Chrono Trigger Dimensions Chapter 37
Lucca peered around her, half-conscious as to what was occurring. The red weaves of the world between worlds flashed by her as she was hurled toward her own universe.
This was all her fault.
The blackness flickered in the distance, then rushed to meet her; she was thrown into her world.
This wasn't the death of a kingdom or the death of a race. It was not the death of a planet or even a universe that was at stake. It was the complete erasure of all existance. A complete and utter erasure, leaving no existance at all for the world's past, present, or future.
And it was all her fault.
Light surrounded her and she found herself standing in her front yard, beside the gatekeeper. It was early morning, the sun hiding partially over the eastern seas. But Lucca didn't notice any of this.
She must make ammends for she had wronged all life.
"Does anyone else know why we aren't standing in a forest by a shrine?" Cid asked suddenly, breaking her out of her thoughts.
"Beats me," Marshall said, "I really don't think that forest is there anymore though. I'd be just as happy here, if not more."
The others shrugged.
"It was them," Glenn said cryptically.
"It was who?" Crono asked.
Glenn indicated his sword, "They ordered the gate to transport us here."
Crono nodded thoughtfully, "Ahhh. . .and why?"
Glenn shook his head, "I do not know."
"The gatekeeper," Magus said.
"Yeah, I guess that would be a reason," Marshall said, "We'll need a way back to limbo so we can watch the last moments of our life unwind."
There was something gruff in his voice, indicating that he was not joking. No one made a remark in response.
Lucca turned from the sun and walked toward her house.
"Where're you going, Lucca?" Marle asked.
Lucca said nothing. She opened the door to her house and entered, shutting the door behind her. A few seconds later, there was another door shutting. The door to her room.
"I hope she's all right," Crono said regretfully.
"Me too," Cid replied.
Marle shook her head, "She's been acting weird ever since she was poisoned a while back."
"Not weird, Marle, just distant. Not her usual talkative self we all know and love." Crono said.
"Do you think the poison did anything to her?" Cid asked fearfully.
Marshall grunted, "No. The poison's gone. Whatever's eating at her is something else."
"Can you be so sure the poison's gone?" Marle asked.
Marshall looked at Marle for a moment, the responded, "Listen girl, I know my work. That's not the kind of poison to cause brain damage. . .Especially if it never reached her brain in the first place--"
Marle started to sputter angrily, ". . .G-Girl?! Girl?!"
Marshall purposefully looked her in the eye, "Are you finally going to return to that 'hate the bounty hunter' thing, now?"
Marle shook for a moment in anger, unable to move. Then she abated, "Sorry. I guess you do know your work fairly well."
He nodded, "No problem," he said. Then he turned and walked toward the house.
"Let's say we get in here before we starve to death!" he said over his shoulder.
* * * * *
"Is there any hope of stopping him at all?" Marle asked from the chair she sat in.
They were all now gathered in the main room of Lucca's house. All except for Lucca. She had locked herself into her room and refused to talk. However, they could hear noises emitting from beyond the locked door.
"There has to be," Marshall replied around a sandwich he was eating, "A person just can't destroy the world without any challenges. If there wasn't any of those, someone else would have already done so."
"He's coming pretty close right now," Cid pointed out, hands gesturing as he spoke.
"Shut up, Cid. We didn't need to hear that," Marshall said, swallowing and taking another bite from his meal.
"Do you ever get full?" Crono asked the giant.
"Don't get sarcastic on me, I'm a big man with a big appetite. I haven't exactly been able to find any veritable banquets out here recently." Marshall said, obviously hurt.
"Three days," Marle whispered to herself.
"That's not a hell of a lot of time to plot out a way to kill an indestructible foe, is it?" Marshall responded.
"I doubt we could come up with something in a year. . .if we had that long," Crono said, he looked at Magus, "Magus, do you have anything to add?"
"There is no way. We will all cease to exist in three days. If I were you, I would be enjoying my last moments in existance." Magus replied.
Cid nodded slowly, then said sarcastically, "Ok, thanks. If you have anything else uplifting to say, just keep it to yourself."
Magus looked at Cid from his spot in the corner, then turned and headed toward the door.
"Where are you going?" Crono asked.
Magus left the room, shutting the door behind him.
"Everyone seems to be leaving without a word," Marshall mused.
"Gee, thanks Cid," Crono muttered.
"He would be of no help anyway. He had given in to dispair," Glenn pointed out.
"Maybe," Crono said, unpersuaded, "or maybe's he's just holding out on us."
"I guess it's just the six of us that'll have to figure out what to do. How about you, Melchior? Do you have any idea of how we can break down Nikades's defenses?" Marle asked.
"It would take a while of thinking, I've never really been presented with a problem of this caliber before," Melchior replied solemnly.
The group brainstormed.
* * * * *
Magus stood on the coast east of the house. The sun was higher now, the sunrise having disappeared hours ago. The day was a quarter complete.
Magus shook his head. Time was passing so quickly now that every second counted.
Magus thought about that word, grasping it. There was something about 'time' that was important.
There was so little of it.
No that wasn't it. Magus pounded his brain for answers.
Then it struck him. He turned from the view and bounded toward the house in an excited state unnatural for him.
* * * * *
"So we can't think of anything at all?" Cid asked.
"If we can't get to him, then how can we stop him?" Marle asked, "I don't know how to remove that crystal shield either. He is untouchable right up to the moment he is invincible."
"Maybe--" Crono began.
The door burst open and Magus stormed in. The door swung on its hinge, striking the wall and rebounding back to its closed position. Magus walked into the room, the door shutting itself behind him with its momentum.
"I've got it," Magus exclaimed, very unlike his stoic self.
"You do?!" Cid asked, "What? How?"
"All dimensions run at a different time speed, correct?" Magus asked.
"Umm. . .Lucca's the expert on that," Crono said.
Magus continued, ignoring the answer to his rhetorical question, "We learned from that shadow that time in Limbo doesn't exist, or that it doesn't pass. So that means that while he is in Limbo, his actions make no mark in any other world, whether it be now, three days from now, or thirty years in the future."
Melchior shook him head, "With the power Nikades now controls, he can change the passage of time in Limbo just like he changed the environment. He will be a god in three days."
Magus went quiet. His plan was ruined.
"If that is so," Crono said, suddenly fearful, "he could change the time rate to make it so that 3 days in Limbo would be 3 seconds in our world, couldn't he?"
Melchior shook his head, "If he accelerates time too much, then his spell will become unstable and destroy limbo AND him. He'll have to keep it at a constant rate. My guess is that he will keep it at a time speed that he is familiar with; our timerate."
"Sounds almost plausible," Cid said, "maybe we could goad him into accelerating time too much. Then he would destroy himself for us."
"Fat chance on that," Marle said, "I doubt he would spend several millenia thinking up this foolproof plan, and then ruin in it a rush of machoism."
"Machoism? What an interesting concept," Crono mused, grinning slightly.
"Can a god be killed?" Glenn asked.
"A person who exists in the 6th dimension, or a god as you are saying, exists in life and death at the same time. He cannot be killed because he is already above the frailties of mortality."
"Then can he be contained?" Glenn pressed, with an idea forming in his amphibious brain.
". . .I don't know," Melchior said, grudgingly, "What are you getting at?"
"Is there any way we can seal him in that crystal altar permanently?" Glenn queried, the idea coming into focus in his head, "I mean if it can keep the other gods out, it can certainly keep a single god, him trapped inside."
"Maybe," Melchior said, a gleam of hope shimmering from his once dreary face, "Maybe!"
"Is it agreed then?" Marle asked the group, "Will we work on a way of sealing that usurper back in that altar?"
They looked back. They were such a small group, it was a wonder that they could make any kind of difference in this large world.
But they had. They were still able to. And they would continue.
They would make sure that the future was there for them to live in.
"Agreed," the others said.
* * * * *
Melchior left later that day. He returned to his house, though it wasn't there anymore. He said that he would need some of his stuff to work out a plan or spell that would seal away Nikades.
The others agreed and wished him well.
* * * * *
"So three days from now, we try and take out Nikades," Marshall mused, "That gives us some time to enjoy our possible last moments."
"We can't go into town, it's probably still overrun with demons," Marle said, "We're stuck here."
"Yeah, Nikades really tore this world apart, didn't he? Guardia castle is destroyed. Half of Truce plus all of Medina was razed. Dorino was destroyed by Lavos. Ioko village is badly damaged," Crono said quietly.
"Fiona's forest is also hurt, possibly gone," Marle replied.
"Yeah. The only time zone he didn't hurt was Zeal. And that was what we would have suspected him to go after in the first place," Crono said.
"What more could he do to them?" Magus asked.
Silence came over them. There wasn't anything left to say. Somewhere above them, footsteps occurred. Lucca continued whatever she was doing.
"What about Lucca?" Marshall asked.
"What do you mean?" Crono asked.
"Does she come with us?" Marshall pressed.
"It's all up to her, I guess," Crono shrugged.
"I wonder if that innkeeper is okay. . ." Marshall mused suddenly.
"Who?" Marle asked.
"The innkeeper in Dorino. The one that helped us treat Lucca when she was poisoned. He was most likely in Dorino when that happened." Marshall said.
"There's no way to know," Cid said, "I'm sure he did, though. His inn was right on the edge of town."
Marshall nodded, "Yeah. . ."
Crono stood up suddenly, "I'm going into town."
"But the demons," Marle said, reminding him.
"I'm sure they don't want to draw attention to themselves. As long as I stay in the open, they won't attack me. If they do, they'd be mobbed by citizens." Crono said.
"I'll go with you then," Marle said, also standing.
Crono thought about it, then replied, "Sure."
"Where are we heading?" Marle asked curiously.
"My house," Crono replied.
"Ah," Marle said nodding.
"When will you be back?" Marshall asked curiously.
"Tomorrow sometime, I guess. Don't worry, I know how much time is left: Today, tomorrow, and the day after. The day after the day after tomorrow is when we go. See you later." Crono said, waving as he went to the door.
"Bye, you two," Marshall said waving lazily back at them.
Marshall leaned back in his chair, the wood creaking under him. The door shut, signalling the exit of Crono and Marle, "Well, I guess it's just you, me, and Magus over there, huh, Cid?"
"Yeah," Cid replied, looking over at where Magus was.
Or had been. Magus had again left silently.
"He's gone Marshall," Cid pointed out.
"Nonsense," Marshall replied, taking a look for himself, "He was just--"
Marshall brought his hand down onto the arm of his chair moderately hard.
"Damn, I hate it when he does stuff like that." Marshall swore.
* * * * *
Crono and Marle walked across the bridge quietly, both using silence as a means to clear their thoughts. So much had happened to them, they needed some time to clear their heads.
Marle finally spoke up, "Crono?"
"Yes?" Crono replied.
"I've been thinking about this. . .and I think it's time I told you something." she said.
Crono didn't reply, he continued to walk beside her, listening.
"I did at first hate Marshall, but now that I've gotten to know who he really is and why he does what he does, I can't hold what happened against him any longer."
"What happened?" Crono asked.
"I'm getting there," Marle replied, "Let me collect my thoughts. . ."
Marle started the story, "About 15 or so years ago, my family was at a high point of its power. My parents co-ruled together and I was their symbol that their rule would continue for the next generation.
"However, there was some dissention as there always was. Bandits tended to roam the road between Truce and Guardia castle. Such bandits were there when my mother was taking a carriage trip to Truce.
"The bandits captured her and killed her guard. They stole her off to the cathedral and demanded ransom from the king.
"My father paid in exchange that she be released. But she remained their captive. They stated that they wanted more and that this time they would REALLY release her. The king knew they were lying so he hired someone to infiltrate the cathedral and retake the queen.
"Even then, the Marshall was the best around. He was sent in to do that job. However, something went wrong. A trap was set. The Marshall fought through the trap and stormed into the cathedral intent on getting the queen.
"Something happened inside the cathedral, but I don't know exactly what. My mother was injured and the cathedral was set afire. The Marshall carried her out of the church, collapsing from the smoke just ouside.
"The guards found him and her later. They also found the bodies of close to fifty bandits who had all died by sword wounds. The Marshall had killed them to a man. Only one soldier had survived on his side. However, that soldier didn't see what went on in the cathedral. What he saw was that one of our own men had betrayed the rescue party and signaled the ambush. The traitor that set the trap was one of the first to die at least.
"Mother was taken to the castle for medical treatment. She died shortly after.
"The Marshall was blamed for the incident. However, upon the careful pleading of that lone surviving soldier, my father dropped the charges. He knew all that had happened was the fault of the traitor. I didn't forgive him however.
Crono nodded slowly, choosing his words carefully, "So the Marshall HAS indeed failed once."
"Yes," Marle replied sadly, "It just happened to be that certain assignment, too."
"I'm sorry," Crono said.
Marle nodded, "Don't worry. . .It's in the past."
They were both quiet for a moment. The town was appearing over the horizon, they were almost there.
Finally, Marle spoke up again, "But my father's death is not. And Nikades will certainly pay for what he did."
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