As the VN Mishima neared Earth, Jude took some time to contemplate her experiences over the past months and, if she was being honest with herself, years too.
In her journey to find a home, a purpose, a calling and a family there had been many falls and mis-steps. Her vagabond years, first with her parents and then on the road touring with the Flaming Hearts in her guise a Kiki and with Coop, followed by her decision made on a whim and for the want of something better to join up with Cee-Cee Incorporated. The people she had met there. The people she had seen come and go. In her wildest imaginings, she would never have figured out that she would find peace on a deep-space supply ship, working as an engineering technician -however junior she still may be, she loved her work – and in the arms of an enigmatic Irishman who she saw all too infrequently.
Certainly, there had been a lot of hurt and heartache along the way. From feeling like the third wheel in her parents’ marriage, losing her grandfather, things just not working out with Coop and the way that had not quite come to an ending (she remembered regretfully her ex-wife’s last words to her – “I won’t make the same mistake twice” – was that how Coop saw her? As a mistake?), poor James Wibberley now resting under his cherry tree – they had never it seemed stood a chance, her friend Glass, to the sweet but “it’s never going to happen” Bly and the horrible resulting mess that she had left Maxie and Neesh and their and Kristof’s children in. And more recently, the unfortunate George Niven, who she only knew for a few moments but felt too that she had let him down. Her life just seemed to be a series of “if onlys”. Over a precious bottle of Polish wodka, hidden away for such a night of contemplation and regret, she shared her thoughts and shots with Resnik and Roth.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” her young friend admonished her. “You’re too quick to put yourself down. Look at all the good things you have done.”
“Such as?” Jude poured another scornful glass from the bottle. The bison on the label seemed to be looking on her with equal measures of contempt and disdain. “What good have I ever brought to this universe?”
“Well, your music. That made, and still makes, a lot of people happy.” Resnik had, as promised back at the Institute, searched for and found Jude’s entire back catalogue and downloaded it all onto her pad. She had proclaimed it “cool” but had soon gone back to bombarding all who would listen with “Envision The Alamo” and their latest rumblings.
“That was a long time ago.” Jude had pretty much vowed never to sing again after Kristof’s wake and had thus far fended off pleading requests from Resnik and Roth, among others, to go back on her promise to herself.
“Not that long, when you think about it,” Roth added helpfully. Resnik elbowed him and he piped down.
“You’re a good friend to us. You’ve helped make crew relations here on board between the top brass and the ones like us who get their hands dirty run a bit more smoothly.” Resnik added.
“Yeah. If I hear the name ‘Sadako’ I don’t think of some faded pop starlet…ouch…let me finish.” Roth had received another painful intercostal dig from his mate. “What I’m trying to say is, you’re not her anymore. Or the woman from the Tiandong.” He reached over and took her hand in his. “When I hear somebody mentioning your name or if I think of you, I go ‘that’s my trainee, my shipmate from the Mishima. My pal.”
“Oh Ally, you’re too kind.” Jude blubbered.
“And you, Jude, are drunk. And as your superior, I order you to bed. Now.” And he and Resnik eased Jude onto her bunk, slipping off her boots and pulling her blanket up over her.
“And remember, you have your love.” Resnik kissed the top of her friend’s head and left her to sleep.
Chief Mitchell assembled her small team in the crew lounge. She bade them all to take a seat. Jude pulled out a chair and sat next to Resnik, with Roth and Monks close by. Jude regretted not having had many opportunities to work with Serah Monks during this voyage out and back but sincerely hoped to rectify that in the near future, if the fates allowed.
“Well, we’re coming to the end of our first hop out to the Taurus sector. Reports from Captain Fern and her officers suggest that it all went well and I say so too. All systems seem to be in good running order and you’ve all worked really hard to deal with any issues that came our way.” She looked Jude square in the eye and nodded. “Well done, all of you.” She picked up her pad. “Now, Resnik and Sadako, you two will be more than glad to hear that both the Captain and I are more than impressed with your efforts up to now. In fact, it would be true to say that you’ve far outstripped our expectations. You’re the best two newbies we’ve had in Vale Navigation’s engineering team for a long time.” She smiled at Roth and Monks. “Well, at least since this pair of reprobates here. Suffice to say, we shall be sending glowing reports and congratulations back to your tutors at Cal-Gor and to the offices of Cee-Cee Inc. If you are both in agreement, we’d like to extend your placement here with us on the Mishima for the rest of your trainee-ship. And, if all goes well after that, offer you permanent positions with the company.”
Resnik and Jude both jumped up, hugged each other, hugged Roth and Monks and then, in the spirit of their joy, hugged the surprised chief as well. She laughed then made them take their seats again.
“I’ll take that reaction as a yes then? Great stuff. Now, I do warn you, it’s going to be harder work from here on in. Roth, Monks and I and the rest of the crew will be expecting great things from you, so you had better not disappoint.”
“We won’t.“ Resnik answered for both of them.
“Good. Now bugger off, the four of you. My leave started…”she looked at her pad,”…forty two seconds ago.”
Jude was packing away the last of her belongings when Nicholls popped her head around the bunk room door.
“Is it okay to come in?”
“Sure. I’m just trying to figure out how, without any stops except on the Sal, I managed to end up with more belongings than I started out with.”
The lieutenant came in and sat on Resnik’s bunk. “I find that too. Look, I just wanted to pop by and say cheerio. I know I was a bit of a cow when you first came on board. I’m sorry, Jude. I hope we can be friends.”
“We are. And don’t apologise. That’s all behind us.”
“Thanks. Being the comms officer, I know that you’re coming back with us. So I won’t say ‘goodbye’. I’ll say see you again soon.”
“You too, ship mate. And it goes without saying, but I will. Keep in touch.”
Disembarking from her ship back in the chilly port of Svalbard, Jude bade a fond adieu to her crewmates, until they met back again in three weeks for another long trip, this time to supply a team surveying Neptune . Alta Resnik was heading home to Poland and, Jude hoped, a happy reunion with Miro. She was under strict orders to give him Jude’s best wishes and a promise to all get together again soon. Roth was heading home to Scotland and his family. The hugs and kisses her and Alta shared made Jude think that whatever path their relationship would take, things were far from over for them. And so it should be, Jude chided herself – love was still a rare commodity in this cosmos. After her little pity-party a couple of nights before, Jude had promised that she would start trying to make some repairs, starting with her mum and dad and then, as time allowed, with Coop and if she could get in touch with them, the Shepherd-Moores too. But first, she had a date to keep.
Hennessey had booked them a night in a fancy hotel in central London and after a passionate reunion, they caught an early train to Ashford and from there a taxi to Newchurch. Using directions given to Jude by Clare Niven, they easily found the old church with the squinty tower. “We’re not religious but it’s where we were married and where I think George should be laid to rest, not out here in the bustle of Managua,” Clare had told her. They found a spot under a tree, among some snowdrops that were just beginning to flower. I hope you got your wings, Jude said to herself. They had booked into a little guest house in nearby Dymchurch so took a taxi back to there.
“Feeling better, love?” Hennessey asked Jude as they lay side by side under an old but cosy quilt.
“Yeah. Thanks for letting me do that today. It just seemed…well, the right thing to do.”
“Talking of which, I’ve been thinking…” Hennessey turned to face her.
“Don’t do that too much – you’ll wear out you brain cells.” Jude remembered one of her dad’s old sayings from their days on the road, one of many that he had used to say to her to cheer her up when she was feeling down or maybe a little neglected. She cuddled into Hennessey’s chest, listening to his heart beat steadily’
“Jude, I’m serious. Listen, please.”
“Okay. Sorry.” He sounded a bit put out. “Carry on, sweetheart. I’m listening.”
“Good. Now as I was saying, talking of doing the right thing…well…”
He was interrupted again, this time by Jude’s comm on her pad. She picked it up and read the caller ID on the display.
“It’s my mum. Do you mind if I take it? Only, you know, it’s hard to reach her at the best of times.” She pursed her kips in a mock scowl.
“Sure, go ahead. What I want to ask you will keep.”
“Thanks honey.” Jude pressed the ‘answer’ button on her pad.
“Hello Haha,” she began, using the affectionate term for mother instead of her mother’s name as was her habit. Building bridges and such.
“Jude. Thank goodness. Where are you?” Her mother sounded out of breath somehow.
“I’m in Kent, England. With Hennessey. I only got back yesterday. I’ve been meaning to call. What’s new?”
“Jude,” her mother spoke her name again, softly but with a crack in her voice. “It’s your dad.”
“Dad. What are you saying Mum? What about Dad?”
“Jude, my darling. Oh my love. Your dad. He’s dead.”
Or maybe, just the beginning…
Following the excitement and sadness of the P-2490 incident, the crew of the Mishima settled back into the routines of being a supply ship for the Hibakusha Corporation’s latest venture in the Taurus belt. Jude found Roth to be an excellent guide and teacher, when he wasn’t sneaking off to canoodle with Resnik that is. Her bunk-mate and mentor’s burgeoning romance meant that the majority of her down time was spent alone, which fine by her, as it meant she could rattle off comms to her beloved Hennessey back home on planet Earth. The farther they travelled out, the longer it took for her messages to reach him and for his replies to get back to her. Still, this long-distance love affair seemed to be managing to keep its fire.
Jude’s involvement in the tragic case of pilot George Niven had meant that she and Corvette Lieutenant Nicholls (“call me Katie”) had a good working relationship now and the young technician often found herself being called to the bridge and upper decks whenever there was something that required engineering input. Jude raised this with both Roth and Chief Mitchell but her two superiors were happy that relations between above and below decks, in star ship parlance, were thawing.
“And you are doing good work too Sadako,” Mitch had told her. “Even the Captain has noted your diligence.” High praise indeed, Jude thought. Outside of the slight detour they had made, the ship had no scheduled stops on its way to the Crab Nebula. During their all-too-brief time together, Hennessey had extolled the wonders of travelling to and working around a neutron star and Jude was keen to learn and experience it for herself. A top of the line cruiser such as the VN Mishima had been designed and constructed to withstand the rigours of deep-space travel and exploration but there were still checks and adjustments that needed to be made on a daily basis. As the ship grew closer to the nebula’s pulsing heart, the radio static increased and the magnetic pull caused fluctuations which required Jude and Roth to be on call at all hours. As they grew closer to their destination, Jude would often sit between summons on the observation deck, marvelling at the beauty and wonder enfolding and unfolding around her.
They arrived at their destination and docked with the corporation’s elite survey vessel, the Sally Ride, Hennessey’s home and workplace when he wasn’t being retained for training as he was now, back in Gifu. It was a massive ship, more of a station really, in comparison to the Mishima. Although a working industrial vessel, its purpose being the harvesting and processing of helium from the gas-rich nebula, as it was home for long periods to a large crew, it boasted excellent facilities such as the gym where Hennessey had been working on his rather impressive physique, as well as a library, cinema and a hydroponic garden.
Jude, at her lover’s behest, went to look for his boss, one Chief Joss Bell. She and Roth headed to engineering to find her. Things were obviously more relaxed her on The Sal, as her crew affectionately dubbed their ship, as they found Bell and her team laughing and bantering away in their hub.
“Ah, strangers bearing gifts, I see,” Bell beckoned them over. Jude and her crew-mate had indeed arrived with boxes of various shapes and sizes, no doubt containing new tech as well as the obligatory hooch that lubricated the byways of space.
This chief looked them both over. “Now, as handsome a lad as you are and as progressive a fellow as our Henny is, I doubt you are his sweetie,” she said to Roth. ‘Henny’, Jude smiled at her partner’s nickname. “So you must be Ally Roth. Welcome.” Then her eyes fell on Jude and she grinned. “Folks, the Belfast boy was not exaggerating. You, my beauty, must be the famous Jude. Pleased to set eyes on you at last.” The chief extended her hand, which Jude took then found herself being pulled into a warm if unexpected hug.
Once released, the questions began. “How is my boy then?”
“He’s good. He says to say ‘hi’.”
“Grand. Jammy wee toe-rag, getting sent back HQ to do some training while we poor workers are left here.” She laughed loudly as she saw a worried look pan across Jude’s face. “I’m only having you on, petal. We love Henny here and he deserves to have his work recognised. I need to watch my step though – I get the feeling he’s after my job.”
Bell motioned to one of her team. “Kubo, you take Mister Roth here off to see the bending magnets, right?” Roth beamed, keen to see the tech he had requested.
“And you and I,” she said, taking Jude’s arm and leading her off, “are off to see my pride and joy.”
At the core of the Sal was her central circular particle accelerator which powered not only the ship but also its large helium harvesting “scoops” and its processing and storage units. Developed along similar lines to the still operational Large Hadron Collider back on Earth but using technologies to make it much more compact and thus viable for interstellar use, it was, to Jude’s relatively novice eyes, spectacular.
“Hennessey had described this all to me, but it’s beyond my imaginings.”
Bell beamed like a proud mother. “She’s just fantastic. Runs like a dream. Here, come see the scoops in action.” She led Jude to a large window, from where Jude could watch the huge polonium balloons in action. Beyond them, she could see the bright indigo and violet heart of the pulsar.
“Beautiful.” She was truly awe-struck at the spectacle before her.
“Ain’t it just?” Bell remarked. “Now, time for the gritty stuff. Tell me more about you and my starry-eyed friend.”
Its payload transferred successfully, the Mishima and her crew prepared to leave.
“It’s been real nice seeing you,” Bell said to Jude. “Give my regards to that scallywag Henny and tell him to haul his sweet ass back here ASAP.” She gave Jude a final farewell hug. As she held on Bell whispered “I know you are contracted to Vale but if you ever get itch y feet, give me a call, you hear?”
“Yes,” Jude said. I will.
Settled back on board, Jude and Roth reported back to Chief Mitchell, who had stayed on board, ostensibly for maintenance checks, but the whole crew knew it was so she and Ferns could have some well-earned time together. They both raved about the systems on the Sally Ride but were equally glad to be back on their ship. It’s nice to think of the Mishima like that, Jude thought – “my ship. My home.” After all of her trial and tribulations of the past year or so, it was a good feeling to have somewhere she felt she belonged at last.
Once they were heading back, regular messages from home began flooding in.
“Ooh, I’ve got one from Miro,” Resnik told Jude excitedly. “He’s going to back in Lodz for a spell when we return.”
“What about Roth?” Jude asked her.
“A woman can have two boyfriends at the same time. It is nearly the end of the century you know.” Resnik laughed.
“You go, girl.” Jude encouraged her.
“And anyway,” Alta added, “Ally is going home to see his husband.”
Jude went to see her pal Nicholls in comms. Using her skills and some co-operative re-wiring of the systems, they were able to establish a clearer connection with both sound and vision to Earth while still some light years away. Lieutenant Katie patched the signal down to Jude’s screen at her work station.
Hennessey’s familiar features appeared on the monitor.
“Well hello there sexy. Am I glad to see you again.” He smiled warmly across the interstellar miles. Jude’s heart skipped a beat. The moustache and goatee were one and an even more handsome man had emerged.”
“Hello to you too, gorgeous. Or should I say, Henny?” she teased.
“Oh good grief.”
“My thoughts too. I can’t see you as a ‘Henny’ somehow. Hennessey, yes. But ‘Henny’ – you sound like a small chicken.”
“Oh shush. You know I’m not a wee chicken. A large cock maybe…” He winked mischievously.
“Easy there tiger.” Jude laughed, enjoying their easy banter. “Now, will you still be Earth-side when I get back?”
“Yeah, I have a few more weeks here then I’m back to the Sal. But I’ve made it clear, I’m not heading back out until I’ve had some quality time with you.”
“Good. I miss you, lover.”
“I miss you too, my darling. Where do you want to meet up this time?”
“Have you ever heard of a place called Newchurch? It’s near the Kent coast. We could meet in London and head there.”
Hennessey shook his head. “Nope, never heard of it but it sounds fun. Any reason why you want to go there particularly?”
“I have an errand for an old friend.” Jude looked over at the small urn on the shelf, which contained George Niven’s ashes. “I’ll tell you about it when I see you.”
The excitement of the first day soon paled into the daily routine of life on board the Vale Navigation’s ship, Mishima. Resnik still bubbled away enthusiastically, volunteering for any opportunity which allowed her to suit up and work broadside, much to Monks’ chagrin as it was she who had first suggested that the eager young trainee pop her space cherry on her initial day out. Jude watched Roth very closely, learning a lot from him about the ship’s propulsion systems. She was working one shift on aligning the pressure on the de Laval nozzle in the craft’s rear engine when her chief’s dulcet tones came on over the comm.
“Sadako, are you busy?” Mitchell asked of her.
“Just finishing up adjusting the isentropic gas flow here and then I’ll be done, Chief.” Jude answered.
“Cool. When you’re done, can you hop up to the main deck? Communications are reporting some gremlins at their end. See if you can untwist their knickers and get them of my back.”
“On it.” Jude worked away at completing her task. Once done, she returned to her bunk to change – word had it that the bridge crew did not look too kindly on grease monkeys cluttering up their tidy work space at the best of times. As she approached she heard scuffling and whispering. When she walked in, she found Resnik and Roth sitting on Resnik’s bunk, chatting.
“Don’t get up on my account.” She nudged Roth out of the way of her locker and pulled out a clean tee shirt. As she headed off to the wash room to freshen up, she added, “As you were,” and cackled to herself. Poor Miro, so far way and forgotten back orbiting Saturn. The poor kid didn’t stand a chance when pitted against the wiles of the smooth Scotsman.
Jude, feeling more presentable now in an unsullied uniform, grabbed her toolkit and headed up to – the bridge. There was a clear division of labour on board the Mishima – speculative fiction and television space operas would have you believe that life on a space-going vessel had all of the crew members working merrily alongside each other and socialising together in the ship’s grog shop. However the reality was that the captain and her subordinates kept to their end of the ship and Chief Mitchell and her technical crew to the other, rarely mixing unless work (or in the case of the Captain Ferns and her head of engineering, pleasure) demanded it. Jude took a cargo lift to the main deck and alighted in a corridor.
“Bridge?” she asked of a passing crew member, who answered, “That away,” indicating, of course, Jude realised with some embarrassment the door marked helpfully “Bridge.” It struck Jude as risible that, although again unlike in popular fiction, the bridge could not be accessed directly from the ship’s internal elevators, any passing ne’er do well could easily find it due to the massive fak-off sign. Jude opened the door and looked around.
“At last,” a woman walked up to her. “You must be Sadako. Chief Mitchell said you were on your way. About twenty minutes ago.” Jude bristled at the barbed comment but bit her tongue.
The name badge on the woman’s uniform read “Corvette Lieutenant Nicholls”.
“Are you the one with the problem at comms?” Jude asked, unnecessarily as payback for the greeting remarks.
The officer tensed. “Of course I am.”
“So tell me about it.”
Nicholls led Jude over to her workstation. To Jude’s eye, it all appeared to be functioning to company standards. To the further annoyance of her crew-mate, she tapped the glass of a dial.
“No, it’s this.” The comms officer handed Jude her headset. The tech listened in. There was some crackling as expected and a low-level hum but to Jude’s ears, nothing that seemed out of the ordinary and she said so to Nicholls. The lieutenant snatched the earphones rudely from Jude’s hand, pressed a few buttons and handed the set back.
“Listen properly,” she suggested.
At first, Jude could discern no difference, but then, there was a very quiet but just audible sound. A tone. A pause. Then another tone.
“See?” Nicholls sneered. No, Jude thought but I can hear.
“I’ve run all the diagnostics. Scanned across the frequencies. To our knowledge there is nothing out here in this part of the system that could be making that noise.”
“Well,” said Jude, mindful of her words, “something obviously is. It’s probably an old piece of pace junk, reflecting back our output waves. I run some further tests.” Jude opened her tool box.
“Erm…” the lieutenant queried,” …can you do it remotely? Only…”
Only you and your buddies don’t want the help cluttering up your nice shiny bridge with our greasy presence, do you? Jude contemplated. To tell the truth, like her fellow technicians, she didn’t relish being under the watchful eye of Captain Fern and her cheer squad much either.
“I can route it to a workstation below decks. Let me work on it and I should have an answer for you ASAP.”
“Thank you.” The lieutenant walked away. Jude was dismissed, obviously.
Jude returned to the familiar confines of engineering. She headed over to a quiet corner where she could hopefully work undisturbed. With a little tweaking and recalibration, she managed to patch into Nicholls comms and then isolate the tone. It was steady and repetitive. All she had to do was try to match the signal and then hopefully she could send out a pulse, which would kickback the radio wave reflection from the beacon or whatever it was. Then she could get back to real work.
The signal crackled. The tone changed.
Jude boosted the feedback. There it was again.
“Hello, hello. Can anyone hear me?”
Jude scrabbled in her box of tricks. She pulled out, uncoiled and then attached a headset, not one as fancy as the lieutenant’s model but still serviceable.
“Hello, this is the VN Mishima.” Hell, she had no idea what the protocol here was.
“Hello Mishima. This is P-2490.”
“P-2490. Oh, fak. Sorry.” She scoured her brain for some sort of clue as what to say. Then she remembered.
“Request your position.” Good grief, was that from a film? Still, she got a reply.
“Position nil. I repeat, position nil. I’m in an escape pod. My shuttle malfunctioned and I had to jettison.”
“P-2490, whereabouts? Maybe I can log onto your position?”
“I was flying around Callisto. But my instruments are screwed. Could be anywhere. And it’s not P – it’s G, for George. What’s your name?”
Jude tried to recall any missions around Jupiter. She knew that the South American Space Agency had sent up some research flights, scouting for silicates.
“I’m Jude. George, I’m going to patch you up to our bridge…”
“Jude, don’t. There’s no time. I’ve not got minimal life support here. Jude, can you still hear me?”
“Yes George, I can hear you.”
“Good. Can you take a message for me? To my wife, Clare Niven. She’s a physicist with Neruda Exploration, based in Managua.”
Jude jotted the details down on her pad. “Yes, Clare Niven. Managua.”
“Tell her that I love her Jude. Can you do that?”
“Yes George, I think so. Look, give me a few minutes. I’ll get our navigation to get a fix on you.”
“No Jude. No time. Where are you from Jude?”
“What? All over, I guess.”
“Where were you born?”
“Talk to me Jude.”
“On the ESS Bulgaria, halfway between Mars and home.”
“A space baby, cool. Where’s home, Jude?”
“Tokyo mostly. Well, it’s where I go back to.”
“Tokyo. Lovely place. Never been, always wanted to though. I’m from Newchurch in Kent. Do you know it?”
“No. Listen, George…”
He interrupted again. “Sorry, Jude. I’m a lost cause. Tell me, are you married?”
“No, I was.”
“No, not as such. Its early days but I’m hopeful.”
George coughed. “It’s funny…” Then the signal dropped. Jude frantically tried to pick it up again. She ran to the lift.
Jude ran out, barging into a passing ensign. She muttered an apology then continued onto the deck.
Nicholls looked up at her, vexed at her presence.
“I found it. The distortion. It’s an SOS.”
“You could have just hailed me from below.” The lieutenant was not pleased at this panting, flustered mechanic disturbing her flow.
“But it’s a man. A shuttle pilot. He’s in an escape pod, near Callisto.”
“What’s this?” The two women started at the Captain’s question.
“The distortion on the comms, sir. Erm…” Nicholls racked her brains for the name of this troublesome tech standing over her station. “…Sadako says it’s a distress signal.”
“Can we lock onto it?”
“Trying now sir. Yes, got him.”
“Good. Pilot, plot a diversionary course to Nicholl’s co-ordinates.”
By the time the Mishima reached the pod, it was well past time to save George. Jude was in the bay when the little raft was brought aboard. Something in her head, and maybe her heart, told her to look away as they removed his body and took it to the medical centre.
Later that day, Jude was back on deck with Nicholls at her elbow.
“It’s a faint signal, but patching you through now.”
“Hello,” Jude spoke into the headset.”
“Neruda Exploration. Doctor Clare Niven speaking.”
“Doctor Niven. My name is Jude Sadako. I have a message from your husband, George.”
I can’t believe November is almost over. While my days seem completely relaxed and peaceful, I have been so very busy with one thing or another, so the time has just flown by. I thought September was crazy, but October flew by before I could turn around, and November — we hardly knew ye! So what’s been going on?
My essay is up at Women Writers, Women’s Books on the need for Growing a Thick Skin if you want to create (includes using positive people as part of that skin).
I caught the Bloody Scotland on tour at Dundee Library; much fun!
As the hot chocolate at Henry’s Coffee House is my witness, I am a NaNoWriMo ‘winner’ with Knight of the White Hart which will be a Kit Marlowe novel once I’ve finished revising it.
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Drop over to A Knife & A Quill to read my review of the Malcolm McLaren/Alan Moore film-that-never-was, now a graphic novel, Fashion Beast.
Writers: Alan Moore, Malcolm McLaren, Antony Johnston
Cover & Artist: Facundo Percio
MR, Color, 256 pages
ALAN MOORE has redefined the graphic novel with his seminal works — Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, and Neonomicon are essential to any readers discovering the comic book medium. At long last, Moore’s time lost masterpiece is presented in deluxe trade paperback and hardcover collections of the complete ten issue Fashion Beast series. Doll was unfulfilled in her life as a coat checker of a trendy club. But when she is fired from the job and auditions to become a ‘mannequin’ for a reclusive designer, the life of glamour she always imagined is opened before her. She soon discovers that the house of…
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