The Fates Have Decreed
By Tritoch Magicite
The massive dinosaur-machine grinned its skeletal grin down at the companions and let out a deafening roar. Azala, quite certain of his security, also, roared in a premature proclamation of victory, but his voice sounded feeble when compared to that of the monstrousity whose shoulder he rode on. Crono and Marle both cautiously fell back a step, already wondering where they would hit the thing to slow it. It was years beyond anything even of theirown time, some strange mix of a Tyrannosaurus and machine. Most of its skin had been replaced by a steel-like metal that protected it even further, and perhaps the most dangerous feature of it was that Azala controlled it fully with his telepathy. Ayla, however, took no notice of the odds. Screaming a battle cry to her god of war, she leaped impossibly high, directly at Azala. The lizard, however, was much too powerful to be defeated by such a simple tactic, and with a single thought, he sent one of the T-rex's foreclaws shooting out, smashing Ayla backwards into the castle wall. The stone itself cracked under the tremendous force, and Marle cried out, thinking Ayla doomed for sure. But Ayla was not entirely human
Growling in rage, the cavewoman leaped agilly to her feet and charged once more, but this time directly at Crono. "Crono!" She shouted, "Jump attack!"
Even with her primitive speech, Crono understood clearly, having used this tactic with her before. Drawing his sword, he leaped straight at Ayla as soon as she was close enough, and without slowing a beat, the cavewoman easily caught him and used her incredible strength to throw him straight up into the air, fifty feet and more. Azala, stunned by this sudden and unexpected move, could make little sense of what had just occured. Little sense, that is, until Crono came back down, sword drawn, and plunged his weapon against the monster's back. The sword itself nearly snapped at the incredible preassure as it hit the metal, but the weapon proved the stronger and soon sunk deep into the creature's back. It roared in agony and rage, and immediately begin shaking from side to side furiously, trying to dislodge the painful weapon and its user.
Crono clung stubbornly to his sword, though the monster's frenzied squirming was knocking him about quite painfully, and waited for the opportunity to draw the weapon free and strike again. In truth, the dinosaur was doing alot of Crono's work for him, as the blade dug about inside the wound with each shake.
Azala watched the spectacle, gaping at this warrior's incredible attack. With this single thrust, the young man had seriously injured his masterpiece, the unbeatable opponent, the one that Azala would use to triumph over the 'apes'. "It cannot be..." he whispered. Still, he believed he would win. He had always won. And the T-rex's cut would heal, in time. Even now, it was still full of fight. So enthralled by the combat, was he, that he never noticed Ayla leap at him again. The two landed in a flailing heap of arms and legs, each of the fighters using any weapon they could find: feet, fists, even teeth. Each was hit several times, but neither felt any pain; both consumed by their hatred for the other. In all of the world, there was nothing a human had liked more than killing a reptite, and there was nothing that outweighed the pleasure a reptite felt when it heard the death cry of a human. Normally Ayla would have been able to destroy Azala easily, but the blow from the T-rex had hurt her more than she had pretended, and she now found herself battling desperately just to stay on even terms with her Reptitan counterpart.
Marle watched all of these events anxiously, truly torn. She wanted the help Crono, but she feared hitting him with all of the dinosaur's frenzied gyrations. And Ayla was out of the question; she and Azala were locked in combat. It would be absoloutely impossible to do something to one that would not affect the other.
Crono nearly lost conciousness as the creature shook yet again, but still he hung on. Finally, the beast seemed to develop a new idea. Craning its neck around to try and look over its back, the creature opened its mouth and shot a blast of fire at the troublesome foe.
Crono knew what was coming as soon as he saw the beast open its mouth, for even before it fired he felt the extreme heat radiating from the gaping jaw. Realizing the time had finally come to make his retreat, Crono pulled with all his strength on the sword, removing it, and leaped away just in time to avoid the blast. He landed behind the creature, and ducked just as the beast lashed its tail at him, a blow powerful enough to kill him even if it hadn't thrown him from the bridge and into the chasm. The creature was promptly distracted from its chosen target, however, as Marle finally entered the fray, sending an arrow directly into the one of the beast's eyes.
Never had the creature known such pain! The subsequent roar of absoloute rage and agony deafened everyone present for a moment, and even made Ayla and Azala pause in the middle of their battle. They were also the first to recover, however, as Ayla's bloodlust quickly reutrned. Seeing her opponent distracted, Ayla seized the advantage and sent a powerful kick directly into Azala's groin, while punching out with both fists in an attack that snapped Azala's head backwards. Sheer rage brought Azala back into the fight, however, and he roared as he countered with a mighty snap of his jaws, which Ayla easily dodged. The fight was on again.
Marle and Crono recovered shortly after, though they both felt a distinct ringing in their ears and found that they could no longer hear the sounds of Azala and Ayla fighting. Ignoring that fact, Marle suddenly fell deep into the recesses of her mind, searching for the magical energy deep inside herself. Seeing with its one remaining eye a vulnerable opponent, the monster opened its mouth, preparing another killing blast of fire. Suddenly, however, Marle's head shot up. Quickly and clearly she shouted, "Ice!" and the monster immediately felt its fires stopped and its mouth numbed as a blast of freezing air slammed into it, hitting so hard it seemed like a solid object.
Crono, still on the other side of the beast, was beginning a magical attack of his own. "Bolt!" He cried, and the creature felt yet another new burst of pain as a bolt of lightning shot in, damaging heavily its mostly metal skin.
The creature was slammed repeatedly by a barrage of spells, and it felt more than saw blackness beginning to seep into its vision. Incredously, then, it felt something, that certain feeling that all natural creatures know.
It felt the approach of death.
Still refusing to surrender, the beast utilized its final weapon: Claws and teeth. Running as best it could, the creature began loping toward Marle, intending to kill at least one of its own killers before dying.
Crono and Marle began to feel yet another core of dread as they simultaneously realized the creature's goal. Marle looked about frantically for a means of escape but quickly dismissed the idea. They were on a bridge- where could she run? And even if she tried, the creature would easily be able to catch up with her before she could reach the safety of the other side.
Crono, however, was not so easily deterred. Desperation driving him to a new level of power, he sent bolt after bolt crashing into the creature, trying desperately to drive it off the bridge and into the ravine before it killed Marle. It was in vain. The creature was too heavily damaged; it would die. But not before it sent Marle into the realm of death as well. Helpless, all he could do was scream, "Marle!!!"
Engaged in her own private struggle, Ayla snarled in hatred and victory as she finally gained the upper hand. Azala teetered on the brink of conciousness, laying dazed on the ground with Ayla standing just over him. Ayla raised her hands above her and cupped them together, preparing to end the suffering and the pain that her people had endured at the claws of the reptites for some many long decades. A sudden scream from Crono distracted her suddenly, and she looked up, seeing the dinosaur charge the helpless girl. Crono merely looked on in pain, unable to do anything, but unable to stop watching, either. Ayla processed the events unfolding around her in a split second, and realized that she had to decide between one or the other. Kill Azala, the tormentor of her people and lifelong foe, or save Marle, a girl whom she had only just met. The choice was an easy one.
Marle closed her eyes and braced herself, not wanting to view to wretched the death that awaited her. Only a second later, she felt a brush of air tug at her clothes, and clenched her eyes shut a little tighter, thinking the T-Rex upon her. After a second passed and she felt nothing, however, she dared to cautiously open one eye. The sight that she saw left her gaping in surprise.
Ayla raced past Marle and in at the creature's side, taking comfort in the fact that it didn't seem to notice her approach. The beast wasn't noticing much of anything anymore. An arrow protruded from one of its eyes, and what seemed to be practically a fountain of blood shot from the vicious gash on its back. It had multiple scorch marks where lightning strikes had hit it, and its jaw and forelegs were actually coated in a thin layer of ice. It had found its focus, the only thing it was aware of anymore: Marle.
Ayla had other ideas. Crying out to her gods for the second time that night, she crashed into one of the creature's rear legs. Pushing with all the strength she had ever had, she lifted, in one jerking motion, the creature's back leg, making it lose what little balance it had left. Azala, who had recovered enough to roll over and watch the display, looked on at the feat, muttering, "Impossible..." under his breath in an awed voice. Ten humans couldn't do what she just had. Twenty couldn't do that. And yet Ayla had lifted the creature's leg, all by herself.
Ayla wasn't quite finished yet. With the monster still off balance, she let go of the leg and launched herself into the air, striking at the T-Rex's lower body with everything she had left- and knocking it off the bridge. The creature, practically already dead from the wounds it had received, toppled into the ravine without a sound, hitting the ground only several seconds later.
Ayla stood defiantly, her, breath coming heavily. Not saying anything, she merely looked at Marle, and the girl understood and nodded faintly. Without a word, all three of the friends collapsed in exhaustion. Their break, however, proved a short one.
"Ayla!" Kino cried out as his Terradactyl and the two he had taken with him landed on the bridge. Surveying the entire scene, he quickly determined what had happened here and rushed to Ayla's side, kneeling beside her and praying she wasn't dead. "Ayla..." he breathed more than said. His heart leaped in joy when the woman stirred and opened her eyes at the sound of her name.
"Kino..." Ayla replied weakly.
"Ayla!" Kino cried out, overjoyed.
"Kino... why you here?" Her question snapped him back to reality, and Kino remembered the urgency of his mission.
"Ayla... Red star is falling! Going hit here! Must get out!"
"Red star is falling?" Ayla said, suddenly wide awake and pushing herself to a sitting position. She looked up intently and realized with horror that Kino's observation was true. The star seemed much larger than usual, and was getting even larger by the minute. It didn't seem possible. Yet, Ayla was seeing it with her own eyes even now. "Quick," she commanded, Kino, assuming the role of leader once more. "Get Crono and Marle to Terradactyl. Hurry." Kino readily complied, and Ayla pushed herself to her feet with great effort. Suddenly she remembered her entire reason for this fight and rushed over the Azala. Her eyes widened at the sight.
Azala had taken even worse wounds than Ayla. Fatal wounds. All of her hatred suddenly washed away at the sight of the now-pathetic looking creature. When she looked at him now, she felt only pity and respect. Azala was a leader, just like Ayla. He had fought for his species dominance, just as Ayla had. And he had killed his opponents, just as Ayla had. Motivated by her respect, Ayla said to him, "Azala! Come on! We escape together!"
Azala heard her clearly. "No!" He stated emphatically, drawing upon his remaining strength to be firm. "I have asked the fates... and they have answered. Can it actually be that you weakling humans are to rule this planet?"
"No! ...... Soon, the red star wll fall, staining the earth red... then, the planet will freeze, and remain frozen, for hundreds of years..."
"Hahaha... you humans will wish you had went along with us!"
Kino looked to the sky. The red star was beginning to fully blot it out now, and the vibrations were much worse. "Ayla!" he shouted. "No time! Have to leave now!" Ayla reluctantly turned away then, running to Kino and climbing on behind him.
"Azala!" came her final cry as the Terradactyl's began to fly away.