ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem fills a square on my card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This fest encourages the creation of boundary-pushing material that explores what happens when things go horribly wrong and people actually care about each other. Remember, things always go wrong; what matters is how you deal with that. Some of the content may be NSFW. Read the FAQ and rules here. The signup post is here. I'm hoping to attract some new readers.

The following poem belongs to Schrodinger's Heroes, featuring an apocryphal television show supported by an imaginary fandom. 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: motion sickness
Medium: poetry
Wordcount: 403
Rating: G
Warnings: None.
Summary: Alex develops a portable device for interdimensional travel. It has drawbacks. Also, trying to explain quantum physics to queasy people is just plain cruel.


"Newton's Laws of Motion Sickness"


As Alex succinctly put it,
Newton's limited knowledge obliged him
to give his laws of motion as fundamental axioms.
Now that the quantum world is known as fundamental,
Newton’s laws are seen as consequences of quantum laws.

Chris just wanted to know why
he could walk through a dimensional gate
created within the Teflon Teferact
and feel perfectly fine,
whereas using the portable terminal
made him cack.

Alex tried explaining in more detail.

According to Fermat’s principle,
Between source and reception point
light travels along a path that
takes the shortest possible time
.

When Fermat’s contemporaries asked,
How could the light possibly know in
advance which path is the quickest?

the Frenchman explained,
The light explores all possible paths
between emission and reception
.

Chris moaned and wrapped his arms
around his aching stomach.

Alex was fine.
Ash was fine.
Quinn was fine.

Bailey and Morgan were a little woozy.
Kay and Pat were downright queasy.

Chris was throwing up
everything he'd eaten for the last day.

So there they were,
in the middle of a strange dimension,
with half the team feeling like crap
and the other half unbearably excited.

Alex allowed as to how her modifications
could maybe use some more modifications.

Chris waved at her with his middle finger.

Kay shooed Alex away,
got Chris a blanket and a bottle of water,
then sat with him until he stopped moaning
and started whining.

Further analysis revealed
that the smaller handheld unit
used shortcuts when it drew on the main databanks,
resulting in a much greater subjective sense of motion,
further influenced by individual tolerance of strangeness
or awareness of dimensional complexity
or something like that.

In other words,
Chris pointed out acidly,
it felt like taking a ride in a blender.

So Alex, Ash, and Quinn
went home by themselves
while Bailey and Kay unpacked the scrambags
and set up a temporary camp.
Chris waited miserably for the world to stop spinning
as Pat stroked a soothing hand down his back.

Alex spent hours reprogramming the portable terminal
to explore from an original point toward a destination
and then follow the path of least action
much the way the Tef itself did.
Solution in hand, she went back
to bring the rest of the team home.

It took a lot longer than that
for Chris to quit referring to the portable terminal
as "the ol' Barf-O-Whirl."

* * *

Notes:

Part of the inspiration for this poem came from the article "Quantum physics explains Newton's laws of motion."

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-06 05:06 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
oh, poor Chris! Having been the victim of a bad case of seasick on a 65' trawler in the middle of the Gulf Stream (which, if you've never seen it, the water is *violet* while the surrounding Atlantic is sea-green), I can so empathize....

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