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22: Once Upon a Time in Los Angeles

This issue takes place a day or two after the previous storyline. The gang is still at HUEY's house in Chicago (see ISSUE 19 for reference). The issue will open with them in casual gear, obviously settled and comfortable at the place. JEROME is still bandaged from his fight with POWL THE SAMURAI but this won't necessarily be seen due to his clothing.

Much of this issue is a story being told by HUEY. The captions for this story will be marked "HUEY's NARRATION" (gosh, that's original). Where another character interrupts the story with a comment, their captions will be marked "XXXX's INTERRUPTION" (as appropriate) (and in the art work can have a small "head" picture attached to the caption to identify the speaker).

PAGE ONE. Three panels.

Panel 1

The exterior of a large house in suburban Chicago. This is actually HUEY's house, though I don't think we've shown the outside before so that won't necessarily be obvious.

CAPTION:

10 October 2014.

CAPTION:

Chicago.

VOICE (from house):

He isn't

VOICE (from house):

Of course he is. Look at the music he likes!

Panel 2

Now the interior of the house, HUEY's living room (previously seen in ISSUE 19 PAGE 2). FRED and SARA are talking together. He's on a chair with a computer on his lap. She's on another chair, brushing her hair. She doing this mainly so that the readers' attention will be drawn to her mass of long curly blonde hair -- it's important to fix this image in their minds at this point. JEROME and CHI-YUN are also in the room, in the background, watching TV (but we don't need to show what's on the TV).

SARA:

So what? I listen to that music too!

FRED:

But that's only because he — Oh, forget it.

JEROME:

Explain again why the duck hates the rabbit.

CHI-YUN:

Because he put dynamite under his cushion!

Panel 3

Basically the same scene, the only change being people's expressions as they converse.

FRED:

It doesn't matter anyway. I was just saying.

SARA:

Exactly! It doesn't matter!

SARA (softly):

But he isn't.

CHI-YUN:

Hehehehehe

JEROME:

I am not following this at all.

PAGE TWO. Three panels.

Panel 1

HUEY enters the room. He's casually dressed and carrying a drink (his usual scotch and ice). JAMES enters behind him, carrying a glass of milk. JAMES is in casual clothes i.e. not wearing his costume or carrying his shield).

HUEY:

No he isn't. And I should know.

JAMES:

You've known Don a long time, haven't you?

Panel 2

HUEY sits down near SARA and FRED. JAMES also sits nearby, and JEROME and CHI-YUN are now directing their attention to the main group.

HUEY:

Since before any of you were born.

JEROME (softly):

I doubt that.

SARA:

Tell us about it!

Panel 3

HUEY settles back into the chair, a thoughtful look on his face.

HUEY:

It was a different world. Every two-bit terrorist and criminal had some kind of paranormal power in those days. Of course, most people never encountered any of that.

HUEY (softly):

That's why it was all forgotten so easily.

HUEY:

But we were on the front line. Superheroes got the headlines, we did the dirty work of clearing up after them. Keeping the world safe for the little guy.

HUEY:

I remember one time, summer of '89 it was...

PAGE THREE. Three panels.

Panel 1

A section of freeway passing through Los Angeles. It's an elevated section of road with on-ramps and off-ramps. It's also a split level -- the south-bound roadway is slightly lower than the north-bound, with a slight gap between them. It's daylight and traffic is moderately heavy. The view should probably be panoramic and from above, to set the scene of the forthcoming events. Central to the scene are two non-descript grey vans, travelling north in convoy.

HUEY's NARRATION:

Shortly after the last Krai invasion — no, don't ask, that's an even longer story.

HUEY's NARRATION:

There was a lot of Krai equipment captured in the war. High-tech stuff. And a lot of weapons.

HUEY's NARRATION:

And we were carrying a load of them to a military base for decommissioning.

Panel 2

Looking in through the front window of the lead van. We see a younger version of DON driving with HUEY next to him. They are both wearing identical clothing -- form-fitting dark-blue coveralls, not exactly military but obviously some kind of uniform. Each has an emblem on the left breast -- a stylised cube with spots on each face (yes, like a die). Beneath the emblems are name tags: "DON" and "HUEY". DON looks very much as we are used to him. Less grey and fewer lines, but still obviously DON. And wearing the same flying jacket he always wears, though it's obviously not part of the uniform. (Hmmm... it will have to be open sufficiently for us to see his name tag.) HUEY doesn't have his pony tail, he has a precisely by-the-book short military hair cut. HUEY is yawning in this panel.

Each also has a pistol holstered at his waist -- though these won't be seen in this panel, it's worth noting for future reference. These are visibly NOT regular pistols -- bulkier than normal pistols and with an unconventional style, they are actually high-tech plasma weapons.

HUEY:

Yawn.

HUEY:

Should've flown them. I've got a backlog of projects—

DON:

Don't tell me about it. I wanted to fly but Ed was worried about a security breach.

FRED's INTERRUPTION:

What were you, exactly?

HUEY's NARRATION:

We worked for the Department of Intelligence and Counter-Espionage.

HUEY's NARRATION:

DICE.

Panel 3

Close-up panel of DON speaking into a radio.

HUEY's NARRATION:

A semi-secret, government agency.

FRED's INTERRUPTION:

Something like the NSA?

HUEY's NARRATION:

Uh—yeah. But with bigger guns.

DON:

Egg One to Egg Two. Off-ramp is clear. Everything's clear. We're all fine up here—

PAGE FOUR. Three panels.

Panel 1

Now looking in through the front of the second truck. We see LUEY driving with DEWEY next to him. LUEY looks like a younger version of the guy we saw way back in ISSUE 3. He doesn't have the beard but his hair is longer than "regulation" and he's carrying a little excess weight. DEWEY is a similar age to the other three (20s), black, with a shaved head. LUEY and DEWEY wear the same uniform as the others. LUEY is speaking into the radio, one hand casually on the wheel.

VOICE FROM RADIO:

—how are you?

LUEY:

We're fine and all's clear. Should've flown—

DEWEY:

Hold it. I'm getting something on radar. Big!

HUEY's NARRATION:

We were set up during the Reagan administration. The height of the Cold War.

Panel 2

Back to the front cab. DON is still on the radio.

HUEY's NARRATION:

But by this time, the Soviets weren't so much of a threat. All we had to worry about was super villains and alien invasions.

VOICE FROM RADIO:

Did you copy that, Don?

DON:

We copied. But we've got noth—

Panel 3

Cut to the exterior for the dominant panel on the page. The vans are still speeding down the highway. In the background (to the right --east-- of the vans) is a high-tech flying vehicle. It's a flat, open-topped "flying wing" kind of thing, with big fans in the wing allowing it to hover several metres above the freeway. In the open body of the vehicle are about half a dozen men wearing red-and-black paramilitary uniforms. These are ANARCHISTS, as HUEY is about to explain in the narration. Each one holds a short, stubby, high-tech rifle.

Oh, and the flyer is firing. Bolts of lurid green energy fire from two cannons mounted in the front, tearing up the highway in front of the two trucks. Big explosions with chunks of road surface flying everywhere.

HUEY's NARRATION:

And guys like these.

SFX (guns):

KA-ZAPP! KA-ZAPP! KA-ZAPP! KA-ZAPP!

HUEY's NARRATION:

Anarchists. International terrorists with vast resources and fingers in every crooked pie there is. The last thing we needed was for them to add Krai technology to their armories.

PAGE FIVE. Three panels.

Panel 1

The lead van (with DON and HUEY) swerves violently to the left, towards the barrier at the edge of the road, as an energy bolt rips a big crater directly in front of it.

SFX (explosion):

KA-BOOM!!!

SFX (van):

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeee

HUEY's NARRATION:

You've seen Don's driving, right?

Panel 2

The van has crashed through the safety barrier and is in mid-air, diving towards the (lower) south-bound road.

SFX (van):

KRASH!

HUEY's NARRATION:

Just be glad you've never seen his flying.

Panel 3

The van ploughs into the road, more-or-less in one piece but teetering on its side (in fact, it will tip over completely in a subsequent panel). Other vehicles swerve to avoid it, probably causing many secondary crashes around it.

SFX (van):

KRUNCH

PAGE SIX. Four panels.

Panel 1

The second van (LUEY's van) swerves creatively around craters and rubble as the hover-thing passes over it.

No dialogue.

Panel 2

We now see the van from a different angle -- probably from the front, so we can see both of the agents. LUEY is driving like a maniac but still has his radio held to his mouth. DEWEY has his door open and is hanging out, looking up at the hovering craft.

LUEY:

Don? You in one piece? Don?

Panel 3

A close-up on DEWEY as he hangs on with one hand and tries to aim his pistol with his other hand (his left). Beyond him, we can see the flyer has rotated round to bring its front-facing guns to bear on them.

DEWEY:

Hold it still damn it!

LUEY (off-panel):

You come and drive then!

Panel 4

The flyer fires at the van. Same green-energy effect as before. Shots straddle the van and miraculously miss it completely.

SFX (guns):

KA-ZAPP! KA-ZAPP! KA-ZAPP! KA-ZAPP!

PAGE SEVEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

Back to a close-up of DEWEY, still hanging on, carefully sighting on his target.

HUEY's NARRATION:

DICE agents were creamed from the best of the best. And we four were the best of DICE.

SARA's INTERRUPTION:

Though not the most modest.

HUEY's NARRATION:

They called us the Flying Squad.

Panel 2

A close-up of the gun as DEWEY squeezes the trigger. A bolt of brilliant crimson energy leaps from the muzzle.

HUEY's NARRATION:

We each brought a different specialization to the team. Don, pilot and strategist. Luey, driver and mechanic. Me, electronics and communications.

Panel 3

A close-up of part of the flyer -- just a metal plate with a small, round hole in it. Stenciled writing next to the hole proclaims "DANGER HEAT EXHAUST" and "DO NOT COVER". And a crimson bolt is streaking directly into the hole.

HUEY's NARRATION:

And Dewey—

Panel 4

A full view of the flying craft now, and there is an explosion from one side of the wing.

SFX:

KABOOM

HUEY's NARRATION:

Dewey was just the best damn marksman I've ever seen.

PAGE EIGHT. Three panels.

Panel 1

Now we cut back to DON and HUEY. Their van is lying on its side, badly smashed up. DON is standing on the road, looking up in the sky. HUEY is climbing out through the shattered front window. Both look unharmed by the crash.

DON:

Call the highway patrol, tell them the road's closed. And call backup for Luey. That thing's—

SFX (off-panel):

KABOOM

DON:

Uh—never mind.

Panel 2

Now a view showing what DON can see. The flyer is listing, trailing smoke, and diving right towards him!

DON (shouting):

Get down!

Panel 3

DON and HUEY dive for cover behind the van.

No dialogue.

PAGE NINE. One panel.

Panel 1

In a big full-page action panel, the flying craft smashes into the road some yards from DON and HUEY (and roughly facing them), the right wing edge hitting first and crumpling like tin foil, with pieces of wreckage flying everywhere (although the bulk of the vehicle remains intact). Some of the men in the open-topped compartment are flung out, others appear to hang on and remain unharmed.

In the background, a large truck is driving down the road and, heading right for the crashed flyer. Did I say truck? I meant to say tanker full of gasoline (oh you just KNOW that's going to come into play later, don't you?)

I think we'll let the image speak for itself on this page and not bother with sound effect captions.

No dialogue.

PAGE TEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

From DON's POV, peering around the side of his van, we look at the crashed flyer. There is no sign of life (a couple of bodies on the road but the men who remained inside are not visible). In the background, we the see that the gas tanker has turned sharply in an effort to avoid a crash.

VOICE (disembodied, from radio):

Don? We're coming around to pick you up.

Panel 2

We now see the driver of the gas tanker leaping from his cab--

DON (off-panel):

Negative, Luey, there's nothing you can do here.

Panel 3

--and the tanker jack-knife--

DON (off-panel):

Get your load through. We'll sit tight on this one until—

Panel 4

--and tip over on to its side. No, it doesn't explode (yet). It's lying off to one side, forming a kind of triangle with the flyer and DON's van as the other two points, if you can visualise that. The positions might not be apparent from this particular POV, but they will be important eventually. We also see that one of the ANARCHISTS inside the crashed flyer has popped up and is firing at DON (i.e. towards our POV), using an energy rifle thing (green energy, like the flyer's cannons on a smaller scale).

DON (off-panel):

Hold on. I'll get back to you.

PAGE ELEVEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

DON and HUEY, using the corner of their crashed van for cover, exchange fire with a couple of ANARCHISTS in the flyer. Energy bolts (green for the bad guys, crimson for our side) flash back and forth, doing minor damage to whatever they hit.

SFX:

GZAP GZAP GZAP

Panel 2

Close up on the ANARCHISTS in the flyer, as both ANARCHISTS are struck (and knocked back) by crimson bolts.

SFX:

GZAP

ANARCHIST #1:

Uhhh

SFX:

GZAP

ANARCHIST #2:

Uhhh

Panel 3

Back to DON and HUEY, holding their fire as they observe the flyer.

DON:

Was that all of them?

HUEY:

I think so.

Panel 4

Close-up on HUEY as he looks up in the sky, a look of shock or panic on his face.

HUEY (softly):

Uh-oh

HUEY (shouting):

Look ou—

PAGE TWELVE. Two panels.

Panel 1

A huge jagged bolt of lightning strikes down from the sky, striking the ground between the two men. The shockwave flings them away from the impact, in opposite directions. The blast pulverises the road surface.

SFX:

Zzzzrrrrackkkk

Panel 2

A big panel to introduce the new threat. Hovering in the air above the two men (with no visible means of support) is a man. He's dressed in a black and gold form-fitting costume that seems partly cloth, partly metallic. A helmet covers his head and goggles conceal his upper face, leaving his lower face exposed (so he can speak). He doesn't seem physically impressive -- there are no rippling muscles under the tight costume -- but he is surrounded by an aura of crackling electricity. And his face (what we can see of it) shows arrogant contempt of the men lying below him. This is DYNAMO.

HUEY's NARRATION:

Dynamo.

HUEY's NARRATION:

What we called a category-two threat. A bona fide super villain. Powers far beyond normal man, yadda, yadda, yadda.

HUEY's NARRATION:

When somebody like that turned up, standard operating procedure was to call Strikeforce or the Defense League — and run!

DYNAMO:

I want those weapons.

PAGE THIRTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

DON is getting to his feet, looking up at DYNAMO. He's not holding his gun (we might see it lying out of reach on the road, but it's not important at this point).

DON:

Come and take them—

HUEY's NARRATION:

Sometimes Don followed S.O.P.

DON:

—If you think you can!

HUEY's NARRATION:

But not very often.

Panel 2

DYNAMO has landed in front of DON -- and we see he's actually not very imposing at all. DON, fully on his feet now, is both taller and wider. DYNAMO looks like wimp in comparison. But there's that electrical effect, of course. Note that the crashed tanker is somewhere behind DYNAMO...

DYNAMO:

I really can't believe you said that!

DON:

Give it your best shot.

Panel 3

HUEY is in the foreground, running towards our POV. In the background, DYNAMO swings a fist at DON, who throws himself backwards to avoid the punch.

HUEY's NARRATION:

Dynamo was a walking energy generator. And I've seen him punch through solid steel.

HUEY's NARRATION:

I had no idea whether Don had a plan or a death wish.

Panel 4

HUEY vaults into the crashed flyer, which happens to be facing where DON and DYNAMO are fighting. We can still see them in the background of this POV. DYNAMO is shooting lightning bolts from his outstretched arms. DON --barely-- dives beneath the blast.

HUEY's NARRATION:

Looking back, I think he was probably trying to buy me time to escape.

PAGE FOURTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

Close-up of HUEY's hands. A panel on the flyer's control console is hanging open and he is twisting wires together.

HUEY's NARRATION:

Luckily, DICE hadn't recruited me solely for my good looks.

HUEY (off-panel, softly):

That one's power... so this must be targeting...

Panel 2

HUEY is looking at a green targeting screen, which shows the silhouette of DYNAMO standing over the prone figure of DON, fist raised, about to pound him into the ground. The screen has crosshairs centred on DYNAMO's chest.

HUEY:

Bingo.

Panel 3

Small close-up of HUEY holding a joystick and squeezing the red "FIRE" button.

No dialogue.

Panel 4

And in the dominant panel on the page, DYNAMO is struck dead-centre by green bolts of energy. He is staggering back under the impact. DON is on the ground, throwing up an arm to shield his eyes.

SFX:

KA-ZAPP! KA-ZAPP! KA-ZAPP! KA-ZAPP!

PAGE FIFTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

Back inside the flyer, sparks and smoke are coming from the open panel that HUEY was fiddling with.

SFX:

zzzzt

SFX:

fsssst

HUEY (off-panel):

Uh-oh.

Panel 2

HUEY looks at his targeting screen, frowning worriedly. DYNAMO's silhouette is still standing. But in the foreground (of the screen), in the line of fire, is another silhouette -- a woman, hovering above the ground.

SFX:

KA-ZAPP! KA—zzzzzzzzzzt

HUEY:

Uh-oh.

Panel 3

HUEY looks out of the flyer and we see, from his POV, the woman who has interposed herself in his field of fire. This should be the dominant panel on this page, to give her a good introduction. This is SYLPH.

She is young (early 20s) and very attractive -- stunning, in fact. Her perfect, athletic figure is well revealed by her skin-tight costume (of sky-blue and white). She has a mass of long, curly blonde hair flying free in the wind. Her boots have unsuitably high heels (this may be more apparent in later panels, when she starts kicking people). But her most distinctive feature (apart from her hair) is her wings. Yes, that did say WINGS. Spreading out on either side of her torso with a total span of three or four metres. But not solid wings. They are translucent, multi-coloured streams and swirls of energy, constantly changing shape and appearance (so that the patterns don't have to be drawn consistently in each panel). The wings don't actually "flap", and as they don't appear solid it's not obvious how they keep her aloft. But she is undoubtedly hovering there somehow. Note that whenever she's standing on the ground the wings are nowhere to be seen -- they appear and disappear at will.

HUEY's NARRATION:

Sylph.

HUEY's NARRATION:

Dynamo's partner. Not in his class for raw power, but probably even more dangerous.

Panel 4

SYLPH, still hovering, delivers a spinning kick to HUEY's head.

SFX:

CRACK

HUEY's NARRATION:

And that's about the last thing I remembered.

PAGE SIXTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

Now we're going back to DON and DYNAMO. DON, battered and bloody, is rolling across the ground, scooping up his gun as he moves.

HUEY's NARRATION:

At this point, anyone else but Don would have been surrendering.

Panel 2

DON has his gun and, lying on his back, is aiming towards DYNAMO. We are looking along his POV, and alert readers might notice that the crashed gas tanker is right behind DYNAMO. And DYNAMO hasn't been noticeably hurt by the blasts from the flyer's cannon. He's in a "bring it on" stance.

DYNAMO:

You think that pop-gun's going to get through my force field? Take your best—

Panel 3

Same view, and DON has fired -- but not at the man! (Well duh!) The crimson plasma bolt slams into the tanker behind DYNAMO.

SFX:

GZAP

DYNAMO:

Ha!

Panel 4

And in a nice big panel, the tanker explodes, the fireball convincingly flattening DYNAMO.

SFX:

KA-BOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!

PAGE SEVENTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

DON stands, dramatically facing out-of-panel with the flames of the burning tanker behind him. He holds his gun at his side.

DON:

Jerk.

HUEY's NARRATION:

That's Dynamo. Power of a god. Scientific genius. Tactical moron.

Panel 2

SYLPH descends in front of DON.

SYLPH:

That was, like, totally underhand.

DON:

Whatever gets the job done.

Panel 3

DON has raised the gun and is firing at SYLPH. At least, he's trying to. Instead of a crimson plasma bolt, a few pathetic sparks emerge from the gun.

SFX (gun):

spft

JEROME's INTERRUPTION:

He shot a woman?

HUEY's NARRATION:

Believe me, Jerome, with someone like Sylph you don't mess around.

SYLPH:

You seem to be out of juice.

HUEY's NARRATION:

Not that it does much good, against her powers.

Panel 4

Close up on DON's face, his eyes wide with surprise.

DON (shouting):

Major Democracy!

PAGE EIGHTEEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

Surprised, SYLPH turns her head to look behind her. There is nobody there -- she's fallen for the oldest trick in the book.

SYLPH:

Wha—?

Panel 2

With SYLPH's attention diverted, DON swings his fist towards her. This panel shows him in mid swing, not actually connecting with her head.

No dialogue.

Panel 3

In a small close-up panel, we see DON's boot skidding on a patch of oil or something --

No dialogue.

Panel 4

-- and he's falling over onto his back, without his punch coming anywhere near the woman.

DON:

Whoa!

Panel 5

DON is lying on the floor with SYLPH's foot on his chest.

DON:

Nice boots.

SYLPH (off-panel):

Give it up, handsome. I can beat you easily but I don't want to risk breaking a nail.

PAGE NINETEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

A close-up of SYLPH's face as she looks down at DON. She's frowning as his words in this panel sink in.

DON (off-panel):

No, you give it up, Sylph.

DON (off-panel):

Look around you. Your vehicle's trashed. Your boyfriend's out for the count. And you don't have the strength to fly that cargo of weapons out of here.

HUEY's NARRATION:

Sylph wasn't stupid. Even in those days, despite the valley-girl act.

Panel 2

A wider view, showing DON on the floor, SYLPH standing on his chest, and all around them wrecked vehicles and fallen bodies.

DON:

And you're on a deadline, aren't you? You know I've called in backup. How long does it take Strikeforce to establish a teleport lock? Ten minutes?

DON:

You've used up eight of them so far.

Panel 3

Another close up on DON, boot still on his chest. He's grinning now.

SYLPH (off-panel):

You're good.

DON:

I'm the best.

SYLPH (off-panel):

No you're not. But I'll give you this round anyway.

Panel 4

DON is sitting in the road, battered but unbeaten. We can see SYLPH flying away in the background, carrying the limp form of DYNAMO. DON has a communication device raised to his lips.

DON:

Don to Strikeforce.

PAGE TWENTY. Four panels.

Panel 1

The STRIKEFORCE headquarters. We don't need to reveal too much about it. It seems to be a round, windowless room, all shiny plastic with computer consoles, monitor screens, and banks of flashing lights lining the walls. A big, round, shiny conference table is in the centre of the room. In this panel, we can see a pair of red boots propped up on the table but we can't see the person that they belong to because he's hidden behind a copy of the Wall Street Journal.

DISEMBODIED VOICE:

Come in, Strikeforce.

Panel 2

The owner of the boots has put down the paper so we can see his face -- he's a 30ish, good looking, clean-cut, muscular, square jawed, heroic type. He wears a skin-tight red suit and dark glasses. He is PHOTON.

PHOTON:

Photon here. Go ahead, Don.

DISEMBODIED VOICE:

It's all over here. Cancel the alert.

Panel 3

PHOTON looks around, frowning.

PHOTON:

Uh—what alert would that be, Don?

Panel 4

Back on the ground, HUEY (blood on his face) is standing next to DON. DON just sits laughing hysterically.

HUEY:

Don? You ok?

DON:

Ah-hahahahaha hahahaha ha hahahahaha

PAGE TWENTY-ONE. Five panels.

Panel 1

Back to "today", in HUEY's living room. Don't show the full group -- just HUEY and CHI-YUN at the moment.

CHI-YUN:

Aw, when you said Major Democracy I thought we would hear about James's father!

HUEY:

Maybe another day, Chi-Yun.

Panel 2

Close-up on CHI-YUN, wearing her "good idea" look.

CHI-YUN:

Sylph is a cool name. Hey—

Panel 3

Now a view of the whole room, showing everybody sitting around HUEY. Everybody except SARA, that is. She has apparently left the room at some point during the story.

CHI-YUN:

—Sara! You could use that as your superhero code name!

CHI-YUN:

Sara?

JAMES (softly):

Very clever, Chi-Yun.

Panel 4

Another close-up on CHI-YUN, frowning.

CHI-YUN:

Where did she go? I'd better—

TV (off-panel):

And now a brand new episode of Snaffle Cat!

CHI-YUN:

Ohhh, Snaffle Cat!

Panel 5

And we close the issue on the idyllic scene of CHI-YUN watching cartoons as if she didn't have a care in the world...

No dialogue.

PAGE TWENTY-TWO. Six panels.

Panel 1

In a dark, anonymous room, a close-up of a man's hands under a table lamp, using tiny tools on some complicated circuitry.

CAPTION:

Epilogue.

Panel 2

Pull back for a wider view, and we see that the circuitry is in an open panel on a bronze-coloured gauntlet.

VOICE (off-panel):

They can strip away my powers with their damned Event—

Panel 3

The mystery figure holds the completed gauntlet up to inspect it. We see that he's got a thin face, dark brown curly hair shot through with grey, and wears small round glasses. He looks grim.

MAN:

—but they can't strip away my intellect!

Panel 4

He is now wearing the gauntlet on his right hand. We see that the rest of his clothing is just "normal" -- plain shirt, etc. He is pointing his right finger across the room, where we see a target dummy.

No dialogue.

Panel 5

A bright bolt of electricity leaps from the gauntlet and strikes the target, blowing it to smithereens!

SFX:

Zzzzrrrrackkkk

Panel 6

The man holds his gauntleted hand up in front of his face, clenching it into a fist. His face has a manic grin.

MAN:

Oh yes, Sylvia. I'm ready for you now.

Next issue: Moving On

Copyright © 2005, 2018 by David Meadows. All rights reserved.