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Ancient Legos [Worm/Stargate]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by TCGM, Jan 31, 2018.

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  1. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    As far as I'm concerned, Europe, Asia, and Africa are all a single continent. The only thing that separates africa from europe is a manmade canal.

    There are four continents. Australia, Antarctica, Americas, Eurasrica
     
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  2. macdjord

    macdjord Well worn.

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    Geologically speaking, Eurasia and Africa are separate continents, because they lie on separate continental plates.

    There are 6 major continental plates that have significant landmasses: North America, South America, Africa, Eurasia, and Australia. Not coincidentally, these coincide with the traditional 7 continents, less the totally artificial Europe/Asia divide.
    Additionally, there are 3 minor continental plates with significant landmasses: the Caribbean, Arabia, and India. Those, arguably, could be called continents in their own rights. Thus, there are either 6 or 9 continents, not 4 or 7.
     
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  3. evildice

    evildice (emotionally stable clown posse)

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    If your tectonics definition doesn't include the best continental plate, then it's clearly flawed.

    [​IMG]

    The best continental plate is obviously the Sandwich Plate.

    Don't even try to push a definition which doesn't take the Sandwich Plate into consideration.
    Source: https://geology.com/plate-tectonics.shtml#maps
     
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  4. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    Excuse me? Give it its proper name. That's the club sandwich plate.
     
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  5. TheDisturbedDragon

    TheDisturbedDragon Prepare the Titans.

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    Let's stop with the derail before the mods come in, yes?
     
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  6. january1may

    january1may Versed in the lewd.

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    Just call it Old World.

    I'm a big fan of the prominence definition, which conveniently explains how Africa/Eurasia and North/South America are separate. Unfortunately, if you try to distinguish Europe from Asia with it, it turns out that Scandinavia is in Asia (the border approximately follows the Volga-Baltic channel), that Alaska contains parts of (at least) three different continents, and that - if you use the dry prominence version, to be able to tell which islands belong to which continents - one continent (the Emperor Seamounts) is entirely underwater.
     
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  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 11.5 - Coiled Strings
    TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    Ancient Legos
    Chapter 11.5
    Coiled Strings

    Thomas Calvert was panicking.

    He could admit that to himself.

    What else could one do when their power suddenly gave them a distinct impression of the smell of frying circuitry and then vanished, leaving them powerless and in the wrong timeline?

    In the middle of a highly critical emergency.

    And what’s more, it hadn’t come back.

    At all.

    Thomas had his power fail on him before. It was common if he attempted to use it on known blind spots like Eidolon or the Endbringers. If he even attempted to use his timeline splitting and focus his decisions on or near the area of an attack he would have a migraine that threatened to lay him on his back for a week.

    But his power would still be there. Always.

    His contact with Cauldron seemed to like making it a game, somehow always knowing when he was basing a decision on her and messing with him in return. She consistently winked at cameras that caught her, sometimes at the same time in both timelines, just to hammer the point home that he was outclassed in every way. Even if he felt like tempting fate by trying to track or manipulate the woman in the fedora in their little worldwide game of Thinker tag and she took the game a little too near a blind spot intentionally, his power would still be around.

    He’d be in pain, it would lie unused until he had recovered, but it would be there.

    Now it… simply wasn’t. The not-space he reached into to activate it just wasn’t there, he couldn’t feel it, and Thomas was feeling true fear once again. For the first time since he’d bought his power.

    The worst part was, he didn’t know if it was even intentional. There had been no acknowledgement from the one he believed responsible, even though his power had… crashed, or something similar, and left him with the wrong timeline. The one where his sniper took the shot at the new Ward, the Tinker with a rating so ridiculous it was obscene, and did jack diddly squat.

    Even with Fedorass, as he nicknamed her privately, he was recognized. As nothing more than a game, but recognized anyways.

    This Tinker, Weldon Kenfield, hadn’t seemed to even notice his existence. Just a simple message about how his gigantic fucking space battleship was pissed off that his smaller spaceship had been fired at by a sniper.

    Thomas saw the remotely recorded footage. That .50 caliber bullet had plinked off the obviously very much not glass, over glorified windshield like a rock off a pond. This Tinker’s lack of caring may have been easily justified in what could be assumed youthful arrogance or confidence in his technology, but Thomas had an idea that he was more certain of.

    He genuinely didn’t know.

    The Tinker 20 didn’t know that he had outright canceled Thomas’ power, and it was just a side effect. Glory Girl’s fall from the inside of the battleship’s shield testified to that.

    A blind spot that outright canceled other parahuman powers, several hundred times the size of an Endbringer, and that close to him? No wonder his power was missing in action.

    That was the explanation that brought Thomas comfort. It was that explanation he would cling to in the coming hours as he rapidly descended into a full blown panic attack, given how he was feeling.

    He was about to call for his assistant and have him deliver some calming tea to his shaking hands when the eerie wail started up across the city.

    A second time.

    And it didn't stop.

    Even as far underground as his base was, Thomas could hear those sirens. He knew what they meant.

    He’d designed them.

    He heard light drumming over the muted wail and looked around to find out what it was. It turned out that his hands had decided to shake even worse than before and were thumping his desk in time to the rhythm of his internal state of oh fuck oh fuck OH FUCK.

    His eyes snapped back to the thread he was actively following and he rapidly scrolled down, forcing his almost vibrating hands to comply with his whims.

    No news.

    The sirens kept on even as he hurriedly refreshed the page. Mosaic was sturdy but calling it fast on the best of days was disingenuous at best.

    Another part of him was busy having a full blown panic attack, but he was made of sterner stuff than most. He was able to compartmentalize.

    For a few minutes, anyways.

    Thomas rapidly scanned down the last page and felt the blood drain from his face.

    His earlier assumption was incomplete. Weldon didn’t know, he didn’t care, and more importantly, he was fucking insane.

    A banging at the armored bunker door of his office startled him out of his wide-eyed ghost stare. “Sir!” Pitter’s voice came over the intercom. “The Simurgh is on its way!”

    Thomas couldn't help it; he accidentally allowed a sound similar to that of a terrified cat out of his mouth.






    Thomas was going to kill him.

    Somehow, some way, he swore he was going to end that migraine inducing Tinker's existence.

    The last few hours had not been kind to Thomas. Only once the kid had moved his ship away from the Bay and up the coast had his power returned. He'd immediately used his other timeline to bleed off his panicking, a few goes of it quite literally, and then started making plans the moment he was done.

    All of which died whimpering deaths when Weldon's importance skyrocketed as he stood outside the White House getting medals from the fucking President.

    As if that wasn't enough, only three hours afterwards the ship had returned to Brockton and resumed hovering over it like a spectre, both nullifying his power again and giving him a huge migraine as if to chide him for even beginning to believe he might have a chance against its master.

    With his ability to plan and the safety of his two timelines gone, he threw up his hands and stormed back to his office.

    Even that bastion had failed to be entirely secure.

    The first sign something was off was the jazzy piano music emanating from his office. Well, that and the open vault style door.

    The second was the fedora sitting on the only table visible from the hatchway into his office, placed so it faced him head on.

    Thomas groaned and rubbed his tired eyes. He was not in the mood for this.

    "Loitering is rude, you know," came Contessa's melodic, ordered tones.

    Thomas continued inside and finally got a chance to see his… guest. "So is trespassing," he deadpanned.

    She just shrugged, her short trench coat bobbing with the action, as she sipped on a glass of what he recognized as one of his very expensive wines. "Hakuna Matata, Thomas. I've heard it's a wonderful thing. Might've helped with that panic attack you had earlier too."

    His brain actually hurt, that's how little sense she made. Not that it was surprising that she knew his mental stability had momentarily left him. What the hell was she even saying? Hackube Mawhatnow? "What?"

    Contessa shrugged again and crossed her legs, pointing towards the loveseat opposite her with her foot. "Sit with me. We have much to discuss. And you have a choice to make."

    Thomas' mood instantly darkened. He nevertheless proceeded to sit down as indicated. This woman played with him, but not even the new dumbass Tinker scared him more than her. "Fine," he seethed, gritting his teeth. "Is this about the favor I owe?"

    Contessa seemed to consider his query for a moment. A soft dulcet voice began to sing along with the slow, relaxed jazz, but he paid the man no mind. It was something unimportant about strings disappearing or something anyways.

    Clearly it meant something to Contessa though, because she shook her head. "No, no favors," she seemed to decide right there on the spot. Thomas knew better, everything she did was planned even if it looked unplanned, but that would've fooled someone else. "This is about your future." She sighed and stared wistfully at her wine glass. "Our future."

    Thomas frowned. "My future? Our future? Wha-" he began to demand.

    Contessa locked eyes with him and suddenly he didn't feel so adamant. "You must cease all operations with the new Tinker," she declared.

    Thomas opened his mouth to refute her, then thought better of it. "May I ask why?"

    She nodded and leaned back. "You may."

    He stared at her expectantly, but she just seemed mildly amused.

    Then he realized and sighed at himself. "Why do I have to do that?"

    "Do what?" she teased.

    Thomas growled. "Don't play games with me Contessa, not about this," he demanded. "Not about the domain you gave me."

    Contessa sighed and rolled her eyes. "Very well." She looked back down at her glass and began swishing the wine around, resting her head on her other hand via the arm braced against her couch. "The Paths have all changed. It's not worth it. What we did... and what you did and plan to do, continuing that way all leads to the end of the world. All worlds."

    Thomas found himself gaping at her.

    "I'm not messing with you this time," she assured him.

    He couldn't do anything but stare.

    "You're going to need a drink for this," she informed him, bringing out his expensive wine bottle and an already filled glass from who knows where. She placed them both on the clear glass table between Thomas' loveseat and her couch.

    Thomas didn't even hesitate. If she said he needed a drink to stomach something, it was going to be bad. He took the glass and downed it in one go. His hands trembled even worse than when he had experienced his power failing earlier.

    Contessa put her own glass down on the center table and leaned towards him, clasping her hands on her knees. "It all started with a girl, a knife, and a frankly pathetic case of inebriated interstellar driving…"






    "The only way forward is through Weldon and his technology. Scion's future reaction won't allow anything else," Contessa finally finished, taking the final sip of her wine in nearly perfect timing.

    Thomas sat there, staring at her like she was insane. Something he wasn't leaving off the table of consideration.

    "It's all true, Thomas," Contessa interrupted his thoughts. She gave him a pained smile accompanied by haunted eyes that were far older and had seen much more than she seemed to be.

    Thomas gulped. "That is… a significant amount of information to digest," he stated.

    Contessa laughed. Laughed. "That's one way to put it," she agreed, nodding. She leaned towards the table to pour herself more liquid coping mechanism.

    Thomas looked down at his glass and started swirling his wine around, contemplating his whirling thoughts. She seemed content to let him do that, the only sounds his own glass swishing, her drinking which was far louder than it normally sounded, and the piano.

    Finally he looked up at her and sighed, resigned to his fate. "Me, a hero?" Thomas asked, still somewhat perplexed. Just because he knew she was right didn't make it sound any more sensible.

    Contesa sighed as well, staring off into space. "We're all heroes now," she whispered. "We have to be. Weldon is the only way forward." She turned to look at Thomas, and the once more haunted look in her eyes sent a chill down his spine. "We're either the heroes or the villains, and we can't stand against him. We just… can't."

    Thomas swallowed, the sound accompanied by the soft strokes of piano keys.

    Contessa looked back at her drink. "Make sure you're non threatening," she continued. "He seems to be more likely to listen if you are."

    Thomas scoffed and gestured down at his black, snake coiled costume. "How am I supposed to do that?" he asked.

    Contessa didn't answer. She just held out her hand, and he got a good look at the item she'd been clutching in it the whole time.

    Thomas blinked. "You have to be joking."

    "Nope."

    Thomas looked back up at her and found her gazing directly at him, mirth in her eyes.

    "You're doing this to me on purpose!" he accused.

    Contessa shrugged, setting the thing wiggling. "Doesn't mean you have a choice," she pointed out.

    Thomas' eyes fell towards the thing and he growled. "I hate you sometimes," he snapped, yanking it out of her loose grip.

    She just reclined further on her seat and put her now free hand up on the couch. "Good luck!" she singsonged.

    It sounded almost genuine.






    The chime to the Wards common room rang out. Lisa and I were both already in costume due to just having returned from Washington.

    It was also a school night, and nobody else had a Presidential pardon to skip out except us.

    Well, except me. Lisa didn't need one.

    I raised an eyebrow towards the equally curious blonde, then shrugged and got up to answer the door.

    On the other side was a tall, thin, and very dark skinned man I recognized easily as Thomas Calvert. He was in the system as someone who had nominal command over us Wards due to his technically still active Commander rank and current consulting prowess.

    I raised my eyebrows. "Commander Calvert," I greeted him respectfully. The man was a legend on par with the Director, he deserved it, even if I was bone dead tired from my day. "Can I help you?"

    The moment I said his name, Lisa squeaked. Squeaked. She quickly bolted towards the door and peaked out from under my arm.

    Thomas and Lisa's eyes met.

    He scowled.

    Huh. Do they know each other? I wondered.

    She got that faraway look she gets when she is using her power. Her eyes flicked down to his pants pocket for some reason.

    And then she collapsed backwards, bursting out laughing.

    I was so tempted to read her mind then and there, but I held off. Thomas, as high up as he was, still wasn't cleared to know of my Alteran abilities… and I was basically falling asleep just walking.

    So I merely rolled my eyes and sighed, pointing back over my shoulder at my cracking up teammate. "Ignore her, she does this sometimes. Do you need help, Commander?"

    Thomas' frown deepened, but he shook himself and sighed. A moment later he was all smiles again. It was genuine, that much I could tell from the empathy I still couldn't shut up. "Yes actually," he began, reaching into his pocket. "I'm here to turn myself in."

    Lisa laughed even harder while I blinked in surprise. "Uh… what?" I asked, positive I hadn't heard him correctly.

    He sighed and pulled out a rubber chicken from his pocket. He offered it to me. I was too shocked to refuse, so he was able to leave the chicken in my hand and step back slightly. He then stopped and held up his hands. "I'm Coil. I have been advised to turn myself into you for one of the chances at..." he grit his teeth, but powered onwards anyways. "redemption you seem to be getting the PRT to give out these days."

    My jaw dropped, eyes wide. I couldn't believe my ears, even with having Hyperion scan his brain for a set of Coronas. Which, of course, it found.

    Lisa was actually hysterical, rolling on the floor and crying due to how hard she was laughing.

    Thomas Calvert, 'Coil', sighed. "I surrender."

    I blinked at him, looked down at the chicken, and then back at his entirely serious face. "Dude, is this prank the new Ward day for the universe or something?" I asked offhandedly, only half seriously.

    Thomas looked at me like I was nuts. "What?"

    I sighed and shook my head. "Fine. Whatever." A single brush of his thoughts showed the truth of his identity and not just the fact he had superpowers, which made this official business.

    Official business I wasn't remotely interested in handling that night.

    "Either go talk to some PRT agents and turn yourself in that way, or don't do anything bad and come back after school tomorrow," I informed him, beginning to close the door. "I'm too tired to deal with this shit tonight."

    Thomas, in the single second before the door closed in his face, looked entirely and totally dumbfounded. "Wait, are you ser-" was all he managed to get out.

    Then the door closed and I was left with a hysterically shaking and sobbing from laughter Lisa.

    I groaned, dragged my hand down my face while sort of tossing my hand at her dismissively, and headed to my personal Ward bedroom.

    I would deal with everything tomorrow. No more bullshit, sleepy Weldon time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  8. The Overlord

    The Overlord SCIENCE! both mad, mundane, and perverted

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    Sleepy sleep time for Weldon
     
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  9. Gindjurra

    Gindjurra Versed in the lewd.

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    I was hoping it was a clown nose to add to his costume. The rubber chicken was unexpected, but still funny. Though it creates a continuity error — unless you envision something radically different than most people do when you say the words “rubber chicken” there is no way he fit one into his pocket. Or for it to not be instantly obvious what Contessa is holding, for that matter.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_chicken
     
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  10. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    Yup, the dude's been through a lot that day. CH12 will show that.

     
  11. Flutters Is Shy

    Flutters Is Shy Friend of the Rage

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    The fact that this poor guy had to spend God knows how long sitting in his room, squeezing that stupid friggin chicken to make that video makes me inordinately happy.
     
  12. Guardian54

    Guardian54 Versed in the lewd.

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    I can attest that that is the Asian idea of "choking the chicken", yep.
     
  13. macdjord

    macdjord Well worn.

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    I don't get the chicken thing?
     
  14. Zsombi

    Zsombi Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Ha! Just wait until Cauldron and their activities gets revealed.
     
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  15. Guardian54

    Guardian54 Versed in the lewd.

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    Contessa is reminding Weldon that if he gets frustrated and doesn't feel like involving anyone else, he can and should choke the chicken (i.e. fap).
     
  16. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    Besides practicing, afaik he did that entire video in a single take. Obviously playing different parts separately, but still.

    :rofl:

    Ask Marty, he has experience in this area.

    innocent whistling

    Looks at Chapter 13-14 and Arc 2

    innocent whistling intensifies

    :rolleyes:

    It's a reader joke turned into a Back to the Future reference. Contessa made three references to three different movies in this chapter. All of them are important.
     
  17. macdjord

    macdjord Well worn.

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    Ah. Been a decade since I saw those movies.
     
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  18. Guardian54

    Guardian54 Versed in the lewd.

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    Before I forget this train of thought, here's an Asian man choking the chicken in the general direction of a girl's face with great skill and enthusiasm. In public (at least mostly).

     
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  19. theonebutcher

    theonebutcher Hahaha! ... Waitaminute... Oh God NO!

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    It would be hilarious if Contessa shows up and tells Coil that he just had to convince the mind reader of his change of heart and that NOW he can go conquer New Mexico or something with impunity.
     
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  20. Devrim

    Devrim Know what you're doing yet?

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    May i ASK when the next update is? This fic is fantastic. Also i cant wait how the Public will interact with him
     
  21. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    You should go rewatch them, they're classics and still really good even by modern movie standards ^_^

    Japan is amazing, and their modern incarnation after we nuked them is a gift this world sorely needs. Thank you, Japan, for being our pervert uncle.

    Interesting thoughts, but the driving theme behind my stories is It Gets Better. And in the upcoming Interlude you'll see why that won't exactly happen.

    You can ask, yes. Would be kind of pointless but you can ask :p

    Thanks!

    The public reaction is currently still in full party mode.

    Hold on to your butts people, an Interlude has been rescheduled and the story is going to accelerate because of the revised timeline!
     
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  22. Threadmarks: Chapter 11.6 - Path to Reality
    TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    Ancient Legos
    Chapter 11.6
    Path to Reality

    "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…"​

    "BAAAAAH BAH BUH BUUUH BAAAH BUH BUH BUH BUUUH BUH BUUUH BUH BUH BUH BUH BUH BAAAA-"

    The ringing of the phone on the coffee table next to her fedora brought a scowl to the viewer's face. She paused the movie with her remote and exchanged her phone for the huge bucket of popcorn she was wholly intent on devouring. A deft movement brought the phone to her ear even as her other hand pressed the accept call button.

    "This is my vacation," she flatly informed the caller.

    "I know," the stern woman on the other end said. "The Senate is about to vote on whether that aid package we wanted to redirect should be delivered."

    "Bitch I am the Senate," the movie viewer shot back.

    The woman on the phone clearly wasn't amused. "Contessa, this is serious. Your prequel memes are not needed. The Path is. What can you give me?"

    Contessa growled at her phone and collapsed back into her couch. She didn't need this crap right now. She had a new trilogy to catch up on. And then a saga of the infinite after that. Even more things to watch, and read. Memes to browse. Cats to adore. An entire Internet the likes of which Bet could only dream of lay at her very fingertips and she had merely scratched a semblance of the surface. "Purple is the smell of a wet taste of butterscotch," she informed her caller. "Happy now, Doctor?"

    "No, just as you are not," Doctor Mother sighed. "Very well. Please call us if anything changes."

    "If whatever it is stops interfering with me you'll be the first to know," she succinctly informed the Doctor. Left unsaid was what form that notification of her precognition would take, exactly.

    "Enjoy your movies, or whatever you're doing to relax," was the reply.

    "Relax or clench up, Legolas; there is no try."

    Her phone disconnected from the call.

    Contessa sighed and allowed her arm to drop. Her first vacation in such an extremely long time she quite literally couldn't remember the length of it, and shit was still happening on Bet.

    Whatever. She was on Dis-Nie, she didn't need to worry about it. Not that she could really help anyways, what with her precognition going haywire, but it was the principle of the thing. What really annoyed her about her situation was that she had no idea what was causing her issues, just that it was in the future and violated casualty enough to prevent her engines from functioning then.

    A not insignificant part of her was also excited at the prospect. How could she not be? She might be a lot more human than she used to be, but the search for a way to stop heat death was still important.

    Still, that would have to wait. For once, she was having fun, and she couldn't do anything productive anyways.

    She picked up the remote and unpaused the movie.

    "-DA DA DA DA DAH DAH DUN DUN DUN DAAAAAH DAAAAH DUUUUUUUN DUUUUUN DUUUUUN DAAAAAAAAAH-"




    "HOLY SHIT!" Contessa shrieked. She instinctively slammed her body to the ground in a clear attempt to dodge something coming at her head.

    Then a searing heat that wasn't heat, some pain, and the rapid need to eject a part of herself in another reality washed over her, and she was able to ignore the strange and worried looks of the people, and store workers, in the Victoria's Secret she was browsing.

    What the fuck was that?!

    Contessa watched it fly by, mesmerized and also terrified. The pain it induced was immense, but also somewhat pleasurable due to what it was burning out of her.

    Contessa blinked back into the focus of Dis-Nie, pushing her body off the ground. She brushed off her trench coat and glanced at the nice young woman who was about to try and help her.

    "Sorry, thought I saw a bee," she offered by way of explanation. "I'm allergic."

    The woman relaxed and sighed, smiling. "Right, sorry. I'll tell the manager. Do you, uh, need any help?"

    Contessa smiled and turned around to grab something off the rack. "Yes actually. I was wondering, what exactly is this?" She held up the… garment, to the woman with a genuinely puzzled expression.

    The woman blinked and grinned. "That is a teddy, and if you've never worn one you have got to try them. Here, I'll show you mine if you show me yours," she offered.

    Contessa stared at her for a second before she figured out what exactly the woman was offering. Then a massive grin stole over her face and she almost began to skip towards the changing rooms.

    The woman laughed, sounding like the tinkle of bells, and followed her.

    Contessa was ecstatic. Vacation was good. And it was about to get even better.




    The woman known as Contessa sighed and fell back onto her hotel room bed.

    A day. One day. That's all it took to change the world. To change their destiny. The revelation of what the hell it was that had been blocking her precognition finally arrived, and then nothing was as it had been. Time had been changed. Earth Bet itself had been changed. It changed the world, or possibly worlds if echoes of it leaked into other Entity-locked realities.

    It changed her.

    And even though her encounter with Jane in Victoria's Secret which had continued back to her hotel room on Dis-Nie had been really, really good, she wasn't using the common human colloquium of world rocking to refer to that.

    Her limits were gone. Entirely, totally gone. The ones she was made with, the ones added on over time, and even the emergency patch job that Eden had done just before she shut the bitch down.

    Ripped and burned right off of her by whatever the hell it was that blazed past her on the way to Weldon's Shard.

    When that great glowing… thing had emerged from some kind of travel method she'd never seen before in her reality she was terrified. Scared shitless. She thought she was going to die.

    But then it didn't even look at her as it careened past her world, burning all the limitation modules she had in what seemed to be a complete accident.

    It promptly slipped right out of her reality and slammed straight into what was on the other side. Namely, the Shard that was her multiversal next door neighbor.

    Weldon's Shard.

    Weldon Kenfield, someone she hadn't even known existed, had something happen to him that was so rare it literally defied her understanding of the universe itself, and it changed everything.

    The moment that happened every Path she'd been running died. With her precognition unreliable she'd still been able to run event thread simulations based on her model of reality, but even those stopped working. Her data analysis engines cascade errored so hard she had to forcefully eject them for five hours while they cooled off.

    Once she pieced herself together, had fun with Jane, and pulled her face off the floor of her hotel room a day later, she tried to run a new Path to killing Zion.

    It didn't work. Her engines started to cascade error again, but thankfully that time she hadn't needed to eject them to terminate the systems.

    Contessa realized then and there that something had changed. The universe wasn't the same as it had always been.

    There was a new element. A new variable in the math.

    And it was one she couldn't see.

    Contessa breathed in and out, trying to relax. Even the memory of that time made her start to panic. Nothing close to the full body panic attack fueled spasms she'd been doing, decimating her world in the process, but still very nerve wracking.

    The first thing she'd done after she managed to calm even a little bit was order a Door from Dis-Nie to her pleasure and relaxation reality and come up to this hotel room to sort out her thoughts.

    Recapping what had happened to her was only slightly helping. Not even the TVs strewn across her personal penthouse were making much of a dent.

    Maybe breathing exercises? She hadn't ever really needed them before, but she had heard of them. They were supposed to be very effective for humans. Maybe that was the side of her that was freaking out?

    So Contesaa took off her coat and her fedora, laying them next to her on the bed, and pulled her feet up into the lotus position. She stretched out her arms, positioned her fingers, and finally closed her eyes.

    Deep, slow, long breaths. In. Out. In… Out. In….. Out….. Like the wise Masters of the Force taught, she tried to let whatever passed for the 'universe' as a cleansing and calming agent in humans flow through her.

    It was working. Sort of. Her mind stopped racing, going in circles endlessly trying to find a solution. She just… breathed.

    Oh! she thought.

    It worked so well, her body fell asleep!

    She hadn't slept. Ever since the girl and the Shard became one, she'd not once gotten a single bit of actual physical rest. She had thought she didn't need it, her larger body could easily supply the matter her human body required to remain functional.

    But maybe… the sense of peace and tranquility suffusing her very core was something she'd never felt before. Not as a Shard and not as a girl. The Shard because Victory Path had no concept of it, and the girl because of her native world and young age. Plus the constant work to save the world from Zion.

    Contessa turned her attention to her next door neighbor, still shining with an ethereal white gold light that refused to register on her sensors but was nonetheless something she could still observe.

    ...Maybe there was more to the universe than what Shards knew. They were ancient. Not omniscient. And this thing had broken every law of temporal mechanics she knew even before it had arrived.

    That admittance, that revelation, seemed to change something in her. There'd always been a slight information delay between her bodies. Nothing much, a couple nanoseconds here and there, but still detectable. It was the nature of her trans reality portal linked and synced self. If one of her was ever cut off from the other somehow, they would both diverge and suddenly Contessa would exist twice over. Whether they both chose to synchronize again would be up to them. She knew this and accepted it as a fact of reality, that even though she felt and believed herself to be one person she was actually two so synchronized it wasn't possible to notice except from the inside.

    That... wasn't there anymore. For the first time Contessa was fully synchronized with herself. Honestly it didn't even feel like synchronization; it was more like she was simultaneously occupying both her bodies at the same time.

    A flicker on the edge of her attention brought her focus back to her sleeping and dreaming human body.

    She started, shocked.

    Contessa was smiling. She even felt the emotion, she realized, but hadn't known exactly what it was. She was… happy.

    And tiny flickers of gaseous, nonexistent light very similar to that surrounding her next door realty neighbor was appearing around her bodies.

    Both of them.

    The portal linking them was gone.

    And suddenly… all her Paths started up again, fully capable of including the existence of her Soul in their calculations. Some of which didn't even seem to actually create the data so much as pull it into existence.

    Contessa grinned wide in her sleep as the future unfolded ahead of her. She grieved for all the unneeded sacrifices, the deaths, and the destruction Cauldron had undertaken under her direction. Because of her.

    She regretted her own actions the most of all. Not taking the shot at Manton as his projection murdered her brother… it was the hardest thing she ever had to do.

    She felt tears begin to leak from her closed eyes. Hero, she mourned. Truly mourned, for the first time in her life.

    And then she saw the truth of reality, peered beyond the current time in a way that wasn't entirely data based. She knew what had to be done.

    She had to become, and make Cauldron into, the thing they only rarely mentioned the possibility of being when they were at their lowest.

    Heroes.

    And it was time to start cleaning up their messes.

    Contessa stood up from her hotel room's bed and fetched her fedora without even a side glance. She slid it into her head even as she opened her mouth and said the magic words.

    "Door me."

    Reality sprung open in front of her. She strode through, head held high and the light of pride in her eyes and upon her set lips.

    For once, she was proud of what she was about to do.

    For once, she enjoyed the Path ahead.

    For once, good was all she saw, and the possibilities were endless.

    It was time to change the world.

    "Swiggity Swooty Zion, I'ma comin for that golden booty."
     
  23. heralding_bubble

    heralding_bubble Liar and Hypocrite

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    It would appear things are beginning to change.
    I can't wait to see the results.
    Hehehe.
     
  24. AM014

    AM014 Not too sore, are you?

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    Lol, I'm loving this version of Contessa. Looking forward to seeing more.
     
  25. macdjord

    macdjord Well worn.

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    Well. That was different!
     
  26. corndogman

    corndogman Journeyman Munchkin

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    Several realities zornward, Zion's main body shivers in fear.
     
  27. Fenrisfir

    Fenrisfir Not too sore, are you?

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    Just beautiful a chance to see Fortuna and not Contessa. This is the first worm fanfic I have read that has done it.
     
  28. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    Oh yes, the plot has been accelerated. Quite a bit.

    cackles

    She's so great. Funnest version of her I've ever written. Next chapter will be along soon... I hope.

    Indeed!

    As he should. But is it fear for his existence... or fear of enjoying whatever is to come?

    Perhaps. Is Contessa gone? She's Fortuna, sure, but was she ever anything else? Or has something else been going on?
     
  29. january1may

    january1may Versed in the lewd.

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    It's a good thing that you reconfirmed this when you did, because otherwise the most recent interlude would have been horrifying enough to seriously make me consider dropping this story right then and there.

    But you did, so it wasn't. Hopefully this decision will be vindicated.
     
    TCGM likes this.
  30. Extras: 2019 XMas Crossover Special P1
    TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

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    The Fourth Ancient Shipping XMas Special
    Part 1
    This Is Actually, Really The First One

    “You gonna fight us?” I directly asked Armsmaster five seconds before he'd work up the nerve to ask me the same thing, grinning wide. “Because I don't think I can take the person whose logo is on my underwear seriously.”

    Dead.

    Fucking.

    Silence.

    Armsmaster’s jaw was totally dropped.

    Assault looked like he was torn between cowering in terror and laughing his ass off. Even Miss Militia was having trouble keeping a straight face. Poor Dauntless looked like his brain had evacuated the premises. Velocity had his face in his hand.

    And then the silence was interrupted by a sound I can only describe as the universe gaining a new hole. A wormhole the size of the Bay opened up in the sky above us, the fabric of spacetime almost boiling under the immense stress.

    And then out of the opening something emerged, rapidly decelerating from the blur it was into a recognizable form.

    A massive metal snowflake hung in the sky above me, and I immediately knew this wasn't a primary timeline anymore.

    "Great. XMas Special time."

    Ziz turned to me and her eyes widened in terror.

    "Ben, you better go find a tree."

    Ben merely nodded at me and sank back into the Earth. His body quickly began accelerating through the crust towards Canada.

    Guess when you need a tree, go to the source?




    I sat in the command throne of Atlanta, reviewing the sensor logs of the transit.

    The Wormhole Drive was supposed to jump us into the sky above the Bay. That part worked.

    But that sky was noticeably missing my fleet of Auroras.

    And the other 'fleet' of observers from all over the world. They weren't there either.

    "Atlanta, what the hell happened?"

    The avatar of my cityship, a young woman who looked suspiciously like my sister, wavered into existence next to my command throne.

    "I don't know, Chancellor," she informed me, seeming puzzled. "We made the transit as we were supposed to. We are where we were supposed to end up. Right above the Bay. It's the same city, but… our escorts are no longer here.

    I made to reply but found that alerts were going off in my mind.

    I tuned in to what they were trying to tell me. Atlanta was apparently under attack.



    From… Taylor Hebert? A much younger Taylor than the one who had become Queen of the rogue constructors, too.

    One who was hovering under her own power outside the shield, and knocking on it hard enough to trigger defense alerts.

    "Hi!" she cheerfully said, somehow knowing that she had my attention. "Would you mind getting this eyesore into the actual bay so we can talk and get on with this special?"

    I blinked, trying very hard to parse what she'd just said.

    "Eyesore?!" Atlanta repeated, extremely offended.

    I sighed and shook my head. "Open the shield to her, let's see what she has to say. And I need to know what the hell she means by Special."

    Atlanta grumbled, but did as I asked. The immensely powerful force matrix of her shield wavered just a little on the spot in front of Taylor, and she gave us a little wave as she entered through the open matrix gate.

    And headed straight for the throne room.

    "At least I don't have to give her directions," I lamented.




    At the same time and place as one Taylor entered a flying city, another was doing yoga.

    On top of the Medhall building.

    Odyssey didn't have permission for that, by Taylor didn't really care. Served Kaiser right, and she desperately needed to work out the kinks in her hull before-

    "Taylor, we've got a… a wormhole on sensors," Vala informed her from her bridge.

    Taylor paused in the middle of stretching out her beam and froze. "I'm sorry, did you just say wormhole?" she asked over her internal comms.

    "Yeah. It's right over the Bay," Vala confirmed. "Check your own sensors."

    "But I'm trying to relax!" she whined. "The snake infested space geckos were just a week ago! And my hull got some kinks in it because of that repair bath."

    Vala scoffed and rolled her eyes. "That bath restored your hull to perfect condition. You're just being a baby."

    "Exactly!" Odyssey fired back. "Do you know how much time it'll take me to get those dents and repair welds and esoteric particle scorched back?!"

    Vala rolled her eyes again. "Just look at the stupid wormhole you overgrown cruiser!"

    Taylor manifested a tongue sticking out of her mouth in front of Vala, but did so anyways.

    The results were… interesting.

    "Quantum signature on the inside is different," she idly mused.

    Vala's eyebrows rose. "Really?" she commented, then she broke put into a grin. "I'll get my jumpsuit on!"

    As she spun around to go do just that, Taylor scowled. "Vala," she flatly stated.

    "Taylor, I know we're going," she fired back, ignoring the ship's tone. "You'll protest for a few minutes, then get curious, and I want to be in my jumpsuit for when we rapidly transit a cross reality wormhole this time."

    Taylor blushed all the way to her engines and toes. She hadn't exactly had the time to be gentle when they had to enter Babylon and end the Empire of the Rising Snake. Her first and so far only proper cross universal transit, other than the one that brought Screen to Taylor's universe and merged them anyways, had tossed her crew around like gumballs.

    Nevertheless, she shook her head. "Vala, I'm not going. I told you I have to do yog-"

    The former thief cut her off and started stripping down to get ready to put on the jumpsuit Cam had designed for her. "You're going. I know it, you know it, now stop protesting against your own self and just start towards the wormhole before it destabilizes."

    Taylor tried to speak up, even though she knew deep down that Vala was right. "But-

    Vala began to take off her shirt and glared at the ceiling. "Slowly. And no peeking."

    Taylor frowned, but closed off the comes from Vala's room anyways.

    Vala was the only one on board. The rest of SG1 were on a trip to Colorado Springs to talk to the Air Force about something she wasn't cleared to know about.

    That something was her classification and whether they could draft her. Like she would let a little thing like clearance keep her from knowing how her crew were doing.

    Needless to say, SG1 had things to say about those topics. Namely, Deep Space Carrier, and fuck no she is a person. Respectively. Though she doubted they would deliver either pieces of information with anything remotely approaching respect.

    Even with that plan, it was important that Vala not come with them. The rest of SG1 were going to choose to not be respectful.

    Vala's only mode was disrespect.

    So Taylor sighed. They didn't need her for the short amount of time it would take for her to scout the other side of the wormhole and drop a stabilization gate. And Vala was right… Curiosity burned within her.

    She had her beam fabrication systems materialize two stabilization gates in her hangars and reached in to pull them out, allowing the circular wristguard like devices to fasten themselves to her wrists.

    Then she took off towards the wormhole.

    Vala left her room in her form fitting jumpsuit and marched straight back to the bridge. When she got there, she grinned wide and with victory.

    "Knew you couldn't hold yourself back."

    Taylor's sublight engines flared as she picked up speed. "Shut up."

    Vala did keep her mouth shut, but the grin spoke more than enough.

    Taylor approached the wormhole, a boiling tear in reality, and held up an arm. She sent the command to one of the stabilization gate for it to deploy.

    The silver wristguard enlarged just enough to fly off her hand, then exited her sphere of influence.

    And with a mind melting bend of reality, it was suddenly a ring with the inner radius of five city busses stacked end to end.

    It settled in around the reality breach and began to rotate, several glyphs lighting up in blue along its surface.

    Then the boiling ceased, and the wormhole was safe for transit.

    "Brace for wormhole transit," Taylor called out as a matter of habit.

    "Slowly!" Vala yelled at her.

    "Yes. Slow wormhole transit."

    Taylor fired her engines at five thousandth of a percent and punted herself through the wormhole.

    Vala took a short trip to the back of the bridge by way of flipping over herself, her small translucent wings trying and failing to steady her.

    She'd be fine.




    The guy was insane.

    Sorry, let me back up. After the sentient flying city opened up the shield capable of treating one of my knocks as a light bump so I could go through, I followed my Host tracking sensors towards this room.

    Within which sat a guy in a pretty alien looking throne, calling to a hologram, and that hologram was the city ship's… self.

    Not only was he not remotely human, the guy had an active and bidirectional connection with his Shard.

    Which had expanded to coat its entire solar system, and even grown a Dyson Sphere!

    "What the hell are you?" I blurted out, crossing my arms.

    I was still flying. No way would I set foot on the city ship unless I got more information.

    Another thing that was worrying me was that none of my sensors beyond the ones linked to myself and Shards could see inside the shield, but one big problem at a time.




    I blinked in surprise, watching a younger and curvier Taylor Hebert in jeans hover above the floor as if much as offended her.

    Or like she was Victoria. Either one.

    I decided to start over.

    “Hello… Taylor, I assume?” I began, getting up from my throne.

    Her eyebrows furrowed and her suspicion rose. It was like a candle to my senses, but it was also very far away, for some reason. “You clearly know who I am,” she discerned. “Now who are you?”

    It was very demanding. Much like Victoria. What was it with flying bricks and being belligerent?

    “I’m Weldon, though I’m known as Shipyard,” I informed her. “And before you ask, yes, I know who you are. That’s because I know another version of you.” I looked her up and down, then decided to tease her a little. “A skinnier version.”

    “Sucks for her,” she fired back. “So you’re from another reality?”

    I nodded and gestured to Atlanta’s scowling avatar. “Atlanta’s wormhole drive seems to have had a small malfunction.”

    Taylor raised her eyebrows. “A ‘small’ malfunction.”

    I nodded. “Yep.”

    “Hopping universes is what you consider small,” she reiterated.

    “Indeed.”

    Taylor closed her eyes and shuddered. “And dare I ask what you consider a large one?”

    Before I could respond, reality ripped open next to the command throne. A smaller wormhole, not unlike Atlanta’s wormhole drive, made reality into its plaything and boiled the fabric of spacetime.

    A feminine yell heralded the arrival of a young woman with brown hair, who planted herself into the deck plating.

    And then with a horrifying screech of metal, kept going straight through it, with an effect not that dissimilar to Atlanta’s massive shield wrapped around her body to protect it.

    None of us said a word even as the view of the bay’s small swells became clear past the falling girl.

    I finally turned around to look at the open maw of the breach in reality and sighed, putting a hand on my forehead. “That is what I consider a large one.”

    “My hull!” Atlanta complained.

    Taylor rolled her eyes and sighed. “Fucking Tinkers.”




    Merry XMas, everyone! In lieu of my further chapters which are still in the works, enjoy part one of a two or three parter XMas Interlude that crosses over three of my most popular stories. I was only able to write this much today as it was XMas, but I hope you enjoy!
     
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