The Shifters Part 6
Glenn walked quickly into the Soldiers' Quarters to hear more arguing. But it was about Marle. (Or should he think Marle-Shifter.) Which was good. The other good thing was that they were all there.
"No, no," Lucca was saying, "Marle has no excuse for the way she has been acting."
Ayla frowned, "Marle say Marle angry and sorry."
"It's not just the fight we had. Even though that's a big part of it. But she hasn't been herself lately. Who disagrees."
No one did.
Glenn decided to let Lucca finish.
Lucca continued, "She has been rude, selfish, and gets angry whenever anything we say something about the Shifters that she disagrees with, and-"
"Lucca." Glenn interrupted, how much did she plan on saying?
"I was talking."
"Well I'm interrupting if you don't mind. What's Swau?"
Ayla answered, "Swau Shifter. Why?"
"That's what I thought." Glenn turned to frowning Lucca, "She called me that."
Lucca's frown disappeared, "She called you Swau." She turned to the others, "Evidence!" She turned back to Glenn, "She must have thought you were a fake."
"I," Robo said, "Believed you. You just didn't give me a chance to say it."
Suddenly Marle-Shifter ran in. She was breathing hard and was clearly out of breath.
Glenn moved closer to her, "Did you run the whole way?"
She looked at him with disguised, "What?"
Lucca jump towards her, "We know who you are."
"I don't ... know what ...your talking about," she said innocently. She was breathing almost normal now.
"You're a Shifter. Glenn explained everything." Lucca said.
Glenn started wondering why it was always Lucca who told someone they were a Shifter.
"I don't understand. Glenn and I just talked. Then he ran off. I followed to why he ran."
"You called him, Swau."
"What's a Swau? Why would I call him it."
"You called him a Swau." Lucca was actually starting to get angry "And now you're lying about it! You-"
"Lucca." Glenn said.
"Why do you keep interrupting me."
"Lucca, there's no real evidence who's telling the truth. Before you keep yelling at her you have to find evidence to support what you say."
"You're a witness."
"No! Last time I was a witness I put the real Marle in jail."
"It won't be just that it'll be-" Lucca stopped. Glenn was right and she shouldn't be arguing with him, "You're right. We'll find evidence."
Marle-Shifter smiled, they would never find any evidence.
"We could-" Lucca continued, "try and find the other Marle and Glenn."
Marle-Shifter's smile disappeared, why did she have to remember them.
Marle was drinking water from the water by the waterfall.
"The waterfall is so pretty isn't it?"
Glenn-Shifter looked at it, it was hard to be impressed by something you can become, but since he was supposed to be a human, "Yes, very pretty."
Glenn-Shifter wished he could just melt into a pool of water right now. He laughed and wondered how Marle would react to that.
"What are you laughing at?"
Glenn-Shifter turned to the princess, "It's not very funny, silly really."
Marle looked surprise, "You? Amused by silly, little things. I can't picture that."
"You learn a lot about a person when you're hiding on mountains with them." Guilt spread through him. He didn't know how much he could take lying to her.
Marle sat down across from her, "What should we do about the Shifters who are replacing us? I hope my replacing didn't help with yours. Sorry if it did."
Glenn-Shifter organized his things, another wave of guilt washed over him. Don't feel bad, he told himself, you are doing this to be good, and you plan on telling her eventually. He shook his head, "Marle we need to talk."
"What's that?" She asked looking to her right.
She put her hand out
Glenn-Shifter heard too, it was Lucca, "Hello?! We need to talk to you two! That's all!"
Marle turned back to Glenn-Shifter, "What should we do?"
"I don't know."
"I think we should hear what they have to say."
Glenn-Shifter nodded, "Alright."
They stood up and faced toward Lucca's voice. She repeated it several times and got louder and louder.
Lucca started to yell again, "Hello?! We need-Oh." She saw them, "So you heard me"
Glenn-Shifter moved one step back, "The person in this very spot in 2300 A.D. heard you."
Lucca frowned at the remark, "We wanted you attention."
"You got it," Marle said, "About a hour ago."
Marle smiled, "Joke."
"Oh, I see. Hey! That's not funny!"
Everyone but Lucca laughed.
Glenn-Shifter stepped forward, "What do you want?"
"You already told us that about 20 times. What do you want to talk about?"
"You two. One of you is a Shifter and the other's not."
Glenn-Shifter laughed, "I'm sorry, but I can't help but laugh at that. How did you reach this conclusion?"
Ayla came up and explained everything, "Glenn and Marle talk. Glenn leave and tell us Marle call him Swau. Swau Shifter."
Glenn-Shifter muffled a laugh at Ayla telling him who he was.
"Marle say no happen. We not know who believe. We hope you know."
Glenn-Shifter sighed slightly, now he had to tell Marle who he was.
Marle frowned, "So now you say one of us is real and the other's a Shifter. How-"
"Marle." Glenn-Shifter said.
Marle turned towards him, "Yes."
"Um," he wanted to look at the ground and mumble. But he looked straight into her eyes and got it over with, "They're right. I'm not Glenn, I'm a Shifter."
Marle eyes held anger, disappointment, and disbelief. Her face showed nothing. She shook her head, "Why did you lie to me?"
"I was afraid that if I told you I was a Shifter, you wouldn't trust me. But now that I know you, I believe I was wrong." He didn't know what to say after that.
Marle turned away and looked the sky. She was glad that the Shifter thought he was wrong. She wasn't sure if he was or not. She wasn't sure what to say now.
Crono moved towards her and took her hand. He didn't need to say anything and simply comforted her with his eyes.
Marle-Shifter moved to Glenn-Shifter, "Why have you betrayed your people?"
"Depends how you look at it."
"What do you mean?"
"I betrayed the few high-ranking Shifters who wanted this war. The mid-high-ranking Shifters to the low-ranking, none of them wanted the war. You betrayed them. "
"They will hear of your betrayal She turned and ran right off the mountain. She fell and disappeared. Soon a black bird flew up and away.
Glenn-Shifter turned back to see Marle was watching. He sighed silently, "I'm sorry I lied to you."
Marle nodded, "Before they came, you were going to tell me, weren't you."
Glenn-Shifter looked at the others, but he didn't say anything.
Lucca did, "I think it's about time you explained some things."
"Yes," Glenn said, "But before you do would you mind changing."
Glenn-Shifter laughed, "I will change. Now what should I look like? Hmmm He change into what he looked like at the Cathedral. "My favorite human look. Well, sort of human look."
He sat down on the floor, "I am Swau. My partner was Viaat, she the one who just left. The leader of the Shifter is Jubf. Jubf decided to have a war with the humans a while ago. So Viaat and I were sent up to study humans. At this time their was a war with the Mystics. So we watch to see the abilities of humans. We saw the Mystics were winning. When you came we knew you had the chance to beat the Mystics. So we studied you. When you did beat the Mystics the plan became to slowly take the place of each of you one at a time before you knew we were their. Then start the war. But none of you seem to separate until recently."
"Good plan," Lucca said.
Swau nodded, "What Judf didn't know was their was a group of Shifter who were working against him. A group called, Biqse. I was part of this group. The Biqse are the ones who put the letters here so the humans knew about us. Jubf had to change some of the plan because of this."
"How Swau study us?" Ayla asked.
"By being different people and animals. Remember Tata's grandfather."
Marle answered, "Yes."
"That was me. If you look you will notice he's not there anymore."
Lucca frowned, "Didn't Tata and his father notice something strange."
"I wasn't always there, just when you were there."
Ayla said, "Swau tricky. Swau tell us, how stop war."
"If you fight Judf and some of the other high-ranking Shifters and win. The war will stop because no one else wants this war. I can show you the way but I won't fight. I hate to fight."
"Three of us will go." Robo said.
"I'm going," Marle and Glenn said one the same time.
"Who else will go?"
"I could go," Lucca said.
"Should we go now, "Swau asked.
"First," Lucca said, "We have to see what armor and helmets to wear."
"What do I get?" Marle asked.
"You can have the Haste Helm and Prism Dress."
"Yea!" Marle jumped happily.
"I get," Lucca continued, "The Prism Helm and Zodiac Cape."
Glenn nodded, "I shall have the Vigil Hat and Nova Armor."
Lucca smiled, "I'll have the Sight Scope, Glenn you have the Hero's Medal, like always, and Marle you have the Gold Stud."
"Yea!" Marle was happy.
They got their things.
"Now," Swau said, "Shall we go."
"Yes." Marle said.
Swau began to leave. They followed him.
"Swau," Ayla called, Swau turned around, "Ayla see Swau again."
"Yes, we will see each other again."
On the way to Shifton they talked, "Swau," Lucca said, "Where is Shifton?"
"It is under Magus's Lair."
"Marle," Glenn said.
Marle moved beside him, "Yes."
"I'm sorry I put you in jail."
"It's ok. You did what you thought was right."
Glenn nodded, "So did he act like me?"
"Yes he did a lot in the beginning but towards the end he acted less like you. Now let me ask you a question, what did you think when the other Marle ran at the end of the battle."
"I wondered if she was a Shifter. Then you wanted to help, I thought about it even more. I think we all were thinking it."
"Another question, why did you let us win that battle?"
"That wasn't planned. We suspected that you might be the real Marle because the way the fake one was acting and because of this I think we all decided on our own to be easy on you . That combined with the fact that Marle-Shifter wasn't doing her job caused you to win. I'm not sure why we kept relying on her to heal."
They walked through the Magic Cave and were by Magus's Lair. Swau went behind Magus's Lair by the water edge. Then he went into the water, "There's a hole a few feet below. Then the hole goes up so the water can't be there."
"How big is the hole?" Lucca asked.
"Three feet from side to side and top to bottom."
Marle nodded, "We'll just have to crawl."
"It gets bigger as it goes," then he went under.
Lucca turned to the others, "This seems strange."
Marle smiled, "I like swimming," then she jumped into the water and swam under.
Glenn went to the edge, "Swimming will be different as a human." Then he went.
Lucca laughed when he tried to swim like a frog. Then he started using Marle's way of swimming and disappeared. Then Lucca followed.
Marle swam into the hole which went up steadily. It was fairly dark but the light was always there. When the sunlight disappeared, light from where the hole lead to was there. When she got to the top she saw the light was torches in the wall. The water now looked like a pond. The ground was higher than the water by half a foot. It was also muddy. Swau held his hand out to her. She took it and she pulled her up.
"This place is neat!"
"It leads us down from now on."
Marle nodded and looked in the water. She saw Glenn.
"Hello," she greeted as she helped him up, "You swim just the way I do."
"Actually I copied you. I can't swim the way I used to."
Marle giggled. Then she saw Lucca. Marle and Glenn helped her up.
"Why," Lucca said, "Is the ground above the water?"
"So when it goes down it won't be below the water so fast. It used to be higher."
They started to go. The ground got lower and lower. The torches on the wall alternated sides were a meter apart. Several weren't lit. As they went on more were lit. Soon an unlit torch couldn't be found. There was painted pictures on the dirt wall that seemed to say things.
"Swau, what are these pictures of?" Marle asked.
"They tell of the history of our people. They date from when the first Shifters were here in 2000 B.C. This," he pointed a group of pictures. "Tells us of tells us of the leader Qub. He was a great leader." Swau continued to walk.
"How many symbols are there," Lucca asked.
"Wow!" Marle said, "That's a lot. Think I could learn some."
"A English-Shiftaz dictionary might help."
"Is that what you used?" Lucca asked.
"No, I learned English when I was a baby. I learned it the same time I learned Shiftaz."
"Oh," Lucca felt embarrass.
"Here we are, the first part of Shifton."
They were in a large room that had five more doorways and some holes in the floor. The walls of this room also had many pictures.
A lion greeted them, "Swau, who are your friends. Are they the humans who have come to stop the war." The voice was feminine.
"Yes, Fiis. How are you?"
"Good, but that doesn't matter. We must get them to Judf to defeat him."
Swau nodded and walked past her.
"You don't need to hide our plans?" Glenn said.
"No, none of the Shifters here want the war. Most of them are with the Biqse."
"How do you identify one Shifter from the other?" Marle asked.
"By the smell, that is also how we identify where we are in Shifton. That and the symbols on the walls." He went into a hole that lead down. They followed. After they went down many holes Swau spoke, "This is the lowest floor. We are about 78 miles underground."
"How are we going to get to Judf."
"You will fight, but mostly they will let us through. When you do fight, I can help by putting them to sleep. But as I said I won't take away any HP by sword or magic. I can also give you Ethers when you need them. Marle you and I could do Double Cure so Glenn can fight."
"Good plan." Marle said.
They got to the end. Two guards were guarding the doorway. "Gskr." (Halt in English.)
Swau wasn't worried, "Jubf bir. Biqse."
The guards nodded. One spoke, "Sorry, we didn't know you were Biqse. Go on."
Swau nodded and went through, "As you see," he said to his friends, "Many are part of the Biqse because only Jubf wants this war. But their is one who will obey him no matter what."
They went farther in the cave. The wall still had the paintings but the torches were now on both sides of the wall. Swau used that same password to get through.
Finally they came to a room where what looked like water was on the floor. The Shifter rose, "What are humans doing here, Shifter."
"My name is Swau. These humans are here to destroy Jubf."
"Not if I can help it." The Shifter attacked with Ice 2.
Lucca laughed, "I hope that's not the best you can do," then attacked using Flare.
Marle started to put haste on everyone.
Glenn jump to do Leap Slash.
The enemy Shifter laughed at Glenn, "That better not be the best you can do."
Glenn laughed, "You'll wish it was."
Swau put the Shifter to sleep. So Marle finished her haste and gave everyone the Ethers they needed. Glenn used Heal. Then they waited until everyone was ready to fight again. Then Lucca did Flare. Which was followed by Glacier from Glenn and Marle.
The Shifter laughed then attacked. The attack took all but one HP off everyone.
Marle and Swau quickly did Double Cure. Then they laughed.
The Shifter frowned, "Giving yourself more HP is cheating!"
Marle laughed, "Since when?"
The Shifter did the attack again, "Remember this attack, it's called Down To One."
Marle and Swau did Double Cure, Marle laughed, "Oh, that's creative."
But as soon as they did the Double Cure the Shifter did Down To One again.
Lucca used a Lapis.
The Shifter laughed and used another attack that took an average of 100 HP off each.
Marle and Swau did Double Cure.
Lucca used Flare.
The Shifter started to loose his shape. His shape became less detailed.
Glenn did Frog Squash on the Shifter.
The Shifter shook his head, "No." Then collapsed.
Marle, Glenn, Lucca, and Swau each celebrated in their own small way.
"Next is Jubf, he is even more powerful then this one. I can't put him to sleep. He can do Down To One 2. This spell takes all but one of HP and MP. But he can't do it to in a row like this one did. "
"How many Mega Elixirs do we have?" Marle asked.
"I got two," Swau said.
"Four here," Marle added.
"I have three," Glenn said as he double checked his answer.
"So," Lucca said, "Including mine, we have twelve."
"Let's hope he doesn't do it more than twelve times," Marle said, "Lets go."
Swau nodded and lead the way. They walked through a long hallway. It was like every other wall, it had the torches and paintings. But this time the paintings were also on the floor and ceiling. Also the torches were held by gold scalped to look like hands. Soon a doorway could be seen. The team had a mixture of emotions, excitement, fear, feeling nervous, anger, and happiness. The same feelings they always got before they fought the leading bad guys.
They walked through the doorway. At first Marle, Glenn, and Lucca saw nothing. Then they looked in the direction Swau looked. A small black insect was on the floor. Then it got bigger and changed. Four of it's legs stayed on the floor. The other two rose up. The upper part turned white. It turned into a centaur. The horse part of it was black. The human part was white. It's eyes were red with no pupil. The hair was black, the tail was white. It had two long, horns on it's head the curved back slightly.
"Swau, you have betrayed me, why?"
"To stop the war."
"Then I shall kill you and the humans."
"You shall try."
Jubf laughed and then threw a ball of ice at them. The ice hit the floor and exploded with more ice hitting everyone.
Lucca did Flare as Marle started giving haste to her friends.
Jubf laughed, "You think you can defeat me?"
Glenn did Frog Squash, "We think we can."
"And we will," Marle added.
Jubf laughed and held his hand out. A thin white light came from it and suddenly it flashed filling the room. Down To One 2 was done, "Take that, humans."
Marle quickly used a Mega Elixir.
Lucca did Flare again.
Jubf threw double-sided knives at each of his challengers. The knives spun into the air. Glenn dived to the floor to dodge the knife being thrown at him. Then he watch the knife lodge itself into the dirt wall behind him.
"No!" Jubf cried, "You ruined my wall. You will pay!" He did Down To One 2 again.
Marle used another Mega Elixir.
The fight was long and hard for both sides. A lot of Flares, Frog Squashes, Double Cures, Mega Elixirs, and Down To One 2s were used. Glaciers, Heals, Cures, Leap Slashes, and Mid Ethers were also used. But what only one side knew, it would soon end.
It was getting harder for Jubf to keep his shape but he wouldn't let his enemies know this. He didn't know how longer they could last but he couldn't last much longer. His HP was down to 2000 and only four more Flares or Frog Squashes would kill him. Now he wished he had learned some healing tech like his challengers did. Another Flare was done on him followed by Glacier. Only 1000 HP left. He did Down To One 2 again.
Swau used a Mega Elixir. Then she spoke quietly to Marle, "He's getting week."
Marle nodded at his words then told Glenn. Glenn told Lucca. Lucca laughed then did Flare again.
Marle and Glenn glanced at each other then did Glacier again.
Jubf went to his knees. No, he thought, they can't win. He fell to his sides and slashed when he became the water-like substance.
Marle jumped up and down in glee.
Glenn made his hand into a fist and smiled.
Lucca punched up into the air and laughed.
Swau happily spun around in a circle.
When they stopped Swau turned to them, "Tell your leader to no longer worry about the war."
"Aren't you coming with us?" Marle asked.
"I will follow you, but I have things to do here first."
"Then we won't leave 600 A.D. until you come."
Crono, Ayla, and Robo were in Glenn's home. They were to wait for the others here.
"They take long time," Ayla said frowning, "Ayla no like wait."
"Didn't you expect them to long?" Robo asked.
"Of course, but Ayla still no like wait."
Robo heard something outside, "They might be here."
"Good. Ayla happy now."
A few seconds later, Glenn come in, followed by Marle and Lucca.
Ayla frowned, "Where Swau?"
"He'll come," Lucca said, "Now let's tell King Guardia and Queen Leene they no longer have to worry about the Shifters."
"Shouldn't Swau be with us when we tell them?" Marle said, "He helped a lot."
So they waited for him. Soon Swau came, he was holding a book.
"What's that?" Lucca asked.
"An English-Shiftaz dictionary," he said as he handed it to Marle, then he spoke to her, "You said you wanted to learn how to read some Shiftaz."
"Cool, thank you" she said as she looked through the book. "What are the pages made of, they don't feel like paper."
"Paper? We make it out of a medal called, Reww. I don't think humans discovered the medal yet. It's very deep under the earth."
"Wow," Lucca said as she went to look at the book. "This medal is awesome After she looked at it for awhile she got up, "Now we tell King Guardia and Queen Leene the war is no longer a concern."
Crono, Marle, Glenn, Lucca, Robo, Ayla, and Swau explained everything to the King Guardia and Queen Leene.
"I am glad we no longer have to worry," King Guardia said.
"A war," Queen Leene added, "Was the last thing we need." She turned to Swau, "What will the Shifters do now?"
"I don't know how many want to see how it is up above the earth. But I think a few might like what they see and might want to stay."
"They will be welcomed."
Swau gave a nodd of respect, "Thank you."
The team said good-bye and left the castle. They were now standing next to the Epoch.
"This good-bye?" Ayla said already knowing the answer.
"Yes," Lucca said, "But there is no reason not to see each again."
"Good," Marle said, "That's a very good idea."
Lucca smiled, "I thought so. Lucca the Great always thinks of good ideas."
"One of you will have to take Ayla and me home, then pick up the others," Robo said.
Crono raised his hand and got into the driver's seat of the Epoch.
"Good-bye everyone!" Ayla said, "Ayla look forward when see you next time." She got into the Epoch.
"Me too," Robo said, "Visit us often and soon. Good-bye."
"Good-bye!" Marle, Glenn, Lucca, and Swau called.
The Epoch lifted up, then jerked forward and disappeared.
"Thank you," Swau said, "For helping to stop Jubf."
"Thank you for helping us stop him," Glenn said.
"And for the book," Marle added.
Lucca laughed then spoke, "Well, good-bye for now. We'll see each other again soon."
"Swau, where should we find you?" Marle asked.
"Well, it sounds strange but I liked the Denadora Mountains. If I move to live on top of the earth I think I'll live there."
The Epoch appeared above them, then landed. Marle and Lucca climbed in. Everyone either said good-bye or waved or both.
Then they Epoch again lifted and disappeared.
Now in 1000 A.D. Marle climbed out, "I confused about something."
"I sure I can help," Lucca said.
"Where are the Shifters now? Don't you think some would live here now?"
"I'm sure some do live here. But it's normal now so you don't here about it."
"Maybe, but I think we would hear about them."
Lucca shrugged her shoulders, "Doesn't matter. I'm going home." Then she ran off.
"But Lucca-" Marle sighed and turned to Crono, "I was going to invite you both to eat at my home but she ran off. Would you want to."
Crono nodded and to the castle they went.
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