ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The initial canon content of the apocryphal television show Schrodinger's Heroes soon led to fan content. Here are more descriptions of well-done and widely known material.


"The Muppet Rebellion" -- Part of a racebending story fest, this is a crossover fic that brings various famous characters through the Tef, some of them still white and others of various ethnicities. The characters start talking about the different manifestations of color and identity across the dimensions, with canon references to "Last Woman Standing," "Where the Caged Bird Flies," and "Skin Deep." Some other prejudices, such as sexism, are also touched upon.

Unsurprisingly, Chris has a bumpy ride in this story. He gets caught between his teammates and the visitors on one side, and his home state and relatives on the other. Alex is the kind of colorblind intellectual who considers racism irrational, moronic, and incomprehensible. This does not go over well in Texas, and the sudden influx of characters from other dimensions just makes matters worse. Two notable arguments with bigots result in expansions to Alex's wardrobe. The first generates a button with the words "White people are better than black people because black people are inferior." The border is a broad circular arrow inside which are the words: "Logic: ur doin it rong." The second generates a custom-made airbrushed t-shirt with a crowd of classic muppets in all colors, over the caption, "Are you colorblind or what?" In the background, Bert and Ernie are smooching. The same fan author also wrote "Sorrow, Joy, and Envy" which introduced the andervector full of unusual body coloration.

Memorable lines:
Japanese!Batman: "So you help with the computers in this lair. Impressive. Who's the tech support guy?"
Core!Ash: "I am the tech support guy."

"One Froggy Day" -- The Tef has been misbehaving in ways that perturb local weather. After two weeks of near-constant rain, things get even stranger when the latest cloudburst drops not just rain but also frogs. Alex and Quinn look at each other, shrug, and silently open their umbrellas. Meanwhile Bailey, Morgan, and Chris are more than a bit disturbed by this "impossible" precipitation. Alex and Morgan have to figure out what has gone wrong and fix it. Meanwhile the rest of Texas is suffering from far more rain than it usually receives.

Subsequently other fan writers have picked up the idea of Alex taking an unusually empirical perspective of science; i.e. if it's happening, then it must be possible and therefore explainable with some scientific branch or other. Practical!Alex is another variation that steps a little bit away from the oblivious!Alex of canon. She notices if things are odd; she just doesn't necessarily care.

"One in Nine" -- Written shortly after "Last Woman Standing" reached fandom, this story posits that the Amazons who capture Bailey succeed in raping him. The plot deals with Quinn helping Bailey come to terms with this experience. It also reveals that Quinn is a rape survivor, which is not stated explicitly in canon but is plausible based on Quinn's support of Bailey. This story eventually becomes Quinn/Bailey with an emphasis on romance, and only a little sex because Bailey still needs time for emotional recovery.

The title is a reference to a statistic that 1 in 9 males will experience sexual violence at some time in his life. Not many fandoms deal with the issue of male rape. Schrodinger's Heroes does, and often does it well.

"Pet Theories" -- This story takes place in a furry universe where Schrodinger is an anthropomorphic feline scientist. Alex is his pet. No one considers humans more than clever animals, but Alex is smart enough to assist Schrodinger in his work. (She is asexual in this story. Schrodinger is intact and heterosexual, but single.) Schrodinger's peers take exception to Alex's presence and it's all he can do to protect his pet. But it turns out that Alex is far from defenseless! She gets the Teferact up and running, then banishes the most vicious of her pursuers to a dimension ruled by dogs.

The andervector appearing herein becomes an instant hit with furry fans. They promptly added erotic elements, but the original asexual relationship between pet!Alex and scientist!Schrodinger has also appeared in other stories.

"Schrodinger's Catnip" -- An alien plant makes people intoxicated and horny, so the heroes wind up having lots of sex. Among the more memorable scenes is a threeway with Ash/Kay/Quinn. Alex and Bailey, previously an exclusive relationship, wind up swapping partners with Kay and Pat. Although awkward at first, this does eventually bring about more negotiation, expanding their interactions to include each other regularly. Ash hopes Tim will be unaffected, and is encouraged when she hears the vacuum cleaner running -- only to discover that he is not vacuuming the floor with it. Ash hastily shuts the door and retreats to discuss superstrength herbicides with Alex and Bailey. Chemical ones have no effect, but juglone works great. Alex accidentally dyes much of her skin brown while soaking the walnut hulls to make the herbicide, leading Bailey and Pat to tease her. They finally manage to kill off the alien plants and life goes back to what passes for normal at the compound.

Following this story, any deus ex machina material that induces the characters to have sex is nicknamed "Schrodinger's catnip" or just "catnip." So if one writer says to another, "I have this idea for a story shipping Alex/Ash and Kay/Morgan," the response is likely to be, "Cool, what's the catnip?"

The Silken Bonds Series -- One of several epics inspired by the napkin episodes, this one also brings in the BDSM dimension from "Harnessing Power." At first, TASE overwhelms the Core team. Our heroes flee through the Tef to the BDSM dimension, whose Schrodinger team fares better at fending off TASE's heavy-handed (and sometimes underhanded) attempts at manipulation.

This author portrays core!Alex with canonically vague sexuality, but alter!Alex as an asexual, bisensual switch. Alter!Ash is asexual and submissive, somewhat bisensual but preferring female partners. Alter!Ash winds up in a triad with alter!Alex and core!Alex. Dom!Pat and Vic take on prominent roles, tripping up the TASE members who are unfamiliar with this dimension's customs. Core!Kay and alter!Kay team up with core!Chris (who is very bemused by all this kinky stuff) to capture the head of the TASE team, which includes a very intense interrogation of the head.

This series begins with three novelettes: "Spiderwebs" based on "The Spider in the Web," "Silken Strands" based on "Silk Stronger Than Steel," and "Trembling Webs" based on the "The Trembling." Then it continues with three novellas: "Sticky Strands," "Anchor Threads," and "Crossed Lines." The heroes ultimately succeed in locking the hub of TASE into its home dimension while severing contact between the scattered teams. This is among the best renditions of TASE in a negative light, and the BDSM angle gives it unique flavor.

"Sorrow, Joy, and Envy" -- The characters explore several different dimensions in which humans naturally sport unusual skin, hair, or eye colors. The title refers to blue (sorrow), bright pink (joy), and green (envy) skin tones. The plot actually has to do with Quinn exploring aspects of personal expression and fashion.

This story is not "about race" but rather about the emotional aspects of personality. Once the idea is introduced, however, other fan writers use this andervector to explore racial issues.

"The Strange Charm of a Top-Down Bottoms Up" -- Male!Morgan struggles to adjust to a new dimension, and one of the ways he does that is by getting drunk. Alex keeps him company.

"THE Woman" -- Crossover fic in which male!Morgan and Sherlock Holmes get staggering drunk then commiserate about Irene Adler. After all, who else could rip a man's heart out so brutally that he'd flee his home dimension to get away from her? At the very end, John Watson shows up having managed to track down Holmes; unable to carry two drunken men, he calls male!Morgan's emergency number and the Schrodinger team shows up to help pour them into the backseat.

Canonically, male!Morgan leaves his home dimension to join the Core team of heroes; his willingness to do this is based on a horrific breakup, but he never talks about the details. Fan writers have occasionally made attempts to explain what really happened -- but this is widely considered the best explanation, so the interest in other variations is tapering off.

A version of this has been written out for Schrodinger's Heroes/BBC Sherlock.  Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

The Web of Wyrd -- Inspired by the napkin episodes, this series consists of three novels: Guarding the Web based on "The Spider in the Web," Stealing the Web based on "Silk Stronger Than Steel," and A Trembling in the Web based on "The Trembling." A valiant TASE protects the manifold against a dimension that wants to take over everything. The first book begins with hints of the danger; TASE, like the Schrodinger team, has decided to be proactive about safety. They mesh well, so the plot mainly concerns learning to work together on a larger scale. The second book introduces one of the greatest original villains in the fandom, the Cobwidow. She hijacks the Teferact in the big climax. The third book follows the breakdown of TASE's network caused by the Cobwidow. TASE and the rest of our heroes fight to regain control of the Teferact. In the conclusion, the Cobwidow is destroyed along with her entire home dimension.

Two major subplots stand out in this series. First, a complex romance between Chris and Morgan involves him learning tolerance and her learning practical skills including combat. It starts out sweet in the first book, becomes somewhat strained in the second when the Cobwidow puts the moves on Chris, then undergoes great stress in the third when Morgan rescues Chris. But they do get back together in the end. Second, the psychic gifts from "Rubbing the Lamp" are revived in Stealing the Web so as to fight the Cobwidow (whose psychic power is mind control). Alex's psychic gift to see futures provides a great asset in the struggle; she learns to meditate as a way of controlling the headaches. A crucial team is Ash/Kay/Quinn, both romantically and dramatically. Ash gains better use of her telepathy after entering a nonsexual romantic/sensual relationship with Kay. Kay learns to focus her danger-sense more precisely so it is less distracting. Quinn's gift turns out to be an ability to alter reality itself, activated by pressure to conform. This is discovered during capture and torture by the Cobwidow. Alex and Ash plot the rescue of Quinn. Kay, Morgan, and Chris enact the rescue. Then Ash and Morgan put Quinn back together again. Quinn's talent is part of what enables the winning cataclysm in A Trembling in the Web.

"Welcome to Texas, Watch Your Step" -- Named after a line in one of the advance ads, this story features alien pests infesting the compound. The pests increase rapidly at first as the characters scramble around trying to find ways of destroying them. But then the population starts to drop, and drop. It turns out they can't compete effectively against the Texan vermin. Pairings include Alex/Bailey, Kay/Chris, and Ash/Tim (an asexual relationship).

This was one of the first stories to take a few passing references from canon and blow them up into a "Don't worry, Earth can take care of itself!" plot.


* * * 

For the first half of this material, see "Fanfic (Part 1)."

Schrodinger's Heroes also has a menu post.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-20 06:11 pm (UTC)
shadytail: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadytail
(Hi! You don't know me from Eve, but I lurk on [community profile] asexual_fandom.)

It is weird that I'm generating personal fanon for this imaginary series? The summary for "Pet Theories" made me decide that Schrodinger is actually a colleague of Rhiaow's, from Diane Duane's Book of Night with Moon in the Young Wizards series. And Alex's character is very similar to fanon Rodney McKay (abrupt, abrasive, arrogant, lets you know she's smarter than you, and good enough to get away with it).

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