Author : Sam Clough, Staff Writer
The Locus is the focal point of our operation. It exists for a period of one year, at the south pole of the nascent earth. That year is constantly recycled: we’ve been in operation for twenty-four years, subjective. Geologically speaking, we leave just before life shows up. After our first accident, and the creation of the beta timestream, we frameshifted to treating millenia as moments. Just to be safe.
We draw personnel from all six timestreams now, but back at the founding only the alpha stream existed. Well, that’s a lie, but a useful one. The other streams probably did exist, but we just didn’t know about them. We’ve got more scientists than field operatives here at the Locus, and arguements can get quite heated as everyone defends their pet theories.
The first accident was right when we set up here. We misjudged our recycling period and ended up leaving a crate of assorted garbage out in the cold. Almost immediately, our gear went nuts, claiming to have picked up an alternative set of destination co-ordinates.
Turns out that can of garbage was found at some point in the seventeenth century, and the broken electronics contained within were enough to accelerate development towards an information society by about eighty years. Naturally, we tried looping back on ourselves and cleaning up the garbage, but it made no difference. The beta stream was there to stay.
The gamma stream was created intentionally by one of our researchers, to see if it could be done in the lab. He didn’t have permission to do it. We looped back to stop him, and suceeded. But our gear still had access to a third timestream. Gamma is regressed: the scientist managed to stop the industrial revolution before it happened.
Delta and epsilon were all accidents of one sort or another, mostly made by gamma personnel during training.
Zeta was my doing. There’s a long-running joke that everyone kills Hitler on their first solo soujourn.
Delta’s Hitler was the worst. He succeeded where alpha’s Hitler failed, and ended up smashing both Russia and the United States.
So I killed him, and in doing so, I created Theta. Killing Hitler didn’t create a peaceful timestream. It didn’t stop the war. Killing Hitler killed everyone. Mutually Assured Destruction suddenly didn’t look all that mutual anymore, and the sky burned.
The Locus authorities threw me in a cell: one day, recycled forever.
They won’t kill me for it. They made that abundantly clear. I have to serve six billion life sentences, subjective.
They tell me that they’ll keep me alive for as long as they can.