Hmm… there’s a lot to chew on in this one.
Parsing Corvus’ logic here: Tussel’s death / absence causes a butterfly effect which saves the world. Her survival causes this chain of events not to be kicked off.
This raises quite a few questions though: why three futures, for one? From events depicted in the comic, we know that Matilda has meddled with Tussel’s destiny. Perhaps over the course of their interactions, she saves Tussel three times? So baseline: Event a happens and Tussel dies – world saved. Matilda sees this and meddles, leading to Variant 1, Tussel survives Event A, but eventually Event B kills her – World saved, but Matilda sees this and meddles… Not every doomed future probably supports life long enough to develop Time Travel tech, so I suppose it’s not a hard limit of three.
Aside: Does Corvus’ future fit in with his own theory? The world was saved despite Tussel’s survival. It might not be the most liberal possible path, but the only one we’ve seen unhappy about the situation is the Old Machine.
Why not more than 3? So we know that Matilda’s meddling saved Tussel’s life. However, her wording during several instances implies she’s done this a few times, and not just to Tussel. The rant at the cafe, and when she mentioned her husband are indicative of this. The fact that the past isn’t hip deep in time travelers seems to imply that Tussel is special because none of Matilda’s other favorites have had similar adventures. (That we know of. Her husband’s “death” was apparently very similar to Tussel’s entrance to Limbo so maybe he’s trapped in there as well?)
On a related note, since Tussel’s entrance to the Limbo was treated as a death, has the process already been started in her home reality? If we assume that time passes in Limbo at something approaching how it’s passing in the outside world (so she doesn’t reemerge in an explosion) people back in the world will already have been affected by her death. This probably implies that more time is going to have passed in the real world then passed in Limbo (Timey Wimey) to allow the change to propagate?
The timeline’s been fractured into at least four separate timelines.. err… three! I meant three!
And there totally isn’t a fourth out there!
All three travelers are from the same year, just different timelines that started from the fracture.
And while Tussel’s ‘death’ was delayed by a day, the certain ripples in time that were caused are different from those that would have happened if she’d had her regular death.
So is the visitor from the fourth timeline (which totally doesn’t exist) Mrs. Windfall? Her future visions could then be explained away as some kind of recordings of the past being played back to her. It’d also recontextualize her cafe rant about what she’d sacrifice (since her actions would be sacrificing her entire future).
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