Space, Time, and Death Chapter 5
"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that
--Excerpt from "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
They went to the End of Time in three shifts. They hoped somehow that Gaspar would be able to help them, as he had before. Alfador stayed in human form, clutching her head. She avoided the End of Time as much as possible--it was her ability to know the past and present. Where no such things existed, all the information of the universe collided inside her mind.
"My word..." said Gaspar, petting his own dream, Trigger, who cooed in his arms. "Why would someone want to destroy the dreams? Like any tools, they have a function so long as they have masters."
"Gaspar-sama..." Alfador winced at her own words, "Could a dream use his special abilities in Sleep?"
"Sleep... sleep is much like this place." He indicated the void. "It is a concept more than anything. You have different forms, and when you change forms, the extra space must go somewhere... somewhere like here, or like Sleep."
"That's why we can't get away from it," said Masa.
"One of our other bodies is always there," said Mune.
"Right now, we're human..."
"So, in Sleep, we're a sword."
"We knew that!" said Epoch crossly. He kept glancing at his eldest sister, who was silent.
"It is possible that someone in Zeal feared that the dreams would gain new masters... as you have. In that case, they may have created another dream as a precaution. Set to act in this case, there's no reason there couldn't be a dream built specifically for the purposes of being able to defeat all of you. As your experience points out, he'd only need the use of his special abilities when you cannot use yours."
"We be quite acquainted with the features of each of our dreams," said Glenn, "The abilities of this dream would be--?"
"I cannot say," said Gaspar. "But if that truly is his purpose, I fear there is no way you can combat him. Unless... unless of course you find his form on Earth."
"Ayla find odd red man, Ayla break stone!"
"Parameters too wide," said Robo. "More data required. Who would have done this?"
"I do not know." Gaspar shook his head sadly.
"If anyone in Zeal were doing this, I would've known!" said Schala.
"Or I," added Magus. "I recall Masa and Mune's construction. It is not an easy task. I would have noticed if someone of such power were so drained."
Lucca pushed her glasses up her nose. "Someone not from Zeal, then? Someone who found the knowledge...? But where to look... It's nearly 13,000 years between Zeal and the Middle Ages... We can't reach it, but the knowledge of Zeal was lost within that time, it must be then."
"Wonderful. 13,000 years. We'll just have tea while we wait." Magus stared coldly at her.
"Minna-sama no baka..."
Surprised, they turned as one. Alfador was half kneeling, hands clawing at her hair.
"I...nngh, I know everything, remember? Just get me there..."
And that was it. They were off to 600 AD, all the dreams on the first load, Magus, Schala and Glenn with them. In the time it took Alfador to recover, Epoch disappeared, reappeared, dropping off Crono, Marle and Lucca. Then once again--
The scream of swords that always heralded Epoch's arrival sounded a lot less like swords, a lot more like screams. His one trip around the world went a bit over, metal screeching, rudders breaking off, stripped white and gold paint falling in tatters behind like confetti. Watching from the ground, they could not believe it. There was no great explosion, no black smoke. They rushed to the scene, Marle healing the ravaged bodies of Ayla and Robo with an equally ravaged look. Lucca went searching for parts of Robo that had been thrown a distance and needed to be put back on. And, in the middle, apparently unaware of the wreckage, was a young boy with golden hair, wet feathers nestling at his back where his wings had been ripped off. He had been cut into halves, fourths, hacked at while he held onto his passengers for dear life, until Masa and Mune appeared out of nowhere and cut the stranger into fourths himself.
"This is it, we can't get home..." Crono just stared at the child as Doreen quietly came forward and picked him up. Epoch smiled and hugged her.
"I'll fix it." Lucca's voice was gravel as she made two separate piles for Robo's and Epoch's parts.
"The only one who can fix a dream is its maker." Magus spat on the ground. He was stuck with them.
"I said I'll fix it. I'll make my own dream if I have to." Lucca's voice left no room for doubt. Pulling herself out of the rock she'd been imbedded into, Ayla gave Lucca a quiet, questioning glance.
"Ayla can no go back... Ayla has failed tribe..." Ayla lowered herself to the ground, accepting pieces of Schala's outfit in replacement for her shredded fur.
Glenn helped Lucca with the heavier parts, his sympathy infinite. They were all lost but he--then again, he realized with a jolt, Marle was here. He too had failed.
"Did you hear me? I'll fix it."
"That's pointless..." Alfador was playing with Epoch's hair absent-mindedly. "He's not here. He's not in the past... and the knowledge has already been lost. There's nothing... no dream stone in use that's big enough, that I don't know about, nothing I've missed in any of it--"
She buried her face among her little brother's and her sister's. It was awfully painful to be Miss Know It All. It always seemed like the most important thing was that which could not be known.
Gaspar was still mulling it over in his head after they left. He filtered time and space for his own and other's memories. Here, where it made no difference, anyone could be Alfador, if they were willing to lose their mind. Their journey, before and after, the world they came from, the world they made, the problems they solved and the new ones created--to be solved by others in time. None of it told him what he wanted to know.
"No more dreams, eh...?"
And there was the description. Dreams could assume any form, but they always had a color. It was one thing they could not hide--as he looked into the past, he chuckled at Schala with Alfador's wild violet hair. Of course it seemed obvious from here. Then, it could have been a trick of the light.
"Red... crimson... dream stone..."
His thoughts settled, memories no longer flicking up like flames, but glowing like embers. He fell asleep.
He snored for a moment, a bubble forming from his nose and growing with his breath, until finally, it popped. Startled, he raised his head.
"You don't suppose...?!"
But it was far too late. They had taken their only means of escape along with them ... and crashed it.
AN: "Minna-sama no baka" translates as, well... "Your Lord and Ladyships are idiots." It's such an Alfador line.
Chrono Trigger Fanfic