“Skein” is the term of art used when describing alternate realities or parallel dimensions, by analogy to the skeins of wool that are woven (or unwoven) in traditional fabric arts.

Though the quantum mathematics behind the reality are so complex as to be incomprehensible to most non-physicists, the concept is easy enough to grasp. For each possible event, there exists a skein in which one outcome happened, with the other outcome(s) taking place in alternate skeins. There is no “true” skein; by definition, they are all equally plausible and valid.

Needless to say, when each interaction from the subatomic level up results in a different skein, their number is beyond infinite. However, the Madhi Algorithm—the breaththrough that gave rise to our current understanding of skeins—is able to reduce their number in any given equation.

Essentially, there are a number of possible events in any given skein that would destroy it utterly and remove it from the equation. If matter and antimatter were present in equal measure, that skein would violently self-destruct. There are also skeins in which the arrow of time does not work in the same manner, and stil others in which the universe—purely by chance—did not produce conditions conducive to the evolution of life.

The Mahdi Algorihm is able to reduce the number of skeins in play to those which most closely resemble our own. There are still often major differences, from the chirality of organic molecules to the outcome of major wars, but generally speaking a skein that is located through a Mahdi-compliant device will be similar enough to allow human survival.

Coupled with the Okoye Principle, which governs the interaction of matter and energy from different skeins, the Madhi Algorithm makes it possible to travel from one skein to another. Difficult, but possible.

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