Chrono Trigger: Dare Chapter 1
The Lost Kingdom of Zeal?
Im only twenty, but in a way, Ive been fighting for 65 million years. Invariably, everybody asks me two questions upon hearing this: who or what have you been fighting, and, more importantly, how is that possible? Over the past five years Ive gotten quite good at telling the story, which truly began five years ago on the morning of the Millenium Fair. On that fateful day, Marle, a newfound friend and heir to the throne of Guardia, though I didnt know it then, vanished into a time portal. In the ensuing rescue, Marle, another friend called Lucca, and I discovered that in our future, a planetary parasite called Lavos, the embodiment of evil, would surface and destroy the Earth. With our futures interest in mind and with the help of one of Luccas inventions and eventually a true time machine called the Epoch, we three crossed time to gather the necessary elements to defeat Lavos. Along the way, we met the robot Robo, the cavewoman Ayla, and the bespelled knight called Frog. We also met and ran afoul an ancient civilization called Zeal, a civilization that used Lavos as a power source, and in doing so corrupted itself beyond rescue. The power of Lavos utterly destroyed Zeal and drove its Queen insane. In a way, that Queen sacrificed her son and daughter to Lavos in return for eternal life and ultimate power. Eventually, our quest to destroy Lavos evolved into a war against Queen Zeal, and therefore against Zeal itself. In a way, we failed. We couldnt stop Lavos then, and we barely stopped Queen Zeal, but the cost was almost too great. My friends left the era with Zeal only a few shattered buildings and me less than dust on the ocean floor.
Yes. In some alternate timeline, I am dead, killed while distracting Lavos so my friends could survive. But Im alive now, thanks to a man called Gaspar and an invention of his, a device called the Chronotrigger. The device froze time the instant before my death, allowing my friends to replace my battered body with a doll, thus saving me while at the same time keeping the integrity of the time-space continuum intact. After that, we only had one task left, to destroy Lavos before it surfaced and destroyed our planet.
We met and we fought, and the battle raged through time itself. In essence, it was the world, all of its inhabitants in all of its time periods, all their hopes and dreams, against Lavos, the ultimate nightmare creature. We fought in a timeless place against a timeless enemy, and because we carried the world with us, we were victorious. Five years later, the war began anew.
It is now AD 1005, and the same King Guardia XXXIII sits on the same throne in the same kingdom. Aside from several technological advancements courtesy of Lucca, there is only one noticeable difference between this time and that. Next to my modest house there now sits a huge museum, dedicated to Marle, Lucca, Ayla, Robo, Frog, Magus, and me. It houses our fighting techniques, our skills, and a record of our adventure.
My house still exists, although moved slightly to accommodate the museum. It was also enlarged. Tremendously. I lost myself in its corridors for weeks before getting used to its size. After the Fist Festival of the Stars five years ago, the King ordered its construction as a way of showing gratitude for saving the past, the present, and the future.
The house feels completely too big, since only my mother and I live in it. We would have to invite hundreds of guests to fill it up, where five years ago, twenty people would have made it feel crowded. The upside of having a house this large is that the larder and the fridge are always far from empty; the king gave us a huge amount of food in addition to the house. A huge army could feast at my house for at least two weeks before wed have to restock.
But something isnt right. I can feel it. Theres a sensation deep inside telling me, telling us, the survivors of Zeal and Lavos, that something was amiss. The past week, I have woken up suddenly, as if prodded or shocked awake. Sleep refuses to come again after these incidents, as if I had a nightmare my mind and body do not want to return to. Sometimes, I remember feeling absolute dread, despair, and disgust, so much so that I often think Ive dreamt of fighting Lavos all over again. From what I can tell, my friends, with the exception of Robo, all suffer the same problem.
One day, I had had it. I gathered all of them at my house and told them to scour all their eras. I told them to look for any remnant of the Kingdom of Zeal or Lavos. I told them to especially keep their eye out for Lavoss head. You see, after we destroyed Lavos, the time continuum broke down, and we were all thrown everywhere in time. The Epoch however (and I don't know how) found us all, and brought us back to the end of time. Gaspar, the Guru of Time, told us that anyone who was close to Lavos at the time was scattered all over time-space, including pieces of Lavos. The Guru also mentioned that he caught glimpses of its body parts falling all over the place. He said he saw the final head, the humanoid one, most clearly, but he couldn't see where it landed. The head was an artifact of some sort, not alive, but a source of magic power for Lavos. It could have been that someone had reactivated the head, and with it, a conglomeration of problems.
They all went through their respective portals (Lucca found a way to re-open them again for a short period of time) and went back to their own times. Even as they left my house to fulfill their quest, I had a feeling of uncertainty. We humans are never sure of the right answer. No matter what, we always have a feeling that we might be wrong. I had that feeling now. The head wasnt the thing causing us trouble; it was something else that was messing with our minds. I turned around, and saw Lucca and Marle looking back at me.
"You know, Crono, I don't think its the head. Even though it did cause us some problems, its not it," Lucca piped up.
"I think so too. Maybe it has something to do with Zeal again, though I dont see how," Marle added.
I nodded slowly. An idea dawned on me at about the same rate.
"Lucca, what do you think about our taking a joy ride in the Epoch?"
"Huh? You want to do what?" Lucca asked.
"Crono, are you out of your mind?" Marle looked at me in disbelief.
I grinned back.
"Yeah, were going on a ride. Follow me!"
I ran through my house and out the door with Marle and Lucca on my heels. After an attempt to steal the Wings of Time, we put the Epoch in a large hangar near Castle Guardia. As a saftey precaution, the hangar has a door large enough for humans to go through and nothing else. Since the Epoch can travel through time, to leave the hangar, we have to travel through time to leave, then travel back to our starting point. The Epoch is a complex piece of machinery; if a theif ever did figure out how to get it out of the hangar, he deserves to have it.
After making my way into the hangar, I hopped onto the Epoch and waited for the others to climb in. The Epoch hadnt changed a bit since Dalton attached wings to it. Before that, it looked like a dull yellow egg with a flattened side and jet engines poking out the back. When Dalton added the wings, he made them so that they could retract when the Epoch landed and extend when the Epoch took off. Dalton designed the Epochs wings after its larger counterpart, the Blackbird. However, the Blackbird was destroyed, and now the only remnant of the masterful feat of engineering is our Epoch.
When both Marle and Lucca had strapped themselves in and after we had cleared the hangar, I flew around haphazardly. I didnt know what I was looking for, but I was certain I would know what it was when I had seen it. A confused and apprehensive silence accompanied us onto the great ship; the disturbing awakenings had put us all on edge. Luckily, a few minutes into our flight, what I had been looking for had found me. A freak storm (or it was, according to Lucca) hit the Epoch with the force of a tornado. While I fought for control, Lucca and Marle tried to add more power to our engines so we could outrun or at least rise above the storm. What we none of us noticed was the numbers on the altimeter were steadily decreasing. A small alarm sounded, and I looked down at the now flashing dial. I pulled up on the stick, but we were too close to the ground.
"Brace yourselves, were going down!"
The Wings of Time hit the ground as soon as I had finished speaking. The Epoch shuddered, tilted on a skewed angle, righted itself, and then spun around, shaking us about inside like seeds inside the shells of nuts. Finally, the ship hit something solid and flew into the air, somersaulting before it landed right side up.
We stood up gingerly and bushed ourselves off. Bruised and feeling broken, we got out and looked around on instinct only.
We were on a part of the world I didnt recognize. Lush palm trees covered what we didnt destroy, and strange fronds and creepers were already starting to grow around the Epoch. I got out, and so did Marle and Lucca. All three of us surveyed the damage done to the Epoch. Even though it could survive under the worst conditions, the plane looked a wreck. There were massive dents and deep scratches in the body of the great machine, but even still, it managed to somehow keep its dignity. Lucca went back inside for a minute, then came out with some sort of smile on her face.
"The Epoch's all right. Itll fly as it is, but it's loosing fuel. A piece of the time-engine got jarred loose though, but I can push it back. Other than that, all the damage is to the finish and the frame," she said.
"Good. I dont recognize this place, so I don't think anyone will be sending us a rescue party."
"Crono! I think I see a path through the forest. Let's go check it out!" Marle said to me.
I looked at Lucca. She shrugged, and then walked to my side.
"Why not? We have nothing better to do."
"All right! Let's go," I exclaimed.
We walked in single file through the path. I was in front, hacking away all the shrubs that hindered us. Eventually, the forest got thinner and thinner until finally it stopped al together. I looked up, and my breath stuck in my throat.
The edifice was Zealian in design. Two large pillars marked the entrance. On each pillar were two thick white lines on a blue marble background, each crisscrossing the other. Weird symbols were engraved on the lines themselves, even though in my time in Zeal I had picked up the written language, these were beyond my comprehension. Behind the pillars, the main building, a huge pyramid made of a dull yellowish stone, sat, watching us with such arrogance that I almost thought Zeal existed. Above the dark entrance to the building, a blue Eye stared back at me with similar haughty arrogance.
It was a Zealian eye of course. Completely symmetrical, the Zealian eye was designed as a seal of power. Even on the miniature versions, the eye seemed to follow you eerily wherever you went, a reminder that the Queen, in all her power and arrogance, was watching you. Like all things of Zealian design, they had a second, more useful purpose. The smaller eyes could be used as weapons; they emitted something like a laser which would paralyze whatever organic being it struck. The larger ones never had a set purpose, but I have never seen one what did nothing. Of all the Zealian eyes, however, this one was the most beautiful. It was beyond description not because it didnt inspire awe, but because it inpsired love. This Eye made me know why the people of Zeal loved their queen, even though at the time of its construction she was leading them all to destruction. With a strangely aching heart, I forced myself to look away from the design and at the entrance. There, I reasoned, was where any potential danger would lie.
"Cmon guys, lets go," I said. When they didnt answer, I looked back and found both in the same trance I had been in. I strode over to Lucca and waved my hand infront of her eyes.
No response. I tried shaking her softly, but it was as if she had been drugged. I tried the same thing on Marle but still got the same response.
"Both of you, lets go! We only have so many hours of daylight," I said, for no reason other than I couldnt think of anything else to do.
They both turned to me then looked at each other.
"We don't want to leave Crono. We want to stay right here," They said in unison.
I shook my head, then went down to Marle and grabbed her arm, intending to pull her towards the entrance. She ripped her arm away, then took out her crossbow.
"Crono, we don't want to go. I'm going to have to show you I'm serious. Lucca!"
Lucca came to Marle's side, then took out her gun.
"Goodbye Crono. You were a thorn in Zeal's side too long," Lucca said to me.
Chrono Trigger Fanfic