Warning: whilst the first two parts of this article are well- known, the final two parts are semi-classified and must NOT be transmitted by any long-distance communication link OR revealed to any person with a stability factor of less than 65.5%. Breach of these restrictions will result in your permanent barring from the information network and, if applicable, bearing the full cost of psycho-corrective treatment.

The myriad parallel Earths are separated from each other not by space or time, but by a dimension the Karl Marx of ZeroZero termed "probability valency".

These Earths are all the echoes of the same basic blueprint. Each co-exists in time. Most co-exist in space; some occupy slightly different orbits, or are at a different point in their orbit. The latter two classes of Earth are extremely rare, most share identical astronomical features, or Core Position as it is termed on ZeroZero.

Each Earth is different in some fashion from the rest. There are some that have never known Humankind, and where this is the case there has never risen another lifeform of comparable intelligence to Humanity. This was a fact of considerable annoyance to a number of ZeroZero's evolutionary theorists.

Across the parallels inhabited by Humankind there are many variations of history. Almost all share the Eastern or Euro-Asian continent as the cradle of whatever civilisation they have. Beyond this, the variation in culture, language, social development and human psychology is too slight, within the massive breadth of probabilities, to be entirely coincidental.

The Earth known as ZeroZero developed along one of the five standard historical templates (qv). Rising to a Middle Ages which saw the rapid growth of the Holy Roman Empire, the Germanic states were strongly united in an unusually coherent and effective alliance. Their rulers, and later the World Emperors, maintained a continuity of lineage and policy for nearly five centuries. Dominated by this Empire neither England, Spain or France developed into major powers. The Ottoman Empire briefly opposed the Holy Roman Empire; the resulting Thirty Years' War served only to sharpen the technological revolution begun by Gutenberg and the medieval alchemists. Through a lengthy process of war and diplomacy the Empire rose to world domination. By the end of the seventeenth century the "Boy Emperor", Frederick X, the puppet of a decadent and glittering court, held sway over the entire globe.

There had, during the Empire's long climb towards misrule, been another power rising. Science had been slowly assimilated, over the last two centuries, as the religion of the masses. The Futurist Renaissance with its new ideals, its reappraisal of the world in the light of scientific thought, and its contempt for the old doctrine and dogma (in which the rule of the Emperor was enshrined) was the movement of the people. And, more importantly, that of the military as well.

The world-wide military coup, the execution of Frederick and his court, followed by the establishment of a dictatorship based on the principles of the Advancement of Science was inevitable, merciless, and brief. "I am the Son of Scientific Thought", declared the first World Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte, when the world was finally brought under the Futurists' rule in 1802.

The science of this Earth grew by leaps and bounds, unfettered by the socio-religious prejudice usual on other parallels. By 1800 John Dalton had perfected his Theory of Relativity. By 1820 a man and woman had set foot upon the Moon. In 1850 world poverty and famine had been abolished.

And, working quietly in London, the mathematical genius Karl Marx was progressing towards a discovery which would change his world. He was constructing a mathematical model, at first of the universe, then of the "multiverse" his equations predicted. In 1881 he had his proof. Later, he proposed the annotation system still used on ZeroZero to designate different continua. His own Earth was taken as a norm, thus 00-00-00 for ZeroZero; so 00-01-00 and 00-00-01 would be flanking parallels, one unit of "probability valency" removed, and so forth.

Marx announced his discovery to an Earth much changed from the Iron Rule of Science. Over the last century, the dictatorship had mellowed into benevolent rule. In 1900, this dictatorship and the powers of the World Consul were dissolved by the Athens accord and the World Government was established. ZeroZero had become the first technologically advanced Earth to live in harmony with itself, freed from cultural and religious dogma.

One of the first acts of this new administration was to initiate the "Valhalla Programme" to monitor parallel worlds and observe the predicted fluctuation of historical trends. London was chosen to be the site of the giant "Valhalla Nova" complex, built to house the most advanced technology of the time and the specialists the project required. The hyper-computer W.O.T.A.N. was an integral part of the structure. W.O.T.A.N. was designed to scan the continua, to correlate, analyse and display information on the status of the parallel worlds.

That ZeroZero had the technology to do this is unsurprising. The means of reaching other parallels lay in the careful nurturing of psychic and paranormal research; seen and developed as a true science on ZeroZero since the 1830s. By the early 1900s on ZeroZero the ability of certain human minds to hook into and use psionic energy was a well established fact. Furthermore, methods of developing and enhancing psi abilities had been carefully nurtured. One of the most astonishing finds was the discovery of the "empathic link". Psychics with this talent could, through various techniques, monitor and on rare occasions communicate with their "alternative selves" on other parallels. Other psychics could use psychometric techniques to scan other parallels; techniques which were at first augmented by W.O.T.A.N. and then duplicated by the hyper-computer.

In the long, hot summer of 1905 the Valhalla Nova complex became fully operational. The surrounding parallels were scanned; the information received was split into basic social and cultural indices. These were then compared to the sample indices generated by W.O.T.A.N.'s predictions.

The results came nowhere near what was expected.

The Disruptors discovered...