AN: I'm Baack! I really do apologise for such a long wait, but it's been really hard to collect my ideas together and make this all make sense. But now I'm back, with my ideas sort of collected together, and I'll do my best to hope this all goes well. This is where things are going to start getting weird, but I'm really trying to hang on with this story. I don't know where to take it anymore. Btw, this starts with Fujin speaking.
Act 8 - Ignorance; Determination; Power
The time is near. Soon with your help, I'll destroy those flames that ruined and destroyed you…You won't have to suffer anymore…
'Where am I?' I thought. 'What is this voice? It sounds so familiar.'
Can't you see I only want to help you fulfil that wish you made all those years ago? With your help I'll become all powerful, even stronger than the mighty Bahamut… Yes, for he chose the path of slavery like the others. I'm the only free spirit left who chooses their master, for Griever was defeated…
Soon it won't be long. I'll show them just how powerful I can be. No longer will they see me as a weakling. I'll be strong, far more powerful than they ever were…
My vision suddenly became much clearer and I saw the large, hulking purple figure of Pandemona before me. 'This must be a dream,' I thought.
Indeed you re correct.
It is soon. Even now we are so tightly bonded that we share each other's thoughts. I have chosen you, little one, to be my master. Junction with me and together we'll become more powerful than anything ever seen before. Just as the great Ultimecia junctionned with Griever, so you must junction with me.
But it is fate little one. It was you who called me down from the heavens all those years ago, and I have remained with you ever since. It was your wish to destroy all the flames that swallowed your home and your family. I am now only fulfilling that wish further. Don't you want to be free of the suffering and the pain? Wouldn't you rather be free from it all?
"N-NEGATIVE," I said. What I wanted was to be with Seifer and Rajin again, roaming the plains just like we used to. I didn't want to leave them behind. We share too much history, too strong a friendship and love for each other to ever be parted eternally from one another…
Is that so?
That I have no choice. I must take you by force!
But at that moment, the slithering voice the belonged to Pandemona disappeared and I was looking into a sea of sunlight with two green boats sailing there.
"Fujin, wake up!" Seifer said urgently as he shook my shoulder. I awoke with a drowned weight hanging on my shoulders, feeling completely exhausted. I could feel the air pushing against me, almost suffocating my movements. "Thank Hyne you're all right," Seifer said as he engulfed me in his strong arms.
"WHAT?" I whispered, trying my hardest to return the embrace, but every limb just felt so tired…
"You were talking in your sleep, that you'd destroy the flames."
"Yes." Seifer let go of me and helped me up. But as soon as I was standing I felt faint, the air swaying me from side to side. I fell into Seifer, for some reason just wanting to go back to sleep…
"PANDEMONA," I said quietly. Turning my head up to Seifer I added, "HELP."
The words she had spoken still haunted me slightly. I had woken up to the sound of her voice, to her motionless, unconscious body lying next to me. I had first thought she was awake, but I soon saw that her eye was indeed closed. It was almost as if she were having a conversation with something.
I helped her down and out of the house. Every step she took, her breathing became shorter and her grip more lax. I didn't know what was happening, and I was utterly powerless to help her. She seemed as though she was slowly fading away, bordering the line between life and death with a shaking balance across the tightrope separating the two realms.
It was when we made our way down the hill, that Fujin finally slid out of my arms. "Seifer!" she cried. But as I came near a sudden wind pushed me away. Pushing against the currents of air, I stretched out my hand, but Fujin couldn't reach it.
The time has come, little one.
"What the hell was that?" I said briefly before I found myself being blown away by a massive amount of force. I could see a vortex of wind whirl around Fujin, lifting her up off the ground. I looked up to the sky to see a similar swirling void open in the dark clouds. Suddenly the thunder hidden behind the black pillows erupted and down came the huge lavender figment of Fujin's troubles.
Stand back mortal. This one has been chosen to be my master. You shall not interfere.
"Like hell I will!" I shouted back at it. Pandemona didn't reply. It moved its great arms out like an eagle and the three tubes attached to its shoulder began sucking the atmosphere into its expandable tail. Fujin was lifted up and pulled toward the GF, careering aimlessly into it. "FUJIN!" I yelled at the top of my voice, but the winds deafened it to a mere whisper.
Bracing myself, I refrained myself from being sucked in too. But it was no use; my feet were slowly being pulled off of the ground. Just as I thought it was the end, I felt a sudden explosion from beneath me and a large, clawed hand grab me from below. An overwhelming heat surrounded me and I could hear the loud growling of my own GF, Ifrit.
Why do you choose to interfere?Pandemona demanded.
Times have changed,Ifrit interceded. There is no place in the world for sorcerers and us anymore.
You came here of your own will did you not? That mere mortal did not summon you. You too still have the blood of a free spirit within you!Pandemona shouted.
I came to aid the one who felled me. That is the task of the Guardian Force. You must stop! What you're doing will kill her. Why can't you just accept that the race for power is no longer running?Ifrit booming voice said.
Enough! If it's a fight you want, you'll fail, for I now have the ultimate power!
A blinding flash stung my eyes and the torrents of air ceased. When I opened my eyes again, I saw the unholy site of Fujin's body half immersed in the skin of the deranged monster. Suddenly I remembered that very moment I had fed Rinoa to Adel; the memory never leaving my mind as I looked at Fujin, trapped in exactly the same way Rinoa was.
"What have I done?" I thought aloud. "How did I let this happen?"
It is not your fault,a sweet feminine voice said beside me. Ifrit put me down on the ground and I turned round to see a beautiful woman, her skin glowing like water. Her thick blue hair ran like waterfalls down her shoulders and an icy chill emanated from her.
Shiva?Ifrit said. This man did not fell you. Why are you here?
I come to aid him against the lost sheep of our circle,she said.
As have we,two loud, thunderous voices called from the skies. A plain of electricity began to grow out of nowhere, forming a tight circle in front of us. It gathered together forming a bright circle of energy and it burst into a glorious bird, currents sparking from the tips of its yellow feathers. As I stood wondering what the hell was going on, the ground started to shake and Bahamut too joined us as he flew at unimaginable speeds through the clouds.
So you all choose to fight me? Very well then,Pandemona boomed.
At once the three new arrivals charged forward while Ifrit wrapped his large hairy hand around me and carried me away from the battle. It wouldn't do for you to be hurt, he said gruffly.
"But what about Fujin? I can't just leave her there!" I protested.
You must not be harmed yet. I fear that Pandemona has indeed grown strong, and that even with their combined strength they will fail to defeat her. Bahamut, Shiva and Quetzacoatl are not strong enough. As you have not felled them, it is only their spirit that fights here. But you, you hold the power to bring her back.
And just as Ifrit had told me, they did indeed fall one by one. Even Bahamut was forced to fly back away to the heavens in a humiliating defeat. Only Ifrit and I remained.
Why do you still remain here? Everyone else was too weak. Why should you be any different?
Because I have the power of this man behind me. All you have is the broken spirit of that girl. You forced her to junction, and so your bond is weakened. You still don't understand the meaning of being worthy of a sorceress!Ifrit roared. He turned to me, Use my power along with yours and together we will defeat this monster.
My GF then left me, and galloped on all fours toward Pandemona. Unleashing a mighty roar, his body became engulfed with flames, a searing heat billowing in the wind. I watched the two beasts claw and pound each other into the ground, unsure of what exactly Ifrit had meant.
Concentrate Seifer!I heard him bellow, and I tried conjuring a Firaga spell, but Pandemona easily whisked the small flames away.
The wind is almighty! You shall not hurt me with your pathetic fire!
I felt lost. If I couldn't attack it, what in Hyne's world could I do?
You can do it Seifer! You saved her once and you can do so again!
Ifrit was right as I remembered when I pried open the windy capsule and rescued Fujin from the sky in Esthar. Gathering all my power, I concentrated the fiery energy into my fists again, feeling the heat surround me in a strong barrier from the wind. Pandemona once again tried to blow my flames away with a gust of wind, but the wind only fed the fires further.
Ifrit's giant brown form leaped back to my side, panting exhaustedly. Seifer, align your powers to me.
I concentrated all my energy to Ifrit, and although I had my eyes closed I could hear and feel the sound of the fire crackle; the heat grow hotter; the steam waver over my face; and the burning of the air. The fiery beast roared once more and I could sense his movements inside my mind. Pandemona cried in pain as Ifrit dug its white-hot claws into its flesh, and breathed hot fire around it.
All in the space of those few seconds I felt the divine power of strength and fortitude. Never had I experienced such force. This was the kind of ferocity I had always yearned for, the reason why I followed Edea, to claim this time of unforgiving might that I could finally show Squall that I was indeed the one who was better…
But that war was long past.
I could feel it all. Everything around me was moving, my eye unable to see anything at all. I didn't know where I was or how I got here. All I knew was that I had such an incredible strength I was unstoppable. I could destroy anything at a moment's thought; I could crush anything that stood in my way; and I could conquer anything I wanted to have.
But this power was nothing but an empty shell of what I really wanted. I didn't want to be the most feared enmity. Perhaps had this happened before, I might have welcomed it gladly. But now I had something to live for and something to die for. I didn't care anymore about whether I exacted my revenge or not. I didn't care if people made me suffer. I had felt so much pain that nothing else could possibly hurt me anymore…
Why are you not giving me your power?
It was that same voice again.
Give me your power and I will help you!
"I don't want your help," I said.
"I don't want your help!" I shouted louder into the eternal darkness.
But you made that wish…
"That was over ten years ago! I don't care about revenge anymore!" I could feel tears running down my cheeks. "Why can't you see that I've changed?" Pandemona remained silent and I was left alone with my thoughts once again.
Suddenly Pandemona moaned and I felt a horrible stinging pain run through my body. I screamed, feeling as though I had just been burnt. "What the hell is happening?" I asked, hoping Pandemona would hear me. I was getting warmer and warmer by the second, and beads of sweat dripped down my face.
I am fulfilling your wish, to destroy the flames that stand in your way. Is that…not what you want?
"NEGATIVE!" I yelled. "How many times do I have to say it?"
In one final burst of heat and fire, my skin felt as though it had been torn and slashed, and in defence I unconsciously released a wave of wind to erase the pain. But it kept coming, and again I used my Tornado magic to keep it away from my injured body.
Yes, that's it! Give me your power! It is the flames who hurt you. Your love is the fire that burns you! He wishes that you were dead! He fights me to kill me, to kill you also. Now lend me your power so you might live!
I could hear the desperation in its words, and not for a moment did my belief waver that Seifer was coming to save me. But if I didn't use my powers, he would end up killing me. I was a part of Pandemona now… If Pandemona is defeated, I too might…
'NEGATIVE!' I thought. I must believe in Seifer. It's all I can do now…
Bracing myself for the pain I would receive I prepared to let down my wind protection. Ending my concentration the pools of fire washed over me, baptising me in a river of flames, charring my skin and devouring my body. It would end here: the suffering, the hate and the yearning for supreme power. I would no longer allow myself to be a puppet of this manic creature who sort nothing but strength…
And then it hit me. Seifer was exactly the same back in the Sorceress War… Yet I followed him to the ends of the earth to help him live his dream… But Seifer had changed for the better since then. Neither of us would ever dream of wanting that type of life again. Those dreams were past, and our tune in the concerto was over. It was now the rest of the world to take over, and for us to shrink away into the background…