The Rise Of Evil Chapter 18
"So, do you ever take that suit off?" Crono asked Fuerte.
"Nope. Well, sometimes. When it's a special occasion." Crono nodded and kept on walking down the hall. They'd been making light chitchat all the way. They'd gotten bored being quiet so they talked for about ten minutes. then they got bored with that and then they were quiet. Finally they started talking again out of sheer boredom. "I'll take it off for women, when I actually have one. They're always very pleased with my face." He said the last sentence without a hint of modesty. Crono could actually feel him grinning under that metal helmet.
"Really? How lucky," they continued walking down the endless hallway. It had stopped sloping downward about twenty minutes ago and now it was flat. Crono shivered in the cold. The shaft was no more than fifty degrees. the light was getting dimmer as the went down the hall. Crono wasn't sure what they would do if it became pitch black.
"How much farther is this stupid thing?" Fuerte asked no one in particular.
"Look!" Crono almost shouted. He could see an end to the hallway. They ran down as fast as they could. The shaft abruptly ended and they arrived in a monumental room. Crono felt like a mouse. the room a a dimly lit dome. He couldn't see the very highest parts, but could make out the basic outline of the place.
"I think this is what we're lookin' for." Crono slightly chuckled. Fuerte was a master at stating the obvious.
"I believe so too." They jogged further into the dome. They weren't sure of where they were going, or what they were looking for, but standing around wouldn't help any.
"STOP!!!" They both halted. the thunderous voice resonated off the walls. They looked around frantically for something--anything that could've screamed something so loud.
"Hello?" Fuerte called.
"Leave this place, NOW!"
"Where is Marle!" Crono screamed. "Tell me now!"
"You will leave now Crono, don't ever come back."
"Forgetting about me?" Fuerte asked.
"Never." They gasped as the voice was suddenly right in their ears. An unseen light filled the room. they had to shield their eyes. Now they finally got a sense of the enormousness of the place. The ceiling was easily a thousand feet straight up. It was pitch black. Crono and Fuerte gasped in fright as they stared at the millions of demons sitting in the stands along the wall. The place was a stadium. Ten levels high, demons occupied every bit of available room. Not one of them made so much as a sound.
Black mist spun around Crono and Fuerte, going under their arms and over their shoulders. It spun in maelstroms and swirled with a pulse. It flew out in front of the and began to take shape. It slowly became humanoid, the arms and legs proportioning themselves, and finally the head and body taking shape. Color and feature painted themselves onto the black mist. A man with a black suit and a blood red belt stood in front of them. He had his hands on his hips in a haughty fashion.
"Delecroix," Crono sneered. "It's you, isn't it. Cameron Delecroix."
"Anoctium," Fuerte said. "You're Anoctium, aren't you?"
"Damn, seems everyone knows my name these days. I gotta be careful to whom I give out my name from now on."
"Tell me where Marle is?" Crono demanded.
"TELL ME!" He raved, adding a stomp on the ground for emphasis.
"Okay, she's over there." Anoctium pointed to the center of the dome. Her body was lifeless on the ground. Bloody symbols were painted on her body.
"MARLE!" Crono screamed. He broke out into a sprint and ran to Marle. Crono slowed and knelt down near Marle. "Marle," he soothingly called. "Marle, wake up!"
"She can't hear you," Anoctium yelled.
"What have you done to her?" Fuerte asked threateningly.
"My spell was completed while you two were talking about whether you liked turkey or chicken better; about fifteen minutes ago."
"No," Crono said bewildered. "What's happening to her?"
"She'll be possessed by the Daemon Trainer. The power of his entity will rip her asunder. Then, he will reform her body to match what he feels is the best form for him. He'll send her body through the portal near the front of the palace. His soul will travel through the Hell Mouth I've already opened. He's too powerful to go through just one portal, he needs two portals."
"Stop it! Stop the spell!" Crono pleaded.
"It cannot be stopped. Your precious Marle will die; her soul stuck in here for all eternity."
"NO!" Crono wailed. He waved his arms madly. He was raving, spit flying out of his mouth. With white, glowing powers he floated to Anoctium. His rage was running out of control, his powers were beginning to run on instinct. "Why!" he screamed in Anoctium's face, "why her? Why'd you have to use her! There were billions of people to choose! WHY HER! Why'd you have to do this to me?"
Anoctium spoke very smoothly, and in a very mellow tone. "I had to cast a spell. The spell to a year to cast. I had to start over twice. Very frustrating. You, there are only a few people in the universe who can open this portal. Their body must be used. I cast this spell. it gave me the whereabouts and time period of Marle. This was done a very long time ago. I learned that this planet and time was too far for me to travel, so I hitched aboard a lavoid. I altered his course and displeased him by doing so. That lead to the lavoid spilling my plans. The lavoid knew of me and was scared of me. I'd visited his homeplanet and killed several of his kind there.
"When we got to this planet I knew it was the wrong time period, so I decided I'd try to take over the world and have Marle brought to me when she was born. To bad it didn't work, however. Your father and his powers thwarted me. Along with an army of one-thousand I was drawn into this world.
"When I arrived here I thought it was a bad thing, but after a while I realized what a blessing it was. I soon realized this was the place I needed the Daemon Trainer to pass through. It gave me the knowledge to open the Hell Mouth and the portal to this place.
"I found Marle shortly after I learned how to create portals back to the world of the living. She was in the wrong time period for some reason, and caused me much more trouble than I had anticipated. I got frustrated and sent out a small death squad to the End of Time to see of she was there. She wasn't. She, as well as the rest of you, had been jumping time periods and it was making me mad. Finally, I caught up with you guys in some cold era."
"The Ice Age."
"Why are you doing this? Why go through all this work and toil? You're already more than powerful enough, why would you want more?"
"I don't want power. It's personal. Not for you to know."
"Oh it's very personal to me, and to this universe. Tell us."
"Yeah, or I'll beat it outta ya," Fuerte threatened.
Anoctium laughed. He pointed at Fuerte and a lightning bolt crashed into him sending Fuerte clear across the room. He landed and skidded into the wall. Fuerte got back to his feet in a flash.
"Don't threaten me, son, or I'll have to get rough!"
"You've not yet seen rough," Crono said. White energies swirled around him.
"Not so fast." Anoctium snapped his finger and Janus materialized out of black mist. "This is your friend, no? Would like to see him live?" Crono stopped his magical powers.
"How?" Crono asked. "How did you--"
"He isn't as strong as you think, he doesn't know how to control his powers. But he'll make a useful slave."
"He'd never obey you."
"Everyone bends to my will after a while."
Crono made an internal decision. "Fine. If I'm destined to die I must simply laugh!" Crono stole Janus's words and white energies swirled around him again." Anoctium looked surprised for a moment, he obviously hadn't expected that.
"You called my bluff." Janus sank into the black ground like he was falling into water. Crono released his energies into Anoctium. The battle had begun.
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