Final Fantasy VIII: Chronicles Chapter 3
By Choong Won
"Man! Why did I have to raise my hand?" grumbled Nida as he trudged up the switchback trail to the summit of Kenka Mountain. "She'd better give me some extra credit for this!" Nida, another SeeD cadet, had dark brown hair, brown eyes, and fair skin. Possibly the most typical looking guy in Garden, he was often ignored even though he had above average abilities. He continued up the trail to the summit. "Tch....my legs hurt and-" His eyes caught a hold of a leg sticking out, behind a boulder. "Hmph, that's funny. Nobody ever camps out here this early." He walked over to investigate. Peering behind the rock, he saw, to his horror, Squall lying on the ground. Fresh blood was dripping from his face and a crimson puddle forming from beneath the back of his head. "Ahagh! Squall's dead!" thought Nida. He took a step back and regained control of his stomach. "I wonder what hap-" He then caught sight of Seifer, his face covered in blood as well. "So that's it. They must have killed each other during the duel." Nida remembered what had happened during breakfast yesterday, and inferred that Seifer and Squall had had a fight to the death. Ironically, they had ended up killing each other.
"Well, I'd better radio in," said Nida, trying to keep matter-of-fact about the situation, he was a SeeD cadet after all. He pulled out a small two-way radio and hit the 'talk' button. "Hello Alpha Beta, this is Zeta actual. Please respond," he said into the radio.
"We copy Zeta. What is the report?" replied the radio operator.
"I just found two bodies on Kenka Mountain, repeat two bodies."
"Are you sure they are dead Zeta?" The radio operator sounded skeptical; at least it sounded that way through the static.
"No sir. I'll check right now." Nida bent down on one knee and checked Squall's pulse. It was very light. "Sir, one of them is still alive. I'll check the other one." Nida sighed a breath of relief. He didn't know Squall to well, but he still respected him.
"Roger, we'll send a medical squad to assist." The operator sounded a little relieved. "Standby."
Nida then walked over to Seifer and checked his pulse. It too, was very light. "This is Zeta, number two is alive, repeat alive."
"I copy that. ETA is 0700."
"Roger. This is Zeta out." Nida hit the talk button and put the radio in his pocket. He then checked his digital time assistant (DTA). "Ten minutes. Hang in there you guys."
* * *
Nine minutes later, Nida set up a flare and waited for the helo-transport to touch down.
"Hello. I'm Nida," said Nida as he shook the lead medic's hand.
"Glad to meet you Nida. You can call me Tai Sanchi. Now where's the wounded?" said a man with black hair and tan skin. He was wearing a white jumpsuit and had a bandana with a red cross, tied around his head.
"Over there." Nida pointed in the general direction.
"Hey Lans! Over here!" Tai motioned to a guy with blonde hair and fair skin. He dressed in the same suit as Tai.
"Yeah?" Lans said as soon as he had walked over. He was carrying a bag with a large red cross on it.
"They're over there. I'll call the others." Tai walked off in the direction of the helo-transport.
"Hi! I'm Lans." said Lans as he shook Nida's hand. "So can you show me where they are?"
"Right here." said Nida as he walked over to the rock. He point to Squall and then to Seifer.
"Hmmm....looks serious. I'll start with a shot of painkiller." Lans opened his medic bag and pulled out various devices.
"Do you think they'll be alright?" asked Nida, worried at the fact that Squall and Seifer looked about alive as a rock.
"Hard to say." said Lans. He injected Squall with needle, the yellow liquid in the needle slowly disappeared into Squall.
Nida frowned and sat down to wait.
* * *
Quistis was at her desk when the news came in. A messenger ran into her classroom and stopped to take a breath.
"What's the word?" asked Quistis; anxious to find out what had happened.
"Instructor Quistis Trepe." panted the messenger. She pushed the stray hairs out of her face and tried to give Quistis a salute.
"At ease. Now give me the message," said Quistis, impatient to hear the news. She bit her lip as the messenger caught her breath.
"Cadet Nida found them at Kenka Mountain. They are both unconscious and have severe wounds. A helo-transport was sent out twelve minutes ago to retrieve them. That's it."
Quistis put her hand on her forehead and rested her head on the desk. "You're dismissed," she said quietly.
"Thank you." the messenger gave a salute and quickly ran off.
"Squall, Squall, Squall. You should have listened to me." Quistis shook her head. She knew that the best thing to do right now was to take her mind off it, but it was much easier said than done. "I hope they aren't seriously injured." she thought to herself. She had a large knot in her stomach, which seemed to grow larger as she thought about the other possibilities.
* * *
When the helo-transport finally landed, the two wounded rivals were quickly rushed into Balamb Garden's infirmary. Doctor Kadowaki made sure no one was allowed in for the next few hours as Squall and Seifer underwent surgery.
Quistis and Xu, a chief instructor, paced outside the infirmary. Both were anxious to find out the latest new on Squall and Seifer.
"I hope they're alright." said Quistis for the tenth time. A bead of sweat ran down her forehead.
"Well, we've got our best medical staff working on them." said Xu. She rubbed her forehead. "They're the best in Balamb."
"Yeah. I guess you're right." Quistis frowned. "Oh! I forgot. The final is tomorrow." She clenched her teeth together. "Another thing to worry about," she thought to herself. "As if I don't have enough to worry about already."
"I hope they're out of the hospital before the day of the final. Otherwise they won't make it." commented Xu. She decided that her legs hurt from pacing endlessly and decided to sit down. "Especially since they're the most likely to pass," she thought to herself. "A tragedy like this could affect the moral of the other students."
"Especially Seifer. Next year is his final year here. If he doesn't make it this year, he'll have to work really hard to catch up..." said Quistis. She didn't really like him as a student, but she had to admit that Seifer was one of the best.
Suddenly the door opened and Doctor Kadowaki stepped out. Her medical garbs were stained with blood and she looked very tired.
"Are they going to make it?" said Xu and Quistis at the same time.
Doctor Kadowaki sighed. "Yes, they've got serious injuries, but they'll make it. I don't know how they ended up hurting each other, but I suggest that this nonsense be stopped. The next time they duel, one of them will get killed."
Quistis and Xu both let out a breath of relief. Quistis suddenly realized how tired she was and sat down next to Xu.
Doctor Kadowaki began back in. As she was opening the door to the infirmary, she turned her head and looked at Quistis. "Oh yes, Squall looks like he's got a bit of a mild concussion. I doubt he'll be up until late tomorrow. Even that's a guess."
"Well at least they're alive." sighed Quistis as Doctor Kadowaki closed the door. "Late tomorrow.he won't make it. He'll have to wait another year." She bit her lip and tasted blood. "Come on Squall, you can do it."
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