Final Fantasy VIII Story - Journey For Redemption

Prologue:

Help Me!

Will You Help?

Seifer was caught up in a daze as he awoke from his sleep. He opened his eyes and looked around before rising onto his feet. He looked around, seeing nothing but darkness, hearing a voice in the distance.

Hello!

Will you help me?

In the far space in front of him, he catches a glimpse of flickering yellow light. A splash of blue moves past his eyes. He begins moving slowly towards the ambient flashes in the hope of finding what it is asking for his assistance. Seifer closes in on the apparent disturbance, his silver chain jangling around his neck. He hears a sound that resembles a "pupu".

"Hey", Seifer yells out. "Anything I can help with", He continues.

Seifer's eyes were wide open, shocked at what he was witnessing. A small blue creature was running around aimlessly next to a ship with smoke coming out from it.

"Are you all right?" Seifer asked.

The little alien stopped in its tracks, turning to look at the person it had just woken up.

"Will you help me?" The little alien cried. "My ship is not working. I can't leave," The alien continued.

"What are you," Seifer asked.

"Oh, I'm Pupu, an alien. Who are you?"

"Names Seifer, where are you from?"

"I'm from beyond the stars. I came to your planet looking for someone," The Little Pupu explained.

Before Seifer could continue, he heard his name echoing in the darkness. This time he knew the voice that was calling him.


Chapter 1: A Heated Disturbance!

"Seifer!" "Hey, Seifer!"

Waking up again, a recurrence he had already felt like he had done a moment ago. Seifer rises to see a familiar figure standing over him. Raijin, a fit, dark-skinned man, was peering over his close friend continued.

"Seifer! What are you doing still sleeping?" "That's usually my job. Ya know," Raijin Laughed. "Man Fujin is pissed! She doesn't like waiting."

Seifer turned to the side, putting his feet on the ground and stretching his arms up into the air.

"Man, what a strange dream". Seifer replied to his friend as he yawned loudly.

"Don't tell me you're dreaming about the sorceress again?" Raijin Asked

"Not this time, Rai. Anyway, where is Fuu?"

"Waiting for your sorry ass, bro, she's down at the docks. Remember, we are going fishing today."

"Sorry, Rai, will you go join her. I will be right with you guys."

"Cool, Seifer, take it easy, ya know."

Pushing himself from the bed, Seifer yawns once more as he looked around his room. The walls blue like the ocean, a picture hung next to his room's entrance, encased in the frame was Seifer and his friends. Seifer walked over to his closet on the right side of the room and started to get dressed.

Seifer blonde hair blew with the breeze coming in from the window as he hand-picked a pair of black trousers and a light blue vest to wear. Over his vest, Seifer threw on his iconic grey coat, designed with an emblem symbol on the back that resembled the Cross of Saint James. Seifer then sat back on his bed and pulled on his boots and black gloves before finally attaching his silver chain, linking a dog tag around his neck. He caught a glimpse of his blue eyes in the mirror before exiting the house. Balamb was now the place Seifer called home with Raijin and Fujin. He was very thankful to be allowed back after everything that had happened during past events in his life.

Balamb was a place full of fresh air and a serene atmosphere that allowed Seifer to reflect on the past and the decisions he had made.

Balamb was a tiny town situated on an isolated island. The only connection it had to the outside world was via an underwater train that linked it with another city by Timber's name. Although not cut off from the world, Balamb could be reached by sea as it featured a beautiful beach.

Seifer walked down the street slowly, looking at all the houses passing him. The Dinchts on the left, the weapon shop on the right. The tallest building in town was the hotel. Owned by Cyrus and his wife Dotti, they both had been very polite when Seifer arrived back in town. Looking out at the ocean, Seifer could see his friends out on the docks.

"Hey Seifer, you're finally up!" Raijin yelled.

Raijin was one of Seifer's closest friends. He was a young man, muscular in shape with short black hair. Equipped with dark brown eyes that could resemble the colour of his skin wore a blue vest and long, black daggy pants. Adorned with white bands on his forearms and a large yellow beaded necklace, Raijin wasn't one for fashion going for more comfort in his ability to move quickly. Raijin also adorned his favourite red belt and charcoal boots which he always favoured wearing.

"FINALLY", Fujin shouted as she pointed towards Seifer with her arm extended out and with a finger pointed at him.

Fujin was a striking young woman with shiny short-cropped silver hair and orange-tinted eyes. Fujin adorned a full blue uniform as she loved the water. She also wore a metal pauldron over her left shoulder. The pauldron mirrored Raijins, which he wore into battle on his right shoulder. Fujin threw her fishing pole towards Seifer as he caught the stick with a swing on his right arm.

"No luck catching anything yet?" Seifer asked as he looked down towards the fresh rippling water.

"Nothing is biting yet, ya know", Raijin replied.

"PATIENCE", Fujin announced.

Seifer sat down on the docks with his pole in hand. Raijin was standing on his left, swaying with the wind, throwing his line into the water. Fujin with her hands behind her back, staring off into the stretching ocean.

"Peaceful", Fujin proclaimed.

"Yeah, this is the life ya know". Raijin answered.

"Seifer, you heard much from the Garden of late?" Raijin asked.

"No, I haven't heard anything from them since they returned to Esthar." Seifer continued.

"I can't believe that Laguna guy is Squall's father and the president of Esthar!" remarked Raijin.

"Surprised me too, Rai. He is different to that Seed!" Seifer answered.

Just as Raijins pole started pulling him towards the end of the dock, the posse could hear a considerable rumbling off towards the beach. The trio looked towards the sky to see a vast green circular light heading towards the town. "Whoa!" Raijin screamed out loud as he toppled over the side and into the water below. The fish he had caught had been tugging at his line. Fujin hardly ever smiled or laughed but burst out into laughter when she watched Raijin go face-first into the ocean. Seifer pointed to the sky in awe and wonder.

"I wonder what Galbadia Garden is doing here." Yelled Raijin.

Seifer became lost in his thoughts. ("Hmm, what are they doing here?")

"Hey Seifer, give me a hand! Help me up!" Raijin yelled out.

"What? Can't get up yourself, big boy?" Fujin muttered as she teased a dripping wet Raijin.

Seifer lifted Raijin out of the water and turned around to see Galbadia Garden parked outside of the town on the lush green grass near the mountain range bordering the continent.

"Cmon, guys, we have to go and see who's coming to grace us with their presence!" Seifer pronounced.

Leaving behind their quiet day of fishing, Seifer and friends headed towards the entrance to greet their guests. As they passed the hotel, the owner came out after hearing the commotion.

"Seifer! What is all the noise going on?" Cyrus asked.

"Hey Cyrus, it looks like Galbadia Garden has landed outside of town. Don't worry. We will go and see what's up!" Seifer replied.

"Thanks, Seifer. If you need any help, just let me know." Cyrus declared.

Seifer ended his conversation as the young teens' group continued towards their destination as the trio reached the entrance. Martine, ex-headmaster of the Galbadia Garden, was there to greet them. Martine was a middle-aged man with a stiff wrinkled face who wore a long black military overcoat.

"Martine?" Fujin and Raijin shockingly announced.

"Hello, guys, sorry about the dramatic entrance," Martine replied.

"So what brings you hear Martine? There couldn't be anything here for you in this small town!" Seifer sarcastically proclaimed.

"Well, there is! Would you mind sparing me a moment of your time so I can explain my situation?" Martine begged.

"So, what's up? Another sorceress at large? Raijin suggested.

"No, nothing that troublesome. I tried to contact Squall and the Seeds, but I couldn't seem to get through to them, so I decided to come here and pay you a visit". Martine began.

"There has been a disturbance of late coming from Ifrit's Cave. A few of my soldiers from the Garden came here the other day to train and never returned. I was hoping you three would go and investigate. I am at this time short on strongly developed fighters, I never would usually ask, but my circumstances are dire". Martine Continued.

"READY", Fujin announced.

"What do you say, Seifer? You wanna go to the cave for a bit of training of our own?" Raijin stipulated.

"So Martine, if we go, what's in it for us?" "I mean, you're asking for our help after all". Seifer responded.

"Here, take this with you! It is a magical item that, when used at the right time, will gift you a power that will aid you in battle". Martine handed over a magical item to Seifer.

Light green in colour, the thing was like a ceramic pot, small in size, and when holding it within your hands, it felt like there was a gust of wind trapped inside. Seifer looked at the item Martine handed over to him.

With one eyebrow raised, Seifer started playing with it. Flipping it from side to side, he asked, "Does it do anything useful? Do I throw it at the monsters?"

Fujin snatched it out of Seifer's hands and communicated, "I think I will hold on to this. Too nice for a man like you to keep a hold of." Fujin shot Seifer a smirk as she continued to acknowledge the mystery surrounding the item.

"Whatever," Seifer said to Fujin as he folded his arms.

"If that's everything, then I guess it's our time to depart. Better head home and grab a few things right, guys," Seifer said.

"Yeah, bro." Raijin clenched his fist, pumping it into the air. "I can't enter battle without my staff."

"Nor can I without my chakram, although my wind magic is enough to blow most away," Fujin announced snidely.

"Right then, farewell. I will be in the Garden if you need me. Please come and let me know what you find if anything." Martine finished up and begun walking out of the town.

"Hey, Martine," Raijin yelled out.

"How come you're onboard the Garden. I thought you resided with the people of Fishermans Horizon?" Raijin wondered.

"Ah, yes," Martine replied. "Squall contacted me and asked me to continue my duties within the Garden. I was very honoured; he gave me this second chance." Martine concluded as he continued towards the Garden, disappearing into the distance. The trio turned and started walking towards their home to gear up for their travel.

"Squall, huh." Raijin began.

"I guess someone has to run the Garden. I doubt Edea would want the responsibility." Seifer continued.

"SMART". Fujin added in.


The trio entered their home and grabbed their weapons and anything necessary for instant battles.

"Better bring some potions. Never know when we may need them in case our healing magic is unavailable." Rajin announced.

"Glad to have you beside me, Rai", Seifer proclaimed as he clenched his fists.

"I've got your back. You don't have to worry, Seifer". Fujin expressed.

"Always an honour Fuu." Seifer disclosed as he picked up his trusty gun-blade.

Seifer looked down at his weapon. One he had used many times before in battle. It's the one thing that has kept him safe. The one thing he feels he can rely upon above all else. As he continued staring at the blade, his mind started wandering off, visiting memories of the past. Going back to when he was a child, he saw a movie that had inspired him. This movie was the cause of Seifer wanting to become a sorceress's knight.

"Hey Seifer, you alright?" "You seem lost in your mind?" Raijin asked.

Seifer shook his head as he replied, "Yeah, Rai, sorry, just got lost in my head there for a moment."

"WORRY?" Fujin muttered

"No, it's nothing, Fuu. Let's head on out, shall we" Seifer announced as he raises his gun blade above his head and sits it upon his shoulder as if he had just won a victory.

With Bo Staff in hand, pocket bags attached at his waist, Raijin exited their home back into Balamb. Fujin following after him with her chakram tightly sealed within her grasp. The trio now walked the short distance and left Balamb out into the wide-open space of the continent.

From the town entrance, the continent of Balamb is home to a beautiful beach, luscious forests of green, and a mountain range named "Gaulg Mountains". Ifrits cave, a cavern of heat and fire elements lied to the east of the island. The only other landmark is a massive crater to the southeast where the Elite Balamb Garden previously sat. Nothing more visualizing or pleasing to the eyes than to see that humungous structure soaring through the air.

The trio followed the road east, trying to avoid unnecessary battles with the local monsters that filled the continent. Bite bugs flew elegantly through the air as they entered the one forest that connected the field with Ifrits cave.

"Man, it's been a while since we have been out here in the open". Raijin professed.

"LAZY". Fujin described.

Laughing out loud, Seifer replied to Raijin, "It's nice to be able to relax now that no wars or dramatic events are plaguing the world."

"Remember last time we were out here training. That big mother of a dinosaur came out of nowhere smashing trees looking at me like I was its next meal!" Raijin recalled.

"If I remember correctly, you were running away from the beast instead of standing your ground!" Fujin announced.

"I mean, if you remembered rightly, those beasts are easily dealt with if you just cast a simple status spell-like sleep onto it". Fujin continued.

Clicking her fingers, Fujin expressed, "then it's a matter of either finishing the task or leaving the beast to dream the day away."

"You make it sound so easy, Fuu", Seifer proclaims.

"Fleeing ain't going to solve the problem, Raijin", comments Fujin as she winks at Raijin with her one undisclosed eye.

"C'mon man, why you gotta be so harsh! The T-Rex caught me off guard," Raijin replied with a red face. She was feeling embarrassed.

After arriving at the entrance, Fujin fanned her face with her hand. She was feeling the humidity coming from the opening of the cave.

"Boy, when was the last time you came here, Seifer?" Raijin asked.

"It's been a while. The last time I was here was when I came to do the trial for the seed exam," Seifer replied.

"Who accompanied you?" Raijin asked another question.

"Xu did! Man, not a lot of people know this, but that woman can fight. I didn't think she was going to be capable of anything. Was I wrong! She had this massive Spear she used as her weapon. She was ready for battle. Even when she didn't have her weapon in hand, she was skilled in martial arts. Wouldn't want to get trapped with her when she's angry!" Seifer explained.

"Never underestimate a woman Seifer! We are not all cleaning dishes and cooking!" Fujin declared.

"Man, can you cook though, Fuu. Your steamed fish is the best!" Seifer says as he tried to appease his friend.

"Did you ever want to become a "SEED" Seifer?" Raijin muttered.

"Hmm, I guess I did, but back then, I had my mind on different matters, and I guess they didn't go down well with the rules of becoming one!" Seifer answered.

Fujin and Raijin entered the hot and smouldering cave with Seifer right behind them. The cave black like a night sky without stars, lots of red and orange filled the room with lava flowing throughout. A singular rocky path laid in front of them as they walked along. Looking at the structure for any abnormal signs of disturbance, they reached the end of the cave. The end of the cavern laid home to Ifrits Dwelling. A small path surrounded by magma and hot flowing lava connected to a circular platform surrounded by rocky pillars.

"Remind me next time to bring a fan. This place is not my ideal setting," Fujin professed.

"If this path were any smaller, we would be burning alive," Raijin said worryingly.

"Hmm, this is where Ifrit usually resides. Guess without him; the cave doesn't have many purposes." Seifer proclaimed.

The state of Ifrits pillar had all crumbled to pieces as if something had smashed into them. The cracks were allowing magma and lava to flow through the apertures in the ground.

"Something was here", Seifer announced as he looked around the dark cavern.

"What would want to live here? It's too hot and humid!" Raijin said as he put his right hand on his hip.

A loud bang cut through the silence and puzzled the trio as they turned to look behind them.

"What was that!" Rajin Screamed.

"INVESTIGATE", Fujin announced.

Seifer turned around and headed directly back the way they came. Fujin and Raijin followed as they neared the entrance. A shining light flashed in front of their eyes, proceeded by a massive splash to their right. The trio turned their heads and saw a glowing light fly up out of the lava pits. As the light dissipated, it revealed a creature resembling a dragon. The dragon green in colour; a yellow lining covered its belly, and red puffs of hair hanging from its body. Two long black horns adorned its head as the creature held its tail within its mouth. The mystic dragon was flowing with a blue aura, which resembled a flame-like substance. The trio stood ready in awe of the sight before them as they were unsure what level of danger the creature appeared before them posed.

"MAGNIFICENT". Fujin whispered.

"That's one way to describe it". Raijin replied with a bit of loudness.

As the dragon gave off a roar, the blue aura disappeared as the dragon let go of its tail and flew through the air.

"A little bit louder next time Rai, I don't think it heard you". Seifer muttered.

"What do we do now?" Fujin said as she voiced her concern.

The dragon flailed through the air until halting at the sight of the party. It let loose another roar as it pulled its head back and spat out a massive fireball. It was glowing in a light blue coloured flame as it flew towards the heroes. Fujin and Raijin rolled out of the way as the attack hit the ground, destroying the rock foundation it had struck. Seifer remained unshaken with his gun-blade in a defensive stance.

"Whoa, I nearly got barbecued". Rajin yelled.

Fujin rose to her feet. A glow surrounded her body. " I call upon the power of wind," She yelled as a ripping cyclone spiralled up from the ground and spun towards the mighty beast. The beast's eyes glowed yellow as it turned its tail, which collided with the tornado, immediately dissipating the wind elements.

"Huh, not bad, Fujin, but too bad it did not affect it". Seifer voiced as he stood ready with Gun-blade in hand.

"Let me try. It's my turn". Raijin announced.

As a glow surrounded his body, Raijin yelled out, " power of thunder, give me your strength."

Raijin pounded his bow staff into the ground as a crackle of thunder could be heard. The dragons' size made it possible for the yellow and white bolts of electricity to hit their target. It let out a mighty roar from the damage of the attack.

"Haha, that's how you do it, ya know". Raijin confessed.

As the trio looked at the dragon, it seemed unaffected. The eyes of the dragon now glowed even brighter as it opened its mouth and sprayed the room with a yellow breath of lightning bolts.

As the dragon aimed for the heroes, Seifer leapt behind a rock pillar. Raijin and Fujin followed him.

"I think he enjoyed your little electric show, Rai!" Fujin uttered.

"It must have absorbed the energy". Seifer added.

"Dragons are ancient creatures. They usually are unaffected by many elements". Fujin continued.

"So how do we subdue it without knowing what its favourite snack is?" Raijin asked.

"Off you go then," Seifer said with a smile on his face as he pushed Raijin out from behind the boulder.

"BRAVE" Fujin yelled out.

"Hey, who said I was brave, Fuu". Raijin yelled back.

(Fine, It's up to me then!) Raijin thought to himself.

Raijin leapt forward and ran towards the ferocious dragon as it swirled and descended to the ground. Raijin jumped towards the dragon and slammed his bow staff into the dragon's head multiple times before landing back on the ground. The dragon roared again as it floated in the air from the damage.

"Okay, Fujin, Now It's Our Turn". Seifer Announced.

"AFFIRMATIVE". Fujin concluded.

"Raijin, get down". Seifer Yelled.

As Raijin hit the deck, feeling the heat from the ground beneath him, Fujin Tossed her chakram while yelling "Zan". The chakram flung with an upward swing zipping through the air and slicing into the body of the dragon. As the chakram returned to Fujin, she yelled out, "Rise oh power of wind". She summoned a vortex of wind, pulling in rocks and lava, shooting directly up towards the ceiling, impacting the dragon on the side of its head.

Continuing the barrage of attacks, Seifer's hands glowed a bright red. Shooting balls of fire aimed at the dragon's whole body. Multiple balls were hitting the creature's head, body and legs before he rushed forward. Leaping into the air, he moved towards the tiresome dragon with a continuous pummel of slices and dices before one last strike against the mysterious beast's head sent it crashing to the ground. As Seifer landed back onto the terrain, the creature started squirming. Letting out one last roar, it started disappearing into spiritual energy.

"Whoo, Boy," Seifer said, breathing heavily.

"It has been a long time since we have done something this dangerous and exhilarating, don't you think" Seifer concluded.

"Hey! Thanks for pushing me out! When did I become the hero? That's your job, Seifer, ya know!" Raijin expressed.

"WIMP". Fujin added.

As the trio continued to gossip, a sizeable shining light appeared within Ifrits Dwelling.

"Hmm, guess we aren't so lucky then?" Raijin asked.

"Cmon, let's go take a look". Seifer replied.

The trio travelled back to the depths of the cavern to see the mystical beast floating above the Ifrits platform. As they approach, they are surprised to discover the dragon could talk.

"Thank you for freeing me, kind humans. I was unable to control myself due to possession by an unknown force." The beast uttered.

"Who are you? and what are you doing here?" Seifer asked.

"I am an ancient guardian force that represents the infinite cycle of nature's endless creation. You can call me Ouroboros. I have lived in this cavern for thousands of years. Below, in the depths of the earth where creation began, I have lived for so long. A force awakened me and took my control away. I was issued to destroy this cavern and then the rest of the island."

"So you are a guardian force like Ifrit, who this cavern belongs to?" Raijin asked with a bit of doubt.

"Yes! Not known to many who inhabit this planet, I once lived alongside the other guardians until I fell into my eternal slumber. After that time, I returned to the depths of the planet where I had slumbered until now." Ouroboros continued.

"So, how did you lose your mind? If you don't mind my asking," Fujin asked.

Ouroboros went on to explain that a strange voice awakened him. As he rose from the lava pits below, he had seen a shadowy figure who had cast a spell upon him strong enough to render him unable to move and lose control. "I heard a voice that had told me that it was my mission to destroy the cavern than the rest of the island as it posed a threat to the planet's existence. Ouroboros explained further. "If you would allow it, I would like to join you as this may only be the start of a bigger problem. In return, I can lend you my strength, one with the gun-blade," Ouroboros explained.

"I thank you for your strength and am honoured to be in your presence". Seifer replied.

As the conversation drew to a close, Ouroboros vanished and joined Seifer as a means of amplifying his strength in battle.

"Cmon, guys, we need to return to the Garden and inform Martine of our findings." Seifer proclaimed.

They walked back out onto the green fields, relieved to be back in a colder environment.

"Man, the heat drains ya, ya know". Raijin announced.

Fujin then proceeds to kick Raijin in the leg. "USELESS," she says as she shakes her head.

"Let us go see Martine. Hopefully, he has some answers," Seifer says with a bit of concern in his voice.