The Next Generation Part 19
By Krazy Sam
Sari made her way out of the forest in a daze- thinking back to what the strange video had said Stal placed a hand on her shoulder comfortingly.
Itll be all right he murmured. Sari nodded.
Yeah she murmured. Elena frowned.
Will Tavi ever come back? I rather liked him.
Sari shook her head. No hes gone for good.
Kash pounded his fist on the iron railings of the End of Times platform and sighed in exasperation. Im fed up with all of this boredom! Isnt there ever anything to do here? he shrieked. Olana shrugged as Robo walked into Spekkios room some ways behind her.
If you want, we could go back to my time It would be wise for me to check back with my mother she whispered. Nika stepped forward.
Do something quick or I fall asleep here on rocks! she agreed. Olana smiled.
I think I remember the way back to my time she giggled.
Guares paced his study nervously, swearing under his breath. Laeri stepped forward and raised an eyebrow, back in her previous state- brightly colored hair and mismatched eyes.
Whats the matter? I thought that this incident would be erased from our memories
Guares shook his head. You ruined it for me, Laeri. I have never been defeated before, and it was your fault that this time had to be the first!
Second, Laeri corrected. Guares narrowed his eyes.
Ah, yes the cell he murmured. Laeri turned away and shuddered. She had been in some bad prisons in her lifetime of one hundred and seven years, but never one so terrifying as that one
Guares sprinted down the dark, metallic corridor and gasped for breath. Red lights flashed brightly and sirens blared through the immense speaker system. Only pausing to take a breath, he began dashing for his life. Heavy footsteps pounded behind him
Not enough energy to disappear he wheezed. He glanced behind him and heard a shrill shriek of surprise. Laeri!
He whirled around and began to run toward the sound. Suddenly, he stopped dead in his tracks. Dozens of armed guards stood with their lasers and aimed them at his chest. Guares lowered his head and raised his arms slowly in a signal of surrender.
Damn you, Guares why did you have to come back? Laeri screamed. Guares widened his eyes.
You were merely bait ? he asked in disbelief. Laeri turned away.
Guares, you shouldve gotten out while you could she murmured, lowering her gaze. Guares frowned as the soldiers slapped a glowing band on his wrists.
Youre to remain silent, one of the guards said emotionlessly. You may have tried to assassinate the descendant of the heroes, but you have failed.
Guares sneered. I dont know what the hell youre talking about.
The guard snickered. You dont know anything about Pauline being the descendant of Crono?
Laeri sighed. All those related to that scum deserves their fate to perish she murmured. Guares nodded, standing by his longtime friend.
Damn straight, he added. The guard laughed.
Your fifth mistake. Youll be spending your lives in the Chamber.
Laeris eyes widened. Oh, Shanai have mercy on our humble souls, she whispered. Another guard turned to her.
A Mystic? he whispered back. Laeri cracked a grin.
Thats right. I could blow your guts all over the wall and then enjoy it, she threatened. The second guard laughed.
To the Chamber! he called. Guares raised an eyebrow.
The Chamber? he questioned softly. Laeri stared at him, wide-eyed.
Its worse than Hell was made out to be, she whispered. I was here once and barely managed to gather the energy to shift
Guares sighed. Perfect. Im stuck in this God-forsaken era with a bleak cell to look forward to
Laeri turned away. Yeah, I remember the cell she whispered softly, shuddering. I dont want to go back
Three days had passed in the cell, and Laeri tried for the twentieth time that day to shift. She sighed in frustration, realizing that she was still too weak. Guares gasped for air and raised his arm.
This is pure torture he whispered. Laeri plopped down on the hard metal floor and began to cry.
No food, no water, and just enough oxygen to keep us alive she wept. Guares stood up with effort and placed a hand on her shoulder.
Well get out of this he murmured. Laeri looked up at him with tearstained cheeks.
I cant gather the power, and by the time I can, well be dead she whispered. Guares smiled and reached under his cape. Pulling out a small vial of purple liquid, he smiled wickedly.
Here drink this
Laeri gasped. An Ether ? How did you manage to smuggle it past the sensors? She drank the contents thirstily.
Guares smiled. I have my ways
Laeri raised her arms and, smiling, the two disappeared in a flash of green light.
We were lucky, Laeri Guares muttered. Laeri shook her head.
Just Flea. Im used to it she murmured.
Guares nodded. Flea it is So, are we going to try again?
Dear Sir Froggy is going to have his chance to play a rematch Flea growled. She laughed softly and tossed her long red hair back. But this time he wont live to have another fight.
Slash smiled softly. Anywhere we need to go? he asked Lana. She grinned.
Why not the End of Time? Im sure that Spekkio could teach you some new tricks.
Olana sighed contentedly and leaned back. I never realized how much Id miss my mothers cooking.
Kash grinned as he took a bite of steamed fish. You should have taken some with you. Wed all be in heaven!
Olanas mother grinned from across the large wooden table where the three adventurers were eating. Thank you! Its an old family recipe
Kash nodded. It tastes the way my mother used to make it before she died he sighed. Olanas mother raised an eyebrow.
This recipe is our family secret how could your mother know of it ?
Olana sucked in a deep breath and exhaled slowly. I think that Kash is our ancestor, mother she murmured. Olanas mother nodded.
That would explain a lot she murmured thoughtfully.
Nika burped loudly. This tasty! What you call?
Olanas mother laughed. Its only fish with a special sauce, she explained. Nikas eyes suddenly went wide.
Fish? Fish poison! she gasped. Olana shook her head.
Thats only superstition in your time fish is actually very nutritious.
Nika smiled. New food! Human not starve!
Kash grinned. Say, has anyone heard of the Eight Stones?
Olana nodded. Thats only legend. Why?
Kash smiled and leaned back. Lets just say for a minute that it wasnt legend, and that the stones are scattered throughout the planet some time after the year 615?
Nika narrowed her eyes. What you mean?
Kash beamed. The stones exist, and Crono, Marle, Glenn, Lucca, Ayla, Robo, and my uncle have all seen them when they were merged into one stone.
Really? Do you know where any of them are? Olana chattered excitedly. Kash nodded.
One of them is somewhere near the middle continent he murmured.
Nika leapt up from her place at the table. What we waiting for? Lets go!
Sari sighed and lay back on the cobblestones of the End of Time, taking in a deep breath. She closed her eyes for a second, and as she was about to fall into the blissful unconsciousness of sleep, she felt someone shake her shoulder gently.
Sari opened her eyes and frowned. What do you want, Stal? she snapped. Stal turned away.
Whats with you? Youve been treating me like a rotting carcass! he shrieked. Sari stood slowly.
Im sorry, Stal its just that Sari stopped abruptly and opened her mind to him. Stals eyes went wide.
Really? he whispered. Sari nodded and stood up, walking to the iron railing.
Yeah I just dont feel right being in a relationship she murmured. Stal moved forward.
Maybe this will change your mind he whispered, drawing his face closer to hers.
No Stal Sari began to protest, but she suddenly decided against it and allowed her lips to be drawn to his. They drew nearer, and her lips slowly parted
Hey, hey, HEY!!! Spekkio suddenly shouted from behind Stal. He jerked back and blushed a deep scarlet.
I was just I mean Stal stuttered. Sari giggled.
Good timing, she joked. Stal shot Sari a dark look and turned away. Sari sighed again and turned to the abyss. Just once, Id like to go down there and see what this era is made of she whispered. Stal shrugged.
I don t know if you should he murmured. Sari smiled.
Maybe I will, she answered defiantly. Spekkio shrugged.
Your funeral, he muttered simply.
A loud roar was heard from behind the wooden door leading to the light pillars, and Kash, Olana, and Nika strode confidently out.
So there you are, Stal called. Elena poked her head out from Spekkios training room and grinned.
Olana! she cried. She ran forward and hugged Olana joyfully. When we came back, you were gone and Sari didnt even know where you went!
Olana smiled. Its good to know I was missed she murmured. She raised an eyebrow. Sari, have you heard of the Eight Stones?
Sari nodded. Yes, why?
Kash moved forward. I think that we have a better chance of defeating Lao if we have these stones in our possession, he stated simply. Sari smiled.
Im always up for an adventure, she called. She flexed her robotic arm. Which one are we going to get first?
Olana thought for a second. How about the StarStone? she suggested. Sari bobbed her head.
That sounds like a good idea Ill go who else is coming?
Olana smiled. Ill come.
Kash stepped forward. As will I.
Then, lets go! Sari cried. The trio began to run to the room with the pillars, and disappeared in the pillar that led to 624 AD.
Slash opened his eyes slowly and looked around his surroundings. Outdoors somewhere and it was daybreak He stood up and looked down. Lana was peacefully asleep next to Maro, who was snoring. Slash softly kicked Lanas knee and she awoke with a start.
Whats going on ? she murmured. Slash smiled softly.
Time to wake up and hunt Flea down, he answered just barely above a whisper. Lana stood up and nudged Maro.
Let me sleep a while longer he begged. Lana shook her head.
We need to get Laeri before she kills another innocent person, she replied. Maro leapt up and yawned once more.
Okay lets go
Hey, what about the End of Time? Lana suddenly remembered.
Slash shrugged. It will just have to wait, he answered softly.
Sari, Kash, and Olana pushed their way through a thick forest of shrubs and small trees, and Olana gasped for air.
I cant breathe too well she gasped. Sari shook her head.
Im sorry, but we have to keep going, she retorted. Kash nodded.
Olana, you can make it a while longer from what Ive heard, the stone is guarded nearby, he added. Olana smiled.
Oh thank goodness she grinned.
Kash smiled. Thats the spirit!
Sari forced her way through a last line of shrubs, and finally sighed. Were here!
Olana knelt down on one knee. Good
Kash rushed forward and Sari pulled him back. Its heavily guarded! she warned. Kash knelt down and turned to Sari.
So what do we do? he shot back. Sari shrugged.
I dont want to kill them she sighed.
Olana nodded. I wouldnt forgive myself for killing a priest, she stated. Sari grinned.
I have a plan! she suddenly cried out softly. She ran forward, and, closing her eyes, four white-robed priests clutched their heads and fell to their knees, finally collapsing on the grassy ground. Sari pulled Kash and Olana to the base of the massive ziggurat. Olana drew in a deep breath and held it.
All those who wish to turn back, do so. Those who wish to continue, if you exit with your life, consider yourself lucky. Ive been told that these priests guard the StarStone with their lives
Sari smiled. I fight.
Rushing up the large marble stairs, a priestess clutched her prismatic staff tightly and gasped for air.
Lady BTanya! There are three intruders! Theyre heading inside right now probably to steal the stone!
A tall woman, about five foot eleven, stepped forward. Her long blue hair was parted down the middle and pulled back in pigtails that ended just below her waist. Red streaks ran down the middle of each pigtail, giving her an eerie look. She wore a colorful short dress, with splashes of purple, pink, yellow, blue, and green covering it. Her boots had a similar pattern, and everything matched perfectly. There was a black tattoo on her forehead that was also shown on her dress, and a band ran across her forehead, peaking at her forehead and ending like pieces of ribbon poking up from the back of her head. Her eyes were very strange one green and the other purple. She frowned and lowered her head.
Torii, guard the stone. Ill go down and see what I can do! she cried out. Torii nodded slowly and moved in front of a glowing stone hovering a few inches above a marble podium.
BTanya, please be careful Torii warned.
Three priestesses stood guard in front of the main entrance to the hall of the StarStone. Sighing softly, one of them combed her hand through her long brown hair. Suddenly gasping, she pointed frantically to her left. The other priestesses turned to look, and they shrieked in unison.
Damn Sari whispered softly. The three priestesses whipped out simple cedar staffs and began chanting. White light radiated around them and formed a protective aura around them. They must remain unharmed! Sari reminded Kash and Olana. Olana nodded and hit one of the women over the head with the handles of her daggers. She immediately fell to the ground, unconscious. Sari smiled softly and a black instrument with shiny silver keys materialized in her hands. Olana raised an eyebrow.
Whats that? she asked. Sari grinned.
Its an oboe. I play it in the school band she whispered. Kash narrowed his eyes.
How is that going to help? he demanded. Sari brought the cane reed to her lips and began to play a slow, haunting melody. The slightly nasal but sweet sound coming from the instrument made Olanas eyelids feel heavy and as the music drifted softly on, she noticed that the other two priestesses were beginning to drift off to sleep. Kash yawned loudly as the oboe disappeared.
Shh Sari cautioned. She quietly tiptoed around the fallen priestesses and motioned for the others to follow.
BTanya leapt down the marble stairs two at a time, panting heavily. Cant let them get to the stone
Sari closed her eyes softly and took in a deep breath. Someone is coming I sense powerful holy magic
Kash stood up. How strong?
Olana shrugged. For all I know, he could be a beast she murmured.
Sari whirled around and gasped. No! It cant be !
Kash raised an eyebrow. What?
Is it really you? Sari shrieked. The strange woman standing before the three narrowed her mismatched eyes and growled, her blue hair streaked with red.
So, you humans have come to rob this holy temple of its stone? she called. Sari stepped forward.
I assure you, it is for a noble purpose Sari started. Do I know you? she finally asked. The womans expression hardened.
I think not, she hissed. She rushed forward and threw Sari to the ground. Olana gasped and chanted softly. Her hair stood on end as electricity began to flow throughout the large hall. Finally thrusting her arms forward, a highly charged bolt of lightning flew forward and struck the womans midsection.
Sari, are you all right? Kash called. Sari pulled herself to her feet and wiped a trickle of blood from her cut lower lip.
Yeah, she replied, allowing her anger to well up inside her. The woman fell to her knees and sucked in a deep breath.
Urgh she groaned, pulling herself to her feet. She raised her left arm and a bright white light glared from her open palm. The large ball of light began to take the shape of a long snake, and it wound around her, bathing the woman in light. The snakelike beam suddenly wrapped itself around Kash, covering him completely. As suddenly as it had appeared, it was gone, and Kash was lying in a heap on the marble floor. He weakly raised his arm, and a huge gust of wind lifted the woman into the air and dropped her suddenly. Kashs arm then dropped limply to the ground, and he lay there, unconscious.
Sari sighed. I know I know you from somewhere She pressed her hands together and a large beam of darkness shot at the woman, knocking her to the floor.
I give my life willingly for the safety of the StarStone she gasped, falling unconscious. Sari quickly poured a Tonic down Kashs throat, and he pulled himself to his feet groggily.
What happened? he asked softly. Sari shrugged.
That was a powerful blow she dealt you Olana voiced. Kash nodded.
It was odd.
Sari walked to the fallen woman. She looks like Laeris daughter, but she was sent away long ago could she really be ? Sari slowly poured a Tonic down her throat, and the woman cautiously opened one eye.
You the woman growled.
Sari knelt down beside her. Im not going to hurt you She finally took in a deep breath. BTanya, is that really you?
The woman sat up suddenly. How do you know my name? she demanded.
Sari smiled. You were only four the last time I saw you. You were trying so hard to look strong. When you punched a hole in a thin wall to prove how strong you were, you seemed so proud until your mother immediately spanked you.
BTanyas eyes suddenly narrowed. You knew my mother?
Sari nodded. Yes dont you remember her? She sent you to safety shortly after your fourth birthday
BTanya shook her head. I only knew my father
Sari raised an eyebrow. Who was your father? I never knew who he was; your mother would never tell me
My father is unimportant. Hes dead, anyway. BTanya stood up and brushed dust off of her clothes. Why have you come, and who are you?
Sari smiled. I am a cursed Mystic, formerly known as Mio, she explained. BTanyas eyes widened.
Lady Mio? she finally cried out. Sari shrugged.
My name is Sari now. My lifes been changing so fast
BTanya leapt to her feet. Why have you come?
Sari turned away. We need the stone to defeat Lao, she answered simply. BTanya slowly nodded.
I have a better idea she began. The stone stays here, but I will help you in your quest. The other stones arent in temples like this one- theyre hidden in secret caves. Itll be years before we figure out which ones!
Kash lowered his head. An interesting proposal
I think she should come with us, Olana voiced. Sari nodded.
So be it.
BTanya smiled. I wont disappoint you!
Flea ran a comb through her long red hair and sighed. Something was definitely amiss Sitting calmly back in the time she was born and raised in, she looked around her small hut on the tiny Mystic Island of Pandua. As she pulled the comb through a large knot, Guares strode into her room.
Nice place youve got here, he remarked. Flea shrugged.
If you say so
Guares raised an eyebrow. Whats with the room with the toys?
Fleas eyes widened. What room with toys? she asked, trying to play dumb. Guares narrowed his eyes.
The room next door to this one. Why is it filled with childish belongings? he questioned. Flea sighed.
That is none of your concern! she snapped. Guares stepped forward.
Is there something youre not telling me, Flea? he growled. Flea whirled around and her fist connected with Guaress midsection. He doubled over in pain as the air was knocked out of him. He stood for three minutes trying to get his breath, and finally stood, his face red.
Shut your trap, Guares. Im paying you to help me kill those who have humiliated me, not to pry into my past, she finally said aloud, a bit calmer. Guares nodded.
Memories? he asked, venturing a step further. Fleas face turned a slight shade of pink.
That is none of your concern, she repeated.
Well excuse me, Guares retorted sarcastically. Flea pulled her long red hair back and began braiding it carefully.
Leave me be, she demanded, turning her face away so Guares wouldnt see her eyes fill with bitter tears.
Slash looked around his former hideout and frowned. Flea isnt here he snapped. Lana moved forward and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
She couldnt have gotten far she murmured helpfully. Maro shrugged apathetically.
I dont care- just as long as she dies, he voiced. Lana turned to face her longtime friend.
Why are you so keen on revenge? It solves nothing! she shouted. Maro shrank back.
It solves everything for me, he argued. If Flea and her little assassin are blown to Hell and back, I believe Ill be the one laughing.
Slash rolled his pale blue eyes. If Flea is blown to Hell and back, Id merely ask her if she got the devils autograph.
Lana frowned. Thats not funny, Slash.
Slash shrugged. Well, Id rather have his autograph than Shanais, anyway.
Cant we just find Flea? Maro whined. Lana sighed.
Stal stared into the timestream- the swirling mist surrounding the End of Time. He smiled, thinking back to what Sari had said about going down into the abyss If he could only find a way down Spekkio placed a paw on Stals shoulder
The first Guardian of Time went down there to explore, and never came back, he murmured. That was over a hundred years ago, so I wouldnt go down there even now.
Stal shrugged. Its too tempting, he finally voiced. Spekkio nodded.
I agree. Being on this little island is proving to be too much for me, he replied softly. Elena moved forward from behind the fluffy Master of War and sighed.
Would we fall forever? she asked. Spekkio shrugged.
I dont know
Poised to enter the 624 AD portal, Sari turned to BTanya. Who is your father, anyway? Your mother never told me
BTanya shook her head stubbornly. Tell me who my mother is first, and then Ill tell you who my father is.
Kash raised an eyebrow. Why are you so ashamed of your father?
He killed many innocent people she whispered, her voice breaking. Sari sighed.
If only I could read your mind but youre skillfully shielding your thoughts she murmured. BTanya smiled softly.
It runs in the family, I guess she whispered. Olana folded her arms.
Could we go back, please? Im anxious to see Elena! she called. Sari shrugged and leapt into the Gate with BTanya on her heels. Kash waited for a minute, and then followed suit with Olana close behind him.
Go To Chapter 20
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