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X-reactions are the effects of interdimensional travel in Pineapple Soda and Smile.
X-reactions
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Pumpkin experiencing a backward reaction.
X-reactions, sometimes called glitches are reactions that occur before, during, shortly after an instance of interdimensional travel. They are the result of one's placeholder attempting to exist twice in a single dimension. What happens to the person experiencing the reaction, the severity of what happens, and whether or not these reactions are permanent depend strongly on circumstance and follow a strict set of series mechanics. The individual events are known by a different name each ending in reaction. The term x-reaction encompasses all possibilities.
The most well known reaction within the series is male pregnancy referred to within the series as a backward reaction.

Terminology and breakdown

  • Quantum self is essentially [someone]'s soul.
  • Quantum tunneling is interdimensional travel.
  • Dimensional Placeholder is [someone]'s physical body.
  • Destination Placeholder is [someone]'s physical body set to be destroyed during quantum tunnelling.
  • Corruption is what happens when a placeholder, self, or dimension is damaged beyond repair.
  • Glitches are the physical evidence of a damaged placeholder, self, or dimension.
  • Mechanics are the set of physical rules or laws of physics that govern interdimensional travel.

Most reactions hinge on the idea of a quantum self or a soul existing and in finite number. For example, there is one soul for every living being. When a being dies, the total number of souls does not change. Instead, they are reincarnated. Each soul spans across all dimensions equally. The dimensions themselves are merely the alternate circumstances under which [those souls] play out their stories. In each dimension, the visceral or bodily representation of a soul is called a placeholder. Placeholders are not static, they change whenever someone dies or is reborn but the soul remains the same.

1: If [someone] has an alternate version of themselves another dimension, both share the same soul. All versions of [that someone] have the same soul as all other versions of [themselves].
2: If [someone] dies in one dimension, [that someone] will be reborn but will still possess the same soul as [themselves] in the dimension they did not die in.
This means that when someone crosses into another dimension – called a quantum tunneller,– two placeholders or alternate versions of the same person will attempt to exist in the same dimension at the same time despite having the same soul. This violates the principles of this world and its mechanics and therefore, their placeholders will crash into each other, destroying one or the other in the process. The one who is destroyed is usually the one who did not quantum tunnel, but was instead corrupted by their alternate dimension placeholder doing the quantum tunnelling. This destroyed individual is known as a destination placeholder. The way these placeholders crash and what they do upon merging or replacing one another will determine what type of reaction is experienced. All interdimensional travel results in a reaction but these reactions differ depending on circumstance.[1]
3: [someone] cannot exist in the same dimension as [themselves] and any attempt to exist twice in one dimension will cause [that someone] to suffer a reaction.

Backward reactions

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Percy experiencing pregnancy as a result of a backward reaction.

Backward reactions happen when the placeholder of the destination placeholder is sucked backward into the one who is moving between dimensions of the quantum tunneller. In this instance, the destination placeholder is absorbed into the tunneller's body, and is forced to 're-spawn' but with a different soul as to not disobey the mechanics of the series. The destination placeholder will begin to grow inside the quantum tunneller as a fetus, developing all over again from just a blastocyst consisting of their original genetic blueprint. This fetus develops inside a tissue polyp or a small bubble of flesh anywhere within the central body of the tunneller. This results in a virgin pregnancy. This pregnancy can happen to both male and female characters. However, it is most notable when it occurs to biologically male characters as they cannot become pregnant otherwise.[1]


Baby5

Babies born to male pregnancy.

Although the question of birth can be an issue, these male pregnancies can carry out in a surprisingly normal way. Males do not require a womb and instead carry the pregnancy ectopically or parasitically inside other tissues. Pregnant males also appear to go through pregnancy-related hormonal changes, morning sickness, mood swings, experience abdominal contractions during labor and even undergo lactation all similarly to their female counterparts. Babies born due to backward reactions appear to be normal and stable(experiencing no glitching), but are almost always exact copies or clones of their parent. This is because the baby is in fact the missing destination placeholder who was destroyed during the reaction. The baby may also show the same signs of aging in real-time with the parent in spite of being many times younger. For example, Turk – who is a copy of Pyrite – got his first gray hairs at the same time Pyrite did despite being only a teenager at the time.[1][2]

Forward reactions

Pumpkin10

Pumpkin as seen after a partial forward reaction with an octopus.

Partial or full forward reactions happen when the quantum tunneller physically merges into the body of the destination placeholder while both still sharing a soul. This soul is however a new soul and does not belong to either of the previous two placeholders. A partial forward reaction is classified by a merged entity who only possess some features of the destination placeholder. A full forward reaction will result in a complete merging of the full body. Full forward reactions are usually undetectable as most individuals are entirely identical to themselves in every dimension, and because time is constant across all dimensions, the two placeholders would also be identical in age.[1][2][3]
Unknown (1)

The problem arises when the quantum tunneller fuses with a placeholder in a dimension where their destination placeholder has died, or was never born as a result of the butterfly effect. Because the tunneller's soul spans every dimension, a form of reincarnation takes place wherein the soul is reborn in a new placeholder in that dimension. This new placeholder may belong to another human or even to plants and animals. This can result in highly unstable and even corrupt human-animal combinations when the two placeholders merge. Pyrite in the series Pineapple Soda believes that these human-animal hybrids are responsible for historical tales of everything from mermaids to werewolves. Because the newly merged entities possess a unique soul, once someone has experienced a forward reaction, they become immune to all future forward reactions. The Syndicate knows this and uses controlled forward reactions to 'immunize themselves' against future ones. Thus, members of the Syndicate are unable to experience forward reactions. It not yet known as to why they can still experience other types of reactions. However, it may have to do with some members experiencing an inverse reaction instead of a forward reaction.[1]

Inverse reactions

Inverse reactions happen when a forward reaction is followed immediately by a backward reaction. In this instance, a perfectly fused individual in the new dimension will become impregnated with a copy of what they now look like, rather than what they used to look like. In such a scenario, a [person] who seems to have merged with an animal would become pregnant with more animal-like offspring who may be more or less animal-like even than [they] are. While these offspring are usually sterile, there have been a few Sagas in which the descendants of inverse reactions formed breeding colonies, leading to whole dimensions populated by the monstrous hybrids.

Schrödinger's reactions

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Ghost Percy after undergoing a Schrödinger's reaction.

Schrödinger's reactions can make the quantum tunneller take on the traits of the living and the dead. Essentially, becoming ghosts or poltergeists. This occurs when neither forward nor backward reactions occur in a quantum tunnelling event, usually because one of the two placeholders died in the process of tunnelling. In this instance, a person could become trapped between two worlds without ever fully venturing into either. Between dimensions, someone may be only to just barely interact with one or two of the worlds they are trapped between. This can result in being invisible or inaudible to most people, being in some manner incapable of fully dying or being reborn, only being able to slightly move or rattle objects within a dimension and only appearing as a translucent figure to onlookers out of the corner of their eye.[3]
When Percy undergoes a Schrodinger's reaction in Yuputka, he is noted as being able to float as if lighter than air and takes on many of the physical properties of a balloon filled with helium, drifting or floating like a leaf on the wind.

Guardian forms

See Guardian Forms for more information on these types of creatures.
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Percy and Cyane at different percentages of guardian form.

While sometimes counted as entities in their own right, they are the result of dimensional crossing and are thereby a type of reaction. Unlike other types of x-reactions however, they do not involve the merging of placeholders, simply the overlapping of them. In fact, they are the overlapping over of all dimensional placeholders of any given person. Guardian forms appear to be comprised of the visual aspects of every possible appearance for a given soul. Similarly to how the Schrodinger's reaction allows a placeholder to only somewhat interact with either of the dimensional planes they exist between, Guardian forms are not in the same dimension but somewhat bleeding over from other dimensions and as such, are able to slightly rattle objects or be seen similarly to how ghosts are. This has lead them to be possibly wrongfully identified as or conflated with demons, evil spirits or unrest ghosts.

EG: If [someone] is a human in one dimension and a cat in another dimension, [that someone]'s guardian form will have both the appearance of a cat and a human.

Of course, every person exists in tens of trillions of dimensions and so their guardian forms tend to look like chimeras, dragons and other combinations, but consisting of the most notable visible characteristics of tens of trillions of creatures. Because there are infinite ways for different individuals to look, spanning infinite dimensions, there are infinite ways that a guardian form can look unique to each person. Every guardian form is unique to the person they project from and also appear as if they are constantly shape shifting or appear to "undulate," gaining and lose body parts and characteristics as a result of their many components constantly dying and being reborn as different creatures in real time. This means that not only are no two guardian forms identical, no guardian form will keep the same appearance as time progresses.[1]

Prevalence

People who possess the eyes or sighted people have the ability to see the results of x-reactions. However, they are invisible to 99.999% of the population. Anyone who has experienced any kind of x-reaction or undergone quantum tunnelling at some point in their lives will be able to see Guardian forms, so-called ghosts and other monsters whereas they may be invisible or only visible under certain conditions to others. Those with visual impairments such as blindness or near-sightedness can actually see these monsters clearer than those with perfect vision, but must still have undergone quantum tunnelling or x-reactions themselves in order to 'unlock' the ability. All ordained Priests have this type of vision as well, allowing them to perform exorcisms of both supposed ghosts and demons to send them back to their home dimensions. This is of course something they use holy water to accomplish. The Syndicate is another group that has heavy experience with Portals and x-reactions, but their methods of interdimensional travel, and even the fact they can interdimensionally travel are a heavily guarded secret and their members comprise an extraordinarily tiny portion of the world populous. Those who do not believe in ghosts or have any religious beliefs of alternate realms and demons continue to push the existence of x-reactions into obscurity.
Despite the prevalence of male pregnancy and x-reactions in the series, they are said to be incredibly rare and only those who delve heavily into interdimensional travel or ghost hunting are bound to interact with these sorts of reactions and corruptions in any way, shape or form. In the setting of the series, the majority of the world believes that male pregnancy, time travel, and quantum tunnelling are indeed impossible. In fact, most characters will continue to believe so even after coming face to face with it.[1]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Canon questions (ongoing author panel) (2017-present)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Author's blog (2016-2017) Retrieved 11/7/17
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ask the characters (2017-2017) Retrieved 11/3/17

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