By Al Kristopher



It was now the year 2000 A.C., and a hospital somewhere within the city was holding two of many parents-to-be. They were both in the same room together: the husband giving support to his lover as she screamed in labor, the wife controlling her breathing and pushing with all her might... There were doctors and nurses around as well, keeping things relatively calm. This was not an unusual birth at all--it was very normal. There were no defects, or problems with the baby, nor even with the two parents.

"Come on, Agitha! You can do it! I know you can!" Roland, the husband, cheered his wife on and held tightly to her hand. Through screams and the occasional curse, Agitha would smile and laugh, and even joke. She had expected so much pain for having this child: after all, it was all just one big omen to come. This young baby would dominate their lives for the next two decades, or longer. They would be the star, and it was up to Roland and Agitha to raise them well.

"I... think... I'm... ready... to... keel... over..." whispered Agitha through her screams. Roland rolled his eyes and kissed her.

"You're already on your back, angel. You can't keel over any more."

"Love... you... too..." murmured his wife. She suddenly let out a yelp, screaming worse than a siren, and her eyes nearly exploded as the final moment came. Then, just as suddenly, a deluge of relief washed over her entire body, and her breath came back to her, and never was she or her husband happier. A scream came out--the baby's--and Roland performed his operation as the doctors and nurses performed their own. The baby was a perfectly healthy child, with no problems or disfigurements at all. It was a girl.

"We should give her a name," suggested the father. "I want my child to be happy and carefree all of her life, and to always show compassion, even in times of darkness. Especially in times of darkness." His wife agreed, and spoke aloud the name of their new daughter.

"Ultimecia... 'Radiant face in times of darkness'... Yes, perfect..."


Cooing softly, both new parents cradled their baby girl in their arms, and smiled in delight at the little child they had brought into the world. A moment of peace calmly fell upon the room, and as the wife calmed down and the husband beamed with pride, the baby let out a gurgle and slowly opened her eyes. Both parents would wonder who she resembled more. Suddenly, the mother inhaled sharply as she gazed into the eyes of her child, and the father drew back in astonishment.

Agitha quivered, her arms shaking the baby as she dared glance into the windows of her baby's soul. Without a single word, she turned her icy stare from her child to her lover, and whispered only one thing:

"...Gold eyes... Our child... has gold eyes..." Roland slowly nodded his head, a lump forming in his throat as he realized what had just transpired. Gold eyes... it couldn't be! But... it was, it was true, their child......

Unable to speak out of the shock of it all, Roland could only utter two words before he collapsed in a chair.

"...The prophecy!"





Sixteen years passed.


Ultimecia suddenly jerked up in bed, her entire face covered with beads of perspiration. She was out of breath, and her bloodshot eyes were wide open in horror. Even the sheets were matted with sweat, and the nightgown she wore looked like she had just ran a marathon in it. Her breath eventually came back to her, through long, drawn-out wheezes, and her pulse faded, but the images in her mind...


So much blood... There was so much blood...! And... they were dead...

You killed them!!! You killed them all!!!

Curse you... curse you all...


"Weird dream!" exclaimed the young girl to herself. She grinned weakly, rubbed her forehead free of sweat, shook herself, and chuckled. "I gotta stop eating before I go to bed, or I'll never get rid of those nightmares!" Ultimecia shoved aside her dreams for the time, hopped out of bed, and performed her usual morning workout--that is, discovering that she was more tired than she though, then returning to bed one more time, and then realizing she'd be late if she didn't get out of bed, and the procedure would have repeated ad infinitum had her father not barged in.

"Mecia! You're going to be late for school if you don't hurry!"

"Oh, sorry daddy!" she exclaimed in a chipper voice. Ultimecia did eventually get out of bed for real, and happily ran down the hall towards the kitchen. She skidded to a halt, and would have passed right by the kitchen if her "brakes" weren't so reliable. With an ever-present smile on, the silvery-haired girl skipped into the kitchen, hugged her mother by the neck, and dutifully kissed her cheek.

"Morning, sweetheart," sang Agitha. Ultimecia returned the greeting with even more spunk, and instantly zoomed over to her chair where her breakfast was starting to get cold. She then immediately stuffed down half of it, causing her mother to raise both eyebrows.

"Honey...? You're going to choke it you eat too fast!"

"Mmnx, mmm!" mumbled the girl. After receiving a parental glare, Ultimecia chewed on her food and swallowed it all before speaking again. "Hehe, thanks mom!" Agitha merely rolled her eyes, smiled, and continued to read the paper. In stepped the man of the castle, kissing his two favorite women, and the family sat around the table eating and communing and bonding. As usual, Ultimecia was the first to escape the table--after all, she would be late for school--but before she could make tracks, her father stopped her for a last-minute news bulletin.

"Oh, Mecia, your mother and I are going to the store to pick up some goods, so we'll probably be a little late coming home. Feel free to make your own supper."

"Kay'!" she smiled, saluting boldly. The young girl scampered forth to give her father a hug...


So much blood... And... they were dead...


"Seeya later!" she squealed, ignoring the voice in her head. Her father gave her another kiss, and the girl was skipping to school before he knew it.




Ultimecia was a special child, in that she had abilities far above and beyond normal human beings. Her parents knew her secret--in fact, they had known ever since the day she first opened her eyes--and though they loved her no less because of it, they tried to keep her unusual abilities under wraps. For if anybody learned the shocking truth... well... the privacy of the small family would quickly become nonexistent.

Put simply, Ultimecia was one of those rare people that had been born with the gift of extrasensory perception, or ESP. She was a psychic through and through, though her skills were not quite as powerful as one would think. She could not win any lotteries, or read any minds, or guess any special secrets. In fact, were it not for those occasional bursts of premonition she got--


Killed them all! Killed them all!!


--Ultimecia would have been considered a very normal girl. Well, there was also her bubbly atmosphere, but her parents had given her that name, and it suited her personality so well that no other name could have been used.

Physically, Ultimecia (or "Mecia" to those that loved her) was slightly different from other children, but not by much. She had golden eyes, and long, beautiful, silvery hair, and several bizarre birthmarks all across her body, but other than that, she was normal. She bled like normal people, and smiled at nice guys like normal girls, and had a fun time with her friends like normal people... She ate regular food, and had certain likes and dislikes, and had fears and dreams, and personalities just like anyone else.

One would think that because of her abilities--


You did this! You did this to them!!


--Ultimecia would be rejected from society, and pinned as an outcast forever. Not so--her parents loved her very much, and she was something of a minor celebrity in her school. True, words like "freak", "weirdo", and "witch" were whispered around school, but for the most part, the students treated her very nicely--perhaps too nicely, but Ultimecia didn't care. She ignored those that "hated" her and tried her best to be her best, so in all sense of the word, she was perfectly average.

Of course, there were those times...



Curse you...




"Hey, Super-Freak!" smiled Titania, Ultimecia's closest friend. Ultimecia smiled back and gave the petite girl a tight hug.

"What's up, short stack?" Titania giggled as she hugged her dear friend. She was indeed one of the shortest girls in the whole school, and usually hated it when people called her tiny, or little, or miniscule, or a germ. But Ultimecia insulted her with love, if that made any sense, and so Titania did otherwise.

"How's my favorite witch?" asked another girl, this one looking even more different than Ultimecia. It was a Goth girl, pale-skinned with black leather clothes, sunken eyes, pierced eyebrows and nose, dark lipstick, and a heart of pure [black] gold. The two "witches" hugged each other again, and Ultimecia managed to spend a few precious seconds with her friends before school started.

"So, like, what's been goin' on?" asked the bubbly girl. Titania teetered on her heels before answering. And when she spoke, of course she used a song.

"My brother needs somebody to go to the dance with him!" she declared. "And Minnie here already has a date!"

"I wouldn't mind having two," shrugged the Goth girl, Minnie. "Besides, your bro's probably scored some other chick by now. You know how flirty he is!"

"Yeah, for real!" snorted Mecia. "That guy will hit on anything that has estrogen."

"You two are so mean!" pouted the little girl. "......But'cha know, you're also right. I mean, I don't wanna knock my own brother, but Oby definitely needs to lighten up. Who knows, he might even flirt with ME one of these days!! ACK!!" All three girls mock-screamed and shared a laugh before the bell interrupted their shared time together, and then they all let out a curse.

"Stupid bell," pouted Mecia. Apologetically, she turned to her two friends and sighed. "Well chicks, I gotta skidaddle. You know that Meyers'll be more ticked than a hippo with a hernia if I'm late, so I'll be catchin' you gals later." With a wave and a final farewell, Ultimecia dashed off to her next class, her long silvery locks flapping as she ran. Both girls let out a fond sigh, and shook their heads in pathetic defeat.

"Man, we are so screwed!" moaned Minnie. "It's too bad we can't mooch off Mecia's skills. Otherwise I'd have that perfect hundred, and I wouldn't have to pump my girl for answers either."

"Who, me or Mecia?" pointed Titania.

"Jill," answered Minnie, and Titania nodded her head broadly.

"Oohhhhhhhh, okaaaaaaaay! So, like, how is it with you two anyway?"

"We have hot steamy erotic sex every chance we get," said the Goth girl casually, reaching into her purse for a cigarette. Titania snorted.


"I was serious," muttered Minnie through a half-lit weed. Titania's cute face grew sour, but was still adorable.

"Seriously!" Minnie chuckled at her small friend and shrugged.

"Hehehe... seriously, we're okay. Her boy broke up with her, and I'm supposed to play the comforting friend. You know how men are."

"Maybe I can get Oby to go out with her," shrugged Titania. "You know he'd do it in the blink of an eye." Minnie sneered through her cigarette and shrugged.

"And break her heart when he flirts with some other poor chick? No thanks! She's like my best friend, Tania! You don't do that sort of stuff to your best friend."


Hot steamy erotic sex... ha! That Minerva sure could be funny when she tried...


Ultimecia didn't mean to listen in to her friend's conversation, but since her teacher was lecturing the class on yet another long and boring topic, her mind had wandered. Besides, her psychic abilities were very unpredictable. They could come and go at any moment--


So much blood!!


--and Ultimecia wouldn't have any control over it at all. This time was no different; her psychic abilities had enabled her to listen in to her friend's conversation. Titania, or just Tania to her close friends, was the perky and perpetually zesty member of the trio; Minerva, or Minnie to those that loved her, was more serious and reserved, though very compassionate for one dressed so darkly. Ultimecia was a magnificent blend of the two girls: she had vim, vigor, love, and haunting looks, so the three of them were especially close.

"...and now we come to the age known as 'The Sorceress War', the same one fought between the outside world and Esthar, most notably Sorceress Adel."

More mindlessness, eh Professor Meyers? chuckled Ultimecia to herself. The silvery-haired girl was quick to smile and slow to anger, was terrible with money--


Mecia, honey, did you have to spend 200 Gil on those shoes?

But daddyyyyyy!!!!!


--and was absolutely in love with sweets. She befriended people easily (Except for jerks! she snorted to herself), and very rarely would she ever stay mad at anyone. She was not one to hate anything, and if she had any worries at all, they were so small that she could afford to ignore them--or just procrastinate, as always. In short, she was a loveable yet slightly weird girl who had a thing for sweet people and sweet food.

"...Adel was one of the worst sorceresses in the world..."

Blah, blah, blah... Ultimecia snorted at Professor Meyers' attempt to teach, and silently congratulating herself for staying awake this long. Granted, it was not an easy task to stay awake through so much endless nonsense, and with Ultimecia's hyper disposition and her drive to always have fun, it was especially hard to pull off. Of course, she had her reasons.

Get to Sorceress Rinoa already, you old fogey! she shouted mentally. Get to Sorceress Rinoa!!! The particular woman that Ultimecia had been waiting to hear about was, of course, none other than the now-legendary Sorceress Rinoa. One of the most influential and best-loved women of all time, let alone one of the greatest Sorceresses of them all, Sorceress Rinoa was an idol to everyone in the known world, especially to Ultimecia. The young girl absolutely worshipped the black-haired demi-goddess, and had made it a mission in her life to collect everything in the world that was related to the long-gone woman.

"...now the current Sorceress is a woman named Endorina, and she lives in Centra..."

Ho-hum... I suppose I'll learn more about Rinoa tomorrow... I hope.





After saying farewell to the school she personally hated (because of the teachers' inability to do their jobs), Ultimecia let out a snort and went in search of Minerva and Titania. More than likely, the petite young lady would be trying to prevent her brother Oberon from exuding his charms, while the Goth girl would be hanging around one of the quietest and shyest girls in the whole school, Jill Smith. The ostracized lady was as common and plain as her name, and though she was nearly the exact opposite of the dark Minerva, the two were in reality the best of friends--

And perhaps more, noted Ultimecia with a nod. Being a psychic enabled her to look into the future, and though sometimes there was nothing spectacular to tell about things yet to come, there might've been one or two interesting things that--


Darling, I--


Augh! Where did that--



Ultimecia jerked forward, her heart stopping as the horrible image suddenly played in her head. Calm, peace, laughter, fun, you nasty old flirt! I love you too! Kissing. Laughing. Love. They're my parents! Sigh. Rain. Watch out. Huh? WATCH OUT!!!!! Swerve, slip, honk, crash. CRASH!!!!

Silence. More rain. Blood.


So much blood!!


They were dead... You killed them!


A tear, and God May They Please Be Alive. Please...! Desperation. Hurry! Run! Drive! Taxi! Anything! Hurry!!!









Why couldn't I save them?


I want my child to be happy and carefree all of her life, and to always show compassion, even in times of darkness. Especially in times of darkness.


Ultimecia wept alone. Titania and Minerva couldn't make it. So, that was it. They were dead, killed in a car crash on the way from the store. No more mother, no more father, no more family. Only Ultimecia, and Grief--


Griever, make them bleed!!


Compassionate in times of darkness? To whom? Herself? She weeps alone. Her parents were mourned only by her; everyone else merely watched as the priest gave a benediction. Her father had been an only child, and her mother's cousin was dead, and his children were...

Suddenly, a pair of warm arms wrapped around Ultimecia's body, and she felt two gentle hands rub her belly. She sniffled as she was held, and slowly turned around to see who was so loving. It was someone she barely recognized, from an old family portrait, and she tried to smile despite her tears. Be happy and carefree all your life.

"Hello, Ultimecia," said the young man, bowing slightly. "You may not know me, but my name is Pete Maison, and I'm the son of your mother's cousin, which I guess would make me your second cousin." A sniffle.

"...I know who you are, Pete," whispered Ultimecia through her tears. Her lips quivered slightly, and the golden-eyed girl suddenly fell forward, wrapping her arms around a young man she barely knew, and he let her tears soak his shirt. He whispered softly to the young woman, and combed through her long, beautiful, shining locks of aluminum-silver. The two semi-strangers stood there in the cemetery, crying and comforting each other as a dark cloud of tragedy formed over an otherwise bright and sunny world.

I wonder if Sorceress Rinoa ever had a tragic day? wondered Ultimecia. I suppose so... She was human too.






The arrangement was to Ultimecia's liking, even though she was still in a dark depression from losing her parents so abruptly. It had just been that very morning when they were up and about, loving each other and loving her and going about like it was such an ordinary day! They all treated it just like it was a regular Saturday--smiling and laughing and oh yeah, we're going to the store and we might be a little late coming home.

You never came home after that.

But now Ultimecia was an orphan, with nobody to look after her. Titania and Minerva had their own problems to deal with, and neither girl, no matter how compassionate, could have kept their friend in their house for more than a few days. But ah, the Creator of the world had sent unto Multimedia a beacon of hope named Pete Maison, and she was to live with him and his sister Melody until she could find her own place to stay--or maybe longer still.

Ultimecia did not know her cousin well, but before the entourage of cars could arrive anywhere near his house, she was already liking him very much. Like herself, Pete Maison was a very kind and caring young man, who never once believed that the young lady had a bad day until recently. Somehow, he knew that the girl was perpetually sunny and bright, and even during this time of greatest darkness, Ultimecia's weak, teary smile brought warmth and light to the world. She and Pete formed an unbreakable bond that very moment, and if such warmth and love could be found in a young man like him, Ultimecia couldn't wait to meet his sister Melody.



"We're home!!" called Pete. Home... Such a strange word in such a foreign place! Ultimecia's old house had been sold for her college money, and everything her parents owned went either to her, the Maisons, or to certain charities. Now her life had started anew, and even though the depression of the funeral was still lingering, Ultimecia tried to make the best of a bad situation and put on a reasonably cheery smile.

The sound of footsteps could be heard, and a slightly-rough voice came from the cozy house. It belonged to Melody, Pete's younger sister, and from the sound of it, she was not in the worst of moods.

"Oh, hey, how was the--" Suddenly, as Melody came into focus, she spotted Ultimecia and snarled. The comb she had been holding in her hand quivered, and the plastic nearly crumbled under the might of her balled-up hand. Her knuckles were pale with an unknown rage, and her navy-blue eyes burned heavily.

"What is she doing here?" spat the girl. "I thought I told you to not bring that freak here!!"

"But Mel, we're the only family she has!" argued Pete gently. Ultimecia's smile faded in an instant, and she would have spoken in her own defense had not her male cousin accomplished the job for her.

"Besides," he added, "she's a really sweet and caring girl! So who cares if she has special abilities?"

"I do!!" roared the other woman. "I won't have a freak living in this house with us, Pete! Get her outta my sight, now!!"


"NOW, Pete!!!" The woman snarled, and stormed off to put her trashed comb away. She threatened that "if that freak isn't gone by the time I get back, I'll kick both of you out", and she meant it. With a sad sigh, Pete turned to Ultimecia and shrugged.

"Mecia..." The silvery-haired young woman had long ago lost the urge to be zealous; now the tears sprang forth again, only stronger this time around, and even more violent. Compassionate Pete stepped forth to wrap his cousin in an embrace of assurance, and whispered that he would not rest until she had found a place in their home.


"Ssh, it's all right," he whispered. "I'm not going to abandon you. We're the only family you have right now, so what kind of an example would we be setting for other people if we rejected you?" He smiled at her and kissed her forehead, and she gazed at him with all the love and compassion she could muster--and with Ultimecia, that was a whole lot.

"Pete, I..."


No! Please! Get off, please! Don't! You're drunk! This isn't you! You promised! You promised you'd never hurt me! Help! HELP!!! Please, somebody, help me!!!


...Oh, God, what have I...?


The floor began to rumble under the advancing steps of an enraged Melody, and as she expected, Ultimecia hadn't budged a bit. With eyes aflame, Melody glared at both people, and would have made good on her promise had Pete not stepped in and smartly reminded her that it was often he who paid the bills in the house.

Ultimecia could not fight the smile.

"All right," snarled Melody, "she can stay. But don't expect me to be friends with her or anything! The freak stays in the basement! If she comes up here for any reason at all--"

"Then I'll welcome her with open arms," stated Pete boldly. Melody's glare grew hotter by the nanosecond, and her ears were almost literally blowing steam, and her lips were so tightly pursed they were pale, but if she didn't want to be responsible for all those bills, she had to comply to her older brother's demands. So with a growl and a quiet string of curses, Melody allowed Ultimecia to stay in the house, provided she had her own bed, and provided she never make contact with Melody unless it was unavoidable.

Everyone agreed on the pact, and Melody silently stormed off to her own room, where she could distance herself from "the freak". Despite the fact that she had just been treated worse than a rat's carcass, Ultimecia couldn't help but love Melody. Of course, right at that moment, the young woman was definitely not loveable. Ultimecia didn't like her in the least, and neither did Pete. But... though spunky and energetic, Ultimecia also had a deep sense of compassion for all living things, and right then, she wished for nothing more than to see Melody be rid of all the hatred within her, and become good and sweet and kind and noble.

That was the love she had.



One year passed.


In the months that passed by, Ultimecia quickly became a member of the family. Although her psychic powers would occasionally make things more "interesting" for the small group, her carefree and happy-go-lucky personality more than made up for it. Pete almost immediately fell in love with the young lady (he did have something of a romantic interest with her, but it was more brotherly love than anything else), and the two grew so close that calling them best friends would almost be an insult.

And as for Melody... well, it was tough, but Ultimecia endured her scorching personality. The young psychic had seen her fellow woman when she was not around, and from her abilities, could tell that deep down inside--really, really deep down--Melody was good and sweet and everything Ultimecia thought she was. She just... never revealed any of that.

It took a lot of time for Melody to drop her hatred of Ultimecia. After living in close quarters with "the freak" for so many months, the barriers of scorn and malice that had formed were slowly dropping. Melody saw, day after day, how sweet and caring Ultimecia was, and how kind she behaved even when Melody was at her fiercest. She saw the woman's ever-present spunky attitude, and her icy heart melted just a fraction every day, either when the psychic would do something clumsy, or burst out in giggles, or coo over some small furry creature, or how she played with little kids--


Freak. Reject. Monster. Witch. Devil. Demon. Foul beast. Savage.



Ultimecia slowly but surely whittled away at Melody's defenses, until one common day, the girl with the light reddish-brown hair beckoned the silver-haired one into her own room. Ultimecia had never been inside Melody's room before, so of course she was jumping for joy.

"Wow, cool room!" squealed the girl. Melody actually smiled in her presence.

"...Yeah... it's not bad...... Hey, uh, listen, Ultimecia..."

"Hm?" Mecia's head tilted to the side in cute quandary, and Melody went on.

"...I... well...... uhh...... well, I, uh, that is, uhh..." Melody paused, the lump in her throat bigger than all of Esthar, and quickly found herself unable to continue.

"Yes?" sang Mecia. Melody's face turned red with embarrassment, she sighed, and then slowly mumbled out her words.

"...I'm sorry."


"I'm sorry," she said again, her husky voice quite low. "...I... I've really been a pain, and...... you... don't deserve any of it..."


"I'm sorry, Ultimecia!" exclaimed the other woman in a louder voice. By now, she was almost screaming out her apologies. "I'm sorry! Augh! I can't stand the way you're so nice to me! I can't stand it!!! Why?! Why are you being so good to me!? I don't deserve any of it!! Hate me, for Hyne's sake!! Hate me!!!"

"Nope, sorry, I can't," whispered Ultimecia gently, her smile warming up the whole room. "I wasn't raised in hatred, so I don't know how to act." Suddenly, Melody lurched forth and slammed her fist against Ultimecia's face. The golden-eyed woman fell backwards, a noticeable bruise already forming on her cheekbone. But even as she drew back and opened her eyes again, there was not a drop of malice in them at all.

"Sorry," whispered Ultimecia gently, "but I still love you."

"Idiot!!!!!" screamed Melody. "Idiot!! Why? Why? WHY????" The other woman suddenly lurched at Ultimecia again, and held the slightly-taller woman in her arms as she began to sob. Ultimecia's kind heart melted as well, and the two women held each other in the room as each of their hearts became washed anew.

"I forgive you," whispered the psychic, having no need of her powers to sense Melody's thoughts. The other woman merely sniveled.

"I don't deserve it," she wailed. "I don't deserve anything, except what I gave to you..."

"God forgives, and so do I," whispered Ultimecia again, and she kissed her cousin's ear to prove it.




From that day on, Melody and Ultimecia were inseparable--so much so that they were practically soulmates. And so, for a brief yet idyllic period of time, the small family lived together in love, peace, happiness, play, and prosperity.



"I cannot disappear yet," said Endorina before going to sleep, "so I give this to you... my powers..."


"Yes... These were given to me by my grandmother, Elsaphina, who in turn acquired them from her grandmother Sapphira, who in turn got them from a old woman named Rinoa Heartilly Leonhart."

"You can't be serious!! THE Rinoa?"

"Who else had the powers of the sorceress, child?"

"Sorr-rry, tee hee!"

"...Child... I am fading soon... Please..."

"Oh, milady Endorina, it would be an honor above all honers!"

"I knew," said the old woman, looking into two golden eyes, "I knew that when I saw you, you would be the One for this! You... are different from other girls... And not... because of... your abilities..."

"...Lady Endorina? Lady Endorina?"

"...Guard... this power... with your... life... child...... And... make sure... there is... a noble knight... willing to... protect you..."



Swarming like locusts...

Make them bleed...

Reflect on your...

Death beyond death...

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill...


The powers of a Sorceress... Ultimecia never dreamed that she could have them. Not even her visions foretold of them, and they had told her of everything so far. Everything.

So much blood!!! It is like living in a nightmare!


Ultimecia took the mantle of Sorceress with pride. Living up to names like Edea, Rinoa, Endorina, and so many others would have been a difficult task for anyone--that didn't have a knight, that is!! But Ultimecia had two people in her life that she loved more than anyone else, and though one was female, she would have still made a wonderful knight. But it would most likely fall upon Pete to be her main protector, although there were no rules against more than one knight, or even a knight of similar gender. It wasn't as if the knight and the Sorceress were lovers, though sometimes that had been the case.

Once the world learned of Sorceress Endorina's death, and Sorceress Ultimecia's ascension, it both mourned and praised in the span of two weeks. Ultimecia was already well-liked within parts of the world, and the fact that she was now a Sorceress would doubtless spread her love of people even further. She gained worldwide respect and reverence seemingly overnight, and wherever she went, people smiled and waved and even bowed in her presence.

She was going to make a wonderful Sorceress.


Not all the world feared that rank. After all, it was a sign of divine affiliation--Hyne's Descendents were all true Sorceresses--and one that had such a power would instantly be loved and cherished, especially if one had an attitude like Ultimecia's. Within the span of another month, the lovely young lady (who was still as spunky as ever) had received dozens of requests for knighthood, and even marriage, but the silver-haired woman stubbornly clung onto Pete and Melody, who had loved her in her darkest hours.

Of the people who insulted her in the past she forgave, and of the times where she was at her worst she smiled back upon, and the world prepared itself for a possible golden age, when a lovely and loveable Sorceress would doubtless make the whole planet prosper. That was just what Ultimecia intended to do.


"Good afternoon, milady Sorceress! It's a pleasure to see you this morning!"

"Why thank you! You're just too sweet to me today!"


"Afternoon, milady! How are you today?"

"I'm feeling as chipper as a chipmunk, thanks for asking!"


"Good day, my lovely lady. Would you care to have a private dinner session with me?"

"Oberon! I haven't seen you in ages! I'd love to!"

"Hey, Freak of Nature!"

"Tania! I've missed you!"

"Hey, Witch! Looks like you're a real witch now!"

"Minnie! Oh, it's so great to see you two again!"


"Milady! Please, can you heal my child?"

"Aww, poor thing! Here, lemme see what I can do... Ah! All better!"

"Thank you, milady! How can I repay you?!"

"Just wish me a good day! Ha HA!!"


"Sorceress Ultimecia! A pleasure to see you this evening!"

"Good evening yourself, SeeD! And how goes things?"

"All's well!"

"Good! Heehee... gonna hunt that mean ol' sorceress today?"

"Hehehehehe... milady has such a wonderful sense of humor!"

"Heeheehee... who's joking? I'm gonna suck out all your blood!"

"Ack, no! Haha! Ultimecia's after me! Ack, help! Haha!"

"Hey you two, quit flirting!"

"Yes, sir..."

"Yes, sir..."

"Oh, pardon me, milady! I didn't realize it was you!"

"No sweat! But hey, I am kinda conspicuous, so like, be a little more careful, kay'?"

"...Y-yes, milady! W-well, carry on!"


"Sir! Hee hee!"


"Good evening, milady! How are your knights?"

"Goofing off as always, haha!"

"Hey! Mecia!"

"Hee hee hee... catch me if you can!!"

"Hey! Mecia! Urgh, that woman!"

"Admit it, Pete, you love her."

"But of course!"



Time continued to roll forward...


I am... Ultimecia...

The Dreamer... of Chaos...

Wake me up... from this Nightmare... of Reality...



Ultimecia's birthday, and the first day of the New Year, both happened at the same time, so of course there was a party. The three friends celebrated, and played games, and wrestled, and had such fun, and promised to be Ultimecia's D.D. if she drank too much again, and the poor dear sweet loveable psychic woman threatened to blow them up if they made such a horrid joke again.

And then the light alcohol came, and two pairs of eyes bored into Ultimecia, and she giggled and assured them both that she had everything under control. One sip, two, and the glass was gone. Two glasses was her limit; Melody preferred three herself, and poor Pete was limited to one. By the end of the hour, the girls had their share and were feeling just slightly tipsy. A bubbly and zesty Sorceress that's slightly drunk is a sight to behold, and from time to time Ultimecia would make things levitate in the air without even knowing it.

Melody let out a belch.

"Scuse' me!" she chuckled, her face red with embarrassment. Pete rolled his eyes, and volunteered to clean up after the ladies; the two of them sauntered over to the shower, giggling up a storm, and they were so drunk that they would have shared one if Pete didn't demand that his fellow knight and sister should help him clean up.


Evening turned to night.

Ultimecia, now a little more sober after her shower, tumbled into her bed and dozed her silly stupor off until the morning (which was about two hours into the future). Melody was still in the shower, and would probably take a little longer to wrap things up. She thankfully had much less hair than her cousin, so she'd probably be in bed soon. Pete must've still been awake, because Ultimecia didn't see him in bed when she checked, and he certainly wasn't in the other bathroom (which had a smaller shower). She shrugged this off as always, and fell into a light sleep.


No! Please! You promised!!


The hall light suddenly came on, and standing there in the doorway was Pete, swerving a little from being awake at such late hours. Poor guy... he has such a good heart. Staying up all night just to clean up after us...! Well, I'll have to make it up to him in the morning! ...Whoops, it's morning already, haha...

"Nhh, hey Pete," mumbled Ultimecia, barely whispering out the words. She was so exhausted that she could barely twitch her fingers. Pete's breathing was slightly heavier than usual, but then again, he did have asthma at an early age.

"Ul-ti-ME-ci-a..." he sang. Ultimecia giggled slightly and tried to move.

"Yes, Peter Peter Pumpkineater?"

"Ul-ti-ME-ci-a..." he sang again. The Sorceress giggled again.

"I'm right here..." Pete slowly walked into the room, closed the door, and without any warning at all, pinned Ultimecia to the bed and began running his tongue across her neck. She instantly stiffened, squirmed, and squealed out a little.

"Ack, Pete! What the heck're you doing?! Ack! Hey! Stop! ACK!! What're you tryin' to do, tickle me?!"

"Ul-ti-ME-ci-a..." hissed Pete again, and he suddenly began running his hand over the young girl's body in a way that was definitely not a sign of brotherly love. Ultimecia cringed at the unwanted touch, and tried pushing the deranged young man off of her, but found it no use. Then as her nose caught a scent of his breath, and as her body was being squeezed and tormented, her eyes flashed open in horror as she realized what he was doing.

"No! Please! Get off, please! Don't! You're drunk!" Try as she might, Ultimecia could not get the insane young man off. She loved Pete very much, but once he was in his drunken state...


I can't have too much alcohol, or it'll mess up my mind. Yeah, I was sent to a few AA classes to help me cope. I'm clean now, but I can't have too much, or...... Well, it's best not to know.


"Get off, please!" begged the helpless Sorceress. "This isn't you! Pete! No, stop! STOP it!!!" But the maniacal young man did not stop. He hastily ripped off Ultimecia's nightgown, staring down in maniacal glee at her partially-exposed body. His hands went for her breasts, and his tongue and perverse mouth forced themselves onto Ultimecia's own lips, and the psychic wept bitter tears as the man she loved more than a brother became an uncontrollable monster.

"Pete, no! Stop!" she cried. "You promised! You promised you'd never hurt me! Help! HELP!!! Please, somebody, help me!!!" Ultimecia's screams shout out to the very skies, but her cried were unheard as the insane young man ripped off her underclothes and moved towards her genitalia...







A powerful blast suddenly erupted from Ultimecia's struggling hands, and an explosive ball of fire was sent from her palm. It shot straight forth, slamming into Pete's skull and sending him flying across the room. He slammed up against the wall, and fell towards the floor, dead as a nail on a coffin. Ultimecia gasped in horror at what she did, and turned away so she could not see the blood coming out of his face.

"...Oh, God, what have I...? What have I done...?" Shivering uncontrollably, Ultimecia crumbled to her bed, her clothes still in shreds but her heart ripped even more. She had......... she had... just... killed... her own cousin, her own friend, her own loved one. She had... murdered her own knight... And... so much blood... There was so much blood...! And... he was dead... Dead!


You killed him!!!


"Mecia!!!" A shriek forced Ultimecia to turn around, and there in the doorway stood Melody, a towel wrapped around her body and her hair, and a look of pure shock on her face. Her mouth was gaping open so much that it could've been a cave, and her eyes were even wider. Like her cousin, Melody shivered in horror, and dared to look at her fallen brother. A grisly impact mark had cratered itself into his skull, and a bit of the bone was singed because of the flame. Pete was dead, stone dead, and there was no other way he could have died except through magic. And, Ultimecia...

"He tried to rape me," whimpered the young lady, her voice no steadier than her body. "Pete... must've gotten drunk again, and... well, you know how he loses control of himself..." Silence. "I... I tried to get him off, to snap him out of it, but... but... I... I..." Melody swallowed, feeling the fear in her Sorceress' words, and with the love and compassion of a true noble soul, she walked over to the girl she loved and embraced her.

"It'll be okay," she said through shaky words. "It'll all be okay..."

"No it won't!" moaned Ultimecia, her voice nearly shattering under the emotion. "I... I killed him!"

"In self-defense, Mecia, in self-defense!"

"I killed him!"

You killed them!

"I killed him, Melody!"

"It's okay," whispered Melody, kissing her cousin's cheeks. =9on't ask me how, but... it's gonna be okay. I know it will. Somehow, it's going to be..."




"...okay... It'll be okay... okay... okay..."



One week passed.


No longer did Ultimecia have a radiant smile in times of darkness. Having loved ones taken from her life was one thing: having a loved one's life being taken by her... now that was another story. The Sorceress was a loving, caring, gentle woman, who only wanted to share such joy with others. She had loved Melody even when the other woman hated her, and she loved Pete even as he raped her. Her love for him was overwhelming--she did not mean to kill him! It was an accident! An accident! She had accidentally summoned her powers, and they struck him! But she didn't mean it! It was an accident, an accident! She wasn't a bad sorceress, like Adel! She was good! She was a good girl, like Rinoa, and Edea, and Endorina! She wasn't bad at all! An accident! It was an accident!

She never smiled again after that day.


"Come in," she said, after hearing a knocking sound come to the door. It opened, and there stood Melody, with a small group of White SeeDs--the legendary SeeDs of Edea herself! Ultimecia's mood lifted almost immediately, and she even let out what might have been a smile. She loved Melody, and the SeeDs, and they both loved her--but who could blame them? It was difficult to--


A Sorceress bound by hatred.


--not love her.

"Melody," sighed Ultimecia, "...and White SeeDs! To what honor do I have that you should enter my house!?"

"...It would normally pleasure us beyond words that we should even glance at your doormat, milady," bowed a female SeeD. "The mere sight of you makes our mission seem... easier, perhaps."

"Oh?" inquired the psychic. "Off on another trip to save the world, eh?"

"...Something like that," whispered the girl--who really wasn't much older than Ultimecia herself. The Sorceress raised an eyebrow and inquired further.

"Eh? What is the matter now? And how might I be able to help?" The leader of the White SeeDs paused, gathered up his courage, and softly stepped forward. He had something to say... something that would alter the lives of all of them there. And not just those people there, either, but the entire world as well. He had to choose his words carefully; the condition of the whole world rested on them.

"...My Lady Sorceress Ultimecia," he began slowly, "I do not know how to say this. Let me first begin by saying that we all love and admire you very much. You have made the world a good place to live in, where children can play and where the old folks can rest in ease. We have experienced productivity and prosperity because of your love and kindness, and we have made it through dark times because of your radiance.

"But... Lady Sorceress, my dear, dear Lady Sorceress, what I am about to say will be more painful and injurious and... sacrilegious than anything I have yet seen or known. Milady... I... I... .........I have... been requested to...... hold you in... stasis..."


The world's most chilling pause hung right in the air.


"Stasis? What do you mean?"

"Please, milady!" begged the leader. "I do not want to say any more! To even think about it tears my heart and soul up, and it goes against everything I have ever known and loved! But... milady, please... For the sake of the world... We... we cannot... we cannot allow... your, ahh... your power to... to, ahhh..."

"You mean..." Another dark pause.

"I am sickened beyond all--"

"What is the meaning of this?" asked Ultimecia fearfully. "My powers are no threat! I have no malevolence in me! I have no belligerent intentions! I do not wish to cause harm, or pain, or suffering! I do not want any grief!"


I shall junction myself to Griever...


"Forgive us, my lady!" begged a female SeeD. "We do not want this any more than you do! If we could, we would do everything in our power to prevent this! Believe me, milady! We all love you so very much! And... to even think about you being frozen in stasis..."

"I am not an evil Sorceress!!" shrieked Ultimecia, her golden eyes pouring tears. "I am not Adel!!! I am Ultimecia the healer, Mecia the lover of the poor, Aunt Ulty, a dear friend, a..."

"Please, my lady!" begged the leader. "We know what you are, and more than you say! We SeeDs are more of a blight on this land than you!"


Curse all SeeDs!


"But why...?"

"It's for your own good!" wailed Melody, her own eyes brimming with tears. Ultimecia turned towards her cousin, her friend, her soulmate, her knight, and stared in horror at the older woman. Golden eyes met dark-blue, and a thousand screaming voices were expressed between them. One word erupted out of all the others as a final, fiery, infuriated screech of unimaginable horror:



"Melody... why...?"

"It was for your own good!" groaned the woman, her voice pitiful at best. "Mecia... I love you with all my heart, but your power... it's far too dangerous! I, I know you can control it, and that the other night was just an accident. Nobody's blaming you, Mecia, nobody at all! I'm on your side too! And we only want to help!"

Another dark pause.

"...And you think that placing me in frozen stasis will help?" asked the Sorceress. More tears came; not a dry eye was within sight.

"It is for your own good," wailed Melody, her voice terrified. "I do not like it at all; I wish there was another way, but there's not! Your power is too great! No living creature should have it! I know it's not dangerous when used correctly, and I know you're not a dangerous person, but... please, Mecia! Please! Please, for your own good! Let us... help you! Please..."

A pause. Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec...


"I understand," whispered Ultimecia, her voice so soft and empty that one would think it would break. Melody and the White SeeDs each let out a sigh of relief, and slowly, one by one, they surrounded her.

"We'll make sure you're well-treated," they said. "And we'll make sure that you get one final wish fulfilled before we leave. Please, milady, please understand that we're only doing this for your own protection!"

"I understand," said Ultimecia again, in the same flat voice. Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec... "...I... understand everything now..." Lifting her dejected head up, Ultimecia smiled joyfully for the last time in her life, and gave the SeeDs and Melody one final ray of beautiful sunshine before she slaughtered every single one of them.


Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill...


"I understand that you must die," she whispered, her voice so emotionless that many thought she had not even spoken at all. Without raising her voice, Ultimecia's smile faded and her hands spread apart. A wild explosion ripped the two-nearest SeeDs to explosive pieces, tearing straight through their bodies and blowing holes in the house. Screaming.

"Curse you SeeDs!" snarled Ultimecia, and suddenly, she exploded in a violent storm of rage, and powerful dark magic erupted from her hands and her eyes and her mouth and Everywhere. Great bolts of lightning ripped into the defenseless SeeDs, blasting their innards into ashes and turning their bodies into dust. More screaming.

Ultimecia's rage increased, and the floor turned into fire, and the air turned into razors. SeeDs left and right screamed and shouted. Some begged for mercy. Others pleaded. Still others groaned out their apologies, and declared their love, even as the flames melted. Ultimecia slaughtered them all, except for the leader, and of course, she spared her only knight.



By this time, Melody was so shocked and afraid that she had gone catatonic. Her face was surprisingly calm; her mouth was open a bit, and the faintest hint of surprise was on it, but other than this, she looked as if the terrors in that room were not happening at all. Lovingly, Ultimecia approached her final friend in life, placed her gentle hands on Melody's face, and gazed at the girl with the very last ounce of love and caring she could.

"Traitor," she said, and tears came out of Melody's unresponsive eyes.

"I, I..." Melody never finished her sentence. Ultimecia brought the girl's lips to her own in a kiss of Death, and shot a tiny projectile of lightning from her fingers, zapping the other woman square in the forehead. Melody fell backwards instantly, a smoking hole dead in the middle of her brow, and was quickly consumed by the flames. She had died with no pain, and had been given a great honor by receiving the very last shreds of Ultimecia's love. How ironic--the one who she loved the most had betrayed her, and her ultimate punishment was a loving, merciful death.



And then, Ultimecia began to scream.

She could not stop the laughter.



So much blood... There was so much blood...! And... they were dead...

You killed them!!! You killed them all!!!

Curse you... curse you all...

Freak. Reject. Monster. Witch. Devil. Demon. Foul beast. Savage.

Swarming like locusts...

Make them bleed...

Reflect on your...

Death beyond death...

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill...

It is like living in a nightmare!

I am... Ultimecia...

The Dreamer... of Chaos...

Wake me up... from this Nightmare... of Reality...





Time... "Time" passed on...

But not for long...

"The prophecy" said so.



There were six of them, and there was one of them, and they were all Me.

One, unemotional, dark, with a scar, like mine. The Griever. HE was the Griever.

One, bright, festive, fun. Always honest. Loveable. Like me. He was like me.

One, smart, intelligent, trustworthy, sagely. A good friend, and compassionate.

One, a real winner with the ladies. Loner. Always has a smile. Cowboy.

One, bubbly, cheerful, peppy, happy-go-lucky. I swore it was a mirror.

One............ an ANGEL......... SORCERESS R-I-N-O-A... My idol...!


Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!






And just before Ultimecia disappeared, she had one final, last mission to do...


Nearly sixteen years had passed since that dark and dreadful day. In the time since, Ultimecia single-handedly tainted the name of Sorceress, creating a persona so vile and horrifying that some claimed Adel a saint next to her. In reality, though, she was even worse than this meager description. Having half her life to harbor around such horror, and terror, and betrayal, and hatred, had to have been taxing on the woman. For sixteen long, dark years, Ultimecia bore intense hatred for everything... Everything...

SeeD... friends... admirers... men, women, children, animals, trees, rocks, everything. Even Time itself. Time... Ultimecia hated time... Whenever she reflected on her childhood, and how happy it was, and how innocent and carefree she had once been... she was almost tempted to cry. One cannot tempt a fallen angel, eh!

Ultimecia's insanity took over her. If she must suffer, should the rest of the world not feel it as well? Of course not! This called for retribution! This called for a revolution! This called for an absolution of blood, where all Time and all Things would cease to exist, leaving only her, and only her, and only her. Only Ultimecia, and then they would know suffering, and then the madness could stop, and then she could smile and be free once again, and then she could sleep and it would be all over.


She was... stopped.


And just before Ultimecia disappeared, she had one final, last mission to do...


"...I... can't... disappear... just yet..." Yes, Ultimecia was dying. She was now paying the price for her crimes, and her sins, and her horrible, horrible destiny. Painful death--that was her reward. Yet, some measure of solace came to the Sorceress as she limped towards one who could take her powers, and use them right... One who would... make them better, one who would make them... gentler...

Edea. It was Edea Kramer. Edea Kramer, the one who passed her powers onto...

Rinoa! Ultimecia smiled with boundless joy as she realized what she had done. She was giving her powers to Edea, who in turn would later give her powers to the legendary Rinoa! Ultimecia's powers had went to Rinoa's! Rinoa, the legendary Sorceress, had been in possession of Ultimecia's powers all that time! So there was hope still!!!


And with one final smile to Edea, and to her "son", Ultimecia finally fell down on the ground and went to sleep. Maybe she could find some kind of redemption in sleep.




Ere be ware a' th' child with eyes a' gold,

For they be one that all a' his'try dreads!

For tho' they be gentle like th' summer rain,

And tho' their voice be soft and warm,

Ere nae doubt their limitless pow'r!

For they shalt crumble the wall o' Time,

And with their hand, shalt they bring Chaos to order.

--"The Prophecy"--