After chomping his noodles with audible enjoyment, Eddie turned to the egg rolls, leaving the less important business of detangling time-travel to Vančura and Armelle. The two had shoved their lunch aside and were poring over page after page of notes, equations, and diagrams. Armelle was busily scribbling out equations to check the theories for herself, trying to understand twelve years worth of work by Vančura and Benwright’s work. Finally, she tossed her pencil down with a sigh, accidentally letting it roll into Eddie’s sweet and sour sauce.
“Most of this makes sense…”
Vančura nodded, obviously pleased, but she kept talking.
“Except for the part about stopping time-travel. It’s not like you can just put up a big sign that says “Hey, bad time-traveler, stop breaking the time-stream!” and just expect that to work. I can think of a couple of ways to slam a temporal disruption shut, but they’d require a power output so massive it’s ludicrous. Plus, if you could build and power the machinery to do it, the backlash from closing a temporal disruption by force would probably burn a whole hemisphere of the planet to ash.”
The crunching of fortune cookies stopped abruptly, then started again, as Eddie kicked his brain back into gear after hearing the words “planet” and “ash” in the same sentence. Vančura just looked smug, as usual.
“You remember how you told me you could tell when someone opened a hole in time? That it creates a measurable distortion you could recognize? Well, I wondered: if a STAd can put out a distortion, a signal, perhaps it can receive one, too. Benwright worked some equations, ran simulations on computer models of the STAd, and he believes I may be right. He… well, we just don’t know enough about time aberration theory to get the mathematics right.”
He shrugged, watching her as if he expected Armelle to say something.
Eddie patted a napkin to his lips with exaggerated gentility, then handed her the strip of paper from his fortune cookie.
“‘Splain’s everyt’in, dat cookie does.”
She read it, then laughed, and read it aloud.
“‘Don’t leave others to finish what you started.’ You need me to polish up my STAd theory, because nobody understands it well enough to…. what?”
Vančura was staring at Eddie, an odd look on his face.
“Hm? Oh. If an STAd can send out distortion, it should be able to receive distortion. Benwright calculates that if one receives enough distortion as it begins it’s cycle, it will overload and fail. Catastrophically.”
End Chapter 24 – Part 2
I suspect Armelle IS going to be helpful here, but she’s definitely not going to make it easy for Vančura, that’s for sure!
Want to read the previous installments? They’re right here!
Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three,
Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six,
Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten, Chapter Eleven, Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen, Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen Chapter Seventeen, Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen. Chapter Twenty, Chapter Twenty One