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FF8: Edeas Garden

Chapter 16: Headmasters, Presidents, and Sorceresses.

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Chapter 16:

Headmasters, Presidents, and Sorceresses.

Cid stood behind his desk and looked out the massive window behind him, at the now dawning sun. It was a peaceful thing to watch, when considering complete and total chaos was issuing within his very own home, Balamb Garden. With a sigh he took off his glasses and cleaned them with a cloth.

It was going to very sad the next few weeks, when this situation came to a close, he realized. Hyne only knew how many students died in the explosions and battles. With a grim face he replaced his glasses and rocked back and forth on his feet holding his hands behind his back.

He gazed out the window watching the dark grey clouds turn orange, and pink as the sun rose into the sky. When the sky started to turn blue in the breaks between the color changing clouds, Cid turned on his heel and walked back towards his desk.

"So the sun rose, upon the chaos that ensued on the word on which she shone." Cid said, quoting some text from a book he had once read from the Garden Library. Sitting down and lacing his fingers together, and placing them on his desk he watched the door, knowing full well that Xu would enter ready to make a report of some kind.

As expected there was a light succession of knocks on the door.

"Come in." Cid said in his calm voice. Knowing, that Xu was already turning the door handle, and pushing open the door.

"Morning Sir." Xu said wearily, as she walked towards the desk and stopped a few feet away saluting, with her right hand held close to her face her palm facing towards the massive oak door.

"Morning Xu." Cid said with a nod. "At ease, what do you wish to report?"

"Well, Sir." Xu said lowering her arm to rest at her side as she moved her feet so she stood with them shoulder width apart. "The attacker was recognized in looks as Rinoa Heartily, General Caraway’s daughter. Yet, it seems she isn’t herself, and Zell thinks she may be possessed by a sorceress or something of that nature."

"I see." Cid said with a nod, "What about our students?"

"Most of them have evacuated, with the Jr. Classes. Except a few who are ready to take the exam. They viewed this as the prime opportunity to do such. However, four of our cadets have gone MIA, and communications with them have been severed. We assume that they are lost in the service tunnels below, it is a logical assumption since they were in the area when Rinoa used a third level earth spell to rupture a hole in the floor just outside the Training Center."

Cid nodded silently taking in the information, and waved his hand indicating she should continue. Xu nodded and took a deep breath.

"Monsters have escaped from the training center and are currently being cleared out by teams D, A, and F. Team C was eradicated in an explosion just outside the hallway leading to Dr. Kadawokis office. It was in the hallway that, Zell, Irvine, and Selphie, who had been mildly injured in the first explosion, faced Rinoa, along with our young Cadet Anna Upton."

"Go on." Cid said as he looked at his hands in thought, wondering what course of action to take.

"Cadet Devin, who was ordered by Quistis Trepe to help with Tech, is currently trying to locate the missing members from his class. Though like I have said, our communications with them have been severed, it is possible that the issued headset was destroyed in the fall. It is also possible that they could be.."

"Do not say anymore Xu." Cid interrupted as he stood up and walked around to the front of his desk. "We need not count a death toll just yet. Right now we need to stabilize this situation. We also need to notify General Caraway of where his daughter is. We may even, need to evacuate the remaining people on board."

"Sir?" Xu asked looking at Cid with an odd expression on her face.

"It means we may not survive this situation if we cannot get through to Rinoa, let us not forget our home is now a lair to several monsters. Our current course was changed over the night to head into the northern ice caps. If the situation gets dire, Nida has orders to set the Garden on auto pilot to crash on the nearest reef or ice burg."

"But sir! How will we be able to evacuate those in the Dr’s office? Their condition while stable, still renders them unable to move or respond to normal methods of waking a person up."

Cid smiled at Xu, and sighed sadly. "Don’t fret Xu. Edea is taking care of that aspect."

"How Sir?" Xu asked perplexed.

"Remember the new medical beds we got from President Loire?" Cid asked as he walked her to the door.

"Yes, I was there to sign the delivery papers. What about them?"

"They’re specially crafted and made by Dr. Odine. In case of an emergency, a sorceress may activate them, and they will become like life pods. Full life monitoring systems, as well as 48 hours of air."

"Sir! This is insane. That gives us only two days for retrieval of the pods!"

"I am as reluctant as you are for this course of action Xu." Cid said as he opened the door, "however, we may not have a choice."

"I see." Xu said with a sigh, as she walked out the door and saluted once again, after turning to face him. "Is there anything I can do?"

"Yes. Order the remaining SEEDs, to regroup in the main lobby by the gates, and to begin a secondary evacuation, our strongest seeds, and the few remaining Cadets who wish to use this moment as their exam will remain behind to ensure the others get to the remaining escape hatches. They will then escape via the boats and the Ragnarok ships."

"Alright." Xu said with a curt nod and turned on her heel.

****

Laguna paced back and forth in his room, where Kiros and Ward had met him, when the alarms sounded.

"Of all the times for an emergency to happen." Laguna said as he looked at Kiros. "Kiros, we have to do something. We have to help them!"

"It would seem so." Kiros said as he stood next to a wall, his left hand hovering over the open door switch. "You need only say the word, Laguna."

Ward crossed his arms over his chest and regarded the two and nodded his head, his eyes speaking more words then he’d ever be able to.

"Thanks guys." Laguna said rubbing the back of his head. "I guess it’s a good thing that we brought our old weapons."

"It’s a force of habit. Shall we then?" Kiros responded.

Laguna nodded his head and bent down to pick up his old gun, and shouldered it. "No time like the present." He said as he walked over to Ward and thumped his shoulder. "Try not to get killed, if you do, I’ll give you the kootchie treatment."

Ward’s eyes widened in shock, and then shone with understanding. Thumping his own heavy hand down on Laguna’s shoulder the big burly man nodded his head and the two friends turned to Kiros, who was sliding his katars over his hands. With a nod he slapped the open door switch and the three rushed out into the hallway.

****

Edea. The raven haired sorceress.

Matron. The one who took great sacrifice to ensure Ellone’s safety.

A sorceress, a wife, and a mother rich with foster children. Every child in Balamb, and every child on her white SEED ship. Were but a mere fraction of the Garden family.

With eyes filled with sadness, but a smile on her dark lips she materialized in the hallway where some of her children had fought against the rouge sorceress who had taken over Rinoa’s mind. Bending over the pixie faced girl, Anna Upton, she checked her vital signs and clucked her tongue sadly.

"Go to where you will sleep in eternal peace." Edea said as she stood, and turned to her two children Irvine and Selphie. Both were seated on the floor, tending to wounds on their bodies with cure spells.

"My children." She said with sadness. "Today is a sad day."

"Matron! I mean Edea.." Selphie said as she moved to stand up. "It’s horrible. There are so many people who died..."

"I know my child." Edea said as she turned and looked at Zell, and saw him lying on his side, eyes closed and his breaths shallow. Moving with a gliding elegance, and soft footfalls she hurried over to Zell and placed a hand on his forehead.

With a grunt the blonde haired youth opened his eyes and looked at Edea. "I tried." He whispered, as his body shook with pain. "I thought, we could get through to her.. I failed." Zell coughed and blood spurted on to Edea’s black dress.

"You are gravely injured my child." Edea said sadly. "Yet you must live." She said as she looked to Selphie. "My dear, could you use your highest cure spell to help him?"

Selphie nodded numbly and walked over to Zell and placed her hands on his chest. "Hey there." She said as tears streamed down her face. "We’ll get you back healthy in no time." She whispered thickly, choking on her own words. "I promise."

Zell shook his head and looked at Selphie. "Ah, Selphie, don’t cry. It’s only a few bumps and bruises." He said as he coughed and more blood spilled from his mouth on to Selphies hands.

"Jerk!" She squawked as she called up a curaga spell. "You damn idiot, why did you go and do that?"

Zell didn’t answer.

"Zell?" Selphie said as the curaga spell washed over his body. "Come on Zell, answer me!" Selphie said her eyes going wide with shock. "Zell!" She shouted grabbing on to his shoulders and shaking him. "ZELL!" Selphie screamed as fresh tears streamed from her eyes as she looked into the now glassy eyes of her friend.

Irvine stood and staggered over towards the once happy and bubbly girl. "He’s gone, Selphie." He said as he brushed his hand over his eyes closing them forever.

"No! H-he can’t be dead!" Selphie wailed. "He’s got to live, you heard Edea! Come on, Irvy do something!" She said as her head hung down and her hands slid off of Zells shoulders.

"I can’t Selphie." Irvine said, as he turned from the others taking off his cowboy hat and throwing it to the floor. "I don’t have any phoenix downs, and I don’t have a life spell in stock."

"Damn it!" Selphie screamed slamming her left fist onto the ground and standing up. "Neither do I!"

"I’m sorry." Edea said as she too stood and looked towards the door to the Dr’s. Office. "I arrived too late."

"You’re sorry! You’re SORRY!" Selphie screamed as she whirled on Edea. "It was your powers that made Rinoa go crazy wasn’t it!? It’s your fault everything’s going to hell in a hand basket. It’s all your fault! All your.."

"That’s ENOUGH Selphie!" Irvine shouted as he grasped the girl by the shoulders, and pulled her into a hug. "It’s not her fault, it’s nobodies fault you silly twit."

"Yes it is." Selphie said stubbornly. "It’s all Matron’s fault. All of it!"

"Stop it Selphie." Irvine said hugging her tightly. "Just stop it, crying now won’t fix it, and it won’t bring him back. By the time we find a phoenix down, or someone with a good strong life spell it’ll be too late."

"Shut up. Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!" Selphie screamed as she struggled out of his grasp. "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!"

"Sleep." Edea whispered as she touched Selphies shoulder and watched the girl slump into Irvine’s arms.

A moment of silence passed and Irvine slung Selphie onto his back. "What now?" He asked Edea.

"Escape my child. I’ll have no more of my children dying this day." She said as she breezed passed him, and opened the door to the Dr’s Office.

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This is a fanfic.