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This is where the story itself will go, both my own and likely main part of it as well as any stories others may wish to make in the same universe. The other thread is for discussion, questions, etc.
Here's a (hopefully) finalized timeline and an in-universe historical entry to serve as a teaser for the prologue/first chapter coming within the next several days.
Edit: Corrected the origin date and emperor name for twelve clans' origin. Omamori Himari Volume 0 states clans originated in Heian Period.
While some remain hidden amongst humanity, sapient magical creatures, whether
aggressive or passive towards one another or humanity, begin to form enclaves
separate from both one another and from humans. Over time, methods of magically
hiding these enclaves will be discovered and utilized as humanity begins its
assertion of dominance over the Earth.

~1000 (Shades of Hogwarts): The group that will eventually evolve into the Royal Magic
Society is established. A defensible facility – a castle – is constructed in
northern Scotland to house the group. The castle will eventually become the
Royal Academy for Magic following the Union of the Crowns.

1145 (The Twelve Clans): As a result of the incident involving the kyuubi no kitsune
Tamamo-no-Mae, Konoe, 76th Emperor of Japan, gathers the first of
what will eventually be the Twelve Onikiriyaku Clans, declaring these twelve
families to be “honored guardians of the Our Realm, charged by Us with the
punishment and destruction of those of non-human descent who violate the laws
of Our Realm, possessing the unique abilities necessary for the fulfillment of
their appointed tasks,” and grants them a status of nobility.

1145-Onwards (Pride before Fall): Despite it not being the intent, a hierarchal
structure slowly but surely develops among the Twelve Onikiriyaku Clans. While
some, whether individually or the entire clan, do not become involved, the
majority of the twelve clans see themselves as superior to even other noble
clans due to being personally chosen by the Emperor. They further see
themselves as superior to other members within the twelve based upon the order
in which they were added to the twelve clans, with the Tsuchimikado being
ranked first, and the last to be added to the clans, the Jinguji, being last at
twelfth. This attitude continues through the Tokugawa and Meiji eras and even
survives the end of WWII despite half of the clans themselves not surviving.
Most disturbing, however, are the gradual humanocentric views developed by the
majority of the clans, eventually coming to see their charge of policing
non-human magicals as a mandate of ‘extermination.’

~1300 to 1600:
In many cases around the world – but especially in western civilizations
–humans capable of magic take a page from magical creatures and begin to hide,
not themselves, but their activities from the non-magical majority. Eastern
civilizations follow suite at a much more sedate pace. To enforce the worldview
of the non-existence of magic, families and groups begin to utilize memory
repression, alteration, and outright erasure spells to cover-up magic-related
incidents, including those involving magical creatures. Despite this, even up
to the late 20th/early 21st century many non-mages around
the world know of the existence of magic, but remain hush about the subject to
those they do not know are ‘in the loop.’

Mid 1600s (Deals Most Foul): Thanks to a well-worded clause in a divine-infernal agreement, the
first of several damned souls are granted the mantle of Shinigami by Samael.
Capable of operating only in the Home Island of Japan, these empowered spirits
have the authority to grant small-scale wishes to those on their deathbeds –
for an always heavy price. The most common is a wish for the prosperity of
one’s family, the price is the wisher’s soul and the premature claiming of the
life (but not soul) of each progressive generation at a set age, and the ways
provided out of the deals for the latter generations always only seem easy
enough. The breaking of this type of deal often results in bad fortune falling
upon whoever succeeds in breaking the pact.

Late 1800s:
The events of Gunsmoke and Wild Wild West occur.

1930s (Dark Tidings Begin): A group of magic-users in the Nazi Party known as the Knights of
Faust essentially become the “Magic Division” of the party. They are charged
with the consolidation and utilization of magic in the preservation and
expansion of the Third Reich. Their public face will become known as the Thule

Early 1945 (A Vanishing Act): Records both official and unofficial regarding the Knights of
Faust and the Thule Society begin to disappear from circulation. Actual members
follow suit.

8 May 1945 (The Reich Falls): Nazi Germany surrenders to the Allies.

16 July 1945 (Destroyer of Worlds): The Manhattan Project achieves its desired
result in the form of the Trinity Test at White Sands Proving Ground in New
Mexico, ushering in the Atomic Age with the detonation of the first
implosion-type plutonium bomb.

6& 9 August 1945 (Children of Trinity): The only atomic weapons used in warfare are
dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively.

15 August 1945 (The Empire Falls): Imperial Japan surrenders to the Allies.

24 October 1945 (New World Order): The United Nations officially comes into
existence with the ratification of its Charter.

Late 1940s (Heirs of Evil): Military and police behind the Iron Curtain ‘in the know’
regarding magic begin to respond to crimes of various severity throughout the
Eastern Bloc. These cases are connected by the calling card of various forms of
graffiti indicating “Faust Lives!” In cases of attacks and vandalism, targets
are always related to either the Communist Party or those of Jewish descent.

21 August 1951 (Tides of Woe): A disbelieved KGB study indicates the belief that the “Faust
Attacks” are a remnant Nazi group utilizing anti-Party sentiment to recruit and
expand its numbers. This report is not widely circulated and the author later
vanishes without a trace.

31 October 1954 (Ten Years Post-War): The State of Japan creates the Public Peace
Agency, supposedly under the control of the National Public Safety Commission,
and supposedly meant to promote cooperation and understanding between the
public and the police. In reality, it is the cover name for an agency directly
under the Office of the Prime Minister’s control which is meant to handle all
manner of supernatural issues. It has several branches, among them the Defense
Branch for Public Peace (?????4??), which handles such things as the cover-up of
supernatural incidents and acting as intermediaries between the government and
the remnants of the Twelve Onikiriyaku Clans.

17 September 1976 (The Space Shuttle): The prototype for the first reusable space
vehicle, Enterprise, is rolled out of its assembly facility in Southern

1984 (The Next Step): In his State of the Union address, United States President Ronald
Reagan announces the construction of a permanent American space station.

28 January 1986 (The Challenger Disaster): Space Shuttle OV-099 is destroyed; all seven
crew members are killed. An in-depth examination and servicing of the shuttle
fleet delays the construction of the American space station.

13 March 1988 (Connections Most Curious): On Friday, authorities in eastern Ukraine
investigate a large explosion at an industrial warehouse. Seven bodies of local
missing persons are identified, killed via beheading, in a circle composed of
pure sea salt and ground silver shavings. The perpetrators are never
identified. Never connected to the incident, no Faust Attacks occur after this

24 April 1990 (A Far-Seeing Eye): The Hubble Space Telescope is deployed.

10 July 1994 (Ten Years Later): Despite being plagued with financial problems, naysayers, and
continuous redesigns, Freedom Space Station is completed by the United States
of America.

8 August 1995 (The USSR Dissolves): Despite holding out for longer than in other
timelines, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics formally declares its
dissolution in a press conference the world had been predicting for over two
years. The newly organized Russian Federation will absorb the USSR’s nuclear
arsenal, its UN Security Council seat, and its space program.

5 May 1997 (The Luxembourg Conference): Nations of western Europe meet in Luxembourg to
discuss the future of pan-European cooperation in the wake of the collapse of
the USSR.

January to March 1998: Rumors begin to circulate about a “permanent coalition of
governments” being formed in Luxembourg in response to the cross-national
attitudes that began to emerge in the early 90s.

5 May 1998 (The Luxembourg Declaration): One year to the day since the start of the
talks, conference participants confirm the rumors which had been circulating
the past four months. As of the first day of the new millennium, a presidential
republic in the form of the European Federation (EF) will exist, with its
capital in Paris.

8 July 1999 (The Second Peace): The Russian Federation completes its Mir-2 Space Station. Rather
than deorbit her predecessor, she is connected to her successor via the
Generation Module.

1 January 2000 (The Unification Treaty): The nations of France, Germany, Norway, Sweden,
Switzerland, Greece, Italy, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands,
Luxembourg, Andorra, and Liechtenstein sign the Traité d’Unification at the
Palace of Versailles. Over the course of the next year, a unified currency
known as the Euro will come to be, as will the European Council, European
Parliament, the Office of the President of Europe, and a combined military
known as the EF Army, Navy, Air Force, and a special forces/marine hybrid unit
known as the Enforcer Corps.

28 January 2000 (The Next Generation): From seemingly nowhere, NASA declares that the
present fleet of ‘Enterprise-class’ space shuttles will be retired at the end
of the year. A new generation of shuttle will replace them at the same time.
Unlike the previous generation, legislation is passed to have the new shuttles
bear the United States Ship designator.

30 November 2000 (With Honored Memory…): The first of the new generation shuttles, Orbital
/ Space Vehicle USS Challenger (OSV-01), is delivered to NASA at Cape
Canaveral. USS Voyager (OSV-02), USS Pioneer (OSV-03), USS Adventure
(OSV-04), USS Frontier (OSV-05), USS Journey (OSV-06), and USS Resolute
(OSV-07) will follow over the course of the next five years.

11 September 2001: Undercover federal air marshals force a landing of not one, two,
or even three, but four hijacked aircraft. Two crash into New York’s East River
with an 83% loss of life. A Congressional movement to halt the funding of the
air marshal program is quietly withdrawn from the table.

17 May 2002 (The E.F. Expands): The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Finland
sign the Traité d’Unification.

14 June 2002 (Countdown to Moonwalk): The European Federation Space Agency (EFSA) and
China National Space Administration (CNSA) announce an agreement to begin a
joint space station development program, with the goal of eventually
establishing a permanent, international moon base. The cooperative phases of
the program are labeled Project Starbound, Project Starpost, and Project
Starhome. Other nations are invited to participate in the final, lunar phase of
the project.

18 October 2002 (E.F. Expansion Continues): Iceland signs the Traité d’Unification.

7 February 2003 (Project Starbound Commences): The People’s Republic of China purchases the Buran
and the data from its construction from the Russian Federation. They will use
the old would-be space shuttle as a basis for the development of a reusable
space craft, the goal of Project Starbound.

15 April 2004 (Project Starpost Commences): With most of the earlier Soviet/Russian and
American space technology open source after so long, it proves a relatively
simple matter for the joint EFSA/CNSA team to perform the preliminary design
work of the first space station modules, the first part of Project Starpost.

20 July 2007 (Project Starbound Concludes): With the delivery of the first two of the De
Ruyter-Class/Dalian-Class Cislunar Vehicles (EFSA De Ruyter and CNSA Dalian),
Project Starbound is declared a success.

28 February 2008 (Progression of Science): Industrial engineering students at the
University of Moscow develop a radiation resistant alloy of titanium, steel,
zinc, and aluminum while experimenting with excess raw materials. Dubbed murmanskium
after the students’ mutual home town, the exact levels of each metal in the
alloy must be so precise to achieve the desired effect that production of the
metal proves prohibitively expensive for most of its possible uses until the
manufacturing process can be streamlined.

28& 31 July 2011 (Project Starpost Concludes): After delaying production of the station modules
to allow the inclusion of murmanskium in the construction, the Project Starpost
space stations are finished – Reliance Space Station and Penglai Space Station
are respectively declared operational.

10 January 2012 (Needs the Must): A slight economic depression causes the
indefinite halting of Project Starhome, the final and international phase of
the joint EFSA/CNSA space program. Members of the shelved project are assigned
elsewhere and part on good terms, both sides deservingly pleased with the
fruits of their labors.

4 January 2015 (Service Life Extension): The federal government agrees to fund the
construction of a murmanskium ‘shell’ to enclose the Mir-1 portion of the Mir
Space Station. As the price of murmanskium drops further, the construction of a
shell for Mir-1 is expanded to include a shell for Mir-2, as well.

10 August 2016 (Mir’s New Clothes): Sheathing of Mir in her new rad-resistant armor
is completed.

2 December 2016 (Copy-Cat Yankees): With the success of murmanskium shell on Mir,
NASA successfully pesters Congress enough to pay for a similar treatment for
their own space station.

3 July 2018 (Garb of Freedom): Freedom Space Station’s rad-resistant shell successfully applied.

20 September 2020 (Newer World Order): In the first amendment to the U.N. Charter
through the Article 109 process, the United Nations dissolves the General
Assembly. It is replaced by the U.N. Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA).

11 May 2022 (The SSD Plan): In a speech before the UNPA, members of the planets four leading
space programs – CNSA, EFSA, NASA, and RFSA – present the Space Settlement
Development Plan. Citing the reasons of overpopulation of the Earth (presently
at 8.1 billion), a directive to establish a permanent lunar presence, with the
stated staged goals of: Stage I (Site Surveying), Stage II (Initial
Construction), Stage III (Self-Sustainability), Stage IV (Importation of
Foodstuffs back to Earth), and Stage V (Use of Lunar Facilities as Staging
Ground for Future Exploration of the Solar System), with the last two stages
being interchangeable.

1 January 2025 (The Modern Clans): By this point in time, the Twelve Onikiriyaku
Clans have been reduced to seven: Tsuchimikado (1st Rank; Onmyouji),
Kagamimori (3rd Rank; Shinto Magic), Amakawa (6th Rank;
Empowerment of Objects into Weapons, aka ‘Light Ferry,’ and a Partnership with
a Gotokuneko; survived by one heir), Kawahira (7th Rank; Some
Shamanistic Magic and Pacts Formed With Inugami Partners), Jibashiri (8th
Rank; Super-Strength [Derived from Channeling the Planet’s Chi]; survived only
by the Mikari branch family, whose powers are inactive), Yakouin (11th Rank;
Rapid Data Gathering and Interpretation [Near-Precognition; Kills Brain Cells;
Use Drugs to Control Pain and Varied Psychosis]), and Jinguji (12th
Rank; ‘Dark’ Magic; looked down upon by most of the other clans).


“Contrary to what the Hollywoods would have you believe, at the
time of the Counter-Earth Crossover the magical societies of Earth-Tellus were
not as a whole possessed of the self-superior racial bigotry, archaic
backwardness, or non-magical ignorance of the kind presented in the Harry
series. Unfortunately, that was only true in the majority of cases.
Exceptions always exist. At the time in question, there were several.

Please note that these examples do not include such groups as the
resurgent Knights of Faust. They and their contemporaries are considered
terrorist and criminal organizations rather than actual societies. Please see
Chapter 5: “The Post-Crossover Magical Underworld” for more on their ilk.

All magical societies, be they human or otherwise, had a sort of
willing ignorance in varying degree to certain aspects and knowledge of
non-magical life. This was an unavoidable result of their self-imposed

In terms of being archaic, the societies of the near and middle
east reigned. Rare was the magical enclave here that had even so much as
electricity or a telephone. This otherwise unheard of degree of isolation was
the result, of course, of the now well-known Djinn Incursion of 1620. The
result of a botched summoning ritual, while the djinn were eventually all
banished the anger arisen from their actions was directed at spellcasters as a
whole and led to a pogrom of attempted mass genocide of all mages, leading to
their self-imposed withdrawal from society at large. Tragically, the religious
leader who rallied the pogrom was later revealed to be the last of the rogue
djinn, whose plan for revenge could be said to have been a success, if not in
the way it intended. For further information, please see Chapter 2: “The
Islamic World and Magic.”

In terms of bigotry, Japan held the day. This was due to two
primary factors. The first was the nearly millennium old organization
known as the Twelve Onikiriyaku Clans. While opinion among the various
individuals in the families varied and some didn’t follow the line of thinking
in the slightest, the majority of the surviving clans at the time of the
Crossover had long since begun to see themselves as supernatural exterminators
rather than as the hereditary, magical police force they had been chartered to
be. The situation with the clans was only made more sour by the attitude of
superiority many had developed about themselves in regards to both other mages
and metahumans. Many clan members opinions in comparing themselves and
non-magicals actually bordered on the way an ancient samurai might have viewed
burakumin (and led to the infamous incident in which some Fen Wizards performed
a mass air drop of Death Eater cloaks and masks onto the Tsuchimikado clan

In the second case, the factor was that not quite half but nearly
so of those in supernaturally-aware government service were of a Japanocentric
and thereby humanocentric mentality. This was the legacy of the Public Peace
Agency’s earliest leadership having been imperial era holdovers, rumored to
have even been minor members of the infamous Black Dragon Society. These
leaders naturally adopted a recruitment practice aimed at those of like mind to
themselves and hiring based upon this model was unofficially continued through
to the first part of the 21st Century. This is not to say that those
hired in this manner were of a morally dodgy nature, but it certainly
contributed to the problem

For more on the Japanese side of things, including certain
well-known events following first contact between the Earths, see Chapter 7:
“The Free Mars Coalition and the Japanese Magical Communities”…

Frederick Aino, “Introduction,” A History of the First Hundred Years of
Post-Crossover Magic
, Acme University Press, 2191.
Insular spectral exterminators, huh? Just wait until some Fen shows up with a Gundam and proceeds to taunt them with insults before escaping back into space, daring them to come up there and do something about it.
My contribution will have to wait until Tuesday at the earliest... (I'm doing two jobs at work this week, and the festival circuit in the Ottawa area kicks off this weekend with Kemptville's Dandelion Festival.) But you already know roughly what I want to do...
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
Take Two... and ACTION!
Alex Xanatos found himself drinking a rather pleasant cup of Chamomile tea on a rooftop café in Paris. It was about midday, he surmised.
Thing is, there were a couple of problems with that.
The first was that, mere moments before, he had being curling up for sleep in his bed. His bed on Mars. He most certainly hadn’t been wearing his best suit, either.
The second was that this was not the Paris he was familiar with. He may have never visited the City of Lights before, but even he knew that the sights and skyline – or lake thereof – that he could make out from his vantage point were completely wrong. Anachronistic, to be precise. Everything he could see looked like a movie set made up for the turn of the 19th Century.
I must be dreaming,
he thought. Strange. I’ve never had a dream where I was aware of what it was before. He glanced at the tea he’d just sipped. Rather detailed, too. I can taste the tea, smell the horse manure and burning coal, even feel the slightly nippy breeze and uncomfortable seat.
“Would you like some more, sir?” the waiter – wasn’t there a proper term for waiter at a café? – asked him.
I smiled. “Yes, thank you.”

He added a third problem to the list: he was hearing, understanding, and now even speaking French.
He knew English. He knew Japanese, damn those kanji. He did NOT know French.
As the waiter walked off, Alex sighed… and then nearly screamed as he noticed a man sitting opposite him that had definitely not been there a moment ago.
“Sorry about that, and all of this,” the man smiled sheepishly. He reached out his hand. “Permit to introduce myself. I’m Death.”

The Drunkard’s Walk Forums present
A Fenspace Alternates production
In association with some people withtoo much time on their hands
Strange New Worlds
Episode 1: “Don’t Fear the Reaper” 

Alex blinked as he stared at the man he was shaking hands with. He had rather Mediterranean features and dressed in an almost stereotypical Greek toga, the image on the bronze clasp just below his left shoulder confused him until he realized it was a lit torch, albeit upside-down.
“Well,” I started casually. “If this isn’t just a dream, you certainly have a rather pleasant way of informing someone they’ve passed on.” I gestured at the environ with the hand holding my cup of Chamomile.
His sheepish smile became a slight grimace. “Yes, about that – we don’t have nearly as much time as I’d like. I’m afraid I’m going to have to give you the shock and awe treatment rather than ease you into this not being a dream.”
I chuckled before I responded to this admittedly entertaining figment of my subconscious. “I’m having a cup of tea in late 19th Century Paris while chatting with Death? It’s going to take quite a bit to convince me this-”
There was up and down and right and left and backwards and forwards and #%$^ and &#&$-
I was gazing at the first Martian sunrise I had ever seen over the Vallis Marineris – I was delivering what had to be the umpteenth Publisher’s Clearinghouse letter that day – I was whining for Mommy because I was hungry – I was reading online about some sort of miracle substance while examining a coffee can full of an identifiable goop that had been labeled to an address that no longer existed and had no return address – I was receiving my BS in Religion from the dean as my parents looked on – I was saying goodbye to all my friends at Pre-K before summer break started – I was saying my vows to the supposedly plain, but oh so beautiful woman who had agreed to become my wife –
There was a smelly shade of blue – a hot shade of brown – a black so bright it was blinding – a green so wet it slid around me –
I was on a rooftop café in late 19th Century Paris as a man in a Greek toga gazed apologetically at me as I held a cup of tea in a suddenly unsteady hand.
“What,” I choked out. “What was… what was…”
“That was what happens when a mind used to interpreting things in four-dimensions suddenly tries to interpret input from several more,” the man explained calmly. He then adopted a wry smirk. “Still think you’re dreaming?”
I shook my head.
“Good. Now finish your tea and try to calm down before talking again,” he politely but firmly suggested.
I did as suggested. While I did so, he ordered a cup of tea for himself, asking the waiter to ‘surprise him’ with what type of tea he was brought.
Several minutes after he was brought his order – I never did find out what he got, not that it mattered – I felt composed enough to talk again.
“So,” I began, addressing the being I now had very little doubt was who he’d said he was. “I guess this is where I’m taken to my judgment?” I hope I see Airi again…
The reply was as simple as I’d expected, but that was about all I had gotten right.
“Nope,” he said simply.
“…Huh?” I responded eloquently.
He smiled. “You’re not dead. You’re also not dying – well, unless you’re one of those defeatist sorts who say they’ve been dying since the moment they were born, but you don’t strike me as the emo type. No, what you’re here for is for the two of us to have a chat… and for me to request you to help me with something that will also help you.”
I tried to digest that. “What could you – being Death – possibly want MY help with?” I then winced. “Is it the name I chose when I moved to Fenspace? I swear, I was just coming off from watching too many old cartoons on bootleg DVDs. I didn’t even know about the whole Xanatos and Thanatos thing until I Googled it one day!”
Death laughed. Which, despite the image those two words together conjure, was not as creepy as you’d think. “No, no. Nothing like that. Speaking of the whole Death and Thanatos thing, though…” He looked down at himself and shrugged. “Just being called by my position is a little annoying to me. And seeing as you don’t worship the Olympians, this form is actually rather inappropriate, isn’t it? Perhaps this form would make you more comfortable?”
And he changed.
There was no flash, no ripple, no hazing – it was like watching something on TV changing from one camera perspective to the next. One second I was sitting across from a man of Mediterranean descent with long blonde hair and sea green eyes wearing a toga, the next I was across from another man in a toga, but this one possessing short, curly black hair and with a complexion that would fit just about anywhere in Europe in origin, but with a Roman nose and sharp blue eyes.
Oh, and there were two pure white wings coming out of his back.
I looked around to see how the few others on the roof with us had reacted. They hadn’t.
“They just see and hear two locals having a friendly chat,” he said with same voice as his previous form. Somehow, that freaked me out more than the change itself. “This is actually the form I usually – if that term can be used – take when I interact with those of most Christian persuasions  Please, call me Azrael. This is going to take a few minutes to explain, though, so bear with me.”
He then sighed. “I’d like to give you a bit more of an explanation, but as I said before – we just don’t have the time. I’ll try to summarize. A short time ago, a number of fragments of destroyed and altered universes were about to collide and merge with you universe. If they did, they would have altered your timeline severely.”
I stiffened and sat up a little straighter. “What happened?”
He chuckled and shook his hid. “No mortal language exists that would allow me to explain the hows of twelve-dimensional actions to a four-dimensional being. However, I can explain the results. First of all, my divine fellows and I were able to keep out both the largest of the reality shards as well as the ones which would alter the paradigm of your universe too much. Once this was done, we prevented the shards that did make it through from merging with the Earth’s timeline. At that point, though, we had actually do something with those shards as they could no longer be tossed back out of the universe. So, we decided to use the majority of them to form another Earth.”
I stared. “I beg your pardon?”
“Ever hear of that debunked theory of another planet on the opposite side of the Sun from the Earth and sharing its orbit? They called that planet Counter-Earth. Again, the concept was disproved. Well, that is no longer the case. Now there actually is such a planet. Another Earth, one which has its own history – mostly similar to your own – and, as far as everyone on it are concerned, they have always existed, and have always been the sole Earth of their solar system. Of course, as far as the rest of your universe is concerned, they haven’t.”
Azrael shook his head and took another sip. “Oh, I do not envy the world leaders on either Earth for the first short while after the new one appears – the questions about religious authority alone…” He groaned.
“Okay,” I said. I probably hadn’t finished absorbing all that I’d heard, but I’d gotten enough to have a question. “I’m probably still in shock since I haven’t got anything to say right now about this whole Counter-Earth thing. Still, I have a question. If you and… the others like you have fixed the problem – and I don’t see any way I could helped out with that myself, of course… just why do you want to talk with me about it?”
Azrael took another sip of tea. “Did you notice how I kept referring to myself and my compatriots as divine?”
“What’s the opposite of ‘divine’?” he asked me.
“It’s in…” my eyes widened as I trailed off while considering the answer.
“’Infernal,’ right? That’s correct. While so many of we divines were all working on making Counter-Earth – and your Earth and theirs are really going to have to come up with better names to call one another – the Other Side was busy. Specifically, my own infernal counterpart: Samael.”
A humorless smile. “If you want to try to imagine him, one of his overself’s other avatars was responsible for a little thing called Blackest Night a couple universal clusters over.”
I blanched.
“Exactly. Samael, in his various reflections, is responsible for all of the decidedly less pleasant forms of death-related magic throughout Creation. Inventing them made him a celebrity in the Pit, and one of our own side’s most wanted with his head on a platter. Fortunately, he’s nowhere near able to exercise his power in a universe like yours the way he did in that one.”
I think my heart started beating again at that point.
“Which doesn’t mean that what he was able to do was wasn’t bad enough on its own. While I and everyone else were already distracted by the reality shards situation, many of our counterparts started making blessedly minor trouble elsewhere throughout this skein of universes. Trying to correct all of the problems they were causing naturally increased our workload; made us distracted from what they were really after.”
Azrael finished off his cup and set it down it the saucer.
“As I said, all of what the other infernals were doing to distract us was minor in scale. That should have tipped us off, but it didn’t. The reason it was all small potatoes stuff was that while his fellows were playing Who Can Cause the Most Chaos, Samael was pooling all of the energies, favors from other higher dimensionals, and what-have-you to perform a freaking Grand Boon Grant,” he spat out.
“A what grant?”
“A boon is a gift or favor granted by a celestial power to a lower dimensional being – say, a human – and can be either a physical object, a blessing, or something else of that nature. These alone are rare. A Grand Boon Grant, though, is something that hasn’t been done in ages from MY relativistic perspective. It involves granting multiple boons, always a set number, to a single individual. These boons can be minor or major in their scale, but each always has specific limitations on what each boon is capable of granting. That’s not the kicker, though. Each of these boons, unlike what happens in normal circumstances, Is Picked Out By The One Being Granted The Boons Rather Than The Granter.”
I couldn’t help but whistle low at the thought. Imagine being granted five opportunities, regardless of their limitations, like that? Wait! What did this have to do with -
“Either side,” Azrael continued, “of the divine/infernal divide can start a Grand Boon Grant. In response, the granter’s counterpart on the other side must also select an individual to do the same. The starting side selects the number, type, and limitations of each boon. The responding side must use that same criteria in their boons to be granted. Samael chose his grantee… and I have chosen mine.”
I raised a shaking finger to point hesitantly at myself.
The Angel of Death nodded.
“Why-,“ I croaked hoarsely. I cleared my throat. “Why ME?!”
“Because the goal of the divine in any infernally-started granting of a boon is to try to mitigate said boon’s effects as much as possible,” he said seriously. “On top of being a generally good man, you are familiar with the other grantee and can hopefully anticipate his desires enough when you name your boons to counteract his own.”
“Who would you, personally, least like to see be the other grantee?” he said carefully.
“Hitler?” I tried.
Azrael rolled his eyes. “I said you’ve met the other guy.”
I had to sit back and think on that for a minute or two. I didn’t exactly try to mingle or make acquaintance with the kind of people the folks that run Hell would like to see get their wishes granted. Hell, I became even more careful after the whole thing… with…
“Not. Struve.” I managed through grit teeth.
“Yes, Struve,” Azrael responded. He then continued, not unkindly, “I’ve rented out the top floor suite of the hotel to your right for the next month, not that it will be needed that long. I want you to take the rest of the day to think of the boons you want granted. Keep in mind that we need to try to anticipate and counter Mr. Struve’s own boons. I wrote out the boons and their limitations on a set of papers I left on the desk in there. Just write out what you want the boons to be. I’ll be back at around ten tomorrow morning to grant them.”
I could only stare at him. “You’re just going to leave me here?”
“I’ve already paid for the tea,” he waved it off. “That, and I figure you’ll want some time to get your thoughts together about all of this and consider your options for the boons without me or some other celestial breathing down your neck. Like I said – ten tomorrow morning!”
And he was gone. Vanished.
Seeing as I couldn’t exactly call for a ride home, I did indeed go to the hotel next door to consider my options.
I’d like to say that I spent the remainder of the day – and the night, and the early morning – considering just what to write in the almost hilariously bland boon-granting documents Azrael had left behind for me. I’d like to say that.
What I really did was spend half of that time staring blankly at the papers before me, having a silent panic attack aside from the occasional whimpering sound I’m pretty sure I made.
And if anyone ever tells me they wouldn’t react in a similar manner in this situation – assuming that I ever tell anyone about what happened – I will personally display the reason why postal workers in the U.S. are given such nervous looks whenever they purchase firearms.
Still, in the end I did manage to fill out that form. I also managed to overfill the trash bin next to the roll top desk with scratch paper from trying to cook up just what to write down.
It was probably a good thing that I didn’t think to call room service for some dinner. I probably wouldn’t have been able to keep it down.
And don’t even ask whether all the stress gave me a headache. Just… don’t.
As the clock on the mantelpiece in the luxurious sweet I hadn’t even bothered to explore ticked itself the last few notches towards 10am, I looked over the results of the previous hectic hours before me one last time.
Boon #1: Reality itself shall be altered in a manner of your choosing (Any choice which goes beyond the scope of this boon’s power will vanish from the paper):
In case anyone wonders, yes, I did throw up at the mere thought of what Harry would put down for this. Even with the so-called limitations placed on it, I couldn’t help but wonder just what the Hell the folks in… well, in Hell were thinking when they offered such a carte blanc boon.
Needles to say, I made a point to be very thorough in my response to this boon. Keeping in mind that I had to try to at least mitigate if not outright cancel out Struve’s own boon, I tried my best to think of the worst possible outcomes he could have asked for and how best to counter them.
After I’d finished throwing up again, I filled up about half of that rubbish bin I mentioned earlier before I had come to the unfortunate conclusion that, since I could not guess exactly what Struve would ask for, I had to focus my efforts on countering the worst possible outcomes of any possible boon he could ask for.
I finally wrote down what had to be the most carefully worded statement I had ever made. All of what had been up to then merely idle talks with Giles, Jenny, and my lawyer going into it.
#1: None of the boons granted to one Harry Struve, except in a decision made after the granting by the free will of a sapient individual, shall cause, either directly or indirectly, the cessation or alteration of existence of any sapient individual m existence prior or concurrent to the granting of said boons, whether that be in a physical, mental, or spiritual manner, with physical alteration including a sapient individual’s body, home, property, or finances, and with mental alteration including a sapient individual’s personality and the existence and recollection of memories.
After that came…
Boon #2: You may make a physical or mental alteration to yourself (Any choice which goes beyond the scope of this boon’s power will vanish from the paper):
I actually didn’t have anything much to say for that one. I was rather happy with my mental and physical state, thank you very much.
#2: I would like any current or future health problems I have to be gone.
Yes, I did later regret the wording I used. Sue me.
The next boon I had to rewrite after I realized from reading the boon after it that magic was going to somehow be involved with Struve’s boons.
Boon #3: One metric ton of a substance of your choice in a condition and location of your choice (Any choice which goes beyond the scope of this boon’s power will vanish from the paper):
I actually consider the answer I gave to this one to be rather clever.
#3: Element 676, also known as Nth Metal, specifically the Bruce Timm DC Animated Universe version, in 2oz ingots in a NERV Headquarters secure store room.”[/i
]The last boon actually counted as two boons, and involved a list of books that had been left behind with the “Wish List,” as I called it.
[i]Boons #4 and #5: Choose two non-living sources of magical knowledge from the list of pre-approved selections provided:

Oh, you have no idea how hard this choice was. It was the hardest right after the very first boon. The list of pre-approved books provided said books’ name, author (many listed ‘Multiple,’ annoyingly enough), and a short description. It took all my will power not to select things like The Complete Collection of the Standard Books of Spells: Grades 1-7, or books written by the likes of Myrdin Emrys, Stephan Strange, Gandalf the Grey, or Elminster of Shadowdale.
As the case with the first and third boons, I decided to again focus on a defensive strategy, seeing as I didn’t know what Struve would choose.
#4: Mind Magic Counters for Dummies by Augustine Millbrook (Winner of the Coveted Arcanist-General’s Award for Magical Self-Protection Instruction: The New Amsterdam Times Best Seller Three Years Running)
#5: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wards and Their Creation and Maintenance by The National Warding Society of the Reborn Roman Republic.
*knock knock*
I glance at the clock. 10:03.
I guess even the divine can be tardy…
Somehow, this made me feel a little better.
When I answered the door, it was indeed Azrael. Wings and all.
He glanced at the paper in my hand. “You ready?”
“Not really, but it’s finished,” I responded as we walked out to the street in front of the hotel.
“Sorry I’m late,” the angel apologized as we exited the building and I handed him the Wish List. “I had to prepare several things for what’s about to happen.”
I frowned as I jumped out of the way of someone rushing past us. There seemed to be some sort of commotion going on. I couldn’t see the source of the panic, though. “How could you prepare if you didn’t know what I’d choose?”
He looked at me confused for a second, then his eyes widened in realization.
“Oh, I wasn’t preparing for that! I was preparing for that!” he said the last part as he pointed upwards.
I followed his gesture and found myself looking at… a distant, angry red sphere that appeared to be getting larger.
“What the Hell is that?” I demanded.
“That would be the asteroid that’s about to make this Earth do a repeat of the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction Event,” Azrael answered calmly. “Almost all of humanity in this universe will cease to exist over the course of the next century.
”I could only sputter slightly as I tried to think of something to say. He noticed my horrified expression.
“In the infinite vastness of the multiverse, this kind of thing just happens sometimes,” Azrael continued sadly, still looking at the approaching dino-killer. “Nothing I can do about it without directly preventing it. If I were to do that, the Other Side would be able to cause a similar disaster elsewhere. Still, this world won’t be forgotten by mankind. In, oh, a hundred and three years I think it is a group of world jumpers have a high probability of stumbling across it. Label it Lucifer-1, or some such thing.”
He looked away from the fireball and at me and smiled. “Time for you to go back home, though.” He then perked up. “Oh, right. I’ve got something for you.”
He tossed a small box at me. I caught it reflexively. When I opened it, there was a generic-brand flash drive inside.
“What’s this?”
“If for whatever reason you ever have to explain what happened here to anyone without you being locked in the padded party room,” he responded, “that there contains an MKV file of our conversation yesterday.” He grinned mischievously. “When whoever watches reaches the part where I blew your mind with my This Isn’t A Dream trick, the same thing’ll happen to them.”
I gulped slightly in remembrance of the event in quest.
“And now… you go home.”
I shot out of bed so fast I almost got whiplash. Panting, I reached over to the clock on my nightstand and pulled it to me.
11:37pm. May 31, 2025.
Just an hour and a half since I went to bed after the Seele Council meeting.
“Heh…Heh, heh, heh… Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…It was just a dream! Just a weird-ass dre-“*clonk!*
Something hit my head from above.
“Ack! What the hell… was…”
On the floor at my feet was the flash drive box Azrael had given me.
“…Oh, boy.”
Unnoticed for now, two books abruptly popped into existence and plopped onto my bed.
11:59pm GMT – 31 May 2013
At the instant the clock struck midnight, the universe changed.
On the opposite side of the Sun from the Earth, a mirror image of that world was suddenly just there.…
And then the boons kicked in.
Power on the infernal and divine sides of the celestial divide began to enact changes to the universe in question.
When the program, for lack of a better term, on the infernal side began to carry out the execution of the boons, there at first seemed no trouble. It performed the simpler and less power consuming tasks first.
Two magical tomes – So You Want to Be a Combat Wizard… and The Arts of Necromancy for Fun and Profit: A Grimoire for Beginners and Adepts were delivered to the grantee easily enough.
So was the introduction of a moderately-powerful magegift to said person’s genetics.
A metric ton’s worth of handwavium promptly appeared on the newly arrived world, “distributed in a manner similar to how it was on Earth, and in a way that I will find most entertaining in the long term,” as the infernal grantee put it.
And then it hit Boon #1.
When asked for his answer to this boon, Harry Struve had written quite simply, “The environment of Mars shall be altered to create the maximum amount of long-lasting chaos possible in a manner which I shall find entertaining.
”The program rewriting the universe to meet this desired outcome slammed headfirst into what was effectively a firewall program due to the wording Alex Xanatos had used in his first boon. Constraints as to just what the first program could now do to Mars and the people on it in carrying out its function were slapped onto it with a force that shook the space-time continuum.
So constrained, the program considered its options – for it was a very smart program – and came to a conclusion. The easiest route of causing chaos on Mars, altering those already there, was no longer available to it. However, the vast empty portions of the planet were still open game.The question was: what to do to it? Well, obviously empty, lifeless real estate was non-chaotic. Well, what was chaotic? It answered that question as well: life is chaotic. But the creation of life was out of the bounds of its capabilities. So what could it…
If a program-that-wasn’t-a-program could have smiled, this one would have.
A number of reality shards that hadn’t gone into creating Counter-Earth abruptly vanished from the nothing-place they were being held while a decision was being made as to what to do with them.
Celestials, needless to say, took notice.
Uriel made a mad grab for some of the fragments to prevent their use.
…and Mars changed.
Samael stared and palmed his face.
Dantelion chuckled a bit.
Azrael stared and groaned.
Janus burst out laughing.
Uriel sighed in relief that he’d at least been able to prevent any more than 4,400 non-native people from being manifested on the now living world. This was going to be such a headache…
Many others sighed in relief that all of the shards capable of altering the universe’s paradigm had all been tossed back out of that universe.
The Red Planet was no longer red, for the most part. White and green and blue now dominated. The settlements on Mars now had only a meter of the red Martian dust past their boundaries. A certain Trekkie settlement found itself sitting atop a granite spire of an island sticking out of a new ocean.
In Port Lowell, a man stared out a shop window as a herd of sheep at least a hundred strong, bells a clankin’, wandered past. He looked down at the coffee in his hand and walked over to the sink to dump it out. He then turned off the Open sign, locked the door, and walked to his apartment upstairs. Clearly this was a sign to not work such late nights.
Geothermal activity increased to levels not present in geological ages as tectonic plates were rearranged – though, in a manner not conflicting with Alex’s first boon’s wording.
R. Rupert Giles and R. Janna Kalderash-Giles shot up in their bed as the single most powerful wave of magic they’d ever felt washed over them. The same was true of other (unknowingly) magegifted on Mars, though these were confused by why they’d awoken.
The PKG now had almost waterfront property.
Tharsis Mons erupted, albeit slightly.
Numerous atmospheric sensors started having fits.
Several mountain ranges and foothills and valleys sprung into existence where flat plain previously dominated.
Odyssey personnel jumped as a device labeled DQS started spewing sparks and smoke while giving off an almost pathetic whine.
A mountain that hadn’t been there a moment ago was suddenly inundated in a rain of a certain type of breakfast food, leading to its future name of Mount Eggo.
A woman living on the outskirts of Helium and had gone out for a walk found herself standing in a grassy clearing next to her home, a wallaby and an antelope and a unicorn staring at her spacesuited-self and each other with a ‘what the heck is this thing’ look.And, indeed, chaos reigned.


The story is a little bit misnamed... its "Fenspace Alternates", not really "Fenspace Infinities"... ^^

I have no plans to write for this (it's nice to be the spectator for a change), but I'm willing to offer criticism if you're willing to accept it.
Mr. Fnord interdimensional man of mystery

FenWiki - Your One-Stop Shop for Fenspace Information

"I. Drink. Your. NERDRAGE!"
Constructive criticism is always appreciated. And if you ever change your mind, even to write something so short one doesn't even have to scroll down the page to read it all, feel free to join in.
Woof. Right. Here we go, then. This may seem harsh, but that’s because I’m harsh, like the Colorado granite from which I sprang.

There are two major problems I see with this opening. The first is the huge block of exposition that starts everything off. In a nutshell, this is exactly the sort of thing I was worried Rob was going to do in his piece with Skuld. You’re giving us paragraph after paragraph of dense, jargon-heavy text that explains the worldbuilding but doesn’t have anything to do with the plot. We as readers don’t need to know this stuff – in fact most readers probably don’t want to know this, at least not this early in the story.

Here’s the short form on what we-as-readers and them-as-characters need to know:
  • One of my homeboys has decided to empower your arch-enemy as his avatar.
  • I can’t get directly involved because reasons, but I can empower you in similar fashion.
  • If you screw this up, the secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions.

That’s it, really. You can hint that Fenspace is about to get 20% stranger, but a detailed explanation of the hows and whys is unnecessary and slows down the story right at the point when you ought to be hitting the accelerator.

Second, the boons. Specifically the first one. Seeing it in action, it’s such an overpowered thing – it terraforms Mars and populates it with a TORG patchwork for crying out loud – that as a battleground for newly-magical beings it makes Counter-Earth superfluous. Seriously. Xanatos and Struve wizard-dueling across a radically transformed Mars sounds like a hell of a story, not to mention the other bits of hilarity ensuing from how the rest of Fenspace takes this. But if Counter-Earth is there and is the place where the wizard battles are supposed to happen, why transform Mars? I’m not asking why Struve would want something like this – I get that his character is basically an evil(er) channer and ‘for the lulz’ is all the rationale he needs – I’m asking you, DJ, why make the changes to Mars. Something has to give here, but I’m not sure what.

That said, the story has a good deal of potential. Xanatos comes across as a solid character, and the non-exposition bits of his chat with Death are fairly engaging. I’ve think you’ve got something here, but it needs better focus.
Mr. Fnord interdimensional man of mystery

FenWiki - Your One-Stop Shop for Fenspace Information

"I. Drink. Your. NERDRAGE!"
Doesn't seem particularly harsh at all. Just constructive.
Okay, on the world-building exposition. I'll try to either cut it back or adjust the rest to allow its removal entirely over the next couple of days. I'll repost this original version on the planning thread, though, as since I went to the trouble of writing it I'd like it to at least be preserved as unused apocryphal material.
As to Mars, that's kind of something I REAAALY need to stay as is. Considering the dozens of lightyears ISOT in CitD and the CONUS swap in TSiR - especially since in the latter both Infinity and Centrum, and at one point the Nanoha-TSAB, were involved - isn't a patchwork Mars actually kind of tame in comparison? Especially since its composed almost entirely of non-sapient flora and fauna? It's not even like the MTP are out of business entirely, as they not only still need to maintain the Xavier-class magnetosphere satellites, but also see to it that the transplanted patchwork becomes a self-sustaining biosphere (I'll tell you right now that a number of the animal species present do not have stable breeding populations).
Quote:...Xanatos and Struve wizard-dueling across a radically transformed Mars...
*blink blink* I never said Alex is a mage. He's not. He has about as much magical potential as the magic-cancelling Nth Metal he requested.
As for Struve, he's not the type to get his hands dirty unless he has to. The events that revealed him for what he was to the other Seele Council members were the result of carelessness on the Boskonians' part. The magic books he picked out reflect this (I had planned on touching on this in a not-too-latter story post) his own self-protection and the necromancy book is for, as he would put it, 'preventative maintenance' - ie, now that he knows that there is a Very Bad Place theologically-wise, he is now determined to not pay it a prolonged visit.
As for magic battles happening on Counter-Earth, yes, some will. For the most part, however, I intend for Fen/'enemy' encounters to consist of good-old-fashioned, Fen-style slapstick and tomfoolery, interspersed with moments of dramatic import.
...Wow, I used some fancy terms in that last paragraph.
Quote:As to Mars, that's kind of something I REAAALY need to stay as is.


Here's my disconnect: You've used segfaulting god-wishes to turn Ordinary Mars into Pulp-Fantasy Mars. And that's cool. I'm not saying it's a bad idea. But it's an idea that can stand on its own. I don't see why this needs to be here when you've got Counter-Earth right there to act as your main focus. You're doing the idea a disservice by saying 'oh yeah and Mars got fucked up by malfunctioning wishes' and only doing the absolute minimum with it. Conversely if Mars is going to be a big deal you're doing the same disservice to Counter-Earth.

My recommendation would be to either cut the first boon entirely if you're planning on using Counter-Earth to any great degree, or cut Counter-Earth if you're unwilling to remove the boon and its effects. Maybe somebody else can come up with other alternatives, but those are the two strongest I can see from here.
Mr. Fnord interdimensional man of mystery

FenWiki - Your One-Stop Shop for Fenspace Information

"I. Drink. Your. NERDRAGE!"
I have to agree with Mal here...

Putting what he said into different words, what I'm seeing here is a pair of unicorns. (For those tuning in late and/or not addicted to surfing TVTropes, "the unicorn in the garden" is the one fantastic element that kicks off the story. It's named after a short story by James Thurber.) For original Fenspace, the existence of handwavium is the unicorn. You have two unicorns: the coming-into-existence-complete-with-history of Counter-Earth, and the wishes that resulted in (amongst other things) the instant terraforming of Mars. It splits the focus of the story.

If you want to concentrate on one world, I can have fun with the other... but I usually treat all the Alternates as side-projects and concentrate on the main Fenspace, so that fun would appear less often than folks might prefer.
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
After giving it due consideration, I am considering removing the Mars portion entirely. If I have to keep one of them and can't have them both, I think I can do more with Counter-Earth.
If I do decide to, then maybe someday I'll do an alternate of this with Terraformed-Mars rather than Counter-Earth.
Just give me a couple of days to sort some Real World stuff out first. My car insurance just said they were going to double my yearly charge, and now I'm looking for a replacement company. Considering Progressive.
In any case, there's still until midnight Friday to suggest worlds for inclusion with Counter-Earth. I'm considering adding the Rush Hour trilogy under the Not Known TO Those In Fenspace category, as I'd kind of like to use Ambassador Han as a character...
After thinking about it for a week, I have decided to bite the bullet and attempt both the Living-Mars and Counter-Earth concepts at the same time. I am fully aware of the very good points made by Rob and Mal in the previous comments. Still, I honestly believe that I can make it work. If for some reason it turns out eventually that I cannot, I will simply consider it to be a learning experience, as many lessons in life are best learned from trying and occasionally failing.
Expect the next entry in the next couple of days. And, of course, anyone who feels like it feel free and welcome to join in.
Second Part - GO!
Control Room, BBC World Headquarters
London, England, United Kingdom, Earth
5:11am GMT

“Communications still haven’t been fully reestablished between the Earth-based Internet and the space-based Interwave since the mass server crash earlier this morning. Several sources in the United States are now able to confirm, however, that it was a sudden, massive increase of server use from Fenspace that triggered a pre-programmed lockdown in American server farms.”

“Are you saying the Internet stalling is the Fen’s fault?”

“Not in the slightest. In fact, the Interwave went down at about the same time. It seems that a directive issued during the Giuliani Administration had ordered that if at any point Internet usage in Fenspace via American servers exceeded a specified level, a denial-of-service order would be automatically issued by the computers controlling the servers. Now, that directive had since been cancelled, but it seems the automatic denial-of-service trigger was never removed, despite the FCC having ordered it five years ago.”
Okay, since things are now finalized...

Conference Room
Old Ring, Stellvia
02:00 GMT 1 June


Everyone looked up at Noah, who was still standing in the doorway. Yayoi spoke first. "Two hours ago, we picked up two very large DQS events within minutes of each other - one on the far side of Sol from where we are, and the other on Mars."

"Station Commander O'Neill reports that Odyssey is fine," added Takami. "Kohran called from Deimos; they're also unaffected. And we got a Halcyon call from Helium."

Noah blinked. "Natsuko?"

Takami nodded. "Telemetry from Odyssey and the Roadhouse shows most of Mars is now terraformed. Areas surrounding existing settlements are no longer deserts. Helium reports that there is a breathable atmosphere outside their towers."

"Sounds like that episode of Space:1999 ... what was it, again?" asked Noah.

"The Last Sunset - season 1, episode 11."

"Thank you, Prim. Whoever replies to Natsuko, please point out that episode and suggest they not unseal the towers just yet. Anything else, Takami?"

"The report also mentions sightings of something called a banth on the outskirts of the hydroponic farms."

Everyone stopped what they were doing. When Prim looked to explain what a banth was, Noah silenced her with a gesture. "Takami, compile a data package with everything we know about this, and send it to the Convention Authority in Port Luna. I don't want anyone saying we're holding back information."

Yayoi looked at Noah, but said nothing.

After a moment, Takami sighed. "The regular circuits are overloaded, sir, and we don't have a Halcyon node in Port Luna. The closest node is in the Nikaido Foundation's office in the Watchtower."

"That's better than nothing, I guess. Ask Aoi-chan to relay the data, and send one of our node-equipped ships to Port Luna as soon as possible."

Yayoi nodded. "If Helen allows it, we can divert the Thunderbolt to Luna. That would leave Helen stuck on Grover's Corners until we can get another ship to her, though."

"I suspect we could impose on Yomiko for a few hours." Everybody smiled at that; they all knew how close the teacher and student step-sisters were to each other. Noah continued with, "Yayoi, please get that ball rolling. Now, what about the other DQS?"

Miyuri's voice came over the room's Halcyon terminal. "I've looked at the area with some of the telescopes here on Ultima. It's ... another Earth."

After a long moment, Prim said, "The counter-Earth theory was disproven long before we sent probes to observe that area of space. The gravitional forces between planetary bodies would have pulled a planet out of that orbit millennia ago."

"And there wasn't a planet there yesterday," Miyuri confirmed. "But there's one there now. And I can already see it in our optical telescope."

"Wait a minute, Miyuri." Jake shook his head in puzzlement. "You're five light-hours out from Sol. You should still be seeing empty space. Are you saying a planet has always been there, but only for the last couple of hours? That doesn't make any sense. Did some god show up out of nowhere, wave his hand, and change the universe?"

Just then, the DQS sensor went off and the water pitcher on the table in front of Noah began to shake.

"I'll shut up now," Jake added quietly.

A glow formed in the air above the pitcher, then collapsed into the form of a young woman. "Hello, everyone. Mister Scott, I apologize for intruding without announcing myself ahead of time."

Noah offered his hand to the Visitor, helping her off the table. "You are always welcome in my home, milady Skuld. Are you here to tell us what's going on?"

"Sure, as soon as I figure it out." Seeing the expression on Noah's face, Skuld continued, "I don't know everything. Besides, this isn't my universe, and I'm not in charge of your future. I'm here to do some research into just what's going on and whether it's going to affect any nearby universe."


Skuld turned to Jake. "Because somebody in this universe - probably Ben Rhodes, since Noah is just sitting on the spells - is likely to discover how to travel between universes sooner or later, and we have to be ready for whatever changes you people make by spreading handwavium around."

Jake looked at Noah. "You have gate magic? And you're not doing anything with it?"

"Exploring alternate versions of a planet I already know isn't likely to be as interesting as exploring something brand new in this universe. Besides, I like it here. But that's beside the point." He turned back to Skuld. "You're welcome to stay here, if you need a base of operations."

She shook her head. "I need to be closer to the change point."

"Which one?"

"There's more than one? This is worse than we thought ..."
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012


I am a little bit skeptical that the Fenspace Interwave would crash just because it would loose connectivity to the US or even to Earth.
True -- if anything the AIs keeping an eye on it would see to it that the load is handled in such a way as to prevent such a result.
-- Bob
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.


In addition to this the Fenspace Interwave was built at a time where the Fen had nearly no downlink to Earth... and definitely none to the US. ^^
Any suggestions on how to correct this unintentional SNAFU?


DeputyJones Wrote:Any suggestions on how to correct this unintentional SNAFU?
Not sure why you need this communication crash, is there a specific reason for this point in the story?

The whole thing is strange anyways, even if the Fenspace Interwave servers would crash, this should not really matter for the communication routers itself. Even if you overload the network, the problem will go away as soon as the amount of traffic drops. And there are several independent networks in Fenspace.
DeputyJones Wrote:Any suggestions on how to correct this unintentional SNAFU?
Like so:
Quote:After a moment, Takami sighed. "The regular circuits are overloaded, sir,

Fen always spread the word about Big Things, and that (almost) always overloads the public network. You'd think they'd learn better...
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
EVERYTHING can break.

“Never cared much for the word "impregnable." Sounds a bit too much like "unsinkable." – The Fourth Doctor, “Robot,” Doctor Who.
*thumbs up*
I still plan to have someone land and do the "Take me to your lizard" quote.


DeputyJones Wrote:EVERYTHING can break.
Networks routers don't break because of too much traffic. Even servers don't break, they might just crash and need to be rebooted.
'Break' was just convenient, simplistic language. The Interwave did not so much as crash as it did freeze up due to so many people - Fen and Dane - trying to go to the same places at the same time.
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