Before we go on in our tale, I must fill you in on the different types of planet classification. This is no more important than because of the simple fact, they help to explain certain sensibilities of characters you are likely to meet as we go on in this most curious of stories..
These are planets that at the time of the malfunction, have been cast into their own subjective future.
These planets are all fully aware of the time tunnels and the subsequent tunnel malfunction. When travelling interstellar distances from a system containing a future planet, it is impossible to leave the system without using the time tunnels. Thus it is not possible to travel to any other destination outside of the Confined Federation.
These planets are planets that have been cast back along their own timeline, however not before the ability to travel interstellar distances came about.
Inhabitants on the past planets are only aware of the time tunnel malfunction because of tales from travellers. Space ships originating from past planets cannot travel through the time tunnels.
If an inhabitant of a past planet wants to leave the system that he or she resides in, they must hitch a lift on a future planet ship.
These are planets that have been cast back along their own timeline to a point before interstellar travel was possible, though not necessarily space travel.
In order to make this distinction the before planets are split into two sub classifications. Class One otherwise known as the before-before planets. This indicates that meaningful space travel has not yet taken place.
It is highly illegal to land on a Class One before planet unless you were an original inhabitant somewhere along the planet’s timeline. Even then, you need a ship that is undetectable by the local population.
The second classification is the Class Two before planet, otherwise known as a before-after planet.
This classification indicates that space travel has taken place. It is not illegal to land on a before after planet, but it is ill advised.
Inhabitants of both classes of before planets are not aware of the time tunnels, and are also not aware that their planets have been cast back along their timeline. When visiting before planets, it is illegal to mention either the existence of the time tunnels or the fact that you are from their future.
These are also sometimes called in between planets. These are planets that have been cast either forwards or backwards along their own timeline but in tandem with a copy of itself.
One example of this is the planet Snadus-MU3 and its copy planet Snadus-MU3 Minor. Snadus-MU3 was thrown roughly five hundred years forward along its own timeline and somewhere along the line one planet became two.
No one actually knows which the original planet is but the inhabitants of Snadus-MU3 argue that because they are the most advanced in time that they should be thought of as the original planet.
However the inhabitants of Snadus-MU3 Minor argue that they were thrown forwards along the timeline. They then shed a copy as they came to a halt, and that copy carried on for a week along the timeline.
They insist that their explanation of how there came to be two planets is the best one anyone has ever come up with, and for that reason it must be correct. Therefore their planet is the original.
These inhabitants argue that it is they that should be called Snadus-MU3 and the future copy be called Minor.
However the inhabitants of Snadus-MU3 argue that this would be most confusing to others and if they are to police travel between the two planets that only one of them should be called Minor and seeing as it was the idea of the Snadus-MU3 inhabitants in the first place they should retain their original status.
The situation was almost at breaking point and at one stage the unthinkable situation of a planet going to war with itself at two different points along its own subjective timeline, at the same objective time was a very real prospect.
The compromise reached was that if Snadus-MU3 Minor wanted it could call itself Snadus-MU3 Major, but Snadus-MU3 would always refer to it as Minor, but Snadus-MU3 would always be Snadus-MU3.
Thus one should never refer to Snadus-MU3 Minor as Minor if one is actually on the planet at the time. At that time one should refer to Snadus-MU3 Minor as Snadus-MU3 Major. The best way to escape this confusion is by never going to Snadus-MU3 Minor.
Something even the Minor Snaddiuns agree on. Hence the planetary motto being; stay away, we don't want you here.
Classification of Sentient Entities:
Sentient entities are split into two main classes; travellers and dwellers, the classes are subdivided thus.
The old term for these was time travellers, however the term has since been dropped as it has lost all meaning whatsoever and was leading to some very confusing conversations.
The term now travellers simply covers anyone that was in transit at the time of the time tunnel malfunction.
These are a subset of now travellers who were in transit at the time of the malfunction, and their respective home worlds became before-before planets.
Colin Gefenrick is the perfect example of a vagrant traveller as his home planet, earth, is now in a time before any of the indigenous population have left the surface.
Thus Colin has more in common with a Zarplean kulo melon, than he does with the inhabitants of his own planet.
These are simply travellers that originate from a future planet. They tend to act as the Confined Federation's taxi service, simply because they are the only ones with ships able to travel anywhere and more importantly anytime.
This fact is annoying to most future travellers, hence they are famously known as being some of the grumpiest beings in the confined galaxies.
It must be noted that now travellers also have ships that can technically go anywhere and anytime they want. However most now travellers are in such a heightened state of confusion and paranoia, that nobody wants to get lifts with them anyway. Which is another source of deep annoyance and grumpiness to future travellers.
These are travellers that originate from a past or a Class Two before planet. However it is important to note that having passengers originating from before-before planets is highly illegal and considered as abduction.
Are of course the original inhabitants of future planets.
Are the original inhabitants of past planets.
Are inhabitants of before-before planets or as yet undiscovered inhabitants of planets outside the Connected Federation of Planets.
Are travellers trying to break free of the grip of the time tunnels. They traverse systems at near light speed. They are mainly made up of now travellers and believe that if they travel at a high enough speed at the right trajectory and angle away from the sun. That they will eventually be able to break out of a system without the use of a time tunnel.
Doom jumpers believe that the secret behind the time tunnel malfunction can be found in the depths of space between the stars.
However it appears that the time tunnels have set a speed parameter just below the speed of light. Thus anyone attempting to travel at light speed will automatically be sucked into the time tunnel and spat out- at the opposite side of the system. This of course means that all FTL ships are rendered useless.
Title image: Adnanta Raharja on Unsplash