Quantum Leaping Filia

Chapter 3

The Threat to the World

Chaos. It was absolute chaos. The people of this sand village looked like frantic jawa's- - except instead of a sci - fi setting, or even a movie set, it was an actual desert. The sheer heat bearing down on him was proof enough of that.

Lina and the group were so far ahead of him- - they had been running at nearly an inhuman speed! He felt a sheen of sweat growing on his brow, and his breathing was becoming labored. Running in sand in the boots that he was wearing was not easy!

Half a mile a way from the group! How would he- -

He fell to his knees as the earth around him trembled angrily. An earthquake!

The ground exploded violently in a spray of sand right in front of the people he was supposed to be traveling with. It had been a good thing he hadn't been up there with them as he watched all of them get thrown from the explosion that rained dust even on Sam from way behind them.

A roar rent the air and he felt his heart freeze. Something had emerged out of the ground in that spray of sand! A worm of monstrous proportions! The only word he could come up with was, 'Monster!'. It then dove back into the sand. And in the midst of the sand a light appeared with a dark figure.

What the-!

A man had emerged as well and he was wielding- - a light saber!

No! It was something though that glowed like one. And when he swung it at Lina he swung it as if it could hurt- - where the blade of light had slashed the sand before it tore upwards.

Not even in his wildest nightmares had he ever imagined something like what he was seeing.

Gourry, Lina, and this new man were now at a face off. Sam stood and began running to them, (well, he tried to run) and watched in horror as Gourry pulled his sword out of his sheeth. A sword with no- - A blade of light suddenly appeared. Star Wars. He was stuck in Star Wars gone horribly wrong.

But Zel and Amelia were nowhere in sight! And the worm- - snake- - monster had resurfaced and it was impossibly huge.

"Would you like some help Miss Filia?" Xellos' cheerful voice asked from behind him. He spun around, keeping his footing this time.

"Xellos!" His name came out a breathless question. Sam really would have to remember to exercise more. Xellos quirked an eyebrow. Sam groaned. The lack of 'san'. Damn! "-San." he added belated.

"Why don't you just fly?" he asked curiously? "Or teleport even?"

"I- - uh- - it takes- - too much- energy." Sam said hesitantly.

"You must be very young, well if you need help?" he quirked his head at Sam in amusement. Sam wondered why.

"Yes, please." Sam said gratefully. And saw Xellos open his eyes. If Sam hadn't known any better, he would have said that the man looked dumbfounded. But he quickly closed his eyes and plastered a smile to his face, grabbed Sam around the waist with his arm and - - the world blinked out in a flash of black. The world around them looked distorted- - and strange- - and they were moving so fast!

Then Xellos stopped and he saw Zelgadis and Amelia, speaking to a strange- - creature. A mixture of lizard and large barbarian.

"Look I warned him, didn't I!" the creature said.

Zelgadis drew his sword and had it at the things neck in a flash, "What do you mean?" his voice was hard and cold.

"It was this thing! Pulling it out of the stone woke up that monster!"

"How interesting!" Xellos murmured. The world shifted and Sam felt his body free falling and he landed roughly onto the sand. Dust swirling before him. He could hear Amelia's voice on the other side of it.

"WHAT? What do you mean?"

"I see!" Xellos' voice was inside- - he must be where Zelgadis and Amelia were. He was on the outside of the sand storm! "So that sword was the key to keeping that demon sealed."

So that sword that that creature had been holding was what had kept the monster- - away and sealed? Sam dearly hoped that thing was on their side. But if Zelgadis' reaction to him had been any hint, he probably wasn't.

Amelia begged Xellos to help them, but it seemed to no avail. It seemed some 'beast master' would get angry at him if he helped for his own reasons. Or so Xellos claimed.

"Typically useless!" Snarled Zelgadis.

The ground shook again and sand went flying again as the monster dove back into the ground.

"We're getting out of here!"

That was the voice of the creat- - er, PERSON (who just happened to be teal colored and looked nothing like a human) who was holding the sword. It sounded like someone was running in HIS direction.

Two figures came out of the dust cloud, looking behind them in terror. They were running away!

"You will stop right now!" Sam used a tone of voice he very rarely used. It was the voice that could stop a small mob. And it did wonders. They tripped and pulled short. "You pulled that sword out you will either put it back or give it to us so we can! These peoples lives are in danger because of you! You will take responsibility or you will hand it over to someone who can! Would you want people you care about trying to escape that thing?"

Both of the people he was yelling at. Stared at him aghast. It was then Sam realized he was yelling at... A fox. And a lizard. Yes, on closer inspection the only similarities they had with humans were the fact they walked/ran on two legs and could speak.

"F-fine! H-here! But Lord Valgaav is gonna be happy!" he all but tossed the sword at Sam and he and the fox ran off. Sam heaved the sword into an upright position. The thing was as big as him!

"AMELIA! ZELGADIS!" he cried out to them and out of the dust they came, including Xellos who was staring at him in mild interest. Zelgadis and Amelia stopped short of Sam. "I have the sword," he heaved it to Zelgadis who took it without even a wince. Sam was beginning to envy the superhuman strength that seemed to be popular in this group. "Where does the sword need to go to get rid of that thing!"

"Uh- -" Amelia looked blank.

"Over there in that shrine, I believe." Xellos pointed off into the distance. All it looked like was a square doorway in a mountain face.

"All the way over there!" she squeaked.

Even Sam had to agree. Amongst the screaming little people, the monstrous sand creature... Getting from where they were to that doorway seemed dangerous.

"Amelia- how much do you weigh?" Zelgadis looked at the little girl who promptly hit him with a glowing fist. "I was asking you seriously!" the chimera defended.

Sam turned away from them and stared in horror at the poor people running and screaming in terror. He saw a child- - what he assumed was a child, that lost grip of what Sam also assumed was a caretaker or parent- - the ground shuddered and separated the two of them. The child screaming while the older figure was flung at least twenty feet only to land unmoving.

Sam didn't even think about it. He ran full throttle to the child. Jumping up and over the large sliding body beneath the sand- - stumbling over the shifting dirt beneath him- - the child was sinking into the churning sand trap and Sam grabbed onto the childs hand, stretching out to his furthest so as to not fall in himself- - grabbed... and strained, pulled, cursed- - and then slowly the body came free, and he backed up, heaved the child in his arms, and began running for anything that resembled reasonable safety.

The child clung to him desperately, crying and speaking in a language Sam had no hopes of ever understanding. A large cove of rocks looked untouched. He hid the child in the small area and then ran for the parent.

The obstacle course that was before him he hardly remembered traversing through. Only that he only concentrated from one test to the next- - running, dodging, tripping, rolling, helping the occasional 'jawa' up so they could continue running- - and finally! He was at the one who had been with the child. He pulled back the hood and was barely fazed to realize it was not human either. But a creature that crossed a lizard, a human, and a dwarf. Reaching for it's neck, he had a hard time finding a pulse but by placing his ear over it's mouth and nose determined that it was still breathing.

That decided he picked it (for he was unsure of whether it was a she or he) and went back from whence he had come. Back to the child. He was utterly spent by the time he reached the rocks and shoved the body in with the child, who held the grown up tightly in a hug. Deciding to not risk actual death, he stood guard at the entrance, and though he hadn't the slightest clue how to fight, all he knew was he would do what he could.

The sand snake reared upwards, it's impossibly long body exposed at several points above the sand- - and in midcry it froze- - heartbeats later it collapsed, into what Sam would have thought was akin to petrified stone.

It was over!

Deeming that the child would be alright he moved quickly towards where Zelgadis and Xellos were standing. Xellos was turned towards him, and had his eyes been open, he would have said, was staring at him. But no. Not possible. And then Xellos turned to his left.

"Where's Lina?"

"I- - I don't know!" Sam gasped. "Last I saw there was a man with a sword of light-" Both Zelgadis and Xellos stared at him. "But the light was coming from both ends! Gourry pulled out one too! They were fight-"

And then there was an explosion of light, so large it would have been seen from miles away.

"THIS WAY!" Zelgadis yelled and all began running, they weren't as far away as Sam had feared, right over the next dune, there was Lina kneeling on the ground, and before her the green haired man and Gourry were in a weapons lock. Had Sam doubted the theory of magic, he wouldn't now. Simply because there was no rational explanation for what he was seeing.

And then, as if something divine were being brought down from the heavens a light appeared from the very sky- - and blew the two of them apart. Well... more like blew Gourry about fifty feet while the other man only staggered three. And as the light cleared there stood a... man, twelve... maybe fifteen feet tall. With a build to match.

And the very... air around the man brought a chill to Sam's heart.

He heard a sharp hiss of breath and saw that Xellos wasn't taking the presence of the man very well at all. His eyes were open and his face was turned in what Sam would have thought was horror.

What was this person!

"Almayce!" the man gasped.

"Retreat." the mans voice was deep and resonating.

"What! I'm so close to finishing them off!" he yelled.

Sam opened his mouth in protest. That man was attacking them! For what reason!

"I said retreat."

"Oh no you don't!" Lina yelled. "We're not letting you get away that easily!" She and Zelgadis were running full tilt at the large man and a large spear of light appeared in her hands. "ELMEKIA FLAME!"

The 'flame' went right through the man. If that was magic, sam didn't feel comforted. It didn't look useful at all. Zelgadis' 'ra tilt' on the other hand was rather impressive. A large explosion of light went off around him, encompassing the impressive figure. But like Lina's spell, they stood unharmed.

"Their magic doesn't work!" Sam gaped, "Why isn't it working!"

"It's not that their magic doesn't work. It's meaningless trying to use magic on one of his kind." Xellos said, his voice dark with an unknown meaning. Sam turned in confusion.

"...His kind?" he repeated, his stomach churning.

Sam turned back to the two figures. The one who looked more human then most of the new people he'd been encountering (Save that odd horn on his head) was glaring at malice at Lina. What had Lina done to earn such hatred from this man?

"Mark my words, Lina Inverse, I will kill you."

Then the two phased away and disappeared.

Was that what it had looked like when Xellos had disappeared with him?

"Who are these guys?" Lina asked rhetorically.

"It looks like that another battle will be under way now, doesn't it?" Xellos asked cheerfully.

"Are they the ones the prophecy was talking about?" Sam asked, vaguely remembering Al mentioning it.

"It seems so." Xellos murmured. "It looks like your prophecy was right, Miss Filia. The threat of the world." he trailed off.

Damn. If only he'd continued that. Sam was beginning to wish he knew exactly what this 'prophecy' contained.

TBC

A/N: Nope not a finished story... Just trying to work out where to take this. I have to try and figure out, why Sam is there. Has to be a reason. Now I gotta figure one out.