The Shifters Part 3
Glenn climb the ladder hoping no one noticed how long he took. He found mostly everything easy, the Masamune, the Hero's Medal, his armor and helmet. The only thing that slowed him was the money. He put it in a new place, then forgot, but then he remembered he had in under his bed.
Glenn heard voices as he approached the top. Crono and Lucca must have arrived, he thought. When he got to the top he sneaked a look. There was two Marles. He ducked down. No, no, why is this happening, he thought. He knew if he tried to help her he would be captured as well. Either that or the Crono-Shifter would turn into him and confuse everyone. Then Glenn noticed him looking straight at the bush Glenn hid behind. Glenn stayed still and held his breath. To his relief the Shifter turned away, then took Marle's wrist and they went into the thicker part of the forest. Marle-Shifter followed.
Glenn counted to five. Then he got up and ran out of the forest. Crono and Lucca, he thought, you'd better be here by now.
Marle-Shifter watched Glenn run out. Then she waited a few seconds before going back out into the opened. Crono-Shifter followed her still holding Marle's wrist. Then the two Shifters spoke in their language.
"Swau, did you see if Glenn saw her capture?" Marle-Shifter asked.
"Yes, Viaat, I saw him."
"Good, now when we release her, they'll think she is a Shifter," she smiled.
"Do we let her go now."
"Not yet, we have to wait a little so he can explain how she has been replaced."
Marle watched them speak their language. Sounded strange to hear such noises coming from something that looked human. What are they doing? She thought. She was bored so she studied them. The female, if it's a female, seemed to be the one in charge. The male was quiet and let her do most of the talking. She wondered what they were talking about. She tried to imagine. Maybe it was about her. Maybe it was about their home. She wondered what her friends were doing right now.
Suddenly Crono-Shifter let go of her. Marle frowned and looked at him.
Marle-Shifter spoke, "Fi biq." Crono-Shifter started going back to the thicker part of the forest. Marle-Shifter followed.
Marle didn't watch and let them change their mind. She'd figure out what they were up to later, she decided as she out of the forest.
Meanwhile, as Glenn ran out of the forest he saw Crono and Lucca climbing out of the Epoch. Lucca was talking, "Did you really except to be right here waiting for us." Then she turned around and jumped when she saw Glenn running to her.
Glenn stopped in front of her, "Sorry," he said as he watched Crono eyeing him as he came around the Epoch.
"It's ok," Lucca said as she looked at him with curiosity. "Um, who are you?" Whoever he is, she thought, he's really cute. Where was he before?
Glenn sighed, "It's me, Frog."
"Frog?" she looked at with distrust, then she started to smile, "It is you isn't it. You're wearing his clothes and you almost sound like him." What she was think was, why didn't you tell you were a dish? A frown started to form, "Why are you running out of the forest and where's Marle."
"Do you know who the Shifters are?"
Lucca's eye showed curiosity, "Yes," she said slowly, sensing something was wrong. She turned to Crono, "Do you?"
"They kidnapped and replaced her."
"Oh, um, if the Shifters are here how do we know you're not one of them?"
"Remember when we first met."
"The first thing I said was, 'Put down thy guard and thou art letting thine enemies in' and then you repeated over and over again how much you hated frogs."
Some redness showed in Lucca's cheeks, "Yah, I remember that. Why would they kidnap her?"
"She's human, and they plan on destroying all humans."
Lucca glared at Glenn, "You know you didn't really have to add that last part."
"Sorry. So what are we going to do about the fake Marle."
Just then Marle ran out of Cursed Woods.
Lucca was the first to notice, "Speaking of her," she whispered.
Glenn turned around, then heard Lucca add, "Are you sure she was replaced."
"There were two Marles."
"That would be pretty obvious."
Marle stopped in front of them, "The Shifters-"
"We're not stupid," Lucca interrupted, "Especially me, you would know that if you weren't a Shifter."
"What?!" Marle couldn't believe what she was hearing. So that's what the Shifters were up to, she thought, Glenn must have seen it, now they think I'm a Shifter.
Marle was taken to the castle for a trial in the newly just built court room. Which looked just like the court room in her time. This was strange. The only difference was the stain glass window. Now it was simple picture of the Cathedral, or at least that what she thought it was supposed to be.
She stood in her place, this was indeed very strange. The Chancellor, who was the judge, explained everything. "Jeno," the man on her left stepped forward, wasn't he a soldier, she thought, "Here will try to convince the jury you're guilty." Jeno stepped back. "Zibik," the man on her right stepped forward, he used to be soldier too, she thought, "Will defend you." Zibik stepped back. "We have one witness, Glenn, and then seven jury men will decide if you are guilty or not guilty. Understand?"
"Yes." Marle answered, guess the court never changed.
Jeno stepped forward, "Have you ever seen this?" He held a piece of paper, it seemed to be the one of the letters Glenn told her about.
"Never in your life?"
"Are you sure?"
"Judge," Zibik spoke out, "Why ask the same question three times?"
Jeno answered, "So she can change her mind if she wants to. Do you have something to hide?"
"Nothing to hide, I just want to be out of here before the year ends."
Jeno rolled his eyes, "We have a witness that says you are a Shifter."
Glenn came in and told what he saw.
"What do you have to say for yourself?" Jena asked Marle.
Marle told what happen.
"Glenn," Zibik started, "Did you have time to speak to Crono and Lucca before Marle came out of the woods?"
"So what she's saying might be true?"
Glenn left. There was a few more questions. Then it was time for the jury to decide. "Guilty." "Guilty." "Not guilty." (Marle smiled.) "Guilty." "Guilty." "Guilty." "Not guity."
Thanks for trying, Marle thought to the 'Not guilty' men, at least I'm going to be the first prisoner here. Not only the first prisoner, but the first innecent prisoner.
At her cell there was some weird yellow stuff to eat. It taisted bland. Good thing I brought my own food, she thought.
Glenn was in the Soldiers' Quarters sitting on one of the beds, cleaning the Masamune. He hoped he had done the right thing, if he was wrong then Marle would have gone to jail because of him. He looked up as Crono came in being followed by Lucca. Crono sat on the bed across from Glenn. Lucca stood.
"We need to find the real Marle." Lucca said.
"If you recall, we don't know where the Shifters live." Glenn pointed out.
Lucca looked at him as if he should already know the sollution to it, "Then we'll find it," she paused, not sure if she should finish. "Maybe we should get the others."
"Ayla and Robo?"
"Marle needs our help, I think they would want to help us."
"And add more confusion!" Glenn sighed, "But you are right."
"Maybe they could think of someplace that hasn't been thought of before."
Glenn looked at Crono. Crono nodded his agreement.
Lucca smiled, "Then let's get them."
"Wait," Glenn said, "It would be better if only one person got them. So getting them will take only one trip."
"I'll go." Lucca volunteered.
Ayla and Kino were eating when they saw the Epoch a third time.
Kino looked at Ayla, "Still no find Crono mom, not good."
Ayla didn't respond, she watched the Epoch land near her. Only Lucca was in it.
"Hello." Ayla greeted, walking to Lucca, "Why Lucca alone?"
Lucca jumped out. "I thought you should know something."
Ayla turn to see where Kino went, he left so they could talk alone. Good Kino, she thought. She turned back to Lucca. "What wrong? No find Crono mom?"
For a second Lucca wondered how she knew about that. Then remembered they told her the second time they came here. "We found her, she is home and safe."
"What wrong then?"
"The Shifters are in 600 A.D."
"Shifters? Who they? Ayla eat Shifters?"
If they turn into food, Lucca thought. "No, they are beings that can turn into anything or anyone. They want to destroy all the humans in 600 A.D."
"Ayla help. Ayla fight Shifters." Ayla put her fists up.
"That's not all."
Ayla put her fists down. "More bad?"
Lucca nodded, "They kidnapped Marle."
Ayla put her fists up again. "Ayla fight Shifters. Save Marle. Not give up. Only when dead give up."
"We don't know where the Shifters live."
"Ayla find Shifters. Fight Shifters." Fists back down. "Where next? Lucca get Robo?"
Lucca nodded, "Lucca get Robo."
"2300 A.D. change," Ayla said as they climbed out of the Epoch, "Look better."
Lucca went into the Proto Dome, she first met Robo here, maybe she can meet him here second time. She hope he'd remember her, she didn't feel like having to put the copy of his memories in. She called out, "Hello?"
Someone called back, but it wasn't Robo, "Lucca, Ayla, so good to see you."
Lucca looked to where the voice came. A female version of Robo stood there. Atropos XR?
Robo had spook of her so much. Lucca smiled. If Atropos XR knew who she was, then Robo probably did too.
Lucca waved, "Hello." Now she wasn't sure what to say. Part of her was afraid to mention Robo and find out he no longer exist. She decided to see what Atropos XR said.
"Lucca, Ayla, it has been long. Do you not remember me? Prometheus suggested your memories might be different than ours."
"Where Robo?" Ayla asked.
"In the Gene Dome with Mother Brain."
"Mother Brain?!" Lucca said with surprise.
"Mother Brain, I can take you to them."
Lucca and Ayla looked at each other and both thought the same thing, wasn't Mother Brain evil. But Lucca decided to go see Mother Brain, if she recalled correctly Atropos XR was also evil, things were obvisouly different. "Yes, please take us."
"Alright, we can take the bridge there."
Must be a long bridge. Lucca would have liked to take the bridge but she didn't know how long everything would take and didn't want to leave the Epoch alone for a long time.
"Can we take the Epoch instead?"
Ayla smiled, "Take Epoch, get Robo."
The three of them got into the Epoch. Lucca drove to Gene Drome. When they walked in, they were quickly greeted by Mother Brain's voice. "Ah come, come. I welcome you back. Come!" With that the door opened. Atropos XR led the way through the door. Now they were on a conveyor belt, it moved forward. Mother Brian continued, "You're here to see Prometheus? He is by computer 2. Why do you look for him?"
Lucca looked up, since that seemed to be the place the voice came from, "We need to talk to him, we might need his help."
"Shall I inform him of your arrival?"
"Yes, thank you"
The conveyot belt stop at the door. Lucca walked through. Robo was their to greet her, "Lucca, Ayla, I was told you were coming. How are you?"
"How is everyone else?"
Lucca explained what had happened in 600 A.D.
"Then I want to help, but I must ask Mother Brain for permission to leave. We must go to the main computer room to ask her." He said as he started walking. Lucca, Ayla and Atropos XR followed.
"Prometheus, I believe their memories of 2300 A.D. are different than our." Atropos XR said.
"Really? What do you remember?" Robo asked them.
"Well, 2300 A.D. wasn't in good shape." Lucca said.
"And ruled by-" Ayla stopped in mid-sentence, 2300 A.D. was ruled by monsters, which was ok to say. But it was also ruled by evil machines, and that wasn't something you say in front of two of them, three if Mother Brain was listening.
"Ruled by what?" Robo and Atropos XR asked.
"By monsters." Ayla finished, they didn't need to know about the evil machines part.
"How was Mother Brain?" Atropos XR asked, "You were surprised when I mentioned her."
Lucca answered, "She was, um, malfunctioning
"Lucca what are you hiding?" Robo asked.
"She was evil and hated humans." He wanted to know, now he knows.
"Then she was indeed malfunctioning Atropos XR said, "Mother Brain would never hate humans. Humans are the ones who created her."
That is nice to know, Lucca thought.
They got to the main computer room. When they entered Mother Brain apeared in front of them. She had a human face with hair to her shoulders. She had the body of an insect with a cape. She glowed all the colors of the rainbow. She was very pretty."
Robo explained the situation and requested to leave.
"Then go," Mother Brain said. "You must help find Marle and stop the Shifters."
"Thank-you." Robo said. Then he went out the door.
Lucca said her thanks and turned to Atropos XR, "We can take you back to Proto Dome."
"Thank-you, but I will remain here."
Lucca nodded and then left.
Crono, Lucca, Glenn, Ayla, and Robo were in Glenn's place. Lucca was putting Robo's old copy memories into Robo.
"We need to find a way to identify each other." Glenn said.
"How about we just never leave somewhere by oursevles." Lucca sugest, "Make sure their is always one person with us."
"Ok. Now we need to find out where the Shifters live."
"Is there new places up?" Robo asked.
"No." Glenn said.
Ayla spook, "Shifters not in new place? Maybe old place. Soilders check places others bad people live before."
Glenn tilted his head, "Now that you mentioned it, no one has."
"What's the place that the monsters first left?" Lucca asked, "The Shifters would have had the most time to settle in there."
Viaat was in the Cathadral's farthest back room watching the other Shifters build her cage. "Make sure it's big," she said, "I want comfort."
"It wil be as big as the prison cells in the castle," Swau said, "Is that big enough?"
Swau moved closer to Viaat, "Do you think you can act like Marle enough to fool her friends?"
"Act way too happy and get excited over everything, that won't be hard."
"It won't be so easy, we may have been studying them for a long time now, but it still won't be easy."
"You worry too much. Who are you going to replace."
"Whoever is the first to be by themself. Do you think it's a good idea to replace all of them."
"Ofcoarse, when they are all in jail, then who will fight the Shifters when they attack. The kingdom will depend on the team, but the real team will be in jail." Viaat laughed.
Marle heard footsteps from her cell. The steps were lighter and faster then normal. Was someone coming to visit her. She got up and moved towards the bar door. She saw Lucca.
Lucca stopped on front of her, "We are going to rescure the real Marle."
"You have to open this door to rescue me."
Lucca rolled eyes and started to leave.
"Lucca," Marle called, "If I was a Shifter don't you think I would just squeeze through these bars and disappear."
"The food you have been eating has Kasenzoolerfwasina in it."
"Has Kasen-what in it?" Marle asked, wondering why they gave it such a long and complicated name."
"Kasenzoolerfwasina, it keeps you from shifting, that's why you can't just sqeeze through the bars."
"If I was a Shifter wouldn't I know that."
"Not neccisarly, even if you did you could pretend not to know. I'm not stupid."Lucca rolled her eyes and left.
to be continued...
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