Karnak, Part 1.5 of 2

Well, you can see what my guarantees are worth, can’t you?

Just for the sake of whatever interest there may be, here’s a short rewritten patch of the tail end of last post’s script. It isn’t perfect. It is, perhaps, a little better — I think I follow necessary conventions a little more closely, but more importantly I think it flows where I want it to a bit more. And I suppose I could just rewrite the whole damn thing, really, but what would be the point of that? However I did want to show a little bit of rewrite somewhere, so this is it.

Oh, and one more thing: Boligar’s line from the Kree crypt is now “…After all, even if it is over twenty thousand years old, is not the Kree’s technology still so advanced as to be largely a riddle to us?”

Okay. Now the next installment will be up by tomorrow evening, damn it!



Panel 1: Double-sized panel of Karnak and Triton sitting, lounging really, in a mess of Kirbytech scattered all around, in the chamber back in Attilan with the viewscreens. They’re facing each other. I see Triton on the right and Karnak on the left, although the dialogue listing indicates the reverse (this is another one of my possibly-misguided Big Thematic Ideas). Karnak’s fingers are steepled in front of his face.

Triton: …Thirteen sites carefully located, plundered, and then destroyed forever, all in the name of better understanding those who created us, millenia ago.

Triton: So…have we understood them yet, brother, do you think?

Karnak: Mmm. Our improved scanner has already picked up another three contacts on the Terran surface, I notice…

Karnak: …And the treasures buried beneath our feet seem inexhaustible


Panel 2: Karnak’s face, fingers steepled, resigned.

Karnak: I am really not sure we are entitled to hope for anything more, are we?

Triton: (off-panel) You met with Medusa.

Karnak: Yes.

Triton: (off-panel) And?

Karnak: And…


Panel 3: Slightly washed-out colour shows this is a recent flashback. We see Medusa’s face (and hair, of course), lips parted hotly with strong emotion…she is facing out of the page, addressing Karnak whio is unpictured.

Karnak (capt.): “…It perhaps did not go quite as I might have wished it to.”

Medusa: Karnak, I don’t like it either!

Medusa: But as the new Head of the Genetics Council, I must be seen to be impartial!


Panel 4: Now we’re looking at Karnak from Medusa’s POV (a bit of face and of course some some hair floating around). He looks a trifle downcast.

Medusa: And…I hate to say this, but…it’s only for another year

Karnak: And I am not refusing, cousin. But…it is a little hard, you must admit.


Panel 5: Continuing in the flashback style: Karnak is entering Rikasa’s house (that’s our new character – be patient, all will be explained), as a hand holds the door open for him. He doesn’t look happy.

Medusa (capt.): “You will meet her today, regardless?”

Karnak:(capt.): “Yes…but I cannot promise to be pleased.”


Panel 6: Double-sized panel, which is Rikasa welcoming Karnak to her parents’ sitting-room, an elegant lavender chamber with tasteful furniture. Rikasa extends one arm to indicate Karnak should go in and sit down. Obviously he and she are both entering from the left, I think. It’s a plein Americain, maybe our first one so far. Everything is straight and rectilinear, the “democracy of form”. Rikasa is an near-human formed Inhuman: I picture her with blue skin, perhaps a couple or four attractive antennae rising from her forehead, not Black Bolt/Lockjaw style antennae but the more expressive wavy kind. She’s pretty.

Rikasa: Won’t you make yourself comfortable, Lord Karnak?

Karnak: I think it would be as well if you simply called me Karnak, Rikasa.

Karnak: Where are your parents, if I may inquire?

Rikasa: They have retired, my Lor…I’m afraid they have retired, Karnak.

Karnak: Ah.


Panel 6: Karnak and Rikasa sit down. We are looking over Karnak’s shoulder at her; she seems very proper.

Rikasa: Unfortunately, their forms are strictly nocturnal.

Rikasa: During the long lunar day, they must sleep.




Panel 1: Looking down from above at the two of them. Karnak makes a gesture with his hands, over the table in between them…opening up conversation gesturally, breaking the ice.

Karnak: It must be a difficult adaptation for them.

Rikasa: Perhaps. But I think they have found compensations in it, too.

Karnak: Yes…yes, no doubt. As we all have.

Rikasa: Oh? All?


Panel 2: We see them in profile, facing each other. Rikasa is smiling a little.

Rikasa: Not all. I barely remember Earth before the Exodus, of course.

Rikasa: In fact – strangely – the clearest memory I do have about life on Earth…

Rikasa: …Is of you, Lord Karnak.


Panel 3: Looking at Rikasa, we see a fraction of Karnak’s head in the left foreground, part of his opened hand toward the right…his gesture says he is trying to reason gently with her.

Karnak: Now, as I said, Rikasa…there’s no need to call me…

Rikasa: Lord Karnak. Do you remember?

Rikasa: My grandfather had just produced his “Second Hercules” symphony. And Black Bolt had invited us all to the Palace, to celebrate it…


Panel 4: We close in on Rikasa, who’s grinning mischievously now, teeth showing, completely transformed. Fetching!

Rikasa: Of course, my cousins and I were not permitted anywhere near Black Bolt

Karnak: (off-panel) …Oh, Agon.

Rikasa: …So we tortured you, instead.


Panel 5: Looking at Karnak now – who’s rolling his eyes in agony – over Rikasa’s darkened shoulder.

Rikasa: Because you were so very forbidding, you see. To children.

Karnak: The misplaced coronet

Rikasa: Yes. That was me.

Rikasa: And now here we are.


Panel 6: Half-panel. Karnak’s face, slightly downturned. He is thinking hard, a couple of stiff fingers pressed against his temple.

Karnak: By the Kree, woman…

Karnak: You know, these days I’m beginning to think invisibility is a gift I would appreciate having




Panel 1: Triple-sized panel, as a triptych: Rikasa rises and goes to a sideboard, pours Karnak a drink, returns and puts it into his hand.

Rikasa: Oh, it isn’t invisibility, actually. I’ve studied the matter, and I don’t believe there’s ever been an Inhuman born who’s possessed that power.

Rikasa: No, I just…move things, into places where people aren’t looking. Or rather, I move the places to where the things are.

Rikasa: It’s really little more than a parlour trick. A parlour trick for one.

Karnak: I’m afraid I don’t…

Rikasa: Yes. I know.


Panel 2: Triple-sized panel, and I’m afraid to say I honestly just don’t know how to suggest illustrating it, except to say that Rikasa stands in front of Karnak, declaiming a little. Something’s now going on with her, we see: she’s been as guarded as he is. And now she’s back to serious; possibly even a little fierce. God, you just can’t use that word anymore, can you? Tyra Banks has a lot to answer for…

Rikasa: Like yours, my gift is perceptual. However, it’s not particularly useful. I simply see space, not as a continuum, but…

Rikasa: …As a puzzle, instead. A puzzle with most of its pieces still waiting to be turned over.

Rikasa: I don’t turn invisible. You just see pieces of space I’m not in. Pieces that are available to me because they’re not being paid attention to by anyone else.

Rikasa: So in an empty room I could be anywhere, because no one’s looking…but, what good is that?


Panel 3: One-ninth panel. Karnak’s face, as he thinks hard.


Panel 4: Same.


Panel 5: One-ninth. Karnak looks up at Rikasa, grinning.

Karnak: My dear Rikasa…




Panel 1: Double panel. Karnak and Triton back in their underground lair, in full colour. Only, the scene’s flipped around to the other side: Karnak is on the right, and Triton on the left. Another one of my little thematic tricks. Karnak’s line continues in caption from the last panel.

Karnak (capt.): “…How would you like a job?”

Triton: You said that to her?

Karnak: I did, indeed.

Triton: This is going to complicate things for you, brother…

Karnak: No. It isn’t. It’s going to make things simpler.


Panel 2: View on Karnak’s face, fingers still steepled, eyes shadowed like a master planner’s.

Karnak: Look around you.


Panel 3: Triton’s face, surprised.

Triton: What?

Panel 4: Triton’s head whips around, his gaze swivelling past us as he scans the room on that side. Nothing.


Panel 5: He turns his head the other way, his back to us, and Rikasa’s darkened form is suddenly at that moment standing there in the foreground, her hands clasped behind her. She’s looking down at him calmly.

Rikasa: Hello, Triton.


Panel 6: Triton turns back to face her, still startled, but pretty cool.

Triton: Rikasa, I presume.

Triton: …Karnak, why do I suddenly find myself thinking that you’re up to something?


Panel 7: Double panel. We move a little bit out, to accommodate a glowing light in the right foreground, as the three characters regard it from the left background. Lockjaw is arriving, in the Kreetech lab.

Karnak: Because I am, brother. And now that our fourth team member has arrived, you are too.

Triton: Crystal…?




Panel 1: Double panel. We’re looking slightly up at Gorgon as the glow fades away, Lockjaw by his side.

Gorgon: Crystal would bid us wait, cousin!

Gorgon: But, why should we? Have we not places to be? Must time always stand still, for the marshalling of companies, and the making of plans?

Gorgon: Are you not eager, as I am, to be simply away?

Triton: (off-panel) …Oh, Agon.

Jonathan, I hope that makes a couple of the underlying dynamics of the thing a bit more purposeful-seeming. Sean, thanks for the simpler notation. RAB, you’ll notice I still haven’t cut the bones.

But anyway, next: a conclusion!

At last.


2 responses to “Karnak, Part 1.5 of 2

  1. Yep, it’s more fluent now, more deliberate, and more implies tension to come. Especially, now that Rikasa’s explaining of her power has become streamlined, she sounds like someone who’s thought about it for a long time, and can tell it all at will.

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