The Trial of Sin Chapter 1

By Snow Incarnate

Wakka lunged, diving forward towards his opponent. He was not going to lose again. There had been too many losses So many in fact, that he feared to count them. He couldn't tolerate another loss.

But it wasn't just himself he should be thinking of. He should think of the entire team, his friends, his family. But it was hard, and may have been a reason why they lost so much. Not because they stank of a rotting skunk, but because he needed to think of the others.

Well, they all did stink, including himself. But he needed to concentrate on the moment. Maybe, just maybe, if they were able to win this one, they would finally break their curse. The curse that was plaguing the team. This would be the one to turn it all around.

Although, there was not time for all that now. Wakka needed to concentrate. His team was the key. If he included them in his plan they could win. He was sure of it. The losing had gone on long enough.

Swimming up to the top of the sphere, Wakka afforded himself a quick gulp of air. He could concentrate better with a fresh lung full. Their opponents, the Al Bhed Psyches were not a team to trifle with. Though, just about any team could beat Wakka’s team, the Besaid Aurochs.

Wakka swam quickly back to the center of the blitzball field. Berrik, that bloody center for the Psyches was going to have to get through him to have a chance at the goal. Wakka knew that he probably couldn’t keep him back, but he also knew that Keepa needed some time to rest. As so far, Keepa had managed to keep all shots out of the goal. The score remained zero to zero. Only a couple of minutes were left on the clock. If they could only tie that would at least be better than losing.

Where is Chappu? Wakka thought angrily as he confronted Berrik. He couldn’t take him alone, but with Chappu’s help he knew they could get the blitzball. But with a quick glance around, Wakka had a sinking feeling. Chappu was at the far edge of the sphere, grappling with one of the Psyches. He would just have to take Berrik by himself.

The diving tackle Wakka threw himself into was tremendous. It sent the water to a singing chorus within his ears. He sped forward and… dove right past Berrik. Berrik was just too fast. But Chappu was faster. I need Chappu!

By now, Berrik was on his way towards Keepa. Wakka doubted that the goalie could stop another ball. He had been stopping an endless stream since the start of the game.

Swimming as furiously as he could was all that Wakka could do. He would never catch up. Berrik had the edge over him. Not for the first time, Wakka wondered what those Al Bhed goggles were for. Did they help them see things the untrained eye couldn’t, or did it only hide those damnable Al Bhed eyes?

But the game was lost now. It was a certainty. Where was Chappu when I nee— Something blurred past Wakka in a flash of color. It was pursued by three others, three of those Al Bhed.

Could that be? Wakka wondered. It is! Chappu! As the pursuers swam past him, Wakka tackled their lead. A blow straight to the stomach. He would be out until he was able to get a breath outside the sphere. Wakka stood off the other two Al Bhed while Chappu swam on, to pursue Berrik, and more importantly, the blitzball. Chappu gave Wakka a silent wave of thanks and continued on more furiously than before.

While Wakka was holding off the two Psyches, the Aurochs’ defenders were able to work their way up to him. With Botta and Jassu with him, the fates changed their fortunes. They would be able to hold off until Chappu got the ball. He had to get the ball.

Chappu swam as hard as he had ever swum in his life. There wasn’t another in the blitzball league who could match him. Not for his agility.

The lead closed by the second, Berrik was almost to Keepa. Berrik was one of the better shooters, Chappu had to reach him soon. Only a few more strokes…

And Chappu was upon him, swimming under Berrik and up to face him, which stopped Berrik in mid-stroke. Wakka groaned. Confidence had always been Chappu’s downfall. It would have been alright, but there couldn’t be more than thirty seconds on the clock. Now they wouldn’t have enough time to score. If Chappu had just outright tackled Berrik and grabbed the ball, they would have been well on their way to scoring.

Even Chappu wouldn’t be fool, or confidant, enough to take a shot like that himself. Especially when there was less than a minute to do it in. Wakka was the most accurate one on the Aurochs with a shot. Wakka usually was able to score, under the right conditions. But that is where Chappu fell, he couldn’t shoot. His aim was terrible.

Maybe Chappu wasn’t going for the win. Maybe he was trying to go for the tie. That had to be it. Watching for the outcome, Wakka hoped for the best as he tackled one of the Psyche defenders.

Chappu smiled a small hapless smile that would have sent a chill up Wakka’s spine had he been Berrik. Then, quick as lightning, Chappu struck, not so much as touching Berrik, but leaving him to gape at his empty hands in wonder.

Fast could not describe Chappu as he sped through the water. It was as if he were dolphin instead of human. In only a few seconds he was halfway across the blitz sphere, and with five seconds on the clock Chappu decided to go for it. There was nothing to lose. Chappu shot, forcing all his strength into the ball.

The blitzball flew true, as it never had for Chappu before. Four seconds were left on the clock. Three. Almost half of the distance was already covered as the blitzball buzzed past. Two seconds. One. It was upon the goalie, threatening him with its deadly speed. Chappu saw why his brother likened the ball to a weapon. The clock struck zero as the horn blared. Just after, the blitzball sneaked past the goalie and into the net.

No good. The point did not count. Chappu swore silently under the gazing eyes of the crowd. It was funny how a person could so totally forget about them under the pressures of the game.

Wakka swam over to him with a broad smile on his face. Chappu didn’t see what was so great. As they both left the sphere and reached the dry sanctuary of the locker room, Wakka congratulated him.

“Yo, brudda, you did it!” Wakka said enthusiastically. “We tied them!” He was almost hysterical with his glee, but Chappu was not amused.

“Ya, but we did not win, Wakka.” Chappu said angrily. “That was my best shot all season. But it didn’t count! You know I can’t shoot worth anything, but I deserved that shot. I made that shot. And the damn shot didn’t count!”

Wakka wasn’t taken aback by Chappu’s sudden moment of rage. Chappu wasn’t mad at him, nor at the Al Behd. What he was mad at was himself. Chappu had high self standards, and he would not allow himself to fall from his expectations.

And, the strange thing was, Chappu actually liked the Al Behd! Wakka could never trust them, with all of their machina and going against Yevvon’s teachings. But Chappu didn’t mind that. He even went so far as to be interested in their machina. Also he was beginning to pick up the basics of the Al Behd language.

“Ya know, Chappu,” Wakka ventured, “We don’t have to try to win every game. We can only—”

“Do our best. Yes I know. I agree with you, but ya know, Wakka, I want to win! I want to know what it feels like, to be the one ahead of the others. Don’t you ever feel that, Wakka? Don’t you want to win?” Before Wakka had a chance to answer, Chappu threw down his towel and left the locker room.

“Hey, Chappu! Come back here! Come on, don’t spend more time with those sacrilegious Al Behd. It’s not healthy for you!” Though he was shouting in vain, it made Wakka feel a bit better.

Coming up to Wakka, Datto, who was on the team of the Aurochs confronted him. “You not his father, Wakka.” Datto said bravely. “You his brudda. A brudda lends support, a father is there to make the rules.”

“But my—our—parents are gone, Datto. Killed by Sin. I’m all that Chappu has now.”

“Like I said Wakka, support.” With that, Datto left him, giving Wakka a quick pat on the back before leaving with Keepa and the others.

Wakka sighed. It wasn’t easy to be him. It seemed like all his life was one big blitzball game. One that couldn’t be won. Sitting down to open his locker, Wakka gazed at the Jupiter Crest inside. It was the only remaining memento of his long gone parents. It had a way of calming him and helped him to think more clearly.

But that wasn’t going to help right now. Wakka knew what he must do, as little as he liked it. He must do as Datto had said. He must let Chappu choose his own path.

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