The Web, Script by Arthur Wyatt, Arthur Wyatt 2001
Page 1:

Panel 1: Smallish panel. We're looking at a spacepod, a small single person spaceship, as it travels through billowing clouds of dark dust. Rather than being gleaming or high tech the spacepod looks a bit clumsy and thrown together, it looks a bit like a rocket booster with a cockpit canopy sticking out of the top.

Voice (from inside spacepod): ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY I, SOLOMON NOMSOL, WILL BECOME THE FIRST INHABITANT OF VORTNUM IN MILLENNIA TO SEE THE STARS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GREAT DUST BARRIER.

Panel 2: Smallish panel. Solomon Nomsol, pilot of the spacepod, is sitting at its controls. He's wearing a big, slightly primitive looking space suit with a big domed glass helmet.

Solomon: YOU MIGHT SAY ITS ONE SMALL STEP FOR ME, AND ONE GIANT LEAP FOR-

(link, shouting) DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN!

Panel 3: Large Panel. In the bottom left corner of the page we see Solomon through the glass canopy of his spacepod and the glass bubble of his space suit helmet. His mouth is agape in shock and panic. In the top right corner of the panel we see what he is looking out: Blocking out the view of the stars in space is a gleaming mass of metallic objects, looking like a a vast molecular model from a chemistry lesson, except made of silver.

Solomon: WHAT IN THE HELL IS THAT?

Panel 4: Panel stretching across the bottom of the page. Fisbee, a Vortnum government official, is standing in front of a large blank projection screen.

Fisbee: THAT WAS FOUR MONTHS AGO. SINCE THEN WE'VE ACCELERATED THE SPACE PROGRAM, USING UNMANNED PROBES TO GATHER AS MUCH INFORMATION ON THIS "SPACE WEB" AS POSSIBLE.

(link) WHAT WE'VE FOUND HAS BEEN DISTURBING IN THE EXTREME.


Page 2:

Panel 1: An image of the silver glittering web appears on the previously blank screen.

Fisbee (offpanel): THE WEB APPEARS TO BE SOME KIND OF VAST SPACE BASED ORGANISM, SO LARGE THAT IT OBSCURES OUR VIEW OF THE GALACTIC CENTRE. WE CAN ONLY GUESS AT ITS EXACT SIZE.

Panel 2: A second image, this time of a small, mars like planet being absorbed into the web. The web. The upper hemisphere is half gone and tendrils of web material lead away fro it to the main body of the web.

Fisbee: IT ABSORBS ALL MATTER IN ITS PATH IN-ORDER TO REPLICATE ITSELF. OUR LONG RANGE CAMERAS PICKED UP THIS IMAGE OF IT DISMANTLING A PLANETOID.

Panel 3: Solomon's face. He's watching this presentation and is shocked by it.

Fisbee (offpanel): IT EATS PLANETS. AND ITS GROWING. VORTNUM MAY BE NEXT.

Solomon: WHAT DO WE DO?

Panel 4: Wide Panel. We see the room from a slightly raised angle. The projection screen has been turned off, and Fisbee walks over to a window in one wall. Solomon follows him.

Fisbee: EVERYBODY KNOWS OUR ANCESTORS WERE SEPARATISTS, ANTI-TECHNOLOGISTS. THEY COLONISED VORTNUM BECAUSE IT WAS SEPARATED FROM THE GALACTIC CENTRE BY THE GREAT DUST CLOUD.

(link) WHAT NOT EVERYBODY KNOWS IS THAT THOUGH THEY MELTED THE COLONY SHIP INTO SCRAP SOME ARTEFACTS OF ANCIENT EARTH TECHNOLOGY STILL REMAIN.

Panel 5: Large Panel, taking up at least a third of the panel. A large room containing the hyperspace link, which is a huge ring, high up in the wall is a small window, through which Solomon and Fisbee can be seen as tiny figures.

Fisbee (from window): LIKE THIS. WE BELIEVE ITS A HYPERSPACE LINK BACK TO OLD EARTH.

(link) OUR ONE CHANCE COULD BE FOR SOMEONE TO TRAVEL THROUGH THE HYPERSPACE LINK, MAKE CONTACT AND ASK FOR HELP.

Panel 6: Small panel inset into Panel 5. Solomon's face, now filled with a look of determination.

Solomon: WHEN DO I LEAVE?


Page 3:

Panel 1: From slightly overhead we see Solomon, wearing a space suit again, strapped into the cockpit of the Mk 2 spacepod, a slightly more flashy version of the craft we saw on the first page. Its being prepped for launch, so we may see all kinds of activity a the edges of the panel: gantry's swinging back, a crew in pressure suits is dragging a fuel line away.

Voice (no tail): FUEL LINES DISENGAGED.

Voice (no tail): HYPERSPACE LINK POWERING UP. DESTINATION... EARTH.

Solomon: COMMS LINK TESTED AND OKAY. WISH ME LUCK!

Panel 2: From behind we see the spacepod passing through the great ring, which now contains a swirling energy vortex.

Panel 3: Large panel. In the center of the panel, drawn quite small, we see a ring like the one in the big room and the spacepod which has just emerged from it. At the edges of the panel we see the silver globules and strands of the Web.

Solomon: OH NO... NO, NOT HERE TOO!

(link)EARTH IS GONE!

Panel 4: Through the clear canopy of the spacepod we see Solomon In the corner of the panel we see the ring floating in space behind the pod.

Solomon: ...ITS INCREDIBLE. THE SCALE... SO VAST. IT'S DENSER,MORE COMPLEX THAN WHAT WE'VE SEEN BEFORE. I MUST BE NEAR THE HEART OF THE WEB.

Fisbee (over radio, jagged border, no tail): SOLOMON, WE'RE HAVING DIFFICULTY KEEPING THE LINK OPEN.

Panel 5: Solomon has opened the Canopy and is floating out into space. In one hand he's holding something that looks like a suitcase.

Fisbee (over radio, jagged border, no tail): IF EARTH IS GONE THEN YOUR MISSION IS OVER. RETURN WHILE YOU HAVE A CHANCE.

Solomon: I'D LOVE TO SIR, BUT I THINK I HAVE A BETTER PLAN.


Page 4:

Panel 1: Large Panel. Solomon is clambering around on the surface of the ring, attaching the suitcase shaped device.

Solomon: THE WEB MUST USE SOME KIND OF ANTIGRAVITY TO PREVENT ITSELF FROM COLLAPSING UNDER ITS OWN MASS. DESTROYING THE HYPERSPACE LINK AND EXPOSING ITS SINGULARITY MIGHT DISRUPT IT.

(Link) I JUST HOPE THE EXPLOSIVES FROM MY EJECTOR SEAT ARE ENOUGH TO DO THE JOB.

Panel 2: Solomon presses a button on the suitcase and a display lights up with the number "5".

Solomon: THERE, IT'S DONE.

Panel 3: Head and shoulders of Solomon. Through the faceplate of his space suit we see that something is wrong: His eyes have rolled up and there is drool at the side of his mouth. The web has telepathically linked into his brain.

Caption (angular typeface): SOLOMON NOMSOL.

Solomon: UHN!

Panel 4: The tiny figure of Solomon floats in space. Towards the top of the panel we see the the web.

Caption (angular typeface, top of panel): WE ARE SORRY WE TOOK SO LONG TO CONTACT YOU, BUT IT IS AN ADJUSTMENT TO CONTACT BIOLOGICAL HUMANS.

Solomon: WH... WHO?

Caption (angular typeface, bottom of panel): WE ARE WHAT YOU CALL "THE WEB": THE ULTIMATE EVOLUTIONARY RESULT OF THE HUMAN RACE, PURE CONSCIOUSNESS DOWNLOADED INTO NANOTECHNOLICAL COMPUTERS.


Page 5:

Panel 1: Solomon floating in space. The web can be seen at the top of the panel.

Caption (angular typeface): WE WISH YOU NO HARM, NOR YOUR PEOPLE. BE ASSURED THAT WE WILL NOT EXPAND BEYOND THE GREAT DUST BARRIER WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT.

Solomon: THAT'S NICE. LISTEN, I SHOULD...

Panel 2: Tiny panel, inset into the bottom right hand corner of panel 1. The display on the bomb, reading "3".

Panel 3: Solomon has got back to the ring, and is reaching towards the bomb.

Panel 4: Tiny panel, inset into the bottom right hand corner of panel 3. The display on the bomb, reading "2".

Caption (angular typeface): HOWEVER SHOULD YOU WISH TO MAINTAIN CONTACT WE HAVE MANY TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES WE COULD OFFER YOU.

Solomon: WELL, THAT'S GREAT, BUT...

Panel 5: Close up of Solomon's hand reaching towards the bomb, but not quite reaching it. The display on the bomb reads "1"

Solomon (from offpanel): OH...

Panel 6: This should be a wide, thin panel, separating the top and the bottom halves of the page. It shows a brilliant explosion of light.

Panel 7: Large panel. In a public square a statue of Solomon is being unveiled, while an official makes a speech. In the foreground we see Fisbee, who is turning to look at his assistant, who is rushing up to him shouting frantically and waving a report.

Caption: ONE YEAR LATER...

Official: ...AND SO WE UNVEIL THE STATURE OF SOLOMON NOMSOL, SAVIOUR OF VORTNUM.

Assistant: SIR! SIR! THE LATEST SATELLITE PICTURES! TERRIBLE NEWS!

Panel 8: Fibee looks down in horror at the pictures in the report as his assistant excitedly babbles on.

Assistant: SOLOMON WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE WEB COLLAPSING IN ON ITSELF, BUT ITS SHEER MASS MEANS THAT ITS FORMING A HUGE BLACK HOLE!

(link)THIS WHOLE SECTION OF THE GALAXY WILL BE SUCKED IN, INCLUDING VORTNUM!

END
 
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