|The Previous Cycle
Author: Scuttlest PM
What led Sephiroth to take his life in the last cycle? What did Terra do as a pawn of Chaos in the last cycle? What is the story of the previous cycle? What set the stage for Dissida: Final Fantasy? Rated T. A series. SERIES COMPLETE.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chaos & Cosmos - Chapters: 42 - Words: 112,342 - Reviews: 64 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 11-25-10 - Published: 04-28-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5931623
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Here we are, the last chapter of my story.
I know, you're crushed.
Well, this chapter contains quite a few characters I doubt any of you expected to appear.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Judge Magister Gabranth lay upon the ground. A soft groan from behind his helm as his hand scraped into a fist, as his consciousness returned to him the first thing he noticed was how good he felt. No aches or exhaustion plagued his body… and then he noticed that he was at the Edge of Madness.
Instantly he moved back to his feet and looked around, no sign of Garland. Yet Gabranth remembered being thrown over the edge by the knight, his continued life should not have been possible.
"So, another vassal has come." Gabranth twisted around to see a hooded figure approaching him, "Fear not, I did not come to fight you. It is doubtful you would be worth my time anyway."
The figure turned away, "I am Chronodia, (1) and this, is hell." Chronodia began to walk away, "This is where the warriors who defied the cycle are sent, to fight empty battles." Chronodia seemed to weakly laugh. "Those who succeed are brought back to the god's war. Amusing, isn't it?"
Chronodia turned back to Gabranth, "We fight, to be rewarded with more fighting. Yet Cid contracted me to be the witness to all war and battle, to hold memory of it all."
"You claim a need to fight?" Gabranth tightened his grip on his double-sided blade, "What incentive is there to fight now?"
"Simple, Judge." Chronodia trust an arm to the side, revealing that under the robe was a simple blue orb. "Those who, even now, cannot bring themselves to fight for their intended purpose, shall be absorbed into time, becoming another part of my being."
Gabranth took a step back, his grip on his weapon slightly faltering, but then reaffirming itself.
"Do I sense fear?" Chronodia covered the orb with fabric again, staring at Gabranth, the gaze piercing through, witnessing the despair ensnaring his heart and soul. The essence of his entire being. "Fear of becoming a part of me, or fear of the hopelessness that is to come?"
Chronodia began to float away, he turned his head to leave-
"Wait!" Gabranth called out, stopping Chronodia in his movement, with a smirk, he turned back to the Judge.
"Is this it? All the power I had, reduced… to…"
"Power?" Chronodia scoffed, "You have always lacked true power, it has always been in Cid and Shinryu's hands."
"Shinryu?" Gabranth paused, "What was this war started for? Why did it-"
"The weak can only ask." Chronodia dismissed Gabranth from trying to ask anything further. "If the truth is what you want, come and find me, but first, you must master this hell."
Chronodia lifted into the air, raising his right arm up, "Let's see just how capable you are, another warrior from a distant cycle is coming."
"Chronodia, I shall kill you."
"Indeed?" Chronodia lowered his arm. "There is more then death in this hell, and you shall not find killing me a trivial matter."
The robed figure vanished, leaving Gabranth alone, but not for long. He heard footsteps, not heavy, but he gathered that someone was approaching him from behind.
"Who are you?" A female voice asked, Gabranth did not turn around or respond. "Hey, listen to me when I'm talking to you."
"Name yourself, first." Gabranth turned around, taking note of the woman, holding a segmented staff in her hands.
"I'm Oerba Yun Fang." She stopped and examined Gabranth as he came to a stop, now completely facing her, "You… you were a Chaos Warrior, weren't you?"
"Supposing that I were…" Gabranth separated his weapon into two blades, holding them calmly at his side, "What would it matter to you? We've all received the same fate."
Fang glared at him, "I have less of an issue fighting ex-Chaos trash. This is my only chance to return home."
Gabranth began to walk forward, "So you have something back home that you find worthwhile?" He was almost amused at her fierce expression, "There is nothing waiting for us but more fighting. You should just accept your fate."
"I'll see her again, and you won't stop that."
"Her? You remember someone precious?" Gabranth raised his linked weapon in front of him. "You seek to return to her? You?" He suddenly separated the weapons, falling into his battle stance, "You, who failed Cosmos and rose against her? What can a traitor hope to return to?"
"You're the last person who'll keep me from seeing Vanille again." Fang drew her weapon, a spear, extending its length in preperation for a fight. "Lady luck left you the moment you got in between me and Vanille."
Gabranth only scoffed.
"Your will is shattered. Your desire to return only poisons you!"
The sea of magma around the Edge of Madness suddenly surged, spraying geysers of lava up in the air as the two Warriors prepared to start their fight.
"So we meet again." Chronodia floated by a familiar figure. "Surely you must realize just how heretical your actions are becoming… Xande."
The dark skinned dark lord turned to acknowledge Chronodia's presence. "Heresy"? He scowled, "You divinity and your foolish accusations, with immortality in your grasp, you can so callously and so casually speak such things."
"I am no divinity. Merely the one who observes all." Chronodia looked away, "…but yes, I am immortal. You have lost this perfect gift."
Xande grumbled under his breath, the joy of immortality existing only in his memory now. The despair of death always in him, driving his every motive and plan.
"I will attain eternal life once more, I don't care how insane or blasphemous my actions seem."
"Yes, you let the fear take control." Chronodia surrendered to a weak chuckle. "Many are those who serve Chaos to attain more and more, you would be content to simply regain what you once had."
"Those fools?" Xande allowed the vaguest shadow of a smirk to crease his face. "They will all die, sooner or later, they could not begin to understand my mechanizations."
"Driven by such anger and despair." Chronodia smirked at the emotion on Xande's eyes, "Perhaps you should share some of that with the latest addition to our… humble community."
"On your knees!" Fang charged forward, but Gabranth deflected the attack simply by striking the middle of the spear with his left blade, knocking Fang just slightly off balance.
Gabranth charged forward, but Fang regained her equilibrium faster then he expected. She responded to his charge with another swing of her spear, swishing it through the air with enough power that Gabranth needed both of his sword to counter. Their weapons struck together, locking them in a stalemate.
It persisted for only a moment before Fang leapt back, then, hoping to catch Gabranth off-balance, immediately charged again. Her attack failed, her lance missed as Gabranth suddenly moved to the left, the tip of her weapon spearing to the side of Gabranth's head. Gabranth responded with an upward swing of his right blade, forcing Fang to jump back, or else suffer a premature end to the fight.
The sword's tip was just barely an inch away from her skin as she moved back, her feet scraping along the ground. Yet she had no chance to clear her mind from the temporary end of the attacks, Gabranth moved towards her.
Gabranth slashed both blades down, but they failed to strike Fang as she dodged to the right, instead they struck the ground. Rather then continue the offense, Gabranth raised his swords in defense of Fang's counterattack, the spear struck hard against his left sword, disturbing his grip on it, she struck again, the tip just barely scratching his armor, Gabranth jumped back before that could have gone anywhere else.
Pausing once at a distance, Gabranth proceeded to fuse his weapons together. Marching forward, he moved toward Fang.
"Is that the extent of your rage? Am I not between you and your reunion?" Gabranth began to slowly close the distance as he walked. "The gods have cheated you, taken your world, and your precious friend away. Does that not demand vengeance?"
Fang's expression hardened as her grip on her weapon tightened, her lips curling into a snarl.
"Yes, good." Gabranth's movements did not stop. "Find your wrath, take up your blade. Fight, and serve those who are apart from you!"
Gabranth swung down with his fused weapon, Fang raised her spear, but Gabranth's attack knocked it right out of her hands, throwing it upon the ground, sliding away from her.
She wasn't going to stop right there however, she swept one leg across the ground, striking Gabranth's heel and taking him off his feet. As Gabranth got back to his feet, she regained her weapon and turned back to the Judge, who was already charging again with a separated weapon.
Fang blocked his first intended strike with her spear, only for him to unexpectedly throw his left blade into the air. Caught off-guard, she could do nothing as Gabranth reached an arm out, grabed her by her face, and threw her behind him.
She almost fell off the side of the Edge of Madness, but feel just short. Sprawled out, she quickly got back to her feet, only to see Gabranth, his weapon charging energy through it.
Brimming with unnatural energy, Gabranth swung his weapons, summing crescent shaped ethereal blades. She dodged all four blades, but was unprepared for his sudden charge, linking his weapons back together, he forced himself forward, charging forward, then another charge, then another. Fang flew back from the attack, a distinctive bruise on her gut.
Needing some breathing room, Fang took to the air, leaping several feet above Gabranth's head, he ran to where she had been standing a second earlier, but he made no effort to jump after her. Instead…
Instead he merely swung his weapon, summoning a tornado, a Aero spell, forcefully and fiercely throwing her away.
She landed on her back, but still almost immediately got back to her feet. She was starting to feel worn out, though she'd never admit it, she couldn't accept defeat, not now. She glared back at Gabranth, feeling the need for a plan of some sort.
"Chronodia." Zemus hovered in the air, not turning to the cloaked figure that approached him from behind. "I have a question for you."
The two figures were high in the air, distantly observing the unfolding battle between Gabranth and Fang. Chronodia did not directly respond to Zemus' statement, but merely hung there, waiting for the words.
"Why do you destroy us with this futility?"
"I never destroyed anyone here." Chronodia answered, his voice serious, but even. "They destroy themselves, I merely tear away the illusions and bring them the truth of existence."
"I see." Zemus shook his head, his sunken eyes retained the hateful expression he had years ago, when he was still living on the moon in his world. "Tell me, when I was a Warrior of Chaos, I was told that if I struck down Cosmos humanity would be wiped from the blue planet. Was that…"
"A lie." Chronodia lowered his head, allowing a bit more of his skin to disappear under his hood. "Those of Chaos always need an incentive. The carrot hung before the face, just out of reach."
A long silence hung in the air after the statement. Chronodia could sense a seething anger building in the Lunarian, it outshined all the feelings of contempt and disgust prevalent through this broken and tormented land. After nearly a minute of silence, Chronodia began to fade out, moving to a different local of the tormented destination for the defiant.
Fang's spear was double-sided, allowing her to spin the weapon as she approached Gabranth. He paused at the sudden change in tactics from Fang, backing away from the display, Fang pressed her possible advantage, coming in close and slashing at the Judge. Her blow struck at his helmet, damaging the left horn, she span her spear, hoping to catch the middle of the helmet with her next attack, only for Gabranth to suddenly raise both blades into the air.
She attempted to attack before Gabranth could try anything, but rather then strike with his swords, his right elbow struck her on the side of her head, diffusing her attack. With distance between them again, Gabranth linked his swords back together as Fang charged again. With one swift movement, he stabbed forward with his weapon, forcing Fang to back away, then unlinked his swords and slashed both of them into empty air, summoning a massive cut in the air, burning with energy, the slice in the air suddenly exploded, (2) leaving Fang no where to run.
Caught in the blast, Fang was thrown back, but managed to flip through the air and land on her feet again. Her body burned and exhausted, she realized, with reluctance, that a direct attack wasn't going to work, so instead, she turned to spells.
A sudden series of Ruin spells were unleashed, forcing Gabranth to move to the left to dodge. The spells came non-stop, leaving little chance of an attempt to counter, and she then supplemented her attack with other spells. The non-stop barrage was catching up to Gabranth, until eventually one spell managed to reach him, igniting an explosion.
Fang paused, attempting to peer into the smoke, unable to determine weather she had won or not, but she couldn't hear anything, no distinctive sound of clinking metal… until Gabranth suddenly burst through the smoke. With both swords in hand, he charged forward, Fang raised her spear and their weapons met in a stalemate.
Yet the stalemate lasted just a few seconds, Fang began to falter against Gabranth, after a moment she disengaged and jumped back, allowing Gabranth's swords to crash into the ground.
"Why do you abhor the control of those above you so much?" Chronodia addressed to the ex-Warrior of Chaos before him. None other then Vayne Solidor, the Emperor of Arcadia.
"Have you come to drive further scorn to my failures, to mock the blackheart who strove to free himself from the tyranny of the Gods?" Vayne calmly placed his hands behind his back as he turned toward the cloaked figure. "Do not believe that I will not someday free myself of your tyranny."
"You hold nothing but contempt for those above you, yet…" Chronodia smirked under his hood, "If you hate them so, why wield their power?"
"I wield it the way one wields poison. Hoping to understand it, and in turn, kill it." Vayne pulled his right arm out from behind him, holding a curious stone in his hand. "I have attained the power of man, something the Gods cannot fight against."
The stone, Vayne's Nethicite, began to give off a red smoke, feeding power into Vayne, enough power that it warranted a reaction from Chronodia. His own power surged into him, raising his cloak as blue energy shimmered inside the orb within his very core, after just a moment Vayne suddenly stopped taking energy from the Nethicite, prompting Chronodia to also disengage himself.
With a simple smirk, Chronodia turned his back and began to float away, when suddenly Vayne summoned his Sephira, the floating swords appearing without warning, they flew straight toward Chronodia. Chronodia suddenly turned around and extended his arm, an open palm at the end, and the Sephira froze a few feet away from him, ensnared by a ghostly blue energy.
Vayne took a step back as the swords winked out of existence, with his palm still open to Vayne, Chronodia unleashed a blast of blue energy. The blast struck Vayne, sending him back, flying through the air, and then sprawling on the ground.
"You are no Dynast-King, you should realize." Chronodia brought his hand down and then turned away, "How could you be, if you cannot rise out of this hell? Surrender to a life of control, lowly Emperor."
Chronodia again floated off as Vayne rose once more, anger directed at Chronodia, but he was already gone.
"We cannot escape the past." Gabranth directed his view away from Fang, at the other end of the Edge of Madness, and looked at the sky above him. "This hell is living proof." With a sigh, he tightened his grip on his weapons and turned back to Fang. "What is your past, former Warrior of Cosmos?"
Fang glared at him, "I can remember my past, but…" Her expression faded after a moment, then she suddenly charged without warning. Gabranth stood his ground as she came forward, and caught her spear on his sword, with one sword blocking the attack, he slammed his other sword down on her spear and pulled both his arms back, tearing the weapon out of her hands and tossing it over the edge of the battlefield.
Before she could react to the loss of her weapon, Gabranth struck her in the gut with his right sword. In moments she was thrown through the air, right over the edge, in a near mirror of the death Garland had given him.
"Well well, it seems you aren't completely incapable." Chronodia suddenly spoke up from above Gabranth. "Yet, I wonder if you could really become more then just another denizen of this hell…"
"I defeated one enemy, what happens now?" Gabranth raised his gaze upwards at Chronodia, masking his contempt with an even voice.
"Now? Now you fight further." He smirked in his hood, "The punishment for those who defy, is an eternity of endlessness. Unless you receive the mercy of being called back."
Bringing his hand over his chest, Chronodia made a mock bow, then raised himself back up. "Before long, you shall find a new opponent. I do hope you emerge victorious." With a final laugh, Chronodia vanished.
Gabranth hung his head down, the crushing misery weighing on his shoulders, threatening to smother his essence. Raising his head back up, he marched forward, yet something wouldn't stop gnawing on his heart, with the despair consuming him, he forced his movements, he almost wanted to cut himself down.
He wanted to die.
But he couldn't, some part of him seemed to know that it would be futile. This truly was hell, he raised his head up, then back down, the hopelessness was unbearable, but still, he had no choice.
(1) Chronodia is the superboss in the PSP verison of FF1. Seeing as Dissidia's plot seems to pull quite a few things from FF1, I felt Chronodia was an appropriate thing to shove in. However, in the game, Chronodia's appearance is basically just a giant blue orb. Feeling that it would be slightly awkward for Gabranth to be speaking with Goliath's beach ball, I instead modeled a human form for Chronodia based on the hooded figure associated with the Labyrinth of Time that Chronodia is found in. The orb is still present on him under his robes, which he shows to Gabranth.
(2) The attack Gabranth is using here is his "Guilt" attack. He actually has this in Dissidia, but the description of the attack here effectively copies the attack from XII at the Pharos.
...you know, I've always imagined that the "Hell" that Gabranth got thrown to has all sort of FF villains in it. Hence the apperance of Xande, Zemus, and Vayne. Fang's appearance was just sort of randomly thrown in. He doesn't become the watchdog of hell today, and that position would still be beneath what I would envision Chronodia's position to be.
I suppose one could argue that the people in that "hell" are tossed down there and then forgotten about until they "prove" worthy of fighting again. Still, I'd imagine Cid would try to maintain control in hell in some way, hence Chronodia's presence.
Fang's presence was just tossed in. No big special meaning.
We're at the end now. Please review.
You know, this was my first attempt at a story that had multiple chapters. Considering that, I think it turned out rather well.