Of course, we kept tabs on the Elder Lavoids, the seven Queens, and all
important Class A1s at all times. Or as close to "all times" as we could
manage, anyway. So when Laria suddenly disappeared from deep space travel
after covering only one tenth of the distance between the Kalendra system
and the Kodos system, we noticed. And so we noticed that she had instantly
arrived at Heptlavica as well. But when she disappeared for 73 million
years, there was nothing we could do.
One of the most dangerous and least widely known facts about Lavoids is that their long lifespans do not limit their function in a human context. Despite the fact that the current estimated lifespan of Lavoids is 100 billion years, five years still seems like a long time to them. So it was deemed inconceivable that Laria could just sit around doing diddly squat for that long. And soon, Laria was forgotten completely.
You see, humans really cannot comprehend geologic time. All of the human organizations ever formed to combat the Lavoid Project existed for around 100,000 years, the majority of that time belonging to the Hunters, and that's only because we're not afraid to time travel. I'm sure that seems like an incredibly long time. Tempo lived to the age of 200, if the legends are to be believed, and the Hunters existed for 400 times the lifespan of our most famous member. It boggles the mind to think about it.
Which is why, for most of the galaxy's history between the incidents at Elosia and Tejran, it was assumed that there were only four Lavoid Queens. The Queen Mother, the last surviving Earth Queen, who birthed the other six, was in the middle of her 500 million year "vacation" on Earth. If not for her evolution stasis, the humans there would have evolved into Finori long ago. We still don't know where Terminateria is, which is going to come back to haunt us, I'm sure. And Laria... Well, we all know what Laria really did.
But I digress. In the 70 million year interim, Earth is the only place where homo sapiens remained throughout. Elsewhere, the parallel evolution of humans on many worlds continued, but not at the same time. Long after the denizens of Elosia had become Finori, dinosaurs were still prowling the jungles of Tejran. The remaining four Queens kept quite active, and the names of Jenyel, Jaira, Aruna, and Sanal can be found in the histories of many planets that had humans and/or dragons in the interim. But there was no overall continuity among them, which is why the other three seemed to disappear.
No, I'm not offering excuses as to why we nearly let them destroy the universe before we even realized there was a problem. There is no reason to offer excuses, because what happened could not have been prevented by humans. It probably couldn't have been prevented by the dragons either, given that Naindal Fiora was the one to finally erase Laria from existence, and she even fooled him. It was simply outside the mental capacities of humans to comprehend what was going on. No one could have predicted it. Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Hawking, Nichols, and Lucca combined couldn't have predicted it, because the human mind just isn't wired to work that way, I'm sorry.
And if a Queen under the most intense scrutiny we could muster could disappear without a trace, is it any wonder that a "lowly" Class B managed to do what he did?
- Hunter Field Commander Greschal "Kash" Vecar, Special Liaison to the LEA, as quoted in the inital press release following the Tejran incident
30,000 A.D. (Elosia reckoning), Planet Heptlavica, Kodos System
In the inner confines of her shell, Laria slowly opened her eyes. She could tell from the sensation of deceleration that reached her even here, that her shell had emerged from hyperspace. With a mental command, the gaps in her bio-armor that allowed her to see out contracted, then expanded again. They now combined into a viewscreen that showed the magnificent red giant star of the Kodos system. Laria sighed wistfully. As always, that star looked absolutely delicious, but when the Queen Mother had claimed this system as Lavoid "home territory", she had also decreed that no one, not even herself, was to feed on the energy from it. "Not even the asteroids!" She'd yelled, smacking a then little Sanal on the behind for opening a black hole at the edge of Kodos' Oort Cloud. "I want this place to look like we're raising a crop of humans here! If we turn this into what a 'normal' Lavoid system looks like, the damn dragons will be over here in two seconds."
At the time, Laria had wondered what the point was, but as always, the Queen Mother had been right. By the time the dragons noticed anything unusual about Kodos, there was such an armada of Lavoids amassed here that even the entire Fiora clan was powerless to do anything about it. Now, as Laria directed the compound spines on her shell to spread out and catch the solar wind, decreasing her velocity further, Heptlavica came into view. Lavoids dwelled on every planet in the system, but Heptlavica was the only one that could support most forms of sentient life. Thus, it was a convenient place to hold interrogations, for those few enemies they actually needed alive.
As the size of the planet rapidly increased in front of her, her shell began to uncurl from the ball shape it assumed for space travel, and its claw legs extended from underneath. As she began circling into a high orbit, she could begin to make out the individual Magmeinar Lavoids that maintained a constant guard over it. Known as Class A1s to the humans, the 2,000 Magmeinars that orbited the planet at 100 kilometers up would not leave their posts for as long as the system existed. Frankly, she didn't envy them their job, but judging by the erratic way they parted to let her through, as opposed to the strict formation they were supposed to adhere to, many of them had ordered their Farilii to smuggle PlayStation 9,237s onto their shells. They would probably be lectured by Terminateria later, but she didn't really care.
Her shell began to glow a bright orange as she entered the atmosphere, and it immediately absorbed the heat energy as it was generated. The organic cables connecting her bio-armor with the shell then transfered the energy into the armor. The ten fire laser batteries in her chestplate opened up, and fired at a single point. As the energy converged in midair, she slowed time to a standstill, then drew magical waves from a wavelength heavily saturated with time magic. She used the time waves to form a magical barrier around the impending explosion, then sped the flow of time back up to normal. A blinding flash filled the shell, and when she could see again, an ominously humming gate floated there, emitting a few crackles of electricity.
She yawned, then tossed it toward the back of her inner sanctum. It drifted over to float slightly above the thirty or so others that were already there. Now she was through the atmosphere, and flew through the air toward her landing site. While most of the planet was lush and green, the official landing zone of the Queens was now a crater over twelve kilometers deep. She spotted the eyesore on a small island just off the east coast of the largest continent.
Magically, her armor rapidly grew in size and softness, until it formed an improptu shock couch that surrounded her completely. She suddenly sank into it, and a viewscreen formed in the mass that surrounded her, showing that she had indeed landed, to judge by the clouds of dust outside. At a mental command, the armor retracted up into the shell completely. Then her shell began to power down. She could hear the soft clunks as the spines tipped back until they were lying against her shell. Now, the shell would look like it had been hit head on by a severe blast of wind magic. As she passed the energy containers on her way to the eye pod, their pulsing slowed to a gentle, sleepy rhythm. Then, the twelve pronged eye pod whooshed open, like a circle of daggers being drawn apart, and she could see outside.
She was surprised to see the dust had cleared already, but then she saw why. They were here already. All of them. She raised an eyebrow in surprise, then smiled. "Sanal, Aruna, Jaira, Jenyel." She nodded at each in turn, then her smile broadened. "Terminateria. It is good to see you."
"Likewise, sister. Likewise." Terminateria's spinal needles extended and retracted rapidly, creating a wavy effect that she used whenever she was especially pleased. She was still the only Lavoid who could manipulate her spikes so precisely. "It's good to spend time with someone," and now she turned to glare at the other Queens, "whose priorities didn't get completely turned around just because a few million humans got killed in the war!"
Laria glanced around quickly, and now saw that the others were all glaring at her. Looking away toward the edge of the crater, she saw that four of the Queen shells were grouped close together, but the fifth was at least a couple miles away from the others. Two of the four in the group had large spiny buds growing on the sides, signifying that they were nearing the end of their reproductive cycle. She scrutinized the others more closely, and sure enough, Aruna and Sanal were both heavy with child. "War?" She finally asked, turning back toward Terminateria.
"Oh sure, like we're going to fall for the innocent 'prior time' routine." Aruna narrowed her eyes even more. "God, you're pathetic." She turned her back on Laria, her long purple hair whipping out behind her as she did.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Laria asked, glaring a little herself.
Now Terminateria gave her a funny look. "What time reference have you come from?" She asked.
"What?" Laria kept her eyes narrowed, but then they widened in realization. "Oh! You're all feuding about the civil war! Sorry ladies, but that was a long time ago for me."
"Sure it was." Aruna said bitterly, but she turned back around.
"Anyway Laria," Terminateria broke back in, "I'd love to talk to you, but it'll have to wait until tonight. I've got a busy day planned."
"I'm sure you do, but my plans won't take long, and I believe they would take precedence."
Terminateria smiled. "Sister, your plans always take long. Sorry, but I've got to supervise interrogation sessions with the Great Elder of Namek, two planeswalkers from Dominaria, four Hunter commanders, and a Lunarian ambassador. Plus, I've got lunch with the Invid Regent and Naindal Fiora."
"Fiora?" Laria glared. "Why show any courtesy to genetic trash like that?"
Terminateria finally looked annoyed. "Because Naindal Fiora is more powerful than four of us put together, for starters. Idealism needs some basis in reality, you know."
Laria grinned fiercely. "If my idea works out, it won't have to."
There was a collective groan from the other five Queens. "All right." Terminateria shrugged. "Let's hear it."
"Oh come on, it'll be worth your while, I promise." Laria laughed. "My plans revolve around the spawn of Lavos."
All six flinched at mention of Lavos. If the Queen Mother would only allow him to be removed from the timeline, the Lavoid situation would be drastically improved. Of course, for reasons known only to her, she insisted that Lavos' existence remain untouched. And though Laria regretted it, she now saw the reason why. Jenyel finally shook her head.
"I'm going to assume you're talking about the 'Class B', as the humans would say." She began. "His larval form was tested by Lavos at birth, as you well know. His chi power, magic wavelengths, and time manipulation were all consistent with a Keisegn."
"Which makes me wonder," Jaira broke in, "Why you're wasting our time with this."
"You're all so short-sighted." Laria shook her head. "If he succeeds in what he's doing, he will become a God."
"Thbbbbbbbt!" Five heads all turned, mouths agape, to stare at Aruna. Not only had it been rude, but she had just made herself the first Lavoid in recorded history to blow a rasberry.
The skin on Laria's face went from blue to slightly purple. "I beg your pardon?!"
Aruna was smiling now. "Since you seem to have developed a hearing problem since we last met, I'll repeat my earlier statement for your benefit. I said, 'Thbbbbbbbbbbbt!!'" Laria's mouth was moving, but no sound was coming out. "My husband had the chance to become the supreme being of a universe of his creation, but he declined in favor of a mortal life. He is a God."
"Husband?" Laria finally sputtered. "What the hell? How could one drone possibly father enough Lavoids for any Queen of mating age to be respected?"
"He's not a drone." Aruna smiled softly, gently patting the bulge in her front. "He's a-"
"Human." Terminateria spat in a venom filled voice.
"Human?!" Laria demanded. "That settles it, you're insane. Wholly and completely insane, you hear me?!"
"Why not?" Aruna asked softly, looking at the ground. Where before, Laria's mere presence had been enough to anger her, it now appeared that nothing could upset her. "We are just a separate species of humans from the 'sapiens,' you know. Besides, he's quite exceptional, for a human."
But Laria hadn't heard the last part. "'We are NOT HUMAN!!!'" She shouted, both mentally and physically. The others massaged their throbbing temples, softly. "The 'homo' part of homo lavicus is a disease! A plague! If we can ever ressurect the Elders, we'll be cured of it!!"
"Maybe you will." Aruna shrugged, refusing to let Laria bother her. "I'm quite happy with the way I am."
"What? Skin that borders on pasty blue, weird-ass hair, and hideous spinal structure? God, you're pathetic."
Aruna finally looked up, now grinning maliciously. "Besides," she ignored Laria's rant, continuing with her earlier train of thought. "I rather enjoy the feel of a human male."
"Uuuugh!!" Terminateria and Laria both shuddered involuntarily. Even Sanal looked a little queasy. "She's right, you know." Terminateria said, still wearing a fierce grimace, "You are completely insane." Aruna just gave a soft laugh in response, apparently content now. "Anyway sister, please continue with your... with your..."
As Terminateria drifted off, they all turned to look at the exact center of the crater. A strong wind was emanating from there, blowing outward in all directions, kicking up dust. Then, in a display that defied description to any visual system even loosely based on human optics, the light slowly began to drain out of the center, until it could not be seen. It was as if the core of the crater had suddenly been time-shifted to midnight on a moonless night, while the rest of the landing zone remained unaffected. Then, incredibly, impossibly, the darkness condensed, solidifying itself into a humanoid being. Parts of it lightened a bit, to turn a bright blood red.
"It's been 20,000 years since all six junior Queens were last gathered together." A voice came from the thing, though no mouth was visible. "It would have been smart of you to wait 20 million more."
"And who are you, puny thing, to tell us what we should do?" Terminateria demanded. As she shifted her eyes to monitor non-visible parts of the spectrum, the appearance of this creature still did not make sense. Its basic body structure was like that of a human, but simplified, somehow. It seemed to be covered from head to toe in an extremely flexible, tight fitting armor, until she realized that it was the being's skin. Two sharp horns of red metal jutted up from the sides of a metal head, but all of it also gave off signs of life.
He drew out what appeared to be two sword hilts, the pommels stuck together, and began to twirl it in an odd way above his head. But Terminateria soon realized that it was anything but odd. The tightly controlled style of his movement told her that there was a purpose to it, though it escaped her at the moment. Finally, the apparition answered her question. "Who am I? I am a Traveler. I am a natural planeswalker. I am Dark Lord of the Sith, Supreme Magi of the Core, and the strongest of the Hellspawn. But above all, I am a metal demon, and I am the soon-to-be slayer of Lavoid Queens. To defeat you, I came dancing all the way up from the fires of Hell. I, am Boomerang Flash!"
"So, this is my prey!" - Boomerang Flash, Wild ARMs
Chrono Trigger Fanfic