"Tidings" is a tale that weaves time and space into knots.
neither sequential nor linear and if you have the tools you can weave a
tapestry of paradoxes. Until the transtab appeared, things were
simple - cause and effect followed one after the other and the future
always came after the past.The true nature of reality was hidden and
the people of the Galaxy went on about their daily lives as they always
Boss Dibens believed that the truth would set you free, and he wanted
to be free and be among the free. For years he dug out the real news and, using whatever means he could finagle, got it out to
anyone willing to listen. With billions of worlds, there was always a
story to find and get out! Of course, this did not always win him
friends among the subjects of his stories, and those subjects were
often powerful and relied on their secrecy to hold onto their power,
but the universe is a big place. Thus, Boss Dibens moved around a lot
and was always looking for a better way to get the news and to get it
out. With his stories he did make friends, sometimes by getting news
about one person to another one who knew how to use it. Sometimes he
made friends just because he was fun to be with. Because of his
extensive travelling, he had friends and enemies everywhere throughout
the galaxy. Because he had friends and enemies everywhere, he travelled
One time he was doing a story on an oddball inventor who had found a
way to turn government forms and documents into vodka (Boss loved his
vodka!) and was shown something that would change his life and the
nature of all reality forever. After the two had sampled a particularly
potent libation made from tax forms for the tax exempt, the inventor
showed him how to open a doorway into another time and place. Boss,
seeing a good thing when it was put in front of him, grabbed the device
and proceeded to play with it. Unfortunately, jumping across all of
time and space requires a tremendous amount of energy and Boss
inadvertenly releases some with devestating consequences. The planet he
is on is destroyed and the inventor disappears in the cataclysm and
Boss is flung out into space on a chunk of rock containing the facility
the Transtab was built in all alone. Now he had
a tool with which he could dramatically reduce his travel expenses and
pretty much get any story he wanted any time. He also had a new base of
operations. His news organization
prospered, and even his enemies called him friend because they had no
idea how he got his stories but hoped that his next one would benefit
them and not be about them.
But with power comes responsibility, and Boss just liked to have fun.
He just couldn't help himself. He found that he could jump into his own
future or past to fix unpleasent moments or relive pleasent ones and
even have himself from those other times jump around with him. He found
that he didn't need a staff to put on a show, because he could do it
himself, or at least several of him could. He brought together versions
of himself from other dimensions and times and put together a crack
team that shared a common vision of finding and reporting the news.
Because his staff was just like him, he could get so much more done so
much more efficiently. He could literally be in two places at once.
But the universe is seldom so simple and there can only be one
Boss Dibens. Even though they looked alike, they were all unique.
Sarkans Dibens is much more careful and serious about his work. Balts
Dibens can make anything work except social interaction. Zils Dibens
just came from a different kind of universe and has a unique
perspective and his own ideas - and a mysterious mission of his own.
One of the hot stories that Boss had been covering was the ongoing
conflict between the Poota empire and the rebels led by Aktu
Schowsmuss. Now, with the transtab, Boss could get behind the scenes on
both sides and report what was really going on to everyone.
Unfortunately, Boss's reporting was tipping off each side about the
other's secret plans and both sides wanted to find out what was going
on and get the advantage for themselves. Poota forces suddenly show up
to get Boss right after a live report and he narrowly escapes into the
past but fails to take his transtab. Fortunately, the news team gets
the transtab back but aren't sure where Boss ended up and they start
looking for clues. Boss, stranded now, has to find a way to send word,
but that can take a long time so Boss makes the best of it, and
someone named Ima Hammerred seems to know him but calls him "Jack."
Soon the paradoxes are
piling up and keeping them contained is becoming more and more of a
problem. But the Universe is a big place and there is a lot of time and
space to spread things around. Even so, eventually it all starts to catch up...
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