Chrono Continuum Chapter 68
"You guys keep them busy," Gedd yelled, suddenly turning away from the Hellbound, and running towards the huge machine in the center of the platform. "And I'll place the charge on the machine."
But before he could reach the machine, he stopped abruptly as Lilia materialized in front of him, floating in midair. She shook her head, her pink ponytails bouncing. "Sorry. I don't think so."
With that, she snapped her fingers. Gedd cried out in surprise as the charge suddenly fell apart in his hand, the pieces falling to the floor. He looked up at Lilia. "Looks like we'll have to do this the hard way," he stated, and jumped up at the floating woman.
He stopped in midair, his claw less than six inches away from the woman, his expression frozen in place. Lilia floated closer, past Gedd's claw, and gently grabbed his neck. Gedd screamed mentally as waves of electricity swept through his defenseless body.
Lilia cried out in surprise and pain as Glenn's foot connected squarely with the center of her chest, knocking her out of the air. She slammed hard into the machine, considerably denting the hard metal. With Lilia's control released, Gedd fell to the ground, smoking.
Glenn helped him up. "Go. Thou shouldst fight against Flite. I shall fight Lilia."
Gedd nodded, and left. Glenn turned to his adversary, who was now standing again. He smiled. "So we meeteth again, fair lady."
Lilia nodded. "For the last time."
With a yell, Clairdena leapt for Frog, but the amphibian simply jumped up and over the Hellbound, landing in a roll that ended with him facing her back.
She turned. "You're a quick one, I'll give you that. But let's see if we can turn it up a notch, shall we?" And with that, she took out her chain, and proceeded to twirl it.
For his reply, Frog simply jumped at the woman, bringing the Masamune down towards her heart. Clairdena just barely brought her chain up in time, holding it with both hands, to block the sword. For a moment, the metal links held off the magical sword. But only for a moment.
Shattered links flew in every direction as the Masamune cut through the chain, continuing downward. Clairdena leaned back in an attempt to escape the blade, but she wasn't quite fast enough. The edge of the blade sliced into her flesh, neatly cutting through several ribs on its entry and exit.
Clairdena screamed in pain, and fell to the ground, rolling backwards. She ended in a standing position, and looked down at her wound. It was bleeding profusely, but it didn't seem to have injured any vital organs. Staunching the flow of blood with her hand, she glared at Frog. "So, it's a real fight you want, eh? Well, take some of this," she exclaimed, and cast her hand out towards the amphibian.
Waves of lightning surged from her fingers, and surrounded Frog, eventually expanding into a dome of electricity, with Frog inside. Clairdena smiled, and clenched her fist. Abruptly, bolts of lightning began to jump from the inner walls of the dome, striking the knight inside.
Frog desperately blocked bolt after bolt with the Masamune, but it was obvious he couldn't keep it up for long. He cried out in pain as one bolt struck him in the back, burning through his cape. He instinctively turned toward his attacker, only to be struck by another unseen bolt in the leg. Frog yelled out as his leg collapsed like a twig, and he fell to the ground. Bolt after bolt struck the amphibian, racking him in pain.
Frog screamed. And Clairdena laughed.
Gedd grunted as Flite kicked him in the gut, hard, knocking him to the ground. Turning the fall into a roll, he was soon back on his feet, and jumped at the Hellbound.
Flite, not expecting such a quick counterattack, only barely brought up a knife to block Gedd's claws from slicing through his neck. But he didn't see Gedd's other fist come up, under his own arm. It struck Flite under the chin, throwing him onto his back.
The Hellbound was back on his feet in a second, but he didn't resume attacking. Blood was seeping from the side of his mouth, and he spit out a tooth. He smiled, showing the large gap in his teeth. "That was impressive. But I'm tired of playing around."
And with that he jumped forward, and punched Gedd in the face. Before Gedd could recover, Flite followed up with an elbow to his solar plexus, and then he backed up just enough to kick Gedd squarely in the chest, knocking the middle-aged man end over end.
Gedd sat up, only to be kicked again, causing him to roll towards the edge of the platform. His head hit the railing, causing his eyes to roll towards the back of his head.
Gedd lay on the edge, barely conscious. He only vaguely heard the footsteps of the Hellbound, walking closer to finish the job. He regained thought, just in time to find himself being lifted over Flite's head. Acting desperately, he swung his arm, his fist connecting with Flite's arm, causing the Hellbound to drop him. Unfortunately, Gedd was dropped over the edge.
In a last moment move, he grabbed onto the edge of the platform with his non claw hand. He looked up to see Flite standing over him, chuckling. Smiling, the Hellbound proceeded to stomp on Gedd's metallic hand, with no discernible effect.
Flite thought for a moment, then snapped his fingers as he had an idea. Grabbing onto the railing, he pulled hard, wrenching a section of metal pipe from it. Laughing now, he pulled the piece of railing over his head. "So long, pal," he yelled, and slammed the pipe onto Gedd's hand. When he didn't fall, Flite did it again. And again.
Gedd didn't know if Flite could tell, but his grip was slipping. And it was only a matter of time...
Yelling, Glenn jumped up, bringing his sword about towards Lilia's neck. Two inches away, the blade stopped, as did Glenn himself, frozen in position.
Lilia floated toward the frozen knight, putting her mouth right next to his ear. "You know," she whispered, "You could give up. You could come with us. You don't have to die."
Glenn suddenly found that he could move his head, if no other part of his body. He turned his face toward Lilia's expectant and hopeful expression. He leaned his head closer and whispered, "Thou art correct. I couldst. But, 'twould be a life without honor. I shan't live as a traitor."
Lilia nodded. "Then I have to kill you now."
Glenn smiled. "Thou hast already lost thine chance," he replied. And with that, he leaned his head back, and then brought it forward, slamming his forehead into Lilia's nose.
The sorceress cried out in pain, and both of her hands went to her face, her eyes closed. Glenn dropped back down to the ground, wobbling a little at regaining control of his body. He looked up to see Lilia pull her hands off of her nose. He was surprised to find that the woman's nose was uninjured.
"That was a cheap shot," she complained, "but it's too bad for you that I'm also skilled in healing magic. Any damage you can do, I can regenerate, and return in kind."
Glenn raised an eyebrow. "Then let us see how much damage I can do."
Clairdena raised an eybrow as she realized that no more lightning bolts were striking the amphibian inside the dome, which could only mean one thing. There wasn't any life inside the dome any more. The knight had to be dead.
With a smile of satisfaction, she allowed the dome to dissipate, fading out of sight. But her expression changed to one of surprise as she saw that there was no body. She stepped closer, and saw that there was a hole in the floor where the knight had been. Did the bolts blow him through, she wondered.
Carefully, she moved closer, step by step, towards the hole, in case the knight was still alive, but hanging. When she finally reached the hole, she looked down. Only the sight of the whirlpool swirling down below greeted her. She saw no sign of the knight...
Clairdena turned as the platform floor behind her was blown upwards by a fierce jet of water, carrying the knight, sword drawn. As the jet terminated, the amphibian fell, bringing his sword down from overhead, to split Clairdena's skull.
Panicked, Clairdena jumped backwards, avoiding the sharp blade. She grinned with her success, but soon realized her error as she fell into the hole behind her. Desperately, she grabbed at the edge, but the spray of water from Frog's surprise attack had slicked the metal, and Clairdena lost her grip.
Screaming, she fell from the platform, looking up as she plummetted. She caught one last glimpse of the frog's face peering at her descent through the hole before she slammed, back first, into the icy waters. The blow knocked the air from her lungs, and she could only watch the precious air bubbles float away as the current sucked her down deeper. She held her breath until she was dizzy, and then she fell unconscious, her body automatically taking a breath. She didn't feel it when the icy water flooded her lungs.
As her body shut down, the current carried her downward, deeper into the ocean. No one would ever find her corpse.
Gedd cried out in alarm as one of his fingers fell from its place. He was going to fall very soon, and Flite seemed to enjoy beating on Gedd's mechanical hand. In a moment of desperation, he made a plan.
Flite yelled in surprise as Gedd's clawed hand smashed up through the metal of the platform between his feet. The claws transformed back into fingers, and the hand grabbed Flite's left leg, and pulled. Flite dropped his pole as his leg was pulled through the jagged hole in the metal.
Letting go of the platform with his other hand, Gedd grabbed onto Flite's leg with both hands, anchoring the Hellbound halfway through the platform. Shifting back and forth, Gedd began to swing on Flite's leg.
Flite cried out in pain. "What the Hell are you doing," he yelled.
"Getting us back on equal ground," Gedd replied, and swung on Flite's leg particularly high. At the height of the swing, he kicked upwards, making a dent in the metal of the platform above him. Another kick ripped a small hole. On the third swing, he kicked all the way through, and grabbed onto the edge of the hole with his legs. Letting go of Flite's legs, he ended up hanging upside-down, from the edge. He looked down, and gulped nervously. It was a long fall down to the swirling water. Finally, he grabbed the edge of the hole with his hands, and pulled himself up.
Gedd stood, and turned to where Flite was. The Hellbound was now standing, and not looking too happy about having his leg nearly pulled off.
But he didn't have the oppurtunity to do anything about it, because a jet of water from behind knocked him to the floor. Angrily, the Hellbound stood, and turned to face his attacker.
There stood Frog, his clothing sporting multiple holes and burns, showing his scorched green skin beneath. He was breathing heavily, and one eye was closed. The Masamune hung from his hands, the blade mostly supported by the platform itself. "Prepare to defend thyself, monster," he stated simply.
Flite smiled. "The noble knight, come to defend his ally. How touching. How foolhardy. You can't have much fight in you after fighting Clairdena."
Frog roughly coughed up some blood. "Clairdena lieth at the bottom of the ocean, now. Prepare thyself for the same fate."
Instead of replying, Flite charged forward, pushing aside Gedd, and tried to tackle Frog. The knight threw his sword up in the air, and jumped straight up after it, allowing Flite to run beneath him. But Flite had seen that coming, and bounced off a nearby railing, tackling Frog from midair.
After pinning the knight to the floor, Flite held a knife to his throat. He smiled. "Heh. Looks like you're the monster that's going to end up at the bottom of the ocean, freak."
Frog gave a weak smile. He looked to the side, to see Gedd trying to come to his rescue. The man wouldn't get to him in time.
He looked back up at Flite. "Wouldst thou kill a knight without his sword?"
Flite's eyebrows raised. "Your sword? Where-"
His question ended as a surprised gurgle, as blood trickled down from his lower lip. He collapsed onto Frog, the Masamune buried in his back up to the hilt.
Gedd stopped, surprised. He'd forgotten about the Masamune as well, until it fell from above. His expression serious, he walked over to Frog, the impaled Hellbound still on top of him, and pressed the button to send away his armor. Kneeling, he pushed the already dead Flite off of the knight.
As he did so, he gasped in horror. As he looked down at Frog, he could see a hole in the noble knight's stomach, made by his own sword, puncturing all the way through the platform itself. "Frog," he whispered, "are you alright?"
Frog croaked, very weakly. "If by 'alright' thou meanest 'fatally wounded', then..." The knight succumbed to a fit of coughing.
"Don't worry, Frog," Gedd assured him, "you'll make it... You-"
" 'Tis a pity," Frog interrupted, bringing Gedd to silence. "Magus and I... We never settled matters... Now... If thou findest him, tell him... I forgive..." His sentence ended abruptly, and the air left Frog. His eyes glazed over.
"Frog," Gedd whispered, urgently shaking the knight by his shoulders, "Frog, come on! Frog!"
Finally, his expression serious, his eyes watery, Gedd reached up to the top of Frog's head, and closed his eyes. "I'll tell him," Gedd promised solemnly.
He was brought back to the present by a shrill scream of pure horror. He looked up to see Lilia, kneeling by Flite, similarly to Gedd by Frog. The woman was in tears. "Flite," she whispered, "not again."
Gedd didn't even turn as he heard a footstep behind him. He knew who it was.
"Lilia," Glenn announced quietly, "We hath lost our friend as well. Leave us be, and we shall leave thee."
Lilia didn't look up. "He's dead again. He died once before, and I gave everything I had, from possessions, to my own body, to get him back. And you killed him."
"He was an evil man," Glenn replied. "We killed him out of self-defense."
Lilia shook her head. "It doesn't matter. He was my brother..."
Glenn and Gedd cried out in surprise as an explosion threw them and Frog's body away from Lilia and her brother. The smoke cleared, revealing a huge hole between the Travelers and the sorceress. Silently, Lilia stood. White energy surrounded her, and she turned, walking towards the Travelers. As she stepped out over the hole, there was no discernible difference in her walk, despite the fact that she was standing on air.
She stopped halfway across the hole. "I'm sorry. But he was all I had. I at least deserve my revenge."
Glenn stood. "I feeleth thine sadness, Lilia. But leaveth us be, lest we must kill you."
Lilia could only smile weakly. "Kill me? I possess magic beyond your comprehension." She pointed at the machine reaching down into the whirlpool, and entire sections of it exploded, pieces of shrapnel flying in every direction. "I can kill you both easily."
Glenn shook his head. "No, Lilia. 'Tis there, thou'rt mistaken. Thou hast no magic."
And with that, he reached into her undisciplined mind and, like he had done once before with Clairdena, separated her mind from her own magic.
In an instant, the light surrounding her was snuffed out, and she fell through the air that had been so solid but a moment ago, through the hole, down into the swirling water below. She didn't even scream on the way down, the only sound she made being the splash at the end.
Solemnly, Glenn reached across the hole with his mind. The Masamune wrenched itself from Flite's corpse, and flew to the knight's outstretched hands. Turning, Glenn knelt, and placed the blade in Frog's sheath. "The blade belongeth here," he whispered.
His expression serious, Gedd lifted the small body onto his shoulders. He and Glenn only barely noticed a voice from the center of the room, warning of a system shutdown due to damage to the machine.
As they left the room silently, entering hallways filled with soldiers yelling orders of evacuation, water began to seep from small holes in the walls, turning into a flood. It wasn't very long before the entire room, and the entire Generator, were flooded, and lost forever in the watery depths.
"Say, can you hear that? It's the sound of the Reaper..."
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