The Shadows Chapter 24
The Keeper of Time
By Keith Adams
The watcher carefully observed the old man, Gaspar, and his freakish Nu assistant Spekkio. Gaspar was wearing on his years, wearing a long black trenchcoat and his charecteristic hat, both of which had served him since he arrived at the End of Time. Gaspar was no longer a young man, but before he acted with a certain childlike quality; this quality was gone now, replaced by a certain sadness and inability to cause change, which had led to his great failure, of which the watcher had never learned the details. Gaspar never spoke of the failure, but it was written across his face plain as day - what it was the watcher would forever know not, which gave the watcher a slight feeling of frustration.
Spekkio was a different matter entirely. Spekkio was living, bounding about around the sleek, black Epoch Gaspar was working on. Spekkio poked, prodded, asked inane and impatient questions, and was generally a nuisance; yet for all that, Gaspar had chosen Spekkio as his succesor, just as Belthasar had entrusted a Nu with his knowledge. Now, the blue Nu was in a shadow base somewhere in time, being revived. The Watcher ran his fingers through his black hair, wondering that if Melchior would chose a Nu as a succesor as well. The Watcher knew this was getting nowhere; that the traditions of the Guru's had died with Zeal as it plunged into the sea fourteen millenia earlier, in a horrible moment of fire and earth, at the hands of the being that would destroy civilazation. The Watchers thoughts continued to wander. Watching Gaspar build something wasn't what he considered interesting work, or stimulating in any way, so the watcher let his thoughts drift from topic to topic, from the glories of Leazon to the depridations of Guardia Agemo and his horrors, from the adventures of the extinct Reptites to the underground kingdom of Nu; someday, the watcher would visit them all. The Watcher had all the time in the world; perhaps it made up for this boredom.
"It's finished then?" asked Spekkio as Gaspar stepped back from the black Epoch and gave an approving nod.
Ah, this was interesting. The props were in position; now, to see if the actors would follow the script.
"Yes, it's finished," stated Gaspar with a hint of pride.
Good, good. Now, what to do with it?
"What shall we do with it, all-mighty master of time?" asked Spekkio.
That was indeed the question. What would he do with it? It could drastically affect the continuity of time, what he did here. If he made the wrong decision, then the watcher knew that it would forever be, that his witnessing the decision would cause the event to be, create the indelible mark on what happened.
"We shall leave it here."
The Watcher gave a small sigh of relief. It was done now.
"Why?" asked Spekkio. It was a question the watcher was dying to ask as well, but it recieved an answer of nothing more than ...
"I'll tell you back at the End of Time."
With that, Gaspar pointed his cane, and lines of bluish energy erupted from it, combining to form a gate which both Gaspar and Spekkio stepped through. The Watcher knew it was time for him to return to the End of Time as well, so he put his black mask back on and tightened his robe colored of midnight.
The Watcher felt the black threads that resulted from his presence, the distortion of the web of magic energy permeating the world, and twisted the black webs into a spiral - they began to get a touch lighter, which worried the Watcher somewhat, but before the natural order could be imposed, the threads had drilled a gate into the End of Time, and the Watcher missed his reckoning for what he caused by his very presence.
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