Chapter 9: Carried by the Winds of Fate

(Date: July 21, 4018. Time: 18:35 hours. Place: Balamb Garden infirmary.)

It had been three days since the counterattack against Kale and the Galbaldian army took place. The battle that took place in Deling city left many dead, and a few injured. It was very unexpected for one certain person to be seriously injured. Since then, he hasn't woken up.

Lisa Hawkwind dressed in some blue jeans and dark blue t-shirt and some black sneakers sat in a chair close to Daniel Kunteais's infirmary bed. It was very unfortunate that Dan got injured so bad, and that he hasn't woken from his unconsciousness yet. Lisa was holding Dan's hand and silently praying that the one that she loved doesn't die and leave her. Ever since he was brought in, Lisa had constantly kept vigil over him. Of course, Sasha came and stayed with him too, but Lisa stayed with Dan almost to the point of exhaustion. Most of the time, Lisa was forced by Sasha or one of the others to go get something to eat, or get some rest, but Lisa usually got some rest in the chair beside Dan's bed.

(Why Dan? Why did you have to go and be the hero? I know Rinoa is a good friend to you, but you could have let Squall do it.) Lisa silently thought. She then thought about the events that took place in the last two days.

After Rinoa was brought back to the Garden, she had to be physically restrained because she remembered what happened in Deling city, and was still under Kale's control. Rinoa was furious, but Squall and Zell was able to hold her and tie her to a chair. Sasha then went about breaking the hold that Kale had over Rinoa's mind. To say the least, it wasn't easy for her because once Sasha was in, she had a hard time convincing Rinoa that she was being manipulated, and that she loved Squall. It took a lot of effort from the SeeD but she did it and Rinoa was back to her normal self. It was good because before she was restrained, she cast a Flare spell at Quistis when she woke up and got her bearings.

Quistis was able to avoid it and no harm was done. Now it's hard trying to separate Rinoa and Squall because they finally know the feelings that they feel for each other, and after that little incident with Kale, neither of them wanted to be out of the sight of the other. (Well, I'm happy for them.) Lisa sadly thought.

She also learned about Zell and Sasha getting together. Lisa really wondered when they would be a couple. (Took them long enough.) She remarked. Sasha also finally learned the teleportation magic that Kale and his warriors used. She can do it, but she hasn't learned the trick of not using up most of her energy when doing it.

Also, Marlon Kansengington was arrested and put into jail. He was tried as a war criminal and immediately found guilty and thrown into the Drill prison. The sniveling politician got what he deserved in Lisa's opinion. Now General Caraway is running Galbaldia at the moment and the troops that abandoned the military earlier came back. The continent is recovering and Caraway gave Timber its independence. Also, he wanted to see Rinoa, but didn't actually have the time to. He promised to get somebody to cover him after he restores the government and makes it a democratic system. With all of the current politicians dead by hand of Kale Akaisura, there was much work to be done to restore the political system and make Galbaldia better.

Her thoughts then went to Kale Akaisura. (That fucking bastard. I'll kill him the next time we meet.) Lisa silently spat. Since the climatic battle at Deling city, there was no sign of Kale. Nobody has been able to track down where he is hiding, but Lisa knew he'd come out to fight her for one last time. The blonde-haired SeeD really didn't understand why Kale still hates the Hawkwind bloodline so much. She knew of Kale not being chosen to be a general was part of it, but if he and Alexander was such good friends, he wouldn't have defected and turned against his friend for just that reason alone. There had to be other things that drove him to that point, but Lisa didn't want to try to think about those things right now. All she was doing now is hoping that Dan wakes up soon.

Lisa heard some footsteps come into the room and instantly turned her head to see whom it was. It was Doctor Kadowaki and when she looked at Lisa, she frowned. "Honey, you should go and get something to eat and go get some rest," frowned the doctor.

Lisa shook her head, "I don't want to right now. I need to stay by Dan's side and be here when he wakes up."

"I know you really care for him, but you're really wearing yourself down," the plump doctor said. "I'll let you stay with him for a half hour more before I get Sasha to fill in for you and force you to get something to eat."

Lisa meekly smiled while nodding to the doctor. She then focused on the person in the bed. She hated seeing Dan like this. She remembered that he was lost a lot of blood on the way back to Balamb Garden and had a very nasty wound. At best, she could probably say that his career as being a SeeD operative was over, but he could still be a SeeD and teach a class. She knew when he fully recovers, it will take over a year or two, if not more for him to fully get use of his left arm, but until then, it had to be in a sling, and he couldn't do anything with it. Dan wouldn't be the same, but at least he would be alive. (Oh Dan, I love you, and please get better.) She wished while a tear ran down her face and gently squeezing his hand. Unexpectedly, a soft moan came from Dan as he softly squeezed her hand.

"Dan?" The surprised young woman gasped. "Doctor Kadowaki! Dan is waking up!"

The robust woman rushed over to Dan's side and checked the monitors and his pulse to see that the young man was coming out of his coma. "Dan, can you hear me? Squeeze my hand if you can." Doctor Kadowaki took Dan's other hand and felt as he squeezed it. "That's good. Can you open you eyes?"

"I'll try, but I have a headache that could rival an explosion," Daniel weakly stated. He started to open his eyes and instantly shut them when they were exposed to the brightness of the room. "It's too bright."

"I'll close the blinds and turn off the lights," Lisa nodded. The young woman went about doing this and soon, the room was nearly dark. "Try now Dan."

Dan slowly opened his eyes and was met with the darkened smiling forms of Lisa and Doctor Kadowaki.

"For a while there, you had us all worried," the doctor commented. "But the worst is over now, and for a full recovery, you'll need lots of rest, and maybe go through some therapy."

"Enough doc," Dan said. "Telling me that is adding to the headache," joked the injured youth.

"Well, better inform the others of this," Kadowaki said while getting up and going to her desk.

When Doctor Kadowaki walked away, Lisa just hugged Dan while crying. "I was so worried that you would leave me."

"I promise to never leave you Lisa," Daniel said soothingly.

"That's good," Lisa nodded.

When the door opened Lisa released Dan and heard, "Why's it so dark in here?"

Doctor Kadowaki answered with, "To let Dan's eyes adjust to the light gradually."

"Don't worry doc, you can turn on the lights," Dan said. "Don't want CW (chickenwuss) tripping or something."

"Ha, ha, very funny," Zell commented. "I see being in that coma didn't affect your sense of humor."

Instantly, the lights were flipped on, and once again, Dan shut his eyes from the brightness. Slowly, but surely, he opened his eyes despite the glare of the lights and let his vision adjust. When his eyes were focused, he saw the new arrivals were Zell, Sasha, Rinoa, Squall, Quistis, Selphie, Irvine, and Xu. He was hoping to see three other people, but they would wish him well when they felt like it. "Sorry Rinoa," apologized Dan while looking at her.

"Sorry, what's there to be sorry for?" Rinoa asked. "You saved me from Kale, and got injured in the process. I don't blame you for knocking me out. You're my hero." She got a glare from Squall. "Well, that is next to Squall."

"You knucklehead," started Sasha. "You scared the shit out of all of use, especially Lisa."

"OW, headache getting worst," Dan faked.

"You're lucky you're injured, because I know you're faking the headache getting worst because of me," Sasha frowned. "But you did good three days ago." She then accidently patted his shoulder where the wrappings were. Dan winced, and Sasha apologized for doing that.

Dan then looked back at Lisa's smiling and dry teared face. Selphie got the idea and added, "He needs his rest, and I think two certain people need to talk."

Irvine felt an elbow to his rib. "Yeah, Selphie's right, let's go and get something to eat."

"Wait a sec," Dan said. "Bring me something back, will you? I can eat something, right doc?"

"Yes, you can," the woman said.

"Okay, partner," Irvine smiled. "I'll bring back a cheese burger for you."

"Thanks," Dan weakly nodded. He saw most of the people along with Doctor Kadowaki walk out of the room. Dan then focused on Lisa once more and saw that her eyes were red from crying and bags were there from exhaustion. "You really wore yourself out watching me, didn't you?" Lisa nodded.

"That's because I care, and because I love you Dan," Lisa stated. "I'm not going to hide my feeling for you anymore. With you nearly dying three days ago, it showed me how much you mean to me." Lisa blurted out not knowing how Dan really felt about her.

"I love you too Lisa," Dan smiled. "I would say it was love at first sight, but I would be lying. I got to know you over all the time we spent together, and I came to care about you and love you."

"Ditto," Lisa replied. "I don't want you ever to do something like that again. You scared the living daylights out of me when Kale stabbed and blasted you."

"I promise I won't," Dan smiled. "You said three days ago. I was out for that long?"

"Yes," Lisa's closed her eyes while remembering what happened. "You were knocked out after that blast from Kale. After that happened, I went into a rage and knocked Kale back, but I didn't finish him." She looked away remembering the sight of Dan lying on the ground bleeding and unconscious. "The cure spells we used wouldn't work as well as we thought, and I thought you were going to die of loss of too much blood. But you didn't. After you came back, and Doctor Kadowaki stabilized you, she announced that you were in a coma. I'm glad that you're finally out."

"So am I," Dan said. "What about Kale?"

"Ever since that battle, Garden, Galbaldia and Esthar sent out squads of troops out looking for him, but can't find his whereabouts," Lisa said. "Even though he's lost nearly everything, I'm sure he wants to have it out one last time with me."

"I'm sure," Dan agreed. "Enough about him, I want you to go get some rest. You look like you need it."

Lisa wanted to protest, but knew Dan was right. She then pressed her lips upon Dan's and they stayed like that for about a minute until she released the kiss. Lisa then walked out the room hoping that Dan will get better real soon, and thinking about what the future holds, and slowly trudged to her dorm.

(Date: July 21, 4018, Time: 23:30 hours, Place: Centra Ruins)

In one of the great places of the past, the Centra Ruins, two people made it their temporary home. Those two people were those who didn't belong in the time that they were in. The two people were Kale Akaisura, and Mei-Len.

After that battle that took place over three days ago, Kale and Mei-Len had made the ruins a temporary home. All during those three days, Kale healed up and waited for the perfect moment to challenge Lisa Hawkwind.

As Kale stood a few steps from the door of his and Mei-Len's makeshift bedroom, he looked at the beautiful warrior with puzzlement. (I guess she cares for me that much.) Kale thought as he looked at her under the covers with faint moonlight lighting her features.

Kale thought about those three days that it took for his body to heal. He thought about all the care and love that Mei-Len gave to him when he was in his weakened state. (Mei-Len, you're the only one that truly loves me. You're the only one who would stand by my side even when I failed to accomplish my goals. For this long, I didn't notice, or want to notice, but now that I have, I don't know what to do. I'm not sure how to return that love, or if you would even accept my love.) Kale thought as started to walk out the door making sure to be as quiet as possible.

He knew Mei-Len was a very light sleeper, and awoke even at the faintest disturbance. One of the things she learned when she was usually on the battlefield. (Be ready to wake at a moment's notice, or the enemy could kill you in your sleep.)

During his walk to the door, Kale accidentally kicked a small rock while he was walking out the door. Kale immediately turned around to see Mei-Len stirring in the bed. In just a moment, she was awake but not fully. In a few seconds time, her eyes adjusted to the dim lighted bedroom and landed on the darkened figure of Kale. Even if she couldn't see Kale fully, she knew that was him.

"Kale?" Asked the beautiful warrior. "Where are you going at this time of night?"

Kale turned around not wanting to face the woman who loved him no matter what. "I'm going to do something that needs to be done," he stated.

That answer was one Mei-Len wasn't expecting. "Don't tell me you're going to fight Lisa Hawkwind now?"

"No, not right now, but I am going to challenge her," Kale said looking at Mei-Len. (She looks so beautiful in the moonlight.) Kale noticed.

"I don't want you to fight her," Mei-Len commanded.

"Why not?" Kale asked in a questionable tone.

"Because I love you, and I don't think I'll be able to live without you," Mei-Len pleaded.

"I'm sorry, but I have to do it," Kale stated once again. "It's all I have left with my plans ruined. To start them again, I'll have to first eliminate her, and then Kunteais and Janre. SeeD, they could be easily defeated, but without those three dead, everything I do will be put on hold."

Not being satisfied with that answer, Mei-Len jumped out of bed and ran across the room to Kale and slapped him. "That's not all you have!" Screamed an angered Mei-Len. "You have me, and I'll love you even if you don't take over the world!" She was so upset with Kale; Mei-Len couldn't stop the flow of tears that came out of her eyes.

In a wave of emotion, Kale swept Mei-Len into a hug and comforted her. "I'm glad that you love me. I'm trying to return the love that you gave me, but it's hard," Kale said.

"I'm sorry if I seem so weak to you," apologized Mei-Len. "It's just..."

"Don't be sorry for it," the failed general assured. "It's what makes you all the more beautiful."

"Really?" Mei-Len doubted.

"Yes," Kale said without a doubt while smiling. "Don't worry, she's weak and I'm stronger. She's too consumed with rage and grief to fight to her fullest ability."

"But what if she gets over them and turn out to be more powerful than Alexander?"

Just hearing that name made the smile disappear. Kale could never forget what Alexander took away from him, and will always hate the Hawkwind name. "Even if she is more powerful than my long deceased enemy, that won't be enough."

"I'm glad," Mei-Len smiled.

In a surprising motion, Mei-Len was swept up off the floor, and was in Kale's arms. She put her arms around Kale's neck and enjoyed herself as Kale took her back to the bed. He gently laid her down, and covered her with the sheets and blankets. With the two being so close, they let emotion take over, and kissed long and passionately. "Now rest, my love." Mei-Len closed her eyes, and started to drift off to sleep. Kale stayed with her until she did. When he was sure that she was in a deep enough sleep, he left the room.

Kale then grabbed his broadsword in its sheath from outside the door, and started to make his way through the ruins. He walked with no fear of the monsters that dwelled there. He journeyed to the top of the ruins where a gargoyle statue was situated. He then looked at the full moon, and smiled at the setting he was in. (The perfect setting to make my challenge in. Lisa Hawkwind, I hope you're not scared of nightmares, because one is coming your way.) Kale smiled as he sat down cross-legged and started meditating.

(Date: July 22, 4018, Time: 00:05 hours, Place: Balamb Garden)

At this time of the night, nearly all the residents of Balamb Garden were sleeping. For one person, sleep was something that didn't come easily.

Lisa Hawkwind had finally gotten to sleep after constantly waking up every few hours and checking on Dan. Now, she is in so deep a sleep, you would probably have to pour water over her to wake up. One person is sure to make her time of slumber unpleasant.

(Lisa's Nightmare)

The SeeD walked along a dark alley, and looked around at her surrounding. Lisa then came to realize and was conscious that she was in a dream, but wondered why she was knew that she was having it. When she looked down, she noticed she had her SeeD uniform on and Destiny's Flame sheathed on her belt.

After a few moments of trying to figure out, she gave up that line of thought and started walking forward. It looked like the dark alley that went on for a mile or so, but that didn't deter Lisa. She just ventured with one hand on the handle of her katana.

A minute had passed from when she started walking and just up ahead, some figures appeared. Lisa loosened the katana from the sheath a little bit for a fast unsheathing if she needed to. Being a little nervous, Lisa slowed her walk down but continued her journey forward. When she was close enough, she recognized the first figure as the first person she killed.

"Murderer," The spirit of the man said. "Because of you, my family now lives in filth!"

Lisa then remembered when she killed him and it made her sick to her stomach. She had no choice when it came down to it. It was her second mission, and she knew that she would have to take a life while she was a SeeD, but not so soon.

"Because of you, my family is suffering!" The man roared.

"I'm sorry, but I had to stop you from peddling drugs to the youth of Balamb," Lisa apologized. Even though she did the right thing, she always regretted having to kill another person. (Sure, SeeD trains me to kill, but they didn't tell me about what I was going to go through afterwards.) Lisa thought to herself. She wanted to justify her actions, but couldn't seem to.

The next two figures were a woman in a white dress with her daughter in a black dress. Lisa's eyes widened when she saw them. They were two unlucky bystanders on one of her missions that were in the wrong place at the wrong time. That moment, she could never forget, it was in Dollet when Lisa, Dan, and Sasha and other SeeDs were on a mission to bust a ring of smugglers.

When the shit hit the fan, Massive gunfights fights broke out. Lisa remembered running around the corner with machine gun fire closely on her heels. When she came around the corner, she nearly ran into the woman and child, but missed them.

When one of the gunmen appeared around the corner, Lisa thought just about herself, and forgot about the woman and child when the rattle of the machine gun fire filled the air. Lisa quickly ducked, and cast a fire spell disarming the man, and remembered about woman and child behind her. (If I had only jumped on them to make the get to the ground faster, they still would have been alive to this day.)

"Damned Bitch," the dead woman started. "Because of you, my daughter and I are dead. She can't even get to grow up and live a happy life because of your recklessness."

That was just too much hearing that from the woman, and Lisa was near tears with grief. "I'm sorry that both of you died!" Lisa pleaded. "But it wasn't my fault."

"Like it wasn't your fault that we died," blurted out a man in plain clothes up ahead further in the alley.

Lisa looked up and saw the members of the anti-government group that she recently killed. "What is this?! Why am I seeing this?!"

"You're seeing this because you have to atone for the past," the little girl said.

In a second, all of them were blocking the way to the end of the alley. "Murderer!"

"Damned Dog of War!"

"Fucking Mercenary!"

"Fucking tool of the government!"

"Murderer!"

Hearing all the things from the people that she killed or died all while she was a SeeD was starting to make the anger inside of her boil. She couldn't take it any longer, and unsheathed Destiny's Flame, and after gathering energy, in horizontal swipe of the sword, she shot a blue crescent wave. After it hit the people, a great explosion happened and lit up the darkened alley.

"My, My," started a mysterious voice. "That's quite the temper you have Hawkwind. I guess you handle all things like this with violence and force."

The blonde-haired SeeD instantly recognized the voice of Kale Akaisura. "Kale Akaisura," Lisa said with venom in her voice. "So you're responsible for this."

"Aren't you perceptive," joked Kale.

"Come out where I can see you!" Lisa commanded.

"Not just yet," Kale commented. "I still want to show you a few things. Continue forward if you're brave enough."

"I don't have time for your games, but I'll go just so I can face you, you damned murderer!" Lisa yelled.

"You'll get your chance, just go forward."

Without another word said, the fire in the alley disappeared, and the opening that led to the streets of whatever city she was in was shown. Lisa sheathed the Katana and quickly ran down the alley. As she approached the opening to the street, brightness started to greet her, not sunlight, but fire. Once she got out the alley, she saw that she was in Timber, and the buildings on the street were on fire. (What the Hell?)

"This was when I killed your weakling of an uncle," Kale announced.

Lisa looked to her right and saw Sasha charging one of three figures of Kale and did an overhead slash with her gunblade. She swung through it, and Kale slashed her in the back, but it wasn't too deep. She looked on with terrified eyes as Kale walked over to her uncle Brian, picked him up by the neck, and plunged his broadsword into his gut. The next thing she heard was her aunt Claire and her cousin Elizabeth yelling. Not being able to hold back the tears any longer, she let them flow, and her heart felt heavy with grief. "NNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" Lisa yelled.

Timber and everything around her disappeared after she finished screaming. Lisa didn't understand why Kale wanted to show her that, but she wished she never saw that.

Laughter filled the air as Kale watched Lisa's reaction. It wasn't everyday that one got to inflict this kind of torment upon an opponent. Kale was enjoying seeing the anguished look on the female Hawkwind's face. (Now for the climax of the show.)

Lisa looked around once more as trying to find where Kale was hiding. She was surprised when the scene changed to a stormy one. (Wait a sec; these are the Winhill Bluffs, the place where...) In a blink of an eye, just 50 feet away from her two figures appeared. She immediately recognized them as her Grandfather and Kale.

As the two backed off, Kale started furious shooting crescent beam waves from his sword while Zechariah charged up his katana and knocked them aside. As it went on, Kale increased his furiousness until Zechariah's energy faltered, and the elder Hawkwind was thrown back after two waves hit him. A little talk was exchanged between the two, but Lisa couldn't hear them.

After they finished talking, Lisa saw her grandfather charge up his remaining energy into his left hand and ran forward. She looked on, as Kale stood there as the old man charged him, and Kale didn't seemed bothered and had an arrogant smirk on his face. When close enough, Zechariah thrust his left hand forward, fired a mighty blast and Kale took the full brunt of the attack.

Lisa knew what she was watching and didn't want it to happen. After Kale took that energy blast, he quickly got up and charged Zechariah. (No!) Lisa thought as she unsheathed her katana, and charged forward. (I'm too far!) As she ran, she looked on as Kale disarmed her grandfather, and slashed him three times in the chest. As Zechariah fell, her eyes widened and she let out a roar of anguish, "GGGGGGGRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNDDDDDFFFFFFAAAAAAATTTTHHHHHHEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!" With tears flowing freely, she continued to rush the figure of Kale, and when she was close enough, she furiously slashed the image with her katana going through it.

After a moment, the scene disappeared and changed to one of the Centra ruins. Lisa dropped her katana and broke down crying. She knew that both her Uncle and Grandfather had fallen by Kale's blade. She never wanted to see how they died. It was just too much for the SeeD.

After Lisa looked up from crying, she saw Kale standing fifteen feet away. (I could maybe finish this murderer now.)

"I know what you're thinking, and I'll say it won't work here," Kale announced. "You can't kill a person on this plane. So, did you enjoy the show?"

Lisa's face turned to one of hatred as she heard that question. "No, you fucking bastard. Who would enjoy watching their loved ones die?"

"I don't know," answered Kale. "But it was quite entertaining if you ask me."

"Enough games Kale!" Lisa roared. "I knew you brought me here for a reason. What is it?"

"Yes I did," Kale started. "I brought you here to challenge you to one final battle. It will take place at sunset of tomorrow." Kale snapped his fingers and a map of the world appeared not too far from Lisa. Kale pointed, and a tiny island off the coast of Esthar glowed. "There is where the battle will be. Come alone if you can get to the island. Do you accept this challenge?"

"Yes, I do. But I won't be able to get there without Sasha's help. She's learned the teleportation trick that you're always using, but hasn't perfected it. After we're there, you'll have to teleport her back."

Kale raised his eyebrow a little. (A strange request, but one that can be handled before I kill this whelp.) "Agreed. Remember, Sunset of tomorrow. Be there, or I'll hunt down your entire family. I have nothing else to lose by doing this, but it'll give me a sense of accomplishment."

"I'll be there," Lisa said. "Just be prepared to die once I get there."

Kale just smirked and disappeared. In a moment, the whole scene disappeared and Lisa was left in total blackness.

Finally waking from her nightmare, Lisa noticed that it was still dark outside. She sat up in bed and silently cried. (No one should have to go through all of this. But I must endure all of this for my family. For this world, and the future.) Lisa lay back down, and closed her eyes. She knew sleep wasn't going to come, but she tried to will herself back to sleep. She hoped that she could finish Kale when the time came. Lisa didn't want to think of the consequences if she failed.

(Date: July 22, 4018, Time: 06:34 hours, Place: Balamb Garden, second floor gym.)

One thing Sasha could say, she had a wonderful sleep, and was ready to begin her morning workout. As she walked through the gym door, a hard pounding noise resounded throughout the gym. She instantly knew it was somebody punching a punching bag, and very hard by the sound of it. (I wonder who's doing all that hard punching? By the sound of it, sounds like they're trying to kill the punching bag.)

From all the time she started to work out in the morning, she only remembered a few occasions where other SeeDs and cadets were up at this time of morning working out. Sasha walked around the gym and saw Lisa in her workout clothes with punching gloves on, punching the shit out of the bag. Even though she only saw Lisa's backside, she could tell that something was definitely wrong. That was the hardest that she ever punched the bag, and from what Sasha know about Lisa is that she never starts punching the bag until something's wrong.

As she went around to get a look at Lisa's face, she saw that it was tear streaked, with her eyes red from crying and exhaustion. "Lisa?" Sasha started. "Is something wrong?" As Lisa heard the question, she slowed her punching and stopped. Lisa just looked at Sasha and looked away immediately. "Come on, let's get these gloves off of you and sit down somewhere and talk."

Lisa silently obeyed as Sasha walked her to a bench and helped her take off the boxing gloves. "What's wrong?" Sasha asked. "Take your time if it's real difficult."

After a long moment of silence, Lisa talked in a hoarse voice. "I had a nightmare. One that no one should have."

"That's all?" Sasha wondered. "Must have been an very awful nightmare for you to be like this."

"Yes, it was," Lisa, answered. "Kale caused it. He made me see the some of the people that I killed, and messed with my mind. He also showed me when he killed my Uncle Brian and my grandfather."

"That's terrible," Sasha gasped. Janre then put an arm around Lisa's shoulder. "I'm sorry that I couldn't save your uncle..."

"No Sasha," Lisa interrupted. "I don't blame you for anything, and I know you did your best to stop Kale that day." After a short and uncomfortable pause she continued. "I wished that I never saw how they died. Also, Kale challenged me to one final battle on an island off the coast of Esthar. It's supposed to take place tomorrow at sunset, and I need your help getting there."

"Anything, Lisa," Sasha immediately said. "I'll even help you train a little bit too."

"Thanks Sasha, you're a true friend," Lisa said. "I just wish I didn't have to go through all of this. Throughout all of my life, decisions and plans were made for me and I never had a choice in them. It was never my choice to become a SeeD. The only kinds of choices that I was able to make were to fight and become a SeeD. Just a few days ago, I find out that becoming a SeeD was just training to be able to stop Kale. It's just so unfair that I have to bear the weight of the world on my shoulders and defeat Kale."

"It is unfair," agreed Sasha. "But Dan and I are here for you. You're not alone in this fight, and when you fight, we'll there with you in spirit."

Lisa smiled as she heard those words. "One thing though," Lisa started. "I don't want you to tell anybody else about this until after Kale teleports you back here. I don't want my aunts, Headmaster Cid, or anyone else to know about this because they'll try to stop me if they knew I was doing this. Kale said he would hunt down the rest of my family without thinking of any consequences if I don't fight him."

"I understand," Sasha nodded. She then hugged Lisa and both got up off the bench. "You want to start now? The training that is."

"Yeah, but let me clean up my face. I'm only going to train for today. I want to spend most of tomorrow with my family and Dan if it's my last day living." She got a look from Sasha. "I know that I shouldn't think like that, but anything can happen." Sasha nodded and let Lisa walk off to the bathroom.

The rest of the day was spent with Lisa and Sasha working on Lisa's hand-to-hand combat techniques, and her swordsmanship. Even though some cadets and Rinoa and Zell made certain inquiries, Lisa and Sasha kept quiet about why they were training so hard.

As the day ended, Lisa was exhausted and confident in herself. She knew that she had to be confident if she ever wanted to kill Kale and move on with her life. The only thing that's been constantly on her mind was what she was going to do after she killed Kale. Without thinking anymore about it, she just went to bed.

(Later that night...)

As Lisa comfortably slept in her bed, she didn't know she was going to get another dream, but one of a different kind.

(Lisa's dream)

Once again, Lisa was aware that she was dreaming and wondered was this dream from Kale. She knew that Kale would probably want her off of her game as much as possible, but this one felt different. It just had a different atmosphere to it.

She looked around and saw that she was on the coast of a beach somewhere. It was sunny, with the water gently rolling in and off the shore, and when she looked down, she noticed she wasn't in her SeeD uniform. She was in a blue short-sleeved dress, and without her katana by her side. "Kale, if this is you trying to mess with my mind before the battle, it won't work!" Lisa loudly announced.

"My, that's quite a temper you have there," said a male voice to her immediate left. Being surprised, Lisa stumbled back and jumped into a fighting stance and faced the person who spoke. At a closer look, she saw the man was wearing silver armor, was taller than her, and had light brown hair. Lisa also noticed that there was a katana sheathed to the side on his belt.

(I don't know whom this is, but if he tries anything, he's going down.) Lisa silently proclaimed. She didn't feel all that much threaten since the man made no moves toward her, so she lowered her guard a little bit. She took a closer look at the handle of the katana and recognized it. "Wait a second," Lisa started. "That's Destiny's Flame, the Hawkwind's legacy. Who are you? And why do you have it?"

The man smiled, "So, I see my great descendant who has been giving this Katana truly has a fire about her."

(Descendant? He isn't...) Lisa thought in disbelief while getting out of her fighting stance.

"Yes, I'm your ancestor, Alexander Hawkwind," said Alexander. "I'm proud of you Lisa, and I'm sorry about everything you went through and what is yet to come."

Lisa shook her head, "You don't have to be sorry. It's not your fault that Kale appeared in this time. I should be thanking you for leaving your legacy of your skills and the warning about Kale through the generations. If it weren't for you, my family or I wouldn't know how to use the power that we use now."

"Wait a second, how am I seeing you in this dream," Lisa questioned. "You died over four thousand years ago, and I'm sure your soul is in a better place and rested."

"It is in a good place, but I can't rest," the Hawkwind from the past announced. "I should have killed Kale when I had the chance in the past. For my weakness for not having the strength for killing him when he tried to kill the king we were serving under, he's here in this time. I can't rest until Kale is defeated."

"I understand, but what do you mean when you said tried to kill the King?" Lisa asked.

Alexander sat down in the sand and Lisa sat right beside him. "Well, it was when the king was going to announce the new general in front of the troops. All the high-ranking officers and generals were there along with a few privates. When the king announced that I was the new general, Kale went into a rage and attacked the King, but I stopped him. It was hard, but after a few minutes of fighting, I had Kale on the ground with my sword to his neck. Instead of killing him, I showed him mercy and let him go. The other men would have tried, but Kale is just too powerful for them. That show of weakness is why Kale is alive today."

"That's not the only reason Kale hates you and the Hawkwind bloodline, right? I'm sure there's another." Lisa continued with her questions.

"Yes, there is," Alexander started. "Way before that, there was a beautiful and special woman that had both caught mine an Kale's eye. We both competed to win her heart, but in the end, I had captured her heart using some dirty tactics to make Kale look bad. I told things that were untrue of Kale, and made him seem like a monster. A short time later, she became my wife and I knew I had bore Kale's ire, but Kale was my still my friend. I do remember Kale storming off after the wedding and coming back a short time later with a boy. He explained that his name was Jaden, and Kale had rescued him from a fire and that he was too late to rescue his parents. I knew something was wrong, but chose not to pursue the matter. I think that's the main reason that Kale hates me. I stole away the one woman that he was completely in love with."

After hearing all that, Lisa would never have imagined that her ancestor would have did that, but she never imagined having to fight a madman from the past either. "I see," Lisa contemplated.

"Lisa," Alexander said. "I want you to not lose hope or doubt yourself when you fight Kale. To tell the truth, you've gotten stronger than I was with the use of your power, but so has Kale. I know you can do it." Alexander than put a hand on Lisa's shoulder to reassure her, and it was working since Lisa smiled.

"We know that you can do it too," said a female voice. That voice was one Lisa hasn't heard in a long time, but she was afraid to turn around if it wasn't whom she thought it was.

She got up off the ground and slowly turned around. Right before her was her late mother and father. "Mother, Father!" Lisa exclaimed while rushing over to them and pulling them into a big hug. "I've missed you so!" She said while shedding tears of happiness.

"We know Lisa," said her father. "We're very proud of the person you've turned out to be."

"Yes, we are," agreed her mother. "I just wish fate gave us more time to be with you, and watch you grow up."

There was that word again. Fate. One Lisa didn't want to believe in, and not willing to believe that all of her life was determined because of some force that no one could completely control.

"She's turned out to be a fine young woman," said another familiar voice. It was her grandfather's and she too embraced Lisa in a hug.

"Our time here is also up Lisa," her mother said. Lisa noticed that the landscape was fading. "I want you to be strong and remember that we're always watching over you." Her mother said as some force was pulling her away.

"Never give up, even if things seems hopeless," her father as he was being pulled away with her mother.

In a moment they disappeared and her grandfather was following them. "Granddaughter, use your power to you fullest extent." He too disappeared.

Only Alexander remained but after a moment, he started to glide backwards. "My great descendant, Lisa Hawkwind. To win your fight, you must embrace your destiny, and know that no one else can defeat Kale except you! Unleash all of your might and skill tomorrow at sunset! Now awaken!"

Lisa woke up with a start, and quickly saw that she was in her dorm room in Balamb garden. She smiled at getting to see her mother, father, grandfather, and her ancestor. Even if it was for a short time, she was going to treasure it and never forget it. A new spark of confidence had been ignited within her. She was going to make sure by sunset of the next day; it would be a raging inferno. She then went back to sleep. The rest of the night's rest was a peaceful one.

(Date: July 23, 4018, Time: 19:55, Place: Outside of Balamb garden.)

Lisa looked back on the day and reflected for a moment with Sasha by her side. She was dressed in her SeeD uniform with Destiny's Flame on her belt sheathed. She remembered spending time with her aunts and her cousins. Even though she wanting to spend time tipped off her aunts, they did nothing to stop her. Lisa also talked to Dan before leaving. Even he believed that she could do it.

"Are you ready Lisa?" Sasha asked.

"Yes," Lisa said with confidence in her voice.

Sasha then concentrated real hard and let her power flare up with an orange flame covering her and Lisa. In a moment, Lisa and Sasha had disappeared from the front of Balamb Garden.

(Time: 19:56, Place: A small island off the coast of Esthar)

In a blink of the eye, Lisa Hawkwind and Sasha Janre appeared on the island that Kale designated as the battlefield. Sasha instantly collapsed to her knees in fatigue from teleporting that far of a distance. Lisa instantly knelt down beside her, but immediately looked up as Kale appeared out of nowhere.

Without much of a thought, Kale pointed his right hand at Sasha, and let magic flow out of it and teleported Sasha back to Balamb Garden.

"So Lisa Hawkwind, did you make your final day in this plane of existence a good one?" Kale questioned.

"Whatever," Lisa retorted. "I thought we were here to finish this?"

"Straight to the point," Kale commented. "I thought you would have wanted to spend you last few moments talking before we fight, but I guess not. Well, wherever you go, tell them, Kale Akaisura sent you." He immediately unsheathed his broadsword, as did Lisa with her katana.

"Before we fight, there's one thing I want to do," Kale said while concentrating his magic. He then thrust his hand skyward and let the black energy flow out of his hand and created a light blue shield that surrounded the whole island. "I do this so no one will interfere with our fight."

The two combatants were in a tense standoff waiting for the other person to make the first move. Looking at the scene, someone would probably say it was out of a book or TV, but they would be wrong. There would be no telling what would happen if either of the two warriors won. If Lisa won, the world would go on at it's normal pace. If Kale won, there's no telling what kind of chaos and destruction he could cause. One could probably say that the future of the world depended on this battle, but that's not certain.

As the Standoff continued, the blade of Lisa's katana glowed a light blue color and radiated with power. Kale watched with a smirk. "So Hawkwind, unleashing all of you power, eh?" Kale smirked. "Well, there's nothing stopping you from doing that now. I want to see the full extent of what one of the Hawkwind bloodline can offer me in a fight. You'll be like a flame flickering on a candle one last time before you die. No back talk?"

"You're not worth the effort," Lisa quipped.

Kale was a little annoyed by that remark, but didn't let his annoyance show. He also charged up his broadsword to the point where the blade was pure black. Without anything further, the two warriors charged forward, and clashed their blades together in overhead slashes. The result was a shockwave of energy exploding from the swords, but not affecting the two fighters.

When they pushed off each other, Kale went on the offensive with horizontal slashes that were quick. Lisa was able to fend them off, and after Kale did three real fast, Lisa jumped back to dodge the third one. The blade nearly cut her but missed, and she jumped forward swinging her sword in an upward diagonal motion. Kale didn't expect her to spring forward so quick and avoided the blade mostly, but came away with a scratch on his cheek.

Kale smiled as the cut bleed, and charged forward with the energy still in his broadsword. Lisa followed suit and did the same thing. In an experienced show of skill, both matched each other slash for slash and with every clash of the blades, there was a small shockwave of energy released.

In an instant, they were in a sword clash, and Kale seemed to be winning in pushing Lisa back because of overall physical strength. "You may have drawn first blood, but that will be child's play compared to what I do to you," Kale whispered. He then concentrated and let the energy exploded outward from his blade. This technique really caught Lisa off guard, and she was thrown back from the explosion.

Landing hard on the ground, she still had hold of her weapon, but lost the concentration need to fill it with energy and the blade went back to its original color. As she got on her knees and looked up, she saw a white ball of energy speeding toward her and didn't have time to react, except to charge some energy in her katana, and hold it in front of her. Once the ball hit the Katana, it was deflected away from her, but she was flung to her back once more.

She then started rolling as she felt more energy fired her way. She was right, and the place that she occupied exploded. As she slowly got to her feet, she saw that Kale was charging. Lisa's right hand was then engulfed in fire and she swept it in front off her just before Kale got to her.

A wall of fire stopped Kale's advance, and bought Lisa the precious few seconds she needed to regain her senses fully. As the fire died down, the female Hawkwind jumped forward, and slashed fast and skillfully. Kale was able to dodge and block them all, and returned a skillful slash that disarmed Lisa.

Kale when in for the kill and thrust his sword toward Lisa's center mass, but Lisa spun out the way like a ballerina, back flipped and got into a fighting stance. Kale smiled at how far he knocked her katana, and he would make her work if she wanted to get it back. (To fight someone without a weapon is sheer stupidity, and a mistake that the girl will regret making.) Kale thought.

As Kale slowly advanced forward, Lisa knew she needed to do her best to avoid that blade since she was unarmed, and her sword was about ten feet to her right. Kale did a running slash and aimed for Lisa's neck, but she ducked and sent a left and a right into Kale's gut and a roundhouse that connected to the side of Kale's head.

This blow stunned Kale and given Lisa the time she needed. Without a second wasted, she took two running steps and dived toward her katana. It was retrieved, but she felt a burning and stinging sensation as Kale's broadsword lightly cut her leg. Even though the slash was made while Kale saw stars, it did its damage nonetheless.

As Kale regained his senses fully and Lisa got off the ground, she felt the pain of the cut inflicted upon her. She knew it was bleeding and hoped not too badly, and knew she wouldn't have time to use a curaga spell upon it. Kale would immediately see her flair of magic and go in for the kill. That was the scenario that played out in her head while both got back into fighting stances.

Both blades were slashed in diagonal slashes, and energy waves were released simultaneously and hit each other. The explosion was blinding and both fighters covered their eyes.

As the light receded, Kale spoke, "So, it seems we are at a stand still, but not for long." He then charged his sword up and slashed it furiously shooting black crescent waves of energy at Lisa Hawkwind. Lisa charged up her Katana and started to deflect the waves with. Lisa knew this was the strategy that Kale used against her grandfather, and it wasn't going to work on her.

She quickly jumped out the way, and charged up energy into her sword. She started charging Kale and deflecting the waves sent at her, and when close enough, she jumped in the air and did an overhead slash that Kale had to move out the way to dodge.

Lisa then remembered the words of her ancestor, Alexander Hawkwind. * Unleash all of your might and skill tomorrow at sunset! * That's what she did as a fire engulfed her entire being, and she felt energy cascading throughout her entire body. After a minute, the fire subsided from her entire body, and stayed on Destiny's Flame.

Kale only flinched once and was surprised at the amount of energy that his foe, Lisa Hawkwind summoned. "So, finally showing me the true power of the Hawkwind bloodline," Kale commented.

"Kale," Lisa started. "All of the pain and suffering that you caused will be paid back to you tenfold, and this is your last day."

Both then started to slowly circle each other. In a technique, Lisa slashed at Kale, and the fire of the sword leapt off of it and hit Kale right in the chest, exploding and making him fly back.

"Your art is strong Hawkwind," Kale said. "But still not enough to beat me."

"We'll see about that," Lisa quipped. Both once again charged each other, and in a fury of slashes, blocks, and dodges, both seemed to be evenly matched.

Without notice, Kale disengaged and jumped back far. "I grow tired of this playing, I say we end this now."

"My words exactly," Lisa agreed. Both then charged all of their energy into their swords and ran forward. Both then clashed their swords together, and pushed real hard using their energy against each other. The shockwave from the clash shook the island and made the shield falter, but not fail.

Both knew that if they couldn't hold out or show a surprising burst of energy, they would lose because the one that is pushed back off balance would be wide open for any kind of attack.

As Lisa felt that she was losing the clash, she thought of everything that rested on her winning. She thought about Daniel Kunteias, her love. About her family, and the rest of her friends that would suffer if she lost. About her grandfather, and uncle who fell to Kale's blade. With a mighty yell, Lisa's energy skyrocketed, and she mightily pushed Kale off balance. Without wasting a second, she thrust her sword into Kale's chest.

It went through his chest and out his back. Kale had a surprised and pained look on his face. "So, the winds of fate were on your side," Kale rasped as he spat out blood.

Lisa removed the katana and boldly said, "Winds of fate or not, I've chosen to accept my destiny, and I didn't run. Goodbye Kale Akaisura." She then charged the rest of her energy into her hand and shot a monstrous blast that engulfed and threw Kale backwards to the ground. Not being able to hold on any longer, Kale's figure slumped to the ground dead.

In seconds after Kale's lifeforce terminated, the shield covering the island disappeared. Lisa then collapsed to her knees and dropped her katana in exhaustion. She really exerted herself, and it shown, as she was real sweaty. She cured the cut on her leg and sat down on the ground resting.

(Place: Centra Ruins.)

Mei-Len felt the extinguishing of Kale's life force. She didn't want to believe it, but it was true. Tears mightily flowed from her eyes and she transported to the island wanting to share in Kale's fate. If she couldn't be with Kale in life, she would be with him in death.

(Place: Island of the coast of Esthar)

As Lisa slowly got up and picked up her katana, she saw Mei-Len appear in near Kale's body. She quickly got into her fighting stance. (Man, if I'd known I would have to fight her too, I wouldn't have used up all of my energy. I can barely stand, and fighting against her will be hard enough without being at full energy.) Lisa fretted.

Mei-Len instantly knelt down and wept over Kale's body. After a minute of crying, she looked up and saw Lisa Hawkwind standing in a battle stance with her katana drawn. "Lisa Hawkwind, I want you to kill me now," Mei-len said while getting up.

She couldn't believe her ears what just came out of Mei-Len's mouth. "Why do you want me to do that?"

"Because the one reason that I live is dead, and there is no use of living," Mei-Len announced. "If I can't be with Kale while he's living, I would rather be with him in death."

"That's really strange reasoning," Lisa replied. "Why not just live your life and find some other meaning?"

"You don't understand," Mei-len said. "He was my meaning in life. Ever since I was raped, and my family killed in war, there has been no meaning to my life until I met Kale. Without him, I'm an empty soul."

"I'm still not buying that," Lisa said.

"Well, to help you with your decision, I have a confession to make," Mei-Len smiled. "I'm the one that put your uncle in that coma."

Lisa's anger welled up, but she controlled it. To hurt someone that Lisa could come to love was too much. She knew revenge was not the answer, but Lisa got a nagging feeling that told her if she doesn't kill Mei-Len, Mei-Len would do something foolish and kill both of them.

"So be it," Lisa ran as fast a she could and thrust Destiny's flame through Mei-Len's gut.

After a few seconds Lisa removed the katana as Mei-Len coughed up blood, and bleed through the wound. She then got down beside kale and covered his body. "Thank you," she said in her last breath.

Lisa sheathed her katana and looked on at the two dead bodies of Mei-Len and Kale Akaisura. The were on top of each other like lovers, and the scene didn't look as appealing as one would think. In one last act of selflessness, she reached deep down into the well that she gets her energy from and charged it into her hand. Lisa pointed it at Kale and Mei-Len and released it, destroying their bodies.

The victor of the battle started to walk away from the battlefield. She wasn't satisfied as much as she thought with her victory, but was glad that she could end the chapter in her life that was determined before her birth.

With Kale Akaisura gone, there was no reason to fear what the future would bring. Lisa instantly spotted the Ragnarok on the horizon and waved at them. She waited until they would get to the island and take her back home. She silently thanked Sasha and everyone else for believing in her. It was time to go home, and Lisa made her decision what she was going to do once she got back.