Ever since I wrote Cursed Shield a little over a year ago, I've been getting emails from people asking if I'm going to do another story.  Since all the ones I got were positive, and nobody wanted to trash my story, I suppose that means I'm a good writer.  So I decided to do another one.
Ever wonder what the Summons do in their spare time?  Now you know.

 "Four threes.  I win."
 Shiva, Ramuh, and Bahamut set down their cards dejectedly as Odin collected all of the GP in the center of the table.  Odin and Shiva had been the big winners tonight, but all of them had won enough to keep things from getting tense.
 Bahamut stood up suddenly as his beeper went off.  "I'll be right back.  I'm being Called." he said.  He checked his Caller ID to see who was summoning him, then metamorphosed from his human form into his giant dragon form and vanished in a bright light to go breathe fireballs on some unimaginably evil creature.  After a few minutes, he returned and changed back to human form.  It was just too dificult to play poker as a giant dragon.  His legs were too long and his wings got in the way.
 "So, who was it this time?" asked Shiva as she began to deal another hand to everyone.
 "Irvine Kinneas.  He and his friends are in the middle of fighting some giant robot."
 "So that's why you were gone for so long." said Ramuh.  "How are those guys doing, anyway?"
 "Pretty well, actually.  Quite impressive for a bunch of teenagers.  They've found their way to a floating castle in the middle of some temporal distortion."
 "So do you think they're nearing the end of their quest?" asked Odin.
 Bahamut examined his cards.  Three aces, a five, and a King.  He pushed two 1000 GP coins into the middle of the table. "Oh, definitely.  I could feel the evil in the very stones of the castle.  The final battle is at hand."
 At this, Odin's beeper went off.  He looked at it and said "It's Rydia.  They need my help on the Moon."  He walked out of the room, got on his horse outside, and drew bis sword.  He was back within a minute.  "I like Rydia's group.  They don't seem to care if I put on a big show or not.  I just slice up the monsters and get the job done."
 "Yeah," said Shiva.  "Not like Cloud or Squall.  They want a big flashy show, and Squall's even worse.  He isn't satisfied by me freezing the monsters, he always insists that I do it without any clothes on.  And Siren says she has the same problem.  I know he and that sorceress are supposed to end up together, but how that will happen if he's always gawking at us is beyond me."
 "You know what's even worse?" asked Ramuh, frowning at her cards and folding without betting anything.
 "What's that?"  Shiva pushed 5000 GP into the middle of the table.
 "Now that all of the heroes we're pledged to serve and protect are almost finished in their quests and the Day of Light is at hand, most of us have almost nothing to do.  It's Bahamut and Odin and Edin and the Knights that get all the fun now."
 "Fun?  Speak for yourself," rumbled Odin.  "I got sliced in half by some freak with a gunblade yesterday.  If it hadn't been for Phoenix, I wouldn't be playing with you right now."  He matched Shiva's 5000 GP.
 "And that might not be such a bad thing afterall, now would it?" asked Bahamut, eyeing the large pile of GP before Odin.  He raised his bet to 6000 GP.
 The other three Summons laughed as Shiva and Odin matched Bahamut's 6000 GP bet.  Bahamut laid down his five and king and took two cards from Shiva's deck.  An pair of sixes.  Odin drew two cards as well, and Ramuh kept all five of his cards.
 Bahamut's beeper went off again.  He looked down.  "It's Faris this time.  They're fighting a giant evil tree, of all things."
 Bahamut returned quickly this time and sat down to finish the hand before someone else got Called.  This round of betting went on in silence, as all three Summons tried to keep any emotion in thier voices from betraying the contents of their cards.  The bets equalized at 12000 GP each and Odin laid down his cards.  Three kings and two eights.
 "In spite of the lack of Calls recently," said Shiva, "I can think of one thing I'm better at then you two."
 "What's that?" asked Bahamut, laying down his full house and grinning at Odin with obvious pleasure.
 "Playing poker."  Shiva smirked as she set down a royal flush in Diamonds and collected all the GP from the middle of the table.

This story is the answer to a bunch of questions I've had for awhile:
1.  Since no amount of continental drift can account for the vastly different landmasses in the FF games, not to mention the even more vastly different fundamental rules of magic, the games are obviously not sequels to each other.  The best theory I've been able to think up involves paralell universes.  (I plan to explore this in an upcoming fic, called Reunion.)  But if so, how do the Summons know where they're being Called to?
2.  What do they do when they're not fighting?
3.  How do they feel about being summoned?
Author's note: The Day of Light is an idea I've had running around in my head for a long time, which will be the basis for Reunion.
Shameless plug: By the way, if you like this sort of humor, check out Adventurers!, a RPG comic strip run by a good friend of mine.

As always, email me and let me know what you think.
Mason Wheeler