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The Power of 10
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© 1999 Tobin James Mueller, Steven Hägg Ståhlberg, John Spirko, Danny Falch, Ian Brand, Fred Simmons and Kim Vanderhyden.

Note: This project is in the formative stage.
On this page we are ironing out the concept of Flatlanders.
They are the beings who inhabit 2-dimensional space.
Note that everything is subject to change.
Contact ArtsForge with comments, ideas, etc.

Flatland 2D space might either be a plane (probably not flat or necessarily horizontal, but warped and upright, like a shower curtain), or a twisted mobius 2-sided warp, as John depicts.

John's first draft of Flatlander characters.
The Old Guard (?)

John's second draft of Flatlander characters.
The New Wave.

Romeo and Juliet, the Flatland Teenage lovers.
New Wave.

What we agree on:

Flatlanders are 2dimensional, with some fictional thickness for practical reasons.

Their "world" is represented graphically as either curtain type "sheets" or twisted/connecting planes, or both.

Given that they live on a 2D plane, Flatlanders roll over each other, since they can't pass thru each other; their sensory organs are on the "edges" of their bodies, since anything we see as being on the Flatlander's "side" would actually be an internal organ.

See John's Link for graphics and downloadable models/texture maps. (I'll have these available from ArtsForge soon.) Also, here are John's other models, available only for a short time. I think the "Serrated Ring" should be the ring around Brogdrog's "communication lens". A Flatlander could be strung up and tyhe thing would look like an Indian drum on acid!

John is basing one species of Flatlander an the amoeba; radial, flatworm, some combination; another species should be equally flat yet somehow evolved; both species need accessible "character" attributes. Two species: The New Wave Flatlanders (or Duodudes?), and the Old Guard (or Buddoids?).

Flatlanders are integral to the plot in that their actions will somehow put the dimensional structure of the universe at risk, creating the main plot tension.

Flatlanders are perceived as the "bad guys", at least at first…

Flatlanders should know more about us than we do about them.

Flatlanders are the "highest" of 2space life, as humans are (?) in 3space…

Flatlander Premise and Plot

Flatlanders accidentally discovered interdimensional travel as an outgrowth of their sexual evolution. Their desire to blow up our world turns out to be an entirely innocent attempt at exploring new spacial dimensions while achieving better sexual climaxes. They don't realize they're bad guys until just before the happy ending.

Flatlanders USED TO BE asexual, like amoebas, crawling over each other without sexual harrassment laws bothering their alien workplaces. But somehow our atomic bomb tests in the 1950's poured radiation into their world, causing mutations and speeding up evolution. Now sexual Flatlanders have displaced their asexual buddies. In fact, sexual evolution has become the highest priority in New Wave Flatlander society. (After all, sex, to them, is associated with heavenly bursts of light ripping through Flatland space, thunderous voices echoing from "On High", and other religiously significant events. Also, it should be noted that Flatlander sex involves subatomic radition, quarky discharges, and other energy releasing phenomena that help perpetuate this notion of the paranormal, as well as future populations). So, the New Wave Flatlanders (distinct from the asexual Old Guard) are busy perfecting sexual activity, trying to duplicate critical mass with each new climax.

The course of Flatland history is altered when a Flatlander Prophet mysteriously comes into possession of the Simulcra. [We find out how and by whose hand later (it's probably rival 5spacers plotting against Dido)]. The Simulcra acts like a 2001-style monolith, or at least resonates powerfully with the New Wavers' sex-released energy waves, achieving such a moment of ecstacy that the energy explosion warps space…and the Flatlander glimpses a holy and new 3 dimensional world. This transcenedtal aspect to New Wave sex sparks a revolution of activity. It also sparks a population boom.

This is compounded by another unforeseen event: Two Flatlander teenagers (the Romeo and Juliet of Flatland), in the midst of their first sexual liason, "borrow" the Simulcra from under the Prophet's nose (or whatever) to use as an aphrodesiac. Something about their highten exhuberance, their contact with the Simulcra, and their positioning in relationship to 3D space makes it so that they not only glimpse 3psace but are TRANSPORTED there, taking the Simulcra with them, or, at least, part way. Romeo and Juliet end up in Dr. Brogdrog's lab (the experiments he was conducting at that moment contributed to the dimensional jump), with the Simulcra stuck between worlds, suspended in mid air.

For the Flatlanders, this opens up the new possibility of moving between dimensions, space travel, etc. However, try as they might, no Flatlanders can duplicate Romeo and Juliet's jump. And now they have only the half of the Simulcra still stuck in 2space. Something must be done.

Both Old Guard and Newe Wavers agree on one thing: Flatland needs more elbow room (or whatever the Flatland equivilent would be). To achieve this, Flatland scientists and sexual gurus believe the answer lies with a resumption of 3space atomic explosions. They theorize that they can open the rift created by the stuck Simulcra by using a combination of nuclear explosions and syncronized religious orgies. Thus, they contrive to get us to blow ourselves up, or, if we're too clever for that, to trip the detonation themselves.

Romeo and Juliet are, by necessity, the Flatlanders agents on the 3space side. The Flatland Teens can communicate "verbally" through the corked rift between the worlds. But only the mental biowaves of the Flatlanders passes through. Brogdrog can't. So Brugrdrog is handed all sorts of misinformation, garbled through equally bad translation of Flatlander elctrospeak sign language, making him an unwitting Flatland stooge.

Once Ferd and Gang show up, Idd the Gaint discovers something: By positioning the bodies of the two Flatlanders in just the right way, the slight dimensional refraction achieved when photons move through their infinitely thin bodies shifts dimensional perspective just enough to enabling 3spacers to see into Flatland (albeit, thru a fuzzy, distorted lens). In other wqords, Flatlander bodies, when layered together, become a "Communication Lens" between the two dimension! (Idd, you see, never looks people directly in the eye, since she is very shy, except during those moments of Iddlander impetuousness. It was this trick of looking out of the corner of her eye that enabled her to see through the Flatlander lens.) While Brogdrog hooks up a makeshift Communication Lens, Din accidently knocks him, pulling taut one of the Flatlanders taut. They find they can gain some control and can fine tune the lens to see into several other dimensions' like a crystal ball or distorted camera (this way, we get to 'sort of' see into the other dimensions).

After the lens is working, Idd discovers that she can understand the thoughtwaves of the Flatlander Teens. (Hints of this have been happening all along.) We learn that Flatlanders abhor mechanical devices (most are Flatlander Luddites, in fact) and that their entire technology is based on a kind of utilitarian biogenetics. They grow the devices they need by shaping fellow Flatlanders into organic bio-machinery. This has created a kind of caste system - which made the Teens' love laison illegal, against Flatlander strict moral code. (And you thought their orgy-based culture was without morals.) (In fact, Romeo was a Flatlander cable television set and Juliet was an apprentice laptop computer, which may explain why they made such a good lens together. It might also explain why Flatlander law prohibited their union.) The growing bond between Idd and the Flandlaner Teens results in the Teens helping the humans in the last climactic moment...saving Earth from nuclear holocaust.

So, everything works out in the end. Trixi goes off with the Flatlander Prophet to explore the infinite potential of sexual ecstacy. The Flatland Teens Rome and Juliet go to Iddland where everyone is equal and free. Ariel the heroine (who we've yuet to write into this story!) is provided special biogenetically grown Flatlanders that act as phase-shifting armor, enabling her to sidestep into another dimension at will. (This comes in handy during the FINAL SHOWDOWN in which Dido confronts the REAL bad guys in the last chapters.) And Ferd invents the "sex drive" engine, an interdiminsional space vehicle that enables humans to warp space and move through the universe with ease (as long as the Flatlanders inside the machine keep up sufficient libido).

A byproduct of this new age of dimensional travel is that all New Wave Flatlanders imigrate from old Flatland, leaving the homeworld to the Old Guard. Then, in an epilogue, a strange retro-virus infects the Old Guard, an asexual virus that only infects those who have been reproducing in public washrooms. The virus spreads unabated, wiping out the Old Guard. A sad footnote. And food for thought for us all.

Some things we don't have to worry about (not yet, anyway):
- Actually drawing Flatland. --If we stick to merely representing the Flatlander characters for now, the question of what Flatland looks like need not be answered yet. [However, if we ever do depict it, I think we should use a "theoretical" approach, like having a scientist (Brogdrog) make his "best guess" of what it looks like, leaving the door open to change.]
-What Flatlanders look like to each other, etc., (except in a conversational, witty way)
-What kind of homes they live in, etc. (except in a conversational, witty way)
-Whether or not gravity effects them; whether or not they have days/nights, etc.

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

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

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