Tales of the Timeless #16
Written by Anomaly, Plot by Anomaly and
Tales of the Timeless
Go to the POTU Archive Page for more past issues of Tales of the Timeless.
Century did not know how he got here. One moment he was fighting the kindred and the next he was in this forest staring at a great rock, with a sword shoved straight through its heart. He saw as many men, mostly knights and kings, attempt to remove the sword, but none able to withdraw it. For a moment he just watched, uncertain of anything, but then he gasped as he realized that he was no longer in his own body suit. He was a human with a great beard and mighty frame, and he was dressed as a farmer. "How did I get in another's body, did Thanos do it, was it my former masters doing?" he asked, looking down, uncertainly, at his hands.
"It was mine," a voice seemed to come from directly behind him, but no one was there. "Where are you"?
"Wait a minute," said the voice, "and your mental image resonance factor will imbue me on your mind brain."
"Who are you?"
A three-dimensional being in holographic form was standing in a business suite, holding a strange mechanical device in his hand.
"I see you but how did I get in this body, and what is the purpose of all this? I do not appreciate being manipulated even by my creator."
The holographic image did not say anything at first. "Okay, you are a knight of the round table, and after you pull out that sword which is called Excalibur, you will have 4.2 microns to accomplish your task."
"Which is?" He asked evenly.
"Your going to steal the Holy Grail, get the widowed rose and become Supreme Being in all the continuum. Besides, if you do not, purple puss will beat you to it. In fact, in three out of five probabilities, he succeeds. Not to mention the odds are growing direr with each moment you sit arguing with me. But the crazy part is, youre not really arguing with me but a complex AI which simulates me and evolves to your circumstances, so in a sense youre just arguing with a part of yourself." The image began to laugh, "Isnt technology exciting?"
"The warriors began to laugh aloud as he walked up to the rock and prepared to pull the blade forth. With all the unknown strength of this warrior's body, he pulled, and it came forth effortlessly. "I did it without strain. Perhaps this bodys strength is greater than I had originally surmised."
"Of course you did it," said the hologram, "In all the quantum universes your counterparts succeeded, so I didn't have any doubts." The hologram began to laugh aloud.
The next day the voice had told him where he might go to get the Holy Grail. It was supposedly held in this church somewhere at the end of the world; he chartered a ship and a crew, who agreed to help him. They had somehow heard that he had been the one to withdraw the sword, and pledged themselves to him. They were Gwalchavad, Bedwyr, Cador, and Bleddyn.
A man dressed in a simple cloak and tunic was a man who introduced himself as Myrddin who looked neither young nor old and carried himself with such presence that Century was in awe. "You are the one that has been foretold by the druids," he declared. "The Kingdom of Summer is coming and only the grail can rid the world of the darkness, deceit, and war which has blanketed Briton for sometime. You are Arthur Pendragon, son of Uthur Pendragon, wielder of Excalibur."
"The man is a prophet," said the hologram, "and in most futures he is Merlin and is almost unreadable, he is extremely unpredictable and is know as a destiny warper. His kind are extremely dangerous to all the timelines."
That night, Century stood and looked over the sea, and thought of what he had gone through. It was not so long ago that his true father, Immortus, had created him from material and gave him life and purpose to hunt the Kangs and help prevent the One Who Comes. He had gone from pitched battle with the Kindred to looking over a peaceful sea, and a blood red moon.
"May I join you?"
The hologram appeared and began to point to the women "Beautiful women are an excellent commodity. I think its time you tasted one of life's finer pleasures."
Century gave the hologram a dark stare, but remembered that it was just an image that no one else could see and returned to more important matters.
Century turned and saw a striking woman, with white skin and green eyes, her hair was black as pitch the color of ravens wings and her body was curvaceous, and her breasts full slowly, gracefully arose and collapsed in on itself in rhythmic motion. "I am called Gwen Hwyvar," she stated matter-of-factly. "I am of Irish birth, my protector is the tall one called Lienlleawg, his sword is unmatched in all my father's kingdoms."
They spent many days speaking to each other deep into the night and often greeting the morn together, century had found her different from what he thought, she was warrior, and not weak at all. She spoke her mind and had said many things that had impressed him. He also recalled what Luna, the leader of the Kindred, had done to him, and he could not tell whether he liked her of his own accord or some bewitchment at the she-devils hands.
During his voyage across the sea he had met most of the crew and found them brave warriors, and good men. The one who was called a Bard, who went by the title of the Emrys, and was an ancestor of the ancient and mysterious druids themselves, was one who Century found himself in good spirits with, they had spoken with one another on many occasions. He told him how, since he first saw the signs in the heavens, that he had awaited his coming, and that the lady of the lake who was called Roma by some legends had made the sword, and had infused it with a part of her might. He told Century of how the mists of swirling time were bringing in warriors from out of time, and that they were in the middle of some great moving of things. The one called Myrrdian spoke of the one who had been called the scourge of god, and how he had been ravaging all the lands.
Myrrdian gave Century a bowl filled with liquid. "Look and tell me what you see?"
And Century saw himself with the blade of light against a dark opponent whom he could not make out, but all he knew was that one of them would die.
He fell like a star from the sky, and he crashed against a great brush, which began to blaze. Next his body began to bleed and the flames were mysteriously snuffed out. In agonizing pain, he saw the vision of what was to come, but despite that, knowledge felt bound by the skeins of destiny, a puppet of the twin gods of Chaos and Order, whom he falsely believed to have escaped.
He sat in the midday sun. The crimson liquid drying on his white body. All was quiet as Stormbringer awakened him with a black melody. "Still your tongue taunting blade, if I die who will carry your great weight, like I do." Portent managed to laugh as the dried blood cracked as he moved. "You sense its presence don't you, and you fear it, it is everything you fear, it will forever free men of your capricious ways."
The blade made strange sounds like slurping
"What are you thinking? Can you think, if I did not know better I would swear that I understand you perfectly. Alternatively, perhaps it is the madness beginning to overwhelm me at last that is what you wait for is not a vassal of complete destruction, without purpose and for you to guide. I swear by all that is light I will see this body burned before you take it." And the blade grew still with only the occasional moan and groan.
Thanos had sent Portent with the globe, through the streams of time without the others knowledge, the Titan was devious and he wondered what he had planned, or if this is where Thanos saw fit to eliminate him from the mosaic.
The great temple was before him, and he knew that it had contained the artifact which would allow for the widowed rose to come into play much like the relationship between the time gem and the reality gem.
"You have to eliminate Thanos, pawn, or the Titan will get the rose. Your time is almost up, soon your consciousness will be transferred to your original body. Move!" said the hologram.
Arthur drew Excaliber and Portent saw him coming, his feet not even touching the grounds he came. His body was red with crimson, and the smell of dried blood was in the air. Its stench was so great that he could barely breathe. Century's benefactor had thrust him into this body in order to stop Portent of attaining the Grail. The black blade crawled out of Portent's scabbard like an ancient serpent of old its coils secure in the rune warrior's deadly grasp. Portent closed the distance between them, like a whirlwind. His black blade was now singing a funeral dirge, freezing the air around them despite it being the middle of summer in this land. It was so cold that their breath was visible like white mist, from an ice dragon. Excalibur rose from its scabbard to meet its eternal foe. Suddenly Century's body was filled with great strength, and it countered the black blades first assault. The blades seemed to have their owned dialogue as they crossed. They seemed to be telling each other that only one would come out of this conflict alive. Excalibur gave both strength and speed, as it was necessary to defend against Portent's supernatural power. Excalibur too had ramparts and they had been long fortified as if they waited this very day. Like debris scattered amidst the maelstrom, the two warriors moved like a blur.
Portent could not lay a hand on Arthur, even the smallest cut, Excalibur had made him fierce and nearly unbeatable, they battled for endless hours as each of the warrior's blades supplied the necessary vitality.
"Stand aside, warrior, my blade wants blood and souls and nothing will prevent it, let me have the Grail."
'DON'T HOLD BACK!" comanded the hologram who stood in between the combatants, "YOUR TIME IS COMING TO A CLOSE, " Then Arthur's eyes went blank and Centurys consciousness had returned to the original body. Now it would appear Thanos would triumph but then something happened, that no one could have counted on. With him being so close to the Grail, the dichotomies of Chaos and Order became more pronounced and he was caught in a swoon. Portents eyes glazed over, as images of his imprisonment from the real of Chaos and Order assaulted him. Portent was not one to shed blood needlessly, and now lost in chaos swoon, he knew there was but one thing to do, and with that, Portent impaled himself on his own blade.
The black blade screamed so hideously that even Arthur stopped in horror; the rune warrior was dead.
In the realm of Roma, Marcus Immortus and her watched on as the drama played itself out, "It looks like Century has triumphed, now what will you do?"
"You almost had it, mother, but you didn't count on the grail purity dichotomizing his psyche and causing him to commit suicide."
Roma shed a tear as she watched Portent fall on his blade, and then her hand began to glow and something began to shake the continuum to its foundation.
Marcus Immortus yelled and for the first time did not feel in control, "Mother what have you done?"
I hope you enjoyed this Tale of the Timeless... now go read Tales of the Timeless #17!