[Warning: This chapter contains spoilers for the game.]
Fang had never thought that something as small as a no windows could make someone so nervous, and yet she found herself pacing back and forth in the tiny room.
But that’s not why she felt so nervous. It had been two days since she had arrived here, and four since Euride. But still there was no sign of Vanille. Today Rygdea had gone into Bodhum to search for her, but it just served to make Fang more nervous. Neither Rygdea nor Raines, nor anyone but her knew how little time Vanille had left. While she was here doing nothing, Vanille’s mark was evolving. She had to regain her memories and complete their Focus before it was too late.
She didn’t want to get captured by the army, so she had agreed to stay on the Lindblum. But this was wasting time she didn’t have. It might be dangerous out there, or foolish to go out among all those soldiers, but it was better than waiting here doing nothing. Fang opened the door slowly, and peeked out into the corridor.
There weren’t many people in the hallway during this time of day. Most of the soldiers were at their posts, the rest were sleeping. Yesterday she had been bored, and left her room, but she soon got lost. She had thought to find someone and ask them where her room was, but no one was to be found. After an hour of wandering throughout the ship, she finally found her way back to her room.
No one was in the corridor, just as she had thought. Fang ran. She planned to find the small ship they had brought her here in, and escape with it. Though she didn’t know how to use it, she hoped that it would be the same as the airbike. All she had to do was get on it, and it would work out somehow.
But, no matter where she ran to, the ship was no where to be found. Every direction she went in was a dead end.
If she had known this would happen, she would have searched more around the ship the day before. She could have told someone she was bored, and had them show her around. Except for Rygdea, everyone else thought that she was only a guest of Raines’. If she had asked they would probably would have agreed.
“Failed again...” Another dead end. Fang sighed at the cold metal wall in front of her.
“Failed at what?” A cold voice said behind her. Raines. “It would be a bit of a problem for you to go wandering about you see, so we put up barriers. All the doors near the catapult area you need to unlock to get through.”
They knew what she had been planning, Fang thought as she bit her lip and glared at Raines.
“Army planes and ships wouldn’t be as easy to use as as a civilian airbike. You couldn’t just get on one and hope for the best. Even as a l’Cie, there wouldn’t be much left of you at that speed.”
“I see.” Fang quickly glanced around the area. No one was there. If he was the only one here, surely there was something she could do...? Even if she couldn’t defeat him, perhaps there was a way to neutralize him.
“There is something I want to show you... no, want you to listen to. If you want to fight, go ahead, but we can do it afterward.”
“Sure, you just want to buy time until your men arrive. Like I’d believe that?”
Raines burst into laughter, shaking his head. He grabbed his sword, and held it out to her.
“I’ll give you this. If any of my men arrive you can kill me, take me hostage, whatever you like.”
“What...” Fang said, taken aback by the sword he offered. ”Are you stupid!?”
“Oh yes, most likely.” Raines said calmly, turning back around and motioning for her to follow him. The will to fight left her. Gripping the sword tightly, she followed after him.
It was the same room from two days ago, when they had taken her blindfold off after departing the smaller ship. That room. But, perhaps because she had grown used to living on the ship, the lowness of the ceiling no longer seemed strange to her.
“So? What do you want me to listen to?”
Sitting in a chair, Fang fiddled with the sword. She had no intentions of stabbing him in the back, but she wasn’t about to let go of her only weapon. If he did anything funny, she would use it on him.
Raines switched on the device that sat on his desk, explaining nothing of his actions. A loud crackle sounded from the machine before voices filled the room.
“Don’t you think it was a little too early to take down the barricade around Euride?”
“But if we held it too long, the citizens would begin to worry. If that happened then there will have been no reason to have hidden the existence of the l’Cie.”
Two men spoke, one young and one old. No... the one was probably not that young, just younger than the other one.
“What... is this?” Fang said. Raines put his finger to his lips and motioned for her to listen. The younger man continued.
“We could at least continue to investigate until the l’Cie is captured...”
“Already rumors are circulating that what happened at Euride was no mere accident. If we kept up the barricade and investigation, those rumors would only grow.”
The voice of a woman interrupted him. It was the same woman who Raines talked with two days ago.
“If it’s information you’re worried about, there is a way we could manipulate it.”
“And by that, you mean people will only listen to what they want to hear? What foolish people.”
Just who was this old man? She could figure out that he was someone with a high rank, but just who did he think he was, looking down on people like that?
“That is the representative of the Sanctum, Galenth Dysley. The other two are lieutenants Rosch and Nabaat of PSICOM.”
Fang remembered, that woman’s name was Nabaat.
“But I just received a reprimand from fal’Cie Eden. They have said to not hide the truth from the people. It seems the fal’Cie was displeased with what I was doing, even though it was for the sake of the people.”
“Fal’Cie Eden said...?”
“Yes, they said to lift the barricade, and to cease the investigation. They wish for the lives of the people to return to normal.”
“That’s madness! There are escaped l’Cie out there, who we haven’t even found a trace of let alone caught. If we leave them be they could go and destroy something else!”
“I agree, but I am nothing but a spokesperson for the fal’Cie. I cannot go against their commands.”
A blip sounded, and the conversation cut off as suddenly as it had begun.
“Our inside man was recording it.”
That explained why the sound had been so odd. A hidden mic. Even so, though he had said they were opposing factions, she hadn’t thought he would go so far as to record their conversations. It seemed the rivalry between PSICOM and Raines’ Cavalry went deeper than she imagined.
“This is the real Cocoon, where the primarch of Sanctum thinks of the people as nothing but sheep.”
“Primarch? Was that the old man? Is he that important?”
Raines nodded as if the thought pained him. “The person with the most power in Cocoon does only what the fal’Cie commands. As long as Cocoon remains under the rule of the Sanctum they are nothing but the livestock of the fal’Cie.”
“So why have me listen to this? Do you want me to say, ‘oh, I’m sorry’?”
He ignored her sarcastic comment, and continued: “You say you have forgotten, but there can be only one Focus for a l’Cie of Pulse to complete on Cocoon: defeating the Cocoon fal’Cie.”
“It could also be the destruction of all Cocoon.”
“Do you think so? If that were the case, what would be the point of you waking up within Cocoon itself?”
It was true, she had thought it strange that they had been brought up here. And with fal’Cie Anima. It had made her think that perhaps her Focus wasn’t to destroy Cocoon itself, but to destroy it’s core.
“You see it all fits if you think of it that way. Which must mean you have the power to destroy fal’Cie. That is a power we want for ourselves.”
The power to destroy fal’Cie? Did he mean he wanted the power to destroy the Cocoon fal’Cie?
“Please, I want to ask you to lend us that power.”
“You want to destroy the Cocoon fal’Cie? Aren’t you a soldier of Cocoon?”
“I don’t want to stop at just fal’Cie Eden, I want to destroy that puppet government as well.”
Fang had thought he just had a rivalry going with PSICOM or Nabaat, but it seemed it went much further than that. He was against not only PSICOM, but the Sanctum.
“But we’re your enemy.”
“Both of us are enemies of the Cocoon fal’Cie. Enemies we might have been originally, I think we will be able to form an alliance under these circumstances.”
Raines’ eyes were serious. He wasn’t the kind of person who would say such things jokingly.
“Are you okay with that? If you borrow our power, you’ll betray Cocoon.”
“I’ll do anything to achieve my goal.”
Now she understood. The reason had worked so hard to help his enemies, was so that he could go up against someone even more powerful.
“I said I was searching for my friend. I’ll only make a decision after we’ve found her.”
“I understand. We’ll do anything we can to help find her. I just don’t want you to make any rash actions.”
“You want me to sit still and be a good girl? For how long?” Now that she knew what his aim was, now that she understood him, she was willing to listen.
“As Dysley said, they’ve lifted the barricade and stop the investigation. PSICOM will remain in the city for a few days, but security won’t be so tight.” He held up three fingers. “Just wait three more days.”
“What happens in three days?”
He told her about the fireworks festival. That’s right, Fang thought, they had heard talk of it in the city. It was a huge festival where people from all over Cocoon came to see the fireworks.
“On the day of the festival, the security force will be policing the grounds. PSICOM will also be there, but unable to move against you. You will be able to mix in with the tourists and not stand out as much.”
Vanille would probably still be okay in three days, Fang though, nodding.
“I’ll stay here until the festival. Just one thing...”
“I still haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to help you.”
If their Focus was to destroy Cocoon’s fal’Cie, then it would be helpful for them to join forces with Raines. If not, it would only waste precious time. While Vanille’s mark was still alive, every second counted. They couldn’t give those seconds to the enemy. Until her memory returned, she couldn’t make a decision.
“That’s fine. I’ll wait until you’ve met up with your friend, and then you can give me your answer.”
Even if they found Vanille, she wouldn’t be able to give him an answer unless her memories returned. But she wasn’t about to tell Raines that.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
[Warning: This chapter contains spoilers for the game.]