Fade to Black by MarkHirst ()
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I think I’d have been more afraid, if it wasn’t for the bullet wound in my leg.
I lay in darkness for what seemed like hours, eyes and mouth clenched against the pain. Below me, I could hear distant thuds against the hull of the ship. I thought I heard shouting, but I think I imagined that.
The floor was cold and smooth, but in places, warm and sticky. I was already feelin’ a little sick and I guess lyin’ down was as good an idea as any. Feeling my leg, I found the holes pretty quickly and tried to make a tourniquet. Made a bad job of it though, ‘cos I passed out.
When I woke again, I was still in the lift but there was this light coming through the open door. The room was full of equipment, mostly scattered around. I saw a space suit and stuff that looked like weapons. It was pain that dragged me back to reality. Looking back at my leg an’ the dark pool of blood in the lift, I knew I was in trouble.
I shouted out hello, but the air was dead an’ all. I shouted out again but there was no answer. Somebody had dropped that lift for me but now they were playing games. I guess I was getting scared then, ‘cos I started swearing and screamin’ at them to show their face.
I shut up when the door to the next room opened. I waited and held my breath, but nobody showed up. I dragged myself over to the door but found another room, it had tables and chairs, panels and consoles. This one was all pretty with wood an’ strange designs, and decorated with paintings an’ sculptures.
The floor was covered with scattered equipment too, thrown about I guess when the ship was brought here. I dragged myself into the middle of the room, left a bloody trail behind me. This must have been a ready room or lounge.
The next door opened and I shouted out again. Another no show.
I was starting to feel cold and my head was spinnin’ around. Dragging myself to the next door took forever. It was a bedroom, two bunks, storage racks, facilities, and a wardrobe. If was all beautiful too, wood carvings, etched mirrors and a smell of flowers.
I couldn’t feel my legs by then, an’ my hands were starting to tingle. If the last door hadn’t opened, I probably would have stopped there. I could see it was different. Two openings in the floor, two egg-shaped cockpits sunk into the blue metal of the ship. One of them flickered with colours an’ light while the other was dark. I tried calling out but my body was starting to shutdown. I cried with the effort to pull myself into the room. There was no blood trail now and my eyes weren’t focussing properly. I thought I heard a voice but I figure I was losing my head.
It was some kinda miracle that got me into the seat, ‘cos I heard a door close over me. Panels and view screens were changing and flashing all around, but I was too far gone to care. I was freezing cold and my body was starting to detach from my brain.
There’s a bright light coming towards me and I can hear that voice again. I’m so cold now. Frak, I’m blind and I think I’ve stopped breathing, Lise, try and breathe, breathe, dammit!
Fade to black…
-- Elise Mackie
(Big Sigh) This was supposed to be a regular photorealistic render but pulling down the quality slider to get 'a few days rather than weeks' render times introduced noticeable artefacts and basically it looked horrible. All that reflective metal !!
I've tried to rescue it by applying some of the comic strip techniques I've been working on. Tell me if it worked.
V3 with Winter Wear and Wedge Hair, all from DAZ. Cockpit was created in Hexagon 1.21.
Post processed with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS2.
Thanks for looking, please critique.
Image Comments (18)
Yes, it is different from the photo-realistic work you've been doing. But it works very well. I think, if I were you, I'd keep both styles in your bag of tricks as they work well and -- when the render time doesn't make photo-realistic practical -- this really is a great alternative.
Well, I always like photo-realistic best, but sometimes.... Ya just gotta do what you gotta do; and in this case, it turned out rather well I thought. The only down side to it is that it is so "squeaky clean" if it is illustrating the story, which I'm assuming it is. Even comic books can create a bloody, smudgy look that her suit would have it she'd been dragging herself all over the place. Still, a fine render, all the same.
This is radically different from your usual style. It reminds me of the French artist Jean Giraud, who often contributed to 'Heavy Metal' magazine. There is a relaxed, natural aspect to the flow of the lines of this piece that makes it refreshing; worthy of other illustrations to be produced in this style.