The Butterfly Effect


"Hey, did you know that if a butterfly in North America flaps its wings, there's a tsunami in Japan?"

The only thing worse than Jack Spicer's incessantly random statements was Jack Spicer's incessantly whiny voice.

"I did not. And to be perfectly honest, I don't care. Thank you for filling my head with yet another useless fact." Chase Young didn't bother to open his eyes.

"No problem. So, I was thinking about it, and I realized that if one butterfly can cause a tsunami, then a whole bunch of butterflies could probably take out an entire continent!" Jack spun in Chase's direction, the mop he'd been washing the floor with spraying water everywhere. "So if I can catch all the butterflies in the world and make them all flap their wings at once, then I'd have the power to destroy the world!"

Chase was silent for a few moments too many.

", whaddya think?"

"I think," he said, standing up slowly, "that your exuberance is far too great for something so completely idiotic."

"Hey, it's not idiotic! It's a totally sound plan!"

"Really. And just how were you expecting to collect all the butterflies in the world?"

There was a pause, followed by Jack's nervous laughter.

"Oh, uh, I hadn't really gotten to that part yet. But, uh, I'm sure I'll come up with something totally effective. Butterflies like sweet things, right?"

Chase groaned and made his way to a different room - one away from Jack and his never-ending voice.


The next day, Chase Young woke up to find a blue-winged butterfly perched delicately on his nose.

After a single brief second of absolute panic, he realized what it was and flung a hand out to try and crush the creature where it stood, but it managed to flutter away before he could catch it. Draconic instincts made him roll out of bed and lunge after it, snapping wildly with his teeth; the initial grogginess generally associated with waking up in the morning prevented him from actually catching the fluid insect.

When he managed to regain his senses and get fully dressed, he made his way out into the main area of his elegantly decorated palace of a home, where Jack was asleep and drooling in a hammock strung up between two potted trees.

A handful of pale butterflies made their way across the room, their wings filtering faux sunlight and casting fleeting shadows.

Chase's left eyebrow lifted just the slightest bit as he went over to glare down at the Evil-wannabe so happily buried in the land of dreams.

"Jack?" he said firmly.

The boy did not wake up.

So he cut the headbound end of the hammock clean through.

"OW!" said Jack, after a suitably feminine scream. "What was that for - oh. Uh, hi, Chase." He pulled himself off the floor and rubbed sleepy eyes. "What's up?"

"Tell me, Jack Spicer," Chase began, his voice low and dangerous. "Why are there butterflies in my home?"

"Oh, those? Uh, well, y'see, that's a funny story..."

One of the muscles on Chase's forehead twitched, and he reached out to snag Jack by the collar and drag him in close.

"Oh, is it."

"Y-yeah! Uh, you remember what I was saying yesterday about the whole butterfly thing?"


"Well, uh, I kept thinking about it and then I got an idea about the whole catching them thing! I went around and found the Tongue of Saiping you had stuffed away and, um, I..."

Seeing the absolute fury growing on Chase's face, Jack made a quick 180, holding his hands up in front of him.

"I only used it here! And there's not many butterflies around here, so only the ones that were within a few miles came! That's all I did! I swear!"

"You miserable maggot!" snarled Chase, his skin stretching and splitting into green scales. "If I find more than one more butterfly in my home than there are already, and the gods forbid I find an entire swarm called by your incessant carelessness - "

A butterfly flew nearby, and with one claw-bound hand, Chase snatched it out of the air and crushed the life out of it.

" - you'll find yourself in a fate worse than this!" He thrust the crumpled pile of wings in Jack's face, then threw the redhead clear across the room into a fountain.

"...yeah, I'll...get to work on that," Jack bubbled as Chase stormed out of the room in a green fury.


Several hours later, Chase's meditation was brought to an unwanted halt by high-pitched, girlish screaming.

"Chase! You gotta help me! They're everywhere! Everywhere!"

"What is it now, Spicer?"

Jack threw himself to the ground next to Chase, clinging to his leg desperately.

"The butterflies! They found me! They wanna eat me!"

" brought more?"

"No! It wasn't my fault! The Tongue of Saiping must work a lot better than I thought, because they're coming in swarms! They're gonna eat me! You wouldn't let them eat me, would you?"

"The thought is becoming very appealing."

"Please, Chase! You gotta get rid of them! Otherwise they'll suck off my face! I'll do anything, anything!"

"You already do do anything." Chase gave Jack's head a sharp shove and stood up, free of any clinging parasites. "As it is...wait. Why didn't you just use the Tongue of Saiping to send them away?"

"That's a...really good idea. Why didn't I think of that?"

"Do it."

"Right, right!" Jack skittered off down the hallway, screaming as he encountered apparently angry swarms of butterflies. Chase followed him, although far more slowly, and came to a dead stop at the entryway to his main chamber.

They were everywhere.

Huge masses of brightly-colored butterflies flocked in every corner of his home, hanging in clusters from the stone arches. Those that weren't resting on something flew from place to place, obeying rules set up by the Tongue of Saiping. Shades of blue and red and orange and black and purple and rainbow-hue filled his home, causing him to have a momentary seizure via panic and claustrophobia.

He quickly got over it.

A single muscle in his forehead started throbbing painfully as a few butterflies decided his hair was as good a place as any to rest.

This was ridiculous.

With a massive roar and an explosion of flame, skin, and scales, Chase Young unleashed a fireball with only the desire to see torched insects in mind.

"Hey, Chase! I found it aga...oh."

Jack Spicer came to a halt just behind Chase, staring at the scorched room and gently falling ashes.

"Uh, I guess you don't need me to get rid of them any more?"

"Do it anyway," Chase snarled, eliciting a quick following of orders from the redhead. The remaining butterflies in Chase's home began to file out in colorful lines, not seeming to realize that they were flying through the remains of their deceased friends.

A single crimson-winged butterfly, larger than the others, paused momentarily on the returned-to-humanoid Chase's outstretched hand.

"Are you gonna kill that one, too?" asked Jack, stuffing the Tongue of Saiping in his coat.

"No," said Chase, grinning faintly. " I think I can handle having one or two red ones around. And put the Tongue of Saiping back where you found it, Spicer, or I will kill you."

"Right! Right. Sorry about that."

"I'm sure you are."