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Platinum

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When the irregularity was discovered, the forces controlling this dimension decided to send him in, back up by Ruthenium. Pretending to be exactly average wore on Platinum more than he cared to admit but he knew it was safer for him to appear normal even in a town filled with human geniuses, calling himself an equally average name of Jack Carter. This was the kind of assignment he disliked, requiring years to ascertain the nature of the breach and seal it to prevent any further intrusion by beings who would destroy this dimension. He knew why they had sent him instead of one of the other elements, like Sapphire or Steel. It was because he was malleable, able to stretch and deform to whatever was needed to complete the assignment. He was also a little dense which was why he was often partnered with one of the lighter elements like Ruthenium and Citrine.

Ruthenium seemed happy enough to play his daughter this time around, altering her physical appearance accordingly, and it seemed strange at first to treat her as a child when she was as timeless as him. Citrine had her own assignment, playing the part of his wife when she needed to mingle with humanity.

At first he thought the Artifact was the breach, and certainly it was a force from the beginning of time in this universe, but the threat level did not diminished, not even after he had covertly neutralized the Artifact, unfortunately not in time to save the human, Kim Anderson. The humans were their own worst enemy, especially the ones in this crazy town. They played with forces they did not understand, weakening the fabric of their universe until a new irregularity appeared. Perhaps Sapphire might have registered Weinbrenner's failed experiment faster but instead Jack found himself looping in time, the irregularity causing ripples that would act like a beacon, and it was only his elemental status that kept him moving through each loop though not without a physical cost.

When Nathan Stark sacrificed himself to stop the time loops, Jack could only stare in shock, aware there was nothing he could do to save him, and still the threat level continued to climb. Too late he realized the loss of Nathan Stark - erased from time - was the final component needed to open a fissure, but more than that Jack felt genuine sorrow for the loss, wishing he had taken the time to get to know Nathan better. There had been moments when he felt an affinity with Nathan that should not exist between the Elementals and Humanity.

The enemy was now at the door and he watched Citrine's eyes glow yellow as she pinpointed the exact moment in time that needed to be repaired.

Feigning shock when he arrived in 1947 along with several humans had come easier with so much practice over the past years. He could feel the pressure building as the irregularity continued to grow, knowing it would not take much more to witness this universe splitting open, allowing the enemy to crossover. Annoyingly, the one person he needed - Ruthenium - was still in the future and there was no way he could explain her presence should she suddenly turn up. He could feel the misalignment of time, like the one caused by Henry when he tried to save his beloved, Kim. Time was tearing apart and simply returning to an altered future was not the complete answer. What he needed to do was alter the past by a fraction, bending particles of time to make the slightest change here and now that would ripple forward.

When the group returned to their present he could sense the difference, feeling the stability of time once more. There were other differences - a human child who was no longer autistic, careers that had taken a different path for some of them - but most of these changes were insignificant, apart from one. Jack felt Allison's shock as Nathan Stark ambled up the middle of Main Street towards them. He offered a cursory nod of his head towards Allison but all of his attention seemed focused on Jack.

Nathan caught Jack by the arm and drew him away with an impolite, "I need Carter."

"What the hell..." Jack shook off Nathan's hand once they were a safe distance away.

"Really, Platinum?" Jack froze because he had been so careful to hide his true nature and identity. Nathan continued. "You didn't really think they'd assign only you and Ruthenium to this crazy town? You were not the only medium atomic weights available."

"Who are you?"

"Tantalum."

Jack blinked because he had heard of him, of how he could move from an alpha to beta state depending on needs at the time.

"The irregularity-."

"Is closed for now, but the town sits on a weak point in time and space. We have orders to remain as guardians."

"Ruthenium?"

"Has been reassigned." He paused, aborting whatever he was about to say before sighing. "I felt your loss when you thought I had been erased from time. I wasn't truly gone but was trapped outside of time. I could see you but couldn't interact until you sealed the irregularity in 1947. I... I missed you too."

Jack nodded. "So where do you fit into this changed universe?"

Nathan-Tantalum grinned, holding up his hand to reveal a platinum band around his marriage finger. "With you, of course."

END