The Nature of Time and Space
Draft in progress
Time and space are like a very great river, flowing ever onward. In normal every day life, people swim back and forth across the river, in effect changing their physical location, but are still swept up by the river.
In theory it would be possible to swim against the current of the river, however doing so is forbidden by the sixth law of magic and is punishable by death.
There are, however, eddies and currents in this river. Someone who was knowledgeable could in principle, direct themselves in such a way to be driven along one of these currents so as to be taken to an earlier point in the river, or sped along a current to a later point, without swimming against the river. Use of The Conjunction is one such way of accomplishing this. Doing so has several implications.
First and foremost, the concept of time is completely predicated on the quantum super-positional collapse that occurs when a sentient being observes something. In effect, a tree only falls in a forest if someone is there to see it. If someone sees a tree one day, and it is down the next, those two events are fixed within the continuum, but the specific events that occurred in the interim are still fluid until someone observes them.
The problems occur when an observation is contradicted by a sentient entity due to time travel. For example, if Zapata comes back from the warehouse to an empty sanctuary on June 12, and then four days later travels back in time to that sanctuary, bringing the shattered remains of her computer with her, if her junior self (the one native to her current position in time) were to arrive to find a broken computer in the sanctuary, this would contradict the memories of the observation that the senior Zapata had at that point, causing a paradox.
The river of time does not like paradoxes, and some fundamental aspect of the continuum seems to be to attempt to correct these paradoxes – at the peril of the observer who is experiencing the discontinuity.
There also seems to be some kind of pressure or debt applied to the junior self of someone who is impacted by a time travel event when they become aware of something that they will do in the future. This debt presents itself as a mild headache until the debt is corrected.