The End is Just the Beginning
To Daryl Falchion
Thank you for giving me inspiration to write.
There are always heroes, friends, lovers, and villains for a story. The story begins, the plot thickens, and in the end, happiness. Too bad reality is harder for the faint of heart. No one could believe a creature that blew up the entire planet can lose to seven warriors without any casualties.
It begins, at the End of Time. The seven heroes, holding faith in their magic, within themselves, and each other. Three of the heroes used the bucket of time to get to the year 1999 AD. Three more used the Epoch to the same year, and the lone hero, Janus, took on the Black Omen solo in 1999 AD to get to Lavos after destroying his mother. It wasn't a choice given to the heroes, they would've preferred taking down the Omen in Lavos' earlier stage in 12000 BC, but they knew they would be at half of their full potential.
The fight began, Lavos using space and time to his advantage to force the heroes to experience pass fights. Far too easy, but Lavos was just having fun before he destroyed the planet. The real fight began when Janus teleported into the epic battle and told everyone to dive for cover. The Black Omen was coming down and the massive aircraft was going to leave a nasty wound on Lavos.
The Omen, with the mass of metal shards began cracking and harming the shell of Destroyer of Planets. After the fortress wounded Lavos, the deadly alien became enraged. The heroes went into a deadly formation called Last Destiny. Glenn and Marle shot with all their might at each other water attacks, while Crono pumped as much lightning into the line of water, causing the lightning to intensify. Together, Janus and Robo gathered the power from the water/lightning attack in a shadow ball, causing the power to swell. As soon as the shadow ball was tangible, Ayla grasped the ball and threw it at Lavos. Lucca used her fire magic to force the ball faster, as a battering ram.
The attack hit its mark, but Lavos was even more enraged. The earth began to shake and Lucca and Marle fell. Crono and Glenn jumped together to get as far from the coming blast. Robo grabbed Ayla and used his Uzzi Punch on Lavos. The attack was not to harm the beast, only to push Robo and Ayla far away. Janus just stood his ground and grinned as he had enough time to cast his Magic Wall defense spell. The Destruction Rains from the Heavens destroyed the battlefield and what was left of Lavos' shell.
Crono looked around helplessly. He smiled brightly when he saw Robo through the cloud of dust. The robot was dinged up, but not too harmed. In his arms Ayla jumped out grinning just as widely as Crono, completely unharmed, thanks to her friend using his metal body as a shield. The smiles ended when a panicked voice yelled, "MAGUS! PRINCESS! LUCCA! Where art thou! Call back to me!" It was Glenn.
The trio ran, and found their frog friend a little worn out, but still yelling. "Princess Nadia! Lucca! Magus…" the screams ended when a shadow appeared. Janus was kneeling, which seemed fitting since he stood up to Lavos' most deadly attack. But when the dust cleared, a dead Marle was at Crono's feet. Crono felt his knees give way under the pressure of guilt and grief. On his knees, he scooped up Marle and embraced her tightly.
"Magus, thee art truly a coward! How could thee just watch thy friends die without lifting a finger?" yelled Glenn as he pointed blame at his rival.
But as the rest of the field cleared and Janus came into view, Glenn's arm fell along with his jaw. Janus was holding Lucca in his arms, sobbing and keeping his back to his friends to prevent the sight of his own tears. No one knew how dearly Janus loved Lucca, with her superior intellect and stronger will that challenged his own. He wasn't prepared for the grand magic that she showed him… love.
"The battle has just begun," pointed out Robo as he stared at a hole in the middle of Lavos' shell.
"Damn it, we didn't kill it! Come, let's get to the bottom of this," said Janus kissing Lucca on the forehead and softly laying her down on the ground.
With equal passion and rage in his eyes, Crono also kissed Marle good-bye before entering the entrance to Hell. The shell, for it was indeed a shell as the heroes came to realize, was deep and long. It was dark and none wanted to speak, for stealth was their last ally. Even though the loudest of the group, (Robo's huge metallic body) was keeping his pace as quietly as Janus who hovered above the ground, the sound of each heart beat could be heard. Was it theirs they were hearing? Or was it the heart of Lavos? Again, no one wanted to disturb the silence.
As Ayla rounded the last bend she duck back to the group. She tried to speak as softly as humanly possible but loud enough to be heard.
"Big creature, Lavos. Tied up to things, me unsure. As big as entrance to volcano. A few of," Ayla patted the nearest stalagmite, "these for cover, not many. No surprise. Have to attack head on."
The group slowly grabbed and checked their weapons. The heroes began moving until Janus hushed them back. "To go to this demon without a plan is suicide; I learned that first hand and so have you Crono."
Crono looked over his shoulder and nodded, for indeed he almost died by Lavos' hand or more specifically Lavo's breath weapon. Glenn slowly gathered the group in a huddle. "So grand wizard, does thee have a plan?"
Janus placed his chin in his palm. How the mage wanted Lucca and Marle with them to do another Last Destiny. That attack would at lease wound the creature. It was moot to continue down that path of what ifs.
"The first onslaught needs to be devastating. After that we need to attack with everything we got," Janus paused, thinking of the best scenario, "Glenn, Crono, you both need to attack together with your blades, we need an opening. Use that Leaping Confusion technique you were working on."
"Nay, it's not perfected."
"No time like the present. Together, your swords will wound him if he has any physical or magical barrier up, thanks to Rainbow and Masamune. Now as soon as their done you and I Robo will have to attack with our Shadow magic to soften him up. Ayla, you must kick hard with that Triple Kick of yours."
As grim as it was, each of the Heroes of Time looked and smiled at each other. This is what is was all about. Their sweat, their tears, their love, and their friendship. All their training and battles were all for this point, this final conclusion.
Janus placed his back to the entrance and started counting. At three he pointed to the swordsmen to rush, and then he started counting to twenty, when their attack would end. Indeed, Lavos seemed intimidating, but Janus' plan had another advantage. If you charge with all your heart, you don't have time to be afraid, even to a god.
Crono jumped onto Lavos' chest and started slicing and dicing in a circle as Glenn continuously leaped up and down in the middle of Crono's spin. After five leaps and five rotations, Glenn jumped to the left and Crono jumped to the right and both of them sliced with all their might. Just as quickly, the two swordsmen jumped off Lavos. Lavos didn't have any time to consider the event, and when the attack ended he had no idea who to strike dead.
The confusion was exactly what Janus wanted. At twenty, both the wizard and robot threw a beam of Shadow, exactly at the creature's chest, right where Glenn repeatedly hit it with his sword. After the assault, Janus put up another Magic Wall, and Robo dove out of the way.
Lavos saw his first target, a very confident, blue haired man. The beast opened his palms and a cruel attack of shadow started beating against Janus shield, easily bringing it down and doing some damage to the mage. The wizard fell to his knees, hurt but able to continue. More importantly, Ayla needed something to jump off to, to close the distance and let her tech fly. Might as well be the kneeling wizard.
Ayla jumped back, following through with the plan, even the added part that Janus would be her shield. She just didn't imagine that the strong man being beaten so easily by magic. Janus glanced over his shoulder then nodded. Ayla charged, choking back her war cry. She can scream as soon as she's finish with the first attack. Lavos, quickly grabbed the frog and human swordsmen, beginning to squeeze the life out of them, but he noticed that his wounded chest was exposed. It was too late.
Ayla kicked with all her might three times. Once she hit him in the chest, the force of the kick sent her in a up towards Lavos left wrist, where she grabbed hold of the wrist, spun, and came back to kick him again. In that same instant, Ayla gave Glenn enough free way to get out of his grasp.
The last kick was similar to the second, except Ayla swung right, freeing Crono as well. The pain was great, but Lavos fought on. He unleashed another attack, this one of fire. The creature held back some of its power though to heal himself. Robo pulled back to do a Rocket punch, and Janus hopped on for the ride. In one hit, the godling was slashed by a scythe and pummeled by a robotic fist. The heroes weren't done. Together as a team, Glenn and Crono slashed across the beast's chest, leaving a trail of what seemed like an X but as the swordsmen were halfway through their X strike, Ayla leapt up and came straight down in a single, powerful kick.
The cavern began to quiver as the creature felt its power depleting. The surprise attacks were too much for the creature. At the last moment, Lavos opened up his body for one final attack. With the remaining power in him, Lavos shot out beams of light. Janus and Crono saw the raw power charging and knew what it meant. Crono leaped behind a stalagmite, but Janus just stood in awe at the great power.
Glenn began to try to find some cover, but saw his rival and friend standing in fear. With all his might, Glenn leapt as far as he could and threw Janus behind another stalagmite, this one just across from Crono. The wizard landed face down, but jumped to his feet, placing his back to the shield.
"GLENN!" screamed Janus.
A roar of heat and pure energy filled the room. Janus and Crono felt the rock they hid behind shake and melt. The wizard continued to call out to his frog friend, but no sound could be heard above the terrifying roar of flames. The assault seemed like hours, but it ended as quickly as it started.
Crono and Janus looked at each other in what seemed to be a mix of fear and grief. Knowing where they were however, they shook that feeling away and jumped out to continue the battle. What they saw was stomach churning. Their frog friend, for they knew only his green skin could make the goo that lied before them, was gone from their lives.
"Good thing that creature is dead, or he would've known our full fury," Janus spoke softly, bowing his head in respect of the man that was his friend and savior. Not long into paying his respect, Crono started poking at his shoulder.
"What?" ask the mage.
Crono pointed to yet another companion that was taken; as the sight of Robo fused with the wall, has finally been noticed.
"You get you wish," said Ayla dropping from a stalactite before the two remaining men. In the middle of the room laid a quiet, undisturbed, true form of Lavos. The beast has been sleeping the whole time, still taking all the energy of the world.
"Since the dawn of time he has been reaping the planet of all its natural resource. We are no more than harvest to it," Janus looked at Ayla then Crono. Crono nodded. "YOU'RE GOING DOWN LAVOS!"
The alien creature awoke and stood up, realizing that there are not just intruders in his home, but they actually defeated his defenses. This won't do at all. Lavos summoned two orbs of power to help him, and then did the unimaginable. He torn into the very fabric of time and created a battlefield of his choosing. The Axis of Time.
The heroes were scared. Never before have they ever felt such raw power. But the fresh memories of Lucca and Marle burned, beaten and dead; Robo and Glenn, melted into the stone, made them forget their fears. All they felt was determination and rage.
Janus was first to act. With as much agility that he could muster, the wizard jumped up with scythe in hand, and with all his strength and momentum, slashed at the alien. Lavos seemed unimpressed. To reward Janus for his effort, Lavos backhanded the wizard which in turn sent him flying.
Ayla jumped over Janus and charged the beast. In the middle of her charge, she was intercepted by the left orb, which pushed her far from its controller. Crono leapt into a summersault, spinning into his Cyclone attack. The right orb tried to stop Crono, like his counterpart stopped Ayla, but the spinning blades caught both the orb and Lavos.
Lavos just shrugged off the attack. Without lifting a finger, Lavos levitated the red headed swordsman into the air, spun him around, and for good measures, threw him head down onto the ground. The telekinesis attack made the Axis of Time move them through a different time era.
Janus rose, using his scythe for support. The wizard grinned at his opponent. Oh, yeah. You're going to pay for everything you done to us all. But most importantly, you'll pay for what you done to my mother, my sister, and Lucca.
Ayla ran back towards the beast. Again the orb tried to intercept her, but Janus immediately threw a Dark Bomb to stop it in its tracks. The spell had no effect, and attacked the prehistoric chieftain. As it came down to push her back, Ayla jumped on top of the orb and use it to launch herself into a Tailspin at Lavos. She dove straight down onto its head, causing some damage.
Crono charged again, and again, Lavos used his telekinesis to throw him, but this time into his friend wizard, disrupting his next spell. Damn it. I just can't get near him. But I will. For Guardia, for Marle, for all my friends, I will destroy you! Thought the silent warrior. With all his anger, Crono began to float up, but not because of Lavos, but from his own power was building so rapidly, it was pushing him off the ground.
"Get him, Crono," Janus whispered under his breath.
A large dome encircled both the orbs and Lavos' Core. The electric current began shocking the outside of Lavos, and when the dome started coming down, the current started zapping his insides. The creature fell to its knees, giving Janus the perfect opportunity.
"Crono, keep the right orb off me. Ayla, take the left!" screamed Janus, floating towards the beast.
The right orb descended upon the brave wizard, but was pushed aside as Crono rammed into it. Janus continued his charge and saw the left orb be kicked out of his way by Ayla. Lavos rose, his full twenty foot frame. If just standing, Lavos thought to intimidate the Zealian; he was in for a shock. Janus hoped it would work. The attack failed miserably the last time, but he had no time to change his mind.
The wizard came before Lavos and completely turned a one-eighty. "Shadow DISMISS!" yelled Janus to the top of his lungs.
An upside-down triangle of dark energy shot out of the wizard's hand, enveloping Lavos. Lavos screamed in pain, and seemed to vanish before the heroes eyes.
Crono grinned and nodded to his friend. "Good job, Janus," said Ayla.
"No sweat…" Janus was interrupted by the twin orbs doing an X strike. The wizard's eyes went wide before he collapsed in front of his friends. Ayla screamed and jumped up doing a Triple Kick the left orb, as Crono Cyclone the right.
An old, forgotten language spoke out of the right orb, and it began to glow. The language was forgotten by all but one. "Barrier down, resurr… resurr… huh?" asked Ayla.
At her feet, she heard her friend moaning out four words that he wished he didn't say. "Don't tell me, resurrection," Janus turned his head as a portal in time opened and a perfectly healthy Lavos returned.
Ayla helped Janus to his feet. The wizard pushed her away from him. "THAT'S IT YOU DEMON!" yelled Janus as he cast his most powerful spell, Dark Matter. A dark triangular hole appeared with a smaller triangle within that hole. The large hole began pulling Lavos and the orbs down, with the gravity of dark matter. The smaller light triangle continually assaulted the beast and its orbs.
Lavos was ready this time. He used a magic barrier to absorb most of the shadow attack, but the wizard was watching each of the three targets. Even though the beast was ready for it, the attack still hurt. The left orb seemed unaffected while the right seemed to be shaking in what could only be torment.
Janus snapped his head to his companions. "Ayla, only physically attack that left orb, Crono, use your magic on the right. I got…" the wizard turned around to see Lavos tearing open a gate to send Janus through.
It appeared to be outer space on the other side of the gate. Janus tried to keep his ground, but the vacuum of the gate was too much. Janus went through and it seemed ironic how he was torn from his life by Lavos opening a gate and now he was doing it again.
"Bastard," was the last word Janus said and then he was gone.
Ayla's scream was primal and fearful. She jumped up and started attacking the left orb like a cat. Crono leapt and started his rotation for a Confuse attack on the right orb. Ayla jumped off as the orb healed itself from the attack. Crono leapt off and was relieved that he saw plenty of marks on the orb.
Ayla jumped and threw Crono out of the way. The swordsman was completely caught off guard that he fell to the ground and struggled to get up. What he saw was truly disturbing. Lavos was sick of playing around. Whoever, these cretins were, they destroyed his home and succeeded in killing him. A huge rock, the size of a meteor was right above Ayla. Sixty-five million years of energy came crashing down upon the chieftain.
She held the rock above her head, keeping it from crushing her. Lavos forced with all his might to crush the infidel. Ayla held out well. She lasted against the god for ten seconds.
"No," Crono whispered under his breath. Fire filled his eyes. All of his friends, including Marle, were gone, all gone.
Crono stood looking down as the Axis again shifted to a time after Lavos' awakening. Tears filled the last of the heroes' eyes. I feel so much sadness, so much pain. Countless people feel my pain. Even my world feels my pain. The past, present and future have felt this grief.
Through his blurred eyes he saw the huge rock that buried his friend, but he felt his target, the right orb. If I destroy that orb, the resurrection should end, if not the damn creature will not come back when I kill him again!
Lavos used a pulse of light energy behind the rock where his last nuisance was. Similar to Luminaire, which Crono used on Lavos earlier, this light dome was design to steal all the life energy out of a living creature, as Lavos been doing for years. What Lavos didn't plan, was that Crono didn't have just his life energy flowing through him. Through all the joy and pain, his memories of his friends and family, and all the people he's helped, gave his not just one, but countless life energies.
Power of the planet and the spirits that lives there began flowing into Crono. The swordsman felt desperation and hope through this power. Countless spirits encouraged him to finish this, and filled his strength with new found zeal.
A familiar energy found its way to Crono's right arm. Trusting in this spirit, Crono continued to focus past the rock to his target. Crono charged his final attack.
"NIRVANA STRIKE!" screamed Crono as his Rainbow sword crashed through the rock. The swordsman would not stop his attack until the orb fell. The barrage of back and forth attacks kept coming and coming. The orb kept trying to put its shield up, but another pierce from a different angle stopped it each time.
Lavos ran to its orb with as much desperation that the alien could show. It was too late. The Nirvana Strike did its job and the orb fell apart. Crono landed and just glanced at Lavos at the corner of his eye. The scream was inhuman. Lavos grabbed his head and started quivering. Normally Crono would hate such pain, even to a monster. But the swordsman didn't care; he even threw a lightning bolt at the defeated creature.
Lavos faded before Crono's eyes, as well as the two orbs. The Axis of Time was no place for a human of the third dimension to be and without Lavos' energy to keep the balance, Crono understood why. The Axis of Time has always been a place that only gods should be, to see and understand all the outcomes of all the possible futures.
Crono began seeing time going so fast yet at the same time impossibly slow. Time around him was spinning, as well as going straight ahead. He tried to close his eyes, to keep from going mad, but it just got worse. Countless creatures, speaking as one; some loudly, some softly, in many different languages attacked Crono's mind. Countless sounds and noises, too many for a simple human to sort out. Within time, Crono fell into the comfort of darkness.
A bell softly rang. It sounded far, far away. I thought I was to see a light, not hear a bell. Before the last word left his mind, Crono sat up, opening his eyes. He was in his room and completely unharmed.
Was it all just a dream? No, it couldn't have been. So, why am I here?
The swordsman leapt out of his bed and ran down his stairs. Crono saw his mother making pancakes and setting them down on the dinning room table.
"What year?" Crono asked.
His mother turned and smile at her son. "Thank goodness. That old man with the cane; his tonics did work. You've been out for days. It's New Years Eve. I guess at midnight, it'll be 1000AD."
Crono looked down at the floor. It wasn't a dream. Probably the old man with the cane was either Melchior or Gasper. If, whoever it was, used tonics he must have been in a bad fight, if you would call fighting a god a bad fight.
Without as much as a word, Crono left. His mother never noticed. The swordsman knew what he had to do. He had to tell the father's of his two close friends were dead. The first house he came to was Taban's house. Every step took its toll on Crono and every step was heavier then the last.
Softly, Crono knocked on the door. It's not fair. Lucca saved her mother's legs, only to never see her again. Crono knocked again, this time the sound of the bangs were as loud as lightning. Taban quickly opened the door when he heard the banging.
"What in the world? Oh, Crono. How have you been son?" ask Taban
Crono turned his head, trying to control his nervous and grieving shaking.
"Gee son, you seem upset. Is that even possible with you? So, are we going to play charades until I can figure what you want?" asked Taban.
"She's dead," was all Crono said before turning around and headed for Guardia's Castle. Taban was completely shocked. He would've stopped Crono to clarify, but he still couldn't believe what he just heard. By the time the inventor snapped out of it, Crono was long gone.
Crono barged into the castle without much of a thought. The two guards started to stop the intruder, until they saw who it was.
"Sorry, you may…" Crono didn't pay any heed to the soldier, he just kept on walking, "come and go as you please," the guard finished watching Crono walk up the stairs.
The doors opened to the throne room, without any announcements. The king and the chancellor were discussing the rest of the Millennium Fair and the secret gift to the princess, the Nadia bell. They stopped as the swordsman entered and came before the king and knelt before him.
"You may rise Sir. Crono. Since you are here, am I to assume you defeated the evil Lavos?" ask the king.
Crono remained kneeling, but nodded his head.
"Then we must celebrate!" yelled the king, standing from his throne.
Crono shook his head.
"Why?" asked King Gaurdia, then realizing his error, he change the question, "Is there a reason we shouldn't?"
A nod. "Is Lavos still a threat?" A shake of Crono head. Crono turn his head, grinding his teeth, trying to hold back his tears.
The king thought long and hard as to why the greatest swordsman before him was so distressed. It never dawned on him until the ever so observant chancellor said, "Where are princess Nadia and the others?"
"They're dead," the king softly said.
Crono nodded, and then kept his head deep and low. The king sat down in his throne. The news was at first unimaginable. King Guardia looked pass Crono, expecting his daughter and the rest to come flooding in. He refused to believe his daughter was gone.
A soft hand touched the king's shoulder. "She's gone my lord. Sir. Crono wouldn't lie about anything like that. You know how much they cared for each other. Look at him sire." The king did just that, at the man he thought would always keep his daughter safe.
After looking upon the defeated and worn swordsman, truly grief struck by the lost of his one true love and all his friends, the king held back any blame upon the hero.
"I'm sorry, Crono. You may leave. Thank you for saving us all and for all your sacrifices."
The king turned to the chancellor. "Let the Millennium Fair continue without the news of the princess and the saviors deaths. We will tell the kingdom about their legendary journeys and their sacrifice to save us all, after the fair." The king turned back to Crono, but he was gone.
Many hours have past. Crono stood over a cliff on Mt. Masamune, staring over the town of Truce. People were celebrating because of the turn of the times. So one millennium has past. It didn't matter to Crono. He has been through all the time periods and learned that people will change, but they will continue to remain the same. In the end, it is how you live your life in the here and now, not how the past or future will make you.
The hero turned away as the countdown began. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR! Fireworks starting going off and the party and fair began.
So, this is year 1000AD. No difference then last year, no difference then the past billion years. Slowly Crono closed his eyes. The swordsman began thinking, why continue this mortal existence without his friends. Looking down at the rocks and waves crashing upon them, he thought of jumping then and there.
No. I have to think about this. At sunset, I'll come back here and make my decision. It is my fate; I must make sure it is the right thing to do. With that final thought, Crono began his climb down the mountain, with the ghosts of his friends that he failed, fresh in his mind.