Rules of Time

This page uses the terminology of Department T

Time travel is a tricky affair. On the face of it is relatively simple; go zipping about in time to either change the past to make the future more favourable, or by bringing technology from the future to now. There are, however, a number of rules that you should be aware of.

Sediment vs. Free Agent

An entity that has never travelled in time is said to be sedentary, that is it is picked up and carried along by the flow of time. Sedi's don’t notice changes in the time line, if I were to go back today and assassinate Bill Gates, Sedi's wouldn’t know that Windows had ever existed. Free Agents, that is to say, anyone who has travelled in time (and there equipment) is isolated from the timeline. So, if I were to go back in time, and kill the infant Hugh Charlesworthy he would not cease to exist. He would cease to exist in the minds of Sedi folk, and many of his deeds would be undone, but the man himself would remain, similarly if I were to go back in time and kill Mr Roll's and Mr Royce, Hugh’s car would not fade into nothingness but the majority would. Free Agents notice when things change due to time travel, e.g. words on a newspaper article actually change etc., but to the Sedi it has always been that way. At best, they may get a shudder or a feeling of "somebody just walked over my grave" if someone meddles with there personal timeline. As a final example, if Sergeant Charlie Thunder were to go back in time and shoot his own grandfather, he himself being removed from causality, would not cease to exist, but records of him would cease to exist, some deeds (such as those performed before he became a free agent) would be undone, he would be a stranger to Sedi's he had know for years.

Ripple Effect

'Every great decision creates ripples, like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge, rebound off the banks in unforeseeable ways. The heavier the decision, the larger the waves, the more uncertain the consequences. '

No matter what you do in the past, with the best intentions can always lead to unforeseen circumstances. Some exceptional individuals, such as Hugh Charlesworthy have an 'instinct' about the potential circumstances of there actions and the various factions in the Theta Wars had technology to accurately predict the outcome of events, allowing them to manipulate large chunks of time line with relative ease.

Time Travel and the Devine

Angels and other beings of a divine nature are essentially timeless and seem to be aware of everything that has, could have will and will have had happened. They do not, themselves, time travel but rather exist outside space time as we comprehend it. Angels may understand more about the nature of time travel then we do, but they aren’t letting on. Armed Angels protect the events of the Bible, the Koran and a handful of other texts from being altered by time travel. It is unknown if these are "Fixed Events" (see below) and the Angels are merely there to carry out punishment, or if they are actually necessary protectors.

Fixed Events

Some elements in history seem to reject every attempt to change them and are said to be inevitable. It is unknown whether these are being protected by the divine, or by Magick or by some innate power of the universe itself. The fall of the Holy Roman Empire is one such event. A more challenging example revolves around the nuclear attack on Hiroshima (but not Nagasaki). The attack by itself is not a fixed event, but the success of the Chrono Force Elite agent sent back in time to manipulate Harry Truman into launching the missiles is. This may suggest whatever or whoever is determining these fixed events takes time travelers into account.

Life and Death

It is perfectly possible to go back in time and save someone's life. However, there are two issues at stake here. One is the condition of the Soul, since time passes normally on the Ethereal plane it is generally possible to get the soul "sucked" back into the person before it wanders off anywhere. However, rarely the person comes back mad, in a vegetate state or even possessed by Rogue Angels. The second issue is that of saving the life of fellow Free Agents, they tend to remember rather vividly the sensation of dying, possibly not right away, but it has a tendency to appear in dreams. This can also lead to severe mental illness.

Predestination

A predestination event is one in which the actions of the time excursion somehow already feature in the time line, and therefore no net change is effected. It is not currently fully understood why this sometimes appears to be the case. They are, by there nature, impossible to predict. They crop up frequently in connection with fixed events and are, in themselves, a mystery.

Time Mire

There are some 'locations' that are/once were/will be a popular place for time travelers to visit. These time and place combinations become so frequently visited, changed, or changed back that beyond a certain point it becomes an extremely dangerous place to go, with ever-rocketing likelihood of meeting enemy agents or succumbing to paradox chomp. These times become so convoluted by changes to the timeline and presence of free agents that they literally become a gigantic temporal muddle where no one is sure what has actually transpired and no magick nor technology can make sense of it to form predictions. Even Hugh Charlesworthy and the Zeitkommando's time tarot have a hard time negotiating these annoyances. Two major examples of time mires are the time war between Atlantis and Mu and the moment the first theton collider was activated by Dr. Springer.

Paradox Chomp

Some things the universe doesn’t like. One of these things is information with no point of origin, that is to say: ‘A young physicist receives an old, tattered, disintegrating notebook containing various information about future events from his future self who has sent it back to him via a time machine; he copies it over into a new notebook before it deteriorates so badly as to be unusable. Over the years the predictions of the notebook come true, allowing him to become wealthy enough to fund his own research; which results in the development of a time machine, which he uses to send the now old, tattered, disintegrating notebook back to his former self. The notebook is not a paradox (it has an end and a beginning; the beginning where he bought it, the end where he threw it out after he copied the information), but the information is’.

Another Is Temporal Cloning, that is to say the you who set off in 1994 meeting up with the you who set off in 1996 in a bar in 2054.

If you set off on a trip aiming to do something such as this, you have a tendency to just disappear. This is referred to as a Paradox Chomp. However, being exceptional, Hugh Charlesworthy is able to cast most of these rules aside with apparent reckless abandon. If you ask him how he does it, he tends to reply "Very, very carefully".

Odd chap that Hugh.