Monday, January 22, 2018

Episode 53 : There Is No Asylum

Skeleton General Skull Kaiser
(The Dark)

Skull Kaiser, formerly one of Samhain's greatest generals, stages a rebellion against impossible odds. The fate of countless worlds rests upon his ability to protect the Loss Queen and beat back her assailants. Along the way he is forced to fight old friends and make new allies...

Episode 53 : There Is No Asylum

The episode opens with Shields busy trying to shoulder the door to his padded cell open. He stops for a moment, backs away and tries to loosen the grip of the straitjacket by shaking his body, pulling one arm as hard and fast as he can then the other, back and forth, over and over again. There is a brief ripping sound and he stops with a crafty grin on his face—he looks pretty crazed at the moment—but the arms have loosened slightly and he seems pleased with this. But the sounds of screaming come from the halls again, and he becomes concerned. He hears a woman cry out and he whispers Jennifer's name to himself. He again sets about butting the door open with his shoulder and after several tries, what looks like a black cloud gathers around him and the door bursts outward with one final blow.

As he stumbles through the doorway, he notes that the lights are low, that they're on the emergency generators. He as much as ignores the fact that the sleeves of his strait jacket have come completely free. The halls are empty, though there should be nurses and orderlies all over the place. He walks cautiously down the hall, paranoid of every noise he hears. There are screams and moans coming from all sides, but nowhere particularly near. He decides to head back to the offices, and as he goes, he begins to see blood smeared on the floor and walls. He sees things wrapped up in formerly white sheets, now soaked with blood. Focusing his eyes in the dark, Shields sees one of these things still moving, but it's too small to be a whole person. It's wrapped in more bloody sheets and attempting to drag itself with gnarled and twisted arms, reaching out from under the sheet to get past a swinging door along the hall. Focusing even more, Shields can see one hand raise up a dirty syringe and jam it into its other arm, fumbling to force whatever fluid is there into the remains of its body. There is a strange repetitive noise coming from beyond the swinging door and many moans can be heard on the other side. Shields allows the little thing to scurry far enough a way and then, taking a gulp, pushes the swinging door in.

The room is a mess, a desk is overturned, there is debris all over the floor. Also, a giant is sitting on an indistinct pile of something (something characterized by occasional movement and horrible inhuman moans) with his back to the door and he's working at something. He's bent over pulling at two opposite ends and that's the source of the repetitive, wrenching sound, with each pull there is a louder and louder grunt. From the right side, we can see that the giant is tugging on a pair of legs, somewhat indistinct in the darkness. There is a snap and the giant separates the two halves. He pushes the left-side half away and picks up the right-side half and carefully walks them to the wall where there are many like pairs standing up. We can see that there are things sticking out all over the giant's body, like fat, sparsely distributed quills. The giant bends down, and while holding the legs with his left arm, he removes the shoes. This posture turns the giant around somewhat, and he becomes aware of a presence at the door. Shields stands horrified as the thing looks at him, turning its head with animal curiosity. Its head is completely wrapped in gauze and so faceless. Shields can see that by the dress, this person must have been a patient and judging by his fixation, it seems to be Mr. Sabotini, but with the face covered he can't be sure. Evidence pointed to it being Sabotini, but Sabotini was never that big an individual. This man was fairly bursting out of his clothes. It's clear that there's no human reason left in the giant and then the brute's head drops as he notices Shields's shoes. Shields looks down and understands all too well. Sabotini looks up and Shields, with fear plain on his face, turns to bolt down the hall. Sabotini leaps over the obstacles in the room and gives chase. Shields runs and tries to beat back his fear. He asks himself if he's dreaming. Can this really be happening? Can he believe anything he sees anymore? His hallucinations are becoming more constant than his reality.

As he's running, Shields notes that the main exit to the care wing is just ahead and as he begins to feel the least bit relieved, he trips in the dark.

When he opens his eyes, he's looking at a twisted face frozen in a permanent, silent scream. Shields lets out with a very audible scream of his own and scurries back against the wall as best he can since his arms are still in the long, loose sleeves of the strait jacket. He sees that the floor here is littered with stiff corpses, all twisted into strange shapes. Then he notices an exact duplicate of the giant he was running from piling up twisted bodies before the exit doors. It's arranging bodies, creating some kind of sculpture, twisting bits here, curling things there, sort of like a non-functional gate, or maybe it's just trying to plug up the exit the best way it can (but it really thinks it's being artistic). It turns its head and looks at Shields with the same animal curiosity the other did. Now it's clear that the "quills" are countless syringes sticking out all over his body. The other giant can be heard approaching and its pace seems to have slowed. Shields stands up, laughing hysterically, saying that he gives up, if he's gone crazy, or the world's gone crazy, or some combination of the two, it doesn't matter anymore. None of this can be real, so why not play along. He says this as he shrugs out of the husk of the strait jacket and the other giant comes into view.

Season 3 : END (CANCELLED)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Episode 52 : Breaking Point

Skeleton General Skull Kaiser
(The Dark)

Skull Kaiser, formerly one of Samhain's greatest generals, stages a rebellion against impossible odds. The fate of countless worlds rests upon his ability to protect the Loss Queen and beat back her assailants. Along the way he is forced to fight old friends and make new allies...

Episode 52 : Breaking Point

Richard Shields is tossing and turning in his bed, having a nightmare.

We cut to an image of the horrific Gordon we saw in the dream sequence from episode 50. He's standing some ways away from Shields and Jennifer. Shields looks down and sees that he's holding onto Jennifer's arm. Everything is black except for the figures. Gordon says he's giving Shields a head start to his destiny and smiles that evil, sharp smile. Shields rallies Jennifer, and the two start running away from the laughter that seems to fill the blackness completely. They're running and running and eventually, they tear through a black curtain into a lush jungle. Shields finds himself alone, the jungle teams with life and the deafening sounds produced it. Through the noise, a regular pattern emerges like a speeding heartbeat, fueled by anxiety. Shields continues through the jungle and he becomes more frantic and desperate until he stops abruptly at a clearing. Here the heartbeat sound is loudest, fastest, and most insistent. He looks all around then focuses in on something that blended in with the scenery too well before. There is what looks like a loaf of tofu mostly caked with dark brown, moist dirt. It's about the size of large football and it pulsates with the sound of the heartbeat. Over the noise, we can hear Shields whisper to himself, "Strauss," (it's the very thing Strauss described at the beginning of episode 51). Then Shields looks slowly and deliberately to his right where Strauss is standing, shaking his head sorrowfully. Strauss is handcuffed and surrounded by a bright, yellow corona and says, "This one is yours."

Shields sits bolt upright in bed clenching his hand to his mouth to stifle a scream. He's sweating and breathing heavily and notes that it's 5 am. We cut to the still-dark streets and Shields is walking away from 2 slumped figures in the shadows, shaking blood from his fists. He finds the Columbia Building in the skyline and for a moment thinks he sees something on a grand scale coming from the building, it looks almost like a sea anemone's tentacles waving in the ocean, but again, on a grand scale. The tentacles seem to be issuing out of the building and some even approach him, one comes very close and almost grazes his cheek, it is animate and acts playfully as if intelligent, but as he steps to avoid it and watch it it fades and disappears. He starts to walk off again and he curses Strauss in his head. He points out that his life, though boring, was pretty normal before Strauss entered into it. He's beginning to resent Strauss. He thinks Strauss knows more about what's going on than he's telling and he's being selfish about keeping the knowledge to himself. While lost in his reverie, a familiar man (the dapper one in the black suit from episode 51) steps from the shadows and says that Shields has an interesting hobby. He nods back over Shields's shoulder to the two prone figures. Shields just glowers and tries to continue forward. With his hands in his pockets, the man steps with his right foot, locking it around Shields's right foot, then leans forward, casually knocking Shields to his butt on the ground. Shields becomes enraged and demands to know what this man's problem is. He simply tells Shields that he's noisy and as Shields looks, a strange, swirling aura surrounds the man and Shields mutters that he feels sick, and as he's passing out, the man says, "Of course you do. But you're almost ready."

We cut to Shields waking up to near darkness. Gordon's face appears overhead and his smile is not at all genuine. Gordon asks Shields how he's feeling and before Shields can answer, Gordon continues saying that Shields did the right thing by checking himself in and by telling him about his fights, his dreams, and his hallucinations. We zoom out and realize as Shields does that he's slumped up against a padded wall, wrapped up in a straitjacket. Shields is beside himself with shocked confusion, but gathers his composure. Gordon goes on about stress and the awkward situation Jennifer has put them all in. Shields doesn't believe any of what Gordon says and he tells him that while he doesn't know what to believe anymore since his senses seem to betray him at random, Gordon is still the last person he'd open up to. Gordon, sighs and says that Shields's case is far more advanced than he would have guessed. This morning Shields must have had a brief moment of lucidity, but now he's in denial and still delusional. Shields reiterates that even if he is going crazy or if he's already there, that Gordon is the last person he wants help from. Gordon becomes somewhat grave and tells Shields to be careful talking that way to the person who holds his future in his hands. Shields laughs out loud and asks if that's supposed to be new, like his smart new jacket. There is the sound of muffled screaming from somewhere else inside the building and Gordon's attention is immediately drawn away. Shields ignores it and continues saying that Gordon always seemed to like keeping him in his pocket, that in the earlier years, they had a good reciprocal relationship, but Gordon grew accustomed to keeping Shields under his thumb. Gordon looks off rather nostalgically and still preoccupied with the sounds of screaming, saying, "Yes, it was always so... easy. But that old potential future of yours pales compared to this new one." Now Shields becomes somewhat grave and wants to know what the hell Gordon's talking about, demanding for him to drop all pretense. But Gordon is completely preoccupied now, constantly looking towards the door until he finally says he has some things to attend to, leaving Shields alone in the padded cell. Shields gets up and stands in the middle of the room for a moment, breathing heavier and heavier until he shouts out Gordon's name three times, each louder and more vehement than the time before and then the episode closes.

To Be Continued...