ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
In hopes of attracting some new readers, I am participating in [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo, a fest devoted to light-hearted creativity. You can view my bingo card here. I'm filling the prompts from my poetic series and shared worlds, so they kind of blur the lines between original and fandom content. If you like my poetry, check out my Poetry Fishbowl project, because once a month you have a chance to give me prompts for the kind of poetry you want to read.

The following poem belongs to Schrodinger's Heroes, featuring the imaginary fandom of an apocryphal television show. It's science fiction about quantum physics and saving the world from alternate dimensions. It features a very mixed cast in terms of ethnicity and sexual orientation. This project developed with input from multiple people, and it's open for everyone to play in. You can read more about the background, the characters, and a bunch of assorted content on the menu page.

Fandom: Original (Schrodinger's Heroes)
Prompt: Moving in / Living together
Medium: Poetry
Summary: Alex realizes that having a live-in team of heroes has just become a necessity. Now all she has to do is pitch this idea to the people standing around wondering what to do next.
Content Notes: The title is a reference to the apocryphal first episode of the show, "Earth to Alex, Come in Please."
One of the things I like about this project is that, no matter how intense the situation gets, these characters tend to keep their heads and stick by each other. Some of the individual pieces are drama, some romance, some really whimsical fanservice; but the characters don't fight over pointless things or stab each other in the back.


Come In, Please


It was all going so well,
the superconducting supercollider
purring its way through the first experiment,
until Alex's black cat Schrodinger
chased a mouse across the control console
and reality made a sharp right turn into the weird zone.

Inside the Ring lay a transposed area
of alien earth and sky, from which
strange people emerged at speed
and chased each other and caused a ruckus.
Perhaps, Alex mused to herself, buying up
the abandoned institution hadn't been
her best idea quantum mechanical idea ever.

Alex eventually figured out how to restore
the center of the Ring to what passed for normal,
but the portal between dimensions
could only be controlled somewhat,
not closed permanently.

Ash the software expert
just sighed and shook her head.
Bailey the hardware expert
looked at Alex and said fondly,
"Now what do you suggest, genius?"

"I think," said Alex, "that we had better
set up some more bedrooms."
The three of them were already living onsite
because it was convenient for their work.
Everyone else just commuted.

Alex thought about the recent crisis
and who performed the best in it.
She sent for Kay, the security guard
who had distinguished herself
considerably above her pay grade.
Kay tapped on the office door, hesitant
until Alex said "Come in, please."
They talked for almost an hour.
Kay showed up the next day
with a duffle bag plus a trunk full of guns.

Alex also invited Pat,
who handled public relations,
but Pat had a bunch of husbands and wives
to go home to and didn't want to move out.
Alex talked him into accepting a room
just in case he needed to crash overnight.

Morgan was the challenge.
Their astronomer lived in Hawaii
and still wore her badge reading
Mauna Kea Observatories.
Alex leaned against a lab table and said,
"So, would you like to move in here
and help us save the world
from randomly occurring incidents?"

Morgan blinked at her and said,
"How would you move all my stuff?"
Alex asked for a list.
Morgan wrote it down --
enough books for a small library,
some family heirloom furniture,
her 6-inch backyard telescope,
and so on and so forth.

"Hmm," said Alex, "perhaps
I should just charter a small cargo plane."
She poked at a computer, looking for options,
only to have Bailey nudge her aside.
"You make the money, I pay the bills,"
Bailey reminded Alex.

Alex left Bailey and Morgan to their planning,
and went to go program something interesting,
only to trip over Quinn in the doorway.
"I hear you're offering free room and board
to would-be heroes," he said with a wicked grin,
dropping his backpack on the floor.
He'd come down from Canada
for the pre-grand-opening party,
and he flitted around as a consultant so much
that Alex wasn't even sure if he had a permanent home.

"Sure," said Alex,
"one good thing about this place,
it has plenty of room."
The Ring itself was 17.2 miles in diameter
and came with lab space, offices, and
spare rooms recently coopted as bedrooms.
Alex hadn't gotten around to
much actual remodeling yet,
but she had some ideas.

Everyone pitched in to move Morgan's stuff,
even though Alex could easily have afforded
to pay someone to carry it off the truck.
Kay said they needed the experience
in working as a team, which yes, they did,
but to Alex it meant more than that.
Helping somebody move was a favor,
it was something you did for friends,
making sure that nothing got smashed in transit.

Afterward they were sweaty and dusty and tired,
so they all took the time to shower
before reassembling in the makeshift living room
in front of a jumble of wires and screens
that might someday turn into an entertainment system.

"What smells good?" Alex asked,
sniffing the air curiously.
"I made chili," Pat said,
waving at a large crockpot.
"We have a kitchen?" Alex said.
"We have a terrible, nearly derelict cafeteria
which I expect you to turn into a decent kitchen,"
Pat said. "I brought some essentials from home."

So they sat around the living room
eating homemade chili out of paper bowls
and watching classic episodes of Star Trek and Dr. Who
while Schrodinger lay between Alex and Ash
purring like a furry little engine.

If the world needed saving, Alex decided,
there were worse places to do it in,
and the company couldn't be better.

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