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Old 09-18-2021, 01:43 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Default Morrow Research Centers

Time travel settings always fascinate me, so I tend to look at those mechanics, what they imply. I've always assumed some kind of Observer Effect was in play in TMP to explain why the war happened despite someone being able to prove it - the timeline is immutable in all areas related to known events, so attempts to stop the war was futile but a lot could be done in the shadows, as it were.

In addition, I was always bothered by the advanced tech - where did it come from? The far future, after recovery? Seems unlikely and also unsatisfying. Dedicated but secret research? Seems unlikely that a small team in secret could do so much that the larger scientific community could not.

But time travel gives an out. This is a quick idea on how.

On one of his trips just prior to the war, BEM is met by someone who knows the recognition signs for the Project. This someone hands him two cases to take back to the start of the Project. The first contains a powerful and highly reliable laptop computer. The second contains a bunch of folders, one labeled BEM, the rest numbered in order.

Opening the envelope addressed to him, he finds instructions from the CoT to set up secret research centers and allocate trusted, read-in research staff. The research centers are to be numbered - the first gets the computer and the first envelope, the rest just get envelopes. The first one is to be established first and will let him know when the rest should be stood up.

When the first center opens their envelope, they find instructions on using the computer. Inside is all the public research done in the world prior to the war, along with as much of the private/secret/proprietary research as could be obtained. There are instructions on how to make more computers and tools starting with 60's (or whatever decade) technology. Once they've cranked out some copies, they stand up the other research centers, giving each one a brand new computer and the appropriately numbered envelope.

Center 2 gets all of the original data plus everything that Center 1 had produced prior to the war. Center 3 gets all if the above plus the output of Center 2. And so on. The research is linear and causality is preserved (no Bootstrap Paradox) but centuries of narrow research are folded and done in parallel so that by a decade or so prior to the war the last Center has advanced things to the point where fusion reactors and cryotubes and everything else the Project needs has been completed. Center 2 has the info to build the tools and instruments they need using contemporary technology, Center 3 has instructions on how to use those tools to build Center 3's tools, and so on. In a few years the last Center starts up with <1nm nanofab and other technologies.

Prior to the war, after their work has been delivered, the Centers are mothballed. The younger members (still probably pretty senior, there is little value in bringing in new staffers after the Center is stood up) are frozen and distributed to Project sites. The rest are given the option of cryotubes to be opened after recovery, or riding out the war on a private island far from anything worth bombing (available as a story seed or simply as a memorial).

Any thoughts?

Last edited by cosmicfish; 09-18-2021 at 01:49 AM.
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