Ch. One: The messenger
The nurse is desinfecting Seifer´s wounds as Squall gets to the infirmary, Quistis behind him. Seifer just made a brief resume to the blonde instructor before prompting her to call the Headmaster Lionheart. No doubts, Squall was worried, and with reason.However, he remains cool.
Seifer faintly smiles. He isn´t in the protocolary mood. But then, he never is. However this matter is just too serious to be joking around. So he just raises his head and answers weakly
-"Explain your... Unexpected arrival."
Well, Quistis certainly gave him some classes in autority. He quickly explains the facts, as the nurse finishes to tend his wounds. He reports about Zell repairing the motor, His party slaying dragons for Fuijin´s treatment, Selphie´s sudden call for backup just as her intercom went blank, he and Rinoa hurring to the location across the trabia snowy mountains, their encounter with Ultimecia, his fight against her,his defeat and escape, all that he knows. Squall, even if he wants to asks questions, didn't flinch and remains calm until the end. Then he begins to ask:
-"So is true that you Can´t cast cure?"
Seifer, feeling humorous at once, points at his bandages.
-"Hello? look at this. My guess is that this shit is a kind of curse or something, prevents holy magic to work."
Quistis can´t believe it.
-"What?... Then the others?.."
-"With that curse, is almost imposible to survive, i escaped due to my GF, but i can´t get back there." Seifer adds with a dark, weak voice as if talking with himself.
-"Why?". Asks Squall
Seifer punches his bed, beside him is Fui. he looks at her for a moment, then answers fiercely.
-"Look Lionhearth. I can act as cocky as you want when i can do my things. However... i gave everything i had and i couldn´t even scratch her,she drew Fui´s Pandemona and used it against us, we almost died back there. My GF always teleports to safe spots and that place is not safe.. i mean ..i mean... (faint voice) i´m afraid to go back there... She is infinitely more powerfull now..."
If everything else, the last thing Seifer said was the thing the practically made Squall panic. Regaining heart he turns to Quistis:
-"Go for Nida, we are going to rescue them."
-"NO." Seifer shouts.
-"Seifer, that is not a SeeD beha...".Begins Quistis, Seifer cuts her fiercely
-"Shut up, Quistis. There is something more important here. Arrange a meeting with old man Cid and Edea, i know they are here."
Squall, is still surprised by Seifer´s behavior (as after all Seifer reacts in most ways like himself) turns to the door.
-"Got it. In Five minutes go to Cid´s office. Get Dress."
Five minutes later Seifer goes to the third floor. As expected, Cid, Edea, Squall, Quistis and Xu wait for him. In the background, Galbadia garden can be seen through the window.
Cid, with a serious look in his eyes, welcomes him.
-"Hello, Seifer. How is your shoulder?"
Seifer snorts, he is feeling like himself again.
-"Pierced through. Of course has been better".
But, none is in the mood for jokes. Xu talks:
-"Well, what is that ultra important info you had?"
Seifer knows he had to go straight to the point.
-"When Ultimecia.. tried to convince me..."
-"Tried to enchant you, you mean." Said Edea.
-"No, she can actually get in your brain and all, but can´t force you to join her, you... know that Matron. She just share her thoughts with you and... you decide to join or not. As i was saying, she tried to make me join her and sent me some... disturbing things."
-"Which are.?" Asks Quistis, quite scared, feeling shivers, actually
-"First, Trabia in under siege not by herself. She raised countless Skeletons and Marlboros and..."
-"What is troubling you, Seifer. Say it. C´mon." Cid sets a hand on Seifer´s shoulder.
-"Well, we can´t win this one. We are fighting against fate. And she knows it."
Squall gets rigid. He makes a dark look to Seifer.
-"What do you mean?"
Seifer lowers his head, and begins to talk in a clear, yet tired, tone.
-"Remember when you beat her in the time compresion?. What did we know about her by that time? That she was from the future, and that she has defeated the SeeDs on her time... that was two years ago."
Quistis suddenly realizes it. She makes a loud exclamation.
-"But, NOW is THAT future. As we couldn´t get any info on the time compression about Ultimecia´s time period, we suppossed that she was from a distant one..."
Seifer confirms with his head and finishes the sentence.
-"But the truth is that she lived with us, and that future was a near one. And as we know, SeeDs are utterly defeated and..."
- "As the last white SeeD falls, the time compression is made and we kill her." Finishes Squall. His eyes closed, remembering when he went to the Sorceress Castle and saw the bodies of the SeeDs laying everywhere.
-"Exactly, we are bound to be destroyed, Balamb and Galbadian SeeDs, before the white ones. The worst is that SHE knows it, because of all the publicity the garden made out of it." Finishes Seifer with his beated tone.
-"However, what troubles me is that Ultimecia is incredibly strong now, can raise armies and all. She was weaker when you destroyed her. If i recall." Appoints Edea.
-"You got a point there. If what Seifer's say is true, Ultimecia is in a much better shape now than in the time compresion." Says Cid, pondering the events.
-"That means that she destroy us, but we weaken her powers, that is what will happen?, that is our future?" Asks Xu. Seifer keep going.
-"Yeah... at best. So, this is a war with no future. Knowing this, Lionheart, will you send balamb garden to trabia?"
Squall thinks in a lot of things, but mostly about Rinoa. The danger of Rinoa of being near Ultimecia, in a garden under siege. Finally he makes his choice.
-"No." He says with a sudden determination.
Quistis frows.Edea can´t believe it. However, Squall grins.
-"It is not fast enough. Quistis, transfer all personel but the pilot from Galbadia Garden to Balamb. Then get me five Lv. 25 and up SeeD volunteers, make sure all of them excells on evasion or defense, within an hour. GO"
Quistis nods and begins her duties. Seifer chuckles:
-"Good luck then.I guess i won´t be going."
-"No, you are wounded now. However, you will be deputy Headmaster with Quistis while i´m gone."
Sarcastic answer by Seifer.
-"But what about the Ragnarok?" Asks Cid.
-"If what Ultimecia told me is truth. Laguna borrowed it to transport Ellone form Trabia Garden to Esthar as she felt bad."
-"Maybe with Ultimecia´s influence." Said Xu.
-"So, they ACTUALLY can´t flee, i was wondering why didn´t they just took the Ragnarok." Appointed Squall in rage. He seems to be thinking hardly since a while ago.
-"We got a big problem here. Better hurry Headmaster, and try to rescue them, Raijin is with Zell´s crew after all. I hope they hold until you arrive."
-"Is a twelve-hours trip with Galbadia´s G." Said Xu.
-"Better than nothing i guess." Complains Seifer.
-"You need to learn how to ask for favors, Seifer." Says Edea motherly.
And then, the blonde turns and begins to leave.
-"Where are you going Seifer.?" Asks Edea.
-"With Fui. Thanks to her im not killing fellow SeeDs right now... I guess i should repay her."
And he leaves. Edea and Cid approaches Squall.
Squall asks, with glacial eyes:
-"We need to do our thing."
Puzzled look by Edea.
-"How can you weaken a sorceress.?"
Next: Battle in trabia.