Author's Notes (A/N): Much like my other story, this one has been buzzing around in my head lately. It's probably because I've been spending most of the time I haven't been working or writing playing Final Fantasy XIII. At any rate, this story takes place fourteen months after the end of the game. As such, there will probably be some game spoilers in here, and that includes this chapter.
Note: For those of you who are recieving a notice of an update to this chpater, I changed the name of the sword slightly, that's all. There is a reason for the change, but I'm not ready to say what it is yet.
Disclaimer (Another story, another disclaimer, geez...): I do not own Final Fantasy XIII (OK, screw it, I'm just calling it FF13 from here out) or Square-Enix or anything else, other than some of the characters and the story I am writing.
Chapter 1- Awakening
Somewhere, in a dark room, a crystal man began to glow. As the glow brightened, the entire room became light, until fading just as quickly as it had arrived. Once the glow was gone, so too was the crystal. In its place stood the man, now flesh and blood. He wore what appeared to be a shirt that appeared to have been patched together from various cloths, though all of the patches were the same light brown color. The shirt was fairly loose around his body, a sign that either he wasn't the one it was meant for, or that whoever made it hadn't been very good at sewing. He wore pants made of the same material, though, unlike the shirt, they appeared to be whole and professionally made, and they were a much darker shade of brown. The man also had a short sleeve jacket on, like the pants, it was apparently professionally made, but like the shirt, it too had some patches in it. The back of the jacket hung low, just past his knees, and as he stepped off of the pedestal he had been standing on, it appeared to catch on a piece of crystal, tearing a gash almost six inches long in the back.
The man looked back at the jacket and sighed, removing it to examine it closer. Realizing that he didn't have time to mess with it, he tossed it aside and looked around the room he appeared in. The room appeared to be some sort of altar, and it looked as if a major battle had taken place in the room long ago. Long dead bodies were all over, time and scavengers reducing most of them to piles of bones. As he picked his way down from the top of the altar where he'd awoken, he knelt next to a particularly large pile of bones. As he did so, he looked at his left forearm and noticed a burned patch. So I really am back. But what does that mean? The mark on his forearm began to burn, and the man instantly became more alert. Noticing a sword sticking out of the pile of bones, he grabbed the handle, only to hear a snap, and the sword to come out of the pile, broken in half.
"Sorry about your sword, old friend." A man's voice called from the shadows. The man didn't even react to the voice, he'd been expecting it. Looking at the sword carefully, he sighed and tossed it back onto the bone pile.
"It's all right, it was a replica." The man stood up and made his way through the bones, apparently searching for something. As he did, a yellow fox-like creature stepped out of the shadows behind him. The creature had one tail, but was completely covered in yellow fur, except for his paws and ears, and the tattered beige shirt that was covered the creature's body.
"How do you know that?" The creature walked toward the man, stopping at the pile and picking up the discarded sword piece.
"The real Zarkarran is made of a much stronger material. It would never have broken, especially that easily." The man paused and looked around again, before continuing to search and talk. "That sword was capable of channeling magic like the real one, but it was far too brittle." The creature nodded at the explanation, and continued to watch the man as he searched. "How long was I there?"
"Just over five hundred years."
The man looked down at his arm again. "I assume we failed?"
"No, not completely, anyway. Cocoon still exists, though Ragnarok was called. Twice, in fact."
The man sighed. "Then I failed."
"You did what you could. It isn't your fault that we weren't able to make use of what you gave us." The man looked back at the strange creature and smiled weakly at his comment. "They are in stasis." The creature knew what the man was going to ask, apparently, and was able to answer before he could.
"We were able to stop them the first time, and they only wounded Cocoon. However, we lost the resulting battle, and were forced into exile. It took them five hundred years to get the pieces in place to try again, and when they did, the l'Cie rebelled and used Ragnarok to save it instead of destroying it. And, thankfully, in the process, our enemies were destroyed, which allowed us to return to this world."
The man had by now knelt down in front of a human looking corpse, one with rags still around its bones. Grabbing the rags and pulling them off, he began to wrap them around his forearm, covering the wound. "I assume you have a new Focus for me?"
"Unfortunately, I do. However, you are well aware that it is your choice whether or not you take it."
The man sighed and looked back at the creature as he stood up and walked past him toward the chamber's only visible doorway, having finished wrapping his arm. "Tell me about it."
The creature turned and walked with the man as he explained. "Barthandelus and his allies did many things wrong to Cocoon, and to Pulse. However, it has come to our attention that with their demise, a door has been left open for another threat to this world to emerge. The mission I have for you is simply to find this threat and neutralize it."
"You mean, kill it." The man smirked at his companion.
"We don't know if it can be killed." The man's smirk vanished, as the creature continued. "We don't even know for sure what it is or where it is coming from, only that it is." By now they had exited the altar and were standing on the edge of a cliff, overlooking a large expanse of plain. Far in the distance, a small planet hung in the air, covered by crystal. Below that planet appeared to be a crystal tower stretching all the way to the ground. This was world of Cocoon. The man stared at it with his jaw wide open.
"They did THAT?" He couldn't believe what he was seeing.
"Actually, they ARE that. Their sacrifice created the crystal tower and stabilized Cocoon after Orphan's death. It also relieved the l'Cie who aided them of the burden of the brand and awoke those who had fallen into crystal slumber." The creature turned to face the man. "Those who helped them, and were thus cursed to become l'Cie themselves by Anima, are currently residing in their old home in Oerba, in YOUR old home."
The man sighed once again, realizing that he had missed a lot in five hundred years. "The world now is nothing like it was when I was last on it, is it? I mean, the land is more or less the same, but the environment, the creatures, they've all evolved and moved on without me, haven't they?"
"To some extent, yes, they have." The creature paused to consider the conversation, before attempting to return to his original point. "You might be able to complete your mission by yourself. However, if I were you, I'd try to enlist the help of those who live in your old home. Like you, they all have experience with being l'Cie. I assume you know the route to get there."
The man glared at the creature next to him for a second before smiling at him lightly. "Of course I do. I need to stop there anyway to pick up some equipment I left behind." As he spoke, he pulled out of his pocket a small red gem with a chain on it.
Before he could do anything with the gem, however, the creature grabbed his arm. "Save your friend for later. It will do you good to walk to Oerba. You can learn about how much this world has changed in five hundred years." The man nodded and the creature released his arm before turning to walk away. "It should take you about a week to get to Oerba, and a few hours with your friend will get you to the base of the crystal pillar. I will meet you there and explain the rest. Good luck, Zion."
Zion put the gem back in his pocket and turned to walk away, but paused after a couple steps and turned back around. "Blaine." The creature stopped at the mention of his name and turned to face his friend. "Thank you." At the somewhat confused look on Blaine's face, he added. "For giving me a second chance. And for everything else you've done for me, and those I care for."
Blaine chuckled lightly at Zion's comments. "It is me who should be thanking you, if you hadn't done what you did so long ago, none of us would probably be here now." He paused and bowed to his friend. "I will see you in a week. Don't take too long, though, I do have other things to tend to and I can't wait forever." Before Zion could respond, Blaine disappeared into nothingness. As he did so, the burning sensation in Zion's arm disappeared. The man looked down at the wrapping, sighed, and turned to walk away from the place where he'd spent the last five centuries in crystal slumber.
A/N: Chapter 1, done! In chapter 2 we will find out what the heroes from the game have been up to in the year plus since they saved the world! Depending on how long that part of the chapter is, I might have Zion meet the characters in that chapter as well. I haven't decided yet.
As always, please read and review, and don't be afraid to give me constructive criticism. I will admit, I haven't beaten the game yet, I'm only on Chapter 12, so I haven't seen the full ending. I have heard what it is though, so I'm going off of that. Besides, it IS fiction, so if I don't quite have it correct... well, I'm just gonna call it "writer's creative license" simply because I can!