Jackson’s first lines were the first things that occurred to me when I saw this art. There’s something inherently comical to me about the simple “uh…help?” response to the situation. It took me several tries to come up with the rest of the strip, and I put it together on my laptop in a noisy house while fighting a cold, sitting on a bed and using a pile of folded pants as a mouse pad. I’m hoping it works. The punchline seems kinda throwaway, but I like the self-propagating violation of the Prime Directive.
One possible alternate direction for this involved the dragon-like thing being one of ten left in existence, and Jackson arguing his own worth when there were twelve other people in his away team with the same job title. I like this idea, but I couldn’t get to a decent punchline in three panels.
Happy new year, people!