Majhee, Felix, and other members of Majhee’s research group sit or stand in a cluster at one end of their lab benches in an upper floor of the research institute. The wall nearest to them is a floor-to-ceiling window, showing the dusty sky-line of São Paulo. The sun sits in a reddish hazy sky, just past the midday zenith.
The circle of researchers: Felix Grael, a pale but handsome man in his late 20s, raised in Rio de Janeiro by Swedish immigrants who have since returned to Europe, his face lined with fear and sadness, head in hands as his elbows rest on his knees; Kai Oliveira, a much older woman of Japanese-Portuguese descent, grey-haired and hook-nosed, stern-faced and sitting stiffly in her chair; Beatriz Cavalcanti, a tall woman in her 30s, a Brazilian of Italian descent, mouth set in a grim line even as her hands squeeze Felix’s shoulders in a motherly, comforting gesture; Breno Leite, a dark, thin man in his early 30s, born and raised in the streets of São Paulo by his young Brazilian single mother, who worked every day of her life before falling ill in order to send her son to university; Nova Jatobá, a young graduate student in her mid-20s, descended from indiginous Brazilians from deeper inland, her plump face lined with exhaustion; Iara Gracie, another young grad student in her mid-20s, who was born into an old Brazilian martial arts family but chose the life of a scientist instead; Vec Barbosa, a portly Brazilian man of West African descent in his 40s, hands resignedly folded over a substantial beer belly, face troubled and sad behind a rather bushy yet neatly-trimmed beard.
Beatriz: “So…it’s back?”
Felix, defeated: “Yes…they think it was the liver transplant…“
Beatriz, gently: “Felxi, do you want to go home? We could cover your flight…“
Felix: “Are you sure?”
Vec: “Of course!”
Majhee, to Felix: “And let us know if your father’s doctors want access to our tissue database.”
Felix: “Thanks…I know my mom will really appreciate having me at home…“
Suddenly Felix screws up his face with anger and frustration.
Felix: “But…Bea, we’re so close–“
Beatriz: “Hey, family comes first, and that’s ok.”
Felix: “But Kai’s hands–“
To learn more about this graphic novel, please visit www.danbeekim.org/VIRS
Vigilante Intergalactic Roustabout Scholars (VIRS) by Danbee Kim is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.danbeekim.org/projects/2018/02/28/VIRS-concept/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at danbeekim.org.