Chrono Trigger: Timeless Angels Part 17
Marle brushed a few stray hairs out of her face as she reached the mountains peak. With a heavy sigh, she looked at the floating island above her, held in place to the mountain with a large chain. "Just like Mt. Woe," she said to herself, "only its an island. Maybe I should call it the Isle of Woe. Yes, thats quite fitting. Dont you agree?"
Her question was met with silence before Marle continued speaking, "Yes, of course you agree. You must agree with me, or Ill have your head!" Stunned at what she had just said, Marle cast a weak Ice spell on herself to cool off. "This heat and exertion must be getting to me; Im talking to myself and threatening to cut off the head of a person who doesnt exist!" Another pause was taken to regain her senses before the next big climb.
Marle took hold of the chain and hefted herself up onto the enormous link. She stood and jumped up onto the next one, and the next, and the next. Eventually, she was only five links away from the Isle of Woe. Unfortunately, the chain was holding the island from the underside, meaning Marle would have to cling to the rock for dear life like a fly on a ceiling.
"Why me?" she asked herself when she noticed this. "Why does the bad stuff in this whole escapade happen to me?"
Suddenly, a strong gust of wind blew across the area and threatened to tear Marle from the chain. She held on with all her strength, knowing that if she let go she would plummet to her death. Marle could feel her ponytail whipping around behind her in the wind. It would occasionally bat her in the face, and with each lash of her orange-tinted hair, Marle would lose some of her grip.
The wind died down for a moment, and Marle took advantage of the situation to jump up to the next link. But before she could establish a firm grip, the wind picked up again, and Marle sailed through the air away from the chain. She closed her eyes and screamed, both in fear and frustration. "Why does this always happen to me!?" she shrieked over the whistle of the wind.
Much to her surprise, her body started going up instead of down. Marle realized that she mustve gotten caught in an updraft, and it was taking her to the top of the floating island. She smiled and cheered. "Finally, something is going my way!"
Then, her body crashed onto the island, throwing up a cloud a dust. Marle groaned in pain as she opened her eyes. "Why me?" she asked again. "Why is it always me?"
She took her time in getting up, checking to see if any injuries she had were serious. Fortunately, and miraculously, all she had were a few scrapes and bruises. A quick Aura healed those immediately, and Marle looked around. A column of light shot up from the center of the island, and contained within that light was a rainbow-striped stone. She quickly ran to the light shaft and reached into it, pulling the stone from its midair perch. Marle put the Angel Stone into her pouch and turned around to see a Leprechaun glaring at her.
"What do you want, shorty?" she demanded.
"Ach, ye scoundrel!" the Leprechaun shouted. "Youre going to steal me stone, are ye? Well, ye cannae get it without a fight."
Marle rolled her eyes and walked past the Leprechaun. "Yeah right. What are you going to do, throw marshmallows at me? I dont think so. Ill see you around."
The Leprechaun fumed and pulled out a charm bracelet. Among the charms on the bracelet were hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers and blue moons, pots of gold and rainbows, and the red balloons. "Ill use me lucky charms to stop ye, little girl! Heart bow and arrow!"
In a pink flash, a heart-shaped bow, equipped with an arrow that had a heart-shaped head, appeared in the Leprechauns hands. He drew the arrow back and loosed it. Marle jumped to the side and dodged the arrow as it sailed past her. She whirled around and pulled out her crossbow, already loaded. She released the bolt, which caught the Leprechaun in the shoulder. He fell back, and the bow disappeared. In its place appeared a mace with a star-shaped head. Lucky lunged forward and swung with all his might.
Marle shrieked in pain as Lucky connected his mace with her arm. She dropped the crossbow and held tightly onto the bleeding wound. Despite the pain, Marle tried to concentrate on casting a spell on Lucky. Ice energy surrounded her body, and she could feel an even stronger attack making itself known in her heart. Her eyes snapped open and started glowing bright lavender.
"Blizzard!" she shouted, thrusting her hands forward.
A ball of ice energy shot from her hand and connected with Lucky. The ball expanded and formed a dome of ice around the leprechaun and trapped him. Within the dome a storm started: snow fell heavily, and chilling winds started whipping around, cutting into Luckys body. He hugged himself to keep warm, but it didnt work. He fell to his knees, and the Blizzard fizzled out.
"Im not done yet," he said, the star mace disappearing. "Horseshoe magnet!"
A purple horseshoe appeared in his hand and started releasing electricity. Marle screamed as the energy arced through her body. She could feel herself being burned up from the inside, and she did not have much time left to survive. Marle rushed forward with all the strength she could muster and took hold of the charm bracelet. She ripped the chain from Luckys wrist and flung it over the edge of the Isle of Woe.
"No, you got me lucky charms!" Lucky cried out, diving after the bracelet.
Marle turned away from the edge of the island. As she started walking, her legs failed, and she stumbled into the Gate that opened beneath her.
"If you cant stand the heat " Lucca trailed off as she stared down into the volcano at the bubbling magma. "This had better be worth it. Theres no doubt in my mind that the stone is down there. I guess I have no choice but to "
Lucca dove into the chasm. Her body plummeted toward the magma at an incredible speed. As she splashed into it, she was surprised to discover that being burned alive is quite painless. But when Lucca opened her eyes, she wasnt in the magma flow. She looked up and saw that she was in fact beneath it. After adjusting her glasses and standing up, Lucca studied the curious magma suspended above her.
"Hmm, it must be a holographic projection of some sort," she said. Looking around, Lucca saw that she wasnt inside a volcano, but a rather elaborate control room. There was dials and valves all over the place, with gauges and vents nearby. "So, artificially generated heat, hmm? Its so futuristic "
She started walking around until she ran into a locked door. Lucca saw a keypad next to the door and assumed that it was some sort of electric lock. She pressed a few button, and the door buzzed. "Invalid password," a voice said. "Please reenter."
Lucca thought for a moment. Her chances of getting the password correct were about as good as Marles chances for not becoming Queen of Guardia. And if she got the password wrong again, surely guards would be sent after her, or some sort of self-destruct system would activate. Gathering her nerves, Lucca searched her mind. "Now, what kind of password would I set on a control room door?" She thought back to her fathers machine, the one that she had saved her mother from. No, none of the letters on this pad would make that work. There were only four keys, and they had to be pressed in the correct order. An A button, a B button, an X button, and a Y button.
"Ive got it!" Lucca declared, punching in the code X-A-B-Y. "Zabie, just like the security code from the Factory!"
The door hissed and opened, revealing a red stone inside a glass dome on top of a pedestal. Lucca slid the dome back and snatched the stone from its perch. Lucca turned to leave and found herself on the volcano top again, facing a large firebird. "I am Phoenix, protector of the Fire Stone," it chirped. "If you desire to take the stone from this holy resting place, you will have to prove your worthiness to me."
Lucca pulled the Wonder Shot from her side and cocked it. "If you insist." She took aim and fired. The energy blast clipped one of Phoenixs flaming wings, but it seemed to have no effect on the firebird at all. Phoenix opened its beak and released a stream of flame. Lucca barely managed to dodge the fire as she rolled to the side and prepared another shot. As the barrel roared again, the energy ball hit Phoenix right between the eyes. It reared its head back and retreated a few steps, but still seemed unaffected by the guns attacks.
Its wings opened wide, and the firebird lifted into the air. Lucca adjusted her glasses as she started to sweat, and she followed the birds arc through the air. When it reached the apex of its flight, Phoenix pulled its wings in and dove like a peregrine falcon. The wind whistled through its flaming feathers as it reached speeds close to that of the sound barrier.
Lucca dove into a rock niche and the phoenix roared past her. She could feel the heat the bird generated, and it burnt her skin. Nothing serious, but she did appear to have rather nasty sunburn, and no one likes that. "My magic isnt going to have much effect on that thing," she said, trying to size up her opponent. "And the Wonder Shot obviously doesnt work, either. How am I supposed to beat something like that?"
Phoenix dove again, this time cutting through the mountainside in an attempt to drive Lucca out. It pulled its beak from the rock face and lifted off again after regaining its senses. Small rocks tumbled into the niche where she was hiding, and Lucca cleaned the dust from her glasses. "Ill just have to use my genius," she concluded, replacing the spectacles.
Lucca jumped out of the mountainside and started climbing it. When she reached the top, she reached into her hip pouch and pulled out a small grenade. A maniacal smile spread across her face as she set the bomb into a small crevice. Climbing down a few feet, she placed another grenade. Phoenix dove again, and Lucca jumped away before she could be hit.
"Why dont you fight me?" it asked her. "You cannot have the stone unless you defeat me."
Lucca placed another bomb and jumped down the mountainside, sliding to a stop against a boulder. "Dont worry about me attacking you, just worry about trying to get yourself out of this."
She released a Flame Toss that wrapped around Phoenixs legs. With a swift tug, the bird fell over. As it struggled to stand again, Lucca activated the magic grenades with a single word, "Napalm!"
Several explosions rocked the mountain, and boulders fell onto the Phoenix, burying it alive. Lucca sighed in relief until she realized that some of the stray boulders were rolling toward her. She cringed and leaned against her boulder, not realizing until she fell back into it that a Gate had opened behind her.
The Nu stumbled through the brush, trying as hard as it could to escape from the raving cavewoman chasing it. Nu dove through bushes, scrambled over fallen branches, splashed through puddles and even climbed the occasional tree, but none of these actions was enough to lose the tail. Ayla shouted a battle cry as she charged after the Nu.
"Ayla tell Nu that if Nu give Ayla rock, then Nu no get hurt!" she yelled at Nu for the fiftieth time. But, for the fiftieth time, the Nu refused to comply. "Fine, Ayla like chase Nu!"
She clambered up a tree as the Nu continued running. With a wicked laugh, she leapt from the branches and sailed through the air. Nu, aware that Ayla was no longer running after it, stopped and looked around. "Where did the strange lady go?" it asked.
A cry from above answered his question as Ayla crashed to the ground, landing right on top of the Nu. The green stone Nu had been holding went flying through the air, only to land in a puddle of mud. Ayla jumped after the stone and splashed mud everywhere, covering herself, the Nu, and many of the nearby trees and bushes. She held up the stone with a shout a victory, until the Nu reached into the mud and pulled out the real Angel Stone. Inspecting the object in her hands, Ayla found a very ticked off rat covered in mud. It bit her hand and ran off, only to be crushed by Aylas foot for being naughty.
"Nu come back!" Ayla shouted again as she started running after the fat blue creature.
With a roar of frustration, Ayla stopped and punched a tree. There was a creak, and the tree promptly fell over. There was a cry of pain, and Ayla followed the fallen hardwood to find that it had squashed the Nu. With a squeal of delight, Ayla tore the green stone from the Nus hand and started dancing around. The Nu moaned in pain and struggled to get up, but couldnt because of the trees massive weight.
After Ayla stopped dancing, she looked around. "Now where Ayla go?" she asked. "Ayla not know where come from Ayla lost!"
The Nu started changing shape, and after much effort, finally turned into Nizbel III. Ayla looked at this and suddenly face faulted. "Nizbel will crush you!" the monster shouted, smashing its fists together and flexing its muscles.
"Ayla no like this," she said. "Ayla wish Crono here to help."
"Too bad your friend isnt here. It would be more fun to kill two people!"
Ayla jumped back and started running away. Nizbel gave chase, its stubby legs not made for such an effort as giving chase. Ayla could easily outrun it, but the previous chase left her winded and tired. "Ayla no want run!" she shouted. Then she spotted a tall tree and started climbing it.
Nizbel stopped at the base of the tree and looked up, seeing the cavewoman clambering up the branches. He grabbed hold of the trunk and started shaking as hard as he could. Ayla could feel the tree swaying back and forth, and there was nothing she could do should the tree fall. A sharp crack brought Aylas greatest fears to the surface, and the tree started swaying back and forth even more. Finally, Nizbel let go, allowing the tree to tumble over and crash to the ground.
Ayla was pinned under the tree as the Nu had been, and was unable to escape from her predicament. Nizbel started tearing through the foliage, searching for the fallen body of Ayla. The cavewoman knew he was doing this, and knew she would not survive an attack. She could hear Nizbel getting closer, and Ayla stopped struggling in an attempt to make less noise. A clump of leaves to her left was ripped up by Nizbels massive claws. Ayla quivered in fear, and the leaves to her right were torn up. Nizbel went on, and Ayla relaxed. He had missed her.
As the ugly beast shuffled on, Ayla made small attempts to slide out from under the tree. Suddenly, she found herself facing the repugnant snout of Nizbel. She could smell the foul air it breathed out of its nostrils, and Ayla felt sick to her stomach. Nizbel III laughed. "Whats wrong, human?" he asked. "Do I make you sick?"
"Nizbel need breath mint!" Ayla shouted at the top of her lungs. She swung out a fist and decked Nizbel. The lizard was thrown back by the blow, and his bulk smashed against another tree.
Nizbel fumed and grabbed Ayla by the hair. He lifted the cavewoman by her blonde locks and smashed a fist into her face. "How do you like it, Ayla? Hurts, doesnt it?" Nizbel kicked her in the stomach, and Ayla yelped in pain. Swinging her around, Nizbel launched Ayla through the forest. She became caught up in the branches of a nearby tree, and her clothes ripped. Ayla groaned as her body ached.
Nizbel clambered up to the tree and felled it with a powerful punch. Again, Ayla was crushed by the tree. She could feel her life draining from her body, and the warmth around her started fading slowly. Nizbel pulled Ayla up again and held her body above his head. Bending one knee, he prepared the cavewoman for a back breaker.
Throughout the entire ordeal, Ayla clutched the green Angel Stone with the tenacity of a barnacle. If she was going to die, Nizbel would have to pry the stone from her cold, lifeless hands. Just as Nizbel was about to bring her down on his knee, the green stone flashed, and Ayla disappeared into a gate. Nizbel III roared in anger, having failed to avenge his forefathers.
"Lower thine guard and thourt allowing the enemy in." Frog
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