Below is my first attempt at a 4 page ‘shocker’ for illustrious UK comic mainstay 2000AD.
Their future shocks are a long-standing series of small tales of terror and horror that many writers hone their craft on.
This was sent off but I never received a reply, I also moved house at the time so who knows, maybe somewhere in a brown envelope my lost chance waits….
FAO Tharg, The Editor
Future Shock Concept
Script by Michael Phoenix
Final Draft: 28 November 2016
A refined but aged man of roughly 55 years stands propped against a tree as he aims via the scope of a hunting rifle. The scene about him is snowy and interspersed with trees as if on the outskirts of a forest. All is calm and a light snow is falling.
Narrator Caption ‘I calm my breathing even as my heart rages’
A gun shot cracks from the barrel
Narrator Caption ‘He will not escape’
A silhouette tries to make its way through the trees but is pierced by the bullet.
Narrator Caption ‘An accursed murderer of a beautiful thing”
The shooter is now running full speed towards the prey.
Narrator Caption ‘I come alive as I see him falter’
Half the face of the stalked silhouette is revealed, it is a man and he is looking up from having slumped to his knees at the charging attacker. The hunted man is roughly 28 and is bleeding from the bullet wound in his shoulder, his face wears a visage of confused fright.
Narrator Caption ‘A new strength surges through me’
Man 2 “WHO ARE Y……” *shouts in anguish*
The hunter uses his rifle like a club, the main stock of the weapon catching the felled man about the jaw and sending him sprawling.
Narrator Caption ‘My soul cries out in joy’
The hunted man lies sprawled across the floor, half attempting to crawl, with face battered and bloodied as the hunter approaches him with dark purpose.
Hunter “Every day I’ve thought of this”
Narrator Caption ‘I am no longer myself’
The hunter lifts the man by his hair from behind, his face is close to the prone mans ear, and due to his placement the hunted man cannot see his attacker as he is held in place looking forward. The hunter hisses in his ear.
Hunter “Watching you die” “As you watched Alyssa”
“… she died…I….” *questioning confusedly*
Narrator Caption ‘I feel lost in this moment’
The hunter has rolled his prey over and now holds him by the throat, a knife is held by his side at the hip and glimmers in the moonlight. A look of recognition fights its way across the hunted mans face as he finally gets to see the visage of his attacker.
Hunter “And now it’s your turn Quentin, you damned creature”
Prey “You?… Nathaniel?… no…”
Narrator Caption ‘Experiencing it all as if in a dream’
The knife is plunged into the hunted mans stomach,
Narrator Caption ‘Watching myself killing’
Worms eye view we see the hunter as he now sits across the limp body of the hunted man, repeatedly plunging the knife into him.
In the pale moonlight a silhouette sits atop another its breathing can be seen in the cold night air, it has stopped its brutal attack and is now lost in the after-glow of murder. In the very distance are the lights from some grand house.
Narrator Caption ‘I thought I may go to hell for my plans’
Narrator Caption ‘And now I’m certain’
We see a snowy plain from above; a man drags a body through the snow leaving a long trail of blood in the white snow. In the distance a grand Mansion awaits, the snow has come to an almost stop
Narrator 1 Caption ‘I feel empty once more’ ‘My hunger sated now’
‘But I know it will return’ ‘Just as before’
From within a warmly lit chamber we see a large double door archway open to the cold of the dark night outside. The hunter returns with his prey through it and just in view is a manservant who is not welcoming to his master’s return.
Narrator 1 Caption ‘And the moment I arrive he is waiting’
Servant “Heaven have mercy…”
The two shout at each other in a furious exchange as the hunter places the body on a table.
Narrator 1 Caption ‘Once more to chastise and condemn’
Servant “… an affront to god…. truly an abomination….”
The manservant is now at a computer console beginning something on it as the light from a nearby source casts a ghastly fluorescent blue light on his face. His jaw is tense in dissatisfaction; the hunter stands propped against a side table in the background and watches him, the body of the mans prey remains on the table.
Narrator 1 Caption ‘I remind him of his place’ ‘
Hunter “Remember always your loyalties to this house Remmington”
‘And I instruct him to begin another’
The hunter is paused at a doorway as he gathers himself, what little can be seen of the room gives it away as a large opulent study.
Narrator 1 Caption ‘For now I must rest’
‘The defilement and murder of my daughter’
‘Twisted and blackened every day remaining to me’
Back in the lab we see a series of cloning tubes with the one in the foreground being close to completion, maybe just a month or two away. Each tube after is in lesser states of completion.
/perhaps a timer on the containers to denote how long till maturity?
Narrator 1 Caption ‘But I will be joined in that darkness by her killer’
Page Four – Prologue
/Panel 1a & b
Two panels are to go across the top of the page, both identical.
The scene is the lab, now dark save for the light from the vats. The second of the two panels has the servant enter frame holding a candle and casting new light on the scene.
1a – Scene Caption ‘Later that night…’
1b – Narrator 2 Caption ‘Lady Alyssa would not have wanted this’
1b – Narrator 2 Caption ‘Her fathers actions desecrate her memory
He stands in the laboratory beneath the vat with the most fully formed body, though little details give away that it is still a month or two away from completion.
Narrator 2 Caption ‘I too loved her as a daughter’
‘And whilst I feel her loss every day’
He has moved in closer now, the candle placed on the side, he is working at the computer console
Narrator 2 Caption ‘Once more I cannot allow this barbarity’
‘A gross evil perpetrated in her name’
We see the screen he is viewing. It is asking ‘Change personality upload?’ ‘Previous personality = Quentin Stoakes’ ‘New Personality = Nathaniel Montgomery’. An override password is half entered.
Narrator 2 Caption ‘And though my actions may be equally abhorrent’
He strikes the enter key on the keyboard.
Narrator 2 Caption
‘Her spirit is absolved’
He is walking away towards the stairs with the candle once more in hand whilst the focus remains on the computer screen with the words ‘Upload Complete’ ‘Rebooting in 13 seconds’ remaining visible.
Narrator 2 Caption ‘Whilst we who remain on this Earth’
‘We all’ ‘Are far beyond redemption’