Life from destruction
Chrono Trigger and all it's characters belong to Square-Enix, I own nothing.
Apologies for the sudden ending, and the general long size of this first chapter. It's in fact mulitple chapters, but I need to go to bed soon so I decided to just throw it online like this and order it properly later. Sorry guys. Also, this is over a yearo ld, but I never bothered to post it online. Enjoy, and please, tell me what you think
Read this first:
for those who have played chrono trigger you will notice that I have made lots of changes to the original story. This is because I wanted to tell a new story, based upon on the Future in Chrono Trigger. So, you'll see new locations, old locations expanded, and more descriptions of the wasteland. If anyone wants to complain about that, you can just stop right here and go look for a different story.
Chapter One; Dreaming of the future.
There is a moment, just before you wake up, that you are completely free. Free of all worries of life, free of the excitement of the coming day, free from everything. Taban liked the feeling so much he'd often refuse to even move a muscle, afraid of waking up. Eventually he'd roll around, and get up.
He walked over to the bathroom to take a short shower and shave off the beard that was forming on the underside of his cheek. The small bathroom, like most rooms in Taban's house was littered with either scraps of metal, or plans and scribbles that were supposed to form Taban's next invention. Or his daughter's. Both of them were not exactly organized people. His wife, Lara, used to organize all his junk into nice orderly piles. But after she had lost her legs in an accident that involved one of Taban's machines she refused to ever touch anything mechanical again. Taban had to accept that his loving wife turned into a bitter woman that could not even get out of bed. For years and years he had taken care of her, and he still did.
Descending the stairs he looked at his newest invention, the Telepod. If it worked today he'd become a very rich man. Everybody at the Millennium fair would want a device that can transport you to places far, far away. And because he and his daughter were the only manufacturers they could ask any price they'd like. Still dreaming of his rich future Taban entered the kitchen and started preparing a meal for him and his wife. From Lucca's room he could hear his daughter working on something. "Lucca, I got some breakfast for you, if you're not too busy!" Taban yelled, hoping it would get through to her. It sounded like she was "in the zone" as to speak, and working hard on something new. Taban smiled, as he was reminded of just how much his daughter was like him. He put a pan on the fire and tossed in a steak, not even bothering to put some oil in the pan.
Around the time it was edible Lucca had picked up on the smell. She stopped her thinking and walked over to the kitchen, where she gave her dad a big hug.
"Good morning, daddy!"
"Good morning Lucca." Taban returned the hug. "Today's the big day, isn't it?"
"I already spent an hour on my latest invention; I call it, the Ganderian Elektro Neurolauncher, or GUN for short." Lucca pulled out a strange device and pointed it at an empty can that lay around. She pushed a button on the front, and the device produced some kind of flash. Taban stared as the can was hit and kicked across the room.
"Lucca, why would you even build such a weapon? We live in peaceful times, there's no need for weapons!" Taban surprised Lucca by pulling the device out of her hands, examining it closely.
"It's a simple device that produces an energy pulse if you press the manual circuit breaker. Nothing complicated, really." Lucca grabbed the GUN and put in her pocket.
"An energy pulse?" Taban seemed a bit confused. He'd hate to admit it, but his daughter was smarter then him on several fields of technology. The telepod was mainly her idea, while he helped with producing the practical parts of the device.
Then he noticed that a black smoke was filling the room. Taban turned around to see his delicious steak turned into a piece of smoking charcoal. "Oh, damn." He placed the pan outside, reminding himself to clean it up later.
"Next time, show off your inventions when I'm not trying to cook something." Taban grumbled at Lucca's smile. "Let's just eat some bread and be on our way." He opened one of the cupboards and started to gather all things he needed for a breakfast without steak.
"Good morning, dear." Taban walked over to his wife, and kissed her on the cheek. He placed the plate he was carrying onto a table next to the bed.
"Good morning." Her voice sounded frail at first, but as she continued to talk her voice returned to normal. "Is there anything special happening today?"
"Yes, Lucca and I are going to the Millennial Fair to show off our newest invention."
Lara's voice turned sour. "Oh. How long are you going to spend time on your...machines?"
"Probably all morning. But this invention is different. We could get very rich, and then I'll build us a house that stretches into the sky!"
"You say that with every invention, dear. Yet it always ends up different." Lara had pulled herself up to her breakfast examining it closely. "Why is there no steak? Also, the bread looks filthy."
"I got the bread yesterday, dear. It's fine, it has to be fine. And I burned the steak."
"Did you get distracted by one of your machines again?" Lara said, cynically.
Taban sighed. Some days it was hard to see why he still put up with her. Then he realized that he still loved her, and it was his fault that she became like this. "Yes. Enjoy your breakfast, dear. I promise I'll be back for lunch." Taban kissed her on the forehead, before walking out. He just had to make this invention work. He had to give her a new life.
"All right, let the final test commence!" Taban looked back at the panel in front of him. On the other end of the Telepod Lucca was fixing up some broken wires cause by the rough transport by cart.
"I still lack 30 percent of power, or so it says." Taban kept his eyes fixed on the green bar, noting every change and passing it on to his daughter. After a bit of tweaking and a bunch of new cables the green bar filled up the entire screen. "And we're done!" Lucca closed the hatch and screwed it shut tight. She wiped the sweat from her forehead. Finally, their telepod was up and running. Now, all they needed was an audience...and a volunteer.
After a while people started filling up the plaza, examining the new invention. Despite Taban's best efforts to sound reassuring and confident, no person wanted to test out their machine. So they ended up waiting around for someone brave enough to try it.
Eventually Lucca's mute friend Chrono showed up. He smiled as his daughter walked up to him and started to give him an explanation on the device that only two people in Guardia truly understood. Chrono nodded, and pointed to someone behind him. A young, blonde girl that was wearing one eye-catching necklace. Maybe she wanted to try out their new invention. She seemed excited enough.
Taban raised his voice, and caught the girl's attention. "Step right up, any of you who have the time and courage! Our "Super Dimension Warp" is the invention of the century! To use it, jump up here..." Taban pointed at the left pad. "And you'll get transported here!" Taban walked over to the right pad, showing off one of the blinking lights on top of the device. "It's the masterwork of my beautiful daughter, Lucca!" And a bit of me as well, he thought to himself.
The girl ran over to the machine, taking it in as much as she could.
"Chrono!" Lucca yelled at him. "Where have you been? No one wants to try the telepod! How about you?"
'It looks like fun! I'll watch while you try it out." The girl jumped up and down of excitement. Chrono scratched the back of his head as both Lucca and the girl gently pushed him onto the left telepod.
Taban and Lucca took their positions, as they started to prepare for the energy transfer. Taban pushed away a feeling of nervousness as he monitored the energy ratings. So far their telepad had not been tested. They had barely finished it in time for the Millennial fair. While he had faith in his daughter, the whole idea was just...so far-fetched. Transporting someone though the air...so many things could go wrong. Any crossed wire and Chrono would disappear...
Taban forced himself to focus on his duty. It was his job to safely bring Chrono back, and he would not fail at it.
"Beginning energy transfer..." Lucca said, as both ends of the machine started to produce a low hum-drum sound.
On the telepad, Chrono started spinning around...and disappeared. Moments later, he reappeared on the right telepad, safe and sound! Taban let out a sigh of relief. Everything worked. His daughter was a genius, and they were going to get rich!
"That looked fun! Can I try?" The girl asked him
"Sure. Step right up! Behold, ladies and gentlemen as this beautiful girl will be the second person to use our new and revolutionary Super Dimension Warp!" Taban took to his place, and nodded at Lucca, who once again began the process of teleportation. The buzzing began again, but nothing happened. Taban checked it thrice, but he could not find the problem. A sudden bright light pulled his attention away from his display to the telepod that the blonde girl was standing on. Some kind of portal, a gateway had formed behind her, and sucked the girl inside. Then, the gateway disappeared into nothing.
After a stunned silence the crowd started to talk wildly, spreading rumors or their thoughts on what had just happened.
"Lucca, what just happened?' Taban stared at his daughter for answers, but she could not answer him
"All right folks, show's over, please return to the main festival Square." Taban shooed the people away, making sure the biggest gossipers left the area the first. He let out a deep sigh, before returning to his daughter's side.
"What happened Lucca, and more importantly, where is the girl?"
"I don't know Dad, I'm working on it." Lucca opened the hatch again to check the insides of the telepod.
"Could you look at the left telepod. I see no significant differences here."
"Sure..." Taban walked up to the telepod, as something caught his eye. The girl's amulet was lying on the middle of the telepod. He picked it up, and leaned back against the far end of the telepod, accidentally setting of the machine for a third run
The medal started to glow, brighter and brighter. Taban the medal around, examining the back side. It had Guardia's royal crest on it. Such a medal had to belong to a member of the royal family. A sudden flash made Taban flinch and stumble back. Behind him, the same portal appeared.
"LUCCA!"Taban wanted to get away from the rainbow-colored vortex behind him, but it pulled him inside faster then he could run away. His last sight was that of the telepod disappearing into the rainbow horizon behind him
Waking up in a nightmare
"Hell. I'm in hell." Slowly, Taban's thoughts came back to him. But it was so hard to grasp what happened to him. His mind processed what he saw, and after a silence he spoke.
"Well, I guess I'm not in Guardia any more."
Wherever he was, it was nothing like the kingdom of Guardia. In stead of lush green hills in the distance there was a black wasteland, stretching as far as Taban could see. The wind was fierce and relentlessly blew sand in his face. Behind him he could hear the waves of the ocean that was seemingly darker then the charred land he stood upon.
Taban had transported himself onto the black beach of a large bay. "HELLO?"
"IS ANYONE THERE?" Taban yelled at the top of his lungs, but all he could hear was the howling wind.
In front of him was something that looked like the remains of a metal path that had not been walked upon in years. It looked like something left behind by a rotting, decaying sheet of metal.
There was no one. No matter where he looked Taban could see anything of life...
"Am I dead?" Taban checked himself. "No, I still feel alive." Left of him lay his faithful hammer, which he picked it up. On the side stood the description Lucca had etched in with one of her inventions. "To the best dad in the world. Happy 40th anniversary! Love, Lucca."
Taban stared at those last two words. Suddenly he felt very sad and lonely. Lots of thoughts crossed his mind. Would he be home in time to make Lara's lunch? Would he even get home again?
What is this place he was sent to? He needed to get going, else he'd never get there in time.
He started following the metal path that led up one of the sandy hills. The wind started to blow even harder. Taban held his hands to protect his eyes from the loose sand that was flying all around.
Finally he reached the top of the hill. From this elevated position he saw the landscape of death in front of him. There was a completely black stretch of land in front of him. There were but a few things that stood out from the wasteland. The metal road stretched into the horizon, and above it hung something that looked like flickering lights. There were no plants or animals anywhere. Sometimes a lone stump of charred-black wood was the only thing that resisted the wind
Taban's heart collapsed. This place was nothing like Guardia...or any land that he had ever herd of. He suddenly knew that he was far, far away from home. He'd never reach Lara in time.
"What am I going to do now?" Taban looked around. He could only see the metal road in front of him and the dark sea behind him. The lights were still there, blinking on and off, inconsistent in time and strength.
Slowly, he descended down the stairs. He started walking at a speed that he could maintain for hours, making sure he did not have to stop to rest. He wanted to get out of the wind's reach, as soon as possible. He never lost sight of the lights in front of him.
The further he walked, the more surreal the experience came. His eyes felt tired of staring at the lights, but he became scared of losing his one point of orientation. In his mind he saw himself walking around in circles in the darkness, with no one to talk to or no one to help him. Eventually he would sit down...and die.
Taban pushed the thought out of his mind. He WAS going to go back to Lucca and Lara. He WAS going back home, and nothing was going to stop him. With this sudden burst of determination he started walking even faster.
The structure was large, more then three times as high as his own house, even larger then the towers of Guardia castle. It was made completely out of metal, but it showed large signs of structural failure and decay. The same kind of decay that had struck the roads. It was a metal dome riddled with holes and lights. Most of the lights were off, but a few flickered brightly. Taban looked how he could get inside. There was a shut metal door in front of him. He tried to pull it open, whacking it, kicking it, but the door would not budge. Taban gave up, banging his arm against the door in idle hope. He'd have to find a different way inside. As he started to circle the structure he noticed that there was a large hole just to the left of the door that he could easily fit through
"How did I even miss that?"
The hallway was littered with junk, scraps of metal, and other indescribable things. A bunch of wires hung from a hole in the roof, occasionally sparking as the wind made them collide.
Carefully Taban pushed them aside, nearly jumping of fear when they sparked behind his back.
He breathed in and out, hoping that the adrenaline rush would fade away. After he had calmed down enough he entered a large room.
There was a path that led to a central platform that was littered with brown shapes. He couldn't quite make out what they were. On the right of him Taban observed a gaping hole in the roof that let through a lot of wind and sand. It looked like something big had fallen through the roof and tore apart multiple pipes.
"Everything is broken..." Taban fell silent. His eyes focused on the central platform. He saw a person. The brown shapes from before were people.
"HELLO!" Taban yelled, noting how his voice echoed. He could see that he had turned some heads, but there was no real reply.
As Taban got closer to the central platform more people started staring at him. They looked like husks, thin, and almost lifeless. In the back of the room people were standing around a leaky pipe. They were gathering the water that slowly dripped down from it.
An old man slowly rose to his feet. He was nearly bald, outside of some hair on the side of his head. His general appearance looked very rough and filthy. He leaned on a stick just to stay upright. "Who are you?" The voice felt very week
Taban felt like asking 20 questions at the same time, but unike his daughter he managed to restrain himself. "I am Taban, an inventor. I had a demonstration at the millenial fair of my new Telepod device, but it malfunctioned. If I may ask, where am I now?"
"This is...used to be Arris dome."
"Arris dome?" Taban frowned. "Never herd of this place. Where did you get all this technology?"
"What?" The old man didn't seem to undestand him "Are you from Trann drome? How did you make it past the monsters?"
"Monsters? I haven't seen any monsters." Taban looked around. "You are the first living thing I saw since I came here."
"Your clothes...are new...to me." the old man struggeled for words
"I don't get what you mean." Taban began to be annoyed at the confused old man...but it quickly faded when he saw how skinny and weak the man was.
"...so you're a traveller. Welcome. This, is what's left of Arris dome. If you're tired you can use our Enertron to recharge. It won't stop the hunger, though."
The old man pointed at a device on the left. It had 2 odd "tentacles" stretching out of it.
"Thank you." Taban's curiosity made him examine the machine up close. He had no idea what it did, or how it worked, but he wanted to know how.
"It seems as if you should take place inside it. This green core seems essential."Taban began to descend into technospeak, but a tap on his shoulder knocked him from his thoughts.
"Just stand inside it.' For a second, Taban thought that the old man wanted to smile, but it never happened.
Taban placed his back to the machine He instantly he regretted it as the tentacles locked him down into position. He tried to struggle but suddenly he stopped. He could suddenly feel energy glowing inside him, as if he had just woken up. All the troubles, how tired he felt from walking here, it all faded. As the machine opened up to let him out he felt like a whole new man.
"What is this thing?" Taban examined
"The Enertron. It keeps us alive, but it never stops the hunger."
"Hunger? You people have all this technology and you're hungy?"
"We have not eaten in..forever." The old man sat down again.
Taban looked at the old man, more bones then flesh. "But...how are you alive?"
"The Enertron. If it were to fail, we would all die. Perhaps we should stop hoping and simply give up. All life on earth will die, eventually."
"Earth? This is earth? But this is nothing like earth, its a barren place filled with nothing but emptyness and this dome here."
"It was not allways like this. But now it is."
Taban was starting to think. This old man claimed this place was earth, his earth. But where was Guardia? Was he on an unknown continent? Perhaps the thing that sucked him inside...could have moved him in time, not in space. That would explain the technology, and the destruction of it while still being on earth.
"What year is it?"
"What is a year?" The old man looked confused.
"What happened to the world? Why is earth like this?"
"The story goes that one day, fire rained from the sky."
Taban nodded patiently for the old man to continue. But when he didn't he coughed and said "And?"
"Is that all you know?"
"...I can't believe it! Lucca and I invented time travel! I'm in the future!" He shouted at the end excited about the prospect of being able to travel through time. "But...why is the future like this?" his excitement fell flat at the staring of the underfed children nearby.
"We don't know. But there is no future for us, none but death." The old man coughed,
"I have invented time travel, well, we did. That mean that I can take you back to the past, and.." Tan ban's excited rambling was cut short by the realization that he didn't know how to activate the time machine from here. Which ment that he was stuck here, for the rest of his life.
"No...but...Lara...Lucca...I..." They were long dead and gone. Suddenly his life felt short and meaningless. It was as if nothing he ever had done in his life had meaning.
"Why are you crying, stranger?" The old man looked quite concerned.
"I am not crying." Taban wiped the tears from his eyes. "I'm just...thinking." Thinking about how he would never see his daughter or wife again. The old man was right. If you were stuck in this place, there truly was no future for you. He sat on the floor, looking at the misery around him. A dead body lay nearby, but no one bothered to remove it. It lacked even skin, just a skeleton. All of them would slowly turn into skeletons. He would just sit there until he died.
"No." Taban stood up. "I am still alive. I can help these people, I just know it."
"Old man?" Taban picked up his hammer. "How can I help you with anything?"
"Help? I do not believe you can help. Unless you want to risk your life, of course."
"What do you mean, risk my life?"
"We used to have a plant storage downstairs, at least, I think so. If you could get past the security robots you might just bring back some food." The old man nodded "But all who went there never came back." He pointed to a hatch.
"If you go there, your life isn't worth anything."
"I guess I'l have to check it out. I promise I'll be back."
As Taban climbed down the hatch the old man slowly shook his head. "Young foolishness."
The hallway he entered had little light, and Taban had to guide himself to the other end of the room by little dim light on a control panel on the other side. On the other end he could see that the road ahead split up, but way to the left was blocked. Therefore he had to go right into a far less wide hallway. At the end he could see another light. As Taban got closer the light it suddenly got brighter. A beam came from the small light at the end, that was as bright as the sun. Taban saw the projectile heading for him and was barely able to dodge it. He could hear the sound of metal on metal approaching and decided to fall back. A second beam hit him in the shoulder, slightly burning the flesh. Taban ran to the larger hallway and hid around the corner. The mechanical device, or whatever it was, was slowly approaching. Taban reached for his hammer, holding it out to strike.
A mechanical spider with a bright light on top of his head walked out of the tunnel. It slowly turned it's mechanical head to observe the room around it. It turned full circle and observed Taban. It immediately prepared to fire, but Taban wouldn't allow it. With one fierce swing he lobbed the spider's head off, sending it flying into the wall. The mechanical legs seemed to get a seizure shortly before Taban's second swing made it shut down completely.
As he checked if the device had completely shut down his curiosity over took him. He grabbed the head, and the body of the robot and dragged it along with him up the metal stairs, where he could beter observe them. It was not exactly a spider, but it had 8 legs and moved them as a spider would. On the inside of the device (which he could see through the gaping hole where the head would have been) he saw a lot of small electric devices, a long with one medium sized box. Taban carefully pulled the box loose from the metal strips that held it in place. It was painted bright green and had large blue letters on the side. "Super Energy Supply Box Mark III" On top of the box were two small metal knobs. Around those knobs two broken wires were attatched
"Hmm...this could be it's power supply."
"What is that thing?" The old man carefully approached Taban.
"Something that tried to kill me downstairs. I killed it, in stead." Taban reached for the "head" of the spider, and found two broken wires that seemingly matched up to the wires that ran into the Super Energy Box. He attatched one wire to the box, while carefully laying out the other two. He created quite a few sparks when he completed the electrical circuit. The mechanical head came to life, the mechanics inside buzzing. The head fired a beam at the old man, but it was nothing more a short burst of normal light. Taban had broken the connection again before the old man could be hurt.
"Hmm..." Taban looked at the inside of the head to observe where the beam came from.