Heroes Legion: Clash of The Titans: Part One
Chapter 7: Chameleon's Quest
In his room at the Hotel the Heroes Legion were staying in for the night, Chameleon was still awake.
He was lying on the bed, looking up at the ceiling.
Sure, he could sleep like everyone else if he wanted…but thanks to inheriting his father's sleep cycle, he only needed two hours of sleep and he also could go without sleep for three days before falling into a two-hour coma to recharge.
He was thinking about the future, he was always thinking about the future.
He knew that Shadow Knight suspected that he wasn't telling them all the entire truth about the future he came from, or why he desperately needed to win that Destiny Stone of power tomorrow.
He didn't know how long he could keep this lie of his going, or if his father's alternate younger self's suspicions would cause any trouble tomorrow in the matches that had to be fought.
The two of them very well might end up fighting one another, it was a possibility.
Still, it didn't matter really.
What mattered was the mission…his mission to change the future of both timelines.
Thanks to the possession of his world's Destiny stone of time, he was well aware of what was in store for this timeline if Meta-Master won that stone tomorrow.
There were two futures he couldn't afford to let occur, The Dark Elite winning that stone in tomorrow's tournament in this timeline…and the dark future in store for the one he came from.
Especially the timeline he came from, if he had any chance of saving his world, his family even from Daemon X, he needed that stone!
He remembered his world, his old life…back when he was known as Max Kishi.
Son of Gwen Deering/Spectress and Mr. Nightmare/Kagae Kishi who had met up during the STRIPE wars, fell in love, married, and had him...that was his life before, now, he was a time traveling lone crusader.
The last of the Heroes Resistance.
It felt like a lifetime ago, yet it was only four weeks ago when he left his timeline and came back to the past.
Time Travel was very tricky stuff.
He realized that this might not save HIS family, but at least he'd be able to save them in another life...and make that monster pay.
It might work, it might not.
But he owed it to his world, his family, to try and change their fate and also avenge it.
He remembered the last conversation he had with his father before everything went to hell.
The day had began with so much promise.
They had both just come back from a raid on Daemon X's supply trains to his forces in Europe to their secret base in one of the underwater cities of the Kingdom of Atlantis...and after debriefing, Max returned to work on his special project.
The same project that had brought him here to the Heroes Legion timeline.
It had been a year since his beloved wife Sandra had been buried in the Atlantean graveyard. She had been killed by soldiers working for the STRIPE remnants that had captured and experimented on him to try and build a counter-weapon against Daemon X.
Transforming Max into…what he was now.
His mother Gwen…she had torn through half of the lab with her battle suit's tendrils to rescue him, and his father, no mercy left in him for those genocidal idiots, banished them all to a slow death in the Shadow Realm.
Ever since that day, things started to get worse.
Daemon X's reign of terror soon encompassed the entire world, leaving the hidden and inaccessible Atlantean kingdoms the only place of safe refuge.
Unfortunately, even though they managed to evacuate as many people from the free continents of the world as they could, they were forced to leave the rest of the world behind to keep Daemon X from entering or even finding the Atlantean Kingdoms.
Since then, he had been going to an area of Atlanta's palace home, reserved for the scientific study of the now identified "Cronos stone" after finding out its real identity and purpose by studying the libraries of both Atlantis and their allies in the Magic Realm.
He had also been studying up on string theory, quantum mechanics, and many-worlds theory…to the point of near obsession.
This lead Max to eventually discover the secret behind time travel and the stone, and also figure out what his father had done wrong in his own attempt to use the stone to alter history.
It was when he had requested the use of his father's decommissioned super vehicle 'The Mirage' and soon afterward when he stopped going to bed that his parents began to worry about him.
Under his mother's urging, his father had taken it upon himself to approach him in his lab and get to the bottom of his strange behavior recently.
He had come in while he was putting the finishing touches on the new and improved Mirage.
"Son, before you get defensive or mad. I just want to talk…" Mr. Nightmare paused in his speech that he had prepared to give his son on the long walk from the palace to his lab when he saw the new addition to the Mirage that Max had been working on.
It now had an energy coil array and series of energy emitters that looked similar to ones seen on the DeLorean Time Machine from Max and his father's favorite movies.
"What the…?" Mr. Nightmare said in surprise upon seeing the alterations done to his old super vehicle, "What… This is what you've been up to son? You've been working on improving this old girl?"
"Improve?" Max chuckled, "I've more than improved it, dad, the Mirage is now a quantum leap in science the likes of which has never been seen before."
"Really?" Mr. Nightmare asked, "How."
"Well for one thing…" Max said to his father eagerly, "it's not just able to travel between this dimension and the shadow realm, it can now also travel in all four dimensions."
"What?" Mr. Nightmare asked confused.
"The Cronos stone, dad" Max Ducard answered, "I've figured it out. I've cracked what went wrong when you used it six years ago."
"What went wrong is that time travel doesn't work like in 'Back to the future' son," Mr. Nightmare said cynically, "changing the past doesn't affect the future of the traveler's timeline. It just splits it in two, leaving this world, the reality we live in unaltered. When we travel back in time, we just enter and create an alternate universe branching out from when we entered the past."
"No Dad…Back to the Future's interpretation of time travel is exactly how quantum physicists theorize how time travel works, it's just nobody watching those films ever realized it or understood that. The reason is that as human beings we can only understand time and causality as it goes in one direction, forward, when in fact, it goes in four directions…Quantum Physicists' have proven that atoms travel through time forwards and backward all the time. I believe however that the flow of times travels not just backward and forwards, but sideways as well. Time isn't a line dad, it's a river, and rivers fork and divert all the time. It's why the multiverse itself exists dad, the river of time forks out into all these random possibilities based on causality caused by choices we made or did not make. Like a river, if we can find a way to navigate it, we could time travel correctly. The problem is we as human beings cant navigate it on our own" Max Ducard explained, "The human mind is the problem dad. It's not a quantum computer, it can't understand time or temporal mechanics in any way except in a linear explanation and try as we may, and we can never focus on things as clear and precise as a quantum computer. Therefore, when you used the stone, your mind couldn't work it properly so it brought you not only to a point in the past in your past…but to a point in a different past as well."
"Son, you've been working down here too long," Mr. Nightmare said with concern to his son, "you should drop whatever it is you doing here and take a rest. Your mother and I are worried."
"Dad, no, I don't need a rest. Please try and understand…" Max said frantically, rushing over to a blackboard with a bunch of chalk quantum physics equations and timeline graphs.
There were two timelines drawn.
One timeline was marked "original timeline" and the other was a line jetting out from the first timeline marked "Alternate timeline" and running parallel beside the other chalk line.
"This is what you did Dad, by going back in time and warning your younger self, you created an alternate timeline where the Heroes Legion doesn't get wiped out in Manhattan, STRIPE never takes over the world to eradicate all metahumans, etc…" Max Ducard explained what he was getting at, "it should have been impossible for them to come here, but they did…and that got me thinking that maybe it's possible to travel not just to the past that was, but to the past the might have been as well. What if, we could travel sideways through time…"
He watched as Max drew a line from the original timeline, and linked it with the alternate Heroes legion timeline that his father had created by traveling back in time.
"…and enter a new reality entirely. The same alternate reality you created." Max finished his hypothesis.
"You've lost me entirely son…" Mr. Nightmare said confused, "why would you want to travel into a different timeline's past, present, whatever! What good would that do us?"
"I've done my reading dad…" Chameleon explained, showing his father a dusty old book titled "Destiny Stones: What the Big Bang left behind" by some old magic realm writer, "according to this, the so-called 'Chronos stone' is just one of ten other stones that act as 'nexus points' for the cosmic energies of the universe. In other words, they control and regulate the elements that make up the fabric of reality itself. This is also very juicy, but according to this book, the stones are only found here…on earth."
"All ten, and they can only be found on earth? You're joking" Mr. Nightmare said in disbelief.
"No, I've done my research on this. The reason why no one has found them all already is that, for some unknown reason, the stones warp to random and remote locations at the birth of the New Year. It must be some kind of safeguard or something. It makes sense; if anyone got all ten of them…they'd be unstoppable. Who knows what they'd do. Which is great, because that means that Daemon X won't be able to stumble upon and find them either. But we have no way to find them, not even with the device I made that can scan and locate the stones by studying the time stone. I need to find one to be able to locate it if it warps anywhere on the planet. Which means my plan will work." Max rambled on.
While he was rambling, his father was secretly preparing something for him under his cloak's right sleeve.
Max, turned away from his father and stared at the blackboard.
"I didn't believe it at first either" Max continued, "but when I touched the Destiny Stone to try and find the location of the Destiny stone of power wherever it is here in our present time, it instead showed me all these alternate timelines and potential futures. I saw Daemon X destroying Atlantis in a second, then I saw Daemon X defeated by…by myself because I had possession of the destiny stone of power. Afterward, I saw a vision of the Destiny of stone of power, but it was the one in the timeline where the Heroes Legion still exists, and I also saw something else. In that world, Meta-Master is alive and well. He escapes the fate of our worlds Meta-Master thanks to the changes to that timeline's history."
Mr. Nightmare approached his son, slowly, and cautiously.
"He gets his hands on that stone during something called 'Battle-Island', a tournament being held on an island by some kind of being called 'The Grandmaster' where the winner will receive that stone and with it he sets out to finish what he started in Manhattan. He succeeds…and it's all thanks to that stone" Max said in horrified dismay, "Both of our worlds are in trouble, theirs because the stone ends up in the wrong hands, and ours because it's not in anyone's hands. With that stone, we could defeat Daemon X, I've seen it! But unless it's found in the here and now, it will never happen. We need to fix both problems, it's our responsibility. That is why I've been working on this, a time machine powered by the time stone. I'm going to go back a few weeks into the Heroes Legion's past, help them win that tournament, and scan the stone with the DS Device…then come back here and track down the stone wherever it is located here. We might not be able to change our past dad, but that doesn't mean we can't learn what we need to from it…or from another's. This will work, it has to!" Max finished explaining his plan to his father.
It was too bad his father didn't believe him to have been sane and rational when he had explained it all out to him.
He believed that exposure to the stone and lack of sleep had caused a nervous breakdown in his only son, and like any loving and concerned parent had decided to intervene.
If only he had known that upon finishing the installation of the Time Machine into The Mirage, he had slept like a baby last night…because he believed his plan would work.
His father had snuck behind him, gagged him with his hand, and gassed him into a deep sleep with his knockout gas ability.
The last thing he had heard before blacking out was his father, apologetically speaking to him in his left ear as he restrained him "I'm sorry max, but it's for your good. The past is the past…it can't save us; only the present time and what we do here in the now is what truly matters. You can't go crazy chasing a white whale. A wise man…your grandfather once told me: 'you must accept the things you can't change, have the courage to change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference'. I know you Miss Sandra…but you must move on with your life and focus on the now and the future. Just like the rest of us."
He had given up on Time Travel as a way to fix what STRIPE had unleashed on the world a long time ago and he wasn't going to let his son embark on that pipe dream as well.
Chameleon understood now that his father had done it out of love and concern, and maybe if he hadn't been so manic while explaining his plan to his father it wouldn't have ended like that.
He remembered after waking up after sleeping off the effects of his father's knock out gas was that the first thing he heard, was the loud but distant sound of screaming, and Atlantean war machine's firing of a round of volleys at something.
Max had noticed it was uncharacteristically light out for the city of Atlantis, and when he looked out the window of his bedroom where he had been placed to sleep off the effects of the gas, he soon saw to his horror why that was.
Like something out of the story of Moses, the entire ocean water surrounding the city of Atlantis had parted upwards and to either side of the city.
The force field keeping the crushing weight of the water outside of the city was now keeping back nothing but open air.
There in the distance, floating in the…for lack of a better description…sky…was Daemon X.
He was using his nightmarish powerful psychic abilities to push back the ocean to get at Atlantis!
No…no it was more than that.
He seemed to be controlling the water itself with his mind, just like…
"Oh no…" Chameleon said in horror, "He found him! He found him and he was still alive…and he's now found us!"
Chameleon was of course talking about Atlanta's archenemy Depth Charge who had been exiled to an oasis in the middle of the rub a kali desert after he was captured following the defeat of the Dark Elite in Manhattan decades ago.
Barely flexing a muscle or breaking a sweat, this anthropomorphic cat creature opened up a hole in the water shield wall of Atlantis…right before putting up an invisible wall of mental energy to block all the attacks of the Atlantean army bellow.
Then, after floating his way through, set his glowing white eyes on the Tower containing the energy crystal that powered the shield wall.
Chameleon watched as Daemon X ripped that crystal out from the tower with his mind.
He saw his parents, Justin, Velocity and Queen Atlanta try to attack and stop Daemon X from getting and no doubt retreating with that crystal…which would have proved fatal to the Air District sections Atlantis once the shield wall no longer existed and the entire weight of the ocean came crashing back down upon them all.
Their attacks didn't even make a mark, let alone make Daemon X take any notice of them.
They were like flies buzzing around his head to him.
He heard Daemon X's telepathic voice cut through his mind and speak to him almost as if he wanted everyone in the city to hear what he had to say.
"It all starts with this…" he said, clasping his right feline hand around the power gem that was now floating inches in front of his face, "a gem of incredible power, in the hands of someone powerful enough to use its ability to its full potential! With this and its brothers, I will be the most powerful being in the universe; I will remake the universe in my image! No metahumans in charge, no humans in charge…just ME! I will fix what they have broken. One down, ten to go…"
Chameleon balked in disbelief upon hearing this as realization struck his brain, one out of Ten?
Did that mean that the gem powering the shield wall of the city of Atlantis was one of the Ten Destiny Stones!?
Even worse, if that was the case, Daemon X now had his hands on one.
They were doomed!
He was insanely powerful enough before, with one of those stones he could be unstoppable.
That was when Chameleon remembered that HE had possession of a Destiny Stone as well.
It may not be the stone of power he wanted to find, but it would have to be enough.
First, he had to get down to the lab and retrieve it.
Using his father's copied Shadow Walking ability, Chameleon teleported himself down from his room in the Atlantean Palace down to the lab where the new and improved Mirage vehicle was still there, waiting.
Quickly opening up the gullwing door of The Mirage and jumping into the cockpit, Chameleon then began trying to pry the Destiny Stone of time away from its containment chamber in the core of the Time Machine using some special gloves he had invented to handle the stone during experiments.
That was when he heard it, the last thing he had heard Daemon X say "…but it'll be so much easier to find the stones by shifting through the rubble of the planet and all you human monsters dead and gone!"
There was this incredible and deafening booming sound, and Chameleon was sent rocking around in The Mirage, the gullwing door closing shut after a massive concussive wave struck it.
Chameleon struck his head and blacked out.
He didn't know how long he had been out, but when he came to, it was at the sound of a female's voice…his late wife Sandra's voice.
"Max….Max…Max?" Sandra's voice called out to him.
He stirred as he slowly awoke to find he was still in the cockpit of The Mirage, "Sandra?" he called out in confusion.
"Oh, good" Sandra's voice said with relief, "I figured you wouldn't wake up before the cockpit ran out of oxygen. I have to admit, when you put me offline to install that machine in me, I didn't expect to wake up and find this."
The more he listened to the female voice as he regained control of his senses and awareness of his environment, the more he came to realize that it wasn't his wife's voice…but the voice of the computer A.I of his fathers that piloted and maintained The Mirage…a few upgrades over the years later that is.
"Mariko17?" Chameleon asked in surprise, "Where are we? What happened?"
That was when Chameleon saw it, and his heart stopped.
It was gone.
Atlantis was gone.
Not just Atlantis, everything.
Outside the Mirage, which was now floating around in space…was an asteroid field of some kind.
It didn't take long for the chameleon to realize he wasn't looking at an asteroid field, but the earth itself…or what was left of it.
"My god…" Chameleon said in horror.
He slumped back in his seat; he was stricken with disbelief, numbed by the horror of what he had just seen.
If the earth had been destroyed by Daemon X in his insanity, then that meant…oh god, this meant he was the last living person alive now.
His friends, his family…they were gone.
He was all that was left.
No one could have survived that, how the hell did HE even survive that?
"Mariko17…how are we even still here?" Chameleon asked, trying not to freak out and breakdown in grief and terror at his current situation.
"I came online during the devastation, and I activated the Mirage's Shadow Drive to take us into the Shadow Realm. The force of the explosion was so great…it knocked us right out of it and damaged the Shadow Drive beyond repair. We've been stuck here, floating around in space for over three hours."
"Three hours?" Chameleon repeated in disbelief.
He was about ready to crack, but he knew he couldn't afford to.
He needed to stay calm and focused if he was going to get out of this situation alive, if he could that is.
He put his focus away from his shock and grief and focused on the problem at hand.
"We have less than thirty minutes worth of air" Mariko17 warned, "I hope you have an idea of where we can go."
"Are you kidding me?" Chameleon asked, "there is nowhere TO go to, wait a minute, where is Daemon X. Did he perish too?"
"No…" Mariko17 answered, "My long-range scanners picked him up 12000 miles away from where we are, he's flying around, picking up some kind of glowing stones."
"That's why the bastard did it…" Chameleon said in understanding, his eyebrows frowning furiously "he destroyed the planet to easily track down the stones, knowing they would survive the destruction of Earth…as would he. He murdered my family, just to make retrieving those stones easier!? How many has he got so far?"
"Six and counting, it won't take long before he realizes we have one and comes after us to finish his collection" Mariko17 warned.
"He won't finish it, because we're going to use the stone to undo what he did," Chameleon said with fierce determination, "or at least make sure THIS Daemon X never gets this stone."
"Before you do whatever it is you're planning to do, I'd like to point out that three stones are floating before us a few yards ahead." Mariko17 pointed out.
"What?" Chameleon asked in surprise, looking up in the direction Mariko17 was referring to.
Sure enough, there were three glowing stones.
Red, Yellow, Blue…the stones of Order, Chaos, and Light!
He recognized them from the ancient books he had studied.
"Ten stones…Life, Time, Space, Reality, light, Darkness, Death, Infinity, Order, and Chaos. Like the Heroes Legion, alone they are powerful, but brought together…grants the user unlimited power. So much that by harnessing these stones and the elements of the universe they control, a person might be able to control reality itself. That's the myth any way and if the stone's powers are real, then the myth of what happens with them all combined is real too. If so, then maybe they can be used to bring everyone back" Chameleon mused.
"But you would need all ten, Daemon X has the majority" Mariko17 pointed out.
"I know that…but we won't need all of them, just six of them and we have four already, or at least we will have four already!" then he came up with an idea, "can you retrieve those stones?"
"No, my retrieval arm was damaged in the explosion" Mariko17 answered.
"Damnit!" Chameleon cursed, "There has to be something either of us could do to retrieve…"
Chameleon then did a facepalm, "I must have bumped my head HARD because I'm thinking like an imbecile! I have dad's Shadow Walking power, and darkness is all around here in space."
Chameleon then focused his powers, and before long, the Order, Chaos, and Light stones were transported from where they were floating in the void of space and into the cockpit of the Mirage where they landed safely upon the passenger seat.
"There…now Daemon X can't complete the set, assuming this works." Chameleon said with determination.
"Assuming?" Mariko17 asked confused, "What are you talking about?"
"The machine I installed, it's our only chance of getting out of here and saving everyone" Chameleon answered, and then he began working the controls of The Mirage, "Can you activate the flight mode?"
"In space?" Mariko17 asked in surprise, "maybe, but it's never been done before."
"Oh come on! The Shadow Realm this thing travels through is an oxygen-free void, it couldn't possibly be any different than space!" Chameleon said in exasperation.
"Yes it is, it's cold out here" Mariko17 corrected, "So cross your fingers and hope I can get the jet engine's to light up."
Not wanting to test his luck, Chameleon crossed his fingers.
If this didn't work, he'd either suffocate or get found by Daemon X…either way he'd die a painful death.
He breathed a sigh of relief when he heard the engines come online.
"Okay, fly us away from here and away from Daemon X, I'll get the machine ready…" Chameleon said to Mariko17.
"There you go talking about 'the machine' again, what machine?"
"You'll see, just get us going past 88 mph…WAY past 88 mph, like say Mach 3!" Chameleon ordered, working around with something called "Space-Time GPS" to find a fixed location in the other timeline, within the United States of America to be precise.
Then he typed in the destination time he wanted to travel to in that timelines history…three days before the tournament on Battle-Island
The Mirage then tore off towards the edge of the asteroid debris field, and Chameleon watched in anticipation as the speedometer on the Mirage began to increase rapidly towards the speed of Mach 3.
That was when the Time Acceleration Chamber containing the Destiny Stone of Time came online and emitted a bright shade of green light as it charged and activated the stone's power, channeling it through the coils outside.
A series of energy beams shot out from the emitters mounted outside the vehicle's sides and roof, they collided at the front and began forming what looked to be a miniature black hole.
There were three loud booms, and a blinding flash followed soon afterward.
The darkness of outer space had vanished, and Chameleon found himself soaring through the clouds somewhere.
It was daytime, and it was summertime or spring.
For a moment, Chameleon thought he had seen what looked to be a massive green energy wave rushing away into the distance in front of where he was flying; it kind of looked like a shockwave of some sort.
But it was gone before he could get a good glimpse of it.
He turned the Mirage around in a 180-degree turn so that it was facing the direction it had come from, and saw a rapidly shrinking 'sphere' shaped distortion with reality itself bending around its event horizon, begin to close in on itself.
Once it was gone, it was like it had never been there in the first place.
"The wormhole…" Chameleon said in stunned awe as he realized what he had just seen, "that must have been the wormhole my calculations predicted the machine would make. A door through time and space, opening temporarily long enough to travel safely through and closing once the traveler and machine were both through. Eureka, we've done it!"
"Done what? What just happened?" Mariko17 asked in shocked confusion.
Chameleon didn't answer at first, he checked the time circuits of the time machine, and a gleeful smile crept on his face when he saw that the "Present Time" readout now said "October 18th, 2014: 1:00 PM"…the moment in the other timelines history he wanted to travel to.
Everything seemed to be working on the Time Machine.
However, it would seem the time-space GPS didn't seem to be working though as he glanced at it, it should have been showing him two timelines, the one he had traveled to, and the one he and The Mirage had come from.
He put this confusion aside and decided he would investigate why the device wasn't working later; right now he needed to confirm for himself that they had succeeded in reaching their destination.
Looking out the window of the cockpit again, he could now see the energy dome that he had seen in visions of the Heroes Legion's timeline through the Time D-Stone.
This was all the confirmation he needed.
"We just did the impossible Mariko17, we traveled sideways through time and space from our timeline into another" Chameleon answered.
"What? How, and why?" Mariko17 asked astonished.
"To save our world" Chameleon answered, "and to do that, there is something we have to do in this one."
"What is that?" Mariko17 asked.
"Win a D-Stone in the Battle-Island Tournament" Chameleon answered with determination.
Maskedhero100: "With how things are going, I know we all wish we had a time machine to escape. Stay strong everyone, stay safe, and Keep on Writing!"
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