Bartender: CHAD! NOOO!!!
**The bulky form of The Bartender raced from behind a nearby bush, followed by Monkey, and grabbed The Great Chad’s wrist before he could bury his dagger into The Master’s fellow henchmen. Monkey grabbed TGC by the legs and refused to let go.**
**This caused The Great Chad to trip, bringing the large Bartender down on top of him. No one actually had time to notice the inhuman growl The Great Chad emitted, or the quick notice The Great Chad gave the key-like object in the Bartender’s hand.**
**When the odd collection of fighters hit the ground, no one took notice of the demonic, shapeless shadow that escaped from Chad’s own shadow and into the dark cover of the Jurassic forest.**
**That’s when The Great Chad returned to normal…for him.**
TGC: Argh! What are you doing?!? Get off of me, Tubby!
Bartender (Picking himself up): Oh! Sorry about that. Here, let me help you—AH!
**The Great Chad punched the Bartender as soon as his arm was free.**
Bartender (Rubbing his jaw): But-but I thought…
TGC (Getting up himself): Well, you thought wrong! I don’t need your help! I don’t need you, or Bob, or Warteen, or ANYBODY!!! As long as I have Milady’s power behind me, I am unstoppable!!!
BtN: But Milady isn’t behind you.
The evil past Milady’s chamber, just before the demonic shadow left The Great Chad…
Milady Lenore (Looking into her mirror): I’ve lost contact with the Jurassic period. Why?
**Just as suddenly as the image vanished, it returned. However, to her surprise, not only were The Great Chad, Ha-Kee, and Alpha there to attack Bob the Ninja, but the unexpected Bartender and Monkey were there as well. What really got her attention, was the object in The Bartender’s hand.**
BtN (In the reflection): But Milady isn’t behind you.
Milady: Yes, I am.
Milady(Echoing from the portal): Yes, I am.
TGC (Smugly): See?
Ha-Kee: Now what do we do, O fearless leader?
TGC (Aiming his drawn sword at Bob, Bartender, and Monkey): We--
**A violent tremor disrupted The Great Chad. As the entire group struggled to regain their footing, a loud roar echoed in the not-to-distance of the Jurassic jungle.**
TGC: --Run like the dickens through the magic portal!
**As another violent tremor shook the earth, Ha-Kee and the Alpha Werewolf had no problem following Chad’s orders, and quickly leapt into the portal.**
TGC (Looking back at Bob): This isn’t over.
**Another roar echoed throughout the jungle, and a nearby tree fell (Had there been water near them, it would have rippled).**
TGC: Or is it?
BtN (Locking his gaze at TGC): I assure you, it is not.
Milady (From the portal): Come along, Great One. You have other ring bearers to kill.
TGC (Mock-saluting his three foes): I bid you “Adieu”, suckers!
**With that, The Great Chad stepped through the portal, which instantly closed behind him. That left Bob the Ninja, the Bartender, and Monkey to face whatever massive beast was stalking towards them.**
Bartender: So, now what do we do?
**Another tremor, another roar.**
BtN: Find out whatever that is…then fight or flee.
**They didn’t have to wait long. As soon as Bob had finished his sentence, several trees collapsed behind them, and a massive shadow fell over the three intrepid heroes.**
**The three covered their ears as another roar echoed throughout them jungle.**
Monkey (Frightened as all get out): EEEEK!!!
**Back in the future (The 1890’s to be specific), Milady Eleanor had left to attend to other matters. This left Jon Marlinspike and Carrie Mac Elling to wonder out to a balcony over looking their marvelous Utopian city. **
Carrie: Mr. Marlinspike, do you really think that Bartender can save his friends?
Marlinspike: Of course, Miss Mac Elling. Otherwise, this future would never have existed.
Carrie (Leaning on the balcony railing): But there are so many things I still don’t understand about all this.
Marlinspike (Chuckling as he placed a hand on Carrie’s shoulder): Such curiosity. You will make a fine scientist one day. What would you like to know?
Carrie: Well, for one thing, what really happened to “The Great Chad”?
Voice from behind: What a dick!
**Both Jon and Carrie turn to see an apparently thirty-something year old with a goatee walk out onto the large balcony. An elegant cape flowed behind this new figure as he walked towards the pondering couple.**
Marlinspike (Fighting to not laugh out loud): That “dick”, is you.
Carrie (With a welcoming smile): Good evening, Uncle Chad.
**Although not her real uncle, the much older Chad returned Carrie’s warm smile with actual sincerity.**
Chad (Cheerfully): Was somebody talking about me?
Carrie (A little embarrassed): I was, but I don’t think--
Chad (Seriously): No, please. Ask.
Carrie: Well, I’ve heard all the old stories (Most of them you told me), and I just find it hard to believe. Where you really as bad they say you were?
** As Chad contemplated how to answer, he took a long, sad moment to simply stare at his right hand. When ever he moved his fingers, the distinctive whir of servo motors could be heard by everyone on the balcony. Carrie instantly regretted asking her question.**
Chad (Very somberly): Yes. Sadly, I was. It’s not something I’m proud of, and I’ve spent centuries atoning for my sins. After all the things I’ve done, all the people I’ve hurt. It’s hard to live down. Hard to forget. I’ve been forgiven by many people many, many times, and I finally feel like I’m almost ready to forgive myself. What’s left for me to do?
**The silence that followed threatened to shallow all three of the people on the balcony, that somehow felt even larger at this moment of sorrow and regret. Jon and Carrie were also rather unused to such moments in their wonderful Utopian society of Milady’s. The silence would’ve continued if Marlinspike, with a devious smile, hadn’t remembered his favorite way to tease The Once-and-Still-Moderately-Great Chad.**
Marlinspike: Well, you could renounce immortality.
Chad (With the same smile): You first.
**There was a small moment of silence, much different than the last, before all three of them broke out into laughter.**
Carrie (Very relieved): But the evil Master will be defeated, you both will join Milady’s Council of Immortals, and everything will have a happy ending.
Chad (Back to normal): Yes, but Warteen, The Bartender, and all the others will have one hell of a time doing it. After all, am I not still the greatest warrior of all time or what?
Marlinspike and Carrie: What.
**Chad simply smirked and rolled his eyes.**
Carrie: And another thing. No one ever found out who attacked the Timeweaver village, did they?
Marlinspike: Whoever it was, they’re long dead by now.
**All three simply leaned against the railing of the balcony and stared out at the canopy of stars beginning to appear in the evening sky.**
**Another place, another time, in the smallest hut of a beach village, Palios stood and looked out the hut’s only window at the scenic beach sunset. On the beach, the beautiful woman from before stood on the shore simply watching the sky. She stood proudly, a spear in her hand and her flaxen hair swaying in the wind. Palios found it hard to think of anything except how beautiful this woman is. Except for one single fact he determined from the various mystic objets he found scattered about the hut, and the village in general.**
Palios (To himself): So, I’m in the fabled Timeweaver village. I wonder what will happen now?
Small Voice: You’re up. Are you sure you’re okay Mister Palios?
**Palios turned away from the beautiful scene in the window to face a small five-year-old girl standing in the doorway of the hut, holding a pitcher of water.**
Palios (Bowing slightly): Yes, my savior, Lady Eleanor. Thanks to you, I am fine.
Eleanor (Giggling as she sets the pitcher on a nearby table): You don’t have to be so formal. Just call me “Eleanor”.
Palios: Ha. Alright Eleanor, but only if you just call me “Palios”. None of this “mister” stuff, okay?
Palios (Turning back to the window): Eleanor, who is that woman?
Eleanor (Joining Palios at the window): That woman? She’s my mother. The leader of our tribe.
Palios (Reddening slightly): Oh. What is she doing?
Eleanor: She’s standing watch. Mother says there are always evil people after our tribe’s secret treasure.
Palios: “Secret treasure”, huh?
Eleanor: Yes. Mother says the treasure of the Timeweaver tribe is one of the most powerful weapons in existence. It must be protected from evil at all costs.
**Of course, Eleanor is only five.**
Eleanor (Excitedly): Do you want to see it?
Palios: The secret treasure? If this secret is such a powerful weapon, why do you want to show it to me? What makes you think I won’t misuse the information or try to steal the weapon?
**The young girl didn’t even stop to think about her answer.**
Eleanor (Smiling warmly): You’re a good person. I can tell.
**Palios placed a hand on young Eleanor’s shoulder and kneeled down to look her directly in the eyes. Although he spoke in all seriousness, he still favored the girl with a comforting smile.**
Palios: Although I am honored you would trust me with your tribe’s secret, I must refuse. Remember young one, the more people who know about a secret, the less of a secret it becomes. Do you understand?
Eleanor (A little disappointed and not used to lectures): I guess.
**From outside the hut, the panicked squawking of a chocobo drew their attention. Both Palios and Eleanor raced to the window and looked out to see LemonLighter tugging at his bonds and squawking like crazy.**
Eleanor: What’s wrong with your chocobo?
Palios: Uh…I don’t know.
**Palios then looked to the shore to see Eleanor’s mother shouting indistinguishable orders to other members of the tribe with weapons. As they began to line up and take ready fighting stances along the shoreline, the woman took a moment to look directly at Palios in the window and nod. Immediately, Palios knew what to do.**
Eleanor: Wh-what’s going on Palios? What is my mother doing?
Palios (Gabbing Eleanor by the arm and gently pulled her away from the window): I don’t know Eleanor, but do you trust me?
Eleanor (More than a little worried): Y-yes, but why?
**Palios lifted Eleanor and carried her over to the very bed he woke up on earlier that day. He quickly lifted up the sheets and set Eleanor down beside it.**
Palios: I want you to get under this bed and wait for either your mother or I to come get you. Do you understand?
Eleanor: I-I want to help--
Palios (Sternly): No! You must stay here where it’s safe! Understand?
Eleanor (Almost in tears): O-okay.
**With that, the young healer crawled under the bed and prepared to wait out the figurative storm.**
Palios (Trying to comfort her with another smile): Don’t worry, Little One. Your mother or I will be back for you shortly.
Eleanor: You promise?
Palios: I promise.
**Palios threw the covers back over the bed to hide Eleanor even better, than raced out of the hut. He took only a moment to look at the wildly squawking chocobo and wonder. After that moment, Palios ran to the shore line and stood next to Eleanor’s mother, the tribe leader, ready to help his rescuers make a stand.**
Leader: Is she safe?
Palios (Preparing any spell he may need): She’s fine. What’s going on?
Leader: We’re about to be attacked. Are you sure you’re up to this?
Palios: It’s the least I could do.
Leader: Good. Here they come.
**Palios looked out towards the watery horizon and saw nothing. At first he thought the setting sun was providing a bright cover for the unknown attackers, but after a few seconds, he still saw nothing.**
Giant Bird: SKREEECH!!!!
**Before Palios could even register what the sound was, less than half a mile off shore, the sky just seemed to ripple. Like out of an invisible shield of liquid, a massive winged beast appeared, followed by what appeared to be a wave of pure darkness. Palios quickly did his best to erect a magic barrier to hold back the shadow wave. As the wave slammed against his strong barrier, the shadows separated and took on monstrous forms, creating an army of shadow creature that made a cold shiver run up Palios’ spine, but he turned to see the warriors of the small village standing tall and ready. Palios instantly strengthened his resolve, and the barrier protecting him and the people of this proud and brave tribe. The beast itself was all black, and had the head and wings of a raven, with the massive body of a panther. As the large pseudo-griffin landed in the water in front of them, it’s wings folded to reveal both an odd white pattern on it’s wings, and it’s sole rider. The strange pattern, Palios found as the wings folded shut, was actually white letters painted on that said, “Congratulations! You are being attacked by Diamina!”**
Palios (Muttering to himself): How arrogant!
**The revelation of the griffin-creature’s rider did nothing to deter Palios’ opinion. On it’s back, Diamina, a stunningly beautiful woman with an air of complete self-superiority, sat in sharp contrast to her stead’s dark fur and feathers. Although her flowing hair was jet black, the diamond incrusted silver tiara in it matched the long staff she held in her left hand perfectly. She also wore a midriff baring elegant white gown and white cape that flowed in the evening breeze. The many silver and diamond baubles she wore only served to further her eccentric nature.**
Leader: What do you want here, Evil One?
**Diamina surveyed the barrier holding back her army of darkness and the small group of determined warriors on the other side. She then placed the back of her right hand to her mouth…and laughed.**
Diamina: OH HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I, the great, powerful, and most beautiful Princess of Evil, Diamina, am here to take from you the Ultimate Weapon, and to burn your pathetic village to the ground! Surrender now, and save yourselves undo suffering, Fools!
**Eleanor’s mother didn’t even need to consider a second thought and the others cheered their agreement.**
Diamina (Mocking disappointment): Oh, very well.
**With a sinister smile, Diamina aimed her silver staff at Palios, and when a bright flash emanated from the large diamond at the top, his barrier fell and the savage battle began.**
**Queen Laine sat balled up in some sort of limbo. It was dark. It was cold. It was lonely. And Laine was afraid.**
QL (Throat and eyes dry from seemingly endless crying): I hope the others find me…Soon…Somehow. They have to.
**The darkness only seemed to grow in response.**
**In the future. In a time of soaring, metallic skyscrapers, and bright lights. A time where technology is as abundant as the air, and just as powerful as the magic still used far and wide. In the tallest building, in the second largest city in this futuristic world, Diamina sat in her office looking just as beautiful and as smug as the day she attacked the Timeweaver village. Diamina’s clothes were more contemporary to the times. Her midriff baring outfit was now a three piece business suit, but not without her extravagant silver and diamond jewelry. Or a matching mirror to preen herself in.**
Diamina (Fixing her hair): Centuries! It has been centuries since I started to search for the ultimate power! Centuries and I have found nothing!!!
**From in front of her desk, two bulky forms pretended to bow in respect. The one cloaked in a purple cape, his neon yellow skull clearly visible under his hood, spoke first.**
Skull: But you are one of the riches beings in the galaxy. You have power and holdings on every known civilized planet there is. You have evil magic that has been lost for ages and technology that hasn’t even been heard of! Isn’t that enough? What more could you possibly want?
**Diamina threw a diamond encrusted silver hair brush at her lackey. Skull easily dodged the offending grooming instrument and rolled the red energy that served as his eyes.**
Diamina: Shut up! Of course it’s not enough! As long as that damned Eleanor and her stupid Council of Immortals still rule, I cannot! Until I rule everything and everyone, I will never have what I want!
**The other one of Diamond Incorporated’s chief executives, a heavily armored blue and black android with half of it’s white head visible and a metallic red mohawk, then decided to speak.**
Hacker: Will you just relax? We will find what you seek and you will conquer the universe. I swear it.
Diamina (Absently, while applying make up in the mirror): I know you will, Hacker. After all, it’s your job.
Skull (Under his breath): Suck up.
Hacker: Watch it loser.
Skull: Oh, shut up, Mr. Roboto!
Hacker: Bone Head!
Skull: Data wannabe!
Hacker: Reject from Halloween!
**Diamina simply ignored her lackeys’ bickering (After all, it happens often enough), and continued to concern herself with…herself. That is, until a swirling vortex of pure darkness appeared in place of her reflection. The darkness covered the entire surface of the mirror, and two glowing green eyes appeared in the center. Although she was disappointed she couldn’t look at herself anymore, Diamina handled this intrusion as she normally does. With extreme self-confidence.**
Diamina: So, the famed “Master of Evil” finally pays me a visit. What do you want?
Master: It has been found.
Diamina: Oh! My lipstick?
Master: No. The mystic treasure.
Diamina: Oh! The Necronomicon?
Master: No! The Key!
Diamina: Oh! The Cosmic Key?
Master: NO!!! YOU STUPID BITCH!!! THE KEY FROM THE TIMEWEAVER VILLAGE YOU FAILED TO ATTAIN ALL THOSE CENTURIES AGO!!!
Diamina (Slightly embarrassed): Oh.
Master: I have seen it in the distant past. It is held by the one known as Cerberus. **The Master’s eyes narrowed.** The Bartender.
**Of course, Diamina’s extremely self-confident attitude can’t be kept down for long.**
Diamina: OH HOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!! Fear not! I, the still most powerful, great, and beautiful Princess of Evil will find this key, conquer the universe, and avenge your humiliating defeat all those centuries ago, my Master…my brother!
**Of course, she’s still Diamina…**
Diamina: Uh…How am I gonna do that?
**If he could, The Master would’ve rolled his eyes.**
Master: There is a time machine…