Friday, July 21, 2017

Predation - Paradoxical

Just gonna check my texts real quick here ...

So, previously I've discussed my thoughts on the "c" and my opinion of the cause of time travel failure and, by extension, the time anomalies found in Grevakc. Those time anomalies though, I haven't said much about them. Till now...

Firstly, there's not much information in the book. The game isn't about Time Travel after all. The time travel created the universe but that's not what the game is about. As such we're pretty much limited to whatever we decide for ourselves and the information on page 74, under climate and weather.

What we do know is that the time anomalies seem to be a development that occurred in the wake of the failure of the time travel apparatus. There's nothing to indicate that these anomalies existed prior to that event. There's even a sidebar that says as much, indicating no records of anomalies prior to the failure of the time travel devices. Given my opinion on the why and wherefore of the failure of time travel I think it's a safe jump to the conclusion that the time anomalies are in fact the manifestation of Temporal Paradox.

Time Anomalies

The run of the mill time anomaly is described as sometimes looking like
[...] glitches in the landscape, places where the edges don’t line up. Occasionally, they seem to look like a mirage, the flickering image of a place or structure that doesn’t belong. (Predation, pg 74)
People in Grevakc hunt these anomalies down because with them come cyphers, and rarely artifacts and remnants. I like to think of the latter two as the detritus of a paradox destroyed future timeline, the world to which the time bridge (for lack of a better term) once connected and the characters' ancestors originated.

To me this adds an interesting layer to the game with a touch of post-apocalypse scavenging the remains of the old world. These items come from a dead world; a time that was once future, but is now no longer anything more than a fragment causing paradox effects as the new timeline continues forward. I also view these pieces of the timeline that was, and possibly the future that was, as "temporally stable" items. Things that were real enough by some virtue to survive the paradox.

Cyphers on the other hand are more ephemeral and also more indicative of the temporal paradox that is Grevakc. These unnatural powers that somehow encode into human DNA are perhaps holdovers from genetic lines that have been wiped out. Or perhaps they are simply bits on another reality crystallized into "time bombs" usable by those who find them. Perhaps the nature of cyphers is even tied to whatever enabled the paradox to occur in the first place.

Time Terrors

Time terrors are weird. They are described like some kind of pop-up thunderstorm on steroids, a force to be reckoned with that causes ball lightning to be flung around, temperatures to rise or drop rapidly, and high winds. Time terrors are described as being extremely deadly, with few people having managed to escape getting stuck in one.

In the wake of time terrors anomalies are more likely to be found, and some even believe that there may be a cause-effect relationship. Furthermore in some instances observers outside of a terror have noted seeing strange discontinuous landscape-like mirages. I like to that that if anomalies are the result of the timeline crushing paradox that broke contact between Grevakc and the future, then time terrors are actual active paradox.

Consider how tectonic plates pushing against each other cause earthquakes when the force built up exceeds the friction between plates and causes slippage. In this case the plates are the original timeline and the new Grevakcian timeline, the paradox of humans existing in the Cretaceous who originate from a future that can no longer exist is causing "pressure" between the timelines. As the new timeline overwrites the old there are slippages that result in massive "time quakes" which the characters perceive as time terrors.

In this is the paradigm then it also means that time anomalies can be looked at as aftershocks; smaller less damaging paradox effects. It also implies that the mirages may in fact be actual views of the dying timeline. It could even be possible to use a time terror to travel through to the other timeline (though that may be a fatally poor choice).