Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Alpha Vector"

This post is part of my activity in support of Asexual Awareness Week.

One of my projects, Schrodinger's Heroes, is especially ace-friendly. It's about the imaginary fandom of an apocryphal television show. Of the main characters in Schrodinger's Heroes, Ash is canonically asexual and Alex is often written that way too. The show is about quantum science and saving the world from mayhem involving alternate dimensions. If you aren't already familiar with this project, you can read about the show and the main characters, or browse the menu post.

Are you thinking it would be fun to write about some asexual characters for Asexual Awareness Week, but you don't have any? Feel free to use these. The main characters started out as thumbnail descriptions in "101 Asexy Sex Scenes" by [personal profile] melannen, and then I fleshed them out to create an effective team of heroes for a crossover-friendly show that's easy to mix with other versions of itself or other fandoms altogether. Start from the original thumbnails, or my descriptions, or make up your own. If you decide to try your hand at this, please let me know and I'll link the results.

The following poem is fanfic about ace!Alex and ace!Ash getting fed up with the sexual members of the team and having an adventure on their own.

The Alpha Vector

It was February,
and Bailey was making
erotic overtures again.

At first, Alex just rolled her eyes
and shooed him gently away.
As the calendar ticked toward 14,
Bailey became more persistent.

Finally Alex lost her temper
and threw him out in the hall,
then locked herself in her office.
She kept busy poring through old data,
looking for patterns in the manifold
that might help to identify
promising vectors or dimensions.

Alex was working on the vector
that dealt with sexual orientation
when she discovered a blip in the data.
So she called Ash and said,
"Hey, Ash, I found something interesting.
Come on over and help me check it out."

Ash let herself in with an idle swipe
at the electronic lock on the door.
"What have you got, Alex?" she asked.
Alex called up the data so far.

Ash poked casually at the display,
tapped a few keys, and nibbled on her bottom lip.
Alex leaned over and tweaked a few things.
Soon they were talking excitedly
about the patterns, and trying
this new program twist or that --

when suddenly, right there
in a quiet little corner of the manifold,
they found a dimension in which
almost everyone was asexual.

"You know," Ash said slowly,
"Quinn has been all over me
for the past week or so.
I could really use a vacation."

"Bailey won't leave me alone
this time of year," said Alex.
"I've been thinking about
how nice it would be if
we could just skip Valentine's Day."

Ash gave an enigmatic smile. "Maybe,"
she said, "or we could go see about
finding a version farther from home
and closer to heart."

Alex grinned and bounced in her seat.
"Just give me a few minutes to pack,"
the quantum physicist said.

So Alex and Ash fired up
the Teflon Tesseract and
snuck away with no one the wiser.

They strolled down streets
hand-in-hand and nobody stared.
They went to see movies where
people snuggled instead of smooching.
They picked up novel after novel
filled with actual plots.

The Valentine's Day decorations
were hands instead of hearts,
done in the pink of friendship
and the white of purity
rather than the red of passion.

The cards celebrated
"special friends" and not
boyfriends or girlfriends.
The rings were not gold but silver,
shaped like clasping hands
after an old Roman design.

Alex and Ash joined a flock of strangers
stenciling their handprints together
along the fence in a public park.
It was nice to be somewhere that
didn't insist on putting "just" in front of "friends."

They stopped to watch two new fathers
proudly showing off their baby.
"He's just out of the infant generator,"
one said to a friend.

Alex and Ash shared a look,
then quietly tracked down
the technical specifications
so people back home
could enjoy the option of
technological procreation.

"Life always finds a way,"
Ash murmured happily.

They returned home
after the holiday had passed,
and smoothed the ruffled feathers
with suitable presents,
and quietly mailed the plans
for the infant generator
to a mutual friend in the sciences ...

and if the new rings
winking silver on their fingers
were noticed at all,
nobody said anything.
Tags: activism, gender studies, holiday, poem, poetry, schrodinger's heroes, science fiction

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