A Pause for Clarity

Time slows as Doc stops to consider how Dr. Ritenrong's magic wand works. He remembers a conversation they once had.

"The Q-TIP creates a wormhole in any concave space," said Dr. Ritenrong. "The wormhole links the creation of that space with the end of that space. Entering the wormhole at any point in it's timeline takes you to a the point in it's timeline opposite of the zenith (the precise middle of its existence). So if one were to use the Q-TIP to create a wormhole in a coffee cup and throw it in the air, then jump in right before it smashes on the ground, you would arrive right as the cup was being made, in a kiln in a coffee cup factory.

"The weird bit is that once you create the wormhole, it suddenly has existed throughout the life of the object. So every cup of coffee ever poured winds up in the wormhole.

"Let's imagine a cup we've made. We make the cup at noon and will be smashing it at midnight. At two o'clock, we have tea in it. At three, we wash the cup. At four, we create a wormhole in it and turn it upside down on a drying rack. At eight, we throw a penny into it. In a totally different dimension, a penny fell out of the cup at four o'clock, the instant we created the wormhole. At nine o'clock in our dimension, dishwater spills out of the cup on the drying rack. At ten, we flip the cup back over. The tea we poured in at two appears, and immediately sloshes back and fourth through time, existing simultaneously at ten and two. If we then pour it into a different cup, we can enjoy two cups of tea for the price of one, at the cost of depriving a different dimensional version of ourselves of tea. At eleven, a bunch of cutlery comes flying out of the cup because we've upset ourselves in that different dimension and we're trying to get back at us for stealing our tea. It must've been shoved in at one o'clock, so in a totally different eleven o'clock we wrote a note to ourselves telling us to get revenge on ourselves for stealing our two o'clock tea at ten. At midnight, we smash the cup, and let our brains cool off."

Dr. Ritenrong had told Doc a lot of the technical details of how it works, but Doc had drifted out of the conversation. He does remember something about metals, inconsistent or composite surfaces, and liquid filled vessels causing some unpredictability.

Doc enumerates his options.

1. The teacup from the Marriott Suite.
It was manufactured on Earth before the Marriott was completed. Who knows how long it will survive, although you would be abandoning it in a train station currently being attacked by pirates. Also, Steve has a number of small explosive charges that can crack the cup on a timer, thereby controling somewhat of the when factor of their destination. It's currently in Thunderhorse's backpack.

2. The camping cup from the Python
It's origin is a mystery. It could have been made on Earth, Mars, or anywhere or anytime the Exkoreans might have come from. All you know is that at some point in it's history it was on the Python and now it is in Mark's backpack.

3. A small plastic sphere in Steve's pocket.
It is hollow and seperates in half by twisting it slightly. Doc has no idea where this came from. It's a sort of thick resin, much sturdier than a plastic Easter egg. One half is blue and the other is red.

4. Start a new hole
Doc can use the Q-TIP on any surface as concave as a spoon, as long as it doesn't have holes. A sink works if you plug the drain or something. A quick look around reveals a number of suitable objects: trash cans, chair seats, the glass walls surrounding the turnstyle, bullet holes; anything one might imagine would be in a futuristic train station on an asteroid. Even the walls are cratered and pock-marked, much like the origional surface of the asteroid except polished and shined. And then there are the people: their shoes, purses, watch casings, backpacks, etc. The scabbard of Mark's sword, Thunderhorse's helmet, Doc's own jacket pocket; the choices are endless.

Doc hears the clomping march of armored footsteps running towards them as time returns and reality sets back in. He hates quick decisions.


Doc said...

I hate it when I have to make a decision and I don't really understand the info I've got.

shit...I'll get back to you. I need to read this again.


ERR said...

Don't panic, there's a certain level of uncertainty anyway.

Doc said...

If I read this right, and I probably didn't, use the teacup from the Marriott Suite and that should pop us out at the time we created the wormhole. Use the small explosives to destroy the cup behind us so it does fall into the hands of the pirates.

Man I hope this works...


Doc said...

Elton John's song "Rocketman" keeps rolling through my head.

"And all this science I don't understand. It's just my job five days a week."