Chrono Continuum Chapter 39

The Chase

By Cain

2025 AD

"Well, well, well," Adom spoke, chuckling a gravelly chuckle, "looky what we have here..."

Rakin and Hotwire stood side by side, surrounded. Neither of them had ever been in this much trouble before. And it didn't look like their enemies were going to attack one at a time.Before them, Adom sat on a demon, swinging his chain whip around in a vaguely threatening manner. To their side, a huge robot with a complete arsenal of weaponry stood, with one of the Kingdom's most powerful sorcerors.

Rakin and Hotwire turned to the side as Janus spoke out, his magic amplifying his voice. "Give it up, Prince Rakin." Hotwire glanced at Rakin in surprise, before Janus continued. "You cannot escape, and if you try, your friend may forfeit her life." To make the point more clear, the robot crossed its arms across its chest, as if to dare them to try anything. Janus continued, "Give up now, and you will live. As will your friend. She could become a noble if you so wished, such does the Almighty One want you."

At this revelation, Hotwire gasped, and turned to Rakin. "The Almighty One? What would he want with you?"

Rakin shrugged helplessly, as he truly didn't know why the Almighty One would want him so badly, and alive at that. He narrowed his eyes, as he figured it out. "I'll not tell you where my friends are, Janus."

"Friends," Janus questioned, "what about them? We have no need for your friends. Other than Magus perhaps, they're not worth the trouble. But you, young man, are." He waited for Rakin to make the prudent decision. In a moment, Rakin had.

"Go to Hell." As soon as Rakin said this, all the creatures growled in unison, as if the very word brought out painful recognition.

Janus jumped down, landing lightly on his feet from the several-dozen foot drop, and walked forward, to stand directly before Rakin and Hotwire. "My dear boy," he began, "I'll ignore that response, and ask you in the name of reason, to stop this fight. What are you even fighting for? A world without magic? You don't even know my master's goals. Each time the war begins anew, we get closer to achieving our ultimate goal. Peace and prosperity. Some day, there will be no Kingdom, or Resistance, merely a world, where everyone lives forever, peacefully."

Hotwire stepped forward. "Peace? You come here, and trash our entire city, killing many innocent people-"

"Innocent people," Janus asked. "Even after we warned this city that they had something we wanted, and we were willing to do anything to get it, they stayed to fight. We gave them days to evacuate. All the people you see here tried to fight us, when we merely wanted to find," he pointed at Rakin, "you."

Hotwire raised an eyebrow. "We received no warning."

"What do you mean? I had one sent days ago. Adom himself delivered it." He turned. "Correct, Adom?" Adom nodded, smiling, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Rakin and Hotwire could both see that he was lying. Janus turned back to them, oblivious of Adom's obvious lie. "As I said, we gave you the chance to escape. But now, if you don't give up, we'll be forced to capture you, and," he pointed to Hotwire, "you, sadly would have to die. You could not be allowed to live even if we succeeded in Rakin's capture."

Rakin didn't even try to argue with Janus. He was happily deluded in the rightness of his cause, and would not be swayed. He looked around, fully aware that they didn't stand a snowball's chance in the desert. He looked to Janus. "Is it that I have something you want? I'll give it to you, if so."

Janus opened his mouth to respond, but was cut off by a loud boom. All three in the little group turned as one, to the source of the sound. Where a moment before, there had been many demons, now was Epoch, drving through the smoke of the recent blast. Janus jumped out of the way, as Epoch almost ran him over, stopping right beside Rakin and Hotwire. The canopy slid open immediately, and Epoch shouted through her speakers, "Get in!"

Rakin jumped in, just as Adom cracked his whip. The demons all surged forward, blood-thirsty. Hotwire jumped in next, landing in the backseat. She half-jumped up, and looked down to see that she had sat down on an unconscious woman in a sweater and mini-skirt. She stayed standing, and wondered what Rakin would have this woman back here for, when Epoch abruptly started up again, tires squealing. Hotwire had to hold on to the back of Rakin's seat just to stay steady.

Janus stood, just as the wave of demons began to surge by him. He rose up in the air, and shouted, "No, Adom! We must take them alive," but Adom ignored him as he rode underneath. Janus looked to the huge white robot, and yelled out again, "Go! Capture them!" With nary a nod, the machine turned and began to stride off through the city. Janus floated to the nearest building, and landed on it. Looking out, he could see where they were. Rising off the roof, he began to fly toward them as well.

Hotwire reached into her sack, all the while glancing back at the wall of demons, which was constantly gaining on them. She cried out, "Yes," as she found what she had been looking for, and pulled it out. It looked like a large ball of pink wax, and she set it down carefully on the seat. When Rakin looked back, she told him, "C4. I usually use a bit to blow open locks." He watched as she pulled out a small contraption with wire attached, and stabbed the wire into the ball. She pulled out another, larger contraption, and simply held it.

Smiling, she threw the ball out behind them, in front of the charging hoarde. She pressed a button on the larger contraption, just as they were near the ball, and Rakin jumped in his seat, as a concussion rocked the Epoch forward. Rakin opened his eyes, and saw that the hoarde had fallen far back, as some of the forward ranks had been destroyed, or thrown back into the back ranks. Some of the demons began to fight, until Adom brought them to order, and they began to chase Epoch again.

Hotwire turned back, pleased with herself, and then, at seeing Rakin looking back at her work, yelled out, "Rakin, who's driving?"

He glanced over his shoulder, and then looked back to her, and pointed with his thumb at the control panel. "She is."

"She who?"

Rita' voice came out of the twin speakers. "I am. Rakin, who's your new friend? And how long is she staying," Epoch added, sounding somewhat jealous.

Hotwire looked around, confused, and Rakin replied, "Her name's Christina, or Hotwire. She'll be with us until we can get her out of here."

The tires screached as they turned a corner, and they continued driving. They looked up at a scream from above, and saw a large bat-like creature. It swooped down toward them, and Rakin and Hotwire screamed out.

Out of the blue, a huge white metal arm slapped the beast aside, and it crashed into a building, unmoving. Epoch stopped, and Rakin and Hotwire looked up to see the white robot step down before them. How they hadn't noticed it before, they didn't know, but it was here now. It finished its stride, and now took up the whole street before them. It pointed at them, as if telling them to stay, or else. To compound the point, tne side of the chest opened up to reveal what looked like a launcher for the explosive projectiles that it had fired earlier.Rakin gulped, and Hotwire cursed. They didn't bother to turn as they heard the horde turn the corner and begin to close in. The robot bent over, its hand reaching out to grasp them.

Epoch's tires squealed loudly as she started up, darting forward, just under the grip of the hand. They continued on, between the massive legs, and away from the robot. It turned loudly, and began to fire in their general area, trying to disable instead of kill. One explosive started to come directly at them, and everyone could see that Epoch couldn't avoid it.

Yelling, Hotwire pointed her spear at the missile. Without audible command, the spear lit up once again with power, and fired out a bolt of lightning. It blasted through the missile, and continued onward. It slammed into the arm of the machine, ripping metal, and damaging the arm. The robot was knocked back a step. Hotwire looked between the white legs, at the army of demons. They were staying directly behind it, not passing by the robot, as if being told not to. It gave Hotwire and idea.

"What are you doing," Rakin yelled, as she stepped up onto the edge of the cockpit.

She smiled at him. "Helping." And she jumped out, landing in a hard roll. She stood up, bruised, and began to run in the opposite direction, toward the still-stunned robot.

Rakin slammed the control board. "Turn around, Epoch, we've got to help."

"Sorry, I can't. We'd have to go in a circle and come up behind them. I think that now would be the perfect time to leave."

Rakin shook his head. "We're not leaving. Make the circle."

Epoch let out a sigh. "If you say so." It turned at the next corner.


Same Time

Adom cracked his whip, and pointed to the side. All of them heard, and obeyed. They all turned to the side, at the next corner. Adom smiled. He'd head off the boy at the pass.


Same Time

The robot stumbled back again as it was hit by another bolt, this one to the side of the head. Complex systems were exposed, and failing, probably. Hotwire didn't know what had happened to her spear, but like the mysterious change in her Chameleon material so she could use it, she was grateful. Not only did it keep going without fuel, it was far more powerful than before. The only strange thing was that she was beginning to feel tired now, when she'd normally be fine. It was like using the spear was draining her energy.

She dove into a roll to the side to avoid the stomping foot of the robot, and fired upward. This bolt struck in the stomach area, a place that had been hit often. This blast broke completely through. The robot wobbled, and fell to its knees. Hotwire guessed that she'd partially disabled the legs.

She murmured, "Uh oh," as the chest compartment once again opened, revealing the rocket launcher. It fired off its last few missiles, and Hotwire ran for all she was worth, trying to avoid them. Although not caught by the explosion from any of them, the mere concussion of the last one threw her into a nearby building. She landed on her back, mostly unconscious.

The robot, seeing her in such a state, reached for her. Since it was unable to grasp her, it fell onto its chest, and grabbed her, and slowly rose back up. Hotwire, shaking herself a bit, tried to pry at the gigantic fingers, but didn't succeed at all. She looked around for her spear, but groaned as she saw that it was still by the wall she had smashed into. She looked back to the nondescript metal face of the robot, and almost imagined that it was smiling. She knew the pilot probably was.

She cried out as the metal fingers began to squeeze the breath from her lungs, and she gasped for air. She couldn't get it. She desperately beat at the metal fingers that were crushing her, but that didn't do anything. She looked around despearately, for something she could use, or for Rakin, but saw only her spear. She focused on that. Her spear. If I had that, I could get out. If I had it... She reached out to it, the act not seeming so futile to her in her last moments. She had to get the spear. She had to.

Inside the contraption, the pilot was laughing quite loudly. Her laughter only increased when she saw the girl reaching futilely for her spear. Her laughter died down, however, as she saw the spear fly from the ground, seemingly of its own volition, to the girl's outstretched hand. How was it possible? She had no magic. She was not of the Kingdom.

Blacking out, Hotwire didn't really care how she had gotten the spear, or think to ask. Instead, she pointed it at the head of the robot, and, with her last ounce of strength, willed it to fire. It did.

The beam, more powerful than any of the others, struck the head, and blew it off the neck. The headless body fell to the ground, and the hand opened as the arm hit the road. Hotwire, however, was unconscious, and was unmoving, and, if alive, didn't notice the fruits of her efforts.


Same Time

"Damn," she cursed. Now she wished she hadn't installed the self-destruct system. She pressed the radio communicator in her ear, and said, "Janus?"

A voice sounded in her ear from the machine. "Yes?"

"The girl beheaded me."


"I don't know. But that's not important. What's important is that she did."

"I'm not following you."

"Janus, I told you about the programming of this machine."

"I apologize. I don't remember the significance of beheading it."

"Janus, I've set this thing so that if it's cut off from control of the head, it will self-destruct."


"And when I mean self-destruct, I mean that this thing is supposed to take out the field it's destroyed on. It'll destroy this entire section of the city. In about... two minutes."

"Damn. I'll finish this up then. Tell Adom."

"Why bother?"

"Just do it."

She shrugged. She pressed the communicator again. "Adom?"

"Yeah, Techie?"

"Adom, I've told you not to call me that."

"You didn't say that the other night..."

"Stop deluding yourself, Adom. There was no 'other night' , and there never will be."

"So you say. But, I've seen the way you look at-"

"Adom! Shut up! Listen to me! This section of the city's going to blow!"


"Yeah, that's right. So finish up your job and escape."

"To Hell with the job. I'm out of here, darlin'."

The communication stopped as Adom teleported out of the city. The pilot did the same.


Same Time

Rakin glanced behind him. The creatures and Adom were gaining on him. He asked Epoch whether she could go faster, and was answered, "Sorry, baby." He looked back, and drew back in surprise. They were gone! Every one of them was gone. He glanced around, expecting a trap.

"Rakin," a voice called from above. Rakin looked up to see Janus, flying overhead, who continued, "Come with me now! Thanks to your resourceful friend, this part of the city is going up in smoke in less than two minutes!"

Rakin gasped, but unlike the effect Janus had hoped his news would cause, he told Epoch to try to get back to Hotwire as soon as possible.

"You'll never make it," Janus tried to convince him. "Even if you get to her, you couldn't possibly get away in time!"

"Wanna bet," Rakin yelled back, as Epoch made a turn.

Rakin yelled out in surprise as a huge wall of ice appeared before them. Epoch began to slow, but Rakin yelled out, "Fire!" Epoch let loose twin blasts, that blew away the section of ice before them, and they continued on, unabated. Janus cursed, and continued following them, trying to think of a way to stop them.


Same Time

Hotwire stood, with some trouble. She looked about. The robot lay on its chest, with the head gone, which lied quite a ways a way. She looked over to where her spear had been, and then realized that it was in her hand. How did you get there?

She turned to the sound of screeching tires, and saw Rakin driving toward her. Fireballs and bolts of lightning were raining down on him from above, from Janus, but Rakin drove on heedlessly, confident that Janus wouldn't hit him, and was only trying to get him to stop.

Finally, Rakin stopped, a few feet from Hotwire, and yelled, "Get in!"

Hotwire complied, and jumped in the back seat, pushing aside the unconscious woman's legs. "What's going on?"

Rakin looked back at her, and then to the woman. "I forgot all about her. Oh, well, we'll be doing her a favor." He looked back to Hotwire. "This whole place is going to blow," he said, ignoring a fireball as it landed close by. "And we're outta here. Hang on," he finished, as Epoch started moving again.

The cockpit slid shut, and Hotwire saw appendages that looked like wings sliding out of the side of the car. The car jumped a bit, and kept going. It gradually began to rise, and Hotwire looked about, surprised, as she realized that they were flying.

"Epoch," Rakin yelled, tense from the fact that they had seconds to live. "Warp us out!"

"Where to?"

"To 1002!"

"Sure thing," she agreed, and certain unseen mechanisms began to hum.

Hotwire leaned forward. "Where or what is 1002?"

"Noooooooo," Janus roared, as the ship rose up, and began to glow. He looked down to the felled robot, and realized that time was about up. Concentrating for only a moment, he activated the spell, and was gone.

The ship lost all its features to a bright white glow, and dashed off, too fast to see, just as the robot detonated with a flash, wiping a third of the city out of existence.


"I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like victory."
-Francis Ford Coppola


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