Memories of Crono; a chapter wherein the party relives their happier days and dwell on the future…
The dark skies of a dismal future gave way to the baby blue skies of a world reveling in a new millennium. However, in the horizon the Black Omen stood perched, its stark figure like a vulture waiting to feed of the scraps of the dead. The lighthouse, where Lucca lived, was quiet enough of a place to land the Epoch. They continued toward Crono's house on foot. Even with the dark presence of the Black Omen the world below carried on in jubilation, although the air was more tense then it had been before. This was not due to the the Omen, rather, it was due to the rumors that continued to circulate about the king.
"What if the king caught Crono? What if he had been lying about his probation?"
"Nobody has seen Crono. If he hadn't protected those guards that day..."
"They say that those people who were attacking the guards that day were itching to start a riot."
"I don't see how the king can talk his way out of this...how can he control a kingdom if he can't even find his daughter?"
"They say he is canceling his speech at the end of the Millennial fair! Can you believe that? He's probably afraid he'll get the same treatment he was ready to give 'you-know-who'."
Glenn looked toward Marle who had been clenching her jaw. He was about to ask if they should do something but thought better of it. He knew already what she would say: this is more important and my father can wait. Everyone could see the thought processes working about in her mind just by the way she bit her lip and fumbled with her pendent. However, the mood amongst everyone was tense as they drew closer to Crono's home.
They had talked beforehand, wondering what would be the best object they could use to summon Crono from death. As they spoke on things that would call Crono to remembrance of what lay at stake in the physical realm, Lucca fought to prepare herself for the inevitable. They had mentioned it a few times in the Epoch: what would they say to Crono's mother? Lucca, after a moment of thought, silenced them and told them that she should take care of it. She clumsily joked that she and Crono had to lie to his mother many times, and doing it once again shouldn't be too difficult. The group chuckled out of courtesy, but their concern and sympathy for Lucca was evident in their reactions.
As they walked, Magus fell back to where Lucca trudged slowly behind. "Wouldn't it be easier to let Robo talk to his mother and you wait elsewhere? He can control his emotions."
The mounting tension as they approached Crono's home did little to temper her response, "Don't tell me what to do. I can handle this."
Magus didn't say anything. Instead, he gave a nod that could have been taken either as encouragement or "it's your funeral".
They had reached the house. It was still as picturesque as it was the day they last left it. However, it was quieter and Lucca felt her tension go. Even still, she was cautious as she opened up the door. The lights were off inside. She called into the house, but there was no answer. A smile came naturally to her face as she turned to the party and motioned for them to head on upstairs. As the opened the door to Crono's room, Marle was overcome by a sensation that the rest of the party could not understand. The room smelled of Crono. It was a smell that not even Lucca could know in such entirety, for she had not buried her face in his chest and breathed his scent all those nights. It almost caused her to reel, but she quickly shook her head and brought her senses about. The memories of the nights they had spent together, her nose inhaling his scent as if it were the purest and sweetest of smells, were bitter-sweet.
Lucca did not feel the power of the emotion through smell. Instead, she had a whole lifetime of memories integrated with the various nick-knacks that lay about his room. Everything was a memory, and every memory was tied to dozens more. How strange it is that such memories would have never surfaced if Crono were at her side that day! Distant memories came to her unbidden, like a thief hungrily searching her mind for anything of value and there was nothing she could do to stop it. At first, she was thankful for those that were there so that she would not spend all day looking at these items. It was then she realized that she had all the time in the world and allowed herself to sink down at his bed and look through a book of photographs.
Glenn and Ayla looked at everything with a feeling of reverence and respect. They searched through his room as if trying to see him through new eyes. Within their faculties they constructed a history of Crono and how he came to be. Just as they studied their enemies by their behaviors on the battlefield and what they left behind, they studied Crono. Lucky charms, well-worn items, old children fixations such as toys and fake weapons, and pictures were their areas of interest. Glenn was able to see that Crono had wanted to be a knight at a young age and Ayla could see the dedication and loyalty to his mother. They saw him through the eyes of a warrior and saw that his desire stemmed from one source.
Magus kept his distance. He did not wish to intrude. He observed the party from the doorway with a certain sort of wonder, as if he were watching himself. He wondered when he stopped looking at the sky, thinking of Schala teaching him about flight and explaining the Black Bird to him. He wondered when he stopped remembering Schala and started focusing on Lavos. He wondered if he had that sort of awe that he saw in their eyes before it was lost. It was not a feeling of longing that he sensed in them, although it was there. There was a sense of peace, of joy, and even pleasure. Did he feel those things once as he thought upon Schala? Or was he overcome by despair and never moved past it? Was he able to think of Schala with joy now? He gave himself the slightest shake of his head to free his thoughts. Within his own mind he asked himself what was the point of it and thought on other things.
What Robo saw and felt was their emotions. He did look around the room and noticed that everyone in the party had found something. However, these were things that called to them. He could sense that the items they held carried more significance for them. However, they took turns and explained why they picked what they did.
Lucca held out a picture of them together. They were dressed in school attire and they hung over each other with broad smiles on their faces. She began with a smile on her face so sincere that she almost looked like the young girl in the photo. "This was the sixth year of school. That day a group of bullies picked on me until I began to cry. Crono came and beat them away. He put his arm around me and said that if they ever picked on his sister again that he would do even worse. The smile he had when he called me a sister...I could see right then and there that he meant more than that. We were always like family, but it was different after that."
Glenn held out a bandana that had been embroidered. "Once, Crono hath told me a tale of how a knight stooped down after he hath injured himself. He wrapped his arm with this very bandana." Glenn smiled fondly as if he had been reliving a memory of his own. "Crono has told me on several occasions that the single act of that knight forever imprinted upon his memory the code of conduct that a knight should follow. This single act of kindness signifies the very core of his personality. I say this shall be our item."
Ayla started and held out her piece. "Crono told me that his mother bought him this necklace when he was little to cheer him up. I see the love his mother had for him. This will call to him."
Marle nodded and said, "Those are all very good. However, this pendent that I have was what started our journey. It was because of this very pendent that we all met. I think this should be it."
They were not annoyed nor were they in harsh disagreement. They merely discussed which held the most sentimental value. It was Robo who first said, "How about we just take one of each? What harm could there be in having multiple items?"
The group agreed and headed downstairs.
And then Lucca felt a savage chill in her spine as she rounded the stairs' banister.
"Oh! Hello! I can't believe you are here! How are all of you?"
Lucca felt the warm embrace of Crono mother. A few apples rolled out from her grocery bag, unheeded as she proceeded to embrace the rest of them. It only Magus that she did not embrace, but only gave the most welcome handshake she could muster. Her smile was so broad and her eyes were eagerly searching the lot of them. "Where is Crono?" She said with an excited grin, "Where is my beautiful boy?"
Lucca started off higher pitched but quickly calmed herself, "Hey, you are going to make him die of embarrassment if you do that."
Robo saw her vocal chords go tight as she uttered that sentence. She had spoken without thinking. Even mentioning death in jest almost caused Lucca to lose her composure. The rest of the party seemed a little stunned. Were they not going to tell his mother?
"Well, what can I say? I have a handsome boy!" Her smile slowly faded and became slightly down-turned in disappointment. "He's not here?"
"No..." Lucca began.
The disappointed look quickly began to turn into a look of panic but Lucca put her hands up in a reassuring manner. "It's okay! It's okay! He's fine! We just dropped by to get a few things is all."
A hand went to her chest, "Oh! Thank goodness! All of you just seemed so sullen!"
Lucca scoffed, "Well, he's just having to lay low until this whole thing blows over. You are working on that, right, Marle?"
Shock. That was what Robo sensed from Marle. Shock and then annoyance at being forced to lie to his mother. "O-oh! Absolutely! Just you wait, he'll be home in no time."
"That's wonderful to hear. Thank you so much." She embraced Marle.
Lucca cleared her throat and said, "Hey, sorry that we are heading out so soon, but we told him we'd be back with a few things that he needed. Do you mind if we take these things with us?"
She nodded and said, "Of course! Thank you for asking."
As they began to leave she called out after them. "Oh! Make sure to tell him that I love him and to come home soon!"
"Of course!" Lucca said over her shoulder. "He loves you too!"
They walked a ways further until they rounded a corner. When Lucca was sure they were out of earshot she allowed herself to cry uncontrollably.
Notes: Sorry that it is a short update. Check this out though; I'm trying something interesting. I had the ending for this whole story planned for a long time so not only am I writing the story in progression, I am also writing it in regression from the ending. So, if it works out well you will all be hit with a bunch of story toward the end.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who is being so patient. I just want to reassure and calm any people that think I might not finish this story. Please keep in mind that even with school (Getting ready to start on my Bachelor's of Science), work, and saving up for a wedding ring (wink, wink) I am still finding times to update. This is how much I love my hobby. I have worked on this story for darn well close to, what, ten years now? Trust me. I'm going to finish it. ;)