Max appears in a signature burst of atmospheric ignition and quickly senses that Holbeck, like himself, has had military training. Specifically as a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy. From what I can gather, CPOs have a good deal of fire-scenario training (since fires aboard ships are particularly dangerous) although such training probably didn’t include bulletproof glass. Nonetheless, it does explain why he was able to take command of the internal situation so readily while everyone else was in a panic.

However, at this point Holbeck is willing to concede authority to the armored stranger arriving via explosive teleportation and bearing useful equipment and a command presence. Whoever Max is, he’s likely the best chance they’ve got right now.

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Dances With Words


One of the little peeves I often have with writers like J.R.R Tolkien and Frank Herbert is their habit of giving many of their characters complex names; and not only that, but creating strange mythologies that cause each character to have more than one name, depending on whether they are being spoken of by Dwarves or Elves or the Bene Gesserit. Since I have a habit of only glancing at the first syllable or so of any name and letting the rest of the letters trail off into a blur of gibberish, I quickly get confused. I can’t tell you how many times I mixed up “Sauron” and “Saruman,” for instance. And those were the easy ones. I know that true aficionados of such literature consider this to be “depth” and “worldbuilding.” I just call it “deliberately being a pain in the ass.”

To be fair, I often have the same trouble with subtitled anime.

Anyway, while I’m not about to compare any of my own work to the masters, I do try to anticipate possible confusion. GyreWorld characters generally just go by their first names, with only Fardell having a couple of aliases. And in the case of this comic and upcoming pages, I quickly realized that while the proper form of address for a CPO is “Chief,” we already had a “Chief” running around in command of the LAFD. So Holbeck identifies himself as an “E-7,” acceptable between military types, and will be referred to as “Holbeck” or “Commissioner” from this point forward. After all, he’s not in the Navy now. And it will prevent the story from having “too many Chiefs,” if I may misuse a saying.

I mean, we’re already dealing with the fact that the main character and the artist have the same name. And that’s enough, I think.

Time for Max-The-Hero to get appraised of exactly what he’s expected to deal with!

— Bob out