The War Over Time
Ch. 26 The Library
Janus was at his library, and was wondering how Lucca would get there without him guiding her.
Then, the gate opened on the other side of the room, about 4 feet in the air.
To make matters even odder, the gate started spilling out books.
Hmmm Interesting. Instant gate. Soon the flood of books began to end, and the scientist herself, Lucca, fell quite ungracefully out of the gate and hit the floor hard.
Janus got up and strided towards where Lucca had fallen. watch that first step- its disorienting, and he helped her up.
How did you get here, without knowing its exact coordinates to teleport to? In addition, what is the purpose of the, umm library?
Well, I have been to your keep in the future, and people have found your secret library, although all the books are dust. In fact, tours cost 20gp a person. she said as she dusted herself off.
WHAT!!! The rabble of your future are prying into my hidden SANCTUARY??? THEY WILL PAY!!! Janus rage at this blatant invasion into his hidden study, his only point of security, was enormous. His will flared into his magic, and his scythe, which was across the room, flew to his hand. Those fools will pay for this intrusion tenfold!
Lucca shied away from him. Janus, whats wrong?
The rage faded from Janus voice, and was replaced by a calmness, as it always was before he killed in the past, There will be retribution for dishonoring me, Janus calmly said.
Oh,no, Lucca thought, I cant let him do this. Hell kill all of those people!
Janus, stop! Lucca positioned herself between Janus and the door. please, dont, they havent done anything to you.
Janus walked forward until he faced directly in front of Lucca. He wrapped his arm, the one not holding his scythe, around her waist. He lifted her and placed her to his right without difficulty. He then proceeded to walk out the door.
Suddenly, Alfador pounced on Janus.
Janus scythe flew out of his hand, and he hit the ground, pinned by Alfadors great weight. What are you doing, Alfador!?!
Meanwhile, Lucca was trying to calm Janus down, from about a meter away. Janus, it isnt worth it. Please dont hurt all those innocent people, they didnt know what they were doing, they thought you were dead, and they didnt do any harm, they
Alfador, RELEASE ME! the rage had returned, much stronger than before.
Not until you calm down, resonated in Janus head.
What in Janus voice trailed off. His head turned in the direction of Lucca. One eye raised in her direction. I didnt know that you knew telepathy.
ummm Janus, I dont. What are you talking about?
It isnt the girl talking to you, friend, as much as you would like it for her to be. The voice echoed through his head again.
You are talking to me via your mind?
Why, I guess I am.
No need to be sarcastic.
No need to slaughter civilians over such a pittance.
Apparently Alfador is much smarter than I thought he was, Janus thought. Well, have you been holding back on me all this time?
The bond between our minds was not so strong before. Now it is stronger, and I may communicate with you clearly. You have certainly acted the fool. What does it matter that they have intruded upon your sanctuary? You are 400 years gone, you will never again visit that place.
Janus attempted to answer in kind. He tried the equivalent of sighing (mentally) as he thought to Alfador, On further thought, Alfador, you seem to have a point. Now please get off me
With only a moments hesitation, Alfador hopped off Janus chest, finally allowing him the luxury of breathing without so much weight on him.
Lucca, by now, was thoroughly puzzled. First, Janus had gone on a rampage. Now, only a moment later, he was calm again. Not to mention that he was talking to himself in the meantime. Janus?
Huh? Oh, yes. Hmmm I guess you would probably want an explanation. Well, lets sit and get comfortable, and I will explain
Ch.27 The power of sight
What do you think, Robert?
Robert sighed. I really have no clue. My talents as a time soldier wont help in finding this thing if I have no clue what it is like.
How about you, Gaspar?
Hmm I do not know where to begin, either. I will think about it. And he went to sleep.
Well, he was a lot of help, Robert said wryly.
He is old, Robert. You humans find limits to your mental and physical stamina after a certain amount of years.
Humph. Limits do not justify the ratio of sleeping to talking he seems to exhibit.
Hmm I have an idea, Robert.
Another one? All right, shoot.
The Gate is a focus of power, right? Hence, it must logically exude some energic force of some kind.
Robert caught on. And if we can find that energy force
We find the Aeon Gate.
At this time, Gaspar woke up. I have it! We must find the unique energy signature of the gate!
Yes, Gaspar, we just now deduced that, Robo said.
Oh, ok. Gaspar fell back to sleep.
Ch.28 Something about Schala
Wake up, girl!
Uuuuu Ohhhhh Huh?
Schala awoke to the poking and prodding of a person beside her. Stop that! That hurts! Owch!
You can feel pain. Thats a good sign, girl. It means youre still alive.
Schala opened her eyes. She saw something this time, a near-darkness with a small crowd of people wandering in it, and a light to the distance. Besides her, there was a familiar face, a calm and serene countenance that always seemed to know when something was wrong
Schala screamed. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!
The woman- Schalas mother, Zeal, who was twisted by Lavos long ago- shied back. What did I do?
Mother? No, I have never had a child. Nor even a lover, for that matter. I would like to, but I am afraid
Afraid of what?
Afraid I will hurt him. I am insane, you see. We all are.
Schala looked around again, slowly. Then I belong here. She looked at the woman. For I am insane, too.
The woman smiled warmly. I hope we can be friends. My name is Schala, and I
How can your name be Schala? Thats my name!
Oh! Then you really do belong here. You see, thats another thing everyone here has in common. We are all named Schala Zeal.
Wow. There was an uncanny attraction between her and the other woman that Schala could not quite place
Here, let me introduce you to the others.
The Schala that looked like her mother led her across the blackness. Schala wouldnt even have thought there was a floor, if she wasnt walking on it. She was led to a semicircle of people, all sitting and standing in their spots, perfectly silent. All the people faced the light, somewhere in the distance. The woman sat in an empty portion of the circle, and Schala sat next to her. It felt right, somehow.
Of the people in the circle, only 2 others looked at all like her. Of those that did, one wore white robes and had a depressed look on her face. The other wore robes of very dark silk, and had a hard, strong expression.
Looking at this woman, Her pseudo-mother held a look of pure adoration. I wish I was like her, She has courage, and strength, She whispered to Schala.
Also in the circle was an older woman, around the age of 30, standing naked. However, her face and bearing were no less dignified for the lack of clothing. She resembled Schala, even though there was a large difference in appearance.
There was a young girl, a girl with long purple hair flowing to her waist, and dark robes billowing about her. She, too, seemed somehow similar to Schala. She sat on the floor, playing with a black flame that sat in her hand.
Why doesnt that flame burn her? Schala thought.
It never burns me, the young girl answered as if Schala had spoken aloud. Never.
All the others in the circle shifted with unease, but stayed silent.
After an indeterminable time, Schala began to grow weary of the awkward silence. She pointed to the vague light and spoke. What is that?
The strong woman answered her. Nobody knows. Nobody can get past the wall.
The woman stood, and took five measured steps toward the light. She then leaned against nothing. Its invisible, you see. She pounded at the wall. It is also too strong for any of us to break, even the girl.
How far does the wall extend? Schala asked.
It completely encircles the light. was the answer from the naked woman, I have tested it an every way I know of, but I cannot think of a way through it.
Well, maybe I'll think of something you dont.
Perhaps. You are welcome to try. There is not as if there was much else to do.
The magic flew at Balthasar in a great torrent. If it struck him, he knew, he would not survive. However, if he did this correctly, he would not get caught in the blast. His mind reached out, and touched the ether. He twisted the air between him and the blast. The magic funneled into the fold in the universe, and Balthasar popped shut the demi-rift. The magic wave popped back into existence 5 feet behind him, and hurtled off to the horizon.
Well, Balthasar, you have been learning well.
I have had a skilled teacher, Elise. Balthasar bowed in a great flourish. I have you to thank.
Balthasar did not need to learn all of what he had from the woman, certainly. All those neat tricks of time manipulation that he had learned from her he was fully capable of figuring out on his own. However, the other techniques she taught, how to tap a four-dimensional time ether and manipulate reality itself oh, to figure that out would be like a five year old single-handedly developing advanced trigonometry from scratch.
Now, you have almost mastered the folding teleport. Once you have, you will be able to move yourself via this technique.
However, as I told you, this technique is not limited to this, corporeal reality. You can traverse this timestream, or even span the timestreams, with this skill. Elise grinned. It is a great step up from that primitive mind-possession that allows you to transfer consciousness to your Image on another world.
He had also learned many different new terms from the woman. Time Matrix, which was the fancy term for the ether. Chaos Force. Images. Apparently, there is an Image of a person on many worlds, mostly those close to yours in the ether. This Image is essentially you in many ways, but with subtle differences in accumulated knowledge and experience. Some of those terms, like Chaos Force, he did not know about directly, and only learned about via a roundabout mention within the explanation of one of his many questions during her lessons. Some of these terms she explained. Chaos Force, among others, she did not. It is a magical force beyond even time and space, Balthasar, Elise had said, And a person who is human in mind can not use it. Such power is beyond the human mind.
She was truly a remarkable woman.
Balthasar grinned. I think that I will master the teleport by tomorrow. He wondered again at how much this girl knew. Of course, there was no telling whether she really was the thirty-something she looked to be. For all that he knew, she may have gained this knowledge over the space of aeons.
Of course, that train of thought led to How old are you?
She promptly slapped him.
None of your buisness.
Well, Balthasar thought. Maybe shes from 1999. She gets insulted about as easily as my wife did. His wife was one of the reasons he abandoned his own time to live in the Zealian Kingdom.
All right, ill just add another item to the list I have compiled: Questions not to ask the mysterious woman from an unknown time with motives I cannot discover without potentially angering her.
Elise sighed. You are too curious for your own good, do you know that?
Balthasar put a hand to his cheek. oh, Ive always known it. I just forget it rather often
All right, Balthasar, youll get some of the answers you have been bugging me about, provided you ask no more.
All right. Elise sat on the ground of the grassy area, getting herself comfortable. You asked about the nature of our opponent?
Balthasar nodded. You said you wouldnt answer because it might interfere with your sight of the future. Why do you answer now, anyway?
Foresight is overrated. Besides, it might shut you up. Now, The opponent is a powerful warlock, and nobody knows his name. For convenience, let us call him The Warlock.
He built a large empire and started conquering worlds. I was the commander of a large attack force to his empire. We totally routed his army, but suffered very heavy losses ourselves. when he escaped the battlesite, i was the only person who could have pursued. Hence, i did. And now i am here...
"The warlock is a very powerful time soldier, one with the power to forsee the future, as i do, but with intentions to conquer and destroy.
"He is currently diverting every ounce of his energies to find the Aeon Gate, or else he would be raising an force to match what we are creating. We currently have the advantage of numbers and raw power, or at least we will soon. I can only hope we find where he is and can attack before he can get a chance to find out how to open that gate.
Balthasar drunk all of the information like a sponge. some he had heard before, some came as a complete suprise.
After the informational session, Balthasar knew the neccessity of everyones assignments, with the single exception of his own. "Elise, why are you training me in your arts?"
"Simple, Balthasar. You are to carry on my legacy, after a fashion. I will not survive the coming battle."
Ch.30 When work will be accomplished...?
Janus had calmed down, and was sitting upon one of the large, bean-bag like cushions within his ancient library. He was sipping on wine, and intensly reading one of the ample books of magic and technology that Lucca had brought from her time. many of these were written by mystics, although some were by humans. Of the books by the mystics, two-thirds had a slightly superior mood to them, and with good reason. Janus was currently reading Why We Have Magic and Humans Do Not, by Jaelal Garthrax, one of 5 books theorizing why most humans could not summon even an ounce of energy, whether it be magical or psychokinetic.
"An interesting book," Janus commented to Lucca. "I do believe there might be some intellegent, cohesive thought concealed within this man's pompous prattle concerning the 'obvious superiority of the mystic species'."
"Really?" Lucca leaned over to check the title of the book. "I didnt find any. I keep that book as a paperweight." she chuckled.
Janus laughed. "And with good reason. The only reason i could find any knowledge of value at all in here is because of my upbringing."
A puzzled look crossed Lucca's face. "Why is that?"
Janus grinned misceviously. "if you have ever heard a Zealian statesman, and understood him, as i have, you would have little problem deciphering useless blather." Janus stifled a laugh. "For every ten minutes of talking a statesman of my land did, he spoke one word."
They both laughed at Janus' joke. "Oh," Lucca said, "Stop! i cant breathe when i laugh like that!"
"Oh, its no problem." Lucca's eyes widened in mock suprise. "Hey, you apologized! barely a day in your library and you are already going soft." she laughed.
"Soft?" Janus tried to look angry, but managed only to look comical. "Just for that, i shall get my scythe and spank you with the flat of the blade!"
He tried to stand up, but before he got halfway, he rocked back and collapsed into his cushion, laughing.
Lucca got up, laughing. In between fits of laughter, she managed to get out, "Dont strain yourself, oh mighty one. ill get your scythe." She took 2 steps before she tripped over a book and landed right in Janus' lap.
Janus laughed hysterically. "No, Lucca, i have to get my scythe before i can spank you with it! however will i get up to get it now?!"
"Why, ill get up first!" Lucca tried to get up, but managed only to collapse fully on Janus after tripping again. "Ptui!" She spat out a mouthful of Janus' hair. Her eyes went sober. "maybe I shouldnt have drunk so much wine."
Janus grinned and looked at her. He shook his head to get the hair out of her face, and laughed at her realization. "On the bright side, you arent the only one drunk here."
"Yes. I think Alfador had too much wine, too."
"Oh, shut up!" Lucca moved back a foot, then tackled Janus. They both started a very awkward attempt to wrestle, further complicated by the fact that they were both very drunk.
Alfador politely left the room.
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