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Re: Aquarius Redux Part 4: Cometary Crosshairs

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  • ddswanson
    Lib, how did you deal with the ending of the original story, in which Aquarius was trapped in the anti-matter universe and destroyed, or that Dr. Fate said
    Message 1 of 69 , Jun 1, 2010
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      Lib, how did you deal with the ending of the original story, in which Aquarius was trapped in the anti-matter universe and destroyed, or that Dr. Fate said that if Aquarius ever managed to enter the Earth 1 universe it would set off a catastrophe that would destroy all of humanity in an explosion of hideous insanity?

      --- In theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com, "lawrenceliberty" <lawrenceliberty@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > By the way I already used a weakened version of Aquarius in a series of Starman stories all filed under the Super Team Family title heading.
      >
      > --- In theJSAallstarstorysite@yahoogroups.com, "ddswanson" <ddswanson@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Cometary Cross-hairs!
      > >
      > > "I say we just bust this rock into shards and then head in and find out what happened to the Earth!" Kell Orr commented impulsively. The twins silently agreed with him; with their new powers they could surely break the two spaceships free from this flying rock pile.
      > >
      > > Regor was more cautious. "Before we rush into something, I think we should do some more investigation. Are we sure whatever pulled us here won't return if we try to escape? What if it starts pulling stuff in again, can we survive another meteor shower?" He was the only one on board who didn't possess some degree of invulnerability, though his costume was nearly indestructible. The 3 Xenonians seemed to be in a rush to test their powers in risky situations, and Tharka was impulsive and impetuous. Regor thought his companions might be wondering if he was too timid, but they grudgingly agreed to gather more information.
      > >
      > > "The Zavoy's technology is different from mine," Tharka observed to Kell Orr. 'Much more advanced,' she thought to herself, but she'd never admit that out loud. "However," she continued smugly, "I'm sure I can modify one of your electronic telescopes so we can learn more about the missing Earth." She was so physically overmatched by the Xenonians that she felt a little intimidated; reminding them all of her mutant mentality made her felt better. 'But even my mental powers that don't depend on Zor's lighter gravity, tactile telekinesis, remote life-sensing and invulnerability, are feeble compared to these mighty beings!' she thought, and even her thoughts felt small to her.
      > >
      > > "That's great!" Kell Orr enthused. "Larre and Karre, why don't you clear a path so we can bring Tharka's ship alongside the Zavoy, and I'll build a dome over us to protect us from any more meteors."
      > >
      > > Kell Orr was assuming he should command because he was the most powerful of the group. There was no reference to his own smashed spaceship, Regor noticed, and he had been assigned no job. Before he could say anything else, there was a flurry of activity as the other 4 went about their self-appointed tasks. He watched despondently as the super beings around him set to work. The years he'd spent following the rigorous conditioning and nutritional routines he and Superman had developed had made him far faster and more powerful than any normal human, but his strength and speed were trivial compared to the Xenonians'. He was very pretty smart, but Tharka's mutant IQ was off the charts, and her tactile telekinesis gave her a super sensitivity of touch that actually allowed her alter the internal workings of semi-conductors and actually reprogram integrated circuits, adapting them to her needs! What could he possibly contribute to this group?
      > >
      > > As the others carried out their tasks, Regor interrupted Kell Orr for a few minutes. Kell gave him a tool kit, and the Guardian of Uuz dismounted the Zavoy's backup electronic telescope, carrying it and a powerful battery out to the surface so he could observe the solar system. He probably wouldn't discover anything new, but he wasn't going to sit around doing nothing while everyone else was working. The twins widened the tunnel between the ships and gently moved Tharka's ship alongside the Zavoy under the dome Kell Orr was building, while Tharka added her own televisor technology to the Zavoy's primary electronic 'scope.
      > >
      > > Regor was able to locate all of the Solar System's planets except Earth. He spent half an hour closely examining the empty space where the Earth ought to be, but even at the 'scope's highest magnification, there was nothing there that he could see. He couldn't see Uuz from here either, and he realized that without a ship, he was very dependent on these extra-solar visitors. All of them could exist unprotected in the rigors of space, while he needed a space suit. Without a ship it would take him years to fly to Earth with the rockets in his suit (and probably centuries to reach Uuz!), and he would die long before he arrived! Still, Superman trusted them, so he should be able to as well.
      > >
      > > After about 5 hours, they convened inside the Zavoy. After the Zavoy's meal machine dispensed lunch, they gathered around the modified electronic telescope, and Tharka's hand posed dramatically over the power switch.
      > >
      > > "I've added hyperspace technology to this instrument, so what we see will not be limited by speed of light," she announced proudly. As she worked, she'd come to realize that the Xenonians, with all their powers, would have been unable to rebuild this instrument as she had done. "We're more than 10 light hours from Earth, but what we see will be occurring in real time."
      > >
      > > She threw the switch, power surged through the modified telescope, and the screen… filled with static. Tharka frowned, a little embarrassed, and hastily manipulated some controls. The screen cleared to show the Sun, about the same size as if seen from Earth. The Woman of the Future stifled a quick gasp of relief, then announced: "The range is correct. I deliberately aimed at the star so there would be something to see. Now let's scan the nearby area." She touched a control, and the Sun slipped off the right edge of the screen. For a couple of seconds the stars continued to glide to the right. "OK, let's try the other way." She moved the same control, and the stars moved back to the left. Slowly the Sun swept across the screen again, and then the screen again showed only stars. And suddenly they all gasped in surprise, as the Earth slid onto the screen, a brilliantly beautiful globe of green, blue and white, floating serenely in front of the stars as if nothing had happened!
      > >
      > > "It wasn't there 10 hours ago!" Regor exclaimed excitedly. "Another interesting coincidence; sometime within the last 5 hours, both the Earth reappeared and the magic force drawing stuff to this asteroid vanished." He paused as another thought popped into his head. "Tharka, can you plot the orbits of Earth and this flying mountain?"
      > >
      > > She could; in an instant, a monitor lit up, showing Sol in the center of the screen, and the cursor started plotting out the orbit of the object they were currently riding. "It's a cometary orbit; it will zoom past the star at high speed, and then swing far away, and return again in some thousands of years. So we're actually taking a ride on a comet!" she analyzed it. An almost circular ellipse appeared on the screen, much closer to the star. The comet's orbit crossed it twice. "That's the orbit of Earth." A red dot appeared on the cometary orbit and started to move along it towards the star, a green dot appeared on the Earth's orbit and began circling around the star. On its second orbit, the green dot collided with the red dot! "A year from now!" Tharka exclaimed in horror. "If we don't do something, the Earth is doomed!"
      > >
      > > After a few seconds of stunned silence, everyone started talking excitedly. They would use their powers, and the weapons in Tharka's ship if necessary, to alter the course of this comet they were riding on or destroy it and then go to Earth and find out from Superman what had been going on - and let him know they'd saved his planet. And Regor brightened up instantly, he had just realized what he could contribute to this group! None of them, even the super intelligent Tharka, were very good at strategy or deduction. Regor was a big picture, strategic thinking kind of guy who sometimes let himself be overwhelmed by tactical details, but his new friends appeared to be up to handling those details, and he felt a surge of hopeful energy.
      > >
      > > "If we change the path of this comet, we should be prepared to be attacked by whatever force made the Earth vanish," he pointed out to his fellow castaways. They turned to look at him, startled. "We need to make preparations. Even though the Earth is back, anything that can make a planet vanish must be very powerful."
      > >
      > > Tharka was starting to look very thoughtful, but Kell Orr and the twins were bombarding him with unbelieving questions and comments. "What are you talking about?" Why do you think what's happening on Earth, billions of miles away, has anything to do with this floating mousetrap?!" "Anyway, whatever vanished the Earth was defeated, probably by Superman, and is no longer a threat!"
      > >
      > > "C'mon, Dad, let's break out of here and get going. I wanna see Earth!" Larre pleaded with his father. "Aww, you just think you're gonna impress all the girls with how strong you are!" his sister sneered at him.
      > >
      > > "You're right, son. Tharka, you and Karre will pilot the ships, and Larre and I will clear the way. Regor, you go in Tharka's ship. Once the ships are clear, Larre and I will push this rock onto a new course that will miss Earth, then come aboard the Zavoy and we'll all head in. OK?" He started moving toward the airlock, assuming his orders would be obeyed. Regor was steaming at being ignored, and Karre wasn't too thrilled about being picked to pilot rather than help her father with the super feats. She was just as powerful as her twin brother!
      > >
      > > "No, wait!" Tharka commanded, startling everyone. "We should listen - I think he's right! At least, I want to hear what he's figured out before we do anything. And now that the Earth is back, do we have to rush?"
      > >
      > > Reluctantly, Kell and the twins turned back to Regor. 'Well, I wanted them to pay attention to me!' he thought ruefully. He started speaking, trying to project a confidence he didn't quite feel.
      > >
      > > "There's a saying in Aigan-Nica military lore about several unexpected incidents that occur at around the same time," Regor began. Back on Uuz, in his secret identity of Winkin Lamm, he was a reserve officer in his nation's army. "The first incident is happenstance. The second may be coincidence. The third likely indicates enemy action."
      > >
      > > Tharka nodded, she'd developed a similar rule of thumb early in her career and it had saved her several times. Kell and his kids had obviously never heard it before, and Kell, at least, looked as if he would need further convincing.
      > >
      > > "For us, the first incident is Earth disappearing." The Xenonians looked dubious.
      > >
      > > "Right there, that proves enemy action to me!" Kell pronounced. "But it doesn't prove these things are related."
      > >
      > > Regor nodded. "Let's look at it from the larger view. The second incident is us being trapped on this rock which is on path to destroy the Earth, now that it's back. The third, which ties it all together, is that whatever drew us here vanished at pretty much the same time as the Earth reappeared. We don't have proof of that yet, but I'm betting that if we stick around and use the unmodified telescope, we'll see the Earth reappear exactly 10 hours, 13 minutes and 37 seconds after the instant that mysterious force vanished." He'd calculated the time carefully; he was pleased when Tharka nodded, acknowledging the accuracy of his numbers.
      > >
      > > "I agree," was her only comment.
      > >
      > > "Ok… You're probably right," Kell conceded. "But I don't see why that makes you sure the enemy is still active? Doesn't the fact that the Earth has reappeared mean that the enemy has been defeated?"
      > >
      > > "No, all it means is that Plan A has failed," Tharka pointed out. "If the enemy is competent enough to implement a Plan B, he's likely competent enough to survive the failure of Plan A."
      > >
      > > "OK. I'm not totally convinced, but you guys both have years more experience at being heroes than I have." Kell conceded. "And it can't hurt to make preparations. If an enemy that powerful is going to attack us, it will be better if we're not surprised."
      > >
      >
    • Aleus Mundi
      Time, since you ve come the theme to discuss, a friend of mine (since I m within a circle of SF/Fantasy/Terror readers) did the same distinction between
      Message 69 of 69 , Jul 7, 2010
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        Time, since you've come the theme to discuss, a friend of mine (since
        I'm within a circle of SF/Fantasy/Terror readers) did the same
        distinction between alternate and parallel timelines. Doc Quantum,
        Could you give me an history of how such ideas were boiled in the
        academical minds of SF? At least give some links about it, okay? And
        if alternate timelines are still out there that means they can be
        visited, that maybe the DnA Legion and the Threeboot Legion exist
        somewhere in the 5Earths multiverse, and that maybe there are not just
        five but an endless manifold of possibilites out there (for instance
        I'd love to see a tale located in Grant 'Allmighty' Morrison's —AKA
        'The Whacko'— 853rd century and their uberpowerful inhabitants)

        On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 3:52 PM, The Time Trust
        <the_time_trust_2000@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > Even though it was just a conversation, I really enjoyed this chapter because of
        > the reference to two other stories, especially the explanation of the comet
        > creating the future in that alternate timeline in which everyone is
        > super-powered. I say alternate timeline because until the events of this story,
        > it was still a possible future, but now it's an alternate timeline.
        >
        > And therein lies the difference between alternate timelines and parallel
        > universes. The alternate timelines all share a common history with only one
        > crucial point of divergence separating them -- in this case the comet. In the
        > "main" Earth-2 timeline, the comet was diverted as seen in this story. In the
        > alternate version of the Earth-2 timeline, the comet crashed on Metropolis in
        > 1970 and led to a 25th century world in which all humans had super-powers.
        >
        > Parallel universes, on the other hand, share no common history. If they all
        > share a point of divergence, it is at the beginning of time and not at any point
        > in history itself. Parallel universes share many similarities, but not because
        > they were ever connected to each other like alternate timelines once were. This
        > helps to explain why on parallel timelines different individuals can be
        > remarkably similar but born in entirely different points in time. Superman,
        > Batman, and Wonder Woman are prime examples of these similar individuals
        > existing on different parallel worlds.
        >
        > Parallel universes seem to "shadow" each other to a certain extent in the DC
        > multiverse. We can see that in the way that Earth-1 was similar to Earth-2, only
        > it began a generation later. Likewise, Earth-3 is similar to Earth-1, only
        > history was vastly different and the natures of good and bad people are
        > reversed. (As a sidenote, it makes you wonder whether people who carefully tread
        > the division between good and bad are fairly similar on Earth-1 and Earth-3.)
        > But I'd suggest most parallel universes simply shadow each other's histories,
        > explaining why the history of Earth is so similar on Earth-1, Earth-2, Earth-S,
        > and Earth-4 (and Earth-X until World War II), but the heroes of Earth-4,
        > Earth-X, and Earth-S are not parallels of the heroes of Earth-1 and Earth-2.
        >
        > Anyway, great use of continuity.
        >
        > Cheers,
        > Doc Quantum of The Time Trust
        >
        > >

        --
        The Transmundial rules all
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