Posts Tagged Turia

[partim] The day of the singularity.

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“The doors—” the man started, confused for a moment. The doors were indeed of the push-to-open kind.

“I guess I should start here, then,” he said. “This is the Halkiadakis Institute, of course, I’m John, in this place we… well, everyone coming from the past comes through here. So it has to be kept traditional, so people aren’t disoriented.” He started walking again. “So different areas for different arrivals—this is the Modern area, and I work in the Medieval and sometimes the Primitive—”

“Wouldn’t time travelers be ready for new and strange futures?” Ralph said.

“Oh, we’re not here for time travelers,” John said. “I mean, I said everyone coming from the past, I mean everyone. That’s our mission here, our number one obligation.”

“What is?”

“To salvage everyone from the past. To have made death meaningless. To give everyone, every person who ever lived, another life free of death and hardship.”

“But—everyone does die—or did, back then, anyway—isn’t the past, the timeline, supposed to be immutable?”

“It is—and that’s where you come in, Ralph. Your talent makes this whole operation possible.”

[partim] The day of the singularity.

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The distant future, when I found myself looking at it, didn’t look all that unusual, which worried me a bit. It was an empty room we found ourselves in—and reminded me something of a hospital—dingy white walls, scuffed linoleum tile, and a long mirror along one wall.

Okay, obviously an interrogation room, then? But there was no table or anything—there ought to have been a table, with a bright light over it, and the good cop would be standing in the corner, conflicted, while the bad cop would lean over the table, snarling, yelling—


A short, dark-haired human in a lab coat greeted Ralph warmly, starting with a handshake and ending with a full-on embrace.

“I hear it’s supposed to be your first day today,” he said. “Ah hey, sir,” he said, noticing me.

“It’s such an honor to be the one to orient you,” he said, returning his attention to Ralph and apparently trying to ignore me. “Come on, come on,” he said, leading him out the door.

I followed along. The hallway would not have looked out of place in a 20th-century office building. Maybe the future hadn’t changed as much as they’d thought it would?

Of course Ralph asked the question before I could bring myself to. “Hey,” he said, “Hey, what’s up with this future? The doors don’t even dilate!”

[B&W] On the roof.

poke to embiggen

One I was working on recently…

[partim] Shine.

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The food went quickly, and my hunger came back.  I shoveled in egg rolls after kung pao after potstickers, my light burning hot inside me and illuminating the whole room.

Beside me, Fofaa ate, with a daintiness unusual in non-anthros, but steadily and relentlessly. Her light didn’t brighten so much as it increased in splendor, the fire changing colors, and becoming visible through more of her scales, bathing her in an amazing aura.

I lost track of how much I ate—I figured they’d be keeping track well enough.  My gut was straining from fullness and I know I had to push my seat back to make room at least three or four times.

I would have loved, desperately, to stop and give my gut a good rubbing for comfort’s sake between plates, but by this time my belly was way too hot to touch.  I was glad I didn’t have to worry about undoing a belt—my backside’s generally plenty to keep the pants up—but I was just reaching the point where I’d have to open up the button and reclaim some breathing space.

I grabbed a couple of spare forks from the table and used one to lift my overstuffed belly out of the way, and I stuck the other one under it and jiggled the button till it came free.

I exhaled heavily and put down the forks.  That was a lot better.  Before I could do anything about it, though, the girl who was bringing my next plate dropped it—the plate shattered and eggs foo young went everywhere.  She seemed frozen in place, and I turned to see what she was looking at.

[partim] The day of the singularity.

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You can’t talk Ralph out of anything he’s got his mind set on.  Normally I don’t try—too hard, anyway.  But the idea of a future like this was frightening.  A hundred years might not have meant much in the distant past—but just ten years was already making big changes, as the phone in my hand suggested.

I looked up at Ralph.  “I’m not ready for that,” I said.  “Please, Ralph.”

“You don’t need to be ready, babe,” he said.  “Babe, we’re going there to get ready!”

So there was no way I’d win that argument.  I didn’t even get a chance to properly accept defeat, though, before Ralph was dressed and ready and dragging me out the door.  “C’mon, c’mon, c’mon,” he said, as I tried to get my pants on.

“I told you we don’t need the DeLorean for time travelling,” I said, a bit embarrassed, as he headed towards the car.  Seriously, I thought, what would the future think?

He looked it over.  The Chief had never taken good care of it; it was pitted from occasional hail, rusty in places,—and I already mentioned it was in need of tires.  Ever since he got his first job Ralph said he wanted to restore it, but he never could hold on to the money.

“All right,” he said, “All right.  One hundred years.”

He took my hand and I knew I couldn’t fight it.  Somehow it’d become Ralph’s choice to make, not mine, and I was only shaking a little bit as I pulled out my phone.   I blacked out almost immediately.

November 8, 2110

[WIP] Ralph and his tiger.

NSFW (M/M) below cut …»

[partim] Shine.

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A couple of younger men came out carrying trays crowded with plates of food and arranged them all on Fofaa’s table.

A few moments later, the man who’d first brought me in came back with a plate of crab rangoons.

I brightened up a bit and went to work myself.

[partim] The day of the singularity.

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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!”

[partim] Shine.

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“So, I hear I have a competitor,” she said. Despite her appearance, she spoke English without any hint of an accent. “What’s your name, tiger?” Her light flashed with what was clearly a bit of contempt.

In her presence I felt a bit ashamed of my nickname, so I didn’t bring it up. “I’m Billy Taft. Miss…?”

“Lung Fofaa,” she said. “You think you can out-eat me, do you?”

I shook my head. “I didn’t—I had no idea what I was in for. They just offered me a free meal.”

“No such thing,” she said, “Trust me.”

“What are we even competing for?” I said.

She leaned in close and put her claws on my belly. “Fuel for the fire,” she said. My light flickered a bit at the feminine touch, but she didn’t react to it, if she noticed at all. “You can eat here for as long as you like—until a better eater comes along. And you must take on all challengers.”

I looked up into her eyes as her talons almost imperceptibly squeezed my gut. “Believe me, miss, I have no intention of threatening your meal ticket.”

She snorted, a puff of red smoke from her nostrils washing over me. “Nonsense,” she said. “The challenge has already begun. Go on,” she said, to the man who brought me in, “Let’s get me caught up.”

She took her place at a long low table beside me as he left for more food. “I beat a man for this position,” she said, “Over a year ago. He was just an ordinary human; no challenge whatever. No one since has even come close. But you’ve got fire in you too—you might just be able to compete.”

[scrap] The day of the singularity.

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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?”


“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?”


“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.