The Power of 10: Table of Contents
The Power of 10
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The Heavens
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© 1999-2000 Tobin James Mueller, Steven Hägg Ståhlberg, John Spirko, Danny Falch, Ian Brand, Fred Simmons and Kim Vanderhyden.
The Power of 10 is an Online Collaborative Illustrated Novel project, bringing together artists, storytellers and animators. When completed, it will be available on CD-ROM.

The Power of 10 is a work-in-progress.
The artists and writers involved are using these ArtsForge webpages as a
"virtual canvas" and "open notebook", freely discussing plot and character ideas and posting drafts of specific illustrations.
Our evolving Story Board has an explanation of each image.
Contact: ArtsForge.

Table of Contents-Drafts and Notes:
The Power of 10 - an Online Illustrated Novel
Note: To view the Illustrated Characters designed so far, see below.
For a chart of upcoming illustrations, see our Storyboard Page.
Preface: Explains project, goals, staff; "Power of 10" concepts.
Chapter 1: Trixi & The Idd - Ferd's Room
Chapter 2: Spiraling Out f Control - Dido's Temple/5th Dimension
Chapter 3: Circuit Boards & Sequins - Ferd's school, Janitor's office
Chapter 4: The Din of Hong Kong - Brogdrog's Lab
Chapter 5: No Time Like the Present - Various places and times (also see Side Stories)
Chapter 6: Star-Crossed Lovers - Brogdrog's Lab
Chapter 7: Timeless Evil - Lokia's Lair/4th Dimension
Chapter 8: A New Perspective - Brogdrog's Lab
Chapter 9: A Race with No Timer - Brogdrog's Lab, various locations
Chapter 10: The Labyrinth of Lower Learning - The school basement
Chapter 11: Return to Normal - Ferd's Classroom and beyond
The above Table of Contents represents works-in-progress.

Below are some characters and settings from The Power of 10. Further down the page is a discussion of plot lines and character descriptions and histrories.

Major Characters - Illustrated
(click on images to see enlargements, etc.)

Aril Ariana
Steven Stahlberg
Aril Ariana, daughter of Dido,
a strong-willed heroine.
(based on "Biker Girl")


Queen of the Portal
female image by Ian Brand;
artifacts by Tobin Mueller
Dido Ariana, Queen of the Portal;
a 5th Dimensional being.


Aril Ariana
Steven Stahlberg
Aril Ariana, after her haircut
and major attitude change;
when she comes back for Ferd.


Steven Stahlberg
Dominatrix, the mercenary love android
who lands in Witherferd's bedroom by accident.


Witherferd Hardling
photos by Kim Vanderhyden
Our teenage hero is based on a real life wonderkid (see above). John Spirko is modeling a 3D mesh to resemble the lad, and Tobin Mueller will be creating an archive of Real Boy hair and face features that will be morphed with the mesh to create the final images.


Manny "Mole" Faust
John Spirko
Using Poser 3, John is beginning to fashion the Janitor.

Din, The Worrying Robot
Danny Falch
Nothing ever seems to work out for this humorous robot (who is the brains behind every Brogdrog invention).


Idd, The Giant Empath
Steven Stahlberg, based on
Loannis Adonakis' original
Shy giant creature from Iddlandia; taken to moments of unpredictable emotionality; able to make herself invisible.


Odd, Idd's Son
Loannis Adonakis
Restless son of Idd left behind on Iddlandia; causes Idd great separation anxiety. (The original draft for Idd.)


ROB5, or "Grok"
Danny Falch
Brogdrog's little robot helper Rob5 who becomes Ferd's best friend, affectionately named because of his empathetic ability to understand the teenage mind.

Romeo and Juliet
John Spirko
Flatland teenage lovers that break through the dimensional barrier with the power of their love.
John's Flatland drafts. P10's Flatland discussions.

Lokia Mortai
Fred Simmons
The evil temptress of the 4th Dimension who is out to unseat Dido and create havoc in the Universe.

The ID PC 4000

Infinite Dimensions PC
Michael Allen
This draft will eventually lead to ad-copy used in the story, plus it willl serve as the 3D model of the newest PC used by the characters in Hong Kong. Ferd hopes he will get one before the story is over...

robots robots

Brogdrog's Guards
Danny Falch
Protecting Brogdrog in his high rise Infinite Dimensions Tower in Hong Kong are these wonderful robots.

VR Goggles

VR Glasses
(click thumbnail to see draft of gear)
John Spirko
A Vietnamese spy living in Hong Kong, now a Feng Shui follower and Gung Ho member of the Feng Shui Chin.
Reflective Face
Reflective Face of the Goddess
Tobin Mueller
A close up of the Altar Statue that holds the great Dimensional Portal aloft.
Reflective Face
Eli Néaux
Steven Ståhlberg
The Victorian Heroine, a/k/a Elspeth Neoldt, the girl Ferd saves from Jack the Ripper.

Major Settings - Illustrated Drafts
(click on images with borders to see enlargements, go to links, etc.
These are works in progress.)
Ferd's Desk
Ferd's Desk
Danny Falch
The first draft of the portal altar.
Click here for latest version.

The Temple of Portals
Tobin Mueller & Ian Brand
From this location,
the Queen of Portals communicates.

Janitor's Office
Janitor's Office
Fred Simmons
Follow this link to several views of the Janitor's Office - a work-in-progress...
Brogdrog's Lab 1
Danny Falch
Follow this link to several views of Brogdrog's Lab, Din, and Grok.

Ferd's Bed
Steven Stahlberg
Click on picture to see latest version.

Brogdrog's Lab 2
Danny Falch
Follow this link to several views of Brogdrog's Lab, Din, and Grok.
Brogdrog's Lab 3
Danny Falch
Follow this link to several views of Brogdrog's Lab, Din, and Grok.
Brogdrog's Lab 4
Danny Falch
Follow this link to several views of Brogdrog's Lab, Din, and Grok.
Brogdrog's Lab 5
Danny Falch
Follow this link to several views of Brogdrog's Lab, Din, and Grok.
Galileo's Table
Danny Falch
First draft of scene inwhich our heroes bump into Galileo.
Lokia's Throne
Fred Simmons
First draft from the 4th dimension. For latest draft click here.
Ecstacy in Motion
Danny Falch
The two Flatlander teens come shooting through to a new dimension; draft 1. For current draft click here.
Brogdrog Study
Brogdrog's Private Study
Danny Falch
First draft of Brogdrog's downtown Hong Kong high rise office. For current draft click here.
ID Skyscraper
Brogdrog's Infinite Dimension office complex
Danny Falch
For current draft click here.
T-M Hanger
The Time Machine
Danny Falch
Brogdrog's Time Machine being tended by its real creator, Din the Robot, and the playful Grok. Other views.
Truong Desk
Truong-Ha's Desk
Fred Simmons
The Feng Shui Chin's desk from which he hopes to manipulate the Mountain Dragon.
Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper
Danny Falch/Steven Ståhlberg
Jack the Ripper's foiled attempt to catch one more victim.
Turkish Bath
Turkish Bath
Tony Seymour
This is the setting for series of illustrations in which Ferd's "Virginity Washes Away".


Draft Notes:
Intro: Witherferd Fehlter Hardling III is a normal 16 year old boy from a small town in the Midwest, USA. He is slight, shy, gawky and very intelligent. His best friends are his desktop computer and the school janitor (who happens to be sort of a geek mentor with a mysterious past). Witherferd's only other acquaintances are online nerds whose names and genders remain virtual mysteries. Witherferd has no idea what is about to happen to his life...which makes him sort of like you and me.

Witherferd has been having weird dreams lately. These dreams turn into quirky, adventurous, ribald reality when a beautiful leather-clad Asian woman suddenly materializes in his bedroom, changing his life forever.

Witherferd gets caught up in events far outside the confining boundaries of his undimensional daily existence. If you want to wait to read about these events in the actual Online Illustrated Novel, you should skip the rest of this page and tune in later, because some of these things are plot secrets. But they make up basic "premise" information that the authors need to air, so we're posting them here.


The Title: "The Power of 10", comes from the idea that by expanding (or contracting) one's point of view by the power of 10, one's perspective changes to the point of being able to see "worlds within worlds". A solar system looks like an atom orbited by electrons - from far away. The inside of a cell can look like a galaxy when magnified. Also, a tiny black hole can actually provide the new dimensional time-space for an entire universe (as in Hawking's "Black Holes and Baby Universes"). In addition, it is accepted theory that our Universe is made up of perhaps 10 dimensions; all of which were "active" a moment after the Big Bang but have since "collapsed" into the 3 dimensions we now inhabit (plus time).

On a psychological level, there are other ways of changing perspective and opening up new worlds. As human beings, dramatic and startling experiences can completely alter our understanding, making us into new people, new beings. Sometimes the experience can be so overwhelming, it is as if we have shifted into a new dimension, as if our minds have expanded by a Power of 10. Indeed, this is what happens to the characeters in our story.

Our title, The Power of 10, combines these congruent ideas.

You see, the seven "extra" dimensions at the beginning of the Big Bang didn't exactly collapse. They curled - or spiraled inward. By expending great energy, they can be uncurled again. In so doing, space-time can appear to be "folded" or "warped", and, by stepping through higher dimensions, you can move great distances in space-time...if you know the right tricks (or "science," if you insist). By entering a new dimension, an entirely new universe would open up to us.

In our story, we discover a handful of beings that have been born in these "higher" dimensions who, by virtue of the accidents of their place of origin, possess unique abilities and perspectives. Beings who exist in the Higher Dimensions (4space and up) are called "Spiralists" and are thought of as godlike in their apparent power. Of course, some beings have also developed in the "lower" dimensions, and are called, "Flatlanders" (2space). They are rarely thought of at all; sort of the two dimensional doormats of the universe.


The Premise: It all starts with Dido Ariana, the ageless and lonely keeper of the Temple of Portals, and her rebelious daughter Aril:

Dido Ariana is a 5th dimensional being able to communicate among the many dimensions and Powers of 10. She is an amazing beauty (the actual inspiration for such famous yet pale imitations as Aphrodite and Venus - due to some timely time jumping and even more timely image projections in front of certain influential human prophets in our ancient past).*

Dido has lost contact with her high-spirited 3D daughter, Aril, (the product of the 5th dimensional beauty and a coy, coily Flatlander, Shnood Chnopik - the physics of which has yet to be explained; suffice it to say that Dido was very young at the time). It seems Aril has stolen her mother's Simulcra, a unique device that enables the wearer to travel between and among dimensions with ease, and is off joyriding. The story begins as a simple "find Aril" adventure, but quickly turns into an epic on which the fate of the Universe depends.

The Power of 10 is a humorous, absurd and perplexingly poignant and symbolic tale about the struggle to keep the last remaining dimensions from collapsing into an utterly pointless world. It is graced with quirky characters, the strangeness of the universe, and beautiful women (not necessarily in that order). We hope you enjoy watching the creative team as we formulate the text, create drafts of settings and characters, and slowly piece the final product together.

Feel free to come back again and again, email us for updates, or write any of the creative team. We'd love to hear what you think of our progress...

*Note: How a 5-space being can be "beautiful" in 3space (something that only nearsighted physicists might wonder over) is that she is able to manipulate her 3D silhouette (or 3D cross-section) by sliding a bit in 5space. Her 3D image does appear morphically wavy at times, of course, but Spiralists are very sinuous beings, as Ian's illustrations portray.


Witherferd Fehlter Hardling - "Ferd" for short - the nerdy American 16 year old kid who is the central character. Many of the story's adventures depict him "coming of age" and growing as an individual. He also happens to save the Universe and become the greatest hero known among the 10 dimensions... He is alienated by his peers at the outset by his differing interests and shyness; remains alienated from them in the end because of his experiences and knowledge acquired during his Great Adventure. He is saved from total malaise when Aril comes back for him in the end to invite him on new adventures (i.e. "sequels").

Dido Ariana - the beautiful 5th dimensional Queen of the Portal and mother of Aril. In the
very distant past (time travel being one of the abilities of 5space beings), the Phoenicians name Dido their Goddess of Love, making her the prototype Aphrodite. Because of this, plus her relative isolation as a rare 5space being and her obvious unique 5space powers, she is a rather vain and lonely person, and a rather possessive and selfish mother. But she learns a great deal about herself before the story ends, falls in love with the old and wise Mansfield Ficks, and is able to give her daughter the independence she needs.

Aril Ariana - rebelious daughter of Dido, elusive heroine of the story. A self-willed, independent youth of high emotions and beauty, who puts her own freedom above all other considerations... She drives the story by "borrowing" her mother's magical Simulcra so she can cruise the interdimensional main street of the universe, looking for action. And, boy, does she find it!

Dominatrix (Trixi) - Aril's bodyguard who, when not looking after Aril, pursues the eccentric hobby of cataloging (and experiencing) the various aspects of love displayed throughout the known galaxies. This makes her the most "experienced" woman in the Universe. Trixi is really an android, which we learn about later, and ends up with Din, finding true love (once Aril no longer needs a body guard) and finally coming to grips with her repressed hang-ups about being an android...

Idd, the Gentle Giant - a giant creature, who, being an Iddlander, has passionate episodes in which she (yes, Idd's a she, and quite fetching in her native world) gives way to instinctual impulses and demands immediate satisfaction of her primitive Iddlandic needs at unexpected moments. She is actually the Universe's leading specialist in empathic communication which, as a new mother, is a greater burden than one might suspect. Ends up translating Flatlander "speech" and helping to achieve a Flatland revolution. Her son, Odd, is characteristically unimpressed when she finally gets back home. Due to the many misunderstandings and problems in translating alien languages, Idd goes on to invent a thought reading machine that is able to detect (on sub-synaptic level) the quantum-spin/string "mental vibrations" of actual thought and translate them into culturally congruent images, intentions and urges, thus (she believes) insuring honesty and comprehensiveness in all future communication. The invention works but is unanimously banned by all government leaders (this Universal Unanimity being an historical first), yet the device goes on to become a blackmarket success, causing devastating intergalactic wars, etc... The name "Idd" is thus forever associated with the manifestation of every species' darker side; a very sad legacy for such a gentle, well-meaning creature.

One other thing we should know about Idd: She can become invisible. This is not due to any innate Iddlander ability to become transparent; rather, Idd wears on her wrist or neck or ankle a device that creates an "I Don't Want To Deal With It, I'm In A Hurry" field that renders anyone in it's active zone incapable to see anything that might be upsetting, confusing, unusual, or, in general, cause one to be late for urgent appointments. This is how, especially in a bustling metropolis or airport type setting, Idd can move about undetected. On Idd, it is called a "Don't Want to Deal Field", or DWDF, which induces "Hurry Blindness." It works much better on Earth than on Iddland (except when Iddlanders are in their impetuous mode). When Idd appears in Ferd's room, she is seeable, since Ferd is definately not in a hurry and, unlike most teenagers, is rarely heard screaming through a slammed door, "I don't want to deal with it!" Actually, Idd had wanted to invent an invisibility field so that she could do research offworld without being noticed, but this is as close as she could get. Also, it's technology (in reverse) is combined with the Brogdrog's BC (see "Brogdrog" below) to create the universal translator (see above) that nearly brings about a unerivse-ending Armageddon.

Manny "Mole" Ficks - known either as "Mole" (a hold-over nickname from his CIA days as well as a description of his current basement lifestyle) or as "Mr. Fix-it" (a takeoff from his last name and description of his work as a janitor). His real name is Mannsfield Hephaestus Foxworth, changed after he "retired" from the CIA.

Manny became disillusioned with government work in his middle 40s, so he retired early to live among energetic youths in an inspiring environment: Ferd's high school. Manny is already Ferd's friend before our story begins, one of the few, kind of a computer geek mentor who has taught Ferd many hacker tricks and hinted at some very exotic real life stories. Manny is a no-nonsense, practical old coot who still believes in loyalty and principles (which may explain why he left government work). When Ferd introduces him to Trixi and Idd and the entire interdimensional drama of our story, Manny becomes very interested. He puts his old spy skills to use by tracking down his old contact Truong-Ha who leads them to Brogdrog. (See below.) But Manny is not just a basement geek who is doing something kind for a friends (like the X Files guys)...

It turns out that Manny didn't really retire from government work, he dropped out of the spy business and assumed a new identity in order to escape certain execution. You see, he had been framed for the murder of a young french operative named Collette (see the photo on Manny's desk) with whom he had been very much in love. She was murdered (Manny believes) by an illusive agent of the underworld they had been investigating; the murder was carried out in such a way as to incriminate Manny and make it look like he was a traitor. So, with blood-spatter hands, Manny ran for his life, and ended up finding peace as a janitor. He continues "tracking" this underworld figure (who turns out to be Lokia) using "borrowed" and "unused" defense department computer technologies. In the course of the story, Manny leaves his basement sanctuary and assists Ferd in his quest (secretly) and, in the end, gets to confront Lokia face to face (after Lokia takes over Brogdrog's body - again, see below). But he gets killed (since he's such a loveable and sympathetic character) by Lokia. However, Dido, who was watching him from afar, has fallen in love with his dedication and heroism. She twists back through time and saves him, gives him a new body, and he lives happily ever after in 5space, able to eavesdrop into any dimension [won't Hoover be jealous], doing something he always wanted to do but never could. Dido makes him her loving Hephaestus, God of War and Invention; and she is his Collette. They live happily ever after despite themselves.

Dr. Brogdrog - an alien scientist who has been banished from his home planet of Xrodnod (where only the single vowel "o" is permitted) - (see * for reason why he was banished.)

Brogdrog has been using and usurping the scientific ideas of everyone around him for years to gain fabulous wealth on Earth and is now an international reclusive billionaire and owner of the "Infinite Dimensions, Inc" conglomerate, with a private study and lab on the top floors of a skyscraper in downtown Hong Kong. Brogdrog plans to use his wealth to create his greatest of experiments which he believes will prove his genius to the universe: The opening of an interdimensional gateway. Such an event will require a nuclear holocaust to supply enough energy to open up the necessary dimensional portal (ah, the price of science). He used to have his lab in Russia, but events there ended up disappointing him, so he relocated to Hong Kong (ground zero for the secretly growing Chinese nuclear arsenal; although Formosa was a close second choice, and Tokyo a close 3rd. Washington was actually very far down the list, since who can take the Americans seriously these days?) Lately, Brogdrog has been growing impatient, as have many of the enemies he has made in his Hong Kong neighborhood, so he strikes a Faustian bargain with a secret 4th Dimensional being named Lokia Mortai, who has been supplying him with special knowledge to help him gain power and inch closer to his interdimensional dream. In exchange for a promise of immortality and a bonefide nuclear arsenal to make it all worthwhile, Brogdrog promises to give Lokia keys to his Earthly empire (which he figures he'll no longer need since his success will enable him to return to Xrodnod a true hero) and his soul (which, to an atheist like Brogdrog, is about as real as yesterday's internet stock values). When the climactic moment comes, Lokia jumps dimensions and takes over Brogdrog's body (traping him helplessly inside). In this guise, Lokia confronts Manny (see above), killing him, and prepares to lead the Invasion of the Dragons to conquer Earth. She finds that Brogdrog's vestige personality (latent but not altogether lost in his hijacked body's biology) interferes with her plans and helps to thwart an important part of her conquering plan. [This part hasn't been worked out yet.]. In the end, several individuals of the many beings that make up Lokia (see below for a discussion of Lokia's true nature) find great freedom and comfort in Brogdrog's unorthodox physiology and decide to make a perminant home there. Brogdrog learns to balance their sometimes confusing cacophany of voices and becomes a multifaceted wise man, gaining great renown throughout the universe as the Xrodnod with more voices than mouths. (It is an old Xrodnod insult to state the reverse: "You have more mouths than voices to use them", which tanslated loosely, means you talk too much and have nothing important to say, which, to a world of scientists, is rather damning.)

Perhaps more should be said about Xrodnod: Before you can understand why Brogdrog was banished from his homeland, you must understand a few things this unique world.

Xrodnod is the home of a race of highly intelligent scholars, the oldest Scientific Guild in the local galaxy, and a proud heritage of order and reason. In fact, Xrodnod is the planet that must give its stamp of approval for each Research Card given to offword scientists if they want to study science outside their particular solar system. In addition, Xrodnods are obsessed with neatness and perfect balance. That is why their only vowel is "o". They hate jagged edges, scratchy things like hangnails, cubist art, unclosed circles, split infinitives, and irregular numbers. This may seem absurd to an offworlder until you catch your fist glimpse of a native Xrodnod. They are the least physically symmetrical species known. In fact, you might say the typical Xrodnodon looks as if he'd been run over by a train and then hurriedly pushed threw a rusty meat grinder moments after birth. (This explains the lack of mirrors on the planet.) The obsession with balance and symmetry is, at first glance, a way of sublimating the self-esteem problem associated with being the most grotesquely malformed species, but, indeed, the real story is far more complex:

Legend has it that millennia in the past, when their science was just budding, an experiment gone awry unleashed a bioligical plague that forever mutated the Xrodnod genetic pool. Thus, there obsession with proper balance and order is a way to keep this from happening again and, in typical intellectual fashion, of repressing the painful memory this disgraceful scientific failure..

*The reason Brogdrog was banished from Xrodnod: He had become a perpetual embarrassment to the Xrodnod scientific community, a designation they called, in classic Xrodnod understatment, a "clod." To prove he was doing "cutting edge science" (a phrase no proper Xrodnod would ever use, even when translated into their language) Brogdrog attempted a public demonstration of his theory, performing experiments in interdimensional chaos theory (called "Hodj-Podj" theory on Xrodnod) when a terrible accident occured: The Xrodnod capital city of Boondogl simply vanished...along with its beloved circular gardens and concentrically balance manicured bushes. Brogdrog boasted that this result proved his theory (regarding interdimensional juxtopositioning) had validity, but his fit of unseemly bragging only proved to incrimiate him, so no one ever questioned whether he was actually responsible or not. At first, the countryside hailed him as a hero (or, "hot ho", in Xrodnod-speak). But when they realized that the famous Boondogl gardens and bushes were gone forever, and especially after they saw pictures on the Xrodnod "nooz" repeated over and over of the ugly bald spot of lifeless rock left behind, and not only a bald spot, but a rather rectangular squared-edge bald spot with sad spiky bush roots reaching up chaotically in haphazard directions, Brogdrog was universally denounced as a "Trollop Plod," which is to say, someone who moves about in a slovenly and untidy fashion leaving angular and twisted chaos in his wake. Everyone turned against him. Banishing him from the planet is the only way to restore order.

Brogdrog was taken to where all intergalactic criminals capable of inilliating millions of living beings are taken: To Earth. In fact, he was escorted by Dominatrix (Trixi), back when she was still an Enforcer. She dropped him off near a small village in Siberia known for bad weather, bad borsche, and its excellent psycho-restructuring facilities. The secret facility, known as the Behavioral Correction Institute, was run by an earthling scientist (Cohen the Barbarian) (he's Jewish, and, actually a librarian, not a barbarian, but intergalactic communication has many such poorly translated's amazing it doesn't happen more often). Cohen rehabilitated illegal aliens by removing all ambition from their minds; in such a state, it was no longer difficult to blend them into (past) Soviet society. But Brogdrog's unique Xrodnodon phisiology (a very thick skull and organs that never appear to be in the same place twice) saved him from restructuring. Somewhow, Brogdrog outwitted Cohen and took over the facility. In fact, Brogdrog ended up stealing the facilities main BC device (the Bahavioral Correction machine), reprogramming Cohen's robot Din (see "Din" below), and moving to Hong Kong where he uses the device to subordinate and brainwash enough people to create a wonderfully successful capilatist empire.

Now, when Ferd, Trixi and Idd encounter Brogrod in his Hong Kong lab, they ask to use his untested Time Machine to search for Aril. The activation of Brogdrog's Time Machine causes a rift in the time-space continuum, pulling the lost Simulcra half way through. The Simulcra gets stuck sticking through his lab, nearly causing a revolution in downtown Hong Kong among the frightened, superstitious locals. Hong Kongers think its a sign that the "Dragon" will return (as in the Feng Shei legend) and that the Dragon is angry because Brogdrog's "Infinite Dimensions" Tower is blocking its way to the sea. Combined with the BC device Brogdrog has stolen from the Siberian Institute, the presence of the Simulcra enables peoples' subconscious thoughts to become manifest in reality (and, in Hong Kong, that means a herd of dragons). So, as Ferd is rescuing Aril (in the final moments of the climax) from Brogdrog's boobytrapped elevator shaft, dragons are licking at the gates, tearing up the city; the world's nuclear bombs are ready to create immense destruction (and provide energy for Brogdrog's desired dimensional gate to work); Lokia is taking over Brogdrog's body and leading the superstitious-induced dragon army...and every thing comes to a climax! Imagine what happens next!

Din, the Worrying Robot - Brogdrog's robot is actually the brains behind Brogdrog's lab (although Brogdrog always screws things up in the end so nothing in the lab really works right). Din suffers from a depressive complex due to having an intellectual outcast (Brogdrog) as his official "Xrod-god" or maker. Overcompensating, Din has made himself into quite a scientist, helping Brogdrog achieve near success in many fields; but Brogdrog always takes over Din's projects and, in the end, all Din's ideas are thus doomed to failure. (One of Din's usurped projects, a not-quite-working prototype Time Machine, is what our heroes take to find Aril.) Din has developed a sarcastic, depressing fatalism, always expects the worst and usually finds it. He ends up falling in love with Dominatrix, helping her transcend her android self-esteem problem and curing her of her sexual fetishes (or, at least, most of them. She still has to have some fun.) Din is momentarily happy, but he is certain it won't last...

Also, after Brogdrog's soul is "stolen" by Lokia (see above), he somehow communicates to Din the true nature of his origins: That he was Cohen the Jewish Librarian's brainchild, brought to life with a "borrowed" chip from the sidekick robot Grok (see below). Upon learning of his true lineage, Din decides to persue his Jewish roots and find spiritiual enlightenment. With Trixi, he writes an appendix to the Torah, incorporating the many intricacies of love she has learned in her glaxy-wide sexual exploits. This appendix becomes a best seller and transforms Judaism.

Grok (Rob5) - Originally called ROB5, Grok was a gift given to Brogdrog after his Boondogl debacle from an anonymous member of a previously unknown organization called "New Anarchists of the Post-Democratic Universe." Grok is Brogdrog's gopher droid; very cute and lovable, who becomes Ferd's best buddy. Very dog-like in his mannerisms, optimism, loyalties, affection. A programmable stuffed animal version is due out soon and will be in a store near you by Christmas...

Actually, Grok was a gift from a Higher Being (in the unknowable 7th dimension) and has been doing things all along to make events turn out just the way they have. Grok is responsible for Ferd surviving several life threatening episodes in the course of this story, for Din having the "brains" he has, and for the story having a happy ending. Grok ends up going back to the 7th dimension in the end (before Aril returns for Ferd), in a sad goodbye with Ferd. (Don't worry, he'll be back in the sequel.)

Lokia Mortai - The evil goddess and social climber of the fourth dimension who, in the end, is revealed to be leading the plot against Dido and her ilk. (Visually based on Simmons' "Peekaboo".) She wishes to use her power to completely collapse 5-thru-10space, thus annihilating Dido and all other Spiralists, setting herself up as the Goddess of All Things. Sabotages the Portals; kidnaps Aril; attempts to steal the Simulcra but loses it in 2space; manipulates events to get it back; but is defeated in the end. Leads the Janitor on to believe she is after knowledge, when all she wants is power. One of her favorite sayings: "Love and Truth are but vanities; only Power survives forever!"

As the story progresses, we realize she is actually a constuct of millions of 4space beings. These beings live very brief (or, more precisely, FAST) lives, due to how time, which is 2D, behaves when intersecting with the spiralled angle of 4space. They, therefore, evolve very fast and have created amazing technological marvels in the same span it has taken us to learn how to mass produce shoes that are comfortable and actually fit but cost an arm and a leg so what's the point? The 4spacers are very jealous of us and our long lives, plus, they think we are ignorant bugs that should be squished, figuretively. (They may yet use us to live through, later.) They are also spiteful yet infatuated with Dido and most Higher Ups and can't wait to squish them, literally, when the dimensions collapse. Lokia Mortai is their collective construct, an evolving image that is able to communicate with longer living beings, saying cool things like, "I, I, I am legion. I, I, I am multitudes and complexities beyond your imagination. I, I, I sit upon a throne of millennia and speak with the tongues of generations, holding all knowledge, like grains of sand, waiting for your time to come."

Truong-Ha Kran - A Vietnamese entrepreneur working the streets of Hong Kong as an undercover pimp who helps Brogdrog in his effort to blow up the world, or at least the southern part of China. Met Manny Foxworth during Cold War activities in the early 60s. Plans to double-cross everyone and cash in on the best ladn deal ever (when Brogdrog's Gate opens and Earth becomes the crossroads of interdimensional traffic).

Truong-Ha is a member of a secret terrorist organisation called the Feng Shui Chins, with ties to the American Quacker neo-violent paramilitary tri-millennia militia "The Sanguinary Sons of the Sanguine Quakers" or, simply, "The New SSS-Qs". (Gesundheit.) The Feng Shui Chins follow the Chinese Feng Shui "religion" that dectates much of Hong Kong lifestyle through its susperstitions, not the least of which involves how buildings should look and where they should be built. Brogdrog's skyscraper, The Infinite Dimension Tower, breaks all these rules and, therefore, has made Brogdrog and his company a target of Feng Shui Chin terrorism and espionage. However, since the FS-Chins are such strict observers of Feng Shui, they are not the most competent terrorists; needing to consult their Feng Shui compasses (which gauge the direction and intensity of the Feng Shui forces) and warding off evil spirits and omens can be difficult when trying to engage in ninja type activities.

Note: Truong-Ha uses a new Infitine Dimensions Portable Personal Communicator, or ID-PPC, to communicate with Manny in Scene 3. It is based on technology given to Brogdrog by Lokia and enables Lokia to monitor what is going on, incidentally making Infinte Dimension billions of dollars.

Flatlanders: Romeo and Juliet;, the love-crossed Flatlanders that jettison themselves into the 3rd Dimension by the power of their love…and the Simulcra. Their forbidden affair ends up creating a Flatland cultural revolution (with Idd's help), and they don't even have to kill themselves (although everyone thinks they have...for a few pages). For a more detailed discussion of Flatland, click here.

(There are no small roles, only small actors that the writers couldn't trust
with more than a couple lines):

Silvester "Sly the Cool" Coopland - The neighborhood bully that keeps getting beat up by Witherferd's side kicks - a running gag.

Odd - Idd's son, left back on Iddlandia; can communicate with Mom by have tantrums; is named "Odd" like every other Iddlandian, until he grows up and becomes Idd, like everyone else. (Well, it's not confusing to them!)

Flatlander Old Guard Propellerheads - unevolved asexual Flatlanders

Flatlander New Wave Trendrils - evolved sexual Flatlanders:
MKoona Mtattoo - The Flatlander Prophet who comes upon the Simulcra
Shnood Chnopik - Aril's father, a Flatlander jazz musician (vibrates like a cross between gong and a mouth harp, making different parts of his body stiff or pliant, generating resonant sounds... this, in fact, is what attracted Dido to him in the first place)


Mkoona, Stilton Brie, Long Wong, Thot Thot - the Winged Frogman

Please comment, amend, edit, expand on and help complete the Premise Discussion.

For a detailed Plot Discussion, click here!
For discussion of Flatlanders, click here!
For discussion of Feng Shui Chins, click here!
For a verbal Storyboard of upcoming Illustrations, click here!

For a list of Collaborators, click here!

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