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GateCrashers Originals: “The Mentor”

The GateCrashers are here to get all creative!

Welcome to a new monthly column where the GateCrasher writers get a chance to stretch their creativity muscles. I get it, you normally come to GateCrashers to read a review or someone’s insightful think piece on a fandom. But it’s time for something a little different. Each month we’ll feature a new prompt and let the ingenious minds behind GateCrashers do their thing; like write their own short stories, draw, or sing an original song. Honestly, whatever they want. This month our team was tasked with creating around the prompt, “The Mentor.” The gates are open, and the floor is theirs. So sit back and enjoy, because we’ve made you some content!


The Mentor”
Submitted by Reagan Anick
Medium: Short Story

The Parasite had seen these sights before; a stretch of grey muddy earth pockmarked from mortar blasts, bodies lying in wait for when their countrymen would brave the dangers of what the hosts called “No Man’s Land” to retrieve their fallen brothers. It was always easiest, The Parasite had noted after several attempts to find hosts for itself and its broodmates, to make treks in the dead of night. That way, when they were low to the ground and moved carefully to avoid the sightlines of anyone who may be looking out over the tops of the uncovered tunnels they called trenches, it was far more challenging to spot them creeping through the muck. 

The body currently hosting it was not its own, nor was it ever intended to be. Instead, it belonged to another one of its kind. Not a broodmate; this one was too old and too knowledgeable to be one of The Parasite’s broodmates. The temporary host called himself Alfonse and said that once The Parasite had settled into its own host, it wouldn’t take long to settle into the identity that came along with it.

They spent most of the night combing over the battlefield in search of a viable host; eventually, as the night began to lighten into dawn, they found one at the bottom of a foxhole, surrounded by the remains of its fallen allies. Alfonso grunted as he came to a crouch beside the body, “Well, there you have it.” He placed his hand on the body’s chest and allowed The Parasite to take over its new host.  

The minute it entered the body, The Parasite was inundated with information; old memories flooded into its brain as it became acclimated to this new identity. His name was Johnny Carmichael, he was 18 years old. He was born in a small village in a place called Ontario (he would need to figure out exactly where that was soon), and he had enlisted as soon as his mother’s heart wouldn’t be entirely broken by the prospect. He was a hard worker with a good heart; local girls swooned over him; local boys were often made jealous by this fact. He loved his mother and had promised her he would come home. As The Parasite took all of this in, Alfonso nodded and stood up with a grunt. “Well,” he said, “you know what happens from here.” And he did.

Still stiff with rigor mortis, Johnny Carmichael’s body grinned.


“Beethoven’s 5th”
Submitted by RJ Durante
Medium: Short Story

The white button up I had just purchased was ruined. Not even passable as ketchup stains either. Was is it toothpaste and cold water, or were you supposed to spit on it? Wait, the spit only works if it’s your own blood.

“Close it.” Nicky growled.

Nicky was my watcher, as they called it, the guy who made sure things didn’t go awry during a clean-up. “Nails” was his earned moniker; the story behind it I only recently learned. During an attempted hit, the mark decided to fight back with a nail-gun by firing 6 roofing nails into Nicky’s chest. Unphased, Nicky just kept on pummeling the poor schmuck to death while taking stock of the ¾ inch pieces of metal protruding from his torso. I don’t think I’ve earned the right to call him anything but Nicky.

“You deaf kid?” he barked.

Realizing I had let my mind drift for a moment, my hands quickly wrapped around the trunk handle of the mid 2000s Lincoln Continental and slammed it shut.

“The hand.” Nicky pointed.

My eyes focused on the dangling wrist and bruised fingers, worked over by the gravel while dragging the body to its final resting place. With the care of a father holding his newborn, I gingerly lifted the extremity back into place and reattempted my task. Closed, success!

“Nice.” Nicky stated sarcastically.

It was at this point that I heard a familiar tune, Beethoven’s Fifth. Dun Dun Dun Dunnnn. The proximity was close, as my hands explored my breast jacket pocket and eventually the front and back of my pants. No dice. DUN DUN DUN DUNNN. 

“You gotta be shitting me kid.” Nicky moaned.

My arms reached for the handle of the trunk and I was face to face with our old pal again. Vinny “The Gut” Guttario. Apparently, he enjoyed Tiramisu almost as much as giving information to the feds. He had swollen up a bit in his post-mortem state, as his natural gases were beginning to break down and the normal flora found in his gut were making a last-ditch effort to catch a ride out of town. If I had string, I could tie it to him and ride him down 5th avenue during the Thanksgiving Day Parade. DUN DUN DUN DUNNN. Fuck, back to it. His body was not as accommodating when it came to shifting him from side to side. What the Continental did lack was adequate rear storage, I mean, style for miles, but the trunk space was the size of a New York apartment.
 
“Get that phone before I stick you in there too.” Nicky’s voice was like ice. 

Using my waist against the lip as leverage, I rolled “The Gut” over, and saw my iPhone nestled under his right buttcheek. With the grace of a blind drunk, my arms plucked the phone while simultaneously having the 300lb literal and figurative dead weight attempt to crush me. That’s when I felt the pull from a force that could only be described as herculean, as I was jerked out of the trunk and onto the pavement. Looking up, I briefly caught the glimpse of a smile, before it disappeared and the stone-faced behemoth returned to his natural state.

“Anything else you want to fuck up today kid?” Nicky bellowed.

Anything else? ANYTHING ELSE! I planned the location, the timing, and even the goddamn method of killing him. Vinny was alone at his cabin, waiting for the mistress that was not going to make it today. Apparently, Gina Marie’s hair salon could fit her in at the last minute, I know cause I was the voice on the other end of the call. And finally, the two bullets that were spaced inches apart tearing through his right and left ocular cavity, they were fired from my fucking gun. The sheer brilliance of it all, and he still has the audacity to call me… DUN DUN DUN DUNN. The phone, forgot about the phone. Nicky reached out his gorilla paws and plucked it out of my hands before I even had the chance to react. 

“Wayfair is having a patio furniture sale, 30% Off.” He said dryly.

He threw the phone back at me as he climbed into the driver’s seat. I collected myself, turned off my notifications, reexamined the blood stains on my shirt, and made my way to the passenger’s side. Nicky was adjusting the seat to fit his Frankenstein-esque dimensions. 

“Nicky?” My voice barely above a whisper.
“Yeah, kid?” Still fidgeting with his seat.
“Did I do a good job?” A genuine curiosity in my tone.
“No, but stick with me, and I’ll make sure you always end up in the front seat, and not the trunk.” He smiled.


“One Click”
Submitted by Dan McMahon
Medium: Short Story

Moral quandaries are tough work, don’t you think? 

You have to sit alone with them. Every inch of your brain and heart intertwined with everything and everyone who made you what you are. Dr. Joshua Walters is sitting with one right now as his mouse hovers over a file on his computer.

“Christ, do I open it or leave it be? I don’t think I can come back from prying this deeply.” Joshua pushed his hands back through his hair as he stared at his mouse hovering over the file. He pulled at his hair ever so slightly as if it would allow the stress to drain through his scalp. 

What would your father do in this situation? Joshua wouldn’t know since his left before he could stand on his own two feet.

What would your partner do? Joshua knew that David would rush into the room right now and stop whatever this experiment truly was. But David wasn’t here to do that. Fate took David far before his time. It wasn’t fair but most things aren’t. 

So what would Joshua Walters do? A man who had dedicated his life to the pursuit of science. Following his mentor through every stage of something most would consider a fringe science experiment. Bending his own morality to fit the mold that Dr. Clifton was creating as they went along. 

To keep it simple, they were genetically engineering human organs. Creating them from scratch. No cloning, no gene splicing, or any of that. Raw materials being woven into something familiar. The human form. A person. Being. But creating something like that wasn’t moral by the standards of most. 

Playing God is what the academics called it. Joshua tried to shun the notion that what they were doing was unethical. Breakthroughs like this could give life to so many. Perfect organs to replace the failing ones in a body. Man-made organs to replace the broken ones that God gave them. 

But what Dr. Clifton had done now was unspeakable. Giving the bodies something more. What Joshua was able to read in the files that were left unlocked was that the experiments were a success. The latest subject was able to show emotion, feelings, and all of those burdens of humanity. Even more so, the subject was able to retain memory. 

The mouse hovered over the latest document in the experiment series. One click and he would know even more about what Dr. Clifton had created. 

All it would take is one click and Joshua would know that Dr. Clifton wasn’t his mentor but rather his god.


“SUPERHUMANITY”
Issue 1: All Smiles

Submitted by Rook Geary
Medium: Comic Script

PAGE 1

PANEL 1
Medium panel, establishing shot. 2030 Los Angeles, around when daylight turns to dusk.

Icarus sits alone on the edge of a skyscraper’s rooftop, expressionless. One of Reach’s portals opens off to his side, glowing golden as it hangs in the air.

PANEL 2
Reach steps through the portal onto the roof. 
He’s casual, relaxed, not even announcing his presence — these two have known each other for years. 
Icarus is half-smiling as he looks over, quipping more out of habit than anything else. 

REACH
You don’t have to spend the anniversary alone every time, you know.

ICARUS
You know I only brood two or three times a year. Let me have this.

PANEL 3
Small panel. Reach sits down next to Icarus, staring out at the city alongside him.

REACH
Oh, I’m not here to judge. This is just prime brooding real estate.

PANEL 4
Icarus looks over at him, clearly enjoying any chance to rib his mentor.

ICARUS
You brood? You engage in brooding? Shameful.

Reach chuckles in response. 

PANEL 5
The two of them sit there, legs dangling off the roof, as I lean towards this being a medium-sized panel, to sell the silence and make the quiet moment feel longer.  Panel of silent…contentment, or something like it, as the two look out at 2030 Los Angeles
NO DIALOGUE

PANEL 6
Reach sighs. There isn’t really an easy way to break the silence, but he has something he wants to talk about.

REACH
You know, I really thought I ended the world once.

PAGE 2

PANEL 1
Small or medium panel. Not that much happens, but the facial expressions need a little room to breathe.
Icarus’s head whips around, incredulous. Reach isn’t meeting his eyes. Instead, he’s staring out at the city like his gaze could bore a hole into the past.

ICARUS
You saved the world. You’re like, the poster boy of saving the world.

REACH
I gave the world a chance to save itself. But before that — hell, for a couple years after — I felt like I had doomed my whole timeline.

PANEL 2
Small panel.
Icarus narrows his eyes, as if he’s detected some real bullshit. He doesn’t buy what Reach said in the slightest. Reach, on the other hand, just looks uncomfortable. He’s trying to come across with some authority, but he’s talking about the lowest point in his life, so he’s wading into unpleasantness just by bringing it up.

ICARUS
You were a no-name bassist who developed superpowers in the middle of an invasion from outside reality. Not to sound too harsh, but you didn’t do shit until your world was gone and you came to save ours.

PANEL 3
Medium or large panel.
Reach is drawn in profile, with shading quickly getting darker and reaching black at his back. On his front side, there’s the city. On the other side of the darkness, we see a flashback: Reach, in his band outfit, on his knees in the rubble of a military base. He’s the only soul around, save for the twisted and bestial forms on the horizon. We could do this with a full body shot of Reach, but I lean towards zooming in on his head, so the facial expression has more room, and so that it implies the flashback is happening “inside” his head. It’s quick visual shorthand that (hopefully) enhances the clarity. 

REACH
Exactly, but I was the last living person on the planet. Of course, I felt like I should’ve done something else. 

PANEL 4
Small panel.
Somehow, it looks like this has gotten under Icarus’s skin, but he isn’t going to say anything about it. Now he’s the one avoiding Reach’s eyeline.

ICARUS
Any armchair psychologist could tell you that’s not true. 

PANEL 5
Small panel.
Reach puts a hand on Icarus’s shoulder, prompting Icarus to look back over at him. 

REACH
Yeah. Just like they could tell you that you shouldn’t feel guilty about what Mathias did.

PANEL 6
Large panel, explicitly a parallel of the earlier panel showing Reach’s flashback. For visual balance, this should have the flashback on the opposite side from what was done in the earlier panel. Icarus looks pissed, immediately. This is a sore subject; normally he’d deflect or change the subject, but with Reach he lets his actual emotions show. Every word has venom behind it.

On the shadowed side of Icarus, we have a flashback of his sixteen-year-old self-dropping the TV remote as he sees something extremely painful and shocking. 

I think if we show the reality of what Mathias did, it’s so heavy as to be distracting, so we can keep that off-screen. The short version is that he destroyed a wealthy man’s home (killing all the occupants and party guests) because that man ran a private military company with a record of killing civilians, and got away with a slap on the wrist. Mathias is basically willing to kill anyone, so long as he believes more people will be saved by doing so.

ICARUS
I don’t feel guilty for what he did, no. I feel guilty for the fact he keeps getting away with it. I’ve had four years to catch him. But my father’s still out there.

(Note: he means four years since he turned 18, the age at which it’s legal to do hero work, so like 5.5 years total since The Incident.)

PANEL 7
Reach recognizes Icarus’s pain and frustration, and is trying to mitigate it with compassion. There’s an understanding in his eyes, even as he struggles to find the right words.

REACH
Every hero worth their salt has been trying to catch him, too. Your old man was our tactician. He knows how we work. I know how much extra time you’ve been putting in on his case, but you have to take care of yourself too. You’re allowed to let yourself feel these things, you know.

PAGE 3

PANEL 1
Icarus laughs it off. He’s attempting to summon his jovial public persona and use it like a shield, but the smile doesn’t reach his eyes. Reach doesn’t buy it for a second, and immediately cuts through his bullshit. He’s not upset, just absolutely not putting up with Icarus’s front.

ICARUS
Excuse me? I am famously happy. Two weeks ago, I went to a movie premiere with a best supporting actor nominee on one arm and best actress on the other one.

REACH
Who was brooding here first? Just because you can cover up your pain doesn’t mean it’s gone.

PANEL 2
Small panel.
Reach is desperately trying to make an appeal to Icarus here. 

REACH
I’m not saying it’s all a performance, but like…you’ve got to let yourself be a real person sometimes. And wallowing alone doesn’t count.

PANEL 3
Medium panel. 
Icarus just looks tired in response. Like, bone-tired. Too damn tired for his 22-year-old ass. Fucking exhausted, emotionally speaking. 

ICARUS
You know what? Maybe I’d like that. But I don’t get to be sad, or upset, or anything that could imply a threat. I have to constantly be the most marketable and inoffensive version of a “bad boy,” to offset the public fear of him. Of me. 

PANEL 4
Reach understands to an extent, but he’s deep in thought as he’s reconciling this with how he’s thought of Icarus’s situation.

REACH
Wasn’t the whole point of naming yourself Icarus giving those guys the finger? “Watch me fall, I dare you,” right?

Icarus looks low energy, almost morose. Resigned. Even so, he can’t help but chuckle a little at Reach quoting him. 

ICARUS
That, and picking such a self-deprecating name meant nobody else would edge in on my branding. Look, people like me being controversial when it’s fun. But if I take a stand on any issue my dad cared about…

PANEL 5 
Icarus shrugs, putting on an unhappy smile. A real “it’s all out of my hands, the only choices I can make would fuck things up, so who gives a damn anymore” kind of smile. 

ICARUS
Well, my merchandise sales are keeping three charities afloat, at this point. There are more things at stake than how I feel. 

Reach is, understandably, quite concerned with this information. 

REACH
If you keep putting all of this pressure on yourself with no release, you’re going to explode.

PANEL 6
Could be two panels.
Reach begins to reply, but whips his head around as a chunk of concrete explodes off of a fancy futuristic skyscraper in the background. (It’s not a big flaming explosion, more like something solid got yeeted through the ceiling.) 

REACH
I’m just saying, if you had some downtime that didn’t double as a public appearance — 

SFX
KA-CHOOM

REACH
COME ON, RIGHT NOW?

PAGE 4

PANEL 1
Small Panel.
Icarus stands up, shielding his eyes from the sun with one hand as he looks out at the source of the sound.

ICARUS
Did somebody just punch the roof off of that place?

PANEL 2
Small panel, but probably a little larger than the previous one. Horizontal, to mimic human eyesight. POV shot from Reach’s perspective. He’s pointing a finger gun at the concrete as it arcs through the air, and a portal can be seen opening ahead of its trajectory.

REACH
I dunno. Let’s find out.

ICARUS (OFF)
Oh boy.

PANEL 3
Large panel.
Icarus casually steps out of the way as a portal opens beside him, and a chunk of another building’s roof flies through. There’s probably some additional rubble and debris, too. Despite the practiced ease Icarus moves with, he still plays up his indignation for comedic effect. Reach is watching the whole thing, unmoved by Icarus’s performance.

ICARUS
Hey! I believe we established that was my brooding spot. 

REACH
Yeah, well, you’re a little bit better at dodging than the people down on the street.

PANEL 4
Large panel.
Icarus is nonchalant as he peers into the portal, looking at the building the projectile came from. It’s a slick and ultra-modern skyscraper, part of the generation of buildings that came after the Beast invasion wrecked half of basically every city. 

A chunk of the roof is missing, so he can see inside to what appears to be a very scientifically impressive laboratory. What sort of equipment is in there isn’t exactly important — there are a lot of ways to mess with giving people superpowers, in this universe — it just matters that it looks advanced. There are also cowering scientists visible inside.

ICARUS
That’s the Originesis building. Tacky name. So…judging by your lack of surprise, you’ve been watching these guys?  

REACH
Sure, but this isn’t their M. O. Big picture, they want to be arms dealers for short-term superpowers. 

PANEL 5
Medium panel.
Icarus cracks his knuckles as several jets of flame appear behind him, arranged like wings. Reach gestures at the portal exasperatedly, looking over at Icarus with a real “can-you-believe-this-shit” expression.

ICARUS
And I’ve been fighting a whole lot of one-minute-wonders lately. That’s not a coincidence. 

REACH
They’re really not allowed to be on human trials yet. 

PANEL 6
Small-medium panel.
Reach crosses his arms. Icarus hops into the portal, and his “wings” propel him towards the building. 

ICARUS
Yeah, and they were trying to kill me. That’s also in the ethically dubious category. Morally gray, at least.

PAGE 5


PANEL 1
Large panel.
A lanky scientist stands in the laboratory, surrounded by his cowering colleagues the debris of destroyed desks and computers. He’s hefting a massive chunk of rubble with one hand, displaying clearly unnatural strength; he’s also turning a blotchy purple and sweating bullets.

Behind and above him is the hole he made in the roof, and Icarus soaring down towards him. The scientist hasn’t noticed yet.

COWERING SCIENTIST
Dr. Harroway, p-please, you know how volatile that much Brick can make people–

DR. HARROWAY
Those were barely people, Harold. We’re talking about needy criminals who would never have even looked upon greatness, if we hadn’t given them a taste. They were the perfect demonstration of why our product is so necessary! Why the market screams out with a need only we can answer!

CONFUSED SCIENTIST (SMALL)
Bro, the market isn’t real.

DR HARROWAY
The government would pay trillions to be able to dose their soldiers! We controlled supply and demand, because of me!

PANEL 2
Large panel.
Mid-monologue, Icarus drops through the ceiling to deliver a flying kick to Harroway’s back.

HARROWAY
So tell me why, the second it gets announced that Goodman Corp is acquiring us, my promotion goes —

ICARUS
So sorry, don’t care. 

PANEL 3
Medium panel.

Harroway is sprawled out and skidding along the floor, not grievously injured but clearly no longer in control of the situation. He’s lying face down. Icarus dusts his hands off, in full control of the situation. He’s smiling again, but it’s much more genuine. He’s in his element when there’s a problem to punch or blast.

ICARUS
I am a big fan of how you explained everything in front of security cameras, though. 

HARROWAY
Hrmrhsshmsf.

PAGE 6

PANEL 1
Small-medium panel.
Doctor Harroway skids to a stop.

PANEL 2
Small-medium panel.
Same shot. Harroway begins to scramble up, livid, feral. 

PANEL 3
Large panel
Harroway rockets up, trying to hit Icarus at full force. Icarus’s “wings” flare in response, allowing him to easily sidestep Harroway’s attack. 

ICARUS
The property damage was actually more dangerous than you. 

PANEL 4
Inset panel, small, off to the right side of Icarus and Harroway. Same angle, same zoom, but just showing Icarus looking hilariously smug.

ICARUS
Like, I expected a challenge, it turns out to just be some scientist hyped up on Flying Brick? Please. 

PANEL 5
Small panel.
Harroway speeds towards the ground, and a shelf full of scientific equipment and computer looking things. (This script is full of useful technical terminology.)
NO DIALOGUE

PANEL 6
Medium panel.
Harroway grabs the shelf and whirls it around, hurling it at Icarus. Icarus swoops downwards, propelled by his wings flaring up to twice their usual length and brightness. It looks like he’s on a collision course with the shelf. 

DR. HARROWAY
Big words for a man whose head I can turn into paste

PANEL 7
Medium panel.
From in between his two hands, Icarus lets loose a stream of fire that glows like sunlight, blasting the shelf back down at Harroway.
NO DIALOGUE

PANEL 8
Harroway narrowly manages to dodge the shelf by flying up and over it, but he’s not looking good! Purpler, blotchier, and sweating magenta like a 2000s Gatorade commercial! Not to mention more beaten up. Icarus, meanwhile, hasn’t broken a sweat. He’s floating across from Harroway as if he hasn’t got a care in the world, hands and feet wreathed in golden-violet fire.

ICARUS
See, the thing about Brick — you should know your own product better — is that you might be invulnerable, but you can still feel a little pain.

PAGE 7

PANEL 1
Large panel.
It might make sense to have Reach in the background, portaling scientists to safety, but it’s not critical story information. He’s just hanging back from the fight so that Icarus can work some shit out. Icarus zooms behind Harroway, taking full advantage of his experience navigating 3D space in a fight by arcing over the scientist. Now upside-down and behind his foe, Icarus swings his foot towards the side of his head. This motion would be a lot to show in one panel, but his wings trail fire behind him in tapered streaks, so what he did should be clear.

ICARUS
And plenty of nausea.

PANEL 2
Small. Inset panel.
Icarus’s foot connects with the side of the scientist’s head, knocking him off-balance. 

HARROWAY (LARGE)
AAAAAAAGH!!

PANEL 3
Medium panel.
The scientist drops out of the air, plummeting the short distance to the ground unceremoniously.

ICARUS
Hard to fly with your inner ear all out-of-whack, huh? 

PANEL 4
Medium Panel.
Harroway struggles to his feet, rage in his eyes. Icarus floats just a foot or two off of the ground, baiting him.

DR. HARROWAY
Five years of my life I worked on this shit! Do you think I’m going to let the world’s most infuriating twink take me down?!

ICARUS
…I mean, I’m obviously a twunk.

PANEL 5
Medium panel.
Harroway charges at Icarus, sprinting forward! Icarus doesn’t even move aside. Instead, Icarus looks back at Reach, who’s leaning against the wall, heckling him.

REACH
And you think the shit I say sounds dated. It’s 2030, dude.

ICARUS
He was being inaccurate!

PAGE 8

PANEL 1
Medium panel. (Or perhaps two small panels.)
Right as the deranged Harroway reaches Icarus, a portal appears under him, and he falls through.

REACH
Watch your step.

PANEL 2
Small panel.
Icarus rolls his eyes at Reach, but is grinning anyways. They both are.

ICARUS
Boo. You use this move often enough that you should really have better material. 

REACH
Have a little appreciation for the classics.

PANEL 3
Small-medium panel.
The two of them high five, and somehow, Harroway is still falling in the background.
NO DIALOGUE

PANEL 4
Large panel.
The panel zooms out to reveal that Harroway is falling from a portal in the ceiling — one placed directly above the portal he fell into. He’s been trapped in a portal loop, and is accelerating, faded afterimages trailing him as he flails about helplessly. Reach and Icarus look on, pleased with themselves. 

ICARUS
I do love how reliably we can get people to walk into this.

REACH
It’s a thing of beauty, really.

PANEL 5
Small panel.
Reach puts his hands in his pockets, not-quite-scowling but clearly deep in thought.  

REACH
But this was a little too easy. I mean, this operation was flying under the radar until that dumbass literally blew the lid off the place.

PANEL 6
Medium panel. 
Icarus isn’t really that exasperated, he’s definitely doing a bit. Still, there’s some genuine frustration under the joking frustration.

ICARUS
Ugh. Whatever happened to a good one-and-done story? 

ICARUS
Every time, it’s like, “ooh, here’s this massive plot to unravel.”

PAGE 9

PANEL 1
Small panel.
Reach listens to Icarus, almost smiling, but he’s largely inexpressive as he thinks about the big-picture plot. 

REACH
I’m just saying, for a plan involving a multi-billion-dollar megacorp and the US senate, it fell apart pretty quickly.

PANEL 2
Medium panel.
Icarus throws his hands up in the air, admitting defeat. Detective work isn’t his strong suit. 

ICARUS
Okay, yes, you’re probably right. It’s the Benefactor, or —

REACH
Nah, she funds super crime because it’s fun. This job was planned by a business major. 

PANEL 3
Small panel.
Icarus folds his arms, nodding along with what Reach said.

ICARUS
Gross. But that tracks.

ICARUS
So they were definitely throwing their partners at Originesis under the bus.

REACH
And if somebody wanted us to find this, they already got away with the important stuff: the data.

PANEL 4
Small panel.
Icarus is now in a genuinely sour mood. This is, to put it lightly, not his jam. He’s trying not to be a huge bitch about the whole thing, but not trying that hard.

ICARUS
Great. I just looove mopping up after the evil plans already happened.

PANEL 5
Small panel.
Icarus interlaces his fingers behind his head as he accepts that he’s in for an evening of paperwork and interviews.

ICARUS
And there’s going to be paperwork with the property damage, so…let’s start mopping.

PANEL 6
Reach shakes his head and claps his hands together. He’s had enough of Icarus throwing himself under the bus, even for something this minor. 

REACH
Or — consider this — I handle the paperwork, and you call some actual friends and grab drinks at The Phonebooth.

PAGE 10

PANEL 1
Icarus squints in mock suspicion. Reach is completely deadpan.

ICARUS
You’re tricking me into self-care, aren’t you?

REACH
I am not above trickery and bribes. Don’t let the public know. The scandal would be enormous.

PANEL 2
Icarus eyes Reach silently. They’re practically having a staring contest. NO DIALOGUE

PANEL 3
Icarus puts his hands up in mock defeat. 

ICARUS
Fine, I’ll “spend time with people who care about me” or whatever. Jesus. 

ICARUS
You drive a hard bargain, old punk.

REACH
You know it, kid geezer. 

PANEL 4
Icarus rolls his eyes, but can’t help but be amused as Reach brings up his old nickname. Reach just looks self-satisfied.

ICARUS
I will have you know that I have blossomed as an individual since you started calling me that, and —

REACH
If you’re so full of life now, go and prove it. 

PANEL 5
Small panel.
Icarus takes flight, chuckling sheepishly.

ICARUS
Alright, alright. 

PANEL 6
Medium panel.
Before zooming out the hole in the window, Icarus looks back over his shoulder at Reach. Harroway might be seen falling in the foreground, possibly out-of-focus.

ICARUS
You might want to let that guy down now. Or, you know, within the next hour or so, before his damage resistance runs out.

PAGE 11

PANEL 1
Medium panel.
Reach snaps his fingers, making a finger gun at Icarus as he flies away.

REACH
Oh, right.

The portal on the floor begins to fizzle and disappear.

SFX
Zfft

PANEL 2
Medium panel, same shot. 
Harroway slams into the floor where the portal used to be. Reach doesn’t even dignify him by looking back.

SFX
THWACK

HARROWAY (JAGGED)
Mmgonna…immmmmgnna sleep now.

REACH
First good idea of your life, dude.

PANEL 3
Big panel, rest of the page.
Icarus sails through the air, leaving the Originesis building behind and arcing over the original building he was sitting on. The big idea we’re trying to get across here is the joy of flight, and the certainty of having a destination. A path forward. It’s deliberate that he’s flying over his “brooding spot”; in some small way, by opening himself up to the possibility he doesn’t need to internalize everything, he’s starting to get over his own shit.

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