Chrono Trigger: The Death Gate Cycle Part 2
By Husker Du
The first thing Marle realized was that she was unable to move. She couldn't even open her eyes, which was a bad sign. Trying with all her might, she tried to move her index finger, but to no avail. Am I dead? She then tried to listen, but no sound was coming to her from her deadened ears. Finally, she tried to take a breath, but no sensation in her body told her that that was working either. I really am dead, she thought. As she lay there, something in the back of her mind started to creep up on her unsuspectingly. Suddenly, she saw the figure of a man in the darkness, slowly walking towards her. As he crept closer, she could tell it was the great sorcerer that they had seen piloting the airship, the one that destroyed Guardia castle....
Marle tried to move, talk, anything...nothing worked. The man stopped right in front of her, looking at her from head to toe, knowing that she was totally helpless. Great, Marle thought, I can't even defend myself....what's going to happen now? I must truly be dead, but why is he here? Just then, the sorcerer talked, almost in reply to her own thoughts.
"You aren't dead."
Then what is going on?? Why did you destroy my home???
"You don't understand. Only one person understands, but he is exiled. Noone is worthy....."
Worthy? Worthy of what? Marle tried to move again, but nothing happened. She watched as the man circled around her, stopping just inches from her face.
"Worthy to live. You don't understand, mortal. We are gods in your world, and you don't have the rights to live with gods. Stop fighting, and give in...."
No! I can't stop fighting.....you destroyed my home, my family, everything!!
"Family.... I once had a mother. Wicked thing she was, always trying to get me to do 'good' things. I killed her for that, you know?"
I don't care! You killed my family!
"Ahh...such devotion. Perhaps you would have been of use to me in another life, another time, but now....." The sorcerer extended his hand, pushing Marle deeper into the darkness, where she was left to think about what he had said. Not worthy......
The End of Time
Gaspar turned away from the scenes displayed in the viewing portal, and walked over to the lightpost. He leaned up against it, as if it was his only support in the world at that moment. Spekkio, upon seeing this, sighed and started to walk over to him, but stopped when out of the corner of his eye he saw a sight in the other room.
"Gaspar.....can those warriors in that portal see us? Because..."
Gaspar leaned his head toward Spekkio, and saw him going into the room with the portal in a dazed state. Slowly walking over to the room, he seen Spekkio staring, watching as the people on the other side looked in awe at the portal. Gaspar watched as the one that had fought before, the one covered in tatoos walked camly over to the portal, with a raised eyebrow. The big clumbsy one tried to run after him, but tripped on his robe and fell face first in the dirt. He raised his smarting head up to see the tatooed one slowly extend his hand out to the glowing blue object....
"Gaspar......he's going to come through!" said Spekkio hurriedly. Gasper nodded in approval. "Time has to go on it's own course. If he's destined to do something in this time and place, then he will....."
"Haplo, what are you doing?!?!" cried Alfred, as he stumbled to his feet. Outstretching his hand, he grabbed ahold of Haplo's right shoulder, yanking him backwards as the dog ran around barking.
"A lone person in a catostrophic world...." quietly whispered Haplo intently, as he stared at Alfred with glowing eyes. He then focused on the blue portal again. "We...have to go, don't you understand?"
"Damn you, think!" Haplo said, smacking Alfred. "I woke up feeling something....as if something was back. HE'S back!"
"Yes, him. We have to go." Haplo outstretched his hand, and taking Alfred's, they walked to the portal. The portal snapped shut, but not before the dog was able to take a last scratch and lept through to follow his master.
The first thing Marle realized as she regained conciousness was that her head was pounding from somewhere inside, with a fierce intensity. It would be better not to move right now, she thought, I better just stay wherever I am till this subsides. Trying to forget the pain, she thought of the events that had just took place.....and then she remembered the airship, blowing up the castle. No, she thought, I have to get up! With every inch of her inside strength, she opened up her eyes to a cloudy sky and Chrono's face not 2 inches from her's.
"Finally! You ok??" Chrono said, gently cradling her head and back, pulling her up to a sitting position. Marle winced in pain as she saw Lucca also, staring over at the western sky. "We were getting worried you wouldn't wake up, you took such a nasty bump."
Marle strained her eyes up to Chrono's face, and saw a huge gash in his forehead, which was covered in blood. Moving her dry tounge, she mumbled, "You don't look...too much..better yourself."
Lucca then walked over, examining Marle for herself. Shaking her head, she
stood back up and looked to the skies. "It's a miracle any of us are alive."
she said, adjusting her glasses.
Marle then remembered the castle, and started to struggle out of Chrono's arms and against the pain shooting through her. Chrono tried to hold on tighter, and in a worried voice asked what was wrong. "The...castle! What happened??" she said.
Chrono looked to the western skies, with sad eyes, and told Marle that at last sight, the castle was utterly destroyed.
Marle shuddered in response, and literally broke down right then and there. As she sobbed uncontrollably, Lucca walked out of view of Chrono. I wonder where she is going, he thought, as he tried to calm Marle, but couldn't really do it himself as tears came to his eyes.
"Where in the..." said Haplo, upon coming through the other side of the portal. As he let his eyes adjust, he heard Alfred stumble out of the portal, along with the dog. He then laid his eyes upon the sights around him....or lack of sights, to say the least. All around him was a swirling darkness, except in front of him where 2 forms were standing, with a door behind them. He studied the forms, as they did the same to him. He then, upon not seeing a real gesture of kindness by them, shifted his weight to his right leg and said, "Would you people mind telling me where I am?"
Spekkio laughed, as Gaspar looked at the tatooed man and his companions with wondering eyes.
"Welcome there travelers, you are at the End of Time. I am the keeper here, Gaspar."
"End...of time!?!?" said Alfred, stumbling back to his feet.
"Yes, this is the End of Time, where every timeline of every world ends up. Somehow, for some reason, a portal was sent to you're time. Do either of you know why that is?"
Haplo lowered his eyes to the floor, and started to talk very low. "If you don't mind me asking..."
"No, go right ahead." said Spekkio.
Haplo raised his eyes up, staring coldly at the 2 beings. "We come from a place where we only trust people of our own kind. Believe me, our lives have been a living hell. Why should we trust you two?"
Spekkio and Gaspar both looked at each other, knowing this wasn't going to be easy...
"Ok," said Gaspar, looking at the 2 travelers. "We know you don't have any idea why you should trust us, but I will say this, which may give us both some idea why you are here. Some time ago, there was an airship sighting in one of our times...."
Haplo's eyes suddenly got very wide in fear, as did Alfred's. Gaspar noticed this immediately, and lowered his eyes.
"I see that you both know something about this?" he said, raising his eyes back up to look at Alfred.
Alfred stammered for a second, then gathered a deep breath and started.
"Yes...we do. This airship...It had aboard it a man in black, yes?" Gaspar nodded in reply. Alfred lowered his head, and whispered to Haplo to continue the explanation.
"Well," Haplo said, "he used to actually be my quote 'father', until he basically turned on me for not seeing eye to eye with him, and he took over every world in our time, murdering countless millions. We finally stopped him, but none of us never saw him actually die. He was thrown in a portal, which was supposed to lead into the land of the damned."
"Apparently he escaped," said Gaspar, turning to pet the dog at his feet, "and is on a rampage in OUR land now. He recently destroyed Guardia castle, a stronghold throughout our land for ages, very easy mind you." The dog proceeded to tilt it's head so Gaspar could scratch it's ears.
Out of the shadows, Spekkio emerged once again, looking perturbed.
"Something strange is going on here..." he said, motioning for them all to follow. Unsure, Haplo, the dog and Alfred followed the great warrior through the door into an antechamber with a lamppost near one far corner, and into another door that looked to be right in the middle of nothing. In this room, many portals, similar to the one that they had come through earlier, were situated, as Spekkio motioned for them all to look into a far portal.
As the mist cleared from inside the portal, they could see that it was overlooking the far-reaching Guardia ocean, where a huge airship was situated, motionless. As they watched, they could see a dark figure sitting down at the great wheel of the ship, staring at some sort of parchment. Upon seeing this, Haplo let out a great laugh.
"Haha! The great sorcerer he is, and he can't find his way around without a map!"
Almost as if he could hear it, the sorcerer looked up to the sky, seeming to stare right at Haplo. He stared for a minute as he smiled coldly. Grabbing the wheel of the great ship, he turned it toward the north as it started to move.
"Where is he going?" asked Alfred. Upon hearing this, both Gaspar and Spekkio lowered their heads.
"It looks as if he is headed towards....the ruins of the Dark Omen........"
Thoughts raced through Lucca's mind, as she looked over the great ruins of Guardia castle, covering her mouth from all the dust in the still-unsettled air. Not wanting to go down to the basement ruins, knowing that there lay all the people of the castle forever, she went around to the left side of the castle, beside a fallen wall. She bent down, holding a piece of one of the royal flags in her hand, then squeezing it hard in her palm, trying to remember all the times that she had went to the castle, all the good and bad times that she had there. She remembered the meals she would have with the king, discussing the different inventions she would make, the talks with the generals, the nights spent wandering the gardens with Chrono and Marle, wondering if those times could ever come back...
"Ahhhh.....how nice." the sorcerer wondered, as he flew his airship towards the great invention that these mortals called the "Dark Omen". They had no idea, even when they thought they defeated this great invention, of it's powers. Lavos, that insignificant creature that they had fought had nothing compared to this, he thought to himself, as he steered the ship a little bit more to the west. Almost there, he said to himself, then it can begin yet again......
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