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28: Down by the Sea

This issue takes place the day following issue 27, in the same locations. It's a cold October weekend on the Eastern seaboard. Clothing should be appropriate.

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, a bit untidy (but not illegible!). Sometimes, a misspelled word may be crossed out or corrected. It should also be decorated with little pictures and icons in appropriate places -- hearts, smiley faces, etc.

PAGE ONE. Three panels.

Panel 1

SARA is on the boardwalk. She's leaning on the rail and her eyes are fixed on some distant point (in fact it will probably look good if she's looking out of the page, straight at the reader). A strong wind blows her long hair around her face. JAMES is standing to one side and slightly behind her, looking in the same direction. (There may be other people around but they aren't important.) They are looking East, out to sea, and from the long shadows we can gather that it's late afternoon -- the Sun is behind them.

CAPTION:

Tuesday 28 October 2014

CAPTION:

Atlantic City, New Jersey

SARA:

She's been out since dawn.

JAMES:

She'll be fine. Chi-Yun's got more power than any of us.

Panel 2

A big panel of a dolphin leaping from the ocean and rolling and twisting in mid air.

DOLPHIN (thought):

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Dear Grandfather,

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I've spent so much of the last two days in the water, I'm starting to think like a dolphin.

Panel 3

Another big panel of the dolphin diving back into the water. We should see that the sea is pretty rough and choppy (as implied by the wind on the previous page).

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Which ok is better than thinking like a shark.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

(btw sharks really do like eating people)

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Dolphins like helping people. And that's why I'm here.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

But wait, let me tell it in order. Starting at dinner last night. After I got back from my pointless sea-monster hunt...

PAGE TWO. Three panels.

Panel 1

The restaurant at the Hailey hotel. Our heroes are sitting at a round table. The seating order should be (clockwise): SARA, JAMES, HARRY, CHI-YUN, FRED. All are dressed casually -- well, as you would expect a mixed group to be dressed when they go out to dinner. FRED wears a t-shirt, JAMES a long-sleeved shirt, and HARRY a shirt and tie. The girls are wearing whatever girls consider to be going-out-to-dinner-but-I-haven't-made-a-special-effort-honest clothes. They have finished eating but still have plates in front of them. HARRY is drinking wine; the others (even FRED) have various soft drinks. In this panel, CHI-YUN is reading a menu and apparently ignoring the conversation around her. If it's necessary to show what remains on their plates, then HARRY had rare steak, JAMES had grilled chicken and baked potato, FRED and SARA had lasagna, and CHI-YUN has cleared her plate so we can't see what she had (but it will not have been meat).

This will be the dominant panel on the page, to establish the group. As the next few panels will be views of the table from various angles, we will see other diners in the background. But we're not concerned about any of them and none are obviously close enough to pay attention to the group's conversation.

HARRY:

Left a note for their parents. Said they were hunting sea monsters. And their boat came back empty. That's all I could find out.

JAMES:

That's what we found too, Harry. It's made the sea monster hunt more urgent than we thought.

FRED:

Oh for God's—look James, it's stupid kids getting lost, not sea monsters kidnapping them.

SARA:

That's not the point, Fred.

CHI-YUN (softly):

mmmmmmmm

Panel 2

JAMES and HARRY both look at CHI-YUN, who continues to read the menu.

JAMES:

Are you listening, Chi-Yun?

CHI-YUN:

Of course I am. Is anyone else having ice cream?

HARRY:

Chi-Yun!

Panel 3

CHI-YUN looks up, and her face is serious.

CHI-YUN:

I'll go right out and start searching. I know what boys smell like. If they're in the water I'll find them. But I've been swimming all day and I need something else to eat. Is that ok?

PAGE THREE. Five panels.

Panel 1

Everybody looks at CHI-YUN.

No dialogue.

Panel 2

Same view of everybody looking at CHI-YUN.

CHI-YUN:

Now can I have ice cream?

Panel 3

JAMES is talking to FRED. (This means we can also see SARA in the panel, as she's sitting between them. She's attracting the attention of a waiter.

JAMES:

Did you find out anything useful today?

Panel 4

Same view. A waiter is taking SARA's order.

FRED:

I found that Sara was right. Gambling is boring when your powers let you win every time.

SARA:

Two ice-cream sundaes.

CHI-YUN (off-panel):

Chocolate!

SARA:

Chocolate.

Panel 5

The waiter is moving away. JAMES frowns at FRED.

JAMES:

Ixnay the owerspay alktay, Fred.

FRED:

First, nobody's gonna guess what we are from overhearing some talk in a restaurant. They're more likely to spot the costume under your shirt.

FRED:

Second, nobody uses pig Latin after third grade.

PAGE FOUR. Five panels.

Panel 1

CHI-YUN and FRED.

CHI-YUN:

Did you win a lot?

FRED:

Huh? Oh, yeah. Then I made sure to lose it so the house didn't get suspicious.

FRED:

It's not like I really need the money at the moment.

Panel 2

Back to a wide group view. FRED is now looking somewhere off to his right, past CHI-YUN, at something off-panel.

JAMES:

Anyway. As I was about to say.

JAMES:

Chi-Yun, I don't think you should go out again tonight. Wait 'til morning.

CHI-YUN:

But—

JAMES:

The rest of us can't really do anything else. We don't have your tracking abilities.

Panel 3

Same wide view. FRED is still looking off to the side, though talking to the group.

FRED:

Yeah, I can do something. I'll take a look at their boat. See if I can get any psychic impressions off it.

Panel 4

FRED is standing.

FRED:

Don't all look so surprised. I'm not joining a stupid sea-monster hunt but I'm not going to sit around while kids are in real trouble.

Panel 5

FRED moves away from the table (in the direction he was previously looking).

FRED:

Find out where the boat is. We'll take a look in the morning.

PAGE FIVE. Five panels.

Panel 1

FRED stands in the entrance to a hotel lounge -- people are sitting at tables talking, drinking coffee, etc. He is looking at one particular man who sits alone at a table, writing on a palmtop computer. (This man is in the panel foreground, FRED in the background, to illustrate that he's the focus of FRED's attention.) The man is PAUL CHANT, and astute readers might remember him from ISSUE 14 PAGE 20. He's middle-aged, has an untidy shock of black hair, dark stubble, and a crumpled shirt. Peter Falk would be a good reference point. He even has a long, "disreputable" raincoat slung over the arm of the comfortable chair he's sitting in.

No dialogue.

Panel 2

FRED is now standing at the table, looking at CHANT. The man looks back up at him.

FRED:

Paul Chant?

CHANT:

Yes?

FRED:

You are Paul Chant, the writer?

CHANT:

Yes.

Panel 3

FRED is now sitting on another chair at the table.

FRED:

I've read your work.

CHANT:

That's always nice to hear.

FRED:

It's garbage.

CHANT:

Ah.

Panel 4

The two regard each other. CHANT actually looks amused.

CHANT:

Please, take a seat, Mr—

FRED:

I read "It Happens in Underground Car Parks" for a term paper. Your argument about shared hallucination space?

FRED:

It's nonsense.

Panel 5

FRED leans forward, confidentially, and stares into CHANT's face.

FRED:

What if I could prove to you that paranormal phenomena were actually real?

PAGE SIX. Four panels.

Panel 1

The hotel lobby, which is large and flash as befits a Hailey. HARRY is walking towards a bank of elevators.

JAMES (off-panel):

Harry!

Panel 2

HARRY has halted just by an open elevator and turned to face JAMES (who is now on panel).

JAMES:

Harry—Jerome was a sailor. He would understand tides and currents.

JAMES:

He could figure out where those boys may have drifted to.

Panel 3

HARRY has taken a step back inside the elevator, still facing JAMES.

JAMES:

Harry—

HARRY:

Goodnight, Jim.

Panel 4

JAMES is left staring at a closed elevator door.

No dialogue.

PAGE SEVEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

Back at the table with FRED and PAUL CHANT. FRED leans towards CHANT to emphasis his words. This should be a tight view of the two of them, excluding the rest of the room.

FRED:

You had ham and eggs for breakfast this morning.

CHANT:

Huh.

FRED:

The waiter over there will drop his tray in the next five seconds.

Panel 2

Same scene, but CHANT is looking towards the source of the off-panel crash.

SFX (off-panel):

CRASH!

FRED:

That guy in the red shirt will stand up <uhhh> and then forget why.

Panel 3

A wider panel to include a nearby table where a man in a red shirt is standing and looking around uncertainly while his companions look bemusedly up at him. FRED is sitting back in the chair and holding his handkerchief to his nose.

MAN:

What—?

Panel 4

We see from a POV behind FRED as he looks at the red stain on his handkerchief. CHANT looks at him, one eyebrow cocked.

CHANT:

You're good, son, I'll give you that. What's your angle? Publicity?

FRED:

No! We—I mean, I can't afford publicity. Too many of the wrong people are interested.

Panel 5

Now a view of FRED from CHANT's POV.

FRED:

But I can feed you story leads — as long as you change details to protect people's anonymity.

CHANT:

Why would you do that?

FRED:

Because I need you to get me information in return.

FRED:

Have you ever heard of the Krai?

PAGE EIGHT. Four panels.

Panel 1

A hotel bedroom. This is the room SARA and CHI-YUN are sharing, so there are two beds and SARA's clothes are strewn over one bed. SARA is dressed in blue jeans and a white sweater; CHI-YUN wears exactly what she wore last night but in a completely different colour. SARA is in the foreground, putting on her coat. CHI-YUN is in the background by the window. She has just thrown the curtains open and we see the dawn sun rising over the ocean (there are intervening buildings but they are on a high enough floor to see it).

SARA:

It will be freezing.

CHI-YUN:

I don't feel the cold.

SFX (off-panel):

knock knock

VOICE (off-panel):

Ladies?

Panel 2

SARA has opened the door to see HARRY standing there -- except it's not HARRY, it's JEROME, so I'll label his captions as such from now on. (The comic reader can't tell it's JEROME, of course, as he's just another personality inhabiting the body. So I'll have the girls explain what's going on.) JEROME is holding a rolled-up sheet of paper (thin but a couple of feet long, like a rolled-up map; in fact, it IS a rolled-up map).

SARA:

Jerome?

JEROME:

Yes, it is I.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

It was good to have Jerome back! Harry's personality had been in control for FAR TOO LONG and Jerome's much easier to get on with!

Panel 3

JEROME is unrolling the sheet of paper on the room's desk. The girls stand on either side of him, looking down at the sheet. There is no need to show what is on it -- that should be obvious from the dialogue.

JEROME:

Harry must have procured this yesterday, as I found it on the night stand this morning.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Jerome uses words like procured because he's British.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

And old.

Panel 4

They all bend over the desk.

SARA:

It's a sea chart?

JEROME:

Aye.

JEROME:

Pay close attention, Chi-Yun. I will show you where you should be searching.

PAGE NINE. Five panels.

Panel 1

We're back to a view of the dolphin swimming through the sea. This is "now", of course -- all the preceding has been a flashback.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

And that's why I've been swimming up and down the coast all day. But there's too much to search. Jerome couldn't be certain about the boat's drift.

Panel 2

The dolphin's head is out of the water and looking towards the shore. We can see a small jetty with some steps leading up to a small (but two-storey) building. Jetty and building are featureless grey concrete, looking functional rather than decorative. A big window on the upper storey overlooks the ocean but we can't see any windows on the lower storey -- just a solid door. A small motor launch is tied up at the jetty -- in fact, the same boat as depicted in ISSUE 27 PAGE 16.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

And we didn't know if the boys had really been kidnapped by sea monsters.

Panel 3

The dolphin continues swimming.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Because if they had been, they were probably in Atlantis by now.

Panel 4

The dolphin noses at some debris at the sea bottom -- a rusting anchor, a length of chain maybe, it's not important, we just need to show futile searching.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

And even Jerome didn't know where that was.

Panel 5

Same scene, though the dolphin is no longer there. Instead, swimming away from the debris is a man in yellow trunks. He bears a resemblance to actor PATRICK DUFFY.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

But he promised to come and help me find it one day.

PAGE TEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

A marina. It is late afternoon and there is evidence that the wind is still strong. The marina contains a few dozen small boats tied up to wooden piers. There are a number of people about, in boats and on piers, but the panel's focus should be on JEROME and FRED. They are dressed for outdoors -- so FRED wears his leather jacket and JEROME wears HARRY's long coat. They are walking down a pier to where yellow tape is tied between two posts. The sort of tape that says "CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS".

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I kept looking, but I was really hoping Fred would have better luck with his psionic powers.

Panel 2

JEROME and FRED are at the tape and looking down at the boat moored there. It's a small sailboat, with nothing remarkable about it. JEROME is kneeling and reaching a hand down to hold the boat's rail.

JEROME:

This must be the boys' boat.

JEROME:

A trim vessel, though this material is more flimsy than English timber.

Panel 3

FRED kneels and reaches towards the boat. The perspective of the panel is from down inside the boat, looking up at him and JEROME, so he's effectively reaching towards us. He is not yet actually touching the boat, however.

FRED:

If it's fiberglass, it's a lot tougher than your timber.

JEROME:

Ha!

JEROME:

I shall hold it steady while you climb in.

Panel 4

Small close-up of FRED grasping the boat's rail.

FRED:

All I need to do is—

PAGE ELEVEN. Four panels.

This page shows FRED's psychic vision as he "reads" the boat's history (it's called psychometry). So we should use some artistic device to represent this -- muted colours, for example.

Panel 1

Two young boys are in the boat on the open sea. They're dressed for sailing, including inflatable life jackets, and they obviously know what they're doing. The sail is filled with wind and the boat seems to be in good hands. They are MARTIN (aged 8) and GARY (aged 10), the missing boys.

No dialogue.

Panel 2

One of the boys is at the prow of the boat (that's the pointy end). He is pointing at the shore, and we can see he's pointing at a small concrete jetty and -- oh, ok, it's the place CHI-YUN was looking at on PAGE 9.

No dialogue.

Panel 3

The boat is bumping against the jetty, which is maybe a foot higher than the boat's rail (and we should not be able to see much of it in this panel). Both boys are standing and one holds a rope which he obviously intends to use to tie the boat up. But neither boy is looking at the jetty -- they are looking in the opposite direction, down into the water, where a BIG GREEN SEA MONSTER (see last issue for details) is pulling itself up into the boat!

BOTH BOYS (shouting):

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Panel 4

Now, from behind the boys, two hands seize each one. We can't see the owners of the hands, but they are obviously human men not sea monsters.

No dialogue.

PAGE TWELVE. Five panels.

Panel 1

A repeat of the last panel of PAGE 10 -- close-up of FRED grasping the rail.

FRED:

—touch it.

Panel 2

FRED is walking briskly back along the pier. JEROME is left looking after him.

FRED:

Ok. I know where they are but I don't know where it is.

JEROME:

Could you be more clear?

Panel 3

FRED is climbing some steps up towards road level, out of the marina. JEROME follows close behind.

FRED:

No.

JEROME:

Ah.

Panel 4

FRED crosses a road, JEROME now beside him. They are heading towards the boardwalk.

FRED:

If I can contact Chi-Yun, I can send her a picture of it.

JEROME:

Can you contact her?

Panel 5

FRED has halted by a rail and leans on it, looking out to sea.

FRED:

I don't know. It's a huge area but I know her mind—

FRED:

—unfortunately—

FRED:

And there can't be many humans swimming out there. I just need to feel for the right kind of thoughts—

PAGE THIRTEEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

Once more, we see the dolphin swimming aimlessly through the sea.

No dialogue.

Panel 2

A black-and-white picture of the jetty and building.

No dialogue.

Panel 3

And back to the dolphin.

DOLPHIN (thought):

Oh! I know where that is!

Panel 4

And back to FRED and JEROME on the boardwalk. FRED is still leaning on the rail, JEROME watching him with concern.

FRED (softly):

mmkay you can catch me now

Panel 5

And JEROME does catch FRED, just as the latter is pitching over the rail towards the water (obviously unconscious).

No dialogue.

PAGE FOURTEEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

The dolphin is lurking in the water close to the concrete jetty. She watches three men climbing into the powerboat still moored there. They are the three men she saw on PAGE 16 of LAST ISSUE. Once again we'll call them DIVER #1, DIVER #2, and DIVER #3, with DIVER #3 being the big bodybuilder. He is wearing a wetsuit and carrying SCUBA tanks, the other two wear coveralls and carry a large metal box between them. The scene should be quite dim, as the day is passing and it's around sunset (and the sun is setting behind the building).

DIVER #3:

Speed it up. We're going to miss the tide.

DIVER #2:

We had to check the equipment!

DIVER #1:

Just relax, Mike. We don't want any mistakes at this stage.

Panel 2

CHI-YUN, now in her regular human form, is pulling herself up on to the jetty. In the background we can see the boat with the three divers speeding away. Note that CHI-YUN is dressed as she was this morning, now soaking wet.

No dialogue.

Panel 3

CHI-YUN stands (dripping) at the top of the steps by the door of the concrete building. It's not obvious what this building is (and it's not important), but think of something solid, spartan and functional, long since abandoned by its original owners. I'm thinking it's an old coast guard station or something. The wall seems old and weathered and the door is old, rusted iron. But there is a shiny new padlock holding the door closed.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Sara would find that they had luckily left the key in the lock.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Fred would brainwash them into giving him the key.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Harry would just pick it.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

James would think of something clever. Probably with apple pie.

Panel 4

Close-up of CHI-YUN tearing the padlock off with superhuman brute force.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I wish I could think of clever stuff like that.

Panel 5

CHI-YUN stands outside the now-open door, looking into a darkened interior.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

But none of them would be able to sniff out small boys like I can.

CHI-YUN:

Hello?

VOICE (from inside building):

Help!

PAGE FIFTEEN. Three panels.

Panel 1

In the dark corridor, CHI-YUN stands by a solid-looking door, this time not padlocked but having a regular lock -- without a key.

CHI-YUN (shouting):

Stand away from the door!

Panel 2

This is the dominant panel on the page, to show the scene inside the room. It's a small square cell-like room with a single high window (too small to climb through, and possibly barred). It has a couple of bunks, and that's about all. GARY and MARTIN stand gaping at the door. Both boys look grimy, and MARTIN, at least, has been crying, but they seem otherwise unhurt. The door has been smashed open and slammed back against the wall. In the open doorway is a statuesque young woman with long bleached-blonde hair, wearing a red bathing suit and with... let's say "artificially enhanced" proportions. She's also dripping wet. (It's CHI-YUN. I didn't need to spell that out, did I?)

SFX (door):

CRASH!

CHI-YUN:

Are you ok?

GARY:

Wow. Are you—?

CHI-YUN:

Yes I am.

CHI-YUN:

I'm here to rescue you.

Panel 3

CHI-YUN crouches in front of the boys.

CHI-YUN:

It's all right, boys, the men have gone. And I'll get them back for locking you up, but first I need to get you to safety. Then find out who they are and what they—

MARTIN:

We already know who they are.

GARY:

And what their plan is.

MARTIN:

Come with us, we'll show you.

CHI-YUN:

Oh. Ok.

PAGE SIXTEEN. Three panels.

Panel 1

GARY and MARTIN are leading CHI-YUN up a flight of stairs. MARTIN is holding her hand (but in a "come this way" manner not in a "I need comforting" sort of manner, if you see what I mean).

GARY:

We caught them testing the sea monster costume. Mike Morgan was wearing it.

CHI-YUN:

Who?

MARTIN:

Mike "The Monster" Morgan!

CHI-YUN:

The wrestler?

MARTIN:

Yes!

CHI-YUN:

Cool!

Panel 2

They lead her into a large room. This is the room with the large window overlooking the ocean. It contains wetsuits, air tanks, several large crates, and a big table with rolled-up maps or charts on it. CHI-YUN is sniffing the air. MARTIN is pulling CHI-YUN towards the table.

SFX:

sniff sniff

CHI-YUN:

Explosives?

GARY:

They're using the sea monsters as a diversion. To get the city full of tourists and the cops all busy.

MARTIN:

Come on! Look!

Panel 3

CHI-YUN has unrolled one of the sheets on the table and is looking down at it (we don't need to see it). GARY stands next to her, also looking. MARTIN sits on the edge of the table so he can also look. CHI-YUN is pointing at something on the paper.

MARTIN:

They're using explosives!

GARY:

For a robbery. To blow the vault of a casino. See here?

CHI-YUN:

Yes I see. Hmm. What's this line?

MARTIN:

It's a sewer. Duh!

PAGE SEVENTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

CHI-YUN kneels and faces GARY. MARTIN's legs dangle nearby (he's still on the table).

CHI-YUN:

Gary, this is very important. I need you to look after your brother so I can go after the bad guys. Can you do that?

GARY:

Sure, lady.

CHI-YUN:

I wish I had been able to bring a phone with me.

MARTIN (from above panel):

There's one in the other room!

Panel 2

CHI-YUN holds up her hand, palm facing GARY. We don't see what is on the palm, but GARY is looking at it very intently.

CHI-YUN:

This is my friend's number.

CHI-YUN:

Call him and tell him everything you've told me. He'll send somebody out to get you.

Panel 3

The boys are at the window, looking out. Our POV is looking out with them, and we see CHI-YUN diving off the jetty and into the sea. The panel catches her just entering the water -- and she now has a long fish tail in place of her legs. (Actually, she'll have to be naked too, but the angle of her dive and our POV keeps things decent.)

BOYS (together):

Cool!

Panel 4

A panel of a shark swimming through the water.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I pretty soon found they had split up. The monster had left the boat and the other two hadn't.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I decided to follow the monster. It was an easy trail — rubber and glue and some old blood.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I trusted James to deal with the other two crooks.

PAGE EIGHTEEN. Four panels.

Panel 1

JAMES and SARA are on the boardwalk. It's evening now but the area is well lit. Large crowds of people mill around, all ages, watching the ocean, buying hotdogs, and generally having a good evening out. JAMES is in civilian clothes but has the case which normally contains his SHIELD slung over his back. He is speaking on his phone while SARA looks on questioningly.

JAMES:

Slow down. How did you get this number?

JAMES:

It was tattooed on a mermaid?

SARA:

On a what?

Panel 2

JAMES is moving through the crowd, waving SARA after him while still talking on the phone.

JAMES:

Where are you, Gary?

SARA:

Gary?

JAMES:

And where is Chi—the mermaid?

JAMES:

Yes, tell me everything.

Panel 3

JAMES and SARA are in a narrow alley, out of sight of the crowd. JAMES is still on the phone but is now kneeling and unzipping his case. Inside, we can clearly see the SHIELD.

JAMES:

Yes, you did the right thing. But now I need you to dial 911. Tell the police where you are. Tell them everything you told me.

JAMES:

No, best not mention the mermaid.

Panel 4

JAMES stands, now in full costume and with his SHIELD strapped to his arm. He is pulling his cowl up to cover his head and face. He's no longer on the phone.

JAMES:

Come on, we need to get to the casino.

SARA:

Do I get to find out what's going on?

JAMES:

I'll tell you on the way.

PAGE NINETEEN. Five panels.

Panel 1

CHI-YUN, as a dolphin, has caught the monster swimming under water. Of course it's a man in a costume. We can now see that the big webbed feet act like flippers, the bulk of the costume hides air tanks on his back, and a stream of bubbles comes from beneath the "head".

The dolphin has rammed nose-first into the monster's back. The monster flails around.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I caught him pretty near the shore, getting ready to scare the tourists.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

My first attack didn't go too well. I think I rammed into his air tank.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Ouch!

Panel 2

Now in girl-in-swimsuit form, CHI-YUN swings a fist at the monster, who has turned to face her, but she misses him by a wide margin.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

And punching underwater is really difficult, even when you have the strength of an elephant.

Panel 3

The monster now has CHI-YUN in a tight wrestling hold, something like a full-nelson, so she's facing away from him and her arms are immobilized.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

But of course Mike The Monster Morgan is a wrestler.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

And the water didn't seem to slow him down.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Doh!

Panel 4

Now the monster is fighting a CHI-YUN-sized octopus. Suddenly, HE is the one held. One octopus arm has pulled the breathing regulator out of his mouth (reaching up under his monster head, obviously) while the rest of them pin his arms and just generally wrap him up.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

But anything a man can do, there's an animal that can do it better.

Panel 5

And now she's in mermaid form, swimming towards the surface and dragging an unconscious monster behind her.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Now I just had to stop him from drowning.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Doh!

PAGE TWENTY. Five panels.

Panel 1

It's the drain entrance that JAMES and SARA came out of on PAGE 21 of ISSUE 27. It is open and DIVER #1 is climbing out of it -- we see his upper body. He is holding a spool of wire, which he is unrolling (the wire disappears down into the sewer).

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

James never has these problems!

DIVER #1:

Well give me a hand why dontcha?

DIVER #1:

Joe? Where are ya? J—

Panel 2

He has turned and seen (as we now see) DIVER #2 lying sprawled on the floor. JAMES, in full costume, stands between the two men.

DIVER #1:

What the he—

JAMES:

Put the detonator down and climb on out.

Panel 3

A small close up panel of the man drawing a pistol from beneath his coveralls.

No dialogue.

Panel 4

The same view, as JAMES's fist comes into the panel and hits the man squarely on the jaw.

SFX:

Whack!

Panel 5

JAMES has dragged the man (now obviously unconscious) out of the hole and is laying him next to the other one. SARA, or at least her head and shoulders, is emerging from the hole.

JAMES:

Why don't they ever surrender?

SARA:

Tell you what, next time I'll beat up the crooks while you crawl through the sewers!

JAMES:

Did you disarm the explosives?

SARA:

Oh, I forgot!

SARA:

Of course I disarmed the explosives!

PAGE TWENTY-ONE. Four panels.

Panel 1

A crowd of people are standing on the boardwalk, when the monster comes flying through the air, as if someone has thrown it from out of the water.

CAPTION (voice-over):

"I hope Chi-Yun is doing ok."

CROWD:

Ohhhhhhhhhh!

CROWD:

Ahhhhhhhhhh!

CROWD:

Look!

Panel 2

The monster lies there, limp. None of the crowd approach. Behind it, we see the head of a girl climbing up onto the boardwalk. She has short brown hair and big round glasses. (It's still CHI-YUN, naturally.)

CHI-YUN:

Don't worry folks, he's harmless!

Panel 3

CHI-YUN now stands in front of the crowd. In addition to the glasses, she's wearing a loose orange sweater, a short red skirt and long orange socks. She is holding the monster (now standing) by one arm and with her free hand has ripped off his head. The face beneath is that of the big diver (#3), of course. He glares round sullenly.

CHI-YUN:

You see, there was never any monster. It was professional wrestler Mike "The Monster" Morgan all along!

VOICE FROM CROWD:

But why?

CHI-YUN:

It was all a clever ruse to distract you all from a casino robbery across town!

CHI-YUN (softly):

Which my friends better be dealing with, or I'm going to look pretty silly.

MORGAN:

And we'd have gotten away with it too, if not for—

Panel 4

FRED and JEROME are standing among the crowd.

FRED (thought):

Chi-Yun! The cops are coming. Just leave him and let's get out of here!

CHI-YUN (thought, off-panel):

Fine. Steal my moment of glory. Rob me of my headlines. Starve me of—

FRED (thought):

Just move!

PAGE TWENTY-TWO. Four panels.

Panel 1

The RV is on the highway, leaving town. They are passing a sign which says "NEW YORK 130 MILES". Speech captions will come from inside the vehicle, and it should be obvious who is speaking from the context (if it's not obvious, it's not important).

CHI-YUN:

I guessed it was men in suits all along.

FRED:

Sure you did, Chi-Yun.

CHI-YUN:

I did too! I practically had the whole thing solved, even without those boys' help.

SARA:

Well that's the last time I go hunting monsters in the sewers anyway!

Panel 2

A change of scene. A man in coveralls, wearing a tool belt, walks along a concrete sewer, shining his flashlight beam on the wall, where we see that thick cables of some sort have been severed (power cables, or maybe telephone cables, it's not actually important). Another man is behind him -- off panel but his flashlight beam is illuminating the man we can see.

CAPTION:

New York.

MAN:

Yep. Cut clean through. See?

Panel 3

While he points at the wall, the beam which was illuminating him is now pointing elsewhere -- up at the ceiling or something.

SFX (off-panel):

Snap!

VOICE (screaming, off-panel):

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Panel 4

The man has turned and points his flashlight out of panel. He has a look of utter horror on his face. The off-panel flashlight has been extinguished.

SFX (off-panel):

Hsssssss

MAN:

No. Please, God, no. N—

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

I like happy endings.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter):

Love from Chi-Yun Chi-Yun signature =^..^=

Next issue: Maelstrom

Copyright © 2005, 2019 by David Meadows. All rights reserved.