We pick up right outside the city, having been ditched and our car taken by Seifer. This means it's time to run back to Garden. I decide to cut across the overworld instead of staying on the presumably encounter-free paved road. I do get attacked, but Ifrit learns a new ability at the end of the battle, increasing summon damage by 10%, so it's well worth the extra time spent fighting.
Back at Garden, the group splits up until the test results are announced. I want to know how I did right away so I rush in.
It turns out the Galbadian Army has agreed to pull out so long as the communication tower is fixed and the uplink remains operational. Quistis says to just hang around until the results are posted so I decide to wander. I run into Seifer who whines that if we hadn't been ordered to withdraw we would have been heroes. Quistis scolds him, and Seifer says that Quistis is a mediocre instructor. The music during this section is ominous. Cid shows up and starts to talk about how even though Seifer was wrong, it's important to think on your feet. However, just as he starts to say something interesting and plot-related, he's called away to his office. Looks like we're back to the waiting game. As I return the the main hall, the PA system tells all students who participated in the SeeD exam to haul themselves to the 2nd floor. Up I go.
Many students are waiting, and Zell explains that we're to be called one by one. Then, Zell is the first one called.
Zell is the Kool-Aid Guy
Zell literally high-knees it outta there. Then the creepy SeeD representative in the yellow hat asks Squall to step forward. The rest of the candidates are dismissed. Looks like they all failed! In all, only four people passed: Zell, Selphie, some random guy, and Squall. But that doesn't matter, what matters is how I did! SeeD reports are distributed. I make sure to talk to the headmaster to get the Battle Meter. I hate missable items so I got a list of them before I started to make sure I miss as little of the game as I can.
Emerging from the awards ceremony, everybody claps. Even Seifer. My SeeD report breakdown is as follows:
Conduct: 10 Pt.
Judgment: 50 Pt.
Attack: 20 Pt.
Spirit: 50 Pt.
Attitude: 30 Pt.
SeeD Rank: 4
Could be better but also could be worse, I imagine. It seems my actions for the remainder of the game will affect my rank. Wonderful, I groan. Something to worry about always and forever. Having had enough of this opening segment, and glad it is finally over, I save and quit.