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FF8: Edeas Garden

Chapter 14: Zell Takes Charge

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Chapter 14:

Zell Takes Charge

Zell had left Xu on the bridge with Cadet Devin, and took the elevator down to the main floor, a headset jammed on his head, one hand pressed against his ear. A conversation between Xu and Quistis didn’t ease his feelings.

"The enemy has disappeared. Repeat the enemy has disappeared." Quistis’s voice rang out in his ears. "Selphie is down and injured."

"Damn it! Xu! Get Irvine on the line. Tell him to pick up Selphie and meet me at the Dr’s office!" He yelled into the headset as he skidded to a stop as a large bomb appeared after the elevator door slid open with a swoosh on the first floor.

"On it Zell." Xu replied her voice filled with anxiety.

Zell grimaced as he realized that the only way to move forward was to fight past the bomb, quickly checking his magic reserves he realized he didn’t have any ice magic.

"Oh, Tonberry!" He cursed as he frantically looked around for a way to get past the monster that floated and loomed ever closer. "Think, Zell think!" He grumbled. "Hitting it will only make it larger. I’ve only got three chances at this..."

The Bomb loomed closer and smacked him in the shoulder causing a searing pain on his flesh. "Damn that stings!" Zell hissed as he stepped back a few paces. "Could really use Shiva right now.." He muttered.

"SLEEP!" Issued a cry from a young pixie faced girl as she tore around the corner from the direction of the library, and up the steps. Causing the bomb to fall to the ground scorching the floor. "ICEAGA!" She shouted after a few seconds while Zell used a cure spell on the burn on his flesh. A large ice block formed and dropped on the bomb, instantly killing it with a hiss of steam and smoke.

"Cadet Anna at your service!" She said saluting as she jogged up. "You okay Zell?" She asked breathlessly.

"Yeah I’m fine." Zell muttered. "I thought I told the Cadets to evacuate with the younger students."

"Correct Sir, but there are a few of us who are ready to take the exam. I got separated from my team mates in the explosion. It’s utter chaos, Sir." She said indicating the loud noises of fighting all over Balamb Garden.

"Okay, understood." Zell replied. "Quick question. I could use your help getting to the Dr’s office. How much magic is in your reserves?"

"One hundred of each third level elemental magic minus one Iceaga spell, sir, and ninety nine of sleep."

"Junctions?"

"Shiva and Siren." She answered quickly.

"Great Cadet Anna." Zell said with a brief nod. "You’re with me. I’m low on reserves, and could use your help. Lets go!"

"Sir, yes Sir!" Anna said as she smiled and nodded at Zell as the two jogged on their way to the Dr's Office.

****

Her steps were light, and her body swayed from side to side, as she looked around the training facility. On a mere whim she blew open the doors and used a powerful spell to cause the ground to quake. In the confusion she walked past everybody, her face a blank mask.

One girl, wearing a yellow dress, and carrying nun chucks in her right hand, ran up to her tried to touch her, but was carelessly tossed aside in a bright flash. The look of pain, and hurt on the girls face briefly touched on a locked away part in Rinoa’s mind and a name surfaced on her tongue.

"Selphie.." She whispered, and then smiled darkly. "Good bye." With that the once caring Rinoa flicked her finger and the body of Selphie was lifted high into the air and tossed aside like a rag doll. Hitting a metal wall. Without a word, Rinoa moved on. Not hearing the hurt in Selphies voice.

"Rinoa.. what’s wrong with you?" Before her head went limp and she passed out cold.

Rinoa had one objective. The Knight. The one who declared to protect and love her. The one who abandoned her in the end. She wanted to see him. She missed him so. She wanted to kill him, watch him suffer, watch him die.

Like a moth drawn to a light she followed a force she could sense. A force she knew. A force that led her to him.

****

[Somethings coming!]

[Who’s that?]

[Hayner]

[Oh. Oh my!] A pause of silence, in the darkness.

[Squall, Hayner’s been effected too.]

[... Wonderful]

[WHAT’S COMING?]

[Something evil.]

[Oh great. I’m surrounded by a bunch of chickens.]

[Hey Man. That’s not nice!]

[Can it Raijin.]

[Make me Seifer.]

[IDIOTS!]

[Ellone, is there anything you can do to make us visible to each other?]

[I.. don’t know, but I can try Squall. Just give me a few moments.]

[Hurry! It’s almost here!]

[There.. I think. Yes I have it.]

The darkness faded, and slowly within the melded mind scape of minds the figures of Seifer, Raijin, Fujin, Squall, Ellone and the young Hayner stood in a circle looking at each other.

"That’s better." Ellone said with a weak smile, as Black faded into grey and then white, and filled with the colors of a green field with hills, and a stone pathway. "This is the place where Raine rests. It’s a place Uncle Laguna holds dear." Ellone said raising a hand and shielding her eyes from the sun.

 

Squall said nothing, as he turned his back to the group. His mind a mixed mass of emotions.

"Squall? Man, what’s wrong?" Raijin asked as he moved towards Squall.

"Nothing." He said turning to look at the others.

Fujin impatient kicked Raijin on the shin. "WHAT’S COMING!?"

"Something.. bad." Hayner said looking around wildly. "Something very bad."

****

"There!" Zell shouted as he pointed up ahead as he bounced on the balls of his feet, his muscles aching and sore from the continuous fights with the monsters. "There he is!"

Irvine looked up at the source of the call, his mouth a set in grim determination. "Evening." He said with a grunt as he bent down and set Selphie on the ground. "I brought her here as ordered." He said crossing his arms over his chest with a growl. "Now, where is she?"

"Look man." Zell said to Irvine, not liking the dangerous look in his eyes. "You absolutely cannot go off with your head cocked. You’ll get killed."

"She hurt Selphie!" Irvine spat glaring at Zell. "She’s going to pay!"

"Look, ah, man. She’s not right in the head or something. For all I know she could be possessed by a sorceress or something."

"Give me a break Zell. Rinoa is the only Sorceress in this entire world! She has Edea’s powers!"

"Now hold on a moment!" Zell said throwing his arms up into the air. "We don’t know that for sure. Think of the histories! How *many* sorceresses were there?"

"Three sir!" Anna piped up after applying first aid to Selphie. "The Sorceress Adel, The sorceress Edea, and Ultimicia."

"Ah, actually Ellone’s a sorceress in her own rights." Zell corrected. "Ultimicia is a sorceress from the future, so she doesn’t count. Just yet."

"What, are you babbling about?" Irvine said smacking his hand on the wall. "Rinoa isn’t possessed. She knew Selphie on sight!"

"Would you just calm down you big lout!" Selphie squawked as she groaned and stood up. "You don’t know her half as well as Zell and I do." She said scowling at the cowboy who turned his head away from her. "There is defiantly something wrong with her."

"Fine. Okay. So she’s messed in the head or something. What are we going to do? The others are MIA!"

"We deal with her." Selphie said. "We do our jobs."

"You realize if Squall was awake he’d try to stop you." Irvine said with a scowl. "I mean it is, Rinoa. The girl who broke past that wall of his."

"..." Zell hung his head. "Okay, fine. I can understand we may have to fight her, but I don’t want to kill her. Squall would kill us all if we did. She’s one of our gang! We have to at least try to break through to the real Rinoa."

"As Squall would say.." Selphie piped up. "Whatever."

"Agreed." Irvine said stuffing his hands in his pockets. "What was her last heading?"

Zell sighed and repeated the question to Xu who had been listening in on the conversation.

"Rinoa’s whereabouts are un known. But there have been reports of random sightings. Many have been hurt or killed." Xu replied.

At that moment there was an explosion at the end of the long hallway leading from the Dr’s office.

"Team C has been destroyed!" Xu screamed into the headsets, causing Zell to wince. "I’m guessing she’s heading right to where you all are." She added after she double checked reports.

"Hyne." Zell grumbled.

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This is a fanfic.