Written by Darren Shier.
Introduction and Disclaimer;
The charecters of Squall Leonhart, Rinoa Heartilly, Irvine Kinneas, Selphie Tilmitt, Seifer Almasy, Quistis Trepe, Zell Dinct, Laguna Loire, Kiros, Raine, Ellone, Ward, Raijin, Fujin, Cid Kramer, Edea Kramer, General Caraway, Julia Heartilly and Sorceress Ultimecia are the property of Squaresoft.
The charecters of Alexandra, Hyne, Astrophel, Draven and Drew Gains are the property of Kate Lorraine. Used with permission.
The charecters of Galen de Lioncourt, Sio Hagansi, Xarsk Almasy, Veneres and all other "extra's" are my own. Copyright © Darren Shier. No copycats.
This story is of my own creation. It is NOT, repeat NOT the official third part of Kate Lorraine's Orphan Trilogy, however it is published with her permission. Her vision is different to mine, and this story is NOT her intended third part of The Orphan. Any views expressed within are my own, as are the closure of many themes. This story is by no means condoned or endorsed by Kate Lorraine or any of her editors, but it is written with her permission. This is the unoffical third part of The Orphan Trilogy as written by Darren Shier. It is based upon Kate Lorraine's stories "The Orphan" and "If He Should Return", which should be read first in order to gain a better understanding to this novel.
Dedication; For Colleen. My own sweet Selphie,
and my reason for carrying on. We'll follow our
dreams together, Colleen, no matter where they
take us. I love you.
I can't live, With or Without you.
Kill us, my brothers and sisters. The war is on.
When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see.
I won't be afraid.
If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won't cry
No, I won't shed a tear
Just as long,
as you Stand By Me.
-Ben E. King
Prologue; "Gainful Employment"
"Kinneas here." Irvine replied into the radio, finally answering the hail.
"Irvine?" came the voice from the other end. Irvine was sure it sounded like Quistis.
"Yeah, it's me." he replied, unenthusiastically.
"Where's Squall and Rinoa?" the voice asked, with tones bordering on urgency. It was a small while before Irvine answered. He looked at the pair near where he sat. They were still holding hands, even now. Irvine then knew that it had to be said. It had to be told. After all that, they had to be allowed to rest in peace.
"They're dead." he said, not taking his eyes off their faces. "Squall and Rinoa are dead."
"Just come and get me." Irvine said, and switched the radio off.
* * * * *
They were in the vast library of Ultimecia Castle, possibly the largest repository of literature in all of history. Ironic, Galen often thought, considering there was now to be no such thing as history anymore. This was the finish. If all of Time was a book being read by God, then surely He must be near the closing chapters by now. Fortunately, the best bits have been saved for last. Let's all just hope that He is not one of these people who likes to read the last page of the book first.
An annoying tendency I've tried to lick, myself, thought Galen. No doubt yet another thing I must have in common with a god.
He came here a lot. Galen de Lioncourt knew it was impossible for anyone, ever, no matter what their lifespan, to read every book contained within this massive library. But then, Galen was a voracious reader. Also, he felt it was his duty to safeguard all the books, volumes, tomes and pamphlets contained within these mighty walls.
And indeed, what a mighty library it was. It was the entire basement of his mother's castle. Well, it was his castle now, but let's no get too technical. It was as wide as the castle itself, with a roof at least three storeys high. And row upon row upon row upon row upon row of books. Right now, Galen was trying to pass the time by reading one of them, curled up in a mighty oak chair.
There was a rustling from somewhere off to his right, making Galen shift his eyes ever so slightly to the source of the sound. Then he could hear faint footsteps, coming from the right, then moving around behind him.
"Who's there?" he challenged, ordering the intruder to reveal himself or herself.
A face instantly appeared right in front of his own.
"Sssh!!" the face said, a finger at it's lips and practically spitting the sound. "This is a library, after all."
Galen couldn't avoid looking at him, but he already knew who he was. Fair hair to the point of whiteness, and a scar on his throat in the shape of a cross. It could only be-
"Draven." he said, practically moaning as he pinched the bridge of his nose. "Why are you here?"
Draven stood back, fully upstraight, hands on the small of his back, grinning.
"I am seeking gainful employment." he said, finally. "I'm handing you my Cirriculum Vitae."
Galen sighed. This was going to prove annoying.
Draven held a hand out in mid-air, and a long sheet of paper instantly appeared in his hand. He was also now wearing bifocals.
"Hmmm, let's see. Yes, I think I have all my statistics and credentials here. Date Of Birth; The dawn of time. (That was actually on a Tuesday. Not many people know that.) Family; Not worth the hassle. Nationality; Everywhere, Everywhen. Qualifications; I've killed more men than cancer."
Galen began to sit up. "Your pathetic attempts at humor not withstanding," he said "I really don't need a court-jester, thanks."
Galen closed his book and walked away.
"Hey, Galen! I'm serious, man!"
Galen returned the book to the shelf and turned round to face Draven.
"What do you want?"
Draven feigned thinking for a moment. "My face on the 100 Gil bill." he wisecracked.
Galen rolled his eyes and began to walk away.
"Ok,ok!" yelled Draven. "Truth be told, I'm not dumb. I know what's coming. I know what's gonna happen soon, The Gathering and all that. I know what you're planning too, you being...It. You know, the last one....The......."
"The Omega." Galen said, not shying from it.
"Yeah, that." said Draven. "Anyway, when it happens, I don't want to be on Hyne's team."
"Whatever happened to loyalty?" probed Galen.
"Hey, hey!" protested Draven. "I'm not getting out on some kind legal loophole banana-technicality! It's just that ever since that whole incident with Astrophel, Lenore and your sister, well, Hyne's not been Herself."
"What do you mean?"
"She thinks She's some girl named Rinoa. I don't know if She and Rinoa are the same thing, or two separate entities, but either way, She's not the same Hyne I serve. She goes all weird when I try to talk to her. It's hard enough trying to get Rinoa to let Her out to speak to me, and even when She does, She's lost Her memories."
Galen searched the back of his mind. "Rinoa....." he said aloud, thinking back to his sister and her relationship with Rinoa. "Rinoa....dark hair..Sorceress Rinoa, 17 years old?"
"Nah, she's 22 now, in what they call the present. Your age."
"I still fail to see why you're here, Draven. Hyne is not the same Hyne She once was, and now you want to switch sides because you know The Gathering is coming. You don't want to be destroyed when I win."
"That is a part of it, but don't ever call me disloyal to Hyne. The Hyne I pledged to serve is dead. I talked
to her, tried to tell her she was Hyne, not Rinoa. But She denied it. She denied Herself. So, Hyne is dead. And I am released from my service to Her."
"And you want to join with me." said Galen, frowning. "Only Sorceresses have Knights, Draven. I am a Sorcerer. I don't need a Knight, and I don't need a Sorcerer's Apprentice, either."
"Shame." said Draven. "I'm great with a mop and bucket. Dun-dun de-de dun-de-dun de-dun-de-de-de" he laughed, humming a strange tune.
"What are you talking about?" said Galen, starting to get annoyed.
"Alright, if my skills as a warrior don't interest you, try this on for size; I have a unique gift. Time does not move the same way it does for others. Time is flexible for me in the truest sense of the word. I can step into the past, or the future, or appear on the other side of the world 2 seconds before I've even left. But you, you're stuck here in the future."
"For now." corrected Galen.
"True." said Draven. "But until that happens, wouldn't you like to have a link to the past? Someone to carry your message to the people of that time? Don't tell me you haven't wanted to."
Galen was frowning.
"What's the matter?" taunted Draven. "Oh yes! Poor Galen! He can't possess anyone in the past world. Only mommy and sis could do that. Boo-hoo!"
"Alright, stop it!" ordered Galen. "You do have a point. I could use someone with your....gifts in my corner. But I get the feeling you want something in return. Otherwise you wouldn't be doing this."
"Okay, you twisted my arm." submitted Draven. "Almasy. I want him. When you take over, he'll be one of the first to challenge you. I want him for myself. He's real angry with me, y'see. I got his wannabe-girlfriend killed, that's why. And out of all the Sorceress Knight's I've permanently shut up, he looks like a real tough nut to crack. I want to take him on, mano-é-mano."
Galen began to mull it over in his head.
"Okay." he said finally. "I accept you into my service. But you must cut all ties with Hyne, is that clear."
"Clear as glass, chief" replied Draven, fishing in his pockets for a cigarette, which he soon lit.
Galen proceeded to walk back to the Throne Room.
"Oh, by the way!" Draven called back. "When will....you know. When will It happen?"
"Very soon." Galen cried back. "Very soon."