speaks.

DEITEN:

Troll Club, eh?

DEITEN:

The man you want is Hank Phillips. But watch yourselves, he's dangerous.

Panel 5

JAMES, SARA, and CHI-YUN look at each other. DEITEN is now out of sight.

SARA:

What was all that about?

JAMES:

That was the police asking us to work with them.

SARA:

You know, your interpretation of things is always so damn... weird.

JAMES:

I prefer to say optimistic.

PAGE EIGHTEEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

They continue down the stairs.

SARA:

We can't just walk over police investigations. It's—it's illegal!

JAMES:

I won't break the law. But nothing stops me asking questions.

Panel 2

They stand on the sidewalk, next to their SUV. JAMES is by the driver's door.

SARA:

We're not vigilantes, James.

CHI-YUN:

And it's not exactly low profile, is it?

Panel 3

They stand and look at each other, pensive.

No dialogue.

Panel 4

Same positions. CHI-YUN and SARA looking at JAMES.

SARA:

Are you going to get in the car before everybody in Vancouver recognises you?

Panel 5

In the vehicle, SARA and JAMES in the front.

SARA:

There still isn't anything to connect this with the Krai chasing us.

JAMES:

That isn't important. What's important is that somebody needs help.

SARA (softly):

I guess it's what Don would do.

PAGE NINETEEN. Six panels.

Panel 1

The "operations" room of the K-MEN leaders, as seen in previous issues. The SPY stands, studying the big electronic wall-map. The map shows the north-west United States.

CAPTION:

Elsewhere:

SPY:

What would Newman do? You knew him. How does he think?

GENERAL (off-panel):

He wouldn't leave us such an obvious clue.

Panel 2

A wider view of the room shows the GENERAL sitting at the head of the conference table. Nobody else is present. We've always shown the GENERAL in shadow or silhouette before: now it's time to show him properly. He's human (not KRAI, I mean), fifty-something, balding, slightly overweight. But the important factor (which we've kept hidden until now but I expect all the readers to have figured it out already) is his uniform: he's a Major-General in the US Marine Corps.

GENERAL:

If he dumped Weaver heading south, he's not going south.

Panel 3

The GENERAL stands next to the SPY and both examine the map.

GENERAL:

So, north? Canada?

SPY:

Not Canada. I have men on the border — they would have spotted him.

SPY:

And if he's heading east, we've lost him. Too much ground to cover and he's got too much of a start.

Panel 4

Close on the GENERAL's thoughtful expression.

GENERAL:

It's not like Newman to hide. He'll be looking for a way to act against us. But what can he do? What does he know?

SPY (off-panel):

He won't have learned anything from Weaver. They're trained to resist interrogation.

GENERAL:

But Newman seems to have access to a lot of intelligence...

GENERAL:

Pull up Weaver's record.

Panel 5

Looking back at the map, a pop-up window shows two pictures: one shows the K-MAN seen on pages 4 and 5 (ROBERT WEAVER) in Marine Corps uniform. The other shows a K-MAN in WOLFMAN form (presumably it's WEAVER; they all look the same). There is text next to the pictures but except for the name at the top, "WEAVER, ROBERT", it can be greeked.

GENERAL (possibly off-panel):

He found Weaver's tags. He'll ask how a Krai got into the Marine Corps. He's thorough. He'll start looking—

Panel 6

Close-up on WEAVER's record. We can see the following:

Date of Birth: 07/14/93
Place of Birth: Base Hospital, Camp Pendleton, CA
Father: Weaver, Samuel, Master Sergeant [Retired]
Father's Present Residence: Colchester, Il.

That's all we need to show. The rest of the (presumably extensive) record can be cut off by the panel border. The GENERAL is pointing directly at the word "Colchester".

GENERAL:

Here. Deploy the K-MEN here. And wait.

PAGE TWENTY. Six panels.

Panel 1

Back in the hotel suite, JAMES, SARA, CHI-YUN and FRED lounge around, talking.

JAMES:

So that's what we learned. I want to check out this Troll Club, whatever it is.

FRED:

Whatever it is? Are you kidding? Vancouver is the home of troll rock—the Troll Club is only the hottest place in town!

FRED:

Oh. I suppose you disapprove of troll?

Panel 2

JAMES looks defensive.

JAMES:

I don't object to how people have fun, as long as it's safe and legal.

CHI-YUN:

I've seen trolls on the street. I don't understand why anybody would deliberately make themselves ugly like that—

Panel 3

Suddenly, JAMES is looking excited.

CHI-YUN:

You know, the clothes, the cosmetics, the piercing—

FRED:

The hard-core guys get tusk implants—

SARA:

They look almost—

JAMES:

—Inhuman? Alien?

Panel 4

JAMES stands and reaches for his shield.

JAMES:

Who's coming with me to the Troll Club?

Panel 5

FRED stands and grabs JAMES.

FRED:

Whoa, hold it! You don't just go in to a place like that for a cosy chat. You'll stand out like a sore thumb—even without the costume! You need somebody who understands the culture.

Panel 6

Close up on FRED's grin.

FRED:

Someone like me!

PAGE TWENTY-ONE. Four panels.

Panel 1

The hotel suite, later. FRED is dressed for going out: leather jacket on, hair gelled into a spiky arrangement. The others stand around, listening to him. The others have coats on (JAMES wearing his over the costume, naturally).

FRED:

I'll have no trouble getting in this early. Later it will be packed and you won't get past the door. I'll call if I need backup, otherwise just stay out of my way.

JAMES:

Have you got a plan?

Panel 2

FRED grins at JAMES. He seems to enjoy being the centre of attention for once.

FRED:

I'm following Don's school of planning.

SARA (softly):

Uh-oh.

Panel 3

The head towards the door.

CHI-YUN:

Wait!

Panel 4

Everybody turns to look at CHI-YUN.

CHI-YUN:

We forgot about Jerome! Somebody needs to stay with him.

VOICE (off-panel):

That will not be necessary.

PAGE TWENTY-TWO. One panel.

Panel 1

Full-page splash showing the man emerging from JEROME's room and the surprised expressions of everybody as they turn to look at him. It looks like JEROME, but he's changed to his JESSE personality (we're not going to give his name on-panel; we'll have to save it till next issue). He's wearing fresh clothes (which just happen to be all black) and shows no sign of his previous injuries (though the shirt would cover them anyway). His hand clutches a bible to his breast -- one of those bibles you get on hotel night stands.

JESSE:

Jerome is no longer with you. The Lord has sent me to you in your hour of need.

Next: Vigilantes

See also: Don's Mission Report; Los Angeles Globe Headlines

Copyright © 2003, 2016 by David Meadows. All rights reserved.