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Fish Story 31/41

Fish Story 31/41 published on 17 Comments on Fish Story 31/41

Holly: I’m in a hurry, but I’m a mage, so if you need a really quick healing —

— Thorn?

Thorn: Holly?!

Holly: Alternate-dimensional evil Thorn?

Thorn: Time-traveling future Thorn. Who could have used a heads-up about this!

. . . although now that I’ve said that, you can’t tell me, or it’ll destabilize the time loop I’m in. Sorry, not your fault, this one’s on me.

17 Comments

*Checks calendar* Nope, not April 1st. Apparently time travel is now a thing.

And alternate dimension might be thing as well. Apparently, Erin decided that fantasy story is not challenge enough and raised stakes. Maybe we shouldn’t be THAT surprised, And Shine Heaven Now also involved time travel … although I though that’s taken from parodied material.

For the record, there isn’t any time travel in the original Hellsing, or in the other crossovers that got mixed up in those storylines (Read or Die and Victorian Romance Emma, mostly). But I really like time travel. And why not get it mixed up with magic more often, I say. It worked for Sailor Moon…

Now just wait until Thorn’s pink-haired son from the future drops out of the sky to annoy everyone.

Did you read A Sound of Thunder? Visiting past without changing it is IMPOSSIBLE unless you take the “changes already happened even before you traveled” route. And writing story where characters somehow end up doing everything exactly the way they need to to not cause any change and still have motivation to do it is extremely hard.

Using parallel universes which looks just like ours did some time ago but can be changed is much easier way to get lot of reasons why you may want time travel. Unless, as I said, you really like the challenge.

Ohhhh, I love a challenge. Especially when stable time loops are involved.

But I don’t buy the plausibility of A Sound Of Thunder. One dead butterfly changes the course of history 65 million years later — *without* changing the interim so much that it’s unrecognizable? (Meanwhile, there’s no effect from all the air these far-future humans are breathing, from the modern bacteria they and their bullets are leaving behind…) It’s a shocking twist ending for a short story, not a plausible time travel mechanic for a longer work.

So: stable time loops are possible, little differences get smoothed into irrelevance under the overwhelming current of history, and a lot of the motivation comes from “uh-oh, looks like the past shows I already did this, so I better not screw it up. No pressure or anything. Thanks a lot, relative-future me.”

About the effect from modern bacteria … yes: A Sound Of Thunder UNDERESTIMATE how hard is to not change the past. Modern bacteria would actually have about same effect on live in Jurassic as Enterprise CVN-65 at Sackett’s Harbor in 1812.

It’d be cool if there was nothing particularly unusual about this, and time travel was just sort of a semi-routine military/intelligence/black-ops procedure. Like, we can get some character insights from future Thorn, but he’s here to do the chrono-warrior equivalent of busywork.

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