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Afterstorm

by Sherick

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Chapter 13

Chapter XIII: Surprise Attacks

Mog walked through the Narshe streets. He saw the people hard at work as usual. Houses were rebuilt, and stores, but they needed people to come to buy stuff from the stores.

That was one more thing; the town's economy was low. Most of the workers here had been volunteers. Mog had to use his own money to pay for what they had. And the only money he had had was the GP given to him by his friends in the Returners; Moogles didn't use any sort of currency. But all in all, it was going well.

He wasn't even paying attention; he hit his face against some a large rack, supporting different kinds of equipment and tools. It wobbled and shook and almost fell down. The man who was using the equipment yelled at him. "Hey, who the heck is messing with my things? When I get over there I'll...I'll..." he stopped when he saw who it was.

"Oh, Mog, I didn't know it was you. I'm, uh..."

"It's okay," Mog replied. "'Twas my fault anyway."

He continued his walk. He had felt so weird the last couple of days. What was wrong? Something didn't feel right.

He heard something. It sounded like a buzzing sound in the distance. A few moments later, the workers quit what they were doing to look up; they made "oohs" of astonishment. Mog looked up as well.

"Oh my!"

"Mog," Umaro came up behind him, "is dat the aero ship?"

"It is." Mog eyes lit up. "It's the Falcon!"


Setzer brought the Falcon down a little outside the mountains.

"Who's coming?" he asked. "They know me pretty well by now, and I'm not leaving this baby out here unprotected."

"I'll stay," Sabin said. "Let's just see those guys try'n get through me!"

"In that case," Cyan said, "I shall stay hither as well."

"Suit yourselves," Setzer said as he jumped off the deck.

Mog ran passed everyone to the town entrance. This was the second time in rather short time Setzer had visited him. He just hoped he could stay longer this time.

"Hey, Mog!" Setzer yelled out. "Are you there?"

"Right here! What do you want?"

"Maybe I need to show you."

Mog's eyes grew wide as he saw Edgar. Then Locke, Celes, and Terra. He almost hopped up and down. He knew he was just about to break.

He ran up to them. He spoke so fast he wasn't sure he could keep up.

"Oh my gosh! It's you guys! What are you doing here? What happened at the island? How did you guys get back together? Hey, where's everyone else, huh? And wha-"

Setzer put his hand over the Moogle's mouth. "Slow down, little guy."

"Cyan and Sabin are with the Falcon and Gau and Relm went back home."

"What about the others?" Mog couldn't take the time to try and remember everyone.

"Uh," Setzer looked at his friends. "We have a lot of stuff to talk about."

They went back to Mog's house-which had once belonged to the Elder-and Setzer told him the whole story, or at least most of it.

He was awestricken. "Shadow.... d-dead? I can't believe it."

"None of us could," Edgar said.

"Well, what now?"

"There's something else," Setzer continued. "A new Empire has risen from the ashes of the old one, same island and everything. We fought by Zozo, and we lost. And I'm sure they're preparing for another confrontation.

"That's why we need you and Umaro's help. We need every hand we can get in this. It's worse than we thought it would be."

Mog looked down. He thought. It has horrid. A new Empire? The death of Shadow? This couldn't be true. After coming home he thought everything would be fine, he could settle down. He didn't want to be drawn into another war.

"I'm... sorry," he said finally. "It's great to see you all again, but I actually have responsibility here. Narshe needs rebuilding, there's too much for me to do here."

"Well how do you think I felt?" Edgar snapped. "I have a family, a kingdom, that are still in danger more than likely. I left it to come back to fight our enemies. To help everyone!"

"Well maybe I'm just not ready!" Mog snapped back. It was the first time any of them had seen the young Moogle get angry. "I don't like fighting. I just want to live here with Umaro. I don't want to get drawn into a war like before! You are experienced with this, Edgar, you can deal with these things; I am not and cannot."

He hung his head. "I'm sorry, Edgar."

Edgar just realized how much of a jerk he had just been.

"It's okay, Mog. I see." He looked at the others, embarrassed. "Well I guess we can just go then."

Mog made no attempt to stop them.

Relm and Gau were back at their home in the Narshe country area. It felt good to be home, though not as good as it could be knowing that their friends were safe. Relm sat in a chair.

"It feels good to be back, huh Gau?"

"Yeah, I guess so," he answered with apathy.

"What's wrong?"

"I just feel bad about us being here, comfortable and safe while Terra, Sabin, and the others are in danger." He walked to the window. "I wish I could be there and help them."

"Gau," she walked up beside him, "they are the ones who made us come back. They think we should be safe. It's not your fault."

He sighed.

"I didn't think you'd feel as bad as I do, Relm. It's okay."

He walked passed her. He stared at him. "And what is that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing," he said with his back still to her. "It's just, you'd rather be inside a house, very comfortable and safe. You wouldn't want to be out there with them."

"I see what you're saying," she said. "Since I grew up indoors you think I'd rather be here than out there with my friends. Just because you lived in the wild you think you're the only who wants to be out there. Think again, Gau!"

He turned around. "That's not what I'm saying."

"Then what is it? Huh?"

He seemed like he was about to say something a few times but never got it out.

"Gah, why do girls have to be so irritating!" was what he finally said.

He went down the hall to his room, leaving Relm with her mouth open.

"Gau!" she called before he shut his door.

"Gau!" he shut the door right as she yelled at him. I don't think I'll ever understand her, he thought. Girls are too complicated.

He sighed and walked over to his bed. He had a small room, for he didn't own much, and preferred the outdoors anyway. What he did own were a cap that Locke had given to him prior to the splitting of the Band, clothes Cyan and Sabin bought him in Nikeah after they had first met, slippers Terra bought him, and a tooth-and-claw necklace he had made from animals while at the Veldt. Sometimes he wished he was back there, everything seemed so simple. Of course then, he was simple-minded.

He smirked. Maybe not. It probably was better he had come with Sabin, to live with Terra and get a better education. He lied down on his bed. After the boat trip, he felt tired. He reached under the bed. He had almost forgotten.

He had a knife Shadow had "given" him. He had actually dropped it at some point and Gau went ahead and took it. Shadow had found out, but let him keep it. It wasn't an honest gift, but it was reminder of Shadow.

He tucked into his pocket and lie down.

Relm was making something in the kitchen. Terra had taught her to cook pretty well. Maybe some food would help patch things up with Gau.

A pounding on the door made her jump back and almost hit the table behind her. Who could be coming here? She asked herself.

"Hey, Gau," she called back, hoping he heard her, "someone's here."

She opened the door...

She was pushed back. She almost screamed, but she was too afraid. Bronze-armored soldiers ran in. "Who are you? What do you want?" she asked. "What is going-"

Two of the soldiers grabbed her arms and forced them behind her. She heard a growl. Gau had come out and had already knocked a few soldiers down.

"Leave!" he demanded. "Get out of our house now!"

One of the intruders hit him on the back of the head with his sword handle.

Relm squealed. The two soldiers got out a cloth and held it over her mouth. Gau continued fighting. Furniture was being upturned and knick-knacks were being broken. After a few more attempts, Gau was pinned down.

Relm yelled but was muffled by her gag. She tried to free her arm from the soldiers' grip. She was moved closer to the doorway. Through the gauntlet of soldiers, she saw as they tied the boy's hands behind him and dragged him out of the house.

Tears formed as she saw the soldiers tear apart Terra's house. What would happen now?

Mog continued walking around the streets, almost hitting more equipment and people. He was deep in thought. What Edgar had said really came down on him hard. Was he a coward? To stay in his peaceful haven while a dangerous adversary fought his friends.

He turned to walk back to his house. It was getting rather late, and he probably wouldn't get any sleep tonight.

That night he finally got to sleep, but was haunted by nightmares. The old faces of his dead relatives and friends, the destroyed mines, the World lay in Ruin. Rejoining his old friends who he thought had died. Fighting and killing Kefka.

But what was this? Kefka regenerating, a house, a son, the magicite, the battle, the "magic" user, the final true downfall of Kefka. Was this Terra's strange dream she had mentioned?

He saw this powerful man walk off with many others. They were on a cliff. He jumped.

He fell into the sea below him and swam like a frog. What in the hell? For a split second, he saw the face. Black-scaled-skinned and bloodshot eyes, a sadistic look that pierced through Mog.

He heard screaming, yelling. But, they were underwater, just the small group, how was there so much screaming?

Mog almost jumped out of his bed when someone banged at his door.

"Mog!" Umaro's loud voice called. "Mog, get up! Youz gots to cum out here!"

Mog jumped up and ran to the door. "Yes, Umaroooooo!"

The Yeti pulled him out and ran.

"Umaro, what is going on?"

"Big a-armered soldiers with big a-swords!"

Mog looked around. It was. Soldiers, in armor as the old Vector troops, attacked the town. Men tried to fight back with their tools and equipment, but they were easily brought down. They set fire to houses.

"Umaro, stop!" Mog demanded. "We need to help them!"

"Umaro will," he replied. "But too dangerous for Mog."

"What are you talking about, I can fight them too."

"Mog say that he no like to fight. Youz said that to Eggar."

"Yes, but if my life depends on it..."

Some soldiers tried to cut them off. Umaro ran right through them. "This losing battle, Mog, youz a smart one, you can help others, you can go help yer friends."

"But Umaro!"

"Umaro die for you, Mog!"

Mog stared at him with an open mouth. "What?"

"Hey, stop them! Those two are getting away!" some soldiers yelled.

Someone hurled a spear; it came right for Mog. Umaro jumped in front of him, getting impaled in the shoulder. "Umaro!"

"No, Umaro fine." He grabbed Mog and put him over his shoulder. He ran into the Mines of Narshe.

He found an area where the soldiers would have a hard time finding them.

"Umaro let me take care of that."

"No, Umaro try to defend town."

"Then I'm going back too!"

"No, Mog must live."

"But..." Umaro hit him in the head, knocking him unconscious. "Sorry, friend."

Mog woke up in the mines, untouched. He walked outside. He took a look at the town...and fell to his knees.

The whole town was up in smokes, destroyed. The soldiers were still here. Mog ran by stealthily, his small size and white fur being excellent cover.

He searched for an hour without being noticed; he couldn't find Umaro anywhere.

"Umaro..."

Why did you have to die? Why did you have to make me live? What else do I have? My town is gone. Everything I worked for...gone.

He looked at the soldiers. I have only one thing now.

These Imperials will pay. I hope Edgar's offer still stands.


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

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