The Rainbow Shell Chapter 1

By Skankin' Lionel

Red lights flashed everywhere as a rumbling wave of pure energy engulfed the Ocean Palace. As two wise minds under the water knew it wouldn't hold up much longer. Doreen slid out of her hiding place, crept through the door to the transportation room, and hopped onto the platform. She knew that Crono and his friends had confronted the queen. She dematerialized in Zeal palace in a green wispy beam. Mist trailed around the transportation platform as Schala stumbled in through the doorway.

Schala climbed up onto the platform and was whisked up into Zeal Palace. She materialized to see Doreen exiting the corridor. She cried out to her. "Doreen, wait… I need help. We have to get to the Earthbound village." Doreen nodded at her and pulled her up to her feet. She half dragged her; half carried her out of the Palace. They beamed down to the Zeal transporter.

As they both landed in the frigid transporter shelter, a rumble could be heard once again. This time it wasn't quite as loud and it seem much more distant than in the palace. The duo walked outside of the shelter just in time to see the ocean palace literally blow sky high. Schala blacked out as she watched her home fall into the ocean.


After the fall of Zeal…

Schala came to in a small cavern. Lined along the walls of the dwelling were hundreds of books on large shelves. She glanced at a few boxes stacked in a corner and her eyes drifted next to her. On a cot to her left, she saw Doreen sleeping face down. She leaned over to wake her up but as she reached to tap Doreen's shoulder, she collapsed back down onto her cot.

She was so sore from the fighting in the Ocean Palace she didn't think she would ever be able to move again. She was a princess mostly used to being pampered by aides and not having to do much physically strenuous activity. She wasn't out of shape but she just wasn't used to fighting hellish demonic aliens with spikes. She did not move at all for about twenty minutes while she wondered where the Prophet and his friends went.

Doreen rolled over towards Schala with a distressed look on her face. "It's all gone. Zeal fell into the sea and Earthbound Village has been destroyed by the massive tidal wave. We are lucky that we made it to this cave before the land was swept over. I am afraid that we're going to be stuck here for a while. I'll get us some supper."

Schala watched as Doreen pulled a package out of one of the boxes in the corner. She held her palm out to the fireplace and flame erupted from her hand and it lit up the room. In the light, Schala noticed a large tunnel about five feet from the ground. It appeared to be the only way in or out of the cavern. She leaned over to face Doreen.

"Where are we Doreen? Is Zeal really gone? What… about… Janus? Where have Masa and Mune gone? Mother, is she alright?" Doreen just shook her head slowly and solemnly.

"I don't know Princess. The Ocean Palace though, it has risen out of the water and Lavos radiates with power. If your mother is still alive, she has been consumed by evil. Masa and Mune are safe in an alternate cave of their own. You saw what happened to the Melchoir's ruby knife didn't you?" Schala managed a weak nod. "Well, Masa and Mune took the sword and are guarding it. We all believe that it is the key to defeating Lavos. It was forged through the Mammon Machine when the Prophet thrust the ruby knife into it."

"Then the world is through Doreen? You still did not answer my first question. Where the hell are we?"

"In a cave on what use to be the eastern continent. Besides, princesses should not use such language. We are now almost completely underwater. Now you probably see why we will be stuck here for a while. We cannot leave this dwelling until you recuperate from your injuries. This cave is full of dangerous lizards like you've never seen before. Masa and Mune call this place the Giant's Claw."

"Princess of what? You already said Zeal was destroyed. I have nothing left to hold on to…"

"Schala… you have a life ahead of you, you are part of something larger than what you realize now. We all are you, me, Masa, Mune, Janus, the Prophet, the Outsiders, Lavos, your mother, and the Gurus. We have to worry about contacting those outsiders. They are our only connection to Lavos, them and the Prophet. Your mother is no longer the same, she has been consumed by Lavos. We need to contact the others, but until the water level lowers we'll be stuck here."

"Um, if we're almost completely underwater then how is it that there is still air in here?" Doreen put her hand on her chin.

"I don't know, but believe me, we won't run out of air." Schala nodded and fell back asleep, tormented by the loss of her beloved mother for who she would do anything. As her sight dimmed, and she felt her exhaustion creep over her she realized she had already done too much for her mother. As she drifted into subconscious, Schala had dug herself into a hole that would be very difficult too climb out of…

Doreen pulled herself through the tunnel out of the dwelling and found herself in a large cave. Her eyes scanned the area searching for anything that she could put in the stew she was making. A yellow glow emitted from around a curve in the cave. She glimpsed around to see what gave off the glow but never really got a good look. Most of what she saw consisted of the mouth of a large tyranno!

Doreen hopped back, posed for battle. Her forearms ablaze with the blue flame of Zeal. The Tyranno ran around the corner, mouth agape, and charging at Doreen. Pulling her outstretched arms together, she unleashed her combusting energy right down the tyranno's throat. The burnt lizard stumbled around, bumping into walls until it finally collapsed on the ground.

Doreen sighed with relief as she dusted off her tunic. She walked around the corner to see what was glowing. She gasped as she saw a huge vibrant yellow Starshell. The bottom half of the shell was encrusted in a metallic rock. Doreen assumed that the shell was from space and was encased in a meteor.

She ran back to the cavern dwelling to tell Schala about what she found. She found her sitting up on her cot. She sat eating some bread and salad while she waited for the stew on the fire to finish cooking. Schala was startled to see Doreen back from her ingredient-gathering walk already.

"Why are you back so soon? I thought you were going to get some mushrooms and lentil and stuff?"

"You… will never…believe what I found. There is this huge shell, bigger than I am. The power radiating from it is extraordinary!" Schala jumped up, and flew towards the opening. Doreen held her back. She shook her head as she spoke.

"Not now Schala, you're not strong enough yet. Maybe we can go out tomorrow morning, if you're feeling better. This is amazing I tell you! Let me go get the mushrooms and lentils I went out for." She said as she flew towards the exit. Schala laid back down upon her cot and inhaled deeply the smell of the stew simmering over the faintly glowing fire…

Doreen grasped at the base of a large orange toadstool, when she got a good grip she gritted her teeth and tugged. She fell back as the roots tore from the toadstool base. She dusted her back off and stood up, grabbing some edible lichen from the wall. She flew into the air, heading back to her cavern.

Schala had fallen asleep while Doreen was out and Doreen added the ingredients to the stew the minute she got back. Doreen was as silent as possible as she poured the stew into bowls and doused the already dwindling fire. She tapped Schala on the shoulder until her eyes slowly opened.

"Hey, you're awake. I'm gonna contact Masa and Mune and you can eat right now." Schala nodded weakly as Doreen handed her a bowl.

Doreen mumbled an incantation as she waved her arms about in the air. A small crystal appeared on the cavern wall and started to spread across the wall face. After the growth was finished spreading at about three feet each way, images of Masa and Mune emerged from nothingness.

"Hello dear sister! How is the princess feeling now? Is she better?" Doreen confirmed their inquiries as she slid out of the way, revealing Schala sitting on her cot, stirring her stew between bites she took. Doreen moved back in front of the screen and started to explain to them about the Starshell she had found when she was out getting food. Her brothers listened intently as she told them about the power it gave off.

"It could be forged into some sort of ultimate weapon, even more powerful than the blade you now protect. As soon as Schala is well, I am going to take her to it to see if she can enhance its powers with some of her magic abilities. I think she might be drained from the fight in the Ocean Palace and it might take more time to retrieve her magical abilities even after she recuperates. I will talk to you again soon Masa and Mune. Goodbye." Doreen concluded and the cavern wall absorbed the crystal growth.

Doreen sat down to her stew with Schala and they continued to eat in silence until they were finished. "Doreen, will my mother ever be okay?" Doreen looked away slowly…

"I don't know yet Schala. I just don't know…"


Two weeks Later…

Schala ran down a stony corridor within their mountain prison, which was slowly turning into a home. Doreen said that the water level was much lower than it had been when they first arrived in their underwater home. Schala was pleased to hear that and would be overjoyed to escape outside and breath some fresh air. She turned down a small tunnel and saw Doreen standing next to the entrance to their cavern.

"Hi Schala, how was your jog?" Doreen asked as she approached the princess who was standing there, catching her breath.

"It was fine, but the scenery was a little dull. I would like to get out of here sometime soon. I am feeling much more energetic than last week. Hey! What about that shell you mentioned when we first got here? I think I'm feeling well enough to see it now." Doreen nodded enthusiastically and she started off towards the location of the shell…

As they rounded a bend, the radiant glow of the Starshell was already apparent. The walls were shining with a reflective yellowish light, continually spiraling around the corridor. Schala was bewildered by the sight in front of her. She could sense a great power, only it didn't feel horrible and terrifying like the Mammon Machine. This was a warm and comforting power that gave you strength and didn't drain you of it. She plodded along behind Doreen until she came to a halt moving out of the way to reveal a huge Starshell, glistening in the light.

Schala was stunned by its radiance. She tried to speak to Doreen but managed only a mere stutter. "wha, wha , what in the world!" Doreen spun around to calm Schala.

"Schala, can you feel that incredible power?" Schala expressed only a feeble nod. "We must protect this shell Schala. It has a power so colorful and vibrant that I've only dreamt about while at Enhasa. We will find a way to make this shell even more powerful…" Schala nodded once more and they headed back to the cavern.


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