Hand of Ice Chapter 7

Finding, Undescribing

By General Wyvern

Ellone sat in the back of the palace library, nose deep in a book about human psychological disorders. Her own unique talent of ‘pushing’ the conscious into the subconscious gave her fascinating insights to how an individual mind was shaped, and gave her a great deal of interest in psychology. Right then, she was studying up to become a psychologist, mainly in the areas of the more depressing psychosis. According to what she heard, there was a staggering shortage of people in that area. Since she was always ready to help her fellow human beings, it seamed the logical direction for her.

The floor underneath her shuddered violently, again. It was the third time that week it had happened, and the worst part was the shuddering was coming in faster each time. Ellone put her book down with an angry scowl, marching out of the library and down the brightly lit corridors of the presidential palace of Esthar. Ornately laced with brass buttresses and lined with glass, it took Ellone a while to walk through that hall without worrying about it breaking underneath her.

She stormed the huge door to the President’s office. President Laguna Loire was sitting in front of the huge console, back to her, his feet up on the control board, and a phone glued to his ear.

“Uncle Laguna,” She started with vinegar in her voice, speaking with a Grellian accent, only native to her home of Winhill, sounding quite Italian to the ear. The country was made up of many different people who spoke different variations of Winhill. Still, if one were to learn just one variation, that person could pretty much speak the rest of them as well.

Laguna lowered the phone, turning his spinning chair around to look at her. “Not now Elle, I’m in the middle of an important call.” The president spoke with a New Galbadian accent that was starting to grow a hint of Estharian in it. He turned his chair around to resume talking on the phone. “That’s right, free doughnuts…a dozen. Really? Can I have custard in six, and strawberry filling in the other half…? No, on the other hand, make them all custard filled.”

“Uncle Laguna!” Ellone shouted, stomping towards him, grabbing the phone away from him. “Dr. Odine is acting up his Hyne-knows-only experiments again. You said you would do something about that main sewage drain that connects from his lab to the palace.

Now, Laguna was listening. “I know, but what harm can come if he uses the same sewage drain as us?”

“Everything! That pipe is like an explosion subway! It’s rocking the foundation and breaking everything that isn’t glued down. The maid can’t check the boiler because of the smell, and I’m afraid to use the toilet!”

“Which one?”

“All of them! I’ve been going in pots for the longest time!”

“So that’s what happened to them.”

“Can’t you do anything about him?”

“You know I would, but I…uh…I… just think of it as a really loud party with stink bombs.”

“And what about the toilets?”

“Put a flame thrower in every bathroom.”

Defeated, Ellone turned around, skulking out of the room.

Before she left through the door, she turned around to look back at Laguna. “Sometimes I wonder if you have any idea how dangerous those experiments of his are.”

“Now Ellone, you know I don’t.” He answered courteously. “Tell ya what, if someone dies because of those experiments, I’ll get on his back.”

“You know, that’s not very reassuring.”

“I wouldn’t be careless Ellone. You’re the closest thing I have to a daughter, or a son, come to think of it.”

Ellone nearly choked over the last words Laguna spoke.

Don’t say anything. He knows nothing. He’s happy with his life right now.

“Is something wrong?” Laguna asked with concern. “You look kindda…pukish.”

“I’m fine.” She squeaked, running out of the office with nervous speed.


The streets of New Coroner pertained its usual ambience of cars, trashcans, sidewalks, and look-alike people heading about the street either because they had something to do or they didn’t.

Seifer headed down one of the junkier of streets, the hilt of his gunblade resting on his shoulder.

It was bad enough that he had been fired from work last night, now he and his posse would be evicted unless he managed to get enough money to pay rent. He would have been able to pay the rent if he hadn’t have pissed the gill away on a door. After the endless hours of pining his mind for an answer, he only came up with one conclusion.

The chimes of a bell rang as Seifer stepped through the door to one of the street shops.

He dropped his gunblade, Hyperion, on the counter up front.

“How much can I get for this?” He asked, trying not to cry.

The manager of the pawnshop took Hyperion with both hands and studied it. Every detail of the weapon was observed with patience. Seifer was sweating with anticipation, trying not to open his mouth.

Oh, c’mon, get it over with already!

Putting down Hyperion, the manager opened his cash register. “I can give you a thousand gill for the gunblade.” Like everyone in town, he spoke New Galbadian.

“WHAT!” Shouted Seifer. “One grand for a top-of-the-line-don’t-see-every-day-been-places-killed-dragons gunblade!”

“Now look here kid.” The manager began sternly, holding up the gunblade. “You see these nicks? Well, they don’t do good for value. The color’s faded. The very tip of the hilt is nubbed. The blade has been hacked beyond repair. The gun is loose from the blade. And the steel is still crusted with blood.”

“Yeah, I was meaning to getting around to cleaning that.”

Seifer got a nasty look from the manager before he put Hyperion under the counter. “Plus, you have not collateral. You’re a nobody. Ya hear?”


“So. You get nothin’ without the name.”

“I do have a name. I’m Seifer Almasy.”

The pawnshop manager stared at him blankly.

“Seifer Almasy,” he continued, “Sorceress Edea’s knight. I was on TV when they broadcasted her parade in Delling.”

Surprisingly enough, the manager laughed. “Ha, that’s a good one. Tell ya what, I’ll give you two thousand gill just because I like your story.”

“Oh, you think I’m a liar?”

“I can always lower it.” The manager spoke more seriously.

Seifer thought of his options for a second. “Fine!” He spat.

The bell rang again as he walked out, two thousand gill richer and not happy about it. It was a pity he didn’t put up a better fight for that money. Already, he was regretting it. But, he really didn’t feel like putting up much of a scuffle at the moment.

Two thousand gill. I sold Hyperion for two thousand gill.

Behind the darkness of the ally, a large man in a dirty muscle shirt stepped out into the sun, glaring angrily at Seifer.

“Hey! Almasy!” He yelled.

He turned around, freezing instantly to the spot. Oh yeah, I forgot about him.

The big man, known as Fister, grabbed the young man by his coat collar and pulled him up in front of his face. He was hauled up high enough for his feet to dangle just above the ground.

“You owe my boss fifty thousand gill, ya here!” Barked Fister at his face. His breath smelled terrible.

“I know, I know.” Seifer tried to defended, smiling awkwardly to show any sincerity. Truth be told, he had completely forgotten. “Just give me a week.”

“You’ve had a week!”

“I know, I’m just having a bit of a financial slump. Not everyone is as well off as your boss.”

“Then you shouldn’t have bet on the Runners. Everyone in Galbadian knows they’re the worst team!”

“Well, I’m a little new to this country, so…”

“So, nothin’!” Fister threw Seifer onto the sidewalk, as if disgusted to hold onto him anymore. “You scrounge up an arm and a leg by the end of the week, or I’m taking yours boy-o!” He stormed off down the street, but Seifer still didn’t feel safe.

What! now I gotta pay off gambling depts? Do I have to sell an organ to get any real cash around here?

He walked the rest of the way to the boarding house all stressed and ready to scream.

Back at ‘home’, he became even more stressed when the door fell in by just touched the knob. I paid a thousand gill for this piece-of-crap door?! Fujin was sitting on the couch looking through the wanted adds, while Raijin was hanging up all the curtains and free blankets to cover the empty space where the wall used to be. So far, he was almost finished. None of them seemed to noticed he had come in.

“Hey, Fujin.” Seifer started, startling the one eyed woman who nearly dropped the paper. “Found anything?”

“WANTED! ORDERLY!” She looked over at him, pointing to a wanted add. It was for a mental institute twenty miles out of town.

Raijin turned from his work curiously. “They pay you for being older?”

“Not elderly!” Scolded Seifer, “orderly. Serving food in hospitals, like that!”

“Like a waiter?”

“Yes, only they don’t need to have a fruity Dollet accent.”

“Dollet accent?”

“Just go back to hanging those sheets.”

“Well, ok, ya know,” sighed Raijin, turning around to hang a green sheet up with a nail. “I don’t think I have enough blankets and curtains to cover the whole front wall, ya know.”

“Just do your best.” Seifer replied weakly, nor really caring. He was more interested in the job Fujin had found. She didn’t say anything, but did look annoyed when the paper was yanked out of her hands. Seifer surveyed the ad more closely.

“North Yaulny Hospital!” He scoffed, throwing the paper back down on Fujin’s lap. “That’s not a hospital, that’s a prison! Deling only made it to boost public support. Yet, everyone knows he blew all his funds on the D-District Prison. From what I heard, that place is a hell hole!”

“PAYING JOB!” Fujin reminded.

“Yeah, so it is. But promise me you’ll confirm all the rumors that are told about that place.”


“I’ll get to that! I just have to figure out our money problem first.”


“That’s not the only thing it’s goinna break.” He cringed, thinking of Fister and his threat.


“What! You know too? How come no one ever tells me these things?”

Now, Raijin joined in the conversation. “You were so insistent you were making the right choice, ya know.”

“Hey, Seifer Almasy never makes mistakes. He just gets bad luck.”

“Was it your bad luck that the wall fell down?”

“Yes, Raijin, it’s all bad luck.”

“Is that why you don’t have your gunblade?”

“I’d rather not discuss that.”

“PAWNED IT!” Fujin quipped, looking up from the paper.

“Pawned it?” Raijin asked, scratching his head. “What does that mean, ya know?”

“It means I sold it to pay for the lousy rent!”

“How much didja get?”

“Two grand.”

“Wow, two grand!” Raijin remarked with excitement. “I didn’t think that thing would bring in that much gill!”

“Then you don’t know gunblades very well. Hyperion was easily worth more then that.”

“Then why didn’t you get that, ya know?”

“Because I’m a nobody!” He crossed his arms sternly, an ugly frown on his face.

A bathtub fell through the ceiling just behind their couch. All three coughed from the debris its crash raised.

“All right!” Cheered Raijin when he was finished coughing. “We got a place to take a bath, ya know. All we need now is to connect it to the plumbing.”

Seifer gave another one of his scowls. “Raijin, we already have a bathtub.”

“Yeah, but this one doesn’t have rust stains, ya know. And it probably wouldn’t be itchy on the ass either.”


Through the bright green foliage of the Roshfall forest, far to the northeast, Brokk wondered forward on the dirt path built for hikers.

“I love the forest,” he began dreamily, “the fresh air, the plant life, the birds singing, and even that sound of running water you hear when near a creak. Wouldn’t you agree Irvine?”

Irvine walked beside him, but wasn’t as excited as Brokk. “I would enjoy it better if you hadn’t have barged into my room last night!” The two had known each other in Galbadia Garden. Then again, Irvine had known a lot of people in Galbadia, so pretty much all of the Galbadian transfers knew him in one way or the other, but Brokk was one of the few who didn’t think him a complete playboy.

“I told you, didn’t I?” Brokk whined, “My neighbor was keeping me up. He was banging his head on the wall and muttering a bunch of stuff in Alcauldian.”

“How can you be sure it was a ‘he’?”

“Sounded like a ‘he’. Unless it was a woman with a rather deep voice.”

“A deep voiced woman, ya say.” Cooed Irvine. “Did she say something interesting?”

“How should I know? My Alcauldian sucks. When I was still in Galbadia, I thought that the only language spoken in Balamb was Balambese. Now, I learn they have two official languages! I mean, where the bloody hell did this Alcauldian come! This continent isn’t big enough to produce two totally different languages!”

“Search me? I just know that chicks dig a guy who can speak Alcauldian.”

“Really? I thought it was Dollet.”

“It’s also included. But I can’t speak Dollet.”

Irvine could remember when he spoke Galbadian and only Galbadian. When he first met Squall and the others, he had assumed they could only speak Alcauldian. He got a surprise when he learned they could speak the three forms of Galbadian fluently. Squall and Quistis could even take on a Galbadian accent. It had made him feel really dumb.

Having a great need for communication within the group, he had gotten Zell to teach him Balambese, and Squall, Alcauldian. The teaching methods of Zell were pretty much on-and-off, dealing out lessons where he saw fit. Squall was a different story. The guy was strict. If Irvine said a wrong word, mispronounced, or used Galbadian during a lesson, he would be hit and scolded. The lessons did pay off, though; he spoke fluent Alcauldian before he could conjugate properly in Balambese. Like he had said, chicks did dig a guy who could speak Alcauldian, at least those that didn’t speak it as a first or second language. Next, would be the accent, for he still had trouble rolling the ‘r’s.

“I can’t believe it’s the Weekend.” Brokk started with a happy note. “I’ve heard a lot of stuff about that Garden Festival, but barely anything about this Weekend.”

“That’s because this day is an excuse for the Headmaster to search the dorms of any smuggled items.”

“And the Garden Festival isn’t?”

“No way! It’s, like, expected of him to be present.”

The Weekend was not an orderly holiday. Most of the candidates and junior classmen were swimming in the lake. Everyone else just sat around, some even brought picnic baskets and cloths. All this, done in the shadow of Garden, which wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

A couple of SeeD women, both in casual clothes, were standing by a pine tree, discussing free trade rights, Galbadian corruption, and the hottest singer in the latest issue of some musician’s magazine.

Out from the direction of Garden, Quistis headed along the dirt path to meet those two girls, a big burlap sack thrown over her shoulder. Things had become slow for her, since most of her friends were away on missions. Her closest of allies were either Irvine, who was off with his friends, or Squall, who wasn’t the most pleasing person to talk too. Her social situation was lousy; all she could talk to were ‘the girls’, as long as they weren’t Trepies.

One of the SeeD girls: a tall, dirty blond chick, noticed Quistis coming, and also noticed the burlap sack.

“Hey there Quistis. Whatcha got in the sack? Fruit? Books? Kick balls? Bricks?”

“Squall.” She answered point blank, throwing the sack down in front of her feet. “I thought it would be nice for him to get some actual human contact before he’s shut up in his lair again.”

“Yeah,” started the other girl. “You’ve always had a soft spot for dangerous beasts.”

“He’s not dangerous if you get to know him. I had him for a student for one year.”

“And how was it?” Asked the blond girl.

“It would have been nicer if he responded to his name.” Quistis answered. “And, if he didn’t handle anything flammable… and if he would have looked to the front of the class once and a while. Understanding directions better would have been a plus as well.”

“Or, when he attacks you.”

“He never attacked me physically.”

“Then what was that that happened yesterday?”

“How should I know? It was like he was in an entirely different universe, more so then usual, and I was replaced by something he hates.”

“You know what I think,” the other girl suggested, “the sorceress enchanted him.”

Quistis gave a stern look at her. “Now how would you prove that?”

“Hey! I’m not the only one who thinks so. Almost everyone in Garden thinks the sorceress cast a spell on him.”

“And why would she do that?”

“Duh!” Quipped the blond. “We’re here to destroy her and the like. So she wanted to crush us from the inside.”

“If Squall heard that, he’d be so mad at you two, the Dragon’s Wrath would reach knew heights.”

At Quistis’ feet, the sack stirred to life. “I did hear that!” Came the muffled shout of Squall.

The two girls stood stark still with shock and fear, looking at each other with sideway glances.

“Um,” the shorter of the two started, “Squall, would it be possible for you to ignore what we just said? Because you’ll just hear it from someone else anyway.”

“I will, IF YOU LET ME OUT OF THIS SACK!” The burlap wavered and stirred as he kicked and clawed at the fabric from within. Quistis crouched down to untie the sack.

Clawing the rest of his way out, Squall looked back at his former instructor wickedly. “Was there any reason to knock me unconscious and drag me here like a rotting corpse?”

“Well, you wouldn’t have come any other way, and I’ve run out of ideas to get you here.”

“I was happy staring at the wall, thank you.” He turned away from her and crossed his arms bitterly.

“Sure you were.” Quistis replied, smiling wryly and standing up. “Just promise me you won’t destroy today like you did the last three years. No one will ever forget your Screech Owl routine.”

“Fine! I’ll stay right here and not scare the Junior classmen!”

All three of the girls gave inane glances at him and each other. All Quistis had to do was shrug her shoulders and they all left, leaving Squall to stew in his aggravation alone. For a long time he sat there, starring at life’s passing parade. To him, it seamed that life’s passing parade was staring at him. The paranoia he had nursed was getting the best of him, molding the conversations of others into teasing and back talk, all against him.

A sound rustled from behind him, almost like a voice, though, not in any language he had heard. He turned around curiously to see, that, behind him was a thick brush that went into the deeper part of the woods. Squall got up, eagerly thankful for any distraction to get him away from the stares and ‘ridicule’.

From in the thicket of the gathering, Irvine had found a female companion to talk to. He was sitting on the grass in front of her, leaning on his left hand and gesturing with his right, talking about whatever came to his mind. And, what had come to his mind was the weather. The girl scoffed at him and walked away.

“Having fun?” Brokk chuckled.

“Damn. These Balambese girls are tough.” Started Irvine, still looking in the direction that the girl had left. “I didn’t have to try nearly this hard to get a smile out of the girls in Galbadia.”

“Maybe it has to do with knowing. The girls in Galbadia have known you longer then the girls here.”

“Yeah, probably. Or maybe it’s just, like, their attitude. The girls back home were more sunshine and bonfires, as compared to the thunder and infernos here.”

“Don’t blame them. Did you know that there are fifteen words for fire in the Alcauldian language, and only two in Balambese?”

“How could I forget?” The time Squall had spent with him trying to teach him all those words was more then just grueling. Irvine had asked why they didn’t just put all those words into one, like everyone else. Squall had yelled at him for being close-minded and unappreciative of other cultures.

Thinking of whom, he saw Squall sitting on what looked like a dirty brown blanket, then get up to head into the forest.

“Hey Brokk,” he suggested, turning back, looking at him pleasingly. “Let’s fallow Squall, maybe he’s found a monster to whip?”

“But we don’t have any weapons! And what if it’s a wendigo, or one of those giant snakes?”

“Don’t worry, he’s not stupid. He’d, like, warn us if it was. He’s pretty good with those ears of his.”

Brokk didn’t complain with his reasoning, and fallowed him regardless.

“Hey Squall!” Called Irvine in Balambese for Brokk’s benefit. “S’up with you?”

Squall turned around, none to happy to see them.

Irvine continued to address him regardless. “Whatcha doin’?”

Rügnarjir Kinneas.” [Beat it Kinneas.]

“Aww, c’mon. You don’t mean that?”

The two were ignored as Squall continued to wander deeper into the forest. Irvine and Brokk continued to fallow.

“Hey man! Slow down!” He heard Irvine call. Seaming that he had done as he was told, Squall stopped. The two who fallowed stopped with him, but not for the same reason.

Squall had heard something all right. He had heard the trees talking.

An old spruce began, speaking in Valoo, “what is that? Where did it come from?”

A pine to his right continued. “It shouldn’t be.”

“I thought they were dead.” Remarked another pine.

“I thought they were a myth.” Quipped a hickory.

“Hey Squall!”

The voices of the trees dimmed when Irvine yelled for his attention. He turned around to see Irvine giving him a stern look, a usual for him to receive.

“Dude, did you even acknowledge we were here?”

Squall ignored him and turned back to the trees.

Brokk started solemnly at his friend. “I don’t think he cares about us?”

“He doesn’t care about a lot of things, but I can change that. Hey! Squall! Do you hear a monster?”

“I can only hear one person at a time! Okay!” Came his definite, and agitated response.

“So you do hear a monster. Is it a funguar?”

“I wouldn’t be here if it was a friggn’ mushroom! I would only be here if it was wendigo, or one of those giant snakes.”

“What did he say?” Brokk asked, not having understood Squall’s foreign words.

“I think he’s found something for us to play with.” He answered slyly.

Squall continued to watch the trees. They continued to ask questions. A bird came, and asked what they were talking about. More conversation between the plants and animal. He turned away from them urgently, sitting himself on the earth and covering his ears, rocking back and forth as he did so. He did not want to hear anymore, it was starting to hurt his ears and give him a headache.

Both Galbadians looked curiously down at him.

“Hey, Squall. You okay, man?” Irvine asked concernedly.

Continuing rocking: “They can’t talk, they’re not but immobile, earth bound entities. Can’t speak for beans.”

Irvine took the statement as an insult to him. “Dude, that’s, like, so cold. And what the hell’s an entity?”

“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” Squall shrank into a more compact fetal position, his ears still covered.

“Fine! Be that way!” A huffy Kinneas cawed. He turned towards Brokk once more. “C’mon, He didn’t find anything. He was just playing hide-and-go-seek with his imaginary friend.”

“So what do we do now?” Asked Brokk as Irvine began to walk away.

He answered. “Go annoy someone else, I guess.”

As before, Brokk did not question.

When he had trotted up to his friend, Irvine looked down on his scruffy brown head of hair. “You know, you really shouldn’t be, like, so un-suggestive.”


“Dammit Brokk! Ya have to fallow my every word? It gets annoying sometimes. You should choose for yourself!”

“I do. I choose to fallow other people.”

“I think I should just shut my big fat mouth.”

A few junior classmen ran towards the lake in swim trunks, splashing into the fresh water.

“We should get our trunk on.” Began Irvine, looking at the kids who had just begun to dunk each other in the water. “Swimming would beat the hell out of annoying any day. At least we wouldn’t get hit by anybody.”

“Get hit?”

“Well…I know I would.” A flash of red came to the corner of his eye. “Hey! There’s Quistis. Let’s go bug her.”

Brokk still didn’t protest.

Quistis was yakking away with a couple of different girls who were talking about the giant space object they saw on the news. Irvine playfully put his hands over her eyes.

He cooed in his mysterious ‘sexy’ voice. “Espa mindeto?” [Guess who?]

Irvine, sunda ganno.” [Beat it, Irvine.]

“Aww, c’mon Quistis.” He begged in his normal voice. “We’re just lookin’ for somethin’ to do.”

“Who’s ‘we’?”

“Me n’ my bud: Brokk.”

Politely, Quistis turned around to meat this new guy. She saw Irvine in his cowboy attire, and a guy with a bad skin complexion and shaggy brown hair that nearly covered his eyes, probably from the Galbadian Garden.

Quistis extended her hand in welcome. “Rimba gon wilter han.” [Pleased to meet you.] She spoke in Wayside Galbadian.

“Holy crap.” Brokk stammered. “She’s actually talking to me.” He took hold of her hand and shook it quite wildly. “I’ve heard so much about you Quistis Trepe.”

She withdrew her hand disgustedly. “You’re a Trepie?”

“What’s a Trepie?” He asked. Irvine whispered into his ear the answer. “You mean they have that here.” He responded with surprise when he had heard the definition of ‘Trepie’.

The subject was changed dramatically. “Irvine,” an agitated Quistis started. “Do you have nothing better to do?” She spoke in Balambese.

“Sure do. We just decided to come tease the Great Trepe for awhile.”

“Irvine! I’m in the middle of something here!”

“Really, why do you chicks always ‘talk’? What’s with the ‘talk’? It’s not like anything you say is even interesting.”

“Well, if you feel like inflicting pain, go find Squall!”

“Did. But he doesn’t want our business.”

I can imagine why. Though Quistis with distaste.

“The question I have been asking is,” continued Irvine, “do you?”

“No! Go do what you were going to do besides tease me!”

“Okay, fine. Just wanted to make sure.”

The group nearly jumped in surprise when they heard a screaming coming from behind. All of them, including the two girls Quistis was talking too, turned around to see Squall run out of the forest, making a mad dash for the lake.

Irvine looked pleased with this display. “Hey! Look! I think Squall’s finally coming out of hiding.”

The few people who were in his way parted hastily as he ran, jumping into the lake face first.

“Hey,” Brokk pondered, “shouldn’t you have shorts on for that?”

“Usually, but not necessarily. It’s probably one of those spur-of-the-moment decisions.”

They looked out onto the surface of the lake for a few more seconds.

“Uh, Irvine,” started a worried sounding Brokk, “shouldn’t he have come up for air about now?”

“So he can hold his breath under water for a long time. Big deal. He’s Balambese, they have a natural affiliation with water.”

“Only by the coast.” Interrupted Quistis. “Squall’s lived on the mainland all his life.”

“And your point is?” Asked Irvine.

“I don’t think he’s coming back up.”

They looked back at the surface again. Only a few air bubbles showed.

Brokk started at the group, not to hastily like. “So, shouldn’t we do something?”

Quistis glared at Irvine, who, in tern glared back. What she was saying was obvious to him, even though he wasn’t up for doing it.

“Alright. I’ll help him.”

Bending down, he took of his boots, hat, coat, and chaps. Not running, but walking, he went up to the water and dove in after Squall. The present students watched with anticipation at the surface lake, wondering what had made Squall jump into the water and not come up. An accident? Or another suicide attempt? An accident seamed less likely.

After a few seconds, Irvine broke out of the water, gasping for a good deal of air, in his arm was an unconscious Squall. With one free arm, he paddled them both towards the shore. Awkwardly, he stood up, dripping with the cold water that was the lake, dropping Squall onto his back. All the students crowded around the two, most were more interested in what had happened to their former commander.

“What happened?” One of the students asked.

“Aw man.” Gasped the rescuer. “He got tangled in the weeds at the bottom of the lake.”

From the crowd, Quistis pushed her way forward. She saw first hand that Squall wasn’t breathing.

“Irvine,” she addressed sternly, “I think he’s going to need CPR.”

“Well, forget it!” He stammered back, feeling even colder from the water. “I don’t know jack about herbal medicine.”

Her mouth hung open in appalled shock. “He’s going to die Kinneas.”

“Oh, Fine!” He got down on his knees, looked directly at Squall and shouted: “HEY SQUALL! WAKE UP!” When that didn’t work, he put both of his fists together, bringing them down hard on Squall’s chest.

He awoke with a start, coughing up water that had gotten into his lungs.

“What are you trying to do, Kinneas?” He sputtered, water still coming out of his mouth. “Break my ribs?”


The morning sun had settled to afternoon, to evening. Much of what had gone on at the beginning of the day was continuing. Although, much of the swimming had been abandoned, not because of the cold, but because someone had attempted suicide in the lake, in a way, polluting it. Someone took out some small firecrackers, and was setting them off with several spectators watching. Though, the entire Weekend had pretty much been destroyed for the fourth year in a row.

From his window up in his dorm, with his keen eyes, Squall watched them hurry around the lighted fire crackers, much like they had hurried up to him when he was dragged out of the water, only this time, they were cheering. He wasn’t at all dissatisfied that he could not be with them, but he was in a grouchy mood.

Quistis and Irvine had brought him into Dr. Kadowaki’s office when he was considered dry enough. She didn’t say much to him, but did mention that the voices were probably a withdrawal effect of one of three of his drugs he neglected to take. Quistis had gotten heck for dragging him outside before he could take his medication, she also mentioned that it was not a good idea for him to be outside anyway, since synthetic blood, coupled with the blood thickener he was using, had a bad effect when exposed to pine. Key word he had paid attention to most: probably. When she showed him back to his dorm, her exact words were: “get in there and stay in there.” At that very second, he had acquired the extreme urge to rip her tongue out. He felt like a kid who was being punished because he came home full of mud, with a stray dog at his side.

“Damn Kadowaki,” He scowled, “thinks she can conceal me like some bad influence ten year old. Friggn’ girls, with their wild theory that I let some sorceress sucker me. Like Rinoa would do anything like that, specifically. Stupid staff thinks I be going crazy. Maybe I am. I am talking to my self, aren’t I? No wait! I’ve always talked to myself, I just never gave it any real thought.”

Ain’t that the truth.

“Sure is… Hey! Who said that?” He turned away from the window to look behind him. There was nothing behind him that could have possibly talked, unless his door was talking. After he heard the trees talk, he wasn’t skeptical about that.

Last time I checked, I was no door.” The voice started again in his native tongue. It was a strange voice, high and scratchy, but familiar.

“Are you psychic? Because last time I checked, my thoughts were private!” He growled at the voice.

They weren’t then and they aren’t now.” Snapped the scratchy voice.

“What do you know about ‘then’?”

I know everything you know, and everything you’ve forgotten, Appalling Pace.”

“Cloak!” he shouted in surprise. “You can’t be talking. You’re just a figment of my nightmarish imagination.”

Uh huh, yeah, sure, you go with that.

“Where did you come from?” He asked sternly, trying to keep his wits cool about him.

A lot of things happened to get me here. Do you want me to list them?


Good, then shut your food hole and do as I tell you!” Cloak roared, her voice sounded like it was hissing with every word.

Squall was still skeptical of her. “Why?”

Because you are weak.

“Prove it!”

I don’t have to. I can bide my time. You’ll see for yourself.

“What does that mean?”

Comrade, fire light. All great readings.” [I think you know that answer.]

Squall shut his mouth. Cloak seamed to have left. But, in the back of his mind, something cackled with wicked splendor.

Chapter 8

General Wyvern's Fanfiction