It was Crono, his left hand clutching a blue right one which seemed devoid of all life. And the blueness was slowly crawling across his chest and neck.
"Please, can I see Lucca?" gasped the possibly dying Crono. Without a word of response, Lara rushed upstairs to Lucca's room and called her down, emergency. Lucca came, saw, and gasped.
"Crono, what's wrong?" she asked, urgently.
"I was on my way home when I was attacked by some thing behind the bushes. I fought it but lost my sword. It was a shape-shifting black thing. I tried getting my katana back, but got a blue, numb arm instead." Lucca nodded, rushed to the kitchen, shuffled around the drawers and came back with a syringe and a swab dabbed in alcohol.
"Sorry, this formula isn't exactly tested yet, so I'm attempting to get your circulation going while doing something for science." Plunging the needle into his right shoulder, she squeezed the blue liquid into his arm. Not being able to feel anything, Crono said nothing. Lucca continued, "I wanted to use this so that people with bad circulation could be saved before death. But the formula was only supposed to be for that, not a severe case like yours. Sorry, but for the moment, it'll have to do, or I'll have to cut off your arm to keep it from spreading."
"Cut off my arm? Couldn't you just wait for a little healing or something?"
"Not for this type. You don't even have a pulse, Crono," said Lucca, yanking the needle out and placing a small cloth on the needle contact point. Crono had a look of worry and anger at the same time. Of course, Lucca was referring to just his numb arm about the pulse.
"Damn, who'd have thought I'd lose my arm?"
"Well, no one, especially with your swordsmanship. But impulses do seem to get you into trouble. Here, hold your arm still," replied Lucca, giving a tonic for him to drink. Observing his arm for a while, and then hammering it, and then running through tests, Lucca came out with results and a neutral look on her face.
"Well, how's my arm?" Crono inquired, impatient.
Lucca sighed. "I honestly don't know how to put this," she stated. "Your arm is dead. Kaput, gone. Circulation has not been fed by the heart for a long time. Your dead arm is going to be more cumbersome than anything," she continued, getting a glance from Crono. "I'll have to remove your right arm, Crono."
The swordsman said nothing, but leaned against the wall at the news. He cursed out loud and then, knowing that it was useless to dwell on hardships, succumbed to the truth.
"Now, Lucca?" The scientist nodded at Crono's rhetorical question. Producing a surgical blade, Lucca severed his arm over a tub which collected the excess blood. With that out of the way, Lucca brought artificial blood vessels and attached it to Crono's shoulder. Having nothing but a stub, Crono sadly shook his head.
"First my sword, then the sward's operator. How can I get those things back?" lamented Crono. Offering what consolidation she could, she patted Crono's back.
"Maybe we could go get you a mechanical arm from 2301," suggested Lucca. Crono looked at inventor.
Robo clamored up the wall and flipped his squat body over it, attempting to escape from the band of angry anti-mechanism sympathizers. He boosted himself with his jets a short ten feet into the air and used his rocket arm to topple a pile of junk to shield his way. Then , without looking back, he proceeded away from the protesters. Rushing towards Bangor Dome, Robo increased his pace and swiveled his head backwards. The mob had broken down the temporary barrier, and was now closing in. Robo observed that this wasn't the first time people had not accepted new technologies for fear of being destroyed. But Robo wasn't like the other robots from Geno Dome. He didn't want to kill humans; he was grateful.
Unfortunately, anger can cloud judgment.
Robo skidded to a stop as a blinding flash of light interrupted his path. An explosive sound that Robo was all too familiar with cut through the air, alerting all those near that something had arrived. Briefly after a hissing of hydraulics and the whir of the Epoch announced the long-awaited arrival of his friends. However, without saying anything, Robo hopped into the time machine and observed the three adventurers.
"Please, allow us to get away from the premises," Robo told Lucca, who was piloting the craft. Acknowledging Robo's demand without question, Lucca shifted the gears of the Epoch and flew off into the horizon. Robo first turned to Lucca.
"Lucca, nice to see you again. It has been a year, and I have valuable data to share with you." Then Robo turned to Crono.
"Crono! What has happened to your right arm?" he queried.
"It's a long story. You have to get me to the prosthetics department, and get me a new arm," the young swordsman replied.
"Certainly. Allow me to direct you to the medical location responsible for the care of your fake arm." Pointing towards the general area and inputting the coordinates, Robo pinpointed the location and, with auto-pilot on, directed the Epoch to their next destination: Arris Dome.
"Greetings," bleeped a computer voice, sensing the arrival of an entity. "What is your name?"
"Sorry. Access denied," responded the computer. "There is no such name as that besides in the records of 600 A.D."
"That's where I'm from," said the pale magician, letting a bit of his frustration at mechanisms flow out with his words.
"Hand print identification, please." A panel somewhere opened up, large enough to accommodate Magus' hand. He took off his glove and pressed his hand up against the faintly glowing outline of a palm on the panel.
"Hurry up, dammit."
"Thank you. You may now enter Arris Dome."
Magus entered the flourished Arris Dome, rich with bustle and hustle, a center of government, recreation, living, economy, and technology. Pulling his glove back on, Magus proceeded down the crowded corridor towards the information chambers. He would start his search there. Somewhere in the background, there was a recorded voice bleating out the date repeatedly. The date is March 29, 2301. The date is March 29, 2301. The time is 19:00. The time is 19:01 . Ignoring the irritating speakers, Magus paused at an information stand and entered his search parameters. Schala. Princess of Zeal Kingdom. Last reported seen at 12,000 B.C. the computer bleeped.
"That's a bunch of help," muttered the dark mage. He searched for satellite surveillance. Satellite surveillance found in northeast sector of 33 Arris Dome. Turning his back on the publicly-used search computer, he proceeded, according to the signs, towards the reported area. Hurrying along at a brisk pace, Magus quickly arrived at the surveillance room. There was a door and behind it, a large room. Stepping through the door that opened automatically, he looked upon the three people managing the eyes and ears from all around the entire area. One turned and waved towards him.
"What's your request, sir? We'll find anything the computers can't with sight and notify you within two days," the operator said. Magus gave the man the best description of his sister that he could find and thanked the man. Now all he had to do was find a place to stay for the wait, preferably a second-rate inn. Moving across the hallways of the dome, the Prince of Zeal quickly strode to a structure labeled "hotel". For Magus, it meant "inn". He entered and moved with such suavity and flowing movements that his cape kept its shape from behind him, barely losing its hover. Magus went up to the automaton managing the hotel rooms and asked for the smallest one.
"Of course, sir. Right this way," the robot directed, leading Magus down the corridors of the hotel, reminding Magus of the corridors of Zeal, the ones that he would never see again. "Here it is," said the robot, showing Magus a room with one bed, a chair and a restroom. Leaving the robot to tend to its own business, Magus swaggered into his room for a restful night's sleep.
"There. That should do it. With the new strain of metal we found, your arm should be lightweight for everyday use, yet extremely resistant for your combat," explained Lucca as she thanked the surgeon for giving Crono his prosthetic arm. Crono thanked his bespectacled friend and the three of them exited the hospital. Once outside, Lucca started pondering what to do. Robo stayed silent as he let the two humans decide.
"Maybe we should go to the hotel to rest for a day before we decide what to do about the black thing back home, eh?" suggested Lucca.
"What about Robo? Are we going to leave him for the mob?"
"Of course not," replied Lucca, shocked at Crono sudden coldness. "we'll bring him with us."
"Well, then, to an inn."
"Hotel. That's what their called in this time," corrected Robo. The warrior shrugged. Robo led them to the closest resting place and the three entered. They were greeted by another robot who led them to a room with two separate beds and a wall-four, actually-for Robo to lean on when he was turned off. It had one bathroom with sink and shower. Crono thanked the automaton which had shown them their room. Beeping a "you're welcome", the robot left, not having any request from the three travelers.
Lucca flopped onto one of the beds and preoccupied herself with a piece of Robo's laser cannon, dusting it and then adding her own modifications to it. Removing one of the mirrors that reflected the laser beam and concentrated it. Adding another reflective panel to one of the sides allowed a more concentrated laser beam, and Lucca tested it with laser pointer. It burnt a hole into the bedspread. Quickly noticing what she had done, Lucca put out the cinders and looked at the laser cannon. Adding another layer of concentration lenses, Robo's laser became very small yet very strong. Placing the gun back into Robo's chest, she closed the opening panel and then turned to Robo's ocular processors, or his eyes.
The two green orbs were rather clean, although the retinal imitation wasn't that up-to-date. Robo could not see enough colors to process every single pigment bestowed upon the world. Lucca solved that problem, though.
"So how's Atropos been?" inquired Lucca, placing a color processor into own of the emerald spheres, screwing it into place with exactness.
Crono observed his friend immerse herself within her tinkering work. He announced that he was going to browse the busy sights of Arris Dome to get more situated with the new environment. Lucca reminded him to bring back a meal. Bending his mechanical arm, he set out to "browse" with one of his older swords, the Shiva Edge. Increasing strength through it increased the final power exponentially. It was his second best sword.
Exiting the hotel, Crono decided to pawn off some of the gold of the past for "credits" in the future. Since gold was rare in this time, he could buy better tonics for less gold. Heading for the bank, he patted the bag of gold at his side and thought of how much high-quality gear he could buy. More than its weight in gold, that's for sure, Crono thought to himself, smiling at his own inside joke. After taking no more than three steps away from the hotel door, he spotted a familiar shimmer of blue and a cape following not more than three yards away.
"Magus!" he called, waving towards the mage. However, with his back to Crono, Magus could not hear the warrior calling to him over the buzzing cacophony of the residents of the dome. Crono saw Magus board an inter-city transit headed for the northeast sector. Chasing after his cloaked ally, Crono rushed to the shuttle, but a second too late, for the doors had closed, and the vehicle had started up. Rushing past Crono via shuttle, Magus managed to turn to the window in time to see spiked red hair and a familiar gi. He tilted his head in thought and then shook it.
With all the honors of being a Guardian general, there came tedious workloads and responsibilities. That's why Frog finally resigned, leaving the job to those who wanted power and fame and fortune, to become a chivalrous knight captain. Frog did not wished to be known as Glenn. He wanted to be Frog. He was more successful being Frog, and he didn't want to stop at that moment.
"When doth the sun set? Tis' a question I needn't ask thee. When doth the birds fly south? I need not ask thee. But I need to ask thee when our supplies arrive," Frog asked his lieutenant, who stood at attention at the knight's Square Table.
"Well, Captain Frog, the supplies containing the bows and arrows have been raided on by some Mystic troops. While the raid was unsuccessful, thanks to our soldiers' bravery, but the Mystics set the wooden cart and load on fire before we slaughtered the brunt of the force. The supplies that made, however, are due to arrive by high noon today, sir," reported the young Lieutenant Smith.
"What supplies are being delivered, Smith?" queried a colonel by the name of Leo.
"Archery equipment, armor, Tonics and Ethers for healing, swords, shields, pikes, and other weaponry, sir."
"Tell me, what are these weapons for?" a voice piped up from the doorway.
"My liege!" croaked the amphibian captain, bowing to the arriving king. Everyone followed suit, kneeling to one knee and bowing their heads, muttering, "your highness," or, "your majesty" and "my sovereign". The king motioned for them to rise and spoke to Frog.
"So, what are the weapons for?" asked the king.
"We have recruited a score of soldiers and have trained them to become elites. Bringing them through training allowed us to promote the guard of Guardia and enhance the safety of our citizens, your highness," answered the diminutive frog-man.
"Very well. I just wished to know of the current situation, that's all. Carry on, knight captain," said the king, turning his back on the knight's quarters and walking out, flanked by his escorts. Frog sighed, shaking his head before standing back up.
"Sir, with all due respect, why didn't you tell him the truth?" asked a young aspiring knight by the name of Cascade (pronounced CAS-ka-day).
"Young Cascade, the king has troubles in his own fields of work, yes? I believe we should only tell the king if the Mystics actually attack," answered the Smith. "I need you, however, knight," continued Smith. "The Mystics are starting to stir and I need someone to scout the area ALONE. That's to not draw attention and provoke them to actually attack."
"Yes, sir," bowed the knight, standing up and going to his quarters to get ready. Slamming the door, he began to suit up.
Colin Fletcher was part of the Guardian elite guard. He had just been recruited a few days ago and now he was fresh and ready for battle. Having the best training but little real experience, he was brash, and sometimes was arrogant. However, he was honest and benevolent. Some people thought that he was a bit less patient.
He remembered the day he was drafted when he got a letter telling him nothing except to report to a certain fort somewhere. There, at the fort, he was forced to give up his bad traits and pride and to rebuild it through training.
He constantly went through drills and exercises that left him as sore and tired as a man who hadn't eaten in days. He was taught how to use every weapon in the Guardian, Trucean, Porrean, and Mystic arsenals. From swords to spears to bows to axes, he was not a disadvantage when using any weapon he had. His personal favorite was the pike, and he was in charge of the pikemen in his regiment. His regiment was in charge of taking down mounted mystics.
His own pike was special, since he was in charge of his men. The shaft was actually hollow steel painted brown and ten feet long. The head of the weapon was a foot long and diamond, cut to be very sharp double-edged and narrow for the deepest penetration. He also kept a dagger and shield by just in case. Like all knights, he also required a three foot staff. Colin's armor was steel mail on the inside and steel plating on the outside with the insignia of Guardia's royalty on his chest. Trying to keep light, however, he didn't wear plates on his upper arms and legs. On those, he just had two layers of chain mail. His helmet was just a cap with metal, strapped to his chin. Underneath his armor, he had leather to stop any arrow penetration and tough muscles to break open opposing armor. Lastly, he had Tonics and Ethers, and a little bit of magic imitation, gunpowder and matches to mimic fire and brimstone.
Colin now looked upon his perfectly polished men. Their armor glinted like diamonds and their weapons were flawless, all hand-made by the finest blacksmith in the kingdom. His second-in-command was mounted and carried the flag of Guardia's elite, like Colin himself. After inspecting his men a last time, Colin gave the order to march to the north end of Zenan Bridge. Leading his troops across the drawbridge of the castle, they marched through the forest, flanked by the archers and scouts in front, the Heavy cavalry in the back, and support troops on the right. On the left were the siege weapons piloted by engineers. The troops had a lot of trouble squeezing through the forest.
"Hey, General Welkins," called a catapult handler. "Why don't we blast these trees and make that extended courtyard that the king wants so much, eh? Clearing forests may make us vulnerable, but hey, I've got more pros than cons in blasting a straight path through than not."
The suggestion was met with some laughs, but most of the soldiers were keeping silent. The general himself had a look of thoughtfulness, and actually considered the thought.
"Fine, we can manage. Everyone behind the siege weapons!" ordered the general, much to everyone's surprise. The army moved behind the catapults as the engineers loaded the weapons up with flaming stones. Some of them used gunpowder-filled bags with fuses and lit them up. After a bombardment of about three minutes, a good chunk of the forest was leveled, and the army proceeded to march in its former fashion.
Midway through the day, the army got to the quaint plains with the castle in one view and Zenan Bridge on the opposite horizon. Here the general ordered a short break lasting for thirty minutes. Colin Fletcher rode up to General Welkins to accompany him in observing the opposite side of Porre. Looking into the distance, they could make out the smoke of chimneys and even hear some of the yells from little children and chickens and mothers calling children home for the meal.
Suddenly, something caught Colin's eye from the south side of Porre, the most distant side. Something was kicking up dust, and when it settled, there was a squad of Mystic raiders, consisting of Henches and Naga-ettes. They began to descend upon the tranquil town and the local guard began battling them, but it was all in vain for entire lines of Mystics began to arrive, calling for .
"Guardian troops, assemble! Enemy attack on Porre. March in line and as quickly as possible to the beginning of Zenan Bridge! Await for further orders there. Move out!" cried the general, who also saw the threat. There was a great clamor and cacophony as the soldier hastily gathered up and began running at the same pace towards Zenan. Once there, the general drew his sword.
"May God help us today! Colin, I will command your troops. Ride back to the Guardian castle and get me the knights' aid. I can only hold, what, a thousand Mystic for so long! Troops, CHARGE! Colin, GO!" barked the general.
And so the second battle of Zenan bridge erupted in full force.
Shanley Wang's Fanfiction