Guardia's Finest Chapter 4

By Captain Gaul

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’m sorry, I made a slight error. I referred to Glenn as the Knight Who Until Recently Was Amphibious. Well, he’s still a frog. Magus’s spell hadn’t worn off, because he hasn’t died yet. I’m sure there’s a perfectly illogical reason for my misspeaking, and as soon as I can figure out how to double-talk my way out of that rather obvious error, I’ll let you know. For now, I blame Gaspar. Why not? He lives at the End of Time, what’s he going to do, sic Spekkio on me?—Oh sh———

So the two had come up with something. It would take some investigation, of course. But it seemed somewhat legitimate.

POINT ONE: Queen Zeal was more than a little irritated at the original team’s ruining her plans for immortality, destroying her, and wrecking the Black Omen.

POINT TWO: For all her character flaws, Zeal wasn’t an idiot. She had a contingency plan.

POINT THREE: The plan was incredibly complex, but consisted of a magic spell that warned her earlier self (about a year prior to the “Prophet’s Arrival”) about her potential fate and had her past self conduct an even more complicated spell.

POINT FOUR: The spell was a temporary teleportation of the Lavos of that era to 1999 AD. The result? The Day of Lavos still happens, and leaves the original team no time to react.

POINT FIVE: The point of all this? Sort of the “If I go down, I’m taking you with me” mentality. Zeal still would be lost to eternity, but the world’s future, say, 2000 AD and every year after, would still be pretty bleak.

POINT SIX: The one hope? The spell required incredible timing. It had to be started and finished precisely on time. If one key element could be prevented from taking part in the ceremony, the spell would fail, and life would go on in the happy way we know it.

POINT SEVEN: And which element would that be? That was still up for debate.

POINT EIGHT: And the paradoxes? Those would be taken care of in due course, just bare with me.

Magus suggested the obvious for us (his mood had improved somewhat), that we contact Gaspar about the validity of this theory. In the meantime, he would take Glenn and Crono with him to 12,001 BC to set up observation. As Magus seemed to have the best idea of what was going on, we agreed.

While a fundamental law of time travel involves the reaction of having four or more time travelers through a single TimeGate, this is no difficulty for travelers wishing to reach the End of Time anyway. So, Marle, Lucca, Ayla, Robo, and myself went through a TimeGate and wound up at the End of Time.


“Nice to see you kids again. I take it there’s something you want to ask me?”

Since he was right, of course, we told him the theory. The first six points of it, anyway.

“That’s an interesting theory. It’s right, of course. Prince Janus always was did catch on fast. Now, I suppose you’ll want some kind of help from me.”

Since he was right again, we affirmed his statement.

“Yes. Well, I have something here. A friend of mine fashioned it for me. The design and theory was the result of a combined effort by all three gurus. Now, let’s see here.”

The old man had quite a lot of interesting things in his satchel. After the first five minutes of rummaging, it went from interesting to absurd. I started to doubt the poor man’s sanity after he extracted a half-finished sword, three hares, an evergreen tree, and what could have easily been a spare head for Robo. Finally, about ten minutes after he started, and with enough junk extracted to fill nearly the entire platform, he found the object.

“Ah, here it is.”

“What is it?”

“This, Lucca, is something infinitely more useful than the first gadget I gave you, that is, the Chrono Trigger. This is the Paradox Remix.”

“The Paradox Remix?”

Gaspar’s face turned red. “Look, I may not have been entirely sober when I named it, but that’s what it is called!” He calmed down. “Sorry. Anyway, it utilizes the very hypergrid of space-time—after all, the timestream is not one or even two-dimensional, but three, connecting and flowing and intersecting in all sorts of bizarre ways—and the alternate realities of which exist...depending on how you divide it, between two-hundred forty and three-hundred ninety-two, last count; anyway, it utilizes the various contradictions and a complex system of plot holes, logic lapses, and sequence failures to effectively nullify the paradoxical qualities of any system.”

“Say what?”

“Ayla no understand....”

Marle and Ayla were stumped, and admitted it. Robo and Lucca didn’t seem to be lost, and I pretended like I understood.

“The paradoxical qualities, you know, that which allows a Mobius loop to form within a given timestream. For instance, if, on your little journey, you kill Queen Zeal, you’ll alter other worldlines as well. Prince Janus won’t be sent forward in time, thus the dark wizard Magus will never arise. Lavos will never be summoned and Guardia won’t wage war against the mystics in quite the same way. The Millennial Fair won’t have the same meaning, and, in fact, Lucca won’t build her TelePod at all. That would prevent your journey from ever happening, and Lavos would continue as in the unaltered timeline. But, restoring the unaltered timeline would restore the worldlines for all parties involved, and the process would loop back. The Mobius would keep cycling until random chance broke the process. Most likely, the random chance would cause some sort of disaster for your party, and end the paradox in the worst way possible.”

A subtle beep came from Robo, followed by a quiet message: “Windows 2290 system failure. Please reboot.”

Lucca’s face went blank. “I may be a genius, but I can’t understand THAT....”

My stance was starting to crack. I sincerely hoped the mechanics of space-time weren’t really that complicated.

“So, the Paradox Remix uses the conflicting laws of the alternate realities to eliminate those pesky paradoxes. Only changes that can be made without causing a paradox can possibly happen.”

I cracked. “MY....BRAIN....HURTS! Augh!” I fell to the floor, a dull, throbbing pain in my head. I expected Lucca to laugh, but her face was still blank.

Gaspar helped me to my feet. He put the device in my hand. “In layman’s terms, as long as this device is intact, the timeline will remain intact, except for that which you wish to change. Careful, though. It’s never been tested, as far as I know.”

“As far as you know?”

“Either way, how could I tell?”

That was not reassuring. Before we left for 12,001 BC, (via TimeGate, one at a time), Lucca had to reboot Robo and flush his memory of Gaspar’s explanation of the device. I dearly wished I could have done the same for my own memory.

As I left through the TimeGate, the last words I heard were “Shoot, now I’ve got to repack everything.”


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