Homeline is an alternate Earth which differs from our own world in that parachronic technology was invented in 1995. Homeline has since gone on to explore (and exploit) a variety of other Earths, and has become involved in a cross-time war with Centrum. Homeline is the default point of origin for Player Characters in the Infinite Worlds setting.
Centrum is located three quantum levels away from Homeline, and as such the two worlds cannot directly send travelers to each other. As a result, both parties fight out their war in the Quantum 6 in-between (and to a lesser extent, in the Quantum 7, as Centrum is attempting to shift Homeline Quantum 6 echoes towards itself. Homeline, which has a poorer understanding of cliodynamics, and is thus less likely to know how to shift worlds out of Centrum reach, is much more circumspect in this regard, but has shifted worlds to new quanta – either accidentally, or by trying to undo Centrum actions.
Homeline is the home base of the Infinity Patrol, the organization which is chartered by Homeline United Nations to explore and supervise the other Earths. Infinity Patrol has (officially) a monopoly on the parachronic technology.
Homeline is located on Quantum 5.
Local year is 2027.
Technology levels: TL8-9
Empties – These worlds, while valid universes, have no Earth at all in them. They are useful for minor space colonies of insular cults and radical separatist groups, deep space experimentation stations, very secure prisons, and garbage disposal.
Zeroes – For one reason or another these Earths exist, but are incapable of supporting life. They may be too small, too large, not dense enough, too dense, they may have heavy elements in their atmosphere, they may be too close or too far away from the sun, or the sun itself is too big or too small, etc., etc.) Mining companies stake out claims on many Zeroes, and heat sinks on some of the lava worlds provide even cheaper energy than Homeline fusion plants (now if they could just figure out a cheap way to get it home…)
Vacants – Vacant Earths contain life, but no human life or recognizably sentient life. Some have never progressed past plants, some are in earlier or later or different stages of evolution. Vacants are checked out as carefully as is feasible (sometimes, not as carefully as people would like) and colonization is allowed. However, as colonists quickly learn, Vacants can contain some nasty surprises in the form of unknown wildlife, disease, different physical laws, or sentient creatures which aren’t immediately identified as such. The two most well-known Vacants are Coventry and Refuge (the only independent colony with a seat on the UN of Homeline and Dupe-1. Refuge’s seat on the Oswald UN has yet to be ratified.)
Dupes – Dupes are duplicates of Homeline, or, whatever line you happen to call home. There are more known Duplicates of Homeline than there are Duplicates of any other parallel. The only Duplicate in which parachronic travel has been discovered is Dupe-1.
Echoes – Echoes are duplicates or near-duplicates of Homeline that are offset in time somewhat. The “latest” known Echo is at 2005. It is of course impossible to differentiate very early Echoes from Vacants and Zeroes.
Parallels – Technically, this term can be used to refer to any valid setting on the parachronic dial, but in practice, it generally refers to full-fledged alternate Earths in which human history proceeded along a different course for one reason or another.
Centra – A timeline that has been “bound in” to Centrum. It is not known how many timelines have suffered this fate or how permanent becoming a Centra is.