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Author Topic: PROGS IN SPACE! - The 31st 2000AD Forum Story Competition  (Read 1335 times)

Lady Festina

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PROGS IN SPACE! - The 31st 2000AD Forum Story Competition
« on: 20 June, 2013, 09:13:38 pm »
Welcome to this 2000AD Forum Story Comp! This will be our 31st adventure together and we're going farther than we ever have before...

Courtesy of our last winner eamon1961, we are taking a journey into the great darkness, the unknown beyond, the very far-awayness that is SPACE. Your mission: a galactic tale told in no more than 500 words featuring any 2000AD character in space, as simple as that.

Send them up into the black and see what happens.

Closing date: 8.18pm on Saturday 20th July. Free smile to the first person who tells me why.

Emp

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Re: PROGS IN SPACE! - The 31st 2000AD Forum Story Competition
« Reply #1 on: 22 June, 2013, 12:11:47 am »
Because it won't actually be the closing date? :D

Bat King

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Re: PROGS IN SPACE! - The 31st 2000AD Forum Story Competition
« Reply #2 on: 22 June, 2013, 12:46:03 am »
It is your birthday?

Simon Beigh

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Re: PROGS IN SPACE! - The 31st 2000AD Forum Story Competition
« Reply #3 on: 22 June, 2013, 11:37:16 am »
I was hit with a burst of inspiration this morning (not about the closing date significance, can't figure that out!), so here it is. This is probably my first attempt at creative writing in 20 years, so I hope people enjoy it....

SPACED OUT ZOMBO

The zombie stared at the chaos around him, unaware of the flames, or the smoke, or the loud klaxon blaring overhead. He noticed a large, green-skinned creature wearing speedos bearing down on him, then noticed nothing more as his head was removed from his torso with a single punch. Without breaking stride, Zombo moved quickly into the next corridor of the wrecked spaceship and increased his pace. The klaxon suddenly stopped and was replaced with a female voice:

"Whilst there is no cause for alarm, your Government does recommend you abandon ship. Trust your Government."

The wailing klaxon began again.

A large bulkhead door loomed through the shadows of the thick smoke, forcing Zombo to stop suddenly. He adjusted his speedos, and looked around him for another way out. From his left, two more zombies lurched into view. Zombo leapt towards them and swing his fists down on top of their heads, squishing their squelchy brains into their squelchy necks. He was about to set off up the corridor they had come from when he noticed a half eaten arm that one of them had been carrying. Zombo didn't recall when he had last eaten and was about to pick it up and have a bite when the klaxon stopped again.

"The hull of this ship has been breached," said the female voice "which invariably means certain death for all. This should be mostly painless. Your Government thanks you for your attention. Trust your Government.”

Snack time was over before it had begun. He had to find a way out NOW! As the klaxon blared out again, the smoke partially cleared up ahead and he saw a sign saying “Lifepod Ahead”. Zombo fist-pumped the air and ran forwards, skidding slightly on one of the dead zombie’s squelchy bits. The corridor ended in a door with a green control panel next to it. The sign above read:

“LIFEPOD ACTIVATED”

Relieved the thing was working, Zombo moved towards the control panel and pressed it. Nothing happened. Frustration washed over him and he smashed his fist into the panel. The colour changed from green to red and the sign now read:

“DO YOU WANT TO OPEN THIS DOOR?”

The smoke was getting thicker again and Zombo could hear an ominous creaking sound below him. Seeing as punching the panel seemed to be working he hit it again. The sign changed:

“ARE YOU REALLY SURE?”

Zombo growled and punched.

“OK – IF YOU’RE SURE…”

The door opened and Zombo was ejected into the cold darkness of space...

* * * *

Zombo awoke to find himself on the hard floor of a Government spaceship. A severe, bespectacled woman was looking down on him:

“You are SUCH an idiot!” she yelled “I said DISABLE the ship, not blow it up! We should have left you out there to rot!”

“Um, sorry Missus Lawyer” he said getting to his feet. A tall, thin man was standing at her side and Zombo smiled.

“Hullo Mister Lofty. Can I eat you, please?”

Lady Festina

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Re: PROGS IN SPACE! - The 31st 2000AD Forum Story Competition
« Reply #4 on: 23 June, 2013, 11:56:34 am »
Nice work, SimeonB - and welcome to the Story Comp!

TordelBack

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Re: PROGS IN SPACE! - The 31st 2000AD Forum Story Competition
« Reply #5 on: 23 June, 2013, 12:27:06 pm »
Closing date: 8.18pm on Saturday 20th July. Free smile to the first person who tells me why.

Too easy!  54th Anniversary of the first Moon Landing-slash-Hoax.  Think I'll give this one a go, I actually Have An Idea, if not the skill to make it interesting.
« Last Edit: 23 June, 2013, 12:28:48 pm by TordelBack »

Eamonn Clarke

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Re: PROGS IN SPACE! - The 31st 2000AD Forum Story Competition
« Reply #6 on: 25 June, 2013, 04:07:43 pm »
Are you allowed to enter if you set the theme? Well here goes anyway. ;)

2000AD: A Space Oddity

It started when we discovered the Monolith. That’s what we called him. That giant figure just standing there, so tall, so massive, so still. A lot of people cried hoax but we know what it really was. Something extra-terrestrial, not of this world, alien. He had those weird letters on his chest, they meant something but we didn't know what. And then we picked up the signal and knew that something was coming. Somewhere out beyond Pluto was an alien spacecraft and it was heading our way.

Rather than just sit back and wait the International Space Agency decided to send up one of the new Shuttles to intercept and try and establish contact. Which is how I came to be on board the ISA Belardinelli heading out of Earth orbit. I was trying to decipher their radio signals and communicate. We had to find out if they were a threat, but the language was impossibly garbled and beyond all of my translating software.

We hadn't even got as far as the Mars orbital plane when we realised that we now had multiple incoming signals. The first craft was the largest and was approaching fast but there were two smaller vessels that appeared to be chasing it. And that’s when the radio crackled to life with something we could understand: “Terran craft, this is Officer Zagger. We are in pursuit of a rogue trader. Do not interfere”.

We were heading into some galactic conflict that we knew nothing about. Our mission parameters said nothing about this but we pressed on. And that’s when things got weird. The first craft sped up and started to move past us, while the pursuers discharged some form of energy weapons at its tail. The radio continued to spout incomprehensible garbage which meant nothing to us but somehow it infected our computers. We lost navigation, telecommunications, and propulsion. All over the shuttle speakers started to echo with verses from old songs. The ghost was in our machine.

Our computer screens showed a kaleidoscope of weird coloured lights. The Captain started ranting about seeing himself in bed. Engineer Poole was shouting about some doors he wanted to open on eBay. At least I think that was what he was saying. And Hadfield produced a guitar and started singing. Where did he get a guitar from on a space shuttle? It was as if our whole ship was experiencing a psychedelic trip. I’m sure it all meant something but even now, 45 years later, I still haven’t figured out what.

And just like that it was over. All our systems rebooted and screens flickered back into life. The two smaller vessels had disappeared and the larger craft had moved past Earth and was heading out into deep space again. Then the translation software finally managed to produce something recognisable and we heard their final message “Thanks for looking after him, good buddies. And a big ten-ten till we do it again. Garp out!”

Dash Decent

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Re: PROGS IN SPACE! - The 31st 2000AD Forum Story Competition
« Reply #7 on: 25 June, 2013, 11:11:22 pm »
Closing date: 8.18pm on Saturday 20th July. Free smile to the first person who tells me why.

Because when you decode 20-7-12-8.18 as letters of the alphabet, it spells THARG.

(Okay, it actually spells TGLHR, but I can't help it if the good lady is no good at encryption.)

Alski

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Re: PROGS IN SPACE! - The 31st 2000AD Forum Story Competition
« Reply #8 on: 04 July, 2013, 11:10:50 am »
DREDD SPACE

“Dredd to control - we’ve got another cape.”

Dredd frowned, because it seemed like he was speaking those words far too much recently. “Capes” was the obvious nickname given to certain individuals who had been experimented on by Dr Julius Hathaway, a man who claimed he wanted to improve the human race, but in Dredd’s eyes was just another lawbreaking creep.

Giving normal citizens super powers was only asking for trouble, especially when most of them couldn’t be trusted to cross the road without breaking the law.

At least Hathaway had, before he was arrested and cubed, aimed his experiments at what could be considered upstanding cits, ones who genuinely wanted to help. The problem was that they hadn’t been trained by the Academy Of Law, hadn’t memorized the many, twisted laws of the city, hadn’t had a copy of “Dredd’s Comportment” under their pillow at nights, hoping the wisdom of Ol’ Stoney Face would somehow seep through. Laser vision was fine unless you were someone who had trouble using a laz knife to cut butter.

All this ran through Dredd’s mind as he sized up the situation. There was certainly plenty of fire, cause no doubt by said laser vision. There was also a few charred mobster corpses and melted weapons, plus a man in a cape (natch) kneeling on the floor with lasers shooting from his eyes and burrowing through the floor. Dredd noticed that both the man’s hands were charred stumps, as if he had unsuccessfully tried to stop the beams himself. At least the wounds were immediately cauterized, thought Dredd. 

“It won’t stop!” screamed the man, who Dredd knew was Bobbert Bobinson of the respectable Sandy Bullock block on the East side.

“Close your eyes, citizen Bobinson!” shouted Dredd.

“I tried,” sobbed Bobinson. “ I tried, but the laser just burned through my eyelids. Please, Judge, I only wanted to help.”

Dredd came up behind him, laying a gloved hand on one shoulder, gently so as not to startle him.

“You know what has to happen, don’t you citizen?” he asked.

“Yes… just do it, Judge, before I drill through the drokking planet.”

A second and a bullet later it was over. Another malfunctioning super power , another dead cit, another few years on Hathaway’s sentence. Dredd had no doubt that Justice Department would be pouring over his records, salivating at the prospect of super powered Judges at some point in the future. Personally, Dredd hoped he wasn’t around to see it, traditionalist that he was.

He reached into Bobinson’s pocket, and as expected found his membership card. Pretty sad, but it had made the cits feel like they were somehow official, excusing their actions. He held it up, and confirmed that Citizen Bobbert Boninson was indeed a member of Super Powers Against Criminal Enterprizes.

“S.P.A.C.E,” muttered Dredd, a familiar sneer creeping across his face. He dropped the card on the body and walked away. “Dead space now…”
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Eamonn Clarke

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Re: PROGS IN SPACE! - The 31st 2000AD Forum Story Competition
« Reply #10 on: 17 July, 2013, 07:35:40 pm »
Well I've come up with another entry. With apologies to our organiser for bumping her off. At least you get avenged.

The Deep Space Job

"Good morning, Mr Alpha. We've been expecting you. Do struggle against your bonds. It will do you no good but I would find it entertaining."

Ernst Redfield regarded the bounty hunter with scarred eyes.

"You have been sent here to bring me to trial on Zoladex 4. Yet I wonder how they intend to convict me when key witnesses have recently suffered a change of heart, quite literally in a couple of cases. "

Johnny Alpha's mutated eyes blazed at the crime lord. "What have you done with Wulf?"

"Relax, Mr Alpha. The imposing Mr Sternhammer is sleeping peacefully and soon this vessel will rendezvous with a slaver ship from Khund. I imagine he will make quite a price at the auction.
As you will see you I have all your clever devices. Sternhammer's Happystick, your blasters, the electroknux, and this elaborate helmet of yours. All safe and sound and ready to add to my collection after we push your body out of the airlock. You should know, Mr Alpha, that I always do my research. I know who has been sent after me. I know their strengths and their particular weaknesses. Fascinating stuff, research. But I can't spend all morning chatting with you Mr Alpha. Things to do, people to kill."

"How did you do it, Redfield? How did you make Judge Festina disappear just when she was building the case against you?"

"Well now, that would be telling but I suppose as you're not going to be with us for much longer. It's all down to research again. When we found that the Judge was not susceptible to our monetary approaches we discovered that she spent one morning a week volunteering in an orphanage. How very charming.
From there it was a fairly easy task to infiltrate the youngest member of my team into the orphans home. Young Adam. Such a prodigious talent for 9 years old. Once done we got creative with plascrete. You know that asteroid belt above Proteolos Minor? Let's just say Judge Festina sleeps with the stars tonight.
Now I really must dash. Take a deep breath Mr Alpha. You will need it. "

"We did our research too, Redfield. That's why we're here."

"What can you possibly mean?"

"My helmet. It's been recording everything. Sub-etheric transmission to the Hall of Justice. They have it all by now. Wulf!"

There was a brief scuffle with a security guard and then the giant Viking strode into the room. A couple of taps with his retrieved happy stick and Alpha stood free besides him.

"Ah, Johnny. This dummkopf did not know ve have the nose filters. No sleeping for us, ja"

"Whatever they are paying you, Alpha, I'll double it."

"Research letting you down again, Redfield. Festina was a friend of ours. This isn't business, this is personal."

"Ja. Ve do you for free."

"No use struggling or planning any wild escape attempts, Redfield. After all, in space no one can hear you scheme."