Chrono Trigger Invasions Chapter 25

By Jerm

"Are we here?" Cid asked curiously, as he stood before a small tree.

"Yes, this is the place," Morlis replied calmly, "Are you ready?"

"Almost," Cid said, "I still don't understand what happened back there."

"He tried to kill you, Cid. It had to be done."

"I know, you told me, but I still feel guilty," Cid was dubious.

"That isn't the guilt for that, it is guilt over leaving Lucca to die. If you follow through with this, you will relieve that guilt."

"Are you sure?" Cid asked.

"Very sure."

"Okay, I guess I'm ready. What exactly do I do? I wasn't to sure from the explanation from the others."

Morlis smiled, here was the fun part, "First you hold out the Chrono Trigger and ask for help in what you are about to do."

"Who do I ask?" Cid was full of questions.

Morlis sighed, but replied, "Just ask for help. Afterward, the time egg will do its stuff and you will be sent to a place and time of your choosing--"

"Do I have to say the time and place or think it?"

Morlis sighed again, trying to hold back the urge to toss Cid off of the mountain's peak, "Just say it, it's the same as thinking it. Anyway, after that we will be sent to that moment in time before she was killed. Then we can grab that 'bomb' and get it to a safer position."

"Why don't we just move Lucca? I don't want to bring back Nikades," Cid was alarmed now.

"Do you have a clone of Lucca handy?" Morlis asked.

"Well. . .no," Cid thought.

"We move the device, then. Nikades isn't a threat anyway."

"He isn't?" Cid asked, confused.

"No, he isn't," Morlis would have to be careful here, he would have to try to confuse Cid as much as he could so he couldn't think clearly, "Where should we move the bomb? I would say that right in the middle of your friends would be nice, wouldn't you?"

"My friends?"

"Well, those people that betrayed you," Morlis replied.

"When do we start?" Cid asked, pulling out the Chrono Trigger.

"As soon as the others get here," said a familiar voice behind him.

Cid quickly pocketed the time egg as the sound of a scythe being drawn echoed up to him from behind.

* * * * *

Marshall limped into a small alcove, shielding himself briefly from the snow and wind. This wouldn't work, he would never make it to them. His best bet was to get to the bottom and wait for them. He really wished he had that sled he had talked about earlier right about now.

He didn't have anything with him to make a splint for his leg, for the moment he had to deal with the pain. He hoped he could find something soon before the leg healed wrong or didn't heal at all.

"So you are alive after all. . ."

Marshall turned toward the voice, but only faced the black sky, mildly illuminated by the stars and moon overhead. Cautiously, Marshall drew his sword.

"If you can't see me, why try and use that on me?" Dalack sounded amused.

"Who knows? I could get lucky." the sword remained unsheathed.

"Yeah, today seems to be your lucky day, after all. You survived one hell of a fall."

"What do you want?" Marshall demanded, getting to the point.

"I want you. Your strength, your magic. Blunt enough?" Dalack laughed, "You are too weak to stop me, you know."

"Not hardly," Marshall said, "Show yourself and I'll give you a demonstration of what it's like to fall off of cliffs."

"It's not as far down as you went, though," the spectre sounded thoughtful.

Suddenly, Marshall felt something flowing into him. He struggled against it, writhing around. He fell to the ground in the process, tripping over his broken leg, and rolled around in the snow.

Finally, the spectre left him angrily. Marshall was breathing heavily, and was sweating despite the frigid temperatures around him.

"You can resist quite well, too. This might be fun."

"Too bad, huh?" Marshall stood back up and began to shamble up the hill, forgeting his plan to return to the base.

"I'll be back," the voice ghosted to him from the air around him.

"I sorta thought you would," Marshall shook his head and continued to limp away.

"And when I have you, I'll surprise your friends. I'll kill two of them at least before they can stop me. Wouldn't that be fun as well?"

Marshall ignored him and continued to limp. He shivered. Whether it was the chill from the wind or fear of what the spectre was capable of, he wasn't sure.

* * * * *

"How much longer?" the president asked, reentering the room.

Jim leaned away from the radar and rubbed his eyes, "About ten minutes, sir."

"Any thoughts?" ideas of possible problems was what he meant.

"I'd say anything can go wrong," Brian said.

"Really? I'm glad to know something as trivial as that. If you weren't so good at your job, I'd fire you on the spot, you know."

"I serve to please and am pleased to serve," Brian bowed from his roller chair.

The president gave a disgusted look at him, then turned to Jim, "What did you figure out?"

Jim thought over what he had deduced, "I think the low orbit laser turrets are too close together. If one of the meteors got through, it could take a lot of them out in one swoop."

"Anything else?"

Jim shook his head, "The things that go wrong are always a surprise, no matter how much preparation is put into it."

"Fine, I'll talk to the lieutenant about the. . ."

"Low orbit laser turrets," Jim supplied.

"Right, those. . .How long?"

"Five minutes," Jim replied, glancing at his radar screen.

"God, I hate running," the president said, and then he was doing so, bounding out of the door quickly.

Brian leaned over to him, "And he said my observations were trivial. The meteors have to get past the satellite turrets first before they get to the low orbit."

"It could happen," Jim said, returning to the radar to watch the shower reached the first line of defense.

* * * * *

"You think you'll slow me down, Magus?" Cid asked, "I don't have much time as it is, so I'd recommend you leave before the invasion from the sky begins."

Magus reflexively looked up at the sky, the bright stars were all flaring red with evil intent. He turned back to Cid's back and glared, "Face me and we'll decide this right here."

His scythe was open and had extended to its full length. Magus planted the butt of it into the snow and waited, prefering to rely on his magic against the blaster.

"Just what they need," Cid said turning around and drawing the gun, "Another dead friend."

"Which of us will it be?"

"I doubt I am their friend any longer," Cid said, "they are surely not mine. They betray their friends."

"You betrayed them, not the other way around. You have your head full with this stupidity and you are going to kill literally billions with it," Magus said coldly, "How are you different? Retribution and revenge mean nothing, the act is still the same."

Cid scowled at Magus and aimed the blaster, "I will hear nothing of your tricks and word games. You and your sister's lives end here."

Schala didn't catch what he had said for a moment, intent on who was going to attack first. Then it struck her. You and your sister.

"The spectre inside you is manipulating you to its own ends. You know very well you aren't going to save Lucca," Magus seemed angry, maybe because of Cid's slip, "Force it out of you and see the truth."

Janus? Schala thought wildly.

"It is my only ally in a dead world, do you think I would leave myself alone and unprotected so you might slay me?"

"Then we must fight," Magus bowed his head and prepared the energy.

Cid fired. A transluscent sphere formed around the wizard. The blast of energy struck the sphere, digging a hole into it and throwing lightning around it, sizzling. The sphere warped from the blast, then mended the hole.

Cid fired again, to the same conclusion. Three more times he fired as Magus slowly stalked toward him. Cid stumbled back out of the reach of the wizard, firing wildly now. Some of the blasts missed the target entirely, flying off into the sky.

Magus raised his hand and Cid was levitated off of the ground effortlessly. Cid fired again, but it was useless. He wrestled against the magical constraints.

Then Morlis took a hand in the struggle, throwing his energies against the ones that imprisoned Cid. The link was broken and Cid fell to the ground. Magus was knocked off of his feet and he pitched backwards, falling on his back.

Schala jumped back avoiding being struck by his hurtling form. She bent over and helped him up, not speaking for the moment, it wasn't the time.

Magus stood and glared at Cid, who was aiming the blaster at him again. Magus sneered at the boy, "You really think that that will work?"

"Eventually," Cid replied, digging into his pocket once more.

* * * * *

High in space, portrayed against the distant backdrop of Earth, were three dozen satellites. Each satellite was mounted with a high power laser.

Lasers were still technically in developmentary form. Their true potential had yet to be tapped. They could be used for something as simple as the laser optics of a compact disk or as complex as surgery and weaponry. Still, scientists and engineers felt that the true use for lasers was unfound. Their true power was yet untapped.

The lasers hooked up to the satellites were high power, yes; but a blast would merely cut a hole into the meteors. A good or lucky blast would shatter the rock, and the individual pieces would burn in the atmosphere.

If the meteors got past the hight orbit, there were more lasers in low orbit above Earth. These turrets were placed at about twenty thousand feet above sea level, suspended by a helicoptor-like propeller and stablizer. They spent most of their time landed. However, when needed, they were flown up for perfect tactical positioning against enemy jets. Against meteors, they would suit their purpose just as well.

Below the low orbit turrets were the military's missile crews. They had positioned themselves according to GCSE's calculations on where the meteors would enter the planet's atmosphere. If all other defenses failed, these mobile units would blast the meteors with missiles, which were more effective than lasers.

The meteors would still strike, but in smaller pieces, they wouldn't destroy life. It was a perfect defense, nothing seemed to be able to go wrong.

* * * * *

Marshall felt the pressence of the spectre long before it attempted to take him. He braced himself for the pain. He stood there, tense and quivering from the strain. Nothing happened.

Marshall realized he had closed his eyes, and opened them to look around. Nothing.

"I just came to watch right now. Don't worry, I'll take you later," Dalack spoke happily from in front of him, the voice without a visible source.

"No you won't. You won't get near me," Marshall breathed, feeling tired from his struggling walk.

"I won't?"

Marshall suddenly felt the essense of the spectre try and enter him again. He tensed himself and threw all mental resistances he could muster at the invader. For good measure, he spent some of magic and attacked the spectre.

Quickly enough, the possession ended, Dalack retreated away in pain. Marshall slumped forward, but didn't fall. If he fell, the spectre would have him. He panted in exhaustion for a moment, then started to stumble forward again, still heading toward the mountain.

"That hurt," Dalack said moments later, "You'll regret it."

"You deserved it in every way. I doubt I'll regret it even if you tortured me with the world's worst just for that," Marshall forced a smile, he had to look strong.

But when would he fall asleep?

He shook the thought out of his head and limbed onward, his leg still aching from either the breaking or the biting cold, he no longer cared which.

Above him, the red stars flared as they approached the atmosphere.


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