The Reluctant: Chapter 1

Published on Monday, July 17, 2006 By Brad Wardell In Fiction Writing

The Reluctant


A Graphic Novel Outline


Brad Wardell, July 2006




I don’t know when they came. They’ve been here as long as I have. They came to our world and toppled regimes and overthrew governments.  Some fought back while others capitulated.


What they want, what they truly want, remains a mystery. Power. Control. Obedience. These seem to be means to some dark end. 


They are powerful. But their strength lies not in numbers for they are few. Individually mighty beyond the imagination of most, they seem to some as gods. They look like humans but they are not. They are alien. Where they are from we can only suspect.



China capitulated to them. It only took 3 of them to subdue the entire country. They fought hard but numbers, mass waves of soldiers, meant nothing. The intruders, as they are called, simply washed them away like one would wash down a sidewalk with a hose. China was brought into line. The Chinese were pragmatic.


In the United States, the government was less…pragmatic. They fought, taking obscene levels of casualties and still continued. It is believed they even managed to kill one – by dropping a 50 megaton nuclear bomb on them on US soil.  Americans don’t like to lose.


The intruders put the American slogan “Give me liberty or give me death” to the test. So far, the official government policy seems to be death. New York is gone. Washington D.C. is gone. Los Angeles is gone, though the difference is not as noticeable as one might expect.


The American government still operates, sort of. Its doctrine has been designed to make the most of the enemy’s limited numbers.  6 Intruders are apparently are responsible for North America.


The federal government operates in secret locations, always on the move, but America goes on.  The intruders, while lacking formal control, have defacto control over any population they go amongst.


There are rumors of course. One rumor in particular concerns me but only at a distance. It is that they come for the children. They come for them and take them away never to be seen again.  My son is all I have left on this world. He is the only part of Amanda I have left.  But the Intruders are far away. Living in a small town has its advantages.  No one cares about Plainwell PA…My name is DL Bradley.

Chapter 1: They’re coming for you Ha Ha.


TV: US air force units operating from a secret base in the Pacific performed a lightning strike on two Intruders today. The planes were carrying a new kind of explosive according to onlookers.  Neither intruder appeared to be harmed while several civilians near by were seriously injured as the Intruders left a local school in Tampa Bay Florida.  This is the third attack by the reconstituted US military this month.


In retaliation, an Intruder wiped out what was left of Edwards Airforce base which included.


DL: Come on Ethan, you’re going to be late for school. We are scheduled to talk to your teacher at 9:30.


Ethan: I know Dad, I’m coming. Do you have to go into the school? All my friends will see you.


DL: Am I that scary?


Ethan: No, but you’re my dad. It is so not cool being seen with your dad.


DL: Sigh, making a note, 11 years old is when it is no longer ‘cool’ to be seen with ones dad.


They get into DL’s truck. They go into town first to pick some things up and it becomes clear that they live in a very small, rural community.


Cut to school. It is an auditorium where Ethan and other children are gathered together for pictures.  DL is speaking to Ethan's teacher when there is a commotion at the entrance to the auditorium.


A US soldier is thrown across the auditorium. You can hear his bones snap as he hits the wall.  Another soldier is backing into the auditorium firing his MP-4 at something and continuing to back away.


A tall, dark-haired man walks in. He is dressed simply. Slacks, of some kind, with a plain gray shirt with no buttons or other distinguishing elements. It could be a T-shirt except it’s too loose fitting. He has a sword sheathed, slung behind his back.


The soldier continues to fire at him but the bullets have no effect. The dark haired man merely reaches his hand out and one can almost see the force that reaches between the man’s hand and the soldier, a sort of shimmering as the man disintegrates. 


A third soldier yells in rage from behind and runs into the auditorium with a knife, jumps to stab the dark haired man only to be cut in half in a completely fluid motion by the Intruder. The Intruder puts his sword back in a sheath that is slung on his back.


The Intruder – the dark haired man – walks towards the children that were already together and now huddled even closer together in abject terror.


Intruder: Ah good, they are already gathered together.  I will be taking them all with me.


Parent #1:  You will not take my daughter!


The man, unarmed but quite large, runs full-forced at the Intruder.  The man bounces right off the Intruder who picks him up with one arm and flings him across the gym. 


DL uses this distraction to slowly move his away in front of his son. 


The Intruder motions to the door and three men in black suits walk in. They are lackeys of the Intruder. No matter how vile, the powerful will always find servants to do their more grotesque deeds.  The lackeys approach the group to begin rounding them up.


DL motions to the first lackey.


DL: I need to speak to him.


Lackey #1: No one talks to the lords.


DL: He will want to talk to me. I must speak to him.


Lackey #1: Well, it’s your funeral.  (turning to the Intruder), My Lord, wishes to speak to you.


Intruder: I do not speak to the cattle.


DL: Please, this is something you must hear. 


DL makes a submission pose and walks slowly to the Intruder who has a look that is a cross of annoyance and amusement.


Intruder: Your request may cost you your life so I hope it has been worth it.


DL: My..lord, I do not..wish to become involved in (sweeping his hand) this.  I only wish to be left alone to raise my only son here. 


Intruder: What? You waste my time on frivolous groveling.


DL: Please, my lord. I don’t want to be part of any of this. But I cannot allow you to take my son. I don’t care what you do elsewhere, I just…cannot have my son taken from me. 


Intruder: You make demands of me, human? I take what I want. I do what I want. We own this world and everything on it.


DL: I understand, but I beg of you, do not take my son. I have no desire to get involved but I can’t let you take him.


Intruder: Bah. You are beneath me, you do not even deserve to die by my hand…


The intruder turns to a henchmen and orders him to take DL out and shoot him.  With the Intruders back turned, DL reaches and takes out the Intruder’s sword, which looks like a sort of Katana.  The Intruder turns with super-human speed but it is already too late, DL has taken the sword and with a quick thrust it goes right through the Intruder.


There is an audible gasp in the gymnasium as the Intruder falls to the ground…dead.  The henchmen, stunned and hearing sounds of more soldiers arriving flee.


Next: Chapter 2: We’re from the government…