When the Stars Rule the Mind Chapter 1
Crono was playing with a Poyozo Doll when he realized where he was. He looked up and around, and didn't know how he hadn't noticed it before. In fact, he had absolutely no idea how he'd come to be here. The End of Time.
He was sitting against the lamppost where Gaspar, Guru of Time, usually stood. But the old man was nowhere to be seen.
"Hey," said Gaspar's voice, and the monosyllable word echoed eerily through the deep, inert reaches of space, even more so than usual.
"H-hello?" inquired Crono. "Gaspar? Where are you?"
"Hey," the voice said again.
Crono checked the room with the pillars of light. The gates silently emitted the pure white light, with such a wavelength that its flickers were almost too quick for the eye. He blinked in surprise. This situation was starting to get weird, as if it hadn't already been abnormal.
He turned on his heels and ran back to the main room, hoping that Gaspar had returned in the short time he'd been gone. Nobody was there. The lamppost stood alone, giving off that lonely green light, subsiding, and growing bright again. The dark bricks and fences were lit up momentarily, and were almost bathed in darkness when the lamp dimmed. Then the light came back to kiss the platform, and almost as if the inanimate objects were grateful, their colors became visible again.
Crono was feeling more than a little disconcerted now. He ran into Spekkio's room, which had no such lamppost, but did have a mysterious lighter spot in its center, where Spekkio usually sat, stood, or ran in place. However, he was not there today.
"Spekkio?" he asked, answered only by the echoes. "Spekkio? Gaspar? Come on, this isn't funny anymore." Had it even been funny to begin with? More nervous than ever before, he returned to the lamppost room.
A wind picked up and made a strange, almost mechanical wail as it traveled through space. That was odd. There shouldn't be any wind here. The sound was mournful, frightened, and menacing all at once. Crono suddenly felt a nerve shock that caused him to put his guard up.
It was Crono's personal belief, even more so after fighting Lavos, that evil was a tangible thing, with its own wavelengths and properties. If it was true, he was getting those evil vibrations now. The terror surrounded him now, began to invade his brain, trying desperately to throw him into panic. He could only remember one other time when he'd felt this way.
There was a sting in his chest that only lasted a few seconds, yet he easily judged it as the worst pain of his life. He was forced to give a short scream as a small blue sparkle tore its way out of him. It floated in front of him for a moment or two, then darted away when he snatched at it. Crono watched as it sped off into the depths of space.
Ping! That tiny little sound that he'd once heard from the teleporters in Magus's castle echoed far far away. It became like a ping pong ball being smacked around the room by a group of experienced players...sounding its short, high tone from every direction. It tormented him even more than the strange chanting of the Medina villagers worshipping Magus and Ozzie.
It stopped. Just stopped, right when Crono thought his head was going to explode. A few more moments of silence ensued, moments that seemed interminable.
Then an unearthly scream took the one-note symphony's place. It was an all-too-familar noise, one that struck fear into his heart more effectively than Lucca's homemade cookies.
But it was. The cry of Lavos, shared by its spawn. Indeed, it sounded as if many, many Lavos were screaming at once, perhaps screaming insults or death threats at him. The distant blackness of space was poked through, as if it were nothing but paper. Poking through this hole was Lavos's eye! It opened wide and stared straight at Crono! Frozen with fear, he couldn't even scream as it shook space and the End of Time....
When he finally could scream, he woke himself from the terrible dream. Sweating profusely and heart racing, he looked around his room. The Poyozo Doll was on the floor. Crono picked it up and breifly considered holding it close for comfort. He heard quick footsteps up the stairs.
"Hold on, Crono, I'm coming!" called his mother's voice. She burst into the room, wielding a frying pan. "Crono, what happened? Are you okay?!"
"Fine, mother," he replied. "Just a bad dream. Not a prowler or anything."
She lowered the pan. "Bad dream? I didn't think you got bad dreams anymore."
"Well, I guess I still do."
"About monsters and robbers and Rolys, like you used to?" she asked. "You can take them all out."
"That's little kid stuff," Crono said. "I dream about really scary things, like hair loss and fire-breathing chancellors and being lost on Death Peak after dark. That sort of thing."
His mother sighed. "Okay, then. Sorry for bursting in like that--I know that you'd take care of anything that might come in here anyway."
"S'ok. See you tomorrow."
She left Crono alone in the dark, clutching the Poyozo tightly to his chest. There was only one way to defeat the lingering fear from the dream, and that was to pull the string on the doll and fall back asleep to the pacifying song it played...