Spoilers: Yes, both games
Notes: Remember back when I took requests to write character sketches? No one asked for this one, but it came to me, in force, as I was re-reading the latest chapter of Aftermath today, and demanded that I write it. Set between the games.
One foot in front of the other. Step by step, grass swishing against legs, the stars of an unforgiving sky looming over him, sliver of moon rising over the mountains, fiends crying in the distance, a staff gripped by fingers stiff with cold.
Isaaru had waited his whole life to make the trek across the Calm Lands, but he'd never dreamed it would be like this. Alone, truly alone, no guardian by his side, no fayth at his call. No prayers of Yevon at his back, no Final Summoning awaiting his arrival. No one to believe in him, and nothing left to believe in. Spira was saved, by the hand of another, by a hand he would have stilled, given the chance. Everything had changed; nothing had changed.
What was left to him, a Summoner with nothing to summon, a defender of Yevon when Yevon had nothing worth defending?
"Come with us," Maroda had said, standing in the door to his chambers, a rucksack over his shoulder. "Nooj has some really good ideas about the future, ways to make a clean break with the past that don't involve pretending it never happened."
"Stay with us," Baralai had said, looking up from his desk in the library. "We will need your support to pull Trema down from power, to sweep the influence of the old Yevon away from the new."
Two paths, two futures, two dead ends. He could not go, but no more could he stay, not with the shards of shattered spheres turning to dust into his hands, blowing into nothingness to match the empty spaces left in his heart.
Only one thing seemed to remain to him, and that was to finish what he had started two years ago, a lifetime ago: his journey to Zanarkand. The pilgrimage was over, but the call remained. What awaited him there, he could not say, but it had to be better than this. Anything was better than this: a world divided into those who sought to repudiate the past, and those who sought to destroy it. He could take no part in either.
And so he continued, the only way he knew how. Resuming his pilgrimage, one foot in front of the other, passing through the last of the tall grasses and onto the stones of Mount Gagazet, heading toward the ends of the earth, where he might find himself at last.
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