Alright. If I’m going to tell you my story, we’re going to get one thing straight right here, right now. Time travel does not exist. At least as everyone knows it. Everyone thinks you can just build a machine and pop into the past, make a few changes and then go to your brand new future. No, it doesn’t quite work like that.
Picture time as it actually is, a line. If you were to ‘hop back in time’, as it were, you would create a line from where you started to where you were going. In essence, you would create a circle. Now that you’re in the past, you’ve changed the past. In your past, there was no you. In the current past, there is. If you went to the future now, the future would not be the one you left. It may be similar, it may be nearly identical, down to the smallest detail, but it will not be your future.
Now that you’ve gone to the past, your timeline includes that loop. Here’s where the romanticised concept of time travel begins to fail. If you went to the past to change something, say, stop someone from dying or give yourself money, once you’ve done that, there’s no reason for the you in the present to go into the past anymore. So if you were to go back to the future, there would be two of you: the one who went back in time and the one who had no reason to. But if you from the present did not go to the past, the future cannot exist. Thus, a paradox is created.
In reality, time travel is actually dimensional travel. Go back to your picture of time as just a line. Now think of any life choice you made you think was big. Like picking a college, if you should ask a girl out, if you should propose. Put dots on your line for each of these choices and draw a line branching from them. These new lines are dimensions where you made a different choice. Next, lets add a dot for every decision you’ve made in a morning. What time you got out of bed, what you had for breakfast, if you took a shower, what clothes you put on, which socks, which shoes, how you brushed your hair, which radio station you listened to in the car, which route you took to work. Then add all these dots you added to your main line to the lines you’re creating. This web you’ve created is just encompassing you, in the last few hours. Try creating a branch of your week, your month, your year. Try creating a branch of your neighborhood, your city, your state. The possibilities are endless.
Time travellers have entirely the wrong idea. They only travel along the line their world has gone through. It’s easy to add a new point on the web, create a new thread where they are in the past and the future, where they save the loved one or came across lots of money. And while they won’t change their old future, they won’t be returning to it, either. They have a beautiful new future with love and riches awaiting them.
An intelligent man would instead create a machine that allows them to explore the web itself, see what could have been, not just create changes here and there. Time travellers are just short sighted is all. My name is Kincaid Kino. I travel through the dimensions.
I was just a toddler when the first Dimensional Gates were built. Those things were huge. They actually built a museum around one; it was cheaper for them to build the museum than it was for them to move the gate. It’s not like processing power was non-existent when I was young, just that the original dimGates needed so much of it! My college years were when dimGates got to a manageable level, about the size of a office server. Then, eight years ago, not even six months after I got my job at ZX Laboratories, their dimGate program was replaced by what they called the Ether-Assisted Web Explorer System. They really suck at acronyms, I know. They Pronounced it Eh-Wass, we called it you ass. Even though their abbreviations sucked, man, let me tell you, this new system rocked.
The Ether is not my forte, so I can only explain it so well, but here is how it was explained to me: Think of the Ether like a transparency you would use on a projector. You can put that transparency on top of a sheet of paper, write all over it, lift up the transparency and the paper is just fine. The Ether, much like the transparency, is a thin, invisible layer right over our worlds. It’s pretty useless, really, except in the one area is excels in: data transfer. We’re talking unheard of speeds , here. One can only imagine the jump technology made when the Ether went mainstream. Many of us are still in awe. But it seems like the Ether was created specifically with data in mind. Who, exactly, created the Ether, we may never know, but god bless him, really. With the Ether at our disposal, dimGates no longer needed the processing power to computer the dimensional web. Instead, we built a large server that would stream the information live. Not only that, but the boomerang effect that the dimGate relied on to return travellers home was knocked clean out of the park. Since the tech was portable and the Ether worked across dimensions, we didn’t have to create return gates on a timer anymore. One could simply signal for a gate to open whenever needed. This brought en end to the dimGates as the world knew it.
What ZX Labs officially called EAWES the public called a NetCaster. It’s actually a joke. Net, Internet, World Wide Web, Dimensional Web. I Said it was a joke, I didn’t say it was a good one. When the NetCaster was activated, a small field of negative space appeared around the user. These gates would create the wormhole effect between the point in the web you were and where you were going. It sometimes feels like something large overhead is casting a shadow; hence the final play on words. NetCaster. They went mainstream and that was that. For a relatively large sum of money, anyone could traverse the web. And since it wouldn’t ever effect us, nobody cared. It wasn’t until my group and I discovered that the dimensions weren’t exactly infinite like we initially believed that restrictions came into play at all, or the dilemma that caused me to vanish for five years.
The universe domes something kinda cool in regards to the web. There really must be some sort of intelligent design, since there’s really no other reasonable explanation for why it does this. There are a ton of choices made within a day. I’m talking tons and tons. Can you imagine just how many universes would be created within a minute? Fortunately, the universe takes care of that. Instead of branching into an entirely new thread, it creates a perceptive reality. If in one reality you wore blue shoes and in another you wore red, the two resulting threads are so minor they merge into one perceived thread. Everything else that happens in the world is the same, you just perceive either the red or blue shoes depending on which thread you belong to. One could also say you’re wearing both pairs at once, as well. Regardless, these minor threads create one large thread that the basic universe takes part in. We could visit each person’s perceived reality, but instead we’ve made the NetCasters recognize the general reality. The general reality takes the most common threads and uses that as the basis. If we happen to mention red shoes, someone in the blue shoe reality just hears the word blue instead. Seriously, the universe does some awesome stuff.
Two years ago the ZX Corporation founded the Time-Space Headquarters. It’s primary task was to monitor the Dimensional Web and NetCaster usage. Yesterday they discovered something unsettling: Something was causing the dimensional web to unravel. And their primary suspect? The NetCaster.
Guess who just received a very nasty letter from the TSHQ…