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The Lights

by Narratorway

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Terra and Gau: The Learning Lights
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Terra and Gau: The Learning Lights



Chapter 8 - Terra's Decision



Terra knew what she had to do of course, but in those certain moments when the realization hits that you are going to lose something very dear no matter what you do, well, the choice is not so easy to execute. Still, for lack of better term, it had to be done.

She turned her back to the tornado and ran as fast as she could to Duane's house. No sadness, terror, regret. Nothing, only an emotionless sense of logical steps. Run to the gate, no time to open, jump on the left foot. The front doors closed, turn knob with the right hand, use momentum to open and lead with the left foot so as to sidestep to the stairs, jump to the fourth-no fifth step and skip as many as possible. The cries are from the left-hand door, turn and push, there he is, grab and turn around...

Duane had built a small little device above the crib in what would prove a vain attempt to keep Jonathan asleep during the night. It was assorted stuffed animals, bells, and shiny objects dangled from strings attached to a rotating wheel. They jingled and shook as Terra grabbed Jonathan and the sound made her hesitate for an instant. She became aware of a rumbling and a faint vibration. It didn't stop her, until she was at the front door.

She had just enough time to see the tornado dissipate. The plains were empty. There was a deathly silence, no wind could be heard or felt. The logic was swept away and Terra assaulted once again. Gau was gone, Jessica was gone. It didn't make sense. It wasn't fair. She was given no warnings, no signs of this monster's arrival. And that universal of questions just repeated in her mind till it almost lost meaning. Why did the monster come? Why wasn't she given warning? Why were there no signs? Why did they have to die?

Why...why...why...why...?

How long she stood there, an instant, an eternity, will never be known. What is known is what brought her back: Jonathan. He began to cry. Terra looked down at him. He was alive and safe. That was worth something. That was worth a lot. She shook him to silence and became aware of the dogs, barking at the empty fields, and...

Terra eyes whipped up to the fields. Was it her imagination? A sound that could have been a voice or a gust of wind? The dogs would not keep quiet. Suddenly a wind did pick up and carried the sound to her ears so that it could not be mistaken.

"Gau?" her voice was barely audible.

Far out into the field where the dust tornado had just been, a small figure could be seen. It appeared to be crawling out of the earth itself. As soon as it was out it wasted no time and ran as fast as it could (it was limping slightly on the left leg) towards the town. As it came closer and apparently regained it's energy, it began to throw it arms about. Seemingly, it was gesturing for Terra to leave, or get away, for Terra was now running towards him. There was no doubt now, for she could hear Gau, though she did not hear what he was saying, and the boy's odd way of running on all fours was unmistakable.

"Go! Run! Terra!"

Terra stopped running and turned around towards the dogs. They were no longer barking, they were no longer there. She turned back to Gau. She could see him clearly now, and there was a look of mad desperation in his face.

Gau disappeared as a blast of earth erupted a hundred yards in front of Terra. The ground shook and she almost lost her balance. The monster burst forth and roared, a sound that at her proximity, Terra could actually feel. She turned and ran as fast as she could.

Terra felt dizzy. The foul reek of the creature was all around her. Her eyes watered and she couldn't see where she was running. The sound of the pursuit was all around her, drowning out everything else. But she ran on faster than she ever did before, holding Jonathan tightly. There was no hope of escape of course, but that never entered her mind. All that was left was the need to survive, that basic instinct to get as far away from danger as quickly as possible. The ground shook, but she was not aware. Blind to everything but the need to escape. But she tripped, and just before she hit the ground, she was aware again, and twisted herself over, hitting the ground on her side. She heard a crack and an intense pain spiked through her shoulder to her neck. She gasped, but not from the pain. The fall had forced Jonathan out over her arms. She had no time to left to do anything.

She heard a sound faintly above the noise of the earth a roar that was not that of the creature. The ground exploded underneath and she was blinded. She felt herself being thrown aside. A rush of air and then she hit a wall, on her broken shoulder. She screamed. The pain course through to encase her, and by reflex she turned her wounded side away from the wall as she slid to the ground propped up against it. The pain instantly cleared her vision as it tore away her thought. The monster was tearing up the ground at an incredible speed, it's body bobbing up and down on the surface of the earth. The ground was flying hundreds of feet in the air in huge chunks. It was chasing Gau, who was running now on two legs. There was no sign of a limp. He was running towards the cliffs behind the town and showed no signs of slowing. In his left arm was a bundle.

"No...o..." Terra was fighting consciousness now and her voice was barely that of a whisper.

She watched as Gau ran to the cliffs. She watched as Gau leaped into the air just a few feet from the precipice clutching the bundle tightly with one hand. Once again he disappeared into a cloud of dust before Terra could see if he landed. She heard the roar of the monster, but it was a higher pitch, like a cry. It faded away slowly, then she heard a great splash. The dust cleared and Terra saw the great ditch that showed the monster's passage. It led right off the edge of the cliff. But there was nothing else. The cliff was empty.

"No..." Terra reached out with her right arm. It took all her strength. She could see her hand in front of her, grasping desperately at nothing, but her vision was now blurry once again. The tears burned her eyes. This...this...it...was...

Wrong...

She closed her eyes. When they opened again, she was in a dream. Every thing was faint and faded, as of a very old painting. It was also very bright. All the children were huddle around her, looking at her with concerned faces. They spoke but she could not hear them. They were gently but urgently pushed aside by Duane. He kneeled down and put his face right in front of her, apparently yelling. She wasn't sure if it was his voice, but she did hear a very faint sound when he spoke, as if his voice was miles away. His hand touched her face, but she could not feel it. When it came back, it was covered in blood. He put her right arm over his shoulders and lifted her from the ground. Terra felt like she was flying. She saw over the children's heads. Katarin was on her knees a few feet away, facing the cliff. Terra couldn't see her face but could tell that she was screaming. She looked out at the cliff face and suddenly she was there, at the precipice, overlooking the sea. She looked down and saw a hand gripping the edge. She knelt down and looked over. There was Gau, covered in dust and clutching Jonathan in his left arm. Desperately he was trying to pull himself up. Slowly Terra extended her arm. It was a transparent light pink. She gripped the wrist of the hand and pulled with all her might. Suddenly she felt an intense heat within her and could see her arm ignite into a bright pink flame.

Terra was suddenly reminded of the final battle with Kefka and what she had said to him. "It's not the net result of one's life that's important," she remembered saying, "It's the day-to-day concerns, the personal victories, and the celebration of life...and love." She remembered the strength she felt when confronting him, strength that came from her companions, words that came from her father. She had felt him inside as he spoke through her, felt the word's that were directed towards her as much as they were towards Kefka. And then she had no longer felt any fear.

Terra did was not afraid now. She saw Gau look up and his eyes locked onto hers. His eyes widened, then he smiled. He began to cry.

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

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