Chrono Trigger Invasions Chapter 5
"What have we here?" asked the man in the labcoat.
"You know very well what's here, Carlisle," Cid replied dryly; the tone surprising the other two.
Carlisle nearly did a double take when he recognized Cid, "Cid? What the hell are you doing here?"
"It's a long story," Cid answered inpatiently, "but I would like to be let out sometime soon. What's with the armed guard? Afraid someone spent all of their time to get into the storage room simply so they could jump you?"
"Now's not the time for this, kid. You've been missing for close to a third of a year, then suddenly reappear with two strangers? I have every right to be paranoid." Carlisle's reply was equally dry.
Now that Crono and Marle had become part of the conversation they decided to add to it. Crono spoke first, "We need to talk to Nabat."
Cid glared at Crono, "I'll do the talking."
Crono averted his eyes and attempted to study the room they were in. Marle was about to say something, but decided to remain quiet.
Carlisle, however, noticed the name, "Nabat? So you aren't complete strangers after all. Even so, I don't think I should trust you any more than I do now," he turned back to Cid, "We'll leave when the head of security gets here."
"You're going to have an employee arrested?" Cid didn't sound surprised, however.
"No, I'm not. I'd never have a fellow employee arrested for trespassing," Carlisle replied coolly.
"Then what's with the security?"
"I'm having an 'ex'-employee arrested for trespassing. I'm also having you arrested because the government seems to want you very bad," Carlisle replied.
The group suddenly had a bad feeling about why they were being apprehended.
Then there were footsteps behind him. Carlisle turned to face the man who approached, "Take them away now, I'll call the general later."
With that, Carlisle turned and left the room, adding before he was gone, "Something about tresspassing on government territory and stealing one of their tanks. You HAVE been busy, haven't you kid?"
He left the room with most of the security force behind him. There were only three soldiers left with the head of security, but that was enough; they were armed.
* * * * *
Marshall approached the gatekeeper with some trepidation. His father had never given him an answer and he was lost. He finally decided to do what he thought was right. However, he didn't know which was right: the honor of your parents, who were dead, or the honor of your friends, who still lived. It would come to him eventually, Marshall promised himself weakly.
He sighed and activated the gatekeeper. A blue gate opened in front of him and he plunged inside. As usual, the gate closed behind him.
* * * * *
"What do we do?" Marle whispered to Crono, "We can't let ourselves be caught like this. We'll be imprisoned for life!"
"I know," Crono whispered back, "I'm thinking."
One of the soldiers stepped forward, shouldering his gun, and began searching the group. When he found Crono's sword, he was surprised. He pulled it out of the scabbard and whistled, "Pretty big knife you got there boy."
"It does its job," Crono replied, "I'd like that back, now."
The guard laughed and turned his back on Crono, tossing the weapon to the ground at the head of security's feet, "Here sir."
Crono glared at the soldier, but the soldier remained calm, obviously knowing that he was in control. He turned to Marle and was about to search her for weapons as well, when suddenly, there was a blinding blue light in the room. The guard shielded his eyes and ducked his head against the glare.
A gate appeared in the center of the room. Crono and Marle looked at each other and Crono mouthed 'Marshall?' to her. She shrugged.
"What the hell is that?!" one of the soldiers yelled.
"Hold your positions, men," yelled the security chief, stepping back to the door.
With that, something large erupted from the blue circle. The figure looked around at the guns pointed at him, startled. Then the gate closed and the glaring light left to reveal The Marshal, who did not look too happy at being a target.
"What's this? A welcoming party?" Marshall asked one of the armed soldiers, crossing his arms before his chest.
One of the soldiers turned back to his superior, "What do we do about this one, sir?"
"Arrest him as well."
Marshall didn't like the implications of that. With his arms still crossed, he slowly slid his hands behind him, inside of the cloak, "Surely you don't intend to throw muoi in jail?"
Cid suddenly laughed, "I'd like you see you search him. We'll be down here all day."
All heads turned to Cid for a moment. Marshall's looking none too happy. "Where did that remark come from, Cid?! I've told you over and over again--"
Suddenly, he swung his arms outward, the hands each holding a bola. The three-balled projectiles spun through the air, striking two of the armed guards and wrapping themselves around the surprised soldiers. The two soldiers fell over, their guns hitting the ground and sliding away from their owner's reach. The remaining soldier still had his gun shouldered and before he could reach it, he suddenly found himself hefted up into the air. He looked down to see a very large and very angry man peering up at him. Then Marshall threw him across the room, his other arm grabbing the rifle and disengaging it from the disembarking man.
The head of security stood in shock for a moment at what had happened, then he acted. He ran toward the door, trying to leave. He stopped short when he heard the sound of the rifle being trained on him. Slowly, his hands went up into the air.
Marshall stalked toward the man, then raised the weapon up and gunstocked the prisoner atop the head. The supervisor crumpled to the ground.
Marshall tossed the gun to the ground, "Idiot. I don't even know how to use one of these."
The other three were staring at his handywork in amazement. He wasn't rusty one bit, even though he hadn't really been The Marshal for years.
Marshall pulled a small dart out of his cloak and walked to the two bound guards, pricking each in the neck. Moments later, they were both asleep, victims of the sleeping concoction that had been placed on the dart's tip.
Then Marshall turned to Cid angrily, "If you make one more joke about my 'preparedness', I'll go berserk on you, too."
Cid held up his hands defensively, "Sorry, Mr. Prepared, I couldn't help myself. The situation demanded it be brought into the open," Cid smiled again.
Marshall grumbled something as he dragged the four unconscious people together. As he was doing so, Crono finally spoke up, "Who's Carlisle?"
Cid looked over at the redhead, "You remember what I said about my time and the people from it?"
"That it was filled with lifeless conglomerates and backstabbing coworkers?" Marle guessed.
"Yeah. Carlisle's the one I based my views on," Cid replied.
"Surely he can't be that bad," Marshall objected, dusting off his hands after finishing his handywork, "I've meet a lot of bad apple's in my line of work, but none of them have been completely rotten. At least not rotten enough to call the whole tree bad."
"Nice analogy," Crono cut in.
"Thanks," Marshall bowed.
"Maybe he isn't that bad, but he isn't a very nice person at all," Cid grudgingly admitted.
"Will he block our way to Taban?" Marle asked.
"Nabat," Cid corrected.
"Whatever; will Carlisle be the type to try and stop us?" Marle pressed.
"I'm not sure. If there was something in it for him, he would."
"Like a huge reward from the general?" Crono added.
"Definitely," Cid added.
"Which means we'd better hurry," Crono said, stepping toward the door to peer outside and make sure the hallways were clear, "Any idea on how to get there?"
"We could take these guys' uniforms," Marshall replied, "There's four of them, four of us."
"I doubt we could find one in your size," Cid shot down the idea.
"Yeah, yeah," Marshall shrugged, "If we had Magus, he could use that trick to hide us again. Like when we were getting out of the battlefield with Melchior."
"Let's work on 'how's', not 'what if's'," Cid cut him off, "I can take us there. . . .if he hasn't moved in the two years I've been gone. Two years is a long time. But I can't reach him if we get stopped by the security every two steps."
"At least we know he's still here," Marle replied, "Carlisle gave us that much information."
"That's not enough for now," Crono said, "Right now, we can only work with one of our ideas and Cid's memory. . .and a lot of luck."
"A LOT of luck," Cid said, "Carlisle going to be suspicious when he notices that his men haven't come back. Then he'll remember our interest in Nabat. Then he'll remember how much money we're worth. He'll be on us like head lice on an elementary student."
"Very explicit," Crono remarked, "But from what you've said about him, you might be right."
"We can use the ventalation shafts," Marshall mused.
"Huh?" Crono asked intelligently.
"To get to Nabat," Marshall clarafied, "You can use the shafts to get to him."
"We're back to the 'you're too big' reason," Crono reminded him.
"I know that," Marshall replied, "but I can make myself invisible to them. Remember, that's how I followed you last time we were here."
"Couldn't you make all of us invisible?" Marle asked.
Marshall shook his head, "I'm not THAT good."
"Any other ideas?" Cid asked, walking over to the vent in the room.
"None here," Crono said grudgingly, "I think Marshall might have it. . .this time."
Crono peeked out the door once more, "Still clear, too. We'd better hurry then."
"Allow me," Marshall said, walking forward and moving Cid out of the way. Then he reached forward and tried to pull the vent cover off of its hinges. However, his fingers were too large to fit in between the vent's slits. Marshall stepped back, shaking his red finders and cursing.
Cid stepped forward once more, "Allow me," he said with a smile.
Cid took off his glasses and used the earpiece of them to loosen the screws that held the vent. When he was done, he pulled the vent off, stating, "Subtlety beats brawn once again."
"Shut up," Marshall said, still waving his hands around.
"Someone's coming now, we'd better hurry," Crono said suddenly from the door.
"Who?" Marle asked as Cid slid into the vent.
"Aaah! It's cold!" Cid said suddenly, the voice sounding strange from inside of the metal corridor.
"Wait, here comes two more with him. One of them's Carl, I don't know the other two."
"Hurry over here then, Crono," Marle said, bending over and crawling in after Cid.
Crono turned and tore toward the opening, "Close this behind me Marshall."
"I know, I know," Marshall said.
"And good luck," Crono finished, diving in after Marle.
"Same to you," Marshall said, slamming the vent covering back into place and only bothering to screw in the top two corners.
Then he concentrated and seemed to fade from view. The second he was gone, three people walked inside to find four guards, all unconscious.
Marshall found it hard not to start laughing when Carlisle starting raving. Then the group ran out of the room, leaving the bodies lying. Moments later, klaxons started blaring and people were running everywhere.
'Time to go to work,' Marshall thought to himself. He left the room and felt for the other's presence. When he found it, he followed after them. Heading left down the corridor.
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