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The Vortex Revealed
Cartesian philosophy defines a vortex as a rapid rotatory movement of cosmic matter about a center, regarded as accounting for the origin or phenomena of bodies or systems of bodies in space.
The Atlantian Vortex is a rapid rotatory movement of temporal and dimensional energy, but it is not a Cartesian phenomenon. Quite the opposite. While Cartesian philosophy advocates a radical division between matter and mind, the Vortex is the exact opposite, the perfect union of matter and mind. The means by which a time traveler navigates through the Atlantian Vortex is thought. Thought determines the final destination. The implicit danger lies in having undisciplined thoughts, since the Vortex can open any time line there is.
For Martin Black, the goal is to go back to an Atlantis that he can rule, an Atlantis where he can start a war of his own design, and most importantly, an Atlantis where the Book of Vallora is still present. However, before he can consolidate his power and take over the city, Linda and Scott interfere and the rest is history… a new history.
As for Linda and Scott being able to follow John and Martin Black into the same time frame, the answer lies in the wake the first party going through the Vortex leaves behind. Because Linda and Scott follow Martin Black so closely, just about immediately, they end up in the same time line. What plays a big role here is that Linda is thinking about catching up with John. However, on their return trip, they fall victim to an unpredictable and peculiar twist of time travel… sometimes the ones who leave first are the last to arrive. When Martin Black escapes, he thinks of a world where he can rule, thus he ends up in 1908, allowing him a second chance to bring his “vision” to life. Since he followed Linda and Scott so closely, again almost immediately, he is caught in their wake. Linda’s thoughts were not focused enough, all she thought about was getting “back to the future”. Unfocused thoughts bring uncertain results. Martin Black’s thoughts, due to his rage and being near death, were more powerful, and since the Vortex is once again out of control and unstable, it can also be said that Linda and Scott are caught in Martin Black’s wake. Thus they all end up in the same reality, just at different dates and places within it.
The great power of the Vortex isn’t just its ability to transport a person to any time in the past or future, but that the time traveler can interact in those realities and change the events of the era he or she is visiting without the grave consequences conventional theories on time travel stipulate. That change doesn’t have to be big. In Quantum Physics those who theorize about parallel universes already know that any change, even as small as the misplacement of a single atom, can have profound effects on alternate realities. In the case of the Vortex, any changes the time traveler causes can create alternate time lines, just as real and concrete as the one we’re living in right now. Many believe that alternate time lines branch off like railroad spur lines, but that theory contends that those new time lines are immutable and that you cannot return to the original time line from where you started. They become solitary realities unto themselves. The difference with the Vortex, however, is its natural ability to turn thought into reality, thereby eliminating the unalterable disposition of conventionally thought of time line spurs by allowing the time traveler to return to his/her original time line, provided his or her thoughts are focused and specific enough. The Vortex is an inter-dimensional conveyor that allows, at least in theory, the traveler to visit alternate time lines and act within them at will, without the threat of being forever caught in them. All this requires extreme mental focus and a deep understanding of the workings of the Vortex and the 13th crystal which is the creative force behind it. A force that is described in detail in the Book of Vallora. It also presupposes that the Vortex is in perfect working order. That’s why the out of control Vortex on the first trip back to Atlantis allows Linda and Scott to follow Martin Black and his men. The disturbance in the natural flow of time present in the malfunctioning Vortex causes Martin Black’s wake to be more pronounced than it would be were the Vortex running smoothly. That’s how Linda and Scott end up in the same time line as Martin Black, albeit some months later. The same phenomenon applies on the return trip, only Martin Black arrives in 1908 while Linda and Scott arrive in 2017. Since either party was once again caught in the other’s wake, Linda and Scott arrive in the same time line, only 109 years later when Martin Black had already changed things significantly, even though Linda and Scott left first.
Time travel has one other, rather unique complication, the possibility of a Doppelganger. John and Martin Black deal with their “alternates” after they arrive back in Atlantis and in so doing refute the age old concept of the temporal paradox. Proof that time travel through the Vortex is unlike anything one would expect from conventional ideas about going back in time. On the first trip back Linda doesn’t have to deal with the issue of an “alternate”. It doesn’t even occur to her. On the return journey Linda only thinks of going back to her kids and the world of the future she had left only a few days earlier. She is in for a very rude awakening when she and Scott discover that they have become the “alternates”.
None of these complications apply to people caught in the temporal shock waves. They never thought about time travel, so they merely end up in different times as emitted by the Vortex when it was running out of control.
The use of the 13th crystal in the creation of a time machine inextricably linked the two vastly disparate qualities… time travel and creation through thought. By the time John had created the Vortex it was too late to change things. He was caught by Martin Black and the machine fell into the villain’s hand. Soon after, the Vortex would go out of control leading to the total annihilation of Atlantis. When it happened all John could do was escape into the Vortex in the last moment, taking Linda with him. All he thought about was to venture far into the future, far enough to leave behind Atlantis and what he had done. It was a costly decision since the destruction of Atlantis also killed his family, a burden that has filled him with guilt and remorse ever since. Believing that the vortex was forever buried under the ocean, John resigned himself to life in the 20th and 21st century. Only after Martin Black recharged the semi-dormant Vortex through an atomic explosion does he realize that the Genie he let out of the bottle so long ago, was still roaming free and wreaking havoc indiscriminately.
(and why you need one)
Are you planning a trip back in time? Maybe a shopping spree in the Roman Forum? A stroll along the Nile watching the Great Pyramid under construction? How about swimming in the Aegean Sea with Helen of Troy? For the more intellectually inclined, how about watching Gutenberg print his first Bible, or observing Leonardo Da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa? Maybe you’re the adventurous type and would like to discover new lands with Christopher Columbus, or perhaps a vigorous hike with Lewis and Clark? You could go on a romantic and dramatic cruise aboard the Titanic. And if that’s too earth-bound, you can always opt for a last flight on the Hindenburg or watch Lindbergh take off on the first solo flight across the Atlantic. But before you jump into the Vortex and let it take you to distant times and adventures, there are some things you need to consider first.
First off there is the language problem. If you decide to travel to ancient Greece, you should probably take a course in classical Greek language and Hellenistic history and culture, otherwise you may raise eyebrows at the Parthenon. The next problem is appropriate clothing. If you travel to ancient Rome, shorts and Birkenstocks will scream “alien” to the Romans even before you open your mouth and ask for directions to the Forum in English. Then there is the issue of money. The Dollar looked and felt completely different in 1805 than it does today. And even if you have solved all those issues, mankind’s history is one filled with conflict and violence, so bringing a modern handgun into the Middle Ages will only get you labeled a demon from hell and once you run out of ammo you’ll be burned at the stake. Beyond the problems of language, clothes and currency, there is the issue of basic tools and weapons, if necessary. Certainly one could take along a number of tools, but there isn’t much use for a Phillips head screwdriver in the 16th century. A knife is definitely useful, but in a time of swords and rapiers, that too could be somewhat useless.
Nestor had to consider these things if he wanted to travel in time successfully. The creation of the three metamorphs solved these fundamental problems faced by anyone who ventures out into terra and tempus incognita.
The 13th crystal is the power that drives the magic Vallora brought to Earth. Technically it’s the 1st crystal, but for reasons long lost in time, it’s being referred to as the 13th crystal by the Atlantians. When combined with the other 12 crystals, which were brought to Earth by Vallora and represent the life forces of twelve planets she previously visited, the 13th crystal’s abilities are just about limitless. On its own it is still a formidable force and the key to creation through thought. Once the Vortex was brought to life, Nestor learned from the Book of Vallora that the 13th crystal can be divided into three equal sized pieces which become the metamorphs. Imbued with the inherent power of the 13th crystal, the metamorphs can do a lot more than just change shape. Each one is a key to start the Vortex, and since they are each a part of the 13th crystal they are directly linked to the core of the Vortex, which was created with the help of the crystal. They are also able to record events that transpire around them and play back that information through the mind of anyone who holds them, provided their mind is open to this type of information transfer. A chapter in the Book of Vallora explains how a metamorph can be used to read encrypted information, as can be found in a computer, and then relay that information to its bearer. This is a capability of the metamorphs that requires a great deal of experience with them. Being directly related to the Vortex, the metamorphs are also the only defense a person has from the temporal shock waves coming from the malfunctioning Vortex. Since they are a perfect mix of magic and physics, they can also protect its bearer from sword strikes and bullets. The only limitation a metamorph has is that it cannot become a complex device with moving parts. You cannot turn it into a clock, or a gun, or an engine. You can transform a metamorph, however, into any kind of a key, including an electronic key. There isn’t a lock that cannot be opened by a metamorph. Size of the lock is irrelevant. Electronic locks pose no problem, because they, like any computer, are all controlled by electrical impulses, something the metamorphs are perfectly adapted to since they link with the bearer’s thoughts to change themselves. A metamorph is like the ultimate Swiss Army knife, it’s a tool, it protects, it requires no maintenance, it works anywhere and it’s easy to carry. All you need to make it work is a focused mind. Obviously a metamorph in the wrong hands could become quite a tool for crime, a murder weapon that can never be traced, a key that unlocks any safe, a device that can extract secret information from protected sources, a shield that protects a villain from any force.
Even though the metamorphs are stable, their natural inclination is to be reunited and become the 13th crystal again. That is far more easily accomplished than breaking up the crystal into three parts. All you have to do is take two of the metamorphs and slam them into the sides of the third one. In a flash the metamorphs reconstitute into the 13th crystal. But that action prompts an instant reaction. The 13th crystal is at home in Atlantis’ crystal chamber, located beneath the Spire, and once the crystal is “reborn” it desires to return to the other 12 crystals in the chamber. A time/space portal opens beckoning the holder of the crystal to throw it into the opening and allowing it to return. It’s a dangerous moment, because the power of the portal is so intense, it can easily suck in the holder of the crystal too.
A metamorph is an indispensable tool for anyone who wants to travel in time and experience the past first hand. Having the right equipment with you on any expedition is essential for success and survival.
The metamorph… don’t travel in time without it.