Chrono Trigger: Twins of Destiny Chapter 11
Double Crosses and Double Takes
By Mox Jet
In the M-1 Compound
As Tyrion slept, he could almost feel his consciousness slipping
away from the real world and entering into itself, like folds on folds of
awareness, passing into a state of dreams. It was in this state of
dreams that he found himself temporarily transported to a strange new
Normally, Tyrion didnt dream at all. That is, he did
dream, but never actually remembered any of them. All humans dream,
someone had once told him. In actuality, its somewhere around
four or five times per night, yet our recollection of these dreams can sometimes
be limited to our own capacity for memory. This dream, however, Tyrion
He was floating above a great city that seemed to be lit on fire.
He could see the air move with the flames, like one sees when staring across
blacktop and watching the air rise with the weight of the thermal rising
off of it. Such was the movement of the air around this city, to the
point where it was blurred unless he looked away from the white-red flame
or shielded his eyes from the intense warmth.
Within the city, buildings of marvel could be beheld. Crystal
towers stretching over 100 stories in height, elaborate domes and intricate
trusses that supported these mammoth skyscrapers, and a style of architecture
that was surely unknown to the world outside of his head. The buildings
seemed to shimmer, not just in the light of the flames, but in their own
light as well as a calming, soothing glow that emanated from the structures
like the inside of a gemmed cavern.
But certain things remained like that of a dream. It was if
he was reading something which he knew, and that the parts that he remembered
all showed up clearly, but as the images delved into an area that he was
unfamiliar with, it started to show up only as gibberish, the images fading
in and out where he remembered what was there. Towards the end, the
images seemed curtailed earlier than they should be, like someone had cut
out the last few pages of the story. Such was what the buckling image
of the city was like.
More peculiar yet, he realized that not only was he floating over
the city, the city itself was floating above the ground. In fact, it
was so high as that it hung above the clouds like some magical deity.
Ironically, though, it was the clouds which the city floated over that prevented
him from seeing the ground. They were thick and gray, and occasional
lashes of light streaked through them, periodically busting out and upward,
tearing through the city itself. Whatever the flashes of light were
was apparently what was causing the city to be aflame.
These streaks sometimes continued upward through the city itself,
bursting skyward with a trail of architectural and biological destruction
in their wake. Bodies flew up, being caught in the power of the beam,
and he could see now that bodies also were falling out of the building, jumping
of their own power in fear of dying what might be a more tragic death.
He could hear now the screams of the people that were down in the city and
in the buildings. For a moment, everything else in his capacity for
hearing was silenced, so that the only thing which was available for his
auditory nerves to pick up was the screams of terror. He cringed and
covered his ears, in hopes of making the terrible, fearful scream go away,
but the shrilling persisted. It slowly began to grow louder and louder
it started to fade away.
The screams started to die away and his ability to hear other terrors
of the scene before him returned. He could see the rubble still falling
off of some of the taller buildings. Almost as he saw this, one mammoth
structure, easily over 110 stories, began to crumble from its middle.
Dust poured down the side of the building and debris began to fill the air
once again. Again, the images of people hurling themselves out of the
building became momentarily clear before it faded back into a blur.
The building started to come down in almost a slow motion, and the people
on the streets looked up in mixed terror and awe at the horrible, dreadful
power that was being displayed and enacted on the helpless people of the
This building, like others in the city, was unable to support its
own weight after so many of its support structures had been melted by the
flames. Tyrion watched the colossus of architecture fall for a moment,
before it seemed that reality sped back into real time and the building no
longer fell in slow motion. Like someone had snapped a video into fast
forward, the building came down, littering death onto the streets below.
The smokes from the building would continue to rise for long after the point
when he would wake up.
So many other buildings followed until it eventually seemed like
not just the buildings were falling, but the city itself began to fall.
Over on the western edge, just beyond where his sight began to fail, Tyrion
could see the outer limits of the great city begin to sink beneath the
clouds. The floating monstrosity began to tilt, and the added weight
at the angle proved to great for some of the few buildings that hadnt
crumbled. They snapped like twigs, and fell like
Whatever energies had suspended this city in air were beginning to
fail as the city as a whole slowly began to sink. Whatever was left
of these energies prevented the sinking from being fast at the moment, but
it was just slow enough so that those who hadnt already been killed
were stuck with the impending feeling of doom that Tyrion now felt in the
city. He couldnt hear their screams anymore; the sounds of the
crashing buildings had long since drowned that out. But, he could
feel their screams. He could feel the Life Essences of thousands
of people returning to the planet, their very existences being snuffed
out. He could feel the planet moan.
The skies were getting darker now, the horizon dimming to a putrid
black. The smoke and dust that was being catapulted into the air from
the destroyed buildings was clouding Tyrion's vision. He could no longer
see the images of the people falling out of the buildings, or launching
themselves off the edge of the city and into the dark depths below.
As the debris in the air thickened, he had a hard time making out the buildings
themselves, and was soon unable to see much of the destruction that was going
on before him. The entire city faded away- both into the smoke in front
of it, and into the clouds below it.
The destruction was almost complete, and the only thing that could save Tyrion from it was his own scream, sending him out of the inner folds of his mind and back into reality.
Tyrion awoke later, unsure of how much time had passed, to a series of beeps that were ringing through the compound, and as a result, through his head. It didnt sound like there was a problem, per-say, just that someone was trying to let anyone who could hear the annoying buzzing know that something was happening.
The beeps rang in three-tone sequences, in a 1-4-5 interval, spaced apart from the next three-tone sequence by about five seconds. After repeating this pattern four times, they stopped. Shortly after, his door slid open with a hiss and Linas form became apparent in the frame of the entryway.
Come on, she said abruptly. Lets go.
Go where? he asked, slightly dazed and not completely awake yet.
The briefing room, she responded, waving her hand to make him follow her.
Well, Id say youve got yourself your first mission, Lina said. Now, Im not going to come in there and drag you out, so lets go.
Mission? he asked, climbing off of the bed and following her, not even making sure that the door closed behind him as he exited. They expect me to be trained for military action already.
You were in the Nisai Ryu, Lina said as they walked down the hall. They said that you had training enough in the Art of War. Everything else basically comes down to listening to what youre told.
How can that possibly be it? he stammered. I dont even know how to use a gun.
Then you probably wont be using one, she said.
Think, Tyrion. Each Armour has a specific task, coordinated with the skills and abilities of the user. Cyoren has already been equipped with melee weapons. Youll get along just fine.
Isnt this kind of sudden, though? I mean, I just arrived here.
Dont worry. Well probably have about 24 hours or so before the actual mission. This is just the briefing. Relax, buddy. Youll at least have one more day to live.
Why am I not thinking this is good? Tyrion asked himself out loud.
Youre the one who wanted to join the army, she said. Dont look at me.
Well, I kinda assumed they would teach me what to do, he said. Its not like Ive been formally instructed in M-1 protocol. Lina stopped walking and turned around to face him.
Listen, she said. Just trust me and youll be fine. This isnt going to be anything difficult. If I were them, Id just be sending you on this in order to get some combat data on you and to see how you interface with Cyoren.
How would you know that?
I told you, Tyrion. These guys arent just soldiers. Theyre politicians. Obviously, theres something up with Cyoren, and theres obviously something up with you. Just put two and two together. I would think they just want to see how you two function together.
Thats some pretty deep thinking.
Ive been doing this for awhile, she said. Trying to figure out what makes these guys tick, and all.
So how far have you come? he asked. She spun around and started walking again.
If I still needed to ask you about why they might want you, then I havent come all that far. Im just guessing that they want to test their new toys: both Cyoren and you.
They walked through the halls which seemed all the same to Tyrion. Only when the walls changed from their previous color of blue-green to that of stainless steel could he infer that they had left the dormitory area of the compound. The only person he was really left to trust was Lina, again, and the fact surprised him that maybe he was beginning to get used to it. He wasnt really sure why he was suddenly being given an assignment, though Linas argument did seem to fit. He wasnt sure he liked the idea of being referred to as a toy, though, and even less appreciated being likened to a piece of metal.
He thought back to what Tristan had said about trying to find out what these people wanted with him, and it seemed that Lina was trying to do the same thing. The funny part was, though, that he really didnt know (or believe) either of them as far as explanations to why they were interested in him. For some reason, he felt like he could trust both of them. He had never been proficient enough in the use of Lifestream to actually be able to perform a full read of a person, but for the most part, he could tell when someone was lying. He could also sense, to a certain degree, the emotional emanations of a person. For example, he could tell that Tristan had been somewhat embarrassed when Tyrion had told him that all he was capable of doing was hiding. Granted, Tristan himself was very good at hiding his Life Force Emanations (termed by the Nisai Ryu as LFE, for short), a shielding factor that he had noticed from the first time he had met him, but he could tell that some of the emotions still got through (especially when he was feeling something as powerful as a damaged ego).
Protecting ones LFE was known as a Nisai Ryu trick, and Tyrion had already seen that Tristan was proficient in using his Nisai Ryu abilities. Therefore, Tyrion was pretty clueless as to anything about him, aside, of course, from the fact Tristan was a master of Nisai Ryu (or so Tyrion still thought). The only thing that he was able to sense was that Tristan had a hidden agenda, and that was a sense that he picked up using human intuition rather than fancy Lifestream tricks.
As far Lina went, she was much less quiet about hiding her emotions. He didnt even need to reach out to sense what she was feeling; she made it all quite apparent herself. The question was, if she was his ally, which she seemed to be at the moment, then what was her take on things, and why, if Tristan really was correct about everyone using everyone else, did she need him?
It was other things about Lina that came through in this projection of Life Force as a result of her lack of hiding it. Everything that Tyrion had heard about her was true. She really was short tempered, and truly was pissed about having a partner. Also, for some reason, the fact that he had blue hair bothered her, though she hadnt mentioned it outwardly to him, yet.
He continued to follow Lina down the length of the corridor, their passage being relatively straight, and passing through the large Armour hanger that he had originally met her in. When they passed out of the other side of the hanger, the colors of the walls were no longer either blue-green or steel, but a dim red, colored by the red lights which covered the ceiling space. He couldnt tell what color the walls might actually have been, but he assumed that it was probably something light enough so that the red would show.
The briefing room, as she had described where they were going, was found on the right side of the hall after going through a long, curvy corridor. Lina extended her hand to the side of it and entered a code into a small number pad, causing the door to hiss open and the room to unveil itself. Inside, the main feature of the room was prevalent wooden table which formed an almost completed circle and possessed legs which almost looked organic. The surface table itself was a dark, glazed wood with a black boarder, the same color as the black, again organic, looking chairs that surrounded the table.
The walls were pitch black (the deep red hue that filled the room not helping to lighten them) but it was clear that they were video screens of some sort. The only other being in the room was a man in a black uniform and a black beret. As Lina walked into the room, she stood tall and saluted the figure, who saluted back. When Tyrion didnt do anything, she elbowed him in the gut.
Superior officer present, she hissed through the side of her mouth.
Its okay, the man said in a husky, deep voice. You can stand down. Lina did as told. And dont worry about her, Tyrion, he said. Youll get used to her.
I dont appreciate the insinuations, Lina said.
Well, remember, Esrevni, theres a superior officer present. He chuckled. Lina didnt seem so amused.
Please, he continued. Have a seat, Agents. Tyrion and Lina did as instructed, taking a seat on the inner side of the circular table. My name is Colonel Kay. Im told that youre the new kid from the Nisai Ryu, he said to Tyrion.
Im Tyrion Mandrake, he said. And yes. Im the new kid. Im sorry if I dont know your protocol yet.
Youll learn in time, Tyrion, Kay said. Well allow you a few days leeway to get the hang of it.
I brought him here because I was told to, Lina said, cutting in.
And you need to be here too, Lina, Kay said. Remember, hes your partner. Lina grumbled something under her breath, but Kay paid it little attention.
Then might I ask what were here for? Tyrion said.
Of course, Kay answered. Youre here because youre receiving your first assignment. Now, when weve told you that Lina is your partner, that might be misleading. You are partners, but you now serve in a Special Operations unit termed the Grey Knights.
So there are more like her? Tyrion asked, somewhat scared by the prospect.
No, not like her, Kay said. Hell, theres no one on this planet like her, he said. Lina smirked in a ray of self-gratification. Kay went on. If there was more of her, there might not even be a planet left.
Now just a God damned minute! Lina said, getting out of her seat. Kay laughed, this time slightly harder than before.
Im only joking, he said, waving her back into her seat. You should work on acquiring a sense of humor to go with your sense of destruction. She frowned and crossed her arms, reluctantly sitting down.
Regardless, Tyrion said. While Lina says that its not a big deal that Ive never been in the military before, Im getting a feeling that it might be.
Nonsense, Kay said. It may not make much sense to you now, but youll understand after a bit. The main reason, if you must know, is because we functionally operate in smaller groups. All you have to be able to do is do as you are told and act with what combat knowledge that you, as someone who is so well trained in the arts of the Nisai Ryu, already have.
So basically I just do as Im told and I dont die?
Thats the gist of it, he said. He spun in his chair to face the far wall and extended his hand, which held in it some sort of control device. As far as your actual mission goes, this is a relatively simple assignment, set away from the front. It will involve you two, as well as one other units of Grey Knights, a unit being the name for two partners, with fully integrated Armour usage.
You want us to blow something up, Im guessing, Lina said.
Of course, Kay answered. But its a cross of a recon and tactical removal mission.
So you want us to check something out first, then blow it up? Lina asked.
Lina, youre hopeless, Kay said in a deep exhale. Continuing what he started to do a few seconds ago, he hit a switch on his hand controller and the wall in front of them lit up in an image of a large facility with a radio dish on top. Towards the rear of the building, there was a set of antennas that reached towards the sky, climbing up past the height of the dish.
You want us to knock out a communications facility? Lina asked, getting excited.
Sit down, Lieutenant, Kay said, getting slightly aggravated now. Think about it. If we just wanted to blow it up, we could simply bombard them from the air.
Then its an air defense projection facility, Tyrion said abruptly, surprising both of them.
What? Lina asked.
Actually Kay started to say.
Thats why we cant attack it from the air, Tyrion continued. Thats the device thats stopping it. Wouldnt that make sense? Tyrion asked. Kay stared at him with a mix of amazement and surprise. He didnt respond for a second.
How did you know that? Kay asked. Tyrion shrugged.
I guess it made sense, he said. And I Im not sure how I knew that. Maybe a lucky guess? Kay stared at him for a moment.
Wow, hes as good as Command said he would be, Kay thought to himself. Certainly, it makes sense to knock out Denegrads new defense web. Ever since it came online, its been causing us problems with making air strikes past the Front, but how on Celes would he know that was what the facilities looked like if he wasnt a damn military genius.
Little did he realize that Lina had heard every word.
So give us the background on this thing, already, Lina said. Kay didnt speak for a moment.
As you may or may not have known, he continued at length, Denegrad has recently established somewhat of a defense web over their area behind the Front. While this has not been hurting the war effort directly, it removes our ability to bomb important infrastructure behind the web. The system works by combining long-range scanners with anti-missile deployment systems which they have situated in various locations, one of which actually being in orbit over the planet. It functions on the basis of two thing: that it can detect projectiles fired from locations where they know we have bases, and that it can react fast enough to projectiles fired from locations where they do not know of any bases.
Up until this point, it has actually proven quite effective, considering the lack of resources, both technological and intellectual, that Denegrad has access to. In fact, it has all but negated our potential for military air strikes. However, after a great deal of recon, we have identified the facility you see before you as the one which acts as the hub of information to the other facilities. It is also the only one through which communications to the other facilities can be sent. Due to its importance, it is located at an extremely inland location, making it hard to get at.
So basically, we upload a computer virus into this facility and transmit it to the others, possibly even giving us the potential to short-circuit the orbital based anti-missile platform, and then destroy the building, Tyrion blurted out, with a look of surprise on his face like he couldnt even believe what he was saying. Kay looked at Lina in disbelief.
The boys a fucking genius, Kay said, flabbergasted.
I taught him everything he knows, Lina said jokingly, leaning back in her chair and putting her arms behind her head.
Im right? Tyrion asked.
Pretty much to the detail, Kay said, still in shock. Our plan was for your group of operatives to infiltrate the compound, upload a specially created system virus into their computers, send it to the other facilities, then destroy the compound, but again, how could you have known that? Tyrion started rubbing his temples with a look of pain.
I have no idea, he said honestly.
Well maybe we should figure it out, Lina said to him in his head. Because maybe thats just why in the hell youre so important to these people. Tyrion looked at her and shrugged.
I really have no idea, he said again. But I must say its like it wasnt in there a second ago. Strange, huh?
Like nothing Ive ever seen, Kay said. But he reached under the table and produced two folders. This is the mission file. It has all the required information. He handed each of them a folder. You have 24 hours to prepare and gather whatever you need. Meet in Mission Prep at 1600. He stood up. Thats all.
Lina and Tyrion both rose. Tyrion following Linas lead and motions, they both saluted and turned and exited. As the door hissed open in front of them and close behind them, Kay was left in the Briefing room on his own, still muttering to himself.
What in the name of hell is this kid he mumbled out loud. And what devil did we have to make a deal with to get a hold of him
Elsewhere in the Compound
Ahh, that devil would be none other than Tristan Tenser, Tristan said with a laugh that would have compromised his position if he wasnt hidden away so well. It had only taken him a few hours to find, but after careful analysis of the electrical systems running through the facility, he did manage to find the one section of the compound that was not monitored by cameras. Granted, it must have been dignified so insignificant that either it didnt matter, or that it was too hard to get to be worth hiding in. He had tried the womans locker rooms in hopes that possibly M-1 had some decency, but was both saddened (and slightly disturbed) to find that even the showers were monitored. The garbage depository, his unfortunate current location, turned out to be the only thing that M-1 felt they didnt need to watch.
Now, the wonders of LEA technology did enable him to float above the mounds of trash that filled the room, along with the very appreciated shield that blocked not only people from seeing him, but him from smelling his surroundings. True, he didnt need the image shield anymore, but the protection from the smell was, however, something which was required.
Finally able to stay in a location for an extended period of time without worry of being capture, Tristan had made contact with the Weatherlight a contact that required high amounts of magical energy to keep in tact due to the high level of disturbance in the station itself. It was the first time in hours that he had been able to report to Jack, though he had been quite entertained in the mean time.
Youre a terrible person, Tristan, Jacks voice said over the communications unit. Putting a micro neuro-transmitters into a candy bar and actually sending him information through them?
It was a good idea, he said. Now M-1 thinks the kid can read minds or is just simply a genius. Its gonna confuse the hell out of them, he said, again laughing.
I thought the purpose was to listen to what he was saying and listen to what he was being told, Jack said.
It was, Tristan admitted. But I tweaked the program in the transmitters because I thought this would be more amusing.
Have I told you yet today that youre a sick person? Jack said.
Well, youre a sick person, then, Jack said.
Thank you, he said sarcastically. But look at it this way, I did manage to intercept their plans for attack. What do you want me to do with them?
In addition to sending them up to me? Jack asked.
Nothing at the moment. Continue monitoring the situation as you are.
And then what?
And then you wait until I come up with something for you to do.
You know Im worth more than this, dont you?
Of course, Jack said. But even you need to be relegated to odd jobs if its for the good of the organization. And just think, if we do secure Tyrion, then youll be the main one responsible. Dont even try to tell me you havent thought of that, yet.
No, Tristan admitted. I have. Ive thought about it. However, running around, getting away from all these bad guys and being unable to fight back because we need to see how things play out is not my idea of fun.
Just wait, Jack said. Youll have plenty of time for fun within the next few days. I want to you watch over him when he goes into combat.
How do you suggest I do that.
Oh, youll figure something out, Jack said. You are, after all, the devil that is Tristan Tenser. Jack laughed.
Naturally, Tristan agreed.
Anything else to report? Jack asked.
No, sir, Tristan said. Everything else is clear. Im going to spend a few more minutes getting hold of some information, then Im going to try to block off the video recorders in one of the dorm rooms. Id much rather have a bed to sleep in tonight.
Its your call, Jack said. Ill wait until your next contact, but try to make it within 24 hours.
Im sending M-1s plans to you now, Tristan said, hitting a button on his hand-held. And Ill speak to you again as soon as anything new develops.
Right, Jack said.
Over and out, Tristan said, shutting off communication. The magic stream that he used to conduct the transmission disappeared, the ethereal energies dissipating under the assumption that no one had actually seen them.
On the other end of the communication, Jack shut off his own speaker. He lifted himself out of the plush leather chair that sat in front of the mahogany wood desk in his quarters. Brushing off his pants and straightening out his uniform, he looked over to large porthole that gazed down on the planet of Celes. On the small bench that sat in front of the window, Sarah stared out at the planet, her eyes closed as she continued to attempt reading though the complex ethereal veil that seemed to block it.
Youre acting without the advice of a prophet, she remarked to him, opening her eyes for the first time in nearly an hour.
Im acting on intuition and the fact that I know Tristan pretty well.
Youll go ahead and send them the information anyway?
Explain your logic again, she asked. Jack grinned and walked over to the bench by the porthole and sat down next to her.
Its like this, he began to explain. M-1 knows hes there. We know that. He knows that. What he doesnt know is that they have probably already assumed that he is a spy that has successfully infiltrated their compound. We also know, according to what Tristan told me, is that he had relatively little trouble getting access to the files regarding this skirmish that theyre sending Tyrion on. Tristan, of course, considers this as a result of his own ability and his opponents lack of proper technological defenses.
You think they gave it to him? Sarah asked.
Not only do I think they gave it to him, but I think they wanted him to have it.
Because you think that they think that hes a spy from Denegrad Sarah completed his sentence.
And when he sends this information to his supposed superiors, as they assume he will, the facility will be more readily defended. They hope this will lead to a more effective showing of battle data to collect from Tyrion.
But what I dont get is why you want that? Why would you send the information to the EnKai anyway?
Because I want a more effective showing of battle data, too, Sarah. With Tristan watching over him, I can pretty much guarantee his safety because Tristan can pretty much annihilate anything they throw at him, with the exception of the Lavoid itself. On top of all this, M-1 isnt even going to get the battle data. Im going to scramble their communication links so that the data isnt transmitted, and Im going to have Tristan retrieve a hard copy from the Armour itself. End result: LEA, one. M-1, zero.
Do you see the inherent problem with this plan? she asked.
Youre setting the life of our first potential Planeswalker in the hands of Tristan Tenser, she said with a smile, nudging him playfully. If you dont see that as a problem, then maybe theres something wrong with you. She tapped his temple with a grin. Jack smiled.
Do you remember how we established such a strong base of operations so quickly? Jack asked. Those two years ago?
Of course. We basically constructed our fleet in suspended animation. You designed the plans over a year with the help of the unlimited knowledge in the Beginning of Time, then gave the plans to Tristan to build over the course of the same year that you designed them. Then, with Topiks help, we set up our Space Yards outside of the continuum, so we basically had a full fleet in the amount of time lost during temporal conversion.
5.3 seconds, Jack said.
Yeah. Man, the SSAF Board would have flipped if they had known wed become such a Super Power so quickly.
Well, were not there yet, Sarah. I have to admit that Ship production has been lacking since then. Some of our ships need refitting and their Chaos Drives need recalibrating, which is, as you know, something that only I can do. Itd be very helpful to have another person with the ability to help me out with that.
So you trust Tristan with his life?
I trust Tristan with both of their lives, even though he doesnt even know about Teclis yet.
Youre quite the gambler, Mr. McKlane, Sarah said.
I only bet on the sure thing, Jack said. And remember, if we fail, we can always just start over. She looked at him with a raised eyebrow and a stare that said you would never cause a massive disruption in the Space Time Continuum simply to save one life, but he paid it no notion. Smirking in return, he waved his hand and magically dimmed the lights, leaning in to kiss her just as the only light in the room was that of the swirling blue mass of Celes floating below them.
"I've never had anything against Tristan. He's a strong warrior and a generally good guy. The problem is his own ego. When he gets caught up in that, we sometimes worry what the result might be. That Jack knew this and still left everything in Tristan's hands is the only thing that worried me. Well...almost the only thing..." -Sarah Inverse McKlane
Chrono Trigger Fanfic