Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Microstory 1607: Tense Time Travel Trouble

When The Crossover exploded, most of the people on board survived. What you see when you encounter the Crossover is probably not it in its original form. The highest tier, which was located the absolute farthest from the main engines, was designed for such an unthinkable event. It’s capable of doing everything the machine as a whole could do, just on a smaller scale—which is why it was so well insulated—but the whole point of building the Crossover in the first place was to ultimately relocate every Maramon in Ansutah, so it was only ever meant to protect the technology. Not all tiers are like this, and none of them came out of the cataclysm intact. Different sections were sent off to random universes, leaving any survivor stranded, often with few resources. These were called expulsions, and they set the scene for a number of run-ins with the Maramon. But the expulsions did more than just exile people. It transformed them, so that they would fit in with the cosmic laws of their destination. They were still Maramon, and they usually retained their memories and motivations, but their biology was altered, sometimes to an unrecognizable degree. Cut off from their kin, they formed new societies, and did whatever they felt necessary to keep surviving, even if it meant giving up everything they were taught to believe in as Maramon. Most sections separated from their tiers, and were ejected alone, but there was one universe that swallowed up an entire tier, though with each section being dispatched to a different planet in that brane’s version of the Milky Way galaxy. They were altered independently, in ways that would allow them to thrive on their respective alien worlds. They didn’t know what had happened to each other, and they definitely weren’t cognizant of the general status of the rest of the Crossover. They built new civilizations, and developed their technology, and after centuries, all but forgot about where they had come from.

As explained, the purpose of the machine was to let their species spread out, for they were born to a limited and confined universe. The expelled ones realized this goal, and spent little time worrying about whether everyone else would. Over time, the isolated Maramon advanced enough to explore the galaxy, eventually reuniting with each other, and comparing notes. It wasn’t for a while until the growing interstellar union finally managed to uncover the location of Earth. Remember that they had by now lost most of what made them Maramon, and the prejudices they held against the humans was pretty much gone. They were willing to give Earth the benefit of the doubt, especially since they recognized it wasn’t the same Earth that they struggled against in their history. Unfortunately, it would seem that they sent the wrong man to make first contact with them. He unilaterally decided that the humans were not fit to join the rest of the galaxy, and the best course of action would be to destroy them. He almost did it too, but his arrival came with consequences. While this version of Earth had already experienced some unusual things, such as ghosts living in pocket dimensions, they did not yet have time travel. The alien had inadvertently introduced them to that, and this changed the course of history. His technology ended up accidentally going back in time, where it was discovered by ancient Egyptians. Of course, they wouldn’t immediately recreate the tech themselves, but examining it was enough to propel human technology centuries beyond what it was meant to be. Thus began the Time Wars of this brane.

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