Chapter 2 – All Dreams End
For the next 500 years she slept. And dreamed. Sometimes, strange images filled her dreams: images of a beautiful city with golden lights, waterfalls, and a large sphere in the center of the city, filled with water. She could see people smiling and laughing; they looked so peaceful. Somewhere in the dark recesses of her conscience, she remembered that this was the holy city of Zanarkand, and she vaguely recalled that the large sphere was used for some kind of underwater sport.
But there were other dreams that interrupted her pleasant ones with haunting, chilling images from which she could not escape. Dreams of a hideous, massive monster that attacked and destroyed towns, peaceful villages, and killed thousands upon thousands of people. She watched as this monster destroyed the city of Zanarkand, and in her sleep she cried out in terror, but she could do nothing. The most horrible thing was that she thought she could sense him in that nameless creature. Was this what he had become?
She also dreamed that people came to her island while she slept. In her dreams, she could see them, curious and inquisitive about the island of ruins where they possibly hoped to find treasure or some kind of secret. Instead, they were destroyed by another huge, dark monster. This one strangely resembled the man named Omega who helped her so long ago…but twisted and ugly. She briefly wondered if years of confinement had turned her into a hideous creature, as well…but her thoughts went no more than that. Such was the manner of her dreams; she could not dwell on anything too long. Sometimes she didn’t dream at all, and those were the times her sleep was the most peaceful.
But one day, her dream became reality. As she slept, she dreamed of a group of strange-looking people that came to her island, and they fought and defeated the Omega-monster that dwelled on her island, as well. They were extremely powerful to have defeated him, and for a moment she wondered if they were powerful enough to…
Her eyes flew open. Confusion and panic filled her, and her mouth opened in a silent scream. She was all-too-suddenly aware that she was awake…and her most dreaded nightmare had returned. Tears filled her eyes; tears that didn’t have a chance to fall from her frozen eyes. She realized that her dream had been real; Omega was gone. His spell on her was broken, and she was alone once more.
That’s when she remembered the people in her dream whom she’d watched defeat the monster that Omega had become. She briefly felt a twinge of sadness for that unfortunate man. But those people…perhaps they would be able to help her. Desperately she tried to reach out with her mind to speak to them, but her few powers that remained had been weakened by years of slumber. She could not gather her energy enough to extend her conscience, and the people were soon gone, having left the island as soon as possible. She didn’t blame them. She was truly alone now, and disappointment filled her soul. What would they have been able to do for her, anyway? They would have been able to do anything.
Reluctantly accepting this, as she had no choice, she tried to calm herself. She could still feel him out there; obviously his reign had not ended yet. She found herself wishing that it had; despite the fact that her heart still longed for him. She would rather be in the welcoming arms of death than this cold, unfeeling grave. But her hope had faded. She could sense that he had become more powerful. Perhaps he truly was invincible now, as he’d always wanted.
A short time passed in silence, until something odd happened. Starting out faintly, but soon growing, the song of the fayth reached her ears. It was being sung clearer and louder than she’d ever heard it. It was as though all of Spira was singing. Overwhelmed, she began to sing, as well. She wondered if her singing could be heard, but in that moment, it was simply wonderful to imagine that she was free, surrounded by people who loved her.
But it was short-lived, and her sorrow and loneliness returned when the singing stopped. She was once again surrounded by silence. However, there was something…unusual. The silence had an air of anxiety…anticipation. That’s when she realized that his spirit was also still. Silent. Something was about to happen. Like the calm before the storm…everything was silent. Waiting. She had no choice but to wait, as well.
Soon after, she could feel his spirit moving again. She could actually feel his presence closer now than ever; his defenses were starting to weaken and crumble. All those years he had blocked her, and now even his barrier was beginning to weaken and fade. She could now feel, for the first time, emotion within him. An actual presence; not simply a shell. Something was happening; something both terrible and wonderful at the same time. Her soul, bound with his, was hit with fury, disbelief, and…of all things…fear. He was afraid!
She realized this with some measure of amusement as well as a certain amount of her own fear. If someone was powerful enough to defeat him, she would be free from her prison. But at the same time, he would be gone. She knew that this would be good; he had gone too far. But her reason for existing would be gone, as well. What would she do if…
…If he was defeated…
She felt it the very instant it happened. It was as though a part of her soul had been ripped from her, dying and disappearing. She could no longer feel his presence. And she could no longer rejoice at being free. She only felt happiness for those people whose suffering had ended.
However, her suffering was not over yet. The seal over her grave was broken, and she slowly lifted her tired body out of the stale liquid. Shaking violently, she collapsed to the cold, hard floor of the chamber, where she gasped for breath. Her heart had sustained a thousand years of being virtually suspended in time, and it was weakened. She was dying.
She felt panic grip her heart. Would she become a fiend in this place, if she was forced to wander these dark caverns just as Omega did? There would be no one to send her to the Farplane. Even in death, she could not be with him…
But she could do nothing but lie there as she felt her heartbeat slowly fade. And as her mind slipped into unconsciousness, a single tear fell from her eye and came to rest on the floor beneath her. All was still.
She heard him whisper to her faintly. Confused, she replied. ‘It’s you…?’
He chuckled, the sound echoing through her mind. Where was he?
‘I’m right here, Kora,’ he replied to her unintentional thought.
‘Why can’t I feel you?’ she asked, still confused. Then she remembered. ‘You died…’
‘So did you, my darling.’
‘Because our souls are not completely joined yet, my darling. My sweet Kora. We were separated for a short while, but soon now. Soon we will be one again.’
‘I…I don’t understand…are you not in the Farplane?’
‘Not completely, my dear. Let me explain it to you. When I was destroyed, they sent my servants, my fayth, to the Farplane. All of them…except for you. I expected that day to come, that is why I told no one about you. Our souls are still connected, my Kora. You can help me return to you.’
She would have visibly frowned if she could have. ‘You became an abomination!’ she accused. ‘You are not the man that I once loved, and you do not love me; you are in love with your power. I will not help you return to the world so that you can destroy it more.’
‘Kora,’ he spoke softly as though he were a parent calming an angry child. ‘You asked me to remember you, did you not? I had a reason for keeping you there all of those years, and I know that deep down you want me with you forever. I am still with you, my love. And I will be with you forever.’
‘Please…please don’t do this,’ she pleaded, knowing already that that, too, was futile.
He seemed to chuckle again. ‘My dear…you have no choice. It’s what you were created to do.’
‘What will become of me?’ she asked, suddenly terrified, as his intentions were becoming more and more clear.
‘It is as I said…you will be with me forever.’
Deep within the Omega Ruins, in the very deepest chamber, Kora’s limp body lay on the cold floor…a sinister smile upon her face being the only contrast to her otherwise seemingly peaceful slumber.