Alright, I'm currently a big fan of the Infinite Loops. For those who haven't read the other fics about, the premise is this. The Universe is a bit broken, something crashed into Yggdrasil and the admins/gods and goddesses in charge started looping time as a sort of fail safe mode. In order to stabilise the various Universes, they started to grant awareness of the loops to Anchors. Eventually, more loopers join the anchor in the time loops- although they're not always Looping, so the Anchor might have what are called Lonely Loops.
The Loop mechanics are so:
One person in a Loop, often the main character, is an Anchor. They are the person who first starts time looping.
There is always at least one Anchor present in a given Loop snippet, though it may not be the local one.
The standard pattern for a loop is that the Anchor (and whoever else is Looping there) come to awareness in a loop at a particular point in the story. From there, events will play out as influenced by the Loopers present, acting with the benefit of their foreknowledge, until either a predetermined end point is reached or all the Loopers have copped it.
Loops do not have to be in chronological order, but it is strongly preferred that they not require a mutually contradictory order (where A must be before B and B must be before A.)
Just about every Looper is very, very stir crazy.
The first time she'd woken up in Stern, she'd thought that her entire adventure- The Whizzing Arrow, Jordan, Oban, Aikka, her father- had been a dream.
Really, what else could it have been? Reconciliation with her father, meeting Rick Thunderbolt, becoming the Earth Team Pilot- too many dreams come true in one dream. She told herself to ignore it, to just- get out of Stern, and then think about her options.
Maybe the entire thing was a sign. Her father had left her and never looked back ten years ago, she had to admit that to herself now. Chasing him down wouldn't make him her daddy again, wouldn't bring her mother back.
But there was no way she was staying in Stern. She'd rather take her chances out on the streets, maybe see if she could get a job as a mechanic. There had to be someone in the world who'd be desperate enough to hire a young girl with no qualifications or legal records. She just had to find them.
So she had left, exactly as she had in her dream. But while she had gone to Wei Racing, she'd never faced her father. Instead, she'd left a note for Don Wei at the security desk, not having any hope it'd reach him.
She had eventually found work- rough, hard and barely enough to keep herself fed. But it was work, so she persevered. She'd been ready to give up and try talking to her father again when the Crog Warships had darkened the skies.
We lost on Alwas. She'd thought, horrified. Rick lost. We didn't make it to Oban. We're not competitors anymore.
She'd eventually been caught in the rubble of a collapsing building, hating herself for the choice she'd made on that day…
And then she'd woken up. In the hallway of Stern. And she remembered that it had been her fifteenth birthday the day before. Again.
This time, she hadn't bothered going to Wei Racing at all after her escape. She'd simply made sure she was near a certain patch of road, watching from the hills. When the truck came into view, a single Crog on top and strangling the driver, she'd attacked, exactly as she had the first time. She'd been caught up in the light of the Avatar's ship, and then everything had gone black.
She'd woken up with a flashlight in her eyes and Jordan's paranoid accusations in her ears. It may have been the most beautiful thing she'd ever heard.