Prologue

'What was our purpose in life? With the Sorceress gone, SeeD did not seem needed anymore.'

-Quistis Trepe, Reflections

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  We were SeeD.

  We were the elite mercenaries, the mysterious yet deadly force that was for hire.

  Six years ago, we slew Ultimecia, the one feared by mortals. A year ago, we vanquished Sorceress Rinoa with the help of Esthar and Galbadia.

  We were unstoppable.

  Yet, in the aftermath of Sorceress Rinoa, there was no sorceress that rose to take her place. It would seem that the cycle had ended, but magic still retained its place within the world. We were victorious, and none could stand before us.

  Various new nations, emerging from the world hired us for various reasons. We were called upon to remove shifty politicians, we were called upon to aid armies, and we were called upon to be present as a representative of SeeD at the development of several new towns in Centra.

  It would seem at last that the world knew peace from the Sorceresses.

  A peace that was short lived.

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Conference Room, Administrative Floor, Balamb Garden

  Squall Leonhart Loire, High Commander of the SeeD Alliance sat at the head of a conference table that included all of SeeD's top personnel. On his right was Headmistress Quistis Trepe; on his left was Deputy Headmistress Xu Xiao Ling. The table was round, to prevent superiority, and seated around the commander were his most trusted friends and part of the SeeD High Council, Zell, Irvine, Selphie, Seifer, Fujin and Raijin.

  On the other half sat Master Martine of Galbadia Garden, reinstated and totally loyal to Squall. Beside him sat Master Carol of T-Garden, a tall, aloof lady who was slightly older than Squall. Next to them sat White Commander Sophia Mistral Fatima, leader of the White SeeD. Between the delegates, various Garden Faculty, now garbed in black robes waited, each totally obedient to Squall.

  Any event which gathered so many important personnel into a single place was bound to be important.

  Or dangerous.

  The room was a large one, with high windows opening up to the sky and displaying a view of the back part of Garden, as it was located in the rear end of 3F, now known as the Administrative Floor, due to all the faculty offices and the High Command Centre located there. From the windows, one could see both the cerulean heights above that birds flew happily around in, and also the depths of the azure seas, teeming with countless fishes that gave the water a silvery sheen.

  So peaceful, completely belying the nature of the meeting that was about to ensure.

  Squall stood up, commanding the attention of the other personnel. "I am glad you all could make it to this meeting. We have an extremely delicate matter to put on the floor here."

  Xu handed him a data disk, which he inserted into the 3D holoprojector mounted in the centre of the round table, and it displayed a report that could be read by all around the table at once as it was a holoprojection with overlapping waves. "As you can see, this is an anonymous letter from someone sent to us via NetLink's Cable Mail service. The contents are as follows:"

  "We, of the citizens' wishes that may represent a negligible interest to you, yet greater to the outside world, demand that SeeD be disbanded immediately. The world wearies of war, and SeeD fuels that war. Disband now, or face imminent conflict between the citizens, and your beloved Gardens." The last words were the worst, and they had yet to come while everyone was simmering with resent. "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec."

  The muscles at his jaw hardened. "The floor is now open to anyone who would like to debate or comment on this disturbing matter." As Squall sat down, it was obvious to all in the group that he was fighting back anger and hatred which was unusual for someone like him.

  Selphie was the first one to shoot up. "NO WAY! They can't just order us to disband like that! Don't they have any sense of gratitude when we saved the world so many times? What about the times when we did all of their dirty work!? They're just being mean! I say we take Garden's new rocket launchers and blow everyone to teeny-tiny smithereens!"

  On normal occasions, that statement would have been greeted with some incredulity, but for once, no one made a sound in protest. Sophia from the White SeeD stood up, her eyes blazing. "What about the orphans we have with us!? Most of SeeD consists of people with no family, no home! We can't just abandon all of them like that!"

  "Yeah, I agree!" Zell stood up and began swatting at the air.

  "Count me in!" drawled Irvine from his seat, the cowboy hat over his eyes. Quistis looked restrained, as if she was trying not to utter a dreadful curse, which was most unlike her.

  Over and over again, he heard the same arguments.

  "We can't just leave those SeeD alone!"

  "What about the Gardens? They're our home! The only home we have!"

  "We did so much for the world! And this is how they treat us!?"

  Xu had made her stand. "Squall, isn't your father the President of Esthar? Can't he do anything?"

  Squall shook his head. "No. This remember, is not a formal or even official declaration. We must not drag the other leaders into this matter, or it may instill the same resent within their minds. Everyone, calm down please. Remember, this is not, I repeat, NOT an official declaration. We do not know if it is though, or otherwise."

  Xu shook her head sadly. "No…have they forgotten it is their own leaders who hire us? Did we not merely serve their needs? And have we not brought peace to the world?"

  There were many loud agreements, especially from Zell who was practically fuming with rage and impatient to beat up something. Squall nodded curtly. "The reason whoever it is that wrote the letter used those last words is not clear. If it is merely a foolish civilian, we shall deal with them promptly, and hand them over to the Courts."

  "The Sorceress was killed, but we must remember that Magic still persists. Should magic vanish, then so will the Sorceresses. Zell, I need you to proceed to Deling City, where we have traced the message from."

  Squall's cold, icy gaze swept over all of them.

  "We will not be taken down so easily."

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A/N: Okay, this is a different prologue, but the story remains the same! Thank you to all whom review!