How Celes Got Her Groove Back

Matt Savoia

(This story reveals a spoiler in the plot of FF3/FFVIj. If you have not finished the game, I suggest you back away with your hands up.)

Locke quickly glanced around the room. He held his face in a frightening grin, occasionally pulling his lips apart to reveal his clenched teeth. He had a firm beleif that this scared the hell out of his opponents. Concentrating nearly all his efforts into keeping this face, he thought, I can't afford to lose this one... and drew a card. Suddenly he noticed that he picked the card that he'd been waiting for the whole game. He discarded and grinned. However, this time it was a genuine grin, not one to hide his facial expressions. As Setzer carelessly stretched out to grab another card, he squealed, "Gin!" Locke spread his fan of cards, showing what he had. "Now you guys know why I'm called 'Cole'...!"

"I don't get it" was all Edgar said.

"You've got to be joking. That was a great one! Look, four fives, and then a Jack, Queen and King of spades. Cole, get it...Cole." After a short pause, he muttered, "You guys don't get it. How can you not get it?"

"Locke, you're not making sense. But that's beside the point. The fact that you won at all shows that we've been playing for way too long." Setzer proceeded to collect the others' cards.

"Where's Celes, anyway? I'm sure she'll be happy that I won."

"Last I can recall, she was listening to some music with Sir Mog. On the, um...what was it called again, Edgar?"

"A record player, Cyan. Record player." He and Cyan got up, and Edgar lead him to the room where Mog was listening to music and gave yet another attempt at explaining one of his new inventions to Cyan. He knew he was wasting his time, but he felt he should try anyway.

Locke left Setzer to clean up and set off searching for Celes. Afterall, Figaro Castle wasn't that big of a place. She probably was still amazed at Mog's dancing, even after a few straight hours. He knew for sure that Mog wouldn't tire of it. Ever.

He walked along the corridors and wondered how long it had been. A full year, at least. Even though the world was still in ruin, it didn't get any worse. Besides, Figaro Castle was still a beatiful place. The desert's appearance wasn't much different. Just sound as far as the eye can see on all sides. That's why he loved it when Edgar organized the whole gang to meet at his castle for some sort of party. Eventually, he came to the room where Mog was busy dancing.

Celes was fast asleep in a chair. He had this little idea of building a shop, and it had been dancing around his head all night. He felt he should tell Celes about it ASAP, so that way it would at least be roaming in her thoughts as well. As he was contemplating whether or not to wake her up to tell her, she groaned and promptly shook her head.

"Aha! You're awake! I've got something to talk to you about..."

"This is your great plan? 'Build a shop...somewhere.'"

"I don't exactly have all the details just yet..."

Celes's eyes opened wide. "You don't exactly have all the details? Locke, you don't have any of the details!"

Suddenly, Celes and Locke felt the ground shaking slightly. They each latched themselves onto a pillar in the room and hoped desperately that it wasn't the end of the world again.

However, they shortly realized it was nothing but Figaro's submerge mode. But why, Celes wondered, was the castle submerging with no warning?

Locke seemed to reply answer this question before she could ask. "I don't really know why, but we'd better get out of the castle!" As Locke ran off, she tried to scream for him to wait, but to no avail. She'd have to find some other way out of the castle.

But then it hit her. Once she felt that the castle was fully submerged, she calmly walked down a case of stairs, and into Edgar's minature prison, which was, of course, empty. She grabbed a torch off of the wall, drew her blade, and walked into the back of the cell on her far left, trying to ignore the dust and cobwebs. She released the breath that she didn't realize she was holding, pleased that the hole in the back wall was still present.

She carefully picked her way through the tunnel that she once traveled through chasing one "Gerad", and tried to remember her way to the surface. She heard another rumbling noise, and wondered if the castle was rising up again. However, this wasn't the same type of noise, and not nearly as loud. She went on, not trying not to worry about it. She muttered to herself, "I know that noise..."

Next thing she knew, she was face-flat on the ground, wondering what the hell knocked that wall down, and nearly on top of her, as well.

She quickly picked herself up, and looked in the direction of the newly demolished wall. It hit her. She remembered where she'd heard that sound before.

Tunnel Armor.

She had no time to analize what it was doing here and now, for it started whirring. She knew what the whirring sound meant - charging its magi-tek cannon. What she didn't know was how magi-tek existed without the statues.

The attack wasn't targetted at another wall. It was meant for her. The last thing Celes remembered doing was instinctively putting her sword out in front of her as a reflex.

Celes awoke to find Tunnel Armor on what seemed to be some sort of "stand-by" mode; it probably took her for dead. She noticed her sword was looking as new as ever it did, and she didn't feel hurt at all. That left one real answer to the riddle of her survival - she must have actually absorbed the magi-tek attack through her sword.

There was no way around it; she was back in business.

Celes promptly blew the hell out of Tunnel Armor. She returned to the surface; it was late at night, and they were both tired. Celes started a small fire. However, Celes found it hard to really blink. When she felt the fire was no longer needed, she put it out with an ice spell. She could have stamped it out, but she found it more fun that way. She felt like a kid in a candy store. Finally, though, she did nod off.

"Aha! You're awake! I've got something to talk to you about..."

Celes suddenly felt ill. "Locke, I feel like I just went blind for a second time." When Locke didn't seem to cope, she said, "Come on, I've got something to talk to you about..."

Author's Note

I've always been fascinated with the whole technoligical aspect of the magi-tek, along with Celes's Runic trick. One day I got to wondering if anything magi-tek actually survived, since Terra did, afterall. This was origianlly going to be part of a whole "return of kefka" thing, but I changed my mind.

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