But.....I Don't Have the Answerby Djibriel
Chapter 2On the Southern Defense Wall of Narshe, it was Terra who stood watching the hordes of monsters below. The next attack would be the last, and the monsters knew it. They were not the normal monsters now, no Bombs, no Chimeras, no Behemoths and no Pterodons. No dragons as far Terra could see, no monstrous birds, no gigantic bugs.
The line of monsters in front of her, carefully placed following a strategy that puzzled Terra because of it's exactness, were the smart monsters, the Humanoids.
The Humanoids were human-shaped monsters. Scholars had wrecked their brains on the subject. Were they humans transformed into monsters? Unlikely. Were they the bodies of men, revived by dark magic? Impossible, no Humanoid was undead. Were they possessed? Unlikely too, since some of the Humanoids were obviously different from normal humans. There were Hemophytes, Humanoids with four arms. Outsiders, Humanoids without a face. Retainers, Humanoids who lived on with their head chopped off.
The Humanoids were able to plan ahead. They were aware of what they were doing. They were like humans without a soul, and these armies were to be carefully planned. Humanoids were sneaky, cunning.
And Terra witnessed them, with her heart in her boots. All that was left was dying. Celes besides her. "They'll pay, you know. Before they take me, I'll make them pay. Pay for what they did to Locke." Terra said nothing. "They'll pay for what they did to the town of Thamasha, too." Terra turned.
"You don't know anything about Thamasa."
"All dead." The sound in her voice, indicating how absolutely sure she was of this, made Terra despair even more. She hadn't thought it had been possible.
"Hello, Terra, hello, Celes, Gau's here." The sound of Gau's voice behind them heard and recognized, both women turned. Gau was waving from below. His Giant's Axe tucked in his belt. It had become Gau's weapon during the Last Days.
Terra looked at him, and thought of Duane, and what he had said. (they don't deserve it, we don't deserve it). Gau didn't deserve it. He was handsome. Funny. He never gave up. He was 100 % positive energy. Terra adored him with all her heart, and wondered where he took the courage from to smile.
"Gau just wondering where all the monsters are. They attack not now, but before. They'll attack another time, but why not now?" Terra shrugged. Celes shrugged besides her. "We don't know." Gau leaped from the ground up the Wall. It was a good thing no monsters could jump that distance.
"People, the people, all scared. Death in their..." Gau pointed at his eyes. "There, all dead. Gau thinks they should stop do that, but no man listen to Gau, and get mad fast." Terra put her hand on Gau's shoulder. She could feel him shivering under her touch. He was scared, too.
"There's a time to smile and a time to weep, Gau." There was a time to smile and a time to weep. And now, all smiles had faded like the Full Moon behind the clouds. All that remained were tears.
"Gau!" Terra bolted through to battlefield, to Gau. "Gau!" Gau tried to reach his axe, and found out he didn't have the strength to do so. He looked at Terra, sadly. His lips formed her name, but she could not hear it. Narshe Guards fought the Humanoids, they were everywhere, and for each Humanoid that went down, three Narshe Guards died. The noise overpowered Gau's words, and when a Retainer's katana pierced Gau's stomach, ending the beautiful life in it, Terra screamed, screamed and screamed, screamed until....
...the moment the monsters had slayed all of the Narshe Guards, only one was standing: Celes Chere. Celes Chere, who would never be Celes Cole no matter what. Locke had died. Had been killed.
Remembering him, his face, his smile, his voice, Celes charged. She believed she was the last person in Narshe, perhaps the last person on Earth, and she fought. With the face of Locke in her mind, she struck, pulled her sword free, turned,
struck. Parried, turned, quickly, faster,
dance, in a dance, struck and parried, faster, faster,
Locke, oh Locke, faster, Locke I loved you, Locke, faster,
turning, and then the pain, the pain in her shoulder,
faster, Locke, the pain in her stomach, a blade in her stomach, the love she felt for Locke, then the darkness, Locke my love, I'm coming...
...and then the end.
It was Terra who was in fact the last person standing in Narshe. She was screaming, and now the silence set in over Narshe, her scream was heard all the more clearly. She stood on a balcony, the balcony of a house. She turned and walked into the house. An Outsider entered the room she was in, and they fought. When she had killed the Outsider, a Retainer and a Covert had entered. She fought them both, and managed to kill the Covert, but the Retainer disarmed her, raised his sword and...!
Terra opened her eyes. She was still in the room, but in another corner. She saw the Retainer, hand pulled back, Masamune ready to strike. She saw herself sitting in the corner, head bowed down, bloody cuts over her face. Then she noticed how everything was different: time seemed to have stopped. The world was a blurry dark-grey, and she could hardly see a sword kicked in the middle of the room, where the Terra she saw could never reach it. The dark-grey moved a little, as if she was looking at something at the bottom of a clear lake.
She heard two voices talking simultaneously. That was the best she could do. They were both different, a female and a male, but they sounde so similar , and both spoke at the exact same time, they appeared to be one. Terra saw the two who had adressed her. One was a boy, maybe eight years old. His serious, brown eyes met hers. He was dressed in a way she couldn't quite place, but had seen before: In an Opera (the Dream Oath, to be precise, the opera Celes had starred in) a 'peasant' had worn those clothes. He was clean, though.
The other, a woman. She was thirty years old, and more or less good-looking. She was rather (cozily shaped) fat, and her extremely large breasts were exposed: the only thing she to wore was a yellow skirt around her waist. Her eyes seemed somehow like the boy's, but also completely different: they sparkled with joy, not all good. If she had been a little girl, she would have looked 'naughty'. Terra was too stunned to speak, but the body took over. The question was spoken before Terra thought of it.
"Who are you?"
This time, the two voices merged again the first time: at the end of the sentence they split.
"I am Cronos." (the boy)
"I am" (both)
"I am Rhea." (the woman)
This time, Terra nor her body had anything to say, and she just stared. The boy, Cronos, was leaning against something that looked like a table in the dark-grey mist, while the woman Rhea was standing close to the sword that had been kicked away. Their voices again, together at first and split at the end:
"I am the brother of the universe."
"I am the"
"I am the sister of the universe."
"I don't understand", Terra said. The world was confusion.
Cronos now spoke alone. It was a clear voice, pleasant and light. "I am Cronos. I am time. Our Creator made the universe as energy, and me to make it flow through. I am minute and day, I am hour and era.
Rhea, now spoke alone. It was a clear voice, pleasant and light. "I am Rhea. I am fertility, the unseen power which drives the energy our Creator made to shift, to abandon it's form and turn into something else. I am what moves the universe."
Cronos lifted a hand. Terra noticed there was dirt on it, like the boy had been picking weeds between his father's carrot bed. "See."
Terra saw how the world turned from dark-grey to light-grey, from light-grey to a stopped image, from a stopped image to...the world moved. The Retainer slashed and the Terra dived away. She jumped for her sword, but the Retainer kicked her in the stomach. The Terra winced, and the Retainer drove his katana in her belly. Blood welled up from her stomach. The Terra tried to speak, to speak the last words of the human race perhaps, but here too blood came up and choked everything. The katana was driven upwards, and the Terra gargled, protested against her fate, tried to pull away, until the katana ended her life. The body was thrown out of the window, and Terra heard the sickening sound it made when the body hit the ground. A flash of light, then, and....
Cronos: "This is what will happen. You cannot survive the Retainer. You will die."
Terra got up and looked around. The Retainer's Masamune ready to strike, the Terra again crouched before him like a rabbit. She was back. Both began to speak now, in their double voice.
"You know little about gods, and you need to know little. Know this. Our Creator is everything. He accidentaly created himself and the universe in the process, but cared not for it. He created children, us, and gave the universe to us. We cared for it, and spent all of our time on it. We created children ourselves, under permission from our Creator. We are eternal, and so are our children, and their childen. Eventually, the lesser gods were created, children from children from children from children. These were the gods of luck, the gods who watched over the sailors, the gods who watched over the travellers and the thieves, the gods who were mortal but lived so long it did not matter. These lesser gods had not our view. They were different from each other, and they fought. Eventually, three gods were sent down, exiled from our place. These gods were so low that they could be killed by each other and killed by you. They were killed by you. These three gods had names that you cannot stand to hear, but you called them Megami, Majin and Kishin.
Terra searched her brain. They must've been Doom, Goddess and Poltrgeist, and she thought of telling them they had been called differently, but...
"These gods were killed by you, and god's Rage was upon mankind. Those who had blessed the travellers now cursed them, ignoring prayers and luring them in swamps. Thieves were caught when they had prayed for their God. Sailors died in sea storms too large to have existed naturally. These were the workings of the lesser gods. Human life span decreased by thirty years. Most above fifty died. Sickness dwelled among those taking blessed water."
There was a pause. The woman remained still, while the boy walked over to Terra. Alone, he continued.
"Our Creator ignored his children. We, the First Born, started to doubt the ways of the lesser Gods. For the first time, there were sides to choose among the higher Gods. Some claimed that humankind was crucial for the existence of the Universe, but this was false information. However, it is not right to destroy mankind, some Gods reasoned. They were too intelligent to be dispatched at will. The others made those in favor of mankind out for fools. Since the Gods created them, it was their right to kill them. There were arguments.
Cronos was silent at this, and Rhea continued. "There were no arguments that could persuade the others. The lesser Gods grew impatient. Lesser Gods and higher Gods quarraled. Some lesser Gods were killed."
Terra could read the expression on both faces perfectly well and realized how wrong, how unthinkable murder among the Gods must have been. Both looked like people who had bitten into a lemon. Rhea continued.
"Some changed sides. Eventually, my brother and I started having different opinions. This was frightening. We were the First Born, and we were almost equal. The universe shivered. Things went wrong. The world rotted. Monsters dwelled where humankind died, and the Gods debated. Eventually we noticed that it was not only our decision to cease mankind: it was going to happen if we didn't stop it."
Cronos walked over to the crouched Terra, and he looked like a boy whose favorite pet rabbit had just been buried. Grave, his young eyes shining with sorrow.
"My sister and I were sent down. Not exiled, no God can exile the First Born but our Creator. We were sent down. If I could convince those in favor of ceasing mankind to switch sides, you will be saved. If my sister can convince those against ceasing mankind, or if neither of us switch opinion, then mankind will be ceased."
Terra understood. She didn't hope her thoughts were true, but she knew they were.
Rhea: "I have stood for the ceasing of mankind. There must not be revenge, but there must be justice. Men kill the dogs they have loved for years, if they bite their young son. This is no different. Kefka's arrogance by taking their power is unforgivable. One man is enough to condemn all.
Cronos: "I have stood against the ceasing of mankind. Killing three lesser Gods was self-protection. It was evident. We carry responsibility as well, since we have exiled them here to Earth.
Then, both: "We have chosen you. You are the last person on Earth. You are partly human, partly Esper-Human. You are not completely human, different. You are to take us to places in your memory. Convince us of the necessity of mankind. Show us humankind's virtues. Show us that humankind is worthy of existing.