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Final Fantasy VIII

Hate of the Future
By Zeifam


Chapter 2: The Summoning

He stood there, not worried, not caring about his surroundings. He looked up toward the sky, or where the sky would be if he were on the planet. Instead, he was on the moon, looking down upon the planet that housed the insolent humans. He laughed to himself; they thought they were now free from the terror of the future. He was about to show them how wrong they were.

Panic. That was the only way the humans could cope with terrible things. Panic. And pretty soon they would be in the worst state of panic they had ever seen.

He lowered his head, and slowly he started to call out to them. At first they were hesitant to head his call. But soon they realized that he was going to lead them. Lead them against the people they despised so much.. They started to answer his call, and they came. Some big, some small, some deformed, some mutated, some that could shape-shift, some that could partially read minds, and some that could barely even think, but they all started to come to him. They gathered, unsure of what was going to happen next. All of them now heard his call, and they found it impossible to resist. They formed around him, a terrible mass of claws, teeth, and hatred.

It was not long before they had covered half the moon, with still more coming to the summoning. And in the center, he stood there. There were more bodies here then there ever was before. They began to understand what was going to happen. And the ones that could formed vicious smiles on their lips, hatred burning in all of their hearts.

When he thought he had enough to begin with, he slowly raised his arms. And it began. Slowly, at first, then as they all realized what was happening, it gained speed. The giant bubble lifting off the surface of the moon and traveling toward the planet. Bodies lifting up off the ground as though they were all standing on a moving platform. It had happened again… not even a year after the last one had occurred. And in the center of it, was one figure, him. He had caused it again, but this time it was much bigger than the ones in the past. A lot bigger. And this time there was no stopping it, for no one knew about it.

The Ultimate Lunar Cry.

***

Laguna Loire woke up in his bed in Esthar. He had been looking forward to this day for the past week now. Today was the day that they could finally make contact with the new space orbiter they had put out last week. Laguna dressed quickly and ran to the control room.

Being the president of Esthar did have its drawbacks sometimes. Like today, the most exciting thing happening was contact with the space orbiter. He was really considering the idea of taking a vacation soon.

He entered his security code into the door lock and walked into the main control room. A scientist glanced around at him and upon seeing who it was, stood up and greeted him with a handshake.

"Welcome, sir," said the scientist.

"Hello," replied Laguna in his usual tone.

"You lookin' forward to the first contact with our crew too sir?"

"You bet. I wanna see how our boys are doing out there."

"Well then, we can begin with the communication. It might take a little while though."

"No problem, it will give me more time to call up Kiros and Ward," Laguna said.

"Very well, sir."

The scientist returned to his chair and began hitting a number of buttons. Other scientists began to filter into the room to help out with the process. Laguna picked up his private link channel and called up Kiros and then Ward. He couldn't seem to get a hold of Kiros. But Ward was there, in his room. He still couldn't say anything, but Laguna had heard him pick up the other link.

"Hey Ward old buddy, come on over to the control room. We're about to make contact with the orbiter." Laguna said. On the other side he heard the open link go dead again. Laguna smiled to himself. Ward never complained; of course, he really couldn't complain, even if he wanted to.

Laguna was about to try Kiros again when his old friend came walking through the door.

"'Bout time you showed up," Laguna accused.

"Tisk, tisk. Were you that eager to see me?" was Kiros's reply.

"You know me," Laguna said with a smile.

"Unfortunately, yes," sighed Kiros.

"I don't think I'm going to dignify that with a response," Laguna laughed.

They both turned around to see Ward come walking into the room. His massive frame was almost too big to fit through the door.

"Hey Ward! You ready for the exciting event that is about to happen today?" Laguna exclaimed.

Ward did nothing more than nod his head a little.

"Shouldn't we focus on the contact with the crew now?" asked Kiros.

"In a minute. As you know, this will be the first contact with the orbiter since launch. It had to orbit the globe a couple of times to fully recharge itself after launch. So, shouldn't we stop talkin' and focus on the contact now?" continued Laguna.

"Isn't that what I just said?" asked Kiros.

"Is it? Oh, well, it doesn't matter now anyway. Hey! The contact is coming through! Everybody! Pay attention!" ordered Laguna. Ward and Kiros exchanged glances. Their friend was in desperate need of vacation.

The static on the intercom could be heard throughout the whole room.

Laguna was the first to speak, "Greetings orbiter! Hope you all had a safe flight! Over."

Static greeted his reply. Laguna tried again, this time louder. Still nothing. He tried a third time. Static was all that could be heard throughout the room. The three friends exchanged glances.

"Is there a chance that they're not in range yet?" asked Laguna

"No, they're in range. We tracked them for the last three days," replied the scientist sitting nearest to him.

"Then what is going on?"

"I'm not sure sir," said the scientist. "We could check to see if they sent us a message over the last few days. Even though they weren't supposed to until now."

"Well, lets try that then," Laguna ordered, trying to act like any good leader in charge would.

The scientists turned quickly to the task at hand. Laguna turned back to his friends, giving them a questioning look.

Ward simply shrugged his shoulders. Kiros appeared to be deep in thought, but when he finally looked up again he said nothing.

"Um, sir, after checking for messages sent over the past few days, we regret to say that we have again found nothing," reported one of the scientists.

"Let's try to contact them again," suggested Laguna.

Everybody huddled around the speaker as it again spat out static. Laguna sighed. This wasn't how it had played out in his mind.

Suddenly, after everybody had given up hope, a signal came through the speakers.

"This is space orbiter. We are having trouble communicating for some reason. Over."

"Roger, orbiter," said Laguna, strolling back over to the intercom.

They all waited for the next message to come through. When it did however, it was not at all what they were expecting.

"We will make contact again as soon as the problem is-- Oh my God!! It's happening again!! No!!! It can't be!! I don't believe it!! Look out!"

The connection went dead. Everybody within the room went silent; they just looked at each other.

Laguna was the first to break the silence. "What is happening again?" he asked no one in particular.

One of the scientists spoke up, "It is hard to tell sir, it could be almost anything. But since he sounded so shocked and the line went dead afterwards… It could have been something on the orbiter,"

Laguna looked at Kiros and Ward. They stared blankly back at him.

"Okay, before we tell anybody anything, we need to find out what happened ourselves. You four," Laguna said, indicating the scientists. "I want you to find out everything you can about what happened as quickly as possible. Replay that message over again and try to find out some clues that we might have overlooked the first time. Here," he continued, handing one of them his private phone. "When you find ANYTHING of interest, call me." He turned to Kiros and Ward, "Lets go to Balamb Garden. I have a feeling that some bad things are about to happen."

His two friends quickly agreed.

As they walked out of the control room, Laguna stared at the ground in disgust. His day was not going according to plan, and things weren't looking to improve any for at least a little while. Looks like my vacation will have wait.

***

Squall was standing on the bridge when Quistis arrived back from Dollet. She came and reported to him the happenings of the mission. Squall nodded and gave a simple thank you.

Rinoa had seen Quistis come up and had decided to follow her up to see how she was doing. She pushed past the double doors leadin to the office. Squall noticed her walk in. She looked at him and smiled. He failed to return her smile, although he did wave.

Rinoa looked over at Quistis and gave a friendly smile. "Hi Quistis!! You're back! How was your trip?" she asked.

"Slow," replied Quistis. She looked over at Squall but he was deep in thought. Rinoa glanced at him too. She then threw a questioning eyebrow at Quistis. Quistis gave a shrug that indicated that she didn't know either.

"Um, Squall? Is something on your mind?" Rinoa asked.

"No," mumbled Squall.

"Yeah right. We can both see that you're troubled. Now, what's going on?" Rinoa pressed.

"Nothing."

"Squall, we just want to help you, what's wrong?" Quistis added.

"Nothing."

"Squall. Please?" begged Rinoa.

"It's nothing," Squall straightened himself and walked past the two women, out of the room, toward the elevator.

The two females couldn't help but look at one another, not without a bit of worry in their faces.

"What do you suppose is wrong with him?" Quistis asked.

"I have no idea. He was fine last night," answered Rinoa. "I hope he is alright though."

Though her feelings were not behind it, Quistis smiled for encouragement. "I'm sure he will be fine."

***

Laguna was riding with his friends in his own personal aircraft. It was just them and the pilot. He looked out the window to see where they were. From his best guess, they were somewhere close to Fisherman's Horizon. They would be at Balamb Garden within an hour or so. He was getting a little impatient. What was taking those scientists so long to find something out? He had told them to call him if they found out ANYTHING. Surely they had found something out by now.

He looked over at his private phone, lying on top of the circular table they were sitting at. Ring, damn you, ring! He was concentrating on the phone so hard, trying to make it ring, that when it finally did, it startled him. He reached over and picked it up.

"Hello?" he answered.

"Mr. Loire, I have some bad news, sir."

"What is it?" Laguna asked with a sudden alarm.

"Well, after examining the tape many times and putting all of our knowledge of the subject together. We were forced to conclude that another Lunar Cry has happened sir," the scientist said with a scared voice.

"WHAT??? But that's impossible!! It just happened!! It couldn't have started again already!!" Laguna yelled, disbelief showing on his face as he listened into the phone.

"I know sir, but all the evidence that we have found points toward this happening. We could hear some background noises that sounded the like the previous Lunar Cry and we also were able to get some telescope photos of when the event happened. It all points to the Lunar Cry sir."

"Any idea of where it touched down yet?" Laguna asked desperately. "We're going to have to know immediately, so the proper precautions can be initiated.

"No sir, but we will inform you of any further information."

"Thank you, and please don't tell the public yet. Not until we have more info on the subject. We wouldn't want them to panic right away."

"Yes sir. Goodbye sir."

The phone on the other end of the line went dead. Laguna brought his own down from his ear and placed on the table in front of him. He looked over at Ward and Kiros. They stared back at him, waiting for him to explain his outburst.

"Guys, another Lunar Cry has begun," he said slowly.

The expression on their faces was that of shock and disbelief. "We must inform Squall and the others of these events immediately," Laguna continued.

They both looked at each other and shook their heads in agreement.

Laguna yelled up to the pilot of the craft, "Hey pilot!?"

The man sitting in the driver's seat turned to acknowledge him over his shoulder.

"Step on it!!!"

***

Squall exited the elevator and went to the cafeteria. It was 10 o'clock in the morning; nobody should be there right now. When was the last time he had eaten anything? He couldn't remember. That was probably his problem; he hadn't eaten anything in awhile. Everybody knew that when you didn't eat anything, your mind started to play tricks on you.

He walked in and sat down at a table. The place was deserted, just what he wanted. Somebody came over and asked him what he would have. Squall didn't even look up at the man; he just ordered a couple of hotdogs.

As he waited, he sat there thinking to himself. He had experienced the same dream again last night. It was exactly the same. Nothing had changed. What the hell is going on? Why am I experiencing this? Who is that guy? Squall turned everything over in his mind again and again. Looking for some logical answer of why the same dream had occurred twice in the same day and why nothing about the dream had changed at all.

The man returned with the hotdogs and placed them in front of Squall. The waiter must have heard about Squall's reputation and didn't even wait for a 'thank-you' before turning around and heading back toward the counter.

Squall sat and took a bite of his hotdog, eating but not tasting it. After quickly finishing both of them, he had just now realized how hungry he must have been. He would've ordered some more but he didn't even have a chance to get to his feet before a Garden student came rushing into the Cafeteria.

Upon seeing him, she dashed over to his table and gave the Garden salute.

"Sir, you are to report to the headmaster's office immediately. Quistis says it is urgent," she relayed the message given to her.

Squall nodded to her and got out of his chair, making his way out of the cafeteria. Upon exiting, he broke into a run that quickly got him to the elevator doors. This had better be good.

***

Quistis was about ready to leave the bridge, following Squall's lead. But just as she was making her way out, a Garden student came running in to report that Laguna Loire had arrived from Esthar. Quistis had quickly told the student to go down and tell Mr. Loire to come up and to fetch Squall in the process. The student saluted and ran back out again.

Quistis went over and sat down on the couch in the room. She looked up at Rinoa. "What do you make of it?" she asked.

"I have no idea. Maybe he was just getting bored in Esthar and wanted to see all of us again," Rinoa suggested.

"That could be it, but somehow I doubt it. Squall has never been on very good terms with Laguna ever since he found out that he had left Raine to die. If Laguna is here, it is probably for an important reason," Quistis said.

Rinoa didn't say anything. Instead she came over and sat down beside Quistis as they both waited for Squall and Laguna. "I do hope everything is ok," she said at last. Quistis agreed.

It wasn't long before Laguna walked into the room, followed by Kiros and Ward. "Hey! Long time now see!!" Laguna started off the conversation. He then looked around the room, "Say, is Squall here?"

Rinoa smiled at him and said, "Not yet, but he should be here soon. So how have you been, Laguna?"

"Well, as of this morning, not good. VERY not good. I'll explain once Squall gets here. Oh, and hello Quistis," Laguna explained.

Quistis returned with a polite and friendly, "Hello."

Rinoa kept the conversation going by saying hello to Kiros and Ward. Kiros returned the kind gesture and Ward waved with one of his massive hands.

"Please, have a seat if you would like, there's plenty of room," Quistis offered. Quistis soon realized that she had just told a lie; other then the couch they were sitting on, there were only two other seats in the room. It was not meant for large-scale meetings.

Luckily, Kiros must have seen this also and before Laguna could say anything, politely rejected the offer.

"So any idea when Squall will be showing up?" Laguna asked.

"He should be here soon, I can't imagine him going very far," Rinoa replied. "But Squall does have a tendency to want to be left alone. So that messenger girl might have a little problem finding him."

Their conversation was interrupted when Squall walked in. The room fell silent all of a sudden. After Squall had made his way in, he stood himself directly across of Laguna and just looked at him.

"Hi Squall," Laguna greeted.

Squall just looked at him, waiting for him to get to the point.

"Yes, well, let me tell you why we are here...."

Laguna started off slowly, telling them of the events that had befallen them at the control center. Then he moved on to the phone call they had received while coming here. All three of their young faces became very grim, wanting to not believe in the information they were hearing.

"So as you can see," Laguna finished telling, "we have ourselves a little problem on our hands."

***

Zell was sitting in the cafeteria, waiting to see if Siya was going to come back. Man, she was pretty. I wonder why Selphie never introduced us before? Well, maybe she hadn't known her. He was tempted to get out of his seat and go get some hotdogs, but he stayed in it, afraid of missing her if she came in. He looked at the clock; it was almost getting late.

Then he saw her come walking in with a casual outfit on. She was dressed in a green shirt with a black skirt on. She was also wearing boots. He waved to her when she finally saw him. She smiled as she made her way through the cafeteria. When she finally made it to his table she plopped herself down and smiled at him again.

"Hi ya!" Zell began.

"Hello! How have you been since we last spoke?" she asked.

"Ah, me? Up to nothin'. Just being good," he flashed a mischievous grin. "So, how did your SeeD field examination go?"

"Great! I'm in."

"That's great Siya. I knew you had it in ya when we first met," Zell congratulated. Man, not only is she beautiful, she can apparently put up a good fight too.

"Thanks," came a shy reply. "I was one in only three people who passed. Apparently, they liked the way we looked out there."

"So where did you go to perform the exam? You know, since the world is basically at peace for the time being," Zell asked.

"Well, some scouts had found a small hoard of monsters over in the Dollet region. Nothing much, but they still posed a pretty large threat if left alone. So Balamb Garden volunteered to go over and exterminate them personally, so they could also check to see who would become a SeeD in the process," Siya explained to him. She was looking at Zell with a polite smile on her face, observing his hair at the moment.

"Oh, I see. Did anybody get hurt in the process of the exam?"

"A couple of people, but not very badly. Those monsters were more vicious then we thought they would be. Even the SeeD's who were there to offer support if we needed it were surprised at them," she told him.

"Huh. That's interesting. There have been a decrease in monsters lately, and less open attacks at that. Can't believe such a pack has formed," Zell observed. "Well, anyway, I'm happy that you passed the test. Maybe we can go on some missions together since I know the commander and all." Zell chuckled to himself. Squall hated being called commander. He looked back at Siya, "Hey, speaking of which, have you met Squall Leonhart yet?"

"Um, no. Not yet. The ceremony is tomorrow for the people who passed. I guess I'll meet him then. Why? Is there something I should know about him?" she asked.

"Oh, nothing really. It's just that, he's quite a character," Zell laughed to himself again.

Siya eyed him with a slightly puzzled look on her face.

Zell recovered himself. "It's nothing really. Just that some people find Squall, rather, intimidating."

Their pleasant conversation was interrupted when an announcement came over the loudspeaker.

"Zell! This is Quistis. Come to the headmaster's office at once! Drop what you are doing and get here now! It's important!" The order ended as Quistis cut the line on the other end.

Zell looked over at Siya while she gazed back at him. Zell figured they would have to meet up again later.

"Well, looks like we'll have to meet up again later," Siya said. Didn't he just hear that somewhere?

An idea suddenly popped into Zell's head. "Hey! Would you like to come along and meet the gang? I'm sure they would like to meet you. Afterall, you're a SeeD now. So how 'bout it?" he exclaimed.

Siya sat there a moment, thinking. Then she looked back up at him and smiled, "Sure. I'd love to. Hopefully I won't get in the way."

"Nonsense," Zell replied, climbing out of his seat.

Siya followed suit and they both ran off toward the first floor elevator.

***

Zell and Siya jogged into the headmaster's office only to find everyone of the gang standing there. Zell even noticed that Selphie and Irvine were back from Balamb. They must have arrived this morning after staying overnight. Irvine and Selphie were standing beside each other along the far wall, Squall leaning on the headmaster's desk. Quistis and Rinoa were both sitting on the only couch in the room, and Laguna, Kiros, and Ward were standing in the room for some reason.

"Hi ya guys! Allow me to introduce to you, one of the newest members of SeeD. Siya Linnea!!" Zell exclaimed.

"Um, hi everybody. Nice to meet you all," Siya said shyly.

Everybody in the room turned to look at them except for Squall, who appeared to be deep in thought. But nobody spoke. An eerie silence had settled over the room. Siya started to look a bit nervous. Zell began to think it was a mistake bringing her here. Then, to his relief, Rinoa broke the silence.

"Hi Siya, I'm Rinoa Heartilly. This here is Quistis Trepe, Selphie Tilmitt, Irvine Kinneas, Laguna Loire, who is also the president of Esthar, Kiros Seagill, Ward Zabac, and last is, of course, Squall Leonhart," she explained, indicating each one of them. "We are sorry about that way that we greeted you but we have just acquired some very bad news that you will hear in just a second. Sorry about the bad timing," she ended.

Zell made eye contact with Rinoa and screamed a silent 'thank you' at her. Squall better damn well know what he has there.

"Um, yes. I understand, thank you for explaining it to me Rinoa," Siya mumbled, her mood darkened by the bad timing she had arrived at.

"So what seems to be the very bad news that you were talking about?" Zell asked, getting to the point.

Laguna stepped forward. "Allow me to cover that one. I'll tell it again since Irvine and Selphie weren't here either." He sighed as he began. "Earlier this morning, we lost contact with our space orbiter in Esthar. Before it went completely dead however, a message came through saying that something was happening again and that the person in space couldn't believe his eyes. After pondering this with the scientists in the lab for a little while, Ward, Kiros, and I left Esthar and came directly to Balamb Garden. I told the scientists to call me if they discovered anything at all. Halfway through the trip here, I received a phone call from them. They said that all the information they had found pointed toward one thing. Another Lunar Cry. They still weren't a 100% sure about the idea, but they said that it was the most logical thing to think at that point. Even though the last Lunar Cry just happened. Since we have arrived here, we have been talking this over. We still don't know where the Lunar Cry has touched down yet, if it has indeed even happened. That is about all we know at this point," Laguna finished, letting Zell, Selphie, Irvine, and Siya digest this new information.

"The hell-?" Zell sputtered. "Another Lunar Cry? That's impossible! It can't be!!"

"No…" Selphie trailed off.

"This is not good if indeed it is true," murmured Irvine.

Siya looked over at Zell, shock and despair in her eyes.

"I'm afraid we have no other option to turn to at this point. I am hoping that the scientists at the lab will call back with new information soon. I understand Zell. I had a similar reaction," Laguna comforted.

"So what the hell do we do now?" Zell asked.

"Our primary worry right now is trying to find where it touched down at," Quistis answered. "And since nobody has reported seeing it, we can only conclude that it has touched down somewhere in a remote area."

"So you're saying that we just sit here and wait?" Zell asked desperately.

"Zell, calm down. Once we have another phone call come from Esthar, we'll have more to go on," Laguna said.

Zell looked over at Siya and then sighed, letting his shoulders droop. He walked over to the door and leaned up against it.

The room fell silent for a while. Because of this, everyone was slightly startled to hear Laguna's phone ring.

He pulled it out of his pocket and looked down at it. Slowly, he raised it to his ear and answered it.

"Sir," a voice spoke on the other end of the line. "We have confirmed that indeed another Lunar Cry has occurred. We have had some people claim to have seen it early this morning around 4 o' clock. They have said that they could just see the tail of it going off into the distance. We can safely conclude that it has not touched down in Esthar. We are still unsure of the exact location of the touch point sir," the scientist on the other end of the line spit out all the information they had acquired so far.

Laguna felt his heart sink at the thought of another Lunar Cry. How had this happened? Wasn't it only supposed to occur every hundred years or so? What the hell was going on here? "Okay, thank you. Please keep updating me on any further information you pick up. I appreciate it."

Laguna was about to hang up the phone when he heard the person on the other line say, "Oh, and sir, one more thing."

"Yes?" Laguna replied, silently preparing himself for anything.

"Well, never mind. I'll tell you after we have confirmed my suspicion."

Laguna heard the line on the other end go dead. He looked back up at all of his friends, staring back at him. That is, everyone except for Squall. Why does he still hate me so much? I have done everything I can. Laguna dropped the topic in his mind. Now was not the time.

He looked up at everybody again. "It seems that they have confirmed that it was indeed another Lunar Cry that occurred," he said sadly. "But they are still unsure of where it has touched down at, so, I guess we will have to find out for ourselves. Any ideas on where to start?" He asked.

Everybody in the room exchanged glances. Zell muttered, "Man, another Lunar Cry? What the hell is going on?"

Rinoa walked over toward Squall. "Squall, do you have any ideas about what is going on?" she asked. Squall merely shook his head. It looked as though he didn't even care about what was happening right now.

"Well, action has to be taken. Squall?" Laguna looked in his direction, clearly leaving the decision up to him.

Everybody turned in Squall's direction. He finally turned from his position of staring out the window. He looked around the room. "I don't want anybody going out to look for the monsters by themselves. If the search is to be taken, it is going to be taken from up high in the air. This means either the Ragnarok or Laguna's personal ship. And since Laguna will need to go back to Esthar to inform his own people, we will not be able to use his."

Squall thought for a moment, "Also, this event cannot stay hidden away forever. The search will have to be done quickly. I would like two people to go and search the surrounding area. The others will stay here in Garden and be prepared for the oncoming panic that will set in once people find out about this. Or, that is, once we tell them about it. I want the rest of you all to begin to alert the cities around the world, each taking one that relates to them in some way. This will help to convince the townsfolk. Tell them that the information we have right now is little and that we would like to encourage them to shed some light on the subject if they can. But don't pressure them to waltz out into the middle of nowhere and look for these monsters. We don't want anybody getting hurt until we know more about the subject. Any questions?" Squall asked impassively.

"Just one. Who will be going on the search?" Rinoa asked, who was standing beside him, holding onto his arm. Squall looked down at her and gave a brief smile, just to encourage.

Squall turned toward Selphie and Irvine, "Selphie, you can drive the Ragnarok well. Can I ask you to go on this mission?"

"Sure Squall, you can count on us!!" Selphie squealed, looking over at Irvine.

Irvine returned her gaze and added, "Yeah, man, like we would say no."

"Very well, do it as fast as you can. Anybody have any ideas on where to start?" Squall asked.

"Um, I believe I might, sir," all the eyes in the room turned to Siya.

"Siya, from now on, don't call me that. Oh, and by the way, the ceremony for passing the SeeD test might have to wait a little bit in light of this news. Be sure tell everyone who made it," Squall muttered.

"Um, ok si-, sorry. Anyway, in order to pass my field exam, we had to go over and confront a group on monsters near Dollet. I don't know if it meant anything, but if nobody else has any idea's, I could see that as the best place to start," Siya continued.

"Alright! Good thinking Siya!!" Zell exclaimed. Siya turned and smiled to him.

"Okay. Looks like everything is okay here. Me and Irvine will set out now," Selphie said. And with that, she grabbed Irvine's hand and escorted him out the door.

"Alright then. Looks like we'll head back to Esthar. We'll contact you when we get there. Until then, meeting dismissed I guess," Laguna told them.

Everybody started to file out of the room, heading off on certain tasks that had to be done. Rinoa and Squall were the only ones left within the room. Rinoa squeezed Squall's arm tighter and looked up at him. "Squall, do you think everything is going to be okay?" she asked quietly.

He looked back down into her eyes. "I really don't know."

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