Chrono Trigger Dimensions Chapter 8

By Jerm

Crono opened his eyes to a blinding light. He winced in pain and reclosed them. He was lying on his back outside, the blinding light being the sun. His back was itching from the grass he was on.

Crono tried to move, to scratch his back, but found that he was paralyzed. He found he could move from his neck up however, as he turned his head to look at his surroundings. To his left, he saw Marle lying beside him. She was still unconscious.

How did this happen? he thought briefly.

A noise broke him from his thoughts and he turned away from Marle. Lucca standing in front of the Gatekeeper. She was repairing it, improving whatever mistake she had made before. Then it all came back to him. That figure, where was he?

"Lucca," he said to her.

Lucca stopped working and turned around slowly, "You're awake, Crono," she said when she saw him.

"What's going on, Lucca?" he asked her, "What are you doing?"

A cloaked form stepped in between them, his appearance sudden and startling Crono, "Lucca has graciously decided to help me," the figure stated coldly.

Crono tried to jump up and fight the being, whom he instantly recognized as the one who he had met in Lucca's room, but he was unable to move. He stopped struggling and asked, "Why would she help you?"

"Why don't you tell him, Lucca?" the figure said turning to the young inventor, "After all, you made the choice."

Lucca put down her equipment but remained quiet. Crono thought for a moment it looked like she was crying.

"Tell him..." the figure pressed.

Lucca swallowed and said, "He said that he'd kill both of you if I didn't. I'm sorry Crono."

That was a common threat, but it got results.

Crono glared at the figure, "Were you planning on killing us anyway?"

Lucca shook her head, "I can't take the chances, Crono..."

Crono continued to stare at the figure, "Who are you?"

Marle started to awaken beside him. She moaned as she woke.

"My name is Nikades...And I have business to accomplish here," Nikades replied, then glanced at Lucca, "She is going to help, of course."

Crono heard Marle gasp as she found that Nikades was above her and that she couldn't move. He wished he could move, even if it was just to comfort her. Nikades chuckled at her startlement, then continued, "And you awoke too early. Why don't you go back to sleep?"

Crono was suddenly tired. He felt as something, some force was doing this. Nikades was putting them to sleep with magic. He tried to stay awake but was unable to do so, he had no control. The last thing he heard was Lucca repeating, "I'm sorry, Crono."

Then he blacked out.

* * * * *

Lucca finished work on the gatekeeper and stepped back. She hated doing this. It was as if she was betraying Crono and Marle. But wasn't having them killed betraying them too? A double-edged sword.

Lucca sighed. She would lose both ways. She turned from the infernal machine and looked at the two figures, sleeping quietly despite the betrayal played upon them. She would have to wake them now. They would obviously hate her for what she had done, but she had done it for their safety.

She walked over and started shaking Crono. When he started mumbling she walked over to Marle and did the same. She then stepped back and sat down, waiting for them to regain their senses. It was dusk again, the horizon turning a dark shade of various colors. She focused on that for a moment, trying to collect her thoughts. For some reason she couldn't think straight.

Nikades...Could he have put a block on her? She hammered her mind, trying to remember pieces and bits of her construction of the Gatekeeper, but it was a blank.

Crono opened his eyes and noticed her, "Lucca...are you all right?"

"Yeah," Lucca nodded numbly, then added sadly, "I'm sorry, Crono, but there was no other way to save you and Marle but to do what that thing said."

"It's okay," Crono consoled her, "What did you do to make the gatekeeper work?"

"I don't know. It was if I was in a trance as I worked on it," Lucca shrugged, shaking her head, "I just tried a few seconds ago, I can't remember how it was done or anything. What could have--"

"Nikades," Crono cut her off, "he wouldn't want you to duplicate it or anything to mess up his plans, whatever they are."

Marle was awake now, but she didn't contribute to the conversation. She was lying down in a state of depression at what was happening.

"And that would explain why you two were asleep. So you couldn't know what I had done," Lucca finished.

"You two are sharp, aren't you?" asked a familiar voice.

"Damn," Crono said.

Nikades materialized into the evening light. He was wearing the everpresent black robe, but he was viewable, as there was still a slight amount of light. He walked over to the group, his steps slow and deliberate.

"I see that you are complete, my dear inventor. And you did a lovely job," Nikades replied, complimenting her.

"What would you want with a machine that connects times anyway?" Crono asked, knowing it was a stupid question; anyone would kill to be able to travel time.

"Oh, I forgot. Lucca didn't tell you the full extent of my machine, did she?"

The evening light was darkening as the sun hid behind the horizon. With each lessening of light, Nikades became more invisible to their sight.

Nikades continued, "It does allow someone to travel time, yes. But it can also, though Lucca didn't know when she made it, go a single step further and open up the fifth dimension."

Crono shuddered. He didn't know what the fifth dimension was, didn't know anything about any of the dimensions; with the exception of the third, he existed on that plane if he remembered.

The sun disappeared and the light died away. The three could no longer see Nikades. But they heard his words, "Would you like to see if it works?"


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