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When We Dead Awaken

20 May 2006 03:57 #5546 by argonaut
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The only constants, as I see them are (1) Caramel Fox as a superheroine freed from one of those "peril" universes and (2) the idea of cross-time travel between parallel worlds -- as in H. Beam Piper and Keith Laumer paratime stories.


Brantley, I spent half an hour this evening flipping through just about every anthology of science-fiction stories on my bookshelves until I found Piper's story "He Walked Around the Horses." This was one of the first alternate-history stories, and IMO still one of the best. It's based on a real-life mystery -- the disappearance of an English diplomat named Sir Benjamin Bathurst from the stable-yard of a German inn in November 1809 (a mystery that remains unsolved to this day). As in most stories of this type, much of the fun lies in seeing the very different paths that the lives of well-known historical figures (Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon) might have taken. It's a terrific story, and I had fun revisiting it. Thanks for the prod!

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20 May 2006 04:36 #5548 by brantley
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But if only we could prod somebody into continuing THIS story!

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05 Jun 2006 20:05 #5701 by Spulo
Replied by Spulo on topic When We Dead Awaken
Caramel sat on the roof of the highest building she'd been able to find, staring down at the city hundreds of feet below. Her tears had long since dried up, and had fallen silently into a world that seemed too busy to notice her.

The darkness of the night felt somehow comforting to her - like a blanket she could wrap herself in to disappear from this strange world. Nice, compared with what she was used to, but still strange.

One phrase kept replaying itself over and over - This isn't your world. No matter how nice it felt not to be abused and violated at the hands, claws, and tentacles of her enemies, she still felt like an alien, and she knew she always would.

As alien as I did when I first...

...when I first...what?


A very small part of her wanted to tear the city apart out of sheer frustration, to find some answers...some clues as to who she was...but she knew it wouldn't do any good. No-one down there knew who she was.

Nobody cared.

"Caramel?"

The sudden voice had brought Caramel out of her thoughts, but she didn't turn around. Gentle footsteps approached her, until she became aware of another woman sitting down beside her. "Do you mind if I join you?"

Caramel turned her head...the woman was like her, she realised. A superhero. But her eyes weren't examining the woman...Caramel was more interested in the costume she wore. Silver top, silver shorts...and a long blue cape. Her hand reached out for the cape, and the woman didn't try to stop her as Caramel took hold of it, running the material between her hands.

"I had a costume..." she said quietly.

The woman smiled. "Tell me about it, Caramel. What was your costume like?"

"It was...it..." Caramel fell silent, unable to remember. "It had a cape. I remember that..." Then she realised something. "How did you know my name?"

"They sent me." the woman explained. "To look after you."

This was what Caramel had been longing for - they'd promised to find someone her own age that she could talk to, a superhero like her...but now that that person was here, Caramel felt nervous. "Oh, no, you don't need to trouble yourself-"

"Hey, it's no trouble at all." the woman replied. "They've explained to me about you, and...well, I wanna help."

Caramel looked up, and studied the woman's face for the first time. She seemed...nice. Friendly and gentle...Caramel wasn't used to that. "You're beautiful." she whispered.

The woman smiled warmly. "That's very sweet of you to say. Thank you."

Caramel suddenly shook her head. "But this is wrong!"

"What is?"

"You, me...us, talking like we're..."

"Friends?" the woman suggested.

"Exactly, friends! You should be...humiliating me, hurting me..."

"Why on Earth would I wanna do that?"

Caramel paused - why should that be the way it is? She gave the only answer she could. "Because...that's all I know. That's what I'm used to..."

She flinched a little as she suddenly felt the woman's hand on her shoulder. "I just want to touch you." the woman told her quietly. "Hold you. Not hurt you."

Caramel looked into the woman's eyes...and saw nothing in them but honesty, and concern for her. She gave a little nod, and the woman put her arm around her. "You're a nervous little thing, aren't you?"

"Who are you?" Caramel asked.

The woman smiled. "Omega Girl." she replied proudly.

"No...you. The person inside the costume. The real you."

"My real name is Ezusi."

"Ezusi..." Caramel whispered the name to herself a few times. "It's an unusual name."

"It's not an Earth name."

"You're not from Earth?"

Ezusi shook her head. "My world...my world is gone. Sucked into a black hole. I came here because I had nowhere else to go..."

Caramel felt terrible. "I...I'm sorry..."

"I could count on one hand the number of people who know all that..."

"Oh, I won't tell anyone, I promise."

Ezusi smiled. "Thanks, Caramel." Caramel felt Ezusi's hand rub her back softly...it felt nice. "It was all a long time ago...but it still hurts. That's why I want to help you. I remember what it's like, arriving here and knowing nothing and no-one. I'd rather you didn't go through all that alone."

"Ezusi?"

"Yes, Caramel?"

"...for the first time that I can remember...certainly for the first time since I've arrived here...I trust. I trust you. Oh, don't get me wrong, everyone's been nice to me, but-"

"But it helps to know there are others like you." Ezusi smiled. "Believe me, I understand, and I'm glad I could help. Now...I know you already have a room at the Center, and they're looking after you...but...well..."

"I would." Caramel said quickly.

"Would what?"

"Would...like to stay with you...I'm sorry, I-I thought that was what you were offering..."

Ezusi smiled. "That is what I'm offering. You can come and stay with me, and...and we'll find out who you are, OK? I promise you that."

Caramel had heard those words before, but...this was the first time she actually believed them. "Thank you." she whispered.

Ezusi smiled, and got to her feet. "You can fly, right?" Caramel nodded. "Good. Follow me."

Omega Girl took off into the night sky, and Caramel followed close behind...happy that she now had someone she could call a friend.


NOTE - I've found it sometimes helps my writing to 'cast' the characters...and this is what I've based Omega Girl on...

www.superwomenmania.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=823

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05 Jun 2006 20:36 #5702 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic When We Dead Awaken
Great! I see she lost the curlers, though. Just as well!

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29 Dec 2010 20:41 #21173 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic When We Dead Awaken

Omega Girl took off into the night sky, and Caramel followed close behind...happy that she now had someone she could call a friend.


NOTE - I've found it sometimes helps my writing to 'cast' the characters...and this is what I've based Omega Girl on...

www.superwomenmania.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=823


It's been four and a half years, but I still remember this story. I may try a new chapter shortly. But are Argonaut, CK and Spulo still interested? Spulo, you set a good direction in making Omega Girl and Caramel a team. I think that's worth following up.

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30 Dec 2010 21:19 #21174 by argonaut
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Pass. Whatever time and energy I can spare for writing nowadays goes to "The Supergirl of Smallville" (and a couple of side projects of my own).

Frankly, I always thought the rather somber tone of your opening chapter, while not a bad thing in itself, put too much of a constraint on potential contributors. But I'd be interested in seeing how you'd continue the story.

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30 Dec 2010 21:32 #21175 by Spulo
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Fraid I'd be out too. I came across some of my notes and a rough first chapter for a new T4000 storyline the other day that I should probably work on polishing up...

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30 Dec 2010 22:21 #21177 by Sarge395
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On my begging for a continuation!

:wink:

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31 Dec 2010 02:28 #21178 by brantley
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Fraid I'd be out too. I came across some of my notes and a rough first chapter for a new T4000 storyline the other day that I should probably work on polishing up...


Thanks to you, at least I know what Omega Girl looks like, I'll have to make use of that, too.

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31 Jan 2011 01:33 #21469 by brantley
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On my begging for a continuation!

:wink:


Well, here goes:

VI
By Brantley
“I love this city,” Ezusi said as she soared over New York with Caramel. “There’s no other place like it on Earth. There wasn’t any place like it on… Maailma.”
“That was your world?”
“Yes.”
“What was it like?”
“Post-industrial. Like one huge park, homes made of glass, personal flyers to get around, everything solar and wind-powered, underground nanofactories to supply all our needs. It was… nice. And safe. So safe there wasn’t much for people like me to do.”
“Still, it must hurt.”
“Of course it hurts. I lost my family. Everyone I knew. But I didn’t really know that many people. Not personally – all the rest were virtual. That’s what’s different here. There’s people all around. Real people.”
“I can’t remember… just people… where Steve took me from. I can’t remember where I came from in the first place. Just my name.
“It must hurt to lose your very self. They told about that. And somebody did it to you. Maailma was… just a cosmic accident. Unless you think the universe—”
Something below had suddenly caught her attention.
“There’s a crash down there at 14th and Broadway. A bad one. Better get on it.”
It was a bad one, all right – an SUV had crashed into the left side of a limo. Police and rescue workers would be on the way, but they weren’t there yet.
“I’ll separate the cars,” Ezusi told Caramel. “You tear the doors off the limo. But let me get the people out; I’m used to this.”
Caramel did as she was told, wrenching loose the limo doors as Omega Girl, after pulling the SUV back, saw to the passengers in that vehicle. A crowd had gathered, and people were pointing at her, although she wasn’t sure why.
Exusi had carefully freed the driver of the SUV and the woman next to him, probably his wife or girlfriend. Their airbags had worked; they didn’t seem to be badly hurt, but she laid them down carefully on the pavement and told them not to move. But they too looked strangely at Caramel.
“They’re not used to seeing a superheroine in civvies,” Ezusi explained quickly. “Anyway, everybody already knows me.”
Things looked a lot worse for the limo driver and his left side passenger. They were bleeding, and in obvious shock. “Broken left shoulders, the both of them,” Ezusi called back to Caramel.
There was the sound of sirens, and flashing red and blue lights came into view a few moments later. Caramel saw that Ezusi was being extra careful with the two victims from the limo; a second passenger had managed to get out on his own. Ezusi was staring at the driver, and it took another moment for Caramel to realize that she was using her heat vision to cauterize the bleeding wound. She did the same with the passenger.
Caramel was vaguely aware that her clothes had been torn from dealing with the limo doors, but only now did she look down and realize that her shirt was torn and her breasts were hanging out. Some of the male onlookers had pulled out their cell phones – she’d learned what those were only after coming to New York – and holding them up at her. They were grinning.
When the ambulance people took charge of the victims, Caramel asked Ezusi about that. “Are they all calling their friends to talk about the accident?”
Ezusi glanced at them.
“Shit,” she told Caramel. “They’re taking your picture.”
Then she turned to the offenders.
“You know who I am,” she barked. “Is that how you’d treat me?”
They started dropping their cellphones like hot potatoes, because they really were getting hot. Heat vision again. None of the offenders protested, except for the yelps when they dropped the devices. They just slunk away.
“Thanks,” Caramel said softly to her friend as they were about to take off.
“I may have been too late,” Ezusi said. “Even even one of them had already left… well, your assets are about to go viral.”
“What’s viral?”
“Oh,” Caramel said after Ezusi explained.
“Not that they’ll be able to do anything besides fantasize to the pictures. This isn’t like the world you came from. But we’ll have to get you an outfit. A real outfit that’ll stand up to anything, like you can. Anyway, it could have been worse – like, if this had been a fire and your civvies had been totally burned.”
“Oh,” said Caramel again.
“Of course, some of us expose ourselves in magazines; helps pay the rent. Or to special admirers.”
“You mean…”
“They can do more than look, if we choose to enfold them in our auras.”
“Auras?”

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02 Feb 2011 12:21 #21511 by Sarge395
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Thank you for the update. Short but sweet.

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02 Feb 2011 15:30 #21515 by brantley
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Thank you for the update. Short but sweet.


Well, let's see if you can follow up....

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02 Feb 2011 23:23 #21524 by Sarge395
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Brantley,

I am not what I would consider a good writer. You on the other hand have that gift.

I try to give back with images, comments, video, etc.

Sarge395

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03 Feb 2011 02:04 #21525 by brantley
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Brantley,

I am not what I would consider a good writer. You on the other hand have that gift.

I try to give back with images, comments, video, etc.

Sarge395


Well, I hope SOMEBODY will step up to the plate! It could become a really classic story.

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