Chrono Continuum Chapter 64
A war room, Lucca thought to herself, of course the Beginning of Time would also happen to have a war room, to discuss tactics. Why not? It also has a dressing room, and a place to watch all your friends, and a place to park your time machine. What's so unusual about a war room?
She looked towards Thanatos, at the head of the table, waiting for some unseen signal. The man truly was amazing. What goes through his mind, Lucca wondered. What's he thinking right at this moment?
I can't believe it, Thanatos thought to himself, We might actually win this time. We could save the world, and maybe even the universe, although that one's a long shot. Still, one can hope. I only hope they all survive. I've come to admire them, even with all their weaknesses. I only wish I was more like them.
Thanatos no longer saw this as simply a planetary game, but a true struggle for good against evil, right against wrong. And he wasn't on his original side. Confining himself to human ideas and form hadn't been easy, but it had been an enlightening experience. Now he wished he had done it sooner.
He looked over the assembled group around the table. I've caused all of you so much pain, but you no longer even recognize me. Would you accept my help if you knew who I was? I doubt it. After all, by your reasoning, I should be on their side more than anything. But I'm better than I once was... I hope.
He suddenly leaned forward, placing his elbows on the table. "Alright, everyone," he announced, "it's time for the battle plan."
"Battle plan," Marle asked. "What sort of plan? Are we going to try to rescue Crono, Corea, Rakin, and Magus?"
Thanatos' expression was serious. "Hopefully," was his only response.
Hotwire stood. "We're going to attack the Kingdom head on," she announced, excited.
Thanatos shook his head. "No, we're not, Hotwire. Please sit down." The girl sat down, a slightly confused expression on her face. Thanatos continued, "Attacking the Kingdom head on would be foolish. The power of the Kingdom grows closer to the base, and it would be far greater than yours inside the Kingdom itself. Not to mention the fact that you'll probably be detected before you even get inside."
Janus nodded his agreement. "He's right. We could be a small group, or an army, but destroying the Kingdom where it stands would be impossible. We'd have to destroy its source: Valiod."
"But Valiod's dead, right," Dalton asked. "So now the target is Parsa, or Zeal, as she's calling herself now."
Glenn jumped into the conversation, "But, how wouldst we get to her, if she never leaveth the Kingdom?"
Thanatos smiled. "And that's the key to my plan, right there, Glenn. You're right, she rarely leaves. But there's one occasion where she has to leave, one time where staying in the Kingdom would be a grave mistake."
Gaspar snapped his fingers in inspiration. "The birth of her children! Something like that could very well destroy the Kingdom."
Thanatos pointed at Gaspar. "Right you are, Gaspar. She has to leave the Kingdom because the birth of Lavoids, if that's what they will be, will destroy the delicate Time Bubble, and it's unlikely that she'd have the knowledge to repair it."
"Well, that's all well and good, guys," Gedd interjected, "but how can we find her? Chances are she's not going to be easy to find."
"Well, Epoch can go to any time, and even alternate timelines," Lucca reminded him. "With Epoch, and with my special Gate Key system, we could all get to wherever she's going to be."
Melchior placed a hand to his chin in thought. "But we still have to find her..."
Frog croaked, signaling that he had an idea, or announcement, or that he had something stuck in his throat. "P'raps the key lieth in Zeal herself," he suggested.
"Right," Dalton agreed, "She wouldn't give birth just anywhere, would she? I mean, she'd want her children to be as safe as possible."
"And," Ayla reminded everyone, "She have Lavos babies. Maybe she have them at place where Lavos was."
"That's a good idea," Lucca agreed, "Maybe she's hidden herself away in the place where Lavos was buried for so many millenia, and where we destroyed it. She seems to think she's really Zeal, so she might do that out of some sort of tradition."
"Also," Gaspar interjected, "That area would be permeated with Lavoid energy. What better place to raise your young until they're old enough to leave home?"
"Correct," Robo agreed, "But the question of which era still remains."
"The destruction of Lavos seems to have happened in every timeline," Marle noted aloud, "And a lot of his energy was left in that area after we killed him. So, I'd assume that she'd give birth not long after that day in 1999, maybe even that same day."
Lucca nodded, agreeing with her logic. "Thanatos," she asked, "Is there any way we could take a look at that day, not long after we succeeded in killing Lavos?"
Thanatos simply nodded, and turned in his chair to one of the walls. A square section in the center of the wall flipped over, revealing a screen. It soon turned on, showing a huge spiked creature, half embedded in the ground. Then, the ground started to shake, presumably as Lavos was killed from the inside.
Huge fissures opened in the surrounding earth, widening around the creature, and the ground started to collapse. Lavos began to sink underneath the earth, and it had soon swallowed him up.
Lucca leaned back in surprise. "What? Is that what happened? The earth swallowed Lavos' shell, but was it destroyed?"
The scene continued, but no movement was detected for a few minutes. Then, on the side of the screen, an object began to push into their overhead view of Lavos' grave.
The view of the screen switched to that of a side view, and the red object was soon revealed to be the Red Omen. It hovered over the area for a moment, and then lowered down, landing on the site. For a moment, everything was still.
And then a translucent half-sphere of energy began to spread out from the Red Omen, stopping when it had reached about a mile in diameter.
"So," noted Frog, " 'Tis the site of the grandparent's grave that holdeth their births."
Hotwire nodded. "It looks like the Red Omen set up some sort of shield, probably to protect Zeal while she gave birth, and the children until they were old enough to leave."
But it wasn't over. From out of the top of the Red Omen, what looked like a long metal pole rose out. Four dishes were at the tip of the pole. Once it had reached a certain height, it stopped.
For a moment, that was all that happened. And then four beams of different colors, red, blue, white, and yellow, came from the sides of the screen, and connected with the four dishes. Energy seemed to travel down the length of the rod, until it met with the Red Omen.
The shield around the Omen suddenly began to solidify, until it was a solid green. It was no longer translucent, and the Red Omen was no longer visible.
"Looks like they reinforced the shields," noted Dalton, "Just in case the original wasn't strong enough."
Thanatos nodded, and turned back to the table. "And it's a good thing for them that they did, too. By my estimate, Epoch might have been able to make it through that shield, but it can't now that the shield's solidified."
"But, couldn't we take Epoch to that area before the Red Omen gets there," Gedd reasoned.
Gaspar shook his head. "No, we can't. The fight with Lavos creates too much time distortion. Even with Epoch's newfound accuracy at time travel, that feat would be quite impossible."
"So," Frog reasoned, " 'Tis necessary to take down the shield."
"And that's where I come in," Thanatos announced, smiling. "I'm impressed that you all figured all of this out on your own, but I'll give you the rest of the information that you need."
He gestured, and the picture on the screen changed to a map of the planet at that time period. Four dots, colored red, blue, white, and yellow, began to flash at different points on the map, and a green dot flashed in the center, making a sort of X-shape.
"These dots," he announced, gesturing to the four different colored dots, "represent five generators. These five generators combine elements of technology and magic to create powerful energy, which is used to strengthen the shields. Because they are magical, they correspond to the basic elements in nature, and draw their power from the magic surrounding these elements."
He pointed at the red dot. "This dot is the Fire Generator, situated on top of a volcano. It shouldn't be too hard to get to."
He pointed at the blue dot. "This is the Water Generator, at the bottom of the ocean, a bit of a tricky place to reach, but you can probably get in."
He pointed at the white dot. "This is the Ice Generator, set into an ancient iceberg. There are no apparent ways of entry, but I'm sure you'll find a way."
He pointed at the yellow dot. "And this is the Lightning Generator, which floats in a self-contained storm cloud, kept forever dark by the power of the Generator. The storms in the area long ago destroyed all life in the area, so getting to it might be a bit tricky."
He pointed at the green dot. "This is the Red Omen. But inside, it has its very own Shadow Generator. Needless to say, you won't be able to reach the Shadow Generator until you've destroyed the others."
He turned to the group. "For every Generator destroyed, the Red Omen loses one piece of the power necessary to keep that shield at maximum power. If you can destroy the first four, Epoch should be able to break through the shield, so three people can destroy the Shadow Generator, allowing everyone else to enter inside the shield zone.
"Obviously, this won't be easy. Each Generator is different, and might be harder or easier to destroy than others. They all have defense systems, traps, and other things. Are you all up to this?"
The room was filled with silence, until Marle stood up. "I am," she stated determinedly.
Hotwire rose as well. "I am," she agreed.
One by one, they all stood.
"I am," announced Gaspar, tapping his cane on the ground.
"I am," Melchior agreed, nodding.
"I am," Lucca told them, placing a hand on her hip so as to appear unworried.
"I am," replied Dalton, crossing his arms.
"I am," croaked Frog, placing a hand on the Masamune.
"I am," agreed Glenn, his straight jaw clenching in determination.
"Ayla is," the cave woman told them, clenching her fists.
"I am," Gedd announced, swiping at the air with his robotic claw.
"I am," Robo agreed, blinking his green orbs.
"I am," whispered Janus, his dangerous expression reminding everyone there of the Magus.
Thanatos stood as well. "Good. I knew you would be. Sadly, I can't go with you. I must go back to the Pre-Historic era."
"Why," Lucca asked.
"I've got to kidnap Ayla," he replied casually.
"What," Ayla cried, surprised. "You kidnap me?"
He nodded. "Yes, Ayla, you were kidnapped by me. I apologize for the inconvenience I'm going to cause you, but it's for a good cause, if you can trust me. I've been looking at the past in the viewing Hall, and I've found that your chances of success increase, due to your kidnapping. Regardless, however, I must leave now. I hope to back in time to be of assistance. Farewell."
And he was gone. There was no transition of any sort. He was simply gone, as if he'd never been there in the first place.
Lucca raised an eyebrow. What was he up to? Shaking her head, she turned to her comrades. "Alright, who's going where? I'll go to the Shadow Generator, because I might be needed to pilot Epoch if she's damaged, and I've been to the Black Omen. How different could it be from the Red Omen?"
"I'll go there as well," Janus spoke up. "Due to my ability in the area of Shadow magic."
Hotwire nodded. "That sounds like a good idea. My Shadow magic might be of help, too. I'll go there."
"I should'st go to the Water Generator," Frog announced, "For my skill with Water magic may alloweth me access."
Glenn nodded. "I shall go with thee, Frog, for the same reason."
Gedd leaned forward. "I think I'd better go with you. You might need a technician to help you shut down the Generator."
"I will go to the Lightning Generator," Robo announced. "I'm familiar with technology involving electricity."
Ayla patted Robo on the shoulder. "Me go, too. Keep eye on Robo."
"I'll go to the Ice Generator," Marle volunteered. "I'll be in my element there."
Dalton spoke up, "I'll go, too. We might need my fire magic to get in, and I've got Ice magic for once we're inside."
Gaspar sighed. "I guess that leaves the Fire Generator. Melchior and I shall handle that."
"Alright then," Lucca announced. "It's settled. Let's go."
"Cyrus! My life regaineth its meaning!"
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