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TS21: Dissonant Echo

Jove was fairly certain he was dreaming. Not that he was ever sure when it happened, but something was definitely not the same as the waking world. He was walking through the university, and somehow he knew all the hallways. He was heading towards the top of the circular tower to stop Dion. It was the memory that got him. He knew he was going to fight Dion, but could not remember how he had learned that.

Just before he got to the top of the tower, a different Jove was knocked into the stairwell. He bounded painfully off the stone steps and hit the stone wall. This new Jove looked at Jove and said, “Good you’re here. Sorry I can’t stay, follow me.” Jove watched as he stood up and ran onto the roof.

Jove climbed the stairs and watched as Dion, in his mythic form as a huge red dragon, eyed the other him. The other him spoke, “Tell me Dion, was Mark hobbled as well?”

The dragon paused and narrowed his eyes. “You already know that. Why are you asking?” He looked around, and the dragon’s eyes found Jove. Dion drew slightly closer, as if trying to make something out. “A dissonant echo? Jove, do you really think this will change the past?”

The other Jove responded, “No, I remember what was said.” He grinned, “I also figured out what my mythic form is.”

Dion’s eyes went wide, “I won’t let you tell him!”

The red dragon lunged forward bringing sharp claws to bear. Time seemed to slow, and the other Jove turned towards Jove and said, “This isn’t your vision.”

Dion’s movement sped up, and he smashed the other Jove, sending him off the side of the tower. Jove felt like he was falling, the other Jove was him, a future him, and he was about to-

Jove bolted upright in his bed with a startled yell. This was followed by his sheets being pulled away and the sound of a muffled thump on the floor six feel below. Chris burst into the room, the lights coming on. Jove looked awkwardly around.

“Ow, did you have to do that?” Rai said from under the sheet.

Jove looked over the side of the bed, “Rai, what are you doing?”

Rai was slowly untangling himself from the sheets. “You were whimpering, so I thought I’d come in here and just put a hand on your shoulder.”

Chris just stared.

Jove asked, “How’d you get wrapped up in the sheet?”

“You started whimpering again when I pulled my hand away,” Rai blushed. “I thought that maybe you could use someone to be next to tonight.”

Jove shouted, “You got in my bed?!”

“It’s okay.” Rai said, finally free of the sheet. He offered it to Jove, “I put shorts on first, so it doesn’t count.”

Jove grabbed the sheet and pulled it onto the bed. He was grateful he choose to bring sweatpants to sleep in. “Before or after you put your hand on my shoulder?”

“Hey, I’m just Tan’s suppressed outgoing desires,” Rai objected, “It’s not my fault he feels that way about you.”

At that point, be it because he had heard enough or because he was satisfied Jove was safe, Chris decided to leave the room. Jove watched the door close. After what felt like a long time, Jove said, “Rai, that wasn’t cool. I know you’re not Tan, otherwise how could you have a separate magic aura? So, take responsibility.”

“I’m sorry Jove.” Rai sighed, “It didn’t occur to me you’d object. Is that why you yelled?”

“No.” Memories came flooding back to Jove. The dream, he’d almost forgotten. “Crap.” Jove scrambled out of bed and quickly headed out of his room. “I hope Chris is still up.”

To Jove’s surprise, Chris had three hot cups of tea prepared in the main room of the suite. Jove paused, “I dreamt I was fighting Dion. It didn’t seem like a normal dream. I think you two and Tan should hear it.”

Rai came out with Jove and sat down, taking a cup of tea. “You’ve had a rough day. It could just be a nightmare.”

Jove started with the one term that he had not heard before, “Rai, what’s a dissonant echo?”

“A…” Rai paused, “I think Tan knows, but I wanted to hear this. Can’t you ask your grimoire?”

“Rai, get Tan.” Jove was frustrated, and did not want to deal with this right now.

Rai pleaded, “If I go away, I might not come back tonight.”

Jove leaned over to Rai instinctively, and cupped a hand under his chin, “Get Tan.”

Rai swallowed and nodded, then blinked. His eyes went from red to blue. “Jove?” Tan asked, “What’s going on?”

Jove pulled his hand back, suddenly embarrassed. “I’m not sure. I wanted to ask you what a dissonant echo was. And then maybe let Rai back out.” Jove wasn’t sure how he got Tan to come back, but he was positive it was something he had done.

“When a divination is told to someone involved in it, you get an echo. Basically the echoes are the times you didn’t tell the person, the way the divination changed, and what happened when you told him every possible version.” Tan shrugged, “A dissonant echo is when you do that with the vision. You scry on yourself in the future, and your future self tells you something you could not have learned any other way. It’s a very advanced technique and extremely unreliable. Each echo is more distorted, and some of them will have outright lies, because all you are really looking at is yourself repeating what you heard in the vision.” He looked at Jove, “Why do you ask?”

“I think I just had one.” Jove blushed, “Can you listen in while we talk to Rai? I didn’t mean to get him to leave.”

“I think so.” Tan blinked, and his eyes were red again. Rai laughed, “Wow, I’m glad you didn’t hear the end of that sentence. Anyhow, thank you for letting me listen tonight.”

Jove took a breath and looked between Chris and Rai. “There were three, no four parts of the dream that seemed important. I’ve never had a vision before, so this might be a nightmare. But I’ve never heard of a dissonant echo before, so that gives it some weight. First, I was fighting Dion.”

Chris growled, “He will not harm you again.”

“It’s okay Chris. We’ll figure out what it means. Still, I guess that’s important because it wasn’t something I said. If the rest is just echoes, that part was real.” Jove took a breath, “I asked him if Mark was hobbled. He’s from my world though, so how could he be?”

“You just learned Chris was hobbled today.” Rai offered, “Maybe you were trying to say that Mark was raised by a Vorax?”

Jove nods, “That’s possible, but let’s not jump to conclusions on that one. I mean, I don’t like Mark, but his behavior hasn’t been dangerous.” Jove took a sip of his tea. “Next, I said I knew what my mythic form was. I think I was reassuring myself that I had one. Last, I said the vision was not mine. I really have no idea what that could mean.”

Rai shook his head, “I got nothing. But, Tan has something for you that might help. We’ll be picking it up at first light.”

Jove nodded, “Thank you. And no more sneaking into my room, okay?”

Rai started to say something then thought better of it. “Okay. I’m sorry.”

There was an awkward pause, and Jove asked, “Have you done it before?”

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