Note: This was written for the Zexal Flash Bingo challenge for the prompt "future".

Yuma was right. I never should have done this.

III's vision was hazed with red, and he couldn't tell if that was from his exhaustion or from the strange portal that was inexorably opening around him. It didn't really matter either way. Part of him was a bit glad that he wouldn't be able to clearly see what was going to happen next.

There had been a time when "what happens next" had scarcely mattered to him. It was the past he had loved, that strange country that was so accessible yet so impossibly far away. He had marveled at the wonderful things his father brought home from his journeys, all the dusty bits of pottery and chipped glass beads. When other boys his age were playing soccer and video games, he'd been marveling over bits of flint and bronze, wondering about the people who had held them just as he did, thousands of years ago. The fact that something could last for so long seemed like a kind of magic.

Then had come the day when his world had turned upside down: the day his father had vanished, his brothers had been torn away from him, and everything he'd ever known and loved had faded away like a dream. At that time of his life, he'd have given anything to go back to the past, before everything had gone wrong. He'd been too young to understand why his father and brothers had been taken away from him, or why he'd been sent to live with strangers. The future was incomprehensible; only his past had felt real to him. That was all he'd wanted: for everything to go back the way it was.

And now it was never going to be that way, because he'd listened to his father. Byron Arclight had been as fascinated by history as III was, but Tron's fixation on the past was no longer an interest, but an obsession. It was the past that held his sons close to him - their memories of the father he had once been, the family they had once been. All three brothers clung to that hazy vision of the life they'd once lived. If only Tron had been pursuing that dream as well, they could have been happy. But the only past that had mattered to him was the moment Dr. Faker had sent him to his doom, and nothing that had happened before that seemed to matter anymore, not even the fact that V had become so cold and bitter, or IV so wantonly destructive, or that III...

III watched the red shadows closing around him, and reflected that he should have given more thought to the future.