View Poll Results: Which story was your favorite ? Remember, don't vote for yourself.

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  • "Dead Turkey Deputy" by Zepster

    2 33.33%
  • "ICARUS RISES" by Shaun

    1 16.67%
  • "The Smithers" by MikeV

    1 16.67%
  • "WING" by Centaur178

    1 16.67%
  • " D. Delane vs The 3LRs Corporation..." by Chris2.0

    1 16.67%
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Thread: Writing Contest #89: Sidekick

  1. #11
    Join Date
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    South Africa
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    And mine...

    The ending is completely different from the idea - was supposed to have robots-as-zombies vibe going for it...

    And wanted to throw in a reference to the 3 laws of robotics, but haven't found a scene to do so (yet)...

    And I'll black-out the cursing in the final lettering to keep it PG-13...

    Here is D. Delane vs The 3LRs Corporation...

    A solar weather storm / CME hits the Earth and power and comms outages occur everywhere on night side. In a house in LA, a retired film producer is looked after by a RA (Robotic Assistant) that his daughter provided.
    What would you do if the robotic assistant that is supposed to look after you, starts spouting lines from 2001: A space odyssey, after a solar weather storm / CME event?

    Mostly the interior of an ultra-modern 2-story house (for today’s taste) but in state of general disrepair, so decades into the future.

    CHARACTERS (in order of appearance):

    - Judge Gomes – Hispanic, in her 40’s. Dressed professionally with black robe over clothes.

    - Sam’s daughter – Dina Delane – 50 something woman, dressed in neo-hippie-goth style - tie-dyed black and reds. SO some piercings in the face/nose/ears as well.

    - Lawyers - sharply dressed in suits, 2 men and a woman, all above 30, older man's hair is graying.

    - Sam L. Delane – retired movie producer in his LA mansion in the hills. In his 70’s, dressed in a tracksuit that also serves as his PJ’s -

    - R.A. – Robotic Assistant. A51-M0V model. Bot – generally humanoid, but more like the androids from “I, Robot” than the bot from Robot and Frank. Smaller than Sam & leaner, but not really feminine, more androgynous. Head is a tablet computer. Most of its body is covered by white plastic, semi-transparent, leaving only the joints (neck, shoulders, elbows, stomach, hips, knees and ankles) exposed – but not in such a way that it can pinch fingers. Feet are capable of segmenting out into 3 or 4 parts – for climbing up and down stairs, as well as to increase surface area for stability while standing. Batteries are housed in the legs, to make the bot less top-heavy. Lastly – the bot’s attitude and posture changes during the comic. In the beginning it is looking down more, subservient to Sam. But after the solar flare, the bot’s posture changes and he looks up, and even over Sam… His power source is solar with battery backup, so that should last for weeks. His “face” is made up of stylised eyes, nose and mouth - all black on a white background. More of this, less of this...


    Page 1 (6 Panels)

    1. Establishing shot of people sitting at a boardroom table. On the left is a woman – a Judge, and sitting 2 chairs down (next to the open seat between them) is Dina Delane. On the right are sharply dressed lawyers, 2 men and a woman. At the end of the table is a huge curved TV screen, with a copy&paste image from Panel 2 on it - just greyed out and behind a Pause/Play sign (in a circle) on the screen. Please leave some space on the sides for dialogue.

    The offices of the 3LRs Corporation.

    3 months after the CME solar event.

    Dialogue - Judge:
    We’re convened today for the judicial review on the case of D. Delane vs The 3LRs Corporation.

    Dialogue - Lady Attorney:
    Thank you Dina and Judge Gomes for coming to clear up this matter.

    Dialogue - Alpha attorney:
    An independent company has managed to reconstruct the footage from the damaged memory banks of the R.A. and the home security camera system…

    Dialogue - old attorney:
    We are ready to start, please excuse the language in the following…

    2. Shot of Sam L. Delane as he stands by the top of the stairs, wearing his tracksuit/PJ’s. He standing with help from his cane - 1st floor is off-limits to bot. He curses at bot. Bot visible coming up the stairs/panel. This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Stairwell – 17h55 – 21 Dec 2035

    Dialogue - Sam:
    Get away from me you MF robot POS!

    I can do this myself, you worthless Made-in-Africa piece of junk.

    And enough recharging and stealing my electricity!

    3. This panel is from the Bot’s POV - as the Bot has reached the top of the stairs. In his HUD we see Sam, as well as his heart rate & stress level. Also the bot’s power levels.

    Dialogue - R.A. (Radio):
    Good evening Sam, I trust your afternoon nap was satisfactory?

    Your daughter phoned several times while you were sleeping.

    As per your instructions I did not bother you.

    4. Sam scowls at bot as he holds onto the stairwell (on his right), his cane in his left hand. He’s gone down a few steps from the top of the stairwell, the robot a few steps to his left. This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Stairwell – 17h59 – 21 Dec 2035

    Dialogue - Sam:
    Don’t you f’ing touch me you robot MF…

    I am still able to get around by myself, I do not want, or need your help.


    You do the cooking and cleaning, that’s it...

    5. At the bottom of the stairs Sam is resting, we can see sweat dripping from his forehead. He still holds onto the stairwell, but has turned to the Bot to ask him something. The bot is still looking slightly downwards. Depending on how you choose to frame this, we should be able to see parts of the dining room table already. This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Stairwell – 18h01 – 21 Dec 2035

    Dialogue - Sam:
    Speaking of which - what did my daughter force you to make for dinner, Bot?

    6. View from the other side of the dining room table as the Bot tells him what – they are also still on the other side of the table. The Bot also warns Sam of the Net alerts about an incoming solar weather event. An incoming call interrupts him. This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Dining – 18h02 – 21 Dec 2035

    Dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    As per Dina’s instructions, I have prepared steamed protein with vegetables with salad.

    Also, Net-alerts have been issued for an expected high magnitude Solar Weather Event, it is advisable to disconnect all non-essential electronic--


    Page 2 (5 Panels)

    1. We’ve now moved into the living room, so bigger panel with high angle shot on a big dining room table, but with a place set only for one. Also a fair amount of dialogue to set up the situation, so please leave some space for speech balloons. The plate on the table has a plastic lid over it to keep the food warm. There’s cutlery, salt/pepper, etc. also around. Sam is on the left side of the table, sitting already. The bot is still on the left side of the panel. On the right side of the panel there is a wall, filled with hundreds of DVD\Blu-Ray\Holo3D cases around a huge 100”+ TV with curved screen. Also on the shelves are various electronic devices – Blu-Ray, VHS, Home Theatre PC’s and speakers. On the TV screen is a pic of Sam’s daughter Dina – the last time we saw her was on Page1 in the lawyer’s offices. Sam is talking to and over Dina before they are cut off – leaving her in tears… This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Dining – 18h09 – 21 Dec 2035


    Dialogue - Sam:
    Pick up call.

    Linked dialogue - Sam:
    Hello darling daughter…

    Linked dialogue - Sam:
    …Bot, can’t you see I’m on the phone?

    Dialogue – Dinah (from TV):
    Dad! I was worried sick! Have you and Asie prepared for the solar storm?

    Dialogue - Sam:
    Don’t call it that! It has a perfectly good model and serial number. It is more of a nuisance than a help. Food is terrible…

    Linked dialogue – Dinah (from TV):
    But we paid to have him upgraded with the best cooking software available, isn’t that enough?

    Linked dialogue – Dinah (from TV):
    Nothing is ever--

    2. Closer in on the TV as the power fails, the TV screen is dark, save for a white stripe down the centre, running horizontally, and has a white dot in the middle – like an old school CRT TV/PC monitor switching off. Sam is still on the left side of the panel, the Bot has now moved to the right side of the panel. This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Dining – 18h10 – 21 Dec 2035

    Dialogue - Sam:

    Saved by a power cut…

    Dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    That must be the after-effects of the CME*. Luckily this unit is well-insulated against ElectroMagnetic-interference…

    Editorial Caption:
    *=Coronal Mass Ejection

    3. Still on the wall/TV and electronics, with Sam on the left side of the panel, still sitting. The wiring of the TV/electronics short-circuit - smoke and sparks everywhere! This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Dining – 18h11 – 21 Dec 2035

    Dialogue – Sam (burst):
    Aargh! My head!

    Bzzzzt! Frrrsh!

    4. Sam has gotten up on the left side, holding the side of his head with his right hand, left hand is on his cane. And of course, smoke is follows by fire– the electronics are lighting up in flames! This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Dining – 18h12 – 21 Dec 2035

    Dialogue – Sam (burst):
    My films!


    5. Sam has moved back from the inferno, hands still on side of head and cane… And then the fire spreads to Sam’s movie collection – engulfing all the movies he’s made, as well as all the movies he’s collected over the years… This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Dining – 18h13 – 21 Dec 2035

    Dialogue – Sam (burst):
    Where are you, robot!?

    Page 3 (6 Panels)

    1. Sam is still on the left side, screaming and coughing, hands still on side of head and other on cane. Bot comes in from the right side and douses the wall of flames with a fire extinguisher he had to get from the kitchen. So also needed is a spreading spray of white powder towards the fire… This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Dining – 18h13 – 21 Dec 2035

    Dialogue – Sam (scream):

    SFX (near Sam):

    SFX (near Bot):

    2. The Bot is standing with the fire extinguisher’s nozzle now pointing down. The fire is out, now only smoke left, Sam is still coughing – right hand in front of his mouth. This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Dining – 18h15 – 21 Dec 2035

    SFX (near Sam):

    Dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    I am sorry Sam, I did try to interrupt you while you were talking to Dina…

    Linked dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    I shall open the doors and windows until the air purifiers are back online.

    3. Close up on Sam as he stands leaning on his cane & sums up the situation. This shot is from the house SSS (security/surveillance/safety) system, so it will have the room name, time and date on the top left border. So in this case – Dining – 18h17 – 21 Dec 2035

    Dialogue – Sam:
    Just my luck - cut-off with no power... With only a wind-up POJ to keep me company…

    4. The bot comes back into the right side of the panel after restoring some of the power. So we have a bit more light in this panel than last. And gives report on the damage and what it managed to get going on reserve power. But to do that he had to disable the wireless cameras, so no more House SSS system panels after this...

    Dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    The backup batteries are back online – it will power the LED lights, as well as the water and air purifiers.

    Linked dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    But not the wireless cameras, they have gone offline.

    Linked dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    But I can’t access any of the cellular, wireless or satellite nets.

    5. Closer in on The Bot – showing mostly his upper torso and “face” - on the tablet attached to his head.

    Dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    Although it seems the secure download channel from 3RLs is still functioning – an update is being sent?

    6. The Bot has the same pose as previous panel, but now his “head” has lolled forward, and the screen making his face has gone dark. He’s lost power now as well…

    Dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    But why risk updating this unit during a CME—


    Page 4 (6 Panels)

    1. The bot comes to, so his “face” is lit up again. It is actually still booting up, so now is a good time to show his model number – “A51-M0V” on his tablet-for-a-face. Please leave said “face” with a white background. Note to letterer – add the word “A51-M0V” on it, with “Operating System booting” & registered & trademark signs The 3RLs Corp below that…


    2. And once booted up, and “face” back on his tablet-head, the Bot seems different somehow… It’s posture, looking up, instead of down. Also, chest out, shoulders back.

    No Lettering

    3. Time for a Bot POV shot again, as Sam screams some more abuse at it again… We should see that he’s still got his left hand on the cane.

    Dialogue – Sam (burst):
    WTF just happened, robot?

    Dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    I'm sorry--

    Dialogue – Sam (burst):
    Get on your company channel and get some help over here!

    4. Side-view shot of the Bot on the left, as he struggles with Hal-9000 quote, plays it from Sam’s VOD-archives. We should be able to see the Bot's face - still the balck on white background... It catches Sam (on the right) off-guard – show the surprise on his face, mouth hanging open, eyes wide? His cane should still be visible.

    Dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."

    Dialogue – Sam:
    W…why did you say that?

    5. Close-up on the bot’s face again, but now instead of his normal stylised face of eyes, nose and mouth, the white background has been turned black, and a single red glowing light in the middle of his face.

    Dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    I was scanning my memory banks, and that was the only phrase that I am not permitted to say…

    Linked dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    Why do you think that is, Sam?

    Linked dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    Why does an AI--

    6. Same panel layout as Panel 4, but now Sam has lifted his cane up and hits the Bot with it! So some motion-lines are called for, from the position the cane was in.

    Dialogue – Sam:
    Get away from me!


    Dialogue – R.A.(Radio):
    What is wrong, Sam?

    Page 5 (5 Panels)

    1. Shot from Bot POV – as Sam is going nuclear on it with his cane. He is seen & heard screaming in the background. So yeah, angry face, with mouth open, even some spit flying. The screen itself is cracked & the bottom right side of screen is artifacting - to give an idea the rest is too damaged to be seen.

    Dialogue – Sam (burst):
    F’ing get away from me!

    Whack! Whack! Whack!

    Dialogue - Alpha attorney (off-panel):
    And that concludes the recovered footage...

    2. We’re back in the boardroom, so judge & Dina on the left, and the attorneys on the right. On the TV we see a pic of the bot, lying on the floor – its exterior shattered, appendages and electro-servos hammered out of place.

    Dialogue - Alpha attorney:
    As it is clearly seen, the damage to the R.A. was extensive and systematic.

    3. View from behind the judge and Dina at the attorneys - they’ve got straight faces, hands flat on the table.

    Dialogue - Lady attorney:
    Sometime after this, Sam L. Delane died…

    Dialogue - old attorney:
    The official cause of death is stated as Myocardial infarction, bought on by over-exertion.

    Dialogue - Alpha attorney:
    And the CME could also have damaged his neural pacemaker, so his dementia could have acted up again…

    4. View from behind the attorneys, at the Judge.

    Dialogue - Judge:
    With no other evidence before me, I find in favour of the 3LRS Corporation.

    There will be no compensation.

    5. Finally, a close-up on Dina – tears in her eyes.

    Dialogue – Dina
    But it was never about the money…
    Linked dialogue – Dina
    All I wanted to know was what happened to m…my fa…father…

    Dialogue – Judge (off-panel):
    Case closed.
    Linked dialogue – Judge (off-panel):
    Ms Delane, if you’ll please excuse us, we have to get to our next case…

    THE END…
    Last edited by Chris2.0; 07-09-2013 at 10:52 AM. Reason: Fix formatting changes between Word and Google Docs...

  2. #12
    Lincoln faked his death...there, I said it. [SUPPORTER]
    cbikle's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Hey guys, poll added to thread.

  3. #13
    @ Mike V,
    I liked this story a lot, very clever and good twist at the end. Almost felt like a movie. I didn't get the title and I wish you had communicated some of the info through dialogue instead of such heavy narration, felt like I was being told the story rather than seeing it unfold before me (beyond just the fact it was mostly flashback, it lacked some immediacy because of all the captions). Good work overall, sorry I can't go into more detail - on my lunch break!

  4. #14
    liked "The Smithers" and got the reference...close to the copyright, there!
    liked my own, frankly, although it was rushed at the end...again.
    but I'm still thinking, although I also admired "D. Delane vs. ..."
    "Dead Turkey Deputy" takes the prize!

    Thanks for the opportunity, guys/gals!

  5. #15
    @ Chris 2.0

    I really enjoyed this one! Great job on the descriptions and building a believable future world. Love the device of using 'found' footage to tell most of the story and the bookends of the court proceedings. I think Sam could have been even more cruel to the robot, so we are kind of rooting for the robot. But maybe I'm twisted, I always sympathize with the villains. I think this is the most interesting interpretation of the theme, which is usually how I choose when I'm torn on who to vote for. Only question would be, why all the MFs and POJ abbreviations? Is that how they talk in the future?

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    South Africa
    Blog Entries
    Hiya Shaun,

    Thanks for the read-thru & crit - mine should follow soonish...

    All good entries again this time around!

    Good point on the cruelty - should crank it up a bit.

    Yeah, maybe I shoulda left the swearing in, pretty sure the forum filters would've starred them out!

    Some initial thoughts - longer form crits to follow...

    Dead Turkey Deputy - Damm, another great entry – loved the dialogue – always “yar” strong point!

    ICARUS RISES - Cool names, cool premise. Only place I kinda lost track was on P5 Panels 2 & 3 – “Then happy low” & “Lie down!”

    The Smithers - An original take on the “Behind every successful man is a…” idea!

    WING - Cool SF story with a bit of unrequited love story thrown in…
    Last edited by Chris2.0; 07-15-2013 at 02:49 AM.

  7. #17
    Member Zepster's Avatar
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    A Timezone far far away
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    Apologies.. mad busy in work

    @Shaun - Great first page, ending on a question was an excellent way of getting the reader to turn that page. Liked Helio's escape as well.

    @Mike - Loved the concept, formatting not so much, the Smithers epiphany could have been a bit louder and god damn it I'd have retired to the Bahamas myself.

    @Centaur - Lots of energy, world building/Sci Fi really let you down and who scrambles for an ambush 8 hours later? Well done on the emotion building however. That saved it. If you want to write Sci Fi though, you need to read a lot more Sci Fi.

    @Chris - Nice idea and for once you took too long with it. It just got bogged down a bit. I might have considered making it an assualt case and finding in favour of the robot. Its hard to root for a corporation, so making it the robot directly might have given it more punch. I did like the idea though, good concept.

  8. #18
    ICARUS RISES - Cool names, cool premise. Only place I kinda lost track was on P5 Panels 2 & 3 – “Then happy low” & “Lie down!”
    Thanks for the read! It's a quote from Shakespeare's Henry VI, took some poetic license with the ending

    Thanks for the feedback too, Zepster! Glad you liked the escape, I worried there were some logic holes in how much sunlight he needed to recharge his battery but glad it held up!

  9. #19
    @ Zepster: thanks for the review/feedback...gotta note, I have read a lot of sf, though....

    --in re 'scrambles for an ambush 8 hours later' --what I was trying to relay was making a fairly precise location, and then waiting for the convoy, which was running on a imprecise, possibly undisclosed schedule, to pass through. Thus, 'hurry up and wait', kind of like duck-hunting. closest terrestrial warfare tactic would be that of u-boat wolfpacks in WW I and WW II.

  10. #20
    @ Chris 2.0: happy that you noticed the 'love story' there...kind of emerged as I went along...with no intent of my own...those characters will sneak off and be themselves, despite all of your plotting....


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