Hero Undone Chapter 2
The Beginning at the End
The other Crono lay in a cot, his wounded body healed by Marle. His dreams, however, were a different matter. Faces floated before his eyes, all of his friends. All of them gone now.
"Please help me Crono!" Lucca's face cried, her eyes filled with pain and despair. "Where are you?"
"Crono, I-I'm dying!" a boy cried now, his bluish-purple hair soaked in blood, his face twisting. "You gotta help me!"
"Crono, why didn't you come for me!?! You could have saved me!" It was Marle, her face burning away, leaving a charred skull. The skull began to laugh "You won't find her." The skull's eye sockets began to glow a deep red, the shade of dried blood. "I took her from you, and you will never find her. Never....The words echoed away as the skull began to fade, revealing a young woman standing in the dark, illuminated by some faraway light.
"Help me, Crono! I know you will find me. Please! I need you, please don't give up!" It was the one he was seeking, her eyes filled with sadness."I love you....."
"NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" Crono screamed, suddenly sitting up, is body covered in sweat. After settling down, he looked around. It was a large workshop of some sort. Various tools lay on benches everywhere. "Must be Lucca's house." He whispered to himself. Hearing someone approach, he lay down and feigned sleep. A young blond woman, Marle he concluded, entered the room carrying a tray of food and a glass of water. "She looks so different here, so....happy." he thought to himself. After looking at him and making sure he was asleep, she set the tray on the table next to the cot and sat down in a small chair across the room. Crono let out a low moan and began to slowly shift in the bed, watching her approach through barely cracked eyes. When she was close enough, he grabbed her wrist, and quickly rising, brought it behind her back and cupped his other hand over her mouth, muffling her cry for help.
He whispered into her ear. "I don't want to hurt you, Marle. I just want some answers. Can you give them to me?" She nodded. "I'm going to let you go now, okay? Just don't scream and I won't hurt you." She nodded again, and he released her. Quickly taking a few steps and turning around, she glared at him, speaking in hushed tones. "Wait 'till the others know you're awake!"
"Marle, why were you trying to use magic on me?" he asked, an eyebrow raising. "Magic hasn't worked on me in four years." His eyes, a dreary gray, narrowed, and he grinned slightly. "but I guess you wouldn't know that, would you?"
"How did you know what I was trying? And how do you know my name?" she asked, her eyes widening.
"You are Princess Nadia of Guardia, but you prefer Marle, right?" he watched her nod her confirmation."People say you are very headstrong, even to the point of calling you a tomboy. Is this also correct?" She nodded again. Crono noticed her eyes glance to his side then quickly back. He knew the blade was at his throat before he turned his head. "Ah, you must be this world's Me. Well Crono, I see things have worked out between you and Marle. They never did in my world."
"Good thing I came in the back door. What are you doing here?" Crono asked. "What do you want?"
"I said I wouldn't hurt her, or any of you, and I won't. As for why I'm here and what I want......" his eyes drifted away, then came back again. "...that is a long story. I'm sure you'll all want to hear it."
"Damn right we do." Crono responded flatly, his sword never moving from the second Crono's throat.
"Well then, let me ask you two questions: Where is my suit, and more importantly, is Lavos dead?" the second Crono was staring into Crono's eyes.
"Lucca and Robo are looking at you suit in the garage. Lavos is dead. We killed him three years ago." Crono responded, his glare never leaving the second Crono's eyes "We won't hesitate to kill you either if you try anything."
The second Crono's eyes flashed at this threat. "If I were to try anything, you'd be dead before you knew what was going on. But I am not here to fight. You, on the other hand, may be interested in what I have to say, but I want to get my suit back. It can explain things better than I ever could."
Crono lowered his sword. "Fine, we'll go to your suit. Follow Marle out, and I will follow you. Try anything and you're dead. Got it?" he said, as Marle began to leave the room.
"Alright. I just hope Lucca and this 'Robo' person you mentioned aren't trying to get into my suit. If they are, then I suggest we hurry." the second Crono began, following Marle out, Crono close behind, sword still pointed at his back.
As they were walking out, they passed through the living room, where the other three heroes had gathered. Frog was immediately to his feet, Masamune drawn. Crono shook his head, and indicated that they go out ahead of him. Magus' eyes opened and he stalked out of the corner he was standing in, and began to move to the door. He stopped when he got to the new Crono, and began to stare into the second Crono's eyes. Crono returned the stare, and after a few seconds, Magus swept out in front of them, grumbling something. Frog had helped Ayla to her feet, and they passed, each giving this new Crono glares that could burn holes in weaker people. The new Crono seemed unaffected by all this, simply waiting for them to pass before sweeping a hand towards the door. "Shall we?" he asked, a small grin forming on his face. It was eerie to Crono and Marle how much of Magus they saw in him. So much sadness and pain, but they saw something else in his eyes. It was a faint glimmer of hope. They each hoped it meant he wasn't lying about not hurting anyone. Crono nodded slightly and lowered his sword. Marle suppressed a giggle as she walked through the door, but Crono simply nodded towards it, indicating the new Crono was to go before him. "If you say so." the second Crono said, his grin fading. He stepped through the door and could feel Crono give him a slight push as he stepped out into the garage.
"access denied. incorrect password." the computer voice responded, leading Lucca to utter a few inappropriate words. "Dammit, we're getting nowhere." she flipped her hair out of her face angrily. " There has to be a way to get around this damn password. And why the hell does this thing sound like me?"
"Please, Lucca, watch your language. Swearing is impolite. Besides, I have an idea. See these ports?" Robo began, pointing to two small holes in the suit's forearm."I will interface with them, and try to gain access to the--" he was cut off by the new Crono, walking towards them with the others following alongside like prison guards.
"Try it, and the feedback will fry your memory banks to a crisp." Robo backed away a couple of steps, his eyes growing bright with fear. "You seven have killed Lavos and saved the past, present and future, right?" The new Crono said, walking up to the suit. "I have something very important to tell you, but I cannot do it here." He then placed a hand on the armor and closed his eyes. The armor chimed loudly.
"password accepted. good to see you again, Crono." the computer answered, and the suit's torso and thighs swung open, allowing the new Crono the climb inside. Once he was inside, the armor shut, encasing Crono up to the neck.
"Now, I would like to ask two questions before I begin. One: Who the hell are you, and where or when are you from?" he said, pointing and Frog. "And two: Are you or are you not Prometheus?" his finger moved to Robo. "As for the rest of you, I know exactly who you are, even is you do look slightly different, Janus." Magus stiffened at the mention of his old name. "Now, where should I begin?" he asked the group.
"Mine name is Glenn, and I am from the year six hundred A.D." Frog croaked.
Robo beeped his response "I was once known as Prometheus, but I am now called Robo."
"You can start and the beginning, of course." Lucca answered first, sitting down on the garage floor, then indicating to the rest of them to do the same. They all sat down slowly, with the exception of Magus, who stood, staring at the new Crono intently.
"Alright then, I will start at the beginning. But I will let the suit tell the story." He extended the suit's palms, and small panels in them irised open, revealing a pendent embedded in each one. Marle gasped in recognition, and Magus's eyes flashed. In the left was the pendent that Magus wore, while the right palm held Marle's pendent. Both of them began to glow, and the new Crono turned to the wall, where an image began to form. "The images you see are a direct psychic link from my mind to each of yours. There is no real image on the wall." The images began to form, the first showing Crono and Marle bumping into each other at the fair, then Marle being sucked into the Gate.
"I cannot see anything." Robo said, slightly panicked. "You may plug into the ports you mentioned earlier. I have disabled the security lock." the second Crono told him. Robo beeped excitedly, and two small cables extended from a small panel on his chest to the ports. "Ahh, much better. Thank you." He beeped.
"That's just like what happened here!" Marle exclaimed.
"That is not the only similarity you'll see." the new Crono said as the image changed to one of the Cathedral in the year 600. The scene played out identically to the other's experience, but Frog never appeared, and when Lucca was ambushed by the Naga-ette, Crono leapt in between them and took the hit, a brutal slash from his right shoulder to under his left arm, that left him bleeding profusely. Crono fought on, killing the Naga-ette. They found the queen and killed the Yakra, but still no Frog. The scene shifted to thier return to Guardia in the year 1000, and Crono was arrested and put on trial by the queen.
"But, my mother's dead now. That can't be her." Marle said, her face filling with fear. "Could it?"
"In my world, the King died while you were very young, and the queen had a hard time raising you alone. Yes, Lucca, you were there too. You were the most brilliant person I had ever met. We had been friends for years when you told me about the Telepod you and your father were going to unveil at the Fair. I never knew what it would lead to......" The second Crono trailed off as the image began to change again. They were in the year 2300, but things were different. A cyborg, his upper body being human while his lower was some sort of cycle, found them and rushed them underground. The being introduced itself as Johnny, and told them about the war going on between the Robots and the Humans. The Robots, he explained, were led by the only fully sentient Robot, who had named itself Prometheus. Johnny also told them of the creature named Lavos that had destroyed the world in 1999. After hearing all this, Crono and his friends decided to use time travel to go back in time and stop the Apocalypse, which should prevent Prometheus from coming into power.
"I was evil in this other dimension?" Robo beeped in alarm.
"You were. Lucca decided to join the Human resistance, and Johnny showed us to another Gate. We shouldn't have left her there, but she insisted." the second Crono explained as the picture began to shift again, this time to the End of Time. Instead of Gaspar, a squat, green-skinned Mystic hovered under the lamp. He introduced himself as Ozzie, the Guru of Time. After a brief explanation, Crono and Marle entered the back room and found another Mystic, this one tall, blue-skinned, and wielding a large fencing foil. He introduced himself as Slash, the Master of War. He told them about magic and gave them a simple test: to walk around the room three times. After it was completed, he bestowed Water magic on Marle, but when he turned to Crono, nothing happened. "Slash said I would get my magic when the time was right, but the cost would be high. If I had known how high, I would have turned him down." the second Crono said, looking down. "But, I should get on with the story." They then returned to the year 600, where they heard of a mighty hero who had arrived to defeat a wizard that was terrorizing the kingdom. The hero was supposed to be using a mythical sword called the Masamune. Crono and Marle learned he was in the Denadoro Mountains searching for the sword, and decided to find him. When they had gotten halfway up the mountain, they met a young boy who introduced himself as Tata, the Hero of Guardia. He couldn't be more than fourteen years old, but he carried himself like he had years of fighting experience. They told him they wanted to help, and he allowed them to follow him up the mountain. At it's peak they found a cave, in the back of which a great broadsword was embedded in the rock. As they approached it, two creatures materialized before them, their bald heads, yellowish skin and pointed features revealing them to be inhuman. They were Masa and Mune, the sword's guardians, and if Tata wanted the sword, he would have to defeat them both. Tata agreed, and Masa and Mune quickly raised a magical barrier, separating Crono and Marle from the battle, despite thier efforts to break it. The duel began, and Tata was outmatched from the start. Masa landed a solid right to the jaw, sending Tata stumbling to his right, strait into a roundhouse kick to the face by Mune. Tata rose, but Mune rushed in, grabbed him by the collar and effortlessly throwing him headfirst into the cave wall, blood smearing on the rock. Masa kicked Tata hard in the ribs, and he coughed up blood. Despite all this, he still rose, his hair becoming soaked in blood from the gash in his scalp.
Marle and Lucca turned away, while Crono and the others watched in mute horror as the beings pummled Tata mercilessly. In the vision, Crono and Marle were hammering on the barrier with desperate fury, but to no avail. Tata began to crawl toward them, terror and pain in his eyes, then Masa calmly, almost casually, reached down, took Tata's head in his hands, and snapped his neck. Frog also looked to the floor then, as did Ayla and Robo. Only Crono and Magus could watch, Crono's face clearly showing his anger, while Magus' seemed a cold, unreadable mask.
The barrier dropped, and Crono rushed forward, howling with rage. He swung with all his might, but the beings deftly dodged the attacks, and their counterattacks left Crono stumbling further into the cave, seeing stars. They advanced for the kill. A crossbow bolt in Mune's ribs distracted them for a moment, and it was all that Crono needed. Lunging forward, his downward swing caught Masa in the shoulder, shearing his left arm cleanly off. Masa screamed, and he and Mune began to glow, their bodies fusing together in a blinding flash of light. When the light cleared, a massive creature stood before them, its' muscles superhumanly large. With a bellow, it swung a massive punch with it's right hand, and Crono was hit hard in the chest and knocked back toward the sword. Marle fired her crossbow again, but the creature caught the bolt. Looking at her with menace in it's eyes, it snapped the bolt and began to walk towards her. Panicking, she began to walk backward, fear filling her eyes. Crono seemed to be nowhere in sight. The monster suddenly stopped, it's eyes wide. It's head tilted down, and Marle followed it's gaze to the broadsword blade sticking through it's chest. Crono had pulled the Masamune free and slain the guardians with it. Even with a voice like rumbling rocks, it's words were clear. "You are unworthy. You should never have come here. You cannot wield the Masamune. It will only be a shadow if it's true self....." as the words faded away, so did the blade, until it seemed to flicker in and out of existence. Crono and Marle buried Tata in a small grave outside the cave, and Crono etched "Hero of Guardia" into the stone face of the cave entrance. Crono had decided to take the Masamune with them, as it was the only weapon that could stop the wizard. They then traveled by boat across the channel to the wizard's island, his great castle looming in the distance. The vision changed to that of one inside the castle, a great hall spread out before them. In the center, a lone figure floated, long blue hair flowing down regal purple robes. The wizard turned, revealing himself to actually be a woman. A beautiful woman. Magus recoiled in shock and recognition.
"Schala? But how can this be?" he whispered.
"Yes it is, but not the one you're thinking of." the second Crono told him. "This Schala is from my dimension." the vision shifted again, to just after the battle, showing Crono extend his hand to the fallen wizard, and her taking it. "I had just met her, but I knew she was more than she appeared. I saw hope in her eyes that day." The vision then showed the three being sucked into a massive gate. Crono and Schala had arrived in the prehistoric age, where they met Kino, the Chief of the Ioka Clan. He told them of the Reptites and the war they were in the middle of. Crono agreed to help them, and asked Schala to help as well, but she refused. The vision shifted to show Crono and Schala gathered around the communal bonfire, alone. They appeared to be talking, but there was no audio. Crono took her hand. A few seconds later, the image shifted again, showing Crono and Kino in a pitched battle with Azala and her Black Tyrano. They seemed to be winning, but a few quick spells from Azala had them down and seemingly out. Schala then appeared, hovering above the two warriors, and fired a black magic spell at the Reptite queen and her pet. Azala screamed in pain as the dark energy wormed it's way throughout her body until she began to glow. Schala made a gesture with her left hand, and both Azala and the Tyrano began to fade away. Azala was cursing them, repeating something about the coming "Red Lord". Schala landed in front of them and told them of the meteor that was approaching the planet. They mounted thier Dactyl steeds and flew as fast as they could. The meteor, now called Lavos by Kino, smashed the Reptite's fortress with a terrific explosion, leveling the terrain for miles around. After the wind had died down, Schala told Crono that they should go to the crater and kill the creature. Kino told them he would not go, as the monster was too fast and deep underground. When they arrived, they learned that Kino was right. Lavos was too deep to go after. But they also found a Gate. "I'm going in, and you can either stay here or you can come with me. We're bound to have a better chance together than apart." Crono told Schala, staring into her eyes.
She seemed to weigh her options, then said "I suppose you're right. I will join you, but only to get out of this wretched place." "Then let's get outta here." Crono said, smiling at her, then using the Gate Key to open the Gate. She briefly returned his smile, and jumped in the portal. He followed, and they grasped hands in the limbo between the dimensions.
"Revive all my fears
Revive wasted tears
Revive void within
Revive once again....."
-Fear Factory, "Resurrection" from the album "Obsolete"
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