Mike's Failed Kupop Followups!


#1

I wanted to share with you guys excerpts from some failed stories I was attempting to write for Kupopolis but never finished.

The first is from a story arc I called The Celpo Civil War. The opening story revolves around a very educated Time mage named Hemingway, who is tasked by Riose to send Celiose Cole’s daughter Erdeny (sp? no wiki to check anymore) into the future to “save” her life.

The story is told in three voices. The first is flashbacks to Hemingway as a young man, studying with several famous mages and perfecting his time magic as well and working with Praxer. The second is Hemmingway in “modern” times, an old man who knows that his time is almost up in the world and tried to prepare for Erdeny’s arrival in the future while struggling with the initial onset of alzheimer’s. The third is of his estranged son Lucas, who is Cole’s assistant mentioned in passing in God Always Wears White.

The story starts off with Hemingway seeing a doctor, anxious about forgetting something important

[quote]Doctor McPherson put away his stethoscope.

“It sounds normal. You do seem rather healthy for a man of your age and weight, regardless,” spoke the doctor as he reached for his notepad. Hemingway buttoned up his shirt, his fingers fidgeting with the second button below his collar.

“Yes, but do I look healthy to you?”

The doctor made a smiled with false warmth, a type of lie that he had perfected in the last decade of his career. He finished writing down his notes before answering the old man.

“No. Frankly, you look like you shit. Take that medicine Dr. Fisher prescribed you last time or you’ll end up with glaucoma. Have you been getting enough rest? Do you feel depressed or anxious?”

Hemingway tilted his head slightly to the side as he thought about the question. He chewed on his tongue and swallowed a bit of saliva as he wet his lips.

“I don’t remember,” he said, “but feel as if I was really anxious about something for a very long time–like I was fighting it.”

Doctor McPherson lowered his clipboard as looked at the man quizzically. “Then what happened?”

“I woke up.”[/quote]

I tend not to write in order, so one of the scene I did write was of Hemingway buying a car seat for Erdeny:

[quote]“Can I help you sir?”

Hemingway stared at the box in his hands, his brows sewn tight and his lips thin. Without looking up he responded, “yes you can. I can’t read this… this print here. I need to know if this car seat will hold an infant.”

“They all do.”

“No,” spoke Hemingway and his lowered the box to his hips and gestured to the aisle, “some of these are for older, like younglings–toddlers. I’m looking for one for a little baby.”

“Oh,” spoke the clerk as he scanned his eyes across the rows of boxes on shelves. Hemingway huffed at the manner the young man’s small frame seemed to fold in on itself under the weight of the polo shirt and red vest he wore. The clerk reached for a box from the second to top shelf and put it on the floor.

“This is the one that my sister uses, she just had my niece three months ago.”

“How wonderful,” spoke Hemingway, “I’m a godfather.”

The clerk tilted his pear-shaped head, which seemed more uneven from the short locks of hair greased into spikes, “Yeah? Boy or girl?”

“Girl.”

“Oh, good deal. You sure the kids parents don’t have a car seat though?”

Hemingway picked up the box. “Its for me.”

The clerk tugged on the bottom of his vest, “oh, uh, yeah. Godfather. Do you need me to take this up from for you?”

The old man looked at the box intently, his head tilted and his eyes squinted. “Yes of course… Thank you.”

“Good deal, I’ll have it for you in checkout two, ok?” muttered the youth as he picked up the box and began walking down the laminated pathway. Hemingway watched him for a moment, then rubbed his eyelid.

He looked up at the long rows of phosphorescent lights embedded into the ceiling. He couldn’t remember the details anymore. He began to walk down the aisle and saw a woman buying clothes for his children. The child sat at her feet by a shopping cart engaged with a small video he watched in a thin black card.

For a moment he rested his hand on the metal corrugated shelves and watched the woman and child. She would hold up shirts as the child would stand up, arms to his side, and pose as the mother placed it against his chest. Dissatisfied, she would place it back long the other hanging slogans and pictures on cloth. The child sat back down, and watched the cartoons dance across his little screen.

The old man shook his head. The child was younger this his son, whom he had fought for in the Great War. He did not know of the monuments that were toppled, the establishments burned, the regents stabbed and the abbes marched upon. The Great Generalissimo had done away with all that–with the black arts, the Dark Gods, with the pantheon itself.

He turned down and else and scanned its contents for diapers. Disposable. Everything was a disposable combustible commodity. Hemingway scratched the back of his neck. There was a whole aisle just for diapers. Leak guards, moisturizer. He took a deep breath and exhaled through his nostrils.[/quote]

We later learn that younger, more talkative Praxer gave Hemingway a secret mission that shaped the future of Kupopolis.

What exactly was Hemingway’s deep dark secret that he had forgotten? The big reveal was to be that technology was not advanced enough to save Erdeny in his lifetime, as it is revealed that she was born extremely deformed and they can’t magic together a new body for her. To fulfil his promise to praxer and Celiose, Hemingway decided to also force the overall encompassing Kupopolis technological acceleration through his own force of will.

As Hemingway becomes completely senile by the end of the story, he loses his time travel abilities and the forced history he held together begins to unravel. I had suggested in some plot arcs that there was a variant of CELPO that had time travel abilities, and at this point this variation attacks a more “true time stream” magic user dominant CLEPO in attempt to not vanish from existence. And that was to be a “civil war” reboot where both timeline converge back into one.


#2

I attempted a follow-up to this unfinished story which I had entitled One for The Road. I was inspired from watching interstellar and getting around to watching the third season of Kora. Since the wiki is down, I decided it was going to be a alternate history story that took place after the last unfinished story!

The only part I bothered to write down that had many meat to it was a Diamond Company debriefing meeting with alternate history Future Celpo to explain time travel. It also came across as pretty much a decent summary of the key plot points to my giant robot stories.

[quote]THE RIOSE CONJECTURE

Clay sat back in the meeting room chair, his arms folded. “Praxer Riose. The last time I had met you in person, my day ended with a planetary colony being zapped out of existence by some poor kid who ended up beating to death with a rock.”

“And yet, that is still a better outcome than most who cross my path,” muttered the former general. The man sat down at the head of the table as if it was a common occurrence while gently adjusting his glasses and pressing his slick neatly combed jet black hair into place with his fingertips. Reynolds looked the man over–there was not a single wrinkle or sign of age from the past decade to the man’s face.

“It was Mr. Praxer who wanted to bring you in Clay. It may sound a little odd, but we’ve been working closely on GA contracts for a few years now.” zpoe Zion. He grinned, “you can say in a way that some of the secrets that used to be in the dark are now coming to the light. Especially since the last syncopatic convergence. That was a pretty rough ride for everyone.”

“I’m sorry–syncopatic convergence?”

“You’ve been out of the loop for quite some time,” spoke Director Riose as he tapped the glass tabletop, “or rather, this chronological instance of you has been out of the loop. The last decade has been very… educational. Our institution had been in a constant state of cold war for quite some time–a civil war against synecdophantic variants of itself.”

Zion’s lips curled slightly. “I can hardly picture a universe where you’d have an evil twin, Praxer. I think he’d be the good one!”

“That is no longer a possibility.”

The grand Army colonel cleared his throat. “Perhaps this would be a good leeway to drive right into the briefing.”

Clay sighed. “Yeah whatever. Let’s get this over with.”

The female operative gestured to the light board. “Although I’m sure most of you know this–Diamond created the seraphim after all–but since the situation is partly seraphim technology related, let me begin there.” She wrote a few words on the board: SERAPHIM CULT, SAVANT, TYPHON.

“Zion, you were not the first CEO of diamond. You actually obtained leadership from a company coup thanks for employee shareholders handing over their stock to you. Before this you were the first seraphim robotics test pilot, and were…familiar with a subsidiary corporation which involved illegal prisoner experimentation.”

“He was sleeping with one of their executives,” mumbled Clay.

Zion grinned sheepishly. “All true.”

The operative continued. “These prisoners were modified mentally with cybernetics which caused them to become both intelligent and docile. However, many ultimately began to exhibit abnormal behavior and personality disorders along side savant syndrome capabilities. This allowed them to expand upon the seraphim concept and create a caliber of machine that surpassed a normal understanding of modern technology by leaps and bounds.”

“Stepping ahead, CELPO recovered one of these machines–Typhon. This lead to the eventual discovery of a factory to create these machines, which had been mistaken as a stock seraphim and sold to another subsidiary. Once activated, it expanded to planetoid size and began consumed any and all raw materials on a return path home. This lead to what is now known as the GA operation Seraphim Orison.”

“It took us several years to understand the technology, but eventually we came to the understanding that the Typhon factory was not at all a factory, but rather more like camera.“

As he spoke he drew a stick figure angel on the light board and encompassed it in a cube drawing. To the right he drew a circle, and then a smaller stick figure to the right of that.

“Instead of a two dimensional photo of a three dimensional scene, the typhon ‘factory’ created a three dimensional photograph of a multidimensional construct,” spoke the operative, adding arrows from the cube to the orb. He then drew a square around the last stick angel, adding another arrow to it. “As you are aware, after the Orison Event Typhon slowly began to regenerate itself. What we saw as regenerative properties of the Typhon was nothing more than a fourth dimensional photo unwrinkling–its impossible for a photograph to harm another photograph.”

“We’ve been able to… ‘explore’ this understanding further with several experiments, which aren’t really necessary to go into detail.”

“I can fill in the blanks,” muttered Clay, “you forget, the whole reason I even worked for Diamond was to chase after mysterious tech. I remember the rumors of the ‘sybil’ projects–secret sentient fortune telling machines you lost control of and are out there wandering around. You have no idea how many times I was led in a useless goose chase after that phantom submarine trapped in time. I thought I was going to lose my mind trying to wrap my head around it. The goddamn thing made no sense.”

“Speak kindly Reynolds–the sybils are my godparents in a manner of speaking,” the green eyed Gamma chimed in.

“It was at this point I began to formulate a conjecture on a long standing question I have always held since the Great War,” the Director interjected, “what is the difference between gods and men? I served both in the Great War, and ultimately I help banish the gods away with my own–albeit often ‘invisible’–hands.”[/quote]

I stopped writing right when I was going to say what the conjecture actually was, and now I forgot. I think it had to do with being able to control time.

The Highlights was this:

  1. Diverging Kupop timelines collapsing in on each other was a common occurrence.
  2. One variant timeline had Julian Burzmale (sp?) becomes Generalissimo, which Celiose Cole falling off into obscurity
  3. Julian folds his army into another milita and promotes a moogle-club-like Zealan named Diamaitegea as Leader of the “Destined Army” to be his figurehead Diamaitegea plays the role of Cole post Great War and the plot generally follows as normal while everyone secretly hates him.
  4. The Dark Wath is not wiped out, but forced to start a penal colony in space under the new name of the Twilight Wrath. The location of this colony is in the middle between a black hole and a white hole (I call it a ‘White Fountain’) where prisoner’s consciousness are bounced light years across satellites so that they can serve thousand year life sentences if necessary.
  5. Hannibal is Warden, and Celiose Cole is Prisoner X, one of the first and longest sentenced war criminal. While at a parole hearing, Prisoner X exposes that he had reached a level of nirvana in his thousands of years of imprisonment and escapes with newly discovered magic powers.

At this point you can see the plot was already getting a little fuzzy, and I didn’t have enough resources to review to come up with a stronger alternative history backstory for SuperCeliose. Eventually SuperCeliose manages to break through to an alternative history where that variant managed to have all his dreams come true pragmatically (our normal Kupop universe).

[quote]THE ONE WHO WEARS WHITE

”So that’s what I would look like with a beard,” muttered Celiose as the the flicker of white either began to evaporate from the study. He stood up from his recliner and walked to the wet bar. The cold soldier coughed as ethereal fluid spilled from his mouth and evaporated like a phantom’s breath.

“Fascinating portal. I’m no expert in magic, but that seemed to be something in the vicinity of gravity magic? Perhaps time? If I were to make an uneducated guess, I would say a little bit of both and then some. Drink this. Its ginger ale to settle your stomach.”

The old soldier sat up, clasping his chest. He reached for the glass and took a sip. “Thank you.” He coughed and cleared his throat, before gasping for a deep breath.

“You don’t seem afraid of me.”

“Have you ever been to Aryth?”

“I’ve heard of such a place in my studies, yes.”

“Several years ago I took a vacation there. The one thing I took away from that experience, is that one should never be afraid of oneself.”

The old soldier put his hands on his knees and sat up. He looked over at the Generalissimo, who had poured himself a drink and stood looking out of his window. He saw a youthfulness to the man’s face that was no longer reflected in his own.

“Where are you from?” he asked, folding his arms. The other Cole stood.

“You still wear the Old uniform, before the army folded with Burz’s forces to the Destined Army. I assume then that perhaps I have gone into my past.”

The generalissimo smiled bitterly. “I’m afraid this isn’t your past, my friend. Burzmale is dead for treason. It was my order. Ultimately, the Grand Army prevailed. In this web of worlds, the Destined Army doesn’t exist.”

The old soldier laughed. “You would have me believe that the good guys won?”

“We did. The grand army pushed forward and we are now at a length of peace that I haven’t seen in all my lifetime.”

“Peace you say? No shadow Omnicent wars, no cold wars–no Leviathan war?”
“Do not mistake me. Yes, we still have war. Yet I have been fortunate enough to live through them and learn from them. Like a ripple in a pond, I feel our differences slowly begin to dissipate and the waves of discontent diminish.”

“Then, do you feel this was the path for peace?”

“The Generalissimo unfolded his arms and stepped back to his desk, staring at his visitor. “We don’t exist for peace, just as we don’t exist for war. To strive for either is ultimately a foolish endeavor, as what we exist for is to eat, breathe, breed, and die. All I can do within reason is let existence play out for itself and mitigate the extremes.”

“Tell me how then. How did you go on?”

“When?”

“When our daughter…. Erdeny…”

Generalissimo Cole pressed his hands down to the table, clenching them into fists. “That is what this is, isn’t it? Its what Riose talked about, another one of his convergences.”

“I sent Erdeny away. She came back to me vengeful and ashamed. I still stand by my decision. She was sick, and we couldn’t help her. I–I can’t imagine watching her die before my eyes.”

The old soldier found himself falling to his knees, staring at his hands. The Generalissimo watched as the man began to weep, the old soldier’s hands cradling an imaginary child. Celiose Cole took another sip of ginger ale.

“I can,” sobbed the old soldier, looking up at his double. The Generalissimo gave a deep sigh.

“Some advice then friend. I stand here still because not only have I made peace with myself, but I have made peace with the world. The very fact that you found yourself here tells me that you have an entire reality you’re running away from.”

As he spoke, a gray whirl of smoke cycloned in the center of the study. A man stepped out of the smoke dressed in a black spacesuit. The suit permeated a white liquid that quickly evaporated into steam. Clay lifted the visor up, causing the helmet to fold back into the suit’s collar.

“I know you. One of the Tasnicans that helped with the Typhon incident. Clay Reynolds.”

“We’ve never met. I’m just here to pick up some lost luggage. They don’t trust this guy. Think he might collapse the universe of something.”

“Funny thing about trying to escape one’s reality,” spoke the Generalissimo as he helped his double from the floor. “it always has a way of catching up with you. Should I be looking for more convergences in the future?”

“I hope not. Crossovers like this hurt my stomach, even with this suit.”

Reynolds paused, his body half between one web of worlds and his own. He turned to face the Generalissimo.

“Wait. If you’re here, does that mean that Diamaitegea brat is locked up someplace?”

“Actually, I’ve never heard of him.”

“…can I stay here?”

The seraphim pilot smirked, gestured goodbye and left reality.[/quote]


#3

I didn’t have a good chance to read this til today, but this was some cool stuff, Mike. I liked the Celpo a lot, and seeing them use time travel and get twisty was cool – and seeing Celiose talking to himself was also awesome. Ditto the Twilight Wrath as an idea, really.

Also, the names brought memories back; Clay, Zion, and Burzmale were favorites. I can remember Travis talking about what he wished he did differently with Burzmale to flesh him out more, and we’d once considered a plot where Burzmale’s Dark Wrath won, and then invaded the “regular” Web.

Ah, memory lane.


#4

… The “Shadow Web” plot line. One of the many plots that now rest in my graveyard of unexecuted ideas.


#5

I remember once joking, “The Hajes War: Coming in 2015!”