Chapter 1: Wild Goose Chase
“Okay,” said Rinoa, standing by the entrance to the second
floor balcony on the flying Garden Base. She looked up at Squall.
He wasn’t happy, not that he ever was, but he was exceptionally
not happy at the moment. Of course, Rinoa understood why. She
wasn’t happy about it either, but it couldn’t be helped.
“I tried asking Cid to reconsider...” Squall said, apologetically.
When the battle with Ultimecia had ended, Squall had handed
over his duties as Garden Commander almost immediately to Cid,
who would not accept them. Instead, Cid had reassumed the role
of headmaster. He has control over the instruction of new SeeDs,
and of where the flying Garden traveled. Squall, however, had
to keep his role as Garden Commander and whenever it was time
for battle, Squall was in charge.
What Squall had wanted Cid to reconsider was his choice of
ambassador. Usually, Cid would go to other cities to discuss
peace and mutual agreements on trading and such, leaving Squall
in charge temporarily. It was quite convenient. However, Cid
had taken ill this past week, and wouldn’t be able to travel
to Esthar to discuss trade agreements with President Loire fortheir
He chose Rinoa to go instead. He supposedly chose her because
of her military lineage, and because she knew all the correct
diplomatic procedures. Despite what anyone said, Cid was certain
Rinoa was the best choice for the job, and in this situation,
Squall had no power to override it.
“I did too...” Rinoa said.
“So then...” Squall stood there. After a minute of silence
and contemplation, Rinoa just flew into his arms. Squall put
his hands around her waist and kissed her gently on the lips.
Finally, when they parted, Rinoa picked up her bags. “...I’ll
be back soon...”
“Goodbye,” she waved as she began to walk out, Angelo at her
side. Squall waved back. Once Rinoa turned away from him, he
stomped off to the training center. He wouldn’t have been able
to watch her leave any longer without following. Besides he
needed to let off steam...Badly.
“Yo Squall!” a voice from behind him called.
Squall turned and glared, his fists still clenched.
“Whoa,” Zell said, jumping back a bit. “Heh heh,” he scratched
the back of his neck, “Guess Rinoa’s gone then, eh?”
Squall turned and kept walking. Zell could be such an idiot
“Where are you going?” Zell said, following a few steps behind.
“Want me to join?”
Good old Squall, thought Zell as he followed him in.
Rinoa stood on the FH platform. It was crowded with people.
After Ultimecia had been defeated, and the Galbadian tyranny
had ended, the Horizon Line Trains had begun operating again.
The countries were trying to create a sense of unity and support
for one another, and reopening the Horizon Bridge was the first
She walked on to the train to Esthar, ignoring all the people
who were bumping into her. Esthar had decided to re-open its
doors to the public, and many people wanted to go and see the
technology there. As she walked down the hall to her room she
could almost hear Selphie singing, “...Train Train take us away...”
As she closed her door the thought brought a smile to her face.
She had hoped Squall would have been able to see her off from
the platform, but once she was dropped off, the Garden was on
the move again. As she looked out her window she could see its
silhouette on the horizon. Rinoa still didn’t understand why
Cid had to pick her. Quistis was just as educated in the formal
procedures as she was. Apparently, though, Cid had done it for
another reason too...
She remembered going to see him when she had found out he had
chosen her. Edea had tried to shoo her away, but she kept insisting
until she was allowed in. “Why?” Rinoa had asked, sitting next
to him. “I’ve already said ‘why’,” Cid said in reply. “That
isn’t it. At least not all of it,” Rinoa said arms crossed.
Cid gave a small smile and nodded, “You know people too well,
Rinoa.” He sighed for a moment, he had been hoping she would
just do what he said and not ask “Why?” But Rinoa wasn’t that
type of person, it was one of her more obnoxious, and most charming,
qualities. “Very well, but you have to swear it won’t leave
this room.” Rinoa didn’t understand why he was being so serious,
but none-the-less she nodded. “I give you my word,” she said,
doing her best to match his grave tone.
“Alright. Now since Squall is Garden Commander, we would want
him to be as strong as possible, right?”
“Now there’s no question as to his fighting ability. As a fighter,
there is none more powerful. However, he does have his weaknesses,
but we all do, right?”
“...Yes...?” Wasn’t this obvious? Why was he telling her this?
“The only problem is that Squall’s weakness is exceptionally
bad. Because of this weakness, he could put the Garden in unnecessary
danger. I know that as headmaster, I need to make sure he’s
using the best judgment for the students. Therefore, I’m obligated
to do what’s best for the students and for him. You understand?”
“Yes,” Rinoa said flatly. Why wouldn’t he get to the point?
“Well, see Rinoa, that weakness is, well...his love for you.”
“What?” she asked, taken aback. She wasn’t exactly thrilled
to be called a ‘weakness’. Didn’t her feelings matter?
“Now, don’t take it the wrong way,” said Cid, noticing the
expression on her face, “It isn’t that I think that his love
for you is bad, as a matter of fact, it’s the opposite. However,
he feels like he won’t be able to go on living if you weren’t
constantly at his side.”
And why not?, thought Rinoa, That’s the way I feel
“All I want to do is have you go on this trip so that he can
see that if you leave for a few days, the world would not come
to an end. Besides, I’m sure you’d like him to realize that
you can take care of yourself. Am I right?”
“...I...suppose...” said Rinoa. She had always wanted him to
be a little more aware of her fighting abilities...Still, she
hated having to leave the Garden...
“I’m glad you understand. Now...Edea’s giving me the nastiest
look for not resting, so I think I must ask you to leave,” he
smiled at Edea.
Rinoa nodded and stood up.
“-and remember,” he said as she was out the door, “this stays
between us. If Squall found out, it would ruin the point.”
Rinoa had left angry. And she was still angry. She understood
that Cid felt like a father figure to Squall, and that he was
trying to do what was “best for him”, but what about her? Why
do parents always do that? Her father had always tried to do
what was best for her. When her mother died he had tried to
take her place, as if he could even understand what she and
her mother had had. He had begun to give her rules there had
never been before. All for her “safety”. She couldn’t go out
alone, she wasn’t permitted to fight, she could not choose the
boys she dated, and he would continue to create new rules every
time he felt there was a “threat”. That was what had driven
her away, and that was what had first driven her to Seifer’s
arms. Her father would have hated him. Of course, later, other
things came into play... She sighed as she returned to the present
moment. This was going to be a long ride.
“Dude!” said Zell, “You totally nailed that T-Rexaur in only
one hit! You sure you aren’t tired of using all them Limit Breaks?”
“...Whatever...” said Squall, dripping with sweat. It was true
his muscles were sore, but he didn’t care about the physical
pain, at least the thrill of the fight was helping to take his
“Yo! That’s it!,” Zell sounded angry, “What happened? Did Rinoa
take your voice away or something?!”
Squall looked at him blankly, More like my soul... he
thought. “Tch! Squall, you need to chill, dude, it’s not like
she’s dead, she’ll be-”
Squall grabbed Zell by the shirt and whipped him around. “Shut
up!” he yelled. He let go of Zell letting him fall to the ground.
He then grabbed his coat and marched out of the training center.
“Damn...”said Zell, dazed.
“Hey Squall!” It was Selphie, walking with Irvine to the cafeteria.
He waved his hand and blew her off. He continued to his dorm
“What’s his problem?” asked Irvine as they continued walking.
“He’s upset about Rinoa,” said Selphie.
“Aww, come on! It’s only a few days! Besides, this place is
filled with beautiful women!”
Selphie looked at him. “Of course, you being the most beautiful,”
he continued. She smiled ecstatically. “Except maybe for her,”
he said lifting his hat to one of the trainees with a sly smile.
Selphie punched him in the gut. “Okay, okay, I’m kidding!” he
said, still laughing a little.
“Still, I don’t see why Squall’s blowin’ it all outta proportion.”
“Well,” said Selphie, “I can understand him being mad at Cid.
He was being a little unreasonable about the whole thing.”
“I guess,” said Irvine with a shrug as they entered the cafeteria.
“It’s not like she’s dead.” The words kept repeating through
Squall’s head as he lay in his room. Didn’t they understand?
For all they knew, she could be dead. He jumped up and began
pacing his room. Thoughts were running through his head of all
the terrible things that could happen. He sat down again and
held his head in his hands. He had to trust that everything
would be okay. He had to trust it. He had to trust Rinoa...
“That Bastard!” he said out load, punching his wall and cracking
the plaster. Why did he have to send Rinoa away?
“Zell, are you alright?” It was Quistis, who had been making
the rounds to keep in shape. Zell was still sitting on the floor.
“Yeah I’m fine,” Zell said as she helped him up.
Quistis crossed her arms, “Any reason you were sitting on the
training center floor?”
“Yeah...” said Zell. Quistis raised one eyebrow. “Dude, I’m
worried about Squall. All I said was one little thing about
Rinoa, then BAM! Next thing I’m on the floor. Dude, I knew he
was upset, but-Damn!”
“We’d better go talk to him. However, if he’s in the mood you
said he’s in, perhaps we ought to let him cool off a bit.”
“No kidding,” Zell said, brushing himself off.
“Come on,” Quistis said, “I’ll buy you a hot dog.”
“Oh yeah!” said Zell, running up next to her.
Just as Quistis and Zell were leaving the training center,
monsters began to pour in from the front gate.
“Damn it!” said Zell. SeeD sprung into action. Students everywhere
began to fight the monsters. They were severely outnumbered.
“I’m going to go find Squall!” Quistis told Zell as she ran
toward the dorms, fighting her way through the beasts.
Selphie and Irvine ran up. “What’s going on?” asked Irvine
as he shot monsters off one by one.
“Dude, I got no clue!” said Zell, “One second its all normal-like;
the next, these monsters are everywhere!”
“Where’s Squall? And Quistis?” Selphie asked.
“Quistis went to go get Squall and-” They all stopped, dumbstruck.
A woman had entered the room. She had pure white skin with hair
just as white that fell down to her waist. Long robes of red
whipped around in the wind that was caused by the flapping of
her immense, white, wings. She scanned the room with glowing
red eyes as she flew over the fighting.
“I-I-I’m getting Squall!” said Zell, running the same way Quistis
did. He ran toward the dorms, destroying anything that stood
in his way. He finally found Quistis and Squall, fighting off
the monsters that had made it to the dorms.
“Guys, we got problems!” shouted Zell over the din of the fighting.
“Zell, what are you-?” Quistis began.
“-What kind of problems?” Squall asked. The winged woman began
to fly toward them.
Zell pointed. “BIG problems!”
Quistis cast Aura on Squall and he began to use Lionheart on
the flying woman over and over.
Not even a scratch. She continued past, not even paying attention
to their existence.
Squall then tried using magic, attacking with Ultima, tripled.
Again no effect.
The winged creature entered an empty room and began to tear
Squall tried using GFs; Eden, Bahamut, Gilgamesh. Nothing.
The creature, having thoroughly trashed the room, blew out
the wall to the outside and left. The monsters all fled with
her. Squall leaned heavily on his gunblade. If his muscles were
sore before, now they screamed out in agony. However, now was
not the time to worry about physical pain.
“Squall, Quistis, Zell!” called Selphie running up. “The monster’s
Leave it to Selphie to state the obvious. “We know,” replied
“Is there any damage?” Squall asked.
“A few injuries,” said Selphie, “but nothing Dr.Kadowaki can’t
“Nothing,” said Selphie, “She just passed right over everything.”
“Then there’s only one question left...” Squall looked at the
room, the bed was overturned, paper was ripped from the walls,
closets and trunks were emptied and destroyed. Rinoa’s tattered
belongings lay everywhere. “...What did she want with Rinoa?”
Rinoa jumped off the train at the Esthar station. Not a moment
too soon, she thought. If she had to sit around on that train
for another second she was going to go insane. She scanned the
crowd for familiar faces. It wasn’t hard to spot Ward, head
and shoulders above everyone else. Ward, Kiros, and Ellone waved.
Rinoa waved back as she walked over.
Ellone ran up and hugged her. “How is Squall?” she asked.
Rinoa wasn’t surprised it was the first question out of her
mouth. “He’s doing fine,” Rinoa said, not bothering to mention
how upset he had been when she left.
“And how are you, Rinoa?” asked Kiros as Ward grabbed her bags.
“Very tired of trains,” Rinoa said with a smile. Trains brought
back too many memories of when she was with the Timber Owls...when
That was the problem, they got her to think too much. Especially
Kiros laughed as he held the car door open for Rinoa and Ellone.
Rinoa spent most of the drive telling Ellone about how all the
“orphanage gang” was doing, and sharing Squall anecdotes. However,
this brought Rinoa little comfort, since it only made her want
to see Squall even more.
When they arrived at the Presidential Palace in Esthar, it was
rather late, however Laguna still came out to meet them.
“Hello, Rinoa,” Laguna started, “I’m so glad you came, I mean
um...I’m sorry Cid’s sick and all, 'cause being sick isn’t any
fun, but its just so nice to see you again.”
Kiros rolled his eyes, as did Ward.
“I think its quite a bit late, Laguna,” said Kiros, “and we’d
all like to get some sleep.”
“Oh! Yeah! Well, of course, sure,” said Laguna, scratching
the back of his head. “Uh...would you mind sharing a room with
Ellone, Rinoa? I don’t have an extra room made up yet...”
“...because he forgot you were coming until an hour ago,” Kiros
“Hey now, that’s not cool!” Laguna started, “You don’t want
to make her feel unwanted or anything! I know that-”
Rinoa smiled, “-Laguna, I don’t mind at all.”
“Mind what?” he replied.
They all began to crack up. Finally, Rinoa grabbed her things
and followed Ellone. She looks so much like her mother,
Laguna thought as Rinoa left.
Rinoa plopped down onto the bed across from Ellone.
“Tired, huh?” asked Ellone, sitting on her own bed.
“Its been a long day,” said Rinoa, kicking off her boots.
That night Rinoa fell asleep instantly. At first her dreams
were of being in Squall’s arms back at Garden, but then she
flew above the garden and was watching as it was being attacked.
Squall was fighting valiantly but he was in pain; she wanted
to help, but she was too far away to do anything. Suddenly,
burning red eyes were staring at her. Rinoa awoke with a gasp,
and sat up. Ellone had done the same thing.
“Squall needs me,” Rinoa said, jumping out of bed, and pulling
on her boots.
“Rinoa wait!” said Ellone in a whisper. She knew what Rinoa
had dreamed, and she had dreamed the same thing. However, unlike
Rinoa, she felt a greater sense of danger, more that it was
a warning to be careful.
“What?” she asked grabbing her Shooting Star Projectile.
“Just because you had a dream where Garden was attacked doesn’t
“How did you know what I dreamed?” asked Rinoa.
How could I have screwed up already? she thought. “You
just told me.”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Yes, you did.”
Rinoa raised an eyebrow at her. “Don’t lie to me Ellone.” She
sounded like a mother scolding a child.
“Please don’t go Rinoa, I mean it.”
Rinoa looked back at her, her eyes clear and level. “I have
to go back to him Ellone. I just have to.”
Ellone nodded, she could see it in Rinoa’s eyes she was telling
the truth. “Thank you.” Rinoa quietly snuck out. Angelo following
silently behind her.
She walked through the darkened streets of Esthar. She hoped
the gil she had with her was enough to get her to Dollet, where
the Garden would stop next.
“Hey, look! If it ain’t our buddy Rinoa, ya know?” said a voice
in the shadows.
“CONFRONTATION!” came another.
“Hey guys, relax.” Seifer walked into the light. “How are you
Raijin and Fujin also entered the light. The three of them
were blocking her path.
“I don’t have time for this Seifer. Angelo Rush!” Angelo jumped
at Seifer, which budged him a little but not much.
He raised one eyebrow. “You think your dog's going to move
Rinoa took out her Shooting Star.
“Hey now, I’m not out for a fight,” said Seifer holding up
his bare hands.
“Besides, I don’t hit ladies, ya know?” Raijin said.
“WIMP” replied Fujin, kicking him in the shins.
Seifer rolled his eyes. “I just wanted to know what you’re
doing in Esthar, by yourself, at 3 in the morning?”
“Why should I tell you?” said Rinoa, lowering her weapon but
ready to raise it at any time.
“No reason you should,” said Seifer shrugging, “but there’s
no real reason you shouldn’t either.”
“If I tell you, will you get out of my way?” she asked.
“Sure,” he said, “whatever the princess desires.”
Rinoa accidentally smiled a little, no one had called her princess
for a long time now. “I’m trying to catch up with the flying
Garden in Dollet. Now-”
“-Any reason why?” Seifer asked before she could ask him to
Rinoa rolled her eyes. “I have a feeling a large battle is
about to happen, or already happened on Balamb Garden and I
need to be there. May I leave now?”
Seifer stepped aside and motioned for her to go ahead. However,
as she left they began to follow her.
“Large battle, eh?” said Seifer, walking beside her, “Sounds
pretty dangerous. Sounds like you need some escorts.”
“SHOT DOWN” said Fujin.
“Hey, give Seifer a break, Fujin, ya know?”
“Both of you, quiet,” said Seifer forcefully. “Why don’t you
want our help?” he asked Rinoa.
“Oh I don’t know,” she said sarcastically, “You did try to
kill me several times...”
Seifer made a motion for Fujin and Raijin to hold back. They
“Rinoa, I’m sorry,” he said.
“What?” Rinoa asked. She stopped and looked up at him. He was
looking at her with the same eyes he had had before he became
the “Sorceress' Knight.”
“I said I’m sorry dammit!” he looked away. “Doesn’t anybody
believe in redemption anymore?”
Rinoa looked at him for a long while. He seemed so distant,
and almost helpless. Not at all like when she had met him. He
used to be full of confidence, self-assured, he never would
have apologized for anything back then. Had his experience as
the “Knight” changed him that much?
“I forgive you,” she said, finally.
“Thank you,” he said. “Then,” he raised his voice as Fujin
and Raijin came closer, “may we escort you to Dollet?”
“Fine,” said Rinoa, giving in. At least she didn’t think they’d
do any harm.
“Yo, Seifer, Why are we babysittin' a stupid princess anyway,
ya know?” asked Raijin.
“IDIOT!” said Fujin, punching him in the ribs.
“Fujin, ya know, why you always pickin on me, ya know?”
“ENJOYMENT!” said Fujin with a smile.
The three of them laughed, Rinoa couldn’t help but laugh a
little too. Maybe the companionship of some people would do
The Garden stopped outside of Esthar at 8:00 AM that morning,
which was 12 hours after the attack on Garden. The Garden Base
was now able to go on almost any terrain, thanks to some modifications
from Esthar. Rinoa should have been talking about payment for
Squall, Zell, and Quistis arrived at the presidential palace
at 8:15 AM.The guard eyed them suspiciously. “Business?”
“Squall Leonheart, Zell Dincht, and Quistis Trepe. We’re representatives
of the Balamb Garden Base and it is imperative that we speak
with our comrade, Rinoa Heartily,” Squall rattled off, with
a look that made anyone think twice about questioning him.
“Come in,” said the guard.
As they sat in the lobby, Ellone came with Kiros. “Squall!”
Ellone cried, “You’re here! You’re alright!” Ellone had been
pretty shaken by the dream also.
“Where’s Rinoa?” Squall asked.
Ellone’s face went blank. “Kiros, could you go wake Laguna?
I want to see him before I go.” Kiros nodded and left.
“Ellone! Where’s Rinoa?!”
“Last night...We both dreamed that the Garden was under attack...”
“We were attacked last night. That’s why we’re here.”
“...Well...we weren’t sure if it was a premonition or what,
“Sis,” Squall looked at her with pleading eyes, “Where is Rinoa?”
Ellone looked away. “She went looking for you.”
“Dammit,” said Squall, fists clenching.
“I asked her to stay but-”
“It’s ok, Sis, its not your fault. But we need to find her,
“...I don’t understand.”
Squall had gone silent, so Quistis answered in his stead, “We’re
dead positive whatever attacked the Garden is after Rinoa.”
Ellone put her hand to her mouth with a bit of a gasp. How
could she have not figured it out.
“It sure is quiet in here,” Laguna said as he walked in. “Squall!
Zell! What are all of you doing here?”
“There’s a situation, Uncle Laguna,” said Ellone.
“Rinoa’s run off, and there is some strange creature after
her. It might be a Sorceress...”
“Oh! This is Awful! How’d she sneak out? Didn’t any of the
security catch her? Rotten security...isn’t worth the salary
“-Don’t worry, Laguna,” said Quistis, “nobody’s blaming you.”
“-Laguna, I’m going with them. I may be able to help them,”
Laguna stared at her for quite some time, and then answered
hesitantly, “...Alright, Ellone, but be careful. Please.”
“I will, Uncle Laguna,” Ellone wrapped her arms around him.
They began to leave; they couldn’t let the trail get too cold.
“Tell me the instant you find her!” Laguna called after them.
They searched the Esthar Area, from Dr.Odine’s Laboratory to
Lunatic Pandora and then back to the great salt lake. By the
end of the first day, there was no sign of Rinoa.
After having spent all day walking across the Horizon Bridge,
Rinoa thought she would have been more tired. Her, Seifer, Fujin,
and Raijin had set up camp in one of the forests nearby Obel
Lake. They hadn’t had enough for a hotel room in Timber, unless
they didn’t want to eat tomorrow, but Rinoa had never been all
that picky about where she slept. If she could sleep. She tossed
and turned and...just wasn’t tired. She decided to go over by
some heavier tree cover, away from the fire, where it was dark.
She sat down on a fallen tree and looked up at the star filled
sky. She kept thinking she saw a shooting star in the corner
of her eye, repeatedly, but every time she looked, there was
nothing. She missed Squall so much. All she could think about
was the comfort and safety of his arms.
“You’re thinking about him, aren’t you?” Seifer was standing
She nodded. “Can I ask you something?” he sat down next to
her, also looking at the sky.
“What?” she asked, not turning her eyes toward him.
“Did you ever think about me like that?”
Rinoa looked at him puzzled. Being the Sorceress' Knight had
“...I...did once,” she replied hesitantly.
“Would you ever think about me like that again?”
“...I love Squall, Seifer.”
“Then there’s nothing between us,” he said.
“That’s not true, Seifer. There is something, and, when I met
you, I thought it was love. But, now I know what love is, and...well...whatever
it is between us, it isn’t love.”
“Another point for Squall then,” he said bitterly.
Rinoa didn’t like being considered a “point”, but Seifer seemed
upset as it was, and she didn’t say anything about it. “I don’t
see why you have to be rivals,” she said, carefully choosing
her words, knowing she was treading on dangerous ground. “Can’t
you just be comrades?”
“No!” said Seifer, standing up. “I won’t play second fiddle
“But then you’re still competing!” said Rinoa, also standing
up. “If you were his comrade you would be his equal, not his
lesser or better.”
“...I can’t do that,” Seifer replied plainly.
“Because, all my life I’ve know I was missing something. I
tried to prove to myself that I wasn’t by being ‘The Best'.
But then your lover boy has to come and show me up and rub his
completeness in my face! I can’t feel whole again until I prove
to him that I’m the best...” he seemed to let his mind drift
off on that.
“...I...don’t understand,” Rinoa said after a long pause.
“How could you? You’re complete!” he said. There was another
“I think I finally understand why your lover boy is so quiet,”
Seifer said, walking back to the fire. “If you don’t say anything,
you’ll never say anything you regret.” Rinoa would have replied,
but she didn’t know what to say.
“Goodnight Rinoa, and my apologies for my ramblings...”
“...Goodnight,” Rinoa had finally managed to spit out. What
had just happened? She knew that what Seifer had said was of
great consequence, but she didn’t understand him in the least.
Seifer’s words replayed in her dreams that night.
It was still dark out when Rinoa had been awakened by a sound.
A low rumbling, like an earthquake, yet the ground was firm
beneath her. As Rinoa sat up, she had quite a shock. They were
surrounded by hundreds of people, all wearing black, hooded
cloaks, and producing a low pitched hum.
“Seifer!” she whispered, tugging on his sleeve. Why were they
all just standing there? “Seifer!” she whispered a little louder.
“Mgah...lugh...rmagh...What?” he asked still half asleep.
“Shh! We have company.”
When Seifer saw their “company”, he woke with a start, “...the
“What should we do?” asked Rinoa.
“Kick their asses, that’s what! Raijin! Fujin! Up!” Seifer
barked at them.
Despite Seifer’s yelling, the people in black remained perfectly
still and continued with their humming.
“TIRED,” said Fujin.
“Yo, Seifer, why you doin' this, ya know?” grumbled Raijin,
“Stop whining, you two, we got a battle!”
Fujin and Raijin were ready to go instantly. The only problem
was that when they tried to attack, the cloaks had such powerful
shells and protects, no damage could be dealt.
“...the hell is this?” asked Seifer.
“I don’t know,” said Rinoa, “but their protects are so strong
we can’t even leave through the crowd.”
“Yeah, ya know? What are we supposed to do, ya know?”
Rinoa shrugged, “Sit and wait I suppose.”
“Wait for what?” Seifer yelled. “What do you want from us?!”
He yelled into one’s face, “What are we waiting for!?!”
“More like, who are you waiting for?” a million voices filled
They all looked up. A pale woman in a blood red dress descended
from the sky. When she spoke, a million screaming voices filled
the air. “You and you,” she pointed at Rinoa and Seifer, “come
with me now, and I promise no one will be harmed.”
“Not without a fight!” screamed Seifer.
“Alright then,” she laughed, “you may have your battle.”
Suddenly the cloaked people came charging at them. The cloaks
fought with power that was otherworldly. Before the blink of
an eye, Rinoa and Seifer were rendered unconscious, and Fujin
and Raijin had been left for dead.
“PAIN,” Fujin said when she finally came to.
“Yeah, ya know, totally kicked our asses, ya know?”
“Yeah, Seifer and Rinoa are gone, ya know? What’re we gonna
do, ya know?”
“Oh man Fujin, ya know! We gotta ask him for help?”
“DEFINITELY,” she said as she stood and slowly began to walk
“Wait! Ya know? I’m still in pain here, ya know?!?” he called
“Dude, Squall, you alright?” asked Zell.
“Yeah, you don’t look too good,” said Selphie.
“...Whatever...” Squall had been up all night double checking
the area and seeing if she was at the Esthar Train Station.
“Rinoa isn’t in the Esthar Area. We’ll be going to FH.”
“Got it!” said Nida.
They had been on their way for about an hour, when Ellone came
“Squall!” He turned, hopeful. Before, Ellone hadn’t been able
to connect with Rinoa; there had been some sort of Interference,
which only made Squall more anxious. “I connected! Rinoa is
heading toward Dollet.”
“Anything else?” Squall asked, “Is she alright?”
“Well...” said Ellone, she hadn’t wanted to tell him this,
“...she’s with Seifer.”
“Seifer!” said Squall, “What is he-?”
“-Don’t worry, Squall. When I was connected, they seemed on
This didn’t bring Squall much comfort, but he was glad Rinoa
“Nida, Dollet,” he said.
“No, Timber,” said Ellone. Squall looked at her puzzled. “They’re
on foot. I doubt they’ve made it to Dollet yet.” Squall nodded.
As the Garden pulled up to the Timber Shore, Fujin and Raijin
Squall exited the Garden with Ellone and Zell and approached
“Where’s Rinoa?” Squall asked, clearly angry.
“Yeah! What is she doing with you scum?!” said Zell.
“Hey, ya know! Give us a little respect, ya know. We were escorting
her to Dollet, ya-”
“-SILENCE!” Fujin punched Raijin in the Ribs. “RINOA, KIDNAPPED.”
“What?” Squalls fists clenched in anger.
“Yeah, ya know. Seifer too, ya know. These black cloaked guys
surrounded us, ya know. Had us trapped in a shield, ya know.”
“...the interference...” said Ellone.
“Yeah, this woman in red came and took Seifer and Rinoa, ya
“Yes, we know,” said Squall. “What did she want?”
“Got no clue, ya know. But she wanted ‘em alive, ya know?”
Squall stood there, silent. So Rinoa was still alive, but there
wasn’t any guarantee how long that would be true. He turned
to walk back to the Garden.
“ACCOMPANY,” said Fujin, following him.
“I believe you two were banished from Garden,” said Squall
in monotone as he continued to walk toward the Garden.
“Come on! Ya know, we could help ya find Rinoa, ya know?”
“How!?!” Squall turned.
“When you let us on Garden, ya know?”
Squall whipped out his gunblade and put it to Raijin’s neck.
“How?” he commanded.
Squall lowered his weapon. “Thanks,” he grunted. He turned
to leave, Ellone and Zell right behind him.
“Come on, Squall, ya know. We gotta help Seifer, ya know! We’re
his posse, ya know?!?”
Squall paused, not turning to face them. “...Whatever...” he
said, implying they may join.
“Oh yeah! Thanks Squall, ya know?” Raijin jumped up and down.
Fujin kicked him. “MORON!”
When Rinoa awoke, she was in a cave and bound at the hand’s
and feet. She looked over at Seifer. He was conscious, and it
seemed he had been for some time.
A cloaked man walked over to her. He poked and prodded and
examined her. It felt like she was a fruit and the cloak was
checking to see how ripe she was. “What do you want?” she asked.
He paid no heed. He grabbed her necklace. He spent a long time
examining her ring. Quickly he shuffled away. “How long have
we been here?” she asked Seifer after the cloak left.
“Two days, I think,” said Seifer, looking over at her.
“Do you know anything?”
“No,” Seifer shook his head. “The woman who captured us hasn’t
even shown up. Only those cloaks who keep coming to make sure
we’re still alive.”
“I’m so glad you’re both finally up.” As if hearing her name,
the woman in red entered the area of the cavern.
“What do you want?!” Seifer snapped.
“I want many things, but what I want at the present is justice,”
she said. Two cloaks brought in an elaborately decorated throne
and bowed. The woman in red gently sat down, folding in her
“Who are you?” Rinoa asked.
“I am Hyne, creator of all life, and now, the destroyer of
all life,” her millions of voices cackled.
“What...?” Rinoa asked. Surely this woman must be insane. She
couldn’t be Hyne. Hyne was the all powerful creator... still,
something in her “voice” told Rinoa what she said was true.
“You said you want justice. Justice for what?” she finally asked.
“Eighty years ago, the people of the Centra betrayed me. I
sent down a plague of monsters, which you now call the 'Lunar
Cry', destroying everything. However, some of the Centra escaped.
I had sent down three Sorceresses, each with a bit of my own
power in them, to finish what I had started. All of them failed,
as did their descendants. They were all too greedy to obey their
“That isn’t true!” Rinoa said, “I want nothing to do with power
I just want to live a normal life!” With Squall, she
added in her mind.
“As I said, too worried about your own desires to follow your
TRUE objective. Now I have come to do it myself,” she continued.
“I shall gather the Sorceress’ power and then destroy the Centra.”
“The Centra are gone!” Seifer yelled, “They must all be dead
by now! It’s been 80 years!” Seifer yelled.
Hyne looked down her nose at him. “Their blood still lives
in their descendants. Now, Sorceress Rinoa, I’ll be needing
your power back...”
“The Hell you need me for, then?!?” Seifer yelled.
“You are the Sorceress' Knight, are you not?”
The words took the fight out of him.
“Now as I said...” Red light began to pour out of Hyne’s hands
and shot as a constant beam toward Rinoa.
Rinoa felt like her insides were being pulled apart while her
outsides were being squeezed together. The pain penetrated every
crevice of her soul. Everything was being torn apart. I’m
sorry Squall, Rinoa thought, I was supposed to be saving
you... She wasn’t sure how much longer she’d be able to
endure the pain when-
“-RINOA!!” Squall ran in and deflected the ray with Lionheart.
Hyne was about to make short work of him when Raijin, Fujin,
Quistis, Zell, Selphie, Irvine, and Ellone came running up.
Hyne stopped and looked from Ellone to Squall to Rinoa to Seifer.
“The four of you...united? Then I must have that ring...We will
finish this later,” she said as she flew off, her minions trailing
“Rinoa, are you alright?” Squall said, untying her.
“...I...think so. A little dizzy, but I’m alive.”
Squall swept her into his arms and kissed her as if he hadn’t
seen her in a hundred years. He didn’t even care who was watching.
He had Rinoa back; that was all that mattered. Squall lead her
back to the Garden. She leaned heavily on Squall; despite what
she had said, that blast had taken a lot out of her. Squall
picked her up and carried her the rest of the way.
“What about you?” she asked, remembering her dream and why
she had left Esthar in the first place. “Are you alright? And
Garden? I had dreamt you were...”
“I know,” Squall said. “We had been attacked by that creature
the night you had the dream.”
“That creature is Hyne.”
“What?” he said, stopping.
“I don’t understand it either,” Rinoa said, shaking her head,
“but I know it’s true. It’s almost as if I’ve seen her before...”
“...I know what you mean...” said Squall as he carried her
onto the Garden.
So much for Cid’s plan, thought Rinoa, huddled in Squall’s
arms. Now, I’m never letting him go.
Squall walked onto the Garden carefully; it was still hovering
in midair. Rinoa and Seifer had been held in a small cave in
the side of the Almaj Mountains on the Centra continent. They
had been searching the continent for a few days. It had been
luck that while they flew by the mountains a flash of light
had erupted from the cave. Squall had practically jumped off
the Garden once it got close enough.
“Hey Seifer, ya know. Got here just in time, ya know?” Raijin
said as Fujin went to untie him.
“Yeah,” said Seifer, going to get his gunblade at the other
side of the room. Rinoa’s Shooting Star lay beside it. He picked
it up also. He walked over toward the large group. He nodded
a greeting to everyone, “Instructor...Selphie...Irvine...............Ellone...”
He had never really seen Ellone before; whenever he had seen
her, she had always been just another request of the Sorceress.
She wasn’t all that bad looking. He wore a cocky smile. “Let’s
not forget Chicken-wuss.”
“You wanna mess with me?!?” said Zell, practicing a few punches.
Quistis looked at him. “Zell, calm down.”
Seifer laughed as he walked past them. Chicken-wuss was always
good for a laugh.