ragon University was a mob scene. Terrorists!
Terrors! Students holed up in their dorm rooms, listening to guards
running around, as a frantic Jedal tried to track the Mazoku who was roaming
the complex. Being a very complex complex and having an army that
had little actual field experience didn't help matters.
The few times guards did find the Mazoku and the
strange half-Dragon (who rumor said had turned into a giant bat with razor
sharp fangs, but rumors are rumors), disaster struck. Half-Dragons
left in their wake! Deliberately polluting their pure systems!
Better to die than that!
Luna just had to laugh, but she didn't want to draw
any attention. She had found a servant's uniform. In past efforts,
she had found that a nice, tidy uniform was often a key to success... because
nobody paid attention to a generic working class person. She moved
freely around the campus, carrying a load of freshly pressed clothes, seemingly
on an errand through the chaos. Nobody cared.
The museum was deserted. It was a refreshing
"Thanks, Um," she said to herself, tossing the clothes
aside, and approaching the artifacts room. The lock melted into slag
at the touch of her fingers, and she swung the door open easily.
There, in a near-corner of the room, was the Lock
of Order. Nobody here could touch it... only a human, a being of
chaos, could lay a finger on the devices of Order. A strange irony,
Luna found. The Dragons had simply roped off an area on the floor,
put up a warning sign and had some handy pamphlets describing the strange
history of this unknown artifact.
Luna politely pushed the ropes aside, picked up
the lock and dropped it into a pocket on her apron. Easy as that.
It was when she attempted to leave the museum that
they caught up to her. She actually was expecting to see them earlier.
"'ello," she greeted. "'sup?"
"You're gonna die, Luna Inverse," Bugger snarled,
a melting clump of wax and splatter, his true form. Angela was at
his side, and much to Luna's surprise, now had a symmetric set of wings.
An interesting solution to the situation!
Instead of getting ready for battle, Luna... got
on her knees, and bowed most respectfully to the two of them, fingertips
touching the floor.
Bugger ignored this, stepping forward -- but Angela
put an arm out, blocking him.
"What trick are you playing now?" she asked the
"Oh, no trick," Luna said. "Wan'ned to thank
"Thanks??" Bugger roared. "You wanted us to
die, you did!"
"Naw," Luna said. "Great successes!
Everything 'cording to plan!"
"Explain the logic underlying THAT statement," Angela
And Luna did just that, pulling her official restaurant
ordering pad from a pocket, and getting out a pencil. "Lock obtained.
Check. Umias not primarily to blame, check. Jedal and ilk humiliated,
check. Dragons tossed into chaos, check. Gonna have to rethink
their ideas 'bout what a Dragon is, possible future check. Most 'portantly...
both of ya acted like I hoped, check. Angela got her groove back,
check, Bugger got a spine, check, both of ya got a good bond goin', check.
Glorious day, yeah? Goodness all around."
"The hell is she talking about?" Bugger asked.
"She... seems to have manipulated us into thinking
she manipulated us in another direction," Angela translated. She
looked curiously at Luna. "Tell me, Luna... have you ever heard of
one named Xelloss?"
"Nope," Luna lied.
"Let's just say if you two ever had children, I
would be very afraid," Angela said. "Come, Bugger. Let's get
out of this place."
"But... hey! We didn't put the smack down
"We don't need to," Angela said. "But damned
if we're going to keep working for her. Selfish, manipulative little
human... we're taking leave of your company, Luna. Once burned is
more than enough."
"'bye," Luna said, waving.
"Yah, well... this ain't over," Bugger pronounced
lamely. He teleported away, Angela shortly after, and the two departed
-- presumably together, for parts unknown.
Luna looked at her list, and made note of the last
"Angela 'n Bugger will be safe somewhere away from
Chaos Island when the end comes... check," she said. "End the world....
She gave her surroundings one last look. The
sounds of Dragons shouting and carrying on, confused by the taints in their
midst, their simple, cyclic lifestyle thrown into whack were faintly heard.
"Better get to that last one," she said.
Ceipheed's orders had been very simple. He was
a pretty pragmatic god, all things considered; no more or less said than
needed. In response, Luna's approach was equally straightforward.
Tasks complete here, it was time to move on, without much of a care for
the madhouse she left behind.
Truth be told, she didn't need to do all of that.
Ceipheed didn't ask her to. But it felt good, and in the end, was
the right thing to do for everybody in question. Luna had made a
habit of ensuring the proper outcome regardless of how seemingly ludicrous
There was one final leg to the trip, however.
She had to go to the appointed place and wait for the appointed time.
Then she would wait, for the other pieces of the puzzle to come to her,
brought by her sisters. Ceipheed told her they'd be coming along
after her, and what they'd want to do. Life would get complicated
at that point, but until then, things were groovy.
Travel was easy. A simple flight spell over
the circle sea, towards the island... the one mini-continent no sailor
approached. Luna slid through the veil of mist and swirling storms
that kept outsiders from Chaos Island like a hot knife through tofu, the
Lock of Order clearing the way for her. Inside, it was actually a
pleasant day. She didn't take much note of her surroundings, not
seeing any need to.
Waiting was also easy for someone used to waiting
on tables. Luna sat up her traveling kit, with a small tent and cooking
fire, and was working on the daily special (sweet and sour dried pork with
rice) when she saw her sister.
It was a brief vision, probably intended to be subliminal,
of Lina Inverse holding the golden power that contrasted against the deep
blue ocean of Ceipheed's light. When Luna turned to look, it was
"Know you're here," she said quietly. "Come
A voice spoke between her ears.
"He Told You?" she asked, with a tone of shock seldom
heard in the voice of the all-creator.
"Yep," Luna said. "Said this was your home.
You'd try to change my mind."
A small child of golden light walked between the
air, standing before Luna. Her gaze could pierce the sun. Luna
met it evenly, never losing her trademark grin.
"There Is Little I Can Do Against Human Will," the
Lord of Nightmares said. Was that a sigh added? "I Have Designed
It Too Perfectly... And There Is Even Less I Can Do Against My Enemy Directly."
"It'll be cool," Luna said, not the least bit unsettled
by having to comfort the god of gods. "Don't panic."
"The End Times Have Begun," the Lord said.
"Already The Three Races Gather This... Thing Together. This Hated
Thing I Was Unable To Purge From My World. I Cannot Know If My Chaos
Will Overcome Order's Plans To Destroy What I Have Striven To Develop.."
"I Am Incapable Of Emotion As Your Kind Know It.
...But I Suppose In Some Vaguely Equivalent Sense, It Could Be Conceivable,"
the Lord of Nightmares stated. "Tell Me, Luna Inverse... When The
Time Comes, What Will You Maintain Faith In? Order, or Chaos?"
Luna paused, a dead air beat, the hopes of a god
waiting on the answer.
"Neither, I guess. I got my faith in Ceipheed,"
she eventually replied.
If it was possible for the deity's shoulders to
slump, they would have.
"You Have Made Your Choice," She affirmed.
"Whether You Realize Or Not. I Will Leave You Until The Time Coming."
The Lord vanished, without a sound or an optical
Luna went back to cooking her dinner, whistling
a tune, and waiting. Truth be told, she was looking forward to the
family reunion. Because regardless of Ceipheed's orders, or the Lord's
wishes, Luna had her own plan, and Lina was a key component to it.
"Seeya then, sis," she said to herself, voice barely
Luna remained as quiet as a mouse for the following
days, awaiting the end.
Story copyright 1998 Stefan Gagne, characters copyright H. Kanzaka
/ R. Araizumi.
A Spoof Chase Production.