Machine Winter #0
PAGE ONE (3 panels)
Panel 1. A wide shot on a barren white landscape, noon time. Even now it continues to snow. A ragged knitted doll missing an eye sits in the foreground, indicating we are not in the Arctic or any other naturally cold place. There are three objects in the background, but at this distance, they appear as little more than dots. Also very far away is a farm silo. No dialogue.
Panel 2. Closer in on the three objects. They are mobile and leaving tracks in the snow, though their identities are still indiscernible. They are draped in torn black cloaks that cover their heads and bodies. No dialogue.
Panel 3. Close-up frontal shot of the three objects, which of course turn out to be robots. The three robots stare right at us, the readers, with haunting, glowing eyes. They trudge on in dreary silence, their heads and shoulders uniformly hunched forward toward us. The specific details of their bodies are not yet apparent, as the black cloaks still cover them, but one of the robots not in the middle is a lot chunkier than the other two. The one in the middle is the tallest. These robots will turn out to be the good guys, but for now, there’s no reason why we can’t spook the reader with this cool visual. No dialogue.
PAGE TWO (4 panels)
Panel 1. The robot in the middle stops to analyze his surroundings. He stands strong and erect to demonstrate his leadership role, but the cloak still covers his body for now. Let’s call this guy TRIGGER. The other two robots, still hunched over, look to him for direction. We’ll call the chunky robot NOVA. The other robot who so far remains non-descript will be called LIGHT.
There are three of them.
Panel 2. Although they are attempting to have a “normal human” conversation, none of them can replicate human mannerisms very well. They tend to stand still as they talk, which, to be fair, helps them to conserve energy. Light, however, will lean forward or backward when he speaks, or he might raise a hand. He tries to be animated, even though he understands such movement is arbitrary.
Three! What are the odds?
Odds are incalculable due to insufficient data.
It was just a figure of speech.
Panel 3. Nova holds his waist. His thick, round body is hinted at by the way his cloak hangs. He was originally designed to work with power generators, and as a result, he processes and uses energy much more efficiently than other robots. If starved of power sources, Nova will outlive his comrades by a long margin. In spite of that, since Nova’s natural function involves power generation, he obsesses over locating power sources more than his comrades. His waist is where his excessive energy supply is centralized.
Oh, my circuits churn at the prospect of three. I am so hungry.
Panel 4. Trigger points a finger toward the farm silo, which is damaged on top but still standing amidst the snow. There is a long, winding gash along its wall that begins from the top and travels all the way down to the bottom, providing a means of foot access without needing to climb its ladder.
Your girth belies your fragility, Nova.
7 TRIGGER (connected):
At any rate, our destination appears yet undisturbed. It bodes well if we are the first to come across it.