Multiverse II was a great round robin that, unfortunately, we never finished.
First of all, Multiverse II came about as the denizens of Ad Astra wanted to work on a round robin style story together. While the story got interested, complex, and convoluted, it was never really completed. However, it did give me some terrific insights into my own characters.
There was a ton of music in this one as everyone receives inspiration in their own way. However, rather than repeat it all, I’d like to just showcase the theme songs for my three characters.
Otra’s theme ended up as The Talking Heads’ Nothing But Flowers. While the flowers references obviously presents itself, I really loved the line, “I wish I had a lawnmower.” Furthermore, the song images a post-apocalytic time, and that is exactly where Otra finds herself.
In addition, Levi’s theme ended up as Wall of Voodoo’s Mexican Radio. Because his mind is a session of Google Chrome with 1,000 open tabs, a fast-moving number with hard to hear lyrics made the most sense.
However, for Branch Borodin, I went with Us3’s Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia). Branch can be hard to pin down, but jazzy and funky rhythms seem to fit the best.
The first story was prompted by a ‘Now What?’ prompt. Then the second was a POV shift. Since I loved the first one so much (and had never really written Yilta’s point of view before anyway), I added the second. Hence they are shown together as I practically tackled the two at once.
During the ceremony, any number of odd things happen. Best man Levi Cavendish drops the rings. Twice. Then Maid of honor Deirdre Katzman bends down to look for them and nearly loses her flowers. And then half-WitannenOtra D’Angelo‘s floral-like chavecoi point where the rings are on the ground. And officiant Branch Borodin, the colony alien, interrupts the ceremony asking if the happy couple want to take a survey.
So these shenanigans are nearly enough to drive Admiral Carmen Calavicci back to drink. But at least she can refrain, for the moment. However, I cannot promise she won’t fall off the wagon at some later date. And I like that idea.
So I really loved how both of these came together. Sometimes, writing is a lot like taking dictations. The characters simply speak, and then I transcribe whatever it is that they are relating to me. And that happened both times. Furthermore, I loved writing Yilta’s point of view, because she is an interesting character. However, I had neglected her inner life until these little stories. Let’s say I do again! And again!
Ah, it’s the sweetest universe! And you can never go wrong with the wacky pumpkin pie meme and its variations.
So as a part of Multiverse II, kes7 and I created Interdimensional Pumpkin Pie #49.
It was quite by accident; I had mainly just wanted Levi Cavendish to be quirky as all hell. As a result, he, in that story, asks for pumpkin pie while in the middle of trying to save the multiverse. At the time, it was a mere throwaway line. I never meant for it to go anywhere. I swear!
In the meantime, eventually, he had the replicator system spit out hundreds if not thousands of pumpkin pies, based upon varying radiation bands. This rather neatly introduces the concept of separate radiation bands while simplifying the idea of multiple universes. And it simultaneously ups the Levi quirk factor to infinity. At one point, he says to kes’s character, Maren O’Connor, “Number 49 was good.”
The prompt was created with Levi in mind, particularly because people were rather heavily ‘shipping him with Otra D’Angelo. Therefore, I had to come up with some way for him to do something good for everyone. Also, this would get this poor ADHD-addled guy out of his own personal zone. And it would show that, deep under his tics and his weirdnesses, he really does care.
And so, on September 2, 3110, Levi makes interdimensional pie #49 for everyone. Plus this is how I got to put my birthday into the timeline. Really. Don’t ask how old I’ll be. 😉
So the only thing that might be missing from this one is that I could have expanded it a bit more. It was, though, a good way to start to get the Otra-Levi romance off the ground. Pumpkin pie #49 is now a meme that will never die!
Desperation comes in an odd place in this story. But parents will know this feeling all too, uncomfortably, well.
For a prompt of the same name, I decided to go with one of life’s little desperations. While others might have concentrated on a damaged ship or a damaged relationship, I zigged instead of zagged. Therefore, I wrote the merry mix-ups that occur when you are trying to toilet train your recalcitrant mixed-species toddler.
Yes, I went there.
Future Temporal Integrity Commission employee Otra D’Angelo experiences a small milestone in her young life. Takes place in 3069.
However, her parents are getting a bit impatient. But she doesn’t care. And so little Otra D’Angelo will not become toilet trained for love or money or any amount of coaxing.
So her father, Marco, is driven to broken English, mixed with Italian. And her mother, Chefra, wants to go back to work and is tired of this nonsense already.
But, like countless little children before her, Otra knows that she’s in control. So she takes full advantage of that. While Marco tears his hair out in frustration, and Chefra tries to sweet talk her, Otra has her own ideas.
Star Trek is rather famous for not showing family life. But this is not only a mixed-species family, it is also a family where four separate languages are spoken! However, I think it’s a fairly decent introduction to Otra, the woman with an odd gift for seeing alternate timelines.
Before I began writing Star Trek fan fiction, I had a time travel series in a kind of embryonic state. The inventor of the technology, who would be the director and also a bit of a difficult person, but also the lover to Otra D’Angelo, was to have the name Levi Cavendish. But then I started writing Trek fan fiction, and Levi turned out quite differently. I like him a lot better these days. He’s really gotten a lot more character development in Multiverse II, including becoming temporally paradoxical, and vanishing from existence.
He is also, along with Otra, the developer of Otric Theory. Levi named it after her, an act that he does not recognize was out of affection. But at least Otra knows.
Levi is played by Edward Norton. I particularly love him from the Fight Club era.
He just looks as itchy and twitchy as I think of Levi.
An actor playing Levi has got to be someone who is smart and creative. However, ultimately, he must also be hamstrung by a bunch of different tics, quirks and downright disabilities. I believe Norton can really do that.
Levi’s got major issues.
Squirrely, nervous and suffering from a number of personality disorders, Levi is a misunderstood and underestimated genius. Nobody seems to get him, except for Otra D’Angelo. And even she doesn’t always.
His home is decorated in stills from the Twilight Zone and other bits of classic science fiction memorabilia. His wardrobe is mainly uniforms for the Temporal Integrity Commission, or functional things. Beauty, aesthetics, and form don’t really hold much meaning for him, except as they serve function.
With Adult ADHD, high-level autism, hyperactivity, occasional stuttering and an inability to look most people in the eye, it’s a wonder that Levi can get anything done at all. He has a wacky fundamentalist mother who changes her religion as often as many people change their socks. Plus there’s a father who abandoned the family years ago. And he now has a court order to spend time with Levi (and can’t wait until Levi’s thirtieth birthday, to be freed of his obligations), it’s a wonder that Levi is even on the same planet as sanity.
Levi is odd enough that he knows that he will do lots of things for Otra. However, he does not truly comprehend that his actions are out of love. Even in his dreams, when he can get the girl, his romantic line to her is, “My foot hurts.”
So yeah, he’s pretty messed up.
Levi’s crazy antics spell sped-up rap-type patter to me.
But this one really speaks to me about Levi, from the fast talking to the weird-looking lead singer to the hard to hear Spanish chatter, Wall of Voodoo – Mexican Radio.
There’s no reason why Levi can’t have a Mirror Universe counterpart. However, it’s likely that someone as messed up as all that would not survive for very long on the other side of the pond.
Hence, I can see a Mirror Levi as not being autistic or hyperactive at all, or not for long, if he was ever to have a prayer of surviving past about his tenth birthday. Instead, his genius would be ruthless. Plus he would be cruelly efficient and perhaps even sadistic. He would probably be an extremely scary individual.
“Can’t hear chatter on the comm anymore. Throw the pies at the Chilo, Maren. Please.”
This character was not truly, fully realized until Multiverse II. But now he’s a much better and more deeply three-dimensional character than ever before. I like him, no matter how much he might annoy or at least baffle the other characters.