PikaBot (pikabot) wrote,

Excerpt From A Work in Progress

Or rather, a work NOT in progress. It's a bigass Chrono Trigger fic that I want to write at some point, but haven't found the time or anything to actually write it. But this one scene (well, two scenes, but they're connected) from near the end have been bouncing around in my head, so I'm just putting them down so I can stop thinking about them.

Note: this is completely unedited, except for a quick go-over for punctuation. So it's not going to be my finest work. Oh, and it's a death scene, so if that bothers you, don't read.

The servomotors in Robo's legs finally gave out, and he tumbled to the ground. The concrete floor cracked beneath the weight of his metal body, and a loud clang echoed down the corridor.

I need to get a little further, he thought. Just a little...

His arms still functioned; He dragged himself forward, little by little. A foot...then another...and then another, until he was lying at the foot of the corridor wall. With one last burst of effort, he turned himself around, so that he was propped up against it.

There. He was ready. But there was still one final function that he had to perform, and he no longer had the strength to do so. His ailing processor ran wildly, trying to come up with a solution.

Someone would come to perform it for him, he concluded. Logical consistency demanded it. He shut down all non-essential systems to conserve power, and he waited.

He wasn't sure how much later it was when power surged through his systems again, reactivating him. His internal chronometer said it had been ten minutes, but it was no longer reliable. His optical sensors flickered back to life, and he felt a pang of regret as he saw the face of the one who had turned him back on. He had not wanted to do this to her.

"Lucca..." he began. His voice synthesizer was cracked, but still functional.

"Hey, big guy," Lucca said, tugging on his unmoving shoulder. "That was a pretty stupid thing you did back there. You got roughed up something fierce, but I'll have you good as new again in no time."

"Thank you, Lucca," Robo said, but his tone suggested . "If it wasn't for you, I would have stayed in that factory forever. I would never have seen the past, or had friends, or felt any sort of emotion. You saved me from that. I owe you so much...and I'll never be able to repay you."

Lucca looked down at him, puzzled. "What's with all the serious talk?" she asked. "It's not like you're going to die or anything. That power conduit did some serious damage, but it's nothing I can't fix."

Robots don't have facial expressions, but Robo's voice was filled with sadness. "I'm sorry. But this time, there's nothing you can do."

Lucca stared at him, her voice hesitant as she tried to process what Robo had just said. "What...what do you mean?" She asked. "I mean, you're a machine. If you get broken, as long as I've got all the parts, I can always fix you up."

"The energy from the conduit went straight through my motherboard," Robo said. "It ruined most of it, and right now I'm in the midst of a cascading systems failure. I can feel my memory core burning out and dying, one sector at a time, and there's nothing I can do to stop it."

Lucca dropped to her knees in front of him, suddenly frantic with concern. "No, no, no, that can't be right!"

Robo continued, despite her protestations. "I've already lost thirty percent of my stored data. Soon, I'll begin forgetting things about you and the others, and in the end, everything will go, and Robo will be dead. You could reconstruct my body, but I would still be gone. I would prefer to be allowed to rest, instead."

"No, I refuse to accept this!" Lucca shouted, banging on his chestplate with her fist. "I'll fix you! I don't care if it's impossible, I'll take you out of here and I'll get you back up and running again! There's nothing I can't do with machines! There's...there's nothing..."

She trailed off as Robo raised his right arm, his only functional limb, and laid it gently on her shoulder. Tears leaked from her eyes and ran down her face as she knelt there in silence. Her eyes were squeezed shut to try and retain some control.

"How long?"

"Ten minutes," Robo said. "That's all the time I have left."

Her voice cracked as she threw herself forward, wrapping her arms around the closest thing he had to a neck. "Oh, Robo," she cried out as the tears flowed freely down from her face and slashed on his metal body. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

Robo's fuctional arm rose up to hold her close. "Don't apologize for anything," he said. "If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be dying, but I would never have been anything more than a machine. And if given the choice between a few years with you, and an eternity in that factory, I would choose you every time. I regret nothing."

Lucca was weeping openly now, clinging to him as if she could somehow shield him from his fate, but there was nothing she could do. The threat wasn't an external one that could be guarded against, but rather was eating him alive from the inside. She was helpless in the face of it.

"Lucca," Robo said, "I'm truly sorry about this, but I have to ask you to do one thing for me, once I'm gone."

"Anything," she said.

And then he told her his final request, and it was the single hardest thing he could have asked of her.

Lucca stood up, wiping her nose. Her eyes were full of tears, but right now she didn't have the energy to deal with that. She blinked them away, and then looked down at Robo's unmoving form, and they returned again.

Damn you, she thought, and instantly regretted it. It wasn't fair to blame him for this. If he could have, he would have done this himself. It was just a bizarre twist of fate that it had fallen to her. But she couldn't help feeling angry at him nonetheless. How could he do this to her?

She drew her weapon, and adjusted the dials on the side so that it would project a thin, concentrated beam of super-heated plasma, instead of the large globules it usually fired. That was exactly what she would need for this. She raised the pistol, aiming it at the wall, but hesitated with her finger on the trigger.

If she didn't go through with this, if she put the gun away and left the wall untouched, none of this would have happened. Robo would never have returned, he would never have fought beside them, and that meant that he would never have died. She could save him. All she had to do was put the gun down and leave.

She could save him. But...

If she did that, then he wouldn't have been there to save all of them. They would have all died several times if he hadn't been there. If she saved Robo, then the rest of them would lose. And if they lost, then the world lost as well.

It's not fair, she thought. She could save Robo, or she could save the world, but she couldn't have both. Why do I have to choose? Why did I have to be the one to find him?

Tears were falling down her face again, and now her hands were shaking. She gripped the gun tightly, to steady herself for the shot. I can't make that kind of decision! The world against Robo...what sort of question is that? There's no good answer!

But even as she thought that, she knew what she was going to do. Although it was in her power to save Robo, she knew that he would never want her to sacrifice the world for his sake. She took a deep breath, pulled the trigger, and carved Robo's death warrant into the wall.

The letters were about two inches tall, and they glowed red hot against the pale grey concrete wall. Two simple sentences, that would condemn Robo to death:

R-66Y, you are needed.

In the basement of Hibitsu Tower, on Thursday, June 26th, 2311, at 10:51 in the morning.

In three hundred years' time, these words would be found. In three hundred years' time, Robo would follow the directions, and find a Gate waiting for him. And he would step through it, and once he did, he was doomed. He would join with Crono and the others again, save the world, and then die. And this time, it would be Lucca's fault.

Lucca sank to the ground again, beside Robo's body, and began to cry again.
Tags: chrono trigger, fanfiction, unfinished

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