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Landing Page: Science!

Why haven’t mad scientists taken over the world? Either they already have, and we just don’t notice, or they’re too dysfunctional to take over much of anything.

This setting posits a little bit of both.


Best place to start
Engineered (LJ)
The stories run in more or less chronological order.


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Pi Day Story: the Pissers

I am taking prompts on the theme of “Begins with Pi-” (preferably a phrase rather than a word).

Content warning, this one is definitely inspired by current events.

Also, I have the typing version of a sore throat – my right ring finger is sad – so pls. forgive any typos.

🔬 Continue reading

The Milk

“There’s a problem with the milk.”

Cara raised an eyebrow at intern in her well-practiced “do tell?” expression. She’d brought double PhDs to their knees with that eyebrow.

The intern was uncowed. Cara didn’t know whether to write the skinny grad student off as an idiot or be impressed by the stainless steel guts that demonstrated. “The whole milk, to be exact. Not ours, that is, we didn’t develop it; it’s in the dining hall.”

The intern hesitated. “That is, as far as I know, it’s a dining hall product and not one of our developments; if the Facility is using its dining hall for non -consensual, uninformed testing, I quit.”

“Not the staff dining hall.” It was not the most robust denial, but Cara wanted to see what this one would do.

The intern relaxed minutely. “Then there is a serious problem with the whole milk.” Continue reading

The Trouble With…

Originally posted on Patreon in March 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

This story is a continuation of The Trouble With Chickens and all other stories in The  Feltenner Chickens section of the Science! universe.  If you haven’t read those, the pertinent points are: the chickens are huge. The size of carriages.  Large parts of the university have been given over to them.  And the Professor Lokeg-Fridelabout  doesn’t mind getting students killed. 

 🐔

“You want to – to convert one of the abandoned buildings into a poorhouse?”   Resklin Tarajirra had never seen Professor Lokeg-Fridelabout look quite so surprised.  Up until now, he hadn’t know the professor had emotions beyond snide, annoyed, and cruelly pleased – although the annoyed had gotten awfully dark last week when Trenner Oujiduie showed up with a Feltenner chicken chick following her around.  “Tarajirra, that seems rather dark for one of your sort – it seems dark even for me,” the professor admitted in a rare moment of self-awareness.  “If you wanted to eliminate the poor, there are kinder ways than feeding them to Feltenner chickens and the Wind Alone knows what else lives in there.  What did Oujiduie’s paper say? Ferrets?”

Ah, a snide sneer.  That was more like it.

“Ferrets, yes, Professor.  You see, I don’t want to feed the poor to the chickens.  Or the ferrets.  My thought is more in the other direction – with the analysis that we’ve been working on, if we could feed the chicken eggs to the poor, we could start a very reasonable work house there, move some of the more tedious research in that direction –”

“That, Tarajirra, is what graduate students are for.”
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The Origins of… Science!

Originally posted on Patreon in March 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

Eseme suggested that I write up how a setting was born, so I started thinking about it.

Most of my settings come from one or a few stories that are written around the same time, which start coalescing themselves into a world.  Fae Apoc and Tír na Cali are exceptions to this, as is Foedus Planatarum, sort of, but today I’m starting with Science!

It turns out the first story of Science!, which included Cara, Alex, and Liam, the three who show up in the lion’s share of these tales, came from a “Wine and/or Roses” prompt call- prompts of Lilfluff’s and wyld_dandelyon’s coming together to create a story about roses with retractable thorns.

Then Shutsumon added “What’s in it?” “Blood of grape and juice of girl,” and we had another story in the same timeline.

And then the next Giraffe Call was “Origins and Creation” and we ended up going on further in the same setting.

By that point, the setting was “set” – there were scientists who did bad things or very good ones (sometimes which was which depended on your point of view); there was the Boss and the tower where all this happened, there was an island, and there were Cara and Alex, whose roles are never, or possibly just rarely, defined but who seem to see everything and be along for everything.

That pretty much sums up my world creation method: Start from scratch and see what happens.

This donation slider from the wine and/or roses call was just too good not to share.
I made it myself!

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The Science! Laboratory – Directory

Originally posted on Patreon in March 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

My Science! setting is often set within The Facility, an unknown site which today we get a peek into.

In lieu of a map, a directory. This turned out to be only 3 floors out of the whole complex. Below, a diagram of what the blocks mean.

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The Repair Team

Originally posted on Patreon in November 2018 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

 There was generally nothing Cara was afraid of.  She had lived through sentient roses and non-sentient grape-girls; she had lived through Smart Bombs and dumb scientists and pretty much everything in between.  She could look someone who was going to turn out to be a mad scientist in the eye and smile, because when it all went down, Cara would still be here and the scientist – whether in many pieces or still just the one – would probably not.

Cara wasn’t scared of much of anything.  Except the Repair Team.

They came striding through the Facility, their outfits smooth and black and altogether too tidy.  The Repair Team never had anything out of place.  Cara would hate them.  She would hate them *later*; right now she and Alex were hurrying towards Liam while trying to look like nothing was out of place at all.

“Boss-”  Alex asked.  It was his turn to ask this week.

Liam didn’t take his eyes off the Repair Team.  “Not us this time.” Continue reading

The Whisky Tango Foxtrot

Written to Sauergeek’s prompt to my new “WTF?” Prompt Call.  

I am picturing this as the same era/world as The Trouble With… (Chickens, assignments, ferrets, and so on)

It wasn’t, exactly, a dance.

That is, it was never a dance that would performed in high society, in the dance halls of the Dames and Lords.

It was a dance that was born out of too much whisky, the sort of stuff that ambitious university students brewed in the abandoned dormitories.  It was born out of the awkward one-woman-to-ever-seven-men ratio that was common on the University campus – especially those sections where students were brewing bathtub hooch and coming up with interesting ways to “Age” it without getting caught.  And it was born out of one woman’s very determined urge that, if she was going to be in experimental sciences, she was going to get dances, no matter what her uncle said on the matter.

It was neither a tango nor a foxtrot, but it was face-paced, steamy, and done best when more than a little intoxicated.  It was something like a square dance, except that it was done with one woman at the heart of eight men.  And it was quickly declared against the rules by the university, illegal by the government, and immoral by two different churches.

It was so wildly popular that before she graduated, the young woman responsible for the craze wrote an anonymous tell-all book, the sales of which funded her experimentations for the next fifty years.


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What’s in the Garden?

Written to Rix-Scaedu’s prompt to my new “WTF?” Prompt Call.  This is definitely a Science! story, complete with the Boss – Liam – and his plucky second-in-command. 

The raid had taken down three scientists working outside the bounds of the law, morality, or common sense, along with seven “assistants”, mostly grad students, who would probably not be charged, as having to find another research position might be punishment enough for anyone.

It had also found several references to “the farm office,” which, once the proper grad student was interrogated, appeared to be an old veterinary clinic sitting in a small farm town half an hour outside the city.

Liam, who had no official government or law-enforcement position, and Cara, who was, on paper, at least, his second-in-command, were along on both trips.  Liam had already recruited the most sensible of the scientists (along with hiring her a lawyer) and the three grad students Cara had hand-picked. Now – now they got to see what the farm office was. Continue reading

The Problem With Ferrets

The completion of the Problem with Chickens/Assignments story.

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Trenner slept surprisingly well, tucked in on a couch that still had its no feet on the furniture sign, in very fussy handwriting, prominently displayed.

After all, if there were strange noises outside, they were no stranger than the ones she might hear in the dormitories.  And if there were strange breezes coming across her, well, her second-year roommate had left the window open all winter. It was, she realized, more relaxing than her trips home, where everything felt not nearly lumpy enough, too quiet, and too soft.

Once she had woken, performed her morning ablutions – she did not ask where the water had come from, and her guide did not tell her, but it smelled sweet and washed her with no ill effects – and geared up, they were on their way into the wilds that had, once, been the Dormitory and Agriculture Quad. Continue reading

Kaijune: Catch ‘Em

“Rashi, what did you do?”

The interns at the laboratory known only as The Lab did their level best to be close enough to hear the argument while far enough away to avoid any fallout.  Just three weeks ago, a new intern had taken umbrage at being shouted at and, while the Boss was fine – the boss was always fine – three nearby interns had lost parts or all of their limbs to a parasitic vine.  With the memory still clear – with Yando still sitting in his mechanized chair, working the controls with what were only sort of fingers (and sort of vines) everyone was very cautious this time. Continue reading