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15 May 2007 @ 11:05 pm
jah, I like my turtles frilly  
Exam status: dead

Pharmacology - unexpectedly good. Who knew I would so greatly enjoy writing about how grapefruit juice + vasodilators can KILL YOU. Not I.

Neuroanatomy - *does a Mr Tulip* I have a problem, and the problem is: I don't go over things I need to go over right before exams. In this case, the tracts of the spinal cord, which I revised oh A MONTH AGO. Sigh. At least I knew lots about the diseases. And I drew a very pretty eye.

But the point of this post is to archive that story amourdevin wanted -- Heisenberg and the Seven Dwarfs. I wrote it for a Science Fiction contest (as in, fiction pertaining to science, not aliens shaped like salt cellars). It won a prize. It is very, very stupid.




“Something that has a velocity cannot have a position.
Something that has a position cannot have a velocity.”

-- Heisenberg, Uncertainty Paper, 1927

If you’ve been reading up on your fairy-tales, as every good scientist should, you’ll already know the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Or do you? I don’t suppose you realise, for example, that the Wicked Queen’s huntsman was actually Werner Heisenberg? But perhaps I had better start from the beginning -- or Once Upon A Time …

… There was an ambitious minor noble who wanted his daughter to marry into the royal family. His daughter, who was called Cressida, wasn’t too happy about this; she was currently enamoured of none other than Werner Heisenberg. Heisenberg’s only real interest in Cressida, however, was the funding her father gave his research projects and in which supply Cressida played an instrumental part. Therefore, Heisenberg urged her to acquiesce to her father’s wishes and, when she married into royalty, to take him with her to court. They say that love is blind; and Cressida being the sort of person to never do a thing by halves, metaphorically poked her eyes out with a skewer and presented them to Heisenberg on a silver platter.

As you should already know, a series of happy events -- such as the death of the reigning Queen and the King’s lack of a heir apparent -- led to Cressida being married to the King. She also inherited a stepdaughter with whom she shared the same age and very little else. You cannot escape your destiny, only ignore it for a while. Cressida’s destiny was to be a Wicked Queen, but at that all moment all she felt like was a Resentful Regent-By-Marriage.

Her father was delighted with the match. Heisenberg was ecstatic with the extra money and the monarchy-of-the-art laboratory offered to him by the King, at Cressida’s request. Cressida had made everyone else happy and gained nothing but a draughty castle and Blanche, the King’s daughter. Blanche was what polite society called “genteelly challenged” or, in other words, a tart. Blanche flirted shamelessly with Heisenberg, who responded in kind. This gave Cressida a lot of time to ruminate darkly on the fickleness of the male species and how hard it was to find a reliable rampart cleaner.

But the Universe, in that bizarre and inexplicable way that it has, saw fit to reward Heisenberg for his frivolous flirting. This provided further proof, should any more be needed, that science is purely random. Scientific laws are not invented by people sitting around trying to impose order on the Universe. Rather, the Universe creates them, in an effort to impose order on the people who refuse to sit around trying to impose order on it. Confused? Think how the Universe feels.

As Heisenberg was now a royal scientist, he felt an obligation to actually do some work on occasion. He found it helped to sit in his shiny laboratory, surrounded by lots of complicated equipment that looked impressive, did very little and had lots of delightful twiddly bits. “Work” on most days consisted of Heisenberg looking out of his window at Blanche walking in the rose garden. Her performance was entirely for his benefit and comprised her walking to and fro to show off her ankles, and then stopping to hold a rose and smell it.

Heisenberg found the whole thing hopelessly attractive, but being the sort of person who can’t appreciate things for what they are -- in other words, a scientist -- he began to analyse it. He realised that Blanche couldn’t stop to smell the roses and walk between them at the same instant.

(When I say “instant,” I mean time, but in that context it could be taken as Einstein’s time, which is relative and therefore everything could all happen at once -- thus allowing Blanche to both smell the roses and walk between them. Among other things, like time travel, or the evolution of door-to-door salesmen into beloved members of society.)

Heisenberg followed the thought to its conclusion, which came to be known as the Uncertainty Principle. During this time it began to rain and Blanche returned inside, with rather less sauntering and rather more sprinting. The Principle had several applications, but for the purpose of this story we’re concerned with the one that created the Seeing Mirror. By combining a mirror with a window and applying to it his newly developed Principle, he created an upgraded crystal ball. How he did it is a trade secret, the real reason being that he didn’t know how he did it; he wasn’t paying much attention at the time. The Seeing Mirror could see any where at any time except the future.

During the next few weeks, while Blance frolicked in a reputation-damaging way with farmer’s sons -- about seven in total -- and Cressida grew more and more irate, Heisenberg modified the Mirror until it became sensitive enough to respond to a thought command; then he added a voice mechanism.

One day, he declared the mirror finished, and it agreed with him and announced that its name was Clancy, thank you very much, which took Heisenberg rather by surprise. The same day, the King took a sudden sickness and died. This left Cressida as Queen Regent with, as is rarely mentioned, a small daughter of her own.

A few unavoidable quirks of fate lead to Cressida’s sudden metamorphosis into a Wicked Queen. Her new power went to her head. Her latent, hereditary ambition came to the fore as she decided that her daughter must be the next Queen. She was aided in this ambition by Blanche’s determination to get herself into all sorts of un-princess-like trouble.

Due to the repressed, backward autocracy in which the story is set, Blanche’s unlicensed behaviour made many nobles wish that she were not in a position to be causing this trouble. (Alternatively: dead.) In this they were supported by the fanatically conservative peasantry, whose sons -- seven in particular -- kept losing their good names to Blanche.

The last quirk was that the Mirror fell into Cressida’s hands. In a rather humorous little episode, Cressida and Heisenberg had a fracas in his laboratory to do with his over-free ways. It culminated in Cressida grabbing the first thing that came to hand -- the Mirror -- and encouraging Heisenberg to lose consciousness with it, and then storming off with it still in her hand.

As she sat in her room, brimming with anger at male kind’s loose morals in general and Heisenberg’s in particular, the Mirror obligingly showed Cressida an image of Blanche and Heisenberg kissing in the statuary. This scene was observed by a hidden and highly disapproving noble, who was trying to hold back an angry peasant, in turn gripping his weeping son by the hand.

In the fairy tale, the Wicked Queen went to a lot of trouble and unnecessary rhyme to get her Magic Mirror to tell her things. Why something that isn’t alive and has no appreciation of poetry would require to be asked “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” is an effable mystery, not to mention boasting of rather poor grammar. Therefore, Disney probably made it up. In actual fact, Clancy was a piece of sophisticated para-mental machinery, which could pick up thought waves before the person even realised that they were producing them. He also had a ken for Yeats.

Clancy could not see the future because the future is not static, it is dynamic. The Universe has kindly prohibited sentient beings from consciously deciding what the future would be, knowing very well that they wouldn’t like what they’d get. Once the future has a position, it cannot have a velocity. The future can be influenced, by prophets, messiahs, politicians with brown envelopes and so forth, but it cannot be chosen. It is by nature uncertain.

Political assassination is more rife than many think and, in a place like Cressida’s kingdom, accepted as a neat way of doing business. Cressida’s powers now included the ability to keep people’s heads on their shoulders, and their hearts pumping, at her imperial discretion. She now decide to remove Blanche’s heart for political reasons, as well as Heisenberg’s head, because she’d decided that he didn’t have a heart.

Having now become truly Wicked, Cressida decided that Heisenberg would be given the task of removing Blanche’s heart. As with most intelligent men, Heisenberg valued his own skin above all else. He obligingly stepped out of infatuation with Blanche -- as opposed to, say, falling out of love -- lured her into the woods and attempted to kill her. As an unfit, pampered princess whose only previous exercise had been chasing farmers, she easily gave him, as a scientist, the slip. Still valuing his skin and believing it under even more threat, Heisenberg gave Cressida a deer’s heart that he had scabbed from a poacher. He was terrified of live deer and crossbows due to a terrible childhood incident involving two mackerel and a natural encyclopaedia.

Cressida, who was watching his activities through Clancy, was well aware of this deception. She decided to assign Heisenberg a far worse fate than decapitation. When he reached the castle a few hours later, he was seized and thrown to the lions. Lions in that country meaning only a metaphor for geometry, he found himself in an empty sandpit with an extremely elderly man. The old man, who was called Daniel, and Heisenberg began studying, analysing and dissecting dung beetles. Heisenberg therefore went on to have the second most interesting experience a scientist has ever had.

As for Blanche, most of what happens to her after this is hearsay, misquoted or frankly untrue. For one thing, she was useless at housework and couldn’t tell one end of a broom from the other. She still managed to coerce a hapless farmer into marrying her and so was reasonably happy, except when she actually had to do something.

In one of those delightful hiccups of fate, her son and Cressida’s daughter got married and made a pretty good job of living happily ever after. This was made even more applicable when it turned out that Cressida’s daughter was in fact illegitimate, her father having made a profit out of dung beetles and not executing republicans and revolutionaries. As a result, Cressida’s daughter had to abdicate and she and her husband went to live in the country and raise chickens which, really, is just about as good at is gets.

The last that was heard of Clancy was that he went to Malaga and made a bit of pin money as a sun-bed. It just goes to show that something that has a position cannot have a velocity, at least when it’s refracting cancer-causing UV rays on to gullible humans and turning a profit by it.

Current Mood: draineddrained
Current Music: Have you fed the fish? (Badly Drawn Boy)
Loyaulte Me Lie: brand new information!!!shocolate on May 15th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)

Lawks, you have lost your marbles!

Also, I am more than a little flushed at it being RPF - Heisenberg counts as a real person, doesn't he???
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on May 15th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
No, lost. I wrote it when I was about ... seventeen, and had never heard of fandom. I'd barely heard of the internet. And definitely not RPF! Omg I feel soiled ...
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on May 16th, 2007 10:28 am (UTC)
I was quite proud of that. Actually I was prouder of 'monarchy of the art', until my mother read it and didn't get it. Woe.
Luce Redissen4 on May 16th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
It's at least as good as some other fairytale re-tellings I've seen! Insane, but enjoyable.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on May 16th, 2007 10:29 am (UTC)
Much like my life. ♥ Glad it provided some of your GDA of crack.
on a yellow spaceship: milkmaid faceo_glorianna on May 16th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
Oh goodness. That was very cracktastic. :)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on May 16th, 2007 10:29 am (UTC)
I know right. ;D
amourdevinamourdevin on May 16th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
I feel so loved.....

It is fantastic! I truly wish that I could boast of having such wit when seventeen.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on May 16th, 2007 10:29 am (UTC)

I don't know about wit, I just think I was mad. o.0
Serenia: Oishi writingserenia on May 16th, 2007 06:42 am (UTC)
That was a brilliant story! Do you mind if I send my mum and my husband the link to this entry? I think they'll both love it as much as I did. :)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on May 16th, 2007 10:30 am (UTC)
Sure thing babes. There isn't anything too incriminating here. ;D
Afromann: LegoLJafromann on May 16th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
Your husband certainly did. Thankyou to you both @:)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on May 17th, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed!
moocowmisconstrue on May 16th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
haha. I love it!! And you don't realize how rare interesting science things, with science still involved, are! (or maybe you do after all that uni)

please, I am glad you are going to study English. Could this be your specialization?
subdeesub_divided on May 18th, 2007 03:42 am (UTC)

This made my day. Poor Cressida! Your version of the story makes at least as much sense as the Disney version; Heisenberg (or at least some other royal scientist with the same name) fits right in here.
Pimea Feenixdark0feenix on May 19th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
So much fun! I can't believe you wrote this when you were only seventeen. Wow. :)