The Returning of the Returners:
"Another day, another lazy afternoon sleepin' in a field, aye Locke?" He said to himself. He might think it's a little lazy for someone like him, but this one activity makes him feel....well rested, almost.
He settled into a nice patch of moist grass under a heavily shaded tree, remembering the last time he'd forgotten to find one, very painful. You may wonder though why he has so much free time to just sit around and be lazy and care free? Well after what happened in Kefka's tower wouldn't you?!
The fear of being in that hells maze. The fear that this might be the last day of your life. All those levels of the fight moving them closer and closer towards doom, but he fought bravely as he was, along side some of his team mates. He sure missed them. Where as, they all remembered one another and remained friends they all had to find lives to live in this- coming along nicely, newly flourished world. Yup, with Kefka gone life could return to normal, there was no need to fight.
Whiff!!! "What the?!" Locke sat straight up and looked around...."What was that?" he said startled looking at the bark of the tree, beside him on the tree was an arrow. 'Who could have shot it?' He wondered. But there was no time to see for himself because another arrow came shooting out of the sky, only this one got closer to the face. "Whao!"
He swore as he stood up and ran. Normally he'd stand and fight, but from the look of things that fight would be short lived as he was completely weaponless and they had full arsenal, so the odds of him taking anything from them were slim. He ran as fast as he could from a fleet of chocobo's, whose feet were sounding a lot like a full fledged stampede.
"There's one of them! " A voice called. "There goes one of the returner scum! " 'Was that a soldiers voice?' Locke had a brief moment to think as he dashed inside an old shack out in the field. "They won't find me in here," he congratulated himself for being fast enough to hide without being seen. 'At least I hope so.' knocking lightly against the walls of the shack he finished his words in thought, incase he were wrong; Setzer might be terribly superstitious and believe in luck, but he wasn't and didn't. Locke would rather not state some of the obvious that he often prayed for a good outcome. Unfortunately his luck was about to run out. The loud stomp of the birds feet had come to a halt, 'Had they turned around?' He thought.
"In the shack! " A soldier cried out. There was a yelling cry from the other men's voices as they charged for his hiding place. Ten men aimed their arrows and fired through the windows, the blast was so sudden Locke jumped from surprise.
"Trample the place, he has to come out sometime! " With that Locke ran as fast as he could but he wasn't fast enough as the fleet of soldiers and chocobo's were right on top of him. He started to duck down, but it didn't work he was knocked to the ground and run over several times, stumbling over this way and that, trying to at least keep his head covered from the birds pummeling feet. He then had an idea and lay perfectly still on his stomach.
"Did we get him, general? " A lower position soldier asked. The men skimmed the field with their eyes and one of them saw him, lying there with scratches up his arms and neck, along with tattered clothing. "Check. " The general ordered. The soldier trotted his bird over to the still body and he poked him with the back of an arrow. 'Wait a minute longer,' Locke thought. 'then grab him.' "He's out sir, dead. " With that, the man smiled with arrogance of his own commanded triumph.
"Lets go back and tell the boss. " 'The boss? Who could that be?' As the men began to leave, Locke leaped up from the ground and grabbed the guard around the neck, when he tried to yell for help he twisted his neck and yanked him off his chocobob. Next, stealing the mans clothes, he climbed on the bird and road himself towards the nearest town. South Figaro.
"Try to move it to the left, one quick sweep of the hand, you can do it." A bearded man said to a very strong younger man. "Gee Duncan, if I'd of known I'd be doing this type of training I'd of stayed in the castle with his royal highness." Sabin said with a laugh to his martial arts teacher of the blitzes, as he picked up another painting and hung it on the wall.
"How's that?" He asked. "You learn quickly, but, your skills need sharpening." Duncan said with a smile. "I'm glad you decided to move here with me, this place has been kinda dull without someone to hang out with, especially after the world came to ruin." He replied brushing his hands off, "What needs to go up next?"
"Nothing today my pupil, why don't we go out to the fields and learn some new attacks?" Duncan said walking to the door to leave, "Alright! " He responded happily punching the air with his fist only it came a little longer then he thought causing him to punch a hole in the wall. "Oops," he said lamely. "You can fix that, while I train, have a good time." He closed the door behind him. "Rats," he looked at the hole with a sigh and went to get some tools.
Mobliz was filled with new life now, as if nothing had ever happened to it. Terra walked casually through a crowd of now young adults about 15 and under to a little building she was proud to have built. "Alright students, come this way!" She called out to them. The children all followed her inside the building into what appeared to be designed like a school.
"Okay, okay, simmer down......there. Today’s lesson is on the war of the Magi," Terra said mystically. "Now who can tell me how the war was started, what were we fighting for?" A hand was raised. "Yes, Katrina?"
"The war was about peace." She smiled and the other kids laughed at her answer. "Now, don't laugh at her answer she is very much right. a very brave group of heroes were fighting for nothing but peace.... who can tell me what that group was called.......? Anyone?"
"Gau know!" A wild little boy raised his hand in the air than jumped up and down.
"Yes, Gau?" "It was friend Locke and Sabin and-" he continued naming them and the class laughed at his response, even Terra. "The group was called the returners," the class 'ooohed' to the sound of it. "They fought for peace and the safety of all Espers and humanity."
"But that can't be real," a little boy said crossing his arms. "That all sounds fake, you can't just have war..."
"But Billy it's very real, and you should pay attention you never know when history might repeat itself." She remarked, looking absently out the window. "Miss Terra is telling the truth" Katrina said to them. "How do you know?" The class looked in wonder. ".......Because- because she says so, that's how." The little girl stammered out. Katrina was far to young to remember if it were real or not, but Terra remembered every frightening bit of it: finding the children terrified underground, Phumbaba roaming about the land.
It was a scary thing, but it was all over now....so why did she feel the world shifting in it's balance? Her thoughts were suddenly broken by the sound of a bell. "Schools out! Have a good rest of the day." They all gave her a hug and left for home Gau strayed behind beside her, they were living together in Mobliz and she took extra care of him and even though they weren't living together she took extra care of Katrina too.
"Friend Terra, think about friends?" Gau asked climbing all over her desk. "Yes, I miss them." Terra replied. "Gau too," he slid down and rubbed against her leg as if he were a dog. "We see them again, Gau knows." The boy said, Terra smiled down at him. "I know too......" 'But the reason doesn't feel right.' She thought to herself.
"Celes, oh Celes my dear," Ompressario called out for her, "where are you?" He walked himself into a room and a woman screamed. "Sorry," he closed the door back. "Celes?!"
In the dressing room a blonde woman stood up and patted a red heads shoulders, "Good luck."
"Thank you." The woman replied going behind the curtains. "Celes?" She heard her name. "I'm in the dressing room!" She walked over to the door and opened it letting the stout little man barge in.
"I've been looking all over for you, how are the actress' and actors doing on their lines?" He asked in a hurried panic. "They're doing just fine, Maria is on her way out and ready to sing." Celes salutes with a smile, "Oh good...." sidles up to her. "Saaay, you could be in the show if you twisted my arm right?" Ompressario said trying to coax her into doing it.
Ever since their encounter with the opera house that year she had taken an interest in the place, not to be a singer or one of the actress's but being behind the scenes as make-up, and line prep's. So far the owner had been trying to get her to star in another one of the shows, but she refuses, 'to many memories' she would always reply. "Oh well, it was worth a try. Places people, placeees." She watched him leave the room to conduct the score, as he usually does and turned back to her work.
"I can't believe you're turning down such a good opportunity." A young voice said behind her. "Relm, are you finished already?" She said looking at her from the mirror. Relm walked over to the mirror vanity and sat down on the top of it. "Yeah, he says I'm the fastest and the best painter he's ever known. I even get to be in a show" Relm bragged and turned to the mirror grabbing a lip stick off the dresser top, than began to apply it on her lips making them a ruby red.
"I'm gonna enter a picture of Grandpa Strago in battle to show how wise and fierce he fought." She admired her reflection. "That sounds beautiful, Relmy." She smiled at her. Strago wasn't dead, no. But he was in no condition to fight anymore, he was too old his body was weak no matter how hard he tried to fight it. He had to remain in bed in care with a house nurse, while Relm came to Jidoor to stay with Celes and while she worked Relm painted for Owtzer.
"Wouldn't it be nice," the girl said sweetly but her face was serious. "if Setzer came to the opera house and you were performing?" 'It would be nice if someone came....I miss everyone so much.....especially Lo-" she couldn't finish the sentence because Relm's voice had broken her thoughts. "Isn't it to bad all the bad is gone and we're getting on with our lives?" "What a horrible thing to say, fighting is bad" Celes was saying to her. "Even still...it would be nice if we were all together again, even if the reason were bad." She turned back to her reflection to put on more make-up. 'She's right, good or bad I would love to see Locke again.' She sighed silently and looked at herself in the mirror.
An underground cave in the Veldt:
Roof! Roof! "What is it Intercepter?" The dog sniffed at the moist earth and wandered a distance from Shadow who was barely visible in the darkness of the cave. After the thieves cleared the caves of the Veldt, Shadow had taken refuge down inside of the caves in the deep end so no one would know he were there and so far no one had found him.
Dark and hidden, coming out only for food, so far life had been going alright. Until today when his trusty companion had sniffed out some tress passers. He followed the dog until it stopped and when he did, Shadow didn't like what he saw. 'The Empires soldiers.....why are they here? What could they be planning?'
"I say we have a full fledged attack on every village!" One of them shouted pounding his fist on the cave walls. "I say we send out wanted posters and have them turned in, remember the boss wants them alive." Another one replied, they all began to argue about what to do when a shrill voice came out of the shadows. "Men, men, please, lets not fight about this. Just find them, there aren't that many villages around here surely they must be hiding in one of them." "It's the boss," they whispered. "I can't believe he's here."
"But sir, tracking down the returners hasn't been easy, we killed one of them in the fields- at least we thought we did. When we returned we saw that one of our men was gone, we went back to the field and he was lying there bare sir, and...dead. We think the returner killed him and is going to get help." The soldiers looked at the shadowy figure wondering what he would say to this news.
The shrill voice had changed into an evil deeper one, 'was there more than one person there?' Shadow wondered. "So we had better pick up our pace, I want this land- all of it!" The figure moved closer into the light. Voice changing back into shrill slowly. "And I will get it," He laughed as he leaned into the light and when Shadow was about to see he face-....everything went black.
A Cave in Narshe:
Kupo! Kupo! "That's right, don't mess it up either." Mog cried out to the giant snow bound creature. He growled to himself as he moved a giant sized fire place. "It feels like a cold one fur or not, we need heat." The moogles let out little cries of agreement to the matter of the winter. "Funny how-" he growled out hardly understandable, "you need heater when heat already outside." He continued to push the stove they'd stolen into a corner of the cave.
"Summer doesn't mean a thing." Kupo! "Now move it!" When it was in it's destination point they cheered and danced around. "Good job, now take a break." He ordered Umaro. The giant beast walked over to another corner of the caves and sat down for a rest. Things had been going well for the moogles and Mog seemed happy enough but it was as if something were missing inside that he couldn't put his paw on. Maybe it was the others but it didn't seem so. 'Than what?' He thought. "I'm going for a walk." He said leaving the caves into another of the underground tunnels.
"How does that taste King Edgar?" A waitress giggled on the king's lap, as she fed him some pheasant. "You know what would make this a lot better?" He started to say. "No, tell me?" The waitress was saying, he started to whisper in her ear but it was disrupted by the sound of a battle outside.
"What's that?" she said getting up. He sighed and rose to his feet too. "A king's work is never done, wait here my lady, I shall return." The girl looked in absolute awe as she watched Edgar stole out the door of the cafe. When he got out into the town he saw a brawl going on in the middle of a group of people, his guards were attacking someone!
The enemy looked like one of Emperor Ghestals soldiers! The soldier grabbed a dirk from a by stander and fought back viciously though only to defend it seemed, but that was enough of an attack to send Edgar into the fight himself and he began to attack the stranger brutally.
"Edgar, wait!" The soldier shouted over the scream of the crowd and the battle cries of his guards. "It's- whoa. Me, Locke! " "Locke?" Edgar froze from the battle and gestured for his men to do the same, and- though still uneasy about it they lowered their swords.
"Is that you?" He lifted the front of the helmet with his swords tip. "Of course it's me!" He yanked it off and tossed it. "Hey buddy!" They gave each other a very manly hug and Edgar stepped back to admire his old friend, "Just as ragged as the day I left you, huh?" "Ha ha, you're still just as humble as the day I left you-" Mocking the battle that had just went on. "Oh here let me help you, riiiight, more like hey a cute waitress might be watching."
"Bite your tongue," he felt his face turning red. "I didn't think I'd see you for at least a good years worth of time, what brings you here?"
Locke looked at him seriously. "That's right," just remembering why he had come. "I have to talk to you, and I don't think you're gonna like the news." He said seriously.
"You weren't kidding, I don't like the sound of that at all......." He trailed off as though he had more to say. "What are we gonna do about it?" He asked looking into his face. "Where was it exactly that you saw these soldiers?" Edgar asked him standing and Locke followed his movement to the door. "It was Mt. Kolts, they could be miles from there by now.....are you sure we wanna go find 'em?" Locke asked with a bit of hope that they'd leave it alone. "Wouldn't hurt to look," Edgar says whistling for his guards, when he and Locke were outside. "Yes, your highness!?" His men shouted. "Keep it down, and will you cut that out, it's Edgar, We're going to check out the parameter of Mt. Kolts. Get the Chocobo's ready for the trip." "Sir, yes sir!" They replied walking into the stables. Edgar sighed with a smile. "I love being king."
"Ahh, the place is running like clock work now." Cyan smiled to himself. Being king of doma had done the place a lot of good, they finished the repairs to the damage that had been done to it when kefka attacked and it was beautiful and peaceful again. No more nightmare monsters, soldiers, or monsters were around everything had truly gone back to normal.
Stomp! stomp! A robotic sound! "What the-?" Just as the words left his mouth the trees parted and two giant Magitek armors came out of the trees! "Back I say! Thou shalt not take the people of Doma without a fight!" He shouted up to the machines.
The huge pieces of armor leaned forward towards his face and froze. "Sir Cyan, look what we found!" A voice shouted from one of the machines. "Pardon-?" Cyan asked looking at the machine. His vision then went up the body of the device and saw-...his guards! 'What were they doing with these things, where did they get them?' He wondered watching them hop down out of the machines.
"We found these in the woods, sir. Where the old train used to run. The Empire must have left them behind long ago, they're still in pretty good shape maybe we could use them in battle sometime?" Cyan looked horrified. "I'll not have this- this- contraption! In the midst of my kingdom. This very thing has scorched towns, hurt children, no, no- get rid of it." He said walking away from his guards who shrugged at each other and climbed back into the machines to dispose of them.
"I hate machines, ugh." He shuddered back into the walls of the palace and to his quarters. "Owen, Elayne...." he said with a sigh in his voice, touching a painting of them. "I will keep this world safe for thee, from the life it once was and leave it as it is now...in peace.. I promise."
The Air Ship: The Air Ship:
"Please, everyone it's not my fault you lost your money" Setzer said pushing the crowd off his newly remodeled baby, The Black Jack 2. "How do you explain two snake eyes?" An angry man shouted. "Stroke of bad luck simply not my problem, now I bid you all, a good day." He closed the door and leaned against it with a sigh.
"People...." he strolled up to his office. 'Why do I bother spending time with people, when solitary is the way to go in love and life, but....' he sighed with a pause. 'It would be nice to have someone again, I suppose.' His mind had a brief thought of Terra, he wasn't sure why though. He had been attracted to Celes even though she weren't Maria, but that had faded long since after they met but now his mind was on Terra. 'Could I-...?' He took out a deck of cards and began to play solitaire, glancing out the window every once in a while.
'Mobliz,' he was saying to himself as he watched the villages pass. 'Nikea.' The ship was sailing with the wind at a good speed today. Where ever he was going for the evening, he'd get there in no time. 'South Figar-...' he cut himself off and looked out the window, he leaned closer for a better look. "That looks like Locke and Edgar..." he moved away from the window and went to the top deck to look over the railing. "It is them!....Hey!!" he started to shout down to them. "Hey, guys, up here!"