CHRONO AVENGERS: Lucca Pendragon
By: Matt Taylor
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, Square-enix does. I make no money from their use.
NOTES: What you are about to read is a small portion of a much longer story I once planned, but I doubt will ever finish. I'm currently thinking of writing portions of it as one shot's under the "Chrono Avengers" title. The First game, Chrono Trigger, concentrated on time travel, Chrono Cross on two alternate worlds, My story would have concentrated on the multiverse, with Lucca as the main hero, and Queen Zeal as the main villain. I hope this one-shot gives you a good idea of the story as it would go so far.
If a man were to walk into this place, he would think it a ruins at first glance. This was once Chronopolis, a research enter involved in the study of time and time travel. It was involved once in a horrible battle between two quasi-gods, and in the end of the entire incident it was thrown here, to float in this place forever. This place was the End of Time.
If a man were to walk into this place, he would think it empty at first glance. He would be wrong. If he were to go deeper than this area that was once the lobby of the center, he would find the center's guards, horrible reptilian things that walked on two legs, their ancient bodies enhanced and improved through science that they themselves had no understanding of. Their scaled bodies were covered in metallic armor, and fierce weapons lay on their arms, ready to spring to life at a thought.
But no one other than them had been here for years since they came. All these creatures know is that their mistress commands them to guard this place, and guard it they do.
One day though, their quiet life of guarding was interrupted.
The first loud noise they had heard in ages was when the front doors to the facilities exploded. Several of them leapt out of hiding and rushed to see this.
"What is happening?" One asked in a guttural voice.
"The door exploded, what does it look like?!" The other asked. Several more entered the room from the back hallways, startled by the noise. Where the door had been was now a great grey cloud of smoke.
"Did something short circuit?"
"Impossible, there's barely any power running to this area."
As he said this, that one guard was cut down as a quick lance of light slammed through the grey cloud and took half his head off. It was followed by multiple others. The one in charge quickly shouted.
"We're under attack! Defense positions!" True to their duties, the reptilian guards took up positions out of the primary line of fire. The commander pointed to one near the back doors.
"You! Go inform Queen Azala of what's happening!" The guard given such orders quickly went to follow them, as armored men began to pour through the door. "Fire!"
The firefight was quick and vicious. The reptilian guards fired their weapons again and again, but as they got close to the enemies, the shots seemed to vanish in a small whirling vortex. The enemy troops fired their own weapons. Lethal lances of light took several more guards.
"Fall back! Fall Ba.." The captain's voice was cut off as a sphere of light came out of the doorway, and took him in the head, disintegrating it immediately. The one who fired it stepped forward. This trooper was wearing the same armor as the others, but you could see dark purple hair spill out from the back of her helmet, and she wielded a large gun differentiated from the others by the shining tubes running down the side. They glowed as bright as the sun.
"Captain! Clear out the rest of them!" She shouted.
"Yes ma'am!" One of the others retorted, and soon enough the lobby was empty of reptiles. Several of the troops took guarding positions on any likely entrance, while the woman who shouted orders took out a communicator.
"Bring it in." She said. From the front doorway came several more troops, carrying with them a large mechanical device. "Is it damaged?"
"No professor, none of the Reptite's shots made it past you guys."
With that she went up to the devices, and began to punch in buttons. A small screen on the device lit up, and a voice came from its speaker.
"Welcome to Chronopolis security systems, please insert name and password."
"Professor Lucca Ashtear, password Prometheus."
"Scanning….Vocal pattern matches. Welcome Professor Ashtear, how may I help you?"
"Hostiles within the center walls, Reptite in origin. Scramble all available Polis police to capture and eliminate."
"Affirmative." Lucca stood up, and saw another trooper walk over to her. Unlike the others, this one was equipped with a long sword.
"You're just going to wipe them all out?" He asked.
"Yes. These things can't be trusted. Zeal's gotten too deep into their heads." The man looked slightly perturbed by this, but let it pass. Lucca stood up and removed the helmet she was wearing, and ruffling her hair a bit. "Commander, are we secure?"
"Yes ma'am." He said.
"Alright, begin calling in the next battalion, I don't even one of these things escaping." Lucca returned the helmet to her head, and picked up her gun. "What about the rooftop troops?"
"They're already inside, and are cleaning out the top floor. According to my scanner, the Polis Police are already on the third and second floor and doing likewise."
"If I was Azala, I'd probably be in the basement." Lucca said. "You guys finish up work here on the first floor. Cyrus and I are going to get Azala."
"Yes Ma'am." The captain saluted. Lucca turned to her sword wielding companion.
"Let's go." He nodded and followed her. Lucca directed him into another room to the side of the lobby. She listened as her troop captain yelled out orders, and his men dispersed through the floor.
"There's a secret entrance to the Frozen Flame chamber in here." She said. "It was to be used in a state of emergency."
"Why are you so sure Azala's in the basement?" Cyrus asked.
"Because it IS the Frozen Flame chamber. It was the heart of Chronopolis for years. Even with it in the basement it's the most visually impressive room in the complex, and someone like Azala would never put it to waste. Azala's a dictator, and I've never met a dictator who would put aside a good visual show of superiority."
"Sounds about right." He said, looking down at his blade. Lucca walked up to what appeared to be a bare wall, and began tapping around on it. Finally her hand touched a particular portion of the wall, and a square of light appeared. "There we go."
She placed her hand on it dead center, and began to turn it around in a circle. The square did likewise until it made a full circle. There was a faint clicking sound, and a doorway slid out of the wall. Together they walked into it, and found a lit staircase leading downwards.
"Come on." She said, bringing her gun up to a ready position. Cyrus drew his sword and kept it out in front of him. The stairs went down for a surprising distance, until they could make out what seemed to be a shrill, feminine voice.
"What do you mean they're defeating you! Where are my soldiers?"
A gruff Reptite voice, cowed by fear, answered. "They've activated the buildings defenses, great one. The large machine men fight for them."
"With your weaponry you should be more than a match for them!" Azala shouted. Lucca crept along the corridor at the bottom of the staircase, her companion close behind. "Go, and tell them to keep these infiltrators away from my throne room!"
The Reptite messenger scurried away, as Azala shouted more curses at the heavens. Lucca looked down at the gauntlet on her armor and a small light screen appeared over it.
"There's two guards with her, big guys in heavy armor and weapons." She looked down at her scanner again. "And something else…not sure what it is."
"Let me see." Cyrus looked at her scanner for a second. "I can handle the guards, but this thing here under the floor looks big, probably a special trap."
"More than likely." She sighed. "Well, the best way to deal with a trap is to face it head on, I always says."
"Saying things like that has gotten people killed in the past."
"I know." She smiled, and kicked the entryway out. Cyrus sighed and charged out, his sword flashing as it took the head of one of the large Reptite guards, and quickly swung to the side to catch the blade of the other. From her large ornate throne, Azala began to shriek again.
"Kill him you fools! Kill him!"
"Not likely to happen."
Azala turned around and look at Lucca. For a brief second she squinted, as if she didn't know who she was looking at. Then her eyes rose in shock.
"In several timelines." Lucca lifted her gun and pointed it at the Reptite queen's head. "But not this one."
Azala took a quick look over her shoulder and saw Cyrus bury his sword in the chest of her other guard. She cursed again.
"I don't care who you are. You will not leave here alive. Come forth Nizbel!"
The ground beneath them began to shake, and tear as something forced its way through. What burst out of the floor was a large Tri-horned Reptite, half of its body replaced by cybernetics, and horrific weapons.
"Kill them Nizbel!" Azala shouted. The cyborg Reptite roared its answer, and charged. One of its arms caught Lucca in the side, and slammed her against the wall. Her armor took the brunt of the impact, but it was enough to shake her up, and scramble her vision for a second. She heard Nizbel charge at her, intending on ending her life. She lifted the gun and fired at the biggest blur she could see. The shot hit Nizbel square in his chest, just as Cyrus reached behind him and slashed through the thick muscles in his back.
"What the…?" Cyrus looked in shock as the cut almost instantly healed itself. Azala laughed mockingly.
"The science we've gleamed from this citadel is vast! This new Nizbel is immune to all known forms of attack. Nothing either of you do can stop him!"
Cyrus looked down at his sword. The blade was long and sharp, and had a strange feature. The blade was split down the center by a line. On one side was what appeared to be a normal steel blade, the other had a deep, blood red edge to it.
"It appears I have no choice then." He said, more to himself than anyone else. Cyrus changed the position of the blade in his hands so that the red edge was now in a position to cut. As Nizbel turned and charged, Cyrus merely stood there. As the great beast came within a foot of him, he slashed downward, the red edge going through the fleshy parts of his opponent.
Azala looked on in shock as her greatest creation began to age and decay before her. Metal rusted, flesh shrank against bone, and soon the creature was howling in pain. In a few brief moments there was nothing left but bones and rusted metal. Cyrus looked down at his opponent.
"Not even the greatest cause justifies killing as cruelly as I have just done. I apologize to this creature."
Azala screamed and leapt at him. She was met with a blast from Lucca's gun connecting to her face. She fell to the floor, writhing in pain. Lucca walked over to her.
"You were never anything more than a pawn, Azala, for what it's worth, I'm sorry."
Lucca's shot took her in the chest, and soon it was all over.
"Is there anything else in here we should worry about?" Cyrus asked. Lucca looked at her scanner.
"Doesn't look like it." She tapped a button on her gauntlet. "Captain, this is Professor Ashtear. Azala is taken care of, what's the situation up top?"
"We did it, Professor. The Polis Police are wiping out what's left of this reptile filth."
"Alright. We'll be up momentarily. I'll get in touch with Belthasar and inform him of the news." She looked over at Cyrus, and smiled. "Well, that's one piece of good news."
"Yes. But this place is still without most of its power."
"Don't worry about that. I've got an idea. For now, let's head back up top." Lucca began to walk towards the stairs, and he followed her.
"As you wish." Cyrus sheathed his sword.
"Final sweep is finished Professor. All signs of Reptite activity are gone. My men are dealing with the corpses right now." The captain saluted to Lucca. She stood over a control panel in one of the main laboratories. The lights were on here, but they were dim. The main power source had been cut off for years, and important rooms like this were being powered by the backup batteries. The battle had been over for several hours, but her armor was still on, and the Wondershot still hung at her side.
"Excellent Captain, I've already contacted Belthasar, he's on his way right now. Have some of your men bring the portable generators up here, I'm gonna try to reactivate the Prometheus circuit."
"Ma'am." He saluted and left. Lucca collapsed into her seat, and groaned.
"Good lord this military stuff is tiring, I don't know how you did it." She said to Cyrus. The former knight stood against the wall behind her. Like her, his armor was still on, but his sword remained in its scabbard.
"I'm used to it. We're given training for this kind of stuff early." He walked over to her began to rub her neck softly.
"Oooohh. Keep doing that, please." He smiled, and for the next few seconds, the only sounds in the room where her quiet sounds of pleasure. Cyrus finally broke the silence.
"Do you think this friend of yours is still in there." He motioned with his head towards the computer terminal in front of her.
"I hope so. I can't stand the idea of losing any more of my friends." She said. "He was a pretty tough one, mentally and physically. Hopefully he should still be functional. With FATE gone we need a new main operating system. The back-up batteries and the generator we brought with us will serve until we finish transporting the Temporal Drive here. Once it's in place, we can activate the main time circuits and get Chronopolis out of here."
"Back to the real world?"
"Technically Cyrus, all worlds are the "Real world," but back to our own time and world? Yes. The sooner the better. The End of Time is the most dismal place I've ever seen. I can't believe Gaspar willingly lived here for so long."
"From what I've been told he didn't have a choice really." He said.
"I know, I'm just venting." Lucca finally looked up as Cyrus hands backed away from her neck. She turned as she saw three armored men carrying a large container. The container was far too heavy for even these three to carry by themselves. One look underneath would've shown the antigravity unit helping them along.
"Put it down there." She said, directing them to a spot near the console. Lucca unhooked several wires from the system, and plugged them into the main console. "Alright, here we go."
She flicked a switch on the generator, and it began to whir to life.
"Alright, now to start up the power flow into the main system." Lucca began pressing several buttons on the generator, and as she did, various slights on the computer terminal flickered on.
"Okay, please let this work." She reached up to one button covered in a glass case. She flipped the case up and pressed it.
Nothing happened. Lucca look was unreadable, before she brought her arm up, and brought her fist down on the console. The terminal's screens and readouts sprung to life.
"Like my dad always said, some days all you need is a bigger hammer." She grinned, looking back at her stunned companions. "Now, let's check on the circuit."
For the next several moments, Lucca pressed button after button on the terminal's keyboard. What looked to Cyrus like unreadable charts flew in front of his face, before the screen began flashing red. A large "WARNING" sign was at its center.
"Personnel seeks entry to privatized files. State name and password." The computer spoke.
"Professor Lucca Ashtear, password: Prometheus." She said.
"Please present yourself for retinal and fingerprint check."
Lucca bent down towards another spot on the terminal and placed her hand against what looked like a flat, featureless panel. A light flashed over it. She then bent over and held her face close to another panel higher on the terminal. A small light flashed over her eye. The warning lights went off.
"Greeting Professor Ashtear. Chronopolis temporary back-up systems are online, how may I help you?"
"Put me through to the Prometheus Mainframe."
"Affirmative. Prometheus mainframe accessed."
For the next few minutes, no one aid a word, as Lucca went about punching in codes and passwords. Finally she took a deep breath.
"Robo, are you there?"
"I-I-I-I-I-I-I-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-am-R-R-R-R-R-Robo." Came a voice from the terminal. "Mi…Miss Lucca? Is that you?"
It sounded genuinely perplexed. Lucca grinned brightly.
"Yes. Yes, oh yes! Thanks God you're alright."
"I feel as if I have been offline for a considerable amount of time. What is the date today?"
"There isn't one. Chronopolis is floating in the End of Time."
"I…I see. It appears some quite unusual things have been going on while I have been asleep. Could you please fill me in?" Robo's voice asked.
"Certainly." Lucca spoke, she told him of the Reptites, and what had happened at El Nido. She told him of how the entire facility had been thrown back in time, and how it had gone to war at FATE's command. She told him about the Chrono Cross, and PROJECT KID. She told him what was now transpiring.
"I see. It appears that the timelines are still in a great state of upheaval. At the very least it seems Lavos is gone."
"Lavos was never more than a means to an end for Zeal anyway. He was never our worst enemy." Lucca said, her voice grown grim. "Before this is over, I'm certain that I will have to make another great sacrifice."
"How do you mean Miss Lucca?" Robo asked.
"I'll tell you later, first I need you to scan the building, and tell me if there's been any activity within the Central flux chamber."
"Of course. Is there anything in particular you're looking for?"
"I have suspicions, but I need to know what happened when Queen Zeal took this place."
"This will take a few moments." With that Robo turned his mind towards the task. Cyrus walked up behind her.
"Why that particular period?"
"It doesn't make sense. Queen Zeal used a considerable amount of force to find and get inside Chronopolis after the dimensional fusion threw it here. Why would she do that? She already had tons of power thanks to the Mammon machine and Lavos. There's nothing here that she couldn't have gotten elsewhere, and easier. There's only one real answer, and it scares me horribly."
Lucca sighed deeply.
"At first I thought that maybe she was after the Frozen Flame, her and practically everybody else, but her own inborn power already surpassed that artifact. There's only one thing here that she couldn't get anywhere else. The Central Flux Chamber. A chamber that literally opens a doorway to the center of time, and, by extension, the center of the multiverse."
"My scan is complete Lucca." Robo's voice said. "It is as you feared. Queen Zeal definitely went into the Central Flux Chamber during her force's time here."
"Dammit." Lucca said quietly.
Belthasar walked into the entrance of Chronopolis for the first time in what seemed like forever. It still looked the same as it did when he formed it. He turned around and motioned to the legion of men and women behind him.
"Begin bringing in the Temporal Drive. Set it up down in the basement where the Flame was."
They set about their orders, and as they did, the main elevator in the back wall opened, revealing Lucca and Cyrus.
"Guru." Lucca said, walking up to him. "Robo is up and operational. He's currently downloading FATE's old operating files, and should be finished within the hour."
"Excellent professor. Has he had time to scan the Central Flux Chamber?" Lucca's face fell.
"Ah. It is as I feared then." Belthasar spoke.
"Yes sir." Belthasar stroked his beard for a moment.
"Melchior and Gaspar will be waiting for us once we set Chronopolis down. We will discuss what to do then."
"There is no discussion to make, guru. I've already decided." Lucca's face was suddenly firm. The Guru of Reason looked troubled.
"Lucca, you know I am against such an action."
"I know. But there is no other action to take. My life has been about sacrifice, this will just be par for the course."
The Frozen Flame chamber was, without a doubt, the grandest room in the complex. Azala's throne had been made of hodge-podge, extracted from various places throughout the facility, but it had all been very impressive looking hodge-podge. As Lucca looked on, the men removed the last few pieces of her ode to her own egocentricity. As they did so, they began moving in another contraption. There was a large pillar in the center, surrounded by a thick glass bowl. Beneath it were various cybernetics pieces which she began to direct them in installing. Above the device were similar machines. The guru of Reason stood off to the side with Cyrus as she went about doing this.
"This device works similarly to a hydro-electric plant. Energy, and electricity is created there by the movement of water. This runs under much the same idea, though we have replaced water with Time itself." Belthasar spoke.
"So that's the Temporal drive?" Cyrus asked. "Lucca mentioned it a few times."
"Quite. It's one of the things I designed back in that horrible future in order to keep my mind sharp. This should provide all the energy the facility needs."
Cyrus grunted in response and turned back to looking at Lucca. Once again, as he had countless time before, he found himself studying her. Her face, the angles of her arms and legs as she pointed out various things to the workers, and her eyes when she briefly turned in their direction. He had met her, what felt like centuries ago, It WAS centuries ago in a way. Back when she appeared in the forest around Guardia castle, startling both himself and Glenn while they were having their breakfast. They had been on some kind of quest then, frankly she was the only thing he really remembered about it.
She had asked to accompany them then and there, without stating her reasons why. Refusing to allow a woman to go through a forest full of beasts by herself, he had agreed. Of course, just by talking to her for a few moments she had an effect on him that made him wonder. She had a pull like the one he had felt around Queen Leene, but different. He found himself talking to her quite a bit during their quest, though much of her questions were about Glenn. By the end he was fairly certain that he had fallen in love with her.
When he and Glenn stood against Magus, she had appeared again. Just as Magus spell took him in the stomach, and broke the Masamune, he fell to the ground, convinced he was dying. He had spoken a few final words to Glenn when it appeared. Everyone around him, Glenn, magus, Ozzie froze in their movement, and he was suddenly bathed in a sprinkling rain that seemed lessened his pain, and closed some of the worst of his wounds.
She appeared to him again there. She had a large doll with her, one that looked exactly like him. She had dragged him out of the way, and placed it on the ground where he had lay. He tried to get up, but she told him to sit, he was still too hurt. She told him she had come to save his life because he would be needed in the future. She was taking him away from this place. He had tried to ask about Glenn but she had shushed him, telling him that Glenn had his own fate to face.
Then she had taken him with her through time. Since then he had stood at her side against raging dinosaur beasts and marauding machines, rampaging goliaths, and wicked mages. He had kissed her under the light of a dying moon at the end of the world, and made love to her on a pile of mammoth furs at the dawn of time. Now he was here.
"Guru, we're all ready here." Lucca said. Belthasar stepped forward.
"Very good Professor Ashtear. Let us begin." Lucca nodded.
"Robo, are you there?" She asked. A voice seemed to come from the walls around them.
"I am, Miss Lucca, what do you require?"
"Send power from the generators into the Temporal Drive and begin activation."
The lights around them began to flash, and the glass bowl in the center of the room began to glow blue, then white, then blue again, and the pillar within began to turn.
"As we speak, the localized time-space within the glass orb is becoming super-compressed, almost to the point of becoming a physical object. By doing this it begins to turn the pillar at the center, which both generates energy from its motions, and absorbs excess energy from the time flow around it." Belthasar said. "The technology around the orb begins to channel and fluctuate that energy to the installations here."
"Completion of total activation will be in two hours time." Robo's voice said. Lucca walked over and placed her arm around Cyrus waist.
"Once that's finished we'll be able to activate the Time Circuits and get out of here."
"Quite. For now everyone get some rest." Belthasar spoke. He moved his hand and suddenly a holographic, 3-D image of the building appeared, several hallways in it began to light up. "There are some bedrooms, and rest areas down these hallways."
Two hours passed quicker than she would have liked.
Lucca and Cyrus had chosen a bedroom not far from the Temporal drive chamber. She had finally stripped off her battle armor and replaced it with a pair of tan shorts, and a blue shirt. She looked over at her companion. Cyrus had never adapted well to more modern clothing, and he continued to wear the type of clothing he was used to from the Middle Ages. Heaven knew she was had tried to get him to just try on something more modern, but he still refused.
The two hours of sleep she had gotten felt like the first time she had slept in ages, and she was woken up from her place on the bed rather abruptly by the alarms.
"I repeat, Full charge has been gained!" Robo's voice called out. Lucca turned over in bed and woke up Cyrus.
"Come on, we're ready to activate the circuits." She said. He forced himself awake, and picked up his sword from where it sat against the wall. Lucca looked at him.
"Why do you always take that thing with you wherever you go?"
"A knight is never without his sword, Milady." He said, briefly switching back in to the knightly patois he had used when they first met. Lucca smiled in a flustered sort of way, and opened the door.
Belthasar was standing in an operations chamber above the T-Drive.
"Ah Lucca, Master Cyrus, I trust your rest was adequate?"
"Adequate but not long enough." Lucca said, yawning. "Why do I get the feeling guru, that of all of us, you didn't rest at all?"
"You would be surprised how alert my body and mind can be at times. I find I need little rest nowadays, strangely enough. But that's neither here nor there." Belthasar turned back to the terminal. Several people were sitting in the chairs in front of the main controls.
"We're ready when you are Guru." One said.
"Very good. Set coordinates for El Nido Dome, May 25th, 2300, A.D. at exactly 2:46:44 P.M." He spoke,
Suddenly there was a shifting feeling in all of them. Like all of a sudden they were moving without moving., It stopped just as quickly.
"Coordinates reached sir, All readings are blue."
"Excellent. Now, I expect we should be getting a transmission in a few moments from the main Regimes building." He turned to Lucca and Cyrus. "Why don't you two go outside and see where we've landed."
Lucca grinned. "Yes sir."
She took Cyrus by the hand and almost dragged him out of the room, and towards the main lobby. As she passed through she noticed just how good the work the troops had done was. The place looked almost exactly like it did before the accident that hurled it back in time. It would be all the better in case anyone really noticed their absence. She burst through the front door and found herself greeted by fresh air and breeze.
Lucca smiled as she took in the surroundings. They were on the middle of an island in what appeared to be a small walled off area of Sea. In the distance she could make out a line of green and grey mountains that formed a complete circle around them and the three outlying islands. Each island was dotted with buildings, some of steel, and glass, some of brick and wood. High up in the sky, a huge glass dome covered them all up, and seemed to stretch on and on for miles.
"The Sea of Eden! We made it back!" She shouted, leaping for joy. Lucca checked her watch. "And we're back exactly two seconds after Chronopolis was thrown backwards in time. Belthasar is a genius! Not that I couldn't have done it, but well…"
"Look there." Cyrus said. He pointed out in the distance towards the general area of the entrance to the Sea of Eden. Lucca squinted out in that direction, but only sighed.
"Cyrus, you know I can't see like you can. What is it?"
Sure enough, a medium sized speed boat was headed towards the main island. As it grew closer, Lucca could make out the driver of it. She grinned and ran down to the docks. As she got there, the boat stopped right next to the dock, and a very large man jumped out with a rope, before tying the ship down. He turned, and Lucca jumped into his arms.
"Groban! It is you!"
The large man grinned widely, and laughed at the top of his lungs. He was almost 7 feet in height, and half his face was covered in a thick black beard. The black hair on top had receded, leaving only a line around the back of his head. He wore, well-made, but well-used armor, covered up in a red tunic, and on his back was a huge war-axe which seemed to be made of a material that shined all colors of the rainbow.
"Lucca my girl! It's been ages!" He shouted, his voice so deep, Cyrus half expected the very ground beneath him to rumble in answer. He laughed hartily, and returned her embrace, before putting her down and turning towards him.
"My young lord Pendragon! Nice to see you again!" He said, slapping Cyrus so hard on the back that he almost fell over. "You and the young lady still attached at the hip, eh?"
"It is good to see you again, Master Groban." He said, smiling.
"I had to come here for the meeting, plus these two needed a ride over." The large warrior said, pointing over his shoulder. Lucca turned and saw two elderly gentlemen get off the boat. She walked up to them and bowed.
"Master Melchior, Master Gaspar. Welcome back to Chronopolis."
"Ah, Lady Lucca, how wonderful it is to see you again." Melchior said, walking up and taking her hand in his. Gaspar tilted his hat to her, and bowed.
"It had been ages since last we spoke."
"5 ages to be exact." Lucca said, smiling brightly. "We've set up some rooms for you all to rest, and there are refreshments in each."
Lucca pointed towards the main building, where several serving robots were carrying trays into the front door.
"I am somewhat parched after that long journey from the main island." Groban said, "point me in the right direction."
With that, the large warrior and two gurus walked into the building. Lucca smiled as she watched them go.
"Here comes another one." Cyrus said. She turned and saw another boat heading towards the island. It docked and two figures got out. Lucca smiled, and walked up to them.
"Miss Nalia, It's wonderful to see you again."
The woman she spoke to was a head taller than her, and smiled when she spoke. Lucca was used to her face being hard, but the softening effects of the smile threw her mind back in time to a beautiful princess she had once known. The woman had blonde hair held up behind her in a ponytail, and she was dressed in a grey suit and skirt. A small pair of glasses framed her blue eyes. She was holding a book at her side, one that gave the strange impression of being much larger than it appeared. The gentleman standing next to her was dressed in a white suit with a black undershirt. His hair and neatly trimmed beard were going to grey, but you could still see the streak of emerald color running through them.
"It's wonderful to see you again professor." The woman called Nalia said. "You remember my husband?"
The woman motioned to the gentlemen standing next to her. Lucca looked vaguely uncomfortable.
"Master Glenn. It's wonderful to see you again."
"Thank you Professor Ashtear." He said, bowing his head slightly. The man threw a sudden look at Cyrus, and in that brief instant a thousand words flashed between their eyes. Lucca cast a quick glance back at him. He would have looked unmoved to anyone who didn't know him like she knew him.
"Well, we've set up refreshments in the waiting area, Master Groban, and the other Gurus are already there." Lucca said.
"We'd best get going then before Groban eats it all." Glenn said sardonically.
"We'll talk later Professor." Nalia said, smiling again, before leading her husband towards the building. Lucca turned around and looked at the knight behind her.
"You know that's not your Glenn right?"
"I know." Cyrus said. "But it feels like him. As if all the potential I saw in him back then has suddenly come out."
"I thought you would be proud." She asked.
"I am in a way, but, as you said, he's not my Glenn."
Lucca came up and hugged him, he returned the embrace "We've been traveling in time too much the last few centuries. What do you say we stay here for the foreseeable future? Maybe head out to the Main isle and set down some roots for awhile?"
"That may not be possible. Not with what's coming."
"I know, but it's something to consider."
Cyrus looked over the ocean. "I would like that."
Over the next week, more and more people arrived at Chronopolis. Lucca worked her butt off taking readings of the central flux chamber, hoping beyond hope that her initial assumptions were wrong. They weren't. When she gave her report to Belthasar, he sighed.
At the end of that week, Belthasar called a conference of all their guests.
Chronopolis banquet hall held a table long enough for a hundred people per side, and it was completely full.
"It's been forever since I've been at a dinner this loud!" She almost shouted. Cyrus was sitting next to her, and had to strain to hear. All around them, people were laughing, joking, or telling stories of adventure, each more outlandish than the previous one. Because these people where travelers or both space and time, many of their stories included elements of the most strange variety. Lucca strained her ears to pick up some from the din.
"I tell you, I rode that T-rex from dawn to dusk, three days straight! By the end of the third day he knew who was in charge here."
"I was stuck in that brothel for 4 years, I tell you! You don't want to know some of the people who showed up. Thank God I remembered to wear my needle tip heels."
"So there we where, just me and Dulaine. The entire town had shown up to watch this gunfight, and when I looked in his eyes, I knew only one of us was walking away."
"Take a look at this scar! That's pure 100% sabretooth teeth that did that!"
"So we were sitting there, fishing in the river of time, when what do we pull out? But a true honest to god Nu!"
Lucca grinned as she heard all of them talking to each other. Across the table from her, Groban had an large leg of beef in his hand, and was taking big bites from it, as he told Cyrus about his battle with a giant scorpion beast in the year 1600 A.D.
"I had completely lost all feeling in my right arm due to the damn things poison." He said, before taking another bite. "Well, a leapt up on the rocky cliff that was behind us, grabbed my axe in my left hand. I leapt off the cliff, and cut right through the things tail. I had already blinded it, so at the very least I managed to get that shot off." Groban put down the beef, and took a humongous drink from his flagon of beer.
Lucca smiled and turned her attention towards the head of the table, Where Belthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar were sitting. She couldn't make out what was being spoken of, but she noticed how serious Gaspar looked, while Melchior remained unreadable. Belthasar looked up briefly and threw her a smile, which she took as a sign that he would get to the news soon as possible. There was no reason to ruin this pleasant atmosphere too soon. Lucca returned to her own meal, and listening as Groban explained his latest adventure.
Before long Belthasar stood up, and spoke in a strong and clear voice.
"Your attention everyone."
All conversation ceased, and every head there turned towards him.
"I would like to thank all of you for coming here for this occasion, the return of Chronopolis after its thousands of years of exile is a great event. But it is not the true reason for us calling you here."
"It's Queen Zeal isn't it?" Came a voice from down the table.
"I'm afraid so." Belthasar spoke. "As you all know, we have been engaged in battle with the Eternal Kingdom of Zeal for quite a while now. I trust you've all heard the story of how we managed to retake this facility from the queen's forces?"
There was head nodding, and general sounds of agreement from all down the table.
"But I can't help but wonder," The guru continued. "what they were doing here in the first place? Chronopolis was adrift in the end of time, certainly no threat to Zeal or her goals, but Azala, a known agent of the Eternal Kingdom was here, ruling it as her own personal kingdom."
There was more muttering down the table. Lucca remained silent, and waited for the guru to continue.
"We now know, through various means, that Queen Zeal was here herself during the facilities time in exile. She was here, and she has used the Central flux chamber."
There was an audible hush in the room. Lucca looked over at Miss Nalia and her husband, and noticed how she had taken the book out, and placed it in front of her.
"We all know what this means. Lady Nalia, if you would please update us on the "Situation." Belthasar asked. The beautiful, but stern looking woman adjusted her glasses, and opened the book.
"According to my archives, the Eternal Kingdom of Zeal is, has been, and always will be, the only thing to exist, ever, in no less than ten different branches of the Multiverse."
The table erupted.
"It can't be that fast!"
"The last time we checked it was only two!"
"Silence everyone!" Belthasar's voice cut through the din. "I see you all understand. Queen Zeal has used the central chamber in order to forcibly merge herself with all other iterations of herself throughout the Multiverse. She is a Multiversal singularity."
The quiet was now ominous. Belthasar waved his hand, and an image appeared in the air above them. It looked like a flat rectangular sheet. Above it, a large orb appeared and settled down in the middle, creating a recess on it. As it did so, small objects began appearing and rolling down the sheets towards the orb.
"She is like a lead ball on a rubber sheet now. All those evil, chaotic, disordered, are drawn to her and to her will. Through them, she hastens the breaking down of the walls between dimensions. Chaos appears in these places and causes the breaking down of order there, allowing her kingdom to enter, and spread across space and time there, until it is the only thing that has, or will ever exist."
"We have known this was her goal for centuries, the replacement of the Multiverse in all its wonder, with the Eternal Kingdom of Zeal. However with her actions here, she has added a whole new wrinkle to our war. There is horrible imbalance now across the multiverse, as all such singularities cause." Belthasar spoke. "We must be the correcting force, the balance, Chronopolis must be this."
"One moment guru." Came a voice from down the table. "But how is something like this possible? We have always believed that the multiverse was infinite in scope. If what you speak is true, then Queen Zeal would need to still be in the chamber as she would be merging with an infinite amount of people."
Several spoke up at this, many in agreement. Belthasar merely rubber his chin for a moment before speaking.
"Your question is a good one. You see, I have seen more of the Multiverse than many of those present, and I can now say without fear of doubt that the multiverse is not truly infinite, but instead, let us say it is almost infinite. I cannot truly explain it to you with words, but there is a limit to it. It is true that that limit is so far away that the number used to describe it has never been imagined by man or any other intelligent race, but it is there."
"The guru speaks the truth." Lady Nalia spoke. "Within my book I have seen an end, a limit, a place where the multiverse runs out. What is beyond that, I don't know, perhaps it is not our place to know."
"Queen Zeal knows this as well. She knows that her goal is attainable, she will supplant everything with her kingdom, no matter how many millennia it takes. She is like us now, time is meaningless to her, She does not age or decay. Like us she will live forever, or until some force ends her life. Though now that she is a singularity, she maybe too powerful for any force here to kill her."
"We cannot hope to defeat Zeal now that she is a singularity, all that power, the power that she has held in all her iterations across the multiverse, now held in one person, in one being. We require a mean to fight back."
Lucca stood up. Belthasar's eyes became just slightly downcast.
"I will be that means." She said. "I will enter the chamber, and become the balance to Queen Zeal."
With that, the table erupted again. Lady Nalia looked at her, and her eyes grew sad, while her husband took her hand under the table. Groban's loud yelling was practically drowned out by the noise, and Cyrus remained unmoved in appearance.
"Enough!" Her voice cut through the racket. "There is no other choice. I have fought the queen more than any other here. I am her most direct enemy, and the only one here she has gone out of her way to try to kill. It was through my science that time travel was created, something that even the gurus, at the height of their glory in Old Zeal were unable to do. It must be me."
"She is correct." Belthasar said, though there was a touch of age in his voice that had not been there before. "The Professor Ashtear is the one who can do this. I have chosen to believe in her. I ask you to do the same."
"If you will all excuse me. I must go about my business." Lucca said, placing her hand on Cyrus shoulder, and with that, they both left.
It had been only minutes since she left the dining room. They stood before the central chamber. It was an unassuming looking device, a door entering into a large cylindrical room, so innocent looking, yet so dangerous.
She turned around and took the hands of her companion.
"Cyrus. Do you remember when we first met?"
"Yes. I will never forget. You dropped out of some tree on top of me and Glenn. Completely out of nowhere, and asked to join us. I don't even remember what we were doing, looking for something at the request of the king I think."
"Yeah. When the whole thing was over, and I was about to leave, you blurted out that you loved me." She said, blushing slightly. "I couldn't believe someone would just say that to somebody they'd just met."
"I have always been very good at knowing what I want and how I feel." He said, smiling slightly.
"Also, there was the fact that men generally didn't say those things to me."
"Then those men were fools beyond all reason." He said, his voice thick with emotion. Lucca rubbed her eyes were small tears had formed.
"Tell me something, you don't have to answer if you don't want to. You and Leene, were you ever…." Her voice seemed to run out. Cyrus looked surprised.
"There…there were many rumors, and I admit that I felt a fierce ardor for the queen, but no. We were never lovers. I would never do such a thing to the king. You had only to look into his face, to see the love and adoration he held for his queen." Cyrus sighed. "Though their marriage was not always happy."
Cyrus sighed. "I remember accidently seeing something I shouldn't have. The doctors had come to see them, and they were talking in the king and queen's personal quarters. They had been wed for five years, and still there was no royal heir, though it was no secret that they were trying. I had gone upstairs to deliver a report about the rising Mystic attacks. When I accidently saw through a crack in the door the king sitting on the bed, and looking stunned, while Leene rubbed his hand and told him it was alright again and again. He started saying that he was sorry to her, in a very pained voice. The doctor was there and looked rather grim. I quickly looked away, and left."
He sighed again. "I felt horrible for seeing that."
"If there was never a royal heir, then were did Marle come from?" Lucca asked. Cyrus was quiet for a moment, but his mind went to a young squire with emerald hair who the queen always showed so much favor towards.
"I have a few ideas. But enough of that. Why would you ask that?" Lucca looked downcast.
"I don't know. Maybe it's just because for so long romance wasn't something I had any real experience with."
"Not even with Crono?" Cyrus asked. Lucca smiled and laughed a litte.
"No not even him. Truly, until he started his thing was Marle, I didn't really think about him like that. I was so happy to have a real friend that anything beyond that never entered my head."
Lucca reached into her pocket and felt her fingers curl around a ring. She had not removed it from her side in the whole time that she had it. She was so used to its design that she could tell it with her fingertips. The falcon insignia of House Pendragon, once the property of Cyrus mother, he had given it to her years ago when he asked her to be his wife. She had not answered him, but had held onto the ring since then.
"Cyrus." She felt tears forming in her eyes. "For this to work. I need a strong emotional attachment to this dimension, something to keep me from being overwhelmed by what's about to happen."
"Did Zeal have such a thing?" He asked with genuine surprise in his voice. Lucca smiled grimly through the tears.
"Greed and lust for power can be very strong emotions." She took a deep breath. "You said you loved me once, you've said so many times. I….I need you to say so again."
She looked up at him, and for a few seconds they merely looked at each other, and there were no barriers between them. Cyrus said nothing, but instead bent down and kissed her. He put his arms around her and held her tightly. She put her arms up around his neck, and returned the kiss.
It felt like infinity, but she knew it had probably only been a few seconds. They broke away and looked at each other again. She smiled, and walked towards the chamber. He only stood and watched.
The Inside of the chamber was simple in appearance, a metal door, leading to a metal room. Lucca stood in the middle of it, like a pillar.
"Robo." She said, wiping away the last tears from her eyes.
"Yes Lady Lucca?" The familiar voice said.
"Activate Central Flux Chamber."
"….Are you certain of this?" She smiled.
"Activating." All of a sudden the very air around the room seemed to distort and flow, and it began flowing around her like a whirlwind. But Lucca Ashtear stood in the heart of it, no wind disturbed her hair or clothing, but she felt time shift around her. Lucca clenched her fist and placed her arms out a bit form her side, and stood as if she was preparing to withstand some great force.
And within her mind's eye, time opened up.
Queen Lucca of Guardia had been apprehensive all day. She had woken up with a strange sensation in the back of her mind. She had told her husband of this, but he had said it was just the pressures of ruling that were getting to her. Nevertheless she sat in her parlor, unable to get the strange feeling to leave. She finally walked out to the window and looked down over her kingdom. She people moving about their business, and young wives chasing their children to and fro. She smiled with pride and humor at the vibrant city.
When she felt the pull, she was shocked, and after a second her face grew serene, and sad.
"I understand." She spoke.
The next day the guards found no trace of their queen, nor was she seen again.
In a field of flowers outside Guardia town, a young woman and her mother were gathering the field's harvest.
"Just look at these Lucca, they're beautiful." Lara spoke.
"I can't believe father would prefer tinkering with those machines instead of coming with us." Lucca said, mild outrage coloring her voice.
"Darling, you know your father loves his inventions, he's offered to teach you about them before."
"I have no interest in those things. Besides, why would you want to rut around with dirty and dusty mechanics when you can see a sight as beautiful as this?" Lucca said, spreading her hands out over the field. Lara smiled.
"It is a peaceful sight." She said, and sighed. When she looked back at her daughter, she saw, to her surprise that she was crying. "Darling. What's wrong?"
"…..I understand." She said, through her tears. Lara watched as her daughter vanished in front of her eyes.
Professor Ashtear of Porre University looked out over her class and smiled. The advanced engineering class was not really one of the more popular ones offered, but it did her heart good to see her students working diligently. There were exceptions of course, there were always exceptions. Raymond Tardin, over in the back corner was snoring. She was going to half to have a talk with him after class.
"Pardon me Professor?" One of the students asked. "But can you walk me through the process for question 15?"
Question 15, it was the one she snuck into their paper for shear mean-spirited delight.
"Gladly Angela." She turned around, and picked up a piece of chalk. "It begins with….."
When the students saw their teacher suddenly stop talking, they took a small bit of delight in the idea that they had found a question that stumped even the legendary genius of the university. When the piece of chalk fell from her hand, they started to get worried.
"I understand." She spoke, before vanishing in front of her class. The school covered this up by saying that the professor had chosen an early retirement, and this was one of her legendary pranks.
As the house burned down around her, Lucca looked up at the faces of her attackers. One of them appeared to be some kind of harlequin, the other was an imposing figure in a black robe whose face was covered by the flames.
"What do you want!? Who are you!?" She shouted over the roaring fires. The large man stepped forward, and she felt her breath drain away. He had the face of a vicious cat!
"We have come for you, Professor. You are needed by my master."
"I won't let you harm these children!" She said, pointing a gun right at his chest.
"I have no interest in whether they live or die. My only interest is you."
The tall cat faced man began to walk towards her, unmindful, or uncaring of the gun, when Lucca felt the pull. She smiled, and that made even the cat face man pause a step.
When Lynx looked over the empty spot where his target had been, he sighed, turned back to his companion, and motioned for them to go.
On a shore of a world that no longer existed, three small ghostly children stood and watched the waves. One of them was a girl with purple hair, a t-shirt, and shorts. They never spoke to each other, never needed to. When the purple haired girl smiled, and vanished from sight, the other two did not even seem to notice.
Within the chamber, Lucca Ashtear looked out over a small room that had suddenly grown infinite in size, and all around the room was…her. Every her from throughout the Multiverse depths. She reached into her pocket again, and pulled the ring out, placing it on her finger. It was the first time in hundreds of years she had put it on.
"Thank you all for this." She spoke, her voice barely a whisper, and within an instant, where there was many, there was now one. Lucca grabbed her head in horrible pain, and felt herself fall against the door.
Her mind struggled to grasp the millions upon millions of memories that were suddenly hers. She felt the fire magic that had been hers for so long flare to life within her fingertips, all of a sudden uncontrollable, the first time in years she had had that problem.
She felt herself struggle to keep from screaming, and focused her eyes on the ring.
And in an instant it was over. The door to the chamber opened with a whoosh, and she fell out into Cyrus arms.
"Ah! Aaagghhh!" She almost yelled. Cyrus clutched her to him until the yelling stopped, and she was just breathing heavily in his arms. Finally she weakly looked up to him, and smiled. "It…it worked."
Cyrus smiled in relief. He looked down into her eyes, and noticed how different they seemed. For a split second it was as If thousands of eyes gazed back at him, before they settled back to the familiar orbs he knew. Lucca looked up at him, her voice weak, but with the hint of great strength behind it.
"Thank you for your love Cyrus. I think that now, after all this time, I'm finally ready. Finally ready to give back what you gave me."
He looked at her hand and saw his mother's ancient ring.
"Finally ready to put aside my old life…and be Lucca Pendragon."
He smiled, no words good enough to express his joy.
"So it is done." Belthasar said, watching the two of them on a small monitor at his seat at the table. Not one of the guests had left their place. "We have what we need, a means to counter Zeal. A force for order and justice against her chaos and wickedness."
Belthasar waved his hand again, and the same image of a heavy ball on a sheet appeared in the air. "Her presence is now a balance to Queen Zeal, her very existence will draw champions to her and to us, heroes to aid in our great battle. And a great one it will be, we have entered a war that could conceivably never end."
At a place down the left side, a serving droid filled a wine glass for a figure with a face and body of an anthropomorphic fox. He spoke with a thick French accent.
"I am more than grateful for having such a force on our side guru, but I cannot help but wonder, what of the Lady Schala? As Zeal's daughter, should we not call her forward?"
Several other voices spoke up in agreement.
"No milord Du'champ. Schala has experiences far worse than any other here, her grief horrific, her suffering immeasurable. Her only desire now is to roam time, searching for that boy. I will let her. I will ask no more of the Lady Schala."
"Belthasar is correct." A almost robotic voice spoke up from opposite Milord Du'champ. It was figure covered head to foot in robes, two eyes, one human one robotic, stared out from an opening in the clothing. There was no food set before him. "This is our battle, the Lady Schala has been a prisoner of Lavos for thousands of years. Lavos is no longer a factor, her battle is done. I say we leave her in peace."
Belthasar rose from his seat. "You are correct. It was through our work," He motioned to the other two gurus. "That Queen Zeal came to such power. It is only fitting that we be the ones to defeat her and her horrific ambitions. It will be out last great act. But we cannot do this alone. We need Professor Pendragon, and all of you."
Groban and a few others grinned at Belthasar's use of that name, but there was an air of readiness going up and down the table.
"Are you with us?"
"Aye!" The call resounded through the room, and shook the very walls of Chronopolis.
"Then we shall be champions in the cause of justice and order. Champions of the Multiverse against the Eternal kingdom of Zeal. Though Zeal's power far outweighs our own, with Lady Lucca we can win, the battle will be long and hard, longer than any of you can guess, but we must fight it!"
Belthasar's voice rang through the hall.
"We shall be the Champions of Time!"
There was a great cheer throughout the hall. Belthasar smiled, as did his fellow gurus. He looked down briefly at the screen and saw the Lady Lucca, and Lord Cyrus, still wrapped in the other's arms, and smiled again.
Far away from Chronopolis, yet still so close, Queen Zeal sat on her throne. She looked out over her vast court. The room was gold and marble, designed so beautifully that artist who saw it wept over it. She felt it a fitting display of her power and majesty. It was filled from back to front with the royals and nobles of her kingdom, and at the side of her throne, her champion, a great knight in golden armor with emerald hair, stood ever at attention.
It was good to be queen. The sudden shock to her senses took her completely by surprise. She held her hands up to her forehead as shooting pains went through it. She knew what these pains meant.
"My queen, are you alright?" Her knight asked. She waved him away.
"I am fine, Sir Glenn, a mere headache that is all." She said, as he went back to his position. She narrowed her eyes and spoke in a whisper.
Well, there it is. I hope it meets your approval. Like I said above, I doubt that I'll write some huge multi-chapter story about this, as this one-shot says pretty much what I wanted to say. Nevertheless, I felt I should talk about a few things. First the LuccaxCyrus romance. I wanted Lucca to have a love interest in this. The thing is I've never been totally approving of the two men she's normally paired with (Frog or Magus), and I didn't want this to be a ChronoxLucca fic, so I decided on something a little unexpected. In my fiction, Lucca went back to visit Glenn again sometime after the end of Trigger, but ended up overshooting it, and landing back when Glenn was in training and working as Cyrus assistant.
I consider this to be an example of restrained love at first. In my fiction they fell in love over the course of that adventure, but Lucca, being Lucca and not used to love, refrained from actually saying "I love you." To Cyrus for the hundreds of years they were together between now, and her rescuing him from Denadoro Mt. Instead of saying it, she showed it through various actions.
Now the new characters. Lady Nalia is, as you can guess, a descendant of Marle from the year 200 A.D. and her husband is one of the various Glenn's/Frog's that are scattered throughout the Multiverse (of course, this one was never turned into Frog). I also implied that Glenn is the actual Great-Great grandfather of Marle which I thought was an interesting twist. Nalia is a multiversal historian whose book contains the entire history of all dimensions with the multiverse, past present and future. She is somewhat cold, but can show great affection towards those she loves. Her and Glenn are the parents of two daughters and two sons.
Groban is your basic loud and boisterous warrior. He travels through time and space, writing wrongs and having adventures throughout the multiverse. He looks at Lucca with a fatherly eye (since her own Father is long dead), and carries a huge Rainbow axe.
Milord Du'champ is, I'm sad to admit, something of a rip-off of a similar character (Milord Renard) from one of Michael Moorcock's stories. But I liked the character so much that I made a similar one for my story. He is French, and acts as a stereotypical French knight, with a Rapier and fancy clothing, despite having a fox's body.
The robotic character is a cyborg of sorts, and I haven't really written to much about him. I don't even have a name yet.
Due to mass time-travel, pretty much all the characters among the champions of time, and kingdom of Zeal have attained a sort of immortality. I wanted to characters to be sort of separated from humanity as a whole, and this expresses it.
In this world, Chronopolis is still in the Sea of Eden, but the Dome covers the entire El Nido area, and Belthasar indirectly controls the whole thing. Most of the Deviants and mystics are long gone from the area, though Belthasar welcomes and protects any who wish to come there. Chronopolis institutions are found on practically all the islands, and Lucca and Cyrus actual home is in Termina on the Main Island.
Like I said above, I don't think I'll write much in this setting, as this story pretty much says it all. I wouldn't mind hearing ideas from you guys though. If anyone else would like to write in this setting, I wouldn't mind, though I'd like you to pass it by me first.