C0DA:FSL Professor Numinatus!

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Texte de développeur
Auteur réel : Michael Kirkbride
Date de publication : 28/04/2012
Commentaire : Ce texte est un comics retranscrit textuellement. L'histoire s'arrête à la page 7 sur les 16 prévues.
Le texte original se trouve ici.

Issue One: “Meanwhile, in the Empire”

A story in 16 pages

Page 1

Panel 1 - Wide across the top of the page. An indistinct magical-military installation, window ports looking out into the stars. Various figures: upright naval officers, strangely-attired apprentice wizards hunched over gel screens, a ghost warrior speaking to a skeletal servant holding a clipboard. The speech balloons here are floating; no indications of their speakers. It doesn’t matter for now, but they do follow a pattern from left to right.

Voice One: The chronocules are acting jelly on the eyeball again, sir.
Voice Two: I can see that plain enough, corporal. Switch their senses to aromatic. Maybe I can sniff him out, wot?
Voice Three: All hands/ All hands/ Incoming dreamsleeve transmission from the Morbâd Obesse of the Warspore A Right and Earnest Try for NVN ranks Praeceptor and above/
Voice Four: Least they warned us little people this time. Last I felt a Morbâd, I couldn’t see any colors I knew for a week.
Voice Five: Hush that talk and help me put in me eye-slugs, already. And who’s the skeleton?

Panel 2 - A staunch Admiral looking down at a gel-screen, a pool of liquid sitting in a brass and wire bowl sent into an intricate console. The Admiral looks very cross. Beside him is a minor bureaucratic clerk of the Nibenese fashion, goggles on, tattoos bright with sweat.

Admiral: Really? Seriously? I thought our ghost channel was secure from the Morbâdoon.
Clerk: Oh, normally they are, sir. Sir. Sir. Sir. Sir.
Admiral: You’re clicking. I hate that.
Clerk: Quite right. I am. Em. Em.

Panel 3 - On the gel screen, its contents leaking onto the console as the fat, crazed face of the Morbâd tries to materialize.

Morbâd: Admiral Beauchamp? Is that you? It’s difficult for me to make you out. Stick your finger into it. Try for my face.

Panel 4 - As Panel 2, neither the Admiral or the Nibenese clerk have moved at all.

Admiral: I most certainly will not. You’ve already braincasted into my channel without even asking. I’d ask you to explain yourself.
Clerk: Em. Em. Em.
Morbâd: Your clerk is clicking.
Admiral: I know. It’s incredibly embarrassing.
Morbâd: I can imagine. Forgive the breach in protocol, but we have a mutual problem. The whole Empire has a problem.
Clerk: Em. Em. Em.

Panel 5 - As Panel 1: Everyone is shaken by the Morbâd’s gigantically-loud declaration, which appears in every gel screen or window port. The skeleton shatters apart.


Page 2

Full page splash - A Reman-Era Megalomothship descends on an Imperial Colony of the Secunda moon, its four wings spread out majestically, sending up clouds of vibrant lunar dust, a proud, ancient ziggurat roped, strapped, fused, and otherwise impossibly-secured atop it. Imperial mananauts turn away from its descent, as if the silvery glow of it all was too much to bear. Skeletal servitors ignore the whole thing, directing crate-drivers or simply holding more clipboards.

PROFESSOR NUMINATUS [BALLOON]: Why all of the yelling?
PROFESSOR NUMINATUS [BALLOON]: Honestly, people, it makes this all seem rather desperate. Some decorum for His Majesty, I remind you.
ADMIRAL [BALLOON]: Professor Numinatus! Is that you?
COUSIN: Adjusting thorax for lunar regular, Professor. I absolutely hate what it does to my coloring.
PROFESSOR NUMINATUS [BALLOON]: I know, love. We shan’t be long, I promise.

TITLE CARD: Meanwhile, In the Empire

Page 3

Panel 1 - An Imperial Mananaut, whose suit is differentiated from others, signifying perhaps a higher rank, holds a mangifying glass up to one of the numerable eyelets in his helmet, eyeing the landing of the mothship.

Imperial Mananaut: Glass confirms it’s the Professor, Admiral. His megalomoth is following proper lunar size dilations. Safe landing expected.
PROFESSOR NUMINATUS [BALLOON]: Ah, good to see you, too, Jauffre. This must be something serious if they’ve brought you moonside, old boy.
Imperial Mananaut Jauffre: It's bad. You’ve no idea.

Panel 2 - Professor Numinatus, inside Cousin’s main control room, seated, backlit so we have yet to see his face, but it’s obvious that he’s wearing a naval cap of some kind. Jauffre, the Admiral, the Morbâd, as well as other Imperial servants appear on multiple gel-screens.

Cousin: Doing ever so hard to secure us a safe landing.
Professor Numinatus: Forgive them their sins, love. When you pout, the whole cockpit gets itchy.
Professor Numinatus: And why am I reading three billion life forms nearby? Are we phased correctly?

Panel 3 - Back inside the magical-military installation, on the Admiral and his clerk. This small panel overlaps the upper left corner of the next

Admiral: Your phase is fine, Professor, and those readings are correct. Certain precautions had to be taken this morning.
Clerk: They shouldn’t have the ability to detect them. Em. Em.
Admiral: Oh, do and go get yourself to the reset chambers.

Panel 4 - Large panel, above the Lunar Colony. Cousin has landed. A southern cargo area is littered with countless silver spheres, penned-in and guarded by juggernauts of the Imperial Legion.

PROFESSOR NUMINATUS [BALLOON]: Oh my. Those spheres are... each one is a contingency chrysalis!
ADMIRAL [BALLOON]: Yes, it was a full evacuation, Professor.

Panel 5 - On one of the silver spheres: each is filled with countless humanoid shapes. This small panel overlaps the lower right corner of the one above.

COUSIN: They’ve gone insane, Amiel.
PROFESSOR NUMINATUS [BALLOON]: Never call me that on an open channel when we’re working.

Page 4

Panel 1 - As Page 3, Panel 2, but Professor Numinatus has risen, preparing to disembark. Still backlit, the fact that he’s wearing a cape becomes obvious.

Professor Numinatus: But you’re right, Cousin.
Professor Numinatus: A single contingency chrysalis can, at best, hold four thousand souls synchubating inside itself for fifteen hours before everyone inside begins to bleed their memories together. Then they all mega-ghost.

Panel 2 - Behind the Professor as he walks down a corridor of the mothship, running a finger down one of its stone-and-flesh walls.

Professor Numinatus: A swirl-thought monster outside of the regulated planar wheels, driven mad by conflicting desires...
Cousin: You’re tickling me.
Professor Numinatus: ...I know. Conflicting ideas of escape...
Cousin: Harder.
Professor Numinatus: ...as you wish. Conflicting ideas of who and where and when...
Professor Numinatus: ...and all of it draped in that singular fear of I ARE ALL WE.

Panel 3 - Behind the Professor as he walks down another corridor of the mothship, this one lined with weapons, paintings, hosiery, masks and capes and ward-staves, porcelain idols and floating baubles, magical apparati of unguessed function.

Professor Numinatus: Remember what happened at the Isle of Artaeum?
Cousin: Which time? It kept vanishing.
Professor Numinatus: The time we saved it, Cousin. It doesn’t do that anymore.

Panel 4 - Behind the Professor as he walks up to an airlock. It’s opening on his approach, the lunar light flooding the hall.

Cousin: I don’t remember that at all, love. Have you been storing secrets in your second brain again?
Professor Numinatus: Heavens no, that one belongs to you. My third.
Professor Numinatus: But the point remains, Artaeum was caught in a Belharzian synchro-null blossom-loop by just one broken contingency chrysalis.
Professor Numinatus: So I really have to ask...

Page 5

Panel 1 - Large near-splash, the Professor wearing his most beautiful velvet and filigree uniform as First Sea Lord of the His Majesty’s New Void Navy, striding down the exit ramp to be met by Jauffre and other assembled Imperial Mananauts.

Above them all is Tamriel, blue and oceanic, but with no continents at all.

Professor Numinatus: ...what were you lot thinking?!?
COUSIN: Cousin, look up.
Professor Numinatus: Three billion citizens! Caught in an unstable enchantment that we can barely understand!
Imperial Mananaut: She’s right, sir. If you would kindly raise your gaze and--
Professor Numinatus: We have the spare continent for these kinds of evacuations!

Panel 2 - On Jauffre, a small inset panel.

Imperial Mananaut Jauffre: No we don’t, Professor. Told you it was bad. All landmasses on Mundus have, well, absconded. They’re simply not there anymore.

Panel 3 - On Professor Numinatus, looking up, frowning.

Professor Numinatus: Martin’s balls, they’ve gone on strike again.

Page 6

Panel 1 - Borderless panel, a small portrait of Cousin in her college years at Gwylim University, a pale thing of 16 years, auburn hair worn in the Western-style, jewelry hanging from ears, eye, and lip. The text is that follows is above and below her face.

Cousin (top text): I am setting up the tea room in your second brain, my love. If you might permit me a slight nostalgia, I thought we might like midsummer afternoon, the riverside collection. Trying to get the color wash just right, but there’s lunar interference. Summoning filter imps now, I hope you don’t mind. There. Perfect.

Cousin (lower text): They’re nervous, Amiel. Not the Navy or the rest of the Imperial functionaries; they’re always nervous. I mean the three billion inside the silver spheres. I’m afraid the ancestoradiation my form is giving off is mixing into their multiminds. The enchantments used in this evacuation technique is from an older age, remember, and none too human. Poor souls. Stay good, cousin. We have much work to do and we all need you at your best.

Panel 2 - Jauffre and the Professor march towards the Colony Sanctum. Imperial Legionnaires with temporary breathing-bubbles surrounding their half-helms salute as they pass.

Professor Numinatus: So every last bloody landmass. Gone.
Imperial Mananaut Jauffre: Yes, Professor. Slid into the Biting again. This time, they were kind enough to give a full writ of terms for their return.
Professor Numinatus: We are the Emperor’s Finest, Jauffre, and we do not give in to the demands of terra firma.

Panel 3 - The Professor stops to sign a clipboard of a skeletal servitor with a brightly-colored quill. He frowns at Jauffre, as if considering the options.

Imperial Mananaut Jauffre: Was never our intent, old friend. Wouldn’t have the Morbâdoon hiss-pissing into our brainpans if it were. This op is Imperial Designate: NUMINIT.
Professor Numinatus: Right then. And is His Majesty safe?
Imperial Mananaut Jauffre: Aye. The Council jill-jaunted him and the whole of the royal family into Mundus Redundant when all of this started.

Panel 4 - Jauffre and the Professor press further towards the Colony Sanctum, its wide and strangely-medieval fortress walls slowly grinding a twin swaths of moondust outwards on the ground.

Professor Numinatus: When am I not at my best, dear heart?
Imperial Mananaut Jauffre: Excuse me, Professor?
Professor Numinatus: Apologies, Jauffre, I’m speaking to Cousin. She’s fretting, or thinks I might start. Sliding brains into extrasensorium for a bit.
Imperial Mananaut Jauffre: Of course. I’ll guide your body the rest of the way to Sanctum Secunda. Tell the old girl hello for me. It’s been too long.

Panel 4 - On Professor Numinatus, his eyes floating up behind his eyelids.

Professor Numinatus: Oh, please. She’ll always be sixteen. Won’t you, [UNREADABLE TEXT]?

Page 7

Panel 1 - Full page splash of the tea room, which is more of a riverside gazebo, really.

Professor Numinatus and Cousin are dancing a slow waltz. He’s in his Nibenese court dress now, robes and silks and jewels, all of his tattoos floating a few inches from his flesh.

Cousin is happy to the point of ecstasy, her head on his shoulder, her hair down and done up in bright curls.

The midsummer light is as perfect as she said. Portraits of the Nume family recline against the gazebo pillars or simply floating in the imagined air.

Even in this imago-sleeve, the Professor’s left hand is a half-organic bouquet of oddly-shaped keys, holding her right without a care.

Cousin: I love it when you say my name.