Chrono Trigger Dimensions Chapter 26
"Are you SURE that this leads to my time?" Marshall asked Magus again.
"Nervous?" Cid asked jokingly.
"Nah, just perfectionistic." Marshall replied, "I'd hate to wind up in some other time and have to wander around."
They were all standing in front of the gate now. Magus was still worn, but he didn't have any complaints so they decided it was time to get back.
"You've got an excuse for everything, don't you?" Crono asked.
"Actually, you're wrong. . .some of 'em I've got TWO excuses for. Just in case I've used up one of 'em." Marshall said, tightening his coat, "So are we leaving now?"
"Yeah," Lucca replied.
"Who's first?" Marshall asked.
No one volunteered.
"Guess it's my turn again," Crono said.
He jumped into the bluish gate with no hesitation.
"Well, of course he'd do it; he's been doing it all his life," Marshall said to no one in particular. Then he jumped in too.
The others followed. Magus was last. As he jumped in, he closed the gate behind him.
Once again, Denadoro Mountains were peaceful. The waterfall fell infinitely, the sun's rays dancing on its drops. Plants stretched out to the warmth the sun provided and animals once more came out to hunt.
* * * * *
"That was spectacular," Cid exclaimed, "Sure beats the roller coaster."
They were now standing in the center of Medina village.
However, it was now a smoldering ruin. The war had taken its toll.
Buildings were smashed and burned to the ground. The square was equally scorched; the statue of Magus was torn down and broken.
"Man I hate those rides, "Marshall said, lying on the ground, woozy. He looked around, "Why'd you land us in this dump?"
"Because it wasn't always a dump," Crono said slowly, stunned, "it WAS Medina."
"The town of monsters?!"
"What happened?" Marle asked, equally stunned.
"Do you think Nikades did something with the gate? Maybe the whole world's like this. . ." Lucca said in a soft voice, nearly a whisper, feeling as if her prophecies had already been put to truth.
"No. . ." Marle said, "We have to get to Truce! We can still stop him!"
"It was a battle," Magus said, peering at the destruction of the city of his once servants.
"What?!" Marle turned to the sorcerer, "With who?"
"Humans," was his reply.
Magus pointed to the surroundings, "Look. Human and Mystic corpses; armed."
"What're you talking about. Humans and Mystics are at peace." Crono queried.
"Not anymore. . ." Lucca replied.
"Maybe they were fighting together. . .Against the demons," Crono said almost pleadingly.
"Not likely," Magus said pointing again at a specific area, "Humans and Mystics do not fight together by running each other through."
The others gazed at two particular corpses that Magus had pointed at. A human and a Mystic piled together on the ground, each other's swords was still held by some death grip, but the blade end were each sticking into the other's holder's chest.
"Why would they fight?" Marle asked, turning away from the carnage.
"Probably something to do with Nikades," Crono said, "We have to find him and stop him."
"I don't entirely know what is happening, but I agree," Marshall replied, "So how do we get there. I doubt the ferry is in operation."
The others began thinking.
"We'll use Heckran's Cave," Crono said suddenly, "we can stop by Melchior's on the way. I definitely know that he'd know something about Nikades."
"That is a definite," Magus replied, "if he is alive."
"Yeah. . .if anybody is alive," Marle said ominously, looking at the destruction around her.
* * * * *
"Well, I guess he isn't going to help us much," Crono said, sighing as he witnessed Melchior's house.
The house was also destroyed, in fact it wasn't even there anymore. Only a square area of land uncovered by grass signified that it used to be there.
"I don't like this," Marle said, "let's hurry to Truce."
"Yeah, the cave's due north," Crono said, pointing in the said direction.
"I wonder if Truce is destroyed too," Glenn said.
"If it is, we'll just have to give that much more paybacks to Nikades," Crono said.
They reached the cave an hour later. The sun was nearing the western horizon, but not too near. It was around three o'clock.
Crono walked into the entrance, "It's a little dark. Do you have a torch in that wonder cape?"
Marhsall looked hurt, "Wonder cape?"
"Nevermind that, do you have a torch," Crono pressed.
"You mean you have all these swords, knives, and crossbows. . .not to mention a medicine stock, bola, and antidotes; but you don't have a single torch?" Crono asked, amazed.
"I don't need torches. I can see just as well in the dark," Marshall replied, a bit offended.
Magus strolled into the cave. He held up his hand and a sphere of light emerged from it. It illuminated the nearby areas just as well as a torch, if not better.
"Will this do?" he asked.
"Aren't you supposed to be wary about using magic after your. . .collapse?" Marle asked hesitantly.
"I'm fine," he replied in a neutral voice.
"But--" she pressed.
"If I do collapse again, it'll be my problem, not yours. So don't worry," he said, with a touch of finality in it.
"Actually," Crono answered, "we'll be without a light, so it WILL be our problem."
"If I don't do this, you'll be without a light anyway."
"Fine by me, drain yourself dry then." Crono said stepping into the caverns.
Magus remained silent. Instead he walked into the cave, leaving the others with no choice but to follow.
* * * * *
They were now standing in front of the waterhole. Magus still had his light, he had not tired as of yet.
"So. . .is this anything like going through a gate?" Marshall asked, giving the water a glance.
"You remember how the gate was?" Crono asked.
"Oh yeah," Marshall replied, nodding and giving a shudder.
"This's worse," Crono said, with a grin.
"Gee, thanks," Marshall said, now giving a fearful look at the water.
"You all do know that this'll land you right at Lucca's doorstep, don't you?" Marle said to the others.
"That's where the gatekeeper is, and that's where Nikades'll be." Lucca said, "Unless he took it with him. . .No he couldn't do that. My house is the only house in the world that has electricity. He'll be there."
Glenn nodded, "And chances are, Nikades is prepared for us."
"With the gatekeeper," Lucca said.
"So are we going?" Cid asked stepping up to the water.
"Gotta prepare first," Marshall said, drawing a sword.
The others likewise drew their weapons. Crono had lost his old sword at the waterfall, but he had reequipped himself with a sword from one of the dead bodies back at Medina.
"Ready!" Marshall said, then he looked at the water and remembered what Crono had said, "I think. . ."
"Then let the battle begin," Glenn said.
Crono and Marshall jumped in first. Then Glenn and Magus followed. Cid, Marle, and Lucca came in last.
The swirling waters swallowed them and they were thrown into a turbulent ride toward their foe.
* * * * *
Thatos looked out of the window at the setting sun. Night was the best time for a shadow being, and he was anxious for the day to end. He eyes glowed evilly with the anticipation.
"Your Majesty?" asked someone who had walked into the door.
Thatos/Pret turned toward the voice; the eyes reverted to their normal color. The royal cape swished behind him to accentuate his movements. He replied to the aide, "What is it?"
"The general sent me to tell you that our spies have picked up some activity to the west. . .in the forest where the cathedral burned down."
"What is this activity?" Pret asked impatiently, giving a look toward the window and the sunset outside.
"It has been announced as the. . .um. . .where the rebels are at. They are around one hundred strong." the aide was nervous.
"So we have finally found them?"
"Good. . .send a message to the general. Tell him to prepare to attack the rebels. He will leave in the morning with. . .five hundred sounds about right. . .Tell him to leave in the morning with five hundred."
The aide bowed and turned to leave, "Yes, Your Majesty."
"And tell him to use any means necessary in defeated these ingrates. Even if the forest must be burned." Pret turned from the aide and walked to the window. The sunset was ending.
"Burn the forest, sir?!"
"Yes. It's been a dry season so far. He shouldn't have any trouble. But only if the need arises. Got that? Good, then leave!"
The aide scurried out of the room leaving Thatos to bask in the coming night.
* * * * *
The leader of "The Queen's Men" turned his head, "What?"
"We've found a spy, sir!" the rebel/soldier yelled out to his commander.
A man was pushed into the tent that served as the commander's home.
"A spy, hmm?"
The commander got out of his chair and began inspecting the captive. He looked at the man very closely, almost in a trance.
Finally he looked up, "Let him go."
"He's an innocent man, not the enemy."
"He'll tell the king where we are!"
The commander turned from the soldier, "If there's one spy, there's more. It's too late to hide now. We'll have to expect an invasion now. Let him go."
". . .Very well, sir."
The spy was led out of the tent roughly. The commander thought about the turn of events and finally decided to take action.
He walked out of the tent and began yelling for the men to group together, he was going to give orders. A few minutes later, the unit was grouped.
It was night now. The sun set an hour ago. Several of the soldiers had brought torches, though.
The commander stood at attention in front of his army and began to give his instructions for war.
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