Purest Corruption


Chapter 1:
“Good Intentions”

Tidus and his close friends walked down a damp, old passageway. The smell of must and mold was nearly overpowering. In fact, they should be on their way to Zanarkand right now, but they ended up stumbling upon this passageway in their descent down from Mount Gagazet.
“How much further?” Tidus asked, sighing.
“Patience.” Auron instructed, walking beside him.
“Patience? Patience? You could have talked to me about patience like half an hour ago! We’ve been walking forever! I don’t even know if this passageway leads anywhere!” Tidus protested, angrily.
“Save it.” He replied. Tidus groaned but continued on. For some reason, the torches on the side of the walls lit themselves as the walked by. Perhaps there was something back here, and, if so, it might be worth something. They walked for a couple more minutes before ending up right in front of a huge stone door.
“There’s something inscribed on it…” Rikku said, squinting.
“Allow me,” Lulu said, walking forward, “it says here that whatever summoner and guardian shall pass through these doors shall receive the blessing and power to overcome adversaries.”
“Well, let’s go in.” Tidus suggested, walking forward.
“Hold it!” Lulu said, frowning, “It said ‘guardian’! Not ‘guardians’. Yuna will have to pick the one to go inside with her.”
“As you will.” Auron said, leaning against a wall.
“Do you guys really want me to?” Yuna asked.
“Go ahead. You’ll know the right one, ya?” Wakka said, encouragingly.
“Hey, Yunie! C’mon! Pick me!” Rikku shouted, excitedly. Yuna smiled at her and looked over to Tidus. He smiled and nodded towards the doorway. He figured that he could bond with Yuna in there, however, Rikku was a bit new to this. So he let her go with Yuna.
“Okay, Rikku. That sounds like a good idea!” Yuna said, smiling. Together, they approached the door. It rumbled and slowly parted. After Yuna and Rikku walked in, it slammed shut. Tidus looked over at Auron, who nodded to him and then looked away.
“So, Lu, does it say anything else?” Wakka asked, curiously. Lulu searched it for more writing and nodded.
“Yes, there is some faded writing here. ‘The summoner and guardian who so pass through this door shall have immense power granted to their aeons. However, power cannot be so easily kept. At the approximate time of one thousand years from now, a reaction will happen causing it to flow not to the aeons but…’” Lulu said, reading intently.
“But what?” Tidus asked.
“I can’t read the rest; it’s too faded and blurred. Oh, wait, this says something about seven days time and an antidote.” She said, standing up.
“Probably just goes on to say that it won’t work. Bah, waste of time.” Wakka said.
“Kimahri not like the energy off of this place.” Kimahri said, looking around.
“Not much to do now but wait. There is something in the air though…” Lulu said, sitting down.

Chapter 2:
“Rest Up”

After one long hour of waiting, the doors parted. Yuna and Rikku exited, their eyes distant and out-of-focus.
“Are you girls okay?” Tidus asked.
“So…dizzy…” Yuna said, weakly. She and Rikku collapsed.
“Carry them and fall behind. Something isn’t right. Tidus, you’re with me. We secure a path.” Auron said, going ahead. Tidus complied and walked by his side. Once out of earshot, Tidus said, “You’re not really concerned about the path, are you?”
“If I said I wasn’t?” He asked.
“I’d agree.”
“Hmph, getting easy to read, am I?”
“Just a little.”
“Truth be told, something isn’t right about any of this. And I feel the girls are in for the ride of their life. You mustn’t tell the others. They’d worry too much. Over this time, watch them carefully. It’s hard to say this, but…I can’t trust them anymore.”
“Can’t trust them?”
“Power…it corrupts.”
“Yuna…she’s a nice girl. Same with Rikku. They wouldn’t do anything bad.”
“Power attack indiscriminately. It penetrates and cracks the armor of even the most gentlest of souls. It cares not whether you are good or evil. Whether you are a saint or a sinner. If you have power, you use it. They will do exactly that.”
“When the time comes, you must be ready.”
“Ready? To do what?”
“To save them.”
“From what?”
“By doing what?”
Auron paused. “Whatever is necessary.”
“I won’t…”
“I have your word?”
“Very well. Do not fail me.” Auron said. They walked through the passage for the same time it took them to walk down it. When they emerged, they found themselves right next to an inn. The rest of the party reemerged from the pathway about five minutes later, with Kimahri carrying Yuna and Wakka carrying Rikku.
“Let’s check in some rooms.” Tidus said. He was only half-concerned with this, though. His thoughts were full of what Auron had told him. At the counter was an Al Bhed man wearing a yellow hooded uniform. Tidus recognized him as Rin.
“Ah, we meet again.” Rin said.
“Yeah, we really need some rooms.” Tidus said, pointing to the girls.
“Right away, sir. Just follow me into the back.” He said. As they did so, Tidus shuddered. He had never hoped on something so hard in his life. He hoped Auron was wrong. Hehoped it was all a hoax and Yuna and Rikku would be okay. He hoped Auron was wrong because, when the time came, he wouldn’t be ready.

Chapter Three:
“Power Unyielding”

Tidus let out a great yawn as he awoke in his room. Groggily, he walked over to the mirror and examined himself.
“Great, another day.” He said to himself, still tired. He walked down the hall to find Yuna’s, Rikku’s, Wakka’s, and Lulu’s door all opened. That left Auron, Kimahri, and himself.
“Wonder what all this is about.” He muttered, walking into the front area. It was completely empty.
“Yeah! You won’t have to worry about us anymore!” Rikku’s voice came. It sounded as if it was amplified by a loudspeaker.
“Damn…it’s still early. Keep it down.” He said, walking out through the open door. He sleepily walked out with his head down. There was an odd silence as he progressed out. Tidus really didn’t know where he was going, but his body seemed to. He kept up his sleepy walk until he hit something smooth and hard. He fell down and looked up. What greeted his eyes was almost enough to put his heart down for the count. Looking down at him was Rikku. Not the normal sized Rikku he knew, however. No, before him were Yuna and Rikku, blown up to gigantic proportions.
“Whoa…” Tidus said, backing up quickly.
“Good morning!” Yuna said, smiling.
“Y-Yeah…” He said. Auron and Kimahri walked out. Unlike Tidus, Auron was calm about this, as if he had expected this all along. Kimahri, like always, showed no emotion.
“Yuna…I…how did you…” Tidus asked. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, but it was there.
“It’s that thing we went in!” Rikku said.
“Well, we have to find a way to reverse this! Don’t worry about it! We’ll get on it!” He said, determined. Yuna and Rikku traded glances, but when they looked back down, their faces weren’t smiling.
“We…kind of like this.” Rikku said.
“It’s just that…I’ve felt so worried over our journey. About what will happen if it comes down to me. If, for some reason, you should fall. If you’d give your lives up to protect me and it came down to me. I would surely fall as well. But, like this, I can ensure that none of us pass away!” Yuna explained. Tidus kind of understood. He knew she must feel a bit guilty, watching as people willingly gave their lives for her.
“Then you do not want a cure?” Auron asked.
“Nope!” Rikku said.
“Very well then. We move on.” He said. Tidus could never understand how Auron could remain so calm under situations like this, but he did. As Auron said, they walked forward. Yuna and Rikku were practically taking baby steps to keep from passing them up. Sure enough, they attracted attention. People passing by stopped to gaze at them. One man nearly fell off the edge of Mount Gagazet in shock.
“Whoa! Lady Yuna? Is that you?” A man asked, stopping.
“Yes, that is I.” Yuna responded, bowing
“You’re…so tall…”
“Why, thank you.”
“I mean, surely you will be the one to defeat Sin! I mean, with such power.”
“That is why I travel. Thank you for your reassurance.” She replied, smiling pleasantly.
“Then you will earn the title High Summoner! Ha! Get it? High Summoner? Ah, I crack myself up.” He said, laughing. Yuna’s smile faded. Tidus admitted to himself that it was a pretty lame joke, but Yuna’s smile had literally gone upside down. She was now frowning.
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” She shot back.
“What? It was a joke. You know, with you being so tall and all. And the title High Summoner.” He said, laughing again.
“So you’re insulting me?”
“No! Just joking…”
“About me!”
“Well, it was good-natured!”
“Just as good-natured as this!” Yuna yelled. With all of her might, she kicked the man. His broken body flew down the high mountain.
“Good choice! He deserved it!” Rikku said, supportively. Tidus was astounded. He’d never seen Yuna get so mad over something so stupid.
“You know, the rest of them are probably laughing too…they all looked at me so…weirdly.” Yuna thought.
“You’re right! We should teach them a lesson!” She agreed, nodding.
“Wait! You can’t just go around killing people because they make jokes about you!” Tidus said.
“Why shouldn’t I?” She asked, glaring down at him. He stepped back. Yuna had never looked so intimidating.
“Because! It’s not right!”
“It’s not right to make jokes about other people either! Let’s go, Rikku!” Yuna said. With that, Rikku and Yuna ran back up the slope to the people.
“Let’s go stop them before they cause too much trouble.” Wakka said.
“We wait.” Auron stopped him.
“Sir Auron? You can’t agree with that, ya?
“I don’t, but then again I don’t want to be killed, either. You saw what happened to the man, and I’m not in the mood to risk my life over seeing if this blade with even harm them. If we rush in, we’ll die. No one else knows about that passageway, so they don’t know what happened. We die, and our knowledge dies with us. We will continue ahead, slowly.” Auron said.

Chapter 4:
“Reign of Terror”

The party progressed up the hill, backtracking where they had started. Along the way, and in accordance with what Yuna had said, bodies laid either with shattered frames or pools of red blood seeping into the snow.
“Yuna…” Lulu said.
“Hey, that’s not Yuna, ya? The real Yuna would never do this!” Wakka said. Tidus kept silent. That was Yuna, perhaps not in her mind, but physically speaking, it was.
“Let’s move!” Auron yelled, sounding suddenly urgent. He had crested the top of the mountain and was looking down at something. Tidus joined him to see what it was. Even though Yuna and Rikku were probably the better part of two hundred feet tall, they were like ants. Except, the city was even smaller. They watched as Yuna and Rikku began their destruction tour of the city; it appeared to be Bevelle to Tidus. The party hurried down the mountain until they were fortunate enough to find ten speeders, all ready for action. He didn’t care if they were forbidden because it was a holy mountain. It was enough that they were there. Tidus and Auron hopped on one, while Kimahri and Lulu took another. That left Wakka on his own. They blasted off at full speed to Bevelle.
Tidus, for once, as he drove through the Calm Lands, wanted Auron to lecture him. To tell him something, anything of value. Auron maintained his silence and took in the scenery. People were scattering out of Macalania forest, most likely escaping from Bevelle. He’d occasionally get an odd look from a passerby, but that was to be expected. Because of the large crowds, they were forced to park their speeders outside of Macalania Woods. Tidus and Auron dismounted and waited for the others to arrive. They did shortly after they began their wait. Once regrouped, they walked back into the forest. They made quick progress through it and stopped right outside of the Bevelle exit.
“Once we enter, it is unlikely that we will emerge again. Either until it is over or we are killed. Are you all ready?” Auron asked, facing them.
“We’re not getting any more ready standing here, ya?” Wakka said.
Auron chuckled. “Very well, we continue then.” They walked onto the Bevelle Highbridge and stopped. Tidus gazed at the city. It looked as if a bomb had just gone off. Buildings were either damaged or completely destroyed. Bodies were laying on the Highbridge and were also at the bottom of the small streams going on either side of the Highbridge. In the very center of the city, Yuna and Rikku were still at work, tearing the city apart.
“Run! Go!” An urgent voice came from the city gate. A group of eight soldiers came running down the bridge. They were lucky enough to spot them and stop from crashing into them.
“Civilians! Get out of here! The end is at hand!” He yelled, pointing at Yuna and Rikku.
“Running away isn’t solving anything. They’ll eventually grow tired of the city and come looking for you.” Auron said.
“There’s nothing more to be done! We shot at them…guns, machina, magic, spears, swords, need I go on? Everything in Yevon’s arsenal has been used! We have no defense against them!”
“Then perhaps we should go about finding another means of beating them.” Lulu said, crossing her arms.
“You go ahead! We’re out of here! Take these if you want them; we won’t need them!” He said, frantically. The soldiers dropped all of their armor and weapons, leaving them with their civilian clothing. After that, they wasted no time in running into Macalania Woods.
“Let us make use of this.” Auron said, motioning to the equipment. They nodded and dressed themselves with the armor.
“I am not using the rifle, however, if you choose not to use it, at least sling it over your back.” He said. The group, preferring their own weapons, did exactly that. They then ran directly into the town.

Chapter 5:
“First Encounter”

“Damn, look at this place.” Tidus commented, stepping over some rubble. Debris was littered across the ground, along with dead people, weapons, assorted broken things, and things like that.
“We will need a place to rest.” Lulu said, looking around her.
“Wise idea.” Auron agreed, “Hm…that building, about twenty meters from here. It looks suitable.” He pointed to a small, rundown building that the girls apparently missed. They started towards it when Yuna and Rikku stopped right in front of the building. The party froze, looking up at them.
“I don’t know. There doesn’t seem to be any place that’s better than any other.” Rikku said, gazing into the distance.
“Yeah…wait! The temple! Let’s go there!” Yuna said, pointing to the main temple.
“Sure…wait. Just who the hell are you guys supposed to be?” She asked, looking down at the group.
“Well, uh…” Tidus began, not looking at them in a futile attempt to conceal his identity.
“I know that voice! That’s Auron, Wakka, Lulu, Kimahri, and Tidus!” Yuna exclaimed.
“Shit…” Auron said to himself.
“Where have you guys been? You got a lot to work to do!” Rikku said.
“Like what?” Tidus asked.
“Get us entertainment, do stuff for us, that stuff.”
“I’m not some kind of slave!”
“You are now!” Yuna said.
“Let’s move!” Auron shouted. The party ran from them.
“Get back here! Yuna, blast them!” Rikku yelled. Yuna smiled and pointed her finger in their direction. A blue beam of energy collided with the ground in front of the group and blasted them into a nearby building.
“Ah!” Tidus groaned, recovering, “Lulu…what kind of magic was that?”
“I’ve never seen any like that before…” She said, distantly.
“Where’d they go?” Yuna asked.
“I don’t know. But that’s a good thing! I think you vaporized them.” Rikku said, happily.
“Vaporized! But I didn’t want to kill them…”
“Why not?”
“Because…Tidus was always so nice…”
“He hated you all along!”
“What?” Tidus said to himself.
“Truly?” Yuna asked.
“Yeah, he was always complaining to me about it. He just was too nice to tell you to your face, like some baby!”
“I…never knew…” She said, in a mix between sadness and anger.
“Let’s go get those thrones built!”
“Right!” Yuna said. They walked off.
“Seems that makes our quest a little harder.” Auron said, getting up.
“Sir Auron! What should we do?” Wakka asked.
“In that cave, there was a message engraved in the stone about an antidote, was there not?” Auron asked.
“Yes, if I recall, it said that there would be an antidote in a week.” Lulu replied.
“Good. Then our course of action is clear, is it not? We get the antidote and return.”
“Let’s get moving then.” Tidus said, ready to leave.
“Stop. It would be wise to leave some people behind to keep an eye on them. That way, we can prevent ourselves from unnecessary travel and create less of a sight.” Lulu added.
“She is right. Lulu, you, Kimahri, and Wakka shall leave to get the antidote. The boy and I will stay here. We will not move from this building unless forced. In that case, we will be somewhere near the entrance.” Auron said.
“Very well then. Let us depart. Be careful.” She said, leaving.
“I’m always careful!” Tidus said, smiling. She smiled back at him and then left with her group. Tidus and Auron made some impromptu seats by utilizing some of the products in the building. Five minutes passed quietly, with the exception of the girls running around town.
“This is so boring.” Tidus said, sighing.
“It gets worse. It’ll be six more days until they return.” Auron pointed out.
“So we have to just wait here six more days?”
“That’s what I told them.”
“What do we do?”
“Nothing that involves excessive noise or movement.”
“You’re no help at all!”
“Yes,” Auron replied, chuckling, “I know.”

Chapter 6:
“The Antidote”

After six long and boring days, Tidus brightened up to see Lulu, Wakka, and Kimahri walking back to their building.
“Man, am I glad to see you guys!” Tidus grinned.
“It was a long six days, ya?” Wakka replied, nodding.
“We have the antidote, or at least, the formula for it.” Lulu said, pointing to the paper she had in her hand. Tidus looked at it. The list consisted of things that they had encountered before, but everything on the list was a rare encounter.
“Where are we supposed to get this?” He asked.
“I estimate we have about half of these items and their quantities in our stash. However, a good portion of the gems needed for this need to be found.” She said, motioning to a few items.
“Bevelle has what we need. They temple will have some of these in their vast armories.” Auron said.
“But that’s where they are heading.” Tidus said, frowning.
“We don’t have the time to look elsewhere. I fear that they may start to find ways to get more power.”
“So, we go to the temple, ya?” Wakka asked, looking at the ground.
“I am.” Auron stated, looking out the window.
“Who all is going?” Lulu asked.
“We all will go. The items are too great in quantity to carry. There are enough of us to divide the load equally and efficiently. We will depart in different intervals though. You will get what you can of a certain item, bring it back, and the next person will leave.”
“I guess that leaves the decision of who is going first then.”
“I’ll go!” Tidus volunteered. By the time those words had left his mouth, he already wished he hadn’t said them.
“As you wish.” Auron said to him, “The rest of us will wait for your return.”
“Is that it?” Tidus asked him. It didn’t seem like it should be over that quick.
“You wanted to do it, so go right ahead.” Auron said, looking towards the temple. Yuna and Rikku were conversing with each other right by it, however, that distracted them. It added that much more chance on to the chance of him surviving. Tidus nodded, closed his eyes, and walked out of the building. He observed his surroundings in accordance to the temple.
“Hmm…probably about a kilometer left.” Tidus said to himself, quietly. He then proceeded to carefully forge his way through the city to the temple. As he neared the three hundred meter mark, he picked up on their voices as he continued ahead.
“…seems okay. A work force will definitely be needed.” Rikku said.
“Work force?” Yuna asked.
“Yeah, you know, all of those people who left Bevelle. All of Spira for that matter. It’s better than just letting them rot away in hiding.”
“I guess that makes sense…”
“Of course it does, silly! Yunie, are you ready for this? It’s time for us to rise to power! To be appreciated! Like…”
“Yeah! Exactly like that! And who better than a couple of beautiful girls like us? Better than some old fart!”
“Rikku, I never knew you could be so bold.”
“There’s a lot more you don’t know about me. But I feel, with time, we’ll find out a lot more about each other.” Rikku said, giggling. The two of them walked off. Fortunately, in the opposite direction of Tidus.
“What could she mean?” He asked himself. He took the opportunity of their absence to run into the temple and stash up on what he came there for.

Chapter 7:
“Critical Mistake”

The group took turns going in and out of the building and returning with gems. Eventually, they had the desired stockpile.
“Yep, that’s everything.” Tidus said, checking each item.
“All right then. I will start creating this. It should be done within the hour.” Lulu said. They nodded and watched Lulu, with nothing better to do. When she added the last ingredient, they were left with nothing more than two cups full of a substance that flashed blue, yellow, and green at set intervals. They divided it into two cups.
“You sure that’s an antidote? Looks more like some kind of poison to me.” Wakka said, looking at it.
“I hope so. I don’t have anymore plans.” Lulu said.
“I guess that leaves one choice open. Who is going to be the one to use it on them?” Auron asked. Tidus’ mind immediately shouted, “Say ‘me’!” Logic told him the exact opposite. However, he would not be able to rest within himself unless he did it. Somehow, he knew this.
“I’ll do it.” Tidus said, quietly.
“Certainly are the brave one today, aren’t you?” Auron asked him, cracking a small smile.
“It’s just something I’d rather do…”
“Very well, get the job done and tell us when you do. We will be waiting.” Lulu said. Tidus gulped and nodded. He walked out of the building to find out that Yuna and Rikku had returned. They also had the people they were talking about.
“This…is for them. Not for you. They’d be happier if you did. Just go do it and be done with it.” He told himself. He stealthily crept through the streets. As he did, the screams of the people began to sound clearer. They started sounding more distinct.
“You tyrants! Let us go!” One man yelled.
“Shut it!” Rikku shouted. There was an rumble that went through the ground, followed by more yelling. Tidus figured she killed him.
“All right! You know what you are all here for! We want thrones constructed. In order to do this, you will destroy the main temple in Bevelle. If this is not completed in a timely manner, you will all pay with the price of your lives! I don’t care how you get it done, but get it done fast and good! Just remember that I am not known for my patience!” Yuna said. He couldn’t believe Yuna had just said that. He wished this was a dream and that he would wake up any second, but he knew it was real life.
“If, for some reason or another, you have an absolute need to tell us something, be sure to address us properly. Lord Rikku, Holy One, something…you know when respect it due and how to show it. So make sure you do! Now, get to work!” Rikku said. He heard the rush of people through the streets. A man ran through his alleyway and bumped into Tidus, almost causing him to drop the formula.
“Ah! Oh, damn, you scared me there.” Tidus said.
“What are you doing? We got to get those thrones constructed.”
“No, don’t! I have the formula right here that will revert them back to normal. I will free you all!”
“You’re crazy! Why don’t you just play it safe and work? We have to do this! I have a wife and kids I want to return to!”
“Listen to me! Listen to the words coming out of my mouth! You don’t have to work! I will destroy them; you don’t have to do anything!” Tidus screamed. The ground started to shake. This was a sure sign one of them was coming his way.
“Get out of my way!” The man yelled. He pushed past him, causing Tidus to fall over along with the antidote. The substance splashed all over the walkway and dripped into the sewer below. Tidus couldn’t believe what had just happened. Without the antidote, there was no way to reverse the effects. He had just spilled all of Spira’s hope into a sewer, where it would just flow into a plant. Not to mention, there were plenty of things that only the temple in Bevelle had that were needed to make the antidote. However, as he sat on the ground, the people tore it apart. Rikku appeared right next to the alleyway.
“You! Why aren’t you working?”
“I fell and…”
“No! I’m not Tidus!” He yelled, running backwards.
“Come here! Me and Yunie were just about to get some entertainment.” She said, laughing. Tidus ran as fast as he could, taking every alley he saw. He stopped inside a small building and looked out a window. He saw Rikku scanning the alleyways, intently looking for him.
“Damn you! I’ll find you eventually! As long as you are alive and in Spira, you’ll be found! Just remember you lost your chance to live!” Rikku shouted, walking away. The chase had diverted his attention away from the cold, hard fact. He had lost the antidote. Gloomily, he hung his head, and walked back towards the building.

Chapter 8:
“No Options”

“You what?” Lulu exclaimed.
“I told you! I was right about to use it on them when some guy bumped into me and I spilled it.” Tidus said.
“Now what are we going to do?” Wakka asked, smacking his own forehead with his palm.
“Enough! We are not going to dwell in the past. The antidote is no longer an option. We will simply search for another cure.”
“But…Sir Auron! There is no other cure! If there was, the chamber would have told us, ya?”
“Perhaps you are correct. Then, we will need a head-on approach.”
“A head-on approach?” Lulu asked him.
“Yes, I think I know what it is, too. If there was one thing I learned on my journeys, it is not to underestimate the power of human emotions. They are far too strong for humans to control.”
”What are you suggesting?” She asked.
“We will go to them and use any means necessary to make these emotions they have buried.”
“Sir Auron, are you sure about this?” Wakka asked him.
“To be honest, no. This chamber has given them the power to bypass human standards. They are simply using the power to control. I feel they are capable of much more than this. Also, eventually, they will use this power against each other. Which one of them will prevail, I cannot say. But one of them will, we need to intervene before this happens. Else, everything that we’ve done for them will be for naught.”
“So, we have to go to them and get them to show emotion so strong that it breaks their trance?” Tidus asked.
“That is the plan.”
“Well, I guess I better get moving then. And don’t worry about me. I’ll end this or die trying.” He said. Everyone remained silent, watching him as he left. Tidus stopped outside of the building to look at them. Yuna and Rikku were sitting somewhere beyond his position, chatting peacefully. He may be heading to his death. But, for right now, it was okay. As long as he got Yuna and Rikku back to normal, he didn’t care. He owed that to Yuna.

Chapter 9:
“Directly Speaking”

Tidus spent the next ten minutes getting closer to him. As he did, he began to scout for buildings close to their height. Fortunately, Yuna had gotten up to stretch out. When she did, he picked a building right in front of them. He then snuck into the building and climbed the staircase to the top. Once on the roof, he walked to the edge and looked down at Yuna and Rikku. They were his objective. Taking the deepest breath in his life, he shouted.
“Yuna, Rikku! Up here!” They took notice immediately and spotted him. Rising to their full heights, they walked over and stood there, staring at him, shoulder-to-shoulder.
“I told you that we would find you in the end.” Rikku said, grinning.
“Stop this now! Look at this mess! Just help me return you guys to normal.”
“Normal? Back when we were normal, we never got this kind of respect. Now, people would rather kill themselves then make us unhappy!” Yuna said to him, pointing to the thrones that were starting to take shape.
“But this isn’t right! They are ruled by fear, not by respect! I’m telling you, please stop.”
“Who cares what is right? We tell people what is right now!”
“Well, I won’t let you tell me what is right!”
Yuna laughed. “Won’t you? How do you plan on standing up to us?” She then flicked him with her index finger. He tumbled backwards, stopping when he rolled into the roof access door. He got up again and approached her.
“Back for more?” She taunted, “Rikku, go see what you can do about making “quarters” for our “guest”.”
Rikku nodded. “All right, be back after it’s done.”
“Yuna, this isn’t like you! You used to be nice, kind, and gentle. But look at you now! This is horrible, worse than Sin, even!”
“This is the new me!”
“But what about us? Your friends? The ones who have guarded you?”
“My guardians? Ha, like I need guardians now! All I need is myself and Rikku.”
“Her and I were meant to be brought together like this. Just to let you know, the thing you thought was going on between you and me, it’s off.”
“Yuna! You don’t even know what you are saying!”
“How wrong you are! I know exactly what I’m saying!”
“I refuse to believe that! You…you’re nothing more than a puppet! Power is using you like a glove!”
“A puppet?” She asked, angered, “You don’t think I’m capable of doing this by myself?”
“No, I don’t! The real Yuna would never do this!” He yelled. Yuna grabbed him in her right fist and brought him closer to her face.
“I am the real Yuna! What do you think I am? A ghost? A bad imagination? A dream? Tell me, would a fake Yuna be able to inflict pain like this?” Yuna screamed at him. She squeezed him in her fist. Blood rushed to his head and pressure like he had never felt before constricted him. He thought he would explode soon. Tidus realized he couldn’t breathe, either. As if answering his prayers, Yuna stopped.
“I hope you got the point that I am not a fake! You have quite a bit of dangerous thinking there. I’m afraid that we will have to kill you off. Now, take a nap, all will be revealed to you when you wake up.” She said. Having said that, she flicked his temple. Tidus’ vision became hazy. All at once, he lost consciousness.

Chapter 10:
“The Deadline”

Tidus awoke to find himself strapped down to the outside of a building. He was at least one hundred and twenty-five feet up. Standing in front of him were none other than Rikku and Yuna.
“What is this?” He yelled. The two of them stopped talking and turned around.
“This is your resting place. You will be killed here.” Rikku said, calmly.
“Then kill me!”
“Not quite yet. You have quite a bit of purpose so I think it is best that we get some of that out of you before we put you down.”
“I have no time for this! Kill me or let me go!”
“You have all the time in the world now.”
“We’re going to ask you some questions. If at any time you respond incorrectly, you will be cut. Do you understand?”
“Yeah…” He replied. He was scared now.
“All right, first question. Who are the supreme rulers of time and space?” Yuna asked, smiling. He knew what this was. They were looking to just get the satisfaction that they scared him enough to admit he had lost. He was going to die anyhow, so he figured he would at least make them realize that not everyone is so easily convinced.
“There is no supreme ruler. Each world is governed by its own authority. However, there are no rulers assigned to time and space.” Tidus replied.
“Wrong answer.” Rikku said, trying to keep a straight face. She slid a piece of glass across his arm. Sure enough, he was left with nothing but a large cut and pain.
“Next question, who is in charge of your existence?”
“I am.” He said.
“Rikku, go ahead.” She urged. Rikku did the same thing to his other arm. The cuts began bleeding. The blood dripped from the cuts and fell to the ground.
“Name the people who you should obey all the time, regardless of other intervention.”
“That would probably be myself.”
“Not even close, Rikku.” Yuna said. Rikku then ran it across his leg. Tidus was in such incredible pain, that he wasn’t sure he could take it anymore.
“One more question then. What do you have to say to us? If you respond correctly, we might just let you live.”
“I…have only to say that you are not who I thought you were. You are nothing short of barbarians who use power to command and conquer. I also want to say that I…want the old Yuna and Rikku back…” Tidus said, looking to the ground. As much as he tried to hold them back, tears formed in his eyes and streamed down his face.
“Wrong answer! I’ll take care of you myself!” Yuna said. She walked towards him and extended her hand. A ball of energy formed at the tips of her fingers. She was just about to launch it at him when she looked at him. Yuna seemed to want to shoot it at him but every time she did so; she stopped.
“I…” Yuna said, confused. She then put her hand down and turned around to Rikku.
“What wrong?” Rikku asked.
“We’ve…been corrupted. What did we originally enter that chamber for? For the power to help people! And now look what we did with it! We did the exact opposite! He’s right! We nearly killed our closest friends. We killed so many people and have enslaved many more. This isn’t the way we should be!”
“Yuna…” Rikku said, looking at the ground, “You’re right!” Both of them hugged each other and cried. Light shone down on them from the clouds and engulfed them. When it went away, five minutes later, he was barely able to make out Yuna and Rikku on the ground. Then, from where they were, the light washed over the town and, as it did, restored the damaged buildings, dead people, and so on. Everything was fixed except for Tidus, who was still strapped to the building.
“You did good. I’m impressed.” Auron said, from inside the building.
“Auron! How long have you been in there?” Tidus exclaimed.
“Long enough. Here, it’s time to get Yuna and Rikku. Our work is done.” Auron said. He unhooked him and got him inside.
“Come, we must beat Yuna and Rikku to the others.” He stated. Auron never explained why, but they did beat them.
“You did it, ya? Nice work!” Wakka said, giving him a high five.
“Very impressive. You’ll make a fine guardian.” Lulu congratulated him, smiling as she rarely did.
Kimahri walked up to him. “Kimahri thanks you. You have saved Yuna from power.”
“We will never speak of this event again. Come, we have places to be.” Auron said.

Chapter 11:
“Back on the Road”

The party found Yuna and Rikku talking to a few citizens.
“Ah, there they are Lady Yuna. I wish you well on your travels.” The man said, leaving them.
“Sir Auron, it’s good to see you.” Yuna said, bowing to him.
“As it is to see you.” He replied.
“What happened? The last thing I remember was going into that chamber. But now we’re in Bevelle?” Rikku asked, confused.
“Call it a necessary side quest.”
“Okay then.”
“Did that chamber even work? I don’t feel any stronger.” Yuna asked.
“Nah, it was a dud. Although you slept quite a long time.” Tidus said.
“Oh, okay then. Are you guys ready to hit the road then?” Rikku inquired.
“Sure, the sooner, the better, ya?” Wakka said. Together, they left Bevelle. Tidus walked closer to Yuna than normal. He vowed never to let her do anything dangerous ever again. Even if it would mean his death.