04 May 2014

The FanFic of Dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom!

This ficlit was inspired by game play in the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game Final Fantasy X|V and all races, settings, and organizations are copyright SquareEnix, used in accordance with licensing within the game.

My name is Friday. I’m a Sergeant Second Class of the Immortal Flames. I was stationed out at Forgotten Springs when the long range patrol from Little Ala Mihgo came in. They’d clearly seen some action, so after we got the wounded off to the healers, I invited the Sergeant leading the patrol to come and have an ale with me on the rooftop. As we sat there, he gazed out over the springs, watching the U tribe going about their business.

Suddenly, he sat up straight. “That woman,” he said. I followed his gaze. “The one with the blue hair,” he amplified, which made it clear for me. Most of the U women have white or grey hair, so the one he meant stood out. Then again, this particular woman would have stood out, anyway. Not because she’s big… she’s a tiny little Miqo’te, hardly comes up to the bottom of my breast. But the U, well, they like to dress for mobility, and this woman, she was throat to toes in metal.

“Lieutenant C’mell?” I asked, just to clarify.

“Lieutenant, is it?” he responded, thoughtfully.

“Why ain’t she wearing a uniform?” asked one of my Privates, a big boy recruited out of Little Ala Mhigo.

“Special Expeditionary Force,” I answered. “Not like you and me. They get the hard jobs.”
The recon Sergeant nodded, took a pull of his beer. “Let me tell y’all a little story,” he said. “Now, this here’s a no-shitter. About a month ago, we were running dawn patrol down south-east of Little Ala Mhigo. You know the Amalj’aa like to attack with the coming of the great fire….”

“That’d be dawn,” I said, to forestall the question I saw forming on my Private’s face. I pointed at the sun. “There’s the great fire.”

The recon Sergeant just nodded, and then went on, “You know that promentory there. Always makes me nervous to cross it. A gorge to the north, a gorge to the south, and nothin’ but the rope and plank bridges to get you in and out.”

I nodded. I’d been stationed at Little Ala Mhigo too.

“Well, we were almost to the second bridge when we spotted ‘em. Half a dozen Amalj’aa, trotting along pretty good, carrying those giant bows they got. Running with an arrow on the string, looking for trouble. I took a look at the situation, and figured what the heck… six of them, six of my boys, we could probably take ‘em.” He took another pull of his beer, and set the empty stein down.

I obliged by refilling it. “I’d’ve made the same call,” I agreed, to keep the story moving.

“And you’d’ve been wrong,” he said, quietly, “just like I was.”

“Ambush?” I asked.

“Yup,” he said, picking up his stein again. After he’d had a drink, he went on, “we got stuck in among them, and we were doin’ okay, when our drag man yells out that there’s more of ‘em behind us. I take a gander, and sure enough, here comes another half dozen trotting down from the north. Don’t know when they got back there, but there they are. To warn the other fellows, I yell out that we’re surrounded. I figure it’s time to sell our lives dear, you know?”

I nodded. I’d never been in the last-ditch fight, but every Flame knew that the likelihood was that sooner or later we’d fall into one. Most of us figured we’d rather take a bunch of the enemy with us to Thal’s hall than to get captured and tempered. Most of us.

“Then I hear this voice screaming ‘Take two!’ and out of nowhere, there she is… swinging down off a chocobo. And… I swear this is true… it ain’t a normal chocobo. Damn thing’s got antlers!”

I saw the look of incredulity on my Private’s face, and I nodded. “S’true,” I said. I grinned. “Of course, it’s part of the chamfron she puts on it. She calls that chocobo “Light-trail,” and it’s trained to fight with her.”

The recon Sergeant nodded. “You know what the story is with that battle cry?” he asked.

I shook my head. “It’s not like we’re on a first name basis,” I said. “Mostly what I say to her is ‘Yes, Lieutenant,’ and ‘right away, Lieutenant.’”

My Private snickered. “I’d have a few things to say to her,” he said.

“Make sure your next-of-kin paperwork is up to date,” the recon Sergeant said. “We’ll send your effects on.” He paused to make sure that had sunk in with the kid, and then went on, “So she yells, ‘take two!’ and swings down off that chocobo. And there she is… that antique shield on one arm, and the sword in the other fist, and I swear to you… suddenly there’s blue lightning coming up out of the ground, and she’s glowing. Light so bright it blinds.”

I nodded. “I’ve seen the Sultansworn do that,” I agree.

He looked at me, sharpish. “She’s Sultansworn?” he asked.

I shook my head. “Nah,” I answer. “But you see that armor she’s wearing?”

He turned his head, watching her. She was standing near the bridge over the stream that leads down to the hot springs, laughing with a black-haired Miqo’te girl. She was wearing that shiny metal, and the leather under it was Torama skin. “Yeah,” he said, a question in his voice.

“You know how the U call their warriors the ‘Rangers of the Drake’? Well, the C… that’s the Coeurl tribe… they used to call their warriors the ‘Sentinels of the Pard.’”

“Used to?” the recon Sergeant asked.

“There ain’t no more C tribe,” answered one of the recon Privates, a big green Roegadyn lass I figured had her own reasons for being a long way from the sea. “Leastwise, not the way there’s a U tribe. Used to be. A little fishing village they had, up Northeast Thanalan. Nice little place called Cape Westwind. There’s a Castrum there, now.”

I nodded. “Story I hear is that when the Empire came, the younger version of the Lieutenant was off doing her test for entry to the order of the Sentinels. She comes home triumphant, to find that she ain’t got a home no more.”

I saw the Privates take that in. The recon Sergeant nodded. “Rough,” he said.

“So what happened to your ambush?” my Private asked.

“What do you think happened?” the Sergeant said, looking disgusted. “We all died. Our bones are out there right now, bleaching away in the sun.”

“She saved them,” I said, taking a sip of my beer.

“That she did,” the Sergeant said. “And afterward, she just mounts up on that chocobo again, and trots off south toward Zanr’ak like nothing happened.”

I nodded, and finished my beer.

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