The War Over Time
Oh, what a headache.
When Lucca woke up, that was her first thought. When she shoved the dead weight off of her, the movement woke Janus up and prompted him to think the exact same thing.
Janus groggily climbed into a sitting position and looked around. He saw his condition, and Lucca's, and thought aloud, "What did we do?"
Lucca tried to shake her head to clear the pain, but after the movement jarred her skull painfully, she made a determined effort to not move anymore, as well as straighten her thoughts. "Huh?"
Janus said, "Lucca, look."
"Uuuuuhhh, i cant look at anything, that would require i move my head. Whatever it is, describe it to me."
Janus took stock of their appearance. "Well, our clothing is in tatters, we both ache all over; I know I do, at least, and we were both drunk. Very drunk. I cant remember what happened, and i am afraid i dont need to be reminded."
Lucca remembered the entire night, if not clearly. "No, Janus, we didnt do THAT. We wrestled all night. I think you won, cause when we collapsed, you landed on me." she chuckled, and immediately regretted it.
The reminder jogged Janus' memory enough, "Oh, yeah. You are slippery, you know that?"
"And you were strong. I wonder what would happen if you pinned me?" Lucca smiled, mock innocence bubbling through her voice.
"Oh, please. You're half my age- literally. You're what, 15...?"
"16, then. and im 31. almost double your age."
"So? Dont i look pretty?" She made a awkward attempt to look sexually attractive. She instead managed to look more like an child than before.
"I think you look like you are still drunk. You can take an ice-cold shower right after I do. Maybe that will clear your head."
"Youre right about that. My head realllly needs clearing."
Janus groggily got up and went to the bathroom. As he was taking his ice-water shower (the only heating in his keep was magical, and he was in no condition to even heat water), the most annoying thoughts kept running through his head. She does look very attractive... He thought to himself. Shut up. Shes a child. He thought back. Yeah, a child as mature and intellegent as you... He countered his own reasoning process. mature and intellegent... if anything, last night proved that i am not those.
Besides, a voice unbidden popped out from the depths of his head, I am a bloodthirsty lunatic. I would probably kill her if I so much as touched...
Shut up! his inner voice shouted to itself. This is not good. First im talking to myself, then i start raving. This girl is not good for my psychological health.
A knock on the bathroom door. "Janus! youre hogging the bathroom! get out already!"
"Whatever happened to Lady 'don't I look pretty'? You sure sound nothing like her..." He shouted out as he dried off and dressed.
"That woman got thrown out a window, thank-you-very-much. I hope you didnt grow too attached to her."
"Of course not," he lied blatantly and hoped she didnt notice, "That woman could never have gotten any work done."
"Got that right." Janus got out of the bathroom and Lucca popped in. "By the way, Janus, what did you claim to find in that book right before we, um..."
"Oh, yes. well, you see, it was a very interesting theory..." Janus thought of something and said, "by the way, the water is very col..."
A shrill scream emitted from the bathroom, followed by a belated answer, "A few seconds earlier with that warning, and i wouldnt be living in this igloo of a body, now would I?" The aural flare of fire magic emmited from behind the door.
"Sorry. Well, to get back to the subject, He recounted 5 cases of people who could utilize magical energy, and in every case, there was a great event."
"The kind of event that could be used as a catalyst to activate magical powers... like getting zapped by that Spekkio character, for instance?"
"Ooooooohhh... tell me more."
"Well, this, and the nature of my own discovery of magic, led me to believe that all we need to do is find a suitable catalyst for the two primitives so that they can wield magic.
"Now, whether or not they wield it competently, is another matter altogether."
"Now, now, Janus, They arent really stupid, they just arent from an enlightened culture like us."
"I dont know... 65 million years could have changed the basic human structure significantly, adaptations and all..."
"I doubt it, Janus." She seemed to pause in her talking for a moment, as if contemplating something to say. "You mentioned how you discovered magic?"
"A private matter, if you please."
"Oh, ok. um, would you mind going back into the study?"
"Because these clothes arent fit to wear. i am going to walk to my room and get suitable ones."
"Oh. Don't tell me, you are going to put on clothes that look exactly the same, arent you?"
"Just shut up and go!"
Janus snickered and turned to leave. a mischevious voice reverberated in his head, Why do I have to go? I could just hide behind the corner...
Janus shuddered from the cold and stopped thinking about that, rather focusing on the problem at hand...
Ch.32 Schala's Asylum
The wall preventing Schala from getting to the light couldnt be breached, couldnt be seen, made no sound when struck, and magic seemed to just slide in and dissapear...
It is as if the wall didnt exist, except for that part about the magic, Schala thought.
"Nothing," Schala said. "No reaction from me that it didnt give the rest of you."
"Of course," the strong woman answered, "You have nothing that the rest of us do not."
"No..." the woman is robes said. "She has... something..." The woman trailed off again, lost in thought.
Schala caught a knowing glance from the naked woman, something that seemed to say, You have something, dont worry.
Schala had learned a little about her companions in this odd place over the short time she had been there. The one who looked like her mother acted nothing like her, crying often for no reason and keeping to herself. The woman in white robes was almost constantly sad, but whenever there was even a hint of hope, she would latch on to it like a child to a treat. The strong woman did what she thought she had to do, regardless of what it was, and did it without regret. Schala really didnt like her. the naked woman seemed knowlegable and experienced, able to see things beyond her and the others. She kept mostly to herself, except for quietly consoling the white-robed woman occasionally. Finally, there was the girl. She seemed perfectly content to explore her inner self, always thinking up a new way to use those dark powers of hers. Whenever schala needed magic beyond her reach to test the wall, the girl was there by her side as if at a thought. All the others were able to sense the girl's magical use, to a degree, except that the strong woman couldnt at all, and the robed woman seemed to turn into a ball of fear every time the girl summoned the power...
The naked woman, the wise woman, stood. "I have an idea."
Everyone stared at her as she walked to Schala, who was still at the wall. The woman grabbed Schalas hand and held it tight. "Now, touch the wall," she instructed calmly.
Schala reached out and touched the wall. it seemed to... ripple... just slightly when she touched it, as if it was turning to liquid.
Everyone noticed this, except for the girl. The robed woman cheered triumphantly, echoing and amplifying Schala's own feelings, and the woman who looked like her mother grinned, and her eyes lit up in barely concealed hope. even the strong woman smiled.
The wise woman started to talk. "I was wondering why we were all here, and I realized something because of the strong one. 'You have nothing that the rest of us do not.' But she was wrong. I sensed it."
The robed woman nodded. "Then what is it she has?" She asked.
"Simple. If you all look around at the others, you realize that each of us has exactly one major personality trait. The woman who looks like my mother..." She examined the suprised faces of the others, and smiled in satisfaction. "She is lonely. Never had parents, friends, lovers. Nothing.
"You," she said, addressing the strong woman, "Are logical. You calmly assess the problem from your point of view and figure out a plan of action. you then feel no regret for what you think is nessessary.
"You are empathic," speaking to the robed woman. "You feel the pain -and happiness- of others as if it were your own feelings.
"The girl is a sorceress. She has discovered great power within her, and is interested in nothing but cultivating and using that power, regardless of the consequences.
"I am a wise woman. I understand things beyond my immediate knowledge, and thus was able to come to this conclusion:
"Schala," she said, gesturing to the woman whose hand she held, "Is balanced in mind and soul. The rest of us are far too unbalanced to exist as seperate entities. Thus, i believe that we are all portions of her, seperated from her core consiousness.
"Coincidentally, this is also why we are all insane. The core, the real Schala, is the one who is insane."
Everyone was shocked silent by that conclusion. the robed woman... Empathy, and the strong one, Logic, both nodded. The lonely woman whispered to herself, "I will never need to be alone again," and she smiled. The sorceress made a rainbow between her hands, a rainbow made of dark versions of all of a real rainbows colors.
Schala, meanwhile, was in shock. She gaped at the others, knowing the truth but refusing to believe it. Her knees gave away, and she collapsed on the floor. Empathy got up and went to her, then hugged her. "Dont worry." she said. Schala actually felt better.
She stood, and so did Empathy. Wisdom said, "Finally, we come to the cusp of this line of reasoning. Why did you do it, Schala? Why did you seal us all within your mind, why did you copy the parts of your personality and project them into us?"
Schala felt strength flowing into her from Empathy, and denied memories returning, and said why. "Simple," she explained, "We have to keep the girl from ever leaving again."
The girl, the dark sorceress, looked straight at Schala and said, "I killed Daddy."
Ch.33 Jason's Test
The 7 warriors stood by as Jason appraised them. Striding up and down the line they had made, Jason looked at Crono, Marle, Ayla, Glenn, Robert, Cyrus, and Kino, considering if they need further training, and if so, how to do so.
He was pointedly trying to avoid thinking of his daughter, apparently insane and gone the gods know where, as well as Janus and that Lucca girl, who were nowhere to be found in his age and had not notified the others of their move... if they moved of their own violition...
"Ok, lets try a few sparring matches, no holds barred, and no magics restricted. Glenn and Marle will heal all those injured. Ready?"
Crono, Robert, and Kino (the three most bloodthirsty of the group, in Jason's opinion) leaped up excitedly. The others simply acknowledged.
"First, we watch, um... Crono and Robert against Cyrus and Kino. Well, you four dont watch, obviously." He had been trying to set up every possible combination for battle, in order to get them all to work well with all the others. However he was going to integrate Janus, Lucca, and Balthasar into the force, he had no idea. Luckily, he was able to get Robert from his task occasionally in order to give some training to. Even more luckily, he already had military training and did not need much refinement in the way of integrating with an established force.
The battle got under way. Crono and Cyrus drew their swords, Robert his firearms, and Kino his bow. Crono shouted to Robert the first attack, "Shadow Blade!" and Robert promptly blasted a good deal of shadow force into Crono's blade, which streaked towards Cyrus.
But Cyrus had casted one of his newly-designed spells, Stasis. Thus, Crono found himself floating in midair, unable to move, all force affecting him nullified, even gravity. Kino then took the opportunity to shoot Crono in the arm with an arrow. The force of the blow knocked Crono out of the Stasis field, with a broken arm. Robert then casted his (also new) Exile spell, and flung Cyrus about a mile into the air, where he could not help Kino for a while. Just as Crono broke and removed the first arrow, Kino rapidly drew and shot 5 arrows in succesion, the first striking Crono in the chest just as the last left Kinos bow. All found their mark, and Crono was pretty much out of commission. At this time, Cyrus landed, casting Float on himself as he was about to hit the ground (granted, it wasnt as good as Jason's float, but it was good nonetheless). It didnt seem good for Robert as Kino shot him in the leg and Cyrus advanced. Then, as if inspired by a muse, Robert charged his guns with his unique brand of Shadow magic, Force, and shot Kino and Cyrus both square in the chest, making a neat hole in each.
Jason shouted, "Robert and Crono win! now start healing. By the way, Robert, what do you plan to dub that neat little trick you used?"
In a minute, all were fully restored, with only Crono's pride hurt of the bunch. Robert said in answer, "Dark Bazooka." He had a wide grin on his face.
Crono said, "Whats a bazooka?"
"Apparently, some form of weapon designed to blast a hole in a persons chest," Cyrus deduced.
"All right, next we have, um, Glenn and Marle versus... wait a minute, if they lose nobody can heal them... ok, lets try Glenn, Kino, and me versus Crono, Cyrus, and Robert."
Crono started to summon Luminaire, apparently wanting to end the battle quickly. Cyrus began to cast Lightning 2, and Robert was charging up for Dark Matter.
Jason attempted to command the team. "Uh-oh... Glenn, Kino, um.... do WHATEVER!"
Jason charged Crono, His magic coalescing into his preferred weapon, the mace. This mace of flame rushed by Crono as he was forced to abort his spell in order to dodge. Crono drew his katana and they began to fight. Kino started to harry Robert and Cyrus with arrows, in order to prevent them from casting spells. The tactic worked, and they were forced to close in for combat. Knowing Kino's weakness up close, Glenn intercepted Cyrus, but Robert rushed past, firing wildly.
Kino dived behind a rock, and his shots forced Robert to take cover behind another rock. Now safe from Kino's arrows, he began summoning shadow energy for a large attack. Meanwhile, Jason was tiring from the battle against Crono, not having the advantage of youth that the boy he was fighting had. Luckily, however, he did have experience, so he could keep Crono off him. Its up to the others, now, Jason thought.
Cyrus was barely able to hold off Glenn's assault, much to Glenn's suprise. "Has death slowed you, my friend?" Glenn asked between strikes, not even slowing down for speaking and fighting at the same time. "No, friend... You... were always... faster... better... just refused to think... you could... pass me!" Cyrus gasped out while barely holding off Glenn's attack. "Really?" Glenn said. "Yes. Nirvana Strike!" Cyrus's blade flew faster than sight, and Glenn knew he could not parry the attack. He lunged, and found both he and Cyrus were heavily wounded by each other's swords. "You need not hold back on me, Glenn," Cyrus said before they both went unconsious.
Kino had not yet won one of these battles against his comrades. When he was on the winning side, it was because of the magical powers of the others with him. For all of his archery abilities, he couldn't beat this overwhelming power called magic. It infuriated, and embarrased him. All that power, and he couldnt do anything! And he just KNEW, that at this moment, Robert was summoning one of his custom punch-a-hole-in-your-chest spells! And there was no way he could stop it! He was going to lose... again!
Kino dived from out of behind his rock and aimed the arrow he had nocked. True, there was a rock in the way, but he could feel Robert behind it, his heart beating and his blood rushing. He aimed for where Roberts heart would be, just as he would a dangerous animal, and loosed his arrow, aiming all his futile anger at his sparring partner.
The arrow never hit Robert, of course, but something odd did happen.
Namely, the explosion of the rock that was between Kino and Robert.
The LARGE explosion.
Ch.34 Janus' Catalyst
After waking and eating a hearty breakfast, Lucca walked into the study. Janus was already there. He said, "I have an idea, concerning the catalyst."
"So, Janus, what are we talking about here?"
"We need to make them feel emotions- strong ones. In each case I read, different emotions unlocked a different elements. Sometimes, different emotions unlocked different magnitudes of the same element in different people. We need to find something about Ayla and Kino that will spark such strong emotion that they will discover their power. Now, the real problem is discovering which emotion their powers will react to..."
"Interesting. Did you go through a similar experience?"
"Yes, i did."
"What emotion was required to unlock your power?"
Janus narrowed his eyes. "Don't pry, girl."
Janus leaned back more in his cushion. "However, in all the cases, the power was just a one-time use, or temporary. I, obviously, got my power permanently. I believe that it is because in my case a physical catalyst was involved, as well."
Lucca's mind was whirring with all the thoughts and theories. "Huh?"
Janus withdrew the amulet from his tunic. "This."
Lucca rushed forward to see the relic. "What is it?"
"It is an amulet, and it bears the royal seal of Zeal. It was designed to prevent the political use of marriages for power. The eldest child in the royal family was to wear it until marriage, but i think Schala forsaw her end, and so gave the amulet to me."
"Wow... if she has the right to the amulet, why didnt you give it back to her?"
Janus grinned. "two reasons. First, Schala already has an amulet. Second, I am the oldest child in the family, now." he laughed.
Lucca scrutinized the amulet. "How does it work?"
Janus pulled the amulet away. "I will explain later. In the meantime, I give you a single warning: do not use ANY magical power on the amulet, as it may activate and have... harmful consequences."
"I, however, have some prior knowledge on how this amulet operates, and so i am going to attempt to probe it in my workshop."
"Now. I was waiting for until you came in, so that i might have your help in the prepatory stage. I am doing the actual work myself, you understand. I have more experience with magical relics."
Lucca nodded and they both walked to the basement of the keep, a place untouched by Crono's, Glenn's, and Marle's attack so long ago. They decended staircases and slopes until meeting with a large, stout wooden door. Janus undid the ward upon the door, and they entered.
The area was huge. Laced with wards to prevent wild magic, The room was filled with unfinished experiments, Piles of notes strewn about on tables, relics of Zeal everywhere, many in various states of dissassembly. Lucca almost felt jealous of the sheer immensity of Janus' laboratory and workshop. It made her own space in her house look like a mouse's hole.
Janus took a deep breath, the clean air tinged with magic of all forms. "Now here is a place i can focus in," Janus stated. He walked to a table devoid of magical idems, swept the table clean of paper, and placed the amulet on the table. He went to get clean paper and a pen.
"I cant believe you had this amulet for over a full decade, and never even looked at it," Lucca said.
Janus shrugged. "Back then, I was lonely. Schala was the only friend I had, and the amulet was the only reminder I had of her. I wore it all the time. I wouldnt even have thought about studying it." He got back with the paper and pen, and proceeded to pull up a chair and get comfortable.
Lucca got a chair and sat right next to him. "You mean you aren't lonely anymore? You finally noticed you had friends?"
Janus laughed. "Alfador may not be my intellectual equal, but he kept me company. Then, I was reunited with my family.
"On top of it all, i finally met a scholar who could keep up with me." Janus grinned.
Lucca blushed. "I had hoped you counted me among your friends."
"I did the moment you put my scythe on fire. The trick to which, by the way, you will tell me the moment we are done with this amulet."
Lucca smiled. Janus focused his aura to begin his probing. He touched the amulet with his magic, then promptly began the battle against the amulets energies, which he knew to be there.
Ch.35 Knowledge Returned
Empathy nodded. "She is too dangerous to let live, yet cannot be destroyed without destroying all of us. So, we seal her up within this." she gestured to the blackness outside the shield. "Something even her dark powers can not penetrate."
Logic stared at the invisible wall as if at a great monument. "We did that?" She sounded uncharacteristically suprised.
"No," Schala shook her head, "Empathy did, and i agree with her. Even if we are trapped here until our physical body dies."
The girl got up. "Die?
"I don't want to."
"You have no choice," Schala said to the girl, "You cannot escape without my permission. You are only a part of me."
"No," the girl said, "I can. I am not under your control, Schala, if i was you wouldnt need to expend your own life to bind me.
"No, i think i could get out easily, just by killing Empathy. Then, I can do whatever I want to."
"Oh, no." Schala felt the situation slipping out of her grasp. I have to think of something!
"Nothing you can think of can save Empathy."
But Schala did think of something. "What if someone else dies as a result of our actions?"
"So? The void isn't that bad. Empathy should know, she sent us there!"
"I could have used my power to teleport us out of there... but Empathy had to stop me! No, we saved the others instead." Tears were streaming down the girls cheeks. "She wont do that again, oh... no... she... won't..."
Schala screamed, "Empathy, RUN!" And launched her powers at the girl.
The girl laughed as Schala's magic dissipated before the stronger will of the girl. "She can't run long, theres nowhere to run to."
The girl lifted herself with her magic, purple hair and black robes billowing about her, and she started to pursue the fleeing woman...
And suddenly, she was entangled in a web of black strands. Wisdom and Lonliness stood together, using their magic to bind the girl. Wisdom looked at Schala and said, "Go help Empathy, we'll slow her for a moment."
When Schala hesitated, Lonliness shouted, "Run, please!"
Schala turned to run. She sensed the battle behind her, the advantage of suprise fading and the girl's superior power gaining the upper hand. She's right, we can't run forever, Schala thought. I should have stayed back there and faced the girl!
"It doesn't matter. You can't beat me in a confrontation," the girl said from directly behind her. "I wonder if I will replace you if you die here," the girl mused.
Schala mustered up her energies in preperation for battle, and abruptly felt a hand on her shoulder. Empathy stood behind her, ready to fight with Schala. "We can't run." she said.
"You can't win, either," the girl said, and struck with her overwhelming dark powers.
Schala braced herself for the strike, but it didnt come. She opened her eyes and saw a bright, white shield surrounding the two. The dark power struck the shield, and ceased to exist, a seamless dissapearance...
Behind her, Empathy was glowing with a soft, white aura. "This is how i held the girl," she explained.
Schala was shocked. "You can do that? i didn't think you were so powerful..."
Empathy sighed. "I'm not; this shield will collapse soon, and we will both die."
Schala felt her hope fading. The shield was dissapearing, slowly, under the girls assault.
Then suddenly, a thought struck Schala. "How do you use that power, anyway?"
"Oh, that's easy. I just look within myself, and there is a little white dot. I draw the power from there and project it."
Schala immediately turned her magical sight into herself, seeking that power that Empathy had, and she should possess, Empathy being only a part of her...
There. She found it. she reached into it, a bright, white power deep within her own soul, and threw it at the girl.
The girl screamed, and the entire world faded into white...
Chrono Trigger Fanfic