The Long Chron – Online Edition – Chapter Fifty-Three

“Well,” I answer, “we went back in time to stop The Wizard before he started and somehow ended up actually creating The Wizard ourselves.  Seems to me we can’t actually stop anything we’ve already seen.”

“Okay,” Griff replies, rubbing his temples, “headache-inducing conversation aside, what does that mean?”

“Not sure, but I’m thinking we have to stop things from getting worse, not actually stop them from ever happening.  For instance, I’m starting to fear that if we were to go back and try to stop him from being born, we would probably somehow play into his actual birth, and I definitely don’t want to end up being his mother.”

Griff grimaces deeply and tugs on his nose in aggravation.

“Okay, sorry,” I say, “I’ll make it easy. We just need to stop him sometime after the time we first saw him, and sometime before he actually causes too much trouble.”

“Okay,” Griff answers, straining to work everything out.  “So, if we went back to Avalon to right after he had tried to kill us?”

“Well, that’s the problem, isn’t it?” I ask.

“What do you mean?”

“We killed him, remember?”

“Right,” Griff thinks back.  “You’d think I’d have a better memory of killing someone.”

“Wait, you killed him?” Noll asks with a confused look on his face.  “Den how is it dat he’s done all dis other mess?”

“Yeah, Chelle,” Griff asks, “how could he still be causing trouble if we killed him back when he was still just completely insane and—“ Griff stops himself midsentence.  “He was a robot, wasn’t he?”

“That would explain a lot,” I answer.  “But that means we still don’t really have a lead on where to find him, right?”

“Except for one thing.”

“What’s that?” I ask.

“The sphere he’s got, that’s the one I stole from the monks, right?”

“Yeah, it should be,” I answer.  “Why?”

“Just thinking out loud.  We know he was found for the first time in Avalon just a year before that, you know, when it was still York.”

“Right, but that’s the version of him we took back to Noll and Tenney’s time, who ran off right when we got there.  At least that’s what I’m guessing.”

“Okay,” Griff answers.  “And we know about that from Geoffrey, who said The Wizard was around when they were building the cathedral.  So, that just leaves the question of where he got to next, right?”

“Maybe,” I answer.  “My head’s starting to hurt now.”

“Actually,” Noll offers, “if Da Wizard dat you killed was a robot, wouldn’t you be looking for Da Wizard after he gets dose robots created?”

“Damn,” Griff responds.  “That’s a good point.  And that could be any time, couldn’t it?”

“Pretty much,” I answer.

“So, we’re still back at the beginning.”

“Unless,” I begin, a devious grin emerging on my face

“Unless what?” Griff continues.

“Well, look, The Wizard obviously wanted something out of York, otherwise he wouldn’t have had a need to bring a robot and leave it there to lead.”

“Yeah, but what?”

“What do you think?” I smile.  “The one thing that gives him the power he needs to make all his prophecies come true.”

“The spheres!” Griff exclaims.  “That’s right.  That’s why he let us in to the cathedral in the first place, what he’s been looking for all along.  He had at least three of them when we were there, right?  So, that means they would have still been there after we knocked off Robo-Wiz, meaning the real Wiz would be looking to snag them, meaning all we need to do is get there and catch him in the act, right?”

“Right,” I cheer.

“Dare’s just one problem wif dat scenario,” Noll provides.  “He don’t have to go back in time to grabs ‘em.  He could just have his robotic-self leave dem somewheres t’ find in da future.”

“The oubliette!” Griff shouts.  “Remember when I talked to Geoffrey about how weird it was for a cathedral to have a dungeon and he talked about how The Wizard was involved in the design?  He designed the oubliette as a place for Robo-Wiz to dump the spheres until some point in the future. It makes perfect sense, since no one would think to look for a dungeon under a cathedral.”

“Okay,” I reply.  “There’s still just one more issue.  We have absolutely no clue when The Wizard is going to be picking them up.”

“I may have a fix for that,” Tenney answers.  “Mr. Engineer, take us to the, um—“

“Oubliette,” Griff assists.

“The oubliette in Avalon under the York Minster.  Keep us in, um, temporal flux.”

“Sure thing, sir.  Next stop, Avalon!”

Go to Chapter Fifty-Four

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