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“A combination of ‘alternate’ and ‘reality.’” Earhart’s hand had drawn a single straight line down the center of the page, and now marked it with a ‘T’ before attaching two short lines at one end to make it an arrow. “Behold the stream of time, everflowing and constant, at least according to Sir Isaac Newton.

“Yet,” now Earhart’s hand quickly drew two parallel arrows, one extending less and one extending further from the same imaginary baseline, and marked them “T1” and “T3,” respectively, before adding a superscript “2” to the original “T,” “Einstein showed that Newton was wrong, that time can be slowed down or sped up; that time is relative.”

“Okay, we may be kids, Alan, but—”

“Patience is one of the hallmarks of maturity, Judy,” Earhart informed her without looking up from his pencil. “That, and an open mind. As all of you learned as undergrads, Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity opened up a whole new world. Werner Heisenberg followed some twenty years later with his Uncertainty Principle, which not only made our little quantum machine out there possible,” Earhart made a singular gesture with his pencil, “but also paved the way for my Alternity Principle.”

“By paving the way for Hugh Everett’s ‘Many Worlds’ Theory,” Wally piped in.

Earhart half-glanced up at Wally. “True.” Then he gave a full glance to Judy as the pencil found the paper once more. “Let us imagine that the multiple frames of reference implied by Einstein’s theory are the many worlds of Everett’s theory.” The three graphite lines had been extended to a single point of connection at the bottom. “As you know, what our so-called ‘Box’ out there is doing is transporting subjects back in time by speeding their frame of reference past the light barrier.”

Dwyer broke in with a small cough. “Well, Doc, we don’t know if we’re actually doing that—”

Alternity, Chapter I:

1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9/ 10/ 11/ 12/ 13/ 14/ 15/ 16/ 17/ 18/ 19/ 20/ 21/ 22/ 23

Jump to Chapter II

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