Crono and his companions challenged everything in order to save the future. Still, they were only one group of adventurers to travel the sea of time. Now a new group of heroes have their own challe...
What was the start of all this?
When did the cogs of fate begin to turn?
Perhaps it is impossible to grasp that answer now,
From deep within the flow of time...
But, for a certainty, back then,
We loved so many, yet hated so much,
We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...
Yet even then we ran like the wind,
Whilst our laughter echoed,
Under cerulean skies.
-POEM FROM CHRONO CROSS
"Come on Flare...wake up!"
The young man grunted something that was still too sleepy sounding to be considered words, as he rolled over in his bed and futilely tried to ignore his waker. Unfortunately the girl proved to be persistent. More persistent even, than he was stubborn.
Flare brushed his fiery red hair out of eyes as he gazed up at the girl who had just woken him from the sweetest (though now fading) dream. His face brightened as soon as his mind cleared up enough to recognize her.
Gina stood by the bed with her arms crossed over her chest with a look of feigned motherly sternness on her face. Her long strawberry blonde hair was pulled into a simple ponytail, and she wore a plain blue dress. Nothing fancy, yet she was as beautiful as she had ever been.
"C'mon now, you didn't need to wake me in such a rude fashion," he said with mock annoyance.
"And how else am I supposed to wake the deepest sleeper in all of Guardia?" she retorted.
"I am not the deepest sleeper in all of Guardia," he said, "In all of Truce maybe, but not all of Guardia."
She couldn't suppress her giggles or her smile. Giving him a quick peck on the cheek she started for the door, "Hurry up and get dressed. We're supposed to go and visit Taban today and we're already running late. I'll be waiting downstairs with Tai."
Flare gave a great yawn as he pulled himself out of his bed. As much as he wanted to slip back into his dream world they had all promised Taban to come and visit today. While he might not be so great at remembering his appointments, he wasn't one to break a promise. Especially a promise made to a friend.
He got dressed quickly. After throwing on a clean pair of pants and a (halfway) clean shirt he wasted no time in lacing up his boots and tying his trademark white bandana around his head. Not only did Flare think his bandana looked cool, but it also kept his great mess of red hair out of his eyes.
Flare walked down the stairs to the bottom floor of the orphanage. For as long as he could remember he had lived in the Truce Orphanage with his best friend Tai. The two of them had both turned eighteen recently so they'd have to leave soon. Not that it mattered much to Flare. To them the orphanage was just a place to sleep at night. They had spent most of their young lives hanging out with that egghead Taban, playing with Gina, or being trained in the way of the sword by Refla.
They had met Refla nearly six years ago, and he had been training them ever since. Flare and Tai had dreamed of joining the Guardian Royal Army for as long as they could remember. They craved the excitement and adventure that came along with being a knight, and Refla had done everything in his power to help them reach their goal.
They planned on enlisting later on in the summer. With any luck the two of them might even earn the title of Royal Guard. They were both highly skilled and as soon as they got a little real life experience they could go far in the military.
For the time being, all thoughts of becoming a soldier abandoned Flare. Right now all that was on his mind was visiting Taban (probably sitting through a long drawn out explanation of whatever new invention he had dreamed up) and spending the day with his two best friends, Tai and Gina.
Even though Gina wasn't from the orphanage she had befriended Flare and Tai when they were children. Throughout the course of the years her relationship with Flare had grown beyond simple friendship.
Flare planned on asking for her hand in marriage once he was accepted as a soldier. Then he'd have enough money to support a family. To young Flare the future was indeed a bright and shining thing.
Tai and Gina were waiting for their sleepy friend at the front door. Unlike Flare whose red hair was long and unkempt, Tai's own brown hair was cut short and looked rather plain. He was shorter and stockier than Flare, standing only an inch or two taller than Gina.
"It's already almost midday. How much does one guy need to sleep?" asked Tai as his friend rubbed the last bits of sleep from his eyes.
"More than I'm getting now." Flare replied through one final yawn, "Okay, lets go and see what our pal Taban has cooked up for us this time."
Taban Ashtear's house lay south of Truce on a small island that was connected to the shore by a long wooden bridge. Taban came from a long line of craftsmen. He claimed to be able to trace his genealogy back over four centuries to when an ancestor of his had crafted the famous Leene's Bell. Taban's father and grandfather had built the bridge that connected the small island to the coast, and now Taban had become a craftsmen himself. A craftsmen and an inventor.
Even starting their trek from the orphanage, which was located in the southern reaches of Truce, the walk to Taban's house took a good hour. If it wasn't so far out of the way Flare supposed he'd end up visiting a lot more.
The house itself was a large two story building. Excluding the additions that Taban had made, it had also been built by his father and grandfather.
The yard was cluttered with random gadgets and machines that Taban had built. For that matter, the house was just as cluttered with gizmos as the yard was. "It's amazing that Lara can live with this mad scientist pack rat," Flare grumbled as he stepped carefully around something that looked suspiciously like a giant mouse trap.
"Oh come on Flare, Taban's a really great guy and you know it," Gina scolded, wading through a pile of automatic shoe polisher/dishwashers that Taban had made the year before.
"Yeah, I do know that he's a great guy. That's why I walk all the way down here and make my way through his maze of inventions just to see him," Flare retorted.
Instead of knocking on the door Flare pressed a large red button that Taban referred to as a 'door bell'. After a few moments of waiting, Flare pressed the button again. From the inside of the house they could here the whine of the large machine that Taban called a generator, and past that they could here Taban himself yell something that sounded a bit like, "Coming!"
The door swung open and the eccentric inventor walked out to greet his friends. Standing a couple inches over six feet, Taban was a tall man. He was several years older than his three young friends and currently had the startings of a beard (likely from staying up all night to work on his newest invention) growing on his face.
"Good to see all of you! I've got a great surprise today. C'mon you've got to see it," Taban said, speaking quickly obviously excited.
The three friends followed him into the large living room where he grabbed a small square object off of his work desk.
"I call this a camera!" he said dramatically as he held it out towards them.
"And what exactly does it do, this camera?" asked Tai after a short silence.
"Well, it takes pictures of things. I can just aim it at what I want to take, and then I hit this here button. It's like getting an instant portrait!"
Flare and the others looked intrigued by this latest toy. "How's it do that?" Flare asked but then said, "Never mind. I don't want to know how it works. Just show us how, okay?"
Taban ushered them next to the wall and walked across the room where he raised the camera to his eye. "Okay, now smile for the camera."
When Taban pressed on the button there was a bright flash that left Flare, Gina, and Tai blinking and rubbing their eyes.
"What in the blazes was that?" asked Flare as he tried to blink the large purple spot out of his vision.
"Did it work?" asked Gina, but as soon as their eyesight had returned to them they saw Taban frowning down at the camera in his hands.
"It wasn't supposed to flash that bright. It busted out the entire bulb too..." he muttered absently, taking the camera apart and tinkering with the insides.
"You mean it didn't work?" said Tai.
"Sorry, afraid not," apologized a rather down looking Taban.
Flare let out a low moan and slumped into a chair, "So what your saying is that you brought us out here just to blind us?"
"I'm really sorry about this. I honestly thought I had all the bugs worked out. Well since you're all here why not join me and Lara for lunch? Or are you too busy today?"
Flare's face lit up at once, "Too busy? I'll never be so busy that I'd pass up Lara's cooking!"
"Is your stomach all you think with, Flare?" Gina asked, throwing a sideways glance at his direction.
"I'm hungry, what's so wrong with that?" he asked looking a little hurt.
Taban laughed at the two of them, "The two of you fight more than me and Lara do, and you're not even married yet."
"Alas, why'd I have to fall for such a dope?" Gina sighed. "I guess Flare is right though. I'm pretty hungry too."
The others didn't argue as they made their way into the kitchen and sat down for lunch.