To keep events straight along the vast shared event line that makes up the ‘history’ of the HSA, Argent (see) has created the Epoch system. Since different Agents experience their subjective duration in the Agency while in garrison and at Central differently, an Epoch is a rather arbitrary term at best for the individual. The Epoch system does help people in the Agency, especially Service personnel and those Agents who do not spend much subjective duration downtime, to keep Agency-wide events in perspective and thus it serves as a rather loose ‘timeline’ (made up from the time-bound event lines of several million outtime travelers) documenting the history of the HSA’s internal activities.
Argent does her best as the HSA’s timebinder to place Agents who return from downtime travels into places farther along in the same Epoch from which they left, and further keeps Agents from entering event lines placed in Epochs that ‘occurred’ before they were inducted into the Agency or Epochs in which they have already have contiguous event lines. New Agents and Service personnel are generally inducted into the same Epoch that their recruiter was experiencing when he left to go outtime, though this is not a hard and fast rule and Argent has made exceptions for ‘the needs of the Agency’. Due to the dangers of inversions and loops, the circumstances and needs must be dire indeed for Argent to allow an Agent to return to garrison or transit into an Epoch or Agency timehack in which he had previously existed or ‘before’ his induction into the Agency, or for her to allow an inductee to begin his Agency career in an Epoch before or after the one where his recruiter existed.
Epochs are of variable duration by nature of hypertemporal interaction, and are broken calendrically (at least to an observer who remains in garrison at Agency Central) into Gigaseconds and Megaseconds for official timekeeping, and further into Cycles and Days for the purposes of managing consistent work periods. A Cycle is nominally ten Days, each of around 86,400 Terran seconds or 4 times 124 Standard seconds. The Cycle and Day periods are adjusted by an epact of a few Standard seconds every Day to keep the internal Agency time (Epochal time) in synch with the day/night periods of Central’s physical location on Terra. This epact does not affect the Epochal counting of Gigaseconds and Megaseconds by which all Agency internal matters are officially ‘dated’.
The same rolling timehack is used by Central, all Bases, and Outposts, in effect meaning that they are on the same synchronized subjective ’time’. Transiting from Central to a Base or Outpost or vice versa leaves one in the same second, Megasecond and Gigasecond in the same Epoch. Watchstations and other ‘outtime’ facilities perforce run on the timehack of the timeline they are on, and Argent is careful to keep Agents and other personnel that are running on different Agency Epochal timehacks from mixing save in dire circumstances, and then does her best to ‘un-mix’ them once the emergency has passed.
Each Epoch listed below marks some major change in Agency activities or organization, or further delineates some major exterior event that served to change the Agency in a definitive fashion.
Epoch Minus One; The First Timewar. Essentially a free-for-all between the Association (the allied Home Lines Two, Three, and Seven), Iklanim Empire, Kadatil, Mechanoid Continuum, the Kindly-Minded Ones, the Mechanic Spirits, the Temporal Reavers and several other groups now defunct. ‘Creation’ (discovery?) of Argent by the Association of Lines Two, Three and Seven due to hypertemporal linking of management compsystems between the Lines.
Epoch Zero; The Second Timewar. The Association forges its own internal alliances between its seven current (surviving) component Home Lines. The Bilateral Commission allies with the Xaptish Trans-Temporal League and the Thaumaturge’s Society. The Association and Mechanoid Continuum band together against the Mechanic Spirits and the Temporal Reavers. The Iklanim Empire and Kadatil fight one another to a standstill. Timewar activities cease between the current twelve Member Nations with the signing of the Treaty of Ghazantine and the adoption of the Articles by all signatories. Interim ‘Time Patrol Treaty Organization’ formed from the hypertemporal combat assets of the Association, Kadatil, Iklanim Empire, and the Mechanoid Continuum. Klavin Petersi recruited.
Epoch One; The Third Timewar. Hypertemporal Security Agency officially formed from the interim ‘TPTO’. Agency ‘Regulations For the Maintenance of Good Order and Conduct’ established and adopted. Agency hypertemporal combat operations proceed to destroy several smaller enemy organizations and fight the Kindly-Minded Ones, Mechanic Spirits, and Temporal Reavers to a standstill across the plenum. Koomaih, a Tehni physicist and statesman from the Bilateral Commission, elected as the first Chairman of the HSA at Ghazantine. Agency Central constructed. Rabbov Kasver recruited.
Epoch Two; Agency adopts Standards, Language, ASHN and the Issue classes of equipment across the board for Agency personnel of all Operations Arms. Association begins transfers of TL13 heavy weaponry and hypertemporal equipment to all other Agency Operations Arms. First appearance of The Alignment. Agency activities typified by massive if crude temporal repair efforts all over the plenum, often thwarted by the Alignment. Daoud Rafferty and Angela Plemka recruited.
Epoch Three; Agency begins increasing its manpower, both through absorbing several large TL12 ground and space contingents from the Association (to form the Force Response Contingent) and aggressive recruitment of Agents from outtime. First official ABC courses instituted. Mechanoid Continuum builds first hypertemporal probes and cybrids for Agency use. Association warships fitted with Mechanoid continuum zero-dimensional Wave transform hypertemporal shifters for Force Response/Space use. First Mission combatechs enhanced using techniques improved from Iklanim augmenting technology. Kamalgin Amadari recruited (first segment of ‘Eidolon’). The ‘Deep Time’ exploratory missions place Agents in early periods (~600My BPE) on various timelines of the early Prime Quadrant for baseline temporal surveys. Becka Umstadt elected Chairman of the HSA upon abdication of Chairman Koomaih.
Epoch Four; Kindly-Minded Ones re-appear, almost disjoin several Member Nation Home Lines and attack Agency Central. Attacks by Mechanic Spirits on subsidiary Bases. Inter-Arm Liaison system established.
Epoch Five; ‘Kukulkan Operation’ breaks up the largest ring of hypertemporal slave traders in Treaty history. The events in ‘Man From The East’ transpire. Donaz K’temn elected Chairman of the HSA after no-confidence vote for Chairman Umstadt.
Epoch Six; Cabal formed. Liham Tificer recruited. ‘Iklanim Situation’ forces Agency Command Council to play king-maker in the Iklanim Empire to preserve the secrecy of hypertemporal operations and keep Iklanim non-Member Nation ‘civilians’ from using TL13 hypertemporal equipment (events of ‘Thrones and Dominions’). The middle segment of ‘Eidolon’ occurs in this Epoch along Kamalgin Amadari’s personal event line. Angel Duquesne inducted (after being ‘recruited’ in Epoch 13).
Epoch Seven; George Hallech and Robert Anson recruited. The ‘Disturbances’ occur, in which the Cabal attempts an internal takeover of Agency and the overthrow of the Command Council (detailed in ‘Good Men Do Nothing’). Agency temporarily put out of action by the Cabal’s thwarted coup attempt. Barbra Fienez elected Chairman of the HSA after the ‘assassination’ of Donaz K’temn during the Cabal’s coup attempt.
Epoch Eight; The ‘Build-up’. The Agency’s strength triples to near-current size, and the previous Elements are expanded and re-designated as Divisions. Force Response is increased from one Division to three and one Line Squadron to three. Security Guard and Central Transposition Sections are placed on rotating details and Internal Security activities seconded to Command Council oversight. First appearance of the Alliance for Temporal Freedom (the events of ‘Disaster Scenes’). Agency Central attacked by the Mechanic Spirits.
Epoch Nine; Chak Hadecter elected Chairman after abdication of Barbra Fienez. Recon Divisions create the first Activity Offices. Agency operations intensify within the Human Horizon.
Epoch Ten; The Mechanic Spirits destroyed as a functional hypertemporal organization, mostly by Mechanoid Continuum efforts. ‘Ace’ Beam and Mary Williams recruited.
Epoch Eleven; Paul Miller recruited (first segment of ‘A Matter Of Timing’). Extensive if low-level combat with the Alliance for Temporal Freedom all across the continuum.
Epoch Twelve; Jacques Chretien recruited. ‘Cretaceous Prime’ Campaign (the events of ‘A Question Of History’). ‘Fourth’ Timewar conducted against the Rakka. Agency decimated due to the disjunction of the entire Prime Quadrant with thousands of Agents and Service personnel killed outtime. Mastermind elected Chairman of the HSA.
Epoch Thirteen; Formal contact of and Agency liaison with the Rakka. Combined force from The Temporal Reavers and The Alignment attacks Agency Central (The ‘Assault on the Barbecue’ and second segment in ‘A Matter Of Timing’). Angel Duquesne recruited.
Epoch Fourteen; The ‘Erasure’; meta-quantum events created by extra-plenary beings threatens existence of entire hypertemporal continuum. Death and ‘resurrection’ of Kamalgin Amadari (final segment of ‘Eidolon’).