Chrono Trigger Dimensions Chapter 28

By Jerm

Lucca slowly peered into the kitchen. It looked like her kitchen had always looked, which was a surprise. Everything was in its place, no destruction anywhere.

"What's there?" Cid asked, trying to get a look past her.

"I don't see anything," Lucca replied quietly, "I don't like this."

"Then why don't you go in and investigate?"

Lucca and Cid both whirled at the sudden voice. "What?!" Cid exclaimed, startled.

Crono stood behind the two, "Let's go in and have a look."

"What are you doing here?" Lucca asked.

Crono patted his sword, which was belted, "Can't let you go in here alone."

"But I'm--" Cid began.

"Do you have a sword?" Crono cut him off.

"Well, no--" Cid said slowly.

"Then I'll tag along and make sure Nikades doesn't have any surprises."

"Okay, Crono, Lucca said, running her hand through her hair in thought, "Well, let's go in."

She turned and carefully walked inside.

"Second test," said a familiar voice.

The door slammed shut behind Lucca, separating her from Crono and Cid. She turned to it quickly and began beating on it, "Cid?! Crono?! Help!"

The door wouldn't budge.

"Hey, Lucca," asked the voice of Nikades, "Are you ready for that surprise yet?"

* * * * *

Cid hit the door again, to no avail. "It's locked!" he yelled at Crono, who watched him impassively.

Cid continued to beat at the door for a moment, then turned toward Crono, "Well? Help me!"

In response, Crono smirked at him and drew his sword. Cid didn't like the implications that motion had in it. And then by intuition, Cid ducked.

The sword arched through the air and embedded itself into the door scant inches above Cid's head. Cid didn't know what was going on, but he wasn't one to sit around waiting for an answer.

He reared back with his fist and punched Crono square in the jaw. Crono stumbled back, seeming to shimmer and fade as he fell. The sword was left impaled into the door. Cid raised his arms, preparing for a fight.

Crono regained his sense of balance and faced Cid, smiling again. His eyes were a pitch black now.

"What are you?" Cid asked, pressing himself against the door.

"Annoyed at that cheap rabbit-punch, is what I am," it replied, then charged Cid with both arms raised over its head.

The two hands seemed to grow claws, which replaced the fingers as they arched toward Cid. Crono brought the weapons down toward Cid's throat. Cid ducked and rolled out of the way as the hands hit the door, making a scraping noise.

The monster turned quickly toward Cid, who had circled around to its back. Its skin was slowly changing to a pale dark brown. Its teeth were gaining an edge to themselves and saliva seemed to fleck on its lips. It looked at Cid with its black eyes and raised its clawed hands in a ready stance for fighting.

Cid didn't have much room in such a small place. He would have to find an opening quickly.

Then it howled a battle cry. Cid turned to the stairs, but they weren't there. He heard the beast shuffle toward him and knew he had made a mistake.

* * * * *

"Where are we?" Marle asked, looking around at their new surroundings.

The pure blackness that had surrounded them was now gone. They were standing on nothing, suspended over a strange pulsating light below them. The blue light illuminated the area around them. It stretched out for an infinite distance as if they were standing in limbo.

"Like my sparring room?" Nikades asked.

The group turned toward the voice. A figure wearing black robes appeared in front of them. Nikades had finally shown himself. He laughed as they readied their weapons.

"Do you think you can fight me? I have escaped the worst punishment possible, just to return here. Do you think that I can be stopped at all now?"

"Sure do," Marshall said, stepping forward toward Nikades, "let's get this over with quickly, okay?"

Nikades laughed at the large man. This was the one who had given Nikades an entertaining fight before. "Then I shall fight you first."

Marshall held out his sword menacingly with one hand and used his other hand to throw back his cloak, revealing his crossbow. His face grew a look of determination on it. He yelled over his shoulder to the others, "This is me and him. Don't involve yourselves yet."

"But--" Crono began.

"You can play with him when I'm done, Crono." Marshall said, laughing.

"You can't take him one-on-one, you idiot!" Crono said, grabbing Marshall by the arm.

"I fought him earlier and that fight never ended. Now I want to see who would have won. I always complete a mission. . .And this is a mission to me, so let me have at him, will ya?!" Marshall tossed off Crono's arm and turned to face Nikades.

He had the look of a fearless man. Something that would have Nikades guessing as to what he had up his sleeves.

But deep inside, he was worried that this fight would be his last.

* * * * *

"What surprise?" Lucca asked, looking around for an attack.

Then she saw what Nikades wanted to show her.

Lucca screamed at the sight of her parent's dead bodies lying against the counter. Nikades' surprise indeed. They rested eternally, heads together and slumped to the ground. They were clearly dead, no breathing and no color.

Lucca stood transfixed, staring at her parents. Nikades laughed at her fear. She mumbled, unable to make herself move. Then she fainted.

* * * * *

Cid was hit from behind by the demon. He stumbled with the monster on his back, slamming his face against the wall. He grunted with pain. Its arms were around his neck. He turned and took a few faltered steps before he fell to the ground. The monster started strangling him.

He looked up, his sight dimming, and saw the sword stuck in the door. He slowly reached up for it. The world went black around him, but he felt the steel. He gripped it, cutting his hand on the sharp edge, but he didn't worry over it.

He pulled on the sword with his fading strength, and it came loose.

Then he blacked out.

A moment later, he was able to focus again. Barely conscious. He had dropped the sword and it lay inches from his face. He reached out and grabbed it. He was blacking out again.

Then he swung the sword with all of his remaining strength toward his back. The weapon arched around him and stabbed into a somewhat rough hide. The hold loosened, and then withdrew. Cid took in a deep breath and became dizzy from it.

He clambered to his feet, letting the dead body fall to the ground. He stumbled, still dizzy and grabbed ahold of the wall for support. As an afterthought, he bent over and took the sword from the back of the black monster below him. It looked nothing like Crono now.

"Looks like. . .I have a sword. . .now," he said to the dead body, breathing heavily.

"But will it do you any good?"

Cid drew the sword up just in time as the pseudomortem demon suddenly leapt up at him. The sword cleaved cleanly into its head, driving into its brain. The monster flinched and shook for a moment, then it lay still.

Cid shivered in revulsion, but prepared himself for what was to come.

He then turned and faced the door. The door was still locked. He couldn't get in. Then he heard Lucca scream.

Reason left him and he brought his leg back. He extended it fiercely, hitting the door. It cracked under the blow and swung open revealing the room. The doorknob flew off of the swinging door and struck the ground, sliding across the room and striking the wall at the far end. Cid ran in, preparing to save Lucca.

Across the room, he saw Lucca. She had her arms held behind her back by a. . .zombie was the only word he could think of to describe the cadaver in front of him. Another undead stood in front of her, moaning in victory.

Cid nearly fainted at the grisly scene in front of him, but he held his ground.

"Don't pass out boy," said Nikades' voice, "the best part is coming up. Haven't you ever wanted to see someone have their heart ripped out and eaten?"

"No!" Cid yelled and started forward.

But then he was held in place by a invisible force. He tried against the force, but couldn't even budge. He looked at the scene in front of him helplessly.

Lucca was unconscious, either fainted or knocked out, he didn't know. Her head was thrown back, leaning against the zombie behind her.

Cid closed his eyes against the vision as the undead in front of Lucca reached for her heart.

A minute passed.

Nothing happened.

Cid opened his eyes and saw nothing there. He was alone in the kitchen.

"If you're not going to watch, then why should I waste my powers on that illusion." Nikades voice said impatiently.

"Where's Lucca?!" Cid yelled.

Then suddenly, the refridgerator door opened. "Come and get her." the voice replied.

Cid was suddenly able to move again. He stumbled forward, falling to his knees, not prepared for the sudden release. He quickly stood and looked inside the refrigerator.

Inside was blackness.

Cid crawled in and the door shut behind him.

* * * * *

"You truly are underestimating me, little man," Nikades spoke mockingly toward Marshall.

"Who knows? Maybe I'm OVERestimating you, and you are nothing but a charlatan doing little tricks for the kiddies. Or maybe YOU'RE the one underestimating me." Marshall replied, using the tip of his sword to scratch his chin.

"Then let's find out," Nikades replied, just as cooly.

"And there's only one way to do that," Marshall finished.

The sorcerer bowed his head forward and folded his arms across his chest. The black cloak concealed him in the darkness. His laugh could be heard from the blackness that surrounded them.

Crono watched agitatedly, wanting to do something, yet feeling that he should obey Marshall. He beat his sword on the ground in frustration. It wasn't good for the sword but Crono didn't care at the moment. Marle saw this and put her arm around his shoulders comfortingly, "Don't worry, Crono. The Marshall is the best. Cold and efficient in a fight."

Crono ignored her slip, she had again revealed something that made her hate the Marshall. Instead, he merely put his arm around her likewise.

Glenn watched the fight intently. His Masamune was ever ready, though he had great respect for the bounty hunter, things did happen. He gave a small glance toward Magus, who was watching the fight begin as calmly as he always seemed.

Marshall raised his crossbow and fired off its shot into the darkness, right where Nikades had disappeared. However the bolt flew harmlessly into the infinite. Marshall cursed and quickly and efficiently reloaded his crossbow, the job complete in no less than 2 seconds.

He looked around for another target, the sorcerer was hidden well. This was no magical hiding, which Magus had used during that fight with Marshall. Marshall couldn't find this adversary.

Then a fireball came hurtling toward him from the right. Marshall easily ducked the missile, and shot off another quarrel in one quick motion. However, the bolt burst into bright blue light. Disintigrated.

"Don't tell me you're gonna use THAT old trick again," Marshall yelled into the darkness.

"Would you prefer to see a new trick?" came the snide reply.

"Yeah," Marshall replied, as he reloaded the crossbow, "Why don't you play dead."

* * * * *

Cid crawled out of the tiny cubbyhole he had been wading through and rolled onto the ground. The area around him was pitch black, no eyesight whatsoever. But he could tell one thing, he wasn't in Lucca's house anymore.

He stood up slowly, looking around him, no matter how ineffective the search was. He only saw black.

He could feel the sword at his hip, at least that was still there. He quickly drew it and yelled, "Now what?!"

"Two steps in front of you," came the bodiless voice, "then hop-skip five times to your right--"

"You can't be serious?!" Cid waved his sword in anger at the sorcerer's jokes.

"Sure I can. . .but I'm having much too much fun playing around with insects like you to bother being serious."

Cid yelled incoherently, his anger overtaking him and he dashed forward blindly. He waved his sword in front of him like a berserker, hoping he would hit the hidden Nikades.

Then suddenly, the area was burst into bright light. Cid was charging and swinging his sword right toward Lucca, whose back was turned to him.

"No!" he yelled and changed his swing at the last second; the sword cut into the wooden floor.

He was in a small room. There were no windows or doors, no entrances or exits. There was light, but Cid couldn't see anything that would produce it. The floor, walls, and ceiling were all wood, as if he was in a large crate.

"Lucca?" he asked tentatively, as he wrenched his sword out of the floor, mere inches from her foot.

The image disappeared and the light was gone. Cid found himself again standing in a black emptiness.

"Sorry, but I couldn't have you running like that. I wasn't finished talking to you." Nikades' voice came to his head.

"Let Lucca go and let us leave, you monster!" Cid yelled to the area above him.

"Not yet. You aren't. . .insane. . .yet," Nikades laughed, then continued, "there are still many more nightmares for you to experience."

"Then bring them on."

"You would risk your sanity just for some girl?" Nikades scoffed.

"My sanity and more. Just to save Lucca." Cid made a fist with his free hand and held it up in contempt for the invisible taunter, "And to send you back to hell!"

* * * * *

Pret stood looking at the distant moon. It had so recently turned to a blood red. That was the signal he had been waiting for.

Thatos/Pret turned from the balcony he was standing on and reentered his room. There another shadow awaited, it was nearly invisible in the black, only the red light made it visible.

"Go forth. You know what you must do," Thatos said to the emptiness before him.

The shadow merely nodded and then fled the room and raced toward Lucca's house.

Thatos smiled. The plan was nearly complete. No less than two or three weeks to complete this.

He continued to smile as he returned to his basking in the darkness.

* * * * *

Nikades appeared in front of Marshall. The two faced each other with deep hatred, yet a small respect. Each respected the other's ability to fight.

Nikades laughed evilly, "Then I shall play dead."

He spread his arms and his hands were held out, open and level with his head with the palms up. Nikades began chanting.

Black fire sprouted from his hands, yet the flesh did not burn. The chanting continued and the fire intensified.

Marshall drew back his sword, "Play time's over," he said.

He was only standing three feet from the sorcerer. It would be so easy. He thrust his sword forward.

* * * * *

Cid was suddenly pinned by an unknown force. His body went numb and he fell to the ground. The sword clattered to the ground, right in front of his face. He could see it, yet not touch it.

"Such threats. . .yet here you lay, unable to do anything at all," Nikades sighed sarcastically.

Nikades laughed for a moment, then continued, "You know that girl, Lucca, is the reason you are like this. She created the machine that brought me back."

"So?" Cid managed, amazed that he could speak without moving.

"You will all die. Some will die tortuous deaths, like you. It is all her fault."

Cid suddenly found himself standing in the room again. Lucca was there with her back to him again. The cold steel of the sword could be felt in his hands.

Nikades continued, "You probably feel contempt for her right now. . .she has done this to you."

"I did this to myself," Cid replied, yet his head was swimming.

"She brings you along, even though she know the danger she thrusts you into." Nikades continued.

"I choose to continue." Cid said, clutching his aching head.

"But why wouldn't she warn you?"

"She didn't. . .di. . .didn't know," Cid tried to fight the wooziness; something was trying to mess with his thoughts.

"Did she?"

"Did she what?" Cid was confused.

"Did she warn you?"

"About what? Warn me about what? And who is 'she'?" Cid could think clearly now. There was no more headache.

"Did you forget already? Lucca didn't warn you about the danger, remember?" Nikades was speaking as if to a child.

". . .Oh. . .yeah, I remember. That traitor. Where is she?" Cid was angry that someone would betray his trust; use him.

"Right in front of you. Do you wish to kill the traitor?" Nikades asked pleasantly.

"No." Cid replied.

"Why not?"

"She's my friend."

"She tried to have you injured, Cid. That's not friendship."

"Oh yeah. . ." Cid remembered now.

"Then kill the traitor," Nikades said.

Cid looked at the sword in his hand. 'How convinient', he thought. Then he noticed something. The sword was pulsing a bright red. Almost as if it was alive.

As he focused on the blade, Cid found it hard to concentrate again. The headache returned.

Then Lucca turned around and saw him, "Oh there you are Cid! We have to get out of here!" she said, panicky.

"Kill the traitor," Nikades pressed.

Cid raised his sword, preparing to stab Lucca.

"Cid?" she asked, fearfully.

Cid tried to focus, the headache grew worse.

The sword glowed brighter as Nikades spoke, "Kill her."

"Cid?" Lucca asked backing up.

The sword. . .

He stepped toward her, matching her retreating paces.

"Kill her. She betrayed you." Nikades said, victoriously.

The headache pounded in his head like a drum.

What was the sword doing to him. . . .

"What is it Cid?" Lucca was now definitely scared. . .of him.

He felt a rush at the power he had at him and his sword armed tensed for the stab.

"No, Cid! Don't--"

"Kill her." Nikades continued, calmly.

It was the sword. . .

Cid put all of his strength into his sword arm and swung it. As he swung it, he released it and it spun through the air in a graceful arc. It broke through the wood in the far wall and continued. The wall broke away, shattering like glass. The pieces fell away into oblivion to reveal the kitchen.

"Cid?" asked Lucca again.

Cid fell to the ground, his power spent. The sword that he had taken from the demon-Crono. He should never. . .but it was over now.

He raised his head from the floor to find himself alone. Lucca was gone, and he was now lying in the kitchen.

"Amazing. . ." Nikades mused, "You are much stronger than I thought. . .than I hoped."

"Shut up and release Lucca!" Cid yelled jumping to his feet.

"But you aren't insane yet."

"I was insane to listen to your stupid sword," Cid replied, "I will be insane unless I kill you!"

* * * * *

Marshall thrust his sword forward. It sped toward Nikades's heart. The flames around Nikades hands raced to his arms.

* * * * *

Nikades appeared in front of Cid. "Then kill me right now."

"I will. With my bare hands if possible," Cid replied coldly, slowly stalking toward the sorcerer.

* * * * *

The flames engulfed Nikades' torso and legs. The head remained, the eyes closed and the mouth slightly moving in the incantation. His pasty white head shook from the sheer concentration.

Marshall pushed his sword forward and it reached Nikades.

The black flames completely engulfed Nikades. It seemed as if a shadow had surrounded him. Nikades was fading from view, leaving the shadow.

The sword slid into the sorcerer, piercing its heart.

Then everything was engulfed in bright white light.

* * * * *

"Too late," Nikades said to Cid, "my plans will prevail."

Cid grabbed for the sorcerer's neck just as a blinding white light engulfed the kitchen. Cid grasped onto nothing, falling onto the floor and losing consciousness.

* * * * *

Outside, the fiery red disappeared from the moon.

Thatos smiled to himself. It had begun.

The moon was slowly fading from view as the sun peered over the eastern mountains. It was dawn.

The invasion had begun.

Below him, the small army marched out of the gates and across the bridge. They would head west to crush the rebels.

Thatos retreated back to his room, his black eyes glowing malevolently.

* * * * *

Cid awoke to find himself looking up at Lucca.

They were both in the kitchen, it had returned to normal. She was sitting crosslegged on the floor with his head in her lap. She seemed to be crying.

"Lucca?" he asked groggily.

She looked down at him in startlement, then said, "Oh thank goodness! I thought you were dead!"

She had clearly been crying. He reached up and grasped her hand. It was real, this was no illusion. Nikades was gone.

"I didn't think I was going to make it either," Cid replied, patting the arm he held.

"I saw everthing he did to you. . .he made me watch it all!" Lucca said, sobbing.

Then suddenly, the kitchen door swung open. The two looked fearfully toward the opening door.

Glenn, Magus, Marshall, Crono, and Marle walked in and the two sighed with relief.

The group was reunited.

Plans would have to be made.


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