Chrono Continuum Chapter 3
If Rakin and his sister had been amazed at the speed that initiated the time
warp, they were more amazed at the warp itself. As they watched, the world
around them seemed to bend and swirl in on itself, much as painting with water
splashed on it. The swirls eventually formed into a circle, which Lucca flew
right through. Corea and Rakin had to stare in awe at the sight around them.
Lines and forms of nameless colors moved about them in waves, and Lucca would
occasionally fly through what appeared to be a wall, but seemed to open up as
they got closer to it, as if flying through a hole too small to see from far
After a long moment, Rakin thought of something. "Lucca?" he began. She turned toward him. "Where, uh, make that when are we going?"
She looked at her instruments. After a moment, she turned back toward him. Corea was now paying attention as well. Lucca casually replied, "I haven't the slightest idea." At the look on Rakin's face, she laughed and explained, "Don't worry. I've set the Epoch to find the source of the time waves. It's taking so long for us to get there because Epoch's never been there, or then. When we find the source, we come out of the warp, bust some heads if necessary, and stop the disturbance. It shouldn't be too hard," she finished, turning back, unruffled. Corea seemed to accept that and went back to admiring the warp. But Rakin just felt very nervous. There was a tingling at the base of his neck, and he could almost hear the whistle of wind off a mountaintop. And he knew what that usually meant by now.
"Lucca!" he suddenly exclaimed, right in her ear, almost. She slapped her hand over her ear and looked back at him with the same What's the matter with you? scolding look he often gave Corea.
She shouted back at him, annoyed. "What!?"
"Lucca, what would happen if we encountered a time wave while warping?"
"All of our systems would temporarily shut down, due to our link with time flow. The same would happen if we weren't warping. Why?"
"Well what would happen to us if we were caught mid-warp, and out systems shut down?" he yelled over the background sound of the mountaintop wind, which was now a shrill whistle. He shivered. Corea was now paying attention.
"I don't know where we'd go," Lucca replied, unsure where he was going with this. "But we probably wouldn't stay here in the warp. We'd probably fall out into whatever era we were moving through. But, please, tell me why you're so-"
She didn't finish as everyone in the Epoch was thrown around in the small ship. Corea hit her head on the glass top and let out a loud "Ouch!!" Rakin ended up on his head with his back against Lucca's front seat. Lucca had been thrown forward onto her back on the control panel, but managed to get back into her seat correctly after a moment's shifting. As Rakin began to move into sitting position, he noticed her press her hand to the side of her headphone and speak into the miniature microphone in front of her mouth. "Note to self: Invent straps to secure seats. Uhhh... Seatbelts."
She quieted as she saw the area up ahead. The warp had a discolored clear wall moving along the tunnel at a fantastic rate towards the ship. As the Epoch slammed through the wall, the ship suffered another huge jolt, and everyone was thrown from their seats again as the engines shut down and restarted.
This time, Lucca hit her head and let out a very feminine yelp, but she was soon back to examining the systems. Rakin now noticed that several of the lights had gone out, and one big, red light was flashing on and off. It would have been nice if you'd warned us sooner, he silently scolded the light. It ignored his thoughts and kept blinking.
Lucca was pressing buttons at a phenomenal rate, and Rakin looked over to see that his sister was hanging on for dear life. He noticed blood soaking into her brown hair, staining it red. Lucca turned back, still knowing which buttons to press without looking, and yelled, "I think more are coming. We might be able to outrun them if we can turn back, and start moving to the future. A few more of those, and we could drop straight out of the warp into who knows where. Brace for impact! I'm setting the temporal thrusters in reverse."
She turned back, and began to press buttons even more rapidly, if possible. The two teens lurched forward, as the force propelling them forward suddenly reversed. Lucca managed to stay upright. The siblings managed to sit up straight just as the ship began to rush backwards, causing them to slam into the front seat. Lucca didn't notice. She was too busy trying to run the ship backwards to pay attention to anything else. The teens got upright again, and looked around.
The warp tunnel turned red around them, but went back to bluish as they passed the area, causing a red ring to constantly follow them through the tunnel. Corea looked forward (towards the front of the ship) and screamed, "Lucca, look!" Lucca looked up only long enough to notice another clear wall moving towards them, fast enough to catch up in a few minutes, and went back to the controls.
The wall came on, inexorably, never wavering. They could see it as it loomed directly in front of them, and Lucca pushed a lever near to the breaking point. A loud buzzing sound filled the cockpit.
"Hang on, kids," Lucca yelled, and pulled another lever back, just as the time wave slammed into and through them. Everyone was thrown all around the Epoch, and a few cracks formed in the glass dome overhead. When all was settled, Rakin noticed two things. One, he and Corea had inadvertently switched seats. And two, they were moving forwards again.
"Damn!! Lucca, what happened?" Rakin yelled.
"Calm down," Lucca yelled back. "We're almost out!" Indeed, he looked around, and saw that the red ring was still following them. They were going the right way. That wave must have turned us around! he realized.
"You bet it did," Lucca yelled.
"How did you know what I was thinking?" Rakin yelled. Corea and Lucca both yelled, "Thinking!? We heard you fine." Rakin didn't have time to ponder it, because he turned and saw a wave moving through the tunnel, bearing down on them. He looked back to the front and saw a black hole, growing all the time before them. The end of the warp? He looked back and forth, hoping that they would make it through. The hole grew to encompass his entire field of vision, just as a huge jolt rocked the ship.
And there was only darkness.
Rakin woke up with the worst headache he'd had since he had tried beer one night and woke up in the kitchen in the morning, with his allowance missing and a pierced left ear.
Come to think of it, this was worse.
He looked around and saw his sister and his dad's best friend. Lucca was now, inexplicably, wearing a pink ball gown, and was on the control panel, unmoving. He began to move toward her when he saw her chest fall and rise. He watched this a few more times before he realized that it meant she was still alive. He watched for a while anyway. Just to make sure, he told himself. After he tore his gaze (he almost heard a ripping sound as he did so) from that area, he looked her over, this time really to check her condition. There was a gash on her arm that didn't look good, but he didn't see fit to worry about infection at the moment.
He then turned toward his sister. She, too was breathing. Her hair was still soaked in blood. I'd better check on that. He went to her, and after examining her, found her somewhat pale. She had obviously lost a lot of blood. He checked for the exact site of the head wound, and found an ugly gash. I'll need a bandage for that. He then looked over her to see if her clothes had changed. They had. She now wore what looked like a grey soldier's uniform, and had two sticks attached to her belt. Apparently weapons. He looked a moment longer, then tore of a strip of cloth all the way around the bottom of her shirt. She'll like it better that way anyway, he thought. His sister was so thin, however, that the strip of cloth barely fit all the way around her head.
Rakin himself was muscular, and definitely not thin. At that thought, he looked at himself and saw that he was wearing a uniform identical to that of his sister's, except that it was blue. On his shoulder were two bars sewn to his uniform. He looked on his sister's shoulder and saw three bars. She outranks me! he thought incredulously. Trying to forget about that, he began to look around. Half of the glass around them was shattered. Outside, Rakin could see mist all around. On closer inspection, he saw mist. He strained his eyes to their limit and was barely able to see... Mist. Great. He jumped as he heard a rather loud voice from nowhere in particular.
"Hey, Gaspar, the boy's awake. The others aren't yet." Rakin looked around, and then up, and, through the mist, and was barely able to see what looked like a ceiling. Was he in a room? A really big, misty room? He noticed some slight movement at the edge of the form, and realized he was actually under something that was floating above him.
Another voice, this one quieter, and yet still from seemingly out of nowhere, came to his ears. "Boy, jump out of the Epoch." Rakin was shocked to find that this voice knew of the ship, but decided not to question the source of the knowledge.
He looked down, and, to his distress, saw nothing but more mist. "I'm not really fond of leaps of faith," he yelled back. "Suppose you tell me where I'll land."
The old man's voice countered with another question. "Do you know Crono, or did you steal this ship, not knowing what it was?"
Once again, Rakin wondered at the man's knowledge. "He's my dad," he yelled back.
"Well, then jump out of the Epoch, boy. I'm an old friend. A very old friend."
Rakin could think of nothing better to do, so he braced himself, and jumped out of the side of the ship. The mist parted almost immediately, and he saw that he was about to land on a man in a low-key brown suit. Rakin was almost on the man when the stranger looked up and shouted out, in alarm, "Spekkio!"
Rakin braced for the impact, but he suddenly found himself floating above the man. The old man backed up and peered up at him from underneath a brown derby as Rakin slowly floated to the ground, until he suddenly dropped the last two feet and landed chest first. He heard the man's voice again, scolding now, "Spekkio!" He heard a chuckle in the opposite direction as he rolled over, trying to get his lungs working again.
As he got onto his back, he saw the old man walk away and lean on a lamppost that flickered on and off. Rakin blinked. Electricity? Here?A small form was next to the stranger, but Rakin's vision was blurred, and he decided to look elsewhere for a moment. As he looked around, he could see a fence all around the area that suddenly stopped at one point, a huge hole that had obliterated whatever had been in that area. What had smashed a part of the platform?
He slowly got up and walked to the man. He now saw that the form next to the old man was a small, furry, harmless looking animal. The man once again murmured, the word "Spekkio," and the furry animal pointed an arm at Rakin. Rakin suddenly stood up with a snap, and he felt more refreshed than he could remember feeling in a long time. He walked over to the two figures, feeling his sheath bouncing against his leg. He looked down, and realized that his sheath was now bigger than his sword, and the blade had room to bounce around in the roomy area. If his clothes did, his sword never seemed to change, according to the handle. He made a presumption.
"Gaspar?" he inquired of the old man, remembering the name Spekkio had called. He was rewarded with a smile.
"That would be me. Welcome to the End of Time, son of Crono. We'll be seeing each other often."
"I came, I saw... I got blowed up."
Ernest P. Warrell, Ernest Goes to Jail
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