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Firstly, my thanks to Louise Dade for letting me loose on Tranquility Base and using some of her wonderful characters. Squidman, Captain Slog and Peterson all make appearances in this story. I couldnít really leave them out, all three are excellent creations. I was also keen that I remained loyal to their characters. So if that hasnít happened in the tale and the story hasnít worked, itís my fault and mine alone. I created two new characters, Grey who works in Operations and the computer system, Eve.
The idea for writing a Guard / Tranquility Base crossover story germinated in my mind as I read my way through Louiseís comics a few months ago. The baseís Monorail system which appears in a few stories, helped progress my story ideas. (In the end the Monorail doesnít actually play that big a part in the story. I donít own a Monorail and prices for one are high. Equally, I didnít fancy trying to make one).
The more I thought about it, the more I could see a Guard / Tranquility Base story. I asked Louise if I could write a crossover story and she very kindly said yes. After that it was a case of purchasing the necessary minifigures, one or two heads and quite a few space minifigures. (I didnít at the time have a large collection of space minifigures). Oh and a lot of extra Lego to make some of the sets.
Quite a few sets were required for this story. Luckily I already had the Shield Control / Sick Bay set and the Star Wars Cantina bar. Both sets perfect for taking shots from various angles. The very first image on page one of this story took about a day to put together. Regular readers of this strip will be aware that I always spell out the word - The Guard, in different ways on the first page of every story. Using the buildings of the moonbase seemed the way forward for this story. (Part of the moonbases mono-rail forms the letter 'U'). Setting the lights up was a nightmare, as it was difficult to fix them into place. I then took loads of pictures using different lighting and effects. It took a long time, but the final picture was worth all of the effort. The only other set that took a bit of time to build, was the Bio Tropical Dome.
Another major (and really annoying) migraine, was in the software I use Ďfreezingí four pages of the story in itís system. Thankfully the tech team at Serif were able to Ďunfreezeí the pages. Thank you. This saved me a lot of extra work.
I thought Petersonís bicycle acrobatics would prove to be a problem. But the use of Blu Tack sticky dots plus the use of a clear see through minifigure head held the bike and Peterson in the correct position, just long enough for a quick few camera shots. The only part I cheated on was Peterson flying through the air. That was shot separately and then added at the editing stage. Iím happy with the result.
Iím quite pleased with this story, creating tension with a countdown and finishing off the story with an explosive finale. (Well, youíve got to have one in a sci-fi story). I hope you enjoyed this tale of the Guard in space.
I should point out that this tale is part of the Another Time Ė Another Place series. Like DCís Elsewhere stories, the Guard has been taken out of his normal timeline and dropped into another one. So this story has no connection to the regular Guard series.
Where this story fits in with Tranquility Baseís timeline, those who want to know will have to ask Louise Dade.