To See Another Day Chapter 11

A Portrait of Idealogy

By Kain Servant

Zidane strolled casually along with Amarant, following Menoth’s back with his eyes. His heart heaved up and down with every step, his brain worked circles around his mind, which was telling him as loud as it could to pull out a knife and stab the man. This was his link to victory over the Fa’al et Delamfar. Kill the head and the body dies.

But someone he knew that Menoth was ready. You wouldn’t turn your back on a man unless he was your friend, or you knew he couldn’t hurt you. Besides, last time Zidane had tried was a complete failure, and he didn’t expect much better today.

“So…who’s flying this pretty little craft today?”

“Little” didn’t really describe the Hilda Garde, but Zidane looked that over with a shrug, “Cid has it on auto-pilot, we’ll dock in Lindblum within the hour.”

“Cid is on this ship then, he is the regent of Lindblum, yes?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“As suspicious as the red-headed lover I see.” Zidane looked curiously at Amarant, but the big man didn’t look amused. “I’m planning on conquering this planet any way I have to Zidane, and to do that I have to learn of the people and the places. You’ve been a general before, you should know that.”

“I’ve never been a general…”

Menoth shrugged and turned, leaning his back against the northern rail of the ship, his eyes drifting along the ground as they passed it. “Look, Zidane, I want to talk to you about what Amarant said. Freedom. Individuality. I prize those as highly as you do.”

That a brought a grunt from Amarant. Zidane simply stared at the wandering, lazy eyes of his enemy, wondering if there was any way he could find to kill that casual demi-god.

“As you’ve probably noticed, Ellians are very similar to genomes, very similar to you. We are all identical in DNA, which means no matter how you cross breed us with another species. If our DNA is in the blood, it will take over, and the offspring will be an exact copy of the original. Ellians don’t have females, however, and there is only one…well, never mind, I don’t want to bore you with our lore.

“As I was saying, we are alike to you in most aspects…except Ellians are hopeless, veritably soulless, and lost without a shepherd. That is why you interest me so much, Zidane. You have conquered this hopelessness that drones feel, and developed an individuality. I want that. I want to be a shepherd to my people.”

Zidane blinked. “Uh…huh…?” Was this guy crazy or something? First he says they’re enemies, then he’s talking about how he admires Zidane? He could kill me in a second, and he admires me for individuality? That’s a new phenomenon.

Menoth sighed and tugged at his braid, “Look, what I’m trying to say is…I want to make a deal. You obviously don’t want to be wiped out, and you don’t have the power to defeat Tialtor. I have to take over your planet before mine dies, but I admire you too much to just kill you. That’s why I’m talking to you right now.

“So…I propose this. When our planets merge, in nine days, you will have your creatures of this planet ready to move to Tialtor. Tialtor is a very beautiful planet, and with your planet’s life, we could live here forever. Your people will receive all the privileges of an Ellian, and we will live as equals. And you will teach Ellians individuality. Give them hope, give them life…and I will let you live.”

Amarant sneered loudly behind Zidane, “No…no! You speak as if it is our only choice, but we defeated Terra before, and the odds were against us. We defeated a god for crying out loud!”

“But here I stand before you.” Menoth’s voice was no longer pleading. It was once again the voice of a commander, commanding, menacing. “I am no God, but I could kill you as easy as I breathe now.” He stopped for a moment, and the silence was only broken by the sound of lungs gasping for breath, and the wind blowing the morning fog away. “Did I mention…Zidane? I still need your Garnet, I still want her. If you agree with my wishes, I can find another. But if you do not…”

What could he do? Damn it! Why did life have to be like this, so complicated, never simple and easy. What was life for anyway, if it was only trouble after trial? “Give me time.” He finally muttered, and with the words he sliced the air with his dagger as he unsheathed it. “Three days, then come to me and I will have your answer.”


Menoth looked slowly from Zidane to Amarant, both with eyes cold and unfeeling. Then he nodded, “Fine.”

They would say no, he knew they would. It was so disheartening. They could both help each other so much, yet they would not, so he had to kill them. Unless something in the waves of fate would change. “I’ will meet you in three days, Zidane.”

Easy as breathing he took hold of a trance, and felt the wind pull at his hair. He grinned childishly. The trance was the only hold he had on what it felt like to live. He loved it, he loved the exhilaration and the rush – but it wasn’t complete…he wasn’t really living yet. And only Zidane could show him how.

He didn’t need the trance, but he used it to just pick up some extra information. He pushed energy into hearing until he could feel his ears pulsing with it. Below decks someone was singing loudly, off-key. Probably still a bit drunk from last night.

In the distance he could hear the murmur of a city, and as he looked he could see Lindblum’s gate looming up beside the ship. And somewhere near, a voice called excitedly, “Daddy, we’re home!”

He looked quickly for the owner. It a young, blue-haired girl. The girl he had seen with the red headed fool when he first flew onto the ship. She was pointing excitedly and talking to an elder man, who smiled happily. Menoth could guess that he was Regent Cid…but…

The girl had a horn. A summoner’s horn. Menoth chuckled and smiled, then turned back to Zidane, “Insurance.”


“Nothing. Good day.” And with a laugh, he spread energy beneath his feet like a carpet, then shot off into the sky. A little more reconnaissance, and then back home to make up his strategy for the takeover of Gaia!


Emryal cut a good impression of a snake as he slithered up the white marble stairs, pressing his body to the wall. A trance was full upon him, and he had built a cloak around himself, so that all that could be seen was a gentle ripple against the stone wall. His eyes darted nervously about as he eased his way upward, until he could see Menoth’s desk in the circular apex of the tower. The desk was empty.

He sighed and let the energy go, striding confidently into the room. Whatever business Menoth was about, he had told Emryal nothing about. They were supposed to be working together on this mission – but if the fool thought himself too high for that task, Emryal would just have to work by himself to see that nothing went wrong. And that he would eventually come to the seat of power.

A pity the tables were against him. Menoth had been a lover of the Ellians through his career as Ruc Tsai. Emryal had lusted more after power, so Menoth let him live most of his miserable life in the dark, assassinating enemies and plotting takeovers. That was his life, that was what he loved. But it was time for him to be rewarded.

The desk drawer slid easily open, and Emryal cast his eye upon a few golden trinkets, and a small statue of malachite. The statue was of a girl, or young woman, her left hand gripping a oddly-designed staff, and her right held out, ready to release a dragon’s head she was holding there. Emryal didn’t need to see the horn to know she was a Summoner, but who was she? Unless…maybe it was there to remind Menoth that it was his fulfillment.

He didn’t seem to think much on that. He was always rambling off about people’s feelings, never caring about what his destiny was. Maybe it was his destiny then, to be so sympathetic that eventually he was assassinated by his peers to get his weeping carcass out of the way. If it had to be that way, then Emryal would do it. Life was to move forward, not to sit and think about what you did wrong before.

And held beneath the statue was a folded piece of parchment. Emryal smiled as he moved the statue, then carefully opened the paper.

“Dear Aitella,

Words cannot say how much I miss you. I wish I could be there with you, but my duties here keep me from it. Why do we have to be so different? Why can’t we just be simple people, with simple minds and hearts. But if I brought you here, the inevitable would occur, and could not stand that for the world.

So it has to be this way. I hope you understand. I was out today and I saw a few flowers out among the grass. They reminded me of you, beautifully white, smiling and cheerful. Not many flowers grow on Tialtor, so I picked two, one to keep with me, and one for you. So that way we have a reminder of one another…”

Emryal snorted and skipped down to the end, where it read: “With my love forever, Menoth” What the hell was this? He was looking for blackmail, something to force Menoth to back down. Not an old love letter with a dead flower in it. Quickly he stuffed the flower back into the letter, folded it and deposited it neatly beneath the statue, then shut the drawer. No one would ever know that he was there. As he turned…

Menoth’s claw nicked his throat, and he felt blood slide coldly down his skin. “Do you feel like dying today?” Menoth asked calmly, his fingers fit with just one claw, that looked close enough to stab right through his neck if either moved a muscle. A trance surrounded Menoth in a white blaze of fury.

“No,” Emryal gasped, trying hard not to move. Menoth smirked.

“Get the hell out of here now, and I won’t ever ask why you were reading that letter.”

Emryal backed away with another gasp, then chuckled, “Embarrassing?”

The claw was in his shoulder before he even realized Menoth had moved. With a roared curse he grabbed his shoulder and backed away from the insane man in black. Menoth’s claw was still pointing accusingly as he darted down the steps and away from Menoth’s castle. It was time to step into plan B.


Arteon watched with a smile of satisfaction as the ship pulled slowly into the docking bay. His former enemies were all here…he was in about the most dangerous place he could be at anytime in his life. But he felt a certain peace about it all…he knew that everything would go all right.

Puck sat beside him, munching casually on an apple. “So…I guess my ship to Burmecia leaves soon. Uh…sorry to leave you like this, pal.”

“No problem at all. I’m glad you’ve decided to reclaim the responsibility.” Well, he had pushed the kid quite often, but it was at least partially his own decision.

“All the stories of people who died because they didn’t do the right thing kind of…scared me, maybe just a little…so…I’m just saving my ass.”

The stories had been a nice touch. He didn’t know that people still listened to stories in their twenties. Genomes were a little more ageless, but they didn’t mature much, they started aware of life’s events, and simply sucked in knowledge to become however wise or foolish they could become. Zidane, as he remembered him, was foolish by most standards. By Garland’s standards. But he was so fierce and brave and proud of his foolish bravado, that he could help but be admired. Not to mention he owed Zidane his life.

“I enjoyed your company.” Arteon murmured, sweeping at his black hair. It felt odd to be so short. Puck shrugged and stood, locating the massive ship that was beginning to come to life, then, with a salute that would make any military being cringe, he set off at a rapid jaunt, whistling as he did. Arteon would always have a place in his heart for that foolish child.


Zidane looked dismally around at the docks of Lindblum as slowly the walkway crawled up to the ship. Inside the ache was growing stronger by the second. He didn’t know where Garnet was, and he wanted to. Dammit he wanted to so badly! And now this Menoth was throwing threats again, and he had no idea how to find her and…Lindblum looked sad beneath a cloud of gray morning fog.

The first thing that he saw when he stepped off the ship was a man dressed all in black. His first reaction was to cringe and grab for his sword – but his second look told him this was no Menoth. The darkly cloaked man was looking at him with a sarcastic smile that seemed far too familiar, but it was kind…and warm compared to the cold glare he had encountered just a matter of minutes before.

What had he meant? What was his fashion for this, what was his motive for wanting to team with them? Of course he seemed sincerely interested in learning this “individuality” but he seemed so cold, so aloof from true feeling – Zidane didn’t think he could actually want what he said. He was a tyrant, he wanted to take the planet, and that was all – if they didn’t agree to his plan then it was no loss – he could easily just kill them and be over with it. There must be something to it…but he could say nothing, except Garnet was in danger, and… Heaven help me, I’ll find her, I’ll kill that bastard and anyone else who tries to stop me from seeing her.

Blank strode down next to him, followed by the rest of the crew, “So, bro, how’s the ol’ town looking to you? Pretty da-happy to be home, huh. Think I might just settle it out here for the rest of this adventure – running around with you all the time is making me feel old.”

“For some seventy year olds it’s even harder.” Cid mumbled, and Eiko patted his arm sympathetically. Blank rolled his eyes and smirked at Zidane,

“Yeah, okay, anyway, what’s the plan?”

Zidane felt like he was smashing ice statues of his friends as he turned to them and let his feelings roll, “I don’t give a damn what you’re doing, As soon as I can find a ship, I’m going to go find my wife!”

“Zidane…” Marcus grunted from somewhere in the back of the crowd, but anger was seething through him, and he had to let it out. Throwing his head back, he continued his tirade,

“I love her…I love her so much…you people can’t seem to understand that. You think that since she did me one wrong I should forget her! You advise me and confuse me, but I don’t want it anymore! I want…my own decision and it is to find my love and win her again…and…agh! Goodbye!”

He stampeded down the ramp, leaving behind a group of dumbfounded individuals. What the hell, they’d forgive him when he was back with his wife and his happiness again. She was his life, he needed her. She was his blood…his air – he hadn’t lived without her for a day for ten years, and now he couldn’t, he couldn’t just turn his back – he didn’t care what she wanted or who she had now, his mind was set.

“Excuse me…Zidane?” In his anger he hadn’t noticed the black cloaked man rise from his seat and follow Zidane up the red carpet. Zidane turned to him, still filled to the brim with emotion, but his words stopped when he took a closer glance at the stranger’s face. There was a man hidden there that he could not mistake…a brother, a mystery, a mortal enemy…a dead man.


The face lit up as if Zidane had paid him the highest compliment, “You recognized me through all this change!” And he had changed. His attire was close to Menoth’s, except with a simple ruggedness replacing the finery. Silver buttons buttoned a high black collar almost up to his cheek. His face was no longer pale, but of good ruddy complexion, and his hair was cut short, though a few stray hairs still clung to his face. But the eyes…the sad, sad eyes of that man could never be changed.

His speech came haltingly, “Why…how are you here? You were dead when I left you...dead and happy -–I thought that was the end of it.”

“That was the end of Kuja, Zidane. Kuja is dead. I’ll never be that man again.” Kuja smiled sadly and raised his arm to rest his companionship on Zidane’s arm, “Let’s walk.”


Blank raised an eyebrow as the black cloaked man stopped Zidane, but the two were too far away for him to hear what he said. They moved off together, arm in arm, like old buds, which nearly made him sick. Treat his friends like crap, then go off friends with a stranger. Not to mention a spooky one. What was the world coming to, you couldn’t know your friends anymore. No friends, no love, no-

“Blank?” The voice kind of made him wish Baku hadn’t chosen such a stupid name for him. He turned to see Eiko staring up at him, “Want to go walk the town?” By “walk the town” hopefully she meant find some quiet corner and snuggle.

“Sure.” He took her arm, like a damn gentleman, and walked her off, catching Cid’s glare as he went. He would show that Cid, he could be a man as well as any nobility. He would earn…whatever Eiko was giving him, he wasn ’t sure about that even, they hadn’t really…said much to each other, just looks and…promises. Promises could be promising sometimes.

It turned out they did walk, and not the favored snuggle, though she did curl under his arm after a while, which was some recompense. They walked and talked forever, about absolutely nothing. He bought her a necklace in a little jewelry shop in the commercial sector, and she giggled and hugged him and said it was wonderful, which was sort of overdoing it because it looked pretty crummy to him.

They were walking down the street in the theatre sector, drinking lemonades which Blank found really neat because the cups were durable and if he ever bought a house and had cups he would like some that were kind of like that. Then suddenly he caught a familiar odor in the air…it was the sort of sweet sick smell that came from stale smoke and stale beer and unwashed clothing all blended together. It smelled a whole lot like home. They came to the top of a small rise in the road, and he looked down upon the Hideout.

Eiko daintily held her nose, “Something smells bad.”

“That’s the hideout!” He pronounced excitedly, “Come on, let’s go see Baku and Cinna!” That, at least, excited her, because apparently she had thought Cinna was funny when she had met him before, and Baku seemed like a big jolly man, which wasn’t really true because he was a pretty damn bad father and there were bruises he could still feel on his back to prove it. But Baku had his moments, and if Eiko really did like him, then that was fine – as long as he never hit her.

The odor increased as he opened the rickety door and beheld the old, one room majesty. The rugs and the desk and the windows were still in the same place, and the rafters were still crooked and half-broken. Baku and Cinna were leaning over the desk talking in low tones, Baku with his oversized pipe stuffed in the side of his mouth. They looked … the same, and yet different. It had been so long since he had seen them, they almost seemed like strangers.

“Pop!” Blank called, letting Eiko slip in the door behind him, “I’m home!” Baku turned with a creak, almost smacking Cinna in the jaw in his haste. Cinna turned almost as quickly, his face split in a silly grin.

“Blank! It’s been such a long time!” Baku chuckled and rose to spread his arms, “How are you?”

Blank ran into his embrace, then turned to give Cinna an equally large hug, “I’m doing great…great! Uh…” He turned back to the door, “This is Eiko, you probably remember her.”

Both Baku and Cinna paused for a moment and looked at each other. “Uh…” Cinna stammered, “No, I don’t remember her, was she…your daughter?” He should kill him, he really should kill him.

“No, idiot, not my daughter, just a…good friend.” Blank burst, Eiko calmly strode up behind him,

“We’re dating.” She explained, and both Baku and Cinna opened their mouths. Blank wanted to fill them with lead or steel, but…Eiko was there of course, so he just grinned and put his arm affectionately on her shoulder. It was all right.

“Well…I was a little bit worried for you. I heard that two people died just outside Alexandria the day that you flew there with Marcus. But…guess there were other people wandering out there too.”

“Ha…haha…we’re not dead, are we?” Baku chuckled, and Cinna and Blank laughed a long with him. Blank shrugged and looked around. He’d seen the place, and now he remembered that he had never liked it anyway. Ratty and dirty, that was why he had moved to Alexandria.

“Well…guess I’ll get going. I might see you around.”

Cinna nodded, “We hang around the theatre a lot if you want to see us.”

“Sure…bye.” Blank opened the door for Eiko, then walked out, scratching the back of his neck as he went. “You know…” He looked around the street to watch an old cat stroll along, its eyes darting furtively around, “They seemed odd.”

“Yeah.” Eiko nodded and plopped down on a bench, staring at the building across from her. He sat down by her side as she spoke slowly, “Neither of them remembered me, and they just seemed…cold. They were actors, they used to be…happy. Free-spirited.”

“Maybe business isn’t doing too well.” He suggested weakly, touching his hair a few times to make sure it was still there, “I don’t know, I’m sure if there’s something really wrong they’ll tell me.”

Eiko nodded, then turned to look at him, “Blank…can you kiss me again? Like you did that first time we kissed?” Jeez, this girl was right up his alley. He shot her a grin and adjusted his sitting so he could reach her better,



Kain walked slowly away from the Elder’s house, his soul dragging along with his shoes on the dirt path. The sun didn’t seem as bright, the birds weren’t singing happily anymore…the…what was he thinking? He kicked the ground hard. Why was he upset about it? She was never his to take in the first place, it just figured that she was playing against him anyway. But why would she want to kill a small-town elder?

He sighed and continued walking, back to his old home. Forget her…forget her, she wasn’t yours, she was Zidane’s. You had your fun, meeting all the heroes, sleeping with them…being attacked by them, what more could you ask for? Stupid flashed through his mind, and he angrily shot it back. Why was he stupid? What could he do about her, what the elder said was his law, he wasn’t going to say the elder was lying…was he?

Just funny…but he was knocked back when the elder raised his hand. That just…kind of seemed like the elder was the one that knocked him back. But…the elder said he raised his hand to warn him – magic doesn’t require motions, or so it seems. He never knew Garnet had that sort of magic, but the elder said so.

And how did the elder overpower her, if she was that strong? No no no! Don’t question the elder, just live your life and forget her! If he wants to be suspicious that’s his business!

He shoved the door open, slamming it open. The wooden interior of his home no longer made him proud as it once had. He was used to palaces and red carpet; this now seemed too…plain. But, he had lived there most his life, he could cope with it again.

As Kain sank down into his chair, his head in his hands, he slowly came to the realization that Garnet was now a fixed part of his life, he couldn’t forget her anymore than he could forget to breathe anymore. He cared…that was almost a first, but he actually cared.

Last time he had cared about someone had been…his father. His father was such a nice man, happy, loving, giving… He had been killed in the only war Macema had ever been involved in – and his father had been one of only ten men to die in it. Cruel fate.

Kain had tried not to attach himself to people anymore. He fletched, that was his job, that was his life. But people had sneaked back in, somehow and he needed…no, he couldn’t do this for Garnet. He had to do it for Zidane. Zidane needed her a lot more than he did, as much as it hurt his heart to say.

So what could he do? Go tell Zidane. Hell no he couldn’t do that, Zidane would kill him! He buried his head further in his hands. He had to tell Zidane, he knew he had to. Oh why couldn’t he have his easy life again? Life was supposed to be good for crying out loud.

Finding he still could not find the courage to rise, he simply sat for a few more moments and watched the wood floor, watched his knee rise and fall with his breathing…listened to the murmur of field activity outside…smelled the sweet scent of burning wood…watched tears come to his eyes, then well over and drip down onto the floor. He had no life; he had no friends, and nothing to live for. His life wasn’t happy; his life was hell. And he was hiding from that all the time – ever since his father died he told himself life was work and that it was satisfying.

The courage still failed him, so he simply crouched in his chair and let the tears fall to the floor in a pool, his big chest bursting with sobs. He would change this…as soon as he could find the will to rise he would change his life – he would become a different person. He wasn’t a coward!

The tears fell and fell until his eyes dried and a haze of bliss settled over him. And then he fell from consciousness.

Chapter 12

Final Fantasy 9 Fanfic