Whenever a destined event is prevented from happening, a
ripple occurs in the infinite flow of time. It closes when the event plays out as originally intended, or when anyone travelling
through a time ripple returns to their point of embarkation. All events taking place within the visual frame of reference
within the ripple portal can be reviewed. Timepieces clock the movement of time outside the ripple.
According to Rumiko Takahashi in her series "InuYasha", time
travel is possible through an ancient well within a shrine. It takes her from the "modern era" (which is dated presumably
around the late 1900s) to the "Feudal era" dated 500 years back. However the access is limited only to the priestess Kagome
Higurashi and InuYasha himself. Because she had the reincarnted soul of Kikyo within her as well as the Shikon No Tama, Kagome
was allowed to travel back into the past. It has been made clear that it's not just because she's a priestess, because when
her brother Souta attempted to travel back he was unable to do so. It also turns out that when in the Feudal Era, time passes
much more quickly than it does in the modern era. The time of five hours in the past can stretch out to be a week in the future.
Method 1: Time WarpsTime warps are a general term for gateways which lead to other times. The main factors which separate time warps
from other methods is that a time warp can be a stable gateway and that the traveler is still directly linked to his "home"
time. Stable time warps tend to resemble little more than a hole in the air, the other side of which is in the same location
in space but not in time. Crossing the barrier instantly transfers the traveler to the time period at the other end. In some
cases it takes the traveler a while to notice that he is no longer in his home time. If the gateway is stable, items and beings
from either time may cross the barrier freely. The main danger of this type of time travel is that any changes made to the
past quickly "ripple" up the timestream and then effect the traveler. Persons using this method of time travel are warned
than even small changes can have disastrous results and cause a paradox (Agents are reminded that the universe's usual solution
to a paradox is to remove the cause, i.e. YOU). It is interesting to note that most ends of a naturally (or
super-naturally) occuring time warp are at least 100 years apart. Only man-made warps seem to end up in the same century.
Time Away: In the time warp method of time travel, the "clock is ticking" on a one-for-one basis as long
as the gateway remains open. In other words, if you cross through a time warp gate and stay a week in 1673, when you return
to 1996, a week has passed here. Should the gateway close, then a new gateway to the traveler's home time will be needed in
order to return (though they are still connected to their home time and must still be concerned about paradox).
This method of time travel presents the most immediate danger to the traveler. Without full knowledge of all consequences,
it is easy to make a minor change that will ripple up the time stream and cause a paradox.
EXAMPLE: Our time traveler
(hereafter known as "Bob") uses a man-made warp gate to travel back to 1936. While in 1936, Bob is mugged in an alley. Not
thinking, Bob shoots the mugger. Unfortunately for Bob, the mugger was his grandfather. The death of his grandfather occurs
before Bob's father was born and as such cause a paradox which ripple up the timestream and consequently erases Bob from existence.
In 1936, Bob stares at the dying mugger, holsters his gun, and is then wiped from reality at the exact instant that the mugger
dies. Note that Bob's grandfather is still dead, since the changes only alter events that take place AFTER the death of Bob's
Method 2: Temporal ProjectionTemporal Projection (aka Mind hopping) is the method of choice for psionicly active persons. In this method,
the traveler leaves his body in the present and sends his consciousness into the past (note that only backward travel is possible
with this method) to possess the body of someone native to the time period. If the traveler knows who he wishes to possess,
then he will "home in" on that person instinctively (although a psychic attack will still be needed to possess the body).
If no specific target is known, the traveler will home in on the person with the closest DNA match to the traveler. In these
cases, the traveler usually ends up in the body of an ancestor. The consciousness of the host is suppressed while the traveler
is present and will usually have no memory of events that occur during their possession.
Time Away: With
this method of travel, the "clock is ticking" at all times. Every second spent in the past is a second that the traveler's
real body is comatose. Anyone who plans on spending more than a day in the past using this method had better prepare medical
facilities to care for his body while he is away. If he doesn't, he may not have a body to return to.
This method has fewer immediate dangers than time warping, but the traveler must still be careful. If the traveler makes any
changes that will erase his existence in his home time, he will not be effected until he returns. The traveler must also be
careful not to endanger his host (if the body the traveler is in dies, so does he). If the traveler erases his future and
then attempts to return, he will return to his home time to find no body waiting. The traveler will die within a few hours
as his consciousness disperses. Another danger is that of conflicting memories. If the traveler goes into the past, makes
a few minor changes, and then returns, he will have memories which do not match those of his (now slightly altered) body.
This often results in a "doubling" of memories, i.e. the traveler has two sets of memories, both of which are real. In many
cases, this disorder eventually leads to insanity unless one set of memories is somehow excised.
EXAMPLE: Bob uses his psionic
powers to travel back to 1930 and possess his grandfather. While in 1930, Bob uses his knowledge of the future to make lucrative
stock deals and insure that his family will be wealthy in his home time. Bob then returns to discover that his family is,
in fact, quite rich. Unfortunately for Bob, his trip caused his father to go to a different school (one for wealthy children)
and thereby miss meeting Bob's mother in high school. Bob's father married a different woman and Bob no longer exists. Bob
spends his remaining time on this plane wondering what went wrong.
Method 3: Temporal DisplacementTemporal displacement is often seen as the most desirable (and most difficult) form of time travel. Using this
method, the traveler completely removes his presence from his home time and inserts it in his destination time. In doing so,
the traveler is always considered to be in his "home" time and therefore immune to paradox. The traveler may act with impunity
since his actions will in no way affect him. Should he return to the period of his original "home" time, he will see the changes
he wrought but will not be directly affected by the "ripples" he created.
Time Away: By using this method,
the traveler may be away as long as he likes and return to any moment he wishes. A traveler who is gone for a year can return
to the instant after he left or he can be gone for a minute and return a year later.
Dangers: The method
presents the least amount of danger to the traveler. There is no paradox danger and so only the threats inherent to the era
are of concern to the traveler.
EXAMPLE: Bob gets his hands on a temporal
displacer and uses it to travel back 30 years and kill his father before Bob was conceived. Upon returning to the present
day, Bob discovers that no one recognizes him, his house is owned by someone else, and even the IRS doesn't know who he is.
Bob decides that he doesn't like this as much as he thought he would and so he cranks up the displacer again. He return to
the past and this time shoots the earlier version of himself before his father is killed. Bob returns to the present to find
A paradox loop occurs when the traveler performs some act that
is essential to preserve reality as he knows it. In many cases the traveler doesn't even discover that the loop has occurred
until much later.
EXAMPLE: Bob uses a time warp
to travel back to 1890. While in the past, Bob has an affair with a woman named Jane. When Bob returns to his time, he decides
to find out what happened to Jane after his departure. Bob is shocked to discover that Jane was his great-grandmother who
changed her name after he left and listed Bob as the father of her son on the birth certificate. Bob realizes that he is his
own great-grandfather and that his grandfather is his son. Bob opens a bottle of extra-strength aspirin.