Time Jump, Power Jump
You will watch as the light will engulf you. You will be powerless. When you fully transverse into this gleaming beacon of doom, however, you will not feel what you had expected—pain or death. Or will you? Without actually being dead, would there be any way to know if you will have died?
…But it will not seem like death. You will feel weightless. You will feel like you are traveling. You will not be able to smell anything. You will be able to only hear the swirl of the vortex, taking you to…somewhere. You will not feel anything. You will not taste anything. You will only see what you saw before—a swirling collection of white threads, dancing around you. Entwining their webs around you, they slowly will shift in colors. You will swear that you will see blue, orange, yellow, red, purple, and green tints shining from the strings surrounding you. But then, a moment later, they will return to the glowing white from before.
You will slowly feel power flowing through your veins. The lights will change again—this time for sure. The entire pathway you will seem to be traveling will convert to a brilliant golden shine—and then enters you. The threads will slowly flow into your body. Even if you will want to stop them, you will not be able to move your limbs. They will remain motionless. But you will not want to fight it—you will feel power coming from it. After all, the vortex will have been what sucked you in; it would certainly have great power in it. Every ounce of your body will want to embrace it. Every single fiber of you will want to merge with this force.
So you will let it happen. The golden power will enter into you, engulfing you in an extreme power. You will begin to feel the life returning to your body. You will feel new strength within. You will feel different, as your body slowly returns to normal. You will slowly feel your weight return to you. You will slowly gain your other four senses that seemed to have been lost earlier.
And then, you will emerge. You will be catapulted out of the void to find yourself in a forest. You will be used to forests—you will have lived around them for most of your life. But this one will seem different. This one will seem more…ancient. It will seem like it will radiate a power of its own, engulfing those that dare gallop into its belly.
You will take your time observing the scenery. You will feel unnerved, yet at ease at the same time. You will feel like this place will want to kill you—yet you will also feel like it is your home. You will take in the smell around you. The pine trees will tingle your nose; the freshness will revitalize you. The warm air will greet your nostrils; you will be able to smell the lushness of the forest.
The warmness surrounding you will comfort you. You will be able to hear almost everything around you. You will hear birds chirping in the distance. You will be able to hear the leaves rustle as a slight breeze will pass.
You will be able to feel the breeze brush against your hair, massaging it as if it were a real person. The whistle that will come from your ears will be caused by this mild wind; your ears will be a few degrees cooler after the breeze will ricochet though your eardrums. You will open your mouth at amazement at this place, both a stranger to it, yet also feeling like you were born and raised there. The breeze will wash against your tongue, brushing its cold massage against every fiber. The chasm of your mouth will suck in the wind; your mouth will feel as if it had a gallon of icy cold water swirling around.
Overall, you will feel relaxed. You will feel at peace. You will feel as if there is no danger at all. But you will be wrong; the forest just wants you to believe those feelings. If no other human life would be around, then, yes, the forest would be peaceful. But you will soon find the forest not as empty as you would have liked.
Most stunning of all of what will surround you will distract you; you think of nothing else as you seemingly freeze time to observe the forest. The lush, green pines will look identical to the ones that you will have been raised next to for almost all of your life. You will be standing on a pathway, the brown murk forming a makeshift road. You will defreeze time and continue on, not knowing where you are, but wanting to keep on moving anyway.
As you will be walking, you will find the forest seemingly moving with you. The birds will seem to be following your path. The wind will seem to blow in the direction you will be moving. You will swear that you caught a glimpse of something else in the forest, along the same path you will be walking. Yet you will still walk, with nothing better to do.
I have absolutely no idea where I am. This place seems too familiar, as if I’ve been here before. Yet I’d remember a place like…this. How could this possibly be happening? Something is sure to happen if I keep walking along eventually. The pathway cannot go on forever, after all. Why, oh, why is it within human nature to let curiosity get the better of us?
You will keep on moving. Tap, slap, tap, slap; your feet will have a constant rhythm that you will never break. Tap, slap, tap, slap; you will continue on. You will let curiosity get the better of you once again; you will look at your watch. But to your surprise, it will read no numbers. The watch will have only one message on it. TIME--. Then the screen will shift. ERROr! It will repeat several times. What on earth does THAT mean? Time error? Oh, don’t tell me I just traveled through time…I really don’t want it to be that I traveled through time.
A few things on the watch will still be working, though—the date still will read Monday and it will still say that it is afternoon. The alarm will still say it’s on, but those three will be it—everything else will appear to be broken. Then one word will repeat over and over again—ADJUst, ADJUst, ADJUst. You will certainly be puzzled by this; what could cause that?
The watch will remain a mystery. But then, it will lock into a number once again—11:40. The second section will read 84. What the!? It’s certainly not 11:40 am, nor pm! And having eighty-four seconds is impossible! That portal must have really messed up my watch.
You will push the mystery aside and keep on walking—the watch will not have been that important, anyway. Yes, you will have been using it for ten years. But being sentimental about something will not be something you will be able to afford—or will it? You, just for a second, will be stuck in a vortex of emotions, flooding out of control. An internal conflict briefly will erupt between two halves of you that you will not have known existed. You will be fighting over your beliefs. Then, you will win over…yourself…and continue on, as if nothing will have had happened.
Minutes will have passed. You will keep on walking. You will glance at your watch again; it still reads the same thing: 11:4084. You will again ignore the date and try to keep all thoughts about what will have happened away. You just will not want to think about it. Almost as if comprehending it would be impossible for a human, you will fear learning the truth. So you will continue walking, those thoughts still deep, buried in your mind.
You will hear a rustling sound in the leaves. At first, you put it off as just the wind blowing. Then you will realize the sound is different. Perhaps another animal following you? No; you will sense it will be something else. It will be a threat, so you will prepare yourself. You smile as you realize that your years of martial arts experience might help you at long last.
Five armed men will jump out of the bushes. Each of them will be wielding a Morningstar-flail or mace in one hand, while the other hand will wield a sword. You will smile at this. “Now, I don’t suppose you’re here to give me directions?” you will ask with a tint of sarcasm in your voice.
“Give us all the money that you have, traveler, and we’ll consider letting you live.”
You will look at them again. They each will have on leather armor. Again, you will check the time on your watch. 11:40. Maybe…just maybe…I really did travel through time. The portal changed me somehow. What if… You will finally make the connection. 11:40. Eighty-four seconds. What if…that isn’t the time of the day? Today is August Fourth. The eighth month’s fourth day. Eighty four. Which means…that eleven forty is…the year. I’m nearly a millennium in the past.
“I have some currency,” you will state, “But I’m afraid it’s only good where I come from. You see, where I’m from, the currency is made out of paper. It has no value to you.”
“What, are you from Asia, or something?”
“Not exactly. But I swear, what I carry has no value to you. I carry no valuables on me; I have none of your money. If I had anything worth noting, you’d think I’d have guards, no?”
“We’ll think of something. When we search your dead body, we’ll make use of everything we find. If nothing else, your clothes will help keep our men warm.” The leader’s smile will be wicked with his evil intent; they will be there to kill you.
But you will have no part in it. While they will surround you, preventing you from running, they will have no idea who you are—what skills you will possess. As one of the men charges you, you will simply deliver a powerful kick to his gut. Grabbing his arm, you will break it and disarm his sword. He will let out a cry of pain as you deliver a chop to the throat with your hand, not killing him, but disabling him.
You will grab his sword, readying yourself for a fight. The sword will feel light in your hand. You will survey it; it will seem to resemble the type of sword the Romans used. A short sword. Mainly used for stabbing. But the design will be different; it will seem a little more modern. You make a guess that it will also be able to hack and slash as well.
The remaining four men will charge you all at the same time. You will duck a flail’s ball, and then dodge a mace. The bandit that will have swung the mace will have left himself open; you will deliver a single stab and he will fall to the ground, dead.
You will force yourself to parry a sword strike, cracking both swords. Never block with a sword. Unlike what I see on television and in games, blocking a sword blow with a sword is a bad idea. And I just did it with the blade; that is even worse. These swords aren’t meant for blocking; these swords are meant to be used with a shield.
You will curse at yourself for having to resort to that tactic, but keep on going on. You will sweep at that same bandit’s feet, successfully knocking him to the ground. You will dodge another mace blow, slashing at the man’s throat. You will dodge a flail yet again, grabbing the man’s throat with your spare hand. To ensure your safety, you will hack off his left arm, the hand wielding the sword. He will collapse to the floor after you squeeze. You will have killed or immobilized four of them; the one you will have knocked over earlier, however, will stand up again.
The man will be the leader, the one who spoke to you earlier. His sword will be in his right hand instead of his left, implying either that he will be left handed, or that his sword will be his main weapon. In his left hand, a wicked black mace will be able to be seen; he will be ready to crush you in a single wrong step.
“I’m human, just like you. The thing that makes us different is that I’ve spent years of training for a noble cause, while your men have spent years learning how to become scum.”
“Why…you…dirty…! Insult me all you like. Insult our lifestyle all you want. We may seem evil to you, but we’re doing this just to survive! If we don’t mug, if we don’t kill, then we die! Never insult my men. You have harmed them…I was careless before. But now, I am ready. I will kill you. You will pay for what you just did to my men!”
You will dare to look at his eyes. You will have done so once before—when talking to him earlier, you will have stolen a glaze at those eyes. You will have, at that time, searched his soul. You, at the time, will have found only evil. But this time, you will see something else—regret. Extreme regret, as well as a sense of loss—his comrades will have meant everything to him. And you will have just harmed them, insulted them.
Yet looking deeper, freezing time for a split second, you will see more regret. Not for the loss of a comrade—but for living that lifestyle. Regret for killing so many. Regret for having ruined other lives to live a little longer. Regret for being selfish, being evil, just to survive. And then, you will stare into the souls of those fiery eyes—the red gems of death. And you will see one thing above all else—rage. Pure, simple rage, directed at you.
Time defrosted, the man will charge at you, his inferno about to be unleashed. You will dodge as he swipes at you full force with his sword, then dash aside when he will thrust. After the thrust, you will prepare to strike, but he will swing his mace, nearly smashing your skull in with the horizontal strike.
He will slash, then slash again. His rage will drive him on even further; you will be able to feel his fury. You will begin to pant from the constant dodging, never being able to land a strike. He will smash the ground with his mace, off-balancing you to fall over. He then will swipe at you with his sword; you will roll left to dodge. Then you will be forced to roll backwards to avoid his next lunge.
You will find yourself cornered, helpless. He will approach, raising his mace to deliver a crushing blow to your head. And then, he will seem to slow down. No, not him; the whole world will appear to have come to nearly a dead stop. Yet you will be able to move with great speed, still. You will get up, then weave around to ready yourself a strike from behind.
Time will return to normal; he will strike the ground, only to spin around and face you. Both parties will seem puzzled, but you will recover first. Neither will know how you managed to do what you did, but it will not matter in combat. You will lunge; he will parry with his mace. You will be knocked aside, vulnerable to another strike. With inhuman speed, you will dodge a swipe from his sword, finding yourself at his right side. You will swing your blade; he will meet with his own.
The two of you will struggle with each other’s strength. You two will seem to be an even match. Your blades will both crack, just a little more. The strength contest will continue; you will push, then he will push.
The match will continue for a solid minute before he begins to win; his rage will give him greater strength. His blade will approach your throat, getting closer and closer. You will panic; you do not want to lose. You will find it within yourself to push at him with all of your strength, instantly overpowering him. Your strength will surprise even you; you will have known your limits all your life and you never had been able to do something like that. He will be instantly pushed to the ground, you having pinned him. You will stab at his gut, bringing him down once and for all.
“W—W—W…What a…what are you?”
“I told you, I’m only—”
“You lie. I asked you what you are. You…may have been human before. But…now…you are…you are no human.”
You will take a long look at his face once more, this time at his defeat. You will see horror, shock, terror. You will see his fear. You will see the regret that he holds. You will see sorrow for all he had done. You will see sorrow of a man who feels like he will have done nothing in his life before death. His blade will shatter; his life will begin to fade away. The pain, the fear, the sorrow, the hatred, the regret, the tears of a wasted life; you will be able to see them all. You will be able to see the purified heart of a dieing man—and then, he will pass away. The man will die, not an evil bandit, but a good man.
You are no human…