Okay, maybe I do have one friend: my 3-AR Studios business partner. It’s just that we’d not talked in months. So, with me sans family, I invited him over to dinner a couple of weeks ago. Drinks, steaks, more drinks. Then talk.
He talked about this vertical, scrolling format for webcomics he’d run across. It got rid of the annoying page-turning, and also allows for a certain unique consistency and flow of story. We went on to talk about ideas for content… hmmm. What’s been on my mind recently?
Okay: self-aware machines. That’s a start, he said. Go further: turn it past eleven. More drinks. Okay, I replied: vampire androids. We talked more. The next day, I started writing.
Below the fold, in WordPress’s usual hackneyed format, is the prologue of what I’m tentatively calling “Poisoned Hearts.” If you like that, I’ve also added chapter one. I’ve written chapter two and have notes for three. That’s enough raw material for about three 30-‘page’ comics. My colleague still has his own projects, but is making sketches. Cat is cuter than I’d imagined her. Lots of work detailing Christopher’s eyes. Need to write more….
“Will you excuse me a minute? I have to go to the toilet.”
Cat laughed to herself a little; he still had so many Japanese mannerisms!
“Sure, Chris, that’s fine!” She waved over her glass of water.
He walked slowly to the bathroom. Fortunately, no one was there. He opened the port access in his chest and scooped the food into the garbage. While washing his hands, he thought about how tired he was. Best do something about that.
Leaving the men’s room, he spared a look at Cat in their booth, then turned left towards the kitchen exit. Ignoring the protests of the staff, he wandered out back of the restaurant around their dumpster. Ah! A raccoon! Faster than expected, he seized the animal; it squealed a little then grew still. He set it carefully onto the ground, behind the dumpster where the cooks wouldn’t find it. There was a crackle of static electricity as he removed his hands from the little animal.
“Sleep, friend. You’ll be fine by nightfall.” And I’m good for another six hours, Christopher thought.
He slid back into the booth across from Cat.
“You okay? Would you like some coffee?” She asked, concerned.
“I’m fine,” he replied with a smile. “Let’s head out; I need to finish my paperwork for the Department for Monday morning.” Cat reflected on that as she stood with her purse. He was only twenty two, but already in the Bioengineering PhD program here at UC San Diego. But, if he’s such a genius, why does he seem, so… normal? Oops! Lost in thought, she walked right into him.
“Cat? You okay?” He looked down the five inches that separated their faces. She resisted the urge to kiss him, especially after that awful moment on the rooftop a few hours ago.
“Fine! Fine!” She replied. “But, Chris? Why do you smell so musky right now?”
But he’d looked away from her: up towards the muted flatscreen TV. Across the bottom, the news scroll said….