Destined Encounter Note: This Fic was written and posted nearly four years ago at Rpgamer under my real name. And due to some recent events, I have been inspired to repost two other fics that I had left at Rpgamer and this one as well. As always, Final Fantasy Tactics and all relating characters belong to Squaresoft. ~Hero Genkaku

"Goug Machine city?"

Ramza and Delita looked up at Sir Balbanes, who sat between them in the chocobo coach along with their brothers Dycedarg and Zalbag sitting opposite to them.

"Father, what is a ma-shin?"

"That's machine, Ramza. And what it is, is very old relics of the past."

"Relics?" Delita looked confused. Balbanes laughed at the boys curiosity.

"You'll see when we get there. I'm sure while I take care of business with the Bart Company, Dycedarg or Zalbag will walk with you around the city if you ask them."

Both boys looked at the two older brothers who both looked away.

"Dycedarg..Can you take us?"

"Uhhh..Sorry Ramza. I'm suppose to be accompanying father."

Both eyes turn to Zalbag who pretended not to notice.

"Zalbag pleaseeeeee?"

Zalbag looked reluctant.."Welll..."

"Please brother Zalbag I really want to see the relics.." Delita whimpered

"Oh..Okay..But you both have to promise to behave and stay close to me."

Ramza and Delita exchanged joyful glances. "Okay we promise!" They agreed quickly.

[2]

Some time later the chocobo coach arrived at Goug stopping shortly at it's busy market place to drop off Ramza, Delita, and Zalbag.

"Good-bye father!" Ramza waved to the chocobo coach.

"Now have a good time you two and be good for Zalbag. Remember you promised him you would behave. Zalbag, we'll be back shortly to pick you up. Keep an eye on your younger brothers." Balbanes instructed from the coach window.

Zalbag smiled back at his father confidently while holding both of his energetic brothers by the neck of their tunics. "Don't worry father, I will." As the chocobo coach pulled out, Dycedarg gave him an encouraging nod. "Good luck Bro."

Zalbag gave his brother a confidant smile and waved as the chocobo coach disappeared in the distance. He turned to the two young boys.

"Okay short-stuffs, what should we see first?" He regarded the twelve-year- olds.

"Can we see the ma-shins" Ramza tugged at his brother's left arm excidedtly.

"Let's see the relics! I want to see that!" Delita tugged at Zalbag's other arm. And before Zalbag knew it, He was being lead through the market place by the two.

"Hey! Slow down ya little rascals!" Zalbag had caught a glance at one of the sales stands and remembered he needed to get a special item. He pulled both boys to a halt.

"I have to pick up a mithrill sword. You two stay next to me and don't go wandering off. When I'm done here then we'll go see your relics and machines. I won't be long."

"But..You said we were going to see the ma-shins first." Ramza pouted.

"After Ramza. Okay? Remember you said you'd behave." Ramza bit on his lower lip to keep himself from saying anything else. Zalbag was right he did promise. Zalbag turned away to speak with the merchant.

"Hey..Ramza." Delita tugged at Ramza's sleeve.

"What is it?"

Delita pointed. " Look over there. Do you see what I see?"

From their short vantage point, Ramza squinted through the busy crowed and spied a towering silver building in a distance. The midday sun gleamed upon it's shiny rounded surface. Ramza had never seen anything like it before.

"Hey, I think it's one of those ma-shins."

Delita shook his head. "No, I think it's a relic."

"No, it's a ma-shin."

"It's a relic."

"How about if we go and find out?" Ramza suggested.

"B-but what about your brother?"

" We'll be back before he knows it. We'll just check it out and run back. It isn't that far away." Ramza took hold of Delita's hand and started to lead him through the crowd in the direction of the towering building.

[3]

The tower was alot farther than the two boys had anticipated. When they finally reached the tower, they had stepped out of the market and into another part of town where there seemed to be a lot of digging going on. The large 'Tower' was even more gigantic close up. It was protruding from the ground tilted. Both boys stared in amazement and wonder a few feet away.

"Wow! Would you look at this place? This is so neat!" Ramza breathed.

"What is that thing? A relic?" Delita cocked his head to one side.

"No, it must be a ma-shin."

"Nah, it's gotta be a relic."

"It's a ma-shin.!"

"It's a relic!"

"A MA-shin!"

"A RElic!" "It's called an 'airship'." A new voice corrected. Both Ramza and Delita spun around and came face to face with a smiling boy the same age as they. His blond hair was pulled back in a rat-tail, much like Ramza's. A brown sack hung from his small shoulders. His yellow dirt-encrusted tunic and blue patched shorts, clearly showed that this boy was a commoner's son.

"Actually you both are correct. It is a relic and a machine." The boy suddenly laughed. He began to walk around them as if examining the two. Delita backed behind Ramza cautiously watching this young boy's actions.

"Hmmmm...From the way you two are dressed I'd guess you're not from around here, am I right?" The boy guessed.

"Ahh..Yes. That's right. We're from Igros." Ramza answered uncertainly. "My name's Ramza and this is my brother Delita."

The boy looked from Ramza to Delita, then shook his head.

"No..That can't be. You don't look like brothers. How can you have blond hair and he have brown hair?"

"Well..You see, we're sworn brothers."

"Oh...But what is a sworn brother?"

"Who are you?" Delita, seeing that this boy was quite friendly, stepped up to him.

The youth pointed to himself questioningly. "Me? The name's Mustadio." He extended his hand to both Ramza and Delita who just stared uncertainly at him.

"Uhh..What are you doing?"

"It's how we greet each other around here. It's called a handshake. Here, let me show you."

Mustadio took Ramza's hand in his own and shook it. When Ramza got the hang of it, he returned the shake.

Mustadio smiled brightly. "Hi my name is Mustadio, Mustadio Bunanza. Nice to meet you Ramza...uhhh..Ramza..."

"Beoulve. Ramza Beoulve." Ramza laughed.

"And it's nice to meet you too Delita...." Mustadio extended his hand to Delita who shook his hand.

"Hyral, Delita Hyral."

All three boys were soon laughing, and within that pure innocence, a fast friendship was born. Ignoring all rules of the real world that forbids nobles and commoners to ever be friends.

"RAMZA! DELITA!"

"Oh no! I totally forgot about brother Zalbag!"

"We're gonna be in a lot of trouble with your brother Ramza.."

"Zalbag? You have another brother Ramza?"

When Zalbag stepped out of the crowd he looked around frantic. As he caught sight of Ramza and Delita standing not too far away, he strided up to them clearly angry.

"So this is where you've been! Didn't I tell you not to run off?!" Both boys stared at the ground ashamed.

"It was all my fault. I dragged Ramza along with me to see the relics." Delita defended.

"Is this true Ramza? Delita forced you to go?" Zalbag turned to Ramza.

"No, actually I...."

"Don't listen to him. It was all my fault!"

"Delita you don't have to defend me.."

"Actually it was all MY fault." Mustadio jumped in.

"HUH?!?" Mustadio's defense surprised both boys.

"You see sir, I saw that they were interested in the dig sites of the city so I offered my services to show them around. When they declined I insisted. So if you have to blame anyone, blame me." Mustaido bowed respectively on one knee.

Zalbag saw how sincere Mustadio was and suddenly began to chuckle.

"For some one of your age you are quite responsible. Tell me what is your name?"

"Mustadio sir, Mustadio Bunanza." Mustadio said meekly.

Zalbag raised a brow. "Bunanza? Are you the son of the machinist Bersodio Bunanza?"

Mustadio looked up and smiled. "Yep! That's my Pops all right!"

Zalbag laughed. "I've heard alot about you Bunanzas from Father. Bersodio a highly respected genius machinist. And his son who is a clever little machinist himself. Let me say, It is a pleasure and an honor to meet one of the people who will restore the past legacies."

Mustadio suddenly blushed at all the praise. He thanked Zalbag with a small nod. "Uhh..No sir, the pleasure is all mine."

"If you keep up that kind of spirit, you may one day find yourself working under us young mechanic."

Mustadio lowered his head. "I look foreword to it."

Zalbag turned to his two younger brothers. "Well it looks like we'd better be going now. Father will be back any minute to pick us up."

"you won't tell father we ran off will you?"

"I believe Mustadio's story. But you won't be so lucky next time. Come along. We must be on our way. Say good-bye to Mustadio." Zalbag began to walk off.

Ramza and Delita turned to their newfound friend sadly.

"I wish we could of stayed longer, I really wanted to see more of your machines."

Mustadio smiled hopefully. "Maybe next time? I know I'll find more machines. And when you and Delita come back, I'll show them to you both."

"We look foreword to it.Well this is good-bye. Thanks for your help..We owe you one. C'mon Ramza!" Delita hurried to catch up to Zalbag.

"In a minute!" Ramza called. He turned back to Mustadio, who suddenly extended his hand again. Ramaz took his hand not understanding.

"Mustadio..."

"It's how we say good-bye. It's exactly like saying hello. But we never get confused.. Isn't it weird?" Both Mustadio and Ramza took a step back from each other, almost as if stepping back into the worlds in which they belonged.

"Stay well Ramza."

"Uh...Yeah you too." Ramza started after his brothers but stopped and took one last glance at Mustadio, who waved at him.

"We will meet again, Mustadio. I don't know when or how, but I know we will cross roads again. I have this good feeling!" Ramza called back to him.

Mustadio laughed. "You don't have to tell me twice! I have the same feeling too! We will meet again! I'm counting on it!"

Ramza smiled kindly at Mustadio before nodding in agreement. He turned to catch up with both his brothers.

[4]

"So Ramza, tell me, what did you think of Goug Machine City?" Balbanes asked.

Ramza was looking out the chocobo coach window silently in a moments thought.

"I thought it was great. Wish we could of stayed longer." Delita looked at his sworn brother, who turned back to them.

He smiled a laughing smile. " We saw many wonderful things. and met a new friend. And now I know how to handshake. So all in all.. I'd say this trip was..Was a gift from God."

Balbanes nodded in approval. "Well spoken. Like a True Beoulve."

Ramza blushed at the praise. "Uhhh..thank you." Came a not to enthusiastic reply.

Zalbag laughed. "Still don't like praise that much eh?"

Ramza didn't reply, but directed his gaze back out the window. Night had already fallen and he could just barley make out silhouettes of the forest and mountains in the distance. And all the while the whole encounter with Mustadio played over in his mind.

"Ramza?" His sworn brother's voice interrupted his thoughts.

"Eh? What is it Delita?"

"You're thinking about Mustadio aren't you?" Delita gave him a sly smile.

"Errrr..Yeah I am."

"Don't worry we'll see him again. Personally, I hope he'll show us around his machines...So cheer up bro!"

Ramza smiled at his brother's encouragement. He turned his gaze back out the window.

-This is good-bye for now Mustadio....- Ramza thought silently.

Little did Ramza and Mustadio know how right they really were. Destiny had already rooted itself deep within their friendship. And though in time, this encounter is fated to fade from both their memories, destiny would reunite them one day as young adults, for the sake of their world's future.





~End~