Memories of Future Past

From the Story Arc: Legacy of a Fallen Hero

Previous Story in the Arc: Part 5 by October Star (Thursday, July 21, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: Part 6 by October Star (Friday, August 26, 2005)

(posted Sunday, August 07, 2005)

Thea clutched the sides of the box containing the photo albums and scrapbooks and reminded herself to breathe deeply.

These weeks had been the worst in her llife. Alexei gone---the still center of her universe vanished, leaving her in fear and mentak chaos.....

She had spent the first day drugged on doctor's orders, with Belladonna Aura in close attendance. The next, Red Djinni and Vickie Victrix had virtually moved in with her. And while it had been a comfort to have them there, seeing them, so close, together, had twisted daggers in her heart. She had physically restrained herself from returning to the bathroom every five minutes to see if Alexei had somehow returned.

And then, strangely, it was the creature that said it was an angel, or had been---Seraphic Flame---who had come to her and given her comfort and hope no one else could.

"I will not speak to you of learning to live without your beloved," Flame had said, regarding her with those strange, grave eyes, so old in such a young face. "I will speak to you of what I know of time." She hesitated a moment. " nearly a living thing. There are twists and turnings and branches in it, but for the most part, once a branch has begun, it remains a separate thing and spawns off a new universe. And once that has happened, time in that universe strongly resists change to its past. Strongly And you are wondering what this has to do with you and Alexei Nikolsky."

Thea had nodded, her eyes sore with weeping.

Flame had smiled slightly, and without moving, had enveloped her in what felt like a mental embrace, a wave of comfort. "October Star II came to Paragon City. You and Alexei met. You fell in love, you have made a couple. All these things are in the past. Now, they make little difference to the greater past and if only they had happened perhaps Alexei could vanish, and there would be little resistance from Time."

It had been a good thing that Flame had given her that wave of comfort, for Thea nearly lost control at that blow. But Flame had more to say; far more.

"But---that was not all that happened. And it may be that the event that has caused so many of us such turmoil and unhappiness will be the one tht will become the blessing that saves you. You were taken by the Council. The event impacted the entire city. The debate begun by the Commissar's order to kill still resonates and is causing repercussions. These are things that Time cannot ignore. Alexei is part of that; an integral part. If you had not fallen in love with him, I believe you might have lost hope and perished; certainly that is in more than one of the pasts that I can still see. as they branch off into other futures I cannot. He was an important part of your rescue. He is now a keystone in the core of Russian heroes here in the CCCP who are resisting the edict that the orders of the Commissar are to be followed, whether or not they are moral---the sea-change from the mentality of the soldier to that of---something else. Time will not now allow him to vanish from your recent past and future to come without a mighty struggle."

"You mean---"

"I mean that he must return, or there will be a Time-rift and a Time-quake. These things have happened but---" she hesatated. "My instinct is to say they will not this time. And there is of course, this. Alexei himself is someone with a knowledge of the future that Time will not want in the past. So all signs point to his return. Be of good hope. Give comfort to Vlada, his grandfather. In fact---" Flame had smiled. "---do this for him. Show him the grandson, the hero carrying on his legacy, that he never met. Tell him of the brave young man who has determined to be what he was, a hero for the people. And tell him of the man you love."

So here she was, with the scrapbooks and photo albums, at the HQ of the CCCP, waiting for October Star to return from patrol. She looked up at a footstep, to see Vlada hesitating at the door of the room, mingled emotions playing across his face.

"Hallo, Vlada," she said, unable to call such a young man, younger by far than her Alexei, "grandfather." "I have brought some things to show you that I hope will make you smile."