[Warning: This chapter contains spoilers for the game.]
“What did you say!?” Fang made a grab for Raines’ shoulder, but Rygdea stopped her. She was so angry she didn’t even notice.
“We’ve been ordered to leave Bodhum. We won’t be able to stay in this airspace any longer.”
“You...!” They tried to apologize, but the words flew passed her. “Let me off this ship! Let me off now!”
Searching for Vanille would be hard, she knew. That was why she had stayed on the ship like a good girl. She had even been grateful to them. But now this...?
“Calm down? Calm down!?” She tried to push him off her, but Rygdea didn’t movie an inch.
“PSICOM’s forces are arriving. I’m sorry, but all their weaponry is made specifically to go against people and creatures from Pulse. It would be suicide.”
“Do you think I care!?”
“Do you want to die!?”
“Of course!” It would be better to die than to let Vanille become a Cieth, to abandon her.
“We haven’t lost all hope.” Rygdea said quietly. The argument died on her lips. He seemed uncomfortable, and his grip on her relaxed.
“What!? But you just said...”
“I said we would have to leave the area, but I didn’t say we would stop searching.”
“It’s the same thing!”
“You just want to find your friend, right? Then there shouldn’t be a problem if you meet up with her somewhere outside of Bodhum.” Raines said.
Fang looked over at Rygdea, confused, but Rygdea himself was giving Raines a puzzled look.
“Sir, what do you...” Rygdea started to say, but closed his mouth. Fang wondered if he understood what Raines meant.
“The Sanctum has made the decision to Purge everyone in Bodhum to Pulse. Not only residents of Bodhum, but every single person currently in the area.”
The announcement would be tomorrow, he continued, and they would began to move people out on the day after that.
“Surely not...” Rygdea whispered, his voice hoarse. It seemed the truth was far worse than he had imagined.
“They’ll be brought to Hanged Edge by train, and then they’ll be sent to Pulse.”
It was the borderlands of Cocoon, Rygdea explained. No one but monsters lived there. In fact it was forbidden for citizens of Cocoon to enter.
“If your friend is in Bodhum, she’ll be sent there on the Purge train. We currently can’t go anywhere near Bodhum because of PSICOM, but what about if we found her in Hanged Edge? And I’ve heard that the Vestige containing the fal’Cie will be moved there, so I’d assume all of their efforts will go towards guarding that.”
“You’re saying we should pick Fang’s friend up off a Purge train? Sir, that’s...”
“Stupid, you think? However...” He looked straight at Fang. “Even if we stop searching now, you will still be surrounded by our enemies. Right?”
“Except you’re still an enemy.”
“I thought I already explained this. We want the power to take down the fal’Cie... the Sanctum.”
“Yeah, I heard. Do you think I care about your power struggles?”
“This isn’t a power struggle... that’s not what I want.”
“Then what is it you want?”
“To not be kept as sheep. Not just for myself, but for all the people of Cocoon.”
Fang thought she saw something deep within his eyes. It was something that she had seen somewhere before.
“We’re humans. We have our own wills, our own feelings, our own ideals... to be human is to rule over your own heart. We aren’t just tools of the fal’Cie.”
Then she remembered, where she had seen that look before. It had been in the eyes of those people who had their homes destroyed by the Cocoon fal’Cie. The color of pain and despair. Fang’s eyes may have looked the same, even now. That was why she had no regrets in becoming a l’Cie.
“We will use all of our power to find your friend. That I promise you.”
“But sir...” Rygdea tried to cut in, but Raines stopped him with his hand.
“This is just another part of our work. Because these people had the slightest brush with Pulse, their lives are being destroyed. We cannot just ignore it.”
“Well... only because you insist. Even though I think this plan is the stupidest among stupid plans. But I’m only going along with it because it’s not impossible”
Rygdea always spoke lightly, but Fang saw that he was serious. They would be saving Vanille from a train guarded by members of PSICOM who outnumbered them in both soldiers and weapons. It wouldn’t be easy, and might mean the Cavalry would have to make sacrifices.
“Then I owe you...” Fang closed her eyes for a moment and prayed. Prayed that their Focus would be to destroy the Cocoon fal’Cie, that they would be able to fight together, that there would be no mistake in making that decision. “Then when we meet up with my friend... with Vanille, we will help you. We will use all of our power to crush the Cocoon fal’Cie.”
Raines smiled slightly. She still couldn’t tell what he was thinking, but she decided that was okay. As long as they were fighting together, that would be enough.
The Lindblum landed on the surface of Lake Bilge on the day the Purge train left Bodhum. It was hard to hide a large airship in the environs around Hanged Edge, so they decided to land here and use smaller vehicles to get closer to the train. That was the plan.
“Just a little longer...” Fang whispered, glancing down at the water of Lake Bilge spreading out beneath her. She was riding in one of the smaller vehicles towards Hanged Edge.
“Yep, just one more hour and the Purge train will arrive. Then we’ll all have a big happy reunion.” Rygdea joked. Then, just out the window, Fang saw a white bird.
“That bird...” She pointed, but the bird was already moving off into the distance. It’s white wings disappeared into the clouds. Fang remembered that she had seen it when Rygdea had captured her. She had thought she would be held captive, but because they had taken her she had managed to remain safe and was now going to rescue Vanille. This really was a bird of luck.
It would be okay this time. She had even prayed to those legendary fireworks or whatever they were. They would find Vanille... they had to.
“Nah, it’s nothing.” Fang smiled, and turned her eyes forward. Hanged Edge was close now.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
[Warning: This chapter contains spoilers for the game.]