Workshop Wednesday

Here we have the conclusion of the first issue of The Next Big Score. It's a bit more adventure-y, with more thrills, chills, and spills (as they say). It's a fun conclusion to the issue even if, sadly, it does set up a larger adventure that just never happened.

We'll get to the big plan for the whole series in a bit. For now, enjoy the conclusion of this first issue. Remember that you can catch up on all my previous writings, including the first half of this series, over in the Works of Mike FinkelsteinWhat's that, you want to read various creative works from Asteroid G Lead Editor Mike Finkelstein? Well, if that's what you want... archive. Again, big thanks for Mason Williams for the cover art for this first issue.

The Next Big Score: Issue 1, Part 2

"Mummy Matters" Concluded

PAGE 1

PANEL 1

Desert landscape. Pyramids in background. An archeology dig site is setup, surrounding a temple exposed in a dug-out pit in the sand. Many workers are around the site, digging. The temple is decorated with many statues, half-destroyed by wind and sand, of lions and lion-human gods.

CAPTION:

Egypt, 1922 A.D. Site of the Temple to the High Priest of the Goddess Sehkmet

PANEL 2

CABOT and STELLA lead a team of workers into the temple. The wind whips about them as they trudge into the open "foyer" of the building.

PAGE 2

PANEL 1

The team investigates the foyer, torches flickering in the sandy wind. STELLA reads from her journal as she compares notes to the artwork of the temple.

STELLA:

The temple was built during the Middle Kingdom, approximately during the Eleventh Dynasty. What real information I could scrounge up was scarce about the specifics of the temple, beyond the fact that it existed and was a place to honor the goddess Sehkmet.

PANEL 2

STELLA runs a finger along the wall, translating as she reads.

STELLA:

Legend is that one of the High Priests demanded that he be entombed in an inner chamber of the temple... which these hieroglyphics confirm... although there are some symbols I'm not quite able to translate...

PANEL 3

CABOT has a crowbar out and is working to pry open the stone slab "door" that would allow access further into the building.

CABOT:

Just... a little... more...

SFX: SCRAPE, PRY

STELLA:

CABOT dear, really? There must be a switch...

PAGE 3

PANEL 1

CABOT steps back, his heel catching on a switch in the floor (of course).

SFX: SHINK

PANEL 2

CABOT has the sense to duck as darts fly out of the walls from hidden slots.

SFX: HURK

PANEL 3

We see one of the workers has a few darts sticking out of him from various directions. The other workers took CABOT's lead and are all ducking. STELLA is the only other one standing.

PANEL 4

The worker falls aside and we see STELLA has her book up, darts sticking out of it. She give CABOT a very "put-out" look.

PAGE 4

PANEL 1

STELLA walks over to her husband, and starts feeling around the door.

STELLA:

I swear, every time. You always get too eager, and the museum staff are the ones to pay for it.

CABOT:

Yes, dear.

PANEL 2

STELLA feels a switch.

SFX: CLICK

PANEL 3

The stone door whooshes open, torches flickering in the new wind flow.

PANEL 4:

STELLA walks ahead of her husband, her nose already right back in her book.

STELLA:

If you didn't have me, you would have died in one of these-

PAGE 5

PANEL 1

STELLA falls into a pit she didn't see in the middle of the hallway.

CABOT:

STELLA!

PANEL 2

CABOT dives for the hole, arm-first, to try and grab STELLA before she plummets to her death.

SFX: RIIIIIIIP!

PAGE 6

SPLASH PAGE

We see STELLA hanging from her shirt, desperately clutching it in her hands as her feet dangle a foot or two above some rather lethal spikes. She's not wearing the shirt at all, though, it having burst apart along the buttons, STELLA falling out of it as CABOT grabbed the collar and pulled. She is quite clearly not wearing anything from the waist up. She's also reading hieroglyphics on the wall.

CABOT:

STELLA, are you okay?

STELLA:

Huh... "Pit of Scorpions. Scorpions back-ordered."

PAGE 7

PANEL 1

Landscape of English estates. Lovely manor house sitting on a hill. Picturesque.

CAPTION:

Bartlett Family Estates, home of CABOT and STELLA Bartlett. Cheltenham, England.

PANEL 2

Inside the Bartlett manor house, we see STELLA in the study rifling through papers, going over maps and books.

CAPTION:

Three months ago...

PAGE 8

PANELS 1 through 3

STELLA gets up from the desk, journal in hand, and wanders over to the bookshelves. She starts pulling down a new tome. She leafs through it while CABOT comes in. He flops down at the desk, feet up on the desktop. Papers go flying.

PANEL 4

STELLA whips around and give CABOT "disapproving-wife" face. CABOT fails to notice, though, as he cleans his glasses.

STELLA:

I was working over there, CABOT!

CABOT:

Oh? On what?

STELLA:

*Sigh*

PAGE 9

PANELS 1 & 2

STELLA pushes her husband's feet off the desk, sweeping the papers back together and laying them back out across the desk, in positions on the map.

PANEL 3

STELLA points out areas on the map to CABOT.

STELLA:

Here, from what I can tell, is a temple to one of the Egyptian Gods.

CABOT:

In Cheltenham?

PANEL 4

STELLA looks over at CABOT.

STELLA:

Put your glasses on and pay attention.

PAGE 10

SPLASH PAGE

STELLA points out the location of the temple.

CABOT:

This is a temple to... who?

STELLA:

I'm not certain. Accounts are conflicted, and you know how it is with anything this old -- it's as much myth and legend as it is fact. Trying to sift through it all is near-impossible.

CABOT:

Okay, assuming this temple is really there-

STELLA:

Oh it's there. That much I can tell for certain.

PAGE 11

PANEL 1

CABOT and STELLA look up and discuss the plan.

CABOT:

Okay, so the temple is there. What are we looking for? You and I both know that temples to the gods are more common than alligators down there.

STELLA:

Crocodiles, dear.

CABOT:

What?

STELLA:

Crocodiles are in Egypt, not alligators.

CABOT:

Really?

PANEL 2

CABOT gets up, goes over to the bookshelves.

CABOT:

You didn't answer the question, though. What makes this temple special?

STELLA:

Aside from the thrill of finding something that hasn't been found before?

CABOT:

Yeah, that fame will last for about a week, and then someone else will find some temple to Bast and the world will move on.

STELLA:

Dear, it's never been about the fame.

PAGE 12

PANEL 1

CABOT sits down on a comfy leather couch by the shelves. STELLA sits down next to him, leaning against him in a familiar way.

CABOT:

True enough, but I still like to think we're on the forefront, finding things no one has seen before.

STELLA:

Except for the ancient Egyptians, since they built it.

CABOT:

Yes, also a fair point.

PANEL 2

CABOT looks over at his wife in an adoring manner.

CABOT:

You, my wife, correct me way too often.

STELLA:

This is what you get when you marry an independent woman.

CABOT:

Truly, next time I'll go somewhere else other than Canada to fall unexpectedly in love.

STELLA:

Next time?!

PANEL 3:

CABOT kisses STELLA. She, of course, melts into it.

PANEL 4:

CABOT looking sideways at the book, speaking half-through the kiss.

CABOT:

What do you know?! Crocodiles are in Egypt. Huh!

End Issue 1, Part 2:

So there we have it. The mummy is revealed and a larger mission is setup. Sadly, after writing this first issue the group I was working with folded and this series never did take off. It's a fun, and I like these two leads and the Indiana Jones trappings they were playing in. I wouldn't mind writing more adventures with them, although I do have my doubts that will ever happen.

That said, if you do want to know where the adventure could have gone from here, I have posted my complete series notes to detail all the plans we had in place for Cabot and Stella.