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Whatever Happened to Don?

The events of this issue take place over a number of days (captions will indicate the passage of time).

Narration in this issue is in the form of DON's "mission reports" (effectively a running monologue). These should be indicated on-panel by a distinctive type face (something boring but reliable, e.g. Courier). These "mission report" captions will be marked as such in the script.

PAGE ONE. Four panels.

Note that panels on this page repeat parts of the scene depicted in ISSUE 13, PAGE 22.

Panel 1

A road in hilly, wooded country. It's daylight and fine, clear weather. The road makes a sharp bend around a hill, the ground dropping away steeply (but not sheer) on one side. There is a metal crash barrier, as often found in such locations, but this barrier has been ripped open, twisted, as if a large vehicle has gone off the road and crashed through it.

CAPTION:

McDonough County, Illinois

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I'm going to record everything I can. Because if you're getting this it probably means I didn't make it.

Panel 2

Now our POV is looking through the broken barrier, down the slope. There are deep wheel marks in the soil and possibly we can see broken branches. And is sunlight glinting off metal down there?

CAPTION:

Thursday 25 September 2014

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I let the wolves get too close.

Panel 3

Now we're further down the slope and we can clearly see the big, green, recreational vehicle that DON drives. It has obviously come charging down the slope and smashed head-on into a tree. The front window is smashed and the whole front looks bent and dented. It's not a total write-off (it's too tough for a little crash to stop it) but it's bad. Smoke or steam is rising and the driver's door hangs open.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Maybe some of this will help you avoid the mistakes I made.

Panel 4

And finally, we see Don, sitting with his back against a tree near the crashed RV. He's not in good shape. Blood runs down his face from a cut on his forehead. He has his gun in his right hand, not aiming it but holding it ready. His left arm is held awkwardly against his body.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Do not, I repeat, do not, under any circumstances do anything stupid like trying to rescue me.

PAGE TWO. Five panels.

The first three panels on this page repeat events already depicted in ISSUE 11, PAGE 4.

Panel 1

The RV is driving down another road -- this one a wide highway.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

But I suppose I should start at the beginning, four days ago.

Panel 2

The RV has stopped at the edge of the road, the passenger door is open, and an unconscious K-MAN (in human form) is being pushed out. We need a good view of the K-MAN's face here because we will see it again later in this issue. We've seen him before (ISSUE 11, for one).

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I couldn't learn much from the prisoner and I couldn't kill him in cold blood. So I dumped him on the Five, heading South.

Panel 3

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 (DON's REPORT):

The old double-bluff. I knew they knew I was laying a false trail South. And I knew they were smart enough pick up my real trail. Which is exactly what I wanted.

Panel 4

Interior view showing DON driving the RV.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

After our fight with the Krai, my main concern was to lead them away from the kids. Decoy them.

Panel 5

Close up on DON's right hand. On the upturned palm lie PRIVATE ROBERT WEAVER's military dog tags.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

And my secondary objective: learn anything I could about the Krai.

PAGE THREE. Four panels.

Panel 1

The gymnasium in the K-MAN headquarters, seen in ISSUE 14, PAGE 18. Three K-MEN in wolf form are here, running on treadmills. The DOCTOR (also last seen in ISSUE 14) stands watching them, clipboard in hand. Also watching is the GENERAL (ISSUE 14 again for reference), his marine corps uniform now obvious to readers.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Because there's one thing I did learn from the prisoner. These creatures are not the aliens that we believed them to be. They're human. Shape-changing humans.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

And somehow they're connected to the U.S. military.

Panel 2

The RV, pulled off the road. It's the early hours of the morning (we can show the sun coming up). DON stands outside it, leaning on a fence or something, drinking coffee.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

All my life I've fought for the good guys. I put my life on the line more times than I can count. Espionage, crime fighting, counter-terrorism. Even helped stop an alien invasion or two.

Panel 3

DON climbs into the RV.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I'm not naive. In jobs like that, you learn about the stuff governments do. It's not all pretty.

Panel 4

DON is sitting at his computer workstation in the back of the RV, typing. We don't need to see the screen -- we'll show that on the next page.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

But if I find our military is sending shape-shifting killers out after innocent kids—

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

—Kids I swore to protect—

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

—Well, something like that could make you re-evaluate who the good guys are.

PAGE FOUR. Three panels.

Panel 1

A view of DON's computer screen, which shows an interactive chat session. This should be lettered as a plain computer font and each person's lines can be in a different colour, e.g. blue for DON and pink for SPIRIT (but only if this makes it easier to read). As always with computers in 2014, the style of the interface should NOT be like today's proprietary chat clients. But it should be obvious that we are seeing a typed dialogue between two different people. The dialogue should be lettered exactly as follows (including any typos, abbreviations, etc). The "window" borders cut off any further chat, hinting that this is part of a longer session.

SPIRIT: u let him go??? u didn't even question him?
DON: How could I wake him up? They have super strength, remember!
SPIRIT: u don't have chains?
DON: Oh sure, why don't YOU come and chain one up?
SPIRIT: ok ok have it ur way
DON: Ok. Well I'm sending tissue and blood samples for you to analyze.
SPIRIT: good. i'll analyze them when i get back
DON: back?
SPIRIT: back from my mission to find parsifal
DON: WHAT?
DON: No that's stupid. The Krai are a clear and present danger. But Parsifal -
DON: - IF he is still alive - is an unknown quantity.
SPIRIT: and *that* is why he needs to be investigated

Panel 2

DON sits back and rubs his eyes.

DON:

She sounds more like Fennec all the time.

Panel 3

Inside the RV, DON has his shirt off and is examining his left upper arm, which is turning into a huge purple bruise. Note that from now on he will always be favouring this arm or holding it awkwardly.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Meanwhile, my arm was stiffening up. I might have cracked the bone back in the fight with the Krai.

CAPTION (music):

I can't laugh and I can't sing I'm finding it hard to do anything

DON:

Can't laugh ... can't sing—damn it—finding it hard to

CAPTION (computer):

BING! You have mail.

PAGE FIVE. Four panels.

Panel 1

Another close-up on his computer screen, this time showing a single message window with the words:

Robert Weaver was born at Camp Pendleton Base Hospital.

CAPTION (music):

you see I feel sad when you're sad I feel glad when you're glad

Panel 2

Close-up on DON frowning as he reads this. (He's still got his shirt off, by the way).

DON:

I am not breaking into a military hospital!

CAPTION (music):

if you only knew what I'm going through

CAPTION (computer):

BING! You have mail.

Panel 3

Close-up on the screen again with another message window overlaying the first:

But as you probably don't want to break into a military hospital you could start with his father. Currently in Illinois. Address follows.

CAPTION (music):

I just can't smi-i-i-i-i-le

Panel 4

The RV on the road again. The road is weaving through forested hills -- the type of terrain we saw in the opening scenes.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Still, I've been hurt worse.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Luckily it wasn't my shooting arm.

PAGE SIX. Four panels.

Panel 1

The RV passes a sign: "WELCOME TO COLCHESTER IL. POP 2075".

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

It was the only lead I had in this whole affair. The Krai we captured carried the ID of an American soldier.

Panel 2

The RV pulls up outside a diner in a typical small-town centre.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

If I could learn something about that soldier, I could learn what the Krai-like shape-shifters really were.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

And who created them.

Panel 3

DON walks into the diner. It's moderately crowded.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I didn't want my suspicions to be correct—but I had to know.

Panel 4

The waitress pours DON coffee.

DON:

Thanks. And something to eat—pie?

WAITRESS:

Our blueberry pie's the best in the county.

DON:

That'll do fine.

PAGE SEVEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

The WAITRESS puts a plate of blueberry pie in front of DON.

DON:

I'm looking for an old army buddy, retired around these parts. Samuel Weaver, do you know him?

WAITRESS:

Sure, I know Sam. Owns a TV repair shop, right along Main Street here.

Panel 2

Long view across the diner, showing DON eating his pie and minding his own business.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Of course, even though I was still laying a trail to lead the Krai after me—

K-MAN #1 (off-panel):

This is team one to all units—

Panel 3

And a reverse view shows the speaker: two men are sitting in a booth and one is speaking into a phone. They are K-MEN, (in human form, obviously) though they're not in "uniform". They're dressed like labourers -- denims, etc. Undercover.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

—I didn't expect them to get so close to me so quickly.

K-MAN #1:

—Primary target is acquired.

Panel 4

Close-up on the K-MAN's face.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I keep underestimating them.

K-MAN #1:

Don Newman is here in Colchester.

PAGE EIGHT. Five panels.

Panel 1

From the K-MEN's POV, we see DON standing and putting some bills on the table. K-MAN #1 has put his phone away.

K-MAN #2:

C'mon!

K-MAN #1:

Wait! Our orders are to observe only.

Panel 2

Still from the same POV, DON is leaving the diner.

K-MAN #2:

The street's empty. We can take him out before anyone even notices.

K-MAN #1:

Take him out? Just the two of us? Didn't you read his file?

Panel 3

Outside, DON is climbing into the RV.

CAPTION (voice-over, continuing K-MAN #1's speech):

"I'm not going near him unless the whole squad's here."

Panel 4

DON drives down the main street, his eyes on the store fronts lining the street.

DON:

Good morning, Mr. Weaver, I've come to ask if your son's been turned into a superhuman killing machine.

DON:

Huh.

Panel 5

DON is entering a store. It's obviously some kind of electronics store -- the window display has TVs, satellite dishes, maybe computers too. Note that it's a small, one-storey building -- it's not necessary to show that in this panel, but it becomes important later.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I've never been much of a people person.

PAGE NINE. Five panels.

Panel 1

Inside the store, as DON enters. It's a small place crammed with merchandise, a wide counter, and a curtained doorway behind the counter. No staff are in sight.

SFX (front door):

Ding!

VOICE (from rear door):

With you in one minute!

Panel 2

A man emerges from the back room. This is SAM WEAVER. He's middle aged, slightly overweight, glasses perched on the end of his nose, rolled-up shirt sleeves.

SAM:

Morning. What can I do for you?

DON:

You—uh—do vehicle GPS recalibrations?

Panel 3

SAM comes round in front of the counter and gestures out of the window. Through the display racks we can see DON's RV parked on the street. (Note that it's parked in a "backwards" direction, so that the driver's door is facing the sidewalk. This will become important later.)

SAM:

That your motor home out there? I can do it while you wait.

DON:

Great!

SAM:

What model GPS you got in there? Green Industries T-50?

Panel 4

SAM turns back to look at DON, peering over his glasses at him and whistling.

DON:

Uh—no. G-750.

SAM:

Weeeeeoooow.

SAM:

Military-grade. You need contacts to get that kind of hardware.

Panel 5

Close-up on the pilot's wings pinned to Don's leather flying jacket (which is where SAM is looking).

SAM (off-panel):

I was in the Marine Corps, myself.

PAGE TEN. Three panels.

Panel 1

SAM is heading back behind the counter.

SAM:

I got a thing to finish off first, then I'll look at your GPS. You got time for coffee?

DON:

Sure. Thanks.

Panel 2

The back room of the store is cluttered with all kinds of electronic junk in various states of repair. There is a back door (to the outside) which should be visible on-panel from appropriate angles. SAM leads DON in and gestures towards a coffee pot.

SAM:

Help yourself. Sorry about the mess. Never seem to get time to tidy up.

DON:

Thanks.

SAM:

So—air force?

Panel 3

DON is pouring coffee into a mug.

DON:

Uh—no. Well, yeah. Special forces. I can't—

SAM:

You can't talk about it. That's cool, I know the score.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

"I worked for a secret multi-national task force fighting off alien invasions and super-powered terrorists." Yeah, that always goes down well at parties.

PAGE ELEVEN. Three panels.

Panel 1

SAM is sitting at a table, poking about in the innards of an open computer case. In the background, DON is looking at some photographs on a shelf -- men in Marine uniforms.

DON:

This is you? Master Sergeant?

SAM:

That one's me in the gulf, yeah. Electronics specialist.

SAM:

Heh. You could probably tell that.

Panel 2

Essentially the same panel but now SAM is looking at DON.

DON:

Heh. Yeah.

DON:

What about this one? Your son?

SAM:

He's in the corps, too. Was in. Robert's—

Panel 3

Close-up of DON looking at a picture of a young man in the uniform of a marine corps private. The face in the picture is that of ROBERT WEAVER (seen in PAGE 2 Panel 2 of this issue, and other issues).

SAM (off panel):

He died in basic training. A year ago. Chopper accident.

DON:

I'm sorry.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Except he didn't die. I fought this kid on the highway four days ago.

SAM (off panel):

The crash wiped out an entire squad. Twelve recruits, all Bob's age. He was nineteen.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

And age nineteen means they were born post-Event. Young enough to have powers.

PAGE TWELVE. Five panels.

Panel 1

DON has put the picture down and has turned back to where SAM is engrossed in his task.

SAM:

He always wanted to follow in my footsteps. It was in his blood. He was even born in a marine corps hospital, you know.

SFX (front door):

Ding!

Panel 2

SAM is walking through the doorway to the front room.

SAM:

I'll be right back, buddy.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Does he know what they did to his son?

Panel 3

DON stands in the back room, surveying the clutter.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

This hasn't proven anything. All I've got is circumstantial evidence and guesswork.

SAM (through door):

What can I—Jeez—AHHHHHHH!

SFX (through door):

THUD!

Panel 4

Close-up of DON peeking through the curtained doorway --

No dialogue.

Panel 5

--where, from his POV, we see a K-MAN, dressed as K-MAN #2 on PAGE 7 but in wolf form. There is no sign of SAM (his body is on the floor, off-panel).

No dialogue.

PAGE THIRTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

A view of the rear of the shop. There are trash cans, maybe a car parked there, etc. The back door has burst open and DON is exiting at a run.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Well—

Panel 2

DON leaps up onto a trash can by the back wall.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

At least—

Panel 3

DON leaps from the trash can towards the roof, hauling himself up with his "good" (right) hand.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I know—

Panel 4

DON is crouching on the roof and the K-MAN is in the doorway, looking around (but not up).

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I successfully decoyed them away from the kids.

PAGE FOURTEEN. Three panels.

Panel 1

DON is crouching on the roof, but now he's at the front of the building. Our POV is looking down, past him, to where the RV is parked in the street, about 10 feet (3m) from the building. K-MAN #1 (in human form) is standing next to it, keeping watch.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I'm gambling that they don't have their strength and speed in human form and they won't use the Krai form on an open street.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

So I'm only facing two trained marines half my age.

SFX (off-panel):

THUMP

Panel 2

DON looks over his shoulder and sees (as do we) K-MAN #2 crouching on the roof over at the back of the building (still in human form).

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Terrific.

Panel 3

This panel shows DON dramatically in mid-air as he makes a huge leap from the building roof to the top of the RV.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Come on. It's only about eight feet.

PAGE FIFTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

DON hits the top of the vehicle, but hard and awkwardly, and rolls.

SFX:

WHUMP

DON:

Uhhh

Panel 2

DON falls off the other side of the vehicle's roof!

No dialogue.

Panel 3

DON lies flat on his back in the middle of the road beside the RV. His head is turned to the side to look under the vehicle.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Well, any landing you can walk away from—

Panel 4

Looking under the vehicle, from DON's POV, we see the feet of K-MAN #1 running round the end (to get to where DON has fallen, obviously).

No dialogue.

PAGE SIXTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

DON rolls under the RV --

No dialogue.

Panel 2

-- and out the other side again. If we can see K-MAN #1's feet, they are now on the wrong side of the vehicle.

No dialogue.

Panel 3

DON is on his feet and opening the driver's door.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Not bad for an old ti—

Panel 4

Diving from above, K-MAN #2 crashes into DON.

No dialogue.

PAGE SEVENTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

DON and K-MAN #2 are on the floor, wrestling. The K-MAN lands a punch on DON's chin.

SFX:

WHACK

DON:

Uhhh

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Note for the files: not super-strong in human form.

Panel 2

DON is now on top of the K-MAN, holding one of the K-MAN's arms in his right hand and driving his left fist into the K-MAN's face.

SFX:

SMACK

DON:

Ahhh!

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Note for self: arm definitely broken.

Panel 3

DON is on his feet and has his hand on the driver's door handle. Meanwhile, K-MAN #1 comes racing around the front of the vehicle. (K-MAN #2 is still on the floor and doesn't need to be shown in this panel.)

No dialogue.

Panel 4

DON opens the door, smashing it into K-MAN #1. (Or K-MAN #1 runs straight into the open door. I suppose it depends on your point of view.)

SFX:

WHAM!!!

PAGE EIGHTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

DON is in the driver's seat of the RV. On the floor, we can see the two K-MEN rising groggily to their knees.

No dialogue.

Panel 2

The RV sets off down the street. The K-MEN are in pursuit.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Nice thing about these electric engines, they're real quick to start up.

Panel 3

The RV vanishes into the distance as the K-MEN stop running.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

But when you really need some speed—

SFX (vehicle):

VRRRRRRROOOOOOOOMMMMMM

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I'll choose old-fashioned gas every time.

Panel 4

Close-up on K-MAN #1 holding a phone to his ear.

K-MAN #1:

He's heading east.

PAGE NINETEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

The RV is out of town. The road curves around a wooded hillside, with a slope up to DON's right and a steep slope down to DON's left. A safety barrier guards the drop to the left.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

That got me nowhere. And got a man killed for no reason.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

I guess my next step is getting into the army hospital and looking for their records.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Oh yeah, that'll be a walk in the park.

Panel 2

Inside the vehicle, DON drives with one hand (he's holding his left arm awkwardly), sweat standing out on his brow as he concentrates on the road ahead.

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

First I need to put some distance between me and the—I can't keep calling them Krai, I guess, when they're basically human.

5. CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

And then I could do with some medical attention.

Panel 3

Through the front windscreen, we see a roadblock: two big Jeeps (civilian, not military) parked diagonally across the road to block both lanes. Four K-MEN (in human form and civilian clothes) stand close by. This takes place in the spot depicted on PAGE 1.

DON:

Ohhh—

Panel 4

An exterior view now, of the RV swerving sharply just before striking the Jeeps and smashing into (and through) the safety barrier on the left of the road.

SFX:

Screeeeeeee

SFX:

CRASH!

CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

Stupid. I'm in a twelve-ton armored bus. I should have put my foot down and ploughed right through them. Ah well—

PAGE TWENTY. One panel.

Panel 1

A big splash page, showing an action shot of the RV flying -- yes, literally flying -- through the air. It has demolished the crash barrier and its momentum is carrying it onwards, narrowly missing trees to either side.

1. CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

—I'll always be a flyer at heart.

PAGE TWENTY-ONE. Four panels.

Panel 1

The RV lands with a huge impact on the steep slope. Miraculously, it's still upright and apparently still moving.

SFX:

KA-SMASH!!!

Panel 2

A view from DON's POV inside the cab. He's gripping the wheel (with one hand -- the right) as trees whiz past on each side of the vehicle. A thick branch smashes into the windscreen and the armoured glass cracks but does not shatter. (The branch does break, however.)

SFX:

CRACK!

Panel 3

Same POV. A VERY big tree trunk now looms immediately in front of the vehicle. It doesn't look like DON is going to avoid this one.

DON:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa—

Panel 4

Actually, this isn't a "real" panel. It doesn't have any artwork, just a big, thick, bold, caption running along the bottom of the page, filling the width of the page and whatever height is left by the other panels. In other words, the vehicle is crashing into the tree but we're not going to show it on-panel.

SFX:

CRASH

PAGE TWENTY-TWO. Five panels.

Panel 1

The front of the RV is smashed against the tree, metal twisted and glass everywhere. Steam rises from somewhere in the engine block.

No dialogue.

Panel 2

The (buckled) driver's door flies open as DON kicks it from within.

DON:

Arrrgh!

SFX (door):

scrench

Panel 3

DON has staggered over to a large tree and is resting, standing on one leg, leaning against the trunk. He has a pack slung over his shoulder. He's bleeding from a cut to his head and basically not looking good at all.

3. CAPTION (DON's REPORT):

And now I may have broken my leg. Days don't get any better than this.

Panel 4

He's now sitting down with his back against the same tree. We can see the wrecked RV in the background. He has some kind of hand-held device (like a PDA) in his hand and is speaking into it.

DON:

That stunt bought me a little time. I'm going to finish this mission report and mail it off. Then I'll destroy everything.

Panel 5

Close-up on DON's face, lined with pain and coated with blood and sweat, as he continues to record.

DON:

Then it will be just them and me. Man against monster. And I will win because I am pure of heart.

DON:

Plus I have a really big gun.

DON:

I think I hear them now.

Next: Found

Copyright © 2004, 2017 by David Meadows. All rights reserved.