What follows is the script for the first issue of my new comic book, Singularity. I am currently raising funds on Kickstarter for an artist to finish the first issue. If you are interested in supporting this project, please visit the Kickstarter page today! Enjoy…
PAGE ONE (three panels)
Panel 1: Establishing shot. The endless night sky, starless, a blanket of clouds below stretching inexorably toward that unreachable, uncertain horizon. The moon lingers mournfully up and to the left glowing pale and regal; a lone soul floating in still, black waters.
Panel 2: The faint flashing gasps of lightning silently flare in arcs revealing the small outline of a plane streaking across the face of the Deep.
Panel 3: The windowless plane fills most of the panel obscuring the moon’s light, blacker than even the night, unmarked by any flag or identification; similar in design to the SR-72, sleek and beautiful in its own deadly way.
PAGE TWO (four panels)
Panel 1: Interior, transport jet. The sparse confines are dimly lit red. Netting for seating, shadows fill the hold. A figure is sitting in a monastic pose, gloved hands on knees, head bowed like a monk in contemplation, clad in black BDUs, armored vest, wearing a black nondescript mask, night vision goggles tilted up on his head. He is small in stature, juvenile. Not overly muscular, lithe.
Panel 2: Close-up of the figure’s eyes, shining with slick tears; irises displaced by oversized pupils, twin black holes set in an outline of ashen skin discolored by the crimson light. He is not consciously there, lost in his own thoughts, girding himself for what is to come.
Panel 3: The color of the panel shifts to green. The figure’s eyes turning to the side. He realizes the time has come.
Panel 4: The back of the transport yawns open to the night, the grizzled jumpmaster standing off to the left dressed in a flight suit beckoning to the figure to approach while clutching a strap to hold his place. The earth waits just beyond, the globe lingering below as the craft loiters in suborbital position.
PAGE THREE (four panels)
Panel 1: The jumpmaster off to his right, the figure takes his place in front of the yawning night, back turned to the world, tense, arms at his side, booted feet set apart for balance, hands clenched. He wears neither weapon nor parachute.
Panel 2: Close-up of jumpmaster’s face.
1 JUMPMASTER (shouts): Go!
Panel 3: The figure jumps backwards out of the plane, falling in a Christ-like pose as he plummets toward the world beneath, the planet framed beneath him.
Panel 4: The clouds clear beneath the figure as he enters the atmosphere, clutching at himself in a rigid embrace as the angle of his descent sharpens and he dives toward the ill-lit desert landscape below.
PAGE FOUR (three panels)
Panel 1: Distant shot, set against the ethereal horizon showing the figure as he plummets to earth, a speck in the wan light; biblical, like an angel falling from the heavens. Colors are muted.
Panel 2: Same shot, showing him midway to earth.
Panel 3: Dominating shot showing the figure crouching on the sandy ground in a depression caused by the impact of his fall, looking at the reader. Particles of dust float around him kicked up by his landing in the dunes. He himself is unscathed from the fall. The moon’s light spills over his black shoulders.
PAGE FIVE (five panels)
Panel 1: Shot from shoulders up, the figure pulls his night vision goggles down over his eyes.
Panel 2: Shot from behind the figure, off in the distance we see the target over his shoulder: a sizeable compound in the desert sands. Three stories, walled with only the top two floors visible, oversized satellite dish with ramparts and towers made of weathered concrete, a cracked dirt road leading toward the closed gates. Barbed wire fringes the walls. There is nothing else around for miles.
Panel 3: Exterior, compound. A terrorist operative stands watch on the ramparts of said compound, dark skinned, shaggy beard, greasy hair sticking out from his crumpled turban, soiled white shirt, black vest, fraying ankle length skirt, sweating in the hot night while clutching his AK47 for security. The shot is slightly angled to reveal the figure at the bottom of the wall looking up unseen at him from the sands below.
Panel 4: Same shot. The figure climbs the wall, halfway up, the operative not noticing.
Panel 5: Same shot. The figure has the operative in a choke hold, the operative’s eyes wide with fear as he is taken off his feet, teeth grit.
PAGE SIX (five panels)
Panel 1: Small shot of the figure placing plastic explosive on a power generator, a piece of aged mechanical engineering; dented steel plate, exhaust ports to the side, out of date and chugging weakly along to provide power to the obscure facility.
Panel 2: Small shadowy shot of the figure underneath a vehicle in the carpark placing plastic explosive.
Panel 3: Interior, compound. A group of terrorists hunch around a map-draped table, rifles leaning against the splintered wood, arguing fiercely; a single speckled bulb murkily shining down upon them. They are dirty and clad in rags, emaciated. They make fists at one another while getting in each other’s faces, their belligerent attitudes clearly evident. Cohesion has broken down. They are a disparate group incapable of compromise.
Panel 4: Small shot of the figure’s hand pushing the button on a remote.
Panel 5: Several booms sound shaking the frame. The room the terrorists have gathered in has gone dark, their outlines all that is visible. They have gone silent, frantically looking in all directions, now standing straight with some seizing their weapons.
PAGE SEVEN (five panels)
Panel 1: Exterior, compound. Shot from the back and slightly above. The figure strides towards the main building, pitted concrete walls painted with flaking white paint, fires burning throughout the debris strewn courtyard crudely illuminating the area. A haze of smoke has settled over everything.
Panel 2: Interior, compound. Close-up of the terrorist ring’s faces, stark terror evident. Sounds of gunfire rattle off outside the room.
Panel 3: Close-up of the figure’s booted feet taking the stairs on the first floor, the bodies of several disarmed terrorists littering the floor.
Panel 4: Overhead shot of the terrorist leader, his back to us, looking over the railing and seeing the figure coming up like a wraith. The leader is wearing a camo jacket, khaki cap, and a thawb. He has long, curly black hair tied in a ponytail with ringlets spilling out.
Panel 5: Close-up of the terrorist leader’s face, bloodshot eyes going wide, mouth gaping.
PAGE EIGHT (three panels)
Panel 1: The terrorist leader abandons his comrades running for escape down the hallway past the meeting room.
Panel 2: The figure, in pursuit, tosses a grenade into the black meeting room as he casually passes by.
Panel 3: An explosion lights the room, the silhouettes of writhing men, splashing blood, and blasted limbs blackening the bright flash in a macabre post-modern fashion.
PAGE NINE (four panels)
Panel 1: Small shot of the terrorist leader looking over his shoulder as he runs.
Panel 2: The figure is in determined pursuit backlit by flame and ruin, reality coming apart behind him.
Panel 3: The terrorist leader reaches the balcony. There he discovers there is no escape. He hears the cries of his men, sees nothing but wreckage below. The carpark is a flaming, twisted ruin. Pillars of smoke spiral up to the sky. Beyond the carnage is nothing but endless desert.
Panel 4: The shadow of the figure falls over the leader. The terrorist tosses his assault rifle down, hands up, ready to surrender.
PAGE TEN (six panels)
Panel 1: The figure stands in the compound’s devastated courtyard, the terrorist leader kneeling beside him hands zip-tied. The figure has his hand to an earpiece, communicating with someone.
Panel 2: Same shot. A helicopter lands, military personnel spilling out to secure the area. Two soldiers are seen lifting the terrorist leader up under his arms for extraction.
Panel 3: Small shot from above of the helicopter taking off, kicking up dust over the compound.
Panel 4: Small shot of one of the soldiers inside the dim helicopter after take-off staring at the figure.
Panel 5: The figure is once more sitting as he did on the transport only now his pale hands are turned palm up, gloves off.
Panel 6: Close-up of the figure’s hands which are visibly trembling.
PAGE ELEVEN (four panels)
Panel 1: Exterior, car, shot from overhead as it drives down a highway surrounded by forest. Cumberland County, North Carolina.
1 RADIO: Pakistani officials remain livid over an assault made on military forces in Abbottabad roughly a week ago–
Panel 2: Interior of car. Close-up of digital radio.
2 RADIO: –Claims that the assault was a covert American action remains unconfirmed at this time with American officials questioning why they would assault an ally in the war on terror.
A hand turns off the radio.
Panel 3: Ana Janus, Asian, middle-aged, round faced with a bob haircut, dressed like the proverbial soccer mom, looks over at her daughter, irritated. Her daughter, Sierra, fifteen, has a scowl on her face as well. The perfect clichéd example of a social outcast, she has a pierced lip, black dyed shoulder length hair, heavy eye-liner, and wears a crude FU t-shirt. The daughter has her arms crossed in defiance, mouth in a pout. Ana is in the background, Sierra is in the foreground.
3 ANA: Hey, I was listening to that.
4 SIERRA: So was I.
Panel 4: Same shot. Ana turns back to the road ahead, daughter still in the foreground.
5 ANA: I know you’re upset.
6 SIERRA: You don’t know the half of it.
PAGE TWELVE (three panels)
Panel 1: Small shot of Ana’s face. Frustration is evident with her knitted brow and creased frown.
1 ANA: I should have asked you –
Panel 2: Small shot of Sierra’s face, angry.
2 SIERRA: But you didn’t.
Panel 3: Shot of Ana and Sierra through the windshield.
3 ANA: Sierra Bear –
4 SIERRA: It’s just Sierra, Ana.
5 ANA: Think you could try calling me mom?
6 SIERRA: Maybe when you start acting like one I will
PAGE THIRTEEN (four panels)
Panel 1: Interior of car, Ana turns to her daughter in the foreground. Sierra looks away from her mother.
1 ANA: That’s not fair.
2 SIERRA: Like it was fair you told me we were moving out here without asking my opinion.
Panel 2: Close-up of Ana, eyes heavy, shoulders slumped, features sympathetic. She understands Sierra’s anger.
3 ANA: You’re right. I should have asked.
Panel 3: Ana now looking back out the windshield focused on what’s ahead, hands securely clutching the steering wheel.
4 ANA: But you’ll see. It’ll be a fresh start. You’ll make new friends.
5 SIERRA (out of panel): Spending time with Army brats. Yay.
6 ANA: Give it a chance Sierra.
Panel 4: Shot behind her head, Sierra watches the trees pass by in an emerald blur outside the passenger window.
7 SIERRA: No promises.
PAGE FOURTEEN (four panels)
Panel 1: Wide shot, two men striding down a sterile corridor of white walls and glass windows revealing lab space beyond; Kant is in the rear fervently chasing his superior, Midian. Kant is slender, sallow skinned bordering on anemic, with broad cheekbones and a bulbous nose, close-set small eyes, darkly ringed, and auburn hair with a thick moustache concealing his mouth. His features are crude, primitive. Kant looks disheveled in his wrinkled shirt and loose tie, the sleeves rolled up. In contrast, Director Midian wears a crisp suit with an American flag pin at his lapel, with steel grey hair and stern patrician features, hands clasped firmly behind his back, ignoring his subordinate. Kant is accosting his superior.
1 KANT: I do not want an outsider brought into this project.
2 MIDIAN: That is not your call to make and I am tiring of having this debate with you.
Panel 2: Close-up of Kant. He has a dour expression.
3 KANT: You realize the subject is becoming unstable. It is time to move on.
Panel 3: Director Midian halts in his steps, head turned glaring at his subordinate whose back is to us.
4 MIDIAN: We have invested too much to liquidate now.
5 KANT: I realize when sacrifices have to be made.
6 MIDIAN: You really are a sociopathic bastard, aren’t you?
Panel 4: Close-up of Kant’s callous visage, a subtle mocking smile curling the edge of his lip, eyes baleful.
7 KANT: I’m a scientist.
8 MIDIAN: (off panel) You’re a psycho.
9 KANT: Progress rarely comes when you respect boundaries.
PAGE FIFTEEN (three panels)
Panel 1: Director Midian jabs at Kant’s chest in warning, his finger stabbing Kant in the sternum. Kant remains defiant.
1 MIDIAN: If anything, you need boundaries.
2 KANT: It is time to move to the next phase –
3 MIDIAN: I told you those decisions will have to wait until the next departmental meeting.
4 KANT: This cannot wait until the next meeting!
Panel 2: Dominating shot. Midian is in Kant’s face, enraged; eyes narrowed threateningly, chin jutting out. Kant is unruffled.
5 MIDIAN: You will watch your tone with me Kant. Is that understood?
6 KANT: Stop humanizing it. This thing is not human.
7 MIDIAN: That ‘thing’ is property of the United States government and a proven asset. As such, it is said government that will make the final decision on his fate. If you cannot accept that, then you may tender your resignation. Are we clear?
Panel 3: Close-up of Kant’s face with grudging surrender, biting his lip.
8 KANT: Yes, director.
PAGE SIXTEEN (four panels)
Panel 1: Interior, Midian’s office. Ana is sitting, now in a pantsuit looking professional, the director across from her at his desk. There are various awards and photos from his years of public service hanging on the walls. Midian leans back casually in his chair as Ana sits with her hands in her lap.
1 MIDIAN: Dr. Janus, I trust your drive down wasn’t unpleasant. Forgive the appearance of the facilities. It is not as nice as our Arlington offices, but then again, field work is never comfortable.
Panel 2: Close-up of Midian smiling, a clear contrast from his demeanor with Kant. It is almost grandfatherly.
2 MIDIAN: Still, it is far more rewarding and Bragg has a certain rustic charm to it. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to the Activity.
Panel 3: Ana tilts her head in confusion.
3 ANA: The Activity?
4 MIDIAN (off panel): The USAIS. One of several nicknames we have for the organization. Are you ready for your briefing?
5 ANA: Yes.
Panel 4: Focus on Midian’s hand as he passes a thick manila folder across his desk to Ana. The folder itself is stamped with a warning of ‘confidential’ along with ‘Project Nephilim’ typed in bold on the front.
PAGE SEVENTEEN (five panels)
Panel 1: Ana, head down, sifts through the pages.
1 ANA (mumbles): Project Nephilim?
Panel 2: Close-up of her furrowed brow and narrowed eyes.
Panel 3: She glances up from the folder, eyes conveying shock.
2 ANA: Is this true?
Panel 4: Shot is over Ana’s shoulder. Midian sits behind his desk, fingers steepled, chin on chest.
3 MIDIAN: More than you know.
4 ANA: If so —
5 MIDIAN: Why you? We need a different angle. I have spent years on this project, invested a great deal of my life and am not going to let something as profound as Nephilim fail without having exhausted every possibility.
Panel 5: Midian frowns stoically.
6 MIDIAN: This is my life’s work.
PAGE EIGHTEEN (three panels)
Panel 1: Midian stands up, hands on hips.
1 MIDIAN: Part of why you were chosen for this assignment has to do with your background dealing with PTSD. Part. Also, your agnosticism renders you open to possibilities other candidates would find…difficult regarding the project.
Panel 2: Close-up of Ana, leaning forward, apprehensive.
2 ANA: You mean ‘it.’
Panel 3: Panel dominates the page. Midian is now leaning over his desk, palms on the table, commanding, Ana’s back to us.
3 MIDIAN: I mean him. The facts. You see, this project began as Project Phönix under the Ahnenerbe in the 1940s following a discovery made by Dr. Gustav Riek near Nuremburg. What he found…well, you can see. Stories of a strange aerial battle taking place near the city in the mid-sixteenth century were what drew them to that site. Discs and cylinders floating in the sky shooting lightning at one another until one of them reportedly fell. Nazi archaeologists couldn’t resist this mythical battle in the heavens. Desperation drove their search.
4 ANA: And they found an alien spacecraft.
5 MIDIAN: Yes they did.
PAGE NINETEEN (six panels)
Panel 1: A black and white photo of a dozen German scientists, American GIs on either side, clipped to the upper left of the page.
1 MIDIAN: With the fall of the Reich, American forces snatched up a great deal of the staff during Operation Paperclip. It was them who led us to their discovery. And Project Prometheus was born.
Panel 2: Close-up of Midian’s pained, struggling expression.
2 MIDIAN: The craft itself was…strange.
Panel 3: Next several panels are scattered photos as if lying on a table top. The first is a grainy aerial shot of the spacecraft, circular in nature, covered in grit and grime. Silvery outer hull, only half exposed in the Bavarian countryside, the other half buried under dirt from its centuries-old crash.
3 MIDIAN: The outer shell was seamless forcing us to cut into the hull to access the interior.
Panel 4: Glossy photo of one of the craft’s interior tunnels, the tunnel itself ovoid in nature. Shot from the rear, we see a soldier hunched over on his knees shining a light into the darkness. The man is barely able to fit into the tunnel even on his knees crawling forward.
4 MIDIAN: Inside were narrow passages all leading to a single central chamber.
Panel 5: Faded photo of the stygian central chamber. It is cavernous, the ceiling and walls lost in darkness. A squad of soldiers huddle together in the empty confines, shining their lights all around the interior, a pale pillar of light illuminating them.
5 MIDIAN: There were no consoles for interaction. No screens or equipment. No apparent power source. It was empty. Dead. Just a dark spartan interior with no sign of her prior crew. For years we studied that craft and even decades later we were at a loss regarding its purpose or capabilities.
Panel 6: Inset of a more recent Polaroid photograph of a former project member, young, female, plain featured, wearing seventies fashion under a white lab coat, conservative in appearance with her hair tied up behind her, glasses magnifying her sad eyes.
6 MIDIAN: And then, something…happened. And Prometheus evolved into Nephilim.
PAGE TWENTY (three panels)
Panel 1: Dominating panel. Midian sits on his desk in front of Ana, arms crossed.
1 MIDIAN: Clearly this alien tech is beyond our comprehension. Where it came from, why it is here…We believe the subject is the key to figuring it out. But the results have been…troubling and ‘he’ has proven unpredictable. No thanks to Kant…or Crenna.
Panel 2: Close-up of Ana, lips pursed eyes glancing up at Midian.
2 MIDIAN: (off panel) But enough background. I believe it is time.
3 ANA: For?
Panel 3: Close-up of Midian, coyly smiling.
4 MIDIAN: To meet your patient.