Shadow Temple of Zeal Chapter 2

Lucca's Troubles and the End of Time

By Demi-God

Lucca scowled as the Epoch sputtered. "Piece of crap..." She muttered and cursed through clenched teeth. She reached deeper into the machine and felt around a moment. "There it is..." She deftly re-adjusted the small belt over the pair of pulleys that it drove, and tried the switch once again. The engine kicked once, then sped back up to full power.

She looked around for Marle. Normally she would be bouncing around making a mess of things. She saw her down by the wing, blabbing to Magus. Annoying girl, she thought. She should really be at her castle, as any good princess would be. She never mentioned this out loud... she knew Marle's feeling's toward the royal heritage she possessed. Lucca realized that deep down, she resented Marle for being so much prettier than she. "It's that dress," she muttered to the air, "That dress is better than these pads and long sleeves." She shook her head. Looking back toward Magus, she noticed that Marle was leaving, although she looked a little miffed. Lucca chuckled. Princess Nadia Gaurdia, son of King Guard XXXIII, was still being annoyed by the centuries-old conflict with Magus and the mystics. Presently, said princess was bouncing up the ramp toward Lucca.

"Hi Lucca! Has your big brain fixed this thing yet?" She seemed as high-strung and happy as ever. Lucca smiled as she realized how often Marle must actually be mad, if she was this good at concealing it. Marle mistook this smile for a "Yes." "Good Lucca! I still say that you are waaay to modest!" She looked inside the panel that Lucca had been working in.

"What is all this stuff, Lucca? I just don't know anything about machines and stuff. What's this do? What about this..." Marle babbled on and on. Lucca politely answered her questions as best she could. "Lucca, you are going to have to teach me about machines one day, just in case the Epoch breaks when you aren't nearby!" Fat chance of me spending that much time with you, thought Lucca, but she responded "Yeah, that would be fun, Marle... Go tell Magus that it's time to go. The problem started about 2032, so that's where we're headed, after a quick stop at the End of Time." Marle shook her head, and jumped into the pilot's seat. "I want to go now, let's leave that gloomy mage here!" She said it with a smile, but Lucca figured that she wasn't entirely kidding.

Lucca closed the panel, turned, and called to Magus. He nodded consent and flew up the side of the Epoch. She frowned. Flying defied science, how could he defy such basic laws as gravity so casually? Just to remind herself how flawed science was, she looked down at her hand, and formed a little, hovering fireball. She chuckled at the incredible lack of physics involved, and chucked it at a nearby tree. She climbed into the cockpit. "Set it to the End of Time, Marle. Let's go."

The Epoch made a troubled ascent into the air, then accelerated and looped the world, disappearing into a flash. Lucca admired the swirling blue colors of time, and suddenly the Epoch stopped at the base of a small set of stone stairs. Magus stood and walked up the stairs, and Marle followed. Lucca sighed, and left, closing the cockpit behind her.

She heard the signs of battle behind Spekkio's door, and noticed that Crono, Marle, and Robo weren't in the lamplight. She walked past the sleeping Gaspar, and passed her hand through the small light over the healing pedestal. She immediately felt better, as she had used magic recently, and the cuts healed that she had gotten from those useless monsters in the swamp that had attacked them, and had damaged the Epoch. Frog chuckled and asked "Lady Lucca, why hast thou been injured? Marle had nary a scratch upon her skin; and the fiend Magus is untouched." Lucca hid her disgust with Frog's appearance, but ignored her species prejudice for the time being. "I guess that I'm so sweet that those giant mosquitos went straight for me..." She smiled and walked towards Ayla. Frog shook his head and sat back down on the cobblestone floor.

"Ayla, I know your people hold these dear, here are some fangs that I took off the monsters in the swamp." Ayla smiled, and hopped to her feet. "Thanks Lucca! Lucca nice, not like Magus!" She shot a glare at Magus, but he had not even turned his head. "Lucca, Ayla come?" Lucca shook her head. "No, Ayla... It's Marle, Magus, and I this time. Perhaps later." She turned towards the door to Spekkios' room.

She ducked a shard of ice as she walked in, and observed a very humbled Master of War frozen in a small but severe glacier. She giggled as the red Nu fell over when the ice disappeared. "Still need a little practice yourself, there Spekkio!" This was the first time she'd laughed today. Spekkio shook the cold off and grinned... giving the three victors a package of tablets. "I AM the Master of War!" he said in a sing-song voice, and did a little jig as he stood back up. Lucca scratched his back and whispered "You know, you just make it harder for yourself when you give them tablets!" He groaned from the scratching (Lucca knew a Nu's scratchpoint...) and laughed. She patted him on the back and followed Marle out.

"Well! Marle, Magus, are you two ready to go and stop the swamp? No time like the present!" Lucca grinned and hopped a little in place. Marle smiled back at her. "I'm glad to see that you are in a better mood! Let's go!" They walked toward the Epoch, and as they passed Magus, he turned silently and followed. In a quick flash, they were gone, and Frog, Robo, Crono, and Ayla went back to idly sitting around and passing time.


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