Their Story Chapter 1

By Bounty Hunter Lani

This… is their story…

Their Story

A tribute to the brave souls who defeated Sin those ten years ago, leaving behind their own wants for the good of Spira…

He lowered his head and released a poignant sigh as he stared at the flowers draped before him on the casket. Beautiful... Sadly, they did not capture the beauty that had radiated from her face when she had smiled. He closed his eyes and remembered her soft laughter that had always made him content. He had treasured every moment of her presence, but the sounds of the waves lapping gently over the wooden coffin brought him back to a harsh reality: the only remembrance of her he had left was the small girl beside him, clutching his hand tightly and looking up to his face, wondering if her daddy was okay.

He looked down at her as her six-year-old-face forced a smile in strength, while he had to fight the tears back from his own eyes. The small girl’s eyes were filled with a glow that was trying to offer comfort to her father, but all the while she was trying to understand what exactly had happened to her mother.

Braska smiled as he looked down into her eyes: one green, one blue: one from her father and one from her mother. He had always thought of his daughter’s eyes that way, feeling an even closer bond with his wife. Their child made them a part of each other forever. Right now, he felt the need to turn away from the girl. He was a strong person, but he felt he had to be even stronger for his daughter now. The fact that she was seeing tears in his eyes made him feel as though he was not fulfilling his duty to her. She looked up toward him – waiting.

“Come on, Yuna,” he said gently, giving her hand a tender tug and leading her to the water’s edge.

The child walked up to the shore and let the water lap over her feet. She looked down at the coffin in silence, but her eyes didn't’t fill with tears as she raised the flower and let it drift through the air and onto the top of the casket. The blossom was jasmine: her mother’s favorite.

Braska’s heart choked when he heard the whispered words of his daughter drift up to him in the breeze.

“Mom’s happy now… right?”

“What?” he asked, looking down into her awaiting eyes.

“Mom’s happy – that’s what you told me, right?”

His eyes closed. It was hard not to see his wife’s face when he did. How mature his little girl was becoming! He was struck a how far her understanding ranged at such an early age. She was already beginning to accept death. As long as she knew her mother was happy, she could acknowledge never seeing her again. Braska, however, did not possess her innocent outlook; he could see death from all sides. Perhaps it was better that she learn early; death would soon become part of her everyday life.

Yuna looked up to her father with a revered expression. She nodded slightly as the wind played with the hair framing her face.

“I’m done now,” she whispered.

Braska released his grip on her small hand for fear that he might have been clenching it too tightly, though she never said a word. He put his hand behind her small back and led her away from the water.

The Summoner Alexiel then stepped up and took her place, her body draped in a long gown and her head anointed with an elegant circlet of gold. Raising her rod, she weaved circles through the air, cutting through the wind in smooth motion. All eyes were cast at the summoner, her graceful dance persuading tears from the eyes of the people. It was not her beautiful movements that jerked at their heartstrings, but this dance – this sending – was the final transition to the afterlife for the dead.

The souls could be seen clearly now, leaving the bodies of the departed and floating up into the clouds as the Hymn of the Fayth was heard by all. Braska closed his eyes in sorrow and bowed his head in silent humility, not only for his wife, but for the other deceased. It had been quite a tragic even…

His wife, along with several others, had been on an airship heading for the Al Bhed Home, to see their families. The ship had not gone down because of natural causes, but because of an attack from the force that ruled all of Spira’s life and death: Sin.

Sin was an inexorable force for a meer mortal. So many had tried and failed to rid their world of this evil. Sin was punishment; everyone knew that. Because humanity was impure, Sin was sent by Yevon, the entity watching over Spira, and until “complete atonement is reached”, Sin would live on and destroy everything in its wake.

Braska looked down at his small daughter, her eyes lit with pleasure. He couldn’t understand her expression – until she looked up to him and smiled.

“She dances pretty,” she said innocently.

Braska smiled as much as he could and looked back towards Alexiel as she finished her dance. The Summoner: the one who brings hope and joy to Spira. They are the ones who will save Spira. Summoners were the only forces that could defeat Sin. They must go on a long and hard journey, only to end up giving their lives, to bring The Calm to Spira. Praise Yevon for a section of time in the midst of Sin’s destruction free from the death that it brings! If it were not for that, what would there be to live for? The people would be without hope and have their lives filled with strife for as long as they lived. Summoners would give their lives to destroy Sin and give the people a small glimmer of hope and joy. To a Summoner, all that is worth everything – even his own life.

Braska felt a light touch on his hand and he looked down to his daughter beside him.

“Daddy, we can go home now. Mom is happy,”

At that moment, looking down at her sweetly smiling face, her small hand in his, Braska knew what would come. He knew that one day they too would be torn apart by Sin, as he had seen happen to so many families already – as had already happened to them with the loss of his wife. It was in that moment of death, that Braska realized that he wanted to be the one. He wanted to be the one to restore Spira’s hope. He couldn’t save his wife, but he could perhaps preserve his little girl’s future. That’s why he had been training… to become a summoner.

He nodded in silence and smiled, leading Yuna through the sea of crying people. He looked quite strange - a priest of Yevon amongst dozens of Al Bhed - but he had never cared about that. The Al Bheds were considered heathens and no self-respecting Yevonite would be seen with one. Braska always thought there was good in everyone; his wife, after all, had been an Al Bhed.

The prejudice went both ways though. Al Bheds were not always fond of Yevonites either. Braska had faced much controversy over his marriage. He smiled in remembrance: he and his child’s mother had stole away into the night and eloped, for their love was stronger than any teachings. Neither one of them had changed their beliefs, and they lived happily together, bound by their love for each other and their daughter. They had only been married for seven short years. Braska was only twenty-seven and already he had lost her.

He took a deep breath of the fresh sea-side air. The sending was not allowed within the city limits of Bevelle, where Braska and Yuna lived. The Al Bhed would not have it; they were not welcomed there with open arms. Bevelle was the Holy City, where the High Maesters of Yevon presided. The Al Bhed did not accept Yevon’s teachings. Therefore, they were shut out by all Yevonites. Braska didn’t mind this location. As long as he knew his wife was headed safely to the Farplane, he was content. They were lucky that they found a summoner who would venture to help the Al Bhed people. Braska had always thought summoners were to help all people, but some had positioned themselves above the clouds with their new-found egos.

Making his way through the mass, he was stopped short by a gruff voice behind him.

“Hey… you.”

Braska stopped short and turned around, his little girl doing the same. Behind him, was a tall Al Bhed man, strong and bulky, but Braska was not intimidated. He knew the man all too well.

“Hello, Cid. I wasn’t sure if you were going to show up,” Braska said.

Yuna was edging around her father, trying to get a closer look; she was not shy.

“What kind of a man do you think I am? I couldn’t miss my sister’s sending. No way …” his voice trailed off.

For as long as Braska had known Cid, he had never been at a loss for words. It would be better to say that he never ran out of bad things to say about Braska. He had always hated the fact that his sister had married a Yevonite. Braska was very surprised that the man had even ventured to speak to him today. He had stopped talking to the both of them after their wedding.

As Braska looked on, the man stared at the ground. His face was twisted in an expression of sorrow, and Braska didn’t know what to say. Cid finally regained himself, not letting his tears fall, and he looked back up to the man before him.

“I… feel I owe it to my sister to at least make things right with you,” Cid said, surprising Braska to a point of extremity.

“Very well,” said the Yevonite without hesitation. “I accept.”

Braska offered his hand and Cid took it with a firm grasp.

“I hear you’re training to become a summoner,” Cid said finally.

“Ever since her death… my mind was made up.”

“What about little Yuna?” Cid asked, peering down at the girl at Braska’s side. “By Yevon, she looks like her mother…”

“There is a place for her to stay. But I haven’t decided anything definite yet.”

“Well, you be sure and tell her, before you go, where I am. And if she ever needs anything… I’m there.”

Braska nodded, taking care not to make his usual Yevonite bow. Cid would have been insulted.

“Thank you, Cid. I deeply appreciate it. I’m sorry that an event as this is what brought us to speak to each other.”

“I just realized that I never thought that my sister wouldn’t be around forever. Then, in all my stubbornness, I kept myself from speaking to her. Now it’s too late…”

Both of the men stood in silence, remembering their loss, as Yuna busied herself examining the small girl with blond braids peeking out from behind Cid. The silence was finally broken by the Al Bhed.

“Well, we all need to be getting out of here. The ship will leave soon. Take care, Braska. Don’t forget to explain to Yuna what I told you.”

“I will be sure to.”

The men shared another handshake and then Cid departed, taking his small daughter’s hand as Braska and Yuna watched them go.

“Who was that, daddy?” Yuna asked.

Braska looked down at her lovingly.

“Just… an old friend,” he said, and for then, he would leave it at that.

Chapter 2

Bounty Hunter Lani's Fanfiction