by David Martin
A comic book script with essential dialogue that centers on the hero, the Neurotic Bunny.
On a quiet night, in the suburbia of the Greater Toronto Area, specifically in Mississauga, within the province of Ontario in the greater country of Canada, on December 3rd, 2011 at 11:30 p.m., the bar sign of a local pub dubbed ‘Terra Firma’ glows bright red against the conformist space of housing as if in protest against the banality of the suburbs and as a warm reminder of the refreshments and the ‘homely’ atmosphere the establishment provides. Inside of this bar, the din of a large and local crowd heightens and drops in succession of excitement; yet, it seems not to phase the large figure that sits alone at a bar, slightly hunched over, attempting at enjoying another relaxing night at his favourite local pub. To his friends, his civilian name is Marc Baptista; to a carefully select few, and the rest of his fellow citizens, his vigilante exploits are attributed to his more infamous name, the Neurotic Bunny.
On this night, Marc sits at the bar and stares at his drink, while inhaling on a cigarette and letting the smoke surround him in his seat. His 6 foot, seven inch size dwarfs every entity in the room; his face, sporting a lantern jaw that adorns a goatee, fends off any recognition that his dark Italian features do not already muster. He loses himself in thought, surrounded by his favourite vices: “Here I am, Alone. At MY bar. Well I guess I’m not alone, but then again I don’t consider these people my friends. I mean look at these shmucks, would I ever associate myself with these scum, again?” Marc looks over at a table, where a trio of rugged Italian men all sit and speak closely about something, while looking over specifically at another man, who seems nervous and sits alone at a table nearby. Marc turns back and looks at his drink, thinking, “My past with kickin’ their butts for glory is over, I mean, paid top-dollar is nice and all, but there’s somethin’ satisfyin’ in watching them hurt for the right reason. A dish best served cold, kinda thing…” Tera, the owner of the bar walks by, wiping a glass clean and smiling at Marc, to which he continues thinking, “…I guess keepin’ the streets safe for these fine citizens is worth it too…” Marc looks down and with his right hand grabs his eye mask out of his pocket, careful that no one takes notice, “…Lately I’ve had a lot of long nights, and I’ve never been more tired. Back in the day when I was wrestling, twenty minutes in the ring alone was enough. And they used to call me the Bunny, even for my size ‘cuz I was quick in the ring. REAL quick. I bet the mobbies found it pretty funny, but they weren’t laughin’ for long…”
Suddenly, the room develops a heightened din of yelling, and shuffling of chairs is heard. Marc looks over at the trio of men again, who engage the solitary man by surrounding him. The mean-looking goon, who seems to lead the trio says, “What do you mean you don’ have the money?” To which the single man replies, “I’m sorry, I can get it to you in a couple of days,” which elicits the response of “oh you ain’t sorry yet.” The lead goon reaches into his pocket, and Marc thinks to himself, “I smell steel,” while a knife appears and the single man is stabbed, who was attempting words in mid-sentence, when the lead goon pulls him close by the neck, and inserts the knife under the jaw, through to the top of the skull. The body twists as it falls, so that the deceased goon lies face down on the floor. At the back of the bar, Tera screams out, “What the fuck?!” while customers begin to panic and run out of the bar, leaving Marc and Tera alone. One of the goons remark, “They’re witnesses. Stick ‘em.” Marc stands up, and the same goon says, “You want first, huh?” to which Marc takes one step forward, positions his hand under the goons jaw and choke slams him through the table; meanwhile, Tera runs to the phone on the wall and calls the police. In the background, Marc hears Tera exclaim, “…. Someone’s been murdered at my bar. Send the police now!” while Marc engages in fisticuffs with the other two goons.
After a few minutes, Marc, in his wrestling-fighting stance, thinks to himself: “Damn, Carbon and Oil…” and suddenly, the police arrive with guns drawn, noticing the damage and the body, so they slowly approach Marc whose back is facing them. Marc says to himself, “Carbon, carbon, carbon, I count five-” and raises his hands in the air. While an officer cuffs him, Marc thinks to himself: “looks like I’m goin’ for a ride-along with Officer Dumbass…” while being escorted to the police vehicle. Another figure strides into the bar, a concentrated expression on his face, with a nametag that says ‘M. Bocek’; he surveys the immediate surroundings and places down his forensic briefcase. The recently beat up goons are arrested by an officer who says, “See if they’re okay, and after that, cuff ‘em Jimmy.” Martin, after placing his briefcase down spots the eye mask, and quickly confiscates it before anyone else takes notice.
Several hours later at the police station, in Interrogation Room 3, a new and naïve officer interrogates Marc, who is nervously shaking his leg while sitting at the opposing end of the interrogation table, with an ashtray full of cigarette butts, and has an expression of impatience on his face. The shaking of his leg causes anxiety within the officer, who nervously begins the interrogation with a comment:
Officer: You know, it is illegal to smoke indoors these days.
Marc: Do you know it is illegal to hold civilians who have done nothing wrong?
Officer: We came in and saw you standing over four bodies, and one of them was deceased! We caught you red handed!
Marc: What? My hands aren’t Red! You have NO physical evidence!
Officer: Your prints are all over the knife.
Marc: I wear gloves….
Officer: I have witnesses that put you at the scene.
Marc: Well that IS where you picked me up.
Officer: You fit our description of the murderer!
Marc: Yes…. Your description! You are looking AT me.
Officer: sigh … you know it is illegal to smoke indoors…
Marc: (mumbles) I’m goin’ right back to the start.
Suddenly, the door opens and Martin walks into the room, and waves to the officer to approach him. Marc visibly calms down, since Martin is a loyal childhood friend. Marc puts out his cigarette butt and lights up another cigarette, while Martin takes the interrogator’s seat. For a few moments, they stare at each other and not a single word is said. Martin breaks the silence with a comment:
Martin: I recognize you from somewhere. You used to be on TV.
Marc: You should. Who else makes the Easter bunny look bad?
The two stare at each other for a few heartbeats, and both begin to smile at the friendly remark and inside joke as a risqué response of friendship under such circumstances.
Martin: So I was reviewing the evidence, and the lovely bartender explained how you were defending her and yourself.
Marc: I was trying to tell that skipper of yours I had nothin’ to do with the murder.
Martin: Well, the evidence is circumstantial. You did a good deed by her account.
Marc: All I wanted was to enjoy my drink and relax with a smoke.
Martin: Don’t fret; we do not have enough evidence to hold you. Unfortunately, we are going to fine you for smoking indoors.
Marc: This is becoming an expensive habit.
Martin: You should quit.
Martin stands up and reaches over to shake Marc’s hand with the concealed mask in his palm, to which Marc accepts and grins widely. Martin ends the encounter by saying with a smug smile, “Stay out of trouble.” Marc leaves the room, and walks down the hallway towards the exit and thinks to himself: ‘Man, what a lucky break. My dearest friend Martin, always loyal, and always-on time. I guess the perks of being a vigilante only work with a cop friend.” He passes by one of the goons making a phone call, and overhears the goon’s conversation: “The bar needs to be cleaned up. New contract, make the bitch disappear. No lead, but I want fireworks on the news.” Upon hearing this, Marc’s face turns grim and he quickly exits the building.
Approximately an hour later, Marc enters his unkempt apartment and shuts the door behind him. Marc walks across a cluttered floor, and continues down a hallway towards a room. The suit feels that Marc’s presence is nearing as Marc’s hand reaches for the doorknob. Marc looks out into the darkness, and all he can see is black; as such, he begins thinking to himself: I don’t know who I am anymore… Sometimes when I’m out there at night I laugh to myself. The Neurotic Bunny, in action. A hyper hero bent on revenge… Not much of a hero then, am I? Now there’s this girl. I don’t know her name. I’ve seen her everyday for the past few months. I don’t know why I need to protect her.” From the suits point of view, the closet door opens to reveal Marc looking at the suit, and Marc thinks to himself: “I guess this is who I am now.” Suddenly, everything goes dark and a slamming noise is heard.
The scene switches to Martin, at the police station, who has closed a locker door, and thinks to himself: “Gloves, check. Print dust and brush, check. Test tubes and solutions check. Evidence bags…” Martin walks away from the locker, and continues walking down a hallway, as he thinks to himself: “It is imperative I go back for any follow-up evidence. Looking at the facts, this is clearly a mob hit. Same signature, different location. Mafia in the suburbs?” Martin opens a door that leads to a flight of stairs, and as he heads down he thinks: “After all these years I never thought he would be involved. Essentially, I, Martin Bocek, am the friend of a criminal. What a farce…”
Meanwhile, back at the apartment, Marc begins suiting up for the night, and his pants and socks are already on. He slides on his blazer, his boots, his gloves, his eye mask, and throws his bunny-eared fedora in the air, only for it to land exactly on his head, as he likes it. He thinks to himself: “…. Basically, I’m a criminal. But this is my life.” Marc heads over to his apartment balcony, which is uncomfortably small. He lifts his right leg up onto the balcony rail and says, “Time to save the princess….”
Back at the police station, Martin has entered the underground parking lot and begins walking towards his SUV, while thinking to himself: “What could be more horrifying, his lifestyle, his philosophy, his morals, and his poor choice for a hero’s garb, which all break the law? However, I have known him for all of my life. It feels like he has been my only family anyway. The ancient Greeks taught that we have a duty to our friends.” Martin begins approaching his SUV, which is three feet away, and thinks: “Marc has always been there for me, even when our friendship took a hiatus. Now I can’t tell where that duty ends and where my life begins.” Martin enters his SUV, and turns the headlights on; at that same second, Marc is crouching on the balcony rail, with his left hand holding the low ceiling for support; Martin begins driving out of the police station, and he thinks to himself: “At least I know who I am, and where I need to go….”; The Neurotic Bunny hops off of the balcony and onto the rooftops of other buildings.
Approximately five minutes later, two black vans and a luxury sedan are parked immediately outside of Terra Firma in the parking lot. The Italian gangsters exit the vehicles and storm the pub, taking down the yellow caution tape that demarcates this zone as an ongoing crime scene, and beginning collecting alcohol jugs and bottles to make Molotovs. One of the goons, while holding a bottle in his hand remarks, “Make sure to take the big bottles first, but save the good stuff.” Two goons gather the bottles while one of them prepares the rags.
Outside of Terra Firma, two goons sit and wait within the luxury sedan and engage in a conversation. One of them says, “Where do you thinking the bitch lives?” when suddenly, the Neurotic Bunny hops onto the hood of the car, crushing the engine asunder. The goons scream out in unison, one protesting ‘what the?-’ while the other says in shock, ‘Holy Fuck!’ The goon driver attempts at exiting the vehicle, and is met by Marc’s strong kick to the door that knocks the mobster back into the car, which results in both of the goons flying out of the other door. Upon hearing the commotion, the gangsters inside of the bar rush out to meet Marc, including other hidden gangsters from the vans. Marc looks over at the onrushing men and remarks, “A little excessive for a mob hit.” Marc rushes forward to meet the goons head on, and leads with a lumbering swing that turns into a clothesline attack, effectively swiping an attacking foe off of his feet. Marc ripostes to an advancing goon by hopping into a forward spear, taking down his adversary. After quickly regaining his balance, he turns around and attacks a goon with a backward roundhouse kick that launches his opponent to the sidewall of the bar. Marc turns his head too slow to see the next impending attack, which a tall goon initiates by landing a strong blow on the back of Marc’s head with the blunt edge of a crowbar. After being struck, Marc falls onto the ground face first, and the remaining goons surround him.
Around the same time, Martin is driving down Main Street in his SUV, and switches on the police siren so that he may bypass a red light at an empty intersection. The wail of the siren is heard back at Terra Firma, and the goons scramble to leave, with loud remarks saying, “Damnit, it’s the pigs!” while another says, “How do they know we’re here?!” and another exclaims, “Lets get the fuck out of here!” The majority of the goons leave while two tall goons remain with the incapacitated Marc, to which the tall goon with the crowbar yells out, “Where the fuck are you going?” as the scrambling mobsters jump into their vehicles and drive away.
Without the gangsters being aware, Martin surveys the bar from the road and notices the destroyed vehicle and a black van. He asks himself out loud, “Whose vehicles are they?” Upon looking closely, he also notices two tall goons and Marc, who is being hoisted by the shoulders and dragged towards the nondescript black van. Martin pulls away slowly and parks the SUV on a side street behind some bushes.
Martin leaves his car , and with adrenaline pumping through his veins he runs across the sidewalk and hides behind a mailbox that is close to a large oak tree. He thinks to himself: “I can’t arrest these guys, since Marc will be exposed. Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Martin covers his face with a large gray scarf, and rushes out of his hiding spot, swiftly running up to the goons to gain momentum and jumps hard into the air, body half-flailing and takes out the goon with the crowbar with a flying elbow to the top of the head. The other goon reacts by maintaining a defensive stance, with balled fists and retorts: “And who are You supposed to be?” Martin ripostes by dropping into a defensive crouch, and by tightening his leg muscles he lunges forward, extending his right knee and hip flexor towards the throat of this second opponent; in response, the goon raises both of his hands to block the attack, by placing his left hand first with the right hand behind it. The goon pushes Martin’s knee and body back with brute strength, forcing Martin to roll backwards.
Meanwhile some distance away, a trio of teenagers stands and smokes marijuana while thoroughly enjoying the ongoing fight. While they talk amongst each other, they view the fight so that Martin’s and the goon’s respective bodies appear as silhouettes. From this point of view, the teenagers witness the next stage of the fight, which shows the goon rushing forward to attack Martin; at the same time, Martin has already turned around to run toward the large oak tree. One of the teenagers exclaims, “Dude, this is awesome!” while another films the fight scene with his cell phone, to which the third youngster proclaims, “This is better than watching UFC!” after inhaling a large toke of marijuana from a joint.
From Martin’s point of view, the fight scene picks up in momentum as he runs up a large portion of the oak’s trunk and somersaults backwards, with the scarf flailing widely and still covering his face, to land behind the goon; Martin’ scarf flows behind him from the waist like a cape, except not at the neck. While the goon faces the tree, Martin straight kicks him, using his hip flexor to extend his leg to force the goon to smash face first into the trunk. The goon recoils and turns around, to which Martin rushes forward and clenches the opponent; when Martin’s hands grab the back of the goon’s neck, the scarf flows down his back and away as if Martin’s body has a tail. Martin launches a flurry of four alternating knee strikes, using his hip flexors for leverage, which produces more subsequent physical damage on the goon’s face. After his attacks, Martin uses the clench move to throw the goon to the side, who lays on the ground in a bloody mess. Without realizing the commotion caused by the fight, civilians from the immediate suburbs begin congregating at the fight scene, and Martin jumps back at the sheer number of persons watching him. At this point, Marc attempts to stand up by pushing himself off the ground to get up, to which Martin lends a helping hand by grabbing Marc around the armpits and straining to hoist him up. When Marc recovers and is standing, they face each other when Martin looks up to meet Marc’s gaze and says: “So, what’s up Doc?” to which Marc replies: “that’s not funny.” Marc and Martin turn around, effectively placing their backs together and survey the gathering crowd. Marc singles out Tera’s face, who wears a shocked expression; in response, Marc quickly grabs Martin by the waist with his right arm and says, “Time to get out of here.” He hops over the crowd, and while in mid-air, police sirens are heard in the distance. When Marc lands, Martin tells him to run behind the bar to his parked SUV, and he does so by hopping twice with Martin still held with Marc’s right arm. Both Marc and Martin drive away in the SUV, which is becoming smaller in the distance from the point of view of the parking lot while police cruisers arrive at Terra Firma.
After making their escape, Martin’s SUV cruises at a moderate speed on a country road late within the night. Marc, who sits in the front passenger seat removes his fedora and says, “You shouldn’t have gotten involved,” to which Martin replies, “You are probably right, but I didn’t want to leave a friend in need.” Marc takes off the eye mask and asks, “Are you disappointed in me?” Martin looks at Marc and solemnly answers, “You are welcome. I am more disappointed in myself. I work for the law and now I am the partner to a vigilante.” Marc takes off the blazer of his suit, laughs at the remark and says, “I guess I should thank you. A real hero saving a ‘hero’! Where are we headed?” At this point Martin’s face grows serious and says, “We need an alibi, so we are driving to the next town.” Marc sits back and pulls out a cigarette, while saying: “So where’d you learn to fight like that?” Martin smugly smiles and answers, “When you were gone, in our late teenage years. I really focused on my Muay Thai. It was the only thing that kept me grounded…” Behind the two, the backseat affords a beautiful view of the windshield that depicts a swift sunrise in the early hours of the morning, illuminating the road ahead, with Marc blowing smoke out of the window and saying: “Anyways, I’m getting hungry, we should stop to grab some food.” Martin responds quickly by saying, “It will buy us some time to think,” as the solitary SUV continues down the country road.
Somewhere at a truck stop diner, Marc and Martin sit a table with a waitress asking for their order, “What’ll it be this mornin’?’ to which Marc hastily answers, “Actually yes, I would like four pieces of French toast, bacon and sausages on the side and the largest cup of coffee you can get me.” Martin also orders, saying, “Coffee for me too, please.” After the waitress leaves, Marc faces Martin and explains: “I like coffee, and there is only one way to have it: ‘Coffee should be dark as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.’ I think its Turkish-” while Martin shakes his head in response, and says, “Isn’t Turkish coffee bitter? I just think you are a caffeine junkie-” and Marc replies sharply, “Shut up.” Somewhere in the corner of the room, a television depicts recent poll statistics for the current political candidates, and the following broadcast is overheard: [Polls have Mayor Candidate Michael Bion up at 75%, with the competition lagging behind. In other news….] Martin’s perks his head in the direction of the television and pays close attention to the broadcast: […. The Bunny vigilante has been spotted again, and this time outside of the renowned pub Terra Firma. There was mild property and vehicle damage that was the result of a large melee last night. Local amateur video caught the action which depicted the Bunny receiving assistance from what the locals are calling, the ‘Squirrel Man’. ] The television displays a fuzzy image of Martin running up the oak tree with the scarf flailing, as if it were a tail. The broadcast continues: [Five men were arrested for a breaking and enter, and police determined that the wounds sustained by these suspects were caused by trained martial skills. Upon further investigation, the suspects were deemed to be working for the Marino family. More on this topic at noon. For this parking lot melee, the current identities of the suspects as the Bunny and the Squirrel are unknown, however anyone with information on these two individuals may contact your local police department. ] Martin looks at Marc with a shocked expression on his face. Marc leans over the table to whisper to Martin: “I wouldn’t worry. They didn’t get your face.” Martin is not completely convinced, and he responds by saying, “That’s not all that is bothering me. If the Marino’s are involved, I need to prepare for a political turf war.” Martin hastily reaches into his pocket and throws money on the table. He says to Marc, “I need to get back to the station. I’ll drive you home.”
On the same day later that afternoon, Martin pulls up in his SUV to a warehouse complex that is owned by Lexicon Enterprises. As Martin parks his car, he thinks to himself: “I knew it. Rampant mafia hits in this city. The Marino crime family is looking to take some sort of control, starting power struggles in broad daylight. This means serious business, especially with the media involved.” Martin parks the SUV close to the warehouse entrance. He continues his thoughts: “Mob hits on this scale are something new to this city. I have a strong intuition that something more sinister is on the horizon. I need more information, and I am certain that my trustworthy informant can satisfy.” Martin exits his vehicle and walks to the building’s entrance. Martin is far enough from the receptionist desk to appear as a silhouette, since the light outside that pours into the building effectively creates a shadow of him. The receptionist at the desk, Mariyah, who is typing on her computer, notices the figure across the grand expanse of the foyer. Martin approaches Mariyah and a flirtatious exchange begins between the two:
Martin: Good afternoon.
Mariyah: Well hello there detective.
Martin: I am a scientist you know.
Mariyah: Oh, so are we getting to know each other?
The conversation is interrupted with Mariyah’s intercom, by Scott Wilson’s voice, the owner Lexicon enterprises, saying: “Geez, are you two dating yet? Mariyah, when you are done pulling Mr. Bocek away from his duties, can you send him up here? K thanks.” Martin flashes a big smile to Mariyah, who returns the gesture, and Martin remarks as he leaves saying, “We will talk later.” Martin takes the elevator up to Scott’s office. Before entering the office, Martin notices on the door the embroidered name “Scott Wilson”, with his children’s crayon scribbling posted underneath, which strangely depicts a stick figure of the marvel character Dead Pool. Martin opens the door and enters the office.
Inside, Scott is pacing the room on his phone, having a conversation with his wife. Scott retorts into the phone, “Don’t worry. I will pick them up when the game is done.” Martin stands and waits for Scott to finish with a concentrated expression to add to the seriousness of Martin’s reason for this visit. Scott continues his argument, “Yes, I know you are busy tonight, and I said I would pick them up!” There are a few words exchanged on the other line, to which Scott sharply replies, “Damnit woman, I have a business to run!”
Scott hangs up the phone and whispers to himself, while sitting at his desk: “I am going to pay for that one later.” Scott faces Martin from the desk and addresses him, saying “Mr. Bocek, surprise surprise! What have I done to be blessed with your presence?” to which Martin replies, “Enough with the sarcastic pleasantries. I need to know what you know about the Marinos, and what they are doing in this city.” Martin slowly moves closer to Scott’s desk.
As Martin approaches, Scott leans over to his right and pulls out a whiskey bottle from under the desk, which takes the shape of a crown, and offers a drink to Martin. He says, “Something to drink?” and Martin answers, “No, I am on the clock.” Scott pours himself a glass of whiskey, and begins divulging information: “My sources tell me that one of the mayoral candidates are easing their move into this city. That’s all I can gather, since they aren’t sending any merchandise through my channels. Except for this nice bottle of whiskey, to keep my mouth shut.” Martin has a shocked look on his face, and extends a hand outward to accentuate his disbelief through the gesture. Martin asks, “So they were here?” and Scott replies, “Not the important ones. They just sent some muscle to check out the place. To make sure I am illegitimate enough, you know?” Scott attempts to offer the drink again by raising his arm and extending the glass with the content towards Martin, who waves his hand in dismissal. Martin instructs Scott by saying, “Alright. Let me know if anything too strange comes in through here,” which elicits an annoyed response from Scott, “Will do chief. Are you sure you don’t want a drink?” to which Martin sharply replies, “I am sure.” Martin turns around and walks out of Scott’s office, lost in his own thoughts.
Twenty minutes later, in the receiving area of Lexicon Enterprises, Mariyah walks across the expanse to a worker, who points to a large crate without a shipping address. The worker explains, “Ain’t no instructions or address on this crate. Wah should we do wid it?” to which Mariyah says, “I’ll call the boss.” Mariyah pulls out her cell phone and calls Scott, and she says, “Mr. Wilson we have an interesting shipment. You might want to come and take a look.” Scott presses the button to the warehouse floor within the elevator, and responds by saying, “Already on my way.” As the warehouse elevator nears the floor, Scott yells out to the worker, “What are you waiting for? Open up the damn thing!” The worker pries open the crate with a crowbar, and Scott walks up to Mariyah and places a hand on her shoulder, saying, “Don’t worry Mariyah, I’ll take it from here.” As Mariyah turns around the worker says, “Boss, you should take a look at this…” Scott walks up to the front of the opened crate, and instructs the worker to leave with a gesture.
Scott looks in the crate at a glossy gunmetal cylinder, and asks himself: “What the hell is this supposed to be?” Before pressing a green button on a panel that is to the right of the ‘door’ of the cylinder, he notices a logo above the door that depicts these white letters: ‘Prototype Battle Suit 1.0’. Scott says to himself, “Green means go. Lets try this-” he presses the green button and a whooshing sound is heard when the door opens. Scott has a shocked expression on his face, when the bluish-purplish light from within the container illuminates his face. Inside, Scott witnesses a gray battle suit, and he remarks to himself once more saying, “if this ain’t a strange shipment, I don’t know what else is….”