Dystopia – Volume 1: A New Earth
A group of six prisoners who recently escaped from an unknown location are orbiting in their escape pod after coming into contact with planet earth. It has been hundreds of years since a devastating extraterrestrial invasion wiped out most human life and forced the remaining survivors to flee the planet. The planet is now a myth, a mere story passed down through generations of those who were lucky enough to leave and recolonise the human race.
The group of travellers debate about whether or not it is safe to descend to the planet’s surface which, from space, looks dry, desolate and lifeless. Gianas, the leader of the group, along with Isa and Unora believe it is too much of a risk to travel down to explore the planet, humans once called home. The other two members of the group, Vihaan and Oda are stubborn and want to risk their lives to explore the historical graveyard. The five are divided in their decision, they look out upon the looming planet when all of a sudden, the ship is hit by a beam of light and a force pulls them towards the planet’s surface.
Their damaged ship catches fire while plummeting towards earth. The helpless group inside panic and brace for impact. Gianas is able to strap himself in, however the others are thrown around the cockpit, bashed against the walls. The ship finally smashes into the crusty, dry surface of earth and comes to a rest. The cockpit is full of blood and the remains of Gianas’ former group. Gianas is unconscious and his fastened body is slumped in his chair.
Gianas wakes up, slowly realising what had happened to his comrades. In utter shock and horror he unstraps himself and collapses to the ground, weak under the trauma before his eyes. He sees movement as Unora wakes up. Gianas moves towards her and notices that her ankle is broken with bone exposed. He rips some cloth and wraps it around her leg. Unora is in agony. Gianas crawls along the floor of the cockpit and opens the hatch. He stares upon the dry lifeless desert before him. On the horizon is the silhouette of a destroyed city.
Gianas strips off his space gear and removes his cracked dome helmet. He helps Unora out of the ship and supports her so she is able to travel. They both continue on towards the destroyed city. The desolate landscape is harsh and hot under the beaming sun. They come across a rundown gas station that is partially lodged into the side of a sand dune. Gianas and Unora decide to stay there for the night. Inside the gas station it looks like some had been living there. In the corner is a pile of rags where someone had slept and there is a burnt down candle. Gianas finds a polaroid photo of a woman that is torn down the middle. Unora and Gianas sleep there for the night. The next morning they leave early to continue walking towards the city.
Gianas offers the last dreg of water to Unora, she reluctantly drinks it. They see a sand storm coming their way and quickly struggle through the desert. Unora collapses and goes unconscious, Gianas carries her in his arms. After a while they come to some structures which are the remains of the outer suburbs around the city. Gianas takes shelter in a semi-collapsed house away from the sand storm. He looks around and lays Unora down for her to rest.
Gianas watches out the window as the sand storm blows through. Behind him Unora has woken and is limping behind him. She asks where they are and discuss what they are going to do next. Gianas suggests to Unora that she get some rest while he keeps watch. Unbeknown to Gianas, there is someone crouched in the rafters of the house, observing them. After keeping watch for a few hours Gianas falls asleep.
He awakes to see an alien hunter in the doorway of the house. The hunter walks towards Gianas with a blaster in its hand. Gianas moves backwards in horror and tries to wake Unora. She dozily lifts her head in confusion just before the hunter shoots her in the chest. She lies lifeless on the ground, blood pooling around her body.
Gianas is shocked so he dashes to get out of the house as quickly as possible and away from the hunter. The hunter follows him down the street, Gianas ducks down the side of a house in an attempt to lose him. Gianas sees a large building, the remains of a school. He sprints inside and manages to hide behind a pile of rubble. The hunter enters the school then stops in front of the pile Gianas is hiding behind. The hunter scans the room with a holographic scanner then leaves. Gianas grabs a metal pipe from the pile of rubble to defend himself.
After a while Gianas returns to the house to discover Unora’s body is gone and the hunter is nowhere to be seen. He then hears a creak above him and sees a woman crouched in the rafters. The woman jumps to the ground and Gianas lunges at her to wack her with the pipe. She yells that she is not an enemy and she won’t hurt him. The woman introduces herself as Kaia.
Kaia tells him that she has been watching him since he had crashed and was intrigued in seeing another human free. She then explains the backstory of earth. That hundreds of years ago, suddenly the sky turned black and a ship came down to earth. At first it was harmless but a few days later they came down and reigned terror upon the earth, launching devices that changed the climate to their own and digging for new resources. They then enslaved the humans to build their own buildings and monuments “they took our home, the way of life”. Gianas then talks about his past and how he was part of colony that was on another planet. They settled there after earth was taken over.
Gianas tells Kaia that he needs to find out where they took Unora’s body. Kaia says that the hunter most likely took it to the city. She offers to take him but warns him the journey will not be without risk.
Kaia takes Gianas to a large crack in the ground. Inside there are luscious plants growing with fruit on them. It is the only plant life in the entire barren landscape. Kaia explains that plants can only grow in the protected areas because otherwise the sandstorms would kill them. She collects some fruit and offers it to Gianas. At first he is hesitant, but after Kaia says, “Do you trust me?” he eats it.
They come across a collapsed airport (Hillsboro Airport), Kaia says to Gianas that if he is going to survive he needs a weapon. She reveals that she constantly visits the airport because there are all sorts of things. Gianas finds a [FILLER OBJECT/WEAPON] and decides to keep it as his weapon. Kaia shows him into a small room, that was formerly a bathroom, which is set up as a temporary living space. Kaia grabs some supplies from a chest and the two leave towards the city.
The two continue on through the desolate, abandoned suburbs surrounding the city. Kaia says that if they are to get into the city unseen, they need to go around and through the dried up river canals. They are then interrupted by the noise of a vehicle. “Shhh! Someone’s coming.”
Kaia and Gianas are in a main street running through an abandoned suburb. A vehicle is approaching them and so they hide in the rusted shell of an old car. The vehicle driving by belongs to the hunter. The van is futuristic with a radar on the roof. The car stops to scan the area then moves on. Gianas asks what it was doing, and Kaia explains that the hunter is most likely following their tracks.
The pair make it to the edge of the dried-up river next to some collapsed silos which are partially submerged in the sand. Kaia warns Gianas to be careful as they approach the river. He walks ahead and hears a crack before falling through the top of a rusted silos. Kaia rushes to the edge of the hole and asks if Gianas is ok. He tells her to get him “the hell of here”. Kaia suggest suggests he use the ladder however it is rusted so she shoots down with a grapple hook and he climbs up. They walk towards a highway sign that says Oregon zoo the zoo is torn down and surrounded by barbed wire. They go in as Gianas has always wanted to see earth animals. They jump the fence and walk through the zoo, it appears empty and deserted. They see a light near the middle of the park and Kaia suggests that there may be survivors. As they get closer the notice masked bandits with advanced weapons. Gianas and Kaia peak through a window and notice alien animals being traded and sold in an auction-like scenario, they listen as the bidding starts. A figure walks in and removes her mask, Kaia is shocked and pulls herself away from the window. Gianas nudges her and asks what is wrong, she ignores him and says that everything’s fine. Gianas suggests they continue towards the city. The last frame is both of them walking on the highway in the sunset with a sign overhead pointing an arrow towards Portland.
Issue 4 begins as they are walking towards the silhouette of the city, Gianas spots one of the only intact buildings in the skyline. “It must be where Unora, is It hast to be”. They sneak in through reception and notice many corporal looking aliens, they sneak through the building and make it to the top floor where, they see a group of scientists exiting a high security room. They walk in and Gianas see Unora dissected with various tests around the room, Kia remarks “I’ve never seen them do anything like this before”. They decide that should leave immediately only to turn around and see the hunter leaning in the doorway. They are immediately arrested and dragged out the door.
Gianas and Kaia are dragged through the alien structure down to the prisoner holding cells. Gianas is confused as to where everyone is, and why there aren’t even lots of aliens around. Kaia explains that it’s been this way for as long as she can remember. The planet is dead now, so most of the aliens had moved on. Earth now operated as an outpost which was run by the remainder of enslaved humans and a small crew of aliens.
While in the jail cell, Gianas questions Kaia about if she had been locked up by the aliens before. She had. Later on, an alien who isn’t a hunter comes and puts a metal shock collar on Gianas and Kaia before leading them down the hall and into a big engine like room. In the corner is a stack of bags full of a rock like material. The alien indicates for them to feed the machine with the rock. Kaia knows the routine and gets to work.
After working for a few hours, both of them are tired and hungry. Gianas suggests looking for something that Kaia could use to escape the cell later on. She smiles and returns to working. Soon after the alien guard returns them to their cell, Kaia sits in the corner with a content look. Gianas is frustrated and asking why she is doing nothing to help get them out of there. She says that there already is a way out but they have to wait. After a little while, Kaia gets up and walks to the corner of the cell, she pulls on a small concrete panel to reveal a small passage which the two crawl down and comes out through a pile of rubble in the street.
They come past a pile of old cloth, Kaia indicates to Gianas to put one on as disguise so they can look like the hunters. Both of them continue on until they reach an exit out into the city streets. Kaia tells Gianas that there is a group of people who live hidden in the city and it’s safe there. They walk through the desolate streets underneath the towering crumbled structures. Up ahead an alien patrol vehicle is approaching so Gianas and Kaia dash sideways into a deserted shopfront that is partially collapsed. The patrol vehicle passes and Gianas asks about them. Kaia tells that they are regular patrols to make sure enslaved humans aren’t roaming around away from their jobs.
The pair arrive at the base of destroyed skyscraper which is leaning against another high-rise building. Kaia climbs through a window frame that had no glass and moves through the empty lobby of the gigantic structure. She asks Gianas to give her a hand to open the metal elevator doors. Inside the elevator shaft is a long rope leading down into the darkness below the building. Kaia insists that Gianas slides down the rope after she yells up to him. She grabs the rope and disappears into the darkness.
Kaia signals for Gianas to follow her down into the darkness of the elevator shaft. He hesitate then holds on and slides down. At the bottom is a fire torch lit corridor with a large door at the end. The two go down the corridor towards the door then open it to reveal a large room containing a big group of people going about their daily lives. There is a group of people standing in the doorway with guns pointed at them. In the centre of them is a man with a stern face.
The leader of the group greets Kaia with a grudge in his voice. He introduces himself to Gianas as Zenith and they shake each others hands. Zenith invites Gianas and Kaia to join him in his office so they can talk privately. They walk across the large room which has beds, tables and other furniture items. People are playing board games, talking, reading books and doing everyday things. Zenith leads Gianas and Kaia down a corridor that leads to his office. In his office he offers them both a seat, Gianas accepts, Kaia remains standing.
Kaia explains that the two of them only came down to their group so they could use their tunnel access to get out of the city. Zenith tells Kaia that she had been warned about returning to his community again after she stole from them. Meanwhile Gianas sees half of a torn polaroid photo propped against a cup on Zenith’s desk. The photo is of Zenith himself. They discuss back and forward about different things before a young boy comes in and asks Zenith for some food. Zenith tells the boy to come back later and so the boy leaves. Gianas asks who the boy is and Zenith reveals that he is an orphan who lost his parents to the aliens.
As Kaia, Gianas and Zenith are speaking a guard bursts through the door and warns them that the aliens have entered the building above and are making their way down. Zenith gets up and tells the guard to evacuate everyone into the tunnels. Kaia grabs Gianas and tells him that this is their chance to slip away into the tunnels and get out. They both rush down the corridor, passing people panicking and rushing around. Kaia and Gianas reach a large bookcase against the wall concealing an opening which leads into the underground subway. She grabs a flaming torch off the wall and both of them enter. Zenith comes up behind them and hurries into the tunnels first. Behind him are some of his people, however most of them have been captured or killed by the hunters.
In the tunnel Kaia argues with Zenith about what to do with everyone. Zenith gets annoyed at Kaia for trying to take charge. Gianas ends up stopping the argument and giving a speech to the survivors from the group about stopping the aliens. He suggests that if they can burn their energy soul then the humans can fight back and take back the city. The people around him are scared and worried, but one by one they begin to realise that they don’t have any other choice.
Kaia, Gianas and Zenith make a plan. They decide that Kaia and Gianas could get captured again and wait to be put back to work. When they are, they would use a lighter they bring to set the rock material on fire that fuels the aliens equipment. The rest of the group would position themselves in the buildings surrounding the exits to the aliens structure, allowing them to pick them off one by one as they flee the burning building.
Kaia and Gianas go back out onto the street and wait for a patrol vehicle to come past. They let the hunter inside capture them and they are taken back to the jail cell. Meanwhile, up in the crumbling skyscrapers, the rest of Zenith’s group are positioned with snipers. Kaia and Gianas wait in their cell until a guard comes and puts them to work in the engine room. Kaia pulls the lighter out of her shoe and attempts to light the rock material on fire however it will not light. Zenith is starting to wonder what is taking so long.
Kaia and Gianas look around frantically for something else that is potentially flammable but have no luck. An alien guard comes and stands in the doorway, realises what is going on and raises his weapon to fire. Kaia quickly flings a gun from under her jacket and kills the alien. Gianas is panicking and starting to see the plan collapse right in front of him. Kaia suggests they make a run for it and by the time they enter the foyer to the aliens building there are guards lined up ready to shoot. Kaia and Gianas jump behind a table to take cover from the fire. Gianas asks Kaia, “what are we going to do?”