Comic contest cavalcade

I was gonna do it. I wasn’t gonna do it.

Late last summer, I read about a talent search the comic book company Top Cow was running. What interested me was they were accepting entries from unpublished writers as well as artists. So I uploaded the rules. Seemed OK. All I had to do was choose from a plethora of characters from the Top Cow universe.

I eventually decided on the futuristic world of the green-haired assassin Aphrodite IX. I picked up several issues featuring the character. I came up with a couple of possible story ideas.

Then I got cold feet.

I closed the comic script file and dillydallied on other writing projects. All the while, I’d get some idea spark, jot it down in the file, then forget about it.

This went on for several months. I eventually resigned to the fact I wasn’t going to enter the contest.

But the character kept nagging at me to write a story. All right, I told myself. I’ll give it a try.

Four days before the deadline in March, I fired up the laptop and got to typing. I came up with a quick outline for the story, typed Page One, Panel One, gulped, and dove right into the tale.

It was done within a couple of days. I read through it to make sure it didn’t have any glaring plot holes, then nervously sent it off to contest land.

Sadly, I did not win. Otherwise, I would have written a blog post that simply read, “OH MY GOD I WON THE CONTEST!1!!1!” It would have been cool to have my name printed on the cover of a comic book saying that I wrote this story, but alas, it wasn’t my time.

Am I burning with rage that I didn’t win? Absolutely not. I’ve got more than 30 rejections from my short story submissions. This is part of the process. I have to tell myself the story wasn’t right for the editors at that particular time. Otherwise, it’ll eat you alive and you may not get back to writing, which is what I should be doing anyway. Trying to get better.

And hey, I entered the contest, so that’s half the battle. The other half: I finished a comic book script.

Should Top Cow do another talent contest, I may give it another shot. Unless I get published elsewhere before that time. Which could happen. Maybe.

The story itself, “Lessons Learned,” was born from Aphrodite IX: The Hidden Files. That comic sports a lengthy timeline of the Aphrodite project. I noticed there was a wide gap from the time the character is put in stasis to when she is awakened in the first issue. I thought, I wonder what one does while in stasis.

The answer is in the script, found below the fold.

APHRODITE IX

”Lessons Learned”

Note: the following takes place in between Aphrodite IX’s birth and her break from stasis in Aphrodite IX Rebirth Vol 1. Also, the majority of this takes place in a dream-like state, so things might not look realistic, a slight haze of fantasy

PAGE ONE (FOUR PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Wide shot of a battle. From this vantage point, we can see the occasional explosion on the ground. On either side are Genesis City and Speros City, with their respective armies battling it out in the center.

CAP/APHRODITE

A war is raging all around me, and I don’t even know it.

PANEL 2.

Close in on the Gen and Cyborgs fighting each other. A couple of the Gens’ giant flying dragon creatures and the Cyborgs’ ships are in the air.

CAP/APHRODITE

I won’t know this until much later, but these two factions have been fighting for hundreds of years.

PANEL 3.

We shift the scene to outside of the Sanctuary that houses Aphrodite.

CAP/APHRODITE

One day soon, although I’m not 100 percent sure, I will become a part of this conflict.

PANEL 4.

We’re inside the Sanctuary, where we see all the various stasis pods, but all of the people inside are silhouetted.

CAP/APHRODITE

But for now…

PAGE TWO (ONE PANEL)

PANEL 1.

Splash panel. Close-up shot of Aphrodite’s stasis pod, looking straight on at it. It’s reminiscent of the panel in the first chapter of Aphrodite IX Rebirth. Her hair, maybe not as long, is floating in the clear goo. Her arms are at her side. She has a breathing apparatus on part of her face.

CAP/APHRODITE

…I wait.

CAP/APHRODITE

And I dream.

CAP/APHRODITE

At least, I think I’m dreaming.

PAGE THREE (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Split shot, with current Aphrodite in the pod on the left, and a much younger Aphrodite on the right. Both have the same facial expression, but the younger one is drawn a bit more cartoony. We see a pony tail on our right side.

CAP/APHRODITE

Most people have a linear path for their lives, from baby to child to adult to death. Mine feels…different.

PANEL 2.

Pull back to see Aphrodite, still with her eyes closed, sitting in a school desk. She’s in elementary school, wearing quasi-futuristic clothes (I’m not sure she knows what year it is in real life, but we’ll go with “the future”). Her green hair is in two ponytails. Maybe have a couple of other students in surrounding desks.

CAP/APHRODITE

A week ago, I thought I was an adult.

PANEL 3.

Close-up shot of Aphrodite, her eyes closed, head slightly down.

TEACHER (OFF PANEL)

April?

PANEL 4.

Same shot, but now her eyes are open.

CAP/APHRODITE

But right now, it appears I’m a child.

APHRODITE

Huh?

PANEL 5.

Wide shot of the classroom. The teacher, a middle-aged African-American woman, is standing by a whiteboard and holding a datapad in her left hand. There might be about 10 other kids in the room, some listening to the teacher intently, others goofing off. Aphrodite is somewhere in the middle of the desks.

TEACHER

April? Did you hear my question?

APHRODITE

I…I’m sorry. What was it?

PAGE FOUR (SIX PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Medium shot of the teacher. She’s holding a datapad in her left hand. Behind her on the whiteboard are simple words like puppy, cat, and house. The teacher doesn’t look happy.

TEACHER:

April, you need to stop daydreaming. Let’s try this again. Can you tell me the best way to strangle someone?

PANEL 2.

Aphrodite looks shocked at what she’s hearing.

APHRODITE

Uh, ma’am?

PANEL 3.

Back to the teacher, still looking stern.

TEACHER

You heard me. You’ve got three seconds.

PANEL 4.

Aphrodite looks like something is snapping in her brain.

NO DIALOGUE

PANEL 5.

Now Aphrodite looks normal, talking matter-of-factly.

APHRODITE

Two hands are the preferred choice, but I can do it with one hand if I can find the right pressure points.

PANEL 6.

The teacher smiles slightly.

TEACHER

Correct. See, I knew you could do it.

PAGE FIVE (FOUR PANELS)

PANEL 1.

We’re outside at a playground. The kids are at recess, playing on the various slides and monkey bars. They’ve joined a couple of other classes out there. Aphrodite, off to the right, is sitting on one of three large tires protruding from the ground.

CAP/APHRODITE

That’s not something one learns in first grade. Maybe I’m in a special school.

PANEL 2.

Over-the-shoulder shot, kind of biggish panel, of Aphrodite looking out at the playground. Her brain is pointing out the various weaknesses of the students. One of those is Robert Burch, Aphrodite’s handler. He’s dressed in black.

CAP/APHRODITE

Or maybe I’m special. Or there’s something wrong with me.

CAP/COMPUTER

Jesse, age 6, scared of clowns and loud noises. Minimal threat.

CAP/COMPUTER

Suzie, age 7, wants to be the center of attention. Could be a problem later.

CAP/COMPUTER

Reggie, age 6, enjoys the slide beyond normal conditions. Has above-average tolerance of high speeds. Useful.

CAP/COMPUTER

Robert, age unknown. Is a bully to other students. Has a crush on you. Average threat.

PANEL 3.

Aphrodite is tossing a small blue pebble back to the ground.

CAP/APHRODITE

I’m not sure why I keep hearing that voice, but I don’t like it.

PANEL 4.

Aphrodite is on the left, Burch has now appeared to our right, looking a bit bashful yet slightly evil.

CAP/APHRODITE

It scares me.

BURCH

Hey, April.

BURCH (CONT)

Can I ask you something?

PAGE SIX (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Aphrodite has turned to our right to see Burch, leaning against one of the other tires. He’s smirking.

APHRODITE

What do you want, Robert?

BURCH

I wanted to ask you if you were gonna change your hair color to a real color.

APHRODITE

It is a real hair color. Grow up.

PANEL 2.

Burch has come up next to Aphrodite, holding some of her hair in between two of his fingers. More smirking.

BURCH

Green’s such a stupid color. Do you see anyone else here with green hair?

APHRODITE

It doesn’t matter what my hair color is.

PANEL 3.

Aphrodite has now grabbed Burch’s hand, which has now let go of her hair. He looks surprised, she’s a bit pissed.

APHRODITE

Why don’t you go back to your hole in the ground and leave me alone?

PANEL 4.

Burch has now grabbed her hand with his free hand, but now his mean face has returned.

BURCH

I think you’ve got this backwards. I control you, remember?

PANEL 5.

Aphrodite doesn’t like the sound of this.

APHRODITE

What did you say?

BURCH (OFF PANEL)

You heard me. I. Control. You.

PAGE SEVEN (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Aphrodite has grabbed Burch’s throat with one hand and has him a foot or two off the ground. He’s trying to get free of her grip.

APHRODITE

I don’t think so.

BURCH

Gggrrrgh!

PANEL 2.

Close-up of Aphrodite. She’s enjoying this a bit too much.

CAP/COMPUTER

He cannot be killed at this juncture. He is important to the mission.

PANEL 3.

Pull back to find the teacher trying to get Aphrodite to let go of Burch. Some of the students have gathered around, looking on in horror.

TEACHER

April! April, what are you doing?

CAP/APHRODITE

What did that voice say? I can’t kill him?

PANEL 4.

Burch is free, holding his own throat as he coughs. The teacher has placed her hands on Aphrodite’s shoulders.

BURCH

<koff! koff!>

APHRODITE

I…I…I don’t know…

TEACHER

Well, whatever you did, that was a very good choke hold. The other students could learn a lot from you.

PANEL 5.

Aphrodite has a weird look on her face, wondering what she just heard.

CAP/APHRODITE

I think I need my hearing checked.

PAGE EIGHT (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

We’re now jumping ahead a few years in Aphrodite’s life. She’s a teenager now. We’re at some burger joint. We can see Aphrodite sitting in a booth with a young man named Steve, whose back is to us. Her hair has grown a bit more. She’s wearing a sleeveless dress. She’s resting her head in her hands, her elbows touching the table. She’s staring dreamily at the guy.

CAP/APHRODITE

The scene shifts.

CAP/APHRODITE

I’ve grown up. What happened to all that time in between? Is this a dream?

CAP/APHRODITE

Wait. This seems familiar to me.

PANEL 2.

Close in on Aphrodite, still in her gee-isn’t-this-guy-cute gaze.

CAP/APHRODITE

Something wrong is about to happen. But what is it?

PANEL 3.

We now switch to the guy, who’s munching on a burger. He looks like he’s more into the burger than Aphrodite.

STEVE

Man, this burger is the shit. You should try it.

PANEL 4.

Aphrodite is biting her lower lip, kind of looking away.

APHRODITE

Um, that’s all right. You can eat it. I had my own.

STEVE (OFF PANEL)

Suit yourself.

PANEL 5.

Cut back to Steve, holding the burger in one hand, and gesturing with the other.

STEVE

Hey, can I ask you something?

APHRODITE (OFF PANEL)

Uh, sure. You can ask me anything.

PAGE NINE (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Steve has put the last portion of his burger in his mouth.

STEVE

So what the hell is that green spot on your face? Is it contagious?

PANEL 2.

Aphrodite has put her left hand over the spot, making it look like she’s resting her head with her hand.

APHRODITE

I…I don’t know what you’re talking about.

CAP/COMPUTER

Blood pressure rising three percent. Heart rate rising four percent.

PANEL 3.

Wide shot of the two at the table. Steve, on the left, is taking a sip from his drink. Aphrodite, on the right, is squirming a bit in her seat, her hand still hiding her green spot.

STEVE

You mean no one’s asked you about that? (slurp) I mean, it’s not like you can miss it.

APHRODITE

It’s…it’s none of your business.

STEVE

Really? If you wanna get with me, you gotta tell me about that spot.

PANEL 4.

Close in on Aphrodite’s face, which is slightly covered in sweat.

CAP/COMPUTER

Pulse elevated 15 percent. Calculating possible tactics to counteract this threat.

PANEL 5.

Even closer, on her eyes, which are a bit wide-eyed. Some sweat can be seen on her skin.

CAP/COMPUTER

Tactic configured. Initiate now.

PAGE TEN (FOUR PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Wide shot. Aphrodite, on the right, has jumped out of her seat, heading toward Steve, on the left. Her fist has connected with Steve’s nose.

STEVE:

The hell–oof!

SFX

SMACK!

CAP/COMPUTER

Direct hit. Blood loss will begin momentarily. Initiate next stage.

PANEL 2.

Wide shot. Aphrodite has grabbed Steve’s head and slammed it into the table and his plate. The plate is shattering.

SFX

CRRRSSSSSH!

CAP/COMPUTER

Initiate final stage.

PANEL 3.

Wide shot. Aphrodite’s left foot has connected with Steve’s crotch. Steve makes an oof face. Blood from his nose gets splattered around.

STEVE

ARRRGH!

CAP/COMPUTER

Now walk away quickly. Activate pheromones and other stealth protocols.

PANEL 4.

Wide shot. Turn to have the table on our right, with Steve writhing in pain on the table. To the left, Aphrodite is walking down toward the exit.

CAP/APHRODITE

That didn’t feel right, but yet it did.

PAGE ELEVEN (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

We’re in a city park now. Aphrodite is sitting on a bench, staring at her bloody hand in disbelief. None of the passersby seem to care about her, going about their business.

CAP/APHRODITE

It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. I just wanted to sleep with him, not break his nose.

PANEL 2.

A teenaged Burch has walked up to Aphrodite. She hasn’t noticed him, still looking at her hand.

BURCH

Well, well. What happened here?

PANEL 3.

Aphrodite looks up at Burch, half wishing he wasn’t there.

APHRODITE

What’s it to you?

PANEL 4.

Burch sits on the opposite end of the bench. Aphrodite has returned her gaze to her hand.

BURCH

I’m…interested in you. You’re different than the others.

APHRODITE

Bet you say that to all the girls.

PANEL 5.

Foreground shot of Aphrodite’s fist with blood on it. To the right we see Burch leaning forward looking toward us. He looks serious.

BURCH

No, I don’t.

BURCH (CONT)

I’m just here to make sure you stay in one place.

PAGE TWELVE (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Aphrodite turns to look at Burch. She has put her bloodied hand in her lap.

APHRODITE

You? You’re going to keep me safe?

PANEL 2.

Burch smiles. He’s gesturing slightly with his hands.

BURCH

Of course. You’re my Aphrodite. I would do anything to make sure nothing harms you.

PANEL 3.

Aphrodite slinks as far away from Burch on the bench as possible.

APHRODITE

What did you call me?

BURCH

Forget I said that. I guess you’re not ready.

PANEL 4.

Wide shot of the two on the bench. Aphrodite is still as back as possible, but Burch has moved in a little.

BURCH

I’ll leave you with this. Did you ever feel like you were destined for something bigger?

APHRODITE

I…I’m not sure I follow.

PANEL 5.

Burch takes Aphrodite’s hands into his. She looks a bit scared, while he’s grinning slightly sinisterly.

BURCH

It’s okay. Everything’s going to be clear very soon.

PAGE THIRTEEN (SIX PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Aphrodite has closed her eyes, as if she’s trying to wish away Burch who is walking away from her.

CAP/APHRODITE

This Burch doesn’t make any sense. Since when does he know my destiny? And why did he call me Aphrodite? I’m not some god.

CAP/COMPUTER

Pulse and blood pressure still high, but slowly returning to nominal levels.

PANEL 2.

Burch has turned around to offer Aphrodite one more piece of advice.

BURCH

Oh! I forgot to mention something.

PANEL 3.

Aphrodite has reopened her eyes. She looks a cross between pissed and sad.

APHRODITE

What do you want?

PANEL 4.

Burch is snapping his right fingers near his face. He’s smiling.

BURCH

You know if there’s anything here you don’t like, you can wish it away and start all over, just like that.

SFX

SNAP!

BURCH (CONT)

Give it a try. It’ll help you in your training.

PANEL 5.

Aphrodite is looking ahead, almost in a daze. She’s letting that last statement swirl around in her brain.

NO DIALOGUE

PANEL 6.

Same as the previous shot, but Aphrodite has disappeared. Maybe put some flash of light where she sat.

SFX

POOF!

PAGE FOURTEEN (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

We’re back in the restaurant, but we’ve gone back a few minutes to before the attack. We’re seeing Aphrodite smiling slyly, with her finger twirling her hair. Steve’s back is to us.

CAP/APHRODITE

All right. I’m back. Let’s see if I can make this turn out better for me.

APHRODITE

You know, I’ve always liked you from the moment I saw you in class. You were cuter than the other guys.

PANEL 2.

Flip around to see Steve. He’s got this lovestruck look on his face, as if he’s been in love with her forever, but yet he can’t quite figure out how that happened. Some of his food has landed on the table because he couldn’t concentrate enough to get the food in his mouth.

STEVE

Yeah, April. You’re very hot. How come I never saw you before? I know we’ve had the same classes.

PANEL 3.

Aphrodite leans closer to Steve’s ear to whisper.

APHRODITE

You can see a lot more of me if you’d like. Know somewhere private we can go?

CAP/COMPUTER

Pheromone levels at peak efficiency.

PANEL 4.

Steve is leading Aphrodite to closet in the restaurant. He’s not thinking clearly enough to find a decent place to be romantic. He wants to go now. Aphrodite is smiling slightly.

STEVE

Yeah, we can go in here. I go in here all the time. You’ll love it.

PANEL 5.

The door is closed. They’re now in the throes of love-making, but we’ll leave that to the reader’s imagination.

STEVE (FROM THE DOOR)

SWEET JESUS, APRIL! DON’T STOP!

PAGE FIFTEEN (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

We now see Aphrodite leaving the closet, looking around indiscriminately to make sure no one sees her.

CAPTION

Five minutes later.

CAP/APHRODITE

That couldn’t have gone better.

PANEL 2.

Close up of Aphrodite’s face, which has a hint of sadness.

CAP/APHRODITE

Then why do I feel like crap?

PANEL 3.

Aphrodite has left the restaurant, heading back to her home. A few people are heading down the sidewalk.

APHRODITE

He didn’t like me. That’s what it is. We didn’t have a connection. But something inside me changed his mind.

PANEL 4.

Over-the-shoulder shot of Aphrodite walking down the street. Everyone around her is ignoring her.

CAP/APHRODITE

Part of me wonders if I’m in some kind of training program. Why else would I be seeing all of this?

CAP/COMPUTER

All people in the vicinity are nonthreatening.

PANEL 5.

Aphrodite looks toward the city’s skyline.

CAP/APHRODITE

But what am I training for?

PAGE SIXTEEN (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Wide shot. Aphrodite is still a high school student. She’s standing near the main entrance of her high school, her back to us, but we only see her from the waist up. Students are filing into the two-story building.

CAP/APHRODITE

I’m at school. But why? I thought the day was over.

PANEL 2.

Burch is walking toward her. He’s now wearing some black trenchcoat, trying to look all cool and evil. He’s not doing it well.

BURCH

Ah. There you are. I was beginning to think you weren’t going to show up.

PANEL 3.

Aphrodite looks down at her hand, which is holding a gun.

NO DIALOGUE

PANEL 4.

Aphrodite is now looking up at Burch yelling at him.

APHRODITE

Where the hell did this come from?

PANEL 5.

Burch is pointing at Aphrodite.

BURCH

It doesn’t matter. It’s time to see what you’ve learned so far.

PAGE SEVENTEEN (SIX PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Aphrodite drops the gun to the ground, she almost wished she didn’t have it in her hand.

APHRODITE

I haven’t learned anything. I ain’t gonna use a gun.

PANEL 2.

Burch is crouching down, picking up the gun and looking up at Aphrodite.

BURCH

Yes, you are. You have no choice.

PANEL 3.

Burch is trying to give Aphrodite the gun back, but she’s trying to give it back to him.

APHRODITE

I do have a choice. No one’s done anything to me.

BURCH

Just because no one’s wronged you doesn’t mean you can’t kill somebody.

PANEL 4.

Burch has grabbed Aphrodite’s shoulders tightly. She’s looking a bit stunned.

BURCH

I guess we’ll have to do this my way.

APHRODITE

What are you talking about?

PANEL 5.

Close-up shot of Aphrodite’s face. We can see Burch’s hands on her shoulders. She’s looking angry.

NO DIALOGUE

PANEL 6.

Same angle, but now Aphrodite’s eyes are glowing red, and she has a passive look on her face.

BURCH (OFF PANEL)

Now that I have your attention…

PAGE EIGHTEEN (THREE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

We’re inside the school, with Aphrodite coming in through the main entrance. She’s put the gun away so others can’t see it. A few faculty are milling about in the hallway as well.

CAP/BURCH

“…it’s time to put our beloved principal out of his misery.”

CAP/APHRODITE

Something doesn’t feel right. It’s as if someone else is controlling my actions. But I’m not entirely sure.

PANEL 2.

Close in on Aphrodite, her eyes glowing red. A couple of people might be looking at her funny.

CAP/APHRODITE

It doesn’t matter, I guess. I have a job to do. And I don’t want to make anyone angry.

PANEL 3.

Aphrodite has spotted the principal’s office, seen on the right side of the panel.

CAP/APHRODITE

Do I?

CAP/COMPUTER

Target should be beyond those doors. Minimal security. Chance of success: 98 percent.

PAGE NINETEEN (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Aphrodite is at the secretary’s desk, with the principal’s office off in the background. An older woman is sitting behind the desk, looking at Aphrodite nonchalantly.

SECRETARY

Can I help you, miss?

APHRODITE (RED)

I’m here to see the principal.

SECRETARY

Well, he’s a bit busy, I’m afraid. If you’d like to take a–

PANEL 2.

Flip around to see Aphrodite walking past the desk, which is on the left. The secretary looks a bit perturbed.

SECRETARY

Hey! You can’t go in there!

PANEL 3.

The principal is sitting at his desk, looking up in surprise at who has come inside his office.

PRINCIPAL

Is there something I can help you with?

PANEL 4.

Aphrodite is aiming the gun at the principal, who is off-panel.

APHRODITE (RED)

Yes, there is.

APHRODITE (CONT)

I need you to die.

PANEL 5.

Close-up of the gun firing.

SFX

KPOW! KPOW! KPOW!

PAGE TWENTY (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

We’re now at a police station questioning room. There’s a lone table, a couple of chairs, and a two-way window. Two bottles of water are on the table. Aphrodite is sitting on the right side of the table, while a police detective is sitting on the left.

CAP/APHRODITE

The scene has shifted again. But, something’s wrong. I don’t remember anything. Did I black out?

DETECTIVE

Okay, let’s go over this one more time. Why did you shoot the principal?

PANEL 2.

Aphrodite looks scared, but not for what she’s done.

APHRODITE

I…I don’t know what you’re talking about.

PANEL 3.

The detective is giving Aphrodite a stern look.

DETECTIVE

Don’t give me that crap. We have the video evidence of you blowing his brains out. We have the secretary saying you went into the office. So why’d you do it? Did he give you lip about something? Look at you funny? What?

PANEL 4.

Side shot of the detective, on the left, leaning in and shouting at Aphrodite, on the right, who’s as far back in her chair as possible. She looks like she’s about the burst into tears.

DETECTIVE

Tell me now, goddammit!

APHRODITE

I…I don’t…I don’t know….

PANEL 5.

The lights go out in the room.

BURCH (NO BALLOON TAIL)

That’s enough.

BURCH (CONT)

I think we’re done for today.

PAGE TWENTY-ONE (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Aphrodite is sitting alone, but the room has changed to the interior of one of the sanctuaries. Burch is standing nearby.

APHRODITE

Where am I?

BURCH

It doesn’t matter. What matters is you’ve shown quite a bit of growth these past few days.

APHRODITE

Days? But I thought–

PANEL 2.

Burch has come closer to Aphrodite, reaching out to touch her chin.

BURCH

Sweet, dear Aphrodite. You can’t learn everything all at once. In due time.

PANEL 3.

Aphrodite grabs Burch’s wrist. He looks a bit shocked.

APHRODITE

What the hell is going on here? I think I blanked out, but nothing’s coming back to me.

BURCH

That’s part of the (ow) programming inside of you. It’s (ow) working perfectly.

PANEL 4.

Aphrodite squeezes Burch’s wrist a bit tighter.

APHRODITE

And quit calling me Aphrodite! My name is April!

PANEL 5.

Aphrodite walks away. We see Burch in the foreground rubbing his wrist. He’s smiling slightly.

BURCH (SMALL)

Whatever you say…April.

PAGE TWENTY-TWO (FIVE PANELS)

PANEL 1.

Biggish panel. Aphrodite is walking through a large room filled with stasis pods.

CAP/APHRODITE

Training. Destiny. Strange words to be thrown around for me. And this Burch apparently knows what’s in store for me. Judging from what I’ve seen so far, I’m not so sure I’m destined for good.

PANEL 2.

Side shot of Aphrodite walking by more pods. Maybe have Burch in one of these, but she’s not paying attention.

CAP/APHRODITE

Strange enough, it did feel good to know I can use these powers with a high degree of proficiency.

PANEL 3.

Aphrodite has reached her stasis pod. She’s reaching out toward the pod. The bottom half of her is phasing out.

CAP/APHRODITE

One day, I hope I get to see what this world is like.

PANEL 4.

We now see the real Aphrodite in the stasis pod. The dream one has disappeared.

NO DIALOGUE

PANEL 5.

Close-up of Aphrodite in the stasis pod, fast asleep.

CAP/APHRODITE

Then, I can find out what my true destiny is. I hope it’s a good one.

CAP

The End

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