It wasn't a dream. It was too clear to be a dream, too...real. She saw the sun, shining down on Balamb Garden drifting across the ocean, a huge red dragon-like craft docked at its side as it sailed away from Fisherman's Horizon. Then, the image suddenly flitted away like a petal in the wind.
It was but a brief flash, a minute glimpse, yet that was all Ellone needed to know what was happening. Her powers, the mysterious ability to draw aside the veil of time and space and look where no normal person could, were being activated again while she slept.
She did have the ability to control her mystical powers, but that was when she was concious and focusing. While sleeping, in the midst of her dreams, Ellone's powers took on a life of their own. Her mind wandered the paths of time, looking into the past of those she knew and loved, and often taking others along for the ride, whether they wished to or not.
But what she was experiencing now was different from the power Ellone had called 'Connect.' That power allowed her to use someone else's mind to look into the past, through the eyes of others she had known. It was the one power Ellone could control, the only one she had practiced extensively. But aside from the ability to 'Connect,' Ellone's innate ability to look through time was as mysterious to her as it was to anyone else. Her other temporal powers would manifest randomly, sometimes giving her an alternate glimpse of the past for an instant, or, more rarely, give her a flash of what was to come.
The glimpses of the future were sporadic and random at best, and they always happened when Ellone was asleep. Just brief, instant flashes people and places, like a picture that was waved in front of her face and then yanked away. They were often intermixed with her dreams, making any type of understanding or prediction nearly impossible. Still, the images, while random and disjointed, usually came in groups. As the vision of Garden flitted away, Ellone prepared herself for the next glimpse of the future.
But just as the glimpses of the future were unlike the power to 'Connect,' the images that came next differed vastly from what Ellone had encountered in her dreams before.
Instead of another individual flash of possibility, Ellone suddenly found herself in the midst of an explosion of futures, an intense kaleidoscope of sensations and emotions. Ellone gasped in her sleep and tried to maintain control, to bring some order to the whirlwind of possibility, whipping and spinning through her mind like a desert sandstorm.
She caught a brief image, Squall and Rinoa, standing on a moonlit balcony in Garden, looking over the shining ocean. They were holding hands, and Ellone noticed Rinoa had a hand to her belly. Her swollen belly, as if she was pregnant . . .
The image vanished, flying away into the whirlwind, even as another image rose up, of Irvine leaping aside as a Blue Dragon slammed into the ground next to him. The SeeD sprayed the beast with gunfire from his gun while he backed away from the dragon, which turned to face him, oblivious to the barrage . . .
Then Ellone saw Zell standing across from a small, thin man with short white hair. The man hopped forward, ducking and weaving, while Zell snapped his hands up into a guard. The small man suddenly came forward in a rush. Zell snapped a jab toward the oncoming man, who abruptly halted his advance. The white-haired man ducked down and to the right, then rose up, snapping a pair of quick chops into Zell's chest before backing away. Zell charged after his retreating opponent, and quickly closed the distance. One of his fists shot forward again, but the white-haired man again stepped aside, and sent a spinning kick into Zell's side. The spikey haired martial artist backed away, even as the white-haired man advanced, his hands and feet flowing in a rapid barrage of strikes that thudded against Zell's chest and stomach . . .
The image of the battle was gone then, replaced by Quistis, standing at the balcony in Garden's 'secret area.' She was with someone, a young man about Ellone's own age, who had long, copper-colored hair and glowing purple-white feather tatoos running down his forearms. He leaned closer to Quistis, saying something with a smile on his face. Quistis smiled back.
The image of Quistis vanished, and a final vision flashed before Ellone.
Squall lay on his back, his shirt bloodied from a slash across his chest. His gunblade, the blue-glowing Lionheart, lay several feet above his head, on the edge of the rusted iron catwalk Squall lay on. Lionheart's glow was readily apparent in the deep, darkened night. Over a hundred feet below, Ellone heard the sound of roaring ocean waves, although she couldn't see the water in the blackness of night.
The SeeD began rolling over slowly, and curled up somewhat. He coughed suddenly, blood coming up and splattering the catwalk in front of his mouth. He inclined his head, so he could see Lionheart laying above him, then Squall finished rolling over onto his stomach. He began crawling forward, trying to get at his weapon, when a darkened figure dropped down in front of him.
The figure hooked a foot under Lionheart and kicked it away. The gunblade clattered off the edge of the catwalk and dropped out of view. Squall saw this, and his shoulders slumped in defeat. His arms stopped supporting him, and he dropped back down on his stomach on the catwalk. Squall's head too, dropped, his cheek resting against the rusted metal.
A cold peal of laughter cut through the night air.
"Pathetic, aren't you?" the figure asked as it took a step towards Squall. Ellone had a hard time making out the figure, but she knew that whoever it was wore a long coat of some kind. Then, Ellone heard the hissing sound of metal against leather, and she saw the figure draw a long, slender blade from a sheath. She noticed that the blade's hilt was unusual, the handle apparently curving back at an angle to the rest of the blade.
"Come on, Leonhart, I expected more out of you," the figure said with another laugh as it crouched in front of the prone Squall. "Or at least from you and your Sorceress."
Squall's eyes flashed and his head rose up to glare at the figure.
"Oh, my, did I say something to get you riled?" the figure asked, laughing some more. Squall growled something and began to push himself up, but the figure would have none of that. It quickly stood up and moved a foot back, then kicked out. The booted foot slammed Squall in the jaw, lifting the risin SeeD up and depositing him on his back several feet away.
The figure advanced calmly, until it had reached Squall's dazed and prone body. The figure crouched again, straddling Squall's form.
"Perhaps I should just put you out of your misery," the figure remarked. The figure's gunblade rose up beside its head, the trigger finger tapping its temple thoughtfully. "Or I could just let you lie here and bleed to death. In fact, I think I'd like to watch you die slowly, in great pain, and every second of it, you'll know it was me who did it to you." The figure laughed again.
"But I think I don't have time to sit here and watch you die from this," the figure hissed, sticking its free hand right into the slash across Squall's torso. The SeeD groaned in pain. "However enjoyable it may be for you to suffer every remaining second of your life, I do have more important things to do. Such as securing your girlfriend's power for my own ends."
"....Rinoa...." Squall moaned, and began to sit up. He didn't make it far, as the figure whipped him across the face with the pistol grip of its gunblade. Squall's head dropped back to the catwalk, stunned by the blow.
"Pathetic," the figure whispered. It stood up and pointed a hand at Squall's face. "You really don't deserve this mercy, Leonhart, but I don't have time and I won't risk the possibility of you recovering. Say hello to Hyne on the other side."
Ellone was blinded by a furious flash of magical energy.
And the image of Squall and the dark figure was gone as Ellone woke up screaming.