The sequel to Gogo's secret; Another face. I recommend you read that first so that you know the connection between the mimic and Kefka. Hehehe…
Worshippers of insanity
The problem with followers is that they stay, like viruses, even if their leader dies. We have seen that many times in our own world. It might be a good thing, but it might as well be a bad thing. It all depends on the cause.Prologue
Shadow crawled over the thin ledge, gritting his teeth in pain.
Damn, damn, damn…
He shouldn't have fallen in such a trap! He should have seen the accursed holes in the wall before they shot their spikes, he shouldn't have trampled on the trigger! But these people had been prepared for someone like him, placing the traps where a professional could fall into them. He had been a fool.
They were probably tracking him by the blood, but he couldn't do anything about it. He could only pray for that Interceptor had managed to escape with the note.
Pray? Pha… it had been very long ago he'd done that last. But right now it felt like a good idea. He couldn't do much else.
Just a little bit longer… you can do it… don't think about the pain, think of Salea, think of Relm, think of Interceptor, think of Baram … think of Terra, Gogo, Edgar… all those people who actually have the nerve to care about you!
Damn, damn… he couldn't die here, like a trapped rat!
But ever since he had chosen his path, the path of daggers, he had known that the end could look like this. He had known that the risk was great that he'd die like a trapped rat, hunted down by cats.
He had promised himself, promised Baram and everyone else… as he had been in the falling tower and had sent away Interceptor, he had vowed to start a new life. He had even meant to die there. Then he had heard Relm scream as she was about to fall down into a crack in the ground. With a curse he had gotten out of his own pain and rushed to help. Interceptor had been relieved, to say the least. Relm too, as Shadow had helped Strago to pull her out of the danger.
That girl… and Salea…
No, he couldn't die here!
"Forgive me, Salea," Shadow snarled through clamped teeth, "I should have told her, I know, I know…"
He had promised to get a new life. But the world had still needed someone like him. There had been that whole thing with Gogo, tracking him down and make him tell the others who he really was… and now this.
His hand slipped on the border of the thin ledge. He was about to fall, but managed to keep up.
Just a little bit longer… but what did it matter? They'd find him anyhow, no matter how many inches he forced himself past. Yet he kept crawling, with his right leg and arm burning with poison.
"Salea, watch over me…" he snarled, "help Interceptor to get out of this hellhole… help him find anyone…"
He was almost blinded by sudden torchlight flaming from below, spreading light over the cavern below him. Oh, gods…
He blinked, trying to keep his sight up a little longer. It didn't make him feel any better.
By the far back wall there was a stone statue, about ten feet high. That face that it carried couldn't be mistaken… good powers…
It held a golden ball in its right hand, surely a small replica of the planet Shadow had watched crumble almost two and a half year ago.
Before the statue's feet stood an empty throne, draped in gold and red silk. And before that was a stone, about three feet high, just as wide and maybe eight feet long. There were chains dangling from its short sides.
Oh no… oh gods… they couldn't be…?! They couldn't be that mad…!
As if forced, Shadow's eyes turned to the wall behind the statue. And he saw what from his distance looked like black dots on the cliff. Seven pairs of dots on each side of the sculpture. Fourteen… there were fourteen pairs of irons, waiting for wrists to encircle.
Oh, gods… damn!
Nobody could be that crazy! Yet… no, they couldn't be! It's complete madness! Nobody could perform such a task!
But there were places for fourteen prisoners, there was a statue of Kefka and there was an altar. And many men in dark robes, carrying torches, pointing at the weakened assassin and shouting triumphantly at each other.
Damn, damn, damn… damn!