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Quantum Vibe
Strip 678 of Quantum Vibe
Today on Quantum Vibe: The smoking gun
Strip 678 - Click strip above to goto the next strip.
First Seen: Fri 2013-09-27
Story & Art: Scott Bieser - Colors: Zeke Bieser
Sci-Fi Adventure Monday & Thursday.
Big Head Press

Quantum Vibe

A thousand years in the future, humanity has colonized worlds in nearly 100 galaxies, thanks to Quantum Vibremonic technologies developed five centuries earlier. Other new technologies have created various off-shoots of humanity and extended life expectancies five-fold. The story begins with how a mad scientist and his plucky assistant, along with their robot friend, brought humanity to the stars, and continues with the adventures of some unique people in fantastic places.

Quantum Vibe: This Means War (Part 1) - By Scott Bieser

Remembering L. Neil Smith [ Sep 6, 2021 ]

L. Neil Smith and Scott Bieser in 2009 after receiving the Prometheus Award for The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel.

I've been having a hard time putting words down here. This is my third attempt at putting together a suitable, or at least coherent, collection of remarks about my friend who discorporated this last August 27th.

I use the term discorporated because that was a euphemism favored by Robert A. Heinlein, the grand master of classic sci-fi who was the author Neil most admired and sought to model his own work upon. It seems appropriate here. One of Neil's most-prized possessions was a letter he received, early in his career, from RAH himself, who told the younger Neil that he had found the correct balance of action, romance, and philosophy in his stories.

I've only known Neil since the late 1990s (which was HOW many years ago? Geebus) but he had a fairly large impact on my life. I found him via The Libertarian Enterprise web-magazine and presumptuously sent a graphic of The Bill of Rights bursting through the Eurostyle don't do this symbol which I'd rendered out in 3D Studio Max, and was an improvement on the low-rez drawing he had put together himself.

So we exchanged e-mails and I made some more art for him on occasion and next thing I knew we were making The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel together and then I had moved from southern California to Cheyenne, Wyoming, partly to be closer to him as we collaborated on Roswell, Texas and Phoebus Krumm. However. after that Neil wanted to do a sequel to Roswell but I'd gotten tired of the 1950s and wanted to make stories set in the future – which I did when I embarked on my own QUANTUM VIBE series.

Were it not for Neil I don't think there would be a QUANTUM VIBE, or at least nothing closely resembling it. I learned much about storytelling by working with him, and by our association I acquired the core of an audience which sustains me to this day.

We remained friends and I continued to drive the 50 miles from Cheyenne to Fort Collins to hang out with him in the bleachers of the local ice-skating rink, where we chatted while also watching Neil's wife and daughter skating on the ice. On occasion I brought my sons down to join with them and I hope I wasn't too embarrassing as I stumbled around.

But then my wife, E.J., discorporated 40 years early and my family in Texas beckoned my sons and me home to heal, which we did. Neil continued writing stories, maintaining his optimism despite his declining health – he once told me he intended to be the world's first 400-year-old diabetic. I had hoped to return to Fort Collins once or twice to visit, but circumstances prevented me from making the trip, even for his Libertarian Futurist Society Lifetime Award acceptance in 2016.

Another friend of mine likes to speak of having an immortality project, something one does while in the world that makes an effect that continues after one has gone. Neil's immortality project, aside from his daughter Rylla, was his stories, which deserve to be remembered long after all of us have discorporated, ourselves.

-- Scott Bieser

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Transcript For Strip 678

Panel 1
Resuming flashback, now with Chelsea's cameo in the upper corner. The scene shows the pair sitting on a sofa in someone's living room, conversing intently.
Chelsea: 'So we examined everything we knew, and noted all the anomalies.
Chelsea: 'As the days passed, the worst of our theories became more and more viable.'
Panel 2
Medium close 2-shot of Ed and Chelsea, both looking horrified.
Ed: They're going to send a 183 kilotonne, black carbon planetoid smashing into Ceres!!!
Panel 3
Back to present. Nicole and Antigone are shocked.
Nicole: Ceres?!
Antigone: That could kill hundreds of thousands! It could alter Ceres' orbit!
Nicole: Why the shuck would they do that?
Panel 4
Ed and Chelsea, with Nicole just visible to the far right.
Ed: That's what we wondered, at first.
Chelsea: Then I found out the identity of a rock-wrangling ship – registered out of Hygiea -- that had pushed the black rock on its new course.

Panel 5
Medium close-up on Chelsea.
Chelsea: I tried to hail it, but got no response.
Chelsea: I got a track on its present course, headed for Hesperia, which has an outpost owned by an Hygiean company.

Panel 6
Medium close-up on Ed.
Ed: Then I found the smoking gun: An encoded message sent to the ship from Vesta, although it was disguised as coming from Hygiea.
Ed: It acknowledged the ship had pushed the rock towards Ceres and promised payment on arrival at Hesperia from a Hygiean account.

Panel 7
Chelsea, Nicole and Antigone.
Nicole: So, they're setting up a frame for this crime on the Hygieans! Why?
Antigone: To start a war.
Antigone: It's an old game: 'Let's you and him fight.'
Antigone: Vesta Vista could make a fortune selling arms and support to both sides, and rebuilding after the war.

Panel 8
Ed, Chelsea and Nicole, Antigone barely visible. Nicole is scowling.

Ed: We think there's more to it than that. After all, Vesta Vista does just fine with its current projects.
Chelsea: We have some indications that Omega-Tek and the Lunar government are involved.
Nicole: Loonies. It figures.

Web-comics Scott Reads

Grrl Power
Schlock Mercenary
Diesel Sweeties
Girl Genius
Day By Day
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Questionable Content
Gunnerkrigg Court
Something * Positive
Oglaf (NSFW)

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The Beat
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Quantum Vibe Story Contents © 2021 Scott Bieser
Framing Graphics © 2021 Big Head Press