The Children Of Zeal Chapter Three
By Froborr d'Wiggy
Chapter Three Characters:
Crono: Level **
Weapon: Rainbow Sword
Head: Safe Helm
Body: Moon Armor
Accessory: Frenzy Band
Lucca: Level **
Weapon: Wonder Shot
Head: Safe Helm
Body: Prism Dress
Accessory: Gold Stud
Marle: Level **
Head: Safe Helm
Body: Prism Dress
Robo: Level **
Weapon: Peta Fist
Head: Safe Helm
Body: Moon Armor
Accessory: Repair Unit
Lucent: Level 21
Weapon A: Fists
Weapon B: Burst Rifle
Weapon C: Chain Sword
Head: Guardia Helm
Body: Nova Armor
Glenn: Level **
Head: Safe Helm
Body: Moon Armor
Accessory: Hero Medal
Magus: Level **
Weapon: Doom Sickle
Head: Gloom Helm
Body: Moon Armor
Accessory: Gold Stud
Guardia: Level 20
Head: Lode Helm
Body: Lumin Robe
Crono and Lucca, followed by a dozen picked Palace Guards, wound their way through the forest north of Media. After several hours, Crono plunked down his pack.
Alright, troops! yelled Lucca. Well camp here for the night.
The team settled down and pitched their tents. As night was falling, they gathered around the campfire to hear Lucca tell, once again, her version of the great adventure against Lavos. So, anyway, she continued, there we were, in front of the Black Tyrano. Azala was kicking our butts with telepathy, so I cast Protect, which made us nearly invulnerable. Then She broke off as a twig snapped outside the clearing.
Crono! she barked. Wake up! Theres someone out there!
Crono hopped up, drawing his sword out from under his bag, and rushed out of his tent. Outside, thousands of eyes appeared, staring at the campfire. A chill wind began to blow, rustling Cronos hair, as the campfire flickered and died. An eerie voice laughed malevolently, and then they came.
They came shambling out of the forest, creatures of every unimaginable shape and size, and all of them long dead, pieced together from the corpses of countless other animals, people, and others. Some had already begun to rot, and all stank hideouslythe only sign of life in them were their glowing eyes, of every color, type, and number, from one to thousands. The Guards formed a circle around Lucca and drew their pistols, firing into the press of enemies.
Their weapons had no effectexcept just once, when one of the Guards hit an eye, which winked out. Crono leaped through the air and dived into one of the zombies, slashing again and again, tearing gaping rips in its sides. The rips simply closed into narrow scares as he dodged back from the beasts claws.
Its no good! screamed one of the Guards, moments before a wave of flames turned two of the zombies into ash. Lucca laughed, Isnt it? and snapped. Immediately, Cronos sword began to glow with fire. He rushed the zombies, slashing and burning them, forcing them back into the forest.
Lucca sighed. This isnt going to work, if Crono and I are the only people who can hurt these monsters. Wait a second she scribbled a design on a scrap of paper. Guards, I want you to head back home. When you get there, give this to my father; have him make as many as he can, and have the Guards, all of them, bring these with them when you come back. Get here as soon as possible, and attack Medina. Crono and I will be inside
The next morning, Crono and Lucca headed down to Melchiors hut. Ill just be a second, Crono. I just want to check if Melchior left anything behind we can use. Why dont you help? The pair searched the ruins for hours, and turned up nothing but a novel by some guy called Eversole. It didnt make any sense, something about penguins, so they tossed it aside and kept looking well past nightfall. They were stopped when the full moon set at just past one in the morning. In the dark, Crono set about trying to light a fire using the hundreds of copies they had found of Eversoles books, none of which made any sense, although most were not about penguins. As he did, a frigid voice spoke.
The dark wind blows both of you will shortly perish.
They whirled to see a black-shrouded figure standing at the edge of the ruins, holding a scythe. Magus? asked Lucca.
Im afraid not, said the figure, pushing back the hood slightly to reveal its bare skull. I am Thanatos, the Master of Death. And you are my prey. He chuckled slightly, and sliced through where Lucca would have been, had she not thrown herself backwards. Thanatos laughed in malevolent glee, and gestured. Lucca felt suddenly weak and dizzyshe knew she was the victim of a magical poison.
Crono rushed Thanatos and tried to stab him, but the Rainbow Sword just skidded off of Thanatos cloak, as if it were some kind of incredibly smooth armor instead of just cloth. Thanatos laughed again, and struck back at Crono, who just barely managed to parry the scythe. Lucca hurled a row of fireballs at Thanatos, and they bounced off his cloak, lighting the night eerily. Thanatos countered with several strokes of his scythe, all blocked by Crono.
Very good! yelled Thanatos, dancing back. But I am the Master of Death, guardian of the Good Omen: I am indestructible! So saying, he stabbed the bottom of his scythe into the ground, laughing as energy began to crackle through it and over him. He raised his hand and pointed it at Lucca and Crono, and the energy began to concentrate at his fingertips.
Just as it seemed he was about to release it, however, a crossbow bolt struck his right eyesocket, knocking him back as it bounced off. Hi, guys! yelled Marle as she rushed in, demonstrating her usual lack of eloquence (oh, how I detest that girl!). Thanatos screamed in fury, and leaped upwards, disappearing. From somewhere above, there came his voice, Fools! What have you done?
Energy continued to crackle about the spot where he had stuck his scythe, and before any of the three could move, a massive red Time Gate opened, sucking them in.
The Bots of the Square Table fought furiously, struggling to reach Death Peak, a mountain-sized monument to the spot where Lavos was finally defeated, and home of the Omens. All but Robo and Lucent had been surprised (as much as robots, all under the control of the central Guardia Dome Brain, can be surprised) to find an army of robots defending the mountain, considering that the Omens were supposedly pacifists and the monument was semi-sacred to all domes; however, a massive force of robots, all heavily armed, had control over the entire region.
Lucent found himself cut off from the rest of the army when Robo sounded the retreat, far to their west near the Keepers Dome. Seeing two enemy robots go in, he headed in to make sure Belthazar was all right, despite the Advisorcoms warnings. Inside, the two robots turned on him, one falling to his rifle, and the other to his sword. Several more entered behind him, and even as he turned to face them he found himself agreeing with the Advisorcom that his odds of survival were low. Pushing that to the back of his mind, he waded in.
Within a few minutes, he knew he was in trouble. For starters, the destroyed robots littering the floor were starting to make dodging difficult, even without five or six robots attacking him at a time. He tried to figure out a way to escape, even as he leaped backwards to avoid a flung fist. Unfortunately, in his frantic dodging, he caught his foot in a smoldering bit of rubble, and found himself flat on his back. As he tensed for the blow that would end his life, however, there was a blue flash overhead as something rushed over him, followed by a solid thud of bone and metal colliding.
Lucent got back to his feet to find the oddest-looking creature he had ever seen lightly tap a critically damaged robot, smashing it to pieces. The strange creature then whirled and head-butted another robot, nearly destroying it. Startled by the appearance of this unexpected ally, Lucent was nearly caught flat-footed when two Omen robots attacked him, but managed to get his sword out in time to hold them off. The desperate defense swiftly turned into a rout, as the robots controlling computer decided to cut its losses and pulled them back. Just outside the Dome doors, however, the were a series of muffled explosions, following which Robo walked in.
I was starting to get worried, Lucent, he said. The rest of the armys back at the sewer access tunnel. Lets check on Belthazar and get out!
That is unnecessary, said the blue creature.
Huh? asked Lucent.
Oh, dear, said Robo. Its 2300 again, isnt it. Youve already transferred your mind into the Nu, havent you, Belthazar? You remember, Lucent? I told you I was originally from 2300, where Belthazar died and switched his mind into his pet Nu? But the Time Gate somehow returned me to 2285, instead? He paused a moment, calculating. Wait! Belthazar, does this mean youve finished the Epoch?
Im not Belthazar, the Nu said carefully. Hes gone. I dont know where to all I know is that the Epochs time sensors went haywire right before he disappeared. He could be anywhereand anywhen. Oh, yes, the Epochs finished, by the way. And Master Belthazar took your advice; shes got seating for fifteen, wings, and weapons like you asked.
Lucent and Robo looked at each other, and then Lucent shook his head. Uh-uh. Theres no way Im going on some goose-chase through time. Ive got things to do now, remember? Like the Omens, and finding Vincent, and staying alive?
Robo glared at him, no mean feat considering his total lack of facial expression. Lucent, this is much, much bigger than the Omens. Belthazar is the Guru of Reasonhe has powers and knowledge we can only dream of. Anything that can get rid of him we need help.
Lucent continued to shake his head. Nuh-uh. Nope. You go, Im staying right here. Period.
Glenn battled furiously, shouting his wrath as the last of his fellow knights fell. There defenders gone, the squires scattered back down the mountainside, fleeing the powerful Mystics, humans, and others defending the pass. Leene! he screamed, running another enemy through with the Masamune. He was surrounded, now, and determined to die with honor, and dignity, and as many enemies as he could fell.
Lucent stared at the End of Time, at the lamppost, now repaired, at the grey void without, at the pillars of light in the next room, but most of all at the Kilwala cleaning shattered glass from the floor.
Spekkio! cried Robo. Wheres Gaspar?
Hes not here, replied Spekkio, looking to Robo like a golden Nu. Someone came and took him I dont know why or how.
See? said Robo. I told you this was big. And you wanted to stay at home. Anyway, Spekkio, we came to see if you or Gaspar knew anything about Belthazars disappearance, and to see if you could give Lucent any magic?
Hmm! said Spekkio. Im a bit busy, but HEY! I AM the Master of War! Lets see what youve got, kid. Spekkio snapped his fingers, and Lucent felt a strange glow around him. Hard times are coming. Normal magic isnt going to be worth much, anymoreits time to crack open the high elements! You would be lightning, boy, but thats a bit too weakwhat say we give you light? A massive surge of energy filled Lucent, almost, for just a moment, removing his disbelief.
Wait a second! he yelled. I dont believe in magic!
Spekkio laughed. So wanna try your powers out?
Robo started to say that there wasnt enough time, but Lucent interrupted. What powers? Youre insane!
Spekkio laughed again, and said, These powers! hurling a chain of fireballs through Lucent. Lucent yelped as his clothes caught fire, then rolled to put them out. Cmon! cried Spekkio. Try it!
Lucent grimaced and, pulling out his Chain Sword and flicking it on, slashed at Spekkio, with no effect. Huh? he gasped.
No good! laughed Spekkio. Cmon, try your new powers!
Lucent repeated, This is nonsense! I dont believe in any of this! Then, seeing Spekkio and Robo staring at him, he shrugged and flicked a finger towards Spekkio. A massive spear of light lanced out, momentarily blinding him, and throwing Spekkio back into a wall. Spekkio laughed again.
Okay, now youre ready. Listen, I have some news. The marlin was also here! Some other guy came and went off with him Im not sure why. The marlin seemed to recognize himwhoever he was was a REAL marlinwere talking power here, folks. Anyway, they headed off in some kind of Gate Storm looked like they were heading for around 8 BC. Thought you might want to know.
Thank you, said Robo. Well be back as soon as we find something.
He and Lucent headed back to the Epoch.
Glenn staggered back, narrowly avoiding losing an eye to his enemys sword. As it was, he received a nasty cut to the forehead. Momentarily blinded by the blood dribbling in his eye, he jumped back and nearly tripped over an imp trying to attack him. He whirled, got his back to an outcropping of rock, and wiped the blood from his face. He almost wished he hadnt when he saw the numbers arrayed against him. He had felled at least two dozen of his opponents, but there were easily a hundred more waiting for him to fall.
He screamed his battlecry again, Leene! before charging into the midst of his enemies. The Masamune plunged and stabbed, almost on its own, as Glenn struggled to keep his feet in the onslaught. He was nearly staggered by a blow from the corner of an enemys shield, and momentarily dropped his guard. Five Mystics rushed for his throatand froze, a look of absolute terror on their face. A hole in space erupted in the middle of Glenns enemies, dragging most of them screaming to their deaths. The few that escaped turned and fled, terrified by the power they had just faced.
Glenn turned slowly, exhausted, to find me waiting in front of the Twistor, the Gate Storm Janala had come for me in. His jaw dropped. Thou thou art alive? But
Listen, I told him. We dont have much time. I need your help.
Lucent and Robo wandered through Truce Forest. Are you sure this is the place? asked Lucent.
Quite certain. Sensors indicate a concentration of temporal energy very near here. You should enjoy seeing this, Lucent. In just eight short years, Guardia Castle will be built on that hill up there. Were right in the middle of historyahh! Look, visual sensors picking up a hut!
Lucent stared at the shack, thinking it looked like something out of the illustrations to a book of fairy tales. Is that a house? he demanded. Robo went to look inside while Lucent studied the little garden in back. He was busy studying the lettuces, having never seen growing food before, when he heard a noise in the forest. He turned and watched the forest, alert for any signs of life. The Advisorcom piped up, telling him that the probability that he hadnt heard anything important was under ten percent, distracting him just as a rock came flying out of the trees, catching him in the stomach and knocking his breath out.
A figure ran up out of the trees, carrying some sort of staff with a kind of pouch at one end. It dropped a rock into the pouch and swung the staff in a short arc, knocking Lucents helmet off with the rock. The figure ran closer and swung the staff into Lucents stomach, sending him to the ground. Gasping for air, he struck magically, hurtling another of those spears of light.
The figure held up a hand, and the magic dissipated a foot away from it. You can use magic? it demanded. Who are you?
Lucent stood shakily, as Robo rushed out to see what the commotion was. Were, umm, well
The figure pushed back its helmet slightly, and pulled down its hood, revealing the face of a rather pretty girl. Schala? said Robo, shocked.
The girl stared at him, holding her staff-sling defensively. What? No, Im Guardia how do you know my mother?
Youre Schalas daughter? Where is she?
You mean you dontI thoughtwho are you guys? stammered Guardia, obviously confused. It took some time to straighten out what was going on, but eventually Lucent and Robo got her to understand who they were and why they were there. For her part, Guardia explained that, seventeen years before, Schala had appeared after throwing herself into a Lavos-produced Gate to escape the Ocean Palace. She had fallen in love with and married the man who found her, the mayor of Truce, named Guardius. Months later, Guardia had been born, and soon after, Guardius had died. His protection gone, the townsfolk had accused Schala of being a witch, and she had fled in exile to the forest, to raise her daughter alone. But just a couple of days before, two men had shown up in black robes, and Schala had left with them, leaving her daughter, Guardia, behind.
When I saw you by the house, Guardia continued, I thought you were from Truce, come to see if my mother was gone so you could lock me away and try me for witchcraft. When I saw you could use magic, though, I knew you were friends. She smiled. So, what say I come along? You could use help finding the Gurus, and I want to know where Mother went. Standing up, she asked, So, where did you say your time machine was?
Lucent sputtered. Robo! We cant bring this little girl along!
Little girl! If your storys true, Im your ancestor! Show some respect.
If my storys Are you calling me a liar?
Shush! interrupted Robo. Guardia, well be glad to have you along. Lucent is only kidding, arent you Lucent, he said warningly. Now, lets get going. Well have to gather Lucca and the others. He stood, helped Lucent up, and set off for the clearing where they had landed the Epoch.
Once Janala showed me how to control the Twistor, finding Schala was easy. As we were headed for 1900, though, something tried to take it away from us. With Janalas help, I managed to retain control, but Schala disappeared into the Twisted World.
So where is it that mine own help be needed? Glenn asked me.
Well Janala and I managed to track her down to one of the Twisted Worlds, but shes been imprisoned. You and I are the only people who can safely free her, because well, you and I imprisoned her.
I understand thee not, Sir Magus. And what of Janala?
You see in the Twisted World, there are an infinite number of realms of probabilitymighthavebeens, if you will. Worlds parallel to this in which reality has taken a drastically different turn. Schalas in one of those, a world in which you and I allied, and rule the world. And as for Janala hes controlling the Twistor, holding off that force that tried to attack us. He has to stay behind and keep our way out open. Now, are you coming, or do I have to do this myself?
Nay, I shall accompany thee on thy quest. But, pray tell, if thou art still alive, why is it that I be no longer cursed?
I responded, Rules of magic. No curse lasts forever. Now, come on! We walked into the Twistor, buffeted by the unreality storms, and thenwe entered the Twisted World.
Kefka laughed insanely. My names Johnny, he said, but you can call me, THE MAN!
The Mana Beast hurled itself at Exdeath, who parried with the Crystal Sword only to be slain by a Nu.
Frog and Magus battled eternally atop his fortress. Magus struck with his scythe, killing thousands of innocents. Frog swung backhand and slaughtered a gnat. Magus fell from the tower, screaming, but Rapunzels hair turned into a staircase and Marvin cunningly picked the glass from amidst the pile of diamonds before invading Laruba as a horde of ants.
Chaos ripped open and reality danced to a tune played on a fiddle, which was eaten by the fluglerman. Moses parted his hair, and the Black Widow fell into the Red Sea, drying off. The hidden empire of Zork was forever found, and the Ur-Quan blew the Highwind to bits.
At last, after all eternity (at least twelve picoseconds!), Glenn and I washed ashore in realityone or another of them. Seeing my tower before me, rising menacingly over the forest, feeling my sisters presence: I knew we had arrived.
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