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Navigating Parallel Timelines

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PARALLEL TIMELINES

The opening of a sixth-dimensional time gate invariably leads to the creation of a divergent timeline. The term "time travel" is somewhat misleading, since one is travelling between two different universes, not two different time periods within the same universe.

One way to think about parallel timelines is to think of them as echoes of one's own timeline. At regular intervals, an exact duplicate of the past exists at each multiple of the temporal cycle. (See Applications of Nine-dimensional Theory for more information about temporal cycles.) Travel through a sixth-dimensional time gate brings a time traveller into one of these "temporal echoes," or parallel timelines, not into the actual past. Each of these parallel timelines is identical in every way to the original timeline, up to the point at which the time gate from the original timeline is opened into it.

While travelling to a parallel timeline does not allow time travellers to change their own past, sixth-dimensional travel opens up many other opportunities. The ability to go into a past timeline and influence events is almost as satisfying as changing one's own past, with the added benefit of avoiding the phenomenon known as the temporal paradox.


PARADOXES

Almost since the notion of time travel was first suggested, scientists and philosophers have grappled with the problem of the temporal paradox.

As discussed in Destiny, Causality, and Temporal Divergence, the "Grandfather Paradox" is the classic example of this dilemma. If a time traveller could travel to his own past, and once there, proceeded to kill his own grandfather before the grandfather could have children, then the time traveller would never be born. So, within this single timeline, two mutually exclusive conditions arrise: The time traveller was both born and not born.

The mere act -- even the mere possibility -- of opening a time gate into one's own past allows for such a paradox to occur. Philosophers have suggested numerous remedies for this problem over the centuries. One popular suggestion has been the "Block Universe" proposal, stating that there is only one timeline, and that travellers going into the past only fulfil their "destined" role in history -- i.e., the time traveller had always been destined to go back in time and become part of history.

There are flaws in this theory, however. First, it assumes that the time travellers are ignorant of the past, blindly and unwittingly stumbling into fulfilling their destinies; otherwise, if the time travellers do know about the past, they are impotent to change history, being blocked by some kind of "anti-paradox" force of nature that conveniently prevents any tampering with history. This concept may be a convenient way around paradoxes in time travel fantasy stories, but in reality, it has no basis in scientific fact.

If people could travel into their own past to a specific time and place where there was clear documentation that there were no time travellers present, then their arrival there would be a paradox within a single timeline. And given the possibility of time travel, there is no force of nature to prevent the opening of such a link into the past in a controlled environment. Likewise, there is no physical law that prevents a person from killing his grandfather in the present, and since the same physical laws existed in the past, there is no reason a time traveller could not kill the grandfather in the past.

Similarly, while the "Block Universe" model may allow for travel into the future, the mere act or possibility of travelling into one's own future gives rise to another paradoxical situation.

The future is defined by all events and conditions leading up to it, just as the present and past are. If a person opens a link to the future, meets his older self, then commits suicide on the spot, the existence of the older future self is a paradox. He cannot exist if he commited suicide when he was younger. For this reason, travel into the future is not possible in a "Block Universe" model.

Even the divergent timeline model cannot allow travel into the future, since in the above scenario, while the future self's past would not include committing suicide, there would be no other timeline in which he would have committed suicide, since all timelines have identical pasts up to the point of divergence; and temporal divergence does not occur unless a time gate is opened into the past. Another way to think of the above paradox is to ask, "Whose future did the suicidal time traveller go to, since he would not have an older self in his own future?" Obviously, no chain of events would lead up to both the time traveller's suicide and his continuing to live into the future, unless two timelines had diverged in the past; but travelling to a point in the future would not cause the spontaneous divergence of timelines in the past -- only travelling into a past timeline can cause temporal divergence.

So, while a time traveller could go into a past timeline and cause his younger self to commit suicide, he could not open a gateway into a parallel future, since temporal divergence arrises only forward in past timelines, not retroactively from the future (multiple pasts cannot converge to a single future, but a single past can branch off into divergent futures).


TRAVEL BETWEEN TIMELINES

Once a time traveller has a working sixth-dimensional time gate that allows passage into parallel timelines, it is possible to access almost any point in history and create a new timeline from that point.

While navigating between parallel timelines, it is important to remember several properties of sixth-dimensional travel.

  • First, as discussed in Applications of Nine-dimensional Theory, time gates can be opened only through multiples of whole temporal cycles (which are about 500 days). This means that a time traveller has to plan any trip to a specific time period months or years in advance -- and if the window of opportunity is missed, the time traveller must wait another entire temporal cycle for another opportunity to go to that time period.

  • Second, every opening of a time gate creates a new and unique divergent timeline. That is, even if five time gates are opened simultaneously to the same point in history, and each of five time travellers steps through a different gate, each time traveller will be alone in a different timeline; no two time gates can be opened between the same two timelines. This is important to note, since any long-term studies of a single parallel timeline would require that the same time gate be kept open continuously.

  • Third, as mentioned above, since time gates cannot be opened into the future, a time traveller can get back to his home timeline only via the same time gateway through which he journeyed into the past. Once the time gate is closed, the link between the two timelines is severed forever.


MULTIPLE LINKED TIMELINES

Within any given timeline, there is no limit to the number of time gates that may link the timeline to others. The existence of multiple time gates being open simultaneously in a single timeline can lead to numerous permutations of interconnected timelines.

Following are just a few examples of multiple parallel timeline combinations which may arise. In all examples, the root (original) timeline shall be referred to as "Timeline A."

  • A time gate from the year 2258 in Timeline A is opened into August 1932 in Timeline B; the time gate is kept open for the entire month. Many years later, in the year 2237 in Timeline B, time travellers open a time gate into August 1932 of their past, creating a Timeline C. In August 1932 of Timeline C, there now exist two time gates, one leading to the year 2237 (Timeline B) and another leading to 2258 (Timeline A-2). The original Timeline A cannot be reached from Timeline C, since the gate linking Timelines A and B exists only between those two timelines. Just as Timeline C is a duplicate of Timeline B's past, any open links in Timeline B's past are also duplicated, so the link between Timelines A and B is duplicated in the parallel timeline as a link between Timelines A-2 and C.

    This phenomenon is one way of travelling indirectly to a parallel future. While time travellers in 2237 of Timeline B cannot open a time gate directly into the future, they can go to August 1932 in Timeline C, where the time gate from Timeline A-2 is open. The time travellers from Timeline B can then pass through that open time gate to the year 2258 of Timeline A-2, which is twenty-six years farther into the future than their point of origin, albeit in a different timeline twice removed from their own, and three times removed from the original future (Timeline A).


  • A time gate is opened from 2247 in Timeline A to August of 2112 in Timeline B, and time travellers from Timeline A go back and assassinate a public official. Many years later, in 2242 in Timeline B, a time gate is opened to late July of 2112 (in Timeline C), where time travellers from Timeline B plan to observe the public official's assassination first-hand a few weeks later. However, when the date of the assassination arrives, the official is not killed, even though the time travellers were very careful not to cause any changes to the timeline.

    The official in Timeline C was not assassinated because the assassins in Timeline B had come from Timeline A, and since the time travellers from Timeline B arrived in Timeline C at an earlier point in time, the time gate from Timeline A was never duplicated, as it was in the previous example. Timeline C, therefore, is closer to the original Timeline A, since there was no assassination that changed the course of history.

    When the time travellers from Timeline B analyze these puzzling changes in history, they will realize that their own past has been tampered with (this would be the only way of knowing that one's timeline is a parallel timeline that diverged from another). With further study and other trips to proximal dates in the past, they could narrow down the time when the assassins from Timeline A arrived in their past, and could then open a time gate to a parallel timeline at that point in history to catch the assassins, and possibly locate their time gate. From this parallel past the time travellers from Timeline B could then possibly travel to a duplicate of Timeline A's future (Timeline A-7, for example), but they will never be able to confront the original assassins from the original Timeline A, since, as stated above, they cannot travel into their own past, just parallel timelines.


 

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 DIFFERENTIAL TIME FLOW
 BETWEEN TIMELINES

The above examples describe one possible method for travelling into the future via multiple open time gates in a past timeline. However, this method will only work for time travellers who are already in a timeline that diverged from another, and only if the divergence was caused by a time gate opened from even farther into the future in the original timeline.

For time travellers in the original timeline (Timeline A), or in any divergent timeline after the date of the time gate's opening in the original timeline, this method cannot be used to travel to a parallel future.

Also, even in timelines where this method can be used, it would require multiple trips into past timelines in order to locate the exact period when the time gate from the future was open, and then the time travellers would have to find a way to travel to that future while avoiding a confrontation with the even-more-advanced time travellers in that future timeline.

Fortunately, there is a simpler and more controllable method of creating a link to a future timeline that can work regardless of what time period or timeline one is in.

This method requires the combination of sixth-dimensional time gate technology with fifth-dimensional temporal phasing technology to create differential time flows between two linked parallel timelines.

The process is as follows:

The time travellers must find a location where a time gate can secretly be opened for a long period and remain undetected. Once the time gate is opened into a past timeline, it must be kept open continuously, so it must be located in a secure environment.

Once the time gate is opened into the past timeline, the time travellers must place a temporal accelerator next to the open time gate on the future side of the gate, while on the past side they must place a temporal stasis device, so that each may generate a phased bubble of time completely surrounding the time portal.

Once the fifth-dimensional phasing devices are positioned on each side of the time gate, they must be activated simultaneously, and at precisely inverse time ratios (e.g., if the accelerator on the future side speeds up time five hundred times the normal rate, then the stasis device on the past side must slow down time to one five-hundredth the normal rate).

The coordinated use of inverse temporal phasing devices on each side of the time gate allows a stable time flow to exist on each side of the sixth-dimensional interface.

This is important, because temporal phasing technology can control time flows only within a finite spherical volume of space surrounding the device. (The radius of the effect is determined by the power level being generated by the device, while the degree of acceleration is determined by the frequency of the antigraviton flow from the emitter node.)

If a temporal phasing device were placed on only one side of an open time gate, it would be like trying to alter the time flow for the entire universe on the other side of the time gate, since there is no fifth-dimensional field surrounding the other side of the gateway. But with inverse time flows on each side of a time gate, the time differential across the sixth-dimensional interface is balanced out, creating a stable bubble of time around the time gate, while the outside time flows in each timeline have opposite time differential ratios.

Therefore, in the immediate area around the past side of the time gate, the time flow is slowed down compared to that timeline's outside world. Stepping back through to the future side of the time gate, a time traveller would find that the time flow is the same as on the past side, but the outside world is now moving more slowly.

A simple way to understand this phenomenon is to use four clocks, all set to the same time, placed at four locations: in the future timeline beside the time gate; in the future timeline outside the acceleration field surrounding the time gate; in the past timeline beside the time gate; and in the past timeline outside the stasis field surrounding the time gate.

The two clocks next to the time gate will always have the same time, since the time flow is identical on each side of the gateway. The clock outside in the future timeline will run more slowly, since it is outside of the acceleration field surrounding the time gate. The clock outside in the past timeline will run more quickly, since it is outside of the stasis field surrounding that side of the time gate.

Of course, the effects of temporal phasing will still be evident in time-dependent natural properties within the respective fields. On the future side, within the acceleration field, gravitational acceleration will be diminished. For example, if time is speeded up one hundred times within the field, a falling object will seem to take one hundred times longer to fall, since the force of gravity remains constant regardless of time flow.

This means that two objects dropped from the same height at the same time, one inside the acceleration field and one outside, will both hit the ground at the same time, but the clock inside the field will have counted one hundred seconds as the object fell, while the clock outside the field will count only one second during the fall. The exact opposite effects apply to the temporal stasis field around the past side of the time gate. (This has the unfortunate side effect of creating a severe gravitational and inertial differential as one passes through the time gate, so time travellers may experience momentary vertigo and physical incapacitation while moving between timelines.)

All of this has the effect of creating a stable link between two timelines with differing time flows. With the setup described above, the flow of time in the past timeline will move more quickly than that in the future timeline. For example, if the time differential ratio is twenty, then twenty days will pass outside in the past timeline for every day that passes in the future timeline. (This process can also work in reverse, by switching the temporal accelerator and stasis devices, to slow down the past timeline relative to the future timeline, if time travellers wanted to study a brief past period for a prolonged span of time.)

So, while the time gate is originally opened into a past timeline (Timeline D, for example), the differential time flows will allow the past timeline eventually to catch up to and overtake the original future timeline (Timeline A). Therefore, if a time gate is opened from 2137 in Timeline A into 2092 in Timeline D (forty-five years in the past), with a differential time ratio of twenty, then in 2139 of Timeline A, the other side of the time gate will be linked to 2132 in Timeline D (seven years in the past), and one year later in Timeline A, that same time gate will link to 2152 in Timeline D (twelve years into the future).

The longer the time gate remains open and the greater the time flow differential, the farther into the future the other side of the time gate will extend. This is as if the past timeline is a video drama, and the time travellers are putting it in fast-forward mode. And at any point the time travellers may slow down the time differential or even stop it, so that the time flows are the same on each side, in order to explore a specific time period for an extended duration rather than just watch history rushing by.

While this method of travelling to a future timeline is more controllable than the multiple-linked-timelines method described above, it also has several drawbacks.

The fifth-dimensional time flow regulators on both sides of the time gate must be precisely calibrated and synchronized, or else the fifth-dimensional field could collapse. The resultant gravitic shockwave could cause the time gate itself to destabilize and collapse.

Also, this method requires that the time gate be kept open continuously for years or, in the past timeline, possibly for centuries. It is therefore necessary to position the time gate in a secure location, and also open it far enough into the past so that temporal divergence will prevent the same time travellers in the past timeline from constructing a time gate in the same location. (For example, if the time travellers in Timeline A construct a time gate in a New Mexico cave and open it into Timeline G five years in the past, they must try to change history so that their counterparts in Timeline G will not come to that same cave five years later, or else the open time gate will be discovered and a conflict could arise between the inhabitants of the two timelines.)

Due to temporal divergence, the future of the divergent timeline that the time travellers create will not necessarily predict what will happen in their own future, but they can observe general historical trends to gain an advantage in their own timeline. The greatest benefit, however, is access to advanced technology that may be invented over many decades or centuries in the divergent future. Unfortunately, the more advanced the divergent timeline becomes, the greater the chances that the natives of that timeline might discover the less-advanced time travellers and their time gate from the original timeline.

But the time travellers have a slight advantage because all divergent timelines begin in the past, so the time travellers could manipulate and secretly guide the course of history. Agents from the original timeline could come and go, working continually in the divergent timeline to keep their presence and their time gate's existence a secret.

 

 


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