The Lightstream Chronicles web comic, intro to chapter 2. Violence in the cyberpunk future.

For the last several weeks,

I have been serving up some seriously detailed double-pages culminating in this final 2-page introduction to chapter 2. Hopefully this season opener, pages 39-40 has been much anticipated and does not disappoint. Of course, at the end of chapter 1 Sean Colbert, frantically racing to the nearest shuttle to TopCity before curfew, was snatched—mid-stride— and hauled into a dark corner of DownTown. Confronted by an unknown assailant(s), Sean refused to cooperate. And then the violence started. This week we see that Sean was severely beaten and left in a puddle of rain and his own blood. Last week, in the final prologue pages to chapter 2, his body was discovered by a roving emergency drone that was patrolling the area. What exactly happened to Sean is forthcoming as chapter 2 unfolds.

Is this another act of random Downtown violence, or is it something more?
Is this another act of random Downtown violence, or is it something more?

Every page of The Lightstream Chronicles includes rather extreme details. The physical page size of a double-page spread is more than 80 inches across. As I encourage readers to zoom in and discover some of the fine points that I have taken such pains to weave in to the artwork, you can see Sean’s reflection in the lens of the emergency drone as well as the fine print of what’s going on in the “mind” of the drone. Since an ambulance was summoned immediately upon discovery of the body. the next thing that will happen is the emergency drone will try to determine whether the victim is dead or alive. The human chipset is located on the back of the neck. The drone will project optical beam and determine if there are vital signs being transmitted anywhere in the body. (You might remember another drone scanning Sean from page 26 in chapter 1).

This sets up one of the key mysteries of the story. Virtually every inch of DownTown and TopCity, including private living spaces, is visually accessible through the mesh. For your edification here is a definition of the mesh:

Mesh (The) – the massive proliferation of electronic image receivers, recorders, and active surface technology provides the ability to triangulate and decode a 3-dimensional image within virtually any modern environment. Using GPS coordinates any active technology produces a field which interprets the surrounding environment. Correlating data fields from multiple active technologies within contiguous environments creates a mesh, which generates a detailed 3-dimensional image of anything or anyone. There is no need for cameras or optical recording devices. The encryptions and addressing of millions of devices requires highly sophisticated decoding technology and is authorized for government use only. Because the resulting visual information has no regard for privacy, it is highly controversial. The government claims that mesh imagery of non-suspect activity is not collected. All mesh imagery, by law, is decoded and parsed using “impartial, non-judgmental” synthetic humans.

From an upcoming Glossary to The Lightstream Chronicles.

Welcome to the future.

 

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