Notes: I really hate trying to recount battles. I did finally persuade myself to sit down and write this, rather than reading Sims stories, or playing Sims, or having movie marathons (now that I'm able to). Honestly, I don't think my heart was in this. Meh.
Up on deck they could hear the sound of many people singing, adding their voices to the ship's playback of the Hymn of the Faith. Rikku bounced in place excitedly and squealed, "They listened to us!"
"We won't let them down," returned Tidus, then flung out his arms for balance against a sudden tremor in the ship.
"Hey, guys? Guys? That's not good, ya?"
Seymour looked at Sin somewhat apprehensively, taking a step back as the great beast formed a massive sphere of energy around itself. Moments later eight smaller spheres shot out in perfect symmetry, carving cylindrical paths through sea and sky and earth. His mate dodged closer to him as a great upwelling of dirt was flung toward the ship, muttering, "Damn you, old man. . . ."
Just then the deck speakers activated, Cid's voice issuing forth. "Hey, I saw somethin' shine on the base of Sin's fin! I reckon its a weak spot!"
And as though Sin heard and understood its (presumably) minor peril, another shockwave shook the ship in response.
Seymour shook his head lightly as the sound of Al Bhed came through the speakers—bickering from the sound of it—and readied his staff. He did not need Rikku's translation to understand that Sin was pulling them closer, even flying to keep pace with them.
"Damn!" came Cid's voice. "Keep it busy while we charge up the guns!"
Seymour assessed the target quickly, then shouted, "Listen! We won't be able to get in very close so we must choose carefully. Rikku, Lulu, you're up with me. Wakka, you're Lulu's backup, Tidus, you're Rikku's. Yuna and Kimahri come in as needed for healing."
Tidus gave him a sideways look and murmured, "I assume you paired Rikku and I because we're the only ones Cid and Brother will listen to for moving the ship?"
"That and she has taught you how to throw an Al Bhed potion, my sweet," he replied, flashing a quick smile, then moved forward into position.
The fight itself was almost unremarkable, with members of the team working well in concert. Seymour motioned them all back when Cid's voice came through the speakers, and they watched as the ship pulled away and fired the guns, blowing what remained of the fin clean off. Sin shuddered, its position in the sky destabilized to some degree before it was able to compensate.
"Couldn't have done it without you! All right! Everyone look sharp! Time to hit the other side!" Cid bellowed, then dove around the massive bulk of Sin to give them a clear shot at the other fin. It wasn't long before the guns removed the remainder of that target, too. "Yeehaw! Where next?"
Seymour sighed as another round of bickering in Al Bhed commenced. He rather thought these people took nothing very seriously.
"The main gun's busted," Rikku translated.
"Dang it! All right, back inside! Time for another plan!"
Seymour wasn't entirely surprised when Tidus shouted, "No! We're going in! Every blitzer knows: when you got the ball, you gotta score!" Ah well, at least his mate was not without courage. He watched as each of them shouted out a response to Tidus, then jumped, but before his mate could also, he stepped up to take Tidus's hand and jump with him.
They landed on the thing's head. Clearly visible (and macabre in and of itself) were some ruins, those in the style of a long-dead Zanarkand, set back a distance from their landing point. Directly before them was a peculiar structure, not unlike a Sinspawn made from a particularly deadly, man-eating flower, with a discoloured patch of ground in front of it. That pushed upward, forming an incomplete sphere with overlapping plates. A quick assessment revealed that the thing was Genais, there to help protect Sin from magical attacks, and looked to be rather deadly in its own right.
The battle was long but well fought, Seymour keeping them concentrated on Genais, even when it retreated into its shell. It was eventually bested, the party shrugging off the gravity-based attacks from Sin as they could not actually be knocked out by them. Seymour then directed them against Sin itself, and that part of it was defeated in due time.
It became obvious almost immediately that Sin was having trouble staying aloft, and might well crash. He looked around quickly, saying, "We need. . . ."
"Jump!" came Cid's voice as the airship swooped in close.
A minute later they were safely on the deck, watching as Sin made a crash landing into part of the city of Bevelle.
"This isn't over," Tidus said quietly.
"Yes," he agreed, "let's get to the bridge."
— — —
Yuna gazed out the bridge window and sighed. "It's going to come back, isn't it."
"Yeah," said Tidus, "so we have to beat the guy inside Sin."
Lulu glanced over and said, "It has weakened, I'm sure of it."
For a moment Seymour wanted to roll his eyes. Of course it had been weakened. Otherwise it would not have crashed. He somehow doubted that the controlling force of Sin was into playing mind games.
"All right, I'll see what I can do with the main gun!" said Cid, then quit the bridge.
Yuna left as well, so Seymour motioned to his mate and followed, eventually finding her on the viewing deck. She was staring out one of the many windows, a pensive look on her face. And, seeming to sense them approaching, said, "I wonder if Sir Jecht is in pain."
"Let's just end this . . . quickly," his mate said. "The Fayth said they'd help, right?"
"It bothers me, the way they said that."
"I mean, they've been fighting alongside us this whole time, but now they say they'll help?"
"I guess so. . . ."
"Wait! Sin is reborn when Yu Yevon merges with an Aeon, isn't that right? If I summon an Aeon, Yu Yevon will join with it. But at first, it'll be small, won't it?"
Seymour shifted to catch their attention. "It should be, yes. And if so, we can defeat it. We can do so for as many Aeons as you have, and he will have nowhere left to run."
Yuna sighed. "I never thought it would come down to this."
"Hey, the Fayth, they're tired of this whole thing, too. Let's let them rest," his mate said quietly.
They turned as Rikku's voice came over the speakers. "Yunie! Guys! Something's happening to Sin!"
Seymour's eyes were drawn irresistibly toward the movement, and he watched as the previously motionless creature began to rise, then sprout wings, and come to a rest perched atop the Tower of Light. He chuckled inwardly at the perceived blasphemy of the situation, then turned to Tidus. "I think Jecht is waiting for you."
"The main gun is still busted!" came Cid's voice. "We can't give you any cover fire!"
Unable to directly respond, the three of them returned to the bridge, where Tidus said, "Hey, just take us in. We'll do the rest."
"All right. Take us up, flush to the mouth! No mistakes, or I'm gonna tear out that mop you call hair!"
Brother made a face and replied, "Trust . . . me. Me . . . take you there. No problems . . . ya?"
"Then let us go," Seymour said, and followed as the party dashed off toward the upper deck again.
Sin was waiting, and watching. As they appeared on the deck it launched from its perch and flew upward.
"Here we go!" Cid bellowed.
"Yeah! I'm coming for you, dad!"
Sin began by drawing them closer to that gaping maw as Tidus cast Hastega on his friends. Unfortunately, at that distance, only Wakka, Lulu, and Seymour were within range to cause damage, which they did. The creature continued to draw them in, until Rikku was able to join the battle, and Wakka could use some of his more powerful moves against it. Eventually they were close enough that everyone could participate, and with the help of a few abilities they had learned, they were able to cause excellent damage to the beast.
Seymour, feeling an impending sense of doom, directed Tidus, Wakka, and Rikku to the front rank, and watched as they unleashed everything they had against the creature.
And then . . . Sin let loose with its peculiar hold on gravity and pulled the ship in completely. It was like flying through the Farplane. All around were puffy clouds the colours of sunset, and pyreflies flew with reckless abandon. It was, Seymour thought, like the most tenuous boundary between the living and the dead.
"The Bevelle Fayth, he told me that Sin transcends reality."
Seymour looked at his mate and nodded. "It must be so. You did not visit the Farplane, my sweet, but I assure you this is not unlike it."
"But . . . you can't actually enter it, can you?"
He smiled. "Think of the entrance to the Farplane at Guadosalam as . . . a bubble, a meeting point between life and death. You can stand there and gaze out upon the beauteous wonder of it, but you cannot truly enter it and explore. At least, I know of no way to do so. But this . . . is about as close as we may get to doing so. It is remarkably similar."
Yuna stepped closer and tilted her head. "Do you think this is more like what we experienced in Zanarkand, then?"
Seymour shook his head lightly. "I don't know. There it was only memories. Here. . . ?"
The airship came to a gentle stop amidst ceaselessly shifting phosphorescent mist. The party stepped out tentatively, the surface beneath their feet strangely yielding and bringing to mind the thought of standing on flesh.
"Dad! Where are you?"
"We must go to him," Seymour said gently.
"Then we will! I'll take front! Follow me!"
The paths were almost totally obscured by the mist, making it difficult to see where it was possible to walk, and they were frequently assaulted by horrific fiends as they muddled their way around. It was quite some time before they came to a set of stairs, which they ascended, the view changing suddenly to that of a dead city. They trekked onward, having to withstand the ambush attacks of Great Malboros and curses of Demonoliths, and eventually came to another set of stairs. Those led them to an immensely tall tower that seemed to rise in defiance to the sky itself.
"We should rest briefly," Yuna said firmly. "I have a bad feeling about that tower, if we enter it."
"As you wish," Seymour said smoothly, neglecting to voice his own unease, but noticing that everyone looked somewhat jumpy. He produced a small satchel of food and drink to share around, then took a careful seat on the ground.
"This place is creepy," his mate said as he sat next to him and reached for some bread and cheese. "I keep expecting to see more visions of the dead."
"We may well, given the preponderance of pyreflies."
"What do you think will happen once . . . once this is over?" Tidus asked as he handed off the satchel to Yuna.
Seymour pretended not to notice the interest of the others as he replied, "I expect many things. For one, there shall be great celebrations all over Spira. And for another, I will be pleased when you and I settle in nicely at Guadosalam. After that, it's anyone's guess as to how the people of Spira will adjust to not having the threat of Sin in their lives."
Tidus nodded and chewed thoughtfully on his bread as Lulu said, "I must wonder what will happen to Yevon."
"I think a lot of people are gonna be angry, ya?"
"I suppose so," Yuna said. "But is that our problem?"
"Kimahri think Yuna fulfill her duty if Sin and Yu Yevon defeated."
"Think about it, Wakka," said Lulu. "Do you really wish to become a politician?"
Wakka wrinkled his nose and said, "But everyone looks up to Yuna. Don't you think they'd expect her to, I dunno, stay involved?"
"Perhaps," Yuna replied, "but I haven't done all this alone. Without you, my friends and guardians, I would never have made it this far. And a summoner may be trained for certain things, and to sacrifice for the people, but I think it's my choice if I get drawn into anything more. It would be nice to be . . . normal, don't you think?"
"I think," Seymour said slowly, "as the leader of my people, and as a maester of Yevon, tarnished though that institution might be, I will stay involved to some degree."
"Doesn't hurt that Kinoc is intimidated by you," Tidus piped up with a grin.
Seymour chuckled. "And I would certainly remain open to any and all suggestions from each of you, you who will have defeated Spira's sorrow for good. If Yevon is disbanded I shall hardly cry myself to sleep at night."
"I don't think it will hurt that a maester of Yevon is a part of all this," Yuna pointed out. "Anyway, I think we should get moving. We've had our rest, and people are counting on us."
— — —
On entering the tower they were transported to a strange, roughly circular space, like a common in a city. Randomly scattered about were spears of ice, popping up unexpectedly as they moved about. One touch and they would shatter, only to reform into yet another fiend. Seeing no way out of the area the group moved about, investigating the curious spheres of light and collecting various items that appeared. And then, suddenly, they were transported a second time.
Tidus gasped. "I've been here before. This was where I saw . . . my old man, inside Sin."
"You're late," said a rough voice.
Tidus sucked in his breath and turned toward the voice, then began to advance slowly.
"Hey," said Jecht.
Jecht laughed. "Hah! You got tall, but you're all bones! You eating right, boy? You've really grown."
"Yeah, but you're still bigger."
"Well, I am Sin, you know."
"That's not funny."
"Well, then. . . . I mean . . . you know. Let's end this."
"I hate you." The look on Tidus's face was more distressed than angry or hateful.
"I know, I know. You know what you have to do."
"I can't hear the Hymn so well anymore. Pretty soon, I'm gonna be Sin. Completely. I'm glad you're here now. One thing, though. . . . When it starts, I won't be myself anymore. I won't be able to hold myself back. I'm sorry."
"That's enough. Let's finish this, okay?"
"You're right," Jecht replied. "Well, then. . . . Let's go!" He staggered backward and tipped over the edge of the platform.
Tidus darted forward as though to save his father, then stopped, one hand outstretched. Within moments flames arose and the monstrous form of Braska's Final Aeon came into view. Tidus dropped his arm and reached for his sword. "I promise this'll be quick! Hit me with all you got, Dad!"
It was a difficult battle. To either side of Jecht were Yu Pagodas, nasty constructs which not only healed the Aeon and removed any negative effects, but would also attack the party. A plan of attack was quickly devised, with nearly everyone taking turns to contribute something special, and things became slightly easier once the pagodas were no longer synchronized.
The group was given a brief respite when Jecht transformed into an even more powerful form, and then it was back into the thick of battle. Yuna's Aeons were especially useful at that point, with Anima leading the charge toward the final push. And then it was over.
Jecht reappeared in his human form, lying in the center of the platform, and Tidus rushed up to drop to his knees and cradle his father in his arms.
"You'll cry," Jecht said, his tone between a jest and a taunt. "You're gonna cry. You always cry. See? You're cryin'."
Seymour watched with blank-faced sorrow as his mate did so, wishing to comfort him, but knowing this was something Tidus must handle on his own.
"I hate you, Dad," Tidus choked out, his expression anything but that of hate.
"Save it for later."
Tidus straightened up a bit, shaking his hair back. "Right. . . . We've got a job to do, don't we?"
"Good. That's right. You are my son, after all."
"You know . . . for the first time, I'm glad . . . to have you as my father."
"Heh." Jecht had the look of a man who had finally realized a goal in his life.
"Sir Jecht, I should—"
"No, Yuna, there's no time!"
Something . . . malevolent approached, flying through the air in a dizzying pattern of threat. Tidus straightened further and shouted, "You stay away!"
"Yuna," Jecht said with difficulty, "you know what to do. The Aeons. . . ."
Strangely choral voices sounded. "We Aeons. . . ."
"Call them!" Jecht managed as his body began to devolve into pyreflies.
The Bevelle Fayth appeared and ordered, "Call us!"
"Yes," Yuna said.
"Here it comes!" shouted Lulu, just before they were transported again.
She nodded and readied her staff, then summoned the first of her Aeons. Her expression was sick as the Aeon was overcome with the influence of Yu Yevon, but she took a deep breath and began to fight, others coming to her aid. Again and again the sequence was repeated, Yuna's expression becoming more and more tragic, until at last they were gone, all of them, defeated before they ever had a chance to become completely corrupted.
Yu Yevon was then alone before them. He was more of an it, truth be told, looking like the parasite he was.
"Everyone! This is it! After we beat Yu Yevon, it'll be over."
Strangely, though perhaps not, Yu Yevon was an exceptionally stupid being. Seymour had to wonder if that was the result of dreaming for so many centuries, or if the man's talents had always lain in summoning over intelligence. Given that he had once been the ruler of Zanarkand. . . . In any case, he was handily defeated, and by using extremely simple tactics.
Yuna stared blankly at the empty space before them, then startled as Seymour said, "Send, Yuna. Send the remains of these poor souls to the Farplane, where they can at last find rest."
Tears ran down her face as she did. All around them were representations of the Aeons, each of them being sent in turn. And also, the very structure of Sin itself was dissolving, possibly aided by the summoners on the ground, as the armor of souls was shattered for good, and the pyreflies that clustered in great numbers within the creature were forced away. When it was just the platform they stood on remaining the airship swooped in and collected them, and Yuna finished her duty from the deck, lowering her staff as an explosion of pyreflies rained out over the countryside.
— — —
Seymour and his mate stood at the back of the maester's box in the stadium as Yuna stepped forward to make a brief speech.
"Everyone . . . everyone has lost something precious. Everyone here has lost homes, dreams, and friends. Now, Sin is finally dead. Now, Spira is ours again. Working together, now we can make new home for ourselves, and new dreams. Although I know the journey will be hard, we have lots of time. Together, we will rebuild Spira. The road is ahead of us, so let's start out today."
She paused, then said, "Just, one more thing. . . . The people and the friends that we have lost, or the dreams that have faded . . . never forget them." Yuna turned away from the roaring cheers of the crowd, then smiled tentatively as she saw Baralai.
"I would like to believe that will work out fine," Seymour whispered.
"I suppose we'll all split up now."
"Assuredly. I would not doubt that Wakka and Lulu will return to Besaid, and Kimahri to Mt Gagazet. Rikku will likely assist her people in rebuilding Home. Yuna may choose to go to Bevelle, for a time, at least. And you and I, after some political maneuvering, shall go to Guadosalam. But Spira is not so large as for this to be good-bye."
"Politics, huh? I guess I can live with that." His mate paused to slant a sidelong look his way. "Especially if we get that nice suite again in the palace."
"Oh?" he replied with an arch of his brow.
"Definitely. Such nice, thick walls. . . ."
Seymour smirked. "I think, my sweet, we can put that to the test most admirably." He reached out to take his mate's hand and lead him away to privacy just as Dona and Bartello barged into the box.
— The End —