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Quantum Vibe
Strip 86 of Quantum Vibe
Today on Quantum Vibe: The Brotherhood of Sun-Shooters
Strip 86 - Click strip above to goto the next strip.
First Seen: Mon 2011-04-18
Story & Art: Scott 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 86

Panel 1
Continuing from the last scene, the three pilots walk away from the Dispatcher window towards the entrance to the hangar. On their backs we can see the logos for 'Brotherhood of Sun-Shooters' displayed promimently on the backs of their jackets.
Pilot 1: Love to stay and chat but we gotta hustle.
Wayne: … Brotherhood of Sun-Shooters?

Panel 2
Wayne, Seamus and the Dispatcher.
Dispatcher: They're an exclusive club of rocket-jockeys who've flown under the sun's corona just as your Nicole has.
Dispatcher: They don't look like much but they're all ace pilots.

Panel 3
Seamus and the Dispatcher.
Seamus: They intend to intercept and escort her in – at their own expense?
Seamus: What's their interest?

Panel 4
Cut to: the three pilots 'suiting up' for their flight. The key is their flight jackets – the first pilot is pulling his right lapel across and touching it to the badge on the right, causing a glow effect to the jacket. The second pilot is farther along in the process, as the jacket begins transforming into a head-to-toe jumpsuit/pressure suit. The third pilot has nearly completed the transformation.
Caption (Dispatcher): 'This is a tight-knit bunch with an extreme sense of tribal loyalty.
Caption: 'Your girl technically became a member when she boosted away from the sun. They'll do anything now to see her safely back to base.'

Panel 5
Pilot 2 is seated at the control console of his spacecraft. We can see him through cabin windows and also through to the next ship, if a similar size but different configuration, where Pilot 3 is boarding his own craft. The two pilots are trading thumbs-ups.
Caption (Dispatcher): 'They won't interfere with her so long as she maintains course.
Caption: 'But if something goes wrong, they'll step in to help.'

Panel 6
Back to the Dispatcher's window, with Wayne and Seamus and the Dispatcher.
Wayne: And bill you, no doubt.
Seamus: I'd be happy to pay a reasonable fee.
Dispatcher: You can work that out w' them.

Panel 7
Wayne strides away, waving one hand in a parting gesture, his two valets in tow. Seamus and Dispatcher look on.
Wayne: Well, I expect things will get interesting here again in 29 hours or so.
Wayne: Until then, ta.

Panel 8
Exterior shot, the three Sun-Shooters' ships are boosting up and away from Mercury.
Pilot 1: Copy that frequency to Helio-Flyer, Dispatch.
Pilot 2: Rendezvous estimated in 20 hours, 18 minutes.
Pilot 3: Just in time for happy hour.

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