Beyond the Ruins (2300 A.D.)
Crono, Lucca, and Marle emerge from the Time Gate in a strange room. Lucca observes that the structure looks highly advanced but everything looks decrepit and disused. At the north end of the room is a door with a strange crest on it however it seems to be sealed with the same force that prevented Crono from opening the chests he’s been coming across. The trio exit the room and find themselves in blasted wasteland. They hurry to the south as exposure to the wasteland is toxic to them and enter a structure called Trann Dome.
Inside Trann Dome Crono, Lucca, and Marle find what is left of the human inhabitants of the facility. The few people that remain in the dome are destitute and on the edge of survival, and seem to have been in such a state for a long time. One person will trade with Crono and the gang for their money even though he doesn’t know of any use for it. Another man stands near a device that he calls the “Enertron.” The man claims that someone using it can get a full night of sleep in seconds however, it won’t do anything to satisfy someone’s hunger. With it you can be fully restored and remain alive, but you’re still hungry.
This is apparently how these people have lasted as long as they have in a blasted world where nothing apparently grows.
One of the other inhabitants tells the crew that there’s a rumor that Arris Dome to the east has food, the catch is that to get there you have to go through the very dangerous Site 16. Another sealed door lies in the back of the living area. Being no closer to figuring out what is going on, Crono and the gang decide to head to Arris Dome.
From Trann Dome the trio first head north to go through Site 16. Whatever Site 16 was before whatever cataclysm turn the world into this state, it is now a junkyard that is overrun with mutants and other creatures. And unlike the humans in Trann Dome, the creatures here are thriving in the ecosystem created by the ruins of this world. It’s easy to see why so few try to cross the ruins to get to Arris Dome.
The residents of Arris Dome don’t seem to be in much better condition that the people of Tann Dome. Upon arriving at the dome the people are amazed to see that people have successfully crossed through Site 16. The “leader” of the group introduces himself as Doran and states that he is a descendant of the former director of the dome. Like everyone else the crew has met in this world so far, the people here are starving and seem to be kept alive only by their Enegtron. A woman says that her husband left to retrieve food from the storage facility but hasn’t returned. Doran informs the trio that the food is guarded by hostile robots so it seems unlikely that he’ll be back anytime soon. Speaking with some of the others in the dome that even more berserk robots have have also taken over Proto Dome further to the east as well as the nearby factory. Other talk about an old man who lives near and studies Death Peak which they describe is as the source of all of the devastation.
Since the people of Arris Dome have provided Crono and the gang with so much new lore and information, they offer to go to the food storage facility and look for their missing man. On the way to the storage facility, they come across a locked door leading into another part of the dome however, it seems that they need a password to enter that part of the facility. On the way to the storage facility, the trio walk across some scaffolding in order to avoid a ruined part of the facility. On the scaffolding, they pass what looks like a statue of a large rat-like creature but pay it no mind for the time being. Right before the crew make it to the storage facility the facility’s Guardian robot attacks them. Presumably, the robot was designed to keep unauthorized people or entities out of the food storage but some reasons unknown it’s now attacking anyone that tries to get to the food. The Guardian is eventually dealt with and the three and allowed to enter the food storage facility. However, the inside only holds more bad news.
Upon entering the food storage area Marle immediately smells something foul. Lucca investigates the containers where the food is kept and determines that the food has gone bad. Apparently, the refrigeration failed some time ago. In the back of the room they find the body of the man who came to retrieve the food. It seems that he made it past the Guardian but died of his wounds before he could return. Crono searches the body and finds a seed in his hand and a note written in what must be the man’s blood. Marle takes the seed and the note reads that the rat holds a secret. When the team walk across the scaffolding while returning the team notices the rat again who tries to escape when they’re spotted. The rat is fast but Crono is faster and eventually catches the rat, the rat then gives up that they know the password to enter the locked room that the team passed.
Since the locked door is on the way back Crono and the team decide to open the door to the locked area. Behind the door are even more hostile robots along with other pests like giant mutated bugs and large rats. Beyond all of the robot guards the trio find a room with a large computer console in the center. Lucca works out how to activate and operate the computer (she is a super-genius after all) and determines that she can calibrate it to detect Time Gates. Eventually she finds a suitable signal coming from the Proto Dome farther to the east. The team figures that they’ve become experts at dealing with homicidal robots so decide that would be a fine place to seek out a new Time Gate.
Marle, maybe out of boredom and/or curiosity, starts messing with the console and brings up some archival footage from the year 1999; the so-called “Day of Lavos.” The video shows an exterior shot of one of the domes from an overhead perspective (a satellite shot?). The ground in front of the dome suddenly opens up and a large crater opens up. Then a massive creature, almost the size of the nearby dome, emerges from the crevasse it created before launching several projectiles out of its back. The video cuts to another overhead shot of another dome when projectiles fired from the creatures back begin raining from the sky before the video cuts out.
Crono, Lucca, and Marle stand stunned at what they just saw. Marle becomes consumed by grief that this is the fate that awaits their world. Once Marle composes herself again she decides that it up to the three of them to somehow use the Time Gates to prevent this future from happening similar to how Crono and Lucca did when they saved her in the year 600. Crono and Lucca both agree that they are the best to take this task on since they have access and some measure of control over the time gates and resolve to help Marle prevent the Day of Lavos from happening. Lucca then suggests that they head back to their own time in order to search for clues about Lavos.
Now burdened with glorious purpose Crono, Lucca, and Marle return to the residents of the dome and deliver the bad news about the food and the man who went who went scouting for the food. The people are naturally very distraught bu Marle gives Doran the seed that they found and urges them not to give up. Doran comments that the three are somehow fundamentally different and Marle points out that they haven’t lost hope. Before the team leaves to head to Proto Dome, Doran gives Crono a jet bike key which suggests will no doubt come in handy when they get to Site 32.