PHOTOSYNTHESISTERS: Book 1
Chapter 1: Old Hunters
The key characters beside the sisters in this chapter are:
Leyaks: Indonesian cannibal spirits. They are lead by Rangda, Queen of the Leyaks
Leyak Heir: The current leader of the Leyaks since Rangda was imprisoned.
Wasp / Mysterious Hunter: A predatory humanoid wasp creature. (This isn’t based on any particular mythology, but I did find this article on a recurring anthro-wasp figure in ancient Nazca art https://journals.openedition.org/nuevomundo/69281?lang=en#tocto1n5 )
Nanabozho: A Native American knowledge spirit / medicine man. Often depicted as a rabbit or half-human half-rabbit. In this comic, a humanoid rabbit.
The Leyaks have decided they must find and revive their queen if they're going to survive. They enlist the help of a mysterious hunter (Wasp) to find her. The hunter pursues a knowledgeable spirit (Nanabozho), who flees to the city. In fleeing the spirit passes each of the sisters going about their day. This draws their attention, and when the spirit gets cornered by the hunter in an alley, the sisters fight the hunter to save the spirit.
The first scene will show Raja having a nightmare about Rangda, waking up and getting comforted by Amber. This will be the first scene of the entire series, and should set as much of the tone and themes as possible.
This chapter will introduce all the sisters for the first time. The glimpses into their daily lives should communicate the basis of their personalities, what they do daily, and what they're basic goals are.
In the final fight scene in an alley, the hunter is disguised as a human, and is accompanied by several actual human lackies. The sisters will kill the human lackies first. The hunter will then transform into his monster form, and the sisters will defeat him. This is intended to communicate that sisters do not fight for or favor one side over the other.
Full page panel. Raja standing alone in an empty green field under a bright red-orange night sky.
Raja: “What is this?”
Raja: “Where is everyone?”
Overlaid panel of Raja turning over her shoulder to look behind her.
Full page panel. The shadowy form of Rangda loomes massive over Raja.
Rangda: “We ate them all.”
Overlaid panel, downshot on Raja
Raja: “No...no...I wouldn’t do that. That’s what you do.”
Rangda leaning down into Raja’s face
Rangda: “I am you. You are me.”
Two panels of Rangda’s face breaking into a sick smile.
Rangda: “They were all...”
Half page panel of Raja running away (into camera) while Rangda rushes up behind, mouth wide open, about to devour her.
Raja wakes up from the nightmare, sitting bolt upright in bed and screaming. Show her struggling to catch her breath, then looking out the window at the cliff edge behind the house. See silhouetted figure sitting by the cliffside.
Show Amber sitting by the cliff, writing on her laptop, humming to herself, interspersed with subject/moment panels of Raja grabbing a blanket, heading downstairs, walking out the backdoor. Second half page panel of Raja sitting down next to Amber.
Amber: "Hey, you."
Full page panel of Raja and Amber sitting by the cliffside, broken up by subject shots of the two talking, accompanied by dialogue.
Raja: "It's so late. What are you doing out here?"
Amber: "mmm, Quiet, cool night wind. Seafoam spray and whitenoise. A writer's haven."
Amber glances over at Raja.
Amber: "...Nightmares again?"
Raja: "...They've been getting worse."
Amber: "You haven't told the others?"
Raja: "I don't like the way they look at me. They think they're worried for me, but really they're scared of me."
Amber: "mmm, Maybe."
Amber: "But y'know they're always gonna be there for you, even if they're scared."
Raja: “I know that.”
Raja: “...but it doesn’t make the nightmares go away.”
Amber: “Oh sweetie.”
Amber leans her head on Raja’s shoulder. Shot from behind, over their shoulders, looking out over the ocean.
Amber: “Everything’ll be alright.”
Show the camera flying out over the ocean. Show the large distance traveled, maybe passing through some giant waves, showing the silhouette of giant sea monsters. Fly in with an aerial view of Indonesia, then draw into the viscous mouth of a coastal cave.
Enter the cave. On a rocky ledge over the water, the Leyaks are gathered around a campfire, silhouetted by the firelight. The stone is painted, with twisted, violent, disturbing imagery of monsters.
Leyak 1: “NO! We will not retreat again!”
Leyak 2: “The humans encroach ever further. Soon this lair too will no longer be safe.”
Leyak 1: “There is nowhere left! No more burrows to crawl to like worms! We have already been pushed to the crumbling edge of our ancestral homeland.”
Leyak 2: “We will find somewhere. We always have.”
Leyak 1: “This is not our way. We were born to hunt. To hang forests with corpses and sow fields with blood.”
Leyak 2: “These are not the old days. The humans are too strong, and we are too few.”
Leyak 1: “Our Queen would not have allowed this. She would not have led us this low.”
Dialogue bubble comes from off panel, from the shadows. All the leyaks look over/behind to the direction of the speaker.
Leyak Heir: “Then we shall have her once again.”
Leyak Heir steps out of the shadows, into the firelight.
Leyak 1: "Your empty wishes taste bitter. Our queen is gone. We will never have her again."
The leyak heir raises a knife to point at leyak 1.
Leyak Heir: "This one speaks truth. There is nowhere left to run."
Points The knife at Leyak 2
Leyak Heir: "This one's words are true as well. We have fallen too far to fight back. We must have our queen, or the last of our kind will be devoured"
Leyak 2: "Our queen was taken, long ago, far beyond the reach of our senses. How can we have her if we cannot find her?"
Leyak Heir: "We are not the only old hunters in this world. There are those who may travel more freely than we."
Leyak heir steps to the side to reveal a tall figure obscured in the shadow.
Leyak Heir: "This one wishes too that we shall cut away the human infection"
Mysterious Hunter: "Indeed. And with the Queen of Leyaks returned to the world…"
The figure steps forward, and as it enters the light, the monstrous form that was obscured by shadow resolves into a human appearance. Show in two panels, stepping forward. Follow with Mysterious Hunter face reveal.
Mysterious Hunter: "No human shall stand before us."
Cut to thin panel of sun rising over silhouetted sister’s house. Cut to interior, looking at a closed bedroom door. Next panel, booted foot kicks the door open with a SLAM. Venus leans out and calls out as loud as she can.
Venus: “GOOD MOOOORRRRNING!!!”
Over Venus’ shoulder shot of door across the hall. Audio overlayed over door (indicate coming from the other side), thump, muffled curse, heavy footsteps rapidly approaching the door. Sirisha throws her door open with a BANG, leaning heavily on it, hair messed up, glaring at Venus.
Sirisha: “I’m going to mulch you.”
Venus: “HAH! You love me!”
Return to wide hall panel, Sirisha pointing at Venus while Heather comes through the door next to Sirisha, Heather looking at her phone.
Heather: “Sirisha, you have class, you should have been up an hour ago anyway.”
Sirisha: “What the fuck did you just say to me!”
Heather: (Not looking up from her phone) “I said if you want a ride you have half an hour to dress, shower and eat.”
Sirisha angrily turning back into her room.
Sirisha: "Bitch, WATCH me!"
Venus slides down the stair railing.
Heather: (Still not looking up) "Venus, stop that, you'll break something."
Cut to downstairs, in the same panel show Raja sitting on the couch watching TV and Venus reaching the bottom of the stairs
TV: "...an increase in animal attacks primarily in areas most effected by this summers heat wave…"
Venus' dialogue bubble overlaps the TV's.
Straight shot panel facing the couch, Raja gets knocked to the side as Venus jumps over the couch and tackles her.
Venus: "I missed you!"
Raja: "V! We went to BED! It's only been a few hours!"
Venus: "I know!"
Amber walks into the living room holding a tea mug.
Amber: "Venus, you are very loud."
Cut to outside the house, with the sun in shot having raised higher. Show the sisters leaving the house together.
Venus: "Raja, you're being quiet, what's wrong?"
Raja: "I'm fine, just tired. I didn't sleep great."
Sirisha and Heather's dialogue bubbles physically overlap Raja and Venus'.
Sirisha: "...and I can wake up when I want to and be ready when I need to, so you do not pull that thirty minute ultimatum crap with me!"
Heather: "It doesn't matter to me what you do when Sirisha, I just told you when I was leaving."
Amber: "The sun is so warm today."
Low shot of the sisters getting into their car, Sirisha getting in the passenger seat, Heather walking around the front end. Heather stops to look over at Raja. Rajas legs obscure left side of the panel.
Heather: "Raja, you're not coming with us?"
Raja: "I don't need to be at my thing for over an hour, I'll walk there."
Panel of car pulling away from curb, driving into camera. Venus leans out the window and waves at Raja.
Raja: "Bye Raja!"
Series of panels, show Raja’s smile slowly fading, then her rubbing her nose bridge in stress, then turning to walk away.
End page with large panel focused on city skyline, with Raja walking in bottom corner.