“Stand Down” Week 7 – Dark Necessities

Start scene on the ground floor of Scott’s house. The bottom-left of the screen reads “a day later”. A quiet, muffled sound of grinding metal can be heard. Scott’s father can be seen to approach a door just across from what seems to be a TV room. 

The grinding sound grows less muffled as he opens the door, the POV shifting to show a staircase behind it that leads down into a basement. Just behind wooden supports, sparks can be seen flying in a steady cascade. Attempting to speak over the grinding, Scott’s father calls down into the basement:

SCOTT’S DAD: (shouting, half-drowned out by the metallic grinding) Hey, buddy– everything okay down there?

The grinding ceases, and the basement grows marginally dimmer as the sparks cease to fly. Down from in the basement, Scott’s voice rings out.

SCOTT: Yeah, I’m fine! I’m just doing some more welding!

Scott can be seen to approach, stopping at the foot of the stairs and looking up at his father, waving to him. Propped on his head is a welding mask, slid up to reveal his face. In his hand is a buzzsaw, a wire running from its back end.

SCOTT: Actually, Bubby, can you help me out with something?

SCOTT’S DAD: Yeah, sure.

Switch focus to the basement’s interior, illuminated by a single lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. Just before the POV is the surface of a metal table, with black-tinted sheets of metal strewn over it, with some having been cut into different shapes, both angular and curved. Notable among these is a curved sheet of metal that seems to have been molded into the shape of a shin-guard.

Past the table, one can see Scott returning to it as his father steps off the stairs.

Bending over some, Scott retrieves one of the black gauntlets from some compartment in the table, along with its brick of a battery. On the ground next to the table, the black biker’s helmet can be seen (these are the same gauntlets and helmet as seen in the bridge scene).

A strangely crestfallen look comes over the face of Scott’s father.

Not noticing this, Scott gestures to the gauntlet’s battery as he speaks.

SCOTT: Now, I know it’s a high order, but my issue is that I need to find a battery that holds more energy while also being rechargeable, all while not getting any heavier. The issue is with this one–

Scott hefts the battery, only being able to do so slowly with one hand, as it is apparently heavy.

SCOTT: –is it weighs enough to hurt my shoulders already, and only ever holds enough power for around three small bursts. I’d also at least prefer it to be rechargeable because of how expensive replacements are. Do you have any ideas?

SCOTT’S FATHER: Scott, I– listen, is this about the break-in? Is that why you’ve gotten back to working on your suit? Y’know, I and your mother have already taken steps–

SCOTT: It’s nothing to do with that. It’s just a– pet project–

The scene flashes from Scott’s face to the past scene of his house party: everything moves in slow-motion as in the background, Jordan is yelling, splayed out on the couch with an arrow’s shaft piercing his upper chest. 

In the foreground, Scott is standing in a ready position, wearing the black biker helmet and gauntlets. His arms are outstretched, palms open, towards Zain– who is charging him. Fully clad in crystalline plates, an angular helmet obscuring his face, Zain has what seems to be a crystal chain gripped in a raised fist as he barrels towards Scott. In a moment, Scott’s palms light up, drowning Zain’s form in white light. The camera zooms closer to Zain’s helmet, his face unprotected underneath it as refracted light makes its way through. The light is beginning to burn away at his skin before the scene cuts back to Scott and his father in the basement.

SCOTT: –one I’m really proud of.

Scott’s father puts his hand on Scott’s shoulder as he faces towards the table.

SCOTT’S FATHER: Well, if you ever want to talk about what happened– I’m always here.

Scott nods, his eyes fixed on the gauntlet.

SCOTT: Thanks, Bubby.

Scott’s father nods his head as he retracts his hand, clenching it into a fist as it meets his side, and begins back upstairs.

The camera pans back to the table as Scott places a small, fully straight metal tube on it, holding it in place with a clamp. The tube’s exterior and interior seem roughly made, uneven in its angles and seeming to have been “whittled” as a piece of wood might be. Next to this, he lines up four more metal tubes, smaller and all with similar imperfections, in descending order of size. 

Leaning towards the first, fastened tube, Scott brings his welding mask down over his face and raises a blowtorch towards it. Deliberating a moment on the best angle to start with, Scott lights the torch; the scene changing as soon as he does.

A roaring crowd yells in the background, their sentiments unreadable and their forms indistinguishable from the absolute black that consumes them. A boxing-ring stands at the center of this crowd’s focus, being bathed in the only light visible; a pale facsimile of a moonbeam, beating down on the arena from some ambiguous source.

In one corner of the ring, sat on a bench, is Jordan, in generic boxing attire. Looking ahead of him, toward the ring’s opposite corner, his eyes follow a massive shadow’s length up to its owner, his opponent.

A monster of a man stands in this corner, each of his muscles so strained and engorged that the event of their springing from his body would be no surprise. His fists are already clenched, and he is facing towards the ring’s center. His face is obscured by a black cloth draped over his head, and from under it a fizzling, black-brown liquid issues in constant rivers, coating his chest and back.

Jordan looks to the right of the man; far ahead. In the distance stands a grand mansion, lit by some unseen source, an expensive-looking sports car parked in its driveway. Jordan’s eyes shoot up an inch as two silhouettes come into view, behind one of the mansion’s large windows. The larger silhouette is of a woman, waving her hand in playful greeting. Next to her, smaller in stature and with the woman’s hand on its back, seems to be a child.

Jordan looks to his left; back. His grimace communicates that he is unsatisfied with what he sees. 

Jordan looks back towards the goliath in his corner. An unsure willingness takes his face, and he stands.

In the moment following, however, his back droops, and he falls to a knee as his gloved fists seem to weigh him to the ground.

In the background, it becomes obvious that the crowd’s yelling is not a communication of excitement, or support, but rather of scorn and frustration.

Jordan’s form is completely coated in shadow as the rag-headed giant takes a long-hanging step towards him; in an instant, Jordan’s eyes open. Bags can be seen under them as his face is illuminated, light streaming in through his room window’s shutters. Noticing he’d fallen half off the bed, his legs touching the floor, Jordan gets up, obviously groggy.

Change scene back to Scott as he makes his way out of the basement, his phone beginning to buzz in his pocket as he closes the door to the stairs. Drawing the phone from his pocket, Scott brings it to his ear, hitting the green phone icon as he falls, back-first, onto the couch in his living room.

Jordan’s voice comes through for Scott to hear, the sound of a running car in the background.

JORDAN: Guess who’s coming back to Oakville!

SCOTT: How long?

JORDAN: I’m gonna be there in, like, an hour.

SCOTT: Neat, and in record time, too, buddy! It only took you just more than 48 hours!

JORDAN: Yeah, sorry, a bunch’a dumb– poopie— kept geeting in the way. Is the hat still in top condition? Has it been well preserved? Dusted daily?

SCOTT: Oh, your Lego-Shearer cosplay is intact and accounted for.

Scott looks to his left to see a dark-green, flat-topped boonie cap. Its edges, obviously once round, have been clipped to make the cap’s entire outer ring a square.

JORDAN: Hey, hey, let’s not forget here; I also wore the shirt.

SCOTT: Dude, while you’re here you’ve got to check out the work I’ve gotten done on the Mark One.

JORDAN: Ah, yes, the true ultimate cosplay of the GoB sendoff special. Hey, speaking of that, we could use this opportunity to, uh~

Jordan’s “uh” drones continually as he types a text to Scott.

When Scott receives it, it reads: “Fucking TP his house and punch him in the nose for nearly getting me killed”.

SCOTT: Oh, my god.

Scott says this with a smile.

Jordan and Scott share a slight chuckle over the phone.

The camera pans to the window of the living room. It is a beautiful day outside, with barely any white clouds obscuring the sun and blue sky brightening the scene. The grass and plants are a vibrant green, and a squirrel can be seen peeking in through the window before scampering off.

Change scene to Zain, still in his room: most of it is illuminated by an open window, and Zain is sitting on the edge of his bed.

In one hand, he rotates the arrow, holding it by the shaft with its point facing upwards. In his other hand, holding his attention, is an aged-looking sheet of parchment, its surface a mottled yellow and its creased edges a golden-brown. Zain’s attention stays fixed on the page, not breaking even as a chirping bluejay flys by, and two squirrels all but poke their head in through his open window. The page’s contents pan slowly across the screen, overlaid with graphics depicting the events and sentiments detailed in them.

These contents read as follows:

To all that may, despite mine and god’s own will, find themselves reading this letter: stay away from the enclosed arrow. It has a mind of its own, and should its edges even prick you, you will be met with a fate most horrendous.

Allow me to explain myself. My name is William Chisholm, head of the family who has founded what is to become Oakville. In 1827, I purchased nine-hundred and sixty acres of  land from the crown, which had originally been meant for the people of the Mississaugas. Following from there, I planned out the town and harbour of Oakville.

Then, in 1842, I declared bankruptcy. My military background afforded me no clemency from the throes of capitalism, it would seem. What I did next, I feel no guilt for, for I did so out of fear for my family’s future.

I began my forays into close-quarters reconciliation with the Mississaguas under the false pretense that I wished to ‘make it up to them’ for ‘stealing away’ their land. In truth, archaeology had been prospering at the time, with myself having learned that Canada’s first federal museum was set to open soon. It was common knowledge that these aboriginal people were more in touch with their distant past and ancestors in some way, so I designed to nick some of their heritage properties for myself to sell. It is only by cruel, or perhaps just, chance that the arrow caught my eye.

The Mississaguas had some long-winded name for it that I cannot remember for the life of me. What they did tell me in english, however, was that it had come from the stars originally, forged into this violent form by a man who wished to ‘usurp the earth and sky’.

Whatever that was supposed to mean aside, I stole the arrow. It was no easy affair, mind you, and my efforts were seldom helped by the heavy key and lock they kept the thing under, nor by my slowly failing health.

In a cruel twist, the arrow turned out to be worth none of what I’d hoped it would be. The archaeological society claimed that without proper evidence of relation to the tribe they could not pay me for the thing, and jewellers claimed it’s obviously golden tip to be neither that nor bronze, or any other metal they’d seen before.

Another thing the tribe had claimed was that the arrow had the power ‘to bring men’s souls into the world, shackling them to their owner’s wills’. This is why I warn you: let it stay buried, and allow this note to remain by its side. I plead that you do not try to destroy it for the same reason I do: for the fear that splitting it apart will only allow it to reach more people at once.

Most important of all, remember: power is often a corrupting element; it brings one to do awful things, and feel awful things. It reveals truths that, ultimately, one can never be prepared for.

Allow me to substantiate this fact:

I will die the same year I write this, at the age of fifty-four. My son, Robert Kerr, will die in 1899, at the age of seventy-nine. His beautiful wife, Flora, will die later, in 1918, at the age of eighty-three.

Power, whether it be in yours or someone else’s hands, will always make you afraid.

I’ve seen the arrow move like a serpent.


Colonel William Chisholm, 

York Militia, 17th Unit”

Zain rolls the paper up, placing it in a plastic bag. He makes his way to his computer, mumbling to himself as he boots it up:

ZAIN: 1899, seventy-nine. 1899, 1899…

Change scene to the driveway of Scott’s house, where Jordan’s car has just pulled up. Jordan hops out of the driver’s seat, stretching as he makes his way up to the house’s front door. After ringing the doorbell, Jordan looks up to see a wall-mounted camera pointing at him.

In his distraction, Jordan doesn’t notice Scott approaching the door from inside, as one might see through the door’s window. 

Scott opens the door, welcoming Jordan in. A moment later, Scott hands him the misshapen boonie. Jordan dons it immediately.

SCOTT: Alright, now come to the basement, I gotta show you the thing. Better yet, stay up here, I wanna make it a surprise.

JORDAN: I already know it’s a thing for the Mark One, but okay.

Scott descends into the basement, smiling with childish excitement.

Jordan waits in Scott’s living-room for a few minutes. During this time, he takes out his phone, on which a brief checklist can be seen. It reads as follows:

Drive to Warren’s alone

-See Scott’s thing

-Pay Zain back

Again, Jordan fails to notice Scott approaching as he stares at the list’s last objective.

SCOTT: Check it out.

Jordan turns his attention to Scott to see that he’s donned the light-gauntlet, but also sees that its black plates have been extended to encompass and armor all of Scott’s right arm, ending after his shoulder. These plates are of the same glossy black plating, but also seem to have a deep purple sheen to them. 

JORDAN: Holy fuck.

SCOTT: Oh, yeah.

JORDAN: You’re– you’re really doing it, aren’t you? You’re building the whole thing.

SCOTT: There’s still a ways to go– I’ve gotta build the rest of it and line it all with D-30.

JORDAN: That’ll be expensive as hell, lmao(sic).

SCOTT: Yeah, it might come down to, like multiple thousands.

There is a brief pause.

SCOTT: I actually sorta want to show this to Zain, too, crazily enough.

In response to this, Jordan adopts a practiced-sounding ironic tone.

JORDAN: S-Scott, you’re a madman.

SCOTT: Being real, here, I honestly think that the whole assault thing was one-time only.

JORDAN: Yeah– I think one time would be enough, Scott.

SCOTT:  Come on, you’ll only be in town so long.

Jordan drops the ironic tone, and his expression hardens.

JORDAN: Y’know, yeah, I was actually planning on heading over to beat his ass, anyways.

SCOTT: Wh– what? Dude, that’ll just–

JORDAN: Still, bring your Mark One cannon, too– just in case he tries stabbing you through the heart this time.

Scott stands there, stunned, as Jordan makes to leave.

JORDAN: You can show it to him after he’s stopped screaming.

Cut to Jordan and Scott in Jordan’s car a few minutes later, halfway to Zain’s house. Jordan’s hard expression has not left his face. Scott has donned a puffy coat, hiding his extended gauntlet.

SCOTT: Wait, did you get your license?

JORDAN: Nope. I can drive well enough, though, don’t worry.

SCOTT: Dude, you’re being a real daredevil right now, aren’t you? I’m starting to think you meant what you said about beating Zain up.

JORDAN: Yeah, I did. Matter of fact, I’ll prove it– 

Jordan takes his phone out of his pocket, looking down at it for a moment to unlock it before handing it to Scott.

SCOTT: What–

JORDAN: Just read it. I wrote that before I left home earlier.

Scott’s face betrays his shock as he looks down at the screen, seeing Jordan’s list. 

SCOTT: You’re serious. Jesus Christ.

JORDAN: I, uh– I had a nightmare. Made me feel like I had to retake control.

Cut to the young boy, still in the orphanage in Greece. He is reading from a bible, curled up underneath bed-sheets, moonlight illuminating the pages. Evidently, he is halfway through the thick tome.

Return to Jordan and Scott, just arriving at Zain’s block.

As they near his house, they both notice a steadily increasing volume of animals present.

Two skunks can be seen striding the block’s borders, and squirrels line the trees in packs. Raccoons populate the street, quickly moving out of the vehicle’s path.

Seeing this, Jordan starts to slow down, stopping fully as he sees the coyotes.

A pack of five adult canines hang around each other just off the road, their heads perking up as the car nears. Immediately after it stops, they begin to bare their teeth, approaching slowly.

SCOTT: Keep going, keep going! 

Jordan steps back on the pedal, continuing at a medium pace until they are just in front of Zain’s house.

Two white-tailed deer, led by a large buck, can be seen flanking a long-haired man. He wears a brown jacket, and his darker-toned face betrays both his old age and his native origin. They all stand just before Zain’s driveway.

The man is looking away from the road, facing instead towards a huge mass of black fur on Zain’s lawn– one that is letting out rumbling growls, seemingly beating down on a mass of shining pink crystal. 

SCOTT: What the fuck– is that a bear?

Jordan breathes out hard through his nose, opening the driver-side door as the car comes to a full stop just behind the man.

Immediately, Jordan sees that the mass of pink rock the bear is wailing on is a person, clad in plates of this material. He hears Zain, yelling incomprehensibly, and sees that he’s not fully covered; his upper arms and neck are all but fully exposed.

Zain is headbutting the bear as it bites at his throat, to little avail.

JORDAN: Zain, what the fuck.

At this, the Jacketed man turns to Jordan.

JACKETED MAN: Ah, so that’s his name. You are his friend?


JACKETED MAN: Well, regardless–

The man pulls a six-shooter from within the jacket, holding it at Jordan’s head.

Scott immediately opens his own door, making to raise his arm-cannon at the man, but is pummelled back into the car as the buck charges him, its antlers digging into his face and shoulders.

Jordan’s eyes are fixed on the gun as it now touches his forehead, the man having made his way up to him. Jordan’s body is quaking, his breath unsteady. He’s raised his hands somewhat.

JACKETED MAN: I love seeing this. One’s face as they weather the realization that humans are not above nature’s rule. See, my people, the Mississaguas, believe there to be a hierarchy to this world, with humans being just about at the bottom.

The man brings his left hand up to the gun’s barrel, spinning it as he keeps it pressed on Jordan’s head.

JACKETED MAN: We are no better than animals. Especially when we are angry, or scared. This is what gives me power over you.

The man takes Jordan’s quaking hand in one palm, placing the gun’s handle in it. He maneuvers one of Jordan’s fingers onto the trigger, and then positions it to be held right under Jordan’s chin.

The entire time, Jordan’s body is stock-still, though his face still exhibits terror.

JACKETED MAN: Do not look at the barrel.

Jordan immediately turns his gaze to the sky.

JACKETED MAN: There are only five bullets loaded in it, right now. You may live.

Meanwhile, Zain is still under the bear. His hands on the creature’s chest as it attempts to bite through his helmet. Crystalline rods have begun to grow from his elbows, piercing the ground and just barely keeping the overwhelming mass of the bear’s torso off of him.

The man looks away from Jordan, towards the bear. 

JACKETED MAN: Now, pull the trigger. Slowly.

As Jordan begins to scream, and his finger begins to flex on the gun’s trigger, his wildly darting eyes spot the translucent form of a creature on the man’s shoulder. It is looking at him, smiling.

Scott, hearing and seeing Jordan’s plight as he’s pinned down by the buck’s head-pikes, is spurred into action.

He shakes his gauntlet-endowed arm, fully uncovering the weapon as the coat sleeve concealing it falls to below his wrist.

He rests the base of his armed palm on the creature’s nose, opening it towards the rest of its head, and after placing his other arm over his eyes he shifts his thumb to press on the side of his index finger. A blinding light, shown first illuminating the deer’s head, obscures the POV’s vision.

With the scene taking place in slow motion, the white spots begin to clear. The deer can be seen rearing back, stumbling off to the side.

The white disk in the gauntlet’s palm can be seen to steadily lose its sheen.

The jacketed man can be seen reeling, his mouth wide; his voice is lowered and his scream lengthened by the scene’s slow-motion.

An orange-maroon substance can be seen coating the back of his jacket and head, burning away at both the leather, his hair, and the skin behind both. The creature on his shoulder can be seen getting hit by the substance, too, reeling in much the same way as it leaps to the ground.

The liquid continues to meet the man’s back in concentrated streams, fired from two arms extending from behind Jordan’s back. Like before, they are formed of metal rings and yellow crust.

In Jordan’s no-longer quaking hand, the six shooter can be seen held tightly; it is no longer pointing at anything but the ground, and its barrel has apparently been melted off entirely.

Resuming real-time, the man falls to his knees, all the deer having cantered a distance away. All– save for the buck, which is making pathetic sounds as it lays its side on the car, attempting to regain its footing.

Horror is obvious on Scott’s face as he sees slight smoke rising from the man’s back and head.

Jordan walks closer to the man, and sees that the acidic substance sloughed off only after it had taken most of the man’s hair and head-flesh. The back of the man’s neck seems horribly disfigured, and Jordan can hear laboured breathing coming from behind the man’s remaining locks. Skull is visible in hairless patches on the back of the man’s head.

JORDAN: Stay down, shithead.

The man can be seen by the POV, which changes view to just underneath him, to grit his teeth as tears well up in his eyes.

JORDAN: Do you wanna have a bad time?

The man looks to his side, towards Zain. He sees that one of Zain’s arms has moved up, seemingly past or into the black mass’ chest, his other arm gripping the back of the bear’s head. Blood can be seen making its way down the crystalline arm.

JORDAN: ‘Cause if you try getting up… you’re really not gonna like what happens next.

 A sick smile can be seen to cross the man’s mouth.

A drawn-out feral cry can be heard getting louder, a heavy stomping intensifying at the same rate.

A second later, Zain can be seen to running-punch Jordan in the head with a plated fist, sending him flying into the car and Scott’s arms. 

After this, Zain stops, standing stock still, silent save for an animalistic huffing.

The man shifts to his back, still on the ground. He points towards the car, and barks at the top of his lungs:

JACKETED MAN: Aapijinazh!

Quickly, piling in from the trees and streets, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks and all five of the coyotes begin to bum-rush the car.

Zain continues to stand stock-still, facing towards the car.. Panicking as a squirrel runs up his leg, Scott begins to yell profanities.

The jacketed man turns his attention to Zain, noticing that the blood-drenched blade taking the place of his other hand had begun lengthening into a spear.

JACKETED MAN: You, too! Butcher them!

Zain rears his head back; his eyes, bloodshot, can be seen focused intently on the man on the ground. His voice is hoarse and quiet when he speaks:

ZAIN: Not scared any-more, am I?

As Zain turns fully towards the man, slamming the passenger’s seat door shut with his normal hand, he quickly gets back to his feet. Panicked realization is obvious on his face. Aberrations begin to form on Zain’s armor, taking the form of spikes and spines of varying size.

Change scene back to Jordan and Scott, back in the car. With one door closed, the animals are forced to squeeze in through the driver’s side opening. Squirrels, chipmunks and a skunk can be seen to climb over the coyotes, each struggling to force themselves into the car as Scott and Jordan kick at them.

Scott and Jordan, too, are struggling to get in position to fire on the rabid horde.

JORDAN: Move, I’m gonna try something! I don’t wanna hit you!

Scott fails to respond with anything but yells as a chipmunk leaps onto his face, scratching and biting at his eyes. As soon as he grabs it, tearing it off, his newly-restored sight is again taken away by a perfectly-placed spray of a skunk, whose anus had immediately filled his vision.

Blind and panicked, Scott fails to warn Jordan to shield his eyes before raising the palm of his gauntlet in the horde’s general direction. Recognizing what this means, Jordan covers his eyes.

The blinding flash again obscures even the POV’s view, with the animals being seen to fall back and Jordan gripping his eyes and screaming as things come back into focus.

Focus shifts back to Zain as the jacketed man breaks into a full run away from him, moving at an impressive pace.

Zain gives chase, but is quickly losing him. Furthering his griefs, the two deer that had before backed off are now charging him from the front.

In response, two spectral, crystalline arms rise from Zain’s back, shunting both deer aside as he continues forward.

The spectral arms grow into a full, massive being as a torso and deer-skull head form, exposing one of Zain’s arms as it reaches down and breaks the now fully-formed spear off of it.

Getting into a throwing stance, and continuing to hover over Zain as he runs, the thing puts its full body into a throw that disturbs the very air. The spear flies at the man, driving into his shoulder.

Zain is toppled over by the two deer as they catch up to him, stamping on him as he’s face-down on the sidewalk.

The jacketed man, too, has been toppled, but quickly gets back up. He continues to hobble away as he grips his shoulder, from which the wide-bladed spear has slid out.

The sounds of a car’s wheels screeching can be heard a moment before the man is rammed.

Jordan is at the wheel, batting at a squirrel attempting to enter his sleeve.

The car both crushes the man’s right leg and wrecks an electrical box, with the man falling right into it before the car pulls away, continuing into the street.

His entire body convulses as shocks run through it, sparks flying from inside the box and streaks of electricity firing into the air.

Scott is in the back of the car, splayed out and holding his face in both arms, moaning loudly.

Jordan hops out of the car, determination on his face. He is walking primarily towards Zain, seeing that both deer have left, with Zain getting up. However, he is stopped by the sight of the fried native.

Nearing the wrecked electrical box, Jordan looks in rapt fascination as he sees many wires fused to the man’s exposed and burnt flesh. Jordan speaks with a pronounced grimace.

JORDAN: (under his breath) Get fucking dunked o–

Jordan’s quip is cut short by his own hand, as it whips up to his mouth, clasping over it hard.

He looks back down at the native man, whose eyes meet his. The ghostly creature from before is present again, similarly fried as one of its eyes seem to have “popped”, and most its limbs twisted in a manner most cruel.

Before the native’s eyes lose their focus, and the spirit disappears, the man whispers in a strained, burnt croak:

JACKETED CHARCOAL: You– are still– afraid.