Chapter 11: Paradoxal Canon

Time has always been a mystery for the human race. It has always been this omnipotent rhythm that haunted the species since it’s inception. Humans have the ability to feel the passage of time, they are conscious on how this flow affect their lives, but what they are unable to accomplish is to control the effects it has on them. All humans are weak against the tremendous influence of time, even the ones who were granted access to its source. In some of the multiple timelines that Earth have gone through, nine individuals were able to reach the very source of time: The symphony. Their lives changed forever after this unique contact as it seemed that their aging was frozen. They lived more than any people who roamed this planet and were cursed by the knowledge of a terrible happening coming in an unknown time. They had complicated lives, some of them more than others.

Those extraordinary people called themselves the time watch. Each member was granted a number according to the order they joined the group. They were aware that the end of Time was close and that they needed to stop it. So they decided to take different paths. almost all of them went their own way, started their own new lives. Almost; two members decided to stick together instead of going apart. Those two were Number 6 and Number 7. They used various names, but the ones that stacked with them the most were Katara for Number 7 and Liviano for Number 6. The two of them were very close as they joined the organization at very close periods. They lived together freely for a few centuries, not really caring about the upcoming apocalypse. They knew that they would resolve that problem in due time and they had faith in the unpredictable nature of time as they truly believed that nothing was set for good and that time could be rewritten as a last resort. They traveled the world living many different lives across the globe, always together, and for them, every moment was as good as the first time they met. They never finished the first talk they started on that day, they never run out of thinks to tell each other. They were feeling pure happiness at every moment of their very long life.

But time always complicate everything, time is always there to make things fall apart. around the first years of the 17th century, the two partners got in touch with the others for a major reunion. The gathering had for goal to asset what was discovered during the huge amount of time that they spent on their own. Nothing really concluding was discussed that day, but things were never the same again. Liviano happened to stumble upon some strange things concerning Number 9. The last member was always kind of strange and never felt like being part of the group. He experimented with dangerous things in the past such as the void in an attempt to stop the crisis according to him. But what Liviano discovered was more disturbing, 9 was studying the silence, the very absence of time, as if he was up to something. Liviano went through 9’s notes and saw with horror what he was planning. 9 wanted to destroy the symphony making time collapse and bringing back the silence. He also discovered that to access the realm of the symphony again, he had to retrieve 6 specific hourglasses that were spread around the world in different timelines. Liviano couldn’t talk with the others about his discovery as he was aware that 9 was way more powerful than all of them united, and that risking him to discover that his plan were brought to light would only lead to a bloodshed. Liviano though about Katara, he felt fear for the first time in his long life. He couldn’t afford to lose her, and he couldn’t afford to risk her life. He understood that he had to do something he wouldn’t be proud of, something that would damage his relationship with his beloved forever; he had to fade away and retrieve the hourglasses before 9, and he had to do it alone. Liviano couldn’t say good bye to Katara, he waited until she was asleep to sit by her bed side. He gently stroke her hair, and sat there in silence admiring how peaceful she seemed to be while sleeping. He was glad that she was speared the knowledge he recently acquired.  He was ready to make things right before she even notice, and that night, putting a last kiss on her forehead, he left never to be seen again.

Katara was teared apart by the loss of her life long partner, of her closest friend. She drove apart, roaming aimlessly for years. But never once did the memory of Liviano left her. She searched for him for so long that she wasn’t sure he ever existed for a moment, thinking that he was the product of her imagination. She became more and more knowledgeable about time, and developed many skills that eventually led her to temps the last resort. She knew that Liviano was alive somewhere. But maybe the probleme wasn’t the where, but the when. Losing all patience, Katara started a very long journey through the many possible timelines and the many possible time periods. for thousands of years, she visited countless versions of Earth in countless places and periods, but never found anything. Until that one time.

Katara found herself in one of the timelines during what was there the 21st century. And for once, she found something. It was only a rumor, but people were spreading an urban legend there in The Neo Empire of Japan.  They called him Hakurai, which is Japanese for white thunder. The legend said that this Hakurai was a white haired man that was haunting Neo Tokyo for centuries, he was said to have many powers and wielding a silver sword. The legend also says that when he wasn’t fighting against the order of the last hour, he was haunting the Silver tower, which was a monument in the center of Tokyo dating from the 15th century. Katara felt that this man they were talking about might be Liviano, so she went to the tower at night, investigating it. That night, Katara met the Hakurai, and her world fell apart. The man that appeared in the tower was exactly similar to Liviano, but for a reason, as soon as she saw him, she knew that it wasn’t him.

“You are not the person I seek, I am sorry if I wasted your time.” She said when he clearly showed that he wasn’t Liviano.

She was about to leave when the Hakurai finally spoke. Even his voice was uncannily similar to Liviano’s.

“I can understand that I am not this Liviano you were looking for, but I can’t stop this feeling that we were maid to meet at this very moment. I might not be him, but I can clearly see that you are the same as I am, you have been to the symphony as well and in a way, we are all linked, just coming from different versions of the same world.”

She stopped as he was saying those worlds and turned around. She looked straight into his eyes for a moment trying to understand why she felt that what this man said was completely true. She briefly saw Liviano in him, but not the one she knew, it was as if he was a different version of the same person. How could it be?

” I am sorry, I have to go… I need to find him.”

“He seems to mean a lot to you. And you seemed to have searched for him for so long. You two were lucky to have each other, I never had anyone like that. I lived more than most people ever lived on this planet and I still never met someone for whom I’d do anything.”

Katara turned toward the exit, tears started flowing on her face as she was waking away.

” You are not obliged to leave… You know, you have searched long enough, and maybe you should start to live again.”

” How could I live without him? What am I supposed to do? Completely erase him from my memories?”

“You couldn’t, he will always be a part of your history, and he will always be around in your mind, but having to spend eternity searching doesn’t seem to be the best thing you can do with your life.”

“What should I do then?”

“Live! and do what you were meant to do. create the opportunity for others to live as well. Time is heading toward its end, and we are too few who can actually do something to remain inactive.”

“I see that the same problems are present everywhere. So what is this then an invitation?”

“Yes. I would like you to help us… to help me.”

“I can’t stay here forever you know…”

“I know, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make the best of every second you are around. Time is a blessing Katara, especially the time shared with people who can make a difference. Let’s live this time you are around as best as we can, and even though the end will come, every moment before it would be the best one ever.”

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