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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Time Spiral - Chapter 16

Ambulator + Urborg Rift + Teferi = Very bad things

Time Spiral - Chapter 16

Teferi doesn't know what to do. He was very consciously trying to not influence Venser's machine as he started it up, but it has become all too clear that that his mere presence this close to the ambulator and the rift has severely magnified the reaction between the two. Doing anything now might only make matters worse.

But can he really just stand here and do nothing? That dragon, whatever it is exactly, clearly isn't from Dominaria. It's flickering in and out of existence as if it is existing in both planes simultaneously. It's eventually going to finally settle on one plane. As for the ambulator, Venser's built in fail-safes seem to have malfunctioned thanks to the added stress of his presence and the power stones can blow at any time. The rift itself is growing larger and more violent. Any of these three threats can kill everyone he's brought with him.

He came back to Dominaria to save Shiv, not Urborg, but it looks like there's no choice and he has to take his chance here.

Live on Jhoira, he sent. Be well and happy.

Teferi planeswalks into the rift.

...At the ambulator...

Did Teferi just say good-bye? Jhoira has managed to get the restraints off Venser and pulled him from the machine, only to watch him run back towards the ambulator. He wants to save the power stones. He manages to get them free, and as he runs back to her, she can see the two of them fading from reality, the familiar sight of being mid-planeswalk.

...In the rift...

There is always a sense of chaos during a planeswalk, but Teferi had never felt like he was being tossed around out of control like he feels right now. Images flash before him, first Freyalise with a judgmental look on her face, then images of some scene were a forest is being stripped of its resources which he eventually realizes is the end of the Brothers' War.

In this bodiless state, Jhoira's voice exclaims recognition of the scene as well. He asks for a roll call, and they're all there with him. He doesn't know how that can be, but there's no denying it. They've all been inadvertently planeswalked with him.

Together, the images flash before them all. Next comes Shiv, then Zhalfir, then for a second he stands before a terrifying being he recognizes must be the embodiment of Dominaria's magic that Freyalise had told him about, Karona . They're taken back to Urborg, then a scene that none recognize with some stone shrine and a flaming object in the sky is about to crash down. Then comes his island sanctuary as it phased out from Dominaria, then the Tolarian Academy where Barrin, Master Wizard makes his stand against the Phyrexians during the Invasion.

The final scene is the Tolarian Academy once more, but before the Invasion. Teferi's time machine explodes and he watches his younger self catch fire and become trapped in a bubble of slow time. He remembers that moment. Forty years from his perspective went by where every second he could feel the pain of being on fire until Jhoira figured out a way to save him. He thinks back to that time and doesn't remember seeing anyone while he was trapped there, but his mind switches back and forth between where he is now looking down on his younger self, and being trapped and on fire looking up at his current self. In both states there is no escaping the pain.

Vaguely he can hear Jhoira's voice calling out to him to stop, but that voice can't exist, she wasn't there there yet to see it happen. He's here now. He knows how to free the young Teferi. He doesn't have to wait for Jhoira to free him. Once more the impossible voice of Jhoira begs him to stop, but why should he not prevent forty years of torture and decades more suffering while he attempts to put the incident behind him. Teferi casts his spell.

Then there was silence.

* * *

Do I Have to Put this Down?

Stopping after each chapter to write each entry is getting harder and harder. I just want to keep going! It took what... ten chapters to get the uncooperative Radha to see the light? Here we have the exact opposite with Venser. Since he recruitment was a snap, of course things have to become drastically worse.

I know that this is the trilogy that marks the end of the omnipotent planeswalkers, and when Teferi said his good-bye, I thought that might actually have been the end of him for a second. Instead we get taken for a trip down memory lane that ends with Teferi creating a temporal paradox.

It's great!

I love how that incident, that part of his character, is reason that things are going to get worse before they get better. It's not his logical mind attempting to solve a problem and then screwing up. He wants to heal a hurt that he realizes he's never really gotten past? Who could? For a moment Teferi caves and does something he knows deep down that he shouldn't be doing, but he's right there and can't resist the temptation.

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