In another time, the madman known as Pheromaster was on the verge of bringing ruin to the world. Many heroes lost their lives that day with only two left alive in its wake. Ji Connors & Gabriel Kessler, the heroes Magus & SWAT, who now protected the world. Along the way, Ji adopted a young child and with SWAT began training him how to be a hero. Now, he’s gone back in time to see what the world was like before it nearly ended…
Time Travel was a dangerous and often disorienting feat to perform. The rules are rarely clear and they change depending on the methods used to achieve it. An Inversion with the power to time travel wouldn’t necessarily end up the same place as one who did it through magical means. The past you end up in may not be your own. Something the young sorcerer-in-training, Ein, would have to find out upon arriving in the warm skies of Silver Plains.* He was a fair skinned boy of 13 with pushed back auburn hair and a single noticeable bang hanging down on the right side of his face. Like both Jey and his future self Ji, Ein wore a similar skintight costume. However, he had the torso covered with an orange-colored ‘X’ shape design that shimmered with galaxies. Dark orange lining separating the forearms which were the same orange color. Rather than a clean separation, the lining split in a triangular shape at the elbow. A matching orange scarf wrapped around his neck and flowing in the air. A pair of white goggles worn resting atop his head. His gentle grey eyes that had peculiar lines running down from them to his jaw as he gazed at the sights he had never seen before.
“Wow…it really worked didn’t it?” Ein thought aloud at seeing the city below him. It looked so much like his own yet not a speck of snow in sight. “It’s not as warm as I thought it’d be.” his heart raced at the possibilities that lay before him. “Focus Ein.” he shakes his head and tries to contain himself. “Gotta find out the date.” Flying was one of the first things he learned. The dark orange aura that covered him left a distinct color trail as he soared among the clouds. Everything looked so familiar yet so different. There was no blinding snow so he could look around without needing his goggles. The skyscrapers that rivaled Manhattan now split across three separate regions instead of covering the entire city. “Wait, I know!” he summons a crimson tome to his hands. The Tome of the Kind King was a gift to him from his master Magus when he learned how to use Soul Magic. “Sight of Heimdall!” he calls out but the tome doesn’t react. “It didn’t work?” Ein thought to himself confused. “Maybe the Aether isn’t as strong here.”
Aether transcended all Worlds but its strength was not the same across them. Some are particularly strong while others it could be non-existent. Ein could feel the Aether but nowhere near the degree he was accustomed to. While he could use his own soul as fuel for magic, it was wiser for him to just resort to more mundane solutions. He could still fly without concern and does so. Approaching the nearest skyscraper and peering inside. But nothing, just empty boardrooms or offices with drained employees. They couldn’t help, but there was one place that could. The home he grew up in, the current home of Hal & Jey. It only took him 10 minutes to find it but he hesitated with it in sight. Memories of the past flowing back into his mind.
“You’ll be living here from now on Ein.” a soft voice tells him. “It’s not the largest place but it should be more than enough for just the two of us.”
“Looks like there’s some trouble Uptown, I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
“It couldn’t hurt to just…” Ein drifts slowly towards the house but stops. “What if I make a paradox?” His presence in the past was a hazard to everyone. If he saw Jey before he was meant to he might undo the fabric of their World. No, if he wanted to fix the past he’d have to do it without direct interaction. At least that was what he planned. In his indecisiveness, he allows himself to be found and confronted by Soul.
“Hey, you’re a Soul Mage right?” Soul asks politely as he floated in the air. Ein froze at the sight of him and couldn’t utter a sound. “Are…you okay?”
“I…” Ein barely manages to speak before the Tome of the Kind King begins glowing. “D-Deltea’s Translocation!” he waveringly calls out. The Aether swirling around him and teleporting him away from the confused Soul. Deltea’s Translocation transports the user to a location of choice. Should the user not have one in mind, it goes to the one with the strongest emotional imprints at the time. This resulted in the young boy reappearing at the top floor of the Blue Ribbon Mall outside of an electronic store. In his timeline, this was a place he enjoyed visiting with Ji as a reward for doing well in his lessons. “Master…” He walks into the store ignoring the shoppers he shocked with his sudden magical appearance. His eyes scanning the almost unrecognizable store. To his left was Customer Service, to the right a small pizza shack, and straight ahead the store proper.
“Is that one of those new heroes?” One of the Customer Service Reps asks their fellow worker. Overhearing this, Ein becomes intrigued.
“New heroes?” Ein asks as he races over to customer service. “What do you mean new heroes?”
“You know, like that new dude Waverider, the Ghost of Bronze Plains, or…um…what was his name.” He struggles to think and gestures to one of the workers next to him.
“Nah, he’s too old. You know he did that stuff with the earth.”
“Wait, Black Ice is alive?” Ein’s heart skipped a beat as he asked the question.
“Of course. Why? Did you hear something?”
“No, thank you.” Ein gives a slight bow and smile before flying out of the store and towards the nearest parking lot so he can leave. “Master got his powers after Black Ice passed. So if Black Ice is still alive then that means I really did go to the wrong past…”
Ein had suspected it but didn’t want to admit it. If this had been his past, his very presence drastically altered its course which meant there was no place for him to return to. But if it wasn’t his past then he’d need to try again to get to the proper past. Both outcomes making his initial reason for coming here moot. As he soared through the skies of Silver Plains it filled him with confusing emotions. It pleased him that there was a timeline where his Master was, presumably, happy. But now what of him? What purpose did his presence serve? His emotionally charged decision was backfiring and Ein’s heart filled with doubt. He had made a rash decision and until he discovered how to get all his spells working again he had no way to return home.
Though this was the least of Ein’s concerns as 4 chains made of aetherial energy fly at him from below. Ensnaring his body and wrapping around him like a cocoon leaving only his head exposed. Dragging him from the skies down to the empty rooftop of a library. There a heavyset woman with arms crossed and a stern stare now stood a safe distance away from Ein. Her skin was unnaturally pale and her straight hair that went past her shoulders a deep almost supernatural black. Ebony eyeshadow matching the deep black lipstick she wore. A black leather jacket was worn atop a black dress torn over her left leg. The ends tattered and charred. Black fishnet covering both her arms and legs. Silver chains wrapped around her right arm and her left legs. Knee high black platform boots completed her gothic outfit. Her Aura of the Star Forgers was a deep almost black purple hue.
“Lady Medusa?” Ein blurts out upon seeing the woman. He had only met her once in his time but the impression she left was one he hadn’t forgotten. She had a demanding and intimidating presence. A stark contrast to the warm and inviting one Jey had given off.
“It’s just Medusa. But if you know me already that’ll make this easy. Who and what the hell are you?” she squints slightly and tightens the chains around Ein.
“Hngh…” Ein struggles beneath the chains to no avail. Medusa waits for a response but gets nothing from Ein. He wanted to tell her but he didn’t know if he should risk letting too many people know who he was. Especially one as powerful as she was.
“There’s only room in reality for three Soul Mages. You aren’t that new guy, you aren’t that dick Siegfried, and you definitely aren’t me. So I’ll ask again.” she tightens the chains more. “Who and what the hell are you?”
“Ein…My name…is Ein…” he struggles to explain.
“Okay Ein, what are you?”
“What am I? I’m human. I’m just…” he pauses unsure about explaining his origins from the future. If Medusa was anything like the one he knew, telling her the truth would be more dangerous than just not telling her.
“Whatever, there’s only room for three of us so I’m going to fix that here and now.” Aether begins to gather around her. “Rejection of the Ancients.” She invokes her spell without even needing a tome. A circular shaped portal opening beneath Ein. The mystical tunnel it created leading to parts unknown. The only thing keeping Ein from sinking into the portal were the chains that bound him.
“Wait! I’m a good guy!” Ein pleads.
“Maybe…maybe not, I’m not taking the chance.” Medusa remains determined. Releasing several of her chains so that Ein could be pulled out of their reality.
With fewer chains binding him, Ein had the smallest of openings to save himself. Summoning his Tome which glows and flips through its pages. “Waves of Alohaori!” he calls out his spell and unleashes a torrent of water towards Medusa.
“Zeus’ Aegis.” she swings her right arm to the side and summons a circular shield of lightning. Stopping the attack and allowing Ein an opportunity to escape his chains. As her shield fades she sees Ein with his tome in hand, Aether surging around him, and his eyes aglow.
“Storm of G’hiran!” he calls out as his tome shines like a sun. Spawning a massive stream of lightning from its pages in the shape of a dragons head. It zigzags through the air before wildly flying towards a stunned Medusa.
“Is this kid crazy doing such a powerful spell here?!” Medusa thought to herself. Summoning a dark purple tome to her hand. It opens moments later and begins glowing. “Zeus’ Aegis! Runes of the World Builder!” she summons her shield once more but this time neon blue runic sigils appear engraved throughout it. Stopping the lightning dragon in its track. Bolts of lightning raging around her haphazardly towards the city. But before each bolt could strike the surrounding area, smaller shield shaped runes appear to stop them. Protecting the city and all its inhabitants from the unrelenting thunder. But the runes didn’t stop there. 5 massive circular runes appear around the body of the lightning dragon before extending into the shape of a cylinder. Trapping it inside, yet even then it kept pushing towards the sorceress. “Ice of the Seical!” she casts yet another spell, freezing the inside of her runic cylinder with a cold deeper than space. With a snap of her finger, her spells are all canceled. Exploding into a cloud of snow. Finally putting an end to Ein’s attack. With the danger passed, Medusa searches for Ein only to realize he disappeared in the chaos. “Shit…”
As Medusa senses the Aether for a sign of Ein, the wayward time traveler sits hidden in an alleyway several blocks away. His highly visible aura banished. In his time, the ability to mask one’s Aether was a simple skill and sometimes the key to survival. But in the past when there are no constant magical threats, there was no reason for Medusa to have even considered such an ability. For the time being, Ein was safe. But he had no idea what he should do or even a place to go. If he acted out he risked attracting Medusa and having to fight her once more. That’d be a fight he wasn’t likely to win. Unable to return home or ask help from others…his fate was a cloudy one…