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It's Better Than Nothing, Right? · She-Ra Minific ·
Organised by QuillScratch
Word limit 400–750
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Entrapta Presents Her Latest Invention
“I call it Nothing 2.0.”

Catra blinked. A dimly-glowing white orb glared back at her, floating a few inches above the desk. She reached a hand forward and tapped at it with a claw, curiously; out of the corner of her eye, she could see Scorpia bracing herself for some sort of explosion, and Entrapta grinning with barely-contained manic glee.

The orb echoed with a small pat.

“Entrapta, I hate to break it to you, but there’s clearly something here.”

“Oh, right, I haven’t explained nothing yet,” Entrapta said, a tendril of hair wrapping around Catra’s outstretched arm and dragging her forcefully toward a whiteboard covered in scrawled equations and diagrams. “When most people say ‘nothing’, what they’re talking about is the absence of anything, or a vacuum. But a vacuum stops being a vacuum the moment anything enters it, which makes nothing incredibly fragile…”

Catra nodded. Entrapta’s explanations usually went over her head, but all she really needed was to get enough from them to figure out how to use whatever crazy contraption she was presented with to get the upper hand on Adora and her stupid Rebellion.

“… and that’s why I made Nothing 2.0 repel literally everything. If nothing can get inside, Nothing 2.0 can never become something!”

“Why is it glowing?” Scorpia asked. “Surely it can’t glow if there’s nothing inside there?”

“Oh, it’s not glowing!” Entrapta said. “It’s reflecting. Light can’t get inside it because light counts as something, which would stop it from being nothing.”

“Wow.” Scorpia was hunched down by the desk, her eyes wide in wonder. “So it’s like a tiny disco ball?”


“How can we use it?” Catra demanded. She didn't have the time—or patience—to let Scorpia get sidetracked. “Does it explode?”

“Oh, I mean, we could try rapidly expanding it, but that would just knock things out of the way and would require huge amounts of energy.” Entrapta sighed. “It’s not a very efficient process. I had to reroute a lot of power last night just to have this much nothing.”

Scorpia hummed, nodding to herself. “That explains the power cut the cadets were complaining about…”

“So it isn’t a weapon,” Catra said, pacing back and forth. “And it’s clearly not an energy source, either, if making it is so inefficient. It’s highly reflective, so we couldn’t use it for armour without giving away our positions, and it’s expensive to make it bigger so we can’t use it as a building material. What is the point of it, Entrapta? Is there anything that we can make out of this experiment?”

“Don’t be silly, Catra,” Entrapta said, shaking her head sadly. “You can’t make something out of nothing.”
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#1 · 4
This one's a hard one to figure. It feels like a feghoot, but I'm not sure it's meant to be one. A feghoot is usually some kind of pun, but here, you're delivering the normal phrase as its own punchline. The story doesn't come to a conclusion, so I have to assume that punchline was the point. As humor, eh, the joke didn't land with me, but humor's one of the more subjective things out there, so just because I didn't laugh at it doesn't mean nobody will.

I do feel like this is a missed opportunity to explore Entrapta's character some, and you had the space to. She doesn't do things for no reason. Either she'd planned to use this Nothing, or she made it just for the curiosity of seeing whether she could, then worry about what to do with it later. But she never expresses any purpose to it.

Even with this being a feghoot-ish story, the best feghoots are the ones that give you a lot of story in the lead-up. Either they look like an earnest story until the joke comes (which doesn't negate that earnest story, but simply makes that a bonus for the reader), or they go for madcap humor throughout, and you're just waiting for the big finale. It may broadcast that it's leading up to a pun, or maybe the reader's expecting a more standard joke, but the point is to revel in silliness through the whole thing.

So with this lead-up to the joke, it would have been nice if you'd either gone with something relentlessly silly, or given me a meatier plot to sink my teeth into before reaching the surprise ending.

I do think Entrapta's responses suit her character, though. Once Catra's line of inquiry starts, she's kind of oblivious to what Catra's aim is, happy to supply information as it's asked for (and nothing more than is asked for), or just assuming people know what she's talking about.

Scorpia is a bit of a puzzle here. Her disco ball comment is funny, as are a few of her physical reactions, but other than that, she's just asking the same kinds of questions Catra is, so she's not providing a new angle. She feels a little redundant, and she's set up to be a nice comic foil here, if you wanted to go the silly route for the build-up. I'm guessing that was your intent, so then go over the top with the humor. Most of what's here is consistent with the low-key humor even in a serious episode of the show, so this feels more like a show-tone slice of life than a comedy, except ending in a punchline suggests you were aiming for comedy.
#2 · 1
“I call it Nothing 2.0.”

I had to stop and admire this opener. With Entrapta's name in the title, I could hear this line perfectly in her voice.

with a claw, curiously

"Curiously" seems excessive here. Her action seemed obviously curious from the description so this word wasn't really needed for me. If you really wanted to increase the sense of curiosity, I'd add a few more words to the physical/concrete description of her action.

“Oh, right, I haven’t explained nothing yet,”

Broke my brain right here. I stopped and thought "that's not right." Nope. It's right.

You can’t make something out of nothing.

You got me. I was looking for deeper story right up to the end. Well played.