To See Another Day Chapter 22

Ice and Tears

By Kain Servant

Tenason was the first beast of Necron. They were all shapeshifters, yes, but Tenason’s original form was that of a thin, wirey dragon, ebony in color. His eyes of fire glowed with hatred as they searched for Adelbert Steiner.

Tenason was drawn to the man, drawn by the force that Necron had imbued into him over his lifetime. He was a perfect…perfect, eager and ready to display his masterful power to the world. Perhaps…if he did his job well enough, his master would set him above the rest. He could be a King above men.

A screech. He spread his wings. His target was just over the hill…he could see the big man, sword in hand, fending off countless gray objects in the valley below. Someone else was after his prey. Tenason growled protectively as he looked down into the valley…summing up his opponents.

Perhaps it was better to wait for the vermin to kill each other off. Steiner was a big man, he was sure that he could fend well for himself…and of course Tenason wasn’t about to help him.

There was one comforting thought, as the dragon curled up on the hill and lazily soaked in the sun as he watched the battle below. Any way he looked at it, Steiner would die.


Kuja calmly strode through Lindblum, glancing around and noting the damage with a quiet smile on his lips. Lindblum was in fairly good shape – only the highest level of the tower had been plowed down by a fragment of the fallen planet. The royal part of the palace, how convenient.

The people looked much different from the last time he had been there. The city had been in danger then as well, and they were scared…oh yes. But this time…there was something missing from the eyes of the inhabitants. They looked…hopeless.

They were his.

Kuja approached one woman, carrying an armful of assorted flowers. She was older than he, dressed in modest attire, and meekly wandering around, asking the people that passed by if they wanted to buy a flower. Most simply looked with wide, incredulous eyes, and hurried on. Afraid…afraid of the flower girl?

“Good afternoon, ma’am.” Kuja spoke quiet and placidly. The woman looked up in surprise, and once again…the common emotion of the town. Fear. “And isn’t it pleasant?”

She smiled…perhaps out of politeness, for Kuja saw no genuine happiness in her eyes. “Yes…yes, it is a nice day. S-sir, do you want to buy a flower?”

“I may. How much are they?”

“Five gil.”

Hmm….human money. He had none. “It appears everyone thinks it is the end of the world…” She looked up, frightened again, “What do you think of it?”

“Well…” She thought for a moment. Kuja considered killing her when he left…but of course he was supposed to be taking over the world, not exterminating its populace…so, he would restrain himself. Hmph. He wondered if that was that bastard Arteon influencing him somehow…why the hell had he ever created him?

“I don’t know if this is the end of the world, sir…because I can’t see the whole world. But it looks like the end of Lindblum…if you had seen last night – the horror, and the comet falling…the death, it wasn’t natural. It fitted the prophecies, and then even-“

“Prophecies?” Prophecies? He had half-destroyed the world, it wasn’t any foolish prophecy.

“The priests of the Mark showed us the ancient writings…they said that in the end times destruction would come from the skies, followed by a world tyrant. Then to save us would come the white knight, the savior of the world – and we will live in utopia forever.” A smile had brightened her face again…a sincere smile. Kuja now reconsidered killing her.

“I’m sorry, I’m not really familiar with Lindblum politics…who are the priests of the Mark? What is this mark?”

“The mark is the tattoo that will be on the arm of our knight savior…a tattoo of the hilt of a sword. The priests are a cult that have been around for a few years proclaiming this prophecy. Many more believe now that they have seen the first sign.”

Amusing. He was the tyrant that would make people believe even more in this cult…but it was bullshit. He controlled his own fate, he wasn’t even human. How could he be regulated by human prophecy? “Very interesting…thank you for your time…” Kuja began to walk away…but then he felt something.

Within the box Kuja had built around Arteon in his mind, he felt Arteon smile. Anger bubbled back into Kuja like lava from a volcano. How dare the defeated think he had won? Drawing on his magic, Kuja whirled around to see the woman walking away, “Oh, by the way!”

She turned, to see purple tendrils dancing from Kuja’s fingers, “I forgot to say goodbye.”


Eiko slowly entered the city, flanked by her temporary protectors. The guards to the city were frightened, but luckily had enough wits about them to recognize her and let her in.

The city was in relatively good condition. None of the buildings were too badly damaged, except for the royal castle. The culprit, a giant, rounded meteor of some sort rested on the edge of the second story of the castle. The whole third floor was gone, the rubble of it lying around the area and in heaps in the rooms of the second story.

Eiko was fairly sure she knew what the meteor was. The planet that had been in the sky was gone, which made her believe that the rock was a piece of the planet crashed into the earth’s atmosphere. The only problem with that was the meteor in the castle was only a small piece…so if the planet had indeed crashed into Gaia, then more cities had probably been destroyed that night…more lives had been lost outside of Lindblum. The truth made her soul cry out. The possibilities made her shiver in fear.

Ned saw her shivering, and moved a little closer to her, “Miss Eiko, ma’am?” He approached bashfully, “Would you like my coat? You’re clothing’s a bit ripped up, if you can see…and it might be a bit cold…”

Or indecent. Was probably what he was too embarrassed to say. Eiko gathered her own clothing around her a bit more modestly, then took his jacket to pull around herself as well, giving him a polite, “Thank you. The castle is just ahead.” She turned into a small building along the street, and there was a small railcar station, a lone worker watching mournfully over the empty station.

“Jerry!” She recognized the man and called out, and the elder man turned quickly, his face looking both relieved and mournful.

“Miss Eiko! Thank the gods you’re alright! I saw the castle and I heard…” He broke off with a sigh and lowering of his head. There was silence for a moment as Eiko waited for him to finish, but he never did. What could it be?

“Well…I’m alright, Jerry. Can you take me to the castle? I want to find my father!”

“I…that is…” Jerry looked back at her, and around at the men who solemnly surrounded her, “I…”

“Jerry…” Could it be? She was being logical, wasn’t she? She wasn’t denying the truth…if she survived her parents had to! “What? Dammit, tell me what it is, Jerry!”

Jerry sighed and turned his back, “I’ll take you to the castle.”


A dizzying haze surrounded Blank whenever he was in the thick of combat. It was frightening, yet somehow exhilirating at the same time…colors swirled and melded around him, blurring everything except for his targets. His enemies…they stared at him from black, sightless faces, their hands raised to kill him, their minds devoid of anything but killing. He would fix that…he would fill their minds with steel.

It was during battles that Blank really began to think. He really was a shallow man, he noticed while he swung his sword through yet another mage’s face. To think that he had been looking for a relationship all his life, and he finally found it. He had wanted to get laid his whole life, and he finally had the opportunity. Yet for some reason he fucked it up.

He didn’t really understand himself. All he ever…ever wanted was to be loved. He had been short on that his whole life, and wanted to make it up. Eiko was so affectionate…so loving. But his stupid moral convictions had to spring up at the wrong moment…they had both overreacted. He had lived his whole life for it, then was too shy to take the goods. Yep…rather shallow.

Blank winced as a fireball seared at his cheek as it flew by. He quickly accosted its sender… What really made him angry was the fact that Zidane had faced almost an identical scenario before him…a misunderstanding screwing up his relationship. Blank had always wanted to do something better than Zidane…yet he had blown his opportunity.

But the chance wasn’t over. Once they were through the caves…oh yeah, once they had killed all the damn mages, then gone through the caves and reached the top of the cliffs, and everyone was going to Alexandria…he was going to Lindblum. He would make good on that offer Eiko had sent him…he would live happily for the rest of his life, dammit! It was the end of wars for him.

“Raaaaar!” Blank roared, gutting a mage and sending him to the ground, then turning just in time to block a barrage of icicles with his blade. Blank twirled his sword, sending the icicles skimming away from him. Through the cyclone of steel, Blank stared at his next target…and his target stared back at him. Wonder if mages get scared? Blank rushed for him.

“Rar?” Amarant chuckled, his claws back down to his side now that most of the enemies were disposed of, “What is that, like a…euphonism?”

Blank yelped as he dodged around a fireball, his arm burning in the process. He dispatched another mage, then turned to Amarant, “It’s a battle-cry, dammit! A call of courage to the soldiers…a desperate push of will for victory!”

“More like a lame-cry.” Amarant grunted…his lip curving to a smile, “Good job, though.”

“Thanks a lot.” Jeez, he sure got a lot of support from his ‘friends’.

The battle field had spread to quite a large area around the entrance to the cave. The ship crew, of course, wasn’t a crew of warriors, but they offered a little support to the heroes that fought…mainly just providing targets for the mages to shoot at. But still, casualies were minimal…one had died – stupid bastard, ran into a lightning bolt – and a few were nursing wounds.

Of course…the heroes were perfectly fine. Steiner stood in the midst of the field, sword hanging limply from his hand, staring at the still figures surrounding him…as eccentric as Blank expected him to be – probably running some self-pity through his head and crying about how horrible his life was…

Then of course, Freya and Fratley were together, and perfectly fine, sharing a deep kiss after a well-fought battle…all of the mages were down, and the battle was indeed over. Blank let go a deep sigh.



“My-my…Alz. What a remarkably unpleasant surprise.” A hawk swooped down to sit next to the reclining dragon.

“I couldn’t word it better than you, friend.” The hawk returned sarcastically, as she slowly morphed…growing taller and filling out…very well, until she took the form of a beautiful woman. This was Alz’s favorite form, though her true form was a wyvern like Tenason…she thought the form of a woman accentuated her beauty much more than the dragon did. Tenason couldn’t argue…though he seethed anger through his pores as he stared up her sleek, naked form to her glittering green eyes.

“I suppose you are here for Blank?”

Alz sighed and tossed her hair, “Why else? I have discovered Blank to be quite a skirt-chaser…so victory should be imminent with this form – wouldn’t you agree?”

“I stopped falling for you years ago, Alz. Don’t pull your flirtacious shit anymore, it won’t work. Just kill him – as I will kill Steiner…this will make the master happy.”

“Fine…your façade doesn’t pass me either, Tenason.” Alz turned her back to him to survey the victors in the field below, “Your love for the master isn’t absolute – all of us have our deep resentment, lust for revenge at our imprisonment.”

“So?” Tenason grunted, rolling onto his belly to spread the sun across his form.

“So what will you do when you kill Steiner? Do you really think he will allow us to go free when the task is done? We are his dogs…he will use us until we die.”

“Are you suggesting treason already? You’ve been free for only an hour.”

“I am only telling you to consider who your real enemy is. It would be in our best interest for the Reapers to band together. This could be our world.”

Tenason sighed. It wasn’t like he hadn’t thought the matter over many times. “Necron will kill us if we do not do what he commands. I know he will.”

“Necron is an old man, obsessed with revenge. It will not be too hard to make him slip – the twelve elder dragons against the world.”

“Alright…so you’ve been using that brain for thinking as well…” Tenason’s claw snaked out and curled around Alz’s inner thigh. She squirmed uncomfortably, “And what are the personal benefits of this endeavor?”

Alz smirked and brushed Tenason’s claw away, “It depends on how loyal you are.”

“Bah.” Tenason rolled away, “I told you, I don’t fall for you anymore… my fate is my own – your plan will have to do with only nine reapers.”

“Grow up.”

“I have.”

“That’s a joke…well…sire, if you’re done being frivolous…are you ready for your battle?”

Tenason chuckled…then with a slight tensing of his muscles, he lurched up to his full height, spreading his wings, “That’s what I live for.”


It was a quiet trip to the castle. Ominously quiet. Eiko was almost in tears before she got there…she knew what had happened – but she still had to be strong. She was of the most noble blood…she couldn’t cry!

It was abnormally dark in the castle when the railcar pulled up. The main lights were all out, and the only torches lit at the end of the hall that led out of the the shipyard. Dozens of soldiers crowded around his spot, murmuring among themselves quietly. Eiko moved toward the scene without a word to Jerry or the anti-Tantalus group.

“What’s going on here?” She demanded as she neared the soldiers. They all looked up at her, surprise written across their faces.

“Eiko!” A few cried out, “We couldn’t find you – where have you been? I’m sorry…” She moved past them slowly, her eyes focused on two forms lying at the top of the stairs…still. Someone behind her whispered, “It’s too late.”

There they were. Cid and Hilda…lying stone cold on the cold, stone floor. She wasn’t shocked, she wasn’t…sad. Just angry at the world – angry at whoever had judged her city this way. Angry that her world really was coming to an end, and somehow she couldn’t stop it…she was on the fast train of life…decisions and consequences flew by her – but none of it mattered because she couldn’t stop…no way to stop.

She caught a tear with her finger and stared soberly down. Neither of them had been killed too brutally…they both looked very peaceful, covered in dust…Cid with blood caked on his forehead. Still regal. She stooped to kiss both of them…her father, and her mother. The only two relatives, real or adopted, she had left. Now she was all alone once again.

“Rise…Princess Eiko.” A soldier touched her lightly on the shoulder. She didn’t recognize him… “We will take them out to be buried…then decide what to do with our nation. We mustn’t lose hope.”

Eiko raised her eyes, still fighting against persistent tears, and saw Ned staring across the room at her…his eyes filled with tears as well.



“Cid suspected the Queen of Alexandria to be losing her sanity. He heard reports that Alexandria was falling into evil, and a new advisor was leading the queen astray. So as a precaution he hired Tantalus to go kidnap the Princess Garnet, Cid’s niece, and bring her back to the castle.

“That was where Zidane came in. Baku took Tantalus to Alexandria with a plan that was flawless…without some sort of fate – or bad luck – it couldn’t have gone wrong. But some odd chance set Zidane as the one to kidnap the princess. Matters slipped through his fingers, and though he eventually did get her onto the ship – the strange bond of protection he swore to her affected his life for over ten years.

“Somehow Garnet managed to stay in the fighting group as they traveled around the world to rid Gaia of evil…the bond strengthened. A bittersweet taste in his mouth. If he had never sworn to protect her, then he never would have found such a beautiful love. If he had never sworn to protect her, perhaps she wouldn’t be dead now.”

The secretary sighed, “He couldn’t have possibly changed the set course of history, no matter what path he took, no matter how hard he tried…some things are meant to be.”

N shook his head, “No. Fate is only a coward’s excuse for never doing anything. Fate only controls when the person is too weak to make their own decision.”

“So Zidane is weak?”

“Yeah…after they were married, for years he never confronted Garnet – never could just find a way to ask her about their love. Why she wouldn’t come to him. He was weak.”

The secretary sighed and shuffled her papers awkwardly, “Well…we’re getting a little bit ahead of the story…when did Zidane and Kuja first meet on Gaia?”

Chapter 23

Final Fantasy 9 Fanfic