Phantom Shadows
A KaitouKid/Shadow of Destiny Crossover
Deborah J. Brown.

Kaitou Kid is Copyright Aoyama Gosho. Shadow of Destiny and all concepts relating to it is Copyright Konami.

Once upon a time there was an alchemist. He had a wife. A daughter. A son. He had a life as content as a life could be. Respected by his neighbors and loved by his family. Not a perfect life, by any means, but a happy one.

He also had an obsession.

A red stone. Clear as glass and red as blood. A stone that contained the power to change the world.

Sadly, his obsession drove him to ignore his family. To ignore his dying wife and his lonely children. Even after his wife died, he continued to search, never noticing that his daughter was growing more distant and his son more rebellious, more filled with hate.

When a stranger brought him the red stone, therefore, he didn't hesitate to use it to create a new life. Except the stone he used contained a life that was very old indeed. Not that that life had existed in any time previous to the day his wife had died. No, if it had, quite a few things could have been resolved more easily. Rather that life had been previously created many decades later, by his own son, and commanded to restore the shattered family. Its age was the age of one who had cycled eternally through time, through the same set of years, over and over again. Learning from those cycles but never free of them.. Learning anger. Learning hate. Learning fear.

It had been given an impossible task. The lifeform could not reach out of the time periods where it existed, without the help of a human to carry its dormant form there. Yet when it was brought backwards in time to save the alchemist's wife, the son did not create it in his later years - for he had no reason to do so. Thus a paradox was created, and time not only does not like paradox, it positively hates it, wiping it out of existence with brutal efficiency.

Over and over the lifeform and the stone were used in ways that created paradox after paradox. The cycle expanded, grew to include a man - seemingly from the 20th century - who, after many different iterations of the same tangled and ruinous paths of death and re-creation, found the only solution to the puzzle. Rather than permit the stone to be used to heal the dying mother, it was used to restore the lifeform, who - in return - used its own power to save the alchemist's wife.

Thus a new, stable pattern was formed. In the future, the alchemist's son would create the gem from which the lifeform would be born. Would place that gem in hiding, until the man who had solved the tangle could take it back in time. And to keep that pattern safe, the lifeform remained in watch, guarding the stone with its spells and creating the man whose wisdom would save them all from paradox. Once that man had been the alchemist himself, but now, through spells and much the same alchemy as had created the lifeform, he was a created being, given the memories needed to understand and solve matters.

For a time, it seemed all was safe. For a time it appeared the plan would work without any further interference.

But the change in the past resulted in an unexpected ripple. A child who had not existed before. It was a change that could break the chain. Because that child was born the gem was stolen.

To Be Continued...

NOTE: See my story "Out of the Shadows" for an explanation of the above.