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Chapter Four: Black Sunday

Prologue: Crimson Tourniquet

The crimson tourniquet embraced me again into a nightmare of a place.

As the place brought back the memories, it also brought back the pain of them. The decaying memories were getting out of their body bags to tell me it still wasn't over.

I looked around to the place. It was the Sorceress' Memorial. Strange enough, it was raining inside. I saw the graffitis on the walls. They were the names of rap gangs like ”R-Epidemic” or ”Dye Leon Hart” I looked at myself. My trenchcoat wasn't there. My mid-riff furry jacket and leather pants were there.

LionHeart, my only ally in my life was in my hands. I looked around to see Sis in her black shawl, specially bought for Laguna's funeral from what I had learned. On the other sides, my friends, all wounded to death were fighting off the Esthar soldiers. Everywhere, I saw the corpses of the innocent singing the horrific chant of the dead.

A hymn for me.

I steadily walked to the freezing chamber. I looked around. In all the chaos, I seeked some cosmos, the opposite to fill the bloodstained, skeletal truth.

The fight ceased. The Esthar soldiers retreated, as my friends, who had been Zombies approached to me. Their hungry mouths opened up and the graffitti on the walls had their meanings changed. They were now screaming ”Bloody Murder”, ”Squall is Epidemic”, ”No Exit”.

I didn't like the way this had been going. But who was I to say; ”I don't like the progress of the show”? The management who was the dead could shoot me in the head for a complaint.

Seeing the black clouds of cold doom and rain above my head, I knew I was better off dead.

I walked to the chamber who had Rinoa inside. She was frozen. Her porcelain skin was glowing in the dim light. Hyne, she looked so beautiful. But the glass was stained with blood, the ice had been stained with the darkness and the blood of her. So pure, yet so stained and embraced itself like a crimson tourniquet within deicide, she was there.

I knew what I had to do. I cut the cables just like before. They spit off blood and the knives. The knives became little shrukiens in mid-air and flew every which way.

The steam was given out to the space between me and her. No sun shone this time. Only, the blood of those who were dying around me, of those who had died under my gunblade started to rain down on us.

It surrounded us with the red light of a dead sun.

Like an old saying Ellone used to tell me; ”They don't know where to head/

When the sun has failed, and the moon is dead.”

Rinoa came at me with open arms. Her expectant eyes craved for mine, and her soft lips wanted to kiss me. I reached out to her.

And bullets, knives and shrukiens hit her. Her blood rushed out of her wounds and covered me up. She fell back into the darkness as I bent my knees to bury my face into my hands.

I looked around. Nothing could be seen but the red rain and the grey steam. My trenchcoat was back on me again.

And then, with one hand full of shrukiens, and the other hand holding an Exeter with a knife launcher, she approached to me.


”SIS!? YOU!?”


She threw the shrukiens at me, and then emptied the whole clip and the knives on me. The pain was the blame. Every wound I recieved released the questions and the whispers of the ghosts that had been haunting me.

I fell.

Part One: The Cold Urban Night

My vision started to spin around like crazy and all of the memories suddenly rushed back into me.

All of my personal life was the shards of a broken mirror which had been made out of broken glass. It was hard to stand against, with the images of my life, of the pain itself was glaring back at me.

And then, it suddenly stopped. I looked around to find myself on a rooftop, the snow underneath me. It was snowing heavily, and the weather was colder than Diablos' heart. The cold doom had chosen to play it's part again.

I tried to shake off the hypothermia off myself. It was hard. The icy touch of the killing ice was gripping me tight.

For the thousandth time, I wanted to give up.

But I tried to push the ground. The wind blew to my ears and the whispers came with it.

Walk on...

I had to go on. I still had to know about Hope. I tried to get my brain to working, to wake up. Finding the knife in my pocket, I revealed the self-inflicted wounds on my arms. I couldn't stimulate myself with pain anymore, because my arms would be shaking when I had reached to the finale, as I reached to the top of a mountain of dead bodies.

Walk on...

Where was I walking on to? I was walking on to take another chance to catch a distant sanity. I was fighting against my own worst enemy, my own doomed and hollowed self, coming after me after the final grave has been emptied.

I was taking another chance to fight another enemy.

The sudden grief choked me, and the wind rose up again and the whispers of the dead turned into the desperate cries of Rinoa, Ellone's faint whisper. They were so far away from me. I couldn't catch their hands. I could hear their voices but couldn't see their faces.

I tried to free it.

I couldn't. The only thing I could do was to face the grief. I missed them forever. Hyne, how this tickling sensation gave me pain beyond belief. But I had to shake loose the chains, and move on.

I killed my thoughts with my gunblade and got off the building's top from the fire exit, like a ghost in the cold urban night. The city was a cold maze and it was full of the ghosts that followed me. Full of the wreckage I named ”my life”.

I got across a newspaper stand, which was broken. I took a paper in my hands.

Sunday, September 11

MURDER!!! Squall Leonhart's Vendetta Continues!

So it was Sunday. If it had been Saturday when I hunted Evan down, I had been lying there for two hours or more.

Squall Leonhart, the one-man army who has his name on top of GLE, C.O.N.C.E.A.L. and S.E.C.R.E.C.Y.'s MOST WANTED list, continues to wage his one man war against the law and the crime lords. His mafia bodycount includes some of the greatest mob bosses such as Chad Surinel, Rico Selune, Max Eypne, Evan Agiore, Jack Bret, Elise Bret, and Sabrine Mematile.

C.O.N.C.E.A.L. is now sending off all of their available agents on Squall Leonhart, whose location is unknown at the point, after Squall Leonhart has murdered Evan Agiore, only a day after he has murdered Ellone Loire, which he has named 'Sis', a shortcut word for 'sister', as Cid Kramer has stated earlier today.

Cid Kramer!? Headmaster Cid was still alive!? The chorus of the dead rose like a mocking piano solo into my head.

This truly wasn't over.

And as I looked back now to my thoughts feeling it wasn't, I knew I had been dead, dumb, deaf and blind at that point. How could it be over when Cid, the man who had been speacializing in answers was still alive?

I had to track him down. I knew that, now I had a name, he couldn't escape. I would track him all the way to his grave, and then, he could pay his debts to me, the loan shark of his sins.

As I walked on, a phone nearby me rang. Just like I knew I was more than half dead now, I knew I had to pick it up.


They got you, but they underestimated how important you were, and they dragged you onto your cold death.

”Who the hell is this!?”

Lagoon A.” And then the line went dead.

I left the newspaper and tried to find out where I was. I looked around in the shops, making sure I didn't linger around too much. And then, all of my options suddenly committed suicide and I was left with one choice.

The local mob.

It wasn't hard to find them. For a rat spent his entire life inside the snake pit, it wasn't hard to find a cobra ready to give up everything for Gil. They didn't like me much, and my story of being Calintz Leonhart wasn't too belivable. I had to slash the answeres out of them. And learned that I was in Timber. The perfect place for the perfect crime. Timber, the flashy and chained city of Galbadia.

Anything went under the name of ”resistance” was legit.

I tried to rent a car, and stated that, I had no intentions in returning it. I bought it like I was buying my own coffin. Because I knew this time, in the third twilight winter of my life, there was no survival.

I got to the black Deling and sped away. The gas tank was full. Lucky me. Lady Luck had blown me a kiss goodbye, because I had to find another way to transport myself to either Centra or Esthar.

Because the agent that had put me out had said, ”Take me to The Crystal Dome.” The Crystal Dome was the HQ of C.O.N.C.E.A.L. Like always, the dead had all the answers I was missing as I lunged into the cold urban night.

I got to the port, where I hoped to find a safe passage through the sea. Train stations were too risky.

Like I had spent this much time to calculating risks before.

Every uncalculated risk had cut me open and spilled my stained soul. The bomb, the knife, the shrukiens, the ninjas, everything.

And that's when someone said, ”Squall Leonhart! Come aboard! We've been waiting for you.”

I turned around to face the White SeeD ship.

Just another ghost in the cold urban night.

Part Two: Dead Memories That Come Back Alive

I watched the storm and the sea as we made our way to Centra.

The wind was whipping my trenchcoat and running through me like the dosage of the pain I had given to myself just five minutes ago. The gash on my back was bleeding. But as it bled, I felt the poison leave me more.

The ship was making it's way towards Centra through the sea. I was most surprised by White SeeD's appereance. The warrior within me was telling me to kill them all and just take over the ship. But above all the bloodthirsty desires that boiled within my conscience, I had to know.

Still, I was surprised at how little I knew.

I had came this far, and without the answers I was craving for. The grave I had wished for all my life was nowhere to be found. When I looked around myself, I was seeing some choices. The binary choices alongside with the roads I was supposed to take, but couldn't.

No White SeeD was foolish enough to disturb my grieving silence. And that gave me the shelter to think.

A shelter crawling with monsters deep inside my mind. Dead memories that come back alive.

Those memories of blood, murder, loss and running in circles kept haunting me. Sure as a gunblade rips the mobster's heart out, they were here to stay. I managed to concentrate on the questions I had within the chambers of Raine.

C.O.N.C.E.A.L. had broken me out, but then, I had gotten framed for Ellone's murder. But why should they break me out when they could finish me off right there? Furthermore, why had I seen Fujin in that ninja suit? Was she alive? How come? This question made me relive that nightmare of a day when I walked among the soulless. Who was this C.O.N.C.E.A.L. agent, Hope? The word had a disgustingly familiar chime in my ears. It had to be something I knew.

And Cid was alive? If so, Edea and Cid were there... Mother and father I never had.

And who was this Lagoon A, that kept helping me? I knew it was either something like NTH, JJE or likewise, or just Saladin. But why should a rogue C.O.N.C.E.A.L. faction help me? I was already down to the ground and being pushed even lower, so what was their reason?

The more I questioned, the more lost I got within questions. I was drowning underneath the crashing waves of rhetorical questions. But it all boiled down to one, eerie, gothic and bloodstained word.

This seemed like the word ”Retaliation” was written all over it.

The realisation hit me like a bullet that had blown my head off. ”What if”s found their ways back into my brain and started to mock me even more than the ghosts did.

And that was the darkness inside, trying to force itself onto my conscience. I tried to fight it, but it surfaced.

I looked back to the choices I had never noticed myself make; like staying long on the phone talking to a stranger with a psychodelic voice instead of running upstairs to the woman I loved. And it all boiled down to one, simple, uncomplicated fact; I was guilty.

Innocence? Nowhere to be found. My innocence was just a lie like my peace, relief, heaven was. All the fake sanctuaries I had spent my entire life building.

A White SeeD approached me with a mobile phone.

”What?” I asked.

”It's for you, Commander Leonhart.” The scared girl told me, and gave me the phone.


Am I speaking to Squall Leonhart?


I'm Lagoon A. Squall Leonhart, get out of there. C.O.N.C.E.A.L. ninjas are on the way. They're coming heavily.

”How many? Hundreds? Thousands? I can handle all you got.”

You are getting me wrong, Squall Leonhart. I'm only here to help you.

”Yeah, and every voice on the phone just wants to give me a happy deathday pie.”

Whatever you do, do NOT unmask the ninjas.

”Wait just a second now, I-”

I will contact you again. Good luck.

The first shrukien whistled in right after he hung up on me.

They were coming heavily. I had counted at about fifty trained C.O.N.C.E.A.L. ninjas coming aboard, shrukiens ready in hand, katanas drawn. They were from the elite assassins of C.O.N.C.E.A.L.

”Ninjas!? ALERT THE CREW!!! ALERT!!!” A White SeeD was unfortunate enough to get caught in their way. They cut him open and then, came on to me.

”DIE!!!” I screamed, as pure fury boiled up within me, burning up all of the sadness and the darkness underneath my skin. The knife drew a sexy, round curve, and spilled the blood of a ninja in the air like a crescent moon.

The next ninja approached me from my left. The gunblade beheaded my enemy, and they all took a step back for an organised attack.

A sick mist coloured in red covered me up. As they approached, I saw the smiles of my enemies. The skulls of my friends. Their collar bones cracking, their bare jaws covered in blood clatterring as they laughed at me. At how glorious I was.

They had taken it all away! They had taken Sis away from me.

I started to slash like crazy. Every move was the scream that exploded inside my head, each slash was the earthquakes that shook what's left inside my head.

I don't know for how long I crawled within the intense madness.

But when it all retreated, I looked around to find the ninjas, alongside with the whole ship crew, lying dead at my feet. The wind whipped my trenchcoat and the snow fastened up, to deliver new whispers like a dark messenger that always followed me.

Don't unmask the ninjas...

The whispers told me something different than to walk on... I knew it was important. I also knew, I had been pulled closer to death, as close as possible.

Close as I wanna be.

I bent down and started to unmask the ninjas, one by one.

One by one, they all fell before my eyes, their blood staining me, their skulls mocking me, and the dead started to laugh even louder than before. The deafening banshee screams exploded in my eardrums, loud enough to draw blood.

It was them.

Inside the masks of the ninjas, I found Elise, Zell, Quistis, Irvine, Raijin, Seifer, Selphie, Brox Sulva, Evan Agiore, Chad, Rico even Fujin.

Dead memories that come back alive.

Part Three: Buried In The Flower Garden

As I got off the ship right next to the orphanage, the snow had turned into heavy rain.

I left them all behind. Their eternal expressions of pain danced in my head, doing a deadly jig for Diablos. A satanistic chant came to my ears as the chorus of the ones that were resting six feet under came to me again. I recieved their call like I had picked up that call that had changed my life.

Answers lie buried in the flower garden...

I walked on. That was all I had to do. I entered from the front gate which was almost totally burnt down. I entered from the gates while I carried all of the pressure they applied on me.

But believe it or not, if you pushed a man too far down, he would start pushing back.

I had to piece together this ugly puzzle of my life. I had to learn why Cid had betrayed to me. Why there were so many daggers in my back. The path I had to take was shown to me. The road was now glaring back at me with it's blood-red eyes, it's hungry and calcerous fingers ready to rip my remaining sanity clean off.

I entered the place and looked around. Nothing had changed. Nothing did change, unless someone changed it. The coloumns were decaying and destroyed, the whole building was literally taken down. It was standing there through pure miracle.

It was like me in so many ways.

As I made my way to the flower garden, I had to look into the curruption within me. The ghosts were there. The darkness and the pain were crawling in me. Paranoia and schitzophrenia boiling in a cauldron and death was added like a sauce. Meal ready.

I got to the flower garden.

It was still beautiful. It was the sanctuary. For a moment, the calling of the soil was loud enough to be heard. I wanted to drown myself in those flowers and die in there. More than I wanted to die, I wanted to die here.

Because that way, I would've fulfilled a promise I had given to a person who was closer to me than my long lost soul.

”I'll be 'waiting' here...” I muttered to myself.

For what?

This was her whisper. Her ghost was here with me. I couldn't see her, but I could feel her cold, morbid, dead and rageful touch deep down in my butchered soul.

”I'll be waiting for you... So, if you come here... You will find me.”

No reply came.

A promise left unfulfilled...

”May I help you?” a voice asked. The voice brought back the memories of old. The memories of a cheerful childhood, when I had everything I wanted, and when I still had living friends.

My friends had been butchered at birth. They had been killed as children by my evil twin; myself and my mistakes.

”You can't. But you can try.” I replied as I turned around to face Edea.

Her eyes widened with an expression of surprise, fear and anger. She rose up her hand to give me a magic-enhanced punch.

Shell!!!” I protected myself from them.

”HOW COULD YOU!?” she asked.

”Ask Cid.” I replied. The sudden rush of anger was rising again, against the woman whom I had sworn upon my life to protect.

Nobody listened in to my oaths and promises but the dead. The dead would keep the promises locked within them, and they would expose the hollow promises you had given to haunt you. They wanted me to be haunted even more.

”Wh-what?” Edea asked.

”Honey, who is it?” Cid came to the garden. And then, he stopped.

”What are you going to answer to, Cid?” Edea asked.

”Huh!?” Cid asked, ”He's a fugitive! A criminal! He murdered your children, Edea!”

”I did.” I replied, ”But I can explain that. However, you can't explain how you got out of a Garden that has been blowing up by a self-destruct mecanism.”

”CID!?” Edea turned to him, Cid's lie was now shown.

And I had exposed his lies. The bloodstained bedsheets of lies in which we slept everynight to drown ourselves within the violence hidden in them.

”I... left after you got out of my office... I had to leave Nida in, he was out cold...”

”Out cold!?” I asked, ”I killed Nida by accident a year ago!”

”He was lying there, he didn't have time to get out. So did Xu.”

The answers lie buried in the flower garden...

”Squall... My son.” Edea embraced me, like my mother would. I felt the feeling blow inside of me... She was my mother. Her sorcery had been wandering around in my mind to find the broken mirrors of the past.

I didn't embrace her back. I turned my gaze to Cid.

”Explain, Cid.”

”Operation Deep Eyes, Squall.” He replied, ”Balamb Garden, The Inner Circle, Project SeeD, White SeeD being added to regular SeeD... They were all part of Operation Deep Eyes.”

”What does C.O.N.C.E.A.L. have to do with this?”

”Everything.” Cid said, ”They paid for Rinoa's murder, for the bomb, for the unauthorised Project SeeD, for everything that included your case.”

”Is this going to get to a point?”

”Sure.” Cid replied, ”Operation Deep Eyes was initated and lead by an agent named Hope, who wants you dead. Who Hope is, I don't know. I knew Saladin...”

His words faded away as I saw the sun come out just for a brief moment. I turned away from him, and with the look of relief on my face, I stared at the sun.

It was beautiful. For a man who knew darkness in all his life, it was beyond beautiful. It was the salvation. The whispers became a soft, comforting touch and left me completely alone for a while.

I turned around.

The sun shone away as fast as it had shown it's face.

C.O.N.C.E.A.L. ninjas had just came. Edea's throat was slit before she could raise her hand. The other ninja, mercilessly cut Cid's head off.

They were both dead. There was nothing I could do.

Pure anger boiled in me. It burned up my soul, spit fire in my veins and took control of my brain, as the fires consumed me even more than the darkness did. I lunged at them. I dropped my weapons and grabbed their heads. As I smashed their heads together, and felt their skulls break. Their blood flowed down to the ground, and on my hands.

A whisper came to me from the dark...

Walk on...

Part Four: Faces Turning Old And Grey

I was holding on to Edea's body.

She had been the only thing I had close to a mother all those years. The things that had kept me sane a little bit were dying before my eyes and there was nothing I could do.

The faces kept turning old and grey.

I remembered carrying a worry. The worry of the darkness leaping at my feet will swallow me one day as I trip and fall. Until this point, I had been tiptoing the thin red line made of blood. One side was life, the other side was death. I had kept my balance.

And now, helpless as the victim at the tip of the whistling knife, my balance was shifting. It was all too much to take in. How much could I have bottled up inside of me after so much had been taken away from me? They had drained the life and the slight sparkles of joy out of me to leave a cold, empty, dark shell behind.

I put Edea into the flower garden. I left Cid and the only place within my life that had stayed where it was. The orphanage. For a moment, I wanted to go down to the beach and hear the waves, and remember the times we had set off fireworks.

Those fireworks were the flames that burnt my life down. The fireworks we had set off in our childhood were the core of the things that had murdered me.

The phone inside the orphanage rang.

I ran inside, just to pick up another call that would either kill me more. I managed to find the phone within the carnage.

Picking it up, I asked,”Hello?”

Squall Leonhart?

”Lagoon A, isn't it?”

Correct. Those ninjas were there for you only, Squall Leonhart, for you only. But as a part of this game, Edea and Cid had to die.

”What kind of a sick game are you playing with my life?”

It's a russian roulette, Squall Leonhart. Go to The Crystal Dome immidiately. C.O.N.C.E.A.L. will be expecting you, remember that.” Then he hung up on me, as the series of questions started to pop up in my head.

So after all, after I had ran all my life, I had to face my fears. I had to face C.O.N.C.E.A.L. and learn what this Galbadian power game was on. And to get the answers I had wanted, I needed more than just the wind and the whispers caused my schitzophrenia.

I walked back on to the SeeD ship as if I was in Edea's funeral, marching on to be with her in her final, eternal sleep. The sadness was flying and dancing around me like an old friend, like a stripper there for the money. But the price would be my soul.

From the highest point in heaven to the deepest point in hell, whatever it is that's hearing me out there; grant me my wish! Allow me to take my revenge!!!

Either I was delusional, or nobody was listening in but the dead; they were laughing at me with their stickening laughters that sounded like the screams of Rinoa in my head.

I got on to the White SeeD ship and set off to Esthar.

The ship was going to travel at about six hours, and that gave me more time than I had ever asked for. Some time to spend thinking...

No. Some time to spend crawling at the bottom of an empty bottle.

As the ship went on it's steady journey on the auto-pilot, I was in this one room. Thinking. Doing what breaks me down even more.

But my thoughts were becoming darker than a grave as a sweet razor wound, came on and sliced it.

My blood was running down on my arms. I didn't care. What would happen if some more blood flowed? Some more lies being tossed? They weren't enough to make my balance shift on this thin line I was walking on. The rain was pounding against the windows and the room was darker than my soul.

My trenchcoat felt like a cold, comfortable bed to me.

But I couldn't let myself sleep. I could never walk away from this nightmare, not even for a second. They would keep me here.


”Where are you!?” I asked, ”Why can I hear you!? Why can't I see you!?”

Over here...

The whisper called me to the bathroom nearby. I tried to catch the words, as they were repeated again, and followed the pain running down on my arm.

I faced the mirror.

I clearly was dead. My eyes were nothing but currupted, decaying pools of darkness, my face was tired, my hair was almost totally white. Of all the things I had seen, how much I was harmed during these kept nagging at my mind.

And how I was still standing.

Hahahahaha! And here you are, Squall Leonhart, facing your own self! How does it feel like to know you're helpless!? Where's Hope!?

”What the hell do you want from me!?”

Your soul will be ours!!!

The image in the mirror shifted to a demonic version of Ellone, Rinoa, Leia, and the others. Their tentacles and hungry claws, their jaws were looking for me.

I smashed my fist into the mirror. Glass shards cut my palm and the back of my hand open, but I didn't care.

I went up to the deck to see where we were. That's when the paranoid feeling hit me.

I was facing the entrance of Esthar City.

I looked around to make sure no C.O.N.C.E.A.L. ninja could get to me before I reached The Cyrstal Dome.

And a shrukien came back into the scene...

...Whistling me a deadly farewell.

Part Five: Going Six Feet Under

The ninja in the front came at me with a Super Meteor Kick; Zell's move.

I managed to get away from the first wave by ducking sideways in everyway. I was trying to slash them by using Raine and the knife, but it was no use. These ninjas were better than the ones I had faced before.

And the fresh wounds on my arms didn't help me at all.

I was dealing with shrukiens in my arms and legs, and some katana wounds. I was bleeding like crazy- all of the blood I didn't think I had was rushing out of my numerous wounds. I tried to reply, to fight back.

It was no use.

When had I really fought back? I had been pushed too near the edge this time. I was holding on to my enemy's hand not to fall. And it didn't help me one bit to know that, I had no bridges left. They had all been burnt down.


The morbid laughters rose into my ears, alongside with the calcerous clatter of their skulls. Every ninja was a friend I was trying to kill.

I swung the gunblade to my right, and the knife slashed open one's throat vertically, the blood flew out, shaped like a crescent moon. I beheaded one by swinging the gunblade horizontally, and didn't stop the move. I turned around myself and my trenchcoat flew around me again, I slashed another one open.

Fighting like I was fighting against death, I was leaving many dead.

They had started to talk. They were calling my name. They were my friends. Each one of the ninjas I was killing was a friend I had lost. They were what kept me here in this cold, frozen hell.

The rain fastened up, and brought the cold winds that carried the scent of decay.

Give up...

A kick landed on a fresh, self-inflicted dose of medication, and the gunblade flew off my hands. As the knife was taken away and my arms were held back, I almost fell on my knees.

The adrenaline had ceased and made the pain enter my body like a lover in heat. I felt every wound like they were the notes on an expensive piece of paper, spelling ”You're my only hope.”

The ninjas dragged me over to the lift. I was forced to stand up. A handgun was pointed at my head as I rose my hands, as best as I could. My tired and dead eyes that were rotting in my eye sockets observed the woman in a tight C.O.N.C.E.A.L. uniform.

”Who the hell are you?” I asked.

”Hope.” She replied. There was a familiar, disgustingly familiar thing about her voice.

”You're Hope!?” I asked, ”Tell me about Operation Deep Eyes!”

I wanted to know. But time was highly revelant. Because time would be non-existent, sucked into a great black hole of a moment as the bullet shook with excitement and took a headstart from the barrel.

”Unmask yourselves.” She said to the ninjas.

One by one, they took their masks off. And there they were, Laguna, Kiros, Ward, Evan, Chad, Rico, Rinoa, Leia, Ellone, Zell... The faces that had turned old and grey a long time ago.

The dead were just too stubborn not to stay dead.

The gun moved up to my head, the barrel was almost stretching out to meet my temple.

”I hate to do this, Squall Leonhart.” She said, ”I wished I had time to make you pay even more, but we have no time. About Operation Deep Eyes, I can only tell you that, C.O.N.C.E.A.L. was after you to kill anyone you could contact after they had broken you out.”

So C.O.N.C.E.A.L. was still my doom. But there was no time to stop and take a better glance on the grave of my love. Our time was running out of our hands like the bloodstained sands of time. It wasn't standing still, and I felt a strange feeling at the back of my neck, almost a faint breath.

Come to me...

The whisper made me shiver, but I didn't show it. Couldn't risk showing my weakness to my enemy. So I was going to die, wounded, broken, in this place covered in mud, in the hands of Hope.

”I hate to do this.” She repeated, ”But you know how you are. You can never let it go.”

She was right. I was standing here at the edge of my grave, leaning too far, because I couldn't let it go.

She pulled the trigger.

It all happened in slow motion. For a moment, I felt the hands of the ghosts grasp me tight. They grabbed me by my wounds and almost made me scream.

The bullet tore through the air like Ellone's scream. I remembered Sis. She was somewhere among the dead, as I grieved more for Rinoa. I had missed her.

As the bullet approached to me, the thought flashed in my head.

She believed I was innocent.

All this time, what had given me strength was this hidden fact; the fact that she had believed I was innocent. I wouldn't give it all up for the world.

I couldn't even say goodbye as the bullet pierced through my skull and entered my head...

...I was going six feet under.

Chapter 5

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