Fanfiction:V Translanka Magness 11
TEMPORAL VORTEX REPORT
-REPORT NO. 11-
[UNKNOWN TRANSFER RATE, SYSTEMATIC DATA MALFUNCTION]
CRYPTIC TEXT SYNCH RESULT - MULTIDIMENSIONAL TIMELINES
CODE - MAGNESS
They were both physically intact, but they were temporally and spiritually split apart like fragments or frames in a reel of film. Uncountable amounts of the two of them stretched beyond the infinity of the flowing white lights. The feeling of being torn apart in this way was both discomforting and divine at the same time. Each part of them began to fall. Parts converged and faded and melded again in a single nanosecond.
Again, they had arrived.
But there was only white; still that same sort of dazzling pallid whiteness. It was white and cold. No more moon. No more sun. Just ashen grey-white clouds obliterating unseen skies. The snow, light on the ground, was just a dash more than a film covering the dead leaves on the dirty ground.
Their hands finally departed as they both turned in opposing directions, taking in this swift change not only in the area around them, but in the weather, the temperature, and the season. There were other changes too, of course, which did not occur to either.
I've done it. Gil thought. I've made it back again.
His thoughts were filled with a place he had left twice before. The first time against his will. He was forced to leave by the will of an uncontrollable demon. The second time so that he could return earlier to fix things. Everything had sunk, so he temporarily joined the hero's troupe. His thoughts were wrong. His hand now only held a single scrap of insubstantial paper that fluttered there when a gust of particularly chilled wind blew past.
Marcy shivered. Her attire wasn't proper for winter. It cut deep into her like a sharpened icicle. She rubbed her hands together for warmth and blew curly, vaporous wisps of breath into the little finger cave she made.
"It's so cold Gil. Where are we?" Marcy said, giving up on warming just her hands, she now rubbed at her sides with opposing hands, her arms crossing at her belly.
"I believe we are...Earthbound." He responded. As soon as he said the words aloud, he realized they were false. This was not that world. The wind was not bitter enough. The cold wasn't sharp enough. The snow wasn't deep enough. Marcy would argue otherwise under the circumstances, but she knew this wasn't the place Gil wanted to be before he spoke again, "No...This time isn't...right."
"If we're not where we're supposed to be, then, what do we do?" Marcy asked, desperate to get out of the cold.
It was the closing year of our lord one thousand. The Millennial Fair and the Starlight Parade were both long gone, uneventful occasions. They were days of custom over celebration. The Princess, Nadia, was again absent as usual. Her free spirit would not be reined, but it had, in these later days, seemed to be sputtering out on its own. She was missing something. Her insides were growing cold and she was dying with the coming of the winter.
Her father was being used, the kingdom of Guardia falling into ruin from within, and worst of all she felt a mounting hopeless sense of loneliness and purposelessness. She turned away her tutors and spent many nights crying at the window, high atop the castle (over four stories high and built strong and rugged), looking down at the forest and the whirls of smoke coming from family house chimneys in nearby Truce. The only thing that now served to drive her was her mother's (and her mother's before her and so on down a long ancestral line of over thirty women) sparkling Pendent.
Another girl, some ways a way (outside the castle, somewhere in the vicinity of Truce), was also clutching onto something sparkly. It was her father's best razor; one of those old clunky single-bladed things. It reminded her of a big buck knife. But the blade did not serve to drive this poor girl, no, no, no. She was going to drive it. Somewhere deep this time...as deep as it'd go. That wasn't the plan (never planned). It was just how it was laid out to happen. Blood was gonna spill.
Enough, I'm finished, finito, sayonara, say goodbye, see ya later alligata'. Her thought.
Flicker flash, she saw it, and everything changed.
'Earthbound' he had responded, and then he thought that this time, this world, was not his former home. It was distant and alien to him somehow. The very cold was different in ways he couldn't comprehend. He had continued, saying that the time wasn't right. But something had interrupted his words. They didn't stop them, no; merely floated past them in an echo in the background of his mind. It was the echo of laughter, terrible, foreign, and yet, completely recognizable, laughter. Marcy continued on at a great distance, somewhere on another planet it seemed-the laughter continued, possibly intensified-and the only words of hers he heard were 'what do we do?' and then the laughter subsided.
"There has to be a way." Gil said. The troubling laughter, that thing that had come from him in Fiona's Forest had somehow followed him. He had to put it aside for now though. There was too much going on, too many more important things. He thought: There must be a reason. There must be. Why here, instead of where I want...need, need to be? He should have thought more about the laughter, should have said something, anything about it. It could have prevented a lot of...
"What went wrong?" Marcy asked, knowing well enough that he didn't know. It just made her feel better asking rather than just accepting.
"I-it wasn't complete."
Snow drifted down, stung at their eyes, and began to freeze their hair. Gil's upper lip curled up in a quick snarl as he looked up into the brazen white sky.
Flicker flash, he saw it, and things began to change.
She had seen them-from up in her father's room-come through in a dazzling portal of light that disappeared in the blink of an eye, like it was never there. Shortly after, he saw her dazzling blade. It reflected the whiteness of the ground and sky and appeared to be a shimmering blade of holy light. In a way, it reminded him of that sword, the Masamune. But it was all wrong; white over red and katana rather than broad. Not to mention the wielder was much different than any Gil had ever seen handle the legendary Masamune. Only the grandest of lions dared touch that awesome weapon.
"Who are you?" She said. It cannot be. It's impossible. She thought.
"I am Gil." he said, sickles already drawn at the sight of the blade. The paper, long forgotten, crumpled itself between his hand and his sickle.
"I'm Marcy." Marcy said to the familiar looking stranger with the sword. Marcy thought she looked very much afraid and did not so much as raise her gloved fists from her sides (she was still freezing from the cold), "Who're you?"
"I'm..." The girl looked puzzled at first, as if the question was unexpected.
"You're Lucca." Gil finished for her. Neither let their blade waver at this. Marcy still had her hands at her opposing sides, trying to gather some kinetic warmth.
"How do you know that name?" She pricked her katana up at him as if allowing him his turn to speak.
"You are Lucca of Guardia, daughter of Taban & Lara." Gil said. What time is this; before the millennia? She looks so different now.
She was very different. She was as youthful as the first time he had met her, but still, she was different. Her hair's pink color was all but dyed jet black, only a small strip of the front remained. And the hair's style itself was different. No self-inflicted helmet hair for this Lucca. It all came down in little spiky teeth at the edges of her face. Her glasses were smaller, thinner and more demure. This Lucca's skin was paler as well, as if she had actually managed to shut herself inside even longer than the Lucca Gil knew. Her body did not suffer it though. She had the tight and trained muscles of the devoted and dedicated. Then there was her sword and her stance. Both things were...
"Odd, I don't recall you using a sword like that though." He said. This made a smirk appear on this Lucca's face, "That style...who taught you that?"
"I did." She replied, "Seems like you gotta go back and recheck your facts, huh?"
"Gil?" Marcy said looking over to him. The snow began to beat down in big stuck-together flakes.
"I am Gil, once of Zeal, once of the Mystics, once even of your friend Crono." He said, knowing only deep in his bones that something was wrong with when they were, with where they were as well.
"Jokes on you then, Mister Gil, I ain't got no friends; certainly no friend by the name of Crono. Only Crono I ever knew's dead and so are the Mystics last I heard. I've never even heard of 'Zeal'." She said this emotionally gravitating from sadness & sorrow to a disgusted kind of dismissal, "Who do you think you are coming here with this shit? You think I won't react? I won't fight back? Is that it?"
Shit. She actually used the word 'shit'. This...this can't be...Gil thought, brow cranked down.
"Um, I'm not sure what you're talking about, uh, Lucca, is it? Hi." Marcy interrupted his little train of rambling ideas, "Could you just tell us what year it is?"
"You-you're...from the...future?" She was mystified and she finally lowered her sword, choosing to replace it with her stammering index finger, "You're actually...you actually came from a portal. I saw you, but I couldn't believe it."
"Then you really aren't the Lucca I know." Gil said, lowering his weapons. There was a thick layer of frustrated dismay attached to his words.
"No, apparently not..." She said, mocking his tone. He glared momentarily at this and she let it go, "Besides, I'm not 'Lucca'. I'm Elle."
"As in the letter...?" Gil asked.
"As in Gilbert...?" Marcy laughed at him. Elle gave a scornfully odd little this-is-an-inside-joke-I-don't-care-for look (if such a look exists, Elle's certainly hit it on the nose) and then rolled her eyes.
"Sort of, as in E-L-L-E though, if ya wanna get technical..." There was a cutting silence that formed a flagrant emptiness then, now that they'd introduced themselves properly; confusion, frustration, and a lot of it. Marcy felt it most. She knew exactly what came next. What they needed now. Honestly, she had known as soon as their new surroundings appeared before them.
"It's cold. Elle, nice to meet you, but maybe we could find somewhere slightly less chilly and maybe on the dryer side of the ol' dampness scale?"
She adjusted her thin cat-glasses and pumped her right shotgun's barrel. The building around them was falling into rubble around them. She felt the bullets skim by as she sat in the midst of the onslaught. Her brother looked at her through the dust and grit of the breaking walls. She nodded with her eyes closed and then opened them again quickly.
Rising, pointing her rock fists at her enemies, and firing the built-in weapons full force, she laughed and the sound was effeminate, psychotic, and roaring. The clip sticking out of her left machine gun arm clicked and she flicked it out and jabbed in another, waiting at her side, with the fluidity of ice water. The encroaching soldiers were obliterated in her wake like ants lining up to meet her boot.
Her brother meanwhile, his own guns blazing until they lay empty and useless at his feet, shot out both of his fists like grenades that exploded on impact, turning a group of the soldiers into so much dog food. Barrels appeared at his wrists where his hands had occupied and he fired more and more at the oncoming blue suits.
A whole regiment of the men in their cobalt getup began their charge. Her brother's hair flared and turned from its usual electric yellow to a blazing white and then it turned unbearably bright and she was forced to fire in an opposing direction. He jumped up twenty feet, the hydraulics in his legs working overtime, and swung his head in a lazy arc. The light followed the arc down toward the brigade. Men were cut clean (and not-so-clean) in two, limbs disintegrated, and so much more red stained the grounds of the Porrean Elder's home (soon to be renamed the Porrean Elder's Ruin).
"Good job Grobyc!" She said as he came down in a crash, creating a small impact crater. Her accent was thick as bricks and it came out as 'ghood jahb'. To this Grobyc only nodded and continued to fire into the ever thickening debris of the battlefield.
"You maniacs t'ink you can stop our revenge?!" She shouted as she blasted the last of her bullets into the fray. Deadening clicks coming from her clunky arm cannons told her that the good fight's end might in fact be close at hand.
"Luccia...?" Grobyc uttered the name in a soft, concerned mechanical voice that sounded as if it was being broadcast through a fat aluminum tube.
"No, it von't end like dis..." The words wouldn't have been audible to anyone but Grobyc (or perhaps Gato). They were the words of the outnumbered, the outgunned...the defeated. Flickers in Grobyc's eyes told her that he was running low on energy. His weapons were running low on ammo. Soon, the Porrean army would be directly on top of them. There was no where to run.
Her formal black dress suit with the large overdone lapels (nearly as flamboyant as Luccia herself) was deeply smudged and caked with dirt. Grime and filth was splashed all along her thin body (a hundred pounds? counting those hunks of metal she slung around for arms maybe). Blood was streaked-soaked-in her prim purple hair; tied back tight against her head, broadening her forehead. Luccia adjusted her glasses again, the light purple of her eyes almost matching her hair as she looked down upon the blood & guts landscape she helped construct. A sigh and a smile escaped her. No, she set them free.
The sounds of explosions and gunfire which had been all but non-stop for over two hours seemed to have faded to an echo.
Grobyc turned to Luccia. He had somehow managed to remain somewhat clean and orderly. There was a big gash in a pant-leg, his elbow-length gloves were drenched red, and-of course-his hands were missing. Aside from that, he remained the same. The lower half of his face and neck that was covered in a red cloth that looked like it had been dipped in someone's intestines-although that was it's natural color-was crooked, but otherwise he was basically fine-for a blue-skinned zombie-looking android of course.
"What-do-we-do...?" Even through the drone of Grobyc's voice, she could still hear her younger brother. That kid who had always seemed stained with blueberries (who now looked very blueberry) and that always looked to her for the answers and was now looking to her again.
The bullet sang into their ears like the cry of some dying, long forgotten bird out in the deepest reaches of the universe. It bore into Luccia's chest, tearing at threaded black silk and the sinews of her heart instantaneously. She was gone in a wisp of blue like some vanquished, wicked hell demon. Another bullet struck Grobyc straight on in the middle of the forehead and he too was gone.
Elle had dreams. Sometimes-most times really-they were horrific nightmares taking place on endless fields of blood-and-bone riddled dreamscapes. Sometimes they were just words that struck into her skull like railway spikes. They would explode in her brain with both ends poking out either side of her head. They pulsed with the evil life of the living dead; like the pitchforks-or scythes or sickles-of demons.
One of these damned words came to mind when she saw that flickering flash of light and then her big blue-green eyes rested upon that man with a sense of enthusiasm and exhilaration, with a thick slab of fear all plopped on top like an upside-down wedding cake.
White lights, white walls, and oddly iridescent blue windows-like the blue was alive-were all she could see when she awoke. Her blurred vision came back to her suddenly and she could recall what happened to some degree. She was in the midst of a losing battle. It wasn't a dream, but perhaps this was. She suddenly grabbed at her chest in recollection. There was nothing. But there was change. She tapped the metal case that covered that part of her chest. This is when she noticed her arms; no longer her large bulky monstrosities, no. They were light, agile & thin and properly proportioned to her body. They were sleek and stream-lined like electric eels. What's happened to me? She thought to herself.
"Grobyc...!" She screamed the word, looking frantically around the bed-lined white room. It was a kind of hospital room. There were no doors though, just those eerie blue windows and all that white, white on white; white walls, white bed spreads, white pillows. Then she saw him, a big red, black & blue splotch resting in a bed. She could see his chest rising and falling with his respiration. He was alive. There was a strange mark on his forehead that looked like a red ruby. She sighed with relief at the sight of him. His color was welcome in all the somehow menacing brightness.
"Doctor Luccia Allgood..." A booming voice echoed through the room like a thunderclap. Luccia looked for some kind of transmission device, but found nothing but white yet again. It was somehow hidden like how the luster of the light seemed to have no feasible source (the light seemed to simply ooze out of the walls), "We have a proposition that you'd do well to consider."
"Maou..." Elle said. She had led them into her home. Her father was 'away on business' (getting shit-faced and/or fuckering or the less than likely actually working in the backyard shed/shop two-in-one). Luminous yellow light (coming from a few scant candles, crude and rudimentary electric lights, and the open stove furnace) reflected on the stained wood walls like cream. There was what looked like an alter of candles set beside a picture of who could only have been Elle's mother placed on a desk to the left of the open door in the back of the room they entered into. It could have been a living room or a large study. The room appeared messy, but it was an organized mess; leaflets of official looking paper and documents strewn about in one corner, books and an opened journal stacked vertically into an overflowing case in another corner, and many covered canvases lined around the room, facing the wall like disobedient children.
Homemade tea started to bubble in the kettle above the flaring wood stove that Elle had just fed fresh logs. Marcy huddled by this with a keen sense that she had never felt warmth so sweet.
"What's 'maou'?" Marcy asked, undoing her curled braids from the top of her head and shaking and wringing out the wetness. Her hair smelt of the grit of a girl who had gone without so much as a splash of water over her head for days on end even though this was not true. The smell intermingled with the tea and alcohol and the lingering must of the books and parchment scattered in the room.
"It means something I once was." He said staring down Elle, penetrating her with his icy and deviant eyes, looking for her reason, her meaning, her purpose, "How do you know that word?"
"I saw it..." Elle started. She had propped her sword, blade down, against a wall and was now pouring them each a cup of her father's homebrew Ash-Tea. Marcy accepted with thanks and sipped at the hotness. She noted the dab of blood soaked into Elle's shirt sleeve and kept silent. Gil simply held the cup in one hand, never taking his eyes from Elle. She took a cup herself and looked down into the light grey of the elixir.
"...In a dream." Gil finished.
"I saw you." She said.
"You saw who I used to be. Perhaps you really didn't see me at all; just a kind of illusion, a dream, a vision." He said. She had seen him as he was long ago, something like the man standing stolid-and yet somehow on the edge of unbridled rage-before her.
She had seen them arrive. She had known he would come. There were the dreams, the inspirations for everything, and the paintings that seemed to be interlaced somehow and yet they seemed to have no relevance to each other at all; circular wisps of light blue, a key, a jewel, a sword, an egg, paintings within paintings, and beyond the deepest, reddest of all dream-hells, maou, King of the demons. He would come for her. She could also see the end, but knew none of the links, none of the reasons or any of the purposes. Maou would take her and the pain of existence would somehow cease.
There had been a minor confrontation at this, his actual appearance at her door. Her logistic side, that part of her that believed what she saw but could not explain it, had gone haywire. It did not want to believe what was happening or when it was happening. She was a lone girl in a world that required companionship of some kind. Nothing in the world survived completely alone. That was a trick of witches and devils. The confrontation proved only to validate her righteous belief that her dreams truly meant something and would lead somewhere of importance far past the horizon's edge.
Gil shoved the paper he had been-for the most part unknowingly-holding in the hand that had held the Egg into his pack with a distracted, disinterested glance as Elle had showed them in. None seemed to notice it happen, not even Gil really, but Marcy saw that absentminded look in his eye, as if his mind was still playing catch-up. If either of them had asked what he saw on the paper, he would not have known.
"Maou, that means what, Demon King or something?" Marcy asked taking another sip of the intoxicating tea. She had never tasted alcohol, knew a few of its smells, but she'd never tasted it. It was inebriating her just so.
"More or less..." Gil answered. Marcy found herself becoming increasingly aware of her movements, especially her blinking. It was strong tea and it made her warm all over. She also noticed Gil more now. She watched his lips move without really listening to him, was absorbed in his eyes as they switched from Elle to herself.
In the place where previously to Gil's knowledge stood some kind of massive energy compressor, there stood a covered easel. Elle revealed the canvas under the stingy off-white table cloth.
"This is maou." She said. The painting showed an obvious representation of Gil. Skinnier, paler, and with flaring red eyes and behind him stood some kind of demon spirit with multiple, many-jointed arms extruding from it's shoulders and back. Two hands held light blue flame. This representation had its cape still and it brought back chilling, dead memories in Gil's head.
If you're prepared...The thought came to him like a flash of lightning.
Elle showed Gil and Marcy her other works, turning them over one by one with an expression of forlorn at each. She told them that she had painted a good deal of them unconsciously. Many times she would awake from a dream just as she was finishing the final brush stroke. There were many miraculous and bleak depictions throughout the wide tableau of arranged pictograms and various abstract images. There were golden ovals, red gemstones, fiery pits, the red eyed maou, splattered blood, and above and surrounding all was the blue; unbounded, unrestricted blue covering and masking nearly everything.
"What does it mean?" Marcy uttered the words to the painting in front of her, showing a large, three-lipped mouth opening and sucking the universe within the dark recesses of its blackened innards. It was flanked at the back by a large scabbed crustacean ball.
"It's La-..." Both Gil and Elle started.
It was almost as if that same universe that was being obliterated in that single daunting painting didn't want its name-the name of the demon-to be uttered aloud. As if something were working against them in a way. Gil sensed it in an explosion of alarm, but not soon enough.
Windows shattered, the walls splintered, books and papers tore before their eyes, and thunderous cracks ripped against the silence of the falling snow. Gil rushed Elle, knocking her down to the ground. Marcy watched them, concerned and confused and frozen in the headlights of the barrage. A line of destruction etched its way across a wall behind her, drawing closer. It stopped with a loud pang against the metal of her left glove and sparked a blazing green light.
"Down!!" Gil screamed, jerking her into frantic action. She plopped down to her chest, palms flat, facing the hole-riddled entrance-way. Her knees hit hard, but she held in any desire to wince or cry out in pain and instead concentrated on the door.
"The kitchen...!" Elle said as she groped for her blade and simultaneously cringed at the next barrage of bullets off to her right that chewed up the carpet and shredded the painting of maou. She could not grasp what was happening, her face showed not just this confusion, but also a kind of unbelieving anger spread across her mouth, opened less than an inch. Gil dragged her, crouching low, to the back entrance with Marcy just a step ahead of them.
All foreseeable thought in Elle's mind and any semblance Gil might have had of Elle being the Lucca he once knew were swept away in an instant. She was a being of unbound rage like he had seen somewhere before; ferocity born of anger and undeniable hatred. She burned with it. She glowed with it. A line of red light seemed to outline her entire body, her clothes, her sword, and it began to seep into the floorboards under her feet with the rapidity of severe infection. It was the first time Gil noticed her sleeve, almost completely seeped through on one side with blood.
Marcy opened the second door which led into the kitchen after the short hall with the staircases leading up left and right and the potted plants next to the banisters with leaves as large as her head. All she saw was the window and the sink under it. She had no time to take in the dishes piled along the counter in big showy heaps like falling towers or the many bottles of empty and half-empty (mostly just empty) beer stacked on the table in a rather large pyramid. All she had time for was the sink, the small window over it, and the smell of extra strength cleanser from the detergents. The smells assaulted and stung her nose, but not as much as the glass as she burst through the window with her forearms in front of her head. She somersaulted into the wetness of the snow-covered ground out back. The snow was now over four inches deep and her clothes remained ever the less proper for the cold, but that was beside her now. She was no longer cold, she couldn't feel it. She just plucked a good-sized triangle of glass from her collar and it spurted blood in a small spray. Marcy bore down on it tight as she could under clenched teeth. She was past that pain though; she stared into the window, looking at Gil and Elle.
As Marcy plunged through the glass, Gil turned to watch Elle as she burned with her red light. Marcy was astonished at what she was doing. Underneath, she was astonished at Gil for standing there watching. She was ashamed for it, but for that moment she hated him. She bled and he watched her. Jealousy would not occur to her.
"Burn..." Elle seemed to say the word under her breath as though she didn't want anyone to hear. Gil heard it and Marcy saw it form on her thin, pink lips.
Luccia and Grobyc were busy reloading. Then the little room, the whole house it seemed, lit up bright red. It happened so quick Luccia wasn't sure she saw it, but it did, the windows melted first and then they exploded outwards, followed instantly by a roar and great pillars of flame. The burst of fire threw them both backwards and they skidded across the snow and down onto their backs. The pillars subsided, but continued to eat at the house, flames coming out, flapping upward from the windows like Lucifer's spiky fingers.
After her spell was finished, the living room/parlor/study was a great burning lightshow. Elle all but collapsed to the ground in a daze when Gil grabbed her by the shoulders and led her to the kitchen. As he did this, he surveyed the damage quickly and looked out the wood frames which had once held windows. There was a man and a woman out there, both stunned and trying to help one another up. The woman-she now wore a single monocle over her left eye-with the devilish purple head of hair, suddenly looked into the ruin of the house and directly at him. Their eyes locked for a moment and Gil knew he would not only see her again, but that he would be forced into killing her. He saw something familiar that she had, the edge just sticking out of a pocket. It reminded him of many things; keys, the Egg, something white and flat, and an old magician acquaintance from the Land of Ago, when he was known as maou, as Magus. His eyes swept back into the house and toward the way Marcy had gone. If he hadn't have looked into the window, he would have missed it, a burning picture, one he hadn't looked at previously. It showed a marvelous round little pink creature with a small tuft of hair atop its head. The creature was mostly head, it seemed, head and mouth and teeth. It smiled a large smile that went from one side of its head to the other, from one side where an arm protruded to the other. He looked to Elle with an almost sad expression. All the things you've seen. He thought. Then he tossed her quickly out the window, and even though it pained her to do it, Marcy let go of her wound and caught her gentle as a babe.
"Hurry...!" Gil said in a voice just above a whisper and he took Elle on one side so that Marcy could resume pressure on her wound. They disappeared into the forest as the day began its steady decline from white to ever darker shades of gray.