PANEL 1: Vertical panel running down the left hand side of the page. We see a leafy mountain face running the height of almost the entire panel. The locale looks South American. It’s day, a sweltering sun somewhere above rains down its heat. Barely noticeable, close to reaching the summit is a single human figure scaling the mountain. No ropes, no equipment. Just a backpack.
CAPTION: “Again. Tell me how it felt.” CAPTION: “Repetition is key.”
PANEL 2: CUT TO a CLOSE UP looking down at the climber as she ascends. She looks up at us, face beaming with joy and excitement. This is ANDERS. She’s olive skinned with black hair pulled back tight into a ponytail. She’s somewhere in her late 20s, wearing a dark green climbing vest and black shorts. She has the physique of a gymnast and her hands are flush with white chalk.
ANDERS: It felt like I could touch the sky.
PANEL 3: CLOSE UP on ANDERS’ hand as she reaches for the next hold.
ANDERS: Like I was untouchable.
PANEL 4: Back to the view looking down at ANDERS as her hand slips free of the hold and she begins to fall backwards, away from the mountain face. Her brain hasn’t registered what’s happening yet. She looks confused.
CAPTION: “And then?”
PANEL 5: ANDERS falls in a black void. No background. She reaches towards the side of her head as she falls, as if she was about to pull off a climbing helmet that isn’t there. ANDERS: Fuck!
PANEL 6: CUT TO: ANDERS pulling a VR style helmet from her head. She looks older here. She’s lost a bit of weight. She sits on a device that sits somewhere in between a designer couch and a CT scan. She’s angry and exasperated. Other than this bit of tech the room looks like any other therapist’s office.
ANDERS: This is bullshit. What do you want me to do? ANDERS: I fell. I failed. I’m here.
PANEL 7: CUT TO: the other voice we’ve been hearing, sitting across from Anders. This is ISAACSON, Anders’ therapist. She’s a studious looking woman in her late thirties. She has dirty blonde hair, cut short. She’s wearing a simple plain t-shirt and a pair of slacks. ISAACSON doesn’t have the time for frills and flare. She’s all business.
ISAACSON: No, we keep going.
ISAACSON: We will reach the top.