Sunday May 6, 2001
Book 1: The Tub of Happiness — Big Haunted Battleship
Any self-respecting psych student of the early 21st century can tell you that "multiple personality schizophrenia" is completely bogus. It's a pop-culture conglomeration of two distinctly separate disorders, namely "schizophrenia" and "dissociative identity disorder." I've already gotten email from people telling me that I should be more responsible, and help folks understand that these disorders are separate. Otherwise I'm setting psychology back entire decades in terms of educating the general public.

Let's pretend for just a moment that the characters in the strip above actually suffered from a REAL 21st century disorder, rather than these sci-fi ailments stemming from mind-control experiments, militaristic augmentation implants, and struggles for hardware control. In a case like that I suppose I should be more responsible.

Unfortunately, people can tell me about social responsibility all they want to. That doesn't change the fact that we're only doing what the voices in my head tell us to do. After all, we are the cartoonist, and everybody else is not.


Narrator: We didn't expect it to be a recurring theme, but it turned out to be. Thus, today we pay homage to a time-honored (for now, anyway) plot device...
Sign: Schlock Mercenary proudly presents Multiple-personality schizophrenia!
Narrator: We begin our tribute with a visit from our phirst multiple-personality schizophrenic, Attorney massey reynstein.
Massey: Our case made it through the courts in record time, Captain. It's a mixed bag, though. I've got good news and bad news.
Tagon: Bad news first. That gives me time to prime my weapons if necessary.
Massey: Right.
Narrator: Massey is a victim of a vailed attempt at mind control. As a result, he can see the mind of his would-be masters, but they cannot do anything about it.
Massey: The bad news is that although we won, the partnership collective refuses to honor the judgement. We'll probably never see a dime.
Massey: The good news is that the judge was feeling pretty vengeful when she assessed punitive damages. Agents of the courrrt may destroy up to two billion kilocreds in the collective's assets, and that comes out to about one million attorney drones.
Tagon: Tell me how somebody else's revenge is good news for me?
Massey: We've been named as agents of the court. We get a bounty on every attorney we kill.
Tagon: Oh yes. Oh my, oh my, oh yes...
Narrator: While Tagon gloats, let's check in on our second schizoid pair, Doyt and Haban.
DoytHaban: (doyt) It feels good to be armed again. Thanks for giving me my stuff back, admiral.
Narrator: Doyt has had haban living in his head for years, but recently haban was given equal control of the body they share.
DoytHaban: (haban) It's our stuff, Doyt. fifty-fifty, remember? (doyt) Whatever, let's go find the dead doctor and get our bounty, okay?
DoytHaban: (haban) Mmmm... Orbital grave-robbing. Tasty.
Narrator: And finally we come to the latest pair of players: Ennesby and another A.I. duke it out for control of the flying robot head.
Ennesby: You can't destroy the ship over this! You're acting insane!
Petey: That's been indiscreetly pointed out to me several times now.
Narrator: At stake, the fate of all on board the new ship.
Ennesby: You know, just because everybody says you're crazy doesn't mean it's true.Oh, wait. Yes it does.
DoytHaban: (doyt) Hey, Hover-head.(haban) You up for a rematch?
Ennesby: HABAN! Shoot mmmph--
Petey: None of that lip, little one.
Petey: We're on a mission, remember? Getting me control of my ship so I can put myself out of my misery.
DoytHaban: (doyt) Why'd you go and do that, haban?(haban) Call it a hunch.
Narrator: Shoot first, ask questions later. Save the day. Yeah.