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The Return

by Nathan Bounds

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Chapter 29

Terra sat, tied to a chair, resisting the Death Esper with all her might.

"It is useless to resist. It will consume you," Clyde said.

"Where did Locke go? Is he going to hurt my friends?"

"Locke no longer exists. Kefka is now in him. The last of the Coles have been dealt with."

"The last?"

"He's led quite a tragic life, you know. Kefka imprisoned his parents, trying to find Locke's older brother. He interrogated them, tortured them, but they didn't know where he was. Finally, in a rage, he killed them. After that, Locke ran off until he heard that his brother had died."

"How did his brother die?"

"Suicide, they say. Jumped off of Barren Falls."

Terra could tell that something was being hidden. "How did he really die?" she asked, putting more power into her voice.

"He was running from Kefka's soldiers, and they cornered him, and sliced him up enough to bleed to death on the banks of the river by the Veldt."

"Were you there? Did you kill him?"

"I tried to save his life. He was just too far gone from those hits he took. We were together a long time, and I was sorry to see him go, but he has gone to better things now. Better than train robbing."

Presently, Graticus walked in. "I came as soon as I received word that you were changed. The Shadow train robbers are back together."

Terra gasped. Baram and Clyde, the train robbers! And Baram was Locke's older brother. That could only mean...

Terra's eyes opened wider than they had ever been. Baram Cole was still alive and was in the very same room she was in.

"Train robbing was twenty years ago and another life. Don't think of it anymore."

Suddenly, a random surge of emotion hit Terra. Hatred. Just for a moment she hated everything that was. She had begun succumbing to the Death Esper.

Chapter 30

"What was that?" Setzer asked.

"You mean the big black fireball?" Edgar replied. Edgar was looking through his biscopes. "That was apparently some sort of Magic. I've got a bad feeling about this. I've never seen anyhting like that fireball before. And why did he hit Celes with it?"

"He hit Celes with it?" Setzer asked.

"Yeah. What's he doing now? He just handed her some kind of rock. Looks like it's glowing, but not like Magicite. It's glowing black."

Stop! Please! Leave her alone! Locke's consciousness squirmed, unable to do anything to help Celes. No! Don't give her one of those damned Espers.
Locke tried as hard as he could to force Kefka's consciousness down.

"Locke just stumbled," Edgar said. "He's getting back up." A pause. "He fell completely over. He's hitting his head."

"That doesn't sound like Locke," Setzer said.

They waited awhile, and Locke finally came within easy visual range. "Hello!" he called out. Then he stumbled again. He got up, and lifted his arms into the air. Then he called another Dark Esper.

"Death!" A creature hooded in a black cloak appeared. He carried a silvery scythe. And he carried Terra. Terra reached out but couldn't get free.

Death was the originator of the spell Goner. Kefka had used it at his Tower.

"Darkness!"

The fireball appeared, and then Darkness readied it.
"Hate!"

Hate appeared. It was nothing but a black, floating glob of Magical energy. Its specialty was Black Flare.

"Tri Darkness Attack!" Kefka in Locke's body commanded.

Death cast Goner first. The lines of Darkness in the red light crashed through the group.

The black fireball appeared in the center of Goner. It grew as the spell went on.

Black Flare was cast. It encompassed the whole area. It looked just like Flare, but was black.

The attack lasted for about ten seconds, and then dissipated. Everyone was on the ground, groaning in pain.

"Tough bastards," Kefka said, and then laughed his laugh. "One more time, trio."

"Noooooooooooooo!" Terra screamed, and jumped from Death's arms. She looked Death in the eye, and then cast a spell. "Life!" The yellow light descended upon Death, and sent him back to the world from which he had come.

She looked at Darkness. She used a spell that she had learned after Kefka's first death. "White!" White energy moved between Terra and Darkness, and then shot into Darkness. He went back to the Dark Esper world as well.

She turned towards Hate. She knew no spell that would harm it. She turned towards her friends. "Cure 3," she said. Edgar, Setzer, Cyan and Mog were healed by it. They got up and stood by Terra's side.

Edgar received Black Flare first. Terra cast Ultima, while Cyan Quadra Sliced the Esper, being careful to stay out of the Ultima blast area.

Edgar, recovered from the Black Flare, cast Ultima as well. In retaliation he caught another Black Flare.

Mog danced Snowman Jazz. Snow surged over Hate.
Terra cast Ultima. This time she got a Black Flare.

Cyan Quadra Sliced again, dealing heavy injuries to the Esper.
Edgar pulled out his Debilitator. No weaknesses. He threw down the device and pulled out his chainsaw and began cutting.
Hate began a countdown. "Five!"

Terra cast Ultima. "Four."

Cyan Quadra Sliced. "Three."

Mog danced. Surge again. "Two."

Edgar utilized his chainsaw again. "One."

Terra cast one last Ultima. "Zero."

Hate rose in the air a bit further. "Black Meteo!"

Black Meteors fell from the sky. Meteo, the most powerful spell in the universe, was in the hands of an immense evil.

The meteors fell on the team. Edgar fell and didn't get back up. Mog dropped to his knees, as did Cyan. Terra struggled to stay up, but failed. She went to her knees.

"Life 2," she called towards Edgar as soon as she could.
Edgar got up and pulled out his chainsaw. He put on a mask, revved up the saw, and drove right into the Dark Esper. When he hit, he jumped up, making the hole in the Esper larger.

Terra called Cure 3 on everyone. She cast Ultima again. The blue semisphere rose up, disappeared, and then the flash came. Hate screamed as he too went to the Dark Esper world.

The team of five wheeled around to look at Kefka in Locke. He was lying on the ground, his eyeballs moving rapidly. Something was going on.

Finally, the rapid movement stopped. Locke got up. "Kefka's dead. Forever. I've killed his mind."

Terra approached Doma Castle. Once inside, she went directly to the throne room, where she found Clyde on the ground. He was groaning.

"What happened to me? I killed someone, didn't I?"

"Yes. You killed Ghestahl. You were under Kefka's control. But your okay now."

"I'm okay?" he asked, sitting up.

"Yes. You're okay."
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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