The Quistis Files Ch. 5: Meetings

Quistis leaned against the cushions of her seat, staring glumly at Seifer as he slept on the couch opposite of her. They had managed to snatch an id card from a bewildered and confused passenger and had easily slipped through the crowd to their new room, and Seifer had immediately claimed the larger and more comfortable couch for himself. Quistis sighed, then laid down on her "bed", her feet stretching over the end of the couch despite her shorter height.

He never learns… I should have known that Seifer would act this way. Even with the importance of this so-called mission, his ego will never drain… I’m surprised that Fujinn hasn’t taking to kicking him in the shins as well as Rajinn…

Her thoughts were interrupted when her phs suddenly rang, and she quickly dug it out of her small duffle bag and pressed the talk button.

"Quistis speaking." She said quickly, trying to keep her voice low enough not to wake Seifer up. She glanced at him nervously, but he simply moaned in his sleep and turned onto his other side.

"May I ask where you are, Miss. Trepe?" Cid's normally gentle voice had a rare tone of authority to it, and Quistis gulped silently. She knew what that tone meant. She was in big trouble this time.

"Seifer Almasy escaped detention yesterday, sir. He had been assigned to a four hour detention because of certain actions he had performed previously, and I happened to be near the front gate as he was leaving to take a school car."

Quistis drew a long breath and waited for Cid's answer, thinking of how he had been speaking to her just days ago of sending her off to Esthar as an envoy.

Oh yeah, he's really going to trust you to do that now…

"I am very aware of his actions, Miss. Trepe, and I intend to punish him for them once he returns, but it was not your duty to accompany him on this mad mission of his." Cid grew quiet for a moment, then continued on in a softer tone.

"However, I am aware of your considerable skills as a SeeD and so I am going to officially appoint you and Seifer on watchout at Timber. I am sure that you are aware that I have already sent a team of your former students there to aid a resistance group, and I want you to make sure that Seifer doesn't have a chance to interfere with them. Is that clear, Miss. Trepe?"

"Very clear sir. Thank you sir. I will do my best." She cut off the connection and sighed, staring with doubled anger at the young man sleeping on the couch.

You just had to come on this suicide mission, didn’t you. I have to go find Rinoa, you say. So you go and chase after some pretty girl and risk both of our lives in the process. Squall wouldn’t do anything that stupid…

Suddenly the train came to a stop, jolting Seifer out of his peaceful sleep. He sat up on the couch, rubbing the back of his neck with a gloved hand.

"Here already?" Without waiting for an answer, he stood up and headed to the door, slipping the card in the slot and leaving without giving Quistis even a backward glance.

"Typical." She said to herself, then grabbed their bags and headed out after him. She caught up with him just as he was stepping off the train, and she soon found herself looking around at the small town of Timber. Seifer stood off to one side, talking to one of the locals, and Quistis waited, dropping their luggage to the ground. Finally he turned back and turned his attention to her, if barely.

"Looks like the Galbadian president is making a broadcast over the cable lines from the old TV station here… that's probably where they'll be heading. Come on, I know the way."

And I can just guess who they are. Quistis shook her head before she could start thinking too hard and hefted the bags into her arms again. She followed Seifer as he jogged through the small town, and through a small tavern. They headed towards a back entrance just in time to see a bum who had been sitting there get up and stalk away, mumbling something about a lost card. Seifer threw a grin at her and went into the back ally, stopping momentarily to look up at the looming TV station.

"Well, there's our next stop, Instructor Trepe…"


Squall groaned as Rinoa and Zell tried for the fifteenth time to get the drunken old bum out of the way. He had been stubbornly sitting in front of the back exit doorway for the last twenty minutes and Squall's patience was slowly running thin.

"Look, we have to get through this door. Its very important." Squall said harshly to the man. Rinoa looked at him with a mixed look of terror and shock, and cleared her throat.

"Hold on a minute. I'll be right back." She walked quickly to the front of the tavern and was out the door before Squall could say anything. He glared at her retreating back for a moment, then turned back to the drunk, who had slumped against the door, gawking at a hand of cards.

"Where's ma card? Someone took ma darn card again… wath it you, mista?" The drunkard slurred his words and continued to garble on for a few more minutes. Squall was saved when Rinoa came back into the room, beaming.

"Look! Here's your card mister." She passed him a blue card, and the man looked at it in shock. Slowly he smiled, then stood up shakily.

"Why shank you… why don’t ya keep it? And join me for some…" the drunk's voice trailed off as he staggered a couple of steps away from the door and passed out, dropping the card onto the floor in front of Squall's feet. Zell jumped forward and grabbed it, then stuffed it into a pocket.

"Come on. We have to reach the TV station in time to stop the announcement."

Squall led the way, walking quickly through the small trash littered ally. He squinted through the sunlight at the large station building, then quickened his pace to a run. Soon they came to stop in front of a large screen built into the wall of the building and stood gasping for breath. Suddenly the screen crackled and fizzed, then came to life. A picture of a diplomatic looking room with a podium at the center came on screen, surrounded by microphones of various kinds.

"Uh-oh guys…" Selphie trailed off and stared at the screen while a thin nervous looking man had stepped up behind the podium.

"People of the world, may I present to you, President Deling of Galbadia." He stepped off screen and fake applause was omitted as the president walked on screen.

"I am here today to announce a new plan for this country. A plan for peace and prosperity for all, not just the rich and noble. I have forged a new ally today, with the sorceress Edea, a bringer of peace…"

Suddenly the picture swerved to the side as if the camera had been knocked over, and Seifer and Quistis rushed in, weapons pointed at the president. Quistis looked nervously at the screen, one eye still on Deling.

"SeeD team, if your watching this, get over here now!"

Squall and the others took their cue, running the rest of the way to the building and passing through the small storage room to where Quistis and Seifer stood at a standoff with the president.

"Don’t make a move Deling." Seifer said threateningly, the tip of his gunblade held close to Deling's throat.
Deling looked past them at the storage room, then returned his attention to the threat to his life.

"What are you doing her Seifer? Shouldn’t you be back at Garden in detention?" Zell blurted out all of a sudden, his hatred towards the other student obvious. Quistis groaned loudly, and Seifer snickered out of habit.

"You idiot!" He growled, pointing his gunblade closer into the president’s throat. The light of recognition began to glow in his eyes, and president Deling smiled viciously.

"Well now, you must be SeeDs then. Let me go or I'll destroy all of the SeeD gardens."

They all looked at each other questioningly, and Zell mentally smacked himself, kicking his foot in anger at the ground.

"Go on then. Get out of here." Seifer said, glaring at Zell, pure hatred showing on his face. Squall and the others stepped back, and Seifer re-sheathed his gunblade. The President smiled brightly, then casually strolled by them. A portal appeared in the other room, and a middle aged woman, dressed elaborately stepped through.

"Ah, Edea, how nice of you to come. Take care of them, will you?" Quistis had followed him to the room, but Seifer had gotten there before her. The woman looked at Quistis sharply, and she suddenly felt death and blind, falling to her knees. Seifer brought out his gunblade, bringing it around to the woman's neck, just a centimeter away.

"Oh, it’s the little warrior. Such fine discipline.. such skill. But you aren’t recognized for that skill, are you? Why don’t you come with me, warrior? You can be my knight. I will appreciate you. I will make your dreams come true."

She smiled at him seductively, and he faltered, lowering his gunblade an inch, his face full of confusion.

"How?" he asked plaintively, looking questioningly at the magic portal behind her. Her smile became broader and more feral.

"Come with me, my knight…" She turned and walked through the portal, with Seifer close behind, mesmerized. The portal closed behind them, and Quistis slowly brought herself to her feet, her vision and hearing clearing. She felt an arm on her shoulder and gasped, and turned quickly. Squall stood behind her, watching her with a rare expression of concern.

"Are you okay?" His voice was full of unusually seen concern, and Quistis stared in awe a minute before answering shakily.

"I’m okay.. that woman… she was a sorceress… now both her, the president, and Seifer are gone."

She looked at the spot where the portal had been, then shook her head angrily at letting a student disappear.

Where is he? Was he kidnapped? Or did he go willingly with them? Squall looked past her for a moment, then turned his attention back to her.

"I’m sure he'll be fine. Right now we have to worry about the mission at hand. By the way Instructor, what are you doing here? I thought you weren’t to be assigned a mission until next week."

Zell and Rinoa appeared behind Squall, breathless. Quistis looked past them to see that they had barricaded the door after fighting off several Galbadian guards.

"Um guys, I don’t think that's important right now…" Zell looked back at the door nervously, then began heading out of the opposite entrance, Rinoa close on his heels.

"Are you sure your all right?" Squall asked, studying her face carefully. Quistis laughed lightly, surprised by Squall's sudden change in attitude.

"I’m fine. But it looks like I'll be traveling with you guys for a while…."

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