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Afterstorm

by Sherick

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Chapter 7

Chapter VII: Assassin's Secrets

Sabin was in a fury frenzy at the time. He grunted, yelled, and most of all sobbed.

"Sabin, calm down!" Edgar ordered choking. But it wouldn't help. Sabin had been the one to find him and bring him to join the Returners. He had the closest relationship of any kind with Shadow, even more than his own daughter. Before he had left to go on his own adventure, Shadow had left a note for them stating he was Clyde Arrowney from Thama, father to Relm—no relation to Strago Magus. All else was unknown. "But… err, oh dammit Edgar!" Sabin couldn't find the words to express himself. Edgar looked down at his twin brother. "Sabin." They sat down on Sabin's bed.

"There was just so much we didn't know about him," Sabin said through a lumped throat.

"Well then let's start with what we do know. He was born Clyde Arrowney and is the father of our dear Relm…"

Meanwhile, Relm and Terra were comforting each other. Relm was bawling, Terra was doing her best not to. Terra sympathized greatly for Relm. The girl had known who her father was for only about four and a half years now. She had lost her grandfather, her mother, and now her father. As if reading her thoughts, Relm looked up and said, "It's all right, Terra. I've still got you and Gau. And now I've got Locke, and Celes, and Edgar, and everyone."

Terra smiled at her positivism. She knew if something like this had happened to her—while she was old enough that is—she wouldn't be as calm. Of course, Relm only barely knew Shadow anyway. Funny thing was it was Shadow's dog Interceptor that had gotten the two together. Interceptor she thought, someone has to take care of him. But could anyone do it? How devastated is the dog? Terra had read once that, supposedly, dogs could sense things like their master dying before anyone else. Relm could control him, but was that enough? Shadow…

Dornim gave them all a night of sleep to calm down. Not that he wasn't saddened by the death of Shadow; he just hadn't known him much except from when he was still with the Returners. The others, however, had made quite a compatibility with him. Especially Sabin. Dornim wondered how he was taking it. He walked into the war room to see that Cyan was already there. "Couldn't sleep?"

"Nay," the other said, "I always get up this early." Dornim looked up at a clock: 5:23 am.

"How is everyone?" Dornim asked.

"Oh, they are pulling through. Others aren't taking it as well as some."

"Like you?"

Cyan nodded. "Aye, like me. I'm sure Sabin does not take it well either. And young Miss Relm and Terra, I heard them crying last night."

Cyan looked away. Exactly as Dornim had thought. "Well, I thought you would all need the rest."

"I can tell thou got none at all," Cyan observed. Dornim nodded.

"A little too much work."

"Thee seem a bit young to me to be taking control of all this." He waved around them.

"I've thought that before, too."

"Then why not give command to someone else?"

"Because of my father an—"

"Oh, thy father," Cyan cut him off. "If thee doth not want the said responsibility, thee don't have to have it. I know thy father, old Bannon, would want that. Well, if he were here now he would not want his only son to be in such a dilemma over his legacy."

"Alright then," the younger man said after a short pause, "I, Dornim Ramah, hand over complete control of the Victory Returners to a Sir Cyan Garamonde of Doma."

Cyan looked shocked. "Me, Commander?"

"No," he said, "you commander, me subordinate in thy presence."

He was awestruck. "How am I supposed to lead all this?"

"Easy, you're a great leader. You were at Doma," Dornim reminded him.

"Well yes, but…" Cyan had never had total command over something this big. He served as a ranking officer for the Doman Knights, a retainer, and a governor… but the Returners, as big as they were now and as spread out. He still had his authority in Doma, but he knew that none of the others in Doma's government really seemed to care.

"But what about King Edgar?" Cyan asked. "He's more fit, he led the Returners before."

"He has too much to worry about. He rules an entire kingdom, a big one, and has a family now. And he's been stressed lately. It would too hard to juggle all these responsibilities around."

Cyan couldn't argue that. He let out a reluctant sigh.

"Thee win, young sire. I, Cyan Garamonde, hereby accept command of the Victory Returners."

There were applause from all around the war room as the Returner officers, who had been in there as well listened in on the private, yet important conversation, recognized their new leader. Cyan smiled. Above all, he heard one that sounded tougher. Dornim and he looked over to see Sabin standing in the doorway.

"Good going, old one," he congratulated. "Now, I think we should get down to business."

Cyan stood tall in his new commander's armor at the front of the war room. Edgar, Locke, Celes, and Setzer had just entered. He wondered where Terra was. Probably with Relm and Gau. Once all the officers were assembled, he started. "Greetings all. I am Commander Cyan Garamonde, thy new leader."

He winked down at Dornim. "I am to discuss the well-known enemy with thee." He showed a well-drawn picture of a normal Asassen grunt. "These Asassens are very well skilled, has it seems. And their armor is also grand. As thee all can see, this armor seems near impenetrable. To be blunt, it is, though it is not invulnerable. Simple crevices here and here," he pointed to the neck and joint sections, "are easy enough to break through. Seems hard, though isn't. By research, the armor is made of a week metal most likely scavenged from others. The said armor is mainly to intimidate." He went on about their guerrilla tactics and war plans against them. Cyan must have had this all thought out before he had even spoken to Dornim.

Afterwards, Sabin met up with him. "Good job for your first time, Cyan."

"Thanketh thee, Sabin. Is there something on thy mind?"

"Yeah. It's Shadow." Edgar looked over at them.

"What about Shadow?" Cyan asked.

"Well, before the meeting began the other day, you said you saw him, when we all thought he was dead. What did he say?"

Cyan took a deep breath. "Thou may all want to hear this."

So Cyan gathered the whole Band and told his tale. "Master Clyde came to my house in Doma," he told them, "I was awestruck, I thought he was dead. I invited him in though he refused. Instead I gave him some tea out through my window. He told me everything." He paused.

"He said for me to give his apologies to his daughter, Miss Relm. And to give her this," Cyan reached into his undergarments and pulled out a golden band on a chain. A Memento Ring. He put it around Relm's small neck. "Of course, I didn't know when I would see thee again, but I didn't tell him that, he seemed in good spirit at the time." The room was silent still.

"Then," he went on, "Clyde told me that, for the last five-or-so years, he was traveling around the world, searching for his lost friend. Baram, I believe it was. Anyway, he did not tell me if he was getting close. He told me this though, that he loved his daughter very much, even though he never really knew her. He…," Cyan broke off. "He was hoping to get the chance after he was done searching," tears trickled down Cyan's old face. Just the memory of that day and when he saw Shadow die made him cry. Relm sobbed into Terra's shoulder, who was in turn crying. Then Sabin, Edgar, Locke, even Setzer shed a tear. Celes and Gau seemed to be the only ones without as much sorrow for their dead companion. And Dornim just felt out of place in the assortment of friends. He felt no real emotion because he never had one in the first place.

"Anyway," Cyan choked, "I thought thee all should know that." He and Setzer left while Edgar, Sabin, Locke, and Celes stayed behind in the others' chamber.
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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