90 Has No Secant is a horror novella by the literature division of Dozerfleet Productions first written in October of 2002 and has been revised slightly since then. It has yet to be officially published. Its events in its rough draft formed the backbone of Uber-Proto Gerosha, the second-ever Gerosha continuity to exist. It remained canon to The Gerosha Chronicles until Comprehensive Gerosha was canceled in favor of Cataclysmic Gerosha in November of 2012, being also canon to Proto Gerosha, Gerosha Prime, Despair Gerosha, and Classic Gerosha. It is also the first entry of the Meshalutian Trilogy.
A wealthy stock investor, Eva Rintel, awakes one morning after having a very disturbing dream filled with visual and verbal riddles. In the dream, she encountered a hostile hag with green metallic skin and red eyes, who was hiding behind a magenta cloak and a cauldron. The glowing, green substance inside the cauldron let off a vapor, which hovered over the cauldron in the shape of a hurricane.
She initially thinks nothing of the incident, and prepares to leave for the LaFoe Airport early that morning. Her emphysema-stricken and wheelchair-bound husband, Rick stays behind with their two kids Mandy and Tom. Meanwhile, a severe magnetic storm combines with the dreaded Category-5 Hurricane Nekoda in the Gulf of Mexico and destroys a cruise ship called the Landana. The Rintels get the warning that Nekoda has picked up speed and that an immediate evacuation has been ordered, but the TV explodes and Rick is unable to warn his kids. The kids are then attacked by objects inside the attic, and escape to rescue their tipped-over and helpless father. Before they can evacuate, they are forced to hide in the utility room when a pedophile named Dewey Reynolds breaks into their house. Dewey, also a professional thief, orders his drug-addicted Bahaman sidekick Lenny to steal objects inside the house while Dewey guards the entrance to the utility room.
Eva finds herself trapped in the LaFoe Airport with all the flights grounded and security set high. She rescues a young child named Annabelle from a falling TV set, and meets a young couple named Tim and Cassie. Cassie's cell phone begins receiving cryptic messages, as she and Eva try to figure out what's going on. Eventually, Eva meets a girl named Jessie who introduces Eva to a book. The book tells of the Rintolin clan that the modern Rintels are descended from. It also mentions that a witch named Sarah "Meshaluta" Umpid had cursed the family out of revenge for plotting her murder, and that certain "marked" Rintels are the subject of Meshaluta's desperate thirst for revenge from the grave.
Inside the utility room, several electronic devices begin to engage in paranormal activity. This forces the family to struggle for survival while various items from Eva's prophetic dream manifest. When a school bus from the dream crashes through the roof and the utility room becomes intolerable, the Rintels take their chances inside the house with the burglars. Lenny, being pacifist in nature, pleads with Dewey to be rational about their situation. However, Dewey obsesses over Mandy and takes her to the end of the large hallway. Lenny follows with Tom, as they continue to beg for Dewey to be reasonable. When Dewey refuses, flying debris meant for Mandy crash through a window and hit Dewey instead. A bolt of lightning also strikes, and Dewey dies immediately. Tom reasons with Lenny to help him rescue Mandy, and the magnetic storm dies. Nekoda picks up speed in sending its eye right over the house.
When Lenny dies after reuniting the Rintels, a part of the ceiling collapses and traps Rick and Mandy in the short hallway. Tom receives a phone call from Eva telling him that a helicopter will be attempting the family's rescue soon; but that Tom needs the attic transceiver to alert the helicopter crew to the house's location. Tom races against time to recover the transceiver and then find cover before Nekoda destroys the family's house.
The Rintel familyEdit
The Rintels are a large family with branches all over the United States. Each branch, defined by state, is specific to one or another Christian denomination as well. The Louisiana branch is mainly Baptist, though their church attendance is somewhat erratic. Their Colorado cousins are Catholics, and their Massachusetts cousins are divided amongst several denominations.
- Rick Rintel: Eva's husband; a wheelchair-bound sufferer of emphysema and chronic nosebleeds. With Eva leaving for New York, Rick soon realizes he will need to depend on his two kids to survive.
- Eva Rintel: A wealthy stock investor who lives in Murian Twp. with her husband and two children. She is preparing for a flight to New York, when she awakes from a disturbing dream that foretells Nekoda's diabolical alliance with Meshaluta and a magnetic storm. As Eva soon learns, she and the other Rintels are under a curse that could kill someone in her family. Her maiden name was Flanning.
- Mandy Rintel: Rick and Eva's 16-year-old daughter. She enjoys trigonometry, and looks forward to a productive upcoming school year. Generally reclusive and sweet-natured, she cannot comprehend why most of Nekoda's wrath is targeting her.
- Tom Rintel: Rick and Eva's deadpan but religious 8-year-old son. He alarms the others in his family with his unusual lack of childhood fear. His determination and courage keep his sister and father alive, in spite Nekoda dishing out particular abuse on them.
- Dewey Reynolds: An obsessive, over-the-top professional thief who has been stalking Mandy. Taking advantage of Nekoda, Dewey breaks into the Rintel family house in the hopes of capturing her. His ruthlessness and arrogance put him right into the path of danger. He reveals to Lenny that he had a cousin aboard the Landana. He is 31 at the time of the burglary.
- Lenny Hidds: Dewey's weak-minded sidekick. Lenny is generally kindhearted, but is dependent on drugs. His child-like nature makes him dependent on Dewey, whom he views as an older brother in spite his objection to Dewey's stalking of teenage girls. He originates from the Bahamas. He is 28 at the time of the burglary. Eccentrically, he refers to his drugs as "pixies." He and Dewey's lack of morals fit the theme of inverted values consistent with the theme of secants. Likewise, when Nekoda's eye gets closer, these inverted values grow more intense right before their demise.
- Meshaluta: An ancient witch's ghost that uses a Marlquaan-enhanced curse to stalk and murder Rintels as well as their friends associates. She invests a large portion of her allotted power towards her resurrection ceremony in trying to use Hurricane Nekoda as a physical manifestation of her will. However, as its name should be an indication to her, Nekoda is a treacherous storm.
- Nekoda: A category-five hurricane combined with a magnetic storm that serves as a partial manifestation of Meshaluta's ill will. It is the successor storm to Hurricane Mahalia.
- Cassie: A girl whom Eva meets in the LaFoe Airport. Cassie's phone begins to receive cryptic messages from Meshaluta, and continues doing so long after the magnetic storm ceases. Eventually, Cassie finds herself lending aid to Eva's cousins in Colorado and Massachusetts.
- Tim: Cassie's boyfriend.
- Mr. Lumthar: A wealthy man at the LaFoe Airport, who is curious about the Rintels and their predicament. He agrees to aid in the rescue of Eva's family, once he has the means to safely send a rescue helicopter down.
- Jessie Lumthar: Mr. Lumthar's granddaughter. Jessie has some literature that alerts Eva to her family history and to the Meshalutian curse.
- Jim: The Rintel's neighbor across the street. His house is pummeled by the effects of the magnetic storm before that of the Rintels, and his is violently killed by its effects.
- Karen: Jim's girlfriend. She comes over to his house to visit, unaware that he means to propose to her. Before she can accept his proposal, the magnetic storm kills them.
- Jeff: Jim's friend. He witnesses Jim and Karen die, and then has a stroke due to the magnetic storm interfering with his brainwaves.
- Annabelle: A young, blond girl that Eva rescues from a falling TV set.
- Control Room Operator: A lone man operating the control room of a small cruise ship called the Landana. He is the first to witness and experience the wrath of Nekoda on the ship, and appalled at the speed with which the storm heads for the ship (much sooner than predicted by meteorologists. Unable to get the ship to safety, he is forced to watch helplessly as a giant wave destroys his ship and everyone aboard it. His experiences with the magnetic storm become a foretaste of its effects on Murian Township.
- Ticket Man: An eerie man who hands Eva her plane ticket. She is unsure what to make of his creepy gaze, or of his intentions behind it.
- Pythius Crew: The crew aboard the space shuttle Pythius. When their shuttle flies right over the eye of Nekoda, their ship travels back to the year 709 BC and nose dives into the desert. Via viewing field opened up by the oscilloscope, Tom is able to witness the carnage.
- Security Guard: A rude security guard that threatens to arrest Eva if she doesn't cooperate with him.
- Ripper Ghost: A skeletal monster with ragged hair that climbs through a wormhole and tries to kill Mandy. He is thwarted by Tom and sent back into his hole screeching, never to return.
- The Viking: A viking warrior ghost that attacks Cassie while she is sitting on a toilet. Cassie informs Eva of this when Eva is curious why Tim is trying to comfort her.
- George and Hank: Two designers whose laptop begins behaving strangely during the magnetic storm and sending them cryptic images.
The novella was written over the course of three years, from 2002-2004. A very early version of the story was written and completed in December of 2002. In that year, the author had been attending Lansing Community College. Among the classes taken the fall semester of that year were a foreign film studies class and a design theory in photography class. Of the various works created by Dozerfleet in 2002, only Gored By Them Things and 90 have survived fully intact. This makes 90 one of the oldest Dozerfleet works still in existence.
Among the films viewed in the foreign film studies class were Picnic at Hanging Rock and Ringu. The former would inspire most of the science fiction elements and reactions to paranormal magnetism found throughout the story. The magnetic storm's infliction of agonizing sweat and paralysis on some of its victims is also inspired by scenes from Picnic at Hanging Rock. Some of the magnetic storm's effects on Murian's electronics is also similar to events in the 2001 film Lightning: Fire from the Sky. Ringu became the inspiration for the visual style and dreary atmosphere of 90, particularly its gray-green color grade. This, plus the vengeful side of the occult Meshaluta's personality, would be reinforced and refined after viewing Gore Verbinski's version of The Ring. Likewise, this was the reason for the snail infestation in Rick and Eva's closet, as Lenny discovers. The snails were a substitute for maggots. Even Eva's long drive to the LaFoe Airport was modeled after that movie's scenes of Deception Pass.
Additional inspirations for 90 include TV specials on Bermuda Triangle paranormal activity and legend, the TV series Unsolved Mysteries, and more. The character of Mandy Rintel was inspired by Mandy Moore's role in A Walk to Remember. Many characters were named after characters from Uncle Tom's Cabin, but possess very different roles and personalities from their namesakes. The transceiver in the attic is inspired by the transceiver in the film A Cry in the Wild, which is in turn inspired by Gary Paulsen's book Hatchet. A few actors have been speculated on concerning who could adequately play certain characters in a film adaptation. When the story was first written, that included Ashley Judd as Eva and Jason Alexander as Rick. Mandy Rintel's appearance and name were both inspired by Mandy Moore and her early acting career. In spite having very clear and modern dialogue, George and Hank at their notebook computers were to modeled after Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World. Annabelle, the girl in a silver dress who is saved from a falling TV by Eva, is named after the obese pink cat from Eek the Cat. Her physical appearance is inspired by that of the younger Jeannine from FeardotCom, as played by actress Jana Güttgemanns. The Ripper Ghost was inspired by film trailers for the movie From Hell. The ticket man who gives Eva a hard time at the airport was loosely modeled after Wilmer Valderrama in appearance, and after Richard Lineback's performance as the innkeeper in The Ring.
Math and design theory inspirationsEdit
The design theory class taken the same semester as the film class in which Ringu was viewed made mention of using lines to convey energy. The more that a line is tilted vertically, the more energy it has, until it is at a complete 90-degree angle from horizontal base reference. At this point, it symbolizes strength and calm rather than energy. This concept brought about the thought of a hurricane, which has varying intensities until the eye of the storm, where there is calm and solitude. In turn, this begged comparison to the secant function on a rectangular graph. No violent wind gusts exist in the eye of the hurricane; because like the secant of 90 degrees, the solution would involve division by zero.
Main article: Mythology of 90 Has No Secant
90 includes a very deep mythology of its own, even apart from its proposed sequels. While Meshaluta is central to all of it, the exact contents of Eva's dream would inspire every dream event that was to come after it in the writing process. Manifestations of things referenced in the dream also become a central theme to the story. A seemingly nonsense jumble of words expected in the surreal world of dreams manifests in horrific ways in the conscious world. Even Hurricane Nekoda is significant. It changes course out of nowhere and becomes a great threat. Likewise, it's name was randomly chosen from an obscure Bible passage. Sound waves inverting on the oscilloscope become reminders of a broken fabric of reality, the mere concept of which is itself terrifying to the human mind. The story deals with various other manifestations of primal fears along the way. Geography of the story is very closely modeled after real-life equivalents, but with some name changes. However, a few of the homes that are initially depicted are very different from what typical homes in Louisiana would look like.
90 happens in 2011, around the same time as when Navyrope begins his career. Meshaluta has been (poorly) attempting for years to apply her curse on the Rintel family and achieve her goal of averaging 30 deaths every 11 years (nearly equal to the natural logarithm.) She need only perfect her ratio from time of death until the year 2013, when her cult of followers may attempt to resurrect her with the aid of the Marlquaan. She has grown increasingly serious about killing Rintels and their close friends by 2011, and the Louisiana Rintels become her first major targets.
She exploits the situation of Hurricane Nekoda's arrival to her benefit. Therefore, the events in 90 happen just one week after Nekoda's sister storm Mahalia attacks. This is eight years before Candi Flippo flees Gerosha and 21 years after the Battle for Gerosha. It is a few months before Meshaluta stalks Trisha Montoya and the Colorado Rintels with the aid of Honeybee Samuel. (Oddly enough, Honeybee Samuel is an ancestor of Shalia Flippo.) 90 also happens 12 years before Rob and Hannah Marrington destroy the Ming-Cho.
Revisions and reboot ideasEdit
Revisions to the original story were made in 2003 and 2004, to make Nekoda's movement through the sky and the architecture of the Rintel house more consistent with the geography of Louisiana. This especially had to do with the water table, as the original story called for there to be a basement in their house. Analysis of the region revealed a high water table which would have made a basement highly unlikely. The Rintel house was based not originally on the design of a house in Louisiana, but on the design of a 415 65th St. in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This was the house that the Dozerfleet founder grew up in from 1985-1989, although the Rintel house was scaled to be a much-larger version of that house due to the lack of available and useable photos for actual home reconstruction.
Dialog was altered, as well as narrative style, between 2002 and 2005, to show an improvement in writing quality. In late 2008, the story was reviewed for the possibility of more revisions. A submission date for publication remained pending until 2012, when it was decided that the story would have to be completely re-made from the ground up. It is clear that the greater Meshalutian Trilogy to which 90 is one component is not canon in all editions of Gerosha multiverse. For the first time since Proto-Gerosha, Cataclysmic Gerosha disregards all Meshalutian continuity. Even apart from the greater Gerosha universe scheme, however, the Meshalutian Trilogy is designed to operate just as well as its own universe. In 2013, it was proposed that any revival of 90 and its sequels would rename Sam Wrikon as Sam Duin. This would sever any new Honeybee Samuel from being tied to the old one, and would allow for the renewed Meshalutian Trilogy to truly function independently of Gerosha continuity. Even the inclusion of Meshaluta herself was up for debate. Because without Gerosha continuity, there is no Marlquaan to explain the source of her power. Without those central elements to the mythology, a remake / reboot would render the initial premise of Cursed is the Ground null and void also. Word remains pending on what monster would replace Meshaluta in such a reboot. However, an analysis of the failures of other American films and literature that copy Asian horror's style has made it clear that an effective overhaul would not only be necessary, but near-impossible. Meshaluta's 2002-2004 form is not considered scary or effective in the 2010s and beyond.
See also: Rintel Family House Tour
A website to promote 90 and its sequels was created in November and December of 2008, as part of a Streaming Media class at Ferris State University. It featured a home page with a constant-looping "static feed" audio. Interlacing and other motion on the home page's background were to indicate magnetic interference and a bad video signal, suggestive of the environment of the Rintels' home during Nekoda's magnetic storm. When the story's label was hovered over, its background secant graphs began to glide faster across the screen. Navigation came from various oscilloscopes on a navigation panel to the left.
That same front page also included a picture of Mandy's trigonometry chart, which she and Tom discussed in chapter three. On the site's novella page was a plot summary, along with book cover art. The Trilogy page promoted 90's two sequels. In addition, there was a Contact Author page and a Gallery Page titled "90 Has a Gallery." On the Gallery page, 90 was shown to have relevance on a timeline to other events in Classic Gerosha.
This included The Blue Face Film Strips, Volkonir Journals: Attempt #43, Path of the Ming-Cho, and more. Artwork for 90 from 2002-2008 was also included. The gallery had a different look and navigation scheme from the rest of the site.
Also included on the gallery page was a video offering a special tour of the Rintel family's house, as recreated with The Sims 2. Finally, the site had a link to the Wiki-Site version of DozerfleetWiki, and to The Dozerfleet Forum.
The site was uploaded to a Ferris web host server from December 2008-May 2009, and was used to promote the TDMP program.