The Frontline #4

Issue 4: A cave below
Writer: David Johansson
Contact: d.b.johansson@outlook.com

PAGE 1 – 5 PANELS
PANEL 1
View from inside an elevator. Tornado stands behind a stretcher where Hail lays. Copy and Mark Sanchez sit on each side of the stretcher.

Tornado:Come on! Come on! Come on!


Copy:Remember. Forward until after the bridge. Then left. Continue until a room marked ‘301’ on your right.


PANEL 2
Close-up of Tornado. She jumps up on the spot.

Tornado:Forward. Bridge. Left. Room 301. Got it
Come on! Come on!


PANEL 3
Close-up of the elevator’s control panel. It is a touch screen. It shows no numbers.

Sound Effect:Pling!


Monitor:Welcome to a hidden floor. Copy-cave


PANEL 4
Tornado looks at Copy with her right eyebrow raised. She does not look impressed. Her face lights up as the elevator door opens. Copy shrugs.

Tornado:Come on…


Copy:What did you expect


PANEL 5
Tornado’s face turns impressed as she sees what’s behind the elevator door. Copy points forward

Tornado:Come oooon…


Copy:Questions later. Now…


PAGE 2 – SPLASH PAGE
PANEL 1
View of the Copy-cave from above. It is a big dungeon going down five floors. A bridge crosses the dungeon and then a path spirals down the dungeon with several doors on the side. We see speed-lines from Tornado running over the bridge taking left at the other end of the bridge and following the spiraling path down the dungeon until she is halfway down.

Copy:
(By elevator)
Forward.


Tornado:
(at the end of the bridge)
Left


Tornado:
(On floor 4-ish)
So many questions


Tornado:
On the fourth floor)
301

PAGE 3 – 4 PANELS
PANEL 1
Mark Sanchez, Tornado and Copy enters through a self-opening door. Tornado rolls the stretcher with Hail on. Mark Sanchez looks confused. Copy gets of the stretcher.

Mark Sanchez:Okay… What is this


PANEL 2
View of the room from above. The room is white. Mark Sanchez, Tornado and Copy stands at the left end of the room. In the center is a hospital bed and multiple robotic arms hang from the roof above it. A chair is positioned beside the bed. Further into the room we see a tube-like X-ray machine and a Copy controlling it.

Copy:
(By the entrance)
This is Fully Automated Surgery Technology, F.Au.S.T. for short. And an X-ray machine.


PANEL 3
Tornado glares at Copy. Copy shrugs.

Tornado:Questions…


Copy:It was a sale.


Tornado:It must have been one big ass sale.


PANEL 4
View from above again. Copy walks into the room. He has his arms out as if he shows them the room.

Copy:Yes, the military usually has those.
F.Au.S.T. command: Initiate medical control.


F.Au.S.T.:
(Voice from the walls)
Initiating medical control


PAGE 4 – 5 PANELS
PANEL 1
F.Au.S.T.’s metal arms lift Hail from the stretcher. A Copy materializing beside Tornado (behind the stretcher) to hold Hail steady. Mark Sanchez looks back at him in confusion.

Copy:Help me hold her.


Mark Sanchez:What?


Copy:
(the one who came with Tornado
Off Panel)
This is an amazing invention, even I with no medical experience can maneuver it.


PANEL 2
Hail is slowly lowered onto the bed Tornado and Mark Sanchez stand each side of the bed to make sure it goes steady. Copy stands in front of the bed, he looks at Mark Sanchez. The Copy from Panel 1 fades away behind Mark Sanchez.

Copy:The problem is that someone with medical experience needs to check the values that’s where you come in Doctor Sanchez. I hope that’s okay with you.


Mark Sanchez:With the pay you’re offering? I am more than okay.


PANEL 3
Hail is in the bed. Tornado corrects her head. Copy turns to her. Mark Sanchez looks at them both.

Copy:And you Tornado, will be needed back at the elevator again.


Tornado:Why?


PANEL 4Hail’s bed drives off by itself. Copy, Tornado, and Mark Sanchez look at it roll away

F.Au.S.T.Preparing X-ray


Copy:Blast and Shard got hurt, bad. We need to get them as fast as possible to 302 and 201 for

PANEL 5Same as Panel 3. Hail’s bed has now rolled off panel. Tornado is gone.

Copy:Medical examination


PANEL 6The door slams shut behind Tornado

No Dialogue

PAGE 5 – 5 PANELS
PANEL 1
Nick Farley (the real one) stands inside the elevator. He talks with someone on his phone. He has a very determined look on his face. One stretcher stands on either side of him. One with Blast and one with Shard. Blast’s suit is torn, and he is bloody and bruised. His mask shows much of his face. Shard is in his metal form. The body is twisted from the beating it took. It is dislocated on the hips. A Copy stands behind each stretcher.

Nick Farley:I don’t care. Just do it!


Elevator:Welcome to a hidden floor. Copy-cave

PANEL 2
Tornado jumps on the spot on the other side of the elevator doors. She has the fighter look on her face.

No Dialogue

PANEL 3
Same as Panel 1 but now there are no stretchers in the elevator. One of the Copys fades away. Nick Farley still talks into his phone but now he smiles.

Nick Farley:Great! Now get me Mayor Arnlough. Heavy Asphalt incorporated has an offer he can’t refuse.


PANEL 4
Nick Farley throws the phone to the Copy left. The Copy rips of his mask showing that there is another Nick Farley behind the mask.

No Dialogue

PANEL 5
Nick Farley corrects his tie and walks out of the elevator. The Copy/Nick Farley still inside the elevator talks into the phone.

Copy/Nick Farley:
(Ripping off his mask)
Mr. Arnlough! Nick Farley of Heavy Asphalt Inc.


PAGE 6 – 4 PANELS
PANEL 1
Nick Farley walks into a the room designated for Blast and throws his coat on a hanger on the wall. Blast lays in the stretcher further into the room. The room is identical to the one we saw Hail in with white walls,F.Au.S.T., bed, chair and X-ray machine. Mark Sanchez stands by Blast’s bed checking the bruises. Tornado stands next to Mark Sanchez catching her breath.

Nick Farley:Dr. Sanchez, how is he doing?


Mark Sanchez:Oh! I don’t know yet, sir. Both the last and this patient seems bruised but I see no sign of severe internal damage. The X-ray scans will tell for sure.


Nick Farley:Okay, it appeared to be Shard in 302 who took the worst beating by protecting Blast with his own body.


PANEL 2Nick Farley walks up to the bed. He looks at Mark Sanchez while he pulls the sleeves of his shirt. Mark Sanchez looks in amazement on while F.Au.S.T. lifts Blast’s body.

Mark Sanchez:Just imagine what hospitals could do with this kind of equipment.


Nick Farley:Just wait twenty years and you don’t have to imagine.


Mark Sanchez:I don’t want to wait.


Nick Farley:Play your card right and you won’t have to.


PANEL 3Blast’s body is lifted off panel while Mark Sanchez and Nick Farley observes F.Au.S.T.’s amazing work.

Nick Farley:I need you to check in on 302 and judge his condition before F.Au.S.T. begins the examination. And if necessary I need you to be ready to step in if F.Au.S.T. evaluates surgery as a necessity


Mark Sanchez:I am ready, but I’ll need supplies.

PANEL 4Mark Sanchez walks out the door. Nick Farley waves at him and looks at Tornado crouched on the floor.

Nick Farley:Just the give the man operating 302 a list and it will be yours.


PAGE 7 – 7 PANELS
PANEL
1Tornado sits on the floor curled around her legs. Nick Farley stands on his knees with his hand on Tornado’s shoulder. They look at each other.

Nick Farley:Susanne, how are you holding up?


Tornado:I don’t know?

PANEL 2
Tornado has her head on Nick Farley’s shoulder. Nick Farley has put his hands against the back of Tornado’s head.

Nick Farley:You should rest.


Tornado:I can’t. Not now.


Nick Farley:I know.


PANEL 3
Tornado and Nick Farley still hugging and Tornado’s head is still resting on Nick Farley’s shoulder.

Nick Farley:I need you to get the supplies from 001 for Dr. Sanchez. You’re faster than any automatic system we have installed. Do you feel up for it?


Tornado:I do.


PANEL 4
Nick Farley stands alone. Speedlines tell us Tornado has run away,

Nick Farley:Thanks


PANEL 5
Nick Farley looks at Blast on F.Au.S.T.’s hospital bed.

Nick Farley:Stephen…


PANEL 6
The bed with Blast rolls away. Nick Farley takes a chair and follows the bed

Nick Farley:I have to admit, you scared me out there.


PANEL 7
Nick Farley sits by the X-ray machine where Blast just rolled in.

Nick Farley:Please, don’t prove my fears right.


PAGE 8 – SPLASH PAGE
PANEL 1
This is one splash page where we see the copy-cave in cross section. The page shows the copy-cave from the bottom floor and the door to room 001 up to room 201 where Shard is taken care of. Beginning from the bottom left: a Copy holds up a backpack in his hands and Tornado grabs the puts the backpack on. In the middle of the ground floor Tornado lands from jumping down from 302. Tornado runs up the stairs. She climbs up the sidebar and jumps up to the next floor. The climb continues until she is in 201. Tornado enters door 201. Every floor has the same set of doors. 001, 002, 101, 102 etc

Tornado:
(Landing)
Focus Suz.


Tornado:
(Putting on back pack)
They are alive. You did all you could.


Tornado:
(Climbing)
Come on! Focus!


PAGE 9 – 5 PANELS
PANEL 1
Mark Sanchez stands beside Shard’s bed (we don’t see Shard’s body). He looks back at Tornado with a concerned look. Tornado stands inside the room and hands the backpack to a Copy.

Tornado:Dr. Sanchez. I got your supplies.


Mark Sanchez:Thanks, sadly none of it can help me with this one.


PANEL 2
Mark Sanchez still stands by Shard’s bed. He taps on Shard’s metallic skin. Tornado suddenly stands beside him. Now we see Shard’s twisted body in front of them. Tornado looks terrified.

Tornado:What?


Mark Sanchez:His skin. I can’t examine a skin out of metal. An X-ray can’t analyze it either. And his limbs are fixed in place. We can’t do anything.


PANEL 3
Mark Sanchez looks at Tornado calmly. Tornado screams at him.

Tornado:But he can turn it off.


Mark Sanchez:He can, but we cannot


PANEL 4
Copy enters the room. The Copy inside the room helps him roll a machine into the room. The machine looks like on of those workout machines where you tie a band around your but/waist (vibrating exercise belt I think it’s called) but it is bigger and more industry like.

Copy:
(pushing the machine in)
Don’t you worry. We got it covered.


PANEL 5
Mark Sanchez and Tornado watch the two Copys push the machine into place.

Mark Sanchez:What is that?


Copy:A Vibration aided Tree mover. It guarantees no hurt roots.


Tornado:And it will work?


Copy:Hopefully. F.Au.S.T. command: lock bed in place.


PAGE 10 –4 PANELS
PANEL 1
A Copy controls the band tied around Shard’s hip and chest.

Copy:All set. Everyone be ready. F.Au.S.T. command: prepare sedative.


PANEL 2
The Copy pushes the ‘ON’ button.

Copy:And we are online!


PANEL 3
The two Copys, Tornado and Mark Sanchez watch as the machine wiggles Shard’s hip into place.

Tornado:Are you…


Copy:Slowly dancing his hips into place, yes


Copy:Do you want some Shakira?


Tornado:I rather not

PANEL 4
Same as Panel 3 but a big clack sounds from Shard’s body.

No Dialogue

PAGE 11 – 6 PANELS
PANEL 1
Stephen Duncan awaking with a scream.

Blast:Aaaaaaaaah


PANEL 2
Stephen Duncan sits up. His face is pure panic. A Copy holds his hands against his chest. Above them F.Au.S.T.’s arms hovers.

Copy:Please lay down. You need to rest.


PANEL 3
Stephen Duncan pushes the Copy’s arms away.

Blast:Where is everyone? Are they hurt?


Copy:If you don’t calm down, some creepy arms will force you to.


PANEL 4
Stephen Duncan looks in confusion at Copy. Copy points up at the arms hanging from the ceiling.

Blast:What?


PANEL 5
Stephen Duncan looks up.

No Dialogue

PANEL 6
Stephen Duncan looks at Copy in despite.

Stephen Duncan:Like they can stop me.


Copy:They can and they will.


Shard:
(Off panel)
He is right you know.


PAGE 12 – 4 PANELS
PANEL 1
Cedric Willow stands by the open door to Stephen Duncan’s room

Cedric Willow:Those arms are not to be played with.


PANEL 2
Stephen Duncan bursting out of the bed to hug Cedric Willow. Cedric Willow and Copy is surprised from Stephen suddenly jumping at Cedric Willow. F.Au.S.T’s arms stretch for Stephen.

Stephen Duncan:Cedric!


Cedric Willow:Hey, calm down!

PANEL 3
F.Au.S.T’s arms catch Stephen Duncan.

Stephen Duncan:Huh


PANEL 4
F.Au.S.T’s arms slam Stephen to the bed again. Copy looks at his fingers seemingly unimpressed.

Copy:I told you so…


PAGE 13
PANEL 1
Stephen Duncan struggling to get out of the bed while F.Au.S.T. holds him in place. Cedric Willow stands beside the bed trying to calm Stephen down. Copy still looks at his fingernails.

Stephen Duncan:Get off me!


Cedric Willow:Please calm down Steve! It’s not dangerous.


F.Au.S.T.Please do not resist.
Initiating sedation


Copy:F.Au.S.T. command, Abort sedation.
Yes, please calm down. Removing the rectal thermometer is so much easier if you do…


PANEL 2
Close-up of Stephen Duncan. He is confused. F.Au.S.T.’s arms hang around him. One of the arms have needle pointed at Stephen’s arm.

Stephen Duncan:Rectal?


PANEL 3
The arm with the needle pushes the needle into Stephen Duncan’s arm. Stephen Duncan looks at even more confused.

Stephen Duncan:Therm… huh?


F.Au.S.T.Levels within recommended limits.


PANEL 4
Copy still looking at his fingers fades away.

Copy:Thanks. F.Au.S.T. command, Abort medical examination.
Stephen, Cedric you are both needed in 503.


PANEL 5
All arms release Stephen Duncan so quickly he simple doesn’t understand it. He looks in confusion at Cedric Willow who has his hand on Stephen’s shoulder.

Stephen Duncan:Meter?


Cedric Willow:Yeah nasty right. Apparently F.Au.S.T.’s inventor was kind of sadistic. Come on lets go.

PANEL 6
Stephen Duncan hugs Cedric Willow.

Stephen Duncan:I thought we died.


Cedric Willow:Me too. Me too.

PAGE 14 – 6 PANELS
PANEL 1
Stephen Duncan and Cedric Willow walks out of room 302. Stephen is startled from the surprise of the view.

Stephen Duncan:What the…


Cedric Willow:Right, you could fit everyone on my street here.

PANEL 2
Stephen Duncan walks up to the handrail and looks down. Cedric Willow looks up.

Stephen Duncan:This can’t be possible.


Cedric Willow:No it shouldn’t be… I would dodge if I were you


Susanne Delgermo:
(Off Panel)
Steeeeeee

PANEL 3
Stephen Duncan looks to the side but is immediately thrown to the floor by Susanne Delgermo running over him.

Stephen Duncan:Wha?


Susanne Delgermo:Pheeeen


PANEL 4
Same view as previous, but no Stephen Duncan and no Susanne Delgermo. Cedric Willow looks down at them in amusement. From above Therese Sung comes floating down. We see the wind catching her hair and blowing it upwards.

Susanne Delgermo:You’re alive!


PANEL 5
Stephen Duncan arises from the floor, he looks up at Therese Sung who sits on the handrail. Susanne Delgermo hangs on him.. Cedric Willow is still amused.

Susanne Delgermo:Never die for us again.


Stephen Duncan:I will try Suz.
How are you feeling Therese?


PANEL 6
Close-up of Stephen Duncan and Therese Sung looking at each other. YES! Romance is in the air! We hited at this in Issue 1, and I am not letting it go!

Therese Sung:Thanks to you sacrificing yourself, I feel better than ever.


Stephen Duncan:I would do it again.


Therese Sung:I hope you don’t have to.


PAGE 15
PANEL 1
Susanne Delgermo, Stephen Duncan, Therese Sung and Cedric Willow walk into room 503. Susanne Delgermo looks as if she describes heaven (and she is starstruck). Stephen Duncan and Therese Sung stand close to each other. Cedric Willow stands a little behind the rest. In front of them we see Nick Farley as a shadowed figure (we see the back of his head as he faces them). He sits on a chair.

Susanne Delgermo:You should see their research facility, it’s amazing. These guys are doing groundbreaking stuff.


Stephen Duncan:I take your word for it Suz.


Nick Farley:Hey guys…


PANEL 2
View from behind the group. We see a shitload of screens on the wall behind Nick Farley. All of them have a different view of a news reporter and scenes from The Frontline’s fight from issue 2 and issue 3

Stephen Duncan:Hey Nick, quite the place you got here.


Nick Farley:Yeah, the Copy-cave is something else isn’t it.


PANEL 3
Stephen Duncan walks up to Nick Farley. He looks up at the screens behind Nick.

Stephen Duncan:What do you have here?


Nick Farley:The reason I’m ending the Frontline as off now.


PANEL 4
Cedric Willow, Susanne Delgermo and Therese Sung looks startled surprised, Susanne even jumps back. Therese Sung puts her hand o her mouth.

Susanne Delgermo:What?


Cedric Willow:But we saved the city. We are good at this


PANEL 5
Close-up of Nick Farley. He sighs.

Nick Farley:Sigh. Play clip 0506


PAGE 16 – 9 PANELS
Art note: All panels are of a TV-screen.
PANEL 1

A news anchor smiles at the viewers.

News Anchor:Well, nobody can have missed that brawl, right? The Frontline, huh? It brings me back to the good


PANEL 2
The news anchor suddenly gets a bullet through his head.

No Dialogue

PANEL 3
Grunts drag the news anchor of screen.

No Dialogue

PANEL 4
General Mordare sits in the news anchor’s chair.

General Mordare:God evening dear New Yorkers


PANEL 5
We see some movement in the background of General Mordare as he continues to speak. It is General Mordare’s army in the outfits found on the Saviours (See characters and Issue 2 for descriptions) but in this panel we only see a glimpse of them moving into place.

General Mordare:I am happy to inform you of your new regime.


PANEL 6
More movements. General Mordare continues to speak.

General Mordare:Mayor Fredrich Arnlough will resign at 12:00 tomorrow, regardless if he wants to or not.


PANEL 7
No more movements in the background. General Mordare’s army is in place (still with the Saviours outfits).

General Mordare:The amount of blood flooding the streets in the process is completely up to him though.
Mr. Arnlough, I beg you make the right decision.


PANEL 8
We zoom out and see a little more of the Saviors behind General Mordare.

General Mordare:I am General Arthur Mordare.


PANEL 9
We start to see the suits more clearly.

General Mordare:Dear New Yorkers, if you let us


PAGE 17 – SPLASH PAGE
PANEL 1
Fully zoomed out image showing all of the Saviors hovering behind General Mordare. These guys and girls were the world’s safety net once. When someone in this world sees this on their TV connected to someone who just killed on live-TV they will be scared. They will be terrified.

General Mordare:we will be your saviors in the Night


PAGE 18
PANEL 1
Stephen Duncan looks stunned as he watch the clip play. His mouth is open.

Stephen Duncan:That’s the guy who


PANEL 2
The whole Frontline lining up in front of the screens (it looks as if they look at the reader). Nick Farley and Stephen Duncan are in the center. All of the team except Nick and Stephen look equally stunned as Stephen did last panel. Stephen Duncan looks at Nick Farley and talks (he shows determination over that they gotta do something about the problem). Nick Farley hides his face in his hands.

Nick Farley:Let his soldiers almost kill you, yes, and he has the Saviors on his side


Stephen Duncan:We gotta do something


PANEL 3
Nick Farley screams back at Stephen Duncan.

Nick Farley:Like what?! With three guys they almost killed three of us. What do you think will happen with ten of those guys.


PANEL 4
Nick Farley storms out of his chair.

Nick Farley:Not even I am that crazy.


PANEL 5
Nick Farley slams head against a wall.

Nick Farley:Now, the news is all about how we are gonna save the day. They want us to die just so they can say at least we tried to stop Mordare’s coup.


PAGE 19 – 6 PANELS
PANEL 1
Nick Farley falls down onto the floor with his hands scratching his head.

Nick Farley:I should never have invited you into my insane heroic fantasy.


PANEL 2
Therese Sung’s hand on Nick Farley’s shoulder

Therese Sung:
(Off Panel)
Nick…


PANEL 3
Cedric Willow, Susanne Delgermo, Stephen Duncan lining up behind Therese Sung. Therese Sung crouches to make eye contact with Nick Farley on the floor. Stephen Duncan, Cedric Willow and Susanne Delgermo shout out encouraging words (they tell the story of how the Frontline was built)

Therese Sung:Do you really think your involvement has anything to do with us doing what is right. I was already freezing bad people to fountains when you found me, if you remember.


Stephen Duncan:Yeah and I took down crooks on my way home when you found me.


Cedric Willow:And I fought an officer harassing the people on the streets


Susanne Delgermo:And I already crept out during the night to chase down burglars.


PANEL 4
Stephen Duncan and Therese Sung looks at Nick Farley with their hands on his shoulders.

Therese Sung:You see, without you we would still stand between General Mordare and Mayor Arnlough. But as a team we are so much stronger and so much better.


Stephen Duncan:Yes we will be there with or without you tomorrow. It was never your decision to make.
So, are you ready to face certain death with us?

PANEL 5
Same as previous but Nick Farley looks up at Therese Sung and Stephen Duncan.

No Dialogue

PANEL 6
Therese Sung and Stephen Duncan being hugged by Nick Farley.

Nick Farley:Thanks.

PAGE 20 – 3 PANELS
PANEL 1
Nick Farley dries a tear of his eyes.

Nick Farley:I needed that.
One warning though…


PANEL 2
Nick Farley walk into the center of the room. New Nick Farley’s materialize out of thin air. We see the dark TV-room twist and turn into a white board room with an oval table growing out in the middle of the room.

Nick Farley
(One of the clones)
Command, engage board room


PANEL 3
We view the whole room in all its transformed glory. There are no screen. Whiteboard walls cover every and all of all walls. The oval table in the middle is done

Nick Farley:
(The real one)
Dying hurts as hell


PAGE 21 – 5 PANELS
PANEL 1
Therese Sung, Stephen Duncan, Cedric Willow, and Susanne Delgermo look in amazement at the room remodeling itself.

Cedric Willow.I will never get used to this place.


PANEL 2
Nick Farley stands by the table.

Nick Farley:I though so too once.
Command: Show map New York City.


PANEL 3
Same as Panel 2 but the table lights up with a map of New York City.

Nick Farley:But the brain is surprisingly good at adapting.
And Steve.
You should call home to Cerise.


PANEL 4
Stephen Duncan stands beside Nick Farley and leans closer to the map on the table.

Stephen Duncan:I probably should check on her.


Nick Farley:Great, she probably want to check on you too.
Command: show screenshot 304.

PANEL 5
Zoomed out view of the board room. The whiteboard behind Stephen Duncan and Nick Farley lights up with Stephen Duncan’s face behind a badly torn Blast mask (from the news reportage of the fight with Tom Falcon). You clearly see his face under the mask. Every one except Nick Farley looks surprised at the image.

Nick Farley:You see, you were all over the news.


PAGE 22 – 6 PANELS
PANEL 1
View of a luxury living room. Artifacts from all over the world and from across several eras hangs on the walls in prime condition. A leather sofa and a very expensive wooden table is in the middle of the room. A small TV rests on a table.

No Dialogue

PANEL 2
We see Alexander Shirah’s hand as he puts down a glass of wine on the wooden table. View of the Splash Page on Page 17 is shown on the TV

General Mordare:
(From TV)
we will be your saviors in the Night


PANEL 3
Cose-up of Alexander Shirah. He smiles.

Alexander Shirah:Arthur Mordare. What game are you playing?


PANEL 4
Alexander Shirah calling for Fred Stanford (his butler).

Alexander Shirah:Fred would please come in.


PANEL 5
Fred Stanford enter through a door behind Alexander Shirah.

Fred Stanford:Yes, sir


Alexander Shirah:I need you to find out what has occupied our dear Mr. Mordare the last decades.


Fred Stanford:Consider it done, sir


PANEL 6
Alexander Shirah looks at the TV, once again with the wine glass in his hand.

Alexander Shirah:Your doings have always been a nail in my eye, old friend.
Maybe this time we’ll end you for good.


© David Johansson 2020