Bright, cheerful daylight streamed through windows, casting its light onto the large wooden table. On the table, scrolls and ancient books lay scattered about, making the ancient table creak from the weight.

Standing at the head of a table was a red-haired man, his thick mustache nearly bristling at the state of the scrolls. "Isaac expects me to clean all of this up?" the man muttered to himself, unable to quite believe that his friend really believed he could do this.

After all, even he knew how horrible his cleaning skills were…

He shook his head, determinedly rolling up his sleeves. Outside, a strange darkness began to fall across the land. The man didn't notice as he picked up the first scroll, as darkness swept into the very house itself-

But he did notice the sudden bloodlust that filled the air, and without pausing, he reached for his trusty battleaxe.

That's when the first monster attacked.

The light-brown haired man scratched the side of his face, the scraggly beard shedding a few flakes of dust onto the polished wooden floors below. "Hey Packer, I'm here to pick up a few more supplies-"

Children dashed by screaming, "Look! Look!"

Both adults ignored it to continue haggling prices, when Isaac staggered. Angry fear screamed through his body, and he turned towards the window, drawing his sword reflexively.

Valeans scrambled to get out of the way as he instantly tensed into a fighting position, every nerve on his body screaming that something wasn't right. Something…Something was wrong, so desperately and badly wrong it wasn't even funny. The earth itself was crying out against the darkness that was traveling across the land-

The darkness abruptly stopped just as it had come, only a small distance away- Isaac could see it being cut off as clearly as with a knife. "I-Isaac, what do you think you're doing-"

"Patcher. Tell everyone to stay away from the darkness. No matter what, don't go near that darkness. It's unnatural, and the earth itself is screaming out in horror against it." Isaac paused, his head turning towards his home. "I-I'm going to Carver's camp. There may be people trapped there-"

"Whoa, calm down Isaac. All of the people who were at Carvers camp are here right now- remember? They needed materials to repair the camp, and with the boss gone, they came here."

"That's right. Good they're safe- waitaminute- Garet!"

Isaac slowly turned towards Goma plateau-

It, and part of Mount Aleph was covered in that unnatural darkness. Isaac abandoned supplies to instead go straight for Goma plateau, ignoring any and all shouts to stop. His best friend was up there, facing that unnatural darkness alone-

Monsters, warped abominations of the ones he knew so much better reached out for him, and the expertly twirled the sword to send them all flying. One hand spread upwards, and lava spewed forth from the ground, sending others in his path scurrying.

Soft chittering caught his ears, and glowing eyes stared out of the darkness. A shiver ran down his back, nerves worn raw by the Earths rejection of these creatures.

He couldn't even reach out to feel if Garets life-energy was still pulsing brightly. The only thing he could feel was the darkness-

Isaac took a deep breath, gaining control of his emotions. It wouldn't help him if he was panicking. All he could do instead would be to find Garet, and get them both to safety-

He bounded over the ridge, running straight for the bridge. Monsters crowded along it, making it seemingly impossible to pass. "Flin-" He stopped, stunned by the sudden realization that he didn't have Flint. That's right, Flint had gone with his son-


The djinni didn't say anything, instead silently sailing on ahead to unleash its power, sticking all of the enemies against the ground, keeping them from moving. Isaac used the chance to set a few of the other Djinn on standby, and as Grounds effect wore off, he raised his hand. "JUDGMENT!"

The summon appeared on silent wings of fury, gladly answering his call, and felling many of the monsters in one swoop.

Isaac crossed the empty bridge, eyes on the house before him. The door was open- the door was open.

"GARET!" The loud bellow rammed into the house as Isaac burst through the door.

Garet, leaning heavily on his battle axe looked up from where fire encircled around him, keeping monsters at bay. His djinni were quite clearly limply lying about, recovering from the brutal assault that had just taken place. "Isaac-"

Isaac nearly slumped in relief at the fact that his friend was still alive. "-next time you don't want anyone touching your stuff, please say so instead of setting a monster attack to it!"

What. The. He-

"I know that you're picky about these sorts of things, but I was lucky that I still had potions left over form out own quest thirty years ago that hadn't gone bad!"

A monster was running up behind him. Isaac didn't even turn as he decapitated it. "What makes you think that I had anything to do with this?"

Garet sighed as he picked himself off the ground, axe swinging down to split a monster in half. "No sooner do I start trying to organize these scrolls then do monsters attack."

Isaac's eyebrows rose as the monster he had decapitated twitched. He stomped on it. "Unless you happen to notice Garet, it is darker outside."

He drifted closer as he talked, basking in the warmth from the fire, and watching as the light chased a few of the monsters away-

Light. Light was key. Of course. Garet probably would've been fine even if he wasn't here.

"It is?" Garet's surprised eyes turned to the outside, and the man shrugged slightly as djinni, now recovered, began to bounce around. "What do you know. I thought it was because I had lost track of time."

"As a matter of fact, you are starting on organizing these scrolls pretty late." Even as Isaac talked, he booted one of the smaller dark monsters out the door, and slammed it shut.

There was a sort of stunned silence outside as if the monsters couldn't quite believe what Isaac had just done, before one of them began to turn the knob.

Isaac locked it, and looked around. There were only a few of the smaller monsters left in the house, and so he nonchalantly ignored them to instead stalk up to the suddenly flustered redhead. "Well, there were a few things that needed to be organized first, you know…"

"Garet- were you just procrastinating?" Isaac questioned as he laid a hand atop of a wound. Healing psynergy flowed through his hands despite the amused words, and Garet pointed a finger at him to loudly proclaim his thoughts on the question.

"No more then you are with the Soarwing!"

"We're still missing the Roc feather! Besides, you always procrastinate on these sorts of things."

"That's because you always make me cook."

"Well, I would help you cook if you stopped turning green whenever you saw it!"

"Your food could get up and crawl away." Several of the bolder monsters lept at the two bickering men.


The two shouted psynergy attacks disintegrated the monsters faster then someone could say 'Tret'. The few remaining monsters cowered in a far away corner, shivering in fear as the two went right back to arguing as if nothing had happened.

"My food is healthy."

"Yeah, but tasteless." Garet felt inclined to point out. "There's a reason why you were never asked to cook."

"Just because you seem to think that you have culinary skills doesn't mean you do!"

"At least the kids are willing to eat my food."

"And there you go again, bringing in the kids!" Isaac threw up a hand, the other hand skewering a monster that dared to try to edge past him.

Garets arms crossed, axe dipping to slice a monster trying to sneak up on him in two. "Well, you know, with our luck rate, they're probably the ones who started this."

"Oh ye of little faith- they're out to get one dinky little feather. What could possibly go wrong?"

"I don't know- what went wrong when we were out on our mission? We were supposed to stop the lighthouses from being lit. Somehow we ended up with flooded Altin mines, Kracken's attacking out ship, a island with the most insane puzzles in the world, dragons- anything else?"

Isaac allowed Garets sarcasm to trundle on by to point out, "If they caused this, then they'll fix it. We'll just have to wait. Until then- help me organize these scrolls. Echo, destroy them."

The djinni attacked the huddled monsters, dispelling them. Garet cleared his throat. "Isaac, what about our supplies?"

"Hmmm? Oh, I left them at Packers place."

"See, now this is what I'm talking about! Not only are you blaming me for not doing my job, but you didn't even finish your own!"

"Oh for goodness sake you old nag! (I'm not old Isaac!) We'll retrieve it later. However, since this is obviously a bit more important-"

"I can take care of it you know. We need the supplies a little more then we need to organize dusty old scrolls-"

"Well I never, here I come back all of this way for you, and you're already sending me away again!"

The two's bickering was falling into a comfortable pattern, one that they had perfect over years.

Monsters, the sky being dark- ah, someone else would fix that. For now, they were simply content to be.

a/n: According to my calculations (i.e. a pencil and one of those little spinny things that make a circle), the eclipse should have reached Goma plateau and part of Mt. Aleph. So thus- what were Isaac and Garet doing during this time? Bickering like an old married couple. Please review :D