Halftime

By Aaron Ziegler
spanner@visi.com

Chapter 13: Break Time

"Wonderful, wonderful," smirked Lucca. "By my calculations, we might find Jusenkyo in, oh, a decade or two. IF we refrain from staying for dinner at each location." Lucca glared pointedly at Ranma, Ryoga, Crono, Marle, and Frog, each of whom developed a sudden fascination with their fingernails. Lucca sighed. "Let's face it: this isn't gonna work. Searching for Jusenkyo at random would take way too long."

"What else can we try?" asked Robo.

Lucca shrugged. "I don't know. Our best bet, I think, would be to wait until Magus returns, and ask him where Jusenkyo is. Hopefully, he'll be willing to tell us."

"And if he isn't, I'm sure Ukyou can convince him," grinned Akane.

Lucca nodded. Then she continued, "For now, however, I'm tired, and I'm sure that our heroes here could use some sleep to digest all of that dragon they ate. We'll continue this discussion tomorrow."

* * * * * *

Late that night, a shadowy figure approached the recently repaired Tendo front gate. Wearing the night like a cloak, the intruder vaulted the gate, and was momentarily illuminated by an unexpected beam of light from a flickering street lamp reflecting off of a small puddle of water on the ground. Had there been any to witness this chance event, the identity of the stealthy trespasser would have been revealed to be that of Cologne. The ancient woman landed and hobbled on her staff over to the corner of the house where the Epoch lay shrouded in a nondescript tarp. With a quick jerk, Cologne pulled the tarp away and climbed into the time machine.

Sensing an occupant, the Epoch lit the dim cockpit lights and illuminated the dashboard. Cologne studied the controls before her. Altitude dial...ignition...chronometer...all was as she had expected. The steering mechanism had an additional, unwelcome feature. There was a long, metal bar jammed through the steering mechanism. Words along its smooth length read "The Time Club". The other end of the odd security device was stuck through the destination dial, keeping the Epoch firmly in the present. But all this, too, Cologne had anticipated. The Chinese Amazon reached into a pocket and withdrew an ancient and yellowed scroll. She unrolled the scroll to the very end and studied the words written there for a few moments. Then, she pressed an unmarked button on the dashboard. With a whirr and a click, a small panel opened above the destination dial, revealing a numeric keypad. Cologne rapidly tapped in a series of eighteen numbers. When she moved her hand away, the panel clicked shut again. At the same time, the apparently seamless Time Club divided into four segments and receded into hidden panels in the dashboard without a trace. Now, Cologne was free to pilot the Epoch wherever she chose.

The year and place where she chose to pilot the Epoch was, oddly, the very same year and place Marle had set down earlier that day. After landing the Epoch in the same clearing Marle had, Cologne leapt out of the Epoch and hopped purposefully towards the Amazon village.

Once inside the village, Cologne had no trouble finding the house she was looking for. She quickly jumped down from her staff and tapped on the door with it. Mere moments later, a bleary eyed and centuries younger Cologne answered her knock. "Hush, you'll wake the baby," she admonished in Chinese.

"I wouldn't dream of waking young Eyeshadow," the elder Cologne answered in the same language. "I know very well how trying she can be."

At the sound of the unfamiliar voice, young Cologne's tired eyes snapped open and focused on the source. "Who are you?" she asked.

"That is unimportant," answered Cologne dismissively. "What is important is that I have a valuable gift for you." Cologne reached into a pocket and withdrew another scroll. This scroll appeared identical to the first except for its age. Where the former had been ancient and yellow, this one was obviously newly crafted.

Young Cologne accepted the scroll dubiously. A quick scan revealed that the scroll was filled with sentences and short paragraphs, each entry marked with a date. She read a few at random. "'Blush's husband-to-be is reluctant. Prepare love tonic.', 'Teach Ryoga the Bakusai-Ten-Ketsu technique.', 'Bring warm water to the Dojo for Robo.'" She looked up with a confused expression. "I don't understand! What is this?"

"You hold the future in your hands," Cologne answered, somewhat cryptically. "What you choose to do with it is your concern."

Young Cologne was no fool. She suddenly realized the power of the words before her. She turned her eyes back upon them, and suddenly noticed that some of the dates were hundreds of years in the future. "Perhaps I will live to see my great-granddaughter, after all," she murmured. But there were none left to listen. In Cologne's absorption with the scroll before her, her elder self had slipped away without notice.

As Cologne flew through time and space, she wondered about what she had just done. It was going to be strange, living without the comforting advice the scroll had provided--the instructions on how to arm and disarm the Epoch's security measures had been the last entry. Cologne had grown used to the bits and pieces of advice the scroll had provided. Not dependent, of course. Cologne had occasionally feared that she had become so, but had reassured herself that the actions she took were her own. Never had the scroll prompted her to take any action she would not have considered taking on her own. It merely helped her to decide which of many actions was the best to take to overcome a problem. It was no worse than a fortune teller studying her tea leaves, or a sorcerer consulting the spirits of nature. Of course, she thought with a grin, the scroll was a good deal more reliable. 'Besides,' Cologne frowned, 'there were so many problems that the scroll had provided no help with at all.'

For instance, Ranma's fear of cats had been a real disappointment. With the possible exception of that annoying Kodachi, cats were the only thing that Ranma feared--and he feared them with a passion that more than made up for the myriad fears he did not possess. If only Cologne had known that before throwing her great-granddaughter into the Spring of the Drowned Cat at Jusenkyo!

It had seemed like such a good idea at the time. For one thing, giving Shampoo a curse of her own stood a good chance of inspiring sympathy in Ranma. Shampoo and Ranma might form a bond of friendship inspired by their shared hardship. Such friendship could easily lead to love, especially with an expert guiding hand such as her own in play. Second, as Shampoo's cursed form was obviously more limited than Ranma's, Ranma might pity Shampoo, and humor her more than he might otherwise. Of course, Cologne thought with a wry grin, there was also the issue of dominance. What man could resist a woman whom he could turn into a 'helpless' kitty at will? Not that Shampoo would ever allow herself to be dominated, of course. Still, the illusion was there.

It had seemed a sound plan. Unfortunately, the moment Ranma had been presented with cute little Shampoo-cat, he had flown into a mindless, unreasoning terror. When he learned that Shampoo could now become a cat without warning, rather than feeling sympathy, pity, or dominance, he developed a lingering nervousness around her. A more open problem would have been much easier to overcome than this ingrained fear. As things stood, finally convincing Ranma to take his proper place as Shampoo's husband had become a much more difficult proposition.

There were many things that the scroll hadn't revealed that Cologne would have liked to have known. Before writing the new scroll, she had considered adding a few things, but decided against it. In her centuries of life, Cologne had gained a lot of knowledge. On the subject of time-travel, she knew several things. First, some events in history, large or small, were absolutely unchangeable. Any attempts to change them would have no effect, and often the attempt itself would help to cause the event. Other events could be changed, but to do so was very, very risky. Sometimes the attempt would succeed beyond one's wildest dreams. Just as often, however, the changes made would have dark, horrible side-effects and repercussions that would make things unspeakably worse. From what Cologne had learned of Crono and his friends, their success at time-travel stemmed partly from the fact that they rarely tried to change anything. For the most part, they interacted with history, rather than trying to mould it, and so avoided nasty problems like writing themselves out of existence (well, Marle had done that once, but her friends had fixed that problem). The one major change they had attempted, the destruction of Lavos before he could ruin their planet, was a pretty safe one--frankly, that particular event couldn't really get much worse, no matter what they did. As things turned out, the operation was a spectacular success. Unfortunately, Cologne could imagine a thousand things that could go wrong if she altered the scroll in any way. If she added too many new entries, she might truly have become dependent on it, for one thing. She might have lost the ability to think on her feet, to pursue problems and deal with them.

So, when Cologne had finally set down to copy the scroll, she copied it word for word. It was somewhat eerie, though not unexpected, how each stroke of her pen matched its mate on the ancient scroll with an exactitude that no machine could hope to match. It was odd; though the handwriting was her own, Cologne knew that she never would have written as sloppily as whoever had composed the scroll. Often, the sentences were badly written grammatically, or entries seemed vague and inexact. But really, no one had ever composed the scroll. She was copying it, as had the ancient woman who had given it to her, and as had the ancient woman who had given it to that ancient woman. Cologne bit back an ironic laugh.

Idly, Cologne wondered when she had realized that the aged woman who had given her the scroll was, in fact, herself. Probably the very day that she had looked into the mirror and seen that woman looking back at her. It was somewhat ironic that in her youth, Cologne had worried about becoming as unappealing as the ancient visitor who had delivered her future to her. Now, of course, Cologne realized that such thoughts had been silly. She was still as lovely as she ever was, and was fit as a fiddle to boot. Of course, Ranma thought she had the sex appeal of a prune Danish. For that matter, so did Mousse. And Ryoga. And nearly all of the other males Cologne had interacted with. None of them had any taste to speak of, naturally. After all, Happy still found her appealing...Of course, Happosai would probably find a tree stump appealing if it wore panties and a bra. Obviously, none of them could appreciate true beauty when they witnessed it. It was on that thought that Cologne set the Epoch down in its resting spot beside the Tendo Dojo.

Even as Cologne scrambled off into the darkness, another figure approached the time machine. This figure, however, had no intentions of stealing the Epoch. Magus carefully studied the intricate device, and wondered what would be the best way to sabotage it.

'It can't be too obvious,' thought Magus, 'or Lucca will find it too quickly. More importantly, it cannot be mere physical damage. Lucca could probably fix any damage I could deal in a week, and I'll need at least that long for my plan to succeed. Of course!'

Hastily, Magus flipped open a panel near the rear of the Epoch. He formed a magical probe attuned to the substance he sought, a substance that had to be a part of any machine used for time-travel. Within moments, he found it: a fist-sized box composed of a shiny red metal. Dreamstone. Properly forged, dreamstone could be many things. It could channel or disrupt magical energy. It could assume a hardness greater than that of diamond. Here, it served to tear the fabric of space-time just enough to allow the machine and its occupants to slip from era to era at will.

Magus loosened the connections that held the dreamstone cube in place, and carefully pulled it free of the wires and cables attached to it. He pulled the cube out and held it before himself with a mixture of reverence and distaste. He didn't care much for dreamstone in any form. On Magus's own world, dreamstone had been a metal far rarer than platinum. Here, apparently, it didn't exist at all. This suited Magus just fine. It had been through the use of a sword composed of dreamstone, the Masamune, that Frog and his friends had toppled him from his empire of monsters and shattered his attempt to draw Lavos forth. It was, he granted, a blessing in disguise. He could never have defeated Lavos, then--not by himself at any rate.

'Ha!' thought Magus. 'Phase one complete.' As he crept away from the Epoch, he threw a rueful smirk at the closed panel that hid his theft for the time being. He was sure that Lucca would find out what he had done in no time at all. Fortunately, there was nothing she could do about it, whether she found it or not. He had the box, after all.

* * * * * *

Day dawned on the Tendo household, leaving no trace of either transgressor. Soon, the delicate sounds of incoherent screaming and shattering furniture signaled Ranma and Akane's first argument of the day. "Where is he, Ranma!?" shrieked Akane, swinging a bokken at a desperately dodging Ranma. Nabiki, Genma, and Robo (in human form), who had been the first down to breakfast (aside, of course, from Kasumi, who was preparing it), watched the brawl with resignation and some amusement. "WHERE IS P-CHAN?!" Akane demanded. The look on Robo's face turned grim.

"How should I know where he is?" responded Ranma, barely ducking a particularly vicious swing. "He's your pig!"

"Don't lie to me, Ranma!" she scowled in response. "I saw him follow you into the bathroom!"

Ranma almost froze (an action which could have proven most painful at that moment). How could he explain that P-Chan had come in to change back into Ryoga? He couldn't! "Um...ah...N-no! It's just that Ryoga, er, P-Chan, he, well..."

At that moment, Robo noticed Ryoga standing at the top of the stairs. A grin spread across Ryoga's face as he watched Akane trying her best to paste Ranma. Then he realized that Robo was gazing at him with an expression so coldly emotionless that she might as well have been in robot form. He swallowed involuntarily as a wave of guilt rose inside of him. "Um, Akane?" he tentatively asked.

Akane faltered suddenly, some of her rage ebbing away. She was, however, still alert enough to trip Ranma as he tried to use Ryoga's distraction to flee. "Morning, Ryoga!" she smiled cheerfully, simultaneously stomping a foot down onto Ranma's back to hold him in place. "I'll be with you in a bit."

Ryoga swallowed. 'I've gotta tell her eventually. Might as well be now.' "Akane, there's something important I gotta tell you."

Akane looked back at him with concern. "What is it, Ryoga?"

Ryoga began to sweat. "It's just that I-I'm...well, that is... P-Chan is..." And predictably enough, Ryoga chickened out. "I saw P-Chan jump out the window and run away." Robo grimaced and slapped a hand to her forehead. Nabiki looked intrigued. Why would Ryoga be saving Ranma?

"From a second-story bathroom?" Akane asked incredulously.

"He climbed down the side of the house?" Ryoga offered lamely.

Akane looked thoughtful for a moment. "I didn't know he could do that," she said. She turned wide, trusting eyes on the bandana-wearing martial artist. "But you would never lie to me, would you Ryoga?"

Ryoga's face twisted into an expression of guilty nervousness. He chuckled in uneasy agreement, not quite able to look Akane in the eye.

Apparently, Akane failed to notice Ryoga's uncertainty. "Of course not!" She frowned down at Ranma. "I'm sorry I blamed you Ranma. Still, you shouldn't have let P-Chan jump out the window! He could have hurt himself." With that, Akane removed her foot and helped Ranma to his feet. Ranma threw a somewhat confused, but extremely grateful look to Ryoga. Normally Ryoga loved to see Akane pounding on him.

* * * * * *

After a reasonably uneventful morning passed, midday found Ranma, Akane, and Marle walking to Ucchan's to see if Magus had returned. They hadn't traveled far before Shampoo appeared out of nowhere and wrapped herself around Ranma with a happy sigh. "Ranma take Shampoo to date?" Shampoo asked in her customary fashion.

Fearing Akane's retribution (and rightly so), Ranma freed himself and said, "Not now, Shampoo! We're busy."

"Too busy for your bride-to-be, Son-in-Law?" called an ancient voice. "Why do you continue to persist in this ridiculous resistance?" As the voice spoke, Shampoo attempted once more to throw herself at Ranma, succeeding only in tripping over Akane's innocently outstretched foot.

"Cologne," sighed Ranma. Then he perked up. "Hey! You promised that you wouldn't force me to marry Shampoo!"

"Idiot!" snapped Cologne, whacking Ranma sharply on the head with her staff. "If it had ever been my intention to force you to marry Shampoo, she would be carrying your second child by now." Shampoo, who was glowering at Akane, smiled dreamily for a moment at her great-grandmother's words. Akane looked stunned, and slightly furious. Ranma looked dismayed. Cologne sighed and continued, "As it stands, however, I will merely continue to try to persuade you to take the path destiny has chosen for you and Shampoo." She glanced sharply at Ranma. "Make no mistake, Son-in-Law, one day, you and Shampoo will be wed, and by your own choice." She gestured to Shampoo. "Come, great-granddaughter. I know that you would like to spend some more time with your husband-to-be, but for now they have pressing business to attend to."

Shampoo frowned as she stood up. Then she smiled prettily at Ranma and said, "Bai bai, Ranma! Shampoo see you later, maybe after violent girl go away." With that, she hurried after the receding shape of her great-grandmother.

Akane, still uncertain whether or not she was furious with Ranma, with Shampoo, with Cologne, or with some combination of the above, suddenly realized that Marle was laughing uncontrollably. "What's so funny?" Akane snapped at her.

Marle wasn't laughing at her, however. "Oh, Ranma!" she gasped, "You sure flubbed that one."

"Hey-" Ranma began to protest.

Akane's anger faded to curiosity. "What do you mean?" she asked. "Flubbed what?"

Marle wiped aside tears of mirth and said, "Back in the past, he made Cologne promise not to make him marry Shampoo. And it worked!" With that, Marle collapsed into laughter again.

"You idiot," sighed Akane.

Ranma mustered a defense, "Hey, what would YOU call it? I mean, she's always tryin' to sucker me in with love potions and stuff. Seems like force to me!"

"But maybe not to her," answered Akane, pointedly. "If you were going to make her promise something, you should have made her promise to stay away from you or something." Then she glared at him. "Of course, the best way to solve the problem would be to tell Shampoo that YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED."

Ranma backed away, sheepishly. "Hey, you know Shampoo! She won't take no for an answer."

"I wouldn't know," Akane answered coolly. "I've never seen you try."

By this time, Marle had recovered from her laughter. "C'mon guys. We'd better get going." Without a word, Ranma and Akane moved into step with her (each being careful to make a big show of ignoring the other), and the three soon reached the okonomyaki restaurant.

Unfortunately, Ukyou had no good news to share, if, indeed, having Magus around was to be considered good news. Ukyou evidently thought it was, as she seemed quite worried about the dark sorcerer who had become so fond of her. Marle assured her that if anyone could take care of themself, it was Magus. Marle refrained from adding that Magus had developed the art of taking care of himself to an exact science. Such a statement would have been less than tactful, and probably more cynical than Marle liked to be.

Whatever Marle's hidden feelings, Ukyou seemed cheered by her reassurance, and invited the three to share in an okonomyaki lunch, on the house. The offer of free food obviously brightened Ranma from the sulky mood his and Akane's argument had put him in. The offer of free food FROM UKYOU, obviously had the opposite effect on Akane, who, nevertheless, ate her share.

* * * * * *

The three of them were in relatively good spirits when they returned to the Tendo home. Naturally, this couldn't last. "We've got a problem," said a stern-faced Lucca when they walked through the gates. "We've been sabotaged."

"Huh?" said Marle. "The Epoch?"

Lucca nodded. "C'mon, I'll show you." The young inventor guided the trio over to the Epoch pointed out the gaping emptiness where the dreamstone box used to be in the guts of the intricate machine. None of the three had any idea what was wrong. After a few seconds, Lucca explained the problem. "It's probably the one part in the whole machine that I can't fabricate with material and machinery that I can find around here." She shrugged hopelessly. "Heck, I don't even know if dreamstone EXISTS on this planet."

Akane peered into the tangled interior of the Epoch. "How on Earth could you tell that something was missing? Did you try to fly while we were gone?"

Lucca shook her head. "Nope, I was just making a routine check when I noticed this." She pointed to one of the three footpads that served as landing gear for the time machine. The three gazed once more, and again couldn't tell what Lucca wanted them to see. Rather more impatiently this time, Lucca shouted, "Look! The pad's two centimeters outta alignment. It had to have been moved." True enough, there was an area of flattened grass along the edge of the footpad.

"Couldn't I have made the difference in my landing?" Marle asked.

"No, I straightened out the grass after that one." Lucca explained.

"You what?" asked Ranma.

Now Lucca looked a bit sheepish. "I straightened out the grass." Then, defensively, "It was so I could tell if anyone had taken the Epoch! And it worked."

"You're really paranoid, aren't you?" stated Ranma.

Lucca looked irritated. "It's not paranoia when they really are out to get you."

"But how could anyone have taken the Epoch?" asked Marle. "I set the Club when I was done with it."

"The what?" asked Akane, somewhat lost.

"The Time Club: The ultimate in time machine security," Lucca explained. "It makes sure that no one takes the time machine without our say-so. I'm not sure how anyone could have disabled it without the proper code. Still, the evidence is here."

Akane tried to regain a grasp of the problem. "So, someone went for a spin in the Epoch. Then they sabotaged it? Why?"

Lucca shook her head. "I don't know. My best guess is that they changed something in the past or future, and don't want us to change it back."

"Isn't there anything else you can use instead of the part they took?" asked Ranma.

"Nope, it's gotta be dreamstone. Maybe if I had some, I could build the part that I need..." Lucca's eyes drifted to the pendant Marle wore around her neck--a pendant Marle and her friends had discovered was made of the rare metal. Marle started to protest, but was cut off when Lucca sighed and said, "Nope, even if Marle were willing to part with her pendant, there's just not enough there for the part I need. The Masamune won't work either. The dreamstone in that sucker is so rigid that nothing short of a smelting plant could even dent it, let alone shape it. Anyway, I doubt Frog would give that up any more than Marle would her pendant. Our only real hope is to find the original part, and take it back from whoever stole it. We do know one crucial fact: Either our thief is very lucky in their choice of sabotage, or he or she knew exactly how to cripple a time machine. Who do we know who could do that?"

"Well, all of the people who are here from our world know the importance of dreamstone, and could probably have recognized that part for what it was," Marle thought aloud. "Other than that I can't think of anyone."

"Nabiki could have done it, too," added Lucca reluctantly. "I taught her enough about the Epoch to do the job."

"Hey, this is like a detective movie," Akane exclaimed. Ranma rolled his eyes. She continued, "Okay, so now we have some suspects. Who had a motive?"

"Oh, please!" scoffed Ranma derisively.

Akane flattened him with her trusty hammer. "Try to be a little helpful, Ranma!" she snarled.

"Who would gain any benefit from changing the past or future?" asked Lucca. "Most of us only got here a couple weeks ago. Nothing really horrible has happened yet."

"Well, Robo seemed pretty angry about his curse," said Ranma as he staggered to his feet. It was the first really helpful thing he had said so far.

Lucca nodded. "Sure did. Still, he seems to be getting over it. On the other hand, he wouldn't have anything to get over if he hadn't been cursed in the first place. I guess that leaves him a suspect."

"But why would he sabotage our only way home?" asked Marle.

"Okay, so he's not a very GOOD suspect," conceded Lucca. "Still, it'll be easy to tell if he's innocent. Just splash him with water and see if he turns into a girl or not. Other than his curse, I don't think he'd have any reason to be sneaking around in time. So, who else?"

"We don't really know much about the time Magus spent here before we arrived," Marle stated. Then she wrinkled her brow. "Or after we arrived. Whatever."

"True," Lucca answered. "Who knows what Magus might have done that he wished were otherwise? Though, Magus tends to be a man of few regrets, whatever he does."

"I dunno," said Ranma. "He seemed awfully eager to get home again. I don't think he'd wreck the machine." Akane blinked in surprise, and then smiled in spite of herself, proud of Ranma's unusual helpfulness. She must have hit him harder than she thought.

Lucca nodded. "Also true. And if he used the machine to find his own way home, I doubt he would have brought it back, let alone sabotage it. Still, we'll keep him in mind if no better suspect is revealed."

"How 'bout Nabiki," asked Akane. "I'm sure she wouldn't mind a quick peek at the stock market of the future."

"Oh, she wouldn't do that!" exclaimed Lucca. She twitched uncomfortably for a few seconds under the solemn gazes of the others. She frowned. "Okay, maybe she would. Still, the same problem remains. Why would she sabotage the Epoch? It's our only chance to save her future, and barring that, her only chance at escape."

Marle looked uncertain. "I have an idea. Maybe she went into the past, invested in a lot of good stocks, and intends to collect now. In the meantime, she doesn't want us leaving with the Epoch, so she sabotages it. Then, after she collects the money, she repairs the Epoch and takes it all back to, say, 1950 or so and lives like a queen until the Day of Lavos."

The four of them pondered that a moment. That pause spoke volumes more about Nabiki's character than anything more verbal could. Ranma, oddly enough, was the first to come to Nabiki's defense. "That seems pretty sinister, even for Nabiki."

"Still, it's the best we have to go on," said Marle. "Let's go have a nice, long chat with Robo and Nabiki." They started walking towards the front door. Then Marle paused and said, "Well, a short one for Robo, I guess."

The four amateur detectives disappeared into the house. A passerby might have heard the sounds of splashing water, a feminine voice crying out in protest, and a few muted apologies, in that order. Most passersby, however, had long since learned to shun the Tendo Dojo.

Afterword:

Please don't assume that the theories on time travel that are explained in this chapter are my own. I have tried to construct a working theory based on the goings on in Chrono Trigger. The game didn't make a tremendous effort to follow a single cohesive theory, so I had to do the best I could. How are you supposed to reconcile the fact that Marle can write herself out of history simply by being mistaken for her great-grandmother with the fact that the three Gurus of Queen Zeal apparently die due to Magus's meddling, and yet seem to be alive and well in the future? (This isn't even considering the fact that you can do weird things like going back in time to collect items that you've already collected in the future, thereby gaining two of that item.) It's enough to make one's head spin. I do have my own, personal theories regarding how time travel would work, and they are not much like this.

Regarding the Time Club, all due respect is extended to the copyright owners (whoever they are) of The Club, which the Time Club parodies.

Chrono Trigger Tip #13:

I still hate Toma. He's apparently given up on the Sunstone, and now he's looking for the Rainbow Shell. How can I spite him?

Sorry, but this time, you're gonna need Toma's help. If you talk to him in the town just south of Cyrus's Tomb, he'll tell you that he has a lead on where to find the Rainbow Shell, and he'll give you a can of Toma Pop, with the instructions to pour it on his grave, if he should die. His grave will be located west of that town in 1000 A.D. When you apply the Toma Pop, he tells you of a cave on an island to the northwest, in 600 A.D. Go there, and you will have to fight your way through the ruins of the Reptite's Fortress, which somehow survived Lavos's impact in 65,000,000 B.C. When you make it through, you will find the Rainbow Shell. Unfortunately, it's way too big to carry. Fortunately, this isn't a problem. The King of Guardia will send a regiment of soldiers to carry it for you, and the Shell will be stored for you in the royal treasury until you need it.

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