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Updates Wednesday and Saturday at 8:30 PM EST
[Unichat log --]

(08:12)System: User Admiral Pancake is initiating a private chat.
(08:12)Admiral Pancake: Luke. Are you available?
(08:13)pwnz0rz: ye
(08:13)pwnz0rz: ru finally going 2 teahc me how 2 pwnz tiem
(08:13)pwnz0rz: becuz... it's sertainly taken.......
(08:14)Admiral Pancake: Don't.
(08:14)pwnz0rz: enough time
*(08:14)pwnz0rz sunglasses*
(08:15)Admiral Pancake: >_>
(08:15)pwnz0rz: my humur is just to sophisticatted for sum ppl
(08:15)pwnz0rz: like
(08:15)Admiral Pancake: We're getting off-topic.
(08:15)pwnz0rz: this 1 time at band camp
(08:15)Admiral Pancake: Please...
(08:16)pwnz0rz: i didnt try 2 take over the world
(08:16)pwnz0rz: zany, right
(08:17)Admiral Pancake: Need I remind you that your friend is still in danger.
/message --channel=moon-butt lmoa this duffus thinks idk ep is ok
System: Incoming private message from user SecundaSonja:
(08:18)SecundaSonja: Play along, but carefully. This may be a double-bluff... though admittedly I have a difficult time figuring out what he stands to gain from that.
/message reply i think u worry abt too much things
/message reply but yes
/message reply ill be careful mom
(08:19)pwnz0rz: i...
(08:19)pwnz0rz: [censored] u
(08:20)pwnz0rz: ok
(08:20)pwnz0rz: what do i do
(08:20)System: Incoming file transfer from user Admiral Pancake: timerules.tar.gz Accept? Yes/No/Defer/Examine
> Yes
(08:22)pwnz0rz: ok now what
(08:22)Admiral Pancake: Read it.
(08:22)pwnz0rz: ...how
(08:23)pwnz0rz: like idk im nto ep or sonja
(08:23)pwnz0rz: as faras i no u just sent me a file with alot of the stuff that dinoasurs get stuck in
(08:25)Admiral Pancake: Assuming you haven't restructured your Unichat directories, run cd received ; tar -zxf timerules.tar.gz ; cat intro.txt
(08:25)pwnz0rz: cd received ; tar -zxf timerules.tar.gz ; cat intro.txt
(08:26)pwnz0rz: idk if that did anytyhing
(08:26)pwnz0rz: why are we taring cats
(08:26)Admiral Pancake: Put a slash in front of it.
/message --channel=moon-butt tottally trolling this nerd acting like the biggest iditiot i can
/message --channel=moon-butt like who DOSENT know what a tarball is
System: Incoming private message from user metampsychotic:
(08:26)metampsychotic: a what???
/message reply .tar.gz
/message reply when ur files is too big so you squoosh them int2 1 file thats smaller
System: Incoming private message from user metampsychotic:
(08:26)metampsychotic: oh weird! i have literally never heard it called that
/message EntropicPhantom im gonna send you some notes pancak sent me, share em w/ teh gropu pls
/message --file=received/timerules.tar.gz EntropicPhantom
(08:28)pwnz0rz: ok
(08:28)pwnz0rz: lest see what we have hear...
[Unichat log --]
(??:??)SecundaSonja: Oh, gods, it's happening. Are we ready?
(??:??)pwnz0rz: yeah
(??:??)pwnz0rz: ithink so
(??:??)pwnz0rz: like its kinda bad that ep excaped (sorry ep) but if he fukz up we dont get to... exist???
(??:??)pwnz0rz: idont event want 2 think about what the chronology would look like then
(??:??)pwnz0rz: but i THINK it does the same pressure as ep being kidnapped was suppposed to
(??:??)SecundaSonja: That would make sense... I mean, I guess it would. If you think we're okay, then I'll find something else to worry about.
(??:??)SecundaSonja: Athena suggests that our existence may be what allowed Alex to escape in the first place. If Gaia doesn't need him to guide Luke into time traveling, because it can use us instead, It wouldn't interervene to keep him there, would it?
(??:??)pwnz0rz: man i just dont know
(??:??)pwnz0rz: two months experience w/ this siht isnt alot
(??:??)pwnz0rz: i feel like i was just starting when the metaphorical rug got swept out from under us
(??:??)pwnz0rz: it's just... not fair
(??:??)pwnz0rz: why are WE the [censored]holes responsible for saving the universe? where's the timeline where everything is happy and all of our friends aren't dead?
*(??:??)SecundaSonja hug*
(??:??)pwnz0rz: ...
(??:??)pwnz0rz: right
(??:??)pwnz0rz: back to work
(??:??)SecundaSonja: Yes.
(??:??)pwnz0rz: we dont have the time for this self induldgent bull [censored]
(??:??)pwnz0rz: im not sure i trust our own theory... we dont actually KNOW that gaia considers out of timeline stuff when deciding to intervene
(??:??)SecundaSonja: Mhm. I agree that it's an awfully big thing to gamble on. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
(??:??)pwnz0rz: use ana?
(??:??)SecundaSonja: Yes.
(??:??)SecundaSonja: Should I make contact, or do you want to handle this one?
(??:??)pwnz0rz: you
(??:??)pwnz0rz: im not particularly good at people :(
(??:??)SecundaSonja: And I am?!
[Unichat log --]
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[Unichat auxiliary records --]
Xenocartographer (Official Note): In other news, I've corrected a slight continuity gaff on the previous page, which referred to something that happened in 2068 as having happened "ten years ago". It now correctly reads "fifteen". I swear I can do arithmetic.
Xenocartographer (Official Note): /mood Praying to the Internet gods I didn't mess up the tar flags.
Seabiscuit: Haha gosh
Pwnz have mercy pls pancake has been through enough today
I can just imagine his annoyed sighing and face palming as he tries to walk Pwnz through basic computer use
Like the first time it took him a couple minutes to respond
You just know it was agonizing

Oh gosh I snerked so much tho
"Stuff dinosaurs get stuck in"
"Why are we tarring cats" LMAO

Gosh tar files if know but never heard them called tar balls before either

The files make my brain itch and the last section gave me feels
You truly are the cruelest mapmaker

PANCAKE EMOTED?!?!?! edit delete reply
Arbiter: These are just three short text files. Why would three short text files be large enough to require Pancake to "squoosh them int2 1 file thats smaller"? Is there more information here that we don't see? edit delete reply
CONNECT 1200: Shouldn't be. With "v", tar prints the names of each and every file processed.

Wondering all the same, though. Probably our friend Pancake just cluelessly repeats what he's seen people do with tar, but breaking a small text into three files in the first place makes no sense at all. edit delete reply
CONNECT 1200: Unless, of course, the only thing he ever leant to use to read text files is cat. Which, in a world of text-only interfaces, would be absolutely preposterous even for a totally clueless supervillain. edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: They were given to him that way, that's all I'll say. edit delete reply
CONNECT 1200: Just for the record, all three texts fit into a 80×24 screen. Might be screenshots.

(Secretly obtained by a PC's conspirator from some other time traveller? Luke isn't, or wasn't, the only one the old fox knew?) edit delete reply
Arbiter: If they’re screenshots, wouldn’t they be picture files instead of .txt’s? edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: Unless someone typed them up. Or ran them through OCR - we were in the future, after all. edit delete reply
CONNECT 1200: Or grabbed them straight out of a TTY's memory buffer (e. g. /dev/vcsN if it's Linux.) edit delete reply
Ravencorp: So, maybe I'm mistaken, but from reading these rules I've come to this conclusion: since from Sonja's and company's perspective all this has happened already (they are at some point in what we consider the future, i think), we could, if we figure out how, send messages to Sonja into what we consider the future, but what is their present. In doing so, we would force previously unevaluated time (from our perspective) to become evaluated time. If they respond, we could create a shatterpoint, which may or may not be beneficial to us, depending on the circumstances. Correct me if i got something wrong. edit delete reply
Steve the Mew hunter: And this is why I hate time travel. It's a huge dog mad mess. edit delete reply
Arbiter: I'm trying to write up (my best understanding of) a simplified version of the rules on the forum right now, which should be up in a couple of days. I certainly agree with Steve's opinion that time travel is in fact a huge dog mad mess, but I'm doing my best to understand the rules, and I think that you're correct. edit delete reply
Turquoise: Wait.
Don't rules 3&4 contradict rules 6&8? But at the same time it stays in line with rule 10. So some of these rules want you to break them? edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: How do you figure? edit delete reply
Turquoise: Alright. Rule 3 talks about altering the past, causing it to branch at the time altered, therefore keeping 1 past that wasn't messed with, and one that was.
Rule 4 states that if certain timelines have mostly the same events, or if something forces it (recent example: pancake's backup plan), then timelines with relative events will merge. [Note that similar events lining up DO NOT EQUAL SHATTERPOINTS IN THIS CASE]
This is where Rule 6 becomes contradictory. When timelines merge,(as stated in rule 5) events that happened in the [meta]future could happen in ours for no reason. (Bad example: someone in the future set up a bomb on a ship, but in the past they didn't have it ready. the timelines merge and the person from the past never set up that bomb, an explosion goes off anyway from nothing.{not sure if I explained this right.}) since this event shouldn't have happened (like theorectically high-fiving your future self), then there would be 2 timelines, one when it happened and one when it didn't, except because of that paradox, there's a timeloop that keeps creating these forks. As far as these rules look, however, these paradoxes don't merge, as stated in Rule 4.
Which brings me to Rule 8. In which the branches specifically holding the event of the paradox in question, BECOME SHATTERPOINTS. Technically A shatterpoint since it is only one event, but one that has not/has happened across multiple timelines.
Which means Rule 10 only applies to the first 5 words of Rule 4, because they would already be similar unless someone forced them to be. Which Pancake wants so he can get information to fork it into a pardox? So he made a >--- just to fast forward to make it ---< again but in a different place that makes him look good. We knew this already.
Forgive me, not-quite-time-travel has made me lose track of my previous point. Is Pancake trying to create a new shatterpoint or force one that's not on his side of the fork? If the latter then temporally there should be no way since paradox timelines don't merge! edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: I think you've misunderstood rule 8. It's not saying that paradox timelines can't merge (they can). All that it's saying is that the grandfather paradox is resolved by a sequence in metatime of timelines where alternating events play out [1]. The important part, besides that that's possible, is that if such a sequence plays out over (non-meta)time during which the timeline already forks, the resulting mess overwhelms Gaia's ability to handle them without getting apoptotic.

[1] This is even an oversimplifcation, since the forking rules usually handle contradictions on their own. To continue your example, if someone convinces their past self to blow up a boat while they're on it, the end result is just a single new timeline where the boat mysteriously blew up. For a true paradox, you need multiple time travelers. edit delete reply
Turquoise: Ah. That does make much more sense then. edit delete reply
Pyre Light: I read rule 12, and started wondering ... What is an object from an external source, and have we seen any in the comic yet? edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: Wouldn't you like to know? edit delete reply
RavenZeroak: Well, there is this vague-omnipresent-council... edit delete reply
RavenZeroak: Btw xeno, are we soon getting those authcodes for wikipage? edit delete reply
Xenocartographer: They'll happen when they happen. I've got a bunch of plot threads in this comic, and a bunch of demands on my real-life time. edit delete reply
Pyre Light: Was the mix up on the previous page really a gaffe, or was it evidence of time traveller interference?
/Mood It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you! edit delete reply
Arbiter: So, the forum post about the simplified time travel rules is taking longer than I thought it would. However, I have finished meta's theme music, and I also wrote a remix which I like to think of as MrE's theme, back when he was still actively trying to take over the world. Maybe I envisioned him as more of a badass than he really was... edit delete reply