Dark Skies over Palamecia

Ch 6, part 3

"Dark Skies over Palamecia" – a Final Fantasy II retelling

Disclaimer: Square Enix owns Final Fantasy II and all FFII characters featured within. Original characters and interpretations are owned by the co-writers of this fan fiction. There is no profit being made from this story.

Part 3

Deist was practically leveled, and Mateus decided the next place he would head was Mysidia. He longed to have his bride at his side once again, even though he knew she was no longer under the Demon King's influence. But that was all right, of course. Another week in his bed, and she would have no will to refuse, just as he did before. He relished in that power. He could have any woman he wanted, and what a joyful that was. He was the Emperor. What he wanted, he got, and that was that. He stood in the cockpit of his airship, once again lost in his thoughts, when he noticed there was smoke up ahead.

"What is that?" Mateus asked. He walked out on the deck, looking below to see what could have been causing a trail of smoke. What he found what a village ablaze.

Someone has done my work for me, he thought, staring at it. Come to think of it…

"You!" Mateus called out loudly, pointing at one of his knights.

"Sire?" the knight responded, instantly falling to his knees. "How can I be of service to you?"

Mateus rolled his eyes. What a pitiful offering. What could a lowly knight do for his lord other than die in his name to give his lord more glory? Nothing, really. "Do you know the name of that village? Come, take a look."

The knight scrambled to his feet and walked over to the side of the deck. He looked down, where his Emperor directed. "Sire, I believe that is Altair."

"You believe?" Mateus asked.

"That's right," the knight explained himself, sounding like he was going to piss his pants out of fear for Mateus. The man had a very imposing presence. "That over there is Lake Poft. And you can sort of see the hamlet Galtea a bit north, which is right next to the much bigger Lake Fynn." He kept looking at the ground. "Altair is in the center between all of them."

"Back to your post," Mateus commanded, and the knight went back to where he was working. The Emperor stared down at the ground as they passed over it.

This is where I had Cid's airship shot down, Mateus thought carefully. That insolent princess and her ragtag bunch of misfits… could they have…?

"Pilot," he said, "Land."

"Goddess," Gordon cried as he hung over the side of Leila's ship. "I can't take much more of this sea…" Every time a wave came by, it knocked more fluids out of his system. Cid stood by to give the young prince some comfort, but the old pilot was more aware that unless Gordon got some rest, there was no way he'd be able to fight through anything. "It's been… urk… four days now…" He threw up again and said weakly, "When this is over, I'm not… setting foot… in a port ever again…"

"You'll be all right, Prince," Cid said, trying to ease his pain. "Too bad for you we don't have our Lord Minwu with us, huh?" The older man also thought of his little Candice and wondered how she was fairing on their quest to reach the Magic Kingdom.

Are you as brave as you've tried to act your entire life, Candice? Cid thought with a very nostalgic smile on his face. To travel to Mysidia, you'll have to be as brave as a Kashuon. I know you're an asset to Minwu somehow. I can't help but think by the time I see you next, you'll be a full adult, ready to set out on your own journey. And… that makes me happy.

"…Minwu said he didn't know… urp… any spells for… seasickness…" Gordon said before hurling once again. "I don't want to see another boat ever again!"

Firion had no problem getting some shut-eye. He ended up taking a position at the Crow's nest up with First Mate Pluie, who didn't really like the young silver haired rebel very much. Pluie wanted to rob the people blind, not help them on their way.

"Land, ho!" Leila called out from the steering wheel. She pointed straight ahead.

"Yer right, cap'n!" Pluie said. "All hands on deck, prepare to weigh anchor! Git yer rumps in gear, ya silly sacks o' shit!" Ten pirates came out from below, doing all sorts of things to prepare the boat to hit land.

Gordon couldn't do anything. All he could do was stare at the sea. A few moments after hearing Pluie make his call, Gordon saw pieces of scrap wood floating in the water.

Ships don't normally come out this far, Gordon thought. What's… other boat pieces doing here?

"Hey, Miss Leila…" Gordon said.

"What's up, sugar?" Leila replied. "Land's right there, darlin'. Ya can rest all ya want when we hit land. You've been a brave lad, stickin' it with us all this time."

"That's nice of you to say, milady, but… can you tell me exactly why there are pieces of driftwood in the sea?" Gordon asked, trying to resist throwing up again. "We've not seen another ship for days."

Leila looked down at the water. "Land sakes, yer right, Princey," she said. "There's wood everywhere!"

"OI!" a voice called from nearby. "Can you give a man a hand?"

"Who was that?" Firion asked, looking around. "Hey! Over there! There's a man clinging to a piece of wood."

Leila's pirates all worked together to bring the man aboard. He was a knight, clad in dark armor with a Draconic Emblem on the chest. Strapped to his back was a spear, and out of his helmet, which was shaped like a dragon head, fell a lovely blonde ponytail which was extended down to his thigh.

"Many thanks, fellow travelers," the knight said, bowing his head.

"What happened?" Cid asked.

"I was traveling back home after having been on a training journey for the last two months," the dragon knight answered. He had a relaxed, honorable sounding voice. It was very soothing to listen to. "It was to be my homecoming, as I'd prepared myself to finally take the Dragoon's Honor exam and become a full fledged Dragoon. But… as the ship I was on came closer to Deist, there was this flying boat in the sky…"

"The Emperor!" Firion said angrily as he climbed down from the crow's nest. "So he's here, then…!"

"No," the dragon knight continued. "The flying boat has since left and headed to the west. But I have not been able to reach the island, as the currents keep pushing me away. I fear for the Dragons. The only time the currents refuse entry to anyone is what the Dragons have become angry."

"We'll take you there," Firion said. "We're here to meet with the Dragoons."

"You are?" the knight asked, confused.

"We are," Cid said. "This young seasick man here is Prince Gordon of Kashuon. I'm Cid Palledina, inventor of the airship and white knight of Fynn. That is Firion, one of the bravest contributors to the Wild Rose Rebellion. We come on behalf of Princess Hilda of Fynn."

"That's wonderful," the knight said. Even though it was impossible to see under his helmet, he was smiling. "I am Ricard Highwind, Dragoon-in-training, and I humbly welcome you brave warriors to the island of Deist, home of Dragons."

"Nice ta meecha," Leila said, rather annoyed that no one bothered to introduce her to the new guy. She did not moving from her steering wheel. "C'mon, you blokes! There ain't no current we can't sail!"

Cid extended his hand to Richard. "Don't mind the lass. She may not look it, but she's the best sailor ever come out of…" he trailed off, not wanting to mention the name of her hometown. "…anywhere, really. Though, keep an eye on your gil. She's got bad habits."

"I heard that, boss," Leila said, pulling her long purple windblown hair from her face. "So, the Dragon's Island wants to keep Captain Leila out? Oh, not on your life!" She took her ship and aimed straight for the island. "Ya'll might wanna hold on ta somethin'."

Ricard took Cid's hand and shook it with a nice, strong, manly handshake. "You do not have to worry about that. I carry no gil on me. Everything was lost at sea except my favorite spear."

Gordon couldn't believe how fast the ship was going. He thought he had everything under control, but he ended up hurling over the side a few more times. "Goddess, if we make it out of this mess, I swear I will live by your teachings until the day I… urp… die…"

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