Tempo Trigger Chapter 10
It was almost too dark to see. Tempo could only make out vague outlines. Raganorn seemed to be leading them, but Tempo didn't even bother to ask if he knew where he was going. Slowly, he became aware of vertical stripes in the darkness. He felt around, and sure enough, they were in the middle of a prison. They were hardly making any noise, so no one who needed help would know they were there. He decided to risk it. "Is anyone there?" He didn't shout, but asked in a normal tone of voice. Only silence answered him. He had a hunch though. "Hey Schala, can I have a little light here?"
"If you think it's worth risking it." She responded. In a few seconds, her hand lit up, and the long corridor was bathed in her strange purple glow. The cells were all empty, except for the occasional pile of bones.
"I wonder where he's keeping the people of Locorn then." Raganorn rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
"Wait!" Tempo held up his hand. "Did you hear something?"
"Quiet! Listen." They all looked down the corridor, listening hard. The silence was deafening.
"Tempo?..." The dim whisper drifted back to them.
"Whoah!" Tempo jumped up in surprise. "What did I tell you?"
"Who would be in here that knows who you are though?" Schala asked him.
"It's probably a trap." Raganorn cautioned, tensing.
"That's true. I guess there's no one who..." Then, his eyes lit up. "Silva!"
"Tempo?!" The voice returned, much more forceful this time.
"I'm here Silva! I'm coming!!" He broke into a run and sprinted down the hall.
"Ssshhhh!!!" Raganorn and Schala both started to run after him.
"Well, it's good to see you have some sense at least." Raganorn quickly nodded to Schala.
She made no response. 'If I was alive, I'd probably have a similar reaction.' She thought, somewhat bitterly. Up ahead, Tempo had stopped, and he was talking to someone on the other side of the bars. They got there just in time to hear him tell whoever it was to stand back. His hand began to glow green.
"No, you fool!" Raganorn shouted. "You don't need to-"
"Slam!!" Tempo punched with all his might, and the bars burst out to the side. As the Soultech light faded, Silva ran out of the opening, and into his arms. "Oh, thank god." Tempo said, hugging her closer to him. "I thought I'd lost you." He bent his head down to kiss her, and she responded gladly.
Schala turned away, and had a quick mental debate. 'If I'm going to be jealous, I should at least have a reason. Is there any reason besides the fact that I once dreamed that someone named Tempo is the soul I never travel without? No!' She turned back toward them. 'Yes.' She was attracted to him, although she wasn't sure why. The only guy she had ever really been attracted to was Greven, and Tempo did not have Greven's physique, or his way of looking at things. 'Wait. No one can hear what I'm thinking now. I should at least be honest with myself.' When she got right down to it, she had always been fond of Ertai too, even if she told him and herself he was just too young. Even looking at it that way, Tempo didn't have Ertai's excellent wit, or that unique Vecar way of looking at things. Well, infatuation was a force that didn't listen to reason. She took a good look at Silva now, since she had never met her before. She accidentally said the first thing that popped into her head. "My god, didn't they feed you the whole time you were here?"
Tempo ended the embrace, although he kept an arm around Silva's waist. "Uh, she always looks like this." He said in a nervous tone.
Schala decided it would be best not to say anything else. 'Is that some sort of medical condition then?' She wondered to herself. Tempo nodded a little. 'I thought so.' Schala nodded back. Then, the realization hit her. 'What the hell?!!' She looked right at Tempo, but still said nothing. 'Can you hear me?' He didn't reply to her. 'I must have imagined it.' She thought dejectedly. "Sorry." Schala said out loud. "You just look really thin." She walked forward and extended her non burning hand to Silva. "I'm Schala."
"I'm Silva." She shook Schala's hand. "Pleased to meet you, I think. Thanks for the compliment."
'Looking unnaturally thin is a compliment?' Schala wondered. Now Silva really noticed Raganorn.
"Whoah! Who is this fine specimen of a man?"
"I am Raganorn, young lady." He responded a bit gruffly.
"He's also the Soul master around here." Tempo gently elbowed her in the ribs.
"Oh. Sorry." She said sheepishly.
"Well, I hate to cut the reunion short, but we do have an insanely powerful evil sorcerer to go crush."
"Oh, yes sir!" Tempo responded. He immediately took the lead, to Raganorn's surprise. "Let's keep an eye out for a weapon for Silva."
"Sure thing." Schala said as she extinguished her hand. The hallway was once again plunged into near darkness.
They hadn't been walking very long when they passed out of the prison sector. Tempo immediately stopped. "Whoah! Light again, please." Schala hurriedly ignited her hand. "Will you look at this?" Schala and Raganorn both looked. They didn't see anything special. "What's a gun rack doing in this time?"
"What do you mean "this time?" Silva asked him.
"I'll tell you about everything later. You know how to handle a gun right?"
"Sure. The end that shoots points toward the other guy."
"Good enough." He shrugged, then began to sort through the odd looking weapons. "Oh score! A G-35A grenade launcher!" He pulled the large gun out of the rack.
"You have no idea clue what you're talking about, do you?" Silva teased him.
"No, but it sounded impressive." Tempo examined the barrel. "I do know enough to see that this is a grenade launcher though. Now where's the ammo?" He sorted through a box below the rack, eventually coming up with a smaller box full of what looked like green pine cones to Raganorn. "It's no Soultech, but it'll do if he's off guard. Come on." Raganorn looked at Schala and shrugged. She shrugged back, extinguishing her hand as she did so.
Quite a while later, they arrived at the top of a very wide tower. There was no sign of habitation elsewhere in the castle. No light seemed to permeate inside, despite the rather large portals they had seen. Raganorn was fairly sure they were in the center of the castle, and at the top of the stairs, an odd light flowed out from under a heavy wooden door. It flickered, and he began to hear chanting. "Neuga ziono freona wrey... All disciples of Gazuga, receive my offerings!"
"What the hell?" Schala asked. "That almost sounds familiar..."
Raganorn ignored her. He was gearing up for a fight. "Well, ladies and gentleman, I think we've found him."
"Let's go kick some ass." Tempo said calmly, drawing out his mace.
"Stand back." Raganorn warned. He began to concentrate, intent on smashing the door.
"Uh, Raganorn?" Schala stepped in front of him. "I think it's open." She pulled on a heavy iron ring, and the door swung outward.
"Oh." He almost sounded disappointed. "Quiet then, until it's time." They silently walked into the large chamber. Moogoo was sitting quietly in front of a blue portal, crackling with energy. A light breeze blew throughout the chamber, due to the huge windows. Raganorn accepted this visual information in stride. If they were thrown toward the wall, they would most likely go out the window. Not a good situation.
Moogoo didn't move. "So, you finally found your way up here." They all jumped. "After all the noise you made killing Kazin, you thought I was going to be surprised?" Now, he stood up, but still didn't face them. "And you boy, Tempo, I think your name is. I'm not too happy about what you did to Barada."
"You're not too happy?!" Tempo demanded. "We're not real pleased with what you did to Leopold, or what you made us do to Kazin. Where are the rest of the Soul Knights anyway?"
"They've all gone to a better place." Now Moogoo turned to face them, the magic stone in his hands. "And don't jump to conclusions Raganorn. That doesn't mean they're all dead." He kept his eyes on Raganorn for a while, before quickly surveying his other opponents. There was the thin girl the Viashino had captured. She was of no significance, even if he couldn't directly use her for a hostage now. Tempo would be no problem. The Lavoid girl again! "You!" He pointed at Schala. "Your existence is going to end, right now!"
Schala whipped out her dagger. "Try me. I've gone up against worse than you and gone on to fight again."
"But you didn't live, did you?" He pointed at her fiercely, his finger lighting up.
"What?" She hadn't expected that.
"I've never seen anyone living that's missing all of their internal organs. That Lavoid powered stuff flowing through you is the only thing keeping you going, and I know how to deactivate it! Come here!" He opened his hand, and wavy blue beam of energy raced out to Schala. It struck her, then expanded out to surround her completely. It actually hurt, and she screamed.
Tempo had never heard her scream before. He had almost thought she was impervious to pain. It struck a nerve. He charged forward. "Ah-rekka!" He covered the distance between Moogoo and himself surprisingly fast. He swung his mace hard into Moogoo's chest. Moogoo took the full force of the blow, and he was pretty much occupied holding Schala in his snaking blue energy. That gave Tempo time for more. "Rekka!" The next blow impacted on Moogoo's shoulder, and he could swear he heard bones cracking. "Rekka!" That one got his arm, clearly breaking it. The blue energy stopped its assault. Schala collapsed where she stood. Tempo landed on the floor again, tensed, ready to strike once more. "Rekka!!" He landed that one right on Moogoo's head. It felt like he had struck a steel beam. His hands stung badly, but other than that, nothing at all had happened.
Light began to flow from the stone up Moogoo's arms. His broken arm mended instantly. "Are you quite through?" He asked Tempo.
"I get the feeling I am whether I want to be or not." He grimaced.
"That's correct." Moogoo nodded, then lifted the stone high. "Meteo!!"
"Oh dammit, oh dammit, oh-" Tempo was cut off as dozens of blazing rocks rained down on him, literally smashing him into the floor. Somehow, he wasn't killed. Moogoo turned to glare at Raganorn. His simple proximity must have been enough to at least partially negate the spell. But he soon forgot about that. Raganorn's eyes were glowing a bright green.
He slowly drew out his katana, so it made a metallic grinding sound. "I've eaten your kind for breakfast, mage. I'm the greatest soldier who ever lived. Now, for harming Lady El, you will die." Moogoo hated to admit it, even to himself, but this was kind of freaking him out. Raganorn was already a tough customer, and who knew what the green eyes indicated? "Prepare yourself, powerless one! Rothi Strike!" Raganorn rushed forward, punching Moogoo in the gut before he could react. Moogoo doubled over, and Raganorn quickly lifted him up and tossed him into the air. Moogoo flailed his arms, descending back side down. Raganorn held his katana high. Moogoo's intestines were sprayed across the room, as well as portions of other internal organs and some of his spine. Raganorn blinked the blood out of his eyes, lowered the sword partially, then kicked Moogoo off of it. He fell twitching to the floor. Raganorn wiped his sword off on a clean portion of Moogoo's robes, and sheathed it.
"I don't know... how you gained... this power..." Moogoo whispered, coughing up blood. "But I'm hardly... ..powerless." He smiled. Then, a ghost rose screaming out of the magic stone, and suddenly vanished into vapor. Instantly, Moogoo was back on his feet. There was no trace that his injuries had ever been there. There was no drawn out process of his body slowly reassembling, as was the case with Schala's Nooze. He was simply whole again. "And now that I'm aware of your little trick, let's put some distance between us! Dark holy!!" And ugly black beam of energy erupted from his hand, forcing Raganorn back several yards before he could stand against it. As Moogoo's attack faded, he quickly observed Tempo and Schala. They were both lying on the ground. He decided he had better do something for them. A green glow began to gather around him. Moogoo braced himself.
"Phoenix Flame!" Raganorn shouted. A surprisingly soft colored fire descended on Tempo and Schala, and they slowly got to their knees.
"You wasted your power on them?" Moogoo was incredulous. "You could have come close to finishing me off if you pressed your advantage! I was actually worried! Now, you are less than nothing. Flare!!" The huge fiery blast filled half of the gigantic chamber, throwing Raganorn out one of the windows. He managed to grab onto the edge of the stone, but it crumbled away beneath him.
"I think that takes care of everyone." Moogoo said smugly.
From the opposite side of the room, Silva aimed carefully at Moogoo's head. "Did you forget about little old me?" She pulled the trigger. "That's not a very wise thing to do." Then she smiled as the grenade rocketed toward Moogoo. He heard it coming, and turned to face it, but he was too late. It exploded right in his face, and his burning body was thrown across the room. Black dust flew everywhere as his robes started to burn up. It coated Tempo and Schala pretty good. Then, instantly, the fire disappeared. Moogoo triumphantly held the stone up, and she saw that it was now glowing orange.
"Boy, this thing just has a million uses, doesn't it?" He smiled underneath his mask. "It's next use is going to be to kill you!" He frowned suddenly. "I almost forgot that Raganorn has a little hovering trick. Hold on a second." He folded his hands and concentrated. Suddenly, the tower lurched. Silva stole a quick glance out one of the windows, and saw that the ground was rapidly getting farther away. "Now back to you."
"Fat chance!!" Silva was relieved to see Tempo jump up behind Moogoo, and bring his mace down hard on the sorcerer's head.
"Ugh..." Schala slowly got to her feet. Whatever Moogoo had done, it had really taken a lot out of her. It appeared that she wasn't invincible after all. Then, she realized what was going on. Tempo was tensed a few steps away from Moogoo, covered in a black dust. In fact, even his hair was black. Only his face was somewhat clean, and that was because he had wiped it off first.
Moogoo seemed to grimace, given the way the cloth covering his face moved. "You are either very confident, or very foolish. We will soon find out which!" He slowly drew his sword. Time seemed to slow down for Schala. She looked at Tempo in black, then remembered that phrase. Tempo in black. That phrase. Tempo in black. That phrase. Tempo and that phrase in black.
"Oh god..." She whispered. It couldn't be, could it? Moogoo took one swing at Tempo, and he jumped aside. "He can't die now." She whispered. "Not before I find out." She raised her arms, and they began to glow a bright purple. "Moogoo, you harm one hair on his head, and I'll blast you into hell, and I don't care if I die doing it!!" She screamed at him. He stopped his advance momentarily to look at her. "Ah well, I will anyway!" She concentrated deeply, gathering all the holy power she could from the magical waves around her. A very large beam of purple energy slammed into him. Tempo took that opportunity to charge forward in his Ah-rekka style. Silva launched another grenade. And suddenly, Raganorn was back in the mix, flying through the closest window, despite their constant ascent, his katana ready to strike.
The two men weren't sure if their weapons connected, and Tempo, Raganorn, and Schala were thrown backwards in the ensuing explosion. When they could see Moogoo again, he was kneeling on the floor. "Crud! You all lucked out, having Raganorn here to save your asses. Next time, you're all toast!" Moogoo stood back up and sprinted for the blue portal they had almost forgotten about.
"You won't get away!!" Raganorn roared. He and Tempo sprinted for the portal, and Silva quickly followed them. Schala stood in place for a minute.
'Should I even bother to go on?' She wondered. 'It probably isn't him anyway.' She walked up closer to the portal, peering at it intently. 'I know what this is... This probably leads to another time.' Suddenly, the tower began to shake, and the floor started to fall away. She could see the ground almost impossibly far below. Despite the fact that she was sure the Nooze would be able to fix her, it made her nervous. 'Ah well, the next time period will be better. How could it be worse?' She stepped into the portal, and accepted the swirling blue.
The Epoch pulled out of time warp once again, and Magus quickly glanced around. "It's getting too late to see anything. We should land and wait until morning."
"I've been telling you to land all day." Ertai complained. "Do you have any idea how small a chance there is that we'll not only stumble across the right year, but the right place as well? We need to stay in one place for a while and do some research. Look for oddities in the historical record, you know?"
Before Magus could reply, there was a loud thump on the canopy of the Epoch. "What the hell was that?"
"I didn't see it." Ertai shrugged, a little nervous now. They waited in silence for a few moments. Suddenly, there was another loud thump, then another, and soon it was practically raining them. Once it was apparent that there was no menace about them, Magus peered intently at the canopy to see what they were. "It almost looks like it's raining bricks." Ertai shrugged again. Suddenly, an object about four feet across hit them, and the ship lurched.
"Not always single bricks either. Let's move." Magus pushed forward and the throttle, and steered to the outside of where he estimated the fall to be. Just in time, as he realized when sections about twelve feet across began to rain down. "What's up there?" He peered through the canopy again.
Ertai squinted. "I'm not sure, but I think I'm seeing some sort of blue orb."
"Blue orb?!" Magus demanded. "That's a gate! We're going for it!" He pulled the nose of the Epoch up, and the motors blasted them right at the gate. But seconds before he could reach it, it disappeared.
"Well, so much for that." Ertai sighed.
"Not quite." Magus frowned. "Let's shift again, but arrange it so we warp at the exact spot where the gate was. That should guide us in the right direction at least."
"Sounds better than nothing." Ertai said. "Let's go." Magus flew the ship a fair distance away, then pushed the throttle and time shift lever all the way forward. Their world became a blur as the time warp appeared around them, and they were gone.
"I am... still alive..." - Tseng
Nanaki: Believe it or not, that quote does have significance. Think about it. Now, I hope you all don't mind too horribly much, but I'm going to be pretty lazy on this story in the near future, and concentrate more on my other fanfics, because I'm getting behind. And even if you do mind, you'll have to live with it anyway. Look for a load of "What Makes a Hero" coming your way very soon.
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