Squaresoft/Back to the Future Chapter 6

Not on Cloud Nine

By Fred Delles

It seemed that Crono finally gained some ground on the mystery. Bugenhagen let Crono in the shed with a surprised look on his face.

"How did you know about all this?" Bugenhagen asked, with a whisper noticeable only by Crono.

"I'm telling you, I'm from the future!" Crono replied, as he looked around the shed of junk.

"Then tell me this, future boy," Bugenhagen said. "Where's your time machine?"

"Way back at the Neo-Nibelheim Estates," Crono said simply.


The minutes quickly turned to hours as the two flew back to Cosmo Canyon, taking Bugenhagen's car back to where Crono told that the time machine was hidden.

"Something's wrong with the starter," Crono said, "so I hid it here." He pointed to a large sign, where a bunch of tree branches buried some object. Bugenhagen stopped the car near the sign.

The two got out, and ran to the pile of tree branches. As Crono hastily yanked off the branches and other debris covering the Tiny Bronco, Bugenhagen drew a piece of paper from his jacket pocket.

"When I thought about what to do with Nanaki's destiny, I drew this," Bugenhagen showed the piece of paper to Crono. The paper had a drawing of a Y-shaped object with a silver orb in the center.

Crono slowly perused the drawing. "Silver Materia." He then displayed Bugenhagen's future workmanship by opening the cockpit of the now-revealed Tiny Bronco.

Bugenhagen slowly stared at a similar-looking orb as Crono turned on the time circuits of the vehicle. The orb then lit up as the sides of the Y-shaped object fueled the silvery sphere with a glowing green-yellow fluid.

Crono stared in amusement as Bugenhagen's expression turned ecstatic. "It works! It really works! I finally invent something that works!"

"Bet your ass it works," Crono replied.

Bugenhagen then turned toward him. "We have to get you back home!"


Several hours later, the two flew the Tiny Bronco back to Icicle City, inside Gast's lab. Crono drew out the video camera from the cockpit while Bugenhagen tried to get a tarpaulin to cover the time machine.

Crono then jumped off, hooking up the video camera with the nearest television. "Great, it still works," he thought, as he turned on both the camera's cassette player and the television.

The Bugenhagen on TV started speaking. "Never mind that, never mind that now…"

Bugenhagen stared at himself on the television. "Ho Ho Hooo! Look at me! Look at me! I'm an old man!"

The Bugenhagen on TV continued speaking. "Hello, I'm Bugenhagen of Cosmo Canyon, and this here is Lucca of Truce, and this is Temporal Displacement Experiment 1..."

"Thank the Planet I still got my hair," Bugenhagen replied, as he got another glance of himself on the television. "What's that thing I'm wearing?"

Crono remembered the details of the clandestine experiment. "That's a SOLDIER suit…"

"…to protect one from Mako poisoning!" Bugenhagen interrupted. Several thoughts raced through his head faster than a Highwind at full throttle. "Of course! AVALANCHE's wars against Shinra! Those bastards at Midgar could destroy them with Mako weapons! And the Mako reactor explosions!"

Bugenhagen hovered to the video camera as Crono hit fast forward on its control panel. He then picked it up gingerly, staring at every part of the futuristic piece of equipment. "Shinra HAS to exist in the future! The Turks, too! No wonder they would have a portable television studio. They need it to conveniently show off their show of force or something!"

From all the talk about Mako, Crono realized the final ingredient to get him back home. He shut off the fast forward sequence on the camera. "Whoa, this is it… This is the part coming up, Bugenhagen."

The two stared at the Bugenhagen on TV as he mentioned the time machine's propulsion requirements. "Unfortunately, no," the Bugenhagen on TV said. "I need a Lifestream chain reaction to generate the 1.21 giga-ability points to accelerate the Materia."

"What did I say? What did I say?" Bugenhagen said. Crono rewound the tape, and played the last sentence again.

The video repeated its last sequence. "Unfortunately, no," the Bugenhagen on TV said. "I need a Lifestream chain reaction to generate the 1.21 giga-ability points to accelerate the Materia."

Bugenhagen stood up, shocked. "1.21 giga-ability points!?" He floated away from the television in angst. "1.21 giga-ability points! Ho Ho Hooo…" He floated straight down to the basement.

Crono chased Bugenhagen. "What the hell's a giga-ability point!?"


Bugenhagen sat on the bed, staring at a picture of Ifalna. "How could I have been so careless!? One point twenty-one giga-ability points!" He took a closer look at the last of the Ancients. "Ifalna, by the Planet, how can it be done? I can't generate such power!"

Crono listened to Bugenhagen's complaints. "Look, all we need is a Mako reactor rod!"

Bugenhagen turned bitter and sarcastic in a flash. "I'm sure that in 1997, Mako reactor rods are available at every corner drugstore and item shop, but in 1967, they're only under heavy security in Midgar and Junon!"

He got up and put a hand on Crono's shoulder. "Crono, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that you're stuck here…"

Crono's brain quickly called time-out. "Whoa, Bugenhagen! Stuck here!?" He started to go insane from the crazed situation at hand. He was just plain desperate. "I can't be stuck here! I got a girl!"

"Is she pretty?" Bugenhagen asked.

"Bugenhagen, she's beautiful. She's crazy about me!" Crono responded. He drew out a sheet of paper from his jacket pocket. "Look at what she wrote!" Crono showed the phone number on the paper. "That says it all. You're my only hope!"

Bugenhagen thought for a moment. "I'm sorry, Crono, but the only power source capable of generating 1.21 giga-ability points is a Lifestream explosion," he said.

Crono shot up. "What did you say!?"

"A Lifestream explosion! But you don't know where… or when… such a rare event might occur!"

Crono turned the sheet of paper around, showing the article on the Midgar Reactor back from his hometown. "We do now!"

Bugenhagen snatched the paper, and scanned the article. "This is it! This is the answer! It says here that a blast of Lifestream energy will smash the reactor precisely at 10:04 PM next Saturday night!"

He floated toward Crono, and continuing speaking while gesturing the plan. "If we can somehow… harness this energy, channel it in the Silver Materia… it just might work. Crono, I'm sending you back to the future!"

"Whoa, that's great, Bugenhagen," Crono responded. "I could spend a week in 1967, hang out, you could show me around…"

Bugenhagen quickly thought of the impossible. "Crono, that's completely out of the question. You must not leave this house! You must not see anybody or talk to anybody! Anything that you do could have serious repercussions on the future! Do you understand!?"

"Yeah, sure, all right," Crono said, as if he were almost afraid of the sudden rules of time.

Bugenhagen remembered another thing. "Crono, did you interact with anyone else today besides me?"

Crono thought for a second about Aeris, Cloud, and Tifa. "Well, I kinda bumped into my parents."

Bugenhagen started to break a sweat. "Ho Ho Hooo… Let me see that picture!" Crono took out his wallet and showed the picture of him, Locke, and Faris to Bugenhagen. "Just as I suspected! This proves my theory! Look at your brother!"

Crono looked at the picture. It was the same, except that Locke's head was missing from the picture. "His head's gone, as if it were erased!"

Bugenhagen's voice silenced into a loud whisper. "Erased… from existance…"


The next day, the two walked up to the Icicle Inn.

"Whoa, they sure cleaned these places up, almost brand new…" Crono was surprised at the cleanliness of the towns in the past.

Bugenhagen revised his explanation of the situation. He spoke in a quick tone. "Now remember, according to my theory, you interfered with a critical point involving your parents. Because of this, they don't meet, they don't fall in love, they won't get married, and they won't have kids. That is why your brother is disappearing from the photograph. Your sister will follow, and unless you repair the damage, you will be next!"

Crono took a brief moment to mull it over. "That sounds heavy, Bugenhagen…"

"Weight has nothing to do with it," Bugenhagen responded, with a serious tone.


End of Chapter 6

Watch for Chapter 7 - Just a Paradox, coming soon!



No, I'm not dead. ^_^ I just had a ton of work to do on other fics, plus college work, and so forth.


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