The Warrior


The Warrior

by Agent M

Chapter One: My Rose Has Wilted

The weeping mouse held another, dying, in his arms.

He whispered, “Rose…Rose…Oh, how I love you.”

She could only barely look up at him, the mist gathering in her eyes.

“Rose, I must tell you something.” She smiled, but winced.

“I know what you will say. It is…obvious.”

“No, Rose, this is something different…much different.” He sighed and closed his eyes, letting the tears run down his face.

“But maybe it is better this way. That way…that way…”

“That way what?” the dying one whispered.

“Rose, I am from a very far away land.”

“The north? I-I, I guessed.”

“No, farther.” He pointed up at the stars, fading into the darkening horizon.

“There. See that one? The white-ish, small one?”

“You lived on a star? No…You…You…No…”

“I didn’t live there; I lived near. A small planet orbiting it. I…I come…” he sighed heavily.

“Martin, I’m dying. If you want me to know, tell me. I can’t go off and tell anyone else.”

He chuckled nervously.

“I know…I came from the distant future. I was born on a far away planet, thousands of years in the future. I’m…huh, I’m not what you would call your ‘Native Woodlander’. I created a…thing…that allows me…to, travel through time and to other worlds-”

“Sort…sort of…a…ship…of…time?”

“Yes…and…I can travel to other lands in the distant past…I was trying to save the future…because…without me killing Badrang, Noonvale would be discovered, and then Badrang would go off to Mossflower Woods…I…I…I know that this moment…must be.”

Her eyelids flickered; death was nearing.

“I understand, Martin. Mossflower…what…what…a…pretty…name…I…I…just want you…to…to…know…that…that…” she closed her eyes and died. Martin held her close, tears streaming down his face.

“I’m so sorry Rose, so sorry. My Rose, My Rose has wilted.” He stepped away, looking back upon that face, that beautiful face, for one more time. “Why, why?! Why can’t we be together?! I love her, and she loves me!” he screamed up at the sky. “Why does it have to be like this?! Why can’t well all live?! The three of us! It’s not fair!” He screamed out in anguish, his chest heaving and shaking, his breaths fast and sharp and uncontrollable. He burned her laughter, her singing, the sound of her breathing, deep into his memory. “I’ll never forget,” he whispered. “Never.” He scrubbed his eyes, breathed deeply, then strode out of Marshank, callously looking over the corpses of vermin. “They never change,” he shook his head in anger. “From 403 to 2504, they just don’t.” He avoided the party of celebrating woodlanders, instead steering towards the sea. He grabbed his sword, the one thing that was more important than anything, even himself, but he would have sacrificed it and him for Rose. He grabbed the cold, red stoned pommel, and jabbed the middle. He disappeared.

~*~
“They’ll make up their own folklore. No one saw. They couldn’t have, father.”

“Martin, you can’t go messing about with time! You’ll end up killing yourself and the history of the whole Woodlandian Race!”

“Father…I just…have…I don’t want them to die. It’s a conscious thing.”

“I know why. You needn’t explain.” A woman walked into the room.

“Luke? Wait…Martin! You’re back!”

Martin looked up. “Yes, mother. I’m back.” His father shook his head.

“Sanya, what has gotten into your boy?”

“My boy?! He’s yours, too!” They continued to bicker, and the adolescent mouse stood up.

“I have concealed myself; I mean, I’m wearing this stupid tunic. How do they stand it?! And I have concealed the Time Ruby in the sword I forged; its indestructable, ’cause I used some of the scrap metal they mined here for the Food Storage Center.”

“But what if it got into one of the Rebel Vermin’s paw?! Would you like the blood of all the centuries’ woodlanders on your paws?! NO!” his father screamed, kicking over a chair. “I henceforth ban you from time travel. You abuse your power.”

“It’s a free planet! I do as I wish!” He yelled back.

“Not while you live in my household, young man!” Martin gripped the pommel and jammed it. He vanished. His father cursed and stomped out of the room.

Chapter Two: Between My Love and My Future

Author’s Note: This is taking place after Martin has come to Mossflower, been arrested, and is thrown in jail with Gonff.

Gonff and Martin were sitting in a prison cell, deep below Tsarmina. The other prisoners were screaming and moaning, while Gingivere wept off towards the side. Gonff finishes his life story.

“…and now I’m here. So, what about you?” Gonff said, lying back to look out the small window, letting in wisps of light, showing the invisible motes of misery and despair.

“It’s…complicated…I can’t really explain…” He sighed. “I came from…a far away place.”

“Noonevale?”

“W-what? How do you know about Noonevale?”

“Well, when it fell…12 seasons ago…we had lots of refugees. So that’s where your from?”

“Sure…” Martin lied; he couldn’t risk the truth. The couldn’t handle the truth; the future shock would probably be too much. No one could know the truth, save himself and his wilted Rose.
“I know when people are lying.”
“I’m not a good liar to begin with.”
“I can tell. So, are you going to tell me what really happened?”
“Well…”
“I’m waiting.”
“Fine.” Thus, Martin began relating his tale. Something about that face…it seemed, somehow, not only trustworthy, but also familiar. He couldn’t put a paw on what exactly it was, but he knew it was there.
It was almost two hours when he finally finished, wiping his brow from the hot stench of hopelessness the dungeon brought. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply, staring into Rose’s face in his mind’s eye.
“Why can’t you just go back?” asked Gonff, breaking the awkward silence.
“I couldn’t bring her with me…I,” he sighed deeply. “I saved her the first time around.”
“The first time around? What?” Gonff looked so confused, he chuckled nervously. “You’re, saying that you can, ha, travel back and, ha, undo something? I don’t believe in this ‘time travel’ stuff, and that is even more outrageous!” Martin looked Gonff dead in the eye, and Gonff quieted.
“I saved her the first time. We even got married; we had a daughter, we named her Maria. But, because I wasn’t here, Tsarmina killed all the woodlanders, then went out and found Noonevale. She slaughtered tens of thousands of innocent people, including you and Columbine-”
“How do you know about Columbine?! I haven’t mentioned her!” snapped Gonff. Martin sighed.
“I really shouldn’t be telling you this, but I am related, very very very distantly to you. Its a long story and I don’t want to mess up timelines or anything…” Gonff only blinked, distantly looking away, then focusing back in on Martin.

“My entire family was going to have never existed, along with the whole of the future being destroyed! Woodlanders would have been in slavery forever; I had to choose between my love and my future, and not just my future, but the future of the entire Animal Race! Can you imagine…?”

Martin looked away and scrubbed at one of his eyes. Something deep inside his was nibbling at his heart, telling him he is messing up the future, messing with time and people’s lives. He should have listened to his father. Or should he have? Stayed at home, watching the news, paying rent, going to some stupid job where he really wasn’t working; just sitting behind a desk being the face of it all where the real, automated heart inside did all the work. He hated that life. He thought about the stories from school: the story of the mouse named Martin, for which he got his namesake, saving the lives of many-an innocent woodlander, time and time again appearing in the time of need. He laid his head against the stone wall of the dungeon, pondering his life and the way he had changed it from the way it was ‘supposed’ to be; blazing a new trail instead of following the pre-made, packaged one that society was expecting him to follow. He hated it all; the technology, the robotics, the dependency. He hated every last quark of her old life. This one was much better.

Chapter Three: The Life I Want to Believe

Author’s Note: This is after Martin and Gonff and company have just listened to the story of Martin’s life, after he paid his ‘respects’ to Luke.
Martin walked away from the small cove, his eyes looking sort of watered. Gonff walked up to him, pulling him aside from the rest of the group. They walked along slowly, talking.
“Did they believe that?” asked Martin.
“I believe so; how did you do it?”
“It is the real story of a mouse named Luke and his wife Sanya; except, its not my Luke and Sanya. Everyone believed that Luke and Sanya’s son was some mouse named Martin, who I haven’t seen yet. The truth of it being that their son was you.”
“Me?! But…my father was a merchant a-and…” he sighed. “I presume that was some story made up by the old hermit who found me, to keep me from asking.”
“I thought you lived with those two hedgehogs.”
“I lived with an old, sickly hermit dormouse for my first three seasons. I think she was supposedly once my nurse or something. She took me to the outskirts of Mossflower where the two hedgehogs found me. She died soon afterwards.” He shook his head at the memories arising from his mind, where they had been hidden for so long. “But how would you know? I am definately atleast 4 seasons older than you…” Martin looked at him, slightly shocked. “Oh yeah, time travel. I forgot. Did you…?”
“Yes.”
“I see.”
“And…so you told them their son’s name was Martin, not Gonff, and had them tell the story?”
“Yeah.”
“Why?”
“Because…” Martin sighed heavily and sat down on a rock, beconing Gonff to do likewise. “My parents wouldn’t do that; they wouldn’t go after each other against emmense odds. Over time, I guess our souls or hearts or something has just deteriorated. They have enough trouble not splitting up. But their ancestors, the mice you see walking around today, these people care and have good hearts. I hate my life at home. This is the life I want to believe, but it will never be true; its simply a lie I think I can repeat enough to myself so that it will become reality. But I know deep down it won’t.”
“I’d like to see your real life. Sounds…interesting.”
“I don’t know…Would that mess time up?”
“I don’t know.”
“Please?”
“I guess it’s worth a shot…”

Chapter Four: Welcome to Your Future

Martin clasped the pommel and put Gonff’s hand on it, closed his eyes and thought hard about his present day. Gonff shut his eyes against a forceful wind, and then it ceased, but a bustle of noise took its place. He opened his eyes, finding himself in the middle of a large market, pulsating with life.
“Welcome to your future,” said Martin, pointing at the small kiosks selling everything from robots to socks. Martin rummaged around until he found the hidden pocket in his tunic, pulled out a small, metallic card about the size of a small leaf, then walked over to a kiosk. He handed the woman the card, she handed him two boxes, and she handed the card back.
“How does that work?” asked Gonff as Martin walked back.
“It is deducted from my account…I’ll explain later. Just go into there and put this on,” he said, handing him one of the boxes.

~*~

Martin and Gonff stepped out a room, somewhat hidden in a medium-sized hallway. They walked out wearing navy blue, zip up jackets that extended until under the chin, and black, somewhat-tight fitting pants. Martin looked used to them, but Gonff was not happy.
“You walk around in this stuff?!” exclaimed Gonff.
“You get used to it,” replied Martin. “They’re synthetic materials, too.”
“Synthetic?”
“Umm…fake. Not plants. It’s hard to explain.”
“Okay.”
They continued walking, staring at the kiosks. Gonff glanced up at the sky and double taked; the sky was red-orange.
“The sky…it…it…its not blue!” he shouted, gathering the eyes of many. Martin glared at him.
“Silly, Gonff,” he said loudly. “You are so used to the old land! We have the Enviro-Sphere, remember?” He japped Gonff in the side with his elbow. “This planet has less gravity and different gases than on the home world, silly! We have the Grav Incresors and the shell so we can survive. Hold on, look, see, there was just a malfunction!” He pointed up at the sky. It flickered, then went to the normal blue. “They put the sytnthetic filter on it so it looks like home. Remember?” Gonff was rather confused, but he hid it well.
“Yeah, sily me. Just came in from…er…Mossflower!” Martin scowled but the surronding inhabitants laughed and walked away.
“Don’t say Mossflower!” whispered Martin. “It fell more than 500 years ago! Say New Mossflower.” They went on, and Gonff started watching the inhabitants. Everyone wore the same thing; even the women and children wore the non-gender-specific clothing. He saw a weasel and grew angry. Martin only said, “Ignore it, Gonff; we’ve been living peacefully with what you call ‘vermin’ for hundreds of years. Some repented and converted; the rats and stoats are still out on their own, but the rest have come to live peacufully with us.” Gonff nearly muttered and went on. He spotted a woman, but he wouldn’t place the species. He turned to Martin.
“Not to be rude, but-”
“Otter-Ferret. We call it, Lutra mustela.” Gonff stared what had the body of an otter, although with a slightly longer snout, less muscular tail which was also a tad bit fluffier, and the fur coloration was lighter, and had a sable colorationg consisting of a mask areas of dark and light brown. Gonff was amazed.
“How long ago did…?”
“Oh, 100 years or so. Hi, Columbine!” Martin waved at the Otter-Ferret. Gonff was wide-eyed.
“You know her?”
“Yeah. We had Industrial Physics together in third grade. She’s nice.” He noticed Gonff’s shocked expression. “The trend right now is Archaic, sort of Quaint names, like Martin. I’m not the real Martin, like I told you a while ago; just I have his namesake.” Gonff noddded absently. “Let me take you to my house, to meet my real parents,” he continued. “But if they ask, you’re from New Salamandastron, that’s where all the rich people live, and you just flew in from the Home World.”

~*~
“Sure,” said Gonff, following Martin.
They arrived at Martin’s house, and Martin pushed the call button. A robotic voice answered.
“State Request” it said, void of emotion.
“Residence of Sanya and Luke,” replied Martin to the machine.
“Loading.” Gonff glanced at Martin in anxiety. Martin winked at him.
“This’ll be fun, but hold on!” A large, thick, glass, hollow cylinder descended quickly upon them. Gonff was in awe. The floor, as well as the cylinder, began moving, slowly at first; they sped up, the Enertial Dampeners the only thing keeping them from feeling the 4-G’s. They stopped abruptly, and a door opened up, one in the cylinder, the other in the wall symultaniously, and let them in. Sanya was standing, wiping the tables vigorously, and she looked up with a start when Martin and Gonff walked in.
“Well, I see you’re not off messing about in the past and killing us all in the future! That’s a relief!” she said cynically, going back to scrubbing at the table.
“Where’s Dad?” asked Martin.
“Left! Gone! I knew he’d leave me some day. And now he has. Not a surprise; can’t believe I married such a shallow, heartless man like him!” she threw down her Bio-Friendly Rag. She sighed. “Who’s your friend?”
“I’m Gonff,” he said. He noted the expression of deep concern and anger, directed at Martin, on her face. “That was my father’s name. I’m not the original, Great Heavens Above, no!” He blinked twice rapidly, his secret little bluff sign. “Just flew in from New Salamandastron, and man, are my arms tired!” No one laughed. Gonff coughed nervously. “Umm…it’s my first time out here at the new…colony. The, er, red sky! That’s different!” She nodded stoically. “Yes. Scares most of us the first time around. There was a power outage, a long one; 15 miliseconds! Darn those stupid technicians, probably asleep at the wheel! Anyways, it took a while for the Sky Simulator to Reboot.”
“15…miliseconds?” Gonff was visibaly surprised, but caught Martin’s death glance out of the corner of his eye, immediatly regaining himself. “Wow, that’s a long one!” Gonff yawned; it was now 11:23pm.
“How rude of me! Let me take you to the Guest Quarters.” Sanya led Gonff, with Martin following behind, to a door. She punched in some random numbers and it opened into a medium sized room with a bed, Information Proccessor, and a small closet. Sanya closed the door. Gonff sat on the bed and Martin sat down at a chair by the Information Proccessor. Gonff sighed.
“So, why can’t you tell them I’m from the past?” asked Gonff, breaking a long patch of silence.
“Time travel is illegal, and interfering with the past is even more illegal. Like, Make-You-Rot-For-A-Thousand-Years-In-Prison-And-Then-Kill-You-Really-Slowly-Illegal. Although, the government is allowed to; they keep a tiny rift open in the Time Portal, which allows Time Travel. they keep saying that one day they’ll stitch it up, but I doubt it. ”
“Oh. One more question: How come, even though I’ve been around with you for a while, you haven’t aged any?”
“Oh, easy question: I am actually your age, but I looked half it. You see, the atmosphere here and our diet ensures that. We live roughly four to five times the live-span of the normal woodlander, back in your time.”
“Oh. Can I…?”
“No; it has to be introduced at birth.”
“Oh.”

“It also has something to do with the Ruby.”

“Huh?”

“The Ruby; the red gemstone on the hilt of the sword. It emits low radition that, as the scientists figure, can let you live forever! I used to have two, but…I…I…I gave it away a while ago.”

There was an awkward silence. Martin coughed politely.
“Changing the subject to something less…morbid” said Martin. “I wish I was the real Martin. I feel like I’m just some impersonator. I bet the real one didn’t have all these Parent-Issues.”
“But, you are Martin! You did all those great things he did! You saved the whole of-”
“No, I didn’t! I was just a tiny cog in the whole big, giant clock of it all!” Gonff looked confused. “Bad metaphore for someone from the Middle Ages, Pre-Middle Ages at that,” Martin mumbled. “Anyways…I think maybe that Martin was you, but they gave you a different name and just made up the Gonff character; I mean, I messed up the whoe of history; this wasn’t supposed to be the future. Or the past.” He sighed and loked at the clock. “Nearly midnight; I’ll let you go get some sleep.” He walked out of the room. Gonff lay down on the bed and fell asleep almost immediately.
“Gonff…Gonff…Gonff…” a voice whispered his name.
“Gonff…it’s me, Martin. Don’t wake up. This is a dream…” Gonff opened his eyes in the dream, careful not to open his real ones. He saw Martin, but he is in a prison cell. “Gonff, tomorrow, I need you to do exactly what I say…..”
Gonff would do everything he said. He wouldn’t remember why he did until exactly four minutes after the fact, but he did it, anyway. Martin told him many things, so many things in that little dream. Things to do tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, too. But when he woke up the next morning, he forgot. He needed to forget, lest the entire future of worlds be changed. Tomorrow was important; so important that reader, you cannot imagine it now. You will have to read on of this strange tale, of this story behind the story. Reader, in his sleep, Gonff cried.

Chapter Five: Remember Me

Gonff awoke the next morning feeling a bit odd; he’d had a wonderful, awful, happy, sad, simply amazing dream and he couldn’t remember any of it. He shrugged it off and joined Martin down stairs. He had that sword with him, that wonderful, awful sword, and he and Sanya were eating breakfast. They finished quickly, and he and Martin went back into the Guest Room.
“Let’s go home, buddy!” said Martin. They transported back to the world of valour and warriors and Redwall. Exactly three seconds after vanishing, a Government Inforcement Team bust down the door. Sanya was crying and Luke is with her.
“You did well, darling. You implanted the bug like I told you. You gave me and my team the information. We can now catch him.” He kissed Sanya, ignoring the streams of tears streakign her cheeks. She slapped him, hard.
“You monster!” she screamed. “You sick, perfidious slug! You stabbed your own son, your flesh and your blood, in the back!” she scowled and ran out of the house, screaming and weeping. Luke walked into the guest room and cursed loudly; he found nothing left of Martin or Gonff. He looked at the team of animals in high tech armour, armed with guns and lasers.

“Well boys, looks like its time for Code Name: Seamstress. Hate that it has to come to this, but you know the drill. To the Head Office!” Luke and the small-militia marched out of the house towards a huge building.

~*~
Gonff and Martin were ahead of the group, who was on the other side of the hill they were standing on; they had warped back to about a third-of a day’s march to Redwall. Martin breathed deeply and sighed contentedly.
“I love the smell of this air!” he shouted. He looked at Gonff, who was looking fitgety.
“What’s the matter, Gonff?” asked Martin.
“I don’t know,” he mumbled. “I feel like..like…I should be apprehensive.” Martin shrugged. “Hey,” said Gonff. “Can I hold your sword for a bit? You’ve been holding it the whole time and…I just want to feel of it…” Martin nodded.
“Yeah, sure! It’s really heavy, though.” Gonff grabbed it and hefted it, slinging it over his shoulder like a solider holds a spear. They laughed.

One Minute.

“How much longer do you think Redwall is?” asked Martin. Gonff was preoccupied by staring off into the sky.
“What? Oh, I’d say, err…umm…a few hour’s march?” He breathed deeply several times. “Funny, heh,” he laughed humorlessly. “Can’t seem to catch my breath. My heart’s all jittery.” He breathed some more, a little faster and faster each time.

Two Minutes.

“Oh, probably just anxious to see Columbine and little Gonffy. He’s just like his Daddy!” Martin smiled, poking Gonff in the ribs. Gonff looked worried.
“You okay, friend?” asked Martin, seriously concerned.
“Yeah, fine,” replied Gonff, shakily. He blinked once. Twice. Martin sighed.
“I know you’re lying; you always do that when you lie.” Gonff chuckled, trying to calm himself down.

Three Minutes.

Gonff stared at Martin.
“What?! Why are you looking at me like I’m turning invisible or something!?” Martin yelled.
“Because you are!” Gonff said, nearly screaming. Martin looked a himself. He was becoming more and more translucent. Voices and noises were bleeding through from the other time.
“Here he comes!” they said. “He’s fading back here! Good! Good! Come on, sonny boy!” Martin recognized that voice. He turned around to face some unseen villain.
“Father!?” Martin looked back at Gonff and blinked once, hard and long. “Take care of that sword. And please,” he said, his voice fading with his image. “Remember me.”

Four Minutes.

Gonff buried his head in his paws. The dream, the awful, wonderful dream, it came flooding back. He collapsed on the forest floor and a single tear floated down his cheek. He kept those emotions packed away, deep, deep inside him. The main group was going to see him and get worried; how could he explain weeping? He remembered that awful, awful dream. He wished he didn’t have to remember.

Chapter Six: The Seamstress Has No Pity

Gonff went in the opposite direction as the group; he’d come back to the Abbey later and just say Martin went off to have some thoughtful time or something. They’d believe him. When he didn’t return, they’d send out search parties, but they wouldn’t ever find him. Perhaps he went back to his home? Or to Noonevale? Conspiracy Theories would form and they would never question Gonff. He would could look as sad as he really felt, for the whole Abbey would mourn. Perhaps one day, he could tell the story.
Martin was gagged and bound to a chair. He stared at his father who had betrayed him. He yelled out, “Why?!” but it was muffled through the stifling fabric. Luke simply smiled.
“You had to be stopped; you were messing the entire universe up. Sadly, it cannot be fixed, and I don’t wish to cause some kind of paradoxical dilema by sending you back there to execute yourself. That would just be weird.” he chuckled. “But don’t worry, I got you the Presidential Suite of prison cells. Equipped with your own Information Proccessor, you can live out the rest of your long days reading or writing or doing art or something. I don’t know what criminals do.” Martin shook with rage and lashed his head out, ripping through the gag.
“How am I a criminal?!” he screamed. “I saved thousands of lives! I saved you and me and Sanya! I saved us all!” Luke looked flatly, not amused, at him.
“Shut him up. I need to get back to the Seamstress.” Just as a gaurd was about to knock out Martin, he yelled out two words:
“What Seamstress?!” Luke chuckled malevolently at this.
“How do you think I got you here?” he answered. “We are beginning to stitch up the Rift; it was our final plan, so that you couldn’t continue. Plus, many would come after you had they learnt that you could alter history. They’d do it in the name of the Great Martin the Warrior, ha, yeah. You’re just some stupid kid with dreams that are too big for the real world.” Martin spat at him.
“I don’t know how you could do this and still call yourself my father,” he looked at Luke with loathing.
“Oh, I’m not your father. My name may be Luke, but I am certainly not your father. I was deployed to be on the look out for ‘Martins’, as we code-named them after yourself. Your mother was some barely surviving single mother, and when I noticed that she had a son who matched the description of-”
“Description?”
“Yeah. You see, before, I didn’t catch you. You went on your merry little stupid way and ‘saved thousands’. I couldn’t stop you. So, I sent a message back to myself that changed history: I said to get that kid Martin, to watch him. So, the easiest way was to marry Sanya. I told her, of course, and because she was young and greedy, she couldn’t resist the offer of stopping the worst criminal of all time, oh, and the money, too. I didn’t tell her what exactly you did; I said you killed thousands of innocent woodlanders. So, we watched you, planted bugs, had spies, like Columbine, remember her? And then, when we had undeniable proof, we tried to arrest you, and your little friend too. We wanted to get that acursed sword, too, but you must have given it to him. Oh well.”
“So basically,” Martin shook with rage. “You did exactly what I did, just for your own intentions? And no one stopped you?”
“No, not really. Well, recently, Sanya began to see it in a new light and tried to stop me. She’s in prison now. But she and I were the only ones who knew exactly what I did. And the government was proud to have stopped you, little Warrior.” He laughed. “And to think, we caught Martin the Warrior! Something the stupid warlords of old dreamed of! We did it! Easy! Ha! The Warrior, more like the sissy little-”
“Shut up! I’ve had enough!” yelled Martin. Luke shrugged and walked out of the room. Martin passed into unconciousness.

~*~

Gonff…Gonff…Gonff…Gonff…it’s me, Martin. Don’t wake up. This is a dream…Gonff, tomorrow, I need you to do exactly what I say…..I need you to ask for my sword when the sun is overhead and we are in the trees, away from the rest of the group. I should say yes, but you need to take that sword. They are going to take me tomorrow; back to my own time, forever. They imprisoned me in this cell that you see. They are sewing up the Rift and I can only send images of myself…I promise I will explain it to you, in time. I will talk to you again soon, believe me. But, you need to forget this awful, wonderful dream. You will remember exactly four minutes after you take my sword, because I can’t let you die, too. I need you alive so that…well, I’ll tell you later. Now dream on, dream of wonder: dream of Columbine and your little boy, dream of the past and the present and the future. Dream of great things so that you can forget this awful, wonderful dream. Believe me: You won’t want to remember. Forget. Forget. Now sleep well.”

Gonff woke up with a start. That stupid, acursed dream kept on replaying while he slept. It was the fourth time in a row. He rubbed his eyes. It was a little bit before dawn. He put on his tunic, glancing at the clothing from the future; he had stowed it away in his drawer, and was planning on burning one day, or maybe burying it with him or something. He silently walked out of the main Abbey building, past the half-constructed bell tower and walls. He slipped out of the gate and into the forest. He went in a different direction today, not really paying attention to his surroundings.
“Gonff…Gonff…” a tired, quiet voice was calling his name. He whipped aroung and a translucent image of Martin was there.
“A spirit!” he shouted. Martin shook his head.
“No. This is me; an image of me for you, atleast.” He took a deep, tiresome breath.
“H-how? I thought they closed the Rift!” Gonff shouted. Martin looked around him; back at his prison cell, he could see Gonff quite well, but the surrondings were rather drained of color. He noticed the slowly fading colors and told himself mentally to hurry up.
“Quiet, please. Is it dawn?” Gonff nodded.
“Yeah, just about.”
“Good,” said Martin. “I love dawn.” He shook his head to clear his thoughts. “This won’t make much sense, I think, but try, please to understand. I found a piece of the crystal I use to time travel in the Information Proccessor; its the brain, if you will, of the computer. I am using it to send my image and sounds to you, but to power it, I have to use so much energy, including my…er, life force, if you will, I guess. Its draining the life out of my.” Gonff gasped, but then he noted how he did look older. “I have…sent messages to the other time areas, giving them advice and such. They all immediatly recognized me…I don’t know why…But I need you to write all this down. But, not what really happened, a, sort of, story I want to believe. Fill in the gaps; maybe I got the sword from a star or something? I don’t know. And, don’t kill me, please,” he chuckled. “How about…Unkown? An unknown ending. Presumably old age. I like that.”
“I don’t know if I can,” mumbled Gonff, full of sorrow for his friend.
“Please, Gonff, do it for me. The rift is closing as I speak.” his colors were becoming more and more pale, more drained. He was looked more tired, too. “I’m dying, as is the rift. The sword cannot transport you in time anymore. We are locked in our own positions forever. The rift is closing; they are sewing it up.”
“The seamstress has no pity.”
“That is so poetic,” gasped Martin. “I love poetry. That’s how I gave all my messages to the future, well your future, anyway. It’s all my past. They don’t know that I’m just a fraud. They think I’m the real Martin…but he was so much more brave than me.”
“Stop that!” snipped Gonff. “You are the real Martin! How could you not be? You are!”
Martin stopped and thought; he did match the description of Martin: the grey eyes, the somewhat muscular build. But, no! He couldn’t be! Or could he? Martin never had a real recorded death…just, Presumed Old Age. Could he be the hero he dreamed, as a child, of becoming?
“You…you…think…so?” he was growing more tired, like he needed some restful sleep. He collapsed on the floor. Gonff ran over to his image.
“Yes…Yes! I believe you, Martin! Martin the Warrior! The Warrior! Please Martin, stay with me, I’m sure the people at the Abbey can help!” Tears streaked Gonff’s cheeks.
“Gonff…you..you…can’t…this…this…is just…and image…please…Auggh..a slow death…not a quick one…no…no…pity…from the…seamstress…” He began hyperventalating.Gonff tried to calm him down, but it would not work.
“Gonff…Gonff…” whispered Martin. “I am…seeing…Rose…Rose…my beautiful Rose…Rose…” he stretched out an arm to his hallucination.
“Gonff…keep…the…real…story alive…whisper…whisper…it to…the young…ones…at night…never…yell…in…sun..light…whisper…whisper…” his eyes began to close.
“No, wait! Please, no!” shouted Gonff. Martin opened up his eyes.
“I…Gonff…Thank you…you, you will do a great thing. M-many…great…things…You, you…I cannot say…just…you…will…set her on the right…track…”
“Who?”
“I cannot say…just…thank you.” Tears dropped from his eyes. “Rose…my love…Now we and…our…children…can…live..for…for…for…” His eyes clouded and he mumbled, “Forever.”

This was the death of the Warrior.

Epilogue

Sanya stood over the grave of her son. She weeped, cursing Luke. He was now in prison, for the government, who the real one who thought that murder and using time travel in incorrect and evil ways was wrong, the government that Martin had been shieled from , that let people time travel for vacations or to help people, the goverment had found out what he had done. Luke was charged with Interfiering with Time and Murder. She cursed herself for being so greedy and blind, killing her own son. She was releasd as soon as they found her; her guilt was punishment enough for her. A small boy walked up to her.
“Ma’m?” he said, quietly.
“Yes?” she turned down and looked at the small boy. He looked…familiar, somehow. “What is it, boy? I’m not your mommy.”
“I have been told, from my mother, to give this to a woman named Sanya, who is mourning for her son named Martin.” He handed a metal box to her and scampered away. Sanya opened the box. Inside there were ancient, barkcloth writings, preserved by the box. She read the one on top.
Sanya,
Do you remember when Martin brought a stranger into your home? Well, I was the real, original Gonff. Martin’s friend. I am hoping that this message can get to you so that you can learn the truth. Your son was The Warrior as you now call him, Martin the Warrior. He brought freedom to so many woodlanders, saved so many lives, and defeated so much evil, yet he never believed he was the true hero until his last few minutes alive. I’ve written down the entire story, the real, true one, down, so that maybe one day he can be recognized for who he really was. He had to forfiet his dream life and his love so that you and me and everyone could live. I have whispered the story, but it is too far-fetched, and in my old age, I am being called simply a ‘Senial Old Fool’ by the younger folk when they think I cannot hear. Please read this; please tell your world about his real life and his real story, his real suffering, his real pain and love and his real death. He gave his life saying goodbye to me; he was the best friend anyone could ever have.
Sanya’s tears began dripping onto the paper, mixing with the ink.
Please read and tell the world. I cannot, but maybe you can.
-Gonff, Prince of Mousethieves
She glanced up at boy; he was walking over to his mother, who looked vaguely familiar. The woman smiled politely and walked away with the boy. She hen glanced down at the paper beneath the letter; it was an ink drawing of a simply beautiful mousemaid. “My Rose” it read, signed by Martin the Warrior, dated with a date so very long ago. She glanced back up; the familiar stanger and her boy were gone. She sighed and sat down, leaning backwards against her son’s grave stone and began reading the small but amazing epic of her son’s story, her son’s two amazing, wonderful, awful lives. She began the story that you, Reader, just finished.

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