Straight scale-and-crop. Four-bys are so easy to process!

Warning – Most of the metadata for the second edition of this scene is grumpy. There’s a good reason for this, beyond the usual angst – the Seven Eleven ran out of my usual energy drink. You know how this stuff ships, right? You buy a case, you get two dozen Red flavor, two dozen Crap flavor, two dozen Dentist’s Chair flavor, and an even dozen of the sucralose-infused “low carb” stuff. I buy the dozen, nobody touches the other flavors, and the stuff just sits there on the shelves for weeks… because they ain’t orderin’ more ’till it moves, dammit.

That much sugar (we’re talking Venom energy drink, since nobody stocks Sugar Free Sobe Adrenaline Rush anymore and it comes with a spiffy screw cap) is just horrible for me – my energy, and my complexion. I was no fan of zits in my teens and I’m even less of one now. So until The Sev restocks on my sauce, I’ve been drinking Red Bull cola.

I’d drink regular Red Bull, but to be perfectly honest… it puts me to sleep. So does the sugar free Red Bull. The stuff used to work, but somewhere along the line it Stopped, and started having the reverse effect. The cola, on the other hand, gave me a wicked, very productive kick the first time I used it.

So I stuck with it.

And, like any other cocktail of uppers, I rapidly ran out of ZING! and crashed into the land of perpetual bleah. Grouchiness, thanks to the amount of sugar involved, is par for the course. The funky slurp one gets when one is too full of stimulants – the inability to focus, etc – is also along for the ride.

So, the grouchy leaks out here and there.

Not that it’s much different from the tone of a lot of the previous 2e metadata, but this time around I know there’s a definite chemical factor involved!

Hell, we’re – in theory, anyway – over the hump. Pep. We should be seeing pep! One day, I promise!

The biggest grump? Right now it’s August 05, 2009. I have 17 pages of this scene ready for dialogue. I have no dialogue. And to get to the point where I can post these pages, I need:

1. Incursion covers finished. Two done, three to go.

2. New version of website. No work done.

3. Expulsion. The whole damned thing – properly written, laid out, rendered, drawn, shaded… it requires:

4. MBO-1 to be finished and texture-mapped. I’ve needed this to proceed DCR and have known I’d need it to proceed ATC since October or November of last year. My last attempt to move it forward turned into the “bluebell” space freighter (more on that at some other time). Texturing MBO-1 is going to be hard. It’s going to be tedious and painful. It matters more than any other vehicle in the series, and while I’ve got the shape down, I still have some work to do in the texturing department. This thing having been hand drawn for years, I’ve never thought about the the actual texturing beyond “Disaster Area black with GIANT METEOR-POCKED ATC LIGATURE ON THE SIDE.” And believe me, there’s definitely more to it than that. I just don’t necessarily know what yet. And that’s Bad.

5. Expulsion cover and Motion cover. It’s either do these before I start rolling out the pages, or Deeply Rethink my cover strategy, reworking it into something that’ll let me proceed with “rework NOW, new stuff LATER” instead of the mixed bag that this bit of the second edition wants to be.

6. Rework II (which you just looked at) and make sure expulsion and the new II manage to seamlessly link the end of chapter four to the beginning of chapter five. Cinematic-like.

7. Seriously? Given all that, it seems like ‘rework now, new later’ could be the way to go. Hell, I’ve spent the past couple of days hacking on the first scene of this chapter instead of mapping the MBO-1 not just because the loaner PC can’t handle my texturing methods, but because this stuff is already – to a large extent – DONE. Which makes redoing it an exercise in problem solving with a heaping helping of autopilot for seasoning.

Giving deep dour consideration to Just Doing The Second Edition, THEN doing the new bits afterwards.

Giving secondary consideration to spending the late summer and early fall reformatting pages and the winter rewriting them. The crap bit of that proposition is that lettering isn’t nearly as much fun as the photoshop. Doing it on a per-scene basis is a good balance – the idea of doing entire chapters (or the entire back four) in one whack is…. slightly terrifying.

It’s an option.

Fire bad, tree pretty.

20090903 (2) – Lettered.


  • A former United States Army Ranger, Tantek has been with Thule Garrison since the Waking God Protocols field trials of the mid 1990s. He works well with Raven Lockheart, typically functioning as muscle though...