Dissido Schola: Ultimus Imaginatio (Conflict School: Final Fantasy)
By: Shadic the Hedgehog
Chapter 1: Fugo (Confusion)
"Luneth? Luneth, dear, it's time to get up."
Onion Knight stirred under the covers of his bed, his mind taking some time to start up and process the words being spoken. Luneth? Who's Luneth? On top of wondering who this mysterious Luneth was, Onion Knight could tell that whomever it was that was speaking sounded familiar, but couldn't quite place the voice.
"Young man, if you aren't out of bed in five minutes, we're coming in. You have school in a half-hour." The female voice could normally be construed as rather seductive, save that it was speaking in an almost kindly voice. Onion Knight recognized the tone from when Elder Topapa would threaten to dump himself and his friends into the nearby lake if they didn't get up.
Figuring that, this time, the mysterious woman was speaking to him, he scrambled out of bed and looked around... Wait a second, this wasn't his room in Ur! Onion Knight panicked for a moment as he looked around in confusion, his mind casting about for the reason he wouldn't be in Ur and he struck a stray memory, which unravelled a past he had almost completely forgotten about.
Cloud of Darkness
The War of Harmony and Discord flooded his mind, or at least the last cycle (and he knew it had been the last cycle). He now recognized the voice on the other side of the door as belonging to his long-time nemesis, the Cloud of Darkness. It obviously knew he was in the room, so why wouldn't it have attacked him? In fact, it seemed to be trying to get him to go... to... school...?
He hadn't attended any form of school since he and his friends left Ur to complete the Crystals' quest, almost immediately having been shoved into the War before they actually fought-
"You have two minutes now. You'd best be dressed." called Cloud of Darkness through the door. Making a split second decision, Onion Knight – or Luneth, he supposed – quickly dashed around the bedroom at Ninja speed to collect a passable outfit for whatever school it was Cloud of Darkness wanted him to attend. If it was actually Cloud of-
What was that amazing smell? Bacon? Eggs? And... Oh! WAFFLES! Now fully dressed, "Luneth" dashed out of what was probably his room and followed the scent to a small dining room adjoined to a kitchen.
And at the stove was Cloud of Darkness, wearing clothes. At first, "Luneth"'s mind stuttered to a halt at merely seeing his old foe, before almost freezing up at how different it appeared with such clothes on.
From what he could see over the dividing counter, it wore a red shirt with either black pants or a black skirt, and covering those was a yellow apron, faded food stains in spots. Over its hair was a yellow bandana, apparently keeping what was ostensibly its hair out of the food she – no, it! He reminded himself – was cooking. On the apron was a name tag, which his keen eyes scanned before he sat at the table, hoping that the delicious-smelling food wasn't in any way poisoned. The name written upon it was "NOKUMO KUROYAMI."
Onion Knight attempted to sit at the round table in the center of the room calmly, without showing how anxious he was at being fed by someone whom he considered his worst enemy. His worst enemy who looked very much like a normal human mother. His mind was torn between the two extremes of trying to fight her – it! – without any weapons and simply trying to act "normal." He could probably try magic to fight, but-
"Nokumo" set a plate down in front of him, with, as he had thought, bacon, waffles and scrambled eggs on it.
"Best eat quickly, it's your first day back after summer break and we don't want to be late." The Cloud of Darkness sat down across from him with her – its! – own plate. He quickly dug in as soon as he saw the cook eating the food as well. He savoured the flavour, which, unless Cloud of Darkness used Iocane Powder, meant the food was not poisoned, while Cloud of Darkness smiled lightly – consequently scaring the Onion Knight – at how he was eating.
After breakfast was over, he followed Nokumo – He had realized by now that, despite appearances, this was not his old foe - to a strange-looking contraption, similar to what Cloud and Squall had once described of as "cars" from their original worlds. He, once again, followed Nokumo's example and climbed in, mimicking her movements (through probably not as well as Bartz could've). He jumped a bit when the engine started, but this didn't draw much attention from Nokumo. He watched out the window as they travelled, keeping track of the sights between what was apparently his residence in this strange world and the school he was apparently attending.
The day didn't get any less confusing when they arrived and saw several large, yellow cars with numbers on them in front of the large building, people older than him, but not by much, climbing out. Off to the side of the building, where the car he was in was being parked, he felt a bit of hope as he saw Cloud Strife pull up to the school building on another type of vehicle, one that he could tell from the description he was once given was called a "motorcycle." Someone approached him from the school, wearing a black button-up shirt and slacks, a loose tie around his neck, and long, silver hair.
As Onion Knight once again copied Nokumo and exited the car, he overheard what the man, Sephiroth, if he remembered correctly, was saying to Cloud.
"How many times have you been told to wear a helmet while riding that thing?" chastised Sephiroth. "Your recklessness could get you arrested, or killed."
Cloud gave him a bored look, "I think this makes the seventh time you've told me, Sephiroth."
"And I told you that while we're on school grounds-"
"I'm supposed to call you 'Mr. Safer.' I know. Don't you have a classroom to prepare?"
"We will talk about this later, Cloud." And with an oddly dramatic whirl, Sephiroth stalked angrily back into the school.
Onion Knight half-payed attention to Nokumo leaving him behind ("Don't be late, or you're grounded for a month"), instead listening to Cloud mutter to himself.
"Our relationship was so much less complicated when I could just kill you to work out my frustrations." But before the Onion Knight could dash over to him, he shivered at the conversation behind him.
"I'm so glad you're taking my class this year, Terra! I'm sure your artwork will be MAGNIFICENT!" Was that...? "Uwee hee hee!" Oh yeah, hard not to mistake that laugh. Swallowing, he turned to see Kefka... wearing an orange shirt and maroon pants, a tool belt full of art supplies at an angle at his waist. The only thing unchanged from what the Onion Knight remembered was his face paint. And standing next to him was Terra, the girl he had once sworn to protect to the end during the War of Harmony and Discord. She stood as timidly as usual, but she smiled lightly as she replied.
"Of course, Uncle Kefka. I have a few sketches I've done recently of those statues you sculpted when you were in school." Onion Knight's mind stuttered to a halt again. UNCLE Kefka? he thought. What?
"Oh those silly old things? HA! I can't believe you still have them!"
"They remind me of something, somehow..." Terra had a wistful expression on her face as she looked at the ground.
"WELL! I have ART SUPPLIES to get ready! I'll see you in class, Miss Branford!"
"Right... Mr. Palazzo."
And with another mirthful laugh, Kefka skipped his way into the building. Terra sighed and walked over to Onion Knight.
"Good morning, Luneth. How was your summer?"
"Um, i-it was good!" Onion – no he had to be Luneth now, whoever that was – Luneth replied, hoping it was a convincing response. When Terra's eyes widened, however, he realized that he had made a mistake. And then she knelt down and hugged him.
"We were wondering when you'd awaken," she whispered. "Tell your m- er, Cloud of Darkness that you're meeting with friends after school and come to the library. If you see any of the others besides Firion and Figh- the Warrior of Light, ask them if they've found the crystal. They'll meet us there to help explain the situation."
Standing back up, Terra beckoned him to follow after her into the school, a smile on her face. She then showed Luneth a few places she knew he would need to know for the school day, including his homeroom (which he apparently shared with Zidane. This was odd because Zidane was at least a couple years older than him).
It was rare for the Onion Knight to curse his own intelligence, but, by the end of the day, Luneth was tired of being called on by the teachers to answer their questions. Thankfully, they didn't ask him any big history questions he couldn't have answered with a glance at the chalkboard or his textbook. There were quite a few people around the school he could recognize, such as his friends from Ur and Elder Topapa was a teacher, but most of the time everyone was too busy keeping up with the rush between classes to speak with him.
Whenever he would meet one of the others, beside Firion and the Warrior of Light, who was apparently the Duelling Club's best fighter, and named "Fighter McWarrior," he would ask about the crystal and, for some of them, their eyes would widen slightly before they nodded in acknowledgement and went about their business.
Nokumo was apparently the cafeteria cook for the school (though he had also seen her name on a nameplate for the Home Ec. class), and at lunch he told her about staying after school to meet with friends. She thought he was talking about two kids named Refia and Ingus, and he played along without actually saying that that was who he was meeting.
After school, he waited for a few moments in the library as the other Warriors of Cosmos walked in, at first pretending to browse the shelves or, in the case of Bartz and Zidane, whisper jokes to each other.
Once everyone arrived, they sat down at a table, shuffling some chairs around so that they could all fit.
"Welcome to school, kid," said Squall.
Zidane nodded, "It's not bad once you get used to it, and after a day or two the memories of the you who used to be here will kick in, which will help you fit in better."
"Oh, thank Cosmos-" Luneth started.
"You might want to watch saying something like that," Cloud interrupted. "'Cause Cosmos and Chaos, as it turns out, are the Principal and Vice Principal of this school."
Cecil nodded (he looked strange without his armour on...), "Shocked the Void right out of us when we first woke up, especially Tidus."
"Yeah, it was pretty tough being the first of us to 'awaken,'" commented the aforementioned sports star. "It was actually kind of creepy seeing my old man acting more like a caring parent then he used to be."
"All our foes are teachers here," added Terra, "and some of them, like yourself and Ms. Kuroyami, or myself and Kefka, are related."
"I admit, I just about flipped on finding out that Sephiroth was suddenly my half-brother," muttered Cloud.
"There's also other people from our original worlds, like Cloud's best friend Zack and his girlfriend Aerith, or Zidane's little sister Mikoto, or even Bartz's friend Galuf as a teacher," continued Tidus.
"I, myself, am a teacher," said Cecil. "My first day after 'waking' was a tough one, since I had to teach astronomy without knowing the stars of this world."
"How many teachers does this place have?" asked Luneth. The other Warriors of Cosmos glanced at each other before collectively shrugging.
"It's a big place," said Cloud. "There's a lot of extra-curricular activities, and elective classes, on top of the six core classes."
"But the important thing is that you not panic, and try to play along as best you can until your new memories kick in," assured Terra. "Don't forget, there's not much actual conflict here, so don't jump the gun if you get into trouble."
"Er, I don't know if I have my sword, so I can't really use that, but... what about magic?" asked Luneth.
"There are some various classes on magic, one for each discipline and a few that are cross-discipline," said Bartz. "But even so, you shouldn't worry too much about using it right now. Sure you're 'advanced for your age,' or so I hear, but don't get too far ahead of 'yourself.'"
"Bartz had to learn that the hard way," muttered Squall, before glancing at the clock. "I've... got another meeting to get to." He walked away slightly faster than normal, but still trying to look casual.
Zidane winked at Luneth conspiratorially. "That means he's got a date with Rinoa tonight," the thief supplied. "I gotta get going, too. Boss- er, 'Mr. Baku' wants us to go over the play plan one more time. I'm sure he'll want to do it again tomorrow, too..."
"Say 'hi' to Kuja for me!" said Terra.
"Anything for a lady!" Zidane smiled, before walking out the door.
"Meanwhile, the rest of us should probably get to our clubs or home," said Cloud. He looked over the remaining warriors. "Cecil, you can give Luneth a ride home, right?"
"Yes, I'm sure Rosa won't mind an extra passenger," nodded Cecil. "Just follow me."
Luneth followed the Dark Knight/Paladin out of the building and into the same parking lot he had arrived in with Nokumo. There, he was met with an unknown woman, though she seemed to know Cecil.
"Hi, honey," she said. "Who's this?"
"This is Luneth Kuroyami. He was staying after with some friends, and I offered to give him a ride home," Cecil turned to his young companion. "Luneth, this is my wife, Rosa Farrell. She teaches Advanced White Magic."
"It's nice to meet you," Luneth bowed. Introductions complete, they climbed into the car and drove home.