Chrono Trigger: Dangerous Times Chapter 5
By Nihon Soba
Ioka Village, 65,000,004 B.C.
The sun was shining on this day, as it did every day, but there were a few more clouds than usual. Of course, the weather left something to be desired too. It was getting colder every year. The tar pits were starting to sink and harden. Even the lava pits where Azlas fortress once was were starting to harden. Game was becoming scarce. It seemed that things werent going to get any better soon.
Ayla, chief of Ioka villiage, sat on the outside of her hut. For warmth, in addition to her skimpy fur outfit, she wore a thin cloak of animal hide. There was a fire going on inside the hut, of course, as well as a large bonfire in the village square. Her husband, Kino, was at Laruba village, trying to help with the problems that came with the colder weather. The other able bodied males and females were at the hunting range, trying to find what little they could.
Ayla looked up from her sitting position, long treeses of blond hair falling out from the hood that covered her head. No like. Trouble come soon, maybe worse than Lavos. and with that, she stood up and went in the direction of the hunting range, in order to help her people find something to eat. Kino would be back soon, and he could manage Ioka without her for a while. Grabbing her battered wodden club, Ayla gave a war cry and ran to the hunting range.
An hour later, Ayla and several other males and females had felled a beast large enough to feed everybody, at least for today. The beast was a Mastadon, and those were very hard to come by and very tough to kill. But Ayla had cracked its skull with a single blow from her club. The other hunters held her in a very high regard for that, strengthening her image as a fearless leader.
Soon the hunters, lugging the carcass all the way, had reached Ioka. They brought the beast to the town square, straining with every step. Ayla motioned for the hunters to place the beast near the fire pit and prepare it to feed her people. She wiped sweat off her brow and plopped down on the dirt, exhausted. The other warriors were proceeding to clean the beast and cook the meat. One warrior moved away from the fire pit and walked up to Ayla.
You strong. We proud of you, Ayla. You keep us alive in bad time. the man said. He bowed to his chief, and then ran down to join the others at the fire pit. The flames in there blazed a brilliant orange, warming everyone in the vicinity. Soon, the smell of cooking meat was in the air, arousing the villagers who had all come to the town square. Ayla stood up, rejuvinated after a long rest. However, the young warriors words still echoed through her mind. She shook her head.
Ayla not good leader. Before, it was Azala and Reptites. There was food then and warm sun. Now there is not. We are dying, and I afraid to be chief. the warrior woman took off her cloak, since the fire was already warming the place enough. Sweat glistened on her now bronzed skin. The sun was setting to the west, and it would be night soon. At least the villagers had a fire to keep them warm. Most of the people in Laruba werent able to do that.
Ayla! came a familiar yell. Ayla turned in the direction of the yell, and saw a sight that kept her from slumping deeper into despair. It was her husband, Kino. Kino was running to her, along with several representatives of Laruba village. He was growing a beard now, and the years of work taken its toll on him. His yellow hair was showing streaks of gray, and though he was in good shape, he had developed a slightly bad posture. The other Larbua villagers looked none the better. They were almost skin and bone, with scraggly hair and pale skin. Kino held out his hand, motioning them to halt, then walked toward his wife. The two shared a strong embrace, oblivious to the others around them.
Kino! You back now! said Ayla, strong willed but weakened by the hardships of the past years. Is Laruba village fine? Not look so good, seeing other villagers. Ayla pointed to the people who had followed Kino. He nodded.
They have no food. Laruba be running away from Reptites all time, so no have skill to hunt. I must speak to vilage and tell them of plight. Kino said. Ayla nodden, and gave him a kiss before he got up and walked to the fire pit.
Kino spread his arms wide. Ioka village, please listen. Friends in Laruba have no food, they cold and sick. I build fire for them, but still have no food. I ask that Ioka spare half of hunt to Laruba. They need like we do. after Kino was finished, a chorus of angry voices erupted.
We no give food! We work hard for food, but Laruba not! They cowards and shame to us! Let them get own food! came one voice. There were general sounds of aggreement throughout the crowd. Kino again implored the villagers to help.
Laruba our friends. We must help them! Please, enough food for all! Share! They need!
But to no avail. Several villagers started to throw rocks, and more grabbed clubs or anything else to get at Kino and the Laruba villagers. A club knocked out one Laruba villager. Rocks sailed, hitting people on both sides. Soon, it became a full scale riot. One of the Laruba villagers was killed, and another one took revenge on the killer. On both sides, people were dropping like flies. Kino yelled as loud as he could for it to stop, but a large rock struck him on the head, and he fell, blood seeping from his forehead. Ayla could take no more of it. She brought up her fist and struck the Earth, and the ground trembled with her wrath. The fighting stopped. The hunters had seen what Ayla could to to a Mastadon skull, and no one wanted to mess with her after that, and especially after this. The warrior woman stood up from the ground, walking over to her wounded husband, cradling him in her arms, she frantically checked for any signs of life. Kino was still breathing. She sighed in relief, then placed him gently on the ground. She looked around her, seeing badly beaten bodies littered about.
Fools! she yelled with her loudest voice. Fools you are! Look what happen! Is Ioka village satisfied? Is you happy to kill fellow brother? she awaited a response: none came. Eveyone was hanging their heads in shame. There enough food to feed both Ioka and Laruba for long time! But look what you do! she clenched her fists in anger. Laruba human too. Like us, bleed red. They have problem too, no just us! They no Reptites! They no cold blood! They human, like us! Our brothers and sisters... why we kill? Why?! Ayla sunk to the ground, fighting back tears. You no true human if you deny our brother and sister people food. You no better than Reptites! No better than Lavos! the strain was too much for her. She curled up in a ball, sobbing. The Ioka and Laruba villagers were shocked. Never had they seen the chief break down like this. Hands were shook, apologies made, and plans for a burial ceremony made. the villagers split up the hunt, so ther was enough food to substain both tribes for weeks. Kino had gotten up, wincing where his head was hit by a rock, but forgetting the pain when he saw his wife. He rushed to her and held her in his arms.
There there. All is better. No cry, Ayla. No cry. a tear slid down his dirty cheek, but he angrily wiped it away. Ayla did the same, pushing aside her sadness. Ayla stood up, helping her wounded husband do the same. Seeing both villagers eating peacefully made them feel better, and soon they took their share of food and joined the others. As Ayla sat down to eat, she noticed the same warrior who had praised her earlier for being strong. He was smiling, food in his hand.
Ayla strong. he said, almost a whisper but loud enough to be heard by her. She felt relieved. Her people could still trust in her, even after this. Ayla strong...
It was night. The fire in the square burned brightly, warming most of the huts in the vicinity. All of the huts had their own fires as well. There was one burning in Aylas hut, as she leaned on the wall of the hut, looking outside. Kino was sitting on their bed, his wound cleaned and bandaged by his wife. He looked at her.
Ayla, why worry? People fine now.
Ayla looked back at him, loving his ability to sense whenever she was having inner turmoil. People fine now, but what about after? What about when there not enough food for us all? she said. No want war. We have war with Reptites and win, but we no win war against ourselves. In the end, we all die. she said, hanging her head down. Kino walked up to her, realizing she was weeping. He placed an arm on her shoulder.
No, we not die. You strong, Ayla. You help us. We no have war, you wise and strong. Ayla look up at him, teary eyed.
Really? You think I strong? When you no cry and I always do? Kino smiled.
Yes, you strong. Crying no matter. At least you secure enough to do so, not like me.
Ayla ugged her husband. Kino, thank you... she said, wiping away tears. He hugged her close and kissed her forehead.
Shh. No more talk. he said, lying down next to her, and for the next few hours they forgot about the riot, and killings, and all other problems until they both fell asleep, exhausted.
It was day. The sun shone brightly today, and though the wind was cold, the sun kept the land warm. Ayla was outside her hut, her cloak not needed. The hunters were getting more food to ration out to both villages. Kino was off again to Laruba, helping with the burial ceremony. Ayla sighed. She was glad she had him, only he seemed to understand her fully. She pushed away golden strands of hair and stood, holding her club in front of her. She was awaiting the results of the hunt.
Ayla heard a sound in the distance. Looking toward it, she saw a figure running toward the village in the distrance. After a few minutes, she could see that it was that young warrior from yesterday. He finally made it in front of Ayla, out of breath and trying to speak.
Chief... we.. find... something... he said, then coughed. Ayla helped him stand.
Wait. Drink water, then talk. Tell me name. she said, handing him a waterskin. The man drank heavily, water spilling down his chin. After he was done, he spoke.
My name Kanor. he said, still breathing heavily.
Ayla nodded. Kanor, what you see?
We be hunting and find small game, but then it rain! And after rain, strange creature appear!
Ayla blinked. She had heard the rumors of this beast, and even seen it with her own eyes, but that happened only once. Blue creature? All head?
Kanor nodded. Yes! He tell us go to Mystic Mountain. We ask, but he no answer. He just say go to Mystic Mountain.
Ayla thought for a moment. The blue beast was very strong, almost as strong as her. And it was extremely wise. She knew this from experience. If the beast said to go to Mystic Mountain, then she would go. Ok. Thank you Kanor. Go gather small party and follow me to Mystic Mountain. and with that, Ayla went into her hut to gather supplies and fur cloaks. Kanor stood there, admiring her.
Ayla strong. And wise.
Later that day, Ayla and some other followers were at the foot of Mystic Mountain. All of the followers were hand picked warriors, they were ready for anything. Nobody knew why the Blue Beast had told them to go to the mountain, but none would question each other. There were rumors of the beast. That it was the first inhabitant of the world. That it had power beyond imagination. That it was a God in an avatar form. This, coupled with the fact that it seldom talked to people, was disturbing.
Ayla certain we must go up? asked one shaggy-maned warrior. The chief gave him a cold look, and he quieted down.
Come. We go. she said, slinging her club over her shoulder. She closed her fur cloak around her and drew her hood up. The other warriors followed this example, and began trudging up the path of the mountain. The path was a long, winding road that lead up to a cliff. Ayla remembered that there had been a strange hole there (a gate), but that had dissappeared after she and her friends had beaten Lavos.
The wind was getting stronger, and white flakes were swirling in the air. Ayla knew what this was, but the other warriors had never seen snow before. Some of them became uneasy.
This bad omen! one person yelled. Evil spirits! Come, we go! Forget Blue Beast!
Ayla fixed him with a stare that could kill. The man quieted down, though not without complaint. The others began to murmur softly, praying to the Gods that they would be protected in this cold, high place. Only Kanor was undaunted.
They had reached a cliff near the very top. Underneath this area was where Crono and Co. had first met Ayla. It was here where the strange blue hole was, but now it was there no more. Ayla wondered why the Nu had told her to come up here, but she was not one to question him. After all, what were humans compared to Gods? The Ioka villagers worshipped the Nu as God of the hunt, and seeing him in the hunting range after the rain was considered both a curse and a blessing. Only Ayla had seen the Nu before. For this, as well as her earlier reputation, she was elected chief of Ioka. Now, others have seen it and were afraid. They knew to obey it, though not why.
Suddenly there was a rustling in the bushes. A soft, but meanicing, pitter-patter of feet could be heard. The warriors grew tense, every one frightened but willing to give their lives to save their chief. Kanor tossed aside his thick mane of dark red hair and gripped his club tightly.
Ayla was equally tense, but maintained control. Wait. No attack until I say so. The warriors waited. A large, blue head slowly made its way out of the bush. The Nu satarted to advance toward the group, slowly but surely, its blank face betraying no emotion. The warriors started to break down and run. After all, what were they to a God? Frightened of being smote down, all of the men except Kanor turned tail and ran down the mountain path, screaming curses and prayers alike. Ayla blinked. So much for warriors.
Kanor, however, had enough bravado to face the beast. He raised his club and uttered a war cry, running toward the blue creature. The Nu made no move to defend itself of attack. It just stopped and stood there, waiting.
Kanor! You stop! yelled Ayla, but to no avail. Kanor kept running, screaming all the way, and brought his club down in an arc that would have smashed the skull of a man (or Reptite) and seperate the head from the neck. The club smashed against the Nu. It shattered.
Kanor stood there, dumbfounded. He had attacked the creature with all of his strength, yet it still stood there! And its face revealed nothing. It was like looking at a wall. Kanor clenched his fists and faced the Nu, ready to fight even to the end. Then a callused but delicate hand was felt on his shoulder.
No more, Kanor. said Ayla. It not want to fight. It bring us here for reason, and I think reason very important.
You are exactly correct, child.
The voice shocked both of them. Kanor searched around blindly, looking to see where the voice came from. Ayla, however, knew what it was. The Nu hadnt moved its mouth at all, but somehow she could sense that the voice came from the creature.
NuKhama, God of hunt, I at your command. said Ayla, kneeling and placing her club in front of her. Kanor, seeing that all attacks were futile, knelt down also. The Nu hobbled in front of the two and placed two thin hands on their shoulders.
Arise, my children. You have no need to kneel before me, I am flesh and blood like you. Have no fear.
Ayla slowly stood up, with Kanor, both of them keeping their faces averted from the Nu out of respect.
Look at me.
A simple, yet commanding tone. The two raised their heads and looked the creature in the eyes. The Nu blinked. His eyes were small, yet he had perfect vision. Thousands of millenia of evolution had perfected his race on their original home... the Nu began to speak again.
Young ones, you and the others may have defeated Lavos, but even after he was defeated, trouble was brewing. I have not the time to answer your questions... you must get in the gate!
Ayla understood what gate meant. But it was not there anymore. How was she supposed to fulfill her divine duty? Great spirit, how I do what you say? No more gate!
The Nu pulled out a shiny, metal object from somewhere on his body. Holding it up to the edge of the cliff, he waited. A tiny, dark hole of blue matter, a tear in the fabric of space/time, was beginning to form. The Nu pressed a button on the object, and the hole enlarged enough to fit several people in it. With that done, the Nu turned toward the two.
You must enter this gate... thought there are not three of you, it will take you to the End of Time. There, you must wait for the others. I have said all that I need to say. Now go!
Ayla took a deep breath, lowered the hood on her cloak, and started to walk toward the gate. She stopped when she noticed that Kanor was following her. She turned around.
Kanor, you go back. This not your trouble. the man stood his ground.
No! Must protect you!
Ayla pushed him back. Go! Back to Ioka, tell Kino what happen. You help me much. Ayla hefted her club onto her shoulders, and started to walk toward the blue void that was the gate. The Nu was waiting beside the portal. As Ayal stepped to the portal, Kanor made a move to follow her. However, Ayla was quick. She grabbed him by his long, dark red hair and held him in front of her.
Kanor! You no follow! Obey your chief! she said harshly. When she saw his hurt look, though, she softened her voice. Kanor, you brave man. Look at others! All run away when NuKhama come! Only you stay. she smiled. But this my mission. Sense danger ahead, and no wan anyone else involved. Want you and others to be safe. she released the grip on his hair. Go. Go to Ioka and tell Kino everything. I need him to know so he no worry. Ayla pulled a string of beads and Reptite claws from around her neck, and handed them to Kanor. He was shocked. I need people look over Ioka. she said, placing the necklace around his neck. You help me. Look over Ioka and Laruba, keep war from happening. I trust you, Kanor. You now chief in my place.
Kanor stared at the string of beads on his neck. That necklace was only for those that were competent enpugh to look over the tribes. He grasped it in his hand, making a fist.
I make you proud, Ayla! I look over Ioka when you go, there no be problem! he then said solemnly, I promise.
The warrior woman gave him a thumbs-up, and a grin. I trust you. Now Go! Kanor sped down the mountain trail, dissapearing from sight. Ayla now faced the portal again. She bravely and calmly walked toward the blue void. It was growing bigger and bigger as she walked toward it. Finally at the edge of the cliff, she looked behing her. The Nu was standing there.
You come along? said Ayla.
The Nu shook his head. He held out to her the device that he used to open the portal, placing it in her palm. Ayla looked at it for a while. It seemed so familiar... The Nu spoke.
This is a Gate Key. You might remember that one of your friends had made a crude yet effective one. This is the same, but it is more advanced. I want you to take it with you and show it to Gaspar. He will tell you and the others what to do next. Now go. I must watch over this time. Good luck, Ayla.
The Nu seemed to grow transparent, then vanish entirely. Ayla pocketed the Gate Key, and faced the gate.
Now it is time.
She stepped into the swirling blue miasma, being absorbed into it like water into a sponge. The gate crackled with energy after she went inside it, then grew smaller and after a few minutes and a release of electricity, imploded into nothingness. The wind blew fiercly on the cliff of Mystic Mountain, carrying with it the voice of the Nu.
Countless millenia have we waited... and now, it begins. It is a period of Dangerous times...
(Authors Note: Well, I hope youre enjoying what I made so far. Still, I am brainstorming what is to come. Only one character remains to be documented: Magus. Save the best for last, eh? I plan to go more deeply into the plot after all the characters are documented. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, e-mail me at Robotech6025@juno.com. Sayonara, and enjoy what is to come.)
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