By Damian Dydyn
The walls of this great city now burned slow and steadily like the bodies of its one-time defenders. The air was saturated with the acrid stench of burning flesh, making it difficult to breathe. Screams echoed through the streets, supported by a chorus of muffled moans and stifled cries. At the gates stood Glenn, Termina's lone warrior, the only survivor of the attack. He held his Einlanzer firmly in front of him, gazing hard across its edge at the burning fields that spanned across the dying landscape to Fossil Valley. A thin splattering of dried blood lined his jaw and crept up his cheek as the shadows danced across his face. His forehead wrinkled slightly as a sharp wind slapped into his battered form.
The horizon rose into the sky in black masses, nothing more than dark blurs at first. As quickly as they appeared, they started taking shape. One blur became two, and then three until there were six distinct forms, each with its massive wing span stretching across the scorched sky. The six dragon gods flew slowly towards Termina, belting out their horrible roars.
Glenn steadied himself, spreading his feet to gain balance. Swallowing hard he closed his eyes, preparing mentally for what would most likely be his last battle. He thought back to the remarkable series of events that had led to this. To the wrath of the six dragon gods. To the end of human civilization.
Clouds whipped past the small sail boat as the group pushed up towards the massive floating fortress. Serge glanced back behind the sails to see Kid giggling like a child as she watched the moon reflecting in the choppy waters below. Glenn was staring hard into night and rubbed absent mindedly at the scar on the left side of his face, just above his chin. A thin smile crossed Serge's lips while his gaze made its way back over the bow and to Terra Tower as the wind sent the unfettered strands of his deep blue hair slapping at his skull.
The boat landed atop the massive stone structure and it's passengers spilled out, heading immediately for the record of fate near the landing pad. Kid began checking her elements and refastening her prism armor as Glenn sheathed the Einlanzer and did the same. Serge, however, stopped dead in his tracks, turning slowly to them. His face had grown cold and devoid of emotion. Something in his eyes was different. The gleam that once told a tale of life and happiness was gone. Only empty pits of black and a suffocating blue remained. In that moment, the Serge they had known had left them, replaced by a tool of FATE.
If only Glenn had realized it then. If only he had known.
Kid's eyes made their way from her prism dagger, across the landing pad to him. "Everything all right mate?" A solemn nod was the only response she got as he moved back towards the boat. Her head tilted slightly as confusion masked her features. "Where ya goin mate?"
Serge blinked, as if unsure, before looking up to meet her eyes. He looked down over the edge of the floating tower, out past the darkened waters below, to the small outstretched beach near his home, Arni village.
Kid moved up beside him, allowing her arm to brush against his. She glanced over at him as their skin connected, letting it linger for a moment. A sharp gust of wind sent a lock of her golden hair into her eyes and she brushed it away. "Wha'cha lookin at mate?" He couldn't pull his eyes away, only point. His arm reached out as he extended a single finger towards the beach. She followed his finger across the ocean. "What? Cape Howl?" Serge shook his head and continued pointing. Her eyes moved slightly east to the village of Arni. "Your home? Arni?" She turned to face him once more only to see him shake his head again.
She looked over her shoulder, rather than turning again and a smile stretched across her soft warm lips. The moon light glistened against the thin line of her teeth as she opened her mouth and spoke, "Opassa." He nodded silently as she placed her hand on his extended arm, reveling in the moment of physical contact. Serge didn't seem to notice as he turned and perched himself on the bow once more. Glenn couldn't hide the scowl as it erupted on his face. Kid sighed and followed him into the boat, leaving Glenn standing confused and dejected on the port side. She looked back at him momentarily. "You comin mate?"
He looked over his shoulder at the massive stretch of stairs behind them. "But what about·?" Placing a gloved hand against his forehead, covering his eyes he shook his head. "Yes, I'm coming." Slowly, he climbed back into the boat and took his seat near the aft sail.
Glenn shook his head, clearing it of the insurgent memories and looked up at the six flying beasts. They sprayed Termina with a final volley of fire blasts, sending rubble sailing through the air. Glenn remained at the city's entrance, standing firm. Up above him, in the burning sky, the silver form of the Sky Dragon pulled away from the others. It bent it's wings back towards it's tail and dropped into a downward spiral.
Taking a deep breath, Glenn prepared for the end. A strong wind picked up, sending the flames engulfing Termina into a violent surge. They roared as oxygen fueled their endless rage. The warmth pressed against his back as the Sky Dragon landed a few meters in front of him. "Son of man, you are indeed strong."
Glenn refused to reply, pressing his lips together as if to seal off any attempt at a verbal response. His jaw clenched and his fingers squeezed the handle of his Einlanzer while his feet dug further into the ground. "It is a shame one so powerful must die, but we cannot allow humanity to plague this planet any longer."
The young knight repressed a growl as his cerulean eyes began to tremble with rage. One final breath filled his lungs before he pounced forward, charging relentlessly towards the Sky Dragon, towards his death. The last thought to dance through his head being of Serge, up on Terra Tower. Watching as the last remnants of the hero they once knew slipped away, leaving only a shell. Beside him stood Kid, her glowing blue eyes, naïve and innocent, filled with hope and joy. As he slashed in a futile attempt to bring down the monster, he allowed a whisper, barely audible.