The Agent of Darkness
Cecil Harvey is an interesting individual; he has two sides, each having their own advantages. The grace of light and the power of darkness. Both are like the Ying of the Yang and must be in perfect harmony. However, since arriving in the new world, Cecil has been disguising in his light form, shutting out his dark side. Keeping such a force tapped for so long will inevitably spill out...
Those were the words recited by Cosmos as she sat beside an incapacitated Cecil, with all the Warriors in the living room looking over him.
"So Cecil was keeping his good form all this time, but his other half was trying to get out?" Asked Firion, the most concerned of all.
"Yes..." Said Cosmos. "And although this wouldn't be a problem, Cecil's change emits magical force..."
"Which will alert Chaos' forces..." Finished the Warrior of Light in realisation.
"What should we do then?" Asked Bartz.
"I am keeping his magical force at bay, but eventually it will burst forth, and when that happens, even I do not know what will occur..." Cosmos explained.
"It pains me to see one of our comrades like this..." Luneth said.
"Isn't there anything we can do for him?" Asked Tidus in thought.
"Perhaps it's time we give up the ghost?" Suggested Cloud. "All these precautions to keep Chaos at bay. Are they really worth it?"
"Of course, man!" Said Zidane. "I like it here."
"It's troublesome, that's what I say." Squall added.
"I brought you to this world so that we may break ourselves from this cycle of conflict...I do not wish to involve you in it any more..." Said Cosmos. Just then, Cecil began to awake.
"Cecil!" The others cried, coming to his side.
"Th-There is another option." Said Cecil, still trying to keep his Dark Knight under wraps. "Send me back and the others will be safe." This made the group outburst in refusal.
"Forget that!" Cried Zidane.
"No way, man!" Concurred Tidus.
"What's the point of Cosmos doing this if she sends you back?" Added Terra.
"She is right." Said Cosmos. "All of you matter, and I will not sacrifice one of you."
"But Cosmos..." Panted Cecil. "If you do not, then we will all suffer!"
"Lets say you do go back." Argued Firion. "You'll just be captured by Chaos' forces and interrogated until you reveal our location."
"There's only one who will sense my presence inter-dimensionally and that's Exdeath." Said Cecil. "If I can use the Dark Knight to eliminate him, not only will my cover be safe, it will also stop Exdeath from finding us."
"That's right!" Warrior of Light gasped. "Then we can use magic until he is revived once more."
"Doing this is not the issue." Said Cosmos. "I cannot return you back here once the deed is done..."
"It's our only hope!" Said Cecil. Cosmos looked away in anguish.
"Then I will accompany you." Said Cosmos. This made everyone gasp.
"Are you sure, Cosmos?" Asked Terra in concern. "The magic you consumed shielding us from Exdeath will put you at a disadvantage..."
"If I do not do this...Then I am no better than Chaos..." Explained Cosmos.
"Alright then, guess we'll come too!" Said Zidane.
"It'll be a good workout since we got here." Said Cloud, stretching his arm.
"Your courage is admirable, but I cannot take you." Said Cosmos.
"Why not?" Asked the young Onion Knight. "We wanna help!"
"This is a mission based on stealth, to release Cecil's dark powers, use it to defeat Exdeath and return without arousing Chaos' minions. Bringing you all will do so." Cosmos explained. "You must remain here and continue to maintain your low profile." This was hard for the other Warriors to swallow, but they nodded in agreement at this.
"It is as you wish, Cosmos." Nodded the Warrior of Light. Cecil got up, albeit with difficulty and dressed into his Paladin attire.
"I am ready Cosmos..." Said Cecil.
"Then let us return..." He held Cecil's hand and with a quick flash of light, both were gone.
"Why do I have a bad feeling about this?" Gulped Bartz.
Cosmos and Cecil arrived at the Interdimensional Rift, home to Exdeath, and where their challenger will be. However, upon arriving on the roof of Exdeath's castle, almost immediately their plan was thrown into disarray.
In their path was Exdeath as they predicted, but standing next to him was the deadly Garland.
"So it looks like your paranoia came true." Spoke Garland to the evil warlock.
"As I anticipated!" Said Exdeath, no longer in his meditative state. "I knew eventually Cosmos would try to kill me in an attempt to keep themselves secluded! But I am always one step ahead!"
"Oh no." Gasped Cosmos. "Defeating Exdeath was dangerous as it was. Defeating him and Garland have made this mission more impossible..."
"They knew we were coming..." Growled Cecil.
"So tell me." Spoke Exdeath. "Where did you scurry off to, Cosmos? And where are the other insects under your protection?"
"That is none of your concern!" Cecil intervened.
"It hardly matters." Said Garland. "All we need to do is drag you back to Chaos, and he will make you talk!" The two approached, ready to beat them enough that they wouldn't resist capture.
"Not if I have a say in the matter!" Yelled Cecil who was then imbued in dark energy, that made the two enemies recoil.
"What?" Gasped Exdeath. "This ant was never this powerful!" Cecil emerged from the darkness, now fully clad in his Dark Knight armor.
"Such a force kept in check for so long, will inevitably spill forth all it's power." Cosmos said to herself. Cecil immediately charged for Exdeath hoping to finish the fight in an instant, but was blocked by Garland's massive sword, but the force of Cecil's attack did push him back slightly.
"Impressive. Not many people can push me back on a whim!" Garland applauded.
"Be one with the Void!" Called Exdeath as he summoned a black hole behind Cecil. Fortunately Cecil jumped away from the affecting range of the large imploding mass, forcing Exdeath to call it back, seeing its use gone.
"Be gone!" Cecil cried as he struck from above. The two minions barely dodged it, forcing the two apart.
"I see! It looks as though you've been using this sanctuary of yours as training!" Exdeath hypothesised. "Be that as it may, you're still no match for us!" Said Exdeath as he flung his sword for Cecil, but he expertly blocked it and sent it flying back, piercing Exdeath's shoulder. "Ughhh! You little worm!"
"It's over, Exdeath!" Cecil said, but before he could strike the final blow...
"You left your guard wide open!" Garland yelled from behind. But only when Cecil turned around to react did he fear the worst: Garland was charging for Cosmos.
"Garland! Stop!" Yelled Cecil, but he was prone to attack by Exdeath, who blasted a ball of wind at Cecil that took the breathe out of him.
"It's over!" Yelled Garland as he struck for Cosmos. It was the longest second for Cecil as he tried his best to get to Cosmos before the blade could harm his beloved goddess, but before the attack could finish, a stream of black lightning sent Garland flying over the building's edge, and finishing off one of Chaos' finest.
"What?!" Both Exdeath and Cecil cried. Cosmos gave a gentle smile.
"Thank you." She said, as none other than Golbez floated down in front of Cosmos, the one responsible for her protection.
"Brother!" Cecil gasped in joy.
"Save your thanks 'til after the battle!" Golbez commanded, that prompted Cecil to turn around and block Exdeath's attack.
"Pitiful! Still relying on your brother to fight your battles!" Exdeath mocked.
"I fight my own battles, as I'll prove!" Using all his dark energy, he fired a beam, that pierced Exdeath's armour, forcing him to collide of the adjacent wall, heavily weakening the Warlock.
"Ughh...this...isn't over...Mark my words...I will find your little sanctuary...and I will blow out your last ray of hope!" Exdeath speeched as darkness enveloped him, and with one last laugh, he was gone. Cecil's Dark Knight form reached it's limit, and he returned to his light form. Very exhausted, he returned to Cosmos and Golbez.
"Thank you, brother." Cecil said. "Your timely appearance could not have been better."
"I did what I must." Spoke Golbez. "I would not so idly let the banner of my younger brother fall without cause."
"We need to keep this a secret from Chaos." Said Cecil.
"Worry not. That was my intentions. Now you must return to the paradise you've taken shelter in. I suspect the remainder of Chaos' forces will be approaching to see why Exdeath and Garland fell."
"You're right." Cecil said and turned to Cosmos who nodded gently.
"But know this, Cecil." Golbez said. "Your sanctuary isn't a permanent solution. Quite the opposite. It's as fragile as leaves to the wind. Today's events prove this. Had you not come here today, the Warlock you killed would have spotted your presence and would be now coming for you. And even when you killed him, he will soon be back on the hunt. If he finds you, you must leave on a moment's notice, or it is the inhabitants of that world that will suffer. Do you understand?" Cecil took what Golbez had to say and nodded.
"Your words of wisdom will be most helpful." Smiled Cecil.
"Now go. And remember to enjoy your time away, because you might not get a second chance." With those words, Cecil and Cosmos vanished back to the alternate world, and two minutes later, Kefka, Sephiroth and the Emperor rushed to the scene.
"I smelled a rat!" Kefka laughed. "Where did they crawl to this time?!"
"It seems Golbez might know." The Emperor identified. "Where did Cosmos and her men go?!"
"Cosmos was never here." Lied Golbez. "The two that fell here today were my doing; a sparring practice that got a little out of hand. You must have picked up the traces of light in my powers." Kefka roared in frustration at this.
"Well phooey!" He yelled, as he pranced away, mad that he was denied a fight with Terra for another day.
"I'd tread carefully; Chaos does not lightly punish those that lie in his presence!" Lectured the Emperor as he too walked away. Sephiroth remained however, to talk to Golbez personally.
"What gain do you get by aiding the opposition?" Asked Sephiroth.
"I do not know what you are talking about." Said Golbez. "What I said is the truth. Take it whichever way you want it, swordsman." Sephiroth grinned, but also walked away.
"If you happen to see Cloud, tell him I'm asking for him." And with that, Golbez was alone once more...