A Message From the Darkness

By John Donahue

Two days ago I died. Then it started to get complicated.

I'll tell you about my life, to show you how I met my...untimely demise. Oh, and please forgive me if I get off track, I was only human, and these are merely my memories...

You see; my name is Crono. I was a normal teenager, out and about, always occupied, always doing something. Then Fate came in.

Fate took my life and turned it upside down. I became a time traveler, ripping from era to era in order to try to restore the world to its pristine state. My friends and I...ah, yes...my friends. I may be dead, but I remember their faces so clearly. The five of them were the best friends I could have had...

Okay, back on track now. I met this girl. Hm. It's funny, but doesn't every sad story start out with someone meeting a girl? Anyway, I met this girl at our Millennial Fair, and she had lost her pendant, an heirloom of her family. I found it and gave it back. She was so thankful to me. She told me her name was Marle, and she asked if I could show her the ropes around Truce. I readily agreed.

Ah, Marle. It was so confusing then, but now it's all clear. Though we only spent a short time together, I genuinely believe she loved me. She was a feisty girl, so full of spirit. I don't like to think about what my...departure...did to her.

I had really come to the Fair not only to play around and have a good time, but also to see Lucca's latest device. Lucca's my best friend, and she always trying to figure out how to build bigger and better machines.

Ah, yes, Lucca. We've been best friends since childhood, an inseparable pair. All the townsfolk, including our parents, thought we would grow up and get married someday. Ah, well. It doesn't look like I'll be marrying anyone now.

The machine was a teleporter, and it took me from one pad to the next with no problem. The trouble only started when Marle stepped up to the plate. Something in the machine reacted with her pendant, and a black portal appeared. Marle was taken in. I felt I had to do something, and so I followed suit.

Through the vortex I went, and I came out in a canyon. I stumbled out, fending off various creatures. At the bottom was a small village, exactly like Truce. In fact, it WAS Truce, but in a different time. Some one told me I was in the year 600!

I made my way towards the palace. There I met with Marle again. Then, before my eyes, she vanished!

As I was leaving, crestfallen, I met up with Lucca, who told me Marle was really Nadia, Guardia's princess. Then I remembered the story of a kidnapped queen, from this time. Lucca and I agreed, if Queen Leene was rescued, Marle would return.

We made our way to the cathedral, where we came into the acquaintance of a rather...peculiar individual. Frog was anything but normal. He was a frog that acted, spoke, and thought as a man. If he weren't a frog, he'd be a man.

Ah, poor Frog. He was always kind to me and never failed to point out my mistakes as I used my blade. Under his tutelage, my skill with the sword greatly improved...I shall miss him.

We fought through the cathedral, and rescued the queen. From there we returned to the palace, and discovered Marle had indeed returned. She admitted being Nadia, but said that she just wanted a little freedom.

As we were leaving, we paused to say farewell to Frog. He left us, and we made for the canyon.

Lucca, in her genius, had developed a way to control the portals, which she called "Gates". We took off for home.

Arriving home, Lucca left us and went home. I escorted Marle to the palace, but as I walked in, I was arrested for kidnapping.

After the trial, I was taken for solitary confinement. However, due to the Chancellor, I was now slated for execution. This was not turning out to be a good day.

No, no, that isn't how I died. Lucca rescued me, and we escaped. As we were leaving, Marle joined us. We all made a break for the forest, and in the depths of it, we found a Gate.

Taking it, we found it lead to the future. Seeing the destruction there, I resolved to make it right. It turned out that an enormously powerful being named "Lavos" had destroyed most of civilization in the year 1999. Marle, Lucca, and I were determined to repair this age when we learned of its history.

We were in the future, and needed to get home. We found the Gate in a place called the Proto Dome. We also found an intelligent robot there. We called him Robo, and took him with us.

Yes, I remember Robo very clearly. So strong, so eager to please, why, he spent every moment trying to make our lives a little easier. I wish I had time to get to know him better.

When we emerged from the Gate, we found ourselves in an odd place: The End of Time. The old man there explained to us why we'd been taken there. At that point, all we wanted to do was try and save the world. But first, we were given the gift of Magic but the Old Man's assistant; an odd creature called Spekkio. I was given Lightning, Marle received Water, and Lucca gained Fire.

When we emerged from Spekkio's room, the Old Man had a job for us. For a reason he would not tell us, we were to go to our own time, AD 1000. When we did, we traveled through a cave. At the end a beast confronted us. As we defeated it, it told us that a sorcerer known as "Magus" had created Lavos 400 years ago in an effort to destroy the human race.

We came to the conclusion that if we defeated Magus in the seventh century, then Lavos would never had been created, and the world wouldn't have ended. So we went back to the fairgrounds, and took the Gate there.

We met up with Frog again as well. He was still despondent at his failure to protect the Queen. We told him we were going to destroy Magus, but he just sighed and told us that we needed a special sword called the "Masamune". Marle, Lucca, and I went out to look for it.

We found it: At the top of a mountain. Two creatures guarded it: the brothers Masa and Mune. After we fought them, they were wondering if we could fix them. We approached the Masamune, only to find it was a broken weapon, a mere blade to the sword.

We turned back, and went to see Frog again. He was still impassive to anything we said. Then we found the hilt to the sword in his house. The puzzle was starting to come together-Frog was the legendary warrior we were hearing about!

On the sword hilt was a name. Melchior. He was a man who lived in our time frame, AD 1000. I had had a passing chat with him, and it turned out he was a weaponsmith. We took the sword to him, and asked if it could be reforged. He told us we needed a rock called Dreamstone, which hadn't been available for a long time.

So Marle, Lucca, and I skipped back into the prehistoric age, and came across a tribe leader named Ayla.

Ayla. She was quite the energetic woman. Strong, brave, and intelligent, though she was from the distant past. She was my friend from the very first time I saw here.

Ayla owned a Dreamstone, as it was available there. I won it from her fairly, and she gave it too us.

The Prehistoric was not a nice place. There, humans struggled to survive against giant reptiles, the Reptites. We aided them, and then went on our way.

Back in the Present, Melchior was able to fix the Masamune. We took it to Frog, and then he responded. We went to defeat Magus, and on the way learned a bit more about our amphibious friend.

He had once been a human named Glenn, but was turned to a frog through Magus's magic. His friend Cyrus had once wielded the Masamune, but had lost his fight with Magus.

We fought through Magus's castle, finally meeting the fiend himself. We beat him, but only just as Lavos started to emerge. There we found out that Magus hadn't created Lavos, that the beast was millions of years old. Then, an enormous Gate crashed down, and we were pulled into the darkness.

We found ourselves in the past, with Ayla again. The final confrontation between Humans and Reptites was about to begin. We aided, and the Humans succeeded. But from that triumph came the bitter realization that Lavos came from this time. He fell from the sky, and burrowed in the earth. In his wake, he left a Gate.

The Gate took us to 12,000 BC, the Dark Ages. There we met the Enlightened Ones, magic users, who lived in the floating Kingdom of Zeal, and the Earthbound Ones, who lacked magic and dwelt in caves.

We discovered the fact that Zeal's power came from Lavos, and we were determined to stop it. Schala, the queen's daughter, tried to help us, but failed. She did give us the advice to save the Guru of Live. Whoever that was.

Schala...so much potential, so much power. She was a friend, for the short time I knew her. She hated what she had to do, yet did it anyway. Her brother Janus, who seemed to lack magic, was aloof from the world and cared nothing for it.

We were discovered, declared to be enemies, and banned from Zeal, the Gate shut behind us. We asked the Old Man at the End of Time for advice, and he sent us to the Future. There, we discovered an unexpected ally: The Guru of Reason. He gave us Epoch, our time machine.

Ah, Epoch. Sometimes it seemed to have a life of its own. A beautiful machine, and a great asset.

Hopping back to the Dark Ages, we saved the Guru of Life, who turned out to be Melchior. We saw Schala again, then, but only slightly, as she was captured by a single-eyed lackey of the Queen, Dalton, and taken to the Ocean Palace. We were going to follow, to destroy whatever connected Zeal to Lavos, and to do this, Melchior gave us a red knife.

We traversed the Ocean Palace, and tried to destroy their connection. The power emanating from that machine was so great; it turned the knife into a sword. The Masamune. It was all for naught, I'm afraid, as Lavos still arose.

Now we come to the final scenes. The Prophet, who was the Queen's advisor, turned out to be Magus. He tried to defeat Lavos, but lost. Schala also was knocked away. Frog, Lucca, and I did our utmost, but were in turn beaten. However, I wasn't going to give up. Not this time. Slowly, gathering my battered body together, I stood.

The queen laughed in open contempt of my abilities. Schala beckoned me to run away, as no mortal could defeat Lavos. But I didn't listen, and it's my own fault. I challenged Lavos, and he responded by hitting me with a blast of energy so hard it knocked away everyone else. I still fought on. However, this was a losing battle. I knew I was doomed, but I wanted to go out with Lavos taken with me. After a few seconds I knew this to be impossible.

With the last of my energy, I tried to attack, but an idea crept up on me instead. I sent my mind, my soul, or whatever you want to call it, whatever makes a person a person, into the pendant Marle had given me to hold. As I felt the new confines of what I would now dwell in for eternity close about me, I looked back. My mortal frame was being hit with a blast of power so great that my body shattered. It melted away like so much dust. Within seconds it was no more. Then I knew no more, as the last of the spell took hold, and I was entrapped within the pendant.

Well, there you have it. My life in a nutshell. Sorry about the diversions, but remembering things often triggers other thoughts...

Oh, and I have had vague glimpses of things beyond my time. I saw Magus with my friends, and realized he had joined us. I saw Epoch, the faithful machine, given wings and flying. And I saw the Ocean Palace rise into the sky.

But now I'm tired. All this remembering has put a strain on my mind. And now, I'd just like to rest...yes...sleep.

I hope Marle's okay. This must be hell on her and the others too...yes. They all considered me the leader, but now I'm not so sure it should have been me...but it doesn't matter, does it? No...I guess not...well, thanks for listening, but now, I guess you'll be going...I will be too...

...Goodbye, life...goodbye, world...goodbye, Marle...

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