Chapter 4

Am I dead?

Fortunately you are not.

Fortunate for who exactly?

For us.

And who are you all?

Everything and noth-


As you wish Squall Leonhart.

We are your friends.

We come to you when you need aid.



You owe us your life many times because of our actions.

We gave you powers that no other mortal has had before.

But you gave us life in the beginning.

And for that, we are in debt to you.

We give our services…

Our beings…

Our power…

Use it well Squall...

Squall groaned. His day-night (Whatever)-was going down hill. (Damn voices…) It was unfortunate that they had talked to him….again. Before, the voices were more than jumbled. They slurred in places and, plainly said, scared him. But this time, they were a little more welcoming. Their tones were warmer, clearer, they made him feel.

But they weren't the only reasons he was in such a sour mood. For one thing, there was a constant mumbling in his head…it wasn't the Voices. They usually had heavenly voices. They spoke loud and made sure you heard it, slurred or not. But this mumbling was urgent…frantic almost but not clear…not at all.

He groaned again and let his head hang to his side, trying to recall anything from the night (day?) before. But nothing came up…not a face. But he figured he must have been in a battle. After all, what would a cut on his left side be attributed to? Immediately a hand went to his side. Gingerly, he felt the skin. That made him open his eyes wide and sit up quickly, an arm supporting himself.

"Squall!! He's awake!" A woman shouted. He heard footsteps clatter towards him. But he didn't even so much as look back. He was too shocked at what happened. There was no cut. No dried blood, no scar…not even curaga would fully heal a deep cut like that. A chill floated through him…then it was gone.

"Squall?" Quistis called softly, nudging his shoulder. A confused gaze floated up to hers.

"What…?" He blinked twice and the confusion was gone. "I'm fine…why are you looking at me like that?" The former instructor looked taken aback for a moment. Her eyes flickered up behind him for a moment.

"Never mind." She said, shaking her head. He frowned at her but then stood up and hefted his gunblade up from the ground. "We should get going shouldn't we?" He said. Whether he suggested this to himself or not, he didn't know himself. His azure eyes locked with Rinoa's for a moment. And in that long moment a chill filled him. As much as it made his skin crawl, it also made him feel…alive. He instinctively placed his hand to his forehead and rested it there, breaking eye-contact with the Sorceress. (What's happening to you?) He lifted his head up and let his hand drop to his side. Suddenly, he realized that he was the only person in the courtyard of the Orphanage.

The orphanage was quiet…almost deathly so. The soft whistling of the wind reminded him that he had to move. He had to fight Ultimecia. But his body just wouldn't move an inch. His legs were like lead stones. No matter how much he tried, he just couldn't move…or maybe…just maybe he didn't want to.

But regardless, Squall took this moment of isolation to take in his surroundings. The main supports of the white stone building still held strong. In some ways it seemed like a castle. Despite the weathering it was beautiful none-the-less. But the stone archways separating the courtyard from the flower field were gone. They lay crumpled on the ground, in both large and tiny pieces. The sturdy wooden door was just barely hanging on its hinges. The stones had a thick layer of dust that had escaped the wind and rain of the Centra continent. After all, not many had visited the orphanage in almost 17 years.

He squinted and looked up at the ominous sky. Yes indeed, it was ominous. The sky darkened almost imperceptibly. Not even a beam of sunlight beat its way through the thick, grey clouds. (Something's not right…)

"Squall?" His head snapped down immediately, his eyes focussing on the petite woman in front of him. Her voice was so soft…almost like a gentle caress. Behind it a Galbadian accent lay hidden…only noticeable to those who knew how to listen. "Are you ok?" Rinoa asked, tilting her head to one side. Squall nodded silently. He sheathed his gunblade.

"I'm fine…where's everybody?" He walked towards her so he ended up just paces away. Her deep eyes sparkled with amusement; the caramel color provided the perfect background.

"Zell's thinking about jumping Ultimecia by himself if you didn't come soon." Squall shook his head good-naturedly, suppressing a smile. She grinned and turned around, sauntering slowly towards the inside. It didn't take long before she disappeared from sight. Without hesitation he followed inside. As the light dimmed, so did the quality of the air. (What the…did something die in here?) He lifted a gloved hand to his nose. Soon, he was outside with the rest of the gang. The sandy beach was quiet. Waves lapped over the sand and crashed down. Zell and Selphie's quiet murmuring went almost unnoticed. He paused beside Rinoa and looked at the sky again. The grey clouds darkened even more so the sky was just barely pitch black. His gaze dropped down and he stepped back in surprise.

Gone was the crashing waves and sea foam green seas. Gone was the foggy air that rested just above the water. A large, menacing castle floated in its place. It indeed was a castle. To call it anything but would be a crime. The large chains that connected from the dirt under their feet were at least Irvine's height; width wise. They creaked mournfully, wailing under the strain. Those chains anchored the castle that could rival any city or town in size. Of course with the inevitable exception of Esthar.

The castle was tall and dark; it gave off a feel of dread and fear. Lightning flashed behind it and just moments later, thunder followed. The walls of the castle were sleek and black. Windows were scarce and any light source was even more so.

"Holy. Flying. Fuc-"

"What the hell is that…thing??" Irvine exclaimed, tipping his hat back for a moment to get a better look. Zell stood there open-mouthed. The only one standing there seemingly unaffected by the castle and change in surroundings was Quistis.

"I thought it'd be obvious…this is Ultimecia's castle." Rinoa folded her arms under her breasts and sighed. "What do you think's inside there?" The sorceress asked, sparking a deep conversation. But already Squall turned his attention to the surroundings. Even the orphanage changed. It was much more broken up. In fact, the building itself seemed on the verge of collapsing. A flicker of white caught his eye. Two figures clad in white lie on the ground, face down. (White SeeDs.) A deep river of sorrow filled him.

"...Future SeeDs... We're fighting across generations." Selphie frowned and looked at the still, lifeless body in front of her. A wind flew past them. "Ultimecia's reign... We have to end it now." They all nodded. Rinoa sighed again.

"We should get going now." Zell nodded and continued past them down the slope towards the castle. Selphie, Irvine, and Quistis followed him. Rinoa probably followed behind them…but he didn't know…he was occupied by the orphanage itself. Or more like what he thought he saw. A flash of color and movement behind him. "Squall?" He snapped back to reality and looked at the sorceress. "What's wrong?" His eyes left hers and flickered back to the darkened orphanage behind him.

"It's nothing…we better catch up with them now." Squall said, walking towards her. She turned and went down the path, running to catch up to the others. As he passed the fallen SeeDs he froze in his tracks.

Use it well Squall Leonhart

A feather dropped from the sky, slowly rocking back and forth, floating on air. It landed on his shoulder. He picked it up and ran a gloved finger through it. Pure white, so out of place in a darkened future like this. A chill surged through him and up his spine. Squall shivered and instinctively pulled his jacket tighter around him. (Craziness…) He looked at the feather in his hands and frowned, throwing it to the ground. (Where did that come from? You're going crazy Leonhart…just stay sane enough to make it to Ultimecia.)

With that he continued down the dirt path and into the hands of fate. But little did he know that other forces guided him. Those forces helped him…helped all of them…and lit their darkened path into the heart of the castle…The rest is history.


Author's Note- It's over...::sniffle:: Anyway, my deepest thanks goes to all my reviewers and readers. There weren't a whole lot, but one is enough (barely enough- ::winks::). I appreciate all of them. But I suppose special thanks goes to my beta: Ki-Kiri and-

DBZ Fanfiction Queen- Thanks very much for reviewing every chapter (Except this one...duh!) And I hope this ending lives up to your expectation and answers all your questions. If there's still questions you need answers to, just e-mail me. (That goes for everyone)

If you liked this fic, please read my other ones! I have like seven more and I would greatly appreciate reviewers for those ones too!

Thank you.