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PROFILE

Jan. 2nd, 2019 11:41 am
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IC Contact - Hadriel Timeline - Permissions - Time Travel 101



Name: Dr. Marian Tenebris
Position: Professor of Physics
Research Interests:
Catalysis of quantum thermodynamic machines
Nonlinear dynamics in information systems
Function tail collapse in quantum mechanical spontaneous localization models
Appearance:
Average height, around 5'5", and lanky. At rest, very poor posture, with shoulders slumped. Bags under her eyes like she hasn't slept in a long time. Light brown eyes, almost orangeish in the right light. Only a few wrinkles, but silver-grey hair usually tied back in a long ponytail, long untrimmed bangs.

Uncomfortable and heavy-looking box always on her back, held with backpack-like straps in a manner that suggests it was makeshift and rushed. Box is mostly featureless, with removable panel on the top edge and USB slot. Several small lights on one side. Large air vents on both sides, but completely silent, no fan, no heat generated.

Prefers grey and blue clothing: blue turtleneck, grey slacks. Wears very heavy, large smartwatch.
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In loosely reverse chronological order:

Event: Seven Days of Hadriel:
Regis

Event: City Reunification + April Intro
Elena

Event: City Split (Side A):
Dylan
Amos
Sharon's post: Mello -- Complete
Sharon's post: Sharon -- Complete(?)
Sharon's post: Rey
Fear's post: Quill
Emily -- Complete

Inbox: Lee

Inbox: Alphys -- Complete

Event: Patron Gods
Sans
Kate

Inbox: Carlisle

Event: FUCKING SNOW
Rey
Glacius -- Complete
Quill
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ENEMIES

Note these are ad-hoc names for the things. Only the last three emissaries even refer to themselves as such. Worth noting that none of them except the Emissary of Void count as 'observers' as far as induction of paradox is concerned.

"Crawlers": Vaguely slug or snake shaped lumps of dead and corrupted matter, animated. No intelligence, but will attack anything that approaches them. Destructible with normal weapons, do not regenerate. Rather weak and pathetic.

"Hunters": Composed of two rapidly decomposing torsos joined at the spine, with four limbs (all of which are arms) and no heads. Vaguely sentient and unreliable; may stand and not do anything on approach, but may also (weakly) attack. Once they realize Marian can time travel, they're capable of identifying any object she is carrying, and running to obtain and hide it in the present time if one exists, in an attempt to create a paradox for her. Can stand on two of its arms, or run on all four. Destructible with normal weapons, do not regenerate.

"Towers": Immobile connections built of decomposing matter that latch into the ground and rise into the sky like blackened trees, often with a spherical core. Frequently emit blasts of space-warping energy, and anyone caught within will be turned inside-out (instant death). Not destructible with normal weapons (deflection/relocation), allow regeneration of many other entities.

"Stalkers": Four-limbed monstrosities with a dangling 'bag' of viscous fluid. Intelligent but incapable of comunication. Can see all places at once and teleport on a short timer. Will not attack directly, but will follow until their target is trapped in a dead-end, then engulf them with the fleshy 'bag', resulting in instant death. Destructble with normal weapons, but will flee on a single hit to the nearest tower to regenerate.

"Emissaries": unique creations. All are directly associated with a specific tower that regenerates them within a wide range. Not destructible with normal weapons. HP slowly and continuously drops when in the same room for all except Void.
  • Emissary of Dust: Hostile and destructive creeping dust storm. Moves from one life form to another, not sentient by any human understanding
  • Emissary of Ice: Three-legged mass of ice and bones. Can send out shards of ice across the ground or through the air. Very aggressive and hostile. Vaguely sentient but incapable of communication.
  • Emissary of Darkness: Animate shadow that often takes the outline of a nondescript human being. Sentient, can brokenly whisper to others, but cannot hear responses. Hostile, but cannot do physical damage. Co-ordinates activities with Stalkers. Cannot exist in brightly lit areas.
  • Emissary of Entropy: Humanoid creature built from decomposing corpses. Can communicate in fragments, not overtly hostile unless attacked. Can destroy any material on proximity, including all weapons. Can create additional hunter-like horrors from dead material.
  • Emissary of Void: Simulated human-shaped creation, but without eyes -- perceives reality through whatever strange perception all of the creations do. All-seeing and capable of teleportation faster than a Stalker, as well as able to teleport things other than itself. Causes HP drop similar to other emissaries at will. Conniving, and capable of coherent communication with human beings. The only entity subject to 'observation' related effects, due to better simulation of local dimension's creatures. Not destructible with normal weapons (deflection/teleportation of weapons), regenerates very quickly as long as within range of ANY tower.

NPCs:

Gorou Mukashi: Physics Faculty. As in all games, dies within the first hour but is amicable and a useful resource to talk to by going back to that first hour, and by the second to last conversation chronologically, lets Marian know that he already knows he's going to die.

Vremya Kirilov: Physics Faculty. Marian smashed a vase over his head when he came after her at the behest of the Emissary of Void.

Rufus Bramblewood: Mathematics postdoc. Revealed that he's terminally ill, but does not commit suicide in this timeline, and is instead helped to a safe location.

Ella Avi: Engineer. Helps Marian, but relationship turned antagonistic after Marian admits causing the Incident and is dismissive of Ella's insistence that Marian should help locate her family first.

Sam Everett: Rescued from the lab they were trapped in, but 'vanished' by the Emissary of Void. Location unknown.

Tobias Yossef: Store manager. Encountered, but did not manage to lead to a safe place.

Luo Shichen, Jane Harris: Did not find.
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[If you think a time-traveller wants to deal with voicemail you would be very much mistaken; her mailbox is intentionally full at all times with dummy messages. But you can reach her directly if she's answering the phone at that point in time...]
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[OOC]

Backtagging: Yes!
Threadhopping: Yes!
Fourthwalling: Sure, just give me a heads-up first!

[IC]

Hugging this character: Marian doesn't like people in close physical proximity, so it might be harder than you think (but I am OOCly OK with it if it should come up?).
Kissing this character: As above.
Flirting with this character: Sure? (???) This is unlikely to go well though, fair warning.
Fighting with this character: Sure, but FYI Marian is not good at fighting and would usually rather run away if possible.
Injuring this character (include limits and severity): Sure, just check with me first please! I'd rather not have her take a really major injury (loss of limb etc) unless it ties into some kind of plotty thing.
Killing this character: Possible (but only since Hope can revive her!), just check with me first please!
Using telepathy/mind reading abilities on this character: She can't stop you but she sure won't like it. It could also kill her if someone finds out about something that they themselves do in the future or if they tell someone else about something they do in the future that causes them to change their actions (creating a paradox).

Warnings: Other than being a low-level jerk sometimes, nah.
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PLAYER
Player name: Skai
Contact: [plurk.com profile] nanomachinesson
Characters currently in-game: Sato

CHARACTER
Character Name: Marian Tenebris
Character Age: 54
Canon: Outside Observer (Original game-in-progress)
Canon Point: True End
World Description:

Near-future Earth, with minor technological improvements across the board, including an incredibly useful cooling technology that Marian created in wide use.

History:

A paragon of academic excellence from an early age, Marian devoted her life to her studies and research, progressing swiftly through several degrees and on through to finally achieving a tenured professor position. Although she went to the occasional conference and had some scattered collaborations with other physicists once in a while, she was largely a recluse, in her lab for long hours into the night. Although her primary expertise was in other areas of physics, she had always thought that the key to accessing the 4th dimension, time, was so close with current theories being worked on. Who wouldn't like to be able to change the course of events... or just their own life. There was always room for improvement here and there, after all. And as Marian got older, in the wee hours of the morning, sometimes found herself what life would have been like if she hadn't been so focussed on a single course of study, a single path through life.

But she stumbled upon a very different advancement (or so she thought) in the course of her late-night tinkering; a machine that generated cold with very little need for external power, running far more efficiently than any refrigeration technology on the market. The final design, while a little more complex, generated zero excess heat, in defiance of all known laws of physics. As for the question of where all that heat and energy went... Marian drew up multiple diagrams and possible explanations. Since the metallic vanes that catalyzed the reaction were intended to tap into quantum potential, perhaps the energy was going to a parallel universe, another dimension. But as much as she discussed this with colleagues, nobody was able to definitively prove it, especially when Marian remained secretive on the manufacturing process, refusing to share its secrets with anyone but the colleague in engineering who helped her with the actual manufacture.

But it worked, and her secret (and successive patents based around application) were very lucrative. She stopped teaching completely and equipped her own lab even more fully, getting facilities to route in more power and more ductwork, even going so far as to build a Faraday cage into the walls. She tried multiple designs, but for years and years, nothing even came close to a true way to access time itself (although she did cause several cross-campus blackouts).

Until, of course, the day that it did. She reconfigured the vanes, and pressed the power switch... and the whole world went static and sideways, flashing before her. And in that instant she found herself still carrying the device itself, but on the other side of her lab door where the power supply was. The physical link was broken, but everything still seemed to work. There was one complication, though. She was locked out of her own lab. For whatever reason, the door simply refused to budge.

As she went to get her keys, more strange things started to appear. Black sluglike things travelling across the floor and walls. Looking out the windows, there was nothing, just utter blackness. And the doors to the outside world wouldn't open.

It turned out there were more complications as she went forward and slowly she began to figure out what had happened. All of her devices, now scattered across the world in commercial applications, were faintly linked to another dimensional space, one past the heat-death of its own universe. The entities there craved light, heat, energy. In conjunction with these already established links, the massive energy transfer from her first successful time travel device had created an actual gateway inside her lab, and these alien entities began to siphon energy away from the world, disrupting the very fabric of space with their intrusion.

And there was lots of energy to be had -- the physics building was shielded thanks to Marian's investments, but everywhere else she went, almost everyone was dead, and although it was fall, the leaves were falling from the trees faster than they should. The force from that other side was what created the black sluglike things, decomposed matter in animate form, housing the essence of some alien intelligence. It even began inhabiting inorganic things, like ice and dust, acting as a hostile force of nature. But it wasn't long before the entities picked up on how to communicate with what was left of humanity, creating their own emissaries, one organic, built from the bodies of the dead, and one of shadow, creeping through the shadowed side of the planet away from the sun's harsh rays.

Able to blip back and forth in time, Marian did her best to try to find a way to get back into her lab, close the gate, and try to save as many people as she could along the way from the encroaching cold that only continued to increase exponentially with each passing hour. She destroyed the two emissaries and their links to the Earth, but one final one, calling itself the Emissary of Void, threw a wrench into the works, causing one of her fellow researchers to sabotage her plans. When she confronted him, he went crazy and she was forced to knock him out. The Emissary of Void was unstoppable, and well aware of her time-travelling powers by now. And it wanted them and access to more energy to completely break free of their dead dimension.

Acting fast to save herself and keep the power of her time travel device from the Emissary, Marian finally managed to bypass it and make her way to the gate. There was no way she would be able to completely destroy it from her side -- it was clear that the entities had established enough links on Earth by now that her side of the gate wouldn't be enough. They'd constructed their own link on the other side. She had to go through.

Marian did, in the end, manage to destroy the link between the dimensions from the other side, but she was trapped in a place that the human mind was never meant to experience, at the end of both time and space.


Personality:

Having spent decades focussed on her own work to the detriment of personal relationships, Marian isn't good at pleasantries and small talk. Abrasive might be the right way to put it; she's to the point, demanding, and has a hard time sugar-coating things. She's also a terrible liar, something that caused major problems while trying to navigate back and forth through timeline interactions with others and avoid causing a paradox by saying things she shouldn't.

Still, with anyone that's able to keep up, she does enjoy talking about research and just about anything related to physics or applied math, getting into the nitty-gritty details with relish. At her best, she's professional and curious, while at worst, she's an arrogant intellectual, disdainful of anyone else's opinion and acting as though like she's the smartest and most important person in the world and everyone else is a complete imbecile. She has no tolerance for anyone who can't keep up and easily turns snippy and dismissive.

And despite her attitude, and despite the worry of getting potentially paradox-trapped, Marian has recently found herself in the position of trying to help. She's only human after all; she doesn't want to see anyone get hurt or killed, and at heart she wants to see things work out for everyone around her. But with the risk of paradox in time-travel, this often leads to choice-paralysis, where she can't decide what to do, or if she should even do anything at all. So she tries to pass it off as being callous and cold, even when she legitimately wishes that she could offer help.

Though she wants to do right, Marian isn't really a fighter unless cornered and desperate. She's a middle-aged academic who's never even held a gun in her life; she's rather flee than confront, and find a way to solve problems indirectly.

Having made the choice to not pursue family and friendship, she sometimes regrets these things, jealousy causing a more acerbic reaction than usual when the subject comes up -- even going so far as to make snide comments about people wasting their lives on useless pursuits. Though at one point she sometimes wished that she could go back and change the past, by now she's realized that some things are too far gone; people are responsible for their own choices and have to learn to live with it. She saw what happened to her colleague Vremya, who was beguiled by the Emissary of Void's urgings and fell into his own insane dreams of returning to a bygone age.

Before the events of the last 12 hours, Marian had her usual share of fears; everyone does. And certainly the greatest fear of any time traveller is being caught in a fatal paradox of their own making. But after going through the rift and being exposed to the horrors of a dead dimension that the human mind was not ever meant to deal with, Marian's psyche was scarred. Though purely psychosomatic, she always feels cold now, no matter what the actual temperature, and all the things associated with the entities on the other side and their horrific creations on Earth are all highly suspect in Marian's mind, no matter how innocent they are in reality: darkness and shadows, sand, ice, dead bodies and human remains. Above all of these, anything without visible eyes or with them hidden (ie, by wearing sunglasses), provokes a violent reaction of fight or flight, fearing the return of the Emissary of Void.


Inventory:

* Prototype time travel device with Paradox Sensing Tool (PST)
* Flashlight
* Several keys and keycards for buildings on campus


Abilities:

Obviously, Marian has a high degree of expertise in physics and applied math. She's also got a good grasp of basic electrical and mechanical engineering from spending a lot of time over the years with Ella, her primary engineering collaborator, working out the details of how to implement her theories in practice.

Exceptional memory: Although she has an additional appliance (the PST) that helps track details needed for safe(r) time travel, Marian is able to integrate this information with her memory of events and exact placement of anything she's seen. If she wasn't able to do this, she would have died from paradox-related effects very very quickly. This exceptional memory can also be a downside, feeding into her fears (past horrors are very well visualized).

And of course, though not an innate ability, Marian brings with her (and knows how to build) devices that allow a person to move back and forth through time across a maximum 12-hour span: a very short-range time traveller.

There are a couple firm rules regarding time travel (discussed a little further here) but summarized very briefly with:
* A time traveller must not EVER see themselves (the "Doppelgänger Effect")
* A time traveller cannot create an unresolvable paradox.
Violating either of the above rules is certain doom -- in her own world, it would have ripped apart causality. In Hadriel it seems safe to assume that the gods would protect the city against this, and violation of the rules would just mean Marian's death.

With these limitations, what can she actually do with her device?
* "Teleport" by moving back or forward in time, walking a distance, then going back to the just after the previous timeframe.
* Act in two places at once, as long as she isn't within line of sight of herself (nobody else is allowed to see her in two places at once either.)
* Take objects from the past to the future and vice versa (though they usually need to be returned in their original condition, depending on the circumstances).
* Use her own knowledge of various points in time to create favourable circumstances (making sure doors are unlocked in advance, knowing the outcome of random chance events), although relaying this information to anyone not herself is almost always disastrous.

She usually has a "quick-jump" set as well that pushes her instantly 15 minutes ahead, to help avoid dangerous situations. Marian also has a number of "safeties" in place, which lock the device from functioning if the jump itself would cause irreversible paradox as well as keeping track of the number of potential paradoxes and local "coherency" -- how much she has been in a locale across the timeline window of 12 hours.


Flaws:

Personality-wise, Marian can be cranky, demanding, and grating on the nerves. But more than that, being the actual cause of a large proportion of life on earth simply dropping dead on the spot the moment the rift between dimensions opened isn't exactly a good thing.

Marian has also seen things Man Was Not Meant To See, and her reactions toward anything that reminds her of her experiences with the entities and the other side of gate can be very extreme in terms of fight/flight response.


SAMPLES
Action Log Sample: Test Drive thread!
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THE PARADOX SIGNALLING TOOL

To help avoid confusion and waveform decoupling, the PST is capable of logging time and location in addition to detecting any decoherence inconsistencies in the universal temporal waveform. It will alert the user to any potential problems with their timeline both in the present and in response to jump times input. It also tracks both local and global coherency fractions, and can be set to disable jumps to times at a given level of risk.

Yellow PST warnings signal an anomaly in observed decoherence. These are not immediate problems and sometimes yield useful results in the short term, but should be fixed reasonably quickly to reduce risk.

Flashing red PST warnings signal imminent existential paradox due to doppleganger exclusion (travelling within sight of yourself), exceeding the maximum number of decoherence anomalies, or imminent creation of an an irreversible decoherence anomaly. Fix the problem quickly before being wiped from existence.

Solid red PST warnings signal immediate termination from existence, and jumps to times indicated with solid red should not be made.


COHERENCE AND DECOHERENCE - Avoiding Paradoxes

Consider a coin toss. Before the flip of a coin, nobody knows if it will come up heads or tails. We'll call this state "coherent": at that moment, the result is unknowable.

After the coin is flipped and we see that the result, the state of the coin flip is "decoherent". The key event here is observation, seeing the result. Even if the coin is flipped, as long as nobody has looked to determine the outcome, it is still in a coherent state.

A person who simply moved forward in time would never experience any decoherence inconsistencies. But if they travel in both directions, inconsistencies in the reality they experience -- incompatible decoherence states -- could arise.

The temporal waveform has some tolerance for these anomalies and a small number can be ignored provided that:

1: The person must not pass through the point in time and space where the anomaly occurs.

2: Nothing that would make the anomaly irreversible occurs.

A cautious person would correct anomalies as soon as possible, since knowing what events may make an action irreversible is difficult if not impossible.


ENTANGLEMENT AND DETERMINISTIC LOOPS - Uncertainty Incarnate

Occasionally a person will experience temporal loops out of order relative to their own consciousness. This is generally the effect of decoherence state entanglement with an outside observer; the effects of temporal travel are not well defined when multiple people are involved.

Beware of temporal anomalies and predetermined conditions which must be met to complete the loop. It is advised to avoid other people entirely, or at the very least treat any interaction with extreme caution.


DOPPELGĂ„NGER EXCLUSION - The Final Rule

Although a person can exist in multiple places at the same time, they must avoid catching sight of themselves at all costs. Doing so causes immediate and terminal waveform decoupling.






(The less formal summary rules:
* Don't fuck around with the timeline too much unless you can put it back the way you found it.
* Stay away from people unless you like dealing with crazy bullshit.
* Make sure you don't see yourself.)

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