Vagary Chapter 1

By The Knight

Squall bolted upright, damning himself for falling asleep. Then he noticed their surroundings.

“Garden…” he whispered. “Home.”

He bent down to awaken Rinoa, and when he straightened, he started. A portion of the wall before him was…melting.

“Damn.” His eyes hardened, and his hand went to his gunblade at his side. “We’re still in time compression.”

“B-but…” Rinoa stammered. Squall shook his head.

“I don’t know. Something must have gone wrong. Maybe…maybe I did something wrong when I was in the past, speaking to Matron. Maybe…damn it, I don’t KNOW.”

“Squall, stop. Whatever went wrong, and I doubt it was you that caused it, we can’t change that now. Let’s just try to find out what’s going on.”

“…Yeah.” With that, he stepped forward, directly into the melting wall.

On the other side of…whatever, the two of them found themselves in the middle of a war ground, or what must once have been one. Bone and metal twisted together in a gruesome portrait of battle long past. Rinoa averted her eyes, but no matter where she looked, there was nothing but archaic carnage. So she took hold of Squall’s left arm and tried not to cry. Squall, to his credit, had not a queasy feeling in his stomach. He’d seen battlegrounds before, albeit not on this scale. The sheer numbers… It made him only sad. But there was something strange…There seemed to be three sides to this conflict.

One side of the battle had been Galbadians, that much was apparent. The uniforms were identical to the contemporary soldier: solid blue, red or green army trousers and jacket, black leather boots, half-visor helmets, and the weapons of the respective classes: swords for the blue troopers and green spec ops men, arm-guns for the officers.

Team two were SeeDs. Thousands upon thousands of SeeDs lay long dead on this battleground, twisted, burned, blasted, torn and otherwise destroyed by the chaos of war. As Rinoa took in the sight, her breath became choked and she began to sob. So many…

The third side’s cause or nationality was unclear: there were men and women and even some teenaged kids amidst the corpses, clothed in any and all manner of garments, from tunic and trousers to tuxedos and gowns to loincloths to shorts and polo shirts to full suits of plate metal armor. As for weapons, those were as varied as the clothing. Equally common were the staves, short staves, quarterstaves, nunchaku, knives, daggers, short swords, battle-axes, hand axes, woodcutters, pikes, spears, halberds, pole-hooks, naginata, books of magic, scrolls of magic, kite shields, round shields, tower shields, still-enchanted magical shields, kali sticks, bows, longbows, short bows, crossbows, compound bows, hybrid-metal bows, wooden bows, ballistae, catapults, hammers, clubs, cleavers…on and on and on. Who were they? What were they fighting for?

“Squall…” Rinoa gasped. “Let’s go. Please.”

“Yeah,” he breathed. He dared not even speak aloud, so fragile was the scene before him.

A movement to their left made them turn. A boulder sitting seemingly in the center of the ruins of humanity began to shift in phase and color ever so slightly, and that was what Squall led Rinoa through.

The scene that greeted them was much less disquieting. A rolling river, winding through what looked to Squall like Winhill, marked their exit place. Suddenly, behind them, they heard a loud whoosh and pop, accompanied by a bright flash of light, and they knew they were out.

Author’s note: So…where are they? What’s going on? What’s with that ridiculous list of weapons? Tell me what you think: And, since this is my first (publicly-released) fanfic, go easy on me? Please?

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