Alright, if you didn't read book 1, then I suggest you read that as well, otherwise you'll get confused by this quite a bit.

See my profile for Dimensional Guardian: Book I: Dragoon.

I would HIGHLY advise that you read that one first.

As with all my stories I intend to write 3 Chapters before posting this, and as such, you'll probably have to wait for more.

Also, at the beginning of this story, Jared Shadowwind has gotten to 58 years old. He spent 15 years in Weyard. Doris, Issac's Mother was born 3 months before this story.

While in Weyard, he had stayed in Imil to learn the ways of the Mercury Clan. He found a traveling group of Venus adepts and learned that branch from them. He found Hama's mother, and trained alongside her in Jupiter Psynergy, and was free to show off what he had learned among the other branches as well. The last area he had learned from was a Mars Clan that was hiding in the Suhalla Desert. Once all four of them were mastered, he took to learning the Cross-Psynergy and had learned virtually every Psynergy used in game. He had found that Cross-Psynergy was harder than the Four Main Disciplines, and even expected as much.

In game, Cross-Psynergy is used when Djinn change the class only. HOWEVER, they are only accessible when, say a Jupiter Adept is using Mars, Venus or Mercury Djinn. For Venus Adepts: Mars, Jupiter and Mercury Djinn allow the Cross-Psynergy. The concept is the same for the others as well.

Anyway, after that was done, the Tuaparang had found him, and he had showed the Power of the Shadows he had. To try and get away from them, seeing as he didn't have time to spare for them. By the display, even though it wasn't Psynergy, they decided to train him in their ways. When he was done, he was about to leave, yet was offered to stay. He declined, because he was only there for training, before he had to move on. If he didn't, he'd die, and they let him go on the condition that he doesn't teach anyone what they taught him, or speak of them. He gave the classic response: "Wasn't planning to anyway." At Vale, he managed to convince the elders to see Sol Sanctum and was guided up there. Once in what they thought was the end, he felt the Wind Shift, and went further in, even though there was a Elder present. I short, the Elder Followed him, and he found the trap, disarmed it, and went through the portal, telling the Elder to stay behind. The reason he gave: "You haven't been this far, from what I heard. It could be dangerous on the other side. Wait for me to get back. Any danger in Weyard has been no match for me, so I can handle myself. You may not be able to." He met the Wise one in person, and he told the Floating Rock about the Tuaparang. He was told that his next adventure begins in 2 months, and to stay in Vale until that time, before telling him where the next one was.

And this is the story of the next adventure.

For the record, I don't even own the concept of Dimensional Guardians. I'm just writing about them cause I can. I am not one myself, either. I wouldn't be doing this if I were. I'd be living it instead. Jared Shadowwind is my character, yes. Reaper is just a blade that I've heard of. Honestly? I blame Airgod for telling me about them. BUT, you get a story out of it, so why not?

Let's begin.

But first

Disclaimer: I DON'T FUCKING OWN ANYTHING!

Jared was looking over a much larger city. He saw a beach near the city as well. He registered this as Bodhum in Cocoon. He had been here for two days, and was currently on the top of a pretty tall building: Almost 12 stories. In fact, it was the tallest in the Large City.

Jared was currently wearing blue Wrangler's Jeans, and a black T-shirt. He also had a pair of Strong Leather Boots, made more for walking long distances and had a bit of wear in them, though not much. He had found an entire Vein of Mythril and made an entire Wardrobe.

He had seen that the Fireworks festival was in 2 weeks, which gave him ample time to figure out a few things. He brought a few of his works, saying he had found them, and managed to restore them. They were antiques, but not from Cocoon, or Pulse. He had taken to doing this for money for a long time, so he figured he might as well use it to his advantage. It has been 3 days, and he was actually looking for someone at the moment. His eyesight never dulled, and he was looking for two people based on a description from a game, and a third, who he wasn't sure would recognize him.

Fang, Vanille and Serah.

Unlike when he went to Weyard, he wasn't interrupted by anyone. He was essentially going in without any real information on his mission. As such, he was looking for Serah first, not sure what time of day she was branded, so he was... 'Found her.' He thought, as he spotted her walking out of the city limits and into the outskirts. He hid his smile, and decided to just jump off, bending the light around him to hide his figure, as he went to a nearby building, 4 stories high, without any damage to him, and then to another roof, before landing on the path he had found Serah taking.

As he got to ground level, he hid in an alley, let the Light refocus, and walked out, before getting on the path, and saw her about to reach his location. He noticed that she hadn't been branded yet as she passed, and it was still early morning, though. By his estimate barely 9:00 AM. He spoke up. "Excuse me miss. I'm looking for someone, think you can help me out?" He asked politely.

Serah looked at him in confusion. "Who are you?"

"Sorry, my name is Jared. I was told the one I was looking for is in the city of Bodhum, and he lived here."

"Oh." Her look of confusion took on a smile. "I probably could tell you where to go to find them. I know almost everyone that lives in this town. My name is Serah." They started walking along the path. "So, who are you looking for?"

"His name is Snow Villiers."

"You know Snow?" She cut him off, causing him to look at her. "Sorry about it."

"No problem." Jared replied, putting on a slight smile. "Anyway, I know of him. We've never met, really. Still, a friend of mine wanted me to find him. Help him out, and make sure he has some manners. He told me this before he died."

"Oh... Well, you can come with me. I'm heading to meet him, anyway." She said, somewhat subdued.

"That's even better. Thank you."

"You're welcome." She smiled slightly, and they continued to walk today. They talked about random things. Serah was quite the Interrogator, and managed to get quite a bit of information from Jared. Nothing serious, and nothing about his origins, but still, it was more than he would've liked.

They reached what seemed to be a Giant building, similar to a T in shape, with a head. They decided to sit down nearby, and then Serah noticed something, looking at the building. "Something wrong?"

"No... I guess. But, now that I look, the Vestige is open."

Jared looked at it. "Vestige?"

"The Bodhum Vestige. Not well known to those outside Bodhum, but still pretty well known. It's not talked about often, but Snow and I meet here quite often. Thing is, it's always closed. This is the first time it's open."

Jared looked at her and raised an eyebrow. "Curious?"

"Very." She admitted. "I've been told I'm too curious for my own good."

"It can't be that bad." Jared said, before looking back at the Vestige. "But I'm getting strange vibes. Have you heard the saying 'Curiosity killed the cat'?"

"My sister tells me that all the time." Serah spoke sadly.

"Well, listen to this." This earned a sad look from her. "Curiosity didn't kill the cat."

She was confused. "Huh?"

"Stupidity killed the cat. Curiosity was framed." Jared smirked. "You go in, I'm going in too." He pulled out Cerberus. "You don't see what I've seen without learning how to fight. I can hold my own against just about anything you can think of. I'll make sure you come back out alive. You can count on it."

"That's a strange gun." Serah said, impressed. "I think my sister might know what it is."

"Doubtful." Jared said, as they walked in.

"What do you mean?"

"Cerberus is unique." Jared told her. "It's the only one of it to my knowledge. The Triple Barrel is not just for show. It also allows me to amplify Mental and Spiritual Energies, and then channel them through it, essentially getting rid of the need to use actual bullets. Using that route is actually tiring if you don't know what you're doing, but after using him for a few years, I've built up a good reserve of both. Anyone could do it, if they know what it is they're doing. Apparently, it can still use Metal Bullets too, so I can use either method."

"Wow. That's impressive... I think."

"Yeah, it is. Thing is, using the Energy method is dangerous when I'm around others. Especially when I'm in a town like Bodhum."

"Why is that?"

"Because, Serah, it's too similar to the Magic of a L'cie. I have to be careful using it, so I don't get taken up, or Cerberus studied. He wouldn't like that."

"He?"

"Cerberus... is actually Sentient. It's why I'd be surprised if your sister, no matter her occupation, would have heard of it. It's one of a kind, and even if you could make a replica, it wouldn't be able to give you access to the Energies he gives me access to. It's actually highly similar to something known as Manadrive, but there's more to it than just saying it's a gun that gives a path around Manadrive."

"What's Manadrive?"

"Manadrive, on a simple level, allows usage of Magic, similar to a L'cie. The specifics... I doubt you could understand the complexities of the entire thing, so I won't bother with an explanation." Jared explained. "Cerberus, on the other hand, is different. Manadrive let's you use what's already there, but doesn't increase the energies all that much. Cerberus, on the other hand, increases the Energies, and then applies the actual effect of said energies. Perfect Example: Mental Energy is tied to how fast your brain can comprehend something. The higher your Mental Energy the clearer and faster you can think. Most humans don't even have 10% of the Mental Energy I have thanks to Cerberus. Some with Photographic Memory tend to have about 15% of the Mental Energy I have. Do you understand all this?"

"I think so. Manadrive lets one use spells, but is really only an accessory that makes you lose its effects without it, while Cerberus makes it stay that way, right?"

"That's a pretty accurate and really simple way of comparing the two." Jared replied, as they were looking around. It wasn't long before they found a pair of Crystals, which caused Jared to stop in his tracks. "Uh, Serah?"

"Hm?" She looked at the Crystal People. "Wow... Who could make something like this?"

But that's not what got him. He recognized one of them. 'Fang...' He thought back to when he met her in the Moon That Never Sets. "Jared? Is something wrong?"

"One of the benefits of Spiritual Energy increase. Those two are alive." He said, seriousness and awe in his voice.

"How are the sculptures... alive..." She looked at them wide-eyed. "Could they be...?"

"L'cie." Jared's eyes narrowed, before There was a bright light, as Serah and Jared were floating. Jared was just looking around calmly, before Reaper was in his right hand, Cerberus in his left. His eyes went from left to right.

Serah, on the other hand, was just looking around curiously, until a massive figure hit her arm with a light, stopping her curiosity short, to feel the pain of being branded. Jared, however, got hit with another one, which was about to hit his chest, where Shinku's Spirit Stone interfered. The light stopped, before it went through the stone, and hit his chest.

Serah passed out from pain, but Jared didn't. He just grunted. "Paku hits harder than you, you idiot." He spoke, his voice slightly pained.

"You are different... I believe you are the one Mother spoke of?" The tone was questioning.

"And your mother is?" The pain in Jared's voice was gone.

"Humans know her as the Maker."

"I take it you're Anima?" Jared asked.

"That I am. She is aware of what is going to happen soon. She has chosen me to carry out the counter. You are merely insurance for our cause."

"So what? I've got a Focus now?"

"No. I gave you the mark, but it appears I cannot give you a focus. It is... unusual. It is why I believe you to be her Insurance." Anima spoke.

"What are you talking about? Any changes to the Mark?"

"Not many. Without the focus, you don't have to worry about becoming a Ci'eth, that's for sure. With no focus, you won't turn to Crystal Either. Check your chest, and see where it stands. The more arrows there are, the less time one has. If you have an Eye fully opened in the center, you will turn Ci'eth, in normal circumstances. I do know that you will still progress in your abilities like a normal L'cie. Practice on your own. That is all I can say."

Jared nodded. "Anything in particular she wants me to know?"

"She said: The Focus is merely a guide. To be completed, it must come true, but sometimes, that is not the end. For example, if Ragnarok must be summoned, what is done with it is up to the summoner. It is why Pulse is uninhabited by Human life at the moment. Cocoon did not take them all out. Ragnarok did. Let the Defiers of Fate know this."

Jared's eyes widened slightly. "That... that makes a lot more sense."

"I wish you luck, Human."

"I don't classify as human. Being Ageless has that effect." Jared vanished from the void.

"I wonder what he meant by that."

-Bodhum Vestige-

There were two girls hovering over an unconscious Serah. "You think he branded her because of us?" A red head stated.

Naruto recognized her as Oerba Dia Vanille. The red hair, the tribal like Clothing, he knew it was her.

The other he had seen in person before. He would never forget her. He trained Cerberus at the back of her neck. "Been a while Fang."

She stiffened. Her clothing was the same as when he met her. Indian Tribal style clothing. The only thing she was missing was her lance.

"So, you came to me, huh?" She asked. "I'm surprised, Shadowwind."

He pulled Cerberus back, and she turned to him. She had a smirk. "Fang... you know him?"

"I was still in the crystal. By the way, I don't recall the name of the dish."

"Eh, it's just pasta and Pork Chops. Pretty common where I'm from." Jared shrugged.

"So, where's your armor, and why is she here?" Fang pointed at Serah, who was barely conscious at the moment.

"Well, we were actually outside the Vestige. I came looking for a man named Snow. Found her instead." Jared then looked into her eyes. "You remember what I showed you?"

"The whole thing. I just lost the memory of my Focus. Any ideas?"

"I'll leave that to you two. Be careful, and don't do anything stupid." Jared said, picking up Serah bridal style. "Good luck. Be careful of the Fal'cie." He noticed that Serah was unconscious again, and walked out.

Vanille looked at Fang. "Who was he?"

"Let's just say he's a friend to L'cie, whether he's one himself or not." Fang replied. "Come on. We got to figure out our Focus."

-outside-

Jared brought Serah out of the major door, and saw a Big man, which Jared recognized. The Trenchcoat, beanie, blonde hair. 'Yeah, that's Snow.' "You Snow Villiers?" He asked.

He looked at Jared, and his blue eyes widened. "Serah!" He ran over to him, and Jared set her down. "What did you do?!" He accused.

"I didn't do this." Jared retorted, calmly. "I actually came looking for you, and asked her for some help, since I couldn't. It took me a few days, but I asked. She led me here, saying she was meeting who I was looking for. I'm assuming that's you."

Snow looked back at her. "What happened?"

"She got curious, and went inside the Vestige. She saw something towering over her. What, she didn't know. When she reappeared, she had this on her." He pointed at the Mark.

It was her Brand. "I believe it would be a good idea to cover it up. I think she has been branded by a Pulse Fal'cie."

"What about you?"

"I didn't see anything she did. I only heard a voice, before a light appeared, and hit me in the chest. I haven't checked it yet, as I was bringing her out. She's alive, merely unconscious." Jared told him, before pulling a briefcase out of nowhere. "I've got a few tricks up my sleeve, being a traveler myself." He opened it and inside was a bunch of Medical Supplies. A Medical kit. He pulled out a roll of Gauze, and started to wrap up the brand.

"My name is Jared Shadowwind." He said, as he finished. "The Gauze is tight enough that it won't unravel under anything but a major explosion, or it's unraveled by hand, but still loose enough that it won't cut off circulation. Don't take it off. Say that something happened, but no one knows what it is. She passed out, but whatever happened, she can't remember." He looked at Snow. "Understand?"

"Yeah, I got it. I doubt you could give me any advice on this, so I'm not going to ask."

"Hang on. I do have one piece of advice. Something I was told." Snow looked at him as he picked up Serah. "Fate is not determined by Deities, or Fal'cie. A single Mortal with extreme amounts of Determination and a Strength of Will to match can change the tide of Fate. You have the will. Use it to help her."

"Got it. I'll take her elsewhere, and make sure she's okay. If anything's out of place, I'm blaming you."

"And you'd have every reason to." Jared said. "by the way, Snow?"

"What?" He looked back.

"Be careful of Lightning. They're too temperamental."

Snow turned just enough to see where he was, but saw that Jared had vanished.

"Where did he go?" Snow was confused. "No time. Serah first. Mystery guy later."

Jared simply shook his head in his perch at the top of a tree. 'Just like the game, Snow. I wonder if Lightning is even slightly more open than the game, or just as cold. Hell, even colder if that's possible.' He chuckled. 'Given what I've done, I'd have to say it could be possible.'

He then took off his shirt, and checked his chest. What he saw: The same brand as Serah, just completely open. Around it, the Symbol of the Crimson Dragon. The full symbol. That surprised him, as he searched for any sign of the stone. 'Ah shit...'

"What happened?"

Jared's eyes widened. 'Shinku?'

"Who else?"

'I don't know what happened. I was branded by a Fal'cie in Cocoon. The stone intercepted the beam which branded me, and I haven't seen it since.'

"Oh. Apparently, something else has come up. I was about to say I was going to need my power again, but I see you don't see to have it right now. Just my mark. It seems tied into something on your chest. Another mark, apparently. They aren't conflicting, but they will need some time to assimilate together. The other mark is giving you a type of Magic. Slightly different from what I've seen you use. Less variety, more power."

Jared put his shirt back on. 'It's a L'cie Brand. Apparently, it knocked off most of my abilities. I just have my Jupiter Branch of Psynergy, my Guardian abilities, and access to my Shadow Abilities. Thankfully, I can still use my cloaking technique. Immunities are a given. All the Magic I learned in Endiness is gone, and I couldn't feel your presence, either.'

"I get it. The power has now fused with you, and is assimilating with your body. My soul is now gone, and returned to me. Until the Assimilation is completely, you won't be able to use the Dragoon Form I once gave you. I also sense part of the other Brand is locked to you."

'Then, when it assimilates, I may be able to use the form again?'

"Your guess is as good as mine. I wish you luck. I'll keep an eye on the power you got from me. I always know when you use it, so... good luck, and god speed. I'll let you know when the two powers assimilate."

'Thanks man. Good luck with whatever you have to take care of.'

Shinku's presence vanished from his mind. 'Reaper, Cerberus, looks like we'll have to wait for a while.'

"Noted."

"You really couldn't do anything else, could you?" Reaper questioned.

'I wish I could have, you two. I really do.'

Reaper had was in a scabbard on his back, coming over the right shoulder. Cerberus was in the same spot as usual. He merely walked into town, and looked around for the Guardian Corps building. When he found it, he saw someone similar to Serah walk out. The hair was shorter, and she was obviously in a Military Uniform. The single plate, the weapon on her back, all of it. She saw him, and narrowed her eyes. "Who are you?"

"Just someone looking for some money, and a good fight." Jared replied, stoically.

The woman scrutinized him, and finally nodded. "You'll want to talk to Lieutenant Amodar. He's inside."

Jared nodded, and went through the sliding doors. Inside the 2 story building, was a bit more of a lobby than it should've been, in his opinion. He found the right person talking to someone in a similar Uniform to Lightning, who he passed out front. "Excuse me sir, are you Lieutenant Amodar?"

The big man looked at Jared, and nodded. "That would be me."

Jared nodded. "I'm looking for some work. Nothing to tie me down, but something with a bit of a risk. And by risk, I mean Life and Limb."

"I'm afraid I can't really do anything for you, sir." Amodar raised an eyebrow. "Just who are you?"

"Those who know me call me Shadow. My real name is Jared. I'm not well known, but I can handle just about any kind of fight."

"I see. Why do they call you Shadow?"

"My targets never know I'm there until it's too late. Anything from Monsters to Wildlife to criminals and bounties, it doesn't matter really. One could be the most paranoid idiot out there, and they still wouldn't know I was there until I took them out. I can handle stealth, and front line fighting if needed. I'm a warrior. Fighting is what I do."

Amodar stroked his chin. "I got ya. Can you handle Patrol Duty? Got no extermination missions right now."

Jared nodded. "That could work, if I knew the area. I'm still relatively new to the city."

"Ah. You should've said that first. Well, if I were you I'd talk to a man named Snow Villiers. Runs a little group called NORA. They're probably more your speed."

Jared shrugged. "I'll try to find them. Any advice?"

"Yeah. Lebreau is the only female of the group. They need to learn a thing or two about Manners, but they get the job done as good as any Soldier. They may be Civilians, but they do what they can. They just can't handle Uniform Standards. They do the same thing the Guardian Corps does, and protect the people, but they hate PSICOM with a passion. We've got some common ground there. The Corps doesn't like PSICOM either."

"Any particular reason why?"

Amodar looked around, and leaned in. "PSICOM doesn't care who gets involved. Innocent bystanders are expendable. They don't care. If Someone gets in their way, it means death. But you didn't hear it from me." he leaned back, and saw a look of rage in Jared's eyes.

"If PSICOM comes after me or someone around me, I'm killing the idiots that try to shoot me. Fair Warning."

"I'll pretend I didn't hear that." Amodar stated. "By the way, what's with the sword and Gun? Can't you use a gunblade?"

"Never learned." Jared admitted, before pulling out Cerberus. "Cerberus is unique. There's a reason I tend to take extermination missions solo. Not only can I handle myself, it's the Weapons I use. Cerberus is unique in design, and usage."

"I've never seen a gun like this. How does it work with the three barrels? There doesn't seem to be an axle to revolve around." Amodar asked, curious.

Jared looked around. "If you don't mind, I'd prefer this to be private."

"Come with me, then." they walked down a hall, which was pretty messy, and went into a room, where Amodar closed the door.

Jared let the Civilian side of him fade, and now he held the face he did as a Knight of Millie Seseau. He turned to Amodar that noticed the change. "Alright, who are you? Really?"

"My name is Jared Shadowwind. I did not lie there. If you must know, the only reason I'm on Cocoon in the first place is because something big is about to happen. I do have an employer but they are not paying me with Gil."

"Then what are they paying you with? Treasure? Slaves?" Amodar narrowed his eyes.

"Abilities and experience." Jared replied. "My Employer is called "The Maker" by the locals. Let me finish before you say anything." He stated seeing Amodar about to interrupt. "I'm not from Cocoon, nor am I from Pulse. Believe what you want, but the abilities I have are not found in L'cie, or Fal'cie. I was chosen to run interference. My presence here is considered Insurance. Now, I personally have nothing against this place. I've got no good friends, or family here, but I completely detest the claim that Innocent Bystanders are nothing more than Necessary Collateral. That is not how I operate. A revolution is coming. It's a new War of Transgression."

"Then I should tell the Primarch."

"The Primarch already knows." Jared told him.

"You told him?"

"No. He's causing it." this gave Amodar pause. "Galenth Dysley is going to cause a revolution. I was sent to the place where it will all begin: That is right here, in Bodhum. Something is going to happen soon, and if you report this, you'll either be called a liar and discharged, or called crazy by your superiors."

At the pause, he let Amodar ask a single question. "How do I know you're telling the truth?"

"The Bodhum Vestige is open. I've already checked it out. Anima, a Pulse Fal'cie, is in there." This caused wide eyes from Amodar. "The reason I was chosen to be Insurance, is because the Fal'cie cannot give me a Focus."

"I don't see how that's possible."

"The Fal'cie are allowed to brand anyone, but some are immune to the Binding. They are known as Dimensional Guardians. Maker chose me, and I know why we're immune. I'll let you in on one thing about us. We are already ageless. I will give you information, but you will need to pretend you don't know any of it, until it all begins. The entire series of Events have been planned out. 6 L'cie, 4 born on Cocoon, 2 born on Pulse. That's one side. One of them, from what I know, walked out of this building right before I walked in. The face, the clothing, the weapon, they all match. E'clair "Lightning" Farron. That's one of the four from Cocoon. Her sister, I already know her focus. She doesn't know what it is, though."

"Serah's been branded?"

"Happened before I came here." Jared admitted. "The Focus is to bring together Snow Villiers and Lightning. Some that see it afterwards would argue that she was chosen to set everything up. She wasn't. My Employer wants the Fal'cie known as Barthandelus dead, and another named Orphan killed."

"then why are you here, and not going after them?"

"Because that's not my job. My job is to keep the balance of the dimensions intact. If Barthandelus, Dysley, and Orphan succeed, Cocoon will be destroyed, and Pulse is already uninhabited by humans. The two Pulse L'cie are already in Cocoon. That's not supposed to get out either. They're both important. They want nothing to do with Cocoon's Destruction. One wants to save the other, and the other doesn't want the first to worry."

"Where can they be found?"

"Couldn't say. Anything dealing with L'cie on the Loose has something to do with them for the time being. There are 3 L'cie in Bodhum right now, but two of them are just looking around. The Third is a resident. To my knowledge, all branded by the same Fal'cie."

"Then Serah is..."

"A Pulse Fal'cie. And by the way, any wire taps are currently disabled. I can easily emit an electromagnetic pulse. Any communication Devices are rendered useless because of it. It's a natural ability of mine. Bugs and any spy equipment are ineffective against me."

"So, you're the perfect Spy."

"I can be. Not my favorite area, I'll admit, but I can do it if I have to. As I said, Stealth Ops and Front line war battles are my forte. The Primarch is not aware of my presence, and I intend on keeping it that way until everything begins. The next thing to happen, from what I've been told will be something called a Purge. All the civilians in Bodhum, resident or not, will be sent to Pulse by PSICOM. I don't think I have to tell you what that really means."

"An Execution..."

"That's what I've been told." Jared admitted. "I have earned the Moniker White Shadow because no one knows what I'm up to until I tell them, or it's already done. Dragon Slayer is because of one of my previous jobs. I've killed being far more powerful than you claim L'cie to be. No one is truly immortal. It's physically impossible for anyone but a god or goddess to be Truly Immortal. But even then, the Dimensional Guardians can still surpass them."

"Why are you telling me this?" Amodar questioned.

"Maybe its because you care for one of the ones to get involved. Maybe because you're said person's superior. Maybe it's because you consider that one a daughter, and I thought you should know ahead of time. Really I don't know why I'm telling you this, and I probably shouldn't even be here."

Amodar then understood. "You're only doing this because you know I'd break down if I heard it from my own superior." It wasn't a question.

"You catch on quick, Lieutenant." Jared smirked. "Now, about my weapons." He placed Cerberus on the desk, which was oddly clean. "This is Cerberus. He's no ordinary gun. He's impossible to recreate entirely. The reason being: He's a Sentient Gun. He's also able to handle Magic being channeled through him to fire." He revealed the chamber. "As you can see, he can also use Conventional methods and ammo, but that's not needed to fire. There's also a few of his own abilities, which I can call on."

"So, it's a way to get around the Manadrive system?"

"Officially, yes. Honestly? Cerberus doesn't really give you anything. Some can use Magic without being a L'cie. I'm one of them. Granted, mine uses a different source, but I digress. Magic is Magic." He then explained what he told Serah. "Serah already knows this, as I talked to her earlier. She wasn't branded yet when I told her."

"Then she was branded while you were there?"

Jared nodded. "She's already in the care of one Snow Villiers. I know he's trustworthy. It's in his soul. His heart. He doesn't care if Serah is branded. He will help her. No matter what. That's what I saw when I looked at him."

"Anyone else in the loop about it?"

"Not to my knowledge." Jared admitted.

After a few seconds of silence, Amodar continued. "And the sword?"

"Also sentient. His name is Reaper, and for good reason."

"It takes souls out of a body doesn't it?"

"Not quite." Jared stated. "If you hear me call out Mortal Danger, you don't block the strike. You dodge. If Mortal Danger hits, even if its just a scratch, it will drain your entire soul, and erase it, with the body following soon afterwards. The soul never leaves the body, either. Then there's the Shadow Cannon. That particular move is much more dangerous, being as it's long range. It's really just a purple beam about 2 feet in diameter. It's powerful, and he's proud of it. That's all that anyone really needs to worry about regarding him. Mortal Danger is in effect as long as the glow lasts, and it must make direct contact."

"I see. Anything else I shouldn't know?" Amodar asked.

"Nothing really. Just know that the last time someone tried to use Reaper against me, they ended up having their arm fall out of its socket, and over a cliff." Jared told him.

"Still looking for a job? We need all we can get on the night of the fireworks. It's 10 days from now. I can get you a place to stay until then if you need one."

"Hmm... I'll do it. I'm just a hired hand that wants to keep the peace."

"Good to know. I'll see you then. Also, I ask that you come in tomorrow. I'll have Lightning show you around, and where you'll be patrolling. Be here at 0830. Do you know what that means?"

"8:30 in the morning. It's Military Based time." Jared put his weapons away, Reaper on his back, and Cerberus in the holster on his left leg.

"Quick question. You ambidextrous?" Amodar asked.

"Not naturally." Jared admitted, before getting up from the chair he found himself sitting in. "Long range weapons I use in my left hand, mainly because I use a bow sometimes. Most long range weapons I wield with my left hand, and I'm more accurate that way. I'm actually right handed. My right arm is stronger than my left naturally, but my left is more for finesse than strength. Right arm has both. It's why I use Reaper with my right, and Cerberus with my left."

"Alright, there's a Hotel on the North side, called Beach Summer."

"I stay unknown as much as possible. I'll be fine for one more night on my own. I could live in a Volcano if I had to. Hell, I'd prefer a Volcano to a Beach, actually." Jared shrugged. "Being Immune to Lava and Magma has its perks. Found out when I was pushed into the Magma of a Semi-active Volcano. I fell in, and everyone was surprised. They were about to chew the guy out for doing that, before I came up and told them I was fine. Not a scratch, or burn, on me. Lava is my friend. Has been since."

Jared just held out a hand with a smile, which Amodar grabbed, and they shook. "I'll be sure to update you on their progress when it begins." Jared whispered.

"Do I even want to know how?" As Jared was about to walk out the door, he spoke without turning. "Look at your hand." He then left, as the Lieutenant looked at saw the Mark of the Crimson Dragon.

'What is this?'

"It allows me to contact you wherever you are. If I leave this realm, then it'll disappear, and I'd have to put another one there. Portals from here to another place in this realm, say one from Cocoon to Pulse, won't get rid of it. It'll fade when I leave this realm."

Amodar looked around. "Lieutenant, I'm not in the GC HQ right now. In fact, I'm on top of the 12 Story building in town. And for the record, this is Telepathy. The mark on your hand is the Medium. Not really my personal Mark, but it's one that, at the moment, only I can use aside from its progenitor, which isn't in this realm. No, it's nothing like the mark of a L'cie, either. Keep quite about it, please."

"I understand. Remember, 0830 tomorrow."

"Will do."

Amodar sighed. 'I can tell this guy is going to be a pain in the ass. But if he can keep Lightning safe, I won't have any complaints.'

-the next day-

Jared was walking into the GC HQ, and saw Amodar wasn't there. He checked the clock. "Huh. I'm 3 minutes early." He said, taking a seat on a plastic chair, before crossing his arms, and closing his eyes.

Amodar walked right in front of him at 8:32, which is when he opened his eyes to see him and Lightning right in front of him. "So, Lieutenant..." Jared was cut off.

"You look like the someone my sister mentioned was looking for someone else." Lightning stated coldly.

Jared just stared into her eyes. It was not a look he wanted to see in her eyes. 'Looks too much like Rose. Putting herself at risk for her duty. Figures.' She narrowed her eyes. "What? Not gonna say anything?"

"What do you want me to say?" Jared raised an eyebrow. "I've only been in town a few days now. Not like I'm gonna enjoy working with someone that hides themselves behind a Ice Cold Personality." His voice was far too calm.

"Shadowwind, enough. Farron, he'll be working with you on your shift during the festival. Play nice, and you'll do fine." the large Lieutenant ordered.

"He'll only get in my..." She stopped feeling a blade at her neck. More specifically, her Jugular Vein.

"I can handle anything you throw at me, and then some." Everyone in the room was surprised at what was happening.

Lightning Farron had her own Gunblade at her neck by someone she was about to insult. "If I were you, I'd be careful who you insult." He took the blade away from her neck, and held out the handle. "Someone might take it the wrong way."

She just looked at him in slight surprise, before grabbing the handle. "You'll do." Was the only thing she said, as she got her gunblade back. She shifted it, which Jared memorized how, and put it in its sheath. He looked at the Lieutenant. "Yeah, she can handle most of what I know. I just hope she can keep up better than anyone else I've met. Very few have kept up with me when I actually try. Those that do, aren't even human. And by the way, that's all Natural speed."

"Farron, you're to show him around. And if I were you, I'd watch his blade. Closely."

"Yes sir." She looked at Jared, and they both left the HQ to go on a patrol. As they went on, Lightning explained the best places to observe though subtle. She didn't speak much, but what she did say, there was more to the words. He was able to deem the importance of each point she mentioned, and asked few questions, mainly to Clarify something.

She was slightly impressed, but not by much. They had been at it for 3 hours, when Jared felt something going on that shouldn't be. He turned his head, and saw it. Apparently, someone was being threatened with a knife. "My guess is, we should stop that." She looked, and then recognized the person.

"That's obvious."

Jared didn't even respond. He took one step, and then disappeared. All the aggressors fell to the ground, clutching their stomachs. He was right in front of the girl. "Serah..." Lightning breathed out. 'How did he do that so fast?'

"You okay miss?" Jared asked, before he recognized her. "Wait, Serah?"

"You... You're the one that asked to see Snow." She said, remembering him.

"Yeah, he got the message." He looked at Lightning who walked up to them both. "Impressive speed."

"That's nothing. I'm actually 7 times as fast as that. That's just fast enough not to be seen by Civvies." Jared told her. "I can run at mach 1 if I tried."

"You're bluffing." Lightning stated plainly.

"What could I gain from it?" Jared asked. "Besides, I can tell you're a "Take no BS" kind of person. When you've done half the things I have, then maybe you'd believe me, or at least understand. I somehow doubt that L'cie can keep up with me in pure speed. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone that can outrun me. If you do, I'd be surprised. And I'm talking about with any enhancements." He shrugged.

Lightning frowned. 'What is with this guy? He's hiding something.' Her eyes narrowed. "Come on." The two walked off, and once out of earshot, Lightning spoke. "You have to do better than that to fool me."

"You won't believe me unless you see it. You couldn't even see me move. Even if you could see something you'd only see a blur, at most. That was the point of doing it. That way, no one would know I hit each of them 3 to 7 times. I actually scrambled their Nervous Systems. They'll be fine in about... 3 hours." Jared shrugged. "Really, I see the Logic, but I always beat out Logic with Insanity. Insanity beats Logic, every time."

"You're saying you're insane?" Lightning questioned.

"Never said that." Jared didn't even look at her. "When it comes to plans, the ones I make would be called Bat-shit Insane. May not have worked with anyone else for years, but the last group I worked with always said that my plans were Insane. And yet they always asked me for plans. Do you know why?"

"Does it matter?"

"It always does." Jared told her, still calm in his voice. "The reason why they always ask me how to get something done, is because I get the best results possible. A Logical Strategy is a good one, I'll admit that firsthand. However, Insane strategies have a higher chance of getting the job done. It's as they say, 'it's only Crazy if it doesn't work'. And they always work. I've taken a group of 10 into the Lion's Den,and we got out of it with no casualties, and the only one damaged was me, and that was part of the plan in the first place. When you've done half the things I have, you'd see that an Insane Plan is better than pure Logic."

"I don't believe you."

"Never thought you would." After Jared told her that, she went silent.

It wasn't long before he had memorized every point they passed, and created a mental map, with everything they passed. He continuously added to the map, ad they had continued until sundown, where they had returned to Bodhum GC HQ, where they found Lieutenant Amodar in the lobby, before he looked at them. "Good to see you two are back. Did you get a good feel of the town?"

Jared nodded. "It looks more peaceful than it feels."

"Care to explain?" Lightning hid her curiosity well physically. Jared wasn't fooled. He knew she was curious. Her statement earned notice from the Lieutenant, as well.

"Well, when I saw the people, all of them were happy with what they had, for the most part. A select few weren't, but those were few. But it's not them that I felt. If it were, I wouldn't have brought it up. Something in the air is more... Sadistic, then I had thought it would be. Definitely is more than it was yesterday." His voice was serious. No sign of playing around or jokes. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say the end of the world would begin in 9 to 11 days." A subtle message for Amodar, who raised an eyebrow.

"Care to explain?"

"It's what I felt. Instincts have saved me more than any plan I've ever come up with, or taken part in. Right now, that's what it's telling me from what I felt."

Amodar asked one more question. "Any chance it could be wrong?"

"If I am, then someone would have shown up to stop it. The odds of that happening are slim to none, unless a L'cie comes up to do the job, or I am able to find what's causing it beforehand." Another code, which Amodar noted. "Aside from that one feeling, everything else seemed fine."

Lightning and Amodar just looked at him, before the big man nodded. "I'll keep that in mind. If it happens, you'll have full rights to say "I Told you so"."

"And I probably won't want to say it." Jared replied. "But if I'm right, and that is the beginning of the end, I believe it would be best if you take my advice and resign, but not unless it happens. You don't want to be around when shit hits the fan. Especially, if I end up fighting against whatever threat comes up."

"I'll keep that in mind, but it won't happen. Can't leave my Division unattended."

Jared turned around, and walked towards the door. "If I'm right, the Division would become PSICOM's pawn when it does." He went out the door, not even seeing their faces.

Lightning looked at her superior. "Sir, just who was that guy? Why is he really here?"

"That, I'm afraid, I don't know. He's more of an enigma than anything else I've seen. Even the Fal'cie are less confusing than him." Amodar sighed, before turning around. "Come with me."

When they went into his office, he told her to have a seat, which she did. "What did you find out about him?"

So she told him. He was fast enough to avoid being seen, claimed to be faster, and believed that Insanity beats Logic. Everything he told her, along with what he did to those harassing Serah. Which she finished, he sighed. "Lightning, I want you to know something that he told me."

"Sir?"

"I believe that it's highly possible that he told you nothing but the truth. He probably doesn't think you believe him, either."

"Permission to speak freely?"

"Granted."

"Have you gone nuts?" She asked him, her voice calm. "Sure, he's fast, but everything about him just seems... wrong. It's like he doesn't belong in Cocoon."

"I wouldn't doubt you on that. That's why I'm putting him as your partner until after the coming Festival."

"What do you mean?"

"Listen carefully, Farron." he never called her by her last name in private, unless it were a serious matter. Like, Life or Death, serious. "I'm doing this for your benefit, and for his. Frankly, I don't whether or not I should believe what he told me, since what he's claimed should be impossible, but I couldn't find any lies in what he said. You have a separate mission alongside all of this, and it's something that applies when you're off duty as well."

"Sir?" She was back in business mode.

"I want you to watch over him. He claims that 2 Sanctum Fal'cie are going to manipulate the Primarch to bring about the Destruction of Cocoon, or maybe the Primarch is the one doing the Manipulation. He outright admitted to me that he was sent here to make sure that the right side won the upcoming conflict. I want you to see if there's any sign of him wanting to topple the Sanctum, but also make sure that Serah stays away from the Vestige for the time being."

"If I may, what does the Vestige have to do with him?"

"He claims that Serah has been branded while in the Bodhum Vestige, and that he can't be branded by a Fal'cie. I want you to watch over him, so I put you as his partner. Earn his trust if you can this quickly. Take careful note of what he says, and when the festival is over, let me know what you found out."

"Serah came home with Bandages around her arm yesterday. She claimed to be fine, but..."

"If she is branded, it'll be under them, most likely." Amodar stated. "He must not know you're watching over him. I feel like I should trust him, but with what he said, I can't be sure. As such, I'm withholding judgment until you give your opinion and what you find. See if you can find anything out on him personally. Those are your orders. Am I clear?"

"Crystal, sir."

"Give him a place in your house, if you can spare it. You want him to trust you enough to let you know the truth. No matter what he says, I want to know, whether it is Logical or not."

"Understood." 'I don't like it, but I understand.'

"I know you won't like the fact that I'm ordering you to share a house with someone else, but it only temporary." Amodar stated.

"You know me too well." Lightning sweatdropped.

"I suppose I do. Get going. Find him, and take him home."

Lightning sighed, got up, and turned to leave the room. "If Serah is branded, wait until she tells you."

She stopped at the door as she heard this. "Is that an order, sir?"

"It's merely advice."

"Advice noted." Lightning then walked out.

Amodar sighed. 'This is gonna be a long few days. I really hope he's wrong.'

"So do I, Amodar. By the way, did you pick up the hints I dropped?"

Amodar straightened up. 'I forgot about that.'

"I know you did. Don't worry, I won't let on, but I will test her myself. She needs to be able to handle worse than I can dish out. And you didn't answer my question."

Amodar sighed. "Yeah, I got them. Your saying it's going to start around the festival?"

"PSICOM is going to get involved that day, if things progress the same way. Between now and then, I wouldn't be surprised if the 2 Pulse L'cie try attacking Kujata, the Fal'cie in the Eruide Gorge. If something does happen there, PSICOM will get involved. I ask that you be careful of that. I've done quite a bit of research myself, and PSICOM is already on my shit list. As I said before, if PSICOM fires any kind of weapon and I'm in the area, I'm taking them down. I'm a Rune Soldier, and a Dragon Knight. I protect those that can't. The only reason I'm not a normal knight, instead of a Dragon Knight, is because I have the blessing of a Dragon within me. This also allows me the usage of Magic in my Dragon's Element. Wind, Lightning and Dark are his elements. He's also one of the reasons I'm so fast."

Amodar sighed at that. "You do realize that I don't like everything you're throwing at me, right?"

"Of course. I haven't lied yet, though. I just know that no one would believe me through simple Common Sense."

"Then why say anything?" That had somehow confused Amodar. Why tell anyone something they wouldn't believe?

"The Truth is the Truth. No matter how outlandish it may seem, the Truth is the Truth." He heard Jared tell him. "Besides, I find that Common Sense has become so rare it's a goddamn superpower."

"You know, you have a point on that." Amodar had to admit that much.

"One of the reasons I said it. Anyway, if I'm going to tell the truth, and it seems bad to whoever I'm talking to, they wouldn't believe the truth even if I told them. Thus, why lie when they're not going to believe you anyway?"

Amodar had to give him that. "You make sense with Logic, but with what she told me about you..."

"Even Insanity can be explained by Logic. Logic and Insanity are actually on two different spectrums. I use both, not just one or the other. One of the reasons why I was a Royal aide in the past. People think that those who are Insane can't function in society. I'm living proof that they're wrong. If anyone ever went into my mind, they'd see that, though I'm certifiably insane, I have enough common sense to only show it when I need to."

"Then why come to me for some temporary work? The Insane are not allowed to work for the Military."

"I once heard a saying that I took to heart: It's only crazy if it doesn't work. Do you know what that means?"

"I'm guessing that some of the more outlandish plans work better than what would normally be used?"

"That's another way of putting it. Really, the strategies I come up with are Bat shit Insane on paper. That much I'll freely admit. However, they also work with minimal or no casualties or injuries. As long as everyone involved follows the plan I laid out, they'll be where they are supposed to end up. IF the plan says they die, they'll die. If the plan says they'll live, they live. So, in other words: If it works, does it matter if it's Crazy or Insane?"

Amodar blinked a few times. "That is a really good argument on that subject. Mind sharing a few you put into action?"

"Maybe later. Lightning is coming. She looks confused. Probably still looking for me. Hmm... Actually, get some rest tonight. I'll plant a Mental Seed to make your Dream really a Third Person POV of one of them. You'll remember the entire thing."

"A what?"

"Just know that, when you fall asleep, you'll look like you're in an area that is nothing like you're used to or you feel asleep. Oh, and I doubt you'll be able to be woken up until it's done. The last time I did this, the person didn't wake up from having the blunt end of a spear shoved up his ass, and then burned alive. And no, I didn't do either. I'd have used Reaper. Not a spear."

"Uh... Okay... I'll leave you to it."

-with elsewhere-

Lightning was fuming. She couldn't seem to find her charge anywhere. "Where the hell is he?" She mumbled.

Jared, who was sitting in the branch of a nearby tree, answered her. "Dunno. I'm new here, remember?" Lightning turned to him, surprised that she didn't see him, or hear him. It was like he wasn't there until he spoke.

"How did you..."

"I'm not called the White Shadow for no reason." Jared said, jumping down. "So, who you looking for?"

"You. Lieutenant Amodar wants you to stay with me until your job here is over."

"Saw that coming. Might as well get going." He shrugged, and walked behind her and to the left. She noted the position was one that he could strike anyone that tried to attack her, or simply defend. It confused her. 'I know he has battle training, that much is obvious from what he did to those thugs. But tactical training, too? I'll have to take note of this, too. I don't trust him.'

It took them 6 minutes to get to her place, which was a lot more advanced than his home was. 'Comes with being in Cocoon, I guess.'

"Light! You're home... and with Jared?" Serah was confused, but that faded. "Come on, I want you to meet someone!"

"Serah, now isn't the time for that." Jared watched as Lightning relaxed quite a bit when she saw Serah. 'Good to know that's accurate.'

"But sis..."

"Look, I take it you've met this guy?"

"Yeah, he was looking for a friend of mine. I took him there and he got the message, but... what is he doing here?" She asked curious.

"He's staying with us until the festival. Lieutenant Amodar's orders."

"She doesn't trust me." Jared commented. "As such, she doesn't like me... much."

"I don't like this at all, but orders are orders."

"Just like a Target's a Target." Jared shrugged. "Life's simple when you put it like that."

Lightning hesitated, hearing that line. "You know that line?"

"Of course. I used it myself, several times in fact. It makes taking out bounties a lot easier on the stomach." Jared admitted, before looking around, and found an empty spot on the wall. He took Reaper off his back, and sat down in said spot. "I'm gonna rest up."

"Shouldn't you use the bed?"

"I'll be fine here. Besides, I find beds too lumpy for my tastes. I'd probably move onto the floor, anyway."

Lightning blinked. 'Was he so used to roughing it that he prefers it?'

"How often do you travel?" Serah asked, curious.

"As often as I can." Jared admitted. "I go where the wind takes me, mostly. I don't like staying in one place for too long. I prefer traveling, and the wilderness. There's nothing quite like a breeze to me."

"Oh. Well, I was about to make dinner. Could you wait until then?" Serah asked, causing his eyes to snap open. "I'll take your reaction as a yes."

"Mind if I help?" Jared asked, getting up. Reaper and Cerberus were still in the same spot right next to where he sat down.

"Oh, I don't know..."

"You find ways to cook when you travel so much."

"Well, if you're okay with it, then sure." She lead him to the kitchen, and they worked together to make the meal.

As it was served, Lightning saw that it was a lot more luxurious than they could afford. "What is this?"

"Shrimp de la Casa." Jared said, pointing to the pasta. "I"m actually surprised you had all the ingredients for it, really. Try it." He told her, as he took a bite himself.

Serah tried it, and her eyes widened, before looking at him in surprise. "This is really good!"

"Thanks, I guess. I don't normally cook on a stove, but that doesn't mean I can't cook at all." Jared admitted.

When Lightning tried it, she was slightly impressed. "Let it be known that your cooking is better than mine." She then realized what she said, but was too late to take it back. Jared simply shrugged it off, while Serah sent her a teasing smile. "What?"

"Oh, nothing." Jared stopped right there, and looked at her innocently sweet smile as she spoke. He looked at Lightning, and she nearly glared at him. As he gulped down his food, he spoke again. "If she tries to get you to take me on a date... I don't know what I'll do."

"Not gonna happen." She retorted, heatedly.

They both looked at Serah. "Then why are you agreeing with it?"

Jared shook his head and sighed. "Devious you may be, but you got nothing on an old friend of mine. He's not called the Demon Prank Master for no reason. Setting us up together is not something he would do. No, he'd do worse. And I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest."

"You're full of it." Lightning commented.

"Believe what I say or not. It's your choice. He's only gotten me once, and that... I'm not even going to speak of. Great friend he may be, major pain in the butt he is."

"How major?"

"Enough to annoy the hell out any gods you may come across. Get him going, and he could annoy even the most mindless of beasts." Jared admitted. "Not even I could do that. Sure I can piss off a god or two, but never annoy them." He continued to eat, as did Serah. Lightning followed up shortly.

"Still, this is good." Lightning said. "Perhaps you can help by cooking as well."

Jared shrugged. "Might as well. It'll help my mind."

The casual admittance of his skills would have thrown her off, if she wasn't supposed to figure him out. 'This guy... is either stupid, or a really good actor.'

As he finished his plate, he rinsed it off, cleaned it up with a small Electrostatic Discharge through his hand, and dried it, before putting it in what seemed to be a strainer. "Now, I'm gonna get some rest. I'll have to recover a bit. I get up early, so if I'm not here when either of you wake up, I'm probably exercising outside. And if you feel any earthquakes, I must apologize in advance. I get a little carried away sometimes." He walked over to Reaper and Cerberus, and sat down, cross-legged, with Reaper in his lap.

Lightning didn't think he was really asleep, before she walked up to him and clapped beside his ear. Not even a twitch.

'Either he hasn't slept for a while, or is just weak. I'm betting on the former.'

She eyed the Gun. It was different. 'Three barrels... This must be Cerberus. Lieutenant Amodar said it was Sentient.' She had picked it up mid-thought.

"You're damn right, I am. Now, why did you pick me up?"

Lightning dropped it out of reflex. "What the..."

Serah moved over. "What happened?"

"Please tell me I'm hallucinating..."

"Huh?"

"I picked up the gun, and it talked." Lightning was actually scared. It surprised Serah, who picked it up. "I don't see anything wrong with it."

"So, you're Serah?" Unlike her sister, Serah just looked around, before looking at the gun.

"You talk?"

"Of course I do! That's what Sentient Weapons do, you know?"

"Sorry, I'm not that familiar with guns, like my sister is."

"Yeah, could you tell her not to drop me next time? Seriously, I may be made out of Dragon Scales and high grade steel, but that still hurt."

"Who made you?" Serah asked, curious.

"Serah... who are you talking to?"

"This guy." She pointed at the gun.

"My name is Cerberus, for one. To answer your question, as I know from Jared, you're really curious, the one who forged me was named Bill, but Jared put me together. It was... 35 years ago, give or take."

"35 years ago? But... he doesn't look a day older than 22." Serah looked at Jared.

"Would you believe me if I said he's actually 54?"

"That old, and still looks that good?"

"He's gonna get a lot older, Serah. Believe me. Don't tell anyone, but Jared's actually ageless."

"Okay, now you're just being silly."

"I wish I were. If I were, then I'm sure Reaper wouldn't have accepted him." She looked at the sword. "Yeah, the sword. Don't touch him. Only Jared can hold him. Anyone else will feel like they're carrying 3 Royal Castles, each big enough to cover what we've seen of Bodhum."

"That much weight? How does he hold it?"

"Because for him, Reaper is weightless. As I said, Reaper is Sentient. He doesn't like you, you can't even lift him. If he lets you, you'll find that he'll stick by you for a while... but he will annoy the heck out of your sanity."

Serah giggled. "I guess. Anything you can tell me about him?" 'Maybe what happened in the Vestige after I passed out, and who those two were...'

"For the record, I heard that thought. And yes, he knows of them. He met one of them before. In a nutshell, they were the ones that were crystallized in the chamber. Fal'cie branded you, and then tried to brand him." Serah's breath hitched in her throat. "Another friend intervened, and stopped him from getting a focus. Really, he'll gain power as a L'cie, but the trade off was losing all but his natural Elements, and abilities. He's down to maybe 20% of his full skill. Maybe less. His physical ability didn't go down any, though. I can tell that much."

"But if he was..." She couldn't finish her sentence.

"Look, if he was worried about it, then he would've said something. Honestly? He's not worried in the slightest about himself. He never is. Anyway, for all intents and purposes, he's really 22 years old, and any science would tell you that. His job keeps him that way."

"His job?"

"Ask him about it. I'm not at liberty to say."i

"Well, can you tell me where he's from?"

"Apparently, a place called the Prime Realm. That's what it's called anyway. There, Cocoon and Pulse are little more than fictional locations. He is a messenger and servant of the gods, but is far more than they are. Helps when you've beat one down, already."

"He beat down a god?" This earned Lightning's attention.

"Yeah, he blew the bastard up. Seriously, God or not, getting rid of every part of their essence will kill them. It IS possible to kill an immortal through complete vaporization."

"Are you sure?"

"I saw the whole thing happen."

"Really? You saw it?"

"I hate repeating myself." Serah heard a sigh. "Just put me down next to him. I'll be fine. And I won't tell him I spoke to you if you don't. Deal?"

"Okay. I don't say you talked to me, you won't either?"

"That would cover it."

"Hmm... Deal." Serah put him down, and looked at Lightning. "Light, I'll tell you what I found out. He's pretty interesting."

"I'd appreciate that. I have to work with him until after the festival." The older Farron replied.

"Okay." Serah nodded. They actually got some sleep later on, but Lightning could not help but be worried about what Serah had found out and told her.

00000x00000

Chapter complete.