You are Rose Petal, currently fluttering along with the others.
"Something's weird," says Jaden to no one in particular. You've waited while Clayton retrieved his guns again and are about to make your way back to the army base that now serves as your home. You look around, and everything seems pretty normal. You are standing in front of the airport building, waiting for your car to arrive, and you look back over at her, curious about what she's talking about.
"I don't sense anything amiss with ESP," says Jake, getting a 17 on his check.
"No, I'm right. Look!" Jaden gets out her character sheet and looks at it. "Did I have these cards before?" I'm sure I didn't, what would I do with card 45?"
Everyone, including you, gets out their character sheets and has a look.
"You're right," says Clayton. "I've got card 31 now, you just spent that one, didn't you Rose?"
Indeed you had, in the last chapter.
Everyone looks confused, wondering what's going on.
"So this wasn't supposed to happen?" asks Jaden. "I thought someone said we would get new cards before our next mission, but we only just got through with this one!"
"It does seem really odd," says Clayton. "Maybe the Narrator expects something to happen to us before we get back?"
You all ponder this while turning in cards like 13, and as Clayton this times gets card 38, he takes back card 35 that Jake got, netting you all (plus the Narrator) two extra cards. Jaden whines about getting card 21 again, but you remind him it worked out for him pretty well last time, so what's he complaining about?
"Anyone want card 43?" asks Clayton. "Most of my major skills are in a skill group, and I don't have the XP to raise them right now."
"I'll trade you for 32 and 36," you say, "I wouldn't mind learning a high level spell instantly!"
"You got it," says Clayton.
"What exactly do we do?" you ask.
"I think it's already done," he replies, and as you check your sheet, yes, the cards have been shuffled around.
"I don't shoot stuff," says Jaden to Clayton, I'll trade you card 45 for your new 32, it's more useful to me."
"Teleportal," you announce. Everyone looks over at you. "The spell I'm going to learn," you explain. "I don't know too much motion magic, so that's perfect. It's the grade 10 version of Unicorn's Tunnel, I don't have to cast each end of the tunnel separately, and I can put the portal anywhere I've been. I would have a hard time learning that one, being grade 10, as my knowledge is only a four, but with card that's no longer a concern."
"Whatever you think is best," says Jaden.
"I declare the use of card 43 for learning Teleportal." The card, with glasses guy dressed up in a cap and gown, appears and shimmers, then fades away like always. You know a new spell!
"Any ideas about what I should use my card 31 on?" Clayton asks you.
You haven't forgotten his attitude towards you earlier, but you can't just tell him nothing. "Have a wizard Imbue one of your guns with the Reload spell, it'll never run out of ammo."
"Say, that is a good idea. I'll look into it, thanks. Do you want to try out your new spell to get us back home?"
You think for a moment. "I better not."
"The Narrator gave us those cards for a reason, I think something is going to happen here, that's the start of our next adventure. He didn't know I would wind up with card 43, or if I did, that was the spell I would choose. If we go now we'll miss whatever he had in mind for us here, and that could be worse for us later on."
"I guess we'll stick around then. I don't suppose your curiosity has anything to do with wanting to see what's going to happen here?"
"Maybe a little," you answer.
You have some fun watching all the pretty girls going in and out of the airport, but quickly tire of it and decide you might as well get everyone home with your new spell after all. Knowing this, the Narrator decides he better get things moving, and you're startled to see another fairy come around the corner, and wave to you.
"Looks like you have a friend," Jaden remarks. "She kind of reminds me of you."
You look, and Jaden is right. This fairy is older then you, but still as pretty as you are. Her golden hair is longer then your golden tresses, but her green eyes sparkle just as much as yours do. As she flies up you see you're exactly the same hight and you have exactly the same iridescent dragonfly wings. Who knew there could be such a perfect match for you, it's like looking at a more mature version of yourself! Oh, the things she could show you, you're in love!
"Oh thank goodness," the fairy says, flying up in front of you. "I'm so glad I caught you before you went back to base. You're all in terrible danger!"
You do a double take. What?
"I knew it!" says Jaden. "And once again I'll probably be no use at all."
Normally you would try to reassure your long time friend, but with this lovely creature before you, all thoughts of Jaden are gone. You must find out more about this fairy and how she knows to warn you like this.
"Please, you must come with me," implores the fairy a second time. "If you go back to base a great tragedy will occur. You must believe me."
You're ready to follow her anywhere.
"Hold on a minute," cautions Clayton. "Who exactly are you, and what's this all about?"
"Why, can't you tell?" says the fairy, spinning in air. "I'm Rose from the future!"
"Okay, we'll go with you!" you say.
"Hold on there missy," says Clayton, grabbing your leg. "Conference time."
"So is she who she says she is?" asks Clayton softly. You've all gathered in a huddle to talk about this revelation, and the future you is hovering out of earshot a ways away.
"There is at least one spell from Saturn, which deals with time, which can send someone to the past or the future. However, she looks a lot older then me, and I don't think the spell can do more then a couple of months, if that. I don't know any Saturn spells, so it's hard to know for sure. There is one way of telling, of course, I just hate to seem all suspicious towards her when she's just trying to help us."
"We did get new cards, maybe it was in case we went back there and something happened?" asks Jaden.
"To PC city? What could threaten that place? It not only has most of the PCs in this area living there, but it's stuffed to the gills with weapons both magical and mundane. It doesn't make sense," says Clayton. "If you can clear this up, go do it."
"It's kind of silly," you protest. "You might think less of me when I do it."
"Just. Do. It."
"Okay, okay." You don't want to set him off again, so you flutter over to your older self, if that's what she is. Will you really look that good when you're older? Fairies don't age the way humans do, but you look really good with longer hair, maybe- You remind yourself to focus on the issue at hand.
"Before we go anywhere with you, I'll need the password," you say.
"The... what?" says the other fairy.
"You know... the password?"
"Wait, you have a password?" asks Jaden. "I don't know about this."
"Of course not, that would defeat the whole point," you answer. "As soon as I learned there was time travel magic I figured I might one day learn it and come back to warn myself about something. But then I thought, what if someone pretends to be me from the future? You know how gullible I am-"
"It is one of your cuter traits."
"Thank you. What was I- Oh, so I wanted a way to identify myself if I ever went back in time." You get your wand out of your inventory and point it at the beautiful but tragically unreal fairy before you. "Which means this is a fraud."
"Oh shoot," says the fairy, "It would be something silly like a password, wouldn't it?" Without further warning, the fairy disappears.
"Did she go invisible?" says Clayton, getting one of his guns out.
"I don't feel her there anymore," says Jake, getting a 14 on his ESP check. "But I think there's someone invisible over there!" He points.
Suddenly, there's an explosion by the doors to your left, and you get a 14 on your Magical Theory check, and realize it's a Mars spell of Elemental Burst!
Clayton growls, "Come on, there may be people hurt, this fairy thing will have to wait."
You all rush to the scene, and there are several burned people, the worst one a man being cradled by woman, his back is terribly scorched and you immediately fly over to him and begin casting Regeneration. You put two extra energy into it and take as long as you can, which still isn't even more then a few seconds, and cast the spell successfully. You got a 13 on your LUCk check, so he's still alive, and begins regenerating every 10 segments. The woman holding him is weeping and thanking you. "He just jumped in front of me," she says, "I don't even know him."
"When he's healed, see if he has five extra XP, maybe the Narrator took pity on you and played card 26. Then ask him to dinner."
"I will," she says, relieved. "I really will."
Once he's healed you check the others, they are not as serious, and Jake has been looking after them with Healing Acceleration, as well as some other wizards who came running, so it seems no one is in danger of dying. You do a couple of castings of Elemental Conjuration from Neptune to get some water and put out some of the fires, and Clayton calls headquarters to get a clean up crew down here and start taking statements. NPCs start popping in with teleportation, and soon everything is under control again.
"Told you I wouldn't be any help," says Jaden. "I better get to punch somebody soon, this is ridiculous."