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Critique Wanted: FUSED! STAND BY short script - IT'S GOT ROBOTS!!


#1

Hey everyone…

One of my favorite series was the Image/Dark Horse Series by my friend Steve Niles called FUSED! It’s kind of a Hulk meets Frankenstein meets Iron Giant thing. :smiley:

Anyway, I’ve got a short that I wrote that I’m going to pitch to Steve soon, but I’d love to get some feedback on. This is kind of a teaser for pitching him a re-launch of the series.

Any feedback is welcome.

Details on FUSED:

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FUSED! - STANDBY
Script by patrick j. clarke
10 pages
Final Draft: February, 2015

Page One
1-3/ Small panels showing just Cy-bot’s feet running, kicking up dust from the desert floor.
SFX: THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, THUMP

4/Larger panel of the wide open rolling desert in midafternoon. Footprints are leading off into the distance behind Cy-bot who is on the horizon.
MARK CAPTION: We’ve been on the run for as long as I can remember. On the other side of this desert is an abandoned research facility where we can recharge and look for some answers to my unique situation.

Page Two
1/Splash page of Cy-bot running towards us in the mid-day sunlight with rolling dunes in the distance and his footprints fading off behind him. Should have room for the title: FUSED!: STAND BY
CY-BOT: I DON’T LIKE THIS, MARK. IT MAKES ME-

CY-BOT: UH…NERVOUS

CAPTION: I’m Mark Haggerty. A while ago in a freak accident I was fused inside of this robot and can’t get out. To top it off, the CPU has recently started to feel something like emotions. An if that isn’t bad enough, we’re being chased by some government bad guys who want me to do bad things for them and will stop at nothing to get what they want.

MARK: It’s gonna be alright, we just need to get across this patch of desert and we’re home free.

MARK: Check the radar again. Anything on it?

CY-BOT: NO.

MARK: Then you have nothing to worry about.

MARK CAPTION: Just get across this desert and we’ll be fine, I tell Cy-Bot. But, I wish it was that simple. Hopefully at the facility we’ll get some answers and get us separated so I can get my life back.

Page Three
1/ In the distance we see a mechanical sphere zooming towards us. At this point we shouldn’t see too much detail, but it should definitely look mechanical.

2/ Side view of Cy-Bot running.
MARK: What’s our E.T.A?

CY-BOT: AT CURRENT SPEED OF 23 MPH WE WILL REACH DESTINATION IN SIX HOURS.

3-4/ The sphere is zooming closer in each panel. We can see more detail now, and it should look like something out of the “Portal” video game mixed with something from “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”. In the last panel an antenna pops up. It should have some sort of dish on it, or something that looks “directional”.

5/ Mid-close-up of Cy-Bots face, arms pumping as he runs.
CY-BOT: MARK, I’M CONCERNED AT OUR CURRENT RATE OF FUEL CONSUMPTION.

CY-BOT: WHAT IF WE RUN OUT OF-

MARK: We’ve gone over this three times already! You’ve run the numbers!

MARK: We’ll make it, no prob-"

SFX: PING!

6/ Cy-bot skids to a halt as we look over his shoulder and see the sphere, sitting, waiting for them to arrive.
MARK: What the hell is that?!
CY-BOT: OH GOD!

CY-BOT: INCOMING BOGEY AND IT JUST PINGED US WITH ACTIVE S.O.N.A.R.!

CY-BOT: WHAT SHOULD WE DO?! WHAT DOES IT WANT?!

MARK(thinking): Got to keep him calm if I’m to get us out of this.

MARK: Settle down! Run a bio-scan of the object, include x-ray scan, I want to see inside this thing!

CY-BOT: …STARTING INITIAL SCAN…

Page Four
1/ Close up view of the sphere, its antenna is still up.
CY-BOT CAPTION: INITIAL BIO-SCAN COMPLETE. I CAN’T DETECT ANYTHING ORGANIC.

CY-BOT CAPTION: RUNNING X-RAY SCAN.

2/ The sphere sucks in its antenna as it separates.

3/An array of instruments is revealed in the front and a mini chaingun has rotated out of the back and hangs below the sphere. The sphere is targeting Cy-Bot.

4/ View of Cy-bots shocked face.
CY-BOT: EVADE! PROTECT ME!

CY-BOT: I DON’T WANT TO DIE!

5/ Cy-Bot claps his hands together crushing the attacking sphere.
SFX: SHRAKABOOM!

Page Five
1/ Front shot with desert behind them. Smoke is clearing and Cy-Bot is standing alone.
MARK: Don’t worry, don’t worry, I took care of it!

MARK: You need to calm down!

2-4/ Small panels of Cy-bots head, different angles as he’s having a conversation with himself.
CY-BOT: I’M SORRY…I, UH-

CY-BOT: I DON’T KNOW WHAT CAME OVER ME. I SAW THAT THING POINT THAT MACHINE GUN AT US AND I, WELL, I-

CY-BOT: I PANICKED!

MARK: You had a panic attack? A panic attack! Dammit! If I hadn’t taken control we would be dead right now, you know that?

MARK: You cannot just freak out like that!"

CY-BOT: I DON’T KNOW IF I LIKE IT WHEN YOU TAKE CONTROL OVER ME LIKE THAT, MARK.

MARK: Don’t like…, what the? I saved us! Don’t you understand that? If I didn’t take over, we’d be dead. Dead! Get it?"

CY-BOT: I KNOW. SOMETIMES I JUST CAN’T PROCESS ALL THE INPUT THAT IS COMING FROM US. YOU’VE HAD AN ENTIRE LIFETIME TO DEAL WITH YOUR EMOTIONS, I JUST NEED SOME MORE TIME TO PROPERLY ASSIMILATE THIS.

Page Six
1/ Mid shot of Cy-bot looking down at the wreckage of the probe.
MARK: I wonder what this thing was?

CY-BOT: LET ME RUN SOME MORE SCANS ON THE PIECES AND SEE IF I CAN FIND ANYTHING…

SFX: PING! PING!

2/Upshot of Cy-bot looking off into the distance, pointing.
CY-BOT: TWO INCOMING BOGIES, HEADING, 12 DEGREES!

3/ We see two robots on tank treads, bristling with weapons coming towards CY-BOT. Think of “Ghost in the Shell” tanks or something like that, but should have some sort of “head” control unit. They should look related to the robot sphere we previously saw, but way more combat-based.

4/ Cy-Bot jumps into the air as the two robots attack with guns and missiles. One of the robots should be heading directly towards Cy-Bot, and the other one should be moving around in a flanking maneuver.
MARK: Where did they come from?!

5/ Cy-Bot hits the charging robot in the “head” with a right cross, its head exploding.
SFX: CRACK!

CY-BOT: GET AWAY FROM US!

Page Seven
1/ POV behind the remaining robot, now behind Cy-Bot, the robot firing at him.
CY-BOT/MARK (in unison): AHHHHGGG!

CY-BOT: STOP!

2/ Same shot, but Cy-Bot has turned his head towards his attacker. We see “leaks” coming from the back of Cy-Bot. They are kind of brown/blackish/red.
CY-BOT: HURTING!

3/ Cy-Bot lashes out with a back hand hammer fist, destroying the last robot, but the leaks out of Cy-Bot are increasing and more intensely red.
CY-BOT: US!

MARK: Oh my god, it hurts!

4/ Small panel
SFX: PING!

Page Eight
1/ Slim horizontal panel with Cy-Bots arm still extended. But a beam weapon is slicing into his arm at the bicep.

2/ Cy-Bot’s arm is severed, red liquid leaking out of his arm.
MARK: ARGHHHHHH!!!

CY-BOT: WH-WHAT IS LEAKING OUT OF US? IS…IS THAT-

MARK: Blood? Are we bleeding?

3/ Cy-Bot is kneeling on the ground, a puddle of blood around him and a final robot that is even more crazy looking and dangerous than the last two. This one is more like Cy-Bot and bipedal, aiming all its weapons at Cy-Bot and the beam weapon in one hand, drawn and at the ready.

CY-BOT: MARK, ARE WE-

CY-BOT: ARE WE GOING TO DIE?

4/ Robot fires and all we see is a big glow where Cy-Bot should be.

Page Nine
1/ Medium shot of Cy-Bot waking up and sitting up quickly with a shocked look on his face. It’s night in the desert with a full moon, and Cy-Bot is nestled in to a rock outcropping.
CAPTION: STANDBY MODE DEACTIVATED.

MARK: AHHH! What the hell was that?!
CY-BOT: PROCESSING…

CY-BOT: MARK, I BELIEVE WE JUST HAD A NIGHTMARE."

2/ Close-up of Cy-Bot’s face, moonlight reflected off of his body.
CAPTION: Things just get stranger and stranger.

CAPTION: The problem is that robots don’t get tired. Unfortunately, humans do. After about 48 hours, I get the feelings of exhaustion. So, every once in a while we go into a Standby mode so that I can rest.

3/ Medium shot focused on Cy-Bot’s face looking off into the distance, scanning the horizon.
CAPTION: At first there was just darkness, no dreams. Then, later, I started to dream, but Cy-bot wasn’t aware of it.

4/Pulled back a little more, similar shot as to before.
CAPTION: Now, I think WE had a nightmare, and I’m scared. The longer I’m trapped in here, the more I think I’ve got it all figured out, something like this happens, and I don’t know what to think. Sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to make it out of here alive.

Page Ten
1/From behind, we see Cy-bot heading out into the desert, footprints left behind him.
MARK: How many miles do we have left?

CY-BOT: MARK, SHOULDN’T WE…?

MARK: Not right now. Let’s just get to the facility, and then we’ll discuss this dream thing later.

CY-BOT: 25 MILES LEFT TO OUR DESTINATION.

MARK: And Cy?

CY-BOT: YES, MARK?

MARK: Let’s keep a close eye on the radar, you know, just in case.


#2

Hey Patrick. I liked it. Nice surprise twist at the end. I’m not familiar with this book which is odd because I like Steve Niles’ work… I’ll have to scrounge for some back issues.

You know what occurred to me after reading it a couple times, was that it might be effective to have Mark and Cy-Bot’s final waking panels mirror or juxtapose the first ones of the nightmare. Give the story a weird, premonitory feel… For instance, somewhere in the first three panels where Cy-Bot is running perhaps Mark could inquire as to how far they have to go, where then CyBot answers “25 MILES LEFT TO OUR DESTINATION”, which then gets repeated in your final panel. This would give a bit more weight to Mark’s suggestion about keeping a close eye on their radar… I dunno, just a thought.

Mike


#3

Hey @menichols! Thanks for taking the time to read it!

I’d recommend getting FUSED: Canned Heat TPB (and not just because I’m mentioned in the forward of the book). Steve did this book before 30 Days, and when that took off, well, I can understand why he focused on that stuff.

I LOVE your suggestion, btw and will try fitting it in to the beginning. Thanks for such a great suggestion. :gift: