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Author Topic: INDENT  (Read 258 times)

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Offline Echo_River

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INDENT
« on: April 06, 2017, 11:54:10 PM »
I started writing this story this year. It was based off of an old story idea I'd long forgotten, but I found it in my old notebook and had some new inspiration for it.

I'll be posting completed chapters here. I usually write my stories in prose, but I've used my own format of script for this because I might (just might) draw it in the future.

Discussion topic for story can be found here. Comments, critiques, and questions welcome. Concepts and other info will also be put there.



INDENT

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Action, Mystery

Synopsis: 21 y.o. Ira has known that monsters were real since he was a child. As an adult, he still encounters them nightly, and the only reason he has survived up till now is because of his ability to repel monsters. This ability is a mystery even to Ira, who has had it his whole life. Soon, Ira finds he has to deal with more than the man-eating beasts.


Chapters --

Chapter 1 - Puncture

Chapter 2 - Fissure

Chapter 3 - Crevice
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 05:30:54 PM by Echo_River »
No one is perfect . . . that's why there's erasers and extra paper.

My DA Account -> http://neysun.deviantart.com

Offline Echo_River

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Re: INDENT - Chapter 1
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 12:05:34 AM »
(Due to length, I've separated the chapter into parts.)

Chapter 1: Puncture

1

Scene - Nighttime. A large metropolis.
Many people mill about on the streets that are lit up by streetlamps and store lights.

[Caption: Downtown]

Man(thoughts): Hide…

Scene - Elsewhere, a man runs through dark narrow and secluded alleyways, his face hooded.
    He is not entirely alone. Behind him, a group of figures chase after him. Their eyes glow red in the shadows and their movements sound heavy and rough.

Sfx - (Man) Panting
Sfx - (Figures) Growling

Man(thoughts): Wait…

Scene - The man dashes around a corner and out of sight. Just as the figures round the corner themselves, rapid footsteps sound out and the man rushes directly towards them.

Sfx - (???) Step step step step step…..
Sfx - (???) WHAM.

Scene- Without witnessing the impact, we see the figures thrown back forcefully and bruised badly. Where they are hurt, their skin shows the texture of scales rather than human skin. The man runs away without giving them a glance, wearing a freaked expression.

Man: And Ruuuuuuun!!

Scene - The man escapes at a full sprint

- - - - -

Scene - Nighttime. A neighbourhood somewhere.
    Our MC enters a house and leans against the door he closes behind him.

Ira: Made it (safely home again).

Scene - The MC’s hood falls off, revealing a young man with dark hair, combed to the right.
    His smile is a mix between a smirk and a grimace.
    He wears black jeans and a black collared T-shirt that says “NOPE” in white.

[Caption: Ira Leander Corner. 21 y.o. Cafe Employee]

Scene - Ira takes off his shoes and goes further into the house.

Ira: That was close. I didn’t expect there to be so many. I’ll have to try to not stay out so late.
    ...Not that this was my fault. The manager had to ask me to stay and clean up.
    Doesn’t anyone get how dangerous it is to stay out at night?!

Scene - Ira enters the next room which holds the living room, dining room, and a kitchen.
   Wordlessly, Ira goes to the table and sets the grocery bag he was holding down.
   The house is quiet and the furnishings are little. It has the feel of one who lives alone.
   As Ira serves himself the takeout dinner, he turns on the TV to see the news.
   Glancing at the TV Ira doesn't really listen to the reporter but reads the text on the screen.
   "Hole Puncher Still Loose After 15th Murder Streak".

Ira (thoughts): That's the area I go through to get home...

Ira: That area doesn't have enough lights...

Scene - Ira lays down his utensils with a strange expression.

Ira(thoughts): Wait. If it's that area - were those murders my fault?!

"Reporter": All of the victims were brutally killed, the bodies suffering from many lacerations and peculiarly - a single puncture through the cardiac organ.

Ira(thoughts): Ah, it wasn't me...
   
"Reporter": The police forces are scrambling to capture the Hole Puncher and believe it may not be the work of a single person but of a group of violent individuals. Opinions about this being a planned terrorist attack are also circulating; however, evidence suggests....

Scene - Ira finishes his dinner expressionlessly.

"Reporter": All citizens in the downtown area are being cautioned not to stay out late and advised to avoid dark areas as that seems to be the murderer's or murderers' targeted zone.

Scene - Ira deposits his dishes into the sink.

"Reporter": Anyone who believes they have information on the criminals is encouraged to come forward to the police -

Scene - Ira turns off the TV and heads upstairs to his room.

Ira (narrator): The Hole Puncher...a vicious serial murderer that plagues the downtown area of my city. They ambush people going through lightless areas and kill them by ripping out their organs - that's the story going around.
   But I know better...the real reason people are being killed....
   Is because of monsters.
   Cue laughter.

Scene - Ira shuts his door behind him, vein popping marks on his face.

Ira(thoughts): As if anyone would believe me!

Ira(narrator): I've known about monsters since I was a kid. My father and mother told me all about them.
   Not only that, but I started testing the pudding from a young age - monsters aren't just real -
   They're ugly. They stink. And they're weird.
   Almost every night when I walk through that dark street I get attacked by them. 

Ira(thoughts): Police can't even deal with a few stupid monsters...

Ira(narrator): Even if the populace heard about monsters, most of them would turn away from the truth.
   This truth sounds ridiculous after all and with all the media manipulation these days, what less can you expect from people? They brainwash them from infancy!

Scene - Scenes from Ira's childhood.

Ira(narrator):   I used to tell people about the monsters, but the responses I got...
   "You're crazy."
   "Are you still a baby?"
   "There are no such things as monsters!"
   "Look! It's Ira the monster boy! Run!"
   ....the bullying pushed me to my limits in elementary...
   So I stopped telling people.

Ira(thoughts): Let them die in their ignorance, the idiots...
   
Scene - Ira is dressed for bed and is playing video games.

Ira(thoughts): The darkness huh...

Scene - Ira takes a moment to look out the window and the night sky.

Ira(narrator): Monsters... creatures that are born in darkness and feed on evil...that was the description my dad gave them. I would've learned more about them....if they hadn't killed my parents those 14 years ago...

Ira: You could've mentioned they feed on humans too, old man.

Scene - Ira pelts the console buttons with a vengeance.

Ira(narrator): Ever since then, I've been running from monsters.
   The only reason I've survived is because of my ability.
   Cue laughter.
   To anyone else, I'm just as bizarre as the monsters.
   Screw common opinion. My ability makes me cool. How many other people carry abilities like me?
   Well, the most I can do is repel monsters. If any of the beasts get near me, they get blasted back by some sort of energy, like a force shield....which is great. I don't have to touch a hair of those disgusting things.

Scene - Ira stretches with a yawn and puts his game away.

Ira(thoughts): Come to think of it, are the monsters getting stronger? I used to be able to launch them a whole block away, now they hardly fall back a few meters.
   Maybe they're just getting fat. All those people they kill and eat...

Scene - Ira lies down in bed, drowsy.

Ira(thoughts): Funny to think I've lived a pretty much normal life in spite of dealing with monsters all these years...
   If it hadn't been for that time, I might've been another ignorant idiot walking the street at night...
   ...or  I might've been killed a long time ago....

Scene - Ira drifts off to sleep and shuts off his thoughts...

- - - - -


2

- - - - -

Scene - Nighttime. Neighbourhood Area.
   A van drives past Ira's home.  It moves towards a cluster of warehouses at the end of the neighbourhood marked off with yellow "Danger" tape and parks just outside the area.
   After a few moments, a group of people exit the vehicle: two males and two females.
   They cross the tape and go over to a warehouse at the back of the plot of land.
   Once there, they split up into pairs - two wait at the front of the building while two skirt around to the back.

???: We're position, Jasper.

Scene - The group communicate by wireless headsets.
   The one who speaks to them is not physically with the group.

"Jasper": There are a total of eight hostiles within the warehouse. Five are on the ground, three in the balconies.
   Quartz, Em, and Amy target the ones on the floor - Lapis, take the upper ones.

???: Got it.

"Jasper": You're clear to go.

???: On my go then.
   Three...
   two...
   one....

Sfx - BAM.

Scene - The group barge into the building tactical style.
   Instantly, one of the members - a man - launches into the air, landing on the metal scaffolding as he draws out a thick blade and runs at a shady figure.
   When we approach the figure we find it looks like a human, frozen in surprise.
   The man strikes the figure down with his blade.
   Even as the body falls, the man raises and throws his blade to the other side of the building.
   - The sword stabs through another figure's chest, pinning it to the wall.

Sfx - Crack!

Scene - Below, three human-like figures have already been slain and two others are running.

"Jasper": Quartz! The door!

Scene - One of the females, a lean woman holding knives, goes to block the door from one of the running targets.
   However, the figure swerves towards the wall and runs directly at it.

"Jasper": Energy levels increasing!

Scene - Quartz throws one of her knives at the figure - not before it transforms into a large scaly beast that breaks through the wall. The pieces of concrete fly backwards at the group.
   A flashing object comes flying at the monster the moment the monster pokes it head out, startling it. 
   It doesn't notice the figure hurtling towards from behind.

Sfx - Fwoosh!

Scene - A construction pipe pierces the monster through its neck, killing it instantly.
   The blow is given by an older teenage boy.

???: Good one, Em!

"Em": Thanks -

Sfx - Splat!

Scene - A monster body from above crashes to the ground behind the boy.

"Em": Yuck!

???: Sorry. That's the last one up here.

Sfx - Crash!

Scene - We see a figure break through one of the windows.

"Quartz": It's gone outside!

"Amy": It's fast!

???: Track it, Jasper!

"Jasper": He's running for the residential area.

Scene - As the group start to sprint out of the warehouse, the object with flashing lights - a small drone - flits by them and rises into the night.
   From the drone's view, we see a small and lean monster running on all fours in the streets.

"Jasper": He is fast. Take the van. I'll try to slow him down. He's heading towards the main roads.

Scene - [In another room somewhere else, we see a number of screens monitoring the action.
   The middle screen shows the first person view of the drone.
   One side screen follows the running monster.
   Another shows the van pursuing the monster and gaining on it.
   On yet another screen there are a variety of different coloured lights.
   Sitting in front of the screens is a silhouetted individual wearing a headset and fiddling with a controller.]

"Jasper": I'm putting up a wall 800 metres ahead of you all.

???: Go for it, Jas.

Scene - Back to the streets, the drone whips past the van and the monster far ahead.
   It stops when reaches the end of the street and turns around to face the oncoming beast.
   [Then the individual in the room types a command on the keyboard in front of him.]
   A blue light activates on the drone and a wall of transparent energy builds up underneath it.
   By now, the monster reaches the drone's position - when it hits the energy of the "wall" it skids to a stop, snarling and cringing at the invisible force.

Sfx - Screeeeech.

Scene - The van, not far behind, stops and the group dashes out, swiftly surrounding the paralyzed monster.

"Jasper": Amy -

"Amy": I know!

Scene - Another member of the group - an older teenage girl wielding two pistols - darts forward and aims her sights towards the monster.
   Instead of shooting the monster, she fires two silent shots into the ground on either side of it.
   The monster stiffens as a string of purple energy arcs from the one bullet to the other passing through the monster's body.  The energy "wall" suddenly dissipates and the monster starts to shrivel up.
   Quartz then throws a knife into the monster's back. The beast collapses. 
   With a streak of blue, a blade comes and severs the creature's head from its body.

"Jasper": Was that really necessary, Lapis?

"Lapis": Sorry.

"Em": Overkill...

"Quartz": Is that all?

"Jasper": I think -
   .....

"Lapis": What was that?

"Jasper": It's just - I'm picking up another energy sig, It's not identified but it's positive.

"Lapis": ....ahhh.
   I know what you're talking about.

"Jasper": You do?

"Lapis": Yeah, don't worry about that. It's nothing dangerous.

"Jasper": Mind if I ask what it is?

"Lapis": It's probably...our lucky carbuncle.

"Japser": Carbuncle...?

"Lapis": Great.
   Call the clean-up crew. We'll move to the next location.

Scene - The group gets back into the van and drives away.
   Its lights deactivated, the drone lingers in the area.
   [In the room with the monitors, the individual views the screen displaying different coloured lights.
    Each light represents one of the members of the group and their position on a map.
   The cluster of lights that represent the group departing in the van move away...
   ...some distance away from them rests another light, red, and glowing brightly.]

"Jasper": ...

Scene - The drone finally moves, flying silently by the sleeping houses.
   On its way, it passes over the house where Ira sleeps soundly.

- - - - -


3

- - - - -

Ira: Whoa. Gross road kill.

Scene - Morning. Ira's neighbourhood.
   Ira walks on the sidewalk and sees a massive dark red spot at the end of the street.

Ira: Someone run over a family of raccoons...?

Scene - Ira walks by the scene and moves further into the city.
   It is around 7:00 am, but there is already much activity in the downtown core.
   Business people, students, hoodlums, etc....
   Ira heads deeper into the city, coming to business districts.

Ira(narrator): At night, I run from monsters....
   During the day...

Scene - Ira comes to a shop along the road that has tables and chairs set out front.
   He goes around the back to a side door and goes in.

Ira(narrator): I go to work.

???: Ira - I was going to tell you not to come in today, but I guess it can't be helped you're here now.

Scene - Ira is in a back room where we see the manager of the place and some other workers.
   The setting is in a cafe.

Ira: What? Why?

Manager: Amie came back.

Ira: I thought she was on le -

???: Hi handsome~!

Scene - A short young woman pokes her head into the back room. Her hair is brown, bang pinned back, and her eyes large with a touch of violet. She wears a white top with gray and black accents, a white bow with a purple brooch pinned at her collar with small black chains links hanging from it.

Ira: What are you doing here?

Amie: I finished my vacation early and decided to drop in today.

Ira: And drop out tomorrow?

Amie: No silly! I'll be back on regular shift so you head back to your beddy bed.

Ira: I'm already here, but I won't mind going back if you take my shift too today.

Amie: Why should I?

Ira: I've been taking your shift and mine for the past few weeks, missy.

Manager: Why don't you both stay the whole day? We do need the extra hands.

Ira: What?! But -

Manager: I'll give you both overtime pay.

- - - - -

Scene - Shot of the front of the shop.

[Caption - Corner Intersection Cafe ]

Scene - Ira and Amie are serving customers - Amie takes orders while Ira serves them.

Ira(narrator): During the night, I run from monsters. During the day, I work at this cafe.
   It's my normal daily routine. Can't say I like it any better than being chased by monsters.

Scene - Midday. The cafe gets busier.

Amie: Ira! Go take the orders from those customers - I have a whole list to take to the back already.

Ira: Do your own job...

Scene - Ira goes over to the new customers and pulls out a pad and pencil.
   The customers are a family of four with two small children.
   Ira starts to grimace, but pulls it back into a stiff smile.

Ira: Hi, are you ready to order?

"Father":  Yes, I'd like a coffee.

"Mother": I'll have a French Vanilla.

"Boy": Hot chocolate?

"Mother": Wanda, what would you like?

"Girl": Ummm...

Ira(thoughts): More customers are coming in...

"Girl": I...don't want what Carter has.

"Father": Then what would you like?

Ira: Take your time.

Scene - Ira's smile is at its limits.

"Girl": I don't know...

Ira: Our recommended drink of the day is the strawberry banana smoothie.

"Girl": I don't like banana...

Ira(thoughts): So much for that.

"Mother": C'mon hon. We'll get a milk chocolate for her.

"Girl": I don't want milk chocolate!

Ira(thoughts): Are you serious? Why did you come here then?

"Mother": No, the milk chocolate for her, please.

Ira: Sure thing -

"Girl": Mom!

Scene - Ira snaps, jabbing a finger at the table in front of the girl.

Ira: You're not getting anything.

Scene  - The family stares at Ira....who starts going red in the face.

Ira(thoughts): Crap....I did it again -

Scene - A hand comes and shoves Ira away.
   Amie stands there with a lovely smile and apologetic puppy eyes.

Amie: He said "I'll get you whatever you want, even custom".

"Girl": Really?

Amie: Really really.

"Girl": Then I'd like -

Scene - The girl rattles off some sort of complicated order to Amie.
   Her parents mutter to each other and look towards Ira.
   But Ira is no longer in sight.
   A little later, Amie serves the family.

Amie: (I'm truly sorry for his behaviour....he's new.)
   (We won't charge you for the girl's order.)

"Father": (I see...)

Amie: (And if you like, you can rate our employees online. I highly recommend it.)

- - - - -

Scene - Ira stands in the back room with the manager.

Manager: This isn't the first time, Ira.

Ira:...

Manager: What are you going to do?

Ira: I'm sorry.

Manager: Sorry isn't going to cut it.
   Ugh...I let you stay here because you're Leander's kid, but I have to think about my business too.
   I'm sorry to tell you this, but if you're going to keep that up....I can't let you work here anymore.

Ira: ...Tomorrow I'm going back to my regular shift.

Manager: That sounds best. Sorry for throwing you in with Amie.

Ira: Sorry for blowing up again, Mr. Richley.

Manager: ...go work in the back for now.

Scene - In the kitchen of the cafe, Ira moodily prepares drinks for the customers.
   The other workers leave him alone, glancing warily in his direction.
   Seemingly engrossed in his work, Ira hears their whispers.
   "He's not going to last long..."
   "Manager took him in several years ago. He's always been like that."
   "I'm surprised this place is still running."
   "I heard the manager was friends with his parents - they were killed in a car accident."
   "No wonder he turned out that way..."

Ira: Monsters....

Ira(thoughts): My parents weren't killed in a car accident, they were killed my monsters, freaking zeroes.

Scene - Those near enough to hear Ira's mutter stiffen and move away.
   
Ira(narrator): Mr. Richley looked after me when my parents died and let me live with his family till I moved out.
   I was never good with people, especially in school. Several times I was nearly expelled for fights.

Ira(thoughts): None of which I started. In fact, I never start any of the fights I get into.
   It's just everyone - humans AND monsters - picking on me as if they have a justified reason.
   Go ahead people! Say it to my face!

Ira: Even monsters are more honest than humans.
   Go ahead world! Fight me! I haven't gone down yet!

Scene - Workers overhearing Ira's mutters move away quickly.

- - - - -


4

- - - - -

Scene - Evening. Corner Intersection Cafe Back Room.
   Ira and Amie slouch in chairs, utterly spent.

Ira: You shouldn't have come back today.

Amie: You should've taken up my offer.

Manager: Thanks again, Ira, Amie.

Ira: Whatever...

Scene - Late evening. It is already pretty dark.
   The manager locks up the store and parts with Ira and Amie.
   Amie walks on ahead.

Amie: See you later, Ira~

Ira: Kay, bye.

Ira(thoughts); I want to go to bed as soon as possible and sleep in. So much for coming in this morning.
   Amazing how she puts up with me. Only a few ever do, like Richley...and Amie.
   Wait, that makes only two people. Really?

Scene - Ira, walking in the same direction, regards the back of Amie's head.

Ira(thoughts);   I mean, how long has it been? Six - seven years since high school?
   Heck, it's amazing how I've still put up with her.
   She's like a cackly cockatiel that chirps all day...wait, that's not right either.

Scene - Ira stops still on the street, struck by a thought.

Ira(narrator): Wait a sec, I can’t let her go home alone. What if she gets hunted down by monsters?
   That'd lower my acquaintances down to one - I'd have to put up with another worker in her place -
   And Richley might stick me on full shift.
   I... have to do this again, gah.

Ira: Wait – Amie!

Amie: ??

Ira: I’ll, uh, come with you.

Amie: I was wondering when you were going to ask. You usually do~
   But it's okay Ira, you don't have to walk me home all the time~ I can manage.

Ira: It’s, uh, dangerous at night, y’know. I’d feel bad if something happened, y’know.

Amie: Can you never be honest, Ira?

Ira: Guh.

Amie: Hehe, thanks for worrying about me.

Ira: (whatever. stop teasing me. freaking zero!)

- - - - -

Scene – Ira and Amie at a crossroad. Amie is leaving.

Amie: Just here is fine. Thanks again~.

Ira: This is why you should stick to day shift, got it?

Amie: Yeh yeh, mister antsy pants. Good luck on afternoons!
   And go home on lit streets. That Hole Puncher might still be out there.

Ira: Uh, yeah.

Ira(thoughts): Good riddance....I don't need you telling me about that of all people.

Scene - As Amie goes off, Ira glances at the environment.

Ira(thoughts): The crowds and lighting should be enough from here.

Scene – Ira looks over his shoulder with a grimace.

Ira(thoughts): …Now I gotta get myself home.

- - - - -

Scene – [Jasper views his screens, noting the purple and red light parting ways.
   He smiles, puts on his headset, and takes the controller into his hands.]

- - - - -


Scene – Ira walks along the sidewalk of a quiet street. The only ones around are those inside the stores.
   He comes to a dark path between two shops and glances everywhere.

Ira(thoughts): I haven’t seen any monsters down this way for some time.
   I might be wasting my luck…but this is the quickest route home from here.
   And I do have my ability.
   Alright, number 1 cool person in the world is going to take the stage.

Scene – Before entering, Ira takes out his phone and turns on the flashlight app.
Then Ira stomps quietly down the alley, keeping his eyes ahead and his ears behind.
   The street noises fade, the lights dim, and the darkness stays in front of the glow from the phone.
   Ira maintains an annoyed frown.

Sfx – Skitter…

Scene – Ira halts mid-step to a faint sound, eyes darting.
   When he sees nothing, he moves forward again, senses alert.

Sfx – Clatter…

Ira(thoughts): Oh s--!!
        You’re getting ahead of yourself, Ira.
   It was probably just a cat or a raccoon or a fox or a skunk…
   Not that I can defend against any of those…

Scene – Taking deep breaths, Ira steps forward stiffly.

Ira(thoughts):  Right, let’s do this.

Scene – Ira starts to pick up his speed, holding the light up.
   In his usual jig, Ira runs through the passage.
   Halfway down the alley there is a side road.
   As he approaches the intersection, a gangly monster jumps out from the side and smacks into the wall.

Ira(thoughts): WHOA.

Scene – Ira starts to slow in surprise, but catches himself.

Ira(thoughts): Keep the momentum. Break through. Just like every time.

Scene – Ira sets himself firmly and picks up speed again.
   The monster turns towards him, squinting at the flashlight.

Ira: Outta the way!

Scene – The monster growls and starts to charge at Ira -    
   -When it is suddenly struck by an unseen force and goes crashing back.
   Ira looks pleasantly surprised.

Ira: Hey, that was better than yesterday.

Scene – Grinning, Ira continues to charge down the passage when a huge form springs at him from the side road.
   Ira barely sees the monster, glimpsing only it’s body before an orange force whisks over him.

Sfx – BAM.

Scene – The arc of orange intercepts the monster and a vicious  wind kicks up.
   Not only is the monster pushed aside, but the force throws Ira forward too.
   The force, turned red, collides with the smaller monster ahead and sends it flying again.

Ira: Agh!

Scene – Ira rolls along the ground till he collides with the wall, winded and surprised.
   Dust rises from the impacts, hiding the monsters from view.
   Ira’s cell phone falls away from him, face down, and the alley goes into darkness.

Ira(thoughts): What was that? I hit something, right? Was that for real?

Scene – Ira staggers to his knees, coughing, and skin stinging where it rubbed against the ground.

Ira(thoughts): It never did that before. What happened?

Sfx - Growl...

Ira(thoughts): It's still there! I gotta run....

Sfx - Growl....

Ira:  - !!

Ira(thoughts): Behind me too. Which way was I going again?

Scene - The dust starts to lift and Ira sees the faint glow from his phone.
   He crouches and grabs it, looking at it for any damage, then turns it forward.
   A pair of legs appears first in the light, thick with long toes.
   Ira goes tense and moves the light around.
   A large head suddenly rises from behind the legs. Its eyes are sunken and its mouth split into quarters.
   Drooling green liquid, the monster, long, and with many legs uncoils itself and lifts its head up higher.
   Ira gapes, expression frozen.

Ira(thoughts): It's....HUGE!!

Ira: Run...run, run, run run -

Scene - The monster's eyes focus on Ira and go red.

Monster: Kuaaaaark!

Ira: Agh!!

Scene - As the monster lunges at Ira again, Ira spins and tears away from it.
   Passing by the smaller monster, his red force shield activates, tossing it away again.
   The larger centipede monster tramples over the small monster as it chases Ira.

Ira(thoughts): Where did that thing come from?!  Did they get bigger when I wasn't looking?!
   Not even my ability hurt it that much. I gotta get out of this alley - the exit should be just ahea -

Scene - At that moment, something whizzes by Ira and strikes a metal bin up ahead.
   The bin is coated with a dark slime that eats the metal away.

Ira(thoughts): Acid?!

Scene - Ira turns away from the main passage into a side alley.
   He meets a group of human sized monsters that don't have time to be surprised -
   - as his ability activates again and clears his path.
   It is just in time as the Centipedster crashes into one wall of the alley, spraying acidic saliva everywhere.
   The tremor knocks Ira down. None of the goo hits Ira, but the monsters are less fortunate.
   One monster ahead, hit by the acid, has holes right through its body.
   Ira starts, horrified.

Ira: This thing...is the Hole Puncher?

Monster: Kuuuaaarrk!

Scene - Ira turns with large eyes.
   His light shines on the colossal beast walking towards him, though it keeps its distance.

Ira(thoughts): I knew I shouldn't have come this way. My ability won't be enough to ward it.
   And I can't turn my back on this thing. I might get hit.

Scene - The monster curves its body and starts to open its mouth.

Ira(thoughts); It's going to do it again!

???: Hey! Don't just stand there!

Ira: Wha -

???: This way! Or you're gonna be fried!

Scene - Ira's eyes dart around as he tries to register if the voice he's hearing is real.
   The monster starts to eject its acid when it suddenly cringes.

Monster: Keeergggh!!

Scene - The monster reels with jerky motions as if in pain.

???: The alley to your left! Now!

Scene - Ira snaps out of his confusion and notices the small spaces between building a little ahead.
   Also hearing growling behind him, Ira bursts into action, diving into the narrow alley.
   At the other side of the alley it brightens.

Ira(thoughts): Light!

Sfx - Howling.

Scene - Partway through the alley, Ira looks back to see smaller monsters being tossed away by his ability.

Ira(thoughts): It's working better and better each time. You're finally working again.

Scene - Ira exits the alley to find himself behind the building and nowhere near a road.
   The area is lit by box on the ground with bright blue lights.
   Ira doesn't register it immediately.

Ira: Where is this? I thought I heard -

???: Yeah, it's me. Hi.

Scene - Ira swivels towards the box and gives it a glance before checking behind him to see if there's anyone.

???: No, over here.

Ira: What? The box?

???: Call me Jasper.

Ira: You called me here?

"Jasper": I helped you get away from them. Don't worry, the monsters won't come here - yet.

Scene - Ira reacts in surprise to the voice.

Ira: You know about the monsters?

"Jasper": Can we talk about me later? We need to get you out of here, lucky carbuncle.

Scene - Before Ira can ask more, the box, which is actually a drone, rises into the air.
   It heads down the alley, lighting the way, and Ira follows it.
   They go a few meters when the building behind them breaks apart.
   The centipede monster tears through with red eyes.

Ira: Oh gosh! It's still following me!

"Jasper": Us, actually. Just think about running.

Scene - The centipede monster is suddenly arrested by another invisible force that stalls it.

Ira:  How are you - just what are you?

"Jasper": Me? A human, of course. I'm controlling this.

Ira: A drone? Where did -

"Jasper": It's my own.

Ira: How do you know about all this?

"Jasper": What, you think you're the only one that knows about monsters aside from the government?

Ira: You're the government?

"Jasper": Not quite - hey, take a left at the road ahead, we need to throw him off our trail a little.
   It got out of my trap again. Toughie - Not the government.

Scene - Ira charges around the corner without encountering more monsters.

Ira: Then you must be a fat guy with glasses who sits inside all day and eats takeout.

"Jasper": How rude. I'm trying to help you here.

Ira: I never asked for it.  In fact, you're a little annoying. Go away.

"Jasper": ....freaking zeroes.

Ira: Huh?!

"Jasper": Nothing. - Turn right up ahead and you'll be at the road. I'll have to leave you there.

Ira: Hold on a sec, man, that's my original expression!

"Jasper": I know. Hey, I'll keep in touch. You might want to consider joining us one day, so here's my business card.

Ira: What -

Scene - The drone suddenly bumps Ira's shoulder.

Ira: Hey!

"Jasper":  Alright, I gotta go. Stay alive till then, kid!

Scene - Ira suddenly emerges onto a main road with lights. He skids to a stop and swivels.

Ira: Who're you calling a...

Scene - The drone is gone, leaving Ira alone.
   Panting, Ira glances around, looking for people and monsters, but sees none.

Ira: Hey! You - !

Ira(thoughts): What was his name again....?

Scene - Ira then notices a small white paper stuck to his shoulder.
   Taking it off, he sees it is a business card that says:
   "KRUOS ASSOCIATION. JASPER. OPERATION SUPERVISOR."
   A number of contact details were written on the card.

Ira: I should avoid going down that way next time.

Scene - A rumble startles Ira. He winces and starts to back away, staring at the darkness.
   Ira hesitates a little, then turns and sprints away.

- - - - -

Sfx - Bang bang!

Scene - In a dimly lit alley way stands a group of four darkly clothed figures.
   They stand over many monster bodies, and further on lies the body of the centipede monster.
   A blue light appears from a side street, followed by the drone.

"Jasper":  Looks like you didn't need my help after all.

"Amy": Jas! You're late!

"Jasper":  Eww, that biggie is huge. Everyone okay? No holes through your faces or hearts?

"Em": We're fine, thanks.

"Quartz": Your energy walls did much good.

"Jasper":  Glad to hear it. What do you think, Lap?

"Lapis": Looks good.

"Amy": What looks good about it?! Unnecessary overkill, my!

"Quartz": It seems they've been getting stronger and bigger.
   Makes me wish there were more of us...

"Lapis": But there aren't more of us.
   I can't say for certain this is the only culprit. Lots of monsters use acid.

"Em": We have to look after another Hole Puncher...?

"Lapis": Maybe. This one just happened to appear in our jurisdiction.

"Amy": About that! I thought you said the area was clear! I'm certain I saw a civilian!

"Jasper":  Did you? Where?

"Amy": Don't play games with me! You can see everything from your toy!

"Lapis": Calm down. No one got hurt. But Jas, make double sure next time.

"Jasper":  Yessir~ I'm calling the cleanup crew now.

"Lapis": Alright.
   ....by the way, where were you earlier? I think we lost connection a few times.

"Jasper":  Heh, just checking out our lucky carbuncle.

- - - - - -

INDENT. Chapter 1 - Puncture. END


« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 04:30:12 PM by Echo_River »
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Offline Echo_River

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Re: INDENT - Chapter 2
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2017, 10:32:14 PM »
Chapter 2: Fissure

1

Scene - Dawn. Residential Area. Ira's Neighbourhood.
   Ira lays sprawled in bed, deep in sleep. The morning light is still dim.
   The time on the digital clock on his side table turns 5:30.

Sfx - Beep beep beep beep.

Scene - Ira's eyes flick open. He swings himself out of bed and clicks the stop button.
   He starts to move towards the door when he stops.

Ira(thoughts): Oh yeah, Amie is back.  Looks like I won't have to go in today!

Scene - With a happy face, Ira goes back towards his bed.
   Then he notices the business card laying on his side table in front of the clock.

Ira: Oh bother....

--Flashback--

Scene - Ira and the drone in the back alley.

Ira: You know about the monsters?

Scene - Ira running after the drone.

Ira:  How are you - just what are you? How do you know about all this?

"Jasper": What, you think you're the only one that knows about monsters besides the government?

Ira: You're the government?

"Jasper": Not quite.

Scene - The drone placing the card on Ira's shoulder.

"Jasper": Hey, I'll keep in touch. You might want to consider joining us one day, so here's my business card.

Scene - Ira looking at the card that says: "KRUOS ASSOCIATION. JASPER. OPERATION SUPERVISOR."

--Flashback End--

Scene - Ira sits on his bed, reading the card again as he rubs his eyes.
   He tosses the card back onto the table and falls back into bed.

Ira(thoughts): That was weird. The first time I met somebody other than me that knew about the monsters...
   Or something. That drone...I still don't get where it came from...
   Still - that thing was huge. They're usually bunny-sized - or man-sized - or horse-sized -
   But that was...that was dino-sized!

Scene - In Ira's thoughts, the Centipede monster is exaggeratedly large.

Ira(thoughts): And that drone - it did something to stop the monster.
   Who or what it was from? Controlling it?

Scene - Flashback. The night before, Ira is at his computer.

Ira(thoughts):"Kruos Association"....I searched them up last night, but there weren't any results.
   Is it a cult or something? Really not part of the government?

Scene - Ira stares up at the ceiling, deep in thought.

Ira (thoughts): What did he do to the monsters?
   He went back - so he must've intended to do something to them. Exterminate them?
   Then that couldn't have escaped the news....
   The Hole Puncher wasn't just a bunch of random monsters. It was that particular one.
   That must've been how it got so big - killing all those people...
   What other monsters use acid? They only use their claws and teeth, don't they?

Scene - Ira gets up and turns on the TV. The breaking news is on.

"Reporter":  And for our top stories of the hour - another Hole Puncher victim was claimed, bringing the total of deaths to 16.

Ira: What? He didn't get it?

Scene - Ira falls into a disturbed silence, listening to the news.

"Reporter":  The victim was found in a warehouse near the waterfront by district 42....

Ira: Fourty-two...?

Ira (thoughts); Wasn't I in district 33 last night?

"Reporter": ...around 4:30 AM this morning.

Ira: Excuse me?

Ira(thoughts): Weird did they move location?
   Or - there's another monster that uses acid?
   Wait - just because I saw that big monster yesterday doesn't mean this person died by the same means.
   Maybe they were just killed by a random group of monsters, and the real Hole Puncher was already dealt with. The police wouldn't give specifics anyway - just like they didn't tell me the truth about my parents' deaths.
   But what about the guy controlling the drone? He didn't tell me to keep quiet about it - on the contrary -
    He said I might want to join 'them'? Who's 'them'?
   Have I gotten myself involved with some shady organization? What if they're really the government?
   I have to deal with the government now?!  I wish I could avoid going out at night -
   - but the customers during the day are too difficult to deal with!
   This is why I hate people! Been racking my brain all night over this...

Ira: Argh, this is making me all depressed! Forget it! I'm already awake!
   Monsters can't touch me during the day so - !

Scene - Ira dresses and starts to head out.
   He opens the front door and freezes on the threshold.
   Hovering over his doorstop is a black drone with blue lights.

"Jasper": Hi. Morning. Remember me?

Ira: ...

"Jasper": I'm not here to arrest you or anything. I'd just like to ask you a few questions.

Ira: (gasp)

Sfx - Bam.

Scene - Ira shuts the door.

"Jasper": Hey! That's the second time you dissed me. Has anyone ever told you how rude you are?

Scene - Inside, Ira leans against the door, a shocked look on his face.

Ira(thoughts): W-what? Am I seeing things? Is that the guy from last night? What's he doing here?
   No - how does he know I live here? Did he tail me last night?
   Maybe he's been stalking me and pretended to save my life to get friendly with me?

Scene  - Ira looks through the eye hole. The drone is still there.

Ira(thoughts): Creepy! That's how he knew about the monsters and why the association doesn't show up on search.
   Or I am over thinking this all and - I've got myself into something deep.
   ...NAH.
   If he's the government, I'll just have to move. First things first though...

"Jasper": Um, hello? I can't stay here long. Someone's going to see me.

Scene - Ira opens the door slowly, peeking out. The drone moves a little closer to peek back at him.

"Jasper": Everything alright?

Ira: You're...the guy from yesterday?

"Jasper": Yeah. Jasper. That's me.

Ira: What are you doing here?

"Jasper": For your answer.

Ira: What answer? Look, if you're just trying to get friendly with me then - Get lost.
   I don't want to deal with you. Especially if you're a stalker or something.

"Jasper": S-s-talker...?

Ira: How do you know where I live anyway?

"Jasper": That's... a little complicated to explain on the spot.

Ira: Then leave. I'm busy .

"Jasper": So your answer is "no" then.

Ira: I don't know what you're talking about. Leave me alone.

"Jasper": I told you to consider joining us.

Ira(thoughts): - !!
   Oh yeah. His offer from last night. He's serious about this...

Ira: Very funny. As if I would join your little club.

"Jasper": We're not a club, we're a legit organization.

Ira: Uh-huh. Whatever.

"Jasper": I'm serious.

Ira: Tell me about it.

"Jasper": Sure. Can we move inside though...? It's kind of exposed out here.

Ira: ...alright.

Scene - Ira opens the door wider and steps out to let the drone in.
   The drone starts to pass when Ira's eyes snap onto it.

Ira: As if - !

Scene - Ira jumps out and grabs the drone, fairly shoving it into the house.

"Jasper": What the hell?!

Scene - Ira shuts his door while forcing the drone to the floor.
   Ira raises his fist.

Ira: This should do it.

"Jasper": Oh my gosh!! Don't! Don't! Let it go kid!

Scene - Before Ira can disable the drone, a blue light surrounds the machine.
   A wave of energy hits Ira, throwing him back and stunning him.

Ira: - !!

Scene - The drone hovers back into the air tentatively, rotating slowly to see its surroundings.
   Ira is the on the ground, struggling to catch his breath.

"Jasper": What did you think you were doing?! I spent hundreds on this baby!
    Good grief. Your personality is worse than I thought. No wonder you've never been recruited.
   Won't stop me though.

Ira: Wha - wha -

"Jasper": You're fine. I just fazed you a little. Think stun-gunned.

Ira: Just wait till I get my hands on you -

"Jasper": You're the first to have done that
   I've never been touched by a monster yet though. I might count you as one.

Ira: Just - just who are you? You did something similar last night..

"Jasper": Tough question. I'll try my best to answer it.
   Thanks for letting me in, by the way. Do you want to move somewhere else before I say anything else?

Ira: ...freaking - zeroes -

Scene - Ira swings his fist at the drone, but misses.
   He tries to land a hit, but Jasper manoeuvres the drone away into the house.
   Ira grabs a broom and tries to hit the drone that way.
   Jasper zaps Ira again with his energy.

- - - - -


2

- - - - -

Scene - Morning. Ira's house.
   Ira and the drone are at Ira's dining table in the living.
   Ira is out of breath and it sounds like Jasper is as well though the drone hovers still over the table.

"Jasper": Can we talk now?

Ira: You want to talk. I don't.

"Jasper": You don't like talking? You were quite sociable last night..

Ira: I don't like talking to people.
   So what've you got to say? Spit it out.

"Jasper": I was going to answer your question.

Ira: If you're with the government then you can leave.

"Jasper": I told you - I'm not the government.

Ira: Then I've never heard of a one-man team fighting monsters up till now.

"Jasper": ...you've never heard of Kruos Association?

Ira: No. Should I?

"Jasper": That's funny. Everyone knows who you are.

Ira: Who are you talking about? You're making no sense. I don't see why I should involve myself with you.

"Jasper": You know what, but you don't know how yet.

Ira: Yeah? The only thing I see would connect us is monsters.
   I know about monsters, and you know about monsters.
   How come you know about them?

Scene - Jasper makes a sound like inhaling and pauses. Ira waits tensely.
   The drone rotates slowly to look at the surroundings again.

"Jasper": Hmm, it'd be faster to show you.

Ira: Show me what?

"Jasper": Care to take a walk?

Ira: ...I'm not going wherever you're thinking of taking me...

"Jasper": So suspecting. Guess that isn't a bad thing.
   Okay, I'll be taking this then - thanks.

Scene - Before Ira knows what's happening, the drone flies over to a picture frame.
   The drone grabs it with its metal arms and starts to fly towards the front door.

Ira: - !!

Ira(thoughts): Wait a second - that's - !!

Ira: HEY.

Scene - Ira shoots out of his chair and darts after the fleeing drone.
   As Ira comes into the hallway leading to the front door, a bright light startles him.
   The drone has just laser cut a square hole through the door that it flies out of.

Ira: What?!

Scene - Ira gapes with a dead look at the hole before realizing Jasper is getting away.
   Ira bursts out of the house in desperation.

Ira: Get back here you thief!

Scene - Ira dashes out onto the street, sees the drone flying down the avenue, and continues running after it.

Ira(thoughts): That picture frame - ! If I don't get it back I'll lose it forever!
   - My secret money stash!!

Ira: Dangit! I knew he was a shady guy! I should've never let him in!!
   How'd he know where I put that?!

Scene - Ira pursues the drone through the neighbourhood and into the alleyways .
   The drone keeps low, always in Ira's sight.
   From the alleyways they cut across other streets and finally into another area with more alleys.
   Focused on following the drone, Ira hops right over the yellow "Danger" tape taped across two buildings.
   Out of breath, Ira sees the drone has stopped.
   He catches up and bends over, panting and eyeing the drone.

Ira: ...

"Jasper": Great, you're here. Take a moment.
   I wouldn't advise trying to catch me again....or throwing something at me.

Ira: Gi  - give it ba-back, you freaking thief.

"Jasper": I'm sorry about that. Maybe that wasn't the best action but -

Ira: I'm done listening to you!

"Jasper": Wait! Take a look around - just for a moment.

Ira: Why should I - 

Scene - Ira raises his eyes. They are standing between two smashed buildings.
   The ground looks dug up in places and the rubble laying about bear deep parallel gouges.

"Jasper": Recognize anything?

Ira: So what?

Ira(thoughts): This is the area I went through yesterday....

"Jasper": Remember that biggie, uh, monster? We were standing over there.
   Whew, looks strange during the day.

Scene - Ira remembers when the monster smashed through the building.

Ira:  - ! That - What....what happened to it?

"Jasper": We already dealt with it.

Ira: How?

"Jasper": C'mon over here.

Scene - The drone moves on. Ira scowls but follows cautiously.
   They come to the area where Ira remembers encountering the mob of monsters.
   Instead of seeing monster corpses, the passage is clear, the only evidence of yesterday's scuffle the blackened marks on the walls and abnormal holes.
   Ira looks at it all suspiciously, keeping an eye on the drone.

Ira: ...

"Jasper": Much prettier than yesterday, yeah?

Ira: Where'd they all go?

"Jasper": We cleaned them up.

Ira: By "we"...you mean your association thing?

"Jasper": You think city workers did this?

Ira: I dunno. I've never....

"Jasper": Gone back to see what happened to the monsters?
   That's too bad. You might've seen something cool....or shady.

Ira: What did you want to show me again?

"Jasper": What kind of work Kruos Association does.

Ira: Cleaning up monsters? I'm out.

Scene - [In his room, Jasper chuckles and smiles.]

"Jasper": Nah. That's the clean-up team's job.
   We kill monsters.

Ira(thoughts): Kill?

Ira: Yeah?

Scene - Ira's eyes narrow.

"Jasper": In short, Kruos Association is a government-employed organization that specializes in getting rid of our monster friends. That's who "we" are.

Ira: You're pulling my leg.

"Jasper": We try to keep it a secret. If people knew we existed, we'd be blamed for everything.
   Kruos was formed when the level of monsters started getting out of hand.
   Even now we've been encountering more and more of them.
   There's just been more monsters than we can handle.

Scene - Ira glares hard at the drone, expression growing more and more sour by the second.

Ira: Let me guess - you want me to help you "kill" monsters with you.

"Jasper": Yeah...pretty much.

Ira:  I don't see why I should be dragged into this. I don't care if it's you or the city that gets rid of monsters.
   You've told me what your little hobby is and I've seen it. Now give me my picture frame back.

Scene - Ira tries to swipe the picture frame but the drone dodges.

"Jasper": ...You know how you said monsters connect us?
   There's something else that connects us - and it's related to our difference.

Ira: What difference?

"Jasper": I want to involve myself with them - you don't.

Ira: Of course I want nothing to do with them! They're monsters!

"Jasper": And 95% of those who meet them end up dead.
   You on the other hand, and me, aren't dead. Now, why is that?

Ira(thoughts): You're trying to make me answer that?

Ira: If you know why, why don't you say it?

"Jasper": Oh no, lucky carbuncle, you say it.  I know why, but do you?

Ira: I don't have time for this.

"Jasper": Do you want your picture back?

Ira: ...

Scene - Ira starts to say something, but stops.

Ira(thoughts): Why do I have to say anything? This guy - !

Ira(narrator): I knew if I answered that question, it would lead to two things -
   1) I was going to acknowledge that "something" that connected us.
   2) I was going to open myself up to someone I didn't know.
   That someone knew that "something" for some reason, but I had no idea who they were connected with.
   Later on, I'd find out that connection was much larger than I thought.

"Jasper": C'mon. Listen, as weird as this sounds, even if you didn't meet me, you'd have met us sooner or later.

Ira: You're talking about weird...
   I guess if you know about monsters, you know about special abilities too huh?

Scene - Ira hears Jasper laugh and he tenses.

"Jasper": I've never heard anyone refer to it that way, ha ha.
   Not "special ability". We're not a supernatural cult.
   It's "crystal energy".

Ira: Sorry, what game are you talking about?

"Jasper": I'm serious.

Ira: You don't "look" like it.

Scene - Jasper's sigh is heard from the drone.

"Jasper": Okay....this isn't really the time and place to explain it to you...
   Plus I'm bad at explaining.

Ira: Is this crystal energy something that zaps people when it feels like it?

"Jasper": I promise you it can do much more than that.
   And I know you've noticed it by now.
   You're carrying a crystal energy inside you.

Ira(thoughts): He's making no sense... I've had my ability since I was a kid.
   My parents never mentioned anything about crystal energy or whatever.

"Jasper": But what I can tell you is that monsters can only be killed by these crystal energies.
   Think of it like light fighting darkness.
   
Ira: Let me get this right....
   You say I have a "crystal energy" inside of me.

"Jasper": Yep.

Ira: And "crystal energies" can kill monsters.
   
"Jasper": Uh-huh.

Ira: And you want me to help you kill monsters because I have a "crystal energy".

Jasper: Exactly!

Ira: Are you stupid?

"Jasper":  S-stupid....

Ira: Just because I have an ability doesn't mean I have to use it for you.
   I've had enough trouble dealing with monsters up till now.
   And I hate working with people even more.

"Jasper": He called me stupid...

Ira: I don't want to join you. Period.

"Jasper": But -

Scene - In a sudden movement, Ira snatches back the picture frame, breaking the drone's limbs.
   [Jasper's view: Jasper bits his lower lip, tense and speechless.]

"Jasper": - !!

Ira: Shut up and leave me alone.
   I can take care of myself and....   
   
Scene - Ira looks up with an unpleasant grimace.

Ira: The people have you to help them.

Scene - Before Jasper can say anything else, Ira darts away.

Ira: And quit stalking me! Or I'm calling the police!

Scene - The drone hovers still as Ira runs out of the area.
   
"Jasper": ....he's got a horrible personality...

Scene - Now out of the alleyways, Ira slows down to a walk.
   He stops and looks back at the yellow "Danger" tape he had hopped over.
   
Ira(thoughts): He's not following me....good.

Scene - Ira takes a look at the back of the picture frame and opens it.
   In the back are a thick wad of money bills.

Ira(thoughts): And the money is all here. I should hide it somewhere else when I get back.

Scene - Ira turns over the frame. Displayed in the front is a picture of Ira as a child.
   Behind the child are two adults, Ira's parents.
   
Ira: ...

- - - - -


3

- - - - -

Scene - Afternoon. Corner Intersection Cafe.
   Ira standing in the back door of the cafe, fairly fuming.
   Richley and other workers stare at Ira a little worriedly.

Richley: Is everything alright, Ira...?

Ira: I had a visitor today.

Scene - Ira goes to remove his sweater and put on his apron, emitting a dark aura.

Richley: O-oh... (Ira never liked guests....)

Ira: He bore a hole through my door and stole my money.

Workers: (Wait - isn't that a robber, not a guest?!)

Richley: Are you serious? Did you call police?

Ira: Nah. I dealt with him myself.

Scene - Ira puts his sweater into a locker and kicks the door close.
   The workers flinch and shuffle away. Richley wears an exasperated expression.

Richley: (Don't tell me you beat him up.)

Ira: (I'm not that dumb.)

Amie: Hiya'll~!

Scene - Amie pops into the room, her cheerfulness creating its own space against Ira's dark aura.
   Ira glares at her.

Amie: Or should I say "Bye-ah"...?

Ira: What are you still doing here.

Amie: I'm just finishing my shift~! I leave it all to you now, mon ami!

Ira: I'm not Amie.

Richley: It's French, Ira...

Scene - A vein on Ira's forehead threatens to pop.
   Amie goes to take off her apron.

Amie: And what's that I hear about a robber?

Ira: Just get out. I'll take over from here.

Amie: Alright alright. See you then, I'm off~!

Ira: Just be careful on the way - oh wait, it's daytime.

Scene - Richley looks at Ira in surprise.

Richley(thoughts): Did he just says something nice?

Ira: Just make sure you come in tomorrow cause  I don't want to do your shift for you!

Richley(thoughts): I did think I heard him wrong...

Scene - Ira takes a moment to calm himself down, standing in front of the door leading into the main room.
   He breaths in deeply.

Ira(thoughts): Just get through today...you'll be fine...

Richley: Ira, you should really call the police about the robber.

Ira: Mr. Richley.... How much do you think it costs to buy a home security system?

Richley: Huh? Like cameras and sensors...? It took me over five-hundred.

Ira: Dang, I don't have enough for that...
   Can I do overtime every day?

Richley: I thought you didn't like going home late?

Ira: Shoot - I should've made him pay for the damage! I have to replace the whole door now!

Richley: Just what exactly did this robber do to your house?

Ira: He forced his way...

Richley: Oh no.

Ira: ...out. After he took - !

Richley: ???

Ira: ....never mind.

Scene - Ira storms out to do his work, leaving Richley behind clueless.

- - - - -

--Flashback--

???: Happy Birthday Ira!

Scene - A young Ira sits in a living room with a man and woman - his parents.
   His dad hands him a wrapped present that is slightly thick and long.

Mom: What did you get him, Leander? Not something weird again?

Dad: Oh c'mon. You said I could get him whatever I wanted.
   For all I know you could've bought him another stuffed toy.

Mom: Very funny dear~

Scene - Ira smiles at his playful parents and opens his present.
   A book lays on his lap.

Mom: Oh - is that - ?

Dad: I made it myself.

Mom: I didn't know you could draw.

Scene - The book is titled "Monster Encyclopedia" .
   It's filled with colourful and childish pictures of monsters and names different types.
   Ira goes through it with wonder in his eyes.

Ira: Dad, are monsters real?

Dad: It's okay, Ira. They're real, but we won't let them hurt you.

Mom: We wanted to let you know when you were old enough.
   There are a lot of monsters out there.

Dad: Monsters are creatures that are born in darkness and feed on evil.

Mom: So always come home before it gets dark.

Ira: Can monsters die?

Dad: Sure they can. Dad is even searching for a way to get rid of them all.

Mom: And it's going to be good~

Dad: Wait till I actually finish it!
   
Mom: We'll protect you, Ira.

Dad: Everything will be alright.

--Flashback End--

- - - - -

Scene - Corner Intersection Cafe.
   Ira takes orders from the front counter.
   He doesn't seem to be aware of himself, doing his job as if mechanically.
   The other workers notice with some concern.

"Ira's acting strangely..."

"Maybe he got dumped."

"He's doing his job quite well today..."

"Just wait till tomorrow..."

Scene - Ira sighs, slowly coming out of his reverie and the workers move away.
   Meanwhile, outside of the cafe, a teen in a hoodie approaches the shop.
   The teen peeks through the glass door, eyes glancing at the people inside.
   Richley appears through the back door and says something to Ira.
   Ira nods and goes through the back door as Richley takes over the front counter.
   The teen watches their movements...
   ...then backs away from the door and runs off.

- - - - -


4

- - - - -

Scene - Ira sits outside on break behind his work place.
   He looks towards the chain link fence towards the river.
   It is late evening and the sun is mostly set, only a dim light remaining over the city.

Ira(thoughts): You said you'd get rid of all of them, dad... I wonder what you meant...

Scene - Ira scowls.

Ira(thoughts): I'm thinking about it too much.
   Everything was all right until that Jasper guy showed up - !!
   Who on earth is he really....?
   ....
   Annoying pests - Freaking zeroes!
   Gah...I was almost finished that level last night.
   Guess I'll clear it. Make my day complete.
   Come to think of it, I heard they had a new release. I should drop by BEGames...

Scene - Ira closes his eyes for a moment, enjoying the quiet moment...

Sfx - Panting.

Sfx - Clatter.

Scene - Ira hears a metallic rattling.
   Ira jolts awake and looks towards the fence.
   With shock he sees a shadowed figure standing on the other side.
   Ira can feel the figure staring at him.

Ira(thoughts): What the - !

Scene - Ira squints and frowns.

Ira(thoughts): It couldn't be - a monster and it's not even sundown?

Scene - Ira grips his hands and tenses in preparation to run if he has to.

Sfx - Coughing.

Scene - Ira starts, but then relaxes.

Ira(thoughts): What, it's just a person... but what the hell?

Scene - Ira returns a less than pleased frown to the stare aimed at him, but the figure stays put.
   They lock eyes for a moment before Ira points at the stranger with his water bottle.

Ira: Hey, the front door is on the other side.

???: ...

Ira: Don't even think about climbing the fence.

???: ...

Ira: Who are you?

???: You're Carbuncle, right?

Ira(thoughts): Carbuncle...?

Ira: Wrong.

Scene - Ira squints through the dusk and tries to make out the figure.

???: Hey, why won't you join us?

Scene - Ira flinches.

Ira(thoughts): Wait a second...the other person who called me Carbuncle....   
   - Jasper! Crap, is he someone Jasper hired to keep an eye on me?
   That guy is gross. Now he's using someone to get me to follow them!

Ira: Go away. I'm at work.

???: Why?

Ira: I don't feel like talking.

Scene - To Ira's chagrin, the figure starts to climb the fence.

Ira: Hey! I said don't climb the fence! I'm going to call security!

Scene - The figure stops at the top of the fence, staring down at Ira.

???: Join us.

Ira: Get lost.

Ira(thoughts): He's being serious about this. Kruos Association or not, I'm getting tired of being followed around.

???: Why won't you join us?

Ira: Because I don't want to.

???: Why not?

Ira: Ne comprenez-vous pas l'anglais? (Don't you understand English?)

Scene - Ignoring the teen, Ira gets up and starts to head back in.

Ira: Talking about monsters during the day, sheesh...
   Listen, go away before someone else finds you here.
   And tell your friends I'm not interested in joining...
   ...I have my own life to live.

???: Hunting down monsters will make your life easier!

Scene - Ira freezes, annoyed. He turns back to the figure - and finds the stranger standing right behind him.
   The figure is a head shorter than Ira.

Ira: Whoa! This is the employees area!

???: Give me a reason why you won't help us and I'll leave.

Ira: Huh...you  sound pretty young. Shouldn't you be at home?

???: ...

Ira: Don't tell me you actually believe in monsters?

Scene - Suddenly, the light over the back door turns on.
   Ira faces a teen with black hair and green eyes.

Ira(thoughts): He's only a teenager. Would he really know about monsters?

???: Don't joke around with me. I know you know about them too.
   People are getting killed by them - why won't you help us??

Ira: What other reason do you want? I don't want to join you guys. Leave me alone.

???: Fighting monsters protects the city!

Ira: I could care less.

???: If we get rid of them all you won't have to deal with them anymore!

Ira: Be my guest.

???: The more people we have the faster they'll be gone!

Ira: ...

Ira(thoughts): The more I listen to him, the less it seems like he was put up to do this.
   He's just a kid but he's desperate. And unlike Jasper he's earnest about this.

Scene - Ira bumps the teen's forehead with his palm.

Ira: Look, kid. You might have switched your campaign strategy, but you want the same result.
   Recruiting me won't change anything.
   Unlike your badass-wannabe friends, I can't dismember monsters or zap them like Naruto.

???: You mean Hei.

Ira: What?

???: From Darker than Black.

Ira: Whatever. I don't compare to anyone and I like it that way.
   The only thing I've done with my ability is barely survive.

???: Some people don't even have the chance to survive!

Ira: That's too bad for them.

???: And you're wrong! The captain says you've been really useful for a long time!

Ira(thoughts): Captain? Does he mean Jasper?

Ira: I can't see how that's true. He's got the wrong person.
   Is that all you want to say? You'd better go.

???: But you're -

Ira: Bye. I have to get back to work.

???: Wait! Please consider at least -

Ira: There is nothing to consider.
   Look - is this supposed to be funny? Who wants to live fighting mons - Hey - !!

Scene - The teen has climbed back over the fence and is walking away in a rage.

Ira: Good riddance.

???: Selfish old man!

Ira: What?!

Scene - Ira turns with fire in his eyes, but the teen is already out of sight.
   Ira gives an angry sigh, clicking his tongue and gripping his fists.
   He goes quiet for a moment, standing at the door.

Ira: Old man, pfft...
   So? When did anyone ever care for me...?

- - - - -

Scene - Ira goes back into the cafe.  Richley is there doing business as usual.

Richley: Was there someone else out there?

Ira: Nah, it was nothing...

Richley: By the way, don't forget to call the police about the robber. He might target other houses, y'know.

Ira: That's actually a good idea.

Ira(thoughts): Though if Jasper is really part of this "Kruos Association" then maybe he wouldn't be liable to --

Scene - Another worker suddenly walks into the back room with an excited expression.

Worker: Guys!

Richley: Hey - slow down -

Worker: Sorry - did you see the fire?

Richley: What fire?

Worker: Out front! Some place is on fire - you can see smoke even now!

Richley: That's not good - is it nearby here?

Worker: Go take a look - It's a big one I think!

Scene  - Richley and Ira glance at each other.
   They go out the back door and search the darkened sky for the smoke.
   It isn't hard to find the source because an orange glow accompanies the black cloud rising to the sky.
   They can hear sirens and a news helicopter is in the air already.

Richley: Wow - that looks like a big fire. I hope it doesn't spread over here -

Ira: My...house is in that direction.

Richley: It can't be yours - why would it be yours?

Scene - The worker from earlier opens the back door.

Worker: Ira - telephone for you -

Ira: What?

Scene - Ira goes in and takes the phone.

Ira: Hello?

???: Ira! Did you see the news?!

Ira: Amie - I looked outside - you mean the fire?

Amie: Check the TV! Your  - It's your house that's on fire!

Ira:  - what?!

Scene - Ira goes into the main cafe room and goes to the TV others are looking at.
   The view is from the helicopter hovering a distance from a bright orange glow in the centre.
   The camera zooms closer to catch the fire trucks spraying a house with water.
   Parts of the neighbouring houses have caught fire as well.
   Many of the neighbours are on the streets, evacuating out of the area.
   Ira searches the screen for anything that might reveal it is his home.
   He recognizes the houses across the street -    
   - a zoom-out of the area shows exactly where the burning house is.

Ira(thoughts): That....that's not my house, is it?

Richley: Ira, that's your house, isn't it?

Scene - Richley now stands beside Ira, regarding the screen with wide eyes.

Ira: When - how -

Scene -   Ira stares at the footage....when he "sees" something.

Ira: That - !

Richley: What?

Ira!: That - did you see that?!

Richley: See what?

Ira: Behind the house -

Scene - Ira glances at those in the cafe. The people regard him with strange looks.
   Ira tenses and his eyes flicker. He scowls.
   Without another word Ira pushes his way out and dashes onto the streets.

Richley: Ira!

- - - - -

Scene - [Jasper sits at his computer, viewing the fire at a different angle.
   He bites his thumb, watching on his screen several black dots congested in one area.]

Jasper: ...there isn't much time left.

- - - - -

INDENT. Chapter 2 - Fissure. END


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Offline Echo_River

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Re: INDENT
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 05:29:01 PM »
Chapter 3: Crevice

1

Scene - Nighttime. Downtown.
   A bright orange light illuminates a neighbourhood in the city.
   Fire trucks surround the one house in flames, trying to douse the inferno.
   Police cars block the road and the policemen hurry to escort the citizens out of the area.
   A  news helicopter hovers in the sky at a safe distance.

"Reporter": Fire fighters are on the scene, battling the flames. The break-out is still not in check. The fire department is not sure when the fire will be contained and urges citizens within the area to quickly relocate somewhere else in case of a gas explosion.

Sfx - (Ira) Tap tap tap tap tap....

Scene - Ira runs through partly crowded streets. Many people are out in spite of the time.
   Many glance up at the black pillar of smoke visible from every part of the city.
   Some hardly pay attention to the sight and move on to wherever they were going.
   Others hold up their phones, taking pictures of the glow and smoke.

"Reporter": Neighbours noticed the fire less than a quarter of an hour ago. The smell of smoke disturbed them from their homes and the fire department was called immediately upon discovery of the fire. The owner of the house does not seem to be home at present.

Scene - Ira isn't listening to the news.
   His face is expressionless and he seems concentrated on running.
   
--Flashback--

Scene - Ira holding a phone to his ear.

Amie: Ira! Your  - It's your house that's on fire!

Scene - Ira looking at the TV screen with the rest that are in the cafe.
   The others are focused on the main scene, but Ira's eyes dart towards the side of the screen.
   It is there Ira sees something the people don't -
   - the barest glimpse of a blurry figure darting away from behind the fire.

Ira(thoughts): Monster!

Ira: That - did you see that?!

Richley: See what?

Scene - Ira glances at those in the cafe. The people regard him with strange looks.
   That is when Ira snaps and he darts out of the shop.

Richley: Ira!

--Flashback End--

Ira: It can't be... it can't be my house...

Ira(thoughts): How dare they - !

Ira(narrator): Would you believe me if I told you monsters were real?
   If your house was being burned down by a monster?
   If the fact was that the police were probably more concerned about hiding the monsters than saving your home? If there was nothing you could do about it?
   I can hardly believe it anymore myself.

Scene - Ira stands in a crowd outside of his street.
   Police and yellow tape block entry into the neighbourhood, but the flames are obvious.

Ira(thoughts): I can't see a thing from here, what if I -
   No, I don't want to tell them that's my house. Not to them...
   ... get closer. Where else can I see -
   What if I -

Scene - Ira backs away from the crowd.
   Quickly checking to see if anyone has noticed him, he walks away from the main streets.
   As Ira moves out of sight of the crowd, he breaks into a run.
   He takes the less crowded avenues and heads around the police blockage.
   Suddenly, he notices something in the sky, flying towards the fire.

Ira: That's - ! HEY YOU.

Scene - Ira skids to a stop as he tries to catch the drone's attention.
   The blue lights don't seem to hear him and continue flying towards the fire.

Ira: It's him again! Damn that guy! I bet - I bet this was his fault too! Just wait till I -

Scene - Ira grits his teeth and turning towards a wall, punches it.

- - - - -

Scene - Nighttime. Somewhere in Ira's neighbourhood.
   A black van screeches to a stop on a side street.
   The passengers, one male and two females dressed in black, exit the vehicle.
   They are the members of the team that dispatched the monsters hiding in a warehouse just a couple of nights prior: "Quartz", "Amy", and "Em".
   They head towards the direction of the fire. 
   The officers supervising the scene spot the group, hurry over, and say something to them.

"Quartz": Are you sure?

Officer: Yes, reports from the neighbours and the footage captured by the helicopter have confirmed it.
   There's a hostile in the area.

"Quartz": Thanks. We'll get to it right now.

Scene - Quartz presses her hand to her earpiece.

"Quartz": Jasper, update.

Scene - Quartz listens to the voice on the other end, as does Em and Amy.

"Quartz": ...Understood. Alright.
   Em, Amy, let's move.

"Amy": Awww it's going to be another long night isn't it?

"Em": ...

"Amy": Why, you're long-faced today, Em. Did you get enough sleep?

"Em": ...

"Quartz": Captain isn't here today, so stay sharp.

- - - - -


2

- - - - -

Scene - Ira halts out of breath in an alley.
   He's close to his neighbourhood where he can see the back of his house.
   Ira bends over his knees, panting hard, and squints at the orange blaze.
   The heat from the flames can be felt through the neighbourhood.
   Liquid spray from the fire trucks makes loud sizzling noises, but it doesn't look like the fire is dying.
   The glow is enough to cast light through the passage.

Ira(thoughts): It - it really is my house -

Ira: What... what is this?
   
Ira(thoughts):My house is burning.

Ira(narration): What should I do?

Ira(thoughts): The TV - that thing I saw on TV - that was definitely a monster, wasn't it?
   Did a monster do that to my house? Why would it do that? - how?

Scene - Ira stares at the fire, the shock beginning to settle in.
   Unaware of his surroundings, Ira doesn't notice that behind him a pair of red eyes have appeared.

Ira(narration): Where should I go?

Scene - The eyes move along the side of the building, and as it comes in the light, turns out to be a large winged monster that blends in perfectly with the shadows.

Ira(narration): Who can I...

Ira(thoughts): I can't tell Richley or Amie about monsters - they wouldn't believe me -
   No one would believe me.

Scene - The monster comes closer when Ira's barrier activates, whipping up a vicious wind.
   
Sfx - Kueeerrrgh!

Scene - Ira snaps out of a daze with a jolt and turns.
   He catches sight of the large winged beast as the fire flares out, lighting up the alley.
   Ira stares with a stunned expression and starts to back up when the monster jumps towards him.

Ira: -  !?

Sfx - Stab.

Scene - Before he can register what is happening, Ira is dragged to the ground.
   The monster sails over his head, glancing off Ira's barrier.
   Quickly, Ira is set on his feet again and yanked forward.
   A willowy hooded figure is leading him, holding a long knife in their free hand. The figure glances at him.
   It is a woman with blonde hair and clear blue eyes.

???: Run!

Ira(thoughts): Who??

Ira: Wait – but – my house - !!

Scene -    They round a corner and without warning encounter a mob of smaller monsters coming towards them.
   Orange and white light flash forward at the same time.
   Monsters fly back hit by the barrier and a long knife.
   Those hit by the barrier are rendered immobile while those stabbed by the knife fall dead.
   The woman staggers to a stop, gaping at the orange barrier faintly visible.
Ira gawks at the killed monsters.
   A black object comes dropping into the alley.
   It's Jasper's drone.

Ira(thoughts): They're dead - that light -

Sfx(headset) - Chuckle

"Jasper": See? What'd I tell ya? Amazing, isn't it?

"Quartz": Orange! Who - 

Scene - Quartz swivels to look but Ira is the only other human.
        She stares at him, eyes wondering.
   Ira has a look of indecisiveness and exasperation.

"Jasper": Quartz, Continue operation. Protocol 3328.

Scene - The woman realizes the monsters are rising once again and her eyes dart around.
   
"Quartz": Not 245?

"Jasper": Nah, not for carbuncle.

"Quartz": He is....?

Scene - Quartz's eyes are intent on Ira and she nods.

"Quartz": Understood.

Ira: Huh?

"Quartz": Come with me.

Ira: Wait - you just - how did you just -

"Quartz": We'll explain later. They're coming.

Scene - Sheathing one blade, Quartz grabs Ira's arm.

Ira: Wait - but - !

Scene  - Ira tries to turn and bumps into another couple of monsters that are knocked back from the barrier.
   A black shadow catches both of their attention.
        Ira and Quartz look to see the winged monster rising over the buildings.

"Jasper": Hello? Kid? Why are you still standing there?
   Are you waiting for me or are you admiring the view?

Ira: ...Shut up. I -

Sfx - Howling.

"Jasper": Yes, you better go. See you!

Ira: Wait - you - !

Scene - The drone flies away and Ira tries to follow, but Quartz keeps a grip on his arm.
   She looks at the alley of monsters hesitantly.
   When none of the monsters seem to be able to reach them, she steps forward.
   The monsters shy back, and she sprints through with more confidence, pulling Ira along.
   They leave the monsters well behind.

Ira: Hey - !

Quartz: Just run!

Scene – Ira stumbles along as Quartz leads him, their path being cleared at the same time.

Ira(thoughts): She's strong!

Ira: And just who are you?

Scene - Quartz glances back at him with some perplexity.

"Quartz": Difficult question to answer in the situation...

Ira: Not another of Jasper's phonies.

"Quartz": You know Jasper?

Ira: No.

"Quartz": I'm one of Jasper's colleagues within our - group.

Ira: Kruos?

"Quartz": You know Kruos Association?

Ira: Kruos is real?!

Ira(thoughts): This is unreal.

"Quartz": I'll - have to explain it to you more later.
   Call me "Quartz".  I'm bringing you back to our quarters.

Ira: Quarters?

"Quartz": Local base. Things get complicated with monsters involved. We're trying to counter that.

Ira: Why would I want to get involved with either of you. And what about my house?!

Scene - Quartz and Ira emerge abruptly on an avenue and stop quickly.
   Quartz seems to be looking for something, her eyes darting back and forth.
   Her head suddenly turns left and Ira follows her gaze.
   Red eyes shine from down the road.

Ira: More of them? How is this happening - it's not even past dusk yet!

"Quartz": Yeah, it's been a weird night.

Scene – Quartz turns right and Ira follows as they run down the road away from the monsters.   
   Catching sight of them, the monsters come out of hiding.
   They look mangled and starved, tongues hanging out.
   
Ira: How far is this base of yours?

"Quartz": Nowhere nearby.

Ira: What? Then where are we running?

"Quartz": Away from the monsters.

Ira: So what's the actual direction we need to go?

"Quartz": The other way, obviously.

Ira: Freaking zeroes -

Scene - Quartz presses her headset to her ear.

"Quartz": Jasper, bring the van around.

"Jasper": Gotcha.

Ira(thoughts): This is stupid. There's an easier way to do this.

Scene - Ira skids to a stop - turns around and runs towards the monsters.

"Quartz": - ?! What?

Scene - From the drone, we Ira charging at the mob.
   Quartz watches with a shocked expression as the monsters are sent flying just by Ira running at them.

Ira(thoughts): This - this is so easy!
   How come it's working so well tonight?? It was barely doing it a couple of nights ago -
   It's so easy it's alarming.
   Whatever. All the better for us - 

Scene - [Jasper's Room: We see Jasper's smile.

"Jasper": That kid... (haha)

Scene - On another scene he suddenly sees a rapidly moving red dot.]

"Jasper": Yikes - Carbuncle is in trouble - Quartz! Biggie at 6 o'clock!

Scene - Quartz turns. She sees the shadow of the winged monster swoop by her. Her eyes widen.

Quartz: I won't make it - ! HEY.

Scene - Ira has made it to the mob of monsters and his barrier activates.
   He starts to clear a path and doesn't hear Quartz through the noise.
   Nor does he notice the winged biggie diving towards him.
   Gusts of wind catch his attention.
   Turning to call Quartz, he gapes at sight of the flying monster's claws.
   Without hearing them, we see [Room: Jasper] and Quartz shouting something.
   Ira's ability activates with a bright flash.
   The barrier doesn't throw the monster away as with the smaller ones.
   Instead, it stops the monsters flight, turning into a shining orange sphere only a few meters in diameter.
   Both the monster and Ira are at a standstill, their energies impacting each other.
   Dust flies up from the wind of the monster's wings.
   Ira can't move - the energy pushes against him with high pressure.
   He locks wide eyes with the monster's sharp red ones.

Sfx - Bm-bmp.
   
Ira: - ?!

Scene - Ira flinches and his eyes dilate.

Ira(thoughts): Wha -

Scene - He gasps for air, the world going blurry around him.
   (We see an echo image of a younger Ira in a similar predicament.)
   The monster roars, pushing forward.
   (Echo image of another smaller monster facing Ira.)
   The barrier condenses closer to Ira, getting brighter and solid looking.

Sfx - Bm-bmp.

Ira(thoughts): I can't - I can't breathe!

Scene - Ira's eyes tear up.
   He can't see it, but his eyes are also glowing a faint pink.
   
Sfx - Fwip.

Scene - A blinding blue light streaks down from the sky and strikes the monster.   
   Simultaneously, a flying knife that is glowing white shallowly stabs the back of the monster's head.
   Ira's barrier instantly disappears.
   Without the surface, the monster barrels over Ira and crashes into the ground, knocking buildings over.
   Ira collapses, clutching his chest and gasping for breath.
   Jasper's drone descends from the sky between Ira and the monster.

"Jasper": Quartz! Hurry! He's only down for a minute!

"Quartz": Where's the van?

"Jasper": Can you drive?

"Quartz": No, you'll have to. Something's wrong with the civilian.

"Jasper": I have to do that too?

Scene - Staggering from the tremor of the beast's landing, Quartz runs to Ira as a black van careens into the avenue.
   The vehicle brakes fast by the two and the side door opens automatically.
   Quartz struggles to carry Ira inside.
   The drone lands on top of the van.
   Ira groans as he's put down.

Ira: Argh...

Scene - The van door closes.
   Outside, the monster slowly shakes itself from the debris.
   It turns to see the van racing away.

Sfx(monster) - Kuueeeeerr!

Sfx(echo) – Kuueer… kuer…..

- - - - -

Scene – Night. Corner Intersection Café.
   There are still a good number of customers.
   The talk is all about the fire, which they can still see through the window.
   Mr. Richley looks at the TV, hands frozen on a glass he is drying.
   The news is live.

“Reporter”: Update on the fire that has now started to spread to the surrounding houses.
   The blaze shows no signs of dying and citizens are encouraged to stay far away from the zone in case of a gas explosion. A total of 5 trucks are at the scene, desperately trying to keep the flames under control…

Richley(thoughts): Ira…I wouldn’t be surprised if he went to try and get some of his stuff, hah.

Sfx(outside) – Boom

Sfx(customers): Whoooaaa!

Scene – A flash and boom comes from outside, simultaneously appearing on the TV screen.
   Some of the customers jump from their seats.

Richley: What – what happened??

“Reporter”: An – an explosion! A gas pipe has blown!

Scene – Some customers murmur worriedly amongst themselves, some starting to get up and exit.
   Others stay, excited by the events.

“Man”: That house is gone.

“Woman”: I have to get home – my kids must be worried –

Sfx - Clatter

Scene – Richley places the glass on the counter.
   His face is tight with apprehension.
   He takes a phone out of his pocket and calls.

“Phone”: The number you have dialed is currently unavailable…

Richley: …
   
- - - - -

Scene – Night. Inside the van. Ira’s mobile vibrates unnoticed.
   Quartz is occupied with keeping an eye out for monsters.
There's no one in the driver's seat, but a blue "J" is lit up on the dashboard.
   Jasper's voice comes through the van radio.
   Ira's eyes are barely open.

"Jasper": You're gonna be alright, kid.

Scene - Ira's vision begins to turn dark.

"Jasper": Everything's gonna be fine.

Scene - Ira's eyes close.

Ira(thoughts): Yeah right....everyone says that...

Sfx - Boom.

Scene - The fire at Ira's house hits the gas pipe and results in a blinding explosion that overtakes the alleys.
   Well away from the shockwave, the van makes its getaway from the scene.
   Hidden beneath the debris is the corpse of the winged monster, engulfed in the flames
   [Jasper's View: The explosion is viewed from a screen.
   Body silhouetted by the light of the monitors, Jasper crosses his arms.

"Jasper": ... I should be paid double for tonight...]

- - - - -


3

- - - - -

--Flashback--

???: Ira!

Scene – Ira’s vision is blurry as he opens his eyes and sees the ground parallel to his face.
    A bright light is shining around him. He can make out another body and a vehicle.
   The other thing apparent to him is a dull green colour slowly moves towards him from the other body.

???: Ira – no, Ira!

Scene – A figure comes into his vision, blocking the view. His face is turned up to see a woman.

???: Ira – thank goodness - !

Ira(thoughts): Mom…

Scene – The woman holds Ira close and seems to be crying.

“Mom”: Leander! He’s alright – Ira’s alright -

“Dad”: Thank God -

Scene - Ira's eyes open a little more, wandering.
   His parents hug him tightly.
   The body on the ground is unlike anything he has seen. It's like a cross between a man and a black deer. It is most obviously dead.
   He closes his eyes, shutting out the ugly scene, burying his face into his parents' arms.

--Flashback End--

- - - - -

Ira(thoughts): Ouch...

Scene – Night. Inside the van.
The vehicle has stopped on a dim-lit street.
The van has its doors open while the drone idles on the roof.
Quartz sits on the floor of the van with her legs outside on the ground.

“Quartz”: …They’re not following us anymore, right?

“Jasper”: Nah. Most of them were overtaken by the explosion.
   I’m still getting a high reading over there. It’s ridiculous.

"Quartz": ...

“Jasper”: If it weren’t for the explosion, we might have had a lot more to deal with.

“Quartz”: Jasper.

“Jasper”: What? It’s true!

“Quartz”: I thought this was supposed to be a normal operation.

“Jasper”: ….uh, it was.

 “Quartz”: Are you joking? This was far from a normal op.

“Jasper”: Yeah, it was, wasn’t it…
   But that was because we had to deal with the fire too, yeah?

“Quartz”: It wasn’t just the fire. It was only past seven and there were too many monsters.
That monster – the biggie – there was no way that thing came out of nowhere.

“Jasper”: There isn’t enough of us, that’s what. There’ve been more biggies lately too.
   We’ve been losing too many agents…

“Quartz”: And the civilian you told me to pick up…

“Jasper”: “Carbuncle”?
   
Sfx – Groan

Scene – Ira lies on a bench seat in the van.
   Quartz steps in as he sits up expressionlessly.

"Jasper": Heeeey wakey wakey.

"Quartz": How do you feel? Does anywhere still hurt?

Scene - Ira stares at Quartz intently.

Ira: ...Quartz, right?

"Quartz": Yeah?

"Jasper": And me?

Scene - Ira gives a scarce chuckle.

Ira: I'm alive! How's that? My ability is amazing - right?

"Jasper": I told you, it's "Crystal Energy" not "Special Ability".

"Quartz": Besides the point.

Scene - A tense "smile" stretches on Ira's face as he stands unsteadily, glancing around.
   Quartz sits on the opposite bench.

Ira: So - where's this? Wasn't there a - a -

"Jasper": The biggie? That thing's long gone now.

Ira: Then - 

Quartz: Your house is gone too.

Scene - Ira freezes, looking at her.
   She regards him back steadily.

Ira:  Huh?! Gone?!

"Jasper": Yeah, do you want to see?

Ira: Gone?

"Quartz":   They weren't able to save it. There's not much of a house left...
   I'm sorry, you don't have a place to go back to...

Sfx - Thud.

Scene  - Ira drops back down to the bench, a conflicted look on his face -
   - which changes quickly into exacerbation.

Ira: Oh - my - gosh -

"Jasper": Great going Quartz.
   Welp, the good thing about that is -

Ira: My birth certificate!

"Jasper": ...

"Quartz": ?

Ira: And my Social Insurance documents!
   I had my dad and mom's death certificates at home too!
   I don't have them anymore?!

"Jasper" and "Quartz": That's what he's worried about?

Ira: How am I supposed to continue my life from here?!

"Jasper": It's not like you lost your save point.

"Quartz": You're going to be staying with us.

Ira: I am?

"Jasper": He is?

Ira: Like hell I will!

"Quartz": Why do you think we  brought you with us? Do you have anywhere else to go?

Ira: You think I don't?

"Quartz": You want to go to the police station?

Ira(thoughts): Shoot, I forgot about the cops.

"Quartz": If this were a normal fire, they would be searching for you.
   But since we got involved... well, they've probably left you for dead.
   Even then, they couldn't give you your house back or protect you from the monsters.

Ira: So -

"Jasper": Kruos can offer you protection,
   - we'll give you shelter - for now -
   - and if you get involved with the police, they won't ask you any questions.

Ira: Really?

"Jasper": If you join us.

Scene - Ira scowls, tensing up.

Ira: You keep saying that - it's your fault this happened, isn't it?

"Jasper": What, me?

Ira: Burned down my house to force me to join?
   Don't think it's beneath you after you pulled that little stunt.

"Jasper": Why would I do that for?
   Even if your house wasn't busted, I couldn't have told the monsters to ambush you.
   If I knew this was going to happen ahead of time I would've warned you.

Ira: Oh yeah?

"Jasper": This kid -

"Quartz": These kids.

"Jasper": C'mon Quartz. I could've shown him how awesome Kruos is if I'd known, right?

"Quartz": No one cares about your strategically catered campaigns, Jasper.
   And you...

Scene - Ira regards Quartz distrustfully.

"Quartz": ...
   We're a little far from where your house was...
   But we're in a protected area. We have special barriers that keep monsters out.
   If you left now, you'd probably run into more monsters.
   And...I don't think you're in a state to be dealing with those right now.

Scene - It goes quiet.
   Each of them are remembering the winged monster and its attack.
   Ira recalls how he couldn't move and the monster's red eyes.
   Quartz remembers the bright orange sphere that appeared in the contact.

"Quartz": It's your choice.

Scene - Ira glances about indecisively.
   Hesitant, he closes his eyes and grits his teeth.
   It is indeed dark outside and he doesn’t recognize the surroundings.

Ira(thoughts): ...I don't trust them…
        …but they saved me and I can't ignore that.

Ira(narration): Everything was normal until two nights ago.

Scene – Flashback of the Hole Puncher, how Jasper intervened, and the Kruos business
   Then the morning Jasper arrived at his door, providing proof of Kruos’ work.

"Jasper"(flashback): In short, Kruos Association is a government-employed organization that specializes in getting rid of our monster friends. That's who "we" are.

Scene – Flashback of Ira meeting the teenage boy at the back of the café.

???: Fighting monsters protects the city!
   If we get rid of them all you won't have to deal with them anymore!
        The more people we have the faster they'll be gone!

Scene – Flashback of Ira’s house being burned down
          – the moment when Quartz saved him from the monster
          – Quartz using her crystal energy.

Ira(narration): I don’t know what to do…

Ira(thoughts): How can I not suspect Kruos in having a hand in this?

Ira(narration): I have nowhere else to go…

Ira(thoughts): But then, what happened back there? Another big monster, one I hadn't seen before.
   When we got close - it was as if I could feel that energy.
   Then it was true what Jasper said about monsters and energy....
   Quartz showed a similar ability, though hers was different.
   If Kruos is real... then...

Ira(narration): What does that mean for me?
        What does it have to do with me? I thought I was the only one that had it – but all these people are suddenly popping up that seem to know more than I do…
   Why do I have this ability? It’s not like everyone has it.
   Would any of these people be able to give me an answer…?

Ira(thoughts): They are… the only people I can talk to about this.
   No one else would get it.
   Yet nothing makes sense..

Scene – Ira opens his eyes with a frustrated look and turns away.

Ira: I don’t know. I – just don’t know.

“Jasper”: That’s why. We can help you –

“Quartz”: Jasper.

“Jasper”: What?

“Quartz”: Shut up.

“Jasper”: Again? Why do I always get...

Scene – Quartz starts to get up and turns to Ira.

"Quartz": Hey, look, don’t worry about that right now.
A lot’s happened tonight and you’re probably tired.
Just stay for the night and we can talk more tomorrow.

Ira(thoughts): I don’t want to talk to anyone forever…

Scene - Quartz steps out of the vehicle and Ira follows her slowly.
   The alley is wide and facing Ira is a dingy brick apartment building.
   The only light is comes from over one of the metal doors of the apartment.
   Quartz starts towards it, but Ira flinches on his first step.

Ira: Ouch -

Scene - Quartz stops.
   Ira crouches down, holding his arms.
   Quartz regards the young man.
   Her mind goes back to the energy sphere that happened when Ira and the monster clashed.
   Her face goes dark.
   She offers her hand to Ira  with a solemn look.
   Ira glances at it…and uses the van for support instead and stands up.
   There's an awkward moment between them before Quartz drop her hand and turns away.
   They reach the door.

Sfx - fwoosh

Scene - The door suddenly swings open on its own, shining light onto them.

Ira: Wha -

Scene - A small drone hovers in the doorway, spraying blue light everywhere.

"Jasper": Heya!

Scene - Ira glances back and forth between the small drone and the bigger drone resting on the van.

Ira: I thought you were over there?

"Jasper": I switched. C'mon!

"Quartz": Move, Jasper.

Scene - The drone moves inside, Jasper’s humming audible in the background.
   Quartz holds the door open for Ira.
   She gives a small smile for the first time.

"Quartz": Welcome to our base.

- - - - -


4

- - - - - -

Scene - Night. Kruos' Team's Quarters.
   Ira and Quartz stand in a room that looks like it's supposed to be the living room and kitchen.
   But there are clothes and trash lying everywhere with dirty dishes in the sink.
   The TV in the room has been left on.
   Jasper's drone hovers freely over the mess.
   Ira views it all incredulously.
   Quartz scratches the back of her head somewhat bashfully.

"Quartz": Well....
   We can't necessarily compensate for your lost property, but we'll try to make you as comfortable as we can until we finish our investigations.

Ira: Uh-huh.

Ira(thoughts): What is that smell coming from the garbage…

"Jasper": Oh, don't worry about this, this is normal.

"Quartz": You should really have a drone for cleaning duty, Jasper.

"Jasper": I can't use my precious babes for such a worthless task!

"Quartz": Don't mind the mess. Here's where you can stay.
   It's our spare room.

Ira(thoughts): If this is the main room, I'd hate to see how the other areas look.

Scene - Quartz leads Ira across the room to a door near the TV, stepping over DVD cases and litter.   
   She opens the door and turns on the light.    
   Ira peers in.
   To his surprise, it's a tame little storage room with a cot on one wall and a metal shelf holding boxes on the other side. There is no window, but there is a vent in the ceiling.

Ira(thoughts): Oh, it's not bad.

"Quartz": It's a little dusty. If you don't like it, I can give you my room.

Ira: You live here?

"Quartz": Yes, so does the rest of the team.
   We each have a floor of the apartment. I'm on the second floor.

Scene - A glint comes into Ira's eyes.
   He cracks his knuckles.

Ira: Jasper?

"Quartz": Everyone except him.

Ira: What? You're kidding.

"Jasper": Nah, it's true.

Sfx - Thunk.

Scene - They turn to see the drone dropping a pop can into the almost full garbage.

Ira: If you're hiding on the top floor, you're dead.

"Jasper": Whoa, scary.

Scene – Quartz absently starts to clean up some of the litter as well.

"Quartz": Jasper's never set foot here as far as we know.
   Besides us, there are three others. Our captain is away, but the other two should be here soon.

Ira(thoughts): Great. Company.
   Never thought I’d be sleeping under the same roof with a bunch of strangers.
   Wait a sec.
   This…this is crazy. I really just got myself involved with a bunch of nerds.
   If it was the government, I’d know what to expect but…
   This feels unreal. Maybe I’m dreaming.
   Am I even sane anymore? All this talk of monsters and monster killers –
   That’s it. This is a really bad dream. What person’s life gets this dramatic?
   
Scene – Ira peeks into his “room” again.

Ira(thoughts): It’s… a storage room. I’m being stuck in a storage room.
   I’m…turning into storage…

Scene – In the background, Ira can hear Quartz and Jasper’s voices as they tidy the room a little.
   His focus remains on the room – and how small and bare it is compared to the room he had before.
   Ira bites his lip, a hollow feeling developing in his chest.
   His brain feels muddles and body heavy.
   Head lowering, his eyes stare at the ground.
   He notices his pants. He is still dressed in his work uniform which has gotten scuffed up badly.

Ira(thoughts): Richley…he doesn’t know where I am…
   What am I going to say to him when I go to work…?
   Am I going to work tomorrow? I really don’t feel like it…
   I don’t feel… like doing anything. I don’t feel like sleeping…
   I don’t want to wake up… if I wake up, I’ll really be faced with reality.

- - - - -

Scene – Night. Outside of the Kruos Team’s Base.
   Two hooded figures walk into the alley and go up to the door with the light above it.
   They start to open it when they hear voices.
   Halting, they peek in.
   One of the figures freezes, their lips parting as if from shock.
   Inside, the door to Ira’s room is open. He sits on the cot, spaced out.

Ira: …

“Quartz”: …re some extra sheets.

Ira: Huh?

“Quartz”: Brought you extra sheets.

Ira: Oh…

“Quartz”: I’ll make tea. Want some?

Ira: Mm.

Scene – Quartz moves away, leaving Ira with a comforter in his hands.
   Ira turns to put the blanket on his bed when the drone hovers cautiously in the room.
   Ira glares maliciously at it, fingers flexing instinctively.

"Jasper": …hey, I know it’s late, but I won’t be able to sleep if I don’t ask you at least one more time.
…Won't you join us?
Ira: ?!

Scene - Ira opens his mouth, he doesn't reply right away.
   His eyes shift to look at the ground.

“Jasper”: Don’t tell me now. I know you said you don’t want to, and I get that.
   You’re right. Just cause you have that crystal energy doesn’t mean you have to use it for us.
   It’s probably better suited for you alone than for us anyway.
   Like I said – insurance, protection, a bed – heck, I even have fun.

Ira: …

“Jasper”: And you get to beat up monsters – that’s the best part – personally.
   Just think about it okay? If you really don’t want to, then…I can’t stop you.

Scene – The drone remains in its place though Jasper goes quiet.
   Ira continues to stare at the ground.
   He starts to open his mouth again.

"???": He can't join!

Scene – Ira starts at the voice.
He and the drone turn towards the door.
Two hooded figures stand in the open doorway.
   The other gives a start at sight of Ira and steps in, pushing back their hood.
   Ira sees the teenage boy with black hair and green eyes looking at him in happy surprise.

Ira(thoughts): ?? What – isn’t that the kid I met today…?

"Jasper": What?

Scene - The other figure has the figure of a teenage girl.
   She clenches her fists and remains trembling in the doorway.

"Quartz": Amethyst?

"Jasper": You finally get back and that’s the first thing you say? You're out of line, Amy.

Ira(thoughts): Amy?

"Amy": I said - he can't join!

Scene - The girl throws off her hood and glares at Ira.
   Her brown hair is short and her eyes are slightly violet.
   She wears a white-collared black shirt underneath with a purple gem adorning the bow at her collar.
   Ira stares at her, blankly at first.
Then his expression turns slowly into recognition, then into one of wonderment, then settles into a disbelieving grimace.

Ira: Amie?!

- - - - -

INDENT. Chapter 3 – Crevice. END

No one is perfect . . . that's why there's erasers and extra paper.

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