Fanfiction:V Translanka Magness 9
TEMPORAL VORTEX REPORT
-REPORT NO. 9-
[UNKNOWN TRANSFER RATE, SYSTEMATIC DATA MALFUNCTION]
CRYPTIC TEXT SYNCH RESULT - MULTIDIMENSIONAL TIMELINES
CODE - MAGNESS
Lucca Ashtear was asleep. Lucca was dreaming of a bad day; the worst day, possibly the worst day in the history of the world. He was dead and she was alone. Her world, this worst-bad-day-world, was shadowed in the deepest darkest depths of black and getting blacker all around. Then there was a light...
It had taken up the body of a prolonged and vigorous day. The early morning saw them to the old forest"s edge and into the open grass fields. The rest of the afternoon found them dragging down the road, sometimes following the masses headed for the weekend-long revels of the United Festival.
Gil was barely aware. He was coming in and out of consciousness with a mind that was reeling as if the chains that anchored it into his skull had decided to snap. He was at a terribly drained state. The nerves and synapses in his body were functioning at some insubstantial lower level, hardly more than a spark moving his legs. Marcy more and more was forced to drag him on as they went. Her very own strength and vitality were being sorely tested.
The day was as hot as the one before it, as hot as the one after it would be. There was a despairing wind giving gusts of hot air into both of their faces every dozen feet or so. The grass bent lazily under her feet as she strolled along. Gil's drunken feet slid through and he was like a large vessel being drawn along by confused little tugboats. A hoard of people had gone past them five minutes ago and she had asked for directions while balancing Gil slung over a shoulder. She spat dust and dirt from a rather harsh blast of air to her left, Gil on her right.
His eyes opened briefly and the sun glared them shut again. He tried his hardest to move along with Marcy, but found it increasingly difficult. His mind was far more than wondering. It was lost in a fading fog of thoughts, ideas, faces, places, memories, and prophesies, "Isle...South...Truce..." He managed to say in a horse little whisper into her ear.
"Yes, yes, I know..." Marcy cooed back to him. She had gotten as much information from a passing stranger. Gil himself had been muttering this-as sporadically as he gained awareness-since they left the forest, although before Marcy asked someone, she hadn't been able to make out his harsh murmurings.
She was getting tired and the sun was burning at her trail-brazen tanned skin. As much as she hated doing it, she had to stop and rest in some shade. She hated it more that the shade came from a great big tree. Although this tree was a needles rather than a leaf, it still gave her chills to be so close to it after their experience in the forest. A pushed away part of her began to question what she was doing with this man. He saved my life, that's what. She reasoned to herself.
The door again, the blue light again, the faceless people and her. It all happened again. But this time she saw him approach-still making no leeway-and she wore a tired little smile that turned into a tired little frown. He stopped and looked at her, confused. The words traced his lips, but made no sound. I've found you.
She looked down at him, looking into his bright eyes and then her gaze drifted downwards. No. She said, in his mind. The word was filled with sorrow and regret. He was as confused as he had ever been. More than when his mother shifted. More than when he was first engulfed in blue light. More than when he killed. More even than when he saved the world and finally got his revenge. I'm sorry for what you've had to go through and for what you've done.
He felt heavy. Something like an anchor weighed him down. He looked into his hands and saw what she had seen; two bright ruby-colored sickles. They glowed and pulsed. And they dripped a terrible color; a terrible, scarlet, deathly color. A color he knew. A crimson liquid he had seen before in just that same place.
And it all faded away...
There was so much pain. Marcy wondered if she had ever felt such pain before in her entire life. So many aching muscles and her eyes felt as hot as if they were burning to boot. Not even when she was lost and her brother gone did she feel such pain. Not when their father left them before she had even left the womb. Not in seeing her mother endlessly crying in front of that stupid mirror, thinking, of all things, about that stupid man that it represented. On the day her mother Zelbess died, she smashed that mirror into a hundred pieces.
She was young then, much younger than she was now, and the bad luck followed her. On the day her brother was taken, she destroyed those hundred pieces and the vanity itself. When she was done, she stopped crying, almost forever. But the bad luck continued to follow her, like some secret spiteful silhouette of a shadow covering all of her mind & heart.
She thought Gil was the end of her bad luck. She was wrong. He would prove to be the biggest bump in her road she"d yet to come across. He was the Mount Olympus of bumps in the road struck right in the middle of her path. What happened with Gil would decide the outcome of her entire life. In many ways he was her future, her new beginning, but in many other ways he was her end.
The day was dying, but even in his depleted condition he managed to glance up for a quick moment as if he saw something-expected to see something again-there up in that purple bruise of a sky. But there was naught again but an endless sky and a few stars just beginning their sweeps of the heavenly night. He had dreamt his usual dream, although it had ended most unusually. Marcy had been lost in deep thought before she fell into a dreamless rest. She gathered him up again-his legs buckled less-and they sauntered off in an easterly direction; toward the approaching darkness.
He was dead and she was alone. Crono was dead. He had been for untold years. It was long ago when she was just a toddler really. They hardly knew one another. Only through minor visits of his mom and hers. Although in those years, visits such as those could be seen as deep friendships in waiting. Surely if he had survived they would have been great friends, possibly even lovers...down the line.
It effected her little then, as young as she was, and yet, there was nearly nothing in the world that would effect her any greater. His companionship and encouragement would have made all the difference. It would have made her a better person, one even that knew of modesty, although seldom used and often only in joking. Instead she was blunt, often cold and often alone. She was disliked and scorned by both peers and adults.
Her major talent laid no longer in science. That path now repulsed her. She held only contempt for her father whose foolish gift for the near-profitless trade had given her mother Lara neither two crushed legs nor a fear of machines, but only a plunge into the depths of death. She made no promise to learn as much as she could about machines, only a promise to hate them forever.
Lucca learned not of data and information, but of the arts, mostly those martial in nature. She developed her own style of katana sword-fighting which she called Liquid Fire; akin to Tai Chi it focused on flowing movements with breaking power that resulted over long periods of training. Through her development in martial arts, she also developed a kinship with the other arts; mainly painting, drawing, and water color. The colors, shapes, and lines she used were all very sharp and harsh. Most works would end up mostly in the black spectrum. The little color she added was blood-red as the flames of hell, and the pictures seemed to capture just that notion.
She was haunted by seas of flame and darkness.
Lucca Ashtear was still dreaming this dream-it seemed like something more than a dream though-in her shack of a laboratory located at the back of her two-story house. Still dreaming, that is, until a thunderous sound radiated and reverberated around her. The dream was lifted from her memory as the noise filled it with confusion. Someone was at the lab's door. She could see an outline of two people through the dimness of the waning moonlight spilling through the glowing white curtain pulled over the door"s square window.
One small and another larger hunched over figure being supported by the first. Lucca grabbed for a weapon, and found her trusty hammer. She cocked it back, ready to strike, as she put a hand on the door"s knob.
Another crash startled her and she had to let go of the door to catch her hammer as she fumbled it. She grasped it in both hands now and drew it back like a bat.
"Who"s there?" She asked to the door. It wasn't one of her kids she knew, they would have called to her first at least. And they knew better than to interrupt her during her work in the lab, even though most seemed to know that as of late she had been doing more sleeping and reminiscing in there than any actual work.
There was a shuffling sound and she could see the larger shape put a hand on the glass of the window as to support itself better. There was a mumbling coming from that shape that she couldn't understand. She could only pick up a few words.
"Lucca..." A raspy cough escaped from that shape, "Help...Know me...Open...Now."
"Who are you people?" She said, a little anger and frustration flowed through her at the shape seemingly demanding she open the door right now, "I won't ask you again."
"Please Miss Ashtear." This came from the smaller shape. It was the voice of a young girl. No one Lucca recognized, but she thought for a moment it could have been someone she knew from a long time ago, but the shape called her the wrong name. Who she was thinking of would have called her 'Sis, "He's really banged up and could use your help. He's been looking for you for a while I suppose. I think you know him."
"She...Knows me..." The larger shape said, more clearly now, "But I was another person then..."
Lucca involuntarily shuddered with recognition at both the voice-now slightly more steady-and those words; words she had heard so long ago on a snowy cape, lost somewhere in the past, "It...It can't be..." She said. She had dropped the hammer, and now she swung open the door.
"Okay, deploying group raid." The flight coordinator spoke the words through his headset. The faction sitting behind him consisted of four individuals in all, including the first officer.
"We're going to surround the house at each side. We storm in only as I command. We don't know exactly where he is in there and we plan on knowing first." The first officer spoke to his team. The three nodded in unison, but the first officer didn't think they were really listening at all. Each one of them was dressed head-to-toe in the deepest black. Their transport was cloaked in some kind of invisible temporal field that hid them not just from sight, but from the ever watching eye of the entire self-preserving timeline.
Ropes unraveled from their transport, floating a steady thirty feet from the ground below. It was dark, but the first officer was the only one using night vision goggles. The others knew what they were doing and they saw with a clarity outmatching anything known to their objective lying within. Each was a survivor and each was perfectly suited to their task.
"It"s been a long time." Lucca said finally after having Marcy and Gil come into her lab and they all sat around a long table riddled with various mechanical bits, "My god, how long has it been?"
"For you or for me...?" Gil asked with only the slightest hint of cynicism. She detected it anyways though and smiled a little despite herself. She was always uncomfortable with his joking. She didn't like the way he could pass them off for seriousness so easily. This was because even in joking he was mostly serious, "For you, it's been, what, twenty-five years or so? For me, though, it's been a mere one."
"Oh my..." She said at last, "Only...a year since all of that happened..."
"All of what?" Marcy budged in.
"Nothing..." Gil stated, "It's not the time..."
"Will it ever be?" Lucca asked. She checked his wounds, "What did this to you?"
"In a sense you did." Gil said, again only half-joking, "You know of the name 'NioFio', I assume?"
The name sent another chill of remembrance down Lucca's spine. An old project she had worked on with her then-assistant (now-self mutilated scientific genius madwoman). Then was some time around 1010 to 1020. It was only five years ago. Time flies, Crono would say. Lucca thought to herself.
"I'm sorry you had to come across that particular mistake of mine." Lucca said the words with a frown as she adjusted her glasses a bit to get a clearer look at Gil's wounds, "I have something that should restore you. Uh...What name have you taken this time?"
"Call me Gil."
"As in Gilbert...?" Lucca asked with a sly smile.
"As in G-I-L...Gil..." He said copying her smile. Lucca gave him a heal antidote that he spread throughout his open wounds and a medicine that he drank down hungrily. He didn't feel anything instantly, as he knew he wouldn't and was even told so. But he felt something like a pulse in his heart and his mind that felt quickened; something that demanded attention and something that wanted quick resolution.
"Lucca." He said to her only moments after drinking her medicine, "The Chrono Trigger, the one you have now, I need it."
"You...How could you know about that?"
"Because I am meant to know..." He said smiling this time only in his mind, "I ran into a Prometheus you programmed in the future. He told me these things; although that was the only answer he'd give regarding how he knew."
"Robo...?" Lucca asked inspired, "That's good to hear...I had always dreamed of doing something of his caliber."
"Apparently you will. There were actually robots more advanced than Prometheus there, whenever 'there' was that is."
"You don't know when you were?"
"I didn't exactly have the most time in the world." He said flatly.
"And now you want my Time Egg?" Lucca said with a questioning look that suddenly turned serious, "I never thought you"d have to go so far as to need my help again in your quest for her."
Marcy was lost in all of their words. Chrono Trigger...? Time Egg...? Prometheus...? Robo...? The future...? Wait, the future? The words grounded her prematurely. How could Gil be talking about seeing something in the future? Were they talking about time...travel...?
"Who better, would you have me ask?" Gil said, once again returning with his sideways smile that didn't seem to touch his eyes at all.
"Ah, playing to my modesty, huh?" She said, returning her own stuttering half-frightened version of that very same smile (she couldn't get her eyes to stay stone-cold like his though). It was very odd to have conversation like this with him. It was if he had changed somehow. He had become more...conversational!
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Gil suddenly asked after a pause she hadn't picked up on.
"TIME TRAVEL ISN'T POSSIBLE!" Marcy suddenly burst out making them both turn towards her and then she immediately shrank back, "...right?"
This broke what little there was of Lucca's ice. She couldn't help but laugh at the girl before her. She reminded Lucca very much of one of her orphans. The first, in fact, Marcy reminded Lucca of her; of Kid. How ironic that he should be with someone so similar to Kid. Lucca thought to herself briefly.
Many things were explained as the night trembled on and the pulse Gil felt beat quicker still. Something was closing in. He could feel it. Lucca explained briefly how she and her friends, along with Gil, had traveled through time twenty-five years ago in an attempt to save the future and of how they were successful. Most of the details Gil said he would palaver with her about later if she wished.
"The Time Egg..." Gil said again, "I need it, now."
"I"m afraid it isn't finished." Lucca said at last getting it off her mind, "There are still more algorithms that need to be set into motion."
"I know all of this. This is as finished as you"ll ever get." Gil said.
"What? You don't know that."
"For now, I do, and for now, I'll take my chances with what you have." He said-all traces of any smile long gone. The pulse was a swelling drum on the sides of his head.
"But, it's dangerous..." She started, seeing in his eyes and feeling that knowing in Gil that he was exuding; that knowing that he doesn't care and it doesn't matter because he"s going to anyways, "...you don't know...where...when...it..."
"I am being hunted Lucca." He said. She couldn't tell for sure, but part of his eyes shimmered for a moment, pleading to her. It was only a brief moment that flashed on and went away as soon as she saw it.
"It's over here...hidden..." She said leading him to a small mirrored case set into the wall that would be facing the rest of the house. She pulled open the glass that revealed a medicine-like set of refrigerated tubes and beakers, set three feet off the ground. On the lower half of the cold-case, she moved a panel and revealed a small button that she pushed. Instantly, and with the sound of gears turning and pistons hissing, the three foot underneath lowered itself to the ground. The front of the hidden space sank into the ground, where Lucca had no doubt dug a door-fitting hole for just that purpose.
Inside the hidden place was a shimmering glass case. It held a wonder beyond imagination; a never hatching egg. Is it hardboiled or three-minute? Lucca thought to herself. It was an imperfect egg. Two pairs of great interlocking spirals carved themselves into opposing sides of the golden-laced white egg. A yellow-golden wisp curled around it, circling from its top.
"Where do I have to go?" Gil asked.
"You"re really settled on this, aren't you?" Lucca asked finally, looking at him like she would one of the ruffian kids at her orphanage who decided too soon that it was time to take off. He gave her the same look they always did, one determined, even knowing full-well that the outcome was very likely going to be a bad one, "The fairgrounds I suppose. The United Festival should be down for the night, I assume you"re doing this right now?"
Gil gave her a nod.
"Yes, of course. Then go to where the gate used to be, do I assume too much in thinking you remember where that is? The grounds haven't changed much." Lucca said shaking her head, "You should take Gato with you."
"Gato...?" Gil asked confused. Marcy had given up on trying to be anything but confused a long while ago and was now looking into the shining infinity rings marked into the Time Egg. Those golden lines seemed so familiar to her, but she couldn't place them.
"Just for now, until you get to the grounds..." Lucca said with her arms folded in front of her, rationalizing it to herself as much as to Gil, "You're really being followed, I'd bet. He can sneak you in."
"Bay doors to the right of the laboratory opening." the first officer said into his communications unit.
"What the hell?" one of the three troops with the first officer asked stupefied as the approaching monstrosity hit moonlight. It appeared to be a giant cat-bot from a bad 80"s sci-fi television series.
"We follow it." the first officer said to them quietly, "Thunderbird can watch the Ashtear household for now."
The specters in black, following their first officer-who was following Gato the formerly-a-punching-bag, now a nanny-crept silently (except for the servos and motors whirring and buzzing about inside Gato) through the undergrowth of the Ashtear forest. Marcy and Gil were tucked away in Gato's barrel-round metal belly. Lucca's unfinished Time Egg lay within Gato's mostly empty skull. Although the kitty robot"s punching glove weapon was removed from the stomach of the contraption, there still was not a lot of room. Gil found himself pressed up against a flush fourteen year old girl for the period of four hours, the last three spent with Lucca's drugs kicking into his brain and sending him into a euphoric daze. She loved every aching minute of it.
She had feared his coming since he had left them, Marle asking whether or not he"d search for his sister, and him just going to the portal, not saying a word. She felt this fear before as a twinge when they used the first Chrono Trigger, that first Time Egg, at his slight stammer at seeing her again in front of that monster (both Lavos the Destroyer and Zeal the Mother-to-them-both).
She had studied the Time Egg, as she of course did with almost every artifact they came across, both futuristic and prehistoric. Lucca knew she would be able to duplicate the process, but she didn't know if she could do it exactly, especially not anymore. She was old and her theories were holed. Her once associate Luccia had already made more leaps and bounds ahead of her in all aspects of robotics and android technology.
But at what cost...? Lucca would think about all of these things. Did Luccia have some kind of Porre backing for all of her advanced research? Rumors abound of her having tampered with some Mystic DNA. Not so long ago, Lucca had heard, a Porre sniper was seen outside Luccia's brother"s house shortly before his murder, although there was no solid proof or evidence found of this. Luccia had maddened and had her arms replaced with robotics so she could better hunt down the Porre troops responsible. She had not been seen or heard from since. Some say that her brother's body was never recovered. Some say she faked her brother's death herself in order to directly attack the Porre government and militia. Some wonder about the odd new android she keeps; the one with the mask, the blue skin and electric-yellow hair. How much of it was just rumor...?
And before, with that twinge at him, Lucca knew she"d see him again. His look, both at himself sprawled on the ground-defeated-and his sister mere feet away, the insane Zeal laughing it away, and that monster Lavos just sucking at reality like a sponge. All of it, frozen in time. He had wanted revenge so badly, that he risked this, his first chance to save his sister. He wanted to change so much. He had to atone, or saving her would have meant so little. And yet, those words too must have entered his mind at that time.
In a way, Lucca thought, I was keeping the secrets from myself somehow, like a trauma victim might. I wonder where it will take them...