Ghosts of the Past, Present, and Future Chapter 5

By Artificer Urza

Year 64999980 B.C. Mystic Mountain (Home)

The year Lavos struck the planet everything changed. It began with the climate: the weather grew colder forcing the inhabitants to acquire more fur to protect their bodies from the cold or to move closer to the volcanic area of the continent. Next the dinosaurs began to die off, as they were incapable of surviving in the new Ice Age, though there were rumors that some had escaped underground. Finally came the tremors; everybody felt the separation of the continent as earthquakes rocked the land for years and the land began to break apart. Two generations have come since then and there are few who even remember the fall of Lavos. Human life spans at this point in their evolution are short, though due to Lavos’ arrival that and many other things are changing.

To men hunted in the perpetual snowstorm near Mystic Mountain, covered in animal hides to protect them from the cold and to fool any local fauna into believing that they are harmless beasts. They were on a special mission for the chief, the oldest, wisest and strongest of their people. Some said the chief was smarter than even the third generation, born after Lavos’ fall, which were different than any other children of the village prior to the Fall of Lavos. They only knew that the items they searched for would ensure peace for their people.

“Grok!” The first one yelled in the noise of the storm, turning to his fellow hunter.

“What now Cronk?” The one named Grok yelled back.

“What stone look like?”

“You wait ‘till now to ask? Cronk got stones in head if you ask me. Stone like name: one called ‘Frozen Flame’ so look like flame that made outta ice. See? Simple.”

“Oh… What Ee-thur Stone look like then?”

“Ether Stone…” Grok said correcting his friend’s pronunciation. “Look like not stone. Simple.”

“Oh…” Cronk said wondering to himself what ‘not stone’ looked like.

They had been traveling for several days towards Mystic Mountain because their chief had had a dream about the place and felt it was worth checking out. Cronk carried provisions and Grok carried a small shelter, some rope and various other implements used for hunting and mountain climbing. In terms of weight, Grok had it easier, because all he had to carry were sticks and tanned animal hide, but in terms of amount they were about equal. Regardless of what they carried, it still had taken them a whole day to cross the ravine that separated Mystic Mountain from the mainland; they could only hope that the rope-bridge they had made would not be destroyed by tremors before they returned.

There had been heavy snowfall, at least heavier than what was usual, so visibility was near zero. It came as no surprise, at least to Grok, who was one of the new Lavos generation and thus more intelligent than most people, that Cronk tripped over something. As both of them had visited Mystic Mountain before and new that there shouldn’t be anything at the base of it that they could trip over. Clearing away the snow they discovered an unconscious figure in the snow.

“That ‘not-stone’?” Cronk asked pointing at the unconscious figure.

“Grok say it once and say it again; you got stones in head. That not Ether Stone, that weird lookin’ kid.”

Indeed, the young man lying in the snow did appear unusual to them: he was blond haired, which in itself was unusual for the time period; he also wore strange clothes and was rather underdressed for the freezing weather.

Grok felt the young man’s face to determine if he was dead or not, hoping that he was not. The body was cold but it still held the warmth of life, they had found him just in time and they both knew that for the young man to have any chance, they would have to return with him to Loka village.

******

Prince Cyrus groggily opened his eyes. Despite the fact that he had slept for a long time he felt beyond exhausted and he could hardly move. For the time being, he contented himself with observing his surroundings; he was in a cavern, and he was sure that, even by the lowest peasant of Guardia this place would be considered unfit for human habitation. The ground was covered in moss, making a sort of carpet and the cavern room was lit with odd torches that gave off light and heat but no smoke.

Again prince Cyrus tried to move and again with no results, it felt like his entire body was asleep and as he moved he could feel the blood in his body begin to circulate again, flowing through the veins in his wrists, his legs and his neck. Feeling returned to his body and numbness gradually receded from his being. It felt like billions of spiders with sharp needles attached to their legs danced across his skin; not quite a painful sensation but it was far from comfortable.

“Boy should not move yet.” A feminine voice said.

It was strange, Cyrus had not noticed the woman before but she was sitting in plain view. She was covered in animal fur. It didn’t appear to be actual clothing but rather that the animal had been skinned and the fur was tossed on, the woman was even using what appeared to be a saber-toothed tiger head as a hat of sorts. She also had white as snow hair and her face was wrinkled though she was still quite attractive.

Cyrus was suddenly struck by the fact that he had seen her before. The castle was covered with paintings, all of which he usually ignored, but when he visited sir Glenn in his Truce home one picture always caught his eye: it was a small picture, not a painting and for the life of him he could not figure out how it was possible. In the picture there were people Cyrus didn’t recognize: a spiky haired young man, a young woman with a blonde ponytail, a metal golem, a young woman with a strange cap and large glasses, a frog-man and a young woman with wavy blond hair who was scantily clad in fur. Admittedly he had heard that before the death of Magus, sir Glenn had had the appearance of a frog, but prince Cyrus never believed it. He had asked sir Glenn who they were and Glenn had laughed saying that the spiky-haired kid, the blond-haired girl and the girl with the large glasses had not been born yet while the woman with the animal skins had died millions of years ago. Prince Cyrus had never understood what Glenn had meant by that: after all how could they be in the picture if they weren’t born yet or had died a long time ago?

Sitting up, Cyrus tested his now awakening muscles and realizing that he was dressed in a sort of fur robe as apposed to the fur ‘bodysuit’ the woman was wearing. It appeared to Cyrus that were she to walk on all fours she would be almost perfectly disguised as a saber-toothed tiger.

“Where am I?” He asked of the woman who remained seated in a cross-legged fashion.

“You in Loka village. When you from?” She responded.

“I’m from Guard…”

“Not ask where, ask ‘when’ you from. What year boy from?” She asked with an irritated tone.

“Uh… um… Six… 621 A.D.” He replied confused by the question. How could anyone not know the date? Why would anyone ask?

“Ah! You from same time as Frog.” She smiled as she said this.

Frog? Does she mean Glenn? Is she really the woman in the picture? But she’s not dead! Cyrus thought, too much in shock to actually say anything.

“This ‘pre-his-storic era’” She said, pronouncing each part carefully. “This, to you, is the past.” She said as she passed him his stuff.

“Im…impossible!” Cyrus stammered as he began changing his clothes. “Time-travel is not possible.” He almost yelled, as though the volume of his voice would make what the woman had said untrue.

Time-travel is impossible. It must be a subterranean place like Giant’s Claw: a place that has been untouched by time. Cyrus thought desperately, wrapping a fur cloak around his shoulders.

He rushed out of the room… And nearly fell down onto a level below him. He was in a pit-like complex that had levels every few meters, each having a few rooms. People could be seen on each level mostly walking and talking to each other, children were playing; it was a small community.

Searching for an exit, Cyrus spotted a nearby ladder and climbed. He ran through the nearest door, trying not to even consider the possibility that time-travel and thus that he was trapped in the past with primitives. During his dash through the tunnel he was nearly run-over by a young man who ran past him yelling for the chief. He came upon the exit and found what all the yelling was about.

A woman stood at the entrance. She wore skin-tight white pants, knee-high black boots, a red imperial coat and a white frilled shirt underneath. She wore her golden blond hair in a bun held with a silver hair clasp and she had startling blue eyes that were clearly visible despite the pallor of her white skin. She smiled as she watched him approach, though it was a smile as cold, if not colder, than the winter beyond the cave mouth.

“Well, well now. Who do we have here? You’re more advanced than these primitives. What year are you from kid?” The woman asked.

“Why the hell does everybody keep asking me that?” Cyrus countered.

“You must be from the sixth, maybe seventh century right? I’m from the eighteenth century.” She stated calmly.

“Impossible. Time-travel is not possible!” Cyrus stated flatly, hoping that by repeating these words it would indeed be true.

“Hate to burst your bubble kid, but it is possible and this, if you were wondering is the somewhere around the year 65000000 B.C.” She snickered. “I have no reason to lie to you if that’s what you’re thinking. I don’t know who you are and I don’t know how important you are to the time-space continuum and, quite frankly I don’t care.”

They were interrupted by the arrival of the young man who had rushed of before and the old woman who had been in the room with Cyrus. The old one looked from the woman to Cyrus and a defiant smile came to her lips.

“No have stone. Now go ‘way.” She said to the young woman.

“Fine, but if you don’t bring either the Frozen Flame or the Ether Stone to me at the ruins of Tyranos Lair… I will destroy you and your entire village.” So saying the woman turned and faded away.

“You aren’t afraid of her threats?” Cyrus asked watching the chief’s defiant expression.

“Nope. You here and you from future. If she kill us you never be born. You believe now?” She asked still looking out into the white landscape.

“Yeah.” He said, accepting the fact that he was indeed in the past. “And I’m going after her. If she’s from the future she must have a way to travel through time.”

“Ruins that way.” The chief said pointing to the east. “You gonna need more fur, if you gonna travel that far.”

“Don’t worry I’ll be fine and thanks for everything.” He said as he ran off in an eastern direction, vanishing in the continuous blizzard.

“He gonna be okay chief?” The guardsman asked the old woman.


Chapter 6

Artificer Urza's Fanfiction