The Children Of Zeal Chapter Two
By Froborr d'Wiggy
Chapter Two Characters:
Lucent: Level 18
Weapon A: Fists/Feet
Weapon B: Burst Rifle
Weapon C: Chain Sword
Head: Guardia Helm
Body: Nova Armor
Robo: Level **
Weapon: Peta Arm
Head: Safe Helm
Body: Moon Armor
Accessory: Repair Unit
Frog/Glenn: Level **
Head: Safe Helm
Body: Moon Armor
Accessory: Hero Medal
Lucent moved swiftly down the hallway, alert for anything out of the ordinary. He didnt bother trying to sneak around or cling to shadows, knowing that the bases internal sensors were keyed to that sort of anomalous motion. Instead, he acted as if this was exactly where he was supposed to be, hoping that the base Bots would assume him to be a programmer or messengerrelying on their assumption that no human could be a soldier. Well, they would soon learn their mistake.
He passed through a door marked, For authorized use only. Warning: This room is defended by R-series battle Bots. Enter at your own risk. His Advisorcom unit buzzed in his ear. It said, I compute only a thirty-four percent chance of successfully taking the plans. Of course, the Advisorcom didnt actually speak to himwith the sensitive sound monitors in the base that would have been fatal. Instead, Advisorcom communicated through a direct neural link-up into his brain. However, in order to keep it clear where his thoughts ended and its began, it was somehow wired to trick his brain into thinking he heard a voiceusually it sounded something like his commander, General Robo.
Lucent thought back to the Adcom, Shut up, you. This is going to work. Besides, the plans are only half the point, you stupid machine. Look, heres a computer-access. Now, we just plug in the Generals program andvoila! One set of Arris Dome attack plans. See, told you this would work. As Lucent removed the disk with the plans, an alarm began to buzz. A dozen alcoves lining the walls of the room snapped open, and a team of robots stepped out, weapons at the ready.
Attention, trespassing human. You are in a restricted area. Please leave immediately, or we will have to remove you, intoned one of the robots mechanically.
Lucent smiled, and raised his hands. Of course, he said to himself, no human would ever dream of doing something so vulgar, so mechanical as fighting back. Never! As he was thinking this, he caught two robots with a roundhouse kick, sending them flying into the wall. He added a few well placed punches, forcing the robots back far enough that he could get out his burst rifle. The rifle had been a present from Belthazar on Lucents fifteenth birthday, four years ago, and, Belthazar claimed, had been built by the great Melchior himself. Regardless, it was quite a weaponthe energy blasts it fired pierced the robots shields like butter, then exploded inside them, creating quite impressive blast craters in their chests. Within a minute, all twelve robots were lying on the ground, bits of themselves strewn all over the place.
Dont get cocky, Lucent, his com told him. Theres more on the way. And scans indicate the door has locked.
Lucent shrugged. Then, putting away his rifle, he pulled out a strange weapon, something like an unholy hybrid of a sword and a chain sawa short, swordlike-hilt, with a long, thin, chainsaw-style blade. Lucent flicked it on with a whirring noise, and neatly sliced a hole through the inch-thick steel door. Just down the hall, he saw about fifty robots of every time, barrelling at top speed towards him. Well, com, we seem to have gotten their attention.
Lucent ran for the Dome exit, ducking and dodging through corridors as more and more robots came in to chase him. Finally, he reached the large chamber just inside the entrance. As he approached the exit, he slipped his hands into his pockets, pulling on a pair of gloves. Just before he reached the massive siege doors, they closed, sealing him in. He came to a sudden halt right in front of the door, and then sprang straight up. As he did, the pressure-sensitive explosive he had left where the main doors could crush it blew.
And Death walked in.
Using his magnetic gloves to cling to the ceiling, Lucent watched as massive electrical discharges and laser blasts ripped through the enemy robots. At the center of this deadly whirlwind was General Robo, the most powerful robot in the world. Against this deadly onslaught, the enemy fell back, but then, realizing that even Robo was no match for their numbers on his own, regrouped and charged. They were met by the combined force of the Guardian army, the Bots of the Square Table, plus a part of the armies of Trann and Bangor Domes. They waded in, packed too closely for weapons other than fists.
Lucent bided his time carefully, waiting for when a group of robots had sneaked up closely enough behind Robo that they would be unable to break their attention away from him quickly enough, and dropped, twisting in midair and flipping on his chain sword. All four robots were neatly bisected in the first stroke, and Lucent pushed on. Finally, about five hours later, the battle was over. The remaining enemy robots had been either captured or forced out of the base, and now clean-up squads were sweeping the base for any robots that had been missed, and any human workers to be sent home to Arris Dome.
Exhausted, Lucent slumped against the wall, and closed his eyes as he talked to Robo. You know, sometimes I wish I were like youId never get tired, for one thing.
Robo looked at him closely. You mean that, dont you. Listen, Lucent, never wish youre meyou wouldnt want it. I dont want it.
What do you mean, Robo?
I mean Im going to get a processor upgrade. Im old enougholder than enough. I had four hundred years of happiness, and peace, and I thought I could come back here after Lavos was destroyed, and go back to that. Instead Ten years of unending war, as commander of the Bots of the Square. Theres no enemy any more, there hasnt been since we killed Lavos in 1999, but humans still fight! Why?
Robo, you cant get an upgrade! Any other robot, we would just transfer the programs, but with you
I would be killed. I know. That is the point, Lucent. In the evil 2300 Robo had come from, Lucca had repaired Robo, not knowing that he was a plant, intended to reveal her actions to Lavos ally, the Mother Brain of the R-Y factory. Lucca had, in her ignorance of robot design, made a single, critical mistake: one wire, a fraction of a millimeter too long, had set up a complicated electromagnetic resonance in Robos computer brain. The resonance had interfered with his circuits, creating dozens of short circuits and new pathways. Robos processor speed had slowed to a crawl, almost as slow as a human brain, but his complexity had increased tremendously, causing him to break through into true intelligence, even though his brain was far smaller than the giant Brains which controlled the other robots. The change had rendered him incompatible with the Mother Brain, freeing him from her control, and, lacking guidance, had turned to imitating the humans around him. He had gained human emotions and personality from them, even as he slowly relearned the capabilities of his body, which the Mother Brain had built to be the ultimate weapon against humanity. Unfortunately, the accident which turned R66-Y into Robo was irreproducible, and so anything which changed his processors would turn him into a drone, like the other robots. Im tired, Lucent. Im hundreds of years old, and Ive spent too much of that time fighting. I want to end it.
Robo, you cant die! Guardia needs you!
I cant live, either, Lucent. Theres no place for me in this world but as a fighter, and I dont want to do that anymore.
All right, Ill find you a new place!
Robo looked at him. What?
Lucent smiled. I was going to tell you. Im planning to leave the army. Ive realized that those robots will kill me, if given the chancebecause Im a fighter. Besides, Ive finished the reason I came here. Im finally strong enough to go look for him.
Vincent That would be something new. A quest, looking for your poor lost brother Very well, Lucent. I will help you find your brother. And maybe, along the way, Ill find somewhere to rest, too.
One thousand seven hundred years before Lucent and Robo set off, Frog tossed in his sleep. He was dreaming of a day long ago, when he had met me for the third time (or the first, depending on how you looked at it). Frog had stood on the cliff over the North Cape, furious at my words, Hes history. Play with fire and you get burned.
Frog had ordered his friends back, and drawn the Masamune. I had asked if he wanted to fight, and hed answered by attempting to remove my head. Our battle had been furious, vicious, me fending off the Masamune with a scythe, magical spells hurtling back and forth. Finally, though, Frog had won, because he had healing magic and I did not. He forced me to the ground and held the Masamune to my neck.
Finish it, Id gasped. I cant defeat LavosI cant even defeat you, you pitiful frog. Kill me, and you will remove the curse I laid on you
Hed paused, fury and something else warring on his ugly green face. Killing thee will bring nor Crono neither Cyrus back. So saying, hed backed away, sheathed the Masamune, and turned to go, surrendering his only chance to be human again for what?
Frog woke slowly, stretching, remembering his adventures through time. He often wondered why he had saved me, knowing that he and the others would have been killed by Zeal otherwise, and that Lavos would never have been destroyedwhat he didnt know, what he needed to know was why he had saved me at that moment, what he could possibly have realized.
Dismissing such thoughts from his mind, he wondered idly what there would be to do that day. As he got out of bed, he noticed something odd out of the corner of his eye, something in the mirror in his bedroomand then it struck him like a ton of bricks.
He was human!
My words replayed across his mind. Kill me, and you will remove the curse
He is dead, Frog said quietly. The Magus is finally dead. And I am Glenn once more.
Glenn hurried downstairs, seeking the King and Queen. He found them in the throne room, preparing for a normal day of royal business. Queen Leene gasped when she saw him. Glenn! What has happened?
I do not know, mlady. There is only one explanationthat the Magus is dead.
King Guardia frowned. The Magus was a worthy foe, and you have told us of his courage in battling Lavos. What, now that Lavos is gone, could have killed him?
I know not, Your Majesty. Still, thou art not entirely correct. Lavos is not perished yet, nor will it be for more than a thousand years. Nonetheless, I doubt the Magus has perished because of it. Methinks there be another force at work here.
Agreed, said King Guardia. However, as there could be no one other than Lavos who wished the Magus harm, we must assume this is somehow connected with that creature. Sir Glenn, I want you to assemble a party and check out Magus island. See if you can find anything, and then report back here.
Glenn nodded. As thou doth wish, Your Majesty. I shall depart upon the morrow.
Queen Leene smiled slightly. Be careful, Glenn. And enjoy yourself!
The next morning, Glenn set out with five of the best Knights of the Square Table and six squires, boys apprenticed to the knights. The squires were all awed by Glenns presence, and more than once he was asked if he had singlehandedly slain the Magus. He answered all the squires the same way, At our first meeting, the Magus was triumphant, slaying Cyrus, breaking the Masamune, and turning me into Frog. At our second, I and my allies defeated the Magus with the reforged, improved Masamunebut we were separated by Lavos before I could slay him. And at our third meeting, I faced him alone, and had him at my mercyand I spared his life.
But why? they always asked.
And he always answered the same way. I know not. However, I now know that it was the proper choice to make, for without his help the foul Lavos would have destroyed the world, centuries hence. For he and I, together with four others, followed the great Crono to glory, and slew the foul Lavos. And the Magusthe Magus is a cruel, evil man, but he has his reasons, and having seen them, I can accept that there was no other person he could be and still survive.
Eventually, after a hard days travel, the little party stopped at Dorino for the night. While there, the squires were entertained by the village storyteller while the knights sat about swapping dirty jokes. Remembering what he had seen of Zeals military and the future army of Guardia, Glenn reflected that soldiers were much the same in any time. He then turned to see what the squires were doing, and found them enthralled by a very exaggerated tale of Cyrus journeys in the Denadoro mountains. Glenn suddenly froze, and then asked the storyteller a question.
What? asked the old storyteller.
I asked why the Magus was in Denadoro in the first place? Cyrus and I went there because we wrongly believed that that was where the secret passage to the Magus island was. But why was he there?
I believe I can answer that, said a new voice.
Glenn looked up. For the first time, he realized that there was a large group of people standing around the storytellers circle in the fields outside of town. One of them had just spoken, an intense-seeming young man. Who art thou? Glenn asked.
My name is Vincent. I am in Dorino on something of an extended vacation.
And what is it thou doth claim to know?
Whats going on in Denadoro, and why Janus went there.
Glenn went very still at this mentioning of the Magus real name. And what, pray tell, might that be? he said, struggling not to reveal his reaction.
Robo and Lucent stood at the entrance to Arris Dome, shocked at the spectacle of destruction which greeted them. Robos gaze was entirely fixed on a pink robot lying smashed against the wall, someone he had known in another lifetime as Atropos. Lucent meanwhile, went from blackened corpse to blackened corpse, driven by some morbid desire to see them, his first encounter with dead humans.
One of the bodies shifted slightly, and groaned. Lucent rushed up to it. Doan, is that you?
Doan coughed. Lucent he gasped.
Doan, who did this to you?
Norn the Omens they must be stopped
The Omens? But theyre just Doan? Doan! After a moment, Lucent stood from Doans body. How could the Omens have done this? Theyre just a little cult, totally harmless
Obviously, they are not as harmless as we thought.
Killing of humans! That hasnt been done since the nineteen-nineties?
Earlier. After the Great War of the nineteen-teens, the World League was founded. Another war wasnt fought until after the Rise of Lavos in 1999, when the people realized that they might have been able to fight Lavos without our help, if theyd still had weapons. So they began building robot armies and staging wars between them as testsand eventually began to bet on the outcomes, until the point that entire Domes could be one or lost over a single robot battle. And so modern war was born
Robo! Wake up! This isnt a time for lectures; we have to do something!
I apologize, Lucent. I am a machine, though, you know. Nonetheless, I agree. We must bring an army to bear on the Omens immediately. Let us go and collect the Bots of the Square Table, and then I will fight one last time.
Vincent smiled slightly. The reason Janus was in Denadoro is because thats where the Omen is.
No, foolish Frog, not that Omen, although the Black Omen is part of it. Many things are a part of it, though, and more is incorporated every day as the Good Omen grows until the day comes.
Vincent smiled again, and said, Enter the mountains from the east. Take the left fork on the path, and lift the bush to the north of the twisted tree. That will take you to the tunnel that leads to the Project. Youll meet the Omens there.
Back in his house, Vincent stood in the darkness. And youre sure they will be travelling to the Project tomorrow? asked a voice from the darkness.
I am certain, Master. They should reach the Project by noon tomorrow.
Excellent, Vincent. And have you any news, Brother?
Indeed I have, Brother, said a second voice in the dark. The robot and the human weakling are gathering an army to assault the Omens, even as the frog and his band do the same.
And I also have news, Brothers, said a third voice. The little brat has been rendered ineffective, and the meddling boy and his friend are even now preparing an assault on the Mystics.
A new voice spoke, one Vincent had never heard before, one that filled him with fear. It was a monstrously evil voice, cruel, wicked, and somehow slightly feminine in its quiet, yet ultimate, power. It was a voice, he thought, that sounded as if it could do more evil in a single afternoon than he could ever do in a lifetime. What it said was chillingly simple, in contrast to the complexity of the voice: Excellent, children. Now, we can simply wait for them to come to us. And then, they will be destroyed.
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