First five pages…
PAGE 1 (ONE PANEL)
PANEL 1: The surface of the sun fills the entire page with the curvature going from the top left and arcing wide, ending in the bottom right of the page. A massive coronal ejection is shooting off from the middle, angling toward the reader. Smaller ejections are occurring across the rest of the sun. One man, in a very simplistic white space suit with a golden visor is drifting over a darkened area of the sun on the right side. He is ERIK KALLDRON, a journalist. On his suit, a patch reading Virgin Sun can be seen on his left shoulder. A tether line, attached to the backside of his helmet and to the middle of his back is running off the page.
PAGE 2 (THREE PANELS)
PANEL 1: From inside the helmet of ERIK we see a closer look at the sun, tinged from the visor which has a Heads Up Display. Among the infographics the HUD is displaying about the sun, e.g., temperature, position, etc., there is a chunk that is less opaque which shows an advertisement for a cereal company. This space will show different ads each time it is in a scene. There will be small ads like this running rampant throughout many panels. Through the visor, we see three other figures. They are in similar suits although in different colors. Two are in pink spacesuits. These are tourist suits. The tourist should look like they are blundering around. The third is in a dark blue suit and this one is a scientist attending to a plasma collector that resembles a spider with folded-up legs. It is a large machine.
I feel like my suit should be melting. The electromagnetic shielding is the only real barrier between me and total annihilation. We’re touring the photosphere, a mere 7,200 degrees F. A low temp area, for the sun.
PANEL 2: Zooming out, we see an overhead view of all four sun travelers. The scientist, DR. TORVOLD, is bent over the plasma collector. The pink tourists are still floating around like idiots. ERIK is typing on a wrap-around screen attached to his left forearm.
Virgin Sun has wisely programmed our suits with navigational boundaries, actively adjusting to the ever changing conditions of the sun. They can withstand temperatures as high as 30,000 degrees F.
PANEL 3: Zooming in, we see DR. TORVOLD still hunched over his plasma collector, only his helmet is turned, looking in the direction of the free floating blundering tourists.
I watch Dr. Torvold babysit the tourists and myself. His scientific purpose is mired in capital gains. The privatization of space allowed him and the scientific community to continue their work when the government sponsored programs ended. Space exploration has become space exploitation.
PAGE 3 (THREE PANELS)
PANEL 1: Over the shoulder of DR. TORVOLD we see him working the controls of the plasma collector, his attention clearly focused on the tourists. On the instrument panel, the words WARNING appear in small red letters in one of the corners of the display. They should be conspicuous, part of a mass of information depicted on the complex machine. The tourists are on the left side of the panel, their bodies in awkward positions and their tether lines tangled up. ERIK is off center to the right of the panel, his body relaxed, ankles crossed, focused on typing on his forearm.
When the billionaires first launched their space programs they had precious metals in mind. A modern day gold rush to the stars. Mining the nearby asteroids for silver, gold, and platinum. It’s ironic they didn’t realize what a successful haul of space gold would do to the market.
PANEL 2: Zooming out a little, with DR. TORVOLD still working the plasma collector and still keeping his attention on the tourists. The arms of the collector are unfolded, except for one which is pointed in the direction of ERIK. The ends of the arms have a blue glow of highly charged particles beginning to gather.
They flooded it. The platinum, the gold, the silver were precious no more. The first haul was almost the last. But capitalism is too tenacious to be balked by an initial failure. A change in tactics to wring money out of the infinite confines of space led to tourism. And it worked. Our dear Dr. Torvold is really just hitching a ride.
PANEL 3: Returning to the view from inside ERIK’S visor, we see the tourists in the corner, still blundering along. We see the plasma collector arms, minus one, extended out and above the center of the large machine. The charged particles on the ends are bigger and sending out tendrils that are starting to coalesce in the middle, above the center of the machine. The HUD display has an ad stretching thinly across the top advertising a trip to a moon-based resort. An almost transparent word doc takes up the middle with the words ERIK has been typing on his forearm (the article he is writing that the reader is reading right now).
PAGE 4 & 5 (SPLASH PAGE WITH ONE SMALLER PANEL ON PAGE 4 IN THE MIDDLE)
SMALL PANEL: Close up of DR. TORVOLD’s finger pushing the firing button on the control panel.
SPLASH PAGE: The plasma collector is fully discharging a thick beam of blue and white energy with lighting-like tendrils fraying off on PAGE 5. The beam is pounding into the sun, penetrating through the photosphere. The renegade collector arm is shooting a smaller similar beam at ERIK. We see him with arms and legs spread, head arched back, the beam wrapping around him, making his electromagnetic shielding visible. Purple bolts are penetrating his shielding, burning away his suit and piercing his body. The bumbling tourists are floating around on PAGE 4. DR. TORVOLD is frantically engaged in the instrument panel trying to disengage the plasma collector beam.
As for myself, I’m collateral damage.