Castle Roland

Falls On Deaf Ears Book 1

by Hammy


Chapter 8

Posted: N/A

Ross Residence 1am

Darkness was broken inside the quiet sleeping house by a bright shimmering light from the living room. A white figure stepped out and took a look around. Satisfied no one was around, he took his mask off and shook his head letting his hair free.

'I really didn't expect to stop back here again, but I really didn't want to spoil the news I had to give to Mom. It seems to be the right timing, now, that everyone is sleeping.' Eric's thinking had caused someone upstairs to wake up as he was thinking too loudly. When a 'creak' was heard from someone walking down the steps, he gasped and panicked as he didn't want to be caught.

The lights flicked on as Trish entered the room in a light blue nightgown. "Hello?" Trish walked around looking to see any sign of life, but couldn't. 'Damn, I thought I heard someone here mentioning 'spoiling the news'. Huh! Must be my imagination.' She thought to herself as she walked towards the kitchen to fill herself a cup of water. When she was finished, she turned around and nearly screamed at the sight of Matt standing behind her.

"Dammnit! Don't sneak up on me like that! Shame on you, Matthew!"

"Sorry mom, I have to be fast, can you come with me for a while? Please, it's important." Matt held out his hand towards his mom in hopes she would come to him.

"Something tells me you left a small bit of information out of your recent visit. That's fine, I need to do just one thing before we go, ok?"

"Sure, but hurry, please."

Trish nodded and walked past Matt hurrying a little.

Andy and Ryan's Room, same moment

A medium dark figure stepped into the room as the dark shimmering rift subsided. The figure glanced around to make sure things were safe before walking towards the twins' bed.

'Funny, all these years, I never expected to find myself standing in the very same house I stayed at for a while. Now, if I could only...' The figure's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of oncoming footsteps. The figure, thinking it might have been busted, began to panic trying to find a place to hide when it finally realized there was a cloaking device on the arm pad. Pushing a button, the figure disappeared right at the moment Trish peaked into the door to check up on her boys. Satisfied they were still sleeping, she left the room. Trish shook her head as if she didn't believe she heard anything and proceeded towards her bedroom for a change of clothes.

'That was close, she isn't supposed to be awake, I must investigate this.' The invisible figure thought to itself as it walked towards the door, glanced back and grinned. 'It can wait.'

Trish was busy changing her clothes when she felt a familiar hand rub her back as she sat on the side of the bed. "Going somewhere, honey?" Jerry whispered softly, hoping to not wake anyone else up.

Trish turned to face her husband, "Yes, I won't be long. I couldn't sleep."

Jerry smiled then closed his eyes as Trish leaned over to give him a kiss on the cheek. She stood up, walked out the door and closed it before heading downstairs. The invisible figure made sure it was out of her way while observing everything. The figure followed after Trish several paces behind her.

When Trish entered the living room, she saw Matt looking at a family album with misty eyes. "What's wrong, Matt?"

Matt looked up, shook his head then closed the album. He sighed as Trish sat next to him, "I just miss him."

A puzzled Trish gave him a hug and decided it was time to change the subject. "So, where are you taking me?"

Matt looked up at her and smiled, "You'll see." He stood up and stretched out his hand towards his mom. Trish took his hand and stood. Matt's expression suddenly changed from calm to a mix of seriousness and hate.

"Something isn't right, here, we gotta leave, now!"

Trish looked at him confused and concentrated a little deeper and realized they were not alone. Before Trish could say anything further, Matt hurriedly formed the ripple and stepped into it, pulling Trish with him. The last thing they saw before the ripple fully closed was an invisible figure standing in their living room, decloaking to a full black uniform.

'I knew it!' Was Matt's last thought before the ripple closed.

White Void

Matt and Trish entered the void as the ripple behind them subsided. "Damnit, I didn't know 'HE' would be there!" Matt cursed through clenched teeth. He had hoped his presence had gone un-noticed by anyone, but he was wrong.

Trish looked around for a few moments taking in the White Void and wondered how 'infinite' the place was. After hearing Matt curse, she turned to face him.

"What's wrong?"

"We were followed."

"I gathered that, what I meant to ask was: why and who was that?"

Matt's angry expression caused Trish to step back a little, "Leader of the Dark Council. He is the most feared leader, no one has dared to stand up to him, except for..."

"Ryan." A voice spoke from behind them causing Matt and Trish to spin around and gasp.

The dark figure chuckled, "I thought I'd find you here! After all, we too, know of this place. It could use a lil decorating here and there, but I can see why you like it here!" The dark figure removed his mask and shook his head when it was off, causing Trish and Matt's jaws to drop and gasp. Standing before them was a dusty blond boy who appeared to be about 12. It was obvious he had inherited his mother's genes, but not only that, he started aging slower at an early age.

Matt was the first to speak, "YOU! It was YOU all along! Why?!"

Trish wasn't sure what was happening but tears were forming in her eyes. "My own son? Leader of an evil Dark Council? What have I done wrong?"

"Oh, hello mother! It wasn't you, but I surely ain't going to tell! And as for you, Matt, this is truly an unexpected surprise. You, of all people, should be dead from that explosion, but somehow you survived. Tell me, boy, what is your secret?"

"Surely you should know by now." Matt sneered at Andy and prepared to defend himself and Trish if needed.

Trish, knowing full well the day would come, when her own children would surpass her in abilities, decided against her better judgment to forcefully read into the depths of Andy's mind. She did not like what she found, but gasped as she came across two thoughts in the back of his mind. The first thought she came across disgusted her. She saw a huge battle going on between Andy and Ryan. As the battle went on for quite some time, it was clear Andy was the victor and he had his own brother chained and locked up deep in a windowless dungeon, never being let out to see daylight.

The second thought that caused Trish to feel more disgusted with Andy showed Andy inventing some sort of serum that Trish had very recently seen. He at first used his own blood and a few other chemicals that Trish didn't recognize in the mixture. For a brief moment, she caught a glimpse of Andy's attitude change immediately after the initial injection a few days after she hid the capsules from her family. When Trish finally finished reading Andy's mind, she coldly spoke, "I see now."

"What did you do now, mother?!" Andy changed his expression from amusement of catching his older brother and mother in the void to a sheer angry look.

"I looked into your mind and found what I needed to know. I'm going to fix that the minute I get back!" Trish spat and placed her hands at her hips.

"I see." Andy said emotionlessly. He immediately changed his expression and form to a serious battle stance. "Since you know, it's time you met your maker!" Andy lifted his arm and a ball of black sparkling energy formed in his hand. He launched it towards Trish and Matt. Matt jumped in front of Trish and held out both arms. A blue shield formed from the palms of his hands and enveloped him and Trish. 'I hope that's enough!!' He thought to himself.

Trish was going to dodge the attack, but hesitated as she watched Matt form a shield. "Why aren't we dodging that?"

Matt turned his head and whispered, "It would follow us all over the place till there is nothing more left to follow."

Trish's expression after Matt finished whispering was of concern. She wasn't sure his shield would be strong enough. She also wondered what would happen if she were to somehow channel her power to boost the shield. This brought back a memory she once forgot.

Many years ago-

Trish and Wedge were in an old training room with several of their family members. They had been teaching defensive tactics on that day and it was mostly about shield formation. They also warned that combining powers to form stronger shields had consequences on the user. There was a chance that the person doing the boosting, or the person getting the boost (sometimes both), could pass out, become weaker, or nothing would happen. It also depended on who was sharing the energy as well. Two older family members effectively demonstrated how to form it based on shield color. Certain colors meant they were either compatible with each other or would repel against the other. For instance, the user had to be able to form a shield that would change color to match the intensity of the incoming attack. Should the attack be greater than the shield strength, their only option was to dodge and run if you were alone. If you had someone there with you, the strongest shield two people could form would come to be green in color. They also said it was probably a myth, but the strongest shield couldn't be seen by the naked eye. You would have to be able to 'feel' it to believe it, but no such person existed.

As Trish finished re-living a memory, she looked at the color of the shield. 'Excellent! It's a color I can easily match to form a green shield! Given my age, I need time, tho!' Trish thought to herself as she closed her eyes to focus quickly on forming a yellow shield to 'merge' with Matt's.

Andy chuckled, "Do you really think that silly little barrier is enough to hold against my attack?!" He concentrated even more to make the ball's approach faster and increased its energy.

'Nope, not enough!' Matt thought to himself as he tried to concentrate for anything else he could use, but couldn't. At the last second, Trish placed her hand on Matt's shoulder and the shield changed color from blue to green.

Andy caught a glimpse of what happened and wondered how his own mother could form such a barrier.

When Andy's attack hit, it was quickly repelled and dissolved in a matter of seconds. Trish was panting slightly, but Matt was in worse shape and on his knees from concentrating too hard.

"WHAT THE F..." Andy gasped he witnessed his own mother adding some of her power to Matt so he could block the attack.

The next second seemed like a blur, Trish was standing right in front of Andy! Andy looked up in fear as he watched his mom wave her hand across his face. "Sleep!"

'What is happening to me?! How did she block my attack and how could she have more power than me?!' Andy thought as he fell asleep on the ground with a thud.

"Mom, that was dangerous, you could have been killed ya know?!" Matt came running toward her side as Trish began to relax.

"I know, dear, but what good would it do if I hadn't done anything to help?"

Matt still appeared to look confused and tilted his head, "Thanks, mom, how...?"

"Part of it came from me and the other part came from the gold locket I have always worn, ever since Eric was kidnapped. Before you and Eric were born, I have always worn these two lockets around my neck; one was silver and the other, gold. I made the mistake of leaving the silver locket around Matt..." Trish caught herself and realized she was talking to Matt, "... I mean your neck when you were a newborn. It was so I could tell you apart. I wanted to keep the gold locket with me for safekeeping. I'm glad I did. I am surprised no one tried to tamper with it." Trish looked off in the distance, deep in thought for a moment before continuing her story, "Anyway, one of them was supposed to go to your uncle, Wedge, but at the time, he wasn't mature enough to handle its power and since then, he had always tried to bully me. We were constantly enemies, always fighting. It wasn't till our mom finally decided enough was enough, she had to kick Wedge out of the house for his own good and for ours. To this day, I still miss him." Trish looked down shedding a few tears before continuing, "I only heard about my brother through mom and dad. It seemed he was getting over our quarrel and was on the road to recovery, but dreaded talking to me. I still wish he would talk to me." Trish turned around to face Matt, reaching into her chest and pulling out one gold heart-shaped locket as she described. "I can see you are already wearing yours. The question I dread to ask: What about Eric's?"

"First, wow, second, well, I, umm, brought you here for this reason. There is no easy way to tell you, no words can describe it. But, my mind can, and I know you are able to understand better by just reading my mind."

Trish nodded and closed her eyes.

Matt's Mind

A shuttlecraft appeared to have an army of ships in pursuit of it. The black shuttle appeared to be heavily damaged and on its way to crash land on an unknown planet, which Trish didn't recognize. She concentrated on what was happening with the shuttle. Once the shuttle made its way into the atmosphere, the squadron of white ships stopped pursuit except for the larger ship.

The scene then shifts to a young boy and a large adult fighting all out while the shuttle they were in was going up in smoke several hundred meters behind them. Trish automatically knew it was Eric by the hearing aid he wore and felt his presence during the fight. Seconds later, the large adult began its transformation into a huge black creature, almost 5 times Eric's size. The battle resumed as Eric kept trying his best to avoid being attacked. The creature though, was so immense that Eric could barely hold his own.

Just then, another ship was landing not far from the battle, Matt and another man Trish could barely make out at the distance came running towards Eric and the creature, drawing swords. Eric got distracted by the movement in his left eye and took his eyes off the creature for a second, giving the creature a big chance to make his move.

As Eric looked at Matt, Matt cried out, "LOOK OUT!" but Eric couldn't understand a word he said till it was too late.

The creature lunged towards Eric in one swift move piercing his stomach and lifting him up in the air as if he were a hotdog on a fork. Eric screamed out in pain then performed one final swift movement only Trish could make out. Her eyes widened as she tried to scream, "ERIC! Don't do it! STOP! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!"

There was an explosion that destroyed both, Eric and the creature. Matt and the man accompanying him got thrown into the air several meters back from the force of the blast.

Several moments had passed as she spent quite a while absorbing the thoughts and images of what Matt had stored for so long. She broke into tears and fell to her knees sobbing. Matt followed suit and embraced his mother in a hug his mom really needed. She had witnessed Eric's death in the battle with Sid and the sight of losing her kidnapped son was too much to bear.

When the hug was broken apart, Matt wiped his face with his arm and Trish pulled out a white tissue from her pocket and wiped her eyes.

"I am so sorry, mom, I should have been with him fighting Sid, but we got separated and I almost blew up."

Trish gave Matt a puzzled look and was about to ask a question when they were interrupted by another ripple forming several feet behind a sleeping Andy. Matt looked at Trish puzzled and readied himself for defense; they weren't expecting any more interruptions. Three figures appeared from the ripple, two of them had dark clothes and one was wearing white. As the ripple closed, another one began to form and another white figure stepped out.

Younger Matt stood up as he was a bit dizzy from the trip and looked around. When he noticed Andy on the ground, he ran to him as if he still cared, then suddenly changed his expression. He was about to kick him till a hand rested on his shoulder. He looked up and gasped, "You're my..."

"Mother? Yes, baby, its me." Trish finished younger Matt's unfinished sentence as she pulled him into a hug and then held him back, to look at him face to face. Trish closed her eyes and read some of younger Matt's mind. She had seen the most recent events and shed a small tear and a smile knowing her Eric was still alive. "I know you don't know me, but I know your brother had showed you what life was like when he was with me, before I thought he was killed."

Younger Matt appeared to look confused. "I don't understand?"

Trish sighed, "I only wish you and Eric were never separated from the beginning. All of this wouldn't be happening and we'd all be a family. Part of me wishes I could go back in time and change the events at the hospital, shortly after your birth."

"But, uhh..." Younger Matt had trouble saying 'mom' as he didn't really know her, "...Mom... he is still alive." Matt spoke in a whisper.

Trish, not hearing the whisper, decided to continue, "It wasn't your fault Eric died."

Younger Matt's eyes widened quite fast upon hearing of Eric's death. "But he is still alive! We just got separated because our bond was beginning to form, or so I was told!"

Trish's eyes widened, 'A bond? Of course! That's it!' She thought to herself as she changed her expression from shocked to serious and turned her head to look at older Matt, "Matt, do you remember any of this?"

"Not really..." Older Matt scratched his head trying to remember what took place 'then'.

"I don't understand..." Younger Matt looked back and forth between older Matt and Trish. "How is 'he' here? I was told we cannot exist this close, because space and time would collapse within itself."

Older Matt chuckled, "Not here, not in the White Void."

"But..." Younger Matt was interrupted by the sound of a sharp groan that was coming from an awakening Spike as he struggled to stand. He knew Matt was still with him as was Sandy, but he ignored the others till he felt his master's presence. When he looked around and spotted Andy lying on the ground, he rushed towards him then looked up at Trish with fire in his eyes. He knew who she was as he remembered her last attempt at trying to take Andy down, which was quite unsuccessful, but caused major damage to the Dark Council. His fist clenched and sprang in her direction. Trish knew she couldn't be fast enough to defend herself based on the earlier events, however Older Matt stepped in his path in an instant, delivering a blow to his stomach that caused him to stop and crouch down at the pain. The final blow from Matt's elbow to Spike's spine knocked him out cold as his body hit the ground with a loud thud.

The white figure who was standing off in the distance watching the events, pulled his mask off and rushed towards the group. "Everyone ok?"

Older Matt turned to look to see who it was. "Yea, Jason, we are."

Trish gasped as she heard Jason's name being mentioned and looked up. "I see life must be treating you well. I'm truly sorry Eric isn't with you. But you took the same serum as Andy! How are you not like him?"

Jason frowned, "First things first, I am sorry Eric isn't here with us, the council wouldn't let me go after him alone. We are all here for a reason. I think Matt wants to attempt to change the current events for the better. Then I'll leave it up to Eric and Matt to change the past per your wishes."

Trish gasped in shock, "Hold on a second here, Jason, how in the world did you know of my wishes?"

Jason began, "Quite easy. There were times when I overheard you telling Jerry how much you wished you could time travel into the past and make things right, more than once. Its no surprise you said and thought it moments ago. Even I can time travel, but only for so long. Eric and Matt on the other hand, can time travel naturally, without any need for technology. The only reason Matt uses the technology to time travel is to suppress his energy without it 'broadcasting' to others, letting them or anyone know they are traveling through time." Jason sighed then continued, "our technology is based on how Sid designed it, based off Eric's mind after Eric willingly let Sid in his mind several hours before he died. That technology took years of testing and research to become perfect. Once it was fully operational, the Technology of the future became the technology of the past. This is corrupting the timeline and flow of things. It's a big mess right now, but it begins right at the point of Matt's kidnapping in the hospital. I can imagine things would have been far worse should Eric had been kidnapped, too."

Older Matt decided to speak up as he heard Jason talk about the 'what if's'. "Well, Jason, I was the one who went in the past alone to try and put a stop to that kidnapping, but I was unsuccessful and only managed to save Eric. If I had someone with me, I might have been able to stop this terrible future from existing!"

Jason and Trish couldn't believe what they were hearing. Younger Matt and Sandy were just listening to the whole conversation wondering what made sense and what didn't. Trish then asked, "Jason, how can these two Matts exist in here at the same time?"

Jason sighed, "In this place, time has no meaning, anyone entering here from various points of time are bound to end up meeting their other self if the timing is right. The Void allows anyone in and out as long as they don't stay in too long."

Trish nodded and looked back at younger Matt. When she noticed something was missing, she couldn't help but ask: "Where is your silver locket?"

Upon hearing the locket, Sandy moved forward and handed it to Trish. She looked at Sandy for several moments then took the locket out of her hand and put it around younger Matt's neck. "There! Now, you have it."

Younger Matt looked at his mom then to Sandy, puzzled, "Where did you find it?"

Sandy grinned, "It was laying on the corner of the bed when I entered that little ship. I made sure I picked it up before Spike saw me and put it in my pocket."

Younger Matt sighed and looked at the silver locket. He put it back on around his neck then turned to Trish, "What is it for? It has Eric's name on it, do I give it to him?"

Trish smiled, "You'll see when the time comes and that is your locket."

"Ooooooookay." Younger Matt studied the locket for several moments then glanced up at his mom. She only smiled back at him, which caused younger Matt to pout.

Trish chuckled, "Sorry honey, I can only say so much. I don't know what it contains, I was the previous owner of that and the gold locket, but it changes when it's passed on to siblings. It is yours, trust me, please." Trish turned to Sandy who was wearing the gold heart shaped locket and moved closer to look at it. "May I"?

Sandy nodded and Trish put it in her hands, turned it over and gasped. "How did you get this?! I don't recall giving it to anyone in the family... unless..."

"You sent it for a reason." Sandy brushed his hair with his hand as he scratched his head. "You said it was for its own safety. You feared one day someone would be after it as long as you had it. You wanted to send it where it would be protected."

"I see." Trish studied the locket and let it go. She couldn't help but feel a familiar presence about Sandy. She placed her hand on top of Sandy's head and closed her eyes. Moments later, she awoke with a gasp. "You are the son of my brother, Wedge!

Sandy happily replied, "Yep!"

Trish sighed, "There are so many things I want to ask, but somehow, I feel time is running out. She then turned to younger Matt, "This locket and the gold one are the keys to defeating that Sid."

Sandy moved in, took the gold locket off his neck and handed it to younger Matt. "Give this to Eric and make sure he doesn't lose it."

"I saw one like this on Eric, but why would he get another?" A puzzled younger Matt asked.

Sandy wasn't sure what he was talking about as he scratched his head, "Huh? I haven't met Eric yet. He shouldn't be wearing one. The one I just gave you was from, Auntie Trish, and she gave it to dad and me several years ago for this moment. How Eric got his is unknown."

Trish's eyebrows moved in and wondered what Sandy was talking about. "Wait a minute, Eric is wearing Jason's locket he gave him! That could be disastrous as that locket doesn't do anything but contain a picture of Jason. He needs that gold locket!"

Younger Matt nodded, "I will get it to him."

Trish gave younger Matt a hug and thanked him.

Older Matt walked towards Spike and pulled several vials of serum from his pockets. He walked over to Andy and searched him, but found nothing. Frustrated, he stood up and walked towards Trish to hand the remaining pack of vials to her. "What should we do with these?"

Trish looked at Matt's hand before taking the vials and focusing a large amount of energy towards her hands. It took a moment before there was nothing more than dust in her hands.

Jason had been watching silently for some time, finally remembered what he wanted to say. He moved closer towards Trish before giving her a hug.

"What was that for?"

"I missed you." Jason pulled himself away and smiled. "You are right, Eric is wearing the locket I gave him, and all it contains is my pic and my love.

Trish smiled, "That was sweet of you, but I don't think it would do him any good..." Trish's eyes went big as she suddenly remembered something. She gave Jason a very serious look, "What exactly was in that locket? I saw him use it before he exploded!"

Jason looked down at the floor and shook his head. "I killed him didn't I?"

Trish hugged Jason, "No, honey, it couldn't have been you, that locket has been tampered with!"

Jason wiped the tears from his eyes and looked towards younger Matt, "What about that gold one? If Eric got it in time, wouldn't he get confused as to which one to use?"

"No, that one I had has been in my family for generations. The silver one Matt wears was my twins' locket, but he died at a young age." Her thoughts wandered back to the happy times she shared with her brother as well as sad. When she realized she had several eyes looking at her, she shook her head, "Sorry, I was reliving a moment, it brings back memories, these lockets. No it wasn't Wedge, he is just my older brother. Anyway, we need to get the gold one to Eric before it's too late." Trish gave the gold locket younger Matt was holding, a pat, and then guided his hand so he could place it around his neck. "And this one, stays with me." She twitched her wrist, which showed the gold heart shaped locket that sat close to her skin, which she always had worn.

Everyone nodded in agreement till Sandy finally decided to speak up. "It's time to go now. I'm pretty sure dad'll be pissed, but he'll understand." Sandy turned to younger Matt, "Matt, we need to get going."

Younger Matt gave his mom one last quick hug before heading towards Sandy. He knelt where spike lay and picked him up with ease. "Mom, I'll see you soon." A ripple formed, but they were stopped dead in their tracks when Trish called out to them. "Matt, please tell Eric to come home before his final mission. It is for the both of you." Matt turned to look at his mom with a puzzled expression, but she quickly shooed him away to which he nodded and walked into the ripple. Sandy simply nodded and followed Matt. When the ripple subsided, Jason walked towards Trish and looked at Andy.

"What will you do with him?" Trish asked while looking at Jason.

Matt walked over towards Jason, "I say we kill him before he wakes up and informs the others."

Trish slapped Matt across the cheek for suggesting such a thing, but quickly understood why. Jason chuckled, "Ryan is looking forward to seeing his brother, but he wishes something could have been done to prevent all of this."

Trish turned to look at Jason, "I thought Ryan was locked up?"

Jason smiled, "He escaped on his own, surprisingly. I think he had help, but he still dreams of the day he finally gets to lock up Andy."

Trish chuckled, "As for preventing all of this from happening, I'll see to it personally that it doesn't."

"I know you will." Jason smiled and gave Trish a hug.

"Don't worry too much. Matt's mind told me nearly everything I need to know." Trish accepted the hug and held on before letting Jason go as she felt his urgency to leave the void.

Jason let go of Trish, walked over to where Andy lay and picked him up. A ripple formed behind Jason and he was about to walk into it when he stopped and turned around, "Should the current timeline Eric and Matt are in change, there is a chance myself and Matt here would cease to exist. It can mean only one thing: something good has happened." He smiled and turned to walk into the ripple.

When the ripple subsided, Trish turned to Matt, "I hope they get to Eric in time. Fighting that vile creature and not realizing he could do better makes me wonder why he was holding back and why he got distracted. There is something I must do alone, at home, and outside the house. But before we go, why didn't you tell me in the first place when you were in the living room when you first visited?"

Matt sighed, "I didn't wanna worry Jason because when I first met him long ago..." Matt paused to think as he needed to correct his last sentence. "I mean when I was younger...hmm... as young as the younger self of me when he was here moments ago. I had told him flat out in front of everyone and he ran away and hid for days. At first you said he needed time to himself, but all of you got worried when he didn't return after a week. I'm sorry for that, I wasn't thinking straight back then."

"I understand, I just hope it doesn't repeat itself."

"I hope it doesn't either. Some of these events have been altered as I have gained a few new memories I never had. Maybe things are finally changing for the better. It's probably best we leave now, before the Void consumes us." Trish looked at Matt with a puzzled expression. "Oh, the Void is vast and huge with no limits, it eventually consumes anything in here in a matter of hours. It doesn't matter how powerful the person is, they will cease to exist."

Trish nodded and looked around one last time before watching the ripple form behind her. "Ya ready?" Matt took her hand and held on to it.

"Yes, take me home." Trish smiled as they stepped into the rift watching it close behind them.

Ross Residence 1:30am

A ripple formed in the Rosses living room and Trish and Matt stepped out. The ripple then closed and Trish looked around to make sure things were the same. Satisfied, she turned to hug Matt before exchanging their goodbyes.

Trish spoke up before Matt did, "I noticed something in younger Matt's mind when we were in the void. I don't know if you noticed it, but when he and Eric were fighting, Eric used an invisible barrier. Did this really happen?"

Matt appeared puzzled, but finally realized what she was talking about. "Ah, yea he did, is there something wrong with it?"

"No, not at all. It's a very good sign. If he can control it, it will work in his favor."

Matt smiled then informed his mom that this was their final meeting and all she had to do was wait. Another ripple formed and Matt stepped into it. Before it closed, he placed his mask on and disappeared when the ripple fully closed.

Trish collapsed on the couch with a loud sigh pondering everything she had learned. She rubbed her wrist; missing the lockets she always wore, wondering if her boys will be ok. She took a few moments to herself before standing up and heading towards the stairs. She smiled to herself when she shut the lights off and climbed the stairs toward her bedroom.

Once Trish entered the bedroom, she could tell Jerry was still awake. "I thought you went back to bed?"

"I did till I heard voices. Everything ok?"

"Better than ok! At least I hope so." Trish smiled warmly to Jerry, obviously hiding something from him.

"Ok, I expect a full explanation by morning." Jerry joked with a chuckle and a grin.

Trish playfully swatted his face for that remark but gave him a kiss. "Go to bed, I'm tired."

"Hehehehe, yes dear."

Trish shook her head and closed her eyes. It wasn't long before Jerry finally closed his eyes.

The Summoner

A ripple formed on the bridge causing several of the crew to gasp and stand back. Wedge was weeping in his chair when he looked up and abruptly stood. His expression changed when he saw his son and nephew with spike over his shoulder enter the bridge.

"B-b-but how?!" Wedge wiped his eyes stumbling his way towards his son.

"It was Matt. He saved us. He is the only one who could break the barrier and send us to the void. I am only dressed like this to get us out of the void." Sandy smiled before he continued, "I somehow knew Matt might have been exhausted with the trip, you know how they can be, don't you dad?"

Wedge nodded then broke down in tears as he embraced his son tightly.

Sandy coughed, "D-d-daaad! You're choking me!"

Wedge let go and looked at him, "I'm sorry, but don't do that again!"

"I'm sorry dad, but it was meant to be." Sandy lowered his head feeling bad for what he did. "I couldn't tell you because you would have never let me go."

Wedge sighed, "I'm sorry, son. I will always love you, no matter what. Because of that, I will always try and protect you. I thought I lost you. Just promise me you won't do this again."

"I promise, dad."

Wedge gave his son one more hug before turning to look at Matt. "Thanks."

"I uhh, I'm not sure what to say."

"You don't have to say anything. But you do realize you gotta stand before the council for the crimes committed?"

Matt's heart sank and his shoulders slumped, "Yes I am fully aware of my crimes and deserve any punishment you give me."

As if on cue, a ripple formed and Jason stepped onto the bridge. "Ah, right on time!"

Wedge stood up and turned to face Jason, "You knew?!"

"Easy there, yes, I knew, but it might have changed the outcome if I had said something. For that I apologize."

Wedge growled and was about to say something when Sandy hugged him. "Dad, it's not his fault, really. You should know Aunt Trish had to have a hand in this matter."

Wedge looked down at his son and smiled.

Jason shifted his sights from Wedge to Matt. "The council has decided on your fate, Matt. Are you prepared to accept the punishment?"

Matt gulped as he had heard stories of how severe the white council punishes criminals. "I'm not sure."

"Heh." Jason waved a hand in front of his face as if he was trying to hit an invisible fly, "You are to spend the rest of your life on Earth, with Eric and the rest of your family. Of course, in the past where you belong." Jason finished with a smile. "But on one condition; you need to repair the past along with Eric, should you be successful in defeating Sid, together."

"I uhh, umm, I'm not sure if I'd like it there, but I'll see what I can do about the conditions."

"Don't worry, I know you will succeed and I know you will like it there."

Matt sighed and Wedge walked over to give him a pat on his shoulders. "Looks like Spike here isn't going to get off so easy!" Wedge looked over to his chief of security, Jastr, "Mister Jastr, please take this piece of trash to the holding cells! Place him under armed guard around the clock!" [Oh yes Taron, Hammy added another J name!]

"Yes sir!" Jastr left his station and picked up spike with one arm and carried him to the turbo lift, which disappeared as soon as the doors shut.

Wedge sighed and turned to Jason, "So, now what?"

Just as Jason began to open his mouth, the ships alarms went off on red alert.


"It's the Vulture! She's on an intercept course to this location!"

"Ah Sid, at last, you didn't run away this time!" Wedge said out loud causing a few crewmembers to snicker. "Does she know we're here?

Sinclair spoke up, "Negative, it appears her sensors are damaged from the shockwave which the explosion caused."

"Very good..." Wedge was about to give out orders but was interrupted by Matt tapping his shoulder.

Matt suddenly looked down as Wedge turned to look at him, then jerked his head up as he suddenly had a thought. "Uhh, excuse me Mister..."

"It's Wedge, Uncle Wedge to ya, but not now."

"It's kinda important, pleaseeeeeee!"

Wedge sighed as Matt used his finger to motion him to come closer. "Lemme tell you my plan. Here's..." Everything Matt spoke was in whisper, even Sandy couldn't hear them if he wanted to. When Matt was finished laying out the plan, Wedge turned to look at Jason with a questioning expression. Jason nodded and Wedge repeated the nod then turned to Sinclair, "Sinclair, inform the fleet to cloak, we're gunna hide!"

"Aye sir!"

Wedge turned to look at Matt, "Let's go and meet in the conference room so we can discuss your plan in depth."

Matt exchanged looks with Jason and Wedge before finally stopping to stare at Wedge straight in the eye, "Cool, Thanks!"

"No problem, Sinclair, you have the bridge, and Jason, please come." Wedge turned to walk towards the conference room at the far left corner of the bridge. As the doors slid open Sinclair was busy giving out orders to engage the cloak.

As Wedge, Jason, Sandy, and Matt entered the conference room, The Summoner and the rest of the fleet disappeared minutes before The Vulture's arrival.

......To be continued.....

Author's Notes:

Whew! It sure was a roller coaster ride for me to write this. I had a lot of fun with this one as several ideas popped up here and there then formed this. I sure am glad Matt and Sandy survived the explosion. I had to wonder if Matt really looked into older Matt's mind before he left the void. We'll never know till later! I can only hope the events in this timeline do not repeat itself as it did to Older Matt. What surprised me more was when Matt and Eric's younger brother was the mastermind behind the Dark Council. Kinda made me wonder if he was just a bad seed or something happened. Till then...I hope the CHP don't jump on this one, I know I left things at an explosive ending last chapter, but hey, I did feel it was time to end it somewhere! Comments and responses and hate mail welcome at:

Special thanks to ACfan for hosting this story on the Café!


Editor's notes:

Hmmm, between the last chapter, and this one, I think I may be one of the first to send Hammy some Hate mail. What in tarnations has happened to poor Andy? I can't help but feel sorry for him, and hope that something good comes out of all of this. I must also stress, that at no point was any editor involved in the creation, of any Cliff hangers. Especially this one, where as far as we know, Eric IS going to die. Hellooo, is anyone else concerned about this? Hammy, so you know, I expect Chapter 9 by the end of tomorrow. I may withhold it from everyone else for a week or two, but I want answers, and I want them now.... Please. Some weird Editor guy.

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