Pain, Love, and Shame

Written By: Dark Creation

We all have times of hopelessness and despair. Many of us are met with adversity that relents after we endure it, but there are those of us who are always under fire from the hardships and misfortunes of life. I always thought I was one of those people. Throughout my childhood, I was teased by other children because of my appearance. I was a tomboy by nature, and my specially designed helmet and spectacles didn't make me appear any more normal.

My family is not one of particular wealth. Most of the projects that my father and I work on begin as trash for another and we make by on our successful inventions, which come rather infrequently, and mechanical repairs. My mom used to be seamstress, before the accident. Now, she spends her days staring sorrowfully into the sky.

I dwelled on my difficult life whenever I wasn't working on something or spending time with Crono. I mean, who wouldn't when almost nobody sees you as something special, but I learned to live with it. There are those of us, however, who don't.

We had just been humbled by Lavos a few weeks earlier and seen many of the truths of our quest be turned upside down. We weren't supposed to lose. Magus wasn't supposed to be a good guy. And Crono………we weren't supposed to lose him.

There was something we could do about that and, surprisingly, Magus helped show us the way. He told us of Gaspar and the possibility of Crono's resurrection. This led us to 2300 A.D. and the throne of Lavos in his world of the future, Death Peak.

Only three of us could go, and because of that, it took us a while to decide who would go. Marle was still having hysterical fits about Crono's demise and Frog, over the weeks following the Ocean Palace disaster, had become her consoler. So, when we decided to head out, Frog, with a clearer head than Marle could have had, suggested that he and Marle should stay behind, to spare her the pain of the possibility that we may fail. Given his knowledge of the creatures of the era, Robo was asked to go. Ayla, who hated 12,000 B.C. because of the blizzard, didn't want to go. That left me and Magus.

I wanted to go. It was something that meant a lot to me, given that Crono had been my only friend for years. I wanted to be there when he returned to us and I wanted to be the first to know if we would never be reunited.

So we went and made our way, slowly, up the mountain. We battled the denizens of hell, creatures spawned from test tubes, and even one of the spawn of Lavos, before we decided to rest and set up camp.

"There, all set. How does that feel?" I asked Robo after making a few adjustments to Robo's programming hardware, which had been damaged by the stresses of time travel. If only we were all so easy to fix after traveling through time.

"It feels alright, but I really won't know the full effects of your adjustments until I shutdown and reboot. It will take a few hours, so I shall do so now." Robo said with that cold robot voice. He was more human than almost anyone I had ever known, but even after all we had been through, his robotic voice still got to me, just a bit.

"Okay Robo, I'll be here when you wake up." I told him, encouraging the humanity in his programming. He had grown to be like a big brother to me, and I always felt safer with him around. Now that it was just me and Magus, however, things got quiet quickly.

To that point, I tried to avoid speaking with him and he appeared not to mind that. He kept to himself all the time, almost never speaking and when he did, he spoke arrogantly, trying to bother or offend someone. I think he enjoyed boiling the blood of those around him. My impression of him was that he was an arrogant, flashy egomaniac who thought the world of himself. Then I saw him on the battlefield. Never have I seen such ruthless, brutal, inhumane bloodshed seem so artfully performed. He never gloated about his victories and if his magiks were not so immense, you would not notice he was doing anything if you weren't watching him from the start. He killed and he moved on and that was what scared me the most.

So, I decided to work on one of my little trinkets. I always carried small little projects around to work on when I was bored. I rarely ever finished one, but it made me feel like I was getting something done. I looked up, from time to time, to see what Magus was doing and every time I did so, I saw him looking intently at me. As much as it bothered me, I said nothing. In fact, it was him that initiated the conversation.

"What are you doing?" The words clawed their way from his throat. It caught me by surprised, even though he spoke softly, and I dropped what I was working on into my lap.

"It's called a power seal. It takes the kinetic energy of an attack and transfers it into the wearer." He didn't ask what it did, but I explained anyway.

"Does it work?" He asked. He seemed disturbingly interested in me.

"No, this one is damaged, maybe even beyond repair, but I'm trying to see how it works."

"What good will that do?" He seemed determined to make conversation. It was kind of odd, but who was I to question his interest, I knew to little of him to do so.

"Well, I might be able to build a working model if I understand its mechanical systems."

"I see. Is this what you do with your spare time?"

"Uh, yeah. I like this kind of stuff."

"I used to be, but it was discouraged." He spoke of his past. This was the first time that I'd heard him do so since we met with him at the North Cape.

"Well, I'm not exactly the most popular person where I come from for it, either." I never could have imagined that we had ever something in common. Perhaps, under different circumstances, he could have…….

"You must have dealt with adversity well. I was….not so fortunate."

"…um, well…."

"Does it bother you that I display such self pity?"

"A bit."

"…" He glared at me. I looked down at the broken power seal then back at him. He looked down to the ground with a scowl.

"Why are you, I mean, why did you come with us. You could have refused to come. No one would have made you." I asked him bluntly. At this point, it seemed he wanted to open up to me a bit, for whatever reason.

"The truth is, Lucca, I didn't care either way. It has been a long time since I cared about anything, save my revenge." That statement bothered me.

"What do you mean by that." I said, curiously.

"In order to care about something, you have to have feelings for it, good or bad. I have felt so much pain that it is almost completely dulled. It is like a wound, the most painful part is the initial opening and it hurts for a while, but eventually the wound, despite still being there, doesn't hurt anymore. I have felt so much pain for so long that none of it really hurts anymore."

"You must feel joy sometimes." I said, concerned about his current state. He was acting so oddly, I thought maybe he may have lost it.

"Not in a long time. I was once like you, in Zeal. I was disliked because I was different. Back then, I had Schala to comfort me. After Lavos took her from me, all I had was her memory and the prospect of revenge and eventually, my revenge overwhelmed her memory." He stopped for a moment, openly remenicing about his dark life. "I remember when it happened. It was that day, in the Denadaro Mountains, when I met Cyrus for the last time. I had grown up being trained to slaughter, but whenever I tried to ravage the helpless and innocent, her memory would keep me from doing so. I was able to justify the slaying of Cyrus as self defense, though he clearly was no match for me, but when the focus shifted to his squire, I paused. The thought of what Schala would think of me had always kept me from exploiting the weak before. Ozzie bellowed something about giving the poor boy a more fitting form. That was when the pain I had endured surfaced to overwhelm her memory. In that instance, I no longer cared about anything other than making all those who stood in my way feel the same pain that I'd felt. I muttered something about having a little fun and transformed him into Frog. I've been half dead on the inside ever since."

I was, for lack of a better word, touched. Everything he'd said had gotten to every empathetic nerve inmy heart. I didn't understand why he was telling me all this, but I understood the pain he'd felt. We shared to same pain, though he had endured much more than I. It almost worried me that I may eventually become like him, someday.

"So you don't care about anything anymore. No her, not anything."

"Just revenge."

"No, that's not possible." I refused to accept his hoplessness. "You care. You have to. There is no way you don't care about anything but revenge."

"Are you questioning what I have endured?" He said, offended.

"No, I fully understand your pain, but even after all that, you can't say you don't care about her. Not after what you told me. You may have faltered a bit, but deep down, you still care."

"You think I haven't tried to tell myself that? I hated myself for what I've done, but it has just become so overwhelming. It's just easier to stop caring."

"Maybe, but you wouldn't have the will for revenge if you didn't care." I stunned him. I made perfect sense in a way he'd never thought of. He didn't say anything about it, but I could tell he knew I was right.

"…Did you ever meet her?" He asked me.

"Once." I replied simply.

"She was so beautiful." He said. I'm not sure, but it was like he was trying to force himself to care. "I remember getting up early just to watch her sleep, to watch her dream. My own dreams were so dark and painful. I often tried to envision what she was dreaming about. It made me feel better to think about her dreams than to dwell on my own."

"You must have loved her a lot." I said. I paused for a moment, looked at me, and revealed a jewel, hidden under his breastplate.

"She gave me this. It has her picture in it, but only I can see it. It was prized for its magical properties of defense, but I always loved it because I could see her in it. I haven't looked at it since that day."

I let him to himself. It just felt like he needed to be left alone. After everything, It just seemed like I had served my purpose.

We completed our mission and brought Crono back. When we entered the time freeze, I saw the look on his face when he saw her frozen form, crumpled over before his mother and Lavos. He stared at her for what seemed like forever. Even while Robo and I replaced Crono with the clone, he just stood there, staring at her. Robo and I turned to leave, with Crono in our arms, and as we did, I heard something. It was so faint that it probably couldn't be heard anywhere other than that frozen silent world.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry….."

I dunno what you guys think of this, but this has been brewing in my head for the past couple weeks, so I had to get it out. The idea of it had been there for a lot longer, but I just saw the scene in my head one night and I've carried it for a couple days, so I think it's a bit different that what I originally thought up, but I think this has the same spirit. Anyway, I wanna hear from you guys, so speak loud and clear and review this thing. I'm sorry I worked on this small one shot before finished the next chap of The Prophet's Apprentice, but I promise it's coming. Anyway, that is enough from me. Go Pats!!!!

Dark Creation