“They’re all still out there, wherever there is.” Kevin said flatly, taking it all in.

“Exactly.” Janice nodded. Behind her was what had come to be termed the fan diagram, familiar to anyone who’d read enough spec fiction to have to have pictured the quantum many-worlds theory, or that episode of star trek when Worf is coming back from the bat’leth tournament.

Turns out it was pretty close to accurate. But the diagram was a little shy of the true scale of the thing… given that it was every quantum state of every particle. It was more like a [what’s that tufted flower?] than a neatly branching family-tree or sports bracket style diagram. The reality of it exploded, while when discussing it, they would often resort to the simple binary / trinary splitting form to make it easier to discuss.

“It makes sense, I guess — it’s pretty often that I have dreams where I’m in the same ‘dream location’ as a previous time, or whatever, or recurring dreams. I can pretty clearly picture what I’ve termed my ‘in-dream home town’… weird place with a giant arch you drive under to get into town… “ he trailed off.

“The recurring dream thing is what i find most interesting about this.” Janice jumped in before he could go on any further. Turns out, even after discovering that dreams were akin to astral projection across the forking multiverse, hearing someone else talk about theirs was a tedious affair. “Because none of the math suggests that there’s any violation of causality here. If you were experiencing things from any quantum reality, previously or later on some fixed axis ‘t’ “ she grabbed a marker and drew a line horizonitally under the fan diagram, with an arrow, and labeled it “ , you’d be transporting information through time.”

Kevin screwed up his face, trying ot reason through the implicaitons of this suggestion.

“SO,” Janice continued. “when you have the same dream over and over again, you’re experiencing your self from another quantum state which is undergoing the exact experience you lived in another quantum state.”

“Then there are… patterns? I guess? For lack of a better word. Things repeat across the global quantum space, but not necessarily regularly, and similar things are happening, at different times, in different timelines.” Kevin tried to reason out, folding his hands under his nose, and staring at the table as he spoke.

“It’s not so odd, right? I mean, if you throw a handful of gravel in a lake, the ripples all look the same, evne though their centers hit the water at different times and different x-y coordinates on the surface. Or think about it a different way!” Janice suddenly seemed to have an additional insight. She gestured at the board, and shrunk the axis-labeled fan diagram and slid ti to a corner. “Think of a random walk — in one dimension” she drew a line on the surface, and ticked off graduation marks across it. “with 50/50 odds, you can step three spaces one way, then three steps back, or two steps out and back. Both ways, your agent has ‘walked’ back to zero… but it took different amounts of time.” Janice looked turned back to confirm that Kevin was following. He watched, clearly deep in thought. Janice continued “Obviously the number of dimensions is near infinite, making the odds of similarity seem infinitessimal, but the quantity of particles making their ‘walk’ is countable, but near inifinite, so multiplied out, it might get close to one. It might be inevitable for there to be patterns.”

Kevin seemed bothered “What about when I’m not… me?” he stood. “I mean… sometimes, I feel like i”m in a different body, or not even human” he shook his head, the pieces didn’t seem to fit. “Everything [name? hyphenated? homage to voigt-kampf or similar] theory tells us, we’re always ‘leaping’ into the same person… so how are we connected to these other non-us us-es?”

“That.” Janice turned, and pointed at Kevin with the [marker… light pen? whatever] “is the trillion-dollar question.”