Hand of Ice Chapter 6

Breaking the Mold

By General Wyvern

At the very moment that the Forest Owls were surrounding the Domane House in Timber, on the other side of the continent, on the Monterosa plains in Galbadia, something profound was about to happen at the New Galbadian Observatory.

One of the astronomers walked down the hall with the days work in his hand. Like usual, it had been a slow day, but, as he was sure, astronomy was a slow business. While heading down the hallway, he passed their janitor. He was a young man, somewhere around twenty-ish, with blond hair, and a curious scar running down his face.

The astronomer looked over to the janitor, who was busy mopping the floor. “See you tomorrow Seifer.” The guy spoke with a New Galbadian accent.

“See you Dr. Barkley.” Seifer waved his hand goodbye as the astronomer left the building.

As soon as he was sure he was gone, Seifer disgustedly threw his mop aside. “Thank Hyne the friggn’ day is over!”

Beside him was the bin he ‘supposedly’ used to carry the astronomer’s dirty smocks. Just how they would get them so dirty while working with computers and a telescope astounded him. But, from what he saw, they got dirty fast.

Leaning over the bin, Seifer began, “Hey, Fujin, you in there?”

The silver haired woman poked her head out of the bin. From the tossed up mess of her hair, it was easy to guess that she had been sleeping.

“ABSURD!” She squawked with very little emotion.

“Is not!” Seifer defended. “Now c’mon, we gotta get Raijin.”

Fujin climbed out of the bin. “SURE?” She questioned.

“Damn right I am! Barkley’s always the last one to leave. Now let’s get moving.” He spoke with a heavy Alcauldian accent; same with Fujin, but it wasn’t nearly as noticeable when she spoke in high-strung, single words.

Moving down the corridors, the two came to the area with the janitor’s closet. Seifer opened the door, and out tumbled Raijin.

“Didja miss us, yah?” Was the sarcastic remark from Seifer.

Raijin coughed, “That place could use an air freshener, ya know.” who spoke with a Balambese accent, even though he was speaking Alcauldian like the rest.

“It should, but it doesn’t. Now where’s my coat.” Seifer groped around the cluttered closet until he came upon his favorite gray overcoat. When he did find it; he hurriedly put it on with a smile and a proud node.

“RATTY.” Fujin snapped.

“Hey, clothes make the man.” He protested. “And in my case, they make the man look conspicuous. Now let’s get to that telescope!”

The three ran down the quiet, echoing halls, entering the giant circular room that held the telescope.

Seifer drooled at the sight of the huge instrument. “Oh baby, this is it. The finest telescope Galbadia has to offer. With a lens smoother then an aluminum can, and an accuracy better then Dick Snider’s weather reports, this makes it the most advanced earth bound telescope on the planet, not including Esther.”

“So,” stammered Raijin, “what are we goinna do with it, ya know?”

“Isn’t it obvious? I’m going to look through it, and find what those stupid astronomers couldn’t!”

“A planet?”

“Anything that gets the attention of the media.” Seifer boasted. “I promised those losers at Garden that I would do something big! And ain’t nothing bigger then discovering a planet!”

“But you said you weren’t goinna find a planet, ya know.”

The blond gave Raijin a sour look. “No, Raijin. I just said I would take anything I find.”


Fujin butted in. “COOL.”

Seifer spoke up to his posse. “Now, Fujin, get at that big computer and type in the coordinates I give you. Raijin, keep a lookout just in case. I’ve got a lot of stargazing to do before the docs come back for their morning observing.”

The two did as they were told. Raijin stood by the door while Fujin took her place by the computer; Seifer ascended the stairs to the foot of the telescope. He looked into the eyepiece, but he couldn’t see anything of interest.

“No wonder those guys couldn’t find anything!” Seifer hissed, “They need to get radical. Fujin, get me a glimpse of the east sky.”

Fujin began to type in coordinates. Though, because astronomy was never her best subject, she had trouble figuring out how to aim towards the east sky. As a result, the telescope was rotated every which way and that.

“Whoa, whoa, WHOA!” He shouted, as soon as the telescope stopped it’s rotating. “I said the east sky, not Winter Island!”


That same routine continued for a few more minutes, until Seifer found something.

“Okay, Fujin, stop.”

To ensure that she did stop, she stepped away from the computer entirely. Seifer focused the view. “Oh yeah! I’ll be on the cover of Star Gazers United for this. HEY FUJIN!” The girl looked up to the voice with a vacant expression. “You see that blue button by that small monitor there?” She shook her head to indicate that she saw it. “Good, press it and we got a picture of this interstellar beauty.”

She did as she was told, and in a couple of minutes, the image of what Seifer saw came on view in the monitor. A still life picture that wouldn’t move, so they could study it closer.

Seifer skipped down the stairs, singing a Balambese song to verbalize his excitement as he went. When on the ground, he ran over to the computer to get a better look at what he found.

Both him and Fujin looked at the image, the contrast was dark, and the finer detail of the image was hidden, but both Seifer and Fujin were able to see what was on the screen.

Rising out of the darkness was a large object. The shape of which, was too erratic to be a planet, and too symmetrical to be an asteroid, and much too dark to be a star. The only logical explanation they could come up with was that it was an extraterrestrial craft. The craft looked as if it was light in color, just what kind of color it was, was not clear. Several large appendages seamed to stick out of its side.

“Out of two hours a night, and four in the morning,” began Seifer with sneer, “those scientist couldn’t find this?”

Fujin looked at her associate. “JUST CAME?”

“Either way, I found it first.”

“Hey, Seifer.” Came Raijin’s voice from behind them, but neither Fujin or Seifer turned around to see him, as if they were afraid the picture before them would disappear. “What do I say if I see someone walking down the hall, ya know?”

“Just say that someone’s in the hall.”

“Okay. So what do I say if that someone is an astronomer, ya know?”

“Since when was ‘astronomer’ on your vocabulary?”

“Okay. So what do I say if an astronomer is in this room, ya know?”

“Say ‘an astronomer is here.”

“Okay, an astronomer is here, ya know.”

“That’s good, now go back to your post and remember to say those things.”

“An astronomer is here.”

Seifer sighed with irritation, and then turned around to face the guy with more authority. “Look Raijin, I give you a simple task and you don’t even have the mental capacity too…” He stopped his lecture when he saw astronomer Dr. Welsh.

“Told ya so, ya know.” Geared Raijin.

“Well,” the doctor started, looking sternly at the young man; and Fujin, who was just starting to turn around, too. “Now what have we been up to Mr. Almasy?”

“Um,” Seifer searched his grand archive of excuses to doge any bullets. “Cleaning the monitor.” Oh yes. I’m so dead.

“Really, then where are your cleaning supplies?”

“Um…their invisible?”


For their discretion, the posse was, literally, tossed out of the observatory that very minute. Except for Raijin, who was too heavy for Dr. Welsh to toss. That problem was soon remedied as the astronomer came at him with a crowbar. In order not to get hit, Raijin threw himself out of the building.

Dr. Welsh looked at them one last time with an angry scowl. “And don’t you come showing your faces around here again!” He slammed the door shut behind them, leaving Seifer and his posse alone in the night.

“Damn, he’s goinna take credit for my thingamajig!” Whined Seifer.

“BUMMER!” Fujin remarked with very little empathy.

Raijin looked at his two other companions with a solemn expression. “Are we goin’ home now, ya know?”

“Yes Raijin,” growled Almasy, “we’re going…” he shuddered with a bitter frown, “…home.”

As for Dr. Welsh, he returned to the telescope to evaluate any damage that Seifer and his unwanted guests might have caused. The first thing he noticed upon inspection of the computer was the image that they were looking at. About to hit the delete button, he started to think it through. Eventually his reason got the best and decided to alert someone of the enigma.


Since the posse had very little money on them, they were forced to live in a run down boarding house in the middle of New Coroner, which was an hour drive from the observatory, and they only had scooters.

When they did arrive at their ‘home’, they were greeted, as usual, by a frightful mess of papers, broken glass, candy wrappers, torn foam, a ratty old couch and beaten TV, and several other dilapidated pieces of furniture, and, of coarse, a boarded up window. That was what Seifer earned his new independence for, that was what he left Garden for. It burned his temper every time he thought of it.

Both Raijin and Fujin took a seat on the threadbare wreck they called a couch. Seifer bitterly joined them, taking his usual seat in the middle of the two. Raijin turned the TV on manually. There was no need to change channels, as they only got three, and two of them were foreign language channels.

For a while, the three watched the TV with its horrible reception.

Raijin sneezed, and the entire facing wall fell away.

He started rather emptily while still staring at the TV. “Seifer, the wall fell down, ya know.”

“It sure did.” Came Seifer’s reply.


The door to the security shack shook with violent exuberance. Rinoa, Watts, and Mordechai, startled, turned towards the intrusion.

“Their early sir.” Remarked Watts in a whisper.

“Hello.” Started one of the security guards. She spoke Galbadain. “Is everything all right in there?”

Angelo started barking. Rinoa tried to get the dog to calm down, but it was already too late, whoever was out there had heard them already.

Mordechai looked frantically around the room. There were Monitors, piled boxes, the tied up security guards, Angelo. “There’s no way out.”

On the other side of the door, the two other security guards started to knock the door down, concerned for their fellow employees.

Watts began to hyperventilate. “What are we going to do? What are we going to do?” In his panic, he took hold of Rinoa’s arm and shook her hard. “You’re a sorceress! Teleport us!”

Rinoa shoved him aside. “No! I can only teleport myself!”

“Then let’s shut up and start digging around!” Mordechai suggested frantically.

The two outside security guards began to pound on the door even harder. Angelo stopped her barking only to help her mistress escape.

The fine wood on the door gave way to knicks and splinters, and the splinters gave way to a gash. One of the security guards kicked the weakened door open. Inside, they say the monitors on, the three other security guards tied up by the wall to their right, and the pile of cardboard boxes moved to reveal the door that lead into the mansion.

One of the rescuers untied a fellow security guard.

“What the hell happened in here?” He asked, speaking with a Wayside Galbadian Accent, very British in sounding.

“Three kids and their dog jumped us.” The untied security guard gasped, thankful the untidy job of his gagging was undone.

“These boxes weren’t all over the place the place when we left.” Reasoned the other standing guard. “They must have gone through that door. We have to get after them. They could be resistance members.”

“No, wait!” The rescued person started. “I overheard one of the punks call their female companion a sorceress!”

Both the guards who had busted through the door gave their companion misbelieving stares. “Get real, the last sorceress on record was Sorceress Edea, and she’s no longer in business.”

“Hey, I heard what I heard! One of those kids was about to piss his pants, he wouldn’t have been bluffing about getting that girl to disappear!”

“So there’s three of them and a dog?”

“Yes, one girl and two boys.”

As the other two were being untied, the female guard got hold of a hand held radio. “Come in sir, this is officer Choma. Do you read me?” No answer came from the other side. “Sir, this is officer Choma, do you read me?”

No answer. More tries were made, in vain. For, on the other side of the communicator was a severed, bloody body, with a discarded jack knife lying close by, as blood soaked as the body. Standing over that cadaver was the midget in the blue dress, she was holding in her hand, a sharp looking purple crystal, dripping with the same dark red plasma that was already polluting the ground.

Hearing the mechanical radio, she picked it up, listening to what was being said.

“Sir,” It began, “can you hear me? We have reasons to suspect we’ve got a resistance faction loose in the building!”

The midget dropped the hand radio.

They’ve found us. She panicked. Looking down at the soapy feeling crystal in her hand. Enveloping it in a fist, she ran away from the body, and ran out of the drawing room she had led the dead man into altogether. She had to worn the others.

Back with the security, the one guard angrily turned the radio off. “There’s no answer.”

“Then let’s go after those kids before they do any other damage!”

“With a sorceress?”

“Sorceress or not, they’re still kids!”

No more argument was said as all five of them scrambled past the hidden door, and entered the manor themselves.

Far before them, the three Forest Owls ran aimlessly down the hall. The only thing spurring them forward was Watt’s frantic cries and Rinoa’s reminder that it wouldn’t take them long at all to know where they went.

Finally, Mordechai slowed to a complete stop, panting and wheezing while he leaned against a wall.

Rinoa stopped when she saw this. “C’mon Mordechai! It won’t take them long to catch up to us!”

“If we keep running like this, it’ll only delay the inevitable.” He puffed, looking lazily at the young woman.

“At least we’ll stand a chance!”

“Screw that!”

Both of them scowled at each other, one not willing to move, and the other very willing to do the opposite.

“I’ve got an idea sir,” Watts spoke, “the SeeDs aren’t doing anything. Can you call them to help us?”

Rinoa took very little time in getting her walkie-talkie out.


Selphie and Zell stood alone in the basement with the empty crate.

“So what do you wanna do now?” Asked the girl.

“I dunno? No one ever told us what to do if a mission is cancelled.”

Both of them nodded with heavy grief, directionless and all, not having anything to do. “Man, this leadership stuff is hard.” Zell whined weekly. “Squall made it look so easy.”

A flicker of hope shone, and Selphie’s face shone with glee. “Let’s find a way outside.”

“You know, I was just about to say that.” Boasted the other SeeD.

They were unable to go only a few steps towards the door when they were met by a pack of five dogs, all of which were growling and barking angrily. Two of them were Rottweilers and two were German Shepherds, the last was a Dalmatian mutt, and all of them were wearing collars, suggesting that they were the guard dogs Rinoa had mentioned earlier.

One look at them and Selphie cooed, “Oh look, doggies.”

“Yeah, doggies.” Agreed Zell with less excitement and more worry.

The supposed leader jumped at the blond mercenary, intent on getting his throat. Thanks to his quick reflexes that had been fine tuned over the years, he managed to keep the dog’s jaws away from him, but not without some frantic struggling.

“Hey!” Yelped Selphie. “You leave him alone!” She brought her nunchaku up to break the German Shepherd’s back, but was tackled by the other dogs. Those dogs took a beating from the flailing levers, but kept on coming regardless.

The dog that Zell wrestled with began to leave sway on him, and its jaws began to close. Aware of this, he had no choice but to resort to magic. Swiftly, he concocted a medium spell of fire: the fira. The spell not only got the dog off of him, but the poor animal began to howl madly as it ran around the room, still on fire.

All the dogs that attacked Selphie took one look at their burning leader and fled to all areas of the room. Two caught fire in only a few short seconds.

Both Zell and Selphie, unlike the dogs, ran straight for the door. Selphie turned around only to snuff the fire with water magic. The dogs calmed down, but the leader had died from both the fira blast and water blast, the other members of the pack had no further need to fight.

The two humans ran until they met the first intersection of the hall, and stopped at the corner. Both sat down on the moist cement in exhaustion.

“Do you think they’ll come back for us?” Asked Selphie when she was finished panting.

“What do I look like? A pet psychic?”

Suddenly, the walkie-talkie began to crackle. Zell reached into his pocket. “Hello.” Casually, he greeted.

Zell, Selphie!” They both heard Rinoa panic.

“Yo! S’up? And what did I say about ‘over’? Over.”

“There’s no time for that! Now listen up! We’ve been caught and we need your help!”

“Where are you being held?”

“We haven’t actually been seen, but security knows we’re here!”

“Okay, where are you?”

“In the house, near the back. Most likely the kitchen. Hurry, or it’ll be somewhere else!”

Transmission ended with a violent crack before any of them could ask any more questions.

They were indeed both worried.


While the chase proceeded in the back of the house, the ballroom atmosphere remained normal, or so it seamed.

When Ambassador Gatchmen had left, the party seamed to have continued at its regular interval. It only took one gag to turn it around. Someone at the back began to froth, then collapse, several fallowed in disturbing redundancy. The four Forest Owls saw it all. Several would gag, some would froth, and then they fell over in dead silence, until they were all down.

Andy spoke first. “What the hell was that all about?”

Rind bent down to inspect on of the bodies. “Poisoning.” He began. “It must have been handed out, hidden in that champagne.” He surveyed the saliva that poured from the corpses’ mouths. It was unnaturally yellow.

“Well, now aren’t you glad I told us not to drink anything?” Everyone shook their heads slowly with clear shock.

The double doors that led out into the foyer flew wide open, allowing two men to enter; two, burly, armed men. From the look of their shabby attire, they were not security guards, and not there for the formal party either.

“Look,” the smaller of the two pointed, speaking Valoo, “a few of them didn’t take the bait!” The four Owls looked upon the two men with apparent fear.

“Damn, I all of sudden feel very stupid in this suit.” Rind whispered to Red Hawk.

“Shut up and don’t look threatening.” He sternly whispered back.

The larger of the two took out a dagger from inside the vest he wore, the smaller one held up a silenced gun.

The one with the gun sneered at the four. “Time to say goodnight.” The Owls debated if it was worth running. They decided against it when they saw that there were more people appearing from all sides. Some of which were in formal attire, obviously hidden among the crowd, and some were in street clothes. One thing was similar with them all, though. They were all Forest Bears.

One of the Bears shouted, “Owls! Kill them now!”

“With pleasure.” The one with the gun grinned, aiming his gun at Spikes.

The midget appeared from one of the side doors. “We’ve been caught!” She yelled, startling the gunman and forcing him to look toward the source of the noise. This distraction gave Spikes enough time to get to the small aluminum triangles he kept in one of his suit pockets, and fling one at the gunman’s neck. The victim seamed to not know what hit him. The blood from his neck flowed freely, even after he collapsed. The man beside him looked down at the recently fallen, then, angrily, back at Spikes.

“The buggers are armed!” He yelled, charging at them with his dagger at the ready. Several of the Bears began to charge as well, many with daggers and dirks, but some with boomerangs and small hatchets.

The Forest Owls were caught in the middle. Spikes, with his agility, climbed the eagle statue. The Bears with boomerangs aimed primarily at him. Spikes took out three more with his triangles.

Red Hawk aimed to collect one of the weapons from the fallen Bears, but the unidentified man stopped him. Taking him by the throat, he lifted the red head up off his feet. “I’m being paid good gill to kill you off,” he chuckled, “and I’m going to make sure I do a good job.” The grip on Red Hawk’s neck tightened. A groping sensation of unconsciousness made way as it did so.

A flash of fiery light came, and the mercenary dropped his victim. The older man screamed in severed pain. Red Hawk looked up from the floor to see that his back had been burned. Another shot of pure fire came out and singed one of the Forest Bears. All turned to the front door of the ballroom to see two newcomers. Neither Bear, nor Owl, but two SeeDs: Selphie and Zell.

“Who knew that that fire exit would lead here?” Zell asked his partner without letting his eyes off the crowd before him.

“I don’t know,” She replied, also keeping watch of the crowd. “I thought they only went outside.”

One of the Forest Bears, a cocky looking guy, strutted up to Selphie, looking particularly at her nunchaku.

“Oh look, does the kitten think she can fight.”

In rage, she whacked him in the face with her weapon, breaking his jaw.

Another one of the Forest Bears shouted in fear and surprise. “Holy crap! That kitten has more then claws!” The fighting started up again. This time, it was directed at the SeeDs.

Most could not get past Zell’s fists, and Selphie backed him up with her magic of fire. The offensive spells she used remained small, so she would not start a house fire. Some did manage to get to her, but they had no more luck then those at Zell’s fists. One of them was killed instantly; those that weren’t, bounced back surprisingly fast. A bluish aura surrounded the wounded Bears, who became wounded no more.

The big mercenary got up from his crouched position, no longer feeling the pain of his burn. He pushed through the small crowd of Forest Bears. Now, Red Hawk had the chance to grab a weapon.

Picking up a rusted looking dirk, he charged at the nearest Bear, digging the dirty metal blade into his back. Those that noticed their fellow resistance member go down started to charge him. From his perch on the eagle, Spikes took out another two Bears. His aim was uncanny.

Through the doors all around the ballroom, and even from places that didn’t seem to be there, more Bears came forth. Spikes had forgotten just how large the group was.

Neither of them noticed the midget; she had scrambled up onto the balcony. Spikes noticed this first. He surveyed the street brawl below to find her, not until he looked up did he see her. A tiny little human being standing by the railing. He took out another triangle and aimed for her. The aim was true, but as it came close, it seamed to hit something. A faint blue shield appeared, as well as a springing ‘shing’ sound as the triangle hit it. The aluminum scrap did hit her, but it did not kill her. Another blue aura surrounded her, and the wound seemed to heal.

A blaring force like lightning hit him, and he was knocked off his pedestal. Rind noticed him falling, as well as a couple other Bears who got to him first.

Zell took on a couple more Bears before he came face to face with the unidentified hit man.

The man received a good left hook from the martial artist. As it turned out, though, Zell’s fist tinged with numbness when his knuckles crashed against the rock hard torso of the big man.

The big man laughed. “Aqwanimuk’na kinaminiq wanamisus etnena!” [Don’t even try it!]

“Oh yeah!” Zell differed, seaming to know what he just said, “just watch me!”

He took another swing at him, with the same results. He tried again, and again, but the outcome was no different then the first. Zell stopped for a second to have a short breather. It was an unwise decision. The man grabbed hold of his neck, just like he did Red Hawk’s.

“Hümanuq, inqamükak’l wasimana laminas anaramin!” [Now, nothing’s going to distract me!] He barked in his heavy Valoo.

A small squealing was heard from above. Then a voice rang down from the roof. “Baluka!” The grimy mercenary was hit with something big from above. Zell looked down at the crumpled form and what landed on top of him. Watts had apparently fallen out of nowhere and saved him. Or, at least, it looked like nowhere. Looking up, Zell found that a hidden air conditioning vent had been opened up, and it was big enough for a person to fall out of.

“Yo! What gives?” Zell complained to Watts, “I thought you were in the kitchen!”

“We were, sir. But we were being tailed by security, and the Princess suggested we escape though the vents.”

“Princess? You know, I’ve always wondered how Rinoa got that title.”

From under him, the big man began to stir. There, grew no more time to talk as he became more and more conscious with each passing second. Watts fell off his back as the man got up. Dizzily, the guy stared down at Zell, then at Watts. His face went from nauseous to raging when he saw who fell on him.

“I’m in trouble, aren’t I, sir?” Piped Watts in Galbadian, looking up at the big man with huge frightened eyes.

Zell got behind the man. “Oh no, you aren’t!” The statement was both directed at Watts and the man at the same time. A good swift kick in the guy’s rear made him forget very fast about Watts. He whirled around to face the one who had kicked him. Zell wasn’t a bit intimidated by the guy’s vicious glare and size.

“That’s right, you’re in trouble, man!” He optimistically said to the huge guy’s face.

The guy barked something else in Valoo, and another shout came from above. Expecting this, the man stepped aside and let Mordechai fall flat on his face. He leaned down and grabbed the back of the freckled one’s T-shirt. He let go soon after another person landed on him. Rinoa, too light to actually knock him down, covered his eyes to blind him. Angelo fallowed closely behind.

“GET OFF ME!” He boomed in Valoo.

“Not a chance!” Hissed Rinoa in Mainstream.

The guy stumbled around with Rinoa’s hands over his eyes, and then he tripped over Mordechai and fell on his back. Rinoa took most of the blow, though, managed to keep holding onto her victim. All the while, Angelo pulled at his arm, giving the guy considerable problems.

Rind continued to get to Spikes, who was now under three other Bears, but two others were stopping him. Selphie saw what was happening, and bulldozed her way too him. The two Bears that were hindering Rind ran off in fright when they saw her, knowing very well what happened to the last guy who underestimated her. Those who were busy beating Spikes up did not see her. One of them suffered a broken back; the others received nasty bruises from the nunchaku. Alas, they were all off Spikes, but they had defiantly left their mark. The guy was in bad shape. The suit he wore was torn. Bruises and blood were everywhere on him, and his left arm looked badly mangled.

A glowing aura surrounded the one who got his back broken. The guy stood up and looked cock-eyed at Selphie. “Keché hunatoq?” [Miss me?]

She turned around, staring at the guy with shock. As a counter attack, they guy slashed at her with his dagger. Selphie blocked effectively. Another slash was made, but it was far from the mark. He took several more swings, but they were also far off.

Are you blind? I’m right HERE! Thought Selphie anxiously. More slashes were taken, and she was very convinced that he could not see where she was. Finding no threat with the guy, she observed the rumble around her. One thing she noticed, the eagle statue had changed form, into the lion faced monster Red Hawk had seen earlier, and it was glowing a light purple. She also noticed the midget, and recognized the movements she was taking. She was casting curative magic!

Noticing the recovery time of all the Bears, the magic she was using was strong, but shotty. If the magic were better casted, the guy who had broken his back would have still been able to see to a minimum. Curing magic was never meant to knit bones so fast, at least, not properly.

“Stay here with Spikes, okay.” She told Rind, not really sounding like she was demanding anything, or staying around to hear what he had to say.

Brandishing her nunchaku in front of her, she ran up the stairs towards the midget. Once at the balcony, she swung at the small woman. The hit was effective and she went down, dropping the glowing piece of crystal onto the floor below. Selphie noticed that she casted a protecting spell, but it still wasn’t enough to save her from the blow. Getting up quickly, she cast some curative magic on herself. The type of aura told Selphie that it was a strong spell, a curaga.

“How can you cast that magic?” Selphie forcefully asked in Galbadian, hoping she would understand. “Are you a sorceress?”

“I am Ursula,” answered the midget, not very friendly like, “and how dare you accuse me of being a sorceress.” Her words were heaving with a Valoo accent, very Inuit like in sounding. She, obviously, only took Galbadian as a third language.

Quite aware that she was a small, weaponless opponent against a larger opponent with a weapon, Ursula threw a medium level thunder spell at her, a thundara. The spell struck Selphie on the head, but she remained up. Ifrit gave her extra strength, and she called upon it to get rid of Ursula. The nunchaku missed, Selphie had aimed to high, and it was just enough time for the midget to set off another thundara spell. The spell hit again. Ursula kept throwing her thunder spells, until she ran out, and that was only two more casts later.

“Üqonala!” She swore when she noticed this. Now, she only had her curative magic left, but she had to save that for the other Bears.

Selphie noticed, too, finding great humor in it. “Hey! What’s wrong, don’t you know how to stock magic?” She smiled at the small woman. Ursula looked up at the SeeD with a snarl. Selphie had made sure to speak in Galbadian, and she took it to great offence.

“I don’t need my magic stores to get rid of you!” There was a surprisingly loud tone in her voice for someone so small. Selphie ignored her and took another swing, her protect had worn off. Ursula stumbled, and looked to have acquired a bruise, but she did not go down.

If she does have a GF, thought Selphie, then it’s probably giving her better endurance.

Ursula backed away from the SeeD, becoming dangerously close to falling down the stairs on the other side of the balcony. A shuddering was felt on the floor. Selphie stumbled, falling forward, hitting the red carpet with her elbows. Under the carpet, the wooden planks cracked, the fabric of the carpet ripped soon afterwards. Making its way out was a five-foot, green and yellow turtle with pointed ears. The shell of which, was spiky and an iridescent green.

She does have a GF! And she’s sicking it on me!

Everyone on the lower floor turned to see this great reptile appear, but only Zell and Rinoa had any clear idea of what it was.

The turtle GF waddled forward, the floorboards croaking underneath it. Its parrot beak gapped open as it stretched its leathery yellow neck forward. Something glowed a vibrant cyan at the back of its throat. Out of the GF’s mouth shot a torrent of blue sparks. With quick timing and luck, Selphie dogged the entire surge of hissing static by flinging herself over the side of the balcony, still holding onto the railing.

As soon as the spark storm resided, and the GF disappeared, Selphie hauled herself over the railing again. The sparks caused no physical damage to the building, but gave the rug serious burns. In between the two girls still gapped the large hole the GF came through. It separated Selphie and Ursula. The latter seamed not to care, as she began to take a step backwards. The SeeD held her breath hoping that she would fall down the stairs. The brawl below stopped as the audience below watched the spectacle.

A tiny flash of light flickered by Ursula’s head, and she stumbled forward. Her head began to bleed uncontrollably. She never took her step backwards.

From below, Andy lowered the silenced gun the smaller hit man had dropped.

Ursula gurgled blood as she healed herself with more of her magic. If it were not for her GF, the shot would have killed her instantly. She stood upright; ready to bring back the giant turtle that had disappeared back to its master. There was something off with the way she stood, almost as if she were trying hard to keep her balance. Regardless of the spell she used to heal her gun wound, it did not remove the bullet from her brain.

Determined to end Ursula before she made another move, Selphie took a few steps back, then run forward, her nunchaku held in front of her. She hit the small woman across the face, sending her tumbling down the curving staircase. She did not survive the ordeal.

The Bears stood stunned, beginning to back off. Some of them ran, or limped off entirely. It was obvious that Ursula was the Alpha Female of the Forest Bears, and she had just been taken down.

It wasn’t over. Before she went flying down the stairs, the leader of the Forest Bears had called upon her GF one last time. The turtle came crashing though the door at the back of the balcony. Selphie turned around in panic when she saw it come back. The mouth of the creature opened. The sizzling and cracking began again, and, before it could fire, Selphie dove off the balcony entirely. The spark storm raged in full force. Some of the Bears that were in the path of it were badly electrocuted and, quite dead. The storm also hit the once eagle statue, splitting the marble.

From out of the flying rubble bounced a medium sized rubber ball, about the size of a human head. It was a pale teal in color, and brandished the symbol of a black ring with an upright triangle in the middle. It bounced harmlessly onto the ground.

Above, the turtle GF roared quite suddenly, as if the sight of the ball inflicted serious pain. The shell of the turtle glowed a soft blue that grew stronger, lighting the entire room with its eerie blue light. The glow became intense, until the entire GF disappeared in a mass of blue lightning.

When, settled the clearness, a shout arose from the remaining Forest Bears who weren’t killed, or fled. That bunch turned tail and ran off.

The ballroom was a fright. Bodies were strewn everywhere, in every pose a corpse could make. Tables were overthrown, charred corpses lay in the direction the second spark storm traveled, the giant stature was a pile of rubble, and from the remains, had reverted back to eagle once more. To add to matters, sirens blared outside.

“It’s the cops! The security guards must have ratted on us!” Panicked Watts.

“For what we did, we deserve to get caught by the cops.” Rinoa started, standing beside Angelo while the dog still tore at the large man’s arm. “We’ve trashed the oldest house in Timber.”

“What about the Hutchin’s place?” Andy asked.

“I meant the oldest house that isn’t condemned. I feel like I just spat on history.”

Zell shouted to the Forest Owls. “Yo! Less chat more scat.”

Selphie lifted herself up off the floor she landed on, and saw what Ursula had dropped. The sharp, purple crystal, it was glowing. Oohing and aweing at the pretty stone, she picked it up and put it in her back pocket. She, then, noticed the ball that came out of the statue. She grabbed that as well. Zell and the Forest Owls had no objection to taking these spoils.

“C’mon peoples!” Shouted the squad leader. “Let’s haul ass! We can us the fire escape Selphie and I found!”

Rinoa got Angelo off of the man’s arm. The guy looked dead, but she couldn’t believe that. If anything, he was faking it, but she didn’t have the time to find out, or care. “Andy, Rind, Red Hawk and Watts!” She called out, “pick up Spikes and lets fallow Zell!”

The four did as they were told. Picking up their fallen associate and fallowing Zell, they all raced through the fire exit that was located secretly in the closest room to the right once they exited the ballroom. The going was tough when they reached the basement. For much of the time, they ran blindly, and probably in circles. Luckily, the fire exit was secret, and they wouldn’t have to worry much about it being found.

The mouth of the cave came to view; the group stepped out into the cold night, but stopped when Zell skidded to a halt in front of the moat.

“What’s wrong, sir?” Watts asked with no real concern.

“This water’s boiling.”

“Don’t worry about it.” He heard Rinoa say. “There’s a wooden bridge over here near the wall. Both Zell and Selphie felt really stupid.

There’s a bridge? Damn! I swam all the way over here for nothin’!

The group rushed over the bridge. Zell nearly tripped over Angelo in his haste. Brine still sat at the driver’s seat of the car, napping. He was surprised to see so many pile into the car. They put Spikes into the front, squishing him right up to Brine, with Andy, Watts, and Rind squishing themselves in after. Red Hawk, Selphie, Rinoa, Watts, Mordechai, Zell, and Angelo managed to squeeze into the back.

“You know, this is going to make driving a bit difficult.” Began Brine. “And what happened to Spikes?”

“Shut up and drive!” Ordered Rinoa.

“Hey!” Selphie blurted. “Who’s touching my ass?”

“I am.” Answered Red Hawk.

“Move your hand then!”

“Can’t move. Cramped.”

Angelo whined with agreement.

“I can’t reach the steering wheel with both hands.” Remarked Brine. “Andy? Can you get it?”

Andy stretched his free arm forward, just barely grabbing the steering wheel. “Eww, Spikes is bleeding on me!”

“Boo hoo. He’s bleeding on me, too. Now, can you get the gas pedal? I’m taking the breaks.”

“No way, man. Too far away.”

“You might as well just use the gas pedal.” Rinoa suggested. “From what we saw this morning. This car has no breaks.”


Darn it! Why did his dreams have to be so real? Squall had the nagging feeling it was the lack of real blood to his head, but he really felt like he was in one of those artistic films where everything was symbolic. He was dreaming of some kind of cathedral, and he was in it. The walls and ceiling appeared of gothic style, and in a very earthy tone, and the floor was of polished plank wood. To his right, the giant pillared wall was bare, nothing but dusty brick and dried, pealing drywall. To his left, nine feet up the wall were five stained glass windows, one in between each pillar. The first four were of strange looking creatures, obvious monsters that he had never heard of, each with a symbol below it. The first was more fatherly, or motherly, looking then the rest, the background on it was that of blue and purple clouds. It also looked so close to Griever, only it had no legs, and very weird hands. The symbol below it looked like a toy sailboat, only with no mast. The second was vicious, with sharp spikes all over it. The sun from the outside made the flames of the background the more dramatic. The symbol this thing had looked like an X with wings. The third looked like a very studious bird, only with five pairs of ears and a very thin neck. The background was of leaves. The symbol below it looked like two vertical boomerangs with a horizontal line going through them at the top. The fourth looked small in comparison to the other three. The background was a plane yellow, each glass piece of a different saturation. The symbol below it was a ring with an upright triangle in the middle of it. The fifth was very interesting, as it was a picture of himself, standing solemnly in ankle deep water, gunblade in his left hand and lowered to his side. Even though the figure in the stained glass window was looking at an angle, his eyes seamed to fallow the real Squall. The background on this window was of a lagoon at night, and the symbol below him was a W. Even though the window did come as an unwanted surprise, he had to admit he looked good in stained glass.

He continued forward, drunk on the bizarre surroundings he was given. A funny thing, that he tripped, and felt himself hit the ground, even though he was unaware that he was tripping. Blinking in disbelief, he got up to his knees. Over a bit to his right was a young red headed boy sitting on a wooden step. His back was turned to him, and it looked like he was playing with two toys. Squall had not noticed it before, but the scenery had changed. Now, it seamed the boy was the centerfold, and not the stained glass.

The correct thing at the moment seamed that he had to make contact with this boy. Getting up onto his feet, Squall walked over to the boy. He saw what the kid was playing with. They were both hand held models of some kind of…


Or, possibly…

Air fortress?

One of them was white, and looked sort of like a dragon with a body that reminded him of a chicken. The other was black with glowing red parts that made it look like the thing had a mouth and eyes. The boy stopped playing with the air fortresses, as if he heard Squall approach him. The kid looked behind him. Squall gave a surprised squeak when he saw his face.

Not that the kid had a face, all their was, was a tin mask tied to his skin with metal wires, with a radiator for a mouth, and rusted dents in the place of eyes.

Many questions, Squall wanted to ask. One question, he wanted to ask the most.

“How can you see me?”

The boy shrugged. “I don’t know?”

That doesn’t really help me kid.

Squall asked the boy another question. “What are those in your hand?” He sat down on the step beside him, pointing at the two models, hoping the boy knew what he was talking about.

Surprisingly enough, the boy laughed. “You know who they are.” He held up the white thing. “This is my favorite.” Lowering the white fortress, he held up the black one. “White hates Black, so they always fight. But I don’t like Black. It’s too mean. Why don’t you have it? It suites you better.” The black fortress was handed over to Squall.

Rolling the model around in his hands, he was able to make out fine detail on the thing. The model was well made, highly detailed. The red parts of Black glowed brighter in his hands. Squall looked up to see what the boy would do next, but he had gone, another enigmatic motion of the semiconscious.

“APPALLING PACE! Come here.” Shouted an all to familiar voice, high pitched and scratchy, calling him Appalling Pace once more. The scenery stretched out into a gray stone hall, lined with dirty wooden buttresses. Sunlight shone from the other side, illuminating the invisible dust clouds. Squall stood up from the wooden step, walking forward slowly.

Stepping into the hall, the air became immediately dryer. Oddly, it smelled like sawdust, Squall couldn’t remember what it was like to smell anything.

On the other side hovered Cloak, her back turned to him. For a while, Squall was thankful not to see her face. Then, she turned her head around. In startled shock, Squall dropped Black, but it didn’t make a sound when it hit the cement ground.

“Pick it up.” Demanded Cloak.

Frightened of her stare, he did as he was told, while not letting his eye off of her.

Cloak raised a clawed hand slowly in the air. The wide, tattered sleeves hanging heavily down as her bony fingers came up. Black hovered from out of Squall’s grip, and he did not stop it.

The model stopped in front of her raised hand. Spreading her fingers out, she gingerly grabbed Black. Her fingers looked to disappear, as they were camouflaged in the black of the model.

“Finding right. Away! All knowing!” [Where did you get this?] She raised the model to her face, sniffing it.

“Finding, not knowing!” [Don’t you know?] He asked her, speaking in her bizarre poetry.

Cloaked looked slyly at him. She hid Black behind her dark robe, and brought something else out. It was the head of that red headed boy. Squall stood still, but was not surprised, nor angry with that.

“Coming today. It looks good, smells fine.” [He should have stayed home.] Cloak started.

Squall asked, not looking directly at Cloak, or the head. “Weird?” [Who is he?]

“Around and through, nothing of kind!” [Not one of us!]

Eyes widening, Squall began to back up. The strange feeling as if she were tearing his wall of servitude, exposing his soul, began to act up inside him. It felt cold and draining, making breathing very hard.

Cloak turned completely around, the root-like throat he had come to know as her larynx, waved back and forth with its usual riled contempt. Her arms were thrown up over her head and waved around frantically.



He didn’t remember waking up, all he could recall was laying on his back and re-thinking his conversation with Cloak. Much of it had become garbled, but he did remember the ‘let me out’ part, as well as ‘around and through, nothing of kind’. Strange, the language one spoke in dreams.

The cliché cold sweat that usually fallowed after a nightmare was replaced by a rather annoying cold biting feeling at the back of his neck. He lay in his bed, on his back, wide-awake, completely in his insomniac stage. From habit, he knew he would be lying that way for the next fifteen or so minutes before he got up to wander around aimlessly. It was a habit that had gotten him into trouble with the Garden Hands in the past. Since they left, it had been the instructors that lectured him.

While lying completely still for about a few more minutes, his heightened sense of hearing picked up conversation in the common room. Curious as to the assembly, he got up and walked out of his room. A side effect that came with one of the drugs was acting up, and making it rather hard to keep his balance. He fell down a few times while just getting to the door, and it seemed that the sweat pants and oversized T-shirt he was wearing had just increased five fold in weight.

In the common room, two female students up for late night viewing were sitting on the old worn couch, watching Monterosa news. Lucky for them, Galbadian was a must-know language in Garden, so most everyone wasn’t limited to just the Balambese channels.

Pictured on the squawk box was an anchorwoman at her desk.

“Scientist at the New Galbadian Observatory has discovered an unidentified object entering our atmosphere.” He heard the anchorwoman announce. Squall stood in the doorway, curious as to what the woman was reporting.

“We now go live to astronomer Warren Welsh.” The scene switched from the newsroom to an astronomers lab, and astronomer Welsh stood in front of the camera with a microphone to his mouth.

A reporter asked: “Dr. Welsh, is it possible that what you found it Estherian?”

“We aren’t sure as of yet, but that was just one of the many possibilities we have considered, and why you were notified, as it would be best to let Esthar know before we are to use any force, if this thing is, indeed, Estharian.”

“Dr., if this is an unidentified object, how fast would you say it’s moving?”

“We haven’t a clue. We just found it a few hours ago. But, judging from its sudden appearance, it has to be traveling at an incredible speed.”

“How far away would you say this thing is?”

“From how much out telescope was focused, its about 75,000 kilometers away from us. That’s not very far in terms of space, and the distance between two objects in space.”

The office scene changed back to the newsroom.

“Although not much information is known now, we have managed to get the picture of this unidentified object.”

A computerized shot appeared in the top right hand corner of the screen, then was zoomed in to see clearly. The image of the object had been brightened up for medium purposes. The color showed blue, but the shape was unmistakable. Squall had seen it. It was the white model from his dream.

Instantly, his hands flew up, clawing at his scalp, and he screamed.

The two girls turned around to see who had screamed, but Squall had already run off.

Not so very disappointed, the girls turned back to the newsreel.

“Are they going to show Nigh Curses: Top Ten Chart or what?” Started one of the girls in Alcauldian.

“I dunno. Maybe the aliens already took over the station.”

“If the aliens do attack us, do you think they’ll hire SeeD?”

“Only if they haven’t had their brains sucked out already.”

Chapter 7

General Wyvern's Fanfiction