Tempo Trigger Chapter 21
Back to the Future
Vigo: Well, that was quite something.
Gren: No kidding. I've rarely seen him more pissed.
Vigo: Then you've rarely seen him. Still, that was serious.
Gren: Hold on. I feel another presence...
Arthur: .....Oh, damn. Dead again...
Vigo: Arthur, you're back!
Gren: We weren't expecting you here quite yet. How'd this happen?
Arthur: Ah, the enemy managed to blow up Fort Tintagel. It was just a token victory for them though. My side has it in the bag.
Vigo: Well, that's some good news then. Too bad you didn't live to see the fruits of your labors. Gren had a similar experience not too horribly long ago.
Arthur: Oh? That Zeiram's one tough demon, isn't it?
Gren: You can say that again.
Arthur: Oh? That Zeiram's-
Vigo: Lemme guess. You were pretty damn literal this past life.
Arthur: Well, yes, my generals were of that opinion. Who're you guys keeping tabs on now, by the way?
Vigo: Elan, El, and to a lesser extent, Rez.
Arthur: Rez?! I thought he wasn't going anywhere until hell froze over or Lavoids became extinct, whichever came LAST. At least, that's what Rofellos said.
Vigo: Yes, and we were sticking to that policy. Rez came here and begged me to let him go along. Unfortunately, I said something to the effect of, "Good luck finding a hero that'll give you permission!" So, he went and asked Schala.
Arthur: That sounds like him. Well, let's hope he and Elan don't ever remember their past lives here, because they'd kill each other.
Gren: Amen to that.
* * *
"Nooooooo!!!" Tempo roared with rage as they emerged from the time tunnel. The pillar of light immediately vanished behind them. "I have to get back there!!"
Silva put a hand on his throbbing arm. "Calm down Tempo!"
"Why?! She was your SISTER, damn it! Why should I calm down, much less you?!"
"What even makes you think Garin did it?!" She shouted at him.
"What makes me think?! I don't think, I KNOW!"
"How?" She lowered her voice, hoping he would follow her example. He bowed his head and remained silent. "Tempo, just think with a clear head for a minute here. You don't have any proof, and you just used up so much power you should be dead already!"
"Then Garin should be too!" Tempo slammed his fist into the railing at the edge of the platform, but then became quiet again.
"After seeing the power he just displayed, you think normal rules apply to him?" Schala spoke up. "He treated us like we were insects. And seeing how he emerged unscathed from the thrashing you gave him, I think he might be right, for now."
"As long as he lives, Garin will never be RIGHT about anything!" Tempo kicked the railing now.
"I think that, for the moment, you need to get beyond your hatred and look at this carefully." She folded her arms.
"Beyond the hatred?! How could YOU possibly have any idea of what I'm feeling here?!" He yelled scornfully.
Schala's mouth seemed to twitch a little. She turned away, as if trying to contain what she wanted to say, but then turned back when she realized she couldn't. "How could I have any idea? The love of my life was killed by an evil monster too, okay?! Only in my case, it's WORSE, because he came back to life and is in love with someone else!! Don't wallow in your own self pity so much!!" With that, she turned and ran off the platform, toward the torch pillar in the distance.
"I... I..." Tempo stammered. He turned to Silva and Lion. "I think I'd better go talk to her."
* * *
Arthur: Hmm... Guess that age old saying is true. You always hurt the one you love.
Gren: Have those two ever gotten together without fighting first? Or an argument at least?
Vigo: Uh... No. I'm afraid this time is going to be very complicated for both of them.
Arthur: It stands to reason. Have we ever had heroes from two different lifetimes working together before?
Vigo: That were originally in the same lifetime? No, not in our sector anyway.
Gren: Hey, quiet now. I'm trying to listen in.
* * *
Keldon politely turned away, despite his raised eyebrow, as Tempo approached Schala. She was sitting on the edge of the circular platform, peering through the fence, down into the swirling mists beyond. He tentatively put a hand on her shoulder. "I'm sorry. You're right about me being pretty self absorbed in this matter." She didn't move. He sat down next to her, now staring at the mist himself.
"I can certainly understand why you're so angry." Schala didn't turn to look at him. "But if you let the anger control you, you can never hope to win. I found that out the hard way."
"Is that why you're "dead?" Tempo asked quietly. "You died trying to avenge him?"
"Yes." Schala nodded, still staring at the mist. "But I was basically fighting against a Lavoid, plus someone who hated me very much, and that was a fight I couldn't hope to win by myself. I had a chance to surrender, but I was so blinded by rage that I fought to the death."
Tempo sighed, and looked down at his knees. "That's what should have just happened to me. I don't know why it didn't." Now Schala looked at him, a curious expression on her face. "Silva was right, you know. I did use up enough power to end my life. There's no reason why I'm still alive."
"Garin." Schala said simply. "I know that looked like a fierce battle, but judging from the end, I think he was just toying with you. He choreographed the whole thing, and may have even supplied you with the power you used."
Tempo sighed again. "You're probably right. At least you had a fair fight."
Schala actually smiled. "The fight may have been fair, in a way, but in the end, it was what I hated that allowed me to continue living, just like you."
Tempo smiled too, then he put his arm around her and pretended to raise a glass up into the air. "Well, here's to botched attempts at revenge."
Schala pretended to raise a glass too. "Cheers."
"Well, they're both pretty calm now." Lion observed. "I was surprised to see her show any emotion though."
"No kidding." Silva shook her head. "She told me that I didn't even want to know what was up with her, but I do. She acts all cold and unemotional, but then will suddenly lapse into anger." Then she thought back to the game. "Not just anger either. I mean, we were talking just like normal people not very long ago."
Lion looked back over at them, shrugged, and went over to the walkway between platforms. "Well, I can't say I know much about them." He turned back to Silva. "But I don't think that either of those two is "normal."
* * *
Vigo: At least he realizes it.
Gren: Well, they resolved that one fairly quick.
Vigo: Don't be too sure. That was just one step in a very long process.
Arthur: I wonder why Tempo didn't ask about that little, "he came back to life" phrase.
Gren: Because, Elan already understands, even if he doesn't KNOW.
Vigo: Convenient, that.
Arthur: Hmm... Are those other two heroes?
Gren: I'm not sure. If they are, they're no one of note.
Arthur: Gren, we all started out as "no one of note."
Vigo: Elan and El didn't. They were special from the moment of their creation.
Arthur: You know what I meant Vigo. They're the exceptions to the rule.
Gren: And you know what I meant Arthur. Sure, we all started out that way, but we sure as hell are different now.
Arthur: Yes... And sometimes I wonder if that's a good thing.
Vigo: That's for God to decide, not us.
Gren: You better tell that to Rofellos, because he doesn't seem to buy into that philosophy.
Vigo: I doubt we'll need to remind him. I believe someone else will remind him soon enough...
* * *
Keldon noticed Lion and Silva starting to head his direction, and decided it would be all right to say something now. "You know, I couldn't help overhearing something." He began. Tempo turned to look at him. "You wondered why you're still alive. I must be missing out on something, because I don't see why you shouldn't be."
Tempo stood up and turned to face him. "Well, I'm Soultech. Every time I use one of the those skills I made use of in the fight, it eats up a part of my life force."
"Yes, I know the basics of Soultech." Keldon said boredly. "I see an awful lot from up here. And I also know that you, my young friend, are not using Soultech."
"What?!" Lion exclaimed before Tempo could do the same. "If it's not Soultech, then what is it?"
"Pure, simple magic." Keldon said calmly.
"That's nuts!" Lion shouted. "No single person could muster enough power from normal magic to use Soultech skills!"
"I'm afraid you're wrong there. I've seen people muster much more power by themselves than he currently displays." Keldon pointed at Tempo. Then he straightened back up. "But that is not important at the moment. What is important, is that the foe you just battled has sealed up access to all but one of the time pillars."
"How could he possibly do that?" Tempo asked.
"Even I am at a loss as to HOW, for the moment." Keldon shook his head. "It seems you have little choice but to go through the remaining pillar, unless you want to stay here forever."
"Won't the others ever open back up?" Schala asked.
"The spell that sealed them is linked to you four. I'm guessing that the others will open back up as soon as you leave, but even then, I'm not sure."
"I don't suppose you're done with the Skyshroud Ranger yet?" Even as he asked, Lion glanced over at the parts littering the walkway next to the Ranger, and knew the answer. "What're you doing to my baby anyway?"
"Your ship will be better than ever before when I'm done with it." Keldon assured him. "But it's nowhere near to being done yet."
"Where does it go to?" Tempo asked, pointing at the one remaining pillar.
"What, to you, is the "future" era, which you left not long ago." Keldon told him.
"Great." Tempo clenched his fist. Schala put a hand on his shoulder.
"I don't know exactly why, but it looks like we're fated to be involved in all this time traveling. Maybe even fated to combat the Lavoid."
"I still don't even know what a Lavoid IS!" Tempo shouted. "But, I suppose we do have a score to settle with Berreka." He walked up to the pillar, and everyone else followed him. He sighed one last time, but then straightened up. "All right, let's get it on!" The other three followed him without hesitation.
Keldon smiled as all the other time pillars instantly reappeared. "I don't know what your game is Garin, but thanks for shoving them in the right direction..."
"I think I must have seen him again, in you." - Aerith Gainsborough
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