If too many time travelers try to go to the same place at the same time – how do you manage that? You know, besides a big special with a bunch of aging actors reprising roles they swore they’d never play again? This is head-canon, but I think you scar up time – and nobody goes there at all.
In my mind, where there are several fictional projects involving time travel swirling around, time travelers have a hard time meeting each other. Because too many time travelers cause a scar in time, and then those coordinates are unreachable for anyone outside of that natural timeline.
You cannot, for example, go witness the birth of Jesus. Because one time traveling entity wanted to prove the reality of Jesus, while another was using it as a chrono-tourism draw, while a third just wanted to study the first few years of the Roman Empire and it emerged from the Republic, while another was measuring salt levels in the Dead Sea over history. These, and several more ruined it for all of each other.
No one can time travel back to the Nativity. No one ever has, and no one ever will because too many will someday try.
Don’t get hung up on my using the Nativity as an example. There are a lot of events that could end up scarred like this.
What follows is the way it works in some of my fiction – most of which has yet to be written. You get to learn about it here, free of cost (or context) as a reward for reading this far into an amateur blog about time travel.
Every point in space/time resonates at a certain, distinct frequency. No – stop. If you argue this will take forever. Just accept for a while until we get to the bottom of the blog. Physical time travel, then, can be accomplished by changing the frequency of an object to match the frequency of a different point in space/time.
One or two such objects can be inserted into the new coordinates without disturbing the existing harmonics. But those harmonics are premised on the objects that were always there. Changing the mass and energy values eventually forces a change in the frequency to accommodate – and that can’t happen.
So past a certain threshold (which varies) (perhaps by plot needs) the existing harmonics reject all new matter and energy trying to integrate into the coordinates.
Even if the time travelers come from disparate times and places themselves, they would all be arriving at the same time in the same place – and thereby would not arrive at all. History cannot abide a big audience.
Under this version – none of the various Flashes and related Speedsters get to Nora Allen. And that’s OK.
As I imagine it, this is invariably discovered early in the process when the mad scientists researching time travel (they are inherently mad) discover that it is impossible to do short, experimental hops.
This is because they have been trying to do short experimental hops over the course of several weeks, and assuming the failure was due to some other process. No, Professor Spacetime, you cannot beam your poor bunny across the laboratory to an hour ago because you have been trying to do that very thing for weeks, and the universe rejects multiple simultaneous atemporal versions of Mr. FooFoo.
The time and place a time machine is invented is almost always time scarred. Often the timeline of the inventor is as well. Sometimes on purpose. Time-scarring your own timeline, as well as those of your loved ones discourages awkward conversations with yourself, but also time-traveling rivals taking hostages, or trying to kill you before whenever.
So the key to time travel, the is to find some time and place no other time traveler has gone – and hope that none of them ever – ever- think of going there too. Because then you might never get there.
But if you do – you can be assured that you are the only time traveler present (or at least one of only a few).
So how do you have a convention of time travelers, or a time war?
You’ll have to hand-wave over the unobtanium until you find a make-believe work-around to my make-believe side-effect of completely fictional physics. Let me know how you did that.