Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Time Travel (Results)  (Read 1236 times)

Sinitrena

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Time Travel


Planing it or its execution, to the past or the future, by magic means or science, intentional or a freak accident...

This Fortnightly Writing Competition is all about travelling through time.

No other restrictions.

Deadline: 9. April 2019
« Last Edit: 14 Apr 2019, 17:54 by Sinitrena »

Sinitrena

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While your characters are supposed to travel through time in this Fortnightly Writing Competition, I'm not aware that any of our writers managed to develop a time machine just yet. Which means, unfortunately, that stories need to be finished within the allotted time frame - and this time frame is already at its half-way point.  ;)

In other words, this is your friendly reminder, so that you all don't forget to write something.  :-*

Sinitrena

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Still nobody? Not even someone saying he/she is working on something?  8-0 Come on, only a few days left!

Baron

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Well, I've thought about working on something.  (roll)

I just figured I could write it over the summer and then time-travel back to submit it at my leisure.  ;)

Sinitrena

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I just figured I could write it over the summer and then time-travel back to submit it at my leisure.  ;)

Didn't I already tell you that that's not going to work?  ;) I mean, you need to develop a time-machine first and with designing and building this thing when would you have time to write?

Anyways, it looks like this round will be an easy win for whoever just happens to write something. There's still some time left.

When was the last time we had no entries at all? Seems like forever.

Mandle

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I would be all over this theme if I wasn't on holiday for 3 weeks in Australia. One week left until return home.

Maybe the topic can jackpot into the next round or run alongside the next theme? Seems like a huge waste of such a delicious topic!

Baron

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Didn't I already tell you that that's not going to work?  ;) I mean, you need to develop a time-machine first and with designing and building this thing when would you have time to write?


No, no, no, Sinitrena.  (wrong)  I don't have to develop a time-machine first.  I just have to invent one at some point in the next fifty years, and then float it back to myself after I miss the deadline.  Then - Poof! - my entry will make it in on time!  :=

If you want to think inside the box, though, it might be a good idea to grant a short extension.... 

Sinitrena

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But we already know that you do not develop a time-machine at any point in the future because if you did why would you wait for it to get so close to the deadline before you go back in time? Ah, I love time travel paradoxes and logic!  ;-D

Extension granted: 13th April.

JudasFm

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Do we have to write about the actual time travel itself, or can it be something that happened in the past? (ie, someone who time traveled from the past, but has now settled into life in their new time).

Sinitrena

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I kept the theme intentionally vague to allow all kinds of stories. This might or might not fit the rules. The time travel doesn't need to happen within the story but the time travel element needs to be recognizable in some way. A character who is perfectly content with the new time probably doesn't fit but one who feels like a fish out of water or who tries to get back or who changes people in the new time or something like that should work.

Baron

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Attack of the Time Pirates!

   “Oh Professor!  Your trailer is so cluttered with inventions and artifacts!” Suzy exclaimed.

   “Quite right, my dear.  Quite right.  They are my stock and trade, after all,” the Professor explained.

   “But I thought you said there would be room to, you know... lie down for a bit?”  Suzy bit her lip suggestively.

   “What I said precisely was that we could have a good time making my trailer rock,” the Professor replied, starting to fidget with the switches on various consoles.  Some unseen mechanism beneath the trailer began to hum, causing the floor to vibrate slightly.

   “Oh, that's right!” Suzy said, smiling.  “And you also said something about needing my assistance navigating you erogenous zone....”

   “While of course that would be most welcome in due time, my dear, what I actually said was I needed your help navigating the Zymogenous Zone.  It is a transient dimension of many dangers that lies at the heart of the time-space continuum.”

   “Oh Professor!  I don't know what you just said but it sounded impressively clever!”

   “My dear, it's a good thing you've got looks,” the Professor said smiling before turning back to his consoles.

   “You're such a gentleman, Professor!  Ha, ha.... Did you know I'm actually 46 and weigh 90kg?”

   “I had guessed as much, yes.  But most of the women in my time are in their mid-200s and weigh as much as a small elephant.  So by those standards you are but a mere slip of a girl!”

   “Oh Professor!”

    “Plus there are strict laws in my time against exploiting children under 50....”

   “What was that, Professor?”

   “Nothing, my dear!  Nothing!  Now, I need you to operate the stereo-oscillameter for me while I conduct the temporal jump from the quantum-fluoritron.  It's basically very simple: if these little avatars of bugs get below your line of motion then the chrono-flux in the quark-inverter will build up and destroy us all!  You merely need to blast the flux beforehand using this simple joystick and plasma-blast trigger.”

   “Uh.  So it's kind of exactly like Space Invaders....”

   “Oh my dear!  Your quaint twentieth-century notions are as bizarre as they are adorable.  I challenge you to beat my high score!”

   “Are you the one with the initials BBW?”

   “Uh.... no, actually.  Now stay sharp!” Suddenly the trailer began to lurch this way and that as fantastic lights flashed outside the windows.  Reality began to bend into absurd loops.

   “We're entering the Zymogenous Zone!” the Professor cried.  Suzy began to dutifully blast away at the bugs on her console.  The trailer began to shake violently, and ghostly apparitions of clocks began floating through one wall and out the other side.

   “What the-?” Suzy called out, perplexed.

   “My theory is that they are an-atomic manifestations of light!” the Professor called back.

   “But why clocks?!?”

   “Nobody knows!”

   And then everything stopped.  “Ah, we're here!” the Professor announced.

   “What, already?” the woman blinked.  “We were only moving for like ten seconds!”

   “Oh no, my dear!  We were actually moving for about fifteen-hundred years!”

   “Huh?”

   The Professor fiddled with the cheap plastic latch and opened the trailer door before stumbling out onto a rocky plateau overlooking a small stone city in the gorge below.  The landscape was dry and devoid of all vegetation, but a great purple storm cloud loomed menacingly to the south.

   “What-?  Where are we?” Suzy gaped.

   “We are actually in the fourth-century Roman province of Arabia Petraea,” the Professor said, taking off his tie.  “Look, I've got a bit of a confession to make, Sandy-” 

   “Suzy!”

   “Oh yes, of course, Suzy.  You see, science in the 2850s doesn't exactly pay the bills.  So I've got this sideline looting ancient artifacts for the illicit market.”  As he spoke the Professor pulled out a broad cavalier hat with a massive ostrich plume and placed it rakishly on his head.  “I'm more of a time-pirate than a professor, actually!”

   “But.... wouldn't stealing things from the past be noticed?”

   “My dear, my dear, ha ha!” chuckled the Professor.  “Not if it's done properly!  I'm a professional, after all.  No, see we wait until just before the very moment that the artifact would be destroyed anyway, and then we simply save it for posterity.  It's a victim-less crime!”  said the Professor as he stuffed a large pistol into his pants.

   “What's with the gun, then?”

   “Oh, pish!” the Professor chided.  “All those people down in the city are going to die in the coming flood anyway!  They might just need to be helped along a bit in the highly unlikely case that they try to get in the way.  Besides, this old thing only shoots one musket ball per hour.  If I can manage it, I will only slightly maim one of the guards in order to scare away all the others.  Oh, I almost forgot, here's your kit.”

   “A pen and notepad!?”

   “Yes, I need you to take notes on the proceedings.  Twenty-ninth century women have completely lost the art of shorthand!”

   “Why not just take a digital recording?” the Suzy asked in exasperation.

   “Do you have any idea of the compatibility issues that accrue over the eons?  I'm not futzing with 18 different format conversions every time I want to analyze a job.  Now get ready, here we come!”

   “Uh.... what?”

   “Look!  In the canyon!”

   Suzy looked.  Remarkably there she was, walking behind the Professor with her notepad, down at the bottom of the canyon.  As if on cue the other Suzy looked up to smile and wave at her.

   “Professor?!?  Isn't that a paradox of time-travel?  And are those platform boots?”

   “It's not a paradox until the thread of continuity is compromised!  As long as we follow their steps exactly, everything will work out fine.  A proper paradox would manifest itself as an unravelling of reality itself!  But do make note of the platform shoes: I think I forgot them back in 1970s San Francisco.”

   “But... why?!?!?  Why are we running the risk of being at the same place at the same time twice over?!?”

   “Simple, simple!  If anything goes wrong we'll be able to take note of it, and adjust the plan accordingly when we go back in time to do the job ourselves!”

   “But... wouldn't that involve changing the past, thereby destroying the future??”

   “My dear simple girl, no!  Not as long as we can keep the thread of continuity going, everything will play out exactly as we have pre-seen.  Oh, and make a note of waving up at yourself.  That might be important.  We might not have this conversation if not for that.”

   “Okay....  But who are those guys?!”  There was another couple approaching the city along the canyon from the opposite direction.  The man was dressed in a villainous black cape with red underpants on the outside, while his assistant was wearing a glam-rock costume from the 1980s.

   The Professor squinted down into the canyon, scowling.  “Murdough!  And I see he's got himself a new hussy as well.”

   “Who are they, Professor?”

   “Time-pirate competitors.  See?”

   Suzy glanced up to see another iteration of the same pair waving at them from across the canyon, also taking notes on the proceedings.  She waved back shyly.

   “Don't acknowledge them!” the Professor barked, his brow furrowed with concentration.  “Aha!”

   Suzy followed his gaze to see a pair of donkeys walking along the canyon towards the first iteration of the time-pirate competitors.  But as they dawdled past the time-pirates one of the donkeys suddenly split into a head- and hind-quarter, revealing itself to be none other than the Professor and Suzy in disguise.  Quickly the Professor smacked Murdough in the back of the head with a police truncheon, rendering him unconscious.  Suzy struggled a bit more with his assistant, but with the Professor's help she was able to muscle the poor woman into a potato sack.  Suzy looked up to see the second iteration of Murdough raving and his assistant furiously scribbling notes.

   “Uh oh....” the Professor began.  Suddenly the second donkey also split into a head- and hind-quarter, revealing itself to be Murdough and his assistant in disguise!  They rushed the third iteration of Suzy and the Professor from behind, quickly subduing them with what looked like stun zappers.  “Are you getting this?!?  Special note, writhe in pain, Suzy!”

   “Why would I have to remember to do what's natural when-”

   “Look!”  Indeed, Suzy and the Professor suddenly bounded to their feet, snatching the stun zappers and turning them on their erstwhile attackers.  “Grounded zap-proof jackets!  Brilliant!  Are you writing all of this down?!?”

   “Grounded what?!” Suzy asked, scribbling frantically.  But then suddenly she was blindfolded from behind.

   “Murdough!” she heard the Professor shout, “you diabolical genius!  Too bad I anticipated this little manoeuvre next Wednesday!”  Suddenly the blindfold was removed.  Behind her was Murdough's assistant in a skimpy nurse costume (the name tag said “Tammy”) being wrestled to the ground by another iteration Suzy herself wearing a giant chicken costume.  Nearby another version of Murdough and the Professor were duking it out.  Murdough was wearing an 18th century ballroom gown, while the Professor was wearing nothing but a giant diaper and beating him with an over-sized lollipop.

   “Keep writing!” the original Professor shouted.  Across the canyon yet another instance of the Professor was charging atop a unicycle towards the voyeur Murdough on the canyon rim and another instance of Suzy crashed in from above via parachute, only she missed and got hung up on a jutting stone leaving her to dangle helplessly above the canyon floor.  Then another instance of Murdough emerged from the trailer behind her dressed as an asparagus and carrying a huge armful of toilet paper, cackling maniacally, only to trip on an oil-slick dumped by another instance of the Professor wearing a top hat and a pink tutu.

   “Keep writing!” the Professor shouted again, but Suzy couldn't keep up with the madness.

   “Help me!” gasped the chicken version of her, who was now being strangled with a stethoscope by the nurse version of Tammy.  Immediately adjacent two further versions of the two women were quietly sharing coffee at a glass café table, seemingly oblivious to the chaos around them.  Then the Professor charged by riding backwards on a war elephant, followed by Murdough in a golden unitard bouncing terrifically high with springs on the bottom of his shoes.

   “Oh no, here comes the flood!” the original Professor shouted.  Indeed, a wall of water was now crashing down the canyon towards the unsuspecting city.

   “Where are we?” Suzy asked, desperately trying to spot herselves in the canyon below.  To her consternation two further versions of Murdough and the Professor were surfing on the crest of the wave, trying to out-compete each other for the world's tiniest speedo.  The crashing echoes of the water were now reaching the city, which now resembled an ant colony stirred up with a stick.  In the commotion she thought she saw the back end of a donkey dashing up the stairs of a stone temple, but in a blink the ass was gone.  “What if we die down there?!?”

   “The thread of continuity will be fine as long as we do everything else first and die last,” the Professor assured her.  “Keep writing!”

   “But.... why would we ever go down there knowing that we would die?!?”

   “Precisely!  We'd be fools to!  Knowing the wave was coming we would therefore have taken precautions such as wearing life-jackets or oxygen tanks.  Oh, look!  I never would have thought of that....”

   Suzy looked down to see a version of her trying vainly to run upstream in a giant waterproof hamster bubble.  Suddenly another iteration of Tammy emerged from the churning water wearing a shark costume.  Tammy latched onto the outside of the hamster bubble only to be flung round and round as Suzy continued to try to beat the current.

   “How do we know when we get the artifact?” Suzy wondered.  “How do we know who wins?”

   “I have another confession to make,” said the original Professor, unzipping his skin to reveal a velociraptor wearing a bow-tie.  “Being a time-pirate doesn't really pay the bills in the 2850s,” the velociraptor told her sincerely, “so I've got a second sideline as an aspiring opera singer.”

   Another version of Tammy and the Professor ran past on their hands.  No, wait...  They had feet where their hands were supposed to be, and hands for feet!  Another iteration of Suzy and Murdough followed, their bodies equally mixed-up, waltzing to the music of giant trout dressed as a one-man-band.  Suzy tried to write this down, but snapped the pen in the lobster claw that had replaced her right hand.

   “Reality is beginning to unravel, isn't it?” she sighed, dropping the notebook.  The asparagus-dressed Murdough and top-hat and tutu-dressed Professor wrestled each other in the oil slick to try to retrieve it first.

   “I'm afraid so!” sang the velociraptor next to her.

   Suzy looked down to see a rainbow coloured bunny staring back up at her, picking its nose.

   “What the-?” she began to ask.

   “I'm the paradox!” the bunny said, a look of huge satisfaction crossing his fuzzy little face.  He pulled a giant green jewel out of his nostril and held it up to her.  “See?”

   And then the universe ended.
 
   
   
   

Sinitrena

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Time Travel (Results)
« Reply #11 on: 14 Apr 2019, 17:53 »
Well, this is a win by default. I knew this already, of course, being Fate itself, time is just another dimension for me... But I am glad you will write this story next smmer. And let me congratulate here for your amazing invention. In the future, far further in the future than you will have managed to see in seven years, people will constantly use your time-machine - I will have seen it.

Okay, enough about the future, let's stay in the present for now.

I enjoyed your story very much, Baron. The slowly unfolding chaos and absurdity was a delightful read. You used an often seen but rarely explored time paradox (the problem of returning to the same time again and again) and followed it to its logical, world-destroying end. Of course, everything that happens happens in a time set before the starting one, so the world would not exist for them and they would never travel back in time and so the paradox would never form. There were also some interesting little details about the differences of the Professor's time and Suzy's time that were fun to read about. I think I would have prefered a story that foccused more on this but that's just personal preference. Your story went in a completely different direction and one I did not expect.

So, even though it is a win by default, it does go to a worthy story. So enjoy your mangled clock of time travel, Baron and let's hope that next round more people show up again.

DBoyWheeler

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Time Travel (Results)
« Reply #12 on: 15 Apr 2019, 02:38 »
Oh, to be able to take part in this... but if I could do so, I could probably make a mini story similar to Sonic CD.

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Time Travel (Results)
« Reply #13 on: 15 Apr 2019, 04:43 »
I feel that despite the win by acclamation history will judge mine to be the B3ST ST0RY 3VAR!!!1!!!!!!!    :grin:

JudasFm

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Time Travel (Results)
« Reply #14 on: 15 Apr 2019, 10:57 »
Yeah, I had an idea, but unfortunately this round clashed with RevPit, so I couldn't join in...
Hopefully next time  :-D