Chrono Trigger Invasions Chapter 2

By Jerm

Cid flipped through the last page of yet another book. This was book seven of twelve in the series of her theories. He closed the book and set it down on the other six, making a nice pile that reached up to his knee.

He climbed up out of his chair and walked back to the bookcase, reaching out and taking the next book. There had still been no sign whatsoever of anything that he could use. It might be a while for that. He was sure however, that there was a way.

Cid opened the book and began to read. Minutes became hours, but still no sign of any hope.

* * * * *

Crono and Marle walked down the forest path, with the royal guard trudging behind them relentlessly. The guards had become quite an annoyance, Crono felt as if he was being stalked. However, they were necessary in a way; things did happen after all in this not-so-perfect world.

They stopped for a moment and Marle sat down on a tree root that protruded from the ground. The guards obediantly stopped, looking around for trouble and doing other things that constituted their job.

"Tired?" Crono asked.

"Yeah, remember, I've been working, too," Marle replied, wiping her brow.

Crono looked for a root to sit on as well, but none were present. So instead, he leaned against a tree. The forest seemed absolutely quiet, now that they were away from the noise and confusion that normally accompanied a crowd of people. It was quite peaceful.

Crono listened more intently. In fact, there wasn't a single noise coming from the woods around them. That was strange.

"How much more time do we have, Tristan?" Marle asked the lead guard.

Tristan turned to her for a second, then looked up at the sky. He stared up for a moment before turning back to her, "About forty minutes."

"It's only been twenty minutes?" Marle asked, amazed that time didn't fly in this instance of fun.

"If sixty minus forty is twenty, I'd say so," Crono replied, trying to hold a straight face.

"Sarcasm isn't your style, Crono. Why don't you try something you're good at? I know that it would take a while to find something like that, but I'm sure you'll find it in at least a year or so," Marle replied, returning his remark.

Crono raised his eyebrows, "Very good," he replied, "You might be as good as Lucca someday."

"I doubt it. She's had a lot of practice on you," Marle replied.

Crono nodded and turned his thoughts back on the forest. It was still absolutely quiet. He didn't like this one bit. Things like this always seemed to be an omen for--

"I think we should head back, now," Crono said, pushing himself from the leaning position on the tree.

"Why? We still have at least ten minutes to stay," Marle pleaded.

Crono pointed briefly to the forest around him, "Do you hear anything? Anything at all?"

Marle stopped talking for a moment and listened, ". . . .I hear the leaves in the wind. But no birds or anything else. Why's that?"

The guards were suddenly more attentive to their duty. The slowly moved around so that they were now circling the two. "The boy's right, I'd say we should head back, now." Tristan said edgily, hand on the pommel of his sword.

Then they heard something other than the rustling of the leaves. Footsteps in the forest, coming fast and toward them. The guards all six drew their sword simultaneously, the noise very loud in the silence.

The footsteps became louder, and started overlapping each other, indicating that more than one thing was coming. The guards fanned out and looked all around the clearing into the dense forest. Tristan turned to Crono and Marle, "If that thing is hostile and we are losing, I want you both to run back to the castle and get help, okay?"

The two only nodded, wishing they had their own weapons with them. With this thought in mind, Crono scoured the ground, looking for a tree branch. He found one and hefted it like a club.

Suddenly, the footsteps stopped. The forest was once again deafeningly quiet, with the only noise being the leaves and the guards breathing. The silence lasted for several minutes, and the guards started to relax.

"Let's get out of here," one of the guards muttered.

Tristan nodded, "Right."

Then the attack began. Something dark and big dropped out of a tree and struck one of the guards behind Marle and Crono. The guard screamed for a split second, then was quiet. The other guards turned to whatever it was and advanced.

Another being dropped out of another tree. Then there was the sound of impact several more times, there were now six of the shambling beings. Crono recognized them instantly, they were shadows. They still existed after Nikades' death.

Tristan understood it now. The reason the sounds had stopped so suddenly was because the monsters had climbed the trees. THAT was the leaves rustling. He should have known better, there wasn't any wind.

The downed guard moaned, and the shadow above him looked down, flowing into his open mouth and possessing him. The guards slowly stood back up, picking up his sword. He smiled darkly at Marle.

"Attack!!" Tristan yelled suddenly, jumping at the nearest shadow and swinging his sword.

The sword hit the shadow, causing it to flinch back. It stumbled to the ground, and flowed into it. It had fled.

Tristan turned to the next shadow as his men registered the command and did as they were ordered. One guard was unlucky however. The shadow was much quicker and moments later, the man was its newest host. He turned on his former ally and swung his sword at the surprised guard.

The guard's chest was ripped open by the blow and he fell to the ground, gurgling blood. Another shadow jumped forward to posses him, but another guard was there, protecting his downed ally and cutting the shadow. The etherlike being shuddered and it too fled into the ground.

The two possessed guards both came at Tristan, who had just defeated another shadow. It was now three guards against three of the shadow demons. One guards was still alive, though cut badly. The guard who had saved the wounded one turned to the remaining shadow, preparing to fight it.

The other guard charged the two possessed guards, making the two on one odds a little fairer. However, the two shadow-guards suddenly turned on the help together, swinging both of their swords at him. He was able to block one, but the other cut into him, dropping him to the ground in a death spasm. Tristan stabbed one of the turned guards in the back, sending it to the ground as well. However, the other shadow-guard was quick to turn to him, swinging its sword down at his unprotected head.

Tristan abandoned his sword and rolled out of the way. The sword descended, stabbing into the ground.

Crono wasn't so caught up in the fight that he would miss an opportunity as big as this. He raised the club and slammed it into the head of the possessed guard. The guard's skull cracked sickeningly, and he pitched forward, the sword leaving his hands. A shadow escaped from inside of him and was gone a moment later.

The remaining shadow viewed the odds for a moment, then it decided that it should leave. It vanished like a wisp of smoke.

Tristan viewed the carnage around him. He had three of his men dead, and one injured, possibly dead in a moment. The other guard walked quickly to his fallen compatriot, and slowly hefted him up.

"We'll need to get him to civilization, quickly," he said unnecessarily.

Marle nodded, "Let's get out of here before more come."

* * * * *

Marshall looked up as his first customer of the day entered the tavern. When he saw that there were only two of them, he gave a downcast look.

"Hail, bartender!" one of the men yelled, sitting down at the bar.

His friend did likewise, and they both gave their orders which Marshall made and gave to them. They paid him and began to talk to one another.

Marshall shook his head. If business stayed like this for the next month or so, he'd be out of a job in no time. He sighed and honed in on the conversation.

They were talking about an attack on the queen.

"What happened?" one of the men asked.

"Six monsters surrounded them. Killed three of the guards that were guarding Her Majesty before they were put down. The leader of the guards said they were pitch black, like fighting\ your own shadow," the other replied, taking a quick drink.

Marshall caught that one word like the flu. Shadow. They were coming back so soon? Hadn't they lost almost 90% of their forces in that disaster?

The men were still talking, "That's all I know. They won't tell me no more," the subject abruptly changed.

Marshall stood up suddenly, walking toward the door, "Closing time, boys!"

"But we just got here!" one of them interjected.

"Sorry, I just remembered some pressing things I have to do. If it'll make you feel better. . . ." Marshall went back to the bar and grabbed two bottles of something, he didn't bother to stop and read, ". . . .you can have these on the house."

"Ummmm. . .thanks," one of them replied, taking the bottle as he was ushered out.

"No problem," Marshall replied, "At the rate business was going, I'd probably have to give those away, anyhow."

With that, Marshall shut the door behind him and the two, locked up, and broke into a run toward the castle.

* * * * *

Cid turned the page, which had become an almost automatic motion in the weeks he had done so. This time however, something caught his eye. Cid blinked the sleep out of his eyes and focused on the page.

The Chrono Trigger is a device shaped almost like an egg. From recent experience, it has been discovered that such a device can alter time, allowing the person using it to have a last chance to set right what had once gone wrong--

Cid's hands started to shake in excitement. This was it!

--In order to use the device, you must travel to Death Peak, bringing with you the Chrono Trigger and all things necessary for the alteration to be implemented. You must also care dearly for whatever you are about to bring back--

Cid nodded jerkily, continuing to read what he had possibly been looking for. He looked to the next page.

--However, the Chrono Trigger was used to bring back Crono, not too long ago. The device was created by Gasper, who is an occupant of The End of Time.

Cid turned to the next paragraph, which was written in newer ink. Obviously bits of Lucca's newest notes.

The End of Time no longer has occupants. Nikades defeated Gasper and Spekkio during his reign of terror. There are no more Chrono Triggers, and no more speculation can be made on them.

Cid stared in shock as the words seeped in. There are no more Chrono Triggers. Cid looked at the bottom of the page, his hands shaking once more, not in excitement, but in anger.

Sorry, Cid. You can't bring me back.

* * * * *

Magus looked up from his perch suddenly as soft sunlight erupted from the clouds and struck his face. He looked at the sky, seeing that the storm was once again giving away, hopefully for a long enough time for him to reach his destination.

Magus stood up slowly, reaching into his cloak and pulling out a wrinkled sheet of paper. On that sheet was the coordinates of where the fisherman had been.

Magus replaced the paper and spread out his arms. Moments later, he lifted himself off of the ground, and moments after that he was streaking across the ocean, toward the remains of the ocean palace.


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