The First VIRS: Chapter 01 teaser, with annotated companion script

Page 2

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Chapter 1, page 2
Art by Matteo Farinella, Lettering by Danbee Kim.


“São Paulo, Brazil”

We see Majhee walking briskly through the crowded streets of São Paulo. Everyone is wearing what looks like light-weight full-body hazmat suits, flickering a bit as the synaptic thread, or SynTh in the material absorbs dangerous radiation in the air. All hoods are up, breathing masks and googles are on. The air is hazy with smog, the sky a smeared grey-blue, and the mid-morning sun pale. As Majhee passes shops and cafes, the daily news appears in hologram-like projections that occupy the ceilings or hover at standing-head-height. Other humans have tiny projections coming from subdermally implanted chips in their wrists, palms, ears, or foreheads; these projections surround their wrists, palms, ears, or face with a sphere of light, called their “bubble”, which either sonify or visualise entertainment, memories, mental models, dreams, news, and scholarly publications.

A lot of the news is about the new space arboretum, but most of the individual bubbles are focused on news about planetside climate disasters:

“…the Colorado River has dried up completely and many are migrating east to escape the severe drought…“

“…aggressive water-borne disease has placed most of northeast India under quarantine…“

“…total evaporation of the River Niger has led to massive lootings at yet another hydropower station…“

“…hundred times more likely to be diagnosed with illnesses caused by sun radiation than even just ten years ago…“

We see Majhee walk past a large research facility, metal and glass architecture dully gleaming in the smoggy light, labeled “Laboratório Nacional de Biociências e Saúde Pública”.

translation: National Laboratory for Biosciences and Public Health

The front of the research facility is teeming with protesters, who chant “Não sirva aos tiranos em órbita!” and “Educar crianças humanas, não máquinas corporativas!”

“…fifth day of violent demonstrations at the Laboratório Nacional de Biociências e Saúde Pública protesting the public research institution’s collaboration with Space Consortium…“

Majhee sneaks into an alleyway to enter the research facility via a back door.

“…who recently announced the first ever patent on a device made with the traditionally open source synaptic thread technology, commonly known as SynTh…“

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Vigilante Intergalactic Roustabout Scholars (VIRS) by Danbee Kim is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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