The Sorceress' Legacy Chapter 4
For the next week after the battle of Deling City, there was a general air of sadness amongst the SeeDs. They had to stay in the Galbadian capitol as an occupation force to set up elections and make sure no one else tried to grab power during the void. Meanwhile Rinoa was contacting the Timber resistance about the recent events and trying to get them to agree on how to go about setting up their own government.
It was toward the end of the week that Rinoa decided to take some time to take care of her fathers affairs. He had been dead for nearly three weeks, and she hadnt had time to do much more than bury him. His mansion in Deling City had to be attended to, as did many papers and issues concerning his death and her inheriting his estate. She also needed some time alone to sort things out. Since the proceedings in Timber were well under way, and she wasnt needed for anything else, she decided now would be a good time. She packed and told Squall about what she planned on doing.
A few days later, she was sitting in her fathers office, packing up some papers to go into storage when she started thinking. She had never seen eye to eye with her father on many things, but he was her father, her family. She would never admit it, but she did care greatly about him. He just made her so angry with they way he supported Galbadias military and their conquests. She thought he was wrong to aid in the oppression of other nations under Galbadian rule. She was so angry with him for not trying to change it, that she decided to do it herself. Thats when she ran off to Timber and joined with Zone and Watts. Then she met Squall and helped defeat Ultimecia and things changed. She forgot about Timber and the resistance for a little while, and when it was over, he didnt seem that bad.
When she saw him killed, she snapped. Anger took over, and with it an instinct she didnt know she had. She was so furious that she wanted everyone dead. Something took control of her, and she didnt like the feel of it. It felt evil, sinister, and bent on destruction. Was Ultimecia trying to affect her like she had Edea? No, that period had passed. Her target was further back, why would she look here with out any reason. So if not that, then what was happening to her?
She continued to pack General Caraways belonging away, not knowing that the red in her eyes was now constant, and growing stronger. She began to think about the wars that had raged in the last year, of all the people that had been killed. Now both Raijin and Quistis were gone. The deaths had effected everyone deeply, especially Squall. With someone with your power in control, they could prevent such things a voice echoed inside her. She looked up, not sure where the voice had come from. She shook her head trying to clear it and returned to her work.
Soon her thoughts began to drift again, she couldnt help but feel hurt by the loss of Quistis. She had been a good friend, they all had. She counted everyone at Garden as a friend, as they did her, and it was hard to see so many of them die in the war with Ultimecia, and now the war with Galbadia. She couldnt help feeling partially responsible for the recent war with Galbadia, and in a way for Quistis death. It had been her dream all along to see Timber free from Galbadian oppression. She had hired SeeD so long ago to help her achieve that dream, but what had it some to? She got her dream, but at what a cost. She had lost so many friends and caused so much pain. She just wanted it to stop.
You can make it stop. You can start here, take your place at the head of this nation, and from here you can control the world, ending all wars if you so choose. All you have to do is take it.
She looked up again and tried to shake the thoughts from her head. She couldnt believe she was thinking these things. What scared her more was that she was almost starting to agree with the voice she heard. She put down the papers she had in her hands and went across the hall into the bathroom. She walked over to the sink and splashed some water on her face, hoping it would help her to focus on what she had come here to do. She looked into the mirror as she dried off and was frightened by what she say looking back. The face in the mirror looked like her, but the skin was drawn tight across it. The eye sockets were recessed and black. And her eyes had this eerie red glow in them. They looked so evil, so full of hatred. It couldnt be her face, it just couldnt be.
Dont you see? said the image in the mirror, You are the most powerful sorceress there ever has been. You can prevent wars, you can overthrow governments, all by controlling people, monsters, and machines. And the world will love you for it. This is what the sorceress is; it's our legacy. With a thought, you can end the wars forever. You can have whatever you want.
Id never ..
But look at how many died so far, some of them because of what you believed in. What if Squall dies trying to accomplish some noble task you want him to, when the whole time you have the power to take care of it without his even knowing. You could make sure nothing can harm him or anyone else. You can take the place of SeeD, of corrupt governments. All you have to do is think it, and focus your powers into it.
Rinoa continued to back away, unable to divert her gaze. She fell to the floor and curled up in terror, all the while her eyes fixed on the face in the mirror as she felt the evil that now lurked inside her rise to take control.
Seifer found Squall in his office on Balamb Garden sitting in his desk, his head buried in his hands. He knew that he still hurt over Quistis death, and the losses Garden took in the last battle, but he needed to talk to him about Rinoa, and he feared he had little time.
Squall, Im sorry to bother you, but we need to talk. Seifer walked in and sat down across from Squall. I know Quistis death still hurts, Im still trying to deal with losing Raijin. He stuck by me no matter what. Im sorry for your loss, but we need to talk about Rinoa.
Squall looked up surprised, What about her?
Well, shes a sorceress, and I wonder if all this isnt starting to effect her.
All this what?, Squall demanded, Effect her how?
Look, people who witness a lot of deaths, especially of friends, grow bitter. When a sorceress grows bitter, bad things happen.
Are you trying to tell me that my wife is gonna turn evil? Thats preposterous!
Squall, Im not saying she is, but its happened before. You need to be careful.
Why corner me alone like this then, why not tell both of us, or talk to her yourself? Squall stood as he spoke.
You are her knight, and its your duty to make sure this doesnt happen, Seifer stood as well.
Your telling me what my duty as Rinoas knight is? Your idea of a knight was to be the sorceress lapdog!
Squall, I didnt come here to argue, I am concerned, and I thought I would let you know what I have noticed in hopes you could do something about it! Too bad your too blind by fear of what it could mean for you to do anything! Seifer leaned close. Your sorceress has red glowing eyes when shes upset, just like Adel when I was in the Pandora and like Edea when she ordered Garden destroyed. Recently its been there more often, and doesnt always stop! If youd pay attention, youd know that!
Squall stopped for a moment and settled back into his seat. Red glowing eyes? .There was the one time
The one time? When? Seifer sat back down.
The prison, after her father was killed. I thought it was just the spell Squalls voice quivered a bit.
A spell like none Ive ever seen It was like every spell I've ever heard of rolled into one. ..Her eyes were an eerie red when she cast it. I dismissed it as the fire spells reflection in her eyes.
That makes three times that I know of it happening in the last few months, and this last time, it didnt go away, and didnt accompany a powerful spell.
This last time?
After we found out about Quistis, as the two of you sat crying together, her eyes had a faint red tint to them, unlike the time you described or when she through me into a wall, when it was a red flicker that ended when the spell did. Seifer shook his head, I think youd better talk to her, and then possibly contact Dr. Odine. He might know of some way to help her if you cant.
I will talk to her when she gets back tomorrow, as far as Odine, Id rather keep him out of this if we can.
Good, I honestly hope you two can work this out. Ive had enough dealing with sorceress and I dont want to have to fight another war. Especially since this time I'll be trying to clean up your mess. He stood and started for the door. And what ever you do, try to have the guts to stand up to her. Otherwise you will be the lapdog, and I will be coming after you.
Squall had settled back into his chair when the phone rang. He picked it up and listened to the frantic voice on the other end. He slammed the phone down and paged for Seifer, Zell, Selphie, and Irvine to meet him at the front gate. He turned and grabbed his gunblade, paged Xu and told her to send a SeeD force to Deling City. Then he ran out of his office, hoping his worst fears werent coming true.
Squall arrived in Deling City to find it in turmoil. The SeeDs who were tasked with protecting the city and maintaining order were being attacked by large numbers of monsters, some indigenous to other continents. A lot of things didnt make sense. Other than in Esthar during the recent Lunar Cry, monsters were seldom seen inside the limits of any major city, yet here we had beasts from outlying areas attacking only SeeDs and only inside the city limits. It was almost as if they were trying to stop SeeD from carrying out elections, like someone else wanted power. But who?
Squall walked up the front steps and into the Presidential Manor, which served as SeeDs base of operation in the city, and into the conference room where Selphie, Zell, Irvine, Seifer, and Xu waited for him, as well as a few survivors of the recent attacks. He motioned them to sit around the large oak table in the rooms center as he sat down himself.
We all know why were here, so lets get down to it, shall we? Squall started. We all know about the recent string of monster attacks on SeeD personnel, and how strange it is. Does anyone have any ideas on why?
We know that the attacks are organized, and only against SeeDs tasked with security, mostly around government buildings. We have increased the number of SeeDs, and with every increase, comes an increased attack of stronger monsters, Xu stated calmly. It seems that someone is coordinating the attacks to try to stop us from holding the elections, probably so they can grab power themselves.
But by controlling monsters? Irvine asked. Who can do that? I know Odine has probably been working on a device that could manage it, but hes probably the only one. Most people arent nuts.
Seifer looked directly at Squall as he spoke, Sounds like a sorceress to me, only a sorceress would have such abilities.
But the only sorceress in existence is Rinoa, Selphies voice trailed off as she spoke, Rinoa would never do such a thing, Seifer. Humph, figures it would be you that comes up with some crazy idea like that.
Yeah, no kidding, Zell interjected, Theres no way Rinoas behind this. There has to be another explanation for whats been going on.
Are you gonna tell them or shall I Squall, Seifer asked.
Tell us what? Selphie asked. What are you hiding Squall?
Seifer and I have been ..concerned about Rinoa lately, Squall started, We think that its possible that all the fighting and death has been starting to get to her. I doubt that she would do this though. I know she wouldnt
Speaking of Rinoa, isnt it a bit risky for her to be alone in town? Zell asked, trying to change the subject. Maybe you should check on her.
She is at her home here in town, and Im sure she is all right, Squall answered, but I plan on going to go and see her when we are done here.
Well, if its not a sorceress, its something else. Xu said, trying to bring the conversation back to relevant matters. Does anyone have any other possibilities?
Just then the doors to the room burst open, as Laguna entered the room, followed by Kiros, Ward, Ellone, and Dr. Odine.
We heard something about a string of monster attacks and came right over, Laguna explained as he entered the room. And from what we heard from out there, its a good thing we brought Odine with. The possibility that Rinoa could be causing this isnt that far fetched.
Zer iz a perfectly logical explanation for ze tings zat you have noticed about Sorceress Rinoa recently. Odine started, walking around Laguna and up to the table. Itz vat I call ze sorceress legacy. My theory sayz dat ze legacy of ze past sorceress influences ze current von. Ven a sorceress transfers her power over to her successor, she passez a part of herself vis it. Since Rinoa inherited a great deal of power from both good and bad sorceress , it iz possible that, with the recent stress of hard battles and loosing close friends, ze influence of sorceress like Adel and Ultimecia could be vinning over zat of Edea. Ze two of dem could over power any good influence Edea could have and possibly even over Rinoas better judgment.
But she never received Ultimecias powers Irvine said, just Adel and Edea.
She received Ultimecias power sroo Edea. Itz how Edea vas able to be used by her before. Odine answered, Zat is also how Rinoa became ze sorceress.
And how Ultimecia used Rinoa to free Adel, through her influence. Xu added, nodding her head in understanding.
So your saying that Rinoa is being controlled by Adel and Ultimecia? How? Zell questioned.
Ze influence of ze powers may be enough to turn her if she has enough anger and sorrow of her own. Odine explained. Vis ze powers, she inherited ze hatred and anger of ze oder sorceress as vell as zer good vill and happiness. It lies buried down deep, vaiting for a chance to surface. If a sorceress experiences a lot of sorrow and strife, zat can allow zeese tings to surface, causing her to grow evil, if zere iz enough hate and anger of her own to build on. In Rinoas case, it vont take much, because of ze amount of evil she has inherited.
What do we do then? How do we get Rinoa back and prevent this so called legacy from turning her? Squall asked, There has to be something we can do.
I sink I have a device that vill absorb ze powers and prevent zem from passing on to ze next sorceress. Odine answered. Unfortunately, ze only vay it vill operate is if ze powers try to pass from ze sorceress to ze successor.
Meaning we have to kill Rinoa to make it work. Zell said, slamming a fist down into the table. We cant do that!
Or at least wound her severely, and hope we can use a phoenix down to keep her alive. Laguna added.
Either way, if she has gone over, the only chance to get her back, may kill her. Squall said, his head falling into his hands. I dont know if I can do that. I always said that if it came down to is, I would be able to. But now that Im faced with it, I I just dont know.
Son, I cant imagine how hard this is for you. Laguna put a hand on his sons shoulder. You are the knight though, and its you duty to make sure she is dealt with. Be strong Squall, and know that your friends and family will be here by your side.
Thank you, Squall put a hand over his fathers. First thing is we need to find her. She left earlier this week to sort through and settle the late General Caraways affairs. I will check the house on my way back to Garden, while the rest of you stay to augment security here. Seifer, your with me on this, Xu, your in charge here. Contact me immediately if anything happens. Laguna, if you like, you can stay on Garden, and I will be sure that Dr. Odine has a lab area to work on his device. Move out.
Selphie looked up and down the dark street, stifling a yawn she looked at her watch. Half an hour, it had been half an hour since Xu put her on watch after the meeting, and she was already tired. This was going to be a long four hours if there was no action soon.
As she stood watching the street in front of the Presidential Residence, something lightly tapped her on the shoulder. She ignored it at first, but when it happened again, she spun and sent her nunchaku flying behind her, slamming them into Irvines chin as he prepared to tap her shoulder again. Irvine yelped as he fell to the ground, slightly stunned and sore.
Watch where you put those things . Irvine complained as he stood. That hurt.
Good, I hope it did, maybe next time you wont sneak up on me. Selphie scolded, hands on her hips. Im supposed to be on watch! Would you rather I was dozing off on the side while some wendigo snuck in and hurt someone? Like you perhaps?
Wouldnt happen to me, Im out here visiting you. Irvine chuckled as he stepped over and put his arms around her waist. Or would you rather I went to check on one of the other SeeDs who are on watch right now?
Selphie looked at him in mock horror, You wouldnt .. She smiled and poked a finger into his shoulder, Or at least not if you wanted to live ..
Irvine just chuckled and pulled her in closer, Since you put it that way, I guess I had little choice in the matter. He leaned forward and kissed her.
As they kissed, Selphie felt another tap on her shoulder, this time harder, almost painful.
Hey! Thats not funny anymore. Selphie said as she pulled away from him.
What? I didnt do anything. Well, nothing I havent done before . Irvine chuckled.
Something tapped my shoulder again, hard this time. She eyed him suspiciously, You sure it wasnt you?
Irvine didnt respond as he looked at her, reaching into his coat. What are you looking at? And what are you doing. I am trying to talk to you. Selphie stated, annoyed at being ignored.
Irvine simply proceeded to pull a pistol out of its holster in his long coat and aim it just left of her head. He stepped forward and fired several times as his fiancé screamed and dropped to the ground covering her ears.
Blitz ..wonder how that got here .. Irvine commented as he helped Selphie to her feet. Those are native to Centra arent they?
Selphie stood and looked at the now dead monster that had been standing in a shadow behind her and pulled her radio from a pocket in her dress. Id better report this.
Might want to report them too Irvine said as he pointed to the large number of monsters that were meandering down the street towards their position, You call Xu, I will get a hold of Squall. Hes probably still at Caraways and close enough to help.
Squall had been on his way out of Caraways mansion when he got Irvines call. It now seemed that their worst fears had all been realized, Rinoa had turned. The house was torn apart with no sign of Rinoa anywhere. He arrived at the Presidential Manor to find Selphie and Irvine, along with a hand full of SeeDs trying to fend off about thirty monsters, barely able to hold them back.
He jumped out of the car as it came near the battle and ran into the fray, slashing a wendigo across the back with his gunblade. He took two steps forward then spun, bringing his Gunblade level through the neck of a blitz who was about to put his rusty sword into the leg of one of his SeeDs.
And thats when it hit him, the monsters were actually going out of the way to ensure that no one was killed. He looked over the battle around him and noticed several SeeDs who were injured, most injured enough to take them from the fight, but not enough to seriously harm anyone.
He realized he would have to wait till later as he brought his gunblade up to deflect the flat side of another Blitzs sword as it came toward his head. He blocked the weapon hard just enough that it passed a few inches above his head and then pivoted inside the monsters arc. He thrust his blade behind him and through his foes stomach.
As it fell behind him he looked for another target as the assailants broke off their attack and retreated a few hundred feet, and regrouped, preparing to attack again. This gave the SeeDs enough time to recover and prepare for the next attack.
Something wasnt right, they hadnt pressed their advantage. It was almost as if they were only trying to divert their attention away from something. He ran over to where Selphie and Irvine had called the rest of the manors defenders over to regroup themselves.
How many times have they done this? Squall asked as he came to a halt in front of Irvine. and how many other positions are being attacked like this?
Umm, all of them are under attack as far as I know, Irvine responded, and this is the third time they have pulled back and gotten ready to charge again. Why?
You get the feeling they are just to distract us? Squall asked.
Now that you mention it, yeah, but distract us from what, Irvine answered
Squall looked quickly around before looking back at the Presidential Residence. He scanned it quickly, looking for anything amiss when he saw something blue streak by in one of the windows.
I think I know, Squall said as he looked back to see the group of monsters charging to attack again. Im going to check something out inside, next time they back off like that, press the attack. When your done, clean up and meet me in the conference room.
Squall ran up the front steps and into the front door. He cautiously walked through the next door into the main hall where he found Xu, alive but unconscious, and with a nasty bump on the head. He continued down the hallway, gunblade drawn, dreading what he may find inside one of the many doors in this passage.
He walked to the end of the hall, and carefully went up the stairs, onto the small platform that served as a podium and press area for announcements and ceremonies. He looked out at the battle that still raged outside the front doors to see the SeeDs pressing onward after the monsters as they tried to fall back. He smiled slightly at the way they followed his orders to the letter and beyond when he noticed something that turn his stomach cold. Lying on the street in front of the building, was a figure in yellow, curled onto a ball with pain. He hoped that Selphie was ok, but he had his own objective to achieve here and didnt have time to worry about what happened outside. Besides, Irvine was there, and he would take care of her. He turned and walled back under the arch and through the small courtyard, somehow knowing he would find what he was looking for inside the large guest chamber at the on the other side.
He came to a large set of double doors at the back of the courtyard. A set he remembered all too well. It was Edeas room when Ultimecia used her to rule Galbadia. It was also where he saved Rinoas life the first time. He knew she was in there. He eased open the doors and walked in.
Rinoa was standing in the center of the room, as he had guessed, her back too him. Her clothes were tattered at the edges and her hair was tangled and un-brushed. She looked little more than a shell of the beautiful young woman that he married, and it pained him to see her this way. He knew though, that she had turned, but he refused to believe that his wife was completely gone. There had to be a way he could bring her back. He had to try, it was his duty.
Ah, so my knight has come for me, Rinoa said as she turned to face him, her eyes an evil reddish hue, and with a weapon? What have I done that you feel you need that?
The monsters, you sent them to attack us, didnt you.
Come now, I needed to distract the SeeDs so I could get in here. If you hadnt come along, I was going to use them to run off your SeeDs and take over here, but thanks to your direction, all my pets are gone. Ah well, I will get more. Rinoa crossed her arms, And I dont know what your so up tight about, I didnt hurt anyone.
Tell the to Selphie, last I saw her, she was lying in the street bleeding and writhing in pain.
Sephies hurt? The red in her eyes flickered a moment, but returned again. Ah well, these things happen, maybe if she wouldnt have resisted as hard, she would have been ok. Then again, it was on your orders that she charged my monsters when they fell back to let the SeeD's rest. Too late now, looks like the valiant SeeDs have foiled the sorceress yet again. At least I get my knight.
I wont be a part of this. I may have failed to prevent it, but I will not fail to fix it. Squall lowered his gunblade and walked toward her. Its not to late to come back Rinoa, just stop this nonsense. Come back with me and I will help you. Please, I love you and I cant bear to think of you being like this.
Awww, how touching, the knights passionate plea to stop the one he loves She pointed at something behind him, causing a brick to come loose from the wall and hit him in the head. But what you dont realize is that Im doing this for you. So you dont have to fight anymore, so no one has to fight anymore. If only they would stop resisting, I could make things better for everyone. She said as she looked down at his unconscious form.
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