Project ZEAL

Scene 5 - The End of Time (ZeaLitY)

And beyond, where deep swirls of mists that have observed the rise and fall of time, and spectators may sit atop the hourglass and peer into the shifting sands below, a man sat upon a platform of ornate stone, and rested his head on his hand. Upon his desk lay a miniature pillar of light, from which he could view any period, and spot any ripples cast upon the surface of history. In this setting, the sage was granted a special repose from life; in his situational immortality, he was content to lie and gaze into the airy boundaries of the End of Time, feeling that he had transcended the flow of rush. Unfortunately, even rest had lately been interrupted; perturbations far and wide had been seen disturbing the fog that encircled his dwelling's architecture, and he too had begun to identify their cause. The feeling -- that he must do something, and take an active role in the affairs of man -- had not moved him in nearly a year of passage; the old portals above the stairway had long grown dim, though they could be forced open if the situation required, and the golden chariot that once docked behind him had also been absent for relative ages. With the completion of the great quest, he could once again quiet his passions and return to his eternal watchmanship of time.

Foreign as it was, feeling alive and responsible for the fortunes of his home timeline was nonetheless stirring to his heart and awakening to his mind, which craved for new knowledge. The Guru Gaspar could thus not resist actively searching for the cause of these disturbances in time; since their beginning nearly one month ago, he had relentlessly searched for their origin, at times catching glimpses of shadowy figures who would disappear into the night. Though somewhat alerted by the danger of their coming, the guru's fear was overtaken by an intense curiosity, and as he now stared within his personal viewing port -- forged by arcane Shadow magic, whose applications included Time Eggs -- he caught view once more of the strange time travelers, who once again had chosen to arrive during the cover of night, dressed in dark regalia. Gaspar had been particularly lucky to pinpoint their place of arrival.

"Gaspar?" a startling voice came.
"Ah! Spekkio, you scared me. What is it?" he asked.
"Hey, are they here again?!"
"Yes, they've just come in. My tests have run correctly; it seems no matter the epoch, they always arrive in the Sun Keep."
"Heh, I wonder why?"
"The reasoning for that makes me desire to kick myself. Why, its at the same geographical coordinates in all of history! They must never fear landing in an ocean."
"Interesting. So what time did they pick now?"
"Well, it appears to be 600 A.D. Somewhat alarming, I know; that's a touchy year to be interfering with things, especially since?"
"Oh! Is it during Crono's quest?"
"Bah, don't interrupt me, and maybe you'll learn. Yes, this particular trip is during the quest, but they aren't in the area at the moment. We have nothing to fear, especially concerning Time Traveler's Immunity."
"Eh, all right. Mind if you give me the coordinates? I want to see if these guys know how to fight. Maybe they'll run into some trouble, hey?"
"What is this? Don't you know that a scuffle could have disastrous effects on?"
"Just playing with you, old man. Although I would like to see how these guys handle themselves..."
"Well, save it. That may be found out soon enough."
"Are you implying that you will?"
"Perish the thought; I would never confront such an enigma myself. I may recruit some type of envoy, or simply use a Bekkler clone. Somehow, I will meet these fellows."
"Shouldn't be too hard, right?"

Gaspar paused in his speech, the most troubling fact about these wandering temporal travelers having resurfaced -- being that in between their trips, they totally disappeared from the scope of the timeline. For days at a time, these men would seemingly be erased from existence, only to reappear, and they were nowhere to be found in these intervals. From the End of Time, the only place in which one could hide from the Guru's watch was within a Pocket Dimension -- this particularly troubled Gaspar, as he could count on one hand those who wielded magic capable of forging and existing within such bubbles connected to the real world.

"I...don't know, yet. Therein lies the problem. These men disappear in between time traveling, and I cannot find them anywhere."
"Sounds like a Pocket Dimension, eh?"
"Yes! And what perversion of power would it take to create such a thing?"
"Don't worry just yet. A bunch of people could visit ol' Lavos's Pocket Dimension if they so desired. Maybe these guys are just scientists from the future, operating out of it."

Gaspar glared at the Nu.

"Okay, maybe I wouldn't hold my breath for some theory like that, but whatever."
Gaspar chuckled. "Well then, it seems I have some arrangements to make."
"Heh, have fun. I'm going to get back to Juan."
"What? Still tracking that young man?"
"A select few down there take my interest, and this guy -- well, heh, he's got the power, if you know what I mean."
"Hah. Enjoy yourself. Maybe he can teach you something new."

Smiling at Spekkio's unceasing antics, the old man stood from his chair, and sauntered to a fence on the edge of his platform. His mind was full of wonderment and deep interest; the visitors surely were not from the future, as Spekkio had suggested, for Chronopolean scientists would not undertake such direct research. It would intrigue him hugely if the agents were of Zealian origin, but this was unfortunately ruled out -- for no action had occurred in 12,000 B.C. or earlier that would have provoked such a temporal research program, and even traveling technology itself at the apex of Zealian civilization was limited to he and Belthasar. As each possibility was reasonably eliminated, his amazement and desire to know grew -- and at the very end of his intellect, he touted the idea of dimensional crossers, immediately reducing it to an impossible status with principles which had long been proven and demonstrated to rule out such an action...

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