Chapter Two

Marcus, the Quiet Bandit

"There you are." Garnet said to Marcus.

"What?" Marcus replied as he stood up from the garden of which he was working on.

"We have a formal dance to attend and we are expected to make an appearance." She stated very poised and formally.

"I thought I told you not to talk like that." Marcus roughly replied.

"I'm sorry. Please forgive me, I tend to forget." She bowed her head slightly.

Marcus shook his head and then put his arm around her. "Forget it, sweetness. Where is this dance, anyways?"

"It is being held in the castle courtroom. We must get ready quickly." She said looking down at the ground while walking with Marcus.

"You mean, 'we must make haste.'" He replied sarcastically.

She turned to him and leaned her head back trying to figure out why he had said that. He just smiled a cheesy grin. She then caught on and they laughed together. Then, an Alexandrian soldier came up to them and said "Good morning, princess."

"Good morning to you too, world." She replied. But, her voice was not her own. It sounded goofy like some dumbfounded man. It sounded like Cinna. The harsh change in the linearity of that reality caused Marcus to lose grasp of the dream. He would have done anything to have it back. The next thing he remembered was hearing Cinna say "Are you ready?"

Marcus opened his eyes to his old bed, of which he noticed was not of royalty. This made him sad for a moment. But, then his actual life came back to memory and he shrugged off the momentary sadness.

"Ah, you are." Cinna continued in his own world.

"Cinna, what are you doing?" Marcus said grumpily.

"This coffee is quite delicious... Want some?" Cinna replied.

"You and your coffee." Marcus said trying to clear his sleepy eyes.

Cinna was persistent and asked his question again. "Want some?"

Marcus, still mad at Cinna for awaking him, sighed and realized he could not convince the odd shaped friend of his otherwise. "Yeah, sure."

The next thing Marcus knew, Cinna was handing him a cup of fresh brewed coffee. Marcus drank about three fourths of the coffee instantly. It burned his throat and made him scrunch his toes together, but after the initial burning, it tasted pretty good. Cinna was pretty good about making coffee. He was also pretty proud of it too.

"You missed a good sunrise." Cinna announced.

"Where's Blank and Zidane?" Marcus said, ignoring the remark.

"Oh, well, they were gone before I got up." Cinna answered.

"I see." Marcus got up and finished his remaining coffee. He had nothing better to do at the old studio, so, he got up and headed out.

"Where you going?" Cinna interrupted Marcus' action.

Marcus turned around and shrugged his shoulders. He had no plans today. He just wanted to see what would transpire on its own. So, he exited the building and looked at the lively city of Lindblum. 'Ah, what a town.' He thought to himself. He then went down to the lower platform and noticed a play was about to start.

He read a sign that said 'New aspiring actor, Lowell Popaguarda, plays the leading roll in A White Knight.' Sounded interesting, but Marcus only had ten gil on him. He kept it in a little bag tied onto a rope that he used as a belt. He preferred to keep his ten gil and use it on something more sensible, like food. Then an odd shaped fellow came up to him.

"Howdy Marcus!" The strange character said.

"Thomas." Marcus replied.

"We got any shows coming up soon? My trumpet is getting rusty." The trumpet player asked him politely.

"Nope." Marcus answered.

"One-word man, aren't ya Marcus? Well, for a man who gets so many leading roles, you sure don't say much." Thomas explained.

Marcus paused for a second and then smiled and said "Yup." Thomas shook his head and bounced off to find some one more sociable. This was fine with Marcus.

Marcus was indeed a loner. He had spent most of his life as a bandit. His parents were poor and thought they couldn't afford him. So, they put him up for adoption. This really hurt his feelings and he rebelled. This rebellion kept him from being adopted. Thus, he was alone for quite a while at the orphanage. He then started getting in trouble. He just wanted someone to hear him. But, no one would. Not, at least, until Baku, known as 'Boss' to Marcus, came along. Baku was quite different then Marcus. Baku was loud and obnoxious and always barked orders out to whom he usually didn't have authority over. Well, Baku noticed Marcus and gave him an opportunity down the thieving lifestyle. Marcus found it best fitting to him. So, Marcus joined the group of which was known as Tantalus and quickly adapted to it. Marcus was the second to last to join the group. Cinna was the last.

The others looked up to Marcus' formidable ability in using the sword. Marcus taught it to himself and had his own particular style. A style that worked very well. Of course, while Marcus was the best with a sword, he was only second in combat. Blank was the best fighter around. Everyone seemed to look up to him. They all called him 'Bro.'

Marcus continued to walk around aimlessly. He was thinking about his dream of Garnet. He has had a crush on her for quite some time. Of course, it was a fantasy crush, because she was a princess and he was a lowly bandit. Not much future in that dream. Still, he fantasized about it off and on. He saw her once in Alexandria, but from quite a distance. She was just so different. So beautiful. But, as he got deeper into the illusionary world, he shrugged it off. No one knew Marcus thought about her; he had kept it secret because he figured it was just a crush. He was 20 years old and she was just about to turn sixteen. However, she acted like she was a lot older and she looked like it as well. Marcus then thought about how Cinna woke him up early that morning. He'd have to punch him or something later. But, Marcus knew Cinna had a crush on Garnet as well. Cinna carried a little raggedy doll of her around. It was pathetic, but so was Cinna.

As Marcus was thinking about Garnet and Cinna's pathetic ness, he walked right into a dark alley. Most people would avoid going down an alley like this, but Marcus was a bandit himself. He was fearless. However, the thieves waiting in the alley did not know this.

One of two thieves jumped out and pointed a rusty sword right at Marcus' face. Marcus had a bandana tied around his head, but he could still see the tip of the sword pointed at him. On the other side, the daring thief could not see Marcus' eyes.

"Give me everything you got!" The thief shouted.

"I don't got anything, you fool." Marcus replied nonchalantly.

"What's that bag you got right there on that belt of yours?!" The thief continued.

"That's my money." Marcus answered.

"Well, give that to me, now!" The thief declared.

"No. I don't think I shall."

"What? Argh."

"It'd be wise to put your sword down..." Marcus warned.

"That's it! I'm gonna cut your throat!" The thief threatened.

"Fine then, do it!" Marcus replied getting angry with the foolish thief.

So, the thief thrust forward his sword and Marcus leaned back at the same speed the sword came towards him. Now that the thief had fully extended his arm, Marcus reached up from his bent back position and grabbed the thief's hand. Then, Marcus took his other hand and grabbed the thief's elbow. With both hands secured on the thief's arm, Marcus twisted the joint so the sword was freed from his hand. Marcus let go of the thief's arm and grabbed the falling sword and pointed it at the thief's face. The thief backed against the wall and yelped, "Help!"

The other thief who was hiding in the shadows lunged forward to overtake Marcus. However, Marcus threw the sword from the hand pointing in the first thief's direction to the other hand. With his newly freed hand, he grabbed the first thief by the neck and held him up against the wall. He took his other hand and pointed it towards the second thief.

The second thief swung the sword high in the air and brought it down to smash Marcus' head. Marcus simply angled his new sword to where the blow slid off and away from him. The thief then spun picking up momentum from his blocked attempt and tried to swing it right towards Marcus' neck. Marcus held the sword vertical and when the thief's sword came, it stopped as if it hit a wall. The thief was surprised by the strength of Marcus. Marcus then spun his sword in a vertical circle causing the second thief's hand to turn in a way that he could not hold onto his sword and it went flying down the alley. Marcus let go of the thief he was strangling and punched the dumbfounded second thief right in the face. The blow knocked him unconscious. Marcus stepped towards the falling thief and continued spinning from the moment he let go of the first thief and now faced the coughing thief with the thief's own original sword.

"Please, don't hurt me." The thief cowered.

Marcus pursed his lips and then let gravity take the tip of the horizontally placed sword. As the sword came down, Marcus sped up the process by throwing the handle forward when the sword had come down far enough. The handle went flying into the first thief's face. This knocked the thief's head back into the wall, thus, knocking him unconscious as well. Marcus caught the sword off the rebound.

Marcus then took out five gil out of his bag and placed it by the first thief.

"All you had to do was ask." Marcus said sarcastically.

Marcus knew that they had it rough. He was a bandit himself after all. He just couldn't leave them with nothing after all that work they just went through. Plus, he figured they'd both wake up with headaches. Marcus went back to his daydreaming of Garnet and left the foolish thieves face down in the alleyway.

Marcus went over to a little bakery/deli market in the theatre district. He spent his remaining five gil to get some bread and water. It was quite tasty. As he was eating it by the side of a manmade fountain, one of the actor's from Tantalus came to him. It was Zenero. Zenero was not a bandit, but rather just an actor. He didn't stay at the old studio. He stayed with his brother, Benero, somewhere down in the residential area. They couldn't afford a house, so they lived in some old abandoned place, like the bandits did.

"Marcus!" Zenero exclaimed.

"Yeah?" Marcus casually replied.

"How goes the biz?" Zenero continued.

"Same ole. You?"

"Yeah, Benero and I are playing a little part in a local theatre just down the road. You should come see it. I got a ticket if you wanna."

"Sure. When's the next show time?"

"Well, we're on a break now. But, uh, the next show I believe is an about two hours."

A man entering an alleyway caught Marcus' attention. He could not see the face of the man, but he felt something when he saw the man. He felt worried. It was a bad omen. Marcus was fearless after all. So, why did some man with white feathery hair scare him? Perhaps it was his gay-looking clothes. Yet, it wasn't gay. In fact, it was very evil, very mysterious, like an alien had just found its way to Gaia...

"Hmm..." Marcus tried to remember what he was talking about.

"Let's see, we have three showing times tomorrow."

"Okay. I might show up tomorrow. You know how busy I am."

"Right, right. Whatever. Anywho, keep in touch. Lay-ta."

The strange little character then walked off. Zenero wasn't human, but rather some sort of cross between an Orc and a Dwarf. He had a face that looked like a pig and the belly of a Dwarf along with a Dwarf's height. The oddest thing about Zenero's race was that they were all blue. Zenero and Benero were a few years different in age, but nobody could tell the difference between them. Thus, when they were together, most people often called out the last part of their name without pronouncing the 'Z' or the 'B.' Their species definitely did not present an aura of evilness like the man who entered the alleyway...

Marcus was the first back to the studio. He was out of money and was getting bored of walking around. He sat down in a corner and started reading an article on ancient species called "Ralvurahva." It was a serpent-like species that dwelled in caverns and dark caves. He had purchased the article from a traveling salesman.

Marcus read for about thirty minutes when Zidane and Blank came busting in. They were continuing a conversation. They talked for a while before they even realized Marcus was there.

"Hey, Marcus." Zidane greeted.

Marcus just looked up and nodded his head, which was matched by Blank who nodded his head as well. Zidane and Blank then continued on whatever it was they were doing. Marcus didn't really care. He just continued what he was doing.

After a while, Cinna showed up.

"What's for suppa, Cinna?" Zidane proclaimed as he entered.

"I was thinking Bundt Cake." Cinna answered.

"Ahh, man. Not again." Complained Blank. Marcus just shook his head.

"What?" Cinna retorted.

"Cinny, no offense, well, maybe a little, but you just don't make 'em right." Zidane said.

"Well," Cinna scratched his beard, "perhaps this time I'll get it."

Marcus ignored his friends for a while and continued his reading. Zidane then interrupted Marcus' reading. Zidane had hit the table he was sitting at with his hand, causing a loud bang sound. Blank laughed a gambler's laugh as he took a card from Zidane.

"That leaves me with five, you bastard." Zidane announced.

"So, that'd make the next game the last, huh." Blank sarcastically replied.

"Ha, ha. Very funny. I'm winning the next one." Zidane proclaimed.

Marcus chuckled for a second. A moment later and big ole Baku entered the room.

"'Boss!'" Everyone said in unison.

But, the man they called 'Boss' continued without replying. He went over to a corner, sat down, and glared outside. The gang immediately noticed the 'Boss's unexpected mood, but Zidane was the first to jump on it.

"Woe is me! Baku is weak! What shall happen to Tantalus? Are we doomed?" Zidane cried annoyingly.

Blank picked up on Zidane's sarcasm and joined in. "He is weak, but we are strong! We must band together and overthrow him before he regains his senses!"

"Then I, Zidane, shall be leader of Tantalus!"

"You? No, only I can lead us to victory!"

"The lead shall go to that who defeats the ancient Baku!"

Both Blank and Zidane turned with their arms around each other's shoulders and looked for acceptance by Baku. Cinna started laughing hysterically. Marcus put down his article to enjoy the entertainment. Baku, however, continued to stare.

After a moment of awkwardness, Blank and Zidane turned to each other and gave up on the conquest. Cinna slowed his laughing to a gentle halt. Marcus stared at Baku. Blank and Zidane sat back down and searched through their cards to figure out which one they were going to play with. Of course, Zidane had no choice but to use his remaining five.

Marcus wondered what was bothering Baku. Marcus couldn't recall a time when Baku entered a room calmly. Marcus continued to stare at the quiet man. Then, Baku shook his head.

"Dammit Cinna, Bundt Cake again?" Baku grumbled.

"Uhh..." Cinna tried to think of a response.

Baku stood up and turned around.

"Forget it. Boys, I'm just going to say it." Baku announced. "We got a show to perform in Alexandria. We're going to kidnap the princess."

Marcus' heart skipped a beat. No one noticed, of course. Then, Marcus began to wonder if he had heard right.

"Were going to do what?" Cinna exclaimed.

"You heard me!" Baku shouted. "We're going to kidnap the princess and that's that!"

Well, surely Marcus hadn't heard incorrectly twice. The princess... Wow. Then, Marcus realized that was just a fantasy. He tried to suppress his feelings. He then tried to pick up on what they were talking about.

"There's more to it than that. I have a bad feeling about this heist." Baku was talking to Blank.

"What would that be?" Marcus asked.

"What'd ya say?" Baku questioned back loudly.

Marcus hated repeating himself. He was quiet and often his speech would be muttered under his breath, so he knew he shouldn't get mad about it. However, he hated it nonetheless.

"I said, 'What would that be?'" Marcus re-asked.

Baku squinted making Marcus even more mad. "Things are changing whether you want them to or not. We'll be public enemy number one to Alexandria when this is over."

Zidane and Blank started their next game. "Not if they don't know we did it." Zidane said calmly.

"I got a plan, but nothing pulls her out with out are names written on it." Baku said, a little more quietly. "But, I don't care about that. I feel like this little job is going to change Tantalus."

"Ah, Baku, you're over thinking." Blank said. "A job's a job. Nothing to it. Tantalus won't change for anything."

"Yeah." Cinna joined in while stirring something.

Baku shook his head. Baku from that point was himself. Barking orders and just being loud. Marcus sat back and started daydreaming of the princess.

"Perfect game." Blank giggled.

"Damn!" Zidane shot up from his chair and continued his foul language. Blank took all remaining five cards that once belonged to Zidane. Marcus laughed at the site of Zidane jumping around, cursing everything. Cinna joined in laughing along with Marcus. Baku laughed cheerfully and gave Zidane a quick jab to the stomach for being such a loser.

"Dinner's ready!" Cinna announced.

It was relevantly quiet that night. Baku was the first to go to sleep followed by Blank. Zidane seemed to be thinking about something. Cinna was fiddling with his Garnet doll. Marcus lay with his head looking up at the bunk bed above. He thought about Garnet and hoped he would dream of her again. Then, he realized that he thought about her the whole day. He then realized he was just as pathetic as Cinna. The only difference was no one knew about his obsession. Marcus tried to forget her and turned to lay his face down on his pillow. He soon fell asleep where he dreamed he stole Garnet's heart after kidnapping her from Alexandria. Thus ending another day of the lonely thief, Marcus, the quiet bandit.

Next chapter, "Blank, the Brave Bandit." Please tell me what you think. If you have enjoyed this writing, you should check my other story "Final Reality." "A Day in the Life of..." is basically an attempt of mine to understand each character better. Plus, it gives people a chance to say whether or not they agree with my representation of the characters. "Final Reality" is going to be my true fanfic... Of course, so far I have gotten no reviews from anybody yet, so I hope someone likes this story.....