By Andy Campbell
“Ughhhh!” Riff’s sword sliced through the torso of one of the many followers.
“I told you not to interfere with my plans… I don’t have to worry anymore.”
I saw him smirk at the dead body as if the man were a waste. He put the long saber into its sheath and his eyes seemed to glow. He walked off into the night without seeing me. Or did he? Was he planning to kill me, Jake Fisher? I couldn’t tell. All I knew is that I had to get out of that place. And fast.
Many people had come to find the Holy Land with Riff as their leader. Little did they know that it would end up with me and Riff as the last two out of fifteen. I had heard many stories about the deaths, accidental falling off cliffs and bear killings. But I knew he was too strong for that. If he wanted to do this together, everyone would still be alive.
Luckily, that night, I heard him talking to himself.
His hair was as black as the night sky. Very long. He was a tall, skinny, yet strong man in his thirties.
“Hahaha! This man, who, Jake? He I will spare. I will not see blood on his face. Hahaha…. He will be a worthy second in command. Together we will rule the Holy land and the world itself.”
He stared at the small fire until it finally went out and I looked up at the stars and trees until I fell asleep.
“Wake up, young apprentice…” He… Riff was talking to me.
“What? What happened? And what about this apprentice?” I knew I looked stupid saying that, because he gave me a stupid look and laughed out loud. An evil, evil laugh.
“ Young Jake, I have many things to tell you,” As I looked closer at him, I could see his eyes were black, just like his long hair. He continued,” this Holy Land we are looking for… Do you believe we can find it?”
“I am beginning to give up hope. I want my warm bed back.”
“Hahaha! Why do you act so weak Jake? I’ve seen your skills with that sword of yours. You can become one of me!”
“What do you mean, Riff? Do you know where it is? Do you believe we can find the Holy Land?”
A pause. A long pause. He looked at me with deep curiosity.
“ I am going to the Holy Land… To figure out what it is I have to do to rule this miserable planet. Rule by fear. I have chosen you to be my apprentice… Think about it Jake.”
“I want nothing to do with it.”
And I could see his fist clench and his eyes get the evil back into them. Suddenly, he stopped and laughed. Laughed like everything was nothing. Then silence. I couldn’t see him anywhere. He had disappeared.
I took my sword out and hacked at a tree in anger and fear. What would happen next?
“Do not fear Jake, but be angry. Succumb to my ways!”
“Where are you? What is happening?”
“Hahaha! Look to your right.”
A portal looking circle of light stood there.
“Now your left,”
“If you take the right path you will enter your bedroom and not remember a thing. Left you will go to the Holy Land and meet me there. Where we will rule. Hahaha! Choose wisely Jake!”
I stood for a moment and noticed I was staring at the right portal. I ran to it and hit face-flat onto a hard surface. The light cleared and a wall stood in its place. I heard another laugh. And I knew what I had to do. Not rule the earth. Rule my fears and fight. Would my friends think I was dead? Yes I thought so.
I ran into the other white portal and I just stood there. I opened my eyes. Too bright. I shut them. I heard screams and laughter. I waited for what felt like a long time, and then I opened my eyes. Silence. I waited for a long time with my eyes open, not knowing how I could stand the light.
To my surprise, everything cleared up and I was in a small room. To my right was my sword, in perfectly new shape. To my left was a red button on the wall I was leaning up against. Why was it so cold? I was in a room that seemed to have a blizzard coming from the ceiling. I was very cold and knew I couldn’t stand it much longer. It was getting too cold to think so I grabbed my sword and pressed the red button, not knowing what I was getting into.
“Get ready for training.” A woman’s voice came from no where. A hatch opened in the ceiling and a blade came out. Similar to mine. A little dummy popped out from a hole in the wall and grabbed it. The dummy was made of straw I could see, but how did it pick up the sword?
I swung my sword left. So did he (on his side it was right of course). I swung it right. He did too. I swung it as fast as I could, spinning and jumping, and he did everything the same. I had to out smart it. But how?
After waiting without doing anything for a minute, the dummy did something I didn’t expect. He took a swing at me! But I outsmarted him. I swung left and right about a hundred times and lightly stuck my foot out and said, ‘bye, bye!’ He fell to the ground as my awesome kicking power hit him. I cut off the straw head and arms.
“Good. Open door at left view.” That voice again.
I opened the door, cold from my sweat but warmed up. Riff was standing right outside the door. I was now in a small corridor.
“Good but not good enough!”
“Riff, I’m not joining you.”
He smiled. It wasn’t a happy smile. None of them were. They all looked sin-full and ugly to me.
“No, this isn’t the Holy Land. But I am very close to finding it.” He cut my speech off.
“Then where are we?”
“A place very far away from where you live, Jake.”
“Yeah, well what now?”
“I need you to go to a town called Enkia. You may find materia there. Also, you can rest and camp out for a while. I’ll expect you back in three weeks.”
Yeah, I knew what materia was. We both knew I wasn’t coming back to rule with him. I bet he thought I was going to train and build up to fight him. Which was exactly what I was going to do. I needed more time. Maybe it would just be a scrimmage?
He smiled as if to read my thoughts.
“Go young one. Remember, three weeks. The towns people are human and speak as we do. Good luck….”
I walked down the small corridor not looking back. I didn’t want to see the evil and hatred in his eyes. I didn’t want to see the blackness of his hair or his clothes. I hated him, and I never wanted to see him until I knew I could end it all for him.
I went through a series of doors and found my way out. I found myself in an open plain of green grass. I could see the town Enkia about four miles away. If I hurried I could make it before nightfall.
As I walked, I remembered that I didn’t exactly go over with myself how to use materia. So I started to talk to myself, reminding myself how to do it.
“Ok. Equip the materia, um lets say fire, onto your hand brace. Use the correct hand-movements so that it will be useful. Then watch what happens and hope.” Hope. That’s what everything was now. Hope. I knew I was weaker than Riff and that the chances of beating him were slimmer than a piece of paper, but I had to hope, and most of all train.
I saw that I was closing in on the village, ‘Enkia’ and the first thing that came to my mind was sleep. I went in through the village gates and was greeted by two strange men. They walked me to the “best sleep ever” and I got some rest in a comfortable bed with a glass of water at my side. I had to admit those guys were right. Little did I know the trouble I would find later. I fell into a deep sleep.
Chapter Two: The Two Men
Sirens fired off. It was the town sirens. Two bleeps, which meant FIRE. I jumped up and looked at the sun dial. A dim candle was lit by it so I knew it was about four in the morning.
“Nice day one of the two weeks.” I said to myself.
I ran down a small hallway to the exit, where I found it. The village was burning.
“Young man, are you going to stop and stare? Find some survivors!” A man was racing around trying to find what he was mumbling to himself. His wife. The strange men were gone so I couldn’t help them if they were burned to death. What had happened? Intentional? I looked to my left and on a burning rooftop I saw the last thing that came to my mind. Riff was standing on the rooftop with that glow in his eyes.
He jumped off the roof. He looked at me and smiled. He threw three vials full of materia in them at me. He was gone. So was the fire. What had happened? I had stared at him and only him. I felt no more heat. It was morning and everything was blackened but the fire was gone! People came out of their huts and houses in horror yelling, “What happened and if my house is burned down why am I not?”
I looked around, not concerned about anything but Riff. Yes, he was gone, but someone had to get him up on that rooftop. I saw one of the strange men standing and smiling at himself. I didn’t know why…
Now focused on my new materia I said, “I know this is Fire, and this is Ice, but what is this?” I held up a mysterious green vile.
“It is a Time materia. Sometimes it doesn’t work when you cast it, but when it does it either slows your opponent down or stops him. I’d save that one for when you..”
“Young Sir,” The other mysterious man walked up to me, ”You look strong enough to use this. Just trade it for your old sword.” He held a new sword out.
Of course, I took it. I turned to the man who was Riff’s new apprentice and put the fire materia on my brace.
“Smart choice. Hahaha. Lets do this.” He drew his sword. I drew my new one. It fit my hand perfectly, and there was nothing suspicious about it. It was light but big. Perfect.
The strange man (the other called him Sage) took the first swing, kind of like a baseball bat. I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was and had to duck. We lunged at each other, and I took tremendous swings that he could block. He wasn’t the best attacker, so I figured blocking was his specialty.
I jumped back and moved my hands in a circular motion. My hands grew warm and I pulled them back very slowly and shot them out like a trigger. A fierce mix of light fire and heavy wind hit the man square in the chest and knocked him backward. He lay on the ground right beside the gate to the entrance of Enkia.
He was still alive, but limp as a wet noodle.
The other man lunged at me from behind, but he was slow. I took my sword and hit him. They were robots! I could see sparks flying from the arm that lay on the ground beside Sage.
“This is a game… I am Riff’s game? Is he really trying to help me so it will be a fair fight, or is he trying to kill me?”
The two robots went away. I didn’t know what to do next. I was hurt a bit from the fight, but the town was in ruins. I was asking people what I should do, and all they said was they needed to know, and I heard two ladies talking about me.
“Yes, that man… Those men were bugging and stealing from our town for a long time, and he came to save us. But now that Enkia is gone, where should we go?”
“I know a good place,” the other lady said,” beyond that cloud, eight miles away, there is a town. No one knows its name. All that they know is that is was a good place for hospitality and healing. Men used to go there and stock up before battles. Some say that a sacred item called the “Golden Materia” is there. I don’t believe it, but I wonder what it does.”
“ I heard about it too. Some say a mysterious man in black clothing was going to find it. A fool he is.” They started laughing.
Riff was looking for this golden Materia, and I was going to follow. I couldn’t let him do this again. I took shelter in a nearby cave to rest, and I was going to hike the hill-filled plains to get to that town in the morning. This life was getting weirder by the second. But I was too scared and tired to worry. I went to sleep all night this time.
Chapter Three: Welcome, Rio!
That morning a large man was watching me. I sat up and he spoke.
“I know who this guy is. Riff. Yeah, he killed my son and wife in that fire. I used to work for him. I used to be helping him find the Holy Land. But now, he is looking for this golden materia, and that is why I want to join you in finding him and stopping him.”
“That’s very heart-warming sir, but id like to find him myself.”
“I know the name of the town and exactly where Riff is going. You cant say no.”
He was right. He could come, I guess…
“What is your name?”
“Rio. I have a long-sword, though not as sturdy or fancy as yours. I have a materia, which is called break. It can break an enemy’s weapon or hurt the enemy crucially.”
“Well, Rio, I see you have gone through my stuff, so you know my name. No tricks, you have been working with Riff. I will expect you to train with and help with fighting. Other than that, welcome to my little squad.”
Me and Rio went through some tough times after that, fighting over the small food amount that we had. Weird, as I was thinking of money Rio told me he had found a sack of gold, but we had to wait until we got to this town before we could buy food. We scaled the hills of tall grass, and were bitten by many bugs and snakes.
Two days later we could see the town in the distance.
“We can make it today if we don’t stop. I know you ache from the bite yesterday, so do I. But you have to tough it out. What is the town’s name anyway?”
“It- I think it’s called umm, Peco, or something like that.”
Later we got to the entrance of the town which was blocked by a quite large gate.
“Who, and for what purpose enters Peco?” A booming voice said.
“Rio, long-sword, and Jake, hacker. We are very injured from bites and poisons from our journey. The last town, Enkia, was burned down. We need food, also.”
The gates opened. The booming voice came from a very small man. He showed us to the hospital, which was made of wood brick. A very beautiful woman glanced up at us, she was small to, and so was the door she was standing in. Me and Rio squeezed through, and the woman took us to quite large beds.
“We keep these for special customers like you two. Have a nice stay. We will bring you food for two days. Then you have to leave.”
“What is the population of this town?” Rio asked with wonder in his eyes.
The woman laughed hysterically and she lost the beautiful in her. She went out of the room without answering.
They never brought the food that night. We both sat there for hours, not knowing what to do. Rio decided we should rest, and maybe we would feel better in the morning. We undressed, which felt good because the weight of my sword was tremendous after walking a bunch with it, and went to sleep.
* * *
I woke up. I didn’t know why. I looked around, saw nothing, and switched on the small light by my soft, feathered bed. Squinting hard, I could see Rio looking out the quite small window on our door.
“I know why this is a small room, why there is a small window, and why the woman laughed when I asked her what the population was.”
“What is it, Rio? And why is your face so pale and awake?”
He looked at me odd like I was the stupidest person in the world.
“It is a prison. They are going to kill us. I heard a man talking, and he said: “Why are you guys waking me up? I thought this was a hotel!…” Then I heard him scream. Which of course is when you woke up.”
“We have to get out Rio.”
“Bye the way,” He interrupted,” Peco means blood.”
Chapter Four: Invincible Riff
That night, we figured out a way to get out. It was going to be hard, but I took advantage of how small they were. Me and Rio were healed, I didn’t know how.
“Ok. Here is the plan,” I said,” They must be taking us out of here soon, since the other man just went out. Do you have strong arms?”
“Yeah, I do, I guess.” He looked confused.
“Good. You know those pipes on the ceiling?” He and I knew what to do.
“Quick, I here them coming! Just say umm, were still hurting and we want to be healed.” I ran to my bed first, and he thought for a second.
He jumped in his bed just as they came in. They looked at us as if they were room service going to clean our room—no, cell.
“You two are up late.” The small woman said.
“So are you,” Rio watched her carefully.
They (There was a woman and a man) told us to come with them as they walked out. Luckily, they went the opposite way of the front door.
“NOW!” I yelled as we grabbed the bars and used our arms to swing us to the next bar. There was a rush of adrenaline, and at least fifteen small men and women reached for us with all of their might. My plan had worked, and soon we were at the door. Apparently Rio was a strong kicker also, because he kicked it down easily enough.
As we went out, I heard a man scream,” Riff will kill you!” and Rio and I slinked off into the night.
“Riff… Riff was here… I know it.”
“What? Hey are you ok, Jake?”
“How…”I was cut off by a sound.
“Hahaha. The next town you will find very soon. Good job on getting out of that little prison, I had to kill many of them before they let me out.”
“Ah, you are very smart Jake! The next town is the last around here. Finding another would kill you before I do, which wouldn’t be fun. The next town is called Napa.”
“Riff! I’m ready! Fight me now! Show yourself!” I was getting hot.
“No, no. For one thing, I am still on the search for the golden materia. Second, It’s only been two weeks since I have seen you last and third, you are not ready. Not even with your puny friend.”
“But two weeks is..”
“No I said I wanted the stuff then. It’s not when we were going to fight. Goodbye, Jake.”
“Wait Riff!” All I could hear was the wind whipping in the dawn trees, and I found I was cold. Cold from the sweat that poured down my face.
“Was that really him? I never knew he had the power to speak like that out of no where.”
I started walking the way I was going, the coldness wearing off. Rio said I needed rest, but I didn’t pay attention, I just kept on walking.
“Jake look out!” All I felt was something hard hit my head, heard a spurting sound, and I was out cold.
Chapter Five: Golden What!?
I blinked my eyes open, only to close them again because of the bright lights all around me. Suddenly I felt pain, coming from somewhere. Now remembering the huge rock hitting my head, I felt bandages all around.
“You were in a coma for three weeks, pal,” Rio’s voice.
“Three weeks!” I tried to get up, but my head was throbbing.
“Your very lucky. These tribesmen from far away were hunting, and they picked you up. Too bad they threw the rock. Your brown hair and hazel eyes made your look like a deer.”
“I’m hungry.” My stomach churned and ached badly.
Rio told me the story about the money that we had had and that he bought lots of food and supplies with it. He said he didn’t know why a solid gold ball was worth so much, because they were common around there.
Rio also said that under the tribesman’s care I could be out by the next day. And that night I knew I had to get out of the tribes little colony. So, I got up painfully and let Rio sleep. Yes, I was in more danger, but I had cleared it by the time it got to the tribe, which wasn’t a good idea. I was looking for Riff, but little did I know he had found me and came after.
I had gotten two miles away from their camp, with a sprained ankle from my fall, when I heard screams. They came from the tribe people. I ran as fast as I could, knowing full well I was in pain, but the adrenalin rush and the thought of Riff made me run faster.
Before I got there, a girl from the tribe met me about one mile away. She was holding Rio’s sword which had blood on it.
“Wha…” I stammered.
“Do not go back. It is a slaughter house. The one you call Rio is now laying in the pile of dead bodies. Before he died he gave me this and told me to fight on with you. There was a man with dark eyes killing people left and right, and the only thing he took was the Golden…”
“Materia.” A figure stood in the shadows.
“Golden What!?” I stepped back and tripped on a rock.
“I was thinking,” said the girl,” Golden Ball of Light.”
“Who are you two?” I sat there, not breathing, full of astonishment.
The man stepped out of the shadows. He was tall and husky, with blonde hair and blue eyes. With a staff in hand, he stated his name ‘Luke’. The girl said her name was Kim. Luke said that he was a journalist from Peco, and he didn’t like their ways. He was looking for the Golden Materia as well, and heard about Riff while looking. The girl was clueless, so began the long story with Luke and I speaking at once.
Chapter Six: Funeral in The Cave of Light
I went back to the tribes pile of the dead and respectively pulled Rio out. A mark of three straight lines were sliced across his chest.
We put him in a cramped box and covered it with cloths. Kim said there was a cave called The Cave of Light she had heard of from the tribe, South-West about three miles.
“Not too hard to get to,” She said, ”Just a huge snake guarding the entrance.”
The next day we traveled under the blazing sun for three hours, trudging while caring for a box with Rio in it. He was heavier than I had thought.
As we walked further I started to see the cave entrance. No snakes, just an entrance. Ha, a myth, I thought. Just a myth. We stepped up a flight of stairs and as I hit the top one it moved down a bit.
“Hey, they didn’t build these steps very well.” And I leaped, happy to be done with the trip inside.
I met the huge snake face to face in it, of course. It reared up in battle position, as Luke, Kim, and I dropped the heavy box behind us and drew our weapons.
The snake struck Kim first, and bit her in the thigh. She screamed with rage, and a fire lit in her eyes. She sliced the deadly beast in the face, and it hissed in pain. It turned and whipped me with it’s tail and I flew back, hitting the box. The snake saw this and totally swallowed the box.
“Noooo!” I yelled. Rio was gone.
“Do something, Luke!” Kim turned to check on me as Luke eyed the snake.
“Fire staff! Go!”
The snake opened it’s mouth to swallow him, but Luke’s staff was already ablaze, and he launched it into the animal’s mouth. It reared back again, with a confused look on it’s face, and suddenly it exploded in a roar of flames. Under the smoked snake meat, stood the box, perfectly unharmed.
“How…” I stuttered.
“Whoa! My wound is gone… This is the Cave of Light?” Kim looked around in astonishment at the light blue crystals that filled the cave.
The cave was about nine feet in height, and there was a light coming from the end of it. The walls were made of blue crystal, and it glowed brilliantly.
“The Cave of Light… You know, I’ve heard of this place, Jake. They say it has many powers. I have wanted to visit this place for a while now, but I never had the time.” Luke seemed mesmerized by it all.
“Hey, Luke you can use your magic well. From now on we’ll give most of the Materia we find to you.” I stood up, un hurt from the breath-taking fall.
“Yeah, ok. Well let’s get your friend buried and get out of this place. It gives me the creeps.” Kim shuddered.
Kim and Luke got their weapons put into place and walked on to the end of the cave, not knowing what or who would happen next. As we reached the end of the cave, I figured that the glowing green light was coming from a weird squarish shaped sphere. I don’t know how, but it was a sphere.
“What!? I didn’t know it was here!” Kim had an ear to ear grin on her face.
“Wha… What is it, Kim?” I must have looked dumb, because she gave a little giggle when she looked at me.
“Materia, silly.” She turned to look at it.
“Well, what does it do, Miss I-know-everything!” Luke looked proud of what he had just said.
“I don’t know. But I’ve heard about it. It’s called Mysteria. No one really knows what it’s useful for. I’m going to keep it, Luke. We may find what it does later.
We all agreed that she could keep this Mysteria. When we got back to business, I started slicing at the ground right by where the Materia lay. Luke said that wouldn’t be necessary and called out ‘Quake!’ he shoved his staff into the ground and the ground rumbled to open up a pit. As respectfully as I could I lowered the box and dropped it in the pit, and dropped his sword down there also. Kim said she had metal knuckles so she was fine. I took the excess dirt that surrounded it, and covered the hole. As we left, Luke used quake one more time and a large boulder fell and closed up The Cave of Light.
Chapter Seven: EternalFlame
“Well, where to next, Jake?” Kim lay on the grassy plain in front of the mountain they had just come from.
“Not sure. Luke? Have any ideas?”
“Yeah, find Riff.”
“I don’t think I’m ready to fight.” I said.
“What was that?” Kim sat up and looked to her left and right.
“What?” Luke did the same.
Something I had learned from Riff while on our search for the Holy Land was to always pretend the enemy is all around you. You may look one or two ways, but there are other places to look. Like up.
I looked up. There hovered the biggest bird I had ever seen. I had heard of a huge pterodactyl somewhere and this reminded me of it. Of course, this bird just had to be engulfed in flames.
It landed right by Kim and she froze solid.
“The- It’s the Firebird…,” she whispered, “Amazing…”
“Wark!!!” The bird said cheerfully.
The bird flew up in the sky again, graceful and beautiful, it looked like a shooting star floating across the sky. It did a large circle again and landed in the exact same spot, crouching down.
“Can we ride that thing?” Asked Luke, who stood far away from the fire.
“I’m going to try.” Kim got up and slowly and very carefully touched the flame. Nothing. She got on it’s back.
“Wark, Warrrk!!” It seemed to be happy.
“It’s ok, guys, hop on and lets go!” Kim didn’t seem to care
“But where to?” I was amazed and confused at the same time.
“I don’t know, but it’ll be fun!”
We all got on. It didn’t hurt, but it was a simple warmness that emerged from the creature. Suddenly, the bird jerked and took off, taking everyone along. It was very high in a couple of seconds, now almost touching the heavens, we soared by the clouds and by many other smaller exotic birds. We flew over the mountain with the Cave of Light, then turned and flew past Enkia and Peco. We flew past the building where this all started, across the bluish-green ocean, and the bird finally landed on a lush green island.
We all got off the creature, hoping that was not the last time we flew. The bird followed as we walked along, so it was final.
“Guess it’s ours?” Kim smiled.
“Whatever you want. I’m amazed by it,” I stared at it for a while and it gave a Wark of pleasure.
She smiled at me and Luke said nothing, he was along for the ride.
“Well, We better get some rest, so pitch the tent, and we’ll see if that bird stays with us.”
“What shall we call him?” Kim asked delightedly.
“I know..,” said Luke, “How about EternalFlame.”
“I like it!”
“Yeah, it’s cool. Lets go to sleep now.” I had been pitching the tent and had started a fire. We were in a forest, almost looking exactly like the one we had been on in our journey to find the Holy Land. I looked at Kim sleeping, and after staring at her for somewhat of a time, I fell asleep, too.
That morning, I awoke to the smell of bacon and biscuits. I hadn’t opened my eyes yet, but I knew breakfast was on it’s way. I was hungry, and had been since the Funeral.
“So, you like him?” Luke was talking to Kim.
“I said nothing of the sort.”
“But, you still like him a whole lot more than a friend, don’t you?”
“None of your business, Luke.”
“Well, wake your dream guy up, breakfast is almost ready.”
I felt a soft hand run through my hair.
“Jake… Jake, get up,” it was Kim,” Breakfast. Jake.. Jake get up now.”
I slowly opened my eyes, and looking back at me was a smiling, beautiful girl. Funny, I must have been smiling too because her smile turned into a frown, almost like she knew I was eaves-dropping. She handed me a plate with molasses covered biscuits and plenty of bacon, then went and sat on a log by the large fire.
“So, how’d you get the fire that big, guys?” I was curious.
“Eternal here helped me make it while I gathered syrup from the maples all around us. This bird can come in handy.” Luke patted it’s back.
“Wark!” The bird looked up proudly.
Kim sat there, looking at the glow of the fire, refusing her breakfast. I could tell she was thinking about something.
“What’s up with you, Kim?” I asked, looking very innocent.
“Oh, she just..” Kim yelled ‘Silence’ and he couldn’t speak.
“Nothing is wrong, Jake, in fact I think I’ll have a piece of bacon.”
I handed her one, and said, ‘so were keeping the bird?’ and she said she wanted to. And I wasn’t about to talk back, because neither did Luke for twelve hours. He apologized afterwards.
Chapter Eight: Riff’s Golden Plan
Well, I’d have to say Kim was a pretty girl. I didn’t know or care enough to know if she really did like me “more than a friend”. All I knew is that I had to find Riff. I had to find out what he was going to do w/ that Materia.
We set off on foot up a large forested hill. Eternal disappeared from sight, soaring above the trees, as not to start a fire. I sensed this was the right way to go, and I knew this because I knew it was where we started at the beginning. I didn’t want to tell Kim or Luke because it would spoil their confidence.
It was a nice sunny morning, a bit chilly, but nothing we couldn’t handle. When we got in a clear plain at the top of the hill, Eternal landed by us.
“I think I’m going to go for another ride. Don’t wait up, we’ll be back,” Kim got on it’s back as it gave another ‘Wark’. They flew off, soon going out of sight.
“Luke, what’s so funny?” I hadn’t said anything for a long while.
“I didn’t laugh,” he stopped and looked around.
“RIFF! It’s you!” I yelled. I looked up into the clear blue sky.
“I have her, Jake. You should pay more attention. That bird you call Eternal was under my control.” That evil tone. God help us.
“What have you done with Kim!?” I was getting annoyed by him talking without me seeing him.
“She’s safe… For now. I’ll let her live and see if you can retrieve her.” He appeared in front of me from nowhere.
“What are you going to do with the Golden Materia?” I glared at him. Luke, mystified, sat down by a tree to get some shade.
“Well, I’m not going to do much, just blow up this miserable planet. You see, this Materia can do anything except bring things back to life. HAHA. Like I need to bring any of you puny humans back to life. I’m supernatural. An accident. Not exactly human.” With that, he smiled at me and vanished again.
“You have two hours to find a plan, Jake. Here’s that Mysteria that Kim had earlier. Your all going to die anyway so no use in that. Goodbye.”
I, now mystified also, sat down by Luke. We didn’t say much, except to make sure that we both heard what he had said. I knew Riff could do it. I knew he would do it. He was going to kill all of us.
To pass the last two hours of our lives, we ate. Ate all the food we had. We had stomach aches after an hour of constantly eating and resting, but we kept eating anyway. After all our food was gone and we were rested up, we laid in the sun and thought about what the after-life was going to be like. We had fifteen minutes left.
“Jake, I’ve got it!” Luke sat up abruptly and laid back down holding his full stomach.
“What is it, Luke?” I turned in pain to look at him.
“We can use Mysteria to get away. Maybe if we use it while the world explodes, it will, I don’t know, teleport us to another place or something.” He looked hopeful, but I figured it was no use.
“Okay, we better get up.” We strained for a minute or two to get up, and we stood there with five minutes left.
Chapter Nine: Final Battle
One Minute left. We both screamed as loud as we could, saying all the bad and good things we could in one minute. As the seconds went by, I began to think that the magic could work if I tried.
I didn’t see much or hear much, all I can describe about it was a huge light flashing red and green. Red, and green. Over and over. It looked almost like… The portal! The portal at the beginning! But where were we going?
It all stopped, and my head spun. I slowly opened my eyes, seeing a wasteland. Metal, what looked like meteor pits, black rock and sand, was all there was to see. It was a black dump.
I looked to my right, and there sat Luke, dizzy and dazed. To my left, sat Kim, same conditions, also. I ran to her, picked her up, and wrapped my arms around her, glad she was alive.
“Hey, Jake. I need a hug, too.” Luke stood up smiling.
“We did it! Mysteria helped us! Good thinking Luke!” We all kind of danced around for a while until we heard a sickening laugh once again.
“Fools. That stupid Materia didn’t help you, I used the Golden Materia to take you to this deserted planet so I could finally fight you.” Riff appeared fifty yards in front of us.
The sky turned a reddish pink, and we knew this was the Final Battle with Riff.
“Riff! It ends here! Kim! Luke! Get ready! He’s tough!”
We lined up and drew our weapons. Kim, with her steel knuckles, me with my long-sword, and Luke with his battle staff.
Riff drew his sword, with an even longer blade than mine, and his eyes glowed. Even though they were black, they glowed with intensity.
“Hahaha. Golden Materia, wipe these puny humans out!”
A large fireball swam through the air to meet me, and I jumped out of the way just in time and yelled ‘Ice!’ and an ice ball a bit smaller than the one Riff had made shot out of my fist and into the fireball, which froze it in place right in front of Kim’s face.
“Fire Staff! Do to Riff what you did to the snake!” Luke threw his staff at Riff, and he simply scooted out of the way and laughed, not knowing that the staff could turn around. It hit him square in the back and knocked him down, not hurting him at all.
“Kim, now’s your chance!”
She yelled ‘Magic Knuckles!’ And spikes came out and the knuckles flew off her hands into Riff’s chest, pounding him deep into the ground.
Standing over the huge pit I threw another ice ball down there which froze it over. No way a human could get through that. We turned and walked away, happy it was all over.
Suddenly the ground rumbled and we fell down, watching the pit of ice shatter and a huge rock-based monster come hurtling out of it. I remembered the Time Materia I had gotten in the small town of Enkia that Riff destroyed, and right before the huge rock-beast smashed its enormous fists into Luke, I yelled ‘Time!’ and it stopped dead in it’s tracks.
I pulled out my sword and sliced it into five pieces. We looked back at the pit, and we saw a figure that looked like a shadow rise out of it, floating in mid-air. Riff was still alive and was very mad.
He floated over to Kim and said ‘Freeze.’ Wouldn’t you know it, she froze. Not cold froze but stopped moving kind of froze. He slowly drew his sword, and I got up and ran towards him, picking up my sword also.
He held it head high and launched, killing Kim just like he had Rio. I stopped, stunned.
“Nooooooo! You kill too much! I hate you and now I’m going to kill you!” I screamed. I ran towards him with my sword as we engaged in a battle without magic, just our bodies and two pieces of long metal.
He hit my shoulder which for some reason didn’t hurt, and I took two times as many swings he did. I hit his shoulder, waste, leg, arm, and face, while he only hit me once. He stopped and fell to his knees.
“Hahaha. Jake, you are very strong. I wish you would join me.” He coughed up some blood.
“Never. You wont win.” I hated him.
“You wouldn’t kill me, I’ve taught you so much.” He actually looked scared for a brief moment.
“Yes you have taught me a lot. You’ve taught me that killing doesn’t solve much. But sadly, in this case, you were WRONG!” I held my sword above his head and swung as hard as I could. I then yelled freeze, and I threw him into the pit and waited until I heard the shatter before I got up again.
It was then that I wondered where Luke was. I looked around and found him knocked unconscious. I waited until he got up again before I said anything.
“Wha-What happened, Jake? Did we win?” He sat up.
“Yes, but Kim is dead.” I looked down at her body.
“Jake. She will be alive in a moment. You know how Riff said that the Golden Materia can do anything except bring people back to life?”
He said ‘Mysteria’, and looked down at Kim. A green mist surrounded her and withered away. Coughing but fine, she got up.
“What now, Jake?” Kim was as beautiful as ever.
“Luke, I think you know what to do with Mysteria.” I looked at him with a smile.
With the Golden Materia in hand, and with the Mysteria in his hand, I yelled “Bring us back to our earth!” And Luke Yelled “Bring our earth back to life!”
And with a flash of green and red, and a bunch of green mist, we found ourselves back on our “puny” planet.
We heard cheers and screams, but no one was around. I knew it was the earth and the dead, thanking us for saving them.