DAVE: ................ ROSE: To understand what happened, it really helps to understand exactly what a scratch is. ROSE: When John severely damaged the Beat Mesa on your planet, and sent it off to Skaia to release its temporal energy there, you could view it as a kind of "request." ROSE: We were asking Skaia to change everything at a fundamental level, and we gave it the energy to do so. ROSE: But Skaia is a very passive entity. It only "knows" and "sees," but it never quite "acts." ROSE: When it is asked to change everything, there is only so much it has control over. ROSE: In fact, it has control over exactly one thing. The defense portals. ROSE: It can decide to send important meteors to different points in time than originally planned, thus creating alternate realities. ROSE: Offshoots of promise, rather than futility. ROSE: And it turns out the most important meteors of all tend to be the ones delivering the young players to their planet. ROSE: So all it has to do to change everything is tweak their destination times a bit. ROSE: All internally-prompted changes in the post-scratch universe are decided entirely by this modest adjustment to the parameters. ROSE: It's a very simple concept, actually. ROSE: Yet the consequences are dramatic. It results in not only a hard reset for the session, but a partial reset for the universe too, due to the many causal entanglements between a session and its originating universe. DAVE: what do you mean tweak the destination times DAVE: where did they get sent to ROSE: A variety of different time periods. ROSE: The simplest way to way to look at it is to picture the original destinations of our two groups of four ecto-babies... ROSE: And switch them. DAVE: what ROSE: Though this is just a slight oversimplification. ROSE: While it's roughly true, Skaia had some peculiar whims this time.