Book 2/Part 2/Issue 1
Panel 1 - the bus driver is seen lying the ditch barely conscious staring up at the clouded over night sky.
Panel 2 - he can see what looks to be headlights coming from over the hill in the road out of the corner of his eye.
Panel 3 - he turns his head just enough to be able to watch the approaching car.
Panel 4 - he tries to even lift his arm to give some sign of his existence there in the ditch to the only car he’s seen in over 8 hours.
Panel 5 - but he couldn’t, he could tell both shoulders had been dislocated. This wasn’t the first time he had felt this pain, he dislocated his left shoulder back in ‘Nam after all. He also assessed a collapsed lung, at least 4 broken ribs, a broken nose, popped blood vessels in both eyes, and a missing incisor. Not to mention the fairly severe concussion he suffered.
Panel 6 - the headlights from the car flood the ditch with light, the bus driver can once again clearly see the dried crusted over blood that has completely saturated his clothes and most of his flesh.
Panel 7 - he takes a deep breathe and for the first time in hours he speaks, because it’s clear to him now the car approaching him is a cop car. “HHHEEEELLLPP!!!!”
Panel 8 - but the car just keeps driving.
Panel 9 - he watches as his last chance for salvation drives off into the black abyss of the night.
Panel 10 - but the car slows down and pulls over about 200m away from him.
Panel 11 - they’ve kept the lights on, he watches as a figure in black energies from the car to search the ditch on the side of the road.
Panel 12 - “they’re actually looking for me” the bus driver says to himself in an almost exasperated whimper.
Panel 13 - he tries to scream again, but his last attempt took pretty much all he had left within him “HEE…” But starts coughing, specks of blood flying from his mouth with every strong exhale.
Panel 14 - the flashlight being held by his potential savior swings around towards the sound of blood muffled coughs.
Panel 15 - the beam of light is now bounding towards him, the footsteps quicken with every thud that’s heard against the gravel.
Panel 16 - he can’t make out what his rescuer looks like as of yet due to the flashlight bathing his bruised and bloodied body, but he hears her words clearly “holy Jesus Christ, they sure did do a number on you”
Panel 17- he passes out from the relief of knowing that this ditch would not be his grave, at least not for today.
Panel 1 - the bus driver wakes up in the backseat of a cop car.
Panel 2 - “and good morning to you sunshine, I didn’t expect you to wake up until I got you the hospital.” Said the young black woman behind the wheel of the cop car. Her curly hair was up in a ponytail, she was wearing a blue spaghetti strap tank top and a pair of black jeans. She looked like she was clearly off duty.
Panel 3 - “how did you know where to find me?” The bus driver says slowly throw a swollen lip the size of two baby carrots sitting parallel against each other.
Panel 4 - “every cop car is planted with global positioning device which also calculates trip duration. Meaning when the car stops the location and duration of the stop is recorded. Meaning when the two men who killed my husband, stole his car and kidnapped you stopped the car out there by that ditch for 5 minutes to kick the shit out of you it was recorded on the GPD.”
Panel 5 - “so why don’t you just track the car on the GPD and catch up with those two?”
Panel 6 - “we did, but they found the car about 15 km outside of lynx ville. The car had been rigged to blow up when someone opened the car door, two more police officers were killed in the car bomb incident. Obviously these two aren’t just some small time robbers. So since the camera in the car has been destroyed, you’re the only person who really has any idea who these two are.” They pass a sign indicating the hospital is 1km away.
Panel 7 - “they knocked me out as we were driving away, small blow dart laced with “sleep aid” by the time I woke up I was blind folded. Like you said they obviously weren’t small time robbers” His voice waivering as he dips in and out of consciousness. The big blue H comes into view over the horizon as his eyes begin to shut. He thinks to himself “I wonder if anyone’s informed my family of anything, I wonder if they’ll…” And he feels himself slip away for the second time in the last hour.
Panel 8 - ” well maybe after you’ve seen some doctors and you’re feeling a bit better maybe, just maybe you’ll be able to remember enough details that we can use to catch my husbands killers.” As she pulls into the hospital she turns around to find the bus driver unconscious and struggling to breathe.
Panel 9 - “oh don’t you fucking dare,” she says in a frantic panicky tone.
Panel 1 - “Get this man to a fucking doctor or you are gonna be dealing with one livid widow.
Panel 2 - “ma’am we can assure you that your husband will not die under out care, we need to fill out some information about your husband before we can…” The nurse behind the desk didn’t get a chance to finish her sentence before she was interrupted by the woman standing in front of her.
Panel 3 - “he’s not my fucking husband you bimbo, my husband was shot in between the eyes earlier this afternoon and this is the only man who could accurately bear witness to the men who did that said act, so if you please…Get this man a fucking doctor.” Tears welling up in her eyes, heart beat pounding in her ears. The day’s toll on her has finally begun to show.
Panel 4 - the nurse looks somewhat taken aback by her story, but replies with “and who exactly are you to be directing me on how this man should be treated.”
Panel 5 - she pulls out her badge “I’m a fucking cop”
Panel 6 - the nurse goes wide eyed, picks up the phone receiver in front of her and pages “code black ER waiting room.”
Panel 1 - the swinging doors leading from the the waiting area to the main ER corridor bursts open.
Panel 2 - “we need the crash team to the crash room stat” the sweet voice from over the PA echoes throughout the bus drivers head as he waivers in out of consciousness, taking in only a fraction of his surrounding scenario.
Panel 3 - he’s wheeled into a high wattage, blindingly fluorescent bulb lit room, still, he sees the surrounding bodies in motion as blurred shadows and silhouettes speaking to him from an AM radio in the distance.
Panel 4 - he hears a shadow to his left say “should I administer more conotoxin?” Before he hears the “yes” echo, he feels the hypodermic needle pierce the skin of his throat right above his jugular artery. And he feels a calming numbness hit him like a bolt of lightning, before he knew it his body was nothing but a limp rag doll supported by a skeletal system made of cumulonimbus clouds. He didn’t care what happened next.
Panel 5 - he sees the shadow people do a dance around him, pulling and prodding and stabbing him with instruments all the while he couldn’t care enough about his body to notice the things they were actually doing to him.
Panel 6 - A tube had been placed inside a 1 inch incision between the 9th and 10th ribs; counted from the bottom; on the right side into his chest cavity; to drain the air from around his collapsed lung. And another was placed into the abdominal cavity on the left side to drain the blood that had begun to pool there.
Panel 7 - “this should only hurt (a lot)” the last word waivered higher and lower in tone than the words preceding it. “And sir, just to let you know the ketamine should be kicking in right about now, we’ll see you after the surgery.”
Panel 8 - and he was gone.
Panel 9 - there he was standing in an olive green lava lamp solution surrounded by bubbles, bubbles of faces, of people he knew. And behind the cyclone of faces stood three tall shadowed figures.
Panel 10 - “where am I?” Spoke the bus driver aloud to the figures before him. And the answer came from the inside of his head, as if the PA system they were using hooked up somewhere around the occipital lobe. “Welcome to the last 20 years of your life. We’ve taken the liberty to walk through your mind opening doors at will and grabbing the highlights we’d like to remind you of. Nothing like a turning point in a mans life to remind him of his past.”
Panel 11 - and in an instant the cyclone of memories surrounded him while the laughter from the figures spun around his ear drums. flashes of faces and snippets of dialogue bombarded him.
Panel 12 - a younger man sitting in front of a desk looking nervous listens intently to the disembodied voice of the bus driver “I need you to make cocaine… A little more… Party friendly, a little happier, a little more psychedelic. The mafias looking for something new that they can get their hands on before anyone else. And I told them I had one of the finest young pharmacologists the field has ever seen.”
Panel 13 - The man behind the desk disappears and a man in a beige suede jacket and pants stands towering over the bus driver “you really think that after you’ve dug yourself this far into the rabbit hole that you can just shut down the operation. that you can just up and leave and tell the authorities who’s been smuggling this stuff on to the streets? Well I’ll fucking ki….”
panel 14 - “ll you.” Staring down at the charred remains of his family in his arms as the voice of a man comes from somewhere in the distance “I don’t know what’s wrong I’ve performed multiple biopsies, I’ve cauterized the wound, I’ve even frozen it like a goddamn planters wart… But it keeps coming back, I think it’s a third thumb”
Panel 15 - “does anyone else know about this?” “No, just the intern, he’s become quite worried about the whole thing.” “Good, let’s leave it that way, you know what happens in these situations, could we really have the genetic anomalies that come out of this place tarnish the name of omega science corp? Of course not, we’re going to have to let you go free.”
Panel 16 - strobe light esque images flash before him. Holding a gun to the scientists head as he watched the man press his thumb against a pile of crystals and lick it off, falling to the floor. Administering electroshock therapy to the heap of a man on the ground. Putting the lifeless body into the bed of his truck with the help of the intern, “why can’t I have a little time to save him?” “Because obviously at this point that’s too late, he’s gone, now stop the crying and get him in truck, you’re starting to make me think you’re one of those queers.”
Panel 17 - and in an instant the three thumbed man is standing in front of the bus’s windshield, frozen like a deer in the headlights.
Panel 18 - the mob boss is seen standing in the doorway of his new house in Sasquatch falls holding a bag labelled “anthrax” and smiling devilishly.
Panel 19 - a younger woman with a baby in a bunting bag over her shoulder is seen standing above the carnage holding the severed head of the mafias boss high in the air.
Panel 20 - he sees himself lying face down in the ditch along the side of the road. Bloody tear streaks line his face. His left eye had been torn completely from its socket.
Panel 21 - he turns away from this last bubble and speaks to the figures once more. “I thought you said this was my past, those last three haven’t happened yet.”
Panel 22 - “the foundation for your entire life is laid right from the beginning. Most people, yourself included, are too stupid to see the path they’re on and diverge from it. So they keep going blissfully unaware that they’re the reason for why they’ll die.”
Panel 23 - “so is there still time to change my future oh spirits?”
Panel 24 - “well Jacob Marley considering everything you’ve seen is but a made up facet of your subconscious manifesting itself in the form of a mild parody of Charles dickens’ “a Christmas carol.” None of this was real, you can perceive this anesthetic induced hallucination in whatever way you see fit. Albeit a warning, a premonition, or nothing more than neurotransmitters playing tricks on your brain while under the influence of very powerful dissociative drug.”
Panel 25 - “or maybe it’s all of the above.” The words echo out as the bus drivers sucked from the depths of his own consciousness.
Panel 26 - He wakes up, sits bolt up right in his hospital bed “that was fucked” and collapses unconscious
Panel 1 - the bus driver slowly opens his eyes. The however long it had been since being rescued from the ditch still weighed heavily on his thoughts.
Panel 2 - “alright, now that we know you’re not gonna die it’s time that you start talking.” Said the woman who saved his life, although now donning her police officer uniform. “I wasn’t too pushy last night because I didn’t want your potential last moments filled up with me screaming your fucking head off, now I’m gonna ask you again who were those two men who forced a local food purveyor to swallow a hot coal from his hibachi barbecue, tearing a hole through his esophagus Then after the man fell to the ground and begun asphyxiating through the wound from his homemade tracheotomy, the one shot him through his fucking eye socket. Guess that was nice of him to put him out of his misery and what not. And then as if one broad daylight homicide wasn’t enough, they pretty much instantaneously shot my fucking husband right in between the eyes. And why? Because he was a threat? Because he was technically in their way? No but because he had the unfortunate luck of being called in to that site to check out a Sasquatch sighting. The exact Sasquatch that you fucking pummeled with your bus. Which brings me back to my original point of seeing as how you were there for this entire turn of events, one could even say you caused these said events, and we’re even kidnapped by those two men… So I want to know WHO THE FUCK THOSE TWO ARE.
Panel 3 - the bus driver stares blankly at here. Still not completely sure whether this was real or not he says “I told you, they didn’t identify themselves. They held me hostage, we weren’t having a wine and cheese mixer while they were on the lamb.”
Panel 4 - “I told you everything alr….” But then she started laughing, but it wasn’t her laugh. It was the kind of laugh that brought out goosebumps on the back of his neck.
Panel 5 - and in an instant a man in a nice brown suit sat in front of him, hair slicked back, his eyes were but one blood red pupil. “Hi Jacob, just to clear things up this is still technically a dream, much like that hallucination I gave you back in your surgery. But that doesn’t make this any less real than your reality. You might have heard of me, I’m lucifer. But don’t get too star struck or feel all that privileged. Everyone meets satan at least once, whether they realize it or not.”
Panel 6 - “are you here to take me to hell? Please before you do just let me tell my wife everything, she deserves to know before I’m dead.
Panel 7 - “no no no, you misunderstand my role. I don’t bring people to hell, they dig themselves there on their own accord. Now we both are quite aware of the fact that you’re not the purest of souls, but your evil was paved with good intentions for the most part… But then again as you people say so is the road to hell. “
Panel 8 - “please just let me speak to my wife, plea…” “Ssssshhhhh” whispers satan softly “you’d have thought that after your last brush in with the realization of how truly short and special your interactions are, that maybe you’d have started out your rebound on a more honest note.”
Panel 8 - “shut the fuck up you don’t know…” But satan interjects “actually I do, but that’s besides the point right now, this has nothing to do with my appearance now.”
Panel 9 - “I’ll put it as bluntly as I can just to ensure there isn’t any confusion over your current situation. There was a hot dog vendor who was technically killed yesterday at the same scene as your “reckless driving” incident. You know the hotdog vendor, you don’t right now but you’ll soon see. He’s got a lot of dirt on you and a lot of it’s written down. I’ve talked with him. The way I see it is you have three outcomes at this point, you’re going to jail on multiple charges, you’re going to be killed or you get the hotdog mans memoirs and continue your life as the dung beetle you are.”
Panel 10 - “I don’t know any hotdog vendors” the bus driver says more timidly than he has throughout the conversation.
Panel 11 - “but you do, now I warn you, you don’t have long to play Guess Who considering you’re not the only one after the prize. But you better start thinking because unfortunately for you… What you’ve just experienced hasn’t happened yet….” The last sentence waivers and echoes as the bus driver becomes aware of his surroundings.
Panel 12 - lying face first in the dirt by the side of the road he knows exactly where he was. “Fuck, fuck fuck fuck FUCK FUCK. What’s going…” He tries to finish the sentence but can’t through the dry coughs and blood. It’s back, all of it, the collapsed lung the broken ribs, but it’s not that it was back it was never remedied in the first place. “HHHHEEEEELLLPP!!?!?” He screams as he sees the headlights flash from the cop car 200m from where he was laying.
Panel 13 - he shuts his eyes tight and screams “HHHHEEEELLLPPP” once more. suddenly the flashlight from his savior illuminates directly behind his shut eyes.
Panel 14 - and he wakes up to the doctor shining a small pen light into his eyes “just checking for pupil dilation. Everything seems to be in order here sir.”
Panel 15 - from behind the doctor sitting in the only chair in the room was the woman from last night “alright, now that we know you’re not gonna die it’s time that you start talking.”
Panel 16 - looking startled and confused he blurts out the only thing that made sense to say in this situation “Who’s the fucking hotdog vendor!?!?”
Done@3 months ago