A Sorceress Remembers
By Alhazred

Massively special thanks to Kreliana. You know why, Krel. ^_~ And thanks to everyone who tested this.

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They were coming... she knew. She'd known they would... known they would since she'd taken the name suggested shortly after her reign began. They were fighting Sphinxara now...

Sorceress Ultimecia leaned up in her throne. She had long since sent away her servants, and as a result her castle wasn't in the best of condition. But she needed to be alone for those last years... to think, to reflect how she had come to this, to change everything about herself so she wouldn't be recognized...

And she thought she did a good job of that. A little dye, a little face paint, and a new hairdo... all set.

And she knew it wasn't for nothing. So long ago... it was so long ago... and Krysta had just fallen.

But she remembered. She knew what she was going to say when they came, what she was going to do. She had rehearsed...

Those years had been so tough. Seeing her friends grow old... she never was prepared to see them die. She thought she could be, after finding out her powers wouldn't let her age at a normal rate. She thought over time she would accept it. But when those moments came, especially her husband's...

She hadn't eaten for days after that. She felt the Red Giant die just now. It had been too much for her to bear, that long time ago. He was the last; everyone she knew, her friends, her parents, were all already gone. She had had no one to turn to, no one to comfort her...

Tripoint was in pieces. Ironic how she'd gotten on the Galbadian senate after that. Eventually, a man came into power in that wretched country that actually wanted to do something good. His first act was establishing a senate, and she was invited. A lot of sorceresses were, famous and discreet ones alike.

That of course, was how it all began. When she just couldn't take the loss anymore. When she started lashing out at people. When she wanted to get back at everyone for being happy when all she had to look forward to was eternal loneliness. Find someone new, they said. They didn't know her, or what it was like...

So when Galbadia, Balamb, Trabia and Esthar all signed the treaty to join their countries, she quickly moved up on the political ladder and ran for President of the new nation. The happy visage she put on had her running the world in no time.

Oh, had the people regretted that. The newborn Global-nation had no legal defense against her seizure of power until she reigned unopposed and alone. Until everyone bowed to her will... even that didn't make her happy again. But it certainly was a comfortable way of living. Trauma had been destroyed.

The day that her doom had become apparent to her always stuck in her mind...

"Ugh... no one takes me seriously... they have the nerve to say my name makes me nice. Can you believe that?!" she had said to her aid in a fit of rage.

"Umm... well, your highness... in all fairness, your name is pretty normal..." the aid replied, cowering. "P-perhaps something like... Ultimecia! You're the ultimate ruler, after all!"

Catoblapas was no more. She'd snapped her fingers and taken the name immediately... realizing just what that meant a few seconds afterwards. What she had become. What she had to do. What was going to happen. How could she forget... the Ultimecia fiasco was news for years...

She had to make sure it happened. She had to possess Edea. She had to turn Seifer Almasy into her knight. She had to force Squall Leonhart's girlfriend into a coma to hide herself and get to Adel. She had to compress time. Because if she didn't, the one thing that was ever dear to her might never have happened. Gargantua was dead.

SeeD had tried to kill her countless times after her tyranny arose... she was tempted to let them. But she couldn't. She had to play her role to the end. Destiny could be such a game...

They were almost here. Tiamat was the only thing in their way. She straightened her posture, and felt the metal on her finger under the glove. It was still there... she would need it.

Tiamat was beaten faster then she would have thought. They were coming... time to put that accent to the test. The door opened...

"SeeD..." she said, as they watched her, awed at her presence, probably frightened by the power she must have. No, they WERE. She knew it. "SeeD... SeeD..."

It was perfect. "SeeD SeeD SeeD!"

She got serious when they started to look at her like she was crazy.

"Kurse all SeeDs." That got their attention. "Swarming like Lokusts across generations. You disgust me! The world was on the brink of that ever-elusive time kompression. Your vain krusade ends here, SeeDs! The price for your meddling is death beyond death. I will send you to a dimension beyond your imagination. There, I will reign, and you will be my slaves for eternity!"

She stood. They were poised for battle. "Now... which will I exterminate first..." she casually said, jumping down.

Quistis Trepe was the first to attack. A simple flare spell; she shrugged it off and gestured with her hand, sending Zell Dincht back with a magical swipe. Waving her arms out, she blasted Selphie Tillmit and Irvine Kinneas with a Maelstrom spell.

It should happen right about now... YES! Rinoa Heartilly was the best with magic in the group, being a sorceress. So she had taken Eden. And had just summoned the creature's Eternal Breath. The beam hit her like a wall of bricks, as if a wall of bricks was sufficient to hurt her anymore.

It was enough... she paused. They held back, preparing for whatever she was going to do.

"The most powerful GF..." she said, in a sadistic tone. The metal under her glove surging with power, she floated into the air. "You shall... SUFFER!"

And with that she shot the ball of energy at the ground. The floor heaved. And the lion arose. Squall Leonhart looked like he could tell something about it was familiar, but he couldn't place it. He soon would. They attacked. They defended. They inflicted damage. And soon it was time.

"The GF's true power!" she cackled from nowhere, not physically present to avoid her own GF's strikes. "Griever! Make them BLEED!"

And she saw it... Leonhart's face... that look of utter shock upon hearing that name... of realizing he had a Guardian Force he never new about. But he didn't have time to ponder it, because the Shockwave Pulsar from Griever flattened them.

It was a miracle any of them could get up. But they did. Barely, in some cases. Even weakened that much, Griever was weakened more. Leonhart raised his crystalline gunblade, jumping over his lion's body, landing strikes everywhere. Five or six. He didn't have the strength for a finisher and wasn't desperate enough to need it.

Griever reeled in pain, spinning back into a tight little ball.

"I shall junction myself... unto Griever!"

Once she was beaten in this form, Griever would be free of her. He would find a new master.

Their magic did the job of healing them to the point of being able to fight. She wanted to cast great attractor... but when they started attacking again, she realized there wasn't enough time.

The form degraded into a mere torso soon enough. Griever was getting too weak to sustain the junction from his end. Heartilly took the opportunity to finish her off with an Ultima spell. The junction collapsed... she was in dark as her enemies were for a second... she could see again soon. Through the twistings of a head. The form she needed to cast the time compression spell was odd, to say the least. And they looked like they were standing on air, trying not to be overcome by the extraordinary sights.

"I am Ultimecia. Time shall compress. All existence denied."

And she did it. She really did it. The spell looked like a huge explosion, ending with space around her seeming to be attracted into her form, at the large cloak that hung down. She could feel all of eternity converging on her.

She cast a rather new spell; Hell's Judgment. It had interesting effects. After it finished, all of them looked like a push over would kill them. But Quistis solved that, pulling out a Megalixer. Figured.

The battle went nowhere. If her attacks started having little effect, she mustered up another Hell's Judgment. And they just couldn't do a lot of damage compared to what she could take.

She grew tired of it and noticed the new spell at her, where she was absorbing. She drew it. Apocalypse. Fitting. She cast it. A beautiful display... more deadly then Shockwave Pulsar could dream of. And yet, bruised, battered and bleeding, they refused to give up.

Zell was first to let his determination to win show. He rushed her, launching attack after attack, breaking his limits and finally ending with a wave of fire right at her. Quistis went next, the skill of the old Esthar weapon degenerating her health for as long as she could maintain the spell. It was getting close.

"Reflect on your... childhood..." she said. They didn't understand. Of course they didn't.

"You thoughts... your feelings... your sensations..." she went on as Selphie bombarded her with spells. Not enough.

"Time... it will not wait..." came out as Rinoa used her powers and again made her suffer an Ultima spell.

"No matter how hard...you hold on..." Ultimecia continued after Irvine unloaded every round he had into her.

"It always slips though your fingers..."

Squall Leonhart stood. He leapt at her. Striking again and again. Until he stopped for a second and leapt once more, unleashing everything he had into a flurry of attacks, all deadly. She was going.


She had seconds left as Squall finished his attack. Enough time... but she couldn't. She wanted to so bad but she couldn't. It would change everything and she couldn't.

And she died. She couldn't see how, but she remembered how spectacular it was when she saw it...

"I can't... disappear yet..." Rinoa gurgled as she stumbled forward, towards Squall and one of the others. She hadn't disappeared. He'd kept his promise and she hadn't disappeared. She couldn't remember much... she thought she had a picture in her mind of him stabbing her with his gunblade, but that was ridiculous.

She vaguely heard a woman talking... probably Selphie or Quistis commenting that they'd been just as disoriented when they came out of it, though she could have sworn it looked like Edea. She couldn't see well enough to tell. Something warm flowed out of her... it felt good, like a poison was being drained. And then at long last, Ultimecia heard nothing more.

"Only one whose life is brief can imagine that love is eternal." ---Lorien, Babylon 5

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Okay, this either turned out as a really good twist or the Sixth Sense "giveaway" scene fully realized. I sincerely hope it was the former and I hope you enjoyed it

Also, if you didn't understand something, PLEASE e-mail me and ask. The fic is intentionally vague and if something didn't click I'll be happy to explain. I'll also send you the 'non-vague" explanation of every little detail if you so desire. :)