The Shadows Chapter 28
By Keith Adams
The Epoch lifted itself up, sending a flurry of white snow over its' overhead pane, then turned itself around, flying into the distance, leaving only a white streak as it accelerated until - white. Sheer white.
Crono watched as the Epoch slowed, and waves of brownish substances across a black background. There was a small, glowing walkway above them. The Epoch's cover lifted effortlessly, and Crono jumped, grabbing unto to the walkways top; it was cold, chilly, stonelike; Crono put his elbow on it and swung his body up, then lowered his hand, to which Lucca grabbed on. Crono felt Lucca's strong, slender hands grab onto his and he pulled her up, only to have her fall on top of him.
The End of Time looked distinctly different. The walkway was the same, but now to the sides were towers, reaching hundreds of feet into the air, coming to a small circle at a ring shaped structure at the top, with portruding battlements shaped as spikes. The lightpost that had once served as the source of illumination was gone, in it's place a statue, exactly the same as the one Crono saw in Medina. It was of a huge, robed figure, concealed by a mask.
"Something is very wrong here," noted Crono plainly.
"I see you've been working on those observational skills. Maybe next time you can definately say that this place is not, in fact, the same as it was the last time we were here. Oh great Crono, I bow in awe of your brilliance," said Lucca, her typical sharpness and elitism replaced with a wavering, insecure tone "Perhaps, in your great genius, you might suggest that the Shadows who hold sway in Medina also hold some infinitesmall amount of power here; or perhaps you think we should investigate, because the really, blatantly obvious conclusion to a sheep is not the right conclusion, but part of a massive plot to undermine your confidence in reality."
"Lucca," admonished Crono.
"Yes?" asked Lucca with a hint of brightness mixed with innocence.
"You need to be more concise. And you need to work on your punchlines. Although," said Crono, missing a beat "What you said is true - the blatantly obvious conclusion is not always right. We ought to investigate a little more."
Lucca rolled her eyes, and ran her fingers through the right side of her purple hair, and smiled. Through some trick of the light, Crono suddenly saw Lucca clearly, more than he ever had before. Her eyebrows were fine lines of brownish hair, and her green eyes seemed to change color. Her purple hair neatly surrounded her head, and her chin was barely noticable. She was wearing almost all blue, save the shirt under her jacket, which was black. She looked quite cute, really.
"Are we going to go?" Lucca asked lightly.
"Ah, yes. We are. Going to go. That is .... that way," stuttered Crono, pointing at the statue. Lucca glanced at him sideways, then followed him towards the statue.
The square was different; the door to Spekkio's home was gone, replaced by a long street filled with the towers Crono had seen in the distance earlier. Crono looked down one of the streets, and saw a group of six or so robed rigures. He nudged Lucca, who was noticing much the same from the other direction.
Suddenly a shriek was let out, and the robed figures were glancing in their direction. Crono tried to access the web of magic, but it was inaccessible here, nothing more than darkness. Lucca reached under her jacket and threw a small spherical object at the groups approaching her and across the square, into Crono's group.
The spheres hit the ground, and exploded with blast of fire. Shapes danced and fell in the fire. More shrieks, piercing Crono's ear, getting higher and higher each time pierced the air, and dark shapes were now flying towards them from the distance. Flames engulfed the square and the statue - they were now cut off from the Epoch.
Lucca smiled, took a small remote out of her jacket, and pressed a button. Then she turned to Crono;
"To the pillars of light. Quickly."
Crono rushed up the staircase, Lucca behind him, and approached one of the pillars; this one took him home. Lucca had already climbed into it. Crono saw the Epoch plunged into the squares center, where the statue was burning. The Epoch exploded, sending the various parts of the End of Time flying into the mist, before Crono stepped into the light pillar.
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