Chapter 8: Sinuous Corridors Of Faithlessness
Spiteful eyes are watching me...
With everything I do...
In the midst of darkness, Lord,
My spirit calls for you...
-12 Stones: The Way I Feel
Squall looked down to the crowd. The crowd that was making an awful cacophony of helplessness and panic. As Squall looked down, he saw another black-clothed assassin close in on Rinoa. As Rinoa spread her wings and pointed at him, igniting him in flames, Squall looked up as wind made him shiver.
Hyne, he thought, you... I don’t believe in your purity! You can’t be pure! I don’t want you to be here anymore! I don’t! If there was a “superior being” then why do we suffer so much!? Why do I have to watch everyone I love die? Cause of my sins!? Cause I’m a sinner? What do you want, my soul? My blood!?
Looking at his wounds, and feeling them now, as the rain started to pound against his gashes, he stared at the sky again.
I... hate you! Yes I do! I hate you and your so-called purity! There’s no need for a -purified- god! Us, as humans, me, as a soldier are doomed in our profanation of life! I... help me...
And then, he heard the peaceful music. A Hyne church, nearby. Squall vaguely remembered Hyne’s descendant in Rinoa’s “sealing” incident. He looked around, and right in the middle of the plains, was the metal walls of the church, the peaceful organ music coming out of it.
Why does it feel like this... is going to help me!? I hate it all. Hyne, I’m sick of calling you ‘great’, sick of you snatching away every angel you have put in my way, sick of you making me go through this all! I will not play it your way again!
Squall touched himself, saying “Float!” and jumped off the roof. Halfway, the spell wore off, and Squall experienced a free fall. Managing to find a tree underneath him, he got through it with his minor cuts turning into wounds. He got to his feet, hearing the rain slap on the muddy soil, hearing the lightnings crash, alongside with the roars of monsters nearby. Limpingly running to the Hyne church with his gunblade in hand, with tears in his eyes, with his vision blurred, he knew then; he wasn’t a lion. He was just a little chicobo in the midst of monsters.
He managed to get to the door of the church. He knocked on the door as hard as he could, each knock accompanied by a sob. Squall fell on his knees.
The door opened by itself. Squall went inside, tears still in his eyes, his gunblade felt like Ragnarok itself in his palm. He walked in as the peaceful organ music filled his ears, and the candles chased away the darkness a little bit. Still soaking, he managed to let go of his bloodstained gunblade, it fell on the church floor with a clatter. Squall lunged at the pedestal of the giant cross with an angel crucified on it- the holy symbol of Hyne. He knelt down by the pedestal, as tears of pain fell out of his eyes, and his damp hair dangled down.
“What are you doing here, my son?” came a soft voice.
The corner of Squall’s vision showed the hem of a priest robe. Squall almost lunged at the priest. He held on to the old man’s hands (one of them was clutching a stick), and looked up to him. He saw an old man- with blue eyes, and white beard. Almost no hair on him, but it made him look wiser.
“Father, help me!” Squall said, almost furiously, “Help me, father! Help me!”
“Your voice is young... Yet burdened with something terrible.”
“Father, help me!” Squall repeated, “I’m a sinner! I am a sinner! And now all of my sins come back to me!!!”
“Have faith in Hyne, my son.” The priest said.
“To Diablos with it!” Squall cursed, “By Eden, father, my faith doesn’t lie with Hyne!”
“Is that so?” the priest asked, “Then tell me, son, why are you in a Hyniast church? And yet, you seek help from me, a Hyne’s descendant?”
Squall could only look up to the old man with blank eyes. His eyes represented hopelessness, confusion, burdens... Darkness. Dark, dim eyes coloured in ice-blue stared at Hyne’s descendant.
“Whenever someone feels like they have been hurt, they seek their cloister in Hyne. Beleive in it, son, for the proof is around you- look at the world.”
“The world that’s made of corruption!? Of suffering? Of not life, but death!? I have taken lives, father, I have taken so many lives! I know the truth!”
“Tell me this, ‘truth’, then.”
“If Hyne was all so good, why are the people I love, dying in front of me!? My mother died before I was born... The people whom I have known died, I killed them! Who am I!?” Squall asked, as he bent down and embraced himself, his fingers tightening their grip around the arms of the trenchcoat, “Who am I? I’m a saint! I’m more a sinner than Diablos! I have taken lives! I took them! I’m an executioner! The judge and the jury have condemed me! Who am I? Why is all this happening!?”
“Hyne already has His condescension on you, my son.” Hyne’s descendant told him.
“Where is it? Somewhere I can’t see?” Squall said, looking up to Hyne’s descendant again.
“My son, if you seek atonement on yourself, I do not think, this is the place, that you should seek it.”
Squall just kept staring at him.
“May Hyne have his grace on you, son.” The priest said.
“May he not!” Squall snapped, “I have already confessed my sins! I do not believe in Hyne anymore! I don’t believe in Him! He doesn’t exist!”
“Such strong anger, from someone whom had been given many things.” Hyne’s descendant observed.
“Darkness, father, darkness! This is what’s given to me- a life full of darkness! Losing my way in the darkness with only a candle in my hand! To be the darkness, to fight with the darkness, to see it, to feel it in my soul! So forgive me, if I can’t find the faith you have found inside yourself for Hyne!”
“I will not be spoken like that! If you seek help, you shall learn to appreciate it, son!”
“I seek help, release from this sufferring! And whenever I get a brief moment, of escape, of release, the darkness grips me even tighter! I have no light left in me! I can’t do all this alone! And Hyne won’t give me His condescension, it’s saved for the rich-”
Hyne’s descendant, uncontrollably, slapped the young man in front of him. His hit was strong. Squall’s world shook as he fell off the stairs that led to the pedestal. His mind decided to shut off. Squall went unconscious and fell down on the church floor, and as the music went on, the candle lights flickered for an instant.