Chrono Trigger Dimensions Chapter 25
"Thanks," Crono said to Marshall as he was hauled up.
"No problem, boy," Marshall replied, "but you are insane. If you asked me to do something like that, I'd laugh at you."
Glenn stood forward and shook Crono's frozen hand, "You are truly fearless, Crono."
"Reckless more like it," Crono replied.
"Don't they mean the same thing?" Marshall asked.
"Oh, absolutely," Crono replied.
Marle ran to Crono and gave him a big hug, "Crono! Don't do that again!"
He hugged her back. Over her shoulder, he could see that the gate was now open, Magus was still in concentration though.
"Crono?" Marle asked.
"Huh?" he replied.
"Please don't do that again. Promise me you won't do something stupid like that again."
He tightened his hold on her, "I'll try."
Lucca and Cid walked up to him, "Looks like you delayed him some," Lucca said with a grin.
"Yeah. Much better than throwing rocks," Cid finished, grinning likewise.
Crono smiled back to the two and Marle finally released him. "Shall we go then?" Crono asked indicating the gate.
They walked over to where Magus stood, still unmoving.
"Umm. . .Magus?" Cid asked, laying a tentative hand on the wizard's shoulder.
Then Magus did move. He staggered from the contact, then fell to the ground, his energies spent.
"Man. . .is he all right?" Marshall asked.
Marle went over and dropped to her knees by the still form, "He's just tired. . .he nearly killed himself for us. And to think that I used to think that he was such a cold and uncaring person. . ."
Glenn looked puzzled, "He wasn't one to do something like this. Why would he give so much of himself to help us. He usually only did something if it helped himself."
Marle turned on Glenn, "Why do you still despise him?! He has done nothing but help us recently. He helped us against Lavos. Yet you still dislike him," Marle yelled over her shoulder.
"If you remember, he killed a dear fried, and made me what--" Glenn began, suddenly angry.
"Shut up, you two!" Crono yelled over their argument, "We have an injured man here. You can discuss why YOU hate Magus," Crono indicated Glenn, "later. . .and we can also discuss why YOU," Crono indicated Marle, "hate Marshall so much."
Marle gasped at the accusation, but fell silent; it was true. Glenn nodded his head, "Sorry, Crono."
"Yeah. . .sorry," Marle finally admitted.
Cid pulled out his water pouch and opened it up, "Should I give him some water?"
"Yeah," Crono replied.
"What about this?" Lucca asked, indiating the gate, "Where does it lead?"
"It leads to the year 1000, remember?" Crono said.
Cid finished pouring and recapped his water. Then as an afterthought, he reopened it and drank some himself; finally he closed and pocketed it.
"I know that, stupid," Lucca replied, "But WHERE in that time is it?"
"Maybe you should ask him," Crono replied, indicating Magus.
Lucca was about to make a retort when Cid interrupted, "When will he wake up?"
"I don't know," Marle said, "he used himself up pretty much. . .I'd say. . .a few hours."
"To recover?" Marshall asked.
"To wake up," Marle replied, "He won't recover for a few days."
"Ain't that just peachy," Marshall swore, "So what do we do?"
"Should we just rest here until morning?" Cid asked, "How long will that stay open?"
"Don't worry, Cid," Lucca replied, "It'll stay open until Magus closes it."
"Then we rest?" Glenn asked.
"Yeah. . .but we'll need a watch," Crono replied.
"No problem, I'll do it," Marshall volunteered, "See ya in the morning."
Marshall began walking away from the clearing, into the darkness cast by the mountain's shadow.
Marle was about to say something, then remained quiet.
"Let's hit the hay, then," Cid said, looking for a soft spot to lie down.
The others nodded. They had had an interrupted sleep earlier, now was the time to finish it.
They all went to sleep. The sleep was short, but they were tired, so it was a much needed sleep.
However, Lucca's sleep was plagued with the all too familiar nightmares.
Cid being attacked.
Guardia shattered in a civil war.
Her family dead.
And Nikades a god gloating over all that occurred.
* * * * *
That night, in the year 1002, the rebel force "The Queen's Men" struck again. This time they raided an arms shipment. The boat had come from Porre and was docked at Truce harbour.
Three of Guardia's royal guard were dead. Six sailors were killed. There were no survivors on the boat.
All of the weapons were gone. Six tons of gunpowder, forty swords, fifty shields, and twenty suits of armor were taken.
The king has now declared the rebel force treasonous and to be killed on sight. No trial. They were a threat to the nation, he stated.
This statement shocked many. Some people have sided themselves with The Queen's Men now, feeling that the king is using what is beyond his power.
The sides are being chosen and the tension is building.
A war is brewing.
* * * * *
Magus opened his eyes, his eyelids heavy yet slightly yielding. Above him was the shadowed peak of Mt. Denadoro. He quickly lifted his head and looked around him.
It was dawn, the sunrise just barely visible. Everyone else was asleep, their bodies lying about him. At least everyone with the exception of Marshall. The large man was nowhere to be seen.
Magus, still tired, managed to stand and he looked at his surroundings for any sign of the giant.
"Awake?" asked a voice behind him.
Magus was startled, but he didn't show it. He remained still, not turning to face Marshall. "Yes, I am," he answered, "and it appears that you are too."
"Guard duty and all that, you know," Marshall replied, walking around Magus so that the two faced each other.
Marshall continued, "Are you fit to travel?"
Instead of answering, Magus replied, "What makes you think I'm coming with you?"
Marshall got a puzzled look on his face, "So you're staying here?"
"Did I say that? I merely said that you shouldn't assume anything of me. I do what I want."
". . .And?" Marshall queried.
"Yes, I am coming. I have a. . .score to settle," Magus said slowly.
". . .And?" Marshall pushed, ". . .are you fit to travel?"
"I will recover."
Marshall nodded, "Good enough. I'll wake the others and we'll leave in an hour."
Magus said nothing.
* * * * *
Pret entered his bedroom after yet another long day of politics. He was almost regretting his usurping of the throne, the power did come with its minuses.
As in long, boring days listening to the rabble whine.
He took off his crown and casually tossed it to the side. It clattered on the floor and slid, finally striking the wall and bouncing to a stop. Pret then took off his regal robe and threw it to the floor.
"Do you truly distaste the decorations so much?" asked a familiar voice from the corner of the room.
Pret spun at the voice, "Who?--Oh, Nikades. What is it?"
Nikades stood in the corner of the room. He still wore the infernal black robes, but the hood was off of his head, laid about the shoulders. His head was still bald. His eyes were no longer an ordinary black however, they glowed with some arcane power. They contradicted his pale skin very much.
Nikades held out his hand. The crown came off of the ground and flew to it. Nikades made as if to inspect the object, but his face was bored.
"It's gold, you know? Surely THAT would catch your interest."
Pret smirked, "It's not going anywhere. I have all day to admire it. . .What do you want, sorcerer?"
"I am here to. . .resign," Nikades replied.
"Resign?" Pret was taken aback.
"Yes. Your plans, simple as they are, are accomplished. Now my plans are in perspective, and I must finish them. I have about all I need from you."
"This has taken me by surprise, Nikades," Pret began.
"Then I will leave now," Nikades said walking for the door.
Pret continued, "--But, I can't allow you to leave. You see. . .you are the only person, with the exception of me, who knows the truth about my ascention. I can't allow you to go off and tell everyone about it."
"Too bad," Nikades replied, a grin creeping across his face, "I'll see you later, play king."
Nikades walked toward the door once more. He was about to open it, when Pret yelled, "Guards!!"
The door opened and two guards ran in. They stood in the doorway, blocking any exit.
"Arrest him for treason against the king," Pret said, smiling at Nikades, "if you have outlived your usefulness. . ." he left the sentence incomplete, yet the meaning was there.
Nikades grin became a hideous smile, "No. . .It is YOU who have outlived your usefulness."
The guards suddenly drew their swords and advanced on Pret.
"What are you doing?!" Pret yelled at the soldiers.
The soldiers continued their advance. Nikades continued to smile and he waved his hand in a goodbye gesture. The faces of the soldiers seemed to bend and shift as the spell was removed.
They were not soldiers; they were bipedal demons.
Pret cursed and ran away from them, looking for a weapon.
"Too late," Nikades laughed, "you HAVE outlived your usefulness, however, your position has not. I have need of a king still."
Pret almost sighed, but he had an ominous premonition at what was about to happen.
Nikades clapped his hands once.
A gust of wind suddenly erupted from outside the door. A shadow crept into the room.
It was barely visible, completely black. It had an etherealness to it, as though it were a ghost.
A living shadow.
The shadow seemed to expand, filling up the whole room. The walls, ceiling, floor, and furniture were suddenly dark as night. Only Pret, Nikades, and the two guards were there.
Nikades laughed, "Now you will serve me, not the other way around."
Pret fell to his knees, begging the sorcerer for his life, "Please don't. . ."
"Too late," Nikades replied, then spoke to the shadow surrounding them, "I have tired of you play king; what I need is a real king. Take him, shadow king; Thatos."
A roar erupted from all around Pret. It was a hideous roar, almost a laugh. Pret covered his ears and closed his eyes as he yelled against the horror around him.
Then the darkness began to pour from the surroundings. The shadow seeped from the wall almost like syrup. It poured into Pret's open mouth, seeping from the floor and ceiling. Pret's screaming stopped and he jerked about trying to fight the possession.
Finally, the last of the Thatos's being had entered him, the room was normal.
But Pret wasn't. His hands fell from his ears, they slumped to the side. Pret stood back up, his head lifted back to a level position. Then he opened his eyelids to reveal two completely black orbs.
Pret-Thatos smiled and the eyes twinkled back to the brown they had been.
Nikades smiled back, "You know what to do. I will leave now, to deal with those that cause us trouble. They draw nearer, and Banrin is dead."
Thatos laughed as Nikades and the two guards left. It was a strange noise, deep and rumbling; evil.
The door shut on its own accord behind Nikades, leaving Thatos alone. The body of Pret jerked once more and then fell down onto the bed. The eyes remained open; they had returned to black again.
And deep inside those eyes was the spirit of Pret, trying but failing to free itself.
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