Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Complaint Among Time Travellers

It is thought in some quarters that time presents no barriers to time travellers. After all - as a time traveller - you can go anywhere in time, change the circumstances of existence, so time should no longer be your master. A forgotton duty, a friendship forelorn wouldn't be issues for a time traveller who can slip back to the past and repair things. But alas it isn't so simple.

For the travellers on the rivers of time, those who can make their way at will backwards and forwards, life's journey is quite complicated indeed. Take for example physical immortality.

As you have probably already imagined, there exists an island in the currents of time where physical immortality has been achieved. In fact, there are clinics where anybody can go - free of charge - to have their bodies fully "renewed and reconditioned" - all outward signs of aging are cast off and all internal workings are brought up to tip-top shape. All diseases are eradicated and immune systems are revitalised and reinforced against all manner of infection. And Presto! you're nineteen again. The difficulty involves finding such a place and getting an appointment.

That renewal clinics exist, is a given. The trouble is, they don't always exist at the same moment and in the same place. This is the nature of time as it applies to the time travellers. We time travellers learned early on that there is no sustained order of things in the universe, eternal and inifinite as it is. Everything is there for you; it's just not always in the same place at the same time. Those people who would try to sell you a map may tell you how current and complete their product is, but while it may well prove useful (I could suggest the Cogtooth Phantomsnatcher Universal Positioning System as one that has often been a help), you inevitibly encounter disappointments, e.g. the clinic closed down just before you arrived, the space station that held the clinic has been dismantled or, in rare cases, the planet where the clinic was situated has been destroyed. (Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus with his sleigh of presents, but there is also, unfortunately, a Darth Vader and his Death Star.)

Why are things this way? Well, as you know in the progress of your own everyday life, what you do one day will effect the reality of the day to come. Often in ways you could never have foreseen. It works this way on a multi-dimensional scale in the eyes of us time travellers. The restaurant at the end of the universe may be your favorite haunt, but the sequence of events that produced its existence are not always where you want them to be. You go there once and have a great time. But you could go there again on what - according to the position of the stars - appears to be the very same location and time as on your last visit, only to find the restaurant doesn't exist at all and never even has, not there anyway. This is because the variables that enabled it to be there on your previous visit (previous, that is, along the line of your personal sequence of events) are different this time. Maybe another time traveller entered the life of the restaurant's founder before he would have opened the place where you expected it to be and lured him to a different location where he opened it instead. And that other location has a better view and gets more customers. (That other time traveller was an astute businessman and knew what he was doing.) And of course there are myriad other variables that make the universe - or even the Earth - so difficult to navigate for us travellers in time. More on that later.


  • At 10:27 PM, Blogger castleguy said…

    As a fellow time traveller, I may or may not be able to leave a comment to this blog entry, as my keyboard and my monitor do not always exist in the same place at the same time. I'm lucky I got this one in at all. Oh, damn, thetre it went, mi monitir, that is. Now I onli have a keyboird/


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