Chrono Trigger - Believe
Circa 3022 A.D. - Capital of the Guardia Empire,
Chapter IV - Day Three, A Friend... A Stranger...
I was rocked to consciousness as an explosion ripped though a nearby building. Bolting upright, I pointed my gun at the small entrance and ripped the hat from my head enabling me to perk my elfin ears up, enabling me hear better the events going on outside without giving myself away. Shouts, the clash of steel on steel, the shattering of glass. They all identified it as a looting, fortunately the absence of gunfire made me rest a little easier. It would not be long though, until Guardian troops showed up, then there would be shooting.
And I couldn't be around for that.
Slinging my railgun back over my shoulder, and pulling my hat back on. I scrambled out of the niche and quicky tried to make my way as far from the scene of the looting as I could.
In the distance, a white sheet with a red cross sewn into it hung on the side. If ever there was a place to seek sanctuary, it was there. Rollin's gun shot, though only a graze, had opened up again. Hopefully there, I could get it bandaged, and worry about it later.
Placing my pistol back in it's holster, I casually made my way down the hill of rubble to the makeshift hospital.
Opening the door, the stench of the dying washed over me, making me reconsider coming here. I turned to leave when one voice made itself heard over the pitiful moans of the wounded.
"No...", the feminine voice trailed off.
"Couldn't we use a Tonic or a Heal Potion?", another asked.
This group of mismatched people seemed horribly out of place, their clothes made them stand out most of all. Their naivete not far behind that.
I wandered over to take a look at the Nuclear Plague's latest victim.
"Who are you?", one asked.
One girl, with purple hair, broke down and began to cry over the pale boy laid out on the cot.
"Who?", another began to question as he turned around to face me.
"Who I am, is none of your concern.", I interrupted him.
"Whatever.", he scoffed.
"A friend... a stranger... it doesn't matter much, anyways."
The purple haired girl stopped in the middle of her sobs to glance at me.
"You look like you're in a bit of trouble.", I told her.
Wiping the tears from her eyes, "You could say that." She tried to stifle the sobs.
Looking down at the helpless kid, I could practically see him getting worse, "I don't think the Archs had this in mind..."
"Archs?", the girl asked.
"Archaeologists... you know... Archs." This cinched it. They couldn't possibly not know of the Archs. The world, the war between the UPR and Guardia was fueled by the relics the Archs recovered,"Where are you guys from? The moon?"
"Archaeologists? What do archaeologists have to do with this?", one asked, this one a man.
"Eeeh? Um...listen lady...we're not from this Time Era...ok...?", the purple haired one told me. Time eras. This didn't come across as a particularly sane response, which was surprising given the fact that this girl came across as being rather intelligent. I gave her a skeptical look.
"I'm having a very, very bad day...", she said. "What's an archaeologist?", another piped up. "Ah... you're having a bad day?", I said, still wearing the skeptical look. "Yes! Hell yes!", she fired back, "Two of my best friends are going to die, and you wonder if I'm having a bad day?!"
"Archaeologists are people that study the past through different things that they've found...", one tried to explain to the first girl.
"The Archs recover relics from before the holocaust...", I added.
"Holocaust. The Mana Holocaust?", the purple haired one asked.
"Oh.", the one girl, the one who asked about the Archs replied. Our answer didn't really seem to enlighten her that much.
"Mana Holocaust? Wha...? No... THE Holocaust... about 200 years ago." This time era thing was really beginning to bug me now. Someone born in this day and age could not possibly not be aware of the holocaust.
The purple haired girl shook her head, "Whatever... Is there any way to heal them?!"
"What exactly happened 200 years ago?", the first man asked.
"Doubtful... I haven't seen anything like this, but I'm sure it had to do with the Nuclears we used."
"Nuclears?!", purple asked again.
I paused for a moment, before answering,"The cure would be to leave..."
"I can't leave them!", purple shouted in protest.
"Six months ago, my Archs found these relics... Nuclears they called them.", I began to explain.
"And let them die here?", the second man cut in.
"Nuclears?!", another girl asked, trying to keep the conversation going one way.
"Then get them out... although outside of this god-forsaken city won't be much better.", I tried to answer the second man. There were too many people here. Too many questions being asked.
"No, you don't understand.", purple cut in, "I can't let them die... I..."
I turned to the first girl, "Nuclears... they'll bathe miles and miles in fire... the Ultimate weapon." Her eyes widened at my explanation, "That sounds worse than Lavos..." "Yeah...", one of the men replied. Purple's gaze fell once more to the man in the cot, "I can't..." "I have no intention of being around if, more like when, another one hits...", I told them. What was with me? Why should I care about this group of misfits? "Well, I'm not leaving my friends like this.", purple told me. "Leave this place... it's as good as dead.", I fired back. It wasn't a request, so much as a demand. "So... Father killed a natural menace to let it fall to a man-made one...", a girl who had remained silent until now elected to say. Natural menace? Hmm... "Well, guess what, Miss Bitch!", purple turned to face me, anger crossing her face, " Screw off! I'll risk getting blown away to save my friends!" Growling to herself, the turned away, looking for someone. Fire flashed across my eyes for an instant as they bored their way into her back. Why am I doing this? I don't need this crap, especially not from her. What did she know of here? Nothing! What right did she have to question me! I'm trying to keep her and her damned friends alive! "Lynx??", the first man snapped me from my glare at purple. Looking down, I noted a large cat. I hadn't noticed before. Damn; I need to pay more attention to these things. "Lynx? Is he sick too?", purple asked as she returned. Another man opened the door, stepping into the large, open area makeshift hospital. "George!", purple blurted. George. At last, a name I could work with. "Everyone is sick! Now Lynx is too!" "Um... Mariah," this George began, "What is this? Sick of what?" "The plague!", purple... Mariah replied. "Plague?", he said, not quite believing it. "Yes!", Mariah said, "Derek and Leeta... Lynx too..." "The Nuclear Plague.", I corrected. Better still, more names, the sick ones, Derek and Leeta. "There has to be a cure!", the first man blurted out. I still didn't know his name. "If you want to save your friends, don't try and do it here.", again I offered. "Wait!", Mariah shouted, and turned to hunt down a nurse. "What does "nuclear" mean?", George asked. "We need to get out of here... back to the UPR...", I muttered under my breath. While these strangers wouldn't care that I mentioned my homeland, a nurse, or even a patient might let set of the alarm. "Do you have..any...any idea on where a cure may be made or found?", I overheard Mariah asking a nurse. "I don't know, George.", the first man replied. "Dead.... dead. We're all dead... and I can't even kill what's killing us...", one of the girls muttered, pacing near the foot of Derek's cot. "It's a big fire. As bright as the sun.", I tried to answer George. I had to stifle a twisted laugh, I wasn't even sure what a Nuclear was myself! "Well, you MAY find SOMETHING at the bio lab to the north...but...it's been ruined for years!", the nurse offered to Mariah. "Good enough!", she replied, "Guys, we're going there!" Mariah wandered over to Derek's cot, "I'll help you and Leeta, or die trying."
"How long do they have to live?", the first man asked. Perhaps the most intelligent thing I had heard out of his mouth since first meeting them.
"About 24 hours after infection.", the nurse replied.
"We have to hurry! Let's go!", he said.
"Let's go! We'll save them!", Mariah shouted, now in a considerably better mood.
The first man, and the quiet girl made for the door.
"Coming, or will you run too?", Mariah asked me.
"If you're gonna do anything, be discreet about it. The Guardia soldiers will take you out if you look the least bit suspicious.", I told her, "Yeah... I can't let you walk blindly into death. Count me in."
Mariah smiled, "Let's go.", she ran out the door, following the others.
"Where?", George asked, confused by the sudden action.
"The bio lab...up north!", Mariah fired back.