Time & Again

Chapter 11 - Excuse Me While I Change Into Something More Formidable


Jack pulled away from Guan, who loosened his hold so Jack could move. Then the evil genius turned to face Jun-Han, who was staring at him with cold, gold eyes.

“Jun-Han—“ he said, but got no farther.

“You do know my name,” the older man said coldly. “I was beginning to wonder.”

Jack blinked. “Yeah, I know your name. What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Perhaps because you tell me I’m not the one you want, and I arrive to find you in Guan’s arms?”

Guan sighed. “Jun-Han, you know I have no interest in men. I was merely giving the boy a hug to comfort him. He was upset.”

Jun-Han blinked and he looked to Jack again, who shrugged and looked away. Frowning, he opened his mouth to speak, but never got the chance.

Trees began breaking apart and a horrible roaring noise rent the air as gigantic rock creatures began coming up out of the earth.

Jack screeched as a creature began rising directly beneath him, flinging him off towards a tree. He hit the tree hard and crumpled to the ground with a groan. Shaking his head, he looked up in time to see a huge foot heading right for him and his throat locked, trapping a scream inside. Before the foot could connect, however, Guan leaped across, caught him, and went leaping away again, depositing Jack behind a tree before turning to meet one of the rock creatures head on.

Gasping, Jack, cowered behind the tree as he struggled to orient himself. Everything had happened so fast. Then, Omi went racing by, throwing Jack’s coat and the Monkey Staff to him, and Jack was pleased with himself when he caught the items. He yanked on his coat and activated the Monkey Staff, but waited before leaping into the fray. He had no idea what he could do against the rock creatures; he’d only been able to defeat them the first time with his robots and their blasters. Currently, it was just him, the Monkey Staff, and three goody-goody warriors – although he did have to admit that they were kicking the rock creatures’ butts.

Jack’s eyes went wide as crumbled boulders that used to be part of a rock creature suddenly came crashing towards him. Swiftly, he leaped out of the way, only to be blindsided by the swinging fist of another rock creature. The force of the hit knocked the breath from his lungs and he went sailing through the air and was caught by yet another rock creature. It wrapped its fist tightly around him and began squeezing. Jack shuddered and squirmed, letting out high-pitched monkey yelps of distress.

Jun-Han came leaping in from the side, spear out and ready, only to be swatted aside by the rock creature holding Jack, which startled Jack to no end. He hadn’t believed anything so slow and stupid like a rock monster could get the better of Jun-Han. Then Guan came up from behind the rock creature and cleaved its head in two with a strike from his own spear, then swiped again; quartering the rock creature’s head.

The rock creature crumbled into a pile of inert stones and Jack hit the ground as the hand holding him loosened. Swiftly, he rolled out of the way and looked up, seeing Guan crouched nearby. Grinning, his tail wagging, Jack gave Guan a thumb’s up and then leaped away to help Omi by distracting one of the last remaining rock creatures so the little monk could then break the monster apart.

Guan looked around, saw Jun-Han ably defeating a rock creature, and was relieved that his friend was not injured. He turned his attention to the last monster heading for him and swiftly destroyed it before turning to meet his friend.

“Well fought!” Guan said with a grin.

Jun-Han nodded in reply, but his smile did not reach his eyes.

“You should see to the young ones,” he said, gesturing towards the forest where Omi and Jack had disappeared with the rest of the monsters.

“What about you?” Guan asked, concerned.

Jun-Han hesitated. “I will be fine. I will remain here in case more of the monsters arrive.”

He did not want to come right out and say that he was embarrassed at having been hit by the rock monster and that he was angry with Guan and Jack, and felt the need to injure them both.

Guan hesitated, but finally nodded and walked away, heading deeper into the forest to determine if Omi and Jack needed his help.

Jun-Han watched the other man go and then slumped wearily against a tree that had miraculously remained untouched during the battle. His armor had protected him from the monster’s attack, but he was still feeling disoriented and out of sorts.

“Well, well… seems as though young Spicer’s got eyes for somebody else.”

Jun-Han flinched at the sound of Hannibal Bean’s voice. Looking up, he saw the evil legume perched on a branch above him, and sighed tiredly.

“You again,” he muttered quietly.

“Yes, me,” agreed Hannibal. “Thought you could use somebody to talk to after catching your love interest canoodling with your best friend.”

Jun-Han frowned. “Canoodling?”

“Fooling around behind your back.”

Jun-Han shook his head. “It was merely a hug; Guan said so.”

“If you say so. I just think it’s funny how a lad who doesn’t like to be touched seemed so cozy snuggled up against a big guy like Guan, but can’t stand to be touched by you.”

Baring his teeth, Jun-Han struggled to ignore Bean’s words.

“Then again, considering the way Guan saved Spicer’s tail twice while you got tossed across the clearing, I guess it’s not too surprising that the boy would want someone who can take care of him.”

I can take care of him!” Jun-Han spat, pushing away from the tree and glaring upwards.

“Oh, really? From where I sat, Guan did most of the work while you stayed out of the way. And Guan rescued young Spicer, quite handily. Face it, Long – with Guan in the picture, you’re doomed to be second best; in battle and in bed.”

Jun-Han swallowed. He did not want to acknowledge such cruel words… but he feared they were true. He knew he was a decent warrior, a good warrior; but he was not acknowledged as a great warrior – not like Guan was. Everywhere they went, Guan’s name was hailed with joy from friends and feared by enemies.

Hannibal, seeing the doubt creeping into Jun-Han’s eyes, smirked and hopped down to rest on the young man’s shoulder. Leaning up, he curled one root-arm-tentacle around the rim of Jun-Han’s ear and murmured, “You are better than he is and you know it. The problem is that no one else can see it… but I have the solution.”

Jun-Han made a questioning sound in his throat.

“There is a potion that only one person can drink that will unleash the potential within him – that person is you and the potion is here,” Hannibal purred. He leaped down from Jun-Han’s shoulder to a tree stump and turned to face the warrior. One of his root-arms waved languidly and a chalice materialized on the end of it; full of a greenish liquid and what appeared to be the tip of a dragon’s tail.

“The Lao Mang Lone potion will get you started on the path to greatness,” Hannibal said. “The rest is entirely up to you.”

“The Potion of Long Life?” Jun-Han murmured, feeling strangely numb.

“Yes, my boy – long life. Eternal youth; you will never age a day from this moment on. You will always be young, strong, and beautiful. Guan will grow old and frail and die, but not you. You will have all the glory, all the songs… and more. You will win Jack Spicer.”

Hannibal held up the chalice towards Jun-Han, smiling. It wasn’t a pleasant smile.

Jun-Han looked at the chalice indecisively; torn between doing what he’d always known to be right and giving in to what he most desperately wanted.

“—a battle well fought!” said Omi’s cheerful voice, and Jun-Han turned to see Omi walking back into the demolished campsite, followed by Guan and Jack.

Who was looking up at Guan and grinning while Guan’s hand rested on his shoulder.

Abruptly, Omi froze where he stood, his eyes wide as he took in the scene in front of him. Guan and Jack, noticing the lack of his good cheer, looked ahead as well.

“Hannibal Bean!” Jack gasped, his eyes wide as he instinctively tried to huddle back into safety, which in this case meant Guan.

“Jun-Han!” Guan shouted, his grip tightening around his spear.

Jun-Han took in the sight of Spicer cringing back against Guan, seeking comfort and safety from the bigger man, and he lost his battle. Whirling about, he snatched the chalice from Hannibal and swiftly drank it down, choking slightly at the taste.

“No-o-o-o-o-o-o!” Omi yelled, his expression frantic, and he tensed as he prepared to leap towards Jun-Han.

But it was too late.

The chalice dropped to the ground with a dull thud while Jun-Han’s body contorted. He writhed as pain pooled in every part of his body. Frightened, his hands closed into fists and he shuddered harshly, the pain escalating. He could feel a change happening within himself and he didn’t know what to do.

Hannibal Bean was laughing with dark pleasure, and he called out, “Let it happen, boy! Let it happen!

Unable to do anything else, Jun-Han threw himself into the pain and let the change happen.

Guan, Jack and Omi watched, mouths agape, as Jun-Han began to transform. The man’s mouth opened and he emitted a piercing scream that curdled their blood as it accurately expressed the amount of pain Jun-Han was in. Only seconds later, however, the scream mutated; deepening and becoming more animal-sounding as Jun-Han’s cry became a vicious roar that no human throat could produce.

Jun-Han’s body swelled, growing larger with each passing second. Soon, he burst through his clothing and armor as his proportions exceeded the boundaries of his garments. His skin darkened, changing color and texture as it transformed into fine scales; dark green alternating with bands of black. A tail burst from his back, tipped with spikes. His hair pulled in and attached to his back, becoming a leathery fringe that trailed from his forehead to the base of his spine. His face elongated and enlarged, forming a snout as his eyes recessed, the pupils changing from round to slits. Large, sharp teeth filled his new mouth while his hands and feet became adorned with viciously sharp claws.

As the pain of the transformation faded away, Jun-Han threw back his head and loosed a bone-rattling roar.

Guan shoved away from Jack and hurried forward, pushing Omi back as well. “Jun-Han—“ he began, reaching for his friend, only to find himself caught by the throat in an unbelievably strong grip and hoisted aloft.

“I no longer acknowledge that name,” the gigantic lizard growled; his voice amplified and layered by his mutated voice box. “I am as I was meant to be. From now on, I am to be called Chase Young.”

With that, the newly made Chase Young tensed his arm and threw his former friend as far as he could with all his strength.

Guan disappeared quickly from sight as he went sailing over the treetops in an uncontrolled flight.

YES!” Jack crowed. He was ecstatic; the mission had been fulfilled. Sure, he hadn’t done anything, but at least he knew that when he got back to his own time, Chase would definitely be there.

Omi rounded on the other teenager, tears spilling down his face as he glared up at Jack. “Do not cheer just yet, Jack Spicer! While there is time, I will undo this mistake! Evil will not win the day!”

Hannibal Bean’s evil laughter interrupted. “It’s already too late, boy! The instant Jun-Han – excuse me, Chase – accepted the potion, he gave himself to me and to the forces of Evil. There is no going back now! The only way is through death, and Chase Young can’t be stopped!”

“You should have paid closer attention, little monk,” Chase growled, prowling closer. “Not everything is as it seems, and not every victory means the battle is over.”

“All of which boils down to the fact that you lose and we rule, baby!” Jack shouted, sneering down at Omi as he turned and walked backwards to stand next to Chase.

“We?” echoed the giant lizard, and something in his tone made Jack go cold. He turned to look at Chase, and found utterly cold, indifferent gold eyes glaring at him. “There is no we, Jack Spicer. You made it very clear that you do not want me. Very well, you get your wish; I shall not come near you again. You want Guan…? Enjoy him while you can; neither of you mean anything to me any longer. I do not need you; I do not need anyone!

“But Chase—“ Jack replied, only to find himself caught by the throat and lifted just as Guan had been.

“Leave now while you have the ability to do so,” Chase snarled into Jack’s face, his gold eyes filled with malice. “If you stay, I will not be responsible for what happens, and it will not be pleasant.”

With that, Jack was flung away from Chase. He crashed to the ground only inches from Omi, the breath knocked out of him.

Omi glanced at Jack and knew then that Jun-Han was lost. Over the last few days, Jun-Han had clearly become enamored of Jack Spicer. For the older warrior to willingly hurt Jack now could only mean that Jun-Han was no more and Chase Young was here to stay.

Frowning, the little monk set himself into a defensive stance as he said, “I may have failed in my mission to prevent you from becoming Chase Young, but I will do my best to defeat you now, before you can become a plague upon the land!”

Chase laughed darkly and set himself into his own defensive stance, his tail lashing instinctively. “You are clearly doomed to fail, my small hero; else you would not have come back to this time in the first place.”

Omi bared his teeth in a snarl and prepared to leap forward.

He never got the chance as Guan came flying in out of nowhere to tackle Chase backwards and out of sight.

Through the forest came the sound of a brutal fight, but Omi had no time to go see it. His shoulder was grabbed tightly. As he looked over his shoulder, he saw the white skin that could only mean one person. He glanced further up, already reaching for Jack’s wrist, and saw that the other youth was holding a very familiar Shen-Gong-Wu.

“Sands of Time!” Jack shouted, his mind fixed on a moment five minutes from when he and Omi had left.

“N—“ Omi’s shout was cut off as the Sands of Time glowed brightly and the magic caught him, yanking him forward into the time stream.


Chapter 10 ~~~~~~~~ Back to Xiaolin Showdown ~~~~~~~~ Chapter 12



This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to www.yola.com and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola