Fic&Art: Pericynthion

Nov 11, 2014 12:36

Title: Pericynthion (read it here)
Author: necrora
Artist: soserendipity
Genre: SPN AU
Pairing: Sam/Dean, Sam/Jess
Rating: M
Wordcount: 10k
Warnings/Spoilers: Canon character deaths [Story spoiler here](Jessica Moore, Mary Winchester), swearing, excruciatingly incorrect science waved away as futuristic technology

Summary: John Winchester is a world-famous astrophysicist whose work was vital in creating mankind’s first extraterrestrial colony; as rumor has it, he went quite mad when his wife died in a freak fire during an experiment. Following a father obsessed with the anomaly that killed Mary Winchester, Dean and Sam grew up moving from lab to lab, groomed on a rigid regime of astronautics and quantum mechanics. Sam left that life behind when he went to Stanford, along with memories of his older brother and the rejection of that one haunting midsummer night. But just as Sam was beginning to think he’d escaped his father’s grand design, Dean shows up at his doorsteps with those inexorable words that send the threads of Sam’s time colliding:

“Dad’s on an experiment. And he hasn’t been home in a few days.”

Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own ideas. No money made, no insult intended. This is purely fictional.
Artist's Notes: Created for the 2014 round of Sam & Dean Minibang over at samdean_otp. This post is a work in progress. More notes soon. Never cut it quite this close before with posting while it's still our assigned date anywhere in the world. It was literally a last minute thing and the flora and fauna (there are no people) on Baker Island have our eternal gratitude.
Acknowledgments: Many thanks to the always wonderful mods, riyku and flawlessglitch, for organizing this event! Art for this set is unbetaed, so no thanks but apologies to my ever awesome beta lightthesparks. I'd have shown this to her if anything would have been ready a day before posting. Last but not least, necrora, my darling, I have no idea what we did here and I've never been so unorganized before but with you, even confusing times are good times. ♥.

Here be art.
[Click pictures for bigger size.]




Divider #1:

Divider #2:

Divider #3:


Scene Illustration:


Technical Blurb & Work Process

SDMB - what an adventure! I once more got to collaborate with the ever lovely and fabulous necrora which I couldn't have been more thrilled about. The summary was awesome. The story was even better. We squeed, we wrote, we sketched. Fannish life was good. Cue RL.

For the longest time we weren't sure whether we'd be able to post anything. The story kept growing, the muses worked themselves into a frenzy and a few mishaps along the line didn't make things easier. We thought about pulling out but didn't want to because hell yeah, Sam and Dean (and necrora). In the end we compromised: two days before our posting date, my author decided to turn one part (of many, many parts already in rough draft state) into a short story - add stuff, rewrite stuff, make it so it could stand alone. I said I'd fly blind and do the banner based on the longer story draft, something both specific and generic enough to hopefully fit the shorter version. Et violà. We somehow did it but I have no idea how.

Also, yes, this is the Sam & Dean Minibang and yes, the illustration is of Sam and Jess. We are hoping to turn the rest of the story into a longer 'verse and if we succeed, then there'll be more art and hopefully some Dean, too!

When we spontaneously went for the short story I scrapped the first version of the banner because I wasn't sure it would fit anymore, what with initially being designed for a much longer fic and thus different content. Since time was scarce, no research whatsoever went into the new banner. I'm pretty sure I mashed whatever details of planets in our solar system I remembered into one thing. Saturn's rings and Jupiter's surface features, for one - although a lot of creative license went into that because I had not time to look for reference pictures. I also think I might have nabbed colors from what little I remember about Jupiter, Io, Europa, and Triton, but I'm not sure about that. The lack of research makes my skin crawl but it was this or no banner. The spaceship was a last minute addition. Initially, a certain spaceship featured in the dividers, but since I couldn't be sure the short story would still reference it, I ditched those pieces and made new dividers that focussed on the necklace.

The pendant is the actual oxytocin molecule. There are necklaces like this out there and I used reference pictures of those to model this one after. The second and the third divider were created to make it easier to differentiate between present storyline and flashbacks. I made the first divider thinking it would be the only one which is why it contains many mathematical aspects of the story draft. I haven't seen the complete draft for the shorter version yet but just in case those details aren't in there anymore (and in case there are people with as little understanding for math as me), here's a list of what's featured in divider #1:

1) Alternative coordinates to the Schwarzschild vacuum, a "solution to the Einstein field equations which describes the gravitational field outside a spherical mass, on the assumption that the electric charge of the mass, angular momentum of the mass, and universal cosmological constant are all zero".
2) Flamm's paraboloid - the visualisation of the spatial curvature of the Schwarzschild solution for r > rs with r being the radial coordinate and rs being the Schwarzschild radius of the massive body.
3) A coordinate system that shows the effective radial potential for various angular moments when looking at circular orbits and their stability.
4) The solution of the geodesic equation - which is needed if you want to calculate the motion of particles when they deviate from straight lines due to the space-time being curved. I know, right? So much useful stuff here! And here people think they'll never use math in later life.
5) The Lagrangian approach that's needed to determine the orbits of particles that follow geodesics in a fixed metric.
6) The Hamiltonian approach which is basically a recast of the Lagrangian solution.
7) & 8) Variations of the Hamilton's principle which describes the action integral for a particle affected only by gravity. The variations used were the ones for motion in longitude and motion in time which, granted, can look very similar to the untrained eye (i.e., me).
9) The Schlegel diagram of a tesseract, an four-dimensional analog of the cube.
10) The rhombic dodecahedron that forms the convex hull of the tesseract's vertex-first parallel-projection.
11) A stereoscopic 3D projection of a tesseract.

For more information about 1) and 2), have a look at the Wikipedia article about Schwarzschild metric, for 3) through 8), see the article about Schwarzschild geodesics, and for 9), 10), and 11) the one about the Tesseract.

Each of those components was arranged into a single layer and in each layer, where neeeded, either the white or the black was set to transparency so they'd keep their basic qualities when the selection from alpha channels were filled with different yellows. I changed the perspective of the yellow calculations and schematics for each indivudual layer and arranged them into some sort of organized chaos. (Yay for entropy, always.) A few layers with gradients of the red variety were applied to the right and left side and to single layers of calculations and diagrams both; those gradients were set to 'hard edges'. Then I went back into the individual layers, reduced their opacity and gave them layer masks to strengthen the partly see-through effect and to gradually blend the mathematical stuff to black behind the pendant.

For anyone having a bit of trouble visualizing what exactly a Tesseract is and how the inside-out-turning works, look here! It even rotates \o/. Isn't it the cutest thing? I want one.

The lack of time is responsible for the poor state of the illustration. Brightness, color balance, light and shadows, contrast, and background line art are just a few things that I would have liked to work on for another week, give or take. But my heart broke when I thought about a whole story without a single scene illustration so I decided to go for it nevertheless. Alas, two days aren't much time if you're working as slow as me. I'm forcing myself not to think about all the obvious imperfections. Sam looks like an inhabitant of a tropical island next to fair skinned Jess and also as if he could die of starvation right then and there but I hope that if you can look past that, the basic mood of that moment still shines through.


@ sam&dean_minibang, art:pericynthion

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