by Digintegrated - Hunter Bill

Author's note : my first real fanfic on this site, in fact, if we don't take "In-&-Out-rospection" into count of course (By the way, you may feel free to have a look at this original piece). I've been under the Final Fantasy VIII craze since its release date in France, that is to say October 27th 1999. We Frenchies really appreciated this masterpiece from Squaresoft, which stuck me to my PSX for long hours and hours. I was really feeling "inside" the game. Sorry to my parents who despair to see their 22-year-old son still gaming! :-D

I would never have thought at that time that I'd carry on such a project. You see, I'm a Frenchie and the translation work isn't a sinecure. I hope nevertheless I won't do too many mistakes...

Disclaimer : apart a little modification of scenario causing the crossover, all of this is Mr Sagakuchi San's property. Thanks to the Squaresoft teams anyway... Thanks also to Mark Knopfler / Dire Straits for the title of the fic.

And now, without further ado...





Squall couldn't take any more. After so many battles, so many adventures, he wondered if that mission was worth being accepted. But he had to succeed. Everything depended on him and the SeeD members who followed him from the start. "At least", he thought, "Rinoa wouldn't cause harm anymore. Edea wouldn't either. Ultimecia MUST die. I should not withdraw, their lives are at stake."

For a while, he examined the corpse, still shaking, of Adel, this half-man, half-woman sorcerer who reigned upon Esthar as a tyrant eighteen years ago. Laguna's story came again to his mind: he was remembering about the way he and his two companions, Kiros and Ward, had used to put an end to this dictatorship. This seemed amusing to him. How could a such awkward-by-nature man could succeed in making the most audacious coup-d'├ętat ever attempted? And furthermore, becoming the president of the biggest and best technologically advanced metropolis in the world?

One thing embarrassed him overall however : Rinoa. The infamous sorcerer had assimilated her before Squall and his team could have turned up. Had she survived during the battle? Had Adel absorbed all of her life?

He saw then a part of the sorcerer's corpse twitching. A few seconds later, Rinoa, a bit bruised but alive, emerged from it. Squall sighed, relieved.

Zell squeezed his knuckles. "At last!", he said. "We've got rid of this drag queen."

Irvine nodded and started to reload his shotgun.

Laguna came, followed by Ellone. He could do nothing but being delighted by the feat our heroes had just carried out. But it wasn't time for congratulations yet. He had acknowledged the dangers the SeeD members were about to encounter. He would have been glad to take part, but he had to watch for Ellone. Who could know what might happen to her if he left and went for some adventure? Plus, Laguna had been waiting so many years before he could see her at last, in the Lunar Base, just before the Lunar Cry. As for Ellone, she could only use her gift to come back into the past. She hadn't received any combat training like Squall and his friends. She was obliged to stay too.

Rinoa was hardly standing and started to twitch. It was the time! Ultimecia was attempting to possess her spirit anew. Ellone approached the girl and concentrated. Rinoa kept cool for a while, then froze. Everything was going as previewed. Rinoa and Ultimecia's spirits were sent to the past.

Ultimecia was presently able to cast time compression.

"Now", Laguna said to Ellone, "make Rinoa come back."

Two seconds later, a quick flash passed through Rinoa's body. She groaned a bit, then finally came round.

"Time compression has started", Laguna declared to the SeeD group. "Now you will be able to travel through time and find Ultimecia. Good luck to you all.". Laguna and Ellone left.

Rinoa clang onto Squall's hand.

The walls of the room have begun to shake and wave in a very weird way. Zell could hardly stand. Selphie had already fallen upon the floor's surface that was becoming more and more fluid. Quistis couldn't get up too. And suddenly, the whole room disappeared and the six young people found themselves somewhere in the sky, falling and falling and endlessly falling...

"Squall! Where do we go like this?" Rinoa asked, frightened.

"I don't know...", the young man answered. "Stay with me and everything will be all right."

Their fall went on through an ocean. They dove through it, still vertically, and emerged on the other side of... How could that be possible? They had passed through an enormous ball of salty water, swarming with multicoloured fish. They were at the time only surrounded by an infinitely orangey sky. A flash of staggering light suddenly stopped their progress...

Where were they? They soon got an answer.

"I recognize this place!", Rinoa said. "Edea was standing here during our mission in Deling City."

They were indeed in "this" room. White curtains made a narrow passageway from a door to the half-circle-shaped remaining of the room. At its centre, Rinoa had noticed, as the group went in Deling City for the first time, a throne upon which Edea was sitting. It had been from this point that the girl got manipulated by the former sorceress, before being thrown as food for two Iguions.

But Edea wasn't there any more. This could mean only one thing: they hadn't "landed" in the day when they reached the Galbadian metropolis. When then? Their thoughts got broken by another flash, next to the throne. A strange-looking woman appeared. Her suit was almost Adel's. There was no doubt: it couldn't be anything else but a Sorceress! Squall drew his Gunblade out.

"A trick from Ultimecia.", he explained. "Time compression must have summoned them from the past. We have to get rid of them."

Squall and his team had learned enough at the Balamb Garden about supernatural forces , Sorcerers and Sorceresses, magic draw points and so on. But, apart from Edea their dearest matron, and Adel, they had never met other ones. Whatever... the main thing was to find Ultimecia.

Squall thought about Edea and Rinoa again. "Sure: they must have suffered during their bewitchment days.", he said to himself. "Ultimecia, you're living your last days!"

He rushed to the witch and in one blow, killed her. She disappeared.

"Squall!? What's happening?", Zell suddenly said, astounded.

Something astounding was occurring indeed. The landscape was changing... The walls were vanishing. They were not standing in Deling City, but besides the Garden main entrance, in the Isle of Balamb.

"We're back in the past! Why aren't we going to the future?", Rinoa asked, surprised.

"No idea about this...", Squall replied, as he knew that, considering the current status, if however the word "current" could have kept his full meaning in case of time compression, the Garden had taken off the Isle and had docked at Fisherman's Horizon.

"What the... Another one's incoming!", Selphie shouted.

It was indeed another witch. Taking some benefit from the general surprise she caused to our heroes, she cast a Thunder spell upon them. Quistis got rocked. Selphie couldn't stand.

"Try to stop this!", Zell shouted to the Sorceress, before rushing towards her, his fists clenched.

An opponent of that kind could hardly stop Zell when he was getting furious. The witch made no exception to this rule and was brought to the ground. Irvine finished her with his shotgun.

Unfortunately, they were already "leaping" to a new destination. They arrived at Timber, where a third witch was firmly expecting them.

"I'm taking care of her!", Quistis announced, ready to cast her Ultra Waves spell.

The landscape waved. The Sorceress couldn't stand the emissions from Quistis, and disappeared as fast as she had come.

Their fourth encounter took place at Winhill, the village where Laguna had taken care of Ellone during the past. Their next opponent straightaway cast a Firaga spell upon Rinoa. Blasted by the explosion, the girl fell down to the ground in the moment.

"Rinoa!", Squall shouted, panicked.

She couldn't say a word. Nevertheless she could sit. Squall helped her with a Cure spell.

"Thanks... It's my turn now, Sorceress!", she continued, before countering with a Holy spell.

White sparkles surrounded the Sorceress and passed through her body. This spell was lethal for her.

Quistis and Selphie joined their forces against their fifth enemy, located somewhere around Dollet. Having re-handled her rotator boomerang, Rinoa took upon herself to suppress the sixth Sorceress who had attracted them in the snow plains surrounding the Shumi Village. Then came the Fire Cavern, the railway leading to Fisherman's Horizon, Lunatic Pandora... Every single place they went back in was occupied by a Sorceress from the past times.

However, the young people landed in a completely unknown place. Nothing seemed familiar to them... The landscape in itself was weird... They had travelled the entire world on board the Ragnarok and they thought they know it to the slightest details. But not this part. Their "leap" had dropped them on a dry plain,, boarded by a high mountain range. It was nearly night-time.

Nobody had a slightest idea about their location. Their eyes had nevertheless converged on a kind of fortress, which heights and surface were really awesome. A huge tower was set on its middle. It could be easily spotted miles away. And above this imposing building... an enormous glowing meteor was inexorably getting closer to it! As they watched that scene, the six companions did not say a word.

A Sorceress interrupted their amazement. She looked more fearsome than the other ones. Her head was misshapen, and her twisted body had a pair of long arms that were nonchalantly crawling on the ground. As she appeared, the landscape turned into an immense fire field.

"Here we go again!", Squall announced laconically, a bit fed up, but still determined to play his usual role of SeeD.

Author's note : don't worry, it isn't over... ah, you thought so? ;-)

Just to tell you: I have noticed that the monsters, spells, items and even some character names aren't the same from US version to French version, whichever Final Fantasy I played. Most of the time the French translation has nothing to do with the original. To give you an example, X-ATM092 is renamed Goliath. Et pourquoi donc??? I had to check on the Internet for a complete walkthrough of the games then match the US names to the French ones by relying upon their properties... Wow... ::puffs::

Regards to Xing and all the FF.N staff. I recognize you try to do your best to keep your site running even during its re-building. Keep up the good work, guys. :-)

Friendly feelings go to Belphegor, my "firestarter". Bonne chance pour la suite de ta fanfiction! ;-)

And to all of you, see ya next chapter!

Digintegrated Hunter Bill