A.N. I recently played through this game again, the first time I have since I was around nine years old. I hadn't remembered much from the game, except for that Lilka is done completely wrong by Ashley and a few other minute details. I really wish the game wasn't as linear as it was with the relationship between Marina and Ashley, but I suppose it cannot be helped. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this alternative take on the scene where Lord Blazer attempts to take over Ashley's body.

An outlandish cry came forth from the golden knight standing in front of the group.

"Ashley…" A young crest sorceress called out his name in desperation, hoping that the man was still among them. "No…it can't be!" She shook her head, not wanting to accept that the knight in front of her was the revived Lord Blazer—that Ashley was…


The group was startled to hear Ashley's voice still.

"H-holding him back…" His voice was strained and weak, "You m-must do it n-now…" The group remained silent. "Strike me down, before he takes full control!"

They all gasped and the crest sorceress protested, "We can't! Ashley…we couldn't do something like that!" Her gaze dropped to the ground as tears began to well in her eyes. She could feel their salty texture burn the corners of them. Why did this have to happen to him, she asked herself, her fists clenching tightly. Ashley was kind, gentle, strong-hearted and caring, why did this have to happen to him? She hated herself for not having the power to save him. Her magic was weak. If her sister was here right now, she could probably save him with her strong magic. She bit her lip, cursing herself within her mind.

"You, Kanon." The golden knight thrust its arm out and pointed at the bionic exorcist. "T-this is your duty…" He told her, "You must k-keep your p-promise…"

Drawing her dagger, the exorcist bowed her head, "So, it's finally come to this." Gripping the dagger tightly, her gaze rose and met the knight's, "Very well, prepare yourself, Ashley Winchester." She instructed. Looking into the ever-growing evil gaze of the knight in front of her, she was suddenly overcome with hesitation. She tried to force herself to move, but her body wouldn't respond. "Why can't I…"

"Ashley is your friend," The voice came from the Zoa Priest standing beside her—Tim. "He's our friend. Is it really a hero's duty to slay a comrade?" His words reached deep within her heart, and she lowered her dagger, no longer able to try and force herself to strike the man down.

"Kanon, wh-why?" The strenuous voice of Ashley asked. He was growing weaker by the second. "If you d-don't do it r-right n-now then Filgaia will b-be destroyed!"

Lilka couldn't stand this anymore.

"Ashley!" She cried out, tears escaping her eyes. She rushed from her spot to him and threw her arms around the knight.

"Lilka! Get away, he's dangerous!" Brad commanded.

"He is not!" She yelled angrily. She refused to accept that as the truth. "There's no way, I don't believe you!" She rested her head on the cold metallic shoulder of the golden knight. "You promised me, Ashley," She said between sobs, "You promised me that you would never leave me…" No reply came from the knight who stood there motionless. "You remember, don't you?" She asked. She raised her head from the knight's shoulder to look into its face. "When you weren't there with us after we defeated Vinsfield, I…" She sobbed again, remembering the emotions she felt at that time, "…I thought you broke your promise. I thought you left me forever, that you wouldn't come back." Her hand moved to the face of the knight, caressing the cold metal in an awkward display of affection. She wished so dearly that it was Ashley's true form she was expressing herself to. "I was so depressed, broken—I locked myself away in my room within the Chateau and avoided everyone." Her gaze fell again and her tears dripped onto the metal chest of the knight. "I felt alone again, just like after sis left me. I couldn't take it, I wouldn't take it…and then before the thoughts set in I felt you through the Empathite. I felt your heart." She looked into the face of the knight again, a wide smile across her teary face. "I was so overjoyed, I ran all the way to Meria to meet you." Her smile faded as she remembered she was too late, that he was already with Marina who was in the arms she would die to be held in. "You have to make it through this, Ashley…you have to! I can't live without you…!" She swallowed hard, and confessed to him, "Ashley, I lo—!"

The strong, cold and metal hand of the knight thrust forth and gripped her at the neck and lifted her into the air.

"Lilka!" Tim cried.

"Ashley, fight it! Don't let him make you do this!" Brad yelled.

Kanon remained silent.

The crest sorceress's hands, at first, went to the hand at her throat to try and fight it; but then she stopped, letting her hands fall limply to her sides as all but one of her cares in the world vanished without a trace: Ashley. If she were to die, what would it matter, she thought. She wouldn't get in the way of him and Marina; and her magic was so weak, she probably only hindered the group. Yes, it would be better this way. She reminded herself that death is what she wanted just a few days ago as she laid locked in her room.

"Lil…ka…" Ashley's immensely weak voice escaped the lips of the golden knight. "I'm…s-s-sor…ry…"

The deathly grip around her neck tightened and she squirmed momentarily in pain. She stared into the estranged sky with her vision narrowing as blackness slowly consumed it. Soon her worries would end. Soon this pain would end. Soon she would never feel the loneliness she despised so much ever again. Her entire body relaxed and her eyes closed peacefully as she welcomed death.

A gruesome piercing noise of metal and flesh entered her ears and suddenly her body sparked back to life as it automatically drew in air. Her feet connected with the ground but didn't hold her up, and now she sat on her legs in a great daze. She saw blood flowing down the golden armor and tilted her head up to locate the source.

Standing before her was Kanon, her dagger pierced into the heart of the golden knight whose blood was gushing out. She stared—absentmindedly at first—at the sight. Her mind, now no longer concerned about the automatic instinct of survival, gave way to her thoughts again and it registered. Her eyes widened and her body began to tremble.

Upon pulling her dagger from the chest of the golden knight, it fell backgrounds, and when it collided with the ground the golden armor faded away revealing a mortally wounded blue-haired gun warrior.

"This is what you wanted. I realize it now. You don't want the death of her at your own hands." Kanon stated as she peered down at the cringed face of the gun warrior who nodded slowly in response. She dropped the dagger and then turned her back to him and began walking away, her flesh hand trembling from what she had just done.

Lilka crawled desperately towards him, grasping his hand in her own as she leaned over him.

"You promised…" She told him with a shaky voice.

He shook his head in response, "I did." He coughed, blood escaping the corner of his mouth as he did. "I guess…I won't be keeping that p-promise."

"No! You can't leave! Ashley, I need you!" She protested desperately. He looked into her teary emerald eyes before she buried her face into his stomach; he smiled slightly as both Brad and Tim came into his view. Tim, like Lilka, was crying. Brad's face was stern. He had watched comrades die many times before. It is never something a person gets used to, and beneath his stern expression was hidden sadness.

"All of you…stay s-strong…!" The gun warrior commanded. His languid eyes surveyed the group and stopped on Brad. "Take care o-of them f-for me…make sure th-they all…make it…through this." He coughed and his eyes snapped shut as pain surged through his chest. He could feel his consciousness slipping away at an alarming rate now. Brad nodded.

"Lilka." He called out to her weakly. She didn't respond until he reached out and stroked her hair once while repeating her name weakly, "Lilka." Her head rose, her eyes puffy and red from crying. "Be strong. You h-have to be…strong…so you…can be like your sister…you admire so m-much." His hand went from her hair to her face and wiped away the tears in her eyes.

Suddenly, the crest sorceress began casting healing magic relentlessly onto the young gun warrior. She poured all of her strength into the spells, one after another.

"You have to live! You have to stay with me—with us!" She sobbed loudly, the tears once again streaming from her eyes.

"Lilka." This time the voice belonged to Brad. She looked at him and he was simply shaking his head. When she looked back down at Ashley, his eyes were closed and his chest no longer was rising and falling from breathing.

Her world shattered at that very moment as did her will to live. Her body trembled violently and her mind rejected this as the truth.

"No…" She shook him gently. "No…!" She shook him harder and felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned to see a saddened Tim, his gaze on the ground. She turned back to Ashley. "He promised!" She buried her face into his stomach again, "You said you'd never leave me…so then why did you go?"

A.N. Sad, tragic, and depressing. Well, I certainly hoped this short read invoked some emotion within you! Perhaps, if I write another, it will be happier.