Chrono Continuum Chapter 7
Rakins mouth dropped open in astonishment. When he managed to speak, he stuttered, "Y-y-youre Magus? Id thought an ally would look more heroic." Maguss mouth rose slightly at the corners, but the smile vanished so quickly Rakin thought he might just be imagining things.
"And what, kid, other than the fact that the Almighty One dislikes us both, makes us allies," he asked as he sat down on Rakins bed. Rakin was apparently supposed to sit down next to him. He did.
"You knew my dad."
"I knew a lot of people. I killed a lot more. So what?"
"You knew him as Crono," Rakin replied off-handedly. He looked to see the results of the revelation on the pale man, but saw only that his eyebrows had risen in interest.
"I take it, then, that youre a Traveler?" It sounded like a phrase Gaspar had used to describe him, Lucca, and Corea.
"So what are you doing here?"
"Uh, Lucca said that time waves were distorting our reality, and that she, with a little help, was going back to correct the mistake."
"Hm. I was pretty sure that this wasnt supposed to take place." He didnt volunteer any information. Magus sat there, pondering things, when he seemed to dim, and then began to flicker right in front of Rakins eyes. Then the man disappeared altogether. Rakin heard an ooomph, and then Magus was gone. He looked around, and called out, "Magus?" A voice came from below him, " Get up, kid, or Ill have to kick you off of me." Rakin jumped up, and looked down. He saw an arm protruding from under the bed. He backed away, and Magus began to squirm out. When he got out, he stood and rotated his neck. A series of cracking sound came from it, and he muttered, "Damned distortions." Magus sat back on the bed, and began to pull his pants on. Only then did Rakin notice he had come out from under the bed naked. Rakin turned away until he guessed Magus was done, and turned back to see him fastening his ear ring.
"What the hell was that," Rakin inquired of the man.
"Im being torn between two timelines," was all the explanation given. Fine, its not like its any of my business or anything.
"Quite right," Magus replied tersely. "It isnt your business why I flicker into and out of existence and then fall through anything other than stone or earth. And no, Im not a mind reader, but anyone from Zeal could have picked up those thoughts, they were so loud. So, stay out of my life, and I wont get into yours." Rakin would have been surprised if the angry, yet matter-of-fact manner of speech didnt annoy him so much.
He sat back down and wondered how he could keep his thoughts quiet. He had been told that dreams are very realistic, and Magus could probably pick up his fantasy dreams about... Why is Magus smiling, Rakin asked himself. Maguss face immediately went sober. Rakins mouth dropped open. Damn me and my loud thoughts. Magus pretended he hadnt heard any of it and continued.
"So kid, how old are you, how longs it been since I met your dad in your time, are any of the original Travelers with you, and what the hell do you want with a forgotten wizard in a prison cell," he asked in one breath. Luccas the only person Ive ever seen squeeze that many words in a sentence, Rakin thought. Magus spoke, "Stop thinking, kid, and start talking." Rakin decided to comply.
"Im sixteen years old, and my sisters two years younger," Magus didnt seem to care about his sister. " And its been twenty years in my time. Lucca was with me, but we seem to have been separated, and Gaspar told me I was supposed to find you." The man only reacted to the news of the Guru.
"So," he began, ignoring all of the other things until he found out what interested him. "Hows the geezer doing?" Rakin sighed.
"I dont know."
"What do you mean you dont know? And give me the condensed version, kid." Maguss calling him kid was starting to grate on Rakins nerves. He stood up and told Magus what he wanted to know anyway.
"We were searching for the cause of the distortions when time waves came through the warp. We escaped to the End of Time, where we met Gaspar, and Spekkio gave my sister magic, and awoke my inner power," Magus raised an eyebrow at that, but didnt interrupt. "We slept, and then these beams of light started to blast through the platform at the End of Time. Everyone except Spekkio jumped into the Epoch, because Spekkio stayed to protect the Gates. A huge beam destroyed that area eventually, and Spekkio survived the explosion with enough power to give us a boost so we could catch up with a distortion ring and warp out." Rakin pulled the sphere that had been Spekkio out of his pocket. "He then turned into this. Then a wave followed us through the past, and Gaspar, my sister, and I managed to destroy it, but that caused the warp tunnel to unravel. And then I woke up here." Magus absorbed it all, and then snatched the sphere from Rakins hand. Rakin was about to protest when he saw the man in deep concentration, his eyes closed, and the ball in his lap.
A low hum began to emanate from Maguss throat, and the sphere began to hover. The hum went up in pitch, and flashes began to appear around the sphere. Small beams of light, fire, and shadow moved around it, but never seemed to find purchase. When the humming stopped, the ball fell into Maguss hand, which flipped the translucent ball to Rakin. Rakin fumbled with it, but managed to get a hold on it, and put it in his pocket. Magus opened his eyes, and spoke, "Keep that around kid. I have no idea what the hell that is, and thats rare. So, back to the subject," he continued, as if that hadnt happened. "What kind of inner power do you have? A Traveler isnt much good unless he can kick someones butt, kid."
"Rakin. My name is Rakin." Magus infuriated him with one simple response.
"Sure it is, kid." And he waited for Rakin to do as he had asked. Stay cool, Rakin. Hes just a jerk. Besides, he knows what hes doing, and he can help me find Corea and Lucca. Before Rakin could begin, Magus interrupted, quite sarcastically, "Thanks, kid. Your faith in me gives me reason to keep going. Ive never met a person with such loud, pronounced thoughts. Your inner power must have something to do with the mind. Am I right, Kid?" Rakin didnt know how, but he knew Magus had just called him kid with a capital "K", as if it was his name. He continued, with thoughts only on his talk with Spekkio and Gaspar.
"Spekkio said he didnt know what it was I had-"
"Doubtful." Rakin ignored the interruption and continued.
"-but he said he could bring it out. The first thing we found after he did so was that I could see visions of the past, and the possible futures that this and other timelines might follow. Then Spekkio attacked me with an energy blast. I captured it with a shield of energy and used it to beat him. He said that I could do much better with practice." He let Magus think about that for a while.
The nonexistent wind blew suddenly, and Rakin could see Magus unleash a bolt of black energy right towards his face. Time seemed to slow to a stop, and Rakin had all the time he needed to react to this. This is obviously another test. He was about to form the energy bowl again, but he realized that a test that simply passed would never have been given by this man. He was too devious for that. His Energy Bowl (he decided that it was, in its self, a special technique) wouldnt work. And Rakin could feel that this thing would kill him. The perfect way to test if Im ready. Rakin approved of the motive, but not the technique. An idea popped into his mind, and he reentered his normal thought speed.
The heels of his palms slammed together, and energy grew at a phenomenal speed. (Obviously much faster than this attack was taking to cover the three feet between its caster and victim) He let it free, and it slammed into the world, as a burst of yellow energy, concentrated by the curve of his hands, so as to burst outward. The blast threw the wizard into the wall, and the blade of darkness was dissipated as it was pushed back, magical fiber by magical fiber, until nothing more remained of it. Rakin himself was blown back into the wall by the force of it, and fell to a sitting position against the wall.
He looked up and saw the wizards legs dangling over the edge of the bed, bent at the knees. They werent moving. Oh, my... Did I-
"Youre not that good, Kid," the low voice interrupted his thoughts. The wizard sat forward to his original sitting position, without a scratch on him. Rakin slowly got up, and saw soot on the wall behind the powerful man, looking as if a man-shaped sponge had cleaned off one area, and left the soot behind around it. It scared the hell out of Rakin. Rakin stuttered for a response, "How... why did you... are you insane?"
"I think you know the answers to all of those questions, kid." Rakin stared, speechless, and was about to go on a yelling spree that he knew Magus would completely ignore, when the wind in his mind blew strongly. He gasped audibly, just as Magus stood up, alarmed. Magus looked back at Rakin, and said, "You felt it, didnt you?" Rakin didnt know how Magus could know about it or how he could feel it, but Magus apparently knew a lot of things. He was about to respond when the reason for the coming of the wind began to open the door. A tall, greasy man in his late forties stood outside the open door with a big axe, and a large group of guards. Rakin felt some alarm, but Magus merely looked as if some unwanted guests had arrived. The man spoke in an odd accent.
"The Almighty One would like the honor of your presence." The prisoners glanced at each other. Rakin stepped forward.
"And what if we dont want to go." The man smiled.
"Somehow," Magus remarked as the men all drew weapons of some sort, " I dont think this is an invitation."
Melchior approached Medina Square. The Mystics seemed to be the only ones who remembered him, considering how he had been there for a while in all Time Streams, but some of their memories were becoming hazy. He knew that those Time Waves were the cause. He had heard rumors of King Crono Guardia suddenly becoming senile and forgetful, but Melchior knew the truth. He would have to visit him soon. The prince and princess had disappeared, and so had the inventor Lucca, who was apparently a noble in this Time Stream. He smiled. If anyone could fix things, it would be Lucca, and any family of Crono and Marles. He had been awakened at dawn by his one friend with perfect memory, the Blue Imp. (Melchior couldnt pronounce his self-given name) So much exposure to Melchior might have rendered him partially immune to Time Alterations.
Theres a human, he had said. And hes very peculiar. You can tell us if you know him. Melchior wondered what could be so important that he had to wake at dawn. When he finally got there, there were so many Mystics that he had to nudge and even push a few mystics to get through. No one really cared. Humans were always cranky at this point in the day. Melchior finally managed to get through to the center of the throng. He could see a deep gouge in the formerly hard packed dirt, and a hole at the edge of the cliff, leaving a gaping, dangerous hole. But no one was paying attention to that. They were all looking at the prostrate form on the road. The Blue Imp was standing there, making sure no one got too close, and he sighed in relief as he saw Melchior grumpily shuffling towards him.
"About time you got here."
"Shut up." The Imp only smiled, and brought Melchior over to the body. It was an old man. He was wearing a trenchcoat over a low-key brown suit. His hair was beginning to thin. Melchior looked another groggy moment, and finally muttered, "I give up. Whats so important about this man?" The imp glanced at him.
"He fell from the sky."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean he fell from the sky, and used magic to warn everybody here, and to save himself from the fall. He still ended up falling over the cliff, but one guy was selling bats, and he got them to retrieve him before he got killed."
"Magic, you say?" Mystics knew magic when they saw it. "Well, why did you get me?"
"Because, Gramps," one of many nicknames, "you know everything about everything, and you know quite a bit more about magic than any other humans do. I figured that wherever you are from, he might be from the same place." Melchior walked over to the man, who was breathing shallowly now. He looked at the face, and saw an aging man, with a distinctive chin. He could be from Zeal. The mans eyes fluttered open, and he looked at Melchior. A weak voice came out, but Melchior heard it perfectly.
"Melchior... Its Prince Janus... Hes locked himself...," and then he fell back to sleep. But that had been enough for Melchior. He now recognized one of his five best friends. He turned to the crowd of Mystics.
"Would someone help me get this man back to my home? Hell be all right, but Ill need to speak to him after hes recuperated." A Hench and a Diablos volunteered, and they quickly carried the man off. The Imp caught up as Melchior started to follow them.
"So, did you recognize him?" Melchior looked down at the Imp. Six. Ive got six best friends. Schala, Gaspar, Belthasar, Masa, Mune, Doreen was more of an acquaintance, and Woweijfls... whatever the Imp, here.
"Yeah, I recognized him," he replied as the Mystics carted Gaspar, the Guru of Time, to his home.
"History is rarely made by reasonable men."
Zeddicus Zul Zorander, Blood of the Fold, third book of the Sword of Truth series, by Terry Goodkind
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