Time Wipe

Two seconds ago. Vapor coalesces forming shapes. Elongated and wavering—a child’s still wet painting hanging to dry. The colors run. Skeletal white, lazotap blue, metallic black. Leg meets hip, an arm and shoulder come together, a head grows from a spinal column. A dozen of Bolas’ eternals gather into clattering form. They stumble, puppet-like herky-jerky movement. As one, they turn on him. The woman lies still at their feet, blood pools at her head. Standing alone Teferi’s grin fades, his fingers part.

Now. “Not like that,” Teferi twists his wrist, snaps his fingers.

The dozen eternals shiver, their bodies deform. Armor falls free. Heads and arms fade into the wind, they vanish like steam. The girl hiding behind Teferi sees her mother blink, blood pooled around the woman’s head draws back into its home.

“Mommy!” the girl dashes past Teferi and falls onto her mother. Parent and child embrace.

A week later. Ravnica is grieving, healing, and starting to rebuild. Teferi sits in a garden, Selesnya druids guide new growth. Footsteps approach, the figure throws back his hood.

Jace nods, “I saw what you did.”

“I did a lot.”

Jace smirks, “Uh-huh. I’m talking about that girl’s mother. Didn’t think you did that—messed with life and death.”

Teferi purses his lips, “Mmm, well, you see a lot of things in war you don’t expect.” He waggles his fingers, in the distance a tree sprout grows a foot.

Jace nods. “What exactly did you do? I saw a dozen eternals there one moment, then gone the next.”

Teferi chuckles, “Yes, well…To understand would require years of study. To put it simply: they were undone.”

Jace half-turns scanning the ruin of the garden and the city beyond, “How about undoing all this, huh?” he points to the tree a foot taller than it was a minute ago. “Do that, but for the whole plane.”

Teferi shakes his head, “It doesn’t work like that, Jace.” He looks into the distance, eyes unfocused. “I tried something like that once, many years ago. Now my home is gone. I’ll never do it again.”

“Well, grow a few more trees then.”

Teferi chuckles. “Maybe I will—maybe I already have,” he bounces his brows.