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Jealousy: The Vindictive Emotion

                                 Jonathon Pierce

Iffley silently watched as Dion's shuttle sped off into the distance. Her trip to the Lunar Penal Colony would be short, and, in a few short decades, her debt to society would be paid off, allowing her to return as a productive citizen. Dion was as changeable as the seasons. Her love flirted from one man to another. First, she had loved Iffley, but when Adena entered the picture, her love turned to hate. Richard was next; Iffley still was not sure if she still loved him. Her love to the Maelstrom was based on need: her need for wealth, security, and power.

Iffley was uncomfortable about the Maelstrom's death. Somehow, he blamed himself for his nemesis' tragic demise. If only he had gripped him more strongly....

His mind shifted to the events after Adena's departure from Ralle. He, Fred, Dion, Taft, Adel, and Quiffy transported to the Wanderer's main group. Iffley told their leader of his quest to restore the two universes. The leader was quite unconvinced of Iffley's importance. Iffley, undaunted, searched the Book of Incantations for the proper spell. The Loopz spell eliminated the illness, repairing the damaged genes. The wave of magic encompassed each member, repairing their diseased flesh. Then, the magic continued its search. It found and healed every descendant of the Pestilence. The leader, known as Bronson, thanked them for their help, and quickly departed, eager to start his new life. Iffley then left the Book of Incantations with Adel, knowing that her intentions were pure and just.

"You, too, must leave now," Fred had said. "You have finished your quest."

"But, because of me, you are stuck here in Ralle."

"It is not your fault. The decision was mine. Now go, and never return." Fred watched as Dion, Quiffy, and Iffley stepped into the mirror. After he was sure that they had reached the Hall of Mirrors safely, he smashed the mirror into a thousand pieces. "Good-bye, my friends," He had said to the mystic winds, and he had even felt them answer.

*  *  Green-eyed Monster  *  *

Iffley entered the Portal of Remembrance, with one thought on his mind--revenge. Adena had found another, so be it. Two could play at that game. If Adena could find a past lover, then so could he.

The hallway stretched out before him again, and he stopped in front of the mirror labeled sadhe. He looked deeply into the mirror, seeing the reflection from the other side. Mij Slocin was asleep at his desk, the Tiara, undoubtedly in the file cabinet by the desk. He took the mirror labeled aleph from its spot on the wall, and took a deep breath. With Quiffy around his shoulders, he stepped into Mij's mirror.

He reappeared aboard the TGTS Susan Smith, in the captain's quarters. The room was totally dun and drab, consisiting only of the few items necessary for an uncomfortable existence. Iffley quietly approached the file cabinet. He propped the cumbersome mirror against the desk, it landed with a slight thump. Iffley wheeled around, but Mij did not move. Narrow escape, Iffley thought.

Iffley pulled on the cabinet's handle, but it was locked. The Sceptre transformed the lock into cotton, allowing easy entry into the private files. He searched the cabinet in vain; the Tiara was not here. His attentions turned to the desk. A drawer was ajar, revealing the Tiara's unmistakable sparkle. Iffley pulled the drawer open far enough to allow the extraction of the Tiara.

Iffley reached into the drawer, and pulled out the Tiara. He held it into the light, causing it to sparkle even more brightly. Quiffy cooed with excitement, never before seeing anything as beautiful, except, of course, the Sceptre.

Mij bolted upright, "What are you doing in here?"

"Uh I--" '

"You just came in to steal the Tiara, that's all." He reached into the desk and pulled out a wicked looking blaster. "Now, dear friend, I suggest that you hand over that Tiara. Don't make me hurt you. I don't want to hurt you."

Iffley, however, was already diving into the mirror. Mij fired, but was a fraction too late. The energy from the blaster enveloped the mirror, causing it to explode. Mij muttered to himself, and threw the blaster across the room.

*  *  An Eye for an Eye  *  *

Iffley reappeared in Furanose at a meeting between Adena, Eve, and Toltec. Embarrassed, Iffley quickly hid the Tiara behind his back. Eve, however, retained partial view of the stolen object. Iffley sneered at Toltec; the jerk followed Adena everywhere! He apologized to Adena and teleported to Alarius.

In a flash, he stood by the dreaded tree: the killer tree. Iffley concentrated, the Tiara probing his mind. Iffley found himself in a giant tunnel. Thousands of colors flashed throughout the tunnel, each changing hues the closer it came to the exit. Iffley and Quiffy plummeted toward the hole in time. They began to spiral around the edge of the hole, emerging through the other side.

The utter oddity of the tunnel was suddenly replaced by the stability of the Alarian landscape. The killer tree was smaller, less repulsive now. Also, the large scar that marred its bark was not present--but that event had not happened yet.

Suddenly, a speeding red hovercar crested the hill, and accelerated down the slope. Iffley stepped in front of the vehicle. The hovercar jammed to a stop inches in front of him. Iffley felt the wind from the air brakes whipping through his hair. The door swung wildly up, and Camille stepped out.

"What are you doing here? I thought I told you that I never wanted to see you again." Her eyes flashed at him.

"Camille, I have no time to explain; we have to leave now. Any delay could change history!"

"History? What are you talking about?"

"I'll explain later." He reached inside the hovercar, setting the craft on automatic pilot. The vehicle lurched forward on its own initiative, and sped off toward the tree. It exploded in a spectacular array of technicolor conflagrations. The tree would surely be scarred now, for that was its destiny.

"My new car..." Camille screamed, but her words dissolved into the void as Iffley returned them to the present.

Iffley, from the past, ran atop the hill and saw the cause of the explosion. He stared at the burning car, unable to stop the blaze. He slowly sat down onto the ground in disbelief and wept.

**The 'Eyes' Have It**

Iffley, Quiffy, and Camille, ripped from the past, arrived safely. Camille was slightly flustered at this new development, "Where am I?"

"I know that you have many questions, and, in time, I will be able to answer them all. For starters, you have been rescued from the past. You were destined to die in that crash, but I have prevented that. You are now several years in the future. Things will not be as you remember them."

"But I don't understand. You still look relatively the same."

"That's because I reversed my lifespan. I stopped the process when I reached the age of twenty-seven."

"Why did you rescue me now, instead of then?"

"In the past, I didn't have the power to rescue you. The power has only recently fallen into my hands." That was not exactly the truth: Adena's love had caused the accident, initially.

"And what of Adena?"

"She means nothing to me now. I care only for you." Now he was resorting to total lies! He only brought Camille back to use against Adena--to make her jealous, as she had him. "I will transport you to my castle. There, Spaulding will take good care of you." He raised the Sceptre, and she dissapeared. Iffley then transported himself to the City of Remembrance.

He approached the Portal, intent on returning the Tiara to its owner, when an elderly lady stopped him from entering.

"You shall not be permitted to enter the portal again, Restorer." Her voice was crisp and clear, as were her sparkling blue eyes. Apparently, her age did not affect her bodily functions.

"I am only going to--"

"To cause more destruction. You entered the Hall for your own personal gain. Because of your senseless actions, the Hall of Mirrors, as well as the rest of the City, shall be closed off to visitors--forever. "

"What gives you the authority to close the City?"

"I am Shine, one of several Historians. The danger is now over, and we shall reclaim our City. Now, leave the City!" She pointed a bony finger at him.

Chastised, Iffley teleported back to the castle. He gazed at the Tiara, perhaps it would be better to keep the Key. After all, he would put it to good use. Absolute power does not necessarily have to corrupt absolutely--or does it?

 © 1985, 

K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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