Madison "Dolly" Vogontia - Jen M


Madison has words for every occasion. She is proprietress of Mad’s Men, who advertise their services for publicity, PR, and poetry. Mad’s Men is excellent at publicity, and very good at PR. Shame about the poetry. Madison’s very probably the worst poet in the pluriverse. Think Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, and Dr. Seuss gone mad, without the redeeming quality of making any kind of sense whatsoever. The rumours are she was exiled to the City for making a fuss over some idiot in a different plane stealing her “best” poem, “Freddled Gruntbuggly.”


Very shortly after the end of the war with the Empire, Madison Vogontia created her final great act within the city, although this was by far from her last great act in the multiverse. She created a grand University in which to travel across dimensions, bringing a unique educational experience to many different worlds. The Vogontia-Jovic Travelling Peripatetic University was fitted with transdimensional teleportation devices by Madison’s husband, Roland Jovic. The grand departure of the Peripatetic University was heralded by the efforts of Mads Men and much of the City saw the university and Roland’s Airship off on their first voyage. Together they embarked on a journey across dimensions - Roland’s airship arriving first to prepare a suitable site (ably aided by Lucy and Laramie) for the Peripatetic University, that always followed shortly afterwards. Their first stop was Madison’s home world of Plagaria where it was rumored (but never confirmed) that Roland made himself temporarily colour blind to survive their fashions. From there the multiverse was theirs to explore.

The building its self was a marvel to behold - shimmering towers of pure white marble reaching towards the sky. The towers moved independently of each other, a constantly shifting pattern that allowed the university to mold its self to its new location every time it landed. The wall around the Establishment would alter, subtly, to take on an aspect of its surroundings - rock in mountainous and remote regions, dark rough granite within the City, a dry stone wall when surrounded by fields or a glittering gold if it was appropriate. Sometimes a tower would change its form to fit the location, slowly shifting over the few years the Peripatetic University spent in each dimension. When it finally moved on the towers would often linger in their old form leading to an interesting and unique mix of architecture that constantly changed. The university was outfitted with the medical facilities and staff of the Red Cross and a number of Madison’s old friends from the City were occasional guest lecturers to the Goddess and her eternally youthful husband.

Wherever the university went, tales of great deeds and adventures followed. The alumni of the place inevitably went on to great things - both heroic and villainous - but always worthy of story and song.

After a Century or so it became apparent that something, or someone, was chasing the university - shutting down the worlds where it had been, collapsing the dimensions and trapping them in a way similar to the way the City had been trapped. Those who went into these dimensions afterwards, using the knowledge gained from unlocking the City to re-open these dimensions, reported no survivors. Only a world where the skies burnt and the land was left barren, deep lines left carved into the rock by some great machine.

The University continued to travel however, spreading knowledge across the university, its pursuer never quite catching up to it. Four hundred years after leaving the City, Madison and Roland had a child. A daughter who rumor says was literate from the moment she was born and, when she finally did speak, her first word was ‘Dragonfly’. Her name was Emilia.

A second chance

Lydia Winterdell considered all that had been done for her. She looked down at her new body - she felt healthier than she had done in years, her six arms moving independently of each other (that had taken a while to get used to). Madison had saved her - brought her back from a living death that her Husband had been unable to save her from. Put her in this new body, one that did not betray her with its weakness, and told her that her husband was still alive and out there somewhere, if she wanted to find him.

She looked over at the giant brass angel in the meeting hall. She could hardly believe it was him. She had been observing him for weeks and now she had to make a decision. To reveal who she was to what had once been her husband or to keep her secrets. Finally she found herself face to face with Winterdell.

“And you are?”

His voice was cold, no warmth, none of the life she had once known and that's when she knew. She had lost her Tad a long time ago and nothing was going to bring him back. He had lost her and moved on, now it was her time to do the same.

“I’m… my name is Libby Winter, can I have a quote for the City Times?”

The End?

“Father - we’re losing one of the towers. We need to transfer power from the Airship otherwise we’re going to leave half the place behind!”

“I know Emilia, you’re right. We’ll need to boost power to the secondary core of the ship to do it though. Do you think you can do that while I see to the transfer?”

Emilia smiled at her father. “Course I can Dad. I could have done that when I was 11. Where’s mum?”

“Oh, she’s down in the main hall keeping the students calm and making sure everyone has a Parasheep on them just incase.”

“That sounds like mum to me. Readings indicate the dimensional walls are collapsing at an exponentially increasing rate. If we’re going to escape we need to move now.”

“I see it darling. Tell you mother we’re about to engage the teleport drives.”

The Peripatetic University shimmers in the air as the dimensional boundary collapses around it - There is a flash as the edge of the world touches the first tower just as the teleport engages. The buildings and airship vanish.

+++All systems working normally. It's funny, when you think about it. We could have been friends. But you tried to murder me. Now it’s my turn. Goodbye. +++

The Creations of Madison Vogontia

  • ”It all went well, up to the point where the elephant came through the ceiling.”
  • They didn't expect the marsupial shock troops. The wombats stood outlined fuzzily

against what light there was, bandoliers glinting. The yapoks, secreted in their fortified lairs below, began churning up the nether currents in a frenzy. For the scantest second there was stillness; then the lead wombat snarled.

  • He heard a noise in the living room. The house was supposed to be secure! He

took a light and padded quietly towards the door. He listened. Rustles. Perhaps a scratch. Taking a deep breath, he burst into the room, brandishing the light before him. A pair of startled eyes met his, which were equally startled. He looked at the cassowary, from its wide-eyed head to the fact that it was actually wearing spurs. Something glinted. He looked down. On the carpet were two tiny but perfect jade eggs. The cassowary hunkered down by the sofa and tried very hard not to look edible.

  • In the safe, wealth glittered. Every edge of each facet of the diamond was finely

serrated, and when it vibrated, virtually nothing could hold it. It had even made a small dimple in the safe bottom. The emerald was spiky and, when threatened, curled up into an impenetrable and deadly ball of tiny daggers. The ruby– well, the ruby just had an attitude problem and a tendency to bite. This was, he thought, drawing his hand away, not what he had meant when he had said “rough gemstones.”

  • A group of zebu grazed peacefully in the garden. Startled, they grouped together,

and their many flaps of skin melded together and inflated, lifting them peacefully far above any threat.

  • Folk tied messages to the hot-air baboons in the hope that somehow they would get

Home. As they drifted higher and higher, urchins with peashooters tried to shoot them down.

  • During that time, many were perplexed by the random encounter table. Made of

petrified wood, sometimes it appeared on street corners, juggling, with its hat out for donations; other times, masked and caped, it was spotted descending from a beautiful person's balcony. Occasionally, when it felt threatened or particularly alone, it would flail out with all of its legs, pummelling some poor ne'er-do-well (though never too badly) before fleeing into the night with a noise like a stifled sob.

  • Overnight, thousands of folk woke up knowing that the book they had wanted most

ever to read was in the new library. Novels, journals, biographies, poetry–books that had never before been written; books written thousands of years ago planes away. Even those folk who normally didn't read–who had once thought “if only this sort of book existed, I'd read that”–they knew there was a book, that book, for them. Those who wanted most to know about their origins found narratives by their ancestors and predecessors–words painstakingly collected from the dead. The library itself was light, airy, with nooks, tables, chairs–anything that might appeal to a reader. On the outside, words–poetry, narrative, song–grew up the walls in ivy- like traceries, flowing ever upwards and occasionally blossoming into a leaf or a flower, to fall in their turn.

  • In the darkness, tiny shrubberies sprung eyes, and shyly rearranged themselves in

what they perecived to be more friendly fashions. Bushbabies were amiable sorts.

  • “The survivors were few. Very few. But they came forward, slowly, emboldened

by something like hope.”

  • “Our negotiations went well. Our arguments were effective; they flowed; they

predicted objections and moved to head them off. We started from a position of strength.”

  • “After the cassowary in the living room, he really shouldn't have been surprised

by the capercaillie in the pantry. Fortunately, it took to Miranda and her young right away, and he was to come in time and again to find them with their heads together making small sounds, for all the world like teenagers plotting–only to have them blink and look innocent as the chicks ran towards him delightedly.”

  • The lighthouses were not so-called because they glowed, but because they

floated. To be precise: untethered, they rose and fell gently between the ground and the canopy (stationary with regard to the ground); tethered, they didn't fight the tether, but bobbed gently at the end of the it, producing a sensation those who moved in called calming.”

Guest Lecturers

Lucy padded down the corridor, checking the nameplates were all right and polished. This wasn’t her job, but she liked doing it; it reminded her a bit of the City.

She called it, to herself, the “Convention Corridor,” because the guest lecturers had all been part of the Riette Convention. She read a nameplate fondly:

Jeremiah Worthington Lecturer in Technology Specialist in Portals. Office Hours: Every fifth year in March, noon to teatime.

Occasionally she appropriated the key to Worthington’s office just to sit in it for a bit. The walls were made of twilit sky, eternally changing; she found it peaceful, though she’d never had the courage to touch them and see how far the illusion went, or whether, in fact, it was sky and she’d fall. She kept a parasheep to hand just in case she ever did.

She continued down to the door of Lord Lo’s office. Occasionally when Lo was absent for a particularly long period, purple started leaking under the door into the hallway. She’d brought a mop just in case, but it seemed to be behaving itself.

She could hear water running in Lucien’s office. Though she’d not been in, being slightly in awe of Lucien and Fei, she knew that there was a stone trough with a stream gurgling through it, that appeared out of one wall and vanished into the opposite one. Rumour had it that messages sailed down the stream in intricately folded paper boats—or even sometimes in the beak of one of the clockwork ducks from the City.

Next up were Raphael and Gabrielle’s offices. Technically the had one each, but really what they had was an office and an aviary. Lucy had a proven method of telling when they were in residence; she carefully cleaned the Red Cross from Raphael’s door. When it reappeared, she knew to tell the kitchens that the birds were back and needed to be fed.

She reached the end of her mini-pilrimage, and sighed. But a shoft was coming up, which meant a new place to get under the skin of….

bio/madison.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/06 10:32 by elliew
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