In his own words, Nooj tells of his first meeting with the other three involved in the Crimson Squad debacle.
The dates at the beginnings of the various entries into this journal are to be read as: year of the current Sin, month, day. So 197S9.8.42 is - the forty-second day of the eighth month of the ninth year of the one hundred ninety seventh incarnation of Sin.
So here I am, finally away from the hospitals and rehabilitation - finally free of all the people who want to touch me and tell me how to live now that I managed to miss dying by so narrow a margin. They think I should be so grateful and happy just to continue to breathe the air. Fools! When I was packing my remaining few possessions to come here to wait to see what would be done with me, I found that the communicator I ... er ... 'liberated' before my most recent encounter with Sin was still there, buried beneath some dirty laundry in the bottom of my duffel bag. It still works; they made those first ones strong - no doubt about that. I suppose, as a man of honour, I should feel guilty about retaining this device. I do not. We were instructed to salvage what we could from the dead piled like driftwood on the beach. Weapons and armor were in short supply - as usual - and so were all other useful items. Had I not picked up the communicator, the next tide would have buried it or taken it out to sea. So I did no wrong. I would have turned it in with the other salvage had I not forgotten in the rush as we moved on to the next assembly point. Now this thing is so battered and out of date, it is a miracle it still functions and no one but me is likely to want it. It is a metaphor for my life. Except that not even I want my life.
As I was about to say before I became maudlin and defensive, I have just discovered this communicator in addition to its capacity to transmit and receive messages has a device to record notes and reports. Since I have nothing better to do until I am given fresh orders, I think I will use it to hold my observations. Who can tell? There may come a time when it will be valuable to have some sort of reminder of what happened here and how. If it all turns out as badly as I suspect it will, there may be charges to be brought and it will be useful to have documentation of the facts as I see them. Now, I think I have the time stamp set properly ... Yes, that's it.
When the Crusaders decided they no longer had a place for me, they sent me here. Here being the Mushroom Rock Road where the Maesters are assembling some sort of cadre for some sort of special mission. The rumor is that they are planning to train a group of soldiers to take command over the decimated remnants of the Crusaders themselves. I had not heard that my old unit had been so misused although I am not surprised, given the stupidity of those who ultimately issued the orders. I think I would have been more surprised if any great number of my old comrades had survived this long. But there is no logic in the idea of taking a rag-tag group of disparate individuals and trying to turn them into disciplined Warriors who can command the loyalty of of hardened veterans. It would be wiser to create officers from the ranks as we always did. This entire project stinks of dishonesty.
Still I have no other place to go now that the vivisectionists are done with me, so here I am. The main gathering area is up the road a bit. It is so crowded I am unable to bear the stench and the constant touching which is the inevitable result of so many filthy men and women - they do not distinguish - crushed together. I left my name and the tone code for this device with the one who seemed to be in charge and came here to this place. Here I can make a nest behind the statue of the Hero and be alone to think about this thing they are trying to pass off as a plan.
I do not understand why I was no longer acceptable to the Crusaders. I have led men there and they have followed willingly, eagerly. True, I am no longer a swordsman; you need agility and accurate footwork for that. But I have trained with firearms of varying sizes and weights and am an adequate marksman in spite of the fact my visual acuity is not what it was. The spectacles atone for that. I can still hold my own in battle and I am sure soon I shall be able to dispense with the cane. I am still a Warrior ... they cannot take that away from me. Not ever.
The noise from down the road is increasing and I almost think I can smell the reek of the unwashed bodies from here. If they are this dirty now, I shudder to think how they will be when they are actually on the march or in bivouac. Disgusting. And this is what they say they are planning to use to make into an elite unit. It is a fraud. I do not know what they are plotting but it is not the formation of an elite force.
The one to whom I gave my name - he recognized it even though he did not dare to say anything to my face. I wonder how many others he will tell. 'Nooj, the Undying, is here, going to be a part of us.' I suppose I should have used another name. ... I may be developing a sense of humor - as if I could hide under another name. I may be the most recognizable man on the surface of Spira. Or maybe I flatter myself. I am going in circles with this.
I hear we are to be assigned to small groups. I wonder if they will name a leader or leave it to each group to choose its own. I hope I am not compelled to deal with amateurs; they get in my way and do not understand the code of the military man. And I have not the patience to teach them. Oh well, if they are amateurs, they will never realize what my real purpose is so that may work to my advantage.
Here I go again, theorizing without data. It will be better to sleep. Rest is always in short supply once training begins.
Today was a busy day. Finally something happened. I have been placed in a team with two amateurs - an Al Bhed and a Yevonite. The former is an arrogant one-eyed bastard and the latter is a more of a child than I feel comfortable having as a comrade in a fight. Naturally, they selected me to be leader and I had to bring them back here to my asylum. It is my duty to protect and take care of them. Damn!
The Head Weapons Master recognized me. He did not use my name, thank Ixion. But he knew me all right. And the Gippal (if I have his name right; it is a barbaric word.) creature kept staring at me. I do not know why. He is a vulgar man with no control of his behavior or his tongue. The priestling, named - Baralai? - is too gentle to ever make a Warrior; I must question him to learn if he has other skills which might suffice to gain his admission to this unlikely force. For some reason, I am reluctant to see him go.
We were given weapons, machina ones. I have a monster firearm which has more controls than a hover. It apparently shoots both pellets of some sort as well as flames. It is not like those I learned to use in the rehabilitation center, but I shall master its ways quickly enough.
The Weapons Master informed me, respectfully, that we can expect to be told where we will be sent for training in a day or so. And it seems the Recorders have been delayed at sea for some reason, probably the usual incompetence, and will not be assigned for several more days. All the normal efficiency of a camp run by the Maesters.
The other two are finally sleeping. Now I can get some rest. Why is that Cyclopean boor staring at me? I can feel his eye on me even when he is asleep. I miss my sword; a gun is no weapon for a real man.