Chrono Trigger: Dangerous Times Chapter 1
By Nihon Soba
All that Crono could see was black. It was inky and as thick as night. Nothing could pierce it... except a familiar voice that sounded far away.
Crono, the voice spoke softly. Crono ignored it and sleepily moved inside his covers. His mother did that when he was little to wake him up.
Crono! the voice was louder this time. Crono mumbled something and turned his head away. His mother didnt always yell that loud...
Good morning, Crono! That did it. Crono opened his eyes, rubbing the sleep out of them. The darkness was penetrated, and daylight flooded into his eyes when someone opened the curtains. He turned his head to see a familiar person.
Marle! Crono said in suprise. Marle stood there, wearing a bathrobe. Her usually tied back hair now cascaded down her shoulders. Around her neck was the object she cherished, the one that started Cronos adventure 4 years ago: her pendant.
Crono sighed. Marle was a beautiful sight, with her light orange hair, her almost elven features, and her bright green eyes, the color of emeralds. They had gone on that great adventure in the past. In fact, Marle was the first member that he had literally bumped into. He didnt know it at first, but she was really princess Nadia of Guardia. The name Marle was one that she made up and adopted. She was always by his side, being the tagalong healer (after she learned her magic skills) along with other party members. Crono remembered them vividly.
There was Lucca, Cronos childhood friend. She was an expert with machines and tinkercraft, able to build and repair anything. Lucca mastered the fire magic as her skill, a very powerful magic at that. She was always at his side at times of trouble, and also rescued him from execution at his trial of supposedly kidnapping princess Nadia. Luccas family had moved away in the years following the defeat of Lavos, and Crono periodically hears from her.
There was Robo, serial no. R66-Y of the R series robots, otherwise known as Prometheus. Crono, Marle and Lucca had found him in the year 2300 A.D., after the world was destroyed by Lavos. He was found in the abandoned Proto Dome, where a time gate existed. When he had discovered his true purpose, or his lost programming, the other R-series had trashed him and left him broken. But luckily, Lucca was able to repair him again. Since then, Robo had helped the party all that he could, returning to the factory that he was made and destroying the Mother Brain AI (Artificial Intelligence) computer, who had plans to wipe out the humans and create an empire of robots. After Lavos was destroyed, he went into the last time portal with Doan, descendant of King Guardia.
There was Frog, the gallant amphibian knight, cursed with his form by the enlightened one Magus. He and his friend Cyrus had retrieved the ancient Masamune sword and were going to fight the wizard Magus and his army. Unfortunately, it didnt work. The Masamune sword was split in two, and Cyrus was killed by Magus, who had also turned the young knight Glenn into a frog.
There was Ayla, the chief of her tribe in the distant prehistoric times. Her strength had proved a valuable asset, as well as her looks (yknow, when she charms...). After Lavos was destroyed, Ayla had gone back into her time with Kino. The two were now married and were both helping both her own and the remaining Laruba tribe deal with the hardships of the coming Ice Age.
And then there was Magus. Prince Janus of Zeal, to be exact. Magus was a name picked up in the middle ages, a time when magic users were looked upon with disdain. He was the second child of Queen Zeal, along with his sister Schala. He was separated from his sister after Queen Zeal revived Lavos, along with the Gurus of time, reason, and life. He appeared in the middle ages (600 A.D.) and was brought up by the Mystics, a race of otherworldly creatures of magic (possible descendants of the enlightened ones?). He had joined the team after Crono and co. got the Epoch from Dalton, who had given it wings. Frog had been reluctant to this, but after some thought, accepted the inevitable. Vanquishing thee will not bring back Cyrus. he had said. After Lavos was destroyed, Magus left to the time after Zeal was destroyed (12,000,000 B.C.), to see if he could find the one he has been searching for almost his entire life--his sister Schala.
Crono? Crono heard Marle speak his name before receiving a playful slap on the face, reviving him from his silent musings. He winced and rubbed his cheek, and Marle gave him a kiss to tell him all was well. Ill be downstairs cooking breakfast, honey. Come on down after you finally wake up! she laughed, skipping down the steps from his house. The house was newly built around the area where Truce Inn was, slightly identical to his old house where his mother now lived. Crono chuckled. He remembered how he introduced every single one of his companions to his mother without the least bit of suprise from her. From the scantily clad Ayla to the dark and brooding Magus, she has welcomed all of them with no suprise whatsoever (well, maybe a little...). Crono got up, stretched, and began to walk down the stairs to the kitchen, the aroma of bacon bringing him down. Four years, he mused. Four years that he had been married to Marle. And he never regretted a moment. She had officially confessed her love to him after he had, um, rescued her from a, er, vicious bunch of balloons she had grabbed hold of at the end of the millennial fair. Even before that, it had been insinuated. The time when he and Lucca and Frog had rescued the real Queen Leene in medieval Guardia, the time when she had run away with him from Guardia after he had escaped from jail, the time when Marle, Magus and Lucca had brought him back to life on Death Peak...
Crono arrived in the kitchen, stopping for a minute to pet his numerous cats (something about that cat food he won in the Tent of Horrors had made them multiply. Hmmm...). He had put on his old clothes he used to wear when he and his companions were adventuring (he now had several pairs), and his normally spiky hair was now ruffled (but still spiky!). Marle was cooking bacon and eggs at the small stove in one corner. Crono, grinning ear to ear, slowly and quietly crept up behind her and poked her in her sides, where he knew she was extremely ticklish. Marle gave a little yelp, then turned around and laughed, giving him a kiss. Crono wrapped his arms around Marles petite waist, and returned her kiss. Marle followed along with this show of affection, until Cronos hands began to venture lower...
Oh stop that! she chastised him playfully. Crono meekly obeyed, pouting. Therell be plenty of time for that later... she said, with a coy smile. Crono gave her grinned at that, then sat down at the table in the center of the kitchen. After a while, he assumed a position of boredom, his chin in his hands. Oh, life was great. He had a house, a wife that was witty and beautiful, he and Lucca still maintained contact... but something was missing.
Marle? Crono spoke. Marle turned her head and acknowledged him. Do you ever wish that things could be different?
Marle gave him a puzzled look. What do you mean by that?
Crono shrugged. I dunno, its nice around here, but I just feel, well, so bored! He sighed, wincing and rubbing his shoulder where muscles were still tense from yesterdays swordfighting lesson. Marle came up behind him, massaging his tight shoulders, ruffling his hair.
Oh, cmon! she said. We gotta settle down sometime, Crono! Do you have any idea what we have been through?
Crono nodded, but he still wasnt convinced. That was a long time ago... now its so damn peaceful, theres nothing to do! he stirred his coffee lazily with a spoon. Dont get me wrong, Im not a war-monger or anything, I just feel as though, well--ah! There! Right there! Its been sore all day yesterday. apparently Marle had found the spot of tension in Cronos shoulder. She kept on massaging his shoulders, sighing and watching him with those beautiful green eyes of hers.
Now we dont have to live in constant fear of the world being destroyed by Lavos. People can live in peace. The human race survived, Crono. Doesnt that make you feel any better?
Crono shook his head. I guess I just miss everybody, yknow. I havent heard from anybody other than Lucca in years. There hasnt been any decent action here in years!
Marle rolled her eyes and ran her delicate fingers through Cronos hair. Im sure the others are doing just fine, Crono. I worry about them too. Especially Frog. I feel that he thinks hell never be accepted into society the way he looks. I just hope he doesnt get suicidal or anything.
Crono laughed for a second. Glenn? No way! Still, Id feel the same if I was a frog. I almost hate Magus for doing that for him. Marle nodded.
I do too! Youd think hed have just a little sympathy and right his wrong, but no, Janus is as cold as ice. she finished massaging Cronos shoulder and sat down on a chair next to him, brushing her orange-gold hair out of her face. But in some ways, you cant blame him. I feel sorry for him too. Hes been searching for his sister all of his life, and when he finally found her, he loses her again. Hes let his hatred towards Lavos consume his life. Personally, Im sorta more worried that hed go suicidal. Marle shivered, then got up off her chair. Im gonna go wash up. I feel like going for a long walk today. Care to join me? she asked sweetly, doing her best cute-as-a-button face. Crono just couldnt resist when she batted those lashes at him like that. Besides, there wasnt much to do around here anyway.
Sure thing, Marle. Im all set. Just come down here when youre ready.
Marle turned around and skipped down the hallway And no peeking! she said, giving him a wink.
Gods, I love that woman!
About an hour later, Crono and Marle were taking the long walk to Porre, enjoying the clear skies and fresh air. Crono chuckled, remembering what his mother said when the Black Omen was floating in the sky. What a character! I outta go visit her again, he thought. He walked along, arm around his wife, sword in its scabbard at his belt. Just a reminder of old times, he thought, though he would like it if he got a chance to swing it around some more. Marle, being the sprite-like creature she was when she was happy, broke free from Cronos arm and pranced along, stopping to pick up some flowers and stick them in Cronos hair. He groaned.
Marle, do you have to keep doing that? You know how much gel it takes to get this hair straight? Marle laughed, then slowed down so that Crono could keep up. Porre was about a few hours walk, probably longer since the desert that used to be around there was now forest. The small town had grown during the past few years. The piano man still played there, the cook still tried to sell his jerky for outrageous prices. Some things didnt change. Cronos friend Lucca lived around there now, with her own custom built house and laboratory. He thought that it would be a good idea to suprise her, since Marle hadnt seen her in a year or so. Crono proposed this idea to Marle while they were crossing the bridge that led to Porre, travelers and other people crossing on their way to Truce or Guardia.
I wonder how shes doing. I remember her saying that she was going to dismantle the Epoch after we got your mom back. From 65,000,000 B.C., of all places! Marle giggled. Crono laughed, remembering his mother trying to teach etiquette to a bunch of cavemen. The result had been less than pleasant, though no casualties were committed.
Yeah, shes probably using it for scrap parts. Making some droids, she is. Guess she still misses Robo. said Crono. Marle made a sound of agreement.
Guess youre not alone in how you feel. she said, nudging him with her elbow. The two stopped to rest at the end of the bridge and sat on a large rock. Marle stretched her arms and lay back. Her hair was tied back in a ponytail, as it used to be, and she wore her old adventuring clothes. After a few minutes of silence, she decided to talk again.
I wonder what everybodys doing right now. she said, looking at the sky, the noontime sun blazing above in the vast beyond. Crono looked at her and then followed her gaze upward.
I dunno, probably wondering what everybody else is doing. he said, taking a breath of fresh air. He absently stroked Marles hair. Hope theyre all okay.
After a few minutes of resting, the two got up and kept on walking. Luccas house was still along way off, as well as Porre, so they had plenty of time to talk. All the time in the world.
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