Chapter 1 Zanarkand
Final Fantasy X
The boy from Zanarkand
Listen to my story
This may be our last chance
The night was calm, the stars shine bright in the heavens, lights flickered here and there, people walking and gathering across the city of Zanarkand. A city on top of the water, machines here and there, it seems as if it were a futuristic civilization. A crowd has gathered, outside of a boathouse waiting for their favorite player. Hoping to see him before the game starts. They rush towards him as soon as they saw him leaving his house. A young boy appeared with purple cloak and walk behind the crowd. A young man walks outside his house, wearing his yellow jacket with blue protector on his left shoulder. A silver necklace decorated his neck with a J shape symbol on its middle. His brown gauntlet ready for the game and short pants for easy movement the young man was ready to give the crowd the best show they can get.
The boy walk towards the crowd, some of them had a white and blue ball with them. A small boy, brown hair, with white shirt and a piece of cloth around his neck walks towards him, his eyes filled with happiness, meeting his favorite player for the first time. “Can you sign this please?” Ask the boy with hopes that he signs his blitzball ball. The ball was round with blue lines around it and it has mountain shapes all around the ball for easy grabbing
“No problem.” The young man smiled and accepted the ball and signed his name on it. He was happy, he felt loved by the crowd, he was their hero.
“Please!” Another boy with blue shirt and a yellow knit cap shouted, giving the ball to his hero. He was jumping up and down impatiently waiting for him to sign the ball.
“Alrighty.” He replied with a laugh. He signs the ball and another girl next to the first boy also wanted him to sign the ball. She kept touching him and pulling his shirt. Even though he enjoys it, sometimes it gets on his nerves when the kids don’t have patients.
too!” Shouted the girl.
“Take it easy.” He took her ball and signs it as well. He felt bad for being annoyed, they were there to see him, waiting all day long to see the star player.
A beautiful girl around his age approach him, she was wearing a pink jacket that cover only her top body showing her belly button and a brown pants. “Can I have your autograph? She asks shyly extending her own blitzball ball to him. Her soft voice traveled all the way till his head, mesmerizing his mind with the angel voice.
He looked at her; she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. “Of course.” He took it and signs the ball, winking to the girl as he hand it back after he finished.
“Good luck tonight!” Another dark skin girl with red hair and a blue dress told him while handing her blitzball to him. He accepts it and thanked her.
“Nothing to worry about.” He smiled and winks at her too while spinning the ball with one finger and hand it to her. “Oh if I score a goal…” He started to say to the two girls. “I’ll do this!” He raised both of his hands making an L shape with his fingers. “That will mean it was for you, okay?” The girl’s giggles and their faces turned red. “What seat?” He asks them so he knows in what direction he can make the sing to the girls.
“East blocks, in the front row!” Both girls shouted at the same time. “Fifth from the right!” The girl with pink jacket shouted. She wanted to make sure he would score and point towards her, having a player like him looked at her in the game will make all the girls jealous.
“Got it.” The boy said, he looked at the rest of the crowd, he thank them for going and rooting for him. “Well, gotta go, cheer for me!” He said smiling. The boys next to him were playing with the ball on his head, balancing it with precise movement that even for a boy his age it was good.
The boy stops and looked at his friends. “Two, three!” The boy that was balancing the ball in his head with the piece of cloth around his neck shouted. “Teach us how to blitz!” all three boys shouted at the same time. The young boy was happy but he needed to go, it was already running late. It was somewhat comfortable to have people look up to you, to be their role model.
“Hey, I got a game to play!” he said to the boys, his heart sinking with sadness for they were so happy to meet him and wanted to learn how to play blitz like him. If only he had more time, but the game was about to start, maybe some other time he thought.
“Then teach us after.” The boy with the yellow knit cap replied. He wanted at least to know that he will teach them how to play like the pros.
“Maybe, tonight…um…well…” He scratches his head thinking on the best time he could teach the boys how to play. He remembers his father, and the promises he never fulfilled, he didn’t want to be like him, and he wanted to be different, better. He could remember his father everytime he promised him that he will teach him how to blitz, he never arrived. Always drinking, partying, letting his fame go to his head, but this is different. He learned how to play all by himself and he won’t live up to his father expectation, he will be better.
“You can’t tonight.” A young boy with the purple cloak, covered in weird symbols said. The young man looked at him in silent. Who was him? What does he wants? But there was something, even though he doesn’t recognize the boy, he could feel safe and somehow, know him.
“I mean… tomorrow.” He replied to the boys, hoping that his question will satisfy the boy with the cloak and the kids.
“Promise?” The dark skin boy with the jumpsuit asks. His mind filled with hopes. The three boys putt the ball down on the ground and made the same movement at the same time. They put their hands on the air and made a circular motion and then put their hands in the middle and made what seems to be a box, bowing their heads at the end.
The young man was startled; he didn’t remember that form of promise or greetings. He waved goodbye and walk towards the city, he was already late for the game. The city was beautiful, he never get tired of looking at it. There were tall buildings everywhere, with the lights that illuminated the streets, a city that never sleeps. The twilight filled his heart with warmth, the sun setting on the horizon.
Some building resembles waterfalls. The water falls down from the top of the building into the water beneath, bridges connecting the city every were, buildings with different shapes, some like spirals, others square likes and some round shapes. A man with long black hair appeared in some buildings on a screen. He wears a red bandana around his forehead, a scar on his left side of his face and the letter J marked in his temple. A silver gauntlet protecting his left hand, hold by a belt that goes around his neck and shoulder.
The young boy stops and resent the image of the man, for some reason he hated the man. He stop and look at it directly, his eyes filled with rage and sadness at the same time. He made a sign with his hand towards the screen and run towards the stadium. A voice from the speaker could be heard everywhere.
“I was in a coffee shop, running away from home when I heard the news. Our hero, Jecht, gone…” His voices filled with sadness, he was just a boy when he heard the news, couldn’t believe it, how come their hero was gone, how could it be possible. “Vanished into thin air! My dad must have been his biggest fan. I knew how sad he’d be. Heck we all were that day.” Childhood memories flash in the announcers mind. The young blond man running towards the stadium listening to what the man was saying, he too remembers that night, the rage, the sadness he felt. “‘Zanar,’ I said to myself. ‘What are you thinking?’ I went straight back home. We sat up talking ‘bout Jecht all night. My dad and I never talked so much. Whoa…” The announcer said, realizing that he went back in time remembering and talking about the past, forgetting that people were listening to him.
“Didn’t mean to reminisce folks. Anyway… Ten years later, the Jecht Memorial Cup tournament is today! The two teams that have won trough the finals are… of course, the Abes from A-East and the Duggles from C-South.” He announce as the people sheers in the stadium and the street. “I know there’s a lot of people out there today to see the star of the Abes! In just one year, he’s become the team’s number one player! He’s Jecht’s blood, and the new hope for blitzball! What kind of super play will he show us today? Will we see his father’s legendary shot? I don’t think I’m the only one excited here, folks!”
The young man arrived at the stadium and people gather around him. There were two giants sculpture in the entrance, one in each side. It was two men ready to fight, each one with lance on their hands facing off. Behind the two man sculpture there were spheres, each one showing the teams’ logo. He tried to pass but couldn’t. “Make way, make way!” He said trying to pass and reach the stadium. “Coming through, sorry!” He said while pushing people as he run inside. “Hey, I’m gonna be late.” People grabbed him they wanted to hung, to feel their new hero, the son of the legendary Blitzball player Jecht. In such a short time, he became everyone’s favorite and in every game, people went to sheer him in hopes to see his father legendary technique, the Jecht shot. “Hey let go of me!” He manages to break free and entered the stadium. He stops and made a sign to the people and ran towards the player’s locker room.
Sitting down on the bench, water covers his shoes, his heart beat running wild. Many voices chanting his name over and over again they call out to him. The blond young man waited patiently for the game to start. The sphere starts to open and the crowd went wild. They scream and cheers echoed in his mind. He opened his eyes and a big blue sphere appeared right in front of him. Electricity interacting with the sphere making it grows little by little. The roof of the stadium opened, showing the stars that decorated the night sky.
Those who were outside ran towards the stadium to get into their seats, the game was about to start. The young boy stood right in the front of the sphere, the crowd cheers and scream when they saw him. He held the ball on his left hand, looking directly at the magnificent sphere in front of him. “This is it.” He whispered, “it is time.” A big explosion occurred and the sphere grew larger than before. The explosion brushes the young blonde hair and the audience was amazed.
At the far end of the city, far away from the stadium, a man stand on top of a walkway looking at the ocean. His black hair and red cloth covered his body; his left hand was inside his jacket. He from top of his glasses towards the water and gesture his bottle at the ocean as a giant wave started to form.
The game had started and the players are really into it. They hit each other hard in order to obtain the ball. The young blond man had the ball and one of the other team’s players hugged him from behind. Unable to move he was force to pass it to another of his teammates. It was the strategy of the Duggles, stop the star player from the Abes. As he did, one of the Duggles female players hit the receiver from behind and grabbed the ball. Her brown hair moving swiftly in the water she was about to pass the ball but Jecht’s son appeared and tackled her throwing her outside the water sphere right into the crowd.
As the man with the red long haori walked towards the stadium, behind him the city was being pulled inside the tsunami that was entering the city. Every single drops on the water float towards the wave. The people ran far away as they notice the tsunami hitting the city. Unlike any other tsunami, this one was pulling the building towards it; it was more of a round shape tsunami. The buildings, the water around it, the people all of them were being pulled inside the sphere of water that approach the city.
One of the Abes made a point and the crowd roars with cheers. The player dash to pick up the ball from the center of the sphere, the blond man dash upward and jump out of the sphere, it was his signature shot. He moved swiftly in the air and made a turn, one of his team mates launch him the ball towards him, everyone stop, the crowd grew silent in hopes to see the shot made. Even the Duggles players stop and didn’t move. As soon as he turn in order to hit the ball he saw the giant sphere of water that was consuming the city, he looked closely and from the water, shots were made that hit the buildings making them blow up.
Who in the world would attack the city? He thought in that instance, he remembered that he was outside the sphere, that if it were to be destroyed he would fall to his demise. The explosion consumes everything, the city was being destroyed, the statues in front of the stadium were being vaporized and pieces of it started to float. The young man grabbed himself from the stadium metal hanging as hard as he could. Beneath him, the stadium was being destroyed, he held as hard as he could with his right hand trying to balance himself in order to survive, he looked down, the sphere where he was playing moments ago was no longer. He tried to hold on as hard as he could, trying to maintain balance but the piece of ledge he was holding onto broke and he fell.
The boy opened his eyes, he looked around, and somehow he survived the fall. He tried to stand up, his body aching from head to toe. The pain rush trough his body with each movement he makes. He walks towards the outside, breathing fresh air of life; he struggled hard with his longs to do so. He collapse, that fall had taken lot of him, he slowly stood up once more, all around him, children, man and women run away as fast as they could to find refuge somewhere safe. As he did so, he saw a familiar figure next to what was left of the statue. The man with red haori was standing there waiting for something. Unlike the rest of the people, he was calm, as if nothing in the world could bother him at all.
“Auron!” The boy yelled as he ran towards the man with red haori, he was happy to see a familiar face in this chaos. “What are you doing here?” Even though he was happy to see him, it was rare to see Auron near a stadium; he wasn’t fond to blitzball anyways, and with this chaos who would had taught he would be so calm. Even though, the boy remembered that Auron was always this way.
“I was waiting for you.” He said without showing any emotion or happiness, he stood up correctly and walk away without warning.
“What are you talking about?” He was confused, why was Auron waiting for him? What shall he do now; he followed him towards the highway, people running away in the other direction that Auron was walking. For a moment there he thought that Auron was crazy, why would he walk towards the attack? In that second he turned and saw the boy from before, the one that face was hidden by his purple cloak. The time had stop, everyone stopped moving, the young blond man saw everyone that was running stopped in mid air. He turned towards the boy, he was moving, the only one out there with movements.
“It begins.” The boy with the purple cloak said as the young man looked at him confused. What begins? What is going on? The young man asks himself, this was confusing, what is going on. “Don’t cry.” concluded the boy with the cloak. The young man walk towards him and everything went white for a second and time started to move again. He turned around looking at what were motionless people now they are moving, he turned to look at the boy but he wasn’t there anymore.
“What the…” Confused of what had just happened he spotted Auron at a distance and ran towards him. “Hey wait!” As soon as he reach him he was confused as to why Auron was walking towards the commotions, nobody in their right mind will walk towards a giant water ball that is eating the city. “Hey, not this way!” He said, his heart beating fast, almost as if wanted to break the chains that bind it to his chest and run away.
“Look” Auron said without hesitation and motivation. Looking at the distance and the boy looked were Auron was looking. A giant ball sphere of water was floating on top of the city. “We called it ‘Sin’.” Auron finished saying, no fear in his voice, unlike the boy who heart was pounding harder than a hammer.
He looked at Auron confused and amuse at the same time. “Sin?” A monster? Something he had never heard of, or seen in the beautiful city of Zanarkand. Their attention shifted from Sin to a seed that burst into a wall on a building next to them. Smaller seeds burst out of the bigger one and fell into the street right in front of them and started to attack the young boy. He struggled to maintain distance with the insects as hard as he could; Auron next to him was calm as ever, he approaches him with a sword.
“Take it.” He said calmly putting right in front of the boy a one hand sword, the crimson red wasn’t like any other normal sword, it points bends into a J shape at the end, giving it a hook style. The boy took it and struggled to maintain balance with the sword. It was the first time he had ever needed to use one. “It was Jecht’s.” Auron finish saying while the boy looked at him startled. Why does his father ever had a sword, he only knew how to play blitzball and nothing else. What is Auron not telling him, he thought over and over the possibilities, and what happened to his father. The boy started to think, he met Auron after his father disappeared, and he arrived couple of month or years later. He remembers now, he said once that his father sent him to take care of him.
“My old man?” He swings the sword to gain distance from the insects attacking them and fell on his back.
“I hope you know how to use it.” Auron said while holding his own sword with his right hand. It looked heavier than the one he gave the boy. The sword was almost as long as his body, the handle was covered in green and red, almost two feet long. The boy finally was able to handle the sword with one hand. He was ready to fight, and save himself. “These ones don’t matter, cut trough!” Auron said as he slashes the insect’s right in front of him.
They kept cutting and killing the insects that appeared in front of him. “Don’t bother going after all of them.” Auron continue as he slash one by one with ease the insects that appeared right in front of him, more coming from the back. “Cut the ones that matter, and run!” He continues and the boy followed his lead. He never had an experience like this, killing insects, or even handling a sword, thanks to his agility in blitzball he was able to fight. They ran towards a cliff, blazing their way through killing insects here and there and stop abruptly as an ever bigger insect crash right in front of them, its tentacles swirling from side to side. Small insects protecting the bigger one, they had to fight trough to be able to escape.
“Get out of my town!” Shouted the young boy angrily, he though on how many people had died or are being killed at this moments by the insects. Defenseless and how many homes had been destroyed at the moment. What was a nice and wonderful night of Blitzball game, turned into a nightmare.
“Some can’t wait to die!” Auron shouted as he angrily jumps “Dragon fang!” He shouted and pierces the ground with his heavy sword creating an explosion that instantly killed the smaller insects in front of him and severely damage the bigger one on the back. With each hit, each tentacle disappeared and small orbs float into the air.
“I can do something like that!” Said the young boy and jump towards the enemy making swift movement in the air and hit the monster with his sword. Each attack with its tentacle the young boy was able to evade them and slash them with one hit. Auron on other part he stood still waiting for the tentacles and as they reach out to hit him, he simply cut them with one single swift motion of his blade.
In a desperate move with just one tentacle left, the insect cast a black ball trying to hit Auron and the boy but they manage to evade it, the explosion made a hole in the ground. Auron and the boy together they slash the monster and destroyed it.
They started to run again towards the giant ball, the young man had already given up on asking Auron why he was running towards it, he simply followed him. Next to him there was his father image on a screen, laughing, rage build inside of him once more. “What are you laughing at?” He asks his dad as he kept running behind Auron. Words can’t describe his anger for his father, how he hated that old man. The image on the screens fading away slowly, he turned to look at Auron. “Auron! Let’s get out of here!” He shouted, afraid he wanted to live not lose his life.
“We’re expected.” Auron simply replied with a calm voice. The young boy was more confused than before. Expected by who? Auron continue running towards the chaos.
“Gimme a break, man!” The boy was tired, never in his life had he felt exhausted, and he thought that with his condition fighting would be easy, but he was wrong. Auron kept running and he followed him.
In an instance, they were surrounded by insects, they couldn’t go further or backwards. “hmph. This could be bad.” Auron looked around him; there were many insects that he could barely count. “That,” Auron pointed at a machine next to them. “knock it down!” The boy looked startled, that was an oil tank, if they knock that down it will explode and they will die. “Trust me. You’ll see.” Auron finished and the boy simply didn’t know if to trust him or think he was crazy, well both of them was what he was thinking.
He did as he was told and start hitting the tank. As soon as he did the tank exploded and the building next to them fell. The bridge started to collapse. “Go.” Auron said swiftly and calmly. The boy struggled hard to maintain balance and run towards the collapsing bridge. He almost fell as he hangs in with just one hand on a ledge. Everything else next to him was falling. The large creature in the water sphere hovers overhead of them. It was sucking everything next to it.
“Auron! Auron!” Shouted the boy, scared and confused he didn’t know what to do, he was about to die in that moment. He wishes this nightmare to end. It was too much to handle. How he miss his mother. Auron appeared right in front of the boy and looked towards the monster.
“You are sure?” Auron ask the monster as if he could speak with him, but the boy couldn’t hear any reply or someone there. At this moment he knew Auron had lost his mind. Auron turned back to the boy and kneeled. “This is it.” He started to say as he grabbed the boy’s shirt and raised him. Everything around them was being suck by the giant monster, flashes of light seems to suck them in. “This is your story. It all begins here.” Auron finished as he and the boy were absorbed by the monster.
Everything was white, he couldn’t see his hands, or Auron, and he was lost in emptiness. “Hey! Hey!” He heard a familiar voice calling to him. It wasn’t Auron no… it was his father’s voice.
“My… old man?” he was confused, he opened his eyes and he was in a stadium, swimming in mid air. Right in front of him a giant letter J surrounded by fire. He looked around him and the city was there, intact. “What the…” He was confused, just a moment ago the city was being destroyed now it was normal, as if nothing ever happened. He swim towards the stadium and stop, there he was, his old man standing looking at the city. He hasn’t change a bit, ten years had passed and he still looked the same. He swims as fast as he could to reach his father and when he got there he saw a younger version of himself.
“I thought about a lot of things...like where I was, what I'd got myself into. I started to feel light-headed...and then, sleepy. I think I had a dream. A dream of being alone. I wanted someone -- anyone, beside me...so I didn't have to feel alone anymore.”