Mechanical Magicby Casey Gilman
The Final Chapters: Mechanical Magic
Rescue MissionEdgar was in the same room he had been in since his arrival. He was still strapped to the chair, as was Terra to hers. She had arrived here a few minutes ago. There were five guards in the cavern, who prevented them from talking. A few lanterns were lit giving off just enough light to see the whole room. More light shone in, as the door in front of them was pulled open. Setzer, the thief and the old man entered, followed by Krugg. Krugg closed the metal door behind them, and stood to the right of it.
"I wouldn't want to mess with him," uttered Edgar.
"He brought me, Cyan, and one of my kids here," explained Terra.
"No talking!" cried Krugg.
There were a few unoccupied chairs left, so the three new-comers sat down.
"You two aren't Returners," declared Edgar, seeing the two strangers.
"What did I just say?!" Krugg bellowed.
"Sorry," replied Edgar.
The door was pulled open by Definnius, with some effort, and he walked up to his prisoners. Krugg closed the door, but remained inside.
"Welcome," greeted Definnius,"I am Definnius, leader of the Cult of Kefka."
"So," said Setzer,"You're Definnius."
"You look just like Kefka!" exclaimed Terra.
"I shall explain in a moment," declared Definnius.
He pulled the scroll out from under his coat.
"Which one of you is "Jebediah"?" he asked.
"I-I am" the old man mumbled.
"Krugg," said Definnius,"Put this black-haired man with the Doma prisoners. I have little need of him here."
"C'mon!" Krugg commanded the thief. The black-haired man followed Krugg out of the room, and a familiar man was brought in at the same time.
"Let go of me!" cried Strago, as he was dragged in by Makrahcken. Kouse was once again on his masters left shoulder.
"Strago! Good job!" squawked Kouse.
"It's about time!" shouted Definnius,"Guards, restrain him!"
Three guards took hold of Strago, and place him in a vacant chair.
"Now leave, Makrahcken," Definnius commanded. Makrahcken left, closing the door behind him.
"Edgar Figaro, Terra Branford, Strago Magus, Setzer Gabbiani, and the newly discovered Jebediah," started Definnius,"All of you have become essential parts of my plan.
"In case you haven't realized it yet, the Cult of Kefka is about acquiring supreme power. The first person in our time to gain such power was Kefka, who you all helped destroy. That is why I wear a copy of his outfit."
"However, revenge on the Returners is only one of our goals. You see, I have been named leader of this cult, due to my great intelligence. And I intend to use my intelligence to bring the entire world to it's knees once again."
"How do you plan to do something like that?" asked Edgar.
"Think about it, my intellectual peer," replied Definnius,"How did Kefka do it? He used magic to tear the world apart, and conquer it."
"Are you blind!" shouted Strago,"Magic no longer exists!"
"That is why I intend to re-create it!" cried Definnius,"I have a rough idea of how to do it, but I need the knowledge of mechanics and magic that only Edgar Figaro and Strago Magus can give me! Jebediah's wisdom may also help us, but he will serve most useful as a doctor for the cult. Unfortunately, the airship was destroyed, so I'll need the help of Setzer to re-build it."
"What about me?" asked Terra.
"You, my dear, were once half Esper,"replied Definnius with a grin,"You may prove to be a most unique human being. So to further my own knowledge, I intend to perform experiments on you!"
"You're a madman!" cried Jebediah.
"You might as well be Kefka!" shouted Setzer.
"I've been used by this cult once," declared Strago,"I won't be used again!"
"But this time, you won't be a mere, worshipping, drone," said Definnius,"This time you will help bring in the new era!"
"We at least want to be with our friends," declared Edgar,"We know you have many of the Returners here."
"I demand to see my granddaughter!" exclaimed Strago.
"Very well," said Definnius,"When you are not working, you will be put in the large holding cell, with your friends, and relatives. Guards, take them there, now!"
The five guards began to lead them out of the room.
"We will start tomorrow!" declared Definnius.
* * *
The prisoners currently in the cell (Sabin, Relm, Cyan, Roy, Locke and Celes), were eating small rations of assorted meats and vegetables. They had checked themselves over, and found no major wounds on their bodies. Everything that the original prisoners knew, had been explained to Cyan. Cyan hadn't really had a chance to speak.
"How can someone be that big?" asked Sabin, who had been amazed by Krugg.
"I don't know," replied Locke,"But it's going to be tough to escape with him around."
"You're not going to escape," said Ovid,"By the time you can even come up with an escape plan, Definnius will already rule the world!"
"Don't you have anything better to do?" asked Sabin.
Just then, Edgar and the other prisoners were led in. Ovid unlocked the cell, and the new prisoners entered. The guards left.
"Brother!' cried Sabin,"Where have you been?"
"Grandpa!" cried Relm,"It's about time you found me!'
"It's good to see you too, dear," replied Strago.
"Mama!" Roy was glad to see Terra.
"Don't get too excited," said Edgar,"We have just heard some pretty bad news."
* * *
Definnius stood before the Doma prisoners, and the thief. Krugg stood to his left.
"You have been brought here," started Definnius, after he explained who he was,"to work for this great cult! You will work as guards, and soldiers."
"What if we don't wanna?!" cried someone from the crowd of twenty-four.
"Then," answered Definnius,"Krugg, here, will gladly crush the life out of you!"
Krugg displayed a malicious grin.
"In that case," said one of the men,"I think we'd all be happy to work for you."
* * *
"Well that's just great," said Sabin, after Edgar explained Definnius' plan. Ovid had gotten bored, and hungry, so he was gone for the moment.
"We need to find a way to escape," declared Locke,"Because there aren't too many people out there who have a chance of freeing us."
"Yeah," Setzer agreed,"And most people don't even know what's happening here in Zozo."
"Let's think of how many of the Returners aren't in this cell," suggested Edgar.
"Gau isn't here," said Sabin.
"Gau was thrown across the Veldt by Krugg," uttered Terra, sadly,"I don't even know if he could have survived it."
Sabin turned his head down to the floor.
"What about Shadow?" Celes said,"If he survived Kefka's tower, that is."
"Sir Shadow was with me," replied Cyan,"I last saw him on a ship with a group of Doma Sentries. All the sentries had been slain."
"Any more bad news?" asked Locke.
"What about Mog?" thought Edgar aloud,"Or that Sasquatch he hung around with?"
The group was silent.
"Gogo is still out there, too," added Relm.
"Great," started Setzer,"We have to wait for a brainless Yeti, a three-foot cave-dweller, and a weird guy who won't even tell us if he's a guy, to come help us. And they don't even know we're here!"
"I'm not going to take this sitting down!" cried Sabin, leaping to his feet,"We're the Returners! We saved the world, remember? There has got to be a way out!"
"We can only hope," uttered Strago.
* * *
Weeks passed. Edgar and Strago had no choice but to help Definnius in his strange plan to recreate magic. Setzer, with the help of many members of the cult, made considerable progress in repairing the Falcon. Jebediah made many different potions, which were put into storage, until they were needed. And poor Terra was put into a glass tube every single day, to be tested by Definnius. He was usually accompanied by one of his minions, generally Ovid or Krugg. The glass tube was nearly identical to the ones used by the Empire. Terra now knew what here father had gone through. The whole ordeal was becoming a sick family tradition. Luckily, the pain only seemed to last when she was inside the tube. Afterwards, it went away.
Though their hopes remained high, the Returners could not find a reasonable way to escape. They still had yet to see Shadow, Gogo, Mog, Umaro, and Gau, as not a single new prisoner had arrived. The Returners that were there were not treated very well. They had a chance to wash about every two weeks, and were only fed a couple of small meals a day.
"I can't take this much longer," declared Sabin,"We have to find a way out."
"I agree," replied his brother, who had just returned with the others for the night,"But how? We are running out of time. Definnius' creation is almost complete!"
Edgar had explained to the others long ago, that he couldn't discuss what they were working on. Definnius wanted it to remain a secret, and would probably have one of the other "less necessary" prisoners killed. Ovid still kept a watch on them most of the time, and when he wasn't there, two cult guards took his place.
"I don't care how we do it!" shouted Relm,"But I want out, now!"
* * *
In a cavernous corridor on the outer edge of Mount Zozo, also on sea level, two of Doma's former prisoners were on guard duty. They had all been given weapons, and had a little bit of training. They still wore their leather prisoner outfits, and were considered a rank below the cult guards. The thieves that lived in Zozo had also been recruited.
"Do you hear that?" asked one of the guards to the other.
"Hear what?" replied the other guard.
On the cavern wall, just ahead of the guards, a slight tapping could be heard.
"It's probably just some animal," explained the second guard,"The fields that are outside Zozo, are on the other side of that wall."
"You're probably right," said the first one.
A few minutes later, they heard it again. It was louder this time, and it sounded more like a pounding, than a tapping.
"That's pretty weird," remarked the second guard. The guards were on different sides of the corridor, and the noise was coming from the second guard's side. He walked a few steps, and put his ear to the wall.
"What is it?" asked the first guard, who was walking toward the second.
"I can't tell," answered the second,"Maybe it's-"
"U'GAAAAHHHHH!!!" the cavern wall burst open, and Umaro stomped out. He knocked the second guard to the ground. Then he promptly punched the first one into the opposite wall, knocking him out.
"Good work! Now let's go find our friends! Kupo!" Mog was behind him, followed by Gogo and Gau. The four of them charged down the corridor, and around a corner, into four more guards.
"What the-" uttered on of the leather-clad guards.
Umaro punched him in the head, rendering him unconscious. Mog stabbed another in the chest with his spear. Gau pounced on one, and Gogo pounced on the last one. They both quickly knocked the last two out.
* * *
"Well at least I can use both arms now," remarked Edgar, whose right arm had completely healed.
"That's about the only good thing that's happened," replied Sabin,"Are you sure you can't pick that lock, Locke?"
"Positive," answered Locke,"That's the only one I've ever encountered that is impossible to pick."
"Give it up," said Ovid, who was standing outside the cell,"You can't get out!"
"Mark my words," Sabin said,"We will get out, and defeat all of you!"
"How?" asked Ovid,"There's no possible way!"
At that moment, the four intruders, led by Umaro, charged into the room.
"Wahhhhhh!" cried Ovid,"What are you?!"
"U'Gaaaahhhhh!" cried Umaro, picking Ovid up.
"It's about time help arrived!" declared Relm.
"Help!" cried Ovid,"Anybody!"
In a few seconds, Krugg stormed into the prison room, behind the four intruders. He pushed Gau, Gogo, and Mog over, then he shoved Umaro in the back. Umaro dropped Ovid on the floor, then turned, and swung at Krugg's head. Krugg lost his balance, and slammed into the side wall, opposite the cell.
"Get 'em, Umaro!" shouted Locke.
"Clobber him!" cried Sabin.
"This will teach you!" yelled Roy.
Umaro was now facing Krugg, who actually had a little blood coming out of his mouth. Umaro gave Krugg a swift uppercut in the stomach. Krugg, clutched his stomach with his right hand. Then, he turned, putting his back to Umaro.
"Not possible..." Krugg whimpered.
"Gaaaaahhhh!!" Umaro pounced towards Krugg's back, but Krugg reacted swiftly. He turned, and reached out with his arms. He managed to grab Umaro, and lift him over his head. Krugg then threw the Yeti to the floor, face first. Umaro growled a little, as he hit the hard cavern floor. Krugg threw himself on top of Umaro, and beat him with his fist, until the Yeti was unconscious. Gau, Mog, and Gogo attempted to intervene, but to no avail. Within a minute, all four were in the cell.
"T-thank you," uttered Ovid.
Krugg said nothing, as he stormed out of the room.
"I don't believe this," said Edgar, despairingly.
* * *
Definnius sat upon his throne, marveling to himself at how well his master plan was turning out. In a few days it would be done, and the world would be his. He would also finally be able to finish off the Returners. As he sat there, he saw an ominous figure enter.
"I thought you said I was invincible!" shouted Krugg.
"I did," replied Definnius, in a calm tone,"And the last time I checked, you were."
"See this?" asked Krugg, pointing to his face.
"No," answered Definnius, who could hardly make Krugg out in the darkness.
"IT'S BLOOD!!!" bellowed Krugg,"HOW CAN AN INVINCIBLE PERSON BLEED?!!!"
"An invincible person who is dumber than a brick," answered Definnius, who knew Krugg wasn't very bright.
Krugg lunged at Definnius and picked him up.
"What's that supposed to mean?!" Krugg roared.
"Um," answered Definnius,"It means nothing. I'll just have to increase your strength."
"Let's get to it, then!"commanded Krugg.
They both began to exit the room.
"How did this happen?" asked Definnius.
Krugg began to explain the incident with the four new prisoners.
* * *
"Is he going to be okay," Celes asked Mog, who was checking over Umaro.
"Sure," answered Mog,"He's been through tougher things, kupo!"
"I can't believe that you're alive, Gau!' said Terra,"What happened?"
"Gau tough," started Gau,"Gau survive easily! Then join others to save you! Gau sorry that we failed."
"It's okay," said Terra,"But how did you know we were all here?"
"Gau talked to-" Gau started.
"I sensed that you were all here," Gogo interrupted, in his non-masculine, non-feminine voice.
"I didn't know you were so wise," admitted Edgar.
The mimic remained silent.
"Now the only one of us who is still out there is Shadow," declared Celes.
"Sir Shadow may not be worrying about us, right now," explained Cyan.
"Why is that?" asked Edgar.
"Well," began Cyan,"It all started in Doma. Shadow came to my throne room, and declared himself to be a man named Clyde Arrowny. He then said-"
"Clyde Arrowny," Strago interrupted, "There is a name I hoped never to hear again."
"Is he related to me, Grandpa?" asked Relm.
"Uh...no," answered Strago with an angry look,"Never mind. It doesn't matter."
Cyan continued to explain his run-in with Shadow.
* * *
Definnius and Krugg entered one of Definnius' laboratories. In front of them was a tube, similar to the one they used on Terra. There was a rectangle cut out of the front, in the shape of an door.
"Here is the device I used to increase your strength the first time," explained Definnius,"Let's hope this time it is as successful."
"It had better be successful!" shouted Krugg, as he entered the tube through the rectangle.
There was a small console in front of the tube, with switches on it. Definnius began pulling various switches, and the interior of the tube began to glow red. Krugg saw his muscles bulge, and increase in size. Then, after about five seconds, it stopped.
"That was quick!" declared Krugg.
"That is as high as I can make it go," explained Definnius,"You aren't much stronger than you were before, but it is an improvement, nonetheless."
"Great!" exclaimed Krugg,"I can't wait to pound those Returners into paste!"
"Patience," said Definnius,"I need to finish my project first. Once I take over the world, you can choose a few to destroy."
"I can't wait!" Krugg had a big grin on his face.
* * *
A few more days passed, and Definnius' device was coming dangerously close to completion. The thirteen captured Returners sat in the large holding cell, weak, and tired. Terra was especially weak, and didn't know how much more she could last. She had just about had it with Definnius' sick experiments. Roy was resting against her, and was asleep for the night.
"Well," uttered Setzer,"We finished the Falcon today."
"Great," mumbled Sabin.
"I've never been so helpless in my life," said Celes.
"Don't worry, this can't last much longer,"Locke tried to reassure her,"I'm not done trying to find a way out, yet."
"And if you don't find a way out, it will still be over soon," declared Edgar.
"I also believe that there is a way out," said Cyan,"We just need to put our heads together."
"I have a feeling we'll find a way out soon," Mog said.
* * *
The two guards that were beaten by Umaro, had been medically treated. They were both on night duty again, in a different corridor. This corridor had a room entrance on the right side of it.
"Do you hear that?" whispered the first guard, who was on the right side.
"Not again!" the second one seemed angry,"What kind of sound is it this time?"
"It's not a pounding noise this time," answered the first guard,"It's almost like an animal. I think it's coming from that room."
The first guard cautiously approached the room entrance. It had no door, and looked more like a cavern, which is what it originally had been. The guard peered into the dark interior, and saw a small figure moving. It didn't seem to attack. The guard looked closer, and realized that it was a black dog.
"Hey!" he shouted to the second guard, who hadn't left his post,"It's only a dog!"
The second guard walked over, and stood behind the first. The first guard was petting the dog on the head. The dog stuck out it's tongue, and panted softly.
"Good boy," he said.
"How do you suppose it got in here?" asked the second guard.
"Dunno," answered the first guard,"I wonder if he'd make a good attack dog?"
The shuriken flew so fast, and hit the first guard in the neck so quickly, that he hardly felt it before he fell to the ground. The first guard remained unconscious from the blow. Then, Shadow stepped out of the shadows, and quickly knocked out the second guard with his fists.
"Good job, Interceptor," he said to his dog, as they both swiftly, but cautiously left the room, and moved down the corridor.
* * *
"Could we dig our way out?" Jebediah was trying to help.
"Through this rock?" replied Edgar,"And without any equipment? No."
"Could you sneak some kind of equipment in here?" Sabin asked his brother.
"It would have to be tiny," answered Edgar,"And no one who is leaving the cell is good at concealment."
"I am," declared Setzer.
"The Falcon is fixed, so I doubt you'll be leaving," reminded Edgar,"We'll have to see what we can do."
* * *
Makrahcken, along with Kouse, had been sneaking into Definnius throne chamber every day or two. They were there now, looking the sword over.
"Mark my words, Kouse," whispered Makrahcken, as he held up the one-handed sword,"This will belong to me once more."
`"I don't think so," Definnius had entered the room, and was behind Makrahcken.
"Keep an eye on it," said Makrahcken, setting it back down on it's table,"It may be gone one day."
"I will," replied Definnius,"Now, if you have nothing else to say, you can show yourself out."
Makrahcken exited without speaking.
"The fool!" shouted Makrahcken, when he was out of earshot,"He'll pay for this!"
He rounded a corner, and almost thought he could hear a noise.
"Almost to my quarters," he said softly, but aloud.
After he made his way around the corner, he was in front of his quarters. There was no one there.
"Did you here anything, Kouse?" he asked.
Kouse was silent.
"Guess I was hearing things," he decided.
He took a few steps into his dark room, and saw a scroll at his feet. He picked it up, and read it. It said:
'We've escaped from your prison, and made our way to the other side of these caverns. We are waiting there to take down Krugg. We wouldn't mind beating you, either. Come to us, so we can defeat you, once and for all!'
'Odd," thought Makrahcken,'But worth checking into.'
* * *
"What kind of small device is going to get us outta here?" asked Locke, in a whisper,"Unless you can find a special lock-pick, or an extra key."
"Good idea!" Edgar commended him,"There might be a spare key somewhere."
Ovid was trying to listen in, but they were all whispering in the back of the cell.
"You won't find a way out, so you should give up now!" said Ovid.
"Quiet, half-pint!" was Sabin's reply.
"Tough talk-Ugh!" Ovid was interrupted by a swift blow to the back of his head. He fell to the ground, but wasn't quite knocked out.
"Shadow!!" cried Sabin.
"Waaaaaooooo!" exclaimed Gau.
"It took you long enough!" shouted Relm,"But it's good to see Interceptor, again."
Shadow grabbed the key from Ovid's belt. Interceptor stood beside Ovid, who was face first on the ground, and kept watch over him.
* * *
Krugg was wondering the caverns aimlessly. He was completely bored, when he decided to head to the prison.
'I'll pick out the ones that I'm gonna smash,' he thought.
He realized that he was close to the cell, and it would take him less than a minute to get there.
* * *
Shadow placed the key into the keyhole. He was about to turn it, when he heard a strangely familiar stomping sound. He took his attention off of the key, and turned his head toward the only entrance to the corridor.
"That's Krugg!" exclaimed Terra, but still in a whisper.
Shadow pulled out a knife, and stood ready to fight.
"No!" cried Edgar,"We should try to avoid any encounters!"
"Hide," suggested Celes,"And take the key with you!"
The thunderous footsteps were getting very close, giving Shadow no more than ten seconds. He quickly snatched the key, and picked up Ovid. He looked left and right, and saw no good hiding places. The ninja sprinted to the end of the corridor, opposite the entrance. The light of nearby lanterns didn't reach there, so it was hard to see him in the darkness. Interceptor quickly followed his master.
"Hello everyone!" Krugg stormed in only a second after Shadow hid himself,"Definnius said I can choose a few of you to destroy! I don't get to have fun, until his project is done, but I thought I'd choose now."
Umaro, who seemed to be almost completely healthy again, growled.
"The 'snowman' is at the top of the list," declared Krugg,"followed by 'blondie' over there!"
He was looking at Sabin, who was a little out of shape.
"I can take you down any day!" replied Sabin.
"GRRRAAAAHHHHHH!!!" Umaro roared.
"Heh heh!" chuckled Krugg, who was thoroughly enjoying himself,"Hey, who's guarding you guys, anyway!"
Krugg had noticed that neither Ovid, nor any cult guards were there.
"Um...Ovid said he was hungry, and left," Edgar responded.
"That don't surprise me," replied Krugg,"I'd like to fix his wagon, too!"
`"mmmm!" Ovid, was almost fully conscious, and tried to yell through Shadow's hand. Shadow pressed his right hand even tighter over the small man's mouth.
"What was that?!" Krugg looked around.
"Probably a rat, or some other kind of animal," answered Locke,"You guys don't keep this scuzzhole very clean."
"Maybe," said Krugg, who was already beginning to walk towards the back end of the corridor. Shadow, and Interceptor, both remained perfectly still, but he knew that Krugg was going to see them. He was surprised that Krugg wasn't close enough to spot them already. The people in the cell all looked at him with suspense. None of them knew how to keep him away.
'We were so close this time,' thought Celes, who had butterflies in her stomach.
Krugg was only a few feet away from Shadow. His eyesight wasn't as good as it could be, but he was almost upon the ninja. In mere seconds Shadow would be behind the bars, too.
Strago gulped, as the giant hovered over the shadow that the ninja was hiding in. Shadow felt a chill down his spine, as Krugg stared directly into his eyes.
'I hope fate is with me,' thought Setzer, pulling out a lucky coin,'Heads he finds Shadow, tails he looks right over him.'
He tossed the coin into the air, but no one else was paying attention. The coin only made a small "tink" noise when it hit the cell floor, but it was enough to cause everyone to jump. Krugg turned his head around, and looked over at the cell.
"What was that?!" Krugg wondered.
"Krugg! Where are you?!" Makrahcken's voice rang through the vast corridors of the stronghold.
"What could he want?!" Krugg asked himself, as he stomped out of the corridor.
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Setzer looked down at his coin, as he picked it up. It had landed tails.