Archive | July 7, 2018

The Isle of Time, a piece of Pratchett Fanfic

I was re-reading Thief of Time, and there is a line in there about “just dump the extra time in the ocean.” It was always wet and watery:

Oh, maybe fishermen would start to dredge up strange whiskery fish that they’d only ever seen before as fossils, but who cared what happened to a bunch of codfish.

So here is a bit about someone who might care.

There was an island in the middle of the ocean that the Monks of Time did not know of.

They didn’t know about it because it wasn’t supposed to exist for another five hundred thousand years, but it existed in a place that a particular set of Procrastinator-drivers in the halls of time particularly enjoyed, and as such, it had gotten more than its share of time manipulation.

Geography and geology are always a bit of a question when you live on a disc on the back of four elephants riding on the back of a turtle, but as far as anyone could tel, this was also a place where certain sea creatures had been going for millennia to die, and thus, between that and some activity it was best to call volcanic,  although Vulcan went by a different name here, had pointy ears, and had only once even looked at this place1, well, anyway, there was an island here.

And because shipwrecks happen everywhere and possibly more than everywhere when your ship is suddenly beset by a pre-historical2 creature or, worse yet, suddenly becomes a grove of trees and two confused elephants or a pile of mold and driftwood, this island had people, and had had people for quite some time (Probably.  Maybe.  Likely.)

Even evolution works strangely on the Disc, and so, after a while (or several whiles, depending), someone needed to do something about this aging a thousand years before one could manage to breed, or coming back before one’s grandparents had gotten around to it, and so on.

There were not a lot of people on this island, but it wasn’t on any charts, which only increased the shipwrecks (it’s a bit off putting when first your First Mate loses fifteen years of life and then there’s an island right in front of you while you’re still talking her out of a fight with the cook and the ship’s boy over Music With Rocks In It), and things continued strange around there.  Which meant that, in due (let’s be honest and say un-due) time, the people who survived there ended up being, ah, immune to time.

They could step through it, and sometimes did.  They could create elaborate looping paradoxes – and, indeed, it became an art form there: what is the most beautiful paradox that you can create?  None of this I’m-my-own-Grandpa sort of thing; on this island that was considered to go without saying, after all.  And if you wished to go and replay last Tuesday, well, go ahead.  Maybe alone, maybe with your previous self or several of them.

And while the Monks of Time did not know about this island, neither did those on the island know about the monks of time.

If they did, it is thought by those who pay attention (Mostly Sark’ck) that there were at least three consecrated mounds of dust and ash that might have some very strong words for those Monks.

1 Nobody was saying that Vulcan, or, as he was known here, Sark’ck, had anything to do with a particular green-blooded bastard in a another part of the multiverse, but he did have a habit of adopting stray myths and making them his own…

2 And in the Discworld, where someone or other had been writing down history since the time the fifth elephant landed in the Uberwald, that is saying something.