…co-starring her Uncle Zeek Zebrahide
Sasha Explains It All
All The Time In The World
I love time travel movies. I love time travel TV shows, novels, short stories, plays, heck, I love ’em all.
In spite of the fact that almost none of them, especially movies and tv shows, get anywhere near how it really is. They introduce paradox and going back to tell yourself stuff and changing history willy nilly or NOT being able to change history at all or Time being some quasi intelligent entity or any of a hundred other weirdass things. From a purely entertainment aspect, I enjoy this creativity, but as a seasoned time traveler, it either makes me laugh or groan.
Mind you, this also extends to all of the current science you humans have concerning time travel. Which is why I’m writing this, to set you all straight. Let’s do this by the numbers.
1: It’s the Many Worlds theory all the way.
Whenever you travel in time, regardless of if it is your own reality or another, if you fuck with the timeline, you spin off new break points and create new timelines/realities, but the old one STAYS THE SAME. If you are in the current Absolute Now in a given reality, you simple create a new one that starts then (with the unfucked with past being the same in both timelines). It’s like dumping a big bucket of water down your driveway. At first, there is one big stream, but then little offshoots form and then more and more for as the hit deformities in the concrete, pebbles, chunks mud, etc. Time is like that.
Let me explain even better, based upon a story (indeed, the OLDEST story) I heard from the Guardians of the Multiverse. See, when the Big Bang (as you call it) happened, it happened in 9 other quanta at the same time. Almost immediately, these quanta developed differing laws of quantum physics and, while VERY similar in most ways, were just a tiny bit different. The most noticeable of these were the two where magic eventually arose.
At some point, some sentient race in each reality got the bright idea to travel through time and they spun off countless new realities. This happened a shitload of times over the eons so that now there are a near infinite number of realities that get stranger and stranger as you go out farther because at some point they touch and blend with other realities to form new realities. Trust me folks, it will make your head spin to think about it for too long.
2: There is no such thing as paradox.
If you read the above, you should understand why. Go back in time and kill your grandfather? Sure you can! But you’ll find yourself back at your Absolute Now with no change in history. Meanwhile, some other you has just pulled off a hell of a murder/suicide. Or he gets a new, different grandfather. Or both, in TWO new timelines.
3: You can MAKE history, but not change it.
Example: My dad went back in time to stop Ronald Reagan from ever entering politics, or, in a few instance, get him to remain a liberal Democrat. He succeeded every time, but, not in our timeline. In OUR timeline, his repeated appearances, even though he was well disguised, convinced Nancy Reagan that some force (possibly connected to astrology, but who the hell knows) wanted Ronnie to become a conservative and run for governor of California. Which he did, of course, much to Daddy’s eternal disgust.
Another example: We are back in the past on holiday in England in 1870 and Lulu is in a flashy looking robot body that I had made to look like a big black dog. While romping in a meadow, she is talking to Mom about various things and a man hears her. This man, who was on the bleeding edge of insanity anyway, thinks he is hearing the Devil in canine form (the legendary Black Dog) and next thing you know, he’s killing hookers in Whitechapel. Note: I didn’t figure this out until I was bored one rainy day and thought, “hey, I’ll go find out who Jack the Ripper was”. Sadly I can’t tell you who he was because I neuralized myself to forget his name.
4: Actually, you CAN have your historical cake and eat it, too.
So, suppose one night at a big gaming con a bunch of gamers, game designers and generally smart and geeky folks got to talking about temporal paradox and time travel and changing history (believe me, this is perhaps the LEAST strange thing they discussed) and they formulated the idea of going back to save Lincoln by replacing him with a clone or Life Model Decoy or something just before Booth fires the bullet. They turned the subject every which way but loose before going on to discuss vampires shaving or some shit.
And then the very next day, Daddy and Uncle Spike asked if I could whip up a clone of Abraham Lincoln. I have DNA samples from many famous people, so using temporal folding and speed cloning (during which the clone ages at about 300 times the normal rate, until you hit it with Olzaxoril, which will make it age normally for a short time) I had them a clone ready in only a couple of hours.
Then, using a Katra Replicator (that Daddy should have had no idea how to use but used it perfectly anyway!), Daddy & Uncle Spike went back in time, duplicated Lincoln’s katra the night before the assassination, put the katra into the clone and swapped him out for the original just before President and Mrs L left for the theater. Then they brought the real Lincoln here to (at the time 2014) our house. Well, it was actually the Bus. but you get the idea.
They explained to old Abe how things were and to his credit, Abe accepted his fate pretty quickly. Of course, they had shot him up with a very mild sedative first. Then, after some hours of discussion, it was decided that Mr. Lincoln would be treated with Rejuvinol to take him back to about 30 years old, given a bit of cosmetic surgery, cured of his depression, and taken to the year 1955 where he would find work as a history teacher and a Lincoln impersonator. He loved both jobs and died a happy man in 2015.
Having succeeded once. Daddy and Uncle Spike pulled the old switcheroo many more times. Some of those people are teenagers today and will no doubt have some effect on the future.
5: You can’t go into the future, but the future can come back to you.
Okay, this is kind of a mindfucker. Time travel is one way except for you returning to your Absolute Now. You cannot go into the future because it is just a zillion possibilities. But, just as we can into the past, so can folks from the future. And, just like us, they cannot change their past which is our present. It’s all rather strange, so time travelers from different eras try to just avoid one another.
That being said, you can quite easily travel into other timelines that are ahead of ours. Just last week, Mom and Silky popped over to an Earth that is several decades ahead of us to get some groceries cheap because due to global climate change, that Earth does all their farming in tower farms and has wonderful organic food available all year. Of course, they also have to feed only 4.25 billion people, down from 5 billion a couple of years ago. Climate change is driving millions off planet and killing millions more. But damn, the fruits & veggies are great.
6: You can’t go back and talk to yourself.
The upshot of even being too near your past self is that you get a blinding headache. You need to be at least 150 feet away to not get what Mom calls “brainstabbed”. This is why Dad, Mom Auntie Mary and Uncle Spike have to stay in different areas each time they go back to Woodstock in our timeline. In other timelines, like the one where Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin played, they are ok to stand right next to the other versions of themselves.
So yeah, you’re thinking how you could call yourself or write a letter telling you to how to make millions or not marry that cheating son of a bitch or get free of that goddamn yard you share with those two stupid fucking lab mixes. Well, you can do that, but as we’ve stated all along here, it just spins off a new timeline or causes you to do what future you was trying to prevent.
7: On the other hand, time travel is easier than you think.
Provided, of course, you have all the right equipment. The dead easiest way to time travel is by sending your consciousness back in time to an earlier version of yourself or even another person entirely. Actually, this happens to some people spontaneously and it drives them insane. More than a few of the mentally ill folks you see out on the street are bouncing back and forth in time. Of course, others are mutants or aliens or even messed up androids, but that’s for another rant.
The big myth about time travel is that it takes enormous power to accomplish. I mean, there are physicists who say it would take all the energy in the universe. Well, their asses are sucking swamp water, because I’ve met time travelers who powered their machines with everything from fusion power plants to D cell batteries (admittedly, 560 of them, but still…) to methane gas. They all worked just fine and no universes were hurt. So go ahead, build your time machine! Odds are, it won’t work, but then again, it might.
8: Stepping on a goddamned butterfly will only affect the butterfly.
Sorry, Mr. Bradbury and all you chaos theorists, but that shit just doesn’t happen. Plenty of butterflies and bugs and shit out there.
Well, folks, I could go on at length here, but a bitch needs her beauty sleep. At least now you can relax knowing that no matter what we do as we travel around in the Bus, we can’t fuck up the past.
Until my next rant,
Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD