Time Passages: Part 1
Letting the Cables Sleep
by Ana Lyssie Cotton
Disclaimer: Cable and Stryfe do not belong to me, nor do the Askani. I am making no money from this fic, and don't plan to.
Dedication: As Lynx put it, this is a very EARLY present to one Alicia McKenzie. Happy belated birthday, m'dear. ;)
Authors note: These are the adventures of a most unusual girl. She was born an Askani, from parents who were human and demon. Gifted at an early age with the ability to step through time and an uncanny way of appearing when she was most needed, Aliyana quickly grew to become a formidable force for good.
With her love of the past, and the ability to set things right, she succeeded where many dared to even try.
Join us now, as we travel to the world of...
Aliyana the Askani time-traveling demon sorceress from the future!
With a grunt, the prisoner pulled himself painfully to his feet. The last several days had not gone well as he watched his people destroyed, their homes burned, their children slaughtered. And worse, sometimes. Sometimes, HE made him watch as he tortured them slowly. Blood flowing freely as they were bled to death.
Nathan Daysping Askani'Son hated the feeling of helplessness. Even more than he hated Stryfe. It was the feeling that he would never stop him, never save anyone again. Muscles strained as he bent over in an awkward stretch. His arm had been broken again by one of the guards. They were having 'fun'. He thought it was execrable.
His people had been taught to kill, yes, but senselessly? For nothing more than the violence of it? No. That had not been the way.
This prison cell was almost home, now. He'd been here forever. His people were losing almost every minute of every day as Stryfe cut a swathe through them. Sickness welled in Nathan's gut as he recalled a baby, impaled on a pike. It had cried so long before falling into shock.
Deep within him, something burned. Anger, hatred, rage, remorse. The fire of it was all that kept him alive, kept him waiting for the moment to run, to flee. So that he could continue in his purpose to liberate his people. And so that, someday, this wouldn't have to happen.
With a clang, the metal door hit the wall and someone was shoved into the cell. The door was pulled shut without a word exchanged.
Nathan stared at the newcomer. She looked all of twelve. Dark hair in a jumble around her face, big blue eyes, and a determined look all contributed to the juvenile impression he received.
"I'm not that young, you bloody great oaf." She snapped, glaring.
He raised his estimate to upper teens, quickly.
"Thank you." She straightened self-consciously and gestured to him. "I'm Aliyana."
It was then that he realized she was reading his thoughts.
"Of *course* I am, you looby." She snorted. "All you hero-types never can shield properly. It must be something to do with the gene that gives you all that 'goodness'."
"I'm not good."
"Rubbish. Would I be here if you weren't? Don't answer that, I don't think I want to know if--"
"I've let them all die."
"Uhuh. I can see this is going to be a difficult job." She settled down into a cross-legged position on the one metal shelf in the room. "Tell me, mate, what would you like to do most in this world?"
"Bing! The man gets a prize! So, you're not as far gone as they said you'd be." She stood briskly and clapped her hands. "Good, good. Now, come with me, m'laddo, and we'll have this all sorted out in a jiff."
He stared at her, mouth gaping. Was she mad?
"Nope. And, look, could you, maybe, STOP projecting at me that loudly? I mean, it's all well and good, 'cause then I can answer your unspoken questions, but... It's loud." She sniffed and turned to the cell door. "I guess I should have some sort of magic incantation. Hrm...."
"Open Sesame?" He suggested dryly.
"No, that's too simplistic. Good thought, though. Ah! Got it. Open or I blast you to smithereens."
The door gave a shiver and complied. She stepped out into the hallway and waved cheerfully at the guards. "Excuse me, boys? Could y'all give me a bit of help, here?"
As they stepped towards her, something happened. The waifish appearance vanished, and in its place stood a armor-clad woman. The sword in her hand glittered dangerously as she swung it up and out, gutting both guards before they had a chance to do more than gape at the sudden transformation.
"Yeah. But disappointed, really. Considering your status, I'd've thought Stryfe would put better guards on you."
The armor she wore moved subtly, as if it were alive. The sword she resheathed before slowly moving down the hall.
"Where are we going?"
"Control room. I wanna have a chat with Stryfe. And, what's this 'we' stuff? I mean, you can kill the guy if you want, but... It might just be safer for you to go and escape back to your people." She glanced at him, eyes dark, "While they're still alive."
"I'm coming with you."
"Fine, fine, don't do anything stupid. Oh! And give me your arm so I can set it."
With a quick twist, the bone was set straight, and then Aliyana pulled a bandage from her pocket and quickly had it wound about his arm. "There. Try not to move it excessively."
"Thank you." The words were almost reluctant. But it HAD stopped hurting.
"Yeah. Whatever. C'mon." She turned and continued up the hallway.
Stryfe looked up at them as they entered. Or rather, his helmet looked up at them. He never seemed to take it off. His underlings even thought he slept in it. It was metal, though. And looked horridly uncomfortable.
"And who are you--Ah! Brother, I see you've come up for a visit. And how does this fine day find you, Askani'son? Well, I trust." The mouth behind the mask smiled. "And who is this woman you've brought with you. A gift? I do so like gifts."
"Nope." Aliyana smiled at him and drew the sword. "I'm neither his, nor a gift. I am my own, and I'd like to have a chat with your intestines. Maybe find out if they predict the future well."
"I predict your future will end shortly." Stryfe waved a negligent hand and fiery fingers of telekinesis flashed into being around the woman. They tightened as she struggled against them. "You really are intriguing, but I can't have madwomen with swords running around."
Nathan watched as she struggled against the bonds. They became tighter until she couldn't move at all. Something within him demanded that he act. But he couldn't. There was nothing he could do. Nothing.
"Yes there is, you big oaf!" Aliyana gasped around the constriction of her chest. "Don't act so bloody stupid!"
He stared down at the hand that she'd bandaged, and then at the tiny knife she'd tucked into it, to secure it.
"Ow. Owowowow. Y'know, Stryfie, baby, this HURTS. I didn't know you cared so much. Y'know."
With a quick lunge, Nathan plunged the tiny dagger into the opening between the edge of the mask and Stryfe's collar. For an instant, the bands of TK held. And then with a sigh from Stryfe they disappeared and he folded.
"Whew. Thanks, I didn't feel like becoming a sandwich meat, there." Aliyana rolled her shoulders and smiled at him.
He stared down at Stryfe. All the pain, all the anguish he'd caused. And he'd been felled so simply. A knife was all it had taken. With a savage snarl, Nathan reached down and tore the mask off, revealing-- his own face.
"Oops. Sorry. Sort of meant to warn you about that. Annoying, isn't it? The man who had the largest amount of evil in the world, and he looks just like you. Oh, well," she shrugged, "them's the breaks."
With revulsion, Nathan began ripping the mask apart. Until there was nothing left but a pile of metal shards and a few drops of blood from where he'd cut his hands on it.
"Anyway. Good luck and all. I've got things to do, places to go..." She grinned at him. "Oh, one thing."
Before he had a chance to react, she was kissing him. It was ... nice. She drew back, her eyes twinkling. "There. Until next time, Nathan Summers." She pulled the sword out again and began cutting a doorway in the air.
And then she was stepping through, a last grin flashed at him. The portal snapped shut an instant later, leaving one Nathan Dayspring Askani'son puzzled, bewildered, and free.
To be continued... --
Join us next time, when there are explosions! On, Aliyana the Askani time-traveling demon sorceress from the future!
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