The War Over Time
Ch.36 Return From the Mental Sabattical
Schala wasn't alone this time.
She had always thought that there was nothing but evil in her, that she was a big ball of darkness just waiting to kill. But now, she knew that there was something else besides the shadow within, eagerly waiting to be used. She summoned up that small little point of light within herself, just to make sure it was there. There it is, Schala thought, Proof that i'm not all evil. So long as i have this, i can hold off any amount of darkness.
After a few minutes of happy thoughts, she noticed where she was. She was in a cave, and it was very cold. She stood, and almost used her magic to warm her. After thinking about it, however, she reached to the light and drew some out...
And the world jarred within her. Her ears rung, and her vision swam. What... Schala thought for a moment about why that happened, then knew. The dark magic is still a part of me, as well as this. I can't use both in the real world. She focused on the dark well of power within her, willing it deeper into her, willing it away from her and into the smallest crevaces of her soul. Then, she summoned the light, and drew the tiniest bit out from within...
She got warm, but she felt a pressure on her head. She knew if she summoned any more of that light, her head would really start to hurt.
But it's a beginning, Schala thought, and warmth is a very good beginning indeed.
Ch.37 The smallest mistake...
For 10 minutes now, Janus has been probing that amulet, Lucca thought.
She had been using the idle time to get her thoughts straightened out. For the most part, her thoughts concerned either things relating to the coming conflict, like teaching Ayla and Kino magic, and the rest of her thoughts concerned Janus. Janus asked her to teach him the finer techniques of flame manipulation, and he was currently teaching her how to control her metabolism every night for an hour or two, after a long day of study. She had developed... feelings... for him, and they were really beginning to interfere with her thought processes. At this rate, her emotions would rend her totally useless in helping Janus in just a few days. She knew she had to do something, and soon. She also knew that just being honest and telling Janus how she felt was the best course of action, but...
Oh, I don't have enough experience with this kind of thing, Lucca thought. I'm not even sure exactly about what my own feelings are, let alone what to do with them.
She looked over at Janus. He was showing increasing tension as time went on, as if he were fighting a battle he would lose. I wonder if he can withdraw his energies safely, Lucca thought. But Janus told me not to touch it with my magical powers, so I can't do anything...
Then, Lucca got an idea. I can't sense the amulet, but i can sense Janus' LINK to the amulet, she thought out after a few seconds. She mustered her powers, and sent the magical equivalent of sonar through the intangible, barely noticable link between Janus and his amulet.
She sensed a large amount of magical activity traversing within the link, energies coming from the amulet and tracing to within Janus. She traced the link further into Janus, to find out its exact effect.
It traced into his mind, then became blocked by Janus' power before it did anything. Lucca could tell, however, that Janus' block was slowly failing. Whatever that amulet could do, it was about to do it to Janus.
If I help Janus, Lucca thought, I could expose myself to it's power and not be able to escape. However, if I don't, and he can't escape, I have no idea what those energies could do to his very mind...
I wish I knew more!
She withdrew her magic, unsure what she should do. After a minute or two, Janus made up her mind for her. He screamed in pain. Lucca took one look at his blank eyes and was sure that the link had won, and he couldn't escape. She had to help.
She sent her power forth, into the amulet, and the amulet activated.
The last thing Lucca noticed as her consiousness was being ripped from her was that the nature of the link between her, Janus, and the amulet had changed...
For the first few minutes of his probing, Janus was searching through the magical patterns of the amulet. At about the 5 minute mark, he found his answer: the amulet had done nothing to activate his natural powers. Nothing whatsoever. The truth was that the amulet had reacted to the violence of his own catalyst, which, Janus admitted, must have been caused totally by his own emotions.
Well, at least the primitives won't need an object to achieve power, Janus thought.
Then, he tried to pull his senses out of the amulet. To his suprise, however, he found he couldn't. The amulet had locked on to his signature, and it would hold on until either the energies ripped him apart, or...
...or until Lucca activated the amulet by using her powers to probe it.
And knowing Lucca, Janus thought, she would never just sit and wait while one of her friends was dying, and painfully, right next to her. No, she will do something.
Janus wasn't sure whether to be happy at the prospect or not. Joined like that to Lucca... I wonder if my basic persona will change? Oh, well. No time like the present to find out, he thought sarcastically. I should have told her what the amulet did before doing this.
She would know exactly what she was doing, then. Janus had learned as a child what the amulet did. The eldest in the Royal Family wore the amulet, and when that person ascended to the throne, both the future liege and their spouse (if the liege couldn't choose one, one was chosen by the gurus) would link with the amulet simultaneously, and they would fall in love. Instantly. Nobody knew how this occured except for the current rulers of Zeal. The amulet had been designed long ago, to strengthen the rule through unity and to help prevent political intrigue. And after years of not being used, Janus thought, it's going to make the fallen prince of a fallen land fall in love with a sixteen-year-old...
If Janus wasn't spending all of his dwindling energy trying to stave off the energies of the amulet, he would have laughed.
In a minute or two more, right before the amulet broke through the very last of Janus defenses and killed him, it activated, and the link drew his tired mind into the abyss of a dreamless sleep.
Ch.38 The Royal Seal of the Kingdom of Zeal...
Oh, but Janus' sleep, even devoid of dreams, was still a montage of thoughts, senses, and ideas. His mind was pushed into the farthest corner of himself, and another mind superceded his own. He saw all the events in Lucca's memory, in order, some foggy and vague, like the time Crono and her used one of her first inventions to play a practical joke on the village elder, and some sharp and clear, like the first time she saw Lavos on a computer screen, and she saw the world end right before her eyes. With these images came her feelings, fear when her mother's legs were almost ripped to shreds by one of Taban's machines, happiness when she created her first invention, curiosity at practically everything she saw! If Janus could think, he would have thought that much curiosity astounding. She felt satisfaction when Crono landed the killing blow to Lavos, and most lately, she had developed a serious crush on Janus. As the last of her memories ran through his head, and he had a moment of lucid thought, he was rather thankful that Lucca didn't have to change her opinion of him that much... she already liked him quite a bit. He returned it. In fact, he had felt towards her the strongest feelings he had ever allowed himself to a woman. Of course, now he was in deep, mad love with her, and he knew that she would feel the exact same way when they awoke.
Janus woke up first.
Lucca, in the meantime, was living Janus' life. Janus' memories were acutely more vivid then most peoples would be, so when Lucca's mind was pushed aside, she ended up in Janus' childhood, a boring, depressing, lonely childhood occasionally upheaved whenever a zealian scholar thought he had found the secret to giving him magic, and used him as a guinea pig. With the exception of his sister, whom he idolized, and saw as his guardian and surrogate parent, he developed a low opinion of people in general. When he was ripped from his home by a dark rift and dropped right into Ozzie's hands, he could at first think of nothing but how he could return. After a long year of fruitless wandering, however, he could not even think of a way to return. Ozzie adopted him, and Janus joined the Mystic army. Janus found himself in a situation where magic was not required to be popular, or powerful, and he reveled in it. His charisma got him many friends and political allies in the Mystic heirarchy, and these links eventually led his friend, Ozzie, to the posision of ruler of the Mystics. Janus had the official position of Ozzies bodyguard, a skilled user of sword and a master of the scythe, and an onofficial office as public relations for the mystics to the humans.
As it turned out, mystics had a taste for human flesh. Those that indulged in this, however, were rejected by Mystic society, so as not to anger the nearby Human kingdoms. Despite this, there was quite a bit of prejudice and anger directed at mystics in general, and Janus, being the official laison between human and mystic, got the brunt of that hatred. Janus' already low opinion of his fellow humans dropped even further when they ignored his attempts to make them see past their anger and see that mystics were just like them. Instead, he was viewed as a traitor to Humanity, and treated as such. Many times, only his position saved his life during that period, and even then, barely.
His life changed dramatically when he met a woman that tried to seduce him. Janus got her alone, in the very core of Guardia castle itself, and tortured her. He vented all his rage and frustration, all the anger of an entire life he directed at this one poor woman. On top of it all, after all of his phenominal anger was spent, a much more primal emotion swept over him.
And so, after beating and mutilating this poor woman, on top of it all, he then raped her.
Even as he did it, he was torn with a huge mix of emotions. The raw cumulation of his anger, at himself and all humanity, his shame at hurting another, and his own enjoyment of the event set something off within him. His amulet turned black, and yet shined like the sun. The black light blasted the otherwise empty room, and the broken, battered woman under Janus melted like hot butter under the sun, then faded as if she were boiling water. Janus had discovered his magic, and he had discovered how to make it grow.
He had to hurt people.
Janus pulled his clothing on and left the keep of Guardia as if nothing had happened, the woman's blood had dissapeared from his clothing, having suffered the same fate as the woman. He waved goodbye to the contemptous guards, shouting an obsenity at one's mother, and felt more powerful by it's mere utterance.
So he returned to his home, wondering how he could cause the most harm possible. In causing harm, he could gain magic, and with that, he could return. And when he did that, well, then came revenge.
When he walked into the main castle of the Mystics and was greeted by an injured friend, an Outlaw by the name of Teron who was run out of a human town after being accused of kidnapping a small child. As it turned out, the child was the first person Teron met after being stoned out of the village. Teron returned with the child in order to prove his innocence, then was promptly forced to flee again, this time from villagers with bigger rocks. Ironically, one of those rocks killed the child.
Teron laughed sarcastically and said, "The Humans' own hatred of us destroys them!"
Janus smailed back, a smile of sadness and insparation, and said, "The Humans will never hurt another of us again, friend."
He then walked into Ozzie's office.
"Ozzie, I'm afraid I am going to usurp your position now."
"Huh? What? Are you joking?"
"I am going to start a war against the humans."
Ozzie accepted this, as he had the same feelings, and gave Janus the power which he had helped earn for Ozzie in the first place. Ozzie stayed on as Janus' Domestic Adviser, so in reality all he lost was prestige and control of the army, and Janus started to train the Mystics.
So, the war began. after a few weeks, Janus took the title 'Magus' which means in Mystic 'man of power', and he sent his small but powerful army forth to kill humans.
After only 3 villages, the humans sent their greatest knight, Cyrus, to stop him. He died in the attempt, and his sidekick, Glenn, was turned into a frog.
Even after this disheartenment, the Guardia army held out.
After a short time in military stalemate, Janus pulled his forces back to the Mystic castle and started to rally a truly great army. In the meantime, he studied and strengthened his powers, and planned his revenge.
After ten long years, it looked like his plan would succeed. Then, Crono, Glenn, and Robo marched into his inner sanctum and disrupted his spell, as well as substantially injuring him. The rsulting backlash sent him to the year 12,000 B.C., his own time. Janus (he still thought of himself by that name) recovered from his wounds and rapidly climbed the social and political ladder of zeal, gaining the queens confidence in mere days.
After the completion of the Ocean Palace, Janus went to face Lavos. He failed miserably, however, and saw the boy Crono die. Then, he was saved by his own sister, to whom he didn't even lift a finger to help.
He then helped the party destroy Lavos, finally satisfying his yearning for revenge. Then, he began searching out Schala, in the event she managed to save herself. During that time, he discovered that harming others was not neccesary for him to become stronger.
As the flood of Janus' memories abated, Lucca's mind gradually gained clarity. What a life that man has led, Lucca thought, he must think of it as just one cruel joke after another. Its amazing hes still sane...
Lucca awoke, and apparently Janus had woken up first. He was sitting cross-legged beside her, with an expression of concern on his face.
"You are alright?" Janus asked.
"Yeah, I'm ok." Lucca sat up and faced Janus. She wished acutely that she could hold Janus close, at that moment, and tell him that his life wasn't that bad...
"Feel any different?"
"Well, a little. Why?"
Janus explained the effect of the amulet. "I know it worked as far as I'm concerned. I am deeply, hopelessly in love with you. How about you?"
Lucca grinned giddily. Now THIS is what I wanted to happen, Lucca thought. "I think I was already in love with you, Janus." She crawled over to Janus and embraced him. He embraced back.
"Lucca, you do know... um..."
"Of course I do, you fool. I lived through all your memories, felt your emotions, and besides, I know you would never do anything to hurt me because you are in love with me." Lucca smiled and pushed Janus to the floor.
"Lucca? Lucca what are you doing? Um, Lucca, my belt..."
"Lucca, I, um... we shouldn't do this..."
"Oh? You don't want to?"
"No, but I am not young like you. I can control my emotions if I have a reason, namely, the fact that I do not wish to father a child."
Lucca smiled. "You know that Marle refused to do that with Crono until they got married? Instead, they had... alternate methods..."
"And Marle talks. A lot. In detail. I think I could..."
"Hmm... I 'think' you've already started."
Kino awoke surrounded by the faces of his comrades. Ayla said, "You feel good?"
At the same time, Jason asked, "How did you do that?"
Kino was quite confused. "Huh?" He stood and looked at his friends. Their faces were completely unreadable for emotion.
Ayla jumped upwards nearly 5 feet in excitement. "You made rock go BOOM! Biiiiig rock!"
Robert nodded. "The boulder I was using for cover exploded, even as I was gathering my energies..."
Cyrus looked over Kino apprasingly, apparently satisfied with what he saw. "The arrow you fired was charged with great power."
"Huh? rock? p...o...w...e...r...?" Kino remembered. That arrow should have bounced harmlessly off the rock, but...
I was angry, Kino thought. Really angry. The woman said... Elise said I should have been able to do that, but couldn't. But I can when I'm angry!
"Magic..." Kino said in wonder.
Jason spoke up. "Yes, and the magic you have is the power of fire, pure and simple. I will have to allocate training time for you, so that you will be able to control that power of yours."
Robert walked up right next to Kino and started to talk. "By the way, what do you plan to name that powerful rock-blasting trick you did? Make sure it's a good one, I don't want to have been blasted by the shockwave from a 'spark', or an 'ember'."
"Huh? Name what?"
"The thing you did to the rock, of course!"
Robert pointed at the remains of the boulder, and Kino was shocked. The large rock that was there was only a scattering of pebbles, now. some of the larger rocks still glowed bright red. In the center of the destruction, lied the broken shaft of Kino's arrow.
Robert wasn't very impressed. "Well, i guess it's less humiliating than 'Ridiculously weak attack that knocked Robert out indirectly', but not by much."
"That arrow not weak!"
"No, it wasn't. but a good name to a maneuver can intimidate the enemy, and cause them to fight at only partial strength.
"And besides," Robert said proudly, "It's always an honor to say that it took an 'Ultima' or a 'Flare Vortex' to defeat you, while a 'burning arrow'..." He grinned and shrugged. "It's an ego thing."
"More importantly," Jason said, "Having names for techiniques, particularly fitting ones, can help a caster remember them in battle, and use them according to the leader's strategy. All the leader must do is call out the name of the spell and the person he wants to cast it. I think Burning Arrow fits."
Kino nodded. He did understand some of that..., "So how I do that when not angry?"
Jason shrugged. "I have almost no clue, although I can try. I am a spellcrafter, not a scholar.
"Which reminds me, we will have to tell this to Janus and Lucca, wherever they may be."
Crono thought of something. "They don't know where we are, either, do they?"
"No, actually, they don't. But if they contact Gaspar and Robo still in the end of time, Robert can get a message between us all."
Robert came alert. "That reminds me, I have to get back! Bye everyone!" he said as he began crafting a timegate.
Ayla walked up to Kino and hugged him tightly. "Burning Arrow! Neat!"
"Yes, neat." Kino was already thinking about how he did that, and how he could do it again...
Ch.40 Time Soldiering, Aeon Gate, and Knowledge
Balthasar and Elise were relaxing after a long day of training when the red timegate started to form.
Both were instantly alert, and prepared for battle. Elise called to Balthasar, "Don't attack first, whatever should come out might not be hostile."
Elise could not have been more wrong. She recognized the being that walked out of the gate as the Warlock himself.
Elise prepared for battle, just as the Warlock raised his hands in a gesture of peace. "I do not wish conflict, I have better things to do, and besides, I do not have a tactical advantage. You have fought my armies, and know that I never attack without an advantage. I am a perfectionist.
"Rather, I wish a temporary truce, for as long as I am here, for the purpose of an exchange of knowledge."
Balthasar was more than skeptical. "Oh, so the mighty enemy wants to tell us how to kill him in detail? Why, thank you!" he said, very sarcastically.
The Warlock only grunted in Balthasar's general direction. He was addressing Elise. "Well? You know me to be an honorable man, what do you say?"
Elise wasn't sure. "What do you want to know?"
"Everything you know about the Aeon Gate."
"And in return?"
"Hmm... perhaps our location? Both in time and space. We are right near the Gate, so that comes with it."
Elise thought it a good deal. "Sure. You first, though, because you proposed this."
"Fine. We are near Medina Village, in the year 4000 A.D. The Aeon Gate, however, prevents you from reaching us via your poor methods of time movement." The Warlock smiled warmly. "Your turn."
Elise shrugged. "The Aeon Gate exists in a fourth-dimensional form, it's existence is temporary, and most likely a self-proving paradox. You know the type, it's existence is made possible by it's existence. Like Balthasar, over there, being named after an ancient Zealian, whom he was.
However, while it's power over the energy matrixes are limited, it's power over the timeline is great. Its most notable effect is preventing those whom have not traversed the gate from manipulating time in that plane, provided someone has traversed it.
"Really, all it would do is solidify a power base for you, even if you open it."
"And how do I open it?" it sounded more like a statement than a question.
"No clue. Every gate has a totally different way of opening. It can take millenia just to figure out the method." Now Elise smiled.
"That wasn't very much information, Elise."
"Oh," Elise said with a laugh, "You think the information you gave us can really be of help in your downfall?"
The Warlock chuckled. "Ah, you are clever. A worthy opponent, even if fundamentally flawed." With that, the Warlock turned and left the way he came.
Chrono Trigger Fanfic