A/N: This is sort of a writing experiment, but it's based entirely on things that really happened; it's important to me. I hope you like it. But if it's just awful or anything like that, please let me know. That's why I'm posting it here. Thanks!


Before the distribution/production company logos – which are SILENT – have finished running, King Crimson's mini-song "The Power to Believe I: A Cappela" PLAYS, although not prominently.

AUDIO – ...and some room's AMBIENT NOISE enters the soundtrack.


(might be Tunisia)

A THOUSAND-STRONG flock of COMMON RAVENS (the gifted problem-solver Corvus corax, one of the largest two corvids – a group which includes crows, jays...) FLIES ABOVE and BY the CAMERA –

(not anticipatory)
A thousand ravens fly by someone in Africa...


MACRO-EX CU ON A GOLDEN HAMSTER (aka Syrian Hamster, Mesocricetus auratus, the rodent subfamily Cricetinae's most famous member) as it BLINKS –

(not anticipatory)
A hamster blinks as an adult for the first time...


The Coma cluster contains over a thousand galaxies. We're focusing on ONE SOLAR SYSTEM among a great many within the galaxy which no human eye will ever see.

A B-class star a lot like the Milky Way galaxy's (our) Rigel in that particular system SUPERNOVAS, destroying the whole system within a few blinks of an eye and radiating more energy than our Sun could emit in its entire lifespan. It and any life that's ever been within it.

The gamma ray burst from a supernova near Earth supposedly caused the Ordovician extinction – about 445 million years ago – which killed 60 percent of Earth's oceanic life. A black hole might form from the star's collapsed remnant.

(not anticipatory)
Within the Coma cluster, a star in
the outer Zabutron galaxy supernovas...



Right by its entrance in David King High School's band locker room...

WIDISH-LENS EX CU ON COLE: (better view later) Full name HARTIGAN COLE RAMBO (no relation). 17, middling height, looks like he can handle himself, and looks conflicted.

BG – AUDIO: Inside the locker room, SOMEBODY'S GETTING THE SHIT BEAT OUT OF THEM by at least TWO OR THREE guys.

Occasional MUTED SHOUTS OF PAIN for a couple seconds – among which –

Shut the fuck up, faggot!

Cole is wearing a BAND UNIFORM. And is about to make a decision –

And less than a second thereafter, he does, PUTTING ON A BLACK BALACLAVA. All that's visible of him after that are his eyes, but his field of view should be about normal –

KINETI-CAM the rest of the scene.

– and GOES INTO THE LOCKER ROOM. Opening the door quietly –

LOCKING IT, just as quietly, behind him –

– and now that the CCTV cameras can't see him he SHEDS THE BAND UNIFORM like a disease. Underneath is a form-fitting ALL-BLACK pants and long-sleeved shirt outfit without logos or anything memorable on it –


Lit by cruel fluorescent bulbs, the crime scene is hopelessly bright.

"Cole's group" – MARKS (real name: Marlon), JON (Jonathan), ALLIE (Alexander, who hates that abbreviation) – are all wearing MATCHING BAND UNIFORMS just like Cole's.

The victim, the one shouting in pain: DAVIE (Davison Tucker Ciesola), 18, skinny and shorter than Cole. He's not wearing a band uniform. Rather, very tight blue girl's jeans. Ripped and heavily decorated med-top Converse All-Star Chuck Taylors.

It's hard to tell more than that: Davie is TREMENDOUSLY BLOODY and his CLOTHES TORN, with things he might've been carrying STREWN ABOUT THE IMMEDIATE AREA.

They haven't moved around a whole lot. There are a bunch of savage, clearly noticeable DENTS in a few lockers nearby.

And Cole's group doesn't recognize him as he STRIDES BRISKLY TOWARD THEM.

Neither does Davie, but he wouldn't, even assuming he could see through the BLOOD and HEAVY BRUISING in his eyes. So it's been going on for that long at least.

The group, previously perched above and around the defeated Davie, with their hands and legs COCKED to strike the boy, REACT a little:

Who the fuck are you?

Cole's reached the group by then. It took two seconds.

GEOGRAPHY (feel free to skip):
-The four attackers, in band uniforms, are in a semi-circle around Davie.
-That semi-circle is tight but open at the back, with Davie's feet sticking out of it.
-Davie has dragged himself backward to a wall of lockers.
-That wall is at a T-junction in the locker room. The beating was about to veer left.
-Brandon is on the right side, from Cole's perspective.
-Allie is in front of Brandon.
-Davie is on his back, propped up slightly against a locker and coughing up blood, groaning. He doesn't know where he is. He might be able to see, but he probably can't. Allie is on his left.
-Left-rear of the group: Marks, who led the assault and who is pretty worn-out now.
-Just in front of him: Jon.

He takes no pleasure in it –

Cole ATTACKS BRANDON, the closest of the four.

GRABBING Brandon's nearest ARM so it whips around backward.

A perfect ARM-BAR. Brandon is shocked and powerless.

In the same motion, Cole TURNS BRANDON a little – with his off-hand on Brandon's throat against the chin, making Brandon look upward and effectively blinding him –

then PUSH-KICKS BRANDON INTO ALLIE, one-third of a second after initially contacting him.

Good timing, too. The other three were about to mobilize, but seeing Brandon get used to effortlessly killed their morale.

As BRANDON IMPACTS AGAINST ALLIE – as the two meaty varsity football players slap bodily into one another – COLE RUSHES MARKS AND JON.

Reaching them, Cole MUAY THAI KICKS JON in the belly. Jon didn't expect it, but he was tensed up in "action mode" and the kick only staggers him.

As Cole's leg drops and as he rebalances, he OPEN-HANDED JABS MARKS IN THE UPPER NECK near his chin, cutting the kid's airway off dramatically.

Marks COUGHS out the rest of their air in his lungs instantly with a slight wheeze, STUMBLING BACKWARD and clawing at his neck feebly at the same time.

He BUMPS HIS HEAD on the locker-wall just behind him.

By this point, JON'S RECOVERED. Cole is keeping tabs on everybody, even Davie, so:

Cole focuses his energy on Jon instantly, then finds the vulnerability in his defense, and SNAPS ANOTHER KICK at him, hitting Jon in the KIDNEY.

Jon would've expected a punch or something easy, but nothing that low. He, like Marks, GRUNT-SHOUTS in shock, but even in pain like that he'll still be able to attack for a couple seconds –

Cole PRESSES FORWARD AGAINST JON and GRAPPLES AT HIM. The whole point is confusion – impossibly rapid weak attacks at random angles – and it works. Jon can't defend –

But Brandon and Allie can.

A BRIEF GLANCE at each other to coordinate.

But they hardly needed that. In a second they PINCHER-MOVE TOWARD COLE, like one will hold him and the other will hit him a lot. They look like animals.

Knowing exactly where they are, Cole TAE KWAN DO cracks a massive SIDE-KICK straight at BRANDON. It goes high –

– clearly BREAKING BRANDON'S NOISE. It even knocks dust from Cole's shoe into Brandon's eyes.


As Allie gets close enough to Cole. He UPPER-CUTS at his chin –

But misses, as cole QUICK-STEPS OUT OF RANGE. It's luck, not skill, that let Cole dodge.

Working with his balance oddly, Cole glancing-blow hits Allie – a KARATE CHOP to the armpit. Looks dumb but hurts like hell.

Angered by the pain and his own miss, and adrenaline-injected, Allie resets and GRABS ONTO COLE instead. He was close enough and Cole wasn't expecting it.

He was turning toward Jon. AS HE DOES he seizes an opportunity that Jon – the gaunt varsity football/baseball player didn't notice he left – and

CRUSHES AN ELBOW INTO HIS SKULL. Which might kill. There's a frighteningly loud THUMP of bone against bone.

Allie doesn't even notice that. Instead, while Cole is distracted by hitting Jon, Allie tries to CLAMP DOWN and limit Cole's movement as much as possible. The point: he wants to knee Cole in the groin and drop his defense.

Cole's like a foot shorter than Allie, so it should be easy.

But the black-clad stranger's crazy mixed street fighting/mixed martial arts disciplines' training wins out.

He JERKS A LEG into the mix and knocks that of Allie – it looks like a tree – away.

ALLIE'S BALANCE FALTERS. Exactly like Cole wanted it to.

Cole RAISES A LEG like Allie was doing –

– As Allie tried to catch his balance, he stuck a knee out toward Cole. Who saw it –

– and who then DROPS HIS LEG almost straight down at Allie's knee. Just above the knot, but angling for his foot to go through the knee.

The knee JERKS BACKWARD SICKENINGLY, making a dull POP and flopping around, a flag on a windy day. There's a duller-than-it-would-seem CRACK of bone and muscle TEARING simultaneously.

Bone rips through skin and turns Allie's hamstring into ribbon. But Allie's ANGUISHED SCREAM drowns a lot of that out.

– As Allie's weight PUSHES DOWN against the ex-knee –

– because Cole TRIPPED ALLIE'S OTHER LEG AWAY FROM HIM. He falls; first trying to regain his footing, Allie fails, then FALLS STRAIGHT DOWN onto – more like into – his own leg.

A second of ultra-violence. Blood sprays from an artery or two, pours from a vein or two, and POOLS under Allie. He SLIPS on it.

Cole's senses return to him somewhat. He watches Allie suffer for a second, but then he checks on everybody:

– Allie's out, but conscious. He looks like he might go into shock, the kind that people have died of before.

– Brandon basically can't see, but he's still a threat.

– Jon is unconscious; the elbow strike might have done some real damage. Probably a massive contusion, making his brain bounce around in its skullcage like a Mexican jumping bean.

– Marks is


Cole not only PURSUES MARKS – who is afraid for his life – but OVERTAKES HIM instantly.

Cole grabs him by his too-forced cutesy-shaggy hair and HALTS HIM

Hair RIPS LOUDLY, you could hear it from 15 feet away –

– and then plants another hand in Marks's hair from another angle, keeping the teen OFF-BALANCE.

– then THROW-SPINS HIM at THE NEAREST LOCKER-WALL. The teen can't prepare himself for the impact that way.

His HEAD BOUNCES OFF hard and loudly. He SHOUTS. His head DENTS a locker door. He's just lucky he didn't hit one of the hardened corners.

Cole PURSUES again and grabs him by the hair again.


And leads Marks to a locker. Flush with it, Cole uses his momentum and SMASHES MARKS'S FACE INTO IT.

Marks lets out A SHOUT of pain, protest, shock, confusion.

There are more shouts and SMASH-BANGS as Cole pulls Marks back a little and then SLAMS HIM INTO IT again, again, again, and again. It's eerie because Cole's so quiet throughout.



– SPATTERING BLOOD messily about the area, even up Cole's black-clothed arms (it doesn't show up well).

Brandon's found the masked aggressor, plus one thoroughly defeated friend.


Cole looks possessed by that. The touch refilled his energy reserve and topped it off.

Using the new surplus of energy with reckless abandon, Cole UNTANGLES HIMSELF from the lump that used to be Allie and lets his unconscious body fall –

– then STRIKES OUT against Brandon like a raised cobra, Three Stooges-style PUNCH-POKING BRANDON IN THE FUCKING EYES with two fingers.

It's no normal eye poke. Brandon's eyes were both completely OPEN. And Cole, perhaps unable to control himself anyway, DIDN'T HOLD BACK. And he aimed for the center-of-the-back of each of Brandon's eyeballs (basically the optic disk and -nerve) – not the eye socket, the eye ball.

One of Brandon's eyes POPS, a cracked egg spilling yolky diluted blood and yellowish red eye-goo and some clear liquid onto and down Brandon's face.

The other eyeball doesn't go unnoticed, it just doesn't pop like a balloon.

None of that bloody goo gets on Cole, though. Mostly coincidence, but Cole's punch-poke made that coincidence possible. Once he felt something pop, and the backs of both of Brandon's eye sockets – it looked like they'd both be much bigger, like eyes would be more solid than liquid in ovally meatbag-things – he RETRACTED, smoothly. A very calculated strike.

Shocked at that, the sensation of something hot running down his face again (note that his nose is broken and spouting blood too), Brandon SCREAMS.

Some of his ex-eye runs down into his mouth, freaking him out even more. COUGHS. YELLS. SHOUTS.

It isn't even that he won't be able to enjoy blocking enemy defensive linemen, it's that it's as if everything before visual suddenly isn't. Like it's gone dark; with a queer release of pressure in his head and a popping sensation, the ninja shut his eyes but won't reopen them.

Cole GRAPPLE-MANEUOUVRES BRANDON, basically leading him, unbeknownst, into a HEADLOCK. Brandon really can't resist.

In the headlock, Cole leans Brandon's head to one side a little, then SHOVES it in the opposite direction, and lets an extended knuckle THUMP soundlessly into the temple just in front of Brandon's ear.

After that Cole just lets the unconscious Brandon FALL.

"Cole's group" are unconscious.


who has been watching. Kind of. He might be crying, but he'd certainly deserve to, bloody and prostrated on the floor of some locker room in some high school he hates. His parents, or maybe the parent he lives with, probably moved into the district recently for a job or something.

Are you gonna hit me?

Cole PULLS HIS BALACLAVA OFF, spilling colorless WHITE HAIR out across his face. It's getting a little long. And he has the angelic kind of face a 16th-Century Italian master artist would dream of sculpting.


No. I just...thought you should see me.
(a pause)
Don't tell anybody you saw me, okay?

There was some tall guy in black.

Cole is not tall.

This school did this to me. Do you think I'd turn you in?

LINGER ON COLE to make clear that his response is thickly inlaid with personal history (but not heavy-handedly):

I don't know what I thought.