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Have I mentioned that Captain 'Zana really is a bit off her rocker? Especially when deprived of coffee?
Kozarq's been around her long enough to know that when she gets "That Look" in her eyes that she's about to do something incredibly brave and/or incredibly nuts!

Weirdly enough, my mom actually did tell me to do that whole "take out the leader or the one talking the most shit" thing when I was 9 years old.
Thankfully, I've never been in a position to have to use that advice. The few fights I've had in my life were one on one.
And most of THEM were only shouting matches.

Anywho, Kozarq's worried. Smev Leader's REALLY worried.
Still, it looks hopeless, doesn't it?

The Smev, like most of my concepts, exemplify something.
That old sci-fi trope that everyone on any planet (that isn' Earth, apparently) are all ONE people, of ONE mind and political stance or religion. they all dress alike, and act alike.
The Klingons, the Vulcans, The Ferengi... you know the type.
Honestly, I really don't like that, so I try not to do it, much.
Unless, of course, I am parodying it.
Like the Smev, for instance.
I almost made the Smev's outfits all white, but that would have been too on the nose. Look past the pig-ness (a last minute design), and imagine them living in domiciles shaped like mushrooms.


Another thing that gets me is that everyone in the universe speaks English. I (as of yet) don't speak much in the way of other languages, so I will simply pepper speech patterns with the odd word of phrase in some language other than English. (I promise it won't only be vulgarities) Just for variety.
Living in this part of the galaxy, after a while, one begins to lump the unofficial ruling classes together.
You can't mention the Omnocracy without the Militak or the Ism being brought up, too.
Unfortunately, The Smev really, Really REEEEALLLLY HATE and distrust the Militak.
It is said the Smev race once flourished throughout the universe, and that it was the Militak that whittled down their number and chased them off, till only a few trillion remained. They staked out and terraformed a solar system of their very own, and defend it like a garrison.
No outsiders allowed. They also distrust the Omnocracy, as they stole their terraforming tech to make their own planets, but other than that, The Omnocracy left them alone. The Militak, however, still pester them to this day.
It's good to see this comic came back. Your hiatus was a bit long, and I was so worried. Now I have lots of Why Me goodness to catch up on!
The Smev
Welcome to SmevSpace!!

The Smev are one of the few races in the galaxy to escape the influence of the 3 "Galactic Superpowers" (The Omnocracy, The Militak and The Ism).
They are a closely guarded, secluded race of xenophobes.
They have claimed their little sector of space and bother no one. conversely, as they are a savage culture of warriors, no one in their right minds ever bothers them.

Too bad Cap'n Zana isn't in her right mind. Especially when devoid of coffee.

This strip intros 2 of the Sugar Vulture's 6 person security force, Finn-Abner and his daughter, Finn-Bobbi.

Also, I believe this is the first strip where Delwyn's drug of choice, the Quel'Chi is mentioned by name.
And our first look at Iona Brandean, the ships Communications Officer. She's fluent in over 30 interstellar languages and is in the process of learning 7 more.
She can only just barely make out what the NaviComm says.
Like most every other crewman, she doesn't really like Delwyn all that much, but she's a good-hearted gal, and she knows that chances are, if she learned the language of Delwyn's people, she'd not only have to replace him as navigator AND still do all her own duties as Comm Officer, but, there's a good chance that the Captain would blast poor dumb Delwyn out an airlock.
She couldn't have that on her conscience.
Delwyn Trooz-Aki, the ship's Navigator is of the species Zysslak-Evolved, from the planet Zysslak.
Zysslak is in Omnocracy space, unfortunately, and thereore not a free planet.
The Omnocracy, a few centuries ago, got the Zysslak-Evolved hooked on a mind altering chemical produced in the blood and bone marrow of creatures called Quel'Chi, (Known on "Da Streets" of many a planet as "Martian Squirrels", even though they are NOT from Mars, and are closer in species origin to platypi than squirrels.) then, poached all the Quel'Chi from planet Zysslak and sold them back to the people.

Over time, the Quel'Chi's effect on the dominant beings of Zysslak changed. Currently, all the Zysslak-Evolved are a bit... slow.
The Quel'Chi gives them a powerful, but sadly temporary boost of intelligence and vitality.
(Think reverse stoners).

Delwyn is, it seems, exceptionally stupid without his drug of choice. When high on Quel'Chi, (which he and his species wolf down, whole, still alive and squealing) he is a brilliant Navigator with an unerring sense of direction. Without them, he can barely remember his own name, or move any faster than a snail with a limp going uphill.

Why, you ask, would the Captain hire on a deficient (even by Zysllak standards) moroon like Delwyn to be Navigator?
The jurry-rigged Navigations computer is Zysllak tech. OUTDATED Zysslak tech, at that, which needs a Zysslak-Evolved DNA signature to operate, and it's verbal display is in the Zysslakian homeworld language.
Iona, the ships Communications Officer, is fluent in more xenolanguages than you can shake a Pra'shi trash serpent at, but her understanding of Zysslak speech is limited.
The ships translator unit is speech-only, which also doesn't help.

Mind you, almost no one on the ship actually LIKES Delwyn.
Another crew member makes his first appearance.
Helmsman Kozarq is my excuse to make a tentacled alien.
I think every space comic should have at least one.
Kozarq is a Sub-Norquad from Torbus-3.
Same solar system as Ozz of Valtash.

Also introduced is Dr. Vermillian Tunik. Not much to say other than he's stoic, handsome for his species (The G'noyev of planet Davlos Major), and too smart for his own good. Don't think that the doc is a wimp, or goody-two-shoes. He won 2 sex droids off a corrupt clerical officer in a gambling house on Earth's 'Kaliphornia' Martian Colony by CHEATING. (Okay, so he did that because the hospital complex he worked at was understaffed. He reprogrammed Nori and Yuki to be very effective nurses. Of course, he DID make full use of their primary function at every opportunity.)
There's a joke regarding his name. I HAD to slip that one in there. It's another example of "every space comic has to have at LEAST one!"
Swift Kick!
Ra-Zanatep is a bit off her rocker. Ozz, her longtime friend, is one of the few people who would dare speak up to her when she's getting out of hand.
Of course, he gets a swift kick in the balls for that...
This sets up what will no-doubt be a running gag.
Without coffee, the Captain turns violent and her sanity decreases exponentially with time.
Also her visiting physical harm on Ozz.
Like I said, he's the closest to being a Mary Sue, and, well, sometimes, I'm a self-loathing bastard.
That's "plunder", not "hindquarters"... maybe.
Captain Ra-Zanatep of planet Aarde wakes for her morning coffee.
Along her nude, sleepwalking journey, she bumps into her First Officer, Ozz of Valtash, and the ships' android nurses, Nurse Nori and Nurse Yuki.