Non Sine Dubio

Someone will say, And are you not ashamed, Socrates, of a course of life which is likely to bring you to an untimely end?' To him I may fairly answer, There you are mistaken: a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether he is doing right or wrong.'
--Socrates, the



It occurred to Seifer as he stood upon the podium that he was being betrayed. For some time he didn't believe it; the notion was completely foreign to him. Yes, he had betrayed, but that was different somehow. He had betrayed them because he was better; because he was going off to become a Knight and to hell with anyone who tried to hold him back. His was a noble betrayal. But this... this betrayal was completely different. For one thing, this time he was on the receiving end.

Squall and his team were standing off to one side, watching with as much surprise as Seifer felt as Fujin rammed stake after proverbial stake through his (noble) heart.

...you've lost yourself and your dream. All you're doing is eating out of someone's hand....

Seifer could feel his lips moving, but there was no sound emitted. It seemed to be lost somewhere between his lungs and his mouth. Fujin was still struggling with the words, arousing a (noble) anger deep within him. Why? Why was she trying so hard to hurt him? He thought they had been a posse. They had always been a posse.

Since we can't get through to you, all we have to rely on is Squall! It's sad... sad that we only have Squall to rely on....

Seifer turned to stare at Squall, uncomprehending. Dammit, it wasn't fair, it wasn't right, it just wasn't....



Fujin's voice was a clarion call against the miasma of his twisting (noble) thoughts. Slowly, he turned back to her.

Are you still gonna keep goin'? she demanded, single eye ripping into him with a force no physical force could match. Seifer stared at his friend--friend?--intently, feeling the pain of each individual syllable thudding against his heart. He could name each of the pains:

Betrayal.

Hatred.

Betrayal.

Hatred.

...hatred?

Yes. Hatred.


The word thudded out of his mouth oddly, striking the walls and bouncing back like a badly-placed smith's hammer. He looked at his other... friend?

No. Enemy. Traitors!



The two stood defiant in his eyes, and the hatred and the hurt inside him combined into a palpable feeling. He could imagine that his heart was bleeding, and with every word the blood would drip out of his mouth and onto the floor. And he would stand (nobly), watching his life waste away, just like a true Knight was supposed to do; just like a true Knight would die--die betrayed and alone, never having done wrong but overwhelmed (nobly) by the evils and the despair....

It's been fun, he said to his friends--no, not friends!--saluting them (nobly) as a Knight would do... before leveling the blade and sending a lead messenger of death soaring towards each of them.

And inwardly he cursed them because they had died (nobly!) without a sound, each with only the martyred look of the betrayed, and not the betrayer. And so it was that Squall and his team came to witness two things they would never forget: the first time Fujin had ever spoken her heart, and the last time she ever could.

And shock turned to anger, and anger to action... and before he knew it, Seifer was being attacked by the darker knight in all (noble) rage, and it was all he could do to hang on against the onslaught. Even as he fought, he couldn't counter--his vision was continually drawn to the pair lying (nobly) dead on the floor, red martyr's blood staining the ground. And he was vanquished ignobly, left to lie on the ground and wish for the killing blow that would make a martyr of him, too--but the blow never came.

Instead, the (gods-be-damned noble) group left him on the ground, moving to see that Fujin and Raijin were dead. Only one, clad in azure and black, waited a moment--before turning to flee out the door, unable to bear the sight of the ignoble monster Seifer laying on the floor, defeated.

And so, with the last strength in his form, he stood and ran after her. Because it was the Sorceress's wish--and the Sorceress's wish was the only wish he had anymore.

By the time the group had caught up with him, he was escorting Rinoa towards the Sorceress, both of them trembling every step of the way. His (noble) opponent was calling out to him to stop, but there was nothing he could do because god damn it there was nothing he knew how to do anymore.

The Sorceresses as one... that is Ultimecia's wish!

And so he threw Rinoa onto the ground, and watched as she quailed in response to the monstrosity clawing her way out of the prison which had been meant to constrain her. The (noble) knight behind him was calling (nobly) and in vain--and the sheer nobility of everything but himself drove Seifer to draw his gunblade. Weakened as he was, he (nobly) attacked the emerging Sorceress, causing her hand to miss Rinoa by the barest centimeters. Then, because he had lost all other courses open to him, he continued to fight until Rinoa was away and his fate was already set.

They would speak of him later: the ignoble traitor who died a noble death, who killed the ones who betrayed him and saved the one he had betrayed; and who fought with conviction, certainly, but not without doubt.