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Firefly - Jayne

The Principalities - Episode 1.3 - Time and Time Again

Posted on 2008.06.18 at 00:52
Current Music:: The Used - The Ripper
Episode 1.3 – Time and Time Again
(see the preface for information)

Previously: Princess Jormungandr decided she wanted to marry Clone 315. Due to a complex series of events he agreed. He met an accordion salesman called Lust who gave him a special Lust potion, which causes the person who drinks it to fall asleep and fall in instant lust with the first person they see when they wake up. He returned home called Princess Jormungandr, drank the potion and fell asleep behind his desk accidentally trapping Felicita, the queen of the thieves, under the desk. Before Jormungandr arrived his psychiatrist Liquid Fox arrived, she had come over because Clone 315 had just directed seven people to seek out therapy with her. Jormungandr arrived immediately afterwards, replete with wedding dress and a wedding party composed of electric blue squid.
Also Previously: In 1999 Yolaris, Powergrando, Princess Fenrir, Charity, Chastity and a version of Clone 315 from the year 2012 battled against the evil Princess Hel. 315 was the only person able to kill Hel, due to his ability to turn into a giant fox. Powergrando attempted to return this version of 315 to 2012 to find that an event in the past had altered and made the timeline unstable. Powergrando took the Red Timeline 2010 version of Clone 315 back in time to 1886 to inform him that the lust potion event was what had changed and that he should take a suppressant to suppress the lust potion until they figured out which he should have fell in lust with. A year later into that version of Clone 315s timeline the potion had mutated into a virus capable of causing the apocalypse. It was only after time had broken so much that time travel was impossible that they figured out that he needed to fall in lust with Liquid Fox who wasn’t there. Clone 315 thanks to a scrying crystal skull sent back a message to his past self to tell Powergrando about Liquid Fox.

July 23rd 2010
Clone 315 was lying asleep on his desk dreaming. Things were getting complicated. Technically speaking Clone 315 had just come back from a meeting with a group of seven accordion salesmen on a small island off the coast where he’d been gifted a Lust Potion to help him fall in love with the beautiful (if odd) Princess Jormungandr. However in his personal timeline he’d just been in 1886 learning about how he was going to have to save the world. Currently he was having a dream, which was actually a message from his future self in 2012. Things were as I said getting complicated.
He opened his eyes and was rewarded for doing so by looking at a large electric blue Wedding Squid stood next to the door. The room was full of them and stood in front of the desk was Princess Jormungandr clothed in a long white wedding dress and not even attempting to contain a look of sheer glee.
“I really should stop eating all that late night cheese.” said 315.
“Is that an appropriate way to greet your betrothed on your wedding day?” snapped Jormungandr, the look of glee vanishing.
“It is if you’ve had the kind of dreams I have.” said 315. “All about destiny and saving the world and time and space and all that.”
“Brilliant!” said Jormungandr. “I always knew you were special but I never thought you held the fate of time and space and all that in your hands.”
“I wouldn’t bet on it.” said 315, suddenly pinpointing something that had been vaguely annoying him. It was a medicine bottle digging into the side of his leg. He reached into his pocket and withdrew it. As he saw it he came to the realisation that he hadn’t been dreaming. “Perhaps you should go and sort the wedding out.” He continued. “I’ll be right behind you.”
“Wedding?” asked Jormungandr now leaning across the desk trying to glimpse what 315 had produced. “What wedding?”
“You know.” said 315. “The big wedding. You’re the one wearing the wedding dress.”
“We can’t be getting married at a time like this.” said Jormungandr. “My fiancée holds the fate of the world in his hands. It’s obvious you must go on some great quest to save the planet and time and space and all that. We must wait until this terrible disaster is averted before we can be wed.”
“How incredibly perceptive of you.” said 315. “It’s true. I must go on a journey, a great journey through time and space. I will face many hardships but eventually I will return and on that day we shall be married.”
“Return?” snapped Jormungandr. “You don’t think you’re going off on this great quest on your own do you?”
“I did until you just said that then.” said 315. “Evidently you are coming with me.” Jormungandr turned to the assorted Wedding Squid that were silently watching the proceedings.
“Aiaojaeiou, you’re to come with us as my bodyguard.” she said. “Ieiaijioiu, go to the palace and get some more appropriate clothes for going on a quest through time and space and all that. Eiaujuaio go and tell my subjects that the marriage is postponed pending adventure. The rest of you go and make more cakes or whatever it is I employ you all for.” The Wedding Squid gurgled acceptance and filed out of the door leaving just one lone Wedding Squid. “So my darling where are we going on this quest?”
“This might be something I have to do on my own.” said 315 desperately. Outside there seemed to be a lot of frenzied gurgling going on.
“Well you will be on your own. We’ll be on our own together. How about that?” said Jormungandr. 315 sighed.
“Fine.” said 315. “We’ll journey together then. Just let me sort out something first.” He knelt down to Felicita who had been patiently hiding under the desk waiting for some opportunity to make a sneaky escape. “You might as well come out Felicita. Don’t worry about it if you’ve stolen something. There’s nothing of any value in here anyway.”
“Erm… hi.” Felicita conceded. “You appear to have me at a disadvantage.” 315 held his hand out to Felicita. She looked at the proffered hand for a second or two as if trying to work out whether this was a cunning trap of some kind but grasped it after a second. 315 helped her up and then glanced back to Jormungandr who was looking somewhat less than pleased.
“What were you doing under that desk?” Jormungandr demanded.
“It’s nothing like that!” 315 said quickly. “She was robbing my house when I got home, hid under the desk and then when I sat down at it and fell asleep had no means of leaving.”
“A likely story.” said Jormungandr. “I should kill you both!” Aiaojaeiou tensed up. “But I won’t. I know that killing you both won’t solve anything.” The Wedding Squid visibly relaxed and slinked against the wall. “But just killing you, you table dwelling whore, that will solve plenty of things!” Aiaojaeiou suddenly lunged forwards bearing down on Felicita. She turned to run but before she could do so the squid was wrapping its large tentacles around her. A second later there was a large snap as her bones broke and she collapsed. Aiaojaeiou slinked nonchalantly back to the doorway. Felicita was lying dead and misshapen on the ground. “That’s that sorted with.” said Jormungandr, her angry expression gone, in it’s place a massive grin. “Shall we head off on this quest now my little love muffin?” she continued.
“You just killed her!” exclaimed 315.
“I couldn’t have her standing between you and I my little honeycakes.” said Jormungandr. “I’m a princess and more importantly you promised yourself to me.” 315 stood speechless for a couple of seconds as he composed his thoughts. Before he could respond there was a knock at the door. “Expecting company?” 315 thought back to the dream he had had and the mysterious whereabouts of Liquid Fox.
“Possibly.” he said, mere seconds before it occurred to him that Jormungandr wouldn’t take kindly to him falling in lust with another woman. Aiaojaeiou opened the door to reveal a humanoid figure who appeared to be made of purple and black light. He was wearing a long coat and glasses and was carrying a small futuristic looking device.
“Hello.” he said. “I’m the Doctor. Just popped in because there’s been a little problem with time in the area. Paradoxes everywhere and whatnot.” He held up his device and swept it across the room, stopping as he pointed it at 315. “You appear to be the cause of the problem, Mr…?”
“Clone 315.” said 315 slowly. “What’s going on?”
“Oh routine time check-up. Nothing to worry about.” said the Doctor. “Just hold still I’ll see if I can calibrate the problem. Won’t be a tick.” He glanced at Jormungandr. “Wouldn’t want you to be late for your wedding…” and then glanced at Felicita. “…or your funeral. Whichever.” He messed with a couple of settings on his device and then pointed it back towards 315. Suddenly Aiaojaeiou pounced onto the Doctor knocking him off balance. A beam of black light poured out of the end of his device, knocked off balance by the sudden presence of a squid the beam thudded into a wall burning through it in a matter of seconds. Before anyone had time to react the Doctor had pulled Aiaojaeiou off of him and thrown him into a corner of the room. 315 grabbed Jormungandr and ran towards the bedroom. The last thing he saw as he ran in was the Doctor firing his device at Aiaojaeiou, burning it alive. 315 slammed the door and locked it behind him.
“Typically aren’t we supposed to wait until after we’re married?” asked Jormungandr. “Not that I’m complaining.” She started to unbutton her top.
“Are you insane?” shouted 315. “We have to get out of here. That door isn’t going to hold him for long. I doubt it will hold him for any length of time at all.” 315 ran to the phone, pulled a piece of card from his pocket and started dialling the phone number on it.
“315…” purred Jormungandr. 315 glanced over to her for a second to see she was lying seductively on the bed.
“Not now!” he hissed. There was a knock on the door as he dialled the last number. An automated voice on the other side started telling him to leave a message after the tone. Jormungandr ran over to him and whispered: “We should pretend we’re not in.” 315 glared at her for a second before remembering he was supposed to be leaving a message.
“Ahh hello Powergrando. Bit of trouble here. Felicita’s dead and some doctor is trying to kill me. If you could see your way to coming back and helping me that would be really helpful.” He said. There was a buzzing noise and the door opened. The Doctor was framed in the doorway with his device pointed at where the lock had been. He walked into the room and slowly pointed the device at 315.
“I’m sorry.” he said. “I’m so sorry.”

November 5th 1886
The world blurred around them and when it unblurred Clone 315 and Princess Jormungandr were back in 1886. They were sat in a Victorian style parlour on an antique (although it probably wasn’t an antique yet) green sofa. Powergrando and Chastity were sat across from them. Chastity was wearing a tight fitting leather outfit, which had there been any part of her that could still be left to the imagination, wouldn’t have done so.
“What in the world is going on?” asked Powergrando. “I turn my back for one minute and suddenly the whole world goes mad.”
“I don’t know.” said 315. “He was talking about paradoxes and saying something was wrong with time.”
“That is odd but that’s not what I mean.” said Powergrando. “Your timeline has changed. The last time I saw you you’d gone off with Felicita and married her. Even cloned her back from the dead and now suddenly that’s all changed. It’s very weird. Time can’t change without some external influence so what is it?”
“Felicita?” asked Princess Jormungandr looking around the Victorian room.
“Hello Princess Jormungandr.” said Powergrando offering his hand to shake. “I’m Powergrando. I’m a genius and I’m trying to fix time. Felicita was that woman who was hiding under 315’s desk.”
“What?!” demanded Jormungandr completely ignoring Powergrando’s hand. “You married that whore?!” She paused. “But she’s dead. I had her killed myself.” she continued more thoughtfully. “You’re not a necrophiliac are you?”
“Thanks a lot PG.” said 315.
“But you didn’t get married. We were just there.” said Jormungandr. “What in the world is going on?”
“My sentiments exactly.” said Powergrando. “315 care to shed any light on what has changed your timeline?”
“I don’t know what he’s talking about I swear.” said 315.
“Ignore her question.” said Powergrando. “I’m more interested in why your timeline has changed. Start at the beginning, anything that could be remotely relevant.”
“Okay but please explain to her that I’m not married to Felicita’s corpse. She has an army of squid that can kill people.” said 315.
“Princess Jormungandr.” said Powergrando. “315 is not married to Felicita or her corpse. I was referring to an event that happened in a different timeline. It’s not relevant apart from the fact that something has changed. Please ignore it.” he turned back to 315. “So what happened?”
“I had a dream, a message from myself in the future.” said 315. “He said to tell you about Liquid Fox.” 315 glanced nervously across at Jormungandr. “It’s her that I’m supposed to fall in lust with.” Powergrando stopped still and stared into the distance.
“Excuse me?!” demanded Jormungandr. “I don’t know what’s going on, or why I’m suddenly in an old fashioned house but he’s supposed to marry me. He’s agreed to it.” There was a pause. Eventually Chastity decided to fill it.
“Princess Jormungandr?” she ventured. “I’m Chastity. We’ve brought you back in time to a safe place while we figure out what is going on.”
“Time travel eh?” asked Jormungandr. “What if I killed my grandmother?”
“I’m sure that’s a matter that’s between you and the police force and I wouldn’t want to intrude in any way.” said Chastity. She turned to Powergrando, who looked deep in thought, then to 315. “Liquid Fox? I’ve never heard of her. How can you have been supposed to fall in lust with her? She wasn’t there.”
“I don’t know.” said 315. “I’m just the messenger.” He paused. “Although technically I’m delivering a message from myself. Time travel is confusing. It must get really complicated.”
“It would be confusing, except PG here is a genius.” said Chastity playfully. There was a pause while they turned to see that Powergrando was still lost in thought. “Isn’t that right PG?” Chastity asked elbowing him in the ribs.
“Hmmm?” He turned to look at them. “Oh yes. Genius. Yep. That’s me.”
“Well what do we do then?” asked Chastity.
“I guess we should go and have a look, see if we can figure out why she isn’t there.” said Powergrando.
“But what about the Doctor?” asked 315.
“What about him?” asked Powergrando. “Falling in Lust with him won’t help anyone.”
“I mean he was trying to kill me.” said 315. “He shot a squid with some kind of evil black light.”
“He shot an actual squid.” gasped Powergrando with mock shock. “We should definitely stay away from him then.” He pulled LF out from his pocket.
“What’s going on?” asked Jormungandr who was suddenly paying attention to the conversation again now that something shiny had been produced.
“That’s his time machine.” said 315. “We’re heading back to where that maniac just tried to kill me, which apparently nobody else is bothered about.”
“Do you think I can have a go later?” asked Jormungandr.
“I’m more than averagely certain that no you probably can’t.” said 315. Powergrando sighed and focused on LF. The room blurred.

July 23rd 2010
The world unblurred around them revealing an ordinary suburban street that was all freshly cut green lawns and swingsets in the gardens. It was in essence the stereotypical suburban street. Ironically enough despite it looking so familiar it was completely unfamiliar. This was not where they were supposed to be at all.
“Interesting.” said Powergrando. “This is not where we are supposed to be at all. We’re a good few streets from your house.”
“Complications?” asked Chastity.
“I think so.” said Powergrando. He was looking at LF as if trying to determine the answer to a difficult problem. He glanced over at Clone 315 before looking back to LF. “I think perhaps Liquid Fox might not want to be part of all this.”
“What do you mean?” asked 315.
“Nothing.” said Powergrando. “I’m sure everything’s fine and you’re reasonably attractive. Why an attractive female psychiatrist wouldn’t want to go out with you I wouldn’t know.”
“No attractive female psychiatrists are going out with anyone on my watch.” said Jormungandr.
“Nevermind.” said Powergrando. “Lets just give the old time travel another go.” The street around them blurred and then unblurred unchanged. “Then again if God had wanted us to travel in time he’d have given us cars made out of clocks. Lets just walk it eh?” He held LF up in the air and turned around while focusing on it, before finally deciding on a direction. “LF says your house is this way.” He explained, before heading off in that direction. The others hurried after him.
“Time hasn’t broken has it?” asked Chastity.
“No.” said Powergrando. “Time travel is still possible but it seems LF can’t, or won’t, get us any closer to the event than this.”
“Won’t?” asked Chastity.
“Nevermind.” said Powergrando quickly. “I’m sure everything’s okay.” As they approached Clone 315’s street they noticed that something was wrong. There was a large dome mounted over the street. It was massive and black with occasional panels, which were shining a bright purple light. It also seemed to be strangely semi-transparent, like a ghost or an illusion.
“That’s not normally there.” said 315. “Is it something to do with us?”
“I would think so.” said Powergrando. “Things usually are.” He hurried towards the base of the room and pressed his hands up against, and through it. As he did so large purple panels flipped around and started flashing intently while high-pitched alarms started to sound in the vicinity. Two shapes appeared next to him. They were vaguely humanoid, although vaguely is the key word. They were square and blockish, and appeared to be made of the same purple and black light that The Doctor had been made from.
“Greetings time travellers.” they said in unison. “The Time Agency apologises for the inconvenience but Diorama Street is off limits for the foreseeable future. If you have urgent business with a resident of this street we suggest you try again either yesterday or in six months.”
“What’s going on?” asked Powergrando.
“Time is unstable inside. It has been altered too much and has become dangerous.” the two light beings spoke, not only in unison, but also in a mechanic monotone. “Please do not worry because the Time Agency has dispatched their best time agent to fix it.”
“Very good.” said Powergrando unenthusiastically. “Might I enquire as to who you are?”
“We are Tangles Mecha-Chi and Mecha-Psi, we are property of the Time Agency.” said the light beings.
“The Time Agency?” asked Powergrando.
“Founded in 2086 by Rufus Rhinehart, The Time Agency is a governing body designed to resolve paradoxes and other problems with time.” said the Tangles.
“And how exactly do you resolve these problems.” asked Powergrando feeling he might already know the answer.
“Most problems can be resolved by manipulating events until the paradox or problem is solved. However cases such as the one contained in the dome behind us are too complex and can only be resolved by the termination of any living thing inside the paradox.” said the Tangles. There was a pause. To say Powergrando looked angry would be an understatement. He looked furious.
“Just as I thought.” said Powergrando. “Amateurs imposing their will on time. Listen to me. I’m being deadly serious here.” His face showed not one flicker of emotion. “You are to stop immediately. Call off your time agents and let us handle the paradox. If you kill everyone in this paradox it will not resolve the paradox. It will make things worse.”
“Negative.” replied the Tangles. “The Time Agency has the authority to cleanse this paradox via any method necessary.”
“I will stop you.” said Powergrando. “If you’re lucky I’ll just solve the paradox before you, but kill the people in there and I will destroy you. I will destroy your Time Agents and I will destroy your Time Agency.”
“This is a formal warning.” the Tangles replied. “You have threatened Time Agency personnel. There will be further warnings. Further threatening behaviour is punishable by death. Please leave before any further charges are brought against you. Have a nice day.”
“Hey!” said Princess Jormungandr. “You have no authority to be building a massive dome on my property.”
“Your property madam?” asked the Tangles. “Might the Tanglemind enquire as to your identity?”
“This isn’t a good idea.” said Powergrando urgently.
“I am Princess Jormungandr.” said Jormungandr ignoring him. “This is my country. Therefore my property. Therefore get your stinking dome off of my country.”
“Thank you for your compliance Princess Jormungandr.” said the Tangles. “Have a nice day.” A stream of black light flowed out of the dome and hit Jormungandr. She gasped in agony and collapsed to the ground. She was dead before she hit it. The black light left a hole straight through her chest where her heart had been located until so very recently.
“Remember what I said about killing people?” asked Powergrando. “Think on it.” He turned around and walked back to Chastity and 315 who were stood on the other side of the street in shock.
“They just killed Princess Jormungandr.” said 315.
“They won’t get away with it.” said Powergrando. “But I’m afraid it’s first things first. We need to find Liquid Fox.”
“What now then?” asked Chastity.
“Well we can’t teleport inside.” said Powergrando. “They’ve blocked time travel into your street today. That’s why LF could only take us so close. I could kill those Tangles and burst through the dome but it would be too dangerous to conduct a thorough search for Liquid Fox. I suggest we time travel to yesterday and wait.”

22nd July 2010
The street unblurred. The dome had gone, technically it hadn’t been there yet, and they were stood facing onto Diorama Street. They walked towards 315’s house.
“So these things, those tangles, are there because of us?” asked 315. “Because we’re trying to fix time.”
“Yes.” said Powergrando. “That’s not how they’ll see it though. They’ll think we’re making the problem worse by time travelling so much in the area. They’re way of solving paradoxes is twisted.”
“So the Doctor is their ‘Time Agent’?” asked 315.
“Yep.” said Powergrando. “He’ll kill everyone that was there regardless if they’re even involved. He’ll probably kill all your neighbours and all those Wedding Squids. Oh and you.”
“How does that work though?” asked Chastity. “If 315 dies then doesn’t that just make it worse? Wouldn’t his death just cause a bigger paradox to occur at our fight with Hel in 2000?”
“Yeah.” said Powergrando. “But then they just go over there and kill everyone there as well. It could actually work eventually, but not until you’d wiped out the entire human race.”
“What were they?” asked 315.
“I don’t know.” said Powergrando, opening 315’s gate and walking into the garden. “Robots from the future presumably.”
“We’re here tomorrow as well.” said Chastity to Powergrando. “When we took 315 back to 1886.”
“Then they’ll try and kill us as well.” said Powergrando, he opened the door into 315’s living room. There was a mole sitting on the couch. Powergrando shot 315 a bemused glance.
“Don’t mind him.” said 315. “We should stay in one of the rooms upstairs, I didn’t check up there when I got back. We shouldn’t be disturbed.”
“Will we be seeing any more wild animals up there?” asked Powergrando with a grin. They climbed the stairs and walked along the hallway. They tried the door to the main bedroom but found that it was locked. There was a sign on the door that said ‘Occupied’ in Yolaris’ handwriting.
“Looks like Yolaris is here as well.” said Powergrando. “I’m not entirely surprised that this Time Agency showed up, the amount of time travelling we’ve done around here.”
“I’m beginning to regret ever taking that Lust Potion.” said 315.
“You won’t when it finally takes effect.” said Powergrando. “Trust me.” They tried the door to the spare bedroom that was also locked with a similar note on the door. This one was in Powergrando’s handwriting. They exchanged glances and then tried the door to the bathroom. It was unlocked and so they went inside and locked the door behind them.
“Think we should write a note saying occupied?” asked 315.
“No.” said Powergrando. “If anyone else was going to come up here then they would already be here and we’d be spending the night in your airing cupboard.” 315 took his Lust Potion suppressants and laid down on the floor using a towel as a pillow.
“I can’t believe that just yesterday I was hanging out with those seven accordion salesmen.” said 315. “That in fact I’m out there in the world doing that right now.”
“That’s time travel for you.” said Powergrando he took out LF and was staring at it. “You get used to it.” If you stared really hard at LF it was as though you could make out someone in there. Someone looking back at you…

23rd July 2010
Clone 315 woke up. He’d been dreaming that LF was a person, someone he knew. But he couldn’t focus on that because there was something going on. Chastity and Powergrando were looking out of the window. Chastity looked around and put her finger to her lips. 315 walked quietly to the window.
“Be quiet.” Chastity whispered. “You’re asleep downstairs right now.”
“What’s going on?” 315 whispered.
“This is earlier than we’ve come for you before.” Powergrando whispered. He pointed out of the window to a woman with short hair, piercings and incredibly unfashionable clothing. She was walking towards the house. “That is Princess Hel.” He continued. “We killed her at the millennium a week or two ago which means it’s a bit of surprise not only that she’s alive but also that she’s here.” Yolaris walked out of the house looking older than before. His hair had grown long and was tied back in a ponytail. He was wearing a very worn pair of army fatigues. He was flanked by Charity and Princess Fenrir who both looked older than 315 remembered them, they were wearing red kimonos and massive army boots. Fenrir had a bandage tied around her arm while Charity was practically covered in bandages. Behind Yolaris in the shadows was a mysterious man wearing a trenchcoat and fedora. 315 couldn’t make out his face, just a hint of silver. Princess Hel just sighed as she saw them approaching.
“I hope he knows what he’s doing.” Powergrando whispered concernedly.
“PG.” whispered Chastity. “We don’t have time for this. We need to go and find this Liquid Fox.” She paused. “She’s not Liquid Fox is she?” she gestured towards Princess Hel.
“No.” said Powergrando. There was a momentary pause before Powergrando walked away from the window and unlocked the bathroom door. He gestured silently for 315 and Chastity to follow him. They snuck along the hallway and looked down the stairs into the living room. They could see 315 asleep on the desk and were aware that Felicita was trapped silently underneath. The door opened slightly and a beautiful longhaired blonde walked through the door. She was dressed very sensibly, mainly in black.
“That’s her.” whispered 315.
“That’s strange.” whispered Chastity. “Why don’t we know about her? She isn’t exactly hidden.” She walked up to the desk where 315 was asleep and was about to reach out and wake him up when the air around her blurred. Powergrando sighed. The air unblurred and stood where she had been a second ago was Chastity and Powergrando. Chastity reached out and took 315’s hand while Powergrando focused on the time machine he held in his hands. After a second they blurred again and vanished. They reappeared almost instantly putting Clone 315 back behind the desk, before blurring out again.
“We stopped time for Felicita while we were doing this.” explained Powergrando. “That’s why she doesn’t notice you vanishing and reappearing.”
“But what happened to Liquid Fox?” asked 315.
“I don’t suppose you know how I discovered time travel do you?” asked Powergrando.
“Isn’t there more of a pressing issue?” asked Chastity.
“It’s relevant.” whispered Powergrando. “I promise it will make sense afterwards.”
“Fine.” whispered 315. “Let’s hear it then.”

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