this takes place in the aftermath of the scene in StormBlood
, when the Empire fires its massive cannon on a battle between its own soldiers and the Resistance. Apart from that sentence, I don't think there are any game spoilers in here. It's just a FanFic from the point of view of my main character here. I have not got any character past StormBlood yet, so I am not impacted here by any future story. Enjoy.
Gripping her hand for dear life, the Imperial shield-bearing soldier stood, the after-shocks of fear still making him tremble. The Miqo'te helped him stand and gently eased his shoulders against a pillar before letting his hand go and peering intently at his eyes, to see how conscious he actually was.
"They...they fired on us," he stammered, "they k-killed us. Th-ey, kn-knew we were still in here."
The Miqo'te remained silent, but checked over his torn and shredded armour and ensured there were no grave injuries, which she was relieved to find was the case. The worst ones, she had patched up with what meagre medical supplies she could find, not wanting to demonstrate what healing magicks she was capable of to one inside the Empire.
While his sword still glinted in the falling sun, his shield was warped and twisted beyond all recognition - the result of falling stones, bricks and other debris. In a different life he would have made a fine Paladin. He was not much different from her, when it came down to it. Another victim of random chance.
But in this life, the Garlean Empire had betrayed its own people and fired their massive cannon on loyal soldiers. It made the Miqo'te sick to the stomach.
The Imperial rubbed his eyes and opened and shut them a few times as his vision demisted.
"W-wait, you’re n-not Imperial," he realised.
"You're right, I'm not," she replied simply.
"Are y-you with the...the rebels?" he asked, a new pang of fear gripping his heart.
The Miqo’te looked kindly on him.
"Right now, that doesn’t matter. We are both survivors where many...many are not."
The Imperial took a huge breath of dust-filled air and coughed.
"Ugh, my lungs feeling like they're burning up. Sorry, I am calmer now. You...didn't kill me. And," he said, checking himself over, “did you
put these bandages on?”
The Miqo'te nodded.
"If you can get to safety, get proper healing then, alright? None of us are safe here."
Now it was the turn of the Imperial to stare at her.
"I think I've seen your face in our records...but I can’t place it. Who are you?"
The Miqo'te paused, not wanting to completely give herself away.
"Just call me...Ali," she ventured. It was close enough.
The Imperial stretched and winced as his cuts and grazes reminded him he was still alive. That’s what pain was supposed to do, right?
"I need to go find my partner and daughter. I never thought I would be safer in the arms of a...former...enemy than the Empire. Thank you, Ali. I don't know what deeds brought you here, but this is the greatest."
As the Imperial soldier limped off, something snapped inside of the Miqo'te. She strode, angrily, to a ledge overlooking the hills away from everyone and clenched her fists, her claws digging into her palms.
"I am sick
of people using people! The Asians use the weak-minded and the proud, the Empire uses its own for - goodness only knows what, the Primals use and abuse as many people as possible to keep them rooted in our world and...argh!” she gasped, gulping for air, "Everyone uses...uses me
. The Scions use me against Primals because for gods-know-why I have this...this gift
that most of them don't have, and armies of a so-called free Eorzea use me to help them conquer, to help them kill enemies, to clean up their messes. It always comes on my
head. And for WHAT? A bit of coin, some armour repairs and a brief thanks before throwing me into another mess I did not create. I'm sick of it, killing in the name of 'what is good', fetching things because that's what adventurers are for. How much different is it, throwing your people into a likely fatal war or firing on your own?"
She slid down the outside wall and let her own sword fall on the ground, tears in her eyes.
"Is this what being a Warrior of Light is about? The only things I remember are watching people I cared about die."
There had been so many allies and friends that were now lost.
"What if...what if Hydaelyn is another user
? How am I any different, killing those opposed to Her Plan, to those followers of Titan, or even the Archbishop of Ishgard who did exactly the same thing?"
The question didn't need answering - it was obvious.
"If this is what Warrior of Light
means, then I don't want that title any more."
It was only a month or two ago that she had dinner with Aymeric in Ishgard.
A lifetime ago, really. He had just asked her what she wanted to do for herself and what were own goals, when yet again other people's agendas picked her up and tossed her into someone else's war.
She looked up into the darkening clouds, as night drew closer, her tears of disillusionment flowing to the cold stone underneath her.
"What about me
?" she whimpered.
Her dragonet companion nibbled her ear, before fluttering down to her lap and curled up, smiling. The Miqo'te gently stroked his head and sighed.
"I'm beginning to see why Dragons don't usually involve themselves in the fleeting wars of temporary beings, my friend." she whispered.
Maybe she felt part-dragon. Maybe she felt betrayed. Or maybe, just maybe, she was being slowly, but irresistibly drawn by the threads of freedom. True freedom.
At long last she understood what Fray meant. And for the first time, she admitted, he had been right. Her own life had value beyond the victories and conveniences she achieved on behalf of others. She only had to find it and follow it. Until that time, she had to keep her thoughts to herself.
Until she found her moment to break out.