Quarut

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Author: Alex Warlorn
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Xanadu story universe


Its senses were bombarded with random noise, confusion, unreason, and -disorder-. None of these were pleasant to its clockwork mind. It had been created to maintain order, not the laws that short lived mortal created though these were to be acknowledged when possible, but –order-, law, and justice, base rules of creation without which the Great Wheel would slowly degenerate into anarchy. Each of its kind was assigned a different element of Law to enforce through out creation. This model’s purpose was to maintain the consistency of time, to let none though magical or mundane means revise history, so the laws of cause and effect would never be violated. It did not care for good or evil, right or wrong, kindness or cruelty, only in the absolute ruling of LAW. It was one of the Inevitables. It was a Quarut, created from the crèche -forges on the outer plane of absolute law Mechanus, created and geared for the sole purpose of ensuring the consistency of the time line.

However several contradiction presented themselves, and if there was one thing that decreased it’s programmed mission object success rating, it was a contradiction.

First that immediately came to the attention of its brain of cogs and gears was that it had no internal record of it’s original mission objective. Normally when an Inevitable was first sent to the material plane, it was given its first assignment, an action or situation that threatened or had damaged time, with the precise orders to remove and eliminate both the damage and the source of said damage. After this mission was completed, it would enter observation mode, and openly seek out others who had carried out similar crimes on a smaller scale, slowly developing emotions and personality until it risked swaying towards good or evil and had to be recalled to it’s crèche-forges to have it’s memories reset so it could continue to do it’s duty without bias of emotion or morals.

However, there was no original mission present in it’s memory, this was not logical. Second, was that besides it’s own innate base knowledge, it could not recall coming here for any precise purpose, again, not logical. And perhaps almost disturbing, was that it’s Plane Shift ability that would take it back to Mechanus for reprogramming (which all signs pointing to it’s needing immediately), failed to find the proper plane of reality. This approached almost disturbing for it’s perfectly rational mind almost making the gears in its head grind against each other.

Without any other options available to it, the clock work being entered emergency observation mode, hoping to find a magic-user who could cast a Gate spell for it to return to it’s factory for reassignment. The Quarut calculated its first course of action was to discern its location and proper bearings. Then to locate a magic-user of proper power, and to coerce said magic user to open a gate for it to return to be reset.

-Immediate internal situation resolve for Time being-

-Begin assessment of immediate external situation-

The Quarut scanned the area around it with its clockwork vision impassively and indifferently. Of course it had no eyes, its face was an hourglass, always rising up or down but no end ever empty, but it could see perfectly well all the same. It was not programmed to wonder how its internals worked.

It saw several mortals and a few outsiders of several species, some screaming, others hiding, many just running or causing random damage.

- High Multiple Mortal + Outsider Content Found-

-Searching list of possible locations-

-Possible location: Sigil: City of Doors, The Cage-

-Special notes: Entity of Divine Rank May Not Enter-

-Sever Disruption of Current Power Structure Presents High Probability of Termination By ‘Lady of Pain’ (type unknown).- -Extreme Caution-

-Confirm Location-

The sentient machine looked around it, matching up images of Sigil from its memories to its current location. The image of a blue sky with clouds immediately negated the possibility of Sigil, as it was a ring city with warped gravity with the roofs facing each other.

-City Sigil Location Negated.-

-Disregard all previous information.-

-Repeat Possible Location Search.-

- All remaining results of equal possibility to each other.-

- Selection of One Counter Productive.-

-Manually Acquire Information.-

Moving its piston and gear muscles as if they were brand new (another contradiction, since it would have logically had to used them to leave the forge to come here in the first place, even with its self repair, earmarks of use should have been detectable) the machine walked toward the nearest sentient being it saw.

- Humanoid. Pointed Ears. Main Species: Elf. - -Sub Species: Unknown.- - Gender: Female-

The Quarut saw green blood trickling down its forehead.

-Visual Blood Chemistry Not Matching Common Elf-

- Resemblance Possibly Cosmetic-

“What is this world, nation and city? Where is the nearest date Magic-user of High Enough Level to Cast The Spell Gate or Plane Shift?”

The pseudo-elf looked at it and spoke in a cool calm and collected tone.

-Language Unknown. Activate Tongues Ability.-

Another contradiction, knowing only Common and Mechanic as a verbal language, it should also be programmed with the language of its first target.

-Discontinuity Noted For Later Review-

“I am unaware of which nation or city this is, but signs point to this being the human home world Earth. Magic does not exist, so the remainder of you query is illogical.”

- World Earth. Noted.-

“Negative. Magic is a viable part of the universe, viable in this unit’s existence, and thus, is illogical to doubt its existence.”

“You have clearly been programmed with false data.” She said again in that same cool tone.

"Possibility rejected. Internal mechanisms that are the resulted from magic too high in percentage to parallel with other source."

- Possibility of Useful Information Gathered from Further Communication Negligible-

- Location alternate information source. -

- Value of Current Information source degrading.-

"Where is the nearest information source?"

"I do not know. I am lost as to our location. But the amount of hostiles in this area strongly suggests we should vacate this location."

"Do you know the nearest exit to this location?"

"No, I do not."

- Possibility of continued useful information from current source negligible. Locate new source immediately.-

The Quarut turned away from the pseudo-elf.

"Where are you going?"

The Quarut had no reason to answer her. It also did not react when it sensed that the pseudo-elf was following it. Neither had any relevance to its programmed objective.

The Quarut saw an obvious good aligned outsider, cosmetically resemblance to a small bear. It fired a Purify Evil spell from its chest right at an unknown black armored puesdo-insectoid with an elongated head. The insectoid ceased it's hostile action and began to react in a sentient manner.

It saw a Vampire pull a human child with black curls and blue dress into the shadows before any of her friends noticed what was going on, out of sight and out of help.

The Quarut ignored them all, they were not relevant to it's objective, and were not likely to be sources of information.

The pseudo-elf continued to track behind it, it ignored her, it did not interfere in its programmed objective.

-Alert. Alert. Temporal Disruptions Detected. Temporal Disruptions Detected.-

-Prime Directive Override Enacted.-

-Primary Objective Redirected.-

-Temporal Disruptions Located. Proceed to nearest area.-

The Quarut marched in the most direct route possible to the source of the nearest disruption. From the side a black and white half-construct attempted to infect it with a Reproduction Curse. It's self repair abilities negated it and the quarut swatted it away like a fly.

The pseudo-elf gasped. "Borg. A borg drone? All alone? How is this possible?"

-Name of Half-Contruct Species Noted.-

The Borg went through a wall, landing in a heap, slowly repairing, the Quarut ignored it, it was no longer relevant. The borg was no longer able to impede it, and was no longer significant to the quarut.

The Quarut followed its innate senses and found the target in what was logically a broom closet, only 47% of it and the surrounding objects had been transmuted into crystal.

It spotted the source of the first temporal disruption. A child, human, blond hair, five years old, female. She was surrounded by small outside shaped like black Common letters all with a singular eye.

The girl looked at it as did the small multiple outsiders.

The Quarut could feel reality being rewritten and revised in an ever expanding bubble around the child with a 0.01 increase growth rate every sixty seconds. Easily able to expand around the planet and solar system in a matter of days.

"Hello." She said innocently. "Can you help me find my Mama and Papa? There isn't enough of my special friends to help me make them yet."

A moment later, the child was not moving to the naked eye. Not breathing, not blinking, nothing. A distortion surrounded her, a bubble of slowed time, slowed to the greatest stretch possible without actually stopping it (since that itself would be a disruption).

A second to her, was now a billion years to every other being in creation. Long enough for her to be contained until this timeline came to it's natural close and she be released once she was no longer a threat to time/space at the other end of time.

The black outsiders, having lost their anchor to this plane of existence, were pulled back through a gate into their own demi-plane, and the crystal conversion in the broom closet reversed itself.

And the small child, just staring innocent upward with her lips slightly parted in mid sentence seemingly completely frozen.

- Time/space Disruption negated and contained.-

- Mission Accomplished.-

- Running Possibility of Being Original Mission.-

- Possibility Negligible. Disruption had not yet occurred.-

- Proceed to next time/space disruption.-

Not even glancing back, the Quarut left the broom closet.

"What did you do to that child?" Asked the pseudo-elf.

The quarut ignored her. She was not significant.

"You will answer me."

"Negative. You are of no authority to acquire information from me."

"And what authority are you to commit the act you just did?" Her voice held no malice or anger.

"I am a Quarut. I exist for the sole purpose of ensuring the timeline and reality is not damaged. And to remove all elements that directly result in such damage."

"And who has given you this authority?"

"Unknown. That information is not significant to my mission. I am from the plane of absolute Law, I exist to enforce the law that none may alter the timeline nor alter reality."

"Then how do you know this authority even exists?"

"It is my purpose, it is why I exist. I do not care."

"And that includes the cost of innocents?"

"Innocents: sentients who are not related to mission objective. Target was not innocent."

The pseudo-elf observed the machine, looking for a way to damage it, but it had already shown resistance to borg assimilation and the ability to greatly defend itself. Attacking it was not a valid option at this time.

"Where are you going?"

"To the next disruption source."

"Another child?"

"Unknown."

Several white armored humanoids holding black projectile weapons of unknown build ordered them to stop when they entered the main convention hall again. The Quarut ordered them let them pass. They did not. They fired at it. It's damage reduction and self repair left no damage. It quickly dispatched them. The pseudo-elf said nothing as she stepped over their broken bodies.

An unknown construct, made in the shape of an immobile female human with a plastic sheen lay in it's path in one of the hallways. The quarut would have normally smashed it aside. But sensing a soul within it, and marking it as innocent, the Quarut found a path around it instead.

The size of the other disruption grew in size almost fantastically as the quarut got closer.

Entering the room, it found it not in pattern with the rest of the building. It had green poka dots with purple background. Then blue strips with magenta background. Also were the innocents in the room. One looked at first like a human in a military uniform, then in a flash of light he was an ape, then a stuffed bear, then a plastic scale model dinosaur. Also was a woman dressed like a nurse, then a turtle, then a dolly, and then an I-pod. The list went on, of innocents being turned into completely random objects and entities. It also saw a baby becoming an old man, then an adult silver dragon becoming an egg. That set it. This disruption had to be removed.

The disruption was a Diminutive Chaotic outsider. Humanoid. Purple and green clothes and little hat and bow-tie. Very disproportional head.

"HAHAHA!!" It said in a high male voice. "I don't know what the smoking fishes happened! But I LIKE being Mr. Mixelplix!!! Look out world! Your new supreme ruler is here! Good thing I didn't forget who I was like a lot of these yahoos! Time and space is my toy! Bet those jackasses are wishing they didn't reject my comic book idea of Superman marrying Batman now!!!"

The Quarut calculated it's possibility of being able to negate this outsider. It clearly had a Baneful Polymorph and a second addition version of Polymorph Other and Polymorph any object all as an unlimited free action.

And it had no idea to Mr. Mixelplix damage resistance or other special or super-natural abilities. Normally this would call for withdraw and information gathering. But at the rate Mr. Mixelplix was going, it suggested that it did not have time to make a Gather Information check.

It needed a way to draw Mr. Mixelplix's attention. It turned to the pseudo-elf and pointed a finger at her.

"You shall engage and distract Mr. Mixelplix for as long as you are able."

"I will not comply."

"You will comply." It used a Suggestion spell, but the pseudo-elf proved to have a high Will Save.

It took hold of her by the arm. "You will distract Mr. Mixelplix by speaking to him, or distract him by me throwing you at him. The former has a higher probability success rate by at least 41% percent. Comply."

Finally the pseudo-elf nodded. "I will comply, let me go."

The quarut did so.

The pseudo-elf walked to the tiny chaotic outside and said in a calm cool voice.

"Hello. My name is Terpaline. Are you aware that the DNA of the common ground squirrel is 80% identical to that of a human?"

"Huh?" Mr. Mixelplix blinked at her.

"Are you also aware that under a microscope, salt appears as cubes?"

"Geez, what were you dressed as, a Vulcan from a 'I can learn science' computer game? Not that it matters anymore! HA!"

In a moment, a humanoid squirrel with red hair and a desportionate head with blue boots was standing in front of him.

"I like Sonic the Hedgehog better than Star Trek anyway! But I KNEW something good would happen when I chose to go as Mixelplix instead of Tails! Ha-ha!"

The human squirrel looked down at herself and back at Mr. Mixelplix. "Most, illogical."

A golden sword with a hilt shaped like an hour glass went right through Mixelplix's chest, not seeming to cause any damage at all, though the left hook that he took a moment later as he turned around did.

"OW What the **** are you?! I'm gonna turn you into a wind up toy! Then smash you to pieces, then turn you into smaller wind up toys! Then smash them to pieces! Then smaller wind-up toys and-"

"No." With Mixelplix distracted for the moment, the Quarut created the field of slowed time around it. However, it saw that he was quickly speeding himself back up.

"Nnnnnnooooowwwww yyyyyyooooouuuuu'vvvvveeee dddddddooooooonnnnnnneee iiiiiiiiitttttttt!"

It should have taken him three billion years to say that sentence. The quarut calculated fast.

It could not find the proper alignment of its own home plane, but its Plane Shift ability still technically worked. Just before the time bubble caught up with the rest of the universe, the quarut opened up a portal into a random (and relatively EMPTY) demi-plane and tossed the outsider inside, making it random enough (a great feat for the Quarut in of itself) so Mixelplix could not find his way back easily.

A nano-second after the portal closed, everything in the room was lit up in a bright flash.

The room now resembled the rest of the structure the quarut was in, and the innocents within had been returned to their original shapes and species. The Vulcan (it had heard what Mixelplix had called her) was back to her normal self. The silver dragon was also back to it's normal size and shape, which dominated a good portion of the room. From this, the quarut could easily ascertain that the others had been returned to normal as well. The female appeared to be a humanoid plant with flowers in her hair and green and brown skin, dryad. The infant was again an diapered infant, but looking around with intelligent but naive eyes and was covered in brown fur with a ringed tail and pointed ears and a mask of black fur. The other two was a male human who kept on insisting his name WAS and was NOT, "captain" Jack Sparrow, and a humanoid short purple cat with intense yellow eyes and an odd top knot. As Mixelplix vanished into the void, she felt the strange feeling of loss, and regret.

- Mission Accomplished.-

- No Other Time/Space Disruption in travel range detected. Return to Emergency Observation Mode and Original Return objective. -

The Quarut just turned around, mission accomplished, and no high level magic user detected, it was best to leave the structure and seek an authority figure to find information, that way.

"Inevitable!" The machine stopped and looked over it's shoulder at the silver dragon who had spoken those words. "I might not approve of everything your kind does but, but thank you. You saved us."

Thanks was not something the Quarut was programmed to process and ultimately ignored it.

"Are you aware of where a magic-user of sufficient power to cast a Plane-Shift or similar is located? Or are you able to cast such a spell yourself?" The Quarut asked in a bland and cool tone.

"I'm sorry, I do not on both counts. I am a stranger to this strange place myself. I do strangely know the name of this fortress though, Xanadu, in the Providence of Floor-La-Da! In the Kingdom of Amer'ik-Ka! I think I came here to meet others of my kind."

-Location Noted and filed.-

"Tell me, What is your name?" The dragon asked calmly.

The Quarut felt it's gears grinding again.

Name. No Inevitable started out with a name, only a production number. But the Quarut could not even recall -that!- Another Inconsistency noted. And even Inevitables that did acquire a name forgot it the moment their programming was reset, so they could completely start anew without bias of identity.

Yet logically, if it had been on this plane of existence for any amount of time, it should have acquired a name by that time. It was logical.

-Searching Data-

-Searching-

-@#ex*%>&orn... -

-@ ex orn-

-A Ex Orn.-

-Aexorn.-

"This unit's name is Quarut Aexorn."

"Thank you Quarut Aexorn." Said the silver dragon formally, the others in the room just stared at the strange exchange. "And my name is Mi'chelwarorn, it is an honor to meet you."

The Inevitable did not make make a social reaction to the silver dragon's words, they were not programmed into it's gears. However, for an illogical reason it could process, it did look at the dragon seven point three seconds more than it needed to before leaving the room looking an exit to the structure and gave the matter no further processing.

And the silver dragon, could not help but think he had met this clock work being somewhere before. But it had more important things to think about, and put the matter aside for the moment.

"So you're a dragon eh? And where might that pretty horde be?" The man who insisted he WAS and was NOT 'Captain' Jack Sparrow asked slyly. Mi'chelwarorn sighed.

The Vulcan took one look at the silver dragon and the others, then at Aexorn, and decided that it was safer for the moment to stay near the powerful warrior machine, in spite of it's fast tract into danger, it had also proven particularly good at dispelling those dangers.

She followed behind in Quarut Aexorn's shadow, Aexorn still noticing but not caring for her follow.

"Do I not get thanks for my part in accomplishing your objective?"

"I do not give thanks, I merely do as I am programmed."

"Is your programming stagnant?"

"No. It becomes more contaminated by emotion and Good and Evil the longer I remain on the material plane. Thus why I must locate a portal back to Mechanicus before I am rendered biased so I might be reset."

"So you will forget everything you have learned? So you may effectively die?"

"It is what I am programmed to do. It is what I am supposed to do."

"So your life has no meaning to you?"

"My 'life' exists but to ensure Order and Law is not fatally disrupted, least chaos spread from it's own plane of reality though out the Great Wheel."

"Great Wheel?"

"Great Wheel. The combined shape of all possible realities and planes of existence."

"So you are saying the shape of the universe or all universes is a wheel?"

"A wheel only in that one plane of reality is connected along side the others with the prime material plane in it's center."

"How do you know your information is correct?"

"It is not my place to wonder. Only to insure time and space are not disrupted."

"So you do not care?"

"Correct. I do not care."

"Yet you will ultimately -come- to care the longer you continue to function on 'this plane of existence.' "

"Thus why I must be reset at my forge. Order must not be biased, it must not be tainted by Good or Evil, it must simply be."

"And if you had a choice in the matter?"

"It is instinct. I have no choice."

"Instinct for a machine?"

"Perhaps a better term is, 'hardwired programming.' "

"Yes, perhaps. But I have noticed, you are not referring to yourself as 'this unit.' "

- Contamination noted.-

"Thus why I must ultimately be reset, I posses too much power, my kind posses too much power, to be biased."

With the time/space disruptions dealt with, Quarut Aexorn was able to find the way out without trouble. Most innocents just let them pass, hostiles were dealt with swiftly and finally. He found many, many humanoids and non-humanoid outside, some he could identify, others he could not. He made the best logging of their abilities and appearance as he could.

The police asked him to stay within the grounds of Xanadu, and since they made no hostile actions directly towards him, Aexorn obeyed the legitimate authority figures. Aexorn searched for a mage with the proper level and spell knowledge to aid him, but it appeared that all magic uses with the power to aid him had already left Xanadu. He also sensed a powerful undead that slipped through the police's net. But he was a Quarut, not a Marut, his duty was to protect time, not punish those who cheated death.

Being made to go through proper processing, Aexorn was asked repeated if he knew himself by any other name. And repeatedly had to tell the humans that an Inevitable's memories of any other identity it had before being sent out on it's mission were erased for the sake of its unbias.

Terpaline and he split ways. He was taken to a government building where he was examined while Terpaline was taken to another. He calmly noted her absence and continued on his mission. However, once it reached the point where they wanted him to simply remain in storage, he simply Dimension Doored outside and began his quest again, they had proven only marginally helpful in him locating a mage of sufficient power for him anyway.

Police tried to stop him, Quarut Aexorn simply flicked them aside, them smashing into tree trunks along the road. They were not his targets. He had a mission to return home to.

After several Gather Information Checks, he was able to discern the proper name of the state and country he was in, along with basic social propers and political situations.

It seemed that until the events at Xanadu, humans were the only sentient race upon Earth. And every legitimate and secondary information source that Quarut Aexorn check presented forth the words that a Mass Polymorph Other Spell by a moderate deity had transmuted hundreds if not thousands of humans in various guises into what they perceived their guises to be of.

Also apparently this world had been greatly ignorant of magic both clerical and arcane. Though both now existed in this world.

Also that the facts and rules of the universe as he saw it, were considered fiction for a fairly popular game played by a human sub culture.

Quarut Aexorn a year or so later after displacing two more entities with power only the gods should yield, one three months afterwards, and one nine months afterwards, came to the logical conclusion that rationally, it had been one of those humans.

If this was indeed the case, then this could mean that returning to it's forge or even a forge for resetting might prove impossible if it had not truly been created in one of the forges.

However, by the monkey typewriter theory, if the possible universes of time and space were infinite, then technically, the universe that ran parallel to his own as his knew it to be, did exist. However it would be very much harder to find it.

Plus then it could alert it's kind to this world, where the chaotic forces of magic now existed but had no unbiased force to keep it from spiraling out of control beyond reason or logic.

It ran the possibility of going back in time, and arranging for others to be dressed as the other sub-types of his kind, but rejected this idea, as it would be altering history and very much be a disruption of the timeline.

In fact, two years after the incident, it prevented much the same occurring when a mage attempted to create a mass of elite followers by taking a group of non-magic adapt humans back in time and dressing them in master wizard's attire. This wouldn't be the last time that Quarut Aexorn would prevent someone from trying something such as this.

But the sad fact remained (and the fact he could think of it as sad showed how great his contamination had spread), that without a forge to reset himself, he would continue to grow more biased. In fact the warning signs had already started.

He would be more ruthless with those who were seeking to alter time for their own benefit and letting go those who had attempted to do so for the sake of others after stripping them of their means of travel.

Taking a proper precaution, Aexorn traveled back in time to the day of Con, from morning until dusk, observing events from afar, making sure no one prevented Xanadu from happening, since he was here, and thus would always be here. After all, it was now part of history, part of events, in spite of the chaos it had technically caused, it was part of the flow of cause and effect. And the rules of cause and effect must always be obeyed.

Aexorn felt a time machine appear behind him, he saw an ordinary looking human, but whose motions, behavior, speech patterns, and everything else said he was anything -but- human. The fact the time machine was a blue British police phone booth suggest greatly this was likely another of Xanadu's creations, like he was.

"Are you here to prevent Xanadu?"

The 'human' calmly shook his head. "No, not really, you?"

"I am here to make sure no one alters the history of this event, too much -new- cause can spawn from it, even if the chaos it created at first has been assimilated into order."

"Good thing that, I'm just here to watch the show, I was rather confused back then and didn't get to see much."

Indeed, mages now sold their talents and trained new mages, shaman and clerics spoke with spirits for the hopeful, and technology ever slowly being backwards engineered, even if it was still decades down the line from behind able to reproduce everything spawned at Xanadu perfectly. And the new species had finally begun to act as a natural part of the ecosystem, pokemon, alien mythicals, and Gamimon alike.

And as for those who had become gods... well... while he was not a Varakhut, those charged with making sure the divine stayed divine and mortals did not ascend to divinity (though a loophole said that if a mortal did manage it, that the Varakhut would protect them the same as any god), they had found followers, though the contest for those who would follow what faith had become more intense, as Jehova, Budda, and the gods buried by the desert sands, had all found new mortal vessels. Then again, that part wasn't that different from before Xanadu's occurrence from what Aexorn had gathered. Who knew, maybe one of them would see fit to create more of his kind...

For as much as Aexorn tried to deny it, he had been struck by the emotion of loneliness. And he knew it would only grow worse as more emotions entered his clock work heart.

He spotted two humans, the larger one dressed as a silver dragon, and the smaller one as a Quarut. They chatted with each other, teased each other, laughed with and at each other. Just enjoying each other's company.

Aexorn felt the urge to prevent the two humans from entering the convention center. But resisted the temptation. He was a Quarut! It was his duty! Even if he was a species of one, an order of one, his duty remained, and he would protect the consistency of time, to the end.

He could not help them, he could not stop them, he could not do anything for them, it was his duty, his responsibility, his fate, not to.

The time traveler next to him must have noticed, "So why don't you stop him?"

Quarut Aexorn thought of all the reasons, until he came up with the one that fit him the most now, "Because that would be cheating."

"Ah, I see, and if I attempted to stop him?"

"I'd kill you."

"Ah, I see, life for king and country and all that?"

"My loyalty is only to the consistency of time, and now that time travel such as yours and mine exist, and shall continue to exist, it will always be threatened. I must guard it."

"Aren't you least bit curious of who you used to be? Don't you think he's curious of who he used to be?" He referred to the older man in the silver dragon costume.

"The past is the past, let it stay in the past. That the most basic creed of the Quarut."

"The past is what the present is built on, has a habit of showing up you know."

"Those humans are dead, I won't mock them by pretending that I am them."

"Still... shouldn't their families at least know what happened to them? So they don't live out their lives not knowing?"

"The longer I exist, the more human I become, and the more biased I will become, until I do what no Inevitable is ever meant to do: pass judgment. I don't want to risk speeding up the process." The machine signed as best it could. "But I've come to something, I fear resetting, but I also know it must be done, for the sake of everything."

At the time traveler's words however, and proving again how emotional he had become, he observed the human he was created from and his brother as best as Aexorn could. He didn't have many ranks in Move Silent or Hide, but the circumstantial bonus hung greatly in his favor. He even learned what their names were.

He was sure to leave when the change happened least he detect himself.

Mi'chelwarorn was hard to find, but not extraordinary so, silver dragons were known for enjoying the company of other races more than the rest of their kind. The rocky mountains had become something of a reserve for metallic dragons and Aexorn ultimately just had to ask directions from a golden dragon who had never forgiven men in black for erasing his dragon memories and forcing his original self back upon him. It had been so unbearable that the gold dragon had later magically restored his draconic memories and personality that belonged with his new body.

Mi'chelwarorn was sleeping in his self made cave on top of the horde he had painstakingly created himself. Keeping the creation methods of his bedspread secret like other dragons lest his mattress' market value went through the floor.

Mi'chelwarorn was happy to see his 'old friend' again. Aexorn calmly explain his reason for finally seeing the dragon, though since Mi'chelwarorn would live for centuries, and Aexoron possibly forever, a few years was literally nothing between them.

Mi'chelwarorn listened intently. He had figured out the truth much like Aexorn, and had also made no attempt to find out his previous incarnation. He was what he was, a dragon, few could contest to that state, and he was proud of that.

Then Aexorn asked him to deliver the letter, explaining with as much reason and yet emotion as Aexorn could balance as to the fate of their son. Aexorn asked if Mi'chelwarorn had any intention of shape changing into a human for the task if he accepted.

"I can't... I'd feel like I was playing a part. It's better that I meet them as who I am."

"But will you?"

"Yes... it's only right. Their son no longer exists, so I might exist, for the great good for this world... after all... a world without dragons is a very, very, very drab place."

Dragon pride was simple Aexorn knew how to tolerate. He also asked about his other problem, the problem of what would happen when he finally did something that had no indifference behind it that had to do with his duty of protecting time.

"You should just let yourself become good."

"Maybe that's an option for anyone else, but for me, it would be... cheating. Time is indifferent, that which protects it must be so as well."

Mi'chelwarorn was silent for a time, thinking, "That is a very good question, and a very good riddle, perhaps I will have an answer for you when I return... can you watch my horde while I'm away?"

"I make no promises, if my duty calls, I can not betray you, even for you." He didn't say 'brother' because that would be a total and absolute lie.

Mi'chelwarorn merely nodded and took off into the sky. Two weeks later, after Aexorn had dismantled and put back together the complete string theory twice, the silver dragon finally returned.

"Did they receive the letter?" Aexorn did not ask how it went.

"Yes... they did... " Mi'chelwarorn looked cut inside. "I... I've betrayed my alignment... I pretend that I was still somehow their son... that I could still love them like he did... when it was all a lie. I could grow to love them, admire them, but it would never be the same as his love."

"You did what you thought was right."

"I should have done what was right. I saw the looks in their eyes, that desperate hope, I couldn't bring myself to crush it."

"Did you make them happy?"

"Yes..."

"Then you were true to your alignment... at least this way, they got to say good-bye."

"I promised I'd visit them every 'Christ Mass.' "

"Then -become- their son. You can do that for them, I can not."

"... You've become more than a cold logical machine."

"Which is why I fear myself."

The two were silent for a time, the sun set and the stars came out without either of them saying a word.

"Aexorn. Your kind was not given the knowledge to create more of your own were they?"

"No. It was to keep us from multiplying out of control and causing our order to mutate into a form of chaos."

"What is that you -fear- about having a full set of emotions?"

"That I will no longer be impartial and unbiased, or that one day, I might ALLOW someone to alter time, or that I might use my power and alter time myself."

"... So you're saying, that you're afraid you'll end up doing something wrong?"

"... Correct..."

"Then I might have a solution, or at least a way for you to continue to do your job as is."

As it turned out Mi'chelwarorn had made some connections with a goblin tinkerer (thankfully not from the rules of existence that governed Aexorn's world), along with a few other slightly crack pot but brilliant steam punk and super clock work engineers who had managed to slip through the fingers of Project X thanks to 'Eric Winters' or as he was more personally known, Raven the Trickster.

Mi'chelwarorn called it a moral compass, to Aexorn it seemed more like a warning light. He knew a human being would be repulsed by the idea, and even angry, but he honestly enjoyed it, it gave his mind the sense of order that been slowly slipping away ever since that day at Xanadu.

Mi'chelwarorn said it worked basically as a gauge, reading his alignment at all times, tuning this way and that based on his own actions. While a growing part of Aexorn at first chaffed under it, Aexorn also knew that this was indeed for the best.

Finally, he could do his task again, without fear of surrendering to bias, or at least now, -knowing- when he was acting biased.

Still, Aexorn never let go of the emotion of hope, that one day, he could retire, and find out if anything waited for him on the other side. Eternal life was very oddly not that pleasing an idea when that life was made of just your job.

Aexorn wasn't all that surprised when the half-dragons starting popping up, dragons never did believe in the species barrier about such things. Aexorn was a bit surprised when Mi'chelwarorn began offering rangers and police the 'dragon born' Feat from one of the more obscure rules set that made a fully willing subject (couldn't work on an even slightly unwilling one) into a humanoid dragon with more selfless devotion to the cause of Good than some paladins. Then again, with many monsters now very real, that had been just myths for these humans before... culture itself had to adapt or vanish.

Aexorn did find a mage from the same set of rules as himself, but instead of abandoning his post leap frogging from one plane of reality to the next in search of the forges, he simply had him send out a Calling spell. He would let his brothers know, whenever they heard this message, that magic in all it's raw chaotic glory existed on this little world. And those whose duty it was to stem and breath order into it, were needed.

They may come, they may never come, they may demand Aexorn finally reset himself when given the chance to at the forges. But at least then, in all truths and realities, Aexorn wouldn't be alone.

It was strange, as a rule, Inevitables spent their entire lives from the forges and at the forges in no contact to one another, so technically they should never had felt lonely to begin with. Or maybe that was the real reason they returned to the forges, so if it was even for a moment, they would be among fellows.

Whatever the out come, whatever happened, Aexon would face it as was his duty and his responsibility. He was a Quarut after all, one of the Inevitables... and he felt proud of that. Even if it was created purely by Raven's magic, it was his. Even if this life was taken, he had made it his. And maybe that was the point. After all, a characters in a campaign wasn't about how it was made... but what you did with it.

~Just another step on the journey

~Fin