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Afterstorm

by Sherick

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Chapter 10

Chapter X: Rise of Power

Sabin wandered around the barren Hell Hole, lost and confused. It had been seemingly hours since he had seen anyone. Now he didn't even know how far away from the Falcon he had gone.He could somehow sense that everything was all right, but yet, he felt uncertain.

He stopped as he heard something. He looked over his shoulder and saw a Lunaris wolf behind him. For a moment he was taken aback, but then he smiled. It had been a while since Sabin had fought a monster. The wolf barred its teeth as Sabin stretched. The wolf attacked, but Sabin dodged and elbowed it in the back of the skull. It fell and Sabin grabbed and snapped its neck.

He wiped his hands. Pity, he thought, I rather enjoy fighting for life again. As if an answer to his wish, another Lunaris jumped at him and bit his ankle. He punched the wolf's skull and another jumped at him.

Damn, he thought. I must be close to a Lunaris pack cave. It was hard to see, but he had counted four wolves on him now. He fought against them with a quick ease. He hadn't fought against monsters in about two years now.

He heard a cawing sound and looked up to see a small flock of osprey. They charged at him. He jumped up and did an uppercut to the first one. He stayed in the air as two accidentally flew under him.

He made a long swift kick that knocked them both to the ground. But while he started to land, two ospreys dove and used their sharp beaks to slash Sabin's sides.

Sabin fell to the ground. He felt his head thud hard down. He expected the monsters to take this opportunity to try to finish him off, but when nothing happened he looked up.He had to rub his eyes.

Cyan was slaying all the wolves and ospreys with his saber. Sabin helped himself up.

"How you doing, old man?" he called.

Cyan smiled, then quickly swung his sword at a diving bird. "Oh, just fine, young Sabin."

Sabin himself smiled. He had always known Cyan as a no-nonsense kind of man, not one to joke about anything and always serious about his words. Seldom would he crack a joke or a humorous smile.

He snapped out of his thought and jumped to help his old friend. "Lot of bloody beasts, art there, Sabin?" Cyan asked.

"Yeah. You see, this is why it's great being back together. You can't find times like these everyday unless you're a Returner."

Cyan looked at his companion and gave a half-smile then turned back to the enemies. Then they heard a loud stomping. All the Lunaris ran away. Cyan dropped the saber just a little to relieve pressure.

Through the flying dust, sand, and debris they saw a huge shadow. As it came through, Sabin saw it was a reptilian Chitonid. Sabin gave a big sigh. After all that, we don't need this. I shouldn't have asked for the monsters.

"Allow me," Cyan said. He straightened his saber and yelled as he charged it and impaled the beast on his blade right in the chest. Blood spewed out, but the Chitonid just screeched and head butted the old man.

Sabin ran forward and put one hand over the other, pointed them at the monster, and yelled,

"Blitz Aurabolt!!" A brilliant silver beam shot out of his hands. When it faded away, so did the Chitonid's head.

Cyan came forward and pulled out his sword. "Nice work, Sabin. Thou hath slain a big beast, and after being so tired."

"Well, you were in trouble."

"Bah," Cyan waved his hand. "I am never in trouble. I am a head knight and am now commander of the Victory Returners and..."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Sabin cut him off. "Don't tell me after all that that you-"

"What?" Cyan asked when Sabin stopped. Sabin was staring at the thick cloud of dust.

Cyan looked over as well. His mouth dropped open. The shadow behind it wasn't as big or as fearsome as the Chitonid, but much worse. It was the silhouette of Kefka.

Three seconds later, the cloud broke apart and a being jumped out at them. They both jumped back.

But to their relief it was only Setzer. "There you are! We found the house and found some evidence. What's wrong with you? Looks like you've just seen a ghost."

On board the Falcon, Cyan and Sabin told them the whole story. After a few moments of thought, Edgar said, "It was probably a hallucination. You guys were tired, probably hot, and hungry, and had just fought a big battle."

"No," Sabin insisted, "it wasn't. I don't hallucinate. It was real!"

"You know," Setzer said, "they say there's some kind of curse or something here. Maybe there are these ‘Kefka shadows' all the time."

"Sounds reasonable," Locke said. He looked at Edgar, who looked at Sabin.

He sighed. "Yeah."

Vector wore his tunic proudly. He stood in front of the old but newly polished mirror as an Aquadalin dressed him a ceremonial cape. Another then came and showed him a sword.

"No, no," he said. "That is saved for the actual presentation. Just hold on to it."

The servant did as he was told and sheathed the blade. Vector rose up from his chair, the chair. He exited the throne room...to look at his kingdom.

Hundreds of Aquadalins had gathered, Vector's own personal army. Also with the amphibious creatures where the Assault System And Self-Sentinels Enforcing Needs. The destructed city around them seemed to gleam more brightly. As Vector approached the terrace overlooking the city, they all went silent as adrenaline pumped.

He inhaled. "My people, Aquadalin and human alike, I am now to announce that I shall no longer be a lord of the seas nor the captain of an abandoned race. I now will proclaim myself, Emperor!

"This," he swept his hand across the ruined town, "will be our capital, you shall be my subjects! And this shall be our Empire!" he lifted a globe of the World of Ruin into the air.

The whole city rumbled with the loud cheer, "Long live Vector! Long live Vector! Long live Vector! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!"

Vector smiled. He signalled for the servant to come forward from behind him. But when Vector turned around, Vulkrum was standing behind him, with the old sword, unsheathed.

He walked up to him and whispered in one ear, "I'm not to be another chump worker." Then, more dangerously, "I have pride, and you won't take that away."

Vector chuckled. "But of course not, me friend."


He turned back to the city, while they still chanted. "My people. I am now to announce that Vulkrum is to be Commander Supreme of my Empire!"

They yelled louder, this time with much more enthusiasm from the Asassens, now having their leader in command of an empire. Vulkrum kneeled to Vector and presented his sword.

"Nay," Vector said. "The sword is yours."

Vulkrum stood up stiff. "Yes, my Emperor." Behind him, the servant came up with a velvet red pillow, and on that pillow was an old yet shining crimson crown. Vulkrum lifted it up, and placed it on Vector's incredibly thin-hair head.

The crowd cheered louder. Vulkrum led the chant this time.

"Long live Vector! Long live Vector! Long live Vector! Hurrah! Hurrah!!"

The Falcon returned to the Returned Isle. Returners escorted them to Dornim's quarters.

"I hope you found something good," Dornim said with a hard voice.

"Sort of," Edgar said. "We found the house like Terra said, and found some proof that it belonged to Kefka. Something wrong?"

"This!" he handed Edgar a parchment. "A pigeon brought it to us. Obviously one of our regents."

They gathered around to try and read it. "We have sited...." Edgar mumbled, "and it seems.... wait. Wait! What?"

"What?" Locke asked." He took it.

Commander Dornim Rama (he obviously hadn't gotten word of Cyan's takeover)

We have been camped around the Zozo area for a good month now. We never saw anything suspicious...until now. Just two days from right now, a large ship came in from the south, a Returner vessel, but Returners weren't manning it.Aside from the unknown crew, it was being accompanied by some form of sea creatures, who followed it into a never-ending haze of fog. We sent a ship in after it, but it turned around after going in too far. The enemy vessel was never seen, though we never found evidence that it has sunken. We would like to investigate.

"What the-" he said. "What does this mean?"

Dornim handed him a second parchment.

Commander Rama

In addition to our last message, we have noticed a light from the fog. We once again followed it in through the never. On the other side was an unidentified island. Though we are not sure where it came from, it appears to have been settled on before. It had many ruined structures, and the same people who hijacked the vessel were gathered around. It appears that on top of a palace like structure, one being who was an obvious leader gave a speech, right before another man came up. This may sound disturbing but the leader, as well as most of the audience, was inhuman, so to say. I won't go into that. Another disturbance is......... this creature, declared himself the new "emperor" and the human the "supreme commander." This is what our investigation has brought us to.


Locke dropped it and looked at Dornim, his face quizzical. "What does that mean?"

"It means that there's a new Empire," Dornim said darkly. "Not a huge one, but its there nonetheless."

"What do we do?"

"That's up to the commander." They turned back to Cyan.

He sighed. "First I want to send a party to the Hole to investigate yon mansion. Second, I want the Returners to stay up about anything suspicious. And lastly, I shall go the Zozo area; I want to see this ‘disturbance' myself. If anyone wants to cometh with me, I'd be more than glad to have thee."

Edgar stepped up. "I'll go with you."

"As will I," Sabin came up behind him. Then Terra, Celes, and Setzer.

"This is my party."

"What about you, Locke?" Dornim asked. "What will you do?"

"I volunteer to lead the group at Kefka's," he answered. "Someone needs to help investigate there. Ow." Celes flicked his ear.

"You are not going anywhere NEAR those damned magazines, Locke Cole!"

"Sorry, old boy," Cyan smiled. "Guess thou art stuck with us."

"What about the children?" Dornim asked. He looked at Terra.

"Me?"

"You're their guardian."

"I guess the best thing to do is..." she hesitated. "The best thing to do would be to send them home, they'll be safe there."

"Well, your word is final, I'll send someone to take them."

"And, of course thou will be in charge of things here, Dornim," Cyan said.

"Of course."

Once again, Setzer fired up the Falcon. "With as much as I've been landing and lifting today, I'm gonna need to get some more fuel for the hot air."

"Just let Locke and Edgar start having a conversation," Celes commented as he walked off to get prepped. "They could get us all around the world three times without landing."
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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