Well chapter 2 is out at last. The ship was underway for awhile and we were doing drills and such so I hadn’t much time to write. The story picks up a bit at this point as devious things are afoot. Again I don’t own anything Square-Enix owns because they are much cooler than me :0 Well, enjoy and please let me know what you think in a review.
Chapter 2: Ozzie Gets the Last Laugh
The large circle portal glistened, even in the dim room, and imparted a sense of foreboding on all who saw it. Even Ozzie the XXVI was intimidated by the immense object, but hid it behind a constant charade of bravado. The fat green mystic circled his new purchase, examining the strange symbols carved along the edges, and smiled in satisfaction. It had cost him his entire family’s fortune to purchase this Time Gate, a fortune that had taken the Ozzie’s many generations to save.
Once they had been a great family, or so his grandfather said, and almost conquered the kingdom Gaurdia in times long gone. His grandfather talked a lot about that war, though it had been many ages before his grandfather’s time, and every time he reminisced he cursed a certain creature named “Frog”. After his Grandfather’s death, Ozzie had vowed that he would restore the family to the place it once had.
“It works, correct?” asked Ozzie to the tall orange lizard-mystic who stood at attention behind him. Vlag was as tall as Ozzie was wide and had at one time held the rank of General in Medina’s National Armed Forces. He still wore his old dress uniform, which was not suited to combat at all, with green pressed and ironed trousers and an equally pressed tan short sleeve dress shirt. A reflective belt was around his wait, made of a unique mystic-made metal, and his rank was displayed proudly on his shoulder board. Though retired he wore all his old medals and had so many that they created an impenetrable barrier over that section of his chest. His clawed hands and feet were too large to fit into boots or gloves so he wore neither, it made him look more dangerous with his natural weapons unsheathed.
“Of course, I had the men test it before it was delivered” stated Vlag, motioning to the imp scientist stationed at their computer consoles to power up the system.
It was an older version, for the price it had to have been, and it required several minutes to store and generate the power needed for a precise time jump. Even then it wasn’t the most accurate instrument in the world, but it had an accuracy rating of 70 and that was good enough for Ozzie. He still couldn’t believe his luck in finding someone corrupt enough in the government to sell him one. To think it had just been sitting uselessly in a warehouse somewhere, no on would miss it. That made the plan all the better.
Ozzie swiftly turned, causing his white rob and immense bulk to throw itself in that direction, and walked to stand next to Vlag.
“Today is the day I restore my family’s lost honor” vowed Ozzie in an ominous voice. Not him personally of course, even he wasn’t stupid enough to think that he could stand up to the amphibious knight, or anyone for that matter, in a fight. Instead he would send a proxy in his place. A present found, and left behind, by his grandfather.
“Geon, front and center” command Vlag in his drill instructor voice.
He might as well have been commanding a wall to move, thought Ozzie,Geon only responds to me.
“Come now Geon, come to Ozzie. That’s a good girl” spoke Ozzie in a voice reserved for small children or loved pets, Geon was neither however.
From the natural darkness that consumed everything outside the small fluorescent lamps’ field stepped a female snack mystic. Not a mystic, but a creation, Ozzie reminded himself. Her scales were a thick forest green with brown scaly stalks that protruded from her head and ran down her shoulders like hair. Ozzie had to admit, had she not been a creation he would have been quite attracted to her, even now he still was despite his denials. Much like an artist strives to paint the perfect painting, Ozzie envisioned her creator had strived to make her look as close to the perfect feminine form as possible. As she walked Ozzie found himself hypnotized by her graceful movements, not to mention the perfect curves, and then realized that she had forgone wearing clothes again.
“What did I tell you about wearing clothes” asked Ozzie in a stern fatherly like voice.
“Clothes interfere in movements necessary for combat, and disrupt my ability to blend into my surroundings” stated Geon in a neutral voice, void of any feelings. It sounded much like a chorus of snakes combining all their voices to speak at once.
“I am your master, you heed what I say” complained Ozzie, in a much more childish manner than he intended “And I said to wear clothes”
“I am merely stating that it would interfere with my primary function, I cannot perform an action that would severely impair my combat abilities” replied Geon in the same lifeless voice.
Before Ozzie had another temper-tantrum Vlag gave a curt cough, brining his ranting CO back to his senses. Sometime Vlag wondered at the wisdom of serving under anyone that whined as such when something didn’t go there way. Like most military men he tried not to think about this and only about performing the duties required of him. After all, he’d worked under much more ignorant and childish officers in his time.
“Sir the portal is ready for time projection. Request date” sounded one of the lanky imps that operated a console.
“595 A.D., five years before he meddles with the Great Ozzie” supplied Ozzie.
“Sir, I suggest that perhaps we kill him when he is younger and more vulnerable. A less likely chance he’ll survive” said Vlag quietly to Ozzie. He did not want to outright challenge the tubby crybaby if only to avoid destroying the fragile chain of command. Ozzie only glared in return, a comical act coming from his large and weirdly shaped head.
“I want him to die in the state he is, an annoying little frog. He’s alone and depressed after the death of his dear friend Cyrus. I want him to feel like a failure as Geon kills him; I want him to see his chance at vengeance taken away from him. I want him to suffer” said Ozzie in a rather dark voice that surprised the battle hardened general.
“Geon” summoned Ozzie “I want you to go through that time portal and kill the one that calls himself ‘Frog’. He may also go by the name of Glenn. Use any means possible, and make it a slow and painful death”
The time gate flared to life, creating a blue spiraling portal in the empty center of the Time Gate. Energy pulsed around the edges of the device, the mystic runes and symbols kept the loose energy contained, and it sounded like a great howling wind.
“Go now, before the gate closes” order Ozzie.
“As you command” replied Geon. Without pause and without bothering to take weapons or armor with her. Stepping into the blue portal, she vanished without effects. The blue portal collapsed in on itself and steam rose from the symbols of power as the gate cooled down. The small team of imps gave small high fives and elbows to Eachother at a job well done before an angry glance from Vlag stilled their celebratory gestures.
“How will we know when it works?” asked Vlag.
“I don’t know” admitted Ozzie, his gaze still fixed on the hollow space where a time portal had previously been “If she succeeds I’ll never have the opportunity to send her back in the first place” Ozzie though aloud, counting each step on a finger “If I never send her back, then she can never kill Frog. If that happens though I still end up here and I send her back”
“A paradox I believe it’s called sir” correct Vlag as Ozzie, confused at having both run out of fingers to count on and the fact that it seemed he had finished at the same point he had started, only shrugged.
“And how do you know we can trust that thing to do what you asked?” hissed Vlag “How did you even come to own such a ….monstrosity”
“A gift from my grandfather, said he found her in the catacombs beneath the great Ozzie’s castle. Who created her, I do not know” replied Ozzie “She has to follow my commands, or so said my old man, and I trust her explicitly”
“Interesting” commented Vlag. Maybe he would have been better off staying retired after all.
“So did you hear the news?” asked Gaspar as Spekkio waddled up and jumped to sit at his usual bar stool. He still donned the small white fur-ball form, with its’ ungainly long arms and its’ short legs, and some patrons looked questioning at the strange creature. Other more frequent visitors ignored the small master of war, knowing that his forms varied day by day.
“Yep yep, glad to hear that Lana won’t be left out this cycle” commented Spekkio. His mood happy and chipper as normal “So how exactly did Janus get his gate access back anyway?”
“Eva” replied Gaspar as he polished a large metal tankard, reserved for the next customer that would walk through the doors in 5 minutes.
“Ah that explains it” laughed Spekkio “She just can’t seem to stop trying to help him”. Spekkio then temporarily put a hold on their conversation as his pizza was delivered to him, a bit late since he had arrived 3 minutes earlier than normal. “A sucker fer lost causes” he manage to get out through a mouthful of pizza.
“She’s not the only one, I for one keep working with you to no avail” replied Gaspar, referring to their weekly ritual of chess playing. Though Spekkio was the master of war, Gaspar was the master of chess and during their long stay at the end of time, before the Chronopolis came about, he had been teaching Spekkio a thing or two about the game. His lessons had not penetrated the morphlings thick skull as of yet, but Gaspar had hope that perhaps he could build a successor to one day pass on the brilliance of chess to someone else.
Spekkio snorted in reply, more a laugh than a snort really but the pizza that filled his mouth muted and warped the original sound.
“I also hear that Janus is the test bed for perhaps further ex-Observer reinstatements” Gaspar whispered to Spekkio as he leaned next to the morphling’s long white ears to place filled mugs at stools that would be occupied soon “The Observer shortage for students has become too great for the council to ignore”
“You know, for a bartender you certainly know a lot” observed Spekkio as he licked the remains of the pizza off his face, drawing a disappointing glare from Gaspar.
“A bartender has to know his clientele” Gaspar replied professionally and coolly from behind his self built fortress.
“I don’t like it though, not one bit. I can’t believe Belthasar would agree to something like that” disbelievingly said Spekkio. Though known more for his always happy-go-lucky personality and specialty in battle magic, Spekkio also possessed a keen and cunning intellect. It surfaced rarely.
“He doesn’t seem himself lately” agreed Gaspar “Maybe it’s just old age kicking in” Gaspar himself was old, still younger than Belthasar by 5 years, but time seemed to affect a person differently here and the passing of years hadn’t taken it’s toll on him like most others his age. In fact he didn’t feel all that different from when he’d first appeared here.
“You and him both old man” commented Spekkio “It was his 100th birthday just a month ago wasn’t it?” Much like Gaspar the effects of old age had seemed not to take hold on Belthasar, though his aged appearance didn’t support the evidence.
“Don’t remind me” sighed Gaspar “I’ll go talk to him later this week, on one of my slow days” With reassurance from Gaspar, Spekkio was able to eat the next pizza brought to him with a peace of mind.
The entrance to the west side of the bio-dome was as busy as it was everyday. Moving walkways crisscrossed above while the non-moving kind wove their way from store to store down below, and both were packed with bustling people. Store fronts sat overlooking the vast desert lands that started at the west hemisphere. It was bleak and dry with spots of cactus and the few types of plant life that were capable of surviving with the limited water. An invisible force field kept the scorching hot temperature of the wasteland separated from the air-conditioner created coolness of the stores’ walkways. Outside of the force field Lana paced impatiently back and forth, changed from her student attire into a pair of long lose jean shorts and a tank top. The supplies Janus had requested her to bring sat next to her in a large grey seabag.
As soon as Lana had been cleared to leave sick bay she ran into Janus, waiting impatiently right outside the sliding doors. Much to his credit he hadn’t immediately glared her into the ground but instead took on his usual role as teacher. Instructing her where and when to meet him at the bio-dome, and what supplies she was to bring. Lana had found it strange that on his extensive list there had been no mention of food, the closet thing was the fishing equipment and that was assuming they found a river. Despite his strict orders Lana decided to make up for the lack of his foresight and several trail rations and ready-to-eat-meals were hidden in her pack. Let him starve if he wants, she planned on eating.
It had been 30 minutes since 1600, the time Janus had instructed her to meet him, yet she had seen neither hide nor hair of him. The first ten minutes were filled with worry that perhaps this had been the wrong entrance, double checking the email printout proved she wasn’t here mistakenly. After that her annoyance had been slowly increasing and it was boiling over into anger.How can he ask me to meet him, thought Lana,and then show up late himself?Ten more minutes of pacing passed before she raked her hands through her short hair in frustration and sat down next to her bag.Getting mad is only going to cloud my thoughts. Reminded Lana to herself,Right now I need to cool down and think; why would he keep me waiting?
She ran through several reasons in her head; maybe he’d forgotten, maybe he had been kept busy elsewhere, or maybe it had all been a joke after all and she was a big dupe. None of those answers seemed likely; his mind was too sharp to simply forget, his teaching job was over while the students were in the field, and he didn’t seem the one to play a practical joke, even if he was more than slightly irritated at her. No, it had to something else, something that made more sense. Lana searched her mind for any clues and a memory from her first day in class brought itself to the surface.
“I am going to take every chance to test you; whether you are prepared for it or not” said Janus as he pace back and forth in front of the digi-board “The most important tests are those you aren’t expecting”
That was it, he was testing her! Lana almost yelled the answer aloud but kept quiet and continued to think instead. If that’s the case, what’s the test? Was it to test her patience? Not likely, patience was one thing even the mighty Janus did not have much of. Maybe it was some hidden code in the instructions? No, he wasn’t known for his subtly either.It had to be something hidden in plain view, she thought,something that’s right in front of my nose. Then it hit her,hewas the something that was hidden in plain view.
A devious smile formed on her face as she slipped her view into the spiritual realm, looking for Janus’ tall-tale black aura. There it was, sitting on the second story balcony of a coffee shop. At this distance it was no wonder she couldn’t make him out with her normal vision but, as auras went his could stand out quite a distance.He’s already testing my powers, thought Lana,sounds like Janus alright.Two could play this game. If he was going to sit and enjoy his coffee, or whatever he drank, then she’d go enjoy some pizza. Waving in his general direction, she pointed to the pizza shop a short walk away and hoisted her seabag over he shoulders.
Ten minutes later a rather annoyed Janus was pulling Lana away by her short hair. Similar to Lana, Janus also had a grey seabag full of, well, whatever a warlock brings on a camping trip. It floated alongside him as he “coaxed” Lana into following him.
“Well you seemed so comfy up there drinking your latte’” commented Lana between grunts of pain “I thought, ‘Heck I’ll go get some pizza while he finishes up’”
“I instructed you to meet me there at 1600, not to be there at 1600 and then go get a pizza when it suited you” pointed out Janus, keeping the swift pace of his walk. Lana had back peddled to keep up with the angry instructor, trying in vain to break the grip he had on her hair.
“Well maybe you should have been there then” suggested Lana “You did say ‘meet you there’, not ‘meet you there after and wait for you to drink your coffee’”. That statement was unfair to Janus as he hadn’t been drinking coffee, but rather a large mug of Hot Chocolate.
“I am the teacher here, and I make the rules” gruffly said Janus, pulling to an abrupt stop before the transparent force-field of the bio-dome “I suggest you get used to it. Now, did you bring all of the items I listed?”
“Yes oh great and powerful teacher, I did as your holiness commanded” sarcastically said Lana. Janus released his grasp on her and turned to grab her seabag, digging inside to see for himself if she was indeed telling the truth.
“Hey hey, those are my clothes you’re going through” pointed out Lana as Janus lifted a pile out of the bag and put it in her arms. She had no other recourse except to fume at the course of events as various students and staff passed her by, giving her questioning glances. Upon seeing Janus rummaging around in the bag next to her, their glances turned from questioning to sympathetic. Janus cruelty was known station wide.
He pulled out several bags of trail mix and canned goods, muttering a quick spell to incinerate them on site, before he was satisfied and put the pile of clothes back into the bag. “What was that for?”
“Those were not on the list” said Janus as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
“What are we going to eat if I can’t bring food” questioned Lana as she re-organized the messy seabag.
“Who knows, I’m sure you’ll find something” shrugged Janus “Now, we’ve got to make it 10 miles inland before dark”. Lana looked out across the sea of dirt and rock, at the sun setting in the horizon, and then back to Janus.
“That’s in 2 hours”
“Better hurry then” stated Janus.
“And what about you” glared Lana, not liking the implied statement “Or are you just sending me out in the wilderness to get me out of your hair”
“I’ll be out there with food. I suggest you find me” and with that Janus vanished in a flash of light. Leaving Lana alone, and angry. “I am so going to kick his ass once I find him” she stated before breaching the invisible barrier.
The difference in temperatures was immense and she immediately began sweating all over. Lana noticed that while the force field was invisible when looking into the dome, now that she was inside a dark black void prevented her from seeing through to the other side.It’s like a one way window, Lana mused. She had never been the outdoors type and this was the first time she’d ventured inside the spacious bio-dome.
Looking out across the barren and dry desert dimmed her spirits and examining the position of the sun in the sky made Janus’ goal seem impossible.Why did it have to be a desert?Why not a nice shaded forest with a small stream or something?Because he’s Janus, that’s why, responded Lana to her own question. With a last irritated growl Lana fastened her seabag onto her shoulders and back, wishing she too could levitate it, and started at a fast jog due west.
Humans were fun to hunt, decided Geon as she looked at the most recent kill. A large bulk of a man, by human standards anyway, but he was just as easy as the last few that had the misfortune to be on the road this night. The first victim, a surprised traveling merchant that had happen to see her suddenly appear in the middle of the road, had supplied her with a general area where Frog could be found, a place called the Cursed Woods. The Second had provided her with a general profile of her target; a bi-pedal frog with a rather large sword and rusted breast plate. Her last, and the current corpse sitting nearby, had verified the already gathered information.
It seemed this Frog character had once been a skilled swordsman but an encounter with Magus had changed him forever. Now he isolated himself from the rest of the world and emerged only to fight off the injustices caused by the invading mystics. Both had spoken that Frog, or Glenn as the last man had called him, was a great warrior and soon she would feel the edge of his blade as it sliced her in twain. Geon hoped for this; hoped to feel the cut of a sharp sword as the two battled for survival.
The hunter kept towards her current heading, not bothering to hide or dispose of the large man’s body, and ran full-out in hopes of a confrontation this night. The feeling of the hunt was once again running through her veins; she only hoped that her prey proved himself worthy of attention.
The sun had long ago vanished, replaced by glistening stars and a bright moon, yet Lana still had no idea about how far she’d gone or where Janus was. Her pace had been reduced to a slow walk, her throat was dry, and she had no idea where she was going. To all sides of her an endless sea of sand stretched far into the distance, an occasional rock breaking up the monotony, and nothing that could be used as a landmark. The seabag was also beginning to take its’ toll, the contents weighing more than half of her own weight, and she was minutes away from dragging it behind her. All in all, Lana was threatening Janus with much more than just an ass whooping, visions of him being thrown off a tall cliff dance about in her head.
As entertaining as it was, thinking like that wasn’t going to get her anywhere.Enough is enough, Lana told herself,this is just another damn test of his. I found him the first time by spotting his aura, but that was only 40 or 50 feet away, not several miles. There is no way I can sense that far, but then again it sounds like that is exactly what he wants to test.
It’s worth a shot at least.
Lana stopped, breathing in several deep and calming breaths, before slipping her sight into the ethereal plain. Rotating around in a full circle she saw nothing, just the pale colored surroundings that the world appeared as through her ethereal vision. Sitting down cross-legged and breathing even slower, she attempted to find him just in her current field of view. The calmer she was, the easier it was to pick up auras. Still there was nothing.
Resisting her first urge to stand up and scream into the night, cursing the evil scheming teacher, Lana instead slowed her breathing further and let her mind and muscles relax. It took several minutes till she felt at ease and her muscles felt fully relaxed. Next she pictured Janus’ aura, a bright black beckon, in her mind. Lana thought about it in detail, recalling to a tee, exactly what it looked like and exactly what Janus was like. A lone, brooding, bully who hid behind the shield he created to keep the world out. She held this image in her head, bending all her will to try and find this particular aura. At first it was just a small black dot, barely noticeable, but slowly it gained mass until she was sure that it was the aura she was after. Lana drew an arrow in mid-air, a ghostly duplicate of her actions lingered in the air and continually pointed towards he intended target. Satisfied, Lana flipped her vision back to the corporeal world.
At last broken from her trance like state, Lana sucked in air like she had just run a marathon. Her clothes and skin were covered in a thicker sheet of sweet and her brain felt like it was going to explode inside her skull. The urge to lie down and go to bed was so strong that Lana found herself staring up at the false stars before realizing that she was already lying on her back. The weariness passed before sleep could take her and her brain slowly registered what had happened. It had been her first time trying anything like this, how she knew what to do baffled her, and she figured that this was exactly what Janus had hopped to do. Test her limits and then exceed them.
Her aura reading ability had never been something she had taken seriously, just something to have fun with every once in awhile. What she had glimpsed while searching for Janus’ aura though made her rethink this analysis. If this was just the tip of what she could do with it, or even if this was all it could do, either way Lana found herself smiling despite the headache and exhaustion.Maybe having Janus’ as an instructor wasn’t all that bad, she thought,butI am still kicking his ass. With that goal in mind, Lana switched back into her ethereal view and followed her lingering astral arrow.
Janus paced back and forth in front of his small tent, worry evident on his face. Every so often he would stop and listen, then resume pacing again. Janus wasn’t suppose to worry, Janus didn’t worry, and anyone viewing his frantic back and forth walk would wonder if perhaps he had finally gone insane. Unknown to all though was the dark warlock did worry, but only in his private quarters or publicly after a few drinks.
Maybe I expected too much from her, thought Janus as he paced,after all no one knows exactly how her ability works. Maybe she can’t see me from this far-away, there’s probably a range to it after all. Why am I even worrying in the first place, it’s only ten miles. Not like it’s over the horizon or anything. She might even be able to see me. Maybe I should start a fire. That would surely signal my position. Why do I even care?
This had been going on since the sun had disappeared, and Janus was wondering if perhaps he should act instead of argue with himself. A soft scraping sound stopped his pacing as he listened carefully for anything else. Since his eyes were adjusted to the night vision he saw a small figure walk slowly up to the campsite dragging a large bag behind her that was making the sound he had hear earlier.
“You could have at least lit a fire for me” complained Lana.
“Your late” grunted Janus “Luckily I saved you some dinner”. With a snap of his fingers a large bonfire was roaring in the fire pit just feet away from Lana. She jumped back, making a small whelping sound, and glared angrily at the offending warlock.
The aforementioned dinner was a large bird, its’ features so mutilated that the species was impossible to tell, and it hung suspended on a stick over the large fire. Next to it was a bucket of water with a ladle hanging off to the side. Lana looked at her dinner with mixed feelings. While it was indeed edible, the fire large enough to easily cook the load, she wasn’t exactly known for being outdoors savvy and the years staying at the Chronopolis had pampered her.
“Looks…delicious” said Lana, her voice deflated. Janus grunted again, he did that a lot Lana mused, and turned to go to bed. “When the sun rises, we rise” was all he said before slipping behind the folds of his tent.
“Says the one who spent the last 4 hours sitting around and eating” complained Lana aloud. Janus gave no response from his small place of solitude so Lana grunted in his stead and went to work putting her tent up first. The bird could wait for now, having a place to immediately pass out in after eating was first on her list.
Geon waited, perfectly still, for Frog to walk into the trap awaiting him. The relentless pace she had kept through the night had paid off; bringing her to a large clearing where, her instincts said, Frog resided nearby. The scales that covered her body blended in perfectly with the surrounding, magically taking on the colors of trees and bushes, and her position was impossible to discern. Despite the desire to move and track Frog further, Geon knew that she had nothing to go by and that the best idea was to wait. And wait she did.
At last, after several hours of waiting and listening to the various forest creatures, Geon heard footsteps. Soft yet solid, a sign of small stature but great weight; all that armor of his wasn’t made of feathers after all. Her quarry walked slowly, and morosely, through light bushes and stepped into the clearing. Frog was not seemingly bothered by the various predators that lurked in the bushes, from either stupidity or experience Geon noted. The way he carried his sword informed her that he was more than comfortable with his blade; it was an extension of himself. The forest green cape he wore no doubt held something within the folds, a shield was the most likely choice, as she noted the bruisers on his arm where a buckler would normally be worn.
His large bulbous eyes, perhaps his biggest advantage at this point, were fixed firmly on the ground as he walked. Perhaps if he had been looking up, or paying a bit more attention, he would have noticed the small movements in the bush as Geon adjust her position in preparation for a pounce. Perhaps he also would have noticed the sudden quiet that blanketed the woods, the quick escape of the smaller creatures that lurked near by as they sensed a predator about to attack. Despite being a frog he was not instilled with these natural instincts and so the only thought to occur to him before he slipped into darkness was wondering exactly what had jumped from the bushes.
Lana awoke in a cold sweat, trashing violently as she tried to fend off imaginary flames. The nightmares still haunted her ten years after the fire but this time something felt different. It hadn’t been the fire that had woken her up, but a building sense of dread. Almost like she knew something horrible was going to happen, but not exactly sure what it was or how to stop it. It was a horrible pain, not physical or mental, but spiritual of nature. She had to move, walk or run or something, before the feeling chilled her to the core.
Hastily stumbling out of her tent still in the night previous clothes, she noticed that the sun was still below the horizon but the moon provided sufficient illumination to see by. Janus was also there, staring at the sinking moon, and unaware of Lana’s presence.
“The Black Wind howls” he spoke softly, full of foreboding and menace “Much like it did back then”
“You feel it too?” asked Lana, her voice startling the warlock so much he almost lost his composure “I get the feeling that a great loss is going to occur, like something or someone is going to die. I can’t describe it really, but it hurts deep in my soul. Like I’m supposed to stop this from happening”
Janus actually arched an eyebrow at this, startled twice in one minute, and evaluated the situation. “It’s called the Black Wind” he finally said, deciding that her admission warranted the information “Yes, I feel it too”
“What is it?”
“Time itself speaking to us, lamenting the imminent loss of someone or something important to it. Crying out for help to those that can hear it, similar to a child” explained Janus, for once weaving dramatics in with his lesson.
“So what do we do?”
“We do nothing” Janus’ voice turned cold and hard “Time can help itself”
“Go back to sleep, the morning is still an hour or two away and you will need the rest” urged Janus, with something that might loosely resemble concern in his voice.
“Shouldn’t we help though?” Lana asked, to her helping someone who asked for it was a natural reaction. This sounded important which gave her all the more desire to help.
“No, we will not” stated Janus with enough ice in his voice to freeze Lana to her spot “Go to bed, NOW!” Lana scurried back into her tent, passing into a fitful sleep, while Janus forlornly watched the sinking moon.The black wind could howl all it wanted to, Janus said to himself,it will get no help from me.Once I save my sister I will have nothing more to do with this station or time traveling ever again, this I swear.
“We have a time deviation at 599 A.D, month 4, day unknown. Current cause is a VIP of history has been eliminated, Affects are numerous and listed on display” announced a time scope operator as he ran through his comparison between the recorded timeline and the newly received time data.
“Signaling code red” he proceeded to announce “Cause: Extreme timeline deviation requiring immediate correction”
Jenkins immediately sat upright in his nicely padded chair which overlooked the entire archives department. It had been a long and boring twelve hour shift thus far, a godsend, and the sudden elevation to a Code red without his authorization wasn’t something he’d consider good.
“Operator number 4, report reason for setting code red without my approval” announced Jenkins as he strode down the stairs that lead up to his central seat. Jenkins cast his green eyed gaze to operator number 4, waiting for an answer.
“Sir, as per regulations, if any of The Six are eliminated prior to their pre-determined death a Code red is to be initiated without the need of approval from the watch captain” announced Operator number four, a young blonde haired man with a brown and determined gaze.
Oh boy, thought Jenkins,THIS is definitely not good.
“Understood” replied Jenkins, the regulations did state exactly what the young operator had said and Jenkins knew when he was wrong “Which of The Six?”
“Glenn, also known as ‘Frog’ in that time period” announced the operator.
“What killed him?” asked Jenkins as he walked briskly over to the wall panel to bring up operator four’s display but on his own council.
“Unknown, no recording bots assigned to that time slot. Shall I send one out?”
“Send out 2” ordered Jenkins “Continue in-depth monitoring number 4, numbers 10 through 20 find out exactly what his death affects and record all pertinent data”
“Very well” they all stated back in unison.
The morning came, much as it always did after every night, but it all seemed the same to Janus as he waited for his pupil to rise from her slumber. He could still feel the black wind howling, desperate now, but still he sat uncaring. It wasn’t his concern anymore and he’d be damned if he was going to care. It didn’t silence the wind though, made it howl only louder, now all he wished for was a way to mute it.
Lana stumbled, red eyed, from her very badly made tent. It seemed that despite her best attempts the pup tent refuse to remain upright, a lack of tying the stakes down Janus noted. A fresh set of clothing had replaced Lana’s dirt and sweat covered pair, but they already seemed dirty from just being in the dusty environment. Janus could sense her frustration as she took one look at him, and then went to packing her tent without saying but a word. Whatever he’d done to gain her ire he hoped to keep it; she was much quieter this way.
“After you are done packing, we will eat and then head towards the mountains” instructed Janus as Lana was violently pushing her tent back into it’s’ bag.
“So even the great Janus eats break feast?” commented Lana after fiercely hammering away at her tent. “Can’t you ignore hunger like everything else that slows you down?” The acid in her voice actually shocked Janus, the kind of anger behind her words he’d expect to be reserved for accusing someone of murder.
“What is it now?” asked Janus; he had absolutely no patience to deal with her anger this morning and if pissing her off shut her up, then so be it.
“Nothing, nothing at all” grunted Lana as she returned to packing, but only for a moment before she turned back around to face him. “No, no it’s something alright”
“Then what is it?” asked Janus through clenched teeth. Women, sighed Janus, not even Marle and Lucca had never been this bad.
“How can you just sit there and ask what? You hear it too, you know exactly what I’m talking about” accused Lana as she paced up to the warlock in an attempt to stare him down. Her fiery gaze was returned by uncaring and black pupils.
“It’s about that?” asked Janus with disbelief in his voice, “For god’s sake, why do you care?”
“Whydon’tyou?” asked Lana in return “It hurts, Janus, it hurts my soul to ignore this plead for help”
“Pftt” sighed Janus “What’s going to hurt you is getting involved” Already he’d said too much, but he was going to win this argument.
“Is that what happened to you?” asked Lana, walking around Janus while throwing her accusations “You got skinned knees in the past so now you run away. Are you afraid to get hurt again, is that it?”
“You know nothing of the past” replied Janus, the words as cold as ice and hard as the rainbow shell.
“That is the reason isn’t it? Don’t forget I can read aura’s buddy. It’s like a giant lie-detector, buddy, so don’t even try to deny it” smugly said Lana “You run because you are afraid”
“Do not lecture me on running away!” roared Janus, a visible fire in his eyes “I’ve fought against things which you cannot begin to comprehend, I alone have stood against foes in such numbers as to make you cringe, I have risen up from nothing to shape countries, I have denied time itself; no, do not lecture me about running away!” Lana looked away, the force behind her words was such that she could do no less, and went back to packing.
“We move!” commanded Janus as Lana stuffed the last of her things away “NOW!”