The first few pages of…

Bad Sci Fi
12 min readApr 22, 2023

A Bridge in the Sky, ✨by Xander Frost✨

Somewhere, between an average-sized star and the somewhat small, terrestrial planet that Edreema called her home, a 256-mile wide neodymium sphere floated coldly against the blackness of space. Its precise orbit produced an event horizon, and from that 4th-dimensional point in spacetime, atomic forces pulled at the surface of another world — Nova — some 54,237,362 miles away.

From that point, gravitational friction between the two bodies stimulated enough tectonic activity to liquefy solid rock. A series of chain reactions over a very long time had released greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere — once so thin, you could barely fly a kite — now a rich, intoxicating mix of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water. So much so that thick clouds brood listlessly overhead, blocking an otherwise clear view of whatever purpose was served by their existence in the first place.

Edreema’s parents were proud residents of the southern half of this thriving ecosystem. She grew up in a small village with a good air supply and mushroom and root pies that were a staple. As a child, she could have never imagined the resounding effect she would have on the billion or so individuals currently on Nova. No one knows the exact precipice of impact, but scholars speculate that the ballpark number is somewhere between Jupiter 13, 12523 at 6:20 sm and Jupiter 14, 12523 at 14:02 sm. That’s where we’ll start.

Chapter One: Gravity’s Secrets

Edreema stood at her station in the Nova Observatory, staring at the flickering screen. She could hear the hum of the Hologen Array and clicking sound to indicate local sprites were putting forth the perfect plan — usually, never more than three clicks. So when the 4th pulsed along the edge of the light wave array, she felt a sudden chill.

The readings were strange — gravitational anomalies that didn’t make sense. Various reports of unusual sensations had been mounting all over the Southern Realm. There’s no way gravity could change or fluctuate, and it had to be a magnetic disturbance.

For as long as anyone could remember, Novans were puzzled by strange and unexplained phenomena in their world. Among the greatest mysteries is the massive ring of tectonic sheets of iron that encircle their planet, almost like a giant metal belt.

Scientists have long speculated about the origin of this what is known on Nova as Gaiastir’s Coil, which appears to be unlike anything else ever found in the solar system. Some conspiracy-theory types had even suggested that it may be a remnant of some long-forgotten civilization– — a relic of a bygone era when the Novans were not alone. Others believe the Coil is a gateway to another dimension, a portal to realms beyond Novankind.

Most Novans overlook the remarkable convenience of possessing a colossal magnetic coil enveloping their planet. This invaluable asset bestows them with a consistent energy supply while safeguarding them against perilous meteorological phenomena.

Despite the reliability of Gaiastir’s Coil as a source of energy, the Novans were not impervious to the constant concentration of storm patterns it contained. This formidable wall of storms, aptly named the Barrier Tempest, presented a significant obstacle to those seeking to traverse it. While some Novans had successfully navigated the tempest, the journey was not without its dangers and losses. Beyond the Southern Realm lay a mystery and intrigue, fueling apprehension and curiosity. As a result, the name Gaistir has become synonymous with untamed power that knows no bounds.

For all their speculation and theorizing, the Novans remain in the dark about the true nature of the ring. Despite their best efforts, they have never truly understood it. And while some seek to unravel the secrets of the ring, others are drawn to the mysteries beyond the perilous storms of the Barrier Tempest, adding to the allure of what lies just out of reach for Nova’s most brilliant minds.

As the preeminent material scientist in the Southern Realm, Edreema was tasked with analyzing the magnetic field readings of the Novan ecosystem. It’s a tedious job, but one that she takes seriously, knowing that every piece of data could hold a clue to unraveling the mysteries of their world. Something catches her eye as she pores over the latest readings — a slight but distinct deviation from the norm.

Her initial skepticism quickly turns to fascination as she realizes that what she’s discovered may be vital in understanding the anomalies plaguing research for centuries. It’s a chance to make a significant breakthrough and earn a promotion within the scientific community.

But she wasn’t the only one interested in this discovery. Another scientist, Dr. Malik, was eyeing the position that Edreema was vying for. She knew he was not above using underhanded tactics to sabotage her progress. Edreema must navigate the competitive and cutthroat world of scientific research while trying to unravel the secrets of their world and make a name for herself…

She felt a bead of sweat forming just at the base of her left temple — she carefully and calmly wiped it away as Tarek entered the room after finally returning from Temple to check in the latest data analysis on their findings.

She called over to her colleague.

“Tarek, come look at this. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

Tarek sauntered over, his eyes heavy with fatigue from the long hours spent studying the magnetic field. He peered over Edreema’s shoulder and squinted at the screen.

“Holy f*cking sh*t ball a** — “his voice cracked as he blurted out his surprising string of curse words. “What the “H” Eddi? Could you hear that? We’re supposed to keep the diffuser on!”

She let out a familiar scoff and rolled her eyes. It was rather quaint for him to insist on the diffuser. She and several other team members preferred to disable it, allowing them to interact based on their genuine emotions without the interference of an interpreter sprite mediating the entire conversation.

“Ok buddy, I guess you don’t want to hear what I really have to say…” she said coyly as her visual field array merged into his to form a shared awareness. She liked the way the holograms flickered when the two trays became one. He always had the best stuff to rummage through. He piped into view and started diving into the data as Edreema became overwhelmed with the beauty of his personal domain.

Despite her rebellious streak, Edreema is a natural leader. She has a quick mind, a sharp tongue, and a magnetic personality that draws others to her cause. She is fiercely loyal to her friends and allies and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.

“Hmm, that’s odd,” he muttered. “It looks like there’s some kind of distortion in the field — “

Edreema nodded, “Exactly,” cutting him off mid-sentence, but the diffuser box promptly activated, projecting a subtle shift in the room’s lighting and temperature, causing Tarek to momentarily lose his train of thought and refocus his attention. Edreema was relieved that her interruption could not be misconstrued offensively, and she chose to wait patiently while Tarek regained his composure before continuing their discussion, grateful for the subtle assistance of the diffuser box.

“…And it’s not just in one place. We’ve been seeing various gravitational anomalies all across the Southern Realm for months.”

Tarek’s eyebrows shot up. “That’s definitely worth investigating. I’ll call in the rest of the team.”

As the scientists gathered around the screen, they discussed their findings. They shared theories and hypotheses, but none could fully explain what they saw.

“We need to do some more tests,” Edreema said. “We need to find out what’s causing these anomalies and where they’re coming from.”

The team set to work, conducting experiments and analyzing the data. As they delved deeper, they discovered something even more perplexing — mysterious readings emanating from the neighboring planet in their solar system, Tehana.

“How is Tehana causing these gravitational anomalies on our Nova in the Southern Realm?” Edreema wondered aloud.

“The planet itself may be somehow responsible,” Tarek said. “But we don’t know enough about it to say for sure.”

“Responsible?” Edreema thought.

Chapter Two: The Third Planet

Edreema sat across from her mother, fidgeting with her hands as she spoke. “I just can’t stand it anymore, Mother. The strict rules and limitations that the Kaolin Ma has placed on us it’s suffocating. I feel like there’s so much more out there that I’m meant to experience, beyond the storm.”

Her mother looked at her with a mix of concern and understanding. “I know it can be difficult, Edreema. The traditions and expectations of our society can feel like a burden at times. But they have also kept the Southern Realm stable and prosperous for generations.”

“But at what cost, Mother? Our people are limited in their knowledge and experiences. Sometimes, I feel like we’re cut off from the rest of the universe, and I can’t help but feel like there’s something out there that we’re missing. Something beyond the storm.”

Her mother sighed. “I understand your frustrations, Edreema. But you must understand that the Kaolin Ma’s rule is necessary for the greater good. Our society functions because of the order and structure that they provide.”

“But what about individual freedom and exploration, mother? Shouldn’t we be able to pursue our own passions and desires? To uncover the secrets that lie beyond the storm?”

Her mother’s response was hesitant and filled with sadness. “There is value in individual expression, Edreema. But we must always consider the needs of everyone instead of just ourselves,” she said, her voice trailing off. Edreema nodded, feeling a heavy weight settle in her chest. Her mother’s words were well-intentioned, but they only served to remind her of the limitations placed upon her by her elders. She couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to life than the narrow path set out for her, and the thought filled her with a deep sense of sorrow.

Her mother had lived her entire life within the strict confines of the Kaolin Ma’s unyielding decrees, never daring to question or challenge the status quo. Edreema knew that her own desire for exploration and freedom must seem selfish and reckless to her mother. And yet, she couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something out there waiting for her, something that she was meant to discover. Despite the guilt and the fear, Edreema felt a sense of purpose growing within her. She was determined to push beyond the boundaries of her society, to discover the secrets of the universe that lay beyond the storm, and to chart her own path in life on Nova.

Meanwhile…

The team started picking up unusual signals from the planet next door, which they thought could be related to other gravitational anomalies they saw at home.

As they analyzed the data, the team realized that the signals were not just random noise but a pattern that seemed to be repeating. They hypothesized that these signals could be caused by a massive object at or near that region of space…

END OF BLURB

Here’s a Quick Two-Paragraph Treatment

Edreema hears rumors and whispers about a group of outcasts who live beyond the Barrier Tempest. These outcasts are said to be rebels who have rejected the strict rules and limitations of the Kaolin Ma, and they possess knowledge and technology far beyond anything the Novans have ever seen. Intrigued by these rumors, Edreema begins to research and gather information, trying to piece together the mystery of the outcasts. She discovers that others like her are also fascinated by the idea of the outcasts and the possibilities that they represent. Together, they plan a journey beyond the Barrier Tempest to uncover the truth about the rebels and their society. However, they must also contend with the dangers of the storm and the possibility of being caught by the Kaolin Ma.

As Edreema and her group make their way beyond the storm, they discover that the outcasts are not the savage rebels they were made out to be. Instead, they are a highly advanced society with technology and knowledge that far surpasses what the Novans have. The outcasts that have been cut off from the rest of Society for generations are more than willing to share their knowledge about what lies beyond. However, the journey is not without danger, and the Novans must navigate treacherous terrain and hostile forces if they hope to return home with knowledge and technology that could change their world forever.

END OF BLURB

Elevator Pitch

  1. “In a world ruled by the iron fist of the Kaolin Ma, one woman dares to break free from their suffocating grip. But to do so, she must face the ultimate challenge: the treacherous Barrier Tempest. Will she overcome the odds and discover what lies beyond? Coming Summer 2027”
  2. “Meet Edreema, the brilliant explorer who will stop at nothing to solve the greatest material science challenge of her time to finally uncover what lies beyond the storm. Don’t miss out on the adventure of a lifetime — get your copy now!”
  3. “A mysterious group of outcasts led by a determined explorer embark on a dangerous journey to uncover the truth about what lies beyond the Barrier Tempest.”
  4. A journey of self-discovery takes an individual beyond the boundaries of her world as she uncovers the secrets of the universe and her own purpose in life.
  5. Time is running out as the neodymium sphere undergoes a dangerous polarity shift that threatens the very fabric of spacetime! Can our brilliant explorer Edreema navigate the treacherous Barrier Tempest and outsmart the oppressive Kaolin Ma and escape the gilded cage of Nova? Find out in the pulse-pounding adventure, ‘Beyond the Tempest.’
  6. A coming-of-age desire for exploration and freedom leads her to question the limitations placed upon her by her elders, pushing her to discover ancient secrets embedded deep within her star system.
  7. A Disco ball in space, but instead of reflecting light, it reflects the fate of the universe.

END OF BLURB

According to a Bard (not the Goo…)

Gather round, ye lads and lasses, and I’ll spin ye a tale of the treacherous Barrier Tempest!

There was a time, long ago, when I was but a lowly deckhand aboard the good ship the Crimson Corsair. Our captain was a fearless woman by the name of Scarlet Starling, known throughout the galaxy for her daring raids and her unwavering courage in the face of danger.

One day, we received word of a great treasure that lay beyond the Barrier Tempest, a prize so valuable that it could make us all rich beyond our wildest dreams. But there was a catch — to reach this treasure, we would have to navigate the treacherous storm wall that lay between us and our goal.

Now, the Barrier Tempest was no ordinary storm. It was a force of nature, a raging tempest of lightning and wind that could tear a ship apart in seconds. The wind alone was strong enough to knock a man off his feet and send him hurtling into the void of space. And the lightning — oh, the lightning! It crackled and sparked with a ferocity that could only be described as otherworldly.

But we were not daunted. No, we were pirates, fearless and bold! We loaded up our ship with every gadget and gizmo we could find, from lightning rods to reinforced hull plating. We knew that the journey would be perilous, but we were determined to reach that treasure, no matter the cost.

As we approached the Barrier Tempest, the air crackled with energy. The sky was dark as midnight, and the wind howled like a pack of demons. But we pressed on, our hearts racing with the thrill of adventure. And then, suddenly, we were upon it.

The storm hit us like a tidal wave, battering our ship with wave after wave of lightning and wind. But we held fast, our captain at the helm, her eyes fixed on the prize ahead. We dodged and weaved, using every trick in the book to stay alive. And slowly, ever so slowly, we began to make progress.

For hours we battled that storm, our ship bucking and heaving like a wild beast. And then, at long last, we emerged on the other side, battered and bruised but victorious. And there, before us, lay the treasure we had risked our lives to obtain.

That, my friends, is the story of the Barrier Tempest. A storm so fierce and deadly that it could only be tamed by the bravest of souls. And as for that treasure we sought? Well, let’s just say that it was worth every bit of risk we took to get it.

Chat GPT 3.5 prompt: tell me a longform story about the barrier tempest as a tall tail from a swashbuckling space pirate

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