Temporal Panic Room
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Basic Information

A temporal panic room is a Panic Room (aka Safe Room) set up by a time traveler. It goes beyond a normal panic room by virtue of certain advantages conferred via time travel. At the same time, it must also be constructed to reduce the likelihood of discovery or penetration by enemy time travelers.

For example, thanks to Time And Relative Dimensions In Space, you might not need a door. Depending on how time travel works, you may be able to just teleport into your panic room. If you're only planning to use it once, for a single quick escape, you might get away with just a big metal box inside the walls of your house, or a hollow cement bunker (with no doors) beneath the foundations of your home. Only if you plan to use it for long stretches of time (or multiple trips) do you need to worry with ventilation.

Most importantly, a doorless Temporal Panic Room needs a spare time machine, or at least the parts to repair or recharge one. You don't want to spend the rest of your life in that place, do you?

There's also the option of planting the panic room somewhere in the distant past. (This is assuming, of course, that your method of time-travel allows for the transportation of equipment over long temporal distances. If you can only transport what you can carry, or move within your own lifetime, then this is not an option.) If a future google reveals that a particular plot of land is never dug up (or subjected to siesmic testing or stress) until sometime in 2012, then you can take a backhoe into the past several thousand years, and sink a panic room into the ground that will operate securely for thousands of years right up through the end of 2011. Of course, you'll want to make sure you demolition or remove the panic room when you're done with it, so that there's no evidence left for your enemies to follow up on. If handled correctly, that demolition could explain why the owner felt compelled to dig there after you were done.

The best Temporal Panic Room is one situated as far as feasibly possible from any property you are known to own. That way enemies won't think to look for you there, and they can't just drop a bomb big enough to demolish your panic room. A really prepared Veteran Chrononaut may have several such panic rooms spread throughout the world and time.

Or, they may just do a little scouting into prehistory, and find a relatively empty place and time they can retreat too if it's every necessary. It all depends on whether or not the sort of enemies you expect to make can follow you through time and space. If they can, you'll need a well-armored safehouse that only exists for the amount of time you expect to occupy it, and only has room for one person to occupy. If they can't, then all you really need is a quasi-secure "landing zone".

A well-provisioned Temporal Panic Room that also serves as a base of operations or command bunker is more properly known as a Temporal Safehouse.


Okay, I gotta admit, I just made this stuff up. Just struck me as something the paranoid time traveler might decide they needed. As such, any holes in the logic or architecture are mine.

The wikipedia page on Safe Rooms might give you a few ideas for your temporal safe room, though.

Game and Story Use

  • It may be possible to booby-trap or otherwise safeguard the safe room. If the floor was a pressure sensor, wired to detonate a bomb 10 seconds after a humanoid mass lands on it (unless you type in a password, of course) this would keep you safe from ambush - though it could mean you'd one day flee to the room and find the bomb had gone off since the last time you were there. This may prove to be more trouble (and danger) than it's worth, though.
  • PCs may be Time Police tracking down a Temporal Meddler who continually evades pursuit by means of a network of Temporal Panic Rooms. Each may be the time-travel game's equivalent of a Dungeon, with traps or puzzles that must be circumvented to access the supplies. No doubt, these places will also house plenty of clues to the villains next crime or his other safe houses.
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