Illusions of Reality
by Michael "Bacon Slicer" Dixon
"I'm bored," announced Relm loudly. "Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored."
It didn't help much, since she was the only one actually in her bedroom, but she did feel marginally better.
Ever since she and Gramps had joined forces with these rebels, Relm hadn't set foot off this airship of theirs. "It's too dangerous," they'd said. "Why don't you stay here, where it's safe?" they'd said. Admittedly, she was only eight years old, but her magical descent gave her a precociousness that most people didn't suspect. As for her battleworthiness, well, she might not be able to swing a sword around, but why bother? There were much better ways of dealing with enemies.
The first few days on the ship she'd been happy enough, since she could practice her artistry again. But just as the village elder'd banned her from drawing in Thamasa, so late one night Edgar, with lips covered in paint, had added the caveat that, quote, "I don't want to see another one of your creations within a five-mile radius of me." See, she'd sent a watercolor of Terra into his room, just to see what he'd do, and so...
But he'd gone with the others to clear away some of the monsters surrounding Doma. They'd wanted to train up a little before investigating the Floating Continent, so after they'd wiped the area around the Opera House clean, Cyan'd mentioned that the area by his home was practically infested. It was already dark out, so they must have decided to spend the night at the castle. Which meant that, since Edgar wasn't around...
Relm snatched at her sketchbook and pencil, and rapidly outlined the form her oldest friend, a black cat she'd named 'Luna'. Luna had been the first of Relm's pictures to come to life, and though, like all the others, she soon reverted to a normal drawing, she remembered their brief conversations.
"Mrrow. Oh, hey Relm. What's up?" asked the cat. Relm had never considered Luna's ability to speak odd - the fact that she ever existed at all was what was puzzling.
"I need something new to do. Edgar'll be back tomorrow, and he doesn't want me sketching while he's around," summarized Relm.
"...tricky," said Luna eventually. "We both know the only thing you like doing is art, so I can't see a solution offhand."
Inspiration struck. It was a devious sort of inspiration, the sort that sneaks in late at night, when you're not expecting it and can't point out the logical flaws.
"Thanks, Luna! You're the best!" exclaimed Relm, giving the feline a big hug just before her temporary lease on life expired, leaving the young girl holding a rather crumpled sheet of paper.
It was obvious, now she came to think of it. Edgar didn't want to see her art, but that didn't mean she couldn't draw. It just meant that she had to draw invisible things, like that Intangir the others had talked about. Still clutching the tools of her trade, Relm quietly snuck out onto the deck of the airship. She hesitated over the controls briefly, but she'd once asked Setzer how it worked, and the setup was fairly logical anyway.
The Blackjack floated near-silently off the ground, and Relm steered it carefully northwest, towards Narshe (all those bored hours going through Setzer's maps were proving useful, after all...). Everyone said the critters there were total weaklings, and that's exactly what she wanted since, if all went to plan, she'd be hanging around near them for a while.
Just before landing the ship again, she checked once more to make sure she had everything she needed with her. Her brush, some spare canvasses, and of course the Esper Phantom, who'd been teaching her the intricacies of the Vanish spell over the past week. Some poor Leafer was in for a surprise.
I can't really say much about this, so I'll settle for some blatant ads instead: go to the Library page at www.theblunderbuss.com and read Writing of Wrongs, in which the Author (don't ask) and I thoroughly mangle the plot of FF7. Also go to www.theslicery.com, read the archive of the comics, and convince me to do some more! If you want to send me your views about this story, random trivia, or offers of a date (girls only, please!) then send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quote of the day:
"For your reference, today you will have: Big Trouble."