|Chronon Disrupted Wave Function Subjects, AKA "Shifters"|
|Author||Sofia Amaral (assumed)|
|Act||Act 3: The Wine and Cheese Crowd|
|Part||Act 3, Part 1: Research Facility|
|Location||Monarch Research Facility|
|Previous||Projected Fracture Progression|
|Next||The Time Machine|
Chronon Disrupted Wave Function Subjects, AKA "Shifters"' is a Presentation Narrative Object found in Act 3, Pat 1 of Quantum Break. The presentation details known about Shifters, based off knowledge from Paul Serene and the functionality of Chronon dampeners.
Much of what we know about the Shifters is theoretical, based on observations made by Mr. Serene and the limited experimentation we have been able to conduct on the only subject we have managed to capture.
They do not seem to have a stable physical presence; rather, the data we are gathering appears to be fragmented and contradictory, as if there were countless versions of the subject occupying the same space. Our current theory is that they somehow exist in a persistent state of quantum superposition - or, to put it another way, with reference to the famous "Schrödinger's cat" thought experiment, the cat is both alive and dead at the same time.
The full mechanics and implications of this exceed our current understanding, but on a practical level, it seems to make them highly resistant to injury - it appears that even if the Shifter encounters deadly force, it may kill one of its aspects, but because it exists as multiple iterations of itself, including iterations that were not killed by the force, it doesn't stop.
Current theory suggests that the only way to stop a Shifter is to cause its wave function to collapse from the superposition to a single eigenstate. In practical terms, the Shifter must be affected with deadly force enough times for it to run out of healthy versions of itself. As such, direct confrontation with a Shifter should be a last resort.
Contact with a Shifter is extremely dangerous. We know that they are essentially mobile repositories of vast amounts of chronon particles, and that they can only exist in a zero state - an area which has been depleted of chronon particles, typically by a fault in the Meyer-Joyce field that encompasses the universe. Colloquially, we refer to these as "stutters" in time. We also know that Shifters are hostile to any source of chronon particles other than themselves within stutters, so any chronon active individual within a stutter may find themselves targeted by Shifters. It appears that movement in stutters - by which we mean the very movement of particles within the space in which time flows, not merely the movement of an individual - disturbs them, and they respond with considerable aggression.
As discussed previously, Shifters are extremely resistant to damage. They are also quite physically formidable, but their biggest threat is the distortion field around them. Its exact nature is unknown, but we know it warps the properties of the space surrounding them, exerting great physical stress and unpredictable forces on its surroundings. Again, in practical terms: close proximity to a Shifter may be fatal even if no actual physical contact takes place.
The stutterproofing technology Monarch Solutions has advanced offers solid protection against Shifters; time flows normally within a stutterproofed area, so Shifters simply cannot exist within them. Therefore, as long as stutterproofing remains active, Shifters are not a problem. However, stutterproofing of large outside areas is not feasible, given our chronon particle budget, so we have developed other technology to defend against shifters: the chronon dampeners.
A chronon dampener works by annihilating free-floating chronon particles within a specified area. As Shifters' forms are hypersaturated with chronon particles, they cannot enter an area in which a chronon dampener is active without their wave function collapsing. Therefore, our operatives in the field have a solid portable defense against Shifters.
Our own technology is shielded against the dampeners' effects, so activities in stutters undertaken by our Strikers and other operatives are not hindered. However, as an unfortunate side effect, the dampeners have a crippling effect on individuals who are chronon active without the aid of technology.
Accordingly, should Mr. Serene be present, you should always make him aware of your intentions before activating a dampener. You may rest assured that the dampener is not powerful enough to do actual physical harm to Mr. Serene, whose system constantly produces new chronon particles to replace the ones that are lost, but as the dampener's effects are unpleasant and enervating, such an encounter is likely to lead to an awkward conversation about future career prospects.