"She’s headed right towards you." Xu said as she double checked her readings on her laptop. "Make sure you have your
"We’re all set." Zell replied.
"Zell.." Xu said as she switched to another laptop to her right. "Be careful."
"I will. Say Xu, when this is all done, would you like to go on a date?" Zell asked his voice somewhere between fear, and
"You just worry about Rinoa first." Xu replied as she bit her lips and cut the connection, taking off her head set. "Zell."
She whispered. "You better stay alive."
There were four of them. Standing in the hallway at the end. Not that it mattered, even if three of them were once people
she called friends. They would die, just like the one who she was drawn to.
Yet deep inside her mind, she could feel the other one. The one who was screaming at her for the madness to stop. She paid
it no mind. Stepping lightly, swaying from side to side she moved forward.
An Ice spell hit her. She retaliated with a fire spell.
Only a few more feet. Just a few more steps.
"She’s not stopping!" Cried the one she remembered as Selphie.
"I’ll make her stop." The tall cowboy said as he held his rifle in both hands across his chest concentrating.
"We don’t have time for that!" The blonde man cried at the cowboy.
The names surfaced into her mind, and she raised her hand and paused as the other, screamed at her within the mind.
Zell saw his chance, it seemed like Rinoa was having an inner conflict of some sort. It was the same facial expression
he had once seen on Edea when he had escorted her to Esthar City. Running forward, he apologized to Squall in his mind and
barreled into her, lifting his hand to karate chop at Rinoas neck. Yet when he got closer he was bounced off by a white flash
and went flying into the wall with a thump.
Irvine cursed at the display. Only once before he had seen that ability, and that was when Ultimicia had possessed Rinoa
on the space station. Grimacing he continued to Summon, as Rinoa drew closer. Zell, Irvine had to admit, could very well be
right about Rinoa being possessed again. There was no time to think on that though, he had to act. He had to get the summon
"Come on." He growled as he watched Rinoa step closer, hand raised, body swaying from left to right, like a puppet being
controlled by a puppet master. "Come on Leviathan. Come on, lets get this showdown started."
"Hurry Irvine!" Selphie said as she cast protect on both her and him, using her Limit to cast the spell twice, since Rinoa
had simply passed by Zell without a second glance.
"I’m trying!" Irvine muttered as he continued to concentrate. "I just don’t have that much of a compatibility
with Leviathan yet!"
"Gah!" Selphie squawked. "Why didn’t you choose a more compatible Summon! Like Oh, The Brothers?!?"
"They’re not junctioned!" Irvine snapped.
"Oh that’s wonderful you great big lummox!" Selphie said she watched as the girl she once knew as the head strong,
Rinoa advance closer, with deliberate steps. "She’s coming closer!"
"Forgive me!" Anna said as she stepped up, drawing a complicated symbol in the air with her pointer finger on her right
hand. "I think this is the only way." She whispered as she sprinted forward, holding her left hand out in front of her. With
a burst of purple magic the girl engulfed herself into a purple flame and made a suicidal rush at Rinoa. Managing to tackle
her to the ground. "Irvine sir!" She shouted. "You better have your summon ready! I can’t hold her for very long!"
At that moment the very earth shook as rocks shot up from the ground, and a long blue water like snake crawled and slithered
past Anna, who merely nodded and squeezed her eyes shut. The liquid shape changed form and became a long blue dragon like
serpent that rested above the rocks like a king before exploding into water again and rushed down the rocks, in a torrent
of white foam and water.
When the force was gone Anna had been swept away and lay on her side eyes still closed tightly. She wasn’t breathing.
Rinoa however was gone.
"This... isn’t good." Irvine muttered as he knelt down on the ground.
Inside the meeting of minds, Squall knelt before his young charge and tried to get more information out of him.
"Hayner. Who’s coming? What are they going to do?"
Hayner bit his lip and then looked down at his feet and scuffed them on the green grass. Looking up with wide eyes, he
opened his mouth and said.
"The Sorceress." He then promptly closed his mouth and looked at Squall fearfully, as if the sorceress he was trying to
warn them about, really was a huge threat. Squall nodded and then stood up looking to everyone.
"Ellone, take Hayner. Go somewhere safe." He said turning away from the girl and boy and looked at Seifer, Raijin, and
Fujin. "One of you is going with them." He added.
"NOT ME." Fujin said gruffly.
"Yeah man." Raijin said crossing his arms over his chest. "We’re fighting all the way."
"AFFIRMATIVE." Fujin said with a curt nod and looked at Seifer with a smirk.
"Oh, come on." Seifer said throwing his hands up into the air, with a look of disgust. "You people don’t expect me
to play Knight now, do you?"
Squall crossed his arms over his chest and looked down in thought. The situation was strange. None the less, they were,
in all technicality, inside a collective of their minds, so splitting up could very well be a bad thing, yet if what Hayner
had said was true, then they were all in for a world of trouble. What, he didn’t quite know yet, but he wasn’t
about to risk Ellones life, nor Hayners.
"Sorry Seifer, someone’s got to look out for them. That’s an order."
"The hell it is." Seifer said stalking up to Squall and waving his arm around to indicate that nobody had any weapons.
"We’re not armed, we’re not prepared. How do you expect to fight without weapons?"
"How does a sorceress fight?" Squall shot back, throwing his left arm out to the side and glaring back at Seifer. "How
do people who aren’t trained in military warfare fight? It’s not with weapons, but with what’s inside them.
How they feel."
"I don’t believe this." Seifer sneered. "You’re lecturing me. Me, on how one fights. You’re telling me
people fight with their hearts. Oh Shiva, this is rich." Seifer said chuckling with a deadly grin on his face. "I’ll
let you in on a secret Squall. All those times I went up against you, all those times we fought and you handed me my ass.
I was fighting with all my heart, for what I believed in, but you had a strength. Something I didn’t have. At least
not when we fought for the last time. You had friends."
The silence was deafening after the remark sank in.
It was true, Squall had a lot of friends, and everyone in B Garden looked up to him, as their leader. They trusted him.
Seifer, in the end really had nothing at all except a shattered dream of being a Knight to a sorceress, who in the end wanted
nothing to do with him. Sure he had Raijin and Fujin, but even back then they only stayed with him, out of a grudging respect,
and the fact that everyone in the end saw them too, as traitors during the Garden War.
Squall pursed his lips and nodded. "Okay then, Seifer." He said nodding. "What do you suggest?"
"Taking the kid to safety is a good decision, I have to admit." Seifer said looking at Ellone, reminded of how often he
had wanted to get her attention as a child in Matrons orphanage. "So Ellone can still do that, but as for the four of us.
We wait, right here. For whatever danger comes our way. To hell with military formation of three groups, we’re going
to have to depend on our wits, and whatever we have stocked magic wise, and whatever summons we have."
Squall took this suggestion and thought it over, with a nod he looked back at Seifer.
"Fine, we’ll do it your way. On one condition, if things look bad, real bad, you or I go fetch Ellone and Hayner
and get them out of here."
"Fine." Seifer said nodding and looking back at Squall with grudging respect. "It’s a deal." With that the tall blonde
youth turned from his rival and watched the horizons.
Ellone, in silence, took Hayner’s hand in hers and led him up the stone pathway and over the green hill.
"Smells like oil in here." Andrew said as he poked his head through a hatch after having climbed up the ladder. Nose wrinkling
the cadet hauled himself out and turned to extend his hand towards Jay who was just behind him. "Come on kid, let me haul
you out of there."
"My name is Jay." Jay said as he was pulled through the hatch, and moved aside for the two other girls that were behind
him, to be helped into the hatch. "You guys have any idea where your going at all?" Jay asked grumpily.
"Haven’t the faintest idea." Andrew replied as he stood up and looked at his surroundings. "Two choices folks, left
or right?" He said pointing left, and then right, to indicate the dark narrow tunnels to either side.
"Hold on a moment." Crystal said as she spied what looked to be a sign covered in grime. Grabbing a cloth out of the pocket
on the inside of her uniforms coat, she walked up to the sign and wiped it off. "Anybody got a light?" She asked afterwards.
"Nothing but fire spells," Andrew said with a frown, "and I don’t want to risk blowing us all up, considering that
there could be nearby flammable gasses or something."
"Point." Crystal said as she peered closely and squinted at the writing. "It’s a map. By the looks of it, we’re
in the maintenance tunnels. There's a near by Oil depository to the left. To the right, is a door, with a set of stairs behind
it, that go upwards to something marked Level M L."
Andrew processed this new information, and then nodded his head. "Right, we’ll take the right passage way. If we’re
lucky we can reach the upper levels. I only hope, nothing too serious is going on. Come on, lets get going."
With the mutual agreement they all set out for the right, Crystal keeping an eye out for more maps on the wall to track
Xu stood up and looked over at the young Cadet that was trying over and over to reach the missing cadets that fell through
the hole in the floor of the hallway outside the now demolished training center. She considered it lucky that the creatures
from there weren’t smart enough to use the elevator to get to the upper levels. However, she now had to worry about
the lower basement levels, the monsters were sure to make their way into the tunnels below. Taking a breather she walked over
to the Cadet.
"Any luck finding them?" She asked placing a re-assuring hand on his shoulder as he took off the head set with a grim facial
"No. I get nothing but static on the issued frequency they had."
Xu frowned and then shook her head. "Say, what’s your name, and more importantly the names of the missing cadets?"
"Well, my name is Devin." Devin said as he swiped his hands through his hair. "The Squad leader is Andrew, the two under
his instruction were friends of ours. Amalia and Crystal. We were all in the same class."
"Well Devin, I’m sure your friends are okay. Don’t give up on them yet." Xu said as she looked towards the
door leading to Cids office. "Look, can you hold down the fort here for a while? I want to go talk to Cid."
"Yeah sure. I’ll do what I can." Devin said as he put the headset back on.
"Thanks." Xu said with a smile, and turned towards the Headmasters office.