Squall and Seifer were back to back to back, each facing in a desired location, while Fujin and Raijin took up posts in
opposite directions. All four watching the landscape around them.
"You know." Seifer said, "I have to admit, you have a lot of guts."
"Whatever." Squall replied as he stood watching the horizons with his arms across his chest.
"You still saying that?" Seifer said with a laugh.
"Saying what?" Squall asked grumpily, his eyebrows furrowing into a crease as a frown touched his lips.
"You know, saying whatever all the time. Makes you look like a real ani social bastard."
"Oh, and you aren’t?" Squall countered.
"Touche." Seifer said with a wry chuckle, and then paused as he looked up at the light blue sky. "Where is this place anyway?"
"I don’t know, a collective of our minds I guess." Squall shrugged feeling Seifers back shake as the man laughed
"That’s not what I meant, I was asking why Ellone decided on this place, as a backdrop for the mental connection."
Squall chuckled, and shook his head. "And here I thought, Selphie was right about you not having any brains in that head
"She said that huh?" Seifer asked, as he looked down at the ground, going over that bit of news.
"She’s not very fond you." Squall replied, as he shoved his hands into his coat pockets. "She was really ticked at
you, for betraying all of Trabia and Balamb Garden."
"I see." Seifer said quietly as he stepped away from Squall. "It’s funny, she was a really nice looking kid. So determined
to make sure we got the order to withdraw. She was kind of cute."
"I thought you wanted to know where this place was?" Squall asked changing the subject.
"Yeah, I did. If this sorceress is coming like that kid under your care says, this place sure doesn’t make it feel
like we’re in any danger."
"It’s where my mothers buried." Squall said flatly. "It’s not far from Winhill where I was born, and where
she died, giving birth to me. At that time, my father had gone off in search of Ellone."
Seifer remained silent as Squall turned around and looked at him. The two looked at each other, and then nodded, as if
coming to an understanding.
As if on cue the skies darkened, and both men looked up see the blue color that they had gotten used to, turn to a grey
color and the grass turn brown and die.
"What the!" Raijin shouted as both he and Fujin ran towards Squall and Seifer. "What is going on?" He near shouted as the
wind started to pick up in speed.
"Guess we’ll have company soon." Seifer said with a snort, and looked at Squall.
"Guess so." Squall said nodding and turned to the other two. "Be on your guard!"
"Well yeah man, but what’s going on man?" Raijin asked looking at Seifer and Squall.
"IDIOT." Fujin said kicking the young man on the shin.
"It’s pretty obvious what’s going on Raijin." Seifer said with a nod. "The Sorceress is coming."
"Oh." Raijin said and then nodded. "I knew that man. Yah know?"
"Whatever." Squall and Seifer said at the same time, causing Fujin to look at them oddly.
"Well, lets not leave the lady waiting, now." Seifer said as he walked off towards where it was darkest, Squall following
without a word.
It was dark, very dark. It left a chill.
So dark, that Edea Shivered, not from the cold.
Fithos lusec wecos vinosec
The words were on her mind, the words that once assailed her, when she had let the sorceress of the future first take over
her mind. Now they stood face to face.
Fithos lusec wecos vinosec
The two stood quietly face to face, one elegant and aged with years and experience, the other looking like Rinoa Heartily,
except there were subtle differences. Differences that Edea noticed almost right away. The two stood in silence watching the
other carefully, as if waiting for the other to move.
It was Edea who made the first move, raising a hand she called upon the forces of Ice and launched a spell of the third
Ultimicia countered with a fire spell and the two met and clashed, steam rising and hissing into the very skies, a homing
signal to those who were already on their way.
Fithos lusec wecos vinosec
The magical battle raged on, neither giving up, and neither gaining.
Fithos lusec wecos vinosec, Fithos lusec wecos vinosec.
Sweat poured from Edea’s forehead, as she felt her powers waning, if only she could last just a little longer. Long
enough to defeat this part of Ultimicia. This part, bent on killing, and unleashing a horrible evil upon the word.
Her efforts would be fruitless if she did not succeed.
"I won’t.." She said thickly "Let you do as you please."
"It’s quite amusing how you fight so, you’re powers aren’t what they used to be." Ultimicia said as she
sent another blast of flame into the flow of ice that Edea kept up with.
"Neither are yours." Edea said, with a grunt as she sank to her knees.
"It seems a tad bit stronger then yours." Ultimicia said with a sneer as she stepped closer to Edea continuing to release
the magic of fire from her hands.
"Man, we got to do something!" Raijin said from where he and the three others crouched.
"Cool it!" Seifer snapped. "We don’t have any weapons, and trust me, you don’t want to mess with that
woman Edea’s fighting."
"Why?" Raijin asked peeking his head over the crest of a hill.
"Because that’s Ultimicia!" Seifer grunted as he shook his head.
"You’re yanking my chain, man." Raijin said, "She looks more like Rinoa."
"He’s got a point, how can you be sure it isn’t Rinoa?" Squall asked, ready to interrupt the fighting.
"Cool it Romeo." Seifer whispered harshly, placing a hand on Squalls shoulder. "I know because that’s not Rinoa’s
hair style, nor is that outfit her favorite color. She usually leaves her hair down, and wears blue and black. Not grey."
"Point." Squall said when he realized this. "However we have to do something or Edea may die!"
"You mad? We don’t have any weapons!"
"We have magic and summons!" Squall countered. "Also, Griever was destroyed in the last battle with Ultimicia. Or rather
her future self. I doubt this version even has Griever."
"Big words Romeo, but you don’t know what it’s like to be swayed, and put under that woman's thrall!" Seifer
whispered angrily as he grabbed onto Squalls arm..
"I don’t care!" Squall said standing up and shrugging out of Seifers grip, "We have to do something!"
"Fine! Okay, we’ll do something." Seifer said yanking Squall back down. "However we do it my way. Not your way, going
off with your head half cocked." Seifer seethed. "I have a plan." He said looking at the others with a sly grin.
Crystal was still bickering with Andrew when they saw the flash of light from the Doctors office.
"Now what?" Andrew sighed as he stood up, helping Amalia up as well, who leaned heavily against him.
"Not to state the obvious, but that looked like a flash of light." Crystal said as she moved to stand next to her friends.
"Should we check it out?"
"Well, I guess we should. The missing kid could be in there." Andrew said after a moment of thought.
"Well we best do it quickly, the sooner we check the better. Remember we’re working on limited time. Eventually everyone
will begin the evacuation phase." Amalia said as she rubbed her shoulders.
"Right." Andrew said as he passed Amalia off to Crystal and stepped forward and grasped the doorknob and turned it, and
pushed the door open. "What the hell?" He said as he saw Edea lying down on the floor, and what could only be the one behind
the attack on Balamb, resting on her back asleep. "Crystal, I think we need to make a report." He said heavily.
The plan in and of itself was quite simple. Squall had to give Seifer credit, it made a lot of sense, that they’d
have to depend on their summons and magic instead of their weapons, considering they didn’t have any on them.
Squall chuckled to himself and moved around to the back of the Rinoa look a like, the plan was so simple he was surprised
he didn’t think of it himself. With a nod to himself he peeked over the small hill and looked to see if the others were
in position. They were, so with a nod he stood up, and pressed his fingers to his forehead and thought about the strongest
summon that was junctioned to him. Alexander.
Across the distance behind Edea, Seifer stood and thought about his strongest Spell, Flare. To the left of him Fujin thought
about Pandamonia, while Raijin thought about the only summon he ever liked, and kept with him since his training. Siren.
Edea saw Squall as the last of her strength went out, while the Rinoa look a like saw Seifer. The two woman looked at each
other, and knew something was about to happen.
It was as if the heavens had opened up, and the three Summons appeared in the center of the magical fight between Edea
and the fragment of what was left of Ultimicia. That was Seifers cue, still channeling his flare spell, he ran forward and
grabbed Edea around the waist and placed him behind her. The summons having done their part, disappeared happy to know that
they served a great purpose.
When the summons had faded, Ultimicia was no longer facing Edea in combat as she preferred, and instead found herself facing
the very one she used to find Ellone.
"My Knight, my brave and wonderful Knight." She cooed in his direction.
"Go to hell." Seifer snapped. "I won’t fall for it again."
"Seifer...?" Edea whispered. "What are you doing here my child?"
"Saving you, Matron." Seifer said as he lifted his hand and waved it to the left, and released the stocked magical spell
right in Ultimicia’s face. Turning he grabbed her hand and ran. "We have to go, now!"
"Where?" Edea asked as she ran behind Seifer with a confused look on her face. This she had not expected, yes she may have
been pulling strings, yes she may have had her hand in the fates of her strong grown up children, but she did not expect them
to be here.
"Somewhere safe. I hope." Seifer said as he looked over his shoulder past Edea and at Squall, Raijin and Fujin using their
magical spells to distract Ultimicia.
Jay, meanwhile in all the chaos of the evacuating SEEDS, Cadets and staff personnel was making his way un noticed by the
rest towards a place, where he had hidden something. Something he had taken the liberty to steal from Headmaster Martine back
in the old Garden. It was something that was simple, and wouldn’t be missed. At least not yet, but it was also very
important to his plans. He didn’t give a damn about Garden, or the people around him. What mattered was getting the
thing he wanted most. A CD disk.
Turning the corner he spied the doorway leading to the conference room, turning the knob he slipped inside, and shut the
Walking quickly towards the chair he had sat on previously, when he had first arrived he picked it up and turned it upside
"Great." He whispered. "It’s still here." He said as he grabbed the item in it’s clear plastic case that was
taped to the chair with two sided duct tape. Having the item in his hands, he dropped it into his coat pocket and hurried
back out the door and back towards the main gate.
"Devin, Xu?" Crystal said as she tried to desperately contact them. "Please somebody answer!"
"The girl on the bed has a faint pulse, so does Edea." Andrew said as he checked over the two women. "Crystal, any word
"No, I’m not getting any response!" She said as she switched frequencies to Quistis’s line. "I’m going
to try Quistis." She added.
"That’s good, she’s the next one in charge in situations like this."
"Andrew." Amalia said as she looked over the two woman as well. "This looks really serious. Madam Edea is becoming really
"I see." Quistis said into her head set. "I’ll send some SEEDS to help transport Rinoa and Edea. As soon as they
get there, I want all of you to head here to evacuate. It’s the closest place with evacuation boats."
"What about Jay, Quistis?" Crystal asked.
"I’ll look for him myself." Quistis replied and turned towards a group of three SEEDS under her command. "You three!
Go to the doctors office. Three of our Cadets have found Rinoa, and Edea in an unconscious state. Go there, and retrieve them!"
"Yes Ma’am." The three tall males said as they turned and ran towards their destination.
"So, you’re Hayner. I was wondering when I’d get to meet you." Ellone said to the boy that stood in mute silence
looking at the path they had walked down together. Ellone sighed and turned to the grave marker with a shake of her head.
"Squall was telling me, that you lost your family in a fire. It must be very hard on you."
Hayner remained silent for a while and then spoke, in a soft voice. "I knew it would happen. I dreamt about it." He answered.
"I see. Well, I must say, you’re a lot like Squall." She said as she turned to look at the path leading up the hill.
"When Squall was your age, he was living with Edea Kramer in an orphanage. Along with Seifer, Selphie, Irvine, Quistis, and
Zell. I lived with them for a time as well, until I had to be taken onto Edea’s white ship for my own protection."
"I know." Hayner replied.
"Oh?" Ellone asked as she crouched down to his eye level when he turned to look at her.
"Yeah. My mother was one of your friends. When she was a child, she was taken to Esthar, and met you there. Later she was
on the white ship, for a spell where she became your friend."
"Your mother?" Ellone was by now a little confused, but as she looked at his face she did recognize some facial features
of a girl she had indeed once knew and was friends with.
"Well then. I guess that means I’m a friend of the family." She said with a smile, and nodded her head. "I don’t
remember much from my days in Esthar, but I do remember at least three other children..."
"Ellone?" Hayner whispered. "I’m worried about them."
"They’ll be fine, when this is all over we’ll all wake up and everything will be fine."
"Edea is going to die." Hayner said bluntly. "She’s going to sacrifice herself."
"Uh huh. She wants to save her children, from a horrible fate, her death will be honorable."
"I see." Ellone whispered as she looked back to the hill, her own worry beginning to grow.
"Seifer, you cannot save me." Edea said as she tore her hand out of his grip. "It is my will to die."
Seifer stopped running and turned to look at the face of the raven haired woman, and glared. "Oh, no you won’t. I’m
not going to let you die. There are too many people who look up to you. I looked up to you. Matron, this is crazy!"
"It is the only way." Edea replied placing a finger on Seifers jaw and tracing it with a dark smile. "If I do not, then
all will be in vain."
"Matron.." Seifer said thickly, as he turned his head away from her. "I don’t want you to do this."
"Yet I have to. You know this, for you too have seen glimpses of that history, that led to Ultimicia’s true awakenings.
She must not awaken, ever, least we bring destruction upon the world."
"I don’t care about that! You have to live!" Seifer said gripping his hands into fists. "Squall would kill me, if
I didn’t make sure you stayed alive."
"When have you ever cared what he thought?" Edea countered with a dark smile, and sadness in her eyes. "Already your garden
home is about to be destroyed, due to the fragment of Ultimicia from the future that resided within Rinoa. Already Rinoa’s
mind is fractured and broken. Things already have gone too far my child. I will not allow Ultimicia to harm my children anymore.
All of you have suffered great losses. I will not lose anymore of my children."
"What do you mean?" Seifer asked.
"All will be clear when you all re awaken."
It then dawned on Seifer what Edea was saying. "Who died, tell me!" He said looking at her, his face twisted into anger.
"Zell." Edea whispered as she turned from Seifer and started to walk back towards the battle field.
"How!" Seifer called out to her. "How did he die? Who did it? That chicken wuss had a lot of potential! He shouldn’t
Edea, did not answer.
Seifer was angry, it was something he usually tried to control. This time however, he did not try to control it.
"EDEA!" He shouted to the only women who had been like a mother to him. "Don’t you dare die!"
His words fell on deaf ears, and he knew it.
The battle was furious, but Squall had noticed one thing that was different from when he went up against Ultimicia before.
This fragment, wasn’t that strong. However, he had to take into account that his magic reserves were running low, and
he didn’t want to use the summons as a shield. This fight, could only end in one way, and that was death.
With that thought in his mind he gathered his resolve. I don’t want to die, he thought to himself as he crouched
low to the ground, and looked at Fujin and Raijin who were fighting with all their strength. Wiping the sweat out of his eyes,
he looked at the fragment of the now dead future sorceress. Seeing the face of Rinoa he grew angry. He’d give anything
for his gun blade, anything at all.
It was as if some mystical force had granted his wish, that or the force of his will made the weapon appear in his hand.
He couldn’t explain it, however, he was glad to see the well used weapon.
Brandishing the weapon he took on a fighting stance, waiting for the right moment. However, that moment did not come, as
he would have liked. Instead, Edea calmly walked back onto the battle field and stood before him, Raijin, and Fujin.
"Edea! What are you doing here?" Squall grunted as he watched the tall raven haired woman smile at all three of them.
The woman did not answer. Instead she raised a hand, and cast a spell. What kind of spell he couldn’t comprehend.
All he knew for certain was that Fujin, Raijin, and himself were surrounded by a bright flash of light, and then he knew no