- Final Fantasy III - Final Fantasy VII - Breath of Fire III - Megaman X - The
Little Mermaid -
Goloros' Forgotten Destiny
Rei stared at this newcomer a while, then decided he had better be on his
way. He silently moved and touched Ariel's shoulder. Ariel woke up with a
start, but when she saw Rei's face calmed down a little. "Is he still
asleep?" she mouthed, afraid to wake up her assailant.
Rei nodded once, afraid of the same thing.
Ariel stood up, and had to help Rei do the same- when Vincent attacked him
it tore through his leg like a piece of shredded beef. Though he wasn't
bleeding, persay, he was drastically hurt, and had to lean on Ariel's
shoulder for support. This was difficult, seeing as how Rei stood nearly a
foot taller than Ariel did.
Besides the fact that his leg was nearly useless, and one of his eyes was
bulging and black, Rei was in terrible shape. "You poor thing," said Ariel,
as they limped away from Vincent and this newcomer.
Rei laughed once. "Heh. It's okay, Princess. That idiot never knew what
Ariel had to laugh at that. With the adventure she had experienced in the
last few hours, she had all but forgotten she was a princess. "You don't
have to call me that," Ariel giggled.
Rei didn't seem to understand. "She's nothing like Nina," Rei thought. "I
thought all princesses were spoiled brats."
By the time they reached the opening to another corridor, they heard a thick,
masculine voice behind them. "Freeze right there, Red. You too, Cat."
Ariel and Rei did as they were told.
"Now. Turn around nice and slow. Try anything and you're dust."
It was tricky, but they managed to do as the man asked. When they turned
around they beheld the man in white armor, pointing his "hand" at them. In
reality it was little more than a gaping hole which a faint white light could
be seen within.
"Who are you two? Not Mavericks, I can tell you are human," he said. Then,
after inspecting them a little closer, said, "No. You aren't human."
Rei rolled his eyes. "Gee, how did you figure that out, genius?"
The man shook his head. "Not you. The girl. She's not... human."
Ariel's face began to turn red, as Rei looked at her. "You're a damn fool!
"Ariel? Your name is Ariel?" The man's arm dropped. "Ariel. Huh. You did
look kind of familiar."
Ariel looked up with a start. Her shoulder began to hurt from Rei's weight.
"What do you mean? I've never seen you before."
The man held out his real hand, saying, "My name is Megaman X. Call me X."
Rei shook X's hand skeptically. "How do you know Princess Ariel?"
"Princess!? Damn, Sigma, this is a good gag indeed!"
"What are you talking about?"
"You are Princess Ariel."
"Yes! How... how do you... who are you!?"
"Princess Ariel... youngest daughter of King Triton... the king of the mer
Ariel gasped. "That... that's right but..."
Now thouroughly confused, Rei leapt backwards. Landing on his hurt leg,
however, he crumpled to the ground. Ariel knelt next to him and helped him
sit up, but never took her astonished eyes of of this new man, X, for a
second. X sat next to them and said, "Few years back, in 2138, the Endinos
Animation Wing released a movie featuring an old fairy tale. You were the
star of that movie."
Ariel shook her head. "But I don't know what a movie is..."
"The movie was called, 'The Little Mermaid.' It raked in millions of
"Mermaid?" said Rei, still not understanding anything that was said.
"Yep," said X. "And you're here to fake me out. Sigma locked me in some
kind of hallucenogenic world with movie characters."
"X... I don't know what a movie is! And how did you know I am... was...
"Mermaid?" repeated Rei.
"I saw the movie. I see all the movies."
"Mermaid?" repeated Rei.
"But... I'm not fake, I'm real! I was drawn here by some, storm, of some
kind... that enveloped my husband's ship."
"Prince Eric? Heh, yeah, I'll bet."
Suddenly, Rei got angry and screamed, "Will someone tell me what the hell a
X simply laughed and shook his head. "And now that I know you're both not
real, you can tell me what kind of weapons you plan to kill me with. Heh,
like it matters. I'll kill you both so fast Sigma's head will spin!"
Ariel gasped and stood up, rather quickly. "I haven't any weapons! Please,
you've got to listen!"
Just as Ariel said "weapons," the one she stole from Vincent fell out of a
fold in her white dress (now very much tattered and a murky grey) and hit the
ground with a dull thud. X eyed the weapon for a second, then looked
straight into Ariel's eyes with a stare that seemed to burn right through
her. "That... isn't mine..." was all she could think of to say.
Ariel fell to her knees, suddenly very tired. X laughed out loud and said,
"Human or not, you're mortal. And no mortal can stand up to a Reploid."
"What will you do then!?" yelled Rei. "Kill her!? Fine! Kill us both! Put
us out of our misery!"
X aimed his arm cannon at Ariel. "Talk. Now. How do I get out of here."
"I don't know..."
"What about you, cat? Do you know?"
"Kiss my ass."
"Fine. I have been in deeper messes than this. Farewell."
Kill them and you will never get out.
Suddenly X's eyes lit up. "You... really are stuck here aren't you?"
"No, you idiot, we're on vacation," said Rei.
X sat down and lowered his gun. "Ariel. Princess of the mermaids. Heh, I
guess I should've known better than Sigma using a girl as one of his
Ariel looked up again. "Who is Sigma...?"
"Then you really are in the same boat I am. An' not a damn paddle in sight."
X breathed heavily and shook his head. "Great. So what do we do now? You
both look like you're in bad shape."
"And it will only get worse if you continue to defy our master," said
Vincent, standing in the archway of the hall. "Succumb to him, through him
is the only way out."
Rei growled under his breath. X stood up and walked over to Vincent, looking
at him skeptically. Within his cybernetic body, scanners read through
Vincent's being and an analysis check came back.
"You aren't entirely human either, are you? What the hell is this place?"
"I am Vincent Valentine. I am under..."
Rei rolled his eyes and finished Vincent's sentance. "You are under strict
orders by some nut to blow our heads off unless we dance happily around your
little scheme, right?"
"Return my gun to me. Now."
X was, by now, holding Vincent's gun. He laughed at it, being a very
primitave weapon. "No, I don't think I will. However, seeing as how we are
all in this together, we had better get acquainted. I'm Megaman X."
"I know. And I am Vincent Valentine."
Rei snorted. "An' I'm Captain Pink, imperial retainer to yo mamma."
Ariel elbowed Rei in the ribs. "Rei, be nice," she said. "X wants to help
"No I don't. I just wanna get out of here."
"And I'm trying to explain that the only way out is through our master."
"You say our like we gonna cooperate witcha, Vinnie."
"You will cooperate."
"Look, we're getting nowhere. Let's start over from the beginning," Ariel
Vincent sat down and invited X to do the same. "Okay. I'll explain it. We
were summoned here by an Esper named Goloros, the Esper of Mu."
"Mu?" inquired Rei.
"Mu. Nothingness. Lack of existance."
"Well that sounds happy and jolly."
"Anyway. Goloros has chosen five people to help him in his conquest to win
back the world of the Espers."
"Esper?" Rei asked, now scratching his head.
"An Esper," said X, "according to my friend Zero's video game, is a being of
"Right. That is one video game's analysis... but I doubt that it has any
bearing in reality."
"Video game?" by now, Ariel, Vincent, and X had learned to ignore Rei's
inquiries in order to move the conversation along.
"What was the game called, X?"
"Final Fantasy 6. Made by the Endinos Corporation. And if you ask me, we
have broken the bonds of reality."
X chuckled. "C'mon. We're sitting here with a cartoon mermaid and a
"Mermaid?" albeit the explanations at hand, Rei was right back where he had
"This doesn't make any sense," said Ariel. "It's obvious that the four of us
will never be able to function together as a team... so why does this Esper
guy think he can use us to help him?"
"I don't know. But I have orders to kill any of you who refuse to cooperate.
Are there any questions?"
"Okay, lemme get this straight," said Rei. "This dude Goloros beamed our
happy butts in here to conquer the world of Espers, right?"
"More or less."
X shook his head. "I won't do that. I am a Reploid- a robot sworn to
protect humankind! Anything that would harm them- I have to stop it."
Ariel nodded. "I don't think I could handle being part of a plan of world
conquest... I wouldn't be much help if I did. Right, Rei?"
Rei sighed deeply.
"Rei? What's wrong?"
"Well, if this Goloros guy brought us here, he's the only one who can get us
"That's right," replied Vincent.
"So we have to do what he says, or I'll never get home. Doesn't this just
"Rei! What are you saying?" Ariel gasped. "I thought you were a sweet guy-
how could you help this creep Goloros in this plan!?"
"I don't have a choice, Princess. You should join me too."
"Make up your minds. Now."
X stood between Vincent and Ariel. "You really wanna fight? Leave 'em
alone. Or you'll answer to me."
But Rei stood up anyway. Using the wall beside him for support, he said, "I
have no choice but to go with you."
"Rei, no..." said Ariel in disbelief. X let Rei pass. The tiger nearly
collapsed at Vincent's feet, but his leg held.
Then they vanished. With a flash of light, Vincent and Rei disappeared.
You have denied me your help, and so you will perish...
A loud explosion was heard off in the distance. Five explosions. Fifty.
Large, deep cracks began to appear in the walls of the labyrinth. X nearly
lost his footing.
"Ariel!" he cried. "Take my hand! I'll warp us out of here!"
Ariel grabbed X's hand and closed her eyes, fearful for what would happen
next. She felt her form dissolve into nothingness, and was engulfed in a
blue light. She felt her hand leave X's and thought of crying out- only to
find that she could not. In this form (or without form) she was unable to
make a sound.
And then, everything was normal. X and Ariel re-materialized inches above a
grassy plain somewhere. In the distance, a city could be seen.
X and Ariel exchanged glances. "Well," said Ariel, readjusting the bandage
on her arm. "What now?"
Nicholi was somewhere cold. And dark. There was nothing to be seen on any
horizon save himself. Silence was the only thing in abundance here. There
was no oxygen- but in this place Nicholi didn't need to breathe. There was
no light- but in this place sight had no meaning. There was no sound- but
in this place there was nothing to hear.
"It is my realm of thought," said a voice somewhere behind Nicholi. No, it
was from somewhere above him. And it wasn't a voice, it was a feeling, or an
instinct, that told him the words. It was all around him, as though some
omnipotent knife had been hacking away at Nicholi's thoughts and forming them
into words that were not his own.
"Yes, my realm. I created it with nothing. It is built on the premesis of
nothing. No materials were used in its construction. It is sustained
entirely on my existance."
"Who... are you?"
"I am you. We are one and the same."
"It is you..."
"Don't you know Nicholi? An Esper- the Esper Goloros."
"Didn't I tell you? The multiverse is in our grasp- but first we have to
revive my lost brothers, the Espers."
"The Espers are dead."
"It is not true. I have survived. And you are a decendant of the lineage of
"Of the Esper Alexander... the Sacred Knight."
"Please, Nicholi. Two of my recruits have abandoned me. Will you as well?"
Nicholi's head was swimming. The very non-essence of this place seemed to be
tearing his mind apart. Shredding his feelings and opinions and replacing
them with thoughts of ambition and greed.
"Goloros... I shall help you..."
"Excellent, Nicholi. I knew you would."
The Books and Their Contents
It was breakfasttime, but no one had their heart in the meal. Early that
morning Nicholi had vanished. No note, no noise, no nothing. He even left
the bed made. And in his condition, it could mean his death.
The entire team, however, decided they should look through Nicholi's books-
they might be the key to unlocking this "Fictional Death."
The flight back to Thamasa was uneventful. Setzer spent most of the time
manually piloting the Magician. Candi and Relm slept most of the way.
Locke, Celes, and Terra spent a lot of time sitting on the deck staring
through the clouds. Edgar asked to be dropped off at Figaro halfway back,
in order to check on things in his kingdom. Strago was still in disbelief.
The team entered Nicholi's library and gasped. It was a large hexagonal
room. Books lined each and every wall. Thousands of books of all sizes,
colors, and thickness. "By Gaia's eye..." muttered Terra. "We'll never get
anything out of all these books."
Locke shook his head. "Well, to stop this Ficitonal Death we're gonna have
to. There are seven of us..." he beheld Candi staring at the "pretty pattern
on the wall."
"That is, six of us here."
Setzer rolled his eyes. "Alright. So we'll get to work."
"Dammit," complained Relm. "I hate reading."
Within two hours, they had split the books into seven groups. Setzer read
all the books that had to do with science, aeronautics, and games. Terra
read all the books on magic, Espers, and old farie tales. Celes read music
books and writings of the old Empire. Locke read romance novels (even though
he pretended to hate romance novels) and adventure tales. Strago enjoyed
books on ancient languages and Nicholi's stack of original stories. Relm
read books on art, sculpturing, and (her personal favorite) horror novels.
Candi was inclined to read books with no words (or very short words).
That night, everyone trudged sleepily to their beds on the Magician. Candi
and Setzer sat in their chocobo's stall talking.
"I dunno Setzie. It just doesn't make no sense ta me."
"Yeah, don't feel bad... don't make sense to none of us. I musta read about
twenty books today. Didn't find a useful thing in any of 'em."
Goldilocks made a chirping noise in his sleep that made Candi giggle. "Yeah,
but I don't think your friends like me Setzie. That little girl kept on
makin' fun of me."
"Aw, my poor Candi. Don' take it personally, hon. Relm is mean to everyone.
Especially old man Strago."
Setzer yawned and stood up. "I'm goin' ta bed, ya comin'?"
"Yeah, I'll be there in a minute."
Setzer left her alone. Candi stroked Goldilocks' golden feathers, feeling
bad because she had only pretended to be reading while the others had been
doing all the real work.
Terra and Strago sat in the Magician's kitchen while Terra made them some of
her special herbal tea, that only they could appreciate. The others in the
team didn't like its bitter taste, but Terra insisted it was passed down from
her father and was good for the soul. "Here you go, Strago," she said,
handing the old man a cup.
Strago clasped it in his frail hands and sipped it. Terra admired Strago.
Since defeating Kefka over 10 years ago, his health had slowly been failing.
His hands shook a lot and his mind wasn't quite as sharp. Terra always
treasured the elderly. She knew very well that the ancient secrets of the
world were locked deep within them.
"Let me ask you something, Strago," she said. "How would you pronounce a
word spelled 'R-E-I?'"
Strago thought for a moment, squeezed a little lemon into his tea, and
replied, "I suppose it would be pronounced 'ray.' Why?"
"In one of the books I was reading today, it was part of a series called
'Breath of Fire,' there was a character named Rei. I felt a very strong
force coming from him."
"Really? That is odd, I remember Nicholi uttering the word ray quite a few
times during his fever."
"Could he have been referring to the character, Rei, rather than a ray of
light or magic?"
"That is possible. Tea's a little bland there, Terra."
"Setzer is out of cinnamon. So you think that some of the other words he
said might refer to characters as well?"
"Among other things, he mentioned the words aerial, time, fiction, weapon...
it sounded like a bunch of babble."
"Hmm... well, fiction would refer to the Fictional Death. And time would
refer to the different timestreams of all of his books. But weapon and
aerial. They could very well be names."
Strago nodded. "He could have easily been referring to the Atma Weapon or
its likeness. And aerial... hmm. I once knew a girl, long ago, with that
name. Spelled it A-R-I-E-double L-E. But she was killed during an imperial
attack many years ago while on vacation in Albrook."
"So we know there is a character named Rei. He's a weretiger, you know."
"And there may be a character named Arielle as well."
"Or Arial, with an A."
"I've never heard of it spelled that way."
"And I've never heard of the name Rei, have you?"
Terra sighed. "Fictional Death. Well, Strago. I hope there is enough spark
in you for another adventure."
Evil Hearts, Clouded Minds
Goloros was a tall figure, who wore a long white robe. His silver hair hung
far below his waist and was always tied back in a long ponytail. He carried
a long red staff, set with jewels of all shapes, sizes, and colors. His eyes
had no pupils, just plain white, like a shimmering stream looks through the
overhead canopy of trees.
His two "recruits" sat in front of him. Vincent sat calmly and eagerly, Rei
sat skeptically and somewhat half-heartedly.
"Vincent. Rei. My friends."
Goloros looked at Rei's torn leg and said, "You are wounded."
The Esper's staff touched Rei's wounds. And after a green glow his leg was
mended, the pain eliminated.
"Now. It seems that our little runaways, Megaman and Ariel, have escaped to
the world of the Espers. And before we can begin our conquest of the planet,
they have to be eliminated."
Vincent nodded. "It would be an honor to destroy them in your name,
"Rei? What about you?"
Rei sighed. "I don't see why you chose me. I ain't even got my knives."
Just as he said that, Goloros fashioned two knives, coursing with prismatic
energies, and handed them to Rei.
"You will find those knives are the perfect size for your hands. A perfect
fit for every contour of your hand, even your birthmark."
Rei had a tiny, undescript indentation on his left hand. It was his
birthmark, but not even Ryu knew about it. "Uh, thanks," he said.
"Now. The two of you will find the world in which you are placed odd, I'm
sure. It is a period of discovery. Machinery is being discovered and
Of course, Vincent chuckled at this, while Rei was flabberghasted that anyone
could build a machine!
"The intelligent people are mostly human. The only other races you may
interact with are native only to that planet... and magic is all but dead.
Only experienced and highly trained sages still use it."
"Will my materia function?" asked Vincent.
Goloros nodded. "As will Rei's inheritant magic. Use your powers as you
would in your own world."
"And when it is all over," continued Rei, "I can go home, right?"
Goloros sneered. "Of course you can Rei. I'm a man of my word."