FFL Part 32: Justice and Honour

"So this is the one you found in the engine room?"

Bolgan nodded mutely as the commander stepped down from his captain's
chair. He walked gingerly, to avoid the debris and damage that had
torn the bridge of the once magnificent air fortress to shreds. The
engineer felt the man cold piercing eyes on him, the same eyes that
had scarred so many young Dragoon's into obedience over the years. He
couldn't help but cringe a bit at that accusing stare.

"I know you..." Armand said as he looked down at the unconscious child
before him. Bolgan had gently placed her down upon one of the few
cleared out portions of the floor. She looked so peaceful there,
asleep and unafraid of the world. Bolgan wondered if Cavanaugh had
ever looked that innocent and serene. "Yes, this is the girl that is
traveling with the Heretic. Mika Gilchrist."

"I suppose so," Bolgan said.

"So she destroyed the engine room then?"

"What?" Bolgan snapped his head up and saw the dark thoughts in
Armand's eyes. "No! She's just a child. It's my fault the... the power
source overloaded."

"Nonsense," Armand looked into Bolgan's eyes and the engineer felt his
blood run cold. "This girl is a Chemist, skilled with explosives. On
top of that she is a known Heretic and serves the Cult of the Manakyr
in war against the Church. She saw that we were about to win the
battle and got aboard to destroy the engine room and cripple us."

"That's not true, sir!"

"Isn't it?" Armand looked about the room. All the Dragoons at their
stations, those that hadn't been removed to the medical tents outside
because of injuries at least, looked back at him. Bolgan saw that none
of them was going to protest this. None of them disagreed. And why
should they. Armand was not only there commanding officer, but a
priest of the Holy Church. The Church is Infallible. That was the
first Law of the Three Gods as every child in all Tienne learned as soon as
they could comprehend it. If Armand said it was true, it MUST be so.

Bolgan felt something at that point he couldn't quite describe. It was
relatively new, as emotions went for him. Then he understood. It was

"But it is just a child, Armand!" 

"You will refer to me as Commander Cavanaugh, Chief Engineer." Armand
leaned over and gently brushed some hair of the young child's face.
"And since she is just a child I will be lenient. We will not take her
back to Tienne and have her imprisoned in the Wall." Bolgan stepped
back as the man looked up at him. "We will do the only merciful thing,
and have her killed so that her soul may be at rest. After, of
course, she undergoes a trial for heresy."

"This is madness!"

"I suggest you leave Chief Engineer..." Armand said with a cold tone.
"Before I take your tone to mean you have sympathies for this

"I..." Bolgan clenched his fists in impotent rage. "I will go,
Commander." He turned and stalked towards the door. It wasn't fair,
the girl was being punished for what he was rightly to blame for. If
anyone deserved to be tried and executed for heresy it was him! What
had he done?


                    Final Fantasy Legacy
                    Knights of the Round

             Chapter 32 - Justice and Honor

                      By: Aaron Peori
                  Creator: Brian Striklin
				    Concept: Squaresoft


"So how do we get past them?"

"This one believes that prudence dictates another path."

"There is no other path," Cheney said as he leaned against the tall
rock the group was hiding behind. His old bones were complaining once
again and he wished he had some nice hot tea right about now. "This is
the only pass that leads to Tienne. The only other way out is by ship
or a two week detour through the Empire of the Moon via Ramaz."

"In other words," Jil sighed. "We either be gettin' past these bouys
that be blocking the pass, or we nae be gettin' out of here anytime

"That's about the size of it." Cheney nodded towards the camp that had
been set-up outside the downed airship. Hundreds of Dragoons moved
about the wreckage and the campsite that had sprung up around it with
the efficiency Dragoon's were famous for. More important were the
mechanical beasts that stood among them. GoLEMs, resembling every
creature from insect to lion to titanic man stood silent now. Cheney
knew that they could be activated at a moment's notice however.

"Maybe we could just walk through?" Reill said. "I am a Dragoon and
Cheney is pretty well known, especially among the novices and
recruits. We might be able to bluff Shizuka and Captain Fallensand
through as well."

"And what of Marcine and de others boyo?" Jil said. "We needs must be
waitin' fer them to arrive 'fore we go'an do anything. I not be
leavin' without... them."

"This one believes Captain Fallensand has a point," Shizuka said in
the same emotionless tone she had been using since they had escaped
the doomed Manakyr vessel. "We must wait until the Legacy and her
companions arrive before we can attempt any actions. Thus this one
humbly suggests we not waste time on idle speculation until them."



Kyle almost flinched as the green light from his sister's magic
swirled into his wound. He may have understood why his sister did it
but the practice of magic still unnerved him in a way he wasn't
willing to examine. He stood up as soon as the burns faded and flexed
his shoulder. With a grunt he realized the magic had even gotten rid
of an old ache he'd had since breaking his arm three years ago.

"Are you okay now?" Marcine smiled at him. He looked into her face and
nodded. How could he have ever wanted to... to send her to the Wall?
He could still see the young girl that had cried in his arms when
their mother had passed on. He could still see the girl he had teased
over her secret diary and the entries on the choir boys that could be
found within. 

"I'm fine, Marcine," he said and almost believed it. "Tell Davin we
can get moving again."

"I'm right here," Davin said from a nearby tree. He swung down from
the branch he had been using to survey the path further along and
landed lightly on his feet. "We seem to have passed the worst of the

"Good," Kyle nodded. "At least the Church seems to have driven the
Manakyr out of La Verde. The squads we ran into had the look of
stragglers and left behinds. All that's left is a mopping up action."
Kyle didn't mention that the Dragoon patrols were likely to be as
hostile as the few remaining mages. It didn't need to be said.

"I wish it didn't have to be this way." Marcine looked at Kyle and
Davin for a moment. "Why do they have to kill each other like this?"

"Blood Marcine," Kyle told her evenly. "There is too much blood
between them and the Church for there to ever be peace. We're raised
to believe them all demons, and they are trained to despise everything
we stand for. The only way this will end is when one... or both, are

"Cynic," Davin chided. Kyle merely shrugged. "Well, like I said the
fighting around here seems to have stopped. So we should be able to
find the Excelsior with no problem now."

"Finding the Excelsior isn't the problem," Kyle stated. "What we do
once we find it is."


Mika woke up slowly. For a moment all she was aware of was that her
head hurt and she was hungry. Then the memory of the last few minutes
before unconsciousness came back. Of how the engine room had bloomed
into a fireball and that stranger had shielded her body with his own.
She also remembered saying things she hadn't meant to say. She had
known things about the crystal, and about the man Bolgan that she had
no business knowing. She remembered staring into the fiery crystal and
feeling something staring back at her from within...

"Where am I?" she muttered to herself. She looked around and noted
that she was in a small room made of metal. She was lying on a cot
pushed against the wall. That left very little room for standing,
especially with the other person in the room taking up so much space. 

Other person? She looked over and saw him looming over her like a
statue. His armor was dented and scratched but whole nonetheless. His
face had the leathery look of one who has been worn, not aged, by
time. And his eyes, his eyes held nothing but cold, unforgiving
resolve. Still, she thought she recognized him.

"I know you..." she said slowly. "Who are you?"

"I am Commander Armand Cavanaugh of the Holy Dragoon's of Tienne. You
are Mika Gilchrist are you not?"

"Yes..." Mika's eyes widened. "You're Marcine's father!"

"So you admit you know the Heretic Marcine Cavanaugh?"

"Admit?" Mika stood up. The Dragoon still towered over her but not by
as much. Besides Mika had stood alone against Diablos, this was
nothing. At least, she kept telling herself that. "What's going on

"It is my duty to inform you that come noon you will be tried and
executed for Heresy against the Laws of the Three Gods."


"You have this time to repent for your crimes and seek forgiveness in
the eyes of the Gods."

"Forgiveness? Forgiveness!! I'm not the one who tortured them in this
infernal machine! I'm not the one who has tainted and twisted their
message until it's lost all meaning! I'm not a heretic and neither is

"It is sad to see you will not repent." Armand said with detached
calm. "You have a half-hour to reconsider your answer. I will come for
you then." He stepped to the door which opened without a touch to the
sound of hissing steam. Once he was outside the door slammed shut once
again. Mika starred at it for a long time and finally sat down on the
cot once again. With grim futility she searched her pockets and found
nothing to aid her escape. Not since starring up into the face of the
black demon Diablos had she felt this helpless and alone.


Armand stepped outside of the girl's cell and let the door hiss shut
behind him. With an off-hand gesture he triggered the mechanism which
would hold the door tighter than any lock. He wanted to go somewhere
and be alone. Somewhere where the men could not see him. That tiny
child, so young and so like Marcine in her own youth. But he couldn't
afford to appear weak, not now. Not ever.

A clank of metal on metal caught his attention and he turned his head.
He saw a young armored Dragoon walking slowly away from him down the
corridor. he had the look of one who was trying to be inconspicuous
about him. More interesting was that Armand didn't recognize him.
Armand had hand picked every Dragoon for this mission.

"You there, halt." The young Dragoon stopped and turned swiftly on his
heel before standing at attention. "What is your name private?"

"Uh... Torrance, sir."

"What are you doing here? I didn't select you for this mission?"

"I didn't come with your team, sir. I was, on leave in my hometown...
La Verde, when the Manakyr attacked. I was trying to do my best to
sabotage them when you arrived. I reported for duty as soon as I
could and was... uh... coming to see you. But I saw you were busy

"Were you listening at the door just now?"


Armand stared into the private's eyes for a long time.

"Well... yes. I was only curious..."

"You are young private so I will explain something to you." Armand
stepped forward. "I am not a cruel man, I take no pleasure in doing
this to the child. I wish the girl no specific harm, I just follow my
duty. I know her though, and her companions. They will come to rescue
her, and I shall be waiting for them."

"Sir, what about Tienne?"

"Tienne can wait," Armand said coldly. "They can hold their own
against what few Manakyr airships remain. And then we shall pounce
upon the weakened forces of the enemy from behind. I have larger game
to catch then a few paltry heretics. Now go, report to Sergeant Grimm,
he'll assign your duties."

"Right away, sir."

As the private left Armand turned and started towards the engine room.
It was time to scare Bolgan into getting this contraption airborne


The limp body of the Manakyr officer fell to the ground at his feet.
The woman gasped and retched for breath as Seigvin stepped over her
and towards his horse. He had promised her life in return for the
information and he felt no pressing need to kill her, after all. He
just hoped she wouldn't be as stupid as the last two he had
interrogated and tried to attack him while his back was turned. It
could turn out very badly if she did that, for her anyway.

He mounted his horse with the easy grace of one long practiced. Now
that he had heard the same story from three of them he had no choice
but to believe it. If it was true... then Madonna would soon control
Tienne and eliminate that nuisance Lambert. If Seigvin knew Madonna
she world not stop there either. She would know where Gilgamesh was
held and Infinity would be hers. 

That was something Seigvin could not allow to happen. He needed those
heartstones, and a battle with Madonna  to acquire them might weaken
him too much. A battle with Madonna and -him- was beyond even his
abilities to win. He didn't want to leave the girl, not when she was
this close and this vulnerable.

With a reluctant roar he spurred his horse towards Tienne. He had
worked to long, spilled too much blood to be denied now. Especially
not by Madonna.

"Kyle!" Jil said with relief as Cheney led the Dragoon and the others
into the gorge that Shizuka had picked as camp. "Thank the gods ye be

"Yes," Kyle nodded. "We are all fine."

Davin looked around the gorge and then at Jil. "Where's Mika?"

"I... Davin..." Jil stammered. Davin's eyes widened and he stepped
over to her. 

"What happened? Where is she? She isn't hurt is she?"

"We don't know," Cheney said. "She was, thrown out of one of the
airships. Reill says Martin might have gone off to save here when she
fell but we can't be sure if they made it."

"No," Davin growled. "That's not acceptable! I promised her... I have
to know where she is."

"This one is sorry Davin," Shizuka bowed her head. "She could do
nothing to save Mika from this uncertain fate."

Davin spun and looked at Marcine. "I have to find her Marcine. I
can't... I can't not know!"

"I know Davin... we'll..."

"We can't waste time looking." Kyle stepped in. "We have to get to
Tienne. If we don't do something..."

"Damn Tienne!" Davin roared at Kyle. "In case you aren't keeping score
Kyle they're the enemy too. I won't abandon Mika to -try- and save
those hypocrites!"

"I have no love for Lambert either Davin," Kyle stepped up and starred
Davin in the eyes. "But Tienne is the largest city in the world.
Thousands and thousand of innocent men women and children live there.
They aren't evil, just ignorant of the truth because the Church has
made sure they remain that way. I won't abandon hope for all of them
to save one little girl."

"You..." Davin reached down and clasped his hand over the hilt of his

"Davin," Marcine laid a calming hand on his shoulder and he slowly
released his grip. "Don't forget what Gaia told us. Gilgamesh is in
Tienne, if the Manakyr find him before we do then... we have nowhere
else to turn."

"I won't leave her..." Davin said. "I promised I'd find her parents
Marcine." He blinked, his eyes hurt and he wanted nothing more than to
close them. "I promised her I'd protect her..."

"We've all lost people important to us on this quest," Cheney said
calmly. "Don't give up hope yet. Martin may be young but he loved
flying more than any other Dragoon I've ever know. If anyone could
have saved her from that fall, it was him."

"Guys!" Reill called out from the rocks overhead. "Something big is
happening over at the Excelsior!"

"Define big," Kyle ordered.

"I can't tell for sure... it looks like the entire legion is out there
in front of the fortress. They've set up some kind of platform..."

"Platform..." Kyle nodded. "That means..."

"A trial!" Marcine shouted. "A trial for heresy! That's the only
reason they'd have everyone in the same place at the same time!"

"Who would they be trying now?" Cheney thought out loud. "And
prisoners they may have taken would be bound for the Wall, and they
can't convict them until they get back to Tienne."

"I 'ave a bad feelin' bout this," Jil said.

"Let's get closer," Kyle said. "To find out what's going on."


"Children of the Gods, servants of the one and only Church." Armand's
booming voice rolled out over the crowd, reaching the party hidden
behind some convenient rocks nearby. "Those who are Wise in Mind,
in Heart and Pure in Soul I call you to witness this."

"It's a trail all right," Kyle whispered. 

"All who serve our mother Church I have gathered here to witness.
Forget not this day or the lessons that it shall impart. Carry this
day forever in mind and heart and soul and let it shore up your
resolve for the dark nights to come. This is the Justice of the Gods,
this is what you fight for, this is the Truth that others would

"Methinks he be likin' the sound o' his own voice too much."


"Bring forth the accused, to stand trail for crimes of Heresy against
the Law of the Three Gods." Armand gestured towards the open hangar of
the Excelsior. Slowly two Dragoons stepped out, walking towards the
platform upon which Armand stood. Davin tried to see what has between
them but whatever it was fell below the shoulders of all those
Dragoons out there. He looked at Marcine and saw that the blood had
drained from her face. Was she picturing herself being dragged out to
stand before her father's judgment perhaps? 

Then the Dragoons mounted the platform and between them was...

"Mika Gilchrist, you stand accused of Heresy against the Laws of the
Three Gods. Do you repent?"

"Stuff it up your..." she cried out as one of the Dragoons jabbed her
with the but of his lance, driving her to her knees.

"MI..." Davin almost cried out but felt a hand over his mouth muffling
the words. For a moment he couldn't tell who it was and couldn't care.
He could only see red and only knew that they were holding him back
from helping her. He elbowed them viciously in the ribs and turned to
face his attacker.

"Davin!" Marcine backed up, clutching her ribs. "Calm down Davin!" she
hissed. Davin felt the anger drain away and with a shaking hand he
reached out to touch her. 

"I'm sorry, Marcine."

"It's okay." She smiled at him. Davin felt the eyes on him without
needing to look. He looked anyway and stared Kyle back. The look said
all that needed to be said. He knew this would not be forgotten by one
at least. "But calm down, we can't rush into this."

"We have to save her... they'll kill her."

"That they will," Kyle said. "And if we run in there they'll kill all
us too. In case you haven't noticed there are a thousand of them and,
what, seven of us?"

"We could do it, Marcine's magic and Shizuka's skills... my

"Would take out, what, a few dozen at best?"

"I can't sit here and do nothing!"

"This one shall go."


The young Ryukin girl straightened. She brushed her raven hair away
from her smooth face and looked at Davin. "It is this ones duty to
protect Mistress Gilchrist. She shall enter alone save the girl. Her
skills will allow her to enter undetected."

"And what about leaving?" Cheney said calmly. "I know of your clan and
not even you can carry her out without danger. They'll spot you and
strike you down."

"This one shall buy time for... for Mika's escape. If that is the
price of her life she will gladly pay it!"

"You're too young to be throwing away your life like this." Cheney
reached out and patted her arm. "Trust an old man when he tells you
that life is the most precious, sacred gift of any God."

"Nobody is going to get killed," Kyle barked. Everyone turned to look
at him. He stepped back from them all. "I'm going to go in and get
that girl out. I'm a Dragoon I can do it."


"I won't hear any objections!" He banged the but of his makeshift
lance against the ground. "I can do this. I can save her."

"I won't do nothing-" Davin began.

"Davin," Kyle interrupted him. "Do you trust me?"


"Do you trust me, even though we've only just met?"

"I... I guess." He looked into Kyle's eyes. There was no deception, no
malice in that gaze. There was only resolve. 

"I have to do this Davin," Kyle said softly. "If I don't I'll never be
able to look at myself in the mirror again. You've protected my
sisters, let me return the favor."

"Okay," Davin said. He reached out his hand and felt Kyle clasp it. "I
trust you, Kyle."

Kyle nodded and stood up to leave. He paused as he noted Cheney also
standing up to walk with him. For a brief moment Kyle considered
ordering him to sit down but he knew the order would just be ignored.
Then the two of them stepped out from behind the rocks into the narrow
pass which housed the remains of the once mighty Excelsior.


"Very well," Armand said as the ritual time passed. "If you will not
repent you leave me no choice. By the power invested in my by the Holy
Church I sentence you to death..."


Armand knew that voice. His head snapped up and he looked down the
ranks of his Dragoon's to find its source. With mute understanding
each Dragoon stood aside, forming an aisle along their ranks between
the platform and the source of the demand. The youth who marched down
that aisle was not an impressive sight. His armor dented and scratched
by combat, its shine having been muted by burns. His weapon was a
makeshift lance, no more than a pole with a curved sword tied to it
with tight twine. His face was covered with dirt and grime but Armand
recognized it instantly.

And despite that the Commander had never seen a more dignified Dragoon
in all his years. He walked without limp or sign of injury. His eyes
never wavered from Armand's and they were clear and resolute. He
carried his jury-rigged naginata as if it were the finest weapon in
creation and bore his armor with a pride that those scars or war had
imparted. Armand Cavanaugh realized he had never been more proud of
his son then he was at this moment. This was a Dragoon. 

"Captain Cavanaugh," Armand nodded. "So glad you could join us."
Armand looked to Kyle's side and saw he was standing only with an old
man. Cheney, the old drill sergeant turned tracker. "Where is the rest
of your unit?"

"Lost," Kyle said. "Or held from coming by forces beyond their

"I see..." There was something in Kyle's voice. It was a sadness that
hadn't been there before. Armand began to worry. "And what brings you
to La Verde? Last I knew you had taken an unauthorized pursuit of the
heretic Marcine Cavanaugh." Armand knew what must have brought him to
this place. No doubt Marcine herself was in La Verde with the rest of
her Manakyr demons. The dark lady that some of the captives had talked
about? Would Marcine sink that low.

"I am here to prevent a miscarriage of justice."

"You are what?" Armand stepped back. He began to feel a nagging worry.
The same nagging worry when he had heard of a young girl who aided a
small child in a steam car accident. "Explain yourself, Dragoon!"

"That girl does not deserve death." Kyle pointed his lance at the now
silent Mika. "She is no heretic!"

"Hold your tongue!" Armand roared. "She is charged with heresy by the
Church! She has aided the escape of a heretic. She has assassinated a
High Priest of the Church!" Armand cuffed the girl when she tried to
protest. "This 'child' has destroyed countless pages of knowledge at
the Great Russa Library. Finally, and most damning she downed the
Excelsior when we were on the verge of victory. For these crimes she
shall be punished!"

"She has done none of these things. But she has fought mages and
monsters," Kyle growled back. "She has battled madmen bent on
destroying all we hold sacred and fought the Cult. This young girl is
more a protector of the people then you will ever be!"

A deep, foreboding silence fell over the crowd. Armand was rigid with
fury. How dare this boy lecture him? How dare he question the Church?
How dare he betray their families honor? Now, now there would be no
one to salvage it. Now there was no hope for his family name. The
proud line of Cavanaugh had come to and end.

So be it.

"Kyle Cavanaugh," Armand began, "I hereby strip you of the rank of
Captain. I expunge you from the Holy Dragoons and revoke all rights
that membership gives you. I order you to stand down your arms and
surrender at once."



"I will not let you kill an innocent girl to protect the Church." Kyle
stepped forward. "Father can't you see what's going on here? Don't you
realize there is a war going on here. No a war between the church and
the Manakyr. A war beneath the surface, a war fought by people brave
enough to defy tradition against madmen and creatures older than time!
You can not save the church by killing this girl. How can we claim to
be better than that we fight against when we use methods like this?
How can we blame those whose only sin is curiosity for hating us when
we drive them from our homes, kill them on sight and seal them in
stone for the rest of time! How can you defend the lies of the Church
that have kept us down for nearly a millennia beneath their iron heel.
Or are you willing to tell these people the real secret behind the
Wall of Fools father? Are you willing to reveal that it is magic
itself which is used to seal them away? Don't fight me over this...
please father. I beg you."

"You are not my son."

"Father..." Kyle stepped back as if struck. "Please don't make me do
this. Don't make me defy you." He held up his hand, as if pleading
Armand to take it.

"I make you do nothing," Armand responded without the slightest catch
in his voice. "You have chosen your path. Seize him."

Kyle's eyes narrowed and he swung his lance in a wide arc. The few
Dragoons who had stepped forward to take him wisely stepped back.
"You're wrong, father. I will be no more part of it. I'm taking the
girl and we are leaving. Don't try to stop me. There has been too much
bloodshed already."

"I said seize him."

"I have this one, sir!" A young Dragoon rose up on his Boost jets out
of the crowd. Armand's eyes flickered to him. It was that same private
he had met earlier. Torrance? Then the youth was rocketing forward,
towards Kyle like a meteor. Then straight past Kyle the young man flew
and Armand realized too late what his true intention was. With a cry
the young man smashed into him full force.

The blow sent Armand flying off the platform. For a moment he
considered activating his own jets then remembered he wasn't wearing
Boost Armor. He crashed to the ground and rolled slightly on impact.
Shaking his head to clear the ringing he stood up.

The camp was in chaos. Kyle's pretty speech and that private's
dramatic action had lit a fuse Armand had not even been aware was
there. A brawl had erupted among the ranks of the Dragoons, among HIS
Dragoons. The last line of defense between the Holy Church and the
endless lines of heretics trying to tear it down. No, this would not
be. Armand reached into his pocket and took out the tiny device hidden
there. All those who stood against him were heretics and they would be


"Kyle!" Mika said and leapt into the ex-Dragoons arms. "I never
thought I'd be so glad to see you."

"I wasn't about to let Davin down," Kyle said. "Now get off of me."

"Oh, right." Mika landed lightly on the ground. "What now?"

The sound of metal striking metal had steadily risen in volume since
the battle began. Kyle had gambled right. He knew that the Dragoon's
were not evil, not really. He had been among them, he had trained with
many of them. Most of them had no heart for murder, he knew most of
all that they were tired of being treated as disposable commodities.
He had seen it in Atlantea, the Church's utter indifference to the
souls lost freeing that town. He had seen the rumors spread like
poison. He knew them, better then his father ever could. All they
needed was a leader, someone willing to defy orders, someone to give
them courage. 

Oh how he wished it hadn't been necessary.

"We'd best get out of here, Captain," Martin said as he looked at the
ring of steel clad Dragoons that had surrounded there small party.
"This is only going to get uglier."

"I'm not a Captain anymore Martin," Kyle said to him. "Call me Kyle.
And thank you for your assistance back there."

"Think nothing of it... Captain"

"What's that sound?" Mika asked suddenly.

"What? I can't hear anything above the battle."

"By the Gods!" Cheney whispered. "Look!"

Kyle looked, and his blood turned to ice. They towered above the
battlefield like clockwork horrors. They moved among the ranks of the
battling Dragoons, striking without warning and without mercy. They
struck without compromise, both those for Kyle and those against found
themselves the targets. Brutal metal claws and blasts of fire and
lightning tore apart Dragoons were they stood. The GoLEMs had entered
the fray. "Father," Kyle whispered to himself, "What have you done?"

"Kyle!" Cheney shook him roughly. "We have to get out of here!"

"No," Kyle pushed him back. "I did this. I lit the fuse. I'm
responsible for all those people."

"There's nothing you can do Captain," Martin said. "And those things
are getting closer."

"C'mon Kyle," Mika tugged at his leg. "We can go get davin and the
others, they can help us."

No they can't, Kyle thought. There must be six dozen of those
mechanical monsters out there. Not even a Sleeper could destroy them
all. At least, not without killing all the Dragoons fighting them as
well. He had to stop this...

"Kyle!" Cheney pushed him back and the young man nearly lost his
balance. "Snap out of it. It's time to go."

"It's too late," Martin eeped out. Kyle looked up and saw the giant,
blocky form of a spider-type GoLEM looming above them. Its maw opened
and Kyle saw lightning leaping between its teeth. Then Cheney shoved
him aside and leapt at the beast. His foot connected with it in a
resounding clang and the stream of lightning flew wide over the heads
of the combatants.

"Go Kyle," Cheney said. "I'll handle this."

"Cheney?" Kyle tried to clear the cobwebs that seemed to have filled
his head. 

"I'll save as many as I can but only if you get out of here."

"Wait-" Kyle began but found himself cut off. Martin was dragging him
backward. "Martin let me go."

"No, sir."

"I said let me go!"

"No, sir."

"I order you to let me go!"

"I'm afraid I outrank you, sir."

"Go Kyle," Cheney turned back to the beast. "End the bloodshed, Kyle.
You and your sister, you're the only ones who can." For a moment there
seemed to be a flicker of light around the old man. A gold flash of
color. Then it was gone. Then the light returned, stronger and longer
before dying again. It strobed like that for a few seconds, coming
faster and faster and then with a final blinding flash it burst forth.
"Take this you monster... FINAL HEAVEN!"

Cheney moved faster than Kyle's eyes could follow. There was only a
golden flash and the GoLEM seemed to stop. Kyle stared at the giant
hole which had formed in the beasts mechanical chest for a moment
before it exploded. He looked about and saw another flash speeding
towards another GoLEM. Kyle wanted to help, he struggled in Martin's
grip... then everything went black.


Kyle woke up sometime later. He was lying on a rock, back in the
gorge. The others were all looking down on him with looks of... pity
on their faces. "What happened?"

"Martin knocked you out," Mika answered. "It was for your own good."

"I'm sorry, sir." Martin said.

"We tried to get to you once the fighting broke out but it was too
intense," Davin explained. "And I thought it best we didn't use any...
special powers. That might have united the Dragoons against us. We
only just managed to get the three of you out of there alive."

"Three?" Kyle sat bolt upright. "Where's Cheney?"

"This one is sorry Kyle Cavanaugh," Shizuka stepped forward. "The Art
he used... it was the Final Heaven, the ultimate secret that can only
be used once. It is too much for one man to bear..."

"No..." Kyle said.

"If it's any consolation," Davin said. "He took out most of the GoLEMs
before... well, what happened. The Dragoons survived."

"I see," Kyle nodded. He felt empty. He hadn't meant for this to
happen. He'd only wanted to show his father the error, to show him
that the Dragoons were people and that they couldn't be manipulated
like pawns. To show him that murder solved nothing. Where had he gone

"What about father?"

"We don't know," Reill answered. "I saw a bunch of GoLEMs, all the
surviving ones I think, head off toward Tienne. The Dragoon's are
still mostly milling about the ship. I think they don't know who to

"Neither do I," said Kyle. He looked at Marcine. "I can't leave them
like this. You have to go on to Tienne without me. I have to make sure
they all survive."

"We understand, Kyle."

"I just hope what I did was right."


Author's Notes:

It's late. 

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