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🎨 Creative [Comic book drafts] DC-78 Alternate Earth: New Nu You Universe

Old Toby

Least Known Dog on the Net
Validated User
I appreciate your posting, but I thought the block went from at 18:00 Mon GMT to 04:00 Tue GMT, and it's only 00:40 GMT Tuesday even now...
Schedule for this round

Block 6: Sunday 12:00 to Sunday 22:00 GMT (over)
Block 5: Sunday 22:00 to Monday 08:00 GMT (over)
Block 1: Monday 08:00 to Monday 18:00 GMT (over)
Block 3: Monday 18:00 to Tuesday 04:00 GMT (ongoing)
Block 4: Tuesday 04:00 to Tuesday 14:00 GMT (upcoming)
Block 2: Tuesday 14:00 to Wednesday 00:00 GMT (upcoming)

I'm assuming turns go in the order the blocks are listed (or rather, their reverse, this round), not the number given to each block...

So currently up is Block 3: Coyote's Own Coyote's Own , Eric the .5b Eric the .5b , and Daz Florp Lebam Daz Florp Lebam . Coyote has posted his and Eric's picks, so that leaves Daz at bat.

Old Toby
Least Known Dog on the Net
 

Eric the .5b

It's all so esoteric
Validated User
Tell me what to call you, then tell me what's going on.

Just call me Cal L. You won't be able to pronounce the whole thing, nobody is. And what's going on is that I had a rough landing....


Cal flailed at the black night air as he fell. Inevitably, he crashed into the ground. Worse, he crashed into something sitting on the ground. His arm hit first, and he had an instant to be horrified by the wooden-sounding crack. Then, the rest of him hit the small, metal cart and the softer earth next to it, and he blacked out.

Spoiler: Show
Tell me what to call you, then tell me what's going on.

Just call me Cal L. You won't be able to pronounce the whole thing, nobody is. And what's going on is that I had a rough landing....


Cal flailed at the black night air as he fell. Inevitably, he crashed into the ground. Worse, he crashed into something sitting on the ground. His arm hit first, and he had an instant to be horrified by the wooden-sounding crack. Then, the rest of him hit the small, metal cart and the softer earth next to it, and he blacked out.

He came to about 38 seconds later, according to the medical monitor's warning in his inner eye. It went on about a possibility of concussion, what might be some torn muscles, ugly bruises all over his left side, and of course, a broken left forearm.

Cal sat up in slow stages, gritting his teeth at the almost electric pain as broken bones shifted. He willed on his light-amplifiers and looked around.

Bad break, too. Wish I'd gotten that anesthesia chip someone tried to sell me last time I was near civilization.

Near civilization?

I live in an Exclusion Zone.

You're a scrounger?

The only "scroungers" are the people from civilization who dart into a Zone, grab something shiny, and run back out away from the radiation. Zoners don't scrounge. We salvage what we need so we can make a living doing something else.

Just curious—never met anyone who lived in a Zone of eternal radioactivity. What do you do?

My town will be non-radioactive in just a few centuries. Not accounting for time travel. And I farm.

...Farm?

Yeah. What I need to eat. What other Zoners will trade for. Anything that grows well under cover, and lots of things that don't like to. Three sisters, spirulina, cacao, soybean, cassava, any kind of herb, medicinals. Aside from anything I can run through a still, some recreationals like—


...Cannabis, and definitely a bigger plot of it than he'd ever seen, even from this spot on the ground next to the field. A rather nice crop of it, as far as he could tell through night vision. He nodded, then warily looked up at the open sky above the field in the forest. Smiling, he unhurriedly looked around him and in the cart. Oh, perfect—the cart was full of sticks and branches. He carefully reached back to his backpack and awkwardly extracted a shirt.

Surface field, no kind of cover. Not even netting for visual camouflage, much less thermal baffling, so they weren't afraid of drones flying over. They shouldn't be paranoid about a visitor, right?

Lots of paranoid people in the Zones?

If they don't know you, and these people wouldn't know me. The government hunts us, remember? Says we're desecrating a dead city. It's our home! ...Ah, sorry, Alika. Don't mean to shout through this. I have strong feelings.

I think it's part of your charm, Farmer Boy.

Um. Thanks, Alika. ...So, I splinted my arm, and I told the comm implant to hurry up with the language. I'd explain to the farmers that I had gotten lost and managed to break my arm in the dark.

A little dishonest.

Are you telling people that you're a time-traveler?

If it comes up.

Hmm. So you don't buy this "sacred mission" they sent us on.

Not enough to lie about it.

Ha. Well, some of us aren't Riders, and we have to play it safe. Anyway, I was wrong—


Cal stood up slowly as he saw the two men approach. They didn't have lights, but instead wore odd goggles. When the shorter one pointed in his direction and the other man nodded, the purpose became clearer. External light-amplifiers. Seriously old tech.

They also carried rather bulky-looking guns. They probably wouldn't expect him to be able to see...which would make him even more non-threatening. So, he called out a wary hello? in the local language.

Cal resisted the urge to flinch when they angled their guns at him as they approached. He was the intruder, after all. He instead carefully only looked in their vague direction as they came up. But they said nothing. Not the most encouraging behavior, so he repeated his wary greeting.

The men exchanged looks, then nodded to each other. The taller of the two took aim at Cal's chest.

Cal dived to the side, rolled to his feet, and sprinted into the dense field of cannabis. A gunshot exploded—who uses anything that loud?! Still running, he brought active every bit of camouflage in his clothes, his backpack, and under his skin.

His outline broke up, then vanished among the cannabis stalks and leaves. His thermal signature dissipated. He could hear them following through the stalks, following the motion of the plants as he disturbed them.

You don't want to disturb anything when you're moving. Not a branch, not a bush, not some old bit of disintegrated garbage. Some patrol drone that would miss you would catch that, then come after you. But that's hard not to do in a panic.

He stopped and side-stepped carefully, moving away and back from his original line of flight, not so much as brushing the plants around him. Moments later, the two men charged past him, following the swaying stalks.

The men reached the edge of the field, exchanged a few angry curses, then whispered harshly to each other. Cal puzzled through their exchange, then caught something about dogs. Gritting his teeth and shaking his head, he trotted silently down the rows away from them. The damn guards should have let him get his scent-suppressors ready before throwing him in the chamber.

Maybe they've just been in the woods too long without seeing anyone else and cracked. I've met people near that point. They're not even hiding their farm, Alika, but they want to hunt me down for finding it.

It's in the middle of a forest. Kind of an odd place for a farm.

But you can walk right into it! My farm was half-underground, half under a collapsed building, with everything from seven layers of pan-spectrum camouflage to seismic dampeners and infrasound counters. I wasn't in the hot zone, but I had air filtration for the times the wind reversed, and I'd drilled my own well. They had to have an informant to find it, and I still almost got away...

I know that feeling, Cal. They had to use a pulse grid to jam my limbs and gas to slow me down, after I'd broken everything and everyone they'd sent after me. Took the fight right out of me.

...They just threw a net over me and started hitting me with sticks.

Oh. ...Everyone fights how they can.


Elsewhere, Alika pulled to the side of another country road, killing the motorcycle's engine. She and the old man dismounted, and she turned to him. "We shouldn't be here long, sir."

In the distance, hounds bayed.

We're ready, Cal. Where are you?

Almost there. I see one bike, two people...Wow, I assume that's your bodywork. It's not subtle in thermal.


Alika smiled, pulling off her right glove and waving her silver hand to the forest fifteen meters away. She saw nobody there, in thermal or otherwise.

A tall, broad-shouldered man in a hooded coat appeared midstep hardly five meters away from them. Alika stared, then laughed.

She didn't notice the older man looking intently at the two of them and Alika's bared metal hand. She just clasped the dark-haired man's good hand with a smile, then briefly introduced him to the now poker-faced older man.

The hounds and searchlights weren't quite to the edge of the forest when the motorcycle disappeared around a bend.

Previously on DC-78...
Spoiler: Show
* Alika Zoom, sometimes called Silverhand, landed gracefully and had a bit of a brawl.

TL;DR:
Spoiler: Show
OOC: Governments patrol the various Exclusion Zones contaminated by radioactivity and other terrors due to accident or war. This doesn't stop some stubborn people from trying to live in them, and Cal L. is one of those reclusive folks. He's just a Farmer Boy at heart, but as one of the most elusive residents of his Zone, thanks to his skills and augmentations, the authorities thought he'd be perfect for this operation...
 

Airk

Your resident Norwegian
Validated User
Previously in this draft: Mar'i Grayson is an artificial human -a Matrix - sent to this world from another, devastated Earth. She arrived with quite a bang.

Metropolis: The Maxwell Lord Memorial Hospital and Paranormal Unit.



Doctor’s note.

Subject brought in at 0546 this morning. Conscious and aware, but seemingly in a state of shock. Must keep in mind possibility that her reflexes and reactions may not conform to human standard. Reports suggest she had been driven into the ground at the epicentre of an explosion of so far undetermined nature. In addition, survived second explosion of fuel-air type with mere bruises to show for it. Despite obvious superhuman protective abilities, regular type instruments such as syringes were effective. Readings unlike any other. First readings showing no familiar content, second and third near-perfect baseline human. Possible mimicry.

Subject willingly followed the response team. Gave name as Mary Gray. Willingly accepted security measures. Agitated at realisation the explosion had caused serious damage, but seemed to relax once reassured no-one had been hurt. First assessment is friendly contact, but in compliance with paragraph 12 of the Alien Contact Law, she will be kept under close observation and guard. Subject is notified of this, and has complied with all security measures. Subject’s only wish – not a demand, I’d like to stress, for the record – was to have a room with a window. Wish complied with at the suggestion of subject’s nurse.

Nurse/guard Barda Free attached as subject’s main supervisor.

OOC: Barda Free, also known as Big Barda among her collegues at the Metropolis Paranormal Unit, is a veteran of the Thangarian War and a modified human, gifted with super-strenght and near invulnerability (she does not have the staff of her normal counterpart, using standard issue military weapons instead, if necessary). She is also a trained field medic, a qualified nurse, and is working toward a degree in psychology, specialising in PTSD and war trauma.
 
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