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Afterstorm

by Sherick

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Chapter 12

Chapter XII: Mog's Tale

At Vector, members of the new Imperial Army drank and partied. Vulkrum smiled. They deservedit. He turned back around in to his table to look the man in the eye. He had lead the group who had made a surprise attack against the Returners. He was grimy, dirty, unhygienic, and had a menacing look on his face. He had not yet touched the food that had been presented to him.

"You have given me and my men a victory, and the pleasure of knowing that we won against the top military leaders in the world," Vulkrum said. "Tell me, why did you do it?"

"It's rather simple really," he said in his gravely voice. "Me an' my mates have been starvin' for a long time. Not fer this here food you gave to me, but fer blood. The bloody Returners are jus' an ole washed-up crew of militan's who think that they can control ever'thin'."

"I see." In other words, brainless radicals. "So you thought it right to help us win."

"We's thought it right to kill Returners. Though I lost several goo' men."

"We can make up for that." Vulkrum waved his hand and someone came up to him with a bag of gold. "Twenty hundred GP."

He looked at the bag. "We are havin' some emotional difficulties 'ere..."

Vulkrum showed him another, smaller, bag of gold. "This is a token of my appreciation."

He took them both. Vulkrum liked him already.

"And me and the Emperor would also be thrilled to have you as a part of our army."

The man looked at him. "Of course, we'd probably pay you for it."

"Sir, we's ‘ould be happy to come aboard."

Vulkrum shook his hand. "I never got your name. Mister....."

"Klee'on. Klee'on Rama."

"Well, enjoy your meal, Mr. Rama."

Mog looked at the mountains surrounding Narshe. He had been here for four years, he was now sixteen, and he had to act responsibly and calmly, much against his normal character. But he still felt like an eleven-year-old boy inside. All these years he had spent trying to rebuild the mines so that people would come back. It had worked. The town had a working population, not a big one, but a population nonetheless. Of course, that may also have some to do with Umaro the Yeti.

Mog was now the last existing Moogle, the small, white-furred beings that used to take up a large population of the mine areas. They were all killed from massive cave-ins caused by Kefka. Mog shivered. He hated that name. The only reason Mog survived was because he had been on the Blackjack when that had happened.

Returning to Narshe had been a dreadful experience, finding his friends, his family, anyone who he had cared for, all dead. But when he found that the rest of the Band had survived, all seemed better. And now, he and Umaro where in charge of recreating the town.

Speak of the devil...

"Good morning, Mog," the white furred sasquatch said.

"Kupo, Umaro."

Umaro was almost seven feet tall, but was only nine-years-old. Mog had taught him to speak better, though his Human Speech was far from perfect. Mog himself learned from the wise esper Ramuh.

Umaro walked up beside him. He towered over the Moogle.

"What er you luking at, Mog?"

"Just the hills, Umaro," he answered. "Everything seems peaceful. Beautiful. After all this time..."

"Weez done a good job, huh Mog."

"Yes." They had turned the wretched, monster-ridden mines back into a nice, habitable town where the coal could someday be mined again.

The young Yeti seemed to read his mind. "Now weez can starts to mine agin, cain't we Mog?"

"Yes we can. Soon I'll try to see how far the mines can go still. More people will come to Narshe for that. Then, we assign a mayor, and our job will be complete."

"Gee, yer so smart, Mog. How do youz cum up wit these ideas?"

"I don't..." he trailed off.

"What iz wrong, Mog?"

Mog felt something in his mind. What the heck was that? he thought. "Ah, nothing, don't worry about it, my friend."

Dornim sat back in his chair. "So, we already lost our first battle to someone who we don't even know who the hell it is."

"We recognized the leader," Edgar said. "It was Vulkrum of the Asassens."

Dornim looked up abruptly. "The blonde guy from Maranda?"

"Yes, same one. And he almost killed Sabin."

"Hey, hey, hey," Sabin butted in. "But I got him back, he couldn't have done anything to me in that state," he said with relative pride.

"Yes, well, if it wasn't for your desperate strike, he very well might have slain you."

"But he didn't," Sabin countered ye again. Edgar looked at his brother with the old smile that meant he couldn't believe his ridiculousness.

"Well, the Asassens aren't too much but a guerrilla organization, but this army that Vulkrum's leading could be a huge problem. Especially with those...creatures," Dornim said.

Silence.

"Well have you gotten any word from the investigation team at the Hole?" Edgar broke the silence.

"No, not yet," Dornim replied. "There may truly be nothing there."

"Well, we're going to need all the help we can get."

"Is there anyone else we can get though? Everyone's already here, two are departed, two are dead, two are..."

Edgar and Dornim looked at each other in realization. "Two are in Narshe!"

For the umpteenth time, Setzer fired up the airship. "Yunno, Edgar, I'm going to start charging you for every time you make me fly this for you. If I'm going to be treated like a chauffeur, I'm going to be paid like one too."

Edgar smiled at his friend. "Sure, Set. Sure."

Locke came up behind him. "So, Ed, feel like playing a game of blackjack?"

News had quickly spread that a new Imperial army had arisen. From all over, men had joined the ranks of Vulkrum's army.

He stood over the balcony to looks at his men. Former Vector soldiers who remained under their oath of allegiance, loyalists who had never lost loyalty, and oddest of all, Fanatics that somehow thought that the Empire was reminiscent of Kefka's older days. This made some weariness, for the Fanatics were fanatical about Kefka in a disturbing way, and the Imperials despised him for he had caused the Empire to fall. Vulkrum could care less about their ideals, their idols, and their beliefs. He didn't even care if they liked each other, as long as they worked together.

That, along with the original army and the new mercenaries of Klee'on Rama had made this a force to be reckoned with. Enough to crush their opponents.
"My men," he yelled down, "my crew, my army! We can crush anyone who stands in our way!"

Loud cheers met him. "And our enemies are..."

"THE RETURNERS!" Klee'on's group yelled. They were also met with the agreements of the rest of the army. They had a common enemy; that was what would keep them together. With this history, there would be no betrayal or defection to the Returners.

It was glorious.

And he knew Vector was thrilled. Speaking of which, he needed to get a plan together with his Emperor on where to go next.

He turned around and saw that he wasn't too far away from the Emperor. "You read my mind," Vulkrum said.

"You want to discuss...?"

"Yes. We need to decide on something, something that will show that we have a hold over the Returners. That last victory boosted my men's morale, and the new recruits are helping a lot, but we need to do something. We have enough to do more than one task now."

"Yes, yes, yes," Vector said with a still amused smile on his face, "I know. I've been working in military strategies long before you were born. And bigger ones than these."

Vulkrum grimaced. He hated it when Vector treated him like some child. He knew a lot about military strategy, and if Vector would look pass his age, maybe he'd realize how talented he was.

"I already have it worked out," Vector said calmly. "Just leave it to me."

He walked pass Vulkrum to the balcony. "You mind telling me first, Vector?" Vulkrum said bitterly. "I mean, I am your commander."

"Fine, I see the little boy in you is coming up. We'll attack from different sides. One of my spies has told me that he has spotted a ship coming into the Narshe country area. The ship carried two people, one was a young girl, the other a boy, recognized from your base in Maranda; a few of the spies are your men.

"I'm betting they're with the Returners. This is where emotions come into play. Foolish...human emotions..."

Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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