Fanfiction: Chrono Crystal: A Love Story Across Time 1
Chapter 1: Little boy of the Forest
He had woken in another cold sweat. It had been that nightmare that had been taunting him for months on end. His blood shot eyes grew fixed on the ceiling, brunt and broken through, thick vines from the large willow tree above and around it stabbing through various holes that lined it. Sweat dripped from his small, rounded features as he sat up, eyes affixed on the large circle carved into the broken frame, something Terra had done a while ago to prevent it’s collapse, or so he had been told. There were many of these same marks across the crumbling halls of this house. The sole thing keeping it from crashing, he had assumed, was those very marks and the large redwood that towered above it.
He had to be no older than eight, his short arms lined with a roll of baby fat that had yet remained throughout his ventures. Even though Tsunami and Gale were strict to his exercise (which he always grunted a disproval at before starting), he had never seemed to quite manage the feet of removing it from his body. His Cerulean eyes caught sight of his purplish bandana, marked with golden circles broken along their paths with small spikes. He grabbed it, relishing in the soft feel of the fabric. Silk, Gale told him, it was called. Highly expensive material, whatever that had meant. It had been mended in some places; the years of wear setting in slowly.
He held it close. A lusty feminine voice called out to him, almost seducing his so quick silence when it spoke. “The same dream, huh? I swear, your more than a handful lately.” He turned to the familiar look of a small dragon, walking closer to him. It had a tan shading to it, it’s underside lined with a row of white scales. It stood on two legs, both thick and unwieldy somewhat. Its arm like a human, at it’s sides, high up, and thick, broke into 3 fingers, each one carrying a large nail, grimy with dirt. The dragon hopped up onto the bed, dangling its stocky legs slightly.
“ I’m sorry Terra.” The small dragon mustered a smile, but it looked more like a snarl, razor sharp teeth the only thing visible from beneath it’s leather flaps. The small dragon patted his head, stroking it twice, then stopped, noticing the thin flap of fabric in his hands. She stared at it a little, then jumped off and trotted towards the door.
“I’ll fix ya some soup. That always sends ya right to sleep.” She whispered, crackling another odd smile. “Plume! Tsunami!” Two moans were heard from beyond the bedroom walls. In another room that could’ve been the whole house away, thanks to the holes the broke through the walls of the house.
Thump thump thump thump thump. One of them was in a foul mood, Janus noted, shrinking slightly at the thought of another choice set of words with one of them. Last time, it had been Gale, who was the softest of them by far. He had warned Janus of the chasm that fell into darkness through the earth, a couple of miles east of them. He had known full well Janus would have been curious about it, and still had told him. How was it his fault the thick log he had tried to walk across chose then, of all times, to give way. Gale had never been so furious in his life. It was the first time, Janus remembered, that he had actually seen Gale draw teeth to him. Though it had been quickly remedied when he started to tear up, He never went against Gale’s warnings again, no matter how curious he was.
His gaze was a blood stone shade of red, no pupils to speak of, yet one could tell his gaze was more affixed on Terra then Janus. Two large fangs poked from underneath his light red hide, slight cornifications underneath his eyes, giving him an almost demon appearance. His voice was a low and broad, almost as if he had be a giant, bewitched somehow to that miniscule body. “Terra, if you would, please do call us in the middle of the night for some avid nightmares. Even if the boy cannot sleep, the rest of us can, shall, and will.” Janus tucked his face behind his shoulder. Terra let her arch into a questioning look, then stifled a laugh that was most definitely sarcastic. Plume suddenly choked on his next set of words, and cleared his throat, before crossing his arms again and taking his usual board stance. “What is it with him and these nightmares anyway? The boy never had any trouble before. Now for the past week I have been woken by his visions of some woman he’s never even seen before. As if she were real.”
“All dreams contain some truths, you know that.” Terra snapped back instantly, as if she was expecting it all along, “I don’t care how grumpy you are, he’s our responsibility to care for. I could you what that meant, so I won’t hear anymore of this. I’ll go get some herbs and greens for a broth. When I come back, there had better be some boiling water.”
“Do we have to?” He was shorter than plume, elfish in appearance, with a short stub for a jaw, big wide cerulean eyes with thin whit slits that looked like gills running through the center of his eyes. He wore a long hat on his head with a giant crystal in the shape of a teardrop. He bore a long collar that ran down his length with a greenish blue lining in twin triangle shapes along his front and back with an unknown scrawl on each one. Truly the oddest one, but at least he was nearly always smiling. “I was dreaming I was a butterfly dreaming I was a man.” He said with a sigh, as if it was the most beautifulness thing in the world.
Completely oblivious from the odd stares he was getting, though not from the giggle the escaped from Janus’ mouth, he cracked a smile, and earned a well deserved sigh from Plume.
“Okay… enough for this idiot.” The fire dragon snorted. “Well have the water ready when you get back, but don’t take to long, well only get it to a boil. You and him are responsible for it yourselves. Don’t take too long Terra.”
Terra had gone and come back with a decent bundle of rabbits before the water had fully boiled, prompting another grumble from the oldest of the three. Soon the broth was simmering away, the smell sending Janus and Tsunami into a drunken haze. “Fine, Tsunami, you can have some.” Terra conceded after a few minutes of his usual groveling. “But only one bowl.”
The soup finished quickly, Plume already off in bed long before, Terra and Tsunami were beginning to feel the affects of the late night meal. Janus, however, could only pretend to be lulled to sleep, his mind far to busy to rest.
That girl…in my dream… His thoughts ran. Why do I always she her… why is she always dying in my dreams…
Somehow, through the night, Janus had managed to fall asleep. He woke the next morning to the sound of Tsunami’s playful voice pestering Plume for something from the forest. That’s right, today Gale and Tsunami were to take Him to their favorite fishing hole. He threw of the covers, and went for his cloths, hidden in a burnt dresser by his bedside: A simple black Shirt, collar to large enough to cover the bottom of his chin. A red vest with a simple yellow pattern running along its edges, blue shorts, his bandana, and his mother’s hunting knife. Lastly, some goggles he had picked up from the forest.
He hurried down to the kitchen, where Plume was still arguing with Tsunami, who seemed to want him to go with them. “No.” was the majority of his replies to Tsunami’s many pleas. “Tsunami!”
“Oh Janus! Gale already left. Said we take to long.”
“That’s easy for him to say, he hardly sleeps.”
“No, its cause you two are such heavy sleepers.”
A chuckle escaped from nearly everyone in the room. Terra turned to them, pouring him broth into a clay bowl she had craved. “Thank you Terra! Plume!” He added as Terra eyed him. He pulled his chair out, stood up, took his dishes over to the water hole they had made, put them in, cleaned them with Tsunami’s help, walked back, put his chair back in place, said their goodbyes, and left for the door.
The vast expanse of forest surrounding them was Evident only a few feet from where they stood: all around them, copious amounts of trees, flowers, an a few nonchalant animals lay before them, converging into a massive blob of various shades of green, brown, and small dabs of various other colors. To Janus, it was a massive playground, filled with millions of interesting things to do and get lost in. He wouldn’t so much mind getting lost, in any case, if it weren’t for the small detail of the night. It was an absolute terror at night.
The things at were out at night. Terra had told of a few encounter with some of them: giant spiders that had made the mistake of making Plume their prey. The Snakes that swallowed animal big and small, whole, after choking them to death. Gale had been lucky enough to easy one’s grasp by biting it’s nose off.
In any case, he loved the woods, just no at certain times, he surmised, jumping over a log with some effort. The trickling sounds of water not far away, Tsunami sudden sprung with more urgency and nearly left Janus a number of times as the young boy struggled through the forest. He always gets to excited at the sounds of water. Janus sighed, passing down a small cliff’s edging.
Gale was sitting there, his head strained back to eyes the clouds with his pearly eyes, pupils like Plumes, though softer, and without the cornifications, though he still looked menacing. His skin was a pale shade of milky white, though still leathery and broken with scales, two beautiful white feathery wings in full exposure, his small body laid back, giving him a almost angelic appearance. He carried a small crown of gold chains the loosely clung to his head, with an opal jewel as the centerpiece. Suddenly aware of their presence, he smiled and stood up, pulling his wings in and cracking his neck. He had obviously been staring at the sky for a while now.
“What took you so long?”
“You sound almost annoyed.” Tsunami snorted, putting his hands to his hips.
“I kinda am.” Gale said, giving a playful scowl.
“Oh really? Why? Afraid all the fish would leave?”
“No. Not for that. I know you could catch them no matter how far upstream they went.”
“Well… we got a problem…” His hand drifted over to a small slice of the lake.
Janus gasped. There, nestled among the soft grass, half dipped in the lukewarm water, was the girl from his dreams… clad in the same vest as him.
The hurried down the embankment, Tsunami and Janus trailing while Gale had hurried back to her; holding her above water like he had done every few moments. “I couldn’t leave her here alone so I was waiting for you guys. I found her floating in the water. She’s got a few nicks about her, but nothing serious. The water is making it worse though.”
“How long since you found her?” Tsunami shouted as he came up, diving head long into the water. He suddenly became swifter than before, and reached her just as Janus had climbed down the last rock. Janus hurried on over, while Gale and Tsunami began to pry her from the water. He hurried for an arm, and the three pried her from the water. Gale was right: a few cuts were straddled all along her body. The water, however, had made the wounds only worsen, slow to heal, and there were quite a few squiggles of blood as they pulled her a little ways to rest her next to a tree.
She was breathing, barely, her breath low and few between. “Poor girl is tired.” Tsunami reassured Janus, who was horrified at her paling face. Gone was the supple pink skin with rose cheeks, replaced by some tint of ghastly white. “Gale, you’re the fastest, you go get Terra and Plume. Me and Janus will keep watch.” Gale didn’t respond; instead, he turned and was off over the treetops in a flash.
It wasn’t long till the incoming sounds of footsteps, braking bushes, and other signs of incoming presences broke the awkward silence. Tsunami’s head turned back to the forest. Looking around before shrugging it off as an animal. “Must’ve seen an easy meal. Be on your guard Janus.”
It was a reflex now, upon hearing those words that his mother’s keepsake, his dagger, flew free from its pouch. He brought it up over his face, his arms stretched halfway, his legs parted and bent halfway as well. Tsunami had gone into a similar stance, mumbling for his sister. Janus was a bit more anxious now: Tsunami never got worked up over anything. He was one of the calmest things he had ever seen. It was beyond Janus now, to stop himself.
“What is it, really?”
“Trouble. We’re being watched.” Tsunami said. “Get here quick Terra…”
It came with all the brilliant of plumes rage and the sheer boldness of Tsunami: Janus could catch a glimpse of a red circle before Tsunami had shoved him clear from its path, watching it travel a few more feet before slamming into the woods. It burst into a gargantuan ball of fire and smoke, a small fragment hitting Janus in the cheek, his face suddenly burning with pain. Three more balls of red came sailing towards them. Tsunami pulled up barrier of Ice; something Janus had seen before, though it had the same affect on him as last time. His knees grew slightly weary, though in a second he was same as before.
It was only thick enough to stop the first one; the second came careening towards Tsunami, and in a second, where he had stood: nothing. “TSUNAMI!” He screamed as an explosion sounded off nearby. The thick pounding of heavy footsteps grew closer still. It was a haunting sound, something he had never heard before: as each landed with a thud, it hissed and moaned as it rose again. As if the very being was tormenting itself to meet them. A flicker of light caught his eyes: something as bright as his blade was approaching, several feet taller than him. The underbrush protecting him from it broke: it was now in clear view.
It stood hunched over, a mask guarding its face covered its face: three black holes where its eyes once stood. A giant tube vine of metal ran from the top of its head, from its arms, and from its throat. It all ran to a large tank in the back, diving in and out of it’s half metal, half flesh body. He looked like a maelstrom at struck him, blindly tearing him apart and tossing the body amongst a metal ore. And somehow, it had survived.
Janus felt his knees buckle. The sheer weight of its blank gaze upon him was enough to bring him to his knees. “Oh no…”
“Damn it all to hell! STAND BOY! Katon!” A blast of smoke and gravel slammed into the creature, sending it head long into the river bank, flipping it a couple of time before come to a rest at the base of the water. It didn’t die, but it was immensely confused.
Plume and Terra landed roughly next to him, Terra dragging him to his feet. Gale landed behind them, checking on the girl Janus had long since forgotten. “Where’s Tsunami?”
Janus could do nothing but tear up. “It’s alright, he’ll be back. Mad as hell too.” Terra snorted with a mischievous smile.
Plume took not time to speak. He inhaled; so much air that his cheeks puffed and no smog had left his nose. His arms bulged out, his feet dug into the ground, body straightened to an arrow head, it’s deadly tip readied at the monster that had begun to stir. “Terra: BRACE HIM!” he murmured, his jaw looking ready to burst, wisps of smoke and flame escaping the tight lock of his jaws. Terra took hold of Janus. “KATON!”
A ball of blood red and blue escaped from within his tiny jaw, so massive his body struggled to stay in place, the dirt surrounding his feet slowly rising as he sunk in like quicksand. The water below evaporated as he licked the massive ball of flame. The creature howled, and disappeared behind its girth.
Then, like a demon spewing forth from the bowls of hell itself, it slammed its hard metal fist into Plume. He had no time to reel back from the pain: the creature took hold of his head and slammed him down with such force that as he struck the bottom of the lake, he continued downward, a small whirlpool forming behind him. “Damn it!” Terra shouted. Her hand slammed into the ground, and tore out large rock that Janus was sure hadn’t existed before that moment. He felt his body weaken a bit more, but was far to focus on Terra leaping forward with all the grace of gale and slamming the large rock into the monster’s thick silver hide. For once in his life, he felt fearful, completely, of the very same people who had protected him his whole life. She picked the rock up, and slammed it down again and again. “YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE CHILD!” She screamed.
All this… to protect this girl? He somehow made it to his feet, and waddled over, the last of his strength before diving to his knees in a short run. What was she? Why wasn’t she moving? “Come on! GET UP!” he pleaded, though from Terra’s constant griping on femme necessity, should he ever meet one like her, he only tapped her cheek, the smearing white paint dabbing his gloved fingers. “Come on!”
A thick metal hand clasped his neck. Lifted him, threw him a few feet away. Tsunami’s body lay next to him, his pupil-less eyes staring blankly at his, the full brunt of his explosive encounters evident. A voiced called in his head: Stand you idiot! Stand! You can’t let it have her! She’s too important to let go!
Why? Why was he doing this? From some girl, he had only met, never before had even spoken to? What was driving his feet to stand? “Damn it…” He murmured. His body ached, his forehead was bleeding, his feet felt as if they were nothing but skin, hollow and barely holding as they were. “Damn it…” What was this feeling? He pulled his dagger from the ground next to him. Terra lay prone at the riverbed where she had laid her assault. A giant imprint of a foot engraved around her.
None of them could do it … what was forcing him to try? His foots suddenly sprang forward, each one wobbling slightly as it moved, each with increased speed as he continued, as if he’d tumble forward if he stopped. Dagger faces blade down, giving you the ability to punch more effectively in combat. A dagger face up risks stabbing yourself.
Terra had never taught him that. Somehow he had known on instinct. He jutted forward. Another thick arm had grasped the neck of this girl. She suddenly gasped for breath, without movement.
He couldn’t predict what would happen next. His feet lifted off the ground. The massive tank was exposed. He bore down with all his weight. Suddenly, he was filled with an urge he had never felt before.
The urge to protect.
He could only wonder what had possessed him to straddle this large creature for the sake of a girl he didn’t know, for reasons beyond him. As it bucked and turned underneath him, He thought for a moment about his decision. Was this possibly the worst mistake he had ever made? Not even Terra, who could control the other three with a simple glare, had been enough to stop this monster. It bucked and turned at Janus’ presence, unable to grasp him from his small hiding place.
He suddenly felt himself falling, and flew off as the beast tried to crush him. It rolled to its feet quickly, the bare bulk of the creature gleaming flesh now tainted with encrustations of dirt from the earth it had churned up. Somehow, Janus had managed to his feet as well, though with considerable effort. He waited for the beast to charge him, but it did nothing but stare at him. A cold stare, its huge black disks for eyes unmoving, never blinking, never turning away.
“So… You’re his son… interesting…all data about told of your death.” Janus’ eyes grew fierce, his body crunched itself defensively, and dagger eye level. His breath was ragged, legs failing on him still, but he would be damned if he would deal with Terra later. Its voice was monochromatic, prefect for such a hallow expression. It was broken between words, almost as if it was making sure of each one. “Makes no difference: a prototype cannot defeat me.”
“Prototype?” Was all he mumbled back. He charged at me again. It swung its broad arm at him: somehow, he had managed to avoid it and slip into a pocket between it and its’ exposed chest. He reached in, twisted his knife, and held on for dear life as he was hosted into the air as it arched it back. The blade swung loose, and we sailing into the river, landing with a, thankfully, soften blow.
It, however, was broken by giant hand slamming him harder into the water, forcing all the air from his lung out, his vision blurred for a second, and in his ears, came the CRACK of his ribs.
Down, down, down he fell. He had never thought the river this big, but then again, he had never ventured into it. The light he had cherished so much suddenly became encased by blue, and then he realized that he was falling into Plume’s hole. Through the mottled hole in the ground, he saw those twin holes, the cold soul of the beast, stare back at him, and stomp over him. He knew it then. It was over.
He was going to die right there, next to plume. Oddly, he held no fear of it, no remorse in any of his actions. If I die here… I’ll get to say hi to my parents, and we can live happily ever after… in heaven…