I have neither death, nor doubt, nor class distinction;
Neither father nor mother, nor any birth at all.
I am not the brother, the friend, the Master, nor the disciple
I am Consciousness and Bliss. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
- Shankaracharya
Shiva was not an easy GF to get along with.

Seventeen students had junctioned her since Garden had acquired her, and all of the complaints were basically the same. A persistent cold feeling while she was junctioned, the feel of induced emotional detachment, and a drastically lowered ability to produce adrenaline--or to get excited.

Assigning GFs was never easy. All the complaints and notes had to be compiled and cross-referenced with psychological profiles from the student body in order to find the most compatible match. A low compatibility on the first junctioning would generally lead to unpleasantness.

For her eighteenth assignment, the B-Garden computer spat out four possible matches. Predictably, one person headed up the list.

There was some--but not much--concern among Garden's administration about giving Shiva to Squall Leonhart for Junction training, most of it revolving around the fact that Shiva had a tendency to induce certain "minor psychological aberrations" that Squall already seemed to have enough of. Eventually, however, they decided that it wasn't a large enough concern to go to the effort of finding another GF to assign to him.

So, on a bright December day, Shiva was transferred into a Draw Crystal and brought down to the padded-and-reinforced training room to meet her new host.

Training a GF to do anything was a delicate matter. One had to gain the GF's trust, then their respect, then their companionship--and then ask the GF politely to change their behaviour.

No one had ever bothered to train Shiva how to meet new people.

As soon as Squall picked up the crystal in which Shiva was stored, Shiva was in his mind--making herself at home amidst the memories, the instincts, and whatever else she needed to push aside to make herself comfortable.

As usual, most of the sensory input she received from her host cut out abruptly as his entire consciousness turned to deal with its somewhat unwelcome visitor. Shiva was used to the drill--her host would probably wake up some hours later, and spend the rest of the junction casting surreptitious "glances" back at her until his nerves were worn thin and he abandoned her to request another Force. It was a familiar routine.

(Shiva,) the mental voice of her host identified. All of his faculties were regarding her, now--not probing or trying to shift her around, just watching to see what she would do.

Hello, Shiva said.

They regarded each other for some time.

(Ice), her host stated.

Yes, she acknowledged.

There was silence for a while longer.

The host mind turned away, and sensory input began to fade back. Shiva paid rapt attention--this was something new.

Her host quietly reasserted control over his senses and muscles, getting used to how everything worked once again. He looked up to see his trainer standing over him.

He knew--and so, she knew--that the trainer looked satisfied.

"How do you like her?" she asked.

Her host considered--a mental glance back as if to make sure she was still there. "...fine."

"They call her the Ice Queen, you know."

Don't mind that, Shiva instructed, and her host said "Whatever," and stood up. For a moment, she couldn't tell if he was taking instruction from her--or if they had both had the same thought.

She sunk her consciousness a bit deeper into his mind. She was beginning to be intrigued.

"How do you feel?" the trainer asked.

Squall considered. "...a bit cold," he said.

"That's normal for this GF. You get used to it after a while. For the first few days of the junctioning I don't want you to junction her at night, and I don't want you junctioning any fire-based magic. All right?"

Squall nodded.

"Would you like to try to summon her?" the trainer asked. "If you don't, that's all right, too."

Her host turned his consciousness back to regard her. (Should I summon you?)

Do you think you need to?


Maybe you doubt I'm going to come when you call me,
Shiva prodded.

(Are you going to come?)


(All right.)
"I don't think so," Squall replied.

Shiva smiled. He thinks I'm going to take you over if you sleep with me, she said.

(Hm,) replied her host.

I can, you know.

(I see.)

"Maybe I should let you get to know her," the trainer said. "I'll give you a few minutes. If you need me, I'll be right outside."

"All right," Squall replied.

I've taken people over, before. Waking and sleeping.

Her host wasn't concerned--and if he had been, it would have been impossible to hide it from her. (Whatever.)

For all the trainer's enthusiasm, Squall didn't seem to be too eager to "get to know" Shiva. Shiva could easily respect that--she wasn't much for eagerness or enthusiasm of any sort.

Ice, she stated.


It's a good choice. You like ice.


Not fire.

There was a hesitancy, now, to respond. Shiva glanced through his mind, searching for the weak spot.

Someone you know, she hit upon, becoming more and more comfortable as her host became less and less so. Someone you know likes fire. ...is fire.

There was another moment's hesitation. (...Seifer.)

Shiva's mind had already filled in Ifrit to cover the gap. She smiled. I understand.

Her host was beginning to tremble as she brought her full power to bear before his consciousness. He must have been becoming very, very cold indeed.

It would make you happy to defeat him, she said--more of a declaration, an imperative, than a query.


Fire and ice are elementally opposed. I believe I shall help you... for now.

The world went black once more. Quietly, with wary distrust, Squall regarded his GF once more.