A Square Deal Chapter 13


By Medina

Recap: Now we'll check on our friends who fell into Crono's world. We'll also hear another one of Gaspar's tales of history. Locations: Locke, Gaspar and Nivea- Toroia (FF2) Eddie D. and Celes- Near the watery pass (FF2) Relm and Palom- Mysidia (FF2) Clyde and party- ??? Edgar- Truce (CT) Terra and Schala- Zeal Palace (CT) Sabin, Cyan and Glenn- In transit (CT) Rantacore, Lizard man and Lucca- Somewhere in CT.


Against all good judgment, Locke had rented adjoining rooms for Gaspar, Nivea and himself. He knew that he could not trust the buxom Remian to stay in her own bed, and he was betting that he would not find himself alone come morning. Maybe, he hoped, that the thought of her 'score' would keep her at bay. Nivea was very pretty, and willing, but Locke was not the type to cheat. He wouldn't even think of anyone but Celes. Nivea was also, 'here today, gone tomorrow' as in, finding the bigger taco elsewhere. Celes would never betray him for another man.

He and Gaspar were sharing a room that consisted of two cots and a couch. The door to Nivea's room was open; she was bouncing up and down on the large, cushy bed that she had. She had already raided the little soap cakes from the shower and bathroom, and devoured the cheap mint that had sat on her pillow. Now she was antsy.

"Locke, I'm bored," Nivea said with her patented pout. "Everyone in the bar is gone, and there's nothing really to do in here, unless..." she peered at Locke from the corner of her eye.

Locke frowned and pointed at her.

"You are incorrigible. I said no, and I meant no, and that's that!"

He knew he had to be stern with her, or else he would find himself giving in. He sat down on the couch. He rotated his left shoulder and winced painfully; he had dislocated it when he fell down the chasm that led to the End of Time. It was still in a sling, and from how it felt, was liable to remain there for a few days at least.

"Damn it. Can't steal anything much with a busted arm. This money's not gonna hold out forever, and we still need to find Celes, and go home," Locke said, frustrated.

"Would you like me to use some of my Lunar Mana Magic on you? It'll soothe that shoulder," Nivea said.

"I'm ok... I don't want you to try any funny stuff on me," he said, a bit spitefully. Nivea closed her eyes for a moment.

"Locke, I'm not always out for my own pleasure all of the time. (But nearly all of the time...) I can be of help to you. I sense from you a great physical pain, and that you are not adept at magic. I take it that Celes was the sorceress?" she said, dropping the mirthful tone of her voice. She sat on the bed across from Locke, and ran her hand across the crescent moon on her forehead. It shimmered silver for a moment. Locke knew that they did need someone who could work magic. Maybe Nivea would be good to take along.

"Yeah, Celes was great at using magic, and, speaking frankly, I suck at using magic. I'd rather depend on my own strength and cunning than some other force to do it for me," he paused and moved his shoulder again. "Ow... Then again, it wouldn't hurt to have some artificial healing when one does get hurt," he said, with a bit of a chuckle in his voice. "That was a hin--"

Nivea scowled for a second.

"I'm flirtatious, not imbecilic."

She waved her hands over her face, then stretch out her hands towards Locke. A shimmery light flashed brightly, much like the way that her Moon Mark had earlier. Locke felt the pain ease up in his shoulder and he could move it around without the piercing pain that was there before.

"Thanks, Nivea. Now if we need to get some extra cash, it'll be on hand."

"Are you really a thief? They say that thieves are great a frisking," she said, wide-eyed.

"That's TREASURE HUNTER," he said, over-reacting once again to the mix-up of words.

"You could hunt for my treasure any day!"

"I was asking for that," he groaned. "I think that I am going to have to get along with you somehow without getting really apprehensive, if you know what I mean," he said, trying to trust the idea that she could carry on a conversation without coming on to him.

She smiled and looked down.

"I guess that I should know what 'no' means after all of these years. Anyway, I have a focus now, so I guess that I can make an effort not to bug you about it. I'm used to people reacting to me in such a way, but I don't really care. I just wanna have fun, like everybody else. Isn't it like that for you?"

Locke shook his head.

"Nivea, from your point of view life is just a game of kicks where the winner is the one who got the most screws. It would be nice if it were that simple, at least it doesn't seem that way to me. There are things worth more than your own happiness in life," he paused momentarily, thinking of the many people that he had lost because of his way of life. "My profession is one that seems like it might just be for my own enjoyment, and it is, some of the time. But I've found things for the benefit of others, and used my skills and prowess for the greater good, like what I did back in my own era."

Her grin had disappeared. Locke could see that she really didn't understand; what else could there be to life except the pursuit of ecstasy? Maybe she was lucky that in her own way, away from all of the permiscuousness, that she remained rather naive to the ways of the cruel world that they all lived in: past, present, and future.

"I guess that IS just the way I am. I'm hot on the trail of love and the time of my life. What more could anyone want?" she said frankly.

Locke was certain now that she hadn't been kicked around by life yet, and still had her dollhouse dreams of love and happiness. Would she really know what love was? Locke could tell that she had an idea, and an idea it only was. 'I could show her real love...' he thought, then swiftly put his hand over his face.

"Bad thought!" he said aloud. Nivea reclined out over the bed.

"I do that to people, don't I?" she said. Locke groaned. "Is your arm hurting you again?" she asked, then smiled. She was truly no imbecile.

"Where is Gaspar, anyway?" Locke said, finally feeling the need to drastically change the subject.

"He's at the potty," she said, pointing to the closed door of the bathroom. "You know that when you get older you have the call of nature more often, and it takes twice as long. Maybe you should check that he hasn't fallen in."

Locke was just about to comment on her potty joke when he heard a flush and a relived Gaspar came out from the bathroom.

"Are you two getting along now?" he said. Locke shook his head again when Nivea made kissy lips at Gaspar.

"What? I said that I'd try not to do that to you anymore, and that wasn't at you. Hee hee!" she rolled over onto her stomach. "Old man, I'm bored. Do you have anything to do?" she asked. Gaspar sat down on his cot and placed his hat at the foot of it.

"I was going to tell Locke the story of the next era of history, unless he wanted to wait until we found Celes so she could hear it too," he answered.

"Maybe we should wait; she was interested."

"No. I want to hear the story. I'm really bored, and since I told you that I would make an effort not to bug you, and I seem to have no effect on the old 'priest' here..."

"Guru," Gaspar drolly interjected.

"I said priest for a reason..." she mumbled. "Let's have a bedtime story!" she kicked up her heels and propped her chin up on her hands. She reminded Locke of a little girl, except for the fact that her womanly trademarks were visible from her loose shirt, which he tried to keep from looking at.

"Alright. I shall pick up from where I left off back in the End of Time." Gaspar said. Locke was expecting another long story, so he made himself comfortable where he was, and relaxed. But Nivea was still fidgeting.

"Where did you last leave off, old man?" she asked.

"I had just concluded the story of Cecil and the fight with Zeromus. It was much like how I gave you the condensed version of what happened during the time that you were asleep," Gaspar clarified for her.

"Aw, shit. I wanted to hear it all." she said. Locke could hardly believe what came out of her mouth, and he stared at her until she noticed that something was amiss.

"What?" She asked, clueless of her mistake.

"I would think that I would not have to tell you," Locke said, still appalled by what she said.

"Nivea, in the Era where Locke comes from, words that are referred to as 'cursing' are generally looked upon as very vulgar, and something that especially a woman should not be saying," Gaspar eluded.

"Oh. I'm sorry Locke. I didn't realize that you would take so much offense," she said, almost breaking into a giggle that he would be sensitive to something so trivial.

"Ok. Let's get on with it. I do want to hear this as much as you do, Nivea."

"Ah yes, we are going into the time I have the most experience with, for part of it is my own time. Cecil's world continued on relatively peacefully for about another oh, 800 years or so. The world then divided into factions of people, divided by their class, ancestry and beliefs. This plunged the growing knowledge of the world into a dark age which was ruled by superstition and fear.

Eventually, disease and warring factions reduced the population of the world down to only a few million people. what was left of the records, only a few people could read, for very few people were literate.

1000 years after Cecil, the world became primeval again. The people who lived were few, but strong. Their ways were simple and their culture was crude. But this time was also crucial, because another race of sentient beings had emerged during the dark ages. These were an intelligent group of monsters who resembled reptiles, and were so called the Reptites. They began to dominate over the human race, and almost did, but a group of humans defeated their leader, Azala, and that pretty much spelled the end for the Reptites. The humans did not have any family line of ruling people, just whoever was the strongest. During that time their chief was one of the feistiest, toughest and prettiest women to ever walk this world. Her name was Ayla, and she was one of the three who defeated the Reptites.

After the fall of the Reptites, another disaster struck. A being known as Lavos struck down to earth from space. Lavos fed off of the earth like a parasite, and created an Ice Age, making life even more challenging for the human race than the Dark Age had done for them. The harsh Ice Age lasted for about 2000 years, which gave the humans plenty of time to adapt to their surroundings. They learned how to tap into the power of Lavos himself, finding a great magical force at their bidding.

But there was a problem with the power of Lavos, and that was not everyone could use it. This was also before people rediscovered Mana Magic, so they were at a loss to any alternative. The "Enlightened Ones" as they called themselves, found a way to totally separate themselves from those who could not use Lavos' power. The first Guru of Zeal, the Guru of Knowledge, created a machine called the Mammon Machine. The Mammon Machine tapped directly into the power of Lavos and enhanced it tenfold. He connected the output into the continent that the Enlightened Ones were living on which filled the continent with dark energy, and it lifted off of the ground into the sky.

This floating land was known as the Kingdom of Zeal. The family of Zeal ruled over the rest of the people, because they had the strongest magic. Their strong magic in the family was no accident though, for the family Zeal was once the family Eblan, the Dark Eternal line. A female descendant had married another man, and taken his last name. The strange thing was that last names had somehow survived the dark ages. It probably had something to do with the Eternal Blessing, but I'm going off topic.

Anyway, because of the nature of the Dark Eternal's power, it was flexible enough to work with the basic evil magic of Lavos in order to be in a place of consequence when the time did come. Ironically, Zeal became what people thought was the true evil of that time, and of later time frames. The Eternal's magic was on par with Lavos' magic to begin with, and would have been stronger if they had chosen to remain living with the Earthbounds, for within them was the other half of the Eternal Magic.

The power of the Light Eternal could not mix with the dark magic of Lavos. The Light Eternal's pure power totally rejected and hated Lavos' evil force, so that family lived on down with the hard-working Earthbound people. These people were considered primitive and crude by the snobby Zealians, but in truth were the better of the two groups of people.

The Kingdom of Zeal lasted for about 300 years. Their power grew stronger, and they became more dependent upon Lavos' energy for living. I myself, come from this period; the last years of Zeal. I was known as the Guru of Time, and I was consul to Queen Zeninne Zeal along with my two associates: Melchior, Guru of Life and Belthazar, Guru of Reason.

Belthazar was the engineer of the greatest achievements of Zeal; the Blackbird and the Ocean Palace. Melchior had a knack for designing weapons, and I was working on my ultimate project, which Locke has seen.

(Oh you mean that Egg Timer thing?)

It was called the "Time Egg" or "Chrono Trigger."

(Excuse me!)

{Shut up and let him go on. Continue, Old Man.}

The Queen was a good woman on the whole; beautiful and refined. The evil force of Lavos had an effect upon the traits of the Dark Eternal, such as her hair being blue instead of green, and such. Her only problem was that she tended to jump to conclusions and become jealous.

She had a romance with an Earthbound man when she was in her early twenties, of which I don't really know much about. I had a hard time learning of the little known secrets of the time that I was alive through, because I am not able to go back to the years of my life before I ended up in the End of Time. It's complicated... I'll explain it to you later. From what I understand, this man disappeared completely one day. She was worried for weeks, then concluded that he must have run off with another woman and hid from her.

After that idea rested in her mind, she became a much harder woman. The power of Lavos called to her, and became the focus of her life. She married a man from her own kingdom, and then she was quiet again for a while, until we heard about her difficulty in bearing a child. Melchior, being the Guru of Life, put his blessing upon her womb, but still she was barren. Then, a couple years later, she announced to the kingdom that she now had borne a daughter, from whom she could sense great magic skills.

The strange thing was that she had told no one of her pregnancy, but she said that she kept it secret so that she would bring no ill wishes that might be around upon her. I did not choose to question her further, for it seemed to me that it was fine to leave it at that.

They named the little girl Schala, and after a few years there was no more questions concerning her line, for she was a spitting image of the Queen. As she grew into her teens, Schala grew to be a beautiful woman, and powerful as well in the ways of magic. Dear Schala... you were such a gentle soul..." Gaspar paused for a moment, remembering the smiling, wonderful girl, and her unknown fate.

"Well, when she was about twelve," he continued, "The Queen had another child, this time a little boy. His name was Janus, and he seemed a disappointment to his mother, for he was a disagreeable boy, and showed almost no sign of magical talent. By this time, the Queen was being consumed by Lavos' immense power more as the days went on. She was not the same person of whom I had known twenty years earlier. She had become vindictive and corrupt, and only cared for power.

She began to mistreat Schala. She did have a reason, and it was that Schala was becoming more adept with magic than she was, and on top of that, Schala had become more beautiful than the Queen had ever been. So the Queen took advantage of Schala's loving nature, and used Schala for her own purposes. She put Schala in charge of the Mammon Machine, and gave her a pendant to control the secret gates of the Zeal palace. Schala never questioned her mother for as much as I can remember.

When Janus turned eight, that was the year everything came crashing down. We the Gurus had overseen a few projects that seemed strange by themselves, but as soon as they were all almost done, we realized what she was doing. With the Ocean Palace almost ready, the Mammon Machine prepared, and the old sources of power blocked off, it was obvious to us what was going on. She was going to take the Mammon Machine to the Ocean Palace, and use the Palace's power to hook herself directly up with Lavos itself, making her immortal and all-powerful. The problem was that it would have other repercussions upon the world.

After Schala foresaw the future with nothing but the Ocean Palace present, I for one was sure that it meant trouble. Schala herself was acting strange that day, so something must have been very wrong. There was also a prophet that had appeared one day, and was so uncannily correct in his predictions that he found a place in the Queens court. I think that he knew what was going to happen, he just knew that it was no use to tell the Queen or anyone.

We petitioned the Queen to stop what she was doing, for the good of the kingdom, but she ignored our warnings. We tried a second time, and her reaction was most unpleasant. She had us 'disappear.' Melchior had made the biggest stink about the whole thing, so he was first to go. She imprisoned him in a crystal at the top of Mount Woe, a semi-floating piece of land. Then, she confined me to the sealed island where the Moon Stone was kept. She still needed Belthazar for the Ocean Palace, so she had him confined there.

"I'm not clear on exactly what happened from there. I know that the heroes from the future, of whom you will hear of later, came through and made trouble for the Queen. They rescued Melchior, and he turned the little imps Masa and Mune into the Great Sword Masamune. With that, they disabled the Mammon Machine and caused a great chain reaction which resulted in catastrophe.

Lavos was awakened for a short period of time, long enough for it to take full control of the Queen. The Prophet turned out to be Janus who had come back from the future to take revenge on Lavos for ruining his life. He tried to change his own future, but found that he couldn't. Lavos and Zeal had the Heroes, Janus and Schala at bay, and would have destroyed them all if it weren't for Crono, who gave up his life to protect the rest of them.

Schala found a way after that to send the rest of them away to the continent. They watched as the Kingdom of Zeal fell to the ground, for the Mammon Machine was destroyed. We the Gurus were brought back to the Ocean Palace, along with young Janus. We were brought before her throne in the Palace. She said nothing to us; the only thing that happened was that we could see the essence of Lavos with her. Lavos screamed, and a bunch of black portals opened under the three of us.

These were Time Portals that had much of the same properties as the natural ones at the End of Time. The sad thing was that young Janus got caught in one as well, and was whisked away to another time. Melchior ended up 3,000 years in the future, Belthazar found himself in a bleak future of 4,300 years. Somehow I ended up out of the time stream, from where I could see all of the world's history, but not the future. Hmn, that would probably be too much for me to handle anyway.

I, in a sense, did not exist in time anymore, so I no longer aged, and I don't think that I can now, even being back in time.

(Waiiit... That won't happen to me will it? Since I was at the End of Time?)

No, no. When Lavos transported us, he made it that we belonged where we were, and were important to that time. It's complicated, I'll tell you about it later.

(Uhh, ok.)

{SHADDUP! I want to hear the rest of the story!!!!!!}

(Ok, ok, ok! Sheesh... Go on.)

"No one knows what happened to Schala after that. I have tried to search for her through time, but I have not found her. She seemed to have disappeared altogether. Dalton, Zeal's top general, tried to take over what was left of the world with the Blackbird, but the remaining heroes disposed of him.

(Who are these heroes?)

I'm getting to that. Janus ended up 400 years before Melchior did. The poor boy was lost out in the world all by himself. He did miss his mother a bit, and he missed his cat, Alfador. But most of all he missed Schala. He had always been close to Schala, and no one else. When he arrived in the new time, he was taken in by a strange monster being named Ozzie. He was a part of the group known as the Mystics. They were all humanoid monsters who were resentful of the humans' prosperity, and fought against them often.

At first, Ozzie was just going to dispose of Janus, but then he noticed something about the boy. He felt that Janus had a great potential for using magic; a force only known to the wisest of the Mystics. Ozzie knew that no Mystic would take care of the human boy, so he left him in the middle of the town Porrie where a kindly old man took him in. Janus' natural powers had been somewhat stifled by the constant drawing of Lavos' evil emanations, and as soon as Janus was away from Lavos, his natural, Dark Eternal powers came through stronger than that of his mother's. She had been disappointed in him, and as it turned out, he would have been a greater mage than Schala herself had he just had time to be away from Lavos.

As Janus grew up, he had forgotten the terrible events that had befallen him, for he had blocked them out a few weeks after he had come to stay with the old man. No one knew his real name, so people began to call him "Magus" because of his magical powers. He was always a reserved boy, and the other children thought that he was a bit strange, but interesting. They had never met anyone before with blue hair, orange eyes and was able to use the mystic forces. Ozzie had always come to visit the young mage, and tried his best to gain a relationship with him. But Janus was smart, and he knew that Ozzie only wanted him for his own purposes, which he cared nothing about. He knew that Ozzie was a buffoon from early on, but went along with him, figuring that he a might come in handy someday.

Janus lived in Porrie until he was twenty. His powers were still growing, and he had become a fine, tall young man. That was when his memories broke through. They began as dreams, then they would break through to his conscious while he was awake. Finally, he remembered everything: Zeal, Schala, the heroes, and Lavos. A rage burned inside Janus. He knew that all that had happened in the past was Lavos' doing. If it weren't for that evil being he would have had a mother, and most of all he would have had Schala. He never knew what became of her either, and was determined to get his revenge on Lavos, and find Schala.

He knew how to bring Lavos forth, but he would need support and the right place geographically. Now he realized that Ozzie would come in handy now. He needed to have the interest of the world, good or bad. He also knew how to get their attention. So he told Ozzie that he would help the Mystics take over if they only did what he said, and appointed him leader. Ozzie did have some objections, but he thought that he could control the young Magus. He was very wrong.

Janus, now known to all as Magus, had set up his own Keep off of the Porrie continent, and right under the spot where the Kingdom of Zeal had once floated long ago. He told the Mystics that he was going to lead them to victory over the humans of the Kingdom Guardia, which was the reigning power of that time. The Mystics thought of Magus as a savior, while the people of Guardia called him and evil maniac bent on destroying humanity. In truth, Magus was indifferent about either side. He cared nothing about who won, and planned on abandoning the Mystics as soon as he had finished what he was doing. He just showed them support, and they gave him space, and facilities.

For ten years the combined forces of Magus and the Mystics pounded upon the people of Guardia. By then, he had put Ozzie in his place, as general of the Mystic forces, and he also had two other close henchmen, though they really weren't close to him, he just regarded them a step above the other Mystics because they were better skilled. Flea, the feminine Sorcerer, and Slash, the swordsman. Often times people and soldiers would end up at his Keep either on purpose of by accident. He wanted his time to concentrate and study magic tomes, so if they entered, he just simply had them killed, and turned them to zombies to his service.

At the end of the tenth year, the Heroes emerged. They pushed back his forces and teemed up with his enemies. He knew who they were, and was greatly surprised to see them in this era. He did know of their time travel, but he wasn't sure if they had already been to his era or not. But then he remembered; in his time, the red-haired swordsman was dead, killed by Magus' mother and Lavos. They had probably just begun their quest, for they also had just met the frog, one of his amusements.

They ended up becoming a real nuisance to him, and eventually found their way to his keep. He was just about to reach the end of his spell to summon Lavos and locate Schala when the red-haired hero, the frog and a girl burst in to his private sanctum. They fought a long, hard battle with him, which he knew that he was going to lose. Just when they had him down, Lavos decided to wake up for a bit, and flushed them all through a portal. Magus was a bit more than peeved, for all of his hard work went down the drain in one fell swoop.

When the portal cleared he found himself in a familiar place: Zeal. He felt almost happy to be home, but was sobered by it's fate. He went to Kajar, and found that the date was not long before the end of Zeal. The date rang a bell in his head, and remembered that this was the day that the Prophet had mysteriously appeared in Zeal Palace. He knew who the Prophet was now, and though it hadn't worked for him before, maybe it would work this time. He threw the hood of his cape over his long blue hair, and headed off to Zeal Palace.

After Magus disappeared, the Mystics lost the battle completely. Ozzie set up a place for himself on a distant island, and the Kingdom of Guardia named the small town closest to the castle, 'Truce,' in honor of the end of the war. The human race continued on living peacefully, and the Mystics settled on a nearby island where they set up a town of their own. They named it after the red-haired Sorceress of ancient lore, Medina.

The next time of interest is four-hundred years later. The time of peace and prosperity was at its peak, and they were having a Millennial Fair, for in their track of time it had finally reached the year one-thousand AD. It could have been deemed a millennial fair anyway, because in our world's time, it was the year eight-thousand. This is where we met the heroes of the age, and the greatest hero of the Era, Crono Figaro. He, as you know already, is one of the direct descendants of Figaro, and Crono resembled Figaro stronger than Cecil had six-thousand years earlier.

(Do Edgar and Sabin look like Figaro as much as Crono did?)

Well, I think I would place Edgar closer to Figaro because they share the blond hair trait, but Crono has green eyes like Figaro. Edgar and Crono look almost exactly alike one another while at the same age.

(Strange... I wonder if I have any ancestors that I resemble?)

You probably do.

{Is Edgar cute?}

(Ignore her, go on.)

He and his friends from his own time frame, Lucca the inventor and Marle AKA Princess Nadia, came upon time portals by accident when one of Lucca's inventions caused a reaction in Marle's pendant. That pendant was once Schala's pendant many years before, and traces remained of Lavos' strange power. It honed in on other times in history where Lavos' presence was strong. They had many adventures through the time portals, where eventually they learned of Lavos.

The first place that they heard of him was in the future, the same future which Belthazar had ended up in. It was a bleak place ruled by Lavos' evil presence. They picked up an ally there in the form of a humanoid robot named Robo. Also in that time frame, they received a time machine called the Epoch, created by none other than Belthazar himself. They thought that Lavos had been created by Magus four-hundred years before their time, so they went back to try and stop him.

They were joined by Frog, a man from Magus' time who had been turned into a frog by Magus when he and his friend Cyrus were looking for the sword Masamune. The Heroes helped him retrieve and fix the ancient weapon. They took it to Melchior, who was living in their own time frame. They had no idea of where he had come from, but he knew of them. He fixed the sword, and they set off to Magus' lair. They fought Magus and found out that Magus had not created Lavos, but was only trying to bring him forth. They ended up being drawn into a giant portal the way Magus had. They ended up back in the time of Ayla and the Reptites. Ayla became a full time part of their group their"e, and they were the people who brought down Azala and the Reptites.

They saw Lavos hit the earth at that time, and came to the conclusion that Lavos was a cosmic being, and that they needed to find a way to destroy it. From there, they went to the age of Zeal. They met the Queen and Schala, and Janus. They did all of the things that I said already. After Crono sacrificed himself for his friends, and the Heroes defeated Dalton, then they were joined by Magus. Though Magus at first really didn't like them, he respected their loyalty and teamwork, and eventually they considered him almost comrade.

(How is Edgar here if Crono died?)

I was jut about to get to that.

Marle, who found that she was in love with Crono, was looking for a way to get him back at all costs. So, she and the rest of the Heroes came to me at the advice of Jan.. I mean Magus. I gave them my original Chrono Trigger, and sent them off to Belthazar. Belthazar had actually passed away by then, but that genius had put his mind into his robot Nu, so it was him in a way. He instructed them to get a clone and climb Death Peak, where they could make a wish.

At the top, Marle and the Heroes wished very hard for something to happen. When the Time Egg reacted, it first shattered. Then, Marle screamed to the world that they needed Crono, and something happened. The potential of the Time Egg reacted to their love and need for Crono. It brought them back to the spot where Crono originally bit the dust, except that time was frozen, but they were free to walk around. They took Crono, and placed the Clone/dummy in his spot, and returned back. After that he was fine, and they were ready to take on Lavos.

I suggested that they go on a few expeditions for everyone's benefit before they took on Lavos, and they did. It helped them gain experience in battle and such, and they fixed people's lives in some places, and kept some old promises. Finally, the final battle was at hand. The first thing they did was go to the Ocean Palace, or as it was then called the Black Omen, and did away with what remained of poor Queen Zeal. The true Zeninne Zeal was trapped in there somewhere, and it was the only humane thing to do to her.

When that was through, they took a way in to fight Lavos, and first defeated his outer shell. Then, they traveled through the shell to the innermost chamber where the Lavos Core was. It was a long, hard battle, but they were victorious at the end. They were returned to their own respective times. Most of them kept in touch by means of the Epoch and Lucca's invention. The future that Robo came from no longer existed because Lavos would never take over. Magus left to look for Schala, Ayla returned to be chief of the Ioka tribe and lead them into some hard, cold times ahead. Frog and Lucca pursued a relationship, and Crono did eventually marry Marle.

So, that's pretty much what happened in that Era, though I have spared the details. If you ever want to learn about it in more detail, you can read the volumes if we ever find a way back to The End of Time. I also have a book following just the adventures of the Heroes, so it makes more sense." Gaspar ended there. He was out of breath and sleepy .

"Wow. What did you think, Nivea? Nivea?" Locke looked at her and found that she had fallen asleep. "I thought it was too quiet. I guess we should be catching our Z's too," Locke said with a yawn. Gaspar nodded in agreement, and reclined on his cot. Nivea had fallen asleep on Locke's cot, and Locke wasn't about to wake her. He put a sheet over her, and tip-toed into the other room with the big bed. "

I'm glad that she fell asleep before I did. That was a confusing bunch of information, but I guess time travel really confuses history. Paradoxes.. and conflicts... enough.. to.. make.. you..... sl..e...e..p..y......" he thought, as he drifted off to dreamland.



Sabin stood upon the icy ground and squinted at the morning horizon. He waited as his companion and friend, Cyan came through the Time Portal along with the amphibious Glenn, AKA Frog. Sabin shivered quickly: being all muscle, he had little protection from the cold, and he had to take a piss really bad. He couldn't find a private place anywhere in the frigid landscape to relive himself. Distraction... he needed distraction.

"Sabin? Doth something vex thee?" Cyan said, putting his hand on the big blond guy's shoulder. Sabin turned around with a big, fake smile on his face, and shook his head.

"It doth seem that we have arrived in the time after the fall of Zeal," Glenn said.

He looked to the ground with his froggy eyes and spotted a pair of scuffled footprints in the hardened snow.

"They had cometh through here mayhap a night and an afternoon afore us. Sirs Cyan and Sabin, doth thou knowest how to track these Time Portals? Though I be a skilled swordsman, I am uneducated in the ways of science."

Cyan scowled as he looked at the Time Key.

"I could give it a try. Being around Edgar hath a tendency to rub off on one's self, correct Sabin?"

"Yup, I think it does. I mean, I don't plan on trying to charm every woman who I come in contact with, but Edgar has many more noble traits than his... less attractive ones," Sabin looked over Cyan's shoulder at the Key. All of the different buttons and mini-gauges boggled his mind.

"Even with that, I don't think I could figure it out. Any luck yet?"

"Confound it all and damnit." Cyan grumbled, among which were many other undecipherable complaints.

"Hee hee... Now you even sound like my brother!" Sabin commented.

Cyan and Glenn looked at him.

"You would have to be around him a lot to hear him when he goes off. It's enough to curdle water! He gets really bad about his language when he's working on a trying project, and he keeps on making mistakes. Of course he never swears around a lady. 'It's not in his blood,'" Sabin mimicked Edgar's smooth speech. "Heh, I hope Terra meets up with that side of him before she's stuck with him... Oh, I'm sorry, Cyan. I shouldn't have..."

"Quite alright. I have come to terms with their betrothal.. She loveth him, as I loved my wife," he paused, reflecting for a moment, then the Key made a funny noise and shut off. "Blast! Sabin, sir, we direly need to find thy brother. He beest the only one who could work this... abomination," Cyan looked like he was ready to lob the thing off into the vast ocean.

"From what I have learned from lady Lucca, this Sir Edgar ye speakest of should be in my world in some time frame," Glenn said, examining his sword. "How couldst I lose the Masamune?" he said under his breath.

"Yes, and then the trick is to find him. He could be lost in the mountains somewhere, or drowned in this endless sea," Sabin gulped. "By the way -- why is the sea here so big? And are there any trees here?" Sabin remembered his business that needed to be taken care of when he mentioned 'sea' and 'tree'.

"There beest a human encampment yonder," Glenn said, pointing a green finger East.

"Why don't we go there and figure out our searching strategy," Sabin said. They all began to walk in that general direction, and soon enough they came upon the commons of the new town that the survivors of the Zeal incident had set up. They called the town, "Hope Village."

"We could ask around here if they have seen Lucca or the Lizard man?" Sabin suggested.

"A sound idea, I think," Cyan said. As they entered the village, many of the people recognized Glenn and greeted him. An older man came out, and looked rather happy to see Glenn.

"Oh, Sir Frog! You have come for a visit? Great! As you can see we have built quite a few dwellings, and the water level seems to be receding. Oh, where are my manners, who are your friends?" the old man asked.

"This is Cyan Garamonde, and Sabin Figaro. My apologies, but we are on some urgent business, and couldst I ask thee, hath thou seen the Lady Lucca pass through here, or any suspicious looking reptiles?" Glenn said, also inserting a froggy croak.

"Uhh, no, I have not. None of the villagers have reported anything except a missing cat.... Would you people know anything about it? A little blue cat, one of the children liked to play with it."

"No, sorry, no cats," Sabin said. His mind was on other problems, namely looking for a concealed spot where he could write his name in the snow.

"Umm, could I ask you something private?" Sabin said. He took the old man aside and whispered something in his ear. The old man pointed, and received a quick thanks from Sabin who was swiftly off.

"He'll most likely be occupied for a while! that place always has a line," the old man said. Glenn laughed a froggy chuckle.

"Then since we are here, why don't we go and look for the missing feline?" Cyan said.

"I see no reason why we shouldn't. Come on, let's go... I have a strange feeling about that cat. A blue cat..." Glenn was trying to figure out where he had seen a blue cat before.

The two of them headed into the only heavily vegetated place on the island. Both men (well... yeah) were excellent trackers, and had found no trace of any sort of furry creature. They flushed a Nu out of it's hiding place, and a bird or two, but no sign of a cat. Then Glenn picked up on something.

"I know that feeling..." Glen said, stopping in his tracks.

"Problem doth there be? Sir Glenn?" Cyan said, concerned about the other. Glenn seemed to be in a trance.

"'Tis the vibes of mine greatest adversary... Magus!" he said, and bounded off in another direction. Cyan ran after him.

"Wait for me! Thou saidst that thou wert allies with Sir Magus?" Cyan said between breaths. Glenn was a leap and a bound ahead of him, and he did not answer.

"I'm getting too old for this..." Cyan thought as he raced after the frog guy.

He found Glenn standing before the mouth of a cave.

"Huff... Those legs... of thine... Puff... art strong... whooh..." Cyan said, catching his breath. "Doesn't help, either, that I am... no longer in my prime... Is he there?" Cyan asked Glenn.

"I'm not sure. I'm going in," Cyan followed him without another word.

Cyan drew a penlight from his pocket- one of the gadgets that was now common in his own world. It didn't really help much. From what he could see, there was furniture, and a desk with large volumes of Magic Tome resting open on them. There was also a circle decorated with runes, probably for practicing spells. Whoever did live here definitely had a thing for the magic arts.

"He be elsewhere. Let us leave now," Cyan said, genuinely spooked by the place.

"Thou'rt right. False alarm, it seems, though I have never had one before," Glenn said, turning around.

"That's because you were correct, Frog," The both of them nearly jumped out of their skins. They turned around to be met by a pair of orange glowing eyes.

"What are you doing intruding on my demesnes? I should throw you both out myself," the voice of Magus resonated with a low rumble in the stone cave. With a thought, the cave lit up magically, and Magus sat down casually on the padded chair at the desk.

"We are looking for the blue feline that is missing from the village. Wouldst thou know of it?" Glenn said sternly. Cyan could read the dislike in Glenn's eyes. It was almost the way he himself would glare if Kefka stood before him.

"It isn't lost," he said, and a small, blue cat leapt onto Magus' lap and curled up in a ball. "Alfador has always been mine. He knows who I am," the kitty mewed softly as Magus began to pet it's back.

"At least thou couldst have told the villagers this? We couldst be already on our way right now. Who knows what that evil creature couldst be doing to dear Lucca right now! He hath probably dented the metal on the Masamune as well." Glenn grumbled as he headed for the doorway.

"Is someone missing?" Magus inquired.

"Lady Lucca was abducted by Rantacore's hench." Cyan said. Magus had taken little notice of Cyan until now.

"Who's the geriatric knight, frog boy?" Magus said, once again all-too casually to be towards a hated enemy.

"Mine name is Glenn, thou blue-haired cad. This is mine friend, Cyan Garamonde. We shall be on our way now, if thy insults do not mind," Glenn hissed as he walked further towards the door.

"Well then, maybe I would like to come with you?" Magus suggested.

"Thou'rt asking?" Glenn said.

"You see, I can't conduct much of a search for Schala when I am stuck in one time frame. From what I have gathered, she's not in this one, and you just happened to have the Time Key with you."

"I knew he had an ulterior motive. He always does," Glenn commented to Cyan.

"Ah, and I can make you search for the kitty not one in vain by letting the poor villagers know about it," Magus said, slightly mockingly.

"Why doesn't thou return to that nice, tolerable, tacit state that thou took when thou wert teamed up with us originally?" Glenn commented.

"Oh, get your head out of your amphibious ass. I've been in such better sorts now that I don't have the presence of Lavos constantly drilling at my head with that crappy power of his," he said curtly. They were outside now, and on the way back to the village. Glenn began walking, hoping that Magus would decide to remain where he was, but he kept on following him. As soon as they were clear of the vegetation, they were able to spot Sabin coming towards them.

"Has Crono bleached his hair and taken steroids?" Magus asked.

"Hey, guys, where'd you go? Who's he?" Sabin asked, pointing at Magus.

"This is Magus. He has decided to accompany us on our quest," Glenn said. Sabin could see from his expression that he was not fond of Magus. Sabin looked up at the man. He was a rather strange looking fellow, reminding him of a cross between an Esper and a human, like Terra. His long, pointy ears jutted out from a flow of long blue hair that curled at the tips. His dull complexion made his bright orange eyes stand out, and a mischievous, maybe even malicious smirk curled the man's thin lips. Well, might as well shake his hand anyway.

"Nice to meet you, Magus," he said, extending his hand. "I'm Sabin Rene Figaro." They shook hands, and Magus proceeded to examine Sabin's face.

"Damn, you do look like Crono. Must be related," he mentioned quietly.

"Hey, while I was, um, away, I was thinking about stuff..." he began as they all continued to walk back to the village, "And I realized that I can play with magic now!"

"Your point being?" Magus was unimpressed.

Sabin ignored Magus' snide remark and went on.

"So, I was thinking some more.. and suddenly this spell came into my head. It was the weirdest thing. It sounds like that devastating power that you said Edgar used on Rantacore. It's called Lumin-"

"Luminaire? You can do that too?" Cyan asked, interrupting Sabin. Sabin nodded in consent.

"That's one of Crono's spells! How is it that thou and this brother of thine canst do the same spells as he can? Crono toldeth me personally that of all of his special abilities, the Luminaire is special to him, and him only," Glenn said, his arms crossed stiffly.

"Unless they truly are related to Crono," Magus interjected. Glenn croaked.

"For sooth? For I doth not trust thee as far as I might kick thee," Sabin and Cyan smirked to keep back pending laughter.

"I may be your enemy, but I have never been a liar," Magus said undaunted.

"Thou hast me on that point, Magus." if Frog had a human nose, it would have been wrinkled, and his brow would be lifted.

"Anyway," Sabin said, cutting back into the conversation, "I don't think that I would be able to utilize it in the same way that Edgar had, but if I concentrate it into my fists, I think I can come up with a devastating blitz attack. It will be useful when we encounter that lizard-thing again," Sabin looked at Magus, then Glenn. "You turned him into a frog?" he asked Magus.

Magus drew a stifled smile to one side of his face.

"Yeah, I did."

"Why?" Sabin inquired again, leaving Magus to the simple question.

"It was all in good fun. I had just had the most terrible time breaking that fool Cyrus into a flaming mass, and I needed something comical, (other than Ozzie) to give me a lilt. Fine joke, wasn't it?" Magus chuckled from the back of his throat, reflecting upon the amusement that had brought him. Sabin thought that maybe Magus should seek mental help or the like...

Frog Flared.

"A joke? A blasted joke? I'll have thou know that the very moment that thou dispatched Cyrus hath been the greatest bane upon mine life! I shouldst kill thee at this very moment!" Glenn drew his sword, and Magus pulled his right hand glove on tighter.

"Calm thyself, Sir Glenn," Cyan said moving himself between the two adversaries.

Magus strode forward, making a Cyan Sandwich between he and the frog.

"I could take the likes of you any day." he said over Cyan's shoulder.

"Now see here! Ow, you both... stop that at once!" Cyan said as the two other men began squishing him between the other as they were attempting to harm one another. "Sabin, I could use thy help right now...." Cyan said from an uncomfortable position.

Sabin had been watching this whole ordeal proceed, and was rather bemused until now. He stepped between them, but was instantly pushed out of the way.

"Didn't mean to step in there..." he said.

"Use thy head, Sabin!" Cyan said, losing the battle over keeping Magus and Glenn apart. Sabin thought.... ! ....he knew what to do now.

"Glenn, think of Cyrus! He was a forgiving soul, you said. You, knowing the plight of Magus' young life should be at least slightly forgiving! Would Cyrus have not done the same? And you, Ma- Janus. What you did to this man here was almost as bad as what Lavos did to your life. Think of your mother.... Think of Schala! What would she have to say about what you did, and continue doing to this man you have blighted? What would she tell you, Janus?" Sabin's words echoed in the minds of the addressed duo. They were both considering what Sabin had said, and had thusly disengaged from their battle, which relived Cyan greatly. He was surprised that Sabin came up with such a clever concept on his own.

"Thou'rt correct, Prince Figaro," Glenn sadly stated. "Cyrus was a fair man, and that shouldst I be as well," Frog sheathed his sword.

"Schala..." Magus said, thinking of his beautiful sister, whom he loved deeply. He thought of how his heart had broke when he knew that he would not see her again. He closed his eyes. Sabin had hit him where it hurt. Calling him Janus just brought what he said closer to home. Schala would not approve of all of what he had done in his life.

"Well, it seems that we both have reasons for hating one another, but do have the motivation to attempt to resolve things," Magus held out his hand in a friendly gesture. Glenn hesitated, but then extended his own. They shook hands.

After they parted, Glen felt a tingling sensation in his hand.

"What hast thou done to me? Treachery!" Glenn yelled, and leapt at Magus.

"Why did you do that?" Sabin said, seizing Magus by the shirt and holding him up.

"Just watch, would you?" he said.

Glenn felt the sensation travel through his whole body. Around him congealed a cloud of dark energy, the same kind that Magus used in all of his spells. He began to feel different, yet strangely familiar...

When the cloud dispersed, Glenn had fallen to his knees, coughing, and looking very different. Cyan and Sabin looked on in amazement.

"I told you. Now, would you put me down?" Magus asked softly. Sabin set him down on his feet, and approached Glenn along with Cyan. The two looked at each other's expressions of awe.

"Give me thy hand, brother," Cyan said, extending his own hand to help Glenn from the ground. Glenn looked up at Cyan, and reached to him, then stopped. He drew his hand back to himself, and held it before his face. He examined it thoroughly, and brought forth the other, just to be sure.

"I.." He stopped again, for he hardly recognized his own voice. "I'm human again?" He climbed to his feet on his own, and looked Cyan straight in the eye. "I'm human again!" He proclaimed with a joy he thought that he had always thought he would never feel; the joy of being in his true form. He turned to Magus. "Why now? Why after all of this time thou returns one thing to me thou stole?"

"Schala would hate me for being cruel, so I decided to fix one thing as soon as possible, and honor her memory," Magus replied. "Though... I don't remember your hair being that shade of green..."

Glenn brushed his hand over his head from his forehead back to his neck. He felt his own long, straight tresses. He looked down at one of his locks.

"'Twas much shorter the last time I saw it, and truly less green. It must be the remnants of the dark green that I once was all over."

Cyan stood at a slight distance as he studied his comrade's new appearance. From how he had once looked as a frog, Cyan could not make out what age he might have been, but now he could tell. Glenn looked like he was in his late twenties, maybe even thirty, and rather tall as well. He was taller than Cyan himself by a few inches and though Cyan did not think that he was the best of judges, he did think that Glenn made out to be a rather handsome man. But, he did look rather awkward with his old cape that was too short, and his pants looked like a youth's britches upon his strapping legs. Not to mention that the armor that he had been wearing was bursting at the seams. Frankly, Cyan was reminded of himself, only younger, when he looked upon Glenn.

Sabin saw something completely different.

"Wow, Glenn. You look a lot like Magus now! The resemblance is striking," Sabin said gesturing to them both. Glenn snorted, and Magus crossed his arms. "You don't have to agree with me," Sabin said apologetically.

"Let us be on our way back to the village? I doth need to remove this tight armor and don appropriate attire for someone my age," he looked down at his bare legs.

"Great. Then we may continue this chase. Who will we go after first? Edgar or Lucca?" Sabin asked, urging them to continue walking.

"Lucca. I don't trust that lizard, or Rantacore for that matter," Glenn said.

"Edgar. We shouldst find him first, then he can help us with the location of the others," Cyan suggested.

"Have any of you been wondering what happened to Terra?" Sabin said as a second thought.

"I would like to look for Schala myself," Magus interjected. They all looked at each other. This was bound to be a problem: Four choices of direction, and only one can be taken at a time.



"He's such a pleasant little boy," said Terra. She had watched over the young prince as he fell asleep for the night, while Schala sat trying to take in her whole situation.

"I've always had an affinity for young children anyway, but he is just sweet," she remarked to Schala.

"He is a nice boy, but..." Schala paused.

"What is it? Is there something wrong with him?"

"Not really... he just tends not to warm up to anyone so fast. Actually, he's usually plain disagreeable around anyone but me. It must be because you looked -- I mean you do look so much like me. I also sense a.. familiar spirit radiating from you. I think that Janus must have felt it as well, even mother. I still can't believe that you fooled my mother... You performed one of my spells? How can that be?" Schala looked at Terra with a bewildered look once again.

"I don't understand what you are getting to?"

"That is a personal spell. I created it myself, and because of its complexity it will only work if cast by me, or someone in my family line. That's why mother can't use it herself."

"You're not related to your mother? You're--"

"Adopted, yes. She's also being constantly inundated with the power of Lavos, which smothers her natural power. So if you can do my foreseeing spell, then you are related to me by blood in some way! Could you be my sister?" Schala asked, excited.

Terra thought about it, then shook her head.

"No, I couldn't be your sister. I'm not even from this era. My father would have mentioned a sister if I had one, and he never did. But, maybe you are a descendant of mine, or I am of you? Or maybe Janus... wait. Is he your real brother or--?"

"Janus is the Queen's blood son, but she rejects him now because he has little magic to show for himself. It wasn't like that just a year ago. She was a good mother until she hooked up directly to Lavos, via the Mammon machine."

"What's the Mammon Machine, and who is this Lavos character anyway?" Terra asked, lifting an eyebrow.

"Lavos is an ancient being that emits a great deal of power. I truly don't know much about what it really is, but his power is intense, evil and corruptive. His power flows through this whole land of Zeal, making it float above the clouds. It also grants many people living here the usage of magic. The Mammon Machine taps directly into Lavos' power, which is the real reason this place floats. You say that you are not of my time... I know of time travel, but I haven't heard of it being used yet. How is it that you wield magic, yet have not been connected to Lavos?" Schala was confused yet again.

"I, um, am part human, part Magical Beast called Esper. I could use Magic before others because it came to me naturally, then people in my time found ways of infusing Esper magic into humans through Magitek and Magicite. I'll explain it to you when its not so late, because it is a very, very long story." Terra rolled her eyes remembering how long and tedious those days were for her.

"You don't look half monster, unless I look half monster as well," Schala was skeptical.

Terra breathed in deeply.

"Hold on a sec. I must concentrate."

Terra wasn't sure if changing into her Esper form would work correctly while she was in the presence of the magic of Lavos. She tried it anyway. She was enveloped in a ball of purple energy for a second, and was transformed into a purple flaming beast.

"Well, it worked, but the color scheme is wrong again. I'm usually pink, if that makes much of a difference," Terra said casually.

"Oh, you really do! I mean, you look fierce, yet I know that you are still Terra. Does this give you any special abilities?" Schala was genuinely intrigued.

"I can fly in this form, I'm tougher, stronger, faster, and my magic abilities are heightened as well. This is what I would refer to as "Terra-Plus". I'm also more sensitive to magic, so if you don't mind, I'm going to change back before I have a brain hemorrhage," Terra stated as she reverted quickly. "Do you people have aspirin in this era, 'cause I've got me a mother of a headache."

"What's aspirin?" Schala said, thus answering Terra's question. "So Lavos' emanations give you headaches as well? I don't suffer with them myself, but poor little Janus has them almost all of the time. There is no way for him to get away from it either. It lets up slightly when he goes down to the world below, but it doesn't help much. I think that is why he has so little magic," Schala said, sympathetic towards her brother's plight.

"Yeah, poor kid. -Yaaaawn- Oh... I'm so tired. Do you know where I can find a place to sleep where I won't be mistaken for you, if it's not too much trouble," Terra asked.

"Oh, you can find a nice hideaway in that secret room over there where I was earlier. I use it to get away from Dalton when he gets extremely uh, horny, as the colloquialism is. I'm supposed to marry him, but frankly, I'd rather sleep with Lavos. There's a comfortable bed in there, and we can finish discussing our problems in the morning. Thanks for talking to me, Terra. I need someone to confide in other than Janus," Schala smiled.

"You're welcome, and thanks to you as well for your understanding and hospitality."


She woke up the next morning by Janus' little blue cat, Alfador. He mewed softly and leapt up onto the bed. It proceeded to walk across her and looked her straight in the face until she opened her eyes. She had just been dreaming of Edgar, and when she faced the large purple eyes of the cat, she nearly fell out of bed.

"Agggh? Alfador... go, go find breakfast."

She sat up, and rubbed her forehead. She still felt the constant pounding of Lavos' energy still, but... there was something else along with it. It was a looming sense of- she couldn't quite describe it to herself correctly, but it felt a lot like... dread. She stood up, and walked towards the door. She was about to open it when she heard that Schala was talking to someone. She creaked the door open a crack, and saw that it was only Janus speaking with her. Terra emerged and approached them, and felt the dread again, and she stopped in her tracks.

Schala noticed Terra, and dismissed Janus.

"Janus, look. You were wondering where Alfador was. He was with Terra all along. Now you can go and find that Nu you spoke of." The cat was at Terra's feet, and proceeded to trot over to Janus, and followed him out of the door. Schala turned to Terra.

"Good morning, Terra. Did you have a restful sleep?"

Terra rubbed her hand over her eyes, then smiled.

"I've had better, I've had worse, but I thank you for your concern," Terra said, trying not to sound callous. She kept on feeling the ominous dread within her body, and she decided to ask Schala about the matter.

"Schala, this morning when I woke up, I felt a strange presence of... something that feels like dread, but different..." Terra was still trying to come up with a better description, but her range of vocabulary was falling short.

"You can feel the Black Wind too? It figures that you can, since you have the strange ability to use my spells as well. Janus is receptive to it too, thought I don't know how. I don't feel it too strongly, so it's probably some distance away," Schala said knowingly, but uncomfortably.

" 'The Black Wind'? I can feel it pinpointed somewhere, moving around and getting strongest and weaker as it moves. What exactly does it mean??"

"The Black Wind is an ability to foresee something in the near future. It usually prophesies the death of someone, or a sore defeat. I don't really understand how it works, because it doesn't work the same on everybody. Sometimes you might feel it when you pass by them, but nowhere else, but then again with other people, you feel the presence until whatever happens happens. I think that the strength of the feeling depends on your personally perception and the consequences of that person's death or life as it may be, on the time line. It must be someone rather important today. Sad, for I probably know them," Schala commented.

Terra shivered.

"Whoever it is must be getting closer... The Wind is beginning to drown out my headache... But I'm not sure yet which is worse." She sat down on Schala's bed, and rubbed her temples slowly. In a moment she relaxed again, and felt that whomever it was that was emitting the Black Wind had gone off some distance again, and she no longer felt the presence so closely.

"Ahh... they've gone in a different direction."

Schala was still impressed with Terra.

"Your powers must be excellent. I have never been able to track threw movement of a person marked with the Black Wind. Where are you from anyway? You said last night that you traveled through time and space, but I'm still not clear on much about you."

"Well, I see no reason to distrust you, so I guess that I could tell you of my history thus far." Terra went on to tell a condensed, but nevertheless long interpretation of her life's story. It consisted of her life in Esperville, the Empire, her serendipitous entrance into the returners, the battles, the floating continent, life in Mobilz, fighting Kefka, and finally finding love in Edgar. The whole telling took maybe an hour or so, pausing for comments and such. Terra explained a lot about things that wouldn't be known about in Zeal, such as Espers, Magitek, Magicite and certain culture variances. Schala knew too-well about floating islands and abuse of power.

"It must be wonderful to be able to choose who you are to marry," Schala sighed, "I am betrothed to Dalton by my mother's bidding. I really don't like Dalton that much," she wrinkled her nose, then put her hands over her eyes.

Terra really felt sorry for Schala. She knew what it was like to yearn for love, but she didn't know what it would be like if she were forced to marry someone she detested, especially that Dalton creep. She extended her hand and placed it gently on Schala's shoulder, not knowing what to say, but trying nonetheless to comfort her new friend. Suddenly, an idea came into her head: it would be a long shot, but it just might work.

"Don't worry yourself, Schala, I'm gonna bust you and Janus out of here!"

Schala turned to Terra with here eyes wide and her jaw dropped.

"You can get us out of here? Terra, that would be the greatest gift that anyone could give me!" she enthusiastically clutched Terra's arms and shook her.

"Calm -- down." Terra said, her voice jumpy from being jostled by Schala's joy. Schala stopped shaking Terra and let her resume. "Thanks. Anyway, It's going to take some concentration, but I think that I can do it. I'm going to send out an energy beacon, well, actually I'd be the energy beacon. I'll radiate at the same frequency that the portal I came through did... I think I remember it... yes. Now, we just have to hope that Edgar will be using the Time Pendant.. Key or whatever he calls it. I just hope that Edgar is alright," Terra trailed off.

"When are you going to begin? I hope it is soon."

"I'd better start right now, because I won't know when he'll be using it," Terra concentrated, and then she realized that in order for her to gain enough general power she would have to change into Esper form. It would be tedious, but she knew she had to do this, not only for Schala and Janus, but for herself; this seemed to be her only ticket out of here. She instantly changed, and begun emitting a pulsating amount of energy, and her headache increased. The Black Wind...

Terra heard someone coming, and sensed Janus' energy signature. In her present form she felt his aura stronger now, and it seemed all the more familiar, but she still could not place it correctly. Then she realized that in her Esper form, she was liable to frighten Janus, and bring more attention to herself than she needed.

"Janus is coming. Give me a cloak, and I'll go back into the hidey-hole," Terra said quickly.

"Wha-? Oh, yes, you'd best be hidden," Schala found a sheet from her bed, threw it quickly over Terra, and then Terra in turn went back in. Janus came in, and Terra watched him through a crack in the door. He looked distraught, and Alfador mewed softly behind him.

"Schala, I went to see mother. She ignored me," he said. Schala looked at him.

"That can't be why you are so upset." She said, knowing full-well that Zeal always ignored him. Janus was hesitant, but he spat it out.

"Schala, the Black Wind..." he whimpered.

At that same moment Terra felt the Black Wind stronger than she had ever felt it before. It was like a furnace of cold, howling before her. Whoever it was had entered the room some time after Janus had, but she could see no one. She panned her view across the room, and there, by the stairs she spotted him; a red-haired male character. She couldn't see his full face, but she had found her star-crossed person. He was also with two other people from what she could tell; the power of the Wind was obscuring the other's signatures.

"You feel it too? Don't worry, it'll all be over soon," Schala said, trying to console him the best that she could. Someone else came in from the door way.

"Your mother wishes your presence, Miss Schala," the person said. Schala gave Janus a hug, then proceeded to follow the person out. She ran into the onlookers, and the Black Wind carrier.

"Oh, can I help you?" she asked them, but then the Enlightened messenger bade her to come. "I'm sorry, I need to go," she walked out past them.

Terra continued to watch as Janus sat down and petted Alfador. The boy still looked disturbed while he continued to stroke the small, blue kitty. She noticed a flash of red hair pop out once again from the stairwell, and then a pair of bright green eyes. The eyes looked from sides to side, then disappeared again back down into the stairwell along with the hair. A moment later, the rest of the body emerged boldly into the room.

He looked about sixteen, maybe as old as eighteen –Terra had never been much at spotting ages. He was tall, though, and muscular; his sturdy arms were visible and almost bulged from his sleeveless tunic. He was dressed in blue and gray, with an orange bandana around his neck, bound loosely by a simple knot. The clothes were also very worn, and a bit dirty. Terra thought she saw a scabbard attached to his belt, but he was turned away on that side, so she wasn't sure, but she could assume that he did handle a sword with such lithe arms as he had. Below a spiky mass of scarlet hair kept up by another bandana was an expression-filled face. From the look in his eyes she could tell that he was looking for something, but the slight, smug smile on his lips hinted a fine spirit, which Terra could still feel, despite the Black Wind...

Terra couldn't look anymore. This fine specimen of a young man was destined to perish soon? Such a waste... and she felt like she knew this youth. Wait, he did look familiar. She peeked out for one last, good look. She studied his face carefully. Oh! When he lifted his head and brushed his hair from his face it hit her: he looked so much like (though a younger version of,) Edgar and Sabin! The resemblance was striking. The youth, in fact, looked more like Edgar for the fact that he was not as excessively built as Sabin. If it weren't for the hair and eye color she would have noticed earlier. She snickered for a moment, because she then remembered when she had cut Edgar's hair it had poofed and spiked. Not nearly as much as the red hair of the youth, (nor as bad as Edgar had complained it would,) but it had nonetheless.

It was strange, now that she thought about it, for she had found her own doppleganger in Schala, and she had found someone who looked remarkably like Edgar. Perhaps this was some parallel dimension of her own world, and she was in fact on the Floating Continent. But then why was the Red Haired boy so young? She didn't know what to think of the incongruities of the situation, for she didn't know much about the subject of parallelisms. And why was he death-marked?

She continued to gaze out after that thought and saw that he had been joined by his two companions: a teen-age girl with a blond ponytail in a blue outfit with fluffy pants, and a frog-like being dressed in armor, a cape and a very large sword. They all approached Janus, seemingly wanting to talk.

When he saw the strangers, Janus' whole demeanor changed. He scowled and refused to look at them. The blond girl knelt down.

"Hello, little boy," she said very cheerily. Janus remained tacit and continued to ignore her.

She tried again.

"That's a cute cat you have there. My friend Crono here has a cat too, though it's not blue," still no response. "He looks very soft. Could I pet him too?"

"Go away. Alfador only likes me," he said sternly, and not facing her.

"Quite a rude lad," the frog said. It surprised Terra for a moment that he spoke instead of croaked.

"C'mon," the youth finally said. The other two followed him out of the room.

Terra slowly opened the door to the hidey-hole and came out, making sure that she could cover as much of her glowing form as the cloak permitted.

"You were rather cold to that girl. She was only trying to be friendly," she said to him quietly.

He turned to look at her.

"Oh, hi Terra. I... I don't like strangers," he said. "The Black Wind was bugging me. I had to get them away from me. Anyway, they're just probably dirty Earthbounds who have gotten lost."

"You have a bad attitude, but it probably comes from being pampered and a lack of parental guidance," she said knowingly. A shade of her own childhood reflected back to her through the young prince. She had grown up almost a princess.

"That's what Schala always says. Say, why are you wearing that? I sense some different energy coming from you."

She wondered if she should show him what she looked like last night. From what she could tell, Janus was about eight years old, and quite intelligent. She'd try.

"Janus, you saw how I changed appearances last night?"

"Yeah, you looked just like Schala, then you changed."

"Well, I can... change how I look, depending on what I need the form for. Now I told Schala that I would try to help the both of you get away from this place the best I could."

"You will?" he said, almost as ecstatic as Schala had been.

"I'll try, but in order for me to do so, I have to change my form, to this," she slowly removed the cloak from her figure. Janus at first was a bit scared, but then he looked directly into Terra's eyes. Terra knew that here eyes were always disarming, so she made a point to make eye contact with him. Then he approached her again, interested.

"Wow, cool," he looked her up and down. "Are you safe to touch?" he asked, concerning her flaming purple form.

"Oh yes. They say that I feel warm and fuzzy, despite the strange look of flames," She extended her hand to him. He was hesitant, but then gingerly touched her fingers.

"Oh... you are rather soft, like a cat! You don't even look like you're furry," he then proceeded to hug her leg and innocently (?) rub his face on her left buttock.

"Uhh, ok Janus. You can hug me.. just not there," she said while she peeled him off. "I'm glad you've taken a liking to me," she paused for a moment. "Why is it that you didn't give me the cold shoulder the way you gave it to that girl?"

Janus looked up at her slyly.

"I'll tell you... if you let me sit on your lap," he grinned widely.

Had Janus been a grown man, Terra would have slapped him across the room, but she was strangely amused by this young boy's vestigial flirtations. She wondered if Edgar had been like this as a little boy. So, she smiled a slightly crooked smile and gave in to his bribe.

"Ok. Come here," She sat down, and Janus leapt into her lap. He hugged her waist, placing his nose between her cleavage. Just a little too friendly... "Now, would you tell me?" she said, making sure he lifted his head up.

"I can feel it from your life-energy. I'm related to you... and you're very important to the world. I felt it from you when you first came in... I don't know how I know these things, Terra, but I like you a lot... and I want to be around you. It's just like with Schala... but I really love her a lot," he said.

Terra was a bit confused by how cryptic he was being, but she had felt some familiar power coming from him, and some special powers as well. It was much like what Lord Bahamut had told her. She had spoken with him when she had first arrived in the Land of the Summoned Monsters.

"...You are a very important girl, Terra, and you have always been in some way," the emperor dragon had said to her," But now the the energies that have always been are tense. Something is at hand, and we all play parts, but I have a feeling that you will play a larger part in the scheme of things. What, I am not at leisure to tell..."

That had as puzzling as what Janus had just told her. She truly felt that she was missing a piece of the puzzle.

"Well of course you love Schala –- she's your sister," she said, returning her thoughts to the conversation at hand.

"You know as well as I that I am not her blood brother. I love her more than that," he said sternly.



Marle saw the stranger stir in the bed. Melchior had finally let her in to see who he had blasted with the spell. It was her kingdom, right? She was responsible for strangers who were injured in her domain to some extent, (though she wasn't queen yet, her father, the King, had put her in charge for the week of the festival). And where was Crono? Her lazy love had been absent all day; the last time she saw actually saw him was yesterday evening when he had kissed her good-night. Ahh... he was a man of few words but wonderful kisses. She was holding a bowl of water and a towel in case he would wish it.

She turned on the light –Lucca had installed the electricity in the castle almost a month ago now– and approached him. How could Melchior have used the wrong spell in his little show? Maybe he was getting senile. She saw a mop of golden hair move about and a large pair of shoulders.

"Ugh.... my head..." he groaned softly. He turned his face towards Marle, and she saw a flash of electric blue amidst the mass of messy hair. He blinked a few times, then looked at her.

"Oh, hello," he said softly.

"Hello! You're in the castle Guardia. It seems that Melchior used the wrong spell on you earlier at the festival and you got knocked for a loop," she said to him while she set the bowl down on a table. He sat up slowly, and looked at Marle.

"What festival?" he said, brushing his hair back away from his face.

Marle smiled.

"The Youth's Festival at Leene square. He said you'd be a bit disoriented. But, I was wondering why he wouldn't let me see you–" she turned to hand him a cup of water when she saw his face, and dropped the cup. Ceramic pieces spread out over the ground, but she took no notice of them. Her attention was solely on the face of the stranger.

"You dropped your cup. Milady, is something wrong?" he asked. Behind Marle, Melchior entered the room.

"Now do you understand why I had you wait to meet out guest?" he said with a twinge of urgency on his voice.

"B– b- but why does he look so much like Crono?" she asked quietly. The stranger looked back at her with sapphire eyes, still seeming unconcerned about himself.

"I have no idea. I was just doing my routine in the festival, and I happened to pick this guy out of the crowd. I used the same M-Aura backfire spell –as I always do– thinking that he had the normal, every-day m-aura that anyone else would have (of course excluding enlightened ones, and you and your companions). He seems to have an incredibly strong magical presence. And, look what I found with his things." Melchior held out the stranger's pack and his scabbard with sword. He placed the items on the same table with the bowl of water and then continued to take out items.

Marle watched as he placed them on the table, and she began to try to piece the puzzle together.

"The Rainbow sword... a signet ring with a stylized "F" on it... a pendant with a Time Key attached to it... strange currency... and a phoenix embroidered on the pack..." she said aloud, "Melchior, that pendant is just like mine, and the Key is much like Lucca's. That sword is Crono's... –!– Oh dear..." Marle said to Melchior. She then turned to the stranger, who was now interested in what they were doing.

"Oh, Crono!" she yelled, and leapt up into his arms, then planting a giant kiss on his lips.

He was very surprised that Marle had taken such an affection to him, but he still knew that this was probably all a mistake. He gently lowered her to the ground and held her at an arm's length.

"You are a very nice, very pretty girl, and I appreciate your affection," he said dashingly, "But, it is not gentleman-like of me to be taking advantage of your mistaking me for someone else just for the sake of a kiss. Though, if you do insist for another one..." he trailed off with flirtatious smile upon his lips.

Marle looked at the stranger, then at Melchior.

"You are Crono, aren't you?" she said, lifting her eyebrows in hope of an affirmative.

"Who is Crono?" he asked, then stopped for a moment in thought, "Or at least I don't know if I do know him, or, uhh, am I him?" he was unfashionably confused. But Marle was even more upset.

"Then, who are you?" She asked, trying it one last time.

"I... uh... I don't know? Isn't that a kick in the pants! (I hope this doesn't change your opinion of me..)" he said, now becoming more concerned about himself, but still more about Marle.

Marle turned on Melchior.

"What did you do to him back there?!" she poked him in the chest with her index finger. "So that's where he's been all day, and... that spell will do strange things when you have a strong magical presence! Maybe you turned his hair and eyes funny colors too with that damn spell!" she almost had her hands around the old man's neck when the stranger held her back.

"I think you should calm down, dear Lady. Let the man speak," he said to Marle. "So, what did you do to make me lose my memory, sir. I would like to know."

"Well, my boy, I didn't do anything. You had blond hair and blue eyes before I even touched you. The spell probably did some temporary damage to your memory, and you should be regaining some memory soon," he then turned to Marle, "He isn't Crono. I saw Crono go for a walk in the Guardia forest this morning, and he told me that he was heading for the Zenan bridge to do some thinking. He also mentioned that he was going to visit Medina Village so he would be back late tonight. Also, take a good look at our guest. He looks like he's at least in his mid-twenties, and Crono is only twenty-one. Then there is the matter of the items." Melchior drew Marle's angry attention to the table. "This Time Key is made out of your pendant; Lucca's isn't. And the workmanship on this is not her's. It is very advanced, much like the type of technology from the year 2300. And finally the sword. It has certain spots of wear that would not happen on that sword for a long time," he was hoping that she would get the point without having to tell it to her completely straight.

"So... He's Crono from a few years in the future?" she asked.

"No, no. I get what he's saying. I must be a descendant of Crono's from the... future? Yeah, I have a feeling that I do know about these things... it's coming back to me a bit now. I made that Time Key with my own hands, and the pendant belonged to... I don't know, but it was someone I loved. And, that sword, I found it in the armory of the castle where I live... I live in a castle? Hmm... this is so strange, I know about things I have, but not about me," the stranger mused to himself.

"OH MY GOD! He must be my son?!?" Marle screeched. "And I thought that he was really hot too!" Melchior and the stranger looked at her. "Uhh, excuse me... Kinda lost it there. It's not every day that you meet your direct descendants who are older than you are."

"And that would explain why you have blond hair and blue eyes, like Marle," Melchior concluded. "Gee, Marle, the wedding's still a month away, and you're a mother already." Marle punched him in the arm.

"Eew... and I hit on you... I mean, you're so darn pretty, and I don't seem to feel too much of a connection to you," the stranger said to her.

"It's understandable," she said in a vain way. "Can't wait to tell Crono," she sniggered. This whole situation was lightening up now after most of the confusion was done with. "And that explains the "F" signet and the phoenix. Crono's last name is Figaro, and his family's crest has that same stylized phoenix. Wow, this has all come together now. I hope that we can get you home, and get your memory back– whatever your name is," she said awkwardly.

"I can't remember my name yet... wait– ger, Gerald? No, it's Gerad. Yes, that's it. I think my name is Gerad, or at least part of it. You can call me that until I'm sure of anything."

"Ok, Gerad. It's getting late now. Why don't you get some more rest and we'll see what we can do for you tomorrow. I'll have the maid bring you some pajamas and have your clothes laundered," Marle said with a smile.

"Thanks... Mom," he winked back at her as she and Melchior went out the door.

"'Mom'," Marle said aloud, "I like the sound of that." She closed the door behind her.


Elsewhere, Crono found himself being chased by a very large, very tough monster. It had been pursuing him since the early afternoon. He had dropped his sword back near the entrance to Fiona's forest, and his only armament was his magic attacks. He kept on running as fast as his worn boots would allow. An unseen tree-root jutting from the ground tossed him when his foot caught on hit.

"Ach, damn, my ankle's broken!" he said, as he unsuccessfully tried to stand on it. an ill wind blew through the woods, dropping pine needles in his spiky, red hair. He looked from side to side, then heard it coming. He tried to get up again, but another unseen tree got in his way, and he was back on the ground. Scrambling in a crawl, he was looking for some place with room to launch the Luminaire.

"You're not going anywhere," a rumbling voice said.

Crono looked wildly around in the darkness.

"Who are you!?" he called out. "Show yourself," he challenged bravely.

Before him a flash of light burst, and a man stood before him. He beast stood behind him, apparently serving him. His platinum tresses danced in the wind and his green eyes glowed with evil. He laughed soundly.

"Well, it looks like I have the correct time period now. Rogue Lucius, take him to your given domain and hold him there. We'll kill him and the girl after you have secured the energy matrix," he commanded.

"But why not just kill him here, Rantacore?" the beast inquired with a droplet of drool hanging off of his lip.

"Don't question my orders. Do it!" and with that final command, the Beast Lucius transformed into a large, ugly human.

"No one is going to kill me at all," Crono said, charging the Luminaire.

Rantacore lashed out an energy bolt, stunning the fiery-haired man.

"Your descendant tried that on me once, and I will not be beaten the same way twice. You see, the Light and Dark Eternals will have no chance against us, the Evil Eternals," he whispered to him as Crono lost consciousness.

Lucius roughly hoisted Crono onto his shoulder then created a time portal, and was gone. Rantacore stood alone, basking in his moment of victory. He chuckled quietly.

"A veritable check-mate already."


Chapter 14

Crossover Fanfics