A Vow to Cait Sith
I've done my best to place the Second Grenadiers into the proper context, and my apology if I'm wrong. When ever they are dispatched to their battle zone in Rolanberry Fields (S) they are referred to as the Second Division Heavy Infantry, though the members are all tagged "2nd Legion Grenadier". This I presumed meant that the heavy infantry attached to Ludwig Eichberg's 2nd Legion/Division is composed of a unit of grenadiers under the command of Striking Bull. And if I do have it wrong, military technicalities aren't the focus of the story, so it's easily overlooked.
Also, the Battle of Bastok is the first major battle of the Crystal War, but I've taken the liberty of moving it back a bit in the timeline, allowing the war to really get miserable before the city is besieged.
When this story first began to form, Striking Bull's love interest was to be an Elvaan or Hume woman. But then I thought "Well I did that sort of a relationship in "Madness." At about the same time I found this post in the "FFXIV Roleplayer" forums:
"As far as Galka becoming romantically involved with females of other races, yeah that's canon. Like Verence said, there's the clock tower questline, not to mention the whole Shadowlord storyline. Regarding the issue of physical intimacy, I could definitely see it as limiting the number of people who would be interested in a relationship with a Galka, but at the same time there are plenty of people IRL who enter into relationships in which that particular type of intimacy is impossible. And since technically the races of Vana'diel/Hydaelyn aren't human, they might not have the same biological drive to reproduce as we do, which would make a relationship with an asexual creature a lot easier.
On an unrelated note, what about Galka relationships with other Galka? I don't see why Galka would be limited to only love female members of other species. For obvious reasons it's doubtful such a topic would ever be addressed in the game itself, but it's still something to think about."
(Posted by Laychield on Sun Mar 21, 2010)
So I ran with it, and wrote a piece involving two Galka together, basing it in the Shadowreign to add drama and a point of conflict.
I gave the early version of the first two chapters to a friend to read, one who is not at all familiar with the FFXI world. Her comments were that their alien nature and names seem to outweigh the homosexuality of the relationship, and so their romance isn't nearly as uncomfortable to her. My boyfriend (who is familiar with the world), given the same two chapters responded: "I feel so dirty...ugh...Galka on Galka action...eww...they're kissing." But then he asked when I'd complete the story, eager to find out what happens to them. I told him that the rest of the story would mostly be a lesbian sex scene between Evoille and Paktih. He liked the answer but didn't believe it.
So anyway, love it or hate it, enjoy it or not bother to finish it...
A Scene Not Included in the Final Edit
Striking Bull paused from his work to pull out a towel and wipe the sweat from his brow. They had put him on inventory duty, taking inventory of the company's supplies and restocking as necessary. Much of it seemed tedious and repetitive, with mountains of forms to be filled out. On a broiling late summer day as this was it was sheer misery.
As if the demotion had not been enough, they seemed to think it even more fitting to keep him from the battlefield—him, Striking Bull, the one the Quadav called "the Blue Axe-Death" with a shuddering respect in their croaking voices.
At the edge of the supply yard, he noticed two soldiers leaning against a wall, and when the staff was dismissed later that afternoon they were still there. Passing them, he recognized Paktih's boots under the drab leather gear of the shorter one. The taller one had to be Evoille.
His head fell. "What?" he sighed. "Am I not in enough trouble already?"
"We have a plan. You can be with him again, with all this behind you, if you'll trust us."
"Really?" His eyes lifted. There was both enthusiasm and hesitation in the tone of his voice.
"Where can we talk?"
"Down by the water." His hand gestured faintly toward the harbor.
The two women nodded and leaned back against the wall. "Meet us there at sunset."
FFXI and all related concepts, characters, worlds, and events are property of SquareEnix. Original characters and story elements are property of E. Potter, writing under the pen name of Miratete.