Chrono Continuum Chapter 73

The Truth Behind the Madness

By Cain

1999 AD

Terror, pure and unadulterated. He could see it in their faces as he raised his hand, preparing to send them to oblivion...

Terror, mixed with love, respect, and gratefulness, as different faces came, taking his hand, as he helped them out of the inferno, into the world of light...

Terror on the faces of peasants and nobles alike as they fell before the horde, all their weapons and technology as flies to a dragon in the face of the mighty army...

Terror in her eyes, as she realized she had displeased him...

"These are the many terror-stricked faces you've seen over your life, Valiod. How does it make you feel?"

"Powerful," Valiod answered the voice in his head, as he sat in a dirty hotel room, watching the rain fall in droves from the sky.

"Powerful, you say," replied the voice.

It was Valiod's own voice. His inner mind speaking to him, as if a different consciousness. Ever since he'd left the Kingdom, the voice had tormented him. Even as he slept, the voice droned on and on, pointing out his faults and follies. But Valiod used the voice to his own advantage, fixing anything the voice pointed out.

"Powerful," the voice repeated, "Oh, yes, you're the epitome of power, Valiod. Here you sit, in a hotel room, a human hotel room, forced away from all that you created."

"I left the Kingdom of my own choice," Valiod yelled, jumping to his feet and punching the wall, as expected, his fist passed straight through, leaving a neat hole. He ranted on, "I was not forced out! I could have destroyed that little slave girl in an instant, had I so chosen!"

"But you didn't, Valiod. You preferred to take the easy way out, letting her think that she had escaped you. As we speak, her power grows, Valiod."

"That is unimportant. I still have far more power than she will ever have! Besides, mine was the smart move. Not only will she bear my children, but she will weaken the 'heroes'."

"So you need her to weaken them. Are you afraid they will destroy you, Valiod?"

"No! They can't."

"They destroyed your father."

"You know as well as I do that it was the circumstances that brought my father down, not the 'heroes'!"

"Just keep telling yourself that, Valiod."

Valiod screamed in rage, and raised his hand in the air. A bright orange ball of energy formed at his palm. "Stop it," he yelled as loud as he could without breaking the silence barrier he'd placed on the room.

With lightning speed he brought the ball of energy down the the floor. An inch away, however, he hesitated.

"Why do you stop, Valiod? Are you afraid of giving yourself away to the heroes? Afraid that they'll crush you, now that you've lost all your power?"

Valiod let the ball disappear, and sat back down, his face tired, but his eyes burning with a quiet rage. "I'm not powerless."

"No? Let's review, shall we? The teleport spell... Jonathan had that spell, didn't he? Now, he's dead. The plague spell? No, you lost that one along with Trenchent. Seems all of your most powerful abilities really belonged to those you'd possessed. It's a miracle you even know how to cast a shield of silence."

"My father's power shall suffice. I am the son of the most powerful being anyone in this solar system has ever witnessed, luckily for them."

"And yet he was destroyed by three teens, a robot, a cave woman, a frog, and a wizard. Kind of makes you think, huh? If your power is less than half of his, what chance do you have?"

Valiod shook his head forcefully. "No. You're wrong. I will destroy them. And then my children, an entirely new strain of Lavoid, something this universe has yet to see, will be freed. And they will rule the galaxy with me. We shall connect with the Lavoid hive, and-"

Valiod abruptly let out a clipped scream of pain, a moment before his shield of silence shattered. Clutching his head in his hands, he slipped from the chair to his knees on the floor. He gritted his teeth as his temples throbbed loudly.

"No," he moaned, struggling to get just that word out. The mental strain too much for him, he tipped over onto his side, his eyes rolled back into his head. Involuntarily, his legs began to spasm.

No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't stop or even bear the pain, pain unlike anything he'd felt before, save for two instances: one shortly before Parsa's attempt on his life, and again shortly before she left the Kingdom. By now, he knew what to expect: a foretelling.

This intense mental agony was a prelude to a vision of the future, or possible futures. In one, he had seen himself stabbed by Parsa. Luckily, he'd managed to use that vision to his advantage, and put one of his possessed bodies in his place.

The other time, he'd seen where Parsa was planning to go to give birth, but had been unable to reach the area in time, instead arriving only a short time before the "heroes" did.

Of course, he hadn't been foolish enough to hang around. The time travel had made him weak. Weak enough that he couldn't break through the shield, weak enough that he might lose to the "heroes". That was why he was in a cheap hotel, writhing on the ground next to a dusty bed and a flickering lamp. He needed rest.

Just as he was sure that his head was going to explode from the pressure inside it, something in his mind tore with a sharp pain, and allowed a flood of memories that weren't his to flow from wherever they'd been sequestered. His body went limp as the vision poured through his mind, as tangible as if real.

Light, blinding light, as a charred body hung impaled on a metal rod, running, running, as the wizard tried to escape but not expecting an arrow through the eye, bodies, half alive, begging to be freed, and yet to stay captive, wishing help, but not willing to give it, a traitor, a mother, a father, a daughter, a glowing green sword leading the charge, the giant machine falling to pieces as they all ran, ran, ran, a dark thing wearing a woman's skin, a force of death, unstoppable, unbeatable, and then the bright nemesis, three fighters, but the heroes couldn't kill them, creatures, deep, dark, brooding creatures deep in the ground waiting to fly, waiting to live, waiting to kill, destroy, maim, deplete, a dark figure fighting himself over the fate of one boy, and Valiod...

Valiod, son of Lavos, sighed with deep relief as the vision subsided, as the flood gate mended itself, sealing away the future for a later time when the future could no longer be contained. He could do nothing but breathe deeply, his eyes unable even to focus on the ceiling above him. He glanced at the clock to see, like the other two times, the vision, though seemingly seconds long, had actually lasted more than two hours.

"What did you see," the voice inquired of him.

"You know... very well what I saw."

"So I do," the voice acquiesced.

"Well," Valiod managed, sitting up, with no small amount of effort, "What does it mean?"

"It means the time is coming, Valiod. The titanic clash between good and evil."

Valiod blinked. "Good and evil? By whose standards?"

"That's for me to know, Valiod, and you to find out."

"What? Don't use such inane riddles with me. You are merely a part of my own mind, born from... What did create you, Voice?"

"Nothing created me, Valiod. I've always been here. You just haven't always been crazy. You only hear me because you've gone quite mad."

Valiod shook his head. "No. It isn't true. I'm not insane."

"Perhaps. Perhaps you're actually quite sane, and I do exist. Perhaps everyone has a voice in their head, Valiod. Perhaps I'm your conscience, leading you on the path to righteousness, or perhaps I'm your own real mind given form, so that I may assist you. All of this is speculation, Valiod, but I can tell you one thing for certain."

"Oh? And what is that, Voice?"

"You will never find out the truth, unless you go."

Before he could prepare for it, part of one of his visions returned, filling his sight with the Red Omen. As if he was no longer in the hotel room, he stood, and walked closer. The shield was gone. As he watched the Red Omen suddenly detonated, as if it was a giant bomb. The debris flew past him, passing through him, because he wasn't really there. He caught a brief glimpse of what was below the destroyed Omen, and then he was back in his room.

"Go there, Valiod, and fulfill your destiny. I won't be gone until either you or he dies."

"He? Whom? Whom must be killed, Voice? Voice? Answer me, Voice. Voice!"

His head turned at an abrupt knocking at his door. Angry at the interruption, Valiod rose and walked to the door. Opening it, he saw the hotel owner, a short fat man with an angry disposition and an ugly face.

The man scowled. "I was walking around outside and saw the hole you made in my wall. You'd better pay me right now, and get the hell outta my hotel!"

Valiod sneered. "I'll leave alright, but I'm not paying you a dime."

"Over my dead body," the man yelled.

"Don't mind if I do," Valiod replied, his eyes beginning to glow.


"Oh man," the cop commented, shaking his head. "This is the most disgusting homicide I've ever seen. Doesn't even look like a human did it."

"Yeah, the owner's wife said that there was a real quiet guy staying here," his partner responded.

"Must've been real quiet indeed. No one heard a thing, Tom."

"Wonder if he was invisible as well. No one saw him leave or anything. Gone without a trace. Wife can't even give me a description, like she got amnesia or somethin'."

They both turned as a young cop, new to the force, came to the door. His pale complexion suggested that he wasn't cut out for homicide, but he seemed to be handling it tolerably well. "Stan, Tom, we found his head."

Stan raised an eyebrow. "Really? Where?"

"In a phone booth down the street. We can't figure out how no one saw it up 'til now."

"Wierd," was Tom's only response.

The younger cop shook his head. "That's not all, guys. Look out the window, down at the sidewalk."

Stan obliged, walking over to the bloodstained window. Pulling up the pane, he stuck his head out, and looked down. "Holy..."

Down below, on the sidewalk, were bones, human bones, neatly arranged into letters. They spelled, "Daddy's coming".


"We have waited centuries for this moment. The rivers will flow with the blood of those who oppose us."
- Kane, Command and Conquer


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