Fly on the Wall podcast Post Apocalypse series: The Road Ahead, prologue [fan made story]

Fly on the Wall podcast Post Apocalypse series: The Road Ahead, prologue [fan made story]

Fan made prologue to the finale to the Post Apocalypse series featured on the Fly on the Wall podcast. None cannon story that takes place years later following the events from the podcast, following Woz, Luke, Keith and Glenn as they finally discover the source of the virus.

Inspired by the podcast, I wanted to create a non canon story using story elements that were laid out by Luke and Woz. Crafting these story lines into a conclusion that ties up many plots and events with a few twists (you’ll be shocked what I’ve got in mind for the main finale story if this prologue story gets a few positive feedback and the Luke and Woz seal of approval!). Imagine this as an alternative timeline.

Who caused the virus? What will happen to Keith and Woz in the future as mutants? Will Glenn redeem himself? And is Luke as fine as he says he is in the story?

All will be revealed in my fan made non canon prologue, with some artwork I did to better describe the four weirdos of the wasteland.

Please support the official Fly on the Wall by following IRO blog (ImperialRebalOrk) or check out the podcast on your favourite podcast station.

Just before you read this story, I recommend listening to Mitch Murders EP album, Hardwired. It fits well as a background music for reading this story, a bit of dark noir synthwave to immerse yourself in the post apocalyptic world. The single of the same name as the EP, Hardwired, is a must to listen to, a mix of synthwave and 80’s horror style. I listen to it when I read James Herbert’s books, including The Rats Trilogy.

With that, I hope you’ll enjoy this story. Enjoy!

(Be warned, I’m not the greatest story teller……….)

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In the dry deserts of Australia, there were four dark silhouette shapes walking across the blazing heat and dry earth. The post apocalypse had turned this once grassy and forested area into a desert corpse. Once there were trees as healthy as the highlands, grass as vast as the eye can see, birds, crocodiles, Horses and kangaroos making noises in a living and breathing nature paradise.

But the virus took that away, all of it. The trees were dead and hollow as a carcass, grass so grey it could be confused as grey clouds and the animals either killed, extinct or mutated into horrible abominations of perversion. It didn’t just affect the human population, it affected nature itself like a freak climate change that couldn’t be averted in time.

The mutated crows with two heads and four wings encircled high above watching these dark shapes move through the wasteland, like phantoms in daylight. Hoping for a tasty snack of dead meat, the birds wait until the time was right to feast on the corpses.

The dark shapes were in the far distance and Shimmering like water. Then the unidentifiable dark silhouettes slowly formed into humanoid shapes of different shapes and sizes, half looked human, the others odd shaped.

Soon they were clear as day, the sight would either make you gag until your intestines run dry, or your sanity gets messed up just by seeing the odd looking freaks. The first of the four was the sore thumb of the lot, a big muscled ape like man with four arms and two tusks. It’s body was covered in orange fur, skin as dark as a ripe grape, eyes golden green, ape like in looks. It walked on all six limbs as it carried crates of supplies, tents, food, and other supplies on its broad back.

This mutant was once known as Keith, now he’s known as Krakstrong, pack leader of his mutant family and ally of the roaming gang he now follows. The virus infected Keith and his family during the initial stages of the outbreak, falling prey to the illness with fever, headaches, pale yellow looks and as Luke would point out, “a rash ass”.

Luckily Keith survived the infection along with his family, recovering quite remarkably despite the blood loss that Keith had lost. But soon it was obvious that he and his family weren’t in the clear, for Keith had started to mutate with one of his arms getting swollen with muscle and strength.

The changes would result in Keith and Glenn, his long time friend, being spilt apart by Keith’s sudden primal outburst. He took a bite out of Glenn’s wife’s shoulder, blood dribbling down his chin as he chewed on the warm flesh. Glenn already being affected by the apocalypse went ape shit, swearing to kill the mutant that was once his friend. He nearly did too at gun point with his shotgun aiming at Keith’s head, but he couldn’t kill him in the end as he could still see Keith behind the mutants eyes.

Since then, both have not spoken to each other for awhile, six years to be precise. His relationship with Luke and Woz is a mixed bag of stable and absolute hatred. Luke, Krakstrongs man slave (translated to advisor and human ambassador), is the closest to retaining any verbal communication. Luke believes that Keith still lives inside the mutant ape, hidden behind the primal and primitive persona of Krakstrong. His efforts to bring Keith back as of yet are going nowhere.

As for Woz, Krakstrong despises Woz for his symbiotic bonding of man and machine, part man, part bike, part vibrating dishwasher, part anything electrical. He hates the sight of this abomination for it was not by nature’s design nor the virus’s doing, the machine is the enemy of the mutants and should be destroyed.

Krakstrong would soon evolve and change to become a four armed ape who is hardly recognisable anymore unless you knew him before the change. He has become the leader of his mutant ape family clan, beating his rival brothers and sisters in combat. Suited for this new world of the post apocalypse, Krakstrong has faced many dangers including bandits, cannibals, killer clowns, mutant rabbits (the second most dangerous creature in the wasteland), mutant creatures and the mysterious mutant rats.

Lately he has been looking south in a sort of day dream, even his family too in a strange hivemind like connection. Maybe he wants to move on with his clan, to resettle and grow his clan to be big and strong. Or, maybe he still seeks to find his nemesis and the only threat to his clan, the Silverback Chimp Tribe led by Gornicus, the face ripper.

Whoever wins in that war, will decide the fate of the wasteland and the new mankind’s survival.

The man he once was had died years ago, and the ties he had with his friends and none mutants have eroded for a few years now. Krakstrong and the soul of Keith

***

Next there’s the lone warrior of the group, Glenn. He had a serious alcoholic problem during the apocalypse when most of his friends, family and his pet dog, Keith, were perished by the virus. Losing all hope in life, Glenn wanted to give up and die in the wasteland. But he was denied death by his friends, an act that would result in the creation of the legend of the lone bounty hunter centuries later.

His only companion was his wife called Glenn’s wife, no one knows her name for they forget it as soon as they hear it. At one time, Keith tried solving this issue by recording what she said her name was on a recording tape, what came back was nothing but static noise…………..

Glenn would amass a small gang of ex working class construction workers, calling themselves the ‘Fixers’ as they fix the wastelands problems by killing the bandits with construction tools. They would be at relative peace with the caravan group that was set up by Luke and Woz. Although Glenn’s increasing consumption of alcohol and fighting some of the Fixers has caused damage to the small settlement. It was decided that by Luke and Woz that Glenn and his gang be assigned as a scouting party. The front line of both close assault and heavy weapon teams, assessing the enemies strength and weaknesses.

But disastrously, the Fixers were all killed by a mutant surprise attack led by the Butcher, a massive mutant brute who has been longing to kill Glenn and his gang for screwing his plans. In one awful turn of events all the gang members were killed, eaten or ‘bonded’ to the mutants as new sustenance to evolve.

Glenn hated all mutants from that day as well as some of his friends that had been infected by the virus. He would kill them all even if it meant killing Luke, Woz and Keith to rid the wasteland of its taint.

More tragedy would follow as Glenn lost his wife during the groups effort to save his wife from the Butcher, as he sliced her into meaty bits. In rage, he hold no sympathy or remorse as he tore the hood from the swollen deformed monster. Even as he saw the purest face of a youthful man with bright blue eyes and an expression of fear and confusion. Glenn let loose as much bullets as he can into the abominations complexion, 100% confirmed kill.

A man lost of hope, life, love and friendship of old, Glenn left the group to go solo to help the people in need. Bounty hunting criminals, monsters and bandits wherever he went. Years later however by chance, Glenn had an encounter with his old friends when he was hunting down a mutant named Jackson Creeker. Jackson was a serial murderer, pillager and a Slicer. Slicers were a mutant group who worked for the ‘Dark mind’, a mysterious player in organising raids on settlements and safe towns. They would act as the infiltrators poking weak holes inside the cities and towns of pure stock humans, ready for the main mutant army to flood into these well protected places.

There were three outcomes if you were a citizen of said town, you either die, sliced slowly, be a slave or be used as spare parts to produce new mutant soldiers.

Luke, Woz and Krakstrong were helping one such settlements defence against the mutant army, and rat out the Slicer before the chaos could happen. Glenn was on a contract to hunt down Jackson Creeker, and by chance he saw his old friends.

He was a different man than what he used to be for he was now a solider of sorts, gone was the depression, recovering alcohol addiction and letting go of life. Now he was a killer bounty hunter, a moral one at least.

He reluctantly helped the gang save the settlement as it nearly got overrun by a back door entrance. The Mayor had a secret entrance in his office where the mutants can raid at the heart of the settlement. It was only thanks to Krakstrongs instincts and Glenn’s investigations that led them to accuse the mayor of working against the people. With the old mayor dead in his own office as well as his sheriff who also conspired to help the invasion, two positions needed to be filled.

Glenn became the sheriff, a role he only kept as a temporary position until he and his gang locate and kill the Dark Mind. Luke became mayor of the settlement (turns out Jackson Creeker was actually the mayor of the town named after his alias, Moorton), a role he didn’t ask for but took on the mantle of responsibility, with the help of Glenn as sheriff, Krakstrong as the mutant ambassador and Woz as the Chaplin of the faith of the machine.

Now Glenn has one purpose, a journey that he must complete without mercy, emotion and second thoughts. He and his friends must find the source of the mutant virus and put a stop to it before their world is destroyed. The risks are too great to falter, to find the Dark mind and kill it before it unleashes the Final Apocalypse. Glenn hunter by the horror of the Butcher

***

Luke is Luke, he’s been the same from then to now. The core of the group (not leader, Krakstrong is considered to be the leader, though in name only), his humanity and moral philosophy is still very much alive despite everything that’s happened. He and Woz were the leaders of the caravan escape during the beginning of the apocalypse, taking their family and friends away to safer lands.

After many adventures to find supplies, scouting missions, bandit attacks and growing mutant sightings, the gang had bonded closer now that they had to survive together.

They established a small caravan town that knew relative peace for a time, until the mutants led by the Butcher attacked their settlement. Many would be killed or eaten, including friends of Luke who he knew decades ago. Even in his sleep he can still see the faces of the dead, cursing him and tormenting him for letting them die.

Only a handful of survivors escaped to go in search of a new and safer home. Luckily, they found land that was on a hill side with running pure water. Not the safest spot to settle but better than no water at all. Everything seemed to be finally on track as the community started to recover from the mutant attack.

But behind the facade of his over confidence, jokester jest, eagerness and never backing down, Luke is slowly dying from the virus. The Butcher took Luke on in a brawl during the downfall of the caravan settlement, pinning Luke down as he injected Luke with a degenerative disease of the virus into Luke’s bloodstream. At first Luke thought he was going to become a mutant like Keith, but luckily the changes never came.

However, the interior of Luke’s body fared worse as he suffered nerve loss from time to time, losing his control of limbs and in some cases eye sight. Using medication that’s available, Luke hides his degrading health to ensure he and his family and friends live long enough to find a safe place to live.

Only one person in his family knows of his health problems, and swore not to share this knowledge to anyone, even to Woz. As Luke continues his fight he is surely to pay dearly for what will come once the virus gets stronger.

He became mayor of a settlement after defeating the Dark Minds mutant army and ratting out Jackson Creeker. His new role has loosen his role as a fighter and group leader in supply gathering, which benefited him to hide his falling health. Wearing a pirate outfit with a taxidermy parrot named Frank, Luke would organise and build the settlement to become bigger, stronger and more open for trade with other settlements. He can now assure his family will be safe now that they have found a safe home.

At last, Luke must join his old friends one last time as they travel to a location far east of Australia, to an abandoned testing facility of water purification called ‘H.J Water purification facility’. There he and his gang will stop the source of the virus outbreak and save their homeland. Luke only has scarce supplies left to delay the inevitable as he is soon reaching the point of no return. This may be his last trip………….. Luke

***

Finally there’s Woz, half man half machine infused symbiotic bonding. Once he was the most human of all the gang as he placed his moral duty and belief before aggression and nihilism. A peacekeeper and Lukes twin by a brother to another mother quote, Woz handled the complex side of the affects of the apocalypse to the caravan settlers.

He unfortunately had a fatal incident with the Butcher as Woz had his hand sliced off, leaving a few fingers and a thumb left. But something miraculous happened as his arm bonded to machine parts, reforming his hand as organic and mechanical symbiosis. Woz by all accounts was not a mutant, for no other creature had the strain of bonding, but rather evolving by its own mutation and absorbing organic only.

Woz became half man, half machine, able to absorb from a fall of 8ft and more, reconstructing broken bone into new parts. Soon Woz was seen as a god by the tech nerds who saw him as a machine god. But Woz refused to be seen as a god, just a lucky bugger.

However, Woz would lose something in exchange for these enhancements as he slowly lost his humanity. The one biggest strength that Woz has was his humanity and moral ideals from right to wrong. But as he absorbs more machine parts, the more he has lost that which made him the man he was. His unemotional appearance, cold calculating plans and disregard for innocent life has made him a danger to his friends and family.

His family out of concern tried to get him the help needed to bring him back to normal, but the damage was done and nothing can be done to save him. Only those vague good memories are what keeps Woz from losing the identity he has left. He has now passed on the mantle of responsibility to his next of kin, to carry on the traditions and values that he himself had followed. With that, he left his family with such cold and unfeeling separation like it wasn’t Woz anymore, like a stranger.

He became a Chaplin to the faith of the machine, a cult of worshipers that use barely running computers to pray. Sermons start at 1pm with the first song of binary numbers of 1s and 0s. Members are required to use treadmills to run the computers as the power lines went dark during the apocalypse.

This cult would soon grow old to Woz after much grovelling by the tech worshipers, he only came as he needed to build his mind and machine soul to be stronger. Deification was a distraction from his intent to absorb as much knowledge as he can from the database archives. This was where he found the source location of the virus.

leaving the church to find his family who he hasn’t seen for a year. A hope of the old Woz returning, or just an error in his mechanical logic?

Now Woz joins his flesh mortals (friends) on their last trek to find the source of the virus, and save mankind from total extinct. Somehow after much research Woz found the location to the source of the outbreak at an old water purification site. Strange, he didn’t have evidence to suggest this was the location or even if it was still there. He just has this feeling in his mind that it is there, as if something is calling out to him. Telling Woz to go find it like a beacon transmission……… Woz, the man machine

End of prologue……..

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Fan art of the Corum trilogy (Knight of the Sword)

For the past three months I’ve been doing some work on a side project, that I’ve been working on in between my usual miniature painting projects. After finishing the Corum book Trilogy by Micheal Moorcock, I was inspired to illustrate the characters, locations, Gods and events that took place in the trilogy.

The Corum book trilogy is by far one of my favourite Eternal Champion book series, a story of pain, war, sacrifice, destiny and the complexity of the God pantheons. Each book not only has its own amazing adventure story, but each one expands on the lore of Corum’s world (or time age, in the Eternal champion series).

So I did some illustrations of what I would imagine the first book, The Knight of the Sword, to look like in my perspective whilst respecting the source material. This book is one of my favourite out of the three for it’s story of Corums journey. From being the last of his race and physically tortured by the rising Mabden race led by Glandyth-a-Kae, to a powerful tragedy to use his new ‘gifts’ to defeat Arioch to restore balance to the five realms.

I wanted to share my fan artwork with you today, mostly from the first half of the Knight if the Sword book, and hopefully it might inspire you to take a look at the Corum trilogy book series. There are other fictional works by Micheal Moorcock that deserve a read too, I can’t list them all here (and I’ve got a lot to catch up on reading the Eternal Champion series) but they are just as good if not better. Enjoy!

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Corum Jhaelen Irsei, Prince in the Scarlet Robe

Glandyth-a-Krae, Earl of the Denledhyssi.

The Horned Bear (Mabden vassal God) The Dog (Mabden Vassal God)The Giant of Laahr

Knight of Moidel Castel Moidel Earl Moidel of Allomglyl, the Margrave returned from the depths of the sea Shool the wizard ???

The Eye of Rhynn and the Hand of Kwll Arioch, Knight of the Swords (Chaos Lord)

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I hope you have enjoyed this art filled post! If you want to see me do more fan art for the second half of the first Corum book, post a comment below and if I get enough feedback I’ll do some more!

Again, I’d highly recommend reading The Eternals Champion series and other Micheal Moorcock literature works.

Until next time,

-Bjorn

note: I do not own the names, locations, story nor creation of Corum and The Eternal Champion series. All works of fiction mentioned here were created by Micheal Moorcock. This post is only for free expression and none profit.

Thornton Reed (Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace)

Digital artwork based on the character of Thornton Reed from Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.

About a month ago I found a pretty funny black comedy series called Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, a very funny but short lived series that’s more interesting than today’s offerings on TV. Out of all of the cast my favourite character was Thornton Reed, he knew the crunch.

So inspired by this character, I did a digital artwork in tribute to this mans genius and bad acting (seriously, he’s pretty bad).

Wait a minute, where’s the cable for the telephone?

Until next time,

-Bjorn

A.B.C Warriors tribute art part 1: Mongrol in the style of Mike McMahon

Original inked artwork using fine ink pens, ink colour pens, inks and blue glaze.

Photo editing version

Final artwork using Procreate art app

This blog post series is a tribute to 2000AD’s Sci-fi war series, The A.B.C Warriors written by Pat Mills and various artist who have illustrated the team over many decades.

I wanted to try this art project for two reasons, 1) I haven’t done an art project since my Kray Twins art project a year ago, I’m getting rusty from a lack of consistent art work. My break from art is long overdue. 2) I’ve always wanted to try and recreate the A.B.C Warriors ever since I first read them back in 2013, the first work of Pat Mills that I’ve enjoyed reading and got me into reading more of his 2000ad work. I liked how unique each character looked that suited their personality, like Hammerstein for example having a masculine and heroic physic wielding his heavy hammer. The members of the A.B.C Warriors personalities really adds weight to the story, and how each of them has a story to tell (well Blackblood is the least sympathetic bot of the lot).

The artists like Kevin O’Neil, Mike McMahon, Carlos Ezquerra, Simon Bisley, Clint Langley and many more have always made fantastic artworks for the A.B.C Warriors. Whilst the group have had big visual changes of the years stylistically, they still however retain their personalities and design over the past decades. From Bisley’s punk 80’s comic book art to Langley’s blockbuster Sci-Fi digital art, the A.B.C Warriors have a refreshing appeal for every decade and artist interpretation.

Inspired by the original cover art for A.B.C Warriors book one by Mike Mchaon, I wanted to recreate Mongrol in a similar style to Mikes work. I’ve gone for inks as I like the different effects it has when applied. Like the colour ink pens are great for covering big areas in a flat colour, and ink paints to shade areas like shadows and background. Sort of like old comic book art, but using more modern tools for the job.

The photo edit and digital art is used to refine the artwork and add a finishing touch. Hopefully this artwork will be at least a good enough tribute to the brilliant artwork of Mike McMahon.

My next subject is Joe Pineapples, one of the coolest and deadliest members of the A.B.C Warriors. I might do him in the style of Simon Bisley’s Black and White ink work, or try the deep end and go digital art like Clint Langley’s version of Joe.

Until next time!

-Bjorn

Justice, a tribute artwork to the late Carlos Esquerra

Inspired by Carlos Esquerra and John Wagner’s creation of Judge Dredd, part of 2000AD comic publication. I do not own the character or anything that’s part of its respective creators.

The other day I’ve found a touch screen ballpoint pen, which I needed for a long time. As you can see above it’s really helped me create better accurate drawings compared to my older works. I’ve decided to do a crop drawing of Judge Dredd in memory of the late Carlos Esquerra, who sadly passed away last year.

R.I.P Carlos

What Is New Grim?

What Is New Grim?

Apologies for not getting this post out on the 31st of December last year as promised, due to my lazy timing in getting it done and wanting to have more time to finalise it to my liking.

I’ve been doing this in a few blog posts throughout the months of last year, each post hinting about the world of New Grim. Ever since the first post there has been one big question, what would happen if 1999’s last second was the dawn of a new dark age in Grimsby?

Yeah Grimsby, not the world, not New York and certainly not some blockbuster cliche city. Instead my whole creative story focuses on a city that’s largely had a bad reputation in the media as a run down city past its golden days. Wether it’s true or not, Grimsby does however offer an opportunity as great place to photograph post apocalyptic scenes (if you know where to find them!).

After leaving college last year I needed a long break from doing art work, as my motivation and energy was spent up on getting my final project done. I felt that I needed to give some time to do other things whilst my imagination and creativity had time to recover. Then after a few months I saw one of the few tower blocks in Grimsby were being demolished, they looked like post apocalyptic carcass’s.

That’s when it hit me that I’ve found my inspiration, a photography/ digital art series on a fictional divergent timeline in 1999. What better place to do that than Grimsby! Why 1999? Well I liked the idea of doing a divergent timeline where today’s technology, lifestyle and even history in nearly twenty years had been taken away by war and massacre.

But what should I call this new art series? I didn’t want a silly Sci-Fi name, nor something too cliche with “apocalyptic” or “Atomic” to name it. Then I decided why not New Grim? Shorten Grimsby to ‘Grim’ as a more grim (ha) and disturbing title.

Set in what was once called Grimsby, New Grim is an art and literature series that explores many horrific and alternative world subjects from the New Grim Cult, to the reorganised British military.

I don’t want this creative project to be just another post apocalyptic world that’s similar to the likes of Fallout, Mad Max, Metro and so on. The series is mainly focusing on the city of Grimsby and it’s changes through the decades, as its culture and identity will be explored through the eyes of those that inhabit the dead city.

My posting schedule for New Grim will be as of when I’m ready to post, as the art and photography (as well as planning) will take time to create and post. But I at least intend to post at least one or two New Grim posts a month.

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Thank you for reading this post! If you have any questions or suggestions on what you’d like to see, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!

-Bjorn