Chrono Trigger Dimensions Chapter 33
"Lucca!?" Crono yelled.
He stood in the front yard, beside the gatekeeper. It was dusk now, the sun hiding behind the ocean's horizon slightly, but not enough to cause darkness.
"Lucca!?" Cid yelled also, walking toward the door to her house. There was no response. The house remained eerily quiet.
"Sounds like trouble to me," Crono said and he followed Cid to the door.
Melchior and Magus were inspecting the gatekeeper as Marshall, Marle, Crono, Glenn, and Cid entered the house. It was dark inside, the lights were out and sunlight was minimal.
"Lucca?" Cid asked again.
"I hope Ni--" Marle began.
"I'm here, I'm here. Just wait!" Lucca yelled from her room.
"I don't like this," Crono said, "no lights and someone posing to be Lucca upstairs. Sounds all too familiar."
"Yeah," Marle began, shuddering slightly, "Do you think Nikades is using an old trick?"
"What are--" Cid began.
Then the upstairs door opened and Lucca emerged wearing a bathrobe. Her hair was wet and she looked annoyed. Her glasses's lens were foggy, but she managed to walk down the stairs without problems.
"What took so long?" Crono asked.
"Oh, hi to you too, Crono," she said sarcastically in response to Crono's less than cordial greeting, "I was taking a bath, if you want to know."
Crono nodded, "Hi, Lucca. Sorry about that, but we thought that Nikades had gotten control of this place again."
"Nikades?" Lucca asked, trying to comb her erratic hair with her hands.
"Yep, he's alive," Marshall answered.
"He faked his death," Marle finished.
"My fault, too," Marshall said, "Well, sort of. My last words to him were 'to play dead' as most of us know. . .even fewer of us remember. . . . . . . .But that's not the point. He's back and I'd say he's annoyed a little at all of us."
"He wishes to collect the dreamstone and sunstone," Glenn said, "I am hoping you are still in control of the sunstone."
"Oh yeah, it's in my room," Lucca said, "What did you do?"
Crono told her about what had gone on while she was away. From the trek to the rebel's camp, to the destruction of Guardia castle.
"That's funny, I didn't hear anything," Lucca said, after hearing of the destruction of the castle, "It should have been audible all over Truce, Medina, and Porre."
"Maybe you were asleep?" Cid asked.
"Not in the middle of the day," she answered.
"Maybe you were taking a bath," Crono said sarcastically, "Apparently that affects your hearing very much."
"Stow it Crono," Lucca replied, slightly miffed, "it happened and I didn't hear it. Who cares, right? If Nikades wants the dreamstone and the sunstone, he'll stop by here first. Then he'll go after Ayla."
"You're right, you'd better get it," Marle said.
Melchior walked in, followed by Magus. "Excellent machine, Lucca. It would have made Belthasar proud," the weaponsmith said as the door was shut behind him.
"Hi, Melchior!" Lucca said suddenly, "They were just telling me about your part in this."
"Oh, they did? Well, if it lowers your view toward me in any way, they were probably lying," Melchior replied with a smile, "Anyway, congratulations on having your mach--gatekeeper work."
"Thanks, but I don't think we need to leave it standing much longer," Lucca said, "Just as soon as we clear the demons and remove Nikades, I'm dismantling it."
"But why?" Cid said suddenly.
"It's too dangerous, Cid. I can't even trust myself with something that powerful." Lucca said sadly.
"Couldn't you just alter it, remove its ability to bridge the 5th dimension?" Cid continued.
"N--Welll. . .I guess I could try. Maybe I won't dismantle it." Lucca said, having a change of heart, "I'll go get the sunstone."
Lucca turned from the conversation and went to the stairs, heading up to her room. There was a thump as the door was shut behind her.
As soon as Lucca was gone, the group looked around at the house. She had fixed it completely. Everything was back in its normal place, and damage was repaired. Not bad in two week's time.
"So is that really Lucca?" Marshall asked suspiciously.
"Of course it is," Crono replied, annoyed that Marshall would suspect his oldest friend, ". . .Isn't it Melchior?"
"Yes. She is definitely no demon." Melchior replied.
Melchior walked around the room, inspecting the other inventions of the girl and her father. Every now and then he would whisper 'Amazing' to himself.
"I'm hungry," Marshall said suddenly, no apparent reason, the subject had just jumped into his head.
"I'm tired," Crono said in response.
"Don't mock me, boy. I haven't eaten since that night we camped. That night just before we reached the castle." Marshall said.
"If I remember, that was the last time we had any rest too," Cid said, "It's been a day and a half since a meal or bed."
Suddenly, the sound of a door could be heard upstairs. Then footsteps as Lucca ran down the stairs. When she reached the bottom, the group looked toward her expectantly. Instead of turning to them, she continued, mounting the other stairway and running to her parent's room. There was the sound of a door opening. Then moments later, they could hear things being thrown around and drawers opening.
"Where is it?" the heard Lucca ask herself above.
"Don't tell me she lost it," Crono said.
"Maybe Nikades already has it," Marle said, fearing what that meant, "That would mean Ayla--"
Lucca started cursing loudly from the bedroom, cutting off Marle. The group looked up toward the room, as the cursing continued.
Marshall glanced up at the ceiling where the cursing was coming from for a moment, then turned back to Crono and Marle, one eyebrow raised, "My, my," he said.
Then it stopped. Lucca meekly returned to them, her bare feet pattering on the steps.
"Well?" Crono asked.
"Nikades has it, I think," Lucca said, looking down.
"How dandy!" Marshall bellowed, "I'm tired and hungry; but now we have to hurry to whereever this Ayla person is and save him! I'll never be able to eat."
"For one thing," Marle said, "Ayla is a she. For another, 'wherever' is about fifty million years in the past. For a third, yes we do have to save her."
"We're leaving in the morning," Melchior said.
"What?" Marle asked, turning to the guru.
"For one thing," Melchior said, turning her own words against her, "Magus needs to rest. For another, WE need to rest, for a third we don't know where the gatekeeper will land us and it's dark. We shouldn't wander around lost in the dark, when the enemy could come right down on us unsuspectedly."
Marle huffed, but conceded.
"The kitchen is right in there," Lucca said pointing toward the door between the stairs, "Eat all you want," she then whispered to herself, "I know I'll regret saying that."
The group, save Lucca and Cid, ran into the kitchen to cook a meal for themselves. Cid turned to Lucca, "Are you coming with us this time?"
"Yeah," she said, heading for the stairs to her room.
Cid followed, "Why'd you stay last time, anyway?"
"I had to work on the gatekeeper," Lucca said evasively.
Cid nodded, but said, "What did you do to it?"
Lucca reached her door and opened it stepping inside. She waved Cid in and he followed.
"I just made sure it was still working. I really didn't do anything. With all of that extra time left over, I decided to tidy up the house."
Cid nodded,he looked at her room, it was indeed 'tidy'.
"Cid?" Lucca asked.
He turned his head to her, "Yes?"
"Thanks for saving me from Nikades." she said quietly and sincerely.
"It was no problem," Cid said modestly.
"Yes it was. Nikades made me watch everthing he did to you. You risked your sanity to help me. I really mean it. Thanks."
"You're welcome," was all Cid could think to say.
Lucca smiled at him. Then suddenly, acting on impulse, she leaned forward and kissed his cheek. She drew back, "Go eat something, Cid. I know you're just as hungry as the rest. I have to finish my bath."
Cid stood there for a moment, stunned.
Lucca smiled again, "I'll be down afterward to eat with all of you."
Cid said 'bye' to her and left. He shut the door behind him. He went downstairs toward the kitchen, hoping he wasn't still blushing when he went in with the others.
* * * * *
After they finished eating it was time to get to bed. Since there were only two beds in the houes, lots would have to be drawn to see who would get them. The others would be given blankets to sleep in the floor.
Lucca had won the first drawing, and after saying good night to the others, she retired to her room. Marshall had won the second one, but after inspecting the bed, he complained that it was too small for him. The lot was redrawn and Crono was the winner.
He offered it to Magus, who of course was still weak from lack of magic, and naturally Magus rejected the offer less than gracefully. Crono shrugged, said good night, and headed off to bed. The other found spots on the floor and tried to get as much sleep as they could.
* * * * *
Lucca fell asleep moments after getting into bed. And in her sleep the nightmares returned.
The images flashed through her head, repeating over and over in quick succession. Cid was shot by Marle. Guardia was burned, its occupants screaming in the blaze. Her parents dead. Nikades with the powers of a god. And many more passed through her head, but she couldn't comprehend them.
"These things," said a voice much like hers.
Lucca was standing in darkness. She looked around and a figure stepped out of the darkness toward her. It was a mirror image of Lucca.
"These things are prophecies of what has been caused by your tampering with time. Some have passed. Some have yet to pass. All WILL pass." continued the figure.
"I want to stop them!" Lucca yelled, surprised that her voice was there.
"They are set in stone, they cannot be changed. They are your doing, Lucca. You must live with the consequences of your actions."
"Who are you?" Lucca asked.
"That is something which you must not know."
"Then why are you showing me these prophecies? If I know what will happen, then surely I can change them!"
"You are allowed a vision of what is to come because it is your curse. It is your curse because you cannot change these. Only witness them happen."
"Bring me my parents back!" Lucca yelled angrily.
"Why?" the voice startled Lucca. It was Nikades.
The mirror of Lucca seemed to freeze. It stopped all movement and was as still as a statue. Then suddenly it shattered like a window being broken. The shards flew away and faded away into the blackness. Then a figure stepped into the 'light'.
An all powerful Nikades had appeared in the mirror's place.
"You are doing this Nikades! Leave me alone! I don't care what will happen, I want everything to return to normal!" Lucca yelled accusingly.
Nikades laughed, "Nothing will ever be normal again. You are too slow to stop me, and now I am within the point of grasping the power that is duly mine."
"I will stop you!"
Lucca was suddenly hefted into the air by her neck. An invisible force had ahold of her. She struggled vainly against the hold, but couldn't cause it to release. Then it dropped her.
Lucca fell and fell. She tried to scream in fear, but her voice had again deserted her. Then she landed with a hard impact.
"If you cannot beat me physically or even magically, how can you beat me?" the voice mocked.
Lucca opened her eyes to witness her room. She looked beside herself to see the bed rising over her. She had rolled out of it. She looked out the window to see that it was still dark, nighttime still remained. She sighed.
Then a face appeared at the window, sillouetted against the darkness beyond. It sneered at her. Lucca was petrified by that gaze, she couldn't move. The monster's eyes began to glow red slightly, tiny embers in the ash. Lucca was shaking with fright as the face looked in on her.
She turned her head away finally, as hard as wrenching out her arm. She covered herself with her blanket, wanting to be relieved of these nightmares.
Five minutes passed. She carefully peered out of her hiding spot to look at the window.
It was empty.
She was hallucinating from fear. Lucca groaned and crawled back into bed. She couldn't live much longer with this.
She concealed herself with her blanket and tried to return to sleep. Hoping the nightmares did not return.
* * * * *
Cid awoke the next morning, someone shaking him lightly. He groggily opened his eyes and looked up to see Glenn hovering over him.
He yelped in panic, surprised to awake with a giant frog leering down at him. He jumped up and away before realizing that this was a friend waking him, not a fiend.
"Are you okay?" Glenn asked.
"Yeah, sorry. You just caught me off guard," Cid apologized.
He looked around the room to see most of the others looking at him, trying to hide their smirks. Only Lucca and Magus were missing.
"Don't even start," Cid warned the others.
"Start what?" Crono asked innocently, trying not to laugh.
"You know what," Cid said. He reached up and used his hand to comb his hair, which was always wild when he woke up in the morning.
"Where's that damned sorcerer," Marshall bellowed, obviously not very tired anymore.
"He's outside, Marshall," Melchior replied, "I take it he preferred to sleep out there."
"Weirdo," Marshall mumbled to himself as he scratched his back.
"Is Lucca up yet?" Marle asked.
"Go check if you want an answer," Crono said, still smiling uncontrollably.
"You're doing that on purpose, aren't you?" Cid accused.
"Would I do that?" Crono asked.
"Yes. That and much more, now stop," Cid said, folding his blanket up.
Marle returned with a very tired looking Lucca a few moments later. Lucca stumbled on the stairs for a moment, but she managed the descent without hurting herself.
"You okay, Lucca?" Cid asked.
"Yeah, just--" she yawned, "--just tired is all."
"Okay, then are you hungry?" Crono asked, "because we're eating breakfast before we go to Ayla."
"Sure," she said without putting much effort into speaking.
"I hope Ayla is still there," Marle said, "I'd hate to reach there too late."
"I hope Ioku is still there," Crono said.
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