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  1. Andrew had less than a nanosecond of life remaining when he flipped the switch. The machine upon activation severed the portals which lead to the multiverse and with them so too were the umbilicals of time severed. The machine had cast a field of energy that would prevent breaches of time and then it ceased to operate. The connections that powered the machine were gone, and the time that allowed the machine to operate was likewise gone. The field held, it would not degrade or fluctuate without time. Andrew knew all of this, but he did not, and would not, know if his gambit was successful. He'd done the best he could, he'd stepped up and gone toe to toe with the Watchers and he might have well beaten them. In the handful of picoseconds he had his brain considered the possibility of failure. Time was a required component of change and so it had been needed to allow the device to work, to allow the machine to be built, powered, and activated. Time was the enemy, it branched at every chance it got. Andrew knew that he would not die, he would simply cease to change, once the machine activated and that regardless of success of failure he and his infinite brethren would float, unchanging and timeless, in the void outside of time. That instant when the machine turned on might have been enough to allow the fundamental nature of reality to force another branch, a branch that would span the entire multiverse. Andrew had been certain the device would work, certain that failure was not an option, that it was effectively incapable of not functioning as intended. His plan seemed flawless, the machine had to work and so Andrew hoped that there could be no splitting of time, no other result that would allow his plan to fail. Andrew didn't have time to smile, he didn't have the time to find out if he had failed or succeeded. He only barely had the time to register that he would never know, that only if somebody else came to this place and retrieved him would he know if he failed. In the scant moments before he ran out of time he realized with sadness that he could never know success... ... and then time ended for Andrew. The end? The reader is of course welcome to decide for themselves if Andrew was successful or if he failed in his goal. Likewise the author is beholden to the choice of the setting's creator to understand that his success would be non-cannon and his failure would spin off yet another set of locked timelines while maintaining the status quo in an equally infinite set of timelines.
  2. Time, like infinity, is difficult to define. Within our experience of reality time is what enables us to observe change. We experience our world in three physical dimensions that we can observe directly. We can measure the length, width, depth or height of an object, person, or location. We experience time in a different manner however, we exist within time but we cannot observe time as a whole. We can see the ball and because of time we can observe its change of position as it rolls down an incline. The ball changes its place within the three dimensions. We observe the change incrementally, as subjective time for the observer elapses the ball moves. Were the ball to move from its starting point to its ending position without the passage of time, perceived or otherwise, the ball would appear to change position instantly. What makes things more difficult is that time is subjective to the viewer. Einstein's theory of relativity tells us that time is subjective. Even old wisdom and sayings demonstrate that before science proved it we knew time was subjective, "time flies when you're having fun", after all. However if time is subjective to our perception it is appropriate that our perception is subject to time. Human thought, the operation of the mind, is a complex electro chemical process. Without time to allow a change in state the change in chemical and electrical states within the brain that allow for thought and consciousness are impossible. Even for a Nova time is largely inescapable, some can manipulate time, speed it up or slow it down, even travel against the flow of time or across causality into alternate presents. To exist without time at all however, that may be a feat that even a Nova cannot achieve...
  3. technically you are enjoying it, unless you intend to lock the thread and prevent me from continuing with the last couple of bits.
  4. Continued from HERE In the space outside time the Andrews survived on literal borrowed time. They worked quickly, knowing full well that their connection to the multiverse could sever and leave them trapped for eternity without completing their task. In null time no action is possible, no electron may move around an atomic nucleus, no chemistry can occur, even quantum phenomenon become frozen, unable to change because change requires time. Drawing power and time from the portals to their worlds, the Andrews worked, and in no time at all the generator took shape. Andrew's mind reeled, how was it possible for an infinite number of men to work on a machine of infinite time and yet complete that work in a finite time. Even a nova level intellect as advanced as his found the events hard to grasp. The device, if indeed you could call a machine of infinite size and complexity simply a device, was finished. Manned by an infinite workforce and powered by infinite power the machine had but one single function. Switches were flipped, countless dials were spun, and an infinite supply of buttons were pressed. The machine, powered by the infinite grandeur of the multiverse turned that energy back upon reality. The portals slammed shut, in the vastness of the multiverse an unknowable number of time and cross-time travelers found themselves forcibly shunted back into realtime their machines a ruin of melted parts, their bodies purged of the ability to breach the natural flow of time.
  5. Andrew activated the machine. Power began to flow from the two portals on either side of the room, portals which led to rooms just like this that had further portals open to rooms just like this that had further portals… It was an infinite progression, in theory there was no way to assign a number to the parallel timelines contributing power to this project; no way to account for all the power being channeled into boring a hole outside of time itself. Infinite worlds generating infinite energy for a single finite task; Andrew, thousands of Andrews, had spent lifetimes working on this project, it was nearing completion and then he could rest. The view through the doughnut of magnetic coils and particle fields began to distort and darken. With little fuss and no sound at all a point of blackness appeared. It expanded and the view was maddening. Time itself lay on the other side of the window. Andrew picked up the field generator and prepared to step through the portal. He stopped and looked at the lab, looked at the tokens of his life and saw pictures of faces he knew intimately but who were complete strangers. Andrew had melded, merged his mind and body, with countless other versions of himself; some so nearly identical that they had been unable to distinguish each other as separate people afterwards, and others so different that they were very nearly not the same man at all. He no longer knew who he was; he also knew now exactly who he was, he knew the outcome, the fallout, the repercussions, and the results of every choice, of every divergent event of his life both random and determined. Andrew wondered briefly if the others were experiencing this same feeling, and he knew instantly that they were. They all were, because they were now the same. Andrew understood the Watchers now; he understood that despite all their seeming individuality they were still one person. Andrew now knew that in a perverse way he was changing places with the Watchers, he had become a people of one so that they would become, be forced to become, separate and different. On a trillion trillion worlds and more Andrew, stepped through the hole in the universe and into nothingness. An infinite tide filled the space outside of time; an exodus of a scale that cannot be measured or comprehended. End Part 2, The End of Andrew continues in Part 3: The End
  6. Infinity is a funny thing. It’s not actually a number; infinity is an idea, a concept. You cannot add one to infinity to get infinity plus one as a child might to win an argument; instead you simply get infinity. It’s like trying to divide zero; the mathematics can be applied but in the end they are meaningless. There are infinite universes to the multiverse and infinite earths within those universes; there are also an infinite number of universes where the Milky Way does not exist, where the earth never formed. Infinity by half is still infinity after all. On a smaller scale one might expect to be able to quantify things; one would be wrong. There were in fact an infinite number of Andrew’s working on the problem of the Watchers. Andrew’s beyond counting, beyond number, who all had the same goal; simply put they intended to prevent the Watchers from even tampering with another timeline again. Ulric had wanted to see them destroyed but his body had aged and decayed and failed him. Andrew had promised his old friend that it would be done; he had neglected to specify how it would be done however. Infinite worlds could generate infinite energy. Infinite energy was more than sufficient to erect an interdiction to all forms of time and cross-time travel. Once the field was activated The Watchers, his old associates (if, indeed, they still lived), and even Andrew himself would be unable to touch time. No travel backwards, or sideways, or forwards would be allowed. Time would be fixed into its present course, the universal structure would be free to weave itself as it was wont to do without having the threads of lives and worlds pulling and twisted for the amusement of a single nova who had grown so bored, so decidedly insane, that he had, in fact, become a race of one. And all it required was the sacrifice of one man.
  7. The portal, if you could call it that, for it was really more of a hole, looked wrong. It felt wrong as well, it was like that feeling that forms deep in the pit of your stomach that tells you when something terrible has happened, or will happen. A precursor, perhaps, to humanities latent psychic power. Andrew knew damn well that the portal was wrong, he'd created it after all. A tear in the very fabric of space time, a hole that led to nowhere. He flipped a switch and dialed in the coordinates he desired. There was a sound, deep bass throbbing with a counterpart so high pitched that it was nearly inaudible. The hole began to change, the edges becoming less distinct, the blackness receding until Andrew was looking into a mirror. The Andrew on the other side had a beard. He was also bald. Andrew smiled and waved, the other did the same. This alternate world was so close to Andrew's ... well it was Andrew's, the other him was him in every way save that he had decided to shave his head and grow a beard. The impact of that change was negligible on the time stream but it was also enough to create a divergence. The second Andrew stepped through the portal and into the other's world. There were two now, of like mind and body. They conversed, their minds were identical. They discussed the great plan, their feelings were the same, their goals in sync. The bald Andrew offered the clean shaven Andrew his hand. Like liquid their hands melded and they could feel their thoughts align; their minds became one, but remained two. Andrews smiled, they had the means, now they needed only to bide their time and gather the others. One by one they would form an army.
  8. Continued from HERE 2357 Andrew stood before the machine. Over two hundred years in the making, this machine would allow him to carry out the last wish of one of his freinds. He had worked inexorably, unfailingly, and at times stubbornly to this goal. He had finally duplicated through technology that which had only been possible for a nova; to rip a hole from one dimension into another, to breach time in such a way as to cross the barriers of causality and travel to alternate time-lines. Andrew understood madness and obsession well, he'd been in the grips of both at one point in his life. He'd often felt the seductive lure of madness to banish the real world, the world of hurt that he endured because he must. He'd embraced the obsession of his task and through it he'd advanced technology beyond what he had thought possible. By all rights the machine before him should not be possible. The energy required to do what he wanted to do via technology was absurd, and yet he had all that and more to spare. Andrew glanced at the helical crystal and mused that he had enough power to break every subatomic bond in every atom of the Earth itself, all contained in a device no larger than a bottle of juice. He smiled. All that power was still not capable of performing the task he required. He could engineer more, he could in theory harness the power needed to tear asunder all of reality. In an infinite universe there was, after all, infinite energy. It was, however, but one tool in his eminent victory. He performed the final checks and adjustments. His calculations were tuned to readings that were over three hundred years old, but Andrew knew that time would not change these things. In fact time was on his side. Time and the forces of nature and entropy. In the end we all die, even a nova cannot escape death forever ...
  9. In the end we all die, even a nova cannot escape death forever ... Andrew, by virtue of his place at the head of one of the world's great multinational corporations had been able to attend the official services and funeral. It was an ostentatious affair fit for a woman who had for more than two hundred years fought to make the world a better place for humanity. It was however a cold and sterile event as well. Nobody really knew who Super Woman was, her privacy had been guarded more fiercely than anything and despite the efforts of the best intelligence agencies of the world they knew next to nothing about her. The woman in the red and blue was a figure of myth and legend come to life for the people of the world. Andrew had assured that. It had taken some effort to convince Joani to remain anonymous but Andrew had managed. He insisted that they govern their touch on the world carefully. It was easy to point to the horror that had been Michael Donighal, to the way that he had manipulated events and politics to suit his dreams of world domination. No technology on earth could surpass Andrew's and with it he ensured that Joani would never be tracked, traced, or photographed without her consent. For the most interesting public figure of the past two centuries she had managed a low profile. The monument itself was simple, a statue raised on a plinth. The scene was of one of the few photographs that existed of her in action. She held two young children, one in each arm, and was walking out of the flames of a building. The image was iconic and no man, woman, or child on earth was not familiar with it. Before the statue was an eternal flame. Andrew has laughed to himself at the irony of a magnetically induced high energy plasma flame being part of the monument to a woman killed by a magnetically induced high energy plasma solar flare. The monument itself stood in a shallow bowl that rose away in every direction. One hundred and thirty seven columns stood in rings around the monument, each inscribed with the name of one of the Daedalus victims, those who were unable to escape the wrath of the flare known as Hades. It was only a monument, there were no remains to be interred, no remains had survived the immolation. Andrew had confirmed that himself to be sure that there could be no attempt made to study Joani's genetics. This world was one without novas, and Andrew knew that the capability was not within these people. In time they would develop the more precise control of psi but that was tens or hundreds of thousands of years away. He had no intention of letting some amoral government or corporation use Joani's DNA to unravel the keys to quantum power. Quantum was too dangerous, too volatile. One week later a short nondescript man had a headstone placed in a cemetery. The headstone was for a woman named Joani Reikspar. There was no remains to be interred, the woman was long dead for certain. The date on the stone read 2018, it was only a year after her husband whom was buried in the next plot over; Ulric Reikspar. "Together again at last my freinds, I do hope that whatever is beyond death allows you to be reunited." The short man with plain features walked away. He'd lost the last person he cared about. It was time to leave and he had work to do. End Part 1, The End of Andrew continues in Part 2: Leavetaking
  10. June 3, 2138 Andrew pushed away from the computer, he couldn't believe what he was seeing, he didn't think it was actually possible. The computer displayed the Global News Network feed. Prominently at the top of the screen it declared, "Tragedy in Space." It got worse from there for Andrew, the subtitle read, "Super Woman Dead." Andrew shook all over and then forced himself to read onward. Originally Posted By: Breaking News - GNN Top StoryTragedy in SpaceSuper Woman Dead Breaking Story Reports are coming in from the Mercury rescue operation that Super Woman has died. GNN feed from Daedalus Mission flagship Scutum shows Super Woman attempting to retrieve a disabled launch vessel from Daedalus base when the Hades solar flare engulfed the launch, Super Woman and Daedalus base. Scutum has been unable to pick up transmissions due to the magnetic and radio wave distortion caused by the flare. UNS Officials refuse to declare Super Woman or any of the scientists in the launch or base dead but one did say, "...it would be a miracle indeed if any of them survived." Andrew shut the power to the terminal off and stumbled blindly away, tears flowed freely in a way that he had not experienced since the death of his wife. He was alone now, the last of the three novas. He was alone, and buried under the grief was the feeling that he no longer had a place in this world.
  11. Originally Posted By: CourierJust wanted to say that I'm enjoying the extensions of our universe here. Originally Posted By: Mr Fox<snippage> I have to say, I've also been enjoying Andrew's Delta earth story as well. Very touching.<snippage> Thanks guys, it's nice to hear that they are being read; gives me reason to continue.
  12. June 3, 1948 The picnic had gone well, despite the wind, and the sudden short rain storm, and the ants, but aside from that it had been a wonderful afternoon. Andrew lay on the blanket, now located well away from the ants and now dry after the rain, beside him Christine stared up into the sky. "Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be a bird? To be able to fly free on a day like this?" Andrew smiled at her question, "Nope. Well, I used to, but not anymore." She turned her head to regard him with crystalline green eyes, "Why not anymore? Did you turn into a bird and flitter about the neighborhood last weekend while I was away?" She laughed at her own question, the sound was precious, infectious, and Andrew smiled in return. "No, but," he stopped and sighed, "Would you like to see what it feels like to fly?" "I've been in a plane dear, you take me up all the time." "That's not what I meant ..." ***** Andrew disconnected the monitors and the IV, removed the sensors gently, slowly disconnecting his wife from the machines that could have sustained her for days yet. Even without the massive strength afforded by his body's quantum use she felt light as he lifter her into his arms. A tendril snaked out and pushed the French doors to the balcony open as he walked around the bed. Once outside it was a small matter to produce great white feathered wings powerful enough to lift them both into the sky. ***** "How are you doing this?" Her voice was tinged with excitement as the ground under them rolled away and they gained altitude under the powerful beats of two great wings. "The same way that the Super Girl is able to do what she does. One day I will introduce you to her, if I don't she'll never speak to me again. We are not of this world, though we are from Earth. I could explain exactly how we are able to do what we do but I do not want to bore you, it is enough that we can do these things." "Yes," she was looking at him now, and he seemed caught off guard. He inquired what she was saying yes to. "Yes I will marry you." His eyes widened, and they dropped ten feet as he forgot to keep the wings spread wide. "I found the ring months ago, I cannot believe you left it in your coat pocket like that. You tried to hide it but I saw the box under the plates when you were setting lunch up. Don't look at me like that, you aren't the only person in the world with eyes Andrew." He flew onward, quiet for a moment. "You do not know everything about me, I have so much yet to tell you," he said. "I know I love you, that is enough." ***** The winter air was chill but the blankets and Andrew;s warm body kept Christine comfortable. She could feel the life ebbing out of her and she looked up into her husbands face, his features were no longer artificially aged, he looked now as he did when they first met. "Thank you Andrew, my love." She closed her eyes and turned toward his chest, his face and his embrace were the last things she had in her mind as she released her hold on life. In all his years Andrew had never felt so alone or such sorrow as in that moment.
  13. March 27, 2049 - Murphy Hospital and Clinic, Topeka, Kansas Andrew sat at the bed and flipped through the pad in his hand. He reviewed stocks and bonds, research results, sales figures, and more. Anything he could to focus past the steady beep and the IV drip that, to him, sounded like a bad faucet. His left hand tapped on the micro thin computer as he scrolled through another dry report on some marketing pitch for the new photo reactive polymer that his company was working on. His right hand held the withered hand of the bed's occupant. An elderly woman, her hair think and white, her skin wrinkled with age. He felt the hand squeeze his ever so slightly and he turned away from the pad, a look of concern on his face that turned to a smile as he saw the woman's eyes open. "Happy 100th anniversary my love." The woman smiled faintly, "And?" she asked as though expecting something more. Andrew laughed, "Happy 125th birthday. I wanted to get you a cake, but your doctor said it wouldn't do." "You liar," she replied, her voice strong despite her aged body, "You just want the whole cake for yourself ... Dr. Murphy." There was mirth in her voice and her smile was as beautiful as the day he had met her. ***** July 4th, 1946 The second World War was finally over. Despite their efforts Andrew, Joani, and Ulric had been unable to overcome the force of history. They had been able to delay its start and greatly decrease its scope but it would still go down in history as the greatest conflict in world history. In the end it went down much as it had on Andrew's home world. Andrew had, despite the danger that he could in fact still die, fought in both Europe and the Pacific. Today though, he wad finally home, or at least finally back in the United States. There were parades and celebrations. People bought the GIs drinks, and women all but flung themselves at the returning soldiers. Through a crowded Times Square, he saw her. Christine had a smile that could stop a man in his tracks; it certainly stopped Andrew in his. For the first time in a hundred years or more Andrew felt the pull of sexual attraction. Like a serpent he wove his way through the crowd, stopping only when he lost sight of that smile, and continuing once he found it again. In the end their first meeting would be shared with millions as a photographer from Life magazine shot the handsome soldier sweep the young woman from her feet and kiss her deeply. ***** "Caught me," he replied, his smile light. "I love you as much today as I have ever." "My husband, the sweet talker. I'll forgive you this time." Christine took a labored, deep breath, "How much longer?" "Not long now I'm afraid, there's simply no more I can do. I knew the longevity drugs worked, I should have started you on them sooner, much sooner." His face bore a sadness more profound than any before it. In all his life he had never felt so helpless. She patted his hand, "It's alright, 125 years is plenty long to live. Sometimes I can't even imagine your life. Or I think how scandalized my parents would have been if they had known your true age. You've given me a wonderful life, I've no regrets except that I have to leave you alone." She closed her eyes, she couldn't bear to see him cry. After a long silence she said, "Though I do wish I could go flying one more time."
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