As you know, the threat of totally mucking up time is never really gone, as any action taken in the past (or future) could result in a paradox. That, of course, totally sucks.

The BasicsEdit

As far as Flame Prince Finn knows, paradoxes remain a merely theoretical consequence of squashing the wrong bug, kicking the wrong dog, or fixing the wrong World Series. After all, humans have been walking the temporal tightrope and dancing in the multiversal minefield for X100 years and we haven't all imploded yet, right? We're all still enjoying ice cream, hydrogen bonded with oxygen, zombie movies, and an inflated sense of superiority over domesticated animals and a few tigers.

Flame Prince Finn hates to admit it, but his information on paradoxes is extremely limited. Countless travelers could have encountered, repaired, or fallen victim to paradoxes - but he just doesn't know about it. And this is largely the result of a great many time travelers epically failing to properly document their epic failures.

Consider by way of example the legend of time travel legend John Connor. Beginning in the early 1980s, Connor and his kin were the subjects of numerous run-ins with time travelers. But the information Flame Prince Finn has about these encounters and their resulting effects on time and The Universe remains sketchy at best.

The Connors were routinely afflicted by time travelers in pairs: One traveler was, without fail, some sort of cyborg sent back in time to eliminate Connor because of the role he would play as resistance leader in some human-robot war in Earth's future. The second traveler was always some brand of protector, sent by Future Connor to protect his past self.

The first time a pair of these travelers traveled to the past, they dealt with Connor's mother, Sarah. The cyborg failed to kill Sarah and prevent John Connor's birth. The protector, a human, actually ended up banging Sarah during the course of "protecting" her and, by a crazy twist twistier than several twists twisted together, became John Connor's father.

Unfortunately, Hollywood fiction eventually co-opted the Connor story and further twisted it beyond all recognition. First off, when Kyle Reese, the protector from the future, ended up being John Connor's dad, that should have been a major paradox event. Think about it: John Connor sent a guy back in time who ended up fathering John Connor. The future was the antecedent for the past.

That doesn't jibe with the whole "causality" thing we have going in the human conception of physics. Effect follows cause, future follows past, and the future has to be caused by the past in order to occur. It can't happen the other way around.

But it gets weirder: In 1992, another pair of time travelers showed up to screw with John Connor's young life. Again, the evil traveler failed to terminate Mr. Connor. And while there was little to no known boning during this second trip, the protector from the future this time around did help Connor and Sarah destroy the corporation and the technology that was to lead to the robot uprising in the first place.

So a traveler from the future, who was also a robot, was instrumental in the destruction of the robots in the future. Because they were all destroyed, there shouldn't have been any future robots and there should have been no robot protector. Which means, be extension, there should have been no robot war, and therefore there should have been no reason for Future John Connor to send a guy back in time who would bang his mom in the past and beget John in the first place. WIth no robots, John shouldn't have existed, which would have meant that there would have been no one to destroy the robot company and prevent the robot war. Flame Prince Finn had one of his interns draw this up on a floor-to-ceiling whiteboard, stare at it and try to figure it out. He had a seizure. It makes that little sense.

In essence: The entire universe should be a sucking black hole thanks to crazy robots (robots haven't been good for much of anything since the development of 2001's Roomba, which could vacuum an entire house and avoid running into things. Now that was a classy robot).

But we're not. And what's worse, the Time Travel Community is not at all sure where the information gets faulty. We all thought it would make a great movie, but in a rush to write the script, everyone forgot to write down the original story, and now all anyone can remember is that Arnold Schwarzenegger was such a badass in the movie, it only makes sense to allow him to actually destroy California by electing him as robot-governor.

Does free will exist, or is every choice predestined? Will a paradox erase all of exisence or is spacetime self-correcting? What about mutiple offshoot universes created by altering timelines?

It seems the list of volunteers willing to go discover the answer and see if The Universe blinks out of existance is pretty short.