Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 9

Illusions and Dilusions

By Jerm


Janus slowly lifted his head to the voice. The flashing images were now gone, but his mind's eye was still flashing them unconsciously, almost as if they had been burned into his head. But his real eyes were looking at something different. Before him was a wooden wall.

Janus shook his head feverishly and looked again. Then he realized that it wasn't a wall. He was looking at a ceiling. Looking about him more thoroughly, he discovered that he was laying in a bed inside a room.

"Magus, are you finally awake?" the voice came again.

The voice was coming from the other side of a door. Janus quickly jumped out of his bed, then stumbled. He quickly caught himself, and a wave of nausea overcame him.

The room was slowly rocking, indicating that he was now on a boat. And the voice was quite familiar. He fought down the sick feeling and hobbled to the door.

The person on the other side knocked on the door some more, "Magus? It's almost noon!"

Janus shook his head, wondering what was going on. He reached out and wrenched open the door, revealing Antold.

"We'll be at the island in almost an hour," Antold said as Janus stared at him, "I was thinking you might want some time to get ready--"

"Dalton!" Janus stumbled to the side as a sudden turn in the boat caught him off guard, but pulled himself back and prepared to attack Antold.

Antold fell back instantly, "What do you think you're doing? We've gone over this before!"

"Don't lie, Dalton," Janus snarled, "On the island, I saw--"

"Island? But we haven't even reached it yet," Antold shook his head, "You overslept a bit, you must have been dreaming or something."

"No. . ." Janus shook his head in return, "Something's going on."

"Just a dream," Antold said, "Calm down a bit and meet me up on the deck. Sailor's are usually susesptable to the supernatural and omens, and I'm no exception. You can tell me what happened."

"Just a dream. . ." Janus repeated.

"See you in a few minutes," Antold said turning and walking back to the stairway that led to the deck.

"All just a dream. . ." Janus said, shutting his door.

* * * * *

Five minutes later, Antold turned to the opening door. Janus stepped out, looking much stronger than he had appeared earlier. He seemed to have regained himself a bit after thinking through things.

Janus walked to the railing by Antold and simply looked out at the ocean. He didn't say anything, just stared away. Antold finally became impatient and began the conversation.

"So how ya feelin' now, Magus?" he asked.

Then Janus smiled. The smile stayed for a moment, then disappeared. Janus did not respond.

"I take that as an 'ok.'" Antold said, then sighed, "Do you feel like talking at all?"

Janus remained silent a bit longer. Antold shook his head and began to turn around.

"I know what's happening now," Janus finally spoke, nearly startling the turning captain.

"You do? That's good to hear," Antold said happily, though there was an apprehensive look on his face, "I'd hate to bring a confused person out in the middle of nowhere...So what's happenin'?"


Antold scratched his head and returned to the railing, "Nuthin', eh? How's that?"

"This is all just a dream," Janus smiled again, "It isn't real, I've been asleep the whole time, and I'm still asleep. THAT's why I couldn't feel the cold or the pain. THAT's why these things are haunting my mind. I'm just having a nightmare."

"Very interesting--"

"I'm not finished, Antold," Janus interrupted, "Before all this happened, I was flying through the icy cold air of Zeal. That was before I returned to my castle. Apparently, I must have lost consciousness from the cold while returning home."

Janus started to laugh. Antold stared at him. However, it wasn't a look of wariness or surprise, it was a look of calculating thoughtfullness. Janus' hands gripped the railing.

"I'm now lying in some snowbank in the middle of nowhere, freezing to death in my sleep!" Janus said in between laughs, "I'm going to die in all likelyhood."

"I think you're taking this too far, Magus," Antold said finally.

Janus ignored him and his 'Magus' slip. He released the railing with one hand and pulled out his scythe, which he had tucked into his belt before leaving his room. He snapped his wrist and the scythe awoke, the blade swinging out and the staff extending.

"No. . .THIS is going too far," Janus said, smiling.

He then took the weapon in both hands with the pole sticking up in the air, and before Antold could stop him, gutted himself with it. The blade cut cleanly into him, as if he didn't have ribs. No blood issued forth.

Antold watched it all with a look of indifference. Janus felt uneasy looking at the blade sticking out of his chest, almost shuddering. It was a natural reaction to this though. Viewing your own death in a dream always seems so startling, even if you anticipate it.

Finally, he pulled it out and resheathed it. Antold shrugged, however, "So? You're a magic user, you could do that anyway."

Janus shook his head, "You don't uderstand, that wasn't for your benefit. YOU already know I'm dreaming, you're not even real. I was doing this for my own. I'm dreaming this up."

Then suddenly blood began to pool onto his chest, through his cape. Janus gasped quickly and stumbled back, realeasing the railing. Blood quickly dripped down his legs and onto the deck, pooling slowly and leaving a trail behind him as he fell away. He finally tripped over his feet and fell onto his back.

"What's going on?" he yelled, though he wasn't sure who could answer him.

A pressence entered his senses and suddenly he understood.

"I thought that you would like to see that. I thought it was quite funny, myself"

The figure laughed quickly at this and Janus slowly stood up, looking around. Antold was staring at him with a usual indifferent look on his face, and didn't seem to be doing anything.

"I know this is a dream, Magus. You can stop with the games and stupid illusions now!"

"These aren't games, they are tests."

Something began to materialize before him, the air wavering in front of him as it appeared. Black began to materialize, starting on the deck and slowly growing up. Finally, the wavering stopped and a black cloaked figure stood before him.

"Magus, you can't toy with me. If we are the same person, I'm just as strong as you are. What you are doing is pointless," Janus stated.

Magus shook his head, "In body, we would be. But, like you have stated, this is a dream. This is a battle of the minds, in which anything can happen. We are two personalities, two people that will take this knowledge to two different ends."

"Then why are you doing this? What's the point?" Janus was beginning to sound angry, "I'm asleep in the coldest environment imaginable. That body is going to die any time now. You have nothing to gain by driving me out of a corpse."

"Have you forgotten that vision I showed you?" Magus smiled slightly, "You are not under a ton of snow in the middle of a blizzard. You, or should I say, I went to the Cursèd Woods to finish old business."

Janus remained silent, expecting more of the story.

Magus obliged and continued, "You did fall under while in Zeal. That was when I was able to take control. You see, we are two personalities in the same body, and only one can take hold at a time, and the owner depends on the people, things, and events around him. But when one is exausted from holding down the other, the other can usurp the mind and body. I did just that when you fell unconscious.

"You first retook control when I returned to Zeal. When we saw Schala. Between then and recently, I was unable to reestablish command."

"If you are in control, why are you here and not 'outside' slaughtering the rest of the world?" Janus asked, sarcasm abundant in his voice.

"We fall back to my battle with Glenn. I was wounded afterwards, as was he. He will probably die. I fell away in an attempt to rejuvinate myself, but it was not possible. The body now lies in the woods somewhere, unconscious. The body is too mentally exausted to be conscious, so we are both 'shoved' into the subconscious together.

"When the body reawakens, one of us will take control. The fastest one, or the strongest one. I'm not quite done with my revenge on the others, you see. I'm not just handing over my control."

Janus nodded, understanding the other's actions, but not accepting. He would not go down without a fight either. "And when will our 'host' reawaken?"

"Soon, very soon," Magus said, "As you can see, it's now or never for me."

Before Janus could react, Magus had his scythe out and was striking at him. The blade cut into his chest horizontally, creating a perfect '+' in it. Then, instead of drawing the blade out, he heaved with incredible strength and Janus left the ground.

Magus held him up several feet off of the ground, inspecting him. Janus grabbed the staff of the scythe, attempting to pull himself off. No blood poured out of him, but he didn't care about that.

"Unfortunately, a physical fight will not work. We are both 'entities' within the real body, nothing more than avatars created from our minds, created in a likeness in how we percieve ourselves," Magus explained calmly.

Janus looked behind him for an instant, at the railing. But Antold was now gone, "And him?" he asked about the missing person.

"Something created from my mind. We are sharing the same 'unconscious world.' What I place in this world will be in your vision as well. We can combat each other as though we were two separate people here."

Janus smiled, "Then let's see. . ."

Something grabbed Magus from behind, pulling him away and through the air. Magus was caught off guard and dropped his scythe as he was tossed. He hurtled through the air, finally landing on the deck near the tiller wheel. The scythe fell to the ground, along with Janus. Janus pulled out the blade, then tossed it overboard.

In front of him, Glenn slowly walked toward Magus. Janus concentrated his mind, causing the Glenn aparition to draw his sword, the Masamune. A weakness to all magics and those who use it. Something that Magus feared.

Magus rolled out of the way, indicating that the fear was overtaking him. The blade cut into the ship. Magus was on his feet in an instant, and before Janus could think Glenn's next maneuver up, he had ahold of the frog and had hefted him overboard.

"Not bad, but you're still a rookie when it comes to that," Magus taunted.

Behind him, Azel and Antold stepped forward from the ether around him. "But rookies won't cut it. It takes a pro to control two at once."

Janus' attention was taken by something else, however. He could feel a slight tugging upon him, something pulling on him. For some reason, he couldn't tell what direction, however. He looked at Magus, who continued to talk.

I'm waking up! Janus thought to himself, He's probably recieving the same tug, but hasn't noticed it since he's busy talking.

Janus quickly reflected on Magus's earlier words, "When the body reawakens, one of us will take control. The fastest one, or the strongest one."

The fastest one.

"If you plan on trying to create people to use against me, I'd hope--" Magus continued, but was cut off.

"Bye, Magus," Janus interrupted, "I'm heading back to the real world.

Then he concentrated and the world around him shattered like glass.

* * * * *

"I've got the water."

"Good get it over here, he's still not completely awake, but he's close."

The figure with the water handed the cup to the other, "Hold this, I'll go get some bread."

"Hurry, Lucca. It's happening," the kneeling figure said suddenly.

Then the sleeping figure opened his eyes.


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