The Shadows Chapter 18


By Keith Adams

Magus held his cape over his body to protect himself from the biting cold. The winds in this era were far worse than those he had acclamaited himself to during his two years in twelve thousand bc. Far worse. The wind here could kill you, could reduce you to nothing but a corpse.

Magus looked up at Death Peak. Death Peak was unparreled in size; a reddish mountain stretching into the red clouds of this era. Atop it was a palace of some sort, one that reminded Magus uncomfortably of his homeland, and what he had given up. The only way to know for certain what was going on lay atop that mountain.

Magus reached into one of his capes inner pouches and pulled out a small, clock-like device. It was a circular watch with both hands pointed at twelve. It was a Crono Trigger; something capable of returning someone to life. Magus wrapped his fingers around the Crono Trigger; it was his only hope of ever saving Schala, or even where she had died.

Magus deposited the Crono Trigger back in his cape. No other way around it. He would have to ascend Death Peak. Magus followed a small path a few hundred feet up, until it reached a plateau of snow, with a lone tree. Taking a breath, Magus levitated slightly and flew to the tree, and held on to it for dear life. He knew what was to come.

Sure enough, a fierce wind blew, sending a balll of snow unto the road where he had been. The tree partially protected him, but Magus still moved back a few steps as the wind pounded his arms, beating him back.

In a few seconds, the wind died down. Magus flew up the plateau to a series of snow covered hills. Climbing a small cliff with handholds, Magus arrived on a small, square plateau. On the plateau was a shell of a Lavos Spawn. How could that be there? Lavos had been destroyed before he could spawn. Something was wrong - history had not been changed by the destruction of Lavos in 1999 ad. Yet, the spawn remained. Whatever ended up destroying the world must have been able to create a Lavos spawn. Magus shuddered at the prospect of what could do that.

The spawn's shell vaguely resembled an overlarge green porcipine's; it was a half-sphere, with sharp green spikes that were fairly wide and with a flat surface coming out of the top all around it. Magus stepped on one of the spikes; even through his boots he felt the slimy mucus of the spawn give way to him. Magus stepped on another spike, then another, then another. Soon he was at the top.

Engraved into the rock surface aboce the Lavos spawn were hand holds, little rock shaped indentations in the sheer stone surface. Magus put his hand in one, feeling the nearly frozen rocks press on his gloves. He swung his left arm and put his hand in the hand hold above the one his right arm was in. He continued, and reached the top. As his hand grapped the last handhold, Magus swung himself to the top, feeling the stone press against his stomach.

Magus got up on both feet, dusting the snow off his clothing. He was on a small stretch of snow covered land, straight and narrow. There were no winds in the area - not even the faintest hint of a breeze. On both sides was a straight drop to the bottom of Death Peak, which would surely kill a man. At the very tip of the straight was a tree.

The tree was a rather ordinary tree, with no leaves, but a spindly spiderweb of branches, and a thin base. The tree beckoned Magus to come nearer, and Magus obliged, reaching the tree, above which there was a small patch between clouds which the sun directly shone through.

Magus slowly took the Crono Trigger out of his pocket and held it directly above him. The sun bore down directly on the Crono Trigger, and there was a bright, blindingflash of white light.

Magus felt like his body was gone. He felt eerily weightless. He was on a small, grassy island where charred and broken structures lie all around him. Magus was on a lump of machinery, whose springs and gears lie scattered over a few feet around the brownish hull. Off in the distance were two figures - Magus felt himself running towards them - he didn't know why. He had a nagging sense of familiarity.

As he approached, he saw the two figures. One was a young woman, with blue hair tied at the back with a red braid, wearing a purple robe. she was facing away from him, towards a huge humanlike mass of shadow, a large cloak wearing a black facemask; purely black, save for a spot of red in the exact center of the forehead. Magus knew the young woman, and somehow he had a sense of familiarity with the cloaked figure.

"Who are you," asked the young woman in a soothing, medolic voice.

"I am the savior of mankind, the Guardian of the future. I am the light at the end of the tunnel, I am the destroyer of lives," answered the figure in a rasping, aged, yet powerful and augmented voice. With that, the figure let loose lightning from his shadow clad hands, and the girl fell to the ground "What must be .... must be," said the figure as he examined the fallen women.

Magus recognized the girl now it was Schala. He recognized the Shadow, for that was what the figure was, as ........

A surge of lightning passed through Magus from the Crono Trigger, knocking him to the ground away from the tree and sending the Crono Trigger plummeting to the base of the tree, embedding itself in the snow. Magus struggled to get up, but he couldn't, falling to the ground in the peaceful oblivion of sleep for one who has not slept in days.


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