To See Another Day Chapter 19

Take 2

By Kain Servant

“Blank, it’s not going to help us at all if you yell at the woods.”

Blank jumped and turned almost simultaneously, his sword held tightly in both hands. Amarant stood before him, his body, almost unrecognizable on the right side due to the gaping wounds all over his body, supported mainly on the deck rail. “Holy shit, Amarant! You scared the hell out of me.”

“Right. Sorry.” Amarant grimaced. “Look…could you just be…quiet, and help me find the medical supplies? I don’t really want to fight all 20 million billion trees until I fix myself up a bit.”

Blank finally noticed. “Woah!” He sheathed his sword. “Damn…sorry Amarant…I…” Clumsily he swiped at his hair, then slid under Amarant’s arm to help walk him into what was the pilot’s deck. “What happened to you, buddy? You look like you got ate by the same ninja tree that got the ship.”

“Ninja tree?” Amarant groaned and pushed off from Blank into the corner locker, which opened into a row of potions and various healing medications. Amarant opened one and grunted, “It looks like you haven’t lost your…enthusiastic edge on life – judging from your vitriolic attack on the forest.”

“Aw jeez, give it a rest, Amarant, I won’t do it again. What happened to you? What happened to the ship? Didja kill the ninja tree? Where’s everyone else?”

Amarant winced as he dabbed some ointment on his arm which hosted two new grooves that ran the whole way down, “It’s lucky for you that you started yelling, or I might not have woken up and you would have…I dunno, run into the woods and started slashing things.

“You hit your head. Tialtor and Gaia collided irregularly…meaning that someone knocked them out of the fusion route into the collision route…and the shock knocked you against the wheel. Lucky you. A few minutes later the rest of us hear a woosh and then the whole damn roof ripped off, and there’s Kuja – laughing his way around on his silver dragon. Just like old times.

“Me, Steiner, Freya and Fratley were all feeling pretty ticked seeing as all logical conclusions led to it being his doing. So we attacked him. He’s powerful…like really really powerful, and what’s more – he wasn’t even tranced, he was just riding around like…” Amarant sighed and shrugged, “Like we saw him in Lindblum.”


“The man…that Zidane talked to. In the dock.”

It took a moment for Blank to trace back. “Ohhh….damn. How the hell did he get back? I thought Zidane buried him.”

“Naw…Zidane wouldn’t have buried him, he was too hopeful of him still living. Damn, this is going to kill him – if he doesn’t know already.”

“So…Kuja flew by on a dragon just like old times and defeated you…and didn’t kill you?”

“Go figure. Yeah, he said this was his atonement…that it was time to start all over again.”

All over again…”Funny.” This was the place they had started in the first place. What a coincedence. “Hmm, fate I suppose.”

“Fate…” Amarant peeled dried blood from his arm and laughed dryly, “Yeah, fate. I was just thinking as I came to…what are the odds that I’m still here, with you dumb…I dunno. People. I never liked it – all it’s ever been is trouble…like now. And.” He shrugged, “I’m still here. Now I’ve gotta stop Menoth and Emryal from ruining everyone else’s life…not just mine.”

“Heh, don’t worry too much about Menoth, right? Kuja’s all rearing to go, I’m sure he’ll eat them alive.” Blank patted Amarant’s good shoulder gently and reached over him to grab a few potions, “Come on, let’s go get the rest of ‘em up. We’ve gotta head for the ice cave and…start over again. Everything’s going to be okay – if Zidane is still sane, there’s no way he’ll lose to anyone.”


The sunrise was quite lovely. Blood red, almost, like revenge. It was a fitting display to crown the masterpiece that had been painted over the day prior. It would be nice when the earth was changed to his suiting. When the stubborn fools of the dirt finally understood…what was the point of all Necron’s babble of complete destruction, and Menoth’s chatter on individuality. Kuja would accept them…as soon as they accepted him as who he was. Their God.

He smiled as the light trickled across the mountains to the east, and flooded down through the valleys, onto the villages and cities and countries below, those who had seen the darkest night in Gaia’s history, seen so many die…for a good cause of course.

Alexandria…well he was fairly sure everyone there had deserved their burial. The people of that land were much too proud of their nothing…that was where he had been first ensnared into the fickle affairs of the humans, all of their deception and betrayal. Even Garnet…

So…fittingly, the queen had died with her people – in a completely different manner, how…amusing.

Of course he had problems. Such as the flickering black and gold sphere that covered the whole area where the queen had fallen. He had no idea what had happened, or what was happening there…he simply knew that the spirit of Garnet had fallen…and the spirit of Zidane was still there, still tugging at him somewhere.

‘Your brother, he might need you.’ Arteon growled weakly.

“Shutup, Arteon.” Kuja spoke vocally…he cared not if anyone heard him, thought him mad. He was incredibly mad perhaps, but he was above everyone now, and that was all he had ever wanted, “You have no say anymore…do you think I would turn after one event back to your pathetic mindset of helping everyone? Making restitution? This was all either of us wanted…you know…deep in your heart all you were searching for out of your mindless actions was someone to tell you that you were important to them. Isn’t it? Isn’t it?”

He spat. “But they never will, Arteon. Not to me, not to you…this is the way it must be! The only way you will ever achieve someone looking up to you!”

‘Zidane looked up to me…that day in his grief, he took my advice. I helped him.’

“Garnet is dead, I can feel it! You only succeeded in further mangling his emotions and ruining his life. I’m sure next time we see him he’ll be really thankful for your…peptalk.”

‘Have you ever tried to be a normal person, Kuja? Normal people get people to look up to them by reaching out. Not by destroying things. After these events unfold, all you’ll be left with is a smoking carcass of a planet, and not a sole will ever thank you, or look up to you, or bow to you…or say your name lovingly. You couldn’t even force Garnet to. No matter how many you kill you can never be as good a man as Zidane this way…not this way Kuja!’

“Do you remember!? Maybe you have been too deranged from all the loving and caring recently, but I recall when I was a top the power wheel, and people were grovelling to me on their knees, it was the best time of my life.”

‘Yet Zidane enraged you.’

“He was lucky. Now I see he is simply a man like everyone else – you helped show me his weakness. He is proud, and he is stubborn to be happy…because he doesn’t know himself, and he is afraid to stop introspectively one day and find nothing there. When he lost his jewel he fell…and he will never rise before my eyes again.”

‘You won’t need to worry about him I think…the Ellians will be enough – you cannot just expect to rule the world yourself now…you will fall this time. Perhaps to die? What do you think of that?’

It was sort of funny when all of the Ellians had fallen from the sky with the flaming chunks of rock. Many of them had died…but due to some technology of theirs that Kuja didn’t understand, they managed to survive for the most part, and they immediately began moving toward the sphere of light in Macema…it was Menoth…doing something…

“Bah, it doesn’t matter. Menoth was weak enough to be defeated in front of my eyes – I do not fear him, or Zidane, or Emryal…or Necron…or you. And besides, I’m not planning to rule the world by myself. My plans have already fallen into motion. Look.”

There was a form floating slowly up the hill toward them, a form garbed in gray, with a pointed black cap on its head. It was a Mist Mage. Kuja had spent most of the night perfecting his original models in the darkness of his former labs in the north. They were much more powerful than his original black mages, they had more…meat to him. And even better, they were almost assuredly soulless this time. No more fluke wondering who they were and abandoning the game. They were his.

‘You were supposed to be soulless too.’

“No I wasn’t, I was a variation of a genome…I am not a genome, Arteon, you fool. I am an angel of death…this is what I was made to do, not have brotherly discussions with Zidane. I was made to destroy and to rule even if the whole world rejects me and they put me down! I will climb to the top over their bloody carcasses!”


Sword? The sight of the steel made him jump as woke from his long sleep. No…it was just a dagger – bloodied? He didn’t kill…did he?

He was a…journalist. That’s right, a journalist for the Lindblum Times. With a groan he rolled out of bed and fumbled for his shoes. And he was going to be late for work if he didn’t hurry.

On the other side of the bed someone stirred, and he stared over at her for a moment…not daring to look at her face. He couldn’t remember who she was, what had happened the day before. It all seemed like such a long time ago…so vague – he remembered a long deep sleep…darkness…he remembered that the day before…

Ah hell with it, he was going to work! Slowly he picked up the dagger lying on the floor, and tucked it under his belt.

There wasn’t a walk to the office. He stepped out the door and there he was, with a hot mug of coffee on his desk, his papers…sure he recognized the papers, and his polished wooden desk, and his comfortable plush chair. He sat in it.

A hazy figure approached. Feminine, but he couldn’t see her face, nor could he remember whose voice it was that spoke…his secretary? “Good morning, N.”

“N? My name’s not N…it’s…”

“Never…actually, but remember, when you wrote the article a few years ago about There being no more ever, and your denouncing fate…then you took the ever out of your name as sort of a…I don’t know, statement. Right?”

“Right. N.” He mumbled, and took his cup of coffee. His head hurt…and her face was still fuzzy. “So…what was I working on yesterday? I can’t seem to…”

He could feel her smile, and she gently reached down and touched the papers lying in front of him. “Here it is…remember you were doing a story on the lifestory of Zidane. He went missing the other day, and so you were going to do some work on the facts…maybe help…try to find him again.”

His head hurt more. The words seemed as if they were supposed to have some hidden meaning, but they bounced off his head. “Right…Zidane…so, is this what we have on him here?”


“All of it?”

“Hopefully we can come up with more as we go on…” She laughed and pulled up a chair from behind her. “It’s getting late, so we should start.”

N. “Right.” That still didn’t sound right…he always thought his name was…Damn. Stupid headache. He took the dagger back out of his belt and examined it…it was clean, “Okay…so tell me about this Zidane.”


Steiner’s eyes were misty, even an hour after they had revived him. Blank watched him as he sat on the deck planks, back to the world, his face toward the gray forest that would never get any brighter. He was worried about Beatrix…that was easy. What the hell was with everyone losing their girl recently?

“It’s bad luck, I think.” He mumbled to the nearest person, who happened to be Freya, grimacing as she babied a twisted ankle, Fratley’s comforting arm around her. “I think we need to just…forget this all ever happened and have a party! Anyone have some beer?”

“Shut-up-OW! –Blank. You’re not helping.” Freya grunted at him.

She was right. He settled his chin back on his arms and shrugged, “I dunno, it doesn’t seem like anyone is helping…we’re all just kinda…sitting around in the dark crying.”

“How do we know…that this isn’t the safest place right now?” One of the crew members, a young fellow with dark hair and huge eyes, blubbered at him in a choked voice, “They could all…be dead up there and…we might be safer just staying…here.”

“But would that be any fun?” Blank beamed a teasing smile at him. No one smiled back. Irritated, he looked back to Steiner, “Ice cave? Ring a bell anyone? Come on, this has happened before, and I don’t remember just wallowing around here this long that time. Help me out Steiner!”

“I’m scared.” Steiner murmured…very quietly, his misty eyes wandering over in Blank’s direction, “I’ve never been this scared in my whole life, Blank…this could really be…the end. What happened up there? He’s right – I don’t even know if I want to know.” The big knight’s greying hair was plastered all over his forehead, and he looked odd…either because he wasn’t wearing his helmet or because he was crying.

“I’m scared too. Dammit, I left my girl all the way back in Lindblum – but we can’t sit here scaring ourselves! I’ll never see her again if I don’t start moving NOW!”

“He’s right.” Amarant grunted. The big guy was coming around pretty fast for how gored he had looked only a few hours before. Through gritted teeth he set his deadly claws back on his knuckles, then grinned from beneath his afro, “What’s this saying for us if we sit here? Come on.”

“Alright then…” Fratley nodded solemnly as he slowly rose and lifted Freya into his arms, “Then Blank…why don’t you lead this band of injured misfits out of the forest?”

“I need help.” Steiner’s voice was still alarmingly quiet. Blank turned and moved to help him up, but Steiner raised a hand for him to stop. With a grunt he hopped up, wiping at his eyes, “I mean…talk to me, Blank. I need you to talk to me. Tell me that it’ll all be alright.”

Well hell, he didn’t know if it’d all be alright. “What’s with all this responsibility all the sudden?” Blank kicked hostilly at the ladder, and it crashed down the side of the wrecked ship, “I helped Baku out for…twenty years, and he never let me do a single thing by myself. Not even by myself!” He pushed the bar down and then gently pushed Steiner toward the ladder. The knight grabbed the rungs and lowered himself slowly, while Blank motioned for everyone else to follow him.

“Hah, I mean…I remember the first time I met you, Steiner. You were the meanassed knight from Alexandria that made all the brothers kind of…stumble a bit. And I wanted so bad to guard you when we took you prisoner – it would have made my day.

“And Marcus got to guard you…bah, Marcus! The most dimwitted man I know.” He hoped Marcus was alright…and Beatrix. He hoped everyone in Alexandria was safe…and everyone in the whole wide world! “Baku was always stupid, trusting weird people, like Cinna. Cinna couldn’t swing a sword if his life depended on it – but somehow he always got to do the fun stuff.

“What’d I get to do? Deliver the message to Zidane…more like sacrifice my ass for Zidane. I got petrified for a whole damn week or something, and you know what – I still haven’t heard Baku give me a word of thanks for that – do you know what its like being a damn tree for a week?”

“Blank!” Steiner growled from the swampy ground below, and Blank woke from his rambling and looked down,


“Okay, you can shut up now. I feel better.”

“No problem…anything to be of service.”

“No I didn’t thank you. I just-“

Blank hopped onto the ladder and swung himself down to land with a squish next to Steiner, “What? See! No thanks from you either! No thanks from anyone anymore! I bet if gave Garnet to Zidane, dying to get it on he’d just ignore me. Am I invisible? Can you see me, Steiner?”

“Shut the hell up, Blank!” Steiner roared.

“Okay that’s it, I’m leading this expedition now.” Amarant called from behind him. “Power goes to Blank’s head.”


Steiner chuckled.

Thus the trip to the ice cave began.


*** Author’s Note: Kain again, I just realized that (I’m an idiot please shoot me) I’ve left out some day markers…which, I don’t know if anyone was paying attention to those anyway, but if you were – I probably just confused you so I’m sorry. Yes, there were three days between the times Menoth visited Zidane. Yes this whole story has transpired over a matter of ten days-2 weeks. :P

So anyway, I’m going to stop with the day markers since I messed up, I might revise and add them all correctly in later… Now you know. Back to the story.

Chapter 20

Final Fantasy 9 Fanfic