Final Fantasy 8 Remixed Chapter 1
By Balin Drax
Deep in the ocean, a wind was born. Like most winds, it was imparted with the knowledge of all those that had come before it. Knowing of its short life, it took off, racing across the deep ocean towards the nearest land. For all winds have a desire to see as much of the world as possible. From the gentlest breeze to the strongest hurricane, they all want to explore the world. However, ever the mightiest storm dies out sooner or later, so they try to accomplish as much as possible in their short time.
Soon, this particular breeze reached the island of Balamb. It crossed over the rolling fields of deep violet jupa grass that grew in abundance on the island. It passed through the small forest that lay near the eastern edge of the island. There is saw the abundance of monsters that filled the deep shadows of the forest. It soon passed through this place, however, and came to the only building this far to the east of the main town.
It was immense, to say the least. It was larger than any skyscraper that the cities on the main land could offer, but it lacked the stark rigidness of those places. Instead, it had flowing, organic lines that made it seem as if it were alive and growing. The base was the largest section, as the entire thing seemed to flow upwards as if it had been squeezed by hand. Sunlight gleamed off of its surface which, though it rather looked like glass, was many times stronger than the hardest forged steel. This place was not of this time, and many claimed it was not even of this world. This was a building of the mighty Centra nation, the nation that had been destroyed by the calamity from the sky, the Lunar Cry.
This intrigued the breeze, and it felt compelled to explore the place further. In a giddy rush it swept down upon the building. It was rather surprised to find it fully populated and buzzing activity. All over its immense campus students moved, studied, and played. Each one wore the same deep blue uniform, though there were slight differences for age of course. These are not regular humans, the wind decided. Each one moved quickly, but not in a hurried fashion. Each one had a purpose, and their youth added an edge to their movements. The wind grew even more intrigued, but it sensed its time was growing rather short. In one last bit of energy, it swept up to the very to of the building, where it found a young man looking down over the balcony. That was its last sight before it dissipated.
Rupert Avery, or Roo for short, looked down at the Garden campus. The other students were hurrying to their classes, but something else captivated his interest. Just to the east of the Garden, several Gurluka class transports were lined up on the runway. Each one was being loaded down with supplies for a long trip ahead. Every now and then one could see the orange and black clad SeeD mercenaries moving among the ships, checking each on before take off. SeeD, the famous, or infamous, mercenary force of Garden was hired out to an employer. It was odd that the Headmaster had not announced who it was yet. Usually there was a kind of celebration before the SeeD went on assignment to a new location. This struck Roo as odd, and he meant to find out why.
Scrubbing his hand through his close-cropped blond hair, he looked once again to the Gurlukas. Something didnt seem right about this whole thing. There were too many planes out there for the SeeDs that were leaving today. Also, there were far too many supplies being loaded onto those Gurlukas for just the SeeDs that were going.
Something stunk about this whole think, and he wanted to know what it was. Lost deep in thought, he didnt even notice the person coming up behind him. Only when the person tapped him on the shoulder did he turn around and notice him. A broadly grinning faced looked down on him, and he jolted back as he noticed Kurt.
His roommate stood looking down over him. Though Kurt wasnt really all that tall, his still loomed over Roo. Kurt was maybe a little over six feet, while Roo barely topped five eight. In another stark contrast to Roo was Kurts deep blue-black hair. While Roos was short, Kurt kept his pulled back in a short ponytail.
Once Roo recovered from the shock, he spoke, Jeez Kurt, whatre you tryin to do? And why do you have your gunblade with you? Did you just get back from training or something? The gunblade is a marvelous weapon. Long ago, the Sorceress Knights needed a weapon that had the power to defend against the many enemies that the Sorceresses typically attracted. One Sorceress developed a weapon for one of her loyal Knights. Since a Sorceress is tied to the past, the weapon had much of its root with the sword. However, she recognized that in order to make it more powerful, she had to combine it with something from the present time. She searched for a long time until she came up with the answer. A scientist had just developed the handgun, which while primitive and hard to maintain, had incredible power. From that point on, all Knights have been equipped with the gunblade. The design is simple, but powerful. The grip where the hilt should be is replaced by a handgun that has been modified. When swung, the trigger can be pulled to fire a special charge that instead of firing a round makes the blade swing harder and dig deeper. It takes a lot of control to master it, but when done can be extremely effective. Many designs have come into being over the years, and the weapon has become popular among duelists and military officers.
Both Kurt and Roo had taken the time to develop their own dueling skills over the years. Kurt used the gunblade that had been made famous by Squall Leonhart, the hero of Garden. It was a heavy weapon, with a long blade that was sharpened on one side, much like a scimitar but longer like a broad sword. Roos was lighter; it was a one handed model with a thinner blade to it. His weapon of choice had a more infamous past, however. The Sorceresss Knight Seifer Almsey had used it to great effect in the aftermath of the War. Once he had been freed of her control, he had formed his own little army and taken over parts of Galbadia and Timber. So far, his tiny empire still survived even after his death. Though many had thought him to be a maniacal killer, it turned out that he was a fair and just ruler. Even after his estrangement from Garden, he was still thought of in good respect. After his death, he was given the honorary title of SeeD.
Kurt answered Roos question, Well, one of the Garden Masters told me to go and get mine out of the dorm. I went ahead and got yours for you, he said, tossing the weapon to Roo, We should go down and meet with the other students. Apparently there is a meeting for all SeeD candidates right now. Were supposed to go down to the main hall. I dont know about you, but I dont like this whole thing. What do you think?
Roos analytical mind had already kicked in. It only took him seconds to reply, Alright, first we got this new contract. Next theres the fact there are way too many transports out on the field right now for just the SeeDs. Finally we take that fact that we have to go to a meeting right now. Do you have any idea what this means?
Slapping his own forehead, Roo replied, This is the SeeD exam. Its finally time to take it.
Well Ill say its about time they got around to testing us. Its been what, something like a year that weve been candidates for SeeD. Guess they finally got around to us.
Alright, lets go and head down there now. We dont wanna be late, now do we?
Roo put on his sword belt as they walked down the hall. A row of elevators lined one of the walls, and a few students stood outside of them waiting for one of the elevators to open up. Roo and Kurt took their places just as the doors opened up. It was a short ride down, and they were soon in the main hall. A small podium had been erected off to one side. A few dozen Garden students milled in the area, talking in small groups as they waited for the announcement. Garden Masters walked around, getting student ID numbers and keeping control. It took only a few second for one to come over to the group that had just gotten off the elevator.
Student names and ID numbers? he asked
Student Rupert Avery, #201478.
Student Kurt Dooglas, #201499.
The cloaked Garden Master punched in some numbers and replied, You two are in the Phantom squad. Remember that; youll be reporting to Gurluka transport number one, the Orion.
They saluted the Garden Master as he walked away to take other names and numbers. In the next five minutes, Headmaster Thavos ascended the stairs and began to make his speech.
At fourteen hundred hours today, Galbadia launched an attack on the neighboring country of Whinhill. They did well at first, but have gotten held up in the capital. As a result, they have called us in for emergency negotiations and gotten us to support them. They have hired fifteen hundred SeeDs from three Gardens to help their campaign. The other Gardens have deployed their SeeD forces already, but we held back up until now.
As some of you may have guessed, he continued, your SeeD exam will begin today. In the next few minutes, you will board you respective transports and ship out to the battle zone. The SeeDs from Trabia Garden have already softened up the area, so your jobs will basically be clean up duty. That doesnt mean you can slack off, however. This is still a real battle zone, so dont get sloppy. Your grades depend on how well you do today, so try your best and youll succeed. Good luck to you all, and good hunting.