Saturday, April 26, 2014

Chapter: One Step/Step One

Jed and I are going to meet Morlock-dude…at the burger joint where Bree dumped me. Yeah.  Awesome. 

“You can’t plonk”, I say to Jed as we’re walking up.  “This is where Bree dumped me.  I like, need you, man.”

“I won’t faint”, says Jed. “But you’ll have to talk.”

“No problem”, I say.

Oh, here’s the dude.

I go up to meet him. “I’ll be talking for both of us”, I say to the dude.  His eyebrow like, goes up, but he doesn’t say anything.

We order.  I can’t even think about having the Quadruple Bacon Explosion Burger.  It’s like, too soon.  So I have the Ay Caramba Jalapeno Burger instead.  With extra jalapenos.  Jed has like, a regular cheeseburger, but he isn’t eating any.  And Simlock-dude just has a big plate of fries, go figure.

It’s like awkward.  Like, no-one is saying anything.  So I start. “So, Jed says you’re like really old.”  The dude’s eyebrow like, goes up, and Jed like, glares at me. “In like, a good way”, I say.

The dude says, “It’s been nearly one hundred and fifty years since I was born, yes.”

Whoa. That’s even older than like, Grandma Fiona was.  That’s like, cowboys and horses and shit.

“We didn’t have cowboys on our side of the ocean”, he says – oh, I guess I said that part out loud.  “But there were horses, of course.” 

“Are you gonna like, keep going?  Like, into the future?  Like, flying cars? Or are you gonna go back?”, I say, and take another bite.  Whoa, man. Jalapenos.

“He can’t, Tair”.  Huh, Jed speaks.  But he’s still looking at the table.

The dude nods.  “I had an malfunction with my time machine, on it’s maiden voyage.  I ended up in your time, in Sim Francisco, with a time engine that is quite beyond repair.”

Man.  I put the burger down. “Oh, that sucks, dude”, I say.

Jed like, kicks my foot, but the dude smiles a little.  “It was not my first choice.  However, I must say that I have found your Sim Francisco to be most fascinating, and, if you avoid certain areas of town, quite safe.”  He turns to Jed.  “How about you, Mister Wainwright?  Are you finding the house to your satisfaction?”, the dude says.

Jed like nods but he doesn't look up.

“It’s a’it”, I say.  “The brew fridge in the garage is cool”, and I have another bite.  And then like, the rest of it, ha.  

The dude looks at me.  “’Brew fridge’ – are you referring to the cooling chamber in the laboratory?”

“Laboratory?”  Jed's still not looking up.  He's not even touched his burger, man.

"Are you gonna like, finish that, dude?"  I get up and like, make for Jed's burger.

The dude looks at Jed.  “The laboratory.  In the garage.  We had it equipped especially –“

I reach for the burger, but Jed jumps up and he's like grabbing my arm.  "Whoa, chill, dude, I'll get another burger", I say.

Jed's like, losing it.  “TAIR! Is there a lab in the garage?”

I think.  There’s a big-ass bong in the garage, and a brew fridge. What else?  I think some more.  “There’s like, a table, by the brew fridge, and some cabinets with some junk in ‘em, and there were some pictures of some really old guys – but we put up a Moronic Trio poster instead - and there was a TV that doesn’t work – but Ally got us another one, and -"

The dude looks at me.  “TV. I believe you’re referring to the remote access terminal into the University mainframe.”  He looks at Jed.  “I assure you, it’s fully functional, I checked it out myself.”

Jed’s like, “You’ve been to my HOUSE?”

Oh, man.  He's gonna blow, man.  Maybe if I go for his burger it will distract him, ha.

The dude says, “I supervised the renovation of the garage, yes.  We attempted to retain your grandparent’s original … ambience … as much as possible, but some of the electronic items needed to be replaced.  Despite your brother's assessment, I assure you that none of the items are 'junk'.”

Jed's like, grandparents, what

I’m like, shit, if it’s Jed’s Grandpa’s house, no wonder the TV doesn’t work.  And hey, delicious cheese.

The dude says, “I assumed you knew the history of the Wainwright legacy...? The house itself was renovated several times by your grandmother’s family before they donated it to the University;  however,  the garage structure is original.”

Jed looks at the ground again. “We never talk about my grandmother”, he says.  Yeah, he doesn’t.  Like, I didn’t even know he had one.  Oh, man. Now I feel bad.

The dude looks surprised.  “I see.”  Then he says, “The lot belongs to the University now, of course.  And, if one chooses to ignore its place in your family’s heritage, it is still historically relevant as the laboratory where your grand…father developed the Wainwright time engines.”

Jed makes a funny noise, and then he like, checks out.  Shit. I feel terrible. I come over to talk the dude.

“Look, uh, Jed and his Grandpa, they're not like, tight.  Not like me and Jed", I say.  "Jed’s Grandpa is a jerk.”

"NO he's NOT", says Jed.  We like, look at him, but he's not like, looking at us.

"GRANDPA is an ASSHOLE.  He was an asshole to GRANDMA and he was an asshole to MOM and he's an asshole to ME."  Then he looks at the ground again.

The dude looks back and forth at us, but he doesn’t smile.  Almost.  “I see”, he says again. “As I said, I personally supervised the garage renovations. The laboratory includes all of the equipment needed to develop your own experiments.”

Jed looks up again.  "YES."  Then he looks at the dude finally.  Then he comes over. “That's what I want. I want to make my own time engine”, he says.  “Not a Wainwright design.  A Jed design. My own design.  Like you did.”

“Based on your most impressive performance in the entrance examination, you are well qualified in the theory.  But for practical applications, you need additional training in the mechanical and electrical disciplines - I can help you with that”, the dude says.  That sounds terrible, but Jed looks like it's a good thing. Nerds, man, I don't get it.

The dude's still talking. “Of course, if you are interested in practical applications of the time engine – in temporal travel – you will need to develop or procure additional components.”

Jed says, “I want to. I want to design it. I want to build it. I want to use it.”

The dude says, “Well then. I have your first assignment.  In your SimNation, legal operation of a time engine requires installation of an anti-paradox circuit.  That is your assignment for this term – construct and demonstrate a working anti-paradox circuit.”

Jed makes this funny noise and I’m like, dude. I know. And Maddie wants me to sketch something.  Like, Uni, man, who knew it was this much work.


When we get home, Jed like runs into the garage. Like he doesn't even park his bike.  And then he like, freaks out. But happy freaks out.

"TAIR!" he says. "I thought you said this was junk?  This is SO COOL!  This bench is like LOADED!  And there's - oh my dub Tair - there's my own BRAIN SCAN machine.  And - oh my dub, this is the mainframe terminal - "

"There's like, no remote", I say.

"It's okay, I know how to get in", he says.  He's running around looking at stuff.  Then he notices the bong.

"Tair! You can't smoke in here! It's a LAB! Substances in here are highly flammable!", he's like on a roll, but like, it's too sad, I'm like, I know, it's like your house, dude.

"When Ally gets home we'll get rid of this", I say, and I like point at the Trio poster.

Jed comes over. "Just the bong", he says.  "The Trio stays."

"We put brew in the fridge", I say.

"That stays too", he says.  "I'll put in some soda. For when you guys come watch Trio with me."

He like smiles.  "Can you believe it, Tair?  I'm gonna make a TIME MACHINE."


  1. Huh, so the garage is really a lab. And I think they should keep the bong, college is a time for drugs, and the non-plant ones are chemical compounds which has to do with science so...
    *sigh* if only Jed was a chemistrian (don't think that's a word... ah well), then he could go all Breaking Bad (if he had cancer and was older. Hey! That's a career opportunity available for him!)
    I can't help but wonder why he hates his granddad though. What exactly happened?
    Yay! He's gonna make a time machine and be like his hero!

    Not a lot happened to Tarik this chapter, but I'm honestly guessing his career will be Art Appraisal? Seeing as though he's taking art, but he's not going to be an artist.

    1. Somehow I think Tarik will figure out a way to keep the bong :)

      English is great, you can make up your own words when you need them Chemistrian can totally be a word - a chemist equestrian - chemistrian! ;) Jed's not going to be a chemist, but he is getting the science skill. He rolls wishes related to chemistry sometimes.

      Jed's Grandpa doesn't have much tolerance or compassion for those he considers inferior, including Blair and her children. And Jed's Grandpa dotes on Precious. There are other reasons as well, which will come up later in the story.

      Tarik's career will not be Art Appraisal. Actually the art track benefits a lot of careers/professions, not all of which make sense, but ...

  2. I love how excited Jed is about all the scientific stuff in the garage when Tarik had assumed it was all junk :)

    Professor Morlock seems to be a nice guy, does he know about the nefarious goings on around Jed?

    1. Jed's like a kid in a candy store :)

      The project that is manipulating Jed "recruited" Morlock to work with Jed. Morlock and Jed's grandparents were three of the only people to have ever built working time machines.

  3. Jed's speaking and didn't faint in the prosess! Good for him. It's nice to see him developing a bit. And to think that if it hadn't been for Tarik in the first place, none of this would have happened at all.
    And they've had a working lab in the garage all this time, which Tarik assumed was all junk. He has a point though, it's all junk to him.

    1. Jed's (slowly) finding his "happy place" just like Tarik found his. It's harder for him is all.

      I'm glad you made the comment about Tarik. That's one of the themes of this story, that the extraordinary comes from the ordinary. It's what I meant by the title - every day you take one step, but every once in a while, the one step is also Step One of something new.

  4. Remote access terminal into the University's mainframe. Whoa.

    *snicker* That pic of Tair about to eat Jed's burger. Too funny.
    To think, they've been smoking and drinking in a lab, of all places. lol.

    Hmm. Why don't they talk of Jed's grandmother? This family has such a crazy twisted history. And now Jed's going to make a time machine. I can't even imagine where that will take them!

    1. Well, it is a lab at a university, so it's probably not the first time there's been some substances consumed, lol. But Jed won't be having it now that it's his lab, that's for sure.

      Yes. That's the photobomb. I had finished the shots I wanted, but some of them were just too dark. (He was perfectly normal in all of THEM.) And then I fixed the lighting to do a reshoot - and he pulled THAT. In what was supposed to be a much darker discussion that what I ended up with. Oh well, rewrites are fun, lol.

      Jed's grandmother was one of the subjects that got shuffled in the rewrite, the topic will come up again in a later chapter ( I just won't feed Tarik, lol).

  5. I love how Tarik is constantly thinking aloud without realizing it. Also- 'I'll be speaking for both of us' made me snort. Makes it sound like one of those creepy mob deals on tv. And if Jed can't talk, how did he manage to invite Morlock out?

    And then Tarik interprets Jed's assignment as equivalent to one of his. rofl! Oh Tarik. Jed is Not upset or bothered by such an assignment. That is pure excitement man.

    And then there's Jed looking happy and excited. <3

    1. Tarik does not have a lot of self-control with his mouth, lol.

      Morlock invited Jed and Tarik out during the class where Jed fainted. Morlock was hoping to get Jed to open up in a more neutral environment.

      Jed is living the dream :)

  6. I love this whole time travel storyline you have going. <3 I'm really looking forward to seeing where you'll be going with it. :)

    That line about 'horses and cowboys and shit' and Morland's reply to it had me cracking up quite a bit. Tarik really doesn't have a mouth filter, does he?

    And I love how Jed wants to create his own machine, not build on the legacy of his grandfather's (like I get the idea Precious would). I'm sure he'll make a time machine that absolutely transcends both his grandfather's and Morland's.

    Btw, has anyone ever told you you've got an absolutely amazing sense of humour?

    1. I love writing the time travel storyline :) I'm hoping to go a few places with it, lol.

      Tarik has almost no filter, it's true :)

      Right, Precious would be taking her turn at the Wainwright legacy, which she feels she's entitled to.

      Why, thank you. I have fun :)

  7. Ha I too like how Tarik keeps saying things out loud without realizing. Maybe he just talks to himself all the time when he's alone.

    So if Morlock personally oversaw the renovations to the garage, how come that bong was in there?? :P

    1. I don't think Tarik ever stops talking, whether or not he's alone :D

      Morlock oversaw the "science-y" bits, it was big sis Ally to the "rescue" with the bong and the brew fridge :)

  8. "I can’t even think about having the Quadruple Bacon Explosion Burger. It’s like, too soon." - Aaaaw! Tarik has painful memories from his last bacon burger. :(

    1. It must be bad if he can't even enjoy bacon :(

  9. Haha, I love Tarik. I cannot even express how happy he makes me, especially when he speaks without realizing it.

    Yay for Jed! I think this is the first time we've seen him happy, right? He needs to be happy.

    1. I'm glad you are enjoying Tarik. I have a lot of fun writing him.

      This is the happiest Jed has ever been :)