Chapter 9- Might and Magic
Time: None, Truce Canyon Gate
The tunnel seemed almost endless. She felt like she was falling down, up, left and right all at once. Sarah tried to scream, but either nothing was coming out, or the sound was swallowed up by the blue void surrounding her. She could see Jack a bit ahead of her in the tunnel, and in looking behind her, Aragorn on her tail. In the distance, she could see a black dot. It was small at first, but it began to grow, taking up all of the vision in front of her. Then, Jack fell into the blackness and was no longer in her sight. She felt the darkness reaching her as she fell through it and was snapped back into the third dimension...
Rayith hit the floor with a thud after falling for a seemingly forever. The floor was some sort of cobble stone and she was surrounded by a blue pillar of light. She slowly rose and exited the pillar, just as Jack came into view ten feet above her and landed where she had just been. He yelped in pain as he hit the floor.
"Got to work on my landing," he said sarcastically, trying to get up while clutching his side. He got to his knees by the time Sarah landed on top of him, knocking him to the ground again.
"Thanks for breaking my fall," she said, climbing off of him and exiting the pillar.
"My pleasure," he said with a grunt. He looked up only to see something frightening. He screamed and jumped out of the way before the armor clad Aragorn hit the ground, right where he had been. Aragorn seemed almost unperturbed. Jack slowly rose to greet his companions, still rubbing his side.
"Well that was fun," he said, heavy sarcasm. "Anyone want to ride again?"
"Not a chance," Rayith said, also sarcastically. "I think I'm gonna be sick. I felt like my insides just got all mixed up. Can I make a note not to ever do that again?"
"I wouldn't worry about that right now," Sarah said, checking her surroundings. "I'm more concerned about where we are." Sarah looked down the passageway to their left and over a fence gate. There was an open space on the far end with a lamp post and hunched up in a corner was what looked like a robot. He appeared to be switched off, though. Sarah slowly walked over to the fence gate and opened it, noticing for the first time a man in a brown trench coat and a derby hat leaning against the lamppost. He hear Sarah coming and lifted his head. He looked toward the puzzled group and tipped his hat.
"Wow, two new groups within a two days. That's got to be a record."
"What are you talking about," asked Jack, walking past Sarah to examine the old looking man. "Where are we?" The old man looked at him and grinned.
"Why, this is the end of time, of course."
600ad, Magus's Castle.
Keltar paced back and forth, going over the recent news. How would he tell Magus that his spies lost track of the blue-haired man? Magus would surely kill him. It didn't make sense either. They had been in plain sight over the last few days. They were tired, but still combat ready. He knew he should have order the capture while they were still traveling. Now, they're last known location was Truce Village. They couldn't have just disappeared, could they have?
"What is the news of the blue-haired man," came a voice from behind him. Keltar spun around to see an angry looking Magus standing before him. "Will you have him here soon?" Keltar tried to panic, but he stuttered a little.
"My-my spies have tracked him down. I'm sending the order capture him this very day!" he said, sweating slightly.
"I certainly hope so," Magus said, turning to leave the room. He started to walked to the door while speaking over his shoulder. "For you sake," he said grimly. He left the room, leaving Keltar to wonder what he could do.
End of Time
"The end of what?" Rayith said, annoyed.
"The end of time," the man said again. "It's where lost travelers in time end up."
"I'm still confused," Jack said.
"It's really not that difficult," the old man said. "It's like this: when more than three people enter a time gate, they cause a displacement in the space-time continuum, sending them to the coordinates of the least resistance. In other words, here."
"Oh," Jack said, very sarcastically. "Everything makes perfect sense now! Now how about in English?"
"When more than three people enter a gate, which is that blue tunnel you just came out of, they end up here. The other group understood it just fine, why can't you?"
"What other group?" asked Sarah.
"You know, the kid with the punk hairdo, the girl with the ponytail and the girl with the monster glasses," he said. "You don't know them?" Jack put his hand to his chin.
"So that's where they went..." he said, somewhat to himself. "Anyway, you wouldn't happen to know how to get to the year 1999 would you?" The old man looked like he was going to have a heart attack for a second but then became very serious.
"Why do you want to go to the year 1999?" he asked.
"Well," Jack began to say, "Sarah here, and myself, are from that year. These other two, Aragorn and Rayith, are from the year 600."
"And how did you end up here?" the man asked.
"A beast that our friend called Lavos opened up a time portal and sent us to 600. We met these two knuckle heads there. We were trying to find the girl with the glasses because we knew that she had some information on time travel and might be able to help us get home."
"What were you doing near Lavos?! Actually, never mind. I see..." the old man said in deep thought.
"Look Mister," Sarah said, "we just want to go home, is there any way you can help us?" The old man paused to a long time before speaking again.
"Do you see that bucket over there?" he said, pointing to a pedestal in the corner. "You can set the dial on it forward a few days and take that to the year 1999. It will create a gate that you can use to come back here when you need to.
"Why do we have to set it forward?" Jack asked.
"Don't ask questions, just trust me. You should come back here when your done in that time."
"What do you mean 'done in that time?'" Sarah asked. "The idea is to get home and stay there. I'm not into this time travel business."
"Oh, nothing..." the man said, trailing off. "There is someone that I'd like to you meet before you go though."
"Who," Jack asked.
"Go into that room behind me," the man said, pointing over his shoulder.
"Why?" Jack asked, trying not to be annoying, but failing.
"You certainly talk a lot more than that other one?" the man said, slightly annoyed.
"What other one?" Jack said, popping out yet another annoying question.
"Oh, never mind," he said, throwing his hands up in the air. "Just open the door behind me and meet my friend back there." Jack slowly walked to the door behind the old man, eyeing him suspiciously. He opened it slowly and walked into the room. Aragorn and Rayith followed. Sarah remained behind.
"I'm sorry about my friend, he's been through a lot lately," she said to the man.
"It's odd, really," the man said. "Of the two groups passing through here recently, both had a guy with spiky hair and a girl with blonde hair. I'll bet he's the leader isn't he?"
"Well, we don't really have a leader," Sarah said, "but I think he thinks he is." The old man paused for a while.
"Do you know where he got that blue hair from?" he asked.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, who had blue hair, his mother's side or his father's side."
"Actually," Sarah said, "Jack's adopted. I wouldn't know and I don't think he would either."
"Interesting…" the man said. "My name is Gaspar, I have a feeling I'll be seeing a lot more of you're little group."
"Nice to meet you Gaspar," Sarah said politely. "I'm Sarah."
"Go with the others," he said softly. "I'm sure you'll enjoy what's back there."
"Okay," she said. Sarah passed by Gaspar and walked into the door behind him, finding the other three standing in a semi circle around what looked like a white ball of fur with legs. To everyone's surprise, the ball opened it's eyes and spoke to them.
"Greetings! I am Spekkio, the Master of War!"
"What the hell is that?!" shouted Rayith. "It's a weenie ball of fur!"
"Let's put it this way," Spekkio said. "If your strong, I look strong. If your weak, I look weak."
"You makin' fun of me fur-ball?!" Rayith shouted, fists clenched.
"Calm down," Spekkio said impatiently. "Anyway, here's the deal. The old man let you through because you're pure of spirit! You have the opportunity to learn magic!"
"Magic?" Jack asked skeptically. "You talking about all that hocus pocus crap?"
"Hocus Pocus?" Spekkio repeated in quarry. "You talk too much," he said bluntly. "Anyway, in ancient times, the world was filled with magic and everyone could use it. But, over time, people began to abuse their gifts so magic was removed from the common person and only wizards could use it. But now, you will be able to learn magic."
"What exactly is magic?" Sarah asked.
"An excellent question. Magic, is divided by it's 'element.' Sadly the last group that passed through only had the gifts of Lightning, Fire and Water. They missed half of the magic available! There are eight types of magic: Shadow, Lightning, Fire, Water, Holy, Wind, Earth and Time. Shadow and Holy are different combinations of the other six, not including each other."
"So it's like that ying-yang stuff," Aragorn said. "With good, there's an equal amount of evil."
"Yes, something like that," Spekkio said. "Anyway, the other six work in threes. Lighting, Fire and Water go together, and Wind, Earth and Time go together. The balances of magic keeps the world stable. Even though most people can't use magic, magical energy still exists everywhere."
"And you're telling us that you're going to teach us to use magic?" Rayith asked. She was now very excited. Maybe I don't need to learn Force Tech after all. With magic, I can beat Magus at his own game, she thought. "What do we have to do?"
"As a test of spirit, all of you must walk around my room three times, no cheating!" While everyone gave Spekkio an odd look, the four travelers made their way around the room three times. There was much murmuring among the four, mostly comments on how stupid this test was and how it was an insult to their intelligence, eventually they finished and reformed their semi circle. Spekkio slowly walked over to Aragorn.
"Hmmm," he said, feeling out Aragorn's inner spirit. "You're earth," he said with a grin. "That's good, I get to give out a new magic." Aragorn smiled as Spekkio made his way to Sarah. He paused in thought again before speaking. "You're wind," he said simply. "Another new magic for me to give." Sarah smiled with pride as Spekkio walked over to Rayith.
"Let me be Shadow, I want all the magic I can get!" she said excitedly.
"Sorry," Spekkio said. "I'm afraid you're stuck with fire." Rayith gave him a dirty look by Spekkio was unfazed. Spekkio walked over to Jack and went into a deep thought again.
"Well?" Jack said, getting impatient. "What am I?" Spekkio paused a little longer before speaking.
"Hey, what's the deal?!" Spekkio said, looking as surprised as a ball of fur could look. "This kid already has magic!"
"What?!" Jack said, confused on what he should be feeling. "What do you mean I already have magic?"
"Yeah, what do you mean?" Sarah asked.
"I mean he already has been endowed with the abilities of magic, and not only that, but he has a power I haven't seen up close in over 12,000 years: Shadow Magic."
"You're kidding me, right?" Jack asked. "I've never been given magic by anyone. Why do you think that I have them?"
"I call them as I see them kid, and you've got magic!" Spekkio said. "Maybe you were born with it?" he suggested. "I mean, weirder things have happened." Jack was silent. "But anyway, your magic is somewhat dormant so I'll wake it up for you when I teach these others magic." Jack nodded his head as Spekkio returned to the middle of the circle.
"Everyone ready?" he asked. The four hopefuls nodded as Spekkio started spinning around. "Innie, Mennie, Minnie, Moe, Magico!" he exclaimed. A rush of energy filled the room as magical energies surged through the bodies of the group. Each felt a wave of their element fill them as they could feel their powers becoming available. Jack examined his body as a shadowy wave passed over him. The others were doing likewise, each feeling their magic within them. Then, as quickly as it started, the wave of energy passed and the room went back to normal.
"Is that…it?" Sarah asked softly.
"That would be it, me friends," Spekkio said cheerfully. "So, fortified with magic, wanna try it out?"
"But we don't know any spells yet," Aragorn pointed out.
"Yes you do," Spekkio said. "You just don't know it yet. Also, most spells that you'll use will either be taught to you or made up through experimentation. Try new stuff to learn new techniques."
"I'm game," Rayith said brightly.
"Me too," Jack said.
"Alright," Sarah said with a shrug.
"Why not," Aragorn said.
"Good, now show me what you've got!" Spekkio yelled, waiting for someone to go first. Everyone started to focus their magical energies, a process which seemed natural all of a sudden. Rayith made the first move.
"Fire!" she yelled, gathering flames in her hand and launching them at Spekkio. The flames nailed him but he seemed unhurt. Aragorn took the next move, punching his hand into the ground forming vines that snaked around Spekkio holding him in place. Rayith took this cue and lit the vines on fire with a simple spell. Jack stood in place, not sure what to do while Sarah took a play at it. She summoned the powers of wind, forming a whirlwind that sucked Spekkio up and slammed him down to the ground again.
"Good, now you're getting it!" Spekkio exclaimed, pointing at Aragorn. A bolt of lightning shot from the sky, surging through him, knocking him out. "But you're magic resistance needs work," he said with a grin. Jack took a pass, raising his arm and pointing at Spekkio causing a black explosion to engulf him. When the spell resolved, Spekkio stood as Rayith started to fire off fireballs at him, grinning madly.
"Wind!" Sarah screamed, firing a gust that sent Spekkio flying into a wall. He countered by sending an icy wave at Sarah, encasing her in ice. When the ice broke, she passed out unconscious. He turned to Rayith and used a vine move similar to that of Aragorn's, wrapping her up and putting her in a cocoon of vines; she was out of the fight. Spekkio then squared off with Jack, whom has only tried one move.
"Come on Mr. Shadow! Attack me!" he said cheerfully. "You've got magic in your blood, use it!"
"But how…" Jack mumbled to himself. "How do I win?" Wait a minute. Force Tech amplifies all my abilities right? I should be able to multiply my magic with it as well. That's it! "Okay puff ball, play time's over!" Jack began to glow green but the green turned to a blue-black as he became surrounded by shadow energy. "Yes!" he screamed, gathering all his energy into his palms and firing a beam of Shadow energy that collided with Spekkio and swallowed him in the blast. When the beam dissipated, Spekkio stood, smoke rising off of him.
"Wow," Spekkio said simply. "That was…" He couldn't find the word as a panting Jack collapsed to the floor. Suddenly, there was a flash of light and everyone stood, perfectly rejuvenated. Everyone examined themselves to find no evidence of he battle. Jack also slowly rose from the floor, still panting.
"What?" Jack asked an astonished Spekkio.
"That power was…immense."
"Well, it helps that I used some Force Tech, that might have been it."
"No," Spekkio said. "Even without that Force Tech…" He paused. "Anyway, go forth and learn new spells. Come visit me and bring newcomers to meet me!" he said to everyone. Slowly he group exited the room. Spekkio stopped Jack, who was the last one to the door, and spoke to him.
"Are you sure that you've never used magic before?" he asked a puzzled Jack.
"Well, yeah," Jack said.
"Interesting…" he paused. "You may go. If you ever come back here, there's someone that I'd like you to meet."
"Okay," Jack said simply, turning and leaving the room.
"Interesting…" Spekkio said again. "Very interesting…"
"Knowledge in itself is never enough. You need to know how to use that knowledge" -Me (combined with part of something I heard somewhere)
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