April 22, 2009 - Bad Goods Ch 02 Pg 14
Bad Goods Ch 02 Pg 14

Bad Goods Ch 02 Pg 14

As a pirate vessel, Hamron’s ship, The Hatchet, is meant to inspire fear upon sight. So I designed it to look kinda hatchet-y: all sweeping curves that end in sharp points, so that it looks more aggressive, as well as more maneuverable, than a freighter ship like the Khoruysa Brimia. It also has markings on it as I figured all known pirates would have their own jolly-roger-like symbols, so they could “fly their flags” when attacking.

A couple readers didn’t seem to get the gag in the second panel since they didn’t actually notice the teeny, tiny scar on Hamron’s cheek. But then I guess that’s kinda the point, so it doesn’t really bug me if people miss it the first time around. 🙂

Discussion (8)¬

  1. Zeus says:

    One of the tough things about world-building in a sci-fi future is remembering that the level of technology available makes a lot of the problems in our modern world obsolete. A tiny scratch like Hamron’s, while funny, breaks the suspension of disbelief. With well-known sci-fi treatments for repairing flesh like Luke’s Bacta treatment in The Empire Strikes Back (or any number of real-life treatments i.e. stem cells, cloning, growing sheets of skin, plastic surgery, etc.), it is difficult to believe that Hamron could not have the tiny mark removed as if it were never there. This renders it’s purpose as an additional catalyst for pursuing the crew of the Brimia also less believable.

  2. Johan says:

    That assumes that the procedure is available and affordable at places Hamron has access to. 🙂

  3. Sean Wang says:

    What Johan said! 🙂 Actually Zeus, you do make a very valid point. I will say that I made a conscious decision early on that in the RUNNERS universe, I didn’t want the medical science to be so advanced that it could heal all injuries as quickly as the aforementioned Bacta tank. While definitely possible within a sci-fi context, sometimes I find quick sci-fi medical fixes to devalue the importance of characters sustaining serious injury.

    In the new story, for example, Bocce is pretty much out of commission due to an injury he sustains later in this story. It’s a relatively minor injury that could probably be instantaneously fixed in some universes, but I wanted to establish that in many cases, things take time to heal. Actually, Johan is quite correct in his comment, as I figured there are various levels of treatment available in the RUNNERS universe but have different costs associated with them. In Bocce’s case in the new story, they could have gone with a treatment that would have healed his injury much faster, but they choose something a bit cheaper, since money’s tight.

    All that being said, I agree that Hamron’s injury is SO minor, that it could certainly be fixed quite easily without even needing any advanced sci-fi medical procedure. I guess I chalked up his reaction to, in large part, being upset about being bested by Cember in a pretty humiliating way and chased off of a job. So while he is upset about his face, he isn’t thinking all that rationally and has a bit of other baggage mixed in there. Maybe I’ll have some of the other characters address the issue at some point though as it would be nice to acknowledge that the scar could be easily fixed if Hamron were thinking straight about it.

  4. bryant says:

    Don’t forget the Hippocratic Oath v. 2.0: medical treatment should be withheld in the service of a good punchline.

  5. Also advancements in technology don’t spread uniformly. Just because a species can build interstellar spaceships it doesn’t mean that they are excellent at reprogramming cells. Also maybe some of the species were uplifted, meaning that they adopted technology from a more advance race. I would imagine biological technology would be more difficult to adapt to all species. Even if the technology was available like Johan said it doesn’t mean it is easy to get especially for a minor procedure. If the procedure requires a specialist or special equipment (that is, it is rare due to its sensitivity, operational requirements or, manufacture requirements) then in an unbounded universe, for practicable purposes, it doesn’t exist. Specialists, especially very advanced ones, don’t appear at the same rate as the rest of the population. In a open universe I would imagine there is always an avenue open for booming population expansion, specialists won’t ever be able to catch up to meet the demand. Look at health care today at the local and the world level. Special equipment is the same way. Acquisition of limited or difficult to acquire resources is an impetus for supply. Also there could be other industries leveraging for those same resources.

    Hmm… I think that is all a bit much. More to say but stopping

  6. Lurch says:

    I think by this time, insurance will be the ONLY way to afford high-end medicine. There will be some form of generally available medicine (auto-doc, healing tank, etc) but it will be – in essence – a first aid kit. Probably keep you alive, but pretties and the like are just not part of the program.

  7. Sean Wang says:

    That would certainly give new meaning to the term “UNIVERSAL health care.” Ha ha. Somehow I just don’t see Roka offering his employees a health plan. Maybe a 410K and dental though.