Eight Seconds to Mayhem! script by Kathleen Gallagher (With Notes!)

Eight Seconds to Mayhem!
Written by Kathleen Gallagher
Art by Danny Setna

________________Page ONE (3 panels)_______________________

++++++++++++++++PANEL ONE+++++++++++++++++++++++

EXT. MURPHTEK CORPORATION’S RODEO & EXPO GROUNDS – DAY (Establishing shot of the farming expo grounds and rodeo. Should be similar to the CNE. There’s a small crowd of protestors clashing with a group of cowboys and security guards in front of the main gates.)

CAPTION 1
Houston, Texas. MurphTek’s Farmers’ Expo and Rodeo showcases the cutting edge of agricultural science alongside old-fashioned Texan brawn.

CAPTION 2
But the company’s genetic research has made the event a lightning rod for controversy.

++++++++++PANEL TWO+++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Edgar and Elizabeth arrive on horseback, cutting through the crowd in dramatic fashion. Edgar is dressed in a “dandy cowboy” look, complete with hat. Elizabeth will be in her regular Holmes Inc. action suit, with some slight Western flare, like a cowboy hat.)

EDGAR
Make way, ladies and gentlemen! There’s no time to waste.

STORY TITLE & CREDITS

EIGHT SECONDS TO MAYHEM:

++++++++++++PANEL THREE++++++++++++++++++++++

(Edgar dismounts his horse with a flourish, doffing his hat at Sheriff Doris Grant. She looks at Edgar with a mix of horror and amusement. Elizabeth looks on, with a wry smile. She knows Edgar is in for a rough time from the Texans.)

ELIZABETH
Sheriff Grant! Good to see you again. This is my cousin–

EDGAR
Edgar Holmes the Second, madam.
Here to save your rodeo for queen and country.

__________________PAGE TWO (5 panels)_______________________

+++++++++++++++PANEL ONE++++++++++++++++++++++++++

INT. HALLWAY OF RODEO HEADQUARTERS – DAY (Edgar, Elizabeth and Sheriff Doris have entered rodeo headquarters, and are racing down the hallway towards a conference room.)

ELIZABETH
The problem isn’t those protestors, sheriff. It’s bigger than that.
Eco-terrorist Theo Slater has escaped custody and we believe he’s targeted the rodeo.

DORIS
I’ve gathered staff in the conference room. My officers are at your disposal.

++++++++++++PANEL TWO+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(Edgar, Elizabeth & Sheriff Doris enter the conference room.
This should be a fairly large panel, so we can see our supporting characters: Jolene, Cassidy and McMurphy.)

DORIS
This is Mayor Larry Cassidy, and our rodeo director, Jolene Melchett.
You know Mr. McMurphy, our patron.

McMURPHY
I won’t have my expo ruined by some tree-hugging freak!

EDGAR
Slater’s methods may be unorthodox, but he’s also sloppy and obvious.
Although it’s enough to befuddle the local authorities.

+++++++++++PANEL THREE++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(Doris is offended, so Elizabeth steps between her and Edgar. Meanwhile, Edgar grabs a rodeo staffer from the hallway, who is already occupied, carrying a box of supplies.)

ELIZABETH
Slater’s gang has stolen a slew of lab equipment and chemicals.
Mixed together as a drug, it causes severe aggression and rabies-like symptoms in livestock.

EDGAR
You there, fetch me a cup of hot tea. And make sure the water is freshly boiled.

+++++++++++++++PANEL FOUR++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(Elizabeth continues the briefing. Jolene laughs at the mention of the GM cows, whilst nervously fiddling with a dangling earring. McMurphy glares at her.)

ELIZABETH
Slater is going to sabotage MurphTek’s genetically modified cattle.
The ones you’re premiering to the public tomorrow, Mr. McMurphy.

JOLENE
Oh, yes, the amazing fart-free cows!

McMURPHY
Reducing livestock methane emissions is serious science, Jolene.

++++++++++++PANEL FIVE++++++++++++++++++++++
(Edgar stands haughtily, his arms folded. He looks bored. Elizabeth winces at his remarks.)

EDGAR
Frankly, I doubt it will make a difference. Whenever I visit Texas, my clothes require industrial- strength dry cleaning to rid them of the stench.

CASSIDY
Now see here, you pompous–

++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL SIX+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Elizabeth smiles, and cracks a joke, lightening the mood.
Everyone laughs but Edgar, who looks annoyed.)

ELIZABETH 1
Y’all will have to excuse Edgar.
He thinks the sun comes up just to hear him crow.

ELIZABETH 2
But let me assure you: we will find this man.

_________________________PAGE THREE (5 panels)_______________________

++++++++PANEL ONE+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(EXT. DAY: THE RODEO GROUNDS. After the meeting, Elizabeth & Edgar stroll through the exhibition grounds, looking for clues. Edgar is cranky.)

ELIZABETH
When we took this case my biggest question was who is bankrolling Slater.
But that certainly cleared things up.

EDGAR
I’m surprised you were paying attention.
By the end of that meeting, you were all carrying on like giggling schoolgirls.

+++++++++++PANEL TWO++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Elizabeth stops in her tracks to lecture Edgar. Edgar rolls his eyes.)

ELIZABETH
Aw, is precious Edgar jealous that he isn’t the belle of the ball?
This is Texas, not Eton. You need to win their respect.

++++++++++++++PANEL THREE++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Edgar spots two rodeo clowns hauling supplies on the far side of the panel.)

ELIZABETH
Listen, I know what it’s like to feel out of place.
It’s tough.

EDGAR
Spare the pop psychology for another time.
Look at those clowns.

+++++++++++++PANEL FOUR++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(Main focus of the panel should be our nefarious rodeo clowns.
Edgar and Elizabeth check them out.)

ELIZABETH
Body language is all wrong. I doubt those boys have ever touched a horse, let alone rode one.
And those boots…

EDGAR
Brand new, but covered with chemical stains.

++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FIVE++++++++++++++++++++

(EXT. – SLATER’S TRAILER, NEAR THE RODEO STABLES AND HOLDING PENS – DAY.
Edgar and Elizabeth are on the edge of the panel, and we can see the clowns meeting with Theo Slater, outside the trailer. He holds a small bag of the tainted feed.)

ELIZABETH
Got here just in time. Slater has a feedbag with him.

_________PAGE FOUR (4 panels)_______________________

++++++++++++PANEL ONE+++++++++++++++++++++++++

(Elizabeth and Edgar tackle the goons, as Slater runs off with the feedbag.)

SLATER
Holmes Incorporated? Stop them!

EDGAR
Get back here, Slater!

++++++++++++++++PANEL TWO++++++++++++++++++++++++
(Edgar delivers a haymaker to one of the goons. Another goon swings at Elizabeth with a makeshift weapon of some sort, like a piece of plywood. She manages to dodge the blow, while kicking him in the gut.)

++++++++++++++++PANEL THREE++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(The fight continues in the background, as Slater runs up to an already imposing-looking bull in a holding pen. He feeds it some of the tainted food.)

+++++++++++++++PANEL FOUR+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(The bull quickly becomes rabid and monstrous, breaking free of his pen.
Bystanders run for cover.)

BULL
RARRRWWW!!!!

(Sound FX for the breaking pen)

________PAGE FIVE (5 panels)_______________________

+++++++++++PANEL ONE+++++++++++++++++++++++++
(Edgar is dispatching the last of the goons.
Elizabeth turns towards Edgar, and pulls out an Epi-pen.)

ELIZABETH
I mixed up an antidote ahead of time.
It’ll take more than bullets to put him down in that state.

EDGAR
Say no more.

++++++++++++++PANEL TWO+++++++++++++
(Elizabeth lassos a rope around the bull’s horns and manages to distract him just before he plows into a group of terrified children.)

ELIZABETH
Oof! Now, Edgar!

++++++++++++++++++PANEL THREE+++++++++++++++++
(Edgar has climbed up on a nearby fence and leaps onto the crazed bull.)

EDGAR
I’m sending you the dry cleaning bill, Slater!

++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FOUR ++++++++++++++++++
(Yee-haw! Bull riding! Edgar grabs the rope to steady himself with one hand, and in the other hand stabs the bull with the Epi-pen.)

++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL FIVE+++++++++++++++++
(The bull collapses and Edgar topples to the ground.)

MALE BYSTANDER
Whoo-eee! He lasted 10 seconds! That’s a new record!

____________PAGE SIX (6 panels)_______________________

+++++++PANEL ONE+++++++++++++++++++++++++

(A crowd has gathered to cheer wildly for Edgar, who tips his hat in appreciation. But Elizabeth grabs his arm, eager to find Slater.)

EDGAR
What, only 10? Next time I’ll make more of an effort.

ELIZABETH
You can showboat later. We need to find Slater.

++++++++++++++++++++PANEL TWO+++++++++++++++++++
EXT. – TRAILER ON A DUSTY ROAD – DAY. (Parked outside the trailer are two pickup trucks.)

SLATER (off-panel)
I want my money!
Facing the Holmes family wasn’t part of the deal!

+++++++++++++++++++PANEL THREE++++++++++++++++++
INT. TRAILER INTERIOR. DAY. ( Slater faces us, angry. He is yelling at his benefactor, who is in our foreground. But we cannot yet see the benefactor, since she is obscured by shadow.)

JOLENE (off-panel)
You’re not getting another cent, Slater.
You didn’t finish the job. I want McMurphy ruined!

SLATER
I should have never teamed up with you.
You don’t care about the Earth, you just want revenge on an ex-boyfriend!

+++++++++++++PANEL FOUR++++++++++++++++++++++
(The villain steps out of the shadows and is… Jolene, the rodeo director!
She’s unhinged, clutching a rocks glass filled with booze.)

JOLENE
Ditching me for that trollop was only part of the story!
He stole my own cosmetics company out from under me!
I’ll make him pay!

++++++++++PANEL FIVE+++++++++++++++++++++
(Edgar & Elizabeth burst through the door of the trailer, pointing their guns at Slater & Jolene.)

EDGAR
My, you Americans do like to vent.

ELIZABETH
Both of you are under arrest.

JOLENE
What? How did you find me?

++++++++++++++PANEL SIX+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(Elizabeth strolls over to Jolene, while Edgar slaps the handcuffs on Slater.)

ELIZABETH
During the meeting, the possibility of MurphTek’s demise got you more excited than a whore during Fleet Week. A little digging turned up some curious uses of rodeo funds.

EDGAR
And using Jolene’s makeup line for the clown makeup, Slater?
Like I said, sloppy and obvious.

_______PAGE SEVEN (4 panels)_______________________

++++++++++++++++++++++++PANEL ONE++++++++++++++++++
EXT. EXPO GROUNDS. DAY. (Expo grounds chilli cook-off contest. A long table is set up with several pots of steaming chilli. Edgar and Elizabeth are at the centre of attention as they sample the food in front of an appreciative crowd. Mayor Cassidy sidles up to Edgar.)

CASSIDY
You’re welcome in Houston anytime, Mr. Holmes.
You got more guts than you can hang on a fence.

EDGAR
Why, thank you, mayor. I think.

++++++++++++++++++++PANEL TWO+++++++++++++++++++
(Elizabeth leans over to whisper in Edgar’s ear.)

ELIZABETH

Don’t worry. Your ordeal is almost over. We head home within the hour.

EDGAR
See, that’s the problem with you city slickers. Always in a rush.

+++++++++++++++++++PANEL THREE++++++++++++++++++
(Elizabeth looks surprised. But Edgar points out two flirtatious cowgirls nearby.)

EDGAR
You need learn how to relax, Elizabeth.
As for me, I intend to repay this generous Texan hospitality.

++++++++++++PANEL FOUR++++++++++++++++++++++

(Elizabeth laughs and shrugs as Edgar strolls off with the girls.)

ELIZABETH
Best of luck, partner.
After five bowls of Texas chili, you’re going to need it.

 

NOTES:  This is fantastic.  I love the pace, love the dialog (esp. Elizabeth’s.  It’s so wonderfully authentic.) love the clown fight and love the subplot about the cousins annoying each other.  Just great.  My only real note is that the sudden introduction of the cosmetics company seems out of left field.  I know you wanted to include it so she’s not just a jaded girlfriend, but it seems so arbitrary at that point.  It’s about poisoning the non-farting cows and the cosmetics company bit doesn’t seem tied into the other world other than be leaping there.  The clowns wearing the make-up wasn’t a strong tie-in, and seemed s forced as the cosmetics company in the first place.

I don’t know, could it be that there’s illegal testing on the livestock?  Could it be that the jilted lover thing cost her a sizable investment in the rodeo promotions company…something, so she’s a cheated business partner primarily?  My only complaint is that I find a slight WTF moment when the make-up company shows up.  Can you plant a runner for the make-up company, something she mentions off the top for some reason.  I think if you planted a runner it might pay off.

Other than that one moment, the rest of this story is filled with great moments, and even greater character bits.  I love it.

Ty the Guy

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  1. March 16, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Just a passing thought: what if the Former Beauty Queen is the rodeo director because she uses her position to get her free supply of by-products from the animals as the secret ingredient to her line of beauty products, and that the genetic modifications would compromise the ingredient?

    • March 16, 2011 at 2:50 am

      This is Daniel, btw.

      • Kathleen
        March 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm

        Hmm, there’s a thought. Thanks, Daniel!

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