Chrono Trigger Invasions Chapter 8
"What do you mean you don't know the other guards?!" Crono was mildly annoyed.
"Shh," Marle reprimanded him, "Someone might hear us."
Crono calmed down slightly and peered at Nabat questioningly. The reciever of the stare shuffled about for a moment, then shrugged, "I'm sorry. There must be hundreds of people in the royal guard of Zeal. You never knew who you were going to get assigned with. . .I had friends there, but I don't remember being assigned with any of them then."
"They were all unknowns?" Marshall pressed.
"Yes. Sorry if I spoiled your plans, but I truly didn't know the others."
"It's all right, I guess we shouldn't've gotten our hopes up so high. At least we know where our magic abilities come from from Lucca's notes," Crono replied.
"Which also means that Nabat is a wanted man, and it's all our fault," Cid said suddenly.
"I'm sure that you can clear your names after a talk. I mean, you didn't steal a tank. I know you Cid," Nabat replied laughing.
The others suddenly started trying to avert their eyes.
"You didn't steal a tank, did you? Tell me you didn't, Cid," Nabat started to look panicked.
"Ummm. . . ." Cid said intelligently, "Let's just say that we now have a twenty million dollar loan that can't be paid off."
Nabat seemed to look thoughtful for a moment, then he started to laugh, "Oh this is too good," he said between bursts.
"What are you talking about?" Cid asked, wondering if he had snapped.
"I just finished my time machine yesterday!" Nabat said still laughing, "I was going to use it this weekend after I'd finetuned it and everything. They can't arrest me if I'm back in Zeal."
The others decided not to tell him that he would be sent to another time than Zeal. Instead, they all laughed unsteadily with him. Finally, Nabat held up his hands, "Oh course, I'll need to get it, but I think Marshall over here can do that."
"How big is it?" Marshall asked, standing up.
"Oh, I didn't mean get it right now," Nabat cut him off, "Just get it when I'm ready."
"I'd better get it now," Marshall said, "They might confiscate it while you're gone."
Nabat started saying something unprintable, "I almost forgot about that. Carlisle might smash the room when he gets out. . .of the hospital," Nabat added the last, remembering Marshall's version of justice.
"Hospital? What happened?" Cid asked eagerly.
"Crammed him in the shaft," Marshall said with a smile, "I'm sorry to say, it seemed to still be extremely hot from the fire gun going off in it. He couldn't get off with anything better than second degree burns."
Cid started to laugh again, "Wasn't that a little excessive?"
"I thought it might be, so I let his legs stay out. Now when he pulls himself out, he can manage to walk to a hospital."
"I guess this means you'll have to go get the time machine quickly now," Nabat said almost apologetically, "Sorry about making you rush."
"No problem," Marshall said, walking to the door, "I'll be back everyone," he faded back into the shadows.
The door opened and closed on its own, showing that he was leaving. When he was gone, Cid stood up and walked back to the hovering device, "I think I should do something with this, too," he said to himself.
"Like what?" Crono asked, curiously.
"Like putting some wings on it," he said, "After all, the real epoch had wings."
"Dalton's version had wings," Crono said, "Anyway, I don't think you have the time to go out and buy some wings. . .if anybody would even sell any."
"No, no, no, I've got all of the parts I would need right here. I can just draw from my mind what I remember about Lucca's diagrams and make it. . .I'll need tools though."
"We should have gone over this while Marshall was here," Marle sighed, "He could have pulled off a double errand."
"Too late now," Crono said, "Maybe we can send him to get the tools afterward."
"Actually," Nabat cut in, "I think he'll bring the tools with the time machine. He's a smart man and I think he'll notice that I'll need the tools."
"Maybe," Crono said, "But not for sure."
* * * * *
"Told you," Nabat said after Marshall had returned.
The tools were with the large man, who also carried a small device about the size of a medium television. Marshall set the device down in front of Nabat, followed by the tools.
"I was in there picking up your stuff," Marshall began, "When I realized that they wouldn't be invisible like me. I had a hell of a time trying to avoid other people. People become suspicious of objects floating around in the air for some reason."
"How do you make your weapons and clothes invisible, then?" Cid piped up suddenly.
"I don't," Marshall replied, "I can make one object or person invisible. That's all I have to power for. Also, I have to be in contact with that object or person. I just make my cape invisible and drape it around me."
Cid nodded thoughtfully and Marshall continued, "I couldn't fit this damn thing in my cape," he indicated the time machine, "so I had to carry it pretty much in the open."
"It's a good thing you brought the tool box, though," Crono said, "We were going to make you go back for it."
"Thanks everybody," Marshall bowed sarcastically, "Any more orders for your loyal slave?"
They ignored his sarcasm, "They might decide to search the building after a while, so we had better hurry," Nabat said.
Cid waded through the junk that was scatter around the basement, picking odd items and tucking them under his arm. He was eager to begin the construction. As he was doing this, he spoke, "I might need someone to help me add these things, too. Any volunteers?"
"Why not?" Marshall shrugged, "The loyal slave goes to work."
Once again, they ignored his sarcasm.
* * * * *
Glenn woke up suddenly, jumping out of his bed clumsily and grabbing his sword. It was pitch dark in his home, as it was outside. However, there was a bright light issuing from his Masamune, it was glowing angrily. Something was outside.
Glenn tiptoed slowly toward the ladder that led outside. Above him, the moon appear for a moment, before he changed his angle and the opening of the cave concealed it.
He grabbed the ladder rung with one hand, "Who's out there?"
He quickly shook his head, he shouldn't have done that. The Masamune was clearly making it obvious that the thing outside was hostile. Giving himself away like that was--
Something suddenly dropped down the hole, striking Glenn and throwing him to the ground. The Masamune was lost and was sent skipping and rolling across the floor, stopping beside his bed.
Ignoring his sword for the moment, Glenn looked up to face the thing in front of him. It was nigh invisible in the darkness. The shadow peered down at him, then looked up. Above him, more shadows were dropping down the ladder, five in all.
When they were done, Ericane, the leader of the group turned back to him, "Come peacefully with us or die," it said, "The choice isn't hard."
One of the shadows walked past Ericane and went to where the Masamune was last. Its light had died instantly, and it was now just as invisible as the shadows. The shadow stooped over the side of the bed, looking curious.
"It isn't here anymore, Ericane," the shadow said finally, "It's gone."
"Where is it, frog?" Ericane turned to Glenn.
"It has a life of its own. If it doesn't want to be found, it won't be found."
Ericane glowered at Glenn for a moment, then nodded, "Very well. If it has a life of its own, it'll be trying to return to you," he turned to the shadows behind him, "We're taking him with us."
* * * * *
"Almost done?" Nabat asked.
They had been working on the wings for three hours now. One was complete, and the other--though the two didn't match--was almost complete.
"Almost," Cid clarified.
Nabat began pacing. Moments later he looked up, "I'm tired of waiting. I'm going to use the time machine now."
The others looked at him for a moment, not knowing what to say. Finally Crono spoke up, "We aren't stopping you, you can go whenever you want."
Nabat walked to the machine, looking hesitant. Finally, he turned back to them, "Can you answer this: Will I make it back to Zeal?"
Nabat continued, "I mean, you have been to a lot of times, can you tell me?"
Crono thought it over. If he said he couldn't tell him because it would change time, Nabat would obviously take it as a 'no'. He tried desperately to think of an answer that would give away nothing.
Marle spoke up ahead of him, "We don't know where you go. But I'm sure that it'll take you to Zeal."
Nabat sighed, "Thank you. And everybody. . .?"
The others looked at him expectantly.
"It's been nice knowing you, I'll miss you people," he said, pressing a button on the machine, "And also. . .I'm sorry I couldn't tell you anything about your ancestors."
"Good luck," Cid said.
A blue gate appeared above the machine. Nabat smiled happily, "See? I told you it would work!"
Crono looked pained for a moment. He had the chance to change this man's future, to allow him to return to his rightful time. He knew that it might mean chaos in the time stream, but still he felt the need to tell.
Nabat waved one last time, then said, "I'm going home. Finally going home."
Then he jumped in. The gate closed behind him. When he was gone, there was an exhalation of breath.
"Until we meet again, Taban," Crono said sadly as the gate sealed itself.
"That was the hardest thing I've ever done," Cid said finally, "He's going to be very disappointed for a while."
"Until he meets Lara," Crono added, "I hated to lie to him like that, even so."
"It was necessary," Marle admitted, "But I still didn't like doing it."
Cid looked at the time machine as he finished the other wing, completing the epoch, "Now all I have to do is add the time machine to this thing, and we'll have your time chariot back."
* * * * *
The space probe was sent out an hour later. Its launch was successful, and amid the cheering scientists in the control tower, computers tracked its movements toward one of the phenomenons.
As it flew through the recesses of space, it was taking pictures of the 'meteorites' as it approached them. All of them were red now, and they glowed unendingly. With the probe, they were finally able to make an accurate count.
There were close to one hundred of these things.
"Dead God," one of the men at the computer said after he had made the count.
"That's way too many," another said, "It's like a whole asteroid group is coming at us."
The probe was nearing them fast now, without the frictions of gravity and wind resistance of Earth, it was traveling through space at close to two thousand miles per hour. The meteorites were moving much faster, however.
Another picture feeded through and appeared on the screen. One of the nearer meteorites. The tech sitting at the terminal tapped the screen for a second, thinking that maybe it was a monitor glitch. With no such luck, he looked more closely, "That's strange."
"What is it?" asked the head of the program.
"This image of the meteorite, sir," the man replied, vexed, "It looks somewhat like a giant, round porcupine."
Then, suddenly, the probe broke contact. The images stopped and the tracking beacon was lost.
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