Chapter Nine- A City Greatly Changed
Notes-Okay, let's talk about how to address Rynna or Tidus. Tidus can't just be a great-grandfather to Rynna, and I'll show you why.
Say Yuna had her child when she was eighteen, roughly a year after Tidus disappeared. That's year one EC. Now, say that roughly every thirty years or so, there's a new kid born into the family. That means there are four or five children in Tidus' direct lineage until Rynna shows up. That means that… (counts) He's her great-great-great-grandfather. I think. At least. So please keep that in mind.
And YES, I did notice that Valefor is female in the game. That's why I said the aeon had a friggin' sex change in my story! Hey, come on, aeons should have a FEW quirks in their lives, considering that they have nothing to do but fight Sin in the name of the Moon or whatever.
(Coughs) At any rate, please enjoy.
Where we left off-My turn again already? Yeesh. I'm busy being a summoner and all that, guys! Why can't you bother Ifrit or something? (Sigh) Anyway, somehow we ended up going from Kilika Island- i.e. perfectly on schedule- to being in the Thunder Plains, i.e. not on schedule at all. We're going to head to Do'sal- or what Tidus calls Guadosalam- to figure out what to do next. Hopefully we can do that, and keep my grandfather from going crazy.
Hey, lay off. He's been through a lot.
"White magic?" Tidus asked again, raising an eyebrow. "What's the point? Can't you just dodge it? Isn't that what the lightning towers are for?"
"The towers don't control lightning, Tidus," Alex said reasonably. "They just draw most of the lightning to them. Even updated as they are, there's a great chance of getting hit by lightning out there."
Tidus held his ground stubbornly. "Well, so what? Lightning doesn't kill; it'll just faze you."
"Maybe in your world," Darian said. "Not in this one." He glanced out at the storm with an unreadable expression before returning his gaze to the blonde. "Somehow the energy's been growing since Sin disappeared. A bunch of people living here are guessing that Sin actually drew on the power of the elements as well as the souls of those he killed to keep up his strength."
"An interesting theory indeed," Rynna mumbled.
"I just…" Amie began softly. "I don't want to have anyone hurt."
Tidus paused. Then he nodded. "Okay. It won't hurt. What're you gonna do?"
"While white magic might not work at its best against real energy, it'll definitely help us," Rynna said. "Amie's got two spells for us- Reflect or Shell."
"Okay…. What's the difference? Isn't Reflect strong enough?"
"Reflect will protect you from the entire lightning strike itself. You shouldn't take any damage… when it works. You see, it only works half the time."
Tidus blinked. "That's new. What about Shell?"
Amie spoke up again, looking out at the never-ending storm. "Shell will work no matter what happens, unless and until the caster of the spell uses Dispel upon you. However, you will receive half of the intended damage."
"I pick Shell," Rynna announced. "We can heal small burns, but I dunno about big ones."
Amie nodded, and cast the spell on her.
"Shell for me too," Alex said.
"I'll take Reflect," Darian said. "I have yet to be hit by lightning."
"Then it's more than likely you'll be hit now," Rynna said. She dodged a punch from her friend.
Brand shrugged. "Reflect."
"I'll take Shell," Tidus decided.
Amie cast all of them, then cast Shell upon herself.
Suddenly, Tidus said, "Wait! Why can't we use both?"
"It doesn't work that way," Amie explained. "If you try to cast both, they'll cancel each other out and be useless."
The blitzball player shook his head. "Weird. Magic sure has changed."
"It has been a while," Amie said gently. She began to reach out, as though she wanted to comfort him. Then she reddened and pulled back, looking back at the storm. "Well, uh, let's get going! We only have half the plains to cross, but the storm may worsen if we don't hurry." She ducked out.
Tidus blinked once more. That was weird…
Rynna nodded. "She's right. Let's get going."
"Sure," he said.
A sudden thought came to Tidus a while later, as they hurried from one Tower to the next towards Guado- er, Do'sal.
Why am I with these people?
That made him pause.
Granted, this is my offspring we're talking about here, but I've never known her before. And sure, the redhead's Wakka's kid, but… why should I care? Haven't I gone through enough?
"Tidus? You okay?" Darian called.
The blonde shook his head, then waved a hand for the others to continue. Darian nodded, and they took off towards the next Tower.
The thoughts continued.
I've been through hell and back multiple times. My world, my home, was nothing but a dream, with everything in it now completely nonexistent. Spira as I knew it with- with- dear gods, Yuna and everyone else- is gone, with my friends dead, because of Sin. Now.. now I'm back, and everyone's dead, and I'm here, and it's not fair. Why the hell do I have to put up with this again? Isn't killing that bastard onceenough?!
He bit his lip, closing his eyes for a moment. I shouldn't think this way. This is wrong.
But even then the thoughts persisted. Don't I deserve rest? Why didn't I just die in that nothingness? At least I'd have a chance to be with people I know! Why couldn't my dad have a second chance? Where's Auron- he deserved a second chance ten times more than me!
Stop it, he told himself. Complain and all that when you're out of this storm. Besides, what would Yuna and the others think if I just gave up and left my new companions to their fates?
With that, he forced the thoughts as far back as he could, instead trying to think on other matters-
-matters such as trying not to be hit by lightning, protective spells or no.
"Finally!" Rynna moaned, dropping to her knees. "We're safe!"
Amie followed suit, though she leaned much more gracefully against a nearby wall instead of falling over. Darian shamelessly did a belly flop onto the cool ground, sighing loudly in relief. Alex started rubbing at tensed muscles, while Tidus searched his pockets for anything that might help them all relax a bit.
"Cannot stop," Brand said, coming up behind him. Like the others, the Ronso was soaked to the bone, and he too was exhausted from running that last leg into the entrance of Do'sal. However, he apparently had much better discipline. "Inn. That way."
Rynna groaned. "Why do you have to be right all the time?" she complained.
"Ronso naturally right. Always," he said with a straight face.
"Right," Alex said, rolling his shoulders back and forth. "Damn, I need a hot bath or something…"
"After being out in that weather? No thanks!" Darian said. "I'll take dry clothes and a warm bed."
Tidus nodded agreement.
Rynna forced herself to her feet, using a nearby wall to aid her. "Man, and to think we'll have to go through that again to get to Macalania!"
"What?! Why didn't we just go there?" Alex demanded.
"Because," she said reasonably. "We need to pick up the girl playing Rikku over in the Moonflow, and then we need to head back to Luca and find the guy acting as Auron."
"You know, if Auron hadn't been sent that time, he could still play his role," Tidus remarked absently.
The others stared at him.
"Just a thought," he said, and turned towards the tunnels. "Let's head to the inn, eh?"
With that, the group slowly stood and trudged towards the underground city of Do'sal.
The city had obviously changed greatly over the last two hundred years. The only building that still stood in the same place was the house that Seymour and his fathers had lived in; now it was mostly a tourist attraction and museum, with the inside renovated to match the needs of the tourists.
The rest of it was vastly different, however. After the defeat of Sin, the Guado had nearly all been killed in a war against the Ronsos and humans for their leader's crimes. Some had fled to the Thunder Plains and the Barrens; others had created new hidden passageways in the city itself; some had taken refuge in Luca, where no battles were allowed except against fiends.
Others, of course, had elected either to stand and fight, or stand and allow themselves to be killed.
However, the battle had eventually wound down to the point where both sides were too exhausted, mentally, physically, and emotionally to continue. Then, the Guado had crept back into the light, and had eventually been accepted back into the world.
Now, the city was run by a council of Guado, though humans, Hypello, and even a few Ronsos could be found either visiting or living within the underground city of Do'sal.
Tidus seemed to be taking most of the changes in stride; the new eateries, the machina show being run where the old inn used to stand; miles upon miles of intertwining tunnels, and so on.
They found the inn about twenty minutes after wandering through the seemingly endless maze of tunnels and ledges. Said inn was run by a human with a very pale complexion and long, thin fingers. The nametag the human wore said, "Welcome to the Inn of Do'sal. My name is Grengan."
"You must be… the Summoner and her guardians?" he asked skeptically.
"Yes, actually," Rynna said. She forced a smile. "We're a bit early. Had some emergency business with an acquaintance in the Plains."
"Ah," he said. "Well, your reservations aren't until next month, I'm afraid." He looked a bit smug at that.
"What are we supposed to do then?" Rynna asked.
"Don't know, don't care."
"You'd better care, mister Grengan, or I'll call in the manager," Rynna threatened. Darian, who stood behind her, looked like he was ready to laugh.
"Would you?" The man said. He looked a little less smug.
"Indeed. We have reservations, and we'll take them or I'll complain to the entire city," Rynna said.
"Hmph. You know, Lady Yuna would have been a bit more polite," the man said, a little miffed as he scribbled something on a legal pad nearby.
"Maybe, but what about her guardians?" Tidus asked. "I can guarantee a Summoner's Guardians could be very persuasive if they wished."
"Whatever," was their answer.
But the group didn't care- they now had access to three bedrooms and the local baths, and were ready to relax and plan their next move.
The next day, the group sat around in a circle with Rynna pointing at a map. They sat on the floor of the room she and Amie had claimed the night before, and for good reason; the carpeting was soft enough to have been a quilt.
"Here's how I see it," Rynna says. "There's not much choice but to backtrack the way we were supposed to come. The guy playing Seymour's probably pissed off greatly that we're not showing up yet. Today I think we were supposed to meet him and Auron as well."
Nods came from all around the circle.
"So. We march all the way back to Luca, picking up our buddies, and then try to request an airship flight back to Macalania. I'm sure people will understand, especially with Sin being for real nowadays."
"Yeah," Darian agreed. "But what about while we're here?"
"Huh?" Tidus asked.
"Shouldn't we visit the Farplane?" Alex suggested. "Not just to visit and say hi to our family and old friends, but to get some advice, too?"
"Advice?" Tidus asked. "But the pyreflies only show our memories, don't they? Not the real-" he stopped when Rynna shook her head.
"When Sin disappeared, the Farplane seemed to wink out of existence for a while," she said. "Then, when it came back, we could see our families again. And I mean the real ones, not just our own memories. We can truly speak with the dead now."
Tidus swallowed. "So I… could speak to Yuna? And the others?" he asked quietly.
"Far as I know, yeah," Rynna said.
"Oh," he managed, blinking rapidly as he swallowed again, this time much more audibly.
Rynna gently squeezed his shoulder. "Hey, I know it's going to be tough on you. If you don't want to go, you can wait outside," she said.
He shook his head. Then he said, "No. I have to realize they're…. That they're gone."
Darian scratched the back of his head, looking slightly embarrassed. "So. Um, should we go now, or later?"
"…" Amie only watched Tidus and Rynna, trying to gauge their enthusiasm for the idea.
Tidus said, "Now, before I freak out."
Rynna nodded, and the others did as well before they stood and headed out towards the Farplane.