Time & Again
Chapter 2 - Which Came First: The Future or the Past?


Jack was literally shaking in his shoes as he entered Chase Young’s mountain palace, escorted by a tiger, a lion, and a black jaguar.

He was led up the first of many long staircases until, finally, he arrived in the upper most chamber – the dining room.

The table was full of food and Chase was seated at the head of the table. An empty chair was set on the side of the table to Chase’s right.

“Jack,” Chase said with a wicked grin. “Do come in and join me for dinner.”

Jack stopped stone still where he was and demanded, “Who are you and what have you done with Chase Young?”

Chase’s smile fell away and he frowned, then snapped his fingers. Instantly, the three jungle cats got behind Jack and roared.

With a scream, Jack bolted forward, crashing into the empty chair and toppling both it and himself to the floor.

Sighing, Chase got up, and caught Jack’s coat collar in one hand and the back of the chair in the other, and pulled both upright with ease. Once the chair was settled on all four legs, he plopped Jack into the seat and returned to his own.

“Spicer, try not to have a heart attack and die just yet, won’t you? I actually need your help – for once,” Chase admonished lightly.

Jack stared, wide-eyed, at his favorite Evil Hero. “You do?”

“Did you have an extra bowl of stupid this morning, boy?” the evil everlord growled.

Jack crossed his arms over his chest with a glare. “Being mean to me will not get you whatever it is you want from me. Just so you know.”

Sighing, Chase gestured at the table. “Eat up, Spicer – then we need to talk.”

Jack looked worriedly at the piles of food and then back at Chase.

“I haven’t poisoned anything, you foolish boy!” Chase snarled. “Were you raised by psychopathic werewolves that you don’t understand the finer points of etiquette?”

“No,” Jack replied quietly, quickly reaching for a ladle. “I just don’t expect any kindness to be given to me from you.”

Chase frowned and turned his attention to his Lao Mang Lone soup.

The two of them ate in silence; Jack only speaking long enough to say that the food was very good and thanking Chase for the meal before shutting up. Chase merely nodded and took it upon himself to pile more green vegetables onto Jack’s plate. The teenager gave him a mulish glower, but didn’t argue.

Eventually, after they finished the meal with dessert – and Jack was intrigued to notice that Chase apparently enjoyed sweet treats quite a bit – Chase asked Jack to walk with him. Recognizing that the request was, in fact, an order, Jack got up and walked with Chase without protest, the two of them were trailed by the lion, tiger, and black jaguar.

Jack looked up at the taller man and then away again. “So, what did you want to talk about?”

Chase muttered about the impatience of youth, but sighed and decided to indulge the teenager. “Spicer, you are about to go on a monumental trip.”

“What, you’re suddenly a fortune-teller now?” Jack asked, incredulous, then meeped and shrank back at the angry glare Chase gave him.

When he deemed Jack to be sufficiently cowed, the evil everlord spoke again.

“Within a few hours, Omi will make a desperate journey using the Sands of Time – do you have any ideas on what that mission might be?”

Jack thought for a moment, piecing various clues together. Then he glanced at Chase and said, “He’s going to go back and try to stop you from turning Evil.”

Chase smiled. “Excellent, Jack; I am most pleased.”

Jack grinned proudly.

“You are correct – Omi will indeed try to stop me from turning to Evil. That’s where you come in.” When Jack opened his mouth, Chase held up a hand and Jack instantly closed his mouth again. “Thank you. The reason you are there is because I distinctly remember you. You and I have met before this time – twelve-hundred years ago, actually.”

Jack’s eyes widened, but he didn’t speak.

Chase stopped walking and turned to face the youth directly, staring at him intently. “You are to keep an eye on Omi; follow him wherever he goes, and the instant he activates the Sands of Time, you are to join him however you can.”

Jack looked up into the intense gold eyes for a long moment. Then he said, “I suppose that if you had any regrets, we wouldn’t be standing here talking about it because you’d be nothing more than a pile of bones in a grave somewhere, and I would never have met you – or even heard of you, for that matter.”

Chase nodded and then quirked a wry grin as he said, “Twelve-hundred years ago, I couldn’t spell transcendent parahuman deity, and now… I am one.”

The younger man snickered. “I can understand that. Alright, then – what are my orders?”

“I can tell you nothing except that you must be yourself. I can give you no forewarning or events will not play out as they are destined to. You are to take along no weapons and no robots – not even your heli-bot. Omi will supply the Shen-Gong-Wu.”

“Okay – but it would sure be helpful if you could give me a hint.”

Chase shook his head. “I cannot; it is imperative that you do not know what will happen. You will know what I mean when the time comes.” He reached out to grip Jack’s shoulders, frowning slightly at the automatic flinch the youth gave at the sight of the big hands coming towards him.

“Jack, it is important that you do not second-guess yourself. Do not wonder what you think I would want you to do. You must go with your first instincts; you must be yourself – not what you think I would want you to be. Everything hinges on this; do you understand?”

Jack nodded. “Be myself – that’s it, period. Got it.”

“Good. Now, get going. Omi will be leaving in a few hours,” Chase said, and he let go of the younger man and stepped back.

“I won’t let you down, Chase,” Jack said somberly, and he walked away so he could get back to his air car and begin the mission.

“I know you won’t, Jack,” Chase murmured softly, watching the pale, slim form go down the stairs. “See you soon.


Chapter 1 ~~~~~~~~ Back to Xiaolin Showdown ~~~~~~~~ Chapter 3



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