Squaresoft/Back to the Future Chapter 1

Crono's Curse

By Fred Delles

Tick, tick, tick. The clocks all around Bugenhagen’s observatory kept on ticking through the stream of time, despite hardships thirty years ago, where people just kept on looking toward the future. There were all sorts of clocks – clocks with hands and digital clocks, clocks showing the cycle of life, others showing death, some nondescript, and others that seem to tell a story by each passing hour. Their eternal ticking kept on going until 7:30 AM, when the constant sound was interrupted by a small robotic arm moving and the Alan Parsons Project song “If I Could Change Your Mind.”

Even the song seemed to go in sync with the ticking of the clocks, but not for long. Another interruption, the television, asserted its presence after about one minute. A young woman cheerfully told the news to the audience around the Planet.
“… the Senator will vote on it today. In other news, the scientists in the Midgar Research Facility No. 24 denied that their Mako reactor rods were stolen. A group of ex-Turks claimed responsibility, but it was just a momentary miscalculation…” The news droned on.

A third interruption came when a red-haired teenager entered the observatory. Crono, as he was called for the past seventeen years, looked around for one of his pals, Bugenhagen.
“Bugenhagen? Are you there? Nanaki?”
Crono took a quick look at the large Ultimate Weapon Bugenhagen was given by Cloud after they destroyed Meteor thirty years ago. He picked it up, feeling its immense power.
“Hmmm… what power…”
Crono swung it once, and it smashed a post, knocking tons of papers, books, and other junk on top of him.
“Wow… heavy metal,” Crono replied as he surveyed the damage. His curiosity caused him to be silent, hearing nothing but the clocks. The phone then rang, breaking the clocks’ ticking.

Crono picked up the phone.
It was Bugenhagen.
“Hello?” he replied.
“Bugenhagen? Is that you?” Crono replied, feeling a bit surprised.
“Ho Ho Hooo. Yes, its me.”
“Where have you been all week?”
“Don’t worry about that. I’ll need your assistance. Meet me at the Cosmo Valley Twin Railway Mall at 1:36 A.M. tonight.”
“The Corel Valley Mall?”
“Ho Ho Hooo. Yes, there. Lucca just had a special breakthrough, and it’s too important for you to miss. Nanaki’s way too excited for this.”
“And how’s Nanaki?”
“He’s fine.” Nanaki spoke into the phone. “Good morning, Crono. It’s a fascinating time at the lab, working with Bugenhagen, Lucca, and Cid.”

All of the clocks suddenly chimed the time, shocking Crono. It seemed that despite the conversation, Bugenhagen heard.
“Aren’t the clocks bothering you?” he said in a nonchalant voice.
“Well… not really. According to these clocks, it’s eight o’ clock!” Crono replied.
“Eight o’clock! Ho Ho Hooo! This means that Lucca’s experiment worked! All of the clocks are twenty-seven minutes slow!”
“Bugenhagen!? Are you telling me that it’s 8:27 now!?”
“Yes! That means…”
“… that I’m late for school!” Crono slammed down the phone without so much more than a “see ya.” He left the observatory, shut the door, and ran off to school.

About sixteen minutes later, Crono made it to Cosmo Canyon High. He passed the many buildings and other spectacles of technology that were created in the thirty short years after AVALANCHE’s victory against Sephiroth and Meteor. There were many more buildings, many homes, and a population explosion that was well supported by the Planet’s various resources. Mako power and magic were things of the past; now, coal, steel, and the information age are taking their place.

Crono looked around for an entrance to the school, to avoid seeing the guy everyone called “Rude.” They all say that he was part of Shinra’s secret service agency thirty years ago, and he still is tough with everyone he meets; that’s still his job despite being in a time of peace. He was part of discipline; he checked on everyone to make sure they were in their place during the long hours of school. Those who were causing trouble were punished. Those who were late were punished even more.

Crono heard a familiar voice.
“Don’t go that way, Crono! Rude’s looking for you!” It was Marle.
Crono looked around and saw her running toward him. The next second, she was escorting him to another entrance to the school. Marle tried to calm down and tell Crono the bad news.
Good old Marle, Crono thought. I could always rely on her to avoid trouble.
“If he catches you, that will be four tardies in a row!” Marle wanted to make sure her boyfriend won’t get in even more trouble, especially after he was nearly found guilty of treason back in the country of Truce, where Marle was from.

“Why are you late AGAIN?” Marle said.
“Well, Bugenhagen is still working on an experiment with Lucca,” Crono replied.
The hallway was quiet, as the first class started about a half an hour ago. Crono and Marle were sneaking across the hall, looking around to make sure Rude wasn’t around.
Crono continued. “Anyway, with Nanaki, and Cid-“
He was interrupted as a hand grabbed their shoulders. It was Rude.
“Don’t tell me that you’re hanging out with those spoony morons again!” It’s starting to become a syndrome or something!”
He wrote something on two slips of paper.
“Here’s a tardy slip for you, Miss Guardia,“ Rude said as he gave a slip to Marle, “and a tardy slip for you, Mr. Strife.”
Rude handed another slip to Crono. He said in a chidingly voice “And I believe that makes four tardies in a row…”
Rude continued in a more serious tone. “You know, you’re one freakin’ slacker. You old man Cloud was one too. Indirectly killed his love Aeris, I heard.”
Crono started to reply. “You know, me and Lucca-“
Rude interrupted. “Lucca. That is one dangerous woman. If you hang out with her any longer, you will get in even deeper trouble.”
Crono smiled and almost started to laugh. “Yes sir!” He started to leave.
Rude tried another reply. “I also hear that your band is auditioning for the homecoming. Why even bother!? You are such a slacker, just like that moron Cait Sith! Sophie and Robo too!”
“Ignore him, Crono. You’ll do just fine.” Marle said as she tried to protect Crono from Rude’s words of weakening. The two turned and went down the hallway.
Rude yelled, “You will never fit in your old man’s shoes! And if you slack off and avoid detention, I’ll see to it that you are expelled!”
Crono and Marle chuckled about the seemingly serious incident. “Watch, I’ll really be a part of history,” Crono replied. Rude did not seem to hear.

By 2:00 PM, school was out, and Crono was trying out his science-fiction themed band in the school’s homecoming dance. The group started as a garage band about six months ago, when Yuffie’s daughter Sophie believed that there is more to music than just rap and alternate. Crono tended to concur, and the two rounded up Robo and Cait Sith, and started to get pretty good, mostly singing songs like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, with a bit of Alan Parsons thrown in. Many other people think of them as mere total weirdness, but they took Lucca’s advice: If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

Crono was testing the right amp. Sophie made sure the keyboard was all set up. Sophie Kisaragi was a young, beautiful woman at seventeen, Crono and Marle’s age. While she was one of Yuffie’s three children (also the youngest), she was far different than her mother or her siblings. For starters, she looked more like Aeris than Yuffie, especially with her long brown hair that reached her hips. Also, she is more of a student than a Materia hunter or ninja. She has the ability to cast certain spells, and is still a fairly good fighter, though not like Yuffie at her age.

Last month, Sophie was asked by Lucca to help out at Cosmo Canyon, where she resides with some of the Planet Life elders. However, she was more interested in magic and Planet protection than technology, thinking that technology was the main reason for the problems thirty years ago. Now she tries to explain her beliefs through song in Crono’s “Cetra Lightning” band, although they have very few original compositions.

About five minutes later, they got everything set up. The principal raised his megaphone and yelled, “Well, are we ready about now?” The other dozen bands were waiting for their turn at stardom through the steel and plastic breeze.
“Alllllll righty then!” Cait Sith yelled through the megaphone. Cait was still his normal self after the thirty-year-old victory, with a clone of Reeve’s mind embedded in the cat.
Crono set up the microphone and everyone took his or her positions. “We’re the Cetra Lightning,” he said in a nondescript voice. The place was totally silent. Sophie played the first notes.
The band started to play something similar to Enigma’s “Return to Innocence.” Crono added some of his psychedelic Pink Floyd-ish guitar to the main music while Sophie played an enchanting melody on the keyboard, Robo added the bass, and Cait Sith fired off the percussion and drum set.
Sophie started to sing in her pleasing, lucid tone. “Don’t be afraid to be brave…”
About three seconds later, the principal yelled through the microphone. Someone else, thinking that the music was way too lame for their alternate-instilled minds, pulled the plug to the speakers and microphone.
“I’m sorry. I’m afraid the music is just too darn deviate. Next please.” The principal spoke politely, yet impatiently, as if he wanted their crap off the stage. With all the number one hits in totally different categories, from rap to alternate, the other bands would feel the same way.
Crono looked toward Marle as if to say “Dammit!” But he didn’t say anything. Marle didn’t need to say anything else as she stared at him. They didn’t need to; they knew their answer: He just fell into an another abyss of failure.

End of Chapter 1
Watch for Chapter 2 – The Successful Failure, coming soon!


Crono, Locke, and Faris are related just for the purpose of the story.

Who the heck is Alan Parsons? Well, he composed science fiction related songs during the 70s and was Pink Floyd’s sound engineer for the album Dark Side Of The Moon. The Alan Parsons Project’s most famous album was I Robot, based on Isaac Asimov’s book of the same name (Yes, I have this album.)

No, Sophie Kisaragi’s father isn’t important, but it will be mentioned later. Sophie also isn’t from any RPG I know of. Just a random name, I guess. While I could have used Terra, Rydia, or Celes (she sang in the opera), remember that there are still two more stories to write.

Enigma’s Return To Innocence was just a random new age song I chose for this story. Nothing special. I’m not really a new age song lover.

What would Robo and Cait Sith do in school? Well, they could be used as programming experiments in artificial intelligence classes or something…

The phrase “stardom through the steel [and plastic] breeze” was derived from the lyrics of the Pink Floyd song Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5) in the album Wish You Were Here. (The song’s lyrics are by Roger Waters.)


Chapter 2

Crossover Fanfics