After Glenn and I had a few more mugs of mead we flew the Epoch back to Glenn's cabin north of Truce and laid Lucca on the bed in Glenn's room. Glenn slept in the cot that I had slept in while I was training there and I slept in the easy chair.
I awoke the next morning to the sound of Lucca exiting her room for the previous night, quietly moaning in agony.
"Hangover?" I asked.
She glared at me. "I hate you," she quietly groaned and flopped down into the chair on the other side of the fireplace.
I couldn't help but smile at her remark, but also couldn't help but feel a little sorry, too. It was my fault after all. I got up and took the tea kettle from where it sat next to the fireplace. "I'll put some water on for some coffee."
I went out to get some water from the rain barrel. When I returned I noticed that Glenn was up and preparing breakfast. I hung the kettle over the fire in the fireplace and then went outside to chop some wood. It felt like old times.
After breakfast Lucca was feeling better and we decided to begin the quest that would take me home.
We arrived in the year 2300 AD. Lucca had told me than when she last visited this year, the entire world was one vast wasteland. The world I saw before me was the exact opposite. The land was lush and green and there were cities in climate controlled domes. It was actually quite beautiful, moreso to me than to my companions. Where they focused on the lush greenery, I focused on the cities.
"Finally!" I yelled. "Civilization!"
Lucca and Glenn looked at me. "What?" they asked in unison.
I grinned sheepishly. "Uh, never mind."
Lucca turned to Glenn. "I wanna go see if he's really here."
"Who?" I asked.
"Robo," Glenn answered simply. "One of the others who helped us defeat Lavos. He was born in this time period, but we changed the course of history before he was created, so we are not sure if he was ever created now."
I nodded as I thought about what he said. "Well, I guess it couldn't hurt. I wanted to do a little shopping anyway. I'll do that while you're visiting your friend."
They nodded in agreement. We flew to the nearest dome, Arris Dome. They dropped me off in front of a strip mall and flew off. I looked down at my clothes, still wearing clothes from what Lucca had called the Middle Ages. "First stop: clothes."
I walked into a clothing store and looked around. I found some clothes that I really liked, but when I looked at the price tags the prices looked odd. There were numbers on it, but the symbol in front of the numbers was not like the one used for pounds of gold in Sixth Century Guardia. "Check that," I told myself. "First stop: bank."
I walked to the bank in the strip mall. I sat down in one of the chairs in the waiting area. After ten minutes one of the representatives invited me into her cubicle. I walked in and sat down in a chair across her desk from her.
"So, how can we help you Mr. ...."
"Odinson," I finished for her. I took the bag of gold coins off my belt, "and I would like to exchange these for the local currency."
The woman looked into the bag and gasped. "Gold!" she whispered with shock. She looked back up to me, her eyes still wide. "Um, just a moment, sir."
She got up and started to leave with the gold. "Leave it here," I demanded. She made to protest, but I opened my jacket enough to show her the gun resting in its holster. "Leave it." She set the bag back onto the desk and ran out.
A few short moments later she returned with the manager. "Good morning, Mr. Odinson," he said to me with false sincerity. Businessmen haven't changed much from one world to the next. "Sue tells me that you that you would like to deposit some gold into an account here."
"Wrong," I told him bluntly. "I want to exchange it for cash."
The manager nodded. "Very well, but why are you traveling with gold instead of currency from your own nation?"
"I figured I'd get a truer exchange rate."
The man nodded. "True. Why don't you come with me into my office and we'll make the exchange there."
I grabbed the bag of gold and followed him into his office. There we made the exchange. I walked out with twenty of what they called pounds, which I figured translated to about a hundred thousand dollars. Before I left I told him not to send the gold away, because I would want to make another exchange before I went home. He agreed.
I returned to the clothing store and purchased what I had seen earlier. I bought a pair of black jeans, a white T-shirt, a black collar-less button-up shirt, a long black leather coat, black work socks, black steel-toed boots, a leather tri-fold wallet, and a pair of boxers. Finally, some comfortable clothes. It all cost me about a tenth of a pound, which was a little more than five hundred dollars. That was one expensive pair of boxers. After I made my purchase, I changed into my new clothes in the changing room. My sword's scabbard clipped nicely onto my belt and was hidden well by the coat. I gave my old clothes to one of the employees there. When she asked what she was to do with them I said, "Burn 'em."
Next I decided to go get a shave and a haircut. After that was done I looked in the mirror. Glenn was right: I had not aged a bit since I arrived in Guardia eleven years ago.
Knowing that it would do me no good to try and figure that out without the company of greater minds, I decided that my next stop would be to get some new weapons. I found out that the nearest arms dealer was two miles south of there. I took a cab there. I entered and looked around. The place was void of any customers.
The salesman, a stout, chubby, balding fellow, walked up to me. "Is there anything I can help you find, sir?"
I drew my gun from the shoulder holster I had fashioned while I was living in Guardia. "I'm looking for this guy's twin sister."
"Very well, sir. I believe we have one of those. My I see your license for carrying such firearms?"
I pulled out my wallet and retrieved a pound from it. "Here's my license."
"That'll do just nicely," the man said as he reached for it. I pulled it away and stuffed it back into my wallet.
"After I finished my purchase." No, businessmen haven't changed a bit.
"Very well. Is there anything else I can get you?"
I nodded. "Yeah. I'm going on a little adventure here soon, and I'm gonna need some weapons for it."
"Well, we have several hunting rifles"
"I'm gonna need something bigger than a hunting rifle," I interrupted. "This ain't deer that I'll be hunting. I need something closer to an assault rifle."
The looked at me curiously, then looked around the shop. He then quickly ran to the door and locked it and put up the "Closed" sign. He walked back to me. "If you'll just follow me, sir."
I followed him into the back room. There he pulled a rug up to reveal a trapdoor. He opened it and I followed him into the basement of the store. He turned a light on, and the light revealed hundreds of military issue weapons.
I purchased an assault rifle, another pistol, two uzees, and several grenades. I also purchased a backpack to carry the grenades and extra ammunition and a harness to carry all the weapons on.
As I was about to pay the man, a thought struck me. "Wait a minute. This is the future. Where are all the laser guns?"
Again the man looked at me curiously, then walked into the back of the room. When he returned he was carrying another assault rifle and two small black boxes, about two cubic inches in size each.
"The Ashtear Energy Assault Rifle. These are very illegal. Not even the military is allowed to have 'em."
I took the rifle from him and looked it over. "But I'm sure they do...."
"You're prob'ly right. Anyway, you can fire off about twenty shots before it needs to recharge. It takes one minute to recharge."
"A lot can happen in a minute."
The man nodded. He showed me one of the small boxes. "That's what these spare energy packs are for." He showed me how to change the energy packs, about a five second process, probably ten with having to dig the pack out of a pocket, but it sure beat a one minute recharge time.
"I'll take it." I threw the spare packs into my bag. I went to clip it to my left hip, but I remembered that my sword was there. I looked back up to the man. "You wouldn't by any chance have a scabbard for this that can hang on my back, would you?"
The man shook his head. "I don't, but my partner downtown might. He deals with archaic weapons like that."
I made my purchase, which ended up costing me five pounds, four for the equipment and one for the man's help. He told me where his partner's shop was and I took a cab there. There I found a scabbard that I could hang on my back and would allow me to draw my sword from under my coat. I was even to get the old sword that Glenn gave me sharpened there. I also bought me a steel breastplate, which I put on over my shirt.
It was nearing nightfall by the time I returned to the mall. In the parking lot I saw the Epoch. I ran to it. There I saw Glenn and Lucca waiting for me, as well as a robot. It was a stout, golden-colored android. Its right arm was humanoid, whereas its left had a long cylinder in place of the hand. Its legs appeared to be too short for its body. It had small green orbs for eyes over its vocal emitter.
"Wallace?" Lucca questioned as I approached.
Glenn smiled. "Nay, you have not aged a bit since you arrived in Guardia. Your face is still just as youthful."
Lucca looked to him. "What do you mean?"
Glenn nodded his head in my direction. "How old do you think he is?"
Lucca looked me over. "Probably around twenty."
Glenn turned to me. "How old are you, Wallace?"
I thought for a moment. "Well, I was seventeen when I arrived in Guardia, and I've been there for close to eleven years, so I guess that makes me twenty eight."
Lucca's jaw just dropped at hearing that. "Tw-twenty eight?" I nodded. "Wow!"
"Time must flow slower in your world," the android suggested.
I looked up to it. "Robo, I presume."
"Affirmative," it responded. "It is good to meet you, Wallace."
Glenn snickered. "Well, time moving slower in his world would explain why he needs so much sleep."
I chuckled at that, but my mind was on another matter. If the time of this world flows faster than my world, than how long have I really been gone? Is it possible that it's been so short a time that no one has noticed my absence?
I was brought back to reality by the sound of Lucca's voice. "Wallace, are you okay?"
I shook my head to clear my thoughts. "Um, yeah. Just thinking about something."
I looked to the western sky. The sun was already below the horizon. "It's getting late. Why don't we get a room for the night."
The others agreed, and Robo told us that we could find a hotel downtown. We flew the Epoch there and landed it in the parking lot.
As we were walking into the hotel I asked, "Aren't you worried about anyone stealing Epoch?"
The top half of Robo's dome head swiveled left and right. "No, but if anyone can hotwire Epoch, they deserve to have it."
I shrugged. "Okay."
Inside Robo was able to get us a two bed room, and even paid for it. I looked around at my friends and asked, "What about Lucca?"
They looked at each other. "I had not thought of that," Robo responded.
"We've become so accustomed to lodging together that we don't think about it," Lucca added with a half shrug.
"Besides," Robo said, "I do not have enough money for another room."
I turned to the desk clerk. "Do you have a single room available?"
The clerk nodded. "Yes, we do, one floor down from yours."
I took some money out of my wallet and threw it up onto the counter. "Give the key to her," I said, pointing to Lucca.
The clerk did as I bade him and the four of us walked to the elevator.
That night they told me all about their quest to defeat Lavos. They told me that Lucca, as well as Crono and Marle, were from the year 1000 AD. They told me about Ayla, the cave woman they met in 65,000,000 BC, who also helped them in their quest. Their story was incredible, and if we had the time, I would write it down so that others would know of what they had done to save the world.
Later that night I decided to walk Lucca back to her room.
"Wallace," Lucca said as we reached her room and I was about to bid her good night, "Glenn spoke of you a few times during our adventure."
"All bad, I'm sure."
Lucca shook her head. "No. He spoke quite well of you. I'm glad to see that he wasn't exaggerating. We're going to miss you when you're gone."
Lucca spoke to me as though I was on my death bed. I guess I can understand why she did. I was about to leave this world, never to return again. "I'm gonna miss all of you, too. I wish I didn't have to leave."