Saturday, 19 July 2014

Lives Of Time Patrol Members

Time Patrol members die only by accident or violence? But most are in posts where they are in no danger of violence and those who do survive for decades in the field eventually progress to roles that are more administrative/managerial/coordinating etc so that then, after that, accident becomes their only possible cause of death.

It may be statistically true that an accident must happen eventually even to those living in safe and comfortable circumstances but this could take a very long time and, if there is an average age of death, then some will live to way beyond that average.

In the period 1850-2000, three milieus, Western, Russian and Asian, each have a headquarters that exists only from 1890 until 1910, plus branch offices in other years. The Patrol also has electronic means of imprinting languages on brains. Thus, a Patrol agent living for centuries or millennia could easily serve for the entire twenty years in all three headquarters and all the branch offices.

Communicating with headquarters offices in other periods, he might well exchange message capsules with his older self who has moved on from the 1850-1910 milieus. Obviously, offices are located in decades when it is known that they should be physically safe. For example, for London (Western milieu),1890-1910 is a different proposition from 1930-1950.

In Part Six of The Shield Of Time, Everard would, other things being equal, have returned from the Pleistocene Lodge to his New York apartment at some time in the closing decades of the twentieth century. Instead, using the Lodge as a base, he must spend as much of his personal lifespan as necessary to delete an invasive timeline, then a second that follows directly on the heels of the first. When these tasks have been completed, then he returns to his New York apartment on exactly the same date as he would otherwise have done although, in this case, he is physically older and has experienced events that are not part of the current timeline. Yet the career stretching ahead of him remains unchanged in duration - although maybe that accidental or violent death has been brought nearer, statistically speaking?

Do some Unattached agents remain active until they drop and, if so, what is the highest age attained?

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