1219: Call of Retribution – Chapter Four

Title:  Call of Retribution
Author: Fenrir
Media:  Video Game
Topic: Chrono Trigger
Genre:  Drama
URL: Chapter Four
Critiqued by Lyle

Well, hello!  I’m back and ready to tackle another chapter of CoR.  Since it’s been a couple weeks, let’s recap before we get started, all right?  *glances over her notes*  Uhm, let’s see here…

Crono, who is being played by a whiny 13-year-old, and his friend Lucca, who inexplicably is trying to flirt with him even though she’s never shown the slightest interest in having a sexuality of any sort, receive an emergency communiqué from Robo.  He straight up tells them his mother is back and that something bad will happen.  For reasons unknown, Lucca interprets that as “all’s well” and doesn’t understand why Crono is charging off to get the Epoch and check the situation out.  Crono, with the help of Marle, manages to get to where [generic scientists] are examining the Epoch in a dank and drippy dungeon.  Lucca catches up and gives out weapons, since she hoarded them post-Lavos for [reasons], and the three manage to steal the Epoch back, even though canon would lead us to believe they never lost the Epoch in the first place.  And everything is inexplicably in boldface.

Right!  That’s all done.  Let’s do it!

Chapter 4~

*steals the tilde and puts in the the box*

“Damn, that was too close!”

“For sure!”

“Why would you think so, you actually shot someone…”

Who the fuck is talking?!

“*sigh* Chrono it was all in self defence…”

*smacks [Speaker] with Carlos*

Oh, I forgot to turn him on.

*smacks again*

BZZZZT!

Much better!  Now, where was I?  Oh, yes…

Don’t put actions into the dialogue!  You’re not tweeting your lunch to someone!  Have some pride in your work!

All around the Epoch the darkness loomed. It seemingly devoured the small time ship and hungrily churned around as if to steal away one of the three passengers. Marle huddled up close to Lucca and as Chrono glanced back he felt himself yearning to be the one beside her. As if there were something between Lucca and Marle…that would be just creepy.

Oh, goody.  We’ve run into the homophobic portion of the fic!

6aa1dcad54994166944843caf8c6ce81

Letting go of the controls, since he didn’t have to be in charge( the darkness and shift of time guided the Epoch ) he leaned back, not keen on the eerie silence.

The darkness was steering the ship.  Right.  And, if I’m not mistaken, traveling via Epoch is not a silent thing.  There’s a definite WOooooooOOOOOoo noise that accompanies travel, as well as a swirling blueish-purplish background.

I couldn't find a good video of it, but here's a picture of the "time travel" you typically experience in Chrono Trigger

I couldn’t find a good video of it, but here’s a picture of the “time travel” you typically experience in Chrono Trigger

Although when you use the Epoch I think you technically just pop into existence in your chosen era without the purple interlude.  I may be wrong.  It’s been a bit since I’ve played the game and, as I’m in the middle of FF:T right now, I don’t have time for 10 hours of CT to find out.

“So what do you think we will find when we…get back to Robo’s time…?”

I’m guessing you’ll find it overrun with killer robots.  Again.

Marle shifted uneasily and Lucca tilted her head. “I have no clue. It seems urgent, whatever it is.”

*rubs forehead and flips back to Chapter Two*

And I quote:

….my mother…..is repaired….reasons unknown. Is the Black Omen awakened?There seems to be bad life around….

What part of that is difficult to understand?!  Mother Brain is awake and causing havoc!

“Oh I hope it’s not bad…I’m too exhausted,” Marle cooed to herself.

*twitch*  When did you become such a priss, Marle?   Oh, right, when Fenrir wrote you.

“Probably is I mean… Robo seemed anxiously awaiting our call…”Chrono replied softly and wished he didn’t when Marle frowned sadly.

“But still, I mean, it’s all about ‘ifs’ and ‘seems’ and I mean, we don’t know for sure yet what is going on, so let’s not worry ourselves,” Lucca prodded, brushing her hair back behind her ear.

*grinds her teeth*

You know something bad is happening!  If Mother Brain is awake, it isn’t going to mean sunshine, rainbows, and unicorn farts!  You need to mentally prepare yourselves for a fight!

“Yeah,” Marle agreed, with a half smile, “maybe you’re right,”

No, she’s not right.  She’s giving you a false sense of security that you won’t have to get into a fight.

Chrono merely shook his head but said nothing. He knew it had to be something. Putting off the inevitable would only prolong them into more disaster.

Now, not to be a pessimist here, but if you put off going to help Robo, nothing will happen that will affect you.  One, you have a time machine so you can always zap to the point before disaster and fix it, and two, you’re from the past.  Nothing you do in the future will affect your timeline!  Unless Mother Brain figures out time travel and manages to zap herself to 1000 AD, you’re safe!

But he promised himself he would be there for Marle if she fell…always…

How is that related?  You’re not rushing off to save Marle.  You’re rushing off to save Robo.  If anything, your actions say you’ve made a promise to always be there for Robo should he fall.

*taps finger against her lips*  I’ll be right back.

*le Google montage*

Oh, thank all that is holy.  Fanfiction.net has NO romance fics pairing Crono and Robo.  We’ve dodged a bullet there.

“Chrono look we’re at the end!” Lucca cried out, pointing ahead of them.

This is a very long time travel considering how instantaneous it is in the game.  I’m not sure whether to be happy that it isn’t using a game mechanic, or annoyed that Fenrir filled the time traveling time with banal chatter.

Chrono whirled around and took control. The next thing he knew sunlight flooded in his eyes as they emerged from the time warp.

They were now in 2300AD and hovering gently in the air. It was sunny out and as usual, no one was walking about the earth; just huddled inside the various built Domes and factories. The sun was darkening if believable, always feeling like an eclipse. But otherwise, everything was normal. This place was very different from the time they first came and saw how ruined, bleak and deserted everything was. Now, the smell of death was gone since the destroy of Lavos. Yes, it did have a small, a sick, decaying smell of the dead but now…it was vanquished. Chrono immediately felt relieved he did not smell it. Breaking out of his trance, he took to steering the Epoch.

*falls out of her chair*

The purple!  It’s back, and it hurts us, precious!  It hurts us!

A few minutes later, Chrono arrived at the number one factory ruins. He didn’t know it’s name, but knew it by arriving here in the past and helping Robo, and destroying the R Series. Now, he guided the Epoch in and landed at a small air landing pad.

It’s just called The Factory.  And it is the only factory in 2300AD.  And I’m pretty damn sure it didn’t have an air landing pad.

He helped Lucca and Marle out then the three stood and looked around. The factory was rebuilt and clean of course, with no random monsters running loose. Various people flitted about the machines and computers, so updated, Chrono and Marle and hardly even Lucca knew where to begin. Lucca’s eyes were shining as she watched various people control the devices until Chrono led her towards a main corridor.

And casual sexism as well!  Marle and Lucca never ask for help with getting in and out of the Epoch.  They don’t need it.  They leap out just like everyone else!  That’s one great thing about Chrono Trigger: in a time when females in games were typically just healers and love interests, physically weaker and cast in support roles, Crono Trigger had not one, but three kick ass female characters that could hold their own.  Yeah, Marle is a healer and Ayla had one weaker healing ability, but you could put all three ladies in a party together and they’d own.  Fenrir is going to dumb them down to useless, I just know it.

On a different note, I’m rather pleased that our author hasn’t forgotten than 2300AD was fixed up after they saved the world.  *passes Fenrir half a redemption cookie*  You’d get a whole one but you don’t deserve it for all that purple earlier.

“This way genius…”He snickered softly, as the three were stopped in the metal hallway. It was a bit cold and the clash of machinery was heard all around.

When did Crono become such a jerk?  I don’t think he’d ever talk to Lucca like that.

A hunched over man dressed in fashionable brown robes glided up to them with a gentle smile, his eyes shining into Marle’s.

Obi-Wan!

“I welcome you, dear ancestor and friends to the new world of 2300AD,”

He spoke with a kind, hearty voice. Marle squealed happily.

“How are you and your people Doan? You seem to be getting along quite well!”

Oh.  It’s Doan.  That works, too.

He chuckled, and nodded, “We’ve always been good. However it’s unlikely for you to believe that, since you know what would of happened if you hadn’t banished that bloody evil.”

*quirks a brow*  Fenrir remembered that the timeline would have changed, yet he mentioned there was still a decaying smell to 2300AD as if it was gradually changing back from being like that instead of having never been like that.

Time travel hurts my brain.

“You’re too kind sir. So I believe you reviewed that computer disc I made up to show you what happened in the other situation?” Lucca smiled, stepping forth.

Doan’s smile faded fast. “Yes, I cannot believe that was my home before you all came and stepped in to save it,”

Doan is accepting it all pretty easily, come to think of it.  For all he knows, she made it all up.   She even admitted to having made it up.

“We did what we wanted to do. I’m just glad things are back to normal around here.” Chrono added, pleased with Doan’s politeness.

Do if you didn’t feel like defeated Lavos, the future would still be screwed, huh?  Nice.  Usually heroes are more like, “We did what needed to be done.”  “We did what any good person would have.”  “We did what was best for the world.”  Nope, this asshat is all “We did whatever we wanted.  It’s cool that it benefited you in the end.”

Lucca seemed to be staring past Doan.”….May we…?”

He nodded and stepped aside. “Of course, go wherever you like.”

“Feel free to much about in my factory!  I’m sure nothing wrong can happen when people from 1300 years ago play with advanced technology!”

“Sorry to stop then run,” Chrono put in, nodding graciously to the man.

Once more, he smiled, “No no, not at all,”

Lucca nodded to him then set off alone down the dank corridor.

Marle hugged Doan and said sweetly, “Take care, we’ll be back,”

“Oh I sure will,” the elder said, then walked on past them.

*slow blink*  Sooooo, Doan doesn’t even want to know why they’ve suddenly come to visit and don’t’ have time to stick around?  As the leader of the people of 2300AD, you’d think he might be a bit more curious what his ancestors want.

Chrono and Marle ran to catch up with Lucca. “Hey where’re you going so fast?” Chrono asked her. Lucca seemed determined about something and she had a hard look in her eye.

“I’m trying to locate an empty computer room where I could take the necessary time needed to scourge some data to figure out what kind of predicament where’re in,” She explained firmly.

You know, you could have asked Doan if he could lend you some computer time or, I don’t know, asked him if he knew what was going on and why Robo contacted you so urgently.  No?  Fine, we’ll do it your way and wander around aimlessly for a while, wasting valuable time.

“Aren’t we going to find Robo?” Marle asked quizzingly, walking faster to keep up with Lucca’s pace.

*BZZZZZZZT!*

Stop making words up!  You’re not Shakespeare.

“Yes, and when we do, I’m going to use him to help me find the information we need.”

Or you could, ya know, ask him…

“And what about us?” Chrono put in, as he walked on the other side of Lucca. What he just said made his stomach leap.

Why would his stomach leap at asking her what she wants them to do while she info-hunts?  Does he think she’s going to tell him to go have some alone time with Marle?  It would make more sense for her to ask them to go ask Doan if he’s noticed anything odd going on.

“I don’t know, do whatever,” Lucca shot back.

“Wander off, get lost, cause trouble, whatevs.”

Chrono halted but Lucca didn’t notice. Neither did Marle. As he stared after her, he wondered if Lucca knew about how much he felt for Marle.

That doesn’t make any sense!  Why would her telling him to go do whatever while she was busy mean she’s onto what he feels about Marle?!  It’s like this author is trying to shove down our throats Crono’s insecurity with his feelings for Marle by making every fucking thing somehow relate to it, even things that are so far away from related to it.

“Hey Chrono, in here!” Marle called down from the hall. Her and Lucca were standing by a doorway, Lucca’s hand firmly on the handle. She looked impatiently at Chrono. He ran down, then entered the room with them.

They walked into an empty room. It was partially dark, but Lucca could make out the dull gleam of Robo’s body. The three moved in and shut the door.

“Finding Robo in the first room you looked in” is brought to you by the PCC!

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There was nothing in the room but Robo and his seekers. Robo was on the floor, as if he was tired out. Lights flickered in his eyes when he saw them, but he made no effort to get up.

Lazy robot.

“Good morning Master Lucca, master Chrono, Master Marle…”

*smacks Robo*  The hell is wrong with you?

When Lucca fixes Robo when they first find him, he calls Lucca “Madam Lucca” and she corrects him that he is to just call them all by their first names.  He assents and that’s the last of that.  And he would never call two women “Master.”  He would refer to them as either “Mistress,” as he did when he first met Marle, or “Madam” as he did with Lucca.

Lucca bent down in concern, like a mother to her child. “Robo, what’s wrong?”

“I’ve been locked up.”

In a room that was obviously unlocked since Lucca was able to open the door and stroll right in.  That’s like how I can close the kennel door and not lock it, and my dog will think he’s stuck in there.

“Whatever for?” Marle asked, sitting down beside him.

Lucca crawled in back of Robo and dug in her shoulder bag for tools.

“My mother…”

“What do you mean Robo?” Chrono bent down and observed the worn out giant.

Giant?  *slow blink*

cast-of-characters

He doesn’t look terribly giant to me…

Lucca motioned for Chrono to be silent, then poured a dark liquid into Robo’s repair system.

She poured a dark liquid into his repair system.

Did Lucca just dump a shit ton of old, dirty oil into Robo’s circuits?!  Welp, he’s dead.

“She has been calling me,” Robo said, in much more detail, “I can sometimes hear her. I beg Doan and his people to make it stop but they accuse me of malfunctioning.I am doing no such thing and so they have locked me up to restrain me,”

I repeat, in a room with an unlocked door.

“That’s terrible!” Marle expressed, with deep sympathy.

It really is horrible that Robo never tried the door handle before assuming he was stuck in there.

Lucca still toyed around with the back of his head.” Indeed. You should come with us for a bit. We believe you.” She wiped her hands on her shirt and straightened up. Robo seemed satisfied and also stood up with a creak. He was like an eight foot tall monster.

No where in anything I can find does it say how tall Robo is.  In fact, all his official art work make him look barely taller than Ayla. *points to the picture above*  See?

“Thank you Lucca.”

“Wait, hold on a sec,” Chrono mumbled. Everyone looked at him and he appeared to be thinking. After a moment he looked up and spoke, “If your Mother is up and running, how could she be? Repaired by someone who wants her up again…”

Would she have even existed in the altered timeline?  You defeated her in the old future.  So has she been rebuilt/repaired or has she been invented?  Robo did not vanish when they defeated Lavos, implying that he was somehow still created in the future, but if he was still created because Mother Brain was also created, who killed her the second time to prevent her from being still alive today?

*rubs temples*  Time travel… it hurts us, precious!

“What are you getting at, Chrono?” Marle asked in a shaky voice.

That there’s someone out there rebuilding Mother Brain.  Please pay attention, Marle.  We don’t want to have to repeat everything twice because you can’t focus.

He started to pace, and deliberately avoided all of their gazes. “I’m thinkin someone wants her back up because they know how twisted she is. C’mon, no one here in this era would want her back up, because they know what’ll happen if they get associated with the robots again,”

Now there’s a huge leap in logic.  Mother brain is twisted and hates humans.  Someone is bringing back Mother Brain.  Therefore, that person must know how horrible she was and, therefore, they’re obviously not from this time!

I cannot be the only one that finds that so utterly contrived, can I?

“World domination by A.I.” Lucca mumbled. “That’s why Robo is being treated so badly, they’re afraid!”

Wouldn’t you be if you found out you were one crazy computer system away from extinction?

“Exactly my point. So there has to be a reason the Mother Brain is functioning again. Someone did it intentionally. Someone…”

Marle backed away with tears in her eyes shaking her head, “No NO!”

Get a hold of yourself!

Get a hold of yourself!

She screeched out what seemed to be in pain, rubbing and clutching at her head, as she continued to howl.

“Marle!” Chrono yelled, running over to where she stood. She collapsed in his arms and he went down on his knees trying to silence her, as she sobbed uncontrollably on his chest.

“What happened?!” Lucca gasped, turning frantically to Robo.

More rampant casual sexism is happening.  Marle has officially been turned useless.  Thanks, Fenrir.

“My mother is contacting my friends as well but…it is much more deadly because she is not a machine to withstand it all…”

What?  Let me see if I can dissect that a bit.

Robo’s mother, Mother Brain, is contacting Robo’s friends.  “As well” as what, I’m not sure.  Robo is contacting them, and she’s contacting them as well?  Maybe.  Crono has made greater leaps in logic than that so let’s just go with it.  MB is contacting Robo’s friends.  Her contacting them is much more deadly than [deadly thing] that hasn’t been mentioned before, and the reasoning behind that is because she is a machine that cannot survive whatever “it all” means.  I’m getting the impression that making long distance phone calls into the past is going to kill Mother Brain.

This is why trying to sound fancy is a bad thing.  Your reader leaves confused and with a vaguely moldy taste in their mouth.

“Why is she doing this?!” Lucca cried, as she looked from him to Chrono nursing Marle.

I’m all for public nursing, but is this really the time, Crono?

“I do not know…maybe she is preparing us for the greater evil that will rise above even my mother…”

So… Lavos is back?  Because that’s pretty evil.  However, I doubt Mother Brain would bring them all together again to fight Lavos, unless she thinks Lavos will kill off all the robots as well as the humans.  All Mother Brain cares about is AI life.  When Lavos erupted from the crust of the Earth in 2000AD, she really didn’t give a rip.  It took care of a lot of the pesky humans she was trying to kill off, anyway.

Thankfully, that’s the end of the confusion for this week.  We only have two more chapters to go!  Chapter five is very short and chapter six is formatted oddly.  I’ll probably try to do them both together in one last installment.  See you then!

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15 Comments on “1219: Call of Retribution – Chapter Four”

  1. agigabyte says:

    Oh, I forgot to turn him on.

    Cain: In three… two… one…

    Goddess: *Teleports into the riffing room* That’s what she said!

  2. agigabyte says:

    The purple! It’s back, and it hurts us, precious! It hurts us!

    Cain: Okay, I won’t do it. This time…

  3. Tie Dye Mage says:

    What part of that is difficult to understand?! Mother Brain is awake and causing havoc!

    Quick, somebody call Samus! She can probably end this fic early!

  4. TacoMagic says:

    A few minutes later, Chrono arrived at the number one factory ruins.

    So, author, why is this factory in ruins, again?

    • TacoMagic says:

      The factory was rebuilt and clean of course, with no random monsters running loose.

      Author, please add “ruins” to the terms to look up before you try to use them. Also, add “rebuilt” as that isn’t what has happened to make The Factory all fresh and clean.

  5. TacoMagic says:

    I’m just glad things are back to normal around here.

    *Squints*

    You know, before you all stepped in with your time travel shenanigans, everything was normal. It may not have been sunshine and roses, but the timeline was what it was, and then you changed it. So if things are “back to normal” it means there’s an apocalypse going down all over this place.

  6. TacoMagic says:

    She poured a dark liquid into his repair system.

    Did Lucca just dump a shit ton of old, dirty oil into Robo’s circuits?! Welp, he’s dead.

    Either that, or she just gave him some coffee to perk him up.

  7. TacoMagic says:

    Robo did not vanish when they defeated Lavos, implying that he was somehow still created in the future, but if he was still created because Mother Brain was also created, who killed her the second time to prevent her from being still alive today?

    More to the point, would she even be evil/malfunctioning in this timeline? It’s likely that her malfunction was due either directly to Lavos’ influence or just to the general damage and decay of her systems following the apocalypse. Or even just going insane because she’s a 300+ year-old AI who hasn’t really been able to socialize recently. It seems to me that she’d still have been around, but would function correctly as the central management system of the biospheres. And that’s if, for some reason, the people of 2300AD were really all about using a 300 year-old computer system.

    The only reason she was in 2300AD the first time was that she survived the apocalypse and there wasn’t anyone around to turn her off. In the new timeline you would think she either would have been outmoded for new technology, or at least upgraded a few times since then. Her showing up here as a big bad is all kinds of insane plot shenanigans.

    So, in a weird way it’s kinda plausible that she might be dead here. Just instead of somebody taking her down because she’s evil, she would have been killed by obsolescence. That being the case, if somebody DID revive her, there’s no threat. She’s 300 year-old technology. She’s be easily defeated by a wristwatch with some out-of-date antivirus software.

    • TacoMagic says:

      Actually, pretty sure she was the template for the FATE supercomputer in the altered timeline. Since it was Bethlazar who made FATE, it’s unlikely Mother Brain would have gone evil in the altered timeline. He was a bit of a crazy old coot, but I don’t think he was unhinged enough to base the central processing unit of his time-research facility off of an evil computer who tried to eradicate all life on the planet.

      Granted, FATE also turned evil over the course of her 13,000 year operating life; though it was more complex as she was operating under some initial orders to protect the timeline, which it turns out she was doing pretty well despite also doing some more directly evil things. So maybe it’s just a general design flaw if you let these AIs run a little too long.

      In either case, if anything should be a problem right now, it should be FATE going evil a bit early at the Chronopolis Institute.

      • "Lyle" says:

        Indeed. I had not thought of that. But, of course, neither did our author.

      • TacoMagic says:

        I’m getting the impression that this author may not have played Cross, which did a ton to flesh out the altered timeline (as well swirl it into a crazy mess due to Home World).

        Knowing your material is for chumps.


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