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Messages - Alski

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« on: 05 May, 2014, 09:34:34 AM »
That first place pic is stunningly good. Well done all.

Could you now vote in teh short story comp please - a 2000AD GN for a random voter is up for grabs.


Oh yeah... the first one is SMIFFY not "miffy" - lost an S!


Bolt – 01

“Harvey's briefing”

Good morning, I’ll try to keep this as brief as i can. I know we are all busy but I’ve a few messages before we get to the choice stuff.

First, we’ve had word that someone has been messing with the smoke detectors on the bunk level. I know some of you out there are a little hard of thinking, but we are all in a spaceship with a very explosive mix of gasses. The next one of you who is caught either smoking or messing with a smoke detector will find their liscence revoked and the details passed on to finance. Remember, freaks- fire bad!

Due to fuel increases we are dropping the number of scheduled shuttles out to the interstellar way-gate down to one every two days. I know that will cause some problems for those of you with a hot lead on your latest bone- but that’s just the way it is.

I’ve been told by the medics that some of you out there are almost six months past your check-up dates. These checks are part of the liscence agreement you signed when you took out your start-up loan so if you don’t keep up to date- Finance will be onto you. Apparently Dr Bob has set up some evening clinics to help out.

Now- onto the reason you are here- fresh big scores. First off we’ve got a 500 thou bounty on the Epsilon Eridani gang. These are termination warrants so only make sure your recording equipment is up to snuff. Remember what happened to Dogbreath Dagget last month- lens caps can cost you everything.

Next up we’ve got something interesting. A bodyguarding gig for a band on tour over near Cygnus. The band’re called... I ain’t saying that, it reads like one of those pranks calls from that Tri-D show my kids watch. Anyway- it’s a four week gig and as long as all five of the band make it back you will pick-up 300 thou.

That’s it for the big scores, but if you log-in on the Intranet you can see all the lowlifes we’ve been trying to get you to go after for the last few weeks. If you want to put your badges in the ring for the big jobs then sign up on the job screen. I’ll pull the winner tomorrow morning before the rest of the meeting.

Last thing from me is a congrats to George Tronso from the quartermasters- he’s getting married in two weeks and want to celebrate. He says he’s putting on a few drinks in the Kennel- see Butch for tickets.

Okay- I’ve got a lot to do, so unless there is anything else.


Right, well see you tomorrow, freaks.



“Ozzie Mandius”

A solitary fly buzzed feebly as it careened and spun around the almost empty diner. The thing looked as burnt out as I felt. Two days on this rock, and I was running dry.

It was the dust that got to you, got into you and everything else. It clogged machinery, made weapons useless and left a taste in your mouth that felt like you were about to choke. Frankly it was a mystery how anything functioned at all, when it did function.

Outside, distant dust storms howled. Opposite me in the booth sat a local snitch, an odd bird-like creature known without affection as "The Magpie". I'd made the mistake of befriending him in exchange for any clues to the whereabouts of my bounty, an S/D agent gone bad with a lot of blood on his hands. Dumb, rookie mistake - I'd exhausted all he knew in a day and now couldn't get rid of the guy. Presently he was telling me his whole biography going right back to the egg, and let's just say it's not the kind of life-story that wins awards. I should've just told him to get fragged, but I'm too nice a guy I guess. Ha, who am I kidding.

One of my eyes was on the Magpie as he prattled on, the other kept drifting back to that damn fly. I guess I was kinda hungry, but that wasn't why it was drawing my attention.

With a swiftness that made the Magpie squawk in alarm and duck for cover, I plucked the thing from the air.

"Ozzie sent you, huh?" The increased frequency of it's panicked buzzing told me I was right. "The perfect spy. Until you got cocky, that is. Okay, here's the deal: Take me to him and I let you fly away with all the legs you currently possess. Try making a break for it and you'll get to see how far this tongue of mine can reach."

* * *

I found him, it didn't take long. Had he wanted to be caught?

"Sal," he greeted me without turning round.

"You were one of us, Ozzie. What made you flip?"

"Isn't it obvious? Back there on the Doghouse, I was nothing, nobody. A joke."

"We can't all be Johnny Alpha."

"That self-righteous blowhard. I didn't want to be him. I wanted to be one of the guys that kill guys like him and get to walk away. Listen," pleading now, "Buried out there is enough loot to keep us both secure for the rest of our lives. I can still find it. Before you take me in, just think about that."

I thought about it, a long time. I still think about it now. When it came down it, I took the consolation prize and left the real reward out there, under all that dirt. It could only end badly either way, I told myself, so what did it matter?

Maybe if I keep saying it I'll believe it.



“The Arse/Knee Configuration”

Kid Knee sat smoking, ash trickled absently down the top of his boot. Kid didn't seem to notice, perhaps he was drunk...again. Drunk or not he was happy, genuinely happy. That scared people ,Kid wasn't the stront best known as the elite among them..Another figure stood in the bar his back to kid. The smoke in the place mingled with the fumes of some of the more illicit beverages in the doghouse but it wasn't an illusion kid was talking to himself .the man who had his back turnedappeared to  reached down to pour a glass of ale down the back of his pants...

" I don't believe it!" kid chortled "they made you a stront? things must be desperate since alpha bit the big one!"

  The man with his back to him shifted uneasily,a hand resting nervously on the stock of his Westinghouse model 69.
"yeah," he said," I make even you look good" ...
Arseface lit a cigarette, the glow of it caused several patrons in the bar to audibly exclaim an understanding "ahhhh" was the general vibe.

Arseface was so called because as mutations went his was cruel. his arse was on top of his shoulders and his face was between his hips,round the back,where his arse should have been
   " I have to look behind me to see where I'm going and shoot from under my armpits to even have a chance to see what I'm shooting at let alone hit it."

  "you got over that bout of gastroenteritis then?" kid asked trying to sound caring but barely able to stifle his glee
"don't remind me", arseface said, " the puking was manageable,but the other!"

kid wiped the stream of snot off his chin that suddenly erupted when he could contain himself no longer as he remembered it had started when arseface was in a romantic entanglement with Sadie no  nose ,if it was dark and she didn't try to kiss him it usually went off without a hitch but the night had been ruined with the ominous gurgling sound that preceded the...incident. Sadie still wasn't speaking to him and it had been a month...
   Kid left the bar laughing his ass off and went into a self satisfied stupor for three days...

  The news came in on Thursday, Arseface had died ,flash flood,only waist high granted but for arseface that had obviously been fatal. Kid would raise a glass for him tonight, he was after all a good thigh lower to the groung than old AF and as he'd been out of it arseface had taken the job kid had been marked for...



“A Dog's Luck”

Nervous Nigel never had any luck. Ever since he was a kid all he ever wanted to be was a Strontium Dog. Growing up in the Milton Keynes Ghetto he only had one ambition; to pin that badge on his chest. He'd show his dad, prove him wrong.

'You’re never going to be a Stront son. That's for mutants with a mean streak, a killer's disposition. You're too sensitive to be one of them. You're just unlucky son.'

Nigel would joke that his mutation was his bad luck. But it wasn't just that. He wasn't lucky enough have one of those cool mutations like Johnny Alpha's eyes or Durham Red's teeth. No. Nigel was born with his nervous system on the outside of his body. A gentle breeze against his skin was agony for him. He took strong painkillers just to be able to wear clothes. Not the most useful thing when all you want to be is a galactic bounty hunter. That's how he got his name. Nervous Nigel. The pun was very much intended.

But Nigel was determined not to let his bad luck stop him from fulfilling his dream. If he couldn't use his body he would use his brain. He studied for years. He invented a suit for himself that would be like a second skin and not irritate his external nervous system. With that he could now work and train. He would be a Strontium Dog. His luck was finally changing.

And the day came.

Nervous Nigel stood in the main hall of the Doghouse and received his blaster from the GCC Doghouse Liaison. Other Strontium Dogs were in attendance to witness. He was so proud. He was handed his bandolier. He took one of the Time Bombs from its holder. He never thought this day would come. And the best part of all; The badge. Finally. The liaison released the pin from its clasp but just before he could pin it to Nigel's lapel there was a flash in the middle of the hall and a screaming figure, armed to the teeth, materialised out of nowhere. The gathered Strontium Dogs immediately drew their weapons and opened fire on the intruder, vaporising him. The liaison was distracted by the commotion but Nigel would not have his big moment ruined by anyone and grabbed the SD badge that he had waited so long to get and pinned it to his chest himself. But the pin grazed his skin under his suit and in a fit of intense pain he screamed and dropped the time bomb he was holding, which immediately went off and sent him just a few seconds back in time and due to the orbit of the Doghouse he materialised in the middle of the hall to be greeted by a startled group of heavily armed trigger happy Bounty Hunters. The last thing that went through his head before being vaporised was:

Maybe bad luck was his mutation after all.

Greetings, thrill seekers.

Mutants... the poor relations of good, decent humans. Uppity freaks with their daft names, usually a bad pun on their particular grotesque mutation (I mean, "Kid Knee"? Seriously?).

At least they're good for one thing: writing stories about.

Yeah, we dragged in some of the top norm scriptwriters to pen a short tale about some of the losers in life's genetic lottery. Good for a laugh, we thought - it's not like they can sue us.

So here they are in all their glory. please vote for your TOP THREE in order, and the most popular will win a 2000AD Ancient History Textbook. Just to encourage you lazy snekkers to vote, one of the voters will be picked at random to also win a coveted 2000AD Ancient History Textbook (I think they use to call the "Graphic Novels", sneck knows why).

Go for it, and may the best Norms win.

Harvey (Guest comp host)



“The Mutaint”

“Sand, sand, sand—and more sand.”

She then strode off across the dead lake and he waddled and clacked after her.

“Wait for me,” he said and was surprised when she did.

“We’d best check our weapons before we get there,” she said, wiping her goggles clean with a sleeve. “Sand is getting everywhere.”

He released the magazine from his blaster, hit it against his head, and re-loaded it. He looked up at her and waggled his eyebrows. “Don’t worry—my gun’s ship-shape and Bristol fashion.”

She flinched, adjusted the bandolier that ran across her third breast, and strode off once more, heading for the giant, rusting carcass of a crashed freighter on the horizon.

“Wait, wait,” he shouted and was again surprised when she did. Then, once he’d hobbled up to her, he said, simply, “I’m sorry.”

She cleaned her goggles again and said, “Apology accepted.” Then: “And I’m sorry I didn’t land closer. I didn’t think. How’re your feet?”

“Oh, they’d bleed if they had a blood flow.” He rocked back onto the heels of his twisted, skeleton feet. “But we’re nearly there now. Job’s nearly done.”

“Let’s get on with it,” she said and they set off again. Across the red sand, the setting sun threw long shadows towards them from the freighter. “The quarry’s in there.”

He pulled out a small computer and tapped its screen. “Howie Ramsden: The Mutaint—wanted dead or alive”

“Why do you think he does it?”

“Does what—kill people or pretend to be a mutant?”

“Both.” Pause. “But, well, why would a norm pretend to be a mutant? If he knew what it was really like, he’d… not wear that mask.”

He scrolled his finger down the screen. “His parents run a mutel in Milton Keynes. Maybe he feels guilty about the way we’re ripped off in places like that? Or, uhm, he’s a rich kid who fancied slumming it?”

“Norm guilt?”

“Exactly: he fancied trying out someone else’s chip on his shoulder, which he can just hand back when he’s done playing with it.”

“Or he’s a neo-Kreelmanist who wants to stir up trouble by killing norms while disguised as a mutant?”

“Or he’s just a psycho?”

“Yes, let’s not over-think the quarry.”

“Quite.” He scrolled through the Mutaint’s charge sheet and rechecked his blaster, nervously, once he’d finished. “He’s not going to surrender. He’s a—”



She unslung her rifle as they neared tailfin debris from the freighter. “I hope he’s not wearing the mask.”


“I’d rather shoot who he is rather than who he isn’t.”

He nodded and checked his blaster again as he peered into a dark tear in the hull. “Usual wager—lunch for the killing shot?”

“Of course.”

“Beef marrow sumsum for me,” he said, tapping his toes on the ground. “And for you, if you get the Mutaint?”

“Baps,” she said, smiling, and disappeared inside the freighter.


Eamonn 1961


The bar was empty and Billings relaxed as he walked through the door. No need to watch his back in here.

"What can I get you?" asked the barmaid.

"Saturn ale and a shot of Black. Quiet night?"

"Won't get busy until the off-world transport gets here tomorrow."

A transport that was likely to be carrying bounty hunters. He would need to be gone by the time they arrived. Still, no reason why he couldn't have a little fun tonight.

"Anyone ever tell you that you have lovely eyes?" he asked.

"Yeah, but not usually guys on their first drink of the night," she replied with a smile.

Pretty nice smile too, thought Billings. "Have a drink with me?"

"Well as it's quiet I'll have a small Janx spirit. Thank you."

As she poured her drink the bar door opened and a man wearing a wide brimmed hat and dark glasses walked in.

"Beer" he said as he took a seat in a booth.

Billings watched closely in the bar mirror as the barmaid served the newcomer a beer and walked back to the bar.

"I'm Anansi. Thanks for the drink." She held out her hand.

"Name's Kelso. Nice to meet you." Her hand felt cool to the touch. This was looking very promising, if he could just keep an eye on that guy in the booth.

"So what brings you to Zamora, Kelso?"

"I'm on ... "
What was his cover story again? The man in the booth had removed his hat but still wore the glasses. What was he hiding?

"I'm on business. I sell skimmer parts." Time for a bit more of that legendary Billings charm,
"That's a very pretty broach you're wearing."

"Thank you, Kelso. And when you're not selling? What do you do for fun?"

Billings wiped sweat from his forehead. Why couldn't he think clearly?

"Fun? I don't know. Err... do you get many mutants in here?"

"Mutants? Not many. They bother you?"

"No bother at all. Not when they're dead. That's what I call fun. Robbing and killing those weird looking scum. That's why they call me Kelso 'the killing' Billings."

Why was he telling her this?

"Mutant killer. I guess that must make you a wanted man?"

"I'm wanted for multiple counts of murder. I'm guilty as hell and there's a 100,000 credit bounty on my head."
He couldn't stop himself, the words were just tumbling out.

"I think that should be enough," Anansi smiled and touched a button on her broach. The letters SD swam before Billings' eyes as she clicked the cuffs onto his wrists.

"You've been messing with my mind. You're one of them, but you look so ... so normal?"

Her eyes flashed red, "That's right, creep. Some of us are just different on the inside. And that means it’s last orders for you."


Lobo Baggins

“Too Many Stixes”

The Doghouse Docking Bay, sometime during 'The Killing'

Across the bay, the door of the shuttle hummed open and a ramp descended to the ground.  She grabbed hold of the railing and leaned over the gantry to get a better view, wondering if it was anyone she knew arriving.

A familiar shape stepped out of the shadows.  He wore his idiosyncratic old brown rad-duster and a wide brimmed hat.  He had shoulder-length, almost colourless hair and his unmoving, perpetually scowling face looked like old, weather-beaten leather.  But his eyes… they were the worst.  Even under the shade of his hat, and from right across the shuttle bay, she could feel the intensity of his icy black stare.  Once, years ago now, she’d been drinking in the Kennel when he’d come in.  She’d made some sarcastic remark about this newcomer’s vaguely ridiculous hat.  The usually rowdy room, occupied by professional killers and bounty hunters, had fallen abruptly silent.  People had quietly backed away from her – even Boris and Jackobaglai.  The man with the dead black eyes hadn’t said a word; he’d just looked at her.  She’d met his gaze and hadn’t been able to look away.  She’d never frozen like that before or since, and despite the thirteen macmacs she’d consumed she’d suddenly felt the most sober she’d been in her life.  Only the arrival of a very drunken Middenface McNulty in the bar had broken the spell.  He’d swept off in a moody silence and she’d been left shaking, literally shaking, by the encounter.  The others in the bar had been impressed; he’d killed people for much less.  Sometimes he killed people for no reason at all.  That was Stix and he wasn’t someone you wanted to annoy.  She apparently held the record for out-staring him.  The endless eye contact had lasted all of three seconds.  But she’d heard that Stix was dead…

She realised she’d been holding her breath and made a conscious effort to breathe normally.  Stix, or his look-a-like or whatever it was, glared round the docking bay at nothing in particular and glided slowly down the stairs.  ‘You’ve got to be snecking kidding!’ she breathed as another, identical figure appeared from the shadows and glared around the docking bay at nothing in particular before gliding down the stairs.  The two figures met at the bottom of the stairway and strode away in eerie unison towards the gravity lock that led to the main briefing hall.  Her mind raced.  Stix had died on a time job, hadn’t he?  Yes, it had been that messy one that had got Slabhead and Big Cynthia chucked out of the Agency.  Maybe Stix had been somehow temporally duplicated or something.  Or maybe he split in two whenever you killed him.  Her eyes widened at the thought.

‘Vhot is beink dis?’ barked Boris, ‘Boris is thinkink dat hafink Stix lookink-likes convention is beink ver bad idea.  Two Stixes is beink too many Stixes by at least two.’




In The orbiting Doghouse space station, Harvey was not pleased.

“Listen up, freaks – one of you scummy stronts has been nosing through my stuff again, and a very personal item has been stolen. You got 24 hours to put it back or I start to give all the best bounties to the worst hunters.”

“Like who?” shouted Knee High Neville. “I'm pretty bad. Ain't had a bounty in six months.”

“That ain't fair!” shouted Jimmy no neck. “You ain't got no right to do that, Harvey!”

“I got the right to do whatever I damn well want!” shouted Harvey. “As the only norm is this stinkin' place I am your snecking king, and don't you forget it. Hell, maybe I'll just give all the best bounties to Alpha – at least he'll get the job done.”

At the back of the room, Johnny Alpha said nothing. Around him things just got worse. If there was anything most bounty hunters hated more than a failure it was a stone cold success. His partner Wulf (who was also a norm but Harvey liked to conveniently forget this) was not so stoic.

“Hah!” he said “Der voorms are jealous enough of you already, old cucumber. This will just be causing trouble.”

“That's Harvey all over,” agreed Alpha. “Why on earth they put such an anti mutant loser in charge of this place is beyond me.”

“Ach! Is probably der joke. Somehow Wulf does not find it at all amusing.”

“You and me both, big fella,” agreed Alpha. “I think we might be wise to give him a little hand finding whatever it is, though. There's no money in fighting amongst ourselves, right?”

“You are right, Johnny veerd eyes,” Wulf agreed. “Time for der happy stick to crack a few skulls.” With this, he happily hefted his fearsome weapon.

“Maybe they'll just give whatever it is back anyway after this commotion.” suggested Alpha.

“Ja! Unt maybe the pigs, they will fly” snorted Wulf as they moved away from the crowd.

Within thirteen hours, thanks to a well placed threat from Johnny and Wulf, the item was back in Harvey's quarters. It hadn't been hard to track down Slimer Smith, a man who was as slippery and sneaky as his name (and mutation) suggested. Apparently, Harvey had been on his case so he had decided to pinch something as a small act of rebellion.

After installing new security on his door, Harvey allowed himself to relax. The job was too stressful some days, but at least he had his item back. He sat in his favourite chair and examined it: it was a metal rod with a sort of clamp on one end, allowing something to be grabbed between velveteen teeth, with the shaft itself a curiously curved beast with a neat hand grip at one end. Removing his trousers, Harvey allowed his prehensile tail to swing free, then used the tail groomer to massage and scratch it, which was sheer bliss. He knew all the freaks wondered why he had got the job, but he hoped they never found out, because who better to keep all the freaks under control than a freak...

General / Re: Posting character limit heLp please!
« on: 03 May, 2014, 11:35:33 PM »
ah yeah - my brain was full of wrong!

bloody obvious!

General / Posting character limit heLp please!
« on: 03 May, 2014, 03:40:58 PM »

Trying to put the short story comp voting thread on, but such is the multitude of stories I am over the 20000 character limit

Any way to circumvent this?


General / One Week To Win A 2000AD Graphic Novel!
« on: 22 April, 2014, 12:26:56 PM »

have a bash at our short story comp, only 500 words.

"Tales From The Doghouse".

Thanks for reading, and the more entries the merrier

Got the lot - only waiting for 2 that were lost in the post and volume 60.

Lovely books, but the way they decided to extend it with more juvenile titles whilst pretending it was the idea all along was shitty.

That said, utterly happy with the initial 60 set.

General / Re: Best one-prog Dredds
« on: 31 March, 2014, 12:07:59 PM »
I really liked "Finger Of Suspicion", where an unlucky cit got his middle finger stuck in an insulting way and people took offense!

Funny stuff as usual by Wagner, and well drawn by Kennedy.

Prog 1387

« on: 31 March, 2014, 12:04:23 PM »
Some very nice work, thanks to all who entered.

1 - JonGibbons – Shores Of The Scum Sea, Nu Earth

2 - Jon - Grand hall Of Justice

3 - Archie 2 – Mega City 2

Don't forget we have a short story comp running this month, with a 2000AD Graphic Novel as first prize. The theme is "Tales From The Doghouse" - top of the "General" page.

Prog / Re: Prog 1874: 5 New Thrills
« on: 27 March, 2014, 01:00:28 PM »
Pretty goos stuff, although as has been mentioned nothing really screams "ZARJAZ!".

Looks like Justuce Department is doing something "for the good of the people", but I can't guess what it is. Despite the lack of action this is well written, drawn and shows the depth of Dredd under Wagner.

Slaine was okay, although Simon Davis appears to have over ordered on the blue ink again.

SinDex had a nice idea with the "free gun" stuff (which happens in America), and hopefully we'll have a good small town bullies vs gunsharks tale to come.

Outlier has potential, depending on where it goes. Love KR's art either way.

Rennie's Norty Soldiers may also go one way or the other, but ep one didn't really do anything for me. got very bored with Aquila and these days only look forward to new Absalom.

Books & Comics / Re: "Starlight" - Mark Millar
« on: 17 March, 2014, 10:50:28 PM »
That link makes interesting reading... been ploughing through the pages specific to 2000AD - (page 16 or so onwards) - I think one point the critic doesnt really dwell on is that perhaps Millar is just showing a contempt for his audience?  He doesnt like 2000AD, thinks the style is old fashioned, stereotypical and overly macho and is "giving them what they want" while getting his kicks out of being wilfully as poor/crass as the material/audience deserves...?  Although not yet got to the end!

His stuff is certainly over macho at times, but I loved The Ultimates, which was very guilty of this.

I suppose it's like being a fan of anyone - you don't like to see them rubbished for being popular. I suppose I am a populist, as Millar, Ennis and bendis are my favourite three writers.

Books & Comics / Re: "Starlight" - Mark Millar
« on: 16 March, 2014, 09:50:08 AM »
Stating that it's an unoriginal idea as a criticism of the comic just seems silly. How many of our favourite 2000ad creators have 'borrowed' ideas to create perfectly entertaining strips?

Millar is simply taking the pulp space hero as an archetype and telling a new story with it. On the strength of the first issue, I think it's great.

From what I can see, any criticism that can be made regarding Star Light's originality could equally be made of something like The Rocketeer. Personally I'd rather just enjoy the comics.

Well said  ;)

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