Stone Island (2000AD)
"Stone Island" is a new horror series in the weekly comic 2000 AD. It is written by
Ian Edginton, who can also be seen working on " The Red Seas". The artist is Simon Davis, who can also be seen working on " Black Siddha" and " Sinister Dexter".
The story is fully painted and is set in a prison called Long Barrow Maximum Security Prison where the main character, David Sorrel, has been sentenced to life, following the murder of his wife and her lover.
*David Sorrel has murdered his wife, who was cheating on him with another man. He has now been sent to Long Barrow Maximum Security Prison where he has made friends with Harry Rivers and a rivalry with Nathan Grice, who has now mutated into a monster.
*Harry Rivers is an older inmate of Long Barrow and has had David Sorrel thrown in his cell. Why he was imprisoned we are yet to find out. In his cell is an escape route behind a poster as in
The Shawshank Redemptionthat has been used to escape from the mutiltated monsters.
*Nathan Grice is one of Long Barrow's more dangerous inmates and has been in a fight with David Sorrel, in which he seems to have caught something causing him to turn into some sort of monster.
*George Fenton is the guard who first witnessed Grice's mutation and escaped his clutches. Now he seems to have suffered a complete mental breakdown and has attacked David and Harry, mistaking them for the monsters. Now he, Harry, David, Jon and Sara are preparing to escape from Long Barrow.
*Jon Prentiss is another guard who has survived the chaos along with Sara. We do not know if anything happened to him but we know that he is calm but seems to be taking orders from George.
*Sara McCandless is not named in the original, but is revealed as Sara in a later story. She seemed to appear with Jon after Sorrel and Harry escaped the prison into the outside area.
* The Light & the Way is the leader of "The Otherworld creatures". It also controls David Sorrel.
Dartmoor. David Sorrel has been sentenced to life in Long Barrow Maximum Security Prison following the murders of his wife and her lover, who are also beheaded. He is put in a cell with Harry Rivers, who tells him that if he wants to keep safe in Long Barrow he must some reputation, and that he will be tested by some of the dangerous inmates as well. David is tested almost straight away when he bumps into Nathan Grice, who picks a fight with him. David wins it even though Grice cheats by using a small blade that he was carrying in his pocket, to cut his face a little. David and Harry are subdued by some guards. Later, at the infirmary, a guard known as Mr. Fenton is called in to be asked a few questions about the brawl. Grice seems to have caught a strange fever and has a nurse in with him. But when Fenton and the man from the infirmary go to check on him, they find that he has turned into a strange creature that has beheaded the nurse.
David is dreaming about the night that he murdered his wife and her lover, in which he grins an insane smile, one which resembles the monster Grice's. His cellmate Harry Rivers wakes him up and David tells him about that particular night that got him locked away in the first place. He says that when he was arrested he could not tell the police a thing. Even the
polygraphs said he was clean. He tells Harry that he knew about his wife's affair and that they were going to be divorced anyway. But he swears that he would never kill her. Then suddenly the lights in the cell go out. Harry bangs on the cell door shouting that it is nowhere near time for lights out, but all that can be heard on the other side is screaming. For a moment they think it is a riot, but a strange creature which they do not recognize as Grice walks by. Harry thinks that it could be some old enemies coming to get even with him. Harry uses a chair to smash some bricks off the wall, revealing an escape route that he has made behind a poster, mentioning that he once saw that "Shawshank" movie. Harry runs off while David stares at the monster Grice that has just made its way into the cell. Wasting no time, he follows after Harry with the monster Grice and others hot on their trail.
Hell is breaking loose in Long Barrow Prison as a guard runs through the blood-splattered corridors before being decapitated by one of the monsters. In the ventilation ducts Harry and David watch. They are trying to find their way out of the prison and Harry seems to know where they are going, so David asks how. Harry tells him that he was allowed to write a book about the prison once, giving him access to the internet where he discovered facts about the ventilation system, cellars and exits. They continue through the ducts when David stops him, realizing it is too quiet. Harry looks out of a vent only to find two of the creatures staring at him. Harry holds them off as David climbs higher up the ducts. Harry follows quckly and they decide to get out of the ducts but David is hit by a guard, mistaking him for one of the creatures.
David is remembering a time when he was looking at a picture of him and his wife before he murdered her when he hears shouting. He and Harry are being beaten by the guard from Part 1 whose name is George. Also in the room is another guard called Jon and a woman who realizes that David and Harry are nothing like the monsters and stops George from killing them. But he goes back at it when Harry insults him. The woman tries threatening George but he slaps her. David puts it all to an end by headbutting George onto the floor, taking his truncheon from him as well. After telling them a lie about how they are out their cell, Harry asks if they know what is going on. The woman says that everyone thought that it was a riot at first until the Governor went down to check it out and did not come back. She tells them that that was when the power went out. Jon says that it was drugs that caused the mutations but George interrupts, telling him that it was Grice. He says that Grice killed the doctor who was with him and escaped, even though George locked him in the infirmary. Harry asks when the cavalry will arrive, but the woman tells him that there is none because the creatures took out the phones and emergency radios. George blames the Government for the breakout but Jon thinks that it could be a plague, mentioning Long Barrow's history. David says they are leaving anyway and Harry will guide them.
Harry is explaining Long Barrow's history, revealing why it was made in an odd shape. They are clinging to the gas mains very high above the floor where hell has broken loose. George says he knew it was a mistake to give the inmates access to the internet, where Harry has learned how to escape from the prison. After George comes close to falling to his death, Harry asks David if he was from the army, mentioning his fighting. David says no and also comes close to falling but Harry catches him. Harry asks if he is alright but he clearly is not when his sight becomes all weird, almost looking like thermal vision, before going back to normal. Harry says he feels a bit strange himself but not for long because they have made it. Harry kicks a vent and jumps outside on to a van and into the carpark. They are not going anywhere though, as all the wires have been cut, making it impossible for them to use the vehicles. They go inside into a large room where the tools are kept, only to find them missing and the power cables ripped from the wall. Jon asks why the creatures would do that, meaning, obviously, why they have a plan. David says that they have to get out of here because the monsters know that they are there. They run to the unlocked door and attempt to fight the monster off. It extends over the broken door and almost gets in before David pushes it back with a plank of wood. They all continue to lie against the door as Harry asks an obvious question. "What do we do now?"
All of the escapees are pushing back the door, and George and Harry are arguing. George thinks up an idea and asks the girl to push the nearest car over to the door to block it. Harry wakes David up and David's vision goes funny again. When the girl finds out it is stripped bare, George tells Harry to go help her. One of the monsters breaks through the wall and slashes George, who crawls away from the door. The monsters break through and kill George, as the girl and Harry try to escape through a vent. David is unharmed by the monsters, saying he is their "favourite son". The girl is dragged into the shaft and Harry is most likely killed. Jon is hiding in a vent in the ground, holding his crucifix.
David is having another flashback where it is revealed that the lover of David's wife is none other than his best friend. Outside the house David is grabbed by some sort of claw. At the prison the woman begs David to help her and Harry. David says that they should be grateful they are alive and says that David Sorrel no longer exists. He is The Light and the Way and is crucified inside out while the creatures experiment on him. Harry, on the other hand, undergoes a transformation just like the monsters themselves. He manages to fight it off a bit and tells them both that the creatures are aliens. He tells them about their origins and that his blood is what caused the infection. He died of a broken heart and has returned to unmake the world.
David reveals that there are more of the alien-like creatures in other places like prisons all over the world. He reveals that he only murdered his wife so he could get inside. Suddenly he feels pain and shouts to the aliens for air. Some kind of gas is revealed and it seems that the unknown woman is about to be killed by Grice. But luckily the horribly mutated Harry has managed to fight off the transformation and kills him with a pole and tells the woman to make a run for it. David meanwhile is ripped in half, revealing a white light that seems to be a gateway to the alien dimension. And suddenly Jon Prentiss runs in covered in crosses with a homemade bomb attached to him. He runs all the way to David and sets it off, seemingly destroying the prison. Outside, the woman wakes up and finds that Harry has saved her. He tells her to tell everyone what happened at Long Barrow, and that if they don't believe her then she should make them. She asks for him to come with her but he refuses, telling her it's risky for him. The Otherworld beings are not done with them yet, it's only just begun.
The story picks up some time after the events of the first story, with Sara (the Woman) living in a house near the destroyed prison. The 'otherworlders' have broken into our world despte the incident at Longbarrow and appear to have changed, or at least there are different types of them. She is attacked by them, but Harry is protecting her, but doesn't get there in time to save Sara's dog. Once Harry shows up and kills the last otherworlder, the military show up and request that the two come with them.
A woman by the name of Lieutenant Colonel Carmody reveals that they are planning to cross over to the Otherworld and 'take the flight to them'. Taking a helicopter, they are attacked on the way to the base by otherworlders that have grown wings, and one of the helicopters is destroyed, though the others escape, with Harry's help.
At he base, Carmody reveals that the first 'otherworlder', or Trans-D incursion occurred in a former Soviet Republic two years ago. The Russian's destroyed the facility with
Munitions Ordinance Air Blast Bombs, and blamed it on terrorists. There have been dozens of attacks all over the world, and the TDI's are building terraformers were they break through, altering our atmosphere. She says that Earth will not be able to support life as we know it within a year. Carmody tells them that they (Sara, Harry, herself, Mr Lorcan ((a prison officer at a breakthrough site)), a pair of soldiers, Briggs and Mckee, a woman called Mrs Sheeny, and Mr Wlakers, who, like Harry, has been half changed by the TDI's) have been chosen because their exposre to Trans-D technology has altered them at the sub-atomic level, allowiong them to exist in the Otherworld.
They cross into the Otherworld using the scavenged remains of the Longbarrow gate. When they arrive, Carmody proceeds to explode. It apperas she hadn't been exposed to a significant enough degree to survive in the Otherworld. To make matters even worse, the gate closed behind them leaving them stranded, and they discover the two soldiers, Briggs and Mckee, are catering corps.
As they explore the otherworld, they find the buthcerd remains of several TDI's. They find a small stone with 'Michael' carved into it. Walker tells them that he can feel and echo in the Earth, telling him the it was once a gateway. Harry confirms this, and tells them he can here someone talking to him, not in English, but he can still understand it. He realises its a tower on the horizon talking to him. He tells them that the sand around them is burrying an enormous city, and the tower is the top of the tallest building in the entire Universe. He says that the sand is the remains of the creatures, and the tower is like an echo chamber, amplifying the voices of the spirits of these creatures so that he and Wlaker can hear it. He tells them that this world was the first in the Otherworld to have life on it. The creautes here built a civilisation that covered their entire galaxy. But, they discovered that the Otherworld was separated from the rest of reality, "...a ship in a bottle." They tried to break into our Universe, to continue to explore. They degenerated into the monsters that we are more familiar with. Eventually they break through, but our Universe rejected the Otherworld. The resulting blast of energy wiped out 2/3 of all the life in the Otherowrld. They perfect their technology, and use it to fish out people in our Universe who are on the thin band between life and Death. This is what happened ot Sorrel and the others.
Suddenly, they realise the Sheeny has transformed into a creature and is trying to reck the bio-weapon they brought with them to try and kill the TDI's. They gun her down, and find out that she is, in fact, a
transvestite. Briggs tells them that most of the damage is can be easily repaired, but a swarm of the creatures is approaching the tower, and he doesn't have enough time. Harry and Walker through them selves on the horde to slow them down, but Walker is killed and so is Harry. They fire the bio-weapon succesfully, and use the spare rocket propellant as a rudimentary missile, and use a parachute to get to the bottom of the tower safely. They reach the location where they arrived, and use a communicator scavenged of Carmody's remains to call home. The base refuse to open the gate because the risk is to great. The horde of creatures is getting closer, but Harry emerges from the, now missing an arm, rejoins the group. Just when it looks like their doomed to a horrble death, something that rembles snow falls from the sky and shreds the creautres. Four beings made of light appear and finish of the remaining creatures. One of them revela sitself to be the 'soul' of David Sorrel.
He tells them that the Otherworld was created by extra-dimensional intelligences to try and force the creatures to evolve from their physical form to leave their Universe. However, the creatures degenerate instead of evolve, and find a physical solution to leave,r ather than a meta-physical one. However, it runs out that human beings can make this evolutionary jump, and Sorrel tells them that he and the other light-beings will destroy all trace of mankind in the Otherworld, to hide this fact from the extra-dimensional entities. He opens up a portal, but Harry chooses to remain in the Otherworld. Sorrel gives Sara what looks like a
snow-globe, to destroy all the creatures in our Universe. They leave, and Sorrel confirms Harry's suspicion that he will hjave to be killed, to hide all evidence of mankind in the Otherworld, though he goes onto tell him he will probably become a light-being like himself.
= The Otherworld =
According to "The Light & the way", "there is a thin, mean world that exists between
lifeand death. They prey upon transitory souls like salmonspawning upstream". Split into drones, workers and warriors, the creatures of this world look like twisted zombies. Cramming their advanced technology into Sorrel when he died of Carbon monoxide poisoningto invade Earth, but failed when Jon Prentiss sacrificed himself.
Long barrowrefers to prehistoric tombs and Dartmooris known for its Neolithicremains. Significantly the prison itself resembles a menhirwithin a stone circle.
*"Stone Island" (by
Ian Edgintonand Simon Davis, collected as trade paperback, 112 pages, February 2008, ISBN 1-905437-57-9):
** "Stone Island" (in "2000 AD" #1500-1507, 2006)
** "The Harrowers" (in "2000 AD" #1550-1559, 2007)
* [http://www.2000adonline.com/?zone=thrill&page=profiles&choice=STONE 2000 AD profile]
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