Cliffies are terrible things, aren't they? Heh heh. Here's the next chap, enjoy!
The half Guado laughed his sickening laugh.
Tidus continued to stare stupidly, "No way," he managed through gritted teeth.
With unimaginable strength Seymour grabbed him by the throat. Tidus immediately dropped his sword and attempted to detach the hand cutting off his air supply.
"Finally," Seymour whispered as he watched the blond blitzer struggle not to fall unconscious. Before he could revel in his victory however he heard someone behind him utter the words, "Firaga!"
Releasing his grip and spinning the half Guado cast Shell but he was too late as the fire spell had already engulfed him. He screamed in pain as the fire seared his flesh and, much to Lulu's surprise, disappeared. Tidus snatched up his sword and struggled to his feet.
"Where'd he go?" he managed to croak above the din of the battle.
Lulu shrugged in bafflement and came toward him, "Are you okay?" she asked with a frown.
Tidus nodded, "Seymour's dead," he pointed out, "He was sent."
Lulu nodded, "I know," she said equally confused.
Before long, under the barrage of the Al Bhed's machina assisted attacks, the warrior monks began to retreat. The Al Bhed made to follow but Yuna stopped them, "Not now," she told them.
They let the warriors monks go but the fiends they had brought with them the Al Bhed and Yuna and her ex-guardians quickly dispatched. When they were done they began to assess the damage and treat the wounded. Yuna leant her help by using her white magic to heal where necessary and sending where nothing could be done.
By the time they had done all they could it was noon the following day. Shopkeepers began to repair their shops and citizens cleaned the streets of the debris left by the battle.
After helping for much of the afternoon the Yuna and her guardians met with Cid on the airship, which was docked by the Stadium.
Yuna had something on her mind, "How can Seymour be back?" she muttered to no one in particular.
Lulu looked pensive, "I'm not so sure he is," she told them, "The very second he was injured, he disappeared."
"Perhaps it was just an illusion," Rikku suggested.
"Didn't feel very much like an illusion," Tidus said dryly.
"No," Yuna said, "It wasn't an illusion. Somehow Mika has found a way to bring people back from the farplane. Even if it is temporarily."
"I don't like the sound of that," Cid said crustily.
Suddenly Tidus remembered his dream and the comment Auron had made in it. What else can summoners summon?
He looked up, "What if..." he began. The others looked at him, "What if Mika summons them?" he asked hesitantly.
Yuna frowned; "As one would summon an Aeon?" she wanted to know. Tidus nodded and the ex-summoner looked thoughtful, "I don't know," she said eventually, "What gave you that idea?"
"My dream," Tidus told them.
"Eh?" Cid said suspiciously.
"I've been having these dreams about the war," Tidus told him, "A lot of the things in them have come true."
"So you had a dream about the New Yevon attacking before they attacked?" Rikku wanted to know.
"I didn't know that they would strike first but I knew this wouldn't end without conflict," Tidus said absently rubbing his bruised neck, "I also dreamed Seymour and Yuna summoning something, remember?" he directed his last question at Lulu, Wakka and Yuna whom he had already told about the dream. They nodded.
"You didn't get to see what they summoned?" Rikku asked.
Tidus shook his head, "I woke up before I could."
Cid grunted, "Then it's obvious what they were summoning isn't it?" he told them, "The dead."
Yuna frowned, "If I could summon people from the farplane..." she trailed off not sure what to make if this revelation.
The others also fell silent each contemplating the meaning of this and how it could effect them.
"There must be a catch," Lulu muttered eventually.
"Well, you obviously can't be injured in anyway," Rikku pointed out, "Or you'll go back."
"It can't the same as a regular summoning either," Yuna added, "You may need some sort of magic or a special staff."
"Well," Cid barked at Tidus, "What happened in your dream did Mika use something special?"
Tidus looked taken aback then thoughtful, "Only...only that Seymour was already standing next to him when he started summoning," he said, "But that could only be the dreams way of telling me who he was summoning."
"Maybe you can only summon one person," Wakka wondered out loud, "Someone special or significant to you."
"That could be," Yuna said suddenly, "Seymour was a fellow Maester to Mika as well as a co-conspirator."
"But so was Kinoc," Tidus pointed out.
"But Kinoc was once a good man," Lulu added quietly, "That could work against him being compatible."
"So," Yuna said slowly, thinking fast, "You could summon someone close to you, someone on the same level as you and someone of the same alignment."
"Alignment?" Rikku looked puzzled.
"Good or evil," Lulu told her, "Your alignment is how far to whichever side you are."
"Oh," said Rikku. She gave Yuna a sidelong look, "You could summon someone who could find Seymour on the other side and get them to beat it out of them." The blonde Al Bhed punched the air for emphasis.
"Don't be silly-" Lulu started then stopped looking thoughtful.
"Not a bad idea, Rikku," Tidus sounded impressed.
Yuna shook her head, "But I don't know how to summon dead people," she said exasperatedly.
"It can't be that hard," Cid said impatiently, "What do you do when you summon an aeon?"
"You do the correct dance for a start," Yuna told him tetchily, "And you call the aeon in your mind."
Cid shrugged, "So call someone in your head," he said simply.
"But I don't know if there's a dance and I don't even have my staff," Yuna protested.
"It can't hurt," Wakka pointed out.
Yuna opened and closed her mouth a few times, trying to find an argument then gave up, "Okay, who do I think of?" she asked wearily.
There was a thoughtful silence.
"Someone who isn't afraid of Seymour," Rikku supplied.
"Auron," Tidus and Lulu said in unison.
Yuna nodded slightly then closed her eyes and concentrated. The others watched her closely as she her brow furrowed slightly. A full minute passed then a blue glow started to surround the former summoner, drifted out in tendrils. Hesitant at first then growing stronger the glow swirled and an emblem burned itself into the air around her.
The emblem looked ominous and slightly creepy. Four streaks of light shot upward and out sight through the airship roof then to Yuna's left an eddy of pyreflies started form.
They seemed to flow backward exactly as if they were watching a Sending in reverse. Which in effect they were. Before long the pyreflies took on a humanoid shape then solidified and coloured. Once they had fully dispersed Auron stood before them looking blank.
The legendary guardian returned their disbelieving stare with a raised eyebrow.
Rikku was the first to speak, "Oh, wow," she whispered.
"I'm sure there's a good reason for this and I'm waiting for you to tell it to me," Auron said eventually.
"I summoned you," Yuna said automatically with a wide-eyed look.
"I see," Auron said then paused, "No actually I don't see. Care to clarify." It wasn't a question.
"Mika is planning to make war on the Al Bhed and he's found a way to summon Seymour from the farplane to help him. We decided to try the same thing with you in the hopes that you could help us from the other side," Lulu explained blandly.
Auron nodded, "Okay," he said.
"This doesn't bother you?" Tidus demanded.
Auron gave his one upon a time charge a long look, "I see you made it back okay," he commented.
"You didn't answ-" Tidus paused, "Did you have something to with that?" he asked.
Auron smirked, "What do you need?" he asked Yuna.
Yuna looked a little taken aback then curious, "Should I thank you?" she asked glancing significantly at Tidus.
Auron looked down briefly with a genuine smile, "Let's just say it was a joint effort," he said, "Are we pressed for time?"
Yuna sighed, "I have no idea," she said.
"As far as we know," Lulu added, "You'll only return to the farplane when you physically injured."
Auron gave this due consideration, "Hmm, in that case I don't suppose it could hurt to tell you but first I wish to know exactly what's going on."
Yuna told him all she knew including a brief synopsise of the previous two years and Tidus gave his side of the story but when he came to part about his dreams Auron chuckled out loud.
"What?" Tidus demanded immediately slipping back into his tetchy attitude around the less that forth coming guardian.
"That would be the fayth," Auron told him with a smirk, "They will continue to help you as the connection between them and you will never fully be broken."
Tidus opened his mouth to reply then closed it again finding no words.
Auron looked at him, "Your father, Braska and I," he started looking slightly uncomfortable, "Approached the divine spirits of the Fayth and asked them to save you."
"Save me?" Tidus frowned at Auron's choice of words.
Auron grimaced, "Just as well you don't remember," he muttered, "When a person dies they have to walk the Road to the Farplane, it's long and boring but it's purpose is to give you time to contemplate your life and the things did during it. No man escapes his conscience on this road, your sins will find you as you walk and thus when you get to the end of the road you know exactly which choice to make."
"Choice?" Rikku asked bouncing up and down in her seat with anticipation.
Auron sighed sounding truly weary, "Those who are unsent either stay in the land of the living as I and Seymour did or become fiends. Those who are sent walk the Road and come to a man called Yemma. This man asks you a question, which I will not repeat here but let us suffice to say that this question is impossible to answer untruthfully, especially after your journey on the Road."
Tidus frowned, "That sounds so familiar," he murmured.
"You too have walked this road as did I, Braska and Jecht," Auron told him, "Everyone does, even dreams it would seem. The only problem with you," the guardian sounded exasperated, "Is that you refused to choose."
"I did?" Tidus looked confused.
"Yes," Auron gave him a weary look, "You actually yelled at Yemma, you told him in not very polite terms to go take a long walk of a short pier."
"Why?" Tidus said then narrowed his eyes, "Is this true?"
Auron snorted, "I wish it weren't," he said almost to himself, "When you arrived at the fork in the Road were Yemma stands, he asked you the Question which decides whether you will go to the Farplane or to Hemron. Hemron is where those you have not led a good life go, it's not, to be polite, a nice place. You refused to choose because you refused to except that you were dead. Or rather you refused to except that you had left Yuna."
Tidus stared at his former mentor and jumped slightly as Yuna sidled up to him and grasped his hand.
Auron gave Tidus a hard look, "Because you refused to choose you went to Hemron by default," he finished.
Yuna gasped and just about crushed Tidus' hand, though he felt none of it.
"That's not fair," Rikku said suddenly in the silence that had descended.
Auron shrugged, "No but it's how these things work," he looked at Tidus who was still staring at the former guardian, "Do you remember?"
Tidus scowled and sank to his knees. Yuna knelt down next to him with a worried look.
"I do now," Tidus whispered, then gave a wry grimace, "You're right about one thing, Hemron is not a nice place."
Next chap may not be up for sometime, so I'm apologising in advance but I promise no more than two weeks! Thanks for reading :)