Legend of the Seven Swords Chapter 2
"Where Am I?"
By Ybrik Metaknight
Garnet til Alexandros XVII, the queen of Alexandria, felt like a canary trapped in a cage.
Queen Garnet, still not used to the crown after a year and a half, longed for the freedom she had adventuring with friends she had not had for very long. She longed for her consort, Zidane Tribal, only recently back from the apparent grave, to once again call her Dagger. She longed for the pleasantly annoying banter between Zidane and Rusty, (alias Adelbert Steiner) the Captain of the Knights of Pluto that served her kingdom. She longed for the companionship of Vivi Orunitia, the young black mage (he grew up so fast!), and Quina Quen, the Qu who ate everything in sight. She longed for fun.
My Queen! Steiner burst into the room, You must come with me to the balcony at once!
Why must I come with you at once? Dagger inquired.
Becoming frustrated, the Captain hopped up and down, an action that, although completely ridiculous-looking in his full suit of armor, he was quite prone to doing. Because, he replied as calmly as he could, there is a strange occurrence just outside the city walls.
What kind of occurrence? the still-young queen asked.
Well, its difficult to explain. Suffice it to say that after a series of bright flashes in various spots in the sky, a strange airship, with a woman dressed in very little clothing painted on the side, appeared, immediately landing just outside, the knight explained. Now please, your highness, follow me before I have to beg you. That scoundrel is already waiting at the city gates.
Must I remind you, my faithful servant, that that same scoundrel of which you speak will someday be your king? Dagger smiled, feeling that there was just a bit of excitement left for her.
Aboard the Highwind, Cid, Tifa, and Barret tried to sort out their situation calmly and rationally.
If I dont find out soon exactly what the HELL happened to everyone, Im gonna bash somethin, Barret exclaimed without a trace of calm or reason in his voice.
Hey, wouldja look at that, that castle! Got a damn sword sticking up out of it! Cid told his companions, as the three climbed up to the deck of the airship. And theres a guy with a tail and a smaller guy wearing a blue robe and a yellow hat coming out of it!
Hello from the kingdom of Alexandria! the guy with a tail called out, approaching the airship. I am Zidane Tribal, consort of her majesty Queen Garnet! Thats a nice airship youve got there.
Suddenly, his face lighting up at the compliment of his pride and joy, Cid climbed down from the deck. You really think so? Her names the Highwind, named after me, her builder, owner, and pilot, Cid Highwind!
The small boy, his entire face (did he even have a face? Tifa wondered) concealed by the shadow of his pointy hat, piped up, Um, did you just say Cid?
Yes, he did, Tifa said, also climbing down the ladder from the deck, with Barret in tow. And my name is Tifa Lockheart, and this is Barret Wallace. Who might you be?
I am Vivi Orunitia. Im a black mage, the robed boy responded. Tifa wondered what the boy meant by black mage and why he was so oddly dressed. Vivi continued, I know a man named Cid, too. Hes the regent of the kingdom of Lindblum.
Yes, thats where Im from. They make lots of airships there, Zidane said, shaking hands with Cid. Then he saw his queen, his canary, walking out from the gates of the city in an orange jumpsuit, with her royal bodyguard, Steiner, right behind her. And this is Alexandrias queen, the lovely Garnet. Or, as I often call her, Dagger. Oh yeah, and the captain of the knights here in Alexandria, Rusty, Zidane added with a grin.
My name is Adelbert Steiner, you stupid little thief! the Captain yelled at Zidane.
Now boys, behave. How do you do? I am Queen Garnet, Dagger said politely to Tifa and the rest of the group. I have many questions for you all, but first, you must introduce yourselves.
Well, Im Tifa Lockheart, Tifa said, of Nibelheim.
Yo, Im Barret Wallace of North Corel, Barret followed Tifas response.
And Im Cid Highwind, of Rocket Town, Cid finished the trios introductions. I own this beauty here.
Thats quite a lovely airship, Dagger told him politely, although this Lady Luck painted on the outside made her want to laugh. Youll have to show this to my Uncle Cid, the ninth regent of Lindblum. He would enjoy seeing a new airship.
Yeah, your friends here, this consort of yours and his little buddy with the pointy-hat, told us all about this other Cid, Cid said. But before we discuss anything else, howzabout a more comfortable place to talk?
How dare you speak to Queen Garnet like that! Steiner yelled at the middle-aged man with the cigar in his mouth.
Why certainly, Dagger replied, shooting her namesake at Steiner with a look that could kill. Come this way into the castle. As she led the way, everyone followed her into the gates of the town. At the end of the motley entourage, Zidane turned to Steiner.
Hey Rusty, dyou think that Daggers acting more outgoing than normal? he said.
Come to think of it, yes, but its none of your concern, thief! the stubborn knight responded, causing Zidane to shake his head and continue walking.
Cid IX, regent of the industrial kingdom of Lindblum, had just been sitting on his throne discussing affairs of state with his wife, Hilda, when his closest advisor, Minister Artania, busted into the room with some rather odd news.
Let me get this straight, Artania, Regent Cid said, trying to hold back a laugh, do you mean to tell me that after a bright flash in the business district, a pale-skinned, blue-haired wizard in a purple suit carrying a scythe and a frog the size of a small human decked out in a suit of armor, a sword, and a shield appeared?
Now Cid, Hilda said to her husband, giggling a bit herself, you know that it is not impossible for a human to become a frog, dont you?
Yes, well, still, when I was an amphibian, I didnt dress like a knight, and I was actually the size of a normal frog, Cid replied.
Sire, I think it would be best if you talked to this pair yourself, to calm them down and get the townspeople out of danger, Minister Artania told his ruler.
Alright, Cid gave in, Ill see what I can
Just then, the regents adopted daughter, Eiko Carol, broke into the throne room with a moogle. A moogle squirming to get away from the young summoner who threatened to crush its lungs with her constant squeezing.
Hey, Cid, Hilda! Eiko cried. I found a new moogle! And I have some new friends! Two teenagers, a boy and a girl, followed her.
Kupo! Let me go! the moogle exclaimed. I am the great Mog, and if you dont let me go right now, my friends Relm and Gau will surely hurt you!
Eiko! What is the meaning of this!? Cid thundered.
Oh, Daddy! Eiko began, for she knew the regent would soften whenever she called him that. I saw a bright flash of light and then these three appeared and I just had to have this moogle! His name is Mog, just like my last pet moogle!
Kupo! What happened to her last pet? Mog wondered aloud.
Now Eiko, Cid replied, you know you cant just have any moogle that you see. And why didnt you tell me about your visitors?
Whats that? Squeezed to death? Puu . Mog continued lamenting, despite the fact that no one could hear him over the excitement.
I dunno, Eiko responded simply. But why dont you introduce yourself to them now?
How terribly rude of me! Regent Cid said, turning to the youths that came in behind Eiko. I am Cid IX, regent of the kingdom of Lindblum. And you are ?
Relm Arrowny, of the once-magical village of Thamasa, the attractive young girl responded with a slight curtsy.
And I am Gau of Doma, the slightly older boy said with a deep bow that he had probably learned from some great warrior.
Well, I am pleased to meet you both, but I regret that I have other matters I must now attend to, Cid said, returning their gestures of courtesy with a bow of his own. Make yourself at home, and I shall return shortly to discuss with you, and perhaps others, exactly how you came here.
Leaving Eiko, Relm, Gau, and Mog under Hildas supervision, Cid hurried to the business district to attend to this matter of the frog knight and the pale wizard.
Once in the business district of Lindblum, it was not hard for the regent and his bodyguards to find the strange pair. A crowd had gathered near a small pickle stand, where the frog and the mage were sampling the goods.
Yuck! What is this pickle made of!? the wizard asked, his pale face turning a bit green.
Cucumbers, just like any other pickle, the old woman running the stand told him. That taste that you dont seem to like is Gysahl. The pickle is made with Gysahl greens rather than with dill herbs.
I rather like the taste, even if thou doth not, the frog told the wizard, rather cockily, taunting the great mage with every bite. Though, there doth seem to be one problem with this pickle. It reminds me of the smell in thy filthy castle
Why, you slimy amphibian! the wizard shot back, grasping his scythe as if to remove it from its holder. Just as the frog prepared to draw his sword, the two were stopped by regent Cid.
Stop this misconduct at once! the ruler yelled at the would-be combatants. Both halted and looked at the man who was yelling an instant before they were apprehended by his guards. Cid continued, You two are coming to the castle with me, where you can explain yourselves! Turning to the pickle stand owner and handing her some gil, he added, Here, this is for their tab.
Returning to the castle, Cid took the two straight to the throne room, where Hilda, Eiko, and the other three guests awaited.
All right, just who are you, and how did you get here? Cid asked, more than a bit ticked off.
Mine name is Glenn, the frog said, of the Kingdom of Guardia, in the year 600 AD.
And I am the great wizard Magus, added the other, originally from the Kingdom of Zeal, in the year 12,000 BC, but now from my own castle in 600 AD.
Then they told the tale of how Glenns sword, the Masamune, began to glow and then flash, consuming their time machine and all in it.
A time machine? A glowing sword? Dont make me laugh! Cid retorted. To the dungeon!
But, tis true! Glenn pleaded. But before he could say anything more, Relm spoke up.
Excuse me, Regent Cid, she said, I dont know about the time machine, but I believe them on the glowing sword matter, because thats exactly how we got here.
Kupo, thats right! I almost forgot! Mog chimed in, now out of Eikos arms but still not too far from her. Terras Atma Weapon started glowing on the Falcon, as did Edgars Excalibur, and next thing I knew, I was here.
Is this all really true? Cid inquired. Just as he began to soak everything in, a purple moogle flew in to deliver a message.
Artemecion for Mognet Central! Message for Regent Cid from Alexandria! the moogle said. Then, taking a quick glance at Mog, it flew out the window from whence it came.
Hmmm, this is quite odd. Garnet speaks of similar circumstances in and around Alexandria. Come, everyone! To the Hilda Garde, my royal airship! the regent said in response to reading Daggers hastily-written letter. He then led the strange crew to the airship docks.
Rad McCoy, Alicia Morgan, and Reis Dular walked the streets of Alexandria quite dazed and confused.
Right after Ramza, Alma, Orlandu, Mustadio, Agrias, and Beowulf returned to the Blackjack from fighting the Bloody Angel, one of Ramzas swords had begun to glow. The large blade Beowulf had borrowed from Meliadoul had done the same thing. Then, it suddenly flashed, engulfing all present, including the dilapidated airship, with a brilliant light. The next thing these three knew, they were in a church with three girls jumping rope and a small, furry, winged creature calling itself Kupo, but no one else from their group, not even Reiss love, Beowulf.
I just want to know what the hell has happened to everyone else, Rad the knight said to his friend (or were they something more? Reis wondered), Alicia.
Alicia turned to her friend (no, they were definitely more than that, Reis decided) Rad, took off her large, yellow hat and said to him, I, for one, am more concerned with where we are, rather than our friends and allies. The young female black mage paused, then continued. Theyre all capable of taking care of themselves.
As much as I already miss my Beowulf, Reis finally spoke up, I agree with Alicia. Its simply more important for us to determine just where we are exactly. I think that castle with the large sword in it would be a good place to start.
But Reis, Rad objected, how are we gonna get into that castle? Its probably very well-guarded. Before Reis could think of an answer, a man and woman in light armor came up to the trio.
Excuse me, maam, the man said to Reis, but you three seem lost and, quite frankly, are unfamiliar to me. Can I help you find your way around Alexandria?
So thats what you call this lovely town, Reis returned. Yes, we are somewhat lost, and yes, we are new to, um, Alexandria.
Rad turned to the woman and stated simply, Can you take us to the castle so that we might speak to the king or queen?
Im sorry, sir, but we cant just let anyone who asks go to the castle, the Alexandrian guard told him. Youll have to apply for an audie
Wait a second, Wilma, the armored man said to his companion. Have you seen this young woman? He pointed right at Alicia. She looks just like a black mage.
Youre absolutely right, Ryan, Wilma replied, looking askance at Alicia. She is dressed exactly as Master Vivi and his brethren.
Im dressed this way because I am a black mage. I have trained a long time with black magic. Im also quite good with a sword, so watch out! Alicia snapped, annoyed at the accusing tone of the statements.
Then perhaps you can go to the castle and meet with Queen Garnet after all, Ryan conceded. I am Ryan, the Tenth Knight of Pluto. This is Lieutenant Wilma of the Alexandrian Guard.
Wilma added, We would be honored to escort you to the castle. The five made their way to the castle, making introductions as they went.
As her guests were making themselves comfortable, Dagger changed into some more comfortable clothing, something less formal, herself.
Are you sure it was a good idea to send that letter to Cid via Mognet, Zidane? she asked her lover.
Of course it was a good idea, Dagger, Zidane replied. Mognet has always proven reliable before, hasnt it? At least, since we fixed it, that is. Dont worry, it probably got to him very quickly andwait a minute, here comes that purple moogle with a reply now.
Artemecion flew in the nearest open window, handed Zidane a letter, muttered a quick Thank you for using Mognet, and flew out the way it came in.
After quickly skimming the letter, which he was prone to doing with most of her mail, Zidane called out to Dagger: You wont believe this! Regent Cid is coming here, and hes bringing five guests of his own that appeared the same way!
Well, Dagger replied, with all the strange stuff that happens to us, it doesnt really surprise me that much. Come on, lets go down to the parlor.
As Dagger and Zidane came into the parlor, Steiner came up to them and said, We have three more guests that claim to have had a similar experience. Bringing Reis, Rad, and Alicia forward, he introduced them accordingly.
How do you do, all of you? Dagger said to them collectively. Then, to Alicia, she asked, Where exactly did you get this black mage garb? Its more extravagant than anything I have ever seen.
Why thank you, your majesty, Alicia responed, beaming. Rad loved how she looked when she beamed. I got these robes in Bervenia Free City, and the yellow hat in good old Gariland. But, of course, you dont have any idea of where these places are.
All present talked amongst themselves until General Beatrix entered, announcing the Regents arrival. It was quickly decided that all would be more comfortable (and less cramped) outside, on board the Highwind. Naturally, Cid Highwind complied, so they all made it so.
Once on board, the remainder of introductions were made.
So your name is Cid Highwind? Regent Cid IX asked after introducing himself.
Yep, it seems like we share a name, replied the other Cid.
We also knew a Cid, Relm chimed in, speaking for herself, Mog, and Gau. He died a few years ago from sickness while stranded on a deserted island.
One of our allies, Cidolfas Orlandu, calls himself the Thunder God Cid, Rad added.
What strange coincidences these be, Glenn threw his two cents into the conversation. Stranger still, that my he glared at Magus, ally then looked back at the participants in the conversation, and I are the only ones present without any connection to any Cid.
Well, thats enough of that, Regent Cid said, leaning against the railing of the deck of the Highwind. Lets get down to business, he added, looking out at the motley crew assembled there. So, Cid, Barret, and Tifa, you all came here when a sword wielded by your missing comrade, Cloud, glowed and flashed while you were all on a mission to find him?
Correct, your majesty, Tifa responded. But now we cant find Clouds Ultima Weapon. It must have disappeared along with our other friends, Yuffie, Vincent, and Red XIII, when the sword flashed.
Interesting, the regent returned. Then, he got similar accounts from each group in turn. Relm, Gau, and Mog, who was still quite close to Eiko, also told of their eight friends and Terras and Edgars glowing swords, the Atma Weapon and the Excalibur. Glenn unsheathed his Masamune for all to see as he retold the account of their disappearance from Melchiors property and their four missing allies (Magus, naturally, contributed nothing to Glenns explanation). Rad, Alicia, and Reis amazed the others with their unbelievable story about the Bloody Angel and their separation from fourteen of their comrades. In fact, they mentioned the names of four of their allies: their leader, Ramza; Reiss love, Beowulf; the aforementioned Orlandu; and the spikey-haired newcomer
Cloud! Tifa cried out as Rad mentioned his name. A sword-wielding soldier named Cloud with spikey blond hair!? What was his last name?
Strife. Cloud Strife, Alicia said. And he would always use strange abilities with what he called a Materia Blade. He seemed to have very little memory, except for an obsession with some guy named Sephiroth. Pausing, the female wizard added, And he just appeared quite mysteriously one day in the home of our ally, Mustadio. Does that sound like your Cloud?
Yes! Absolutely! Theres no question in my mind about it! Tifa exclaimed as Barret and Cid exchanged worried glances. Neither of them wanted to see their young friend hurt again, despite their rough exteriors.
Well, anyways, Reis continued, Ramza had two identical swords, both called Ragnarok. One of those began to glow. Beowulf had a very large sword, which wasnt even his, called the Chaos Blade. That also started glowing at the same time as the one Ragnarok. Then, they flashed in tandem and we woke up in that church, without any of our other allies.
Why are these things happening? a dark voice asked. All heads turned to identify the speaker, and were surprised to see Magus speaking, for the first time since the discussion began. Perhaps we were all gathered here for a reason. I think that we need to figure out how to get to the bottom of this.
No offense, Mr. Magus, Vivi asked meekly, but just how do we do that?
I wonder what Cyan would think of all of this? Gau wondered aloud.
What does that matter right now? Relm asked him, not realizing that all eyes had turned to them.
Gau, realizing his current position in the spotlight, replied, My adopted father, along with some of our other allies, could help us figure out this enigma.
Wow, thought Relm, living with Cyan really has affected him. Hes so much more civilized and intelligent and attractive than he was three years ago. Then again, three years ago, I didnt find many boys attractive, but still
Relms wistful thoughts were interrupted by cries of agreement all around the airship. All seemed to think that finding their allies would be a good idea. All except for Magus, who was, of course, as indifferent as ever.
As they debated possibilities, Zidane noticed that another airship, one much smaller than either the Highwind or Regent Cids Hilda Garde 3 parked nearby, was landing not far from their location. Recognizing the airship as belonging to his old theater troupe of Tantalus, he quietly climbed down from the deck of Cids airship. Noticing his actions, Dagger just as quietly followed him. Then, dragging Mog with her, Eiko also slipped away as quietly as she could.
Once they were out of earshot of the rest of the group, Dagger and Eiko both called out, Hey, wait up! while Mog simply muttered, Kupo, I can walk on my own. Hearing them, Zidane slowed down. As he did so, he saw three figures climb out of Tantaluss airship. Also, Eiko finally let Mog go. Gee, and Id become so attached to her, the ever-sarcastic moogle snipped under his breath as he walked alongside the young summoner.
Hey Zidane, Dagger began as she caught up to him, what do you suppose they want at a time like this?
Who knows? he replied. Then, noticing Mog, Zidane asked, Hey, youre Mog, right?
Kupo, Mog nodded.
And you come from another world, the same one as this Relm and Gau?
Kupo, yes, I do.
Tell me, just to satisfy my own curiosity, are there lots of other moogles where you live?
Yes, but we all live in the same system of caves. We arent as spread out as the moogles of this world are, so we dont have anything like this Mognet thing.
Ah, I see, Zidane responded, his curiosity duly satisfied. Now he saw that his old comrades from Lindblum were within shouting distance, so he acted accordingly. Hey guys! Whats up!?
Zidanes friend Marcus shouted back: Nothing much! How about you!?
Another Lindblum actor, Blank, called back, Hey bro! We just dropped by to kidnap Dagger again! This received a laugh from Marcus, Zidane, and even Dagger.
The third figure, Cinna, bonked the other two on the head with his hammer (not that it could actually hurt them) and ran faster to reach Zidane. Theyll always be the Three Stooges of Tantalus, Zidane thought, chuckling a bit.
Actually, Zidane, (how do you do, your majesty), Cinna said politely as he approached them, we have come for a reason. We just received word of a major battle between two unidentified parties, each with an unfamiliar airship, just south of Burmecia.
Eiko, Dagger, dja hear that? Zidane said, his rising excitement matched only by Daggers. Weve got to go tell the others about this.
Driven by the hope that one of these airships might belong to his friend Setzer, Mog grabbed Eiko by the arm and used his little wings harder than hed ever used them before, now dragging the helpless Eiko along for the first time since arriving to Gaia. Ha! How do you like it? Kupo!
Arriving at the ship, Mog put Eiko down and she said, Hey everyone, youre not gonna believe this
That ride through time had more kick than a bronto fizz.
--Barney Rubble (in The Jetsons meet the Flintstones)