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The Moon Patriarch (Story)

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Sitting quietly in his cell, the frail Miqo'te teen shakes with fear. Taken from his home almost three weeks ago by the Garlean Empire during their ambitious asasult on Ahla Mihgo, he has not a clue what is in store for him as he tries to imagine what his family is doing right now. He wanted to go back home so badly, he missed his mother and father as well as his sister. But home does not exist anymore. He had no idea where his family now resided. He was taken as a prisoner of war to be used as anything they saw fit once they secured the area.


At first he resisted. This only seemed to arouse a form of tension relief for his captors, as they took turns chaining him up and beating him with a whip for his insubordination. This did not take long to break him. He was not strong, not of will and not of body. He quickly complied and was locked up in complete darkness in a storage room for a night as a warning. Time drew on in that room for what seemed like decades. Absolute quiet, absolute darkness filled his senses. He became claustrophobic and screamed and yelled, but received no answer in return. After a brief time of yelling, crying to be let out, and clawing at the door with his hands, he gave up, and surrendered himself to his fate there. Once he was complacent, they moved him to a more proper cell. This one had a window through the door so the guards could watch him.


Nothing else to do but wait. He was much too fragile and weak to fight back, he was not at all like his sister, he thought. She was a prime alpha female of his clan, a true warrior and earned her right as a matriarch, and was now of an adult. She would soon leave their family and make them proud. He brought nothing to the table. This thought disgusted him as tears rolled down his cheeks. He wanted to be like her very much, but was simply not able to keep up. His mind drifted to the past, how she would attempt to train him, studying the art of the polearm and sword. While she expressed great interest and patience in his lessons, he was sure he was holding her back from progressing herself. These thoughts plagued him each night, waiting for his inevitable fate.


He was about to drift off into another nightmare when there was a loud crash outside his cell room. The guards began yelling and then for a moment, all was silent. The eerie glow of light that filtered through his barred doorway filled with the silhoutte of someone and then the door began to rattle from the knob being shaken. A large cracking noise, made by the ramming of feet, jarred the door over and over, until it finally broke off of its hinge, and the figure stood in the doorway. There stood his sister, her favorite polearm in hand. Tears filled her face as she ran up to her little brother.


"Zeht'a! I knew you would be here! We need to get you out of here! Let's go!"


His voice too given out from the weeks of screaming and crying, was unable to respond. He merely nodded and hugged his sister and took her hand. He put all his faith into her, she would set him free.


As they pressed through the halls, an alarm went off. Someone must have noticed the bodies of the guards in the doorway. They made their way up-top and outside on the castle rook walkway. It was here, they were surrounded on each side. Below them, sat a wagon of food goods bought from the market that day for their cafeteria. Seeing this, Zeht'a forced himself to speak up.


"Goto, we need to jump to the wagon!"


Goto, noticing the drop quickly took him by the arm and said, "You're why I'm here, you need to make it!"


She then quickly tossed him off the side to the wagon below, a rush of panic swept over him as he landed with a thud into the food cart, jarring his senses numb. When he came to a few seconds later, he heard the clashing of weapons and looked high above him to see his sister fighting off the guards so that he may escape. He did not want to leave her again and began forcing himself to yell again, "Jump Goto!"


When Goto realized Zeht'a was safe at the ground below, she flipped onto a guards shoulders and used him as vaulting leverage to hurl herself over the side toward the wagon below. Once she landed she quickly got up and they sprinted across the fields toward the forest. A horn was sounded by a watchman at the toward and the doors began to open. They made it halfway through the field when they heard the rumble of heavy feet stamping the ground. The sound of mounted chocobos. She quickened her pace, dragging him behind her, trying to disappear into the thickness of the woods. It was no use. By the time they arrived at the woods entrance the mounted guards had caught up to them.


"Well, it seems we've got a fiesty kitty here gentlemen, I like that, " exclaimed the head watchman.


Goto roared at them and her hair seemingly stood up on end. It was the roar of a lioness in a death rage. It was frightening to her enemies and Zeht'a alike, but he felt comforted by it somehow. She turned to her brother, still in shock, and quickly told him, "Go!"


"I don't want to leave you!"


She hissed at him, the moonlight filled her eyes with a rage he never saw before. It frightened him. Without a word, he turned to flee. As he made his way into the deep of the forest she yelled, "I love you Zeht'a! Never forget!" All that he could hear was the fading sounds of weapons clashing. He ran until they drowned out completely in the moonlit forest, until his lungs burned, until his legs ached. He fell hard to the ground, gasping for air and choking on the dust laden oxygen that filled his lungs. Finally, when all had settled and the world around him was quiet... he fell asleep.



The next morning Zeht'a awoke to snow falling around him. Drowsily, he tried to make out his surroundings when it quickly donned on him, his sister was no where to be seen. He rose to his feet in a hurry and dashed back in the direction he came in an attempt to see what had happened last night. After running for quite some time he finally made it to the entrance of the woods in which he ran into. The air was chillingly quiet as the snow began to turn green into white and he could make out the outlines of figures in the distance before him, lying on the ground. He ran over to the bodies and began to examine them frantically. Not a single body was his sister and he began to feel a moment of relief.


She got away...


It was then an eerie feeling fell over him as he caught a glimpse of a color that stood out among the rest on the ground. Red... A small blood trail, almost covered completely by the snow, led back into the woods. His very breathe left his body and the hair on his neck stood on end. He slowly followed the trail back into the woods. Dread filled his mind, but he attempted to fight it back with hope.


Maybe it was a guard who went looking for me. Probably a scout... that's got to be it.


Eventually the trail led to a small rock opening. In this opening it was dark and led into the ground like a cavern. The blood led into the darkness. Shivering both from fear, and the cold, he forced himself to go into the cavern.


Fighting with himself on whether or not he should call out to her, he also did not want to give away his position if the blood belonged to an enemy. As he hugged the wall and ventured deeper into the cavern, he could begin to hear the sound of rustling water, like that of a small stream, up ahead as well as a form of radiant light shining from above in a thin ray of luminescence. As he made his way he noticed a figure dimly lit near the light, close to the water. He quickly went quiet and slowly crept up near the figure. He could make out that they were sitting down against the cavern wall with their legs sprawled out. There was something else near them... an elongated object that looked very familiar to him. His throat began to tighten as he realized that it was a spear. He cried out Goto's name as he ran to the figure. The three seconds it took for him to reach her seemed like thirty years. When he finally made it to her, he tilted her head up from its lowered position and saw blood stains all over her body. Crying and screaming to the twelve, he shook her violently in an attempt to illicit a response, but nothing came.


Disbelief surrounded him, enveloped him in that darkness. He kept trying to rouse her attention. She was too heavy for him to lift, so he drug her to the ray of light in the cavern to examine her more closely. She received multiple stab wounds and even a slash on her upper thigh, and still managed to walk into this cavern in an attempt to survive. He noticed she had torn parts of her clothes to wrap around the wounds.... She fought to the very end.


Tears flowed from Zeht'a. It all sunk in at once, that his sister was gone forever to him. His guardian, and the person whom protected him his entire life, protected him one final time and it was his fault she is no longer with him. He mourned while trying to salvage what little dignity he had left and attempted to give her a proper memorial. It was the least he could do for her.... wasn't it? He aligned numerous types of gems and rocks that populated the cavern around her being and washed away the blood that was not soaked into her clothes.


It's my fault...


He kneeled before her newly furbished tomb and prayed to the twelve.


One of you took her... One of you has her... Please... The one that does... I have decided my body is not fit for an insignificant soul such as mine and please take me instead... give her this body... I don't care... I don't deserve this life. She was going to be great, I was going to be nothing. Just... do something... I will dedicate my life in honor of her and what she represented to my family and me. I will live her life for her...


I will take her name. I pledge to you now twelve, that I will indeed take the name of a female within my family, but it will not be my mother's... it will be my sisters.... I will be Zeht'a ... no... I will erase that part of me as well... For now... it will be Goto.


As he rasped those final thoughts through his heavily exhausted mind, the ray of light dimmed, and a snowflake fell through the opening in which the light shone through. Too distracted to pay it heed, he kissed his sister on the forehead, then stood up and walked out of the cavern.


I do not know where my parents are now... I do not know what to do...





Five years pass...



"Absolutely not!"


"But sir! He'll be fine!"


"You are not taking Goto on that mission! His ... hesitations will get you killed!"


"It's Panic Attacks and you know it! Sir, he is my best friend, and I trust him with my life... I know he's a little on edge but the man has had a rough life growing up. He just needs a push and if its me he's defending through that path I know he'll do his best. You Paladins never give him a real ch- "



"Are you backtalking me Conjurer? One word from me and you'll be joining him in what he does best... scraping up the dead and notifying their next of kin. Is that something you want?"


The tall Roegadyn conjurer, defeated, acknowledges his superior through gritted teeth, "No.... sir."




The Roegadyn walks back to his bunker. Inside, he sees the, now fully grown Miqo'te male, sitting on his bunk with his head down. His shaggy black hair hanging over his face, his glacial blue eyes, though almost glowing in the dark, are dull and listless from being defeated by life.


"No luck Berklyn?"


"Nah.. sorry Elillon... I tried man."


The Miqo'te closes his eyes and gives a weary smile as he looks down at his hands. Elillon... it was the name his Roegadyn friend gave him when they met in the military... He did not speak very much to anyone, and when he had his first PTSD attack during one of their missions... he was immediately removed from field service and put on the "Graveyard Shift" for not being able to act for his fellow brothers in arms when they were in actual danger. Only in this case it was quite literal... He was a danger to be put in combat and was instead sent to gather the bodies... It was during this the Roegadyn, Berklyn, approached him and befriended him. When asked his name he was not satisfied with the simple response of "Goto."


"A man needs two names in this world, so its easier to tell him a part from the rest when he writes his legendary story."


Ha... legend, Goto thought to himself as the memories played through his mind.


"Tell you what Goto, I'm gonna call you... Elillon... it means 'Exiled Gatherer' to my people."


"... Elillolin?"


The enormous Roegadyn belted a laugh so hard Goto thought his ears would burst.


"Have trouble pronouncing the Roe' speech huh? Well no matter... you'll get used to it."


Goto chuckled to himself... He never did get used to pronouncing his new given name, but out of respect for Berklyn he allowed himself to be called it. Plus he was at least right about one thing, the military wants full names, at least for those that rise through the ranks for formalities and paperwork... not that Goto would ever ascend that high, but it was a nice pipe dream...



The next morning, he was awakened by the clamoring of his unit getting suited up for this next mission. This one was by far the most difficult... in fact, it was deemed a suicide mission... But the Paladins of the sultinate strongly felt they found an opening in the enemy's ranks to get Berklyn through. He was the vital key to saving lives. They held hostages in the enemy camp and he was to hold the unit together through his healing magic so they could reach the hostages, and provide the care they need, and get them out. If he made it, he would most assuredly be a hero to all of Ul'Dah... and Goto was proud to be his friend.


He hopped out of bed and put on his uniform and prepared to line-up for morning announcements. When all were lined up the commanding officer approached them and walked back and forth, examining the line. Finally, for what seemed like decades, he began to speak.


"Men! I see you are all ready, and fit for tonight's blitz strike. I can never be more proud of a unit than this one. Every single one of you volunteered, and those that die, will die a hero, and those that make it, will be legends. Now to list off the duties of the units."


He began rattling off names Goto was familiar with. It was routine as most of his fellow brothers in arms were specialized and always had the same jobs, so he half paid attention. It was when his name was called that caught him off guard.


"Goto will be Defender for Berklyn on this mission."


The entire unit began to protest loudly.


"But sir you can't send Goto out there! He'll get killed or worse, get us all killed!"




With a snap of his jaw, he had everyone silenced.


"It seems the Sultana was impressed by your conjurer enough to give Mr. Goto a shot. You can thank him for that. Personally I feel when he does die... he can at least be marked a hero and die for a good cause."


Goto lowered his head in shame... The back-handed compliment given to him publically stung like that of ice. But he was used to it.


"Y-... yes sir... it is an honor to die for the nation of Ul'Dah," was all he could stammer out.


Many of his brothers began shaking their heads and awaited for the night's mission to be deployed. It would take place during a full moon so while they were hidden by the night, their path was at least visible.


Dusk came, and they began their deployment.


They were smuggled in what appeared to be normal cargo wagons, modified to hold more storage space and they were crammed inside. Once they made it to the rendezvous point they stopped... and snuck out into the shadows.


The plan was a good one... to Blitz them at night at their weakest point... Intelligence was able to notate when they made their shift change... how they received that information it was unknown... Before that intel they had literally nothing on the enemy... how they got such critical information was very suspicious. But it was all they had to go on, and they were going to take it.


Once everyone was set, and the shift began rotation, they charged in.


The frontliners rammed into the heavily scattered resistance, and Goto hang behind that line with Berklyn, making sure he could maintain full concentration while casting his magic. His new job was extremely simple, but as crucial as Berklyn's job itself. He was to make sure Berklyn made it by any means necessary.


His team made a good push at the start, and were gaining ground quickly. However, they still had a very long way to go into the encampment to reach the hostages, as the fortified Garlean wall protecting the base outstretched an impressive amount of land and had archers at the ready. Some were able to pick off a few of Goto's team as they passed and Berklyn was unable to keep all of them up, it was too much and the line grew weaker... but they were through.


Goto was breathing heavy... fear running through his body. He wanted to curl up right there but he knew his friend depended on him. He maintained composure and held his round shield up, blocking a stray arrow or two that flew at Berklyn. The unit pushed deeper into the encampment. The alarm had now gone off and everyone was on full alert, not much longer from now they would meet the full opposition. They were prepared however as some of the unit positioned themselves out of sight through the wall and began picking off targets left and right. It did not take long for the enemy to recoup and organize.


"Get their healer!" Shouted one soldier, causing all who had ranged weaponry to target Berklyn in the back and fire at him in a concentrated effort to dispatch him quickly. This was taken into account as well. The front-line then dispersed and flew into the ranged attackers, flanking them. This is where the plan would make or break. Soldiers knew they would die as Berklyn could not hold all of them up from their suicide charges into the enemy. But he had to try, and those men... those men were fearless. Proud soldiers of Ul'Dah risking their lives to save innocents. They kept pushing forward, even after one by one, their team diminished, but so were the enemy units. Berklyn was a magnificent conjurer, and was doing everything in his power to keep them pushing. Goto could only stand there in amazement, watching the event unfold around him.




"For Ul'Dah!"


Finally... only two frontliners were left and they were beginning to be overrun... Goto had to step in at this point as they were closing in on his healer, and there was nothing left the front line could do.


Then it happened... His chest began to tighten from all the excitement...




Suddenly the world around him blurred, and tunnel vision started setting in. He couldn't breathe... He stammered around choking, not able to get air into his lungs. He could hear Berklyn calling to him, but sound began to dull as his panic deepened.


Stop it! No! D-Don't do this to me! I have to be there for Berklyn! We have to get those people out! I don't want to lose any more people close to me!


He struggled, and for a second, his tunnel vision restored to a normal state, enough to see Berklyn laying on the ground and the enemy laughing at him as they kicked him to the side... he noticed one of the unit had a sword raised in the air, ready to lower into his healer. His vision blurred out again. He fought with every ounce of strength he had, but he could not get his composure.




He surrendered everything at that moment... to defeat.


I... will see you soon... sister... I am sorry... I am a failure...


He felt something cold touch his face. But he could not see, he could not even breathe, let alone make out what was touching him.




He felt himself twist and recoil in the flight or fight state








Visions of his sister began pouring through his head. Then something odd happened.... As if it were clear as day... As if he were seeing through her eyes... He saw the unit she defended him against that night... he saw her hands infront of him... her polearm... he saw her stave off the units... and then.. he saw what would be her fatal blow...


His world stood still...






She did not even hesitate to defend her brother. She kept pouring into them. One by one, mercilessly dispatching the threat that was standing between her and her brother. She was cut again, on the leg... Still moved... still lept into the air gracefully to finish them off.




Another memory entered his mind... Of when they were younger and she was trying to teach him to use their natural advantages.


"What natural advantages sis...?"


"Well... we are Keepers, we do not work like Hyurs, Elezen, Lalafells, Roegadyn, or even Seekers. We have our own strengths to utilize... We may have a difficult time overpowering a Seeker for example, but we have the best advantage... our wits. We also can smell very well versus the other races... all are natural strengths."


He remembered being very confused by this. But she merely laughed.


"You will pick it up some day Zeht'a..."






He remembered his words.


"I will be ... Goto."




His body restored control... and his vision returned... A deep breathe rushed into his lungs and with one final exhale... the air seemed to chill around him... an icy cold breathe emerged from his lips.


With furious strength he lept at the man with the sword coming down and dug his claws into his eye sockets and pulled his face next to his, then roared at the screaming man with an intensity never expressed by him before. It was like that of a lion in a death rage. The full moon, that until now was quietly hanging in the air, seemed to glow just a bit brighter as if to display this product of its kind to the world.


If I see you again sister... you will be proud of me this time.


He sniffed the air around him... picking up the scent of the weakest among the group.... One was bleeding... the easy target.


The enemy targets, spooked by this sudden resurgence all began to pour onto the Miqo'te but were suddenly stricken by a blinding light.


"The damn cat used Flash! Watch o-"


Before the word could be finished a shield struck the man in the face hard, instantly killing him and the Miqo'te flew into the bleeding man next to him, quickly driving his sword deeper into the wound, and then pouncing to the next.


The shield was heavy, I can maintain mobility with it off.


One by one, the unit was dispatched, but more were well on the way... It was him and Berklyn.


Using his newly focused adrenaline and the lack of shield weight, he put every ounce he had into dragging Berklyn to the target area. He had to get him there... He was going to get him there.


He drug the unconscious Roegadyn slowly across the encampment... Only letting go to attack new enemies set out to halt their progress. Archers flung arrows into him... A few pierced his armor but he did not stall as blood oozed out of his body. No healer to save him, he kept dragging the Roegadyn until he was within closing distance of the horrified archers.


"What is this monster!?"


A sword dug into them a and Goto moved on to the next. His imperfect swings gave openings to a few soldiers, slicing into him on occasion, creating more wounds upon his body... but he kept moving. Slowly, but surely... the world around him began to turn white as blood loss was claiming him, but as long as he was on his feet, his healer was protected. For what seemed like eternity, he finally made it to the targeted area, the cell building housing the hostages... no enemies were in sight.


Very slowly... he stumbled over to the building... now allowing himself to breathe heavily as the adrenaline rush began to cease. He hit the button and out came a large group of people...


He fell to the ground as he surrendered himself to death. He noticed a white haired hyur stroll out of the building. The hyur smiled at him as Goto's own eyes began to close, and the man tossed something glinting his way....


Objective... Complete.

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