Chrono Trigger Invasions Chapter 23

By Jerm

Cid stumbled up the mountain, obviously losing his strength. However, Morlis drove him on, knowing that there were others behind him, after him. Cid pitched forward, falling face first into the snow. Groggily, he pulled himself back up and continued to walk.

They were walking a dangerous area at the moment. The right side of them sheared away to form a deep chasm that dropped far below, possibly to the bottom of the mountain. There was about ten feet of walking space to the left of that long chasm, then a face of rock and snow erupted to the left, leaving them with a thin passage to walk. If you were to slip too far to the right, you would literally fall off of the mountain.

"Maybe we should stop and take care of those people behind us," Dalack mused, looking back, but seeing nothing.

"One of them has the Masamune, we wouldn't stand a chance," Morlis/Cid replied, not stopping.

"Would he attack this boy?"

Cid did stop then, thinking it over. He glanced back behind him once more. Then he shook his head, "We are outnumbered."

"You'll kill the boy at this rate anyway, and then we'll never make it up. If you don't want to confront the others, at least let him go so we can continue."

Cid shook his head, "I'm keeping this boy for now. He has a lot of knowledge that could be very useful."

"Like what?"

"We'll see when it's needed," Morlis replied, stopping and turning to face the downhill.

"So are we going to rest him?"

"Of course. And we're going to slow these people down," snow began to fall into Cid's face, but he ignored it.

"How far are they below us?" Dalack asked.

"We'll find out in a moment," Cid/Morlis replied, always full of information.

"It would help if you told me something once and a while," Dalack reprimanded Morlis angrily.

"What would you do? I hold the key to this, not you."

Dalack remained quiet as voices began to drift from below them.

* * * * *

"You could have warned me," Crono said at Marshall.

"Honestly, I didn't know about it," Marshall said, his hands up in surrender.

"I hate deep snow drifts," Crono muttered, "Next time I see one, and you're walking towards it, I'll remember this."

Marshall laughed, "I'd like to see a hole deep enough to cause me problems."

"Shh, I see something ahead," Glenn said, drawing his Masamune.

Through the swirling snow and wind it was hard to make out anything over twenty feet away. Two dark shapes could be seen ahead, however. One was about the right size to be Cid. The other was taller however, about a foot taller.

As they approached, the shorter figure came into focus, it was indeed Cid. However, the other figure continued to appear blurry, black with no appearance.

A spectre.

"I guess we know what's going on now," Marshall whispered to Crono, whom nodded in agreement.

"Almost," Marle whispered back, then she yelled, "Cid!"

Cid looked up at her and waved happily. Something was wrong. "Hi," he said, "Glad you could catch up," after he waved, his hands went back to fold behind his back in a 'at-ease' position.

"What are you doing, Cid?!" Crono yelled, "Do you want to end the world?!"

Cid held out a hand in a stopping motion, his other still held behind his back, "Stop right there, or you'll regret it."

"What's going on, Cid? Why are you doing this?" Marle pleaded.

Cid reached into his pocket, pulling out the Chrono Trigger, "Do any of you realize what this is?"

"Of course we do, you idiot," Crono replied, "we were the ones who told you!"

"What is it?"

"It's a Chrono Trigger," Crono continued, "It's what we're going to use to stop the invasion--"

"And that's where you're wrong," Cid cut him off, "If we use this to stop the invasion, something will go wrong."

"What are you talking about, Cid?" Crono pressed, "It has to work. If it doesn't, we all die. What will go wrong?"

"This is the only thing that can bring Lucca back, don't you understand?" Cid asked, "There are other ways to stop the invasion, but this is the only way to save her."

"You're diluded," Crono shot back, "What did this spectre tell you? Why would he help you? Don't you remember what they are, how many people they themselves have killed? Why would he help you to save just one person?"

Cid looked at Dalack, staring at him as if seeing him for the first time, "Wha. . .?"

"Morlis, you idiot. You're losing him again," Dalack whispered harshly, "Reign him in and don't give him so much slack!"

Cid turned from Dalack finally, facing the group again, "Do you really think all of the spectres are trying to kill everybody?"

"They've never given me reason to believe otherwise," Marshall replied.

"They are helping me, I don't believe otherwise," Cid continued, "If they have their own agenda, so be it. I will have what I wanted."

"What are they doing to you, Cid? You know very well if you use that for the wrong purpose, we'll lose everything!" Marle yelled up at him.

"Which is the right purpose?" Cid asked.

"Talking isn't going to help," Crono whispered back to the others, "I think we'll have to get rid of the spectre."

Marle nodded and whispered back, "Yeah."

Crono took a step toward Cid. In response, Cid's hand shot out once more, "I said not a step further. Are you deaf? If you take another step in any direction and I see it, you'll regret it."

"You wouldn't hurt a friend, Cid," Crono said, preparing to step forward once more.

"Friends don't leave each other behind to die," Cid replied, hand still held out.

"She was dead, we all saw that. It would have taken a miracle to survive a blast that large."

"When did you stop believing in miracles, Crono? It was hope enough to at least get her out of there. Still you ran off to save yourselves and you left her behind."

Crono shook his head, "Cid, if we stayed to check the inevitable, we would have died right beside her. That would have served nothing."

Cid seemed to find no response, so Crono prepared once again to step forward. Cid glared at him, "I remember telling you not to move," he scanned the faces of the rest of the group, "That goes for all of you. Don't move, any of you. If you do, you'll regret it. Don't try to stop this, you are all wrong in thinking that this will end the world. There are other ways to stop something like this."

"Like what?" Crono asked.

"The future, this time we are in right now has enough firepower to put off an invasino twice as large as the one in the sky," Cid said, "for example."

"How can you be so sure?" Marle asked.

Cid ignored her and started to back away, the spectre followed his movements, "Now I'm going to the peak of this mountain and I'm doing something none of you were friends enough to do. Don't move until you can no longer see me. And don't try to stop me, or I'll make sure you won't try again."

Crono nearly jumped when Marshall came flashing by him. For such a large man, he was lightning fast. Marshall reached into his cloak for something, possibly one of his bolas or sleeping darts.

Cid was faster, however. He finally pulled his other hand out from behind his back, holding something familiar.

He had Lucca's old blaster. As Marshall's hand came out of the cloak, Cid pulled the trigger. A bright light erupted from the gun, shining on Cid's determined face. Then a ball of energy passed out of the nozzle, heading for Marshall.

The others watched as Marshall tried to dodge out of the way, seeming to move in slow motion. He dropped whatever he had been pulling out of his cloak as he tried to roll away.

The energy struck him in the left shoulder, throwing him to the side, adding to his rolling momentum. He fell onto the ground hard, sliding and rolling toward the edge.

Then, before anyone could say or do anything, he disappeared over the lip of the chasm. Their last sight of him was his hand reaching out unsuccessfully to grab the edge.

Moments after he was gone, they were still staring at where he had gone over. Snow was slowly sliding away, falling after him in a miniature avalanche. Finally, there was a reaction.

"Oh. . .no," Marle said slowly.

Crono turned angrily at Cid, but he had disappeared. Only the swirling wind and snow was before him.

Cid and the spectre were both gone.

Crono cautiously stepped over to the edge of the cliff, looking over the precipice. The cliff dropped away for what appeared to be forever. Due to the snow and fog, he couldn't see very far down. Even so, he could tell that a chance of survival was minimal.

"I can't believe he would do that," Marle mumbled.

"I'm going to kill him," Crono said, turning from the cliff and starting to continue up the mountain.

"What will that do?" Glenn asked, "I think that the spectre has a hold on him. Cid didn't kill Marshall, the spectre did."

". . .Kill Marshall," Crono said numbly, "I can't believe he's actually dead."

"He may not be dead yet," Magus said, "It is a long drop, he could still be falling."

"We didn't need to hear that, Magus," Crono said darkly, "You just shut up and keep your stupid comments to yourself."

Magus shrugged, "Then I will go my own way." He turned and walked up the mountain ahead of everyone else. Schala looked troubled, then shook her head and trailed after him, who was already nearly invisible through the snow.

"So now we are falling apart," Crono shook his head sadly, "So close to succeeding. First Cid, then Marshall; now the remaining few are separating."

"We still have to stop Cid and the spectre," Marle reminded him, "I have a bad feeling as to what they might really use the Chrono Trigger for."

"Yeah, I guess so," Crono nodded slowly, "Death Peak. Boy, they really called it right this time."


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