Division of Determination
By: Koorino Megumi

This is my response to a 1000-word or less drabble challenge from my friend Chevira Lowe. It takes place between X and X-2. Enjoy!


"So you're really going through with it?" Maroda asked, standing just inside the Cloister of Trials of the once-sacred temple of Zanarkand and surveying the work that was being done.

Isaaru sighed, one hand to his forehead as he peered at his brother from underneath it. "Yes," he replied, "For the last time, Maroda, I want the people of Spira to be able to visit and appreciate this place. What better way is there to invite everyone to come?"

Maroda scowled. "So violating the most sacred spot on Spira adds up to inviting people to 'appreciate' it?" He crossed his arms over his chest, absolutely dripping with skepticism.

Isaaru stepped away from the wall, taking a look at the work himself. It was progressing quite quickly, as all work around Spira seemed to be doing in this time of hope and new life. But the former summoner didn't think it was just the people's excitement that was causing the work here to go so well. After all, the people would not work like this without some sort of goal. They wanted Zanarkand to be ready for them, made clear just by the diligence of those who were helping to prepare it. That was all the proof Isaaru needed to know that he was making the right decision. "We are not 'violating' it, Maroda," the man replied, "We're making it enjoyable for our patrons."

"The fact that you use the word 'patrons' makes my point clear enough," Maroda commented distastefully.

Isaaru sighed again, turning back to his brother and watching him for a moment, lips pursed. "I realize you're not going to support me in this," he finally said, his voice soft.

Maroda snorted. "I can't believe you're doing this! You, of all people--a summoner. Shouldn't this place mean more to you than the way you're treating it?"

"You know how much Zanarkand means to me, Maroda." Isaaru's voice was tight.

"Then why aren't you acting like it?" Maroda cried out. "Look at this place!" He waved a hand around the room, gesturing at the workers and the incomplete changes--the hints at the attraction that the temple was being transformed into. "Is this really what you want the sacred temple of Zanarkand to become?"

Isaaru forced himself to look at his brother dead-on, as much as he wanted to turn away. He could understand Maroda's feelings and frustration, but that could not change his own, and he would not pretend that it did lest he have to give up what he was working so hard for. "Yes."

Maroda stared at him for a moment, and then his eyes narrowed. "I guess that's it then," he commented bitterly.

Isaaru frowned. Maroda had been skeptical and angry before, but now he seemed almost hostile. However, the former summoner still could not go back on his words. "I think the argument is over, yes," he agreed softly, hoping that, if he were calm, the feeling might also transfer to his brother.

But Maroda was in no mood to be calm. "Not just that," he stated with a determination that saddened Isaaru. And then he turned his back on him.

Isaaru's eyes widened. "Maroda!" he cried as his brother began to walk away, "Where are you going?"

"To join the Youth League," Maroda replied, not stopping, "If even the summoners want to destroy the past, then at least I can help give Spira a future."

Isaaru stared. "Maroda, that's not what I'm doing here!" he cried desperately.

Maroda paused, back still turned to his brother. "Than what are you doing here?" he demanded, his voice no longer raised, but his tone cold.

"Sharing the past with all of Spira," Isaaru replied immediately.

Maroda snorted again. "Good-bye," he said tightly, and he walked out of the room.

Isaaru watched after him for a moment, but he made no move to follow. When he finally turned away from the entrance, his eyes were sad, but his expression was just as set as Maroda's had been. After all, he still had many things to do. He would guard this place and draw people to it, and he would never let it become forgotten ruins. If Maroda couldn't understand that, then that was just the way it would have to be.