"For Guardia!" Chapter 25
By Master Odin
Jerome Pryme and Sean Wisenburg waited inside Fiona's Villa a week after the attacks. It was more like a chapel, built to commemorate Fiona and Robo, who struggled so to revive the dying forest in her own time.
By noon a rider arrived, a Porre private. He entered the villa, jumping at every sound. Jerome could not help but chuckle at the scrawny, frightened man that was sent. "They probably sent the most expendable man they had," Sean said under his breath, but it was loud enough for the Giant to hear.
The soldier saw the two at the back of the chapel. He walked slowly toward them, his eyes nervously darting every which way looking for danger. "Are you the ambassadors from Guardia?" he asked once he got a comfortable distance from the two Sacred Warriors.
Sean lit up a cigarette. "Aye."
The soldier produced an envelope and nervously handed it to Sean. "I bring the general's response."
Sean took the envelope. "Thank you."
"Now git da 'ell outta 'ere befo'e I's decide's ta do som'in' nasty to ya!" Jerome commanded. The rider did as Jerome bade him, wetting himself as he ran out the door.
Sean ripped open the envelope and took out the general's letter. He read the letter silently to him. "Interesting."
Jerome took the letter from him and read it for himself. "Da boss ain't gonna like dis at all."
Jeremiah walked through the muddy streets of an old, run down town. The town sat a day and a half's ride east of Guardia Castle. Truce, Jeremiah thought to himself as he mulled the town's name around in his mind for a few moments, wondering where the people arrived at such a noble name for the village.
Jeremiah looked around at the buildings. Some of them were practically falling down, while others were in poor repair, obviously a result of over taxation. A few were well maintained, probably richer merchants that could still afford the taxes, or knew how to shave a dollar or two off of the repair bill.
He saw the people staring at him in awe, as though they knew he did not belong there. Most of them were dressed in rags, filthy and torn. Some of them ran into their homes at the sight of him.
Jeremiah sighed and shook his head. Choras, near were Crono and Cyclone had attacked, was in the same condition. How many places had he visited that in the same, if not worse condition in his own universe? Most of them were not villages, but entire planets ruled by one galactic empire or another. Some of them made the Demno Empire seem generous in comparison. How many had he seen, yet he did not feel compelled to free them as he did now? He was charged with protecting the innocent in his universe, so why did he not desire to free them?
Of course he knew the answer to that: he was in the middle of a war against one of the most destructive forces ever known, a force that makes battling against a Lavoid seem like child's play. So why was he here?
Jeremiah's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a cellular phone ringing. He pulled a white cell phone out of his pocket and brought it up to his ear. "Yeah."
"We got Porre's response."
Jeremiah nodded. "I'll meet you back at the base."
The next day, back at the shelter, Crono read the letter that was delivered to Sean and Jerome. He looked up to Jeremiah after he had finished. "He mentions an alliance with the Black Dragoon."
Jeremiah nodded as he considered the possibility. "Doesn't surprise me, but it's just a scare tactic. Kain knows better."
Crono looked at him curiously as he set the letter down on the table. "How do you mean?"
Jeremiah held up the Earth Orb. "With this being the primary source of Earth energy in this universe, I can drain him of his power and transfer it to me. Kain has just enough power to walk, talk," he chuckled, "and pour himself a few glasses of wine, which I'm certain his has done quite often while being in General Ulric's company."
Crono chuckled at the thought. "Probably, if his tolerance for stupidity is anything like yours."
"No. His is worse. He's probably drinking straight from the bottle, and cursing the fact that he can't get drunk the whole time."
Crono just grinned. "Yeah." He looked back at the letter. "So, what are we going to do?"
"Let me go get Mario," Jeremiah said as he stood. "He's the one that's really good at planning this type of thing."
Crono, Fargo, Mario and Jeremiah looked over the battle plan that Mario had drawn up. A smirk crossed Crono's lips. "You guys really like these types of plans, don't you?"
Mario shrugged. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it. This one's got a bit of a twist on it, though."
"Well, I guess it doesn't matter," Crono said with a shrug, "especially with those incredible powers the Zecronean Knights have."
Mario looked up to Jeremiah. "You forgot to tell him, did you?"
"Oops," was Jeremiah's response.
"What do you mean, 'oops'?" Crono asked as he turned to Jeremiah. "What did you forget to tell me?"
"Um," Jeremiah said as a nervous grin crossed his lips, "due to the massive amount of energy required to use our ultimate attacks, we can't use them very often, like, say, once every other month or so. That, of course, is pending how much we use our other powers as well."
"So, you're saying that you're all tapped, then, aren't you?"
Jeremiah shook his head. "Not in the least. We still have a few tricks up our sleeves."
"Will it be enough?"
"Are you certain?"
"Trust me," Jeremiah said as he patted Crono's shoulder. "Have I led you astray yet?"
Crono thought for a moment. "Not yet you haven't, but there's always a first time."
"Good enough!" Jeremiah said. He turned to Fargo. "You feeling up to this, Captain?"
"Aye," the pirate said.
Jeremiah nodded before he transformed into the White Dragoon. "Alright, Knights. It's Game Time!" he yelled before he ran out of the shelter. The Zecronean Knights and Lorivette followed him out, with Cylgoi following at a leisurely pace.
Mario stood. "Let's do this and be done with it, guys." He led the Sacred Warriors out of the shelter.
Crono watched as to two groups of warriors from the other world left. These people have crossed time and space to help me and Marle get our kingdom back, even when they have greater problems of their own at home. Do I really deserve such friendship? It's final! Once this all said and done, we will help them obtain the peace that they truly deserve.
* * * * *
Three days later. The Zecronean Knights and the Sacred Warriors sat waiting in the remains of the Porre base just east of the Cursed Woods, which flourished a two days' ride north by north west of the city of Porre.
"Well, do ya think da general got da word by now?" Jerome asked Mario as the former sat against a stone wall.
"He should have," was Mario's response as he scanned the southern horizon. The Sword of Kings hung at his side and two baseball bats; one white and the other black, both etched with Celtic runes; hung on his back. "Either that, or those would have to be the slowest horses known to man."
Thunderer scanned the horizon. "The enemy cometh." he announced quietly.
Only the White Dragoon heard him, but he was the only one who needed to. "Alright! Let's get into formation!" he commanded. "Limit your magiks until we get into full combat. We don't wanna scare 'em off too early."
He looked up to Thunderer. "How does it look?"
Thunderer scanned the oncoming troops once again. "They have us out manned."
"I already know that, Walt. Give me figures."
"We are outnumbered at least one thousand, two hundred fifty to one in foot soldiers and cavalry. Then there are the tanks. I count at least three hundred, but there may be more."
Jerome couldn't help overhearing the numbers. "Dis almost ain't no fair." He looked to the White Dragoon with a cocky grin. "Y'all sure ya don't wanna sit dis one out?"
The White Dragoon shook his head. "Don't get cocky, Pryme. We're flesh and blood too, just like them." He looked down at his metal body, then let out a quiet, sad sigh. "Well, you guys are, at least."
Jerome grunted his disapproval, then joined the others in their formation. Lined up from west to east, facing south, was Mario, Rebecca, Sean, Jerome, Cylgoi, Lorivette, Serpent, the White Dragoon, Scorpion, Cyclone and Thunderer. Standing several feet behind them at the center of their line was WhiteBlade, Summoner and Dragon Claw. They all stood an arm length apart. Behind them even further yet was Sleipnir.
Sean took a deep breath. "Ya know, I kinda like this place. Makes me feel all, medievil an' all."
"Good," Jerome said, looked down at him. "Den let's git medievil an' kick'th some ass." he looked to the coming troops as devious half grin made its way across Jerome's lips, revealing the canine-like teeth on the right side of his face. "I's can see da whites o' der eyes."
Mario looked down the line to the White Dragoon, who nodded. They both raised their swords into the air. "For Guardia!" they yelled in unison.
"For Guardia!" the others echoed, raising their weapons into the air as they shouted the battle cry.
Mario looked to Jerome. "Anytime you're ready, Giant."
A sinister grin crossed Jerome's mouth, revealing all of his canine-like teeth this time. "Ladies and gentlemen," he yelled as he twirled the Prime MegaTon Hammer over his head. He looked down the line to the White Dragoon, "and even you, rich boy!" He returned his attention to the Porre troops. "IT'S TIME TA OPEN A BIG OOOLLL' CAN O' WHOOPAAASSS!" He slammed the war hammer on the ground with all his god-like might, sending a shockwave along the ground at the oncoming Porre troops. The quake sent a great number of the foot soldiers to the ground, many of the horses threw their riders and ran off, and several tanks were flipped over.
The White Dragoon nodded with approval. "Very nice, but it's missing a certain effect." He turned to Scorpion. "Ben, show these Sacred Warriors how we Zecronean Knights open a can of whoopass. Ready."
Scorpion nodded. "These thugs may have us out manned, but they sure as Hell ain't got us outgunned! Activating all weapon systems!" He pressed several buttons on the upper left side of his chestplate. The forearm guns slid forward into their active positions as his anchor lines shot down from his knees. The pack on his back separated vertically into four equal parts. The left and rightmost parts swung up and came to a stop just above his shoulders with the bottom end now facing forward, revealing themselves as laser cannons. The center two parts them moved out to the sides of his body, then swung down and around so that the top ends faced forward, again revealing themselves as laster cannons. Springing out from the top and sides of his shoulders were small rockets launchers with five small missiles each. The same sprung out from the outer sides of both upper and lower parts of his legs, with seven missiles each. Then the chest and abdomen plates opened to reveal more laser emitters in one row of four, one row of three, and three rows of two. The front panels of the legs opened to reveal more laser emitters, three above the knee and two below. "The other reason they call this armor a one man army!"
Mario looked to Rebecca. "Why does he"
"Penis envy," she interrupted.
The White Dragoon raised the Earth Edge into the air. "Aim."
The targeting system of Scorpions armor locked onto as many of the tanks as it would allow.
"Fire!" the White Dragoon commanded as he pointed his sword to the enemy.
Scorpion first fired all of his missiles. Most of the Porre soldiers were able to dodge them, but the tanks were too slow. Several soldiers were caught in the explosion as forty eight tanks were destroyed. Scorpion then fired the rest of his arsenal, killing everything in the path of the laser fire.
"Alright Light Forces! Let 'em rip!" Mario commanded. Those that had firearms started firing upon the enemy, trying their best to widdel their numbers down by as much as possible before they had to meet their foe face-to-face and toe-to-toe in combat. Thunderer focused the massive energy bursts of his large blaster cannon on the remaining tanks.
Though they were taking heavy losses, the Porre army continued their march forward. Once the Porre troops got within four hundred yards they opened fire upon the Light Forces. Mario took a hit in his left shoulder, but a quick healing spell from Rebecca sealed the wound. The bullet would have to be removed at a later time.
WhiteBlade turned to Summoner, who seemed to be chanting. "Do you sense anything yet?"
Summoner nodded. "There's a familiar force here, but its weak. I can't tell yet what it is, or if I can even summon it."
With less than one hundred yards between the Light Forces and the Porre army, the Light Forces charged into the enemy's front line, with the exception of Scorpion, who deactivated all his weapons and ran in the opposite direction to the waiting Sleipnir.
He jumped through the hatch. "Okay kid! I'm in!"
"Gotcha!" came Larissa's voice from the cockpit. Sleipnir took off with a jolt and headed toward the ocean east of the battle.
Meanwhile, in the waters south of Porre on the pirates' ship, the S.S. Invincible, Captain Fargo was up in the crow's nest looking through a pair of binoculars that Jeremiah had given him. Crono was with him. He was using them to watch the battle taking place north of Porre. He had just seen Jerome use his opening quake attack. "Ya may wanna look at this, Yer Highness," he said as he handed to binoculars.
Crono took them and looked through them at the battle. He was just in time to see Scorpion launch his attack. "Such destruction...." he said under his breath. "Is their enemy in their world so great that they need such destructive power?"
Fargo nodded. "Aye. We best be thankful that such men be our allies, 'cause we could not stand against them."
Crono agreed with a nod. He continued to watch the battle as the Light Forces charged the Porre army. He saw Sleipnir take off. "Phase two will be starting soon."
Just after Sleipnir took off, the back torso of Scorpion's armor opened, slowly unfolding upward, revealing Ben inside. Two handles swung down from the inner side of the back panel. Ben leaned back and grabbed the handles, then pulled himself out of the armor. He walked up to the cockpit and watch Larissa at the controls. "Yer quite a kid, kid," he said as he sat down in the seat next to her.
Ben typed a few commands into the computer and the monitor next to him showed Porre troops marching toward the battle. "Good. They've taken the bait."
"Good," Larrisa said, "but you do what you need to do. We'll be there soon."
A Porre soldier busted into General Ulric's office. "General, sir!" he yelled as he gave an exhausted salute.
"What is it?!" the annoyed general demanded as he threw his pen on his desk.
The pen bounced off and landed in the Black Dragoon's lap. "Temper, temper, my good General," he said as he picked up the pen and shook it at the general. "You know you must watch that blood pressure. Ever thought about taking a vacation?"
"Shut the Hell up, you useless pile of scrap metal!"
The Black Dragoon just gave a half shrug at that remake and returned his attention to his wine glass. "Damn! I wish I could get drunk!" he said under his breath before he drained the glass.
The general gave a threatening look to the Black Dragoon before returning his attention to the soldier. "Now, what is it?"
"Sir," the soldier started, "we've received word from the front line. Our forces are getting slaughtered by the demons."
"Then send more troops! They're mortal just like you and me!"
The general stood and slammed his hands on the desk. "But nothing! I cannot afford to lose this battle! Now go send more troops!"
The soldier saluted and ran out the door.
The Black Dragoon shook his head. "Do you honest believe that you can win this?"
"There're just flesh and blood."
Again the Black Dragoon shook his head. "They're not all just simply flesh and blood, if you but recall."
General Ulric looked at him for a moment, then slammed his hand down on the intercom button. "Send out the Guillots! And send Grobyc!"
"Speaking of worthless piles of scrap metal...."
Sleipnir landed in the water next to the S.S. Invincable. A hatch in the top of the ship swung open and Scorpion climbed out as Crono and Fargo walked over to the side of the Invincable. "How are the others doin'?" Scorpion called over to them.
"They be holdin'thar own well," the captain answered, taking a hit from his cigar afterward.
Scorpion nodded. "Good." He faced north, toward the naval port at the city of Porre, almost ten miles away. "Let's do this, then." Again he activated all his weapons and his targeting system locked onto the ships in the harbor. "Whenever you're ready, Highness."
"Fire!" Crono commanded.
The battle continued north of Porre, and the Light Forces partaking in the battle had become surrounded, and were quickly losing the upperhand.
"Imps!" Summoner exclaimed as she realized what the creatures were that she had been sensing. She, WhiteBlade, and Dragon Claw
"Imps?! WhiteBlade asked as he spun around to her. "But, those are the stupidest, weakest creatures in the universe!"
"Yes, but also the most numerous, and they're the only things in this universe I can summon."
"If you're gonna do anything, now would be a good time," Dragon Claw suggested as she motioned to the battle with her scimatar.
Summoner nodded. "A levitation spell would be wise for us, dear brother." WhiteBlade started chanting, and the three of them started floating five feet above the ground. Summoner then started chanting. It was not long before the ground began to rumble.
Dragon Claw looked behind her, and saw what had to be hundreds of short, stout bodied and bulbous headed creatures running in their direction. She then watched as the sea of imps ran under them and into the battle, adding confusion to the battle. The confused Porre soldiers started shooting at anything and everything that moved, sometimes even their own comrades.
Dragon Claw watched sadly, though, as the simple little imps were slaughtered. "Poor things."
Summoner shook her head as they softly landed on the ground. "That's all I can do, and it wasn't enough."
"Then there is but one thing to do," WhiteBlade said as he drew his sword. Dragon Claw readied her scimatar as Summoner readied her staff, then the three of them rushed into the fray.
Crono watched, through the binoculars, as the ships in the Porre harbor slowly sunk into the water. He saw Porre soldiers helping their comrades that survived the assault out of water. "Good work, Benjamin."
"Thanks," Scorpion said, then gave a salute. "We're off now." He jumped back into the ship and closed the hatch behind him. Sleipnir rose out of the water and took off toward the Porre.
Being the largest of the Light Forces, Jerome had become the primary target of the Porre soldiers. It was not long before he had become fed up with it. "Fuck dis!" he yelled after crushing a soldier with his hammer. He took off his sunglasses, revealing his demonic eyes. They were all black with red farrel pupils. "It's PRYME TYME baby!" he yelled. Jerome's clothes ripped as he started to grow. His skin turned black. Claws grew out of his fingers and toes. His face grew into a short snout as he continued to grow larger. His ears became long white horns on the sides of his head. Large black wings erupted from his back. He let out a thunderous roar as he finished the transformation. He was now a twenty-five feet tall humanoid dragon. The Prime MegaTon Hammer grew along with him. He started using his fire breath to slay the enemy.
The White Dragoon cut two soldiers down with the Earth Edge, and turned just in time to catch another soldier's face in his hand. An energy blast from the Dragon Knight's hand made the poor boy's head exploded.
It was then that the White Dragoon noticed Jerome's transformation. He ran to him, cutting down any Porre soldier that got in his way. Once he was behind the giant beast he yelled, "Use your energy breath!" Jerome nodded and started gathering energy in his jowls. After a few moments of gathering energy, a blast of pure white energy erupted from his jowls. "Fire in the hole!" the White Dragoon warned as he grabbed Jerome's tail. The Light Forces hit the dirt as he spun the man-dragon around, the energy blast killing all the Porre soldiers who had not heeded the Dragon Knight's warning, and thus eliminating most of the Porre troops there.
The White Dragoon dropped Jerome, who quickly got back to his feet and turned on him. "You eva grab mah tail like dat again and I wear I'll bury you so deep in da earth you's neva hafta worry 'bout runnin' outta Earth energy again!"
"Sorry, big guy, but it had to be done."
The few who survived the attack stood back up and looked at the man-dragon, then dropped their weapons and ran.
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