Post-Defiance Fan Fiction: Tragedy of Errors
Summary: Two practiced Craft-users, and one nearly rabid LoK fan find themselves accidentally teleported into the world of Nosgoth as the twilight of the rule of the original Saraphan, and embark on a quest to find out just what the hell went wrong!
Disclaimer: The Legacy of Kain games belong to Eidos, not to me, much though I may wish it. The OOC involved in this fiction belong to me however, Milo, Jackie, Becca, and the few secondary others. My retribution will be swift and horrifying.
Author's Comments: This is an SI, kind of. One of the reasons I wrote it was because I'd read other fanfics where people 'magically' and spontaneously appeared in the Nosgoth universe with no idea how they got there. These characters do, and they have to figure out how to fix it. The three main characters survive for very good reasons. The character that most greatly resembles me is Jackie, although I hope I never become nearly that arrogant. My family would probably kill me first. In general though, all three members of the trio possess a bit of my personality, so nobody insult them too badly… please?
Chapter 1: The Delicate Art of Teleportation
"I can't believe you're doing this again Milo," the young woman said, shaking her head hopelessly. "How many times are you going to screw up before you get it through that thick skull of yours that you suck the big one at teleportation spells?"
"Shut up Jackie," the sixteen-year-old snapped at his older sister. "You're not making this any easier." He feverishly adjusted the spell circle inscribed into the floor, running his fingers up and down the pages of the moth-eaten tome as he struggled to make the correct alterations with the small piece of pink chalk in his hand.
"Not making it any easier?" she scoffed angrily, stepping into the cavernous stone room. The walls were featureless slabs of two-foot thick cement, lined with shelves full of books and spell components. "You wouldn't get anywhere if it weren't for me. Mum and Dad will have my head if I let you do this without any guidance. You're making me miss my martial arts class I'll have you know!"
"Then go," Milo retorted with equal venom. "I don't need your help. The Hema family's special prodigy doesn't need to hold my hand through every piece of spell-work I've ever done and will ever do." He watched in grim satisfaction from the corner of his eye as his sister's shoulders stiffened in barely suppressed rage. Usually when he called her that she ended up hitting him, and she was not the type of person to do anything by halves.
"I'm not the one who teleported myself to Japan last month and had to get my parents to wire me money for a plane ticket home because I accidentally left the spell-book behind," she spat out vindictively. Her dark brown eyes narrowed hostilely and the look she gave him would have set a stack of newspapers on fire given the right amount of concentration. "I'm already in a sufficient amount of trouble for letting you practice without me last week. The neighbours were suspicious enough before you turned every living thing in their back yard glowing neon orange, including the damn Chihuahua! It took dad four hours and some bull-shit story about an exploded can of spray-paint to convince them not to call the cops on us. At the rate you're going, we may have to move again by the end of the year. I'm eighteen and I've already lost three years to having to repeat the term over again because we were forced to move in the middle of a semester. At this rate, I won't graduate high-school until I'm twenty-five! You know what, screw this and screw you! I'm going to my class. Have fun blowing yourself up." She reached into her worn duffle-bag and pulled out a hair-elastic, viciously drawing her curly hair up into a severe ponytail as she stamped upstairs towards the door.
Milo listened in satisfaction as she slammed the door furiously behind her. He was just about to get back to work when he was startled by the sound of the door being thrown back open and crashing shut again. The heavy footfalls pounded their way to his sister's room, and then back towards the front door, pausing at the entrance to the basement where he was working. He was surprised when Jackie reappeared in the archway.
"By the way," she said haughtily, "You're doing that wrong."
Milo burst into raucous laughter. "You really can't help yourself can you?"
Jackie scowled at him. "Fine. I hope you enjoy your trip to Siberia. Dress warmly. I hear it's pretty nippy this time of year." When Milo continued to laugh she added. "I'm not kidding. That mistake is going to end you up somewhere in Russia, maybe even Northern China."
Milo finally stopped laughing. "What do you mean? Which mistake?" He looked at his spell circle, for the first time apprehensive.
"Oh no," Jackie smiled cynically, "You don't want my help, remember? You'd rather just mouth off. I'm going to be late if I don't leave now. Don't worry; I'll be there to laugh at your dumb ass when your flight gets in. Be sure to bring a Russian phrasebook with you. I'm going to enjoy the next few days without these damn annoying distractions."
"Wait," Milo called up as she began to ascend the stairs again. "What's the mistake?"
"I'll tell you when I get home," she answered smugly. "I have to get to class. A friend of mine lent me her game and I promised I'd return it today. She's addicted to it, and she'll go into severe fantasy withdrawal if I don't. I've forgotten it twice already, and I almost forgot to bring it again." She demonstrated by waving the plastic case of a PS2 game at him.
"You have normal friends?" Milo snorted in disbelief. He flourished a practiced hand in the air and said a word of power. The game slipped from Jackie's startled fingers and flew telekinetically into his waiting palm. "I didn't think you associated with anyone outside the Community."
"High-school is kind of awkward if you don't talk to anybody Milo," Jackie responded severely, "And I'm just as anti-social with Craft-users too, as you so love to point out. I guess it comes from being a 'prodigy'. Now give that back."
"Oh, get off your soapbox." He studied the Playstation game in his hand critically. "'Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2'. Did you actually play this?"
"Of course I did! What's the point in owning the machine if I never use it? I even played a few of the games that came before it too. Jessica was always going on about it. I figured I better find out what the heck she was talking about all the time. She was right. The plot is insanely complicated, but I already had a pretty good idea what was going on because of her long-winded lectures. I mean, I'm not crazy-obsessed about it the way she is, but I liked it enough to look into getting my own copy. She's going to lend me the next game tonight, and I'm rather anxious to get to the conclusion. So if you'll give that back, I'll be off on my merry way now." Jackie reached forward to take the game from him, but Milo quickly jumped out of arm's reach.
"Oh no, you don't!" he said, holding up the piece of chalk. "You're already late for your class by now. Now show me what I did wrong. I'm not giving the game back until you do."
His older sister looked at him evenly and cracked her knuckles. "You're sure about that?"
"Dad will blow his top if we get in a fight and trash the house again." Milo informed her warningly.
"True…." Jackie seemed to consider the matter. Milo tried to look confident. He was under no illusions as to who would win in a fight amongst the two of them. Between being a magical genius and taking martial arts lessons, she outclassed him in both areas of combat, and he was only a skinny sixteen year-old boy who hadn't grown into his long, lanky frame yet. He could still wreak a vast amount of destruction on the house before it was over though.
Jackie finally heaved a titanic sigh and snatched the chalk from him. "All right. You win. But I'm doing this under protest." She stepped forward and studied the circle by her feet. "Milo, which way is north?"
He checked the tiny electronic compass built into his watch. "I have the circle aligned properly. What are you talking about?"
"No you don't," she pointed to a different wall. "That's north." Then she noticed his puzzled glances at his watch and quickly smothered a giggle. "Damn, I'd almost forgotten about that."
"Forgotten about what?" Milo was beginning to loose his temper.
"Remember a couple winters back when we did that scavenger hunt in the snow with the younger cousins for Christmas? You took the boys and I took the girls," she explained with a mischievous grin. Milo nodded. "Well I hexed your watch so you'd get lost. It worked out pretty well too. You guys were wandering in the back woods behind Grandma's house for almost half an hour after we'd already finished."
"You-" Milo glared at his sister furiously, but she cut him off.
"I would have gotten caught too, except you just couldn't help using your pendant for help with the searching. The adults figured all the magic was coming from you and I got off free. Thought I didn't know didn't you?" She snickered evilly.
Milo spluttered futilely. She was right of course, just as she always was. He hated her more than ever for it.
"Oh quit angsting." Jackie rolled her eyes when she saw his expression. "I'll fix it now." She unclasped the watch from his wrist, and impatiently pressed her thumb against the back of it, muttering a string of words unintelligibly under her breath. "There. It's working. Now correct the circle."
Glowering at his sister balefully, Milo readjusted the circle according to its new reading by simply passing his hand over it. The chalk symbols lifted off of the slab of stone upon which they were sketched and rotated to fit the corrected alignment. He watched stiffly as Jackie peered at it intently, tilting her head left and right.
"I give up," she finally said, "Where were planning on going?"
"Aunt Mary's." he shrugged. "Where else? It's the only place nearby where people won't freak out if I pop up unexpectedly, and I can walk home from if I can't figure out how to get back. I think Dad's tired of buying me plane tickets to be honest," he added wryly.
"But that's only three blocks away."
But Jackie ignored his comment. He realized that she'd been thinking out loud. She had a nasty habit of doing that.
"Well," she said at long last, "What I think you did qualifies as a typo, rather than a mistake per se. You put these five symbols in the wrong place." She pointed them out and they ghosted to their appropriate positions, each one appearing in a position to the left of its original place. "Although I would recommend doing this," she indicated and held out the chalk. Her hand fisted and ground the chalk into fine pink dust, which drifted the floor and formed a small pattern of glyphs encircling the outer ring of Milo's calculations.
"What's that for?" He asked, flipping through the open book on a nearby desk. "I don't see anything like that mentioned in here."
"It's a stabilizing equation," Jackie instructed him patiently. "It can be used for practically any spell, but I especially like to use them for trans-dimensional work like teleportation. If you mess up, it keeps you in one piece. I never risk not using one. After Dad accidentally teleported into the pond outside Grandma's house I finally convinced him to start using it too."
"Dad really did that?" Milo allowed his mouth to quirk into a smile despite his sister's bossy attitude.
"Nobody's perfect." Jackie shrugged. "Not even prodigies. Now can I have my game and go now?" She opened her hand expectantly.
"No way," Milo shook his head. "You're coming with me. I want to make sure I don't end up in Siberia."
"What do you take me for?" Jackie gave him an aggravated sigh.
"My evil-genius of a sister," Milo responded smoothly. "Now get in the circle with me. It's just as far a walk from Aunt Mary's as it is from here."
Jackie quickly realized that no amount of fighting or cajoling was going to sway her brother's opinion, so it was with ill-grace that she finally tramped into the center of the circle, though she was careful to avoid the markings. "Satisfied?" she snapped.
"Very," her brother answered. It was his turn to be smug. He picked up the small bowl of water, the vial of specially-formulated oil and the spell-book, placing them in the exact middle of his spell-work. "Ready?" he asked Jackie. He allowed a few droplets of the oil to drip onto the surface of the water. It floated there in a multihued spiral of rippling colour.
"That's weird," she said after a few moments consideration. "The water isn't even. Either the floor isn't level, or the bowl isn't. In either case, we aren't going anywhere until it is." She made as if to step out of the circle.
"You aren't going anywhere," Milo said, catching his sister by the pant-leg and pulling her back. "You're not getting out of this that easily."
"I'm serious about the water Milo. The surface needs to be even. Otherwise the energy flow will be off balance. I never lie when it comes to spell-work. It's just too dangerous."
"I know that," Milo responded. "Just hold on a second. I'm fixing it." He pried open the case of the PS2 game and popped out the disc. Putting the empty case in his toughened jean-jacket pocket, he slid the disc between the ceramic bowl and the cement floor.
"Milo!" Jackie protested. "That isn't mine!"
"Don't worry about it," Milo said, standing up and dusting off his knees. "I only got a few drops of water on it. It'll be fine."
"You idiot," Jackie tried to bend down to remove the disc, but her brother blocked her attempts. She was still careful not to touch the chalked-in symbols. "This is a spell! You just can't improvise when you're dealing with volatile things like magic and the fabric of the universe!"
"You're way too high-strung about this stuff you know that?" Milo admonished her airily. He lifted his hands in the air and from his mouth spilled forth a string of words of power. The glyphs flickered to glowing life. The chant took only a short time to complete, and when he was finished he looked around him. "Well, the glyphs are charged, but nothing seems to be happening."
"I don't know," Jackie said apprehensively. "I've got a really bad feeling about this."
"I'm sure you do," Milo replied bad-temperedly. "You stay here and figure out what went wrong, and I'll go upstairs and try to dig out a few more books." He moved to step out of the circle.
"No," Jackie called, but Milo ignored her. She just barely managed to catch his sleeve in time as his hand passed outside the perimeter of the stabilizing equation she'd set down.
Milo howled as the skin on the surface of his hand was instantly burned. "What the hell!" Jackie pulled him back by his arm into the middle of the circle.
would have happened to your entire body if I hadn't set the
told him gently. Her voice was quiet and had lost the arrogance with which she typically spoke. "Actually, it would have happened to both of us. Why don't you ever listen to me?"
"What the hell just happened?" he asked her helplessly, cradling his hand to his chest. The pain was excruciating.
"The spell is still in progress," Jackie said, watching the glyphs carefully. "It's just charging before it takes effect."
"That's never happened before."
"What's going to happen now?" He looked to his elder sister helplessly.
"I have no idea."
His entire life he'd waited to hear those words. Now he wished to god he hadn't.
Wrapping her arms around him protectively in a way she hadn't for years, Jackie tightened her grip around his shoulders and said, "Brace for it."
"Brace for what?" he asked.
The answer was interrupted by a blinding flash of white light and the sense of displacement caused by the teleportation spell seized them both in its steely grip. In an instant they were gone, and the square cement room was empty, save for the lingering scent of burned flesh.
(I'll be writing this one a little slower than my other one, so it may take a week or two to get the next chapter up. I humbly request your patience. No killee the Sa-chan!)