Chapter 10: Epilogue

(Date: July 24, 4018, Time: 09:45 hours, Place: Balamb Garden, Infirmary)

Less than a day had passed since Lisa Hawkwind defeated Kale Akaisura, and helped Mei-Len join Kale in death. There are no more threats to the remaining members of the Hawkwind family, but there was still sadness in their hearts. The lost of the patriarch, and brother to some, father to one, and uncle to others was great. Also, the comatose Thomas Hawkwind didn't look any closer to coming out of the coma he was in.

Lisa Hawkwind, along with her aunts, Sahara, and Claire, and her cousins, Elizabeth, Bobby, and Maria stood around the bedside of Thomas Hawkwind. All of them had already lost two important people in their lives, and they were nearly close to a decision to losing another.

Even though Lisa never knew her uncle, she was still sad that she couldn't get to know him. To know what kind of person he was, to hear his dreams, to share in experiences, she never got the chance to do any of that with him. She wished there was another choice, but she knew what had to be done. "Isn't there another way?" Lisa questioned her aunts. "We shouldn't give up on him."

As much as Sahara wished words could bring back her brother, she also knew the severity of the situation. "No Lisa," she said while tears dropped from her eyes. "It's the only way that his soul can rest in peace. I can wish all I want, but this is the only way. I know he wouldn't want to live the rest of his life as a lifeless vegetable, and I don't want him to either. I'm sorry Lisa."

Lisa couldn't believe her ears. To hear her aunt giving up on a member of the family, it was the hardest thing to believe. "Doctor Kadowaki, isn't there anything we could do to help him?"

The robust woman got up from her desk and walked over to the saddened family. "I'm sorry Lisa. All the brain damage that he took can't be repaired by any magic, and no technology on the face of this planet can do it either. It's either this, or let him keep on living as a vegetable."

To hear that from the doctor made Lisa even more frantic with worry and sadness. She looked on as Doctor Kadowaki showed her aunts the switch to flip to stop the life support. (Isn't there anything anyone can do?) Lisa screamed in her mind.

"There is a way to help your uncle," a female voice from within Lisa's mind said.

Lisa was confused at first, but recognized the voice of the Guardian Force, Phoenix. This guardian force has been passed down through each generation, and is now with Lisa. She had forgot that she junctioned Phoenix when she woke up. (You said there was a way to help him Phoenix, what is it?)

"I'll tell you, but you better stop your aunt from flipping that switch," Phoenix warned.

Lisa quickly slapped her aunt's hand away from the switch and jumped in front of the machine.

"Lisa, have you gone crazy?" Sahara asked. "I know you don't want me to do this, but there's no choice."

"No, there is a way," Lisa said with some hope. "Phoenix just spoke to me, and she's going to tell me how we can help uncle Thomas." For a second, Sahara looked at Lisa like she was crazy, but let Lisa have her way and didn't make any moves to move Lisa and flip the switch.

(Now what do you have to do to help my uncle Thomas?) Lisa asked the GF.

"I will have to use my power through you, and with your aid, we can repair the damage and get him out of the coma," Phoenix said. "I've never tried this before, but I'm certain it will work with our two powers combined."

(Wait a second, if you knew that you could probably help my uncle Thomas, then why didn't you say something earlier?!") Lisa screamed at Phoenix in her mind. To know that Phoenix could do something and not saying anything until now infuriated Lisa.

"Because it was not time to try something like this," Phoenix replied. "I had to let everything play out first before I suggested anything. Suppose if I did something earlier? Doing this will put a strain on your power and weaken you. There was no telling what Kale would have done if he knew that you were in a very weakened state. I'm sure he wouldn't have wasted an opportunity to kill the biggest threat to his plans."

(You make a good point, but you still should have suggested something earlier! You should have suggested this to me before my grandfather foolishly challenged Kale.) Lisa said to Phoenix and close to tears.

"I was not thinking, and I'm sorry Lisa," the Guardian force apologized.

Lisa didn't reply and went over to Thomas's bed and put her left hand on his forehead. (What do I do Phoenix?)

"I'll let my magic flow through you and when you feel the magic, use your power to strengthen it. With our combined powers, we should be able to heal your uncle," The GF instructed.

Lisa just nodded and closed her eyes. In moments, a gentle blue light emitted from her hand and into Thomas Hawkwind. Without waiting, Lisa added her power to the magic making it stronger. In a minute, the room was filled with a gentle blue light that radiated from Lisa and Thomas Hawkwind.

When Phoenix's magic stopped flowing through Lisa, the SeeD felt exhausted and nearly collapsed to the floor if it wasn't for her aunts behind her.

Moments after Lisa nearly collapsed, a soft moaning noise came from the man in the bed. Both Sahara and Claire's eyes widened when they heard that moan from Thomas, and wondered was this too good to be true. When Thomas's eyes opened, they knew it wasn't a dream and Sahara instantly let go of Lisa and fell on her little brother crying.

"What's going on," Thomas said in a whisper.

"A miracle happened, that's what," a hysterically crying Sahara Hawkwind said. The tears were not tears of sadness, but tears of joy, and she didn't do anything to stop them.

Thomas smiled and started to look around the infirmary. When his eyes came to rested on a young woman with blonde hair and in a black and blue SeeD uniform, He asked, "Who are you?"

"I'm your niece, Lisa Hawkwind," Lisa smiled.

As the Hawkwind family rejoiced, Doctor Kadowaki couldn't believe what she just saw, and stood motionless with her mouth agape.

In the bed next to Thomas's, Daniel got out and waved his hand in front of her face saying, "Earth to Kadowaki, do you read me?"

After hearing that, the Doctor found her voice and shook her head. "I'm sorry about that Dan, it's just that I can't believe what I say. Never in my life would I have imagined that I would see anything like this in my life."

Dan nodded, "Yeah, it's not everyday that you see this, and it's not everyday that you fight for your life against some maniac from the past."

The doc smiled at Dan's joking. "That's quite a woman that loves you. I say you hold onto her and never leave her."

"I don't intend to, and I'll protect her with my life if need be, but it would be hard with my arm in this sling though," Dan joked. "But I know she can handle herself. Hell, she'll have to protect me until I can get my arm out of this thing and go back to training."

Kadowaki laughed at Dan's constant joking and watched along with Dan as Thomas got acquainted with his nieces and nephew that he never knew he had. Thomas also discovered his brother and father's deaths too after some pressing questions. Instead of this being a day of sadness, this was a day of joy, but tomorrow would be a day for mourning over loved ones.

(Date: July 25, 4018, Time: 14:00 hours, Place: Dollet, a cemetery just outside the city limits.)

The day was one of mourning loved ones and fallen comrades. Of course, it is a day of mourning for SeeD, especially ones from Balamb Garden, but the two being mourned over the most were Brian and Zechariah Hawkwind. Saying goodbye and letting go of a loved one is always hard, and it will be especially hard for the Hawkwind family.

In the cemetery, around two closed coffins, there was a big precession of people that included the Hawkwind family, and all dressed in black, Over a dozen SeeDs including the six that save the world over a year ago, Headmaster Cid, his wife, Edea, and all those who knew both Zechariah and Brian. Even though the world is at peace once again, and a war raged on in the heart of a young woman that was deeply involved in all of the conflict.

This young woman is Lisa Hawkwind, granddaughter and niece and cousin first, and SeeD operative second. Over the last couple of days, she's learned that her upbringing, decisions, and hard work were for one reason. To defeat someone from the past that was bent on ruling the world. She's been put through the worst experiences that would break the will of a normal person. Now she has to do one of the hardest things that any person can do, say goodbye to a loved one.

As Lisa sat in her chair in her black ankle length oriental dress, she silently cried and wished none of what transpired in the past few days ever happened. Around her was the her family, the one she loved, Daniel Kunteais, and her most trusted friend, Sasha Janre. Neither wore their SeeD uniform and was in black dress clothes. Lisa knew that no matter how much she or her family cried; the tears that were shed couldn't bring back the people that were most dear to them.

Nearly everyone's attention was on the pastor as he walked to the podium in front of the caskets. With a sigh, he started, "dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to honor the memories of two loved ones and say goodbye to them. We are honoring the memories of Zechariah and Brian Hawkwind."

He paused for a seconded and continued, "Both of them were loved by many, and good fathers. Death is not the end for them, but a beginning of their new life in a better place. Just a few days ago, I had a talk with Zechariah about bringing his whole family together for a reunion. He said that wasn't impossible, but it was going to happen in a few days. I didn't know what he meant at that time, but now I do. I just wish things didn't turn out the way they did. Headmaster Cid, if you will, please come up here and say a few things about Zechariah."

The headmaster of Balamb Garden nodded and got up from his chair while wiping a handkerchief over his face. After he had gotten up to the podium, the pastor stepped aside and allowed Cid to stand there. For a few moments, the headmaster stood there with a downtrodden look on his face and was quiet. When he finally composed himself, he started talking. "Zechariah and Brian Hawkwind, bless your souls, and I hope wherever you are, that you enjoy yourselves and wait for the rest of us."

After saying that, with an extra handkerchief, Cid cleaned his glasses. To say the least, none of the SeeDs attending the funeral ever saw the Headmaster in this state. Cid continued, "When I met Zechariah over twenty years ago, that was when I was going around gathering up funds to start Balamb Garden. I saw a glimpse of his skills in the katana when some street punks tried to mug us. Of course, Zechariah didn't kill them, and I was amazed at his skill. I immediately offered him a position at Garden, but he refused."

"As we got to became better friends, he told me of something that was passed down through his generations and a warning," Cid sadly said. "To say the least, I was surprised, but I didn't doubt him. When I told him of Garden and what kind of academy it would be and what it's purpose would be, he made me promise to call him when it was built and running." After another pause, he continued. "He wanted to enroll his granddaughter, Lisa Hawkwind in hopes that she learns the skills that she need to defeat Kale Akaisura, an evil from the past that was bent on ruling the world. Well, you know the rest, and I just wish Zechariah and Brian was still with us today."

Cid stepped away from the podium and sat down in his seat. "Thank you Headmaster Cid. Is there anyone else that wants to honor the memories of these two fallen heroes?"

Sahara got up, and stepped up to the podium. After drying her eyes, she started. "My Father and brother were two very good men. I thank my father for keeping the legacy of our great ancestor, Alexander Hawkwind alive, and teaching us the skills that we needed to fight. If he didn't, myself, and my children would be dead when Kale's warrior attacked us. I love my father very much, and he was a kind-hearted man with the heart the size of a mountain. I remember when he saw a homeless man out in front of our house. He invited him in, and gave him food to eat, a shower, a change of clothes, and some money to spend. My father was always like that." She smiled as she remembered her father. "My brother, he also had a good heart. I remember that he would always help me no matter what the problem. When we were little, and I did something bad, he would take the fall and endure the punishment put on him. I'm glad he turned out to be a fine man, and started a family. Rest your souls wherever you are." Sahara couldn't keep herself from breaking down, and shed into sobs and tears. Thomas quickly came up and helped her back to her seat while calming her down.

The pastor then looked toward Lisa and hoped that she would get up. She shook her head. (I'm sorry everyone. I just don't want talk about the past and remember. It would be too painful to remember all the good times and then realize that I'll never see them again.) She silently said in her mind.

Without waiting any further, Cid stood up, and nodded to some SeeDs with rifles. They did a ten shot salute to honor Zechariah and Brian's bravery. After they were finished, both caskets were lowered into the graves, and Sahara, Claire, Lisa, Bobby, Maria, and Elizabeth cried hard. To let go of a loved one is truly hard, and should be something no one should have to go through, but that's the way of life.

(Date: July 26, 4018, Time: 11:35, Place: Balamb Garden)

Daniel and Lisa purposefully strode around the walkway to the elevator to the headmaster's office. Both had a purpose, but Dan wished that Lisa wasn't going to do what she said she was going to do.

"Lisa, are you sure that you want to do this?" Dan asked.

Lisa nodded, "Yes, I'm sure. I don't want to be a SeeD anymore, and I'm sure no one would fault me in my decision." She stopped walking and paused. "I can't be a SeeD anymore because of all that happened. It was never my choice to become one, and now that I completed what I was meant to do I'm quitting. Just knowing that if it wasn't for my grandfather's doing, I wouldn't be one today. Just knowing that, it's painful to think about, and I want to start my life anew."

"I see," Dan nodded. "Before we go up there and you do that, there's something that I want to ask you." He then got down on one knee and took a ring box from his pocket. When he opened it, an expensive looking ring was in it. "Lisa Hawkwind, will you marry me?"

Lisa's eyes widened and she smiled. "Yes Dan," Lisa smiled, "I'll marry you." Dan then put the ring on her finger and kissed and hugged her.

From where Sasha had been following the two, she started to clap. Dan and Lisa noticed her and didn't do anything to look like they're embarrassed. She then hugged Lisa and gave Dan soft punch on the shoulder. "I knew you two would end up together."

"So, still ready to do this?" Dan asked Lisa. She nodded and along with Sasha and Dan, Lisa rode on the elevator to the third floor.

After they stepped off the elevator and into the small hallway, Xu greeted them. "Headmaster Cid has been waiting for you Lisa. You three can go in now."

They nodded and walked into the office. Standing just off to the side by the desk was Headmaster Cid and Headmistress Edea. "Dan, Lisa, Sasha," Cid greeted them. "I think I know what this is about."

Without any small talk, Lisa said, "Well, if you already know, then nothing needs to be said." Lisa then handed her papers of resignation to Cid. Dan also handed Cid some papers of medical leave from Doctor Kadowaki. "I'll turn in my uniform when I'm finished packing."

"There's no need Lisa," Cid shook his head. "Keep it, as a reminder. Also, even though you're resigning, you'll always be a SeeD, and if you ever want to come back, we'll welcome you with open arms."

"Thank you Headmaster Cid," Lisa nodded before hugging Cid and Edea.

"Keep in touch," Edea added.

"Oh yeah, guess what?" Sasha added out of the blue. This got blank looks from both Cid and Edea. "Just a few minutes, Dan proposed to Lisa, and she accepted."

"That's wonderful," Edea commented. "We're invited to the wedding, right?"

"Of course you are," Dan nodded. "We haven't got anywhere close to setting a date or anything, but we'll let you know when we do." Congratulations from Headmaster Cid and Edea was taken graciously.

"Dan, when you get back, we'll have to talk about what you'll be teaching," Cid informed him.

"Huh?" Dan responded.

"Well, since you won't be going on any missions for a long time, SeeD will have to make use of you in some other way," stated the Headmaster.

"I understand," Dan agreed. "But please don't make it some boring subject like math or English or something."

"It won't be that, I was thinking about you being an weapon's instructor in the Katana. Until that time comes, enjoy your life to the fullest. Also, if you wanted to resign in the future or right now, I wouldn't be against it. If you do, there will always be a place in SeeD for you as well."

"Thank you Headmaster," Dan shook the Headmaster's hand.

"You will name your first child Cid if it's a boy, right?" Cid added.

Lisa just smiled and shook her head. "Nice try Headmaster, but I haven't gotten that far in thinking about that yet. Well, I'll take my leave, pack up, and Dan and I will be out of here in a few minutes." Dan, Lisa and Sasha then saluted, and left the office.

In about forty minutes with the help of Sasha, Lisa packed up all of her things in a big duffel bag, and changed into a red dress that was knee length. Dan was also ready by the time Lisa finished. Sasha then walked with them to the front gate and found that Squall, Rinoa, Quistis, Irvine, Zell, Selphie and a few other SeeDs and cadets were at the gate to say they're goodbyes. After all the pleasantries and goodbyes were said, Dan and Lisa walked out of the gate.

"Well, let's visit my parent's in Winhill first and tell them the good news," Dan abruptly said.

"Yeah, let's do that," she agreed. "I want to meet my future in-laws."

As they walked away down the road away from Balamb Garden, Lisa stopped and enjoyed one last look at Balamb Garden. "So, what do you plan to do since you're not a SeeD anymore Lisa?"

"I don't know," Lisa shook her head. "I guess wherever the winds of fate take me."

With that last statement, Lisa and Dan continued their walk to Balamb city, and to a future that was unsure. No matter what it held, Daniel Kunteais and Lisa Hawkwind would be together until the end.

'Fin'