I had originally intended to have this be a shorter article than it will be, and the title based on my newly developed update series.
As tends to be my way, though, my bumbling around in these things once I get to parts I'm unfamiliar with has caused my plans to go awry on me. So, we'll be seeing a little bit of how the plot progresses before this thing ends.
My original plan had been to go to the orphanage where Squall and gang grew up and call it a night after that, since I'd figured out how to get there after messing up a bit on a previous attempt. To get to the orphanage the way I did, it's easiest to come from the north and go around the west side of the big archipelago or atoll or whatever the group of islands on the southern part of the map. As you come around the south part and head east, there'll be a lighthouse on a peninsula. If you go ashore there, you'll find a house. That'll be the orphanage.
Squall says the place looks familiar but doesn't actually go in to check the place out. Guess that's something that'll have to have to be a plot point later. But I did take the opportunity to see what sort of monsters were in the area, and ran into one that had an item I needed that I could steal, so I took it and went back to Timber so I could upgrade a few weapons. If I'd just done the smart thing and stopped right there, I'd have been able to end this right here, which would have been fine with me.
But knowing me, I just had to go and try to get clever about this. See, what I had though I'd do was go back by the orphanage so I could move on with the plot more easily next time. Thing is, though, it seems that Seifer has had the same idea that Squall and the others did, either all on his own or with help from the Sorceress, which means that Galbadia Garden's closing in on the orphanage, too. So, this means that our heroes, in Balam Garden, will be having a direct conflict with their counterparts from Galbadia, and all this is triggered if the Balam unit approaches from the right angle. Or, for my purposes at the moment, the wrong angle. Regardless, though, it's up to Squall to get the place geared up for the now-unavoidable fight with the rival garden.
The first thing Squall's gotta give general orders to the various students and staff under his command. I guess I went a little overboard with it, because Nida, the pilot, felt it necessary to do a little scolding. From there, our main band of heroes splits up to aid in the defense of their home base.
Squall's team has to make sure everybody's in their proper places, be that at the front gate or in the Quad. When they arrive in the Quad, they find that Zell's there, giving a pep talk to the team assigned to defend the place. It's a surprise, because Zell was supposed to have been sleeping after having been up for like two days straight or something. Zell asks Squall for his ring for some reason, and shortly thereafter, Irvine shows up with Rinoa, who says she wants to join the fight, too.
And that's when the attack begins, so Squall and party get called back to the command deck for the time being, while Zell tries to get Rinoa to model Squall's ring, saying he's going to have one like it made for her. Why this seemed like the time for that, I'm not sure. There's an attack going on, and there are enemy soldiers, some of whom are on motorbikes, running around the place.
At the same time, the two Gardens get into a game of chicken because their respective leaders are both half bonkers, from what I can tell. The two flying buildings collide, and pieces of Balam fall away, taking Rinoa with them. Since she's out of reach, Zell and Irvine need to find a rope or something to pull her back up with. The good news here is that it gives me a chance to find and use a save point so I can get some sleep and come back to this later and hopefully fresher. But for now, I need sleep, as I'm writing this at a quarter to four in the morning and I'd intended to be in bed two hours ago. So, we'll pick this up next time, in Cliff Hanger!