I suppose I should start by telling you who I am. I am a very junior member of the Temporal Group. The Temporalists (for those of you who have been too busy trying to survive in this harsh world of 2030 to pay much attention to the advance of technology) are the aristocrats of physics these days.
They deal with that most intractable of problemsuthat of moving through time at a speed different from the steady temporal progress of the Universe. In short, they are trying to develop time-travel.
And what am I doing with these people, when I myself am not even a physicist, but merely au? Well, merely a merely.
Despite my lack of qualification, it was actually a remark I made some time before that inspired the Temporalists to work out the concept of VPIT (virtual paths in time).
You see, one of the difficulties in traveling through time is that your base does not stay in one place relative to the Universe as a whole. The Earth is moving about the Sun; the Sun about the Galactic center; the Galaxy about the center of gravity of the Local Groupuwell, you get the idea. If you move one day into the future or the pastujust one dayuEarth has moved some 2.5 million kilometers in its orbit about the Sun. And the Sun has moved in its journey, carrying Earth with it, and so has everything else.
Therefore, you must move through space as well as through time, and it was my remark that led to a line of argument that showed that this was possible; that one could travel with the space-time motion of the Earth not in a literal, but in a virtual way that would enable a time-traveler to remain with his base on Earth wherever he went in time. It would be useless for me to try to explain that mathematically if you have not had Temporalist training. Just accept the matter.
It was also a remark of mine that led the Temporalists to develop a line of reasoning that showed that travel into the past was impossible. Key terms in the equations
would have to rise beyond infinity when the temporal signs were changed.
It made sense. It was clear that a trip into the past would be sure to change events there at least slightly, and no matter how slight a change might be introduced into the past, it would alter the present; very likely drastically. Since the past should seem fixed, it makes sense that travel back in time is impossible.
The future, however, is not fixed, so that travel into the future and back again from it would be possible.
I was not particularly rewarded for my remarks. I imagine the Temporalist team assumed I had been fortunate in my speculations and it was they who were entirely the clever ones in picking up what I had said and carrying it through to useful conclusions. I did not resent that, considering the circumstances, but was merely very gladudelighted, in factusince because of that (I think) they allowed me to continue to work with them and to be part of the project, even though I was merely auwell, merely.
Naturally, it took years to work out a practical device for time travel, even after the theory was established, but I don? t intend to write a serious treatise on Temporality. It is my intention to write of only certain parts of the project, and to do so for only the future inhabitants of the planet, and not for our contemporaries.
Even after inanimate objects had been sent into the futureuand then animalsuwe were not satisfied. All objects disappeared; all, it seemed, traveled into the future.