The Legend of the Lightning Zebra is a prophecy in the universe of Stationery Voyagers, one which foretells, via parable, a number of events which happen throughout the series and its successor.
The prophecy essentially foretells several of the series' myth arc foci, including the following events:
- Minshus dies and is raised. (Pre-series, told in a Season Three flashback episode)
- Clandish Consto, formerly of the Nabijab Police, will become the evil and psychotic Cybomec. (Season One)
- Consto will eventually be forced to forsake the Cybomec body and identity forever. (Season One)
- Consto will then be reincarnated artificially once again, as Preamble. (Season Two)
- Rev. Richard Ribando will become a good version of Cybomec. (Season Three)
- Harvey Leadfort will become Caloride. (Caloric Attitudes)
- Philden Roberts will become Philidrio. (Final Hope)
- Ribando-Cybomec, Philidrio, and Caloride will battle and defeat a super-strong Preamble. (Final Hope)
The following is written on the scroll itself:
A prophet, one great being known as Sorbiko, once had a vision. Before him lay a great hallway, where the wicked ones conspired. Sought they doom to all that were of Dabor and Meelia descended, including naught by chance themselves.
With the highest of the wicked supporting them each step of their way. They tried to forge in secret, yet it was too great to be hidden, their foulness. Pestilence and disease, they endorsed fully. Also, didst they, bring about a constitution unto the universe: All things should to die. Nor should all things be to die but on a temporal plane; for all things were to discover the anguish of Darko, that outer pit of rejection.
Power began to unfold in their favor, for the forces of Volition Dilemma forbade excessive intrusion upon their vile work. Tormentors and blasphemers were they, who quickly enacted and enforced their dreaded entity with glee. 'Twas the Document of Death they had thus forged, and the document's power was unto all life unquestionable. Yet, not content were they, to merely instill death.
The document was not to be permanent nor binding, for they had not produced its heading. That was to be the most powerful end of their wicked Document of Death, for it made death permanent. Even so, the Holy Ones whose hands were bound to allow wickedness to exist for a time, were helped by the same force which had bound them. The Wicked Ones themselves sought to deny Volition Dilemma, by removing all power to choose life for the lovers of life and of goodness.
The Righteous Ones, in their wrath, sought to sabotage the Wicked in their path. So before the Document of Death could receive its validating head, they sent an agent of wrath to destroy it: A great and mighty, powerful Zebra stormed down the doors of one great hallway in the Wicked Ones' realms.
Its stripes looked as lightning in the sky, and indeed did it also shoot lightning from its body. Without mercy, it trampled the Wicked Ones even as they sought to subdue it. It did not rest until the head of that wretched Document was completely crushed under its feet. As the last forger with any power died, the Zebra itself vanished.
'Twas then when Sorbiko was explained to by and angel of the truth: the Zebra he saw was but the first. There were to be Four Lightning Zebras about which Time itself would be defined. The Second Zebra was promised of lore to Dabor and Meelia, for a Chameleon didst seduce them into releasing Death upon Life. There is to be a Third Zebra also, yet one which will be mislead unto a path of Great Darkness. He shall become a header for a new Document of Death, one which shall be more limited in scope of its Destruction. And to fight him, there shall be a Fourth Zebra, the Last Zebra.
Saw also didst Sorbiko a Flame, and an Hourglass, which bore witness. Time and Fire shall thus be with the Second and Fourth Zebras. For in presence of Flame and Hourglass, the Lightning Zebra shall destroy the head of the Document of Death.
Throughout the series, numerous characters contemplate the meaning of this strange legend. Gordon Lomken is one of many who stumbles across obscure references to the Markerterion Minshan Writings and their references to the Lightning Zebra Legend. As a result; Mitchell, Eliot, and Ronda spend some time trying to deduce the Zebra's meaning. Consto gets the Zebra's meaning explained to him rather explicitly; but he decides that becoming a Lightning Zebra is worth it, even if it means he becomes the dreaded Third Zebra. Ribando reluctantly becomes the Fourth Zebra.
Ronda's diary reveals that she randomly sketched a zebra that popped into her head one day. Curious, Mitchell asks her what the significance is of the Zebra in the adventures of her fictional character Roberto. He also asks her what the significance is of it having lightning stripes. She explains that she has no idea why the Zebra is there, but that she felt compelled to include it.
Around the same time, Maraldos explains in intricate detail the entire legend to Consto. This leads to Consto's full acceptance of becoming Cybomec, in spite the prophetic risks this might entail for him.
Consto begins to realize that as Cybomec, he is in fact, the Third Zebra. The Vile Chameleon, disguised as Mezelwradd, assures Consto that everything will be fine.
Consto shares the significance of the Lightning Zebra Legend with Neone, and assures her that he intends to keep the prophecy's latter half from coming true.
Consto is defeated in battle, and is thus forced to forsake the Cybomec identity.
Ignoring all warnings to the contrary, Captain Nonpriel of the Red Fleet steals Consto's S-chip from Rhodney and Liquidon. He immediately revives it in a new body dubbed "Preamble." Consto wastes little time causing trouble, and shipwrecks the vessel on Mt. Antelio Island. He escapes his RMM captors to make his way to the foot of Mt. Antelio, where he seeks to learn sorcery from a wizard rumored to live there. He soon meets the wizard, as well as his apprentice Wilter.
However, Maurice the Ferryman whisks Consto off to the Haragad Cavity before they can teach him anything. Consto spends the rest of his days, up until he is released during the Final Hope continuity, in a dormant state on Haragad. He is briefly taunted by King Melchar of the Drismabons before being left to his seemingly never-ending loneliness.
The Wizard Lamdock creates numerous traps for the Voyagers, leaving Erasaxo no choice but to take a revised version of the Cybomec body and give it to the reluctant Rev. Richard Ribando. Ribando grows to accept, however begrudgingly, his new role as Cybomec. Yet, he has not completely made the connection in his mind that he is the Fourth Zebra. He grows increasingly suspicious with time that this is, in fact, truly his role.
Main article: Stationery Voyagers: Caloric Attitudes
Some time after the events of Reconciliations, Harvey Leadfort reveals himself to the Voyagers as Caloride. Little do they understand that Caloride is the "Flame" in the passage: "In presence of Flame and Hourglass."
Stationery Voyagers: Final HopeEdit
The Liberty Effort recovers Philden "Philidrio" Roberts and Verdega "Verdegal" Lanchez from a hospital and recruits them to become members of the Final Hope Voyagers. Their radar symbols become that of an hourglass and the Lanchez Triangle. Thus, Philidrio becomes the "Hourglass" that aids Caloride (the "Flame") and Ribando Cybomec (the Fourth Zebra) in defeating Preamble (the Head of the Document of Death.)