I was going to save this for the 1st, but I want to get this out, I need the feedback, and Issue 1 has been in a state of "ready" for a while now. So, as an early treat to you all, RT personnel and not, this is my way of saying thanks for 14 years of something really special. I might have something else in store for the 1st.
I hope you enjoy, and tell me what you think. Here it goes:
Red vs Blue: REC0VERY
Max H. Gurnard
This is a treatment for a mini-series of comics set around a story of RvB. It is based largely around what I think happened but set in a way trying hard not to confuse continuity. It’s a little hard. This is very informal in that I do not know if it will ever go far beyond this computer. It is a fan work done as an exercise and in appreciation of Rooster Teeth. All comments in note sections are meant to be casual and entertaining. Though a frame story is present it covers the beginning of Agent Washington’s career in the Recovery Program and ends around the same instance that began the BGC and Wash’s full time as RecoveryOne.
Since this is based off of a web-series filmed in Halo, the actual look of things is pretty obvious. It’s Halo (specifically things will all (unless otherwise noted) be Halo 2 style things as that is the armor Freelancers had up until the events of Recovery One where Wash and South were able to get Halo 3 armor from PF or other military sources (and all of the Sim Troopers upgraded around that time too).
If I was doing the art it would be fully and accurately colored people with backgrounds largely shades of one or two colors and important objects being fully colored too. Also I’m thinking heavy lines in a Jack Kirby style or like Lichtenstein. The reason for this pop-art approach is because it hasn’t been done in RvB before, I love it, and I imagine Wash would be a fan. This is his story.
The following notes are present because I don’t know if everyone knows how a comic script works. I certainly didn’t when I first read one (highschool).
I think it would be best if odd pages were on the right, starting with page one on its own, and even pages were on the left. The reveals and paired pages have been designed in this format.
Though I’ll lay out what I plan on panels looking like most of the time, the standard will be a two across and three down grid. Things like how wide or narrow a certain panel is in my mind will be addressed in the Panel Discription. Also, for quick reference I will label panels like this 1-2-1 for page one, panel 2, row 1. That panel would, in the six grid, be in the top right corner. The panel in the bottom left would be labled 1-5-3. This is a spec script, I understand things would change. Speaking with the artist about layouts would determine their final placings.
The phrase “bubble break” means that the dialog is in two seperate comments in connected bubbles but not interrupted by a second speaker.
More Formatting notes:
-Bold things are present to help locate important information.
-Italics will be author notes.
-Things in [Brackets] will be panel or art discriptions.
-Character lines will be presented with the character name above otherwise marked text. If it is a narration box that will be implied after the colon (:). All lines in the panel will be presented in the order they are said/probably should appear in a left-right up-down manner and if a character has multiple lines in a panel, that means multiple bubbles seperted as they have been in the script is intended.
-Bold, italics, or any other format IN a character line is meant to be reflected in the speech bubble.
I see each character as having unique speaking/narration/saying-things-off-page boxes. Here they are, and unless noted for one reason or another I see AI’s having techy-looking font and people having more organic looking ones (like Courier and Times New Roman but other pairs are fine). Also Characters (especially AI) having colors in their speech bubbles is something I’d be fine with but it’s more work and ink than is “necessary.” This list is presented as Text Color on Box Color.
WASH: Yellow on Gray (Perhaps differentiate Past Wash with this and “Present” Wash with Yellow on Light Blue)
INTERVIEWER: White on Olive
DIRECTOR: Light Blue on Black
COUNCILOR: Black on Light Gray (Perhaps a Smoother font)
ALPHA: Light Blue on White (AI)
EPSILON: White on Light Blue (AI)
47-9ER: Gray-Blue on White (I realize there’s a lot of blues here but that’s half the show)
FLORIDA/FLOWERS: Black on Cyan/Aqua
FILSS: Blue on Black (AI)
WYOMING: Black on White (with a “British” font (Copperplate Gothic Light?))
HARGROVE: Dark Gray on White
TEX: White on Black (AI (Wash knows so why not?))
OMEGA: Purple on Gray (AI)
DELTA: Light Green on Dark Green (AI)
GAMMA: Light Green on Light Blue (AI (maybe even more computer (pixely)))
SIGMA: Red on Orange (AI)
THETA: Red Pink on Blue Purple (AI)
ETA: Aqua on Yellow (AI)
IOTA: Yellow on Aqua (AI)
MAINE: Brown on White
YORK: Silver on Gold
CAROLINA: Silver on Aqua
NORTH: Green on Violet
SOUTH: Lime on Lavender
CONNIE: Light Gray on Brown
VIRGINIA: Tan on Navy
WEST: Brown on Navy
INDIGNAT MECHANIC: Rose Pink on White
RECOVERY FORCES: Their Accent Color on Dark Gray
PROJECT FREELANCER TROOPERS: Standard Black on White (they’re not really all that important)
And that, roughly two pages in, should cover what I’d like to. Now we can get to the actual script. Yay!
[I’ve yet to decide if I want a thematic repetition in the covers or just a cool cover per issue. However I’m just thinking Wash’s helmet on a metal surface under a shaft of light-blue light is best for either option in the first issue. The titles should follow the branding of RvB but the actual subtitle of REC0VERY (the zero is important) I think would be cool if it was close to Recovery One but maybe a bit more simple (just a type-writer/old coding tech font)]
[Page One is one big splash-page in my mind (starting as the right hand page so Page Two gets a better reveal) and is just a shot of a simple military interview room with a table covered in devices and papers. There is a two way mirror on the wall (the kind in police interview rooms. It’s important that multiple the-Halo-future-equivolent-of-tape-recorders are on the table too. Seated on either side of the table is AGENT WASHINGTON (refered to as WASH from now on) and his INTERVIEWR/UNSC ARCHIVIST. WASH is in his armor from Halo 4 in this picture and all other ones set in the interview room (I’m being purpously vague in-story, but I imagine this as happening between-seasons 10&11). WASH should have his back to the “camera” and IF his helmet is off all we ever see is his messy blonde hair with a white streak or streaks. Maybe his chin with some messy 7:30 shadow. That depends on if the picture needs it. For body language, I want it to be clear that WASH doesn’t exactly want to be here. He’ll cooperate with direct orders and questions, but he is tired of these interviews about PF in dark rooms. He’d rather be with the Reds and Blues. The INTERVIEWER, well he or she could look like anyone. There’s no particular reason for anything so we can have fun with it. I’m only thinking that the INTERVIEWER should be clearly military and an academic. Also, worst case scenario the INTERVIEWER is obscured too. The INTERVIEWER is frustrated in an exhausted way about how difficult his job and this current interview is. All of the dialog on this page is scattered around the main picture (them at the table) in either pairs of boxes or balloons of the back and fourth of the characters.]
Special Agent David-
Call me Wash, it’s what my friends call me.
Thank you for your cooperation.
As you are no doubt aware, the UNSC has just publicly received a bulk of what used to be either classified or presumed missing information from Project Freelancer after both primary facility losses. One instance of which you caused.
Yes, the E.M.P.
Well, now I have been charged with the task of assembling all of these files in a coherent timeline.
I don’t envy you.
Well, yes, but I was hoping you would be able to help me with a particularly complicated era in the records while you are here.
Sigh I’ll do what I can, but what do you mean by complicated?
There is a point in time where all of the records are so fragmented, edited, or vaguely written that I am at a loss to contextualize anything. I’m not sure if I even can put the records together for periods of time.
That happened a lot. You don’t need me here to confirm that.
No, the reason why you are here is because you seem to be the only person with the knowledge to help me reconstruct these events; the events occurring after the “Epsilon Incident” and the “Break-in”
End of Page 1 (Wash’s sigh should be in the far bottom right of the page)
[Page 2 is another splash page, this time it’s an homage to the opening shots of Seasons 1&6. The subject is the crashed Mother of Invention being converted into “Blue base” on Sidewinder and also a temporary HQ for PF before they move to “Freelancer City” on a bright morning at Sidewinder. If at all possible I’d like this angle on the ship to make it look just a smidge like Red Base in that first shot of season 1. Keep in mind though this is a fair amount of time after the initial crash so there’s snow on and around the base. Also, and this is the part that is tribute to season 6, there are a lot of PF STANDARD TROOPS (light-armored soldiers in white with ODST helmets) with JEEPS, TANKS, CRATES, and such because they’re all working on the conversion of the ship to a base. I have a reference picture but I imagine the dialog as presented here to be oriented as so in the 2x3 grid:
Wash’s first line of dialog: 2:1:1 far left
Title and Credits: 2:2:1 centered
Other Dialog boxes: 2:6:3
The image was created prior to deciding on the REC0VERY stylization]
… of course that’s why I’m here…
Titles and Credits:
RED vs BLUE
Writer: Max H. Gurnard
Artist: XXXX XXXX
Letterer: Maybe there will be one
Other Important People: The names of the other important people
(The rest of the titles and credits will follow with this pattern and appropriate issue number)
I’m going to play the first recording I have to start. Feel free to start filling in the blanks as appropriate.
[The panels on this page are drawing in through the MoI in hallways that have become smaller and father away from general areas. The amount of PF troops doing construction work dwindles with each panel. The panels would also look cool if they got smaller too as we got very deep in the bowels of the old ship.]
These are all dialog boxes, not balloons because they are not present in any of these shots. Also, there can be more panels than there are dialog boxes as long as the first is in the first panel and the last is in the last.
Did we ever get a sense of just what Epsilon’s core attribute was?
The Epsilon fragment’s mind was so frenetic that an exact attribute is difficult to assign. Based upon the changes in the Alpha after his unusually long recovery period during the break in we have discovered much of his personal pain and internal strife has gone.
Is that all you have?
Well, based upon Agent Washington’s reaction to the Epsilon fragment… He has become more withdrawn and contemplative after the Epsilon Incident. It would seem as if he has attained what the Alpha has lost.
Do you think he will ever be the same?
[In this last panel we are in a room (Solitary) vaguely blurry with a solder (ALPHA) adjusting his helmet as if he is putting it on. The room is gritty with a sloppily made cot and trunk visible in the back corner. Right now the soldier is glowing a very light blue like the ALPHA. He is staring at a mirror (easily just one of the computer panels of the map). The shot is looking at ALPHA sidelong.]
[The first panel is a view over “ALPHA’s” shoulder. We see (in the mirror) the reflection of ALPHA which is still in the AI world version of Solitary. The real soldier we’re looking at over the shoulder looks more like EPSILON (more blue than white).]
[Still over his shoulder, the Epsilon looking into the mirror becomes WASH, (the dark steel armor and they yellow stripe on his helmet (Halo 2)). He’s turning his head over his shoulder to talk to someone else (in the doorway to the room). The person in the reflection is now Epsilon who is still looking out at Wash]
Where am I going?
[WASH is now walking down the hall with 47-9ER. In the reverse of the past shots, more PF PERSONEL are shown panel to panel. The working PF PERSONEL all have things that look like futuristic tools (still working on the ship).]
I’m not really sure. I have been moved up to [sarcastically impressed] Special Missions Dispatch, but everyone is getting a promotion of some sort lately. [a break in the bubble] Everyone who survived anyway…
How are you holding up?
I’m fine. Just got a little whiplash. I was working on the dropship in a different hanger and almost everywhere went into lockdown in the back of the ship once the break-in happened. Where were you anyway?
I was still in the med-center. …I was pretty much in lockdown already.
[I imagine this as a long shot all along the bottom of the page. WASH and 47-9ER have walked into a big room in the MoI with a lot of people at work all over. The action of the shot is of 47-9ER bumping into a PF TROOPER (INDIGNAT MECHANIC) who is backing up from whatever she is working on in the middle of the room. INDIGNANT MECHANIC has rose-pink accents on her armor (Since this is a comic there’s no need to strictly follow the limitations of Halo colors for armor and accents on original characters.) 47-9ER was asking these questions as walking before she bumped into the MECHANIC]
Right, your AI went bad. What happened with it? I knew there were some bad eggs, like Tex’s, but how did it floor-
47-9er [temper showing] separate bubble after the bump-sound effect:
Hey, buddy, watch where the fuck you’re going!
[The MECHANIC is now standing and facing 47-9ER aggressively and 47-9ER is matching her. I imagined Meg in this role doing her whiny internet voice back when this was invisioned like an episode and before “Megxit” so now I can’t think of anyone else for INDIGNANT MECHANIC. That should be the reference for stature and body language as long as it gains RT and Meg approval (you know, in the hypothetical situation where this actually gets made and all). With at least one arm MECHANIC is gesturing to the things she’s working on.]
I’m fixing the vents, an important part of life-support and environment control. You’re walking down the hallway with a full sight of what’s going on. Why don’t you watch where you’re going?
[Annother wider shot. 47-9ER stares at INDIGNANT MECHANIC. WASH has backed up a bit (showing the motion?) EVERYONE ELSE stops working to watch. It is a very awkward five seconds.]
[A big centered mid/close-shot. 47-9ER uppercuts INDIGNANT MECHANIC in a very comic-booky action shot. A THWACK would be nice.]
[A wide shot of everyone staring at 47-9ER standing over INDIGNANT MECHANIC]
[A very similar shot but everyone is now feverously making a show of working. Some people are whistling, others are muttering things about their projects, there’s sound effects of power tools. I also would like one worker to be somewhat obviously saying “hammer, hammer, hammer” while holding a wrench.]
[47-9ER points to a PF TROOPER (Orange accents) who reacts nervously (Also remember WASH is only a few steps away.]
HEY, YOU! [bubble break] I’m Special Missions Dispatch. You’re new mission is to grab someone from the med-ward to take care of that asshat.
[47-9ER points to another PF TROOPER (maroon accents) nearby]
And you, go talk to your direct supervisor about the delay she caused.
[Both TROOPS have run down the hallway (their bubbles come from off-shot) and 47-9ER is off yelling after them with her arms crossed.]
That’s “YES, SIR!” We’re in the goddamned military!
[A shot from behind of both troops running down a hallway.]
2nd PF Trooper:
She just knocked out our direct supervisor though.
1st PF Trooper:
Let’s just get out while we still can.
2nd PF Trooper:
1st PF Trooper:
[WASH and 47-9ER are walking past the workers towards an elevator bay now. The elevator doors are shiny, this is important on the next page/]
Well, you’re adjusting fine I guess.
No matter where I go there’s always idiots.
[47-9ER presses a button and one of the elevators pings and opens up]
Seriously man, it’s just you left here from the old Alpha Squad.
[They are in the elevator. 47-9ER taps the control screen. (If you can in a shot of both of them, make it so it can be seen they’re going to the “Bridge Level”)]
Did you hear where everyone else was assigned?
Not really. The Councilor called it a “scattering of assets” for their protection. I hear Florida and Wyoming are getting their briefings now too.
[The elevator dings and WASH makes to get off. 47-9ER grabs his shoulder.]
Listen, kid, I’m gonna have hell to pay downstairs in a few so I need to go deal with that. You take care of yourself. Okay?
[WASH is out of the elevator facing 47-9ER still inside.]
I will. [bubble break] Goodbye.
[The door closes and WASH visably reacts to what he has said (holds head like a headache). In the reflection on the elevator door, EPSILON mirrors WASH’s pose.]
[WASH walks down the hallway with his head down. TEX’s dialog box appears over WASH’s head as if it was his own thoughts.]
I hate good-byes.
[WASH arrives at the door marked “Bridge” and he takes a breath before entering.]
Between Panel Sound Effect
[A narrower panel that’s a shot from the other side of the now open door looking at WASH, the speech bubble is coming from the POV of the shot.]
[FLOWERS comes out the door with his arms spread in his Flowers suit (teal HALO 1).]
How are you doing? I was positively ecstatic to hear you were re-instated for duty. You’re a charming talent that would have been a shame to be without.
[FLOWERS goes in for a hug that he’s the only active participant of. WASH is lifted few inches.]
It’s good to see you too, Florida.
[FLOWERS has set WASH down and they’re talking in front of the open door.]
Wash, call me Flowers now.
[These “three” panels all take up the space of one square panel and are “stacked” (4 over 5 over 6) In panel 4 FLOWERS looks left. In panel 5 he looks right. In panel 6 he looks forward and puts his hand to his mouthpiece conspiratorially (he speaks in this panel).]
I’m going undercover in a simulation.
[WASH cocks his head, maybe even laughs.]
Well, you just broke your cover.
[It’s be cool if WASH and FLOWERS were facing eachother from the last panel to this one.]
[He gives a chuckle that could be bemused and could be patronizing. I don’t know how this would be visually represented, but if it could be…] You don’t miss a beat. Well, I trust I can trust you, right? Especially after the break-in we Freelancers need to stick together.
[Still just standing there and still just talking. WASH should look like he’s hiding something (tight stance) and FLOWERS should look like he’s trying not to look like that (wide stance and gestures).]
Yeah, what do you remember about that?
Not too much that you wouldn’t have been briefed on. Texas and York showed up to steal all the AI. York crashed the ship and then Carolina and Maine went to the cliffs to stop Texas and they’re all MIA. The Twins were dispatched to wander the local simulation outposts and find leads.
And now we’re all being reassigned. Don’t you think that’s a little odd?
[Straight-on of FLOWERS looking authoritative/patriotic]
Now son, I know the Director keeps his secrets but he says we’ve got to have faith in what we’re doing. This may be a setback for us, but as long as we deal with it ourselves, the project will still work out. Keep that in mind. We’ve got a rough time ahead.
[Close in on FLOWERS’s visor where EPSILON is standing where WASH would be.]
Yeah, I’ll remember that.
[A wide shot as FLOWERS begins walking away but talks over his shoulder.]
I hope the rest of your recovery goes smoothly, Wash.
[WASH looks back at the window in the door to the Bridge. EPSILON stares back at him.]
Yeah… Me too.
[The door opens with another swoosh and WASH begins to walk in. The COUNCILOR’s word balloon comes from inside.]
Agent Washington, please come in. We have much to discuss.
Pages 9 & 10
Pages nine and ten are back to an artist’s choice set of pages like page 1. From the perspective of the dialog there’s only a few needed connections to be made to the images and I’ll be sure to outline when that happens. But outside of that the number, size, and “grid” of panels is completely up to the artist. Over the next two pages the dialog boxes are from the INTERVIEWER and “present” WASH.
[For stage setting purposes I see WASH, the DIRECTOR, and the COUNCILOR all seated at a table in an otherwise abandoned bridge of the Mother of Invention with some obvious signs of restoration mid-progress. There are some papers and paraphanilia on the table but it has been cleaned for the interview session with Wash. If you want to show these papers, they are all centered around Wash and some have been slightly redacted or re-sealed as classified. The DIRECTOR won’t be talking much and its cold enough to see breath in here so I’d give him an MoI coffee mug like the ones in the RT Store (also steaming) for a fun easter egg. It’s cold because the main window in the bridge is still broken and covered by a tarp or tape and such (it hasn’t been that long since the break in). If you can fit that into the establishing shot that’s cool, but a full shot of the broken window would fit nicely when WASH brings up how recently the break-in was after a few lines.]
I believe we have a version of your re-instatement on record, albeit a heavily redacted one.
Let me guess, you have my first name, the Councilor’s probing questions, and some cryptic words from the Director.
…More or less.
Well, that honestly is most of the conversation, but I can tell you what happened.
They wanted to ask again what I remembered and how I felt about the program. They said that now that I’d stopped having my short comas their monitoring indicated I was “stable enough to resume active duty” after some physical rehabilitation and new training exercises. My next assignment would be different from my previous one but necessary for the next stage of Project Freelancer
The new assignment being the “Recovery” program that regained the assets lost.
Yes, but they wouldn’t begin the program until I was ready.
And you needed to be ready-
As soon as possible. I may have been on my feet but this wasn’t all that long after the Break-in, and things were still just chaotic enough to give everyone enough time to set their secrets in order.
Including your own.
[I’d like a shot of the DIRECTOR deep in thought accompanying WASH’s next line.]
With the release of the Director’s files by Epsilon himself, you know what he is in relation to the Director. Back then, no one had any idea. I’m sure they had their suspicions about Epsilon and what fragment of the Alpha’s personality he was, the Director especially, but other than what I may have said during the nightmares I couldn’t remember after waking I wasn’t slipping and they couldn’t risk telling me anything incase it would make me remember for sure. And Epsilon gave me a very important advantage. I not only had insight into the Alpha’s mind, but into every AI fragment Epsilon could remember and the man himself. I’m not saying everything made sense to me, a whole lot of my mind was a mess and still is, but he made no moves I couldn’t understand.
[And now from over the DIRECTOR’s shoulder at WASH]
The only problem is when you’re thinking with half of someone else’s mind you can’t make any moves they’d be able to figure out either.
This is how you avoided detection of your true motives for two years while working under Project Freelancer?
I was mentally cleared for active duty by being just as calculated and vague as the men in charge of the project. I’m sure that will be important in your report.
One of the not redacted notes made by Price says you “continued to be withdrawn under the guise of increased sarcasm compared to discussions prior to the Epsilon Incident.”
Does it say that the Director laughed at most of my jokes?
The rest of that comment has been redacted.
So all that was actually accomplished that meeting was your staying with the project?
[I see the final panel of this montage being of WASH getting up to leave, the COUNCILOR writing on a file, and the DIRECTOR sipping his coffee.]
And then what happened?
I was dismissed for lunch.
[This first panel is a half-page shot of WASH standing in the Freelancer Lounge/Rec-room. Think the cross of a teacher’s lounge and a man-cave. There’s a kitchenette along one wall (it’s important that there’s a coffee machine), a pool table and a rack of poles, a dart board, tables and chairs, a couch by a big TV, and other fun relaxing things and some military/PF HR posters. (If you can fit in an arcade cabinet, Mortal Kombat? (because Gus and Burnie’s meeting story)) The line from “present” Wash (the last one for a while if we’re keeping score) should be as far up and right as possible.]
I wasn’t exactly hungry though.
[The second half of the page is a duplication of the first but maybe WASH is further into the room. The colored dialog boxes from the other freelancers are now all over as contrast to the silent panel above.]
South: [by the fridge]
WHO ATE MY PUDDING CUP?
York: [over the pool table]
Wash, you and Maine wanna join us for doubles?
North: [At the dart board]
Who’s pick for movie night?
Wyoming: [the table]
Flowers: [also at the table]
We’re playing cribbage
[WASH has moved to the kitchenette]
Four tubs of salt and no pepper.
My mom’s recipie…
The Queen’s stiff tea and the Irish’s dirty whiskey
Maine [over a microwave]:
[From the inside of a cabinet we can see WASH is reaching deeply in behind other containers.]
… little miss sullen and snarky takes her coffee sweeter than anyone.
Wash [memory text box]:
Lay off, it’s too early to be a sore loser.
[Looking at the kitchenette again and WASH is still reaching in the cabinet.]
Wash: [actual word balloon]
There it is.
[POV of Wash looking down at a container of “Dehydrated Italian Sweet Cream” in his hand. “Connecticut” has been written on in sharpie with “Wash can have some too” clearly written on later (better ink, different angle, that kind of thing).]
[WASH is leaning against the counter while the coffee maker whirs, his arms crossed and still holding the creamer]
Wash: [memory text box]
Don’t listen to her, I take my coffee pretty sweet too. Do you want a chocolate biscotti?
[WASH is seated at the table with a steaming mug. The creamer and a half-empty tub of biscotti are near him.]
My parents took me to Earth when I was fourteen. When we were in Italy my dad let me try coffee. First black and then with real fresh sweet cream.
[POV of WASH pouring in some of the creamer.]
He told me: “Sometimes you’ll need the bitter taste in your mouth to keep an edge. But when you’re traveling, it’s always better to have something sweet.”
[WASH stirs it in with a biscotti.]
I joined the military and though there’s a lot of bitter in our line of work, we’re almost always traveling.
[Side-shot of WASH beginning to remove his helmet.]
[The full bottom third of the page is a long panel centering on the neck-down of WASH sitting at the table. He’s holding the coffee mug in one hand and the biscotti in the other. His helmet is set down on the table on the other side from the tubs.]
Connecticut: [top left of panel]
We need to remember to take something sweet when we can.
Connecticut: [bottom right of panel]
Thanks for the biscotti, Wash.
[This first panel is a repeat of the last except WASH’s mug is no longer steaming. If there was a clock in the last shot then roughly two hours have past (noon-twoish) and the coffee pot is empty. Neither detail is exactly important, but if you need them. 47-9ER’s voice is coming from whatever direction the door is.]
Here you are! You know, there’s nothing like eating lunch alone after a two-hour session with HR because “your exuberant attitude and superior rank causes your co-workers to be nervous around you.”
[WASH has put his helmet back on and turned to face 47-9ER]
So you kept your job?
Yeah, the Councilor eventually came down to give me a brake because “a recent promotion has only added to the tensions everyone is feeling because of current incidents.’ I have to apologize to Glass-Jaw-Janice and attend a few anger management talks. [Bubble break] Fuck’n HR nonsense.
[47-9ER leans against the doorframe]
So, what’s your new assignment, if you can tell me?
[A picture that features both of them.]
Special Missions actually. They’re ironing out specifics still but I am the head active agent of a new task-force.
That’s great! We’ll still be working together! I’ve met my team, I hope yours will be better.
I don’t know. It sounds like a lot of my job will be solo, the team will be for support and clean-up as necessary. And to go when I’m busy.
[47-9ER changes her posture to be more curious.]
Do you have any idea what you’ll be doing, specifically?
[WASH and 47-9ER are walking down a hallway in the MoI again, PF TROOPERS are milling about again.]
So we’re cleaning up the mess Texas and York caused.
That’s more or less it. Freelancers and equipment went missing during the Break-in and as soon as things show up again we go and pick it up.
[Different shot, same general image]
And we’ll know because all our equipment has a safety beacon and life preservation systems?
It was added to all Project Freelancer assets after Connecticut went missing.
[More walking in spaceship hallways]
And they can’t just turn that on now?
That kind of relay or a constant broadcast would compromise the project and its assets if the insurrection were to ever get ahold of Command or an Agent before capture and near-fatal wounding. Instead each set of armor sends out a unique wide-range beacon only when the assets or agents are definitely compromised.
[Maybe they turn a corner now.]
And why are you telling me all of this?
You said it yourself, we’re working together again. I was cleared to talk openly to you about what I knew during my debriefing.
[Like the end of the scene outside of the bridge 47-9ER and WASH are having this conversation across the gutter, looking at each other while still walking.]
47-9er: [Panel 5]
Well, look who woke up and became 007.
Wash: [Panel 6]
It’s “Recovery One” actually.
[We’re back in the interview room for this page, back in the “present.” WASH has maintained a similar position and the INTERVIEWER is writing on his clipboard/tablet. Some of the materials have been moved around the table. This page and the next I see as an even 4x4 grid.]
They were allowing you to be surprisingly candid.
Well, it wasn’t quite that straight forward.
[The INTERVIEWER leans in]
Well, in all of the records you do have fully available I bet there’s a lot of cargo manifests with all of the equipment that was needed to make the downed MoI into “Sidewinder” along with detailed descriptions about the fictionalized Red vs Blue conflict that was being simulated by Project Freelancer as on-going testing of the experimental equipment and methods.
[The INTERVIEWER shuffles through the documents on the table.]
Yes, these documents were very helpful in placing personnel and assets when the Oversight Subcommittee made its first rounds of inquiry about the exercise that brought down a command ship.
[WASH is pointing his finger to correct the interviewer]
Did it say “exercise,” or was it an “experiment”?
[Focusing on the INTERVIEWER with some more shuffling of paper, hopefully with sounds]
You are right. [bubble break] You seem awfully familiar with the wording of these classified documents.
It was standard procedure at the time with the Director and Councilor; an abundance of very clear and precisely written truthful documentation.
[Focus on WASH explaining this.]
They made it so the Oversight Subcommittee could only see Project Freelancer was on the up and up. It was a smokescreen of transparency.
[The INTERVIEWER is more than a little surprised.]
So, are any of these documents accurate?
Oh, I’m sure everything you have available is the truth.
[Pull out on both of them at the table.]
There’s just a whole lot more that they hid from everyone as well.
[Another top-third panel of Past WASH (who is responsible for the narration in this panel) standing in a hallway in the MoI with signs of ongoing construction. He is staring at a freshly made wall that makes an end to a hallway. There’s a sign saying “Detour to Training Room” with a map showing the detour.]
Wash: [text box]
It was a way through a day ago.
[WASH is speaking with a PF TROOPER who has put down their work.]
I’m sorry sir, but we’ll be changing command locations eventually and the Director wants minimal connectivity between the simulation and behind the scenes aspects of this facility. If you’d like I can get someone to guide you around to where access isn’t sealed up yet.
Can’t I just get a map from a data terminal?
I’m afraid not, all data terminals on this side of the ship have been re-programmed to only have the information accessible to a simulation trooper and only the construction crews have clearance to carry and trade actual HUD-based maps of the work in progress. Director’s orders.
[Same image, different angle.]
Why is my bunk-room on the wrong side of the ship?
Let me pull that up. [Bubble break] …oh, it appears you are located in a wing we haven’t gotten to yet. It connects to both sides currently. If you just go back the way you came and keep going, you’ll be on the right side of the ship.
[The PF TROOPER is putting a sticker (palm-sized and bright yellow) in WASH’s hand.]
And could you do us a favor and put this on your door so we know not to seal you off yet?
[POV of WASH looking at the sticker in his palm. It has a smiley face on it and reads “Please don’t seal me off yet. I work for Project Freelancer.”]
[A top-third panel of WASH standing in front of yet another sealed hallway with a detour map. He’s crumpling the sticker in his fist.]
SON OF A BITCH!
[WASH is with the same PF TROOPER who is almost cowering in front of WASH.]
I am terribly sorry, sir. It seems that crew forgot to update our maps. Their lead is in the med-bay. [bubble break] If you’d like I can get my foreman down here to help you find a way-
[WASH is holding his head, collecting/containing himself.]
No, that’s okay. You are dividing the ship lengthwise?
All exterior ports on the other side will open to the Project Freelancer side of things?
Then I’ll just go around.
[Still just standing and talking (for variety in these repetitive shots I want to assure the artist that they can add any extra details or minor activity desired)]
I wouldn’t recommend that sir, crews are busy turning the ship into a mountain outside.
Using the rubble from the crash we have been directed to make this side of the ship seem more like a base set into the mountain than a fallen ship. Snow-fall is expected to more effectively hide the opposite side.
[WASH standing frustrated.]
Sigh Are there still Jeeps in the hanger?
I believe so, sir.
I’ll just take one of those.
Let’s take a quick break here and have one of my favorite RvB speculation sessions: The Geography of the Simulation Bases.
Things have been left purposely ambiguous sometimes and usually it is for the understandable reason that it gives the RT staff plenty of wiggle room not to have strict adherences to one map and only the set number of rooms in a building. The only location I can think of immediately as as-it-appears is the Power Station. Rat’s Nest has a brig in Blue Base that I don’t remember seeing, Freelancer City is made of four different Halo maps and is right above Val Halla which is divided from yet another simulation base / command center by a wall. And of course the caves that sneak all under Blood Gulch are not technically there. So the mash-up of maps that make up the space Red vs Blue occupies is already an established feature of the series.
So, let’s figure out “Sidewinder” and the MoI connection. Sidewinder itself is another box-canyon and the bases do indeed look like they were more set into a mountain than made out of an old ship, but the cliff-side map used for the fight in season 8 does look a bit like a ship and the crash scene in season 10 firmly puts the cliffs on the “left” side of the MoI and that can be considered and put the more traditional Sidewinder on the “right” side. This way both bases can exist while being as conjoined physically as they are in the story. I imagine it looks like this from the air:
The yellow line is Wash’s route from Sidewinder to the MoI side of things.
All of this is meant to help the artist and me be on the same page when it comes to visuals of the outside of the MoI. Of course this is all fan-speculation and could be completely voided with a few strokes of Burnie or Miles’s keyboards if this was ever official.
And page 20 starts a part of the story that is outside in a snow-storm at night (if night happens to Sidewinder) so it’s something worth noting.
[WASH is driving through a snowstorm at night. He’s on a mongoose, not a jeep.]
[WASH has reached the edge of a “cliff” where he can look down on the MoI valley (the cliffs visible far to his right and lights and activity visible still). He has gotten off the still running Mongoose to brood. The headlights behind him cast a complete shadow of WASH in front of him (i.e. the cliff edge is farther than the length of his shadow).]
“Sorry, we need all of the Jeeps to return our equipment in. Take an ATV.”
[A shot of Wash from behind, lit by the headlights. The rest of the panels of this page should look like this one with the added variations.]
[WASH’s hands are turning to fists at his side. He might be shaking a little.]
[WASH has raised his hands over his head]
GODDAMNED PROJECT FREELANCER!
[WASH kicks the snow pretty high, we’re still looking at him from behind.]
[A side-long look at WASH’s full shadow at his feet with the upturned snow.]
[WASH’s shadow gains outlines and more definition. It’s OMEGA so purple and dark grays are good.]
Omega (text box):
[The middle third of the page. A wide shot looking over WASH, the OMEGA shadow, and the whole valley from behind and above.]
An avalanche could take care of them all, right now.
[A close-up of WASH reaching for a grenade at his waist.]
No one would know.
[A “POV” down below in the valley looking up the side of the MoI, WASH just barely visible up top.]
Everyone else would be sealed inside.
[Just the OMEGA shadow on the snow with his hands raised above his head holding the grenade.]
Project Freelancer’s last secret.
[The shadow has returned to being a regular, featureless shadow. The hands have separated and there is no grenade in them.]
[The rest of the page is WASH sunk to his knees in the snow in front of the mongoose. He’s holding his head with both hands (like how Carolina did after the Director shouted “ALISON”). The grenade has fallen into the snow behind him (perfectly fine, not going to explode). The storm continues around him.]
End of Issue 1
What do y'all think?