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At The Throat of God Preview – First 10 Pages of Comic Script

IMMORTAL NIGHTS #1

 At The Throat of God

 MATT COLE

PAGE ONE:               THREE PANELS                     

There are two tiers here, panel one takes up the first and panels two and three take up the second.

PANEL: 1:1

This panel is comprised of the top two thirds of the page.  RAVEN approaches Saint Patrick’s Cathedral from the front, her back to us.  Massive wooden double doors – painted and intricately carved – await her at the top of the steps, beneath a gothic arch fixed with bronze sculptures.  Her hair is long, black, & silken.  It is fall and she is wearing a long overcoat.  It is dusk.

CAPTION

New York

CAPTION

She is a monster among monsters.  Feared among the ancient ones, she has grown extraordinarily strong in only a handful of years.  Strength her brethren would have taken hundreds of years to acquire.

TITLE

At The Throat of God

PANEL: 1:2

Raven enters the cathedral, swinging open both massive doors – not violently, but assertive, confident, & strong.  She faces us know as she enters.  She is a beautiful black woman fashionably dressed.

CAPTION

She was once mortal and a woman of faith.

PANEL: 1:3

A wooden confessional booth beautifully carved and lacquered stands off to one side of the cathedral.

An angel adorns the top while purple curtains hang on either side.  The center panel has a crucifix carved into it.

CAPTION

She has come to find what has been lost.

PAGE TWO:              SIX PANELS

There are three tiers here with two panels on each, which are of equal dimensions.

PANEL: 2:1

This is a right profile of Raven sitting in the confessional booth.  Her head is bowed forward.  The mesh screen is to her immediate left.  Perhaps we see the

silhouette of the priest on the other side.

 RAVEN

Bless me Father, for I have sinned.  It has been six years since my last confession.

PANEL: 2:2

This is a head and shoulders front view of the priest sitting in the confessional. He is portly man in his mid fifties with salt and pepper hair and a kind face.

 PRIEST

Peace be with you child.  Tell me what burdens you.

PANEL: 2:3

This is a head and shoulders front view of Raven sitting in the confessional.  We get a first glimpse of her fangs here.

 RAVEN

I have killed – murdered many, Father.  I have drunk the blood of the innocent.

PANEL: 2:4

This is a head and shoulders front view of the priest sitting in the confessional.  Shock – dismay on his face.

PANEL: 2:5

This is a head and shoulders front view of Raven sitting in the confessional.  She is looking upward.  Blood tears beginning to come.

RAVEN

I am dammed, Father.  I suffer from the darkest of thirsts.  I have fallen, changed . . .

PANEL: 2:6

This is close on the priest’s hands clutching his rosary beads tight.  A crucifix dangles from the strand of beads.

PAGE THREE:             FIVE PANELS

There are three tiers here with two panels on first, two on the second, and one on the third.

PANEL: 3:1

This is a head and shoulders front view of Raven sitting in the confessional.  Blood tears streaming down her cheeks now.  Fangs bared – a creature in pain.

 RAVEN

Why has God forsaken me?  Why, Father?

PANEL: 3:2

This is approaching a left profile view from the front as the priest turns and addresses the mesh screen to his right.

 PREIST

Child, God has not forsaken you.  He loves you no matter what you have done.  Redemption can be yours–

PANEL: 3:3

This panel is an insert overlaid panel 3:4 in the upper left corner.  It is close on Raven’s nose and mouth: bloodied cheeks, mouth open.

 RAVEN

Love?

PANEL: 3:4

From a front head and shoulders view of both Raven and the priest, we see Raven punch through the mesh screen with her right arm and grab the priest by the throat.

RAVEN

He has forsaken me!

 PRIEST

Please! Uuhg

PANEL: 3:5

The priest is being flung out of the confessional booth head first.  He is in the air, hands in front of him.  He is terrified.  The purple curtain flutters above the booth entrance he has been tossed from.  Raven’s arm extends towards us, from the booth entrance and mesh screen.

PRIEST

Aaaaiih!

PAGE FOUR:             FOUR PANELS

There are three tiers here with one panel taking up the first, two on the second tier, and one on the third tier.

PANEL: 4:1

This view is from behind the priest.  The priest is halfway between a supine position and seated position, propped up on his hands. His hands are splayed on the floor behind him.  Raven looms over him, reaching down on to him with one arm and grasping him by the collar.

RAVEN

I am a thing of the night – evil incarnate.  I hunger for human blood, Father.  And I take it.  I have taken so much of it, Father.

 PRIEST

Wha-what is your name, de-demon?

PANEL: 4:2

This is a side view of Raven holding the priest off the ground by the throat.  She holds him in her right arm and looks up into his eyes.

RAVEN

Does God speak to you, Father?  What does he whisper to you about my kind?

PRIEST

Ple-please.  I c-can help.  An exexer-cis-cision.

RAVEN

Perhaps he does not speak to you anymore than he does me.

PANEL: 4:3

This is a side view of Raven and the priest below their chests.  We see Raven’s boots, pants, and overcoat and the

priest’s robes and his feet dangling above the floor.

 RAVEN

Are you a fraud, Father?  Tell me, how God’s voice may be heard?  How he may hear me?

  PRIEST

Auugh

PANEL: 4:4

We are looking down upon Raven who is hunched over the priest, feeding upon him at his throat.  One of the priest’s hands clutches Raven’s shoulder.  His other limbs fumble about the floor.

 CAPTION

If God may be heard, this man he was not the instrument.  He was a slave to ceremony and scripture, nothing more.

PAGE FIVE:             SIX PANELS

There are three tiers here with two panels on the first, two panels on the second and two panels on the third.

PANEL 5:1

The night sky is nearly black with only a thin veil of midnight blue remaining as the sun sets behind a brick Tudor style mansion. Ivy is creeping up the left side of the building.  A wrought iron gate, framed by tall stone pillars on either side, stands across the driveway in front of the mansion.  Two figures soar with supernatural ease over the tall stone wall left of the house.  One figure is vaguely female.

CAPTION

Where KATHERINE MACPHERSON sleeps is secret to all – save the two who made her.

PANEL 5:2

We are inside what could be a bank vault.  A coffin of impressive craftsmanship rests atop a marble slab.  Beyond the coffin, we see a massive circular vault door.  A rug, which is mostly hidden by this view, lays on the floor between the coffin and vault door.  In a far corner of the room there is a chest overflowing with antique trinkets.

CAPTION

Her lair is impenetrable to sunlight and mortals alike.

Panel: 5:3

This panel is an inset overlaid the top left of panel 5:4 and is short and wide.  This is close on Katherine’s eyes and bridge of her nose.  Her eyes are wide open as if suddenly awakened from sleep.

CAPTION

Cyrus – Salome!

PANEL: 5:4

This is the opposite view of panel 5:2 i.e. the vault door is now behind us.  The coffin is open and Katherine is rising out of it.  She is of good Scottish stock, beautiful with long wavy chestnut brown hair.  She is unalarmed by this intrusion; calm in fact.  Behind the coffin on the vault’s back wall hangs an artifact from her mortal life: a bronze crest of the Macpherson clan, perhaps over a tapestry woven in the clan’s tartan.

CAPTION

Why have you come?

PANEL: 5:5

Katherine faces the massive vault door, her back to us.  Her right hand is raised in front of the vault door.

CAPTION

Please join us, Katherine.

 CAPTION

With a thought, the vault is opened.

 SFX

Buvvv-kunsh

PANEL: 5:6

Same angle as the previous panel, but from Katherine’s POV.  The vault door is wide open – outward.  CRYRUS and SALOME stand at the entrance.  Cyrus has Persian features, a powerful frame, and medium length bread.  He wears a dark overcoat over a pin stripe suit.  It is not hard to imagine him swinging a sword from the back of a chariot amidst a battlefield 3000 years ago.

Salome is petite with Mediterranean features and long curly black hair – eternally young and beautiful.  Her eyes are black – pupils indistinguishable – polished onyx.  Under her coat, she wears a short cut dress and knee high boots.

 Behind them we see the classical furniture and décor of Katherine’s home.

 CYRUS

Katherine, thank you.  We must speak.

KATHERINE (Off Panel)

If this is about Raven–

 SALOME

Katherine, please. Come.

PAGE SIX:            SIX PANELS

There three tiers here with two panels on the first, one on the second, and two panels on the third.

PANEL: 6:1

Here we are outside the vault.  The vault door remains open and to our left.  Cyrus and Katherine have just walked off out of view to the right.  Salome hesitates and looks back into Katherine’s lair (vault).

SALOME

An excellent lair.  German?

 KATHERINE (Off Panel)

Swiss.

PANEL: 6:2

This panel is of the immediate right of the previous panel’s right border (6:1).  Katherine and Cyrus walk side by side to the right.  Salome enters the panel from the left.

 SALOME

I trust you slayed the mortals who constructed it.

KATHERINE

We can talk outside on the patio.

 CYRUS

Do you know where Raven is?

KATHERINE

No.  And it is best that no one does.

PANEL: 6:3

This is a wide view from above.  We look down upon a long patio with a railing running along its length.  Perhaps we see the top of a hedge, ivy, or tree tops on the other side of the railing, giving away to darkness.  Keep the mansion’s Tudor style in mind here.  Our three characters sit around a small square table, each in a large chair.  Salome sits across from Katherine.  Cyrus sits to

Katherine’s left, between her and Salome and facing the railing.  Katherine is leaning forward in her chair, gesturing with one hand.

KATHERINE

If you go after her again, she may very well incinerate the rest of us like match sticks.

 SALOME

What to do then?  We can’t have a threat like her looming over us.

CYRUS

Katherine, may I suggest you go to her.  Find out what her intentions are.  See if a truce is feasible.

 PANEL: 6:4

This is a front view of Katherine leaning forward in her chair, one elbow resting on a knee.  At the bottom of the panel a candle burns on the table in front of her.

KATHERINE

Raven is mad.  She hates what she has become – what I made her.  She will in time destroy herself.  We must wait – she won’t last a century.  Until then, she must not be provoked.

PANEL: 6:5

This panel is focused on Salome sitting in her chair.  The angle is as if we were standing between Cyrus and Katherine, looking down upon Salome and the table.  Cyrus is visible in the lower left corner of the panel.

   SALOME

You sound so sure of yourself, Katherine.  We need to feel the same.  Will you go to her?  If only to confirm what you have told us tonight?

 CYRUS

If her intentions are something else, we must know.

PAGE SEVEN              THREE PANELS

Here we have three tiers with one panel on each.

PANEL: 7:1

The point of view is over Katherine’s right shoulder and across the table at Salome. Cyrus is visible as well in his seat.

 KATHERINE

Very well.

SALOME

Then, you will go to her?  You can see her as Cyrus and I see you?  You can find her?

 KATHERINE

I can.  She knows this too and hasn’t chosen to destroy me.

 PANEL: 7:2

We look directly at Cyrus in his chair. He leans toward his right, toward Katherine.  Salome now stands behind Cyrus, one hand reaching across his chest.

CYRUS

You are the only connection she has to anything now.  She will not harm you, unless you-

 KATHERINE

I will do this thing for us all, including Raven.  I do love you both and enough have burned already.

 SALOME

Too many, Katherine. Far too many

PANEL: 7:3

Here Cyrus and Katherine stand facing one another, Cyrus’ hand on her shoulder.  Salome stands on the railing taking in the night.

 CYRUS

Then it is decided.  You are to be our emissary.  Come to London after you’ve seen her.  We thank you – we all thank

you.  This is no small task.

 KATHERINE

I will see you in London.

SALOME

Travel well, Katherine.

PAGE EIGHT                FIVE PANELS 

Here we have three tiers and five panels.  The first panel takes up the first tier while there are two panels each on the second and third tiers.

PANEL: 8:1

This is an aerial view of the headquarters of the Society of Paranormal History and Investigation.  There is a large stone building surrounded by several smaller stone buildings.  A half full parking lot is near the center of the property.  The property is gated and surrounded by grasslands.  A wooded area can be seen some distance behind the compound.  A car travels up a gravel road which leads to the front gate.  This institution could be an old school or seminary.  It is mid day with overcast skies.

CAPTION

Northern England

 CAPTION

The headquarters of the Society of Paranormal History and Investigation.

PANEL: 8:2

MURRAY BALDWIN – a white haired man in his early sixties -sits at a fine antique desk, his fingers dancing on a keyboard, his eyes on the flat screen in front of him.  He is slender and disheveled, shirt sleeves rolled up, tie loosened.  A cigarette burns in an ashtray on his desk.

ETHAN CUNNINGHAM approaches the desk.  At the left border of the panel we see his arm and hand.  He carries a file.

 ETHAN

You know, there’s no smoking in here.

 PANEL: 8:3

Closer in on the desk.  Ethan’s hand tosses the file on to Murray’s desk.  The dossier reads: Kelly, David.

 MURRAY (Off Panel)

Special considerations – a perk for being older than the rule.

 ETHAN (Off Panel)

From our man in New York.

MURRAY (Off Panel)

What’s Angus have for us, then?

 PANEL: 8:4

This panel’s perspective is as if we were standing behind Murray’s chair.  Murray has picked up the file.  Ethan stands to the left of the desk.  He is a younger man, but not young: mid forties, heavy set, curly red hair and glasses.

ETHAN

A priest – monsignor David Kelly – was murdered inside Saint Patrick’s Cathedral two weeks ago.  His throat was torn open as if a wild animal had attacked him and his body was nearly devoid of blood at the morgue.

PANEL: 8:5

This panel is from Murray’s POV as he leans back in his chair and pours over the file.  A photograph of David Kelly’s body at the crime scene is attached on top of the autopsy report on the right side of the file, which partially obscures “Autopsy Report” at the top of the report.  We see a portion of Murray’s flat screen monitor over the top of the file.

 MURRAY (Off Panel)

A wound of this nature  – surely a man could bleed out quite quickly.

 ETHAN (Off Panel)

Except there was very little blood at the crime scene.


PAGE NINE                SIX PANELS 

This page has three tiers with two panels on each.  Panels one, three, and five are wide – approximately two thirds the width of the page.  They are read vertically as are panels two, four, and six.

PANEL: 9:1

This panel’s perspective is from Murray’s right.  He is still leaning back in his chair, the file in front of him, and looking up and to his left at Ethan.

 MURRAY

S’pose the crime scene could’ve been anywhere.  Maybe the body was dumped there.

ETHAN

By whom, a rabid beast roaming Manhattan?

 MURRAY

You think it’s paranormal?

ETHAN

Angus thinks it’s worth looking into.

PANEL: 9:2

We are above the clouds peering downward.  A stew of red and purple floods the clouds.  Rising from below is Raven, her arms outstretched from her sides, her face looking upward.  She is still some distance away.

PANEL: 9:3

This is an over the shoulder view – over Ethan’s right shoulder onto Murray at his desk.  Murray has turned in his seat to be square with Ethan.  Ethan’s head, neck, and right side of his face are visible at the left side of the panel.

 MURRAY

Pretty sloppy work if it is – leaving a body drained of blood in a cathedral.  Our immortals friends are usually a little more discreet.

ETHAN

Still…

 MURRAY

Right then, put ‘em on it.  Poor lad must be bored out of his bloody skull if he’s asking for an assignment.  We’ll see if anything else surfaces.

 PANEL: 9:4

This is the same perspective as panel two: we are above the clouds peering downward.  A stew of red and purple floods the clouds.  Raven, with her outstretched arms rises closer to us.  Raven’s looks upward at us, her fangs bared.

PANEL: 9:5

Murray leans back in his chair, the file still open in his lap.  Ethan stands to the left of the front of the desk.

MURRAY

What is the local press reporting on this?

ETHAN

Only that the priest was murdered.  Throat torn open and suffered massive blood loss. Nothing to indicate a supernatural predator.

 MURRAY

Good.  Let’s keep it that way.

PANEL: 9:6

This is the same perspective as panel two and four.  Save Raven, has risen very close to us from the clouds below.  We could almost reach out and touch her now.  Her arms remain outstretched as if crucified and she looks upward at us, her fangs bared.

PAGE TEN:            SIX PANELS

There are three tiers here, two panels on the first, two on the second, and two panels on the third.  Panels one and three are wider than panels two and four.

PANEL 10:1

Katherine, her back to us, crouches perched upon Saint Peters Basilica looking down into Saint Peters square, which is in fact circular.  There are a number of marble statues at the edge of the basilica.  Below is the square.  At its center is an obelisk with a crucifix at its top.  The square is surrounded on each side by roofed semi-circular structures with pillars on either side of them and lined with marble statues on their rooftops.  Across from this view, the square is open, which gives way to more buildings and the road leading up to the square.  It is night, but the square is well lit.  A reference photo of this view is easy to locate.

 CAPTION

Vatican City

 CAPTION

I have followed her here.  She must sense I am close as I feel her proximity.  Yet, she does not answer me.  Nor does she destroy me.

 CAPTION

She allows me to approach.

 CAPTION

Raven, answer me.

PANEL 10:2

This is close on an elderly man sleeping in bed.  He is mid to late seventies with white hair.

 CAPTION

The Holy Father sleeps as all men do.

PANEL 10:3

This panel’s perspective is from the head of the bed.  Raven hovers in the air over the Pope, nearly face to face.  The Holy Father continues to sleep.

 CAPTION

Tonight, however, he is not alone in his dreams.

 CAPTION

Tonight, a creature of the night has come looking for the Holy artifact that will provide her an audience with God.

 CAPTION

Where lies the Ark of the Covenant?  Tell me where the true Ark resides.

PANEL 10:4

This panel is a right profile of Raven hovering over the Holy Father. There is a balcony beyond the other side of the bed, its French doors ajar.  The Pope remains asleep.

   CAPTION

No definitive answer comes – only possibilities.

PANEL 10:5

An aerial view of the Temple Mount and the Al Aksa Mosque, which sits atop the mount.  The golden dome of the mosque is prominent.

 CAPTION

A secret chamber within Israel’s King Solomon’s temple, which lies beneath a medieval mosque.

PANEL 10:6

This is a front view of a small stone square church.  A long narrow widow is situated on either side of the entrance, each set in a turquoise frame.  A turquoise cross appears over the curtained entrance.  A small circular window appears above the turquoise cross.  Six steps lead up to the entrance.  A breaded dark skinned man stands in the entrance.  He wears a small black hat and simple robes.  Reference photos of this church are readily available.

 CAPTION

Within the Church of Saint Mary of Zion in Ethiopia.

PAGE ELEVEN:              FIVE PANELS

There are three tiers here with two panels on the first, one on the second, and two on the third.

PANEL: 11:1

Here Katherine appears standing between the open French doors off the patio from the Holy Father’s bedroom.

 CAPTION

Hello Katherine.

 KATHERINE

Raven, release this mortal.

PANEL: 11:2

Raven now stands at the bedside of the Holy Father, leaning over him and touching his face.  This is Katherine’s POV.

 RAVEN

Not to worry.  I am not here to harm him.  Only acquire information.

 KATHERINE (Off Panel)

He cannot he help you.

PANEL: 11:3

Raven walks down the opposite side of the four poster bed, gesturing to Katherine, who is visible to the right side of the panel.

 RAVEN

Ah, such little faith, Katherine.  Perhaps he already has.

 KATHERINE

Then let us go.  We must speak.  The ancients–

 RAVEN

The ancients.  Yes, of course.  They have sent you to find a vulnerability?  They would destroy me, if they only could.

PANEL: 11:4

Katherine anxiously looks upon the Holy Father, who still sleeps, unaware of the preternatural presence feet away.

 KATHERINE

They seek a truce, Raven.

PANEL: 11:5

Raven has come up behind Katherine and put her arm around her as they exit onto the patio.  Raven has turned toward Katherine, who looks forward.

 RAVEN

Peace among the immortals.  Let us celebrate then.  We shall hunt the streets of Rome and warm on blood you will tell me of the ancients.

It good to see you again, Katherine.  I have so missed you.