Dawn to Dusk: A Kids Story Chapter 1
By Mikau A. Kaiousei
"Will you leave me? Everyone Ive ever loved has left..."
Tears trickled down Serges cheek. Doreen...dont say Ill just leave her! Dont let me just leave her alone!
Serge, dont worry, the enigmatic spirit replied. Ill make sure shes taken care of. And besides, when we leave, shell be right there.
"Will you leave me?" Kid asked again.
Serge shook his head, and knelt down to hug the girl. She buried her head into his chest...and gasped as blue sparks whirled around her.
"No...no...dont leave me!" she cried. She fell to the ground. "Dont leave..."
Serge felt himself rising through a white tunnel, and came back to his own time. He stood, and watched as Kid shook herself from her coma.
You know the rest of this tale...but the beginning? Here is where we truly begin...
Kid walked slowly across the bridge, blinded by tears. She clung to the railing, stumbling one step at a time.
The only thing she could think of doing was go to Cronos house. Crono, Siss friend. The strong one...he could help her.
Again, the memories assaulted her.
The doorbell rang. Doorbell...another one of Siss inventions. Kid ran to open the door. A sinister looking feline demi-human stood there, with a harlequin at his side. A chill of recognition washed through hershe knew the harlequin. How, she didnt know...but she knew her.
"Is Lucca Ashtear here?" the demi-human asked.
"Yes, sir," Kid answered. "Ill go get her."
"Id rather you led me to her, if thats all right," he said.
"Thats fine!" Kid said, turning. "This way!"
She led the pair into the new hallway Grandpa Taban had made. Lucca was there, tinkering away as usual.
"Sis!" Kid called. Lucca stood, and turned.
"Yes, Kid?" she asked.
"Lucca Ashtear?" the demi-human asked.
"Yes...what do you want?" she replied, eyes open wide. But Kid felt that peculiar tingle that meant she was about to do one of her magic tricks.
"I just want to show you something...I received a message from a friend of mine in Porre. He said to tell you that the robot you designed was malfunctioning and"
"Kid, get behind me!" Lucca shouted. Kid scrambled out of the felines reach, and ducked as a stream of fire washed over the two strangers.
The harlequin screamed quietly, and jumped, flying into the air and landing out of Luccas range. But the cat-being simply held up a hand, and a yellow bubble surrounded him, repelling the flame. The wooden floor caught quickly, and Lucca stopped her attack.
"Foolish of you, madame," the cat-man growled. "That was your only chance." He whipped a strange scythe out, and leapt into the air.
"NO!" Kid screamed, hands flying up. She had no idea what to dobut a small ball of fire shot from her fingers and exploded on contact with the demi-human.
Lucca grabbed her gun, now that she had time, and aimed at him. But a small, steel ball hit the side of her head, knocking her over. The harlequin smiled.
Kid, standing next to Luccas collection of medicinal herbs and tinctures, grabbed the nearest handful of leaves and shoved them into Siss mouth. Spluttering, the older woman got up. She murmured something, and began to cast another spell. But the cat glowed with blue light, and a stream of water blasted her into a wall. She fell heavilyright on top of her old hammer.
She grabbed it and threw it at the cat-man, simultaneously shooting the glass window. "Kid! Get out!" she cried.
But fire had trapped Kid in a corner. Lucca screamed, and the cat-man began another spell.
"LYNX!" a deep voice shouted. Lynx turned, and Lucca took the opportunity to run to Kid. She went through the fire without noticing, and dragged the young girl out roughly.
"Kid, I have to go now. I have to warn the others. Get the children out, Ill take care of these clowns!" she whispered. Kid nodded, then began to cough. Smoke had begun to build up, and not enough escaped through the window to make the air breathable.
A blue beam shot through the room, dousing one of the larger blazes. Kid gasped; that was Luccas Ice Gun! It was too high up for any child to reach.
"Go, Kid! Go!" Lucca aimed and fired at Lynx in one smooth motion, and leapt out the window. Any noise she made was lost in the wailing of children and crackling of fires.
Lynx approached Kid, but she knew how to fight hand-to-hand, at least a little. She rolled under his legs and to her feet, dodging the harlequin. Lynx began to followbut a teenager, at least seventeen, walked into the room, with a weapon raised. It was a staff with two large blades on either side.
"Let her go, Lynx!" he growled. "Dont you put your hands on her!"
"You," Lynx hissed, eyes narrowing. The harlequin tugged his sleeve, and he let out a fearsome roar before vanishing into black light.
Kid stepped toward where they had been, but the boy grabbed her hand, and led her out of the burning building. He had saved the children, and made the two villains go away. And he was so handsome!
She had asked him if he would leave; he had said no, and then vanished. She had cried for what seemed like hours, and then set off for Cronos.
Her tears stopped eventually, as she approached Truce. It was a bustling town, not quite a city, but close enough. Lucca had made some mechanical additions, but it was still a modern, horse-drawn, manual labor type place.
Cronos house was...where was his house? She approached the nearest person, a tall man with red hair. "Excuse me," she said, touching his arm.
"Yes?" he replied, turning. "Oh, youre one of Luccas, arent you?"
She swallowed. "Yes...the orphanage caught fire last night..." she told him.
"Yes, we know. You could see the light for miles," the man smiled. "Is everyone okay?"
Again, Kid swallowed, but this time from anger. They could see it for milesbut they didnt help!
"Everyone is fine, sir," she said, concealing her anger. "Lucca got us all out, but she..." Her throat contracted.
Mistaking what she meant, the man got down to eye level with the young girl. "Im so sorry, young lady," he said, touching her shoulder. "She was the bravest woman I ever knew."
"You...you knew her?" Kid sniffed.
"Ages ago, I did," the man smiled. "Where are you going?"
"C-Cronos house," she answered.
"Why, thats where I was headed! What a coincidence! Would you like me to take you there?"
"I would like that," she told him. He stood, and took her hand. They began walking, the elder leading the younger to a rather large house on a hill.
"What is your name?"
"Kid. Whats yours?"
The man laughed. "My name is Quanta."
"Thats weird," Kid said, without thinking. She clapped a hand to her mouth. "Oh, Im so sorry!"
"Its quite all right, Kid." He laughed again. "It sounds as if Im insulting your youth when I say that! We both seem to have different names, dont we?"
"Yes, we do," Kid said quietly.
They reached the tall house a few minutes later. Quanta rapped on the thick wooden door.
"Yes?" a woman about Quantas age asked, opening the door. Seeing Kid, she smiled...until she saw Quanta.
"N-no...it cant be!" she gasped.
"Well, it obviously can, Lela!" Quanta said, smiling broadly.
"No! You cant see him!" Lela, who Kid recognized as Cronos mother, shouted. "Kid, come in here!"
"Calm down, Lela! I dont want to hurt the boy!" Quanta protested.
"Thats what you said before! Then you did what you did, and now he doesnt want to see you!"
"Now, does he not want to see me, or do you not want him to see me?" Quanta demanded, the genial man vanishing. He was hard, now, hard and unsmiling.
"Mother, what is it?" Crono asked, walking up behind Lela. His chin cleared her head by an inch, at least, and his deep voice reminded Kid of that person who had saved her. She began to sniffle again, remembering.
"Kid!" he exclaimed. "And..." The sparkle in his eyes turned to a sharp gleam. "Who are you?"
"Crono, you dont want to speak with him!" Lela shouted, face flushed. "Kid, come into the house this instant!"
Quanta released Kids hand, and shifted slightly. Kid felt a crackling aura of power, much like Luccas, or Cronos. Or even Princess Marles, though hers was placid rather than snapping.
"Mother, get back!" Crono said, grabbing her and pulling her back firmly but gently. He stepped out of the house. "What do you want?"
"I just wanted to see you, Crono," Quanta said roughly. His eyes gleamed, the same green color as the other mans.
Kid stepped back. She could feel the contest of wills between these two, though Cronos mother seemed unaware of it. There was an answering flow within her.
To her eyes, yellow light bloomed around the two amazingly similar men. For an instant, she could see their cores, the wellspring of power within them. They both have magic, she realized.
But the vision faded after a moment. Her amulet went cold against her chest.
Yelling, Crono unsheathed his sword and slashed in one smooth motion. Quanta pivoted, dodging the blow. Continuing his spin, he drove an open palm at Crono.
"Crono!" Lela cried, moving forward. Kid felt something inside her again, but it vanished as quickly as it had appeared.
"Youre good, boy. Better than when we last met," Quanta grunted, launching a kick at Cronos head.
Jerking back, Crono swung his sword, gained clearance when Quanta dodged, and drove his shoulder at his opponent.
"When did we meet before? I have no idea who you are!" Crono growled. Quanta swung his stiffened hand at the other, connecting with a crack of flesh on flesh.
Crono staggered back, gripping his arm. "I didnt want to resort to this," he whispered, teeth clenched. "But..."
Again, Kid saw the yellow glow around Crono. Yellow streamers came from him, weaving themselves together into a dome that covered both Crono and Quanta. Something inside her reached out, trying to meet that strange light.
Green light blazed through Crono and Quanta. The older mans screams came through a sizzling sound, like bacon frying. Kids eyes widened as she realized how accurate that comparison was.
"Stop, Crono!" she cried. The coldness on her chest changed to blazing heat, and light flooded her, obliterating all other senses. The last thing she heard, as she fell into a deep blackness, was a loud clang and the unmistakable sound of rushing water.
Kid? Kid, wake up!
Kid, wake up!
Who are you?
Hurry! You cant stay here!
Tell me who you are!
I didnt want your power to manifest itself so early. But theres no other choice.
Purple light flashed, and she became pain.
Marle stood over the young girl, weaving her healing magic through her. She wasnt hurt, only exhausted, and curiously resistant to her magic at that. With a sigh, Marle released her magic, and let the power fade from Kid.
They were in Cronos house, with the two injured people in the guest bedroom. Lela had fainted, seeing Crono use his magicshe had no idea he had any superhuman abilitiesand was in her own bed.
Crono had gotten a citizen of Truce to fetch Marle, and she had healed his arm before realizing there were more problems.
"Im sorry, Crono. I cant do anything for her," Marle told him. "What exactly happened?"
"I...for some reason, I was fighting a man. I cant actually recall why I was fighting him, come to think of it. But I did. And he nearly broke my arm."
"He did break your arm, Crono," Marle snapped.
"Well, whatever. I wasnt thinking too clearly, and I used Luminaire on him."
Marle gasped. "Crono! How could you do such a thing? There is a reason we swore not to use our magic except to help others!"
"The only reason I can think of is shock and blind rage," Crono replied.
Eight years before, when Lavos was purged from the past, through the Black Omen, the old man at the End of Time had advised them to think on their magical skills. If they had them, they had the temptation to use them.
"Even heroes can succumb to temptation," he had said. "You might decide to use your powers for personal gain rather than for the good of all.
"Im not saying you will, far from it. Im saying its possible you can be tempted. So, if you like, Spekkio can inhibit your offensive techniques."
Marle had seen the truth of the Gurus words, and her Water magic was now completely useless, except to chill wine and the like. Crono had elected to not have his Lightning powers removed, but had asked Gaspar to bind an oath to him not to use them unless in mortal danger.
Frog, who lived in a much more troubled time, had kept his powers intact. Lucca had also been bound as Crono had.
"Thats no excuse, Crono, and you know it!" she snarled. "I cant believe you sometimes!"
"Im sorry...but cant you heal him?"
She shook her head. "Your magic is still in him. Or something like it. Whenever I try to heal him, it lashes out. I cant get close enough to restore anything."
Crono walked over to him, grabbing at his own magic. A shock ran through him, as it always did, and his vision...changed. Some things sharpened, and some things fuzzed. Most of the time, when he held his magic, living things were emphasized, and nonliving things faded. But other times, especially when he fought magical beings, things he had finally discovered to be closely related to lightning seemed to glow. But things that had to do with Water darkened, until they were just a black void.
With this man, the rest of the world died away, and he became so clear Crono could literally see into him, see every part of his body. It wasnt very pleasantvital organs and so on were a disgusting pinkish green color.
A spiral of blue with orbs and bars stretching across it floated across his vision. No, two, and both were very close to each other in appearance. After a moment, they dwindled, shifting and forming into an image of himself and the other man. Again, Crono was struck by the similarities between the two of them.
A shock of icy coldness flooded his mind, jerking him out of his trance and out of the rapport with his power. Marle stood there, shining with pale blue light.
"Crono, what happened? You wouldnt say anything, you just stood there and mumbled, staring at him! I had to match with you!"
Crono stared in spite of himself. Marle didnt have as much power as he did, at least in terms of pure strength, though she was very deft. But to blend her magic with his, they had to have the same level of power, or very close to it. Reaching for more than you could handle was more than dangerous.
"You were barely holding your power, you idiot!" she snapped, realizing why he was dumbfounded. "I didnt even have to stretch! Dont worry about me, worry about what Im going to do to you." Her voice became icily cold at that last sentence. "When you were...off, I healed him. The ward around him seemed distracted."
"He has magic," Crono gasped, realizing. When they had fought the Magus, he couldnt hold on to his power, he could only expend it in short bursts. Holding it, only the wizard had existed, and that would have been fatal. And when Zeal perished, Crono had not even touched his power before nearly becoming one with the woman. Lavos...Crono did not even want to think about what Lavos had done to his senses. He knew far too much about the beast already.
This was the same thing. This man had Lightning magic, or could use it if someone taught him. "Marle, he has magic! And hes made it hard for others to heal him, for some reason." Already, the how of it was emerging. Crono could duplicate that ward himself, now that he thought about it. "Wheres Lucca? Did she escape the fire?"
"No," Marle whispered. "Only Kid survived. I sent soldiers to search. They found...they found..." A sob choked in her throat. "They found her helmet, and her glasses. She wouldnt have left those behind. And...and..." She buried herself in Cronos chest, and he embraced her. Though they werent attached, or even interested in each other, Crono had always liked this girl, this woman. She was twenty-five now, two years older than he. Lucca washad been the youngest of their "circle", a year under Crono.
"Crono?" a harsh voice asked. Crono turned his head, to see the man getting up. "Crono, is that you?"
"Yes," he replied shortly. "Why do you have to ask?"
The man looked him in the eye...or rather, right below. His irises, once bright green, were now dull, the color of not-quite-dead grass. "I cant see anymore. It must have been your spell."
Marle pulled away from Crono. "Your eyes dont work?" she murmured, fighting to keep her tears at bay. "I should have healed that." A golden aura blazed around her, and she reached toward the man.
"My name is Quanta," he said sardonically. "And dont try, maam. Ive proofed myself against magic. Your spell was stronger than my ward, though. Nice bit of work, that."
"But why would you ward yourself against healing?" Marle asked, honestly shocked.
The man arched his eyebrows. "Dont you know anything, lady?" he asked. "Holy magic is just as powerful and deadly as Fire, or Lightning."
"Holy? Whats that?" Crono asked him, confused.
Quanta stared at both of them, or gave the impression of it. "You dont know about Holy magic?"
"No...why would we?" Marle queried.
"Because the White Lord rose in 610 A.D., to retake the Maguss empire. What do they teach you kids these days?"
"White Lord?" Crono repeated.
"Crono..." Marle uttered, voice shaking. "Someones changed the past...it has to be..."
Kid stared at this. She had been awake for some time, but they hadnt noticed, obsessing over Quanta. She felt mildly put out, but otherwise was too tired to make a protest.
"The White Lord was the opposite of the Magus in nearly every way," Quanta said, giving the feeling that he was quoting. "She used magic that had not been seen for ages, magic that controlled light itself. It was just as deadly as Shadow magic, though, and only the intervention of the Frog Knight and his magical blade kept Guardia from falling." He looked somewhere to the right of Crono. "Ring a bell?"
Knocking echoed through the house. Crono numbly, automatically, turned to go get the door, but it was already open.
"Crono! Marle? Kid?" a voice called. A voice dearly familiar to Kid.
"SIS!" she shouted, leaping out of bed. Her exhaustion vanished as she dashed to the front room.
"Kid!" Lucca smiled, scooping the girl up in her arms. "Why, youve grown..." Her voice trailed off. "You have grown," she said, smile gone. "Is Marle here?"
"Yeah!" Kid replied. "In there!" Lucca swept by, trailing Kid.
"Lucca!" Marle cried, stepping forward.
"No time, Marle. Im sorry if you thought I was dead, but I had to leave that impression. Lynx wouldnt have left Truce behind, if I hadnt."
Crono and Marle stiffened. Lynx, the Black Demon of the Porre Nation. He had single handedly destroyed Guardias finest, and had personally beheaded the late King.
"He was here?" Marle asked tremulously. "In Guardia? Did he set the fire?"
"I did, actually," Lucca said, taking off her glasses to polish.
"Your glasses!" Crono gaped. "But..."
"I have spares, Crono," Lucca said acidly. "You should have realized that. Wheres your warrior brain gone?" Realizing how deep that had gone, her face softened. "Im sorry, Crono. I didnt..."
"Youre right," Crono said harshly. "Im soft now. I cant focus, cant plan."
"Crono!" Marle protested. He put her off, and was about to speak more, when Quanta interrupted.
"This is all fine and sappy, but dont you people have a crisis?" he asked, surprisingly distant. Kid had thought him nice. "Lynx has penetrated your borders easily, and you all cant fight back."
Crono whirled, unsheathing his sword in a shining arc. "How do you know about that?" he hissed. A faint light glowed about him, then vanished. His knees bent, and he hit the floor, clutching his head as the sword rattled to the ground.
"Crono!" Marle grabbed his head in her hands, and soft, golden radiance shone around her. "Crono...wake up..."
"Hes okay, Marle," Lucca told her, taking her gun from its holster. "Kid, get behind me." Kid obeyed.
Lucca advanced on the bedridden man. "Who are you? How do you know about our limitations?"
He spread his hands. "Im Quanta. That should tell you enough."
Red power erupted around Lucca. "If what I gather is true, you know how close to death you are right now." Heat washed in waves around Kid; steel would have shattered at Luccas tone. "Tell us now what youre talking about."
Marle, satisfied that Crono was fine, stood. An aura surrounded her, but compared to Luccas, it was a feeble candle to a raging bonfire. Luccas toned down for a moment, and the two bled together, neither completely dissolving into the other. Then, the power returned.
"Tell me now," Lucca said flatly. Crono stood, and picked up his sword. Kid again felt a flow within her, but this time it stayed. The light around Marle and Lucca intensified, and the candles placed about the room shone like lanterns. Crono and Quanta both gave off a metallic, yellow shimmer, nearly lost in the luster of Lucca and Marle. Light from the window became a river of syrupy, gold liquid.
"I think you had better watch who you threaten," Quanta said amiably. The yellow shimmer became a blaze of raw power. "Im more than a match for you." But he carefully avoided looking at Crono.
Kids amulet blazed with heat, though she didnt sweat. It was a strange feeling, and was only amplified when the room began to shimmer. The sounds of the adults breath, the sharp color of Cronos iridescent blade, it all faded. She was slowly being disassociated with the scene.
Not knowing entirely what she did, she let the...the...whatever was within her loose. The syrupy feel to the light became a harsh burning. The blend of magic between Lucca and Marle snapped apart, and Quantas glow of power flashed off. The shimmery, not-quite-there feel dissolved, and she was slammed back into the timestream.
That quickly, the tingling fire that filled her head vanished, and her amulet "cooled". Quanta stared at her, and Lucca picked up on his gaze.
"Kid...did you do that?" she asked, astounded.
Kid nodded, then shook her head. Marles eyebrow twitched, and Lucca blinked.
"You have magic," Quanta said. It was not a question, but a statement. Kid looked at him, fearful.
"Me? Have...magic? I dont think so..." Kid murmured. "I mean...how can I? You guys got it from..." She realized that it was incredibly unlikely that Quanta had gotten his power from Spekkio.
"Just what is going on?" Crono demanded. Lucca nodded.
"We all deserve answers," she concurred. Aiming her gun at Quanta, she added, "And were getting them."
Quanta put up his hands. "I dont know much."
"Tell us what you know," Marle snarled. The temperature dropped as icy light shone around her.
"The Porre military is organizing an offensive strike at Guardia. Theyve been planning this for months, now. They have a kind of magic, more than your soldiers do. And theyre all instructed in how to use basic tech magic. Every one of them knows Aura, and a sword attack. I dont think your army could resist it.
"And Lynx is their military leader. Hes brilliant, and ruthless. He knows what he wants, and how to get it. And he wants Guardia."
"But how could he teach all the soldiers to use Aura?" Marle asked, confused in spite of herself. "It took me ages to learn!"
"You were never receptive to tech magic. You always had your real magic, you just didnt know how to use it. Tech magic is fake, and doesnt combine well with the real kind." Quanta explained, resigned to his role as teacher.
"How do you know all of this?" Crono demanded.
Quanta grinned. "One of the highest ranking officials in the Porre government has Lightning magic. Like Crono knows, now, two people with Lightning magic resonate with each other. I could read his mind, in a sense, and he knew everything about the Army."
"Knew?" Marle demanded, ever sensitive to nuances of speech.
"Yeah. He was in an accident, and couldnt be saved." The word accident twisted in Quantas mouth, showing what he thought about that accident.
"So, Porre has magic, they can heal themselves, and they have a brilliant tactician on their side," Crono surmised. "What do we have?"
"Nothing. You lose. Game over," Quanta snapped.
"Theres no such thing as an absolute future," Lucca snapped. "Were proof enough of that."
"Well, I dont think your time traveling will work here. Havent you ever wondered why you could only access six time periods?"
"How" Lucca began. Then, she remembered what Quanta had said about Lightning magic. "Well, no..."
"Only a few places in the timestream are vulnerable to insertion. Always, they are periods when a huge change is on the way, or Lavos was particularly active."
Lucca nodded, realizing what he said made sense. "The Prehistoric Times were just before the end of the dinosaurs, as well as the fall of Lavos. The Middle Ages were when Magus summoned Lavos." She blinked, thinking about her own time.
"This time was when we were born," Marle said. "Were obviously turning points; if we hadnt come along, Lavos would have destroyed the planet."
"And the Future, 2300 A.D...what happened there?"
Quanta smiled grimly. "You may not know, but Robo was initially a robot designed for mass destruction. The Mother Brain had planted a program in him that would have forced him to go berserk, destroying each dome in turn, until humans were decimated. You prevented that from happening, Lucca."
"How do you know?" Crono demanded. "I didnt know anything about that!"
Quantas eyes glowed, harsh and yellow. "I travel the timestream as you do. I have a peculiar quality about me...I slip in and out of time as easily as you go through a door. Perhaps even more easily. I know quite a lot about this planets history, and future."
Lucca snorted. "Why should we believe you?" she asked derisively.
Quanta smiled. "Ill be right back."
Again, Kids amulet blazed. But instead of the room fading, only the man on the bed did. He quickly became a shadow, then vanished. The sheets held his mold for a moment, then collapsed.
The amulets fire didnt go away this time. Instead, it reached tendrils of heat around her, and she heard a roaring.
The room changed. She couldnt say how, but it changed. Lucca looked around, gun raised. Her fiery aura shone brightly, as did Cronos. Marle didnt have much magic shining around her, but it combined both her cold blue Water magic and her warm, welcoming healingHoly magic.
With a snap, the room jarred back to normal, and Quanta came back. The sheets were under him, this time.
"What did you do?" Kid asked, curious in spite of herself.
"I simply changed something...then changed it back," Quanta replied.
"Well, that was certainly a time wave...I guess we have to believe you." Lucca holstered her gun. "Now. Are you going to help us, or what?"
Quanta smiled. "Now, being blind, I cant do much with magic, now can I?"
"I can fix that, if you let me," Marle told him.
Quanta sighed. "Fine. Let me drop my barriers." A fizzling sound came from him as he concentrated. Crono stepped back, and covered his eyes.
After a moment, the fizzling vanished, and Crono removed his hand from his face. Marle stepped to Quanta, and Kid saw her weaving golden skeins of magic around the mans head. They shaped themselves as shining orbs inside his skull, right where his eyes should be.
"There. Theyll regenerate the material that was burned out, and youll be able to see until they do," she explained. Quanta nodded, and pushed her away. With a loud snap, his barrier slammed back into place.
"Ill help you, since you so graciously restored me, Lady Nadia," Quanta said, smiling sincerely.
"Thank you very much, Master Quanta," Marle replied, just as gracefully.
Crono clapped his hands. "We wont have much time. Lets prepare the army."
"In the beginning, there was Light, and the Light was good."
~Mikau Kaiousei (Sea Planet King)