The Jamie Paradox
Destiny of the Departed (July 2022) first uses the word Multiverse. The idea of a Multiverse is used regularly in any book, movie, or show that includes elements of Time Travel. Consider recently popular shows like: Dark, Archive 81, Travellers, A Discovery of Witches, Donnie Darko, Outlander, Back to the Future, Tales from the Loop, Equinox, Katla, and The Gift. This phenomenon is in no way unique to North America or the English-speaking market as many of these shows reflect.
With the debut of this novel the word Multiverse is first introduced. If Jamie's world looked big to a small town girl before, it's about to explode in size. However, Jamie is not keen on traveling in time, despite having the ability to do so. She's got that badass sword that exists outside Time. She can go anywhere. Do anything. Fun, yeah? Not for Jamie. The realization of consequences for her actions weighs heavily on her.
This book will control where the rest of the series goes. To introduce concepts like this or speak complicated words like Quantum Mechanics or flaunt the ideas proposed by Albert Einstein, I had to consider carefully. This book series is intended for everyone, not just the students of the higher sciences. This is one reason Lenore Taylor is Jamie's best friend. Not only are they total opposites with Jamie playing the straight guy and Lenore constantly telling her to quit living in the slow lane, this presents a perfect opportunity for good dialogue. In the dialogue between two characters who play off each other's personality is the perfect way to break down complicated subjects like those presented by time travel or living in a Multiverse.
Let's begin with a common paradox that should make any time traveler shudder: The Grandmother (or Grandfather) Paradox. This idea describes how a Time Traveler's action when travelling back in time alters the Time Travelers future creating a paradox. "If I kill my grandmother, how is it I am still alive."
Jamie describes it this way. From Destiny of the Departed where Jamie and Lenore debate about time travel:
I rolled my eyes, and she laughed. “Be serious, Lenore. Every time something is changed, a new universe with a different timeline is created. I don’t want to splinter Time. Just by going back, I will. Undeniably.”
“I swear, I’m gonna throw you out of this car.”
“I’m just stating the obvious.”
“What about the Grandmother Paradox? Maybe that’ll be an easier theory.” She needed to understand my concerns. I mean, just because I could travel in Time using a relic with powers proven capable for the job, should I use them?
“My Granny D’s Mélange will cure your Grandmother Paradox, but you might feel a bit weird for a few days.”
Whatever was in her Mélange, some of it wasn’t exactly street-legal. She and I both knew that, but this wasn’t the
time to discuss her granny’s ethics. I shook my head. “Let’s say I travel back in time and kill my grandmother. That
means my mother won’t be born, and then I won’t be born. Then how can I go back in time and kill my grandmother?”
“Here’s the skinny. I go back and make changes. I save the world. Eliyana’s part anyway. I help her rescue her people. Yay, everyone lives. But what if I cause something to happen that negatively changes the world, and people who should live are killed by one of those people who shouldn’t have?”
“That’s the plot of Back to the Future.”
“Movies like that one are loosely based on real science.”
“And your precious Doctor Who. Miss those Converse sneakers yet?”
I regarded my boots. “Actually I do.”
“Oh great Stephen Hawking, watcher of all those late night science fiction movies, did you see the one starring Christopher Reeve? And no, I don’t mean one of his Superman movies. I know he flew backwards and reset time.” She waved her hand, silencing anything I might have said. “I’m talking about another one. I can’t remember its name. Reeve’s character fell in love with a woman from the past. He dressed in a Victorian suit and went to his hotel where he concentrated on a certain date when he knew the woman would exist. When he opened his eyes he was back in her day. He found her. They fell in love. Blah, blah, blah. The end.
“My point is he was destined to travel in Time. He was destined to meet that woman and fall in love. Had he not
gone back in Time one of your paradox things might have happened. Why can’t this be the same? Maybe you got
overwhelmed by all the butterflies in your effect. What if you’re not changing the past but fulfilling it? If you don’t, a big bad paradox will wreak havoc on the present as we know it. Hand that to your stupid cat. You’ve got to fix it—reset it—whatever. If that changes certain historical facts, they were meant to be changed. Those people were meant to be alive. Whatever the repercussions, they should happen. That’s how you have to look at this. That’s why they’ve haunted you all this time. I’m not wrong on this. I wouldn’t be here if I thought you were wrong.”
I shrugged. “We can’t know.”
“I disagree. There’s a reason those people sought you. There’s a reason Eliyana gave you Lumen. There’s even a
reason you and I are together. Didn’t the Voices foretell we’d meet? Even the dog is here for a reason! Some things must be taken on faith. Your life—timeline—includes a jump backwards. You said time is not a fixed line of chronological events. You said Einstein thought time ebbed and constantly changed like a river. Think about that with the window down. All that smoke coming out your ears is filling up the car. Relax. We’ll see Granny D. She’ll help us sort out where you should stand. You’ve got the badass sword. What could possibly go wrong? Have faith.”
“What indeed.” I looked at Jezebel who stared straight ahead, poker face firmly in place. Faith? What about the science? It became a blur of confusion as I tried to sort faith from science. A scientist puts faith in the fact her theory is right.
Considering this made me feel I had admitted to madness. Shakespeare’s Hamlet resounded in my head: I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.
Welcome to the Booby Hatch. We are all mad here.