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The Phoenix Gate

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Jim R. writes...

I'm still a little baffled about Timedancing Brooklyn and the story behind him. You state that when Goliath threw the Phoenix gate into itself without a mind to guide it, it would be forever lost in the time stream. Then you went on to say that it lands in front of Brooklyn.
1. Why did you choose Brooklyn?
2. When does it land in front of him, in what time?
I was reading through the archived responses about this, and you say that he never lays a finger on the gate.
3. But how is it possible for him to travel forty years leaping in and out of random time shifts the gate creates? The gate is just a talisman, without a mind or the incantation it really can't go anywhere, which leads me to my next question.
4. If Brooklyn is susceptable to random time shifts, how long does he or can he stay, in one time?
5. Why couldn't he lay a finger on the gate? I mean surely he would eventually find out how the gate works in some time, grab it, speak the incantation, and boom! he's back home again in his own time exactly when he left. Brooklyn isn't that stupid, he surely would have had some pre-existing knowledge from Goliath about the dangers of the gate.

Please. Maybe you could explain this whole Timedancer mess in better detail or in a nutshell, or at least point me out someplace online I could go to read more about it in further detail.

Greg responds...

No, I stated that Goliath threw the Phoenix Gate into the Timestream -- not itself.

1. He chose me largely. He was ready for the next step in his character's evolution. And I felt he could carry a series.

2. In "the present". Originally, that meant 1996. I'm not sure now. I'm leaning toward '97 though. Not 2001.

3. No, it goes everywhere and everywhen. It seems to be random. But the timestream itself may have currents and eddies guiding it.

4. There's no consistent rule.

5. He can never get to it in time.

The only place I can point you for more detailed info is the TimeDancer archive here at ASK GREG. (This doesn't seem that complicated to me, however. I certainly wouldn't call it a 'mess'.)

Response recorded on March 13, 2001

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Adam writes...

1. When he returns from Timedancing, is Brooklyn aware of the time and place of his own death?

2. If so, is he also aware that there is nothing he can do to change the circumstances of his demise?

Greg responds...

1. No.

Response recorded on March 01, 2001

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Adam writes...

If I understand Timedancing correctly, it occurs at unpredictable intervals. The Phoenix Gate suddenly appears and whisks Brooklyn off to a new time period. So my question is: when Brooklyn does his final Timedance, the one that brings him back to just minutes after he originally left, how does he know that his Timedancing is over? Does he know that the Gate will not appear again, or does he expect to be Timedanced(?) away again at any moment?

If he knows that his journey has come to an end, is it because he has gained control of the Gate? If he does have control of the Gate, why did he choose to come back just a few minutes after he left? Didn't he have anyplacetime better to go after forty years of Timedancing? What does he do with the Gate once he gets back?

Greg responds...

I'm not answering any of this. If you think about it, you'll see why.

Response recorded on March 01, 2001

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Justin writes...

Here we go again...
1) Will Goliath and Elisa ever have kids?
2) Will Brooklyn and Katana have kids in the 2008 rookery?
3) Will Lexington?


Greg responds...

1, 2, and 3. They will be parents to all the children of the clan.

Response recorded on March 01, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Were you inspired in someway by Quantum Leap while making Timedancer?

Greg responds...

Not really. Plenty of time travel stuff pre-dates QL.

And I'm much stricter about time-travel rules than that show.

Response recorded on February 26, 2001

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Bruno writes...

Hi Greg,

Thoughts about time travel:

There is a little controversy about time travel vs. free will. If the past is unchangeable -and also the future, for consequence- then there is _no_ free will?

On the contrary; The events in the past can't be changed, but they WERE and ARE done by us. That's easy to guilt the others or the timestream, but, quoting Rorschach, from Watchmen:

"That's not God who kill the children, nor the chance who shred they, nor the destine who feed the dogs with they. They're us. Only us". (I'm translating to english from a translation to the portuguese. :-)

Plus, on the contrary of the common sense, change the past is not use free will, but kill it: Demona betrayed Wyvern. If she came back and change this, she should be obstructing her OWN free will. And her responsability, to boot. And responsability is one of the series' themes.

This is a paradox, but, with time travel, what else did you want? The unchangeable past universe IS the free will universe. :-)

Oh, well, now back to my time travel questions:

1- Roughly, when was the Phoenix Gate "created"? Meaning when it droped in Avalon, starting the time loop.

2- If the Phoenix Gate is a "steam valve" and it exists among two time points (??? or before and 2198 or after), what was the steam valve before the Gate? And after?

Ps. I just wanted to say that I fully understood the time loops in Vows, Avalon II and M.I.A. and I loved then. Vows and Avalon were amazing and smart, and M.I.A. was just too fun: Goliath couldn't change the history, but he was so smart that he could trick it! Great work.

Greg responds...

Before we get to your questions, Bruno, let me just say that I agree with you on your time travel/free will thing.

1. I don't want to reveal that yet. It's intrinsic to the whole TimeDancer story.

2. Stories for another day.


Response recorded on February 15, 2001

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LSZ writes...

Would the Loch Ness Monsters ever be featured in Dark Ages or Timedancer?

Greg responds...


Response recorded on February 07, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

Did Brooklyn and Katana lug each of their kids' eggs around with them for the 10 years it took for them to hatch?

Greg responds...

Yes. Largely.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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Camcuru writes...

Do you have any ideas as to what Katana, Nashville, and Tachi look like, if so will you tell me?

1)Is Tachi a girl? When I looked the name up in the encyclopedia on Jeb's page it said Tachi was a male.

Greg responds...

Yes and no.

1. Tachi is female.

Response recorded on December 22, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

Your description of how important it is to control the Phoenix Gate (or else you wind up, to cite your example, at Burger King instead of Fort Knox) got me wondering just now: is this one reason why it takes Brooklyn forty years to get back home during "Timedancer"? That he didn't concentrate in the right manner on his desired destination until the final "dance"?

Greg responds...

No. Brooklyn, try as he might, never (or almost never) lands a finger on the Gate. He's basically leaping into portals that the Gate opens "at random".

Response recorded on November 21, 2000

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