Chrono Trigger: Dare Chapter 19
"Well, wed better get going. Everyone ready?" Marle asked calmly. She looked around and received nods from Kain, Cid, and Ecin.
"Then, lets go. Are you sure you know how to get to the Terra-Fortress without going through the Palace?" Marle asked Cid.
"Yeah. Well, I think so at least. Klab showed it to me a few times so that I could know what we would be going up against. Just as long as I can find the Chrono-Temporal Tower I can find the Terra-Fortress," Cid said hesitantly.
"The Chrono-Temporal Tower?" Marle asked quietly. Her voice, however, was drowned out by Ecins question.
"Wait a minute. I know Ive heard that name before in school, but I wasnt paying attention." Ecin piped up.
"That explains a lot of things," Kain taunted.
"I was trying to impress a girl! How many chances like that do I get? Besides, I doubt you know what it is," Ecin jeered back.
"I do. Its pedestal for the reconstructed Ephemeral."
"The reconstructed what?" Ecin asked. Kain was about to answer, but Cid cut him short.
"The Ephemeral is the ship that King Zeal crashed on this planet with. After he established his kingdom, he ordered his scientists and engineers to reconstruct the Ephemeral. Understandably, the scientists got bored with simply repairing the shoip and built a way to get back home. They added some type of machine that twists space and time around the ship. It can generate a temporal disturbance field around itself, teleporting it and its passengers back to a certain time space co-ordinate, which is pre-set in the starship. Since the King came from Earth, I think the ship is set to the Earths co-ordinates. Anyway, King Zeal decided not to use it, and put it on top of pedestal-like tower called the Chrono-Temporal Tower," Cid explained.
"You think it still works?" Marle asked, the subject piquing her interest.
"Probably." Cid shrugged. "Dont see why it wouldnt."
"Hmm " was all Marle said in response. "Well, thanks for the history lesson Cid. Lets go."
The four of them got up and collected all stuff, then left the cave for the landbridge. But instead of heading to the second landbridge, the group followed Cid towards the Tower. After a few hours of quiet traveling, using the wide roads that once connected the great cities of Aire, the group reached the Chrono-Temporal Tower. The tower rose out of the land like a mountain, dark and tall and imposing. On the barely visible peak, the group could make out a large speck of black: the Ephemeral.
For about a mile, scattered haphazardly around the base of the tower, were remains of mechanical and electronic parts. As the group got nearer and nearer to the tower, the amount of wreckage increased. Some were bigger than the entire group put together, and others were only as big as the first knuckle on a babys finger. Next to the tower, several small building could be seen. Cid told the group that the buildings were probably administration buildings and that he was surprised that they were still standing. Soon, the group was standing at the base, looking up at the monolith.
"Wow! That thing is huge!" Ecin let out a low whistle.
"Yeah, even I forget how big the tower is sometimes. But be careful. Ive heard people talk of weird creatures that live near here. They say that there was a chemical leak here when the Ephemeral was getting repaired. They say that the chemicals got into their water and that half the engineers got sick. Some of them vanished after a while and no one found their bodies."
"Cid, youre starting to sound like Klab, the way you tell stories. The guys have to be dead if they lived here ever since the time of the Kings arrival." Kain dismissed the stories.
"I dunno Kain. This place gives me the willies. Yknow the feeling you get when someone is watching you? Yeah well I got that feeling." Ecin shivered slightly.
"This place is dark. Theres unfinished business here. Someone or something hasnt finished what they set out to do. Hold on " Marle whispered. She closed her eyes and the pendant shard started shimmering.
"The Heavens Drive need to install Heavens Drive." Marles voice changed completely. It became a low growling voice, weighed down with pain and an eternity of suffering. Marle opened her eyes, shocked at what had just happened.
"Theres someone here. Cid, have you ever heard of the Heavens Drive?" Marle asked quickly.
"No," came the flat response.
Marle crossed her arms. "This place bothers me. Lets go quickly," she ordered. No one objected.
The group moved as fast as it could around the base of the tower; no one even looking up to see the silent floating ghost of a ship. As they headed towards the buildings and the Terra-Fortress, a chill wind started picking up.
The buildings formed a circle, and in the middle of the circle, a large hole had been dug. The group gathered on one side of the hole, keeping their backs to the wind.
"Its getting dark. Lets take a rest here. Were going to need all of our strength for the assault," Cid suggested.
"No! Thered something bad here. Lets find somewhere else," Marle objected.
The Kain looked at Marle, pain and frustration in his eyes.
"Hey Marle, youre not afraid of a little rumor, are you?" Kain taunted.
Marles eyes burned into Kains. She furrowed her brow and glared at him. Kain backed off, scared of what might happen.
"I dont like this place, thats all. The rumor isnt the cause of it. I can something here." Marles voice echoed through the group of buildings.
As if on cue, a low pained voice sounded somewhere in front of Cid, near or above the hole. "Can you help me install the Heavens Drive?"
"Huh? Cid asked it.
"The Heavens Drive." The voice said again. "Can you help me?" A few seconds later, a transparent figure appeared above the hole: a human about Kains height and dressed in rags. The thing hovered towards the group, and they backed up until their backs were up against the wall.
"Stay away," Marle commanded. She was the only one who wasnt completely backed up against the wall. "Stay away!" She ordered again. The pendant began to shimmer, dimly first, then brightly, lighting up the dark around Marle.
"Marle, look! The more you glow, the more he glows!" Ecin shouted. He was ignored for the most part, since Cid, Marle, and Kain were all too absorbed in staring at the ghost.
"A stone that makes night day just like her." The ghost said, almost inaudibly. He looked straight at Marle, then spoke again.
"Power deep inside an angelic face
Blessing her friends with lifes embrace
Key to his defeat and overturn
The tables flip and final fortune."
"Ive heard that before somewhere. Wait, I remember now. I was back in the prison in Zeal. I remember I couldnt tell whether I was awake or asleep. I heard that poem there. But, Im almost sure it was talking about someone else Schala?" Marle whispered, almost as if she was hypnotized.
"Who? Marle, who is Schala?" Cid asked her sternly.
"Schala Schala was the one who saved my life back on Earth, back when we destroyed Zeal. She died. Or at least, we think she died. But now, Im not too sure. In fact, this pendant, when it was complete, was the exact replica of hers." Marle seemed to have snapped out of her daze.
"Yes! You speak her name. You know her. You are she."
"Huh? Wait a minute. She and I are different people, how can I be her? And how do you know who she is anyway?"
"I will tell you my story later. Fate is finishing its game, a cosmic game of chess that has been going on since the beginning of time. The game has advanced, and what was now a pawn can be a second queen. All in all, six characters are left a knight, two bishops, two pawns, and queen. You " He pointed to Marle. "Are a pawn. But like every pawn, you can become a queen like her." He turned to Cid. "You are a bishop. While the knights away, you must protect the pawn. You must protect her "
Marle and Cid looked at each other, then back at the ghost.
"We understand," Cid spoke up.
"But who is the Knight, the other bishop, the other pawn, and the queen?" Marle asked insistently.
"I can only tell one pick." The ghost seemed to fade a bit, then regained its normal translucence.
"The knight." Marle spoke up before Cid could even open his mouth.
"The knight is Crono. And a powerful knight he is. He plays a key part in the game if he survives."
"What! What do you mean if he survives?" Marle asked in disbelief.
"I cant answer that. My knowledge is limited and the rules do not allow it. Sit. I have a favor to ask of you."
The group sat down cautiously, while the ghost still hovered a few feet above the ground.
"I died of chemical poisoning after the Tower was completed. Unfortunately, my spirit still remained here, meaning there was something I had left unfinished. After ages of looking around, I found it: the engine that I designed called the Heavens Drive. It was the trans-spacial engine of the new Ephemeral, but for some reason, it was never installed. For me to be able to rest, I need you to install it for me. I want to see the fruits of my labor. Please," the ghost pleaded.
"Well do it! Just leave us alone!" Ecin shouted, all the blood drained from his face. The others turned to stare at him, but Ecin was too terrified of the ghost to even breathe.
"Thank you. Here take the Heavens Drive." The ghost said softly. He rose a few more feet in the air, then disappeared altogether. In his place was a large chunk of machinery, as big as a small boulder.
"Looks like Ecin almost peed in his pants!" Kain jeered. Ecin only mumbled an inaudible reply.
"Heh. I thought you were tough, but now I know youre just a chicken," Kain continued.
"Am not! You were just as afraid as I was!"
"No I wasnt. And if I was, you cant prove it!" Kain said.
"Cid, can we carry this engine up that tower? I dont think were strong enough together. I dont think my pendants power could lift this thing for long," Marle said.
"No, we cant move it. I suppose if we leave it here and come back later he wont mid," Cid said thoughtfully.
Kain nodded rapidly. "I second that motion. Lets leave and come back later. A hundred years later, when Im too dead in the ground for ghosts to bother with me."
"I agree with Kain for once. Lets go. This place still scares me," Ecin whined.
"No its ok now. Hes gone. We can rest in one of the buildings," Marle said.
"But but but " Kain stammered. "Oh forget it. Its no use." Kain gave up on the complaint.
"Great. Its settled then," Cid said, then headed into the nearest house. The rest of the group followed him, ready for a peaceful night to a strange day. Once inside, Marle grabbed Cid by the arm, swung him across the room, and carefully unsheathed her sword from the fragile reed holder.
"Not again," Cid complained as he took out his own sword.
"Youre going to teach me until I can beat you."
"Marle, I dont know how you did it, but yesterday, you learned several weeks worth of techniques. If this keeps going on, in three days youll know more than I do."
"I had better. I intend to use this sword against Zeal, and the more I know how to use it, the better. Now lets spar."
Cid rolled his eyes and brought his sword up.
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