Agents of STRIKE
Comprending the Multiverse
Section Authored by Dr. Jonathon Ohnn, ARMOR Chief Researcher
The Alternate Reality Monitoring and Operational Response Agency’s primary purpose is stated right in its name. However, defining an “alternate reality” can in and of itself be complicated and daunting for scientific laymen.
Rather than link you to Wikipedia pages on quantum mechanics (which even then are unfriendly to newcomers) or encouraging you to dive into college-level physics lectures, I will attempt to explain the core concepts as needed for you to understand on the most key levels you will need to perform your duties as an ARMOR Agent.
First, let’s lay out some ground rules.
1. An infinite span of alternate realities are different in ways you can’t perceive.
Imagine I pick up a cup of coffee, take a sip, and put it back down on my desk. In a reality right next door to this one, I put that coffee down two inches to the left. Nothing else is different. This doesn’t actually change anything else. It doesn’t create some butterfly effect where because my coffee got put down two inches to the left, now a different person gets elected President in four years.
An infinite span of realities exist running alongside ours that are just like ours except for these tiny imperceptible changes that are mostly meaningless. Most of these differences exist on the sub-atomic or quantum level, superposition differences in particles we can’t possibly notice.
2. It’s harder to go “close” than it is to go “far”
Travelling across realities takes a lot of energy and is very difficult. The ways we use to do it right now are really resource-intensive and somewhat imprecise. As a result, this creates an effect where trying to travel to an adjacent universe that’s imperceptibly similar to our own is impossibly difficult, and the energy required and difficulty to travel goes down the “farther” away from our own universe we get. The more different a parallel universe is from our own, the easier it is to get to.
To use another analogy, imagine having to get a running start to jump, and then trying to jump exactly six inches in front of you and no farther from that running start, without stopping. It’s essentially impossible, but jumping a much farther distance consistently from that running start would be much easier.
3. Improbable similarities make the journey easier
Attenuating multiversal frequencies in preparation for travel to other realities is an extremely complex and esoteric process I won’t bore you with the details about. The salient detail is that something else that makes the process easier is finding a reality with similar points that we call “anchor concepts”.
This results in visiting universes where circumstances seem somewhat improbable compared to our own. Why, for example, would there be a doppelganger of you in another universe who has a completely different profession and personality, if the circumstances under which your parents met and even chose your name are completely different in that universe? Yet, in an infinite multiverse, no matter how improbable that is, mathematically it would end up happening convergently for different reasons.
This seeming contrivance actually makes inter-reality travel easier. It anchors travel. Without the detailed mechanics of why, it’s easier to travel to a universe where JFK didn’t become president and instead was an Irish-American mobster who assassinated President Lee Harvey Oswald’s killer than it is to travel to a universe where JFK never existed in the first place.
4. Alternate realities are real
This point needs to be emphasized. Alternate realities and the people who come from those places and live there are real. They are real people. They are not fantasies or people who will blink out of existence when you leave their world or they leave ours. If you encounter your doppelganger, they are a real person. They are not a person who has stolen your life, you are not the “real” version of you any more than they are. You might be the one native to this reality, but that is all. It is extremely important for ARMOR agents not to take a cavalier attitude to the lives and safety of multiversal individuals and their worlds.