The good news is that from my cosmic perch the peril of time becomes irrelevant. Should the search take a hundred years I could still return the second after I departed. Hell, I could appear prior in their timeline if I chose to. Though all my prior concerns and calculations remain; in addition to the possibility that I could severely damage our chances of victory by virtue of the King Other’s perception of time not necessarily being linear. That however raises the prospect of predestination…and if he is fate, predestination is our doom.
There is a three foot tall, cheerful orange raptor with oversized arms standing next to me.
Ok, pause…I have gone through some strain in ensuring the vagueness of character identity for legal purpose. The level of verbal gymnastics required of me to continue that with this character (especially his metamorphoses) is simply untenable. I would like to politely implore any of the potential copyright holders to just be chill. This is a mad rambling recitation and absurd writing challenge for the purpose of personal introspection, artistic exploration, and general effort to maintain a healthy writing habit. All reference to this character will be made with the assumption of familiarity so as to avoid the inevitable word salad that would make me seem like stoned, psychotic, head trauma patient. Ok? Ok…unpause.
“Hello…” I bemusedly reply to Augumon, “Uh, what are you doing here?” “Oh! I heard you were looking for help so I came.” “Alrighty then.”
Brain, what are you doing?
“What’s with the funny letters?” he asks “It’s italicized. It means I’m talking to myself. Wait! You can see that?” “Yup” “Why?”
I smile, “You know with your Mega you’re probably enough all by yourself.” “Yeah but that wouldn’t be much fun. I want to go on an adventure!” “Really? What kind of adventure?” “A journey” “Oh no. No no no. There is no way I’m going to be slave to the oldest convention in storytelling.” “Why not?” “Because I have no interest in being the Hero of a Thousand Faces.” “Well then how are you going to beat the Many Faced God?”
With my opponent being Fate I’m not overly thrilled about the successful trajectory of a destiny friendly narrative structure, but the tiny dino has a point. To meaningfully confront a construct as abstract as fate and overcome it would be greatly abated by the shorthand of the most resonant story in human history.
“Who you talking to?” “I’m talking to the audience.” “Oh. Can I talk to the audience?” “You’re talking to them right now.” “I am! Hello”
Well don’t be rude. The dino said, hello. If you said “hello”, you might need medication.
“Hey, that’s mean!” “I’m sorry Augumon. Giving you this much power in the meta is going to bite me in the ass isn’t it?” “Eh, maybe but I wouldn’t worry about it.” “I guess I won’t. So given your…ease with our present surroundings, I’m assuming that you’re up to speed on the present situation.” “Yup.” “Ain’t that convenient?” “You’re welcome audience.”
That exceedingly odd introduction overwe set our minds to the task and begin searching a world of worthy…
“What about this one?” Augumon asks as her interrupts my train of thought!
He’s pointing at an Earth with one of his oversized clawed hands. Instinctively I know which Earth it is instinctively; an Earth of my prior generation’s nostalgia and adventure-horror. Hardly the place to contain the warriors we need. I shake my head “no”.
“Why not?” he asks insistently. “Because who can help us there? It’s a fun little world full of interesting characters but honestly; of what help are they going to be to our cause?”
“Wha? You wanted to go there before. You had a clear purpose in going. What changed?” “The only reason of value to go there was to train the Mage and look how well training went last time!”
Augumon puzzles over how to respond to me for a minute.
“Ok, let’s look at how training went last time.” “I am confused” I have to honestly admit. “Your first instinct was to train the Queen and not the Bastard, right?” “Right…” “So how did the Queen’s training go?” “It was excellent! She took to it like a fish to water…”
He holds up his hand to silence my rambling.
“And you didn’t want to train the Bastard at first, right?” “Yeah” “Looks to me that your first instinct was correct.” “I suppose so.” “And your second instinct was to allow his training.” “And that’s where everything went to hell.” “Yup! So it sounds to me that your first instinct is good and your second instinct is…not so good.” “There is logic in what you say.” “So what was your first instinct about this world?” “Train the Mage.” “Right! And what was your second?” “Don’t train the Mage.” “Yup. So what are we going to do?” “Nyeh, prepare yourself for travel.”
My companion is overjoyed. Now to attend to the weeds of the details of our travel, what form and power shall we take? ‘This will which moves me is mine own’, that must be true here but my encounter with the King Other has given me pause as to the sincerity of that notion. In this cosmos of my conception the fabric of my thought is Eternity but it would appear that it is still slave to powers beyond it. Most urgently this foreboding riddle must be resolved.
“Uhh…I don’t know what half of that means, sooo…Ah, it’ll be ok” Augumon says to me.
I sigh. This world is considerably less powerful than the previous, at least for our purposes. In terms of military might this “modern” world would decimate the other with comical ease but that is not the power of which I speak. Our ability to efficiently operate in it in a timely fashion requires much less power of us.
To that end I shall set aside the powers of the Ascended Dragon Fighter. (We’re going to short hand that to ADF btw) They have cars and paved roads so I won’t have to fly. I also won’t need the energy manipulation in a world so bereft of future science or sorcery. My powers as a Galactic Warrior shall more than suffice in overwhelming any…most threats we may face. Besides, I must retain them to train the Mage in ways of the Cosmic Weave.
“What about me?” my tiny orange companion asks. “Augumon, I’m not trying to be rude but this will be a lot easier if I explain this to the audience as opposed to telling you what you already know for their benefit. You feel me?” “Oh ok. That makes sense.”
In his current ‘rookie’ form Augumon is basically a fire breathing velociraptor. More similar in size to actual velociraptors than the Steven Spielberg, more deinonychus inspired kind. That’s not really all that important but…moving on. The point is that he can already handle the vast majority of government stooges and low level Cthulhu spawn that we almost certainly encounter at this level. Since I’m already operating at “probably enough” it would be nice if one us could be at “definitely enough”.
So let us go ahead and make sure he can go ‘champion’ should we need it. To the uninitiated that means he can transform into a very large tyrannosaurus with horns and can breathe even more fire. I think this will suffice. ‘Ultimate”, were he becomes a nearly 70 ft. tall cyborg t-rex with the destructive power of a nuke, and ‘mega’, which would put him on par with my ADF power, are definitely excessive.
“You good with capping out at Champion, Augumon?” I ask him. “So I can go dino-crazy? Yup sounds good!”
Excellent! Now to how we shall present ourselves; the most critical consideration is that we shall be in 1980’s Middle America. My grey robes and yin-yang monk’s apparel may be considered somewhat conspicuous. It’s the 80’s, denims are a requirement. Swap out the adventurer boots for some black leather dress boots. Half buttoned up shirts are a must but the real question is the jacket, black leather or the long coat? Start with the leather but keep the long coat on hand.
Got the star saber on my belt and I’m going leave the staff up here in the ether. Hair? Don’t got to do a damn thing; my lion’s mane was made for this decade! Slip on a pair of aviator sunglasses and I am ready to…
I look over to see Augumon putting on the same pair of aviators and that is the only change he has made. I glare at him.
“What?” he asks defensively. “Really? That’s it?” “Yup! I look cool!” “The whole point of this process is so that we don’t appear needlessly conspicuous.” “And?” “And you’re a three foot tall orange dinosaur!” “Yup that’s perfect!” “Perfect?” “Uh, I mean it’ll be fine.”
Oh that self-indulgent fool!
“You’re going to take the Party on a Spielbergian adventure, aren’t you?” I knowingly ask. “Wha! Me? No! Never…” “It’s fine.” “Really?” “Yes, yes it is. But you’re doing that on your time, not mine.” “Ok that’s cool!”
We’ll worry about that calamity when it arises. Now all that is left is when we arrive. The choice is clear; we arrive on the night of the Party’s junior high dance.
“Woah! Why is that the clear choice?” Augumon interjects. “Because the Mage has been successfully reintegrated into society and that is when we our interference can do the least harm.” “Really? Just as everything is getting back to normal for them is when you want to shake things up” “Alright McFly, when do you want to go?” “Halloween!” he says grinning ear to ear. “Ok Spielberg, I see what you’re doing.” “C’mon man! It’ll be awesome!” “Will it now?” “Yup!” “I told you to do it on your own time!” “But but but…” “Yes?” “But we can also save the day! We walk into the overrun facility, you use the star saber and I go dino-crazy on some demon dogs! And as we save the peoples you can walk in and say…” “Come with me if you want to live.” “Exactly! Wouldn’t that be amazing!” “Yes it would be amazing.” “Yeah!” he screams excitedly. “But I’m sticking to my first instinct.” “Wha? No…ok. Damn it.”
With that resolved we set out on our journey. May we find those who we are in search of. May we prove ourselves worthy of the quest.
Now the story begins.