Wednesday, 26 February 2014
To Arrange A Disaster IV
Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006).
A "yawara" (p. 157) is a weapon used in Japanese martial arts.
Instead of arranging a disaster, the Time Patrolmen experience one:
the Mongols capture them, using the flashlight that they gave to the Noyon as a present;
Sandoval is clubbed unconscious and, without Patrol medical treatment, will die soon;
the Confucian scholar, Li Tai-Tsung, tells the prisoner Everard that, if he cooperates, he "'...may hope in time to rise high in the provincial court, after the conquest.'" (p. 160)
Will the conquest imagined by Sandoval succeed?
"Why had this interference been ordered at all, if there were not - in some paradoxical way his twentieth-century logic couldn't grasp - an uncertainty, a shakiness in the continuum right at this point?" (p. 161)
"There are quirks and discontinuities in space-time. The world lines can double back and bite themselves off, so that things and events appear causelessly, meaningless flutters soon lost and forgotten. Such as Manse Everad, marooned in the past with a dead John Sandoval, after coming from a future that never existed as an agent of a Time Patrol that never was." (ibid.)
And what better place to stop reading for the night?