“Mason Moon, welcome to my kingdom.” The male looked on in confusion. He didn’t know how he had gotten to this place, wherever it was. Was he dreaming? “How rude of me, my name is Audric. Please, have a seat.”
Mason stared at the man, trying to take in his appearance. The scar, the pointy ears…none of it rang a bell. He didn’t know who Audric was, or what he was talking about. “Did you summon me?”
“Yes,” Audric said simply. “That is the only way you can enter my kingdom. Forgive me if I pulled you out of something important.”
Mason had only been in the castle for a few minutes, but already he had been tired of the man’s formal tone. “Who exactly do you think you are?” He lowered his eyes at the male.
“Mason, I tire of your attitude. I am trying t maintain my patience, but you are very unlikeable. Take a seat, I won’t ask again.”
He didn’t want to, but something about his tone was…unnerving. Mason turned around to take a seat, but his attention was met with some familiar faces. None that he was particularly fond of. “You’ve got to be joking.”
“I’m not,” Audric said. Mason sat down in the available empty spot. “It appears that you don’t recognize my power. No one has told you the legend either?” He let out a small sigh of annoyance. “My name is Audric Brainard. I am the most powerful living being in existence. Living to your understanding at least.”
Mason scoffed. “What else you got? I’m not buying it.”
“It’s true,” The female spoke. Mason dreaded that voice. He hadn’t heard it in a while. “He is. That’s why we’re here. I’m alive again, this time with a stronger heart.”
“Puzzle.” He glared at her. “Why waste your time on this pitiful creature?”
“I find Puzzle quite charming,” Audric said. She nodded happily. “She, along with Zodiac, is going to help me restore order to this broken dimension.”
“I was in the middle of something important back home. I was about to do something,” Mason said. “You bother with this nonsense? I don’t make alliances, if that’s what you’re thinking. I don’t work with people who cater to the guardians.”
Zodiac scowled at Mason. “Like I’d willingly work with you? I’m unattached from the guardians.”
“It’s not an alliance,” Audric interrupted. “It’s either atonement or redemption. That’s up to you what you make with this opportunity. But, you have no choice, you will help me take down the guardians.”
Mason leaned forward. “Oh? Taking down the guardians? I am all ears, but that does not guarantee my help. Enlighten me, was this little rat a spy the entire time?”
“No,” Zodiac muttered. “But Audric gave me a better offer than they did. All I had to do was leave the girl alone.”
“You will not speak of her,” Audric said coldly. “She is of no concern to you anymore.”
“Astra Gray,” Mason laughed. “I get it. You’re the elf with the forbidden magic. If you’re as powerful as you say you are, you should know that nothing the Grays do…any of them, escapes me. I may not have seen where she went those two years, but I am fully aware of your hold on her.”
“There is no hold,” Audric said. “She is innocent in all of this. I was merely helping out a tortured soul in need.” Speaking about her pained him. She had brought physical, mortal pain to his heart, something he had never experienced before.
“Oh yes, the man who whisks her away from all her troubles.” He was looking at Audric with animosity in his eyes. “I will tell you what I told the guardians. The Grays are my personal pawns. Not yours. I do believe I get first dibs to them, as family.”
“Well, so does Emit in that logic,” Zodiac said. “Soon, they’ll have spawn with everyone in that organization. They ll get around-”
“Enough!” Audric’s voice was powerful like a roar. “I will say this to you once Moon. You will not treat them as toys. You of all people have no right to any control over them. This meeting is to fix what you destroyed. That includes the Grays.”
Mason faked a yawn. “Real nice roar, buddy. Totally intimidating. You do realize how much power I hold over them, right? The Grays are mine, and always will be.”
“No,” Audric said. “They were never yours. In my slumber, things may have gotten out of control, but now that I am awake, I will fix everything you and the guardians damaged. There are full timelines destroyed because of your foolishness. Do you know how many worlds are on the brink of destruction because of the changes you’ve made to the timeline?”
“I fixed the timeline,” Mason replied.
“This dimension, if not repaired now, will need to be reset. If it does not align with the others, it could very much spread this destruction to them. I have already seen some of it happen. Jeffrey Bennett has been taken from his dimension, destroying the natural order, and your son was brought to another. But that doesn’t even begin to cover what you did. The blame falls on your shoulders entirely, because if not for you, the guardians would never have assembled. They were an attempt to fix what you destroyed.”
“That’s not what they’re about now.” Zodiac let out a small laugh. “Angel is hell bent on destroying you, and the Grays. No surprise there.”
“She doesn’t like my meddling.” Mason smirked. “Good, I’m doing my job then.”
“Good?” Audric was angry. “Does this seem like a joke to you? I don’t think I made myself clear Mr. Moon. Do you understand how little power you really have?”
“Who do you think is really in control of the timelines? Emit?” Audric ran his fingers through his lilac hair. “What you know is only a small fraction of time travel. I am the one in charge of maintaining this dimension. There are others, one for each dimension. We council members only awaken when our dimensions fall below a certain level. To combat that, we have time keepers, different variations of Emit Relevart, who rearrange and maintain surface level timelines. But there are things you can’t touch. Things that must happen. Your parents Mason, was not Emit’s doing, I hid that timeline from you. It was necessary. If you could go back in time and revive your parents, I often wonder just how much better our future would look. But frankly, you destroyed that possibility yourself.”
Mason could feel the anger rising within him. “You…”
“I,” Audric began again. “could not allow you to go back in time and revive your parents. Sierra Gray was involved. She was the catalyst,…the person your parents were trying to find. Sierra Gray was the one they wanted. Once someone from the past became involved so directly, I couldn’t stop it. I wanted to erase her, but she was essential for Lunar Lakes.”
He was speaking so broadly, Mason wished he would explain some things. “That’s all you have to say?” He demanded. “What did my parents want with Sierra Gray?”
“No.” Audric shook his head. “She was not the real problem. I doubt your parents would ever reach her with the limited technology they had. The problem was you. You fell in love with Athena. I couldn’t erase her from ever meeting you, because you had a child with her. Did you think there would be no repercussions for two people from different times having a child together? There is a reason that is prevented!” Audric could feel the anger overflowing. Mason Moon and the guardians created a mess that not even he could fix with the snap of his fingers. “You created rifts in the dimension, and the timelines. You exploited those rifts and further destroyed the timeline with things like time distortions and speeding up time for the Grays. Mason Moon…what you’ve done is deplorable. You not only put our dimension in danger, but the others surrounding ours as well! Your mistakes deterred Emit from his intended job. He is not without fault either, falling in love with that woman…both of you…! To be blunt with you, all of the timelines are fucked up.”
Mason gulped. It was the only sound in the room. “I’d do it all again.” He leaned forward, just as angry as Audric. “You can’t tell me you don’t know what its like to be captivated by a Gray. You would do it too for that girl. Don’t pretend now that you aren’t exploiting the rifts I’ve made to take her here as your bride. If you are as important as you say, you should not be playing around with someone in this time. Unless, something I did made it possible.” Mason smirked when he saw Audric go rigid. “You think you have me pinned down? I am just beginning. Maybe this is selfish, but you won’t take the memory of the only people I have left.”
“It is incredibly selfish! I saw what you did to Noah! Why are you so obsessed with them? She was happy with Levi, you should have left it alone,” Puzzle said. “I saw it with my own eyes. She loved him. Why can’t you let that go?”
“Levi was from the future too,” Zodiac said.
“Because Mason’s initial actions with Athena caused time to weaken, and allowed a skilled traveler to take advantage. Everything after that first action, started to become possible. Things that, in a normal world, would not be allowed to. But we are venturing into unwanted territory. Things not even I should speak about right now. We just need to fix it. I refuse to reset the dimension.”
“What would that do?” Puzzle asked.
“It would make us start over, from the very beginning of people,” He answered. “Only one dimension before us has had to do it. They are still recovering.”
“That would erase us all,” Zodiac said.
“And Astra.” Mason smirked. “Can’t have that happen, right? I don’t see how keeping her here will fix things.”
“If you stop talking and let the man explain, maybe things would actually be fixed.” All eyes were on the new guy.
“You’re that brat’s friend.” Mason frowned. “This is why I couldn’t bring him to life!”
“I did the honors for you,” Audric stated simply. “You wanted Zayne to sabotage Jeffrey and Charlotte. I couldn’t allow that to happen, and thankfully a possible heir was born.”
“You don’t mean, my friend Jeff, do you?” Zayne asked. “What is going on?”
“He just woke up,” Audric explained. “I kept him in a comatose state so that he would not interfere. But, it seems the rifts you caused are so big already. There are people we cannot erase without sending the moment back to that day Athena found the portal. That wouldn’t stop you from time travelling either…” Audric placed a hand on his chin as if in thought. “Caleb, Pax, Apollo and Ambrose, those children were all born to those who were not meant to be here. I don’t want to have to erase them.” No Apollo meant no Alistair and no Alistair meant no Astra. He was absolutely captivated by her presence. Whether she chose him or not, he would not allow her to cease to exist. “So, we simply have to rebuild the dimension and make it stronger. We have to fix the rifts. We can patch up some things. The dimension won’t be perfect, but it will last until it has to in a few generations. It would be simply strained, not destroyed.”
“I don’t follow?” Zayne felt like he was in some sort of dream. He couldn’t follow what was going on.
“I will fill you in later,” Audric said. “But first…I must explain a little more to these three.”
“Puzzle, there is trouble in Imaginationland. That is why you are here. As long as Mason lives, Rickie will live. But, if Rickie lives, Mason will die. We need his skill with the timelines to keep things on track. So, we must eliminate the connection to Mason and consequently destroy Rickie. Then, I would like you to step in as leader and help them heal. This should stop that rift from getting bigger.”
“Can do boss!” She smiled. “Anything to help.”
“Zodiac,”Audric continued. “I need you as an inside man for the guardians. Keep acting as if you are helping them, and report back to Mason anything that could counteract his work with the timelines. I could simply destroy them, but that wouldn’t help anything. I need their information. Angel is somehow eluding us, she is…more powerful than she lets on to be. But, I must admit, some of their work is healing the world. Don’t destroy them, just keep them away from the Grays.”
“I’m his boss?” Mason leaned back and smirked. “Maybe I could be on board with this plan.”
“Shut up,” Zodiac growled.
Audric ignored the two of them. “But, we cannot allow Mason to look as if he has given up. That would cause suspicion. Allow Angel to think you are still very much evil. That’s what Zayne is for. Zayne, you will get to see your friend Jeffrey Bennett again. I will explain later, but act as if Mason sent you to sabotage them, and had a change of heart. The Grays seem to have that power.”
“And me?” Mason asked, afraid of the answer.
“You are in charge of the Grays from now on. As long as you leave Astra alone and allow them to carry on for a few more generations…” Audric bit his lip. He could stall their reset for a few more generations. Then, he’d have to take more drastic measures. The dimension was in shambles. It would fall, and maybe he was being selfish…but he knew how Astra made him feel. He would not erase her, nor take that feeling away from Mason by erasing Athena. But he couldn’t deny that the dimension around him was in shambles, and if the timeline games kept happening…well, he’d try to prevent it as much as he could. Maybe he was wrong, and he could stop this all. “There are different parts of time that are destroyed because of what you did to the future. There are set marks where the rifts are fixable. I want the Grays to help us and diminish the threat in each of these time periods and worlds. You decide who gets to go, and you oversee them. From the Shadows. They won’t ever follow you willingly.”
Mason shrugged with a smirk. He’d play along for now, at least until a better opportunity came along. If he was going to take down Audric and get the greatest power of all, he’d have to know what it was like on the inside.
This is all I have to say about Astra/Dionysus and Astra/Audric for now, so I will keep the poll open until Wednesday night, 8PM Eastern time :p If you want more time for the poll, let me know! You can vote as many times as you’d like!