The Mystic's Dream The Mystic's Dream
She opened her eyes and sat up in bed. She looked around, but she was alone in the room.
Jaana was gone. The Dark Lord was gone.
She would have turned on a light, but there was none to turn on. Even if there had been, it would have been smothered by the growing darkness.
She lay back down with a sigh. Had it all been real?
She could not remember what she had done after the two of them had finished speaking to her. She could not remember how she came to be in bed and asleep.
So perhaps they had come to her in a dream...Jaana had been insubstantial, after all, and the Dark Lord had alluded to certain powers from being in another plane of existence.
But, dream or not, they had given her a message that was impossible to ignore.
"You're not going to get out of this that easily..."
Why not? Wasn't she free to do as she pleased with her life? And what effect would her intervention in the War have anyway? The DLE had already said the humans would lose. Why fight for a lost cause? Why not save yourselves?
Even if it were within her morals to follow that reasoning, she wasn't saving herself...
She was dooming herself to a lifetime of isolation.
But the question bothered her. If you knew you would lose eventually, would you continue the fight? Does the good of the many truly outweigh the needs of the few...or the one?
What encourages us to sacrifice ourselves when we know what the outcome will be?
Perhaps the answer was tempting Fate. Fate seemed to lean in one direction, but one action, one decision, could swing it the other way. People wanted to prove Fate wrong. That was why, if it were foretold that a person would die of drowning, that person would almost always be certain to become a good swimmer.
We wanted to feel that our lives weren't predestined, that they weren't in the hands of some larger force that we didn't understand, but that we had control over it.
Then again, Fate was a handy scapegoat. If things didn't go your way, it was always so easy to blame it on Fate. "It was Fate. I had no control over it."
What was her Fate?
Was it her destiny to be in knowledgeable isolation, or to be in uncertain company?
She would never know, would she, unless she tried it both ways.
She had already lived through one. Perhaps now it was time to do the other...
She sighed. The dream, if it had been one, had jolted her back into thinking about the War and how she could play a part in it. Whenever she tried to keep away from it, something -- or rather someone or two -- pushed her back toward it.
They would not leave her alone.
Even her sleep was filled with restless thoughts of the War.
There was nothing she could do, except...
She rose and walked to the window. With a slight tug, she raised the shade.
The Northern Paladin
Outside the window stands the projected image of the Northern Paladin.
"Schala, you have heard much since returning. Things that no one should know, and things no one whishes to know. The thought of humans destined to lose in battle disturbs you, as does the thought of not being able to leave conflict behind. But destiny is a shield that the weak of heart hide behind. Destiny rules no one but those who choose to accept it. I know of the Lizar's prophecy that the moogles are destined to win. But I fight. I have seen things in this war so disturbing, I had to retreat
into isolation myself..abandoning my allies. And, when I came to terms with war, I returned to fight again.
"You must find what you believe in within yourself. Only you can decide your own destiny. Only you can decide to fight...but you must believe in what you fight for."
After the image of the Northern Paladin disappeared, another spectre came before Schala. It was the image of Spacecat, stumbling around. Spacecat didn't notice Schala at first. After a few seconds of getting himself oriented he realized that he was in her presence. "'Ey baby, wuss up?" he slurred.
"What's going on?" Schala said, questioning what her eyes told her was real.
"I'onno. Ahwuz drinkin' with muh bes' buddy 'Zala. I wuz havin' summuh that reptillin wine. Thassum gooood stuff I teyoo wut..."
"Why are you here before me? Are you trying to get me involved in the War too?"
"What war? Oh, ya mean th' moo'le war. Nah, I figger I'm here cuz ah'ad a l'il too mucha tha' won'erful wine, an' this is mah 'lucination, but ah teyoo wut, you gotta stop the Mys'ics. They're gonna do sum bad stuff er sum'in'." There was a short pause. Spacecat stared at Schala. "Hey, did anyone e'er tell you yer one fab'lis babe? Y'know, me 'n' you shood get t'gether. Wudaya say, baby?" Before Schala could answer, Spacecat dissapeared suddenly.
Schala questioned her own sanity. Were these visions a product of her own mind, or were people actually finding their way into her consciousness? Was it truly her destiny to get involved in this war? Schala felt weary.
At Azala's castle:
Azala (with a bucket in his hand): I thought you said you could handle your drinks.
Spacecat (soaking wet from the cold water Azala just dumped on him): Hey, why'd ya wake me up. Ah wuz jus' 'bout t' score, man!
Azala: I don't know what you're talking about, but after only two drinks you passed out and vomited on my expensive carpeting! It is impossible to get that kind of stain out. Now I'll have to move some furniture over it or something.
Spacecat: Okay, y'mind if ah crash here t'night.
Azala: No! I want you out of my domain! You've done enough damage! (Azala literally kicks Spacecat out the door.)
His Dark Lordship
Nizbel walks up.
Nizbel: Yeah, why DID you wake him up? You realize how disappointed Schala's gonna be now? *hic*
Azala: You hit it pretty hard too, huh? That wine's fairly expensive, you know. I guess you're going with him.
Azala kicks Nizbel out after Spacecat, leaving the two drunks in the desert.
Azala: I'll come back for ya in the morning when you've sobered up. Watch out
The Tyrano head sinks back into the ground...