Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy, or any of the characters used in this fic. They all belong to Square-Enix. I only own any of my original characters that I choose to include, as well as any of my own original plot ideas.
A/N: Pre-FFXII, following the murder of King Raminas.
Shackled, hanging, hopeless, it was best for the captain to give up on life soon, thought he. A man with naught to live for, to dedicate himself to, ought die far more quickly than he had been born. Without purpose, there was no life, just the emptiness that came of breathing without a heart.
A man of two nations, the once prosperous Landis, and the newly fallen Dalmasca, so disgraced as a knight of the Order, must have accepted his fate of late. Never again to see the light of day and bask in its glory.
"Might I tell of what awaits you, Captain?" he sneered. Yes, Cid knew much of what was to come, both to the falsely branded traitor and the kingdom of the desert storm. "You will be despised, your very name cursed by generations yet to come in Dalmasca. When they speak, they shall only remember you as the man who fed their beloved king a length of steel for his last supper. And you shall live to hear every word."
A tame, innocent animal within a cage, brought down by shackles and steady decay. Lord Vayne was a cruel man indeed, leaving an innocent soldier to such a wretched fate. For the sake of his conquest, no less.
"And what of your good name?" the knight inquired. "What is it that the generations of Archades will remember of the infamous Doctor Cid? Will he be a hero who lifted man to the heavens with Magicite, or a villain, suffering the lashings of iron tongues?"
Cid waved a hand, dismissing the comment. "Trifles," he remarked. "Rumors be little more than gossip for the dinner table. You had best remember that, though it may never again serve you."
"And you best remember how deadly rumors be, Doctor. Like fire sweeping endlessly across the plains."
Indeed. Yet, so long as he denied them, refused to acknowledge them, they would always remain as such. Little more than eternal scraps of idle gossip to the gutter churls and streetears of Archades, scraps to put bread in a scant few mouths.
"A trifle, you say?" the captain echoed. "Even be it news of the fabled young Bunansa, a boy run off from home?"
There was little more to do than laugh, pretend that this had merely rolled right off his back. What could a traitor-branded captain, first to Landis and his kin, know what possibly spread through word of mouth in Archades? And of his son, no less.
"Surely you jest, Captain Ronsenburg," Cid chortled. "What could you Dalmascans possibly know of the goings-on within the Empire's homeland?"
"Sighted last in Balfonheim not three days ago. Would you not go to him, Doctor? Go to fetch your son?"
His son, the captain had said. Was it the duty of a son to tell his father was could and could not be done? Was it the place of a son to deny himself and the house of his forefathers the glory that came with being a Judge Magister? Was it the right of a son to cast down his name and take to the skies, a villain and a pirate?
"My son, you say?" Cid turned, guards quickly passing him by. "No, Captain. Surely you must be mistaken. For, you see, my son is dead... just like the rest of you."