Sunday April 3, 2005
Book 6: Resident Mad Scientist — Part IV: Old Habits Die Hard
Note: When Kevyn says that VDA Node 42 was damaged "beyond our ability to repair it" he is NOT saying that they lack the facilities to make repairs to damaged equipment, or to fab new VDA Nodes. What he's saying is that the quantum trinary pseudo-sapience in each VDA node is unique in a way that is beyond their ability to duplicate. Petey could easily repair the "younger" VDA Node 42, but then it would not have had an identity crisis when attempting to communicate while the "older" time-traveling VDA Node 42 was also communicating.

The fact that this was Node 42, as opposed to a node with a number aligning with the number of chakras (7), the highest off-the-top-of-the-head-prime-number (37), or the number of episodes of Baywatch (198) reflects no cosmic truth whatsoever. You'll find no answers in coincidental numerology. At least not any important ones.

Note also that Kevyn's epithetical reference to "Loxie-plops" is scatological in nature. Loxodontus Africanus Sapiens is the ill-tempered enemy of public toilet technicians throughout terran space. Let us be clear on this for the kids: despite the assonant similarity with "lollipops," loxie-plops are NOT candy.


Narrator: Twelve hours and thirty minutes have passed since the discovery of the time-traveling VDA node. . .
Petey: We've got three ships pumping power into this wormgate, and it's nowhere near opening. In 90 minutes, we'll still be trying to spin this thing up, and that VDA node will become quite the little paradox.
Kevyn: So why wait?
Kevyn: Why bother sending it at all?
Petey: Because if we don't send it, then it won't go back in time and demonstrate to us that the wormgate allows for upstream time-travel.
Kevyn: Hah. That's a load o' Loxie-plops. We already know. It already happened.
Petey: Kevyn, I'm thousands of times smarter than you are. How is it that you're not able to explain this to me so I'll understand it?
Kevyn: It's a paradox. Most smart people hate paradoxes. They defy our understanding of the rules. For as smart as you are you still adhere to the rules of a causal universe. That model is now broken.

We don't need to send it again, because it already happened once, in the future, and that future is now part of our causal past. Cause and effect are preserved, but not in the way you've been expecting.

Kevyn: Allow me to demonstrate.
Kevyn: VDA node 42 is now damaged beyond our ability to repair it. The time-traveling VDA node 42 is still here, undamaged.
Kevyn: Face it, Petey. We're trying to change the past, so that this event in the galactic core never happened. That event is what's making time travel possible in the first place.

Petey: Okay, confession time. When you fired, I was genuinely frightened for the first time in this whole affair.
Kevyn: You call that a confession? Here's a real confession:
Kevyn: So was I.