Chrono Trigger: Dare Chapter 25

The Laser and Ibleess

By Crono_12

The group looked at each other nervously, then started down the barely lit left corridor. The corridor, as it turned out, seemed to be where the soldier’s quarters were. Every ten feet there was a door on either side, and after ten pairs of doors, the corridor ended. It was at this ending that Marle, Ecin, Cid, and Kain stopped.

"Now what? I can’t see a thing in this darkness!" Kain complained.

"Wait a minute. I think there’s something here. Did anyone bring a torch?" Marle asked.

"Let me see. Wait a moment. There’s a door here!" We can go through! I just have to find the handle." Ecin called out. "Ah. Here it is…I think. Shall we?"

Marle nodded her head, but Ecin had already opened the door. He walked in first, a dagger drawn and ready to do its job. He took a step forward and everyone heard a sudden yelp of pain then a string of half-muffled curses aimed at inanimate objects.

"Ecin? What happened?"

"I hit my head on something hard. I think it’s a ladder, but I need light to see."

"Serves you right you little…" Kain began.

"Don’t even say it Kain." Cid cut him off again and headed towards Ecin’s voice.

"Ow! What the…" Cid started to say.

"Don’t even say it Cid." Kain mimicked.

"Be quiet Kain. There’s a flight of stairs heading up somewhere. My bet is that they go to the laser. It should be on the top floor, so let’s go!" Cid said excitedly. He dashed up the stairs as fast as the lack of light would allow and disappeared into the anxious darkness. Ecin shrugged and ran up after him, shouting a taunt at Kain, who followed him, firing back insults like bullets out of an automatic weapon. From somewhere upstairs, Cid shushed them viciously. Marle went up last, but equally quickly in an attempt to catch up to the trio. After three flights, she bumped into Kain.

"Who’s there?" Kain shouted as he reached for his lance. Marle heard the weapon come out of its holster.

"No! It’s me," she shouted hoarsely.

"Oh. Sorry Marle." His apology was greeted by an exasperated shout from Ecin.

"Quiet! I’m trying to concentrate here! Sheesh. It’s not my fault Zeal likes making locks that have several false trigger mechanisms. And I can’t help it if it’s dark. I need to concentrate, people!"

"What you need is some tape to put over your mouth. I thought you said you were the best lockpick on Aire." Kain launched one final insult before they both quieted down into an irate silence. Ecin mumbled something about no one understanding him and grudgingly went back to work. Minutes later, he had opened the door.

"There we go. See what happens when you give me time? Unlike other people whom I won’t mention who have no skills whatsoever…." Ecin let the phrase hang, but Kain didn’t seem to hear him.

The group left the stairwell and entered another passageway. This corridor was dimly lit, with white paint on the walls and dimmed fluorescent lights in the ceiling. Like the corridor on the bottom floor, there were doors opposite each other lined up against the wall. But unlike the bottom floor, the doors were labeled. Peering into the darkness, Marle saw another door down the hall leading to another set of stairs. Pointing and nodding, she started forward.

"Yune…Zachary…all names. This is still part of the barracks..." Cid said as he read the signs off of the doors.

"Which means that if we make one sound their not expecting…" Marle let the sentence hang, but Ecin ran with it.

"We go bye-bye," he said in a singsong voice.

"Unless of course we feel like taking on the best Zeal can offer," Kain added as an afterthought. The group walked on cats’ feet to the end of the hall. Ecin opened the door, and sneaked out. Cid followed, equally careful not to make any noise. Marle walked through the door, feather-light, and Kain held his breath as he crossed the threshold.

"Phew. We’re through," Kain breathed as the world shook behind him. He spun around and saw he had let the door slam shut. Almost instantly an alarm went off and the sound of doors opening and people yelling and shouting could be heard.

"Uh…oops?" Kain smiled nervously.

"No time for that. Let’s go!" Marle shouted as she clambered up the flight of stairs. The rest followed her with Kain in the rear, all desperate to escape. They were about halfway up the flight when the first man reached Kain.

"Oh no you don’t." Kain backhanded the guard brutally, sending him rolling down the stairs like a boulder, knocking down the other guards like pins. Screams of pain and the sound of shattering bone echoed up the flight.

"That should do it for now…" He huffed breathlessly as he continued running up the stairs. They were almost at the second landing when the first guard burst through the door. Cid dispatched the him with a quick strike to the knees and a quick shove to the side, sending him over the railing and down to meet his comrades and his maker. Cid then continued up the second flight of stairs. The second collapsed in the doorway, courtesy of antimatter bolts from Marle, who also sped up the next set of stairs. The third guard took Ecin by surprise, bringing his sword down on the teen’s head. Ecin was too slow to bring up his daggers and closed his eyes, waiting for the mortal blow. It didn’t land. Instead, Ecin opened his eyes to see Kain’s bloody lance through the guard’s heart. Kain pulled out his weapon shoved the corpse away.

"Thank you…" Ecin started.

"Save it. We gotta get out of here!" Kain shouted. Ecin nodded and continued up. The four were nearly at the top of the next flight of stairs when another set of guards appeared below. Marle knocked one back with the butt of her crossbow and sent him over the rail. The other two grabbed her and were about to drive a dagger into her when a lightning bolt from Cid sent one flying. The other hesitated for a split second, just enough for Ecin to shove a dagger through his heart. Without even stopping to sheath it, he continued up and through the door at the top of the stairs. By now, Cid had already reached the third floor landing was holding the door shut, preventing the guards from coming in.

"You’ve got one more flight of stairs to go!" He shouted. Marle nodded and rushed up the stairs along with Ecin. Kain stayed behind.

"Maybe I can help. Just keep the door closed," Kain told Cid.

"What the hell are you doing?" Cid shouted.

"Just hold it still!" Kain shouted and flipped up the butt of his lance to reveal a button. He pushed it down and held the pointed near the lock. The door started to melt into the frame.

"Aaaaahh!" screamed a guard coming up the stairs. Cid, caught unawares, froze in surprise. Without even looking up, Kain flipped the lance around and drove the scorching tip through the guard, who flailed wildly at first, then collapsed in a heap on the stairs.

"Thanks!" Cid shouted.

Kain paid no attention and brought his weapon back to the door, welding it shut.

"Let’s go!" He shouted over the klaxon, motioning for Cid to go first. Cid nodded and hurried up the stairs. He made it to the top without any more trouble, and opened the door. The moment he was through he collapsed on the floor, exhausted. Then he saw Marle and Ecin looking at him expectantly and he remembered Kain.

"Where…?" Marle asked.

"I think he’s still coming…it’s a long way up. But…he was right behind me…"

"So where is he?" Ecin answered, the fear of a naive teenage boy showing in his face. Tears formed in his eyes and his face turned pale.

"I don’t know…he saved my life…" Cid said, dazed.

"He saved all our lives," Marle corrected.

"Maybe I’ll be able to do it again," Kain answered, then groaned in pain as he walked through the doorway, dragging his left leg. "Sorry it took me so long." As he appeared into full view, the group saw what had held him up. A crimson red stain marked the spot where a guard’s sword had stabbed Kain through his pant leg and into his calf. The pants themselves were torn, indicating that the wound was bigger than could be seen.

"Let me see that," Marle told him and knelt down to examine the wound. Kain winced in pain as she rolled up the pant leg, revealing a large gash running the length of his calf and into the back of his knee. It was bleeding heavily. She closed her eyes and held her hand over the majority of the wound. The world relaxed a bit as the wound healed and the pain disappeared from Kain’s face. He looked down and saw no remnant of his injury; not even a scar or a bloodstain remained on his legs.

"There you go. You ok?" Marle asked. Kain stood up and moved his leg.

"Thanks. That feels better than ever!" He exclaimed. "Now, let’s go. As I said before, the faster we get this done, the faster we can go home."

Marle, Cid, and Ecin exchanged brief glances.

"Let’s go then," Marle said, and looked around for a door. She did a double take as soon as she noticed there was none with the exception of the one she had come through. For the first time since they got there, the group gathered its bearings. They were in the far end of a large, brightly-lit room. Humming and whirring machines were strewn almost haphazardly around the room. Pipes and bundles of wires connected each machine to the other, and finally to a large blinking, humming, whirring supercomputer. Cid whistled as his eyes fell upon the giant machine.

"Wow. That…is the most powerful computer I’ve seen in my life. The one back in the Floating Island can’t compare. This…is…an ultracomputer."

"Getting exited over a hunk of machinery, aren’t we now?" Ecin grinned sadistically. Cid shot him a dirty look and strode over to the machine.

"Damn. There isn’t any input/output device. It’s probably on a lower floor. Unless…" Cid left the sentence hang as he examined the machine closely. He pushed a button on the hulk of machinery and the whirring increased. "Ok, let’s see…" He mumbled as he pushed another button and flipped a switch. The group gathered around him as lights flared up all over the computer. "Wish Lucca were here…" He mumbled as he peered at the machine.

"Do you know what you’re doing?" Ecin asked.

"That’s why I whish Lucca were here. She might know. I can only guess, but I think this thing controls several parts of the Fortress. I doubt that it controls the Laser though…" He said thoughtfully as he flipped the switch back to it’s original position. A swishing sound was heard from beside the computer. Marle looked over and saw that a panel had moved back to halfway reveal a door.

"There’s a door here! It’s only half open though. Think you can finish it?" Marle asked him.

"I wouldn’t dare not finish it," Cid replied half conscious of what he was saying.

* * *

"General! There’s a level five security breach! Four people have broken through the first three barracks floors. It looks like a slaugherhouse over there!"

"Damn! Ok, this takes priority over blasting the city. Tell the mayor...tell him that we’ve decided to be compassionate and have given him…"

"Sir, we’ll need about two days to wrap this all up. With most of the men dead or injured, we’re incredibly short on manpower."

"Then we’ll give him an extra three days. See to it, Lieutenant."

"Yes sir!"

* * *

Cid pushed one more button, pushed it again, then hit a series of buttons and switches, and the door opened completely.

"There we go. Quickly now," he ordered. They moved like burglars in a jewelry store, all reaching the door at the same time. As soon as they had passed, the door hissed shut behind them. They emerged into another hallway just as brightly lit as the previous. The hallway extended for about fifty feet and emerged into a dark, foreboding room.

"My pendant shard. It’s glowing brightly. Look!" Marle exclaimed. The pendant shimmered, glowed, and shed its calm, soft, comforting light. "There is something in that room that is reacting to the pendant. Let’s go."

"The Laser controls should be close by. It’s almost over," Cid breathed a sigh of relief.

"You’re right. It is almost over. For you…" A voice echoed off the walls and found it’s sinister way into their ears. "Come on…if you’re ready!" The voice mocked again.

"Who is that?" Marle asked.

"I don’t know. It doesn’t sound good though…" Kain answered as he took out his blood stained spear. Marle followed his lead and took out her Valkyrie. Cid and Ecin got the message and took out their weapons as well. They continued down the hall, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. The hall widened as slowly as it darkened. The group moved cautiously and eventually they were all squinting into the darkness and standing side by side in the dark.

"Took you long enough. Welcome to the Laser Room." The same mocking voice resonated in their heads. The room slowly brightened, revealing the speaker. He was taller than normal, about seven feet tall. If a person happened to glance at him quickly, you could mistake him for a normal human. However a second glance would reveal that did not stand upon the ground. He floated. From the waist down, he had on a skintight, skin colored suit, which seemed to blend into his normal perfectly tanned flesh. His perfectly toned muscles were perfectly shaped, his perfect face strong and rugged. Two perfect, bright stars stood in place of his eyes and twinkled to their own delight. He grinned boyishly, revealing a set of perfectly sharp teeth. Strong shoulders tapered down to strong hands, which split into perfectly crafted fingers, at the ends of which hung perfectly cut nails.

"…." The group said all at once.

"That is the same response I get from anyone who has ever come to greet me." He stopped floating and landed perfectly on his feet. "A stunned silence." He looked at Marle directly. "Hello Schala. Or should I call you Marle. You know, both of you emit the same aura. In magic terms, you would be what are called mage siblings. You’re prettier though…much more…" He smiled a perfect smile and the blood rushed to Marle’s face.

"Either way, I ought to tell you who, or what, I am. I’m perfect. But you may call me…Ibleess."

"Say again? I though I heard your name was Ibleess," Marle said, frowning. Her face, which had resumed its normal cream color, now became a ghostly white.

"Hmm…you might be better looking than Schala, but she definitely is smarter. And less prone to her emotions. But still…" Ibleess ignored Marle’s question and started to circle Marle like a cat around a mouse.

"Stop that!" Marle commanded her royal lineage now audible through her words.

"I’m done anyway. Yes…you’ll do perfectly. Although we might need to work on your attitude," he spoke, and the music of his words drifting into Marle’s ears. His speech had a magical quality, a seductive tone that promised the world on a silver platter. Marle felt as if she were drifting to sleep. She shook her head in a failed attempt to clear away the magic.

"I’ll…do? Do for what? My attitude?" Marle felt her mind come a few steps closer to giving in to his magic. She closed he eyes and tried to gather her thoughts. Ibleess ignored her. He walked closer to Marle, his star-like eyes shimmering. He held out his hand and grabbed Marle’s shoulder. She didn’t resist. Instead, her head lolled back as if she were lazily examining the ceiling.

"Stop it now! Ibleess, get away from her! Marle, snap out of it!" Cid shouted. Marle opened her eyes and straightened her neck with visible effort.

"No. It’s ok. You’ll be the perfect replacement for Schala," Ibleess cooed again. The musical magic in his voice permeated the air and even Ecin could feel it. But the same magic that was controlling Marle also held the rest back.

"Ibleess, I’m warning you. Stop it now…or else," Cid warned.

"And what are you going to do? Nothing. You wouldn’t dare," Ibleess taunted Cid. This time, the magical voice was replaced by a more sinister tone. Cid thought for a moment, his eyes darting between Marle and Ibleess. And suddenly in his mind’s eye, a vision flashed. He saw Crono facing another man who looked startlingly like a mixture of Marle, Crono, Lucca, Ecin, Kain, and himself. The man had his hand held out, palm upwards. His lips moved. Crono said something and moved closer to the man. It was a movie without sound. Suddenly, Crono moved away from the man and spoke rapidly. The man smiled and uttered a phrase that Cid could hear. "You dare." Crono’s lips moved slowly, and then he said the last phrase Cid could hear. "Yes, I Dare."

"Well, do you Dare?" Ibleess asked a second time, snapping Cid back into the situation.

Cid looked at Marle. "Yes, I Dare."

"Very well then. The black wind shrieks. Prepare yourself for the void," Ibleess rumbled. His muscled hand went to his side and pulled a sword out from thin air as if from an invisible sheath. He rose off the floor again so that his feet were on level with Cid's eyes. He then charged across the room at Cid. Several thousand miles and several dimensions away, Tsern charged as well.

Chapter 25: The Fights


I brought my sword up to parry Tsern’s attack just in time. He and I glared at each other across the blades.

"You know you can’t win." Tsern jeered at me as he strained his muscles, trying to overcome me.

"That’s what Magus told me when I came to fight Lavos, and look what happened," I responded, trying to keep from giving ground.

"You’ll find that I’m more of a match than Lavos was," Tsern warned, then spun around with his arm outstretched, breaking the stalemate. I had less than a second to parry the strike and even less time to defend myself against the onslaught of thrusts and slashes that accompanied it. We locked blades again after he had finished his technique.

"Impressive. Let’s up the fight a bit," he said. I could only watch in shock as he cast Full Moon, the most devastating magic attack ever. I had survived when Lavos used it, but Tsern was a more powerful magic user. The world darkened as large moon-like sphere appeared above Tsern’s head, spinning silently and reveling in its strength. I grimaced as I felt the first effects of the Moon. Suddenly, the world spun around, tearing reality from my mind. I felt my energy, my mana, slip away like sand between my fingers. The Moon’s effects strengthened as the orb now lashed out with rays of dark light. As each ray struck me, it felt as if the planets themselves were being slammed into me. And for the final strike, the Moon exploded into shards of crystal, each flying into me. I writhed in agony then fell to one knee as the Moon’s power waned, then disappeared altogether.

The best and worst thing about magic is that when it’s over, it’s over. After the spell finishes, the pain and agony of the spell vanish, leaving only physical and mental scars. With some practice, one can recover from a spell the instant it resolves.

I didn’t waste a moment.

As soon as the magic spell had stopped, I cast a spell of my own, TriLuminescence. Seconds later, I saw my spell take form. Three huge orbs of energy appeared out of nowhere and spun lazily around Tsern, forming a large triangle. Suddenly, a bolt of energy sprang from each of the balls into Tsern, and then to the other orbs. The acrid smell of burnt skin now filled the room as Tsern writhed in pain. But the spell wasn’t over yet. For the final touch, the orbs dropped to the ground, still maintaining their energy bonds, and exploded in a massive wave of electrical energy. They slammed into Tsern and sent him flying into one of the walls. As he was in midair, I rushed him, sword outstretched. By the time he had landed, I had cut a deep gash down his back and nearly severed an arm. However, when he got back up, all his wounds were healed with a simple spell. He then charged me again, and I brought my sword up to deflect his. But at the last second, he swept his sword down, surprising me and cutting deep into my leg. Blood gushed out as I buckled in pain, grasping my leg. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Tsern ready his sword for a swift killing stroke, and in desperation I swung my sword up. Strangely, I felt it slow down as it struck something; my Rainbow sword never did anything of the sort. I looked just in time to see his hand and his blade sail through the air.

"Ahhhh!" Tsern screamed as he glanced at the bloody stump. He ran to get his sword and his arm, giving my precious time to gather myself.

* * *

"Oh my God! Nurse! This time it’s serious!"

"What now Lucca? Oh! Dear me, we have to stop that!" The nurse said as she ran towards Crono. "Give me those pieces of cloth and that metal rod!" She ordered. Lucca brought the medical supplies to the woman, and the nurse immediately wrapped one piece of cloth above Crono’s wound, cutting off some of the circulation. She then brought the metal rod onto his injury and felt the heat come off it as the instrument cauterized the wound. As she expected, blood was still trickling out, and she pressed the other piece of cloth onto the injury.

"You can take that other piece off now, but keep it close." The nurse ordered.

Lucca nodded quietly, a stunned expression on her face.

"What have you gotten yourself into now, Crono?" She thought as she placed the strip of cloth beside her.

* * *

"Ahhh!" I screamed as I felt a searing pain in my leg. I looked down to see a large scab start to form where the wound was. I grimaced, then turned to face Tsern, who had somehow re-attached his arm and was now casting another spell. Reacting on instinct alone, I whispered an incantation and stuck my sword into the ground, the dragged it quickly in Tsern's direction. He looked in horror as a magic shock wave slammed into him, throwing him to the ground. I grinned inwardly, thinking that I had stopped his spell. I took cocky step forward, only to feel as if millions of needles were being thrust through my temples. The pain spread like wildfire, reducing me to a squirming mass of flesh and bone on the floor while Tsern stood up and brushed himself off, cocky in his victory, a mock smile on his face. I gathered the last bits of concentration I had and with a final, desperate attempt, I summoned Ramuh. Nothing.

"Oh, I’m sorry. Did the spell fail? Too bad about-" Tsern never finished. Instead, he was throw back into a wall as Ramuh exploded from below him. The old man towered above us, then raised his staff and cast his spell, Judgement Bolt. The pain disappeared as soon as the first bolt of lighting stuck Tsern. I stood up and watched as beam after beam struck him, torching his skin and hair. Eventually, the spell subsided and Ramuh disappeared. I ran over to finish the battle, expecting Tsern to be less than a match for me. But as soon as I came within arms’ length, the prostrate man stood up with lightning speed then pinned me to the wall.

"Give me the ring and the sword. Now!" He bellowed.

"…Never!" I cried out. The shout surprised him, and I used that chance to pry my arm loose and slam it into his burnt face. He reeled back, but blocked my next shot and sent his fist into my stomach, sending the wind out of me. I ignored the pain and slammed my shoulder into his chest, sending him back again and giving me enough time to slash at him with my sword. The blade landed perfectly on his neck but never cut the skin. Instead, shimmering bolts of lightning sprung up through my sword, flinging it from my hands and knocking me down. I recognized the enchantment as a protection spell a moment before Tsern brought his sword down, hoping to slice me down the middle. I spun out of the way, then let fly with a vicious lightning bolt, at the same time spinning my legs around to hit his wrists and disarm him. The weapon flew out of his hand then skittered on the ground. Instantly, Tsern leaped onto me with beast-like fury, wrapping his fingers around my neck, squeezing and choking the life out of me. I felt his hands reach down into my pocket and pull out the ring. With my remaining strength, I tried to grab it back from him. As soon as my fingers touched the cold, hard, tear shaped crystal, a blue light flashed, burning my hands and throwing Tsern and me back at the same time. The ring remained there, along with two other objects: a breastplate made of bluish-white metal, and the Deus Moon. I stared in awe at the enthralling design on the armor, one I hadn’t noticed before. 13 yellow stars forming the infinity symbol, a pure white crescent moon in one loop, a blazing orange sun on the other, making up the basic design. In the background, a flaming red bird could be seen: a Phoenix. The ring, the sword, and the armor spun lazily around themselves while Tsern and I watched amazed at the sight. Suddenly, in a flash, the artifacts disappeared.

* * *


Cid flew back into the wall, uncovering several electrical wires, which sent dazzling sparks of electricity dancing about his body. He sank down and hit the floor, hard, the electricity being the least of his problems.

"You’re no match for me, Cid. I’ve beaten you, and I haven’t even used any spells against you. You might as well just give up. She’s not worth it. She’s not even yours," Ibleess taunted, hovering over Marle. His body was covered in scars, evidence of the war he and Cid were waging. But despite Ibleess’s wounds, he was the by far victor.

"Never…!" Cid yelled, his energy sapped. He got up again, then fired a feeble lighting bolt at Ibleess, who blocked it without any effort.

"This is it," though Cid. "Sorry Crono. I’ve failed you. Only one thing left…."

"You’re done for. Finished. It’s over. I’ve won!" Ibleess’s voice echoed throughout the room.

"No…not while I’m alive. Not while I can think," Cid whispered, then started casting a spell.

"We’ve got to help him!" Ecin shouted.

"I can’t move! I can’t even grab my lance!" Kain yelled back. "You know, you’ve been telling me the same damn thing for the past half hour and I still can’t do anything!"

"Keep trying! We have to do something!" Ecin yelled helplessly. He stopped squirming and watching in terror as Cid stopped mumbling incantations, then charged Ibleess. Ibleess dropped a few inches, coming down almost to Cid’s level, then put out one hand to stop him. To the being’s surprise, Cid slid under him and finished his spell, reaching down with one hand to touch Marle, and ramming his sword up into Ibleess at the same time. Light flashed everywhere, blinding Kain and Ecin, and throwing Cid back to the wall. When Kain and Ecin could finally see, Ibleess had disappeared, and Marle, partially soaked in Ibleess’s formerly acidic blood, was standing next to Cid’s prostrate body. Marle was wearing a strange piece of armor, making her look like a bodybuilder who only focused on her top half. Acting on instinct alone, both rushed to Marle’s side, not even realizing they could now move. Marle seemed ok, although partly dazed. She returned to normal as soon as she noticed Cid, however.

"Is he…" Ecin left the sentence hanging.

"I don’t know. He’s still breathing, and he still has a pulse, but I can’t tell if his brain is still working," Marle said as she looked down at Cid’s bruised, broken, and scarred body.

"What happened? One moment Cid charged Ibleess, and the next moment the world lights up so that I can’t see. Now, I see Cid almost dead, and Ibleess isn’t here," Ecin asked.

"I’ll tell you everything. Although I was paralyzed, I could still see what was happening. Cid cast a spell that caused that explosion. He managed to harm Ibleess enough to bring me back to my senses, but he got flung over here. Then a weird thing happened; as I was running to Cid, Ibleess launched a gigantic fireball at him. I jumped in the way right before it hit. But I didn’t get hit. This armor reflected it back at Ibleess. It hit him and he vanished, and here we are," Marle explained.

"But you weren’t wearing any armor when we came here," Kain pointed out.

"I don’t know how it happened. I wasn’t wearing it when I was running to Cid. It just happened when the ball was about to hit me. I don’t understand it."

"So what happens now? Where’s the laser? I’ve got a feeling it’s in a hidden room, but Cid’s the only one I know who could open them." Ecin said.

"I don’t know. We’d better start looking for one. Our deadline is almost up, and I know King Zeal won’t leave the Laser unguarded," Marle ordered, then walked up to a wall and started tapping on it. Kain and Ecin shrugged, then imitated her, hoping to find the wall before the laser fired.

* * *

"What happened?" I asked forcefully. The idea of not having a weapon with me at the moment was a little disconcerting.

"I never knew you had it in you…"

"Had what in me?"

"Those artifacts can be used or activated to their fullest potential only if a person is powerful enough with magic. I knew I was powerful enough, but I didn’t know you were."

"How much mana does a person have to have to use them?" I asked.

"About 200 mana points per cell," Tsern responded absent-mindedly.

"But I don’t have 200 mp. I have about 120," I argued.

"Impossible," Tsern said flatly, scratching his back. I was about to object when he flung the dagger that he had pulled from behind him at me. I had no time to dodge as the magic-aided blade flew through the air and hit me in the gut. A soundless scream escaped my lips as I clutched the hilt. Blood started to seep out of the wound, soaking my tunic and my hand.

"I’m sorry I had to do that. But now I have to find those artifacts, and I can’t have you getting in my way."

"No!" I said faintly. I collapsed on the ground, unable to move.

"So long Crono. You were a good opponent, but your time has come," Tsern said as he faded away. I closed my eyes and concentrated on removing the dagger. I felt the knife slide a little, then a lot as it came free in my hand. But now, my blood began to flow earnestly.

"Goodbye Marle. I’m sorry. I…love you," I mumbled with my last conscious breath.

* * *

"Beboop…beboop…beboop…beboop…bebeeeeeeeeeeeee," the alarm on the heart monitor sounded, waking Lucca from her doze. She awoke with a start, then glanced down at Crono.

"Oh my…Nurse! Nurse! We have a problem here!" Lucca shouted, but the nurse had gone to see some of her other patients.

"Ok. Let me see…I have to stop the bleeding. Where’s that thing the nurse used?" Lucca searched frantically for the tool, but it had vanished. In desperation, she ripped off Crono’s tunic and placed her hands on the wound. Reciting a short spell, her hands spouted flame, cauterizing the wound. The bleeding slowed, then stopped, but now blisters began forming on the skin around it.

"Now for his heart…" mumbled Lucca as she placed both her hands on his heart and pushed down quickly, then relaxed, then pumped again. After the fifth push, his heart began beating again.

"Phew. That does it. Now to…" she stopped herself as she noticed that he was bleeding more profusely than before. She quickly put her hand over the wound and tried casting the spell, but the blood was flowing too quickly to congeal. Lucca glanced quickly at the monitor displaying his vital statistics.

"No! He’s loosing too much blood! Crono, don’t die! We need you!" She shouted, placing her blood soaked hands in his. Her tears began to flow as she heard another alarm ring: the one indicating too much loss of blood. In a fit of anger and frustration, she squeezed Crono’s hands, releasing all her emotions. As soon as she relaxed, she became dimly aware that the alarm had subsided, and that Crono’s heart rate had returned to normal. She glanced quickly at his gut and noticed the blood had stopped flowing as well.

"What happened?" She asked confused. She glanced down at Crono and noticed the pendant shard was shimmering.

"Hmm…. I can’t activate the pendant. That means that it must have been done by someone else, of course, but no one’s here. But since they’re both the same part of the same pendant, perhaps they work in tandem. Maybe Crono’s shard and Marle’s shard work together. That would explain it. If she used her part for something, this part would activate as well. I’ll have to ask her," She muttered to herself as the light faded away.

"Ungh… Lucca?" I whispered through the haze in my mind.

"Crono? You’re awake! What happened? You were bleeding!" Lucca gripped my shoulders weakly, but even the slight grasp hurt.

"Ow! Take it easy Lucca. Let’s just say…I won." I smiled. I would have lost consciousness if Lucca had not shaken me.

"Won what? Just tell me that much," Lucca demanded.

My energy was completely sapped, but I managed to speak one word before I slipped into blissful sleep.

"Fate," I whispered.


Chapter 26

Chrono Trigger Fanfic