The Woman and The Bell – Chapter 4 Teaser:

Sarah straightened, dropping her washcloth on the table and using her apron to wipe her hands dry.  “Can I help you with something?”  She brushed a pesky wisp of hair out of her eyes and patted it against her head.

“We hope so,” the Doctor said.  “Is there anyplace we could sit and talk for a moment, in private?”

The woman glanced around uncertainly.  “Well… I can’t really do that while I’m working, but I’ve got a break coming up in about ten minutes.”

“Oh, we can wait,” Rose said.  “Come on, Doctor.”  She grabbed him by the arm.  “We’ll just be outside.”

They exited the restaurant and occupied a bench that was situated a few doors down from Chili’s.  The Doctor slouched, stretching his legs straight out in front of him and crossing his ankles, fingers threaded into each other across his abdomen.  Rose sat semi-sideways, arm propped on the back of the bench, resting her head on it like a pillow.  She gazed at him, eyes roaming up and down his features as he stared out towards the horizon.

She could feel the energy around him turning inward.

They couldn’t see the water from the bench, but the sky was clear and blue, and the sun was glinting off the glossy white paint of the ship’s railing, scattering streaked bands of reflected light—some dancing about on the cobbles, others clinging to the metal planks of the canopy above. A couple of seagulls wheeled past, a third landing on the deck, hopping around in search of scraps.  The Doctor paid little attention to any of this, however.  He was drifting.

“Doctor,” Rose said softly after several moments, reaching out and touching his hands.  It broke the spell and he looked over, blinking and drawing in a deep breath.


“Something bothering you?”

He smiled and sat up straighter.  “No, of course not!  I’m fine!  I’m good.”  He leaned over and gave her a quick peck on the lips.

She recognized it for what it was.  The hasty, over-eager assurance, sealed with a kiss.  Rose glanced down.  “You can tell me, you know.”  She raised her head and looked into his eyes.  “You can talk to me. About anything.”

He smiled again. “Of course.  I know that, Rose.”

“But will you? Talk to me, I mean.  I… want you to.”

He furrowed his brow, disentangling his fingers to cup her cheek, lightly sweeping his thumb back and forth.  “Of course I will.”  He kissed her again, more deeply this time, then pulled away with a puzzled smile on his face.  “What brought this on?”

She half smiled and looked at her hands, fidgeting with her nails.  “Nothing, I…  I just wanted to make sure you understood that, that’s all.  I mean, completely.  I’m always available.  I want you to know that.  I mean really know.”

The Doctor’s smile slowly faded as he stared into her eyes.  He read worry and deep hurt in them, and his chest tightened with guilt.  Did she think he didn’t trust her?  After several moments, he finally nodded.  A sober, faint nod.  “I do.”

She was about to speak again when Sarah walked up at a brisk pace.  “Okay, I’ve got ten minutes.  What’s up?”  She brushed hair out of her face again and rested her hands on the back of her hips casually.

Read Chapter 4 in its entirety here!

Or on AO3!

Scientists May Have Just Discovered A Parallel Universe Leaking Into Ours

We may have just, for the first time ever, caught a momentous glimpse of a parallel universe bumping against our own.

Scientists say that signals from the furthest reaches of space suggest that the fabric of our universe is being disrupted by another universe. The discovery could provide proof of the multiverse theory, which says that there are many alternate universes.

Keep reading


Vintage Fringe Science Illustrated Prints.

1. Dark Matter
2. Cryonics
3. Parallel Universe
4. Nano Technology
5. Mutation
6. Psychokinesis
7. Reanimation
8. Hive Mind
9. Transmogrification
10. Hypnosis


Portals to another world are a staple of fantasy world. Chronicles of Narnia; Stargate; Monsters, Inc.; and many others have portals to another world, all presented differently. I’ll go over some different types of portals and ways to deal with them.

Types of Portals

Portal to a parallel universe

Portals to parallel universes, like the quantum mirror in Stargate SG-1, transfer the character(s) from this world to a parallel one, one where there has been some divergence but where it is still fundamentally the same as where they came from.

There are basically two types of portals you can have for this. You can have a physical portal, like with the quantum mirror, or you can have a purely magic portal. I’ve seen one story where the portal is and worn can be activated and transfers the consciousness to the same body in another world when other!them dies (more or less).

There are three main things to think about for this:

Is it two-way? You need to figure out whether or not it’s a one-way trip, and your character doesn’t need to know the answer to this when they go through the first one. If it is a two-way trip, there should probably be some symmetrical means to get back. It always reads weirdly when they come through by one means and come back by another. There has to be a really good reason for the characters to come back a different way than they came; the physical object only existing in one world is one of the only good reasons I can think of. That doesn’t mean that there can’t be a whole adventure to be able to go back home.

Where do they come out? You have a few options for this. They can come out in an arbitrary place, they can come out at some set magic nexus, they can come out wherever the physical object is on the other side, or they can come out in the same place (longitude/latitude). For each of these options, you need to think about why they come out where they do.

Do they replace alternate!them? Because they’re coming out in a world that they would theoretically exist in, think about whether they replace them or exist in addition to them. In Stargate SG-1, for example, there are times when they show up and there’s another of them there and there are times when other!them is dead and they never interact with them. Both of these have their issues—what happens when you meet yourself, how are you different from other!you, how do people keep from conflating you, etc.—and you need to figure out how to incorporate them into your story.

Portal to another planet

What I’m talking about here is where the characters and the reader know that they are on another planet in the same universe (and often the same galaxy) as where they came from. The classic example of this (and yes, I have a theme) is Stargate, where they use portals to travel to other planets. For this, one of the biggest things to think about is making the new planet(s) livable without making it/them Earth. Do the aliens look human? Are they even humanoid? How do they communicate with each other? How do they communicate with the protagonist?

Also, how did the portals get there? In Stargate, they were seeded through the galaxy, as were the humans, which is why there are humans on many of the planets with Stargates. If there are ones to multiple planets, you also need to think about dialing and identification systems, as well as whether or not characters have other means to get to these planets (i.e. space ships).

Portal to a magic/other world

This is the classic idea à la Narnia, where there is some way to get to another totally unrelated world that is neither on another planet not in a parallel universe. The common story with this is a character or characters on Earth being teleported to a world with magic and either being the “chosen one” or otherwise getting embroiled in political unrest or war while having to figure out their way around.

These worlds tend to look Narnia and/or Tolkein-esque, with foresty pseudo-European landscapes and cultures. As with all fantasy stories, that isn’t at all necessary. You can have them show up in desserts or tundras or marshes or floating cities or underground or literally wherever you want. It’s fantasy.

Another common thing is to have the world be magic with pseudo-European-medieval-except-without-the-gross-stuff levels of technology. You don’t need to go in that direction. You can have whatever type of magic you want with whatever level of technology you want, because these worlds don’t need to have the same historic path as the Earth.

Portal hub

Another option is that there is a hub of portals where a character can enter from any and go through to any other—or whatever other level of security or access you want—and it can end up as some sort of trade or culture hub.

Things to Think About

What is the portal? Whether or not the portal is a physical thing, there needs to be some idea of what the portal actually is. Traditionally it’s something that’s walked through, like a literal gate, but it can also be an object or a teleportation spell.

How does the portal work? Is it activated by touch? Is it activated by magic? Is there a ritual? Is there a specific time it needs to be turned on? Is there a specific place it needs to be? Is there a set of criteria to create it or make it work? Is there a specific length of time for which it can be turned on? Is passing through active or passive?

Who has access to it? This is true both in terms of physical access—who can physically get to it, who knows about it—and in terms of who can pass through magic-wise. There could be a class distinction or a location requirement, or maybe only a select number of people know about it (e.g. Narnia, Stargate).

Can inanimate objects be sent through? Can communication (e.g. radio or sound waves) be sent through?

What is the cost? This is tied into how it works, but also think about what physical objects may be needed, what physical toll opening it or passing through may cost, or what magic may be required.

Can it be opened from both sides? Is it possible to pull someone through to your side or even open up a portal and let people come through from another side without them opening it on their side?