The Power of Time and Space

The Power of Time and Space

image The Xilon believe that when someone's birth coincides with a significant event, it can heavily influence their importance to the universe as well as their inherent understanding of it. The only life form in creation to be born exactly at Zero Hour, Mars Xidonis Aarnaxis Zenon was one such individual.

A Zenonite born and raised on Terra Firma in the breathtakingly beautiful region of Aarnaxis Lake, Mars was especially advanced, miles ahead of anyone else his age when it came to comprehending the complexities of life. At only 207 years old, a child by Xilon standards, he wrote and published a massive text called Understanding Time and Space. An intricate study of his people's place in the universe, their relationship to other species, and a shockingly detailed commentary on creation within the realm of natural science, the book had a greater impact on the Xilon civilization than any other text since the Book of Xilon.

Breezing through his school years, Mars completed his studies centuries before anyone else in his generation and skipped out on secondary learning to travel and explore the cosmos firsthand. For 11.8 lyren, he moved through time and space, jumping from one planet and era to another, adapting to each new species and culture as he went, assimilating himself and reveling in every new tradition that he discovered. Heavily influenced by the Fusion Aeon, he took the beliefs, practices and knowledge of millions of other civilizations and wove them together to form brand new theories and skills, which he would later use to develop some of the most groundbreaking sciences in Xilon history.

image Upon returning home, Mars journeyed to a remote and somewhat barren region of Acadia Minor to consult with his childhood friend, the dragonlord Zozer. Acadian dragons lived almost as long as the Xilon themselves and were known for being both fierce warriors and great philosophers. Lord Zozer and Mars had taken an interest in each other as youngsters, bouncing around ideas together that others couldn't seem to comprehend or simply weren't interested in. Now grown and a veteran traveler, Mars couldn't wait to discuss the potential of his newest discoveries with his old friend.

Settling in a grove near the dragonlord's cave, the two went to work, analyzing the mish-mash of sciences that Mars had compiled over the years. Mars was convinced that by combining scientific elements from seven other cultures and introducing the green fire that Acadian dragons produced, he could create a device that would magnify an individual's strength to unimaginable levels. But Zozer insisted that the clashing energies would not allow for it and could even backfire, causing damage to the Xilon who attempted it. He refused to take the risk and told Mars that he would not allow other dragons to put themselves in such a position. The debate lasted for days before Mars, frustrated, gave up and left.

image Later that afternoon, as he walked through the quiet Acadian hills, the Zenonite stumbled - quite literally - onto a sleeping gryphon. Although his grammar was a bit rusty, he managed to introduce himself well enough and discovered that the creature's name was Fraefjor. The language barrier and less evolved nature of the gryphon left them with little to say to each other, but they found themselves quite comfortable just sitting together under the darkening sky. Mars had always been one to treasure contemplation and having time alone to think, so he was happy to sit back and do just that.

The following morning, Mars asked Fraefjor to accompany him to the other side of the galaxy, to a dangerous volcanic planetoid called Dryadakrain, inhabited by the vicious dryadak species. A monstrous creature, the dryadaks were wild, carniverous and ferocious. Most Xilon stayed away from their land to avoid the hassle and danger of having to fight them off. But like dragons, the dryadaks could produce green fire, and Mars had to test his theory in spite of the risk. Riding on Fraefjor's back, he and the gryphon risked life and limb and managed to acquire a vile of fire from the hideous creature's blazing mouth.

image Three days later, Mars returned to Zozer's cave and called the dragonlord out. He indicated a crystal bracelet that was clasped around his wrist, glowing orange with a light flicker of green lining the center. As the dragon watched, Mars jumped into the shallow waters of the lake, placed both hands near the base of a nearby mountain and pushed. With a great shudder and an earsplitting grinding sound, the massive rock slowly began to move forward. The first adrylian device had worked, and it would forever change the face of Xilon science by allowing their kind to accomplish great physical feats without having to draw upon their internal energy.

Many similar discoveries would continue to shock and amaze his peers over the years, but Mars's most important and revolutionary creation would be known as the Arkane Sphere. From their earliest days, the Xilon had considered the khejzmyn, the universal looking glass, to be one of the most important inventions of their society. It allowed the user to locate anyone, anywhere in the universe, any place in time. If the user had a specific person or event that they needed to check in on, they could watch it within the sphere in as much detail as they needed. Almost every Xilon family throughout time had a looking glass in order to keep tabs on each other, no matter where in existence they might be.

image The khejzmyn was also responsible for the development of the Xilon culture as a whole. It is a well known fact amongst higher life forms that the early generations, when the species came into being, experienced very dark times. Tensions between segregated clans on the various planets was constant and growing stronger. Eventually, a full scale interstellar war broke out that swept across the cosmos for countless generations. The history archives note that the wars came to an abrupt end when a young Zenonite appeared, riding a beautiful gryphon. They flew through the battlefield, the stranger holding up a swirling crystal ball that showed the bloodthirsty warriors fantastic images of another time. Weapons fell to the ground and hatred seeped away in an almost hypnotic effect. The mysterious visitor told the warring tribes that if they ever wished to witness for themselves the wonders that they saw within the sphere, they would have to make peace and establish a new order or face extinction. When asked where he was from, the strange said only that he was descended from the Xidonis, and disappeared as suddenly as he had shown up. From that day forward, there would never again be civil conflict between the Xilon, and the society began to evolve into the near-paradise that most know it to be.

image For all of his life, Mars had heard and was intrigued by these stories, particularly since the unknown traveler had been from his own family line. Being the inquisitive sort, he decided to better understand how the khejzmyn worked. No one had ever been able to pinpoint exactly where in time or space the first one was produced. Over the years, with looking glasses being created and sent out to almost everyone in the past and future, their origin became jumbled and was eventually lost altogether. Those who knew how to create them could not remember where they had initially gotten the formula from, and no one in Mars's family had any idea which of their predecessors it might have been. All they knew was that no matter which era each looking glass was being used in, every one of them was powered by a single source, the whereabouts of which could not be discerned. Even the orbs themselves came up blank when someone attempted to view their origin. Through glimpses and grueling amounts of research, it became clear that each crystal was composed of a complex array of materials, one of which functioned as a conductor of an unknown class of energy. This energy, which captured and channeled an individual's chronospacial power in order to project the image that they wished to see, was being radiated by a massive source that seemed to be frozen somewhere in time and whose location remained a mystery.

image Determined to prove that no form of science was incomprehensible, Mars took his brother's looking glass and, with effort, managed to crack it open. As the glassy shell broke, he felt an odd sensation wash over him, like a minor but powerful cosmic ripple. Digging through the mess of contents now oozing onto the ground around his feet, he thought to himself that perhaps the crystals weren't meant to be opened. Then he shrugged it off; it was too late to stop now. Thirty-four hours later, Mars left home to start collecting materials of his own. He had studied the contents and theories in great detail and was sure that he understood it enough to reconstruct it from scratch. Riding his beloved gryphon from one location to another, Mars spent weeks exploring every inch of the five planets until he had found all of the necessary ingredients to create his own universal looking glass. He then returned with Fraefjor to Aarnaxis and set about rebuilding the crystal ball. After nine failed attempts at properly putting it together, he grew uncharacteristically frustrated and smashed it against a tree. Looking down, he noticed that the herbal energy conductor had split down the middle and tiny grains of silver sand, mixed in with the sap, were flowing out into the palm of his hand. But that was impossible...what were grains of sand from the Chroma seabed doing inside the stalk of a Terran plant?

With a bit of research, Mars was able to uncover an interesting fact. The rare plant that the conductor was made from had began to spring up around the same time that the universal looking glasses first started being distributed. And what was it that he had learned about Chroma back in school? It had once been a popular vacation spot during the BZH years but was known for being cosmically imbalanced. One might land on the planet's surface in the morning, leave in the evening, and find that days or even weeks had passed back home. Shortly before Zero Hour, the planet had officially become too imbalanced for use. It seemed that the core itself had disappeared, and those who ventured too close to the unpredictable surface could end up trapped, transported elsewhere or would return home to find themselves older, years of their lives gone without explanation.

image With a bit of digging, Mars found the last recorded date of a visit to Chroma before it had become completely unstable. Timing his jump to land shortly after that, he leaped to the surface of the abandoned planet and dove down into the silver waters. Hitting the ocean floor, he dug into the sand, making his way deeper and deeper, straight to the very center of the world. Reaching his destination, Mars placed a hand against the bright light bleeding out from the planet's core. Almost as if in a trance, he reached out and wrapped his hand around the glowing crystallic ball that made up the heart of the globe. A pulse ran through him and in an instant, he could see all of time and space. His head felt like it might explode and for a moment, he was lost in an overwhelming haze of information and flashing images. Pulling together every ounce of strength that he could, Mars catapulted backwards in the most painful spacial leap he had ever made, not caring where he ended up as long as it got him away.

Moments later, he found himself lying on a cool surface, the stars overhead clear and bright in the night sky. Sitting up, he found that he had jumped to the mountainous north pole of Kappa Crucis. He also realized that he was still holding the core of Chroma in his hand...and it was burning. Dropping the tiny sphere to the ground, Mars pulled himself together and tried to study it from a distance. It occurred to him that he must have been the one responsible for Chroma's demise, and it was suddenly very clear to him why no one had ever found out. Although a believer in taking responsibility for one's actions, he wasn't about to publicize the fact that he had caused such a disastrous shift. The core seemed to be some sort of cosmic anomaly, its own self-contained hole in time, like a tiny tangible rift. It had to be contained, that much he knew. Moving fast, Mars dug into the blue mountains that surrounded him and fashioned the icy crystals into a solid casing around the core.

image When he was sure that it was properly contained, he sat down and studied it again. Something about its energy was enchanting; unimaginable power trapped inside a little ball. It was almost unreal. If he could just find a way to channel that energy, the Xilon could harness the power of time and space itself. The possibilities were endless; the things that could be done with that type of power! Driven by curiosity, Mars spent the next fifteen hours analyzing and testing his theories. By the following night, he had constructed three additional layers to the crystal casing which was now twice his own height. Within the enormous sphere, rings of energy were circulating, using strands of Chroma's sand to conduct the power and keep it steady. Pleased that he had found a way to regulate the core's rift-like powers, but not quite sure where to go from there, Mars lifted the sphere into the air and let it float up the side of the mountain. He released his internal energy into it and let it feed back into him, flowing through his body. Again, it was as if he could see everything in the universe all at once. But this time, it was not overwhelming. It was controlled and fascinating, like nothing he'd ever experienced. It was almost like looking through a khejzmyn... His eyes shot open as he stared up at his creation. It was like seeing through a looking glass, except it was coming straight from the source itself. It was the Arkane Sphere. He had created the Arkane Sphere? Impossible. But if it were true...

image Mars jumped to his feet and flew back to Aarnaxis. Now that he understood the background of the source, he was able to fashion a brand new khejzmyn from scratch. Gripping the crystal ball, he called for Fraefjor and jumped onto the gryphon's back, urging him into a run. With a blinding flash, they found themselves charging through a desolate wasteland strewn with bodies, plasma and an endless wave of barbaric beings hurling themselves at each other like starving dryadaks, ripping the flesh from each other in a mad frenzy. Mars had never seen anything so horrible. He had witnessed plenty of wars during his travels, but none like this...none between members of such a powerful race. His own race, or whatever they had once been so early in time.

It took every bit of strength he had to not keel over from the sight of it, but he somehow managed to stay upright. Holding the crystal high, projecting into it his own energies and the power he had absorbed from Chroma's core, he conjured up every beautiful image that he could think of from back home. Although he knew the story well, seeing it play out firsthand was overwhelming. The clatter of falling weapons was almost deafening as the bloodthirsty warriors fell to their knees in awe as he passed. Gathering the leaders of the tribe, Mars handed the looking glass to the most fearsome of the group and warned them all of the dangers of continuing down their barbaric path. When asked who he was, he gave them only his family name, then nudged Fraefjor forward and in a flash, they were home.

After giving himself a few hours to recover, Mars returned to Kappa Crucis and looked again at his creation. It was too powerful, too dangerous for the general population. And history was already written - it could not and would not be found. Wrapping his arms as far around the casing as he could, Mars lifted it into the air and flew back to Chroma. Stopping just short of the planet's atmospheric shell, he hurled the magnificent sphere towards the shimmering surface. The unstable nature of the planet would cause it to be lost in time...always there, radiating energy to every corner of the universe, powering other devices it might be linked to but out of sync with the rest of the universe.

image With his mission accomplished, Mars returned home. Near the tree, he found the remaining grains of Chroma's silver sand and wove them into the seeds of one of the more uncommon plants in his garden. Over the next few years, in between his travels, he would build only five more looking glasses, passing them on to the select few who knew the truth and instructing them to keep the secret safe as they passed his creations on through time and space.

Following the development of his beautiful but secret endeavor, Mars traveled without rest for nearly thirty more lyren, finally returning home for the last time in 4L3`6J1`73 AZH. He had seen and done more than most other Xilon would ever do in their lives, and not only that but he had made sense of it and used it to develop and elevate the standards and practices of his own species. Ready to retire from universal exploration, he took a job at his old learning center in Aarnaxis, where he became the most revered teacher of science and philosophy to ever live. Long after he was gone (and long before he was ever born), Xilon far and wide would use and praise his ingenious work as an imperative part of their civilization, and his name was spoken right up until the End of Days.

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