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Greyarea

Art by Mark Harrison from 2000 AD prog 1888

Grey Area is a series created by Dan Abnett and Karl Richardson which began running in 2000 AD in prog 1764 (January 2012) after a pilot episode in prog 2012 (the 2011 Christmas edition). It has continued to appear at intervals ever since.

Plot

The series is set in North America in 2045, in the Global Exo Segregation Zone (the "Grey Area"), a huge sector in originaly based in Arizona given over to housing the large number of extraterrestrial immigrants that arrive on Earth. A massive shanty town which acts as a holding area, it is policed by armed and armoured Exo Transfer Control Squads. The lead characters in the series are the squad led by Captain Adam Bulliet, including officers Birdy (Bulliet's lover and later wife), Feo, Manners and Kymn. Officer Kymn is particularly useful as he is one of the "greeted" who has been granted the ability to understand any and all alien languages, a "gift" which is viewed with suspicion by many.

Initially, the series appeared to be largely disconnected short stories, but over time continuing plot strands began to become more prominent. These included Bulliet and the insecure Birdy's relationship, and the potential consequences of Bulliet causing the death of Ambassador Uuveth of the Arakshu, an alien who attempted to use his diplomatic immunity to avoid punishment for horrific acts of sadism committed against humans for his own gratification. The team also had to cope with the shock-waves caused by an ill-fated encounter between a group of Christian activists and some newly arrived aliens who considered the Christians "evil." (The aliens' reasoning was that all gods are evil, and so their worshippers must be too. They arrived at that conclusion after their own God destroyed their planet, and they killed Him in retaliation.)

The Earth then became gripped by a religious mania heralding the approach of a creature which appeared to be God, but which proved to be an alien entity capable of destroying worlds after first pacifying their populations with a rapture. Bulliet's squad were sent to intercept this 'God-Star', but they discovered that it was impossible to communicate with, and that it had been aimed at Earth by the Arakshu in response to Bulliet's killing of Uuveth. With no means of stopping the creature, Bulliet elected to arm a nuclear device in their ship and fly it straight down the creature's throat, which was effectively a wormhole.

The device exploded and killed the monster, but Bulliet and his crew were sucked into the wormhole and emerged from the gullet of another God-Star on the other side of the galaxy. They spent some time as guests/prisoners in the Grey Area of a planet belonging to the telepathic Harmonious Free, trying to persuade the indigenous species that they were all in grave danger from the second God-Star.

Bulliet's team eventually repelled the God-Star by using Kymn's language skills and the Harmonious Free's telepathy. During their sojourn on the planet of the Harmonious Free, Manners died and Birdy and Bulliet got married. The team (apart from Manners, of course) was eventually repatriated by a club of powerful alien species called the Congruence. Two of the Harmonious Free, Resting Bitch Face and Compelling Male Musk Odour, came back to Earth with them on a cultural exchange so they could work in the new Grey Area, based in New Mexico.

Stories

  • Meet and Greet by Abnett and Richardson (2000 AD prog 2012, then progs 1764 to 1766)
  • Feel the Noise by Abnett and Richardson (2000 AD progs 1767 to 1769)
  • The Do by Abnett and Lee Carter (2000 AD prog 1770)
  • Personal Space by Abnett and Carter (2000 AD progs 1771 to 1773)
  • Xenophobia by Abnett and Carter (2000 AD prog 1774)
  • One of Our Own by Abnett and Carter (2000 AD progs 1785 to 1788)
  • This Island Earth by Abnett and Carter (2000 AD progs 1800 to 1804)
  • Did You Pack Your Own Luggage? by Abnett and Patrick Goddard (2000 AD progs 1863 to 1864)
  • Short Straw by Abnett and Goddard (2000 AD prog 1865)
  • All God's Children by Abnett and Goddard (2000 AD progs 1866 to 1868)
  • Rates of Exchange by Abnett and Goddard (2000 AD progs 1869 to 1871)
  • Visitation by Abnett and Mark Harrison (2000 AD prog 1872)
  • I.D., Please by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1873)
  • Nearer My God to Thee by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD progs 1884 to 1888)
  • Another Day on the Job (introducing Resting Bitch Face and Compelling Male Musk Odour) by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1924)
  • Just Routine Questions by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD progs 1925 to 1926)
  • Locked In by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD progs 1927 to 1930)
  • Talk Down by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1931)
  • Contact by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1945)
  • First Bite by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1946)
  • Feeding Frenzy by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1947)
  • Deadline by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1948)
  • Endgame by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1982)
  • Big Day by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1983)
  • Until Death by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1984)
  • Last Call by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1985)
  • Congruence by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1986)
  • A Long Way Home by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 1987)
  • Back In Black by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD progs 2035 to 2036)
  • Batch Recall by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 2037)
  • Man Flu by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 2038)
  • Life on Earth by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 2039)
  • Border Ops by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD progs 2040 to 2041)
  • Lutwot Holiday by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD prog 2042)
  • Signal Six Twenty-Four by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD progs 2043 to 2044)
  • Homeland Security by Abnett and Harrison (2000 AD progs 2050 to 2053)

Characters

Trivia

Some of the names of the Harmonious Free:

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