|In 2013, I was fortunate to be able to complete the Fringe 365 Project. I decided to take some of my more speculative Fringe 365 entries and turn them into a new project. This is a series of paintings and sketches that are all interrelated and tell different parts of a single ongoing story.
(A lot of this project was inspired directly by Fringe 365 entries such as the original sketches of the White Tulip Machine.)
|While Astrid was unable to decipher much of the science in Walter’s grandfather’s journal, as an FBI linguistic specialist she could understand the German perfectly… and she was also beginning to understand why Nina Sharp had been so interested in keeping it.|
With Astrid now in charge of Walter’s lab, Peter moved his construction project to a cavernous rented warehouse outside of Boston…
When the Bridge was closed, everything changed. William Bell had never been found, and the damage wreaked by his experiments had killed many people on both sides. It was the task of Fringe Division — headed by General Broyles — to make sure that the connection between the Universes stayed closed. No one could ever be allowed to cross over again.
The Division had its hands full. Conspiracy theorists, curious members of the public, criminals from both universes, and fringe scientists were constantly testing the limits. There was always the danger that unauthorized individuals would try to achieve the unimaginable themselves. With Massive Dynamic’s help, a vast surveillance network monitored not only every new anomaly, but also quietly gathered information on anyone who was experimenting too much, getting too close to the truth… that there was another world, like our own, but different.
But Olivia could not stop remembering the Other Side.
“Think back to when your imagination could take you wherever you wanted to go. Imagine this universe slipping away, opening like a curtain…”
After David Robert Jones’ death and the closing of the Bridge between universes, his remaining shapeshifters were left abandoned and stranded on both sides. Hunted by Fringe Division, many of them took on desperate lives of petty crime, and the most resourceful of them somehow succeeded in punching through a new conduit between the universes, in hopes of smuggling valuable goods.
The intermittently existent tunnel beneath a parking garage could not be sealed with amber, and horrifically killed nearly every Fringe agent who was sent in… and a good number of unfortunate shapeshifters besides. Convinced her past dosing with cortexiphan offered her more protection, Olivia volunteered for the dangerous mission of tracking them. One got away, but she managed to get closer to the edge than anyone in Fringe Division had.
It was after this that she began having the nightmares.
After months of fevered work modeled on the white tulip schematic that Walter had left behind, Peter’s machine was discovered by Olivia, who confronted him when Fringe Division surveillance had noticed unusual power fluctuations in the warehouse housing his makeshift lab. She was even more upset to discover that Peter had been bringing Etta to his clandestine work sessions all along.
When Broyles sent a Fringe Division containment team into the lab – against Olivia’s wishes – Etta heard them coming. Knowing she was in big trouble, she thought they were coming for her. The machine seemed like a safe place to hide.
She didn’t know that no one should ever touch the petals. And that every action causes ripples… consequences both obvious and unforeseen…
In the days after Etta disappeared inside it without a trace, Massive Dynamic scientists stepped in to try and analyze Peter’s machine and what had gone wrong with it. Fringe Division did what they could to mount a search for Etta, but no one had any idea where the machine could have transported her… or if she even still existed.
Peter tore the machine apart with his bare hands, until his guilt and grief over his lost child left him unable to function.
Olivia held out hope in her belief that Etta had merely been transported to the other side. In desperation, she went to the opera house, hoping the thin spot between the universes was still there… and that somehow, there was enough ability still in her to enable her to cross over and rescue her daughter. She could still hear Walter’s voice, telling her what to do.
“I want you to think back to when you were just young boys and girls. Think back to when your imagination could take you wherever you wanted to go. Imagine this universe slipping away, opening like a curtain. Allow the universe to pass right through you…”
For a moment, she felt she had somehow succeeded in bringing Henrietta back, and opened her eyes and called out her name. But then her eyes readjusted to the light, and instead of Etta, she realized she was looking at a boy about her daughter’s age. A boy who looked as if every universe had passed right through him.
The story continues in FRINGE FORWARD No. 1.