Ch 10, part 2
"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.
Clarisse's eyes opened very slowly. She was under a blanket, and could feel the wind passing over her. She tried to look around, but at first, her eyes were out of focus.
"Hey," a voice said to her side. It was one she recognized and had not heard in far too long. "You've slept for days. Whatever happened must have really taken it out of you."
Clarisse sat up. "Canti?!"
"No. You just appeared here with Candice. There's no sign of Canti or Minwu anywhere. Paul, Cid, and Ricard are out surveying the area right now to see if they might be around here, but… I don't think they are," the voice said somewhat sadly.
As Clarisse's eyes came into focus, she could see Firion there smiling at her. "Oh, Firi," she cried. "You can't imagine what we've been through…" She reached for him, and he pulled her closer. "Mysidia was a terrifying place, and…"
"It's all right," Firion said gently. "Paul told us a lot of what happened." He put his hand on her hair, ruffling it a little. "Don't worry. I'm not going on any assignment that would keep me away from you anymore. I felt terrible after hearing the nightmares Paul spoke of. I should have gone with you, or you should have gone to Deist with me or something." He squeezed her for a moment. Oh how Firion missed Clarisse. "I don't want to be apart from you."
"Did you fare any better in Deist than we did in Mysidia?"
"No. Deist was wiped out, save one man, Ricard, who is now a part of our rebellion."
Firion nodded. "It looks like we're doomed no matter what we try," he said quietly. "It's hard to find the morale to keep going when all of your efforts fall apart right in front of you."
"We… we're helpless," Clarisse cried. "We have no options left."
"Yes, we do," another voice said from a little distance away. They both turned to look and found Gordon there with a very determined look on his face. "We have only one option left to us, and that is to fight. We have to keep trying until we are no more."
"Look at us, Gordon," Clarisse said. "Everything we try fails."
"So we keep trying until we find out what works," Gordon said sternly. "That's what we have left. We have unlimited chances. We just have to use them."
"…you've changed, Prince."
"As have you, Clarisse." Gordon looked away. "But I'm not giving up or giving in. This war took my home, my brother, and the woman we both loved. I have so little left to lose that I really don't care if I die in the process." He shrugged as he sat down next to them.
"Did you have a plan?" Firion asked. "When the others return, we will need to start doing something."
"Aye," Gordon agreed. "I wanted to wait for Minwu's return, but we have been here in these ruins for so long without making a move that I'm going stir crazy like the rest of you, Firion. We will go to Galtea, find the rest of the White Knights, and storm Castle Fynn to take it back. Once we have our home back we can gather our supplies and make our next move. We can gather support from Salamand and other surrounding cities, anything we find that we can use and bring it to Fynn… and we'll take the fight to Palamecia."
"Agreed," Clarisse said angrily. "If we should be fighting anywhere, it should be at the epicenter of this whole thing."
"That's what I was thinking. No more waiting for them to come to us. We strike in the one place where the damage actually matters," Gordon said with a nod.
Knowing how fate likes to play, I wouldn't be surprised if Minwu and Canti are actually in Palamecia right now. It's a fucked up thought, but… I always tend to expect the worst of life, Clarisse thought. When life pulls strings like this, it's hard not to come up with things like this.
Firion frowned a bit. "You've got that look in your eye again."
"I'm thinking about Canti, yep," Clarisse said. "My brain can't get out of this idea that both Minwu and Canti are actually in Palamecia at the moment. It's like… I can sense my sisters. I can tell where they both are." She closed her eyes. "Candice is close by. Canti is… far to the south, across the sea, in a land of heat."
"Yep, that's Palamecia," Paul's voice said from above them. He was standing on a tree until he hopped down, landing softly on his feet. "Land of heat is right. Even at night that place is sweltering! Mysidia is humid, Palamecia is like… living in a furnace."
"Explains why the Emperor doesn't like to wear a lot of clothes," Clarisse grunted. "I just wanna smack him sometimes and say 'hey, dude, pants!' because, holy shit, purple tights and a belt with a skull over it isn't enough coverage for some people."
They all shared a healthy, hearty laugh.
"You're terrible, Claire," Candice said as she came by. She stood between everybody and struck a dramatic pose when she had their attention. "No, what you should punish him for are those golden glittering bullhorns. Who the fuck thought that was a good idea for a crown? Can't he wear a tiara with gemstones in it like the rest of royalty?"
Paul fell over he laughed so hard.
"You two could be comedians!" Gordon said though his giggles. "What do you say? Be my court jesters?"
"Oh no," Candice said, putting her hands on her hips. "The act isn't complete."
"Yeah, we're still missing one," Clarisse said. "And even though she's the least funny of us three, she's needed for us to be at our best potential."
"Yep. So we can't be your jesters. But we can be members of your resistance, of course."
"Of course," Gordon said. "You're both fully capable. Now, we'll start planning to take Fynn when Cid, Ricard, and Leila get back."