Chrono Continuum Chapter 5
Rakin awoke screaming. That vision that had come to him played on his mind. Was it possible that he would die in this mission, to the result of Corea becoming Queen? Could that alternate timeline be possible? And, perhaps most importantly, was that man who had orchestrated it all truly him? He didnt like the possibilities. A sudden voice caused him to jump to his feet, but he relaxed when he saw who it was.
"Have you had another vision," the Guru asked. Rakin hesitated, then nodded. Maybe the old man could help. Rakin told him, "In one, I wasnt too pleased with the possible future. I dread the possibility of the other one taking place." Gaspar nodded, apparently sympathetic. Rakin sat back down, and the Guru sat next to him.
"Rakin, Ive seen all of your future, your past, and your present. I know exactly what will happen, what to do, and what the results will be." Rakin wondered why he had asked his name, but assumed it was meant to be. "Those visions you had, the one where you are a great and kind ruler, and the one where youve failed and everyone is dead," Rakin had seen neither of these, "are two possible outcomes of events. They are also the two most likely to happen."
"But, what can I do? You say youve seen everything. Whats to happen?" Gaspar was silent for a moment.
"Your first goal is to find a sorcerer. One by the name of Magus, or Janus if you have that knowledge. He is an integral part of your story." Rakin thought this over. If they brought Gaspar, they couldnt lose. Unless its our destiny to do so. It was a disturbing thought. He didnt like the idea that everything he did was just one step along the path to a certain future. A thought entered his mind. He turned to Gaspar and asked, "Hey, Gaspar, what are the Shadows, and why did my vision show you talking about them as if you were one of them?" The old man ignored him as if he hadnt said it, staring out into the mists. Rakin nudged him, and he looked angry for a moment, and then seemed to return to his senses.
"Oh, they were a mysterious faction of magic-using humans that appeared in several different time periods. So far, no one knows whats happened to them." He didnt look as if he was going to volunteer any more information. Then a wild look crossed his face, and he whispered in a dangerous voice to Rakin, "How did you ask that? I did not see this. You disrupt order, you... you..." The expression slid off of his face, much to Rakins relief. Gaspar had started to scare him, and Rakin wondered if too much time spent here at the End of Time might not have driven him off the deep end. The old man blinked once, twice, and then looked at Rakin, surprised. He asked, "What were we talking about, Rakin?"
Before Rakin had time to formulate a response, he heard a slight groan. He looked in its direction and saw Lucca arching her back in an early morning stretch. She got up and walked over to the two awake forms, and joined their sitting circle. As she did so, she took off a pink device around her head, and slipped it down into the top of her dress. It disappeared from view. She smirked, looked back and forth between the two, and her smirk shrank.
"Hey, whats up? You guys dont look very chipper." Gaspar smiled slightly, and wrinkles rose up on his cheeks.
"Well, Rakins had a hard time, and he might not have the absolute luck that you have."
"Yeah, well, lighten up, willya? And Gaspar, do you think you could wear some colorful clothes for once?" Gaspar looked surprised, and was about to respond, but a low thud resounded through them each, too low to even be heard, but it reverberated through each of them. Gaspar whispered, "What the...," and by the look on Luccas face, this appeared to be the first time he had not known exactly what was going on. Spekkio and Corea instantly sat up from their different areas, and looked around sleepily. A bright flash shook the entire area, and a few bricks and such dropped away from the edge of the hole, only to land back on the solid ground of the End of Time in a few moments. Speaking of which, where did this area come from? Was it always here? The flash didnt end, merely dimmed to a dull glow, leaving none of the former shade and mist. Everyone ran to the center lamppost, figuring that it would be the most stable area. They were right, unfortunately. That was why it was the first area to be struck through by a white beam of light.
Bricks, people, and an animal that was different depending on whos point of view you were using, all were blown away from the hole. Another beam punched through the area where Spekkio had landed, but he seemed miraculously unhurt, merely grimacing in pain before he got back up. He yelled out, "Im going to save the Time Pillars. You four jump into the Epoch."
"But...," Rakin was about to disagree, based on what he had learned of the Conservation of Time theory, but Lucca was already ushering him, Corea, and a strangely despondent Gaspar to the end of the platform that the Epoch was set underneath. Rakin looked down and could see the Epoch, now that the mists had been replaced by an omnipresent glow. Dents were covering the new paint job, and broken bits of brick were lodged into one of the controls. Still, he was surprised that after crashing through Spekkios room, the ship was in such good shape.
Lucca pushed, and he fell into one of the back seats. Gaspar soon followed, and then Corea, who landed on Rakin. Lucca deftly jumped down towards the front seat, petticoats covering all of her as her long skirt flew upwards. Rakin could see nothing but her ankles and feet. Thats a lot of petticoats, he thought as she landed and immediately began pushing and turning things all over the control panel. Rakin looked up and saw that the beams had pierced through just about all of the area except the area holding the gates... and Spekkio. Rakin jumped back, with sister in arms, as the wind in his mind told him of danger. A beam pierced the seat he had been sitting in, and all the way through the Epoch. Lucca looked back.
"Damn! That probably took out two of our stability manipulators." As she pressed more buttons, a low hum began at the bottom of the craft, and as Rakin settled himself and his sister down, somewhat uncomfortably on the rim around the seat area, they felt the ship begin to rise. Gaspar blinked and started to look around, bewildered, before he realized his help might be needed. He leaned forward to look at the control panel. After a quick scan, he yelled over the noise to Lucca, "The Epoch wont make it to warp speed. Well need a booster." Noise, Rakin realized. There had been only the zzzzzzaaaaaattttt of the light beams before, but now there was a gigantic rumbling, never ending, and, in fact, getting louder. The Epoch had almost reached the level of the Gate platform, when the rumble ceased, just as if it had never come. And then the beam came.
It looked identical to those that had obliterated all of Gaspars home, only many times the size and sound level of the latter. It slammed down onto the platform, only to be held back. By Spekkio. What should be Spekkio was shifting from form to form, but Rakin still recognized the Master of War. He had formed a bowl of energy, similar to that of Rakins, only much larger, and was holding off the beam, any extra energy reflected back to fight against the beam itself. The stalemate lasted for but a moment, and then they all heard something that chilled Rakin to the bone. A laugh. A mixture of the derisive kind heard in battles, and the laugh one laughs after hearing a funny joke. And yet it was not friendly at all. Even worse, it sounded distressingly similar to the laughter of that man in Rakins vision.
And then the one who laughed lost patience. A pulse began up beyond everyones vision, and it was sent along the beam of light, straight towards Spekkio. He saw it coming down the shaft before anyone else, but he merely strengthened his resolve. The dark wind came to Rakin, and told him of Spekkios mind set. He watched in horror as the ball slammed into the platform, in a huge explosion. A wave swept out, in a ring perpendicular to the shaft of light, which had not stopped. Everyone looked up at the ring as it passed directly over the Epoch, and Lucca rose up behind it, turning so that she faced the direction it had gone. At Gaspars questioning look, she yelled out, "You said we needed a booster." And she pushed a lever to its foremost. They zoomed forward just as the beam of light behind them exploded, sending a thud through their bodies. Everyone but Lucca looked back to see the light expanding at a rapid rate, coming faster than they were going. Gaspar turned back to Lucca.
"Were not going to make it!"
"No wonder youre not the Guru of life," Lucca retorted, as they raced the light to reach the ring first. Rakin and Corea still looked back, hoping theyd make it in time. As Rakin looked closely, he saw a form emerging from the light. Spekkio burst out, and was thrown forward to hang on one of the wings. Lucca didnt notice. Spekkio yelled something, but only Gaspar seemed to hear or understand. Spekkio closed his eyes, and a yellow energy encircled the Epoch. They burst forward, at a speed that was double what they had been at before. Spekkio began to shrink and compress, until he became a small sphere. The sphere flew with the Epoch for a moment, then dropped back, and Rakin leapt to catch it. He missed, yelled, "Damn," and a yellow cord whipped out from his hand. He immediately tried to direct it to the sphere, and it found its mark. It latched on, and the sphere that had been Spekkio was yanked back to his hand. Rakin pocketed it for later.
He looked forward and saw that they were on the verge of catching the ring with the light not far behind. Lucca yelled with determination, and the Epoch rammed through the ring, all light and color becoming muted. The last thing Rakin saw before the warp initiated was a blinding white light.
"Damn," yelled the Almighty One. He pushed aside his servant girl. Gabra crawled away, just in case he became any angrier, but prepared to return after he had triumphed and his good humor returned. He always triumphed, and lavished gifts over those around him when he did. For a friend of hers, that gift had been the Almighty Ones seed. She had not become impregnated, but Gabra wondered if she could one day bear his child. What a wondrous idea.
Back on his throne, he pondered this. He couldnt believe that damned Nu had survived long enough to get them to warp, for by all rights no one but he, himself could have survived that. No matter, he thought, trying to dismiss that concern. He prepared to channel the energy. There was no visible sign that anything had occurred, but that the Almighty One smiled. He called for Gabra. When she came in, he ordered a celebration feast. She left, hope for what could be hurrying her step. He read her thoughts, and his smile grew. Perhaps, he thought. I havent done that in too long. Besides, she looks like she might bear good offspring. He set that thought aside, and concentrated on the trouble-makers. Flies in a web, he thought. My web.
"I cannot do it, Captain. I dont have the power!"
Mr. Scott, Star Trek (The Original)
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