AD, SSAF HQ
She was surrounded by the familiar flames, beating at her body.
Their heat was stronger than usual, but she faced it unafraid. She had become to accustomed to the dream to be bothered by
it anymore. Up ahead, the same
image of Jack, telling her that he’d take care of it and then walking off into
the flames. His long blue hair hung
down to his waist. He drew the
sword from his back and it grew and sprouted those wings.
It was the same as it always was.
But, as he exited the flames, it became different.
Abruptly the flames disappeared, and they were in a room.
He wasn’t walking into the fire anymore. He was opening the door to the room and leaving.
Where was she? She was here, in a bed.
The world outside of the room was quiet. They were not in the midst of Armageddon.
It wasn’t that time yet. Or,
was it after that time? Why was the
room so familiar? Could it be that
this was a vision of further into the future?
A new dream, perhaps?
Then, recognition hit as she realized where the room was.
It was her room. It was the
room that she was sleeping in. Her
unconscious was giving view into the realm where her sleeping form lay. Jack was leaving the room? Was he leaving her? Was
this happening now? Was she even
dreaming anymore? He heart beat
faster and faster as she suddenly felt feelings of abandonment.
Jack was leaving, but to take care of what?
Why would he leave her?
“The Lavoid!” she shouted inside of her head.
And then, she woke up.
Sarah shot up in bed, covered in the same cold sweat that encased her
after all of her dreams. She was
wrapped in the covers. She looked
over to her right. Jack wasn’t
there. She scanned the room to find him gathering his stuff and
pulling his boots on.
“You were leaving, weren’t you?” Sarah questioned him pathetically.
“You were just going to leave me here.”
“You…had that dream again, didn’t you?” Jack asked.
“More to it this time,” She said.
“I saw you leave me again. You
went to fight it by yourself. That’s
what you were just about to do, isn’t it?”
“You would do that to me?” she asked in anger.
“How could you just leave like that with me and the others still
“It’s to dangerous,” he said, closing his eyes.
“I don’t want to endanger you. I’m…the
only one who can stop this thing. The
rest of you…”
“So you’re saying we’re useless?” she asked sadly.
“That we can’t be any help to you at all?
Didn’t it mean anything when we said we’d fight by you to the end? When I said I’d fight by you to the end?
That didn’t mean anything? Can’t
you hear me Jack? Can you listen to
what I’m saying? Or do you just
“Not understand what? I
want to keep you from danger,” he said weakly.
“Is that something so wrong? Aren’t
I doing the right thing?”
“I want to fight beside you!” she said.
“No mater how it comes out in the end, I want to be there with you!
Can’t you understand? I
don’t care if I die, if I do it for you.
I just want to be with you. I’m
only safe and I’m only happy when I’m around you.
I’m not trying to hard on you, but to just leave me here for the sake
of protecting me is the coward’s way out.
You’re not a coward Jack. I
“Don’t you understand what it means when you love someone?” she
asked. “It’s painful to be torn
from the one you love, Jack. Don’t
do that to me. I don’t want to be
away from you…”
Jack was silent. He walked
over and sat down on the bed.
“I’m sorry…” he said finally.
“I was being selfish.” He
laid down beside her. “Maybe I
could just take you,” he said hopefully.
“You could cast magic support and I think I’d be fine with just your
help. I don’t need to put the others in—”
“You can’t do that to them, either, Jack,” Sarah said.
“They want to help you too. To
do that to them…” He sighed.
“Yeah, I guess I knew that, too.”
Sarah waited a moment before speaking.
“Come on,” she said. “We’ll
get ready together.”
“I had a feeling I’d find you out here,” Rayith said.
“It seems a place a Knight would go.”
She had found Aragorn standing on one of the terraces arched out from the
main building at SSAF. He had been
watching the sunrise when Rayith had found him.
She probably just wanted to talk. That
was fine. Some people removed the
pre-battle nerves by talking. Rayith
might have been one of them. Aragorn
knew that he preferred silence, but he would help his young comrade for the time
“It’s awfully pretty,” Aragorn said.
“The sunrise, that is. I
rarely got to see it in peace. Any
time we were up before the sun, it was always because we were marching to battle
or training for battle. It wasn’t
often that we actually got to look at it.”
Aragorn sighed. “I wonder
what I’ll do now that the fighting is over.”
“Are you going back?” Rayith asked.
“I believe so, anyway,” he said.
“I feel that is my place. I
would be there now, but I cannot just let an atrocity like the one Lavos has
committed go unpunished. It is part
of the Knight’s Code that justice be delivered, whatever the cost.
But why did you ask? Will
you stay in this time?”
“I don’t know,” Rayith admitted.
“I’ve always felt like I’ve been without a real drive in life.
I guess the desire to fight Magus was always there, but even that’s
gone now. I don’t think I have
anything to do back in our time. I
don’t know if Jack and Sarah want to keep me around.
I guess they’ll go back to school after it’s all over.
Maybe I could live in this time. I
could find a job. The others could
help me adjust. This time is more
interesting, you know?”
“Are you being truthful to yourself?” Aragorn asked.
“I’m not sure. Maybe…maybe
I just don’t want to go back because I don’t want to have to worry about
being around the spirits of my parents and my townsfolk.
Maybe I see this time travel thing as an escape.”
“You have to be true to yourself, Rayith.
If you’re the only one that you’re fooling, then you may as well be
fooling everyone else.”
“I understand,” she said. “I
don’t know what I’ll do. Let’s
make it through the day first, right?”
“Assuredly,” Aragorn agreed. “But
talking helps calm the mind. Battle
requires a calm mind. If the mind
is lost in itself, the battle will be lost as well.”
“I guess you’re right.”
“I’ve had a lot of experience, young one,” Aragorn said.
“At your age, I already had received war honors and was on my way to
becoming a General. That’s not
the path for everyone, mind you, but my opinions are ones forged from many a
year in battle.”
“I’ll do well to heed them,” Rayith said.
“I just hope I can help.”
“You will go back, won’t you?” she asked again.
Aragorn nodded. “I don’t
want to be alone, Aragorn,” she admitted.
“I’ve been alone my entire life, you know?
And now, I’ve finally found companions, friends who can help me.
I’ve found some people that would try to save your life when if it came
to that. I’ve…never experienced
that before. Going back seems to be
a return to how it was. And…I
like it the way it is now. The past
months have been hectic, but there’s always been companionship in it. I didn’t really worry where my next meal was coming from
and who I would have to mug to get it. Those
thing just didn’t matter as much.”
“It’s a powerful thing to know you have friends that care about
you,” Aragorn said. “I lost that feeling for awhile.
You would do yourself a injustice to allow yourself to lose it as
“I hope I don’t lose it.”
“Then do what you feel is right,” he said.
“You’ll end up in the place you need to be.”
Tristan hunched over the workbench.
Glancing at his watch, it read 6:30.
On the table in front of him saw the Dreamblade.
Or, it was a slightly disassembled Dreamblade at any rate.
He was hoping he could do what Jack has asked him to.
All that required was replacing the frame and the blade with the
polymorphic allow that the fusion guns were made of.
This way, Jack would be able to form the blade into whatever form he
wished, with Doreen’s help, anyway.
“So, Doreen,” Tristan said. “You
think this will work?”
“Absolutely,” Doreen’s voice said.
“Lathain designed the plan, did he not?”
“So what is it with this guy?” he asked.
“Is he suddenly some sort of perfect being?”
“Not quite,” Doreen said. “Lathain
still has much to learn in his own rite. His
abilities have not completely developed yet.”
“Uh-huh,” Tristan said, somewhat sarcastically.
“Well, as long as he can beat this thing, I guess it’s okay if he has
these ‘super powers.’ I just
hope he knows how to control them.”
“How do you think you will fight Lavos tomorrow?” Doreen asked.
“I don’t really know,” he admitted.
“I’m taking a guess that the ability of anyone other than the Great
Jack McKlane to damage him will be limited.
I’ll provide fire support, most likely.
Sarah and Rayith can give magic support.
To be honest, though, I don’t know what Aragorn will do.
He can probably cause some damage with that big ‘ole sword of his.
He’ll probably stand on the front line with Jack.”
“Make sure you watch out for Jack,” Doreen said.
“Huh?” Tristan asked. “Isn’t
he powerful enough to take care of himself?”
“I mean more or less in a mental way,” Doreen said.
“When his power does come into full fruition, he will need a lot of
mental support. He trusts you. Stick with him. Make
sure you give your help in the endeavors he goes through. He’ll need your help and probably more than you realize.”
“You’re an odd one, Doreen,” Tristan said.
“The scary part is though, I somehow get the feeling that you’re
an Hour Later…
Jack walked down the hallway with intrepid determination.
The other four followed him, forming somewhat of a V as they traversed
SSAF HQ toward the Main Hall where Jack would teleport them directly to the Day
of Lavos. He had decided to cut out
the middle step of the End of Time, feeling that his power was great enough to
get right where he needed them to be. The
only problem was that they needed to be in the time after the Jack and
Sarah in that time got sent to the year 600 AD.
Tristan worried that it might create a paradox if two the same existences
occurred in the same point in the time stream.
And then, all semblance of a plan would fall into disarray.
At that point, Jack knew that it would probably come down to just him and
the Lavoid, a fate he had come to accept.
Fully armed, each person in the group tried their hardest not to show the
fears they were dealing with on the inside.
If one showed the slightest bit of uncertainty, the others might lapse
into it as well. Confidence was the
key to mental victory. Aragorn had
told them all that at one point.
They walked through the white hallways, rounding a corner and passing
under a large archway leading into the large main room of the HQ.
It was a room about ten stories high with a large atrium on the top.
The archway, which they had just passed under, was on a landing about
four stories up, the connecting point of two large staircases that spread out
from either side, climbing down to the first floor.
At the base of the staircases, what was probably the remainder of SSAF
stood gathered to greet the time travelers.
There was a semi-wide path which they would walk through before entering
the final time gate.
As they progressed down the stairs and came into the path formed down the
middle of the SSAF Assembly, the entire group saluted the Travelers.
Walking through and past the group, the five of them stood in a small
clearing near the main entrance. Jack,
realizing that some sort of oration was in order, turned around to address the
The crowd grew silent, knowing he would speak.
He waited a moment, trying to formulate his speech.
He turned briefly to look at Sarah who nodded to him.
He would go on with it. They
needed some to hear him talk. They
all knew about him and his power at this point.
He was the only human with the Force Tech degree of over 50.
Information spread quickly. He
looked back at the crowd, and began to talk.
“Fellow survivors,” he said. “We
stand before you today with our world on the brink of destruction.
Our cities have been destroyed and our populations forced into poverty.
Many lives were lost on the day Lavos attacked, and even death may have
seemed a better option than the conditions we live in now.
We have suffered heavy casualties against a beast which, until this day,
we have been unable to fight against.”
“He has pushed us into submission.
We have keeled over before him. All
that we held dear to us was destroyed. Looking
into the numbers, the general survival rate of the population was about a mere
8%. What took us thousands of years
to build up has been out and out destroyed by an attack that took a total of
three minutes from start to finish. We
have been unable to fight him because of his overwhelming power, both magical
“But we are going to fight against it anyway, now.
It is not a fight for supremacy or control of land.
These things are what we have fought for in the past. This is not a battle for this.
This is a battle against extinction.
Should we fall here, the human race stands little hope and will only be
greeted by a dim future. Such is
the fate that destiny has dealt us. We
had no control over what happened. The
only thing we have control over now is what will come.”
“And what will come is what will come.
All will be decided not by you all, but the few of us that you see before
us. I understand that you all will
only be able to wait until something comes bringing news of the fight which is
about to unfold. Only when we come
back alive or dead will you be able to know.”
“But fear not for us. We
are the only ones who can fight it, the ones who possess magic.
But also be not apathetic towards a fight which you cannot participate
in. Rather, lend us your spirits
and your hope so that we may grow stronger.
We are fighting for this world. Without
the world and the people that inhabit it, we would have nothing to come back to,
victory or defeat.”
“So let your voices and hope
remain with us, for humanity will not bow down calmly into the night.
We will not fall prey to an alien menace that enters our world and takes
over without retaliation. The time
for such retaliation is now in order. Cast
him down unto the pits of hell. No
longer will we stand for submission. The
history we have been dealt will be rewritten and destiny’s sullen mockery of
us shall be wrought with destruction! We
will not submit! We will fight on! We
will fight now! We will fight for the future!” Jack exhaled loudly in
exhaustion and the crowd exploded with voices.
They began chanting.
victory,” came the cheer from the crowd. Jack closed his eyes and slowly turned around to face his
“How was that?” he asked
“You have a knack, I would
say,” Tristan said. “Just
don’t go developing any desires to go our of your way to make over dramatic
“I guess not,” Jack said,
fiddling with the Dreamblade a little tentatively.
“Are you turning red?”
Sarah asked. She looked at him
closer. “You are!
“I’ve…never spoken like
that in front of so many people before,” he said.
“You did well,” Aragorn
said, patting him on the back. “We could make a speech maker out of you, yet.”
“We’re gonna look really
bad if we lose and then come back.”
“That’s not an option,
Tristan,” Jack said morbidly.
“And we can’t lose to some
bad guy!” Rayith said.
“Such is my hope, Ray,”
Jack said, waving his hand and causing the time gate to appear behind them.
“Such is my hope.”
“He’s dense,” Valnius said bitterly.
“We doesn’t he listen to you?” he asked Topik.
“Because he’s to headstrong,” Topik admitted.
“Hopefully, the others will beat him to the Lavoid.”
“They took their Time Machine,” Hal confirmed.
“They’ll be contacting Lavos shortly.
That should block Lathain from getting to close.”
“And hopefully his life will be saved,” Jal added.
“It would be such a waste of such power if it is not,” Topik said.
“He must come out alive and he must come to recognize his place in the
world. He must come back and learn
to use his power.”
“You really think he’s The One,” Fenreir said.
“He will free the others of his kind,” Topik said.
“The other Planeswalkers. He’ll
help them. He just has to avoid
direct contact with the core. He’ll
be able to resist as long as he’s outside of the shell.
Once he gets close enough to the core, though…”
“We prey for his safety,” three others said in unision.
“We all do,” Topik said. “And
so should the rest of the universe.”
Day of Lavos
The air fluctuated with the heat as the group appeared in 1999, three
months before, when Jack and Sarah had originally been thrown through time. It
was the same clearing that they had been defeated in before, and Lavos was
already awake and up for the second match.
Lavos had surfaced already. Having
bored through the earth, it had already created a small crater of earth, pushed
up on the outer rim where he had pierced the surface.
From a viewpoint high above, it just looked like a mass of organic spikes
shooting out of the ground. It
wasn’t until you came to the ground that you saw the thing that was the most
haunting feature, ringed by the tri-prong shell: The Eye.
The Eye of the Lavoid, or rather, the viewing window of the Lavoid to the
world. Looking outward in such a
bizarre, apathetic manner that it could only be described as sickening.
The swirls of color inside what could only be the iris seemed to move as
you looked at it. And the pupil.
The sickly thing was never seemed to fluctuate from its central point.
It just looked at you, piercing through anything you may use to protect
yourself. You see the eye of the
Lavoid and all you feel is penetration. Nothing
is hidden. The ages of wisdom,
sealed in the eye, see all and know all. The devil himself, utter source of destruction, a window to
Chaos, all looked out of that eye. That
eye! How it could destroy you just
by looking at it! There was no
avoiding it though. It was the only
way to the core. The eye had to go
if the core was to be destroyed. The
eye would have to be faced.
The beast was somewhat in the distance, its giant eye open and surveying
the territory. It was only a matter
of minutes before it probably would release its final attack: the large set of
beams that decimated both The Kingdom of Zeal and the Country of Guardia in
their respective times.
Feeling slight trepidation, Jack waited a moment before beginning the
attack across the clearing. He
looked at the beast, seeing it for the first time since that night in Zeal.
If possible, it was more gruesome in person.
The eye stared ahead now at the group, knowing very well that the attack
was coming. But, he was not afraid.
Lavos had never known fear in his life.
He had no reason to fear. Truth
be told, he did not even know what fear was.
Maybe Lavos himself did not understand the power that had been imbued
into his own son. Or, could it be
that Lavos already knew that Jack would be helpless when so close to his source
of Lavoid Energy?
“You die now,” Jack called out to him simply, pulling his glittering
blade from its sheath. He pointed
the sword at the beast. “You die
<I>right</I> now.” Jack
didn’t want to wait for the others, simply moving at a pace not noticeably by
human eye. To the others, it looked as if he had merely teleported right
in front of the Lavoid.
The Lavoid let out its trademark cry as it prepared to for attack.
A few of the spikes towards the front arched over and moved to point
towards Jack. This was the signal
that the attack was coming.
“Play time’s over, planet killer!” Jack shouted, readying the
Dreamblade. In the background, he
could here the sound of his companions screaming at him to wait for them.
Their voices were muffled, though. It
wasn’t he sound of the beast itself that was drowning their voices out.
It was his own ears that were phasing their sound into its muted tones.
He didn’t want to hear them. Now
was his time to be greedy for the first time on the journey.
Now he would get his revenge.
He jumped. He was going right at the eye, raising a deflective shield to
defend against the oncoming blasts. The
Dreamblade flared as he disconnected it from the metal part, silently placing
the physical blade in the sheath. Black
waves pulsed through it. He was
about to hit the eye. He was so
close now. All he would need to do
was to channel pure energy though it. He
knew he was strong enough. He knew
it was time. He never saw the flash
behind him as the Epoch materialized in the distance…
Scorching forward at colossal speeds, the Epoch tore through the sky.
On the insides of it were the boy, Crono, and his allies, the Frog and
the Robot. They planned to bore
right through to the core, using the energy generated by their light speed time
travel to careen through the biological armor.
The energy was sufficient, too. There
was a wave of energy that surrounded the craft as it met the shell, only a
millisecond before Jack did…
Jack never saw it coming. The
explosion that followed the contact between the ship and the shell sent him
flying backwards from the explosion. The
Lavoid let out a monstrous cry as the ship tore through the shell, being ripped
to shreds as it did. Jack looked up
from the ground to see the entire shell move and shift from the pain as the
foreign craft worked its effects. The
Lavoid’s eye closed as it cried in torment.
“What that?” he mumbled, putting the Dreamblade back it its sheath as
his allies finally made it up to him. He
quickly climbed to his feet and examined the scene in front of him.
Smoke was rising from the point of impact of the Epoch and the eye-pod of
the Lavoid was closed tightly. The
trees around were now ablaze, lit from the explosion.
“What happened?” Sarah asked. “It
looked like something crashed into it.”
“Yeah,” Jack said, rubbing his head.
“And it certainly wasn’t me.”
“Well, what was it, then?” Rayith asked.
“The thing doesn’t look like it’s in a mood to fight anymore.”
“And the fire on the battle field creates for less than desirably
battle conditions,” Aragorn conceded. Jack
looked ahead at the monster.
“I’ll take care of it…” he said bitterly, lifting the Dreamblade
back out of it’s sheath. The
blade glimmered in the light from the fire, displaying a red tint on metal
blade. He brought it in front of
him and the weapon began to shift, just as Sarah had seen it shift so many
times. From the hilt, it sprouted
projections that looked like wings and the red glow began to consume the
entirety of the blade as energy surrounded it.
“Cool new feature,” Jack said to Tristan, referring to its new
capability to morph shape. Tristan
nodded, thinking to himself how perfectly he had assembled it.
Jack, taking Tristan’s feeling of success to heart, walked forward,
past some of the flames and towards the Lavoid.
“Jack?” Sarah said, walking out to catch up to him but feeling
Tristan’s hand hold her back.
“Let him do what he has to do,” Tristan said.
Sarah sighed in concession.
Jack walked to within two feet of the Lavoid.
He listened closely, reaching out his senses, and in his head he could
hear the battle that was happening inside of the shell.
He could hear the others fighting it, fighting the thing which he
was supposed to kill. At this
moment, he wasn’t sure it he was jealous or not.
Something was bothering him about it though. All that time, Topik had told him that he wouldn’t fight
the Lavoid. Was he right?
Was this written in destiny already?
Jack drew the Dreamblade back and made a wide, powerful cut at the
Lavoid’s shell, but was met by a pulse of black energy that deflected the
blade away. He looked at the Lavoid
and cursed before attacking a few more times.
Each time, the blade was decisively parried and no dent was made.
“It’s some sort of shield,” Jack said, putting the Dreamblade away.
“It’s probably due to the power being generated by the fight that’s
happening in there.”
“We can’t get through?” Tristan asked.
“Not even if we blast it?”
“Be my guest to try,” Jack invited, waving Tristan ahead while
sighing heavily. Tristan went and
tried his fusion gun, but the pulse of energy was fizzled on contact.
Not even his energy weapons would work.
“And that would also imply that magic is out of the question?” Rayith
“The Dreamblade isn’t having an effect,” Sarah pointed out.
“So magic is probably useless as well.”
“Damn it,” Jack finally said. “Why
can’t we go in?” He shouted up
to the heavens. “Why!?
Why do you mock me!?”
“Jack!” Sarah yelled, running over to him and grabbing him.
“Get a hold of yourself. We
may not be out of this yet.” Jack
sunk to the ground.
“Nothing is good enough, Sarah. Nothing
is good enough.”
“Do we retreat and make a new plan?” Aragorn suggested.
They sat in silence for about a minute before Jack spoke.
“I don’t know,” Jack said. “For
the first time in the past few months, I really don’t know.
It seems that everything we’ve been leading up to is being thrown back
in our faces, a mockery of destiny. Everything
that we did to get here was without meaning.
All that was told to me about not fighting the Lavoid came true.
Someone else beat us to the punch, ladies and gentlemen, just like Topik
told me would happen. I didn’t believe him.
I thought he was being a fool to think he could see down the path of
time. Now look who’s the
fool who time has laughed at and destiny has defeated.”
His sullen demeanor blocked out the sudden rumbling that began to come
from the Lavoid. The others heard
it, but he had blocked it out. It
wasn’t as if it mattered anymore. A
ripple began to form in the middle of the Lavoid’s core.
Something had happened that had changed history.
He just didn’t care, though. At
that moment, he didn’t care about anything.
And then, the Time Wave hit.
nothing else matters....” – Metallica
To Chapter 35
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