Alright, little intro here. First, I don't own this game. That'd be way too awesome. But also, I'd like to thank the retired writer of the Fanfic "Strong, Slient Type." Though the story's been taken down, it gave me an idea of a more serious Jack, which'll really play into this story. Anyways, Read and Review.
Opening his eyes slowly, Jack glanced around at his surroundings, trying to take in where he was. Examining the familiar surroundings, he noted that he was in his room, and in his drowsiness he yawned and closed his eyes again momentarily.
Wait…My room? I haven't slept here since the day before the knight trials… he thought, his brain taking a moment to process this information before he jumped up off his bed, the surprise waking him up. Standing up, he looked down at the same pajama's he'd worn that day, turned backwards somehow, noting how junk was splayed about the room just as he'd left it. "What the hell…" he murmured, eyes widening in realization as he recalled his most recent memory.
Out of breath, Jack stood facing the ethereal queen, Arbitrator resting against the ground, Jack's arms too tired to lift it without reason. His party was hurt just as badly, and he took a quick glance at Valkyrie, Gil and Romaria before turning his eyes back to the figure in front of him.
"What do you desire now that you've proven your strength?" she asked, eyes watching calmly before a smile hit her face, along with a small laugh. "Perhaps it is not my place…" she murmured, slowly fading away. "But I am sure…You will be able to…" As her voice cut off, and she faded completely away, a beam of white light hit Jack, lifting him up into the air, and his comrades called out to him, trying to think of a way to help in the panic of the situation. His eyes wide, he felt pure power flowing through him as a small symbol appeared in his right eye; a small blue triangle. Perhaps…you can change the outcome…a voice spoke to his mind before the light enveloped him, and all of his comrade's cries were silenced.
Jack winced and ran a hand through his hair, sweating now.
Back in time. Did she send me back in time? Can I help the world? Jack thought wildly, shaking slightly. I…I have to. I've got to. Plenty of people died who didn't need to. Suddenly, Jack lifted his head to the door to see his sister, Adele, standing with her hands on her hips.
"Jack Russell! Why aren't you up yet? Don't you know what today is?" Staring at him momentarily, her eyes suddenly softened. "Jack, what's wrong? You look bad; more than shaken…"
Jack looked back wide eyed at his sister, nearly crying, as the last he'd seen of her, she was still sporting cuts and bruises from Cross' torture. "I'm fine sis…and yeah, I know. It's the knight selection trials…right?" he muttered, standing up calmly. "Come on. Let's go practice a bit before I go," he said, throwing on the best smile he could and walking past her.
Adele stared after him in confusion. Why does Jack seem so different today? He seems so much more mature than yesterday, so much more sad…what could be bothering him? She thought before toughening herself up, to toughen him up. Mom…dad…help him.
Jack picked up a wooden sword by the door, weighing it slightly in his hand, determining which type of attack he would use. He knew every technique he'd learned before. He remembered his limit breaks. He even felt confident enough that he could apply a lot these techniques, even if his body wasn't the same as when he'd last used it. As Adele stepped outside as well, Jack got into a fighting stance and narrowed his eyes. "Sis…be ready. I'm not lacking in skill, you know."
Adele frowned. "This isn't like you Jack. You're arrogant, but you sound completely different. What's wrong? What happened?" she asked again, only to feel a rush of air fly at her ask Jack held the end of the wooden sword up to her throat.
"Sis…there's a lot to explain. I'll try the best I can. But for now…let's put on a good show. Everyone's coming to watch," Jack told her, his speech broken as he tried to find the right words. Backing away and laughing, he had managed to throw on a mask of his former self before their neighbors showed up, all wanting to watch Jack before he left.
Adele stood stunned, eyes wide. Good show? What the hell did he just do? Shaking slightly, she stopped herself and narrowed her eyes. It must've been a fluke, she told herself, attacking him with all she had. The fight progressed as if Jack's skill hadn't gotten any better. Though in truth, Jack was almost having trouble keeping this awkward, goofy fighting style. After half an hour, both of them set their swords down against the wall and walked inside. Looking back at Jack as soon as the door was closed, Adele's brow was furrowed.
"I want an explanation. What is going on with you today, Jack?" she asked loudly, looking angry and worried. Looking back calmly, Jack smiled.
"This is going to sound crazy…but I've already lived this day before, along with the next few months, in fact. And what happens…People die. Lots of people. Let me leave it at that for today, Sis. I promise I'll explain more another time," Jack said calmly. "For now, I have to pack…would you mind making some breakfast? I'm starved!" he added as he entered his room, not waiting for a reply.
Adele's mouth practically dropped, though she lifted it quickly again. She wanted to believe he was lying, and chide him for it. But the serious look in his eye gave no sign of a fib, and she could merely stare in amazement. As he took a lighter tone, she smiled weakly. "Hurry up, Jack. You don't want to be late…"
Jack went into his room and changed into an actual pair of clothes and looking around for things to pack. He paused when he saw his bag already packed, something he was sure he hadn't done, sitting in the corner, with a small note on it. Curiosity overtaking him, he pulled the note and opened it up.
Do not be surprised. Do not be afraid. You may be able to make even more of a difference, given the opportunity. Humans are creatures of unlimited potential. May you help save both human and non-human with your efforts. Aphelion must be stopped. Others may remember you, so be prepared for both joy and sorrow. The sands of fate are turning in an opposite direction already.
"Quasar…Where have I heard that name before?" he asked himself quietly, looking from the note to the bag and opening it to examine its contents. First a small smile broke his face, then a grin. "Whoever you are Quasar…You must want as much change as I do," he said, examining all of the items he'd collected, including a large quantity of berries. Herbs, cures for ailments of any kind, and also his prized feather earring, all were there. He spotted something shining and pulled at it, hearing the familiar springing sound of his training device. "I can be ready…without a problem."
Hefting the bag over his shoulder, he walked out into the main room. After a quick breakfast, Adele went into her room and came back holding The Arbitrator. Cairn's sword. His father's sword. His sword. Holding it out to him, Adele smiled. "Take it, Jack. You may not be able to use it, but someday you will be." Nodding, Jack took hold of the sword's handle. Suddenly, the gem in the handle grew bright with light, causing both Jack and Adele to gape.
"So…You remember too, huh?" Jack asked, smiling suddenly as he attached the sword to his bag. "I promise I'll explain everything sis. But now, I've got to go," he said, flicking at his Feather Earring and dashing out the door. Adele ran to the door to watch him go, surprised yet again. "Mom…Dad…what's going on?"