Chrono Trigger: Dare Chapter 26
"I think I found it!" Kain cried out. He motioned everyone to his part of the wall, then rapped on the wall with his lance. Instead of the usual solid clanking of metal against metal, there was a definite reverberation, exactly the sound they were searching for.
"Now that weve found it, how do we open it?" I dont see any switches here." Kain spoke then leaned against the wall in frustrated thought. Seconds later, he pounded on the wall with all his strength. The one of the panels nearest to him rattled softly, but it was just enough for Marle to hear it.
"Whats that? It looks like theres a secret compartment here," she stated as she examined the wall. There was now a small space between one of the panels and the rest of the wall.
"Ecin, lend me one of your daggers," Kain ordered.
"Why? Theyre mine. Just tell me what you want to do "
"Give me a dagger. Now." Kains voice turned to steel. Ecins eyes widened with disbelief. He slowly took out one of his daggers and carefully placed it in Kains outstretched hand.
"Fine. But if something happens to it, youre getting the other one so far up your "
"Dont even say it," Kain interrupted. Ecins face froze with utter astonishment.
"Thats better," Kain whispered as he jammed the dagger into the small slit and pried the panel open, revealing a small, diamond-shaped hole. Around the hole was a maze of circuitry and silicon, and written above the hole were two words: Dreamstone Pendant. Handing the dagger back to an open-mouthed Ecin, Kain turned to Marle. She understood and strode up to the uncovered panel, taking off her pendant in the process. Marle placed the pendant into its groove and watched as absolute energy flowed from one piece of electronics to the other. The pendant shimmered brilliantly, sending blinding rays of a pale, healing blue light in all directions. Kain, Ecin, and Marle all felt their wounds close, their weariness slide away, and their energy return.
The trio covered their eyes, but the light intensified, relaxing them to the fullest possible degree. Moments later, the rays died down, and the trio looked upon the pendant once more. Alongside the panel where the pendant lay, a new door had appeared. However, the door was being flooded with light from behind it, casting an eerie glow on the bewildered faces. All three stared silently at the opening, then looked at each other.
"Its pretty, isnt it?" A voice from behind them called out. They spun around to see Cid standing erect with no evidence of the fight on him.
"Cid! Youre ok!" Marle exclaimed.
"Yes, Im fine. Your pendant did it," Cid replied. He paused for a moment, then spoke again, this time with a large grin on his face. "What are we waiting for? Lets stop that Laser!" He headed towards the door, then opened it and vanished in the light. The rest of the group followed him one by one. Marle was the last one through, stopping only to pick up her pendant.
As they stumbled into the awaiting room, a new voice greeted them. A voice that Marle had wanted to hear for aeons.
"Hello. Im Schala. Who are all of you?"
"Schala? Youre alive!" Marle exclaimed. She blinked several times in an attempt to see through the light.
"Yes I am, but I still dont know your names," she insisted.
"Dont you remember me? Im Marle!" Marle shouted, as if trying to drive away the light with her voice.
"Marle? I dont know a Marle. Let me come closer."
Suddenly, Marle was aware that a person was beside her. She quit glancing around and stood erect.
"This pendant. Its almost like mine but its broken." Schala said.
"Its not broken. It split apart when we used it to destroy the Mammon Machine," Marle explained.
"Whats going on? Marle? I cant see a thing! And I dont know where Kain and Cid are!" Ecin complained. Marle and Schala ignored him.
"Let me take a look," Schala said. Marle felt a hand pick up the pendant and pull it forward. Moments later, she felt it drop to her chest.
"I can repair it. But I still dont know who you are."
"I told you! Im Marle! Dont you remember me? Do you remember what happened at the Ocean Palace?" Marle paused for a moment, then whispered, "dont you remember Crono?"
"No. Im sorry. I dont."
Marles heart sank. She backed away from Schala and tried to find Kain, Cid, and Ecin.
"Where are you guys?" Marle shouted.
"They are right here," Schala replied. The light was dimmed to a useable brightness. It took a few seconds for Marles eyes to adjust, but once they did, she gasped in surprise. She was in a large room with three large glass tubes on either side of it. Kain, Cid, and Ecin were all inside tubes on one side. The glass on each tube sparkled as if crystals and diamonds coated the surface. Kain, Cid, and Ecin all stood stock still, presumably paralyzed by the light green gas wafting about the inside of the tubes. Their eyes pleaded with Marle to help them, but she couldnt. She could hardly take her eyes off of the being seated on the throne in front of her. She saw Schala, dressed in black robes and wearing her pendant looking down upon her from a throne made of slimy, mucus-laden skin and bone. The throne was made of the skin of the Mammon Machine! Schala was strapped into the seat, and tentacles, ooze trickling from them, waved haphazardly around. A helmet, made of some kind of metal, itself connected to the gruesome throne, was sitting on Schalas head.
"Now it is your turn. Into the status tube you go," Schala ordered. One of the tentacles reached out and pushed Marle into the awaiting container. "Youre going to have to wait there until Ibleess gets back from feeding. I hope its not too much of a discomfort," Schala spoke. And with that, the room faded into unbearable brightness again.
Chapter 26: The Rejoining
I woke with a start. I could sense something was wrong. I reached for the pendant shard still handing around my neck and found it glowing urgently.
"Lucca, wake up! Marles in trouble," I shouted to Lucca, who promptly snorted and woke up.
"Huh? What? Marles in trouble?" Lucca said only half-awake.
"Yeah. Wheres the Aeon? We need to find the Terra-Fortress," I said excitedly.
"We cant use the Aeon! Its wings were damaged. I tried telling you on the way here, but you were delirious."
"Howd that happen?"
"Well, we came out of the warp, we were too close to Zeals Islands, and Dalton fired missiles at us. Two of them hit the wings, so I had to revert to ATV mode. If you give me some time, I can get the Aeon off the ground, but I need a few days."
"Then lets get working on them now. The sooner we can fix them, the better," I reasoned. Hopping off the bed, I grabbed Luccas arm and dragged her outside. Unfortunately, chaos and confusion had struck the town we were in. For some reason, the people were running around wildly, shouting and screaming unintelligible phrases.
"Lucca! Whats going on?" I yelled over the din of the crowd.
"I dont know!" She yelled back.
I tried to push my way through the crazed crowd, but my attempts were futile. There was no space to breathe, much less move about.
"Hold on Crono, Ill take care of this," Lucca shouted as she took out her Wondershot. Setting the power to high, she fired two deafening shots into the sky. The people screamed then crouched in fear.
"Ok. What is going on?" Lucca shouted.
"Havent you heard? Weve been spared the laser for two days! That gives us enough time to evacuate!" One man shouted back. The entire crowd was about to start up again, but Lucca fired another shot.
"Why? What happened?"
Suddenly, my nurse appeared.
"You happened! Klabs got people inside the fortress. We know your story and we know, to a certain extent, whats happening. We want to help," she said.
Lucca looked at me and laughed.
"Great. Wed love some help," she said.
The city we were in did not deserve to be called a city. It was more like a village. But, semantics aside, there were a good many engineers and scientists to help with the repairing of the Aeon. Within the day, our ship had been fixed. I wanted to fly off to the Terra-Fortress immediately, but both Lucca and my nurse restrained me. They forced me to spend the night in the hospital. I would have put up more of a fight had I not fainted as soon as I stepped into the Aeon.
* * *
We took off late in the morning, as soon as I had woken up. My plan was simple; get arrested. I figured that theyd probably send me to Marle, wherever she was.
Ten minutes later we landed in front of the entrance. It was easy to find a guard in the absolute bedlam inside. The guard then took us up to the captain, who told him to take us to the Commander, who refused to have anything to do with us and sent us three to the barracks with strict orders to "put the best living men with em and take em to the overseer." After climbing several flights of stairs and being joined with other guards, we entered an empty room, save for a torn out panel at the far end.
"Someones been here. The panels broken." One of our guards told the others.
"Forget it Ikler. They couldnt get in without a Dreamstone, and the overseer is on the other side. Either way, they met a very quick end." Another guard spoke up. The first guard shrugged, then removed a shard of red, unrefined dreamstone, from his pocket and placed it into a hole in the compartment. Energy jumped from the stone around the room, smashing into everything it touched without doing any damage. An angry red beam flared up from the crystal, engulfing the room with flaming light and blinding the guards and us. When we were finally able to see, a new door had appeared. And streaming through the window and the hinges was a bright white light. We were pushed and prodded towards the door, then shoved inside the room. The guards, however, did not accompany us.
"Hello. And who are you two?" Said a voice that I had wanted to speak to for over twelve thousand years.
"Schala? Is that you?" I croaked as I tried to see through the light.
"Schala? But thats impossible!" Lucca said.
"That is what Im called. And who are you two?" Came the response.
"You dont remember us? Dont you remember that redheaded kid called Crono?"
There was a pause before she spoke again. "No. I do not remember you."
My shoulders slumped. The one person I had not gotten to thank for saving my life didnt remember me. Life, I had realized a long time ago, was unfair.
"I sense Dreamstone. Do you have any?" She asked.
"Yes. Right here around my neck," I answered.
"Let me see it," she ordered.
I felt a hand grab my pendant. A few seconds later, it dropped back onto my chest.
"You have the other half. Good," she said. Suddenly, the lights dimmed to an acceptable level for my eyes. Unfortunately, I wished that the lights had remained bright as I saw the abomination that Schala had become. Before I could even speak, a tentacle grabbed me, put me into a tube, and closed the door.
"No!" I thought, but by then it was too late. I looked around from the tube and saw that Marle, Lucca, Cid, Kain, and Ecin had all suffered the same fate. In fact, Marles chamber was next to mine. Close enough for me to hear her trying to scream at Schala. I also noticed that she was wearing the Aegis and she had my Rainbow Sword.
"Marle, what are you doing with my sword?" I thought, half expecting a reply.
"Crono! I was planning to learn how to use it," was the response. I died when I heard her thoughts. They were more emotion than thought, though, as I had to sort her reply from the "IloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyou," that she was thinking as well.
"IloveyoutooIloveyoutooIloveyoutooIloveyoutoo. You can hear me?"
"IloveyouIloveyouIloveyou. Yes. IloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyou,"
"Can anyone else? IloveyoutooIloveyoutooIloveyoutoo,"
"I dont think so. IvemissedyousoomuchandIwassoworriedandyoupromised!"
"Fatehadsomethingelseinstoreforme. Then I have a plan. Iloveyou. We have to get the two halves of the pendant back together. Iloveyousosomuch. Lets see if this jewel can get us out of yet another mess. IlltrynottoleaveagainIpromise. Concentrate on your half, and Ill concentrate on my half. Ireallywantedyouwithme. If we can get them to focus on one place at the same time, we can probably break free. Icantwaittoholdyouagain. I just hope were close enough," I though urgently, then concentrated my entire mind onto my pendant. It started to glow faintly through the green gas. The shimmering increased to engulf my whole container. The gas turned into a pale blue instead of its slimy green. Even though the light was now back to full brightness, I could just barely make out the outline of another halo. Giving the pendant my last burst of mana, our two auras touched. And at that moment, our canisters exploded. Marle and I landed next to each other, our pendants still glowing brightly.
"What? Get back into your containers," Schala shouted.
"Marle, lets join the shards!" I shouted at my fiancée.
She and I took our shards off our necks. We put each together, and suddenly the light from our crystal was magnified a hundred times, then focused into a beam that cut through the false light. The beam struck Schala, destroying her unholy throne and banishing the tentacles. The beam then swung around, breaking through all the canisters and releasing all our friends. Finally, the light died down, and the pendant was whole again. Marle placed it back around her neck, then turned towards me.
"Crono I love you!" Marle exclaimed as she fell into my arms. I hugged her back, then kissed her, ignoring the stares I got from the others. However, I did hear what was going on and smiled despite of myself. Needless to say the smile ruined the kiss.
"Lucca " Cid started to say.
"Cid! I love you!" Lucca exclaimed. There was a pause, followed by some laughter from Ecin and Kain.
"Kain! I love you!" Ecin mocked.
"Get away from me you pervert," Kain mocked back.
Long moments passed, and then Kain cleared his throat.
"Um guys? I hate to break up such friendship, but theres someone who wants to meet you," Kain said, then nodded his head towards a cloaked figure.
I looked at the person and realized who it was at once.
"Schala," Marle and I said at the same time.
"Yes. Its nice to see you two alive and together again."
Chrono Trigger Fanfic