nd just as soon as Naga had finished blinking,
those villages were back.
She lost control of her flight spell in the shock,
feeling as if her entire body had shifted instantaneously; she fell, plunging
from the sky, as the ground ran up to meet her, to greet her, to smash
Instinctively, she flexed muscles in her back, and
swooped back up, to glide to a halt and hover.
Strange shadows flicked at her vision, from the
corners of her eyes. She floated back to the ground, and looked behind
herself... at the magnificent black and gold butterfly wings she had suddenly
obtained. They looked very similar to the ones she knew Lina was
wearing nowadays. But how did she get them?...
Curiously, she tried flapping them.. gaining some
air. She soared high, and to her unending surprise... saw Sailoon
City, whole and unannihilated, on the horizon.
In fair Sailoon, the winged shifted.. and landed in
the Great Hall of Sailoon Palace, gleaming and bright.
"What the hell...?" Paradox asked. "Reality
changed. ALL of reality changed! I could feel it, until..."
"Until it stopped," Love said. "Our Talents.
"WHAT?!" Paradox gagged.
"I never needed mine anyway," Reason shrugged.
"Life goes on. Same as it did the first time the world was changed
Myth, in shock, immediately ran out, to the nearest
window.. and came right back. "Sailoon City! It's all there!
Every street we had in the dreaming is here, rebuilt! And... and...
you guys HAVE to see this!"
The family of the winged, the original humans, followed
Myth to the window, where they first saw humans take to the air, dozens
of them confused about what had happened, but starting to enjoy their new
situation in life.
Angela pulled herself off the floor, grasping for the
table's edge. "Is everybody alright?" she asked of the other patrons
around her. They didn't seem injured... and the floor had gone back
to normal. In fact, everything was a bit.. brighter. Not the
dismal, middle of Noh Wheir inn they had entered, but a shiny place, taken
care of by one with a fond heart for the inn...
(...and somewhere else in the village, an eighty
year old woman who had been a waitress back when the inn was shiny and
new smiled in her sleep, having dreamed through the whole affair...)
"Soditall, soditall, I skinned my knee," Bugger
said, rubbing the injury. "Don't it figure? Now, if.........
ah. Gel? What's happened to you?"
"What do you mean?" Angela asked.. and stared open
at the man. "You have... you have--!"
"The same thing you've got," Bugger said, pointing
to the open wings on Angela's back. "Great big bloody wings, we've
got. Like the wingless... what gives?"
"I.. I don't honestly know," Angela said.
"Can't you do a reading? Something has gone wrong here, and you're
the one in charge of--"
"I know, I know," Bugger said, taking a handful
of dirt from the pocket of his trenchcoat. He tried to tap his Mazoku
powers, and threw the dirt in the air... and watched it simply fall back
to the table and plop into his soup, ruining what would've been a perfectly
"Well? What does it say?" Angela asked.
"It says... we're changed folk," Bugger said.
"My powers are gone, and yours too, probably. I'm not a Mazoku anymore,
and you're not a Dragon OR a Mazoku... we've been turned into humans.
The other patrons of the inn stared in shock at
each other, as the room was full of wings...
Even elsewhere, stranger things were happening.
A man woke from what felt like deep slumber, on
the shores of an unknown beach. A city was nearby, where he spotted
many people, hovering in the air... he examined himself, and saw that he
had wings as well.
A young lady awoke next to him, roused from sleep
as well. But she was quicker to get back into action. "Lina?
Lina?" she called. "Where did they all go?"
"I know you.." the man said, studying her.
Lara Inverse noticed the man for the first time,
and an unusual recognition flowed through her... "What.. what is your name?"
"I think it to be.. Shaburanigdo," the man said,
standing. "Although why I know this, I don't know... it feels like
I just woke from a rather long nightmare. But you're my daughter,
Because it was just as Lara's memories had comforted
themselves with. This was Shaburanigdo, the true one of her mind's
eye; her noble, proud father, there with a smile and a hug.. as she ran
to him, delighted.
Underneath a restaurant, a pounding was heard on the
walls. Although there was commotion above, a busboy went downstairs,
to see what the fuss was about.. he noticed a fake wine rack had shifted,
and that there was a hidden door behind it, with the locks shattered.
He opened, it quickly, and the man in light blue robes stumbled out.
"What.. what's happened?" the man asked.
"We don't know... it's the strangest thing, sir!"
the busboy said. "Everybody's got wings! And the fighting overhead,
the Dragons and Mazoku.. it's stopped!"
The robed priest looked around. He evaluated
the situation.... and nodded. "I suppose it's a good solution," he
said. "I must thank Luna next time I see her. It may not be
what I expected, but who am I to argue, in this state? For now, I
had better see to any of the wounded in the area... and if any of my children
are lost and confused in this new change."
"Ah.. who are you?" the busboy asked. "What
were you doing in the basement?"
"My name is Ceipheed," the man said. "As for
what I was doing... that's a rather long story, I'm afraid."
Beastmaster Zelas-Metallum was just setting down to
tea and reviewing battle plans when the world ended.
The teacup hit the floor of her throne room at Wolf
Pack Island when time restarted; she clutched at her heart, feeling her
whole being.. CHANGE. It was almost painful, but passed quickly.
Nothing seemed different. The throne room
was just as she had remembered; exactly as she had remembered it.
But something was wrong. She reached out with her Mazoku powers,
To sum... to do nothing. Nothing was there.
Frustrated, she used her voice instead.
"WHAT is going on here?!" Zelas-Metallum shouted.
Nobody came. She thundered to the balcony, her overlook to observe
the Mazoku that resided on her island, and...
The scene almost made her faint. Each Mazoku,
each beast and demon, each slathering fiend had been changed. All
she saw were very, very surprised looking humans -- each with those blasted
wings! She fluttered her own wings in anger.
Someone had done this. Lina. She had
to have. Revenge. Yes, Zelas must find revenge. Without
Mazoku power, Zelas was not up to par with battling Lina... however, she
still had her troops -- they would do the task for her.
"Attention! ATTENTION!" she called to the
humans below her. A few looked up. It was not the same enrapt
commanding she could have over her minions before... "Gather!
Gather together, we have things to do! We have been slighted, and
must take action... pay attention!!"
Of course, from this height, they couldn't hear
her. It hadn't been a problem when they were her demonic underlings.
Instead, they mulled around, in confusion... some
left, unheeding of her commands, to find whatever it is they sought.
Others looked up. At her. At how very much equal they were,
no longer underling and Mazoku Lord...
What could an ex-predator do, when she was the same
as her prey? She had definitely slighted many of the foolish minions
at her disposal, in punishment, or simply to keep them in line over the
years... already, some of them were making the connection. Things
had the potential to get very, very unpleasant. Risky and dangerous...
"I should never have let Xelloss go to help her,"
Zelas-Metallum, no longer the Beastmaster, declared to herself. "Damn
him. He's won."
She took to the sky, relying on her new wings to
guide her away from her island, never to return.
But most importantly, out of all the things that had
changed when the world was reborn, the scene on Chaos Island had changed.
The storms were gone. It was a nice sunny
day, as it had once been, with no hints of other worlds. No golden
lakes were present, and no battle damage and cracks in the earth.. in the
distance, a mechanical boat sat waiting to launch in pristine waters, with
a flag reading GUPPY.
Slowly, people stood up.. studying their surroundings
and each other in bewilderment.
Zelgadis picked up immediately on the fact that
Yes, everybody had wings. This didn't shock him very much; after
all, it was as plain as the nose on his face. He reached up to scratch
his chin, and instead of the rocky scrape he was expecting to hear, he
FELT a fingernail drag on his skin--
"Aaah!!" he yelled, looking at his hands.
"By the six Shamans of Ky, I'm HUMAN!"
"I'm human too!! Aaa! AAAAAA!!!" Amelia screamed..
before figuring it out. "Ah... wait, I always was human. Ehheh.
Sorry! Just a little disoriented... why do we all have wings?"
"I'm pink," Chi'Nai said quietly, looking at herself
in wonder and fascination. Words tumbled from her mind to her mouth
without much control. "Last thing I remembered was falling, and...
and being somewhere cold and silver... and now I'm pink."
"Where's Lina?" Gourry said, alert and always key
to the number one question in his head.
The group scanned around their immediate vicinity..
and spotted no fiery tempered sorceresses with the possible exception of
"She's gone," Zelgadis observed obviously.
"Split up. Let's look."
Two minutes later they found her; there was just
a few large hills in the way.
The change had dropped them on the island, but it
put them around the same spot they had vanished from, after flying away
from the Altar of Order. That, at least, was still there, in a small
puddle of water that was no longer golden, but seemed to have a sheen of
gold on it from the noonday sun. And in the chair, in the chains
that kept the figure down, was not the Lord of Nightmares -- it was Lina
Inverse, her wings spread, her eyes closed. Asleep.
Gourry shook her lightly, but there was no response.
He shook her medium-hard and still got no response.
"I think we need to unlock it," Zelgadis said.
"That's what the key is for. Who's got the key?"
"Lina-san had it," Amelia said. "But I don't
see her necklace. It's gone..."
"You mean.. she's not going to wake up?" Gourry
asked, concern rising. "Not until we find that key?"
"That's the gist of it," Zel confirmed.
"... I don't care how long it takes, we're going
to find it!" Gourry declared, clenching a fist. "I don't care if
we have to quest through the entire world again, for years on end.
If you don't want to come, that's fine -- but I'm going to set her free
if it's the last thing I--"
"Got it," Amelia said, holding up the key, and wiping
it off on her cloak. "It fell into the water." Sure, it no
longer had the brilliant silver gleam it once did, but a key was a key.
Zelgadis nodded in approval, as Amelia passed the
thing over to Gourry. "Let's get on with this. I want to know
what the hell happened."
Stepping closer to the altar, Gourry lifted up the
lock with one hand, and slid the key in with his other hand... twisting
it slightly, the chains fell apart in an instant, every link snapping,
the metal pieces clattering and splashing down into the water. The
manacles flew open as well, tumbling from either side of the altar.
Slowly... Lina opened her eyes, coming out of a
deep sleep. Age marked her glance, as she tiredly looked up.. and
reached out for Gourry, slumping into his arms.
"...how many weeks has it been?" Lina asked.
"Or was it months?"
"Umm.. just minutes, I think," Gourry said.
"Are you okay, Lina?"
"I am now," Lina said, letting a long sigh out.
"I could sleep for a YEAR. If... ghhkk.. OW! Gourry, quit freaking
out! I'm not going to sleep for a year!"
Gourry mumbled an apology, and set a slightly crushed
Lina down. She dusted herself off, and looked around. "Huh.
I guess it worked, then. I really did fix the world."
Chi'Nai was the one who spoke up. "FIX the
world? How? You made me human! And.. we've all got--"
"I know, I know," Lina said, appraising the group.
"Hrm. I wasn't figuring on that, but I guess it fits. I made
everybody human. Everybody, from the chimeras to the Mazoku to the
Dragons to the winged. We're all equal now. There's no way
for Order to apply a crowbar when we're all unpredictable little buggers
on a level playing field, eh? It was Zelgadis's idea, anyway, from
"Mine?!" Zel exclaimed.
"Sure. I filled your promise. So the
way I see it, you owe me a steak dinner!"
"Wow, she hasn't changed one bit!" Amelia cheered,
waving a pair of fans in victory. "So, what happens now, Lina-san?"
Lina pondered that. "Okay... rebuilt the world,
end is the beginning, prophecies done, Order kicked out after much difficulty,
Mazoku War over on account of species diversion, altar unlocked... hmm.
I think that's it. Now, the altar explodes violently because it's
been unlocked, and everybody goes home."
"That's great!" Gourry smiled. "See, Lina?
I told you this'd all work out okay. Now, we can all go back.. and...
ano. Why is everybody running away?"
The fleeing people made a beeline for the Guppy.
Gourry looked at the altar, which was starting to vibrate at a really weird
hum. Looked at the Guppy. Looked at the altar.
"Hey, Lina!!" he shouted. "What was that last
Lina flew back, grabbed Gourry by his shirt, and
darted back to the ship just as it was taking off.
Nobody was around to watch Chaos Island go up in
a pillar of smoldering reality, which is for the best.
Story copyright 1998 Stefan Gagne, characters copyright H. Kanzaka
/ R. Araizumi.
A Spoof Chase Production.