Chrono Trigger Dimensions Chapter 29
"So. . .is it over?" Marle asked uncertainly.
The group had now stationed themselves in the house's main room. It had returned to normal after Nikades' defeat, all of the electronics and mechanical equipment had returned. As well as the furniture.
However, with Nikades gone, the horror show had also ceased. That was a relief to Cid.
"Damn straight it is," Marshall replied, "I shoved that sword so far in him--"
"No it isn't," Lucca said suddenly, cutting off Marshall's sentence.
"What?" Crono asked, startled, "What's left?"
"While Nikades held me. . .'captive' back there, he showed me what his 'master plan' had done to my world."
"And?" Crono pressed.
Lucca sighed, then spoke, "Nikades used the demons to act as Mystics. They attacked Truce and destroyed a lot of it before the army was able to reach and defeat them.
"The king ordered an attack on the Mystics and the Mystics' capitol was destroyed. They hid in the forest and a showdown between them and the king's army occurred. Both sides took major losses. Finally the humans retreated."
Lucca stopped and faced Marle, a look of sadness now on her face, "Your father was killed in that fight Nadia."
Nadia stared in Lucca in disbelief, her face contorting and twisting, yet she didn't allow herself to lose herself, not yet. Marle balled her hands into fists and closed her eyes.
"I'm sorry, Marle," Lucca said, she didn't dare say the Nikades had laughed when he had spoken of the king's death.
Crono hugged the struggling Marle and looked at Lucca to continue. The others remained silent, not knowing what to say.
"The nobles of Truce and Choral were also killed. Due to your. . .disappearance. . .Pret was given the throne.
Marle suddenly jumped out of her sadness, "I'm going to kill that--"
"Calm down, Marle. . ." Crono said soothingly.
Marle was seething, losing control of herself. Crono took ahold of her arm and gently pulled her back to her seat. She complied, but didn't lose her look of anger.
Lucca coughed, then finished what she had to say, "There is a small resistance that formed in Truce. They are against Pret and for the reviving of the Guardia line on the throne. They want YOU, Marle, to take the throne back."
"But they don't even know if I'm alive." Marle protested.
"They hope," Glenn said, cutting in, "And it looks like we can bring that hope to them."
"What?" Crono asked, a question that everyone else was themselves about to ask.
Marshall turned to Marle, "It looks like I won't be able to complete this mission due to unforseen. . .complications. So instead, let's say that we go find that resistance and help them get your kingdom back."
Marle nodded, "And I'm going to kill Pret with my bare hands.
"So, where is the resistance?" Crono casually asked Lucca.
Lucca shrugged, "I don't know, he wouldn't tell me."
"Great," Crono said.
"But I'm sure we can find someone in town who can tell us." Lucca pressed.
"Yeah, that would be smart. Let's go up to a common townsman and ask him where the people who plan to overthrow his king are hiding." Crono said, in a sarcastic voice.
"It wouldn't be that hard," Lucca continued, "we live here Crono. There are people we can trust not to give us to the guards."
"But what makes you think they even know?" Crono asked, standing up from his seat.
"We aren't just asking one person. There's bound to be someone in there that knows, and we'll find him." Lucca finished.
Then suddenly, Magus entered the house. No one had noticed him even leave and they all jumped when the door flew open to reveal him.
"What the--?" Marshall started, "Where've you been?"
Magus didn't answer. Instead he calmly closed the door behind him and dusted off his cape.
"I didn't even notice you were gone," Crono said in awe, "How'd you do that?"
Magus ignored him, "There's no point in searching for people who know about the resistance."
"Why's that?" Lucca asked.
"Everyone in town knows about it now." Magus said calmly.
"'Now?' What's going on, Magus?!" Crono said, impatient to relieve Magus of the news.
"The king's royal army marched west about two hours ago to fight the resistance. They are holed up at the old cathedral ruins."
"Two hours!? Then we'd better hurry if we want to help!" Crono said, running to the door.
Cid grabbed Crono's arm and held him from the door, "Wait, Crono, don't just go rushing into this." he turned to Magus, "Do you know how many soldiers are attacking the resistance?"
"No one told me, they didn't know. But I took a look for myself. There are close to five hundred."
"That's a lot, considering that they took a lot of casualties during the fight with the mystics." Marle mused, trying not to think of certain 'casualties'.
"The resistance?" Crono pressed.
"They are speculated to hold around two hundred." Magus finished.
"Outnumbered 5-2. I don't like the odds. . .but this is for my father, isn't it?" Marle said.
"For your father and his line," Crono said.
"Looks like we won't get any rest. I didn't even get to finish my rest at Dorino," Cid said, releasing Crono, "I guess we had better hurry and stop the army."
"I'm staying here," Lucca said suddenly.
"You're what?!" Marle and Crono asked together, astounded.
"I have to stay here and try to find out what I did to the gatekeeper. . .and make sure that no one tampers with it."
Crono gave up grudgingly, "Fine, you can do that," then he opened the door that led outside, "But if the rest of us doesn't hurry, we're gonna miss a fight."
He went outside, followed by Marle, Glenn, Magus, and Marshall.
Cid turned to Lucca, "Do you need help?"
She smiled to him, shaking her head, "No, you had better go with the rest of them. I can manage."
He looked hesitant for a moment, then decided to listen to her, "Bye Lucca."
"Bye, Cid. See you when you get back."
Then Cid turned and left, shutting the door behind him.
Lucca was alone again, the images began to flash through her head yet again. She didn't bother to close her eyes or shut her ears, that never worked.
She raised her head and looked up at the ceiling. Then she closed her eyes, not to shut out the visions, but to amplify them.
They washed over her and she was lost in their depths yet again.
* * * * *
"Hurry up, Cid!" Crono yelled over his shoulder as he made his way across the bridge.
Cid broke from his view of the bridge and ran to catch up with the others. It was a large bridge, much larger than any bridges in his time.
He caught up with the others, breathing heavily, "Sorry. I just got caught up with the view."
"No problem, but we have to hurry. That army will be there long before us and we can't waste any time. Not one second," Crono quickened his pace, proving his point.
"Lucca should have come," Marle said, as she continued alongside Crono.
"She had other things to do," Glenn replied, "True, it won't be the same without her though."
"I know, but I feel like she would be necessary."
"She has been helpful," Marshall pointed out.
"She makes her own decision," Crono said, "she decided to stay and we can't do anything about that. Her choice."
"--Is our problem," Marle said, finishing Crono's statement.
"Even so," Crono shrugged.
They reached the end of the bridge and began the long trek west. No one spoke the rest of the way.
* * * * *
The commander of the Queen's Men turned quickly as a soldier yelled out his name.
"Yes?" he yelled over the noise.
The battle was now dying down. The Queen's Men were well fortified, knew the terrain, and were prepared. However, the king's army were well armed, highly trained, and outnumbered the rebellion's forces almost 3 to 1.
However, the Queen's Men were slowly losing against an impossible tide.
They had held out the first assault, though. The royal army was slowly drawing back, to plan the next assault.
"Sir! There are a group of people we found who say they need to speak to you! One claims to be Princess Nadia!"
"Nadia? Bring them to my tent, quickly!" the commander turned and ran into the said tent, energy brought to him by the knowledge that his cause was no longer futile.
"Right here, sir."
"Did you check them for weapons?" he asked.
"Well, yes sir. They were all armed. And the large one. . .uhh. . .he was armed to the teeth. . .sir."
The commander turned around to face the tent entrance, and to face the newcomers. And to face Princess Nadia.
Crono and Marle gasped when they saw the face of the commander of the rebellion.
"Melchior!?" Marle asked in disbelief.
Melchior looked briefly at the group, then turned to the soldier, "It's okay. You may go now."
The soldier bowed stiffly and left. When they were alone, Melchior spoke.
"So you have returned, Princess. . .Queen."
Nadia didn't answer, "So my father is really dead?"
Melchior nodded, "Yes, he was killed by an arrow from the Mystics. Due to the sudden deaths of Maray and Godfrey and your disappearance, Pret took command and the throne."
"I know," Marle said, nodding slowly.
"Have a seat, all of you," Melchior said, indicating the chairs sitting around the 'room'.
The group did so, glad to finally rest after the long walk. Only Magus remained standing, facing the former guru, former weapons seller, now renegade, "Why are you, Melchior, leading a group of men in a coup of Guardia?"
"Because Guardia no longer exists. A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my home," Melchior broke into his storyteller tone, "I suddenly felt a presence. A demon suddenly stole into my house and attacked me. I killed it, but was surprised as to what it meant.
"There are only two people that ever, EVER used magic to breach dimensions and summon monsters. Dalton is dead, the other had been banished--"
"Nikades." Crono said matter-of-factly.
Melchior scowled at the boy for a moment, not wanting to be interrupted. Then the implications of what Crono had said sunk in. He nodded, "Yes, Nikades. So you have met him."
"We didn't just meet him, we--" Marshall began.
"Shhh," Marle hushed him, "Could you continue, Melchior?"
Melchior nodded, "I hurried to Guardia, during my trip I heard of a war between humans and Mystics brewing. I knew something was wrong. I reached it too late, the war had begun. When the army returned, they were defeated and without leaders. Only Pret survived.
"Pret took the kingship due to the disappearance of Nadia.
"During his coronation, I saw Nikades."
They are colaborating?" Marshall asked, surprised.
"It seems that they made a pact. Pret gets the throne, of course, but I don't know what Nikades would want from Pret.
"It was about then that the demons started melding into the populace. Not the nightmares that we had previously seen, but humanlike demons. And much too many. It usually took a lot out of a man to summon ONE demon. But these are hundreds.
"I was once a guru, I knew demons better than others. No one could tell these imposters from other humans. I warned others of this, but few believed me. However, there were those that believed that Pret had killed Nadia to take the throne. They joined me. Later more joined. Now we are an army."
"So Nikades had indeed made use of the gatekeeper." Crono said slowly, knowing well what that meant.
"Gatekeeper?" Melchior asked.
"Lucca managed to build a device that bridged time. Unfortunately, it also bridged universes. It freed Nikades and allowed him to escape the world he was trapped in." Crono replied, wondering what kind of reaction he would get from the guru.
Melchior looked startled for a moment, then said, "That can't be helped now. I'm sure she didn't have any intentions of this happening when she built it and that would explain how he is able to summon demons in large amounts. Where is Lucca right now? She isn't dead is she?"
"She stayed behind so she could neutralize the gatekeeper." Marle said.
"What about Nikades? He wouldn't just let her do that would he?"
"He's dead," Marshall said again.
"Dead?" Melchior was shocked by the statement.
"Stabbed him dead myself," Marshall said.
Melchior shook his head, "So all we have to do now is exterminate the demons and remove Pret, then."
Magus suddenly spoke, "Melchior, what exactly was Nikades' plan back in the time of Zeal?"
Melchior faced the wizard, studying his face, "I do not completely know."
"Tell us anyway," Glenn said politely.
"Very well. . .Nikades had been tampering with dimensions, an experiment that Zeal had tried to have stopped. Nikades was the head guru of the time and was extremely powerful. I think he let the power go to his head, because he ignored her and continued.
"We, the other gurus were sent to stop him. . ."
* * * * *
"Nikades! You are defying the queen's wishes! Stop!" Gasper yelled to the guru, who was oblivious to his pupils behind him.
Then he spoke, "Don't stop me. What I am doing here will change the world."
There were fifteen gurus facing Nikades. They stood in the dark room that the Mammon Machine would fill several years later. Before Nikades, who held his back to the group, was a bright light; an opening gate.
Another guru, Karris, stood forward, "We have orders to kill you if you do not cease this foolishness at once!"
The room was suddenly silent. Nikades gave no response, but continued to face the widening gate. The other gurus prepared themselves against a possible battle.
Then Nikades began to laugh. It was an evil and insane laugh; a dark laugh, and it filled the room, synchronizing with the guru's heaving shoulders. Then he faced the lesser gurus.
He had brown eyes, matching his dark brown hair. His skin still held its pallor, unlike the pale skin he would have years later. He looked at the other gurus, challenging each and every one.
"Then stop me."
Melchior watched as Karris raised his hand, preparing to use magic. But before he could do anything else, he fell to the ground dead.
He had dropped dead.
Nikades laughed again, "You have striven to remain in this world. A world of limits and science. Now face the infite world of the unnatural and all powerful."
The door slid open and the force of gurus poured into the room as Nikades continued laughing.
Nikades raised his hand and fire sped forth from his fingers. Seven gurus went down, burnt to ashes.
Gurus managed to use their magics, but the fires and lightning and other spells were having no effect. A barrier glowed dimly around the gloating guru as electricity laced it continually. Nikades turned his back to them even as more fire erupted from him to kill more gurus.
The gate was nearly complete.
It glowed bright red, it wasn't a gate of time.
Melchior pulled out a small red dagger from his sleeve. It was his sole possession, an item of pure magic.
Sometimes he could almost hear voices from the blade, but he could never understand them. He hoped that whatever the voices came from could understand the urgency he was in.
A bright flash erupted and suddenly twenty gurus simply disappeared, disintegrated.
Melchior panicked when he realized that only four remained.
He aimed and threw the dagger at Nikades back.
The blade spun in the air, the light from the gate dancing around it. Then it struck the barrier, breaking through it effortlessly and embedding itself into Nikades' back. The sorcerer staggered, surprised and turned around.
"What have you--?" he raised his hand to destroy Melchior.
But no spell burst forth. The dagger had barred his energies. Its magic inhabitants had indeed heard his request. Nikades no longer had magic at his dispersal. He was as powerful as an earthbounder. Then Ucledes broke into a run and rammed into Nikades. Behind the sorcerer, the gate hummed with power. It had completed itself.
The two gurus were thrown into the gate, Nikades screaming for revenge as he was dragged into his place of exile. The dagger clattered loudly on the stone floor, landing in front of the gate.
With the gate's completion, the palace began to shake. It was consuming all energy from the land to hold itself open. All the power of Zeal suddenly left. It flowed out of the land, out of the people and animals, and into the gate.
Nikades scream continued for a second, then finally died.
The gate shut.
But Zeal and the whole earth stood empty of magic.
Lavos began its dark plot.
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