New Method of Time Travel

Click for animation because Blogger won't show it on the page, the fuckers.

"Great! We can travel through time and not get our ass shot off again?" Doc asks.

"I guess it depends on whether or not you're being shot at, but yes, we can travel through time." Dr. Ritenrong's enthusiasm continues uninterrupted.

He calls an electronic whiteboard down from the ceiling and begins drawing on it using his fingers.

"Now, we all know that an object such as a cup has a time-line with a beginning, middle, and end. It exists until it is destroyed. When we place our wormhole in it at any point on that time-line, the wormhole also exists from the beginning to the end, where the wormhole dissipates and is also destroyed. The wormhole connects all points of its time-line to the point opposite the zenith.

"Lets say we have another cup with a wormhole in it. We can insert it into the first wormhole, wait a while, and watch it arrive at the opposite end of the first time-line. If we then send it back through the wormhole, it will travel back through time, arriving before we put it in. We have now crossed a higher dimensional boundary, and altered the course of history. Now, the fun bit. If we put the cup that arrived from our first cup into the cup we just made before we send it into the first cup, what happens? Does the blue cup any longer have a beginning or end? Does it end where it begins? Yet there is a wormhole within this cup which spans both time and higher dimensional space. What happens if we step into that wormhole?"

He clears the board with a wave of his hand and continues. "Now, the blue cup, and the wormhole within it, do in fact have a time-line. It is created by us, it has a midpoint, and it's existence 'ends' with the recursion process we set into motion. However, it's temporal field is inverted! The beginning of the inverted time-line will send us back in time, and the end will send us forward, outside the existence wave of the cup! The closer we get to the middle, the further back or forth it will fling us! An interesting thing happens at the zenith, though. It leads to both the beginning and end of the universe, or perhaps just the localized galactic time-line, simultaneously. If we were to enter near the zenith, we may be flung to either end of time, or simply thrown outside of existence altogether. Or it may have already happened and the result was the big bang. I don't know."

He clears the board again, and with a series of gestures brings the previous drawing back.

"There is one other thing. The inverted time-line of the blue cup is spread out back and forth across the relative time-line of the black cup. It begins by disappearing into the future where it exists briefly before being sent back before it started, and then loops around. The start of it is in the future and vice-versa, so going in earlier will take us to the future, and going in later will take us to the past. So if we move the creation of the second wormhole and its nearly instantaneous insertion into the primary wormhole closer to the zenith of the primary, we can allow it to extend throughout the lifecycle of the primary wormhole before inverting it. This gives us plenty of time to more finely calculate and control our destination!"

He brings out a small plastic ball from his lab coat pocket. "For the last couple weeks, I've been working on this for months." He shows it to Doc and Veronica at the bar. Mark looks over his shoulder. Thunderhorse is distracted by the magic of the whiteboard.

The small sphere is split in two halves. One side is blue and has little finger friction ridges along the edge and a button at the top. The reverse side is white with blue micro-LEDs displaying the current date and time.

"The blue side is the dial and activation button. Turn it slow to change seconds and minutes, faster to change hours, days, and years. Clockwise is forward, counterclockwise is backwards, of course." He spins the blue side to demonstrate. The time display on the reverse side changes colors from blue to red as the clock goes further into the future, and then from red to blue to green as it goes back into the past.

"Press the button to set it." He does. The clock is set for 1068.

"Now it will take some time for it to prime. The further back or forth you want to go, the more fine control I need to calculate the destination position and the longer it takes. There is an emergency override if you have to get out of a situation quickly, but this is HIGHLY unpredictable. You will almost certainly not end up where you wanted to go. But if you must use it, just turn the dial clockwise and press the button repeatedly. I had to balance between safety of travel versus emergency response, so it won't always react instantly. What good is escaping a firefight only to be flung into fires of the primordial solar system? Anyway, only use it in extreme situations.

"Once it's primed, you can use the dial counterclockwise to delay the response if you want. The longer you give it, the more accurate the results, although the default time should be accurate enough. After about half the time has passed, you can't set it any further ahead, though. When these little lights travel the circumference, it will detonate."

"Detonate?" Mark asks, intrigued by explosions.

"Yes, detonate. These are one-time use devices. The blast won't hurt you. It will expand to fill a confined space up to about 8000 cubic feet, so I recommend using it in small, empty rooms. You can use it outdoors, but it will take everything around you with it. Don't worry, you will arrive in the same gravitationally relative space regardless of the continuity of the structure you use it in, although I can't guarantee results for weak or fluctuating gravitational fields. So wear a space suit if you're using it on an asteroid or something.

"Another word of warning. These things contain a small amount of anti-matter, which is used up harmlessly in the reaction. If the containment is breached, however, you have a problem which can be measured in megatons. It also contains a micro-radiothermal generator for powering the internal components. This can't go critical (by its self, anyway), but those componets will cause radiation burns or sickness if handled. If the core is exposed or goes offline, the antimatter containment will fail and you've got one of those megaton problems. The skin is made of nano-engineered titanim-carbon composites and will take exactly one hell of a beating. Do not push your luck."

"Is it possible to set it off on purpose?" Mark asks, excitedly.

"No, simply because I can't imagine any situation in which a thermonuclear hand-grenade might be useful."

"I see you've set the thing for 1068," Doc remarks. "That's Thunderhorse's era, isn't it?"

Thunderhorse quits doodling on Dr. Ritenrong's whiteboard at the sound of his name.

"Yes, it is," Steve replies. "Since he damn near got killed saving my life, I think we should do as you suggested, Doc. We're going to save Jazelle."

"PRAISE THOR!" Cries Thunderhorse. He pounds his fists on the whiteboard, shattering the digital image. The screen, unharmed, retracts into the ceiling.

"I'll set the timer ahead to twelve hours. That should be plenty of time for you to get ready and head to the surface."

"You're staying here, right?" Doc says. "If we lose you, we're fucked. You know that, right?"

"Yes, Doc, I'm staying here on the Pear." He answers. "But, I'll be taking the Pear back in time through traditional means and I'll be in orbit when you arrive in the past. Veronica, I'll need you to drop them off on Earth then help me navigate through the asteroid field. I've got the course already plotted."

"Yee haw! We're headed back to olden times? Like knights and stuff?" Mark says. "Can we bring our laser rifles?"

"And the Sleipnirs! I will ride an eight legged horse into battle!" Thunderhorse cries.

"As long as I can bring my Colt and my Jeep, I'm happy. I'm not riding through anyplace called 'The Winterlands' on horseback, eight-legged or otherwise."

"Sure, whatever. Just don't totally unravel the fabric of history, okay?"


Doc said...

"Who? Us? Unravel history? No. We are just going to rewrap it the way we like it."

I'm tired of being out gunned and under armed, so let's take whatever explosives we can come up with (dynamite, hand grenades, mace/tear gas, smoke bombs, missles, etc. al.) and pack them in the Jeep.

This is going to be good!

Doc said...

Woo-Hoo! I get missles AND a .50 machine gun! Yea baby!