The Draining
The Draining


The battles were complete. The heroes, exhausted from battle, but ready to go on, looked around them as they all appeared to each other again.

"Close one," said Bacca.

"What about Ku-Sam?" Lorinan asked. "And his friend!"

And then, as if in answer, a cry was heard from above.

"Let's go! We're not through yet!" Bacca drew his sword once more, and prepared to throw open the latch to the upper quarters.

"Stop!" Lady Paladin shrieked.

"What is it, my darling?" Bacca said, looking down.

"The Sephs..."

Bacca and the rest of the heroes and heroines looked at the gold and silver Sephs. They were fading, more like... merging into one. And then they did. They materialized into one human being, with long purple hair, a body suit, and a sword strapped to his back. Seph moaned.

"I have to cure him," Lady Paladin said. "What happened Seph?" she asked, applying medical herbs to him.

"Ugh..." Seph started. "After... I left the planet... the Dark Moogle tracked me down, and placed.... me under mind control." he coughed up some spit. "I was forced to do battle with Bacca."

"Who is the Dark Moogle's friend?" asked Jaana.

"I... can't remember." Seph answered, looking down.

"You should be good enough to join us now," Lady Paladin said. "None of us are in perfect health."

"Now, shall we see what that scream was?" Kaitlin said.

"Right." Bacca once again looked to the latch. He put his hand on the knob, when suddenly, the Peak shook, and Bacca went rolling off of the stairs.

"Damn!!" he cried. "Let's go, before that happens again!"

He rushed the hatch, impacting it with his shoulder, pushing up, and opening the lash. It came clattering down on the upper level, and once again light flooded in to the eyes of the heroes.

"All will face my wrath!" they heard the Dark Moogle shout.

"Never!" Bacca yelled, and he jumped up, the heroes following him.

And there was a blast of energy, and many thuds. And the tower shook again.

The heavy glow of the light emitted into a softer glow and eventually faded into a light even duller than the sun, but yet, imposing.

Bacca stood. He looked around, his vision still glazed. The other heroes were coming to around him. "What happened?" he said, putting a hand on his head.

"We were thrown against the wall somehow," Lady Paladin answered getting up as well.

"Ku-Sam!" yelled Lorinan.

The heroes peered into the middle of the room. Jerad, Ku-Sam, and Lorak were floating in the air, a sphere of blue clear energy around them, behind maintained by none other than Chaos.

The Dark Moogle stood at an altar behind them. He was chanting an odd phrase from a big book. All 6 Materia floated in front of him as well. Energy was flowing from them, into the altar, then into the Dark Moogle.

"Chaos! What are you doing?!?" Kaitlin asked.

"The Dark Moogle is my master now," Chaos answered, in the manner of a robot, emotionless.

"No!" Seph yelled. "He's draining the Materia!"

The Dark Moogle stopped chanting and looked up. "So the heroes have joined me, have they? Then they face their own funeral. Chaos! Hold them off!"

"Yes sir." Chaos left the Materia Warriors standing there, as he drew his sword, and began to power up his gloves.

"Don't listen to him!" the Lady Paladin said.

"Join us again," Jaana added.

"No use," said Bacca. "We're gonna have to take him down."

"No," Kaitlin said. "Just hold him off. I can try and free him with my magic. Lady, will you help me?"

"Yes," the Lady Paladin answered.

So the rest of the warriors drew their weapons, and approached Chaos.

Bacca swung, but suddenly Chaos disappeared, reappearing behind Seph. Chaos swung the flat end of his blade into Seph's neck, and Seph fell.

"What the heck?" Bacca said.

Chaos laughed insanely. "The Dark Moogle and his Materia have given me more power than ever!" He shot a lightning fast bolt of energy out of his left hand. It hit Bacca square in the chest, knocking him into the crystal wall.

Chaos laughed again, but was knocked down by a fireball, right in the back.

"Well I guess you didn't see me coming did you!" Lorinan said from behind him.

"Infidel!" Chaos yelled, shooting energy at Lorinan.

Lorinan phased out, and back in. "Thanks Jaana," he said.

"No problem," she answered, drawing her spear.

Chaos powered his fists up once again, but was stopped by a hard blow to the back. He fell to the ground and Bacca put his blade by Chaos's neck, kicking Chaos's sword away.

"Lady, Kaitlin, now!" he said.

A weird pink energy swept over Chaos, and then that, and a new black energy, came off of Chaos, into the air, and then exploded somewhat.

"What happened?" Chaos asked.

"You'll remember in a few moments," Seph answered. "I did. But we have to worry about him now!"

The Dark Moogle looked up again. "Damn!" he said.

"Now to remove the barrier," said Chaos, draining the energy from the floating Spheres.

Ku-Sam, Jerad, and Lorak fell to the ground beside the altar.

"You can't beat me now!" The Dark Moogle said, his voice suddenly hitting a deeper note.

The Materia had all but lost their color, and were almost fully drained.

"We only have one chance!" Chaos said, as the wind suddenly picked up immensely.

"What should we physical fighters do?" asked Bacca.

"Hold the Dark Moogle off," Seph answered. "I guess that's you and me."

"And... me," said Jerad slowly coming to.

"We can... help," Lorak moaned.

"With... what little power... we have left," Ku-Sam added.

The three materia warriors stepped back to join the heroes. The Dark Moogle started rapidly changing color from yellow, to green, to red, to blue, to black, to white, and started growing. His cloaks began to rip, and his body began to turn to steel.

The wizards focused all of their magic on the altar, as did the chemist Lorinan, while Chaos, Jerad, Seph, and Bacca surrounded the Dark Moogle.

"PUNY MORTALS!" the Dark Moogle said, emitting a wave of energy from his hands. The four fighters were thrown back.

Suddenly the altar began to shake. The Materia fell, and rolled onto the floor, and then across the room. The Dark Moogle shrieked and the power flowed through him more rapidly.

"It worked!" yelled Chaos. "He fully absorbed the power!"

"WHAT?!?" Bacca yelled. "You betrayed us again!!"

"No I didn't," Chaos answered. "Watch!!"

The Dark Moogle flowed even more heavily with power, and the whole tower began to shake. Below, the armies ran off, out of danger, and rocks and dust fell, boulders crushing bodies not fast enough.

Inside the wizards stopped attacking the altar.

"I can save you," said Ku-Sam. "But I need help!"

"I will," Jerad answered. "Lorak, make sure everyone is safe."

Jerad and Ku-Sam joined hands, and a soft glow emitted from them surrounding the heroes. Chaos, Bacca, Seph, and everyone suddenly disappeared. When the blackness faded, they were floating high above the peak, looking down on it, as it glowed a bright red, and shook.

"We're... we're floating!" said Jaana, amazed.

"Oh my..." Bacca started, but couldn't finish.

"I've never been this high," Lady Paladin said.

For a moment the heroes floated there, looking down, and the tower stopped. Noise altogether seems to have stopped. And then, in an immense boom sending the heroes flying through the air, the tower exploded, rocks, rubble, and everything from within flying all about the ravine. The heroes were picked up by energy again, and floated slowly to the ground, where the survivors of the army were waiting for them.

As they touched ground with the area that had once been the peak, the mountains began to fade away, into hills, then slopes, then swamps. The remaining black moogles fled as fast as they could, and the heroes stood, shocked.

"Jerad and Ku-Sam didn't make it," Lorak said.

"How do you know?" asked Lorinan.

"Because I couldn't feel them if they were still alive. The Dark Moogle is. But how he escaped, I don't know."

"I do," Chaos said. "He still has control of my army. He probably transported to Skyhorn at the last moment. Used what power he could to make sure the Materia wouldn't kill him. But he won't have the bulk of the Materia's power. He'll be weaker than he was, and we probably won't see him for ages."

"Good riddance," Bacca said.

Lorak picked up the blade of a sword. "It was Jerad's," he said.

"Well," Chaos said. "Now that we've stopped the Dark Moogle for now, we have a bigger problem."

"Oh great," Jaana said. "What now?"

"The Materia are never destroyed," Chaos said. "They always regenerate in another Materia Sphere, out of pure energy of the planet. They'll regain all their power that the Dark Moogle doesn't have, which will be about 99%. And they will choose new Materia Warriors. Me and Lorak are the only ones left. Other than the Dark Moogle. There are 9 in total. But me and Lorak must give up our power before any of the power can be transferred on. And since the Dark Moogle is a Materia Warrior, he has to die, or give up his power as well. I'm not giving mine up yet. With no materia to be used, I have no use for it, but if we do find some materia when the Dark Moogle does too, we need someone who can battle him."

"Oh happy," Bacca said.

"But now I suggest we handle the white Moogles. And hunt down the Black Moogles. There will be lots. But they will have lost their will to fight for the Dark Moogle now. We can make them our allies. Now, shall we head back to Bacca's base? I'd like to take a rest."

So they headed back, and met up with Bacca's army once again. The base was only a few days away.