Posts Tagged Frank

[WIP] Ralph and his tiger.

NSFW (M/M) below cut …»

[partim] The day of the singularity.

Previous | First

Yeah, this bit will definitely want rewriting…


It took me a bit to get the hang of looking things up on the cell phone, but it wasn’t long before I was reading everything I could about theories of immortality and, as my study took me that way, about the singularity as well.

How far into the future would we have to go? The estimates came back that it probably wouldn’t be very far—not more than a hundred years, and maybe less than fifty. It was surprising but a relief—surely a conservative hundred-year jump would be a lot better than a blind million-year jump into who-knows-what kind of future.

Now at this point I was really only looking. Even though I’d just seen myself a lot older and I didn’t seem to be in any immediate danger, and even though immortality was in the offing, a trip into a technological singularity was still a bit much for me. But I knew it’d have to be done—especially since Ralph had taken a break from the new movies Steve had brought and was looking over my shoulder.

“The singularity, eh? That’s what Steve was talking about, isn’t it?” he asked, reading over my screen. “A super-futuristic future—count me in!”

[scrap] The day of the singularity.

Previous | First

This piece was actually written a long time before the previous two. Thus the continuity doesn’t quite join with what’s already been shown. I’ll need to update the facts—which may steer the conversation differently—but till then, you can have this slightly less canonical dialogue.


I woke up the next morning with Ralph’s arm around me, his body pressed against mine. I stayed still, not wanting to wake him, and thought about what my future self had said.

…I don’t want to lose Ralph. I don’t.

…I don’t want to lose Ralph.

…I don’t.

I rolled over to face him. His eyes were open… he was watching me.

“You’ve been shaking, babe.” he said. “Is something wrong?”

I kissed him. I tried to smile, but he was right—I was shaking. I couldn’t hide it.

“I don’t want to lose you,” I said.

“Why should you be losing me?” he said.

“Unless we die together,” I said, “One of us will have to go first. And you’re the adventurer.”

He laughed. “I’ll give you that,” he said. “But that was true before tonight, too. Why’s it on your mind tonight?”

I hesitated, but not for long. I’m not keeping anything from Ralph. “We weren’t the only ones to come back to tonight.” I told him about the visit from my future self.

“He came alone,” Ralph said. “Was he… like… old?”

“I couldn’t tell, in the dark. Middle-aged, certainly.”

“Did he ask you not to tell me?”

“What?”

“It’s important. Did he tell you not to tell me?” he sat up, excited.

“He did.”

“But you did,” he said. “Things are changing.”

“How do you know?”

“He didn’t come back to inform you, he came… you came back to change it. And if you’re telling yourself not to tell me, but you told me anyway, then we’ve already changed timelines. If you’d remembered yourself telling me, you wouldn’t have told yourself not to tell me.”

“What…” I shook my head. “What if me telling you was the thing I’m coming back to change?”

“You wouldn’t have thought of that.”

“I just did!”

“If that was the important part of the message, you’d be stressing it more,” he said, “Enough that your past self wouldn’t crack at first questioning, like you did. The game’s different now, babe. Don’t worry.” He put his arms around me and held me to him. “Trust me.”

“I’m still afraid,” I said, into his chest.

“Then let’s get that fear behind us,” he said. “We’ve got a better computer now, so how about we hunt down immortality next?”

“What?”

“It’ll be discovered eventually, right? We’ve got to find it.”

“Ralph, you’re crazy.”

He just grinned at me. “I’m gonna love ya forever, babe, if it’s the last thing I do.”

“Now you’re just being silly,” I said. I pounced him, kissed him hard, and kept him too busy to talk till noon.

[partim] The day of the singularity.

Previous / First

There were a few references I wanted the future-Frank to work into this conversation but I couldn’t squeeze them in, in this draft anyway. Both of them would be things present-Frank wouldn’t ‘get’, at least right away, which is part of why I want them to be there, hehe. The two separate lines of questioning already seem to overload this dialogue, though…. I might want to serialize them instead.


“You’re me,” I said.

The other tiger shook his head. “Not really,” he said. He spoke with a bit of an accent, kind of European-flavored. “I’m not really the same person inside at all.”

I put aside my thoughts of how English might be changed in the future. “What?” I said. I realized my future self was a lot thinner than I was now. “What happened? Is Ralph with you?”

He looked kind of pained at the mention of Ralph’s name, then shook his head again. “It’s been over a hundred fifty years,” he said, “since he left us…”

I wasn’t sure what to react to first.

“He breaks up with us?”

My future self shook his head again.

“A hundred fifty years, really?”

“Not 150 exactly,” he said, “but close enough. Not dying’s a trick we picked up from the future.”

“If we don’t die, and we don’t break up, then what happened to Ralph?” I was having trouble speaking straight.

“I don’t know,” he said. “And, I know it’s hard for you to understand, but I haven’t been thinking about it.”

I wanted to start yelling at him, but I knew it’d just come off as a childish tantrum. Instead, I changed the subject.

“Why’d you come here?” I said.

“Just to bring you a message,” he said. “To save you after you’ve lost everything. So someday you can become me—to keep from becoming me.”

I didn’t understand.

He handed me another phone. “You’ll know when you need it,” he said. “Use the date to unlock it.”

I didn’t understand.

He left.

I sat down on the bed.

[partim] The day of the singularity.

Woo — really excited to be working on the next chapter of Ralph’s story! Have had to do a lot of thinking ahead to future chapters to get some of the appropriate ideas in place… and still need to add in an extra chapter for the day before ‘The day I first travelled in time’.


I was pretty tuckered out after the double workout I’d had with Ralph. He’d run off to wash up and, from the sound of it, stopped off for a midnight snack when I heard a knock at the window.

I got up—still naked, but trying to cover myself with the blanket—and went over to the window, unlocking and opening it with some effort.

On the other side of the glass, a tiger was outside my window. And not just any tiger—while he was certainly older, greying at the edges but still in the full vigor of manhood, the pattern of the stripes was the same as that of my own.

Ralph’s tiger.

For those who wanted to know what Frank looks like and haven’t already seen on FA:

Ralph's tiger

Will probably color it eventually.

The hair in this shot is a little too short to get away with not drawing eyes. Will probably work on lengthening that hair some.

The logo on the baseball cap is that of the Chattanooga Lookouts. Though Ralph was born in Texas and Frank in Georgia, they grew up in Tennessee and still live there at the beginning of their adventures. In broad outline their home setting is the Ooltewah-Collegedale area, though the finer details of the geography of the area do differ a little (White Oak Mountain seems to be called ‘White Oak Hill’ in Turia, and I have no idea anymore what ‘Green Frog Mountain’ from the day of the naked hike is supposed to correspond to).

[partim] The day I first travelled in time.

Previous | First
NSFW (tame M/M/M/M shenanigans) below cut… »

[partim] The day I first travelled in time.

Previous | First
The finished version of this has already been posted on FA, but I’m still posting it in pieces here too.


“Yeah,” he said. “Your future selves figured it’d be best for me to meet you here. This is the first time, right?”

Ralph nodded.

“C’mon, get out of the car—I have a lot to tell you, now that you’re officially time travellers.”


Ralph’s old room in his parents’ house was barren now, save for the bed and a couple of chairs. This time of day, Ralph’s ma and the Chief would probably still be out on the town.

“Now, why aren’t we meeting ourselves?” I said.

“Information management. You wanted to give yourself a huge infodump, but you couldn’t figure out how much to tell. You kept putting it off because you always had more to tell, till a certain point you started thinking it might be too much to tell. So you asked me to do it; I don’t know enough to spoil you guys.”

“So what are you going to tell us?”

“Just a few things about the nature of time, where it differs from the movies. Also to give you some new movies, and some other things.”

“A better computer?”

“A couple, actually—one for each of you.” He reached into the satchel he had with him and pulled out a pair of small palm-sized tablets.

“What’s this?” I said, noticing the Apple logo on the back. “Did they start making Newtons again?”

“It’s a cell phone. We worked out that with a microphone the enhancer can handle speech as well. So you won’t have to mess with typing.”

“That’s a relief,” Ralph said.

“You can get Internet on them, too,” Steve said. “There’s all sorts of things; I’ll show you later.”

“Expensive?” I said.

“Nah, on me. I sell these things now. Some abilities, the enhancer can send them over the phone network. Magic on demand—there’s a huge market for it.”

“Anybody can buy one of these things?” Ralph said.

“Today they can. In the past it’ll be less functional. In the future it’ll be obsolete, like this old monster.” He picked up the laptop we’d brought with us and set it in his satchel.

“You’ve been to the future?” I said.

“No,” he said, “But I know the singularity is coming, and that makes everything obsolete.”

“The singularity?”

“The point beyond which our exponential progress makes it impossible to imagine what civilization will be like. More or less. You can read up on it, if you like,” he said, pointing to the phones. “About just about everything, really. Did they have Wikipedia in 2000?”

“What-apedia?”

“Massive encyclopedia, constantly updated by anyone who feels like it. Like the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide, but more volatile.”

“What, really?” I said. “And flying cars, too?”

“No… those became much more unlikely after 9/11.”

“What?”

He shook his head. “Look it up.”

[partim] The day I first travelled in time.

Previous | First


November 7, 2000

Ralph’s movie marathon lasted till well into the morning.  He’s beautiful when he’s fixated on something.  But I still wasn’t all that keen on the idea of time travel—actually, I might have been worse off, given how so many of the plots focused on how badly time travel can mess things up.

“I’m less than encouraged,” I said.

“Forewarned is forearmed,” Ralph said.  “We know to be careful.”

“We?”

“What, what, you think you’re going out there without me?  No wonder you’re scared…  You and me are traveling together, of course.  Wild dogs couldn’t keep me away.”

“But bringing you with me… I don’t even know how I can make that work,” I said.  “Actually, I haven’t learned to do anything yet.”

“We could try setting up a time machine,” Ralph said, totally ignoring my concern.  “Dude!  We totally have to use the DeLorean!”

So of course me and Ralph ended up at his parents’, where their old DeLorean sat on blocks between a rusty pickup truck and the barbed-wire fence surrounding the property.

“This is gonna rock so hard,” he said.

“Aren’t we gonna want tires?”

“Well, probably,” he said. “But we’re not going to do much travelling till you get practice and we know what we’re doing.”

“Restraint!  I like that.”

“Besides,” he said, hefting the laptop, “the battery in this thing wouldn’t let us get far, anyway.”

“Bah, now you’ve got me worried.  What if we get stuck?”

“We’ll play it safe… first trip will be to fetch a better computer.”

“I can get behind that,” I said. “So, five years?”

“Fifteen.”

“Ten.”

“Okay, okay, deal.”

We got in the car, me at the wheel.  “Now, to get this straight, I’m not actually driving anywhere, no eighty-eight miles per hour, nothing—this is just a container?”

The most appropriate container available,” he said.  “Come on, let’s do this.”

I slapped his gut teasingly.  “You’re still ten years old inside that pork barrel, ain’tcha?”

“Oh, shut up,” he said, handing me the computer.

I opened it up.  “How do I start?” I typed.

I don’t have a way to interface with the car; you’ll have to charge it yourself.  But just give me a date or time and I’ll modulate the energy accordingly.

“It’s talking like a person again,” I said.

Ralph looked over my shoulder.  “I hate you.”

“Sure you do,” I said, and typed in “Nov 7, 2010.

OK.

And I felt the charge.  I won’t say it was electric, though there was some of that—a  feeling in the fur like it was full of static—but mostly it was a kind of intensity.  I was eager to move, and felt like I could run and just keep running, or jump over a house, or punch through a wall.

But I didn’t know how to let it out.

“Your fur’s turning purple, tiger,” Ralph said.  I looked down and saw the charge crawling up my arms.

“I don’t know what to— how to—”

Ralph grabbed my hand and slammed it down on the dash.  There was a bright flash.  “Push hard,” he said.

“Push how?”

“Your hand,” he said. “Press down hard.  That’s all.  Just push against it.”

I pushed hard on the dash, feeling that intensity focus itself and leave me.  I watched my fur go back to its original colors, the white light pulling at intervals around my hand.

Then it was all gone, the whole car flashed white for a moment, and then—I felt a different kind of surge, as though I’d been plunged into warm water.  My eyes shut reflexively.  When I opened them again, I saw it did indeed look kind of like water—full of blue and purple light refracted in the fluctuations of what I could only call the timestream.

I heard Ralph’s voice, almost unreal sounding:  Beautiful.

I felt a pleasurable sort of sensation wash over me and for a second felt as though my whole body were about to dissolve into Time—and then all my senses blanked out.

November 7, 2010

The next thing I knew, we were back in normal time and Ralph was already talking.  “I know, right?”

“What?” I said.

“You were shouting ‘Fuck, fuck yeah!’”

“I was?  Reflex, I guess,” I said, checking myself over.  “It did feel pretty good.”  In fact there was a damp spot in my shorts.  It hadn’t felt that good had it?

A bearded man knocked on Ralph’s window.  Ralph rolled it down.

Welcome—to the world of tomorrow!” he said, in full drama.

“What,” Ralph said.  “Steve, is that you?”

[partim] The day I first travelled in time.

Previous / First


“What?”

“Ever since that day,” I said, “I remember everything—everything about you, about what it’s like to be you.  I know why you think everything and do everything you do.  I thought it was the same with you.”

“I… I had no idea,” he said.  “I guess my brain wasn’t big enough to take all that on about you… you know… like how I hadn’t even realized it had worked…”

“I’m sure that’s not it,” I said. I pulled out the laptop and opened it up on the coffee table.  “Here—let’s do it again.”

“Really?”

“Hold on, now.  We’re not going to do the all-day thing.  Use the computer—make it just a minute or two.  And no stealing my body and running off on time trips!  Just… take a minute to understand me.”

“No tigerjacking?  Awh… All right, you drive a hard bargain,” he said, laughing.

He pulled up the keyboard and painstakingly tapped out: “Can I learn his mind the way he learned mine?

With my help, yes.

“It talks about itself?” I said.

“It would have to, wouldn’t it?  What would you want it to say instead?”

“I don’t know, ‘This unit will comply’?”

“No, I’d rather it spoke English,” he said.  “Now,… you’re not worried, though?  I’m actually kind of terrified you know so much about me… You haven’t run away screaming, though, which I suppose is a good sign.”

I leaned in and kissed him.  “Don’t worry about it, sweetheart.   I know it all—but I understand it all, too.  I love you, all right?”

“All right,” he said.  “I am still worried, though.”  He jabbed the keys with a finger: “Let’s do it.

OK.

I put my arms around him, and he put a hand on mine.

Next thing I knew, I was waking up on the floor, with Ralph standing over me.

“You all right?” he said.

I tried to clear my head.

“I saw it all,” he said, “Just for a bit.  But you passed out.  Are you all right?”

“I’m fine.”

He sat next to me on the floor and pulled down the laptop.  “What happened?” he asked it.

Unable to complete transfer.  Source already present in target.

“See what you did?  Now it’s talking like you wanted it to.  What does that mean?  It thinks I’m already in your head?”

“Well, you kind of are, aren’t you?”

“I shouldn’t be!”   He started typing again.  “Can you cancel the existing transfer?

No existing transfer found.  Prior transfer expired normally on June 9, 2000.

“That’s not encouraging,” I said.

“See, see this is why I don’t like computers,” he said.  “Enough of that,” he said, and shut it off.  “Steve can figure it out later.”

“Anyway,” he said, “I understood it all for a second, but it’s gone now.  It felt like you were afraid, though.”

“Of course I’m afraid.  I’ve just been given a world a million million times bigger than my own, and you’re trying to push me into it!  It doesn’t excite me like it excites you.”

“All right, then,” he said.  “Let’s get you excited.  C’mon, we’re going to the video store.”


The plan, I suppose, was to check out every time travel movie ever made—at least, out of those carried by the local movie joint.

I don’t know if I was excited yet, but Ralph certainly was—bounding among the shelves, piling up stacks of movies—Back to the Future, Bill and Ted, several episodes of Star Trek—till he seemed to have enough, and marched up to the front and dumped the whole pile of tapes on the counter.

“I still can’t get over how you don’t own any of these,” I said.

“I can’t let you check out this many, man,” the clerk said.

“I can get them anytime I want,” he said, to both of us.

“What?” the clerk said.

“You’re new, right?  Call up your manager and tell him it’s for Ralph.”

“Ralph?”

“Never mind, there he is.”  ‘He’ was a rather large rhinoceros in an ill-fitting uniform shirt.  “Hey Todd—break in this new guy?”

Todd pointed at the pile of tapes.  “Get him checked out—Ralph is always on the house.”  He turned back to Ralph.  “But bring ’em back tomorrow, aight?  It’s Monday, so I don’t mind so much, but you can’t keep me cleaned out like this for long.”

“Don’t worry,” Ralph said, giving me a wink.  “I’ve got plans to never be late for anything again.”