Things Left Undone Book 3, Chapter 4
Temple of Aout
Magus and Flea had wasted the last twenty-four hours playing chess and drinking at the inn's bar downstairs. The boredom and their anxiety about not being able to help their friends was finally getting to them.
"We've gotta do something, Magus! I feel so helpless... Useless..." Flea sighed.
Magus put his empty mug on the table and beckoned for Flea to stand up. "Let's go for a walk. It'll make us feel better." He paid the waitress and, without waiting for his change, walked out the front door.
It was a beautiful night, the full moon which gave magicians like Magus and Flea their powers shone brightly, dimming the stars but lighting their path through the woods.
Finally, they reached West cape, which overlooked the sea.
"It's beautiful, isn't it." Magus sighed.
"I've never known you to appreciate beauty." Flea sat on the grass and looked out at the crashing ocean waves below.
Their comfortable silence was broken by a flash of bright light and the purr of a familiar motor.
Magus spun around, practically glowing with happiness. "Epoch!!"
He and Flea ran to the Epoch time machine, which had been left in 2303 AD, and greeted the driver. It was Robo, good as new.
"Hey, Robo!!" Magus reached out and shook the robot's hand, and he got down and they talked for a while and Magus explained all that had happened since Robo was destroyed by Lavos.
Finally, after Robo was told the whole story, they all boarded the Epoch and blasted off for Karandash.
* * * * *
They landed in the same humid muckpit that everyone else was stuck in. They perched the Epoch on the roof of a fairly sturdy building, not trusting the mud on the ground.
Disembarking, they noticed that the air was slightly less oppressive. "I wonder what's happening?" Flea asked. They answered all of Robo's questions about the place, and then they set off to look around.
There was a fairly large mountain not far from where they were. Squinting, they were just able to pick out moving lights. Curious, they began the difficult trek through the bramble-pocked mud pit. Finally, they reached a leafless bush that they could watch from.
"Hey... Those things all look like Karter!! It's probably one of those cults he told us about." Magus whispered.
They watched as the Karandians traveled back and forth between a cave in the side of the mountain and a certain spot outside.
"What are they looking at?" Robo asked, still slightly puzzled by the new surroundings and the stories about what had happened in his absence.
"I don't know," Flea said, "but they're going back into their cave."
When the last of the torch-bearing creatures disappeared into the mouth of the cave, the three snuck down to investigate and see what they were looking at outside.
They came to a pit of dark brown sand that looked fairly solid. Just then, the light began to change and they noticed something... Shadows!! They could see their shadows! That could only mean that the smog cover was thinning. Briefly, they wondered what was causing it, and looking up, they could see a slight bright spot where a pale yellow disk was trying to break through the green.
Getting over that shock, they turned their attention back to the sand pit.
"So what's so special about this thing?" Flea scoffed.
"Maybe it holds some religious significance. You said yourself that cults were scattered throughout this world." Robo observed.
Magus walked out onto its surface, and was helpless when the sand began to sink and suck him in. "Help me, you two!!"
Flea and Robo reached out, but couldn't reach the swiftly sinking Magus, and they had no rope with them. Also, branches were scarce in the general area. So, thinking of nothing better to do, Flea stepped out onto the sand, reached for Magus... And promptly began to sink herself. She made a shrieky sound in the back of her throat, and flailed wildly, searching for Robo's hand. It finally came, but too late. She was stuck up to the knee of one leg, and poor Magus was in up to his chest.
Suddenly, Robo realized that Flea and Magus had been consumed by the shifting sand. He was all alone in this world he didn't understand, and knew little about. Abandoning all hope, he took a leap out to the middle of the sand and was consumed as well.
* * * * *
He was falling... Falling... CLANG!! Robo landed in a heap, dented but unhurt. As he dusted himself off and attempted as best he could to get the sand out of his joints, he listened for signs of his friends.
He heard a stifled coughing off to his right. "Hello?" he called.
"Robo?" It was Flea's voice. "Robo, do you have a light so we can see?"
He flicked a switch in his chest and a ray of warm yellow light from his eyes flooded the room. "Is that better?" he asked.
"Yes, much. Thanks." Flea stood up, and dumped a pound of sand out of her cape and gloves. "I'm never gonna get this stuff out of my hair!!"
"Magus? Are you okay?" Robo yelled.
Magus scuffled over to them, a scowl on his face. "Thanks for rescuing me, guys."
"Don't mention it." Robo said, not catching the sarcasm dripping from Magus' voice. "Now, where are we?" He directed his eye beams up to the ceiling, but it was too high. All he could see was shadow. "I suppose we have to find a way out other than the way we came in."
Finding a corridor in one of the walls, they started down it, having nowhere better to go. They had walked for no more than thirty minutes before they heard voices up ahead. They pulled themselves into the walls, and attempted to remain silent.
"Now what?" the first voice said.
"How am I supposed to know? *You're* the fearless leader..." the second voice said.
"You two shut up now!" The third voice hissed.
"Just cease thy endless bickering! All of you!" The fourth voice said.
But Magus, Flea, and Robo weren't hiding in the shadows anymore. They had darted ahead to greet their friends.
* * * * *
"And that's the story." Magus had finished his second recitation of what had happened. The seven of them together now assembled all their separate story fragments into one big story, one that actually made a slight bit of sense.
"Now if we could only find Lucca and the others so we could get off of this freaky planet and go home." Crono sighed. "I just want to go home. No more adventures."
Marle beamed. "I've been waiting a long time for you to say that! But I've been thinking. We shouldn't have a life that's too bland, or the same thing might happen again..." They kept talking, all seven of them, but the conversation between Crono and Marle was the most meaningful. After a year of fighting, they were finally working it all out. Lucca would have been proud.
Finally, they reached a large chamber. It was the size of a football field, and again so high that the ceiling receded into shadow. But it was warmly lit with torches, and huge pillars supported the invisible ceiling. Statues of fierce yet true warriors lined the halls, protecting the place with some sort of spirit energy. And the mural on the far wall was a thing of beauty. It illustrated an army of Karandians fighting what looked like... No, *was*, Crono and the others. Along with Lucca, Sydney, Krono, and Johnny. All eleven heroes were there.
As they all stared transfixed to the epic painting, a voice out of nowhere echoed through the chamber.
"Welcome to the temple of Aout. We salute you, oh fulfillers of the prophecy."
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