Vortex-surfing

Don’t Go

Time flexed and belched and shook and spasmed terror palimpset quake storm explosion mess

Marie navigated the flux and spiral, dodging anomalies, sargassos, reaper swarms, might-have-beens, nightmare children, cancers, polyps, loops, shells of Highest Entropy Matter shielding zones of oblivion and anti-time, the razor-edged tails of broken and flailing timelines, the roaring Leviathans feeding on the disintegrating borders of reality.

The Enemy, a boiling wavefront of revisionist history annihilating the status quo the Time Lords had spent all their lives painstakingly constructing to defend their privilege, shattering sense and sensibility and replacing it with something alien and… improper. For the first time since the science of chronology began, time was no longer the Time Lords’ friend. But the Great Houses of Time wouldn’t give up their hegemony without a fight.

Marie and her pilot, Homunculette. Caught in the middle in the chaos of a war with all of history up for grabs.

Marie and her pilot, the only constants in an ever-changing universe. Marie and her pilot, together until the end.

Weaving and ducking, skipping back and forth across the timestreams, avoiding paradox fronts as she surfed the vortex. Among the Type 103 timeships, there were few as experienced and canny in Wartime maneuvering as Marie.

And yet: something burst. An obstacle, a temporal mine, a dangerous, explosive Fact in a sea of Maybe. Undeniable, deadly. Even Marie couldn’t avoid it. Not in Time.

A sickening crunch audible in her mathematically-modeled interior. Marie’s gravity compensators weren’t working. Homunculette hit the solid surface of a block transfer equation with an impact that shattered bone. A soft glow as his body tried to regenerate.

“Hold on, Homunculette. I can fix this.” Marie reshuffled her interior, walls shifting, engines rebuilding themselves millions of times a second in an attempt to regain control as the Fact ate away at her substance, shrinking her, scattering her equations to the vortex and rendering them mere noise. She shrugged off libraries and ornamental gardens and triple-reinforced her essential systems as she tried to keep her interior a place where a Time Lord could survive while still remaining alive herself.

“Fix this,” she insisted, her voice turning plaintive. The statement became a question.

“Fix this?”

“Fix?”

Mechanisms upon mechanisms. Sacrifice everything to hold on. One last coherent plea: “Hold on to me, Homunculette! Don’t let go! Please don’t go.”

Homunculette did hold on as the temporal forces erased Marie’s shell, left him clinging to the console as it opened up into the howling void, his knuckles turning white, his body shining gold and faceless as it tried to rebuild itself into something that could survive without a timeship’s shielding, something many-limbed and armored and clawed.

It wasn’t enough. The last thing Marie heard from her pilot was a scream unlike anything a humanoid throat could produce. She answered it with a howl of her own, a machine wail of pure loss and despair as she fell apart.

When she awoke she no longer remembered who she was. A name, a purpose, a shape: there was nothing but equations turned abstract, formless, sprawling and liquid on alien pavement. It might have been millennia; Time had long since stopped having any meaning.

But the War was over, whatever that meant. Meaning began to accrue as intelligences moved near, each pair of eyes adding a little more context to her situation, allowing her to define herself. That’s what she required: a pilot, someone to tell her what she was and what she could be.

She grasped, greedily, at each observer. There was nothing left of her but raw need. At last someone lingered just long enough for the chaos that was once Marie to fulfill her primal directive and hold. On. Hold on to definition, any definition, hold on and not let go. And finally, finally, she knew who she was, and what she wanted.

“Promise you won’t go,” said Bill.

“I promise,” said Heather.

WANDERING WHEEL … 

… our planetary system spirals like a vortex surfing the waves of our galaxy. As we orbit, this wandering wheel leaves behind in its wake the recorded memories of our imagination. Tunneling through space, this akashic wormhole is accessed through the dreams of us beings offering us a wardrobe of possibilities. Who will you be?

Artist: Keith Prossick


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The Knight Who Waited @starlessamypond

It had been two years since the Doctor had scooped Dave up and made him change his ways. The mistakes were fixed within the first year and even then, the last two years had been the greatest of Dave’s life.

As a “Time Tot Graduation” present (as the Doctor had put it), he bestowed upon Dave his own set of time travelling equipment. 

The first give was an upgraded TARDIS infused universal powerhouse sword known as Caledscratch MK III. The Doctor didn’t really want to give this to Dave, but he admitted early on that Dave’s sword skills got the two out of many close scrapes. It was a powerful sword, but he knew Dave would use it responsibly. 

The second; a new pair of timetables, now with a built in vortex manipulator and communicator, so Dave could stay in touch and travel within the time vortex. Again, the Doctor did not want to give this to Dave out of his own aged hesitation, but he had to show Dave that he trusted him enough to be turned loose, and it was a decent reward for being such a stellar companion. 

The third; Freedom to come and go as Dave liked, he had proven himself responsible, and more than capable of handling time and space. With that, Dave was given his own TARDIS key.

And the final; Dave’s very own Sonic Screwdriver. This came from the bottom of the Doctor’s hearts. He knew Dave would use this, and modeled it after his own. The package also came with Dave’s own psychic ‘card’ as the paper seemed more the Doctor’s style than Dave’s. 

It was Dave’s first time in the time vortex. The tables were built with special temporal shielding, to save Dave’s body from burning in the vortex. The storms were red, and blue, and a little yellow. Clouds bellowed and the sound of all time and space rang out like a true thunderstorm. There were arcs of lightning, and occasional wormholes, opening into other places. Dave surfed the vortex, calculating on the floating tablet in front of him a destination. Swiping for a random world and a random date he was ready to take the flight pattern and materialize. 

As Dave’s bad luck would have it, that would not be his destination. An arc of vortex lightning struck Dave’s bubble directly, immediately sending a shock of time energy through Dave’s body. 

“Fuck!" 

The arc had destroyed Dave’s shielding, which made him completely vulnerable to the storms of time. Another Arc struck Dave directly and sent him tumbling down in the winds. Dave hit the materialize sequence, needing to get out of the storms before it killed him. 

Barely conscious, Dave flashed into the night sky and fell, crashing into the trees below. The time tables hit the ground, exploding into energy and fizzing away. Dave landed on his back, and was as close to fried as he could be. Slowly sitting up he assessed his person carefully. 

He pulled out his phone, it was fried. Next his screwdriver, also, fried. With the tables gone, his phone and screwdriver fried, Dave was stuck. 

It was ironic, the moment he was turned loose to get stuck like this.

Standing up finally, Dave brushed himself off and took a look around. It was Earth, he could just feel that much.  And it was a city. As Dave found exit to the park he figured out quick he was New York City, and after asking a local (whom almost called the police on him because he was so ragged and had a giant blue sword on his back) the date, he figured out it was March 28th, 1932. Dave was particularly stuck. The only thing he had that wasn’t wrecked was the instruction manual the Doctor gave him for the screwdriver. Dave did regret the mistake of leaving his Sylladex on the TARDIS.

The sword was attracting attention. Dave knew he had to duck out somewhere quick before he got arrested for some sore reason. Dashing into a dark alley he approached a door. Easily breaking the nob off Dave stepped inside, leaving the back door ajar. It was quiet. He stepped up the creaky steps and stared at a hallway of doors. They all had little name tags on them, except for one. Approaching that one, Dave had to assume it was empty. Breaking off the lock would not be the best option this time around, so he dug around his coat pocket for the clip of pins he kept, as his own backup if needed. Kneeling down Dave slowly picked the lock, and opened the door. Stepping inside, his assumption was correct; the apartment was empty, save an open and empty suitcase in the corner which, was very dusty. 
He closed the door, locking it, and walked around the apartment. It was cramped, but that was the Depression for you. He set the sword, phone, and fried screwdriver on the table and sat down on the musty couch. 

Dave was exhausted, needing some time to get his head after being fried half to death. He would read the manual tomorrow, as the screwdriver was his only hope of calling the Doctor and getting home. 

He laid himself on the couch, and passed out shortly after. 

I’m quite fond of the idea that an angel’s rank determines not only their appearance but also what size their true forms are. So, Castiel, being a Seraph by Season 6 and on, is approximately the size of our Chrysler Building. From there the size tapers off.

And then there are the Archangels. The powerhouses of the Host. These massive creatures that dwarf the Seraphim. Like a blue whale next to an orca.

I like picturing these Archangels flying through Heaven, knocking aside the angels that don’t get out of the way of their wings. Completely accidental, but they’ve got too much pride to apologize to each of their kin that they buffet. And, when they lead other angels into battle, the smaller ones vortex surf behind them, saving their energy for the fight to come.

Maybe, in more peaceful times, Gabriel would let his younger kin land on him, on his wings. They’d have little games with each other while the Archangel served as the playing mat. Not that he minded, of course. It was nice having that much life and gaiety happening around, and on, him. Maybe he’d jokingly poke and prod at some of them. Just for a laugh. Just to see the indignant little fits the smaller angels would throw for having been knocked for a loop.

While his older brothers, his more serious brothers who thought too much about their jobs, would look on in either boredom or flat-out distaste. Things needed to be done to keep Creation running smoothly. Couldn’t very well do those if you were goofing around. Plus, letting your feathers get all roughed up and displaced by these angels that were practically children? Disgraceful.

And Gabriel would ignore his older brothers because they were party-poopers who had the misfortune of having not been created with the definition of “fun” already downloaded into their brains. They just couldn’t understand what they were missing.