Dim Q's Double Daring Dozen

At long last, word of the omniverse is about to reach oh so sheltered Gaia in Dim Q. If you live in what's called the U.S.A. and are keen to share information about the academy and perhaps learn a little more yourself, read about our plenipotentiary opportunities by clicking here. You'll receive free books and other neat stuff.

Ignis Anthem

More than fui-anum sekkl after the dimension-shattering explosion of the Galactic Glacier's subzero volcano, an ice shard from the eruption found its way to Dimension Sigma. Encased in the shard was a pristinely preserved, colossal herring skin on which is etched the oldest known copy of Ignicia, the fire realm's anthem.

The spark of light will make us whole, 
To warm our hearth and fuel our soul.
The flame of life shall be our squire,
Our hearts ignite with the power of Fire.

The find has thrown omniversal academia into a celebratory tizzy and even crept into mainstream culture. Nearly every new academy recruit now begs to be assigned to the fire estate, and Ignicia tops the list of popular names for female babies across the omniverse.

But most noteworthy of all is the signature at the bottom of the fish scale parchment, putting forever to rest the debate as to who penned the classic stanza.

It was none other than interdimensional supernova performer Bradleyl Miller {pronounced Broddlayl Meeyay} who was said to have a voice so exquisite it caused the stars to weep.

The scale artifact may be viewed in the Crow's Nest by advance reservation. All viewers must submit to a thorough loofah scrubbing (both external and internal) in order to safeguard the integrity of the priceless relic.

Excerpt 04 from Mind the Portal

He burst through the new bungalow’s front door, stopping just shy of smashing into the living room’s back wall.
The lieutenant sat smiling nonchalantly in his favorite armchair, his manner uncharacteristically amiable.
Something’s wrong with this picture.
“Junior, good. You’re here. No couriers with mis-addressed letters at this new home, I’m happy to report.”
“You bring your brother with you?”
Pete shook his head, standing bent over with his hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath.
“For cryin’ out loud, do I have to do everything around here myself?” his father griped, getting up and marching out the front door in search of Billy.
That’s more like it.
Cassie entered, yawning. “You feeling all right, P.J.?” she asked, putting a comforting hand on his back.
He looked up into her smiling face, willing himself to see the heroine Etta described. But for all his mental straining, he still only saw Mom.
Boldly, he decided to test the waters.
“Hey, Mom … I’m really looking forward to attending the academy. Did you enjoy it when you were there?”
“Oh yes, I always loved school – the inspiring teachers and illuminating classes, the pageantry of the big game and galas, all the friends I knew so well back then … What say I bake some cookies?” she said, walking into the kitchen.
Pete furrowed, unsure he was getting anywhere. Before launching in again, he looked out the front window to make sure the lieutenant was nowhere in sight. “Yeah, meeting people from other dimensions must’ve been pretty crazy.”
He held his breath, prickling in anticipation.
“What’s that, dear?” she called.
Strike one … or is that two?
He strolled into the kitchen and opened his mouth to repeat the question, but decided it sounded too silly. Instead, fearing interruption by his father or Billy, he went straight for the jugular.
“So, Mom, what can you tell me about Omni?”
She wheeled around and locked eyes with him, rubbing her temples and thinking for a moment before she spoke.
His hands immediately went into cuticle attack mode and had she not replied a second later, his fingers might have been picked to the bone.
 “Peanut butter chocolate chip.”
 “Uh, excuse me?” Pete said, wondering if she was speaking in some sort of academy code.
“That’s the flavor I think I should bake – peanut butter chocolate chip. Whaddaya say?”
She strode to the broom closet and took a clean well-worn apron off a hook. Humming, she tied the pinafore around her slim waist and began pulling ingredients from the pantry shelves.
Pete leaned back against the refrigerator, flummoxed and out of ideas.
“Anyone seen that boy?!” the lieutenant barked, returning from his fruitless Billy hunt.
“’Fraid not, hon,” Cassie said.
Pete shook his head, regrouping after his defeat.
Maybe if I could get her off her medication …
“I tell you, those sons of yours will be the end of me.” The lieutenant roughly removed his shoes then placed them punctiliously by the door. “I’m going to wash up.” He departed, leaving Pete once again alone with Cassie.
Pete tried another ploy. “So … Cassiopeia …”
“Yes, dear?” his mother returned with her usual affability.
Pete gasped, uncertain as to what to say next.
The front door flew open and Billy tore in.
Both Pete and his mother jumped in startlement. 
Billy locked and bolted the door behind him, then dropped to the floor and peered out the front window from behind the bottom edge of a curtain.
 “There’s my little soldier!” the lieutenant said, returning to the room and grinning to find his vile offspring back in the nest.
“Not so little anymore,” Cassie noted.
Billy grinned and ambled over to the sofa. Grabbing a ripe plum from the crystal guest bowl on the coffee table, he took a large sloppy bite of the juicy fruit and put his feet up on the table, knocking his oversized shoe against the delicate bowl.
Dad would kill me if I put my feet up like that and ate the guest food.
 “Look at the size of those shoes. You’re gonna make a fine defensive tackle one of these days, son,” the lieutenant said, nearly salivating with pride. “Isn’t that right, cupcake?” he added, seeking validation from his wife.
 “It certainly is,” Cassie said. “The boys have very bright athletic futures ahead of them. You know, P.J.’s swimming has been coming along nicely, slow but steady … and no more holding his nose!”
Pete made an unnatural noise that sounded like he swallowed backwards. Whatever the academy was, he’d consider it if it could get him out of swim lessons.
“Swimming?! Well that’s not exactly football, now is it, Cassie?” the lieutenant said, indulging a contemptuous chuckle.
“No, it’s not, Peter. It’s swimming,” she replied, her tone pleasant and non-accusatory.

It was Pete who chuckled this time, then coughed to disguise the fact. He exchanged a faint smile with his mother. She was all right by him. And he couldn’t wait to learn more about the mysterious Cassiopeia.

Announcing the New Portable Portal Pod

Miss those friends from other dimensions?
Strapped for time?
Can't agree on a convenient meeting place?

The new Portaportalpod™ is your answer! It allows you to set up a portal wherever you are, right on the spot. The size of an acorn, the Portaportalpod is perfect for travel. To get it to useable size, just add water! To reduce back to travel size, simply use a blow dryer or allow to air dry, but watch out. You don't want to stay in there too long or you'll be trapped travel size too!

All joking aside, this new product is perfect for busy families with relatives in different dimensions or students at the Academy. Made by Alomega, it comes with the company's standard eternity-time guarantee. So what are you waiting for? Get a Portaportalpod and get popping!

(shared via fiddlehead Bonnie Ramsburg)