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Afterstorm

by Sherick

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Chapter 5

Chapter V: Reunion

In the days that followed, Edgar sent messages all around the globe. He did not know where some of the members of the Band were at, though he had some ideas. After some while, he received a carrier pigeon carrying a letter from Commander Dornim Ramah of the Victory Returners. The letter said that he should come to their new headquarters in Returned Island. So the next day, he mounted on a chocobo, the big yellow birds used for burden and transportation, and took off. The chocobo of this area were well adapted to the harsh desert land. They were the fastest creatures that could be offered.

He ran through the deserts, the flatlands, and the forests before coming up on South Figaro. On his way through, he dropped by a shop to pick up some provisions. He went in disguise, as he usually did when passing through public areas. Then he overheard someone, "Oh, come on now. Just pay up!"

"Please, babe, I don't have enough money to go spending like that!"

"Don't ‘babe' me; just pay, for goodness sake."

"But Cel-"

"Pay up, Locke!"

"Locke?" Edgar said. "Locke Cole?"

He looked up and saw his old friend. "Edgar?"

They met and shook hands. There were lots of "how're you doing," "you look good," and stuff like that as the three had their reunion. "Well, what are you two yelling about?"

"Well Locke here won't pay for some equipment we need," Celes said.

"I told you, we'll be fine."

"Oh fine, you..." she walked off in frustration, mumbling the rest of the sentence under her breath.

"Oh and we got your message," Locke said. "Sorry about..."

"Naw, don't worry about it. Oh and I can pay for that, Locke."

"Really? Thanks."

"At least someone has some sense," Celes said after finishing pacing.

The three left the store and just walked around for a little bit.

"So, you two are married now?"

"Yeah, two years ago," said Locke.

"I got married, too. Four years. I've got a daughter now."

"How nice, Edgar," Celes commented.

"Well in any case, I've got to get to the port. I'm to meet with Dornim."

"Really?" Locke said. "I guess we'll go with you. I wanted to see how the little squirt was doing."

They made their way to the port, made the fair, and went sailing.

They came up on the Returned Island about two days later. This was a remote area, somewhere south of Maranda in the Solitaire Sea. Since the Battle for the World, the Returners claimed the land for their base.

As they approached the front gate, there were many guards that approached them. They wore the familiar armor that they had worn through their years of resistance, brown-and-blue with a tarnished brown helm with a visor. You'd think after all this time, Edgar thought, they could get some better uniforms. "King Edgar?"

"Yes."

"Commander Ramah is expecting you."

"Thank you, sir."

The three former Returners followed their escort into the heavily guarded military base. He noticed that many of the officers and personnel were dressed in different attire than their escort. It appeared only the personal guards of the Commander had the vintage uniform. The soldiers all looked at Edgar and his companions with the utmost respect. Almost everyone in the world did after the Fall of Kefka. This island was mostly covered with woodlands, as the king saw, and looked like an ideal location for a base of operations.

They were escorted to what seemed as the very top of the base. Up there they met Commander Ramah. He was a young man, probably as old as Locke, and was good-looking. Still not as handsome as I! Edgar thought proudly. Locke had called Dornim "squirt" when they had met a few years ago, since he was a bit smaller than Locke was. Now he seemed a bit bigger, though may have been the armor.

Also in the top chamber they met someone oh-so familiar, Sir Cyan Garamonde, former Retainer to the King of Doma. He was an older man in his mid-fifties. His black hair was in a style similar to Edgar's. He had a long mustachio that was neatly trimmed but shown with the graying of age. He was an otherwise attractive man, who showed the wrinkles of growing age. Day-and-night, it seemed, he wore this silver war armor that symbolized his status in the Doman ranks and his obviously more sophisticated personality than those around him.

He was a talented swordsman who only few-not including Edgar-could match up to. No one was sure what he had done since then. That probably showed that he was up to nothing of any importance.

"So, what've you been up to, fossil?" Locke asked.

"Try to show respect toward your elders!" Celes scowled mockingly.

"I can tell neither of thee haft changed," grumbled Cyan in his very articulate accent.

"Oh come on! You know we're glad to see you."

"Aye, I know."

"Greetings, Sir Cyan," bowed Edgar in a formerly manner.

"At least thou have some manners. Thanketh thee, Your Royal King Edgar." They took a few moments to catch up with each other. Cyan, as it seemed, had been living an otherwise peaceful life in Doma, serving as a governor to the Domans after some strange politics, which he didn't get into, forced him out of his rightful kingship.

"Well I surely haven't heard of any bloody hooligans going around calling thyselves ‘Asassens'." Cyan declared afterwards.

"I'm sure none of us have," Edgar said, "but we still-"

"Sorry, guys," Dornim interrupted. "But I just got word that Setzer's here."

Edgar, Locke, Celes, Cyan, and Dornim watched as the airship Falcon flew over the fortress and to a safe landing zone. They went to greet the captain. Setzer Gabbiani was an impressive sight. He had long silver-white hair that went down to his shoulders with a porkpie hat atop of it and wore a long mackinaw trench coat. He was also brandishing an expensive looking cane. That along with his "let chance decide" attitude made him the symbolic gambler.

"Excuse my saying so," Cyan said, "but I think that thou looked like a damned buffoon."

"Show's how much you know, old man," Setzer sneered, though more in joking way.

"I hate to ask what you have been doing lately," Edgar asked.

"Well I've been doing what I do best: gambling, cruising, watching opera, perhaps not in that order."

"Hope you've gotten past abducting the opera star," Celes said.

"That's probably the only way he can get a woman anymore," Locke joked.

Setzer took that offensively. "I'll have you know I have gained and lost six women already."

"All in five years!?" Locke exclaimed.

"Try peryear."

Locke's jaw dropped slightly and he raised his eyebrows. Edgar just tried to figure out how that was even possible.

"Anyway, we didn't come to discuss my love life, I hope."

"No," Dornim finally said. "So, couldn't get Mog and Umaro?"

"Naw, they decided to stay behind in Narshe."

"What hath they been doing?" Cyan asked.

"They've gotten together and are trying to rebuild Narshe. People have started to follow. I don't know if Moogles are good at being persuasive, but I know for a fact that a sasquatch is. Of course, with a little help from yours truly."

"Well I can see the Falcon's in good shape," said Locke, who had walked up to the side of the airship. Setzer raced to his vessel and swung his cane, almost hitting his friend's hand. "Don't TOUCH!! I just got a new coat put on ‘er."

"How much would that have cost?" Edgar queried.

"Why, one of my suitors earlier this year, matter-of-fact," Setzer answered. "Shame, I really thought we were gonna make it."

"Hm, hm," Dornim interrupted finally. "But I think we should to more important matters."

"Yeah," Edgar, Locke, and Celes said at once.

When they got back into the building, Terra, Gau, and Relm had already arrived. Once again, there were warm welcomes. "Good heavens, thouth grown!" Cyan exclaimed toward Relm, who blushed.

"And look at you, boy."

"Thank you. Edgar right?" Gau replied. Had it been that long? the king thought. He can hardly even recognize me. They were all amazed at Gau. When they had met him, he was walking on all fours, talking like a Neanderthal, dirty all over, and uneducated. Now he was standing tall, obviously better educated, neatly groomed and surprisingly handsome. To respect the Returners, he wore a cap with a nice feather protruding from it and wore his only shoes.

"So, where've you been staying, Terra?" Dornim asked.

"Oh, just outside the Narshe area," she said.

"Narshe?" Setzer asked. "If I'd known, I would have picked you up when I dropped by Mog and Umaro."

"That's alright. It's so good to see you all again."

"Yeah, that's one way to put it."

A few minutes later, a cook came in pushing a trolley. The Band dug into the scrumptious foods. After they had gathered some food, Dornim called for attention, "Now if we're all ready, I think it would be a good time to start and di-"

Then there was a loud bang as they all looked to the entrance. Sabin Figaro entered the room casually.

"Sabin!" his brother called.

"Oh I give up!" the chieftain said to himself.

"What kept you?" Edgar asked

"I was in the mountains when the message came. Just saw it a little ago."

"Art thou still playing in yon hills?"


"'Ey, how are you doing, old ‘un?"

"I'd prefer Sir Cyan, if thee please." Sabin and Cyan were friends from a while back when Sabin enlisted the older one in the Returners. That happened when Kefka murdered Cyan's family when he poisoned their water supply. Sabin comforted him and guaranteed him a shot at revenge against the crazed general, which he got. Sabin wasted no time digging into the food. He sure ate a lot. It reminded Cyan of how he ate on the Phantom Train six years ago; of course then they thought it might be their last meal ever."Anyone know how Shadow's doing?" Edgar asked. The whole reunion fell silent. Edgar felt all eyes on him.

His brother shuffled forward.

"Uh, Ed," he said, choking a bit. "Clyde's dead." The king looked into his brother's eyes with disbelief.

"No," he said. "No, he can't die. How can Shadow die? It's...it's impossible."

"I concur," Cyan said. "Clyde is not dead. I know!"

"How?" Dornim asked.

"Because I saw him." There was a murmur throughout the group.

"Saw ‘im, did you?" Setzer said, once again pseudo-sneeringly.

"Yes" Cyan simply said. "I saw him. And Master Clyde was alive and well, I might add."

Setzer just stared in his disbelief.

"Uh," Dornim cut in, "sorry to interrupt, but shouldn't we start discussing the Asassens like we came here to do?"

"That's right," Edgar put in, glad for a change in subject. Though in some ways not.

"Well, as my message stated, there is some warrior group who have given us right to believe that they are going to assault possibly the Returners sometime soon."

"And we have reports of guerrilla groups all around the world that perfectly match King Edgar's description," Dornim added.

"Aye," Setzer said, still eyeing Cyan. "I've seen ‘em, too. Raiding the coasts off the Jidoor area. Assuming we're talking about the same people."

"So," Locke spoke up, "what're we going to do?"

Dornim sighed, "Nothing," he said reluctantly to everyone's surprise. "There's nothing we can do for now."

"Nothing? Edgar suggested in almost disbelief. "But we could search..."

"Search what?" he countered. "They cover themselves, very nicely I might add."

Edgar gazed up. Yes, he already knew that, but there had to be something to do.

"Here," Dornim said, "we can increase police forces and keep our men on look-out, but that's it Edgar. I'm sorry. And I'm sorry everyone had this long journey for me just to say that. We can discuss it later, with some of my people." He turned to Edgar again and apologized again.

"Yeah," the other said. "Me, too."
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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