Starlight #12: E.T.

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.

We open in Parker’s home. Parker is playing video games, on call with Hunter, at his own house.

Parker: Throw up some cover…

Hunter: I’m working on it, working on…

There’s a sad beep.

Parker: Ah. Damn.

Hunter: Hey, second place isn’t bad.

Parker: We can do better.

Hunter: Oh, for sure. Want to run it again?

A voice calls off-panel.

Mr. Hayes: Parker!

Parker: Can’t. Looks like my Dad wants to talk.

Hunter: Ah. Good luck.

Parker: Thanks. I’ll need it.

Parker descends the stairs to where his father is standing, arms crossed, waiting for him.

Parker: Hey, Dad.

Mr. Hayes: Park. What the Hell are you doing?

Parker: What do you mean?

Mr. Hayes: I mean that I can hear you upstairs playing computer games when you should be either a) doing your chores, b) doing your homework or c)–

Parker: Let me guess, practicing football?

Mr. Hayes: Son, you know last game wasn’t your best. Don’t you care about the game?

Parker: I do, Dad, but it would be nice to have some time to relax once in a–

Mr. Hayes: Relax? You’re lucky. When I was your age, I was working from 9 to 5 every day. No time to relax for me.

Parker: Right, Dad.

Mr. Hayes: I don’t want to have this conversation with you again.

Parker: Of course, Dad.

Mr. Hayes: Good.

Parker’s Dad walks away, leaving Parker alone. Suddenly, his phone rings. He answers.

Parker: Cad?

Cad (Voice): Hey, Parker… something’s come up.

We cut ahead to the highway, where Nala is driving Team Starlight to an unknown destination.

Hunter: Wait, he was what?

Nala: An alien.

Hunter: So, let me get this straight, not only did someone somehow break into the home of one of the richest families in America, and not only did they manage to get into a locked room and murder the heir to the empire, but he’d already been replaced by a shape-shifting alien?

Nala: Mhm.

Hunter: Geez.

Eliza: Are you sure he’s an alien? Maybe he’s… I don’t know, a mutant or something?

Nala: Just going with my gut, darling. Whatever that was, it wasn’t of this world.

Parker: Rad.

Eliza: Really, Parker?

Parker: You’re telling me you’re not excited for an alien murder mystery?

Nala: Caddie?

Cad has been silent this whole time. He turns, questioningly, to Nala.

Cad: Yeah?

Nala: You’ve been quiet. What do you think?

Cad: I don’t know what to think, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

They arrive at the mansion, huge, looming… quiet. Team Starlight exits the car.

Hunter: Huh.

Parker: What?

Hunter: Where’s the police? I mean someone was just murdered.

Eliza: Well, allegedly it was an alien…

Hunter: Fine, so where’s the secret government agency to carry his corpse to Area 51?

Nala: All of you, shut up. Believe me, getting in is going to be easier said than done.

Eliza: Why?

Nala: Frankly, darling, the four of you are poor as $#!!.

Parker: Fair.

They reach the front door and knock. A butler answers the door.

Butler: Miss Highland… I’m afraid this isn’t a good time.

Nala: Let me in, Frank. My father–

Butler: Your father has no jurisdiction here, now–

Voice (Off-Panel): Nala?

An older woman peers over, and the butler shrinks back.

Woman: Is there a problem?

Nala: Frank here is refusing to let me in, Holly.

Holly: Well, you have brought strangers.

Nala: They’re here to help.

Holly: …

The next thing we know, Holly is leading them down the hallway.

Holly: Malcolm was always fond of you, Nala, which is why I’m trusting you to bring him home.

Nala: Holly, we don’t know if he’s–

Holly: He’s alive, he has to be. That thing? Isn’t him.

They stop at a door.

Holly: It’s all in there. Good luck.

Nala: Thank you?

Voice (Off-Panel) Nala?

Team Starlight turns to see the sniffling form of Millie, peeking out of another room.

Holly: Millie, honey, you’re up?

Parker: Up?

Holly (Quietly): She’s been catatonic since… the incident.

Nala: I’ll go talk to her. You guys take a look around.

Eliza: Okay.

Team Starlight (minus Nala) enters the room. A lot has been taped off, but there is no sign of police.

Hunter: Still no police. Weird.

Cad (Narration): There’s something weird about all this. Why aren’t there any cops here? Do the, uh… Emmens, have something to hide?

Parker points out the shattered window, and a rock laying inside.

Parker: Looks like this is how the person broke in. Through the balcony.

Hunter: Someone climbed all the way up here and broke in through a fourth floor balcony?

Parker: Wait, this is the fourth floor??? Rich people.

Cad lingers at the taped up spot where the body used to be.

Cad: No sign of the body. They say he wasn’t human. But then again, neither am–

Eliza: Cad? You okay?

Cad: Yeah, just–

Voice (Off-Panel): What is the meaning of this?

Mr. Emmens strides in, looking furious.

Mr. Emmens: Who are you people? What are you doing here?

Holly enters in quickly behind him.

Holly: Sir, they’re friends of the Highlands–

Mr. Emmens: I want you out of my house. Immediately.

Parker: Sir, we just want to help–

Mr. Emmens: You can help by getting out of our way.

Eliza: Excuse me, Mr. Emmens, but we have experience with some strange things. If you really want your son found–

Mr. Emmens: Don’t tell me what I want.

Mr. Emmens scowls.

Mr. Emmens: Get out. Now.

The door slams outside the mansion. Team Starlight blinks, caught off guard.

Hunter: That was kind of…

Cad: Yeah…

Nala suddenly opens the door emerging.

Nala: Did you all find anything?

Parker: Not much, before we were kicked–

Millie slides out the door behind Nala.

Parker: Um, what is she…?

Millie: I want to know what happened to my brother.

Nala: We’ll have to hurry. He won’t like that she’s gone.

Eliza: So should we be…?

Nala: Get in.

Cad: Yup, there’s definitely something off. But then again… that’s kind of par the course, isn’t it?

We briefly cut to Cad’s house. For a few panels, we linger on the door. It opens, suddenly, and then closes with a slam.

We cut back to the team. They arrive outside Parker’s house. The team and Millie get out of the car.

Parker: Um, is there a reason why we’re back at my–

Nala: Parker, Eliza, the two of you are going to stay with Millie.

Millie: What? You’re dumping me at this hovel?

Parker: Hey!

Millie: I want to help!

Nala: Someone replaced your brother and then he ended up dead. We don’t want that happening to you. Nobody will look for you here.

Millie (Quietly): That’s for sure.

Nala: It’s just for a bit, while Cadmus, Hayden–

Hunter: Hunter.

Nala: –and I follow up on my next lead.

Eliza: You have another lead?

Nala: I do. We need to see the body.

Millie: They took the body away.

Nala: Well, I paid the staff and I know where they’re taking it. We’ll figure it out.

Millie: I want to help figure it out!

Nala: Tough.

Nala grabs Cad and Hunter and drag them away.

Nala: Come on, boys…

Cad: Hey–

Hunter: Let go of me!

The car speeds away.

Eliza: Parker, are you even allowed to bring two random girls into your house?

Parker shrugs.

Parker: Way my dad is? He might just call me a man.

Eliza & Millie: Gross.

Parker: Oh, for sure, for sure. Come on in.

As they walk into the house, we cut back to the car. Cad stares out the window.

Cad: We have a murder mystery, a plan, and a team on the job. Now all we need is that extra special…

We cut to a small farming town, where a spaceship sits hidden in a barn.

Cad: Complication.

NEXT: Digging Deeper!

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