Disclaimer: The only character in this part I don't own is Megavolt.. and the brief mention of Hamburger Hippo..both are Disney's. All other characters are mine. Thanks:Julie for giving me the initial courage to write this, to Aero who supported me even when she didn't want to, to John who listened to me rant, and to Lauderdale who makes me feel like my fics are worth a lot more then they are. ***** "I swear to protect the order and to serve well the Masters of Time. I am the Keeper of the Sacred Pocketwatch. I am Keeper Fedora like my fathers before me. Blessed be the name of Sebastien who was the first of the chosen. Blessed be the name of Chronos who bestowed upon us the gift. Blessed be the Guardians who have died for their teachings. Hear my promise Masters and etch it in the flow of time. From Here where our kingdom lies to There where we hold sway. Time is everything." Ricia slowly opened her eyes and stared at the pocketwatch. "Time is everything", she softly mumbled again. She pushed herself away from the desk, once again cursing the wheelchair. She had long since been too weak to walk anymore and the doctor had said it was best. It still sucked. She frowned as she caught a glimpse of her reflection. Her brown and black hair had gone silver and her eyes had darkened. She shook her head. No point dwelling on it. She wheeled herself into the kitchen where her husband was trying to cook dinner. She smiled. He had actually turned out to be a decent cook, surprisingly enough. It was good cause her cooking was hazardous to a person's health. "Hey honey, what's cooking?" Megavolt rolled his eyes and smiled. He leaned over to kiss her. "It's a surprise." Ricia frowned. "Should I be worried?" Megavolt stirred something. "No. I got the recipe from a very nice vending machine downtown." Ricia was about to ask what a vending machine could possibly know about cooking but they decided it wasn't worth it. "Where're the kids?" Megavolt thought for a moment. "Thompson said something about going to a friend's house and Indiglo's in her room." "No I'm not" Ricia turned to see her daughter walk in the room. Indiglo Emperion Sputterspark or just plain Indi, had waist length rust colored hair and crystal blue eyes. Unlike Thompson, she had inherited her mother's avian features and had cream colored feathers, however,she was every bit as feminine as Ricia was not. This was caused mostly by one of her friends making a comment about her "freakish cross-dressing mother". Ricia didn't mind though. Whatever made her daughter happy was fine by her..as long as it didn't involve bail money. Indi looked into the pot. "Looks great Dad. Vending machine?" Megavolt smiled with pride. "Yup. Downtown." Ricia shook her head in wonderment. She was always surprised by Indi's uncanny ability to understand the electrical appliances the way her father did. No matter how hard Ricia tried she couldn't quite grasp the concept. Oh she adored the toasters and treated every last gadget in the house with respect...but she envied her husband's and daughter's gift sometimes. She pushed the thought away and looked up at her daughter. "Do you know where Thompson went? I need to speak with him." Indi frowned and smiled slightly. "Am I my brother's keeper?" Ricia put a hand to her chest in mock horror. "You killed him and buried him in the backyard didn't you?" Indi crossed her arms. "Who told??" Megavolt laughed but then looked worried. "You didn't...did you?" Indi looked surprised. "No! I swear by the Masters I haven't touched one funky hair on his troll like head." "Oh really Princess of Dorktavia?", Thompson walked into the room looking amused. "Have you gazed upon your own horrific persona this day?" Indi raised a hand which started to spark with electricity. Thompson did the same. Megavolt dashed between them while Ricia idly wondered about how much fabric softener the household went through each week. Megavolt grabben both their arms. "That's enough! You know the rules about electrocuting each other. Now give your sibling a hug." Thompson sneered. "I'd rather lick the floor of a Hamburger Hippo." Indi sneered back. "That's the only action you'll ever see." Megavolt's mouth dropped open. "That's it. Go to your room Indiglo and you too..." Ricia held up a hand. "Wait! Sorry Megs but I need to talk with Thompson." Thompson looked quizzically at his mother while Indi stomped off to her room declaring the unfairness of it all. Megavolt shook his head mumbling something about teenage daughters, then turned back to his culinary masterpiece. Thompson followed Ricia into her workshop. It was his favorite room in the lighthouse. Filled with clocks and clock parts, there was a peace and tranquility in there that he just couldn't get anywhere else. Ricia picked up a handful of springs and studied them for awhile. Finally she looked up at her son and smiled sadly. Thompson frowned and knelt down. "Mother? Are you alright?" He looked into her eyes and his face twisted in pain. "Mother?" She reached other and ruffled his hair...something she hadn't done since he was a young kid. "Mother I'm too old for that! I'm seventeen!" Ricia sat back. "You're never too old. But anyway this doesn't concern your maturity level...or maybe it does. Have you been studying?" Thompson looked slightly guilty. "Some...Father has gone through it with me. Why can't you teach me...?" Ricia shook her head. "We've been through this. The Keeper cannot teach the Heir. That's what the Guardian is for...and to protect you when it's your turn." Thompson frowned. He looked at his mother. Unlike his little sister, who was four years younger then him, he could remember when his mother was stronger. He hated how she was slowly getting weaker and weaker as the years...no as the months went by. He wrapped his arms around her in an awkward embrace and mumbled a prayer half from a distant memory. "May the Masters protect the Keeper who protects all from the impending chaos." Ricia hugged him back. "And protect the Heir who shall follow the Keeper's way" "Mother?" "Hmm...?" "Have...the Masters called for you?" Ricia pulled away and patted her son on the cheek. "Go study." Thompson watched his mother turn away and engage herself in an old clock. He knew the conversation was over, but he had a feeling his troubles were just beginning. End of Part One.