To See Another Day Chapter 8
A Moral Discussion
By Kain Servant
Emryal stalked carefully up the marble steps of his palace on Tialtor, his face carrying the same bad disposition it always carried. And why should he be happy? The planet moved so slowly, Gaia was already nearly in his clutches, but they had to move slow and carefully because Menoth wanted them to. Menoth
Good morning, Emryal. I suppose you had a busy day yesterday. Menoths placid face appeared at the top of the stairway, then the tall Ruc Tzai turned to resume staring out the window at the planet beneath them. That was what Emryal hated about the Ruc Tzai. They always seemed to be half-aware of the events going on, and yet still tried to appear as if they were supremely in charge. If he wasnt there than they would have no chance of taking this planet!
Im doing my job. How about you?
I think that they have finally realized were here. Menoth politely ignored the question, I took the liberty of eavesdropping on a few interests of mine yesterday, and they seem to be quite frantic now. As if my humbling show at Alexandria was not enough to impress them.
Emryal paused. What was the man trying to say? I-
Why are we really doing this, Emryal? Menoth abruptly turned from his window and stared at the redheaded man with his beady black eyes. They seemed to glow.
Doing what? The real question was what this freak was doing in his house.
Taking over this Gaia. You know as soon as the planets fuse our lives will be over. Well be replaced by mindless genomes until the life on Gaia is exterminated.
We may not have to wait long
Yes I know, your brutal mind control tactics are very efficient. But why do we have to die at all? Ive looked into a bit of history on this planet, and there is another, dead, planet inhabiting the spirit world. Terra. This was a powerful planet, with a powerful people, just like us. So powerful, in fact, that even their genomes can be great warriors. Do you know what great warrior is a genome, Emryal?
Enough history Who?
Zidane Tribal Menoth began to idly tap his fingers against the windowsill, The most powerful warrior on Gaia is simply a supposedly mindless vessel from another how weak are the people of this planet?
Actually very weak. Emryal grinned, I dont see how such a strong planet, as ugly and rugged as it is, can be infested with such weak creatures. Its good that they will be killed.
Strong planet hidden in such an ugly form something like us? So strong that either of us could probably take on a whole army from this Gaia, and people coil away from us in repulsion to our faces, our skin miserable its miserable being this way, Emryal. Menoths tapping grew louder and his voice grew stronger. With his free hand he motioned out the window, How would it be just to live a normal life, accepted by everyone able to Slowly he glanced over to his companion, Nevermind.
Emryal was staring in bewilderment at the Ruc Tzai. If he did not have so much composure he would have let his mouth drop. This man truly was losing it, how could he be capable of being a leader? But now was not the time to wonder, Have you been watching the girl?
She is lost. I would take her now while she is weak, but we must perform the correct rites and ceremonies.
And you will be the one to take her?
Emryals eyes glowed with anger, What about me?
The Ruc Tzais lips raised in mirth, Emryal, you must manage your temper. Remember the order of things. When it comes down to it, I am the number one being on this planet. I take first pick.
And the rest of us must wait-
Judging from how old you are now, it isnt much of a wait. Above all, Ellians must show patience. That is what we live our lives by.
Emryal nodded slowly, noting in the corner of his vision the glowing blue ball of life that was called Gaia. Hmm a life that would die by his hand!
Emryal what do you really think about death? The question surprised Emryal, and he jerked his head angrily toward Menoth. Can he read my thoughts?
What do I think about death? His lip curled up in a wry smile, I think that I am death.
Menoth shook his head slowly, his ebony hair brushing against his pale face, So sad that we try to embody death. That we try to imitate him. Death is our enemy, Emryal, the enemy of anything that lives and breathes and the enemy of hope and life itself. Would you try to be that enemy?
Youre such a sentimental, wort- Emryals words were cut off in his throat by a flick of Menoths hand. The air was pulled from his lungs, and it felt as if something replaced it there, a thick block that left him unable to breath. Gasping, Emryal pointed his finger at the black clad figure before him. He would die, Menoth would die a very slow, painful death!
Because, Emryal, if you are trying to be that enemy, I would be forced to terminate you for the sake of humanity. Menoth smiled, and then with another flick of his slender hand brought breath back into Emryals lungs, Now go, and maybe youll spare a few lives today.
Angrily, Emryal whirled around and stamped back down the marble stairway to the entrance of his house, Watch your back, Menoth! I have no love for you either.
The words came back almost regretfully, I know.
Blank yawned and rubbed his eyes as he made his way slowly up to the deck of the Hilda Garde V. The first thing that caught his eye, after he had recovered from the shock of the brightness, were the three haunting circles looming closer above his head. One was distinctly closer than the other two, and he could only think of one objective any planet coming straight for them would have. Fusion.
Cid stood at the helm, taking turns between stroking his beard thoughtfully and adjusting the direction of the wheel. He spoke before Blank came close, Treno is directly below us. Im going to land right outside the city gates.
Blank nodded, Yeah, okay. Wheres everyone else?
Theyre all packing for departure Cid raised his eyebrow, Like you would be doing if you had woken up a few hours ago.
Blame Zidane. He woke me up last night. Listen, Cid how exactly do two planets fuse?
Fuse? Cid rubbed his chin again. He asked as if he had never considered the subject, but Blank could tell that he had been thinking over the matter himself, When the atmospheres of two planets touch, the one begins dissipating into the other, to the spirit world. Supposedly all inhabitants of the one planet go to the real spirit world, or death, until their planet is revived.
If that is true, then how did Garland survive?
Only certain planets live by absorbing other planets. These planets all have guardians, a man who solely begins to exist to bring the other beings back to life, this done by killing life on the other planet. This man is a sort of god of the planet, he can bring to life genomes, like Minoko and Zidane, to do his wishes for the planet. Very dangerous.
Blank grinned. Great, so all we have to do is kill the guardian, and we have no problems, itll just sit there dead, like Terra.
And it was terribly easy to kill Garland wasnt it? That quieted Blank down. But not much.
We did it, we can do it again. Cid sighed loudly, and continued lowering the airship gently to the ground,
Get your belongings, Blank. Or Ill get them for you.
Old man thinks Im scared of him. Sure, sorry, whatever, have it your way. Blank swiped at his hair as he stalked away toward the lower decks, Just dont catch me trying to be optimistic again!
Vivi stepped carefully out of a portal, and then plodded slowly toward the exit of the ship. Lili had been as understanding as ever of his adventuring. She would forgive him a few more days of adventuring. Why he was even going was beyond him. Helping Zidane again; suppose it was worth it for all the times he had helped the black mage. But only for that reason all the politics that had formed since two nights before were confusing and unpredictable. Alexandria had been left in an uproar at Garnets departure.
Hopefully it had settled down by now. Vivi adjusted his hat and nearly walked straight into Eiko. The young girl smiled sweetly down at him,
All ready, Vivi? Were about to set off.
Vivi nodded and smiled back at her, Yuhuh. Do you think well find him here?
Eiko paused for a moment, then shrugged, I dont know, ask Zidane. He seems to be in perfect control of the situation. She winked, then slipped past Vivi down the hallway, calling a farewell behind her.
Zidane looked idly down at the bustling city slightly below. What were they going to do when they found Amarant? I mean, the guy was never the friendliest creature, how much worse would he be now that the world was infested by guys that looked exactly like him? The quiet redhead might well bite his head off.
Slowly his eyes moved over to Steiner. The big knight stood proudly beside him, looking very regal in his polished armor. At one arm was his long, deadly Excalibur blade, and at the other was Beatrix, looking fresh and ready for action with Save the Queen hanging loosely at her side.
Friends he had friends, these people had joined him and left Garnet. Why? What had happened to her in the past years that had changed so much about her? What the hell is wrong with my wife? A memory suddenly flickered into his mind from ten years ago
Garnet lay on his arm, sobbing, as they watched Atomos destroy the city of Burmecia. He was so helpless; there was nothing he could do from that distance. Nothing! Just sit and watch it like a damn show.
Zidane felt Garnets grip on his arm tighten, and he looked down at her face, still beautiful even while weeping. She had been through so much pain just a girl, and the burden of the whole world was lying on her shoulders. The pain of it brought tears to the brim of his eyes, and he curled his arms tightly around her shoulder.
I want to protect you, Garnet He mumbled, his mind barely aware of what his mouth was saying, I want to protect you even more now I dont want to let you ever feel sorrow again can you accept me?
Its not possible. She whispered, tears still streaming down her red cheeks. Garnets sad eyes turned up toward him, flickering with the mournful gray of the sky, But do what you have to just dont leave me.
Slowly he sank to the grass next to her, raising his hands to cup her face between them, I promise. I promise that with every sorrow that you feel, I will feel it twice as much because I have failed you.
Keep talking Her own hand rose unsteadily to touch his cheek, I cannot be sad when you are talking.
Garnet That was all there was left to say. Slowly he drew her closer to him, wrapped her up with all the comfort that he could give her, feeling the sorrow seep away from her like an icy chill. Her sobs became less frequent as she buried her head against his chest.
Some time passed like that Atomos was gone, and there was only the faint sound of the flames that danced upon the walls of the city. And then she finally looked back up into his eyes, her tears gone, and reached up to kiss him. Not a long kiss, but their first, so alive, so energetic. As their lips relinquished the magical touch he smiled. He felt like jumping and dancing for glee, or better yet, continuing the embrace for the rest of their lives
And then Steiner had come and seen them. He had yelled and fumed consistently at both of them for the rest of the night, but that was the most he could do. And nothing could have taken away from that memory, even if Kuja himself had walked up and demanded a duel.
But he had failed her so much sorrow he had put on her in the past few days so much sorrow. He touched his chest as a pain began welling, a hurt that no medicine or magic could cure. And I failed her. I broke my promise with my own damn words bastard. I am a bastard.
Zidane? Steiners strong voice sounded very faint and distant for standing right next to him. Zidane turned to him slowly, finding trouble in focusing his eyes. Get a hold of yourself, you cant give up living Or could he?
Um lets go. He shook his head slowly, then began quickly moving down the ramp, checking first to see that they had indeed landed. Out of the corner of his eye he saw everyone had congregated on the deck and were staring at him. What was their problem? He turned and gave them a reproving stare, Come on, guys, were wasting daylight. Got to uh What were they doing again? You know find Amarant and all.
Yes Cid rubbed his beard thoughtfully, Well, good luck. I am going to stay here and wait for you. If you find Amarant, then come back to the ship, otherwise, Ill see you at dark. And I am going back to Lindbrum in the morning.
Puck scrubbed at his furry head and looked around slowly. The situation definitely did not look good. He never liked the mist creatures when they were around before, and now that they were back, and coming at him rapidly well things like that were never the sort of situation you wanted to get yourself in. He did the only thing a noble prince like himself should do. Scream in terror.
Things like this only happened to people like him. All he was doing was adventuring around, minding his own business. On his way back from Madain Sari in the Conde Petei pass, back from his visit to the moogles. But no, mist spawns had to chase him. People had always helped him out before because he was a prince, but it didnt look like help was going to come with the stark desert surrounding him.
Aahhhhhhh! Help! He yelled as he cannoned down the parched hill, flecked with a few withered trees here and there. The trees he tried to use as an advantage, swinging around them and darting left and right, but the creatures seemed to come closer with every step, their ugly toothy mouths opened wide to accept him into the world of death. And yeah, there was that guy following along behind them with a big sword, things like this were never good.
The guy with the sword was staying pretty far back, just watching the wonderful spectacle. Yeah, it was really funny watching a rat prince getting chased by monsters down a cliff. He was probably a commander, commanders were usually chickens and didnt actually do any work themselves.
Puck yelped as the teeth of one of the creatures came dangerously close to his vital parts, Oh please help. My God, someone help! Mommy!
I command you minions depart from life! A purplish glow flickered into existence from the valley that was growing beneath Puck. The prince jerked his head back and forth. Where the hell did that come from? The commander seemed to be a bit confused as well, he paused in midstride and looked around nervously.
Go! Leave, spawns of hell! The glow became a pulsating radiance with a life of its own. The pulsing of a furious fiery heart, seeking to devour those that had angered it. The pulsating did not last long before there was a gigantic flash and then the light was gone.
Puck scrambled down the last part of the slope and then ducked behind a tree, peering back frantically as he pawed at his dagger. But there was no danger anymore. The five mist spawns and their commander lay writhing on the ground, burning from the inside. Purple flames were slowly consuming their bodies, rending their flesh and devouring it, slowly dissipating the bodies.
Puck wrinkled his nose and looked away in disgust. What a way to die He murmured, leaning back against the tree and sighing. That was a very close call.
Its very practical dont you think? Puck almost died as the voice broke the silence. But it was such a soft, soothing sound that he could hardly be scared Hell yeah, he was very scared. Slowly he turned to face the noise and was met by a man a very odd looking man. He had a very light shade of purple hair, a very feminine face, and queer blue eyes. If Puck hadnt seen the good muscular build of the man he would have thought him a girl. He wore a purple and white robe that swirled around him, covering most of his chest and legs.
He wore over his legs a skirt, cut off in the front to form a thong. Tied with no sheath at his waist was an old steel dagger, looking long unused but still of fine make. All of his clothing was tattered, and he looked slightly beaten himself, but he still smiled, his head tilted slightly, and his look appeared perfectly amiable.
I think Ive seen you somewhere before who are you? The face sparked something in Pucks memory something he couldnt quite drag up.
Just a lost traveler in need of a friend. Can you help me back to some civilization? He looked down at himself slowly, I think I need a slight change of apparel. Something to suit the current times.
You sure do. Maybe the answer was a bit too eager, and the purple haired man raised an eyebrow, but Puck just went on with a grin, Purples a little out of fad. Ill get you suited up. Well go to Conde Petei.
Conde Petei He sounded almost wistful, I may have been there before. Lead on sir
Puck. The names Puck.
Well then lead on, Puck. The man threw him a smile before Puck turned and began following the path back to the Dwarven City. His visit to the moogles could wait for just a while.
So lost traveler in need of a friend, how did you learn to use magic like that?
The man chuckled, and paused as they climbed the long, steep hill. When they reached the crest he paused with a sigh, I didnt learn it, it was given to me by my master. Its really very hard to explain you probably werent even born at the time.
How long ago was it, lost traveler in need of a friend?
Oh ten years ago, perhaps.
Youre a bit off, then. Im twenty, and I was quite alive when it occurred. Whatever it is.
Forgive me master Puck. Ive become a rather poor judge of age.
How long have you been out here in the desert? Puck stopped to avoid a fallen tree, then nearly fell over with the mans answer.
Ten years. Puck turned rather swiftly, to stare up into the placid blue eyes of the purple haired man,
Wha so Ive got it, you, the lost traveler in need of a friend, were having a picnic out near Madain Sari, and suddenly the mist came down on the earth, and you got lost and couldnt find your way home.
Well actually, I started near the Iafa tree I move slowly, Ive only just begun to fully recover from the injuries I received ten years ago
You scare me.
Thank you. So what are you doing wandering out here in the desert?
Puck paused, then shrugged, Im running away from responsibility. Why do you ask?
The man laughed, And what responsibility is that, young Puck?
Dont call me young or Ill whoop your ass, lost traveler in need of a friend. Im running away from being King of Burmecia.
That paused the chattering windbag for a moment. Puck smirked happily. Now the man was really impressed. Maybe he would start bowing and offer to become his slave.
So Burmecia is still there, huh? It was a pretty shabby little town last time I visited it.
Well weve revamped it a little in the past couple of years. Maybe youd like to come see it once we get an airship? It looks really nice.
You would go back and become the King of your city just so you could show off to me?
No. Id run away after I showed you.
Youre quite an interesting young fellow you know that Puck?
Call me young again and I might leave you out here!
The wind continued to scour the dry land as the two companions chattered the long way back to Conde Petei. The young prince and the mysterious purple clothed man, the man the world knew, and feared, as Kuja.
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