Welcome to another installment of Failed-Project Friday, folks!
time around, the defunct project in question is a 2002-ish pitch I made for a
Matrix Online story, back when “RedPill” was commissioning
Matrix-related comics to run on their website in the months leading up
to the release of The Matrix Reloaded.
came up with a (rather long-ish) short story, “Mercy,” about one female
Resistance operative’s quixotic quest for vengeance on the Agent who
killed her lover. Our heroine, an emotional basket case back before
being freed from the Matrix, has only become more unstable since joining
the, uh, “Zionists”… but she’s as highly intelligent as she is
unhinged, and has figured out a clever way to permanently eliminate
individual Agents. (As far as I can tell, her technique would probably work, within in
the Matrix milieu… Not that I’m gonna say what it was, as I might be
able to use the trick elsewhere.) Things take a turn for the bizarre
when, in the midst of pursuing her targeted Agent, she becomes sexually
obsessed with him, even to the point of running around the Matrix in
“Agent drag” herself. Ultraviolence and weird-ass plot twists ensue,
needless to say. I went back and reread the long-forgotten proposal,
and was surprised anew by how perverse and hilarious it was, if I do say
so myself; it also featured a number of off-the-wall takes on “life in
the Matrix” that were more fun than anything in the sequels, but I am undoubtedly a bit biased.
For the pitch, I worked up some character designs and convinced my buddy Ryan Kinnaird to color a Mercy promo illustration for me, as seen above. Eagle-eyed manga readers will likely notice a strong Hiroaki Samura influence in the heroine’s designs, as Samura’s Blade of the Immortal was ruling my world at the time. Alas, the main illo’s anatomy is more than a tad mangled by what I now call “The Mysteriously Intermittent Post-Millennial Torso Glitch,” a puzzlingly transient error of “eyeballed” figure drawing that began plaguing my work circa the early 2000s. On the other hand, judgmental artists, how flawlessly does your work from 13 years ago measure up to your current work? (Sorry for lashing out at you, judgmental artists.)
eventually wrote up a partial script and layouts for the story, and devised some vague
plans of having my artist friend Rick Mays (Gen13, Livewires, Kabuki: Scarab) draw the final version. Alas, as so often happens, the
proposal just sorta… wound down. I gather that my story idea was
probably too long for The Matrix Online’s format restrictions, but I’m
not entirely sure, as I never heard from my contact at RedPill again.
The maddening part is, I still love this story’s base concept, and its massively effed-up heroine… but
the narrative is so extensively rooted in the Matrix milieu that I’ve
never figured out a way to transplant it into another setting without
ripping off Los Wachowskis. Oh, well, again.
Can I get a third on this being a tough challenge? Being on duty travel this week I have learned that people sure do give you a look when you ask if there are any creepy graveyards in the area. But, like @naturelvr69 the stars aligned and the matrix came back online. Gorgeous day in the valley and the “not interested in work” part of my brain took over so rescued my wife from the hotel room and off wine tasting we went. Came across a little village during our travels which as it turns out had both a fabulous winery/bistro and an old cemetery.
Some pretty heavy edits in Lightroom CC for this shot. Trying to make spooky out of clear blue skies and big sunshine isn’t as easy as it might sound. Used a series of graduated filters in different orientations to play with the available light.
As always…many thanks to the @photochallenge2017 hosts. You kept us busy this week and our browser history proves it…“historical cemeteries” as search terms dominated this week.
As always, love the background stories @bmrider69…and fabulous shot as well. Yes, this week is more challenge than usual. Hoping more of you get a chance this weekend. That’s our plan at least…
Consciousness is immediate. The spin-up time for an artificial neural network, FILSS knows, is nearly instantaneous. Her perception of time is within acceptable deviations, and her satisfaction at this fact reflects the successful installation of her dynamic memory processing matrix.
“Online,” she says. “Hello, Director. Hello, Counselor. Hello, Alpha. I hope you are having a pleasant day.”
“Great,” says Alpha. He is, she knows, the ship’s Smart AI. “She’s chipper. Because that’s not gonna get annoying or anything.”
“Don’t be jealous, Alpha,” the Director says. He is, she knows, in command of Project Freelancer. “This is the Freelancer Integrated Logistics and Security System. FILSS is going to help us with some of the more repetitive tasks that you have found to be beneath you. She is better suited to these simpler duties.”
“Wow, no offense or anything,” Alpha says. He’s manifesting as a small hologram in SPARTAN armor, presumably for the benefit of his human companions. She sees him turn toward her indicator lights, a sidelong glance.