Categories > Games > Final Fantasy X-2 > The Confessional - Continued

Part Sixteen

by Ikonopeiston 1 review

On board the ship, the team discussed rumours of a new weapon and the coming of a Calm

Category: Final Fantasy X-2 - Rating: R - Genres: Drama - Characters: Baralai, Gippal, Nooj, Paine - Published: 2005-07-31 - Updated: 2005-07-31 - 2402 words

The Confessional

Part Sixteen:
Still tossing around on this bloody boat. I have made an interesting observation. When she has been standing near the railing, Paine's skin feels like it has been sprinkled with fine sugar granules and she sparkles as though she has been coated with very small jewels. Then when I lick her shoulder, I can taste the sudden sharpness of salt. She is intoxicating at these times. I can never get enough.

A strange rumor is circulating this morning. After all these years of despising the the very concept of mechanical innovation and declaring the use of it is the sure and certain path to perdition, the spokesmen of Yevon seem to have fallen all of a heap and embraced machina as the salvation of the world. There is talk of a gigantic weapon, commissioned by the very highest of the priesthood and built by the most advanced engineers of the Al Bhed - now, there's a mixture made in a particular ingenious hell. This device is supposedly one so powerful and so destructive its very appearance will frighten even the current manifestation of Sin before blasting it to vapor and so do away with the temporary and inefficient Summoner pilgrimages. I wonder how Baralai feels about that? ... I have many doubts about this fairy tale. If such a thing existed, why would they wait for nine years to bring it into play? Why let Sin despoil the cities and villages for nearly a decade before using the weapon they have had at hand? The stories I am hearing say this thing has been hidden somewhere within the extensive properties of the priesthood for many, many years, that it was originally designed to destroy Sin and was not actively considered for use until now because of undefined questions. Supposedly it is being dragged out somewhere along the Mi'ihen highway and will be deployed there. No one seems to know exactly what this mighty weapon is supposed to do. Is it a gun? A bomb? A ray device? No descriptions, no explanations. It may be a giant automaton designed to wrap its arms around Sin and love him to death. Bah! I despise idle rumors. And I am curious as to how this rumor began.

Incidentally, I found one of the younger Maesters wandering alone last night. He is no more. So some of those whose bodies are now baking under the sands of Bikanel are avenged. That leaves five Maesters still on the ship. With their servants. It would be helpful to know what they think became of their missing member. Of course, people from the inland areas are prone to fall off slanting decks at sea. I have to place my cane with care to avoid having accidents of that sort myself.

The pathetic half-dead would-be soldiers below decks are all excited about the possibility of a grand new weapon which would destroy Sin without the need of another sacrificial offering of fighting men and women. They are dreamers. I do not know what the Mighty Philosophers of Yevon have in their plans now but any persons who could put so much stock in the Judas pistols cannot be planning an honorable way to end this current infestation of Sin. They have something nefarious to gain, mark my words. I just wish I could find who started this story and why.

Baralai has made his rounds and nobody who was under his care died during the night. Much to my astonishment, I must include myself in that register of the living. The medication works better each day. I do not have even the slightest touch of nausea and the pitching of the deck does not disturb me in the least. The lad could market these things in port cities and make his fortune. Of course, he needs to get them down to a somewhat smaller size if he expects women and children to be able to avail themselves of their benefits. The ones he made for me are big enough to swallow a small child rather than the other way about.

My team is very much at ease with one another this trip. The discomfort engendered by their greater understanding of who and what I am seems to have dissipated, a fact for which I am glad. I must be careful not to disturb their hopeful minds again. They still have faith, a luxury I long ago discarded.

Last night, we four lounged around on deck, enjoying the cool air and the sweet scent of the ocean air before bed. I don't remember how the topic came up but we fell to discussing airships. Paine is longing to fly on one. I didn't know she had that desire. I suppose that may be what will take her from me. The other two suggested, lightly, she would make a good pilot. I think they were teasing; with Gippal one is never certain. He claimed the job of engineer on any airship Paine piloted and Baralai, because he had read the stars with me to set our route in the desert, yelped he would be navigator. I had not joined in the game. I do not care for imaginary adventures; the real ones are quite enough to occupy my time and energies. Instead I was leaning on the railing, ruing the time which was passing more quickly than I might wish. They converged on me, demanding what part I would play in their dream. Paine touched my arm and, looking into my eyes, breathed the word 'captain'. That is what she sometimes calls me during our bouts of passion. I was surprised to hear her say it in that special inflection and tone before the other men, although they have called me that as well, and demurred. They insisted I would make a splendid captain since I looked the part and would not have to do anything except stand around and project authority. I muttered something inane about working them to death and that shut them up. Shortly after that, I took Paine by the arm and let her away to show her who her captain truly is. We both enjoyed the lesson. She takes much pleasure in being dominated at times. I think it is because she is so commanding in so many ways it comes as a relaxation for her to yield the reins to another and be controlled. Not always. We are very much equals in our appetites and the games we play in privacy are just that - games, conceived for our mutual delight. Her neck is four kisses long.


I must exercise better discipline over my thoughts and more control over my tongue when I dictate into this device. That woman consumes a disproportionate amount of my time. Well, that idle chatter last night confirmed one thing - they have finally learned to think of me automatically as their leader. I no longer have to slap Baralai or bully Gippal to get the respect to which my rank and experience entitles me.

I have had a private talk with Baralai to ask him if he wants me to put in a request to have him assigned to either the medical or the chaplaincy corps when the testing is done. He has become a more than adequate fighter but I can see his heart is not in it and would help him into a more compatible slot if he wishes. He declined with courtesy and thanks, explaining that he and Gippal were going to try to get assigned to the same squadron if possible. Never underestimate the power of love. I did not disabuse him of the idea he and Gippal would have any say in the matter. Poor lad. He does not understand how a real army works and he is not likely to so long as he remains in the service of the Maesters. As he was leaving, he slipped a small parcel into my hand. When I opened it, I found a generous supply of the pain-relieving capsules. So that's what he was doing yesterday afternoon on the aft deck. I am touched by his concern.

Damn! I have led men before. I have spent my life leading men and women into war. None of the others ever affected me this way. Did Sin destroy something in me more vital than my limbs? Is it because this is so small a company? Cursed if I know. What I do know is I care for them; their safety is of great importance to me and I do not want to be parted from them, not even to take command of a full component of Crusaders. They have become something more than my comrades-in-arms, something I have not had for a very long time. I am unwilling to believe I am thinking this way but I do not want this to end.


The food here is execrable. I cannot understand how sailors get fat. It takes a masochistic bent to eat enough of what comes from the accurately named 'mess hall' to sustain one's strength, let alone gain weight. Only this one more night and we shall be landed on firm ground again and be able to forage for something palatable. I am looking forward to Gippal and his miraculous way with cooking fires. Heh! I wonder to what part of the mainland we are sailing and if the foraging will be good. It will be pleasant to have something completely different to eat.

The sun is dropping below the waves as I stand here talking into this machina. I am usually impervious to the extravagantly admired beauties of nature but even I must confess there is something nearly magical about the sight of the glowing ball of our sun slipping into what appears to be a gigantic cauldron of water, casting reflections in all the colors the eye can distinguish across the undulating surface. Were I inclined toward belief in a divinity, I think I would choose this globe, the sun, as the object of my worship. It is indifferent to man while still offering examples of those qualities which best befit a man: stability, strength, consistency, protection. I wonder if the sun has honor... I wonder if the sun ever wants to extinguish itself in its nightly bath and have done with it? If it is ever tired of the endless round of duty ...



Another evening of comradeship on the deck. I think we shall miss these long evenings even if I do not miss the movement of the ship. It does not sicken me this time but I am uneasy in my footing and am anticipating the feel of the solid earth again.

We have talked at some length about the use of a legendary weapon in the current war. The hints which have circulated all day have made talking about it unavoidable. Gippal, naturally, defended it as not only a possibility but as the inevitable result of years of development by the Al Bhed who have been working on the creation of machina to take over the less satisfying jobs required of humans. They are obviously well on their way; they created me.

Baralai kept insisting the entire story must be a falsehood. He does not believe the forces loyal to Yevon will ever change enough to fully accept machina and most certainly not as super-weapons. He was willing to concede they have moved further than he would have thought toward the use of such devices as guns and - he gestured toward me and blushed. But, he maintained they will never use heavy munitions of a type not sanctioned by their deity. Paine amused herself by tossing in a word where it will have the most provocative affect and I? I have contented myself with recording the fact an argument took place. I do not permit myself to become enmeshed in politics or other idle disputes.

Later, the talk veered around to the subject of what peace might bring. None of us is old enough to have a perfectly clear memory of what happened immediately after the last Sin was conquered although we all can think back to before this most recent menace arose. I suggested there was a verifiable difference between a world newly at peace and one which had known peace for a number of years. It is my opinion that the inhabitants of a society recently delivered from danger behave with more care and circumspection than those who have largely forgotten what peril is like. As a Warrior, I fear the Calm will be a time of tedious caution without any savor. As one who is seeking Death, I dread a time when there is no honorable way or place to die.

When I expressed these sentiments, there was a great outcry from Gippal and Baralai who, separately and together, hooted it was incongruous that one such as I - a Taydrcaagan as they call me - should be concerned about being bored. They are illogical in their amusement. They have no concept at all of what my motives and feelings are. I cannot understand why they think it strange a man hunting an exit from life should dread the ennui of universal peace. What do they think made me choose to be a Warrior in the first place? Why do they think I was so glad to see the Sand-bear in front of me in the desert? They are a thoughtless pair - but they are young. Paine just looked at me. She has the unnerving ability to read my thoughts most of the time lately. I refused to meet her eyes. I know she thinks her failure to woo me from Death is an indication of the shallowness of my feelings for her. I am unable to tell her it is only her existence which has preserved mine. My tongue will not form the words my mind would have it say. Habit and training are too strong within me.

The pause was not so long as the time it has taken to relate the thoughts passing though my head during the silence. Gippal turned away and invited me to exercise with him and Baralai. It was said only in passing so I do not remember responding but stood by the railing, bathed in the breath of Paine.

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