Scene: an introduction to a city-yet-to-be-named. This city possesses all the visual identifying marks which, to the viewer, mark a city, such as potholes, sewer covers, and various slight decrepitudes which smaller communities manage to not achieve.
In this particular city, we, the audience, are presented with the visage of the city outskirts. City limits are not far off, as evidenced by signs which state “Last something-or-another before highway”, that particular noun being faded and smudged over. Up ahead on the sidewalk is the fruit stand of a corner store with its front door blocked by the sort of metal barricade made for such store fronts. Graffiti’ed on the protection is typical Barsoomian slogans and propaganda. The fading sunlight turns the red-and-brown color schema common to Mars into the black-and-bronze combination found only in streetlights at night.
Past that, beyond the stop sign is a brick overpass, with a stairway leading up to the local rail station. The rear headlights of a car light up as it pulls out into the tunnel which runs underneath the rail stop, briefly stopping, then continuing on, momentarily illuminating two figures off in the street.
Moments pass. The wind kicks up a newspaper out of a trash can. A train pulls in. The light continues to fade into evening.
A cop car rolls by, going opposite that the train rolls. Stops for a moment, the officer inside turning his attention over to the tunnel. The alarm of the train pulling off prevents us from hearing what the officer was about to say. Both the car and train start their travels onward, each heading the way the other came from.
The red-and-blue lights of the squad car come to life, bringing our attention to the bar across from the bodega. Neon lights flicker awake, letting us know what was already evident from the bar’s name. Front door opens up with a sign preceding the manicured hand. The hand pause just long enough foe the audience to see the back side of today’s specials.
The door closes to the intro to Johnny Cash’s The Man Came Around. A sad, sobbing squeal lasts long enough to sour the song, but not long enough to end properly.
Not far in the distance, a lightning bolt cracks. The sudden illumination allows us to see an overly large man doing some shit kicking to another figure on all fours. One last kick drops the smaller of the two pedestrians to the pavement, his squealing sobs punctuated by lightning flashes in the near distance.
The newspaper continues its mid-flight tango on the wind, just long enough for obstruct our view of the tunnel and the classed up brawler now walking our way. A slow blues chord starts as the turn of the paper’s page reveals a gorilla limping ever so slightly towards us, smoothing out the grey vest underneath his black overcoat.
With his head focused on the bar, eyes full of the cognizance that once infuriated Heston, “Here I am, again.” baritones Gérard to himself. “Ready to play another night of jazz to inebriated idiots unable to separate the trombone from the saxophone. C’ést la vie.”