Birth of a Notion

"Just so, Butayde. I have to tell you both just why I set up the Shoppe, why I've waited to meet you, tek. The purpose, in fact, was to tell you what I'm about to tell you."

"first, my friend," said Butayde, "I'm out of Sprite. Refill?"

"Well, I have no more, just now, i'm sorry."

"Well," said tek, "anything else in your fridge?"

"Fridge?" asked Butayde.

"Yes, that box of his in the corner, wherefrom he took the bottle of Sprite. It's a refridgerator. it's from my world & time. by the by, what's running it? you got your own generator here somewhere? and if so, why the torches for light?"

"Yes, a generator... and I just like torches, if you don't mind. Now, what might you like?"

"Ah... how about some moxie. I have a friend..."

"Yes, the mad TAer. Most interesting chap. The Chaos is strong in that one, indeed. and his friend MezBerris."

"Indeed. Moxie is a most chaotic individual. And his namessake a most interesting sort of soda."

"Well, lucky thing I knew you'd ask for it. I have some."

"Moxies all around, then. And on with your tale."

The proprietor returned to the fridge, produced a bottle of moxie, and sat down again, pouring the drinks. "Now, why did I want to speak with you both, and particularly with tek? It was to assure the creation of a certain group of adventurers, of which I am one. And you shall be."

"The Chaos Knights," guessed teknomage.

"Just so. An idea you conceived of some weeks ago, but haven't yet mentioned to anyone, unsure of yourself, or at least of your idea. Rest assured, it will be successful. I'm just here to make sure you start it. And you do, you do indeed found the Chaos Knights, and very soon."

"Good to know."

"What precisely are 'chaos knights'?" asked Butayde.

The proprietor took from his pocket and unfolded a piece of paper, which he handed to teknomage. "the first passage you jotted down some... months ago, i believe, upon your first, vague idea. the second passage you wrote weeks ago, and is a slightly more developed idea, tho not really fully formed as yet."

"Yes, I know. But the paper looks different, as does the handwriting, which is nonetheless apparently mine, i think."

"Yes, this is not the original paper. you still have that, in my time. Before I came here, you- your future self, that is- wrote me this copy. would you like to read it to us now?"

Tek looked down at the paper and read, "knight organization, very good. independent- capable of doing things individually, show up in surprising places. as a group, incredible."

"and the second passage?"

"Chaos Knights. I, as vice-lord of chaos and knight of the Square Table, become the first Chaos Knight, starting the organization. I slowly gather others to my cause- Kheas, Butayde, et al..."

"That's nice," said Butayde, "but it certainly begs elaboration."

"Indeed it does, my friend. Well, let me see...what i was thinking, was that... well, there are various groups around already. Knights of the Square Table, Guards of the Witchqueen, the newer Chaos Warriors, TAers, and other such, I suppose. All very good, to be sure. But I thot it might be fun to start one myself. A very good one. perhaps one in which members had to first be members of at least a couple other groups. I belong to a few myself, and am on decent terms with others... Well, the Chaos Knights could perhaps be the cream of the Chaos Warriors. Being Knights of the Square Table, or some other variety of knight, would be nice. You know, a sort of Green Lantern Corps sort of thing, or maybe like the Jedi Knights..."

"the whats?" asked Butayde.

"Uh, proprietor, have I introduced you to them-?"

"Yes, of course. Butayde, the Green Lanterns are from comic books in his world. A corps of beings from thousands of worlds across the universe who were each given a ring with incredible powers, and chosen to protect their own world, their own sector of space. The Jedi Knights were from movies, and later books, comics, TV, and other media. They were in a distant galaxy long ago. They had to go thru a lot of mental training, as well as physical. They learned of the Force, which was created from the life essense of all things. they learned to use the force. well, you'll really have to see the movies some day, all the various trilogies..."

"aw, man" said tek, "do i envy you! so far, in my time, only the first trilogy, uh, the second that is, but it was the first, has come out. tho the second should be starting in a few years."

"Yes, and you'll quite enjoy them."

"I've no doubt."

"Okay," said Butayde, "so do we get rings or mental powers or something?"

"Sorry, we don't. I believe tek was merely using them as examples for the Chaos Knights, not true models. In fact, we have no standard weapons, armor, outfits, emblems, or anything. We know who we are, but we don't advertise to the world that we are Chaos Knights. Anyone we wish to know, knows, anyone we don't...generally doesn't."

"Generally?" asked tek.

"Well, it wouldn't be all that much fun if we always had the advantage of surprise over our enemies, would it? We've been up against some good ones, some terribly clever ones. But i won't spoil all the surprises for you."

"So we have lots of adventures, anyway?" asked Butayde.

"Oh, yes. Well, there won't be many CK's at first. Just a few. So, for awhile, it'll be a close-knit group. But eventually we all started going our own ways. wherever we decide to go, individually. there's never (or rarely) any sort of fixed plan. we each just go where we like, do whatever needs doing. once in a while, two or three of us may work together, or sometimes with others outside the group, by chance. Rarer still are times when we're all called to work together on some terribly large and important mission."

"Sounds quite fun," said tek. "Still, I wonder a few things. Like, why bother? there are already other organizations like this one out there. How would this one be different? And isn't it really just nothing more than my vain attempt to snag a little glory for myself? Why not just go with Chaos Warriors? how different can it be? and why would anyone agree..."

"Tek, tek, tek. these questions are precisely why i had to come back here to make my assurances to you. you might otherwise have given up entirely, without ever mentioning your idea. now, as to answering what you wonder about, you're absolutely right. But no one else cares, so neither should you. make like a sneaker and just do it."

"What?" asked Butayde.

"it's a line from a commercial, on Tv." said tek. "very well, i will. now, i suppose there's really no special training for the CK's. we're each our own people with our own backgrounds, who all just agree to band together under the name Chaos Knights? And we all have different skills and such?"

"Yes, of course."

"And I suppose we'll be known far and wide? Not necessarily ourselves individually, but the words 'Chaos Knights'? The words'll strike fear into the hearts of evildoers and joy into the hearts of the innocent? all that?"

"after a time. that should be years off, yet, for you. before my time, tho, Chaos Knights are a very well known group, even tho we do manage to maintain quite the mystery about us."

"Good, good. perhaps, back home, I could make a comic book out of this. If any publisher would buy it. Say! Do you know...?"

"I know you're into creating and writing comic books, tek. wish I could tell you how it turns out for you, but I'm sure you understand I can't."

"But," said Butayde, "Surely what you've already done, already told us, has changed things from their true origins?"

"Doesn't understand much about temporal mechanics, yet." said teknomage.

"No, but he will. someday, if i do say so myself, he'll understand them better than just about anybody."

"But-" said Butayde.

"But anyway," interrupted the proprietor, "this IS how I remember it all starting, originally. For the most part. Aside from little things like giving you Sprite before tek ever did."


"I'm pretty sure I already guessed quite some while ago," said tek.

"Yup." said the proprietor.

"What-?" said Butayde again.

And the proprietor passed his hand over his own face, dropping his masquerade spell. His face didn't change much. He was still the same age, his features changed but slightly. It was now possible to see, tho, that, "My name, which you both so patiently have waited for, is Butayde Ploddeviss."