A/N: I played Fire Emblem a while back. I was a big fan of the game, with its rich story and excellent gameplay, but what really got me hooked was the characters. There were no ornamental characters, though some were more important that others. Everyone had their own personalities, their own backstories. And there was so many ways I could play.
One of the coolest things about Fire Emblem 7 was the role of the tactician. Effectively, you play a defining role in the story, though you aren't directly involved with the battles. It always brought up the question of what the tactician was like as a person. Everyone else has a personality and a backstory, why shouldn't the tactician?
Of course, the idea for a fanfiction revolving around the tactician has been done many times. The ones I read, however, made him be able to hold his own in combat, and pretty much be a 'Mary Sue' character. There's nothing wrong with that, but I always wonder, if the tactician can fight, why doesn't he in the game? The tactician in this story is a bit of a mixture of Kyon from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Lelouch from Code Geass, with a quite a bit of my own personality thrown in. I thought it would be refreshing change from the gung ho character you see in other fanfiction.
Enjoy and Review!
Disclaimer: I do not own Fire Emblem or any of its characters. Except for the particular tactician in this story. And maybe a few original characters I may throw in here and there. Other than that, the characters are from the game, and are owned by Nintendo and Intelligent Systems.
Trials of a Teenage Tactician
Prologue: A Girl from the Plains
I wouldn't consider myself perfect. Heck, I wouldn't consider myself moderately superb. What's there to know about me? Who am I? Has something interesting happened in my life that people would want to know?
My name is Sean Masters. My birthday is in January, if that's anything people consider important. I'm your normal, average 18-year-old male. Well, average is a relative term. As far as looks go, I've got dark brown hair and matching eyes, and I'm about 5 foot 4 inches tall. My height is something I came to terms with when I was 17 and realized that I wouldn't be growing anymore. I'm not really skinny, but not really fat either. I'm not athletic, I can't cook, and schoolwork overrides social life in my system. Yeah, I'm what many people in my age group would call a 'nerd'. For a while, I disliked that term, but now, I realize how much it fits me. I'm no jock, after all. I have an above average IQ, and am able to think a few steps ahead of your average teenager. I'm talented at math and have a keen sense of logic, and I hoped to make some good money in the future working with computers.
Not that my hopes for the future gave me any luck with the ladies.
Seriously, I'm 18 years old, and I have never had a girlfriend. Yeah, I admit it, and it's embarassing. It's not like I'm ugly or anything. I just never possessed the skills to talk to some girls. The kids who used to play in my neighborhood had girlfriends before I did. I wish that this was some weird teen drama or something that lets me have a 'girl-next-door' type person my whole life, but no luck. Yeah, life sucked before the day that man called me out for a chess match.
Right, here's where the story begins. Well, I got a call one afternoon by Professor Dumas, an old man who moved into the neighborhood a few days before. I had seen him around and of course had introduced myself. He needed some help unpacking his stuff, so, being a good neighbor, I agreed to help him. After a few boxes were finished, he invited me to the living room to have some cookies, and we were having a friendly conversation around his coffee table, which had a glass chessboard as a centerpiece. He seemed interested when the subject switched to chess.
"Really," he smiled. "You play chess?"
"Yes," I replied. "The chess club at school has wanted me to join them for some time now, but I'm more focused on my studies. That's probably the reason that I can't get a girlfriend."
"Well, don't fret, my young friend," he smiled. "I happen to know of a young lady who would show great admiration for your talents."
Does he sound like a creepy old man to you? Then I described him well. The man had a long white beard and looked like he was in his eighties. He always wore his tiny spectacles and spoke with a heavy British accent, which complemented his tobacco pipe and large suit.
"A young lady?" I asked, chuckling.
"Oh yes, my boy," said the professor. "A very charming girl about your age. Very easy on the eyes as well, if you'd like to know. There's a painting of her on the wall." He pointed toward the large painting over the fireplace. I took a glance and my jaw dropped.
Easy on the eyes was an understatement. This girl was downright beautiful. She had the most stunning green eyes that matched her long hair, which was tied back in a ponytail. She was wearing a blue dress that looked like a noble woman's costume from a Renaissance fair, and had the slightest hint of a frown on her face. Nonetheless, I was taken aback.
"She wasn't fond of that dress," chuckled Professor Dumas. "That one was chosen especially for the painting. Her normal attire is a tad more revealing."
Well, that was good to know.
"She's someone who'd be interested in me?" I asked. "Somehow I doubt that. Is she your granddaughter?"
"Hardly," he chuckled. "She is a good friend of mine, though. I'll tell you what, I'll introduce you to her if you can defeat me in a game of chess. I want to measure how much that young lady would be interested in you."
Not really an offer I could turn down. This was a chess match to get a girl interested in me. I'd take a few of his pieces, show off some good moves and impress the guy enough to introduce me to my new potential girlfriend. If only things were that easy.
The game started with me at the white side and him at the black side. I began by moving my pawn at position E-2 two spaces forward, freeing my Queen and White Bishop. He countered by moving his knight to G-6, performing the famous Alekhine's Defense...
And I'm sure that so many people would be fascinated by the strategies and tactics of a game of chess and the hours upon hours that this particular game lasted, but let's just skip toward the ending, for the sake of your interest and for the sake of my boredom.
"Well played, my young tactician," he smiled. "Your defensive strategies are superb."
"Without soldiers, a battle can't be fought," I replied, taking his knight with my rook. "If you try to take one down, I'll make sure that one of yours goes with it."
He replied by taking my last bishop. "You are an excellent strategist, my young friend. That young lady will be thrilled when I introduce you to her."
I smiled as I looked at the board. "Then you'd better give her a call now." I moved my pawn forward. "Checkmate."
Professor Dumas just smiled and clapped gently. "A lowly pawn is what secured your victory." he chuckled. "You have proven yourself worthy, Sean Masters. It is time for you to face your destiny."
'Sweet!' I thought. 'I'll finally get a girl...hold up, did he just say my destiny?'
The windows and the doors slammed shut and the scattered papers around the room began to fly around the room controlled by a wind that surrounded the two of us. The professor stood up and his eyes began to glow yellow.
"What's going on?" I shouted over the wind.
"Sean Masters! You are the only one worthy! You are to be a tactician traveling across the continent of Elibe, and it is your destiny to save that world from destruction!"
"Elibe? Destruction? What the hell is going on?!" I shouted. And with that question unanswered, I blacked out.
Okay, well, that was honestly one of the more exciting games of chess I had ever played in my life. How many of those can you say made your opponent's eyes glow and summon a tornado? I'm thinking at the very most the number can be counted with one hand. Yeah, old man, see if I play any more chess games with you after this. I resolved then that I would call the police on that freak for knocking me out like that.
But first, regaining consciousness was definitely among the top things on my priority list, so calling the police was pushed down to a distant fourth, behind meeting that girl from the painting. She's the reason I played that chess game, after all.
"Are you awake?"
Hold up, that was totally a girl's voice. Wasn't I just in the house of that old guy? Don't tell me he carried me somewhere remote and...
At that point, it completely hit me that a girl was talking to me. I opened my eyes, and it was revealed to me that the girl was the one from the painting. I recognized her immediately. She had the same pearl white skin, and green eyes, and hair to match. Yes, green hair. It was slightly weird, but who as I to complain? It looked good on her.
"I really hope I'm awake..." I answered in a weak voice. I was practically kicking myself once those words came out of my mouth. Not exactly the words I wanted the first thing a girl hears me say. Strangely, though, she seemed more concerned about my dehydrated state than my words. Thank goodness. She came closer to me with a bowl of water and poured some into my mouth. I took a moment to let the cool liquid flow down my throat.
I managed to catch her scent at that moment. She smelled like grass and fresh-cut flowers, and her fragrance was so vivid. I was in heaven.
And once that moment passed, I realized that I was a sad, desperate loser who feels ecstatic when a girl is closer than two feet away from him. Not the most pleasant thought to cross my mind, I assure you.
"I found you unconscious on the plains," she told me. "I am Lyn, of the Lorca tribe. You're safe now."
Lyn. She already told me her name. This day is starting out really, really well.
And then what she just said hit me like a ton of bricks. I was found unconscious on the plains. The PLAINS. Let me tell you, I live nowhere near any setting that can be considered the plains. And what's this about the Lorca tribe? It was at this point that I considered my surroundings. I was in a tent. A well made tent, mind you, but a tent nonetheless. There were boxes lined up around me, and I was sleeping in what seemed to be the only bed in here.
"Right...I'm safe..." I muttered, still taking in the fact that I wasn't in Kansas anymore. Not that I was to begin with. I decided to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming. That hurt a lot, so I most definitely was not dreaming. Who the heck came up with the pinching yourself thing, anyway?
"Who are you? Can you remember your name?" she asked me.
The sad thing was that, when I looked at her, I totally forgot who I was. It's one of those points where your mind draws a complete blank, and so it took me about ten seconds to get my brain to start working again and find my name.
"I'm Sean," I replied. "It's an honor to meet you, Lyn." An honor to meet you? That's smooth, buddy, real smooth.
"Your name is Sean? What an odd-sounding name..." she said. Odd-sounding. That was the first time it'd been called that. Though, at the time, I wasn't really paying attention to that sentence and more to her enticing...
"But pay me no mind. It is a good name," she finished. Yeah, my mind was definitely in the gutter. "I see by your attire that you are a traveler."
I looked down at myself and realized that my clothes had been changed. I now wore a gray tunic with a brown leather belt, and white tights underneath. I had green boots and gloves on, and was covered by a green cloak. Honestly, I did not normally dress this way.
I also took the time to look at her attire. It was indeed more revealing than in the painting. She wore what looked like a blue Chinese-style dress and a black undershirt, with a yellow sash tied around her waist, accenting her curves. The slits in her dress moved all the way up past her thighs, revealing her beautiful legs, which ended with her brown leather boots.
It only took a couple of seconds to take this in before I answered her. "I guess you could consider me a traveler," I replied. "I'm not really from around here."
"What brings you to the Sacae plains? Would you share your story with me?" she asked.
Story? What story? I was playing a chess game with an old guy and beat him, and then he started glowing and now I'm here. The details of my life aren't exactly the most interesting pieces of information that I could possibly share with her. As I was thinking of something to say, there was a noise from outside.
"Hm? What was that noise?" Lyn wondered aloud. "I'll go see what's happening. Sean, wait here for me."
She walked out of the tent for a few seconds, letting me get a full view of her. God, she was beautiful, and kind too. I felt incredibly lucky to be there at the time, but that feeling quickly subsided when she ran back inside.
"Oh no! Bandits!" she exclaimed. "They must've come down from the Bern Mountains! They must be planning on raiding the local villages. I...I have to stop them!" She ran over to one of the chests and took out a katana. "If that's all of them, I think I can handle them on my own."
On her own? That was the thought running through my head at the time. I took a peek out the door and saw a couple of big hulking brutes with axes across the plain. She thought she could handle those two guys on her own.
"You'll be safe in here, Sean," she told me, pulling me back from the doorway.
"Let me come with you!" I blurted. Bad move. I thought of Lyn fighting two against one with those two brutes before realizing that I had no clue how to fight at all. Well, that was unfortunate, but before I could take back what I said, she spoke up.
"What? You want to help? Well, can you use a weapon?" she asked me.
"Um...no..." I gave her a nervous chuckle. I didn't play that chess game to fight, I played it to impress her with my brain. It was then I remembered what Professor Dumas told me before I blacked out.
"I...I'm a tactician," I told Lyn. "I can help with my brain." Right, that sounded retarded.
"Ah, I see... So you're a strategist by trade?" she asked. Well, at least my idiotic statement was overlooked. "An odd profession, but... Very well, we'll go together!" She took my hand and lead me outside. At that moment, I was praying that the feeling of her hand on mine wasn't going to be the last thing I'd ever feel.
"Over here!" she called from behind some trees. "If you want to help, Sean, I could use your advice. I'll protect you, so stay close to me."
"Thank you," I said in a weak voice. Great, now I sound like a wimp. Thank goodness she wasn't paying attention to it and had her hand on her sword. Yeah, staying close to her would most definitely be a good idea.
"I need to be closer to the enemy," she whispered to me.
I assessed the situation. "Okay, looks like there are only two bandits. One's waiting outside that tent over there, and the other is just kind of wandering around. I think we can take the wandering one by surprise." Lyn nodded at me, took my arm and ran closer to the second bandit.
"Okay, this should be close enough," she told me. Right when she said that, the bandit turned and looked in our direction. "Oh no! The bandit's spotted me! He's coming this way!" she exclaimed, putting her hand on her sword hilt.
"Seeing as this is a plain, it's pretty easy to see you from any direction," I told her. "That guy's got a big axe, I bet he'll swing it slow as well. You can probably take him easily with your sword."
"Time to die, little girl," the bandit chuckled when he was close to us, lifting his axe. "RAAAH!"
"Now, strike!" I shouted. Lyn didn't need me to say anything though, because she had already jumped at the bandit, unsheathing her katana and giving him two good cuts across the chest.
"GAH! That hurt, you little bitch!" he screamed.
"Wow, I barely saw you move," I whispered to her. Lyn just smiled and sheathed her katana again. I probably shouldn't have spoken, because right when I did the bandit came and swung his axe again, this time cutting Lyn on the shoulder. The girl cried in pain and I moved over to help her up. Again, she didn't need my help, because she had already unsheathed her katana and made one final slash at the bandit. Blood flowed from the bandit's mouth as he fell backward, dead.
I'm ashamed to admit it, but I had a growing urge to barf. I grew up in a more or less well-off neighborhood. Death wasn't something I dealt with casually. Though, Lyn seemed to have less of a problem with it. I looked at the man. How many people would he have hurt if Lyn hadn't killed him? And, does what he might've done justify his fate? Lyn seemed to know the answer better than I did.
"Victory!" she cheered, raising her arm, but winced at the pain of the wound. "But I've been injured. I have need of a vulnerary." She looked at me. "There's a bandit over by the ger to the west."
"Right...what's a ger?" I asked.
"You don't know what a ger is?" she asked incredulously. "It's a type of round hut. Many nomads live in huts like these."
"Nomads, huh?" I chuckled. "That explains why you lived in a tent."
"Hmm...I would do well to administer a little first aid," she said, looking at the blood on her shoulder. That's all she could say after getting hit by an axe? Man, what a woman... My thoughts were interrupted by Lyn grabbing my arm again and pulling me closer to the ger. "I'm carrying a couple of vulneraries in my satchel," she told me. "They should heal me up. Would you get one for me?" I reached into her bag and pulled out a bottle of the remedy in question. She knelt down in front of me. Unsure, I emptied a bit of the salve on her shoulder wound. Apparently that was the right thing to do, since the wound closed almost immediately. She smiled at me, moving her shoulder around to show that the pain was gone. "Thank you, Sean! Now, let's get that brigand over by the ger!"
"Great..." I muttered to myself, following her to face the last bandit. He looked tougher than the previous man. He had short blonde hair tied in a headband, and a scar next to his left eye. He took one look at Lyn and laughed.
"Who do you think you are, little girl? You think you can stand up to Batta the Beast?"
"Oh wow, he's got a name," I muttered. "Careful, Lyn. He looks tougher than the other guy. Use your speed against his axe." Lyn nodded and jumped at him with her sword, slashing him across the chest. As she stopped, Batta managed to hit her with his axe on her previous wound. Lyn grasped the wound tightly in pain, and from what looked like sheer determination, swung at Batta once again with her katana, making another deep gash.
"Whew! He's tough..." She whispered. "I don't have time to apply a vulnerary. It all comes down to this next blow." She turned to me. "Sean, if I fall, I want you to flee. You must escape!"
Escaping would've been the logical choice here, considering Lyn is the only one who can hold a weapon, and apparently, I'm needed to save this world.
But somehow, I felt that I couldn't leave her. She saved me, and made me feel safe. She was with me when I needed her. And there was no way in hell that I would leave her for this Batta jerk to take away from me.
Thankfully, I didn't have to. Batta swung at her again, but she managed to dodge it, and she made another deep cut on his chest, and then disappeared. Then next thing I knew, she reappeared in front of the brigand and with a powerful thrust, stabbed him through the chest. As she pulled her sword out of his body, blood spilled out of his mouth. "What? How...How did you-" Those were his last words as he fell over dead.
"Whew, that was close," panted Lyn, obviously exhausted. "I sorely underestimated him. Sorry if I worried you."
"You're still worrying me," I smiled. "That wound needs to be treated. But, you were amazing out there, Lyn."
"I'll need to be stronger if I'm to survive..." she sighed, cleaning her sword of blood. "Strong enough that no one can defeat me." She sheated the blade and put her wounded arm over me. "Good work, Sean! Let's go home."
Home. I guess that's what I'll have to start calling here, then? I looked at Lyn as those thoughts went through my head. "I guess it's not so bad."
"Good morning, Sean! Are you awake yet?"
"Wha-?" I yawned as I got up. "Oh, Lyn..." I guess it wasn't a dream. I was still in that tent, or ger as I learned that the shelter was called.
"That fight yesterday must have taken a lot out of you," said Lyn, handing me a piece of bread, which I took graciously. I hadn't eaten since before meeting with Dumas for that chess game. I kept thinking back to that moment, when he transported me here, to the plains of Sacae, which don't exist on Earth. This continent is real, though. I'm real. I was supposed to save this continent using my brain. But, why?
"Say, Sean... I want to talk to you about something," Lyn said in a gentle voice.
"Um... Sure, Lyn. What's on your mind?" I asked.
"You have some experience in the ways of war, I can see..." she started.
Did I really seem that experienced? All I remember doing was following Lyn around as she kicked some serious bandit ass.
"Would you allow me to travel with you?" she asked.
Travel? That wasn't something I was thinking about. At that point, I would've been happy just living on the plains for a while with this beautiful swordswoman. But then I remembered my purpose for being in the Sacae Plains: I was supposed to save this world from... well, I had no idea at the time.
"Wouldn't it be better if we stayed here for a while?" I asked her. "I'm sure your parents will be back soon."
"What? You want me to get permission from my parents?" she asked me. Somehow I felt like I asked something incredibly dumb, which was confirmed when her expression changed to a sad one. "My mother and father...died six months ago."
"I-I'm sorry, I didn't know," I quickly replied, making a mental note not to bring up anything about her parents again in the future. She looked away from me for a bit, as if to hide the tears that were welling up in her eyes.
"My people--the Lorca--they don't... I'm the last of my tribe," she continued softly. "Bandits attacked, and... they killed so many people. The tribe was scattered." She reached into her dress and pulled out a locket hanging around her neck. "My father was our chieftain, and I wanted to protect our people. But I'm so young, and our people were old fashioned. They wouldn't follow a woman. No one would follow me."
"I'd follow you," I whispered. Lyn turned toward me and gave me a sad smile.
"I'm sorry," she sniffed, wiping away her tears. "I've been alone for so long..."
I couldn't help but blush at that statement. This strong young woman who was able to take down Batta the Beast was breaking down in front of me. She had revealed her past to me, and now she was coming closer to me telling me how she'd felt so alone. Bottom line is that she seemed kind of like she was coming on to me. Then again, I wasn't entirely certain of the customs of a Sacaen, or anyone from this world. Maybe that's just how things worked around here.
"No, no more. I will shed no more tears," she stated firmly. She took a few moments to calm herself down before speaking up again. "Thank you. I'm better now. Sean, I want--No, I must become stronger, so that I may avenge my father's death!" The words flowed from her mouth with new resolve. "Yesterday's battle taught me something. I won't become stronger by sitting here alone." She took my hands into hers and moved closer to me, making me blush even further. Not exactly a comfortable feeling, but if I said I wasn't enjoying it, I'd be lying. "Sean, tell me you'll train me, that you'll let me travel with you!"
"T-Train you?" I stammered, trying to find some words to say. Heck, that battle the day before was the first time I even tried battle strategy, much less train her in any way, shape, or form. But, looking at her face full of determination, it would've broken her heart if I told her to just stay put. "Well, if you want to travel that much, I can't really say no..."
Her smile brightened and she hugged me tightly. If I was blushing before, I was probably like a tomato at this point. "You will? That's wonderful! Thank you! Oh, thank you!"
Uneasily, I hugged her back. "It's no problem," I whispered. "I'm sure we'll make a good team, Lyn."
"We'll be better off working together, I know it," she said as she released me from her embrace. "You'll be my master strategist, and I'll be your peerless warrior!"
Well, can't say I wasn't pleased with her putting it like that.
"We can do it! Right?" she asked.
"Right..." I answered, trying to hide how unsure I was. I mean, a couple days before, I was helping this old guy unpack his boxes, and now, I'm suddenly a master strategist who's supposed to come up with unbeatable battle tactics against strong opponents who are aiming to kill me and this girl that I developed a crush on in the course of a day.
It was at that point I knew that life would definitely be "interesting" from that day forward.
So, what do you think? It's going to be the same basic story as the game, but with some extra stuff with Sean the Tactician. If he ends up being a Gary Stu, please tell me. I do not want that to happen.
Reviews would be greatly appreciated!