I Will Remember
by Lassarina Aoibhell
Disclaimers and Such: I am in no way affiliated with Sony or SCEA or any other related division of that company. The characters and places belong to Sony, not to me. This fic contains some spoilers, so if you haven't played the game all the way through, you may wish to steer clear.
Last night, the Moon that Never Sets had glowed blood-red. The Moon Child had descended to the earth.
In a small human village in northern Gloriano, they celebrated. It had taken less than a century for humans to forget Emperor Diaz's warnings.
She had not forgotten.
They thought the Moon Child was a blessing. She knew better.
The Moon Child's coming was only a blessing for the suicidal.
The party in the village was beginning to wind down, its participants wearied by alcohol and antics. It was time to strike.
In actual time, it took her less than an hour to kill everyone in the village and reduce it to a flaming ruin. To her, though, it seemed to take days.
Her glittering rapier lifted, then fell, splitting a young man in half. Again the blade flashed. A woman fell, her throat slashed. Somehow, amid the death and blood and screams, she managed to divide her mind so that the "battle insanity of the Dragoon" raged on unchecked. Her conscious mind was horrified, but she couldn't allow that to stop her. So she set aside her horror for later.
It had to be done. Just as, a hundred years ago, she had had to leave Zieg behind on that lonely, windswept ledge, forever a part of the stone. She had had to leave him to his desolate resting place.
The necessity of the present wouldn't assuage the pain of the future, but it could delay the pain enough to get the job done.
She paused and looked around her. She stood literally knee-deep in a carpet of bodies and blood. The silence in the village was total.
A faint whimper alerted her. She whirled and struck. The dark-haired little girl crumpled to the ground, her wide blue eyes already dimming.
Moving slowly, stiffly, Rose checked the village for survivors. She found none; whatever her other faults, she was thorough on the battlefield. She looked around one more time, then staggered out of the shattered ruin, throwing Burn Out and Gushing Magma items behind her. The village erupted into flames.
She somehow made it a half mile down the road to the small camp she had set up before sunset. Moving like an automaton, she stripped off the heavy dragoon armour and wiped it clean of gore. She had barely finished the gruesome task when her self-disgust and horror won out over her control. Stumbling away from the camp, she vomited over and over again, until there was nothing left to throw up. She backed up slowly, trembling, her muscles rigid with tension as she fought to regain her emotional and physical control.
A thick lock of her black hair, sticky with blood not her own, fell across her cheek. Unwillingly she thought of the little girl who had been the last of her thriving village to die. She pictured the blue eyes wide with shock and denial...and wondered why that face, that one face out of an entire village, clung so stubbornly in her memory....
Zieg's eyes. The pain in that thought drove her to her knees.
That little girl's eyes had looked just like Zieg's.
She might have been ours...
She should have been ours, dammit!
ZIEG! Why did you leave me?!
She didn't realize she'd screamed the words aloud until she heard them echoing back to her on the wind, felt the way they tore her throat.
The echoes faded. Silence descended on the camp like a smothering black cloak, eerily punctuated by the faint flickering crimson light that reached out from the burning village, a malevolent grasping force.
She wasn't sure when she began to cry. The racking sobs tore at her body. For the first time since she had watched Zieg turn to stone, her iron grip on her emotions shattered. She wept for them all now as she could not then, for the lives and dreams that had been shattered in the last battle at Kadessa.
Most of all, she wept for the little girl with Zieg's blue eyes and her own dark hair, the child that would have been hers, should have been hers.
The child she had miscarried after that last battle, her body too wracked with pain and exhaustion to hold on to that small life.
Exhausted, she curled into a knot on the ground, not caring that she was still covered in blood. The icy chill of the Gloriano autumn night twined around her. She paid it no heed.
Soa, your Fate for us is a cruel, mercurial whore, she thought bitterly. You killed my friends, my lover, my child....and now make me a murderer.
The image of the village burning, the sight of the piled bodies, was engraved upon her mind. She had taken no physical damage in the fight, but in her soul there was a gaping wound, and she was slowly bleeding to death.
What's the point, Soa? What's the fucking point?
I can't do this. I promised I would...promised so that their sacrifices would never be in vain...but I can't.
She pulled herself slowly up into a sitting position, resting her dark head against her drawn-up knees. I could join them. My sword has tasted plenty of blood tonight. Is mine worth more than theirs? ....Less. I killed them because in my arrogance, I thought that I knew what was right. Who am I to question Soa?
Another mental voice seemed to interrupt the mental monologue. So, you fought the Dragon Campaign for nothing? They died for nothing?
We fought the Dragon Campaign to free Humans from Winglies! It had nothing to do with the Moon Child!
And how free will they be when the Moon Child destroys them?
She didn't know how long she sat there in the cold, struggling with her guilt and fear and pain. Finally, stiff with chill, she dragged herself to her feet and looked up at the Moon That Never Sets, which leered down at her mockingly. "Fuck you," she said out loud. "FUCK YOU, SOA! I will keep fighting. For them. And I will remember every village, every face, every life. Because the day I stop remembering is the day I cease to be human."
"I will remember."
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