Chrono Trigger Invasions Chapter 26
Cid pulled out the Chrono Trigger, his eye on Magus the whole time. Cautiously, he backed away from the wizard, "I'm running out of time, do you mind?"
Magus stalked forward. In reaction, Cid fired once again. The blast struck the shield, Magus didn't slow. Finally, Cid growled and tucked the weapon away and backed towards the edge faster.
Then, from below, three more figures appeared. Marle, Crono, and Glenn had finally reached the peak. When they saw Magus and Schala, Marle yelled out "Magus!" before she could think about what she was doing.
Reflexively, Magus turned to the direction his name had been called from. His back was to Cid for just a moment, but a moment was all Cid needed. He flipped out the gun again and fired at Magus's unsuspecting form.
The blast once again hit the shield, which had yet to be dropped. Magus turned back to Cid and looked him in the eye. He firmly shook his head 'no,' he was berating Cid. The others stood beside Magus and Schala moments later.
"You can't stop me now, it's too late," Cid said.
"How many times have you said that today?" Crono asked, drawing his sword.
Above them, a flaring of red light shone through the night. One of the meteors was coming into the atmosphere. The mountain was bathed in a deep red glow for a moment. Then the light intensified briefly as the defenses began to counterattack.
* * * * *
The first of the meteors reached the line that the scientists had drawn up, a point where counterfire would begin. Nothing happened for a moment, then the satellites suddnely came to life, throwing energy into space.
The lasers flew through space at the speed of light, striking the first 'invader' in a matter of a split second even though the distance was still several hundred miles away.
Of the forty beams fired, half of them struck their target. Gaping holes erupted in the shell as the beams actually blasted right through them. Whatever was inside of that shell was instantly killed. The 'meteor' continued to hurl across space however, in a direct path for Earth.
Another barrage of lasers were fired after the satellites had recharged, this time the shell shattered into four unsymmetrical pieces. The pieces were roughly thrown into different directions, floating off into space.
Several more of the meteors were entering the firing field now, and the satellites began to fire at what seemed to be random targets. Several of the Lavos's shared the fate of their first, but some continued, the lasers' blasts not doing enough damage.
One of the shells was able to avoid enough blasts and came right at the satellites. It barreled into the group, taking out two of them. The satellites exploded as it continued on its course into the atmosphere.
* * * * *
"Lost two," Jim said, shaking his head, "Went right through them."
"Have the secondaries take it," the supervisor said, looking at the empty doorway and waiting for the president's return.
"They already have, just seconds ago," Brian assured, "But now there are two more meteors coming through."
"They'll handle them, too. . .How are we doing with the first defenses?"
"It's starting to fall apart now," Jim said, "We just lost five more, that's thirteen now. . .There goes another one, fourteen."
"You're letting too many through," Brian accused, "It's getting heavy now. . .still haven't allowed one through secondary, though."
"Good," the supervisor said, "keep it like that for at least a little longer."
* * * * *
"Cid, why don't you listen to reason?" Crono pleaded.
"You mean your reason, not mine. I know what I'm doing now," Cid replied.
Crono shook his head, "You don't know anything of what you're about to do, only that spectre knows. You know deep down inside that he's going to do something with the time egg, and it doesn't involve Lucca."
"Make the spectre let you go, Cid. Then you can see what we're talking about," Marle soothed.
"Fat chance," Cid said, "As soon as my defenses are down, you'll kill me."
"What have I been doing with you this whole time, boy?" Magus asked, "I could have killed you any number of times."
Cid shook his head, "The spectre is holding you back."
Crono edged toward Marle, "You know what you're going to have to do, don't you?"
Marle glanced at him, then whispered back, "You mean. . ."
He indicated her crossbow, "Yeah. Look, I hate it as much as you, but it may be the world's only chance."
"I know," Marle sighed, "Try to negotiate with him some more first."
"I could deal with a spectre, it isn't holding me back," Magus replied to Cid.
"We are," Crono whispered to Marle in return, then shook his head, "I don't think the spectre is giving him any room for free thought. I think we aren't even talking to Cid anymore."
Marle nodded, "I think so, too. Poor Cid."
"Yeah," Crono nodded back.
"Then try me again," Cid said, glaring at Magus.
Magus glared back, then raised his hand in answer. Crono grabbed his cloak, "Wait a second, let me try again."
Something flashed in the sky, then a large piece of a Lavos's shell came hurtling. It passed by the mountain, then crashed into the ocean. A large splash occurred, sending small tidal waves in an expanding circle.
Magus ignored the show and nodded back at Crono, "Very well."
"You won't stop me," Cid replied, "Don't try."
"I said 'Cid' not 'spectre.' Let me talk to Cid," Crono replied, stepping forward again.
Cid drew his blaster, aiming at Crono, "Don't move."
"Shut up. I won't stop until I can talk to Cid," Crono pressed, taking another step.
Cid fired. Crono, expecting it, jumped to the side. The ball of energy flew by him and off into the night. Crono turned back to Cid calmly, taking another step, "I don't think that'll work so well now, spectre. Let me talk to Cid and you won't have to worry about using that gun every few seconds."
Cid glared at Crono, then replied, "You won't have him. He's mine now, so don't even try to save him. Your best bet is to just run away."
"Thought so," Crono said sadly. He lowered his head and turned back to the others, slowly walking away.
Marle looked at him and he looked back at her. She nodded and lowed her head. Cid, seeing that Crono was walking away, thought he had won.
Can I do this? Marle asked herself, It's for the benefit of mankind, but. . .poor Cid.
Crono gave her the signal once more with his eyes, but she didn't see. Aim and fire, that's all you have to do. Don't think of the target or who he is. Just aim and fire. . .
"Now, if you'll excuse me. . ." Cid said, readying the Chrono Trigger.
Then Marle raised her head, and her crossbow. Without so much as a bit of hesitation, she fired. The bolt flew through the air, toward Cid. Cid seemed paralyzed as he stared at the incoming missile. He didn't even bother to raise his blaster.
The quarrel struck him in the right side of his chest, sinking in and stabbing into his muscle. Cid gasped and stumbled back, almost falling off of the edge. He balanced himself and stared at her in shock for a second.
Something ethereal left his body, flying up into the night in hatred and anger. When it had gone, Cid moaned and pitched forward, falling onto his knees.
"I'm sorry, Cid," Marle muttered.
He fell forward, hitting the snow face first. The Chrono Trigger rolled out of his hands and down the hill. It tumbled and spun, rolling down from the peak toward the group. It struck the back of Crono's shoe and stopped.
Crono finally turned around, his back no longer to his shot friend. He bent over and picked up the small device.
"I sure hope you were worth all of this," he said, giving a look to Cid.
Lucca's last vision had come to pass.
* * * * *
"Care for another. . .try?" Marshall huffed, as he felt the spectre's presence once more.
Dalack had indeed been thinking of doing just that, but the feeling that the large man was prepared made him hold back. He liked to be spontaneous, and he wanted to surprise the man.
"Maybe later," Dalack replied finally.
"Maybe?" Marshall seemed a bit hopeful.
Marshall grunted and began to walk again. Far above him he could see the battle erupting in the sky. It was very bright and very red.
He hoped that the others would be able to stop Cid in time to stop this. He could clearly see that this planet's defenses stopping the invasion were just a possibility, not a sure fact.
* * * * *
"The primary defenses are pretty shot up now," Jim said, pulling away from the screen, "We've lost. . .85% of them."
"Don't give me any damn percentages, give me a straight number," the head of GCSE said irritantly.
"34, we've lost 34 of them," Jim corrected.
Brian shrugged, "We've lost five now, but nothing to worry about yet. Not a one has come through. All loses were from debris."
"Can it be helped any?"
"Hell no, this is random stuff," Brian shook his head, then turned back to the screen.
He typed several things on the computer, and the screen changed, altering to a view directly below several of the low orbit defenses. Far 'in front' of the camera the meteors were pitching forward. Laser bursts fired in rapid succession, sending most of the invaders into fragments.
"See?" Brian continued, "The A.I. will handle the fighting."
As he spoke, one of the meteors came dangerously close, filling up the screen as it approached. The turrets swung around and fired, not a one missing at point blank range. The blasts tore large gaping holes into the shell, but it held. Then it hurtled forward, taking out two of the turrets. It continued to approach, finally striking the camera.
The screen went blank instantly.
"Dear God. . ." the president muttered.
"That was not a meteor, I can say that right now," Brian said, pushing his chair away from the screen. The chair rolled around so he was facing Jim and the president.
"It had ridges on it, spines of some sort," Jim said, "Did you get a look inside of it?"
"No, what was it?" Brian asked.
The president of GCSA, stared at the blank screen, not turning to listen to the conversation.
"It was hollow, that's not normal in any way."
"Geez. . ." Brian grabbed the edge of his desk and pulled himself back to the monitor. He began to type some more stuff.
The screen remained black. Brian looked confused for a moment, then he seemed to be about to hit the computer. Knowing it would come out of his paycheck, he looked about for something else to hit. Jim and the president were out of the question, but maybe--
"What's wrong now?" Jim queried.
"Hell if I know, the video's out. Try yours," Brian replied, beginning to type again.
Jim edged to his computer, passing by the thoughtful president, and looked at the screen. It was blank as well. He stared at it, not understanding.
"Robert!" Brian yelled to the president, one of the rare times people used his name.
The president turned to him, "What?"
"Where do the video feeds go between the computers and the cameras outside?"
"Umm. . .We run them underground. That way, if there was a war, the enemy couldn't take out our 'eyes.'"
"Could you go to the Geologists department? I need a Richter's," Brian said, stating a quick slang for a Richter's Scale reading, the testing of earthquake strength, "And hurry!"
The president, seemed to ignore Brian for a moment, not liking to be ordered by someone under him. Then he finally sighed and turned, running out of the room.
Jim looked at Brian, "What's this about?"
Brian stared at the blank screen, still trying to fix it, "You'll see."
Jim looked back at the empty doorway, waiting for the news. Minutes later, the president came running in like a madman. He slipped as he turned into the doorway, grabbing the side and holding himself up, breathing heavily, "How did you know?!"
Brian shrugged, "What did it say?"
Robert took several more breaths, straightening himself on the doorframe, then spoke, "They're getting an 8.7 about fifty miles east of here."
"Damn," Brian replied, "Now we have an earthquake."
He stood up and began to walk out of the room. The president moved out of his way, but questioned, "Where are you going?"
"I think it's time I start taking this serious."
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