Tempo Trigger Chapter 6
Storming The Beach
Tempo felt surprisingly calm as Merido faded into the distance behind them. He had a task, and focused on it. It kept his mind off how pitiful his skills were compared to Raganorn or Moogoo. He had to find the Soul Ring. As a side item, he should keep an eye out for Sir Kazin. That was it. There was nothing else to think about. The people in Merido had reported that the Soul Ring did indeed exist. It was stored in a small shrine over the mountain ranges to the south. Supposedly, it was there because the knights had no need for its power. They had actually been wondering why the knights hadn't been around to collect it before, given all of Moogoo and Barada's activity. Leopold had shrugged. Obviously, the decisions were made farther up.
Schala on the other hand, had her thoughts all over the place. But her most predominant thought was how this all related to the Lavoid. Moogoo knew about it, so there must be some connection. Furthermore, it seemed that Moogoo hated it too. Why wouldn't he want an ally? Maybe it was just because she had been killing his Viashino, but she severely doubted it. There were clouds gathering overhead, and they were rapidly approaching the place where the two mountain ranges met. They were both surprised to see a cave in the range. "You think we should go through there?"
"I don't see why not, except that there's no light. But you can take care of that, can't you?" Tempo smiled.
"I suppose." Schala held up her hand, and a purple flame encased it. They slowly made their way through the inside, occasionally seeing a bat here and there, but not much disturbed them. Neither one of them had much to say. "So, if this isn't your time period, where are you from?" She asked, trying to break the ice.
"1995 A.D. I believe we're in the later 900 A.D.s now." He grimaced, then turned to her. "Really, do you have any idea how this happened?"
"No real idea, no. I've never time traveled before either." She said truthfully, then looked around. "No sign of Barada or any other Viashino. This is too easy." Schala grimaced.
"Don't jinx us." Tempo scolded her. "Maybe Moogoo doesn't think this place is important enough to guard."
"Don't bet on it." She shook her head.
"Luckily, I'm not a gambling man." Schala smiled as he turned away again. The last big gamble she had taken really hadn't worked out very well. In a surprisingly short amount of time, they saw light ahead, and she turned off the flame on her hand. "We're here already?" Tempo was surprised.
It seemed that they were. They were on a small peninsula, which dropped off sharply down to the sea. On the very tip, about a quarter mile away, there was a small shrine. "I'm guessing that's the place." Schala stated the obvious. Tempo said nothing, but cautiously made his way inside. The inside wasn't really "inside." There were no walls, just a bunch of pillars, and parts of the ceiling were falling away. But in the middle of it, quite intact, was a group of statues. They were all dressed in decidedly odd clothing, but Tempo didn't stop to think about that. One statue appeared to be plowing through all the others, and on the finger of its outstretched hand was,
"The ring!" Tempo shouted.
"Hold on a minute. I'll be taking that ring!" They both whirled around. Standing behind them was a man clad in silver battle armor similar to Leopold's.
"Are you Sir Kazin?" Tempo asked hopefully.
"Indeed I am Kazin." The knight nodded. "But how do you know of me? I've never seen you before."
"We've heard a little about you from Sir Leopold and Master Raganorn." Tempo bowed. "And we could really use your help." Schala kept her distance from both of them. She wasn't sure what was going to happen.
"I'm sure you could, given what I've seen. Please give me the ring." He stretched out his hand.
"Of course, sir." Tempo carefully placed it in his palm. "What exactly have you seen?"
"I've seen that Lord Moogoo's way is best, which is why I'm working with him now!"
"Huh?!" Tempo was immensely surprised, but Schala was already springing into action.
"Get down, you doofus! Holy!" A fairly large purple beam rocked into Kazin, who stood unmoving.
"Is that all you've got? Pathetic."
"Tempo, get away from him!" Schala shouted, but it was already too late to do anything. Kazin slipped the ring on his finger, and his eyes lit up with an orange glow.
"Icequake!" He stretched his arms out.
"Oh sh-" Schala was cut off as freezing winds descended on the cliff. The ground quickly hardened, then actually turned to ice. Within seconds, cracks appeared, and the shrine and everything around it broke apart and fell into the sea. Once again, Schala was knocked out.
She was immensely surprised to discover Tempo was awake first. He was nudging her leg with his foot, and he couldn't do much else, given that they were both tied up in a dark room with wooden walls. Her clothes were dry, so she must have been out for a long time. Either that, or she had never hit the water in the first place. She couldn't remember. "Schala? Wake up." He nudged her again.
"I'm awake." She said wearily. "Where are we?"
"I'm not sure. This place seems to be swaying back and forth sometimes, so we may be on a boat."
"Yeah. They didn't disarm us, for some reason, but my mace can't cut through anything. Can you reach your dagger?"
He heard her moving around for a minute. "Got it." She said, then he heard the sounds of her ropes being cut. He was free shortly after. "Well, let's get going, wherever we need to go."
"I have no idea." He shrugged. "But let's not stay here." He cautiously opened the door, and they ventured out into a hallway that wasn't much lighter than their room had been. He could see Schala's outline now, but that was about it. Offhand, he wondered why she wore so many robes all the time. They had to get in the way a lot, and be uncomfortably warm a lot of the time. He saw a light in the distance, and walked stealthily toward it. Peering around the corner, he saw two Viashino guards, but they were both asleep. They walked silently past, and up a flight of wooden stairs. They emerged from them onto the deck of a ship, as Tempo had suspected. "We're lucky. Not far from the shore." He observed the cliffs off the starboard side. "Feel like swimming for it? I don't want to stay here anymore, and I'm really hungry besides."
"Sure thing." Schala shrugged. He took one step toward the side railing. There was a heavy thump behind them.
"Hold it." They both turned to see a large Viashino on the deck behind them.
"Barada!" Tempo yelled even as Schala shushed him. She was too late. Eight more Viashino instantly appeared on the deck.
"Heh. You don't realize it, but you flatter me." The big lizard took one stomp forward. "No, I am Berreka, Barada's right hand lizard. I was assigned to keep an eye on you two, but it looks like my incompetant help screwed up." He turned back to glare at the other soldiers. They all gulped and pointed fingers at each other. Berreka sighed. When he turned back, Tempo was already sprinting for the railing. "Hey!" In a second, he had caught up to Tempo, and held him by the shirt collar. Tempo glared defiantly back. "Huh, you're not as brave as most Soul Knights, but you're a lot smarter. Interesting." He turned so he was holding Tempo and facing Schala in the same direction. "Anyway, I've been instructed not to eliminate you two yet. But I can ignore that order at any time if you put up any resistance." He started walking up toward the stern of the ship. Schala made no immediate move to resist as he roughly grabbed her arm and propelled her up the stairs toward the steering wheel. He threw her roughly down behind it, and Tempo too. "Now, tie them up again. Securely this time!" He shouted to the other lizards, who hurried to comply.
"Well, that got us a long way." Schala complained, but Tempo didn't reply. Glancing over at him, she saw what looked like a green spark drifting into his leg every few seconds. It took her a while to figure out what he was doing, but when she did, she started to smile. He was gathering energy into his leg very slowly, so as not to attract attention. As an added bonus, he was able to draw the energy from the small stone in his pocket still. Since there wasn't too horribly much there, he could control its flow better than the energy straight from himself.
They just sat there for a few minutes as Berreka piloted the ship. He peered ahead in the darkness of the night. "We're approaching the base. Prepare for docking. I'm reducing speed now." He called out to the crew.
"Reduce this!" Tempo's leg suddenly lit up with a brilliant green light. The ropes holding him down seemed to simply burst away, and he jumped up. "Vertiround!" He kicked upward in a full circle, catching Berreka in the chest and chin. The Viashino captain smashed through the steering wheel, sending splinters of wood flying, then fell through the deck to the rooms below. Dust rost up out of the hole. The other Viashino watched in amazement for a moment. Berreka quickly pulled himself back up onto the deck. He looked like he had a scathing remark for Tempo, but the ship suddenly started to speed up.
"Oh no! Jettison the fuel tanks!" He shouted. The crew hurried to try to do so.
"Fuel tanks?" Tempo wondered out loud. He suddenly noticed that the ship didn't have any sails. Of course, it must run on a motor. What a motor was doing in 975 A.D., he didn't know, but now wasn't the time to worry about it. With a sinking feeling, he realized he had smashed all the steering controls. There was a jarring sensation as the bottom of the ship began to scrape over rocks. The dim outline of the cliffs grew steadily higher in front of them.
"Abandon ship!!" Berreka cried out. He started to run for the side.
"Schala, hold on to me!" Tempo shouted. Both his legs began glowing this time. Schala tentatively put her arms around his shoulders. "You're going to go flying right off. I mean it, hold on to me!"
"If that's what you want..." She shrugged, then got a good grip on him.
"Yes! Now keep it right there..." She felt is muscles tense. The ship was really shuddering now. Water was starting to spray over the side.
'Very well.' Schala actually smiled. 'I'm probably going to be quoting that back to you totally out of context several times.' The cliffs seemed impossibly high in the darkness, and she realized they were going to hit any second.
"Negative Gravity!" Tempo shouted just as the front of the vessel began to splinter against the cliffs. He jumped upward, and they proceeded to continue on up through the air. Schala began to relax her hold so it was just enough to hold on. "Tighter!" Tempo shouted through the wind. "The worst is just about to-" He was cut off as the ship vanished in a huge explosion. The lamps inside obviously hadn't mixed well with the fuel tanks. The resulting shockwave jarred them violently, and large pieces of wood were hurled up at them. Tempo managed to hold on to his trajectory until they finally launched up above the tops of the cliffs. The green glow vanished from his legs, and they settled slowly to the ground. "Wow, what a rush!" He smiled. "Did the big lizard bite the dust?"
"I didn't see what happened to him." Schala shrugged.
"Ah well. It doesn't really matter. You know, I've never even heard of a skill called "Negative Gravity!" It was almost like I instinctively knew what to do."
"That's good." Schala smiled at him. "Because my powers don't seem to be in any hurry to come back."
Then, they both stopped talking as lightning flashed. It illuminated a huge stone fortress, with hundreds of Viashino coming and going from the main entrance, less than a mile away from them. As the thunder rumbled and their vision faded, both of them realized what they were looking at.
"At the edge of chaos, unexpected outcomes occur. The risk to survival is severe." - Ian Malcolm
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