Commentary 20: 20ft Halo

Deja vu…or is it?  We’ve come full circle…or have we?  The answers start to come in the next chapter, but the stage is set in this short interlude.

Other tidbits:

  • We lead off with a scene very similar to the quick hospital trip at the end of Chapter 10.  The major difference this time is the absence of the syringe and the inclusion of a bulky, blood sucking time machine that has a slightly different effect than what we’re used to.
  • The old man finally returns.  What took him so long?  He had to walk coast to coast from his starting point in Los Angeles.  How is he still relatively close to ground level after walking 3000 miles?  He blinked several times along the way, and has perfected his ability to a point where if he’s below ground he can sort of jump and blink ahead a day while airborne, thus getting himself on even footing.  So long as he’s trying to get higher it will work, but if he needs to get lower he’d need to return to the present first.  The downside is he’s crossing a lot of days off of the calendar based on the “only one trip” rule.
  • Could father and son exchange objects while time traveling?  I don’t know, they never tried. 🙂
  • Remember the meeting in Chapter 6?  “Suppose we were involved in the discovery of time travel, using people as lab rats in a slew of experiments…”  That quote suddenly isn’t so hypothetical anymore.
  • When the young narrator speaks in song lyrics, they are always from 2002 or before since this is his “present.”  When his older counterpart does the same thing, occasionally the lyrical snippets come from further in the future.  “Selfish and sad” is an example of that here, as was “This time you got it” back at their very first bowling alley meeting.
  • A big piece of the time travel puzzle is revealed here: “Generally speaking you’re protected from paradox while displaced in time.”  In layman’s terms, it means that the grandfather paradox can only kick in once you return to the present.  If you go back in time to kill your grandfather you won’t immediately cease to exist, but as soon as you return to the present you will.  The universe gives you a chance to fix what you’ve broken so long as your changes haven’t yet been “committed” to the timeline.
  • There are 19 known musical references in this chapter, the lowest total since way back in Chapter 8.

Read Chapter Twenty Online

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