Posts Tagged ‘clones’
Although this comic was written a long time ago, a scene in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called “Tapestry” that I watched this week echoed the feel I was going for here. I don’t want to spoil anything if you haven’t seen what I think is one of the best episodes of that series, but there’s a scene where Picard gets to see what it would be like if someone else was the captain of the Enterprise and he was stuck at a lower rank doing menial, safe jobs. Pretty haunting, frustrating and even chilling. In the case of Schwartz and Galanos, they’ve always been those guys stuck with a lot of the menial jobs. Pays to have some initiative and drive sometimes, doesn’t it? And you certainly wouldn’t want to see yourself eclipse yourself!
So, April 1 came and went without me trying to get one over on you or make you go, “WTF?!” I considered various options, but ultimately decided the whole “I’ve been fired from the comic!” storyline a couple of months ago was more than enough. At least for this year.
Isn’t that the way? The more money an employee makes a company, the higher the tolerance there is for any oddities in that employee’s behavior. It’s all about the bottom line!
In staging this comic, I tried to use a lot of inverse design between the scenes with Schwartz and Galanos, and the scenes with their clones. The base and the background used in the scenes with the originals were both turned upside down for the scenes with the clones. The clones are standing in opposite positions from the original Schwartz and Galanos, and the respective ships of each Galanos are pointed in opposite directions. Just a little thing, but I thought it was neat to do.
Next up in the prose adventures of SPACE: The Comic is the first draft for (most of) an early chapter in a book I’d like to write about the characters. I’ll post it in pieces during the next few updates. Please note that the names of any LEGO-specific things (like the ship names) have been changed:
Commander Galanos jumped in his chair as the inside of his cockpit suddenly lit up with fluctuating red and blue lights. Before he could even turn around to see where it was coming from, a booming voice echoed over the spacewaves and into his helmet’s headphones: “Space Agency vessel, this is Galaxy P.D.! Pull over!”
“Oh, great,” Galanos moaned to himself. “What did I do?!” As the police lights confused his vision, his brain began juggling his memories like explosive torches, flitting past the last few moments to determine what he had done wrong. He had been well within the light speed limit for the Debulan planetary system and had made sure to exit stringspace within an acceptable distance. He always did! Galanos was practically in a leisurely cruise around Debulan II. Was his spaceship inspection up-to-date? Certainly, updated with months to spare. Could the cops be pulling him over because his ship, the Luna-Dart, was new and looked too fast? When he had chosen the coupe, the catalogue has assured him it was compact and sensible, yet fun and sporty. The pictures had presented the ship as landed in a sunset-hued field of red and violet Gliesian pinwheel flowers, while a family of four frolicked and enjoyed a picnic on their weekend cosmic outing in the constellation Libra. The Luna-Dart was shaped like a lozenge with flip-back wings, pearly white and smooth with a vibrant blue canopy. Sure, it had received upgrades to make it suitable for everyday Space Agency business, but that was all under the hood. It had to be the spoiler! Why had he opted for the spoiler?? Galanos knew he should have avoided temptation. This was his work vehicle, after all! The worst part about being pulled over was that he was on duty. Just because he was a member of Earth’s Space Agency didn’t mean the police would cut him any slack. The report on whatever he had done would go straight to his superiors, and be notated on his performance record permanently!
“Pull over, I said, pull over!” the officer’s voice crackled over Galanos’ helmet. Oh no, he thought, how long had he hesitated while lost in thought? Split seconds, not whole seconds, right?
From behind Galanos, the tinny voice of his service robot dryly commented, “I think you’re in trouble now, Commander.”
Galanos spun quickly toward the back seat where the smooth and nearly featureless blue robot sat watching the events unfold. “I know, S-Bot, I know!” Galanos insisted. “I’m on it!” The robot shook its head and shrugged.
Not wanting to add “Evading Arrest” to the list of charges that were growing in his head, Galanos slammed his right boot down onto the button on the floor that drained the power from his ship’s modest thrusters. As he did so, he saw the nose of the police vessel pull along his ship’s starboard side. It was hard to see the vessel well through the disconcerting lights emanating from above its cockpit canopy, but the shape was extremely familiar. The cockpit of the light gray ship beside Galanos was stylishly tapered forward from an electric blue canopy that ended in a coiled, pointed laser rod that glowed orange. It was unconventional starcraft design, and certainly not something you’d expect to see among the fairly conservative Galaxy P.D.
The other ship pulled forward a bit more and Galanos saw that the police lights were of the portable variety, a contraption slapped haphazardly and unfittingly onto the other vessel. Even more telling, the swooping nose of the ship was decorated with an emblem depicting a fiery Thunderbird snatching a sun in its beak – the same design tampographed onto each wing of Galanos’ ship and somewhere on the surface of every Space Agency ship. Galanos peered into the other cockpit and, even through the flashing lights, could see the pilot grinning devilishly at him.
“Zis is dee long arm of dee law,” the other pilot announced into Galanos’s helmetphone. “Pull over now or I make zee strip search even more humiliating!”
Galanos both sighed and exclaimed, “Dammit, Schwartz! You scared the crap out of me! What are you doing?! It’s a crime to impersonate a police officer!”
“Crime, schmime,” Commander Schwartz snickered. “Seriously, pull on down planetside. I’ve got beer in my cargo hold that isn’t getting any cooler.”
“Schwartz,” Galanos protested, “I’m on duty and so are you!”
“Come on, man, who’s watching?” Schwartz argued. “The meteors you have to catalogue aren’t going anywhere. They’ve been in the same orbit for like a trillion years.”
Galanos sighed and looked back at S-Bot, who was of course eyeing him expressionlessly as always. “You know I don’t really care what you do,” the robot said. “As long as you leave me out of any brilliant ideas of his that include me.”
Galanos turned back to look at Schwartz’s ship, the UV-9, and got blinded again by the police lights. “Will you turn those off? Geez!” he protested.
“Oh, sorry,” Schwartz said, having forgotten about the lights. He flicked them off and Galanos’ eyes continued struggling to adjust. Schwartz still appeared as a blurry shadow across from him. “We could sit here and argue about this for an hour, or you could just follow me down right now because we both know that’s what you always do anyhow,” Schwartz stated.
Galanos shrugged, well aware he was a slave to old routines. “Fine, I’ll see you down below,” he caved.
“Ha, ha!” said Schwartz and immediately rocketed away.
“But no hard liquor! Just a beer! Maybe two!” Galanos warned as he flipped out the Luna-Dart’s wings and chased the UV-9 down to the rocky orb of Debulon II.
I keep starting novels and short stories starring the characters of SPACE: The Comic and never finishing them. It’s still a goal of mine, but the comic itself always ends up taking up most of my free time for creative endeavors. Nevertheless, I thought I would post some excerpts here over the course of the next handful of comics for you to enjoy/critique. Keep in mind that these are all early drafts and not completely fleshed out, but I would enjoy hearing your thoughts.
Today’s excerpt is from the start of a story I wrote retelling one of the comic’s earliest adventures, “Icy Relations.” It would have been the second Space Audiobook, has that project continued. This is actually as far as I got with it, but I would like to continue with it at some point:
Commander Schwartz had just fallen asleep in the comfy lawn chair he had placed in the snow when a command burst rudely into his helmet: “Get to the ships! Now! They’ve lost their minds!”
Schwartz popped up in the chair like a piece of toast and hurriedly glanced at the frozen mesas around him. His heart repeatedly punched his chest from the inside. Seconds ago, he had been on a beach in Maui devouring a cheddar cheese crab cake. Jolted out of that dream, he was suddenly faced with icy wind howling against his armored spacesuit’s helmet as it kicked up plumes of snow around him. Through hazy eyes, Schwartz spotted three nearly identical mountain peaks poking up in the distance beyond the white windstorm and his addled brain clicked into place; he was on the ice world Crystal, a planet stuck in an eternal snow-day.
There had been a frantic voice yelling at him in his head. Had it been part of the dream? No, no; it more likely had come through his helmet’s communications system, Schwartz figured, his senses returning. There had been someone there with him… Galanos! Commander Mikey Galanos. The pieces of the last few hours reassembled themselves as Schwartz settled back into reality. Galanos had set off across the frozen valley on an anti-grav ice-sled two, maybe three, hours before. Schwartz had cataloged the music files in his ship’s stereo system and then kicked back for a nap, awaiting his friend and colleague’s return. Next thing he knew, Galanos was yelling at him to prepare for immediate take-off. What had gone wrong?
Schwartz squinted as he stared across the valley in the direction Galanos had left, his eyes slowly adjusting to the glare of the sun bouncing off the ice. It was mid-day, and the glare was so strong that it even penetrated the midnight-dark visor of his helmet. The wind died down for a moment and the swirling snow began to disperse.
A bit of delay since my last comic, due to my comic photography space being converted for several days into a recovery room for a neighborhood cat who we captured and took to get spayed. I’m happy to say the kitty is all recovered and back to her outdoor stomping grounds, and the comic is back is business!
We’ve reached comic #450. And we’ve still got a waaaaaays to go. This storyline might end up being the longest I’ve done, but it does involve a lot of different scenes and characters.