By Robert Schmidt
The page is broken up into four horizontal panels, each a page-wide panning shot.
PANEL 1. Shot of a spiral-armed galaxy composed of millions of pinpoints of light. The center of the galaxy is dense with stars, suggesting the fires of creation. The surrounding space is dark but speckled with stars. (More so than in a typical photograph or drawing of a galaxy. It suggests the universe is still young and full of energy.)
1. CAP: In the beginning...
2. CAP: The gods brought forth the universe, and it was good.
3. CAP: They filled it with sparkling shards, gemstones on an ebon blanket.
PANEL 2. Shot of the earth at ground level, teeming with life: people, animals, and plants. The animals from left to right include a gorilla, baboon or monkey (bottom), dolphin, bird, lion, horse, cat (bottom), wolf, python, big deer, hippo (kneeling or make larger?), elk, bison, rabbit (front), elephant, alligator, mouse (front), deer, bear, lamb (kneeling), giraffe, squirrel (front), cow, seal, moose, turtle (front), armadillo, rhino, flamingo, porcupine, and iguana (front). The people are naked and have a variety of skin and hair colors. They're at peace with the animals; many are touching the nearby creatures in a friendly gesture.
4. CAP: They were especially pleased with one turquoise bead, the earth.
5. CAP: They had the Hero Twins sculpt this world with mountains and rivers, and Spider Grandmother populate it with life. This they did.
PANEL 3. Shot of four earths in order from left to right, each succeeding one larger as we come closer to the present. The first is wreathed in fire, the second in solid ice, the third in a globe of water. The fourth is our present-day earth, with the North and South American continents showing. (Depict them accurately according to a map.)
6. CAP: The gods instructed their charges to live in harmony. But the people disobeyed, flaunting their irreverence and sin. So angry did the gods become—
7. CAP: —that they destroyed the earth not once, not twice, but three times.
PANEL 4. Shot of the Grand Canyon. A few people are climbing over the rim, as if having climbed the canyon walls, and peering at this strange new world. They look like Indians and wear simple Indian clothing.
8. CAP: The first world died in fire. The second in ice. The third in raging floods.
9. CAP: Only a few worthy souls survived the all-encompassing water—by climbing a spruce tree, or a hollow reed.
10. CAP: They emerged from the sipapu into the fourth world. Some say this opening was in the Grand Canyon; others at the bottom of a lake.
The page is broken up into four horizontal panels, each a page-wide panning shot.
PANEL 1. Shot of Spider Grandmother telling the assembled people to go forth and multiply. The visible people are:
Everyone whose attire isn't specified is wearing simple clothing that someone might've worn several thousand years ago.
1. CAP: Spider Grandmother told the survivors that this was their world, that they should go find their place in it.
2. CAP: The people spread out over the earth, searching for suitable homes.
PANEL 2. Shot of three small bands of people converging from different directions. Some of the tiny figures carry bundles on their backs or drag travoises behind them. At the center is their goal, a collection of ancient pueblo dwellings with a plaza in the center.
(Draw the pueblos in perspective, using the accompanying photos as a reference.)
The land is arid and harsh. The lines drawn beneath the mesas on the horizon indicate land contours: dry river beds or rocky rises. A few stunted bushes and trees dot the plain. There is no flowing water (the feature at right is a dry gully or wash).
3. CAP: The hardiest of them chose the hardest land, stringing themselves across the inhospitable Southwest.
4. CAP: These people, the Pueblo Indians, have lived here in serene isolation since time immemorial.
PANEL 3. Shot of a Pueblo plaza at ground level from its central plaza. It has a mixture of stone and concrete homes. One home has a sausage-like propane tank and a beehive-like oven made of earth. A couple of trucks are parked nearby. An old lady in a scarf offers a few pots for sale. A baby sits in the grass. A dog and cat wander by. Etc.
5. CAP: Even now, in modern-day America, they follow the traditions set down by the Creator.
6. CAP: Each year they conduct ceremonies to show their faith. If they remain true, the spirits will bring rain, the crops will grow, and the game will multiply.
PANEL 4. Shot of mountain peaks cloaked in dense alpine forests. Since it's fall, the peaks have no snow yet. They're pure green.
Night is falling. The sky is growing dusky and a few stars appear overhead. A plane cuts through the encroaching darkness, leaving a trail.
7. CAP: These San Francisco Mountains are sacred to several tribes. The Navajo call them Dook'o'ooslííd, Where Thunder Sleeps. To the Hopi they are Nuvatukyaovi, the Snow Village.
8. CAP: The peaks are alive with spirit beings in every tree and rock. Their home is a refuge, a place of quiet contemplation.
9. VOICE #1: Was too.
10. VOICE #2: Was not.
11. VOICE #1: WAS TOO!
12. VOICE #2: WAS NOT!
PANEL 1. This panel takes up two-thirds of the page. In the upper part of the panel is a longshot of Oliver Gee, Drew Quyatt, and Billy Honanie at ground level. It's dusk and they're seated around a roaring campfire. They're in a glen amid a circle of trees and bushes. They're drinking beers and another six-pack lies beside them. Backpacks and sleeping bags are scattered in the background.
Oliver wears typical ranch clothes and a cowboy hat. He's next to Billy, who is wearing a down-filled vest. (Billy doesn't have his usual feather earrings.) Drew, dressed in a scruffy jacket over his usual T-shirt, watches from the far side. The T-shirt reads: "God is Red."
Below the fire, in the foreground, is a dark space to be used for the credits.
1. CAP: Oliver Gee, Billy Honanie, and Drew Quyatt are enjoying the dance of the flames. The evening is chill, bringing a hint of the coming winter.
2. BILLY: It was a pinon jay, I tell you.
3. OLIVER: Scrub jay or I'll eat my hat.
4. BILLY: You're so stubborn. I saw it plain as day.
5. OLIVER: Do tell, city boy. When you've lived in these parts as long as I have—
6. BILLY: Lived WHERE? You don't live within 200 miles of this place.
7. DREW: Uh, guys, maybe we should talk about girls or something.
8: CAP: BEGINNINGS
Pencils (pgs. 3-23): Ron Fattoruso Inks (pgs. 3-23): Mike Kelleher
Layouts (pgs. 1-2): Rob Schmidt Finishes (pgs. 1-2): Mike Kelleher
Words: Rob Schmidt Letters: Kurt Hathaway
PANEL 2. Shot of Drew thinking of something and shaking his head to himself. Billy and Oliver stare at him.
9. DREW: Oh, I forgot.
10. DREW: With you two, that subject is mostly hypothetical.
PANEL 3. Oliver and Billy scowl at Drew. He responds with a beseeching look.
11. OLIVER and BILLY (together): Very funny.
12. DREW: C'mon, we shouldn't argue—
PANEL 4. Billy looks suddenly at his watch.
13. BILLY: Ohmigosh, 8:00!
14: OLIVER: Closer to 9, I think.
15: BILLY: No, I have a meeting tomorrow. 8 o'clock sharp in Phoenix.
16: OLIVER: You ARE kidding, aren't you?
PANEL 1. Shot of the interior of a car through the windshield. Billy is driving and Drew is seated beside him. Oliver, in the back, leans over the seat between them. None of them are wearing seatbelts.
1. CAP: Several hours of packing, hiking, and grumbling later....
2. DREW: He wasn't kidding.
3. OLIVER: I tell you, Billy boy, you're racing to an early death.
4. OLIVER: Check your blood pressure lately? Your cholesterol?
PANEL 2. Shot of them driving down a mountain road. Note: The road, while curving, is not cut into the side of a steep slope. Rather, the slopes both above and below the road are gentle. Trees come almost up to it on either side.
5. BILLY: Lay off, will you? I'm doing good work.
6. OLIVER: Sure, stooging for Mr. Megabucks.
PANEL 3. Closeup of Billy speaking loftily.
7. BILLY: "All citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful."*
8. CAP: * John Marshall Harlan, dissenting opinion, Plessy v. Ferguson. [Plessy v. Ferguson in italics]
PANEL 4. Closeup of Oliver contradicting him.
9. OLIVER: "If the law supposes that, the law is a ass." *
10. CAP: * Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist. [Oliver Twist in italics]
PANEL 5. Shot of Billy envisioning a scene in a thought balloon. In the scene, Billy standing next to a Navajo family: a man in traditional clothes, a woman in a long skirt, a baby in her arms, a child at her side. Billy and the Navajos are congratulating each other because the judge has just banged his gavel, ruling that they've won their case.
Although the judge usually sits above the court participants, the scene should look as if Billy and the Navajos are standing tall, somehow larger than life because of their victory.
11. BILLY: We represent ordinary people as well as corporate clients, Oliver.
PANEL 6. Shot of Oliver envisioning a scene in a thought balloon. Billy stands with arms spread in front of the doors of a huge monolithic factory. Angry workers are milling about as he prevents them from entering. The factory has big dollar signs emblazoned on the front and smoke billows out of its smokestacks.
12. OLIVER: Uh-huh. Sure you do. And who pays the bills, Billy—?
PANEL 7. Closeup of Drew trying to change the subject.
13. DREW: Um, about those jays....
PANEL 1. Closeup of Drew peering through the windshield at something ahead.
1. CAP: Something in the road catches Drew's eye...
1A. DREW: Look!
PANEL 2. Narrow vertical panel showing the darkness ahead through the windshield. Something snake-like is in the middle of the road, illuminated in the headlights.
2. VOICE (off-panel): Branch!
PANEL 3. Repeat panel 2, but closer.
3. VOICE (off-panel): Snake!
PANEL 4. Repeat panel 3, but closer.
4. VOICE (off-panel): Hit it!
PANEL 5. Shot of Drew and Billy through the windshield. Drew grabs the steering wheel, jerking it to the right.
5. DREW: No!
PANEL 6. Shot of car careening off the right side of the road and plunging down a shallow embankment through some bushes.
6. SFX: Er-r-r
PANEL 7. The car slams into a tree. If the three occupants are visible, their heads and bodies are thrown forward.
7. SFX: sh-sh-KRUNK!
PANEL 1. Full-page shot of a towering figure. See description and sketch. The figure looks down on Billy and Drew, who don't even reach to his knees. They cower before the figure, raising their hands protectively to ward off his fiery gaze. The figure is shrouded in darkness, while Billy and Drew are plain as day.
1. FIGURE: [in Cherokee font] I am Masaawu—
2. FIGURE: [in Cherokee font] —keeper of the fires and guardian of the dead. [switch to normal font] Listen to what I say.
3. FIGURE: In the past you prayed for the gods' help. We sent our spirits to show you how to live. They taught you the proper rites and ceremonies.
4. FIGURE: That has not been enough. More and more you have abandoned your traditions, giving yourself over to worldly concerns. You have strayed from the proper path of life.
5. FIGURE: The fourth world nears its end. The fifth world approaches. Even we do not know how it will arrive. Will the earth erupt into fiery inferno, or evolve into golden paradise?
6. FIGURE: Time is short, but we cannot act. No longer are we strong enough to forestall upheaval. Only you can do it, you who have come. We charge you to work in our behalf.
PANEL 1. Shot of a skull-like head in the darkness, with a narrow white line gripped in its hands. As it emerges from his hands, it becomes a line on which Billy and Drew stand. The line winds through space to the foreground, where a huge spider is spinning it.
1. CAP: "Return now to the land of the living."
PANEL 2. The figure's eyes and mouth become abstract patterns of light, with the mouth gaping wide like a tunnel. The thread has become path emanating from this tunnel. In the foreground, Billy and Drew walk on the path, one looking forward and the other glancing over his shoulder. They follow the spider, which has become smaller, the size of a dog or cat.
2. CAP: "Follow the thread spun by Spider Grandmother."
PANEL 3. The figure is now a single spot of light. The tunnel mouth has receded in the distance and the path is more prominent. In the foreground, Billy and Drew are also much larger, while the spider is no bigger than a large insect.
3. CAP: "Though you have not sought power, though you do not understand it—"
4. CAP: "—it is yours."
5. CAP: "Use it wisely. The fate of worlds depends on you."
PANEL 3+. Shot between panels of multiple images of Billy and Drew (full figures, or head only?) as they fall through space. These images lead to and merge with the figures in the next panel, namely:
PANEL 4. Drew and Billy, shake their heads, dazed, as they return to consciousness. They're in the front seat of the car, which shows signs of severe damage. They have cuts on their heads and bodies, rips in their clothes, etc. A spider sits on the seat between them.
6. DREW: Uhh, never drink and drive....
7. BILLY: Always buckle your seatbelt....
8. DREW: And next time, take a car with airbags....
9. SFX: GROAN
10. DREW: Ohh, my head.
11. BILLY: Mine too.
PANEL 1. Drew and Billy shake their heads, trying to orient themselves.
1. DREW: I had a horrible dream.
2. BILLY: Me too.
3. DREW: Fiery eyes in darkness—
4. BILLY: I saw them al—
PANEL 2. Drew whirls to look in the back seat. Oliver's limp body is sprawled across it. He looks bloody and mangled, like a rag doll.
5. DREW: Oliver!
PANEL 3. Drew and Billy fuss over Oliver's form on the back seat of the car, bundling it in sleeping bags and blankets.
6. CAP: Soon....
7. DREW: The car's totaled and so is Oliver.
8. BILLY: He's still alive...barely.
9. DREW: One of us should stay with him.
10. BILLY: Here's how it is:
PANEL 4. Billy and Drew talk.
11. BILLY: One: Neither of us knows squat about first aid. Our meager supplies were trashed.
12. BILLY: We can't even offer him water. And if he goes into cardiac arrest, then what? This isn't "ER," you know.
13. DREW: In other words, we need nurses...STAT!
14. BILLY: Two: We know we shouldn't move him. We've bundled him up in our sleeping bags. The car will protect him from the elements. In brief, he'll be safe.
15. DREW: As long as no survivalists or Bigfoots come along.
16. BILLY: Three: Take a look at us. What will a passing motorist say if he sees one of us in our bloody clothes, with our complexions, walking along a road at dawn?
PANEL 7. Billy and Drew look at each other knowingly.
17. BILLY and DREW (together): "Drunk Indin."
1. BILLY: Right. One of us would look like a bum who fell into a briar patch. The kind a "respectable citizen" would ignore. Two of us, however, look more like people in trouble. Like people who need help.
2. DREW: I could use the help of a pill right now.
3. BILLY: Finally: If something happened to one of us, the other wouldn't know it. It's best not to split up in such situations. To coin a phrase, two heads are better than one.
PANEL 2. Billy explains as Drew holds his aching head.
4. DREW: I wish I had my other head. This one hurts like hell.
PANEL 3. Billy nods down the road. We see a stretch of road going straight through the trees before curving out of sight to the right. On the left side of the road is a slight embankment leading upward. On the right side is a slight decline leading downward.
5. BILLY: This is the only road off the hill. With the sun rising, a camper or ranger is sure to pass by soon. Oliver will be fine until then.
6. DREW: All right, counselor, you made your case.
PANEL 4. Billy and Drew stand at the side of the road.
7. BILLY: Problem is, you can barely see the car from the road. We should mark it just in case.
8. DREW: No problem. This'll draw someone's attention.
PANEL 5. Drew drapes an old blanket over some bushes by the side of the road. A handwritten sign on note paper shows an arrow pointing to the left. Beneath it are scrawled words.
9. SIGN: Injured friend. Get help immediately. Please!
PANEL 6. Shot of the Moenkopi sign (see photograph). A truck is shown pulling up beneath it, with a small cloud of dust trailing it to show its motion.
10. CAP: "That should do it."
11. CAP: Meanwhile...
PANEL 1. A stocky Indian official in neat clothing (short-sleeved shirt buttoned to the collar) and wearing dark glasses guides a young Latino man from their vehicle. The Latino, with pen and pad, is obviously a reporter. They approach a spry old Indian man waiting by a Jeep: Chack, in traditional Hopi clothing and headband.
1. CAP: Moenkopi, westernmost of the Hopi villages.
2. CAP: Justice For All magazine is pursuing a story.
3. OFFICIAL: Here's one of our traditional leaders.
4. OFFICIAL: He'll give you the two-bit tour.
PANEL 2. Martinez and Chack shake hands.
5. MARTINEZ: Dan Martinez. Thanks for meeting me so early, Mister, uh—
6. CHACK: Call me Chack. Everyone does.
7. CHACK: I'll drive.
PANEL 3. Sweeping shot of Moenkopi village and fields. The jeep has stopped by the side of the road to survey the scene.
8. CHACK: We're farmers. We get up at dawn to tend our fields before going to work.
PANEL 4. A Hopi farmer in farm clothes and hat is planting in the traditional way (see video). He bends over and pokes a stick in the ground to dig a hole for seeds. Around him are corn stalks ripe with ears of corn.
9. CHACK (off-panel): We've tilled this land for hundreds of years. Our methods have stood the test of time.
10. MARTINEZ (off-panel): But the region is so dry....
PANEL 5. Shot of a spring against a sandstone wall (see photo). The wall is discolored by dripping water, but the water in the spring is barely visible, hidden by tall grass around it.
11. VOICE #1 (off-panel): Ah. The ground is infused with subterranean water. See how it seeps through the sandstone?
12. VOICE #1 (off-panel): But look. That spring barely has water in it. When I was your age, it was ten feet across.
PANEL 6. Shot of Moenkopi Wash at low level (see photo). Surveying the scene, Chack and Martinez are visible in the foreground.
13. SFX (from Voice #2): wheeww [whistling sound]
14. CHACK: Our children used to swim in Moenkopi Wash year-round. Now look at it. You can see how high the water used to be.
15. MARTINEZ: So what do you attribute the decline to?
PANEL 7. Medium shot of Chack. He looks serious but not angry.
16. CHACK: The mines. They pump the water to process their coal. They think it will last forever.
17. CHACK: Our livelihoods, our religion, our very way of being depend on that water. Without it, our culture will blow away like tumbleweed.
PANEL 1. Small shot of Billy and Drew trudging down the road.
1. BILLY (thx): I feel...amazing considering we've been up all night hiking and in a car crash.
2. BILLY (thx): Were we out cold 24 hours? With that weird dream it's hard to tell. It could've lasted seconds or centuries.
PANEL 2. Small shot of Billy and Drew trudging down the road.
3. BILLY (thx): Hmm. My stomach says it's been twelve hours since we ate. So we were only unconscious a bit.
4. SFX (near Billy's stomach): grgl
5. BILLY (thx): I guess we're operating on adrenaline. Am I going to enjoy breakfast!
PANEL 3. Small shot of Billy and Drew trudging down the road.
6. DREW: What luck...people!
7. BILLY: Here? At dawn?
PANEL 4. Shot of a bend in the road from Drew's perspective. In a small glen next to the road, several people are gathered. They're in a ring around two figures close together. Two vehicles are parked along the road.
8. SCOPE (in a small voice): This is it.
PANEL 5. Shot of Drew running forward down the road, waving, with Billy trailing behind.
9. DREW: Yoo-hoo! Hey! We need a cell phone!
PANEL 6. Closeup on the men. One, a mean-looking fellow, is holding another by his shirt and pointing a gun at him. The second man looks bruised and battered. The others around them are all armed and dangerous. They're white, black, and Latino, mostly under 40. A few are women.
The first man, Scope, is clearly the leader of a gang of criminals.
10. SCOPE: Thought you could infiltrate our biz, did you?
11. SCOPE: You had a good run, stoolie, but we finally caught you. And this is as good a place as any to give you your reward. Nice and quiet-like. Quiet like the grave.
PANEL 7. A criminal points up the road at something not visible in the panel.
12. CROOK: Boss, look!
PANEL 8. Shot of Drew approaching with a dozen guns pointed at him. He slows, smiles, and spreads his hands. Billy is behind him.
13. DREW: Okay, never mind the phone. The cell charges are outrageous. We'll just be on our way—
14. SCOPE: You and your buddy get over here—pronto!
PANEL 1. The men now ring Billy and Drew as well as the stoolie, who lies crumpled nearby. Billy pokes Drew in the ribs after he speaks.
1. SCOPE: All right, talk.
2. DREW: We had a car crash. Our friend is near—
3. DREW: Oof.
PANEL 2. Drew gestures expansively like a showman.
4. DREW: Ah, our BIG friend, that is. Big, muscular friend. With guns...lots of guns. And knives. And a dog.
5. SCOPE: Shaddup.
6. CROOK: What're we gonna do, Scope?
7. SCOPE: Shaddup, I'm thinking.
8. DREW (looking away, muttering darkly to himself): Don't bother on our account.
9. SCOPE: Way I see it, we have to do these two, too.
10. BILLY: No you don't. This has all been a terrible mistake. You were up here, uh, hunting. We interrupted you.
11. DREW: Right! We only THOUGHT we saw you about to shoot this poor, helpless man.
12. BILLY: Really, all this can be explained away. You haven't committed any crimes we can prove. Don't risk trouble with the law.
PANEL 5. The crooks laugh uproariously at this.
13. SCOPE: Sorry, I've made my decision. It's nothing personal, you understand.
14. BILLY (looking away, muttering darkly to himself): What a relief.
15. BILLY (thx): At least Oliver is safe.
PANEL 6. A lookout comes running up, holding the blanket with the note attached.
16. LOOKOUT: Look what I found. There's a beat-up guy in a wreck up the road. I think an Indian.
17. BILLY (thx): Oh, no.
PANEL 1. The leader ponders thoughtfully.
1. SCOPE: This gives us options. We can kill 'em outright, or make it look like an accident.
PANEL 2. Billy and Drew look heavenward for salvation.
2. DREW (thx): We need help—
3. BILLY (thx): Help—
4. DREW (thx): HELP!
PANEL 3. Closeup of Drew smiling. He gestures toward something behind Scope with a nod of his head and puckered lips.
5. SCOPE: What're you smiling at?
6. DREW: Oh, nothing. Except that rattlesnake on the stump behind you.
PANEL 4. Shot of Scope and a few of his henchmen. Behind him, on a stump at about waist-level, is indeed a coiled rattlesnake. It appears to be preparing to strike.
7. SCOPE: What do you take me for, an idiot?
8. DREW: Was Custer a showoff?
9. DREW: Uh, you might want to duck—
PANEL 5. The snake springs from the stump at the leader, who twists and recoils in fear. He holds up his rifle in a desperate attempt to ward it off.
10. SFX: CH-CH-CH
11. SCOPE: Y-A-A-A-H!
12. BILLY: Run!
PANEL 6. Shot of the scene from overhead. The leader is on the ground, holding the snake above him, trying to keep it from biting him. The men around him draw back in fear, aiming their guns uncertainly at the snake. Billy has turned to run away. He pulls Drew by the sleeve as Drew looks on.
PANEL 7. Shot of Billy and Drew running across the street and into the foliage. Shots hit the trees around them.
13. SFX: K-CHEW!
14. SFX: K-CHICK!
PANEL 8. Men run past their cars after them, as the leader points in their direction. He's grabbed the snake by the neck and now, with more important things on his mind, tosses it away.
15. SCOPE: Get them!
PANEL 1. Plush offices of a corporate HQ. Pictures on walls and items on the large desk (mining hat?) suggest a mining company. Jemm Begay, a Navajo woman with a tape recorder, approaches Mr. Griffith, a well-dressed, Anglo, executive type, to shake hands.
1. CAP: The Sherman Mining Company's regional offices south of Kayenta, Arizona.
2. BEGAY: Jemm Begay, Justice For All. Thanks for meeting me, Mr. Griffith. I know you're a busy man.
3. GRIFFITH: Always glad to talk to the press. C'mon, I'll show you around.
PANEL 2. Griffith and Begay walk toward the mining operations. Amid towering piles of oar excavated from deep holes, a huge machine lifts more coal from the depths (see video and drawings). Griffith talks animatedly with his hands while Begay takes notes.
4. GRIFFITH: In the '60s we negotiated fair contracts with the Hopi and Navajo tribes. Did you know that coal royalties provide substantial portions of their annual budgets?
5. GRIFFITH: We also made sure most of the jobs would go to the locals.
PANEL 3. Closeup of a deep pit. As a truck filled with ore moves through the pit, a crane deposits ore into a trough filled with running water, where it's carried away. (See video.)
6. GRIFFITH: Because of our remote location, we use water to transport our coal to our electricity generating plants. Without the water, the mine wouldn't be economical and we'd have to shut it down.
7. GRIFFITH: The loss of revenue would be devastating to the tribes.
PANEL 4. Diagram of wells pumping water from underground aquifers (see drawing).
8. VOICE (off-panel): When rain falls, it sinks into the ground and becomes trapped in underground reservoirs called aquifers. Sherman's wells draw from the deep Navajo aquifer some 3,000 feet below the surface.
9. VOICE (off-panel): Local wells draw from much shallower aquifers that are geologically isolated from our pumping by an impervious layer of shale.
PANEL 5. Diagram comparing total water (in barrel) to water used (in can).
10. VOICE (off-panel): As a result, the quantity and quality of water from local wells cannot be affected by Sherman's water usage.
11. VOICE (off-panel): Over the 35-year coal mining period, we'll use less than one-tenth of one percent of the estimated water stored in the Navajo Aquifer—equivalent to using about half a soda can of water from a 55-gallon barrel.
PANEL 6. They return to the corporate building, which is a flat, single-story, unassuming structure. No signs or markings indicate that it's a corporate HQ. It looks as if it could be a building on any nondescript elementary school campus.
12. GRIFFITH: We've paid for numerous studies by independent experts. Every one shows our drilling hasn't affected the deeper N-aquifer—
13. GRIFFITH: —indeed, CAN'T affect it.
14. BEGAY: Mr. Griffith, the water levels in nearby wells and springs ARE declining. What do you think is the cause?
PANEL 1. Shot of Billy and Drew rolling down an embankment toward a road.
PANEL 2. Billy and Drew pick themselves and look around. They're on a lower curve of the road. The crooks are somewhere above them.
1. BILLY: We gained a little by cutting down that embankment.
2. DREW: You mean falling down it.
3. BILLY: They'll be after us in seconds. In their cars.
PANEL 3. Drew nods down the road at two cars approaching from the other direction. One is near, the other is far off.
4. DREW: "Look! Down the road! Someone's coming!"
PANEL 4. Billy stands in the road, waving down the approaching car.
5. BILLY: Stop! We need help!
PANEL 5. He jumps out of the way as the car almost runs him down.
6. BILLY: Yi-i-i!
PANEL 6. Billy yells at the retreating car.
7. BILLY: What are you...psycho?!
PANEL 7. Shot of Billy and Drew watching the next car approach.
8. BILLY: I've got to make the next car stop.
PANEL 9. Closeup of Billy concentrating furiously.
9. BILLY: Got to!
PANEL 1. Shot of the road through the windshield from the driver's perspective. He's a middle-aged Asian man named Bob—dressed casually, cleancut and conservative, wearing his shoulder belt. He sees what appears to be a pool of water in the road, as if in a desert mirage. It has formed at Billy's feet, between him and the car.
1. CAP: Energy bursts from Billy's body, pulling molecules from the air.
2. BILLY: Wha-a-a—?
3. BOB: Where did that water come from? Is it a mirage?
PANEL 2. The car squeals to a stop as Billy and Drew run up, one on either side, and grab its rear doors.
4. SFX: SCREEE—!
PANEL 3. Shot of the interior of the car as Billy and Drew climb in. The driver looks around frantically.
5. BOB: Hey, what's going on? Get out!
6. BILLY: It's called DANGER. Turn the car around, FAST.
7. BOB: Are you crazy? What is this, a carjacking?
PANEL 4. Shot through the front windshield as Drew and Billy settle into the rear seat.
8. DREW (simultaneously): Yes.
9. BILLY (simultaneously): No.
10. BILLY: No time to explain. Pull a "U" and drive!
11. BOB: The HELL I will!
PANEL 5. Shot of Bob from outside the driver's side. A bullet shatters his side mirror as he looks at it, startling him.
12. SFX: K-POWW!
13. SFX: krink!
14. BOB: Okay, you convinced me!
PANEL 6. Overhead shot showing Bob's car pulling a U-turn with the crooks' cars approaching in the distance.
15. SFX: Squee—!
PANEL 7. Small panel showing Bob's car careening down the mountain road followed closely by the crooks' cars.
PANEL 1. Interior shot of Bob's car.
1. BILLY: What's your name?
2. BOB: B-Bob.
3. BILLY: Well, Bob, we have a friend up the mountain who needs immediate care. We stumbled across a gangland "hit" and are being chased by potential murderers. Anything else you want to know?
4. BOB: I-I don't think—!
5. BILLY: Yes, don't. Just drive as if your life depends on it.
6. BILLY (thx): Because it may.
7. DREW: You know, a portable phone is an excellent security device.
8. BOB: Sorry, can't afford one.
9. DREW (to Billy): I TOLD Scope they were expensive.
10. BILLY: Save it for the infomercial.
PANEL 5. The interior of Scope's car. He's in the passenger seat, talking on a portable phone.
11. SCOPE: Lookout One, are you there?
12. VOICE: Roger.
PANEL 6. Shot through Bob's windshield looking down the road. A car is positioned across the road, blocking it. Several others are parked along the road (on the lefthand side from Bob's perspective). Men in dark suits and sunglasses stand beside it, looking menacing. They have their hands at their sides as if they are holding weapons.
On either side of the road are grassy fields that are empty except for maybe a "For Lease" sign. The fields are blocked off by flimsy fences made of upright steel rods strung with barbed wire. Beyond the car blocking the road is the junction with US 180. In the distance across US 180 are scattered houses on more grassy plains, and low hills.
13. SCOPE: We're chasing a blue compact headed your way. We need to stop it. Repeat: Stop that car at all costs.
14. VOICE: Understood. Over and out.
15. BOB: Ohmigod. We have to stop.
16. BILLY: No. Don't you get it?
17. BOB: This insanity has gone on long enough. For all I know, you're escaped cons!
PANEL 1. Chack and Martinez continue driving. Note: The panels of Chack and Martinez should make up the top row of this page while the panels of Begay and Griffith make up the bottom row.
1. MARTINEZ: Your tribe gets most of its money from mining royalties.
2. CHACK: We made a deal with the devil. We sold our sacred birthright. Now we're paying the price of our folly.
3. MARTINEZ: Your government is negotiating with the mining companies to mitigate the effects—
4. CHACK: Hmph.
PANEL 2. Chack and Martinez continue driving.
5. MARTINEZ: You don't have any confidence?
PANEL 3. Chack and Martinez continue driving.
6. CHACK: We have confidence in our ways. If we practice our religion as we were instructed, the spirits will bring us rain.
7. MARTINEZ: So prayer and ritual will restore your water?
PANEL 4. Closeup of Chack as a slight smile crosses his lips.
8. CHACK: Yes.
9. CHACK: That and a good lawyer.
PANEL 5. Griffith and Begay are seated in the executive office once again. Begay leans forward to hear Griffith's response.
10. GRIFFITH: The water table could be declining because of increased domestic consumption as the villages grow in size. Or because of the recent drought throughout the Southwest.
11. GRIFFITH: Both may have affected the local levels significantly.
PANEL 6. Small inset panel showing Griffith's hand with a video tape in it.
12. VOICE (from off-panel): It's all in this video. Please take it with our compliments.
PANEL 7. Griffith escorts Begay to the door.
13. GRIFFITH: I hope I've given you what you wanted.
14. BEGAY: Yes, I think so.
15. GRIFFITH: If I may ask...you're Navajo, aren't you?
16. BEGAY: Yes. And you're Welsh, I believe.
17. GRIFFITH: Uh, yes.
18. BEGAY: Thanks again.
PANEL 9. Seated at his desk again, Griffith looks thoughtful as he touches the button on his intercom.
19. GRIFFITH (thx): Hmm.
20. GRIFFITH: Roxie, get me Legal.
PANEL 1. The men in dark suits all draw and point their deadly-looking assault weapons.
1. CROOK: Steady...
PANEL 2. Drew reaches over the front seat back and grabs the steering wheel with his left hand, yanking it to the right.
2. DREW: No!
PANEL 3. As the criminals fire, the car swerves to the right, smashing through a flimsy wooden fence, and cuts across the field diagonally.
3. SFX: Rat-a-tat-tat
4. SFX: Er-er-bra-kash!
5. BOB: H-E-LL-PP!!
PANEL 4. Shot of the car from the front as it merges onto the main highway. In the background, the criminals wave and shout at the fleeing car.
6. BILLY: I think he gets it now.
7. DREW: Great driving, Bob!
8. BILLY: Now if only we can flag down the police.
PANEL 5. Small panel shows the criminals piling into their cars and beginning pursuit. From farther up the road, Scope's car and the others are approaching to join the chase.
9. CROOK: C'mon, people!
10. CROOK: Move it!
PANEL 6. Horizontal panel showing the scene from above: a long ribbon of highway surrounded by forest. Bob's car is in the lead and the criminals' cars are in pursuit.
11. VOICE #1 (from Bob's car): Faster, faster!
12. VOICE #2 (from Bob's car): Where are the cops when you need 'em? C'mon, we're speeding!
13. VOICE #1 (from Bob's car): Please, TICKET us!
PAGE 20. If possible, intersperse small panels showing cars racing and jockeying for position.
PANEL 1. Shot of Bob's and the criminals' cars weaving across the road. No other cars are visible.
1. BOB: This is nuts! Where are all the cars?
2. SFX: K-CHEW
3. SFX: K-CHEW
PANEL 2. Shot of the rear of Bob's car from the criminals' viewpoint. A gun arm takes careful aim from the right-side window.
4. BOB: We're heading away from civilization...the police...everyone!
5. SFX: K-CHEW
PANEL 3. Shot from far overhead showing the forest behind, the range land ahead, and the ribbon of highway cutting through them.
6. BOB: There's nothing out here but empty land!
7. DREW: Don't panic, Bob.
8. BILLY: What were you doing in the mountains, anyway?
9. BOB: I-I'm a bird-watcher.
10. DREW: There you go. This land is teeming with life if you know where to look for it.
PANEL 5. Closeup of Bob's speedometer.
11. VOICE #1 (from off-panel): Whoops! They're gaining! Panic, Bob!
12. VOICE #2 (from off-panel): I'm already doing 100!
PAGE 21. If possible, intersperse small panels showing cars racing and jockeying for position.
PANEL 1. Shot of another car, an old-fashioned sedan from 10 or 20 years ago. It has five passengers who look oddly like real-life versions of the Simpsons. Horace and Madge are in the front with baby Midgie between them, and Brad and Leeza are in the back. The landscape is slightly less wooded than the landscape in the preceding panel.
1. CAP: Meanwhile, heading south on the same highway...
2. MADGE: My, wasn't the Grand Canyon breathtaking?
3. HORACE: It's just a hole in the ground, Madge.
PANEL 2. Closeup of the girl and boy in the back seat.
4. LEEZA: To think all that majesty was carved by a tiny ribbon of water flowing since the Pliocene era.
5. BRAD: Who cares, man? I liked the IMAX version better.
PANEL 3. Shot of the rear of a truck through Bob's windshield.
6. DREW: Look out! Truck!
7. BOB: Thank God. I'll have to slow.
PANEL 4. Drew grabs the steering wheel and twists it to the left, sending the car careening.
8. DREW: No, go around!
9. BILLY: AGAIN?!
PANEL 5. Overhead shot of Bob's car swerving into the lefthand lane to pass the truck.
10. VOICE: Okay-yay-ay—!
PANEL 6. Shot of a truck looming in the other lane, heading directly for them.
11. BOB: YIIIIKES!!!
12. DREW: GUN IT!
PANEL 7. Overhead shot of Bob's car narrowly squeezing back into the righthand lane through a gap between the two trucks.
PANEL 1. Another shot of the interior of the Sampsons' car.
1. HORACE: Say, did you see the gazongas on that nekkid gal in the movie?
2. MADGE: Horace!
3. LEEZA: Dad! You're pandering to Eurocentric fantasies of oversexed aboriginal women!
4. BRAD: Nyuk nyuk nyuk
5. MADGE: You should be setting an example for the children.
6. LEEZA: He does...a bad one.
7. HORACE: Sorry. I'll go kill myself now.
8. BRAD: Hey, Dad, wanna sing a round of "Batman Smells"?
9. HORACE: I can't, son. I'm having a poignant moment of remorse.
PANEL 3. Bob's car races by. So fast is it going and so close does it pass that we see only the streaks of wind left in its wake. The turbulence whips at Horace's face and hair through his open window, infuriating him. He leans out the window and shakes his fist.
10. HORACE: Hey, ya lunatics! Go drag-race somewhere else!
PANEL 4. A shot whizzes past Horace and he shrinks back in chagrin.
11. SFX: K-CHEW!
12. MADGE: Horace!
13. HORACE: Ulp. You drive as fast as you want.
PANEL 5. Closeup of Bob driving. The strain shows on his face. Drew is behind him.
14. BOB: This h-has to end soon.
15. DREW: Keep the faith, Bob. Something'll come up.
PANEL 6. Shot of a small squirrel in the middle of the road through Bob's windshield.
16. DREW: Squirrel! Dodge!
17. BOB: You gotta be—!
PANEL 7. Shot of Bob's car swerving off the road toward a shallow ditch.
18. VOICE: Hey!! WATCH IT!!!
19. VOICE: NO-O-O-O!
20. SFX: KLUNK-KISH-KR-A-ANNGG!!!
PANEL 1. Scope's car skids past the place where Bob has driven off the road and into the ditch.
1. SFX: SCREEEEECH!!
2. SCOPE: They're off the road! Turn us around!
PANEL 2. Scope's car has made a U-turn. It pulls up parallel to Bob's car but on the other side of the road. A truck passes, obscuring the view.
3. SCOPE: We've got 'em!
4. ANTHONY: Can I pop 'em, boss?
5. SCOPE: Shaddup.
PANEL 3. Scope's car pulls up behind Bob's car in the ditch. Three other cars pull up behind it. Scope emerges from the lead car with gun drawn.
6. SCOPE: All right. You led us a merry chase.
PANEL 4. The leader and his gang swarm around Bob's car stranded in the ditch. It's badly wrecked, the glass is cracked, etc. The car's interior is obscured and nobody is visible inside. A single hand hangs limply from the driver's window.
With their guns drawn and pointed, the gangsters unlatch the doors.
7. SCOPE: But now it's over.
8. SCOPE: One way or the other—
9. CAP: You're dead.
. . .
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Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.
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