Sunday, September 14, 2014

History of the Universe 3: The Chrono-Travell Makes Time Travel Possible

Nobody knows exactly what complex scientific and mathematical processes Professor Arthur Travell used in order to create the Chrono-Travell, Earth's first time travel machine.  The first thing Travell used the machine for, or the last thing as it would turn out for that particular Arthur Travell, was a trip back in time to his younger self with the completed Chrono-Travell plans.  The future Travell also brought along an ambiguous warning, "Stay away from redheads, swear it!", young Arthur looked at his future's sorrowful eyes and dull gray hair and swore.

Because the future Travell had changed his own history, he became a time relic.  This is what happens when a time loop forms and there is no resolution.  If Travell had snatched his plans away from young Arthur and headed back to the future from whence he came, he could have avoided this fate.  It was not the professor's intention to avoid becoming a relic.

Time cannot abide an unresolved loop.  When something causes an eddy to form in the river of time, the thing causing the disruption must become a place holder to avert event recurrence and inevitable additional loops which would fan out indefinitely and destroy time along with everything else.  A relic was sort of a scar in time, never moving and unable to grow or die, fixed in place in every conceivable way.  Future Professor Arthur Travell knew this, which is why he was in such a rush to hand his machine plans to his younger self.  The vain scientist didn't want to spend eternity in a sloppy pose, and so he didn't.  One of the most famous relics in the universe is the time sealed statue of the worn down but proud looking Professor Travell standing tall and smiling beatifically at his grandfather's pocket watch.

There are quite a few less dignified relics scattered across the planets and space.  One of the most tragic of these is the famous Italian relic of a man holding a young boy.  For obvious reasons, access to Chrono-Travell machines has always been restricted to highly trained timeline technicians and bajillionaires able to pay the highly trained timeline technicians.  One bajilionaire, Swiss banking giant Julian Batz, had the cash and needed a trip.

Julian's son Noah had been hit by a hover-car during a family vacation in Naples.  The towheaded ten year old boy with his bright mind and face and ready smile was killed instantly.  No amount of his father's money could fix his broken body or turn the heat and lights back on in those lovely blue eyes.  Julian's wife, Ana, had blamed him for allowing their boy to run ahead.  Ana never recovered, and never forgave.  Julian Batz's simple plan was to go back and fetch his son before he could be killed.

There is a limit to what sentimental foolishness time will allow.  Professor Arthur Travell was probably able to hand off his plans to the younger Travell because luckily, or sadly, the young scientist's life path being altered only slightly wouldn't have a huge impact on the river of time, despite the importance of his invention.  Young Arthur had already been working on the schematics of time travel.  This pushed his study to fruition but his life course remained doggedly on track.  And despite the solemn promise he'd made to his future and presumably wiser self, Arthur met and married a vicious bitch of a redhead who immediately began turning him into the sad wreck that had handed him the Chrono-Travell plans all of those years before.

Then again, there are a lot of things as yet not understood about time travel and the process of relics.  Perhaps the younger Travell was too important a piece in the river of time to become a relic.  Maybe the elder Travell knew this.  Unfortunately the only man who may have extensively understood the processes involved is a statue in the center of the Travell Memorial Center and Mall.

Either way, neither Julian nor sweet Noah were as lucky as the younger Travell.  Julian and his guide had landed just minutes before the accident.  The man watched as his younger self and wife walked hand in hand down the crowded Spaccanapoli street.  Noah skipped far ahead, proud of the distance he'd been allowed and examining the vendor's wares with the stern but curious expression he'd stolen from his father.  Before his timeline guide could prevent it, Julian had dashed across the road and grabbed the boy from the path of a speeding hover-car.  The boy looked at the man who had saved him and uttered a confused "Grossvati?" before looking back towards his parents.  Noah's last thought before being sealed by time was how pleased his parents would be when they saw that Grandfather had come to holiday with them.  The younger Mr. and Mrs. Batz rushed to thank this strange man who had snatched their son from the path of the car.

Mrs. Batz, or Ana, never forgave her husband for what they found when they moved closer to the man who gripped their Noah so tightly.  With his teary face towards the sky, the elder Julian Batz was frozen kneeling on the ground with one hand on the back of his son's head holding him tight to his chest and the other wrapped around the boy's back, fingers grasping the boys light jacket.  As Ana came nearer she thought this man must be holding her son too tightly, Noah didn't appear able to move.  When Ana saw the man's face she didn't mistake him for her husband's father as Noah had.

While it was obvious that the future Julian had come back to save Noah from the path of the hover-car, it was impossible to know what would have happened had he not saved the boy.  Would her son have been maimed?  In a wheelchair?  Would he have lost a leg or an arm?  Would her sweet boy have died?  If Noah had died, Ana might have buried him.  Surely anything would have been better than this.  These thoughts never left Ana's mind.  Despite being every bit as lost and anguished as his wife, Julian could not escape the shadows of unspoken accusations that crowded behind her eyes.

During festivals local children decorate the man and boy on Spaccanapoli street with floral wreaths.  In the winter it's thought to be good luck to wrap the pair in blankets against the chill.

The Chrono-Travell machine uses a system based on the relativity of moments to each other in addition to the chronological way that most of us think time occurs.  Time isn't a straight line, there are rushes and ebbs.  Moments that are centuries apart may be clustered together and traveling forward, all part of the same story.  The first Chrono-Travell machine used a time map manually submitted by Professor Arthur Travell himself, accurate down to the last nanosecond but very limited.  Current Chrono-Travell's operate with a map created by real time satellites that constantly update the activities, actions, expressions, lives, and deaths of billions of Earth people, animals, and plants.  Like following a river to the source, the machine is able to trace lines of humanity backwards.  Also buried in this vastness of information are the cluster patterns that the machine uses to navigate.  Imagine it as a submarine ship using every possible direction of travel rather than just forward and backwards.

All of that is navigation.  The true beauty of the Chrono-Travell is how it manages to evade and subvert the natural pull of time.  Time recognizes everything it can affect.  Anything that ages, rusts, grows, shrinks, dies, lives, in short, anything within our sphere of physical understanding falls under the umbrella of things on which time has a firm hold.  The Chrono-Travell uses short bursts of controlled atomic explosions to shield its existence from time for the tiniest fraction of a second again and again in billions of cycles, like a moving picture shutter.  In these fractions of a second the machine is leap frogging from moment to moment so rapidly it could land on a baby and be gone before the infant opened its mouth to bawl.

Despite the serious dangers of time travel it remains one of the most popular vacation choices for the fabulously wealthy and has proven to be an invaluable historical aid. 

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