THE NOCTEM 1 Third Life Script by David Zuzelo
PAGE 1 PANEL 1: We open on the eyes of a skull. Fleshless and clean… shiny and nearly flawless in it’s classic establishing presence. This is the skull of the soon to be revived BRANDON LEONG. As the page progresses, muscle and flesh will begin to form on the skulls surface. The hollow eye socket will fill up with a fresh, and aware, human eye. For this panel however we are totally black and empty. A weak string of dialog begins, as Brandon narrates the scene as his flesh reforms. 1. CAPTION (weak, in a frayed lettered style which begins to solidify into what will be Brandon’s eventual internal dialog font, strengthening from panel to panel): hhhheat again on my noooo skin again awakened by… 2. CAPTION (Brandon) nerves nerveees ah ah hhrurhhhh PANEL 2: Same shot, muscle has begun to form around the eye socket now. The hole remains empty, though a viscous substance leaks out now like a thickened bloody tear. 3. CAPTION (Brandon strengthening across the caption now) nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnNNNNN 4. Sub caption, unboxed and in a warped script, running through the panel just distinct enough to catch the readers eye. These unboxed script are the ambient dialog around Brandon: nonono…call Kawai…call Beth PANEL 3: Continue to bring the skull back to “life,” The flesh is stretched tight over the still obvious muscle tissue. 5. CAPTION (Brandon, now stronger and in full vital lettering) huh…huh…huh… no lungs to breathe…just…yet. Violent shadows are walking again and so do the dead. Me. Brandon… 6. Sub Caption again, continuing unboxed, but stronger as Brandon’s senses become more acute: mann. Yes this is for real sir…Leong…is awa PANEL 4:
The eyeball is formed now, though it is dilated and unfocused. More flesh than muscle is apparent all around the skull, ragged and still forming-things are looking very vile now. A flap of skin hangs over the top of the eye slightly. 7. CAPTION (Brandon): Noctem… my brother or son or shadow…I. Am. 8.
Sub Captions continue: ke. Am starting procedure now, yes… (SFX) CLICK (/SFX) …sir…
PANEL 5: An eyelid has formed…and snaps closed over the eye! 9. Sub Caption: yes…success…1 hour. Yes…. 10. Credits here PAGE 2: SPLASH PAGE A full overhead shot of the partially reformed Brandon Leong lying flat on his back. He is naked, though his flesh is still only half formed. Organs are visible, lungs emptying out, fluids dripping down the table around him. The table is in a lab setting; two technicians are near him as well. The source of the dialog around Brandon from the previous page is obviously these two. COOKE is heavy-set and bald (yeah, evil please) and is on a cell phone, while MARINO (tall and with big mutton chops) is on a land phone. Small arrays of sensors are on Brandon’s body right now, and the lab looks very equipment intensive. A respirator is sitting next to Brandon, begging the question of what type of lab leaves respiration equipment next to a corpse? Credits continue under caption 1… 1. CAPTION: (Brandon) awake. THE NOCTEM: Part 1-First Nights --Third Lives 2. DIALOGUE (Marino) sir…79 seconds, yes…we have 3. DIALOGUE (Cooke) it will be done. 4. CAPTION (Brandon) Again? Again… What could have roused the shape of my own insanity, the worst violence? And even worse, it’s side effect. Me. I’ve become the afterbirth of…. It again? PAGE 3 PANEL 1:
Skin continues to seem to be appearing now as the Cooke and Marino work on applying sensors and sinking them into Brandon’s skin. 1. CAPTION (Brandon) when am I and where is this? What the hell are these people doing here? This must be back at the institute…at Sentinel. Wait, what the hell are you two..arr..arrrrrrr PANEL 2: The sensors are now literally inside Brandon as skin is forming around them… and over them. This obviously would hurt like hell, and with Brandon’s nerves really starting to kick in as he continues to be fleshed out, that would lead to… 2. CAPTION: (Brandon…LOUD) rrrrrr…….araaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrarrrrrrrrrfugrrrrr PANEL 3: Cooke and Marino are not paying attention to Brandon, so we can safely assume they can’t hear him now even though the reader can. Marino continues working on the body and he looks very concerned with what is going on. Cooke is not close to Brandon and is nearly out of the frame. Cooke is speaking again into his cell phone, well out of Marino’s earshot. 2. CAPTION (Cooke): Yes, faster than you imagined. No no… yes soon. Yes… 3. CAPTION (Brandon) rrrrrrrrrrrrarrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhuhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrhrr PANEL 4: HOLY CRAP, the partially formed (and still oozing and extremely living dead like) Brandon SITS UP, ripping several of the wires out from under his skin! Both technicians are taken aback to put it mildly. We expect they knew it was coming, but not like this… PAGE 4 PANEL 1: Brandon’s head SNAPS in the direction of Marino, who looks like he’s just seen a reanimated skeleton look at him. Of course, at this point Brandon doesn’t have enough facial structure to speak, and we have here a beauty/gore shot of Brandon’s still forming body. Muscles hang loose from the bone; skin is thick in some spots and non-existent in others. Grotesque, but light years ahead of where he started, we should show a marked evolution and point to where he is headed. Marino has a phone in his hand, though it is by his side, slack. 1. CAPTION (Brandon): better. I remember this hurting more, not that this is fine… but I know what to do now… 2. CAPTION: (Brandon) but…can I stop insane thoughts? The Noctem think thought… this was over already though. Noctem…
PANEL 2: A close up on Brandon’s half forming face. We can actually see the structure of his FACE. He is Korean and should start to look so. Still a dripping mess however; his jaw seems not to have fully finished healing up, hence the no speaking issue for now. 3. CAPTION (Brandon): Where in hell are you and how did we get wherever that is? PANEL 3: CUT TO-Outside now. A fishing boat at sea, old and dirty. Perhaps a bit larger than normal in order to give us enough space for our scene. The night has obviously fallen just recently, as things are still quite bright, and from our vantage point we can see docks ahead of the ship in the distance, all lit up. We are just two miles out from land. 4. CAPTION (Brandon): I can tell, it… the night is just getting started. PANEL 4: Inside the ship now, a smashed up wall is what we are looking at. Signs of violence and dark smears (blood spray?) fill the jagged indentations in this wall. Something was SMASHED in here. Faintly at the bottom of the panel a rising sound effect is forming. A scream… “ahhh” PAGE 5 PANEL 1: BANG and action! Louder now, the screams fill the panel around a PILE OF DEAD BODIES. Torn, mutilated and ripped…they have obviously run across something very bad and very big. The men of the boat look like human ingredients that have been made into a chicken chow mein special plate, arms and legs akimbo and mixed together. SOUND EFFECT: AHHRRRRRRRRRRRIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHRRRRRRRIEEEEEE PANEL 2: A living person (if just barely living), impaled on a huge deep sea fishing hook from crotch to throat hangs just above one of those piles now, terror in his eyes. Torn open and taking his last look of horror just off panel for our eye to follow onto… PANEL 3:
…THE NOCTEM in his purest singular form. HUGE and overwhelming, his face contorts in a rage so strong it can only be the aforementioned embodiment of insanity that Brandon mentioned. We see him holding another body on a hook with his other hand. Held high, proudly… A beauty shot as well here, the blood splashes are all around him, the bodies are piled up and our monster gets unleashed here. Have fun! PANEL 4: Our camera is angled upwards from a low position across the boat, we see a similar scene to the previous panel, and time has moved only a second ahead. This is from a living member of the crew’s first person perspective. The shot should look very live, meaning it is a POV shot and may not contain a “full image.” We don’t reveal this is POV until we go to… PAGE 6 PANEL 1: The Captain of the vessel, dressed in his now blood stained captain’s clothing. The blood must not be his, but it is smeared all around him and on him as well. A body or two rest a splayed out around him. He has the ships radio transmitter in his hand, but we can see that the cord is not attached to anything. A body is lying right on top of where the radio unit would be. PANEL 2: Back to Noctem as the few remaining crewmen try to attack him. One has a shotgun that he is firing with no apparent effect on Noctem. The other swings away with a broken bit of wood. We should notice that Noctem’s hooks are empty now, with the bodies squished to the floor below them. Noctem of course wants to remedy the empty weapons he is using…right? And he does so by… PANEL 3: Reaching backwards with his right hook, he impales the man with the gun straight through the gut, nearly bisecting him. Coupled with going in the opposite direction with his other arm, plunging straight into the skull of the wood bearer. BLAM! That ends that bit of fighting. Now then, what is important here is that it shows that Noctem isn’t simply a raging hulk. It bears enough skill to be more dangerous than just a bulky monstrous barbarian of muscles unguided by destructive skill. He should look more assured, nearly neo monster samurai, though no less wild than before. 1. CAPTION (Noctem): TheSe…arE nOt…whAt I… 2. CAPTION (Noctem): WanT…need. PANEL 4:
Noctem is looking at the man on the end of his left hook, the header from the previous panel. Noctem appears…pensive. Not wild or insane, his eyes and face are hardened and seething… The impaled head should look like it is just about to give as it’s hanging just barely on for dear “life.” 3. CAPTION (Noctem): thE darkness WilL lead to The light… 4. CAPTION (Noctem): no more light wIlL leave tHe darkness alone…free PANEL 5: Noctem watches the head give way and fall to the ground as his upper body is turning towards the captain to tell him… PAGE 7 PANEL 1: Noctem leans forward, his face pressed close to the captain’s. Of course, the captain looks like someone just took a hammer to his nuts and he is in utter shock. 1. DIALOGUE (Noctem): go to the light… PANEL 2: Noctem sits back now, while pulling dead bodies atop him. This is leaving huge streaks of blood and other body parts scattered around from the now mangled crew. He looks like he is going to rest and absorb the death of the corpses around him and his eyes are half closed… the captain heading out to follow Noctem’s orders is going out of frame as well. 2. CAPTION (Noctem): kiLl mY light…stay aWake forever…you… you promIse? PANEL 3: (small outro): Back to the lab where Brandon was reviving. The empty lab table is in frame and dripping with the bodily fluids left behind by that resurrection. No people in the shot, but a cigarette is visible…the smoke pluming up past a NO SMOKING sign. A voice caption… 3. CAPTION (Marino): So, you are telling me the skeleton is the “harbinger of”… what did you call it? PAGE 8 PANEL 1:
A large bit of the page for this one, at least ¾ in order to make way for dialogue. It is an overhead shot of Cooke and Marino. Cooke looks calm… almost too calm given the circumstance. He is sitting back in a chair in the lab. Marino is standing nearby, smoking under the NO SMOKING sign. Obviously, Marino is agitated and freaked out. 1. DIALOGUE (Cooke): The Noctem…night…darkness. You get it? At least that is what Bethmann says, though I’m inclined to believe him. But you probably never even heard of Andreas Bethmann. Well… he was a part of what this place was years ago. Maybe he is what they are trying to be. 2. DIALOGUE (Marino): I got no clue about that, but today I’m not so sure WHAT I’ve got myself into here. I was told we were doing advanced testing on the cellular structure of the skele…Leong. Is that what you were doing? 3. DIALOGUE (Cooke): Oh yeah… but not as research for anything other than figuring out what made him go up in smoke, followed by a comeback when he purged that thing from himself…the Noctem. Its real man, not just a spook tale. Damn, this place used to have ideals and no fear of going forward. That all changed when Sentinel came down on the heads of the guys who built it over a decade ago. Now though— 4. DIALOGUE (Marino): Hold up…woah. This is way too much and you are going way to fast here. What. The. HELL. Are. You. Talking. About… slowly. 5. DIALOGUE (Cooke): Okay then… the short sweet edition. Answer me this first though. Who do you work for? Exactly? 6. DIALOGUE (Marino): uh…where you work stupid, CerberusTech. Home of the re-animated skeletons with mental disorders. Did I say that? Jeezus… 7. DIALOGUE (Cooke): Right, the good guys…yes? Well, not really…stupid. This is really simple. Government project for psychic weaponry called Sentinel finds a key to something…special. Great, that’s what they want, right? Well, it’s not the right kind of special as it turns out, because the project blows up. Poof, empty test tube. So, these two guys, Bethmann and Kawai, are... Challengers of some kind, challenging the unknown. The unknown has a way of biting you when you think you have it leashed down. They find this young guy who tests off the chart named Brandon Leong. A genuine psychic jackhammer… a fulcrum to unhinge the locked up potential of the brain… sure. Until he goes crazy and kills himself. To belabor the fulcrum metaphor though, when you are the hinge in any situation you have two parts to hold together right? Leong came back to… life? But in two distinct parts or manifestations. Leong the nice seemed quiet enough. More awake and alive than ever. A real step forward. It was the other part that screwed things up. Raging, uncontrollable, violent… and oddly recombinant it seemed. It was insanity and suicidal ideation given flesh and rage.
PANEL 2 Marino is taking this all in with a look of confused disbelief. Cooke’s seemingly insane babble has him intrigued though. A close up of Marino’s face as he works out another question to ask, searching for some logic out of what he is being told. 8. DIALOGUE (Marino): The Noctem. Right…right. So the thing that just started screeching and got up and walked away was what part again? PAGE 9 PANEL 1: A long shot of Cooke, who seems less relaxed now. Cooke is caught up in telling his story. A bit of menace should be obvious, his fist is clenched and the humor is gone from his face. Not rage, but certainly the intensity has picked up since he started speaking oh those many dialog balloons ago. 1. DIALOGUE (Cooke): Well Frank-O, you just met Brandon Leong the good. Alive for the third time it would seem. But you are asking the wrong question aren’t you? 2. CAPTION (Marino): yeah…but you said the original project and the guys were all gone, right? PANEL 2: A similar long shot of Cooke as he answers that obvious question for us. He appears at about the same intensity as before. 3. DIALOGUE (Cooke): Well, you have to understand that the thing Bethmann called The Noctem was pure acid hell on legs. It began spreading itself outward into living beings, like a virus. The members of Sentinel were… “possessed” it seemed, though they weren’t really alive anymore. Zombified almost…if you want to be simple. But Kawai and his crew realized the link in the chain was Leong, so they… 4. CAPTION (Marino): Wait…they killed Leong— again? PANEL 3: A shot of both men in the frame now. Marino looks less confused and more focused. In turn, we really want to show Cooke as looking a bit more sinister as he starts to drop the
final parts into place for the reader to realize why he would know all this detail-being that he is obviously “just” an attendant like Marino is. 5. DIALOGUE (Cooke): Welllll….Leong realized he had to go, the voices that were once in his head were now out of his mind if you get my meaning. And while a few of the Sentinel chiefs were willing to give up that discovery, that power... some knew it was the way to more of that unknown they wanted to find. That’s why you have heard of Kawai, but not Bethmann… one of them had an idea on working the rust from the hinge, and it looks like we have been successful. 6. DIALOGUE (Marino): We? What the hell are you talking about man? The muckity mucks here are probably thrilled to see this guy back again without… without… wait if there is one then where is the oth— PANEL 4: CUT TO the close up of Cooke’s face. Menacing yet relaxed, a classic villain turn. 7. DIALOGUE (Cooke) Noctem. Well, you finally figured out the right question pal. Took enough chatter to get to now didn’t it? The key is turned, the lights are going out and all that. Welcome to the future Frank-O. By the way, thanks for keeping me company the last few years, it’s been fun. PANEL 5: Cooke leaps forward at Marino now, his arm raised up at throat level to pin him to the wall behind him. Marino drops his cigarette to the floor. Cooke looks menacing, but not crazy. PAGE 10 PANEL 1: SLAM! Cooke has Marino pinned to the wall with a forearm choke and it’s obvious that the lights are out in Marino’s eyes…no pithy “why” or anything for him. Sorry. The smoke from his fallen cigarette goes up past his empty face, stopping just shy of the NO SMOKING sign we saw earlier… Cooke has his free hand flipping open a cell phone. PANEL 2: Close up of Cooke’s face, now looking very relaxed as he speaks into his phone. The smoke rises past him, giving us the visual reference that he still has the choked Marino held aloft. 1. DIALOGUE (Cooke): No... no manifestations here. Your people are doing what they can I’m sure. Right… give me two hours too finish up here. Soon. Yeah…
PANEL 3: (small link to next sequence) Outside, looking over a dockside and out over the ocean. The moonlight illuminates a small fishing boat (guess who) under a mile off shore now. This sets the stage for our next move to… PAGE 11: PANEL 1: On the docks at night. Two gangs are around their cars. Two men with briefcases stand center stage as everything going on hinges around their transaction. We should see several storage sheds and cargo containers around them, shielding them from casual observers. This is the first appearance of MARCUS DE RAIS and JEAN FRANCO. This is obviously a high stakes transfer of drugs and the two men seem friendly in posture, even though they have all the muscle around for their individual protection. PANEL 2: The same scene of De Rais and Franco continues on, but from a different perspective. We are above them, on top of a storage container. Two armed men in combat gear with headset communication equipment are perched on the edge and keeping watch on them. Behind those two we are seeing between the heads of SHERIDAN ZELASCO and JASPER KALISEK. They are here to rip off the transaction below. 1. CAPTION (Jasper): Are we sure about this? 2. CAPTION (Sheridan): Hell no… but we are into Min-Woo Hyung’s money over our ass cheeks and we had best just pull this off and get it done with. It sure looks like we might just have some extra for that vacation. PANEL 3: A medium shot of Sheridan and Jasper, who are even more equipped with weapons and gear than the two mercs we just saw a the edge of the roof. Both look intent and are crouched low on the roof of the storage container. 3. DIALOGUE (Jasper): Great… well that might be a bit much. Good. These goons are prepped and ready? 4. DIALOGUE (Sheridan): We have enough equipment to dunk this place into the ocean pal, even without them. Let’s get it going and finished. I’m buying later… if you make it. PANEL 4:
Tight close up on Sheridan’s face with her hand snapping down her headset mike to her mouth. 5. CAPTION (Commlink): Seven, three…proceed. PANEL 5: Small inset of De Rais and Franco still talking, behind them we can see THAT BOAT, closer now. The angle is from the ground in the perspective of the mercs just ordered in by Sheridan. We don’t want to be to subtle about showing that boat coming, because it’s not long before it’s occupant comes to make his impact. PAGE 12 PANEL 1: A wide panoramic shot of De Rais and Franco surrounded by their goons, though only 1 guy stands close to them (directly behind Franco). The two are talking too each other normally. The goons seem to be scanning the area for trouble, however in the extreme corner of the panel one of the mercs is cutting the throat of a goon guard. A second merc follows behind him, armed with multiple handguns. 1. DIALOGUE (De Rais): Yeah, hell yeah. Way up this time, you would think those fools would have done better with the IPO… 2. DIALOGUE (Franco): Well, you put out crap product and you gotta know it ain’t gonna sell…don’t you? Well, it didn’t. PANEL 2: ACTION! The man behind Franco’s head bursts open in multiple directions as the twogun merc we saw in the previous panel unloads into his face. A medium shot, we can see Franco and De Rais both look surprised. Each is in motion and moving OUT OF FRAME in separate directions already. This isn’t their first dance so to speak. PANEL 3: Chaos ensues around the dock in this wider shot now. We can see out over the dock as both sides engage, the mercs cutting down the goons for the most part. We can clearly see the boat, now even closer than before, in the background. A dark figure is dropping off the side of the boat. Again, it’s not subtle…but it works. De Rais and Franco are both taking cover and seem to be yelling to each other. Have some fun here; lots of little details of the goons and mercs fighting it out as bullet hits and perhaps even some handto-hand fighting ensue. 3. CAPTION (Noctem): ViolEnce…closer..to home.
PANEL 4: Back UP now to an overhead shot of the action which rages on. Sheridan and Jasper are watching the chaos below. We can see De Rais and Franco in the pair’s line of sight. They look surprisingly relaxed, as all seems to be going to plan. The body pile is lining up in their favor below. 4. DIALOGUE (Jasper): Which one you want to grab? 5. DIALOGUE (Sheridan): Oh…Franco for sure. I mean…yes, Mr. Franco please. 6. DIALOGUE (Jasper): Yeah yeah Sheridan…fine. Hold on… 7. CAPTION (Communications): Looking almost clean down here, holding positions. 8. DIALOGUE (Jasper): Right. After you then milady. PANEL 5 A close up of Sheridan’s eyes, winking at Jasper. 9. DIALOGUE (Sheridan w/ sarcasm): why thank you… PAGE 13 PANEL 1: Sheridan and Jasper drop down from their position into the crowd of mercs and goons duking it out. Both are firing weapons into the baddies here. Wow, holy comic book action shot! A good look at the pair, this is our first chance to make them really recognizable to the reader. PANEL 2: The action continues as Jasper and Sheridan part ways heading towards their respective targets. Bodies lie scattered around, both goons and mercs alike. More goons. 1. CAPTION (Communications): Acquired… whataboutyou J? 2. CAPTION (Communications): In range, a few bits to move about first. 3. CAPTION (Communications): Show off. PANEL 3:
A medium shot. De Rais and Franco are heading towards each other with their backs close to the edge of the pier. A large railway container is blocking them from the main chaos. Neither of them is armed, and they are obviously shouting to each other over the noise and violence. 4. CAPTION (Communications): Where are you J? I’m set here, these two are hooking up. PANEL 4: Close up of Jasper cracking a goon in the throat with his hand in a ridge edge position (there is always room for some kung fu). He looks assured here, because we want to establish that these two are flat out bad asses early on. 5. CAPTION (Communications): 10 seconds…be right on you. 6. CAPTION (Communications): yeah, you’re always trying to get on me… PAGE 14 PANEL 1: Sheridan is on top of the container that De Rais and Franco are hiding behind, and we can see her right above them, ready to pounce. She is crouched and the two men are reacting to seeing her, though neither looked shocked. They know her and don’t appear to believe they are about to be killed. 1. DIALOGUE (Sheridan) Helloooooooo…. PANEL 2: Jasper rounding the container, and we get a different perspective of De Rais and Franco here. The two dealers are close to the edge of the pier now…very close. So close that it sets them up for the next panel. 2. DIALOGUE (Jasper): Regards from our mutual friend Min-Woo Hyung. Remember him? That guy you took from to do this deal Jean? He remembers… time to – PANEL 3: Jasper gets cut off because we have a close of Franco being IMPALED AND LIFTED STRAIGHT UP by one of the hooks we saw The Noctem using on the boat… We did see a big figure dropping off that boat earlier, so now our monster has come to shore. This
should be a gross setup shot for the larger panel to come next. The impaling and the fact that Franco is going upwards should be obvious as the Noctem leaps straight out of the water. Also note that Franco’s briefcase slips out of his hand, moving away from the water so that it can be retrieved next. 3. CAPTION (Communications): WHAT??? All units to the edge of the dock… PANEL 4: A beauty shot with just enough of Sheridan in frame to place her very close to the action. The Noctem now has both De Rais and Franco dangling from the hooks and is crouched low from landing after leaping out of the water, catching both men. They look to still be alive and in great pain. That won’t last of course, but screaming and impaled looks good. 4. CAPTION (Communications): coming to your position. 5. CAPTION (Communications): What the hell is that? 6. CAPTION (Communications): Take it down…now! NOW! 7. CAPTION (Communications): clean up not complete, converge to final positions! PAGE 15 PANEL 1: A shot from behind Noctem now, we can see De Rais and Franco hanging suspended by the hooks, looking less lively now. Sheridan and Jasper are leaping backwards out of frame and bullets are hailing down from above on Noctem. Noctem looks enraged of course. 1. CAPTION (Communications): Does ANYONE have any idea who or what that is? Team leaders…respond PANEL 2: Sheridan retrieves one of the briefcases as the other is being lifted up at the edge of the frame by Jasper. Noctem stands between them. Sheridan is firing a pistol directly at Noctem, who is holding De Rais up as a shield. De Rais’ already limp body is absorbing the bullets (gorily of course). 2. DIALOGUE (Sheridan): Hell…J, are you clear?? We got what we wanted… PANEL 3:
Jasper with briefcase in hand is running past the edge of the storage container they were behind, clearly getting the hell out of dodge. He is firing one of his pistols into a goon who must be blocking his escape route. In the background we can see one of the merc team being a good soldier and following his order to converge on Noctem (even though the team leaders are clearly ready to take off). This gives us the logic we need that they will have time to escape the area. 3. DIALOGUE (Jasper): … so let’s beat it! Is there someone that Hyung forgot to tell us? That isn’t even a man... jeezus. Forget being worried about a little Korean with a bad attitude and a thousand goons…that guy, that thing… that’s a whole new trip. Let’s finish this and screw! PANEL 4: More battling for the poor goons and mercs here. They are being whittled away by The Noctem, who is tearing one goon apart by pulling at his head and his right foot. Another merc is seen being crushed beneath the foot of the stomping monster. PAGE 16 PANEL 1: Sheridan is running and yelling to Jasper. Behind her we can see Noctem still dismembering a goon while some others continue to shoot at it. 1. DIALOGUE (Sheridan): We do NOT want to take that particular trip Jasper… one way for sure. Go to the van and get rolling, I’ll catch—wait a second… PANEL 2: The Noctem stands alone at this point, bending over to pick something up amidst a body pile of dismembered corpses that litter the pier all around him. Noticeably there is no more gunfire or sound effects. PANEL 3: Close up of Sheridan turning back to look behind her at the Noctem and the goons now… 2. DIALOGUE (Sheridan, to herself): …awfully quiet now. PANEL 4: A wider shot of Panel 2 now. The Noctem is at the edge of the pier, the moon behind him lighting the scene up eerily. Bodies of mercs and goons are torn and shredded all around. Clearly at the forefront of the panel we see De Rais and Franco, who look relatively intact, though still with the huge hooks stuck through them. Dead. Again, have some
fun… this is what monster comics are for. Noctem doesn’t appear enraged anymore, more reflective or pensive as to his next move. Sheridan and Jasper don’t rate as objects of concern obviously. PAGE 17 PANEL 1: Cut to the escape van in an alley, Jasper leaning out the window looking back as Sheridan enters the panel. She is walking backwards towards him, watching Noctem and trying to make what sense of it she can. 1. DIALOGUE (Sheridan, mumbling): whatinthehellisthat?? Jasper…what the hell is that?? 2. DIALOGUE (Jasper) In. Now. I’m not sticking around to ask any questions, we have to get these to Min-Woo Hyung. 3. DIALOGUE (Jasper) Then we get the hell out of the city, because that thing isn’t going to stop here. No way. PANEL 2: The van drives away from the pier. Vroooom vroooof. 4. CAPTION (Noctem): Toys…Tools…Tools and broken toys… PANEL 3: A close shot of De Rais’ dead face and torn upper body. The hook is still visible in his body. The sharp point is near his jaw line. The Noctem’s huge dark hand is pulling him upwards. 5. CAPTION (Noctem) Not broken…tools. PANEL 4: Pull back to see Noctem holding both De Rais and Franco aloft in front of him while he looks at Franco inquisitively. The two men are pretty gruesome sights, but unlike the scattered bodies all around Noctem, they do appear to be in one piece. That would be because… PAGE 18 PANEL 1:
The Noctem begins to infuse them with something dark, an energy almost, but not like RAYS OF DARK LIGHT or anything, try to be subtle about it. But it must be clear. The darkness is creeping through the skin of the two men out of Noctem’s hands, and is obviously going to re-animate them. 1. CAPTION (Noctem): Time has come for dark over light… I can feel clearly my memory clearly coming clear… What toys better for tools than these…fools? 2. CAPTION (Noctem): Awake. PANEL 2: A small inset of Franco’s hand twitching! It appears that darkness is covering his flesh like spider veins now. And… PANEL 3: Behind Noctem we can see clearly the two men hanging on the hooks, but both of them have darkness infected skin… clearly alive and screaming. Their scream sound effects fill the top of the panel without captions. 3. CAPTION (Noctem): Live life like you lived before… spreading dark. PANEL 4: A small panel of De Rais and Franco PLOPPING to the ground as they are released from the hooks. The flop down looking like they are dead, no hint of the re-animation taking hold here yet. PANEL 5: De Rais and Franco…RISE FROM THE DEAD. Their skin is now almost completely blackened. It’s the first shot of a possessed zombie, so they should look very distinct, This will be the model for what Noctem’s hordes will appear to look like from here on out. 4. CAPTION (Noctem): Toy…generalsssss in toyland in general. PAGE 19 PANEL 1: A small insert panel showing CerberusTech’s headquarters. Exterior night shot. The building is up located on a hill, close to the visible body of water. Yes, the same water from which The Noctem has emerged. A logo on the building should be referenced for the reader’s future recognition of the building.
PANEL 2: Another small insert, a projector's beam. We are inside the building, in a briefing room. 1. CAPTION (Tysor): -- and I’m sure many of you know why you were called… one of the unthinkable results we always hope for has appeared. Brandon Leong is awake. Presumably though, not without a high degree of risk. PANEL 3: A wide-angle overhead shot. A long table, and at the head of the table speaking and looking outward and upwards we see EMILE TYSOR. Tysor is speaking to a group of men who are the BOARD OF DIRECTORS of CerberusTech. They are no normal looking group however. A wide range of characters, from scientists in clinical attire to kung fu masters in kung fu attire with the presence of one or two obviously “gangster” looking young men. Now we know that CerberusTech isn’t a simple research lab for sure. The board members look towards the projection on the screen we can’t see. 2. CAPTION (Tysor): 12 years and no changes have occurred in Leong’s case since his incident precipitated the closure of Sentinel. I’m sure we are all aware of the fact that Leong died for a brief time, before reviving along with his… manifestation. It was dubbed The Noctem and was presumed expulsed by Leong as a result of his instability. The containment procedures of the time barely sufficed to keep the event under control. We have only the experience of the two Sentinel survivors, Bunta Kawai and Andreas Bethmann, to work from this time. Sentinel’s destruction was almost complete. 3. CAPTION (Tysor): Sifu Kawai will join us shortly. Bethmann has never been of any assistance to us however. Our best efforts to find him have failed for years. 4. CAPTION (Tysor): We are all aware that this could happen. Some of us have even dared to hope it would. Containment was in place of course, but this is unlike the manifestation we have to work against. The Noctem is presumed active as before. Leong appears to have no knowledge of why this has occurred… of course, he was a skeleton only 42 minutes ago. We have not seen any evidence pointing to infestation… PANEL 4: A small inset panel, no captions over it. This is the projected slide the board is viewing. A blurry picture of The Noctem surrounded by what appears to be black skinned zombies surging forward towards the camera. A bit of a preview of this issues conclusion, it is best to keep it out of focus for now. PAGE 20:
PANEL ONE: A tight shot of the men at the table. One of the scientists is asking a question of Tysor here. He looks anxious and frightened in comparison to the other board members 1. CAPTION (Board Dr.): Emile… we have no sign of The Noctem at all? The rate of infestation at Sentinel was staggering, and we saw how unstable that became. They were prepared and— PANEL TWO: The door to the boardroom is now open and a small man is walking into frame, directly past Tysor who he pays no mind. It is Bunta Kawai. Kawai is an odd sight. He is in his early 80’s and dressed in traditional Japanese robes. While smaller than anyone in the room, his presence must be obvious and powerful. 2. DIALOGUE (Kawai): I… was very prepared. Sentinel was perhaps not, and we all paid our prices for that lack of foresight. This must not occur once more. Where is my student… 3. DIALOGUE (Kawai): And his shade? PANEL THREE: Tysor and Kawai in a closer shot. Tysor has his head bowed in respect to Kawai. Tysor’s posture suggests his deference to Kawai here. Kawai continues to speak. 4. DIALOGUE (Kawai): Dr. Tysor… Emile, I wish this were a better day. I’ve been following you closely and am impressed with your— PANEL FOUR: The door flies open behind the two men in a longer shot showing the surprised reaction from the board members, though not from Tysor and Kawai. It is Brandon entering our scene. He looks a bit better than his skeletal self from earlier, but he is heavily bandaged and wears a loose fitting robe. Between the bandages we catch patches of skin in some spots, bone poking through in other places. A good shot of him here should show both his progress and the fact that he is midway to being whole. 5. DIALOGUE (Brandon): Sifu! You look well… but has it been so long? I’d love to say this was a pleasure, but you know what has happened… I can feel it spreading. My sickness has become a plague now, and it has only begun. PANEL FIVE: A close up of Kawai’s face as he addresses the board before even speaking to Brandon. He looks grave…
5. DIALOGUE: (Kawai): It is time you have learned of what Sentinel was gentlemen… and the truth about what this night must survive to see another day… PAGE 21: PANEL 1: A dark alleyway. We are near the pier, and it should look very run down. Populated by those who don’t have a choice where to be at this hour, homeless people and drug addicts… all in search of either a score or sleep. 1. CAPTION (Kawai): …and you are not going to like it. PANEL 2: Closer up in the alleyway, we can see the people there now, all looking out of frame wide eyed. Some seem frightened, others enraptured. A voice caption appears, written in the same stylized design as The Noctem’s. It is De Rais, who know is infected with the Noctem’s insanity. ALL those infected will have this stylized presentation to the dialogue balloons. 2. DIALOGUE (De Rais): Forget the garbage…this is free. Freeing… PANEL 3: We join the crowd’s line of sight now, and see both De Rais and Franco with huge gaping wounds in their chests and their faces distorted with The Noctem’s madness. They continue to speak and look like monstrous drug dealers instead of simple run of the mill scumbags, carnival barkers peddling insanity and violence. Their clothes are stylish, but in tatters. In the background we see the outline of The Noctem. 3. DIALOGUE (Franco): Come get some! The high that will let you fly outside your mind… 4. DIALOGUE (De Rais): A pure slash of crimson fun that costs you nothing but your pain… everything you want is yours to take. 5. DIALOGUE (Franco): For nothing but a little obedience and a lot… 6. DIALOGUE (De Rais): Say it….SAY IT! 7. DIALOGUE (Franco): A whole lot of blood. 8. CAPTION (Noctem): Rivers of blood… PANEL 4: A tight close up of The Noctem’s face, eyes closed in meditation. It’s dark “flesh” is sliding around and appears a bit distorted to lead into the larger shot next panel.
9. CAPTION (Noctem): Years… of Darkness. PAGE 22 PANEL 1: A very wide view, we can see the alley full on… as well as De Rais and Franco. Bodies lie all about them at their feet and the energy effect we saw The Noctem imparting to them in resurrection is being channeled through them as if they were lightning (or darkling) rods, with the main source of power flowing from The Noctem who is behind them. All the alley dwellers close to them appear dead and motionless. PANEL 2: The edge of the motionless bodies, further down the alley. There are a few living people walking TOWARDS the bodies as if entranced. The closest to the pile are falling down into the mass of “corpses.” PANEL 3: A small WHITE panel amidst all this, simply to hold (and set apart) dialogue from what is obviously Brandon and Kawai 1. CAPTION (Brandon): Sifu… how could my mind create this? Why? 2. CAPTION (Kawai): It does not matter…how we end it is what we must seek now. PANEL 4: Back on the body pile, which has grown HUGE now, corpses are stacked on top of each other. This is a small panel to lead into our finish. PANEL 5: The body pile, except ALL of the eyes have snapped open and the corpses’ flesh are dark now. The Noctem has spread itself. 3. CAPTION (Noctem): Go. END ACT 1