The Worlds We Create

Posted: January 14, 2014 by writingsprint in Science fiction
Tags: , , , , ,

ZhaanSheila sat in the middle of Zhaan’s laboratory, the center of attention. Zhaan had been kind enough to give her one of her robes. It was too big, but it kept Sheila warm. Aeryn and Chiana had no interest in lending her clothes for now. John had offered his flight suit, but she’d passed for now. Maybe later.

Zhaan was running a battery of tests on Sheila’s blood and comparing it to John’s. So far, they had all turned up the same. Zhaan’s attention was completely fixed on the colored vials and powders that surrounded her. Sheila thought it looked as much like an organic food store as it did a chemistry lab.

“There’s more to what I told you than the fortune teller,” Sheila said. “You’ll think I’m even crazier, but you need to know.” She was also hoping it would help her wake up. “I’m not from your Earth, John. Have you ever heard of the Neverending Story?” John shook his head. “It’s about a boy who’s reading a book. As he reads the book, the story starts talking about the reader, and it describes the boy perfectly.”

“So… what… you’re reading a book about us?”

“A TV show. Called Farscape.”

John rolled his eyes. “Sheila… if that is your name… if you want us to think you’re crazy, just keep talking that way.”

“Moya is a biomechanoid. Zhaan is a Delvian. Aeryn is Sebacean. D’Argo is Luxan. Should I keep going?”

You could have heard a pin drop in the room. Zhaan dropped one of the vials, and the shattering glass made them all jump.

“Frell me,” Aeryn said quietly.

John twitched, like he had a bug next to ear. Sheila covered her mouth. He blinked, and said, “Sorry. Wait a second. Tell me something else.”

“I don’t want to. I’m afraid what it might do.”

“This is insane.”

“Not at all,” Zhaan said. Everyone looked at her. “There are many spiritual paths that believe that our imaginations create worlds, entire universes. Psychic projection allows many species to travel to other worlds without the aid of ships. Who can say that she hasn’t fallen into a different universe from her own?”

“One that I created, or one that someone else did?” Sheila asked.

“Who can say? Does it truly matter?”

Sheila looked at John. She thought about the psychotic alien that was taking a tour of his subconscious, even now, as she looked at him. “It might.”

Zhaan performed her final test. She took drops of Sheila’s blood and mixed them into a vial of green liquid. It turned blue, the same shade of blue as another vial that she had just turned using John’s blood. “Human. Their blood chemistry and anatomy are identical.” Zhaan said.

Meanwhile, behind the curtain…

Where am I going with this thing? I thought I could have fun with the idea of a fan thrown into Farscape, but my goal here is to write a story worth reading, whether you’re a fan or not.

Who’s my character? Sheila Voss, physicist, quirky young’un from… somewhere in the Midwestern US. Maybe Iowa. That’s where captain Kirk was supposed to be from. What does she want? To get back home. What does she really want, in her heart of hearts? To go to the stars. She knew she could never be an astronaut because of various health issues — allergies, whatever — so she became a physicist, which to her would be the next best thing. She studies space radiation, especially deep space radiation, solar flares, cosmic rays, all that good stuff. If she could never go to the far side of the universe, physically, at least she could be there mathematically.

What’s her problem? What’s the problem with what she wants?

Like John Crichton, she’s really gone to the far side of the universe, and now it’s going to get her killed. What ties Sheila up in knots is that she’s inside a fictitious universe. Even if Peacekeepers and Scarrens and Luxans and all the other aliens really existed, she shouldn’t be talking to John Crichton, Aeryn Sun, and the crew of Moya. She’s not lost geographically. She’s separated by a gulf of imagination. Since she couldn’t wake herself up, it begs the question of how to get home.

Sheila has the added riff of being a Farscape fan. I need to decide how far into the series she is, or if she’s seen the whole thing. If she’s seen the entire series, she could be more valuable than John’s wormhole knowledge. Pretty much anybody would want to get their hands on her.

Yesterday I decided that she landed on Moya sometime during season two, when John still has Scorpius’ neural chip inside his head. My thought is that she’s shown up just after “Out of Their Minds,” an episode that ended pretty happily, and before the neural chip kicked into high gear.

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