You know the drill, I don't own anything relating to NiGHTS into Dreams, except for my own fan characters.

Well, this is my latest story.

It'll get better after this, I'm sure.

There will be time hopping (the reader, not the characters), shifts in loyalties, Reala bashing, NiGHTS bashing, Claris and Elliot bashing, and of course, NiGHTS, Reala, Claris, and Elliot fans bashing me for bashing their idols :)

It promises to be fun, so sit back, fasten your seat belts, and keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times.

Here we go!



500 years in the past. . .

Reala! Come to me. . .

The deceptively calm, soothing voice in his head was all the command the creature needed.
Eyes the color of ice over the deepest waters opened, accented by a thin diamond over a white canvas, like a parody of a mime's face.
Rising from a rough edged, stone throne of red and black blocks, the same color as his own costume, he rose and stretched golden claws toward the ceiling in a gesture of undying loyalty, muscles rippling beautifully beneath snowy flesh.
"I come."
Reala need not have bothered answer, his master already knew through their close bond, and through his own arrogance, that none of his creations would ever refuse him.

Reala glanced down from his high perch. The ground was some twenty-five feet below him, and made of the same stone as his throne.
To fall would surely be fatal, and creatures such as Reala had no wings.
Reala smiled, an expressing marred by his twisted mouth. No, his kind had no wings. They had something much, much better.
And spreading his arms, Reala called his magic into existence.
It enveloped him in a golden field of shimmering sparkles, both stinging and soothing him as each golden star touched his pale skin.
With a flick of his floating, wristless hands, Reala felt the magic dissolve, only to course through him with increased power.

He hurled himself off the throne, thrilled by the fatal plunge that lasted only an instant before those golden stars erupted from his fingertips, holding him aloft without his ever even having to summon or control it.
Angling his arms and body, Reala glided toward the arched doorway to his lair, which shimmered into existence where before there had been only an eerie landscape of purple clouds, stars, and green torches. He landed in front of that exit. Like all of his kind, Reala possessed unusually large feet that were perfect for landings.
The startrail faded as soon as Reala's feet touched the ground, and he stepped into the hallway before rising into the air again and drifted swiftly away.

Up these stairs, around that corner. Reala flew with complete confidence through a castle so complex that M. C. Escher might have become dizzy thinking about it.
Like so many things in the dream world, Castle Nightmare was not real. Rather than being built of stone and joined together by mortar, the castle had been created from Wizeman's own energy and the energy gleaned from countless troubled souls.
The different "lairs" in which each Nightmaren dwelled, were actually separate dimensions, tethered to this nightmarish realm by Wizeman's will. The doorway through which Reala had left his lair was not a part of his realm at all. It was the portal between his domain and Wizeman's.
And speaking of doorways, Reala had arrived at Wizeman's mammoth, arched portal.

"Master Wizeman?"
Reala pressed a hand against the door, awaiting permission to enter.
Permission came in the form of the door swinging open at his touch, apparently unlocked. Wizeman liked to play such games with his creations.
Mind games, Reala decided with a well controlled pang of irritation at the idea.

Stepping into the room, the Nightmaren was quickly engulfed in blackness as the door swung shut.
His special, catlike blue eyes allowed him to see even with little to no light, and so Reala looked around in the hopes of seeing Wizeman nearby.

An enormous, stony hand flew out of nowhere to hover in front of Reala, inspecting him.
Well accustomed to this, Reala straightened, allowing the inspection.
After a moment, the eye in the center of that hand came to life, depicting a laughing, purple Nightmaren very much like Reala.
Reala blinked, surprised by the image. "NiGHTS?"

The rest of Wizeman gradually took shape as he spoke. "I have been gazing, Reala. I have seen that NiGHTS . . . is different."
Shock flooded through Reala. His partner, his twin, his counterpart . . . was Wizeman implying that his brother was a traitor at heart? Despite a firm belief in Wizeman's wisdom, Reala found it very difficult to believe.

Wizeman continued, withdrawing his hand.
"It is entirely possible . . . that he may betray me."
Reala barely had time to digest this revelation before a finger was thrust at him, surprising him.

Wizeman's tone was fierce.
"YOU will keep NiGHTS in line, Reala. I will NOT lose him!"

Reala blinked in shock, then straightened and bowed his head.
"Yes, my Master. . ."
As the doors opened, signaling his dismissal, Reala bowed and drifted backwards before departing, his head filled with thoughts of NiGHTS.

Some time later, Reala appeared on the plains below the castle.
This stretch of ground was rarely visible, as the castle and the ground beneath it hovered almost level to a higher stretch of land. With the castle bottom for a ceiling, and hills forming the walls, this was where the youngest Nightmaren came to train.
And it was the one place where Reala had not yet looked in his search for NiGHTS.

Reala had hardly arrived before a familiar voice rang out loudly.
"You call that flying?! That's dog paddling in the air! Get it right!!!"
A startled "Yes sir!" Answered as a younger Nightmaren tried to fly more smoothly.

Reala drifted closer to find his partner snapping viciously at the younger generation. NiGHTS seemed to enjoy being above them, both literally and figuratively.
"Shar, why is your tongue hanging out like that? Dogs pant, not Nightmaren! Are you a flying dog?!!"
NiGHTS glared as Shar, a dark purple and blue Nightmaren sucked his tongue in and tried to look like a better flyer.

Reala smirked. THIS was the dangerous NiGHTS who would betray them? If it had been anyone besides Wizeman who had made the prediction, he would have scoffed at the idea.

NiGHTS was in fine form tonight, Reala noted, watching his counterpart handle the trainees.
"Your lift comes from your hands, so keep them outspread and wide open at all times. Forget that your feet exist . . . Doren, what did I just tell you? Stop kicking and fly!"
NiGHTS turned again.
"Palis! Fly faster! Lumis, let your legs hang! Shar, keep your mouth shut! Reala, what are you doing on the ground? Ge . . . REALA?!!"
NiGHTS instantly went from vicious boot camp instructor, to enthusiastic younger brother upon spotting his red, black, and white sibling.

Reala smirked, not daring to laugh in front of the trainees.
"Hello, NiGHTS."

NiGHTS sing-songed the name, flinging himself at his counterpart with much enthusiasm.
Reala blinked and side stepped, watching in mild amusement as NiGHTS went hurtling past and crashed into the valley wall.

"You're a meanie, Reala. . . "
NiGHTS groaned from the ground, then leapt to his feet, kicking his feet back like a bull about to charge.
Reala sighed.
"As much as I enjoy our sparring, NiGHTS, I did not come to play."
He sidestepped again as the purple clad Nightmaren charged, skidding and turning for another pass.
The trainees had taken refuge at the edge of the valley, and shouts of "Ole!" and "Tauro!" could be heard.

Reala tried again.
"NiGHTS, I've come to talk. . ."
He leapt into the air to escape another pass.

NiGHTS skidded again, falling onto his side and probably earning quite a few scrapes.
"Ow . . . owowowowowow!!!"
He glared accusingly up at his brother. "No fair flying, Ree!"
Reala smirked and landed. "Maybe you will listen now."

NiGHTS blinked innocently. "You were saying something?"
Reala offered a hand and pulled NiGHTS onto his feet.
"I was. NiGHTS, you do know where I've just come from. . .?"

"Stick Canyon?" NiGHTS named the territory that Reala had been granted dominion over.
Reala sighed. "No, you fool. Get serious!"
NiGHTS pouted. "Yo, I am serious!"

Reala rolled his eyes. "You, NiGHTS, are about as serious as a monkey on helium."
NiGHTS stifled a giggle at the mental image, adding to Reala's annoyance.

Reala tried again. "NiGHTS, I was sent to find you. I. . . WILL YOU STOP LAUGHING?!!"
NiGHTS had doubled over, laughing shrilly. "M . . . monkey on helium! I love that!!!"
Reala grabbed NiGHTS by the shoulders and shook him roughly, inadvertently driving his claws into his brother's flesh.
"Look, you fool, I was sent by Wizeman to find you!"
The combination of pain, shaking, Reala's shouting, and Wizeman's name conspired to drive all the silliness out of NiGHTS. He went rigid.

Reala nodded, satisfied. "Yes. NOW can we talk?"
He blinked as he found himself empty handed, and no sign of NiGHTS or the trainees.
"Er. . ."

"Hey, Ree!"
NiGHTS waved from a ledge on the valley wall.
Reala turned to see.

NiGHTS grinned.
"What're you standing around for? Come on, we need to talk, you know!"
Reala resisted the urge to maim something, and flew to join his brother.
"I hate you."

NiGHTS laughed.
"Aw, Ree. You ALWAYS say that!!!"

To Be Continued. . .