scientific travel

I can see people’s auras… and it’s a curse.

by A10A10A10

Yes, I can see people’s auras.

And I hate saying it so bluntly. It makes me sound like some hack psychic who fakes the ability as a means of exploitation and a paycheck. I’ve never made money from my ability. I’ve never taken advantage of it. And, until now, I’ve never spoken of it to anybody.

But I really do see them, and I’m starting to view it as more of a curse. I have a reason for typing this out and I assure you, there isn’t a happy ending.

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Travel corvette Astrolabe performed by order of the king during the years 1826-1829,

By Dumont d'Urville, Jules-Sébastien-César, 1790-1842

Publication info Paris: J. Tastu, 1830-1834.
Contributor: Duke University Libraries (
BHL Collections:
Ernst Mayr Library of the MCZ, Harvard University
Under the Sea: World Oceans Day

I can see people's auras... and it's a curse.

Yes, I can see people’s auras.

And I hate saying it so bluntly. It makes me sound like some hack psychic who fakes the ability as a means of exploitation and a paycheck. I’ve never made money from my ability. I’ve never taken advantage of it. And, until now, I’ve never spoken of it to anybody.

But I really do see them, and I’m starting to view it as more of a curse. I have a reason for typing this out and I assure you, there isn’t a happy ending.

For me, it’s quite simple. I see a faint light surrounding people. Everyone. And in that light, I can see their morality. The brighter and more translucent the light is, the better the person. The darker and opaquer, the worse. Dim and partly translucent are morally ambiguous. To simplify things, those are the three ways I describe them. Dark equals evil. Bright equals good. Dim equals somewhere in between. It’s strange, I’ve always viewed the people with grey/dim auras as… arbiters. Mediators. The people in between, who aren’t one or the other, and will always have difficult decisions to make.

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Time and Again

When Bart Allen crash lands in the present, it’s strange, and he’s strange, but Danny has long been used to strange. He bobs his head when the YJ team relates to him what Bart had said about the future; his eyes closing when the knot in his chest releases at the telling of Impulse’s future. He’s not a monster.

Bart screams the first time that he sees Phantom.

Dan glances up at the natural portal over his head, double checking that it was indeed still open, the Infi-map thrumming in his belt. He turns his gaze back to the workers laboring away. 

Blue looks up at him, squinting into the empty space created by invisibility. Dan knows well enough now that the Reach suit can read the ecto-magnetic signature of his core. That had been established decades ago. The psionic cannon whirs, and Dan grins, flickering into view; red eyes dancing with mirth and revenge.

Dan’s howl neutralizes the blast; the air vibrates with the tension of conflicting sound waves. 

Small things here and there trip Bart up. A comment here, a sidelong glance, stiffening abruptly when Phantom phases through the wall, staring a little too long at Danny (both human and ghost) as if he’s trying to catalog the differences. Danny’s skin prickles and flashes of the desolated landscape from his future echo.

He relates these to Tucker and Sam; they vaguely remember the incident through a fog, but they nod and write down the instances that Danny lists. The journal confirms Danny’s suspicions that Bart is lying about his role in the future.

An electric blast from Black Beetle illuminates Dan’s frame, highlighting the glowing scar that sit across his chest, slipping across his collarbones and bisecting the insignia. Dan remembers dying; he remembers the pain and distress at watching GIW and Reach scientists alike poke and prod. He remembered his human side violently rejecting him, barring him control while it slipped out of the black hazmat and into civilian clothes to bleed out and find rest. Phantom, the halfa now dead, remembered their names and faces.

He didn’t kill them. He just worked to be a constant nuisance, a thorn in their side. He was angry, yes, but he refused to become that creature from his nightmares. It was a line he’d drawn. Helping out the workers made him feel better, overshadowing them to share his strength and let them rest for a moment.

That was how he’d found Vlad, actually. The older halfa had been doing much the same. Plasmius’s eyes had echoed the loneliness Phantom felt inside as they discussed how he’d come to be captured, how the Reach tech had learned to corrupt both Valerie and Jazz’s suits. The discussed the era of the fallen heroes. It was nice to reminisce even if those memories were tainted with anger and revulsion from how those heroes had been vanquished. Plasmius asks after the specifics, and Phantom state–as a distraught Vlad had told him in a future so many years ago–that some things are better left unsaid.

Time ticks on. Both are acutely aware of Clockwork’s radio silence.Vlad ceases to aide as Plasmuis now that the Reach follows him everywhere. Apparently, they finally deemed Luthor’s files worth a read. Vlad has not been a young man for years, and now Phantom helps as he does with the laborers, sometimes overshadowing Vlad through the worst of it. He works carefully to avoid expelling him as Point Dexter did so many, many adventures ago (was that even him? it couldn’t have been). 

Dan remembers dying then too, the feel and slide of Vlad’s body tiring, how it felt to lose that last vestige of humanness and how the collapse into a single  wavelength of their two separate ghostly cores rippled across their (his?) being. He remembered how the grief and loss resonated through and that spark of defiance and vengeance hollowly drove at him.

Dan Plasmius was a ghost that killed. He razed the testing labs, freeing as many of the Metas as possible, but ultimately, he wasn’t willing to sacrifice his existence. Dying twice (4 times technically including the accidents) does that to you. There was a speedster there; Dan swallowed down the nostalgia that came from that. 

Bart evades Danny like it’s his job.

Danny hunts him down like he’s freaking Skulker or something. Probably more like Walker honestly. He has to know though. He has too!

He can’t go into this fight not knowing if at any second he’s going to trigger his change into Dan Phantom. Danny can’t go through that again with this family.

Clockwork’s intervention isn’t what he’d expected. Be drastic. Be bold. Be enough of a ‘rival’ bad guy to create a scientific time travel back.

Blatant support to misuse the rule of the Ghost Zone? Granted. Dan doesn’t atriculate the unease in his core as he reestablishes himself as ruler of the ghost zone. His memories as Plasmius call this hollow, but Dan shrugs his discomfort off and works at it. The Phantom memories balk at being trusted with so much power and responsibility, and Dan soothes that away with a reminder that they’re not 14 anymore, that they have experience and know the risks and rewards.

Being a hero is hard. Knowing that this is the best way is even harder.

Under new management. That’s your threat. You challenge and harass the Beetles and the Reach. You talk up how much better the Ghost Zone is doing (which it is). You make sure that the laborers (slaves, Plasmius corrects) can always see your confrontations. You thrum in sympathy because you know that you’re making their lives harder. You know that you have the potential to start an apocalypse, but that’s not who you are.

You don’t care anymore how the people see you; you’re too focused on fighting the Reach. You overshadow Blue Beetle and Jaime’s psyche welcomes you with shock and relief and so many emotions that you can’t even comprehend them.

The scarab changes its electrical signal shortly after and Dan Plasmius is thrown away. There’s a speedster that watches this, and Dan aches in pity of his former teammate. He doesn’t leave the Ghost Zone again.

Getting Bart to talk legitimately takes a trip to Clockwork. Danny taps his fingers while Bart makes his feet thrum on the floor. Clockwork’s been ignoring them, flitting through his castle and choosing to do other things instead. Danny jumps when on one of the passes, the time ghost sets a dented (still sealed, thank god still sealed) thermos on a table just beside them. 

“We’ve been expecting you.”

Dan Plasmius glances around (between the younger half him and the speedster, between clockwork and the sealed thermos, and all around).

“I guess I owe you an explanation,” he directs to the ginger, “Surely, you’ve figured out now, that I’m just 90% talk with the power to back it up.”


In May I went to Bonaire, an island off the northern coast of Venezuela, for a couple weeks of scuba diving. These are some notes and watercolor sketches from my travel journal. Bonaire has a lot of great stuff to see!

The juvenile forms of many fish are sometimes radically different in both appearance and behavior than the adult forms. It can be hard to believe they’re related, and sometimes hard to believe they’re even fish! The baby Smooth Trunkfish (which we unofficially renamed the Hoverbot) is a tiny pea-sized, polka-dotted sphere with glorious butt cheeks. 

00Q Very Important Questions

Does Bond bring back tacky keychains or scientific souvenirs from his travels for Q?

Are Q and Bond snuggles or sprawled when sharing a bed?

Who hogs the blankets?

Who do the cats prefer?

What’s Qs favorite mug for at home?

What’s Bonds “honey I’m home” tradition after missions (he totally has one)?

What’s their go to comfort meal?

How many blankets have people gifted Q because of mother henning?


Expéditions scientifiques du Travailleur

By Bouvier, E.-L., 1856-1944
Gravel, Ch. (Charles), 1865-1937 ; Milne-Edwards, Alphonse, 1835-1900 ; Perrier, Edmond, 1844-1921
France. Ministry of Education.
Talisman (Steamboat)
worker (Steamboat)

Publication info; Paris :G. Masson,1888-1927.
Contributor: Smithsonian Libraries
BHL Collections:
Ernst Mayr Library of the MCZ, Harvard University


What is it?

I need to travel several days into the past to avert a terrible calamity!

I get it. Say no more.

Have you been getting a lot of these with the election?

I have.

So you can help? You can send me back to stop this?

Well, maybe. I know we’ve messed around with time travel before.

Also this time.

One of my favorites. But in those cases, we kind of glossed over just how scientifically improbable time travel actually is.

Come on. People travel through time all the … time.

In fiction, sure. But that’s because writers are astounding hacks. If you actually look at the way time travel is presented in most stories, you can see how ridiculous it is. People accelerating unpopular cars up to a modestly high speed. Falling down clock-lined wormholes. Haunted fortune-telling machines. All preposterous. You might as well mash some plutonium into a VCR and hit rewind.

Where the fuck is someone supposed to get a VCR?

So You Want To Go Back In Time And Fix History