The Paradox

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A Horrified, hellish rage of writhing limbs and seething suckers with pointed teeth surrounded Trix. Kronos’ responses were always a bit predictable and over the years, and through countless assaults, Trix had become a master at reading his next step. He seemed to pride himself on magical ability, but his attempts at magic were undisciplined and impulsive. In most cases, Trix could foil a magical attack without bothering to change her position.  His technical skills were mediocre and while he had, on occasion, come up with a clever design, his inattention to detail usually meant that she could disable his works with a few simple modifications. More dangerous was his ability to use his massive body weight and brute force, she could not stop him physically but she could soften his blows on occasion by creating diversions or by moving his target.

Where Kronos had been the most successful though was in using the minds of those around him. She had been successful at protecting the little girl Emily for some time, it had taken him years to poison her thoughts completely, but he had been under the influence of multiple wardings and contained at the time. He was free now, and his influence was much more powerful.

At the Decimation of Lys he had been able to turn the death of No’tt to his advantage, playing on the grief, fear and uncertainty of the population until they turned on each other. Once he had twisted himself into their minds, he was unstoppable. Truths that they had cherished in their hearts, beliefs that they had worked and fought for over generations were abandoned entirely. Kronos needed only to assure them that their hatred was somehow a necessary tool for the greater good, and then stand back and wait. He had laughed as he watched them sanctimoniously tear their own world apart from within.

Trix remembered watching as well, helpless and aware of his tactics.  She could do nothing to stop him though, and she watched painfully as Marcel and TriAnna, Nimble and even her younger self battled in futility.

This confrontation would be different though, Trix smiled. She had been lost at the beginning of creation and forced to live in secret until her timelines would no longer cross. Here, finally free of her younger self, she would be able to face Kronos head on and to fight alongside her family and friends. She was no longer at risk of recreating the temporal anomaly that had long ago called the Beast Kronos into their dimension.  She was entirely herself again.

She was free to battle from within Kronos’ Realm or to leave. She could be truly independent now, needing neither Marcel’s cog nor TriAnna’s protection. She was in fact, older than them all, perhaps even as old as Dagur Herself.

Trix had gone through an eternity with Kronos, fighting against him from within his own Realm undetected. She was a defender of worlds and she burned brightly thinking of her reunion with her family. She imagined rising like a great phoenix, brilliantly ablaze, drawing the awe and admiration of everyone around her. They would write in the history books of that moment; they would write of her beauty and her bravery.

Marcel would forgive her and give her that proud sort of half smile that she saved for when she was particularly clever. TriAnna would weep and hug her too tightly and Nimble would sulk and wish that she had been able to have such wonderful adventures. Now the older of the two, Trix could console her sister, assuring her that there was no reason to be jealous.

The idea made her smile.

It had been several minutes since Kronos had lost his entry point into the Celestial Heliograph and Trix imagined that he had gone off to lick his wounds. From within her cog she could see the contraption. It was badly beaten and falling apart at it’s seams. The array of mirrors and steam mechanics that Marcel had used to construct the amplifier that allowed TriAnna to seal Kronos from his dimensional plane was falling, piece by piece, into the sea. They were engulfed in darkness, and Trix knew that TriAnna was within, fighting for her life and alone.

The bulk of Kronos’ tentacled limbs began to wiggle and lash about and Trix could sense that he was preparing to take his more human form. She wondered at this for a moment, but determined that he would likely be planning a half-baked attempt at a magical assault, and simply moved her cog out of his way. Her magic would prevent him from seeing or sensing her, a powerful spell that she had cast out of fear of discovery.  It had become her greatest accomplishment and one that protected them all from the paradox she had become.

Sadly, it was this same magic that prevented her from connecting with TriAnna so that they might combine their efforts. Trix allowed herself to remember what it was like to connect with her family, a memory that she had locked away for all of the ages so that she might spare herself the painful loss of her mother and sister. It had sometimes been a beautiful comfort not being alone in her head.  She could remember TriAnna telling her stories, or singing songs in the old language. She could remember Nimble whispering to her in the dark of night, telling her silly things that would set them to giggling. She felt a warmth and a wholeness in those memories and a painful, sickening longing.

Kronos was transformed now, his human form marching about the room furiously. Occasionally he would mumble something, or find an object to hurdle across the room in his frustration, the crashing of objects assaulting her ears and pulling her attention away from her thoughts.

He seemed to be fighting something – a memory? She could hear him somehow, as if the channels of the universe had been thrown open and she suddenly realized that they were both being surrounded by some powerful energy.

It was like nothing she had ever felt and she could suddenly remember everything. She remembered being safe in the belly of her true mother, Dagur. She remembered Dagur’s sadness as she accepted her death and cast the spell that would protect her unborn twin daughters. It was this spell that allowed them all to live on in the heart of the TriAnna. A young girl who was selected at her coming of age to embody the Graces of Dagur, the trinity of life forces that were the feminine energies of the universe. Trix remembered all of the TriAnna through the centuries, each with a kind and loving heart, playful and open. She missed and loved them all so very much. Each had given Trix life and a voice after the death of the great dragon.

The TriAnna protected them and loved them as they were one.

Eventually Marcel Ghostraven had given them all the means to be truly born into the world. With his mechanical cogs he had set them free to wander and to grow.

Trix’s head was spinning as she pulled herself through the fog of her memories. Kronos was pacing ferociously, barking in a strange language. She could see lines of spittle falling from the corners of his mouth that frothed and foamed under the influence of the magic surrounding them.

Suddenly Trix heard a voice calling to her, in the recesses of her mind. It was a familiar and warm tone that brought with it a multitude of happy memories of home. Without the slightest effort Trix felt herself blaze. Tears formed and fell in silver streams down her cheeks. She knew the voice well, it was TriAnna? She felt their reconnection like warm spring rain washing over her body. She understood the fatigue and the loneliness that she had endured for countless years. Trix felt suddenly that she was not alone, that she would never be alone, that she was loved completely and unconditionally and her heart raced with an unbridled joy.

However, the warmth of the reunion faded abruptly as she realized that Kronos had gone silent except for a low and malicious growl. Looking up she understood that she was no longer concealed within her cog, the spell that connected her back to her family had left her exposed and sitting on the floor in front of the beast Kronos.

And he was looking straight at her.

 

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