Story Pitch: The Chronicles of the Night Watch (Part 1 of an Original Work)

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You might be noticing that a lot of our recent posts are about me writing story pitches. Long story short, my mind might have made a little too much ideas over the course of high school. Due to the large number of ideas, it is becoming harder and harder for me to keep track of all of them, or to remain interested in each of them. As such, I decided to use the blog also as a form of an "idea journal", and present them to people through project proposals. I decided also to step away for awhile from working on licensed ideas, and instead present some of my original ideas. Welcome back to Dateline Movies, and here is my story pitch for one of my first serious original works, "The Chronicles of the Night Watch".

Note that is also apparently one of my darkest proposed works, and I might mention some highly sensitive themes, so a parental advisory is in order.

Concept artwork for Ben Chapelle; Created by Edward Sioson
The Concept: 

Originally a fan-made third season for the Facebook game known as "Criminal Case", our group decided to take things up a notch and make it into an original project. I am in-charge with the majority of the storytelling and world-building, so my vision for this "game" (Yes, we are planning to make this into a hopefully great first-person mystery game) is that it will be, plot-wise, a subtle deconstruction of how revolutions are being portrayed as optimistic and action-filled in media, and the superhero genre as a whole. You have seen countless films showing how a revolution will be fruitful. Now, get ready to see a violent and realistic portrayal of a city-level revolution, with a not-so merry band of everyday citizens banding together to end corruption and all forms of criminal activity in their city. With a city-themed music backdrop, The Chronicles of the Night Watch also features surrealistic, psychological horrors when the main characters have to struggle with morally questionable choices, and even their own personal demons. Themes of freedom and destiny, and religion are subtly tackled.

At this point, I and my friends have agreed to work on this again once we are more financially secure, and have more experience. For the time being, I am also set on making two books out of the ideas, for us to have a much more cohesive picture. You can take a look at our notes from various iterations of the project here, here, here, here, and here, but please do remember that everything that is written are properties of "Drazion Development Group" (Yes, that is our official name), so you better think twice about stealing any of these ideas, and I do mean it. You are also taking a look at a collaborative work-in-progress, so please, respect OUR team's efforts at the very least by, again, not stealing. On a side note, I am looking forward for some pieces of criticism.

Allow me to present to you my final version of the synopsis, so far. Like I said, we are planning to return to the project, but just not now, so I will only be providing the briefest of overviews on the major plot points of the story.

Unfinished version of the teaser artwork; Created by Edward Sioson

The Stories:

The story is told in a non-linear format. "Volume 1" takes place a few months before "Volume 2", which is the present timeline.

Volume 1: Who Killed Robin Publicke?

Not so long ago, the industrialized rural farming town of "Redgrave", ran almost entirely by former child protege and local scientific genius Constance Maudie, catches the attention of government officials and other companies for one specific reason. The genetic modifier known as "APL-GEN-11" enables crops to grow at a faster rate, causing the town to become richer, and even richer thanks to the efforts of her business partner entrepreneur, Rita Kasper, the founder and chief executive officer of the most powerful research group in the country, "Eterna Sciences, Incorporated". Their combined efforts eventually reach the attention of charismatic industrialist Edgar Atkins, Esq., the founder and leader of a large collective of other interested investors for the town known as "Everlight Public Services, Incorporated", serving as the city's de facto form of government. Atkins proposes to transform Redgrave into a bustling metropolis that will accommodate the slum communities of the country, which both women approve of, effectively transforming Redgrave into "The Metro", the largest and the richest city in the nation.

Present day. As The Metro continues to grow, even technologically, as all means of convenience are accessible through a phone, the number of criminals also rise, stemming from some of the residents' criminal records prior to moving to the city, as well as the third-party organizations who seeks to take control of the city due to its economic value. In an attempt to combat the growing crime wave, Edgar Atkins, Jr., and his newly married wife Rita, who does not wish to see everything that they have built be ruined, accepts ambitious, and comicbook obsessed philanthropist, and an expert in disguises named Ellen Cartwright (Central Command)'s offer to form a task force. Since the police are proving to be ineffective, Ellen searches for residents with heroic aspirations to come and form "The Night Watch", an undercover crime-fighting program complete with each of their own superhero themes, although none of them, except Ellen, actually use their monikers, with Jack pointing-out that this is "ridiculous".

Included in the members roster are the following. The main protagonist Bernadette Jacobs (Dynamic Zero), a young, medicine-dependent, lonesome teenage female who lost her parents from a supposed car accident, working under the elusive "Miss Shadow" as a thief, and is searching for her infant brother, Joel. Sociopathic and intellectual college freshman Sebastian Jackson "Jack" MacFadden (Mister Sunshine), who burns criminals all over his neighborhood out of boredom, and has an inconsistent moral compass, plus he runs a bar for criminals. His older close friend and apprentice is the swashbuckling and dimwitted Travis Cleveland (Rogue Red), who is the adoptive child of the man who arrested his parents dealing with drug addiction, stemming from his "fear of knowing everything", and ironically owns his own private library. Linda Listings (Lady Grim), an optimistic, Catholic pharmacologist and hospital entrepreneur bound to a philosophy of "creating cures for the incurable", who develops drugs for her and her crime boss ex-boyfriend, Thomas Welenth (Master Meridian), a narcissist using his taxi-driving business as a front for his operations, and regularly dresses-up as a homeless man to prove his attitude's superiority. The pair also run an illegal prison for criminals, which they use for interrogation purposes.

A.J. Wentworth (Failsafe), a middle-aged pro bono attorney-at-law with a defective left leg, and a typical heroic boy scout who only faces existential crises at the onset of his old age, and his failing relationship with a younger woman. Ray Koizumi (Malware, the Malicious), an omnicidal, morally ambiguous deaf Japanese hacktivist and undercover journalist currently working as a computer engineer for Eterna Sciences, Incorporated, who seeks to avenge the death of his older sister. Lizzie North (Private Eye), a bisexual kleptomaniac, and naively sarcastic private investigator living an extroverted, Lady Macbeth-like existence, who seeks to solve the previously unsolved murder of a mutual friend, and is obsessed with fame and popularity. Holly de los Reyes-Kingston (Doctor Omega), an Islamic depressed paramedic running an illegal clinic and traditional medicine shop, hoping to make amends for an incident that she was framed for, resulting in her being committed to a mental hospital, where she continues her operations, and where she runs a gang. Her "tenant" Lizzie runs her shop while Holly is incarcerated. And Ben Chapelle (Trailblaze), Bernadette's adventurous, and auto-mechanic and car salesman neighbor, who is the same age as her, and also works with Bernadette under Miss Shadow, who is, by Ben's words, a decent mentor.

Concept artwork for Lizzie North; Created by Von Castillejos
The team is brought together by the death of local hero and fellow philanthropist, and Eterna employee Robin Publicke, whose actions have positively affected everyone in the community, including the eleven members, who are, like her, willing to preserve "what makes The Metro shine". It has been suspected that her death is caused by her raising suspicious "Burning Bush Program". Prior to her death, Robin is designing a mysterious, cube-shaped storage device known only as "The Brick", which is rendered incomplete and leaving, initially, her enigmatic cards, almost reminiscent in function as bundy cards, unusable.

Under the leadership of Ellen, The Night Watch are tasked to infiltrate the criminal groups, then forcefully disband or assimilate them into a larger group of their own management known as "Cypher", hoping to reform the criminal populace into a more productive part of society, and to an extent, a crime-fighting group.

Their twelve main targets, composing the informally called "Vicious Circle", include a wide variety of odd culture-bound criminal groups. Each possessing their own gimmicks. The group of "The Flesh King", composing of cannibals and necrophiliacs who live in the city's sewers. The group of "The Gardener", pretentious criminals who run "The Central", the news outlet of the city, and people who pretend to be members of the elite class, and murder others whom they deem are beneath them. The group of "The Giant" and "The Auroch", a crazed community composing of society's outcasts who reside in an abandoned property in the city as a cult. The group of "The Freak", composing of rebellious, thrill-seeking teenagers, and a human trafficking ring, and is considered to be the least threatening, although they are thought of being the most persistent. The group of "The Machine", composing of mad scientists and hackers who experiment with people, and also act as an organ trafficking group. The group of "The Leviathan", animal-themed criminals who indulge in killing anyone just for them to relieve stress, and are notable for spitting on the environment in more ways than one. The group of "The Nephilim", corrupt businessmen and women seeking to just become richer and richer, and indulge themselves in murder ceremonies while pretending everything is a theatrical play. The group of "The Frost", the most powerful drug dealers in all of The Metro. The group of "The Doll" and "The Royal", who follow a playhouse, as well as a medieval gimmick when they are committing their crimes, and are also weapons dealers. The group of "The Pure", composing of white supremacists who make use of chess as a gimmick. The group of "The Confessor", who are coercing people to participate in games of death for them to win prizes. And "The Wyrm", whose group is the most mysterious, at the same time, the most dangerous.

Concept artwork for Jack MacFadden; Created by Von Castillejos

Along the way, the group becomes more and more suspicious of the Burning Bush Program, which is a highly secretive brainwashing project that contributes to much of Cypher's membership being stable, as well as the ever more alarming presence of the United Nations espionage task force, "Division-X", infiltrating The Metro under the guise of an outreach program helping Linda with her hospital. Numerous pieces of evidence suggest that they are potentially attempting to take over The Metro for its economic potential, while making use of the death of Robin Publicke, "an American citizen on foreign soil", as an excuse to be there. The Night Watch also has to deal with a mysterious criminal organization known as "The Clock", whose gimmick is its namesake, and is conspiring with the Vicious Circle with weapons and information, and the local police, who are threatened at the possibility of losing their jobs to a vigilante group. Ray, consumed with vengeance over his sister's death, and A.J., enjoyed being appreciated despite his age, almost went on a full-on gang war due to their higher positions in their respective groups. 

By the conclusion of this volume, The Night Watch have been able to cripple much of their enemies' operations, but each remain as active as ever, and have even battled their own personal demons, effectively becoming the hero team that Ellen has always hoped for. While they were not able to apprehend the man or woman who fired the shot on Robin Publicke, The Night Watch is able to kill the assassin's employers, "The Pure", and they have solved numerous other cases, aiding the police in apprehending numerous criminals, from common thieves, to mass murderers, but their efforts in controlling Cypher are becoming more and more difficult as the numbers grow. Nevertheless, The Night Watch prosper as a real-world superhero team, especially with the rewards given by Eterna and Everlight. The team also learns that the pieces of The Brick are scattered all throughout the city, with one piece sold to each of the factions of the Vicious Circle by The Pure.

The closing chapter shows that Rita, an aspiring crime boss who inherited her family's whole operation and is the head of the Vicious Circle, and Constance, whose goals remain ambiguous, and is actually "The Wyrm", are actually planning something sinister with the Burning Bush Program. While flying with Edgar to a "long overdue honeymoon", Rita takes the liberty of slitting his throat, with Rita, seeing her husband as nothing more than a "self-absorbed false messiah", later contacting Constance to proceed with the next part of their plan.

Unfinished concept artwork for Bernadette Jacobs; Created by Von Castillejos
And there you have it, the more-or-less brief overview of the first part of The Chronicles of the Night Watch. Like I said, we are not yet done with this project, so expect this to resurface in dear time, and likewise, we are not yet done with posting about all of my original story notes, with the upcoming story being what I consider as my "obra maestro in the making". It is also my, so far, most personal work-in-progress to date. In the meantime, please come and support one of the artists who contributed to the early pre-production stages of the project, Dane Reyes. Be sure to come and see more of her amazing works here, and stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!


"The Chronicles of the Night Watch" and all other properties related to it are all original works of the Drazion Development Group.

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