The Orphan Chapter 22

The Sins of a Father

By Kate Lorraine

The phone began to ring. Being alone in the Headmaster's former office, Squall felt he was obligated to pick it up. He sighed and decided to wait until the caller gave up. After the eleventh ring, it was obvious the caller wasn't about to. Squall finally reached over and picked it up.


"Hello, this is Laguna Loire, President of Esthar, who am . . . .. wait a second, Squall is that you?"

"What do you want Loire?" He asked.

"Are you okay? Ellone and I were worried about your safety. I was wondering if I should send some troops over there to fight those Galbadians. Xu and I were talking about that but Xu never called me back. Is she okay?"

There was silence. Squall contemplated hanging up the phone immediately. He was about to drop the phone back in the cradle when Laguna spoke up again.

"Squall, are you still there? Why won't you talk to me?"

Laguna was silent for a second more before he began again. "Why do you hate me so Squall? I don't understand. Talk to me please, Squall. Tell me if you are okay. I'm your father. I worry so much about you. I wish you would tell me how I can make things right between us."

There was along silence before Squall answered Laguna. When he did he spoke in a low voice of repressed anger and gravity. "Laguna," he began slowly at first, "to make things right between us you would have to change the past. Raine died in hatred for you Laguna. I will always live in hatred for you. Did you really believe that you could correct seventeen years and three lives with a simple apology?"

Laguna's shield of calmness began to crack. He began to forget what he had planned to say and instead began to plead with the iron hearted young man. "Raine did not die in hatred for me. Squall, your mother loved me, I loved her. She would have wanted us to be together. You are not the only one who went through hell the past two decades Squall. I've suffered just as much as you have. I can't take correct the last seventeen years but I can try to change the next fifty. The past is the past, Squall you need to let that go."

Squall began to breath deeply into the receiver. "Do you believe that Laguna? That she forgave you? She thought you were a mistake Laguna. She wished that she had never met you. That is the truth, Loire. Stop living in your rose colored delusions."

` "How would you know that Squall? How? Have you spoken to her? Did her ghost come, grab you by the arm and tell you that your father was a mistake? How would you know anything about Raine? Everything you saw of Raine you saw through my eyes!"

Squall was silent. "Why did you call Laguna? Whatever you want to say, you better say it now because I'm going to hang up."

"Squall, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have lost my temper. You have every right to hate me. I understand. I just-"

"Hurry, Loire. I've had enough." Squall said bitterly.

"Wait wait, don't hang up. I just called to tell you that we figured out what happened to Maniac Athena."

"What happened to it?" Squall asked nonchalantly.

"We were wrong. The Galbadians never touched it."

"So it's in your possession now?" Squall asked, sounding quite weary.

"No, . . . . .Seifer Almasy has it."

With that Laguna heard a crash on other side of the phone line. As though something was heavy was dropped. Then footsteps, over a wooden floor, disappearing.

"Squall? Squall? Are you okay? Squall are you still there?" Laguna yelled into the phone. He held onto the phone until the dial tone came. There was no answer. Laguna stood there holding the phone, unable to shake the feeling that something horrible had just been set into motion.

"Kiros," Laguna said, turning to his left, in a silent daze. "I want you to send troops to Deling City."

Kiros, ever the vigilant one, walked over to Laguna and placed a hand on his shoulder.

"What is it? Does it have to do with Garden?"

Laguna shook his head, letting his long brown hair loose from the thin ponytail.

"No, it's my son. He's about to do something really stupid."

* *

On the other side of the planet a train emerged from the underwater tunnel. The lights in the SeeD suite had dimmed as the daylight disappeared from the sky to give way to the long night ahead. Selphie was fast asleep on one of the couches while her GF laid nearby, resting as well.

"Seifer," Quistis said finally breaking the blanket of silence. "You do have a plan don't you?"The cold eyed instructor scanned the sleeping form of the blond boy by her side. To his other side, Fujin was sitting with her head leaning against the window. She had been studying the darkening landscape in a nostalgic reverie but now she was studying Quistis with apprehension as she always did.

"You can stop pretending to sleep now," Quistis said, he voice becoming a tad more commanding. "No one is here but us, Selphie is asleep."

Seifer opened one blue eye and with his right hand he casually scratched his chest. "I told you already that I will take care of the sorceress."

"How are you planing to do that? I remember what you told me before about the barrier around the city with will be broken four hours before midnight the seventh day of the eighth month."

"Yes," Seifer said with weariness. "The barrier is broken because she needs to collect her powers. She will be powerless for four hours since she is conserving her power for midnight, where the season of passage will take place. We need to get to her before midnight. You aren't chickening out are you Quistis?"

"No," Quistis said pressing her lips together. "I told you already, I have made my choice."

Seifer looked at her and nodded. He then withdrew his hand from his pocket and opened his fist. On his gloved palm laid the circular crystal which burned a faint blue in the darkness.

"All I need to do is press this against her forehead and the sorceress will be done for."

Quistis studied the glowing globe intensely. It lite up her face in an eerie turquoise light.

"And so will Rinoa."

Seifer shrugged and closed his palm around the crystal once more, squeezing it for reassurance. He closed his eyes and leaned back.

"One life for a billion. It's not much."


Author's Note: At this point it is very very important that you understand the meaning of "crossing the stars." Whenever Alexandra says "cross the stars" she means to go against fate. As anyone who reads Shakespeare would know, going against fate often results in devastating tragedy. In my interpretation of FF8, I will assume that fate decrees that Rinoa and Squall shall be together. However, you must understand what when Squall uses the phrase "cross the stars" there might be a double meaning. He could either mean to go against fate as he did back at chapter 15 or to bring someone back from the dead. So I guess its up to you to figure out what he means.

Author's Note: Consider this : Athena is the goddess of justice.


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