“So, this is what Time looks like?”
Simplified Model of the Omniverse
Solomon looked back over his shoulder at the Senator, “This is just a small portion of it. I’ve programmed the Yggdrasil supercomputer to give us the center of it and reduce the model to simply the major branches. Otherwise, it would fill up the monitor so that the entire screen would be nothing but green. We’ve already made some inroads exploring these other branches, and I’m sure that with further funding. . . “
The Senator cut him off, “This is all fine and dandy, Dr. Solomon, but what makes you think that the United States government would be so willing to pour more money into what has so far proven to be nothing but pure research?”
“Exactly why I asked for you specifically, Senator.” Solomon unwrapped a snow globe and placed it on the desk in front of the Senator. It was a cheap little thing that could be purchased in any gift shop in Washington DC. However, among the swirling plastic snowflakes could be seen the flag of the USSR and the words, “Welcome to Amerika” printed below that.
Senator Joseph McCarthy sharply took in a breath. Solomon smiled enigmatically, “We retrieved this from a branch of time very near ours. If we have the technology to hop into their reality, it’s a good bet they also possess this same technology. They may not stop at pure research.”
It was 1954, and the Red Scare was in full force. Solomon got his funding.
A philosophical wag one said that the only reason for the existence of Time was to make certain that everything didn’t happen at once. He was quite correct in this statement, but not in the way that one might imagine.
When you put time into a visual context, it is usually expressed as a series of events in a single line. . . Event A leads to Event B to Event C. The nature of time isn’t so simple. Time is not a line. Time is a tree with an infinite number of branches. . For every even that occurs, time splits into other realities where the alternatives to that event are carried out.
For example, if Joe stops at an intersection on the way to work, and then continues straight ahead… In Branch A, Joe instead decides to blow off work and turns left instead. In Branch B, Joe remembers something he needs to pick up something at the pharmacy, and turns right. In Branch C, Joe runs the stop sign and is hit by a truck. All the Joes (except maybe for Joe C) then continue to create their own alternate Joes in their own realities, ad infinitum.
There are an infinite number of Universes woven together by Time into a Omniverse.
Event Zero is the center hub of the Omniverse branches, and represents the creation(s) of the Omniverse. Though it is a singular chronological event, research into the creation of several Zero Branch realities has proven that they were brought into existence by something other than the Big Bang. Evidence of this has been strongest in those branches where magic has replaced science as the ascendant mode of thought.
Zero Branch- The divergence begins at Event Zero. These changes affect the entire universe and may result in different physical laws and/or an alternate origin of the Universe.
Major Branch– Divergence occurs on an international/global level.
Minor Branch– Divergence from the city level up to the national level.
Micro Branch – Divergence that affect a single person or small group of people.
The Yggdrassil mainframe computer of Project: Outsider labels discovered branches and predicts possible new branches. Each label uses the following format:
[Native Name for World] – [Order of Discovery, in case of duplicate world names.] – [Date of Divergence yyyymmdd] – [Military Time of Divergence hhmmss] Example: Terra-203-20050822-132259
Traveling the Omniverse
There are methods of hopping from one branch to another. Most of these are difficult due to the extreme steps one must take and the ever-changing nature of the Omniverse.
This process for traveling between the branches was first discovered during the infamous Philadephia Experiment. The process has since been stabilized by the US Government’s Project: Outsider, but still remains a potentially dangerous process.
Volunteers subjected to the process have their personal magnetic field temporarily altered to match that of another branch. The volunteer attaches a stabilization device to prevent the side effects experienced by the crew of the USS Eldridge in the original Experiment.
A portal is literally a doorway to another world. They have been known to occur naturally. Those happening in nature are invisible, unstable and often allow for travel in only one direction. Primary examples can be found in the disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle.
Artificial portals have been known to exist. Very often they are the products of magic instead of science.
The Academia Magica is a stately Victorian mansion with the unique feature that the building physically exists in several realities simultaneously. It can be found in realities that have a high magic rating, and always in an area with a high amount of mana. Its home location is Avalon, the Faerie Island in Arthurian legend.
The Academia is a famous School of Magic among Adepts. It is known for teaching the Raw Magick, a style of magic adaptable to numerous realities.
The Infinite Library is an interdimensional construct that links an uncountable number of realities together. Each of its openings end in a library anchored in one reality or another. In every case, that library is well known for the rare knowledge it contains.
The Library is maintained by the Order of St. Albert (Einstein). This Gnostic brotherhood of monks has made it its mission to collect all existing knowledge. Their belief is that all knowledge is a reflection of God, and by collecting all knowledge; they would gain a complete picture of God.
O.D. McGuffin, Curiosities
Looking at the entrance, it does not appear very impressive. The shop has a single, nondescript door with a small brass plaque upon it with “O.D. McGuffin, Curiosities” engraved upon it. Opening the door leads into a cozy little shop with a wide variety of exotic doo-dads hung upon the walls and in glass cases. Just about any time the shop is open, you can find the elderly proprietor, O.D. McGuffin, grousing behind the counter.
There is only one shop, but it has many locations. The front door is a dimensional portal that opens up to a number of alternate realities. The door is usually found in a non-obvious place, usually amidst a number of small shops or even in an alley.
You can buy just about anything at O.D. McGuffin’s, if you can pay the price. However, money is nearly useless to the dimension-spanning shopkeeper. There is only one coin that has any value that is good in just about any reality . . . Information. O.D. is a shrewd negotiator, earning him the nickname of “Old Devil.” It is a reputation he seems to delight in.