The Narshe Trials
by Lady Aliena
Author's Note: This is my first FF6 fanfic! I normally do FF8. Well, hope you
like it and please forgive the liberties I took with it! LOL! Umm, this starts
out in Celes's point of view, moving to Setzer's, and then to Locke's. So,
without further delay ^_^
"I'll never let you go!" I remember he grasped my hands tightly. I stared into
his earnest eyes and knew he was speaking truth. With a heave, he pulled me up
from where I had slipped and taking my hand, guided me through the wreckage.
Everything was a huge blur to me. I remembered facing Kefka, and with something
controlling my every move, some feeling very distant, very foreign, I helped
destroy him. With every swing of my blade, I avenged everything he had ever
<strike> This is for the Espers.
<strike> This is for Leo.
<strike> This is for me
And then there I was, escaping with Locke by my side along with the others.
Sabin, Edgar, Terra, SetzerSetzer caught my eye and winked at me.
"What?" I looked back over at Locke.
"I said come on! There's not much time!" he urged me to hurry.
Dear Locke, I thought. He had rescued me when I had almost given up, chained
away for the treachery I had exercised against the Empire. I never understood
why he risked his neck for me that day. Even when I told him who I was, he
showed that he trusted me. Of course, it wasn't long before his faith in me
faltered. And that betrayal hurt me more than anything! I've done things I'm
not proud of and I know some people assume that once a traitor, always a
traitor. I haven't decided if I disagree with them or not. Though I've seemed
to have atoned for all I've ever done, I've always believed my past would catch
up with me. It wasn't long before it did.
The Narshe Council had formed following Kefka's defeat and were interrogating
old supporters of the Empire. We all heard about the Trials. Terra was
nervous, but I agreed that with everything that had happened, this was the way
that things had to be. If I had been a member of that Council, I'd probably
call for the interrogations as well to make sure there weren't still people who
sought to harm us.
"Everyone knows what role you played, Terra. What reason do you have to be
She nodded, "You're probably right. But I wasn't always on the right side.
What if they look upon my time with the Empire and find reason to condemn me?"
"They'd never do that!" I replied adamantly. "It's not like you did it" I
She shifted uncomfortably. "I'm sure you have nothing to worry about either,"
she tried to reassure me, but we both knew the danger was present.
Within days, two soldiers showed up with an interrogation warrant in their
hands. I was visiting with the guys - Sabin, Edgar, Setzer, and Locke - when
Setzer leapt out of his chair in protest and stepped in front of me. "NO! You
can't take her!" he exclaimed angrily. "Do you realize who she is? Do you
realize where you'd be, or rather wouldn't be without this woman?"
"We have our orders," replied one of the soldiers nervously.
"Well, your orders are wrong!" Setzer declared. "Edgar, YOU tell them. You're
a King, after all."
Edgar stood up regally and spread his arms apart, helpless. "My kingdom signed
a treaty with the council. I'm afraid I'm powerless." Sabin had walked to
where Setzer was seething. He placed one hand on his shoulder, urging him to be
I spoke for the first time. "I'll go peacefully. Everything will be fine.
They'll ask me a few questions and I'll be back on the morrow. After all, I've
been loyal. I have nothing to hide." My eyes met Locke's. He had been silent
this whole time. I saw a shadow of doubt cross his face and it made my heart
ache. Since our escape from Kefka, things had been strange between us. At
times, I felt that there was no one in all the world who knew me better and
other times, Locke was a closed door. But seeing his expression just then, I
realized that even after all this time, he doubted me. He must have known that
I saw through him, for he looked away and was unable to meet my eye again.
It was that moment that I realized that Locke Cole cared nothing for me, or if
he did, he was so consumed by a certain insecurity that I wasn't who I said I
was. And it was that moment that I stopped caring. I thought back to the song
I had sung, masquerading as the famed opera singer, Maria. Oh my hero, indeed.
I couldn't believe they just let those two guys take her away! We had all heard
how brutal the Trials were turning out to be and they all just sat there
passively while sweet, beautiful Celes was led away like a sheep to slaughter.
I wrenched my shoulder from underneath Sabin's hand and glared at him as he
walked back to his brother's side. I kind of understood Edgar's situation
because he had signed that treaty. However, if you care for someone, you should
do everything in your power for that person.
I looked at Locke as he sat there all quiet and contemplative. Now I can
recognize when someone comes out ahead of me, but it galled me to think that
that someone was Locke. The way he obviously doubted Celes's integrity made me
burn with anger. She had wasted far too much time on Locke Cole and maybe she'd
finally come to see that. I decided I needed some fresh air, so giving Locke
one last glare, I pushed the door open and walked into the brisk evening. I'm
not sure how long I wandered around, but I do remember running into Terra that
evening. I let her know what was happening.
"Celes? Oh no!" her heart seemed to drop as she thought of her friend.
"Setzer, do you think they'll hurt her?"
"They'll have to kill me first before they lay one hand on her!" I answered.
Terra smiled. "You love her don't you?"
I didn't know what to say. Of course I loved Celes! From the moment I saw
her! Of course, I thought she was Maria at the time, but once she pulled that
same-sided coin trick on me, I knew that I was crazy about her. I smiled at the
memory. But she couldn't seem to look past Locke. I smiled at Terra. She
really was a sweet, caring girl. I owed it to her to be honest, so I nodded
"I knew it!" she smiled. "I could tell. Maybe some day, someone will feel that
strongly for me to say the same."
"Aww, Terra," I said, "I'd risk life and limb for you too. Who wouldn't?"
She blushed at the complement, and I was totally sincere. I'm not like Edgar,
trying to say what you think people want to hear. At one time in my life, I
wouldn't have been able to say that. Setzer Gabbiani was all I cared about.
But a lot had happened since then.
I left Terra that night, but couldn't sleep. I thought of poor Celes and how
scared and alone she must feel. The next day, we waited and no word came. A
week passed and finally Edgar used his royal influence to find out what had
happened. Despite everything she had done, evidence had mounted that she was
loyal to the Empire. Enemies she had made when she left the Empire and joined
the Returners testified against her and after three harrowing days of
interrogation, she had been arrested and tossed into a tiny cell. I convinced
Edgar to help me get in to see her.
When the guard opened the cell, I couldn't believe what I saw. Was this how
Locke had found her all that time ago? She was so pale and looked so weak. She
glanced up at me, her eyes slowly coming into focus.
"Setzer?" she asked softly, almost as if she couldn't believe her eyes. I
rushed to her and just held her, caressing her soft, golden hair.
"Celes, are you alright? We won't stand for this! We'll get you out somehow.
It's utterly ridiculous how they would do this to someone like you."
"I'm ok," she answered. "They think I'm still loyal to the Empire. Nothing I
say matters. Nothing I did counts. It's almost as if they had decided I was
guilty before they even questioned me. Did Terra--?"
"No. They never summoned her. She's fine. I hate this! Everyone's gotten so
paranoid! And the Narshe Trials are a farce! It would have been better for
Kefka to have won than for this Council to have been set up!" I exclaimed hotly.
"NO!" she cried. "You musn't say that! I'm just one person and someday,
everything will work itself out. Kefka was a monster"
"Sir, you must go now," the guard called. I cursed softly and stood.
"Setzer?" Celes clung to my hand.
"Yes?" I'd do anything for her.
"Tell Locke I'm sorry and that Ijust tell him I miss him." Tears filled her
Oh, Celes.why? I sighed but promised I would. I realized that Celes Chere
would never think of me the way she did Locke. I gave her one last look and
hurried off, returning to the others. When I reached them, Terra looked
troubled. She had a note in her hand.
"What is it?" I asked.
"It's Locke," she held the letter out to me. "He left!"
They had it all wrong. I know they thought the worst of me for leaving, but
they had it all wrong. I never doubted Celes. I believed in her like I've
believed in no other. But I remember how I betrayed her that first time all too
well. Isn't it ironic the things that stick out in your head the most? Not
seeing her for the first time, not her debut in the opera, not finding her again
after all that time without her, but the one moment I let myself doubt her
sincerity. It had plagued me endlessly after we had defeated Kefka. And then
when everything else happened with the Trials, I knew that's what she thought of
and I was so ashamed, I couldn't even meet her eye. I vowed that I would set
things right for good this time.
None of the others knew what I was up to. They didn't know I appealed to the
council myself. Unfortunately, a treasure hunter doesn't have much clout when
it comes to things like this.
"Ladies and Gentlemen of the Council, I've come to plead the freedom of Celes
Chere. As you know, she played an integral part in saving this world. She is
honest and I know without a shadow of a doubt to whom she's loyal, and it's NOT
The speaker of the Council looked down at me and pushed his glasses up on his
nose. "Dear boy," he said, "There was much more to the war than Kefka. Now,
you and your friends did us a service, but we have the job of picking up the
pieces of not only Kefka, but everything" I gaped at the man. I couldn't
believe what I was hearing? There was NOTHING that had been more deadly than
Kefka. That was ridiculous! He continued. "In times like these, we must be
wary for there are people out there who still wish to harm. Though your
feelings on Celes Chere's character is all well and good, we have evidence that
she never really betrayed the Empire at all, but was working as a spy. And we
can't just dismiss it based on who she is! Her associations with Kefka, General
Leo, and others have forced us into a tough spot. If you could gather
substantial evidence against these claims, then by all means, bring it forth.
If not, though, we bid you good day."
A spy! How ludicrous! He was right though. I had nothing to back up what I
was saying. Well, if he needed evidence, I'd give him evidence. I immediately
set out, simply leaving a note, to gather it. I've traveled all over, meeting
with old members of the Returners, gathering statements and affidavits that
vouched for Celes's actions and whereabouts the last several months. My only
fear was that it would all be too late. I hoped Celes could forgive all the
misunderstandings we had had. Bannon accompanied me this last leg of the
journey. I had what I needed. It was time to return.
I stood before the Council one last time with Bannon by my side and evidence in
my hand. It caused quite a big stir and before I knew it, the Council Hall was
packed! From the corner of my eye, I spotted my friends, namely Setzer. He was
regarding me coldly and I knew why. I've known what he's felt for Celes. It's
fairly obvious. There'd been quite a bit of competition between us lately.
I presented my case to the Council and Bannon backed me up. With the written
documents I had procured in Celes's defense, the Council couldn't help but
"Release Celes Chere," the speaker's booming voice commanded.
"Wait!" I stepped forward. "May I?" He stared at me a few seconds, then
nodded. As the guards ushered me out, I looked up and met Setzer's eye. The
anger that had been on his face was replaced with a combination of sadness,
regret, and respect. He nodded at me as I passed and I knew things would be
better between us.
The guards brought me to Celes cell and I stepped inside with the keys to her
shackles in my hands. I bent down and tenderly unlocked them. She looked up at
me, amazed. "Am I dreaming?" she asked.
"No, but it certainly brings back some memories now, doesn't it?" I replied,
trying to lighten the mood. As her chains fell away, I placed my hand on hers.
"Celes, I need to tell you something."
"I know you doubt me."
"No. I don't," I said.
"You wouldn't even look at me."
"I was ashamed, remembering what had happened before. I was also frustrated
because I swore I'd always protect you and I couldn't. I know I shouldn't have
reacted that way. So all this time, you've thought I doubted you. Oh Celes,
Her face softened. "Why are you here?"
"To bring you home, of course. You're pardoned!" I paused, letting the words
sink in and I helped her to her feet.
For now, I didn't want to tell her all I had gone through. I simply wanted her
home safe, sound, and knowing she was loved. I picked her up and smiled, "That
story will come later. I promise" She leaned her head against my chest as I
carried her out of the dingy cell and whispered something so softly, I almost
"Oh my hero"