Tempo Trigger Chapter 37

Lion's Story: West Side Story

By Nanaki

3497 A.D.

Habeeb held up a hand as Lion rounded the side of the building they had fought in front of. Some of the troops looked like they still wanted to chase after him anyway, so Habeeb held up his other hand. "General, what are you doing here?" One of them quickly asked. "I thought you were in a meeting at headquarters."

"Sorry for the surprise." He bowed his head as he looked at Mattheus. "Sorry for the surprises, I should say. I honestly didn't think anyone would die in that scuffle."

"Well someone DID!" Another trooper shouted, not caring much about rank at the moment. "Why did you stop us from going after the murderer?"

"Because you probably would have murdered him." Habeeb snapped back. "Not only is it important that he be allowed to escape, but it is vitally important to the future of this world that he live." Habeeb sighed again. "If you think I don't regret Matt's death, then you're very wrong, but Lionello is worth more than all of us put together. He's part of something bigger than every human on this planet, even though that's exactly what he needs to save..."

"Sir..." One of the more relatively calm troops finally broke in. "What the Hell are you talking about?"

"You saw how tough those three Weapons were, right?" There was a general nodding of heads. "Well they were just pawns being controlled by a much higher power. That power isn't too friendly toward humans, to put it lightly. Lion's going to kill it for us. But to make sure that he actually does, he must be allowed to remain free now."

"So... what does that mean?" The same trooper broke in again. "How are you going to stop all the other law enforcement agencies from apprehending him?"

"I'm not." Habeeb said offhand. "We were the only ones who had any real chance of subduing him. However, it's also important that the possibility of capture be there."

The trooper scratched his head. "Again, what the hell are you talking about?"

Habeeb smiled in a slightly creepy way. "You'll see in due time, friends."


Lion finally stopped running a few miles away from the center of Lohkiarn, and the battle zone. He panted heavily, as the consequences of his actions finally began to dawn on him. 'I can't go home.' He realized. 'I can't do much. I killed someone...' If he were to be caught, he would likely end up in prison for the rest of his life. Even a plea of temporary insanity would land him in a mental hospital. He couldn't afford to be captured, and because of that, he couldn't go home. He couldn't go to school, or even contact many of the people he knew.

However, he didn't think he could live without seeing Tess. That was sure going to complicate things. She was almost always either at school, where he couldn't go, at the Soultech building, where he couldn't go, or at her house, where he shouldn't go, because that's where the president of Soultech lived. Even if he did go to her house, he would have trouble getting to her without being noticed, given that he couldn't fly anymore.

That brought up a whole other bundle of worries. Why had his power suddenly vanished? Maybe he had simply used it all up. After all, he had never completely drained himself before, and so he didn't know what it was like. He didn't find that too likely though, given how fiercely he had been fighting shortly before it happened. It was almost like something inside him had broken... Like pulling a muscle, maybe. But how did you strain every cell in your body at once? He needed to know more.

When he had had some time to consider things, he was left with three goals: avoid capture, somehow see Tess, and solve the mystery of his vanishing powers. As he began to hear the blaring of police sirens in the distance, he knew which one of those was about to become his top priority.


Lion quickly ducked behind a pile of rubble that had apparently been thrown from the explosions in the center of the city, all the way out here. On the outskirts of the city, on the one side that was bordered by the giant stairs, rather than the huge wall, the living high rises gave way to old style houses, where the richest of the rich lived. Of course, the Soultech president owned a mansion out here, but even this far from the fight, it had nearly been crushed by debris. He scrunched himself up tighter against the rocks as the police ships zoomed by. The sun was starting to set, and he was in the rocks' shadow, so he escaped detection.

Half a minute later, he stood up, and was only then hit with the realization that he had no idea where Tess' room might be. He slowly approached the front gate, trying to analyze the house. The shades were the same in every room, so there were no clues there. There were no old toys, knick knacks, or anything else in any of the window sills either. 'Looks like Mr. President runs a tight ship.' Lion thought. 'Bastard.' He tried to analyze things a bit further. The mansion was two stories tall, and even though each floor had loads of space, logic dictated that the master bedroom was on the ground floor, and all other bedrooms on the second. The second floor seemed like a good place to start looking then.

He pulled himself up to the top of the fence, then, being wary of the pointy tips of the black metal, unceremoniously dumped himself into the bushes on the other side. He wasn't quite careful enough though, as the sleeve of his shirt caught on one of the points, and proceeded to rip right open. Not that it mattered a whole lot after the beating the shirt and its owner had already received today, but Lion lamented the fact anyway, especially when he realized that he had no change of clothes.

He quickly forgot about the clothes as a flock of birds that had been unsettled by his trip into the bushes took to the air as he began to come out. So far, his plan of being stealthy was a miserable failure. He crouched down, and tried to move while staying in the bushes. That made so much noise though, that he quickly abandoned the activity. He stood up again, and paused to consider his next course of action. Perhaps he shouldn't have jumped the fence right away, and-

"What are you doing?" Lion whirled around, to find Tess standing at the door. She didn't look happy, and when she saw that it was him, a look of anger appeared on her face. What did she know?

"Tess, I... I had to talk to you. I've... made a terrible mistake."

"I know." She said icily. He began to stride forward, and saw that she had been crying recently. "Mattheus is dead, reportedly killed by the rogue 'synth known as Lionello." Lion opened his mouth, but she continued before he could say anything. "So I only have one question for this rogue 'synth. Was it on purpose, or was it merely an incredibly convenient accident?"

"What?!" Lion drew back in shock. "Tess, I never bore any ill will toward him, you have to believe me! How would killing him prove that I'm better than him? It wouldn't!"

"So, it was an accident?" She asked in the same icy tone. Her eyes were boring into his, and he knew then, that if he really loved her, he couldn't possibly lie.

The fact that he truly did love her brought him precious little comfort as he confessed, "It was an accident that I killed him, very much so. But, I can't deny that I meant to kill one of them. The fact that a Soultech trooper died was no accident."

The front door slammed in his face. "Tess, please!" He pounded on the door. "You don't know what they-"

"Get out of here!" Her voice overpowered his. "I never want to see you again!!"

"If you'll just listen to me, I-"

"I've already called the police. If I were you..." She paused a moment. "If I were you, I'd commit suicide. But since you're you, you should go."

"Tess, you have to understand, they..." Lion drifted off, expecting to be interrupted again. "Tess?" There was no response. Lion slowly clenched his fists, all his muscles tensing. A pain more profound than any the Weapons had inflicted on him began to stab at his insides. Her anger, in her voice, her eyes... her rejection of him... her inability to understand... her unwillingness to listen... the events of the day all culminated to stab into his heart.

Then, slowly, he felt an anger more intense than any he'd ever known in his life well up within him. It didn't seem to have any direct source, but yet, it was so powerful, that his muscles trembled as he struggled to control it. He couldn't even see straight. As his head involuntarily jerked to the side, he felt a small spark of power well up inside of him. As his whole body contibued to throb, it became apparent that his extreme anger was somehow aiding the return of his powers. So, he nurtured it. He expressed it. And it emerged.


Wealthy citizens all over the neighborhood hurried to close their windows, and wondered when the obnoxious noise would die down.

They would wait a long time.


"Why can't I make you understand?!!" - Harry McDougal, Outlaw Star


Chapter 38

Chrono Trigger Fanfic