20 years ago, Laguna Loire freed the city of Esthar from the tyranny of the Sorceress Adel. Today, with Esthar finally standing on it's own two feet, Laguna will reveal a secret he has kept since ...
"I know." Laguna beamed with pride over both his own accomplishment and that of his son. "I'm so proud of Squall, Kiros." He told his longtime companion. "That's why I've made the decision that I have. Come, I have an announcement to make."
Kiros wondered why those words sounded so ominous. And why the perfectly normal room seemed anything but perfectly normal.
He followed Laguna to the podium where Squall was just finishing up his own speech about what a great father Laguna had turned out to be.
"Twenty five years ago, you'd have been blushing bright red if someone said that about you. Now you're not even pink."
"Thanks, Squall," Laguna said, smiling at this son as he stepped carefully by.
"Why can't I get a hug from you?" Squall asked. "You're my father. You love me, and you won't even let me touch you?"
"He hasn't let anyone touch him since the day Adel was overthrown." Kiros told Squall. "I think she used the last of her power to cast Pain on him. Ever since that day, no one has been able to prove to him that being touched won't hurt."
Laguna turned to the microphone and began to speak.
"People of Esthar. I am proud of you all. You've accomplished a lot since I became your President."
The crowd cheered. It was good to know that he approved of them.
"I am also very proud of my son, Squall Leonhart. He has accomplished much since I burdened him with a father to worry about." Laguna smiled, "That is one of the reasons I have decided to name Squall as my successor."
To call Kiros shocked, would have been understating things a bit"Your what?!"
"From this moment on, Squall Leonhart will be President of Esthar. Please, respect him as you respected me."
"You're... retiring?" Kiros blinked. "But why?"
Laguna smiled at Kiros, then at the confused crowd who had gone silent below.
"No, I'm not retiring as such," Laguna told them. "Twenty-five years ago. After I imprisoned Adel with the help of Kiros and Ward, you asked me to be your President. I agreed to stay on as long as you needed me. Today, you, the people of Esthar, are able to stand on your own two feet. You don't need me anymore. I've done all that I can for you, and now, at
last, I can rest. Farewell."
With a parting wave, Laguna faded quietly from view.
Kiros found himself as speechless as Ward at that moment.
~He hasn't let anyone touch him since the day Adel was overthrown~
Squall suddenly leapt from the balcony, into the middle of the crowd and ran as fast as he could to the Sealing Facility.
"Sir," a guard told him, "you can't go in there!"
"Why?" Squall asked. "What's in there?"
"We don't know," the other guard admitted. "we just have strict orders from President Loire not to let anyone in."
"President Loire vanished ten minutes ago," Squall told them. "And he left me in charge."
"Do you have ID?"
Squall raised his gunblade.
"That'll do, sir."
The guards stepped aside and Squall walked in.
There, lying on the floor, was a human skeleton. Around it's neck was a set of dogtags bearing the name Laguna Loire.
Kiros walked in and stooped down to examine the body. Then he looked up with an expression made Squall wonder if he'd just been pushed over the edge by what he was being asked to come to grips with.
"Dear Hyne, Laguna," Kiros whispered to the bones which time and death and stripped clean, "she killed you."