Chrono Trigger: Twins of Destiny Chapter 21
The Lines Drawn Together
By Mox Jet
Weatherlight, Celes Orbit
Jack stared out the window of his cabin with his hands clasped behind his back. He gazed down at the planet towards the area where he knew Tristan was going now: Renektent, Ithilmar. He would be going to battle with the Lavoid Vessel, Jack was almost sure of that. Tecliss signal had been gone for too long, at this point. That meant that he was being held somewhere very secure. And to make matters worse, Jack was still shy of putting all the pieces that he needed together. New problems had surfaced, most specifically in the instance of the third Planeswalker signal on the planet. The Door behind him hissed open
You have the files? Jack asked the person who entered. She was a short, red-headed girl garbed in LEA Officers clothes.
Got them, the girl said, jaunting up to Jack and handing him small device she was holding. Jack turned to the girl and took the device, a flat, two by four inch computer.
Thanks, Rayith, he said with a smile. Knew I could count on you to beat on the right people to get that data. The girl grinned.
Well, you know thats always been what Im good at, she said in victory. Hunting down Dominion leaks, getting information out of them, and all that fun stuff. This guy was easy, actually. It was finding him that was difficult. To be honest, Im dying to know what it says.
Jack nodded, taking a small pointer out of his jacket pocket and beginning to tap the touch screen in a couple places. The device was a portable data bank, similar to the floppy disks used on Elosia. They were typically good for under the table transfers of information because they made tracking the said info more difficult. Rayith knew this. It was her job to know this.
Rayith worked in the intelligence branch of the LEA. Shortly after Tristan had been sent down to Celes, Jack had called for Rayith, who happened to be on Nova, the Dominion Capital, at the time. He needed a few eggs cracked, as it were, mostly because he needed more info about a few new players on Celes. Most importantly, perhaps, was this new fellow, Darius, who seemed to be holding a lot of cards.
Well? Rayith asked, impatiently.
Hes a Planeswalker, alright, Jack said. Or at least the Dominion thinks so. Hes been alive on this planet for over five thousand years, which is, if I must say, more than I expect to live, and had history as a rabble rouser back in the days of his youth.
Five thousand years? Rayith asked. The Dominion wasnt even around back then, was it?
Five thousand years, Celes time, Rayith, Jack reminded her. And this entire area is trapped in one of the time altering bubbles that we think have been around since the Fall of Terra. It might have only been a few hundred years for those outside of the temporal distortion that blankets this entire star system.
Yeesh, she said. All the time travel stuff always confused the hell outta me, anyway, she admitted. But anyway, get to the good stuff.
It says here that he started something of a cult, and then disappeared off of the records for an extended period of time. At least thats what the Dominion says. Though Id be hard pressed to figure out how some cultist has such an upper role in the Ithilmarian Government He put his hand to his chin.
Well, it depends on what the Dominion considers a cult, Rayith pointed out. Jack considered her statement for a second and then snapped his fingers in revelation.
Thats it, he said. He looked at Rayith. Excellent point, my vertically challenged buddy. The Dominion thought it was a cult. Ill bet the lemange intake of this planet that the people on Celes thought it was something else: the Apostle of Griever Church!
The church that controls such a huge political front? Rayith asked. Its just a mockery?
Oh, no, not entirely, Jack said. But think about it. These people believe that this Darius or Adrekel, as it were, was some kind of miracle worker and he was proclaimed as the Son of God. The fact of the matter is, though, that its rather simple for me and probably any other properly trained Planeswalker to go around healing the sick and raising the dead. No wonder people thought he was God
You think he wanted to them to think that?
Maybe he just got caught up in it, you know? Jack suggested. He liked the attention or something. Either way, Adrekel was supposedly killed, and is destined to return, his return marked by two beings called the Avatars.
You really did your research, huh?
Naturally, Jack said. God knows I havent had anything better to do while Tristans been slowly getting the job done. Rayith chuckled.
He doesnt move to quickly, does he? she jibbed.
No but we love him for it, Jack said. You cant help but love him. Hes just one of those people.
Hah! Rayith scoffed. There were many times when I certainly didnt think too highly of him.
Well, we dont have to bring those times up, Jack said. To the matter of the moment, though, Darius must have an ulterior motive that created his need for creating the church. Political power, probably, but exactly what that motive is thats the answer to this entire riddle
Why not just off him? Rayith asked. Darius dead, problem solved, she said, making the form of a gun with her hand, pulling the trigger with a recoil effect. Jack chuckled.
Its not quite that simple, Ray, he said pensively. Considering the fact that hes a Planeswalker born of a Class B Lavoid well, at any rate, it wouldnt be an easy fight. Yet, if he wishes to hold Teclis captive and Tyrion and Tristan can not free him, it may just be inevitable.
You can beat him though...cant ya? she asked, unimpressed with his current display of self confidence.
Ive never actually fought with another Planeswalker. Im not sure. It will probably be different from fighting Lavoids.
Hell have the same problem, though, Rayith pointed out. And I doubt hes had two years of Lavoid Slaying under his belt.
Hah, Jack said, forcing a laugh. I suppose your right. Still there is more research that needs to be done before I can go into this entire situation with the utmost confidence.
Ill help how I can, Rayith said, with a cheerful grin.
Thanks, Ray. Please stay with us until this incident is concluded. If push comes to shove, we could always use another skilled warrior.
You got it, she said. Do you need anything else?
No, I think Im covered, thanks, he said. Make sure you say hi to Sarah. She was happy to hear that youd be coming over.
Yup. Ill catch you later, Jack, she said. Rayith turned and paced out of the room, the door opening and closing with a hiss. Jack let out a bit of a sigh returned his gaze to the window. There was a war going on below, and it was a war that he would no doubt have to join very soon.
Back on Celes
Tristans ship rocketed towards its destination. Inside of the ship, the members of the party sat tightly strapped into the uncomfortable passengers seats that were set in the corridor behind the cockpit. Tristan flew the ship on his own, occasionally gazing back to make sure no one was getting air sick. His ship was fast, and after only about two hours of flight, they were coming up on the approach lane through which they would have to enter Renektent. Their flight had taken them west and the sun had risen again over the horizon.
Lina! he called back to the passenger section. Have you ever flown into Renektent before? he asked.
Once or twice, she called back. The engines on the ship ran so smoothly that hardly any yelling was required to speak over them. Though, typically the soldiers arent allowed to observe the landing process.
Great Tristan mumbled. Then, Can you come up and see if you recognize anything, anyway? he asked.
Sure, she said, unbuckling herself and forcing her way against the force that seemed to want her to remain in her seat. She finally made it into the cockpit and sat down in the co-pilots seat (which was almost always unused). Tristan began to slow the ship to a more appropriate approach speed.
What are your coordinates? Lina asked. Tristan pointed to one of the data readouts on the console. Lina nodded. You should be about there. In fact, Id expect them to be hailing you any time now about your business in- Lina was cut off by her own prediction coming true. Green warning lights flashed on the main display above the front window, signaling that Tristan was being hailed. Lina smirked.
Shit! Tristan cursed, Too late. He looked to Lina. Hold on tight He took a deep breath and rammed the throttle into full thrust. Everyone was immediately thrown back into their seats at nearly 3 Gs before Tristan could switch on the internal compensators. Muttering some Zealian curse under his breath, he banked the ship to the right and began to pull away from his original course. The ship roared as it picked up speed.
What are you doing?! Lina screamed at him. I thought we we're going to fucking infiltrate!
I underestimated their scanners! Tristan screamed. I wanted to be close enough so the image shielder didnt scatter the signal I was sending too much, but they picked up on us before it finished uploading!
What the fuck does that mean?! she asked.
It means that I need to readjust the signal to be sent from a different, moving location, but if this place is as bad as I expect, then you can bet our asses that were gonna be swarmed with- Red lights went off in the cabin and Tristans radar indicated about twelve incoming interceptors. Enemy fighters. he said, finishing his sentence, repeating the Zealian obscenity. Theyre kinda jumpy arent they? he asked Lina with a wry grin.
A little, but this is particularly bad. Might it have something to do with the Tyrions brother?
Maybe, Tristan said, beginning to type rapidly on the computer console to the left of his seat. But for now, we need to get my program into their system and continue with our plans. I just hope I can avoid the fighters while I make the new calculations. He looked to Lina. See that red button there? he pointed to the center console. She nodded. When I tell you to, hit that button. I need to let the computer finish making the adjustments, first.
I think I can do that, but dont you need to worry about- she was cut short by something impacting the ship. Everything rocked back and forth and Lina furrowed her brow.
Oh, fuck that! Lina said. No way Im gonna let them get away with blasting a ship that Im in! Lina unbuckled herself and jumped out of the seat, running back through the passengers corridor and towards the back of the ship. She had remembered seeing a room marked as a gunnery station on the way in, and she figured that it should have a view of the outside. At the end of the hall, she found the expected door. She threw it open violently to find that the room had no view of the outside. Instead, the walls were surrounded with video screens.
Get me some view! she screamed up front. Tristan, already sensing she couldnt be stopped, hit a few switches in the cockpit and the gunnery room lit up with a full image of the ships surroundings. Lina cracked her knuckles. Now she could get to work. Ahead, the Tyrion and Grev turned to watch her, eager to finally see what she was capable of.
She held her hands out in front her and sunk herself into a deep concentration as a dim blue glow surrounded her. She looked at the incoming fighters and saw that they were having a bit of trouble getting in line for a shot. The internal compensators were so much more advanced than what she was used to, it took her a few moment to realize that Tristan was actually doing extensive evasive maneuvering and that the ship just prevented her from feeling most of it. She shrugged it off. She was the only one with the range in her attacks to fend off the fighters, and she didnt like Tristans idea of waiting until a virus uploaded. She grit her teeth and prepared to fight.
Ill teach you open fire on innocent girls she said bitterly.
She could see most of the fighters now. They werent Ithilmars most advanced interceptors, but they were tiny and unmanned; that is to say, they were expendable. She focused on the incoming stream of fire. Left. There was a missilecoming in from that direction. Holding her arm out towards it, she stretched her mind to it as well, holding on to it with an immense psychic force. Not forgetting where the other ships where, she spun it around and let it fly back at the ship that had fired it. The missile and ship collided with a brilliant explosion, but Lina had already turned her mind to deflecting the bullets that were coming in from above. Bullets were deflected away as if they were being repulsed by some sort of magnet. Just then, one of the fighters accelerated past their ship on the left. Lina latched on with her consciousness and swung that ship back around as well. Timing the courses perfectly, she rammed in into another that was coming from the right. Turning her attention backwards, she saw another one coming in from above, attempting to lock on. She closed her eyes and turned her palms upward. In a flash of blue kinetic energy, the ship was engulfed in flames. It spiraled out of control towards the far away ground.
Tristan was evading less now, which meant he was fiddling with the computers at the same time. Lina needed to buy him just a little more time. She reached her mind out towards the nearest fighter, sensing for the missile bay. Once she found it, she grinned victoriously as she brought out the full magazine of six missiles from the ship and sent them all flying in different directions. In a remarkable feat of targeting six moving objects separately, she guided each of the missiles to a ship. Fireworks ensued, followed by warped masses of metal falling from the sky.
There were only two left now and they had just pulled in behind the ship, both lining up to fire. Too easy! Lina yelled at them, pointing a hand at each of them and then bringing her hands together. The ships did as instructed and barrel rolled into each other with a bang. Some debris seemed to float in the air after the explosion but they soon began to fall to the earth to meet with the rest of the destroyed ships.
She could hear a whistling of victory coming from up in the cockpit. Tristan had activated his program. They would be protected from further attacks. Confidently, she left the gunning room and began to walk back towards the head of the ship.
That was incredible, Lina! Tyrion exclaimed. I had no idea you could do that.
Thats just a sampling of my power, she said with a wide grin. Those enemy fighters didnt stand a chance!
Well, just see to it that you sit down so we can continue moving, Grev said. Lina shrugged, walking past them and into the cockpit again. She jumped into the passengers seat, glancing over to Tristan who was slowing the ship down and beginning to turn back around.
Not bad, huh? she asked him.
Not bad at all, Tristan admitted. Quite impressive, in fact. Its no wonder you hold yourself in such high regard.
And whats that supposed to mean?! she asked raising a fist. Tristan chuckled.
Nothing, he said, still laughing. He typed a few commands into the console on his left. What matters is that you did a good job of holding them off. I was able to complete the uploading of the files while you took them out. We should be able to enter unnoticed within a few minutes.
Wont they be on high guard now? Lina asked.
Probably, Tristan admitted. But the reality of it is that they would have realized something was wrong as soon as I uploaded the program, anyway. When that happened, they would have started to crack my code no matter what. We just made a more flashy entrance, this way.
And I got to warm up a little more, too, Lina said. Tristan nodded, swinging the ship back around to a better approach pattern. He reached up above the main view port and flipped a few more switches. As the passed through the clouds, there was a flickering in the air as the image shield of Renektent disappeared. Before them hung a splendid sight.
The city of Renektent hung in the air like a living, breathing thing. Something about the city seemed very organic. The skyline rose high, culminating in large spikes on top of many white towers. The buildings seemed to easily stretch fifty and sixty stories, especially towards the middle where the city was most built up. Then, in the center, rose the towering centerpiece of the skyline, the royal palace. It climbed high above the other towers, crowned in a high spire that looked to be the centering point of some great energy.
It was a city that looked as if it could have been sculpted out of a single piece of stone. All the buildings glittered white in the morning sun and the sky still depicted an orange sunrise on the horizon. Ahead, Tristan picked out their parking ground: a flat point on the underbelly of the city.
The underbelly was also organic looking. There didnt appear to be any land anywhere, but rather a series of large, upside down hemispheres. As the ship pulled closer to the underside, more details of air ducts and machinery came into view. Tristan began to flip the ship upside down and lock on to the targeted area. They could hear the landing gear slide out of bottom of the hull and there was a slight whirr as the magnetic locks began to power on. The passengers of the ship experienced a weird sensation of knowing that they were no long right side up yet not feeling anything to suggest it. The finals locks clicked in and with a jolt, the ship settled in against the structure above them. Tristan looked to Lina.
Be ready to provide the others with some hovering ability, he said. She nodded. They unbuckled their seats and walked into the passengers cabin. Tyrion and Grev also unbuckled themselves and rose.
Youre upside down, Tristan said. Dont forget that when we leave the ship. Youll be able to stand normally until we extend past the range of the gravimetric compensators. If youre not holding on to something by then, you may be greeting those fighters we just shot down. The others nodded.
Tristan led them to the escape hatch that was on the bottom of the ship. Climbing down a series of ladders, they reached the airlock. Tristan hit a switch on the panel and the door below them slid open, allowing him to crawl out and create a physical phenomenon. He exited the ship by climbing down and out of the open hatch, but as he passed the plane of the entrance, his legs seemed to slide off to the side of it. When he had completely exited the craft, he was somehow standing upright on the bottom of the ship, there to give a hand to the other three. To his left and right were the landing struts that were attached to a ceiling about two inches above his head.
Trippy, huh? Tristan asked the others. Tyrion gave an affirmative nod.
How do we get in? Grev asked.
Here, I think, Tristan said, pointing to one of the overhead panels. He reached into his jacket and drew out a cylindrical device about the size of the handle of a sword. He pointed it away from the others and hit a button, causing a two foot blade of blue energy to shoot out from the tip of the cylinder. He looked up at the panel and began to surgically cut through it with the energy blade.
Whats that? Tyrion asked him, pointing to the blade as Tristan cut out a hole in the panel.
Its a TAG, he said, finishing his work and watching the panel fall to the floor. A Tritanium Arc-wave Generator. Neat toy, huh?
Yeah, Tyrion agreed.
Were going to crawl through the guts of the underbelly here, Tristan said to the others. Well be out on the top in no time.
Any chance we can get to the tunnels from in there? Grev asked.
Nope, Tristan said. We still need to climb up top to get to the tunnels. Follow me and well be fine I think. He put the TAG away as he reached into the opening and pulled himself up, climbing into the substructure. The others quickly followed him up. It was dark inside and there were many pipes obstructing their movement. With a bit of difficulty, they made their way through and climbed upward. A little magic on Tristans part illuminated the path.
Eventually, the group made their way to another wall and Tristan once again drew out the TAG and created an opening. Pushing the torn metal inward, he climbed into a conduit that seemed to be part of the sewer system. He then found himself standing on the side walkway to a river of green water. He pulled out the mapping device he had used early and searched to get his bearings.
Are you sure these arent them? Tyrion asked.
The tunnels? Tristan asked, continuing to examine the map.
Yeah, Tyrion said. Why cant we just use these?
Im almost positive they arent the same system, Tristan said.
Lost? Lina asked. He didnt answer her. He scanned over the image and then snapped the device shut.
This way, he said pointing down the walkway. As he moved in that direction, the others followed him. The odor of garbage and food gone bad assaulted their senses and Lina went so far as to psychically repel the offending fumes. The group glanced around at the dim yellow-green walls, noting the occasional highlights caused by the poorly maintained lights. The echoes of the groups footsteps drowned out the soft flow of the water.
At the far end of the walkway, they came to a ladder. Tristan began to climb it up into a vertical cylinder. At the top of the cylinder, there was what looked like a three-pronged hatch and a small control panel with a card swipe slot next to the ladder. Tristan reached into this coat and drew out a small card which he swiped through the slot. The control panel beeped and a green light came on just as the hatch slid open and light shined into the tunnel.
Success, Tristan said, climbing out of the hole and on to the ground. As the rest of the group came up into the light, Tristan opened up his mapping device and attempted to pinpoint their location.
Are we close to the tunnels? Lina asked.
Sorta, Tristan said. Theyre off to the east a bit. I suppose just follow me. I have a general gist. Tristan started moving, slowly at first, then picking up pace to a brisk walk. They looked grossly out of place. All of the natives to the city wore almost nothing but white clothing. As Tristan had expected, all of the females had blue hair. Everyone seemed to be possessed of a haunting monotony. Trying to ignore the funny looks that people gave them, they pressed on.
Elsewhere in Renektent
Alaria wandered through the streets wondering what to do. There was no doubt in her mind that she needed to go after Teclis. How she was to go about doing it, though, was another matter completely. The nerve of that guy! Teleporting her away before she was done fighting? For what? To save her? Where did he get off being so self righteous? God knows he was always looking over her like some little kid! Making sure she didnt get hurt punishing anyone who brought harm to her possibly giving up his life so that she could be safe yeah what was his problem
It was more than that, though. She came to the realization a while ago that he had always been her protector. Whenever she was in over her head, he was always there with spell in hand, ready to stand up for her. It was no wonder she only really felt safe when he was nearby. Was that feeling of safeness love, or something else? More importantly, perhaps, was what was his need to protect her. What that love, too?
Her stomach was growling now and she had no money. Before being able to decide what to do, she needed to get something to eat, but where to get the money?
She saw some robed figures coming down the way who definitely looked like tourists. They would be passing her in an instant. It looked like three men and a girl, all in black and brown robes save for one of the men who wore a black coat. Those with hoods all had them drawn over their faces. Experienced travelers, maybe, but out of place most certainly. That was her mark. Shed be eating within the hour.
Back with Tristan and Company
The foursome walked down the street. Tristan was in the lead and slightly ahead of the other three while Tyrion was trailing a bit on the outside of their formation. Tristan was so focused on getting where he needed to be that he didnt even notice the girl that was coming towards them with a emanation of bad intent. Luckily, though, Tyrion picked up on it, his head perking up when he sensed an aura that he recognized: the aura of one with the intent to steal. He saw it in the girl and he was not surprised as she approached him bumped into him with far too much intention.
Sorry, she said casually, brushing off his robes where she had hit as if trying to help. As she started to walk away, though, she soon found that Tyrion was holding her hand and he found that her hand was holding his wallet.
Thievery! Tyrion gritted through his teeth, grabbing at her with his other arm.
Uh Alaria stuttered. She saw the other arm come at her and shifted her weight out of the way. He was not to be shaken, though, and came again at her. For a few moments, there was an interchange of attempted grabs followed by the proper counter for each. Alaria managed to escape, throwing Tyrion off with a swift kick towards the side. He was forced to avoid the attack and therefore release her, giving her a moment to get away. She started to run, but in an instant, Tyrion had locked his foot around her ankle, pulling her back. Alaria spun again and backflipped up and away from his grasp.
No escape for you! Tyrion yelled, bounding off the ground and latching on to her by the waist. There was a brief mid-air struggle as both blue haired people fought while suspended in the air for a moment. Grev and Tristan both recognized the Lifestream emanations being given off and ran back to help. Meanwhile, Tyrion and Alaria actually began to exchange blows. Alaria began to kick at him repeatedly while he deftly blocked him with his shin. Eventually, he flipped down, grabbed her by the leg and brought her down as well, slamming her into the plastic-like sidewalk. Within a moment, Alaria was surrounded and faced with a very angry Planeswalker, the pistol of a Watcher and the sword of a Saidiar.
I uhh she said, not being able to formulate words. She had never been caught before an this was a very new sensation. She took her first good look at the boy who had caught her. She couldnt see his face through the shadows of his hood. All she could make out at first were the tendrils of blue hair hanging out of his robes. He twisted his head and the light illuminated part of his face. Her heart skipped a beat.
Teclis?! she asked, he eyes wide. Tyrion pulled back his hood and gave her a cold stare. No she said. Youre not.
Wait, Tristan said, putting a hand on her shoulder. Who did you think he was?
A friend of mine, Alaria said. He looks a bit like you. In fact Alaria ran through her recent memory, realizing that she had seen this boy before. Tyrion Mandrake he was the soldier whos ID Teclis had borrowed.
What was his name? Tyrion asked, also realizing that she might have said what he thought.
If you must know before you dispose of me, his name is Teclis. she said. She let out a moan. I ought to be disposed of, she said dejectedly, suddenly re-realizing the pain in her leg. I cant even pick a pocket let alone save him. Tyrion eyed Tristan with a grin. Tristan nodded also, sheathing his weapon.
Oh, we cant dispose of you, Tyrion said. We might need your help.
What? she asked, now confused.
This Teclis that you speak of, Tristan said. Is he of about this mans height and complexion? he asked, indicating Tyrion.
Yes, Alaria said, lowering her eyes. Thats why I thought he was him for a moment.
Teclis Tyrion started to say, but got lost in the word for a second. Composing himself, he finished. He is my brother.
We look for him with much haste, young mistress of the Nisai Ryu, Grev said, grinning at the fallen Alaria. Hearing the voice, Alaria looked at the hooded man with the sword drawn. Grev sheathed his sword and drew back his hook. Alarias heart skipped a beat once again.
You?! she asked, jumping to her feet. What do you want?!
The same thing as you, Grev said. And the same thing as these other men here. All we want is the safe return of your friend. He looked to Tristan. Ive seen her before. Shes quite a skilled Nisai Ryu. She would be a good ally. Tristan considered it silently for a moment, then nodded. Grev grinned. Will you help us? he asked.
Find Teclis? Alaria said, brushing off her cloak and glancing at the four people gathered around her. She couldnt help but smile. A coincidence like this cannot be passed up as pure chance, she said. Nay, fate must have played a role in our meeting. If you truly seek Tecliss safe return, then I will help you as best I can.
Then lets hurry! Lina said, speaking for the first time. Im getting annoyed with all the waiting!
Aye, Tyrion agreed.
Any chance we can eat first? Alaria asked with a hopeful gaze.
No time, Tristan said, realizing that they had already begun to try and beat the system hack that he put in place. You can fill us in on the way. Alaria shrugged, then nodded, picking up the rear of the group as the headed off towards the entrances to the tunnels. Danger awaited them there, though they did not know in what form. All were on their guard, and they moved swiftly. The time for plans to be ruined was not now. Jack would be ready soon. Everything was going how he had intended.
"It can be said that Fate is somewhat of an artist. When things come together as nicely as they did when Alaria met up with Tristan and the others, it makes you appreciate the real underlying beauty behind the timestreams. Such beauty is unparalleled elsewhere in nature." -Sarah Inverse McKlane
Chrono Trigger Fanfic