An Excerpt from the
Final Fantasy VI Unofficial Novelization
by Jamie Crothall

This is actually Chapter 30 from my novelization, but it is also a chapter I am quite proud of and feel it would read nicely as a stand-alone fic.

It is set in the period of time where the party settles in Kolinghen for the night, before heading off to Zozo.

The pale moon glowed gently upon her as she sat by the meandering stream, reflecting not only upon her reflection, but upon her past days and deeds. She saw the face of a young woman staring back at her - a woman who, upon first glance, might not seem that different from any other. Vanity was frowned upon in Gastra's Empire and order, and thus there were not many occasions that she was able to look upon herself. What she saw pleased her, though her innocent appearance was not well masked by her past actions, and the resentment she bore for her own past cruelties.

Celes ran her fingers through the stream, distorting the misleading visage.

Though it was not his intention to spy upon her, he watched her from his window. He watched and wondered what went through her mind as she sat in solitude.

It was so calm and quiet - no winds, no heat, no chill - just perfect stillness. She was not accustomed to such pleasant climates. Vector was usually ripe with the smells of industrial miscarriages, and her misadventures outside the capital usually caused more concern of personal safety rather than simple tourism. She looked down upon herself, dressed in simple linens afforded by Figaro's less than likely border-guard. She was accustomed to her pale armour and white cloak, heavy robes of office. She never though she'd find comfort in such simple clothing. Or security.

She wrapped her arms around her legs as she recalled a night with unusual calm, though it was only before a storm created by her own hand. She was only 16 years old at the time - at an age that most girls would be flirting with potential husbands, she was alone in the cold mountainous regions north of Narshe. Dispatched alone, it was her duty to wipe out the den of thieves and bandits that supposedly made their home there. What was worse, it was said that they were being schooled in a form of martial arts, so the danger to her was heightened. When she arrived she found the school empty, and thus awaited in the snowy fields for them to return. For eight hours she crouched in the snow banks, cloaked in her own white armaments, her body immune to frostbite or hypothermia due to her own infused nature. When they arrived it was a slaughter - not only did she have the element of surprise, she had the element of water. Her talents were still being unveiled to her very self, but in the cold barrens she had the snow and ice as an amplifier to her craft. Simple casts of ice turned into frozen tombs for these men and women. There were few survivors, those who ran into the hills. She let one or two survive to spread word. It was that horrendous deed that awarded her the status of general. Nearly ten years later she has found one man that would be her comrade, the king's brother, using a similar technique as did these ‘bandits'. She acted only upon the Emperor's information. But was this misinformation?

She then turned her thoughts to her questionable benefactor - the thief. Why he had rescued her when he had every reason to see her dead was a puzzle to her. On so many occasions he had rallied by her side, defending her when even she had not the will to. He would go as far as make enemies out of friends - was this done for her benefit, or simply for his own morals? Was he not a thief? Was she not taught that thieves had no morals?

She had little experience with kindness. The only she had ever known was that of Cid, the man who she should, by all rights, hate and despise. However that kindness was of a fatherly nature. She had not known the compassionate whisper, touch, or kiss of another. Only the harshness of those ranked beneath her when she was detained. The idea of a close confidant, as ashamed of it as she was, was one that she held dear. Her ‘father', Cid, taught her of a play he had once seen when researching outside of Vector. Music - another notion disallowed in the capital. He taught her the premise, though only under the strict understanding that she would just as quickly forget it, for her own good. She never did, though. The play was called "The Dream Oath", and it was about two lovers torn apart by war. It was beautiful, written by an unnamed artisan from Doma many years ago, when they spoke in a foreign tongue...before Gastra invaded and took hold of their lands, turning their currency and language into their's

She began to hum to herself.

She denied any feeling toward this benefactor. She would be a fool, showing such weakness. Besides, she had not long seen him enter a dwelling in this village, obviously someone he knew. Word milling around was that he once had a lover in these parts. Was he visiting her? His return to the village was not met with anything but mixed emotions. Nevertheless, it was not feelings of attraction, as much as it was feelings of mistrust. To place such protection over her for no apparent reason, he would have his reasons, and as a known bandit, they would serve nothing but self gain. Funny how this almost seemed....disappointing. Quietly, in a whisper, she began to sing.

"Amor mio, caro bene,
Perche vai lotan da me,
Giurasti un amor, che mai non dovea,
Aver fine per noi...."

She was unaware of the presence that spied her, lest she take it as a threat.

She did not know why her heart, so used to her own self-inflicted punishment, seemed so troubled. She had no idea why she was following this unlikely crew across Kefka's lands when she should only be concerned with her own self-preservation. Or perhaps chose for herself a befitting fate. She heard of a cliff where forbidden lovers meet and began their eternity together. How fitting that she would go alone.

"Un legame senze spema,
Perche mai dovrei aver,
Che cosa tu voui, chi'o facci oramai,
Mi devi dere tu..."

He thought better of his presence, though leaving was the last thing he wanted to do. He could not help but watch as his intrigue, concern and hatred fought it's battle within him.

She sat with her legs neatly folded by her side, and continued to stroke her fingers through the water, stirring her reflection until she once again found the resolve to let the surface settle and gaze upon what features the goddesses had given her.

There was a figure rising over her reflection's shoulder.

Celes gasped as she turned. The intruder wore shining steel armour which blinded her with the reflection of moonlight. This sent her off guard, and gave the assailant, cloaked also in a purple cape, a chance to strike. She had no weapon by her side. Her warrior instincts had been left in her quarters alongside her sword for this evening. She had no recourse or instinct except to fall back and shield herself with her bare arms. He raised his blade, piercing the full moon, and brought it down. She did not scream.

There was a ‘clang' and a burst of sparks.

She looked up and saw another blade bar her assailant's path to her neck. The old Doman warrior, Cyan, stood. It looked as though he had been summoned from his sleep - he was bare chested, showing generations of battle scars, and his length of hair was loose, giving him a feral look against his stoic and statuesque composure.

"There is a line," he muttered firmly, "of more worthy assailants before you. She is not yours. Not today."

The assailant, a man with a golden crown of hair, creased his brow. He opened his mouth to speak a curse, but was not given the chance.

"You!" Celes gasped.

She recognized the man. The opportunist who rose in rank through the Empire by selling out one of it's generals with misinformation. It was the man who orchestrated her disposal from the hierarchy.


He was a man of reputation and strong physique. Despite Cyan's past history as a warrior, he was still an old man in the presence of a young tyro. Then why was it, both he and Celes wondered, that he appeared so scared. Had it not been for the uncertainty in his eyes, Celes would have put money on the young man as the victor, not that it would have benefited her. It was almost as though another personality assumed him, filling him with doubt.

"I will spare your life," Cyan stated, "but you leave this place and never return."

His doubt now having turned to panic, the once confident assailant looked as though he could not wait to flee. Dropping his blade, he turned and walked with an expedited stride.

Celes caught her breath. She was embarrassed, being at such a loss for words or defence. One of the world's greatest warriors, fallen before the world's greatest bluff.

"I....I owe you...."

"You owe me nothing," Cyan said, sheathing his blade. He then offered a hand to her. She did not take it. "Domans do not require rewards for their deeds."

"I am aware. Yours is a noble culture."

He raised an eyebrow. "Was."

She had no response. "The let me at least offer you my thanks, Lord Cyan."

He turned and began his walk back to the Inn. A number of paces away, he stopped and turned his head.

"Aria Di Mezzo Carattere. My wife....she sang it to my son...when he could not sleep."

He continued, leaving her alone.

The tears in her eyes did not turn to ice.