Comics by Shaenon II

Mad science has never been so cute!
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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:46 pm 
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The Man Behind The Curtain.

Alright. I would like to start of with a disclaimer. I have absolutely *no* control over what constitutes as 'Cannon' around here. I just ate a mint, people. But I guess if things comes into dispute, than I'm one of the best at making some sensible-sounding stuff the hell up. Feel free to regard or disregard this as you please.
(For that matter I'm considering writing some earlier scenes as ToM bits... because, you know, from our Pov now they make no @#$! sense)

BUT, I have been wondering lately... just where the sam hells is our unverse? Narbonic took place twentysomethingish years ago, we have Jagers-'Europa'? Let alone the fact that we have fresh-import Igors...

Well, I'll *tell* you where.
In the DC universe, There are many different 'Earths'. Earths one, Two, Bizzaro... basically, lots of excuses to stop the writers from going completely insane/have some way to work off the opium haze. I'm not being insulting here, I'm being frank. Seriously do you know just how many times Superman switched minds with a money/ape/orangutan? But I digress.

I'm figuring that, what with the Multi-Universes set up my Eric Tinker's unfortunate demise, and by the Nega-Verse, this universe is one of those.
Somewhere between primarily Earth-N and Earth-GG, our Earth is basically Narbonic's world... if Girl Genius had happened in the past.
So far all I'm doing is taking what we already accept as cannon and formalizing it, so allow me to formally say... we are-
Universe Code Earth-M.
Comes with it's own Nega-Verse *and* a direct link to Discworld! Thank you and good night.

Next Time: Have a question about just hw the 'Tinker' line works? I'll answer the! PLUS sneak peeks into the future...

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:28 am 
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...wait, I thought that a Cannon was what you shot things out of.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:34 am 
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Well, yes, but if you shoot bits of story out of one, it become more solid. Known fact!

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:33 am 
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Sooo, if you shoot something out of a cannon, it becomes canon? :D

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:15 am 
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Yes. You hve to shoot it at the right angle, though... and you wouldn't believe how hard it is to shoot th eold stuff out if you need to retcon.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:30 pm 
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The Nova Family

In the Nega-verse, the Nova family is rumored to be the best hope for the people to overthrow the reign of Nega-Tinker. Of course, no one ever *sees* any of them, but people think they were behind the frosting boycott, the helmet riots, multiple assassination attempts and military coups, and the replacement of all of Nega-Tinker's Minesweeper best times. Both how they got to his computer and why they wasted the time their playing Minesweeper instead of Solitaire are hotly contested.

Nega-Tinker, naturally, knows a bit more than the average populace about the Nova family. For one thing, he knows that every once in a while they send him notes warning him about assassination attempts (although, to be fair, he usually knows about them beforehand- he *is* a competent ruler of 97% of the world, after all). Or reminding him to wear a jacket when it's cold out. Or recipes for cookies. And they sent him a signed copy of The Vally of Fear for his birthday...

For another thing, he knows that his agents seem to succeed and fail at random where the Nova family is concerned. Sometimes, his agents send him detailed reports describing every member of one of their conspiracies- occasionally after an alarming number of coincidences involving important data cubes left carelessly lying around. Sometimes his agents learn nothing, for no apparent reason. Sometimes they barely escape detection, other times no one seems to care about security at all. Completely independent of all of the previous factors, many of his agents seem to have a mysterious habit of catching on fire.

(Editor's note: I promise I'll explain more about the Umbra and the Nova families soon. I have to get a few things set up first, though. I know all the cryptic stuff is annoying- I'm trying not to overdo it.)

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 Post subject: Do I reffer to myself by name, allias, or handle? Really.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:08 am 
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Alright. Half an hour until bed, Christmas shopping is (mostly) done, and I am well fortified with coco.

Time, once again for...
The Nutty Professor Explains! (Things no one asked to know)

The Tinker Genetic Imperative, a simplified overview of the structure of their genetic 'urges'.
1. Try to be Good.
2. Failing 1, Do The Right Thing.
3. Fall in Love. (Refer to lines##- 'Hah! Hyu tink ve tell hyu vot ve pot dere? Figure dot out hyuselves, shmoties, love grandpoppa'. (That's on a genome.))
4. Have Children.
5. Do Your Best.
( Tinker(c)Florian Viktor and Dr. Io, 'Jagerkind' (c)Heteryodyne, all rights reserved.)

Edit: In light of Query...
Alpha and Beta (and, therefore, 'Chic') lack code #One entirely.
Gamma and Delta have an impartial code for #2- Eta will likely have a slightly more complete code, repaired with bits of Dr. Mallory.
Epsilon has an accidentally... overcoded, line two, shared by Omega and Zeta.

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Last edited by FriendlyTroll on Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:34 am 
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Hmm..you have the Tinker twins, who seem to lack coding three, Falling in Love.

And the Viktor twins-who lack coding one, Be Good. Chic probably (?) lacks it, too...and that's the bunch that seems most likely to produce descendants. The Tinker Twins seem to use adoption as their way to fufill coding four, Having Children-keep in mind little Eta was created by Dr. Mallory.

A genetically engineered line of heros, and let's say, hypothetically, it looks like at least half of them will lack the primary coding....I like it!

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.. not how Science works, love. 1st, you build the machine, then it tells you what it's for.
Do you think I had the 1st idea what a squidhole was when I invented it? Certainly not! I was just messing about! That's when the very best & very Maddest Science gets done. I thought,Why, this alabaster octopus looks like it wants a nice transmission inside it,& fairly soon I had a thing that obviously had a Use, though what that Use could be was a total mystery.
(Sameness Engine) I haven't the 1st notion of what it's for! That's not why I made it-I made it for the sheer joy of making something new! It's getting up to tell me what it wants me to do, though, I can just feel it. It's been giggling a lot at night.
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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:19 pm 
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chicgeek wrote:
A genetically engineered line of heros, and let's say, hypothetically, it looks like at least half of them will lack the primary coding....I like it!

Actually, the way I have it planned you're pretty much right- in a few generations the Viktor-Tinker Ration will be pretty even.
Glad you like it- poor Andrew, he has the full set.... sort of. Remember, the code is a *little* bendy.... his mothers strong 'Evil' gene imparted in him a bit. At the very least he;s rather selfish and vain.... hard to notice the way he does it. XD

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:38 pm 
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Luc Shows his work: Character Origins.

Today I'm going to talk about just where some of these characters come from.... and I'll pray someone;s actiually entertained by the random meanderings of my brain.

Andrew, interestingly enough, started out as Nega Tinker. No, seriously. He was a semi-psychotic Surgeon fan character for a video game fighting series called Bloody Roar. I was young and foolish.
But all the same, this was where a lot of the character was first figured out, and ended up pretty much staying the same since then. The red coat, the black hair, the glasses. Heck, he was even short back then.

Even after the reason for creating him faded, the character was too good to loose. At the very least, I really liked his name.
Then, eventiually, I used 'Tinker' as my screen name for the comments on Narbonic: The directors cut and well... there you go. His behavior had, in my head, luckily softened a bit from where it had once been. And eventiually he became who you know him as now, especially right around the Martians storyline.
Interestingly, he ended up being blended with a previous character named Theodore who's personality was not similarity to Andrew's now. As well as his fashion sense... although, teh Red Coat stayed. Heaven knows why. XD

Xerox, on the other hand, had the exact same personality... but started out as a different character entirely. Believe it or not, he was a Private detective.
Specifically, he was 'Tracy' B Mondegrove, a Private Detective who lived in Gotham and took the cases too under the radar for Batman to notice them. He wore a yellow trench coat, and kept an empty whiskey bottle in his office filled with soda, and was, rather than being chased by a landlord, in fact the landlord *himself*. He owned the building he operated from, and between cases had to drag the rent out of his tenants.
A lot of Xerox's personality was there. Like the ability to act like a surly 40 year old jaded drunk when in fact he's only thirty and is only really addicted to sugar, at best. He also similarly had incredible skills with a gun, only he preferred not to use it. He preferred to use a collection of magical items that were really simple, but useful.
Basically, the idea was that he occasionally ran afoul of the 'Big Name' villains (Including an unfortunate Incident where he was hung upside down by The Riddler for a hour) but mostly he ended up dealing with small time criminals... and some who would have *liked* to be Big Name.

He had a sassy secretary, and I managed to start a bit of writing... but sadly, I never got very far. Then he ended up getting incorporated into Mad Wars, trading in his yellow coat for a black suit and being renamed with an equally silly silly name.
Honestly, I like hm where he is- but I always know that if Xerox ever wanted to retire (unlikely) he would end up becoming a Private Detective.

Thats about it! Everyone else was made exclusively for the Mad Wars, more or less...

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:02 pm 
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It's funny how our minds work, isn't it? I can so see Xerox as a P.I. I like his backstory-that would make a good story, or a good comic.
And Tinker was a semi psychotic surgeon? So he really was Doctor Tinker!
Me? Foglio fan from way back, led to Girl Genius, which led to Narbonic-and reading the comments and Wars was such fun, I had to get in on it.
I've always liked Steampunk, even before I knew it had a name, and had recently been part of a steampunk craft swap. Thus, Chicgeek.
Jess just flowed like water from my brain-no idea what inspired her, but she was so easy to create. I like her. She finds the npc's calling her Mister/Miss amusing.

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.. not how Science works, love. 1st, you build the machine, then it tells you what it's for.
Do you think I had the 1st idea what a squidhole was when I invented it? Certainly not! I was just messing about! That's when the very best & very Maddest Science gets done. I thought,Why, this alabaster octopus looks like it wants a nice transmission inside it,& fairly soon I had a thing that obviously had a Use, though what that Use could be was a total mystery.
(Sameness Engine) I haven't the 1st notion of what it's for! That's not why I made it-I made it for the sheer joy of making something new! It's getting up to tell me what it wants me to do, though, I can just feel it. It's been giggling a lot at night.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland
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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:33 pm 
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For me Thaddeus started out as something completely different than what he is now. He was meant to be a joke kinda. He was going to be over the top, pulling giant guns out of his coat. Throwing growth potions around to save himself.

It's funny how you said that Tinker really changed around the Martian storyline. Because that's when Thad changed too. I decided to expand on his character by giving him a love interest in Ix-Rean...Ri-Xean(Her name doesn't work out in English).

That forced me to think about his past and all of the things that would have happened to him. Staying on Mars and the EpicNap afterwords were me taking time off to think about it all. Then I developed him out of the original design by sending him to hell.


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:27 pm 
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Character origins? Ok, sure.

As I've said before, David was originally based around me. What you may not know is that he was based around me a few years ago, rather than how I currently am. I'd like to think I was good-natured, but also extremely sheltered and in all honesty kinda dense, and I'd like to think I covered that bit of David's character in the game fairly well. The difference is that with David I drastically exaggerated it. The amnesia thing was essentially a thinly-veiled plot device to create a character who is just plain ignorant of things most people take for granted (for example, the concept of Christmas, and what the heck wine is, to point out two things) David's biggest character flaw is clearly his naivete, which has been exploited by many, MANY people at this point. Yet at the same time he's a bit of an idiot savant as far as Mad Scientists go: Although he wouldn't know where to begin if you asked him to build a robot, he could probably fix one that was broken almost beyond recognition if you gave him enough time. Plus, at moments of great danger and difficulty, (the most noticeable one being Hero's Quest) he gets strangely analytical. Anyways, enough rehashing of things I've already talked about.

Sarcastic was originally meant to be satirical towards a fairly common thing in webcomics: The gamer-girl concept. While I'll admit that gamer girls exist, (I know 3 of them in real life) it seems like a fairly common character type that's appearing in a number of webcomics. While there are some excellent examples of developing such characters in plenty of comics (For example, a fun little comic known as Sodium Eyes.) it also seems like a lot of comics where the "Gamer girl" character is present don't really go out of their way to make the character unique: it essentially becomes just a stock character, only different from the rest of the cast by the presence of certain body parts and the lack of other body parts (The worst culprit of this is a comic known as Ctrl+Alt+Del. I actually LIKE the comic a lot, but in all honesty the character of Lilah has really only existed as a nerdy love interest to Ethan, and we haven't seen any growth of her character beyond those two dimensions. She's a gamer girl and she's a love interest. And that's pretty much ALL she is.) Thus, I created Sarcastic in order to poke fun at the "Gamer girl" stock character. While she is certainly a nerd, and will admit it, I'd like to think she's quite unique. For one thing, she has a disability, and it affects how she lives her life. While "Clark Kent" syndrome certainly isn't anywhere near as debilitating as something like, say, a missing leg or a mental condition, if I picked something like that it would be very difficult to keep it funny. At the same time, she has a bit of a leaning towards being more girly than she'd like to admit. And she's pretty sentimental as well: she was willing to risk her life for a childhood friend she hadn't seen in years.

Elleb, of course, was really just intended to be a one-joke character who quickly grew out of a Zelda parody into a full-fledged character in her own right. I blame Dr. Amino and the book Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel (an excellent piece of British fantasy which deals heavily with fae spirits) for her emergence as a real character in the game.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:19 pm 
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Claire was originally very simple; I wanted a character who wasn't Mad. That was it. That was the only thing I had picked out about her when I first created her. From there, it was only logical (in my head, at any rate) to have her view Mad Science as the most normal thing in the world, while being completely clueless about things like coffee stores and toasters. Pretty much everything else came from that point.

I was a bit influenced by a comic I had doodled in my Statistics notebook (it was a boring class) about a Mad Scientist who put his lab assistant's brain in a cat's body. The lab assistant, rather than being angry, was extremely disappointed not to be in the body of a Frankenstein's monster-esq creature. Most of the rest of the jokes comprised of the assistant berating the scientist for not having a good enough evil laugh or doing something else un-like the stereotypical Mad. That rather generic Mad Scientist was the biggest basis for Dr. Smith (his name was picked as being fairly ordinary- I imagined Claire trying to get him to go by something more dramatic).

What's odd about Claire is the habit bits of her and her backstory have of spiraling horribly, horribly out of control, often before I even write them down. For example, the whole 'toxic food' thing came from my need to end her introductory story, and putting in what I thought of as a throw-away joke about the poisonous PB&Js. The occasional mentions to Claire's time in an alternating-gravity environment (the story with Anson and the Prix) came from the mention of David's 'fixed' toppings machine- and resulted in a rather traumatized 6-year-old Claire. And Claire's Uncle Luke (who hasn't even been mentioned yet) started out as a joke character who wouldn't really do anything, but he ended up having a lot of influence.

Claire's pyromania and love of explosives are my own, but on a much, much bigger scale. Oh, as is her love of zappy things. And I stole a bit from one of my friends who is (I believe) 4'10 and still manages to hit harder than everyone else, yet is absolutely adorable.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:40 pm 
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Glee! I love reading about this kind of thing... character origins fascinate me. XD
Here, for your edification, and because it;s too small for the ToM, a glimpse of what could have been.
Note another thing that hasn't changed- candy cigs, and Xerox is,in fact, supposed to be from some smallish town in the Midwest. Not sure where, though...
-------

"Perhaps some introduction is needed here. My name is Bartleby Mondegrove, but people call me Tracy, after the very Duke of Dicks himself. I'm a P.I. PI, a Paranormal Interests Private Investigator.
A special interest job if there ever was one.

I might crack wise, but what i do is important. Let me put it this way: if you had someone stalking you, you could hit up any old gumshoe. But lets say this someone has half-inch fangs, a deathly pallor, and seems to think you'd make a good take home dinner. Or even better, lets say *your* the guy with the deadly good looks, and some thick-headed priest doesn't seem to care you're on a pigs blood diet.

Well, that's when you look up Tracy.
Mind, most people don't take me seriously.

I'm a short, skinny-looking boy from Alabama, who could be mistaken for a rather tall example of prepubescence. I wear a yellow trench-coat, one size too big trousers with black suspenders and a button-up shirt with a black tie. No fedora, just messy blond hair.
I keep my office in Gotham. Hell of a town, but no shortage of work for me. I get whatever the Big Bat leaves over, I suppose. It has a half-empty bottle that might once have had whiskey in it, but I just house soda in, and I'm never without pack of candy cigarettes. Looks good, with less tar.

You look at me, and you think of some little Kid, playing detective. Or a gullible do-gooder boy scout, naive and easy to work around. You'd be both a little right, and a utter sap.
As all the greats have taught me, nothing is more effective than being drastically underestimated.
---------------

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:45 am 
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For me, the character of Jane Narbon was a completely original creation for the (then proto-)story. I was sure it had to be a female character, and that she would be tricky in some way; I figured I could supply the rest of the design decisions later.

Since then, it's gone, a bit like Frankenstein's Monster, out of control; Jane, once I had a pattern for her, practically wrote herself, acquiring personality traits and a dark past along the way. Now... well, it's still kind of the same, really... that said, Jane Narbon is the most impossibly, deliriously, compellingly entertaining character to write ever.

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:39 pm 
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Since the secret's (kinda) out now, I suppose I might as well talk a little bit about exactly what David's unearthed.

The Quetzalcoatl, which David has taken to referring to as "Q", is possibly the oldest flying battleship every made. Designed and created by an ancient Aztec Mad at the behest of a great Emperor of the ancient empire. It was built underneath a town nearby a quarry in a series of natural caverns, completed, and then never used and promptly forgotten about once the Emperor in question died. Since then it's lay, disused and slowly deteriorating, buried beneath soil and hill as time passed and the empire that created it faded into antiquity.

Then it was discovered by a naive and badly wounded man who just happened to be Mad enough to fix it up after centuries of wear and tear.

The Quetzalcoatl is a marvel in modern society for a number of reasons: For one thing, it's entirely made of stone: Every part, every bit, everything is made of stone. This includes the circuitry (despite the fact that the stone in question has no conductive properties whatsoever) the beds, and (due to the effects of fossilization) the stored food. It's entirely unknown how it manages to fly: the only person in the modern world whose had a chance to look at it thinks that it's got some sort of extremely precise localized control over gravity, but he lacks the education and background to really make any serious examination as to how it works. He doesn't know how to explain it, he just fixed it.

What's truly amazing is that it possesses an AI that essentially drives the ship-body. Perhaps the oldest inorganic Artifical Intelligence on earth, Quetzalcoatl is either extraordinarily wise from his/her/its long time existing, or quite insane. Perhaps both, although we may never know for sure. Quetzalcoatl is essentially incompatable with any modern Artifical intelligences: his/her/its systems and base code are completely foreign to modern computer programs. He/She/It doesn't even use machine code or binary... as such, he/she/it'd be hard pressed to get on the internet, network with any other computers, or even burn a CD-Rom.

There's a lot more that could be explained, such as what existing weapon systems Quetzalcoatl has, why it initially spoke one way and then seemed to speak differently in recent posts, and various other details, but for the moment I'd rather keep people in the dark about them. But one thing I feel needs noting: While at the immediate moment Quetzalcoatl essentially looks like a flying mountain of earth with trees and plants and an abandoned town resting on it, it actually looks a lot more like a ship, and if anyone bothered to spend the months or perhaps years required to clean it off, it'd actually look pretty impressive, for a craft made completely out of stone.

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We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:18 pm 
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Please note that it is probably better to read my post about the lost journal and such in the Tales of Madness first. page 19 in case you need it.

As I mentioned before in this topic. I have thought of how the game mythology could work. While based on Abrahamic religions, it allows for any other mythology.

Let me explain. No one is sure how the universe was formed or any of that. The only evidence we have is from how far back time travelers can go before survival is impossible.

However Dr. Ramsmond's lost findings show that everything was created by a god similar to the Abrahamic one. His existence does not preclude any other mythology because, he seems to have created them. Also I'm kind of going with the "no gods before me" being interpreted as there might be other gods but he's top dog.


Some other things I'm randomly (or not so randomly) throwing in.

Angels and Demons follow Islamic rules. That is: angels are obedient to God and have no free will. Like robots they will do other things, but they cannot disobey God. Demons-which since we're using Islamic rules are Djinn-do not have to obey God. This made more sense to me.

All of that is referenced in the Tales of Madness post when Caliban 'Of the Earth' says that 'Air' and 'Death' are (obedient ones). Meaning that they are angels.

Seeing as how I let it slip I might as well tell you. The first excerpt is from Caliban, Ariel, Sprug, and Azrael on a date.

Of the Air=Ariel. Named because in the Tempest, Ariel is a spirit of the air.
Bringer of Death=Azrael.
Storer of Life=Sprug. Storer of Life was his job, which is explained below.
Of the Earth(or Flesh)=Caliban. Named because in the Tempest, Caliban is believed to be based off of the word Cannibal, but I cleaned it up a little by changing it to flesh/earth (mostly carbon is what I'm saying)

The Angels and Djinn were all created from matter, but are pure spiritual beings. Caliban and a few others were created from metals or carbon instead of combustion energy and oxygen. Thus Caliban's name.

Storer of Life, Sprugs job, is about the recycling of Life energy. As Storer of Life Sprug's job was to receive used life from Azrael and put it back where it is kept. He also gives life to another spirit to be redistributed.

Lady Morningstar is, by the way, the Devil/Satan in case you don't get it from Tale's of Madness. She is part of a loyal "family" of Djinn created around the same time. She is in fact their leader. Which is why so many followed her in her futile war with God.

If that's it. (Which I think it is.) I will rap up by saying that I'm sorry that this system is kind of hodge podge. I had to leave out a few parts so as to not reveal any spoilers.

Also I had to mention Caliban because I think I might need him later. That's not too much of a spoiler-is it?


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:21 am 
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(Warning! The following wall of text may be kinda confusing and isn't necessarily required to understand anything in the main game. However, it's my attempt to explain the "Alternate Universe" thing that keeps popping up in our games, and includes a wee bit of foreshadowing for an upcoming chapter I'm involved in, if you look hard enough. If you're seriously interested in reading my ramblings, feel free to read on ahead. If this is understandably already starting to give you a headache, feel free to pass it by. Thank you!)

(Aaand I realized that I posted this in the wrong place last time, so I'm moving it here. Sorry for the confusion!)

Ok... today on Professor Zobot Explains, well, some of it anyway:

We talk about Alternate Universes! I'll take those anguished screams of pain as indicators that you're all really excited about this topic. Plus, I've got visual aids!

To begin with, let's clarify something: technically, a "dimension" is an inaccurate term when talking about this. Dimensions refer to distance and the ability to move in different directions, (Such as 1-D being only left and right, 2-D being up, down, left and right, and 3-D just mucking everyone's mathematics up by making it possible to move in ways that are difficult to graph on a calculator.) Saying that someone is from "an alternate dimension" is actually pretty silly but still commonly used, like saying "irregardless".

An alternate universe is one where events in history, in at least one point, happened differently compared to the one we use as a reference. It could be something as tiny as someone deciding to have waffles instead of eggs on morning for breakfast. Or it could be something huge like Hitler going super sayian. And it could also be a series of unconnected things happening differently, such as Abraham Lincoln not dying, Japan joining the other side in World War 2, and no one ever writing the Hitchhiker's guide books. Theoretically, there is an infinite number of alternate universes out there, each one different from the other ones out there, even if it is only in a very small way. However, for the sake of simplicity, let's use this simple chart to explain some general concepts regarding dimensions in the "world" of the Mad Sci Wars:

Image

To keep things from getting too complicated, imagine that each point on the graph is an alternate universe, all aligned on a basic x-y plane. On this graph, the "Posiverse" we've frequently referred to is the first black dot directly to the right of the center of the chart, and the "Negiverse" is the first black dot directly to the left, corresponding with positive and negative numbers. You might be wondering what those strange lines connecting the two universes are. Don't worry about those, we'll get to them later. You also might be wondering about why there isn't a dot in the center of the graph, where the lines intersect. That represents a "Universe Zero" that should theoretically exist; a template universe from which every other one is based off of. It's never been discovered or found, and most Dimensional Physicists are starting to disbelieve that it does exist at all.

As stated before, there's theoretically an infinite number of alternate universes out there. But for ease of reference, these universes have been arranged by certain people studying them in a fairly understandable theme. The x-y grid on that graph represents one universal "set", an arrangement of alternate universes that all seem to be more or less connected by similar themes, events, and people appearing in them. Under this system, each universal set is denoted a z-number, and represented by an x-y grid.

Image

Within each universal set, the world as you or I know it is pretty similar. As a general rule, any dimensions that look to be close to each other aren't that different. But the further out you go the more different things will get from your home universe. Eventually, you start to reach Universes where so much has changed that things may be hardly recognizable. (Such as "Zombie Apocalypse" universes, or the fabled "dimension of topless dancing cheerleaders of both genders.") Also, universes along each row and column usually follow a specific sort of "theme" if one such theme exists. An example of this would be with the Negaverse and the Posiverse. Each one is only the first such example of it's kind. As you proceed further right from the Posiverse, you'll find dimensions that get increasingly positive and upbeat. Eventually, you'll even find ones where no one's even heard of war and no one eats anything other than rice cakes and spring water. The same sort of thing happens as you go further left from the "Negaverse", as you may expect. Things get more and more negative and such. Other such themes occur in the same universal set that The Mad Sci Wars takes place in, such as the "Pervy" line of universes (including the universe where no one ever seems to have enough money to pay the pizza man) and the extremely far off "Fantasy" column of universes.

And it gets more confusing from there: A different universal set is innately going to be drastically different from the one you are currently in. By that I mean that almost nothing, if ANYTHING, might be recognizable. Earth might be a lifeless planet with an atmosphere of pure methane, or there might not ever have been an Earth at all, on ANY of the universes in that new set.

Now let's talk about the actual means of crossing between universes. For starters, it requires a lot of energy, except for Mad (who regularly work on projects that require a lot of energy.). It's certainly possible to do, but it usually takes a lot of time and effort to even cross over to one of the universes closest to yours on the grid. The further away from your home universe you go on the grid, the more energy is required. So it's actually easier to make a series of jumps from one dimension to the next one nearest to it, replenishing energy every step of the way, than to jump directly from one universe to one far away from it. Usually, anyway. Because of the prohibitively high energy cost, it's rare to see people or things not affiliated with Mads to jump between universes.

The Posiverse and the Negaverse are the exception to this rule. Due to an event that happened sometime in the past, these two universes are linked in some way. What happens in one has an effect on the other, and it takes substantially less energy to jump between the two than it would to jump to any other universe, even nearby ones. In fact, there's even the occasional naturally occurring opening between the two universes, places that have, on occasion, allowed people from the Posiverse to wander into the Negiverse or vice versa.

If it's difficult, energywise, to jump between one universe and another, it's exponentially harder to jump from one universal set to another. In fact, it's near impossible, just due to the energy drain involved. A Mad could do it, but almost nothing else could probably manage it. A certain superhero, known as Flux, has on occasion claimed to simultaneously exist in 2 universal sets at once, and that he teleports by switching his bodies between them, but that's shown to be near impossible to prove.

There's only one other thing to talk about before we're done. And that's what lies BETWEEN alternate universes (Or outside them, if you want to think of it like that.) While it may give a lot of people headaches, there just seem to be some things which haven't had an origin in any universe thus explored. One of these things is the Fae. There have been signs that such entities have appeared in multiple different universes, but do not seem to be native to any of them. For that matter, certain statements by certain fae seem to imply that they don't belong in any universe, but rather originate from something else. To be certain, it seems that they have very little trouble moving from one universe to another. (Although taking things and/or people with them may make it more difficult.)

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:43 pm 
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The Question of Cash.

When writing fiction, money is a problem. By all rights logic is tough to follow if suddenly a character who is supposed to be broke has the cash for a plane ticket... but plot complications easily rise up around not having a plane ticket.
The best way to handle this is to make sure that it just doesn't come up much- a good plot, in my opinion, shouldn't really have much to do with characters wealth. Unless it;s a murder mystery too much foucus on money seems to lead to a bad story.

But it *is* nice to have that information in the background. So here it is!

Andrew Tinker
Andrew doesn't really have to worry about money- he is actually rather wealthy, mostly because his father was surprisingly sensible about things like investments and savings. Andrew makes a point of not touching most of it, which as it turns out is what *keeps* you wealthy.
Day to day things are bought with his M and Teaching paychecks, with a special investment account reserved for house repairs and such.

Fredric Tinker
Fredric receives an allowance from his Da, and also picks up a paycheck from his job at the Game Store. He gets money from M as an Active Agent, but Xerox has that going directly into a savings account for him until he's turned 10.
In general he spends most of his money on music, research equipment, and comics. He also wants to try and invest in a decent GURPS collection.

Primary O. Xerox
Xerox gets his paycheck from the Gov, technically twice- remember, he serves as both an Officer *and* as a Secretary so his pay is pretty good. Most of it ends up in a charity, but some ends up in a bank account.
But he also gets royalties for a few programs he's made, so he lives pretty well. He;s tight with his cash, so it's easy to think he;s poor. However, lately he seems to have begun spending money a little more than usual... that is, when he can beat Jess in arm wrestling over the check.

Sayasuke
... he;s a demon.
But seriously. He gets paid by M, pretty well too seeing as how he's a member of the Inanimate Henches Union. and since he doesn't need food and clothing...
Wait, no. He doesn't *need* food and clothing, but he buys them anyways. He has a pretty good suit collection, and likes to load up on snacks a lot- he's a favorite customer of the Japanese Import Shop.
He also ends up spending his cash on a lot of video games and manga- unlike some immortals, he has always been up to date with his own country as it changed, and has a soft spot for his homelands entertainment.
Hell, he diddn't even *sleep* after he got the PS2....

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"Only If It's Funny".


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:12 pm 
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Ooh... I 've been thinking about this for a while now.

Claire
Claire started out pretty much broke, which is usually what happens when your pay is in explosives instead of money. She tends to steal whatever she needs, so it usually isn't that big of a deal, although if she needed cash, she'd usually just sell something that she stole. She seems to have a source of income now, although it's not really apparent where it comes from. Not that it really matters, because she still just steals the stuff she needs. She's fairly discrete about it, though. As far as everything else (non-food, -clothing, and -explosive items) she will buy it, although she rarely spends a lot. Mostly she just buys crayons and other little stuff.

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"Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering Kaboom!" -Marvin the Martian

Spam Poison. I think.


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:40 pm 
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I too shall divulge my characters' funds.

Thaddeus
Thad is not impoverished or rich. He is paid an amount he can afford to live off of by Prof. Tinker (which is all he asks to paid). He spends that money on food, clothing, and rent for his apartment (he's given up funding cars that always are destroyed). He puts a little away in the bank too. Lately he's been buying a lot more clothes due to their destruction. He has a rather sizable sum in the family vault as well. It is only technically his though. With his father MIA ownership of his line's money defaults to him. It is paid into annually and kept in case of disaster. It is not like a normal bank as money changes value and all funds are kept in fungible materials rather than representational money. This is of course necessary for family lines which have lasted for centuries and will continue to do so.

Radcliffe
He is a poor college student. He pays for food and clothes out of a supply set aside by his family. The small portion of his tuition not paid for by scholarships is paid directly out of pocket by his family too. He receives a small amount of money through his work with Prof. Andronicus. Don't ask how, as the Prof. does not pay him. He uses this to buy reading material and comics.

Prof. Andronicus
Andronicus is paid by the university he teaches at. This is used to pay for food and clothing. His habits-experimentation and expensive tea-are paid for by selling some of his less private designs and through means that are left unexplained (likely the same source Radcliffe receives his money from). He makes enough to do what he wants when he wants. Which he does often. This only includes taking him away from his work teaching during the Prix.


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:53 pm 
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Okay, character finances:

Ingrid carefully invests her money in stocks that are projected to yield large profit in the future based on detailed studies of past share values and current business ventures, as well as depositing her cash in certain bank account to accumulate maximum interest. Coupled with her salary from her job as Dr. Amino's secretary (and a decent amount of overtime), she has quite a tidy sum of money to spend when the need arises.

And Amino? Pshaw, Amino doesn't need to worry about money. She just does the same thing she always does--she makes it up as she goes along.


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:59 pm 
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Jane Narbon

Jane makes money by her villainy. Though only Jane would be able to confirm this, there are more than 300 people who have been robbed, tricked, conned, swindled, or otherwise separated from a sizable amount of money by Jane (not to mention the hundreds more who only lost small amounts, or who Jane seduced instead.)

By now, as you can imagine, she's gotten very good at this, and usually has enough money not to need to do anything at all... but even then, she will still seek out new victims on a regular basis.

Maria Narbon

Maria Narbon makes money on bounties provided for the capture of various villains (which, for dangerous villains, can go quite high.) Most of this money goes into maintenance and improvement of the underground lair where MN spends most of her time.
When not hunting villains, MN will usually meet with altChic and have (in their own words) 'fun'. Exactly what this refers to varies. This isn't usually a source of monetary income, but if it is, Maria will usually turn a blind eye while altChic makes any money earned "disappear"...

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"My conscience is feeling all prickly."
"A bit of absolute power can remedy that."
Kid Radd


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:58 pm 
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Wally Caine-
Right now, Wally isn't doing too badly. He attends college mostly off of scholarships and Won't-Blow-Up-the-College-ships (void if he does blow up the college), which pay for his tuition and supplies nicely. Additionally, most of his mad science equipment is paid for by patents for his inventions and selling mutated tissue samples to various companies. What's left from that gets split between investing and food, so he's been socking money away for a while. That, combined with the pay from Project Tanglefoot, meaning that he's doing well, compared to not too long ago.

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Survivor of six years wandering the dimensions. Come on, just give the guy a break!


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:40 am 
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Money, huh?

David was formerly independently wealthy, after winning a million dollars from the Hero's Quest debacle. However, he has been whittling down that amount of money for quite some time now, and just recently spent the last of it on his round-the-world excursion. Beyond that, he has no savings (That he remembers) and hasn't been around lately to draw a paycheck from anything.

His hero-ing work is technically all pro bono, but he accepts donations, and more often than not people requesting his services (As we saw when some group hired him to patrol the Convention) do it with the express intention of paying him for the time and effort. But it's not a reliable source of income, by any means, and he does end up patrolling the city on his own when people aren't asking him to right wrongs and such. David's primary source of income, up to this point, would be from the Ice Cream shoppe he's been partially interested in maintaining. While it had a crowd of loyal customers, he then disappeared for a few months, and people have more or less been assuming the place has closed down. (Not to mention there was that girl he hired during Bluelight that never seemed to show up again. He didn't know WHAT was up with that...) The biggest advantage of this store is that he hasn't actually had to pay rent or a morgage or anything on the land thus far, since it was originally owned by the METs, and they're no longer around. Whoever formally owns the land has either been unaware that David's squatting, or uncaring about it. Not to mention the problems involved in attempting to evict a Mad Scientist. Still, after the affair with M is over, David's going to have to do something to earn money, especially since Dr. Amino just walked off with most of his possessions. (Barring the Automatic Toppings-Dispenser, which the Dave-Repo squad was afraid to touch after losing 8 guys to it, and the Armor of Righteousness, which is quite literally too heavy for a squadron of 6 Frederics to move... 7 might be able to do it...)

Sarcastic
is your typical lower middle class college student. As in, "I've got student loans and I'm just barely living in my means and you have to ASK about money?" Yeah, she's not exactly rich. But she's got some savings that her family's had set aside for her college education since birth, and she's not doing badly. That, combined with her natural frugality and her sightly-less-than-moral nature (hey, she DID steal that mugger's wallet...) mean that she's occasionally got some spending money to care about. Occasionally.

Elleb is a fairy. She doesn't need, nor care, about money. Even if she did get into a situation where currency is required, she can pretty much glamour something together... there are plenty of legends about fairy gold which lasts until the night is over. That being said, what could she POSSIBLY need to buy that she couldn't just borrow/steal or live without?

Michael is rich. Not only does he have the remainder of the money that the Arm skimmed off of countless people's financial accounts, but he's also got the memories the Arm dumped into him of Professor Zobot's old life, meaning that he's got the knowledge to access Zobot's old financial accounts. (Which contains all the money he accrued during a successful life of Mad Science related crime.) He has no aversion to stealing if need be, but thus far hasn't needed to. Plus, he is the owner of a quite ritzy beachfront property hidden somewhere in the Caribbean, where he's been residing in more or less luxury since his life began. He has yet to inform anyone of exactly how rich he is, and he probably prefers it that way. Suffice to say, he's still making payments to the people previously employed in Tanglebox, such as Wally, Amino, D.C (who gets extra for reasons I'm not explaining), Calvin, Mistral, and Spencer. However, he's doing so in a direct deposit means which he's managed to do anonymously thus far, below their notice. (No one will notice if their money isn't missing.)

You might wonder WHY he's doing it, but that's a story for another time.

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:37 pm 
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Uh, Prof Z, Brenda actually did show up for work afterwards, and still works at his ice cream shop.

Anyway:

SoItBegins & Prime
SoItBegins and Prime share the same source of income. With its fast-responce mental routines and quantum prediction systems, Prime can predict, with flawless accuracy, patterns in complex systems as or even before they happen. The practical use for this is the stock market, where Prime can identify stocks that are about to take an abrupt rise, then buy low and sell high. As a result, SoItBegins' budget is functionally unlimited.

Tyler Harris
...works in a box store.

Jen Hallman
...works in a grocery store. However, her income is augmented by, at infrequent intervals, going and sitting somewhere for about an hour or so...

Ariel
Ariel doesn't need money-- she's an incorporeal entity spread over the Internet. However, that may change sometime soon. And Ariel has a few ideas about just what she could do... :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:45 pm 
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Ah...well, since it hasn't been mentioned in game yet, I can just say that she's still working there. No harm done.

EDIT: Except for the fact that her boss has been missing for months, and it's uncertain whose been running the store, and how she's been getting her paychecks. Oh well... that's something that can be worked out once we get Saya, Xerox, and Tinker back up and running.

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:16 pm 
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Xerox: ... ... ... I can see where this is going. I

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"Only If It's Funny".


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 Post subject: Re: The Mad Sci Notebook
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:20 pm 
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David: You do? Good, because I wasn't really paying much attention. Did you take notes? Can I see them?

Sarcastic: He's not really that devious, you don't have to worry about that. *Grins evilly* But I am. You asked me before if I wanted a job, right?

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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