Super Sunday: Some Superfluous Sorts

To end this calendar year, I am going back to the “Superfluous Sunday” idea, where I take minor characters from existing PDR stories and flesh them out more.

Zoftak

Zoftak is a space cop. He often works undercover (such as when he posed as Space Pirate “Zoftak the Mighty”). While the Space Army has been able to relax since the end of the war against the Flartians, there is still plenty of Space Crime to keep Zoftak busy.

Since last we saw Zoftak, the powerful cop has been infiltrating a galaxy-spanning robot-smuggling syndicate. The rules of the Space Government lay down some very clear restrictions on the use of robots and how they are allowed to be spread about to various worlds, but some scofflaws just don’t care about that. Zoftak, posing as a bodyguard to a particularly scummy trader, has been gathering information to bring them down, but has just been hit with a major curveball: the biggest stolen robot shipment Zoftak has ever seen was just made, and the buyer was none other than the Chief of Space Police. If corruption goes that high up the ladder, who can Zoftak trust?

Churg

Churg is an immigrant from the Underground Kingdom of Mederex to SecGov City. Life in that underground realm is not great for Lizard People, so even though Churg was a highly respected medic among his people, he still thought it better to take his family above-ground, to the Robot city where he was convinced he could help more people while shaking off the shackles that would have held his children. But SecGov City wasn’t so kind to Churg and his kin. The robots there, already primed to think that Mederex’s citizens are primitive and the Lizard People most of all, found that this guy who had no money was hardly likely to be useful in any kind of medical field. Still, Churg persevered. He started a store where he could sell organic food to the few humans that existed in town (he had to import food for his own use anyway), and though it isn’t he life he wanted, he is making the most of it.

Churg was first seen on this page of Secret Government Robots.

Gus White

In the opposite of Gus’s situation, Gus White has left SecGov City to live in Mederex’s Kingdom, where he has been given a position as a Baron by Mederex, and gets to live in his own subterranean cave/castle. Though there is a Baroness (popularly known as the Black Baroness), Gus does not see much of her. She does her own thing, while Gus works mostly as a representative of either SecGov or Mederex’s Kingdom to the other group. Though the two forces remain at peace, there is always the chance things could go awry, so Gus deftly tries to make and keep allies in both locations, and across the other Secret Factions across the world. He is not trying greedily to gain power, but he is deathly afraid of losing what he has.

Gus made exactly one appearance in Secret Government Robots, turning up at a war meeting on this page.

Unable To Fly Man

Carlton G. Carlton is one of those superheroes with way so many powers that it isn’t fair for the bad guys. He’s got super strength, super speed, super senses, sonic screaming, ice beams, fire breath, lightning control, nigh invulnerability, telepathy, raygun reversal fields, invisibility, ghost-smelling, phasing, the ability to talk to animals, turn undead, water knowledge, recipe summoning, computer affinity, cloud loyalty, emotion vision, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

But he can’t do everything. Carlton is completely unable to fly (he also can’t hover or levitate or even super-jump). When it comes to getting off the ground, Carlton is just out of luck. Still, in spite of this terrible problem holding him back, he has made good of his life. He is now the leader of the Team of Superheroes, and though he does worry a bit too much about public opinion of the team, he gets to help them do a lot of good.

If I’d been better at drawing comics, my plan had been to do a story of Hover Head and friends every couple years, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Still, I have mentally fleshed out the characters a lot and hope to get back to them at some point.

Super Sunday: The Flartian Commandos

The Flartian Commandos

The Flartians are probably the worst jerks in the universe. Certainly they are the most numerous. Their empire spans multiple galaxies and there are more individual Flartians than any other species in their universe. The Flartian Empire is ruled by an immortal giant floating face called Flarzom, and they are hungry for conquest. This led to a war against the Space Army that was unlike anything seen before. Though a peace has been achieved, the Flartians are just biding their time until they feel confident enough to try again. In the meantime, there are teams of commandos that still do covert operations that advance the Flartian cause. Here is one such team:

Soldier Mep

A veteran of the war, Mep is a loyal soldier and would not have stopped fighting no matter what peace was brokered. As long as the enemy species still existed, they had to be fought. Rather than let an unstable Flartian risk political incidents, Flarzom rewarded this loyalty by placing Mep in charge of a commando unit.

Exploder Ko

At some point in history, the Flartians tried to start a rumor that they were the universe’s best chefs. That’s untrue by a long shot, but they thought it would make them look good to all the lesser species. To this day, Flartians still try to become good chefs to back up their claim, and that’s what Ko was attempting to do, but accidentally learned how to make explosives. Ko is the team’s demolitions expert. Ko is too young to have fought in the war, and was depressed about that until the chance to do war in secret came up.

Fighter Jayt

Jayt is trained in martial arts and unarmed combat. The truth is that the war was rough on the Flartian Empire. Resources within the Empire are low, and what they do have is best used rebuilding their armies. With a lack of weapons and ammunition, unarmed troops like Jayt are being used (many of the Commando’s missions actually involve stealing weapons).

Office Dek

Office Dek is the Flartian assigned to unit as their office worker. Dek’s job is to write up reports about their missions and expenditures and send them back to Flarzom. Though trained in combat, Dek doesn’t get to carry weapons or wear a traditional war helmet, because those would eat into the budget, so Dek prefers to stay out of the fight and stick to the office on their spaceship.

Super Sunday: Grats

Grats

Grats are a small rodent-like species with a single antenna on their foreheads. They possess a number of senses not relateable to the human experience and are deceptively intelligent. They have a homeworld somewhere, but since the advent of space travel, they have spread to millions of worlds and forgotten their place of origin, with no regrets. Grats adapt to other languages with ease, and have adapted for life alongside various other species. Essentially, once you’ve entered into the greater pan-galactic community, you’re going to have Grats on your planet.

No members of the Space Army cast were Grats, but I drew them in the background of a couple scenes, especially when I wanted to convey a seedy atmosphere. (I drew a lot of pictures of Bars Full Of Aliens as a kid.)

Visky lives on a space station that was once an important strategic location during the war against the Flartians, but is now a rarely used backwater location primarily used by intergalactic criminals. Though Grats are known to be involved with many illegal activities in the galaxy, Visky actually works alongside the station’s law enforcement, spying on smugglers informing on them.

Geruv, meanwhile, is actively involved in criminal enterprises. Living on planet important to the Space Government, Geruv is employed by crooked politicians as a spy, picking up bits of information used in blackmailing. Geruv plays all the sides against each other and is only loyal to those who pay the best.

Sveppo is a rarity, the captain of a spaceship. It’s a single-person spaceship designed for a different diminutive species, but Sveppo has learned to use it and is now free to wander wherever the winds of interest blow. This level of freedom is not common among Grats, nor is it commonly desired by them.

A Fact About Grats: There are species that consider Grats to be vermin and will quarantine spaceships that contain them. Once a planet makes this an official policy, they attract the notice of the Grat League, a veritable army of Grats who use underhanded methods to punish those who have offended them. The Grat League are brutal murderers and will stop at nothing once their ire has been roused.

Universe: Bronze

Super Sunday: Knlongads

Knlongads

Planet Ortoba Boboba is home to the species known as Knlongads. They are a humanoid species with purple skin, yellow eyes, bald heads, and facial hair. They are also an extremely heavy species, though they look thin by human standards, they are so dense that they would be completely impervious to Earth weapons like swords, arrows, and even small caliber gunshots.

During the war that once ravaged the universe, Ortoba Boboba was captured by the Flartians and, while a resistance there struggled for freedom, the many Knlongads who were off-world joined the Space Army to fight against the occupiers. Since the end of the War, Knlongads have been working to rebuild their damaged homeworld while their government makes secret plans to attack what remains of the Flartians, even if it means ruining the tentative peace that has grown.

The Space Army’s Ergad Derfochich is a Knlongad. A particularly dumb one.

Jank Dooper is a pan-galactic celebrity, an artist and performer of great renown among many species. In the time since the war she has made a name for herself by producing works that highlight the terrors of warfare and the toll it takes on innocents, her ultimate artistic statement being that Peace Is Better. It may not seem profound, but it has grown popular in galaxies that had been so devastated.

Wibbo Bikko is a gruff and angry sort. It takes a long time for him to warm up to anyone and consider them a friend. During the war, Wibbo was not willing to join the resistance, because he didn’t know them and he figured they were probably all idiots, but he was also unwilling to settle down and obey the Flartian oppressors. Acting entirely on his own, Wibbo built a shack in the wilderness and lived there. Any time the Flartians tried to approach him, he met them with deadly force. Eventually they learned to let him alone, since it wasn’t worth the effort to conquer that one guy. Eventually the Flartians were repelled, but as far as Wibbo is concerned, he was the only Knlongad not to have been a loser in that war.

During the war, Nilly Weerovva was a resistance fighter on the homeworld. During an attempted bombing of a supply depot, she was caught in a blast and lost her arm. Her colleagues smuggled her off the planet to receive medical assistance she would not be able to get there. Taken to the planet Rustagale, the cyberdoctors there crafted a powerful replacement arm for Nilly, one that gives her strength beyond the norm for her species. By the time she’d recovered from the surgery and learned to use the new appendage, however, the war was over. Nilly returned home feeling that she had not done everything she could to help. While she is not aware of the government’s desire to strike back at the Flartians, she is part of a grassroots movement that desires the same thing: revenge.

A Fact About Knlongads: Knlongads sleep in a bath of mud that they prepare for that purpose every day.

Universe: Bronze

Super Sunday: Tallians

Tallians

Tallians come from a world they call Tallius, which is a moon orbiting a rogue planet, a gas giant they know as Tallanar. They are humanoid in shape, though they have wings on their backs which can not be used for flight. Tallians communicate by vibrating their wings and cannot speak without the aid of artificial voiceboxes, though those few living off-world often do have such technology implanted regularly. Such speakers will often keep their wings bound under clothes to help keep them from unconsciously beating their wings while they talk.

Agnes, the doctor about the Space Army’s Stinky Saucer, is a Tallian, but not very many Tallians have gone on to join the Space Army. Even during the height of the war with the Flartians, the Tallians preferred to keep to themselves and wait to see how things resolved.

Gutsum works at one of the Tallius’s geothermal power plants, harnessing volcanic heat to power the world’s electrical grids. Occupations for Tallians are trained for from birth, individuals are not given much choice in what they want to do with their lives, but because occupations only take up a small portion of their time, few are unhappy with what they have to do. Gutsum spends her considerable free time meditating in the thermal spas near the power plant.

With no star of their own, the Tallians have never had much chance to study stars up close. Greep studies stars, an occupation which many see as not very useful or applicable to Tallian society. Most of Greep’s work has to be done at a distance, often studying information purchased from other species, but every now and then, Greep gets to actually board a spaceship and visit some planet or space station where stars are more easily witnessed. Greep treats these occasional trips as the highlight of her life, but always returns home, because too much time spent among the stars is kind of creepy.

Reeprog is an employee of the Tallian government, working at the buildings used to house diplomats from alien species when they came to visit the world. While Reeprog tries to be nice to visitors, she does find them obnoxious with their harsh languages and lack of knowledge of Tallian customs. Reeprog deals with them by making snide sarcastic remarks. Perhaps the best thing about cross cultural interactions is how little people are on guard for sarcasm.

A Fact About Tallians: For Tallians, eyesight is not the most developed sense, they rely more on their hearing and touch. Tallian music is designed to send vibrations through the listeners and trigger physical reactions. In listeners of other species, this can cause effects such as making them drowsy or even causing them to vomit.

Universe: Bronze