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But.....I Don't Have the Answer

by Djibriel


Chapter 3

Both: "This is where?"

Terra showed them the surroundings. Houses. A flowerbed. A nice town. It was Mobliz, where Terra and Duane had lived, where the baby had been born, the symbolic new start that had died three days later. The town where Katarin had lived and the children had lived. "This is Mobliz," she said. "Before Kefka put it under the Light of Judgement."

Both: "A cluster of men. A town."

Terra nodded. "This is where I will show you man's greatest gift, the ability, just look at it."

In the scene, Duane snuck out a back door. Faintly, you could hear his father complaining to his mother about his absence. Katarin was waiting in the Herb Garden, and Duane rushed there. They ran for each other, and they were laughing merrily when they embraced each other. It was young love, careless love. They kissed briefly and looked at eachother with the lover's look: a look so unlike any other it had to be recognized by all.

Duane told Katarin he had snuck out of his house, because he had to do chores. Katarin responded by saying that she too had chores she couldn't ignore. They looked at each other some more, started smiling. Grinning broadly, Duane proposed they should skip the chores and keep each other compay. Katarin accepted and they both started laughing. Duane, who would die three years later in Narshe, pulled off his shirt and leaned across an oak. Katarin laid her head in his lap, and both starring at the sky, they started talking about things that were only interesting because they loved each other. Talking was exchanged with kissing, some more talking, some more kissing.

It must've been cool under the tree on a hot day, and they were comfortable and happy.

Cronos and Rhea watched, and remained silent. Nothing gave away what they were thinking. Then, Rhea spoke. "What is this?"

Terra became uncomfortable. She had thought the answer to their question had been rather easy, and that the answer was easily recognized in this scene. "Well, this is love! It's what keep men apart from monsters, from animals and plants. This is..."

"Show us more."


Cyan sat, leaning back at the wall. The moat of Doma Castle sparkled in the sunlight. Cyan seemed relaxed enough, but the kid beside him was bored. He looked around, fidgetted with everything in his reach and complained that fishing was boring. For that's what they were doing: Two fishing poles stood firm between the rocks. Cyan calmed his son down. Told him that fishing is a waiting game, that waiting was an essential part of his training. Didn't he want to become Doma's next retainer? Cyan stroked the kid's hair. The kid looked up at Cyan with pure adoration, as if Cyan was his idol.
One rod moved. Something in the moat was pulling the line down. Suddenly excited, Owain grabbed it and followed Cyan's instructions: easy, slowly, don't want to let the fish escape, don't want to...

Rhea: "This is love. I had hoped for a better answer. It is evident that the humankind loves itself. In fact, it is so busy loving itself that it forgets it's narcism. Self-love. One human loves another human which is so like him, and then loves himself even more because he loves something else. To be more precise, love exists in all life. Love is no more than the will to keep the species intact. Love is what makes life constantly renew itself. No species can survive without love. Love is a necessity, no virtue to be proud of. I am love, and I know myself."

Terra had not expected this at all. She had believed love was all that mattered. She defended. "One man is not the other. We don't love ourselves, we love another. Sometimes, one man loves a woman so much he would give his life to save the other's! It's not narcism, it''s love."

Cronos: "My sister is right. It comes down to self-love. A man would never give his life to save an animal, would it? No single man would give his life to save a thousand times thousand birds, however pretty they sing. For mankind, I hope there is something better than love. It is not only false, it is a bad surprise that you truly think this is humankind's greatest virtue."

Terra thought. Searched her brains. What did set humans apart from animals, besides love? True love, she thought, had to be the answer...and yet it wasn't. There must be something else, but her mind returned to those words, as if her mind would not accept her answer was denied. True love, true love, true...

(An old, rich man is talking to his pretty, young wife.

Would you still love me if tomorrow I had lost all my money, dear?

Yes, she replies, and I would miss you.)

Humor, that was something! No animal laughed. No monster laughed.


Rhea: "Where is this?"

Ragtime music was playing, a single pianola in the corner of the bar. The pianola-player's fingers rushed like hasty tentacles over the instrument. The room was filled with smoke, there was laughing and talking. At the Maranda bar, Setzer and Sabin drank their drinks, chatting about something. Setzer grinned and asked Sabin how hedgedogs had sex. Sabin shrugged, unknowing. Setzer told Sabin hedgedogs had sex really carefully, and both Sabin and Setzer exploded in laughter. Sabin asked Setzer how many Jidorians it took to screw in a lightbulb, and while Setzer asked Sabin how many Jidorians it did take to screw in a lightbulb,...

Terra explained the scene to Rhea and Cronos. "It's humor. No animal laughs, right? No monsters laughs. Right?"

Cronos: "Kefka laughed on many occassions. What he thought was humorous was in fact cruel. Humor is not a virtue by itself."

Rhea: "Furthermore, all humor is aggression. Humor is what sets those making the joke above the subject of the joke. Even the joke about the hedgedogs was agression. It was bonding between these two men. So that they could be stronger together."

Cronos: "It is an intresting side of humanity, indeed. The body takes control in laughing, the mind unable to stop a 'laughing fit'. It is bizarre that an intelligent race could lose control on so many occassions. Humor is made troughout the day. It seems that humans like laughing, like losing control of their bodies, if for reasons not understood by the Gods. "

Rhea: "Please understand this. Even if humor was a virtue, it would not aid us. It would not please us. We asked you what made humankind essential. If what we call virtue would be your virtues, we would like honor. We would like wit. We would like honesty. All these things are perhaps important between humans, but they are not important between humankind and the Gods. Self-evident or foolish, but never a virtue."

Terra's argument of humor was kicked in the dirt and stepped on, she realized it. She wasn't trying to fight for her choice. She saw in both eyes that they could go on for hours, explaining to Terra how laughing worked, exactly why it was all agression, etcetera etcetera. But dear Gods, dear Gods, what were these two looking for? A scary thought came to mind. These Gods were hoping for something, hoping for her to show them something that they themselves could not find. Could it be that humankind had no true reason to exist? That there was nothing to live for? Dear Gods, she was asked to find something now that had been searched for by all philosophers. The reasons of mankind's existence.

Rhea: " My brother could give you an unlimited amount of time. But we don't think that will be necessary. If you have nothing better then this, the will to keep the species alive and agression, we don't see a reason why we should stop the monsters.


Terra was thinking now, for half an hour. Every time she felt she had something, two words popped up: true love. She tried to push these words away, knowing that they were useless. True love was not the answer. She was thinking, searching in her memories now, not in her mind. There must be something. She dropped the necessity of the answer. She dropped the fact her life was at stake. She dropped her situation. All that remained was the question she was to answer. She thought of...

Locke: I don't think we'll get married anytime soon, since she's only eighteen. But I know we'll make it together, I can just feel it in my bones and my heart. Just you wait, Terra, it's gonna be a great party, just you wait, it's gonna be a...

Edgar: I'll give you three reasons, Terra (and now her memory ran off and her imagination filled in the gap, creating unbelieveable scenarios), why mankind must survive. First, your beauty has captivated me. Second, I'm dying to know if I'm your type, and your...(abilities)...sunset would be a distant third.

Sabin: But don't you DARE tell him I said that love is all that matters, Terra, don't you DARE, 'cause if you do I'll have to, well, kill you, Terra. Love is all that matters, but it's a death secret, Terra, take it to the grave with you, Terra...

Shadow: There are many like me, Terra, who have killed their emotions. And trust me, Terra, it's a good thing, emotions are bad, they're naughty, Terra, they're all bad, kill all emotions, and kill all men, cause all men are NAUGHTY, Terra.

Cyan: There is much to live for, Terra, much to live for, look at that, do you see that, Terra? Do you see

Do you see that sunset, Terra? It's so...

"Do ye see that sunset, Terra? I've thought that my life was officially over after Kefka, for a short span of time. I lived on revenge (agression and love, love and agression), lived to kill (agression) in the memory of my wife and son (love). But do you see that sunset? 'Tis a fact that there is much to live for, Terra. Much to live for indeed." And then:

"Thou shan't ignore the world we live in. Thou shan't take it for granted. Each day, I awaken and celebrate the beauty of my life by living it. I celebrate the beauty of the world by living in it. Because, Terra, no creation is complete without a bard to sing about it."


Both: Where is this?

It was Thamasa, before the fall. It was quiet and peaceful, the apotheosis of all small towns. A woman was talking to her neighbour, and she was blushing slightly. The sun shone, it was one of the most beautiful days. Strago was sitting in a chair he had taken out of the house, enjoying the warmth of the sun. Relm was sitting in front of her canvas. Painting, of course: practicing her favorite skill.

Terra pointed at the little boy over by the canvas. He was staring at the canvas, at Relm, at the canvas again. He was obviously delighted by the skillfullness of the painting. And so he told Relm, how good it looked, how beautiful it was. How real. Relm smiled. Told the little boy that the trees on her canvas weren't half as good as the real trees, telling him that the grass on the canvas was just fake. The little boy nodded.

Terra started talking. "I have thought about your question. Why should humankind exist? Let me turn the question, oh Cronos and Rhea. Why should Gods exist? To maintain and take care of the universe, right?"

Both nodded.

"Then why should the universe exist?"

Both, slightly puzzled: "The universe is. Our father created it. That's enough."

"But the creation of the universe has no purpose. Then let humankind be it's purpose! Let us enjoy it, let us celebrate it! A friend of mine, Cyan Garamonde, once told me that no creation is complete without a bard to sing about it, somebody to enjoy it, somebody to write poetry about it! Animals are unaware they are alive, so are monsters. They eat the grass without thinking about the grass, they are unaware of their existence, while humans wonder about it! Let us be the ones who marvel about the sunset, who look at Barren Falls and get tears in their eyes because of it's beauty! Let us be the ones, oh Gods, to celebrate the universe."

Rhea and Cronos looked at eachother, surprised.

Both: "That is a surprising argument. We held the existence of the universe for granted, which was a flaw. We will debate with the higher Gods, then with the lesser Gods. Humankind owes its existence to you. We are convinced, and so will the lesser and higher Gods be.

Rhea and Cronos bowed briefly, and then there was light, moving light, and the moving light was moving up, faster, faster unil Terra realized that she was falling, falling down. She could feel the air through her hair, faster, and then...


Terra opened her eyes. She felt wood under her, and the texture seemed familiar. She moved her head a little and realized where she was. She found herself on the nose of the ... Falcon?
She noticed she was unable to move, and then she heard Celes. "Terra!" She was dragged by Celes to the center of the Falcon's Deck. She tried to move a bit, was unable to do so. How could this be? Celes alive! The Falcon in the sky! Life! She looked, and saw...she saw them all! The Figaro brothers, Gau, Mog, Strago, Relm! Locke, too, together with Cyan was all too much. "I just saved the human race.", she croaked.
Locke laughed. "Don't get too cocky, Terra! We ALL just saved the human race. It was team work!"
Terra realized where she was. Moments after Kefka's death, they had escaped his tower. On board of the Falcon. And now they were here. Cronos must've given them this time. She stumbled up.
"Are you okay?", she heard Edgar say. She didn't reply, walked to the nose of the Falcon instead. She looked at the sky, looked at the lands below her. It was magnificent.

Life, in fact, was magnificent.
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2019 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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