"There's something I've got to tell you," says Dr. Ritenrong.

"Yes?" Doc looks up from the glass of 300 year old Chananna brandy the Host and Cook had thought to make in anticipation of their future arrival.

In the distance, the Sleipnirs dance a with a viking around the crystal pond beneath the orbiting Earth as the sun and moon rise.

"I caused the destruction of the galaxy."

Doc looks at Steve solemnly, as if the wind had just changed for the worse.

"It was the XD Drive. I stole the idea from Dmitri Valia. He was supposed to come up with the idea that neutrinos were just mathematical shadows of extradimensional high energy particles, and that by utilizing gamma reflectors and manuseisium electromagnetic-gravitational converters one can vector the full thrust of an antimatter reaction and accelerate a ship instantly faster than light. He was his era's Tesla, and I was his Edison.

"When I gave myself the power of time travel, I started a paradox that is going to destroy us all. But it won't happen all at once, just through a series of causal catastrophes that lead inevitably towards armageddon. The first thing I did with the power to time-travel was jump ahead to see the future. I took inventions refined from Dmitri Valias ideas back only ten years and held them up as my own. It brought me fortune and glory, but humans lept into the universe faster than they should have. That shortcut of only a decade slashed the continued existance of our galaxy from billions of years to a handful of centuries, and it gave extraordinary power to people like Admiral Spaaz.

"I've tried my best to undo what I've done, but it's like trying to influence a Pachinko game to get the ball into the one slot that won't trigger nuclear armageddon with my mind. And I'm the one who dropped the ball.

"I'm a poor scientist. I'm a thief. Hell, I stole my only true invention from myself. I was given power and the first thing I did was misuse it, and the rest of the galaxy will suffer the consequences. I know it wasn't me, or this iteration of me who did the actual deed, but I can't say that I would've done it differently were I in the same position as the version of me who was.

"You saved my life, though. I was supposed to die on that ship. I wouldn't have been able to escape again, to tell myself of the plight of the future. I would not have made it to that cave where all my other bodies lie, where the history of a hundred failed futures is carved on the wall. I would not have been able to add my own failed future to it, and I certainly would not have been able to write the one that succeeded.

"I don't think, now, that we can stop the destruction of the galaxy directly. Every time I do, it seems to bring a more powerful ship with a bigger, more powerful XD engine into the grasp of that insideous beast. It's like that being, or force, or whatever it's pan-dimensional name is- has control over me, and that by doing what I think is right, I'm only bringing it what it needs. It's as if the paradox its self is intelligent, omnipotent, and malevolent."

One of the eight legged horses, the foal, breaks away from the pack and approaches cautiously, looking for food. Steve extends a handful of dried insects, locust-cockroach crossbreeds designed to maintain a specific link in the food chain of this artificial paradise. The young horse strobes bright greens and blues as it munches merrily on the snack.

The viking comes to join them, sweating from the joy of playing with his new found companions. "So when will we meet Odin?"


Doc said...

"Now is the time to meet Odin and put one thing straight!"

The problems of the universe can only be solved it the past. We have the tools and the know-how to juggle the past. Why not get that out of the way before the problems of the future.

We need much more experience to handle the troubles of the future and we might be best off finding that in the past. The future has tanks and mortars and we need more time to wrestle that problem after a few others are eliminated. Let us turn to a time that isn't ready for our weapons, resources, and know-how. There is a big difference between staring down tanks and long bows. I have a much better chance to sway the locals if I have a bullhorn and they have never heard of one.

I want to go and right a wrong were I have something of an advantage. I'm looking to pad our experience points with something we can achieve without running too great of a risk of loosing key people.

Thunderhorse is the only one I can truly trust as he has no secrets to hide. Steve got us into this and Mark has only a new adventure in mind, not the well-being of those he travels with. If Steve dies then all of the universe is lost as I don't know what to do to lead this band of urchins to save it. From here on out, Steve holds down the fort and does not venture out unless he has to. Without his know-how, we are bums lost in space and time. Only he can guide us through our travels, but I would be more than willing to take lessons, even if it cost me an experience point or two. I have to be the field general for all of his plans. I think it would help a lot if I studied his method and proceedure.

I need some kind of skill to use the porthole. I need to know how to guide us on a rule of thumb sort of basis. All of your explanations have passed over this cowboy's head, but that doesn't matter. Theimportant thing is that the character of Doc understands. After all, he is much smarter than the man who plays him.

We need an all over starting point. We need a fall-back saftey to return to when everything goes wrong. We need to find a place and tiome that is far enough back to create an idle "do-over" spot. Regardless how badly we screw up a mission, there needs to be a universal point that we can return to when things aren't fucked.

I'm certain that you can find this point and record it as the whole game might hinge on it. There has to be some point in time when things were going right and we need to start from there to work our way up to solving the problems of the universe. Start small, think tall.

By no means are we ready to take on the demons of the future as we have yet to nail down the players of our present. The final outcome could be influenced by what we do long before it. These are the avenues that we need to cover. Let us pin down the critical events that brought us to the brink of destruction and try to juggle those first.

Perhaps we won't have to kill anyone and the universe could turn out alright. We could educate Lincoln and have people move away from Pompei before disaster. We could salvage Bobby Kennedy's run for President and give Eienstein some short-cuts.

Only you can determine our arch. Whatever you decide is fine. I would like to have a conversation with Steve that would give me some basis to go on that didn't require a philosopher and an engineer. I am a simple man and I need simple directions. I need a straight-foward objective and a reasonable way to go about it. Also, I need explosives. The bullhorn only goes just so far and a fiery explosion would go a long way to prove my point, not to mention how many partisans I could convince to withdraw.

I'm all abnout not hurting people if I can help it, but I am not above blowing hindrances to kingdom-come if I am forced to.

I really need tools, time, and promise to make this work, but without Steve's guideance, I'm screwed. I've been winging it from here but that won't do in our brave new world.

Let's fix Thuinderhorse's problem and then deal with the rest of the universe when we need to. I need one thing at a time or I get lost.


Doc said...

Did I say something wrong?