To cover my theme for ‘A short story’, I have decided to use this opportunity to illustrate some script writing for my story Obliteration in the form of a comic. I have been writing up scenarios that would take place early in the story that will serve to give us an introduction to the characters of Obliteration, all of which were used to create my character profiles for my ‘heroes’ theme. Here is what I’ve written so far for a scenario that takes place near the beginning…
After surviving another air battle against the Xikaeda, Warbeast Battlefront return to base.
An American pilot exits her bullet-riddled fighter to assist her wingman who’s struggling to open the canopy of her damaged plane. She forces it open and takes her hand.
Shelby: Well, I guess we can take this as a reminder to why we’re getting paid a hell of a lot more for this job.
Saya: As long as we survive in the end…
Shelby observes her plane which is riddled with bullet holes yet barely flyable. Among the squadron everyone else has taken some form of damage except for their most valued pilot Sylvia and their leader Claudia. Sylvia exits her untouched fighter, followed by Roza who’s plane is in the same condition as Shelby’s.
Roza: Nice to see that you permanently want your plane to look like a hangar queen but I don’t think a real warrior is complete without battle scars.
Saya: Sylvia’s saved us more times than every Xikaeda we’ve taken down. Do you mean to tell us that’s not heroic enough to you?
Roza: I’m just simply pointing out that we’ve all equally served in the military and we all happen to have some kind of harsh souvenir to bring back. Shelby’s been shot, you’ve been stabbed, Claudia’s got a piece of shrapnel in her and I’ve been shot, stabbed and fucking dismembered. Yet why does Sylvia still get to walk around without a scratch that I know of-
Claudia: Life’s unfair I’m afraid, deal with it.
Claudia: Okay, bad news first- Shelby, it’s been confirmed that your friend Riley will be joining us today.
Roza:…You know they could’ve just sent him home if he wasn’t cut out for combat, right?
Claudia: Well he was most insistent that he would do his part to help protect Blackthorn from the Xikaeda. These were his words- “I’ve had it with fantasising about kicking ass or reading about it in comics or seeing it in movies, I want to see the real thing! I know that I’m apparently useless with a gun, but they hardly gave me a chance to drive a tank! I reckon if they just skipped the training on me and just put me straight into a tank, I guarantee that I’ll be useful!”
Roza: We’re allowing a wanna-be geek to join Warbeast?
Claudia: It’s in our contract to accept anyone regardless of combat experience.
Shelby: And what’s the good news?
An armoured truck arrives and a grey cat carrying a crate approaches the squad.
Claudia: Well… Our airforce is loosing morale because more pilots are dying after each mission…And we could potentially become the only force left to fight off the air raids, but…
Van: But you’ve got an unlimited supply of planes, weapons and ammunition. Oh, and you’ve now got these!
Van breaks open the crate which is full of assault rifles
Shelby: Shit, bro! The United Allied Federation get the latest toys while we fight with shit that my grandpa used.
Saya: You know Claudia, Van could help you to work on your idea of “good news”.
Van: If we’re dug in a shitty situation then you might as well learn take a look at shit from the most attractive angle. Because if anyone of us could potentially be a goner the next day then you might as well enjoy the hell out of whatever life we have left eh? Now how about we test these babies out while Shelby fetches the new guy?
A bus filled with soldiers has just stopped at a military facility. At least 50+ fresh-faced recruits exit the bus while they are greeted to the sights of the body bags and seasoned soldiers who are finally due to leave. Among them is a young red panda, Riley, who’s eyes widen to the sight of his surroundings.
As he and the others exit the airfield everyone heads over to their assigned squads, with Riley seemingly about to be left alone as everyone else is transported away in trucks.
Out of nowhere, Riley is suddenly tackled by a familiar figure.
Shelby: Haha! What’s up, Riley?
Shelby playfully puts her childhood friend into a headlock. Riley instantly realises who it is as he struggles to free himself from her powerful grip. Though he was at least somewhat comfortable where he was.
Riley: Ow! Yep, it’s nice to see you too, Shelby. Whoa, have you grown!
Shelby: Yeah, who would’ve thought Britain would do that to you these days? Man, your combat gear is… not as dorky as I expected. Not bad!
Riley: So what’s our first order of business? Please say it’s a tank mission…Do we even have a tank?
Shelby: Well, I don’t wanna disappoint you but, we’re in bigger demand of pilots rather than tank crews. But you don’t have to be a pilot to get in a plane here.
Riley: Planes… Well I guess that’ll do.
Shelby: Anyway we better get us back to Warbeast Battlefront, I’ll tell you more while we’re on the way.
Riley’s eyes widen as Shelby shows him to her car.
Riley: Man, this is a fine machine you got here but, I would’ve thought they’d let you roll in something with more armour?
Shelby: Well the military doesn’t want to invest too much expensive equipment on what they see as an expendable squad, so we just made do with what we can and use of these. They may not have armour but they have plenty of speed!
Riley’s grin drops a little as opens the bonnet and see’s the state of the engine.
Riley: …Not for long in the state this one’s in!
Shelby: Yeah, I’ll uh…leave that to you when we get back.
Shelby and Riley drive away.
Shelby: Oh and don’t take this the wrong way but if you actually made it through bootcamp then something would be seriously wrong!
Riley: What?! I could’ve made it through if sergeant douche-bag didn’t have it in for me. “Stolen military property” my ass.
Shelby: Hahaha! Well if it makes you feel better you’ll probably end up learning how to drive a tank anyway, even though we don’t need them so much. It’s all mandatory training regardless of whatever you wanna specialise in. We spend most our time in the air yet we learn everything else just incase we get stranded on land or something…
Riley: Well while you were away I read up on tanks and even got to drive one once…They kinda forced me out of it when I ran over a car that wasn’t meant to be crushed…
Shelby: I bet it felt satisfying though, eh? No one wants to fuck with someone in control of a 50 tonne steel beast!
Shelby and Riley drive into the base, passing a hangar filled with planes and a few ground vehicles.
The rest of Warbeast have just finished testing their new weapons and are in the middle of a break.
Before Shelby gets a chance to introduce him…
Riley: Hold up, I got this…
Riley rushes to the nearest squad member and stands on attention.
Riley: Private Riley reporting for duty ma’am! *stands on attention*
Saya: *blinks, blushes slightly and chuckles* I’m flattered but I’m not the one in charge.
Claudia walks towards Riley.
Riley: Private Riley reporting for duty, ma’am!
Claudia:…You’ve mistaken us for the feds if that’s what you’re here for.
Riley: Uh, sorry ma’am, I was actually just transferred out of there-
Claudia: We work alongside the UAF, not within them. So you can drop that boy-scout persona.
Riley:…Thank god! I swear my DI made me hold the salute for two hours for not doing it right.
Claudia: The Recon squad is not here to be hindered by ranks or medals, therefore we have nothing to salute each other for. We’re simply here to survey the borders for Xikaeda invasions while the UAF gets pampered. Anyway, welcome to Warbeast Battlefront.
Riley: Thanks ma’am, pleasure’s all mine!
Riley holds his hand up for a high five, which Claudia completely ignores.
Claudia: You’ve already met Shelby, everyone else is here for the same reason you two are, and I’m Claudia, the one in charge here. Shelby, give Riley a tour of the place…
Claudia walks off while lighting up a cigar.
Riley: Well she’s a colourful character, ain’t she?
Shelby: She just doesn’t want the new guys getting too close to anyone in the squad, so it’s typical of her not to properly introduce us to you. But that’s where I come in, cause we gotta at least call each other something to communicate, right?
Riley: I know, right? But man, that was so cold.
Saya: Give it time to know her better and she can be really sweet.
Riley: Oh hello, who’s this?
Saya: Oh, you don’t speak Japanese?
Shelby: I’m afraid he’s no more cultured than I am. Anyway Riley, this cutie here is Saya. *puts her arm around her* You can be her friend but nothing more than that!
Saya: *blushes* Stop it, Shelby! I’m sorry Riley, seeing that we’re both asian animals I just assumed that you spoke-
Riley: Ah it’s cool, Saya.
Shelby and Riley move on to Roza, who has just finished testing out her modified prophetic leg with a kick-activated shotgun on mannequins.
Shelby: There’s that crazy Russkie. Roza, meet Riley. Now unless you struggle with simple tasks don’t give him too much shit, okay?
Riley: Uh, nice to meet you sir- Ma’am!
Roza observes Riley’s fresh innocent face and un-manly stance.
Roza:…Shit, they don’t make men like they used to, do they?
Roza: How old are you?
Riley: I’m 19 and I just got out of boot camp.
Roza: *Rolls her eyes* Oh please, my father was already ripping, tearing and charging into certain death when he was 17. You teens these days have gotten soft from being pampered and cocooned from the real world out there!
Riley: Well, maybe some of us just aren’t built for war.
Roza: Haha! You may say that but notice that I’m one of the only animals in the squad that’s not a predator and look at where I am now. Anyway Shelby, thanks for the new punch bag! You dumb coon.
Shelby: Roza’s a real charmer eh?
Riley: What’s her problem anyway, can I not be a nice guy?
Shelby: Let’s just say she’s had a very traditional upbringing, like our boys and girls back 40 or so years ago!
Riley: Was that bad?
Shelby: Well it was back in the not-so-good old days when we used to be killing each other before the Xikaeda plague. Back when planes were glorified kites and when tanks were more likely to become steel coffins. Not to mention trench warfare…
Riley: *Shivers* I couldn’t even think about killing another person… Coffins? Weren’t tanks indestructible back then?
Shelby: Sure they would make a nice shield to hide behind but they were incredibly slow back then. It was also common for them to dig themselves in, and breakdown…and easily become an artillery magnet.
Riley: Oh right…Those were dark times, Shel…
Shelby shows Riley into the hangar filled with their planes.
Shelby:…Of course, where else would she be?
Riley looks around to see all the planes under maintenance but quickly see’s a bit orange near the plane that’s deepest in the hangar. As he walked closer he saw that it was a beautiful young vixen stood next to the plane.
Riley: *blushes* Beautiful…plane! T-that’s a beautiful plane, you have there.
Sylvia: Oh um, yeah…Can I help you?
Shelby: This is my bro that I’ve known since childhood and our newest member to Warbeast. Riley, this is Sylvia. Probably the most freakishly skilled pilot you’ll ever meet who has shot down more Xikaeda than the whole airforce combined! Not a bad sniper too.
Riley: I-it’s nice to meet you. So you’re an ace pilot and an ace sniper? That’s awesome, you’re pretty…pretty awesome.
Sylvia hesitantly smiles, nods and walks out to have a cigarette.
Shelby: She doesn’t mean to be antisocial, but she prefers to be reserved from other people, even from us.
Riley: She seems nice though. Bet if I tried hard enough I can break that shell of hers.
Shelby: Well best of luck with that, she ain’t too keen in making new friends because of her fear of losing them in battle.
Riley: Oh…So there’s really no messing around in this kind of thing?
Shelby: Afraid so. But if you want my opinion towards this sort of thing- If you think you’ll be gone the next day, wouldn’t you want to make the most of what life you have left before that happens? Because I’d rather live a short but eventful life rather than live a long one with no companions to share it with, which seems to be where our Sylvia is heading towards.
Riley: That’s the shelby knowledge I love. Now you should take your own advice and keep going for that Saya girl.
Shelby: *Blushes*…Are my subtle hints really that obvious or something?
Riley: *Raises an eyebrow* Well, the flirty body language and the unsubtle bedroom eyes checking out her ass is kind of a big giveaway.
Shelby: I’ve never been cut out for stealth anyway. And despite what Claudia thinks, I honestly think we need to get close enough to rely on each other for survival.
Van: The United Allied Federation don’t get paid as much but they’re over-equipped with the latest gadgets compared to us. That’s where I come in to balance that out.
Van and Riley walk past a couple of late model attack helicopters that are soon to be commonly used by the military.
Riley: What kind of planes are those??
Van: Those my friend, are helicopters. Unlike planes, these things have VTOL abilities and they can carry a hell of a lot more firepower.
Van: They can take off and land without a runway.
Riley: Ooh, sweet!
Van: This makes them really practical for rescue missions and adding weapons to them makes them really nice for close air support.
Riley: So who are you if you’re not with the feds or formally part of Warbeast?
Van: Me? I’m just the grey thing that’s here to help out by… borrowing the latest hardware from the feds that you’ll need for whatever comes. Speaking of which…
Van shows Riley to the squad’s battle tank.
Riley: *Gazes in awe* Holy shite! *climbs onto the tank* I don’t even know what kind of tank this is but this has gotta be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!
Riley looks back and sees Claudia looking back at him. He quickly jumps back down and regains his composure.
Riley: Er, sorry ma’am.
Claudia: You may as well fan-boy all over that Python tank while you can, because chances are that she won’t be of much use to us except for training exercises. But with its German ingenuity, American power, Russian reliability and even a built-in tea-maker by the Brits, it’s a fine piece of international engineering.
Riley: I feel like this beast can do great things. With a mix of countries in it it’s like how the world is now, we’re all working together.
To avoid going over the deadline, I might consider creating the comic in black & white to speed up the production process.