To Appease The Gods
This is a start that I know I’ll believe in,
So I’m leaving everything behind and I breed to be a better kind.
New beginning again, a bit closer to the end.
Starter- The Cardigans
It was so cold and dark there, seething with emptiness the likes he had never experienced before. Before him lay an endless void, a dimension that escaped him as he clutched for a shred of understanding. It offered none as the expanse continued on for as far as his eyes would allow. He knew he had finally arrived, but was unaware of the qualities he would encounter. He was going to do it, though. If for no one else but for her, he would do it. This would make her happy. He knew it.
He took a step forward, still noting the nothingness that loomed all about. He perked his ears up, hoping to catch any sort of sound, but was rebuffed as his soft breathing caught his senses only. Tucking his hands in his coat pocket, trying to remain calm, in a vain attempt to show coolness even now, he began to walk.
Seifer Almasy wasn't scared. He was never scared. He was just... unsure. Yeah, that sounds better, he reasoned. Tough guy for life, even though he's shown his vulnerable side many a times.
Since Ultimecia's defeat, he wanted to reform. That sounds so formal, he thought. Simplest answer was the best explanation, though. He was tired of being the bad guy. Tired of everyone hating him, who he turned into. How else could he have people understand him without doing this thing? He wasn't evil. Sometimes he chooses the side that will allow him to fulfill his dream, but it doesn't deem him evil.
It's a sad thing what he did. Even he recognized the serious repercussions of his actions, immediately after that act. To kill a god was nothing short of evil in the gods eyes, and in the eyes of onlookers.
But what's done is done, right? Time to move on, face facts and only hope that his actions will go on being forgiven. Even for this grave transgression.
The killing of Odin.
As Ultimecia's special protector, she bestowed upon him powers mere mortals shant possess. The energy that was surging throughout his body was nothing that would be permanent, only exhausted as he continued to use his newly found energies. Meeting the Master of War, Sir Odin himself, he knew his fate would be sealed if the old warrior carried out what he knew to be so. So he attacked. He attacked a god and killed him.
He watched the withered form of Odin crash onto the floor, shocked more than anyone that he had just committed such an atrocity. But he was Seifer Almasy. Nothing ever shocked him, or so his reputations dictated that nothing would. So he rode off of his own arrogance, masking the horror his inner persona was screaming at. This disgraceful act would surely make his aggressors anger rise, giving them want to defeat him even more so.
Especially Squall. Reason enough for him to want to kill him many times over.
He had no choice but to run away as they pressed on him so fiercely, so violently.
He'd been walking for several minutes now, the empty void proving to be overwhelming for even his senses, the mask of calmness slowly slipping away. He cocked his head quickly in several directions, swearing that he heard something. Something coming from... somewhere.
Then a low rumbling was heard off in the foreground as the sound intensified every second till the source of such magnificent force seemed as if it was above his very head. He looked up and couldn't help but gasp.
Descending upon him with the lack of any speed involved was Quezacotl, the bird's silvery green body shinning radiantly as electrical currents seized every area of her body.
Not even more than ten feet did the magnificent bird stop and hover in front of the awe struck Seifer, electrical currents trying to reach out to him. Stupefied that this magnificent creature would be this close to him, he stepped back, to give himself more room from himself and the creature. That's what he told himself. But he knew it to be because of sheer fear.
No eyes or mouth could the young man see on the creature's face, yet words were clearly heard ringing throughout his head.
"Whhhhyyyyyy arrrreeeeee yyyyoooooouuuuu heeeeeeerrrrreeeee?" the creature said within his psyche.
Swallowing some before replying, he said, "I want to apologize. Ask for your forgiveness."
"Reeggggaaarrrdddiiinnnngggg?" it pressed, knowing the thing he wished to discuss.
Holding his head as high as he could, he mustered, "The death of the Master of War, Odin."
A howl as loud as anyone could tolerant resonated throughout his head as the creature rose high into the void and dived underneath the "ground" Seifer was standing on. The howl continued to ring throughout his head as he dropped to his knees, clutching his ears, trying to save himself from going deaf, though the sound was inside. Moments later, it ceased, and Seifer saw that he was alone once more.
Gathering to his feet, he looked around and called out the mighty bird's name. Nothing returned his inquiry. He began to walk a bit more before he felt his person begin to shake. Looking down, he could see the blackness begin to turn red in color, stretching out and staining the blackness more than a few feet in front of him. Stepping back, the ground erupted in red, molten rocks as a huge form emerged from it's core.
He floated several feet in front of him, fire erupting from even his eyes as they stared at him without let up. A slight grunt emitted from him with every breath he took, disgusted to see such a man stand in front of him. His arms lay to his side, fist balled.
"You came to make peace, mortal?" the fire god spoke quickly, anger backed by every word uttered.
"Y-yes.” Seifer stuttered. He tried to remain calm, cool. But it wasn't working to his advantage.
"You, the human that killed Odin dare enter into this realm?" he spat back, still seething with anger.
He could only nod this time as his answer.
"Answer me this, mortal,” he questioned as he raised one of his hands to his face. Soon, a fiery ball formed and hovered about, the sparks too intense to even glance at. "What prevents me from hurling this at your form?"
He knew that he wasn't jesting in the least, and the answer he gave had better be a fine one. He never had a flair for words before, though. And this was no different. Thoughts escaped him as the simplest answer could only ring clear in his head. "Because I'm hurt and troubled by what I did. I wish only for your forgiveness." he yelled, without malice.
It was simple. And it was true. Ifrit loomed there for a bit, slightly disappointed that he not test him, allowing him to end this pathetic mortal's life right then and there. The two stared at each other for a moment before the god began to descend into the pit into which he emerged from. The voracious fiery chasm closed with a loud clamor and spewed out several molten rocks which Seifer barely avoided before completely closing.
In it's wake stood Carbuncle, the smallest of the summon monsters, one of the protectors that aided all. Level headed in reasoning and thinking, it's young look and appearance deceived many mortals before Seifer's time, as it age was older than many of the other Guardian Forces.
It began to walk, hobble more or less, to Seifer, between the molten rocks and debris left by Ifrit. Once the stout creature reached Seifer, it motioned with one of it's hands to come closer to him as he plopped to the ground. Seifer bent over as the small god spoke, "Sit."
He complied and crossed his legs as he did so. The creature’s greenish skin seemed to be so soft and his red, beady eyes peered into the very soul of Seifer. Those red eyes. Just like hers, he thought.
The being continued to study his features, trying to understand his reasoning. He was a very complex mortal, Carbuncle determined. "You come to make amends, to make peace?" the summoned monster questioned. "Why?"
Seifer felt a wave of calm enter into his soul as he looked at the creature. Maybe it was the aura it exuded. Maybe it was because those eyes reminded him of her. His thoughts were much clearer now, able to think and reason on what led him to come here in the first place, though.
Beginning slowly, he said, "It was because I knew I was wrong, even when I did such a thing. I knew that it was something that couldn't even be ignored because of my selfish want to do my lifelong dream. To be a knight and protector for my princess."
"And who is your princess?" the tiny monster pushed onward. "The one with the black, long hair?"
"No. Not Rinoa. She was nice, but it's not her." he replied. Looking down, realizing that this sounded new to even him, he spoke softly, "It's Fuijin. The one that was always there for me. The one that stood by my side even during hardships."
"Then why not protect her?" he immediately asked, voice still soft and warped some. "Why not protect her instead of the evil that was Gaiden?"
"Gaiden?" Seifer asked puzzled, looking up at the Summon.
"The one you call Ultimecia. Why protect her instead?"
"Oh." Seifer mused. "Because Fuijin doesn't need my protection. She could always take care of herself."
"Really?" again it responded without hesitation. "Is that what you believe?"
"I know it to be so." It was Seifer this time that responded immediately as well.
"Is that so?" Carbuncle again asked as he snapped his fingers, and his body instantly contorted and melded into a ball of water that hovered in front of Seifer's person for a bit before dropping to the ground. As soon as it did, all it's water was released from inside and spread through the expanse on which Seifer resided on. Standing up immediately, he wiped the water off some as the water level rose only for a few inches.
Melodic music was soon heard from behind him as he turned around to see Siren, one of the most beautiful goddesses he ever chanced to lay eyes on. She lazed on a rock that seemingly rose from the ground, lying on her stomach, holding her head in her hands. She smiled as she saw the young warrior and gestured for him to draw nearer.
As he walked, she spoke as delicately as any woman could ever speak, "Dear warrior, you think you cannot protect the one you love?"
Love?! He was slightly taken aback by this, trying to feign slight ignorance as he asked who was it that he was to love so. She laughed slightly at his question, and began again, "The one you label as Fuijin. You think you cannot protect her, your "princess"?" She still held onto a soft smile, awaiting Seifer's response.
"I... I never said I lo..." Seifer started, trying to defend himself once again.
Her laugher was enough to interrupt him as she held her head back some this time, unable to contain the humor this mortal possessed. Finally able to relieve herself from her limited entertainment, she again began, "Of course your won't admit it, Sir Almasy. You’re too proud to do such a thing. But it's true. Why else would you come here? To try to seek forgiveness if that wasn't the case, hmm?" Her smile was so wonderful and sweet and Seifer couldn't help but agree to the true things she spoke.
"But why do you love her, Sir Almasy? What makes her better than Rinoa?" She wanted to know.
Turning his head away for but a moment, he started to think, to explain how he could tell her. Tell this goddess Siren that Fuijin was the only woman who seemed to care for him. Would do his every bidding, though he knew it to be wrong. Made him feel special and held a certain affection for him that no other woman helped him feel. Not even Rinoa.
Siren moved her head from side to side as she read his expressions ever so clearly that he needed not form the words to explain what was in his heart. "I see," she replied, still smiling ever more so. "So, why not protect her as you sought to protect Ultimecia?"
"She didn't need protecting," he again replied as he did to Carbuncle. "She’s strong enough and can take care of herself." He hoped the answer would appease her enough. But it didn't.
"That's not the reason." Siren said, sitting up on her rock, the salty sea air that accompanied the water blowing her hair behind her some now. The sea creature looked at him, still smiling, her body exposed, breast in full view, her mermaid form’s fin moving from side to side slowly. Seifer didn't allow himself the pleasure to gaze upon her body though.
"Every woman needs some protection. Some sort of feeling that someone cares for them. A knight who loves them and who cares for them the way I know you would be able to, Sir Almasy." she spoke with words that rang certain truths to Seifer. "Why do you not look upon my body, Seifer? Many mortals before you have said that I am the fairest of all women on your plane of existence."
Seifer remained locked on the beautiful creature's face, eyes not looking elsewhere. He would feel hurt had he felt something for another woman. As he already did twice. Once with Rinoa. And once with Edea then, Ultimecia. He felt he betrayed Fuijin each time. How she coped, he'll never know.
She smiled as the reasoning was so clear and obvious to even her. "It's because you love the one called Fuijin. That is why. Is this why you are here? Do you think you can make her happy by doing this thing, Sir Almasy?" she spoke surely and passionately.
"Yes." was the only thing Seifer could utter. To make her happy by being a good knight. Renouncing my evil ways once and for all. His thoughts spoke.
"Do you think that she'll love you because you would do this thing?" she asked him.
"She already does," he replied softly, looking away some.
She continued to smile as she once again asked him this thing he refused to give answer to, “But I want to know why you feel she doesn’t need your protection, Sir Almasy. You still have yet to respond.”
He still couldn’t bear to look her way, fiddling with his hands some now, trying to give an answer she would be satisfied with. “I guess.” He began, mumbling some, “I didn’t want to… Protect her before because...” It was too hard to explain this thing to the exquisitely fine creature that sat before him, his thoughts clear, but the words mangled. “Suppose I were to loose her? Even as a friend? I… I don’t have anyone else, any other girl like her. I was afraid to cross that line, I guess.” It was the best answer he could manage.
She smiled some before saying, “Sounds like human thinking. Human worries. Dear Seifer Almasy, try not to allow your mind to play leader over you at all times. Let your heart lead the way for you once and a while.” Cocking her head to the side, she continued, “Like your allowing it to do now.”
He looked up at her at that last comment, realizing that it was true. He was doing most of this, if not for himself, if not to please SeeD, and even for these gods he labeled as summon monsters, but for her. He could only nod at her, taking to heart what she just mentioned.
The smile remained on the goddess face, never letting go. Changing the subject some, she said, "Let me ask you this, dear Seifer. Do you think Odin would live on forever?"
Looking back to the beautiful sea creature, he answered surely, "Of course. Summon monsters can live forever."
She giggled at this response. "Can we?" she questioned him.
He watched her until he felt something fly past his head, the wind that it carried tussling his hair some. Looking around the place, he finally looked back at Siren who pointed behind him. Turning around, he saw something so terrifying, even he screamed in shock.
It was Diablos, and accompanying him was various little winged monsters, demons perhaps. His wings glided along the currents that suddenly picked up and he laughed, a laugh that was as deep and evil, warped and resounded more than he could have ever imagined it to be. It seemed to be dancing in the air, fueling off of Seifer's fear more than anything else.
The winged monsters that were Diablos’ doing flew around Seifer, cackling and laughing at the thought of this human here, in their midst. Standing next to Diablos was Cerberus, the three-headed hound, muscles ripped throughout his body. Diablos ceased his laughter momentarily to look upon him before beginning to laugh once more. Looking back to the scared Seifer, he asked, "You think that we are eternal?!" His voice was gravelly, backed with a slight echo the whole while.
Small amounts of smoke emitted from the beast’s mouth as he waited, a seemingly grin on his face, wanting an answer to come from Seifer.
Knowing it was his turn to answer this one, he replied a bit unsure, "Yes. That's what I was told." It was the only answer he could give.
This caused Diablos to laugh once more, humored at this mortal’s ignorance. "Nothing is eternal! Nothing last forever! Nothing is more surer than death! Me!!!" The greatness laughed again at this young one's ignorance to the matter, as did his little winged creatures. The ones that were no longer flying over his head and that had rested by Seifer's feet pointed and laughed at him, also shocked by the young man's ignorance.
Soon the laugher began to wane from the huge creature as he gazed upon him once more. "Even Odin was destined to die in his lifetime. All warriors die. Even you, mortal." the beast smiled at the thought.
"That might be true..." Seifer began before he was cut off.
"Might?! Might?!! It is true, boy! Nothing will ever live and survive as long as I exist. And this is something that will always be." he bellowed, his creatures making agreeing noises.
Holding his head down, trying to gather the proper words, he again attempted, "It is true," he began, but stopped short, wanting to make sure the god wasn't going to interrupt him once more. When he allowed him to speak, he continued, "It's true that all things will die. Even me. But, I know I shouldn't have been the one to end Odin's life. I was not destined to do so, and I know this."
A small grin crept up his face as he knew the young man to be sure of this. Knew him to feel a deep sorrow for the thing he had committed. "Even the most unlikely thing can kill, boy." he spoke low and in a even tone as a the winged monsters that stretched out before him made room as a small Tonberry walked ever so slowly to him.
Seifer knew what such a creature was able to do. The power it possessed, and he wanted to move. To get out of there, but his muscles proved to be too stubborn at the time. He watched slowly as the Tonberry was soon not much more than two feet in front of him, the knife this god would often carry around still shimmering in his hand as the oil lamp produced it's light that was held in his other hand. Closer, closer, and then it stabbed.
And Seifer's world went dark.
He didn't know how long he was out, was dead he assumed. He was still a bit confused where he was, but it was empty. That same void stretched out before him that he recognized from before. The pain in his side was great, and looking down, he saw the wound released large amounts of his blood, staining the white coat he wore, and his pants and shirt. He continued to lay there, not even enough strength to hold his wound.
He lay there as the implications of what Siren said still resounded in his head. That it was true. He really did love Fuijin. When everybody doubted him, she was always there for him. Even when he was going to the extreme, she wanted to help him, make him better. She would tolerate his attitude, his outlook of life, but she didn't like it, and he knew that.
Maybe it was when Ultimecia was defeated that he recognized that he loved her more than he could imagine. The fact that she wanted to help him even with half of Garden wanting his head. She always held steadfast to Seifer. Always. And he knew it to be because she looked to him more than a friend. She loved him more than anyone else.
Why, though? That same infernal question plagued him even as he lay there, trying to figure and put it all together. She loved him and he never knew why. He probably did know why, but the GF use probably neatly erased that thought from his psyche.
But realizing that she did love him, that she did want to do the good things in life again like before when she and Raijin and Seifer were apart of the disciplinary committee, was when his want to do good, reform and change, came even stronger. He made a formal apology to the Garden, did everything he could to make amends and show that he wasn't the enemy anymore. It was probably the hardest thing he ever did, changing his whole person around.
Cocky, arrogant, aggressive, competitive. These were all his fine qualities he'd grown to like, and was forced to throw them all away. All because of one unlikely woman whom he knew he loved but never admitted to. Women can make you do the craziest things, Seifer, he thought.
This thing he was doing now, talking to the GF's as if they were near was something that was outlawed by the R&D team of Balamb Garden. It was proven that GF's could inflict memory loss, and their use became more and more restricted. But, something like this was completely banned.
Talking to them. Junctioning a GF and going into sort of a trance, allowing you to talk to them. Seifer went all out and junctioned them all, hoping to talk to whoever would allow him too. One wouldn't. Two wouldn't.
Crap. he remembered saying as he just juctioned them all together. No GF guide ever related an experience like this ever occurring and Seifer didn't know how this would affect him, but killing Odin troubled him more than he ever put on.
That was his idol. He often read about the god, the summon monster and wondered if him to be true. The power this god had was something that intrigued Seifer to no end, a true warrior. A true knight. Seeing him ride on his eight legged horse though, running to him full speed that day, he knew it to be truer than anything he could recall and also knew his fate if he didn't act.
He didn't want to do it. But he was left with little choice. The blow was sure and deadly. And the god was no more. And apart of Seifer was also no more.
Since then, no GF would offer his help. He was since a SeeD once more, and when he went off on away missions, almost lost his life several times as the GF's he was junctioned to refused to offer their assistance. He knew he needed to do this thing. To gain their respect once more and to also apologize and mourn for causing the death to the greatest warrior.
But, it seemed that he wasn't going to be offered the chance as he lay there on the cold nothingness, blood still seeping out of his system. Closing his eyes, he thought that this was what death felt like. To die as an icy cold wind caught his senses.
Looking straight up, he saw Shiva, hovering with her body stretched out over his, looking and peering into his eyes, not more than a few inches from his face. She was also magnificent in appearance, her icy blue skin seeming to glisten some. He could do nothing but look back at her person and watch her she began to speak.
"You care about the death of Master Odin? We thought your heart to be as cold and icy as the touch of my skin." she said evenly, her icy breath cooling the sweat droplets from off his face, moving her hand to brush against the side where his gash lie.
He flinched some at the icy touch, but locked his gaze on the icy queen before him. "He was the greatest." He spoke. "And I killed him, through powers not my own. But I killed him nonetheless."
She allowed her hand to hover around his affected area for a bit as she continued to speak, "But, as Diablos said, he was to die soon. You seem to be not the one to care about such things. Why do you care?" Her head moved slowly from side to side and Seifer could be nothing less than entranced by her blue eyes. Her lips brushed his nose twice as she moved back and forth, examining all the features of his face.
"I... I do care. I tried to hide it." he whispered.
"Why?" she asked inquisitively, moving her head up in slight surprise at his answer.
"Because... that was the only way I knew how." was his only response. And it was true. He only knew how to mask and hide the emotions that he held within himself for so long, people assuming that he was the monster he portrayed that he decided to keep his real zeal and love of life a secret.
"That could have been the death of you, Seifer." the cold queen responded.
"I know," he acknowledged, turning his head away slightly.
She said nothing as she only continued to stare at him, waiting for his eyes to return her look. He finally did turn and gazed into her eyes as she rose slowly from off him and began to float away.
His wound didn't hurt as much anymore and he struggled to his feet, looking around the place, trying to see if he could still catch a glimpse of the ice queen. But she was nowhere in sight. Hand on wound, he looked around, wondering who else was going to question his loyalty. His integrity.
That's when he saw his shadow extend and reach out as far as he could see, light emanating brightly from behind him. Turning, he saw the bird, the life giver Phoenix float before him in magnificent glory and honor. Her wings stretched out wide on both sides and feathers, small and large fluttered to the ground as they flapped slowly, holding her place. The orange light was a marvel to behold as Seifer covered his eyes some to the creature's strong aura.
"You come to make amends? With yourself and with us, little one?" it spoke, voice soft and child-like.
"Y-yes, Phoenix." he whispered.
"You wish for all sins and pass transgressions to be forgotten and wiped clean, little one? For you to be able to start anew?" the creature again asked.
"Yes." was all he could muster.
"And you do this because you feel wrong? You feel that things should be different than what they are, little one?"
"Yes." he again replied. "I know I can't change the past. But I can seek forgiveness. I wish to have your blessings."
"This is something you wish us to bestow, little one?" the creature again asked.
"Do you swear to protect lives then? Do you promise you will always do what is just for the rest of your mortal existence, little one?"
"I swear it, Phoenix." Seifer could only reply.
The bird hovered there for a while, contemplating what it was she was about to do. Finally, she spoke, "Very well. All your sins and pass transgressions are now atoned for. Leave this plane of existence and go back to yours, protecting what you deem as proper and right."
Seifer could slowly feel his wound heal, the blood leaving him and even retreating from off his clothing. He looked back at the bird, letting the glory fill him some as he said, "Thank you, oh great Phoenix."
The bird merely floated there for a moment before saying, "Go now. Behind you."
And there sat Bahamut, the expansive dragon's wings resting across the void. Looking at him, he heard the Phoenix’s voice say, "Ride him out of this place."
He walked over the beast and looked at him some before boarding his back. The beast made not a verbal sound as his wings began to flap and the two rose high into the air and then began to move forward. The immense speed the King of Dragons was moving at was much greater than Seifer could ever imagine the beast to move and struggled to hold on for dear life.
Soon, Seifer could start to see tiny dots laced around and about the darkness he knew could only be stars until the mighty beast completely stopped mid-flight causing Seifer to be thrust off. As he fell, looking up at the Dragon god, he knew this to be the end and only wished that he could see her again. To tell her that he loved her. To tell Fuijin that he loved her.
And then... he woke with a start, on the floor of his room, gunblade to his side, with it junctioned to the core with Guardian Forces. He sat there in a cold sweat, still fully clothed.
Was it a dream?
No. He knew it had happened. He went to their world and asked for forgiveness. And they accepted it. They understood him and helped him understand himself more than he ever thought possible. He accomplished his first task to his new life, and to make things better. Now, he only had to continue making it better. They gave him their blessings and he wouldn't forsake such a thing.
He struggled to his feet and walked over to the window and looked out, watching the stars fight for a spot in the sky as a slight cloud layer crept along. They gave him forgiveness. Gods in his eyes. If they could forgive him, anyone could. It would take hard work... but it just might happen.
He would talk to Fuijin. Tell her how he felt. That he loved her. No matter the outcome. He needed to get it out in the open. That would be the second significant step to his new life. After that?
He grinned as he looked to his junctioned gunblade. "Whatever the gods see fit."
Notes D’ Auteur
I’d been wanting to do a summon monster story for the longest time, but no inspiration, and I wasn’t about to force it. So I put it on the back burner for years. But after I wrote So I Pulled, I really had the creative juices going, so this came out. I’ve always wanted to do a Seifer story, but not in the same angst way everybody else’s been doing. Making him want to reform, but for a cause, his love of Fuijin really helped this along and allowed me to put many pieces together.
Something that I was really working on was the imagery as well as distinct personalities. Came across pretty darn good, in my opinion (which doesn’t really count). In any event, though, I think this turned out for the better and I really hope you guys and gals enjoyed this.