Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 30
In the aftermath, there was nothing but silence. The only movement came from the flickering flames set in the braziers, and the slight movement from the defeated group, silent breaths escaping from them. The statue stood resolute still, tinged red from the fires burning before it. In the center of the circle of fire, lay the Masamune. It sat, undamaged despite the battle it had just experienced.
Sprawled before the statue, facedown, lay the defeated body. No longer hold to a name; Vili, Magus, and Janus were all down. It was over.
Away from the fallen wizard, something stirred. Lucca's hands slowly slid across the floor, as she weakly tried to pull herself back up. Her glasses' lens were cracked, the right one missing half of itself. Groaning slightly, she rolled over onto her back and tried to sit up. The pain was excruciating.
Lavos had beaten them severely. But it didn't have enough time to finish them off...Something had happened. Lucca spun her head around and looked toward the room, finding nothing; empty. She strained her eyes, but the blurry vision remained. Angrily, she knocked off her glasses. They clattered on the floor, small specks of glass falling off of them. She pushed against the ground once more, ignoring the pain this time, and stood. Her legs shook under the weight, still weak and stiff from the shock. It was then that she realized that her eyes weren't blurry from the broken glasses, the blast had nearly blinded her.
She began coughing and fell over onto her hands and knees, her legs buckling under the sudden movement. After the coughing died down, she took several deep breaths and crawled over to Crono's inert form, which was closest to her. She reached out to roll him over, and from the touch realized that he was shaking. The shock had caused his muscles to spasm. She looked into his face and realized that he was awake.
She moved into a sitting position and waved her hand in front of Crono's face, "Crono, you okay?"
He nodded weakly, his face filled with blackened splotches. Lucca was glad she didn't have a mirror, she probably looked similar. She put her hand under his hand and helped him sit up. He moaned from the pain, his left arm jerking suddenly, another reflex.
"Something happened to Lavos," Lucca explained, "It's gone and the building's still intact."
"Magus," Crono replied, his voice hoarse.
"I can't see," Lucca continued, "I don't know what's out there."
"Your glasses...you can't see bec--" Crono's voice couldn't carry and he wheezed out the rest.
"Yeah, I took them off," Lucca nodded, "Can you see anything I can't?"
Crono nodded, then pointed ahead of him, "Magus."
"Standing or fallen?" Lucca pressed for more.
"Do--" Crono began coughing, the scratching on his throat too much.
"Good," Lucca sighed with relief, "I'm going to have to do this now, then."
She turned and began crawling towards the direction Crono had pointed, "Wait here."
Janus looked up with a grim smile as Vili plummeted to the ground before him. Eye for an eye.
Fall for a fall.
For a moment, the fallen form of Vili remained motionless, as if it was thinking over its situation, pondering what to do about Janus. He no longer cared. If he were to die today, it was long overdue. No man should be able to survive the things he had seen. He continued to stare at the fallen, a smile playing across his lips. Then, the realization hitting him, he began to laugh.
This grabbed the other's attention and he slowly pulled himself to his feet. The two faced each other, one laughing, one glaring scornfully. This time, however, Janus saw the face of the one who had caused him so much pain.
Where he had been expecting someone to look just like him and Magus, he had been correct, half correct. The face appearing before him was a warped and perverted version of himself. A face bound by the evils of revenge and power, it was twisted into a inhuman grimace of hatred. And pain.
So much pain...
Janus ceased laughing as he stared at the face of his enemy. Vili seemed to allow him this one look, but slowly drew the hood of his cloak back over his head seconds later. Behind that hood, only two glaring orbs penetrated the darkness.
"What...have...you...done?" Vili spoke slowly, overtaken by his anger.
Janus didn't reply, not yet. He continued to stare at the figure, hoping he had enough energy left to forever put the dark mage into submission. The silence caused Vili's anger to grow, and the avatar seemed to be inches from jumping at Janus and killing him.
"I was the first," Vili continued, "You had no right to take my life from me. Yet you did. You had no right to deny me my reattempt to take that life. Yet...you have. Why?!"
This time, Janus spoke, "You have no more right than I do. Less so, in fact. You planned to abuse the power, to use it in the wrong purpose. You used everybody for yourself, and now you act surprised when somebody uses somebody against you?"
"You broke the prophecy!" Vili yelled, the voice carrying loudly through the void, "I was the first! I have the right to do whatever I want!"
"So I broke your pattern," Janus mocked him, "You use us against each other for so long yet you feel that the rules say we can't use each other against you. I have lived longer with this body than you have; what if I feel I have as much right as you do?"
"I...was...the...first!" Vili repeated, "You stole it from me! You are nothing but a thief!"
"We're on even ground now," Janus responded, "That leaves us no other choice."
Instantly, Vili was enveloped in a blackish energy, an aura. "No other choice..." his voice was no much calmer, the realization that he was stronger than Janus entering his mind, "Then we shall see, once and for all, who is true."
"And who is the false prophet." Janus finished.
Lucca tried to stand once more, but merely pitched forward; her legs were numb. She hit the ground with a grunt, but pushed the pain aside. Reaching forward once more, she dragged herself another few inches toward her target. Before her, a blurry shape was now visible. A crumbled figure in black. Magus.
Or Janus? the voice came into her dazed head.
She shook the thought out, there was no time for rambling. She continued her snail's pace. She brushed up against something and turned her head. Squinting her naked eyes, she could make out the form of a brazier towering over her. Nothing.
Behind her, she head a shuffle and looked back. Crono was trying to follow her. He had reached Glenn and was reclaiming his sword. Lucca, confused, turned back to her task. A few more feet and she would reach him.
Crono dragged the sword out of Glenn's unmoving hands, then inspected the fallen warrior. Glenn was still alive, but was still out. There was no time to look over him now, though. Crono turned away, and began to pull himself to his feet, using the sword as a cane.
Fire erupted around Janus as he weakly fended it off with a barrier of ice. Physics were what you made of them in the realm of your mind, but he was still fightin reflexively, and ice was the first thing to come to mind when faced with fire. In actuality, it was merely the force of his mind fending off the force of Vili's.
Janus stood from his kneeling position and vented a swift emission of flames; fighting fire with fire. Vili merely wrapped himself in his cloak and crouched, the fire enveloping him. Janus peered through the fire for his adversary, but finding no sign.
Then Vili came hurtling out of the fire, his cape flapped out like wings. He had changed now, his fingers becoming claws and his body was appearing more hunched. Then Janus realized that the cape actually was a set of wings; Vili was altering his appearance. The hood tore back to his shoulders as Vili's head warped into a new feature, a beastish face. Almost wolflike, though more menacing. A monster straight from the battered mind of a victim.
The monster landed before Janus, who was caught off guard by its sudden speed. It grasped him with hands, the fingers now large enough to wrap around his waist. Janus struggled as he was pulled up to its face, whose glare was like daggers to his eyes.
He could see his fate in those eyes; which was, a messy death. He realized that the monster was going to either bite his head off or eat him whole.
He could have none of that. Janus kicked out, placing his foot on the monster's stomach, then pushed. The force tore him out of the beast's grasp and hurtling backwards. He landed roughly on his back, sliding away from the monster that was now charging him. He quickly scrambled to his feet, then tried to think of a quick spell.
He pointed and a bolt of lightning tore from his hand and struck the monster, causing it to stagger in its momentum. Janus stepped to the side, the claws barely missing him.
How can I fight someone this powerful?
Crono finally caught up to Lucca, who was huddled over the quiet form of Magus. The boy staggered and fell roughly into a seated position. Lucca looked back to him for a second, then was back to her work. Beside her, she had opened her satchel and pulled out a small case.
"What is that?" Crono whispered, his condition not allowing a full voice.
"Treatment," she responded, "For his condition."
She took one of the vials, blue in color, and tipped it over the small beaker before her. It mixed with the yellow liquid already inside, making a dull green.
"It's a virus," she concluded.
"That doesn't sound like much of a cure to me," Crono was taken aback, "What does it do?"
"Nanomachines, really," Lucca corrected herself, "They enter the brain and are programmed to 'take out' false cells."
She swirled the beaker for a second, then let it settle for a moment, "Your brain sends out electronic impulses through tiny things called neurons. However, different minds send out different 'brainwaves.' What these will do," she held up the beaker and looked at it horizontally, "Will find the weaker 'brainwaves' and eliminate their source. The weaker brainwaves will be sent by the mental personas that are branched out from the original. Which is to say, the ones created after the original."
Crono shook his head and wheezed, "I didn't understand most of that, but it doesn't sound good. Destroying parts of the brain, couldn't that cause some unintentional damage?"
"It destroys the parts that send out functions, it should be safe," Lucca assured him, "There were some warnings about possible brain damage caused to the host, but I think they're pretty rare."
"Lucca, how did you get this?" Crono got to the point.
"I stole it," Lucca admitted, shrugging.
Ignoring Crono's shocked expression, she pulled out another vial and poured the contents inside. When it reached 20 miligrams, she stopped and put the half empty beaker down. Then she put together the needle, pressing the end down far enough until a small stream escaped the point; air didn't need to be put in Janus's head.
"And what if Janus isn't the 'true' one?" Crono finally added.
Lucca held up the needle for a moment, staring at the contents inside; then she glanced down at the sword Crono had brought, "Then kill him."
"How do you inject it?" Crono asked, "His skull's a bit hard for a needle to pass through."
"Through his eye," Lucca said matter of factly.
"His wha--" Crono's voice rose, and he began coughing again.
Then Lucca stabbed the needle into Magus's right eye and injected.
"Oh, geez!" Crono turned his head and began gasping for air.
Lucca slowly pulled out the needle, now empty. She sat back and tossed it to the ground carelessly.
Janus was flung through the air, four red streaks across his chest where the monster had struck him. He hit the ground and slid several feet, finally stopping in an unmoving heap.
It was surely over...but at least he had stopped Vili.
"As soon as I finish you," the voice spoke, "I will return to my goal, this time without your interference."
Janus tilted his head and was facing a human form once more. Vili glared down at him, his face concealed as usual. Janus tried to rise, but failed.
"And if you do not succeed?"
"Then I will at least be happy with the fact that I have a life once more."
Janus began to kick out, pushing himself away from the form before him, slowly crawling, not nearly fast enough. Vili began to walk, pacing the fallen one.
"When I met Magus, I had the power of Lavos flowing through me. I may have lost that temperarily, but I still have enough to destroy you just as I destroyed him."
"Then finish me," Janus stopped crawling and simply closed his eyes, accepting his fate.
Beyond his hooded eyes, he heard Vili speak once more, "Very well."
Then there was a rushing noise. Vili was preparing his spell. He waited, wondering what oblivion would seem like. What was it like to not exist?
"What the--?" Vili demanded, then was cut off over the howl that erupted about them.
Janus snapped open his eyes. All around him, the world was weaving, swirling in some pattern, as if there was a black hole in his mind. Before him, Vili was struggling against the pull that was coming from nowhere. Janus too felt himself being tugged by the unseen maelstrom.
"No!" Vili demanded to the emptiness, as he scraped against the nothingness he stood upon.
Janus slowly stood, realizing that the pull wasn't so much on him, it was more a strong breeze. Something was against Vili. Perhaps Magus?
Janus leaned against the pull as he faced down the flailing Vili. Was Magus still alive? Vili glared at him, his hood flapping back and revealing his face once more. It was still the same, but this time there was confusion and fear.
"Help me!" Vili demanded, "Please!"
Janus shook his head, taking a step back. Beyond Vili, the swirl had take a life. Thousands of colors swirled together in the form of a giant whirlpool. It was huge, spanning what would be thousands of miles wide to Janus's form. Yet it was so far that it was but a mere few dozen feet. However, as Janus peered closer, he realized what the swirling colors were. They were thoughts, memories, ideas; everything that had existed of Vili's mind. Every fragment of Vili's existance was pieced together like some faceless, shifting mosaic. What was going on?
Vili scraped against the pull, losing his fight. He looked pleadingly towards Janus once more, "Please! I'll make you a deal..."
"No more deals," Janus was resolute, "No more."
Vili lost his footing for a moment, sliding back several feet. His eyes were panick-stricken now, no more hatred; just simple fear. He seemed to lose his footing once more, then suddenly jumped forward, using his power to push him. He grasped ahold of Janus's arm and pulled him off of his feet.
Both went tumbling towards the maw. Janus reached out his free arm, trying to grasp on something. But there was nothing, he was in utter nothingness. He tugged against Vili's hold, but couldn't break it. Vili was going to take everything with him.
"...Just enjoy life here, it's all you can do. No pain, no suffering. And your every wish can be manifested before you. Be happy with what you have."
The old words reached Janus's ears once more. Something Vili had told him long ago. And your every wish can be manifested before you...
Quickly, Janus's mind darted out, trying to use his weakened powers to create something to help. Before him, something broke out of the ether, a figment of his confused mind. He reached out to grasp it, but it merely broke, snapping from the force. He continued to tumble.
The vortex was now gaping over him, swirling with each fragment of memory from Vili; and possibly him too. Janus tried not to think about it and attempted to create another savior.
A wall of ether shot up, briefly blocking the vortex from his view. He strained himself, preparing for a nonexisting pain from the impact. Then they collided with it.
And it shattered from their impact. They flew on through, as if it hadn't even been there. Behind him, Janus saw as the broken wall quickly faded into the darkness; it was then that he realized how fast they were now travelling. The vortex towered, they were too close. He could now distinctly see the images, the fragments of Vili's memory and thoughts. There were millions of them, billions even. Every fraction of a second of his life was recorded and stored as an image. And now they were together, flowing into a hole that led to a bigger nothingness than they now resided.
I'm not going to make it, either...
Janus ignored the thought, he HAD to make it. Last chance...
Janus reached for his scythe, then remembered that he had tossed it aside during his confrontation with Magus. It was lost...No, it was merely his imagination. He could manifest another. No....Something more...
Janus extended his free hand, which scraped against the black invisible ground. Then he concentrated on his hand. Vili could become a monster, so could he....
His hand twisted impossibly, molding itself into another form. His fingers quickly melded together, their tint becoming more smooth and shiny, almost steel-like. Then they bent and lengthened, forming a long blade that reached a point. A scythe of his own.
"Bye Vili," Janus said to the wailing figure grasping his arm.
He stabbed the ground. The momentum was too much, and he continued to slide. But he kept the scythe imbedded into the nothingness, as it dug a trail behind it.
He was slowing down.
Janus concentrated once more, and the scythe sprouted twin blades out of its sides, underground. The reaction was immediate. Janus was jerked to a stop. If he had been in the real world, his arm would have been torn off. Vili seemed to lose his hold for a second, but managed to keep his grip. He was lifted off of the ground by the pull.
Janus looked at the figure, and at the raging vortext behind him. Then were obviously much too close to it for their own good. It's top spanned the 'sky', towering too high for Janus to see. The were definitely much too close.
"Please, Janus!!" Vili demanded, his grip slipping greatly, "I was the first!"
Vili's hold slid a bit, he wasn't going to make it.
"Then I will be the last," Janus finished the statement.
Vili finally lost his hold and went plummetting into the abyss, spinning as he flew into the air. Janus reached up with his free hand and grasped his other arm, though it was no longer needed; the pull wasn't so strong on him.
He watched as Vili flew screaming. His arms were waving about in an effort to stop the pull, which was futile. Several seconds later, he reached the vortex. He broke through the images of his memory, which shattered like glass as he passed through them. The shards wavered about him, caught in his momentum. Then, Vili rushed ahead of them and disappeared into the hole.
The response was immediate. Like an explosion, the area shook and rumbled violently; Janus heard it like thunder. All of the images around it shattered in a simultaneous action, breaking into thousands of pieces each. Janus watched in awe as the vortex became a raging volcano, spewing shards of the images--shattered memories--out of itself. The pieces soon reached him and they hailed over his head. They were everywhere.
Janus placed his head against the blackness below him and merely closed his eyes. He would wait. It was over, Vili was obviously gone. While he couldn't explain it, he accepted it. He had seen it himself, something like that was too much for even Vili to manifest just to 'play with Janus's mind.' It was over.
The rumbling stopped moments later and Janus slowly raised his head. His hand had returned to normal, obviously as soon as he had forgotten about it. He slowly pulled himself to his feet and looked at the emptiness around him. He was truly alone now.
But it was over.
Janus, still weak, staggered off into the darkness with no particular place in mind. At least he was in full control now.
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