S N O W
Written on November 28, 2020 (♐)
Author's Notes: This is meant to be a vague, vague crossover with Final Fantasy Tactics Advance as well as a precursor to Inquietude.
When he recalled it later, Ramza always imagined Zeakden at a distance: some towering inferno, red hot with a column of white smoke flung into the sky above it. In those moments, he saw it as he could not have seen it himself; he saw it as he imagined explosions must look. When it had happened, however--when the flame and the fortress had been all around him—there had been no image to fix itself in his brain. Everything had been a great blank then, and he had marveled that the roar of the blast felt silent just as his vision turned to white. It had been as if the endless winter sky above had somehow loosed its burden all at once upon him, leaving him buried beneath a whole season’s worth of snow.
He recalled waking. He recalled walking. He recalled the long, stumbling path he cut back to the hills of Igros, the storm eating away the track of footprints. Before that, he supposed that he must have been dreaming, and he must have remembered the impressions of those dreams in all the many miles it took to return to a home no longer his own. He found himself beset again and again with the thought of children at play—of a courtyard where boys set upon one another with nothing more deadly than snowballs. As he stood among those phantoms, under a sky bright and impossibly blue, he remembered thinking for the first time in his short span of years that it fell on him to be the brother who was strong.