lassarina: (Ze Goggles - Zey Do Nossing!)
[personal profile] lassarina posting in [community profile] rose_in_winter
Characters: Terra
Rating: G
Contains: Spoilers
Wordcount: 578
Notes: Written for the prompt "apocalypse"
Betas: N/A
Summary: She wakes in the ruins of the world.

Everything is agony.

Terra can scarcely believe that the tortured groan she hears came from her own throat as she tries to roll to her side. She feels profoundly broken, and when she finally gets her eyes open, she sees that she is bleeding from many wounds. Her head aches like the moment when they took off the Crown, but she conjures up the syllables for simple Cure—anything stronger is beyond her right now. It helps, working from the inside out, and then she can breathe without feeling like a sword is twisting between her ribs.

Another Cure, and the headache fades. Three, and four, and five, and six, and at last she can sit up.

She gets to her feet to take stock, as Celes taught her, and horror wraps cold and sick around her, because the world is wrong.

Everything around her is thick, viscous mud, and there are legions of dead and dying sea creatures flopping helplessly. It smells like the sea is dying, like a salt marsh, like choking vegetation. Terra wipes mud from her face and stares.

This is the power that lives in you, a little voice whispers in her mind.

"No," she says aloud.

A nearby eel lashes weakly out at her, and she steps aside. She looks for water, for somewhere to return it to the ocean, but there is no ocean, just the remnants of one. Mud, sand, and silt are everywhere. Seaweed lies crumpled instead of streaming proudly in the currents. There are more fish and other creatures than she can even comprehend, things she never knew existed. She herself is wet to the skin, and she wonders dimly how she hadn't drowned.

She wonders where the others are. She tried to save them, when Kefka tore open the Floating Continent and the crashing debris sent the airship staggering, but she doesn't see any of them.

She calls their names, one by one, but no one answers. She tries to search, but the thick mud drags at her feet, making every step a struggle, and it's hard to see much in the strange slanted light. The sun is blood-red like summer sunset, though the height says it's high noon. The sky is a sickly violet. Everything tastes of death and magic, bitter copper on her tongue, and it makes her skin crawl.

She nearly steps on a jellyfish with enough life left in it to sting her viciously as she tries to get away. She has no items, only the equipment she was wearing and her own magic, and she doesn't know how long that will last if she can't rest in a shelter, so she has to find some. She looks around, and there, far to the east, she thinks she might see smoke. Perhaps it's a town. Maybe it's even one she knows. There aren't any mountains, so she doesn't think it could be Narshe, but then again, if she's standing in what used to be an ocean, she could be anywhere and not know it.

She casts Antidote on the sting, which is turning that alarming purple color that means the jellyfish was poisonous, and sighs in relief when it fades to merely angry red. She doesn't dare waste a Cure on something that won't stop her from walking, not when she doesn't know what else will be between her and safety.

She turns east, and starts to walk.

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The Rose In Winter

June 2017

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