The Secret of Time stood upon his tower, having just shot himself back a few generations, expecting the Balance-Keeper Karma and her fairy friend to come bursting out of the portal any minute. Indeed, he had only been with them for such a short period, part of it fighting them, albiet, he feels as if these two can create a great impact on anyone anywhere. He sighs, also understanding that they must be cautious of the past, as it isn't always the nicest thing to return to.
Over his thousands of years alive, he'd never expect a Balance-Keeper asking for help, he always thought them to be snobby or rude, as was his first glance generalization, but he came to understand them, but this one, this girl, was different, he was curious about her, and wondering what powers she had, as she did not fit the general description of a Balance-Keeper, well, in his book anyways.
The portal nearby him spat out both Karma and Hecate, and turning to them, he greeted the duo, "I hope that wasn't too rough of a ride for you, was it?" He questioned.
"A cyan-colored Secret attacked us." Hecate said. "Other than that, we are alive and well."
Time's eyes widen slightly, "The clear one, I presume?" He asks, "When not clear, he has that kind of color. Though, I saw him only for a split second before he got his grubby tricks into my head." Time shakes his head, "Never mind him, for now, we shall find Arbiter, shall we?" He looks to Karma, "By the way, what exactly is the problem you need to know so much about?"
Karma frowned sadly. "I need his guidance. Four secrets threaten the very foundations of Balance and I... don't know if my power is sufficient... I need to hear his voice of wisdom once more, to figure out how to control myself and the Balance."
"Four?" Time asks, "Could you, perhaps, tell me which ones they are?" He waves his cloaked arms around for opening the tunnel that leads down to the land, and stands on it, waiting for Karma.
"Disease. War. Bad Luck. And the clear/cyan one." Hecate said.
"Bad Luck, up to his antics once again?" Time moans, "He's got his best buddies too. Though no one even knows much about the clear one. He's mysterious, even I don't understand his powers." He states as the platform activates, travelling downward. "I'm hoping I can help. In any way." He mentions, going a bit ahead of Karma, "You better hurry, or you'll fall behind. Time will not stop for you, only you will stop for Time." Time mulled over and talked to himself about the clear one, obviously annoyed by him.
Karma and Hecate followed.
"How far back in time are we?" Hecate asked.
"A few generations, in Thyrian years." Time states, "I'd like to point out, your energies may not work the exact same as they have during your time." He merely chuckles, "But of course, your powers have been out of whack for a little now." He points out at Karma, reiterating the fact of Strata.
"It'll be best if I try to call upon the powers of Balance as little as possible." Karma said.
Time nods, eyes narrowing slightly, as if sensing another presence nearby as the floating platform takes the trio down to a peak of one of the Demonfang Mountains. "Just be careful." He states.
"Wait... we can screw up the present- I mean, the future if we aren't careful, can't we?" Hecate asked.
"Not while I'm here." Time states, "Besides, there's not much to worry about."
"Oh yes, there is much to worry of." A voice speaks aloud as the floating platform lands on the peak of a mountain.
"Who's there?!" Hecate cries out.
"Relax, loudmouth." War appears, yet seems different, "What are you two doing here on Thyria?" He asked, pointing to Hecate and Karma.
"They're with me, War." Time seethes, angry to see his fellow Secret.
"I did not ask you, Time." War retorted.
"We're with him." Hecate says.
Time waves his arm out, War's eyes twitch, and he is silent for a few moments, and the shakes slightly. "Fine, go about whatever you were doing."
Time leads the duo far away from where War was, "Sorry about that." Was all he could express to Karma and Hecate, "I had to stop the communication from your present."
"...with our present?" Karma asks. "What do you mean?"
"Your present, the time you came from, that exact moment." Time states rather flatly. "It appears another being was powerful enough to try to communicate with the past's War. I had to stop it." Time finished, a bit of worry in his voice.
"It seems someone's got it in for us." Hecate said with equal worry. "We'd better hurry."
"Where would this Arbiter be, my dear?" Time asks Karma. "Because I need at least a somewhat accurate spot to teleport us to."
"I need to think." Karma said. "Locating particular people takes time... Arbiter showed me how it's done, but I'm only his student..."
Everything suddenly stops moving, save for Karma, Hecate, and Time. "It will be easier now. you have time." He states.
Time sits on a rock nearby, thinking to himself, looking to Karma every so often to see if she's found Arbiter.
"I think I've found him." Karma said finally.
Time began to move once more as the wind picked up, "Good," The temporal Secret states. "Where would he be? About?"
"Take us to the Starborne Tower on Terralius." Karma said.
"Before we go, I must explain something to you." Time begins, "In your present time, he is dead. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT tell him he is going to die a certain way, in fact, don't even tell him he will die." Time continually repeats, as he teleports them there within seconds.
Karma is deep in thought at Time's words; so deep in fact that she stood in place for several moments even after they had arrived at the base of the bronze-colored tower that led to Celestia City.
Time smirked, "Here we are. Celestia City. Almost." He spoke alouds, "When you think of it, the name is very beautiful."
Karma nods, heading beneath the archway at the tower's base and touching the bronze doors that sealed it's entrance. The doors slid open, revealing a large, circular platform at the base of the tower. Karma stepped on the platform, and Hecate perched herself on Karma's shoulder.
Time followed the duo, ready to find Arbiter so they can head back to their actual own time. He felt a bit regretful for taking two beings out of their own time, fighting for their survival in another, yet, it was to happen sooner or later.
Blue, maze-like lines appear on the platform, glowing faintly, and bars rise up from the side of the platform, blocking off all sides. The platform suddenly shot upwards like a rocket into the blackness above.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!" Hecate screamed the whole way up.
Time, on the otherhand, was simply enjoying the recent turn of events dealing with Celestia City's entrance, enjoying every moment of it, almost ignoring Hecate's screams.
There was a bright flash of light, and the platform began to slow down, gradually coming to a complete stop inside an enclosed room with only glowing blue runes lining the walls for light.
Hecate fluttered weakly on the floor. "Never... again..." she groaned.
A door suddenly opened up, leading outward into an empty city-square.
"That was interesting." Time states, "Now we can go search for Arbiter, the exploration begins!"
The trio stepped out into the square to be greeted to an incredible sight; they could see the dead world Terralius in the sky, surrounded by colorful nebulae that twinkled with countless stars.
"Kind of reminds me how small we really are," Karma thought aloud, observing the cosmos in the sky.
"Don't talk to me about 'small'," Hecate said, pouting.
"We may be indeed, small, but what really matter is how big of an impact one may make." Time states, "Back during my day, we didn't have desolate lands or dead worlds, we did deal with our rouges, but we had more life." Time rambles on, as if speaking like an elderly man.
Karma had already strode forth into the metallic streets of the city. "This way... I think," she said.
Time, unknowingly follows without even knowing at Karma, who's obviously far ahead with searching for Arbiter. "I hope you know where you're going." Time states after finishing his ramblings.
"I hope so too." Karma said, turning a corner and finding herself in front of a shrine. "This seems like the kind of place he would be, I suppose."
However, as they entered the shrine, there was no sign of Arbiter. There was, however, a silver-haired male with golden eyes exactly like Arbiter's. He wore frayed cloth pants, no shirt, and around his neck hung a metal tag.
Time stares at whoever this person is, before he begins to chuckle, and then laugh uncontrollably. "THAT'S NOT ARBITER!! AHAHAHAHAHA!!" He laughs, seemingly completely unaware of anything that could come to pass any minute.
"I know you!" Hecate exclaimed. "You're Arbiter's son! Thirteen!"
"...son?" Karma asked, bewildered.
"Yes." Thirteen said. "But who are you three?"
Time calms down seconds later, and wipes whatever energy came pouring from his eyes as he laughed unconrollably a few minutes before. "I'm Time, simple, straight, to the point."
"You know me." Hecate said.
"I am Karma," Karma said.
Thirteen's eyebrow raised momentarily as Karma introduced herself, as if being reminded of something, but he said nothing of it.
"What brings you three to Celestia City?"
"Why don't you ask her?" Time advises, eyes looking at Karma, "She was the one who needed me."
"I am searching for Arbiter, my master in the ways of the Balance."
Thirteen frowned. "I can't help you, then."
"I sensed Arbiter here in Celestia City, is he not here?" Karma asked.
Thirteen shook his head. "No."
Karma stared at Thirteen, as if trying to dissect him with her gaze. "Are you lying to me?"
"Yeah, I'd be careful as well, if there was some raging mad Secret, clear as the ocean, running around." Time states, "Who can mess with your mind and destroy plenty within your head."
"Arbiter is occupied." Thirteen said.
"With what?" Karma asked.
"How should I know? I'm not his keeper."
"You're not telling us something." Hecate said.
"He won't have enough time to be occupied." Time states randomly, "Like I said before, soon enough, that clear guy is going to come here. If he followed you and Karma, then he got spat out of the....which means he's here, somewhere, in this, you know. And technically, he could be very dangerous, as he can affect your..." Time suddenly stops talking, hoping Karma and Hecate understand.
"Wait a moment..." Thirteen said. "Secret of Time... time... You travelled through time, didn't you?!" Thirteen said. "That explains why you're looking for Arbiter instead of being with him... what happened to him that made you resort to coming to this time?"
"...Arbiter is occupied." Hecate said quickly, echoing Thirteen's words.
Time chuckles, then laughs once more, "Done in by your own words!! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!" Time laughs. "Ah, how old school yet it just works. Yes, time travel, now that you know. We've got one, apparently, BIG problem on our hands, back in their present." Time mentions.
"You mean my future." Thirteen said, before turning away, deep in thought.
"Perhaps, it depends." Time starts, "Things could change depending upon how drastic the impact they make upon here in the past. And with a maddened Secret running around, I'm guessing soon you may not have a future."
Thirteen sighs. "Fine then. I'll take you to see Arbiter. He won't be too happy about it though..."
"Good." Time responds, "Lead the way." He smirks, before thinking deeply, completely concerned about the clear Secret, of whom is now living within the time-stream. He looks to Karma, "Happy? I've got him convinced?"
"As long as he gets us to Arbiter." Karma said.
Thirteen led Karma into the depths of the bronze city, eventually coming across a platform with a circle engraved on it.
"At least we're getting somewhere." Time states, "Besides, we've got to be careful and solve your problem." He restates, "We don't have much time left, with another here in the past, he will catch up to us."
"Step on." Thirteen said.
"...this isn't some kind of elevator, is it?" Hecate asked nervously.
"No." Thirteen replied.
Time chuckles to himself when he heard what Hecate asked. "Don't worry too much, my dear." He addresses the fairy, "He said it's not an elevator, it's probably something crazier." He floats slightly above the ground on the platform. "Either way, I wouldn't worry too much."
"Not an elevator; a rune circle."
"Wait... nonononononono!" Hecate cried out but to no avail; there was a flash of light and the four disappeared...
...a sensation of traveling out of one's body, then...
...with another flash of light, the four reappeared within a darkened room.
"See, my dear, was that not fun?" Time asks Hecate, "I mean, it was fast, and was pretty fun, you know, almost as weird as my time travelling, yet not so quick." Time chuckles once again.
"That was horrible..." Hecate said, shuddering.
A stone stairway as in front of them, with firelight glowing from above. At the top of the steps appeared Arbiter himself, frowning.
"Explain this, Thirteen."
"Well, dear Karma, have you found what you've been searching for?" Time asked, waiting for a simple, or complex response from the female Balance-Keeper.
"Karma who?" asked a voice from the top of the stairwell; a younger Karma walked into view, standing next to Arbiter. Nearby, a younger Hecate fluttered.
"Is that... me?" Past-Hecate asked.
"Um... most likely." Future-Hecate responded.
"Ah... This sort of thing." Time states, "Well, no use now! Hey, these two-" Time points to future Karma and Hecate, "Are from the future."
"The future?" Past-Karma asked, before leaping excitedly down the stairs and confronting her future self.
"What's the future like? What are you- I mean, me, like?"
"Um... I..." Future-Karma stammers.
"Karma." Arbiter says.
"Yes?" Both Karmas respond.
"Past-Karma. Calm yourself."
"Sorry." Past-Karma said, stepping back.
Time looks to the Future-Karma, "You better ask your questions soon, a rip in time just occured, and it wasn't me." Time states, "Along with the addition that it was nearby. I wouldn't doubt the clear one is closing in on our location."
"What? But- I can't just ask things like this- I'd have to explain myself, and..."
"Strata." Hecate said.
Arbiter raised an eyebrow. "I see."
"Chu-ya stated it was Chaos Strata." Time adds swiftly, so that it can be completely known what was wrong. "Just to add." He smirks.
"What is..." Past-Karma began to ask.
"Later." Arbiter said. "I want you and Hecate to leave for a little bit. It seems that I have much to discuss with your future selves."
Time sighs, lightly annoyed at the timing of this predicament. "We need to figure this out now. We don't have all the time in the world." Even as the embodiment of Time itself, he can be impatient when chosen.
As Past-Karma and Past-Hecate leave (albeit reluctantly), Arbiter turns to the group. "You are the Secret of Time, are you not? Can you not stop time for us if you are so impatient?"
"Not with a psycho running around, who has most likely gained some of my powers." Time states, worry etched in his cloaked face, eyes clearly narrowed as if suspecting anything to happen.
"My explanation unfortunately will take some time." Arbiter says. He approaches Karma. "Chaos-Strata is caused when you overuse the power of Order, or remain in a state of Chaos for too long. Alternatively, something was done to upset you or throw you off your balance, which caused you to lose control. Might I ask which of these it was?"
"...all three, I suppose." Karma said.
A portal rips through space nearby, black and blue swirl around each other in strange colors before a Secret appears from said vortex, this one being clear.
"I zee you've come here." The clear one asked.
Time grows angry at just seeing this Secret, "Get out of here!" He yells, "You're not to come here!!"
"I zee Time is with you az well."
Time was about to respond, but suddenly stopped moving.
The clear one approaches Future-Karma, "Hello."
"Hello." Karma said through her teeth, glaring at the clear Secret.
"How do you feel knocking me out within the time ztream?" He asks, "I'm zure you enjoyed it. Although, uzing my powerz, I kept my mind completely intact, and I gained zome abilitiez to manipulate time." He smirks, "Your time, your prezent, your life, iz about to end. The clock that rezidez on Time'z Tower, I juzt broke it, thuz, it will recreate a new multiverze. One ruled by Bad Luck, War, Dizeaze, and myzelf." He easily explains the serious situation as if it were a history lesson.
Karma runs forward and hurls a punch at the Secret; Thirteen responds likewise with a kick.
The clear Secret vanishes once it's hit, both attacks flowing through the body, showing it was never truly there. The clear Secret's voice rings out, "If you want to ztop your izzue, then come back to Time's Tower, the clock awaitz." The voice fades away.
Time awakens, rubbing the head part of his cloak, "That.. I can't take such beings." He states angrily, before mulling over the situation.
"It seems that you've dragged me and the entire timestream into your... issue." Arbiter said.
"You were dragged into this issue ages before this time." Time states, "And the clear one has been wanting that. By the way, Arbiter, have you ever met that Secret before?"
"I don't think I have," Arbiter said.
Time nods, "I was hoping." He states, "We need to get back to Thyria." He tells Karma, hoping she will go along. "The Clock itself cannot be controlled by me, it's more powerful at controlling Time than I. We have to fix it!"
"My problem will have to wait, then." Karma said.
"What is a super-powerful artifact like that doing out where every god-like being can get to it?" Thirteen asks.
"Not every." Time starts, "And the question is, the clock itself is sealed within a time gap, meaning only those who have great, dominant control over time could perform such a task, how the clear one was able to do such a task is beyond me, but a feeling deep within myself has told me it's true. Besides, I'm there to protect it, though the clear one seemingly, and easily got past me. His power, it's confusing. He seems impossible."
"That's because he is." A feminine voice is heard, echoing throughout the darkned room, another Secret here forms, a red-orange Secret forms right in front of everyone's eyes.
Arbiter raises an eyebrow to acknowledge this newcomer. "A friend of yours?" he asks Time.
Time looks to Arbiter, "Never seen her before."
The feminine Secret turns to Time, then Arbiter, "Did you perhaps run into him, the clear Secret, who could change his color to Cyan?"
Time nods, "He just left too."
"I was late." She mentions, "I'm his opposite, my name is Reality, I consist of real things, yet, do not hold power over them, as they act upon themselves."
"Can we trust you?" Hecate asks.
Reality looks to Hecate, "I could ask the same question to you." She states, before her eyes glow red, she looks to everyone, "You're all real. So you're not illusions." She nods, "You can trust me, if you want. And I, you. It's all a matter of growing said trust."
"Well put." Arbiter said.
"Where did he run off to?" She asks.
"My tower." Time states.
"Thank you." She replies, "I'm going to head out then, I know where your tower is." She giggles.
"Wait for us." Time states, "What if it's a trap?"
"Better fighting the trap, than him assisting another evil Secret, such as Control, take over the castle of the original seven." Reality replies.
"He's already taken over their castle. In our time period." Hecate said.
Time looks to Hecate, "Your time period, not here, well maybe, in the dear past. Illusion might already be performing tasks to make sure certain things happen."
Arbiter frowned. "Did you say Control was invovled?" he asked darkly.
Time turns to Arbiter, "Yes." He replies, understanding how dangerous Control is.
"Let's go." Arbiter said suddenly. "Take us where we need to go."
Time nods, and builds up energy, finally forming the portal to Thyria, "There we go."
Reality, already jumped into the portal, without a second notice.
Arbiter walked in next, already bearing his greatsword, followed by Karma, Hecate, and a reluctant Thirteen.
Time follows, landing the whole group in Thyria's mountains.
Battle for Time
Time lead the group to the nearby platform, which was already activated.
Reality jumps onto the platform. "I'm ready."
Time nods, and looks toward the group. "Ready?"
"...hate... elevators..." Hecate groaned, perched on Karma's shoulder.
"It's not that bad." Time states as the platform floats up, as they go higher, Chu-ya's house apparently can be seen, the old woman tending to her garden, Time points for Karma to see her. "The old woman is fine as of now, but make sure you take care of her once you return back to your time."
Arbiter raises an eyebrow at the mention of Chu-Ya, but says nothing, being more focused on his destination than anything.
Time looks upward, the tower coming into view, a big, black-ish purple swirl vortex surrounding it's top. "What happened, I was gone for only a short time." He groans.
Reality looks to Time, "He's taken control of your tower, I'm sure."
"You're one to complain about time." Hecate said.
"Quiet." Arbiter said. "We are almost here."
Time forces the platform to land on the room, the swirling vortex above crackles with lightning, a whirring sound comes from it's center. Near the clock three Secrets stood: War, Disease, And the unknown clear one.
Disease smirks, "They came."
"Indeed." War replied.
"I got zome help here. Az you can zee." The clear one spoke aloud, "War and Dizeaze. and one more."
Time semingly almost loses himself, Reality blocks his path though, "He's going to antagonize you, to make you mad. Don't let him."
Karma and Arbiter assumed fighting stances. Thirteen pulled two glove-like objects out of a pocket and slipped them on- a different thaumaturgic rune-circle was engraved on each.
Disease and the clear Secret laugh, the clear one points up at the swirling mass, as electrical energies shoot down, as if controlled, they move at the group.
Time and Reality jump off to the side to avoid a collision with the lightning, and vanish, to reappear near the three to hit one of them, in which the three scatter.
Arbiter and Karma leap off to alternate sides, pursing two different Secrets. Thirteen leaps out of the way, waiting for a clear shot. Hecate summons a large phantom that swallows the lightning as it comes near.
War floats above the tower, summoning an undead army to attack everyone upon the ground.
Disease, on the other hand, makes clouds of pestilence float about in the sky.
As for the Clear Secret, he is off fighting Reality, which neither seem to have the upper hand.
Although this all occurs, the swirling vortex above slowly begins to descend toward the top of the tower, yet still continues to shoot out lightning.
Thirteen claps his hands together; the circles on his gloves begin to glow like fire, and a chain of explosions blast their way over toward Disease.
Disease blows his whole body into a cloud of ailments, as the cloud itself gets blown away, along with the others as explosions occur. Disease's cloud body forms near Thirteen. "I'd appreciate it if you weren't so explosive." Blowing once again into a pestilence cloud, the body envelopes Thirteen.
A bunch of warriors run toward Hecate, as she has that phantom blocking the lightning strikes, War stands in the far back, watching as his army also attempts to attack the others.
Time knocks some of the undead off the side of his tower, using his bare gelatinous fists.
Reality stops some energy from the clear one hitting her, though she seems much weaker, as if she's been beaten more, as the clear Secret became Cyan, who appears to have taken no damage. "What'z the matter? Have you grown weak from the long time of not zeeing me?"
"No, you're merely more powerful than I, still." She replies, as she powers an orb and charges at him, prepared to make a big hit.
Thriteen quickly snaps both of his fingers - a funnel of wind forms above him, sucking in the putrid cloud. Meanwhile, Karma and Hecate have banded together, using a combination of blows and phantoms to take out the hordes of undead. Arbiter leaps up, floating near Reality, facing the clear Secret.
War makes many more warriors that charge at the duo, axes, arrows, and swords go flying in the air toward the two.
"Zo now you have help." The clear Secret states, "How cute."
Reality, having missed the clear Secret from her big attack earlier, sighs, "You're lucky, there is a big battlefield, distracting almost everyone from you." Using her powers, she tries to dispell the powerful illusion that has been actually plaguing the whole battlefield.
"It won't work." The clear one states.
Arbiter calls upon the powers of Order; conglomerating into a white ball of pulsing energy, it rushes at the clear one with the force of a meteor.
The attack seems to land, but goes straight through the clear body, "Perhapz, I myzelf, am an illuzion az well?"
Reality's eyes widened, "But with my eyes, you're really there! I see you plain as day!"
"Yet cannot zee beyond what can? The trouble iz having to find me, but how can you find me, if you cannot truly zee me?" The clear one asks, "You cannot truzt your eyez, earz, or anything." The illusion of the clear Secret vanishes.
Reality sighs, clearly confused.
Karma leaps at War and attacks him with an airborne kick.
War dodges that attack, once again, blades stick out of his cloaked body, and arrows come shooting randomly from his shadowed face.
Karma leaps to the side, narrowly dodging the arrows; Hecate flutters in and sends a number of phantoms towards War.
A cage of bones appears, as energies of the dead fights back against the phantoms; more legions of the dead are summoned to fight the phantoms.
Karma leaps around like a grasshopper, but many times more deadly, delivering blow after crushing blow to each soldier.
War moves his head too look directly upwards, shooting out a barrage of arrows, they all fly up, and as gravity takes it's toll, they turn downward, and come falling down toward the top of the tower.
Calling upon the power of Order, Arbiter turns the arrows into flowers that float gently to the floor.
War's anger of his arrows becoming flowers causes him to create a large amount of the undead to return back after they have been beaten down. Though, he loses form a few seconds later, and vanishes. Though the armies continue to attack anyone.
With Disease and War gone, the clear Secret vanishes, appears near the large Clock of Time, and becomes cyan. "It zeems az though you actually dizpelled two of my illuzionz." He states.
Reality sighs, "You're cornered, you're the last one."
"Not true." He answers, as the vortex above has closed in on the tower and everyone. "Meet one of my bezt buddiez."
Arbiter leaps up into the air, slashing at the cyan Secret.
The attack appears to go through the seemingly solid figure of the cyan Secret. "Useless again my illusion."
The tower began to quake due to the vortex's energy cascading down upon the roof.
Extracting a slab of what looked like chalk from a pocket, Thirteen quickly began to sketch a rune circle on the floor, doing his best despite the shaking.
Suddenly, everything not upon the tower's roof stops, including the vortex. The clear/cyan Secret looks around, annoyed.
Time smirks, "We have all the time in the world now."
Reality looks to the cyan Secret, then to Arbiter, and everyone else, "We do."
Thirteen completes his rune circle. Stepping into it, he activates it. A ball of cosmic energy begins to form around him, drawing power from the immediate surroundings.
War's battalions vanish, and what was left of Disease's pestilence vanishes along as well.
The clear Secret stares at Thirteen.
Hecate directs her phantom's attention toward the clear Secret; they set upon him like a swarm of pirahnas.
The clear Secret smirks, as each attack goes through him as if he weren't there. "I'm an illusion. I'm not real."
"Yeah?" Hecate challenged. "What if you being an illusion is only an illusion?"
"As you can tell, I speak clearly now." The illusionist Secret states, "I can do whatever I want, in my illusions. Yes, I have illusions within illusions of illusions that are really just illusions to distract you from my real illusion that you simply cannot see."
Reality grumbles angrily.
"You, my friend, are a magnificent bastard." Hecate said irritably.
"Why thank you, my dear." The Secret replies. "And now, I've gained enough power to make you all, vanish into nothingness. This illusion shall be rid of you all, fusing time and my own powers, I shall be rid of you." A bright white energy orb forms above this illusion Secret's head. "I'll focus all energy into this moment of time, and destroy this frozen plane."
Reality speaks up, "You wouldn't-"
"Dare? I would."
Time takes his moment to power up his energy to try to return time to normal, though the cler Secret tries holding his powers back.
Reality blasts some energy beam at the orb, and it diminishes for only a second before it once again revitalizes back to more power. "Help...." She pleads.
Thirteen casts his ball of cosmic energy toward the orb, while Arbiter wills the power of Order to restrain the orb's energies. Karma steps back, fearful of tapping into her powers of Chaos or Order.
While the others are busy holding against the powerful orb of energy, two eyes materialize behind Karma, and when she steps back far enough, she feels a forbidden energy infiltrate her mind. Time seems to slow down for Karma, as a voice is heard deep within her conscious, one that makes her spine burn with foreign energies. "Hello."
Karma's spine goes rigid. "Who... what are you?"
"Why not help your friends?" The voice asks, "They need your help."
"I... can't... who are you, anyway?"
"A better question, what am I?" Karma feels energy surge through her, energy that forces her to be acted almost as if she were a puppet. "I am pure, complete Order, a state known as complete Control."
"Con...trol...?" Karma says feebly.
Arbiter freezes in place.
"Yes. I sat down deep in recesses of your mind once Strata came to affect you, and there, I nurtured myself." The voice states, before suddenly, taking a physical form, Control appears, floating above Karma's head. "I have returned."
The illusionist Secret's orb vanishes, and he smirks, vanishing as well, only to reappear near the Clock of Time, "It zeemz you're in trouble."
Reality looks to Control, as well does Time, Reality pipes up, "Time! Take us back! We don't have any chance of winning if Control gets you or I!"
Control stares at Reality and Time, obviously lusting for power over the two.
Arbiter spins around; leaping past Karma, he moves as if to bring his blade down on Control.
Control vanishes, voice ringing out, "I am back, not to full strength, I'm in the child." He states, "Within Karma."
The clear Secret madly laughs, obviously enjoying his amuzement, "Have fun." He makes some sparkling energy envelope him, effectively making him invisible completely. "I'll enjoy this."
Control reappears, as blue wires try to connect to Karma's arms.
"Get back!" Karma demands, stepping away from Control; Arbiter attempts another attack.
Control turns to look at Arbiter, "Hello once again, my father." Control's wires connect to Karma's arms, and he causes her to use some power of Order on Arbiter.
Arbiter is smitten by the vast amount of power that Karma had summoned; he stumbles back, regains his posture, and slashes his blade at the strings holding Karma.
Easily, the strings get cut off from Karma's arms, and disintegrate into nothingness. "You're still as good as ever." Control states, as blue wires slowly creepy their way to Time and Reality, who are trying to get a time portal ready.
With quick slashes, Arbiter sends waves of energy to slice at the the wires and Control himself.
Control moves out of the way, once again, thw blue wires connect to Karma, of whom he uses to blast Arbiter with Chaos this time. Control smirks, loving this power he got his hands on.
In the background, the clear Secret appears, being Cyan, he raises his hands, "Oh creature of eternal end..."
Reality appears, and immediately slams into the clear/cyan Secret, and begins to fight him.
Thirteen completes another rune circle; a spear-like weapon rises up, made out of the same substance as the floor, before Thirteen takes it up, charging in to assist Reality with the clear Secret.
Hecate flutters toward Karma.
"Karma! Fight him!" she demands.
Control smirks, "You're mine." More wires connect to Karma.
Reality attacks the clear Secret, who dodged backward, and performs a erratic flip in the air, before stopping a ways away, and vanishing into nothingness.
"Hecate! The strings!" Arbiter called out, suddenly appearing behind Control and slashing at the Secret.
"Oh, right!" Hecate exclaims, willing her phantoms over toward Karma to sever the blue wires.
The blue wires get sliced apart, and Control dodges far from Arbiter, next to him, the clear Secret appears. "We muzt go, excuze the dear interruption." Control and the clear Secret vanish into nothingness.
Time powers down his time travel technique, Reality screams, "COWARD!!" She practically roars at the clear Secret.
The flowing vortex above vanishes, revealing neat blue sky.
Time sighs, "Did we win? What's going on exactly?"
"They ran away." Thirteen growled.
Karma fell to her knees, grasping her head. "What... happened?"
Arbiter turned away and walked a short distance off, observing the sky through narrowed eyes. He frowned.
Time goes to the Clock to tend to it's damages, then returns, "We must go back to your time Karma." He states.
"Wait- but- I-" Karma stammered.
Arbiter turned toward his pupil. "Listen, child. I do not understand why you have come into the past to see me, so I assume something must have happened to me. But this was reckless of you."
Karma bowed her head in shame.
"However, Strata is not something to take lightly, and given the circumstances..." Arbiter sighed. He placed two fingers on Karma's forehead. There was a bright flash of light.
Time and Reality watch Arbiter, watching him work his magic.
Time speaks up, "Did you solve her problem?!"
Reality laughs, "You're worried?"
Time chuckles, "As always." As he approaches the time portal, waiting for Karma and Hecate.
"Go, child. And have faith." Arbiter said.
Karma nodded, mouthing a "Thank you, Master," before running to join Hecate at the portal.
"Thirteen," Arbiter called out. Thirteen looked up.
"Come here- I have a job for you."
As Thirteen approaches, Arbiter places two fingers against his own forehead, and appearing to draw out a type of crystalline substance.
"Give this to her in the future, when she's ready."
"What? Arbiter, how would I know-"
"You'll know. Trust me." Arbiter whispers something to Thirteen. His eyes widen slightly in understanding.
"You first Karma, Chu-ya shall need assistance when we get back there." Time states, motioning toward the portal.
Looking back one last time, Karma stepped into the portal.
Time smirks, practically pushing Hecate into the portal. "See ya! Make sure you're careful on your way down." He states as he enters the portal. Taking the three back to the original time, five seconds after the portal was closed for them to go back.
Karma gets spat out of the portal, along with Hecate, and Time, who immediately goes to the Clock of Time, he begins to tinker with the object, as if it's a toy.
"So, do you feel any-" Hecate began.
"I dunno." Karma said.
Time sighs, "Fixed it just in time too."
Chu-ya seems to be standing nearby, as if she needed no assistance, even with her injuries, she approaches Karma, "You have a different air to yourself, young warrior."
Time stares at her, glowing mouth agape, "I- What-- How?" He stutters.
Luck approaches, "She does feel different." He mentions.
"But- Whazgoinon?" Hecate questioned.
Chu-ya turns around, "Come. We must get back to Thyria." She states, taking her patient strides toward the platform, Luck in tow.
Time smirks, "She must know what to do for herself. I'm always worried about her. But you can't help everyone." Time shrugs, "Go on." He eggs Hecate and Karma.
Just then, the platform rises up, with Thirteen standing on it.
Chu-ya stops, and looks at Thirteen, "You're quite the adventurer. To make it here. I assume you must have known of this place."
Time smiles when he sees Thirteen, "Hey!" He waves.
"Am I late?" Thirteen asks.
Time shakes his head, "No, you just made it."
Chu-ya steps to the side so Thirteen can walk straight foreward.
"Looks like I'll be joining you from now on." Thirteen said to Karma.
Karma was confused. "Did Arbiter tell you to?"
"Not directly, but how else am I supposed to figure out when I'm ready to give you this?" Thirteen lifted a small crystal from his pocket- the very same crystal that Arbiter had created in the past.
Chu-ya smiles, as she stands upon the platform, Luck still following her.
Time approaches Karma, "Be careful out there. He's still there, still watching."
"You're not coming with us?" Karma asked.
Time smirks, "I can't. I'm subjugated to stay within or near the tower, going through time, the portal was still there for a few second before we got back. Time had no idea I was gone. I cannot leave." He sighs, "The old woman, learn what she has to teach. That's my advice. Or ask her how she healed herself. I'm still confused with that, she took a big hit." He chuckles.
"Yeah, how DID you do that?" Hecate asked Chu-ya.
The old woman smiles, "Over my years, practicing using the powers of Balance, Chaos, and Order; I took my spiritual energies, and healed them with Order, and took my physical energies, and healed them with Chaos. Bringing Balance to myself." She explains.
"Perhaps you can teach this one that trick." Hecate says, bumping the side of Karma's head.
"She still has much to learn." Chu-ya states, "But it's done in all due time."
Time nods, "As everything is."
Karma nods. "I understand. Thank you, Secret of Time."
"You're welcome. Be careful." He warns, "There's much greater dangers than just these four Secrets. I sense others." He hands her a small clock. "That will bring you back here, if you ever need my assistance ever again. No go along. Time doesn't stop." He motions to where Chu-ya stands.
"I'll keep her safe, don't worry about it!" Hecate calls back, following Karma over to Chu-Ya.
"See ya later." Time waves.
The platform begins to descend down toward the planet of Thyria.
Karma clenches her fist, and looks back up toward the skies, deep in thought. "Whatever comes my way, Master, I won't fail you again. I swear it..."
To be continued... In Inflexible Ideals...