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Title: Wrong Key
Author: [personal profile] tehexile 
Fandom: Chrono Trigger
Pairing/Characters: Marle, Lucca, no pairings
Rating/Category: K+/Gen
Word Count: 500
Spoilers: major spoilers 
Summary:  Director-Princess Nadia of the Arris Communications Center is mostly comfortable with the controls by now but there are some bugs to iron out.    
Notes/Warnings: Post-Trigger with a buildup to Cross. An AU and side-story to my longer fic 'Director Heir' available on my AO3 account, username the_exile.

Marle didn't press random buttons any more. After five years of practice, she knew exactly what all the controls did and she had such a strong bond with the Computer that it rarely changed the configurations behind her back just to make sure she was still paying attention to it. The button she was about to press had remained the button for showing the feed of the cameras that surveyed all of Guardia via aerial drones for almost a month now. She had argued with Lucca about her responsibility to protect the people's privacy but had finally relented when she found out for certain that Porre was showing signs of aggressive behaviour. She had been searching for spies when it happened.


The ground underneath her had rumbled, knocking her into the control panel. She flung out her arms to protect her head, praying that the coffee would not spill and that she wouldn't nudge any important keys. Why the hell am I worrying about that now, she chided herself.


Because this doesn't feel real. Because this had to be a dream. She shouldn't have forgotten which button she pressed. Besides, it was 1015, not 1999, and she distinctly remembered being in 2300 when she did that, and anyway Lavos had been defeated, hadn't he, and she didn't know who the two heavy-set men in sharp blue suits with speaker phones were, as one of them reached to steady her and yelled something about getting to the shelter dome. She heard herself open her mouth in protest, something about not leaving the system behind that she was practically one with, then suddenly she was in this cathedral-like chamber and the bodyguards were replaced with these people in robes who chanted eerily as cloying crimson mist rose from the abyss below her and the demon machine, its visage scowling like a corrupted knight, called out to the Destroyed God sleeping beneath the Earth who could bring them all immortality in his endless sweet nightmare...


She turned to run but the Queen shoved her back, cackling, and she saw the balcony rail hurtle towards her. She braced for impact but it finally snapped - this had happened many times before - and she was falling into the howling crimson fires...


She screamed and shoved back the next person to tap her on the shoulder. Lucca swore at her, yelling out the name of one or other of the tiny robots who had decided to stand behind her at that precise moment so she fell right on top of them. It fired a warning shot, beeped and scampered out of the way.


"It's just a bad dream," Lucca reassured her. Marle shook her head.


"It's not been the first time. I don't get dreams that vivid, and they never happen every time I pressed that key before. Something's still very wrong. Not with the Computer," she hastily added as Lucca took a screwdriver from behind her ear and stepped menacingly forward, "With time itself."



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