Friday, February 16, 2007

Holiday Story Synopsis :Low Orbit Anthology


created by Bill Woodcock and Greg Giordano
writer: Bill Woodcock artist: Greg Giordano

The Concept

John “Doc” Holliday–gambler, gentleman, and according to Wyatt Earp “the deadliest, nerviest
man with a knife or gun I ever met”–is reborn as an adventurer and agent of occult forces,
encountering secret societies, conspiracy, and occult wars in 1890's United States and Europe.

The Setting

Behind the fa├žade of city politics, European intrigue, and western territorial wars, various magical factions and secret societies vie for power in the United States and Europe in the 1890's. The series will incorporate all of the cultural elements of the period, and will feature historical occult and secret societies in existence at that time, conspiracy politics, and magic.

Key Elements

In the world of Holliday, various occult groups, representing or working with supernatural
Otherworld forces, secretly control politics and culture. In Holliday, the gunfighter is called upon
by the supernatural forces of the Celtic Otherworld to fulfill an ancient family obligation–to act as champion and agent of the Sidhe kingdoms in their occult manipulation of the human world.
Occult forces in Holliday are covert—they attack the mind and the soul, distort perceptions, maybe enable brief bursts of superhuman strength and physical effects. At its most powerful a foe can be drawn into the Otherworld for full magical attack. Magical entities tend to work indirectly in This World, through human agents, and only occasionally and briefly manifesting here as surreal elements of madness and imbalance.

In Holliday, the introductory story, an estimated twelve pages of finished art, centers on Wyatt
Earp’s investigation of Doc’s apparent escape from death in Colorado, and features Doc in New
Orleans, acting as an agent for a shadowy occult society, attempting to rescue an innocent from a
horrible supernatural fate.

Introductory story synopsis.

The sequence begins with Wyatt and Virgil Earp at the Sanitarium in Glenwood Springs, Colorado,
in the room where Doc Holliday died, asking about Doc’s death. It is 1887. Wyatt notices a young
nun spying on him, a look of fear on her face. He asks to see Doc’s grave.

The action switches to New Orleans. A montage of panels shows a young 14 year-old girl attending her friend’s funeral, and returning home. Casual conversation reveals that the deceased is the girl’s best friend, a teenage girl, and that her death was preceded by the death of another friend the previous week, another of the girl’s friends. Arriving back at her home by carriage, the girl sees theghost of her friend in the second floor window, pleading with her. The girl hides her face in fear.

The scene switches back to Colorado–Wyatt and Virgil and their crew at night at Doc’s grave in
Glenwood Springs Cemetary. Virgil asks why Wyatt "can’t just let the man rest in peace." Wyatt
tells Virgil how Doc saved his life when he was a Deputy Marshall in Dodge City. The reader sees
panels several gunmen getting the drop on a younger Earp. The ambush is interrupted by a shadowy Holliday, who kills the gunmen–Doc is "off-screen," the reader only sees his guns blazing, while Wyatt states "he was the deadliest man with knife or gun I ever met." Wyatt smiles while ending the story, then, nodding towards the grave, orders his men to "dig him up."

The New Orleans story resumes. The young girls sleeps fitfully, then awakens from her nightmare and rushes to her window–her friend’s spectre, pleading silently, flies away backwards in the moonlit streets of New Orleans. The girl rushes out with only a shawl, pursuing her friend’s Fetch (her spectre) through the streets to an ominous looking Creole manse in the Marigny District–the house is lit up with flambeaux. Two masked doorman bow and open double doors to admit the girl, who appears to be in a grief-stricken trance.

The girl enters into full-blown Bal Masque–all of the Revelers smile at the girl expectantly. The
Krewe Matriarch, an older woman, smiles and declares that "the final Mother" has arrived. The
crowd parts to reveal three Thrones, two of which are occupied by the corpses of the girl’s two other friends. Behind the Thrones is a statue of Molech, identical to the one at Bohemian Grove.
The reader sees that the corpses of the young girls are animated. The Matriarch explains that the three girls, "upstart, merchant-class whores," had dared to refuse her son, the heir to one of the most powerful families in New Orleans. The two undead girls rise and grasp the living girl and rip her night-clothes off, leaving her naked before the Revelers, who clap appreciatively.

The Matriarch announces them triumphantly as "the Three Mothers!" Her son, in full as COMUS, Lord of Misrule, leers and approaches, mocking the girl ("when the Mother takes you will service us all"). The Matriarch admonishes her son to "keep to the Ritual." Then, addressing the crowd, demands that COMUS, Lord of Misrule, come forth to "begin the Revels."
The King freezes, mouth open, about to speak his ritual response, but a knife slides out of his throat.

He falls, revealing Doc H behind him, hat on, smoking as he cleans his knife with rag. "Ladies and
Gentlemen, I regret to inform you . . . "Comus" will be unable to attend the festivities due to a
sudden and debilitating illness." Doc looks up, smiling, hands out to the crowd. "Have no fear,
friends–I will endeavor to assume his duties for the evening!" The reader sees thugs race towards Doc, who pulls his guns from his belt with inhuman speed and shoots one to either side of him while walking casually toward the struggling girl, while the Matriarch runs screaming away. "Oh, no, my dear . . ." Doc shoots the Matriarch and one of the dead girls. " . . . don’t leave–you and I are gonna have words together."

A gunfight ensues, showcasing Doc’s fighting abilities–while so occupied, the dying Matriarch
invokes Mater Suspiria into the remaining undead girl. Everyone, including Doc, gapes in horror as the corpse morphs into an exaggerated Hag. Doc peppers her with bullets, which have no effect. the Hag mocks Doc during their dialogue, giving the reader some clues to his identity as warrior of the Dark Goddess, then launches herself at Doc.

As the Hag hurtles through the air toward Doc, Doc closes his eyes, reciting a chant–then opens his eyes, revealing Sidhe-light shining out from them. Speaking in Ogham, he catches the Hag in midair by her throat and rips her heart out. While reinforcements rush up to do Doc in with sword and gun, Doc blows fire on the heart, which flares incandescently. The glare dies down, and the Revelers, frantic and confused, see that Doc and the girl have disappeared.

Next the reader sees doc in a carriage, being driven away from the Manse, which is now apparently starting to burn, comforting the girl who has passed out on his shoulder. A dark, well-dressed lady seated opposite tells Doc "they will know who you are now." Next we see one of the Revelers whip off his mask in anger–he is a distinguished, handsome-looking man in his 40's. He barks orders to those around him, instructing them to send telegraphs immediately to every Conclave–the Warrior of the Goddess has been reborn in physical form.

Back in Colorado, we see Wyatt and crew opening Doc’s grave. Sitting neatly on the padded interior is a string of Mardi Gras beads, and a large brass button engraved with "New Orleans, LA." Cut back to Wyatt smiling wryly, and tells his crew to "saddle up–we’re heading south."



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