tenmorehours: (⌚ Wince)
Chrono ([personal profile] tenmorehours) wrote2012-12-08 11:26 am
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Exsilium App

Warning: TL;DR always

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Character NAME: Chrono
Canon & MEDIUM: Chrono Crusade (manga)
Canon PULL-POINT: In between chapters 18 and 19.
Character AGE: Unknown. Chrono appears 12 in his sealed form and around 20 in his unsealed form, but he has to be well over 54 years of age. I’ve heard second-hand that the mangaka gave “around 85” as his age at a convention, and while I haven’t been able to find any con reports or videos with that information, 85 fits well into canon, so I’ll be playing with the assumption that it’s his actual age.
Character ABILITIES: Chrono is a demon with a lot of powerful, superhuman abilities, but he’s been weakened greatly because of his horns being broken. A demon’s horns allows them to absorb astral energy from a stream of the souls of the dead known as the Astral Line. Without their horns, if they don’t find another source of astral energy they’ll eventually starve to death and die, although avoiding the use of their powers allows them to delay this process for a long period of time. In canon Chrono makes a contract with Sister Rosette Christopher to use her soul’s energy to substitute for the energy he could get through his horns, but she’ll die if he uses too much of her soul, so he seals his powers and stays in a childlike form most of the time to use as little of her soul as he possibly can. Since I’m hoping to use his unsealed form as a weapon (see the weapon section for more info on that), his abilities in both forms are relevant, soooo I’m going to try to briefly sum this up in two sections—sealed and unsealed.

Sealed form: In this form Chrono exhibits an unusual amount of strength for someone of his apparent age (although nothing that seems impossible for a strong human to do) and a large amount of resistance to slapstick violence. He retains some ability to regenerate wounds, although it doesn’t seem to be quite as quick or effective as it is when his powers are unsealed, so before his “weapon” evolves much he’d probably still need medical attention for more major injuries if he’d already used his unsealed form some.

Unsealed form: Massively superhuman strength (able to rip hearts out of chests, use a trolley full of people as a weapon—yes, that actually happens in canon—etc) and is able to regenerate and heal nearly any wound (the only exceptions seem to be that he can’t heal his broken horns, and having his head or heart completely removed would probably kill him—although he gets stabbed in the heart and has part of his head blown away at points in canon and although both are pretty serious wounds he manages to recover).

He has a long, spine-ish “tail” growing out of the back of his head that he can use as an extra limb (and it’s also sharp on the end, so he can use it as an attack). He also has a pair of wings on his back that allow him to fly, and has some minor shape-shifting abilities—he can shift into a more human-ish form (although he still has slightly pointed ears, fangs, and oddly colored hair/eyes), he can transform his arm into a blade, and seems to be able to transform his clothing at will as well, as if it’s an extension of his body. He can’t use it to look like a different person though—no matter what form he takes, whether unsealed, “human-ish” or sealed, he’s still clearly the same person.

His most powerful ability is “time stop”, which is more or less what it sounds like—he can freeze people and objects in time, making them appear as if they’re made out of stone. If he freezes something that’s falling in midair, it’ll remain permanently suspended there until he cancels the ability. If he freezes a person, they’ll be frozen in stone like a statue and won’t age until they’re released again. He can also be selective about what areas this effects—for example, only freezing someone’s arm, preventing them from moving it, but being able to move the rest of their body. However, this ability requires a huge amount of energy, so he uses it only once when he doesn’t have his horns (and it kills his contractor when he does).

Universal abilities: Chrono was raised as a soldier in a very militaristic society (we see very little of his childhood in canon, but a friend of mine asked the mangaka about it at a convention and he emphasized that he would’ve grown up learning how to be a soldier, and what we learn about demon society in the manga also hints at this), and he’s also considered very powerful even among his people, so he’s VERY good at killing people. Although he seems to prefer fighting hand-to-hand with his claws, he demonstrates a knowledge and ability of fighting with several bladed weapons and firearms.

In both forms he seems to be able to sense spiritual energy and can make educated guesses based on them. For example, he can tell when a body’s spiritual energy has been completely drained, and he can sense when something or someone is possessed. He could probably use this ability to sense if someone isn’t human or has some sort of spirituality-based powers, but he probably wouldn’t be able to extrapolate a huge amount of detail based on just his sixth-sense alone. He might say “I can sense a great amount of power from that man” but he couldn’t just glance at him and go “He’s a highly ranking angel of death with the ability to escort souls to heaven or hell.” It senses vague generalities, not specifics.

Character HISTORY: Chrono grew up in Pandaemonium, the demon’s home city underneath the Atlantic Ocean. Although not much is seen of his childhood, we do know that he grew up very close to Aion and I believe he was trained to be a soldier from a young age (this is never explicitly stated in the manga, but it is stated that demons all have assigned ranks and roles that they’re trained in, Chrono is referred to as a “sword” and a friend of mine asked the mangaka at a convention about the demon’s childhood and he mentioned they were in a sort of military training when they were younger). He also grew up as one of the oldest of his generation (along with Aion), so it seems that the Elders had high expectations for him, and he was expected to be powerful.

On the day of Aion and Chrono’s coming-of-age ceremony, the Day of Tuning (which took place sometime in 1870), something went wrong. Aion surpassed the Elder’s expectations, and his power allowed him to somehow access the ancestral memories of the demon’s mother, Queen Pandaemonium. Since the knowledge he’d seen was forbidden, the Elders ordered that all members of the younger generations, Aion and Chrono included, were to be executed. Aion was definitely not happy about this, so he quickly incited the doomed generations into a rebellion. Aion attacked the terminal of Pandaemonium—a demon woman that appears to have served as a “backup” for her, like an external harddrive—and cut off her head, then destroyed the eggs of the upcoming generation. Chrono was horrified at his actions, but he literally had a death sentence if he stayed in Pandaemonium and he still cared for and trusted Aion, so he joined Aion’s rebellion.

The young rebels, now labeled “Sinners”, escaped Pandaemonium in a flying fortress known as Eden and made it as far as the skies of Arizona, but the Pursuers—a special group of soldiers from Pandaemonium—chased them down and attacked. In the ensuing battle Chrono killed 100 of the highly ranked Persuers, gaining the epithet “The Slayer of 100”, but while the Sinners ultimately “won” the battle their numbers were cut down from hundreds to merely 7, and the head of Pandaemonium’s terminal was lost in the Grand Canyon.

To help them retrieve the head, Aion ordered Chrono to kidnap Mary Magdalene, a powerful seer, from the Magdalan Order, a religious order that was keeping Mary to protect her. Chrono snuck into Order and found Mary—who, to his surprise, called him by name and told him she’d been waiting for him. With Mary’s help he was able to successfully retrieve her from the Order and brought her back to the other Sinners. There, Mary helped them locate the head of Pandaemonium and returned with them to Eden.

Mary quickly integrated herself into the Sinner’s group and became good friends with all of them, but particularly Chrono. Chrono had been struggling ever since the battle with the Pursuers—although he accepted his role as Aion’s soldier, he didn’t want to hurt anyone, so the battle had greatly traumatized him. Mary was the only person who seemed to realize how badly he’d been affected by the battle, and she treated him kindly, so Chrono soon began to fall in love with her.

Meanwhile, the Sinners worked on downloading the memories from the terminal of Pandaemonium onto Eden’s computers, which Aion hoped to use to help him find a weakpoint to be able to fight back against their former home. They nearly completed the task, when one night the head of Pandaemonium suddenly woke up and was able to attack the Sinners. Despite being merely a terminal of the true Queen, she was able to cast a geas on the demons to prevent them from attacking her and also stole body parts from two of the Sinners to give herself material to regenerate her body. The Sinners likely would’ve been killed if Mary hadn’t stepped in and used her power to subdue the terminal’s powers, which gave Aion and Chrono the chance to destroy it. Once again, although the battle was ultimately won the Sinners suffered great losses—Eden was badly damaged, the two wounded Sinners were permanently disabled, and Mary fell into a mysterious coma after the battle.

A week later, Mary suddenly got up from her bed and sleepwalked Eden’s halls. She found Aion and threatened him, revealing information that she shouldn’t have known. Although she woke up as herself soon after, Aion realized with horror that Mary must have been possessed by Pandaemonium during the battle.

Later that day, Mary took Chrono aside and revealed to him the real reason that she agreed to come with him. Although her powers had caused her to forget most of her childhood memories, there was one thing she remembered about herself—for as long as she could remember, she’d had a reoccurring dream of a man named Chrono saying that he would take her life, with tears running down his face. She’d agreed to join the Sinners because she wanted to get to know the demon that would kill her.

Before Chrono could even process the information Mary had told him, Aion appeared and ordered him to kill Mary, both to prevent her from being taken over fully by Pandaemonium and so they could use her to once again try to obtain Pandaemonium’s memories. Chrono desperately begged Aion to let him find a way to save her, but Aion declared that a betrayal against him and attacked Chrono. Chrono managed to wound Aion, but Aion also managed to tear out Chrono’s horns from his head.

Mary grabbed the dying Chrono and fled off of Eden. As she watched Chrono slowly bleed to death, she was able to see Pandaemonium’s memories and learned of the ability of demons to make contracts with humans to fuel their powers with their souls, which could replace Chrono’s horns. She asked Chrono to make a contract with her so he could stop the bleeding from his wounds, and Chrono—unaware that contracts meant the eventual death of the humans involved—agreed, hoping that if he could stay alive, he could still find a way to save Mary.

Chrono attempted to take Mary back to the Magdalan Order in the hopes that they could exorcise Pandaemonium from her, but before they made it there Aion found them and attacked. In desperation, Chrono used his powers to temporarily stop Aion’s time and once again escaped with Mary. However, between the wounds Aion gave Mary in the battle and Chrono’s powers draining Mary’s soul, she immediately passed away in his arms.

In his grief, Chrono sealed his powers, making him appear to be a child, and chose to be buried in the elaborate tomb the Magdalan Order constructed for Mary, possibly planning to guard it until the loss of his horns finally caused him to starve to death. But in 1920, 50 years after Mary’s death, a pair of siblings named Rosette and Joshua Christopher stumbled upon Mary’s grave. Although Chrono initially attempted to scare them away, his young appearance made the children think of him as another child and they quickly became friends with him. Over a period of several months the children snuck away from the nearby orphanage where they lived and played with him and listened to the stories he told them.

Similarly to Mary, Joshua had been “blessed” with holy powers. Although he could heal the wounds of others, his powers caused him to become very sick. That made him easy prey for Aion, who had plans for Joshua’s powers. He appeared to him one night as he laid ill in bed and offered him the horns of a powerful demon—CHRONO’S horns—saying that they would give him power to overcome his illness. Although the horns did indeed make Joshua powerful, they also were too much for his mind and drove him insane. He froze the time of everyone in the orphanage, other than Rosette (who had fortunately been visiting Chrono at the time that Aion gave him the horns). Although Chrono and Rosette tried to save Joshua, they failed, and had to flee the orphanage before they, too, had their time stopped, and Aion was able to successfully kidnap Joshua.

In a conversation that followed Joshua’s kidnapping, Chrono accidentally revealed to Rosette that if he had a contract, he would possibly have the power to find Joshua and rescue him. Rosette, determined to save her brother, begged Chrono to make a contract with her, and since he felt he had no other options he agreed. They were soon found by Father Remington, a member of the Magdalan Order who had arrived too late to help Joshua, and he recruited them to the Order so that they could use the Order’s resources to find Joshua and train to fight Aion to get him back, on the condition that they help the Order in their fight against demons who would try to harm humans.

For four years, Chrono and Rosette worked with the Order as partners. During their time there, they met Azmaria, a young girl with powers similar to Joshua and a trainee of the Order, and Satella, a “jewel witch” and bounty hunter of the supernatural who resented demons because of a demon that killed her family several years ago. They also finally received a clue about Joshua’s location—but discovered that the Sinners were attempting to capture Rosette because Joshua “needed” her for a mysterious reason. Chrono, Rosette, Azmaria and Satella decided to work together to track down Joshua and save him from Aion. They planned to take a train cross-country to San Francisco, where Joshua had last been seen.

And that’s the canon point where Chrono will be taken from!

Character PERSONALITY: Outwardly, Chrono has the appearance of a 12-year-old boy with a sweet, if quiet, disposition. And to some extent, this isn’t all that far from the truth.

Chrono is naturally a very compassionate, caring person. He genuinely seems to enjoy taking care of others, without looking for really anything in return. For example, the official guide lists his “hobby” as “organizing the gun box” that he uses as Rosette’s assistant. He’s also shown seeming quite happy to do laundry with Mary and never outwardly complains about having to do chores around the Magdalan Order. It just seems to be something he’s naturally inclined to do. He also does his best to see things from another person’s point of view—for example, when he gently reprimands Rosette for snapping at Satella when she’s trying to tell them about her quest to find someone, and he reminds Rosette of their own search for a missing person.

In fact, at times Chrono can be downright motherly toward those he cares about. He’s shown waking Rosette up in the morning, wiping her nose when she sneezes, and he just generally comes across as something of a mother hen toward those he cares about.

Because of his kind nature and almost motherly affection, kids seem to be drawn toward him. With Azmaria, the insecure and seemingly frail girl he and Rosette saved and recruited into the Order, he’s particularly kind and gentle, which makes Azmaria very affectionate toward him. Throughout the series he’s shown as keeping an eye on her, and he’s also shown teaching her his job as an assistant to Rosette to help in her training to become an exorcist. In general, he’s a gentle, almost brotherly figure to her—which means that when people are suspicious of him or think poorly of him, she’s quick to come to his defense, and later on in the series when he’s at one of his darkest moments she’s there for him to give him important knowledge and to encourage him in what he needs to do.

Another pair of kids that attach to Chrono quickly are the young Christopher siblings, Rosette and Joshua. Although he was at first very reluctant to let them close, the two children were so enthusiastic toward him and curious about him that he quickly found he couldn’t resist them. Over the months where they visited him, Chrono is shown constantly playing with them, telling them stories, being a listening ear and just generally indulging them. He obviously genuinely enjoys their company and seems happy to put up with their occasionally childish demands, and in turn they gave him a sense of peace that he hadn’t had in a while—even if it was quickly shattered later.

In general, Chrono seems to have few friends, but when he finds people that he can mutually trust he becomes VERY attached to them. By the end of the series, Rosette, Azmaria and Satella have become like family to him, and he both does everything he can to keep them safe and happy, and depends on them to help keep him going even when things get tough.

Because he cares about those he’s close to so deeply, he can be VERY protective, and even downright possessive, of his friends. He’s very quick to throw himself in between an enemy and one of the people he cares about in order to protect them from oncoming blows. In fact, when he first meets Satella, he even jumps in front of HER to take an attack meant for her—and one of the reasons he gives to her for why he did it was because she was trying to protect Azmaria. Another reason he gives is “I just can’t sit by and let people get killed right in front of me.”

The person he shows this motherly, protective side to the most is Rosette. He spends most of his energy trying to make sure Rosette is safe and happy—and also to try to keep her out of trouble as much as he can. Chrono is not only Rosette’s assistant in the Magdalan Order, and even not just the one contracted to her, but he practically defines himself as Rosette’s partner. They have a huge amount of mutual trust and understanding, and it’s very rare to see Rosette around with Chrono not at least nearby, if not actively following her like a shadow. Later on in the series, it’s spelled out beyond the shadow of a doubt that he’s in love with her. At the canon point I’m taking him, I don’t believe he’s realized that his affection for her has come to that point, but she is definitely his most important person and greatest priority for him.

Because of her importance to him—and maybe also because of some influence from his contract with her—Chrono can at times treat her VERY possessively. When a demon tries to absorb Rosette’s energy, he attacks and tells it in no uncertain terms that Rosette’s soul belongs to HIM. Later, when Rosette is attacked by a demon and falls to the ground, unmoving, he has a MASSIVE freak out that terrifies the other exorcists in the area, and when Rosette manages to snap him out of it and then kill the demon, he clings to her and bursts out into sobs. Later on, his enemies start to pick up on Rosette’s importance to him, and will mock and comment on it and even occasionally target her directly to get a rise out of him. And it works! It’s one of the quickest ways to set Chrono off. The effects of that I’ll go into a little later.

Chrono seems to be naturally inclined to be submissive and agreeable toward other people. He seems to hate conflict and avoids it when he can. In the official guide, his favorite word is listed as “Yes!” The other members of the Order are often suspicious of him, considering he’s one of the creatures they fight against, but he’s often quick to defend their suspicions of him and does his best to keep the peace. For example, when Rosette first joined the Order the Elder claimed Chrono was his test subject so that he could be allowed to stay on the Order grounds and be near Rosette, and Chrono isn’t shown doing much complaining or even feeling that their treatment of him is unfair.

That being said, Chrono has learned over the years that if he disagrees with someone he cares about, sometimes it’s important to speak up. Sometimes he can do this politely and gently. Other times, particularly if the person he’s disagreeing with is frustrating him (almost always Rosette), he runs out of patience and can get sarcastic or downright insulting. Because of how stubborn Rosette is, and how prone she is to causing trouble, he often ends up getting into arguments with Rosette, calling her an “idiot” and in one case even throwing her out of a window into a lake to force her to stop sleeping in. His childish banter with Rosette is more of a sign that he’s comfortable around her than anything, but to an outsider unfamiliar with the two they can come across as more like bickering siblings than the close friends they actually are.

However, Chrono’s tendency to lose his patience and get snappish with Rosette is a small echo of part of his true nature. Although Chrono appears to be a young boy, that is actually his sealed form. In reality, he is a powerful demon that’s at least several decades old. Chrono is a trained demon soldier, and well known among his kind for his power. He killed 100 of the demon world Pandaemonium’s strongest soldiers, earning himself the title of “The Slayer of 100” and ensuring that he would be hunted down by the Pursuers for the rest of his life.

He earned his title during a battle when he and his younger siblings, the Sinners, fled from Pandaemonium. Among the Sinners, he took on the role as Aion’s “sword” and soldier, obediently following his orders. He believed that it was his role to be a soldier and nothing else—even if it clashed with his desire to avoid hurting others.

However, his feelings about his role were shaken when he met Mary Magdalene. It was clear to everyone around him, including Aion, that Chrono fell for Mary pretty hard, and she had a profound effect on him. It’s likely that his relationship with her, and her attempts to understand him, was what motivated him to start to question his role and really think for himself for the first time. Although he had doubts, we don’t see any sign that he ever voiced them before he met Mary—which is likely why his hesitance to kill Mary when ordered shocked Aion so much.

But despite him eventually casting off his role as both a soldier of Pandaemonium and as a Sinner, Chrono is still a demon. One of the signs of this is his fierce, violent temper. It doesn’t show itself very often—normally only in incredibly high-stress moments, particularly when he’s been badly injured or Rosette is in trouble. But when his temper is eventually set off, it can cause HUGE consequences for everyone around him, Chrono included. His temper nearly got him killed when he attempted to break his seal after believing Rosette had been hurt or killed by the demon inside the Elder’s experimental bullet. It also momentarily caused him to lose control and show his demonic instincts to Satella—who was just LOOKING for an excuse to attack him. After the canon point I’m taking him, he will eventually allow himself to lose control of his temper and break the seal on his powers on his own to attack Aion, and in the aftermath he will kill several innocent bystanders, nearly kill Rosette, give the Sinners a chance to capture Azmaria and possibly cause him and Rosette to lose a chance to save Joshua. His demonic instinct fueled temper is one of, if not THE greatest flaw of his—and it’s a side of him that he despises.

Along with his slow-burning but destructive temper is a tendency toward melancholy, depression, and just being plain broody. Chrono has experienced a lot of trauma in his life, and although Rosette manages to generally keep his spirits up, he’s prone toward being pessimistic and sometimes dwells on the negative. Mary’s last words to Chrono were to make him promise that he wouldn’t “give up”—that is, kill himself in despair after her death. Although he keeps this promise, his solution of sleeping in her grave and waiting to eventually starve to death because of his damaged horns is practically a passive form of suicide in and of itself. Although his tendency to jump in the way of oncoming blows meant for other people is part of his protective side, it’s also likely a sign of the low importance he gives to himself and a symptom of a general death wish. He’s found motivation to stay alive now—keeping Rosette safe—but since Rosette is basically the only thing he has left to live for, he can become dangerously unstable when he’s without her. That’s likely at least part of the reason why he’s so fiercely protective of her, and why it’s easy to set off his temper by harming her. She’s just one of the few things that’s really THAT important to him.

If it’s not clear enough already, Chrono’s self-esteem is VERY low. He thinks very little of himself, and he blames himself for Mary’s death and Joshua’s kidnapping. Rosette usually tries to talk him out of his dour moods when he starts to beat himself up, so he mostly keeps it in check around her, but he still has a tendency to apologize to Rosette for them not being able to find Joshua right away and is generally dismissive about his own well-being. It doesn’t help that his contract with Rosette, while maybe necessary, is killing her. It only adds onto the guilt he feels for the situation they’re in—and he admits in volume 6 that he’s occasionally regretted their contract and tried to find some other way that they could do things. In fact, at one point in canon he even forces himself into a coma to try to prevent himself from taking any more of Rosette’s soul away, and after Rosette’s death near the end of the manga, he accepts Joshua’s accusation of being a “monster” without protest and even calls himself that soon after.

Besides his relationship with Rosette, there’s one other relationship that he has that I think brings out most of the sides of his personality, and that’s his relationship with his old friend turned enemy, Aion. During his time with Aion, his submissive side was fully in control—he accepted Aion telling him that his job wasn’t to think with little protest, and while he would eventually push back against Aion’s orders, it really did take Mary’s influence before he finally got enough of a spine to really challenge Aion fully. It was when he was with Aion that he suffered the trauma that possibly caused his depression—or at the very least, made it worse. But before he’s forced to leave the Sinners, he does his best to be loyal to Aion and serve him as best he can—in fact, even when Aion orders him to kill the woman he loves, he desperately tries to reason with Aion to find another way to save her. It’s only until Aion attacks him that he actually fights him, and even then he shows hesitation, which is likely what gave Aion the opening to rip out his horns.

After Aion resurfaces to take away Joshua, what anger of Chrono’s that isn’t aimed at himself is aimed squarely at Aion. Some of the most aggressive moments he has are when he remembers the pain that Aion has caused to both him and the people he cares about. He mostly keeps it bottled up inside because he HATES talking about his past, but it occasionally surfaces. For example, when he’s fighting Pursuers that have backed him into a corner, he finds the energy to fight against them to protect himself because of his desire to hunt Aion down and fight him, not just for Rosette and Joshua, but for HIMSELF. It’s later, when he sees Aion again for the first time in 50 years, that his rage finally gets the best of him and he ends up killing several innocent bystanders in order to attack Aion with all he has. Although Chrono doesn’t yet know it, his life is irreparably tied to Aion, and Aion may actually be one of the most important people in his life in terms of their connection and the influence Aion has—perhaps even more than Mary and Rosette.

Both the kindhearted boy and the violent demon are equal parts of Chrono, and combine together to paint a complete picture. Although Chrono hates the side of him that's seen by him and others as a "monster", his denial of that part of him is what causes many of his problems. Later in the manga, when Remington confronts him about it, he learns to both accept his demonic instincts and then control them. But until then, the struggle between Chrono and his dual natures is what defines him the most--and, if and when others find out what he truly is, it has the potential to paint other's views of him as well.

Chosen WEAPON: Chrono’s weapon will be his unsealed form. In canon, Chrono can only be in his “true” form and be at his full power when his contractor unseals his powers. With his true form as his “weapon” Chrono will be able to unseal his powers without depending on a contractor.

In the beginning, it’ll be severely weakened—he’ll only be able to stay in the form for limited amounts of time, his more powerful abilities will be completely impossible to use and he’ll become extremely exhausted if pushes himself at all while in that form. As his weapon “evolves” he’ll be able to use his unsealed form for longer periods of time without worrying about tiring out or hurting himself, and after a long amount of time he’ll be able to begin to use his more powerful abilities again.

(Let me know if this isn’t an acceptable choice and I’ll switch to something else!)

Character INVENTORY: He’ll have his outfit in his sealed form, and the “gun box” arsenal he carries on his back as Rosette’s assistant. Inside the box is several guns loaded with bullets from the Order (all specially made to work well against demons, but not any more effective against humans than normal bullets), some regular bullets, a few vials of holy water, several “cross” barriers designed to keep demons captured and block their powers, and a pair of daggers for Chrono to defend himself in a pinch. On the side of the box is a phone that can connect with the Magdalan Order branches and several of the commanding officers…or it could, if Chrono was in his own world.

So basically it’s a box full of weaponry designed for an enemy he’s unlikely to fight against in Exsilium, and a phone that doesn’t work. Huzzah!

N/A, Chrono’s coming straight from canon and has no previous game memories.

First PERSON: [video]
[Chrono—a boy with tan skin and purple hair—frowns at the screen as the recording starts.]
I’ve been trying to wait for a few days to see if more information comes out, but I still don’t know how to feel about this place. If what they say about the “United Earth” is true, I can understand why they want to fight. I can understand why they’re desperate. I would want to fight, too.

But…[He pauses and glances behind him for a moment at one of the run-down buildings of Exsilium, then sighs and turns back toward the tablet.] Nobody likes being forced to do something. Even something that might be “good.” I don’t want to cause trouble, but honestly I don’t really know if I can trust the Initiative. And I don’t like being taken from the people that I want to protect to fight in a war. Even if they are taking things from my world, I still wasn’t asked.

[He rests his chin in his hand and looks away from the screen.] I think the only thing I really know for sure is that this entire thing is a mess…

Third PERSON: Chrono quietly stepped out of the room Satella had loaned to Rosette and closed the door behind him—although not before he pointed a scowl in the direction of the sleeping girl. She was lucky that she was drunk enough that Satella couldn’t get through her thick skull right now about the vases she broke. He knew that as soon as he descended the stairs to talk to Satella and try to work out what they could do to pay her back that he was going to get an earful. (Or possibly a faceful of her breasts, considering how drunk Satella herself was. He wasn’t sure which was worse.)

Ever since they’d been partners, they’d fallen into this routine. Rosette would do something without thinking, cause an unbelievable amount of destruction, and Chrono was left trying desperately to clean up after her mess as much as possible. He couldn’t help but think that maybe he’d been coddling her too much. Maybe if he stopped trying to soften the blow of the consequences of her actions, she’d learn to think things through a little more, to look before she leapt, and to not get herself so drunk that she didn’t even notice the row of priceless art that she was about to barrel into. When she was a nun. And alcohol was illegal in her country. And she was too young to be drinking even if it was legal.

But then again…wasn’t she already suffering enough? It was easy to forget sometimes, with Rosette’s optimistic attitude and boisterous nature, but the things she had said tonight proved what he’d secretly been worried about: that underneath Rosette’s loud, devil-may-care attitude, she really was hurting. Rosette was dying because of her contract with him, and she was painfully aware of how short her life would be. She missed her brother, the only family she had left, so much that she’d be willing to go through with that pain to get him back. And it was his fault in the first place that her brother had been taken--his horns, the demon that he had once called “brother,” and his own inability to recognize the warning signs of a young boy being pushed toward the edge and willing to take any chance to heal himself and to grab at power. He should’ve known that things wouldn’t stay peaceful forever. He should’ve realized that if Joshua had even a fraction of the power of Mary Magdalene that Aion would go after him.

When he thought about it like that, maybe he was being too harsh on her. Maybe he could handle getting the worst of Satella’s anger directed at him for an evening.

He took a deep breath, his mind made up. He’ll do his best to clean up this mess again, and then direct his focus back on getting Rosette to San Francisco so they could find her brother. She’d promised him her soul so that he could protect her until she accomplished her goal. He’d do anything to help her get Joshua back, so what were a few angry words? He straightened his back and began the descent down the stairs, practicing the polite apology to the wealthy bounty hunter as he did.