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Well, I thought hoped that I could do NaNo and The Fused at the same time, but alas, with a thesis to write as well, ’twas not to be. The Fused is therefore on hiatus until the end of November (luckily for Lindsi, that doesn’t actually mean she has to find an excuse to camp out in Engineering for a month, not least because she doesn’t have a month!), but in exchange, here come some updates on my poor, long-suffering time travellers!

It’s occurred to me since starting NaNo that maybe I shouldn’t have picked a topic that might actually require genuine historical research! Sooooo I’ve skipped over half Aria’s trips instead, or else just outlined them for later heavy editing. The important thing is to make words, right?

In any case, meet my chrononauts! Thus far on the named chrononaut cast list we have Aria Mirane, my main character (about to be referred to as Mirage for the first time); Dallas Anders (the lost chrononaut); and Bex Doesn’t-Actually-Have-A-Surname-Yet, another chrononaut and a fairly good friend of Aria’s who often chats to her when she’s feeling down about her situation. Bex is gender-neutral and therefore I’m having a little difficulty with pronouns at present. I’m given to understand that “they” is commonly accepted, but my inner grammarian child (if you think I’m annoying now, you should have met me when I was five. I talked like a cross between the Famous Five and Data!) keeps twitching at using it to refer to a singular, named, well-known person. Next month I’ll go look into it some more, but during NaNo, looking things up is A Distraction – I inevitably get sucked into a wiki-walk, or TV Tropes, or some totally random site where it suddenly becomes extremely interesting to read an entire year’s worth of forum comments. YES THIS IS A THING THAT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE. (If any of you guys have any input, though, by all means leave a comment!)

Additionally, there’s Martin Kemp, who we’ve never actually¬† met “onscreen”, but who was the very first chrononaut. He’s a physicist, and now spends a lot of time using his fame to get funding and maintain the international cooperation required to keep the facility open. Time travel is ruinously expensive and also, obviously, has the potential to change the course of history. So international cooperation is a must-have.

Then we have some temporal physicists, the computer guys who oversee work with Chronos (yes, Chronos has sysadmins), a bunch of historians who’ve managed to request chronological jaunts, and so on and so forth. We’ve seen less of them than I would like, but speed speed speed. Oh, and the head of HR, who’s also understandably upset that they’ve managed to erase a chrononaut from history.

Except he isn’t erased from history. Because Aria keeps seeing him every time she repeats an old jaunt. But every time she gets near to him, she hits deconvergence, and Chronos pulls her out. Deconvergence, incidentally, is what they call it when Chronos stops being able to converge to a coherent timeline involving all of the events that just happened. Immediately before full deconvergence, Chronos is programmed to end the jaunt there, reconverging the chrononauts to the present, no matter what they were doing at the time. Needless to say, Aria finds it more than a little frustrating!

In the end, and where I am right now, she acquires an implant upgrade that links her to Chronos’ crazy temporal memory bank. Which will have more than a few interesting side-effects, but the ultimate upshot is that Aria will now be able to remember parallel timelines, too. With deconvergence as less of a problem, she can go further than ever before… who knows, she might even finally get to speak to this man she’s never met, who used to be a close friend.