Trials of the Valiant Chapter 26

By The RPGenius

Before the ancient wars, before their great battle value had been discovered, the Worker series had simply been used for heavy labor purposes for just about any job that required strength beyond that of humans. The beginning Worker robots were equipped with a durable body, capable of withstanding incredible physical damage easily. Worker 9 was the last of the Worker robots to be made to this defensive design, making him nigh impervious to even the Holy Knight skills of Agrias.

Worker 8 was the first robot made with labor skills that resembled offensive abilities. The hard, durable body was abandoned in favor for such powerful enhancements as his impressive lasers and drill. Though these upgrades were meant to aid the robot in heavy labor tasks, in the embattled wars waged by the ancient people of Ivalice, such abilities showed a powerful servant capable of mass destruction. Thus, Worker 7 and all other Worker series robots after 8 were made with the intent of war, not peaceful labor, in mind, each new robot becoming more and more of a lethal killer.

Thus, Worker 8 was aware as he grappled with Worker 9 that his opponent’s strengths lay in a different category than his own, and so planned a strategy in that consideration.

Worker 8 made no move to attack, knowing that 9’s armor would likely repel whatever offensive maneuver he made. Worker 9, seeing that 8 was acting defensively, made the mistake of using a tactic that he was ill-suited to make the best of: he went on the offensive. Worker 9 drew his arm back and hurled his enormous fist at his opponent.

Worker 8 quickly dodged slightly to the right while transforming his fist into a spinning drill. As 9’s arm sailed ineffectively by 8’s head, Worker 8 shoved his drill into the junction point under 9’s arm that humans referred to as the ‘arm pit’. With a squeal of tearing metal, the drill effectively went straight through 9’s arm. As Worker 8 drew his hand/drill back to himself, 9’s entire arm fell to the ground, severed from the main body.

Worker 9 staggered back a few steps, as if unsure of what course of action to take. Worker 8 watched his opponent. Too late, 9 decided to battle defensively. As 8 charged, Worker 9 braced himself to take the blow. Worker 8 slammed into his opponent, but made not even a dent in 9’s armor. Worker 9 attempted to counter attack 8, but his strategy of defense had allowed 8 to get too close. Worker 8 managed to get ever so slightly to the side of 9 where his arm had come off. Taking quick, but careful, aim, Worker 8 fired his powerful laser beams into the hole where 9’s arm had been.

Worker 9 exploded from the inside out, leaving nothing more than scrap metal strewn about and a lifeless steel husk lying at the feet of the victor.

Worker 8 turned to where Agrias was kneeling over Master Ramza. She had just completed another round of resuscitation attempts, and now, feeling it too late, was weeping like an infant.

A quick scan of Master Ramza’s body revealed to Worker 8 that Master Ramza was, indeed, too far gone for Agrias’s methods to work. There was still one possibility, though.

Worker 8 rushed over and shoved Agrias roughly aside. Rude, but it was necessary for the robot to have space. Worker 8 laid his hands on Master Ramza.

“Preparing electric life revival shock…clear!” Worker 8 stated.

Master Ramza’s body jumped slightly as Worker 8 pumped electricity into him.

“What are you doing!? Get away from him!” Agrias screamed, running over and attempting to push the steel giant away.

Once more Worker 8 roughly shoved her away, this time with enough force to send her several feet away. Again, it was a crude action, but he didn’t have time for politeness.

As Agrias got up and drew her sword, Worker 8 changed the voltage, then tried again. This time, Master Ramza coughed. Worker 8’s scan indicated that Master Ramza’s heart had restarted.

“Uhhhh…wha, what happened?” Master Ramza mumbled, sitting up dazed.

Agrias’s sword dropped to the ground. Worker 8 watched as she ran forward and wrapped her arms around Master Ramza in what humans called a ‘hug’.

* * *

“Ramza…my God! Ramza!” Agrias sobbed brokenly, her previous tears of horrible sorrow being replaced by those of an equally powerful relief and happiness.

Ramza was, needless to say, somewhat overwhelmed. The last thing he remembered was struggling to escape Worker 9’s murderous grasp, and now, suddenly, Agrias was sobbing and hugging him. The sight of Agrias shedding tears was almost more than his mind could handle as it was.

“Agrias, what happened? What’s wrong?” he asked, concerned and confused.

“You were…I thought that you’d…I thought he’d ki…” Agrias tried to get out. She was too overwhelmed to finish the sentence, though, and simply hugged Ramza tighter.

Agrias’s state made Ramza realize that he must have had a very, very close call. He put his arms around her and returned the hug as he gently said, “It’s okay, I’m alive, Agrias.”

The logical part of Agrias's mind seemed to regain control of her, and she realized what she was doing. Or, more accurately, she suddenly asked herself what in the name of God was she doing, hugging him and crying like a child?

She let him go and moved back, her mind confused. "I'm…sorry, Ramza," she murmured, not understanding what had happened.

Why had she just done that? What was going on? Why was she doing this?

Why had she decided to stay with him after the defeat of Altima? Why did his praise mean so much to her?

These questions fired through her head during the space of a second. Why, why, why?

And suddenly, she knew. She felt it. She knew the answer.


"I love you, Ramza," she murmured, almost not aware that she was speaking what she had just realized.

She looked him in the eyes. "I love you, Ramza." The words felt right. She knew it was true. This man, the most decent and moral man perhaps ever to live in Ivalice, had captured her heart. Whether it had happened while fighting against the plans to resurrect Altima, or in working alongside him in pitiful little jobs after Altima's fall, or if she had reached the point of true love while they were trapped in the cave, Agrias didn't know. And didn't care. What did it matter?

Ramza's mind was reeling. First Agrias had started crying, an occurrence that Ramza hadn't even been sure was possible, and now she had just confessed her love for him and was hugging him fiercely once more. What should he do? What should he say?

And as he wondered this question, he found that he already knew. He knew precisely how to respond to the woman who had trusted him above all others, who had saved his life time and time again, who had stood against the powers of Lucavi himself with Ramza.

"I love you, too, Agrias," he told her.

Their eyes met. He held her, and they kissed.

There are truly no words to describe the wondrous sensation of a kiss between those in love. Even fewer to describe the first kiss between them. Suffice to say, any doubts either may have had were instantly melted as their lips embraced.

They drew back, and Ramza looked around. Lying in a heap were the remnants of Worker 9, and Worker 8 stood a few feet away watching Ramza and Agrias.

"So…what happened?" Ramza asked. "Why is Worker 8 here?"

"Worker 9 threw you against the wall, then tried to choke me, too. He would have, but Worker 8 suddenly came running down the tunnel and attacked Worker 9. While they were fighting, I tried to help you with some of the techniques I was taught in training to be a bodyguard. But your heart had stopped, and nothing I tried worked. I really thought you were--were gone…" Here Agrias paused. The memory of that moment was still horrible, even though Ramza was okay. "After Worker 8 was done trashing Worker 9, he came over to you and did something. I don't know what it was, but it worked."

“Wait, wait,” Ramza stopped her. “Worker 8 did all that? How? He never does anything until I order him to.”

To both Ramza and Agrias’s surprise, Worker 8 replied, “Allow me to explain, Master. If you will call up your memory, you will recall that prior joining up with Duegran and falling into this trap, your companion Mustadio inserted a device that he believed would give me the ability to reason into my system. He believed it was a failure. In reality, however, my systems have been preparing themselves for the program since then. It took several days for preparations to be completed. Until approximately 34 minutes, 21 seconds ago, I was unready to begin the new program. However, once my systems were finally ready, I switched over to Mustadio’s device’s program. I was deactivated for approximately 16 minutes, 3 seconds, during which you went on without me. Now I am fully functional and capable of independent thought and reason, and can perform actions without your orders, Master. By the way, I believe I am experiencing something close to the human emotion of happiness in seeing that you have found a mate, Master.”

Ramza had understandably not fully understood Worker 8’s long speech, but got the general idea. “Thank you, Worker 8. I’m glad to see that Mustadio’s device worked after all.”

Ramza and Agrias stood up, and Agrias turned her attention to the blocked entrance in front of them. “Well, that clears up one question. Now for the other: how do we get out?”

“You don’t,” Syldreth’s voice came from behind them.

Chapter 27

Final Fantasy Tactics Fanfic