Yeah, so, ah… I really suck at original ideas, and I really need to get some damned writing done. So, in desperation, I turned to my old standby, Chrono Trigger, for which I've whipped up a tentative selection of some twenty-odd chapters (each consisting of multiple parts; probably a few thousand words in each part, so you can imagine how much writing it will be, all told). Also included is Chrono Cross, and my own interpretation of what Chrono Break might be. Mind you, all I have are some chapter titles right now... Except for this, that you'll see below.
I just randomly picked a chapter I thought would be easy from my list, and started writing; this is the two-thirds (or one-half, whatever) result of that labor. Please -- read, review, critique, tear apart my lack of originality, ask questions... Whatever you feel like doing in response to it. Cheers.
**VI: To Seek A Hero
**Part 1: The Cursed Woods
The ruins of the monster Zombor shuddered in the midst of the three newly-found magicians, and with a dull thud, touched the ground. With Memoria still in his hand, Crono turned to face the tyrant Ozzie, that great green blob of cowardice. The hero of time made a snapping motion with his wrist, flipping the sword back and resting its blunt edge against his inner arm, his eyes staring at the Demon General sourly.
"Z… Zombor is... O-Ozzie is... is STUMPED!!"
"Correction," said Crono, as Marle and Lucca raised their own weapons. "Ozzie is dead." No sooner had they declared their charge, though, the three children found nothing but a foul green odor in the air around them, with Ozzie seemingly vanished into thin air... No doubt a demonic sleight of hand. Swordsman, inventor, and princess strapped away their weapons and, not even halting to meet the cries of victory from the Guardian army, continued down to where Frog invariably waited.
As the three walked, they also talked: About life, about love, about every subject a teen swoons over, and then some. It was during this lull that the subject turned back to the quest at hand, and of Frog, himself.
"So," Marle said, "this Froggy guy saved me? Weird. I never did like frogs..." Slapping a hand to her forehead, Lucca retorted, "Yeah, well, I didn't either -- he's different, so heck if I care what he is." Crono nodded knowingly, and was theretofore neck-slapped by an angry Lucca: "At least take a stance!" she had said curtly, to which Crono responded, "Hey, what're you getting mad at ME for?! Is it that time of the month or something? Good God...!"
"You just don't have any finesse, do you? God...What a moron."
"I'm the moron? Who built that 'sure-fire' piece of junk that blew half my house up, huh?"
"OH? Who's the one who went along like a doofus and didn't say anything but 'Aw, hell' when it DID get blown up?! MORON."
The princess apparently found this exchange humorous, as she nearly doubled over trying to keep from laughing. On and on they bickered, each insult they traded multiplying Marle's 'suffering.' Then came the argument that would make her cry; Lucca said it best: "Yeah? I blew up the cat? Shucks to you, fella! I only singed it a little... What? What's so funny, Marle?"
The woods at the edge of the grasslands, known to be cursed and haunted by the spirits of the roaming dead, beckoned to the time travelers, a half-day leaving their rest-stop at the town of Dorino. Against Marle's better judgment, and Lucca's, as well, the party, led by Crono, plunged into the forest, braving beast and branch to, at last, find a conspicuously unusual bush. I use the term conspicuously because, to my knowledge, bushes do not often have ladders leading down into the underbrush. The doormat was a good indicator, too, but that was kind of overdoing it...
"A... dwelling...? Everything's carved into the walls, like something cut into it to break it..." Crono, as Lucca spoke, stepped ahead into the center of the cozy vestibule, only to find his katana in hand shortly thereafter, keeping a certain broadsword from splitting him in two. Frog, puzzled, broke off the stroke, and fell back, uncertain. For his part, Crono drew out his scabbard and returned his weapon to its place of rest, showing he harbored no ill will.
Spake the frog-man, "... 'Tis Sir Crono and Madam Lucca? Most curious... I'd thought the bridge was out... A shame, but please, do come in," he added, seemingly to himself, as he returned his weapon to the sheath at his hip. "I've no pleasantries to offer, but if you mind not the taste of spring water and the odd Imp meat, I can indulge... Hm? Q-Queen Leene!!" The former knight swiveled as he caught sight of Marle, pivoting and dropping to one knee as he bowed in respect.
"My liege...! What brings you to this wretched hovel?" Neither Crono nor Lucca had the heart to tell him the truth. Well, it didn't matter, since Marle did.
"I'm not Queen Leene -- I'm Marle!"
Taken aback at first, Frog only deepened his bow. "As you say, my liege! You are 'Marle,' of the Guardian Royal Family! ... Ah, a moment... You must be the one who brought Sir Crono here...! Forgive my brazenness, but it is an honor to meet you... Queen 'Marle'."
"I. Am. Not. A. QUEEN!!" hollered Marle, shaking Frog -- and a sizeable portion of his abode with the galewind force of a twister (or, perhaps a blizzard). "Just call me Marle, and that's that. 'Kay? Now, please, get up from there?"
"... I'm not fit to rise in the presence of anyone," Frog said gloomily, but acquiescing nevertheless; his hand fondled the broadsword at his side. "... but... What brings ye to my home? I've no ties to Guardia any longer, the Queen is safe, and-"
"-the King is injured," added Lucca. Frog visibly broke at those words, his amphibian mouth gaping and his side-eyes bulging with surprise. Shock turned to gloom, and that gloom shifted to shame, as Frog turned on his heels, and said bitterly, "Then the King is not well... I see... Goddamn it all...!! Why wasn't I there? Why wasn't I there to defend him, and my kingdom!? Damn... Damn!"
The three said nothing as Frog paced to the side of his bed, staring at a small, oddly-shaped wooden box, muttering, cursing, and spiting himself. Words failed them, as the shame of a knight fallen swamped the room. At last, Marle interjected, "But... We want to help! We want to defeat Magus, and-"
"Folly!!" Marle started, as Frog shot the group a terrified stare. "Magus is... beatable only by the hand of a Hero, and... We've no Hero to draw on, anymore. Not even the Grand Lion, Masamune, remains to combat him..."
"... 'Tis nothing, Madam Lucca. 'Twas just the idle murmurs of mine own heart. Now... Please... Take leave. Give the King my best..."
"I asked ye to go, Sir Crono. Please... I'll ask nothing more but to be left alone."
As she started to say something, Lucca saw Crono's arm rise to halt her words and, solemnly, the swordsman agreed to take leave with his compatriots. Once outside, the discussion started in full glory, with Marle exclaiming in a huff, "Why are we leaving!" Added Lucca, "Yeah, we could've gotten somewhere! What's the deal, Cr.." Lucca felt an object speed past her cheek, and felt warm blood splatter against her skull. There Crono stood, blade drawn and impaled on a bird monster.
"I'm guessing Magus knows everything we've said... Best to hurry," said Crono, ushering Lucca and Marle away from the entrance as he shook the avian off Memoria. There was no further discussion, nor any mention of how the young hero of time had sensed the beast's presence. For the time being, the group returned to Dorino for rest and recuperation -- there was to be no further forays into the woods for some time.
In his lair, of course, Magus paid no heed to his scout's information: Every scrap of his focus was devoted to summoning Lavos. Everything he had, and everything he was... The time was fast approaching, now.
**Part 2: Denadoro
"Crono? Are you awake? Crono?" The door of the inn's room creaked open, only for Lucca to find Crono studying Memoria, the katana granted him by Melchior that he had run through Heckran, and more recently, the Zombor beast. "What the heck…? Why are you looking at your sword? Couldn't find a mirror?" Memoria's scabbard was brought up, and the weapon returned to it, though rather than push back the sheath, Crono drew it out fully from his belt.
"I can sense something to the east," Crono said after a short time of looking at his sword. "Memoria feels it, as well... She knows."
Puzzled, Lucca asked, "Knows, what?"
Crono lifted to his feet, using Memoria as a cane to rise. He spoke, fluidly and quickly: "She knows the Masamune is there. Get Marle; we're going." Before Lucca had even a chance to protest, her longtime friend stepped past her, eyes blank and hands trembling. The door shut tightly, such that Lucca felt the air whisper in anger at being disturbed. I won't lie: She was frightened of Crono, and had been, ever since he'd killed that scout bird in the Cursed Woods. Something about him seemed... distant.
Regardless of the scientist's personal thoughts, the party headed east, finding in that direction a grand range of peaks and spires: Denadoro. In their formative years, both Crono and Lucca had visited the mountains, mostly out of a sense of adventure, but those ventures had always been with an explorer's party -- the monsters there were deathly serious in their hatred of humans, and any real attempt to penetrate the mountains resulted in a violent attack by the beasts. Now they were going alone: A spiky-haired swordsman, a mad scientist, and a pampered princess. What a joy this would be!
True to form, within the first sight of the forest around Denadoro, the monsters came out in force. They were all right pushovers when compared to the types seen in the future, but startling nonetheless in their numbers. Here, Crono was their vanguard: He dispatched the frontal assaults, while Lucca and Marle handled the rear encirclements. By daybreak, they had passed the gorge which led to the main area. It was around this time that they caught sight of the kid with the shield, cape, and look of terror running towards them.
Quoth the child warrior, "Forget heroism! Just get me the heck outta here!!" Well, he did get out of there, but the goblins who were chasing him sated themselves with Crono and his gang for the time being. This, of course, was a major miscalculation on their part, and each of the three ended up either being incinerated, frozen solid, or sliced to ribbons. Once the brawl had finished, Lucca huffed, "What a brat! I hope his kids end up in a right old gutter, the stupid..."
"Easy, Lucca, easy," Crono said, not sheathing Memoria quite yet. "Think for a moment: Why did they send three goblins for one kid? And... why the HELL are there ten more heading for us, goddammit?!!"
Naturally, the fight up the mountains wasn't pleasant. But, I'll leave it to your imaginations how much pain the party endured on the way up. Anthropomorphic ninja ravens, chubby imps with big sticks, birds who for some reason liked to play the bells -- this mountain had a nice assortment of freakshows to slaughter. The end of the trail came before sight of a cavern, leading up into the highest point on the mountain. Here the group halted, unsure of what lay beyond the rubicon.
Lucca's idea was to blast the cave with explosives; Crono dismissed that immediately. Marle thought of freezing the place shut and melting it down, to make sure it was safe, but Crono again shot the idea down. "Then what the heck is our plan of action," came the response from Lucca. Fingering his steel with excitement, Crono slurped the blood from a Free Lancer cut, spat it, and announced, "We're going in -- now!" Judging from the look in their leader's eye, neither of the girls wanted to argue.
Upon entering the cave, all was found to be eerily quiet, save the random village boy running around in circles, claiming to be the wind. It was an unusually-shaped cavern, with curves running along the sides and small, silvery fragments adorning the sides. At the back, a staircase led upwards, presumably to some higher plateau.
Marle was the first to speak. "What... is this place doing here...? Crono? Crono? Crono!" The "wind" child lifted off the ground, held aloft by Crono's hand, to which the boy exclaimed, "Hey, whassa big idea?!" Lucca rebuked, "Hey! He's just a kid! What got into you!?"
"Look at him," said Crono, throwing the child to the ground and drifting Memoria's tip to his neck. "Feel him. That aura's not from any kid I know. He's not human." Rising, the child spat to the side, shuffling back and flipping -- yes, flipping, like an acrobat would -- up to the top of the plateau. His head cocked back: "Masa! Masa!"
A figure emerged from deeper atop the platform, a child who appeared exactly... EXACTLY... as the first boy did. As he spoke, his voice identical to his brother's, "Yes, Mune? This had better be good to wake me up..." 'Mune' pointed to Crono, Lucca, and Marle, and said, "They're here." 'Masa' scrutinized the three temporarily, and deduced, "They're here for us. What fools."
"H-Hey...! What's your problem, kid!?" snapped Lucca, but when she beat her lashes, the figures of the two boys were gone, replaced by robed... CREATURES. Slightly reptilian in appearance, but bearing the gills of a fish -- or what looked like them, to Marle -- around their necks and ears sharper than the point of a sword, these were certainly no human children. The taller, draped in an ivory robe with a blue collar, said, "So, Mune, shall we test them?"
The other nodded. "Yeah, Masa! It's been years since the last schmuck came calling... and I'm still itching from then... SO! Get ready, seekers of the Masamune!"******