Chrono Trigger: Dare Chapter 18


By Crono_12


The borneru towered high above Marle, arms outstretched. Thick black fur covered it from snout to toe. Two small green eyes were barely visible from behind the fur matted on its head. The borneru’s head was small and thin for its size, with a long pointed snout and brown streaks of fur. Its four arms all ended in a set of three retractable claws, with no visible fingers, stubs, or digits. The claws just seemed to come straight out of the palm of the animal’s hand. It roared, extended its claws, then charged at Marle. With a screech, Marle jumped out of the way. The borneru, now realizing that it was surrounded by four people who probably wanted to hurt it, hunched down and growled, looking nervously around for a possible escape route, just in case. Ecin, taking advantage of the hesitation, threw one of his knives straight so that it wouldn’t come back. The blade became embedded in its skin, held tight in it the wound by layer upon layer of muscle. Enraged, the beast spun sharply and lunged at Ecin. He turned his back and fled, but the borneru’s paw hit him him squarely on the shoulder and pinned him to the ground. The beast opened his snout to reveal rows of razor sharp teeth. Seconds before Ecin’s head was in the thing’s mouth, Cid rushed up and removed Ecin’s knife while slashing at the fur and skin in an attempt to scare the monster away. It only became more enraged and reached with its strong arm to smite Cid. Kain tried to stop it by jabbing the monster in the back, but the spear never landed. The borneru, screaming in anger, had spun towards Cid, trying to stop him from slashing it again. A second later, a spear of light stabbed at its arm. The borneru whimpered in pain and agony as its arm hung from its shoulder by a few thin threads. It scurried off of Ecin and scampered away into the rain. Cid looked towards Marle and saw her holding her crossbow.

"Is everyone all right?" She asked quickly.

"My shoulder is hurting like crazy, but it’s still in its socket," Ecin informed her.

"One of the borneru's claws got me before you could shoot it, but other than that, I’m ok," Cid said.

"No problem here," Kain mumbled.

Marle nodded then put her crossbow back in its holder.

"Let’s go deeper inside. Maybe we can find a place to dry off," she said, the fatigue evident in her face and her voice.

They all walked to the end of the cave, where they found that there was a huge pile of long dry twigs, branches, and leaves.

"The borneru chews on wood to keep its teeth sharp, as you can see. But it also eats certain types of wood and leaves. They help it digest its meals," Cid explained as the group sat down beside the pile.

"Do you think you could start a fire?" Marle asked, shivering.

"Of course," Cid agreed. He gathered small bits of wood and a couple of leaves, then took a small stone from his pocket and held it to his sword. He rubbed the stone once against the sword and sparks few. Instantly, the small mound erupted in tiny flames. Cid slowly added more wood and leaves and soon had a warm fire going. They all huddled close to it, trying to dry their clothes, but to no avail. Marle gave up after a few minutes. She stood up, frustrated at the failed attempt, and pulled Cid up with her.

"Teach me how to use this sword. Now," Marle ordered.

"But it’s the dead of night! I’m cold, wet, and muddy!"

"You promised."

"But I’m exhausted!"

"But you promised," Marle retorted.

Cid’s mouth flapped, but he couldn’t think of another response. He shook his head in defeat and then unsheathed his sword.

"Ok, hold the sword like this," Cid instructed as he held the sword up at arms length. Marle held the sword shakily, trying to imitate him. She dropped the point of the blade down and tried again. This time she held it perfectly still.

"So far so good. I’m going to teach you the basic strokes first, then I’ll teach you how to defend and attack."

The hours passed into the night, but Cid and Marle stayed up long after the others were asleep, sparring with each other. By the time both fell asleep, the sky was begining to brighten.

* * *

The next morning, their clothes still felt damp, but not as wet as they were last night. As they were eating some nuts and berries Cid and Kain had found that morning, Marle ran her dream back and forth through her mind.

"I had the weirdest dream last night. Crono and Lucca were in it. And so were all of you," Marle announced. Kain’s ears picked up and Ecin stopped eating. "We were all standing in a large room. There was no furniture, no windows, no doors, and the walls were all made of metal. I remember him telling us that we had to go complete our mission. We had to go to…."

"Destroy the Terra-Fortress?" The other three said at once, surprised that they had said it at the same time.

"Yeah. How did you know?" Marle asked suspiciously.

Kain looked around and received slight nods. "We’ve all had the same dream. Lucca said that they were ok, and that they had something they had to do. They never said what it was…"

"Only that his life was in our hands, and our life was in his hands." Ecin finished. "I wonder what he means?"

"I wish Lucca were here. She understands this stuff better than I do. Ok, here goes. I remember him saying something about going back in time. If he’s in the past, then the things he will do there will affect what happens now. Maybe if he doesn’t do something back then, we die, and if we fail, he will die when he gets back here. Maybe. Then again, four dimensional thinking is not my thing," Marle speculated.

"No no, it makes sense. Jumping back and forth through time changing things and could alter this timeline enough so that when he comes back, something or someone here could be ready to kill him. What we probably need to do is make sure it can’t harm him by destroying the Terra-Fortress."

"Wait. Wait just a second. The Terra-Fortress is the most heavily guarded place in Aire. We can’t expect to barge in there unnoticed. Why do you think they call it a Fortress? And how do we destroy it in the first place? Not even a nuclear bomb blown up from the inside could destroy it." Kain punctured our plans.

"There has to be some way. Crono wouldn’t have told us to do it if there wasn’t some way," Marle said.

"I remember the dream pretty well. I don’t think he ever said destroy the fortress," Ecin said. "I remember he said ‘this is important. You have to stop the Terra-Fortress. Destroy it or something, but stop it.’ Stop it from what Kain?"

"I can answer that," Cid answered as Kain shrugged. "Remember why we destroyed the Mammon Machine in the first place? We were doing it so that the Terra-Fortress could be stopped from powering up its lasers and destroying one of the last remaining rebel cities. I also remember that one machine is on its way to the fortress, so as far as we know, the fortress might still be able to fire. Or maybe it can do something else that can destroy a city. What if it uses it on a city and Crono happens to be in it?"

"Ok. So, how do we stop it? And when is the deadline?" Ecin asked.

"When I was a kid, Klab used to tell me bits and pieces of information on Zeal. From what I understood, we can either destroy its laser, or we can destroy the Machines that power it. There is only one laser, but it will be heavily guarded. The Machines will be less guarded, but there should be about 4, one for each of the three engines and one for the laser," Cid explained. "I think we’d better finish in 2 days. That’s about when Klab launches his attack."

"Wait a minute. Engines? What engines? No one said anything about any engines." Ecin spoke quickly. It was obvious that he was nervous about attacking one of the most heavily armed battle-stations in his world.

"Yeah. It’s not rooted to the ground. It can get up and move about, albeit slowly. Now the question is…which do we attack, the laser or the machines?"

And so their planning went on, but Marle’s mind was mostly on Crono.

* * *


I woke up with a start. I had just had the most amazing dream. I dreamt that I had told Marle and the rest that Lucca and I were ok, and that they needed to stop the Terra-Fortress from using its lasers. Shaking my head and dismissing it as a coincidence, I stared at the Epoch and then at the old factory.

We had moved the Epoch out of the building last night, Lucca having finished everything she had wanted to do. To her great happiness, the factory did most of the moving; she had found a huge crane that picked the Epoch up, brought it through a hole in the roof, and set it outside.

"Crono! I just had the weirdest dream!" Lucca shouted, just waking up. "I dreamt that you and I were in a completely metal room, and we were talking to Marle and the others. We told them that we were ok, and we told them our plans."

I looked skyward knowing Tsern had a part in this.

"Ready?" I asked her, my mind no longer on Marle, but on the task at hand.

"Yeah. Let me show you what the new Epoch can do," Lucca exclaimed enthusiastically.

"No, it’s not the Epoch any more. It’s better. It’s…it’s…" I turned to Lucca, hoping that she’d know the word I was looking for.

"The Aeon. Its new name is Aeon," Lucca whispered.

I nodded slowly. "Too bad we don’t have a bottle of champagne to break against the hull. When we get back to Earth, we’re going to have to officially rename it."

"Don’t speak too soon Crono. Look!" Lucca pointed somewhere behind me. I spun around and saw a bottle of champagne lying on the ground, just as if someone had put it there. Again, I looked up to where I assumed Tsern would be.

"Thanks again," I said under my breath. I saw the world moving slow motion as I took the bottle in my hand and I smashed it against the hull of the ship. The champagne splashed all over my hand and the glass shattered into a million pieces, each drop and shard glittering in the sun. I looked around, beaming proudly. The world felt and seemed a whole lot brighter. Even the barren red landscape looked inviting, with its dead, blackened plants and red soil. Off in the distance, I could see one of the few cities and domes that had survived the attacks. The sky, I noticed for what seemed to be the first time, was a nice healthy blue, with only a few low clouds in the sky. The scene somehow reminded me of pictures of deserts I had seen on Earth.

"It’s a beautiful place, if you see past the destruction and the ruin caused by Zeal," Lucca said.

"I’m going to get Zeal back for this. This could have been another Earth if Zeal hadn’t stepped in," I said to my self. Lucca nodded then stepped inside the Aeon.

"C’mon Crono, we have a mission to complete. And remember, we’re on a deadline," Lucca shouted from inside.

"Coming, coming," I said as I glanced upwards towards Zeal one last time before I ducked into the Aeon.

"Let’s go!" I called out enthusiastically, then seated myself in a chair.

"Um, Crono? I’ve designed a special seat for you. It’s that one right there. The Captain’s chair." I was about to object when Lucca cut me short. "I know, I know. But you are the captain of the Epoch, or should I say the Aeon, after all. You should be sitting in it."

I stared blankly at Lucca for a second, then reluctantly got up and sat down in the chair. As I sat down, I wondered why Lucca was so insistent on me sitting in the chair. All the chairs were simply one huge cushion with armrests, like the type you see in the bridge of a starship in Star Trek. The armrests were just long, wide, flat pieces of surprisingly comfortable metal. I saw no difference between it and the other chairs, but as soon as I got comfortable, the chair rose a few inches off the ground. A panel slid away on both armrests, revealing rows of buttons and screen for each one. The end of the armrests was tipped up at a 45-degree angle so that I could see the screens better. I leaned over to see what was written on the buttons on the right armrest. I read the inscriptions aloud.

"Arm shields, arm lasers, arm torpedoes, targeting stick, navigation control, land/launch, time warp, sub mode, terrain mode. Lucca, what the heck is this?" I asked.

Lucca smiled smugly. "I added a few ‘special’ functions for you."

I pursed my lips. I didn’t like receiving special recognition, especially since everything we did was completely a team effort, and not just me alone.

"Come on, you can’t be angry at me forever," Lucca grinned.

I relaxed and mentally forgave Lucca.

"All right, all right. Good work Lucca. Now, show me how to work the thing. Wait, let me figure it out."

"It’s not that hard. Even a person with your intelligence should be able to figure it out."

"Hey! I know I’m not Mr. Science Guy but I’m still smart."

"Yeah yeah, I know, but I can’t resist teasing you." Lucca ruffled my hair. She sat down in a seat near mine, then stared at me. I looked at the gizmos once more, then pressed the takeoff button. The ship shook slightly, then rose quickly without causing the "stomach left on the ground" feeling, an improvement over the previous design.

"Whoa! I like this!" I exclaimed impulsively. "Let’s see what else she can do." I pressed the navigation control button and a control stick slid up from the floor in front of me.

"Hit this button right here for acceleration. Every push increases your speed," Lucca instructed.

I nodded, and hit the button once. The Aeon shot forward at half its normal speed, still fast enough to shock anyone not used to it. After a bit of experimentation, I realized that if I pushed the stick forward, the Aeon moved down. If I tilted it back, the Aeon would tilt upwards. So far, the controls had not changed much.

"Oh! I almost forgot. Here you go." Lucca pressed a button on the armrest beside me. A panel slid back and a tennis-ball-sized sphere sitting in a socket rose up next to the control stick. "Twist the ball to your left, and hang on tight!" Lucca said excitedly.

I did as she ordered and felt the Aeon tilt to the left.

"Whoa!" I exclaimed. I tilted the ball back to normal.

"Don’t use it for normal movement, only for evasive maneuvers. It takes a lot of energy to tilt a ship this big on its side," she warned me.

"Thanks for the training course Lucca. Now, let’s go!" I said enthusiastically. I pressed the time warp button and two options appeared on the panel’s screen, present and preset date. I selected the "preset date" option, and Aeon lurched suddenly, then the normal space-time distortion took effect, turning the world into a smeared and distorted blue.


Chapter 19

Chrono Trigger Fanfic