Tuesday, December 31, 2013

365: Greetings from the Future

ENTRY 365: Greetings from the Future

"Entry 000...Test...Transhumanity lives...already lived and died..."
- Luna archive, unknown transmission from Earth, 12:31:01:00:00 BF 1

"Entry 000: Test Item. Transhumanity lives in a universe where alien intelligences and civilizations have already lived and died, leaving behind remnants for them to paw through, analyze, and reverse..."
- TitanWiki entry on Test Item, published to the Mesh 12:31:01:00:00 AF 9

For the past year, researchers on Titan have identified bizarre similarities between recent entries to TitanWiki and a series of unsourced radio transmissions from Earth, archived at various receiver stations on Luna. Initially believed to be a case of copyright infringement or an elaborate prank, independent research has proved that the timestamps on all of the Luna archives appear to be authentic...and deep background checks of the contemporary authors of the entries show no connections to the recordings. What is more, the archived messages clearly deal with events, places, and transhumans that take place after the Fall.

The best theory for the mechanism involved is a closed timelike curve - a concept of theoretical physics that could allow information, even radio transmissions or possibly even physical travel back in time. The idea of such a time machine, usually using a ring laser to bend spacetime, is far from new to transhuman science. However, most physicists agree that a CTC would require either infinite power, a ring larger than the observed universe, or a singularity to be realizable. While the first two options remain unavailable, a few physicists have pointed out that the Pandora Gates do represent singularities - and while no one has yet attempted to construct a closed timelike curve with them, it would at least be theoretically possible.

While they do not agree on the nature of the phenomena, scientists have pinpointed the source of the transmissions: a "hot spot," just north of the Arctic circle, far away from previous transhuman settlements...perhaps an isolated research lab. No records remain of who might have built it, but obviously the site must have an independent power source, radio receiver and transmitter. Equally obviously, throughout the year the signal has been getting weaker, suggesting that the power source is gradually failing.

Using Greetings from the Future

Time travel is one of the great conceits of science fiction, because it poses one of the great questions: what if? Time travel can open up vast probabilities to player characters, with some interested in using it to go back and change things for the better, others looking to exploit it for their own gain, and more than a few who will start on about paradoxes. If the CTC device exists on Earth and is not a hoax, gamemasters will have to work out many of the details on their own - but here are a few things to remember.

The CTC device is built around a Pandora gate or equivalent artifact, and has been running apparently continuously for ten years. One characteristic of a theoretical CTC is that time travel before the date it was turned on would not be possible. If the first recorded transmission was in fact the first one, that means that a transhuman could potentially travel back to just before the Fall - to save a loved one, or archive material lost in the present so that it can be recovered in the future - provided that the CTC device is actually set up to allow physical travel; given power and space limitations, it might be restricted to radio broadcasts, but even that could allow important information and information to be transmitted into the past. Also, the CTC device is apparently failing. If it has been running autonomously since the Fall, then it is likely badly behind on basic maintenance and needs to be repaired, and the power source (probably an atomic battery, although geothermal, tidal, wind, solar power, or some combination might be possible) supplemented or replaced - because once the power fails, the window into the past closes. Likewise, the CTC would allow travel from the present into the past, but probably not the reverse - although combined with relativistic time travel (see entry 182), this could be less of an issue.

If nothing else, the Greetings From the Future make a great way to introduce other Farcast entries to your game.


  • Firewall has detected a troubling possibility: the remnants of the TITAN forces on Earth may be aware of the CTC device. If they get their mechanical tentacles on it, the TITANs could theoretically transmit back important information on the future to their past counterparts - transforming the "defeat" of the TITANs into a tactical withdrawal. To remove this possibility, the PCs are equipped with a ship and as many weapons as they can hold. Their mission: destroy the time machine!


  1. The last one? Thanks for 365 awesome posts!

  2. You're great, thank you for your contribution.

  3. Thank you for your inspired and inspiring story lines. I have read and appreciate all of your posts and have seen my own vision of this superb game evolve as a result. I thank you for all you have given

  4. Awesome work. There's a lot of great material in these. Any plan to bundle them all up into one one document?

  5. This is great man, you've done great work and let me with a stack of campaign ideas.

  6. Thanks everybody! Canageek is working on a nice PDF, but in the meanwhile I've compiled a quick & dirty version. Links: