Chapter 15 - Dark Symphony

By The Wandering Englishman

Laguna blinked in the sudden appearance of white light as his blindfold was removed. He looked down to the bare concrete floor in an effort to shield his eyes before his head was forced to lift.

"Insolent cur." The mocking male voice scoffed, dropping the president's head.

"...Seifer?" The greying man replied, incredulously, finally able to focus on the blonde, beige and grey in front of him despite the blinding light.

"Where's my son?"

"What? Squall?" He laughed before bringing his gunblade to rest on Laguna's Adam's apple. Leaning in close, the president could feel the scarred blonde's warm breath against his ear.

"He'll be here soon enough, don't you worry." Removing the blade, Seifer stood up, heading towards the door before turning around.

"There's someone here to see you...I'll leave you two alone." Seifer smiled at the president before walking completely out, only to be replaced by the short tattooed blonde Laguna remembered speaking to only twice.

"Zell...?" He asked hopefully as he watched the youth approach him. When he got close enough, Laguna gasped.

His eyes were dead.

"Lawson, water."

Squall looked up at his host from the cushioned bench; his mouth dry and still in the shocked expression it had been in when he fell.

"Leonhart, can you hear me?" Kaien asked, waving a hand in front of the stunned boy.

"Hyne, please don't do this again..."

Do what?

"Come on Leon...wake up."

I'm not asleep.

"Lawson! Where's that water?" Kaien looked up at the door, giving Squall a good look at the man's features. He never saw much in his dreams; it was always dark there. But here...he was pretty. Squall guessed late teens, but the look in his eyes and the lines on his face seemed to make him look so much older. His body was like Irvine's: athletic, but not overly so.

But the voice was the same. Squall would never mistake that. How he held himself, the way he spoke...

Kaien grabbed the water from Lawson's outstretched hand and moved to pull Squall up. When had she got there, he wondered, as he found himself swallowing the sweet Dollet water. When he blinked finally, the young man sighed audibly in relief.

"Thank Hyne." The blue-eyed stranger smiled at the SeeD, helping him sit all the way up.

"For a minute there I'd thought I'd lost you."

Squall glared at him, taking the glass from Kaien and finishing the drink. Why the hell was he being so nice to him?

"You're probably wondering who I am..." Squall cocked his head to the side, figuring it was better than actually talking to the man.

" goes..."

"I must compliment you, Odine. You did something in one month that I wasn't able to do in ten years." Squall laughed as the scientist still tried to cower away from the menacing brunette.

"Vhat did I do? I did only my job."

"And splendidly too." The scarred man smirked. "The key, Odine."

"Key?" The shaky reply came.

"Never mind." Reaching down, Squall plucked the small blue key card from the stout man's pocket.

"Thank you." Patting the balding head of the Doctor, he smiled, heading for the door and to his freedom.

Squall looked around him at the closed cells housing a lot of familiar faces from Galbadia's sordid history. Mass murderers, serial rapists and one attempted assassin, and that was just this hallway.

So of course: no weapons. Escape would be harder without them, but not impossible. He was SeeD, after all.

But on the upside, the guards here seemed to have a fetish for black; which suited Squall fine. Slipping on the polyester bomber jacket, The SeeD headed for the exit.

This time, he wouldn't fail in his objective.

Laguna looked proudly over the mass of soldiers below. He watched on as his army's commanders shouted orders to the men, each platoon saluting before turning their eyes on the president.

"Soldiers of Esthar. I know during this time of great need, you'd rather be home with your families. I know I would too, but this must be done. The safety of your family...and the world is at stake, and we are the last line of defence this planet has.

"Those of you who transferred from Esthar Garden, I thank you for your commitment to your country, your family and your president.

" Now, I won't lie to you...the enemy could well be your friends or even some of your family, but they are dead. All they are are soulless monsters in the husks of your loved ones. Believe me when I say you'll be doing them a favour by killing them.

"I wish you all Hyne speed and good luck on your task." The president bowed before walking from the catwalk; listening to the cheers and applause as the orders to move out was commanded.

"You make that up by yourself?" The dark skinned man asked from the shadows of the control building.

"Heh, yeah. Off the top of my head as usual." Laguna smiled, taking the sleeping dark-haired child from Kiros's shoulder. "Thanks for babysitting again for me today."

"It's no problem. I get the feeling the kid likes his Uncle Kiros." The lanky man smiled, gazing fatherly at the child.

"Let's get you two home."

"Yeah, Ien isn't used to so much excitement...are you kiddo?" Laguna smiled, bouncing the sleeping child higher onto his chest. "Can you drive?"

Kiros laughed at the tanned man before walking through the door towards the car park.


"It's time, Squall..."

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