Chrono Trigger: Twins of Destiny Chapter 22

Underground and Under Pressure

By Mox Jet

            Space was empty.  All that existed in this realm was the consciousness of the Lavoid.  He looked around as if waiting for something.  Geminus was tired, but things would be going fine as long as he didn’t show up and want to change things.


            Oh, how he loathed Him, who stepped and brought problems to Geminus’ perfectly constructed plan.  Geminus had been inhibited from reconstructing his mutated genetic code for so long and finally the tools he needed were falling into place.  That was when He came and decided that the game might not be allowed to work like that.  Geminus didn’t know if He had violent intentions, but it was clear that He was mildly amused at his control over Geminus’ situation.  Damn Darius.  He couldn’t have just come out properly, could he?!


            “There’s no need to be mad, Geminus,” a voice came.  Geminus perked up.  He was here now.


            “You toy with me, and I do not like it,” Geminus said. 


            “What does he want, Geminus?” the voice asked.  “Why is he helping you?”  Geminus didn’t answer for a moment.


            “I offered him something,” Geminus said at length.  “That’s all.  I told him I could give him something that he wanted.”


            “What was it Geminus?” He asked in a calm, focused tone.  Whoever He was, He knew he was in control.  Utmost confidence echoed in his voice.  “What did you offer him?”


            “Contact,” Geminus said simply.






            There was silence. Geminus thought for a moment that He might have left, but that hope was quickly quenched.


            “The deal was Contact for the twins, then?” the voice said.  Geminus nodded.  “And then what of Jara?” the voice asked.


            “She is a puppet,” Geminus said.  “I have been using her to help me find the twins as well, though.  Her problem is that she is religious.  It is her belief in the Griever Church that allows her to retain some of her original will.  Damn Darius and his ploys…”


            “I don’t want anything else, then, Geminus,” the voice said.  “I was only checking in on what you were thinking.”


            “Then be gone and stop pestering me,” Geminus muttered.  “I have enough to worry about without you.”


            “Watch your tone,” the voice said, suddenly more harsh.  “Unless you’d like to never regain your previous power…”  The voice faded away and then was gone.  Geminus was once again alone. 


            “Damn you,” he murmured.  “And damn Darius.”




Renektent, Ithilmar-


            The group arrived at the tunnels with twenty two and one half hours left before Tristan estimated that they were found out.  Depending on the amount of interference in the palace, it should be plenty of time to rescue Teclis.  Alaria had gone through the process of introducing herself slightly more thoroughly, excited to find another Nisai Ryu in Tyrion. 


            Entering the tunnels couldn’t be terribly difficult.  It was a standard access port for the servicing the systems in them, so the only obstacle was breaking through the door.  For a group as magically inclined as this one, that certainly wouldn’t be an issue.  The door was electronically locked, but with a little lightning magic, Tristan short-circuited the mechanism and the door slid open, revealing an entrance way with a ladder leading down.


            They climbed down the ladder and found themselves standing in a circular corridor.  Cables of all shapes and sizes lined the walls, though surprisingly, there was enough room to move single file along the white and yellow floor.  Tristan again took the lead, examining the area more thoroughly.  The smell burnt metal filled his nose as his eyes adjusted to the lower light.  Once again, he consulted his map, deducing that the group needed to head southwest in order to get to their ultimate destination: the access vent to the basement of the palace.  As they walked, Tristan spoke.


            “I’ll be the first to say that I’m tired of moving through small spaces,” he said, sparking up conversation amongst what had been an almost tacit group.  “And I’ll also be the first to apologize for the face that we’ll be moving through these for quite a while.”


            “Just what I wanted to hear,” Lina said with a groan.  “At least it’s not as damp as the sewers,” she conceded.


            “You’re certain he’s been taken to the palace?” Alaria asked, having related the story of his capture to her new allies.


            “It’s most likely,” Tristan said.  “I don’t think any other building around here would have the kind of magical shielding necessary to conceal his signal from us.”


            “So we’re working on your guesswork, which in and of itself is based on your limited knowledge of this city?” she questioned.


            “Guesswork, yes,” Tristan admitted.  “But limited knowledge, no.  The device I hold in my hand has some of the detailed mapping of Renektent available.  I’d trust it over most anything else.  I did design the system which we used to create the maps, after all.”  He smiled in self reaffirmation. 


            “And you can be so confident?” Alaria asked, slightly agitated.


            “If I were you,” Tyrion cut in, “ I wouldn’t ask.  We don’t know how he knows what he knows or how his technology works.  We just know that it works.”


            “I’m…sorry,” she responded.  “I’m just…worried about Teclis is all.” 


            “Your worry is understood,” Grev said, his hand floating around the handle of his sword in preparation.  “But do not let your emotion cloud your judgment, less your judgments be weakened by your emotion.”


            “A creed of the Nisai Ryu…” Alaria mused out loud.  Grev peered back over his shoulder and grinned wryly.  Alaria looked puzzled.  “You’re quite learned in our ways and methods,” she said.  “That would be twice now you’ve one-upped me on knowledge of my own order.”


            “It comes with being around for awhile,” Grev said simply. 


            “Is that so?” Lina asked, catching Grev’s gaze.  Once caught by her eyes, Grev immediately realized a fault.  Lina’s sensory perception washed through his mind and a feeling of violation came over him.  She smiled widely and he could only manage to squint one eye as a parent does when scolding without words.


            <Interesting> came Lina’s voice in his head.  <That’s certainly a new plot development.  I don’t know why I didn’t do that earlier>


            Damned psychics, he thought ‘at’ her.  Just don’t pry too deep less you be made sorry.


            <Hey, hey, I play fair…mostly>


            “And what are you two talking about?” Tyrion asked Lina.


            “What?” she asked, caught off guard and subsequently cutting her mental connection to Grev.


            “I know that look.  It’s the one you get when you go into someone’s head,” he said.  “Your eyes look real sharp to the person you’re talking to, but they look kind of glazed over to everyone else.”


            “Nothing!” Lina said in her own defense.  “I wasn’t even talking to him.”


            “Very perceptive, Tyrion,” Tristan said.  He looked to Lina.  “Well, what were you talking about?”


            “Nothing!” she said again in her own defense.  She looked to Grev, but he had already faced back in the direction that they were walking, stoic as ever.  Lina grunted.


            “Argh!” she threw up her arms.  “Forget it!”


            “So you’re a psychic?” Alaria asked her, slightly intrigued.  Lina nodded.  “I’ve never actually met one,” Alaria said.  “It must be pretty wild.”


            “It’s a trip,” Lina said, realizing she could change the subject somewhat in this way.  “Sometimes a trip and a half.  Like bad hallucinogens, you never really know what you’re gonna get.  You go into a head and you come out with new surprises every time.”


            “Well, what am I thinking right now?” Alaria asked, almost like it was a game.  “In my subconscious, even.”  Lina shrugged and decided to amuse her.  She placed her hands over her temples.


            “You’re very worried about Teclis,” she began.  “Since you’ve been traveling with him for months now and haven’t been dealing well with him not being there, but you’re also sometimes annoyed that he doesn’t express his feelings well.  Also, outwardly, you’re pissed he saved you, but inwardly, you know that it was his way of expressing those feelings.”  She paused to chuckle.  “You think he needs to grow up, sometimes, and other times that he’s too grown up.  All and all though, you…well…I don’t need say that,” she raised an eyebrow.  “You already know.”


              “Incredible,” Alaria remarked, feeling almost victim to some kind of strip search.


            “What can I say,” Lina said.  “I’m gifted.”


            “Only at aggravating those around you,” Tyrion said with a laugh. 


            “You want to start with me here?” Lina asked.  “Because you know I’m ready for whatever you’ve-“  She was cut short by the shwing of Grev’s sword coming out of its sheath and into a fighting position.  Tristan had also reached into his coat and drawn his two revolvers.


            “Quiet!” Grev hissed.  “I sense something ahead…” the group slowed their pace, inching forward into a new section of the tunnels.  This new area was heralded by a larger room where many tunnels converged.  Ahead of them, five choices loomed, yet that wasn’t what was bothering Grev.  Something was approaching them…quickly.


            Grev saw the first of them.  He wasn’t sure of what it was, only that it was definitely hostile.  He reacted with speed that surprised even Tristan, whipping his blade forward and catching his attacker in the midsection.  He took a glimpse at it and was somewhat reviled by what he saw.


            It was a creature smaller than a man, green in color, that seemed to move on all fours.  It had sprung at Grev with clawing forelimbs and uneven, spiked teeth that seemed to grow in every direction possible.  As Grev momentarily held his sword in the creature’s gut, its yellow eyes blinked in pain before Grev twisted his wrist downward and pulled the blade out, dragging the small intestines along with it.  A gunshot went off and the remains of the creature was blasted backwards by a magnum bullet placed in the middle of the head.  To Grev’s side, Alaria had also sprung forward into action, her short swords twirling in a whirlwind of metal.  More of them were coming now and the group needed to react.


            Making use of the intestines that had been hooked on his sword, Grev picked his next target and snapped his blade forward, grabbing the creature by the neck with the whipping action of the innards of his counterpart.  He gave a violent tug and felt the neck of the new creature snap as he pulled backwards.  Finally, he swung his blade at three more oncoming attacks, clouding their vision with a flurry of bloodied guts. 


            Tristan, meanwhile, wasn’t phased by the guts.  Three neatly placed shots tore through and past the flying innards, each catching a target with pinpoint accuracy.  The heavy bang of the magnum resounded in the tunnels as he pivoted to locate new targets.


            Seven new targets came in from the right.  Alaria lashed out towards their left flank, finding that Tyrion had decided to attack their right flank.  The two Nisai Ryu warriors aptly deflected the blows of the green things and tore through them from both sides.  Before they met in the middle, they narrowly managed to avoid being caught in a flame of blue psychic energy that engulfed the center creature.


            There was a momentary still and the warriors stood tensely in anticipation.  A cry came out from one of the left tunnels, but it was quickly turned into a yelp of pain as a knife flew at rapid speeds from Grev’s hand, apparently catching the creature through the dark.  Thinking he had caught it, Grev was nearly caught off guard as the final mutant came flying through the air with a knife sticking out of its side.  Grev recovered, spinning and impaling the thing on his sword, then quickly drawing the sword back and swinging it upward, then downward, cutting the creature into three pieces.  The separate parts fell to the ground and blood pooled up around Grev’s feet.  After a few more moments without attack, the group gathered around Grev’s final kill and kneeled to examine what exactly it was.


            “It’s a subspecies…” Lina said, knowing quickly after seeing.  “In fact, they were supposedly all once human…the result of genetic experiments performed in the science research laboratories in the palace.  Now, they roam the tunnels, probably functioning as witless security guards.”


            “So we may have to deal with more?” Tyrion asked.


            “Probably, yes,” Lina said.


            “Be on your guard, then,” Grev said, wiping off his blade and sheathing it.  “They’re not much on their own, but I suspect that if they attack in greater numbers, they may pose more of a threat.”


            The group pressed forward through the tunnels, Tristan’s map making proper selection easy.  Every now and then, they would come upon more of the sub-species, but the unwitting defenders of the palace were taken out with ease.  They passed through several miles of tunnel, most of them about the same shape and size as the first section.  Moving up and downhill at times, sometimes at angles as sharp as forty five degrees, their conception of the shape of the system became somewhat warped.  After about two hours of solid walking, Tristan halted the party at an intersection.


            “Here,” he said, putting the map away, kneeling down and examining a small ventilation duct about one foot high and two feet wide.  “That’s our ticket.”


            “You mean we’re under the palace?” Alaria asked.  Tristan nodded.


            “Well, that’s the stupidest thing in the world!” Alaria said.  “Why on earth wouldn’t they have a separate ventilation system?!”


            “Because Ithilmarians don’t do stuff like this…” Lina said.  “They’re all law abiding citizens.  If outsiders ever actually got into Renekent, then the Palace would probably have already fallen to an invasion.”


            “They probably figured that their genetic mishaps would finish off any intruders,” Grev pointed out, kneeling down and gazing at the vent. 


            “It doesn’t matter so much,” Tyrion pointed out.  “We’re here.  Let’s do this.”  Tristan nodded, taking out an automated device and beginning to unscrew the vent.  Within thirty second, the vent cover came off and he looked up at the rest of his party.


            “Who’s first?” he asked.  Lina didn’t respond, but went down and slid through the vent feet first.  The others heard her land on the ground with a thud.  They all followed in the order of Tyrion, Alaria, Grev, and finally Tristan, who actually pulled the vent back into place and sealed it  after he went through.  He looked around.


            “Basement, somewhere,” he said, gazing at the boxes and barrels that lined the windowless room that they were in.  He brought up the mapping system but found that the image wouldn’t form.  He shook his head.  “Like I figured.  The magical resonance here is two high.  I’m not getting a signal.”


            “Like you figured?” Lina asked.  “You knew you’d lose the directions?”


            “Umm…well…” Tristan started to say.  The others looked at him coldly.  He slumped his shoulders and sighed.  “Well, yeah.  I kinda did.”


            “Ugh…” Lina moaned. 


            “You ever been in here before, Lina?” Tyrion asked.


            “Nope,” she said.  “But I guess we’ll figure it out together.  I nominate trench coat boy to lead the way.”  Tristan shrugged and took the lead, drawing .35 into his right hand.  He let the weight of the gun settle in before walking up to the door on the far end of the room.  As he reached to push it, the door slid open on its own with a hiss.  Shrugging, he spun out into the hall and leveled the gun down the hallway, spun around and checked the other direction as well.  Lowering his arm, he waved the others out into the hall.


            “Which way do we go?” Grev asked. 


            “We find out when we get there,” Tristan said with a slight laugh.  “Like Lina said, I’ll take the lead.”  He began to walk down the left pathway, his gun held at the ready.  They walked single file down the grey walled, grey rugged hallway that lacked a certain expected sense of regality.  It was only the basement, after all.


            With Tristan’s semi-perceptive guidance, they were able to find a stairwell out of the basement in under half an hour.  While the stairway only led them into something of a closet, exiting the closet brought them into the palace, one of the more elaborate constructions any of them had ever seen.


            While they were only in a hallway, it was, in Tristan’s mind, one hell of a hallway.  He looked around and took it in.  The ceilings were two stories high and looked to be solid gold.  The trim on the walls reflected their golden counterparts in the ceilings as it outlined the polished white marble walls.  The floors were rich oak, partially covered with a fine blue and gold carpet.  Tristan breathed in the heavy air, noting the faint smell of spice somewhere down the way.  His eyes glanced left, then right.  The hallway was sparsely populated, though a few citizens wearing white coats passed up and down, not even noticing the oddly dressed intruders. 


            “Proceed with caution…Genius at work,” Tristan said with a laugh.  The others didn’t crack a smile.  He shook his head.  “Never mind.  Just follow me.”  He sheathed the gun at the risk of appearing suspicious and headed down the hallway to the right.  It lead them into a great room which, if it was even possible, made the hallway look primitive.


            The ceilings sloped seamlessly upwards until they sat five stories above floor.  The white marble walls grew more elaborate as they stretched upwards into great arches and interlaced the gold, streaking towards the center section of the room where they supported three great chandeliers of diamond and silver.  The floors shifted from wood to marble, alternating tiles of light and dark as they spiraled towards the great gold statue of a women with long robes in the middle of the room.  Giant spiraling staircases led up from both ends of the first level to a landing two stories above them.  Light flooded the room from giant windows that began twenty feet off of the ground and stretched nearly to the ceiling.  In here, people bustled around more frequently, winding up and down the stairs, never taking a moment to gaze at the greatness of this place. 


            “It’s not even the main entry chamber or the central chamber,” Lina said offhandedly.  “From what it looks like, this is just one of the rooms that branches off to the other halls.”


            “How big is the main chamber?” Tyrion asked.


            “Big,” Lina said simply.


            Tristan took out his device again, this time searching for a signal of Chaos energy.  When a blip came up, he became disgruntled. 


            “Eighty first floor,” he said with great pain.  He looked to Lina.  “You don’t know if there are any elevators in this place, do you?”


            “Like most big Ithilmarian buildings,” she said.  “There should be some lift shafts somewhere around here.”  She looked around for some place that might work.  Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a gold framed passageway off to the right of the room.  She indicated it with her finger and led the way.


            Passing into the hall, the group found themselves in another passageway like the first one, though the ceilings looked to be about normal height.  Along the sides of the walls, there were more gold framed doors, but they seemed to lead into a black nothingness.


            “Lift shafts,” Lina explained.  “You walk in and think about what floor you want to go to and they take you there.  These go up,” she said, pointing to the right.  “And these go down,” she pointed to the left.


            “And we go up,” Tristan said, walking to the right and jumping in, holding the number 81 in his head with as much strength as he could muster.  He assumed the rest followed, but he didn’t really know.  Instead, he was busy dealing with what was a somewhat unusual experience.  His body was being flung upward without any of his own power.  He expected to feel some sort of wind crash against his skin, but none would come.  His eyes were immersed in a blackness that was interrupted on short intervals by the light from the doorways on each of the floors that he passed by; it was the only method he had of gauging his speed.


            After about thirty seconds, he found himself lightly tossed out of another doorway and on to the floor.  Looking around the new hall, he was quickly toppled over as Tyrion’s large form smashed into his back.  As the two fell over, Grev was also thrown on top of them while Alaria managed to quickly skip off to the side.  Lina was last to exit, gently floating herself to the side of the pile.  Landing, she put her finger to the side of her head.


            “I, uh...guess I forgot to mention that you need to move out of the way pretty quickly.”


            “Thanks for the notice,” Tristan said in a muffled voice.  “But how about getting the hell off of me, guys?”  The two other men grunted in agreement, climbing off of the black clad warrior.  Tristan also then rose and brushed himself off.  He looked around briefly. 


            “This isn’t right,” he said.  He pointed to the number above the lift shaft.  “This is only the eightieth floor.”


            “It must be off limits,” Lina said.  “The shafts are capable of blocking off certain floors.”


            “Then where do we go?” Tyrion asked.


            “We go up…” Alaria said, gritting her teeth.  Lifestream energy gathered into her hand as she looked up.


            “Alaria, don’t!  It’s too soon to make a commotion!” Grev said, grabbing her hands and pushing them down.


            “Don’t stop me!” she said as her hands were bound by Grev’s.  “He’s close.  I can feel him!”  She struggled, but eventually gave up and dropped her hands, the energy flowing out of the room.


            “Alaria, he’s right,” Tristan said.  “We’ll see if there are stairways anywhere.”  Tristan drew out two guns and started to move forward out of the hall.  The others moved after him, all but Alaria who hung back.  She shook her head solemnly, thinking things over.  Coming to consensus, she raised her hands again, and the power rushed back into the room.


            “I’m coming, Tec…” she said with an air of bittersweet sorrow.  She thrust her hands upward in a violent strike as green and white energy flashed forward.  It seemed to collect for a moment in a ball about a meter wide in her hands, then it shot forward in a beam, tearing upwards with rocket-like force and blasting right through the ceilings.  She then became engulfed in the energy as she jumped up through the hole and up to the next floor.


            “Shit…” Tristan cursed, looking back.  “Goddamn impetuousness…”  He pushed passed the others, also leaping up into the hole after her.  Alarms began to go off and red lights began to flash.


            “Let’s get up there,” Tyrion said, also jumping up.  Lina and Grev quickly followed up.  They found Tristan chasing after Alaria, who had already begun to run down the hall.  The eighty first floor was quite different from the other parts of the palace that they had seen.  It seemed to be some kind of holding floor for prisoners.  The walls were no longer marble, but plastic white with grey floors and lab lighting that emotionlessly illuminated the maze-like corridors. 


            “The keep their experiments here,” Lina said as they ran down the hall, keeping up with Alaria.  “The lab floors are above here.”


            “So it figures that Teclis would be here…” Tyrion said, tapping the bracers underneath his robes.  “And it may be time to fight soon.”


            They group made headway through the twisting turns of the floor, the red flashing lights meaning that they would undoubtedly be faced with those who found their presence unwanted.  Alaria moved quickly at the lead, apparently able to sense where Teclis was being held.  The odd part seemed that no one was on the floor besides them.  No lab technicians, no scientists, no guards.  Something eerie hung in the air like an restless spirit that was waiting to take its anger out on unwanted guests that were unfortunate enough to stumble into its home. 


            Alaria hung right at a four way intersection.  Tristan bolted after her, seeing where she was heading at the end of their current hallway.  Behind a glass wall laced with steel and sliding door in the center, there hung a lifeless form that was chained upright on a cross-shaped panel.  His body was limp, the bonds around his wrists and neck being the only thing that kept him from falling forward to the floor.  Tubes found their way into the prisoner through his nose and mouth, pipes crossing around his feet and into computers that displaced a wide variety of readouts.  The prisoner was unphased by the flashing lights, his wet blue hair hanging down and blocking the view of his face.  His robes were torn and bloodied, possibly indicating torture.  Tristan watched in sadness as Alaria walked up to the glass wall and put her hand on it with a look of helplessness.


            “Tec…” she muttered.  She formed her extended hand into a fist and brought it back to her side.  “I’m coming to get you…” she said.  A voice came from behind her, and while it wasn’t one of her companions, it was one that she recognized. 


            “I’m afraid I can’t allow that,” the elegant tenor said.  She spun around with a glare in her eye to stare down Darius Godessaire, the wayward Planeswalker that had captured Teclis in the first place.  With him was a cadre of Armour-Clad M-1 soldiers.


            “YOU!” she screamed at him, the energy around her intensifying.  The other spun around as well, their eyes catching glimpse of the black clad, blue haired man.  From beside him, another familiar face stepped forward.


            “Don’t forget about me,” the blonde man said.


            “Yiri,” she said blankly.  “Nothing more than a lapdog of M-1.”


            “Darius, eh?” Tristan said, leveling his six shooter at the blue haired man.  “I’ve heard of you.”


            “Yes?” he asked.  “Well, then, who the hell are you?”


            “Tristan Tenser,” he said cockily.  “Pleased to meet your acquaintance.”


            “Charming,” Darius muttered, looking at the rest of the group.  His eyes first settled on Tyrion.  “The lost lamb has come back to the Sheppard?” Darius asked.  Tyrion narrowed his eyes.


            “I don’t know who you are, but at the moment, you seem to be standing in my way.”  The claws on his arms came to life, the energy tearing through the ends of the sleeves of his robes.  “And you look like M-1, and I’ve had enough of you bastards.”


            “Well, isn’t that too bad,” Darius said, not bothered.  He looked to Lina.  “And Miss Esrevni, I see you’ve abandoned your unit and your country.”


            “My unit and my country abandoned me first,” Lina said coldly.  “I have no qualms about serving against those who tried to kill me.” 


            “A statement you’ll soon regret, I’m sure,” Darius responded.  He lastly turned to Grev.  “And my my…a Saidiar,” he said.  “You’re out of your league, child.  You’ll soon learn the error of your organization in opposing the might of Ithilmar.”


            “You and your people are pigs,” Grev said.  “You sell yourselves to the devil in order to control people.  Your might is nothing but a maniacal debauchery…”  He drew his sword.


            “How is Kallar?” Tyrion asked bitterly.  “I haven’t seen the sniveling little weasel in awhile.”


            “Oh, he’s been aptly punished for his plan’s failure to procure your body for an extended period of time.  Ironically, it may have been my own fault that the Saidiar collected you…however…someone always has to take the blame.”


            “You helped arrange for that battalion to be there, you bastard,” Tyrion said.  “You’ll pay for your ways.” 


            “I think you’ll be eating those words in a moment,” Darius said.  He ordered his men.  “Take them,” he said.  Before he had closed his mouth again, though, there was a flash and a blur as something swept up and past Darius.  He didn’t even look to his left, though, as a blade tore straight through Yiri, his eyes going wide with pain and surprise.


            “For Teclis,” Alaria spoke to Yiri’s disfigured face as she pulled her blade out, dragging some of his innards out with it.  Hell then broke lose as the soldiers that had come with Darius swarmed forward, Darius himself making the first move and taking a backhanded swing at Alaria, not even turning his head to look at her.  She seemed somewhat content having killed Yiri, and didn’t even try to block.  Energy flourished around his attack and she was sent flying into a wall, knocked unconscious on impact.  He then pointed forward and his lackeys went to work.


            The Armour wearing soldiers charged forward with speed that was enhanced ten fold, seeing their four targets taking on a box like formation with Grev and Tyrion in the front and Tristan and Lina in the back.  Like lightning, their two melee targets were ready, their weapons drawn back into fighting positions and about to go off on hair-trigger reflexes.  The Armoured soldiers made contact and sword and lightning claw swung upward, tearing through the first wave.


            Lightning came from behind Tyrion, arcing from the fingers of Tristan and jumping from Armour to Armour, but seeming to have no effect.  The trench coated man shrugged and drew out a short range plasma discharge cannon, strafing to the flanks and firing off a blast of blue energy that caught a few of them dead center and burned through the Armours.  He reloaded and fired again, chewing up the flank while Grev and Tyrion charged forward.


            The two melee combatants slowly made headway into the mess.  Grev kept his sword swinging in an upward, circular fashion while swaying just enough to the left and right to keep dodging attacks.  They came at him with stun rods, but his mono-molecular edged blade was so sharp that in parrying, he simply tore through their weapons, following through and ripping through the Armour as well.  His movements were quick, and the Armoured soldiers could not get a bearing on his path.  Like a skillful hunter, he let them all into the range of his sword but kept them just outside the range of their rods, taking them out before their weapons were of any use.


            Tyrion took on a more aggressive fighting style, not straying far from Grev, but moving in a horizontal spinning pattern to fend off their attackers.  The advantage that they held was that their capture, not destruction, was required.  In other words, the enemies could not use weapons for killing.  Knowing that they would have to be subdued, Tyrion danced gracefully in circles, his arms and legs shooting out like death, the force of his blows so powerful that all he needed was the heel of his boot to crack through the Armours.  His hair trailed his movements like a ribbon, creating an unusual effect as he spun in a Lifestream enhanced whirlwind of death. 


            Towards the rear of the group, many of the Armours were lifted into the air by their feet and slammed together as Lina worked her magic.  When they got too close to Tyrion or Grev, she was easily able to provide assistance in blasting them back with a psychic wave.  A few feet in front of them, she had managed to erect a barrier that was deflecting the tranquilization darts that were occasionally fired at them.  She glanced over to check up on Tristan, but saw that he was quite capable of simply cracking open the Armours with the butt end of his gun if they got too close.  She sensed an interesting, new form of energy coming off of him, not terribly unlike Lifestream but she could tell it was making him more powerful, as told by the bright white glow that currently surrounded him.  Occasionally, he would let loose a kick that sent it’s target flying twenty feet into whatever wall they first hit.  His strength, and the strength of her other companions, seemed incredible.


            From her vantage point, in fact, Lina thought everything was going pretty well.  Tristan could fight an entire army by himself and Tyrion and Grev were effectively eating their way through the oncoming enemy line.  She figured that they’d have all of the M-1 fighters down in a matter of minutes.  What she hadn’t noticed, however, was that Darius had gone from standing a few yards away with his arms crossed over his chest to simply not being there anymore.  Her surprise, you might imagine, was great, when something smashed over the back of her head and she looked around to see the blue haired man standing there for but a moment before going to work on the rest of her distracted party.


            That’s what it was! She thought as she lost consciousness.  The soldiers were just there to catch their attention while Darius took care of everything!


            Tyrion wasn’t quick enough to see it coming.  He was busy slicing through the neck of his twelve victim when Darius had magically grabbed him and thrown him into a wall with the force of a steamroller.  Grev could only glance to his left in surprise before he was thrown in the other direction by the same force, also quickly being knocked out as he hit the wall.  Tristan, however was quick enough to see it coming.


            “I’ve seen that one before, buddy,” he said, holding his hand out and deftly deflecting Darius’s magical throw.  He paused in time for a moment to give Darius a penetrating stare and then a mild grin before reaching to his belt and activating a small device about the size of a remote control.  Darius was caught slightly off guard by Tristan’s ability to protect himself.


            “I’ll see ya ‘round,” Tristan said, still grinning as he activated the teleporter and disappeared from view.  Magical energy shot out as remnants of Tristan’s exit, leaving Darius only to wonder where the blonde haired man had disappeared to.  He didn’t give it much thought, however, instead focusing on his newly acquired prisoners.  The air of battle cleared and Darius assessed the situation.


            “Find that man,” he said to the remaining soldiers that he had brought.  “Don’t let him get away.  He’ll be trying to rescue his comrades eventually.  Security to high alert.”  Men ran off in both directions, eager to please their commander.


            On the floor, he glanced at Tyrion’s fallen form.  He then glanced down the hall at the glass prison where Teclis was being held.  The two parts of the deal were finally in place.  He had Tyrion and Teclis, and in a matter of hours, he would have the world.




“I held out some hope that Sarah had been wrong when Tristan managed to escape, but I was faced with the unfortunate problem that my beautiful wife is never wrong.  It was then I knew that I would be going down, that I would be fighting, and that the Dreamblade would be used to draw blood once again.” –Jack McKlane

Chapter 23

Chrono Trigger Fanfic