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BORDER CITY ISSUE THREE: “SINS OF THE FATHER” PAGE ONE 1 A hazy POV of Fritzon, Captain Miracle, and Lady Justice staring at us, through a fog. Their voice bubbles are fogged over and squiggly, and cannot be read. 2 A little clearer, we can begin to read the words: THAURUS: Tim! Shidon, Tim, what have they done? MIRACLE: Calm down, Thaurus. He can handle it, whatever it is. Isn’t that right, Timothy? JUSTICE: Let’s get him out of that contraption. 3 Justice and Hero are reaching for something off panel, seemingly behind our heads. THAURUS: That’s right, Miracle’s right, Tim. You’re gonna be just fine. JUSTICE: I was right. This technology is semi-organic. Look at the fluids flowing through this, and the fungus— ANOTHER VOICE, DISTINCT (THE MAGICIAN, OFF-PANEL): NO! Don’t unplug him! You don’t understand! He’s the— 4 Timothy’s eyes opening. He is drenched in sweat, lying next to Scorpio, who remains asleep. 5 Tim sits up, stares across the room at a metronome clicking back and forth. 6 Tim staring into nothing, while the alarm clock on the nightstand next to him rings.

PAGE TWO 1 Young Orin, over his father’s corpse, as the suit engulfs him for the first time. 2 Asmodeus speaks off panel, as Orin’s face half-shows, one large, crazed eye, from behind his long ragged hair. ASMODEUS: Do you, too, long for death so badly, boy? 3 Closer in on Orin’s face as he all but growls, and the suit closes in around his eyes. ASMODEUS: Let us have it, then. If you want to meet the Void so eagerly then I will gladly send you there! 4 Orin running at Asmodeus’ massive silhouette. 5 Orin’s eyes, now, awake.

PAGE THREE 1 Tim walking down stairs, passing pictures of the previous Zodiac standing with their sidekicks, the new generation, called “Z.” Lady Justice with Kid Justice, Major Hero with Private Hero, Captain Miracle with Little Wonder. At the base of the stairs is a store filled with Z merchandise, and a wide opening into the mall. 2 Tim walks out of Z HQ, into the mall, where TVs hang from every pillar. TV: In the wake of the shocking murder of beloved Mayor Robert J. McGee this week, the New Day ceremony planned for later this month has been indefinitely postponed, as city planners transform the ceremony into both a celebration of McGee’s plans and of McGee’s life. Gerald?

PAGE FOUR 1 An alley. Orin awakening, covered in newspapers, as a cop, very cocky, hits a baton on the wall. COP: Hey,guy! Sleep it off somewhere else, okay? 2 Orin stands up. We see the windows in the alley come up to his chest. 3 A shadow is cast over the police officer, who now looks a little shaken. The baton quivers in his hand. COP: Come on, pal, ha-ha, we got rules, ya know? Gotta keep movin’, none o’ this lollygaggin’. 4 Orin does not look happy. A strange growth begins to cover his eyes, shading them green. COP: Border City doesn’t abide any tomfoolery, or for that matter, chicanery, or… 5 The shadow covers the cop. COP: Or…balderdash? 6 Exterior of the alley, with cop parts spilling out. 7 The cop’s head. COP: Ballyhooooooooooo…..*

PAGE FIVE 1 Tim perched on a roof overlooking Sahra leaving the doctor’s office. 2 He watches Sahra walk, wiping tears from her eyes. 3 He looks upset. 4 He follows her. 5 She almost feels him, but she turns around, 6 And he isn’t there.

PAGE SIX 1 Scorpio sitting in a hospital gown on a table. SCORPIO: Well. I wasn’t expecting you to say that. …Can I, can I have it removed? CANCER (DR. CRASS): Well, Ms. MacDonald, you’re in good physical condition, but we’ll have to do a full physical— 2 SCORPIO: For Orin’s sake! Would you quit hitting on me and just answer the damn question? Can you get rid of the thing before it gets its own orbit? Crass swallows, surprised. 3 CRASS: Like I said, we’ll have to take a closer look, but I think you’re a good candidate for the surgery. SCORPIO: I guess that’s as good as it gets with you types, ain’t it? 4 Crass raises his eyebrows in amused surprise. 5 Scorpio’s back as she removes the gown and puts her street outfit back on. SCORPIO: Well I don’t have time to stay in some hospital bed for Choran-knows-how-long while you guys get your jollies out pokin’ and proddin’ me and doping me up.

PAGE SEVEN 1 SCORPIO: I’ll be back for whatever tests ya can throw at me, right? Make it nice and legal. 2 SCORPIO: I’ll sign whatever so you got no culpability in the whole thing, that’s what you care about anyway, right? Then you cut out this friggin tumor and I get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’. 3 CRASS: I, I suppose, Ms. MacDonald. 4 SCORPIO: And stop calling me that. Ms. MacDonald’s my father. 5 She heads out the door. SCORPIO: I’m Scorpio! 6 CRASS: My…

PAGE EIGHT CRASS CAPTION: …how times change. The rest of the new Z, seated around a table. LEO: So…you want us to kidnap a girl? A large monitor, displaying Perkins in his Man in the Bowler Hat persona. The lights are not on in whatever room he sits in, but we can see that there are other monitors where he is. PERKINS: Don’t think of it as a kidnapping, yeah? Think of it as wresting a valuable weapon from the enemy. This is necessary. Trust me. The safety of the known world rests on us getting to this girl before anyone else does. LIBRA: Is she really that powerful? PERKINS: Do you remember what ‘appened last time? NO, YOU DON’T, DO YOU! You were sitting safe in your little bastion, like you do every day! THIS GIRL COULD DESTROY EVERYTHING! Aries is in some really weird form. ARIES: FAWEROOOWERR? PERKINS: What? Can we get someone in here who speaks badger? Why are we allowing him to talk if he refuses to be in a form with proper vocal chords?

PAGE NINE 1 Crass looks through papers. On the wall behind him are the pictures of Sahra’s tumor. 2 The hospital hallway. 3 Crass, from another angle, doing the same thing. Behind him is a picture of Scorpio’s fetus. 4 The hospital hallway. There is a TAP, then a HRRK. 5 Crass looks up from his papers. 6 In the hallway, a dead hand grabs a railing.

PAGE TEN 1 The dead hand opens a door. 2 Crass’s eyes. Behind them, McGee’s unrecognizable silhouette, lifting something with a glint into the air (the gun). 3 A shot, but the bullet hits the wall behind a prosthetic body, because 4 Crass has leapt onto the wall, then across the room at his assailant, revealing his true form.

PAGE ELEVEN 1 Crass lands on McGee, his foot-hands holding the man down as he kicks. 2 He sees who it is, and pauses. 3 Another BANG. 4 Crass backs away, one leg-arm with a hand to his chest, the other reaching out, his face in utter shock and awe.

PAGE TWELVE 1 Crass falls over, knocking over a table of chemicals. 2 The silhouette stands. 3 From his point of view, we check the revolver for bullets. There is ONE left in the cylinder. (One spent on Mrs. McGee, one on Thaurus, one on Pratt, two on Crass.) 4 He spins the cylinder, and clicks it back into place with a gesture.

PAGE THIRTEEN 1 Seated on the monorail, a young boy, ROBERT MCGEE, JR., staring out the window of a train, with an annoyed look on his face. JUNIOR: I just think it’s stupid. “Sunrise.” What’s the big deal? 2 Down the shaft of the monorail car, Junior looking out the left window, RANE MCGEE, his little sister, sitting in the seat next to where he is kneeling, playing with a doll. On the opposite side, SAUL MCGEE sits on the edge of his seat, and looks angrily in Junior's direction. In the exact center is MICHAEL, a large man with his arms folded, staring straight ahead (at us). SAUL: You’re stupid. Dad’s makin’ a sunrise and the city's gonna see how awesome he is and-JUNIOR: You don’t even know what a sunrise is. SAUL: Do too! RANE: I know… JUNIOR: No, you don't. RANE: I do! SAUL: Neither do you! RANE: I do. 3 Junior has turned to sit back down, despondent and slouched. Saul looks less angry and more weary. Michael looks the same, as does Rane, who is still playing with her doll. 4 JUNIOR: You don’t get it, Saul. You and Rane are too young. You still think Dad’s this superhero. But he’s not. He’s mortal, just like you and me. Once you realize that, you'll see everything in a new light.

PAGE FOURTEEN 1 Rane does not stop playing with her doll as she talks. RANE: A sunrise is where the earth's position is so altered that a massive ball of ignited gasses in the sky, or sun, appears to rise as it comes into view. 2 Michael, Junior, and Saul have all turned to stare at Rane in shock. SAUL: ...So. Michael, when are we meeting up with Dad? 3 Michael lowers his head. MICHAEL: ...Mr. McGee won’t be meeting us on the train today.

PAGE FIFTEEN 1 SAUL: What? Why not? 2 JUNIOR: Prob’ly some stupid “New Day” meeting, again. 3 MICHAEL: Do not speak ill of your father, Robby. He will not be here. Your mother should be the one to tell you any more. 4 SAUL: Why? What happened? 5 MICHAEL: Speak no more of him. You will regret it when the night is done.

PAGE SIXTEEN 1 Slightly further back in time, Orin’s father tousling Orin’s hair on the deck of the ship. ORIN’S FATHER: [alien chatter, make up some Choronian symbols] 2 Little Orin laughing. ORIN’S FATHER: [more alien chatter, with the last part in bold] 3 Closer in on the father smiling. 4 Further ahead. Orin’s father’s dead eyes, on the ground. 5 Asmodeus’ eye. 6 McGee’s eyes just before his death. 7 Perkins smiling. 8 Perkins biting an apple.

PAGE SEVENTEEN 1 Scorpio’s face, resigned to her fate. We cannot tell what she is thinking about, but it’s not whatever they’re telling her. A series of panels backing out from her. Is she thinking about that “tumor”? Is she thinking about Tim? LEO: (off panel) …sorry, Scorpio, but we just can’t bring Tim in on this one. GEMINI I: Conflict of interests, all that. He won’t understand. GEMINI II: It’s his sister, after all. SCORPIO: Of course. I understand. LEO: We’re doing the right thing, Scorp. He’s never steered us wrong. ARIES: RAAAAWOWERRREE! LIBRA: Very good point, Aries.

PAGE EIGHTEEN 1 Wide shot of a bloodied, balding man in a wife beater is tied to a chair, and is looking worse for wear. His name is STERN, and he’s your standard snitch-mobster character. STERN: I swear, man, that’s all I know! Shidar on a stick, we ain’t even in this one, Tim. 2 Tim wiping blood from his hands onto a white rag, stained pink. STERN (off panel): Somebody’s been offin’ old Zodiac, bless ‘em, but it ain’t us. I ain’t heard nothin’ ‘bout their kids bein’ targets. Who’d give a crap about your sister? She wasn’t ever nothin’! 3 Stern’s angered face as Tim approaches, Tim’s shadow just on the panel. STERN: You can’t do this to me, Fritzon! I GOT FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES, YOU CLARK! THE FERRET’S GONNA HEAR ABOUT THIS! 4 Stern, more frantic and afraid, the shadow half over his face. STERN: WE GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH SOME WACKO PROPHECY! Come on, Tim, I don’t know nothin’. 5 Tim punches him out. 6 TIM: I believe you.

PAGE NINETEEN 1 Establishing shot from the air of the Monorail, with a huge wing coming into view, and Orin's arm. ORIN BUGS CAPTION: McGee DNA positive. Three matches. 2 Monorail window. Rane's eyes and fingertips as she peers outside. Rane's eyes are huge, in shock. 3 Michael’s face, worried. There is a CRASH. RANDOM PASSENGERS (Off-panel): AAAGH! 4 The lights are out in the cars beyond Michael and the kids’ car. We see through the connecting doors to the monorail, a silhouette struggling.

PAGE TWENTY 1 MICHAEL: Kids, get to the escape car. Now. 2 The doorway pops open, to darkness on the other side. 3 The silhouette becomes illumined by the light of a cop it is shredding in half. COP#3 (Off-panel): AAAzzzzzttt* 4 A cop head rolls onto the floor at Michael's feet. 5 Michael grimacing. 6 Orin’s hair preceding him through the dark passage.

PAGE TWENTY-ONE 1 Tim re-entering the Z headquarters, but no one is there. 2 The weapons case is not empty, but it is missing almost everything but Tim supplies. In the glass, Tim’s worried reflection. 3 Tim runs into Scorpio’s room. There is a rather large computer in one wall. TIM: Computer. Open files for today, last entry first, access code WATERSIGN. 4 Tim staring at the computer, if possible, with the light from the computer in multi-color reflecting on his face. COMPUTER: Directions to Dome of Choran Shop— TIM: Skip. COMPUTER: Previous entry. Personality/power profile: Sahra Fritzon.

TWENTY-TWO 1 Tim’s eyes go wide. 2 He runs out of the room. 3 The weapons case is empty, now. 4 The Computer is showing a new screen with a random pregnant silhouette, a small shot of Scorpio in the corner. COMPUTER: Previous entry. Unwanted pregnancy—treatments and options. 5 Closer in on the shot of Scorpio.

PAGE TWENTY-THREE 1 Young Tim looking forward. 2 Same shot, only closer, and Branson’s hand is on Tim’s shoulder. THAURUS CAPTION: That’s right, Miracle’s right, Tim. You’re gonna be just fine. 3 Closer. Tim’s eyes go white. MAGICIAN CAPTION: NO! Don’t unplug him! You don’t understand! He’s the Shidon! 4 Even closer. In the white eyes, we see a blaze.

Border City 3: Sins of the Father