- Final Fantasy III - Final Fantasy VII - Breath of Fire III - Megaman X - The
Little Mermaid -
The Emerald Claw
*AUXILARY POWER SOURCE CONFIRMED*
*AUTHORIZATION PASSCODE ---------------- ACCEPTED*
X's eyes popped open. He beheld the lonely blue sky above him, and the
ocean all around him.
Relm and Locke were still asleep. X realized that Locke must have woken up
at least once, as he was leaning against a solitary palm tree in the center
...of this island. The three were on a tiny island, the coasts of which
could be seen on the horizon. The position at which X and his cohorts lay
was very near a small lagoon, with a long sandbar and a single palm tree.
"Wake up," said X plainly. Locke woke up with a start, and Relm stirred a
little bit in her sleep. Locke's head dropped into his hands. He was
covered in sand and salt water, and had a horrible headache.
"You okay, Locke?" asked X, kneeling by his friend.
"I will be... is Relm alright..?"
X nodded once. "She'll be fine."
Both instinctively scanned the sky. There was no trace of the Magician
anywhere among the clouds. There was also no trace of the beast that had
seperated them from their airship.
"Dammit," mumbled X. "I don't believe this. What do we do now?"
Locke shrugged. "Start looking for a way off. Can't we build a raft?"
"I suppose we could. But even if we did, where would we go? We're on some
stupid island, probably to small to be on any regional map. We would be lost
"I guess so."
X helped Locke to his feet and wandered over to wake up Relm. Locke was
pretty bruised up, but in one peice, at the very least. After a few minutes
passed Locke got over his groggy, dizzy feeling. X and Relm approached him.
"Everyone seems to be okay," said X. "But we are more or less stuck here.
If I were alone, I could use my teleportation capabilities to warp to land,
but without a system check it would be dangerous to do so- especially
carrying the two of you."
"Why is that?"
"I'm guessing the initial landing shattered the energy core that keeps me
powered- the same as if I sliced your heart open with a knife."
"Or any equally sharp object," added Relm, feeling very sick.
X sat down in the sand. He felt very tired. "Moreover, this auxilary unit
could give out at any time. It wasn't charged to 100% at the time I first
"How much time do you have?"
"I dunno. Few days."
Relm and Locke knely next to the Reploid. "Well, I'm sure we'll find a way
out of this mess," offered Locke, consolingly. "We always do."
A low rumbling that seemed to come from everywhere enveloped the island. The
vibrations churned Relm's stomach. "It's back," she said.
X leapt to his feet and looked off in the distance. It was back. The being
was perched with it's "head" sticking out of the ocean, about a mile or so
off of the beach. It was slowly approaching the trio...
"What do we do?" asked Locke. "We can't kill that thing."
"I don't know. Hide from it?" suggested Relm, her voice quivering slightly.
The thing's claw shot up from the depths, hurling a wall of water towards the
beach. X, Locke, and Relm scrambled further inland, but couldn't save
themselves from a fierce drenching.
"We have to run!" shouted Relm, over the crashing waves...
"We have nowhere to run to!" retorted Locke.
"Well, we sure as hell can't fight the thing!"
X charged up his buster and aimed into the horizon. "If I get a clean shot,
perhaps I can destroy his robotic portions and it will have to retreat."
A smaller, thinner laser gun slid out of the bottom of X's already huge gun-
arm. "Stand back," he said. "My weapons are incapable of killing humans,
but they do sting a bit."
X's guns both charged up. "Say good night, bad ass."
X's main gun fired into the horizon, and the minature one right after. The
smaller, blue beam hit the aura of glowing white waves, and a gigantic
explosion ensued- sending a prismatic wall of glistening laserfire straight
at the enormous entity.
It took a full 45 seconds for X's barrage of weaponry to stop pelting the
demon. And when it did, what the team saw horrified them.
This beast was hardly hurt. It's carapace barely scratched, a few dents, a
few transparent trails of smoke.
"For the love of God..." muttered Relm. "What the hell is that thing?"
Then their enemy's lasers began to charge up. The air around the demon
seemed to distort as the lasers drew energy from within the beast. X grabbed
onto Relm and Locke's arm and fired up his jet boots. "Let's bolt," he said,
shooting inland at the highest speed he could possibly reach. Within seconds
X was amongst thousands of raging beams of light. Luckily, X was stealful
enough to dodge these beams...
...but not all of them. One of these obscure rays clipped X's right foot.
With a small explosion and a screech, X and his friends tumbled to the
All three sunk as low into the sand as possible. But the attack didn't end
for another minute or so. And with that their assailant splashed back into
the water with such force that a slap of water hit the trio, even this far
Relm and Locke sat there panting loudly, dripping wet, while X tended to his
"Any other bright ideas, X?" asked Relm, looking accusingly at the Reploid.
X shrugged. "Welcome to Hell, guys..."
Call of the Past
The Council of Esperkind was hidden from the human realm by a huge barrier
woven from space and time. After the Goddess Statues were destroyed 12 years
ago, the remaining Espers (that is, any Esper who's magicite crystal was in
possession of a human) moved to this new realm.
The city was run by five Espers, all of which had a hand in destroying Kefka
long ago. At the seat of the Council was the Life Esper, Phoenix. Below
her were Ifrit (the Fire Esper), Shiva (the Ice Esper), Alexander (the Sacred
Esper), and Terra's father Maduin.
The Espers had watched their astranged brother, Goloros, draw characters out
of fictional stories with the intent to shatter the barrier seperating the
Esper world and the human world and reign from the chaos...
"That is the purpose of this meeting, Phoenix," said Ifrit. "We fear for the
barrier. If Goloros' plan is followed through, it will be destroyed and the
War of the Magi will begin again."
"So I see. It is a predicament, isn't it. Will the hunter destroy him?"
Ifrit shook his head. "He's the Esper of Mu. Nothing can trace him- nothing
Alexander sat at the far end of the table, his blade Excalibur rested in
front of him. "If the hunter were to be applied directly to Goloros, could
he be destroyed?"
Ifrit nodded. "Of course. But getting close enough to Goloros to utilize
this power would put us in danger."
"So what do you suggest?" asked Alexander.
"We cannot defeat him unless he crosses the breach again..."
"Therefore there is no way to defeat him. Unless we cross the breach
Phoenix shook her head. "You know the law. Ever since the War of the Magi,
it has become evident that humans and Espers cannot coexist."
Suddenly, Maduin looked up. "What if we had a human deliver the hunter?"
Alexander began to object, but Phoenix silenced him. "Continue, Maduin."
"Since the group of humans who destroyed Kefka years ago is still alive, we
can trust them to use the hunter against Goloros, can we not?"
Phoenix nodded. Her multicolored feathers, bearing all the colors of the
rainbow, fell as a visor over her crystalline green eyes. "You want us to
trust your daughter, yet again, with our lives."
"Our lives are not at stake. Espers cannot die- you know it too. The War of
the Magi only cost us a fraction of our power, while it was the humans who
truely suffered. Even against Kefka years ago it was the humans who lost
Phoenix sighed. "I will summon the mortal here."
Much to Alexander's dismay, Phoenix spread her shimmering wings. A rainbow
of color erupted from her body... it sounded like a lazy river falling into
a small waterfall. After the color dissipated, Terra sat in the center of
the Council, wearing her blue satin nightgown, cowering.
"Where am I!?" she shouted. Her first instinct was that Goloros had
corrupted her the same way he had corrupted Nicholi. But after a few seconds
she recognized the faces around her. "You... are Espers... but how?"
Maduin looked at his daughter's dismal human body, and swiftly turned away.
Phoenix nodded her head once. "Terra... we are Espers."
Terra shook her head violently. "No. Kefka destroyed the Goddess Statues...
the Espers are dead..."
Phoenix chuckled, not unkindly. "Terra, you cannot kill an Esper. When we
are reduced to magicite, we are simply reborn. Here... set aside from the
"But some Espers still live in the human world. In order to finally sever
the bond between humans and Espers, so both worlds can live in peace, we have
developed the hunter."
Ifrit walked over to Terra, and helped her to her feet. He set a small,
round, black object into her hand. A pinpoint of fiery red could be seen
"This is a weapon, Terra, it's called the hunter."
"The hunter? But where am I?"
Phoenix stood up, since she saw that Alexander was about to voice his strict
objections to letting a human use such a powerful weapon. Phoenix put her
warm wing around Terra's shaking shoulder to calm her. "This hunter, once
activated, will seal all of Goloros' power behind a shield of time- thus
trapping him for eternity. You have been chosen to use it... will you help
us, your brotheren?"
Terra's eyes closed and she nodded weakly. "But my friends- will they get
safe passage to their worlds?"
Phoenix nodded. "Of course, if you can defeat Goloros you can use our power
to return your friends to their homes."
"Aren't you fogetting something?" added Maduin. His voice was shaking.
Terra had recognized him, of course, but had said nothing.
"Tell me what? Father..."
Alexander leapt to his feet. "Goloros is the final Esper in your world. All
of the magical influence left in the realm of humans is under his control."
The Sacred Esper shook his head. "I doubt you humans could comprehend such a
thing. Don't waste our time, Ifrit. Take the hunter back and we'll find
"There is no other way! You will be seated, Alexander!" snapped Phoenix, her
eyes sending blood red shadows across Alexander's pearly white armor. This
frightened Terra at first, but Phoenix calmly turned her beautiful face back
to comfort her. "Terra... if you destroy the final Esper, all magic will
vanish and you... you will certainly die."
This struck Terra like a blow to the chest. As if someone had said, "Terra,
your life is meaningless. You are the stupedist, most horrbile bitch on the
planet." She could say nothing...
Maduin looked at her daughter and saw a single tear trickle down her face
leaving a crystalline path through her skin... he stood and walked over to
Terra... to comfort her...
Alexander shouted, "Maduin, don't be a fool! It is bad enough that she will
fail us, but you have no need to love her as if she were worth anything!"
"She is his daughter," said Shiva quietly. "You have a son as well."
Terra cried into Maduin's strong arms. He felt something... different, as if
his heart were breaking.
"My son is a fool. He was raised as a human and refuses to live like one.
This girl was raised as a mage and is trying to act the hero!"
"Alexander, stifle yourself!" shouted Phoenix. The knight sunk back into his
For a long time, Terra knelt there, in the middle of the Council of Esperkind
with her father. It was the first time they had spoken, and would be the
"Terra... I often wondered if you would grow up to be a good and viruous
woman, and now I see that you have. That brings me more joy than you could
Terra tried to say something, but a river of tears blocked her voice.
"You don't have to do this if you don't want to. If you want to live your
life out in peace, we will find another way."
Terra pulled away from her father, and mouthed the word "no," but no sound
was procured. She swallowed hard, choked back her tears, and breathed
deeply. Then, very clearly, with a slight quiver in her voice, she said,
All of the Espers were silent.
Terra was shaking violently. The hunter dropped onto the ground in front of
her with a glassy clank. Alexander was about to protest again but his master
hushed him with a wave of her wing.
Maduin picked up the hunter and set it into Terra's palm. He cupped her
slender fingers around it and whispered, "I am always with you. The gift of
Esperkind is always with you. Terra, my child..."
"I love you... Father..."
They were about to embrace again, but Phoenix's gentle wing came between
"It is almost dawn, Terra."
Terra stood, and was still shaking out of tremendous fright...
"Farewell, everyone..." were the only words Terra's mouth could find. Then,
as quickly and painlessly as she had arrived, Terra was sitting up in her
tiny room on the Magician.
Ariel slept on one side of her, her long red hair falling over the side of
her pink pillowcase. On the other side her small nightstand...
On her face the dry trails of ten thousand tears of a life gone past and a
future not yet written. In her hand the small black jewel known as the
Terra closed her eyes and fondled the pendant she had around her neck, the
gem that was her father's shard of magicite. "I love you, Father.
"And I will bring you all the glory a great Esper deserves. On my blood."
Wreaking Magicite Mayhem
For never have officially crossing paths with this Goloros fellow, Setzer had
certainly been hurt. His fiance, murdered. Three of his best friends, in
the clutches of some enormous sea beast.
And his heart, broken. Dreams shattered.
He was through crying. He had done enough of that. He sat in the small pen
with his chocobo Goldilocks, thinking. He was at his wit's end. He was out
of ideas completely.
Suddenly, Terra appeared in his doorway. "Hey, doll," he said simply, not
even raising his head. "Setzer, can we talk?"
"'Course, doll. Have a seat."
Terra sat next to Setzer on the straw-covered floor. "I have the means of
killing Goloros. But it will cost me, well, everything."
"I don't follow."
Terra tried to think of a way to get her point across without saying the
words- to do so would hurt her heart to greatly. She sighed deeply to
prevent the tears from coming out...
Setzer and Terra looked up to see Celes, weilding her sword, standing in the
hallway outside of Goldilocks' stall. "Guys, there is somethin' attackin'
Terra stood up, Setzer followed. "What is it, Celes?"
"If I didn't know better, I'd say it was..."
A viscious, roaring, all-to-familiar laugh echoed in the bowels of the
airship and rung in their ears.
Terra raced off to her room to gain her gear. Setzer followed Celes onto the
deck. Strago and Ariel were already there, standing at the front of the
ship... Kefka was on the opposite side. "Well, well, well. A general, an
old fart, a redhead, and a gambling lunatic. How nice it is to see all of
Terra stood at the base of the stairway leading to the deck, afraid to climb
upwards. She sat waiting for the perfect time.
"I would have brought my little friends, oh dear, what are their names...
ah, yes! Vincent and Rei! But they are such imbicils. It is sooooo much
more fun to take you all on by myself. Like this!"
Terra felt a sudden jerk as the Magician began to fall out of the sky.
Setzer sat breathless as all of the engines on the Magician suddenly...
"Oops," muttered Kefka. "My finger slipped."
"Damn you!" Celes screamed towards Kefka, her sword blazing in front of her.
The blade drove straight through Kefka's skull with a delicious crunching
sound. But the blade wouldn't come out.
Celes tugged, tried to tear upwards, anything. But the sword was stuck fast
to Kefka's pierced head... and her hands were stuck to her sword hilt.
"Ah..." said Celes. Kefka began to laugh. Loudly. Hideously. The airship
screamed towards the land below. That laugh, the tearing winds, the
held-fast sword, the...
"Brace yourselves! We gotta get off this thing!"
Terra rushed onto the deck, and without thinking of her own safety (when one
knows one is going to die, they tend to act more recklessly) hacked straight
through Celes' sword hilt. "Come on!" Terra screamed over the hideous,
deafening laughter and howling winds around them.
"You sorry sons of bitches! You all are doomed! You all will pay!" Kefka
By this time, all five were at the edge of the airship. The ground
approached them, endlessly, inevitably.
"Hold on...!" yelled Terra, as she leapt off the side.
Terra, Celes, Setzer, Ariel, and Strago fell as a chain through the
atmosphere... Terra uttered a word and the gift of the Espers shone through
her- a large sphere of light surrounded and imploded upon the friends...
And then they were on the ground, unharmed. The Magician was a good deal
away from them, and much higher. Setzer watched in complete helplessness as
his hopes and dreams of the past few years fell to the ground.
The airship fell just off of a beach south of Jidoor. A huge splash.
Kefka's terrible laugh echoed in their ears.
It was December 23rd, and a light snow was falling.
Dying Embers of Old Flames
"I understand completely, sir," said Gringor Elfland, after hearing about
Setzer's plight and the Magician's fall. "Use the Falcon all you want. I'm
to old to fly it anyway."
"Gringor, man, you are a lifesaver." Setzer smiled and shook the old man's
hand, sealing the deal.
Gringor led his new friends around the airship, how he had changed it and
moved things around. He had added new rooms, taken down old ones, but with a
day's worth of hard work and mechanical checkup Setzer was positive he could
get back into the sky. The old man who had bought the airship 10 years
before calmly agreed to allow his investment to go Esper-hunting.
Celes spent the afternoon wandering around the airship, which was her home
for five months during the war against Kefka so long ago. This airship had
given her, and Setzer, and everyone else, a new sense of hope- that something
could be done.
"Twelve years ago," Celes said to Ariel, "this ship saved us. And gave us
the courage we needed to fight Kefka at every turn. Now it's doing the same
Ariel wasn't as impressed with this ship. It was old and ragged, stray
boards stuck out all over the deck, and many nails were rusted away.
Attached to the top by thin metal rods was a clumsy looking blimp.
After a full afternoon of the six moving all of Gringor's weaponry to his
son's Jidoorian home, Setzer set about making simple checks. He was doing
major work on the engines most of the day.
That evening, completely exhausted, Setzer relaxed in his old captain's
chamber, sipping a cool glass of world-famous Jidoorian champagne. As he set
his glass back on the wooden table next to him he noticed a small, crude
carving on its leg:
SG + DT
"Setzer Gabbianni plus Daryl Therograf..." he said, waves of painful memories
rushing back into his mind.
Setzer awoke from a sleep he hadn't even noticed he had fallen into. Instead
of the light pink sky of a sunset he beheld a dark starlit sky of midnight.
Terra sat on the arm of Setzer's chair. "Where were we before we were so
Setzer shook his head. "I don' even know anymore, Terra."
Terra sighed. She took the hunter out of a folded cloth she held in her hand
and showed it to her friend. "Setzer- this thing is the hunter, and it is
the only thing that can defeat Goloros. And when he dies..."
Terra found herself breathing uncommonly deeply to waive the sobs she felt
welling up in her throat. "When he dies, I will have to... have to die as
Terra bowed her head and rolled the black gem around in her hand. Setzer
sighed. "Damn well figures."
"'Member when I was the luckiest guy on this planet? All my riches came from
my gamblin' streak. I won, over an' over, till I had more money'n I knew
what to do with. So I gave it to ya'll and you dragged me into some damn war
against Kefka an' such."
Terra was about to retort, but Setzer finished, "But I ain't never regretted
it. God, Terra, I had wealth. I had money an' a flyin' house an' the
abilities to break all the rules and stuff... but I was damn lonely. I had
no one. That's why I wanted to be with ya'll. You guys had somethin' I was
afraid I'd never have."
"Setzer, what are you getting at?"
"I'm sayin', at least in those days at least I had a few bucks and a handfull
of friends. Now my luck's done run out. I lost my airship, an' my girl, and
A silent tear broke free from Setzer's eye. "Now I'm gonna lose my best
"It's the only... way."
Setzer shook his head. "Why us, though!? Why now! Ain't we already been to
hell and back 'cause of all that Esper crap? Why can't Espers and humans
just leave each other the hell alone?"
Terra sighed. "I don't know. I thought that... that I was proof that such
a bond could exist." Terra grabbed her long, green hair, desperate out of
nervousness. "But it turns out I'm just a freak of nature. A product of a
lost human girl and an overzealous Esper. It just goes to show that if you
aren't human you'd be better off just not worrying about humans."
Setzer's head fell into his hands. "What a damn mess. Humans are stupid,
greedy creatures an' because of it this world almost got ripped apart. Now
what? Are we proving Espers are the same way?"
"Not all humans are like that. There are good ones. Like you, and Strago,
and Leo... and there are bad ones like Kefka, and Gestahl... I guess Espers
are the same way."
"So what it boils down to is that us humans got our place, them Espers got
there's, and ya'll half-breeds got nowhere?"
Terra nodded. "I guess Nicholi and I will simply die. But it is a small
price to pay for the world's safety. No- for the safety of the universe."
Setzer bit his lip. "Well, Terra, if you're set about this kamikaze mission,
I'm with you a hundred percent." He laid his hand Terra's knee, and she laid
her hand on top of his. "I'll do whatever it takes."