Chapter 18- Lost in Time
Time Unknown, Location Unknown
Jack woke up slowly, a groggy wake up similar to a student rising for Monday morning classes after a weekend of sleeping late. He didn't want to get up. He liked the dream world. Things worked out for him there. Nothing was such a harsh reality as waking up from a dream.
This was somewhat different, however. When Jack opened his eyes, he saw a blade a scythe poised as his throat. At the other end of it was the vampire-like man with blue hair he had saw earlier. Jack instinctively reached for his blade, but found nothing.
"Your weapon is over there," the man said, indicating the far wall of the enclosed area they were in, which appeared to be a cave. He saw Sarah on the floor a few feet behind the man. She looked unharmed. There was no sign, however, of Aragorn, Tristan or Rayith. Jack slowly climbed to his feet as the man followed his neck with the cruel looking weapon.
"Who are you?" Jack asked nervously.
"Actually, I should as you that," the man said somewhat grimly. "I've heard a lot about you, but I guess now I get to met you in person."
"What do you mean?" asked, inching his hand over to where his TAG hung on his belt.
"Don't be stupid," the blue haired man spat. "You destroyed a nice portion of my castle, boy. Originally, I wanted to ask you a few questions, but soon I decided to just kill you."
"You're Magus?" Jack asked.
"Well, aren't you quick," Magus said sarcastically. "I suppose you've heard a lot about me too?"
"Actually, I need to ask you a few questions," Jack said, reaching ever closer to the TAG.
"Please, child," Magus said, almost laughing. "You're in no position to ask questions."
"How about…" Jack started to say, making the last reach to his TAG. "Now!" he shouted, grabbing for the weapon. He found nothing but air, still bringing his empty hands forward out of habit.
"Are you looking for this?" Magus said, dangling the Red TAG from his right hand. He examined the weapon interestedly. "Quite a device you have here," he said whimsically. "Mind telling me where you got it?"
"I don't understand," Jack said.
"Let's just say I have a lot of questions," Magus said.
"If I talk, will you tell me what I want to know?" Jack asked.
"Okay," Magus said. "And if you're lucky, I'll let you live with the information…"
Time Unknown, Location Unknown.
Tristan examined his surroundings. It looked like he was in a canyon of some sort, the trickle of water could be heard in the distance. Rayith was on the floor at his feet, next to the inactive blue portal which lay off to the side. Aragorn was slumped on the ground in a similar manner on the other side of the gate.
Tristan couldn't remember quite what had happened. The last thing he knew, he was jumping into a time gate, following that damned Jack McKlane on another one of his crazy ideas. What were they even doing in Magus's castle anyway? Rayith was starting to come to when Tristan sat down to ponder his situation further.
"Welcome back," Tristan said, somewhat sarcastically. "Enjoy the trip?"
"Where are we?" a woozy Rayith asked. "And where are the others?"
"Not quite sure," Tristan said. "That's the answer to both questions, by the way."
"Yeah, I figured," Rayith said, rubbing her head and rising to her feet. "Oh, wait a minute! I know where this is! Shit!"
"What?" Tristan asked, remaining calm.
"We're back in Truce Canyon!" she yelled. "We've got to go find the others!"
"They could be anywhere though," Tristan said. "If the gate took us to a separate time, they could be anywhere in the history of the planet."
"It's okay!" Rayith reassured. "The man at the end of time will know what to do. We just need to go there. Give me the gate key!" she shouted. Tristan reluctantly reached into his coat and searched his pockets. After about a minute of searching, he gave a look that said, 'uh-oh.'
"Umm, Rayith?" Tristan said shyly.
"What?!" she demanded.
"I think Jack has the gate key."
"What do you mean? Didn't he give it to you?"
"Yeah," Tristan said hesitantly. "But when all our equipment was taken back at Magus's castle, I think he took it."
"So we're stuck here?" Rayith asked. Tristan nodded. "Stranded?" Tristan nodded again. Rayith paused momentarily before slumping to the ground. "Oh shit…" she said with an exhausted look on her face. Tristan once again nodded silently.
Time Unknown, Location Unknown
"So do you know where we are?" Jack asked. Magus came close to smiling, making a *hmph* sound. Jack and Magus were sitting on opposite sides of the cave, Magus no longer holding Jack at scythe point. Sarah still lay unconscious on the floor next to Jack. Magus had taken all their weapons, leaving Jack no option by to answer whatever question the odd man had.
"Well, guessing by the large snow storm outside, I'm going to say that we're somewhere back in the Ice Age."
"12,000 BC?" Jack asked. Magus nodded, again almost smiling.
"How ironic…" Magus mumbled.
"What?" Jack asked.
"Oh, nothing. Anyway, I still have a few questions I need to ask you." Jack nodded, signaling him to ask away. "First off, boy, what the hell were you doing in my castle?"
"I was told that you had information about Lavos," Jack said slowly.
"Lavos?" Magus said, covering up his shock. "What do you know about Lavos?"
Jack was silent for a few seconds. "He…" Jack paused. "He destroyed my home…"
"And?" Magus said insensitively.
"And I want to kill him!" Jack said excitedly. "I was told by someone that you would know how to get to him."
"Really?" Magus said, slightly intrigued by the boy's rage.
"I guess I can't possible expect someone like you to understand…" Jack said. Magus grimaced, but it was unnoticed by Jack who continued with his speech. "But, will you tell me what I need to know?"
"The person who sent you, what exactly did they tell you?"
"They told me that in the middle ages, there is a man called Magus and that I should try to speak with him."
"Interesting…" Magus mumbled. "But I'm asking the questions."
"Whatever," Jack said. "I'll tell you what you want to know, or I'll try. Umm…what is it you want to know?" Magus put his hand to his chin, forming the questions that would reveal if he was right about this boy.
"Why do you have blue hair, boy?" Magus asked.
"Because I was born with it, duh." Jack didn't really understand such a peculiar question.
"And you're from the year 1999ad?" Jack nodded. Magus mumbled something to himself that Jack couldn't decipher.
"What does my hair have to do with anything?" Jack asked.
"If you haven't noticed," Magus said belligerently, "It's the same color as mine."
"Tell me, child. Have you ever heard of the Kingdom of Zeal?"
"Of course," Jack said casually. "I've taken courses on it in school. The Kingdom of Zeal was thought to be wiped out by a tidal wave, right?" Magus didn't answer.
"Who are your parents?" Magus asked.
"I don't know."
"What do you mean 'I don't know?'"
"I don't know."
"I was found by a river bank when I was about two." Magus paused.
"You didn't happen to have that around your neck when you were found, did you?" Magus asked, pointing to Jack's necklace.
"It was all I was found with," Jack said, clutching the necklace in his hand.
"Impossible…" Magus mumbled.
After a long pause, Jack became fed up with this man. "What?!" Jack demanded. "Look, I've answered your questions, now it's time for you to talk!"
"Sorry kid," Magus said, rising from the ground. "But I've got some more important stuff to attend to." Magus walked out to the door of the cave into the blizzard outside.
"Come back here!" Jack yelled, running over and grabbing his blade before following Magus out into the storm. The wizard stood about fifty yards away with his back turned to Jack.
"You wish to fight me?" Magus asked, not turning around. "Why?"
"You have information I need," Jack said, gripping the blade tightly. Magus waited for a few seconds before speaking.
"Very well," Magus said, turning around and pushing his cape out of the way. "I could use some warm up in case Dalton has problems with my appearance…"
"What?" Jack asked, drawing his blade back. "Oh, never mind. You'll talk. I just can't kill you before you do."
Magus mumbled something under his breath before starting to chant a spell. "Kid, you're about to get the beating of a lifetime…"
600ad, Truce Village
"So let me get this straight," Aragorn said, taking another sip from his mug. "We're stranded in 600ad without Jack and Sarah, who could be anywhere. Plus, we don't have anything that could stabilize a gate, so we're basically stuck here until Jack comes to get us. In addition, for all we know, Jack might be dead. Is that right?
The three stranded time travelers sat in a pub on the eastern side of Truce Village. Rayith and Tristan had found it hard to wake Aragorn up, let alone get him to come to the village. They were in the middle of analyzing their situation over drinks.
"I think that sums it up," Tristan said, exhaling some cigarette smoke before placing the white cylinder back in his mouth.
"So we can't go on trying to fight Lavos, then?" Aragorn asked.
"Not till Jack finds us here with the gate key," Tristan said. "It's safe to rule out building a new one as well. I could probably figure something out, but my materials would be so limited that I don't think it would work."
"So we're stuck?" Rayith asked.
"Yup," Tristan said.
"There's got to be someway out," Aragorn said. "I mean, we can't just be stuck here, can we?"
"Think about it moron," Rayith said. "You and I were stuck here before we met Jack. To top everything off, Magus got away. All that learning Force Tech was useless unless I get to fry his ass."
"So what are our options?" Aragorn asked.
"I don't think we have any," Tristan said. "We just have to wait it out."
"Lame," Rayith said dejectedly. "This sucks."
"There has to be something that we can do," Aragorn said. "Maybe we could go try to help in the war."
"I don't know. Magus is gone, so the war with the Mystics should be subsiding," Rayith said. "I think he was pretty much their only leader."
"No way," Tristan said. "There's got to be some other high ranking Mystics that are still ready to carry on war."
"I don't know," Rayith said. "Most of them were probably killed."
"I guess you're right," Tristan said. There was a long pause as they each had another drink. Shortly after Tristan tossed the burnt butt of his cigarette to the floor and stood up. "Well, we should probably check into an inn," he said. The other nodded and rose. Slowly and depressed, the group headed out of the pub and made their way to any inn that would have them.
600ad, Magus's Castle
"He's gone sir, no trace of him."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean there's no trace. He's just vanished."
Keltar was standing in one of the castles many war rooms as a Mystic guard explained to him the results of the recent actions in the castle.
"What of the other top lords?" Keltar asked.
"Ozzie, Slash and Flea are all missing also," the Mystic said.
"You don't mean…"
"Yes, Lord Keltar," the Mystic said, pausing shortly. "You are now the leader of the Mystic Forces."
"Excellent," Keltar said, suppressing his own excitement while pondering his first move as general of the entire Mystic Army. "What is the state of the standing army?" he asked, immediately deciding that only way to be remembered in history would be to lead his Mystics to victory over the Humans.
"Infantry is at 75%. The necromantic warriors will start to fall apart without Ozzie's control however. We will be down to 50% within roughly a week."
"Then we have to act fast. What of our Calvary units?"
"Fast Calvary is at 30%. The units received heavy casualties at the Battle of Zenan Bridge. Heavy Calvary is at nearly full, though."
"Good," Keltar said. "That's all we'll need anyway." Keltar passed around the room a few times. He knew the time for action was now, if any. "Prepare the generals and mobilize all of the troops," he said decisively. "Now is the time for action. We shall overthrow the humans in a blaze of glory."
"Yes, my lord," the Mystic said. "I'll sound the mobilization immediately." The Mystic turned and left the room, leaving Keltar to bathe in his own ego.
"Finally, I've reached my goal," he said to himself, sitting down in one of the chairs that filled the room. "And the name of Keltar will be remembered for all eternity!"
."I once lived there, but I was a different person then..." -Magus
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