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FF6: My Theme Music, Please by Luprand FF6: My Theme Music, Please by Luprand
"I am a former Imperial General, n-not some ... opera ... floozy!"

Celes Chère still wasn't sure how those words came tumbling out. She'd meant to say that the idea was frivolous, that she couldn't just impersonate the famous Maria with no planning beforehand - even if she did approve of the scheme to catch notorious gambler Setzer Gabbiani through his own kidnapping plot. She needed to rehearse, to learn the lines, to find out if she could even sing ..! It didn't help that suddenly Locke Cole was mooning over her, stammering some good-luck wish like a schoolboy confessing a crush - and all the while trying to ignore the brightly glowing "Replacement Goldfish" sign above her head. Did he actually care anything about her, or was he just seeing a mask of her face pasted over memories of Rachel?

... frivolous, all of it. Unnecessary thoughts to push aside while she performed her rudimentary warm-ups. Nothing too difficult. The concertmaster assured her that the music was well within her range, and the lyrics, while trite, were easy enough to memorize and sing on cue. So why did her stomach feel like someone had cast Aerora on it?

The moment had come. Modified combat uniform traded for a needlessly fancy white dress and blue ribbons (thank the gods old Cid would never see her dolled up in such a frivolous pile of ruffles!), Celes strode out onto the stage as Maria. She took a breath, drew herself up to proper posture, and began to sing. Oh my hero, my beloved, must we still be made to part / when promises of perennial love yet sing here in my heart?

Perhaps it was the stage jitters. Perhaps it was her attempts at a truly convincing performance. Perhaps the Opera House had a magic all its own and was draping cast and audience alike in its spell. Whatever it was, those silly little love-sick lyrics struck deep at her heart. She could just see Locke hiding backstage, hand on his chest as though he were receiving an epiphany of his own. This sort of thing certainly wasn't for her, but ... she could understand why some people would pay so much money for such a frivolous activity.

The show was a bit of blur. Lines here, songs there, a big fancy court dance number that she had to lead because the actor who played Prince Ralse was worthless at remembering the steps. And then the climactic action sequence. Who on earth thought it was a good idea to send a pair of war-chocobos running across the stage and down the aisles of the audience? And who taught any of these people to fight? Whipping their swords around, taking swings that any toddler in Vector could have blocked, turning the heat of battle into one big frivolous flashbang. And then a four-ton weight fell out of the rafters, missing her by inches, and smashed through the stage.

That wasn't in the script. Neither was that daft purple cephalophod Ultros toppling screaming down moments later and knocking both male leads unconscious. Nor Locke and the Figaro royal twins using him to cushion their own respective falls. And especially not the Impresario, that trembling bundle of dramaturgist nerves in electric blue evening dress, running out onto the stage and shrieking, "What? No! If they're both unconscious, who's going to win the girl? The show is ruined, and I shall be the laughingstock of the theatrical community forevermore!"

The opera hall was dead silent for three whole seconds before Locke belted out, "Neither Draco nor Ralse shall have her, for I, the world-renowned treasure hunter Locke Cole, have come to claim Maria's haaaaaaaaaaaaand!" Bless his heart, for all his gallantry the man just could not sing.

"Silence!" Somehow Ultros had recovered. The massive octopus reared up, finding the stage a most suiting environment for his natural hamminess. "You stand in the presence of octopus royalty, Ultros of the Calamarian line -- now kneel and perhaps I shall have mercy upon you." Then Sabin promptly punched him in the eye.

Celes was shocked. For one, the Impresario was no longer wringing his hands, despite the knock-down brawl shaping up on stage. For another, the conductor of the pit orchestra had adapted all too quickly, and the bombastic Dance of the Comedians (Act III, scene 8) was now blaring out to the audience. Not least, she wanted to get in there and join in the action, but in these sleeves? And what woman in her right mind would even wear this many petticoats to begin with? And was King Edgar really going to use that chainsaw?

At last, Ultros withdrew, sniveling. "I ... I guess I wasn't all that good after all ... I'll go now ... p-please inkscuse me ..." Celes almost felt the first inklings of pity for the overgrown takoyaki, but this was interrupted by a new voice from offstage.

"Now, now, one moment everyone!" And like a flash, one more figure descended from the rafters, long silvery hair fluttering behind him like the train of his longcoat, and executed a three-point landing. Before Celes could react, the man had taken her by the hand, twirled her once, twice, three times, and stolen a kiss from her.

"S-Setzer?!" She wanted to run, she wanted to scream, she wanted to slap him full-force across the face, she ... found the whole frivolous display surprisingly exhilarating and rather resented herself for it. She was vaguely aware of the orchestra playing some musical theme that wasn't even in the score, dashing and brassy. She couldn't move her arms. The scoundrel had tied her dangling sleeves together behind her back.

"I'm a man of my word, Signor Impresario," he called, laughing. "Just as promised, I've come to take the lovely Maria for my own!"

"Wh-wha ... whaaaaAAAAAAAAAA?!" Celes knew she had to let Setzer kidnap her in order for the plan to work, but she wasn't expecting him to soar back up into the air with his arm around her waist. The military strategist in her knew that this was probably some effect of hidden ropes and pulleys, maybe a bribed stagehand or two, but that had to contend with the magic of the Opera House telling her that he was soaring away and carrying her on his arm and this was very much not how this was supposed to happen, dammit. As the strains of the orchestra faded away, and her comrades hurried after her, Imperial Shogun Celes Chère, the Butcher of Maranda, had been reduced to a shrieking damsel in distress.


The Impresario was now the only conscious figure on stage. Trembling, he turned to face the audience. Words seemed to spill out of his mouth unbidden.

"Having thought to run away forever with treasure hunter Locke Cole, Maria finds herself instead abducted by the notorious vagabond Setzer Gabbiani! Whom will she finally choose to honor with her hand ... and her heart? Find out three weeks from now, in The Dream Oath: East and West, the Opera of Maria and Draco ... Part 2!"

The curtains slid shut to thunderous applause while the orchestra continued to play the gambler's theme music. With a giddy little laugh, the Impresario sank to his knees and swooned.
colbyfromage Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lol yes, so awesome. Of all the final fantasy sequences, the whole opera thing always sticks out the most in my memory. 
Luprand Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
It's one of my favorites as well ... although I have to admit, going back and replaying the newer translations of 6 really opens up a lot of the scenes even more. I might try more sketches of some of the favorites.
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Submitted on
September 4, 2016
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