Friday Lore Post: The Split

The circumstances surrounding the destruction of planet G44-12#3, known by its inhabitants as Earth, are deeply unclear. The planet was in a state of temporal flux, subject to several temporal incursions, high time mafia activity and the activity of several independent actors from outside its timeline, and several eyewitnesses reported appearances of the Involuted Clock, though several other eyewitnesses denied this, and the Clock’s presence was not formally recorded. At least one otherworldly entity classified on the ω scale is known to have been present, though the interference of up to three other such entities has not been ruled out. At least four hundred and twelve entities measured on the 𝛿 scale were also noted to be present. Two unclassifiable entities outside of all conventional measuring systems were briefly recorded (Note: We’ve analysed the shit out of these brief recordings; they’re definitely the Right and Left Hands of Creation, but we don’t know fuck-all about what they actually are). Due to temporal anomalies and interference, the events leading up to and ultimately causing the planet’s destruction occurred at least four times simultaneously.

What is clear is that at the moment of Earth’s destruction, a temporal event known as the Split occurred. The timeline was irrevocably broken in half, creating two timelines and therefore two universes. Polyversal events are not unheard of throughout the timeline and indeed the Temporal Bureau records all such events and secondary universes. These universes, however, are clearly secondary to the primary universe, and generally tend to either merge with the primary universe organically or diverge sufficiently that they become unstable and vanish (Note: The Department of Temporal Coherence deals with this generally, but Temporal Law Enforcement sometimes checks up on situations in verses pertaining to our cases. The time mafia likes to build bases in them). The important part about typical polyversal events is that they happen in accordance with and as part of the standard timeline and do not threaten it. The Split created a second timeline, a fully independent universe that stems from the destruction from Earth.

Information about the universe on the other side of the Split is limited because travel between the two universes is impossible except under extremely dangerous circumstances (Note: The Bureau doesn’t seem to have a record of what those circumstances are, but I’m attaching some files from the Department of Research that speculate it might have to do with temporal wormholes, which are caused when paradoxes happen and from which people generally don’t emerge intact). Certain information is known for certain, based on the earliest moments of the Split, when the two universes were still close together. On the other side of the Split, Earth was not destroyed and humans either failed or did not try to migrate to Nova. Because the various ongoing crises on the planet would have continued to happen, even if the planet itself was not destroyed, the extinction of the human race is certain (Note: It’s a bit unlike the Bureau to be this absolute. We can’t be sure humans are extinct over there, on account of we can’t fucking go there). Limited temporal readings from the early Split period suggest that the histories of the two universes are identical until the Split. It is unclear how much of the main universe was duplicated in the Split and how much was altered, but preliminary scans indicate that the Split is a whole universe and that most of our universe was duplicated.

No evidence of Temporal Bureau, time mafia or otherworldly entity activity has been recorded on the other side of the Split. It is possible that the new universe created by the Split is isolated from any temporal or transdimensional interference. Captured otherworldly entities from Earth shortly before the Split report being unable to access the other universe (Note: Worth mentioning that we didn’t capture any particularly powerful entities, though. And also, you know. These fuckers tend to lie about shit). After the first twenty-four minutes of the other universe’s existence, it is impossible to scan or otherwise access it. The temporal period around the Split, and the other universe it created, were quarantined, and all temporal travellers, Bureau and otherwise, forbidden from interacting with them. To do so is a class seven offence, and to attempt to travel to the universe on the other side of the Split is a class nine offence (Note: Just for context, we usually only charge captured time mafia operatives with class eight offences).

A total of seven hundred and six items have appeared in the main universe at different points in time that have been speculated to come from the other side of the Split. Because travel between the two universes is not entirely impossible, each of them is in the custody of the Bureau and has been studied thoroughly. Three hundred and forty-four of them have been confirmed to have originated in the main universe. One hundred and ninety have been confirmed to have originated on the other side of the Split. The remaining objects remain under study. The quantum organization of the objects confirmed to have originated opposite the Split demonstrates that the second universe remains similar to ours in matter composition, though its temporal particalization appears to operate at a more unstable pace, which would render the second timeline unsafe to travel through and may provide an explanation for the apparent lack of Temporal Bureau activity.

Interrogation of criminals who claim to have travelled to the other universe are contradictory. Some claim it is a universe barren of all life. Some claim it is the full inverse of our own. Some claim it is essentially identical, with only human habitation on Nova having changed. These reports are included in the appendix (Note: Take a special look at the confession from Ramel Dek. He claimed that he was held hostage by human militants whose technology matched projected development on Earth in a way that should have been impossible to fake. His confession was behind twice as many Department of Temporal Coherence firewalls as the rest). No conclusions can be drawn about the nature of the other universe or its inhabitants.

The universe on the other side of the Split will most likely collapse eventually. Its pace of temporal particle instability is likely to increase and its existence will become less tenable, leading to its exvolution (Note: The temporal particalization pace has been consistent across every confirmed sample we’ve got. We’re assuming his based on the universe’s secondary nature, but what makes a universe secondary?). When this happens, it may pose a danger to the main universe. The contents of the other side of the Split may try to re-integrate into the main universe, and without knowing how different they are, its is unknown what the level of paradox will be. At a minimum, the planet Earth may reappear. If this happens, it will be possible to study it and discover what happened, at which time the Split will be much better understood. This may also provide answers to the duplication of many personalities from Earth’s dying period onto Nova’s, an enduring temporal mystery that may or may not be related to the Split.

Based on temporal readings taken around the Split and those taken around several other temporal events, it is possible that the Split is not a unique event. A second Split on Nova around the time of its destruction is not impossible. Many of the same factors that caused the “first” Split were also present on Nova. Without knowing which factor or combination of factors actually caused the Split, further hypothesizing is only speculation. A theoretical second Split would likely have caused a universe in which Nova was not destroyed. The circumstances under investigation have been put in quarantine to be safe, but a second Split seems exceedingly unlikely. All Bureau operatives are forbidden from discussing the possibility until it can be confirmed or denied, to avoid creating another temporal panic.

(Note: Ignore the first thirteen appendices unless you know more about temporal metaphysics than you’ve been letting on. Appendix fourteen is a list of every Bureau officer who’s ever investigated or been near the time of the Split, including me. One of them might know something about what actually caused it. Half of them work for the Department of Temporal Coherence. You’re in appendix seventeen, if you’d like to learn more about your other self.)

From “Bureau-Wide Brief on the Split,” issued by Temporal Bureau Command, 9:15-323:22/4. Altered 11:44-214:21/1.

16 thoughts on “Friday Lore Post: The Split

  1. Who wrote this? Bob? Bob’s future sel(f/ves)? Michael? Dr. Peregrine? Captain Fluffypaws? And to whom was it addressed?


  2. Obviously the other side of the Split is a lot more stable than the Temporal Bureau is assuming, and is not in any way “secondary” to the timeline we are familiar with. That’s a narrative inevitability.

    There’s also a non-zero chance that the other side of the Split is the primary to this side’s secondary, though I’m more inclined to think that the two timelines are co-equal.

    Either way, this “quarantine it, criminalize interaction with it and hope it goes away on its own” approach seems extremely likely to backfire.


    1. That would conventionally be how a narrative works, yes. Plus we’ve had some evidence that there are probably people over there, so. 😀

      I think it’s more likely that the two are co-equal as well, because secondary universes tend to get absorbed into the main universe and/or evaporate, and this universe doesn’t seem to be in much danger of that.

      It does seem either way that the Bureau’s policy about the Split is definitely destined to fail in the long run. For an organization that supposedly operates in long runs, you’d think they’d realize that, haha.



  3. Temporal Coherence clearly has some involvement in the Split above and beyond what their job description requires, and just as clearly is desperately trying to cover it up. I assume they were at least partially to blame for it.


    1. I’d say that’s safe to assume, but there’s very little it’s safe to assume based on so little information, haha. But yes, it’s a reasonable assumption to make. 😀 They obviously have an investment in the situation beyond what is strictly necessary, which is shady, if nothing else.



  4. Hm. Was Earth’s timeline on this side of the Split somehow spliced with the future Nova’s? Is that a thing that’s possible, or even makes sense?


    1. Something like that is definitely possible! We know there’s a weird mirroring happening between Earth and Nova and it’s not just that everyone was mirrored on Nova–Giles told us a while ago that time around Earth seems to be related to time around Nova, which is an indicator that something deeper is up. 😀



  5. I assume that the Temporal Bureau leadership’s thoughts on the Split can be summed up as a full hour of wordless screaming.


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