The Journal Entries

Summary: Laguna gets some time off and finally steps out of Esthar. With the long journey ahead of him, he decides it's about time that he records his story. These are the snippets he decides to share.

Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VIII.

Prologue: Sir Laguna Loire!

Well, here goes nothing! The first entry. Laguna Loire! Ultimate writer extraordinaire! Not really. More like President of too-many-thoughts-are-in-my-head.

I do have many thoughts. Adventures, if you will. I mind as well spice my life up a little.

I write in this journal to free up some of these thoughts. I'm traveling away from Esthar. More like getting away. I haven't stepped foot out of that continent since I went in there on a mission eighteen years ago. Eighteen. Wow. Such a big number. I've missed this fresh air. The sun feels warmer in the country. The monsters a little less hostile—though, not by much.

I digress.

We've been given some time off. A moment to ourselves. Kiros said that he needed it. Ward wordlessly said he earned it. I was nervous. How can Esthar hold itself up? Has my governing finally gotten through? Esthar won't crumble. Shouldn't. At least I hope. That's what they tell me anyway.

It's almost as if we were back in our soldier days. Running to battle! Saving the city! Meeting the ladies! Not really meeting the ladies! The three of us. Three amigos. Driving away from the great invisible—visible—city. I felt twenty years younger. Then I remembered how old I was and suddenly felt the need to crack my bones. How age can change, get older, but the stillness of the country is timeless.

It took me only three seconds of being outside to miss the open road. And by three seconds I mean however long it took us to get out of the rockiness of the continent. Now we are getting ready to get into a boat. On our way to Fishman's Horizon. The halfway point of, at least, my journey. I'm not sure what the boys will do after we reach our destination.

The destination you ask? I ask. This is a journal. If someone reads it one day, though...They may ask themselves "What destination?" after the line five lines past. And the answer is…you'll find out. Keep reading. The suspense will kill you, eh? Well. Then you probably won't finish. You probably haven't even read to this part yet. I'm stalling.

But to keep you guessing, to keep this journal interesting, I will tell you my life story. Not everything, only the important stuff. The adventure! The drama! The love! The love.

It all started when I was a young boy. A young city boy.

He pulled his hair back away from his face to get the drink of water. The large fountain in Deling City isn't the best place to get water, but on this cool summer night, it was the only refreshing sight to see. After two gulps, an audible sigh and belch, and a chase from a guard, young Laguna continued his journey of wandering the streets. He finally made his way into the familiar park. A place he visited a few times a week. The darkness that should be in a park at night was being fought away by the city lights. The sky was purple, only a few stars out. The dark, gentle ambiance of the night was drenched in sound. The park wasn't scary with all of these distractions.

Little Laguna's feet carved a familiar path. He picked up some rocks and threw them in the pond as he walked. The more sound the better. Even though cars streaked by just a few dozen feet away, the eight year old boy still felt more at ease the more noise was made. He also scrapped his boots through the grass and through the walkway. He quickened his pace when he started seeing the benches, almost as if he was expecting something. He climbed the hill to get to the top bench that looked out across Deling City.

"Isn't your mother worried about you?"

The kind elderly woman was always at this park bench, her walking stick leaning next to her. Laguna pulled himself up beside her and watched as the old cars barreled their way through the paved roads. The night life was always bustling in Deling. People chatting, late night shopping. Tourists gawking; most of them country bumpkins who had never seen the rusted bars of the Gateway. Laguna loved staying out past curfew to see all the different people that came through. He imagined that he was anywhere, anywhere minus the city limits, and would often come to the park bench to tell this older woman his stories, his adventures.

"No, Grandma. She probably doesn't even know I'm out of my room." It wasn't like his mother didn't care. "What she doesn't know won't hurt her!" He turned his jade eyes to the woman's wrinkling face.

She smiled down at him. Her hand slowly ruffled his dark hair. "Well, have you had any adventures lately?"

Laguna nodded furiously. He jumped up onto the bench, the older woman, not missing a beat, gasped in what he called mock-shock. "Today I wrestled a monster!"

"Oh my." A normal response. Laguna smiled.

"He raced into my home. I am the defender. I am the warrior! I knocked him down." He swung his fists in the air, fighting nothing. The woman clasped her hands together the mock-shock becoming a little more convincing. "He didn't go down easy, but I'm strong. I gave him the one, two!" One fist then the other hit the invisible monster in front of him. "Then I grabbed his fur and swung him down!" He jumped off the bench, almost losing his balance. He steadied himself. "And sent him packing! I told him to tell all his friends to never mess with Sir Laguna Loire!"

"Oh are you knighted now?" The lady's smile grew wider. "That's an accomplishment!"

"Don't you remember, Grandma? I saved a Sorceress!" Laguna put his hands on his hips. "She was in distress and I saved her from a Ruby Dragon! Those ain't easy to beat either, you know!"

"My memory must be fading a little," she said with an almost sadness. Her smile came back a moment after. "And what of your lady friend?"

Laguna smiled. "We're married now. Soon we're going to get a huge castle! I'm a knight. I get those kinds of things."

The old lady laughed. Laguna pulled himself up onto the bench again. He swung his feet, his boots making a soft clop noise as they sped past each other. "Can you tell me a story, Grandma?"

"What would you like to hear about?" She tapped her chin. Laguna couldn't come up with anything so he sat waiting. "Have you heard about the Lunar Cry? The very first recorded?"

Laguna shook his head. His eyes grew wide. "Tell me!"

The old woman laughed. "I lived with my family back then. My children would have been about your age. I remember the sky turning red… Back then Centra was at the top of its game. The technology was amazing. But nothing could have prepared us for the sky turning red. Even at night you could still tell the atmosphere had been permanently painted." She was looking up as if the deep purple sky would burst open with a different hue. "Centra was a very large domain. And to think one tear drop from the moon could have destroyed everything…"

"Tear drop? Does the moon actually cry?"

"No, my son." The old lady patted Laguna's head. A sad grimace of a smile paused on her lips. "The "tear drop" is sort of an expression. Well. That's what it looked like when the monsters spilled from the moon. They came down in the "tear drop" and brought forth the monsters; terrifying things that destroyed a whole civilization. The monsters hit the earth, and I remember pandemonium. These monsters were not the same as the ones you fight in your adventures. No they are strong." She almost looked determined—lost in her words and her memories. "For days we had been preparing for the worst, as we only heard legends of the Lunar Cry. I wasn't at home." There came a deep sigh. She held her hands tightly in her lap. "A lot of people were able to escape. But not many. I was lucky." There was a hint of bitterness in the last sentence.

Laguna needed to know. "And your family? They escaped, right?"

The woman sighed. It almost looked like she got older. "I can't say. I was grabbed by people getting away. My only hope was that my husband and daughters were grabbed too. I haven't been able to find them." Laguna could only sit uncomfortably. He looked up the woman and saw her eyes were almost cloudy, as if at any moment she could shed a tear just like the moon did. "My only hope is that you'll never have to see that red sky."

"Well, if I do, I will beat all of the monsters!" Laguna could feel the strength coming back to him. He stood up again. "I will protect you and all of the people of this city if the sky ever turns red!"

The lady smiled, snapping out of her sadness. She laughed and said, "You ought to be an author. You could move so many people with your high adventures."

Laguna wrinkled his nose. "No way! Writing is boring! I can't spell. Mom's always getting at me for bringing home bad papers!" He heard her laugh again, and he could feel a smile tugging at him. He liked to see people smile. "And I won't have time for that! I will be off! Fighting dragons and saving the day!"

"I hope you have your chance to save the day." Laguna watched as the old woman slowly stood up. He could hear her bones creak and hear her little moan as she reached for her walking stick. "Here. As a mother, I know I would be worried if I found my child was out of bed. Even more so if he was out of sight. Let me walk you home."

Laguna sighed, stuffing his hands into his pockets. The warm summer's breeze ruffled his dark hair as he walked with the older woman, preparing an adventure in his head to tell his mother when he got home. Perhaps if she thought he saved this woman from a raging monster, he'll get off easy.