War of the Mystics Chapter 1
Stirring Up Trouble
By Tina Branford
Far later, 600 years into time, the Kingdom of Guardia flourished with the same fragrant spring. The morning breeze caused the heavy trees laden with blossoms, to carry their scent into the four corner of the winds. The sunlight in place of the dark winter clouds persuaded the people out of their stuffy homes, and into the forests and cities of Guardia. But many made their way to Leenes square, where the Spring Festival had already commenced.
With a small wave, the lavender haired woman laughed at the antics of her excited friend, jumping from one telepod to the other waving her arms wildly. It was a strange sight to see on the stage platform of lower Leenes square, a beautiful golden haired woman prancing upon a circular device, vanishing from one place to another. Marle, though not a scientist, was a great observer, and was more than enthusiastic about testing Luccas inventions. Lucca put a hand on her hip, nodding with satisfaction, and turned back to her work, suddenly giving a half-hearted scowl at the bleep of her computer. She muttered angrily,
"Are you sure?"
Flipping her golden ponytail behind her back, Marle gave a small snort, hands on her hips midway between a teleport.
"Of COURSE it works Lucca! Your a genius!"
Preening slightly, Lucca nodded her head casually.
"Well, I am a genius, but great minds can make mistakes."
Marle gave another unladylike snort, jumping off the telepod giving Lucca a little shove.
"Not this genius, Ms. Braniac," She replied, flicking her finger on the top of Luccas head.
Waving a hand at Marle praise, Lucca tapped skillfully on the computer systems of the telepod, her fingers flying over the keys which made soft tap-tap sounds and odd quirks and bleeps from the monitor. Heaving a small impatient sigh, Lucca replied to a curious Marle, peering anxiously over here shoulder at a myriad of numbers on a blinking screen.
"There seems to be a problem with the data files, Ill just have to fix the matrices and well be all set."
Nodding enthusiastically, the princess peered interestedly at the screen, then turned away blinking as the numerous lines of data speeding down from the monitor screen made her slightly dizzy. The telepods had been a big hit three years ago, and no one had ever thought to have them remade and put to use, until now. These particular telepods were a gift to the king, for easier transportation along the lower and upper parts of Guardia. Now instead of taking a days ride, the kings forces in both areas could report to the castle in mere minutes. Hmm.. thats strange. Why hasnt anyone thought of rebuilding these things until now?
"What ever happened to the telepods you constructed, 3 years ago..?"
Turning momentarily away from her work, Lucca replied as casually as she could manage.
"They were destroyed."
Immediately, Marles eyebrow arched.
"Destroyed? Why? And why make them again now?"
Shrugging her shoulders in reluctance, Lucca turned away from her work completely. Marle didnt like the small remnants of a frown creeping toward the womans smooth features. Giving her glasses a small tug, she replied slowly.
"Marle, remember Schalas pendant?"
With a blink, Marle nodded, her hands clasped firmly around her own pendant in recollection.
"Yes.. It looked just like mine.. I wonder if they are the same pendants..?"
Lucca nodded slowly, her arms folded around her chest.
"Might be, since it had the ability to absorb Lavos power. Im sure not any pendant, or any type of stone for that matter- can actually channel the power of Lavos. But thats not the point."
Turning her back to Marle, Lucca squinted her eyes towards the distance, where the soft sounds of laughter resounded from lower Leenes Sqare where the festival had started a few hours ago. A small breeze fluttered about her, causing her to relax and stretch her aching limbs in the liberty of the beautiful afternoon. Today was such a nice day, it was a shame she should have to spoil it all working on another science project, not that she didnt enjoy working on her inventions. Almost forgetting Marle in the tranquillity of the moment, she grimaced as the woman made an exasperated sound.
Marle put her hands on her hips and broadened her shoulders, the sunlight gathering on her back enlightening her beautiful features, her hair looking as if it had caught on fire.
"Then what IS the point?"
As if awakening from a long trance, she fingered long pale strands of her lavender hair back into place, as the spring breeze carried on towards the forests. Tapping her glass rims expectantly, she replied fairly quickly, noticing Marles impatience.
"Your pendant, which if it is indeed Schalas pendant, might have received the power of Lavos 1300 years ago in the dark ages. Yet it amazingly had the ability to disrupt the flow of the telepod, and bring you 400 years back into the year 600 AD, you do remember that Marle? 3 years ago, at this very place?"
The golden haired companion nodded quickly, voicing a dry reply.
"Thats something you cant forget in a lifetime Lucca."
"Right.. Can you imagine how much power the pendant held when Schalas pendant first absorbed the power of Lavos from the Mammoth machine? I estimate that your pendant had a formidable amount of lavos energy, but imagine how much it had in the dark ages? If it fell into the wrong hands.."
The idea quickly fell onto Marles shoulders, and she slumped visibly.
"That pendant can create another wannabe Lavos!"
Lucca shook her head, laughing a little.
"If that were possible, we would have already traveled to the Dark Ages to find that pendant and put it in safe hands.. Lavos power was much greater than what could be absorbed into a enchanted stone. But it could create a demi-lavos, with powers much formidable and advanced than ours.. and with the powers of time travel there would be no telling what kind of changes could occur in history as we know it."
"So you cut off all means of time travel in every time-period, and destroyed the time key and the telepod so no one could travel through the gates?"
Lucca winked slyly, turning back to her work.
"Not quite. The telepods and the Epoch yes- but the time key still exists."
Marles blue eyes rounded into large orbs.
"Where is it Lucca? Did you hide it?"
Tapping furiously on the keyboard, Lucca answered with a small smile.
"Hnn.. yes, I gave it to someone for safe keeping. I think we can trust him, to some extent."
With a double blink, Marle shrugged her shoulders and plopped down on the tile floor, looking up at the clear blue skies. Unsatisfied with Luccas tendency to half answer questions, and then get absorbed so quickly into her work she changed the subject. Her friend had been at work for 5 straight hours morning to afternoon, and her mood wouldnt improve by her ceaseless prodding. She supposed genius all had draw backs, in this case it was an absentmindedness, and sort of dreaminess about her when she was at work, or in deep thought for the matter.
"Lucca, didnt Crono say he was going to be here?"
Not budging, she answered automatically, later what Marle considered to be her own private thoughts.
"Uh-huh. Dont worry about him Marle, hes probably still in bed. You know hes been staying up late, learning about "ruling a kingdom" from your father.. Poor fellow hes not the brightest student when it comes to politics and such.."
Almost with a start, Lucca put a hand to her mouth, wondering if she had offended Marle by insulting her future husband. Almost sighing relief at Marles good temper, Lucca went back to her work after joining into her laughter.
"I know hes not a genius like you Lucca, but hes got a good heart. And thats all a King needs."
Lucca glanced sideways at the golden haired youth as she sighed gustily, probably thinking about her fiancé. Resisting the urge to gag, she continued on her work, automatically spewing forth data while her mind wandered restlessly at her own thoughts. Crono, her best friend might have been described as "handsome" by some, but more as "goofy" by others. When her two friends walked hand in hand, it was hard to restrain from laughing. Marle, a beautiful pale faced, and primly neat young woman, was one of the most beautiful and elegant looking women Lucca had ever met, though her personality differed. Crono on the other hand, had wild red hair, an even wilder look in his eyes, and a goofy grin, looked nothing like Marle. Well you know what they say.. opposites attract.
Since 3 years had passed, their adolescent liking for each other had bloomed into love as adults. Marles father King Guardia, recognized that both teenage lovers were no longer teenagers, and were ready to take on greater responsibilities, like marriage. It was concluded that they were to be married when poor Crono had learned about ruling Guardia, which Marle hoped wouldnt be long. Lucca knew it their wedding wouldnt be anytime soon.
With a satisfactory tap-tap, Lucca raised both hands into the air victoriously, stretching lugiriously.
"There- finished! The datas all stored. A final test, and theyre ready to be carried off to the King."
"Already!? Wow, I must have gotten up later than I thought."
Lucca blinked and turned towards the voice abruptly, causing a cascade of lavender hair to fall into her face. As she straightened her straight cropped hair back into place, she watched as Marle ran to embrace Crono whos wild red hair was poorly brushed and whos eyes were an unruly red. The signs of manliness looked odd on his cheerful face, as he gave her a bright smile. She scowled slightly.
"You missed the whole preparation and testing periods. Really Crono, your sleeping habits have gotten worse."
Rubbing the back of his head with a free hand, the other wrapped around Marles shoulders- he gave a half-hearted and apologetic grin.
"Ill make it up to you Lucca, I promise. Im sure you have something left for me to do!"
Marle nodded happily from her place at Cronos side, waving enthusiastically at both telepods.
"Yourre right! Lucca needs a final test."
With an enthusiastic bound, Crono jumped the steps to the telepods three at a time almost tripping on his feet, and gave a thumbs up sign to a cranky looking Lucca.
"All ready oh "intelligent" one. Flip the switch!"
Raising an eyebrow, she yelled back as the roar of the engines drowned her voice as she slammed a button near the computer system.
"That better not have been sarcasm red-head, or Ill give you something to laugh about!"
The telepod began to make a louder and louder whirring noise, gathering electric energy from its main batteries. A loud crackle announced the machine was at full power, and as Marle covered her hears, Lucca tapped madly away at her computer once more.
"Get ready Crono, here it comes!"
A blinding blue aura surrounded Crono as he was pulled into the distance warp, the familiar feeling of stark dead cold filling his bones as always, when he traveled by telepod, or by time. This feeling.. It feels so much like traveling through time-space.. I wonder if giving him the key was the right thing..?
The word barely escaped his mouth as the distance warp closed on him, abruptly and quickly, and he fell suddenly onto the cold tiled floor of the telepod. Marles screams, and Luccas shouts of exclamation reached his ears dully, but he didnt have the strength to answer back. Whats happening to me..? Why did the warp close on me? As he tried to stand, he was knocked off his feet as another blinding green aura closed in on him, and a gate opened right before him. Another flash, and Crono was on the ground, darkness surrounding him.
Lucca had had enough. WHY is it that something like this ALWAYS happens with these dammed telepods? She ran after Marle, who had frantically sped towards the blinding green aura, screaming Cronos name urgently. This isnt supposed to happen, the distance warp was forced closed. Thats not supposed to happen. She had no more time for further thought as she reached the telepod where Marle was crouched over the figure of Crono, her hands stroking his head.
"Crono! Crono! Wake up!"
"Marle is he ok? is.. Oh my god!!"
From behind the pair a dark figure lurked towards her. His scarlet cape whipped about him even though the wind was no where to be found, his handsome yet stone cold features sent chills down Luccas spine.. But most of all his eyes, those blue eyes that had once reflected so much life, was dull gray blue. With no sign of emotion on his face, he stepped towards Lucca, away from the strange green time gate, speaking merely four words of reluctant explanation.
"I need your help."
Glenn glanced longingly at the horizon, his eyes viewing the lovliness of the sun melting slowly into a million different hues of reds, oranges, and pinks. A cool evening breeze began to stir his olive green cloak behind him, as the warm afternoon turned into a sharp frosty spring evening. Guardias spring nights were almost as cold as winter night, and it seemed to be just that. Only the fragrant smells of the blossoming flowers reminded him that it was indeed spring, and a beautiful one at that. Another Guardian spring he had to protect from harm.
The small prosession of troops marched steadily on, armed lightly with chain-mail and short swords, a parley squad was nothing to match the army of mystics camped near Zenan bridge. If the runners who had immediately reported to the King were correct, they were outnumbered atleast 5 to one, including the bulk of the Kings forces. They also had another disadvantage, the powerful magic of the mystics.
But even through the Chancellors urgent words, he knew that Ozzie was not here for the land. Not that Glenn ever doubted the beauty, and the riches of his homeland, a temptation for every conquerer. Glenn had faced Ozzie since her was a mere boy, following his mentor Cyrus untill he had been murdered.. And he had been turned into this- vile.. creature. Pain shook his mind, as he tried to dismiss the thought, focusing on the motives of his life-long opressor. It was not like Ozzie to lay low with forces so large, he should be marching in and taking everything over everything with arogance, and merciless pride. He wanted something. He wanted something badly enough to ask for it. But what..?
"The Mystic camp is a few leagues ahead Sir Glenn."
Glenn turned to the Knight Captian beside him, very young for a Captain, and unquestioningly obedient for a man of his status. With a curt nod, he replied.
"Raise the white flag next to our banner. They must see it before the sun sets."
"As you command."
With a gesture of his armored hand, the bannerman raised a white flag next to the Guardian sigil; a white dragon resting on a blue field. The Captian looked quizically at his mentor, who showed no sign of emotion except for the solemn expression on his smooth jade features, which he always wore.
"Sir, what must we do now?"
Wrenched from deep thought, Glenn faced his charge with a blank look.
And hope that Ozzie is feeling merciful.
From within the coarse canvas tent set shoddily up in the middle of the Mystic camp, Sir Ozzie, a hideously ugly and obese creature; sat lazily on his wooden throne. His purple lips chewed hungrily at a piece of a vile looking bird, pasuing only to spit out a bone fragment, or take a long draught of wine from his cup, as he ate and drank his fill. The sun was setting, and the Guardian troops would arive before the darkness completely overcame the day. His predictions confirmed, he half listened to his commander, yapping away importantly, as he drew back into the secluded corners of his devious mind.
"It seems we have a small squadron of troops headed this way Sir Ozzie. The white flag is up, and the frog is with them, as you predicted."
Commander Octavian was no handsomer than his liege, his skin a wart filled blue, his eyes almost oozing out of his shruken head. He somewhat resembeled a myraid of different amphibians, simillar in minor qualities, yet too disimillar for the majority of his hideous form. Trembling slightly at his masters silence, he almost jumped when Ozzie spoke.
"Good. Bring them here."
"My lord? But they could pose a threat to his eminence-"
Snarling angrily, Ozzie hurled his goblet at the scrambling Commander.
"BRING THEM HERE!"
As the flap of the tent shuddered shut in the wind, Ozzie laughed vilely, almost insanely as he clasped a pendant around his neck. Stroking it lovingly, he murmured softly to himself, his voice barely audible in the wailing noises of weather.
"You will obey me my pretty. And then Ozzie will be all powerful."
And far away from the campsite, victum of the horrendous weather, a small frail figure scrambled feebley towards the towering structure ahead of her. Guardia, its mighty banner flapping wildley in the wind from its highest towers, watched as she scrambeled through the rain swept forest.
A cloak skillfully coverd her body, but it did not stop the rain from seeping to her skin, the cold, the hunger, and the tiredness trying to knock her over. But she did not budge, the urgency of her survival depended on her reaching the castle, which seemed so much closer. Taking each step wearily, she cried out in pain as her bare feet pierced a lose stone on the path. She tried to pull herself upright, but her many days of travel, and the poor conditions she had been reduced to had sapped all her strength- even the grim determination in her heart. She looked up hopelessly, only to see the steps leading to the castle, and the entrance so close..
With a contended sigh, she collapsed, defenseless to the storm that was heading that way.
-end of chapter 1-
To be continued..
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