Chrono Continuum Chapter 31

A Questionable Escape

By Cain

2311 AD

"Magus," Rakin cried out, "what did you do to make these people so angry?" As the mob flowed forward, Magus snapped, "What makes you think I did anything!" Rakin was about to answer, but Robo broke in.

"Excuse me, but..." Rakin jumped back with a cry. Magus sighed, annoyed.

"Robo, meet Rakin, Crono's son. Rakin, meet Robo." Rakin nodded to Robo, who continued.

"As I was saying, now is not the time for bickering. We must flee!" Magus nodded in agreement, and Rakin couldn't disagree. They all turned as one, and ran away from the crowd. As an afterthought, Robo added, "And try not to kill them all, Magus." Magus didn't respond. Rakin smiled. It was probably well-placed admonition, in Magus' case. His smile vanished as a shot, similar to Lucca's gun, rang out behind them. These people weren't playing around!

They rounded a corner, and came to a stairwell. They ran up without hesitation. As they reached the door marked with a two, Magus stopped them.

"What are you doing," Rakin demanded. "Let's get to the top floor!" Magus shook his head tersely, and pushed through the doors. Robo stood still a moment, and then followed. Rakin shrugged and did the same. In a few minutes, the mob began to surge up the stairway. Some of the soldiers pushed through the doors marked with a two.

As they ran through the halls, Magus scanned the walls, searching. At one intersection, he made a sharp turn. Rakin looked up to see a sign marking that hall as the D-section. He shrugged and ran after his two comrades. Magus continued scanning the walls as they ran, until Rakin finally exclaimed, "What are you looking for!" Magus glanced back at him.

"A friend's room." They ran on, and began to hear odd sounds. Robo looked from left to right, as did Rakin.

"What is that," he asked. "It sounds like moaning and groaning. Are there slaves here?" Rakin almost tripped as he heard a woman scream out. Rakin slowed down. "Was that what I think it was?" Magus kept going, but called out over his shoulder, "Probably." Eyes darting from left to right, Rakin sped back up, catching up with his comrades. Finally, Magus stopped in front of a door. Looking up, he saw that the room number was 247. Magus knocked three times and cast magical disguises on his comrades. A dulcet voice from inside called out, "Who are you here to see?" Magus cleared his throat.

"Rita. It's the guy from this morning. And I did bring friends. They waited a moment, and Rakin could hear the crowd appraching around the corner they had come here by. They soon heard the same noise coming from the other side. In a moment, they would be surrounded, and even their disguises probably wouldn't help. A click came from the door, and it slid inward, to reveal a blonde woman in a gauzy, barely there, nightgown. She smiled.

"Come on in, boys." And she turned around, walking to the center of the room to wait for them. Magus half-smiled when hs saw that Rakin couldn't keep his eyes away from her. They entered, and she turned to them. "Well... shut the door." Rakin did so, and she smiled. "Ooohh, three strong men to visit me? What a pleasant surprise." She smoothed her gown down, highlighting her curves. "So... would you like to go all at once, or separately? Or both options?" Rakin was sweating bullets, and blurted out, "Alone." She smiled again.

"Oh? Well, if you boys don't mind, I think I'll take..." she grabbed Magus' uniform collar, and gently began to tug him toward a door near the back of the room, "you, first." Magus began to object, but she put a finger to his lips to silence him as she pulled him into the door, and shut it with her foot. In a moment, Rakin's and Robo's disguises flickered and disappeared. Rakin thought that Magus might be making the best of a bad situation.

"Hey," a voice barked from outside, "who's in there?" Rakin began to stutter for an answer, but Robo covered his mouth with a metal hand. Robo beeped softly, and then spoke. But it wasn't Robo's voice that came out. It was the smooth, graceful speech of Rita.

"Just little old me, and a... customer. Is there a problem?" They heard the soldier clear his throat, and was about to speak, when the real Rita, in the back room, let out a loud squeal of delight. For a moment, nothing happened. Then the soldier spoke.

"Sorry to interrupt." And they heard him walk off. Rakin sighed with relief, and Robo put a hand to his head. Rakin jumped as the door behind them opened with a creak. He turned, and saw Magus step out, in normal attire, looking like Magus should. He was pulling on his second glove. He gestured with his hand for them to come in with him, and they obliged. The room smelled of perfume, and had various objects that Rakin couldn't identify. Tools of the trade, apparently. Seein as how the bed was the biggest thing in the room, all eyes were immediately drawn to it, and Rita on it. She was still in her gown, but each limb was tied to a bedpost with a piece of cloth. A fifth piece of cloth was tied around her head to gag her mouth. She looked confused and slightly afraid. Magus glanced to her, and back to the others.

"Do either of you know how to cast a sleep spell?" They both shook their heads. "Fighting Kradish took a lot out of me, and I didn't want to waste the magic to put her and keep her asleep." Rita trembled at the mention of magic. Rakin glanced at her.

"What are we going to do with her?" Magus shrugged.

"Why do anything? She can't tell anyone anything in her current position. And one of her regular customers will eventually find her." Rita sould have sighed if she hadn't been gagged.

"Magus," Robo began, "what did you do to make her squeal like that?"

"I heard you talking, and suggested that I tie her down. After I did so, I... used a little magic in the right way. After she squealed, I gagged her. Now then, " he stated, throwing his cape back, "let's go." He turned and walked to the far wall, and waited for them. When they came, he pointed to the wall. "Robo." Robo gave a thumbs-up, hauled back, and punched the wall. It cracked some. He continued punching, and the cracks grew and grew, until a fist-sized section crumbled. They looked through the hole to reveal a river, not too far below. Robo punched a few more times, and the hole grew enough for them all to fit through. Magus gestured, and Robo jumped out, making a loud splash in the water. Magus stepped off the edge, and continued walking through the air. He turned and waited for Rakin to jump out. Rakin prepared to jump out, but stopped, looking at Rita. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a gold piece, and threw it to her. It landed on one breast, and rolled off into the crevice between the two. He winked, and jumped out the hole.

He dove out, down toward the water. He had done this often at a waterfall near his home. He closed his eyes, and waited to fell the familiar sensation of water on his skin, but it didn't come. He opened his eyes to end up looking into the water from an inch above the surface. He looked upwards, and saw that Magus was pointing at him, keeping him in the air. Magus moved his arm, and Rakin moved at the same time, until he was over solid ground. And then Magus released his control, and Rakin fell the last inch onto his face. He got up on his hands and knees, and saw Magus' boots land in front of his face. He looked up at the wizard.

"You know, if you didn't want me getting in the stream, the least you could have done was flip me over before you dropped me." Magus shook his head.

"I did the least I could have done. And you're lucky I did what I did. That stream is filled with toxins." Rakin gasped.

"Robo's in there!" Magus raised an eyebrow.

"The toxins won't effect him. He's a robot, remember?" Rakin nodded, and Magus began to walk downstream. Rakin stood.

"Where are you going?"

"To find our washed-up ally." Rakin jogged to catch up to him.


Same Time

"Done," Gedd announced. Thanatos nodded, shutting the hood. He jumped into the back seat behind Gedd, and lightly hit the front seat.

"Well, let's go, then." Gedd nodded.

"Power-up," he commanded. Lights lit up all along the board, and Geddicus smiled. He turned to Thanatos. "What time?" Thanatos shook his head.

"None. Just fly out of here. Fate will take care of the rest." Gedd shrugged.

Robots all along the outer wall were blown to bits as the laser blaster blew through the wall. The Epoch floated for a moment, and then blasted off. Gedd yelled out, "Yeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaa..."


Same Time

They found Robo walking upstream to meet them. Other than looking grimy, and smelling badly, the toxins seemed not to have harmed him. Rakin turned to Magus. "Well," he began, "you got us this far. Where to now?" Magus turned around, and pointed upstream.

"That way lies the robot camp. It's where the toxic stream flows from. It's also where there were reports of a mysterious flying machine that..." He stopped when he glimpsed a flash far off. Deciding not to waste the magic, he depended on his normal vision to show him what the approaching object was. By its speed alone, he identified it long before he could make it out. The Epoch.

"The Epoch," both Rakin and Robo observed at once. In a moment it would be over them. And then they all saw something else. Something that covered everything from earth to sky, and moved much faster than the approaching ship. They all recognized it, but Robo voiced it first.

"A Time Wave." It was so fast, that it seemed to strike the ship and three allies within the same second. As before, Rakin experienced the feeling of being torn apart and put back to gether. Magus felt nothing. Robo prepared for the same experience as the last few times, but this time was unaffected. When it ended, they all could see the Epoch bearing down on them. Theu humans ducked instinctively, and the ship passed right over them, bouncing off the ground, and over the stream, to dig a deep gouge on the other side.

They looked around. The sky was pitch black, covored with clouds, as before, but there was no more human camp visible. The Kingdom looked much larger than before, and much more grandiose. The Kingdom had apparently won in this timeline. With some concentration, Magus began to float off the ground, as did his companions. As they floated over the stream, Rakin looked down at his clothes. He now wore clothing that looked similar in design to the clothes his father wore when they trained with the katana together. Rakin had always figured that those clothes were loose and comfortable. He had been right. They landed on the other side, and began to walk to the crashed ship. They heard the sound of pressure realeasing as the glass top rose. No one came out. Finally, they came to the side of it. It looked fully repaired, and Rakin wondered who had done so. A monotone female voice came from inside the ship.

"Please identify yourselves, or step away." The three glanced at eachother, and were about to ask who the owner of the voice was, when a male voice sounded from inside as well.

"Stand down, Epoch. Two of those are users of yours." A dark form rose from the inside of the Epoch, but they couldn't discern him against the black sky. He jumped down, landing lightly before the three. Rakin's and Magus' eyebrows raised at the familiar face.

"Hello, again, Magus, Rakin," Thanatos greeted them, "and Robo, I believe." Robo shook his hand.

"Should I know you, sir?" Thanatos gave his signature smile.

"No, but you will."


Eighty percent of success is showing up.
-Woody Allen


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