Chapter 25- Speeches of Destiny
600 AD, Truce
Tristan sighed as the group surveyed the soon-to-be fair grounds. They knew that this was the point that the King was going to give his speech, and therefore was also going to be the area that housed the assassin. They had spent the entire morning searching for probably assassination points, but were upset at the fact that there were just so many.
It wasn't even like there was one point that was better then any other. There were at least four excellent places to launch an assassination from. Those were only the ones that they had found. Aragorn had said him self that while he was good and finding places like this, he was not perfect, and that much of the fairground and the surviving areas remained to be checked.
"Maybe we should determine the assassination method, first?" Tristan suggested. "I mean, you people don't exactly have high-powered sniper rifles and fly-by-wire missiles." He looked to Aragorn. "What's probably the most likely assassination tool?"
"Crossbow would be traditional," Aragorn said. "You don't need to worry about drawing the string of a long bow and can concentrate on aiming."
"What if they don't kill him here at all?" Rayith asked. "You know, like poison his food so he eventually dies here, but they won't actually kill him here."
"No," Aragorn said, shooting down the idea. "They want it to be quite clear that they were responsible. This isn't so much a political play as a terrorist one."
"I agree with Aragorn," Tristan said.
"So then what?" Rayith said.
"Poison dart is also possible," Aragorn mused. "And since we're dealing with Mystics, there's always the probability of magical assassination. Either way, every one of those methods will require a different positioning of the assassin. I think we've been successful in locating a least two potential positions for each of those forms. But, we can't rule out the possibility that the Mystics will have a different method planed."
"So basically, we're clueless," Rayith said with distaste in her voice.
"Not clueless," Aragorn corrected. "We know the time and the general place. That's more then most people ever know."
After about an hour of searching, the group had become quite tired. It was past mid-day and they hadn't eaten since early morning. Aragorn decided that they had done an excellent job for today (despite rebuttals from Rayith) and it would do them good to take a break for the rest of the day.
The group retreated to town, but had been forced to wear all-encompassing robes after the price on their head had come out. Signs were up across the town marking rewards for "Aragorn: the Traitorous Knight" and "Rayith: The Known Thief and Murderer." They did not have a portrait of Tristan, but he would be deemed guilty by mere association with Aragorn and Rayith.
"I never killed anyone!" Rayith spat in reference to the signs. "And that's a terrible picture of me!"
"Would you keep it down?" Tristan said, drinking from his mug of water. "We're wanted criminals, you know? We can't go around yelling like that."
"Oh, please," Rayith said sarcastically. "I've been a wanted criminal for years, and let me tell you, this 'aint anything new. Most people don't want to help others or get involved with people like us."
"What do you mean?"
"Well," Rayith said. "For example, everyone knows Aragorn as a War hero. That's not arguable. Even if they did believe he was a traitor, would you jump at the chance to enter combat with the man that was solely credited with victory at Zenan Point?"
"What did you do to get credited with that victory?" Tristan asked Aragorn, slightly intrigued.
"After the battle was going down hill, I discovered a traitor within our ranks and took control of the troops. Under my command, we won, even though we were outnumbered about three to one."
"Damn…" Tristan said, whistling in amazement. "What about you?" Tristan asked, looking at Rayith.
"Well, I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I've been wanted for a while before this. Me and my swordsmanship is pretty well known around these parts."
Tristan looked at Aragorn with a raised eyebrow as if to question the validity of Rayith's statement.
"It's true," Aragorn admitted with a nod. "She's a crook."
"Hey!" Rayith argued as Tristan tried to quiet her down. "I'm not a crook. I only steel to survive."
"Yeah," Aragorn said. "And how much did those jewels on your wrists cost?"
"I…found them," Rayith said in her defense, clutching the gems on her wrist bands. "And that's none of your business."
"Okay, okay," Tristan cut in. "I believe you. And I'm not worried any more. I guess no one would want to fight with idiot one and idiot two over here." Rayith started to speak in her defense again, but Tristan cut her off again.
"So what now?" Rayith asked.
"Now," Aragorn said, pausing for effect. "We wait."
12,000 BC, Kajar
Sarah rubbed her head with anguish as she tried to remember what had happened the night before. All she could think about though was the splitting headache that raged through her cranium. She couldn't even remember the dreams she had last night, which was another oddity for her.
"I feel so…" she said, searching for the right word.
"Hungover?" Jack suggested, completing her sentence.
"Yeah," Sarah said, rubbing her temples and looking at the blue haired youth who was getting dressed near her bed. "What did we do last night?"
"Oh, you just had a little too much to drink," Jack said, concealing part of the actual story. "You'll be fine in a bit."
"Man, but my head hurts," she mumbled before collapsing onto the bed again.
"You rest," Jack said. "And then we'll go get breakfast."
"No," Sarah said wearily, forcing her self to rise. "I can go. Let's get something to eat. That'll make me feel better."
Sarah climbed off of the bed and got dressed. Luckily, she hadn't thrown up on her robe last night. Soon the two were out of the room, Sarah rubbing her temples in hope of relieving some of the pain.
"Where are we gonna go, though?" Sarah questioned as they exited the building.
"I'm sure they have something like a dinner," Jack said confidently. "We'll find some place."
"But we don't have any money," Sarah said.
Jack smiled. "Already have that taken care of," he said with a smirk. "You just leave it to me." Sarah was too tired to argue.
After a short period of searching for dinning, Jack and Sarah found something that did in fact resemble a dinner in its layout and menu. Walking up to the hostess table, a man asked them for their name and party size.
With a large smile on his face, Jack said, "Lathain, party of two."
"L-L-Lathain?" The man asked. The blue haired youth nodded. "Please," he announced. "Sit anywhere you like!" Jack nodded to the man and past by him, leading Sarah to a table in the rear of the dinning room.
After they had say down, Sarah leaned over the table to speak. "Why'd you do that?" she asked. "You want to attract attention to yourself?"
Jack simply held up a hand with five fingers outstretched. Slowly, he lowered a finger one at a time, as if to count down to one. As he reached the count of one, a waiter came over to them and handed them menus. "The chef has asked me to inform you that your meal will be on the house, Mister Lathain," he said.
Jack smiled triumphantly at Sarah still not speaking. The waiter continued. "Anything to drink?" he asked.
"Coffee," both of the answered in unison. The waiter nodded, spun around and walked away.
"How'd you know that would happen?" Sarah asked, leaning back against her chair.
"I just figured that my supposed legend was wide spread. And who in their right mind would deny the so called 'Savior of Zeal' a free meal?"
"Interesting," Sarah said. She paused momenarily. "But now we come to an interesting subject." Jack raised an eyebrow. "Are you the so-called 'Savior of Zeal?' The one that is said to be of Lavos Born, whatever that means."
Jack paused in thought. "Is it important?" he finally asked.
"Yes!" Sarah confirmed. "Yes, it most definitely is. If you are the Lathain of Legends, then you must see it and find what you are supposed to do."
"I don't know…" Jack said. "It just seems to perfect. Too convenient that I was born Lathain, sent through time, only to end up back here 16 years latter. I thought the prince, or rather myself, was named after the legend, not AS the legend."
"But then it would make sense," Sarah said. "That would complete the prophesy. You WERE named Lathain, because Destiny wrote that you would come back here one day and do whatever it is that Destiny would have you do."
"Tch," Jack sneered. "Destiny? What's Destiny?"
"You don't believe in Destiny, Jack?" Sarah asked with a raised brow. Jack shook his head.
"I'm in control of my own life."
"Jack," Sarah argued. "You of all people should understand Destiny. Look at all of the events that have led to us being here. How many of those did you have control over?"
Jack quickly ran the thought back over in his mind. Let's see…going with Sean, that was not really my choice as he was a superior officer. Getting sent to 600ad…meeting Rayith and getting sent to the End of Time…finding my home in ruins…meeting with Topik…going to Magus's castle…getting sent here…
"You see?" Sarah asked, as if conscious of his thoughts. "You didn't have control. All of the important events that led us here happened on their own, with little direction from you."
"No…" Jack said, thinking for something he had control over. "Magus's Castle!" he finally announced. "I didn't have to go to Magus's Castle. That was a conscious choice on my own part."
"Was it really, though?" Sarah asked. "What was it that made you go there?"
Jack spoke. "I was told that he had information on the-…" he cut himself off. He went to Magus's Castle because he was under the assumption that Magus knew about the Lavoid. But why did he know that? Topik! That bastard! He knew what I would do! He knew I would go to Magus if he told me that Magus knew about Lavos. He led me right into it!
"Fate ties throughout, doesn't it?" Sarah asked.
"How did you know?" Jack asked very helplessly. "How did you know?" he asked again.
In an odd movement of head and neck, Sarah suddenly flinched and looked at Jack like she had been in a trance. "I-I don't know," she stuttered. "It just…sort of came to me. It's like I suddenly saw the past that happened to you…" Then in her head, You are the one, Jack. I feel it. I think I understand now what Sean said about you…
"I need to get back to the End of Time," Jack said. "Once we find a way to get out of here, I need to get back there. I need to speak to someone. I need to find out what's really going on, and why I'm being tugged around like a puppet on strings."
"But how do we get there?" Sarah asked.
"Not now," Jack said. "Now, we'll wait to see the time-space anomaly that sent me to your time. Then we leave."
Your time, Sarah repeated his words to her self. He called it 'your' time. Does he not even think of if as his own time anymore? Does he see his ultimate role in this world? Can he see his ultimate role. Or, more importantly, do I know his ultimate role?
"Right," Sarah agreed. "And until then?"
"We kill time, I guess," Jack said.
He's afraid… Sarah thought. He's really afraid. "Kill time?" Sarah repeated in question. "When you think about it, that's an odd expression." At this time, the waiter came with their coffee. Each of them fixed it their own way. Sarah used milk and sugar, Jack drank it with only sugar.
"Kill time…" Jack repeated himself. "Yeah," he agreed. "It is an odd statement. Almost paradoxical. It's not really possible to kill something that doesn't exist as a material object. Yet, we seem to do it all the time."
The rest of breakfast was silent, for the most part. Jack didn't feel like talking about Destiny anymore, mostly because he was starting to think that he WAS being pulled by something. That he WAS being led along by some higher power. Could the beings at the Beginning of Time control Destiny? Or was that even out of their power?
After breakfast, Jack and Sarah returned to their room. Jack took the time to study from the magic book while Sarah delved into some of the books that adorned their room. That was the funny thing about Zeal; every room was a veritable library. This civilization was truly a treasure trove of knowledge.
As they read their books, Sarah's head suddenly shot up from her reading position with a worried look on her face.
"What's wrong?" Jack asked, not taking his eyes off of his book.
"I…I don't know," Sarah said. "But I think something terrible has happened to Melchior."
"That old guy who's building my, err…the TAG?"
"Yeah," Sarah said. "I can't help but shake the feeling that he's in trouble."
"Why?" Jack asked.
"I'm not sure," Sarah said, putting her book on the end-table and rising from her chair. "I want to check his workshop."
"But we'd never be able to find it again," Jack said. "And anyway, his main shop is up in the palace, right?"
"Dor-!" Sarah started to call the name of their Finori friend, but quickly found that she was suddenly standing before them.
"You called?" Doreen asked.
"Why do I get the feeling you've been watching us," Jack said, crossing his arms and looking down at the creature.
"Because you're a smart human," Doreen said with a smile. "Very rare to come by these days, too."
"Anyway," Sarah continued. "Could you take us to Melchior's main workshop?"
"Sure," Doreen said, waving her arm and creating a teleportation spell that instantly warped then to a workshop. After a quick analysis, the group discerned that the workshop was empty. It looked like there may have been signs of a struggle, or possibly Melchior was just a messy worker. This workshop, like his other one, contained a pillar of Dreamstone. It also contained a pole that was most likely used for testing the strength of weapons. Or rather, it WAS a pole, before it had been cleanly cleaved down the middle by an exceptionally powerful weapon.
As they surveyed the workbenches and store closets, Masa and Mune suddenly burst into the room from a previously unseen entrance. Walking to the brothers, Jack spoke. "Hey," Jack said. "What are you two doing here?"
"They took him!" Masa announced.
"The Queen took him!" Mune confirmed.
"He didn't stand a chance!" Masa said.
"Not a chance," Mune echoed.
"And they locked him on Mt. Woe!"
Jack stopped the hysterical duo from talking for a moment to asked a question. "Woah, woah, woah," Jack said. "Slow down! Now start from the beginning. Who did they take?"
"Melchior!" Masa and Mune said simultaneously.
"And who's they?" Sarah asked.
"The Dalton and the Queen!" the yelled.
"Guys," Doreen cut in. "You need to calm down."
"Yeah," Jack agreed. "Let's calm down and you can tell us the whole story."
"They took him…" Masa whimpered. "He didn't stand a chance. If only he could have used the Masamune!"
"Masamune?" Sarah asked.
"Well," Masa said. "Maybe we should start from the beginning…"
"There are some things you just can't explain with the word... fate. You're just going to have to see it with your own eyes." - Taura
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