Chrono Continuum Chapter 6
When the jolt ended, Rakin was looking around at the insides of a gate. But something was wrong. Normally, there were billions of colors, dominated by all shades between purple and blue. Now, the dominant color was red. He looked back, and saw Gaspars concerned look. He knew what the Guru was thinking. If we have four entities warping, and that will bring us to the End of Time, where will we go with no End of Time? Rakin shared his thoughts, but Gaspar looked completely alarmed, the look Rakin recognized as one that meant he was in way over his head, and that he wished he hadn't gotten involved. Rakin new how he felt. He'd gotten in enough trouble with his dad to know that look well.
A thud jolted him back to the present, and he watched as a circular, translucent wall formed behind them and began to move forward. Gaspars mouth dropped open. At Rakins questioning look, he yelled, "Its following us back through time!" Rakin realized the old man was right, but didnt really have the time to ponder the significance of it. All he thought was that This guy, or girl, or whatever wont give up. He knew they couldnt get to any of the time periods the Epoch could find before the light- the wall caught up with them. The light. Rakin didnt know how to supercharge the Epoch like Spekkio had, but he did know one thing he could do. But he would need help.
He leaned toward his sister, and spoke (no need to whisper; it couldnt be heard by anyone else anyway) his idea. She looked at him, shook her head with a grin, and yelled out, "Damned if Ill go out without trying." She concentrated, and electricity flowed from her shoulder all the way down her arm. It then gathered together at her fist. Rakin held out both hands, bottoms of the palms together. She threw the lightning at his hands, and it slammed into his shield. He concentrated, and was able to complete the sphere and encase the lightning, adding some of his power. He turned to Gaspar, who seemed to be in a world of his own. He yelled right in the old mans face, "Gaspar," and the Gurus eyes snapped toward him. Gaspar only now seemed to notice the huge ball of energy in Rakins hands, and he asked, "What do you plan to do with that?"
"I cant do anything with it. Im using all my power to keep it in existence. And since Luccas busy," he gestured to Lucca, pulling tools from her "storage," and continued. "I need you to throw this thing at the wave!"
"Why? We cant win in the end. This wasnt supposed to happen!"
"Gaspar, if you dont do this, then you wont be around to ensure that whatever should happen, will happen." Gaspar seemed to consider this, with the wave getting closer second by second. His eyes snapped toward the wave, and his brow straightened in determination. He raised his cane, and put the end of it into the ball of energy Rakin was holding. Rakin felt the link between him and the ball break, and his energy was no longer being drained by its maintenance. Gaspar pointed his cane at the wave, now very close. He sneered, or grimaced, Rakin couldnt tell, and the ball shot away from him, impacting on the wave, and crackling lines of energy spread throughout the wave. It slowed, and an ear-splitting shraaaaaaaaaack pounded on their eardrums.
The wave shattered, into pieces so small many could not be seen individually. But they spread throughout the warp, and through the ship and its inhabitants. Rakin was amazed to see them pass through his body, without doing any damage. But he saw something different when he looked up. He saw fragments fly through the walls of the tunnels, and small tears began to form. Lucca looked back, long enough to yell, "What the hell did you do," and turned back. Rakin could see the fabric of the tunnel tear and rend, losing stability. He saw things through the tears: a young, red-haired man disintegrating, a blonde woman throwing an egg over a cliff, to see it shatter in mid-air, a man turning green and growing into a green creature, a man with long, blue hair smiling without humor, a pink-haired teen working with a tall man, a collection of metal rising up in a humanish form, a woman riding a winged lizard, and many other indescribable things.
Eventually, the tunnel fabric completely unraveled, and they all felt as if they were floating. Then the darkness rushed in.
The Almighty One sat with one leg draped across the armrest of his chair. When Gabra came in and told him that a banquet was being arranged, he invited her to sit on his throne with him. She sat between his legs, and he told her to make herself comfortable. She laid her head on his chest, and laid one arm on his leg. He began rubbing her side, and then moved his hand to her stomach, and then upwards. She didnt argue. This was the second thing on his mind right now. He enjoyed her reaction as he began to unbutton her blouse, and enjoyed the reactions of those in the warp tunnel as the wave appeared. Hed gotten off her shirt, and she was working on his pants when the trouble-makers made the ball of energy. He was paying more attention, by now, to the present situation with Gabra, however, and didnt notice that he should have reinforced his wave. She looked up into his eyes and smiled.
"Oh, Almighty One..." He smiled back, and reached under her skirts, but then his expression changed. He yelled out, "No," as his wave shattered, and he stood up, dropping the half-uncovered woman on the floor, and he seethed as the warp unraveled. Releasing all of the Time-Stream Travelers. He knew from personal experience that "heroes" rarely died from luck. They had to be dealt with directly. I would have had them if it wasnt for, he looked down at the confused woman on the floor. "...You," he finished his thought in a rage-filled whisper. He swung his arm toward her and opened his palm. Her eyes opened wide and a whimper escaped her throat. The Almighty One sneered.
"If you serve me in your next life, try not to distract me while Im busy..."
He began to walk out of his throne room, but stopped. He pulled up his pants, and went back to his throne. He picked up the shirt sitting there. It was a nice shirt, a little revealing, and it smelled like it had been made with scented thread. He draped it over his forearm and walked through the great double doors. He walked to the left, toward the Servants Quarters. Some of the lords and ladies already had more than enough servants. There would be plenty of young women to replace one of his personal servants. There would always be more. They couldnt, of course, be squeamish. One of their first tasks would be to clean up the remains of their predecessor. True, they were mostly ashes, but he would be sure to tell her what they had been. A slut who had interfered with his benevolent plans. It was true enough. Still, he mused, I liked her... oh, here we are.
He pushed open the doors, and found many men and women, most in bed, alone or with one of the opposite gender. He looked around and saw a woman that immediately caught his eye. He immediately walked up to her bed, which she was lying in, talking to another woman in the bed next to hers. When everyone went quiet, she looked behind her to see what was up. When she saw who it was, her eyes opened wide, and her mouth frozen in the open position. He smiled-very benevolently, of course-and spoke soothingly.
"How would you like to serve me?" Her eyes opened even wider, but her mouth un-froze.
"My lord, I am not worthy," she said in a voice that would drive many men wild. It almost, but not quite, evoked a smile from him. He smiled anyway.
"You have a lovely voice. Now, tell me..."
"Parsa, Almighty One."
"Lovely. Now, Parsa, I didnt ask whether you were worthy. I am the arbiter of worth. I asked if you would like to serve me."
"My lord, I would... be honored to serve you," she sat up a little, and the sheets didnt move with her. Although he couldnt see anything that wasnt normally covered by clothes, he could see that she slept nude. "In... any capacity you desire." He liked this woman, and her straightfoward nature, but he would have to be more focused in the future.
"You have the job." She looked elated. "But, be forewarned. Im not an easy man to serve. I sometimes give unpleasant tasks. And I depend on others occasionally to keep my thinking straight. I depended on someone to judge my position, and they failed. Because of this, a woman distracted me and allowed enemies of us all to escape me. But, I will treat you well. Speak to me frankly. Do not lie or alter the truth around me. It can only hurt the kingdom. Do you still accept?" She looked at him straight.
"You can count on me. I am ready to serve." He smiled.
"Good. I need you right now." He could see what direction her mind had taken. Although it was a pleasant thought, he still had to find where the Travelers had gone. "Nothing so pleasant, my dear, Im afraid. That woman who had distracted me has been punished. I need you to go to the throne room and clean away her remains. You look... capable. And I need you to cancel the plans for the banquet." He realized she didnt know what banquet he was talking about, or who she could talk to about it, but she was going to find a way. He approved of that.He turned and walked to the door to allow her to dress, but stopped without turning back. "Oh, and I have a gift for you when you finish," he spoke, fingering the white shirt on his arm, and then left the room. He walked down the halls to his room, but two turns from it, a short, fat man ran up to hem and fell to his knees in an exhausted bow.
"Rise," commanded the Almighty One. The man stood, and, panting, told him, "My lord, a stranger has been found outside the palace. He doesnt dress like those of the opposition, or from our Kingdom. He was unconscious. Weve put him in a cell in hall seventeen-B." The Almighty One walked past the man and turned to the right instead of the left, away from his bedroom. He sighed. Its hard conquering the world.
This is where I have to start writing down dates. It might get a tad confusing otherwise.
R79-B raised its arm to its vocal emitter. A monotone voice came from the circular area on the androids head.
"R-Series operative designate: 79-B reporting in from sector 17-T of the Bangor area. A device of unknown origin has been found. Outer shell not immediately recognizable. Shape is similar to that of D-29 fighter flyer, yet motors appear simpler in some respects, while many years beyond current technology in others. Appears to have major external and internal damage. No suggested points of origin. Addition. Word written on front-left of outer shell. Processing handwriting. The word on the outer shell is Epoch. Reasonable assumption: this is a human device that was named to clarify difference between it and other devices similar to it. Suggests that human technology has progressed beyond what operatives have reported. Requesting five R-Series androids or heavy lifting equipment to bring device designate: Epoch to base. End report and request. Designate: 79-B, breaking transmission." The android put its arm back down by its side and stood there without movement until five nearly identical androids came, and together they carried one of the most incredible devices in history to their base for examination.
Corea opened her eyes, but everything ached so badly, including her newly opened eyes, that she closed them again. She reawoke several hours later, after nightfall, to the sound of low speech. She didnt really feel like moving, so she couldnt lean her head back to see who was doing the talking. It didnt really matter. If she was alive, Lucca and Rakin almost certainly were around here, and old Gaspar didnt really seem like the guy to die easily. She vaguely wondered where she was. Maybe it had all been a dream. She knew it wasnt when one of the creatures finally stepped forward and leaned over her to get a good look at this thing lying here. It was taller than an imp, but shorter than she was. It was green, but she saw another that was purple, and was covered with scales. She didnt know what the hell it was, but she wasnt sure she wanted to know. She considered getting up and beating the snot out of the thing, but the fact that two more had slid her batons out of her belt, and that she felt that she could get the snot beaten out of her by a snail, she decided to wait. As if she could have done anything else. Where did I come up with that "Snot" phrase?
A shout came from beyond her field of vision, upwards for her eyes, and the creatures all turned to it. It was followed by more shouts, and the things all hissed, or screeched, or looked just plain scared, and ran off. They had dropped her batons. Thanks for small miracles, she thought dreamily. She wondered if she had lost a lot of blood. She felt really light-headed, and those darn trees kept swaying. A few moments later, footsteps were charging toward her, and she was afraid of getting trampled. But they stopped out of her vision-Damn-and she was forced to wait again. She soon saw a form standing above her, which promptly bent at what was probably the waist. It took a moment for her sight to adjust, and when it did, she was surprised, although not like with those scaly creatures.
The form standing above her was a woman, and well proportioned, too. She had a piece of cloth tied around her neck that hung down and covered her chest. It was similar when it came to the waist, although the cloth was longer. Bending over, however, the chest cloth was useless. She idly wondered if the same thing was happening to Rakin. If so, then shed have a happy brother on her hands for a while. The woman said something, but Corea was too tired to run it through her mind. More people rushed around her, and soon after she had been picked up, she fell back to sleep.
Lucca awoke staring into someone elses eyes. That was why her first act was to jump up and knock the poor person over, after tripping up on her own petticoats. Damned things! She finally managed to right herself, and helped a woman in a nice, blue dress. The woman had light blonde hair, and a nice smile, judging by what shed seen before shed knocked it off the lady. Lucca apologized, "Oh, Im so sorry. You startled me. Were you the one that found me?" The woman nodded yes, but Lucca didnt give her room for a word. "Did you find anyone else? Specifically two teens and an old man?" The woman shook her head. "May I ask you what year this is?" The woman finally got in.
"Young lady, it is often customary to thank one who has taken you into their house!" Lucca flinched.
"Sorry, Im in your debt. And, by the way, Im actually thirty-seven, although I dont look it, so please dont call me young lady. By the way, may I ask your name? Mines Lucca." The woman looked surprised at Luccas statement of age, but decided to think about that later.
"I am the Lady Cyrusa."
"Are you related to Cyrus?"
"Alternate timeline, gotcha. By the way, what year is it?"
"Why its the year six-hundred and two. Why wouldnt you know that," Cyrusa asked suspiciously. Lucca was save from having to lie by a knock on the door. Cyrusa excused herself, and went to the door. When it opened, a man with fine features and green hair was standing there, with a hand-picked bouquet of flowers. In a loud, familiar voice, he declared in Olde English, "Oh, Cyrusa, I beggeth thee. Wouldst thou court me, fair maiden?" Cyrusa seemed surprised, and bought herself time to respond by saying, "Glenn, I have a guest." Lucca reeled as the man looked at her. He saw recognition there, while she saw none. If Glenns here, did Frog exist?
When Gaspar stopped feeling as if he was floating, and started to feel as if he was falling, he opened his eyes. He could see the entire continent of what he recognized as the Mystic continent. But he was quickly getting closer. Very quickly. In fact, the Guru guessed that hed already fallen far enough to reach terminal velocity. He was much too old for skydiving. He thought about what he should do. The first thought he had was to cast an ice cocoon. He would probably be fine, but whatever he hit wouldnt be. So much for that. A voice that nagged at the back of his mind told him This isnt supposed to be happening. He ignored it for now. He had important things to think about. He was falling a huge distance, and his best defense might hurt others. He decided to wait and see where he would probably land, and then decide.
When hed dropped far enough, he realized he was directly over a cluster of houses. He pointed his body to the town square, which usually had few people or Mystics, and hoped no one would get hurt. As he came down, he noticed that Mystics were shopping there. Bad news. He couldnt cast the cocoon. There would be no way to warn them. His idea for a warning would use enough power up to prevent casting the cocoon. But he had an idea. He formed a spark in his palm, and threw it down, flashing harmlessly on impact, but enough to warn off most of the Mystics. Now the madness of the Gurus plan came into play.
He formed a green cone of force, its point resting a foot beyond the top of his head. He aimed for the area with the least Mystics, yet not off of the cliff edge that the square was built on, but the cone prevented much direction change. He managed to still land at an angle. The point of the force cone stabbed into the ground, and stayed there as the rest of the cone swung over it, Gaspar still inside. It came out of the ground as Gaspar moved back up, effectively having bounced off the tip of the cone. Gaspar flipped over several times, and he could see the cliff edge pass underneath him. His cone faded as he got closer to the waves below, saw them crashing on the jagged rocks. As he plummeted to his certain final destiny, he yelled for everyone in the square, "This wasnt supposed to have happened."
Rakin felt like he was dead. No, now he was dead. Well this had to be death. Nope, yet worse pain. After a long period of unconsciousness, he opened his eyes slightly to see a palace swallowing him up. He was being carried. He woke up later in a small, cramped cell, to the speech of voices outside the door.
"Is he one of them?"
"Yeah, apparently. But if the Almighty one thinks hes so tough, then wed better get double guards." Rakin groaned. He felt like hed been kicked. Everywhere. With metal boots. A mans voice came from above, "Well done, kid. I had to kill a lot of them before they started giving me double guards." Rakin looked up at the bed on top of his. That was interesting. He spoke to the man up top.
"And who are you, sir?" He could hear the man struggle with his vanity as he answered, "No one of any consequence. I come and go, searching, without any real home. I know just about everything you dont, kid." His voice said, I am so much more than that. Rakin couldnt think of any other ideas, so he just asked the first thing that entered his mind, regardless of the chances of this rogue knowing the answer. Besides, he wanted to show this guy that he didnt know everything.
"Well, in that case... would you know the location of a man named... Magus," he asked as he got out of the bed, wanting to get a good look at the man. His cellmate turned so that his feet were hanging off the bed, and jumped down without the use of the ladder. He was stripped of everything but his fine, purple pants, his leather boots, and his earring. He was pale to the point of death, and had finely toned muscles, although he was too thin to ever be considered beefy. He distinctly noted the eyes, which occasionally looked as if they shifted from red to violet, and back. His ears came to a definite point, and he had blue hair down to the halfway point of his back. Rakin could vaguely remember having seen him before. He smiled faintly, and remarked, "Kid, if he was a snake, youd be bitten. Youve been talking to him."
"Parting is such sweet sorrow."
Romeo, Shakespeares "Romeo and Juliette"
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