FAMILY NAME (final script by James Cooper) with notes

I’m sorry, folks, but I can’t figure out why the formatting disappeared on this story, and I cannot get it back.  Everything is either centered or flush left,  no matter what I do, but I tried to get some formatting back…sorry James and Daniel, but here’s the script to read!

 

“The Family Name”

Written by James Cooper

Pencils by Daniel Wong

——————- Page One | Three Panels ——————-

————-1 (CU) The rotting corpse of Sherlock Holmes looks up at us
from his freshly dug up grave. (Big Panel)

ELIZABETH
His spyglass has been taken.

————-2 – (Med) Standing over the grave: Elizabeth and Trey Holmes.

ELIZABETH
What do you reckon?

TREY
He’s bloody tall.

—————-3 – (Est) Trey knelt down, observing the ground. Elizabeth
watches on. Footprints are scattered around the grave.

ELIZABETH
Looks like our leader’s footprint here.
Doesn’t move ’round like the others.

TREY
Sporting a limp, at that. Congenital Hip
Dysplasia, would you say?

ELIZABETH
I would.

——————- Page Two | Five Panels ——————-

—————1 – (Med) The footprint. Trey studies it with nothing but her
naked eye. Elizabeth watches over her. (Big Panel)

TREY
It’s an expensive Crockett & Jones dress
shoe. He’s a man of means.

ELIZABETH
A heavy limp and no cane marks.
Stubborn as a mule, I’ll bet.

————–2 – (CU) Elizabeth investigates the walls of the dug-up plot.

ELIZABETH
They didn’t dig him up. The dirt here is burnt.
Consistent with the effects of a high-powered laser.

—————-3 – (Med) Elizabeth and Trey stand over the dug-up plot.

TREY
How do you suppose they brought in a big
thing like that without being noticed?

ELIZABETH 1
Wasn’t big. Local outfit recently patented a
portable laser for mining expeditions. RaTek.

ELIZABETH 2
Charles Crawford’s the CEO, but he’s on his death bed.
His son Ashton’s about to inherit the company, and would
you know it? Suffers from Congenital Hip Dypslasia.

————–4- – (Est) Exterior shot of the expansive (and expensive)
Crawford Estate.

TREY NARRATION
And Bob’s our Uncle.
I’ll call for the Deerstalker.

——————5 – (Est) The main room of the Estate. It just oozes ‘money’.
Marble floors, skylight, pretentious “art”, etc. Armed
mercenaries are positioned all over the house. Ashton stands at
the second floor balcony overlooking everything.

ASHTON
I have matters to attend. It trust you’ll
keep an eye out for trouble.

——————- Page Three | Four Panels ——————-

————-1 – (Est) Similar to the last panel of page two, but now:
Elizabeth and Trey are crashing through the skylight. Ashton is
pissed. His mercenaries scatter, avoiding shattering glass.

————–2 – (Med) Ashton looks down at Elizabeth and Trey. (Big Panel)

ASHTON
I didn’t expect you so soon, Holmes.
No matter. I’ve paid handsomely to ensure
no one disturbs my plans.

TREY
You’ve got a bloody cheek, haven’t you?
Bad form, underestimating a Holmes, you prat.

———3 – (Est) Mercenaries have surrounded Elizabeth and Trey. As
Ashton walks away he barks:

ASHTON
It’s a shame you have to die.
I’m such a fan of Sir Sherlock. Farewell, ladies!

——————4 – (CU) Elizabeth and Trey are back-to-back.

ELIZABETH
I count twelve on two.

TREY
I’ll take quality over quantity any day.

—————- Page Four & Five | Eight Panels —————

These pages will be designed as a double page spread.

Elizabeth and Trey are both natural fighters capable of
impressive physical feats. These pages should act as a showcase
of their physical prowess.

————-1 – (Est) In the foreground, Elizabeth lands a haymaker punch on
one of the mercenaries. Behind her, swords drawn, Trey leaps
toward an opponent. Mercenaries everywhere. (Big Panel)

—————2 – (Med) Elizabeth delivers a splits-kick to two mercs.

—————–3 – (Med) Trey slices through a merc’s gun.

—————-4 – (Med) Elizabeth has one merc in a headlock as she drop kicks
another.

———————–5 – (Med) Trey has impaled her swords into the ground and uses
them for leverage as she kicks a merc in the face with both
feet.

—————-6 – (Med) Elizabeth clubs a merc across the face with the butt
of his own gun.

————–7 – (Est) Trey and Elizabeth stand amongst a sea of unconscious
mercenaries.

TREY
How you holding up?

———————-8 – (CU) Elizabeth smirks.

ELIZABETH
Ain’t my first rodeo, darling. I’m just fine.

——————- Page Six | Four Panels ——————-

—————-1 – (Est) Trey and Elizabeth throw open the doors to Ashton’s
office. The posh executive office has been transformed into a
makeshift laboratory. A large machine takes up most of the room.
At the centre: Ashton, surrounded by objects in glass cases.

ASHTON 1
Weak! Stupid! Can you imagine? These
are the words my Father uses to describe me!

ASHTON 2
Today, however, I prove him wrong. It’s been
years in the making, but finally, my machine is ready.

———————–2 – (Med) Ashton sitting in his office chair. A king on his
throne. Surrounding him in glass containers, we see Sherlock’s
spyglass, a broadsword, etc. (Big Panel)

ASHTON 1
For years I’ve spared no expense in hunting down
artifacts belonging to history’s greatest minds:
Chalk once belonging to Albert Einstein,
Ada Lovelace’s analytical engine algorithm,
Alexander the Great’s broadsword, and finally,
after months of radar scanning London’s grave
sites: the Spyglass of Sherlock Holmes!

ASHTON 2
Using kinetic ectoplasm, I will convert the
energy contained within these objects into
raw cerebral energy, and become a mastermind
so brilliant my Father will have no choice
but to recognize me as the rightful heir
to his company!

————————-3 – (Med) Trey and Elizabeth are disappointed at their
discovery:

TREY
He’s absolutely daft.

ELIZABETH
Y’know, I almost wish kinetic ectoplasm existed.
He just seems so sure this will work.

——————–4 – (CU) Ashton flips the on switch to his machine.

ASHTON
Now you will bare witness to the dawn of
‘an entirely new level of the human intellect
the likes which the world has never seen!

——————- Page Seven | Five Panels ——————-

——————-1 – (Est) The room is still. Nothing has happened.

—————-2 – (Med) Trey and Elizabeth aren’t surprised. Ashton begins to
realize his grave mistake.

TREY & ELIZABETH

That’s it?

ASHTON
Bollocks.

————————-3 – (Med) Trey and Elizabeth walk down a clean, sterile looking hallway.

CAPTION
Later…

TREY
Edgar’s locking up the artifacts, so what’s next for us?

ELIZABETH
With Ashton out of our hair, I’d call that a day.

—————4 – (Med) Ashton, in a straight jacket, is being dragged down a
hallway by orderlies. He’s livid.

ASHTON
You haven’t seen the last of me, Holmes!

————5 – (Est) Exterior shot. We’re at an insane asylum.

ASHTON
This isn’t the end!

CAPTION
The End.

 

============================================

 

script by JAMES COOPER
“The Family Name”

Trey and Elizabeth are on-site at the grave of Sherlock Holmes, which has been broken into and robbed of his Spyglass. They’re able to deduce from footprints in the dirt that one of the suspects has a limp.

The absence of cane imprints suggests that, despite a limp, the suspect is stubborn enough to refuse a cane. It is also clear that this set of footprints must belong to the leader, as the footprints suggest minimal movement during the grave robbing. Likely the result of someone standing and giving orders during the ordeal. This fact, coupled with the distinct markings of an expensive Crockett & Jones dress shoe, suggest the ring leader achieves his status through financial means over his own cunning.

Sherlock’s grave placement has been a matter of secrecy until now, so whoever pulled this off must be able to afford the best of the best. Elizabeth takes particular note of the burnt Earth around the dug up grave. A quick scan indicates trace levels of the same type of electromagnetic radiation used in lasers. Lasers are typically part of massive, complex equipment, but one company, RaTek, has recently patented a portable laser solution for use in mining expeditions.

The Founder and CEO of RaTek, Adam Thomas, is bed-ridden in a hospital, but his son, Ashton, suffers from Congenital Hip Dysplasia, which is a malformation of the hip joint, causing one to limp from birth. They have their suspect.
In the Deerstalker, Trey and Elizabeth fly over the Thomas estate. An infa-red scan indicates there are a dozen people inside. Elizabeth and Trey dive out of the Deerstalker and crash through the mansion’s skylight. Ashton is there with many bodyguards. Elizabeth and Trey fight through the guards, but
not before the thief and Ashton lock themselves in his office. After disobeying an order to stay nearby, Trey is overcome by bodyguards and needs to be saved by Elizabeth.

Once they dispatch the guards, they bust into Ashton’s office, only to find it empty. Looking around, Elizabeth identifies a false bookshelf by noticing the faux Oak finish: it’s a lightweight plywood made to resemble the Oak furniture in the rest of the room. The shelf opens to a stairway, which they follow into an underground room filled with tech.
Ashton has been stealing artifacts and relics that once belonged to who he believes are the “Greatest Minds of History” including Alexander the Great’s sword, Sherlock Holmes’ glass, chalk that had once belonged to Albert Einstein, the pen Hitler used to write Mein Kompf, etc.

Ashton has built a machine using a mixture of fringe sciences that would allow him to absorb the energy stored within the objects, using his body as a conduit (the average human body is 60% water), to make himself an intellectually enhanced mastermind capable of besting any adversary and building an empire that will outlive him for generations.

Always belittled by his Father for his ineptitude and seeking his Father’s acceptance before he dies, Ashton commissioned the completion of the machine and intends to use the machine on himself to become a mastermind beyond even his Father. He will crush his father’s competitors and win his affection.

Realizing that Ashton is clearly nuts, they let him flip the switch to power the machine. Nothing happens. Unable to admit defeat, Ashton launches himself at Elizabeth, who knocks him out in a single blow.

Elizabeth and Trey are able to recover the Spyglass and other artifacts, and back at Holmes Inc, Edgar the First locks up everything in a vault in the  sub-levels of Holmes Inc.

——————-

NOTES:

The ONLY think I might say about this (besides how much I like it) is that the panels moments before he turns on the machine have to be timed just right.  I’d suggest a few panels focusing on the mad man without any sign of the Holmes team, while the scientist rants…and then perhaps ONE panel of Elizabeth making the sneering comment, then we go back to the machine being turned on.  That’s merely a suggestion, I’ll be happy to see how you work out that beat.

Magnificent all around, though.  Can’t wait to see this one.

Ty–

Comments, Rob?

——————————————————-

This story moves really well. Some excellent clues and loads of action and shot of a skeletal Sherlock Holmes in is grave to kick things off. Does it get any better than that?

The new ending is a priceless moment.  One question – What happened to the thief? He’s there and then he’s not.  Do we see him abandon Ashton with a wave and a “You’re on your own!”?

This is gonna be an awesome tale!
Cheers,
Pinc
——————————-
James responded:
Thanks for catching the bit about the thief. I had actually intended to remove him completely from my story and forgot to take out that piece.Reason being is that he already gets the better of our heroes in Darius’s story, so I didn’t want him to show up just quickly enough to do the same in this story as well.

If you guys think he should be in there, I can definitely include him, but I think the story works just as well without him.

  1. March 28, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Considering the formatting crapped out on you, it came out perfectly readable. Upward and onward!

  2. March 28, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Very nicely paced, James. It picks up speed as it goes along. And you left plenty of room for your artist to open up and play with the layout and action.

    -Pinc (Rob)

  3. Aaron Feldman
    March 29, 2011 at 6:03 am

    A timing suggestion for the last page. As much as it would pain me to have Daniel draw one LESS panel, I think having panels 1 and 2 on page 7 be identical panels (the medium shot) would work for comedic effect. Panel 1, they’d just stare at each other not moving, waiting for something to happen. Panel 2, we get the reaction. It would slow the action to a halt, but hopefully at just the right moment.

    • March 29, 2011 at 8:39 am

      Thanks Aaron, I’ll keep your suggestion in mind when I layout that page and see what works best visually.

    • March 30, 2011 at 5:33 am

      An interesting suggestion, but timing is more than just how many panels. The framing of the panel itself, where the vanishing point is placed, the expressions, the foreground/background balance…I’m holding off any comments on the pacing of that magnificent beat until I see something to comment on. Not that anyone should be discouraged from suggestions, that’s the point of this exercise, to create in public, and let people offer ideas!

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