Tempo Trigger Chapter 12

Dead Engines

By Nanaki

3500 A.D.

Tempo was practically dozing off in what amounted to a back seat of the Skyshroud Ranger. They had been cruising all over Lohkiarn for what seemed like hours on end now. Lion had stopped to pick up some parts, but they were going someplace else to fix his lousy ship, for no reason Tempo could discern. Silva looked just as bored, while Schala sat stone still, staring vacantly out the canopy.

Suddenly, Lion's eyes widened so much Tempo thought they were going to pop out of his head. He threw open the main door on the side, and jumped out of the moving ship. "What the hell?!" Tempo jumped up. "How do I shut this thing off?" Schala calmly flicked a switch in response, and the whir of the engines ceased. He ignored her somewhat smug expression and jumped out the side door as well. He almost forgot about Lion as he took in the scenery. He was standing directly in front of what had to be the largest building in the huge city. Soultech logos were plastered everywhere, and there was one giant Soultech logo about seven stories high plastered on the front of the building. Tempo immediately felt pride surge in his chest. Then he remembered why he had jumped out.

Lion was standing perfectly still, staring at the main doors of the Soultech building. They were slowly closing, so someone must have just gone through. Tempo walked over to him. "Hey man, what is it?"

"Wishful thinking, I suppose." Lion responded. Then he looked up at Tempo, and his eyes narrowed. "I would suggest that your forget about it."

"You're not even going to give me a clue what that little spaz attack was about?"

"I believe that's what I just insinuated." Lion turned from the building, and jumped back up into the Ranger. Tempo followed him. Lion was already back in the pilot's seat, so he found a place to lean on the wall and glare at him.

"Look, you don't have to be such a dickweed about it. I just wanted to know if there was something I could do." Tempo gave him a dirty look.

"You can start by shutting up." Lion flicked the switch to start the engines again. The Ranger lurched, and smoke poured out of the controls. Lion's eyes widened again, then he turned back to Tempo. "What are you leaning against?!"

Tempo instantly jumped up. "What?" Lion stood up and shoved him out of the way, bending down to peer at the wall. He flicked a bunch of small switches that Tempo had apparently leaned against. The smoke stopped, but the damage was done.

"What is wrong with you?!" Lion demanded. "I'd think you'd never seen a starship before in your life!"

"I haven't." Tempo responded calmly.

"I'm not even going to go into that right now. You think you can find your way back to where I picked up those parts before?" Tempo nodded slowly. "Good, because you're going there." He turned around and seemed to fiddle with the controls for a while, then a small card popped out of the console. He grabbed it and handed it to Tempo. "Give that to the guy there. He'll know what to do, even if you don't. Oh yeah, and you'll probably need someone to help you carry that stuff back."

"I'll go." Schala stood up. She had noticed Silva seemed just a little bit nervous about venturing into a completely unknown city. Everything was unknown to Schala, so she really didn't care. Tempo jumped out the side of the ship, then reached up a hand to help Schala down. She almost grinned at the completely unnecessary gesture.

"Oh yeah, and try to make it quick!" Lion shouted after them. "I don't want to have to sit and stare at the Soultech building any longer than I have to!" Outside, Tempo slowed down.


Tempo finally began to smile once the Skyshroud Ranger disappeared from view. "Why does he seem to hate Soultech so much?" Schala wondered.

"I don't have the slightest idea." Tempo shrugged. Then he turned to look at her. "Say, I have a few things I'd like to ask you."

"Like what?" She continued to stare ahead.

"Like how you can be impaled and blown up and still be perfectly fine."

"I'd rather not go into it now." She said dryly, a blank expression on her face.

"Then when would be a good time to go into it?" Tempo began to become a little angry. "Look, you know something about what's throwing us all through time. More than I know anyway, and I don't think that's even the half of it."

"You're right at that." That was all she said.

Tempo grabbed her wrist. "Tell me! What is a Lavoid?"

A very angry expression came to Schala's face. "Let me go!"

"Tell me!" His grip on her wrist only tightened.

"Lavoids huh? Just pray you never have to meet one." She started to step forward again.

"What about the rest?" He pulled her back.

"Let me go, now!!" Tempo was getting angrier by the second, but he could tell this wasn't the way to get through to her. He let her wrist go.

"Look, we've fought together, and we probably saved each other's lives when we were fighting Moogoo. You can trust me."

"I know that." She shook her head. "Trust has nothing to do with it."

"Then what does?"

"Privacy." She responded succinctly. "I've never talked about this since it happened. Unless you're ready for something on the scale of a mental breakdown on my part, I don't think you want to discuss it."

"The fact that you're saying that leads me to believe that wouldn't happen." Tempo sighed. "But if that's how you want it, then I'll go first."

"Huh?" Schala looked up at him now.

"You know that the love of my life was killed about six months ago." She nodded slowly. "Well I believe she was killed by someone who was supposed to be her friend. The son of the leader of Soultech in my time. Ever since, I've been having dreams that seem to prove me right, but I can't get any actual physical evidence."

"Dreams huh?" Schala's mind seemed to wander off right in front of him. "I don't think I've truly dreamed at all... since the night I died."

"What?" Tempo's eyebrows rose in surprise. "So Moogoo was right when he was taunting you?"

Schala nodded slowly. "You got it. I'm dead."

"But..." Tempo trailed off as he realized they had arrived at the parts store. He also realized at the same time that he wouldn't get anything else out of Schala at the moment. He sighed and walked inside. He quickly gave up trying to tell what any of the stuff was. It all looked like a mess of heating coils and TV parts to him. He walked up to the counter and handed Lion's card to the attendant there. Somehow, the card payed for all the stuff it ordered. Tempo had two sacks bulging with metal objects thrust at him. He groaned, until he noticed two straps on the side of each one. He put one on his back and handed the other one to Schala. "How could I have wrecked this much stuff just by leaning against the wall?" He wondered once they were back outside.

Schala actually smiled a little. "From what I've seen, you're very good at wrecking a lot of stuff with a relatively small amount of effort on your part."

He smiled back at her. "Hey, that's what makes me a good soldier, and a good drummer." Before Schala could respond, Tempo noticed five sets of boots marching toward them. He looked up expectantly.

"Is your name Tempo?" The uniformed man in the lead asked. Tempo slowly began to shake his head yes before he realized how stupid a move that was. "I thought so. Come with us please. You're under arrest."


"[He] thinks you are dead, girl... But we know better, you and I. You still want to stick the knife in, don't you? I thought so." - Two Edge


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