Fade To Black Chapter 9

By Xyris

"Rest easy, Terra," came a rigid and familiar voice in her ear.

"Shadow? Is that you?" she called out, shifting her weight onto her side to alleviate the pain of the branches jabbing her underneath.

"No," he said, pulling the mask from his head. "It's Clyde. Clyde Arrowny."

"Arrowny. But that was Relm's father."

"A coward. A buffoon. Call me what you will, but it's all true. And now, I have paid the price for my negligence."

"I'm sorry, Clyde, and I know this might sound callous, but we must forget about them for the time being."

"You're right, Terra. That is callous."

The two of them conversed about many topics that night. The slow but evident destruction of the World of Balance. Rivalin. The dark art of the Shadow. The End of Days. The future of things to come. All covered by the soothing glow of their campfire. When their conversation toned down into silence, Terra snuggled up close to Clyde for fear that the demonic Rivalin would take him next.

"I love you, Clyde, and I don't want to lose you. Any of you."

"You won't lose us. Even those who have passed on will always be with you. So long as you remember the good times, they'll be with you. Just as I'll be there for you."

"You were always the insightful one, Clyde."

He smiled as the tw of them lost themselves in the beauty of the crackling flames. Then, despite the light of their environs, something very dark occurred to Clyde and he had no choice but to bring them at attention to the nerve-broken Terra Branford.

"You said that you had dreams of this ‘Rivalin.' Tell me about them."

"There's nothing to tell."

A lie.

"What does he do to you in these dreams of yours? Does he talk to you? Fight you? Kill you, even?"

Suddenly, Terra burst into tears and all the words tumbled out.

"He touches me, Clyde. He takes me and he. . .he fucks me! And as all of it happens, my father, Maduin, looks on as if it's the right thing to do. Why does he do that, Clyde. I've never been this scared before."

"You're half esper, is that right?"

"Not anym. . .why?"

"My father, my real father that is, used to tell me what would imperil this planet come the turn of the century. The devil himself would claim a mindful bride to bear his infernal offspring. This is purely speculation, Terra. . ."

Terra nodded, urging him to finish.

"But I think he has chosen you to bear his offspring."

"But why me?!"

"To perpetuate the esper race through your children."

"Daddy. . .why?"

"Only God knows why, Terra," he said to her. How about we get some rest, and tomorrow, we'll take some chocobos to Nikeah?"

"Nikeah's gone by now. I'm almost sure of it."

"Granted, but we can take a vessel from there to Doma. Cyan's getting us all together again, that is, what Returners are left."



"What if Rivalin comes while we're asleep?"

"Well, I'll just go without sleep tonight."

"All night?"

He smiled.

"All night."


Clyde, unfortunately, never held true to his promise to Terra, and as punishment, was given nightmares of his own, regarding his partner in crime Baram, his family, his Returner friends, but in particular, Terra. Rivalin found home in his subconscious as well, telling Clyde that if Terra was delivered to him safely, he could have them all back. This is how the former shadow warrior thought of a way to betray both good and evil, and the notion itself sickened him to say the least.

To kill Terra Branford.


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