Part 2 of a script I wrote for Pablo Marcos for a comic he produced for a Mexican publisher, Suko, The Eternal Samurai...
(c) respective copyright holders
PAGE THIRTY- ONE
1 (CUT TO: the POV of someone hiding in the shadows at the mouth of a filthy, rubble and debris filled alleyway, watching the people being herded along past the alley.)
2 (CLOSE-UP OF SUKO, in the alleyway, unarmed and dressed in peasant rags like the rest of the people.)
3 (BACK ON THE STREET, looking towards the alleyway, as we see the disguised SUKO slipping from the alley to join in with the parade of people being taken while the nearby WARRIORS have their heads turned elsewhere.)
1 (BIRD’S EYE VIEW of SUKO -- now safely mingled in with the rest of the prisoners -- being herded into one of the transports.)
2 (We get one last look at SUKO’S grim face as a WARRIOR slams the transport door shut in his face as he’s crammed in with the rest of the prisoners.)
3 (CUT TO: the old spider and his web, spinning away, the web growing and filling up that corner of the window with its elaborate, complex designs. A common housefly is buzzing into the window.)
1 (CUT TO: a FULL-PAGE SPLASH of the towering, gleaming futuristic city at the center of the slums that ring it. The place is absolutely perfect, the streets immaculate, the buildings all gleaming and sparkling in the street lights that light the night streets. It being the dead of night, the streets are deserted of pedestrians and vehicles... except for the caravan of transports bringing prisoners into the city, all heading towards the building at the very center of the city, the tallest structure in town.)
2 (INSERT PANEL: back to the web, with the fly buzzing around it.)
1 (BACK TO THE CARAVAN of transports as they head towards a loading dock entrance that’s sliding open to receive them at the base of the towering structure.)
2 (INSIDE the loading bay, as the trucks come to a halt and the WARRIORS get out of the cabs to join the WARRIORS already there in opening up the transports and herding out the prisoners.)
3 (BACK TO THE WEB, as the fly alights on it.)
1 (INSIDE THE LOADING BAY, as the WARRIORS pull and prod the scared, helpless prisoners from the transports, SUKO among them.)
Warrior: Faster-- FASTER, dogs! We haven’t got all night!
2 (One of the WARRIORS is shoving SUKO roughly to speed him along as all the prisoners are led towards a large doorway leading deeper into the building. If looks could kill, SUKO would have already destroyed the offending WARRIOR.)
Warrior: Keep it MOVING, you!
3 (CLOSE-UP OF SUKO, his face mostly shadowed, just barely containing his rage as he goes through the doorway, towards whatever lies beyond.)
1 (BACK TO THE SPIDER and its web: the spider is perched on the side of the window, “looking” down at the web where the entrapped fly is struggling to free itself from the sticky webbing.)
2 (CUT TO: the massive, underground football-stadium-sized “dormitory” where the captive citizens are kept. This place is huge, dimly lighted, lined with row upon row of sleeping mats for the dirty, half-starved workers wearing little more than tattered, shredded rags. Sanitation facilities amount to little more than overflowing slop buckets. The new arrivals are being shoved and prodded into this, with SUKO visible in the foreground, taking all this in.)
Warrior: Your new HOME, dogs...
1 (Several WARRIORS are grabbing for some of the healthier looking newcomers, separating them from the rest of the herd to drag them off now to take them off to work. One of the WARRIORS is grabbing SUKO’S arm to add him to the work force.)
Warrior: ... But don’t get TOO comfortable. There’s WORK to be done!
Warrior B: YOU!
Warrior B 2: You look HEALTHY enough. You’re coming with US!
2 (TIGHT ON SUKO and the WARRIOR as SUKO gives the WARRIOR, who’s still holding on to his arm, an icy killing look that’s taking the WARRIOR aback.)
3 (The WARRIOR is releasing his hold on SUKO, intimidated by SUKO’S killer look.)
Warrior 2: I... I said...
Suko: I HEARD you.
1 (CUT TO: the PRIEST, in his luxurious chambers elsewhere in the tower. The chamber, as everything else in this place, is decorated in a spider-motif. PRIEST, not looking at all happy, is reclining on pillows, consulting a glowing hunk of crystal set in a spider-shaped base.)
Priest: Mmmm... not good...
2 (CLOSE-UP of the crystal, with the PRIEST’S concerned face reflected in it. There’s a hazy image also visible inside the crystal, some sort of reptile, a snake, although it’s not very clear.)
Priest: ...Not good at ALL...
3 (PRIEST is looking up from the crystal as the shadow of a woman falls across him from off panel.)
Off panel: My lord Priest...?
Priest: Ah, yes.
Priest 2: Is he here?
1 (The off-panel GIRL has come into the panel, clad in ornate, ceremonial robes, starting to sink to her knees before the PRIEST. We only see her from the rear or some other angle, or in shadows, so that we can’t see her face to see that it’s TOMIKO.)
Tomiko: Yes, my lord. He is with the REST, down below.
Priest: Are you CERTAIN he can be TRUSTED?
2 (PRIEST is throwing a clothe over the crystal to cover it up as he looks up at the girl -- whose face is still shielded from our view -- looking skeptical.)
Tomiko: Trusted? No.
Tomiko 2: That’s why we’re doing it THIS way.
3 (The still shadowed or otherwise obscured TOMIKO is reaching out her hand to gently stroke PRIEST’S troubled face.)
Priest: This had BETTER work, my dear.
Tomiko: It WILL, my lord...
1 (CUT TO: the city’s underground powerplant. This is another huge, dark, cavernous place, lined with massive turbine engines and huge furnaces, which are being stoked by hordes of enslaved workers shoveling coal into the blazing fires. SUKO -- among a whole shitload of other slaves -- is being led into this hell on Earth by a squad of WARRIORS.)
Cap: “... It is his NATURE...”
Warrior: This is IT, dogs. Grab some shovels and get to it!
2 (SUKO is standing alongside one of the massive furnaces as he picks up a shovel. The WARRIOR nearest him is half turned away from SUKO, issuing orders to the prisoners.)
Warrior: You HEARD him, you animals! Take up those shovels... NOW!
Suko: Whatever you say...
1 (SUKO is suddenly jamming the handle end of the shovel into the WARRIOR’S side, catching the man as he starts to turn back towards SUKO.)
Warrior: Did I say you could... OHHHFFF!
2 (SUKO has whipped the shovel around, jamming the blade end into the WARRIOR’S throat, practically severing his head from his shoulders. Yuk.)
3 (SUKO has caught the WARRIOR before he’s hit the floor, quickly and silently dragging the WARRIOR around to the shadows along the side of the furnace.)
1 (SUKO is kneeling beside the WARRIOR in the shadow around the side of the furnace. He’s plucking at the front of the WARRIOR’S uniform, but it’s soaked with blood down the front.)
2 (CLOSE-UP of SUKO, rubbing his bloodstained fingers together and looking at them in distaste.)
3 (So, with a shrug, he’s plucking up the WARRIOR’S sword as he starts to rise. He’s going to have to do this without the cover of a uniform.)
4 (SUKO’S at the far end of the furnace, peering around the edge from the shadows.)
1 (From SUKO’S P.O.V., we see that all that’s there behind the furnaces are more slaves, pushing and pulling large dumpsters full of coal into the furnace room from a dim tunnel at the rear of the room.)
2 (SUKO is moving out from his cover, sword in hand.)
3 (Some of the prisoners are looking up to see SUKO as he heads towards the tunnel. They’re shocked to see one of their own with a sword.)
1 (SUKO is pausing at the entrance to the dim tunnel, looking back at the awed slaves, raising a finger to his lips to silence them. They’re not making a sound, some of them smiling.)
2 (CUT TO: the PRIEST, standing on the balcony of his chambers, gripping the balcony, staring up into the sky. The sky is clear, the moon a bright orb almost directly overhead.)
3 (CLOSE-UP of the PRIEST, his face lined with fear and worry.)
Priest (whisp): When?
1 (Looking up at the moon: in the otherwise cloudless sky, a lone black shape is moving towards the moon, all but invisible except that it’s obliterating the stars behind it.)
Off panel: When?
2 (CUT TO: SUKO, in a dimly lit corridor somewhere in the tower, carefully making his way along. There’s no one in sight.)
3 (BACK TO THE PRIEST, turning to head back inside from the balcony. He fails to see the black cloud just beginning to edge over the bright moon, not quite solid enough to black out all the light.)
1 (CUT TO: SUKO, coming upon a bank of elevators at the end of the corridor. One of them is open, almost as if it’s waiting for him.)
2 (CUT TO: the PRIEST’S chamber, as the PRIEST walks back in, head bowed, deeply troubled. We’re angling up past the crystal in the spider-base on the table that the PRIEST was consulting earlier.)
3 (SAME AS ABOVE, except now the crystal is starting to shake violently on the tabletop. PRIEST is stopping in his tracks, looking towards the crystal with a look of horror.)
Priest (burst): NO!
4 (The crystal is exploding beneath the covering, throwing shards all over the place and blowing the cover away.)
1 (CUT TO: SUKO, as he exits the opening elevator door on the floor that holds the PRIEST’S chambers, sword still in hand, looking around, very suspicious. This floor is very ornate, the walls decorated with spider-motif tapestries or ornaments, statuary lining the way.)
2 (CLOSE-UP of SUKO as he whips his head around at a distant, off-panel noise.)
3 (SUKO is racing up the corridor in the direction of the noise.)
PAGE FORTY -EIGHT
1 (Dead ahead of the racing SUKO is the closed door to the PRIEST’S chambers...)
2 (SUKO is hitting the door with his shoulder, smashing it open on the fly.)
3 (SUKO is stumbling into the chamber through the smashed door, looking up in horror and surprise at what awaits him there, off-panel...)
1 (... Which is now on-panel: from out of the shattered crystal on the table is coming a massive, ugly, demonic SNAKE-GOD, as thick around the middle as Totie Fields. It’s “growing” out of the crystal magically, accompanied by lots of smoke and pyrotechnic effects, weaving around, it’s jaws open to expose deadly fangs dripping with venom. PRIEST is recoiling before the SNAKE-GOD as it weaves before him. SUKO is stopping dead in his tracks in the doorway at this sight.)
Suko (burst): GODS--!
Priest: S- Stay BACK, reptile... your presence is not WANTED here...
Snake: SSSssssSSSS but you are WRONG, Priessst-- for I wisssh to enter thisss realm...
1 (The SNAKE is darting it’s mighty head at the PRIEST, who’s stumbling backwards out of its way. PRIEST sees SUKO by the door and is calling to him, almost in panic.)
Snake: ... For the ssspider and the sssnake are NATURAL foesss... and now the SSSNAKE desiresss DOMINANCE over the ssspider’s domain!
Priest: Yo- YOU-- SUKO! BLESS the great spirit... you’ve COME!
2 (SUKO is pausing, surprised.)
Suko 2: You were EXPECTING me...?
3 (The SNAKE is whipping its head around to look at SUKO. As much as possible, show amusement on the SNAKE’S face.)
Snake: AHHH-- the ssspider has a CHAMPION!
Suko: I’ve NO alliance with this dog, demon!
Snake 2: NOT a dog, man-being--
1 (Magical energy is sparking from SNAKE’S eyes, streaking across the room and striking the PRIEST dead on, enveloping the screaming PRIEST in an aura of energy.)
Priest (burst): AAAAIIIEEEEEEeeee
2 (Under the influence of the magical energy surrounding him, PRIEST is undergoing a change, starting to transform from a man into his true form, that of a man-sized half-man/half-spider demon.)
Snake: -- But a SPIDER-GOD!
Priest (burst): NOOOoooo! HELP ME, SUKO... SAVE ME...
3 (SUKO is watching this, but keeping back, as the PRIEST changes more into his spider-form. He doesn’t see the shadowy shape -- of TOMIKO -- that’s appeared in the doorway behind him.)
Priest: ... Before it... it’s TOO LATE... before I... I become... the SPIDER...!
Suko: Fight your OWN battles, priest!
Tomiko: That’s NOT the plan, warrior--
1 (SUKO is turning to see TOMIKO in the doorway, holding whatever type of handgun they use in this world on SUKO. She’s leaning against the doorway, as though weak and needing the support to help her stay upright. SUKO doesn’t seem to be particularly surprised to see her.)
Tomiko: -- Not why we brought you here!
Suko: Aye, I THOUGHT I smelled a rat... that my escape was TOO easy.
2 (CLOSE-UP on the weak, weary TOMIKO.)
Tomiko: We needed a CHAMPION, Suko-- one NOT allied with our Spider Cult .
Tomiko 2: The Priest SENSED you coming this way, so we STAGED my plight so you could RESCUE me--
3 (CLOSE-UP of the grim SUKO.)
Tomiko (off): -- And be DRAWN into our fight against the Snake-Demon.
Suko: Except I’m NOT going to fight.
1 (TOMIKO is raising the weapon at SUKO, the sleeve of her kimono covering her hand gripping the weapon, so that we can’t see that it’s turned into a hairy, disgusting spider-like hand.)
Tomiko: You have no CHOICE... if you wish to live...
2 (As she raises her arm a little higher, the sleeve slipping down to reveal the aforementioned spider-hand. SUKO is starting to whirl around to look in response to a noise behind him.)
Tomiko: ... Because WE must live.
Suko: So you’re ALL demons in disguise, eh? You can KILL me-- but either way, I’m not... WHAT?
SFX (off panel): AAARRRGHHH!
3 (The noise is the PRIEST, undergoing the final transformation to half-spider/half-man, a hideous combination on eight legs, kind of a spider-centaur, but with lots of spider in the upper-half as well. The SNAKE is, well, snaking at the PRIEST.)
Snake: Your TRUE form ssstands REVEALED, Priessst... and VULNERABLE--
1 (The SPIDER-PRIEST is scampering out of the way as the SNAKE’S jaws snap after him.)
Snake: -- As the sssnake is ever SSSUPERIOR to the ssspider!
2 (SUKO is watching as the SPIDER-PRIEST scurries to escape out the balcony doors. The SNAKE is stretching from the crystal to pursue the fleeing PRIEST.)
Snake: But I ssshould THANK you... for leaving thisss kingdom to me... ssso full of FRESH HUMANS to sssatiate my HUNGER!
3 (SUKO is turning back to look at TOMIKO, who’s about half-way through the change to spider-demon herself.)
Tomiko: Hear THAT, Suko? Our humans... YOUR people, will go from being slaves to being MEAT for the greater evil of the Snake!
Suko: I heard...
1 (As the SNAKE’S head disappears out the doorway after the fleeing SPIDER-PRIEST, SUKO starts running towards the SNAKE’S body. This whole time, the SNAKE has been “attached” to the shattered crystal, the length of its body growing out of it.)
Suko: ... Damn ALL of you. I heard!
2 (SUKO is leaping up onto the SNAKE’S writhing body with a snarl of rage on his lips, sword in hand.)
3 (OUT ON THE TERRACE: the SNAKE hasn’t felt SUKO yet, intent on its pursuit of the scurrying SPIDER-PRIEST. The PRIEST is spitting out a line of webbing onto the railing, intending to spin it’s way down the side of the tower...)
1 (... But the SNAKE is faster and stronger, closing it’s massive jaws into the body of the SPIDER-PRIEST, sinking its fangs into the critter. The PRIEST is screaming in pain and rage.)
Priest (burst): AAIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiii
2 (The SNAKE whips its head up, the kicking, struggling, but firmly trapped SPIDER-PRIEST between its jaws...)
3 (... While INSIDE, SUKO -- still riding the SNAKE’S writhing back --sees this happening and he smiles to himself as he starts to raise the sword, clutched in both hands, pointed down towards the SNAKE’S back.)
Suko: Another moment...
1 (The SNAKE has reared its head straight up, opening its jaws wide to swallow the SPIDER-PRIEST in a single gulp.)
2 (INSIDE, SUKO is jamming his sword down, point first, right into the SNAKE’S hide with every ounce of strength he has.)
Suko (burst): ... NOW!
3 (The SNAKE is whipping around in surprise and pain to look back down the length of its body at SUKO. The lump that is the swallowed SPIDER-PRIEST is bulging in the SPIDER’S “throat.” SUKO is ripping the sword from the SNAKE.)
Snake (burst): SSSSsssSSSsss WHO DARES...?!?
1 (The violent rippling of the SNAKE’S body is throwing SUKO off. The SNAKE is whipping around, hard and fast, its mouth wide open, coming after SUKO.)
Snake: You will PAY for thisss indignity, human...
2 (SUKO is on his back on the floor as the SNAKE comes writhing down at him with mouth gaping wide... so that SUKO can stab his sword up into the roof of its mouth.)
3 (With that, SUKO is jerking his sword free as he rolls out of the way of the SNAKE’S snapping jaws.)
1 (Still on his back on the floor, SUKO is slashing out with his sword at the SNAKE’S head...)
2 (... And the razor sharp blade is slicing through its head, taking that sucker right off.)
3 (And even while the length of the body whips around in its death throes, SUKO is sending another sword-thrust at the bulge in the SNAKE’S body, driving it clean through the snake and the SPIDER-PRIEST inside it, pinning it to the floor.)
1 (SUKO is stepping back as the SNAKE undergoes its final death spasms.)
Suko: They’re BOTH dead now, girl...
2 (SUKO is turning to look towards TOMIKO, but she’s turned into a giant spider and is scampering away down the corridor, along with other large spiders. All the spiders have left their human clothes laying in heaps on the floor.)
Suko 2: ... So NO demon will rule this city... eh? They’ve LOST their human forms! Without their LEADER, they’re little more than MINDLESS creatures...
3 (SUKO is on the balcony, looking down towards the street, which is filled with little black spiders all scurrying away, headed out of the city en masse.)
Cap: The spider spins.
4 (CUT TO: the spider and his web in the window. The spider is spinning a cocoon of webbing around the captive fly. But there’s a shadow falling across the spider and its web as an old lady’s hand descends towards it from above. The dawn is breaking outside the window.))
Cap: Its web is its home. Its hunting ground.
Old lady (off panel): Tsk! FILTHY things...
5 (An OLD LADY, smacking her hand down to smash the web and the spider with a look of distaste.)
Cap: Sometimes the place where it dies...
Old lady: ... Filthy bugs are EVERYWHERE...!
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