21st Century Fox, Part 1 -- ROAD TRIP

Written by Jeff Hartt.
Thanks Jeff!

Ground rules:
- PG content only. Anything beyond that, leave to the reader's imagination.
- No permanent changes to characters (i.e. death, bunny tail implants, etc.)
- Emphasis on character development

Limitations of the medium imposed rules: (First time I've thought in these terms)
- Try to make the person speaking last be on the right side of the panel.
- Try to make the panels fit on a page (even number of half-page-width panels, etc)
- Try really hard to keep word balloons small.

Going in, here are the areas of conflict that can be explored. How people (or animals) deal with internal and external conflict makes for interesting stories.
1. Veronica is a carnivore/predator. Johann is a herbivore/prey. There are certain mindsets that go along with this. Can they be compatible?
2. Veronica thinks everyone sees her as a stereotypical Vampire Bat. I think you have partially addressed this with their moonlight encounter.
3. Johan has very little regard for himself as a partner to a gorgeous Vampire Bat. I think you have partially addressed this with their moonlight encounter.
4. When will they find out Veronica's best friend is going out with Johann's fellow engineer?
5. The way I'm perceiving it, Veronica has more experience with relationships than Johann. Maybe along the lines of a few serious relationships to negative five. This makes another layer of incompatibility.
6. Engineering males will, with the proper care, evolve beyond the “tell any girl the exact and literal truth” stage. You can't really think of them as mature until they do. Joe ain't there yet.
7. How will they handle months of no relationship back at the base?
8. What will happen when “The Company” finds out?
9. Can they survive an ISO audit? No, I'm serious on this one!

This takes place between the Friday, Feb. 13th comic when Veronica and Johann are still in the Archelon and Monday, Feb. 16th when they are back at the lunar base.

Week 1: Monday

Panel 1: [Veronica is sitting at the controls to the Archelon, Joe is just sitting down. BTW, because Joe tends to have line #2 in all of these panels, I see him sitting on the right]
Veronica: Hi, love! Did you sleep well?
Joe: Umm. OK, I guess. Anything new out there?

Panel 2: [Both sitting down, looking forward]
Veronica: No. Just craters, moonrocks, repeat.
Joe: Sounds relaxing.

Panel 3: [Both sitting with contented smiles]

Panel 4: [Veronica leans over, Joe jumps 1 foot in the air with a scared expression]
Veronica: BOO!

Panel 5: [Veronica facing forward, looking at Joe, Joe calmed down]
Veronica: So you are still scared of me.
Joe: That's not necessarily a bad thing.

Panel 6: [Joe looks like he swallowed his toungue. Veronica faces forward, looks forward]
Veronica: Oh?

Panel 7: [Joe looks like a mouse in a trap.]

Panel 8: [Joe points excitedly outside, Veronica in an exclamation expression]
Veronica: I said 'Oh?'
Joe: Look, is that the moon out there!?
Veronica: Uh, huh! Nice try!

Week 1: Wednesday

Panel 1: [Veronica facing Joe now.]
V: So what was it you were saying
J: I don't remember anything.

Panel 2:
V: You don't want to tell me do you?
J: No I don't
V: So it is something!

Panel 3: [V looking evil. J looking super happy, facing her]
V: Don't force me. I'll tickle you until you tell.
J: Really! You would?!

Panel 4: [V looking confused. J looking crestfallen]
V: Uh. I mean I wouldn't tickle you.
J: Oh, well. That's OK, I guess.

Panel 5: [Thin panel only showing V with mouth open]

Panel 6: [Thin panel only showing V with mouth closed]

Panel 7: [V looking frustrated. J looking chipper.]
V: I am not dropping the subject!
J: Humm, hum, humm!

Week 1: Friday:

Panel 1: [Veronica facing Joe, Joe looking shocked at V]
V: I smell blood here.

Panel 2: [V soothing, Joe calming down]
V: I mean metaphorically! I know something's bothering you!
J: Oh.

Panel 3: [V looking at J. J looking forward, away from V]

Panel 4: [V looking evil. J looking a bit worried.]
V: So do you know what carnivores do when they smell blood?
J: They don't give up, do they?

Week 2: Monday

Panel 1:
V: Look, you'll feel better when it's out of your system

Panel 2: [Joe, starting to stand up, V pointing at instrument panel]
J: Great idea! I'll go back to the engines and . . .
V: You've forgotten my ears again. Plus ship's audio, filters. . .

Panel 3: [Joe slumps back in his chair]
J: **Sigh**

Panel 4:
J: Veronica, I don't want to risk our friendship

Panel 5: [J in same pose. V chewing a talon thoughtfully, looking at J.]

Panel 6: [J looking surprised, looking forward. V speaking.]
V: Last night you had a dream. You were holding me around the waist and we were flying.

Panel 7: [J looking at V with wide eyes]
J: Actually, I've had that dream every night since we met
V: Me too.

Panel 8: [Both looking caringly at each other, smiling]

Panel 9: [J looking away again, V speaking, ears perk up]
J: Last night's dream was different
V: Ah hah!
J: Really different.
V: Oh, ho!

Panel 10: [J looking at V. V speaking]
J: That's all I'm going to say.
V: Oh, no!

Week 2 Wednesday

Panel 1: [J looking at V forcefully. V happily looking back]
J: Wait a minute. If our roles were reversed, you wouldn't tell me a thing.
V: Of course not.

Panel 2:
J: And why's that?
V: Because I'm a mysterious female. You're an engineering male.

Panel 3: [J looking shocked. V smiling.]

Panel 4: [J looking away crestfallen again.]
J: Point taken.

Week 2: Friday

Panel 1:
V: Trust me Joe. I swear I won't let your dream affect our friendship.

Panel 2: Closup on V exclaiming
V: I'm a nurse with years of expeience! I've seen and heard practically everything!

Panel 3:
J: I don't know if I can.
V: Try this. Close your eyes and whisper in my ear.

Panel 4: [V facing forward again, looking out the front of the ship.]
V: I promise I won't interrupt or make a sound until you're finished.

Panel 5: [J looking at V. V looking pretty, holding the controls resolutely.]

Panel 6:
J: OK, but you might want to put the autopilot on.
V: Uh, huh. (Note: she doesn't)

Week 3: Monday
Panel 1, regular sized panel: [J leaning over to whisper, in V's ear, eyes closed. V smiling slightly]

Panel 2 (Thin panel) : [Slice of Panel 1, Joes's mouth and Veronica's full face and ears. Same expressions]

Panel 3 (Thin panel) : [Veronica's mouth and eyes wide open in shock, pupils still small]

Panel 4 (Thin panel) : [Veronica's mouth and eyes wide open in shock, pupils dilated]

Panel 5 (Thin panel) : [Veronica's ears now pink halfways up]

Panel 6 (Thin panel) : [Veronica's ears now red on bottom, ping on top, slight blush on cheeks through black fur]

Panel 7 regular sized): [Joe back in seat, Veronica with ears all the way red, moderate blush on cheeks]
Joe: Well? V: Squeak!

Week 3: Wednesday

Panel 1: [Looking at each other, Joe calm. V wide eyed, color fading in ears]

Panel 2: [Color gone in ears. Both talking softly, V's eyes still wide]
V: Was that really your dream?

Panel 3: [Joe looks away, toward the moon]
J: Veronica, in a word.

Panel 4: [Joe gripping his seat arms in terror. V freaking out, looking forward.]
J: Autopilot!

Week 3: Friday

Panel 1: [J stifling a laugh. V scanning the horizon frantically]

Panel 2: [V giving Joe a glare. Joe looks back, still smiling. Autopilot Engaged indicator clicks on]

Panel 3: [Back to looking at each other seriously]

Panel 4:
V: Was that really your dream?
J: Yes.

Panel 5: [Same as Panel 3]

Panel 5: [V gets up and walks away, Joe follows with his head, eyes.]

Week 4: Monday

Panel 1: [Wide hallway or empty room in Archeron. V has back to Joe, arms hugging herself, Joe walks up behind]
J: Veronica?

Panel 2: [Same perspective]
V: Johann, I. . . .no way, not ever.
J: OK. . . But why not?

Panel 3: [V turns around, fangs bared. Little shown of Joe's face, eyes wide]
V: Because then you'll see me like everyone else does! As a bloodthirsty [drippy letters]

Panel 4: [Closeup on V, eyes rolling independently]
V: Crazy

Panel 5: [Closup on V, snarling]
V: Murderous animal!

Panel 6: [Side view of V facing away from J, eyes closed, nose up, arms crossed. J still with eyes wide]
V: And I can't have you think of me that way.

Panel 7: [Closeup on V, nose down, mouth in squiggly line, about to cry]

Panel 8: [Closeup on V, head in hands]
V - whispering (dashed word baloon) : I just can't.

Week 4, Wednesday

Panel 1: [Both facing forward, Joe holding V's shoulder, walked up from behind, V still has head in hands]
J: Veronica, I could never think of you that way. You believe me don't you?

Panel 2:
V: ** SNIFF **
J: I'll take one sniff as a yes.
V: ** SNORT **

Panel 3:
J: I mean look at you! You've dedicated your career to protecting and preserving lives!

Panel 4: [V takes head out of hands, looks at Joe]
J: You've given up a life on Earth to be where you can do the most good. You're compassionate and caring for all animals, regardless of breed.

Panel 5: [Facing each other]
J: If I didn't trust you with my life, I wouldn't be out here, 1000 miles from the nearest base with you.

Panel 6: [Joe getting animated]
J: Besides, what is blood to a Vampire Bat? A food source. And from large mammals, not rodents.

Panel 7:
J: If it wasn't for the movies, Vampire Bats would have a great reputation.

Panel 8:
J: Just think, Dracula, the Horse Whisperer
V: Hee, hee!

Week 4: Friday

Panel 1:
V: OK, but. . . .what was the inspiration for this dream? It couldn't have come out of the blue.

Panel 2: [Joe looking sheepish, V with head cocked to the side, hands on hips]
V: It's too. .
J: Detailed?
V: Well, graphic was the word I was thinking of.

Panel 3:
J: You mean besides kissing for 3 hours? And you being so good at taking charge of situations?
V: Yes, besides that.

Panel 4:
J: Well, one of the guys at the fab I used to work at. He had a collection of non-mouse fetish magazines. He had one in particular published by Vampire Bats.

Panel 5: [V looks away, yells]
J: Arteries at Midnight

Panel 6: [J looks sheepish, V sticks out her tongue in dismay]
.J: . (with a capital K).

V: No, . (all caps with red glow and flowers in the letters).

Week 5: Monday

Panel 1: [V looking thoughfully at J]
V: So you're read VB fetish magazines?
J: Have you ever seen a mouse fetish magazine?
V: No.
J: You haven't missed much.

Panel 2: [Closeup on Joe]
J: In order to get into the League of Animals, the Mouse Council had cut birth rates WAY BACK.

Panel 3:
J: One offshoot was really, really boring mouse porn.

Panel 4: [J and V, V giggling]
V: That bad?
J: Imagine a couple in swimsuits, throwing cheese at each other from across the room.
V: Hee, hee!

Week 5: Wednesday

Panel 1: [Joe looking shy, V with eyes wide open.]
J: Well, it's just my dream, after all. I'm sure you've never had any dreams like that.

Panel 2: [V facing forward, folding her ears to hide their insides, angry expression. J pointing and smiling]
V: I don't have to say. I'm a mysterious woman.
J: You know, your cheeks glow a bit when you blush.
V: Ohhhh!

Panel 3: [Joe smiling, arms up.]
J: Besides, it's a silly dream anyway. Unless you have a racy white leather outfit, it's not going to come true.

Panel 4: [V with eyes closed, Joe in shock]
V: It's red.
J: Yeah. . . WHAT!?!?

Week 5: Friday

Panel 1: [Facing each other]
V: OK. I understand, it was just a dream. . . .Joe, do you think part of you really wants that dream, that fantasy to come true?

Panel 2: [Joe turns away, looks pensive]

Panel 3: [Closeup on Joe]
J: I don't know. I just know that we're 3 days away from the Moon Base. That anywhere else on the Moon, a pat on the shoulder will get you shipped back to Earth on your own nickel. I also know that there's noone in the world or on the moon that I trust as much as you.

Panel 4: [Joe smiles at V]
J: Besides, it might be fun for me to let someone else have their hand on the tiller for a while.

Panel 5: [J looks away, looks mortified, V suppresses a laugh]
V: ** Snigger **

Panel 6: [J looks at V in panic, blushing. V points at Joe, nose up, mouth open, smiling]
J: I didn't mean!
V: Now who's blushing?

Week 6: Monday

Panel 1: [Joe looking away and down, a bit angry, V suppressing laugh]
J: Let me try that again.

Panel 2: [V stops laughing, looks at Joe]

Panel 3: [Closeup on Joe]
J: You know how practical I am. I believe that dreams are meant to tell us something.

Panel 4: [Show both, V's eyes wide]
J: I think my dream means I don't want to be in love with Veronica the Nurse.

Panel 5: [Closeup on Joe]
J: Or Veronica the Dancer, Veronica the crawler pilot, or Veronica the good friend.

Panel 6: [Joe looking determined.]
J: I want to be in love with Veronica Desmond. All her good points, all her bad points. All her hopes and fears. Everything that makes her who she is.

Panel 7: [Joe looking angry]
J: Not some watered-down mouse-compatible version of her. If who she is includes predator-prey fantasies. . .

Panel 8: [Joe finally looks at V with a determined look. V's eyes still wide open]
J: I want to be part of that too.

Week 6: Wednesday
Panel 1: [Same pose at Monday, Panel 8].

Panel 2: [Veronica slams into J's chest with a hug, smiling]
J: Ooof!

Panel 3: [Joe looking down smiling. V still with eyes closed, hugging, smiling]
J: What was that for?
V: For trusting me. Really, really trusting me.
J: Ahh. . . your welcome!

Panel 4: [Joe looking a bit worried, V looking up, showing predatory smile with lots of teeth]
V: And this might be the last hug you get for a while.
J: Oh.

Week 6: Friday

Panel 1: [Joe in command chair. Chair is leaned back horizontal. V is standing behind. Joe looks nervous, V is smiling, in charge]
J: So what do I do?
V: Are you nervous?
J: Umm. . . yeah.

Panel 2: [V massaging Joe's shoulders. Joe's eyes closed]
V: Mmmm.. . Maybe this will help.
V: Feeling relaxed?
J: V. . .e. .r . . r. . .y

Panel 3: [Closeup of V inspecting small, 'H' shaped device like Rimmer wore on Red Dwarf]
V: I'll put this neural neutralizer on your forehead.

Panel 4: [V talking, smiling. N.N. on Joe's forehead, Joe's mouth open]
V: And you'll stay unconscious until I'm ready for you!

Panel 5: [V wide eyes, frowning. Joe mouth way open]

Panel 6: [V looking closely at NN in her hand, Joe still has mouth open]
V: Or you would if I had turned this on.

Week 7 Monday:

Panel 1 full panel width: [Veronica's quarters. Side view of Veronica in robe walking across room to table. Small opened crate on table nearby. Markings on crate lid leaning against table: VanGelder Medical Supplies. Marking on side of crate: Danger! Really dangerous!]
V {thinking}: What are you doing, Veronica?

Panel 2: [Side view of V taking hat and bottle out of crate. Same shape as nurse hat, but colored red with black silhouette of upper and lower fangs and sharp front teeth. On this side, markings on crate read: Don't open! Ever!]
V {thinking} : You've finally found someone who loves you and you're going to scare him away.

Panel 3: [V facing mirror, reading label on bottle]
V: Fur-be-bright. That winning, shiny look that 7 out of 10 male vampire bats prefer!

Panel 4: [V looking despondent]
V: That's a real help.

Week 7 - Wednesday

Panel 1, full width: [V facing mirror, view of shoulders up]
V: What the heck do I do?

Panel 2: [Same view, small Veronica Angel appears on left shoulder in burst of radiant light. V looking off to right, not seeing angel (just hearing)]
VA: Heck's got nothing to do with it. You should wake him up and kiss him while you can.

Panel 3: [Closeup on right shoulder. Veronica Devil shows up in puff of smoke. Closeup detail. Red one-piece swimsuit/bodysuit, horns, black pitchfork, flames licking up from suit. Wing membrane traces an upside-down U between the support tines, giving sharper appearance]
VD: I beg to differ! His dream sounds good to me. Just make it come true.

Panel 4: [Closeup on left shoulder. Detail on V.A. Wings have feathers. Golden Halo. Pretty white dress, conservative cut. V.A. talks with eyes closed, small smile.
VA: Don't listen to her. You know in your heart what is the RIGHT thing to do.

Panel 5: [V.D. has jumped over to left shoulder, tries to push VA off shoulder with pitchfork in both hands. VA has very surprised expression. VD looks angry, looking at VA]
VD: The RIGHT thing to do is take advantage of the situation!

Panel 6: [VD and VA grappling for pitchfork, angry with each other]
VA: So she should take love advice from someone who smells like sulfur? That's SO sexy.
VD: Better than from a naive comedienne with ridiculous feathered wings!

Panel 7: [Back to shoulder's view up of V, V still looking off abstractedly. VD and VA still arguing]
VA: Stinky!
VD: Feather-brain!
Veronica {thinking}: I really need to see a shrink.

Week 7: Friday

Panel 1: [Back to VA and VD arguing, pithfork at VD's side, VD counting off on fingers]
VA: First of all, it's not safe.
VD: Archelon has 2 units of mouse blood and about 10,000 mouse sized units of Universal Blood Replacement. A full surgical lab, 30 medkits of all sizes. . .

Panel 2:
VA: Johann is as innocent as you can get! Getting to know his first love needs to be special!
VD: Being in love is special enough.

Panel 3: [VA getting frustrated. VD frowning]
VA: I mean slow and tender! A courtship spread over months that are savored!
VD: She has hours, not months.

Panel 4: [VD with arms crossed, glaring]
VA: He doesn't know anything! He can't know what he really wants.
VD: His dream was specific enough. Besides, he's an adult, not a child. Stop treating him like one.

Panel 5: [Back to shoulder up view of V. She brightens up with happy expression]
V: I finally know what the problem is!

Panel 6: [V jumping up and down, holding head in hands, grimacing. VA and VD fight to hang on]
V: I think too much!

Week 8: Monday

Panel 1: [VA pleading case to VD's back. VD has eyes closed]
VA: Deep down, he thinks like a prey animal! He might snap! Lose his mind! Hate her!
VD: Better to find out now.

Panel 2: [VA blows up, VD has eyes wide open]
VA: It's not fair! You'll ruin him forever! It will be impossible for anyone else he meets to measure up to her!

Panel 3: [VD turns around, smiles sweetly to VA. VA still angry].
VD. You're right. I yield to the logic of your arguments.

Panel 4: [Back to shoulder up view, V's eyes are wide, can't see mouth]
VA: What? Wait! I meant to say . . !

Panel 5: [V has carnivorous smile, evil squint]
VA: I mean, . . . ah. . .

Panel 6: [VA has turned around, looking despondent. VD has hand on VA's shoulder, laughing]
VA: Ohhh. . . heck.
VD: You know, maybe there's some hope for you after all.
VA: Oh . . . . go roast a marshmellow.
VD: Ha, ha!

Week 8, Wednesday

One big Panel with lots of fancy text of different colors, fonts, sizes.

Content: WARNING! Do you really want to see what happens next? Only if you are ABLSOLUTELY SURE, click on the link below. (You have been warned!)

Link to Thursday

Week 8, Thursday.

One big Panel with lots of fancy text of different colors, fonts, sizes.

Content: AH HA! So you couldn't resist! Shame on you! Let's give these two some privacy for a change. In any case. . . .

Week 8, Friday:

Panel 1: [Back at Archelon bridge. J and V wearing robes. V wearing medical hat. J seated with blanket on legs. J has 2 IVs with bag stands. J has small smile. V is adjusting 2nd IV. behind J]
V: Insta-stiches, nanogauze, two units of UBR, thermal blanket. . . .
J: You've got your old hat.
V: I've got my old hat. You're almost all set.

Panel 2: [Closeup on 2 kissing]
V and J: Mmmmmm....

Panel 3: [V sitting in command chair.]
V: In 12 hours I'll apply the Opus Super Hair Tonic. You'll be good as new by the time we reach the station.

Panel 4:
J: Can you play some Vivaldi?
V: Sure!

Panel 5: [Both with contented smiles, staring forward]

Panel 6: [Joe sticking toungue out at V. V leaning towards J]
V (whispering) : Boo!
J: Thpppppt!

Panel 7: [Talking]
V: Well, we certainly won't be doing that again for a while.
J: Why not? Because the station is so close? Am I in that bad of shape?

Panel 8: [V making disgusted face, looking forward]
V: No, because UBR tastes terrible!

21st Century Fox