Starlight Annual #1: Starlight

Starlight is a series I started writing for fun in 2016, written in the “style” of a comic book.  As such, this is not my best writing, but it’s something I had fun doing.

Stargazing

Doctor Shropp (Narration): I remember when I was little, I thought that the starlight was beautiful.

The issue opens with a young Doctor Shropp sitting on her father’s knee as they stargaze from the porch of a small cabin.

Doctor Shropp: They gleamed when nothing else did, they lit up the darkness. They were like little miracles. Of course, by the time I graduated high school, I knew better.

Cut to an older Dr. Shropp gazing at the stars from her bedroom window.

Doctor Shropp: There is nothing miraculous about stars. By the time their light reaches your eyes, they are already dead.

We return to the facility where Cadmus is held once more in a glass cube, this time crisscrossed with strange lights. His nose is bleeding, and he is clutching his ears. Dr. Shropp watches, smirking slightly from the viewing window.

Doctor Shropp: This boy is dead. He thinks he isn’t, but he is. He’s not human anymore. He’s something else. And its my duty to find out what.

A security guard approaches Dr. Shropp. He looks nervous.

Guard: Dr. Shropp, we have an intruder.

Shropp: *looking perplexed* Intruder?

Guard: A boy, from the nearby town. He thinks he has an internship here.

Shropp: We don’t have interns here.

Guard: I told him that, m’am. But the weird thing was, the system let him in after he sh.

Shropp: What’s the boy’s name?

Guard: Hunter Keyes.

Shropp hesitates momentarily.

Shropp: Bring him in.

As the guard leaves, Shropp walks over to one of the technicians at a computer monitor.

Shropp: Willis, I need you to do a background check on a Hunter Keyes.

Willis: Absolutely, m’am.

The technician next to Willis, looking worried, calls over.

Other Tech: Doctor Shropp, our system is getting some weird readings.

Shropp: Document it and I’ll look at it once I deal with the kid.

Other Tech: Yes, m’am.

Willis: Hold on… it looks like there is a Hunter Keyes in our system. He applied for an internship over the summer. We were planning to accept him, but it looks like we hadn;t notified him yet.

Shropp stands up, looking disturbed. As she does so, the other tech calls over.

Other Tech: Dr. Shropp, something is interfering with our–

Shropp: Not now, Dr. Evangeline.

The guard steps in, dragging “Hunter Keyes”, who is in fact Parker wearing a pair of glasses.

Parker: Oh hey, you must be Dr. Shropp.

Shropp: I am indeed, young man. Are you aware–

Parker: Dope. Look, clearly there’s been some sort of misunderstanding here. I was told to drive over some binary diffusion equipment–

Cut to Hunter, who is sitting at his computer at home, feeding Parker his lines.

Hunter: –from the Weston office, which should be instrumental–

Cut back to Parker.

Parker: –In analyzing the properties of this human– humanoid–

Guard: *Interrupting* We confiscated the device he brought with him. We’re looking it over in security right now.

Dr. Shropp suspiciously walks around Hunter/Parker, taking him in suspiciously. As she does so, she notices out of the corner of her eye something strange.

Dr. Shropp: This… this child is absolutely nonsensical– No.

We see what Dr. Shropp sees, which is a confused Cadmus gazing up at the viewing window. He has sighted Parker. Dr. Shropp goes into a panicked rush, barking orders.

Dr. Shropp: He is in league with the creature lock him up right now before–

Parker grins.

Parker: Woops.

There is the sound of an explosion and the lights go off.

The Plan

We cut over to Parker and Hunter back in Hunter’s house. They have just discarded several sheets of paper with complicated looking flowcharts on them.

Parker: Aight, I think we have our play.

Hunter: I’m going to call the lady I’m interning for and request my pass early.

Parker: You sure you can trust her?

Hunter: Doctor Loes thinks I’m just trying to scope out the equipment early. She clearly trusts me, or she wouldn’t have told me about my acceptance early.

Parker: *shrugs* You sure about losing that lame nerd internship?

Hunter: If we play this right, I won’t. Because I won’t be breaking in, you will.

Parker: Yeah, I say I’m you, act all nerdy, sell it enough so they let me in.

(At this moment we start cutting to us actually seeing the plan in action, as a disguised Parker approaches the security guards).

Parker: I borrowed some of your glasses so I could really sell it.

Hunter: You don’t need… *shakes head* Anyway, after that, they’re going to confiscate your EMP.

(Parker watches amiably as security takes his EMP, and walks away.)

Hunter: They’ll bring it to the security room.

(We see the guards place the EMP in the room. It ticks down to zero)

Hunter: Keep them occupied, I’ll get into their systems,

(We are reminded of the one tech exclaiming that something was weird with the systems).

Parker: Then, bam! We save the freaking day.

Hunter: Or something like that.

Something like that

Cadmus staggers to his feet, having unconsciously fallen to the ground to avoid the explosion. The blue netting around his cell is gone, and as his hands glow starry, he walks right through the glass.

Cadmus (Narration): Parker did all this?

Parker emerges from the smoke, sprinting towards Cadmus. He used the distraction of the malfunctioning equipment to escape.

Cadmus: Parker?

Parker: Cad, my boy! Less talking, more running.

Cadmus sees a bunch of men stumbling after them, and takes off running after Parker. Hunter buzzes into Parker’s earpiece.

Hunter: I’m keeping their backup generator offline and their comms scrambled, but there’s only so much I can do against this huge team of scientists. You need to hurry.

Parker: Got it.

Parker pulls Cadmus into another corridor, as bullets start ringing out through the smoking room.

Parker: Exit’s this way. They won’t risk damaging their equipment by using their heavy artillery.

Cadmus: Who are you talking to?

Parker: Nerd.

Hunter: This nerd has a name!

Parker: Humphrie.

Hunter: This nerd’s name is not Humphrie!

Cadmus: We can introduce ourselves later. How are we getting out of here?

Parker: There.

Parker points to a room they are approaching, some sort of lobby. It is large, with huge, beautiful windows overlooking the surrounding empty farmland.

But there are no doors.

Cadmus: *frowning* I don’t see this exit.

Parker: Yeah you do. The windows.

Cadmus: The win– you want us to jump out a window?

Parker: Yeah. You can fly.

Cadmus: Not on demand!

Parker: Then this is going to be a problem.

The two running guys get closer to the window, as some men approach them from the hallways.

Men: You! Stop!

They start firing their guns, and Parker cries out as he is hit in the shoulder.

Cadmus: Parker!

Cadmus: It’s at this point I jumped out the building.

Cadmus grabs Parker, and jumps through the glass windows. They break as he turns starry, and begins to fall towards the ground.

Cadmus: Come on come on

Suddenly, Cadmus swoops upward, arcing towards the sky.

Cadmus: Yes!

Parker: Knew… you could do it… bro…

Cadmus looks down, concerned, at his bleeding friend as he gets farther away from the facility.

Cadmus: I need to get Parker to the hospital.

As Cadmus and Parker fly away, a terrifyingly cold Dr. Shropp watches them leave.

Dr. Shropp: Clear the facility. No trace of what we’ve done here should be left. Whoever was involved in the security here, you’re fired.

Dr. Willis approaches Shropp, looking scared.

Willis: Doctor Shropp… what do we do now?

Shropp: We find the boy, and this time we kill everyone who tries to protect him.

An End

Cadmus is waiting in a hospital waiting room, looking terrified. Next to him sits Hunter, who has fallen asleep in his chair.

Cadmus: It’s been about three hours since I’ve escaped. I haven’t really absorbed all that’s happened.

Cadmus gets up and walks away from the waiting room.

Cadmus: We told the doctors that we snuck on a hunting range, and Parker accidentally got shot. They bought it. We got a bit of scolding, but not much. They say the bullet only grazed Parker. They say he’s going to be okay.

Cadmus watches, a small smile on his face, as he sees a bandaged up Parker sleeping in a hospital bed.

Cadmus: Even with what I am… Parker and Hunter risked everything for me. What did I do to deserve that?

Hunter approaches Cadmus from behind, having woken.

Cadmus: Hey.

Hunter: Hey.

Cadmus: I wanted to say, thank you so much–

Hunter: Hey, it was the right thing.

Cadmus: You saved my life.

Hunter: *shrugs* You’re not saved yet. Those people, they aren’t going to give up.

Cadmus: I know.

Cadmus: I’ll grab my folks’ truck, start running. They’ll keep chasing me, but they won’t hurt anyone else.

Hunter: I have a better idea.

Cadmus: Hunter, we’re out of options.

Hunter: There’s one option left. You can’t be outed without being studied, but you can’t reveal what FlyCo does without being outed.

Cadmus: So?

Hunter: You need to make your powers known, but not that you have them. People will be busy chasing after you, true, but it won’t be you, and if FlyCo tries something…

Cadmus: People will notice.

Hunter: What do you think?

Cadmus briefly considers this.

Cadmus: I think I know where to start.

Cut to a gas station, where the man who killed the police officers and Mr. Lyzman is stabbing a man to death.

Man: Its okay, sir. You don’t have to be afraid. Not anymore. *he keeps stabbing as a strangled scream is heard*

Just then, a shadow falls over the man, as he looks up, confused, an offscreen voice speaks.

Voice: You’re under arrest.

Man: *giggling* See?

We end as the newly costumed Starlight descends upon the shocked police station, with an incapacitated old man in his arms. As the police watches, shocked, we hear the final part of the old man’s words.

Man: Night has arrived.

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