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by Aaron Chatelain
Author's Note: I would appreciate any feedback on my story. But I will not argue my view of the characters, color of thier features, or if Crono was a mute or not. :)
Magus breathed heavily. His body was racked with pain. His strength almost gone. He was surprised that he was on a knee and not lying on the floor. His clothes were singed, as were his arms. His crimson cape laid on the floor next to him in a smoldering heap. "That last attack almost finished me," he muttered to himself while moving aside the light-blue hair that clouded his eyes. He glanced upwards at their opponent. "Good," he thought, "the pods are still gone." Who would have known his enemy, this Lavos, would be this hard to defeat. He and the others were so much stronger than when they last encountered this demon from the skies. He had thought this would be a little easier. Voices from the past echoed in his head "Your overconfidence will be your downfall Magus." He allowed himself a slight smile. So many had told him that, many people that he had... "No time for that." He interrupted himself.
He glanced to his left. That inventor was on one knee and looking at him. She looked drawned. Her helmet lay broken at her feet. "Lucky for her," he thought, "had she not been wearing it, she'd probably be dead." Her dark brown hair was singed, her body was bruised, her glasses were gone, and her golden over shirt had gaping holes in it that revealed the dark green one underneath. Her face wore grave lines of worry; her brown eyes showed fear. She knew too that they would not survive another attack. He turned to his right with great effort. He was afraid to look...
He saw Marle starting to push herself up. He sighed in relief, stood up, and walked over to her. He grabbed her by her arms and helped her up. Ash was laced in her honey colored hair. Her once white clothes were now spotted with gray and black. Her pale body was littered with cuts and bruises and she was favoring her right leg greatly. She looked up at him. She looked strong, but her emerald eyes betrayed her. She was tired, very tired. "Thank you Magus," she said.
"Call me Janus," he replied. A smile crossed her lips. That smiled warmed him. He didn't know what he felt for this girl. Was it loved? He hadn't felt love since he had lost his sister. That was so long ago and this was different. He just didn't know. All he knew was that this girl was important to him and he smiled so suddenly that he didn't know he was doing it at first. He quickly recovered and stiffened his posture, but her smile only deepened. "Then you may call me Nadia." she said. He gave her a questioning look but she simply smiled again and turn towards Lavos, her smile quickly faded.
He turned to face their enemy as well. It just stood there. Its eyes were filled with hatred. It looked so eager to kill them that he was surprised it hadn't already finished them off. But it was waiting. He could feel the creature's energy building. It was going to bring back the pods. Once that happened they were as good as dead. "It won't attack while it's vulnerable but, Lavos is weakened," he thought, "there is enough time for one last spell."
Lucca was beside them now, "My gun is busted," she stated flatly. "Do you have your crossbow, Marle?"
"No," Marle replied. "It was destroyed in the last attack."
"My scythe is gone as well," Magus added.
"I guess all we have is our magic now," Lucca said with a sigh.
Marle turned to the others, "I don't think we can beat it with magic alone."
"Yes we can," Magus replied, "with one final spell." He glanced at the two girls. Marle bit her bottom lip and Lucca had her eyebrows pushed together in thought. They both knew what this meant.
"Will it work? Will it kill Lavos?" Lucca asked. "I don't know." Magus replied "I studied it in Zeal from one of the ancient spellbooks. It is suppose to be one of the most powerful spells ever created but was never tested because of its price."
"I guess we have little choice, Lavos will kill us anyway. Might as well, go out in a bang," Marle said with a slight smile.
Lucca nodded in agreement, "Let's do it."
"We must link our magic for it to work," Magus instructed. "It will require all your concentration. You must completely empty your mind and dedicate yourself solely to the magic. So if you have any last words or thoughts, do it now."
Lucca thought of her mother first, and how strong she was after the accident. She thought of her father and the long nights they spent together working on their inventions. She thought of Glenn, the medieval frog-man who spoke in the funniest way. Ayla, her barbaric friend who came from a place without any technology. She was still surprised that people were happy without technology. Robo her dearest friend, who she worked so passionately to fix, who was built in a world that she could only dream about. He was her dream incarnate. Then she thought about the boy who would play with her when the other children wouldn't. The boy she would have adventures with. The boy who cheered her up when she was down. The boy who was there when she needed him. The boy they fought so hard to get back. Crono, the boy she loved.
Marle's first thought was about her mother as well; she could only remember her mother's face. How beautiful and strong she was. She thought of her father, and how she missed him very much. She was strong headed like her father. She wished they had been closer. Marle hoped that her parents would be proud of her. Then she thought of her friends. Glenn, whose words she could never understand, but could always understand his heart. Ayla, the woman with strength of courage that she so admired. Robo, the mechanical man with a heart so big it had to be human. Janus, this mysterious man who was always surprising her. He seemed so cold, but she sensed the warmth in him. A man she was beginning to care deeply about. Then she thought about Crono. About that fateful day when they literally ran into each other. How kind he was. How strong, and brave. She liked him since the moment they first met. She had thought she would die when they lost him. She remembered how hard they worked to get him back, her best friend. She thought about how she loved him, and how that love had kept them together, but now her love for him was changing. It was so confusing. A final question echoed in her mind. "I wonder who I would have married?"
Janus thought about this girl next to him. This Marle, No, this Nadia. About what could have been. Regret crept through him again; just like it did when he lost his mother, sister, and his home the last time he encountered Lavos. His revenge had keep him going then and now that vengeance would finally blossom. He then thought about his sister, how brave she was. How he had wished he had listened to her. He thought about his mother as well. Her kindness, joyfulness and when she used to sing to him at night before Lavos corrupted her soul. "You shall be avenged this day sister and mother." He swore to himself, "Lavos will pay for the misery he has caused us all."
Lucca and Marle looked at each other with tears running down their cheeks. They embraced in a hug. "Goodbye Marle I'll miss..."
Marle interrupted her with a smile, "No good-byes Lucca, we'll see each other again soon."
Lucca only smiled.
Lucca turned to Magus. "Well, I wanted to say..."
"Save your breath girl," Magus interrupted "I don't care about what you think. Let's just leave it at farewell."
"Then, farewell Magus."
Marle took Magus's hand in her's. "Goodbye Janus. Maybe..." her voice trailed off.
"Perhaps, Nadia," he replied. They both knew that the chance that they were going to the same afterlife were slim. Then without thinking he leaned over and kissed her. A look of shock came across her face. Magus wondered for a moment if he was wrong about her. Then a smile parted her lips and he smiled back.
He turned to his enemy. Lavos was almost ready to resurrect the pods. Magus could feel the eagerness in the creature, the power it had, and hoped that this worked.
"Are you two ready?" Magus asked. Both girls nodded their heads. They joined hands. "Close your eyes and focus your magic in the middle of us. I will do the rest." Both girls closed their eyes and let the magic flow through them. Magus could feel the power of these girls, "Such power..." he whispered. Magus began to work the spell.
The three figures disappeared from their spot and reappeared above Lavos. They surrounded it in a perfect triangle. Slowly they began to circle the creature.
Lavos could feel the power from these creatures. It had never felt power like this and for the first time since it could remember, it was afraid. It only needed a little more time and then it could resurrect it's guardians, then everything would be all right. The figures rotating about it began to pick up speed. Lavos could feel pain somewhere inside him. The pain was growing and an eerie light, that consisted of all colors and none, surrounded it. It shut it's eyes and tried to concentrate on bringing back it's guardians, but the pain was too great now. The light pierced it's mind and flooded it's body with pain. It's concentration slipped, and it knew it had lost.
Across the world a scream, a most horrid scream, ripped along the land. But as soon as it began, it ended. And the world went on.
Crono sat on the floor at this place called the End of Time. He wished there was something he could do, something he could change, but he knew he couldn't. Magus had taken the girls and the Epoch and gone after Lavos. "I shouldn't have gone in that room alone with him." he scolded himself. "Glenn warned me not to trust him. Damn that Magus, I should have known that tyrant would do something like this." No," he told himself, I couldn't have known. That sleeping spell caught me completely by surprise." The thing that upset him the most was that Magus used the girls, had probably enchanted them or told them that Crono was waiting for them in the Epoch. Put them to sleep when they didn't see Crono and took off.
Ayla came and sat next to Crono. "Froggie finally shutup," she said cheerfully. Glenn had been ranting about what he would do to Magus if he ever saw him again since they had found Crono in the other room. "No worry, pretty ones be ok." Crono just looked at her. How could she be so calm? he wondered. Glenn almost jumped into the void after them when they found Crono. He thought Robo was literally going to explode. His friend was so angry that his system almost overloaded but his auto-shutdown kicked in. He was still out. He had never seen his mechanical friend so angry, but Ayla had said nothing. She had just stood there. He didn't notice at first, he was too angry, but now that he thought about it. It was strange; Ayla was the most expressive person in the group. He thought that she would be tearing the place apart in anger. Something wasn't right. She knows something. Maybe he was jumping at conclusion. Maybe...
Ayla suddenly got up and started to walk away.
"Ayla, wait don't go."
Ayla slowly turned to face him. There was something about the way she turned; there was something in her eyes. He couldn't determine what it was. "Guilt," a voice in his mind screamed. "She knows something." Yes, he confirmed to himself. Guilt.
"Ayla, do you know something we don't?" he asked.
"Yeah," she replied cheerfully "Me know lots of things." She smiled.
Rage gripped Crono. "Jokes!" he thought. "I asked an important question and she makes jokes!" Ayla's eyes grew wide and she took a step back. She had never seen this look in Crono's eyes and she didn't like it. Crono noticed her reaction and quickly reigned his anger. "Ayla, if you know something please tell me," he pleaded.
Ayla frowned and put her hand on his shoulder. "You no be mad at blue haired one. It no his fault."
"What do you mean it's not his fault. He put a spell on me and took the girls!"
"He no take! Pretty ones asked him to put spell on you so you no go!"
"What! Marle asked him to... Wait, pretty ONES?"
"Lucca asked Magus too," echoed a voice in his head. He thought that Marle liked him, he liked her too, but Lucca? Confusion flooded his mind. He tried to ask so many questions at once that his words came out in a jumbled. His mouth wasn't working as fast as his mind. He just stood lost in confusion. His face asked an unspoken "Why?"
"Because, pretty ones like you BEST. You no figure that one. You not smart as me thought. Pretty ones no see you hurt. Me saw them ask blue haired man to no let you go and pretty ones ask me no tell. Pretty ones say no stand to see you dead again. Me understand pretty ones. Me do same for Kino."
Crono just stood there dumbfounded. His mind was desperately trying to understand this new information and trying to answer all these questions that arose in him.
An incoherent sound came to his ears. Then he felt something clinging to him. He came back to himself and realized Ayla was hugging him and crying. Crono fell into more confusion. He glanced over towards Robo. His friend was active again, but droplets of oil were running down his face. He then looked at Glenn. The medieval frog-man was sitting on the ground, with a look of disbelief, with tears running down his face. Crono's mind finally processed that incoherent sound and played it back to him. "Lavos has been destroyed." Gaspar, the old man, had said that. But why was everyone crying for that? That was great news. Crono began to smile. Then the answer came to him. It's wasn't what Gaspar said, it was how he said it, the sadness in his voice. His friends didn't make it. They were dead.
His smile faded and the darkness of despair began to over take him. But then a ray of hope came to his mind and held the darkness at bay. "A Chrono Trigger," it cried. "Use a Chrono Trigger and get your friends back."
Crono ran to Gaspar and he regarded Crono with sorrowful eyes. "No," he said flatly.
"But," Crono began to rebut.
Gaspar interrupted him, "The energy your friends used to destroy Lavos could not be replicated by a clone. And your friends used the only Chrono Trigger I created to bring you back."
"Then you can send me to help them," Crono pleaded "or you can send me back in time to stop Magus from casting that spell on me, or....." his voice faded off when he looked into Gaspar's eyes. No, he couldn't do that, Crono remembered. Gaspar could only observe. The ray of hope faded and his emotions drowned him.
Crono dropped to his knees and began to weep.
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