Categories > Games > Final Fantasy 4 > Time's Quest

Beginning’s End

by Legion 0 reviews

Shortly after the conclusion of the events in Final Fantasy IV, Kain finds himself at the core of a new set of events, ones that have as much importance as the battle with Zeromus, Kain must fight ...

Category: Final Fantasy 4 - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Fantasy - Characters: Kain - Warnings: [!] [V] - Published: 2005-05-06 - Updated: 2005-05-06 - 5209 words

The door to the stairs that led down to the bottom floor of the tower slid shut as the others had, right after the trio stepped through. The staircase here, however, was pitch black due to the lack of torches or anything else able to give off light.
As they made their way down the stairs, the black became more like gray as the reflection of the light put out by Time reflected off the walls and into the staircase. Soon they reached the bottom and when they did so Eziekial reached out and grabbed Kain by the shoulder. "Before you walk into that doorway...."
"I know...I know...I'm the last hope, blah blah...."
"Actually, I was going to tell you to leave your bag here and bid you good luck." Kain stood there in shock, which was apparent to both Pearl and Eziekial even with the lack of light. Pearl smirked and then grabbed hold of Kain's neck, which was quite a reach for the much shorter mage, and pulled him down to her eye-level and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.
"For good luck." She explained. Kain nodded in response and stood up once again. Picking his helmet from the contents of his bag and placing it on his head, he then dropped the bag which hit with a muffled thud as it landed on top of both Pearl and Eziekial's bags.
"Let's go." Kain said, pulling his visor down over his face. Eziekial and Pearl both nodded while Eziekial pulled the large and deadly scythe from its concealment within his cloak. Kain shifted his lance from his left hand to his right, and then the three walked around the corner towards their next challenge.

The bottom floor was a massive chamber filled with billions of the thin strands of Time, which was the room's only source of light. There was so many in fact, Kain could not even see more than twenty feet in front of him without having to weave his way in and out of them.
Finally, after about ten minutes of dodging in and out of the strands, Kain could see a large open space. When he got to that space he stopped dead in his tracks, starring in horror at what he could only imagine to be the Keeper.
Sitting at the other end of the open space and against what appeared to be the other side of the chamber, was the colossal Keeper. At first glance he appeared to be human, with about a forty-foot size advantage, but the more you looked, the more his dark aura made him appear to be demonic.
"So, someone has finally ventured to set me free." The Keeper's voice thundered. "A little late, as I have awoken completely now and It is but a matter of time before I am free."
"We are not here to save you fiend, but to stop you from destroying the cosmos, and everything within it!" Kain shouted in reply.
"Ha Ha Ha, I am a fiend? Are not those fools who imprisoned me here the fiends? For centuries I have sat on this mock throne a joke for the 'Gods' to laugh at. And for centuries I have waited, plotting the entire time the perfect invasion of the one strand that has the ability to reach out and strangle me."
"Your imprisonment was due punishment." Pearl screamed to the Keeper. Kain looked at her surprised as she continued. "Your evil would have swept the land and invoked the coming of it. That's why we have brought him, he who passed all the tests, the one you have feared so much to send an overpowering army to face the people of that strand." The Keeper shifted its glare back and forth between Pearl and Kain, studying each carefully.
"Ahh, now I remember you. You are the Gods' little protector aren't you?...You're the bitch that had them put me here." Eziekial smirked,
"And do you remember me, Raatha'amn?" he cursed in ancient elvish.
"You! You dare to call me that, after all this, after you see what they did to me? The Cursed One...the Keeper...damn them to oblivion!" With that the Keeper twisted and pulled against his bonds in rage, but to no avail.
"The only reason I argued on your behalf those centuries ago was because I saw your potential, the problem you could become. I thought they should have killed you on the spot and let one of your two pets hold the strands, but instead they set them to guard you who would destroy us all.....the Raatha'amn."
"You do not see though, I am not the enemy...they are! They use you!"
"You are evil! No one is your friend, that is why you must be stopped!" Kain yelled.
"Do you not see Dragoon? What side is good depends on what side of the battle you are on. They use you as well."
"Enough! This is a battle for all of life...this ends now!"
"So be may not die in Time with your friends and loved ones, but you will die just the same!"


After digging the trenches and placing the stakes, Cecil ordered the army to get as much sleep as they could, which would only amount to a few hours due to the fact that the digging and the stakes took much longer than Cecil had originally believed that it did. Nonetheless, the troops were all in their tents, and those who could sleep, slept but there was a great many that instead stared at the tops of their tents either in fear or excitement, or a mixture of the two. All the troops, that is, except Cecil.
Cecil paced up and down the battlements of the castle, sword already on his belt, thinking about the battle to come in the following day. As he was walking turning to pace down the battlements, a slow movement caught his eye. Whipping around and grabbing the hilt of his sword, the person jumped back in shock and squealed.
"Rydia?" Cecil questioned, lowering his sword so that the tip rested upon the ground.
"You darn near cut my head off with that blasted thing Cecil!" she shrieked in reply. Cecil sighed and sheathed his sword. "What are you doing out here anyway? If anyone around here needs his rest before a battle its you." Cecil smirked,
"I don't sleep before a battle."
"Anxious." He replied, walking to the edge of the wall and sitting down. "I've always had a taste for battle, it excites me to the point that I can't sleep."
"That sounds...."
"Strange? I know, but its just how I work...come to think of it why are you up here?"
"I couldn't sleep, but not for the same reason as you."
"Your worried?" Rydia nodded and turned away, grabbing her elbows and stifling a sob. "All my closest friends could die tomorrow and no one seems to care but me." Cecil laughed and stood up stretching out his arms and back. "I don't see what's so funny." Rydia sobbed.
"You didn't find Rosa did you? Or Yang?...I didn't think so. You see, everyone has his or her own way of dealing with a life and death situation. You worry, Rosa prays, Yang tries to make peace with himself, and Kain and I take things on without thinking about the consequences...that's what makes us who we's also what makes Kain and I the grunts." He finished with a chuckle and a smile as he draped his hand over Rydia's shoulders.
Just then, Cecil looked to his right, and on the horizon came the soft red glow of the morning's light. "I'd better go wake the men." He whispered as he turned, quickly put on his armor and white tunic and shuffled down the stairs. When he got to the bottom, he found Yang who told Cecil that he had already sent some men around to wake those who slept. Cecil nodded and the two headed for the tent in the center of the castle's courtyard, which acted as their headquarters.
"So far, everything's according to plan." Yang stated as he and Cecil huddled around the large map in the center of the tent. "The trenches are here, here, and here as planned, our enemy has huddled outside our doorstep as before, and presumably Edge should be somewhere behind them.
"Let's hope so." Cecil replied. "Because without Edge and his warriors, we're all doomed." Yang nodded.
"I'm sure he'll be there, though I wish you would have let me go with him."
"He'll be fine, besides he needed something to show himself that he can lead people, he's been tiptoeing around it for some time."
"I see." Just then there was a rustle of the tent flap and it opened, shedding orange light upon the inside of the tent. Standing there was Rosa in complete disarray, but before Cecil could say anything, she whispered;
"They're coming."


For being tied to that massive stone 'throne' Kain noticed that the Keeper had no problem in defending himself. It intrigued Kain as to how the being would fight if there were nothing keeping it from moving much like he, Pearl, and Eziekial were. The Keeper fought much like Zeromus had, mostly with magic, but instead of laziness being the reason he did so, the Keeper fought with magic because Time still bound him enough to keep him from moving much more than the movements necessary to cast his spells.
"Now would be a good time to snap out of it and get to work," Eziekial snapped as re raced by Kain, followed by a trail of the Keeper's blue lightning which obliterated any part of the tower it touched. Jumping to the ceiling in order to avoid the blast, Kain saw an opportunity, so he sprang as quickly as he could to the wall behind the massive being and then dropped straight down, lance aimed for the crown of the Keeper's head.
Before he could strike a full blow, Kain was smacked by one of the large fists of the Keeper and sent flying into the opposing wall. Kain hit the ground with a thud, and was slow to pick himself up. Pearl raced to his side and erected a magical barrier to protect the fallen warrior.
"Are you alright?" she asked. Nodding because of the lack of air in his lungs necessary to talk Kain began to cough, and when he did blood spurted out of his mouth.
"Think I punctured a lung. Damn, I can't get to him to attack." Standing up, Kain staggered forward a step and then leaned against his lance. "You go ahead, I'll be okay." Pearl nodded and began to cast offensive spells again while she moved in and around the various holes in the floor.
Meanwhile, Kain limped around the room, doing just enough to dodge the Keeper's attacks and all the while wondering, 'How do I hit this guy?'


Racing out of his tent, Cecil saw that the castle actually hadn't succumbed to mass chaos....yet. So in the midst of the men running from place to place, Cecil raced to his chocobo, hopped into the saddle and drew his sword.
The singing of the blade leaving its scabbard grabbed the attention of most, and so Cecil began to bark orders. Soon the camp was back in order, and the men were lined up near the gate, ready to attack. "Now you all know your duties." Cecil yelled to the crowd, "The infantry and I will make a charge of the enemy, as soon as we have their attention, it will be full retreat, but be sure to make your way to the safe routes we have erected. Those will be set with spikes the second the enemy comes close, so be sure to run faster than they will.
Archers, as soon as the infantry moves out, you will take your positions behind the last trench. From there, once the retreat is signaled and the men reach the trenches, you will unleash every arrow you have into the rushing army. This will drain their numbers some, but don't be fooled, the trenches will only hold them for so long.
That is why every man must keep ready to fight and defend each other for once they find a way around the trenches, we will be fighting for our lives again, they will not think retreat for one second, and neither should you. Then the forces we sent out yesterday will arrive from the enemy's flanks and we will crush them like hammer and anvil!" the crowd cheered as men held up their swords and the metal gleamed in the rising sun's light.
"Now, we go! May you go with the blessings of the Crystals and the Gods!" Cecil nodded to his right and the gatemen proceeded to turn the heavy turn crank used to open the gates after they were cut down in battle.
The gate slowly creaked up and after what seemed an eternity it was locked into place. "We do not do this for glory, we do this for each other! We do it for victory! Charge!" Cecil kicked his chocobo and with that the infantry sprang into action, swords brandished running towards their enemies screaming the warcry of Victory!
The human army hit that of the Keeper like a wave hits a rock. They smashed into it with tremendous force, and for a moment Cecil believed that he might have been wrong about their advanced plan, but after a moment the enemy army regrouped and began its own offensive. Slicing his sword left and right, Cecil encouraged his men to push harder as he killed three to each one of a regular man, but to no avail. His army was beginning to sink back, while the enemy had not yet fully committed its forces.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the back ranks of the Keeper's army, the leader of the army barked orders in its hideous native tongue. Seeing the humans rush his army had surprised him at first, but he quickly recovered and saw that after doing so he had the chance to finish them off now.
Not noticing the vastly smaller population of the humans, and arrogantly believing that his army had killed all the missing, the general turned towards its lackeys and roared at them to charge and destroy the humans now. The men nodded and began to give their orders to the army and soon the entire body pressed forwards.

"They're falling for it!" Rosa exclaimed from the top of the tower where she, Rydia, and Yang stood. Yang still did not understand why Cecil wanted him here, but Cecil had insisted, saying that if something went wrong, Yang would have to protect Rydia and Rosa.
"It seems that way." Yang replied. "Look, Cecil's ordered the retreat." Watching the battle progress, Yang noticed that many of the men had fled sooner than Cecil had ordered, causing the enemy army to flood around and surround the human's leader.
"Cecil!" Rosa cried, reaching out as though to grab him and in the process almost falling off the edge of the tower. Yang grabbed Rosa by the waist and pulled her from the edge, stating,
"He knew this could happen, and it was a risk he was willing to take in order to save his people. A very noble sacrifice."
"Don't count him out yet." Rydia exclaimed pointing below.

Cecil knew that some of his men had fled before the order, but he hadn't realized the peril that it had put him in. As quick as his men turned, he was surrounded and now he was fighting his way to find a clearing so that his chocobo could take flight, or at least get him over the now sealed trenches.
Black, viscous blood sprayed everywhere as he hacked left and right with his paladin's blade. And slowly, but surely he began moving forward, just enough to avoid the attacks of the monsters behind him. Pretty soon there was a clearing in site, but just as he was about to take flight over the barricade a straggling soldier caught his eye.
The man was trying to squeeze his way through the spikes that now held the passageway closed without much success. On top of that, the monsters were almost on top of him, as he was sure to be slaughtered if they reached him.
So instead of spurring his chocobo to flight, he yelled at the man and began to push his way towards him. But the gap between the men closed and the soldier was torn to pieces as the army slammed into the spiked trench. Cecil cursed and pulled hard on the reigns of his steed and managed to find yet another open area. Fighting his way through yet again, Cecil reached the area and spurred his chocobo into the air and he sailed over the barricade just as the first wave of arrows flew into enemy ranks.

"That was too close." Sobbed Rosa as Yang tried to comfort her.
"Yes, and now it's my turn to help." Rydia said stepping onto the ledge of the tower. She then outstretched her arms and began the chant of summoning. After a few moments, Rydia began to glow bright and with that she finished her spell and as she did so magic burst from her body and into the sky, summoning the God of Summons Bahamut.

Cecil rode his chocobo over the continuing volleys of arrows when the sky went black. "Oh god what now?" he thought looking over his shoulder. The Keeper's army, however, kept charging, and monster after monster either died from the hundreds of arrows or was impaled as he fell into the staked trenches.
Cecil looked up again, this time above him, and streaking towards him he saw a massive shimmering object. Once his eyes focused on the object though, he smiled and saw that this was a blessing. "Thank you Rydia." He thought as he landed behind the lines of his archers.
The massive dragon then hovered over top the castle and looked down upon the two armies, then with a mighty heave it sent its breathtaking attack flaring at the Keepers army. He didn't attack only once though, he attacked twice, three times, four, and with a roar he went streaking back up into the sky where he came from.
Cecil looked down upon the army, which although their numbers were thinned, still were more than the humans. And now the trenches had been filled to the top, allowing the army to pursue their human foe.


Just when Kain didn't think things could get any worse. The big lug manages to tug enough on Time that he gets free and is able to move. Now not only was Kain dodging magic, but also the physical attacks of the giant menace.
Pearl and Eziekial were having no trouble, but they also didn't have a punctured lung, not to mention the headache of a lifetime. Getting hit by this guy was no pillow fight that's for sure. Just then a bolt of energy whizzed past Kain's head, nearly decapitating him as he jumped to where Pearl was standing.
"How in the hell did you beat this guy last time?" Kain said.
"The Gods found a pattern to his movements...I wasn't able to recognize it though and neither was Eziekial. Only a very experienced fighter can pick it out."
"Great." Kain thought. "Now all I need is for everything to not be blurry...I think I've taken one too many hits to the head..."


The Keeper's army swarmed towards the humans, and those monsters that were left were in a blind rage. Not only had they been tricked into the death trenches of the humans but they had also been tricked into being attacked by a huge dragon. Their leader was also dead, which didn't bode well for the moods of his soldiers.
But the humans fought on, desperate to cling to life. Cecil was in the middle of the battle on his chocobo, which was also fighting as valiantly as he, wondering where in the world Edge and the rest of the men could be.
Slowly the human army was pushed closer and closer to the gate, and was being swallowed more and more by the ferocious monsters. At least half of the soldiers remaining at the castle were dead, and many more were wounded, Cecil could hear the moans of all, those both monster and human, that lay on the battlefield wounded.
They were now surrounded. Despite the losing battle though every man fought on, killing at least ten for every one human that died. But their numbers grew less and less. Soon only a hundred were left...fifty....thirty....then when all hope seemed lost and it seemed to Cecil that he alone was keeping the army back from slaughtering them there was a cry from the distance.

Rydia watched the horrid battle with dismay. Too weak from her huge summoning, she could only lay on the edge of the tower so she could just barely see. Rosa was bawling over by the door, and Yang stood silent as he watched the onslaught continue.
Just then there was a cry and out of the trees in the distance came a charge of hundreds of figures. Suddenly the air was filled with hundreds of flying objects that tore at the flanks of the Keeper's army and brought the attention of the army to their new foes.
"It's Edge!" Rydia exclaimed.
"He's right on time." Yang stated. "I thought this would be over before he could reach us but Cecil managed to hold them off for just long enough." Now charging in front of the men on feet came the mounted dragoons whose lances smashed into the Keeper's army and scattered them, which created a whole in their body, cutting them straight in two.

The whole in the Keeper's army came right on time. The monsters went fleeing in opposite directions, which gave time for Cecil to meet Edge and coordinate the remaining soldiers into a decent attack force.
"Sorry I'm late." Edge said as he tried to catch his breath.
"You aren't late." Cecil said dismally. "We didn't start as planned, they attacked a few hours before we originally planned."
"Well, we've got em now, right?"
"You're right." Cecil said with a smile. "Now let's finish this."
The exodus continued until the human army had managed to slaughter every one of the Keeper's army. Looking around, you could see bodies and blood-soaked ground for as far as the eye could see, and the moans of the wounded sounded throughout the night as the unwounded searched and helped the mages heal the wounded.
"We search until every man is counted for." Cecil announced. "They deserve at least that."


Kain had studied the movements of the Keeper for some time now and they seemed all but erratic. All he did was spin in circles continuously and attack whatever came into his vision...."That's it!" Kain thought. Making his way across the room to Eziekial, he explained what he wanted the mage to do.
"All you and Pearl have to do is distract him for just a moment, then I'll spring from my hiding spot. He literally won't see it coming."
"Okay." Eziekial replied. "I just hope you're right, because I don't think that banged up body of yours could take another hit from him." Kain wiped the blood that came from a cut on the side of his face with a smile.
"It's a chance I'm willing to take." Eziekial nodded and bolted lightning quick across the room. Then while he explained the plan to Pearl, Kain found a hiding spot right behind a portion of the ruined 'throne'. From this spot he could see the Keeper and which way he was facing.
"As long as I do this right, I'll get him in one shot. Which is good, cause that's all I'll likely get." He thought. Then as he finished his thought he saw that Pearl and Eziekial has already started the plan and that he was late.
Jumping to the roof as quickly as possible, he launched himself off of it and towards the Keeper's huge spine. But he was too late. The Keeper slowly began to move again. Seeing this as his last chance, Kain hurled his lance with all the power he had left in his body. The lance cut through the air and slid into the Keeper with a sickening crunch.
By this time, the Keeper's hand was already well on its way at Kain in a deadly backhand. Kain heard Pearl scream as he closed his eyes and met the hand full on, sending him plummeting to the ground. But while Kain lay there, nearly unconscious, he watched as the Keeper staggered and fell to the ground dead.
Kain smiled as he began to lose consciousness. "At least we won....." he thought. When he woke up, Kain found Pearl and Eziekial standing over him. " long have I been out?"
"A couple of minutes, that's all." Pearl replied. "I used the rest of my magic power to heal your major injuries...once you get back to your world someone can help you more." Kain nodded and thanked her. Then Eziekial approached him.
"That was the stupidest plan I have ever been a part of." He muttered. "But it worked, and I do owe it to you that despite being overly boneheaded you are very courageous. He then handed Kain his lance. Kain took the lance and gave his thanks with a chuckle.
Standing up, Kain let the tip of his bloodstained lance touch as he wiped the beads of sweat and blood from his face. Turning to Pearl and Eziekial, Kain asked, "What happens now?"
Eziekial, ignoring Kain's question, stared down at the blade of his scythe as he cleaned and polished it. Pearl however, wiped the sweat from her brow and replied, "Time has evolved enough that it has no more need for a Keeper. Perhaps it had something to do with the Keeper's madness, perhaps not. We'll never really know..."
"Perhaps it isn't time that has evolved, but it's inhabitants." Eziekial remarked.
"Why do you say that?" Kain asked.
"Time was never meant to be held straight and steady. Perhaps it was just waiting for its inhabitants to ready for the ups and downs, lights and darks."
Kain nodded wearily and leaned even more on his lance. "Are you all right?" Pearl asked coming to stand at Kain's side.
"Yes, I guess that fight just took more out of me than I would have liked to believe." Was his reply.
"He said he was fine Pearl, now let's go, we still have work to do, as does Kain." Eziekial interjected.
"No buts, let's go."
"Some angel of reason...."
"No one ever said reason had to be nice." Eziekial said with a smirk. "Now let's go." Pearl smiled and laughed at the rarity of his smile and nodded.
"Goodbye Kain," she said softly, "Perhaps we shall meet again."
"May the crystals and time allow it." Kain said struggling not to grimace from the pain that shot into his side.
"At the top of this tower, in the room where we entered, you will find a portal. It will take you to your world." Eziekial said.
"Where in my world?"
"The place of least resistance. It fluctuates, but most likely the spot where a portal to beyond time was last created. In other words, the Tower of Babil. And move quickly, the magic of this place is fluctuating, and it will evaporate soon."
"I wonder if he knew about the Keeper's army." Kain mused. "I wonder how I did..."
"What's wrong?" Pearl interrupted.
"What?...oh, nothing." Kain replied. "Just thinking, that's all."
"Miracles do happen." Eziekial said coolly, "But we really must be going, the Keeper has done damage enough to keep us busy for years, unless we work quickly and start now. We have a lot of 'pieces' of Time, shall we say, to pick up." Pearl nodded, waved once to Kain, and then the two took to their angel form and disappeared in a brilliant flash of light.


Kain stepped from the portal and it closed, sealing off the gate to beyond time...hopefully for good. Kain removed his helmet, letting his long blonde hair to fall to his shoulders and into his face. Brushing the hair out of his face, Kain was horrified...yet amazed at what his eyes beheld.
Bodies lay everywhere, and the fine sands of the desert, that were normally tan in color, were stained red with blood. Not too far off in the distance, Kain could see hundreds; maybe thousands of people collecting, burying, and some even burning bodies.
"It looks like it was a massacre...but which side won?" Kain thought. Just then, Kain could hear the flapping of wings, and then five black chocobos landed in a triangular formation in front of him.
"I thinks we gotsa selves a 'serter cap'n." One of the men said. Then the chocobo and the point of the formation slightly turned, revealing white armor stained with blood.
"Cecil?" Kain whispered. Then a man about Kain's size, dressed in white armor, stained red leaped from the chocobo and practically tackled Kain.
"Kain, we did it!" Cecil yelled with laughter.
"W...we..we did...?" Kain replied.
"By the gods, you look exhausted." Cecil then said, his voice filled with concern. Taking his arm off of Kain, he then led him to chocobos.
"Yes, I am very tired, but what of yourself?"
"Myself? Well, I am tired, but so is everyone else, and if I let up now, we'll never finish."
"How bad were we hit?"
"Bad, but not as bad as they were...they lost everything, we lost about a quarter. But let's get you back to the castle were we can talk." Kain nodded as Cecil mounted the chocobo. He then handed Cecil his lance and jumped behind his friend.

* And thus ends the beginning of our journey, for with the trouble stirred by the Keeper, and the destruction of him and his prison, Time has attracted the attention of a much deeper threat. For chaos now sees the God's creation, and it has a hunger for revenge in Final Fantasy IV - Chaos*
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