Though the events of Cross may have saved the lives of the ones we all know and love, once again they are put on the line.
Disclaimer: Chrono Trigger/Cross are property of Square Enix. This is only a fanfiction by a dedicated fan and is not intended for profit or any other gain.
Have you ever considered the idea of multiple existences? Perhaps beyond our own universe, there are different worlds: ones that may also call a planet Earth their own, but things we call paranormal they see as nothing unusual. Maybe there are even other existences that would view our modern philosophy as knowledge only gods are worthy to wield. However, it is not limited there. Even with multiple existences, each individual existence can have different planes of time. To many who read this, there is a particular existence that has many such planes. What some don't realize, is that time can be considered like a fine woven fabric such as silk. The many threads make up one being, and yet one strand can be considered its own. The same can be true that though there can be many time planes, they are all still one story. Also, this one being can be part of an even bigger picture, which can make a quilt that is all of time, space, and existence.
When one decides to tamper with such a balance, the results can most certainly be disastrous. For this existence, many doers of wicked have pulled at threads to tangle them with others. The first was in the form of a hostile visitor to a different Earth who sought nothing but to feast upon its power. However, a group of heroes had risen against this power and vanquished it, but not before its power spread to others, whose wickedness had allowed the dark spirit to manifest in themselves. The corrupted then further pulled at the threads of time to undo the selfless deeds of these heroes and possibly claimed their lives. As the order of good and evil goes, there was yet another group who had risen and vanquished this evil yet again, and in this plane, the first heroes have been set free. What many do not understand though, is that no man a part of this fabric can purge it of all impurities. It would only take the Creator of such a fabric to be able to cleanse it. As such, there is another wicked one who has remained hidden from the heroes, convinced he knows the flaws of the previous. Since there is still snags and pulls from the previous encounters, this one may even pull it to the point where the thread will completely unravel, and all of this existence will be destroyed. Even if the righteous wish to stop this, there must also be a way that no one can move the delicate threads again.
In this time, there is a worn down castle that is infamous for once housing the sorcerer Magus. No explorer had dared approach it, and it had remained that way, though it was four century and a score ago. The shame is that if one was brave enough, they would have seen that the castle is all but abandoned. In fact, the place was being used in secrecy to raise a militia of sorts. One person stood upon a balcony, arms behind their back, that oversaw a great hall. In this hall, which was barely lit by a few torches, there were what appeared to be thousands of gangly and gaunt soldiers sparring in groups. They were all nearly identical: pale and slightly sagging skin, sunken dark eyes, and only a few wisps of mangy hair that poked out from under their helms. Their armor was complete with a breastplate and covering for their arms and legs. The man stared in slight amusement at one soldier who had managed to stab at the other's neck, which resulted in a phantom spray of gore before the victim collapsed, now nothing but bones and armor. He frowned at the fallen soldier and murmured to himself, "It's no wonder Magus captured souls to use as slaves. They are quite formidable."
His attention was soon caught by a shuffling of robes from behind. Another man approached wearing dried blood red robes and holding a book with both hands. The former turned around to face the new man, his darkest black robes swirling around him in the swift movement. The red cloaked man said in a low voice, "Master, I have found the one we want."
The master's expression did not change at first, then his thin lips curled slightly into a frown, making his pale features look even more angular. His red-brown eyes narrowed at the assistant and he replied with, "So you claim. Come, watch the soldiers and tell me."
The assistant then stood next to his master and looked at the fray, where there was the occasional clashing of swords and the clatter of bones and armor on the cobblestone. The two watched for a moment, then the master spoke without taking his eyes off of the fray below. "Talzar, I have never doubted you before, but lately, that has been changing. Can you prove to me you can still be trusted?"
Talzar smiled as another soldier fell, then replied. "I can. You know very well what we need to get next in our plans, and I have found the one who can grant that to us."
The master tore his eyes off of a dynamic sparring pair and bore his eyes into Talzar's. "Who is it?"
One thing that Talzar loved was hearing that others were interested in his plans. He grinned for a moment, then pointed to a page in the book. "According to history, the machine known as the Epoch has been dismantled, but one woman in this time knows how to rebuild it. Lucca Ashtear, or so-called the "famous Dr. Ashtear". With her, the Epoch will return and we shall return to the point of ultimate power. However, she will be needing some bribing."
The master raised an eyebrow at that statement. "What kind of bribing?"
Talzar once again had a horrible grin. "I think it's time to use this trinket." He lifted up what looks like an amulet. Supported by a black metal chain, the charm was a domed fist-size black amethyst held by the claws of dark brass. On the jewel was a golden picture of a wolf's howling head and ancient writing. The whole thing seemed to give off a light stealing aura. "I can awaken the curse on this amulet. Lucca will have no choice but to obey us once she is cursed. Her thoughts will be tapped into and we will soon have the Epoch."
At last, the master was satisfied. He slowly gained a thin smile of his own. "Well done, my assistant. Now, where are we going to find Lucca?"
Talzar had to look down at his book once again. His master frowned slightly at that prospect, but waited. In that minute, there were several clashes of swords from below and two clatters of skeletons before he looked up again. "What luck. She started an orphanage in Truce. Shall we take her the following dusk?"
The master maintained his solemn look and simply replied, "Yes, we may. Now, I believe our soldiers have trained enough tonight."
At the last words, he turned back out to the hall below and magnified his voice unnaturally. "Halt!" The command echoed numerous times as the clashes and movement stopped. A thousand soldiers looked up to him on the balcony. "Your training is finished for good. Tomorrow at dusk, we will travel to Truce and capture the famed Dr. Ashtear at the orphanage. Let it be known that all time shall fear the name Lord Serpedes!"
In praise, the soldiers cheered and lifted their swords for Serpedes. They slowly began to file out of the hall and into the bunkers. Once it was completely empty, Serpedes turned to Talzar and commanded him. "Prepare the boats for the capturing. We will need to prepare ourselves greatly."