|The following project has been shelved. It may or may not get a future release. Stay tuned.|
Path of the Ming-Cho is the name of two different productions in Dozerfleet Comics, both of them relevant to The Gerosha Chronicles. The first is a canceled DSHW machinomic from 2006 in the Despair Gerosha continuity, which was intended to be an interquel for the Despair Gerosha remakes of Ciem 2 and Ciem 3. The second one is Issue #11 of Origins and Fallout, making it the second-to-last issue of volume 1 in Cataclysmic Gerosha. Both versions chronicle the adventures of Rob Marrington and his sister Hannah; as they team up with Jake Asawa, a Japanese-American former understudy of Imaki Izuki, to rid the world of a dangerous radioactive device known as the Ming-Cho. The story is set chronologically around the same time as the third season of Sodality. In terms of volume logic, it completes the first volume. Its volume is followed by The Gray Champion: Modern Legends, the first volume in the Gerosha Legends super-pack. That volume opens up with its first of two issues: The Gray Champion: Freedom's Apparition.
While Ciem and friends destroyed the Ming-Yo and defeated Captain Aardwulf, the Ming-Yo wasn't the only nin-chyo-based experiment from China to make its way to the US. A spy named Betty Harmin secured the Ming-Cho after stealing it from a terrorist group called the Mik-Non, who in-turn stole it from the Chinese government. Betty hides the leaky Ming-Cho in the back yard of Charlie Raymond, hoping to keep the Mik-Non from discovering it. After leading them on a red herring trail, she ends up losing her life. They begin a search for the Ming-Cho, but are unsuccessful at finding it. However, Jake Asawa, a former understudy of Imaki Izuki, witnessed that Betty spent more time in Charlie's back yard than anyone else. He decides to keep surveillance on the house.
Meanwhile, Rob Marrington discovers that his hotel's chain was bought out, and that he's been laid off from work. He is slightly disheartened, since he has to take care of both himself and his sister Hannah, who suffers some impairment and can't support herself. When Charlie calls up Hannah one evening, he complains that he feels really sick - and that his dog Taquito isn't breathing. When Hannah heads over to his house with Rob, Rob calls up his fiancee Ann Kim, to see if she can figure out what's wrong. Ann conveniently brings a Geiger counter and considers using it. Its readings register very high when nearing the house. Charlie reveals that Taquito found a glowing blue rock inside a tire near the house.
Jake arrives and makes his presence known, and Hannah reveals to Rob that she and Jake have a history together. Jake quickly seals the Ming-Cho to keep it from leaking, and explains to the others what it is. Charlie is taken to a hospital with Ann overseeing his recovery. Taquito is declared dead, and is set up for burial. However, Jake insists the Ming-Cho needs to be sent to a facility in Texas where it can be destroyed. This requires him to take Rob and Hannah with him on a perilous road trip. Rumors are that China, the Mafia, and other entities are all looking for that rock.
While Jake and Hannah reconcile their old relationship, Rob and Ann begin talking about their wedding plans over the phone. The whole time, the trio must evade one death trap after another.
- Rob Marrington: A recently-unemployed former hotel staff member. He is trying to support himself and his sister in spite his lousy luck. He is also engaged to Ann Kim, a Korean radiologist living in Toklisana.
- Hannah Marrington: Rob's sister and a romantic interest for Jake. She is also friends with Charlie Raymond, and the ex-girlfriend of Richard Sartor. She likes to use her spare time lending aid to troubled teens.
- Jake Asawa: A former Japanese mercenary, who worked for a time for Imaki Izuki. He is a love interest for Hannah, and is determined to destroy the Ming-Cho at almost any cost.
- Charlie Raymond: An elderly man whose dog discovers the Ming-Cho hidden inside a tire in his back yard. He is friends with Hannah.
- Ann Kim: Rob's Korean fiancee. She is trained in radiology, and agrees to treat Charlie when he falls ill.
- Taquito: Charlie's dog, who discovers the Ming-Cho hidden amongst some tires in the backyard. As the Ming-Cho springs a leak, the radiation begins to fill the house. Taquito was more exposed to it than Charlie, having gone into Charlie's room more often than Charlie himself. While Charlie begins to feel sick from exposure to it, Taquito actually dies from it.
- Luigi Montana: A mobster who begins tracking the traveling trio to secure the Ming-Cho for himself.
- The Mik-Non: A terrorist faction from China. They are sometime-allies and sometime-rivals of the Hebbleskin Gang, and they want to threaten the world with nuclear war. To do this, they steal the Ming-Yo and Ming-Cho. However, the devices were later stolen from them. The Ming-Yo ends up in the possession of Captain Aardwulf, whereas the Ming-Cho was stolen by Betty Harmin.
- Richard Sartor: Hannah's former live-in boyfriend. When her codependency and other disabilities grew tiring, he stopped treating her nicely. After she revealed herself to be pregnant, he pressured her to have an abortion. She refused but wound up having a miscarriage anyway. When Pam decides stealing Hannah's job isn't enough, she makes a move on Hannah's boyfriend also. Richard decides that Pam is better for him, and throws Hannah out on the street to fend for herself. Rob at one point threatens to kill Richard if he touches Hannah ever again. Pam eventually betrays and murders him, once he's lived out his usefulness.
- Pam Alino: A conniving and wicked woman who delights in making Hannah's life miserable. First, she steals Hannah's job at the vet clinic. Then, she seduces Richard. When Richard finds her more sexually compatible, he throws Hannah out on the streets. Even where Richard would be inclined to apologize for his having caused grief, Pam shows no remorse and insists that Richard make no apologies. She is a modern-day Jezebel if ever there were one. She eventually ends up poisoning Richard in his sleep, when he can no longer suit her needs. She then tries to move on to another man, after fooling the police about Richard's death. However, that other man proves to smart and rejects her advances. Right as she's about to blow the second man's head off, she is tossed into the air and slammed into the ground by Extirpon, who then sends coyotes to devour her.
- Betty Harmin: A spy who initially retrieves the Ming-Cho away from the Mik-Non, then sacrifices herself to keep its whereabouts hidden. In the original rendition, she was best friends with Vienna Dockler. However, Vienna was retconned out of existence for Cataclysmic Gerosha.
- Belle Raymond: Charlie's deceased wife. He frequently talks about her and has flashbacks to her.
- Lewis Marrington: Rob and Hannah's father, who turns to alcohol when Cassie begins cheating on him. He eventually drinks himself to death. He became a bearer of the Marrington family legend about Min and Zhoo Lin.
- Cassie Marrington: Lewis' estranged ex-wife, who remarried Vince Lagelle and then had little to do with her children.
- Min Lin: A young Chinese woman who traveled to France on a trade-related mission. She ends up being involved in a mix-up during the French Revolution, and is sent to the guillotine. Min's last word was: "nin-chyo." This became part of Marrington family legend.
- Zhoo Lin: Min's father, who was killed aboard the merchant vessel.
In late April and early May of 2006, the Dozerfleet founder decided to branch off with what could be done with both the Gerosha format and with DSHW. New standards needed to be formalized. Coming up with the styles for Path became an exercise in teaching himself CSS, since that was not taught in school. Inspired by a TV-edited release of Novocaine, the Dozerfleet founder took a bit of Carly and Hannah McCollar's life stories and merged them that of an old friend named Alisha Frees. The mix-and-matched life story was then applied to a fictional Hannah Marrington, whose personality was then peppered with traces of the Susan character played by Helena Bonham Carter in Novocaine.
That movie's color schemes and visuals went on to further inspire the aesthetic sought for Path. Rob was created as a commentary on the Dozerfleet founder's own frustrations at the time with inability to find a job. It seemed to make sense to have the reason for Rob's being laid off be that his position was made obsolete due to "a business politics shuffle." Advances in the Dozerfleet founder's place of work at the time in terms of technology rendered his position nigh-obsolete.
Jake Asawa (originally Inuki) was added to the story for the sake of variety, and also as a way to bridge Imaki Izuki into the mythology to cement a secondary bond between Path and Ciem 2. Charlie Raymond was added largely so that he could add the "redneck flavoring" that was seen in Novocaine character Harlan, as portrayed by Elias Koteas. Ann Kim was added to the story as a tribute to Younhee Kim, an exchange student at Michigan State that the Dozerfleet founder came to know through the WELS Campus Ministry building located there. She was a more-serious tribute, as Mun-Yi was a comical character in Lo-Mun's Cooking Adventure.
As Path was being planned out, the Despair Gerosha version of Ciem was also being made. Production was slowed down on both as the Dozerfleet founder prepared to transfer from Lansing Community College to Ferris State University. Around late September and early October of 2006, the decision was made to cancel production on both Despair Gerosha entries. Discontent with how footage was turning out led to a desire to reboot the entire Gerosha franchise. The need for a wiki as well became also readily apparent.
December of 2006 resulted in the Dozerfleet founder getting a laptop: a used 2004 Dell Inspiron 6000. While not the most powerful, it could handle The Sims 2. January of 2007 saw a reboot of Gerosha in the Classic Gerosha continuity, with Ciem taking two years to complete. By the summer of 2009, production for Ciem 2 was pumped. However, health complications in late 2009 resulted in a delay. When The Human Centipede was released, it forced Ciem to drop its subtitle to avoid public confusion of the two works. Discontent with how centileg physics worked also resulted in an end conclusion that Classic Gerosha itself needed to be rebooted.
In 2010, Comprehensive Gerosha was organized. Ciem was going to be replaced with a book called Ciem: Vigilante Centipede. Path, likewise, was going to be rebooted as a novella rather than a webcomic. Most of its planned continuity from Despair Gerosha remained intact, however, as there was very little about Ciem 2 that was to be changed for Nuclear Crisis. With few changes necessary for that work, almost nothing transferred over that would have had any major impact on Path in either plot or style.
In 2012, as Cataclysmic Gerosha was being envisioned, a lot of timeline revision was needed for the events of Path of the Ming-Cho to still make sense. The timeline was revised to make Rob and Hannah be living in Oklahoma, not Indiana, when the story unfolds. Their destination was to be somewhere in Texas rather than Nevada also, since Nevada at that time in that universe is under Chinese occupation. Likewise, Charlie's house is relocated from Indiana to Oklahoma. However, much of his past with Belle, and details of her time as a cheerleader in Farrenville, remain canon.
The novella's planning stages sought to minimize how many actual serious plot modifications would be made to make it conform to its new timeline. Of all works happening after 2016 in Cataclysmic Gerosha, Path is probably the least altered from its original form. Meanwhile, Pilltar 3 is only possible because of a revised timeline. Other works on the fringe, like Blood Over Water and Sorbet, take advantage of being set between 2008 and 2009 to minimize how much a Gerosha timeline revision will have impact on their roles.
Like the rest of Origins and Fallout, Path of the Ming-Cho as a novella was placed in project shelving mode in 2012 until further notice.
- The Battle for Gerosha
- Ciem 2
- Ciem: Nuclear Crisis
- What is Nin-Chyo?
- Rob Marrington
- Hannah Marrington
- Jake Asawa
- Timeline of events in Cataclysmic Gerosha