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THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK - BY VICTOR HUGO - BY ULISES FARINAS
Chapter 1 - Born in Hell
(art by Philippe Druillet)
"Furya," He would mouth the word. His home. Acidic winds, blistering hot sand, grasses that shredded your feet, and waters that boiled in your belly. For others, this was hell, but for a hell spawn species like the Furyans, it was their home.
And compared to the freezing concrete cell he currently spent his days in, it was heaven. Furya had long been destroyed, the few who survived were enslaved and sold off like parts to Megacorps, Trading consortiums and Merchant alliances throughout the galaxy.
He grew up under black skies, J-Vert Station 1862, an icy rock floating in the Oort Cloud. They were maggots on a carcass, mining an asteroid as it floated through barren space, the ore blasting off in automated pods to wherever their unknown masters determined. This was hell.
His earliest memories was the burning pain in his eyeballs. They were simply the parts of a machine, there was no such thing as man or woman or child. When a child grew capable of lifting their body weight, they were removed from the youngling population. Soul-less rubber skinned men would arrive, and usher them into the only clean room they’d ever see. Clean, because it must be sterile. This is where their bodies would be gene-scrubbed, fortified to reduce the likelihood of spreading plagues, simplify a humanoid’s dietary requirements and augment their eyes with the ‘eyeshine’. It was more economical to perform this procedure on every worker, although many were left blind and disposed of, than to provide adequate lighting throughout the facility. The savings was a the fraction of a fraction, but on a galactic scale, greed is the devil in the details.
Many young human children, would not survive this process, but for a furyan body, he was now un-kill-able. Short of decapitation, this body could survive the worst. If only his captors would know they were engineering their own destruction.
When the procedure was over, he was collared and numbered and now placed in an adult cell. This was his first name, which was no name at all: Prisoner #24601.
"What do you know of Furya!?" the Old Man barked. It startled 24601, he was unfamiliar in this new environment. Until then, the Old Man never spoke a word to him. He would arrive in the cell, later than him, and leave earlier in the morning. The rags he wore, were indistinguishable from his dirty wrinkled skin, and he was the first adult he had seen since Furya died.
"You can still feel it, in your bones! Can’t you!?" The Old Man spoke as if he knew him, it was not just his words though, something rattled about behind his eyes. "That gene-scrubbin’ can’t get rid of your Furyan blood-memory," 24601 had not yet said a word, but they were already speaking! Before he could respond, the Old Man continued, "Its why you can feel me rattling about in your head. All Furyans have a latent genetic connection. Our race is dead, but they can’t stop the feeling!"
The FEEEEELING. That’s what it was. There was no better word for it. The simple terran humans, they have a rudimentary sense of it, when you’re being watched or when it flares up in the dark. Information being downloaded into your reptilian cortex without your awareness. The other races in the galaxy had once spit on Furyans, thinking them as “animalistic”. Maybe they were right, but they wouldn’t dare say it to their face.
24601 finally spoke aloud. “Old Man, you are nuts. I don’t feel anything.” And perhaps this was a lie, but until then, not feeling anything was the first survival skill that 24601 learned in the youngling pens. He wasn’t about to admit otherwise.
"I might be crazy, but it’s kept me from going insane. My name is not Old Man, you may not have a name, but i did before we came to be imprisoned here. I am Richard B. Riddick, but when i had friends, they called me Dick B. Dick."
For years, Dick B. Dick and 24601 spent every day together. The evenings were the only time they were allowed to speak. During the day, they would mine the ore, with the other workers, all silent. Any one who dared speak, would find their vocal cords shocked into a screaming seizure, which would nearly destroy their vocal chords. The prisoners of J-Vert Station would soon develop a very distinctive accent. Rough, gravely, and nearly incomprehensible at times, a result of their scream collars.
In the evening, Dick B. Dick would share all the knowledge of his life. He was not a good man, nor was he a bad man. The universe was amoral, and so the only thing that mattered was that a man be consistent. A man needed to have a code, above all else. It is the only response to the nihilist reality of a pitch black universe. They were stuck on an asteroid, surrounded by androids, who could not decide right from wrong. But Dick knew a life before this prison, and 24601 learned of the cruelty of men. Those who perverted morality and ethics and justice to serve them. They were all empty words, Dick compared them to birthday cake. “As you get older, no one buys you a birthday cake on your birthday, and you don’t even care. That’s what it’s like when you get arrested for stealing a mouthful of bread, so you don’t starve. And no one even cares.”
24601 didn’t know what cake was, or even what “flavor” was. He only knew that they were on this asteroid because of Evil men believed they were doing what was right. Dick B. Dick assured him, the only thing that is right, is to make your own rules and follow them. Then nobody can imprison you, even if they put you in chains!
SUDDENLY, the vents on the station all opened. Fresh Air flushed the cell block, and the walls groaned like an awakening beast. There was shaking, and rattling, and then silence like before.
That was the day, the Judges arrived.
Chapter 2 - Life Sentence
24601 was awake before his cell door opened. He always would wake up at the same time. Dick B. Dick would be gone, and he would stand at the door, ready to feel the slight magnetic pulse in his collar, that always directed him to the day’s mining assignment. It was only when he was an older man, that he discovered that the magnetic impulse was not one of his senses, but came from the collar. Strange to feel that you’re missing a body part that was really a leash. This morning, the pulse did not come. Instead, a man stood before him. An actual man, not a rubber skinned android.
He was not as old as Dick, but he was older than 24601. He was not larger though, as 24601 Furyan body appeared as a grown man of twenty years, despite being only a teenager. He was in a blue uniform, with gold ornaments that resembled a Furyan G’Toh (pronounced Jeh Tee Ock), a glorious animal that 24601 could see flying in his dreams. His face was hidden behind a black visor, and his mouth was clenched in a deep frown. It was strange to know a man was looking at you, a man with feelings, a man with control. Up til then, he’d only known fellow slaves and prisoners, and the unfeeling Androids. They did not stare, they saw pass you. But this man stared into 24601. Stared in judgement. On the man’s chest, was a badge. On the badge, there was one word - DREDD.
— stay tuned for more!—
Roadblock played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson lost on Monster Island encounters Minila - the Magical Baby Godzilla. Inspired by Miyazaki, commission for Kenshi Toll
Roadblock played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson lost on Monster Island encounters Minila - the Magical Baby Godzilla. Inspired by Miyazaki, commission for Kenshi Toll via Instagram http://ift.tt/1ndxDeE
Best Judge Dredd MC2 Artist Ever! via Instagram http://ift.tt/1yTQBKK
COMIC ART OF THE DAY is this YOKAI MONSTER OF AN ARTIST - Fabian Mense - http://ift.tt/1ySNtyZ
COMIC ART OF THE DAAAAY! GET INSPIRED BY YOUR OWN INADEQUACY COMPARED TO THESE YOUNG LEGENDS OF COMICS - Valentin Seiche http://ift.tt/1jS73HS
Next Level Fantastic Fantasy Illustration by nimasprout
Comic Art of the Day is BACKYARD by Sam Alden
I thought the story was another “hipsters unable to communicate with each other because of fears of overt aggression so nothing gets done, ever” story. But instead, this focus on the monotonous petty squabbles about rent and being broke allows the pretty dark and weird and surreal elements in the background feel even more sinister, until you get to the last panel, which is fantastic.
Here it is, sorry for spoiling it for you.