The talk of teleportation and time travel, in the Teleporters thread, started me thinking about COTD. The vril generator, or golden rod, is used to transport the O4 through time.
Does anybody think that maybe Richtofen still has access to the vril generator? If he does, he could be using it to transport the O4 through time over and over because he keeps creating drastic changes in the timeline each time. The chapters of the story in Moon, and BO2 could be just different periods in between time travel.
One detail that I know cannot be found, and therefore makes the theory incomplete, is that whether or not the person holding the vril generator retains some or all of his memory post-time travel.
I believe this could be the case based on the comments of the O4. Nikolai, Takeo, and Dempsey are always clueless at the start of the rounds; whereas, Richtofen clearly demonstrates some knowledge of what is going on. Could it be because he is in control of the time travelling?
If so, what is his REAL hidden agenda? Also, why did the team become younger in the past two leaps? (Origins, and it's cutscene.) Does the answer to this have something to do with Richtofen escaping the Aether?
If this theory were true, then zombies would not be just the imagination of little children and the wild science-fiction storyline that has been shown since Shi No Numa and Der Riese would be true, and could continue.
Who knows, maybe the next game will have Maxis, child Richtofen, and two others from group 935 as the playable characters. The end scene in Origins leads me to think that maybe Richtofen was not originally a scientist but a friend of Samantha's and was under Maxis' care at the time of the outbreak, and Samantha's death. There are a lot of gaps, but in my opinion, at least this theory shows some hope that the story lines could still be connected. If the next maps were set in the period directly after Samantha's death then we could expect a full circle zombies timeline.
I am clearly hoping that Treyarch has a complete story that makes sense while staying interesting and that they haven't just been creating zombies 'on the fly'.
I hope this isn't too far out in left field, but I thought it could be a potential reason for the end of Origins that was a little bit more interesting than a storyline set in a child's imagination.