Chrono Continuum Chapter 77


By Cain


Lucca sighed in frustration as she slid out from underneath Epoch. Scowling, she stood, throwing two greasy gloves down to the ground.

Gedd looked up from the complicated systems he'd been working on and asked, "What's up, Luc? Is Epoch in good shape or what?"

Lucca shook her head. "Nope. Epoch's power reserves are way down. I didn't realize it at the time, but Epoch was damaged during the escape from the Fire Generator. Ever since, she's been leaking fuel. At most, she's got about two time warps left, and I can't think of a way to get materials for more fuel."

"Well, that's not too much of a problem," Gedd replied optimistically. "We only need to warp her back to 1999, and maybe back to 1020 if we win. Then you can refuel her, or retire her after everyone gets back to their respective eras."

Lucca jumped up a little and sat on the ship's wing. "That's not the only problem. When I said we could only warp her twice, I meant in place. We could warp her out of here, and then somewhere else, but she wouldn't be able to go anywhere in between, without sacrificing the second warp."

"So, what you're saying is this: If we bring her back to 1999, and use her to break through the shields of the Red Omen, we won't be able to get her out of there without more fuel?"

"It's worse than that. I'm not sure the meager power she has left will be enough to break through the shields. She can't even fire her lasers. We might be stuck where we are, outside the Red Omen." She sighed irritably. "I don't know how we're going to get through."

Gedd nodded. "Man, that sucks. But, on a lighter note, I think Robo's fixed now," he told her, closing up the robot's chest.

Crossing his fingers, Gedd flicked the switch in the small opening at the top of Robo's back. Robo's limbs jerked around a moment, and his eyes flickered. Several strange noises came from the embedded speakers as Robo's systems ran through their parameters.

Finally, Robo's eyes stopped flickering, the light staying. Robo's dome-like head turned one way, then the other, finally settling on Lucca. "Hello, Lucca," Robo's voice came out, with a bit of static. "What am I doing here? Should I not be at the Lightning Generator?"

Gedd smiled as he patted the robot on the shoulder. "Mission accomplished."


1999 AD

"I'm telling you," Marle stated emphatically, "I should go into the Red Omen."

Hotwire shook her head. "We already established this, Marle. Janus, Lucca, and I are going into the Red Omen."

Marle looked angry. "I'm just as familiar with the Black Omen as Lucca. I can guide you through the Red Omen just as well as she can."

Janus interrupted the argument. "But you're still recovering from the mission at the Ice Generator. I doubt that you're really in any condition to make rational decisions, let alone go back into battle."

"Rational? Rational!? Screw 'rational'! Adom's in there. He has to be! There's nowhere else to hide, except the Kingdom itself, and they'd call out the best they had to defend the Red Omen, with all the other Generators destroyed. Adom is mine. You can't take him from me."

Hotwire looked tired. "Can someone talk some sense into her? Gaspar? Melchior? Glenn?"

The three men, sitting not too far off, elsewhere in the cave, all shook their heads. Gaspar replied, "I long ago learned not to try to argue with a headstrong woman."

"It brings nothing but trouble," Melchior agreed.

Glenn shrugged. "Mine experience with women is... well... nonexistent. I knoweth not where to begin."

"I do," Lucca announced as she walked into the cave, Gedd and Robo entering behind her. "Let's begin with this: You're not going, because this is my battle as much as it is yours."

"What are you talking about," Marle asked, standing. "Adom kidnapped Crono. My husband."

Lucca walked up to Marle, staring her right in the eyes. "Crono was my friend. He meant as much to me as he did to you."

"You don't know what you're talking about," Marle stated, angrily. "Crono was my husband. You can't know what that's like."

"Well, I've knew Crono a lot longer than you," Lucca replied. "I was as close to him as you, marriage or not."

"I loved him!"

"So did I! I may not have pursued him romantically, but only because I saw how he felt about you. I've lost him twice now, once to you, and once to the Kingdom. I don't resent you, but I have a chance to get back at the Kingdom. Don't you dare deny me that chance!"

Marle blinked, and a tear slid down one cheek. "But... but... I... just want them back. Crono, Rakin, Corea... They were the most important things in my life."

Lucca placed a comforting hand on Marle's shoulder. "I know. But now you need to rest. It's my turn to do my part. We'll get them back, if they're still alive, or get revenge if they're not. Let someone else do the work. It's not all your responsibility."

Marle nodded. "I know," she whispered, and walked off silently, out of the cave, into the pouring rain outside.


Same Time

"All right," Gaspar announced, drawing the attention of everyone around the small fire in the cave. It was night, and the temperature was below freezing, but everyone found it preferable to meet here than at the Beginning of Time, with its relentless golden light.

Gaspar continued, "Now, Lucca has found some disturbing news. It seems that Epoch might not have enough power to make it through the shield around the Red Omen. Now, we need some ideas on how to get through. I don't have any. How about you all?"

"We don't really have any more powerful vehicles," Hotwire noted, "so we'll have to further weaken the shield, or make Epoch more powerful."

"Well," Wethreem announced thoughtfully, "the shield can only have so much power, right? And I know for a fact that it's on a dual-defense system."

"What does that mean," Melchior asked, one eyebrow raised.

"Well," Lucca began, her voice taking on the tone of an instructor, "the shield is designed so that if you attack it physically, most of the power will be diverted to physical defense, weakening the magic defense in the process. This also works in reverse, magic making the physical defense weaker."

"So," Glenn mused, "if we attacketh with magic, 'tis possible Epoch couldst break through."

Wethreem nodded. "That's right. The problem is, the shield is also area-specific. In other words, that tactic would only work in a small area."

"Meaning," Gedd explained, "that if we were to throw our most powerful magic at the shield in one area, that would be the only area weakened."

"So, we'd have to steer Epoch through all of our most powerful magic," Hotwire asked. "We'd be obliterated. Epoch would have trouble just making it through the shield, let alone trying to survive everything we could throw at it."

"I know," Glenn announced. "The Frogmasamune absorbeth magic, true? P'raps I could come along, protecting thee."

"No," a voice interrupted, echoing in the small cave.

Glenn was suddenly compelled to draw his sword. The blade glowed green in the darkness, and the voice, clearly Frog's, continued, "Glenn should stay behind. Thou need'st all the magic thou canst get, so thou needeth Glenn."

"But, how shall we get through the magic," Janus asked.

The sword continued, "I shall come with thee. One of thee must carry me."

"I will," Hotwire volunteered. "I've got some training with hand to hand combat. I'll be the muscle, while Janus is the magic and Lucca is the brains."

"Very well," the blade agreed.

Solemnly, Glenn removed his sheath, and gave it to Hotwire. After putting it on, she was given the sword. "Don't worry," she assured Glenn. "I'll get it back to you. That's a promise."


Same Time

"All clear," Lucca yelled from the front seat of the Epoch. "Let's get going."

Hotwire jumped up into the Epoch, landing in the back seat next to Janus. "So," she asked, "you nervous?"

Janus nodded. "Very. I wonder if I'll meet anyone I know. I never met all of the Hellbound."

Hotwire shrugged. "Just as long as you don't hesitate in battle."

Janus shook his head. "Not going to happen. I'm going to prove that I'm as reliable as the Magus, if not more so."

Hotwire nodded. "Good. And good luck... Dad."

Janus smiled briefly, but didn't respond, simply continued staring through the shield, at the Red Omen.

Standing in a row before the shield, Gaspar, Marle, Wethreem, Robo, and Glenn silently gathered all of their magical energies. Soon, they all began to glow, depending on their elements, revealing Wethreem's to be Shadow.

At the same time, Lucca was powering up all of the Epoch's systems, building up power. Hotwire found herself shaking with nerves, until Janus placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.

At some unseen signal, all five standing before the shield suddenly let loose their power, in one huge combined attack. The vision was barely describable, all of the magic swirling together into one huge multicolored ball. Finally, the ball shot forward, slamming into the shield.

The ball flattened into a semi-sphere, as it tried to push through the shield. However, the shield held, the magical attack unable to break through.

The Epoch abruptly blasted off from the ground, flying at unfathomable speeds towards the magical Armageddon before them. Quickly, before it was too late, Hotwire pulled the sword free, being careful not to cut anything in the confines of the back seat.

As they neared the swirling mass of energy, the sword glowed brighter and brighter, to the point where Christina was almost blinded. She was surprised to see a clear green force field form around the ship.

"Hang on," Lucca shouted, just before the Epoch dove into the ball of wild magical energy.

Almost instantly, the ship rammed into the Red Omen's shield, the Epoch's nose digging into it. All around, magical energies tried to crush the ship, but all was held at bay by the sword's force field. Still, Hotwire could tell that the shield around the ship wouldn't last much longer.

Epoch's engines whined loudly as the ship tried to break through the force field. Slowly, the shield was beginning to visibly bend inward, the Epoch moving forward foot by foot.

Hotwire suddenly dropped the sword, the magical energies inside too hot to handle. "Hurry, Lucca," she yelled. "the sword can't take much more energy."

Lucca nodded, pushing a lever forward to the breaking point, causing the engines to virtually scream at the passengers inside.

Suddenly, the sword's glow shut off, like a blown out candle, and the surrounding magic came crashing in on the ship. The canopy shattered beneath the deluge, and all three passengers covered their heads in a vain attempt to protect themselves.

There was a jerking sensation as the Epoch suddenly broke through the shield, dark clouds of magic trailing the now-broken wings as the ship shot through the hole in the field like a bullet. All three passengers cried out as the Epoch slammed into the ground, cutting a groove in the earth as it slid along.

Finally, it came to a stop. The three passengers looked back to see their friends standing on the other side. Lucca stood, and called, "We're fine! We made it," followed by a thumbs-up. Some of the relieved Travelers on the other side cheered, and some simply sighed in relief.

"Epoch," Lucca asked the ship, "what's your status?"

Epoch's voice issued from the speakers, barely audible through all the static. "I'm... intact, Luc... ca. Low... power... Shutting... down..." Abruptly, all buttons, switches, and dials on the Epoch's control panel went dark, powerless.

Lucca turned to Hotwire and Janus. "Well, are you two ready?"

As one, the girl and wizard nodded. "Yeah," Hotwire responded, picking up the sword. "Let's kick some butt."


"It's how you USE the sword that's important...not who owns it!"
- Mune


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