Disclaimer: I don't own anything. I'm just playing in Naughty Dog's sand box.

Warnings: Spoilers up through Jak 3.

Note: A Matter of Different Paths is not a "typical" fic. It's a series of scenes set in the universe of A Matter of Time that didn't actually happen. For whatever reason, I didn't go down that path when I originally wrote the story - sometimes it just didn't take the story where I wanted it to go, sometimes it threw up too many continuity errors, sometimes I just didn't think of that possibility until after I'd already moved on. These ideas don't always disappear, though, and Different Paths is the result. Please note that chapters are not necessarily connected, nor is there any guarantee than any one scene will be continued.

Since this is set in the universe of A Matter of Time, I'd suggest reading that fic before you read any of the chapters here, otherwise you'll probably be a little lost.

Anyway, enough explaining. On to the first different path!

-A Matter of Family Ties-

Summary: When Sig was taking Jak to Damas, an attack reveals something he'd almost thought impossible.

Time frame: A Matter of Time, chapter three.


"Get down!" Sig roared. He didn't wait to see if Jak obeyed before letting loose with everything his Peacemaker had. The kid was smart, though, and threw himself out of the way of the electric blast of energy.

Unfortunately, the Metal Head wasn't stupid either, and it dodged the other way. With a screech, it whirled to face him, its attack on Jak forgotten in the face of this bigger threat. Sig smiled grimly as he charged another shot.

"That's right, cherry, keep your eyes on me, or I'll tear you a whole 'nother mouth to rip your lungs out from!" He might not be able to fire off another shot before the Metal Head reached him, but he sure as hell would be able to defend himself better than Jak at the moment. The blond teen was bleeding heavily from his wounds and he looked just this side of passing out. He was still on his feet, though, his hands clenched tight into fists. He was running off of nothing but guts and determination, but he still looked ready to fight.

Sig was really starting to like this kid.

Movement forced his attention back on the Metal Head, which was now barreling at him across the desert sand. Knowing he wouldn't have enough time to finish charging his shot, the Wastelander hefted his gun, aiming the butt right for the monster's gleaming gem. The Metal Head saw the attack coming, though, and jerked its body to the left. Claws and teeth bared bright in the desert sun, Jak's foot touched something that sparkled in the sand, and Sig-


Fire and air rushed out of nowhere, blinding and burning and screaming and-

Sig cursed as he threw his hand up to shield his eyes, but he wasn't the target of the attack. The Metal Head was the one shrieking as it burned to a blackened crisp. Within moments it was over, and the corpse toppled into the sand. Silence reigned.

Then, breathing hard from pain and exertion, Jak dropped to his knees and clutched his wounded ribs. The yellow light that danced around his body held for a few more moments before it quietly faded. Sig stared at him in shock.


That was yellow eco.

"You can channel," he breathed.

Jak looked up at him, blinking, then nodded once. He didn't seem to think that it was that big a deal. Well, compared to the more immediate problem of the injuries he'd just received, it probably wasn't, but even as Sig dropped down next to him to help bind his wounds, his mind was racing.

Channeling eco was a rare, rare talent - so rare that Sig could only name one other person who had it. More importantly, that talent was supposed to run in only one family, passed from father to son. Which meant...

But Jak couldn't be Damas' son. Could he? Had Damas had a bastard that he'd never mentioned before? Did Damas even know about Jak?

Sig's lips pressed into thin, tight line. There were too many questions and not enough answers. He needed to talk to Damas, and Damas needed to talk to Jak. Whatever all else he didn't know, that was one thing that was certain.

"C'mon, rookie. Let's get you to Spargus."