Lucca's Secret

Lucca has a secret.

She's never told it to anyone. Not Marle in the palace, or Chrono in the village. Not even her father, although he would be the one most likely to understand. And she'll never tell any of them because they would tell her to destroy what she did, and she can't do that.

It started when everything else ended. A celebration in honor of her and her friends on the last day of the Millenial Fair. And then, when the revelry and festivities had ended, a quiet moment at the back of the Square, by the telepod. Goodbyes were exchanged, and all the people Lucca had met during her journey through time went through the gate and were gone forever. It was after they all left that she spoke the words that led to her secret:

“We should dismantle the Epoch. It's served it's purpose.”

And so it was. Naturally the task fell to her; Marle was too busy attending to royal matters, Chrono wasn't interested, and both of them were so mechanically clumsy that they would be more of a nuisance than a help. So she dragged the time machine into her basement lab and set about taking it apart.

But when she cracked the hood, she found herself stymied. Oh, the weapons systems and flying components that Dalton's technicians had added on were simple enough to strip off; they had been thrown on haphazardly. But when she got past the mess to the machine's heart, she found she couldn't go any farther.

At first glance, it appeared to be put together in almost as slap-dash a manner as Dalton's additions were. But when you hit the ignition and everything started moving, it was a glory to behold. Every piece had its place, and they all moved in a sort of perfect clockwork dance. She could study it a dozen years without getting so much as a glimpse at how it worked, but she could see how it all fit together, and when you saw it in motion you realized that the slap-dash appearance came not from design, but rather from lack of useable parts. 2300 AD was a great year for scrap metal, but it wasn't very good for anything that functioned. Balthazar had made do with what was available, and managed to create a masterpiece.

Every time she picked up her wrench to start unscrewing essential components, she wound up studying its inner workings for hours. Eventually, she decided that she couldn't go through with it. She was a scientist, and this was knowledge that she could not allow to die. Oh, she would remember how everything fit together, but once she died, that was it. This beautiful machinery that intrigued her so would vanish forever, and never be seen again. She couldn't do it. It was like asking a writer to burn the last copy of his favorite novel, or a painter to step on a beautiful portrait or landscape. It would be a crime-no, worse than that, an act of high treason- against herself to eradicate this beautiful machine from history.

On the other hand, though, she knew it had to be done. The Epoch could not be left lying around for some idiot to steal and go joyriding through history with. It was too powerful a device to be allowed to fall into the hands of an irresponsible fool(or worse), and there was no way to guarantee that it wouldn't short of dismantling it. There was only one thing they were all certain of about the Epoch: whatever it was made out of would likely outlive all of them.

And so, torn between what she needed to do and what she wanted to do, she chose to do neither. With great reluctance she took apart the Epoch's engine. But rather than scattering, junking or at least throwing into a pile the parts, like her friends had no doubt expected, she laid them out lovingly in order, and labelled each one. Then she wrote down instructions for assembling the ship from its component parts in a book, and laid it down beside them.

And now, sealed into a secret room in her basement, behind magically-reinforced walls, the Epoch sits, waiting. Waiting for someone to come and find Lucca's lovingly written instructions and the carefully organized parts, and put them all back together. Perhaps it will never happen. Perhaps it'll happen not too long from now. But until it happens, it will be Lucca's secret.

And she will never tell.

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