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Hey, Gary (and everyone)... You asked me further questions about time. The
answers all come down to Point of View. You didn't comment on the
"religious" aspects of my comments, but frankly, they seem unavoidable.

PoV. To Goliath, in the 1990s, the past seems fixed. The present and
future, not. To Goliath in 1940, the past and present seem fixed, and the
future seems fixed for a few decades, and then past the mid-nineties, not.
To Greg Weisman, in his capacity as god of the Gargoyle Universe, the past,
present and future seem fixed.

But what does this mean? It means we are bound by what we know and nothing
more. What does "fixed" mean? Goliath realizes that Griff can't return to
his clan in the forties, because he didn't return in the forties. But that
doesn't mean Goliath cannot affect their mutual futures, by bopping Griff
forward to the nineties.

Greg Weisman knows that something big happens in the year 2158. But he
doesn't yet know all the results of that. For that matter, Greg has a lot of
knowledge about what happened in 984. But what exactly happened between 984
and 994? I've got a basic idea, but there's room for movement. There are
facts I can't dodge, therefore facts that my characters can't dodge. But
that doesn't remove their free will.

Pre-destination does not NEGATE free will, unless the character abdicates
free will in the mistaken belief that he or she has none. And even then, the
"act" of abdication is a choice, an act of free will.

One other note: the Gettysburgh Address in my previous example could be
called a "time circle". Unbroken. No beginning or end. The Archmage is not
a circle, but a loop in a straight line. Think of a roller coaster. It goes
along straight for 100 yards. Then it begins a loop-de-loop. We travel up
and backwards and around and then the track flattens out again at the eighty
yard mark. For twenty yards the tracks run side by side, or put another
way, since the track is unbroken, lengths of the ONE track run side by side.
Then one length, "the younger length," heads back into the loop, while the
other "mature" length continues forward on the straight flat track.

Hope this helps. (GDW/1-27-98)