FF8 FanFic PuPus Saga

By Mark Perkins,2014-06-28 12:26
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FF8 FanFic PuPus Saga ...

     The FF VIII Fanfic

    PuPu's Saga? :

     “Un homme et une jeune fille sur une plage”


    by Jeremy Chapter? (

"Such a little man could not have made so big a depression."

-Norman Thomas

Synopsis: Explores the esoteric alien side-quest in FF8, picking up just where the

    game ends. A tale of love, mystery, deception, betrayals, murders, and the SeeDs

    greatest challenge yet to stop a war threatening the end of all Terra!

PuPu's Saga? :

     “Un homme et une jeune fille sur une plage” ?

by Jeremy Chapter? (

    “I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades

    For ever and for ever when I move.”

-Tennyson, Alfred Lord

    Ulysses 18

Dramatis Persona Hominis















    Mina Charleston




    Jay, Sergeant

    Zen, Ph. D. & J. D.




Jeremy Chapter


    Lily Furgle

    Cary Kay

    Darby LeBard




Caraway, General

    Dr. Odine

    Dr. Kadowaki


Author's Extended Foreword:

    “I think they love not Art

    Who break the crystal of a poet’s heart

    That small and sickly eyes may glare or gloat.”

     -Wilde, Oscar

     De Profundis

Disclaimer to save my own ass: Every element belongs to Squaresoft, Inc., not to me, unless I

    made it up. The trademark for the name Jeremy Chapter? and the copyright for the work PuPu‟s Saga ? : “Un homme et une jeune fille sur une plage” ? belong to me. No part or whole of this work may be reproduced for commercial purposes without my explicit documented


     If you would like to put PuPu‟s Saga ? : “Un homme et une jeune fille sur une plage” ? up on

    your website, feel free to copy and paste from whatever url you are engaging this story, or ask me

    to email it to you as html-ized email attachments, three settings at a time. In either case, please

    inform me prior to taking the story so that I may give you my written consent to use it and that I

    may be mindful to send you the new installment chapters as I finish them.

     This fanfiction picks up right where the game ends. If it interferes chronologically with any

    other fanfic, just treat the celebration at the beginning of the story as some other party that

    Balamb Garden throws after Squall goes through Time Compression again to kill some other

    sorceress named Ultimecia during which Rinoa kisses Squall one more time because they both

    see another shooting star, and during which Laguna, Ward, Kiros, and Ellone all just happen to

    be in Winhill visiting Raine's grave a second time. If you know already who Laguna‟s son is, then

    Setting 1 is not essential to the plot and can be skipped. This fanfic has many allusions to Final

    Fantasy VIII and IX, some of which are pretty profound. Those that have not explored the world

    of Final Fantasy VIII as thoroughly as others might miss some subtle clues while those that have

    explored the world too thoroughly can guess half the plot out right. Stuff that I made up wasn‟t meant to be corny, corny as they may be. The reading may be slow until the tempo picks up in

    Setting 11 or so. Skipping straightway to Setting 11 would pass over many of the hints about the

    game or foreshadowing elements about plot twists to come. Sometimes I get caught up with

    grandiloquence and neglect the beauty of terseness. Please bear with me through Settings 13

    and 18 in particular. Volume I (or “Division 1”) closes with Setting 26. By the time you‟ve gotten

    to Volumes II and III, the story will have picked up so much momentum that the rest of the story

    (up to Setting 65) will fly by.

     I have never and still don‟t promise the perfect story, but I‟m warning you how big a

    commitment you have to make to finish this perdurable behemoth. Maybe I‟m talking to myself here. The story focuses mainly on Squall, his regular groups (minus Rinoa), and some new

    characters like Mina, Merali, and Match. I tried to keep the number of Settings focused on

    characters from the older generation to a minimum. Dante, Jay, Lily, Jeremy, Pearl, and Sujie

    are other additions I‟ve taken the liberty to make. As much I wanted to exclude Seifer and his

    posse altogether, I could not possibly. He has so much to offer as a character.

     My saga is a prequel to Raine Ishida‟s “Hope” ( and though people

    cannot copyright ideas these days, only expressions, I have no problem with respectfully

    attributing even un-copyrightable intellectual property to their rightful owners. Here are my

    current acknowledgments and to the best of my knowledge, their current email addresses: The

    idea of Mina belongs to the aforementioned Raine Ishida. The idea of Titanus belongs to Dark

    Horse ( The idea of Stella, Laura, and Shojora belong to Kate Lorraine ( The idea of Lunar belongs to Barrett Machain ( The idea of Eris belongs to Blackrose (

     I realized that the length of this 3-Volume, 65-Setting, 520-plus-single-spaced-page epic

    novel would deter most fans from picking it up, and strain from that small number even fewer who

    would ever finish reading it. In order to boost the interest and preserve the incentive to keep

    reading, I‟ve begged the assistance of some very talented artists to whom I shall give due and

    grateful credit for their pieces for each chapter. I‟ve also tried to infuse a little humor into each

    Setting through the characters. Please excuse me if what they say is not what you would have

    liked to hear. I had read all the stories of Seifer being a menace to society or Seifer‟s sudden

    change of heart that I could bear. I couldn‟t accept straight off any over maudlin, too-perfect

    romances between Squall and Rinoa. I was horrified by the possibility that Cid was capable of

    domineering over Squall after he had just saved the world. I hadn‟t seen too many people use

    GFs as more than just weapons of war in their stories (the exception being Kate Lorraine‟s “The

    Claiming of Shiva” in which she incorporates lines like, “Oh, [Shiva] wanted this one. This one,

    she had to make her own.”). I never did find Rinoa‟s new sorceress powers all that entertaining.

    I thought Ultimecia‟s return or the repeat of the Lunar Cry were exhausted and unoriginal. I felt Squaresoft left a lot of things ambiguous and in want of explanation. I was mad at all the fanfics

    that are left incomplete and leave the reader hanging. I hope not to fix all of this, but to present

    before you something new, if you give me the chance. The four years of my life I planned on

    sacrificing to complete this saga is the price of evading hypocrisy. It‟s not about the fame. It‟s not

    about the glory. And it‟s definitely not about the glamour of fanfiction writing there is no such

    glamour in empty coffee pots, disheveled hair, and burning the midnight oil as far as I‟m aware.

    It‟s about truth.

     Be warned that my writing does not exude the elegance or delectability of Kate Lorraine's.

    My style has neither the refinement nor delicacy of DJ Johnston's; neither the magnitude nor the

    endurance of Marcus‟; neither the sentimentality nor the poignancy of Arian's; neither the temerity

    nor the intrepidity of Darren Shier's; neither the gravity nor flourish of Larathia's; neither the

    maturity nor efficiency of Malice Shaw's. I do not elevate the language as the epic tradition

    behooves like XmagicalX does. Instead, I elevate the voice. The prose I promise is whimsical

    and sprightly. I plan to give you an exploration of the people and their interaction with each other

    and the world of Final Fantasy VIII. I have intended for you not to get caught up in the plot as

    much as to be swept away by the drama and pathos. Most of the plot movement occurs through

    dialogue or internal monologue because the story is character-centric, not action-centric.

     The creativity I offer, I'm afraid, extends only as far as the bounds of my eccentricity and the

    reader's willingness to be led. The saddest part is when you have to leave this dream world that

    I've constructed. Yes, I am here to wield the mad power of molding worlds as I see fit, and I can

    proudly say that I do it in a way unadulterated by external opinions because it is my story and I

    planned it out before all the input began to pour in. I think I am thoughtlessly undertaking the

    emendation, extension, and (Hyne-willing) the establishment of canon. Ut sint unus auctor et una

    veritas sed multae recitationes.

     Now, for my final word of caution: I abuse the usage of participles and adverbs, and I am

    shameless in experimenting with narrative presence, distance, and time (though nowhere near as

adept or fanatical as Woolf or Joyce). I have in store for you my finest stock of gentle satire,

    gentile lampoon, bittersweet humor, and every last wicked intention. If the story happens to bore,

    bewilder, annoy, offend, or disgust you in any way, then it is a pity. Caveat emptor, take product

    as is. If you want another story, or a sequel perhaps, drop a line with any fictitious character

    names you would like to see incorporated in it, or any fresh ideas. So now, without further delay,

    I shall make my invocation and send you off into my own little microcosm of Final Fantasy VIII:

     "Be with me, Muse of all Desire, Erato,

    While I call up kings, the early times…

    A greater history opens before my eyes,

    A greater task awaits me."


     Aeneid VII

Prologue: 1716 DAY 27, Tomb of the Unknown King Main Chamber

    "O cruel one, bestow on me

    Some taken of your sovereign sway,

    Which I may follow earnestly,

    And never from its precept stray.

    If you would have me fade away

    In silence, then account me dead,

    But if you'd hear my ancient lady,

    Then Love himself my cause shall plead.

    My soul to contraries inured

    Is made of wax and adamant,

    And well prepared for Cupid's law.

    Whether soft or hard my heart is yours,

    To grave it leave to you I'll grant,

    And to your will I'll bow with awe.


     Don Quixote of La Mancha Part 2 XII

     He was bleeding.

     From the way that it felt, it had to be pretty bad. Under his shirt there were, no doubt,

    multiple punctures through which he could feel the red fluid seeping out and soaking his white

    shirt. Had he his wits, he might have realized that he didn't have much time left before the end.

     Nothing seemed to be happening. The drumming in his ears was silent but somehow

    concurrently more intense than it could ever have sounded in reality. His mind couldn‟t register

    too many thoughts at once; he could only connect a small number of them; his movements were

    sluggish; his limbs were nowhere to be found; the world was now at rest, now swirling; now

    muddled, now clear.

     He'd been in combat long enough to recognize these symptoms: He was in shock.

     Looking down, he caught a glimpse of his completely red shirt and coldness seized him.

     She betrayed me!

     He could not get over that thought, he, crouching there, arms pulled in close, shivering in his

    bloodstained uniform. The image of the girl running out from the cavern played itself over and

    over in his head. He tried to stop it, but his memory refused to obey, forcing him to revisit the

    blue, the flapping, waving blue that she had down over her back. The blue she had that was so

    visible as she ran away.

     What happened?

     He grimaced as different parts of his body began to throb. He had to remember; he had to

    go back further. He saw fire, he felt his body being pierced from all sides, he perceived his initial

    fear, he stomached the onslaught of doubt, daunt, and imminent death, but only after the blue

    forced itself back into reminiscence did he feel obliterated.

     He closed his eyes and shook his head violently, desperately trying to recall what had just

    happened. All the world seemed to bob ineffectually in eerie limbo.

     She betrayed me!

     He had to get beyond that. There was something else, something he was missing. If only

    he weren't trembling so much; if he could shut out the pain flooding his system and ripping into

    his muscles like a jagged saw, twisting from where it was nestled as to hook more sinews on its

    way through his body. The imagined sound of his flesh being torn off by strips nauseated him.

     His eyes shot open. It had just come to him.

     I was buried alive.

     He tried to look around, focus his eyes, and find anything that looked vaguely familiar. He

    wasn‟t certain if the noise exploding in his ears was someone's screaming or a great tremor sent

    by Nature herself. Just as his mind began to question the seemingly inert passing of time, his

    vision cleared and his eyes seized a target.

     It was Rinoa, standing above him with a wicked-looking dagger that she was raising over his


     Am I to die? he wondered as the feelings of loneliness and dread washed over him.

     In response to that question which he had forbidden himself to ever ask, a dark phantom

    appeared from overhead and ominously called his name, beckoning to him.


Setting 01: 1220 DAY 0, Alcaud Plains around Balamb

    “A savage race, that hoard, and sleep, and feed…know not me.

    I cannot rest from travel.”

     -Tennyson, Alfred Lord

     Ulysses 5

     lixir> Pathetic plea.

     <Elixir> Pathetic plea

     <I need an Elixir> Self-evident declaration

     <Help me>! Punctuated despair and pathetic plea

     <Anyone have an Elixir>? Rhetorical question and wishful thinking

     <Please help me> Pathetic plea and self-evident futility

     <…> Pause and resumption

     <My poor feet> Plaintive self-pity

     <…> Pause and resumption

     <…>? Awareness and interest

     <…>! Sudden realization and flood of jubilance

     <There is Balamb Garden>! Second and self-evident declaration

     <…> Self-reassurance and calmness

     <There is someone coming>! Awareness and suspicion

     <Who is there>? Nonspecifically directed interrogative

     <Squall>? Quasi-specifically directed interrogative and wishful thinking

     <Squall>! Reckless presumption and exuberance

     <Is that you>? Quasi-specifically directed interrogative

     <Hey, Squall> Relation-creative-purposive address and wavering certainty

     <…> Pause and closer inspection

     <…>! Awareness and corollary certainty

     <Squall, are you there>? Quasi-specifically directed interrogative, extended presumption,

    uncertainty, and incipient inquietude

     <Heavens>! Awareness and reflex panic

     <Help me, someone>! Nonspecifically directed imperative directive, growing panic, and

    wishful thinking

     <Squall>! Reflex defensive assertion and specifically directed, imbedded directive

     <Please, no> Plaintive plea, specifically directed, elliptical imperative directive, deplorable

    capitulation, and fear

     <Please> Plaintive plea, specifically directed, imperative directive, and unmitigated fear

     <NO>! Awareness, plaintive plea, specifically directed, elliptical imperative directive and



Setting 02: 1427 DAY 1, Winhill Cemetery

    “This is my son…when I am gone.

    He works his work, I mine.”

     -Tennyson, Alfred Lord

     Ulysses 33

    “Well, I‟m here now, and I probably should have come here a lot more often than I

    have, this being the first time, so I‟m sorry.”

     Laguna Loire snapped his fingers to pass the time, unsure if what he said was coherent and

    clueless about what to say next. He‟d never seen his wife‟s burial marker before, much less talk

    to it, and he was trying his hardest to keep a smile on his face. What he really wanted to do was

    plop down right there and beg for Raine‟s forgiveness.

     “This actually isn‟t an awkward situation at all,” he lied, “I can almost see you there looking

    skeptical. So, if it‟s okay with you, I‟m going to rehearse what the one monologue that I‟ve always

    imagined that I would have with you once I saw you again.”

     He stopped to think about what he just said before struggling to rephrase himself, “Of course

    I won‟t be saying your lines out loud cause you‟ll be saying them in my head, but it‟ll work, I think.”

     Taking a deep breath, Laguna tried to make some more excuses, even though he knew

    there was no point. And yet, somehow, he was comforted by the fact that had Raine been

    standing there, she wouldn‟t have minded regardless. She would have stood there silently with

    that understanding, sympathetic smile, ready to laugh at him lightly and let him off the hook. Yes,

    he could see her standing there now, doing exactly that. It loosened him up a bit, but it also

    made him wish that she would just get angry at him, start calling him names, cursing at him, or

    beating him…anything to let him know how she really felt.

     It was getting harder and harder to keep up that smile. He realized at that moment that the

    coldest words were what Raine didn‟t say. She would never chastise him even if she were still alive. But now it was too late to hear her utter even a single word.

     On the verge of cracking, it seemed like a good idea to change the subject. He thought

    about going off the script and talking about something that might not make him feel so guilty, but

nothing came to mind. Then he remembered that he could always talk about their son whom he

    was sure Raine would be curious about. Yet, he was determined to save that topic for last.

     Unable to come up with anything fast, Laguna could feel himself becoming more and more

    nervous. He even caught himself antsily tugging on the tails of his unbuttoned dress shirt and

    swaying back and forth. He kicked himself for not rehearsing it more times before actually

    coming, but it was too late for that now. Now he shook his head in disgust.

     “Looks like I‟ve botched another one, Raine,” he confessed finally, trying to joke about it with

    a quick, exaggerated frown. He imagined Raine rolling her eyes, imitating that silly frown, and

    shaking her head, once again absolving him. He wanted so bad to have her throw daggers at

    him with her eyes.

     “Laguna, you loser,” he scolded himself, “you can‟t even make a figment of your imagination

    get angry with you.”

     Raine chuckled and playfully kicked some dirt onto his shoes. Then she tried to mimic his

    swaying motion, which was making her dizzy.

     This is embarrassing, he thought to himself, scratching his head.

     “Can you tell me that I‟m horrible, that I don‟t deserve to live?” he asked her.

     Raine placed her index finger against her closed lips, shaking her head.

     “I‟m serious,” he entreated, trying again.

     She humorously covered her ears and pretended not to hear him.

     “Well, fine then, be that way,” Laguna conceded, slightly irritated at getting beaten in an

    argument with a speechless spirit.

     Raine stuck her tongue out at him and pushed him lightly with the meanest face she could

    put on. It didn‟t look very mean to Laguna, and he told her so. Her features softened a bit, not

    expecting her husband to be so straightforward.

     Laguna finally gathered his thoughts and enough courage to spew out clumsily, “I know it

    wasn‟t fair of me to leave you like I did, but that doesn‟t make it right for you to leave before I can

    say that I‟m sorry. This was one time that you never gave me the chance to pay for my mistake.”

     That was what he wanted to say all along, how he felt on the inside, both guilty and cheated.

    In retaliation, Raine did her best to pull off a mischievous snicker.

     “Why did you leave me?” he asked a little bit louder. He could feel the anger boiling inside

    him, giving him enough strength to press her more forcefully with his questions. “What was it?

    Was it a disease, something natural, or was it me? It was me, wasn‟t it? Tell me.”

     Before Laguna had finished his last question, Raine had picked up three rocks lying by her

    epitaph and begun to juggle them, finding them more interesting than her husband‟s whining.

     “Stop that,” he said, trying to swat away the imaginary stones, not realizing how idiotic he

    looked to any third person.

     Raine wasn‟t listening now, surprising herself with how many stones she could keep in the

    air. It was way more entertaining than Laguna‟s confession, she decided. Ten seemed like a

    commendable number. Maybe she would be bold enough to attempt an eleventh for good


     Laguna was shaking involuntarily because he was mad at her for not listening and at himself

    for getting mad at a dead person when he was the one at fault. He calmed himself, realizing that

    this was exactly what Raine wanted…an angry Laguna who wanted to project the guilt and shift

    the blame. She wanted to protect him from feeling as if he had wronged her, even if that meant

    making herself seem so heartless.

     “I‟ll stay in Winhill until you want me to go then,” he suggested.

     For the first time, Raine looked concerned. She shook her head, signaling to Laguna that he

    didn‟t have to do that.

     Laguna realized that this was her weakness. She wanted him to stay, but didn‟t want to say

    it, just like she didn‟t want him to stay in her little town because of her. He wasn‟t doing this for

    the pleasure of watching Raine grow worried, though, but because he wouldn‟t be able to forgive

    himself if he left Winhill again so suddenly. He owed that much to her, and seeing how

    disconcerted she was, as well as knowing her nature of always letting him off easy, he knew he

    was doing the right thing by making that promise.

     At any rate, she might have married him so she wouldn‟t have to listen to him beg her again

    and again to reconsider. Perhaps she was banking on his long vacation all long as a reprieve

from all his droning. Had she known that he would have come back to whine after she was dead,

    she never would have agreed to marry him.

     “I won‟t leave you. I never should have,” he added.

     Unexpectedly, Raine let all the rocks she was juggling drop, visibly moved by his discovery

    and decision.

     “I don‟t know what else to say except I‟m sorry,” he admitted, lowering his head.

     Raine tried to comfort him with her puppy-dog look, walked over next to him, and caressed

    his cheek before retreating to her original spot.

     “I guess we were both lucky that Squall is that strong,” Laguna brought up suddenly, making

    sure to get it over with before he forgot. “I tried my best to take care of him, but he turned out all right on his own. Very independent, doesn't need anyone's help.”

     Raine looked confused, but Laguna was too caught up with his praises to notice.

     "I mean, he grew up with all that opposition, but he never let it get to him. It's great that he

    doesn't concern himself with what other people think of him. Tries not to listen to anyone who

    tries to give him any garbage about his not being able to take care of himself or making the wrong

    decision. Squall understands himself and knows when he's right, and that's what counts.

    Doesn't want anyone else to distract him from that. Pretty strong, huh? Always trusts himself to

    make the right decisions and take care of everything personally-"

     Raine was waving for Laguna to stop. She was totally lost, and regardless to whomever her

    husband was raving about, he didn't seem to be living a healthy life.

     “You know, our son. Squall? The big success?” Laguna picked up, thinking her interruption

    was another joke.

     Raine looked stunned, making it abundantly clear that he had better not die any time soon

    because she was going to make him pay for choosing such a dumb name.

     Laguna held up his hands in defense, stammering, “I-I t-thought you named him, because I

    sure as hell didn‟t.”

     The realization that Ellone named their son hit them at the same time. The look on Raine‟s

    face spelled out that Ellone would do well not to die before her godmother‟s wrath subsided, as

    she would surely pay for choosing such a dumb name.

     Laguna rubbed his chin and asked, “You didn‟t name him in all that time?”

     Raine shot him a “don‟t-push-me” look.

     “Okay, okay,” he said quickly, and shifted the subject back to Ellone, “What did you expect

    her to name him?”

     Raine made a “duh” face and mouthed, “Cloud.”

     “I‟ll get even with her for you, sweetie. I‟ll name her son Irvine or something stupid like that,”

    Laguna offered.

     Raine nearly doubled over laughing.

     Encouraged by her propitious reaction, Laguna took that chance to say that from what he

    had heard, Squall had turned out just like him.

     His wife was unimpressed, thinking to herself, “I thought you said he was a success.”

    Instead of telling him that, though, she smiled tactfully, took a step forward, and gestured with a

    wave over his face for him to close his eyes.

     Laguna closed them, but he could still see as if they were open. He was able to see the

    bright afternoon change into night, and all the stars lighting up against the dark velvet above.

    Looking down, he scowled in dismay as the grave marker vanished before his eyes. His brown

    slacks turned into black army pants, and his shirt into the sporty blue vest that he had worn when

    he was young.

     “What did you want to talk to me about?” rang a familiar voice from behind him.

     Laguna knew whom that voice belonged to before he spun around. It was the same one that

    he had longed to hear for nearly two decades, but he was too amazed by this new development

    to lift Raine in the air. It was déja vue for he had seen all this somewhere before. He looked

    through every memory he had with Raine before he realized that she was replaying for him that

    sentimental scenario in which he proposed to her. Astonished as he was, Laguna allowed

    himself to relive the moment, enjoying the miracle without questioning how it was possible that

    they could go through the entire sequence again: He turns around, not sure how to pop the

    question, waving her off and telling her to forget it; she runs over and pulled his arm, asking him

to stay; he swings around, grabs her hand, and fits her finger with a gold ring; she looks at him

    questioningly; he shows her the gold ring on his own finger and watches as her quizzical

    countenance melts smoothly into a heart-wrenching, near-whimpering smile; and finally they

    share the seemingly eternal embrace that made all his consternation about the proposition seem


     Laguna‟s feet were numb by the time this awesome experience was over and he had to

    make an effort not to collapse as night turned back into day. Once again he was in the present,

    staring at her marker, shocked that the illusion had vanished so quickly. He couldn‟t see Raine

    anymore, but some way or another, Laguna felt as if she was right there beside him, providing the

    same comfort.

     “Uncle Laguna!”

     Having grown accustomed to the unbroken tranquility of Winhill for the past twenty minutes,

    Laguna‟s eardrums were nearly shattered by Ellone‟s soft but nevertheless splitting voice. For an

    instant Laguna was almost glad that Raine had left since Ellone would surely have been toast

    had she arrived a few seconds earlier.

     There she was, Squall‟s “big sister,” green scarf and all, trying to make her way down the

    grassy hill without spraining her dainty ankles. She waved in her usual blinding splendor so

    innocently that even Laguna had to gawk before grinning and raising his head in


     On the summit behind Ellone he could see Kiros and Ward. Kiros pointed at something

    behind Laguna. Just a short distance away, the brilliant Balamb Garden drew near, skipping

    from hill to hill.

     Laguna stood up, feeling a sense of pride swell in him with the knowledge that the craft

    carried a true hero, his son. He almost felt giddy. I can‟t believe he‟s really mine!

     And auspiciously, Raine was there to see it.

Setting 03: 1458 DAY 1, Winhill Outskirts

    “Down stage he strode some paces,

    grave, tall in affliction, his long arms outheld.

    Hoarsely the apple of his throat hoarsed softly.

    Softly he sang to a dusty seascape there: A Last Farewell.

    A headland, a ship, a sail upon the billows.

    Farewell. A lovely girl, her veil awave

    upon the wind upon the headland, wind around her.”

     -Joyce, James

     Ulysses II

     “This place must have a plethora of sentimental value, Ellone,” Kiros said, “otherwise I

    don‟t think he would be so determined to stay here.”

     “I‟ve never seen Uncle Laguna so fired up and decisive before, Mr. Kiros,” Ellone


     Kiros considered it and gave Ward a knowing look.

     “Neither have we,” was the consensus.

     Ellone looked at Ward and giggled.

     “No one knew on the White SeeD ship, Mr. Ward,” Ellone asked, “but how did you lose your

    ability to speak?”

     Ward was anything but offended by the question. He pointed back in the direction of Winhill,

    almost out of view.

     Kiros did not mince words in his explanation, “Your uncle pushed us off a cliff.”

     Ellone gasped in amusement, “That simple, huh? No offense, Mr. Ward.”

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