Operation Mi'ihen: Aftermath
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Gatta runs from his life and future and finds there is nowhere to hide. FFX
DISCLAIMER: Final Fantasy X and all its characters are copyrights of Squaresoft. I don't own them! (Although if I did, I'd be filthy rich…)
Author's notes: This is a re-write of a very old version of my original fic, “Operation Mi'ihen: Aftermath”. I cleaned it up and improved the overall quality. ;P But here's the old notes, just for kicks:
After the failed Operation Mi'ihen, I was so sad when I spoke to Gatta in Djos Hearing him on the verge of tears as he informed my party of Luzzu's awful fate is what inspired me to do this short piece.
Enjoy, and for Yevonsakes, read and review—I wanna know what you think. Your feedback, good or bad, is important to me, ya?
The formatting here still pisses me off...
That was the only thing on his mind at the time—to get as far away from it all as he possibly could; to escape the pain, misery, and suffering that devoured the land in its frigid embrace of death.
The young Crusader picked up his pace; he only allowed himself to hear the sound of his blood pounding in his ears—he didn't want to listen to any more of the agonizing moans by those of the wounded, on the brink of death; he
didn't want to heed the mournful prayers of his comrades…
He refused to acknowledge to any of it.
The boy focused his clouded eyes on the dust-covered road ahead. He forced himself to ignore the bodies still scattered across the beach like a child's toys—he didn't want to look upon their suffering faces. Still in shock of the whole ordeal, he feared the harsh, stinging slap of reality it would bring to look into their eyes.
He pushed on, disregarding the light and airy feeling in his numb mind. His spindly legs trembled and burned like the fires of Hell and threatened to give out from underneath him as he tore across the rocky cliffs. But he couldn't allow himself to pay mind to the pain.
Cold, knifing terror had sprung upon him like a fiend out of bushes and instantly devoured him in its chilly waves of darkness, to drown him in apprehension.
It crushed his heart and now feasted upon his very soul.
He continued to run.
To escape the dread, the agony and betrayal…
Terror had claimed him prisoner in its cold steely shackles and for the first time in his life he felt paralyzed and helpless.
After the battle, once Sin had vanished beneath the dark seas off the Djose Shore, he foggily remembered combing through the death and destruction. Desperately he sought to locate his beloved commander, the man he looked up to and admired to no end.
He couldn't remember much of the things he saw before that moment.
But that moment…
That single moment in time when he caught sight of the familiar figure lying trapped beneath snarls of twisted metal from the main cannon—that moment was forever stamped in his brain as clear as day. It stood out so vibrantly, and so very badly did he wish to forget…
He choked on a frightened sob as he recalled the vacant look of pain wrenched on his commander's face; the stagnant odor of the warm blood that had pooled beneath him that stung his nose; and the realization that his dear commander, his friend and consort, had been torn in half—the metal had fallen and cut him clean through.
All at once, the young Crusader had felt his world shatter and crumble down around his feet. Heart in his throat, he remembered whirling around and running away.
What was he to do, now that he was by himself? How could he continue on the struggle to defeat Sin without Luzzu's soft-spoken guidance? How could he keep on the harsh road of life without his constant companion?
He felt the dark and cold shoulder of abandonment, and the bitter taste of treachery on his tongue.
Many a Crusader sacrificed their lives today, all in hopes of vanquishing Sin forever. They did it beneath the blessings of two Maesters, all under the name of Yevon. They left their homes, their wives, and their children all in an attempt to protect them and to give them a Spira worth living in.
Yevon turned his back on them all and left them to die.
Yevon allowed Luzzu to perish…
…Yevon killed him…
Why was he the one to suffer the consequence for the Maesters' transgressions? How was it that Luzzu was sent away to die for nothing, yet the ones who permitted Operation Mi'ihen in the first place lived on?
Why did Yevon take away his comrade's life and leave him to face the world alone?
…Why didn't he die too…?
As hard as he'd tried to keep it away, the agony slammed over his defenses like a tidal wave overcoming a tiny boat—his last moments with Luzzu were spent in anger and resentment.
He hated himself for raising his voice, for getting frustrated with his commander's orders…
He despised himself for ever thinking ill will of Luzzu, and for arguing with his instructions.
And it made him feel even worse when he remembered the patient, understanding tone Luzzu took with him when he reinforced his commands, and the way he gently tried to persuade him into doing what he was told:
Guarding the Command Center is important too, you know.
The boy's lungs seared with pain and felt as if they were going to explode; he kept running. To where, he didn't know and didn't care. He squeezed his dry eyes shut for a moment and fought the rapid gasps that tried to claim him.
Luzzu knew the mission was a failure all along—he knew he was going to die that day—when the young Crusader thought back on his last moments with his commander, it hit him:
That look Luzzu's melancholic blue eyes had while he responded to his frustrated and disappointed rants—it was as if he was silently saying his final farewells, should the operation claim his soul.
All along, he knew.
Luzzu sent him to guard the Command Center because he didn't want him to get hurt, or worse…
He found he'd reached a dead end, as now he stood before the large and ominous Lightning Mushroom Rock of Djos He couldn't escape his pain—there was nowhere left to run. Trapped and exhausted, he shakily walked to one side of the Rock and crashed onto the ground. Violent shivers consumed his body as reality slowly set in.
He drew his legs up to his chest and buried his face in his knees as he sat. His breath came in shallow gasps and his eyes stung with an acidic tingle. He hugged his legs tightly and shook his head violently—a final attempt at rattling away the truth.
Dull sunlight faded out of the clouds and touched his dirty armor with a faint and lifeless glimmer. It was a hollow attempt at comfort by nature; but it only made him feel worse. Hot tears spilt down his dust covered cheeks; they left dark, wet trails in their wake.
Burying his face deeper into his numb skin, Gatta wept in hysterical silence for the first time in years.
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