Chrono Trigger: Twins of Destiny Chapter 20

Mission Plans

By Mox Jet

            The group sat once again gathered, this time in a larger operations room.  Their goals had been set forth: it was time to go into Ithilmar and seek out the second of the missing twins.  Tyrion and Tristan now shared the same goal, and with two such powerful beings working towards one thing, who could stop them?


            Tristan Tenser and Tyrion Mandrake, along with Lina Esrevni, would prove a match for most anyone, or at least that’s what Tristan thought.  Unfortunately for the ego of the blonde man, he knew that Tyrion would be surpassing him in power after not too much longer.  While he had been able to defeat the boy with ease weeks ago, Planeswalkers begin to grow exponentially in strength after they first manifest the Black Wings.  It was the breaking of a seal on Chaos energy that they had previously been shutting out.  Once that seal is broken, the full manifold of a Planeswalker’s abilities begins to be unleashed.  Tristan knew this: he was the one who came up with the theory in the first place.


            Teclis was another story.  Tristan had communicated with Jack in private following his meeting with Grev, and Tristan’s new secondary objective was to search out Teclis now.  Unfortunately, the Weatherlight had lost their signal on him a few hours ago somewhere in the outskirts of Renektent.  As Jack had put it, this might be a bad thing. 


            Dealing with the current situation became delicate, again.  Tristan couldn’t simply run away from his goals with Tyrion as he felt that he was finally beginning to elicit a sense of trust from the boy; that wasn’t something he felt like wasting.  Tyrion’s seemingly growing companionship with Lina also made things slightly more complex.  He had admitted to himself that it was quite possible that Lina was the Epitorum, and if this was the case, it would not be a good idea to allow her to come to harm, either.  It would be the sons of the Planeswalkers and the Epitorum that would provide the LEA with its most powerful genes.  Their existence could not be risked.


            If Lina was the Epitorum, then the manner that in which Geminus had ‘hooked them up’ would make sense.  M-1 was under the control of Ithilmar, who in turn was fundamentally serving the Lavoid.  Naturally, if the Lavoid were pulling the strings, he could place this psychic prodigy in proximity to his Planeswalker in hopes of their reproduction.  Tristan was faced with two problems: would he meddle in the way of these Planeswalker/Epitorum things, and could he make sure that she was safe as well?  Tyrion had obviously displayed incredible abilities in combat, but could his self preservation instincts (which is all he was operating on now, wasn’t it?) be overridden with the objective of protecting someone else?  He knew that if he had asked Lina, she would have denied any need to be protected and so approaching the situation would indeed be a difficult task.


            Tristan needed to get the fellowship on its way to Ithilmar where they would hopefully all be able to help search out Teclis.  He would just have to hope that Tyrion retained trust enough to aide Tristan as best as possible.  He had called for his ship a few hours ago and it was busy flying from Lyons on auto pilot.  The rest of his plan would be explained.


            They were gathered again the meeting room, some time having passed since the last meeting.  Tyrion had been given an opportunity to shower (finally) and given clean white clothes.  Lina had felt the need for another meal and was finishing off an apple as Tristan began to talk.


            “While I was in that M-1 station, I managed to steal some access codes that will allow our mission to pass through Ithilmar’s visual shielding system,” he began.  From there, Ithilmar is ours for a short period of time before their computers can overcome the virus I’m gonna hit them with.  At that point, they’ll probably realize that an unauthorized craft had entered.”


            “How long will that take?” Grev asked.


            “I’d say about twenty four hours,” Tristan said.  “But that might be giving them too much credit.  I’m not entirely sure.  Their systems weren’t too easy to hack into before, but they might have wanted to have the information that I took.”


            “Why?” Tyrion asked.


            “To test you,” Tristan answered.


            “And I'm right again,” Lina said, raising a hand in victory.  She looked at Tyrion.  “M-1 thought your boy here was a Denegrad spy.  They let him have the info about our mission so he’d take it back with him and they’d be ready for our attack.  That’s why we were met with such a huge battalion at a base that was supposed to be lightly guarded.”


            “But…you didn’t give that information to them, did you?” Tyrion asked.


            “No, of course not,” Tristan said.


            “Then how did they find out anyway?” Lina asked with a raised eyebrow.  Tristan stuttered in response for a moment.


            “I’m…uh…wow.  Good question,” Tristan admitted, having not been let on Jack’s plan to also acquire battle data on Tyrion.


            “Regardless, you think their computers might not be as susceptible to your techniques as you had previously assumed?” Grev asked.


            “No, not quite,” Tristan said.  “See, every system can be hacked, it’s just a matter of how long it takes to do and how long it takes for the other side to fix.  I can still fuck up their systems pretty good, but if they’re better with computers than I thought, they just might be able to fix it faster.  It’s a guessing game, really.”


            “Regardless,” Lina cut in.  “Where do we go after that?  Once we’re in, that is.”


            “Renektent,” Tristan said, restating their goal.  “The Capital City.  From there we’re going to try and locate Teclis’s location again.  If we can’t, that mean’s he’s likely in someplace that protects from the emission of powerful ethereal signals.”


            “The Palace…” Lina said, knowing that it was one of the only places designed to do that.”


            “Probably,” Tristan said.


            “How do we get in?” Tyrion asked.


            “Good question,” Tristan said.  “Luckily, I have an answer.”  He reached into his jacket and drew out the holographic projection disk.  Holding it in his hand, he pressed a few buttons.  Instead of Jack appearing, though, a three dimensional wire-frame representation of Renektent came to life.  The representation began to spin horizontally, zooming in on the area beneath the palace.  There, what looked like a series of tunnels became highlighted as the wires were ‘filled in.’


            “The sewers?” Lina asked.


            “Well, not sewers, actually,” Tristan corrected.  “They’re a multipurpose system.  What’s important, though, is there’s enough room to move around in them undetected.”


            “Why can’t we just use an image-shielding spell, or maybe a device like the one you used in the M-1 base, Tristan?” Tyrion asked.


            “Disruption waves are pretty intense in this area here,” he said, indicating the Palace.  “We’d be able to sneak up that far, but once we got around the palace, there’s a good chance such a device would be negated.  That and…well, I only have one of those.”


            “So the tunnels it is,” Grev said.  “But more importantly, what then?”


            “Once in the palace, moving around isn’t that hard,” Lina said.  “If we could get past security by going through the tunnels, we’d have relative ease in looking for Teclis.  The real question is if we can actually get into the palace from those sewers.  I’d think they’d be more cognoscente of such potential security breeches.”


            “Unless…” Tyrion started say.


            “Unless what?” Tristan asked.


            “Oh…umm…forget it,” he said.  “It’s not important.”


            “Then anyway,” Tristan began again.  “We have to enter the tunnels here,” he pointed to an entrance that was in the outer parts the city.  “That shouldn’t be terribly difficult given the skill level of our team.  Then we infiltrate the palace here…” he circled a small duct that led into the basement.  “That should probably work.  Or at least, I’m pretty sure it’ll work.” 


            “Great!” Lina said, pounding the table and standing up.  “So let’s do it!”


            “It might just work,” Grev said., agreeing.  “And we need only wait for your ship to arrive, correct?” he asked Tristan.


            “Yeah,” Tristan said.  “So we should probably get ready in the mean time.”


            “I will show you to the armories,” Grev said, standing up.  “Tyrion, your Armour is waiting there for you.  It’s quite incredible.  It wasn’t even damaged.  It’s an amazing piece of equipment you have.”


            “Umm…thanks,” Tyrion said.  “I’m still not quite sure why I’ve been given it, though.”


            “About that…” Lina said.  “I think I figured that out too.”


            “Really?” Tyrion asked.  “Then please, explain, while you're on such a roll..”


            “See, there’s a reason why they would only give it to you,” Lina said.  “And I’m pretty sure it goes back to your existence being tied to Geminus.  The energies you shot out to save yourself from the free fall…that Armour was designed to channel and amplify those energies.  It’s quite the magic artifact in and of itself, and I highly doubt it was even made by Ithilmar.”


            “What do you mean?” Tyrion asked. “Who else would have made it?”


            “I think it’s from the ancient past,” Lina said.  “See, before Ithilmar was in the sky and when the Son of God supposedly lived on Celes, there were still wars going on between Ithilmar and what are now the surface dwelling nations.  However, in this age of high magic, it is suspected that they also used machines similar to Armours.  The technology seemed to be lost somewhere along the line, though, and Armour warfare was forgotten.  When Ithilmar discovered the remains of some of those machines, they took the technological concepts and designed what we now call Armours.  Cyoren, however, I think was one of the Armours created in the ancient days of Adrekel, possibly even worn by Adrekel himself in the days which he wandered Celes in search of battle with his father."


            “Wow…” Tyrion muttered.  There was an eerie silence as if someone’s death had just been announced.


            “So it’s true then,” Grev said, looking at Tyrion with a grim stare and a heavy brow.  “You really are the Avatar of Adrekel…”


            “What?” Tyrion asked.  “No!  I mean…well…I don’t know!”


            “What makes you say that?” Tristan asked.


            “Because…” Grev said, his gaze drifting to the floor.  “Cyoren is not the first Armour we’ve seen like that.  Not so long ago, we came into the possession of another Armour made of the same material and put together the same way.  The only difference is that the one we have, Ryocen, appears slightly newer.  Which means…”


            “According to the Orthodox Church, Adrekel constructed another Armour in the likeness of his own,” Lina said.  “The two Armours were designed to function as vessels for the Avatars whom he would send to prepare the world for his return.  If Cyoren was indeed designed to function in concert with Tyrion, then it is incredibly likely that this Ryocen was designed for Teclis.”


            “The Avatars will come together and purge the world of those unworthy of Adrekel’s presence,” Grev said.  “Or, at least that’s what the scripture says.”


            “But what does that mean I should do?”


            “M-1 is trying to gather the two of you together in hopes of some colossal destruction that would follow?” Tristan hypothesized. 


            “Or Ithilmar is preparing for the return of Adrekel,” Lina suggested.  "And that's only assuming that the scriptures are true."


            “Hmm…” Tristan mused.  He didn’t want to get sidetracked, and he certainly didn’t need anything that might discourage Tyrion from going to Ithilmar.  He looked to him.  “You want to find your brother regardless of this religious bull shit, don’t you?” he asked.  Tyrion nodded.


            “I don’t believe in any of it,” Tyrion said.  “Religion and Griever, that is.”


            “Then we can worry about it later,” Tristan continued.  “For the time being, let us just worry about preparing for our upcoming conflict.”  Everyone nodded.


            “Come,” Grev said, moving towards the door.  “I will show you the armory.  Please, follow me.”


            The group rose and followed Grev out of the room.  Walking through the quiet corridors that smelled of old moisture, they went through a number of water-tight seals on their way to the armory.  The armory itself turned out to be significantly smaller than the prep room at the M-1 compound.  There were far fewer armors in here, as well.  Instead (and to Tristan’s surprise), there were a plethora of melee weapons lining the aisles of racks.


            “We don’t use Armour Warfare that often,” Grev said, explaining the equipment in the room.  “We prefer combat the old fashioned way, you might say.”  He walked over to the wall and grabbed a sword off of one of the racks.  “Mono-molecular edged weapons,” he said, running his finger along the flat of the blade.  “Mostly from the sword-smiths of the Nisai Ryu.  They can cut through the plating of almost any Armour.  Those M-1 guys are pretty good, but they rely too much on their technology.”


            “Pretty good?” Lina asked, somewhat insulted.


            “Oh, they’re adept warriors, certainly.  They are typically able to fell a few of our men,” Grev said.  “But they tend to believe that their Armours will be able to protect them from anything.”


            These Saidiar are better than the M-1? Tristan asked himself.  They will be powerful allies if some of them will come with us…


            “My boss will like your style,” Tristan said.  “He’s a fan of swords and hand to hand combat himself.”


            “We find that they’re pretty effective against M-1.  Naturally, we seek to avoid conflict…we’re not really part of this war that’s going on.  However, we are a part of another war, and that war is for the sake of all the surface.”


            Tristan happily pulled out one of his magnums, patting it with his other hand.  “This baby’s all I need,” he said.  “I’m covered as far as guns go.  As for swords, I don’t use ‘em if I don’t have to.  I’ve never been much of a fan.”


            “And I do prefer my fists,” Tyrion said.  “But I must admit, I didn’t mind those lightning claws that Cyoren was equipped with”


            “We have a few pairs,” Grev said, turning and walking down the isle.  He lifted what looked like a pair of heavy bracers off one of the racks.  He held them in his hands for a moment, assessing their worth, then handed them to Tyrion.


            “We won’t be able to take the Armours in the initial infiltration," he said.  "Their power plants stand too good a chance of being detected.  Take these to tide you over in the mean time."


            “I’ll rig the ship to manage a long range teleport so you can utilize the Armours when it comes to crunch time,” Tristan said.


            “Thanks,” Tyrion said, clasping the claws around this hands.  “I could just use some more comfortable fighting clothes and I’ll be set.”


            “Later,” Grev said.  He looked to Lina.  “You can take whatever you want, Miss Esrevni.”


            “I don’t think I’ll be needing anything,” Lina said.


            “You fight unarmed?” Tristan asked.


            “Well, bare handed, but hardly unarmed.”  She pointed affectionately to her head.  “You haven’t seen me in action yet.  You’re in for a real surprise.”  Tristan wondered as to the validity of this claim. 


            “Is she full of it?” Tristan asked Tyrion.


            “Even if she is,” Tyrion said.  “It’s much easier and less painful to the ear to just nod and smile.”


            “Hey!” Lina shot.  “What’s that supposed to mean?!”


            “It means I’ll believe it when I see it,” Tyrion said with an innocent smile, nudging her in the side with his elbow.


            “Oh, you’ll see it,” she said, resisting the urge to send him flying into the nearest wall.  “You’ll see it plenty good.”  She cracked her knuckles.


            “Please, let’s quit the bickering and get back to business,” Grev said.  “We have a job set out before us and if we’re going to be successful, we better start cooperating.  What we’re going up against is more than just M-1.  We’re setting ourselves in direct opposition to the Queen of Ithilmar and all the power that she wields.”


            “It’s true,” Tristan said.  “The Vessel of a Lavoid is not easy to deal with.  Their magical prowess is not something to be underestimated and their devotion to the beast is complete.  Ideally, this won’t come to blows with the Vessel, but nothing can be guaranteed.  Depending on what they needed Teclis for, the Vessel might be in our way.  And again, we won’t know what we’re looking for until we get up there.


            “Gather your things and meet back here in twenty minutes,” Tristan continued.  “My ship will have arrived by then.”




            Tyrion stood in front of the ship which had found its way to a docking pad on the outside of the base.  It was rather ingenious how they had hid the area.  Because a landing pad of any sort would make detection of the otherwise invisible base much easier, the Saidiar had devised a series of pumps and drains to either add or remove several tons of sand in a matter of minutes, completely concealing the pad when needed. 


            In front of him, the ship meant something much more than just a mass of metal, engines and weapons.  The ship meant an understanding of his past.  The ship meant finding direction for the future.  He wore the robes that the Saidair had given him, also symbolic of looking ahead.  They were much like Grev’s: brown and weather beaten with a hood that currently hung down his back.


            There was a clicking of heels against the launch pad behind him.  He turned to see Tristan’s form outlined by rear lighting from the spot lights that had come on to illuminate the area.  The sun had set already and the darkness of night was upon the mission.  His trench coat blew casually in the mild wind and the smell of cigarettes flowed Tyrion’s way.  As the trench coated man reached the boy, he plucked a spent cigarette out of his mouth and tossed it on the ground.


            “Smoking’s bad for you,” Tyrion said with a mild grin.


            “In my line of work, everything’s bad for you,” Tristan said with a laugh.  “If I’m not dead in thirty years because of something other than lung cancer, I’ll be happy to let it take me at that point.”  The two stood in silence for a minute, looking at Tristan’s ship.


            “Are you ever afraid?” Tyrion asked.  Tristan didn’t know how to respond for a moment.


            “Of what?” he asked at length.


            “I’m not entirely sure…” he answered, trailing off.  “But I can’t read you.  Your lifesteam, anyway.  It’s hard to get a measure on it.”


            “What does that have to do with anything?”


            “Like…Lina flaunts her feelings.  She’s not afraid of hiding her emotions, but because of that, I can see where she’s weak.  You can pick out flaws in a person by examining their emanations, you know?”


            “It’s why I learned how to hide mine a long time ago, Tyrion,” Tristan said wistfully.  He reached into his coat and took out another cigarette.  Putting it into his mouth, he snapped his fingers and caused a short flame to spew from his right thumb.  He lit the white cylinder and then waved his hand, snuffing out the flame. 


            “I used to be a lot like Lina, actually,” Tristan said, puffing the cigarette.  “Very hot headed and arrogant.  That kind of attitude doesn’t work well when you constantly deal with things that are as powerful as Lavoids.  You must always be mindful of your opponent, and in battle, overt egotism is only useful as a mind game.  The confidence you have must be in yourself, and no one has to see that except you.”


            “That’s quite prolific,” Tyrion said.  “How old are you, again?” he grinned, knowing by lifestream reads that Tristan was actually only about twenty or twenty one years of age.


            “Chronologically or mentally?”


            “Never mind.”


            “Age doesn’t matter so much as knowledge in my game, Tyrion.  That’s a fact that you may come to appreciate.”


            “What do you mean?”


            “You’ll find out eventually, is all I’m saying.”  He took another puff of the cigarette and looked his ship over.  Tyrion also examined the ship.


            “Will I find what I’m looking for up there?” he asked Tristan.


            “Well, we’ll find your brother.  Jack and I will make sure of that.  As far as whatever else you’re looking for…I’m not quite sure.  When you go on an adventure like this, you can never be too sure of what you’ll find.  After all, that’s half the fun.”


            “Fun, huh?” he scoffed.  “I haven’t had a lot of fun thus far.  I remember I had originally set out on this whole shit fest because I wanted something simple: revenge.  Now, we’re working with guys that are fighting against those who had offered to help me, and all in all, I don’t know even now if M-1 was really going to give me any power for revenge at all.”


            “These are things which always come unraveled in the end,” Tristan said.  “You just need to hang in there and be open to new ideas along the way.  I must admit, you’re taking the whole thing better than Jack did.  He was quite resistant to his future.”


            “I never said I believed in destiny, Tristan,” he responded.  “I just said that this seemed like the best way to get what I want.”


            “You have maybe a bit more logic that Jack did, perhaps,” Tristan admitted.  “Which is a good thing.  You must never let anger cloud your judgment, though.  That is a highway to disaster.”


            “Sure, sensei,” he joked.  Tristan chuckled.  No one had ever called him that before.


            “The others will be here soon.  It will be best for you to get your things ready.”


            “I have nothing but what I wear,” Tyrion said.  “All of my clothes were left at that base.  I’m nothing more than a wandering vagabond at this point.”


            “Join the club,” Tristan said.  “I’ve been doing nothing but wandering for the last two years.”


            “From planet to planet?” he asked.


            “Yeah.  Killing Lavoids…finding people who can help in our fight…all sorts of good stuff like that.”


            “Finding people?”


            “I’m in charge of an organization that we call the Watchers.  While I typically do so after a Lavoid surfaces, my job is to recruit people to fight against the Lavoids on other worlds.”


            “Why after they surface?”


            “People are more susceptible to the desire for revenge,” Tristan said.  “And so the strong are more easily led to our side.”


            “It sounds like you’re using people,” Tyrion said somewhat taken aback.  “You give people a way to get revenge, but you want them to serve a greater goal.  That’s no different from M-1, is it?”  Tristan shook his head and walked toward the ship.  Waving his hand across an scanner, the ship read his hand and the door hissed open.  An entrance ramp slid out and he began to walk up it.


            “Tyrion,” he said to him.  “If you could only comprehend what these things can actually do, you’d know that the greater good in this case is what anyone with a conscience should serve.  You’ll understand when you see it.  Trust me.”  He took one last draw on the cigarette then threw it to the ground and entered the ship, disappearing into the darkness.


            “When I see it?” Tyrion asked himself out loud.  “Is that…what I’ve seen in my dreams all this time?”  He shook his head and walked up the ramp into the darkness of the doorway.



“Accept you Destiny…fighting only prolongs the inevitable.” –Jack McKlane

Chapter 21

Chrono Trigger Fanfic