Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 1

Home Again

By Jerm

Janus felt the pull of something once again. It was drawing him, almost calling him to the castle. He wasn't sure what it was, was it himself? Or maybe there was something there. He was unsure, but he did know the quickest way to find out.

He landed at the foot of the small dirt trail in front of the stone building. Not so much as a noise was made as he walked the few feet left on the trail, toward the front door.

Above him, it was night. The crescent moon was hidden well behind the clouds, but he knew his way. He had been here many times before, despite the time. The castle had stood resolute during its owner's departure, as well. Janus was amazed, he had been sure that either Guardia would have had it torn down, or maybe the weather would have done so.

Neither had occurred, for the very castle he now opened the door of stood as tall as ever.

He felt the pull grow stronger as the door creaked open, almost dragging him in with the force. He fought the tug, but stepped in anyway. He would understand this mystery.

As he stepped inside, he was almost tempted to call out 'Who's there?' But he held his tongue, shutting the door behind him and igniting the twin braziers that stood by the sides. They burst into flame, surprisingly still containing oil.

"What do I do?"

The child's voice startled him, causing Janus to look around wildly for the source. He saw no sign of anybody. A quick spread of his mind and all of the room's braziers were lit. Still nothing.

"You'll learn in time. Trust me, you'll have a very important job someday."

Janus stepped into the room, not bothering to keep quiet. His shoes echoed loudly in the room. Other than him, the entire room was empty of occupants. However, Janus recognized that voice. It was Ozzie. The voice came again.

"Come with me for a second, I'll show you the castle."

"Where first?

The child's voice was very familiar as well. He could almost place it. He could also feel that he had been through this before. He shook the thought out of his head, he needed to concentrate.

"The basement will work. Start from the bottom, and head for the top."

Good enough. Janus walked toward the basement, flames from torches igniting all around him as he proceeded, lit by the unconcscious energy he was releasing.

* * * * *

Janus stepped down the last step, entering the large room that housed the basement. It was empty of occupants, however. Puzzled ever so slightly, Janus stepped forward, examining this spot, where he had tried to summon Lavos.

It was the same as it had been when he had been torn away from this time. The gate had left it in one piece, obviously, but he was surprised to find not a single crack or other sign of destruction. He stepped forward again, now standing in the center of the circle of braziers.

The braziers ignited into red flames, suddenly, causing Janus to whirl around,

"I'm going to finish my agenda now. I intend for you three to keep everybody out of here while I'm doing so."

Another voice came wafting to him from the surroundings. Before Janus could say anything, another voice came up, Ozzie again.

"What if you die?"

"I won't die. Not even Lavos can stop me now. Never assume that I'm gone. I'll always return."

Janus knew the voice. It wasn't actual voices, either. Janus didn't know what was going on, how could he be hearing this?

The voices were gone once more, ending the conversation between Ozzie and himself. Janus stood in the center of the red flames, trying to decide what to do.

"Hello, Janus."

The voice that came to him was not one of the previous voices. He also knew that this one was directed to him. He turned to the sound of the voice and saw a figure. He was unable to make out the details, he was blinded by the fire.

"Figured it out yet?" the figure asked.

"Who are you?" Janus asked, trying to shield his eyes.

"Drop your hands and stay where you are. I plan to make a deal with you and the deal will be off if you disobey any of those orders."

Janus apprehensively dropped his hand, curious about this stranger. The figure did not move from its position however, it merely examined him.

"What deal would you be talking about?" Janus asked finally.

"How would you like to have your sister back?" the figure replied calmly.

"Impossible," Janus scoffed, then realized something, "How did you know of my search for my sister?"

The figure's response was unsatisfactory, "Trust me, I know."

"Who are you?" Janus repeated, fighting down the urge to step past the fire and find out himself.

"Nobody, for now. It's not the time. Do you like my half of the deal?"

The voices that he had earlier heard were now forgotten to Janus for the moment. He was now trying to find this person's intentions, "I get my sister. What would I have to do for that?"

"Merely gather some things for me."

"Merely? If it was so easy, you would do it yourself," Janus began to doubt the figure.

"I am doing this for your own good, not mine, foolish child. Will you agree to the terms?"

"I am hardly a foolish child," Janus reminded the figure, "Don't think to insult me in my own castle."

The figure seemed to laugh at this, "Your own castle? Enough of this, do you agree?"

"What must I collect, I'd rather know that first," Janus said, feeling angry.

"A handful of snow from the North Cape of Zeal. Return with that and we will talk more."

Janus glared darkly at the figure, "Are you toying with me? I would wish for you to explain yourself right now."

"The item is indeed trivial, but remember that it is for your own good, not mine. See that the errand is complete and meet me here again for the next step."

The flames around him suddenly died, the coals in the braziers going dark. As the light fled and his eyes adjusted, he could see that he was alone.

This was all too strange for Magus to comprehend. Still, it was a small thing, hardly worth not doing. The thing gave him a chance to find Schala, it was good enough for him.

He turned and walked up the stairs, retreating back through his castle. This time, no voices haunted him.


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