The New Generation Part 5
The Search for Epoch
By Dark Magus
Kaira stumbled out of the gate. She found herself back in the museum. It was dark and dusty and uninviting at night. Where would she even start looking for the Epic, or whatever Gaspar had called it? Jase and Aza came out of the gate after her. Aza stared up in awe at the advanced civilization. Then Kaira had an idea. If she found the section on the travelers of Crono, Marle, and Lucca, maybe she would find a map on where to dig up the machine. Kaira spoke her idea in a dazed tone, she was still getting accustomed to the power coursing through her blood, "Hey guys. If we find a case on Crono, Marle, or Lucca, maybe they have a map that leads us to the Epoch." Aza and Jase agreed.
Kaira scanned the area for Crono. She found a case on him. In it she saw a doll shaped like him, life-size. It had spiky hair like her own raven black. It was wearing a blue suit with an orange scarf. There was also a sword there. It was a nice looking sword. It shone with all of the colors of the rainbow. It had a faint glow around it that looked like it was fading slowly. She saw other things, but her eyes kept wandering back to the sword. Then she found a biography. Suddenly interested. She began to read. It told of his many adventures in saving all of time. She was fascinated. But through the whole case there was no map.
She searched the room again and found a case on someone named Glenn. It said he had been part of Crono's adventures. She found one on Magus, which Jase was staring at intently. He must be just as fascinated with his ancestor. She found other cases on people named Amox, someone named Calsa, one on a Schala, another on a Zeal, and a couple of others. Finally she found one marked Marle. She looked in it. It had a doll of her too. She wore an all white suit. It had baggy pants and was cut off around the armpits. It was kind of fancy, but too plain. She saw there a crossbow. It had the same radiance of Crono's sword. She scanned the case and found nothing but a biography, which she read. Her ancestors were interesting. She found no map and walked away.
She found a case on Lucca right next to Marle's. It had a doll with a tan suit on, glasses, and a strange helmet. It had laying beside it a gun with the same glow as the other two weapons. She read the biography and looked at the case once more. It had a map on the ground. The map was marked, EPOCH. That was it! That was the map! Kaira's idea had been right! Kaira let out a yelp of victory, which startled Aza especially. She walked beyond the boundaries and into the box. Funny, there was no alarm. She looked up at where it should be and found it smoking. Probably Jase's work. She grabbed the map and stepped out. It was old, but accurate.
Kaira called the other two over, "Hey Jase, Aza. Come here." They crowded around the map. It looked like the world map, but there were a couple of things different about it. For one there were less islands. They had gone under the sea years ago. She found a line extending from an island that was no longer there to a place on another continent. They found where the map came close to the castle and decided to start there.
The three of them quietly found their way out of the museum and into the prevailing forest. The forest was creepy at night and it seemed that at any moment a creature could just
Out of the bushes there sprang an imp. Four more of his friends came out with him. The three prepared for battle. Kaira drew her sword; Jase took out his daggers; Aza extended his talons. The first imp made an attack. It hit Jase in the stomach, barely hurting him. Then Kaira remembered something. Kaira spun around, her eyes glowing green. The earth underneath one of the imps expanded and swallowed him up. There were four left. Aza took the other route, slashing at one of the imps with his talons. The imp was clearly dead. Another of them struck. He jumped at Kaira, only to be deflected by her sword. It was dead. Jase hovered above the ground and engulfed the remaining imps in a shadow bomb. They shriveled up and died. The fight was almost TOO easy.
The team picked up the map again and found out where they were. They started to where the path looked like it joined with their route. The three of them walked for about an hour, carefully following the map. Not a word was said the whole trip. They were still in shock from the magic that they had just learned. It was the only thing crowding in their minds. They crossed the old Zeenan Bridge which looked like at any moment it could crumble. They were still following the map intently. It was getting harder and harder to see. The clouds were beginning to cover the moon. The three found themselves at the base of a forest, extending to a mountain that the map called DENADARO. That was where the Epoch was buried.
Aza stepped into the forest first. Kaira thought that it looked kind of creepy. She reluctantly followed him. Jase took up the rear. They headed toward the mountain where the Epoch was.
Aza heard something in the bushes with his acute reptite senses. He looked to where it had come from and saw nothing. Probably some dumb animal that didn't know its way around. The team kept walking on a path through the forest. They reached a clearing about half way to the mountain. Aza heard many rustles around him that were impossible for Kaira and Jase to pick up. He began to get suspicious.
The trio kept walking through the woods. Along the way there were many beasts, all too easily killed. The trip had already been going on for about two hours. Kaira's feet hurt, and she suspected the same from everybody Jase. She didn't know about Aza. The three of them finally reached the end of the forest and the beginning of the mountain.
Kaira, too weary to go on, said, "Hey Aza. I'm tired and I think it would be easier to climb the mountain in the day. Let's set up camp in that cave over there." She pointed to a cave about 100 yards away from their present position.
Aza turned to her with an odd look on his even odder face. Humans were so weak. He realized that they wouldn't get anywhere without some rest, and reluctantly replied, "That sounds like a good idea. We'll rest for the night and get up early to search for the Epoch."
Aza led the two of them to the cave, feeling like the leader. Kaira sprawled out on the floor. Jase laid down next to her. Aza knew that humans needed warmth to sleep, they could not adapt to the cold as he could. He formed a ball of fire in his fingertips and shot it to the floor. It expanded. Then he remembered fires needed something to feed on. "Kaira," he said in his reptilian voice, "Why don't you grow some logs to put in the fire?"
Kaira took his cue and Aza watched as four big logs sprouted out of the ground directly beneath the fire. Kaira took out the map and studied it with Jase. "Look," she exclaimed, "The other side has a map of the Denadaro mountains. It shows exactly where to find the Epoch." The two of them studied the map for a couple more minutes, and then put it away. Within an hour everybody was asleep.
Kaira awoke in the middle of the night with a start. Something not reptite or human was in the cave with them. She could not make out exactly what it was, but it was soon gone. She reached down to her thigh to find her sword. The creature would make good breakfast. She felt for the sword and soon realized that it wasn't there. Kaira jumped to her feet and ran out of the cave at the creature. It was nowhere to be seen. She felt in her pockets and realized that the creature had taken the map. Not the map! It belonged to the museum! She felt for the secret pocket she had put in when she bought the shirt. The gate key was still there. That was a good sign.
Kaira heard a sound coming from the bushes and realized it was probably the creature. Kaira let out a scream and brought the plant to her control. She didn't know she could do that! The plant wrapped around the thing and brought it closer to Kaira. It was just a common creature whose name she forgot. She reached down and took her sword from its paws. She cleanly sliced its neck. She opened the other paw expecting to find the map. It wasn't there! The map was lost!
Something tapped Kaira on the shoulder. She spun around with her sword in hand to find Jase. "Hey Kaira! Settle down. I heard you scream and came to see what was going on!"
Kaira put her sword in its sheath and fell into the arms of Jase. She was scared and in trouble. The map was not hers and she had stolen it. If she couldn't get it back the authorities would eventually track her down.
"Kaira," Jase said while still holding her, "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," Kaira lied. Jase figured out he wouldn't get anywhere and just gave up. He escorted her back to the cave. Kaira cried herself to sleep in his comforting arms. Jase gently laid her on the floor and then went back to his area. The fire still had a couple of embers and was glowing. Soon Jase was asleep too.
Kaira slowly awoke. From the looks of it Aza and Jase were already up. She smelt something cooking outside the tent and stepped outside to see Aza and Jase roasting bits of the animal she had killed over the fire. Jase greeted her with a smile and Aza greeted her with some sort of flicking of second eyelids that was obviously from his kind only. She picked up a stick from the ground and also roasted some of the meat.
She cooked the meat until it was juicy and took it out of the fire. She savored the succulent taste of the meat and roasted another piece. This went on until everybody was full, then Aza said to them, "Let's start up the mountain. Kaira, what does the map say?"
Kaira immediately turned from them and ran back to the cave. She couldn't face them. Jase followed her in and for the second time asked, "Kaira, what's wrong?"
This time she answered truthfully, "Jase, I lost the map last night. A creature raided our cave and took the map. I can't find it." Kaira broke into tears.
"Kaira," Jase said in a casual voice, "You gave me the map last night. I have it." Kaira felt like a fool.
The three of them got all of their stuff together and headed up the mountain. The first part of the hike was not bad. It was scenic and easygoing. Then they came to the steep part. Aza extended his talons and stuck them into the rock wall. Kaira just found a good starting place and climbed up. Jase followed her. It was easy for Aza, but it took Kaira and Jase a little while. Then they reached the plateau. They met up with Aza and continued up the mountain.
The rest of it was like the first and the team made it up with ease. Then the team came to a place where the path split. Jase took out the map and pointed them it the right direction. They were almost to the Epoch. Kaira looked over the edge of a cliff. She could see almost everything from this point. She saw the city of Truce. It looked small. The trio kept moving.
Kaira, Jase, and Aza hiked for a while, and finally came to a cave. It was the cave marked on the map where the Epoch was buried. The three of them headed into the cave. It was quite small, only about twenty feet long and ten feet wide. At the back there was a staircase. It looked as though someone used to live there. Kaira was the first to climb the stairs. She saw a beam of light, shining on the ground in front of her.
"Jase," she called, "Get over here with that map." Jase ran over. The map had a picture of the inside of the cave too. She studied it and found the spot in the wall where the room to the Epoch was supposed to be. Kaira found a gate, which she didn't feel necessary to explore because she would soon be able to go to any time. She didn't feel the need to tell Jase. She called Jase over with the map again and looked at it. She noticed that it was dark and moved over to the spot where the sun was shining. When she help it under the light she was surprised to see lettering. It glowed against the rest of the map, written in a special ink. The map said,
To the person to whom this map fell into the hands of,
You are obviously in the right spot because this ink only shows when held under the sunspot in the cave of the Masamune. Scan the wall. You will find an indented area. In that area there will be a hole. Stick the special key enclosed with this map in the hole. The wall will open to the cave where I buried the Epoch. Take extreme precautions, if this machine falls into the wrong hands it could devastate all of time itself.
Kaira scanned the wall and found an indented area. She scanned that area closer and found a hole. In the hole there was a sparkle. She stuck her sword in the lock and tried to pick it. It didn't budge.
"Hey Kaira," Jase offered, "Maybe she's talking about the gate key."
Kaira considered the idea and fished for the key. She forgot about the gate she had just seen. She brought it out and stuck it in the lock. Instead of the door opening because it was the right key, the gate next to her expanded. It engulfed her. Jase yelled for Aza and dove in after her. Aza popped his head over the stairs and saw the gate. He ran up and jumped in just as it was closing.
***End of Time
"So tell me the story one more time," Carr begged. Gaspar laughed and was about to tell him, when he was interrupted. He looked over to the pillars, just in time to see two more beams of light explode from the ground. The team had stumbled on another time. Strange. Gaspar ignored the new pillars, not thinking much of it. He continued with his story. After a few minutes Gaspar began to get worried. They should have come to the end of time by now. They should have traveled through the gate a second time and appeared here. They never did
TO BE CONTINUED
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