20141221, 11:18 – Since it looks like the Space Edit is going to be more work than anticipated (see relevant pages) I figure unlike the Charger edit and the Naomi edit I’m going to do it in order for once. Or rather, in the order as I see it now.

11:53 – Replaced panel two, moved the panel two dialogue around a bit, and made a small tweak to Sam’s dialogue. Unlike my intentions for the Blackwater part of todays edit this dialogue tweak was just to improve readability.

The art direction for panel two was “whatever looks good;” I figure this does the job better than the establishing shot it replaces. We don’t see enough of the ship to figure out where in the habitable section the conference room is, so “somewhere in the spinny bit” is actually an improvement. As is the composition of the shot itself. Which is, frankly, more important than dialogue placement.

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dcr3_script_page_26The compartment in panel one will never be seen again. To keep it consistent with current production values I cannibalized elements of the QAR and the Daedalus bridge – technologically, this is somewhat consistent in that the Daedalus consoles are designed to be semi-modular. The next time I go deep on a bridge or command center I’ll model something a bit more representative of my current CG skills, but there was no way in heck I was going to spend that kind of time on a one-off. I spent a bit more time on the conference room – roughly two or three work sessions. It went together extremely quickly. It’s simple, elegant, I like the lighting and will doubtless do a few gallery renders later on to show it off some more. You’ll see more of it on the next page.

The final layout has been tweaked a wee bit, to fit the fairly extensive changes to the script. The page still conveys the same point it does in the workbook, it just does it a bit more clearly and a lot more naturally. This crew has been in the ass-end of Deep Space for a very long time – something that’s reflected in the layouts but not the initial Giant Wall Of Text Is Giant.

In typical “me” fashion everybody with dialogue has a name (first and last!) and rank/position/title. I even scribbled out the command hierarchy last night after I finished work on the shading. After the next page or whenever the chapter is complete I’ll add the Hemera crew to the cast section. The information would just go to waste otherwise!

Also yay for ATC’s occult science being used in support of Real Science. The DR-HRD (Deep Range Holt-Rischmann Device) is a superluminal sensor, at least in the sense that the specific energy it detects isn’t in the EM spectrum. DR-HRD scan results can be compared against optical star charts to narrow down the actual position of a life-bearing planet – when you’re searching for man-rated planets this cuts out a lot of the number crunching, though it does restrict your search results to man-rated planets that are already inhabited by something. Usually people.

Which is the mission, of course.

If this were an Alphabetical Order sort of story there’d probably be quite a few more scenes and a lot more backstory about the mission etc. A lot of that is inferable here, some more of it is inferable in The Dualist, and various related bits will play out over the course of the story. To do an In The Beginning prelude setup piece for this particular arc would be more of a strain on resources than a reward for the reader at this point in time – maybe down the road, after the main story is finished, or if some enterprising soul actually volunteers to do all the hard parts. As much as I’d love to detail Greg’s experience in full, his history is only relevant to the main story in the sense that that’s how he got here, and here is where it gets interesting.

The next page is rendered and ready for line work. There’s a lot of it, so while I plan to start pencilling after I post this, I don’t expect to actually have the page done until Wednesday or Thursday, depending.

Mastering notes, 2016.12.07 – Changed panel two to keep the HRV spikes under the threshold James mentions in Observer Effect. While it isn’t explicitly mentioned in dialogue the one they just caught is over the threshold – though there’s no evidence of that in the story until the opening scene of The Dualist.


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  • The Hemera‘s helmsman, Steve’s chief duty aboard ship is steering the damned thing. As he doesn’t get to do it much and doesn’t get to do it often, he was the first ICG crew...

  • Deep range cartography is hardly a prime assignment for a talented Navigator. Talented Navigators run courier missions, recon missions, combat operations and warships. The more talented individuals can write their own ticket and have...

  • Interstellar Cartography Group Captain and Commander, ICG Hemera. Favoring a sedate, hands-off style of command and all but immune to the the mental stress of deep-range long duration cartographic deployments, Captain Spenc has made...

  • A seasoned ICG cartographer, Samantha has spent virtually her entire adult life in ICG ships and chart rooms, running various types of observation equipment and collating massive amounts of observation data to help humanity...

  • The Heirotus Mission Specialist assigned to the Hemera, Jo Young is an expert on the operation of Holt-Rischmann sensor equipment, specifically the Deep Range Holt-Rischmann Device installed aboard the Discovery-class vessels contracted by Heirotus....

Glossary Articles

  • GSU-1921.5

    A gas giant near the very edge of validated ICG charts, and the observation point from which the initial surveys of GSV, GSW, and GSX were made. In 1997, the Heirotus-leased ICG survey ship...

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    The Hemera is a Discovery class deep-range cartography vessel constructed by the Interstellar Cartography Group and leased to Heirotus, officially assigned to chart grid GSV and parts of grid GSU. The base Discovery hull...

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