The Absence of Friends Chapter 6

The Final Battle

By Cloud Strife

Magus. A second Magus stood next to the Lavos Core.

"What the? MAGUS!!" he yelled. "STOP RIGHT THERE!!"

Crono's friends turned around.

"Is" the other Crono asked.

"Magus! Why are you doing this?!" Crono demanded.

"So you figured it all out, eh?" said the other Magus. "I'm no longer Magus. Call me Dark Magus."

"What's going on?" asked Lucca.

" there a clone of me?" asked Magus.

Dark Magus began to explain. "You see, when I was Magus, I lost my sister, Schala. I love my sister very much, and she's the only family I have. But she's gone."

"That's...not true! I'll find her!" protested Magus.

"In the future, Magus, you'll lose all hope." said Dark Magus. "Remember your other plan? You made a vow, that if you couldn't find your sister, you'd change history, and let Lavos run loose."

"What? What does this all mean?" asked Marle.

"It's....true." said Magus. "I made a plan in advance to destroy the world, if I had no living family left. I stole Lucca's gate key when we visited her house one day...."

Dark Magus snickered. "The existence of me here right now, PROVES that you would lose all hope, reopen the gates, and change history. And as soon as I would kill any one of you, you would not exist in the new era created after Lavos! Then, with you out of the way, Lavos would be free to destroy the future, and let all hell break loose!"

"But how did you open the gates?" asked Lucca.

"One day, I found the ruins of the Black Omen in 18,000 B.C. I found the Mammon Machine, and it still had some energy from Lavos left. So I simply channeled Lavos's power to recreate certain gates. After all, Lavos did create the gates in the first place. I visited 601 A.D. and deployed Flea, Slash, and Ozzie! But if you're standing here now, Crono, I guess they didn't help too much." Dark Magus explained.

"No. They're still quite weak." Crono replied.

"When you visited me with the Epoch, I was planning to kill you, But I decided to let you watch me kill your friends instead!" shouted Dark Magus.

"I'll stop you! When I kill you, my friends will exist in the present!" retorted Crono.

"(click, beep.) And what about you, Magus?" asked Robo.

"I...won't let myself turn into the horrid figure that now stands before me..." said Magus as he drew his scythe.

"Arghhh!! Magus, you idiot! I'll kill you, too!" screamed Dark Magus.

Lucca knew what would happen if Dark Magus killed his good counterpart, But she kept quiet and drew her Wondershot. Dark Magus spoke to Lavos, "Lavos. Let me handle these insects for you! Then you can save your energy for the rest of the world!" The Lavos Core nodded, and stepped back.

"Eight against one, eh? I'll still win!" said Dark Magus. "There's so many targets I can hit. I just can't choose! Let's see....who should I kill first...?"

Crono noticed an important fact about the order of the disappearances. He knew that Dark Magus would attack Lucca first, then Ayla. With Ayla gone, Marle would die too. After that would come Frog, and Robo. Crono took a step toward Lucca, trying not to give his secret away, But close enough to protect her. Dark Magus twirled his scythe clockwise, over and over again. Suddenly, Dark Magus raised his scythe and slammed it to the ground. The ground opened up, and all existing matter was being sucked toward it! It was Magus's Black hole attack!

"Everyone, hold your ground!" shouted Crono. "It's too late to give up now!"

Dark Magus used every ounce of strength he had to keep the Black Hole going. Crono suddenly noticed that his comrades were slipping close the hole! To counter this, he signaled Lucca.

"Lucca! Do it now!" he shouted.

"Got it!" she replied.

Lucca summoned energy from the depths of hell, and fire burst from her fingers! Crono's sword caught the fire, and formed the Firesword attack! He then used his spincut, and leapt into the air. Dark Magus couldn't move, otherwise he could break his concentration and lose the Black Hole. He didn't even notice Crono coming down and badly burning him! The Black Hole disappeared, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

"Tis my turn!" shouted Frog.

Frog attempted a Water 2 spell, and Dark Magus was suprised by an oncoming wall of water! As it came closer, Dark Magus used his Magic Wall spell to counter this. The spell had no affect. The second Crono signaled Ayla for a Falcon Hit. The other Crono flung Ayla into the air, and she flew like a jet toward Dark Magus! But instead, Dark Magus stepped back, and held out his scythe as Ayla's lower chest was deeply slashed by the DoomSickle! Marle stepped back to help Ayla with Cure spells.

"The rest of you, be careful! I'll help Ayla!" said Marle.

Dark Magus suddenly started a hail of physical attacks! He charged towards Lucca, and began a quick swing at her, But Crono stuck his sword in the way and stopped the blade, just inches from Lucca's waist!

"Damn you Crono! I would've killed them all by now if it wasn't for you!" cursed Dark Magus.

The entire battle, Magus had been standing to the side. It was as if he didn't want to fight himself. Robo attempted an Uzi Punch, and it connected with Dark Magus's chin several times! Dark Magus staggered back, But regained his balance and charged towards Lucca again! This time, she fired her Wondershot, and blew Dark Magus back three feet! The whole time, the Lavos Core had been watching the battle, and by now, it was shaking it's head.

"Damn you.... I hate you all! Now try and stand against THIS!" Dark Magus shouted.

Dark Magus raised his hands, and a blue light engulfed the battlefield! Suddenly, Crono and his friends noticed something wrong.

"I....cannot move!" said Frog.

"Hey... What's going on?" asked Marle.

"Ayla no move either!" noted Ayla, still bleeding.

"I've learned another spell that induces the stop ailment on everyone within 20 yards. It cannot be avoided, cured, or evaded. The only person who can't be affected is me." said Dark Magus, grimly. "Now, I'll finally kill the brains of your group first, and then, the rest of you!"

Dark Magus twirled his scythe, and leapt into the air. He planned to take Lucca's head off as he came down! It al seemed to happen in slow motion, as Dark Magus came down, and slashed a now shadowy figure. The figure slumped to the floor. But the shadow wasn't Lucca. Magus had jumped in at the last second, and took the attack.

"Magus.. You didn't have to do that..." whispered Lucca.

"I was...the only one... who could move. I'm the only one.. who can defend against my own attack!" said Magus. His voice was getting shaky. He was heavily bleeding from his upper chest, to his right leg, which was where he was hit.

"I don't believe it." said Dark Magus. "Now there's no one else to save you! I might as well just leap into the air and slash someone else!"

"Um.. Mr. Evil Magus person?" asked Lucca. "If I am correct, you are the Magus of the future, while the one that you just hit was the Magus of the past."

"Correct. So?" asked Magus, nonchalantly.

"Well, if Magus dies, then so will you." she answered with a smile on her face.

"It's...true. ....I'm...slowly dying. Dark Magus....You're finished..." said Magus as he fell to the floor, and breathed his last.

Dark Magus slowly disappeared, just like Crono's friends did before. Crono started back up the path, to the entrance to Lavos.

"You guys don't need me anymore. I've done my part. I'm going to see my friends in the present. All you guys have to do is destroy the Lavos Core. Good-bye." said Crono.

Crono walked back up the path, and climbed outside the Lavos shell. He jumped into the Epoch, started the ignition, and the Epoch flew into the sky.

I'm coming back. I'll see my friends again. he thought to himself.

* * *

The Epoch appeared as a blue streak of light as it touched the year 1001 A.D. Just north of Lucca's house, he spotted 5 figures, lying on the ground. Crono took the Epoch down and ran toward them. He saw them all. Lucca, Marle, Ayla, Frog, and Robo. They were all unconscious, so Crono walked to Lucca and shook her awake.

"Lucca? C'mon! Get up!" he yelled.

"Wha..? Whaddya want- Crono? Hey.... You did it!" she replied as she stood up.

"What?" he asked.

"You did it! You saved us!"

Frog woke up, and noted, "We're in 1001 A.D. How did we get here..? Crono, what happened after we defeated Flea? And where hath Magus gone?"

"I'll explain to everyone. I just need to rest for a while." replied Crono.

Ayla woke up next. "Unhh. I feel like I slept for days! Why we near Lucca's house?"

Crono spotted Marle a few feet away, and he ran towards her. Crono shook her awake. For a few moments, he looked into her green, shining eyes, and embraced her.

"Crono... You found Lucca." she whispered as she saw Lucca over Crono's sholder.

"I found everyone."

"What... Happened?" she asked.

".....That's a whole different story."


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