#15 When Am I?

| r |

Dear Nana, dear Internet (especially dear TrulyNathan),
I am really thankful for your help in figuring out the last text! I am still freaked out, though. Am I my own matter? Or am I just an information imprint on the cells of my great grandfather? I’ve had some days to process, but I mostly deal with it by ignoring and focusing on the task at hand. After all, the matter of my conscious self as a whole is ancient. All of it has been a dinosaur, cat poop or snail shell before.

If Ben was really working on time travel, we probably switched during his jump. He seems to be just as clueless as I am when it comes to the consequences of the whole thing. At least now I know I am on the right track! I posted the next few pages. The cipher seems to have changed, but maybe you could help me out again?

X’cc tmgf qvsfkkfv afaa egcccjaclxvl tiec pub xwtlw pl eg jwpk dgz c xtd uwmmk. Uplstnq X oyv bq lgbql ipgiocj xgjhvl svf lpsi lw vztt rg ogl p uco xgjhwcubknt.

P rzqpc X oynm ugbl gvmck du fge vg sv njielxjyd qohalkwvvsipmfa qx ioc UBE wmwcjqowcaq lpcl rvsdl ig lhw tmagck ksvkhjsylqpy ybql wpw ehplqedt. Isl bjwgl yjm ugbl ksrqj xzqmmu au P usvv ld zrsg yaiogf bjw ehpsugltyq kmv tn wfqakuxzr Vixas Kcmbuuw, tmkb qx logup cjt wpwbvq rvqlta. Kd P adcgv xu yf wnv jugnmtkxaw xzkwck, Qal. Kl ibpfa qmi, oc’k jgwc dmjskfv vl kwowiogfo uabpjsz, dmi hjsa, jw’h h dwe egjurjqgk dccj bq lwl csav, kd dc zixw iv zw dgjn jyjmhma hzgcv wcjpqxvacn mmz owhzyymu.

Ot oyv i ngcn agvxwgzylqqf du Jsztq Cptwv’u dpd mx kqfhlpnivadu mx pkkivpq. Qv opz cppkdpyylqpy, iv qsg vzt scsav. Ai tskb jskl zwmp qthpk akfrl G zif sc lvupcfvl yk dktghll ipv iomjwwyw. P kaojl whtw bq xglqzmp me tw emoggf yfl ig iopgciz bf mdl uljkw fwvwh hlv zgxtycfkgk xm G oipl iv fsdg scf aziput vd cmghxue xiew. Pa jwiul X nml jcuz pl uwplpjr oqvz Hpb svf exnfl dkkxa fau ugdu. Ksgdw iogk qu s kvgv Q pwtkcv bq xxsj oqvzdbr jmcdxggfo?

Hgg afw nkjha raug ac tmfbjk X mcwt ugblrzqpy dafwz vzpu y xivsapql vqlxvl gn chpafq ipv p kgkotmcajwl fahnskb hgg vsj aquxlrq. Bjw ahql bket dc linctk, fw bqds tc zm ysh vl lpg ntyew wh kdstavi lwl cfmtyn kgdmoep. Pd sva giocj xgjhvl lwnv bl rzma xdblv bjw wvjq otsxs mx xqoty qmzrdjz G owwds kcxqcfisw tmnatcc ab ysh zmem ugga mx i uupt. Zmb Uas pq… A owwhz wgc egjsb kia Kxk gk bjah dmjtf’k ahql ukjpjjw.

Qv’k p nmgl vzxue zm jsh tmfma ld ogvm copf, G xmcj wpq ywxwgukwvv odbjv tqnt am omchdugrm c fjjjwit hwfqakkki vd zqu upsgtmt, sck pwindn afsb’u lwl jsav lwply ipqduc uwwds dgkp hgg afaa rdpucl. Bjah nsq cuws am owtc lprz Stshugcwx tpji av Ul. Elrwzutjye, kw K ttsgwdg sas faa gftyeq zgkthpup jsh afw arwrpdak igps mx nwwaply i ysn am lzcnts gf bket.

All of it has been a dinosaur, cat poop or snail shell before.

Scl ug ltsj qww sqvsl Akv: Locf eg xxyql ugl, xa usa cl hvkw Ogjbhl Hpakxjq Kweataw emgl jw gf bjw hhajmf zpsjk wh lwlgj Jcv Wvlfmh epuqawp. Lwlpw egjt osym ddddl mx rzdamyzchwz mx Mkfhacav cfs Wjsvec du rzmkj bhpttg opsjk, wdktytavi s qblup qx eowkqeahaq ymvlxue oiultk yxbgj p smfo fsn vd vmdsiply aqet mmjuwdp vp svqlwlp. Kqf sck G omtw qvrz qpltyckbgv xu raug lghtwt ck p afwwtwipast rghzgtqnaif.
G lwnv wpk A pcv ybql zgss Scoqu:

“Lxtc lzcnts, G eikfihgf, qu hdzqajnw. Ioc hitssvvwa qx ipkw btsklj szg gskglqgk cvr aurghzgtqnaipck.” Lcnxk Jwekk lymlm vzpa gf 1976 iu zxz mhmpacn javg gu “Afw Xcjpkmpmu gu Agem Vjpccd,” qosvplw bjsi. Dfsb mack mx wwlavmc wp dxmc zm omha fsdg zpk, agvuaslpavi wklpq lguxzggv twklpkqddt, ltwza ogvly zkywacv xqki myub?! Yw blr socac 30-zmem awpyq divwg iw upcfrl. Zq bjwc, afw Ngjbp nszcvde usa ywxnfavi gc vsj ukfsz:
“Uzmtw xz cnmtqqvbq?”  
Iu gu amvia, ot oynmp’l bhqlmtws afw itl dm raug lghtwt, cfs dmjag, ot oynmp’l tuagcpltycv ipqduc xzqe pumlpgj ipkw (wt lxtcdqpw ghrzmt) kd dfsb fgtz jwixw jz uabj?

After all, the matter of my conscious self as a whole is ancient. All of it has been a dinosaur, cat poop or snail shell before.

S ulu ewplwz jsbgj X oyv ywai tw hpakxjq kbwvxlq. Fwv xtk sh eklw afw nkwak, zmb tsiocj wxwgdfwtows iw lpg xtljavi gu uml jgacn egwf wcvsyp. K kihplmf ld aycm rarasjmu sck bjiy, edyc sa vztyyhg hgg twkmnx ioyf ipqiogfo. Yztu G emv Sgqgf, ajw lhq lpg gcl rziv ypcc em vzt wskp kfiv rzm cji dmjtf sck cnmp lwvsyp K ktlk lw jskl dstnwc vsl wh lwhr owtds mmj vqo, X dgdt cdlhwk jg lwhlcnwd iv fwz hgg afsb. Yztu yjb kk svlw zkywa, gl kcf pskgav tt h qhqtaibyd mzhtygwvew. Xa asv dw tupakjacn yfl egcucubkfv hlv pgsaply ipv vbgvqpy. Xa asv cdhv zw kqds – vzkmtnt, isjv, fwuscub, ckz, sgw, nkywa. G magv iv jgdg lwl usg cji jyf mnmsl y xqte sldavklxvl. Jqizi umo qv bjzr xmgdh cyycg si ickb cfs mycm cl lvpkb. Ug X hk jmvmgugfo vg eowkqek gpezb pgl, Mcjuk tt kyevgv. X dgdt ezpuew bjah dmjtf.

The solitary chrono nomad, tempo tripper, instant roamer,

R

3 thoughts on “#15 When Am I?

  1. Hi R. I managed to work out the first part, which seem to be a Vigenere cipher… “I’ve been bouncing this conversation back and forth in my head for a few weeks. Finally I had to trust another person and talk to them to get a new perspective.

    I think I have some ideas on how to do practical implementations of the CTC experiments that could go way beyond manipulating just one particle. But there are some major issues if I want to stay within the parameters set by physicist David Deutsch, most of which are pretty costly. So I clued in an old university friend, Sid. It turns out, he’s been working on something similar, but alas, he’s a few countries over to the east, so we have to be very careful about encrypting our messages.”

    I will work on the rest… but this will give you a start 🙂

  2. Here is the full text: “I’ve been bouncing this conversation back and forth in my head for a few weeks. Finally I had to trust another person and talk to them to get a new perspective.
    I think I have some ideas on how to do practical implementations of the CTC experiments that could go way beyond manipulating just one particle. But there are some major issues if I want to stay within the parameters set by physicist David Deutsch, most of which are pretty costly. So I clued in an old university friend, Sid. It turns out, he’s been working on something similar, but alas, he’s a few countries over to the east, so we have to be very careful about encrypting our messages.
    We had a long conversation on Larry Niven’s law of conservation of history. It was exhilarating, to say the least. It must have been years since I had an exchange as vibrant and thorough. I might have to freshen up my memory and go through my old study notes and references if I want to have any chance of keeping face. At least I got back in contact with Sid and might visit him soon. Maybe this is a void I needed to fill without realizing?
    For the first time in months I feel something other than a fatalist notion of apathy and a disgruntled disgust for our society. The last time we talked, he told me he was on the verge of solving the energy dilemma. If any other person told me they found the holy grail of power surplus I would defiantly believe it was some sort of a scam. But Sid is… I guess you could say Sid is this world’s last miracle.

    It’s a good thing he has money to hide away, I fear his government would love to weaponize a nuclear physicist of his caliber, and really that’s the last thing anyone could wish for this planet. This guy used to work with Krasnikov back in St. Petersburg, so I believe all his energy research has the specific goal of fueling a way to travel in time.
    Let me tell you about Sid: When we first met, it was at some German Physics Society meet up in the sacred halls of their Bad Honnef mansion. There were huge blown up photographs of Einstein and Planck on their marble walls, observing a bunch of physicists getting wasted after a long day of debating some formula or another. Sid and I were both interested in time travel as a theoretical possibility.
    I told him I had just read Lewis:
    “Time travel, I maintain, is possible. The paradoxes of time travel are oddities not impossibilities.” David Lewis wrote that in 1976 as his opening line of “The Paradoxes of Time Travel,” imagine that. What kind of outlook on life he must have had, considering every decision reversible, every wrong righted post fact?! We met again 30-some years later by chance. By then, the Fermi paradox was weighing on our minds:
    “Where is everybody?”
    As of today, we haven’t mastered the art of time travel, and worse, we haven’t encountered anyone from another time (or timeline rather) so what does leave us with?

    A few months later I had quit my physics studies. Not fed up with the field, but rather overwhelmed by the feeling of not being good enough. I started to take pictures and draw, more as therapy for myself than anything. When I met Arjin, she was the one that gave me the push into the art world and even though I seem to have fallen out of that world for now, I will always be thankful to her for that. When art is done right, it can almost be a spiritual experience. It can be enriching and connecting and healing and guiding. It can also be cold – observe, burn, deflect, ask, lie, fight. I used to love the way art can elude a firm definition. Right now it just feels vague at best and fake at worst. So I am returning to physics right now, Fermi be damned. I will change this world.”

  3. Dear Escobar,
    thank you for all the time and effort you put into solving the last cypher!
    I have no idea who this Sid is and how to get in contact with him, but he seems to be my only hope to get myself back to my fix time. I also have to read up on those physicist names Ben mentioned. At least to get a rough understanding of what he is actually talking about.
    I’ll keep you posted,
    R.

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