I just discovered that I neglected to post a rather important section regarding the principles that make the Chronoplex possible. This should have been the fourth part in a series designed to introduce newcomers to the Plex. I will take a short break from the history of the Plex this week to finish the principles of the Plex series. Refer to About the Chronoplex, Anatomy of a GTL and Temporal Fluidity and Rechronoration as a lead-up to this section.
Temporal State and Temporal Inertia
Most linnies find it hard to understand how the Chronoplex can exist right under their noses and still remain undetected. Many spanners boast that it is because of their ninja-like stealth or their innate ability to blend in with any culture. The truth is that spanners have no special skills for remaining undetected. They simply benefit from a slowed temporal state.
All creatures have a temporal state. It is the speed at which they exist in time. Unless acted upon by an outside force, a temporal state in motion will stay in motion. The flip side, of course, is that a stopped temporal state wants to remain stopped. This resistance to changing temporal states is called temporal inertia.
When creatures exit the Plex by stepping through the border of a chroneurism their temporal state reacts to the movement of linear time and begins to come up to speed with it. However, since their temporal inertia resists that change it results in the creature not having a lasting existance in the linear world for the first few days, sometimes even weeks. Spanners can interact with linnies all they want during this period, but the linnies will soon have no recollection of ever meeting them. Eventually a spanner’s temporal state overcomes his temporal inertia, allowing him to come up to speed and become part of linear time. Think of it this way: picture a chunk of ice in a cool river. The ice can enter the water and it can move with the current, but only trace amounts melt and mix with the river at any given time. But if the ice remains in the river long enough, it will melt completely and become part of that river.
Conversely, when a creature enters the Plex, their temporal state is abruptly halted. It is not a gradual slowing of the creature’s temporal state, but a sudden stop. To extend the previous metaphor, if a small amount of water is diverted from a river to an area of unrelenting sub-zero temperatures, it quickly solidifies into ice. This sudden change in temporal inertia can be very disorienting to the subject, resulting in a reaction known as C-shock. C-shock affects all spanners with varying degrees of intensity depending on their temporal inertia at their time of entry. C-shock can result in dizziness, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, and in the most extreme cases mild soft tissue disruption. C-shock can be lessened, or in mild cases avoided altogether, by increasing fluids and sugars in the body. Seasoned spanners have discovered that a small bottle of milk does the trick nicely.
Check back next week as we return to our series on life in the Plex: History of the Plex, Part 4.