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Snippet: Temporal Crash
The Baldwin Sister
"213 years from now, the last seven-hundred humans alive will enter a temporal freezer, to avoid being torn the shreds by the effects of these little time games you are witnessing. Seven-hundred. From a population that spans the stars, numbering in the quadrillions, down to seven-hundred souls. All because a few 'good-hearted' people got their hands on time-traveling technology, and decided to 'fix' a few things.

"Everything else just doesn't exist any more. Not like you'd understand it. Every timeline birthed and murdered crashed together 213 years from now, and it not a single one did the human race survive. We reacted first - built the freezer, stuffed it as full as we could, and severed ourselves from the collapsing space-time. Once out there, we were able to sort through what happened. Removed from it all, living on a kind of manufactured quasi-time, we learned that continuity was turning in on itself, and the human race was doomed.

"The freezer won't last forever. It's degrading on itself in cyclical iterations that I can only pretend to understand. But we couldn't just walk out. The moment in time we left from doesn't exist any more . Bottom line is that for the human race to continue, to have anything resembling a future, we had to fix the hell that everyone else created in the timeline.

"Three of us left, to different eras in human history, different timelines that didn't intersect at all. And we're here to get everything aligned again, no matter what it takes. Since we rejoined linear time, communication with the freezer is spotty, but possible, especially when things go through a re-alignment. We have an easier time communicating with each other, since we're aligned through whatever temporal mumbo-jumbo pushed us out of the freezer and beyond the end of time and back among you folk.

"So it works like this - we need key events in history to happen, to propel the future forward to ONE version, where all of existence doesn't go the way of oblivion. Would be best if there was still an earth-like planet around. Even better if the human race was still around as well, but that seems like a long shot at this point. Once things are back in place, the remaining six-hundred-and-ninety-seven people can leave the freezer and start living again.

"The details don't matter - I don't care if it's Joe or Jim who's elected president, so long as it's a guy who will initiate the Armistice of 2043. I'll get that to happen. But my agent earlier on... she's gotta make sure the seeds are sown to even HAVE a Battle of the Pacific Rim in 2042. And I only need the Armistice cause my agent in the future tells me that it's the best route to driving the Sciencia Accord to come to fruition. Then, of course, when we trip some critical action that shakes two desperate timelines together, we hear the all mighty voice from back in the freezer with a new missive, and maybe now we've got to prevent the Battle and make sure the Accord never happens.

"It's exhausting work, tossing pebbles in the dark in the hopes that our distant ripples will line up. But we've made critical progress. The number of disparate timelines is now within real mathematics, which took a lot effort. Sure, sometimes it's getting a guy elected President, sometimes it's pushing some poor soul in front of a train so that his lover can fall in love with someone else and spawn the next Architect General. Sometimes it's wearing a red shirt to Wal-Mart on a Tuesday. More times than I like to count, it's tracking down a visiting 'do-gooder' and ending their career before they can undo whatever we've done.

"The kick of it all? When it's all over... we're gone. All three of us. We're tied to the freezer, and should it ever go out - either cause of decay, or because we finally succeeded and humanity left it - then we just blip out. Gone. They think the universe will heal over us like paper cuts - completely gone despite all our changes still in place. We ain't gonna have that beautiful human future we are working to create. We don't even get the solace of being remembered once its all over.

"So, no, I want to hear about your Lord and Savior."


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