Chrono Continuum Chapter 29

Old Friends

By Cain

2311 AD

Magus awoke with a start. He instantly used his magic to cloak himself in darkness, and silence his breathing. At the same time, he magically altered his vision, giving him near-perfect night-vision. He realized that he was awfully dependent upon his magic, but he also knew that magic or no magic, he was the Magus. That was enough. He soon realized his magical vision was next to worthless, as someone had blocked the door, cutting off all light. Even he couldn't see in perfect darkness. He began to rise, but a noise halted him. His eyes, keen without magic, darted back and forth, but didn't see anything. He focused his magic on his ears, sharpening them past their already-high potential. He heard a quiet shuffle, and a small, wet smacking sound, continuous, almost like...Kissing? He heard a quiet voice, decidedly female.

"Fross, I can't see anything in here," she complained. Magus heard clinking.

"Don't worry, babe. I've got it handled." A *ffffft* sound, and soft light flared up on the opposite side of the room. Once again adjusting his eyes, he now saw two people, a man and a woman, standing by a lamp. The man, thankfully facing away from him, had his pants down, and the woman, a blonde with an hourglass figure, had her blouse half-undone. Magus shook his head in disgust. The things some people would do... The man looked to the woman.

"That better, babe?" She nodded, and began to kiss his neck, as he went back to work on her blouse. Magus had had enough.

"Get your own room, lovebirds." The woman gasped, and the man spun around. Magus made sure not to look at his unclothed area. Magus stood, releasing his cloak of darkness, to reveal hims in his stolen outfit. The woman yelped and moved behind the man, who pointed an accusing finger at Magus.

"What are you doing in here?" Magus shrugged.

"Not having nearly as much fun as you, assuredly. Now normally, I'd love to sit back and watch your little... tryst, but I need my rest, so go do that in another bathroom." He crossed his arms, making it clear that he wanted them gone. The man stared at him for a while longer, and finally put his arm around the woman's waist. Staring at him the whole time, the soldier took his woman out of there. The door swung shut behind him. Magus waited. Waited. Waited. About... now. The man and woman walked back in the room, and the man bent over to retrieve his pants. Pulling them on, he proceeded to take the woman back out as the first time. As they left, the woman, without the soldier's notice, threw a ball of paper to Magus. He caught it, and, after the door had shut, lit a ball of fire in one hand, while uncrumpling the paper in the other. Scrutinizing the handwriting, he read, Room 247 D. Ask for Rita. Feel free to bring friends. A kiss-mark ended the note. He smiled, crumpling the paper and throwing it away. He sat back down, preparing to go back to sleep. As an afterthought, he gestured to the darkness, and the ball of paper floated back to his hand. He placed it in his pocket, and was soon fast asleep.


Same Time

Robo was awakened by a loud clang. He opened his optic sensors, and turned his head to the sides. All of the cells were empty, and movable cages were gone. He looked to his cage door, and saw a guard opening it. Robo stood.

"Where has everyone gone," Robo asked the guard. The guard promptly spit on the ground a few feet away. He turned back to Robo, wiping his mouth, and staring suspiciously at the robot.

"They're outside, waitin' to watch th' fight. I'm told this is goin' t'be a big'un." Robo stepped out of his cell. He sighed.

"I hope not." The man looked up at him (what with Robo's new-found height and all) as if to say, Watch it, Criminal. Robo mentally shrugged, and allowed the guard to lead him out of the room, to the preparation quarters. Robo hoped he was prepared.


Same Time

Magus cursed as he was awakened for the fifth time by the constant noise from nearby. He searched his memory of things going on today, but unless there was a battle starting with the Kingdom, he could see no reason why there would be such noise. He rose, placing the illusion on his face, hair, and skin to seem completely normal. Pushing the door open, he walked out, and waited for his eyes to readjust to the light. When he could see, he saw that the arena audience seats were filled to the brim. It looked like there was going to be a fight today. A big fight. Sighing, he realized that he would get no more sleep. Oh well, he thought. It's been a while since I've seen a good fight. He went over to the stands, and found that there were few seats left, mainly because they were undesirable. He waited there for a moment, but lost patience. He walked over to the closest seat, occupied by a muscular man. Magus tapped him lightly on the shoulder. He turned to Magus. Magus asked him, "Aren't you John Wainright?" The man shook his head.

"Nope. Veil Carros. Sorry." Magus nodded. He began to turn away, but turned back.

"Wait, I still think I know you. You're under Greilson's command, right?" He shook his head again.

"Nope. Seivman's." Magus nodded and walked off, out of the man's sight. Magus walked behind a corner where none would see him, and his disguise dissolved. In a moment, it was replaced by a new one. Magus walked back to the stands. He soon found the soldier in his seat. He tapped him forcefully on the shoulder. The man turned his head to him.

"Private Carros," Magus barked. "Seivman would like a word with you about that incident two nights ago." Carros sighed.

"I told him I wasn't involved." Magus didn't move.

"Nevertheless..." Carros got up and walked off. Magus sat down in his empty seat. He looked around. Considering the number of seats compared to the number of people, many seats had two people sitting together. Always a woman on a man's lap. Magus shook his head. I'll bet they're heart-broken. His sharp ears caught the sound of a door opening, and he looked around for its source. He soon found it. A bathroom not too far off from the one he had been sleeping in. A man walked out, adjusting his pants, followed by a woman who's hair was in wild disarray. She was blonde. He smiled. Now he recognized them. As he watched, Fross dug into his pocket and pulled out a few gold pieces. He dropped them in Rita's open palm, and she dropped them down her blouse. Magus wasn't surprised. He turned back to the arena, and noticed that men, robots, and animals in cages were below the audience. Many audience members were throwing food at them, which the animals, and some of the people, devoured quickly. Soon the lights dimmed. The match was about to start.


Same Time

As Robo was pushed out the door, his sensors picked something up. After examining the readings for a moment, he had deduced that there was magic afoot. That suggested either the one changing history, or his friends. He looked aorund, scanning for more accurate readings. He soon zoomed in on one man. He looked rather nondescript, and wore a soldier's uniform. He looked infinitely uncaring. On close examination, Robo could see that it was a magical disguise. He soon set about decoding the disguise. The first thing he saw was that the skin was chalk white. Also, the eyes were red. Next came the blue hair, followed by the distinctive face. Robo would have gasped. It was Magus! Magus had come for him! Or had he?

Robo soon realized that Magus seemed not to recognize him. Robo almost smacked the dome that was his head. Of course Magus wouldn't recognize him. He looked completely different. And then the announcer began.


Same Time

Magus watched with slightly bored eyes. The robot looked impressive, although dirty. The announcer began.

"Ladies, gentlemen, and soldiers, I present, for your viewing pleasure, our champeeeen Roooobot. Yes, he's fighting for his freedom, and this is the deciding match. Will he-" The robot moved up to him and spoke in his ear. The announcer nodded. He continued, "Our fighter would like it to be known that his name is Robo," Magus sat up straighter, "and would like to send out his greeting to... Janus, whoever that is." Magus sat forward. What a coincidence. On closer inspection, he could discern that it could very well be Robo. The robot had obviously seen through his disguise. Good. Robo, having been here the longest, and being a robot, could probably get him into the robot camp, to reach the Epoch. Magus would have whooped if he was the whooping type. But he had other thngs he could do.

Fishing in his pack, he found what he was looking for. A Potion. He smiled. Boy, was he glad that the robot ran on eating food. Lucca had once tried to explain the process of digestion and energy extraction in Robo's case, but Magus had ignored it all. But what was important was that any healing item or food would do the same for him that it did for a human. He silently gestured, and teleported the vial and its contents. As soon as it landed in Robo's hand, Magus cast a cloak spell on it. None but him could see it.


Same Time

Robo felt the weight in his hand, and looked to see what was there. He saw magic, and soon deciphered the cloak spell, to reveal a potion. He stored it away in his storage compartment. He silently thanked Magus, but turned his attention to the announcer.

"And now ladies, and everyone else... the challenger." Robo could see a form walk out of the opposite door, but that side of the arena had been purposefully shadowed. A spotlight turned on to reveal a smiling figure, holding a warhammer as if it were nothing.

"Presenting," the announcer called out as Robo double-checked to make sure he was seeing the right person, "the great... Kradish the Bruiser!" And everyone cheered. At first Robo was relieved that he wouldn't have to fight to the death, but the Kradish's smile, and his eyes, convinced him otherwise. And then Robo put it together. The questions about his past. The questions about his fights. The request to keep videos of Robo's battles. Robo's optic sensors narrowed, a human response. Kradish hadn't been interested in him.

He had been getting to know his prey.


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to decieve."
- Anonymous


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