Locke and Celes

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Locke and Celes

or

How Locke met Celes

Locke, a self-proclaimed treasure-hunter (though some would call him little more than a thief) crept carefully through the secret passageway he had found.

It was late evening. Locke was a member of the Returners, a rebel group that were looking to counter the progress of the Empire of Vector, which was slowly making its way across the Northern Continent. It had taken him a lot to get here; he had been working hard in this, the town of South Figaro, to stymie the military efforts of the Empire, raising underground support, sabotaging equipment, and so on. Now he was attempting to affect his escape—and a very dangerous one it was too: He was currently in a secret passageway which he had found out about from a local that led out of the mansion the Imperial soldiers had taken over and were using as their base in the town.

Getting here had been hard enough in itself—he had had to clobber a patrolling cadet over the head, steal his clothes, and then blag his way into the mansion. The secret passageway itself was behind the obligatory bookshelf; a hidden route out of town that the wealthy owner of the mansion had built and himself made use of when the Empire invaded, according to Locke's informant. He had just got inside and was making his way along slowly in the semi-darkness. Thankfully it was lit by a few candles. He decided to take off his cadet uniform and change back into his normal clothes, as it would only slow him down.

As he was finishing getting changed he heard voices—the Empire must have found the passageway too! He had changed too soon. He pressed himself up against a wall and reached for his sword, but then he realised where the voices were coming from. A little way along from where he was stood there was a door. He shuffled over to it and the voices got louder. He could make one out.

"—what happens to traitors!" it said. An angry male voice, undoubtedly belonging to a soldier. Locke realised there was a small window of open space in the door. He risked a look through, and nearly gasped. Inside was a stunning blonde woman, dressed in white armour and a white cape, chained to the wall by her hands and feet. She was being mocked by two soldiers. He could have sworn he had seen her somewhere before...and then he remembered where—she was one of the Emperor's three Generals!

This was confirmed by the next thing the guard said. "So the mighty Celes has fallen! This is what happens when you put a woman in charge!" The two soldiers laughed.

The woman shot them a dignified look of defiance and said "I've not fallen as far as those who would use their strength to oppress the weak."

"Quiet!" said the second guard. "Did we give you permission to speak?"

"Don't you know?" The woman continued undeterred. "Kefka's planning to poison every last man, woman and child in the kingdom of Doma. That's an atrocity."

"Shaddup!" The first guard slapped her around the face. The woman made no noise. In fact her gaze only intensified. Locke thought he saw a flicker in her eyes where she might have noticed him, but if she did she did not show it. Maybe she did not want to alert the guards to his presence.

"Run that mouth while you still can, General," said the guard. Your execution's tomorrow. Keep a close watch on her." He nodded to his comrade.

"Yessir!" said the soldier, standing to attention. The first guard turned, and Locke ducked away from the window just in time not to be seen by him. He held his breath and remained perfectly still as the door opened towards him, stopping inches away from his face, obscuring him. Locke clutched the hilt of his blade at his side.

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