Puppeteer Chapter 11

The Shadow

“Terra!” the ninja cried.

Springing with his toned muscles, Shadow leapt over the next slash and came up into a run. He needed to get to his friend. Focusing only on Terra, he sprinted pass the golem, running neck first onto a metallic, outstretched arm. The move was unforeseen, causing the ninja to hit the close line hard and fall back onto the floor with a near broken windpipe. He couldn’t help but watch his own predicament become even worse.

Celes, too, attempted to come to her endangered friend’s aid, but her golem kept cutting her off, blocking any hopes of getting to the half-Esper. A right hook followed by a left jab came in on the former general. The simple attacks were easily deflected by Atma, but it didn’t matter. She had many openings, yet she held back, knowing it wouldn’t do any good. Keeping equal ground, however, wasn’t going to help Terra.

The golem twisted its sword to thrust down into the back of Terra’s neck. Reminiscing back to Mobliz and the children that brought happiness and love to her life, Terra smiled as the last moments of her existence was coming to an end. She had tried her best to save her friends and the knowledge that they would live made this last adventure well worth her life. Softly, she prayed for a quick end.

A sound of shattering glass in the distance gave pause to all the combatants except the golem holding Terra. End over end flew a spinning projectile, bashing into the great sword aimed for the half-Esper. The impact pushed the sword off a couple of degrees, making the blade impale the carpeting next to Terra and giving her a crude hair cut. A roar echoed off the chapel’s walls as a seven foot giant rushed Terra’s golem.

But the golem didn’t notice. Picking up its great sword again, the beast aimed for his prisoner’s skull. It didn’t notice the barbarian that rammed into it and pushed it away from its target. Celes and Terra, however, were very aware and surprised at the brute strength of the native.

Terra was saved and Qaletaqa continued to push the golem farther away. Finally realizing that the movements it made was not its own, the golem swung its great sword at the one closest to it. Blocking with his battle axe, the native slammed the beast into its fellow golem that was holding Shadow. Two golems though, were just too much for the native to push.

“I got these two. You get the monk,” Qaletaqa commanded, parrying a blow from the left.

The words reached Terra’s ears, yet she didn’t hear them. Remaining on the floor, she gawked at the man who almost killed her earlier this day. Now, here he was, doing what he could to repay his debt to her. The sheer power of the native astonished her, as he ducked a blow from the right and parried an attack from the left, pushing the golem’s arms wide. Leaning down, Qaletaqa shouldered the beast, shoving it farther away from its partner. She watched in awe as he fought both golems off with ease.

Shadow, on the other hand, took the advantage of the noble barbarian’s actions. Nothing was between him and the vile monk, who continued to appear distracted by the summoning. Charging down the hall, Shadow lifted his Stunner high and leapt forth to close the last few feet. He jumped… right into the invisible, electric barricade.

The shock lasted only a few seconds, but the thousands of volts that coursed through the ninja’s body, causing every inch of his being to spasm, felt like an eternity. Regardless of the pain, begging him to close his eyes and rest; regardless of the lack of control from his nerves, the ninja sat up, staring onwards to his old friend and the evil statue. An insane laugh came from the idol, an ever familiar laugh.

“TERRA!” Shadow called to his only friend that could help him.

He needed not have had to. The laugh awakened both her and Celes to the very real possibility of Kefka’s resurrection. Lifting Atma to bare, she charged the invisible wall, calling the full power of the blade. Like Illumina, Atma drained all the faster, but she continued to draw forth the magic and down the sword came.

No force on the planet could stand up against the power of magic, which obviously included the science/magic of alchemy. A rip opened up in the field, but it began to close quickly. Shadow refused to let his last opportunity slip through his fingers. Banishing the numbness away, he ninja commanded his muscles back into his control then ran up Terra’s back, barely even touching her and flipped into the opening.

A moment later, the monk’s chants became screams of agony as the deadly Stunner entered his spine and exited his gut. Baram cried out in pain, cried out in denial, and screamed out to his god that has forsaken him. Before he could utter a single word, he dropped to the floor, completely paralyzed.

“Mwe, hee, hee… idiot,” the statue laughed one final time before returning to its original position, never to animate again.

Removing his Stunner, the connection for all the alchemy spells fell apart. The field behind Shadow brightened a brilliant yellow and then faded out of existence. All three golems froze in place, refusing to move on their own accord. The force field outside shattered into a million shards and disappeared into the winds. Finally, the power holding back the volcano’s core ruptured. Every single structure in the temple began to collapse in itself, due to the quaking of the volcano.

“We got to get out of here!” Celes yelled to her friends as she ran for the door.

Terra quickly chased after with Qaletaqa fast on her heels. Through the portal Terra went, skipping down three steps at a time, if she wanted to or not. The native paused and waited for Celes, who continued to stare at Shadow.

“Go ahead without me. I’ll meet up with you shortly,” the ninja answered passively.

With a nod, the former general carefully descended down the stairs, followed by the barbarian. Cracks began to form along the walls, warning them that time was running out. A step collapsed on Celes, causing her to fall headlong down the stairs. The native easily grabbed her and jumped down the remaining thirty steps.

“Why are you leaving him behind?” Qaletaqa asked, setting the former general down.

Celes could only smile at her new native friend. He really didn’t know Shadow at all. Running back down the hall and down the steps, they quickly met up with Terra who was too confused on where to go in the temple that was crumpling around her. Now was the time for the escape, which Qaletaqa was more than eager to get them all out of there.

Back in the chapel, Shadow gazed down at his dying friend. All around him, the room continued to shake and tear asunder. It appeared everything was coming to an end. With a satisfying nod, he knew this was fitting for the group and the individual name “Shadow” to come to an end. Figuring it was time to leave; Clyde sheathed his blade and began to walk towards the exit. But a movement from behind gave him pause.

Chapter 12

All That Glitters Is Cold 3 Fanfic Competition

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